Seconds Movie Quotes

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

How long is forever? Sometimes just one second
Lewis Carroll (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, #1))
Music makes everything more romantic, doesn't it? One second you're walking your dog in the suburbs, and then you put on Adele, and it's like you're in a movie and you've just had your heart brutally broken.
Jenny Han (Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3))
Mahoney: "Thirty-seven seconds. Great, well done; now we wait." Mr. Magorium: "No, we breathe, we pulse, we regenerate. our hearts beat, our minds create, our souls ingest. Thirty-seven seconds well used is a lifetime.
Suzanne Weyn (Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (Movie Novelization))
I fell in love with teasing you in the second grade, when I first discovered that I could turn you cheeks pink with just a word. Then I fell in love with you.
Lynn Painter (Better Than the Movies)
Aragorn: Gentlemen! We do not stop 'til nightfall. Pippin: But what about breakfast? Aragorn: You've already had it. Pippin: We've had one, yes. But what about second breakfast? [Aragorn stares at him, then walks off.] Merry: Don't think he knows about second breakfast, Pip. Pippin: What about elevensies? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper? He knows about them, doesn't he? Merry: I wouldn't count on it Pip.
Peter Jackson
Disappointment will come when your effort does not give you the expected return. If things don’t go as planned or if you face failure. Failure is extremely difficult to handle, but those that do come out stronger. What did this failure teach me? is the question you will need to ask. You will feel miserable. You will want to quit, like I wanted to when nine publishers rejected my first book. Some IITians kill themselves over low grades – how silly is that? But that is how much failure can hurt you. But it’s life. If challenges could always be overcome, they would cease to be a challenge. And remember – if you are failing at something, that means you are at your limit or potential. And that’s where you want to be. Disappointment’ s cousin is Frustration, the second storm. Have you ever been frustrated? It happens when things are stuck. This is especially relevant in India. From traffic jams to getting that job you deserve, sometimes things take so long that you don’t know if you chose the right goal. After books, I set the goal of writing for Bollywood, as I thought they needed writers. I am called extremely lucky, but it took me five years to get close to a release. Frustration saps excitement, and turns your initial energy into something negative, making you a bitter person. How did I deal with it? A realistic assessment of the time involved – movies take a long time to make even though they are watched quickly, seeking a certain enjoyment in the process rather than the end result – at least I was learning how to write scripts, having a side plan – I had my third book to write and even something as simple as pleasurable distractions in your life – friends, food, travel can help you overcome it. Remember, nothing is to be taken seriously. Frustration is a sign somewhere, you took it too seriously.
Chetan Bhagat
You know, I do believe in magic. I was born and raised in a magic time, in a magic town, among magicians. Oh, most everybody else didn’t realize we lived in that web of magic, connected by silver filaments of chance and circumstance. But I knew it all along. When I was twelve years old, the world was my magic lantern, and by its green spirit glow I saw the past, the present and into the future. You probably did too; you just don’t recall it. See, this is my opinion: we all start out knowing magic. We are born with whirlwinds, forest fires, and comets inside us. We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand. But then we get the magic educated right out of our souls. We get it churched out, spanked out, washed out, and combed out. We get put on the straight and narrow and told to be responsible. Told to act our age. Told to grow up, for God’s sake. And you know why we were told that? Because the people doing the telling were afraid of our wildness and youth, and because the magic we knew made them ashamed and sad of what they’d allowed to wither in themselves. After you go so far away from it, though, you can’t really get it back. You can have seconds of it. Just seconds of knowing and remembering. When people get weepy at movies, it’s because in that dark theater the golden pool of magic is touched, just briefly. Then they come out into the hard sun of logic and reason again and it dries up, and they’re left feeling a little heartsad and not knowing why. When a song stirs a memory, when motes of dust turning in a shaft of light takes your attention from the world, when you listen to a train passing on a track at night in the distance and wonder where it might be going, you step beyond who you are and where you are. For the briefest of instants, you have stepped into the magic realm. That’s what I believe. The truth of life is that every year we get farther away from the essence that is born within us. We get shouldered with burdens, some of them good, some of them not so good. Things happen to us. Loved ones die. People get in wrecks and get crippled. People lose their way, for one reason or another. It’s not hard to do, in this world of crazy mazes. Life itself does its best to take that memory of magic away from us. You don’t know it’s happening until one day you feel you’ve lost something but you’re not sure what it is. It’s like smiling at a pretty girl and she calls you “sir.” It just happens. These memories of who I was and where I lived are important to me. They make up a large part of who I’m going to be when my journey winds down. I need the memory of magic if I am ever going to conjure magic again. I need to know and remember, and I want to tell you.
Robert McCammon (Boy's Life)
Life is like a movie, if you've sat through more than half of it and it’s sucked every second so far, it probably isn't going to get great right at the end and make it all worthwhile. None should blame you for walking out early.
Doug Stanhope
It's strange how we always want other people to feel what we feel. It must be a basic human drive. Misery loves company, right? Or when you see a movie that you love, don't you want to drag all your friends to see it as well? Because it's only good the second time if it's the first time for somebody else—as if their experience somehow resonates inside of you.
Neal Shusterman (Bruiser)
What's with the disco lights?" Michael said, rolling down the window between the driver's compartment and the back. Eve turned around, and her face brightened. "You like it? I thought it looked really cool. I saw it in a movie, you know, in a limo." "It's cool," Michael said, and smiled at her. She smiled back. "Can't wait to lie here and watch it with you." Claire said, "You don't have to wait; it's working now. Look--Oh. Never mind." She blushed, feeling stupid that she hadn't gotten that one in the first second. Eve winked at her.
Rachel Caine (Ghost Town (The Morganville Vampires, #9))
believe that this way of living, this focus on the present, the daily, the tangible, this intense concentration not on the news headlines but on the flowers growing in your own garden, the children growing in your own home, this way of living has the potential to open up the heavens, to yield a glittering handful of diamonds where a second ago there was coal. This way of living and noticing and building and crafting can crack through the movie sets and soundtracks that keep us waiting for our own life stories to begin, and set us free to observe the lives we have been creating all along without ever realizing it. I don’t want to wait anymore. I choose to believe that there is nothing more sacred or profound than this day. I choose to believe that there may be a thousand big moments embedded in this day, waiting to be discovered like tiny shards of gold. The big moments are the daily, tiny moments of courage and forgiveness and hope that we grab on to and extend to one another. That’s the drama of life, swirling all around us, and generally I don’t even see it, because I’m too busy waiting to become whatever it is I think I am about to become. The big moments are in every hour, every conversation, every meal, every meeting. The Heisman Trophy winner knows this. He knows that his big moment was not when they gave him the trophy. It was the thousand times he went to practice instead of going back to bed. It was the miles run on rainy days, the healthy meals when a burger sounded like heaven. That big moment represented and rested on a foundation of moments that had come before it. I believe that if we cultivate a true attention, a deep ability to see what has been there all along, we will find worlds within us and between us, dreams and stories and memories spilling over. The nuances and shades and secrets and intimations of love and friendship and marriage an parenting are action-packed and multicolored, if you know where to look. Today is your big moment. Moments, really. The life you’ve been waiting for is happening all around you. The scene unfolding right outside your window is worth more than the most beautiful painting, and the crackers and peanut butter that you’re having for lunch on the coffee table are as profound, in their own way, as the Last Supper. This is it. This is life in all its glory, swirling and unfolding around us, disguised as pedantic, pedestrian non-events. But pull of the mask and you will find your life, waiting to be made, chosen, woven, crafted. Your life, right now, today, is exploding with energy and power and detail and dimension, better than the best movie you have ever seen. You and your family and your friends and your house and your dinner table and your garage have all the makings of a life of epic proportions, a story for the ages. Because they all are. Every life is. You have stories worth telling, memories worth remembering, dreams worth working toward, a body worth feeding, a soul worth tending, and beyond that, the God of the universe dwells within you, the true culmination of super and natural. You are more than dust and bones. You are spirit and power and image of God. And you have been given Today.
Shauna Niequist (Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life)
So maybe we won’t ever win the lottery, or marry royalty, or make that last second shot. That doesn’t mean we won’t have amazing adventures, meet exceptional people, and make indelible memories. The trick is to notice before it’s too late.
John Green (Paper Towns)
But if renting all those movies had taught me anything more than how to lose myself in them, it was that you only actually have perfectly profound little moments like that in real life if you recognize them yourself, do all the fancy shot work and editing in your head, usually in the very seconds that whatever is happening is happening. And even if you do manage to do so, just about never does anyone else you’re with at the time experience that exact same kind of moment, and it’s impossible to explain it as it’s happening, and then the moment is over.
Emily M. Danforth (The Miseducation of Cameron Post)
I knew him instantly, even though he'd...changed. I think in a crowd of a million people, I would have recognized him. The connection between us would allow nothing else. And after being deprived of him for so long, I drank in every feature. The dark, chin-length hair, worn loose tonight and curling slightly around his face. The familiar set of lips, quirked now in an amused yet chilling smile. He even wore the duster he always wore, the long leather coat that could have come straight out of a cowboy movie. [...] The eyes. Oh God, the eyes. Even with that sickening red ring around his pupils, his eyes still reminded me of the Dimitri I'd known. The look in his eyes—the soulless, malicious gleam—that was nothing like him. But there was just enough resemblance to stir my heart, to overwhelm my senses and feelings. My stake was ready. All I had to do was keep swinging to make the kill. I had momentum on my side... But I couldn't. I just needed a few more seconds, a few more seconds to drink him in before I killed him. And that's when he spoke. "Roza." His voice had the same wonderful lowness, the same accent...it was just colder. "You forgot my first lesson: Don't hesitate.
Richelle Mead (Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4))
Just sitting quietly, doing nothing at all, your brain churns through more information in thirty seconds than the Hubble Space Telescope has processed in thirty years. A morsel of cortex one cubic millimeter in size—about the size of a grain of sand—could hold two thousand terabytes of information, enough to store all the movies ever made, trailers included, or about 1.2 billion copies of this book.
Bill Bryson (The Body: A Guide for Occupants)
I stopped examining myself in the mirror to compare myself to the perfect beauties of movies and magazines; I decided I was beautiful-- for the simple reason that I wanted to be. And then never gave the matter a second thought. -Eva Luna
Isabel Allende
Women are the most important part of horror because, by and large, women are the ones the horror happens to. Women have to endure it, fight it, survive it—in the movies and in real life. They are at risk of attack from real-life monsters. In America, a woman is assaulted every nine seconds.
Mallory O'Meara (The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick)
This was it. And it was right. Perfect without the dinner, movies, and flowers, because how could you really plan something like this? You couldn't Daemon sat back- A fist pounded on the door, and Andrew's voice intruded. "Daemon, are you awake?" We stared at each other in disbelief. "If I ignore him," he whispered, "do you think he'll go away?" My hands dropped to my sides. "Maybe" The pounding came again. "Daemon, I really need you downstairs. Dawson is ready to go back to Mount Weather. Nothing Dee or I are saying to him is making a bit of difference. He's like a suicidal Energizer bunny." Daemon squeezed his eyes shut. "Son of a bitch..." "It's okay." I started to sit up. "He needs you." He let out a ragged sigh. "Stay here and get some rest. I'll talk-or beat some sense into him." He kissed me briefly and then gently pushed me back down. "I'll be back." Settling in, I smiled. "Try not to kill him." "No promises." He stood, pulled on his pajama bottoms, and headed for the door. Stopping short, he looked over his shoulder,his intense gaze melting my bones. "Dammit." A few seconds after he stepped out into the hallway and closed the door behind him, there was a fleshly smack and then Andrew yelling. "Ouch. What in the hell was that for?" "Your timing sucks on an epic level," Daemon shot back.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Opal (Lux, #3))
But if love were convenient there wouldn't be millions of songs and movies and books obsessing over it, or therapists and doctors consoling all the people falling in and out of it.
Katie Kacvinsky (Second Chance (First Comes Love, #2))
I believe that this way of living, this focus on the present, the daily, the tangible, this intense concentration not on the news headlines but on the flowers growing in your own garden, the children growing in your own home, this way of living has the potential to open up the heavens, to yield a glittering handful of diamonds where a second ago there was coal. This way of living and noticing and building and crafting can crack through the movie sets and soundtracks that keep us waiting for our own life stories to begin, and set us free to observe the lives we have been creating all along without even realizing it.
Shauna Niequist (Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life)
I have scars on my hand from touching certain people. Once, in the park, when Frannie was still in the carriage, I put my hand on the downy pate of her head and left it there too long. Another time, at Loew's Seventy-second Street, with Zooey during a spooky movie. He was about six or seven, and he went under the seat to avoid watching a scary scene. I put my hand on his head. Certain heads, certain colors and textures of human hair leave permanent marks on me. Other things, too. Charlotte once ran away from me, outside the studio, and I grabbed her dress to stop her, to keep her near me. A yellow cotton dress I loved because it was too long for her. I still have a lemon-yellow mark on the palm of my right hand.
J.D. Salinger (Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters & Seymour: An Introduction)
He said, “I know somebody you could kiss.” “Who?” She realized his eyes were amused. “Oh, wait.” He shrugged. He was maybe the only person Blue knew who could preserve the integrity of a shrug while lying down. “It’s not like you’re going to kill me. I mean, if you were curious.” She hadn’t thought she was curious. It hadn’t been an option, after all. Not being able to kiss someone was a lot like being poor. She tried not to dwell on the things she couldn’t have. But now— “Okay,” she said. “What?” “I said okay.” He blushed. Or rather, because he was dead, he became normal colored. “Uh.” He propped himself on an elbow. “Well.” She unburied her face from the pillow. “Just, like—” He leaned toward her. Blue felt a thrill for a half a second. No, more like a quarter second. Because after that she felt the too-firm pucker of his tense lips. His mouth mashed her lips until it met teeth. The entire thing was at once slimy and ticklish and hilarious. They both gasped an embarrassed laugh. Noah said, “Bah!” Blue considered wiping her mouth, but felt that would be rude. It was all fairly underwhelming. She said, “Well.” “Wait,” Noah replied, “waitwaitwait.” He pulled one of Blue’s hairs out of his mouth. “I wasn’t ready.” He shook out his hands as if Blue’s lips were a sporting event and cramping was a very real possibility. “Go,” Blue said. This time they only got within a breath of each other’s lips when they both began to laugh. She closed the distance and was rewarded with another kiss that felt a lot like kissing a dishwasher. “I’m doing something wrong?” she suggested. “Sometimes it’s better with tongue,” he replied dubiously. They regarded each other. Blue squinted, “Are you sure you’ve done this before?” “Hey!” he protested. “It’s weird for me, ‘cause it’s you.” “Well, it’s weird for me because it’s you.” “We can stop.” “Maybe we should.” Noah pushed himself up farther on his elbow and gazed at the ceiling vaguely. Finally, he dropped his eyes back to her. “You’ve seen, like, movies. Of kisses, right? Your lips need to be, like, wanting to be kissed.” Blue touched her mouth. “What are they doing now?” “Like, bracing themselves.” She pursed and unpursed her lips. She saw his point. “So imagine one of those,” Noah suggested. She sighed and sifted through her memories until she found one that would do. It wasn’t a movie kiss, however. It was the kiss the dreaming tree had showed her in Cabeswater. Her first and only kiss with Gansey, right before he died. She thought about his nice mouth when he smiled. About his pleasant eyes when he laughed. She closed her eyes. Placing an elbow on the other side of her head, Noah leaned close and kissed her once more. This time, it was more of a thought than a feeling, a soft heat that began at her mouth and unfurled through the rest of her. One of his cold hands slid behind her neck and he kissed her again, lips parted. It was not just a touch, an action. It was a simplification of both of them: They were no longer Noah Czerny and Blue Sargent. They were now just him and her. Not even that. They were only the time that they held between them.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2))
Instead of answering, Will took a step toward her, and all at once, everything happened too quickly to even make sense of it. One second he was standing three feet away from her, and in the next he had a hand on her hip and was pulling her close. Leaning in, he kissed her. His lips were soft soft, and he was suprisingly gentle. Maybe it was simply that he'd caught her by surprise, but even so, she found herself kissing him back. The kiss didn't last long, and it wasn't the kind of earthshaking, soul-destroying kiss common in movies these days; but even so, she was glad it happened, and for whatever reason, she realized it was exactly what she'd wanted him to do.
Nicholas Sparks (The Last Song)
I like photographing women who appear to know something of life. I recently did a session with a great beauty, a movie star in in her thirties. I photographed her twice within three weeks and the second time I said: "You're much more beautiful today than you were three weeks ago." And she replied: "But I'm also three weeks older.
Helmut Newton (White Women)
For onlookers, it must have been an Oscar-worthy sixty-second silent movie. From now on, if anyone asks me if I’ve ever fallen in love at first sight, I shall say yes, for one glorious minute on 21 December 2008.
Josie Silver
I do need that time, though, for Naoko's face to appear. And as the years have passed, the time has grown longer. The sad truth is that what I could recall in five seconds all too needed ten, then thirty, then a full minute-like shadows lengthening at dusk. Someday, I suppose, the shadows will be swallowed up in darkness. There is no way around it: my memory is growing ever more distant from the spot where Naoko used to stand-ever more distant from the spot where my old self used to stand. And nothing but scenery, that view of the meadow in October, returns again and again to me like a symbolic scene in a movie. Each time is appears, it delivers a kick to some part of my mind. "Wake up," it says. "I'm still here. Wake up and think about it. Think about why I'm still here." The kicking never hurts me. There's no pain at all. Just a hollow sound that echoes with each kick. And even that is bound to fade one day. At the Hamburg airport, though, the kicks were longer and harder than usual. Which is why I am writing this book. To think. To understand. It just happens to be the way I'm made. I have to write things down to feel I fully comprehend them.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
The railway was part scalpel, part movie camera, slicing the city open, parading its inner workings at fifty frames per second. It was on the S-Bahn that she felt least abandoned, as if the act of travelling turned back the clock, and brought her nearer to the future she had lost.
Philip Sington (The Einstein Girl)
They make you settle for second best." That's what I like about the movies. There's always some minor character standing round to tell you the moral, just in case you're too dumb to figure it out for yourself. "You never get what you want.
Connie Willis (Remake)
Vika glared at him for a second, then shoved Sophie back, sending her tumbling into Fitz’s arms. “You okay?” he asked, flashing his movie-star-worthy smile as he steadied her. She was fairly certain her face was on fire as she pulled away and mumbled, “Yeah. Thanks.
Shannon Messenger (Exile (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #2))
The tears that rushed to my eyes threatened to spill forth and I was seconds from crying as if I'd watched a marathon of Hallmark movies.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Stone Cold Touch (The Dark Elements, #2))
Well.” I’m quiet for a few seconds, weighing whether I’m about to make a giant mistake. Probably, but I plow ahead anyway. “I’d like to try. If you want to. Not because we’re thrown together in this weird situation and I think you’re hot, although I do. But because you’re smart, and funny, and you do the right thing more often than you give yourself credit for. I like your horrible taste in movies and the way you never sugarcoat anything and the fact that you have an actual lizard. I’d be proud to be your girlfriend, even in a nonofficial capacity while we’re, you know, being investigated for murder. Plus, I can’t go more than a few minutes without wanting to kiss you, so—there’s that.
Karen M. McManus (One of Us Is Lying (One of Us is Lying, #1))
I must go now." "Stay up the night with me! We'll go to the fish market. There are great noble monsters packed in ice. There are turtles, live ones, for famous restaurants. We'll rescue one and write messages on his shell and put him in the sea, Shell, seashell. Or we'll go to the vegetable market. They've got red-net bags full of onions that look like huge pearls. Or we'll go down to Forty-second Street and see the movies and buy a mimeographed bulletin of jobs we can get in Pakistan --" "I work tomorrow." "Which has nothing to do with it." "But I'd better go now." "I know this is unheard in America, but I'll walk you home." "I live on Twenty-third Street." "Exactly what I'd hoped. It's over a hundred blocks.
Leonard Cohen (The Favorite Game)
Music made my day so much easier. Walking through the halls at school was somehow easier; sitting alone all the time was easier. I loved that no one could tell i was listening to music and that, because no one knew, i was never asked to turn it off. I'd had multiple conversations with teachers who had no idea i was only half hearing whatever they were saying to me, and for some reason this made me happy. Music seemed to steady me like a second skeleton; I leaned on it when my own bones were too shaken to stand. I always listened to music on the iPod i'd stolen from my brother, and here- as i did last year, when he first bought the thing- I walked to class like i was listening to the soundtrack of my own shitty movie. It gave me an inexplecable kind of hope.
Tahereh Mafi (A Very Large Expanse of Sea)
I fell in love with teasing you in the second grade, when I first discovered that I could turn your cheeks pink with just a word. Then I fell in love with you.
Lynn Painter (Better Than the Movies)
With so much sky and so much river, you couldn't help seeing the big picture. It was what you already knew, but crowding into the subway or rushing to a movie, you only saw it for a second, and close up. Now I took a good long look. I'd always heard you couldn't see stars in Manhattan because of all the lights. But here they all were. Here was my night in shining armor.
Melissa Bank (The Wonder Spot)
Life is like a movie, if you've sat through more than half of it and its sucked every second so far, it probably isn't gonna get great right at the end and make it all worthwhile. None should blame you for walking out early.
Doug Stanhope
Draft-dodging is what chicken-hawks do best. Dick Cheney, Glenn Beck, Karl Rove, Rush Limbaugh (this capon claimed he had a cyst on his fat ass), Newt Gingrich, former Attorney General John Ashcroft—he received seven deferments to teach business education at Southwest Missouri State—pompous Bill O’Reilly, Jeb Bush, hey, throw in John Wayne—they were all draft-dodgers. Not a single one of these mouth-breathing, cowardly, and meretricious buffoons fought for his country. All plumped for deferments. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani? Did not serve. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney? Did not serve in the military. (He served the Mormon Church on a thirty-month mission to France.) Former Senator Fred Thompson? Did not serve. Former President Ronald Reagan? Due to poor eyesight, he served in a noncombat role making movies for the Army in southern California during WWII. He later seems to have confused his role as an actor playing a tail gunner with the real thing. Did Rahm Emanuel serve? Yes, he did during the Gulf War 1991—in the Israeli Army. John Boehner did not serve, not a fucking second. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY? Not a minute! Former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-MS? Avoided the draft. Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl, R-AZ—did not serve. National Republican Senatorial Committee Chair John Cornyn, R-TX—did not serve. Former Senate Republican Policy Committee Chair John Ensign, R-NV? Did not serve. Jack Kemp? Dan Quayle? Never served a day. Not an hour. Not an afternoon. These are the jackasses that cherish memorial services and love to salute and adore hearing “Taps.
Alexander Theroux
It was like walking through a scene from an Italian movie. The street was lined with clothing stores and little coffee shops and restaurants, and people kept calling to one another from windows and cars. Halfway down the street a horn beeped politely and everyone cleared out of the street to make way for an entire family crowded onto a scooter. There was even a string of laundry hanging between two buildings, a billowy red housedress flapping right in the middle of it. Any second now a director was going to jump out and yell, Cut!
Jenna Evans Welch (Love & Gelato (Love & Gelato, #1))
Wait!” Juliet pulls away from her father, and once again, she’s breathless and looking up at me. “Declan.” I hold myself at a distance. The spell is broken. “Juliet.” She closes that distance, though, and then does one better. She grabs the front of my shirt and pulls me forward. For half a second, my brain explodes because I think we’re going to have a movie moment and she’s going to kiss me. And then it’s going to be super awkward because of her father. But no, she’s only pulling me close to whisper. Her breath is warm on my cheek, sweet and perfect. “We were wrong,” she says. “You make your own path.” Then she spins, grabs her father’s hand, and leaves me there in the middle of the cemetery.
Brigid Kemmerer (Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost, #1))
In the mirror I’m something from a 2AM movie about Catholic Schoolgirl vampires. Revenge-black hair, short and sharp; a face that says she’ll pull you to the dark side and you’ll love every second of it.
Hannah Capin (Foul Is Fair)
Love should never be left to its own devices.
Kelly Moran (Mistletoe Magic (Redwood Ridge #6))
Plus, I can't look at him the same since I ran into Mrs. Marino at our family reunion. It's not comforting to learn you've made out with your cousin." "Third cousin once removed," I argued. "It's hardly incest." "Life is like a box of chocolates, Lisa," Katie noted around a half-chewed carrot stick. "You never know what you're going to get." Lisa narrowed her eyes, confused. "Did she just quote Forrest Gump at me?" "It's Matt's fault," I said. "She lost a bet and now anytime his name gets mentioned, she has sixty seconds to drop a relevant movie quote." "That's insane." "Yup," Katie piped in, "insanity tuns in my family. Its practically gallops." "Classic." I high-fived her.
Cecily White (Prophecy Girl (Angel Academy, #1))
Come on, just for an hour till we finish the movie. You can meet my lizard. It takes a few seconds of silence for me to realize how that might be interpreted. That's not a line. I have an actual lizard. A bearded dragon named Stan.
Karen M. McManus (One of Us Is Lying (One of Us is Lying, #1))
His mouth twitches. “You give a siren a secret … and she asks for another.” “You have so many of them,” I say. “Don’t be a Grinch.” He lets out a long-suffering sigh, but the effect is ruined by the smile spreading across his lips. He leans in close. “I wasn’t going to tell you this, but if you want a secret …” I wait. “You drooled all over my chest during the second movie,” he confesses. “To be honest, I thought you were crying again.” I
Laura Thalassa (Rhapsodic (The Bargainer, #1))
The body lay outside an abandoned, boarded-up theater. The theater had started as a first-run movie house, many years back when the neighborhood had still been fashionable. As the neighborhood began rotting, the theater began showing second-run films, and then old movies, and finally foreign-language films.
Ed McBain
How most people carry on is a mystery. What they talk about at supper. How they can stand to sit in front of a TV from eight until Leno every night. How they can think bowling is fun. How they choose their neckties. How they bear the weight of everyday life without screaming. How a person can go through a whole life and never once contemplate suicide, like people who have never once wanted to be a movie star. How one young man can be handsome and strong and marry and heiress and work at Debevoise and Plimpton and retire to Nantucket to await the visits of his grandchildren, how they can be sailing in the bay while another young man, exactly like the first, can end up in a glass room in Lexington, Kentucky, on Haldol and Thorazine, without hope, without a girlfriend, without a future, and how easily the one can become the other. How one woman can take Gatorade to every one of her son's lacrosse games and another can lie in bed all day weeping, popping generic drugs, watching Oprah as though waiting for the Second Coming, and piling her dirty dishes in the laundry room. How life goes in bad directions when your heart is asleep. It's a mystery and there is no answer. (95)
Robert Goolrick (The End of the World as We Know It: Scenes from a Life)
A person has all sorts of lags built into him Kesey is saying. Once the most basic is the sensory lag the lag between the time your senses receive something and you are able to react. One-thirtieth of a second is the time it takes if you are the most alert person alive and most people are a lot slower than that.... You can't go any faster than that... We are all doomed to spend the rest of our lives watching a movies of our lives - we are always acting on what has just finished happening. It happened at least 1 30th of a second ago. We think we are in the present but we aren't. The present we know is only a movies of the past and we will really never be able to control the present through ordinary means.
Tom Wolfe (The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test)
KAUFMAN Sir, what if a writer is attempting to create a story where nothing much happens, where people don't change, they don't have any epiphanies. They struggle and are frustrated and nothing is resolved. More a reflection of the real world — MCKEE The real world? KAUFMAN Yes, sir. MCKEE The real fucking world? First of all, you write a screenplay without Conflict or Crisis, you'll bore your audience to tears. Secondly: nothing happens in the world? Are you out of your fucking mind? People are murdered every day! There's genocide, war, corruption! Every fucking day somewhere in the world somebody sacrifices his life to save someone else! Every fucking day someone somewhere makes a conscious decision to destroy someone else! People find love! People lose it! For Christ's sake! A child watches her mother beaten to death on the steps of a church! Someone goes hungry! Somebody else betrays his best friend for a woman! If you can't find that stuff in life, then you, my friend, don't know CRAP about life! And WHY THE FUCK are you wasting my two precious hours with your movie? I don't have any use for it! I don't have any bloody use for it! KAUFMAN Okay, thanks.
Charlie Kaufman (Adaptation.: The Shooting Script)
I end up watching this movie about some girl who's supposed to be so smart and edgy and unpopular. She wears glasses, that's how you know she's so smart. And she's the only one that has dark hair in the school- a place that looks like Planet Blond. Anyway, she somehow ends up going to the prom- hello, gag- and she doesn't wear her glasses, so suddenly she's all beautiful. And she's bashful and shy because she doesn't feel comfortable wearing a dress. But then the guy says something like, "Wow, I never knew you were so pretty," and she feels on top of the world. So, basically, the whole point is she's pretty. Oh, and smart, too. But what's really important here is that she's pretty. For a second I think about Katie. About her thin little Clarissa Le Fey. It must be a pain being fat. There are NO fat people on Planet Blond. I don't get it. I mean, even movies where the actress is smart- like they seem like they'd be smart in real life, they're all gorgeous. And they usually get a boyfriend somewhere in the story. Even if they say they don't want one. They always, always end up falling in love, and you're supposed to be like, "Oh, good." I once said this to my mom, and she laughed. "Honey, Hollywood... reality- two different universes. Don't make yourself crazy." Which made me feel pretty pathetic. Like I didn't know the difference between a movie and the real world. But then when everyone gets on you about your hair and your clothes and your this and your that, and "Are you fat?" and "Are you sexy?" you start thinking, Hey, maybe I'm not the only one who can't tell the difference between movies and reality. Maybe everyone really does think you can look like that. And that you should look like that. Because, you know, otherwise you might not get to go to the prom and fall in love.
Mariah Fredericks (Head Games)
Keep your life simple and stylish and earnest. Do good and donate your time and money to something you care about. Make people laugh. Be frank. Always give people a second chance—but rarely a third. Live light, travel light, and be light. Forget shit and move on. Make everyone you love feel loved. Waste not, want not. Reuse stuff. Stop trying to get a tan and straighten your hair—you’re just not made that way. Go to the movies, go to the library, go to the park. Try to make every day feel as close to a vacation as possible. Floss.
Judy Greer (I Don't Know What You Know Me From: Confessions of a Co-Star)
You know how sometimes you remember a place you once loved, a movie you’ve enjoyed, only to be disappointed when you return to that place or see that movie for a second time? Well, it wasn’t disappointing. She sounds exactly as I remember her—and there is still something so warm and caring about her that it is difficult to hate her for how she abandoned us.
Christina Westover (Poisoning Sylvie)
It was funny how bomb and wars looked so thrilling in movies and computer games, when the reality was so heart-stoppingly terrifying.
Sophie McKenzie (Split Second (Split Second #1))
Just seconds of knowing and remembering. When people get weepy at movies, it’s because in that dark theater the golden pool of magic is touched, just briefly.
Robert McCammon (Boy's Life)
One second you’re walking your dog in the suburbs, and then you put on Adele, and it’s like you’re in a movie and you’ve just had your heart brutally broken.” Margot
Jenny Han (Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3))
Film gives us a second chance at a first impression.
A.D. Posey
Above them, one of the blackened television screens brightens, and there's an announcement about the in-flight movie. It's an animated film about a family of ducks, one that Hadley's actually see, and when Oliver groans, shes about to deny the whole thing. But then she twists around in her seat and eyes him critically. "There's nothing wrong with ducks," she tells him, and he rolls his eyes. "Talking ducks?" Hadley grins. "They sing, too." "Don't tell me," he says. "You've already seen it." She holds up two fingers. "Twice." "You do know it's meant for five-year-olds, right?" "Five- to eight-year-olds, thank you very much." "And how old are you again?" "Old enough to appreciate our web-footed friends." "You," he says, laughing in spite of himself, "are a mad as a hatter." "Wait a second," Hadley says in mock horror. "Is that a reference to a...cartoon?" No, genius. It's a reference to a famous work of literature by Lewis Carroll. But once again, I can see how well that American education is working for you.
Jennifer E. Smith (The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight)
After a horribly long day, I needed a mental break. I threw on my parka, with the raccoon fur around the hood, and I went to see a movie. But what to see? Something sweet and stupid and harmless. At the movie theater on Second Avenue and Twelfth, a title caught my eye. I thought, 'That seems good. Jodie Foster and a puffy, friendly farm animal, a butterfly.' I unzipped my jacket and headed inside to see a movie I'd heard the name of but knew nothing about. It was called Silence Of The Lambs.
Augusten Burroughs (Magical Thinking: True Stories)
The problem with being a second-generation Californian is you're not objective about California itself. I think a lot of people come here for the comfort of it, or to reinvent themselves, and maybe creative people are natural searchers, searching for someplace to be. The lifestyle becomes very appealing--Clint Eastwood
Barbara Isenberg (State of the Arts: California Artists Talk About Their Work)
When unspeakable violence is enacted upon innocents, say, in a school or movie theatre, and the survivors and the families of the victims, in the throes of pain and anguish, want to ask, “Why did this happen?,” “How did this happen?,” and “What can we do to prevent this from happening again?,” and one of the areas they (still we) focus their scrutiny is that of the highly efficient weapons of warfare that are casually available to us citizens of the United States, then we frightened gun owners have the chance to be human and say, “Okay, this is a horrible tragedy. Let’s open up a conversation here.” Instead, I’m surmising, out of fear, we throw up our defenses and behave in a very confrontational way toward such a conversation , citing the Second Amendment as the ultimate protection of our rights, no matter how ridiculously murderous the firearm, which, unfortunately, makes us look like dicks.
Nick Offerman
Billy looked at the clock on the gas stove. He had an hour to kill before the saucer came. He went into the living room, swinging the bottle like a dinner bell, turned on the television. He came slightly unstuck in time, saw the late movie backwards, then forwards again. It was a movie about American bombers in the Second World War and the gallant men who flew them. Seen backwards by Billy, the story went like this: American planes, full of holes and wounded men and corpses took off backwards from an airfield in England. Over France a few German fighter planes flew at them backwards, sucked bullets and shell fragments from some of the planes and crewmen. They did the same for wrecked American bombers on the ground, and those planes flew up backwards to join the formation. The formation flew backwards over a German city that was in flames. The bombers opened their bomb bay doors, exerted a miraculous magnetism which shrunk the fires, gathered them into cylindrical steel containers, and lifted the containers into the bellies of the planes. The containers were stored neatly in racks. The Germans below had miraculous devices of their own, which were long steel tubes. They used them to suck more fragments from the crewmen and planes. But there were still a few wounded Americans, though, and some of the bombers were in bad repair. Over France, though, German fighters came up again, made everything and everybody as good as new. When the bombers got back to their base, the steel cylinders were taken from the racks and shipped back to the United States of America, where factories were operating night and day, dismantling the cylinders, separating the dangerous contents into minerals. Touchingly, it was mainly women who did this work. The minerals were then shipped to specialists in remote areas. It was their business to put them into the ground., to hide them cleverly, so they would never hurt anybody ever again. The American fliers turned in their uniforms, became high school kids. And Hitler turned into a baby, Billy Pilgrim supposed. That wasn't in the movie. Billy was extrapolating. Everybody turned into a baby, and all humanity, without exception, conspired biologically to produce two perfect people named Adam and Eve, he supposed.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
It’s hard to look back on your life and point to one event–one moment–that changed everything and set you on the path that made you…you. That only happens in movies. Most people’s lives are a series of millions of messy little moments strung together adding up to a messy little life. But sometimes, you can look back and see a pattern forming… see a clear path cutting through the mess. It makes you wonder, do we even have a choice at all? Or was that path going to form no matter what we did? Yeah, it’s easy to look back and see the pattern. It’s easy to second-guess every decision you made and figure out what you would’ve done differently. But none of that much matters now. It’s all in the past. Can’t waste time thinking about who i was, who i could’ve been. All that matters now is who i am.
Jeff Lemire (All-New Hawkeye (2015) #5)
She wiped her eye and pressed her lips together. “I sleep in your room. I’m fairly pathetic about it, really. I wear your T-shirts to bed and watch your movies.” She paused. “And you don’t even remember me.” This time I stopped walking. “Do you think it’s easy for me?” She had gotten a few steps ahead and turned to look back at me. “No, I don’t remember you. I don’t remember holding you or talking to you or falling in love with you—but I walk around with a giant hole in my heart all the time. I feel your absence every second of the day. It aches and nothing soothes it. Losing you is bad enough, but I don’t even get the comfort of remembering that I had you once.
Gwen Hayes (Falling Under (Falling Under, #1))
On day one of the drive, I saw my first dome sky. The world was so flat that I could see the level horizon all around me and the sky looked like a dome. Skies like that will give you perspective when nothing else will. The second day, a tumbleweed blew across the interstate. I’m in a western movie, I said to myself, laughing. I found it so much easier to laugh now that this weight had been lifted from my shoulders.
Kimberly Novosel (Loved)
My darling Julie, I know you'll never see this letter, but it helps to write to you every day. It keeps you close to me. G-d, I miss you so. You haunt every hour of my life. I wish I'd never met you. No-I don't mean that! What good would my life be without my memories of you to make me smile. I keep wondering if you're happy. I want you to be. I want you to have a glorious life. That's why I couldn't say the things I knew you wanted to hear when we were together. I was afraid if I did, you'd wait for me for years. I knew you wanted me to say I loved you. Not saying that to you was the only unselfish thing I did in Colorado, and I now I regret even that. I love you, Julie. Christ, I love you so much. I'd give up all my life to have one year with you. Six months. Three. Anything. You stole my heart in just a few days, darling, but you gave me your heart, too. I know you did- I could see it in your eyes every time you looked at me. I don't regret the loss of my freedom any more or rage at the injustice of the years I spent in prison. Now, my only regret is that I can't have you. You're young, and I know you'll forget about me quickly and go on with your own life. That's exactly what you should do. It's what you must do. I want you to do that, Julie. That's such a lousy lie. What I really want is to see you again, to hold you in my arms, to make love to you over and over again until I've filled you so completely that there's no room left inside of you for anyone but me, ever. I never thought of sexual intercourse as 'making love' until you. You never knew that. .... I wish I had time to write you a better letter or that I'd kept one of the others I've written so I could send that instead. They were all much more coherent than this one. I won't send another letter to you, so don't watch for one. Letters will make us both hope and dream, and if I don't stop doing that, I will die of wanting you. Before I go--I see from the newspapers that Costner has a new movie coming out in the States. If you dare to start fantasizing over Kevin after you see it, I will haunt you for the rest of your life. I love you, Julie. I loved in Colorado. I love you here, where I am. I will always love you. Everywhere. Always.
Judith McNaught (Perfect (Second Opportunities, #2))
I’M LOSING FAITH IN MY FAVORITE COUNTRY Throughout my life, the United States has been my favorite country, save and except for Canada, where I was born, raised, educated, and still live for six months each year. As a child growing up in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, I aggressively bought and saved baseball cards of American and National League players, spent hours watching snowy images of American baseball and football games on black and white television and longed for the day when I could travel to that great country. Every Saturday afternoon, me and the boys would pay twelve cents to go the show and watch U.S. made movies, and particularly, the Superman serial. Then I got my chance. My father, who worked for B.F. Goodrich, took my brother and me to watch the Cleveland Indians play baseball in the Mistake on the Lake in Cleveland. At last I had made it to the big time. I thought it was an amazing stadium and it was certainly not a mistake. Amazingly, the Americans thought we were Americans. I loved the United States, and everything about the country: its people, its movies, its comic books, its sports, and a great deal more. The country was alive and growing. No, exploding. It was the golden age of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The American dream was alive and well, but demanded hard work, honesty, and frugality. Everyone understood that. Even the politicians. Then everything changed. Partly because of its proximity to the United States and a shared heritage, Canadians also aspired to what was commonly referred to as the American dream. I fall neatly into that category. For as long as I can remember I wanted a better life, but because I was born with a cardboard spoon in my mouth, and wasn’t a member of the golden gene club, I knew I would have to make it the old fashioned way: work hard and save. After university graduation I spent the first half of my career working for the two largest oil companies in the world: Exxon and Royal Dutch Shell. The second half was spent with one of the smallest oil companies in the world: my own. Then I sold my company and retired into obscurity. In my case obscurity was spending summers in our cottage on Lake Rosseau in Muskoka, Ontario, and winters in our home in Port St. Lucie, Florida. My wife, Ann, and I, (and our three sons when they can find the time), have been enjoying that “obscurity” for a long time. During that long time we have been fortunate to meet and befriend a large number of Americans, many from Tom Brokaw’s “Greatest Generation.” One was a military policeman in Tokyo in 1945. After a very successful business carer in the U.S. he’s retired and living the dream. Another American friend, also a member of the “Greatest Generation”, survived The Battle of the Bulge and lived to drink Hitler’s booze at Berchtesgaden in 1945. He too is happily retired and living the dream. Both of these individuals got to where they are by working hard, saving, and living within their means. Both also remember when their Federal Government did the same thing. One of my younger American friends recently sent me a You Tube video, featuring an impassioned speech by Marco Rubio, Republican senator from Florida. In the speech, Rubio blasts the spending habits of his Federal Government and deeply laments his country’s future. He is outraged that the U.S. Government spends three hundred billion dollars, each and every month. He is even more outraged that one hundred and twenty billion of that three hundred billion dollars is borrowed. In other words, Rubio states that for every dollar the U.S. Government spends, forty cents is borrowed. I don’t blame him for being upset. If I had run my business using that arithmetic, I would be in the soup kitchens. If individual American families had applied that arithmetic to their finances, none of them would be in a position to pay a thin dime of taxes.
Stephen Douglass
I change the channel to another movie. An old one, but new to me. And, ironically, a thin, gorgeous blonde—Meg Ryan, maybe—rides her bike on a country road. She smiles like she has no cares in the world. Like no one ever judges her. Like her life is perfect. Wind through her hair and sunshine on her face. The only thing missing are the rainbows and butterflies and cartoon birds singing on her shoulder. Maybe I should grab my bike and try to catch up with Mom, Mike, and the kids. They can't be going very fast. I would love to feel like that, even if it's just for a second—free and peaceful and normal. Suddenly, there's a truck. It can't be headed toward Meg Ryan. Could it? Yes. Oh my God. No! Meg Ryan just got hit by that truck. Figures. See what happens when you exercise?
K.A. Barson (45 Pounds (More or Less))
What would you say to a loved one if you had only a few seconds to impart a last message? What language does love speak? Some of you speak love with wine and roses. For other, "I love you," is best said by breakfast in bed, carefully set aside sport sections, or night out at the movies, complete with buttered popcorn. Children spell love T-I-M-E. So, I think, do older folks. Teenagers spell it T-R-U-S-T. Sometimes parents spell love N-O. But no matter what the letters, the emotion beneath the wording must be tangible, demonstrable, and sincere.
Angela Elwell Hunt (The Note)
A person has all sorts of lags built into him, Kesey is saying. One, the most basic, is the sensory lag, the lag between the time your senses receive something and you are able to react. One-thirtieth of a second is the time it takes, if you are the most alert person alive, and most people are a lot slower than that. Now Cassady is right up against that 1/30th of a second barrier. He is going as fast as a human can go, but even he can't overcome it. He is a living example of how close you can come, but it can't be done. You can't go any faster than that. You can't through sheer speed overcome the lag. We are all of us doomed to spend the rest of our lives watching a movie of our lives - we are always acting on what has just finished happening. It happened at least 1/30th of a second ago. We think we are in the present, but we aren't. The present we know is only a movie of the past, and we will really never be able to control the present through ordinary means. That lag has to be overcome some other way, through some kind of total breakthrough.
Tom Wolfe (The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test)
But for a long time, and probably far too long, I had a secret wish: the adolescently romantic idea that there was someone out there for me; someone I hadn't met yet who would ask me on a date and make sense of my life. I harbored the hope, I'm now embarrassed to admit, that like a girl in a Lifetime movie, I would look into someone's eyes and find a reflection of my inner life. But sometime between my teenage years and the first years in New York, that idea had pretty well evaporated. I'd grown up.
Diane Meier (The Season of Second Chances)
His vulnerability allowed me to let my guard down, and gently and methodically, he tore apart my well-constructed dam. Waves of tender feelings were lapping over the top and slipping through the cracks. The feelings flooded through and spilled into me. It was frightening opening myself up to feel love for someone again. My heart pounded hard and thudded audibly in my chest. I was sure he could hear it. Ren’s expression changed as he watched my face. His look of sadness was replaced by one of concern for me. What was the next step? What should I do? What do I say? How do I share what I’m feeling? I remembered watching romance movies with my mom, and our favorite saying was “shut up and kiss her already!” We’d both get frustrated when the hero or heroine wouldn’t do what was so obvious to the two of us, and as soon as a tense, romantic moment occurred, we’d both repeat our mantra. I could hear my mom’s humor-filled voice in my mind giving me the same advice: “Kells, shut up and kiss him already!” So, I got a grip on myself, and before I changed my mind, I leaned over and kissed him. He froze. He didn’t kiss me back. He didn’t push me away. He just stopped…moving. I pulled back, saw the shock on his face, and instantly regretted my boldness. I stood up and walked away, embarrassed. I wanted to put some distance between us as I frantically tried to rebuild the walls around my heart. I heard him move. He slid his hand under my elbow and turned me around. I couldn’t look at him. I just stared at his bare feet. He put a finger under my chin and tried to nudge my head up, but I still refused to meet his gaze. “Kelsey. Look at me.” Lifting my eyes, they traveled from his feet to a white button in the middle of his shirt. “Look at me.” My eyes continued their journey. They drifted past the golden-bronze skin of his chest, his throat, and then settled on his beautiful face. His cobalt blue eyes searched mine, questioning. He took a step closer. My breath hitched in my throat. Reaching out a hand, he slid it around my waist slowly. His other hand cupped my chin. Still watching my face, he placed his palm lightly on my cheek and traced the arch of my cheekbone with his thumb. The touch was sweet, hesitant, and careful, the way you might try to touch a frightened doe. His face was full of wonder and awareness. I quivered. He paused just a moment more, then smiled tenderly, dipped is head, and brushed his lips lightly against mine. He kissed me softly, tentatively, just a mere whisper of a kiss. His other hand slid down to my waist too. I timidly touched his arms with my fingertips. He was warm, and his skin was smooth. He gently pulled me closer and pressed me lightly against his chest. I gripped his arms. He sighed with pleasure, and deepened the kiss. I melted into him. How was I breathing? His summery sandalwood scent surrounded me. Everywhere he touched me, I felt tingly and alive. I clutched his arms fervently. His lips never leaving mine, Ren took both of my arms and wrapped them, one by one, around his neck. Then he trailed one of his hands down my bare arm to my waist while the other slid into my hair. Before I realized what he was planning to do, he picked me up with one arm and crushed me to his chest. I have no idea how long we kissed. It felt like a mere second, and it also felt like forever. My bare feet were dangling several inches from the floor. He was holding all my body weight easily with one arm. I buried my fingers into his hair and felt a rumble in his chest. It was similar to the purring sound he made as a tiger. After that, all coherent thought fled and time stopped.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
Her date was pleasant enough, but she knew that if her life was a movie this guy would be buried in the credits as something like "Second Tall Man".
Russell Beland
Short Life Syndrome. Night watchmen in horror movies have a life expectancy of twelve seconds. SAM WAAs, Houston
Roger Ebert (Ebert's Bigger Little Movie Glossary: A Greatly Expanded and Much Improved Compendium of Movie Clichés, Stereotypes, Obligatory Scenes, Hackneyed Formulas, ... Conventions, and Outdated Archetypes)
We still have a few hours of our night left. Let's make some food and catch one of those stupid black and white movies on the ancient movie channel or whatever it's called.
Rain Carrington (Second Chances 1 (Second Chances #1))
Talking about dreams is like talking about movies, since the cinema uses the language of dreams; years can pass in a second and you can hop from one place to another. It’s a language made of image. And in the real cinema, every object and every light means something, as in a dream.
Federico Fellini
There were two problems with this idea. First, it led to crappy “virtual reality” movies like Virtuosity and The Lawnmower Man. And second, in the long run, it turned out to be totally wrong.
Ken Jennings (Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks)
I scooted out of the laundry room and skipped down the hallway, arms flaying around my head like one of the hot pink puppets from the movie Labyrinth. “A scent and a sound, I’m lost and I’m found. And I’m hungry like the wolf. Something on a line, it’s discord and rhyme—whatever, whatever, la la la—Mouth is alive, all running inside, and I’m hungry like the—” Warmth spread down my neck. “It’s actually, ‘I howl and I whine. I’m after you,’ and not blah or whatever.” Startled by the deep voice, I shrieked and whipped around. My foot slipped on a section of well-cleaned wood and my butt smacked on the floor. “Holy crap,” I gasped, clutching my chest. “I think I’m having a heart attack.” “And I think you broke your butt.” Laughter filled Daemon’s voice. I remained sprawled across the narrow hallway, trying to catch my breath. “What the hell? Do you just walk into people’s houses?” “And listen to girls absolutely destroy a song in a matter of seconds? Well, yes, I make a habit out of it. Actually, I knocked several times, but I heard your…singing, and your door was unlocked.” He shrugged. “So I just let myself in.” “I can see that.” I stood, wincing. “Oh, man, maybe I did break my butt.” “I hope not. I’m kind of partial to your butt.” He flashed a smile. “Your face is pretty red. You sure you didn’t smack that on the way down?” I groaned. “I hate you.
Jennifer L. Armentrout
But you have to suspend disbelief if you ever want to enjoy another movie or watch the president for more than fifteen seconds without running into the street demanding a new constitutional convention.
Tim Dorsey (Atomic Lobster Free with Bonus Material)
Clinicians and researchers have remarked that where the higher emotions are concerned, sociopaths can “know the words but not the music.” They must learn to appear emotional as you and I would learn a second language, which is to say, by observation, imitation, and practice. And just as you or I, with practice, might become fluent in another language, so an intelligent sociopath may become convincingly fluent in “conversational emotion.” In fact, this would seem to be only a mildly challenging intellectual task, quite a lot easier than learning French or Chinese. Any person who can observe human actions even superficially, or who can read novels and watch old movies, can learn to act romantic or interested or softhearted. Virtually anyone can learn to say “I love you,” or to appear smitten and say the words, “Oh my! What a cute little puppy!” But not all human beings are capable of experiencing the emotion implied by the behavior. Sociopaths never do.
Martha Stout (The Sociopath Next Door)
Isn't it weird when that happens?' says Zazi. 'It's like the first time I heard the second Pete Ubu album and thought it just blew completely, I thought anyone who liked it must be stupid and full of shit--and then for about a year it was practically the only album I listened to. It was the only album that made any sense at all. So why does that happen? The music hasn't changed. The movie hasn't changed. It's still the same exact movie, but it's like it sets something in motion, some understanding you didn't know you could understand, it's like a virus that had to get inside you and take hold and maybe you shrug it off--but when you don't it kills you in a way, not necessarily in a bad way because maybe it kills something that's been holding you back because when you hear a really great record or see a really great movie, you feel alive in a way you didn't before, everything looks different, like what they say when you're in love or something--though I wouldn't know--but everything is new and it gets into your dreams.
Steve Erickson (Zeroville)
Until now, I've been writing about "now" as if it were literally an instant of time, but of course human faculties are not infinitely precise. It is simplistic to suppose that physical events and mental events march along exactly in step, with the stream of "actual moments" in the outside world and the stream of conscious awareness of them perfectly synchronized. The cinema industry depends on the phenomenon that what seems to us a movie is really a succession of still pictures, running at twenty-five [sic] frames per second. We don't notice the joins. Evidently the "now" of our conscious awareness stretches over at least 1/25 of a second. In fact, psychologists are convinced it can last a lot longer than that. Take he familiar "tick-tock" of the clock. Well, the clock doesn't go "tick-tock" at all; it goes "tick-tick," every tick producing the same sound. It's just that our consciousness runs two successive ticks into a singe "tick-tock" experience—but only if the duration between ticks is less than about three seconds. A really bug pendulum clock just goes "tock . . . tock . . . tock," whereas a bedside clock chatters away: "ticktockticktock..." Two to three seconds seems to be the duration over which our minds integrate sense data into a unitary experience, a fact reflected in the structure of human music and poetry.
Paul C.W. Davies (About Time: Einstein's Unfinished Revolution)
She’d just watched Tristan McLean, her cool suave movie star dad, reduced to near insanity. Leo could barely stand to watch that, but for Piper—Wow, Leo couldn’t even imagine. He figured that would make her insecure about herself, too. If weakness was inherited, she’d be wondering, could she break down the same way her dad did? “Hey, don’t worry,” Leo said. “Piper, you’re the strongest, most powerful beauty queen I’ve ever met. You can trust yourself. For what it’s worth, you can trust me too.” The helicopter dipped in a wind shear, and Leo almost jumped out of his skin. He cursed and righted the chopper. Piper laughed nervously. “Trust you, huh?” “Ah, shut up, already.” But he grinned at her, and for a second, it felt like he was just relaxing comfortably with a friend. Then they hit the storm clouds.
Rick Riordan (The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, #1))
For every person who died in the westward migration prior to the Civil War from Native Americans attacking, the stuff of American legends, thousands, maybe tens of thousands died from water holes polluted by cholera and typhoid . . . but that doesn’t make for a good movie.
William R. Forstchen (One Second After)
The city was a real city, shifty and sexual. I was lightly jostled by small herds of flushed young sailors looking for action on Forty-Second Street, with it rows of x-rated movie houses, brassy women, glittering souvenir shops, and hot-dog vendors. I wandered through Kino parlors and peered through the windows of the magnificent sprawling Grant’s Raw Bar filled with men in black coats scooping up piles of fresh oysters. The skyscrapers were beautiful. They did not seem like mere corporate shells. They were monuments to the arrogant yet philanthropic spirit of America. The character of each quadrant was invigorating and one felt the flux of its history. The old world and the emerging one served up in the brick and mortar of the artisan and the architects. I walked for hours from park to park. In Washington Square, one could still feel the characters of Henry James and the presence of the author himself … This open atmosphere was something I had not experienced, simple freedom that did not seem oppressive to anyone.
Patti Smith (Just Kids)
i wonder how many women are painting themselves into movie girls while they sleep angling their faces alien to themselves, an unnecessary surrender to things that kill them, to things that are not real I tell myself in the mirror, applying the second coat of mascara: these things are not real
Mary Lambert (Shame Is an Ocean I Swim Across)
Nook people can overstate their love for a movie, having only watched it once. They are alert to how some spectacles become basically unbearable the second time. And, well, there are benefits to claiming something you’ve only experienced once as your favorite. It’s useful to have many favorites.
Durga Chew-Bose (Too Much and Not the Mood: Essays)
Mike, as the only black member of this dysfunctional group, I’m truly amazed that I’m still alive. I mean I’ve watched almost every horror movie ever made, and without fail, if a man of color is in the movie, he dies first. In recent years, however, it has gotten somewhat better. Now, we sometimes make it to second killed, after the ditzy blonde, but I’ve got to imagine that a brother’s life expectancy in any horror setting is generally a couple of hours, at most.
Mark Tufo (Alive In A Dead World (Zombie Fallout, #5))
I did my first nude scene--and my second and third--maybe my fourth all in one movie, thanks to Allison. Allison made me feel like I was a beautiful woman when I did those love scenes. When a man makes you feel beautiful, that's one thing. But when a woman makes you feel beautiful, she's talking about your insides, too.
Illeana Douglas
Here it comes,” I say gleefully. “The levelheaded reason for why they stay in the house.” “Watch, the ghost won’t let them leave,” Logan guesses. He guesses wrong. On the screen, the characters argue about whether they should go, and one of the girls announces, “We’re doing important work here, guys! We’re proving the existence of paranormal entities! Science needs this. Science needs us.” I burst out laughing, shuddering against Logan’s rock-hard chest. “Did you hear that, Johnny? Science needs them.” “I fucking hate you,” he grumbles. “Five bucks…” I say in a singsong voice. His hand slides down to pinch my butt, making me squeak in surprise. “Go ahead and gloat. You win the battle by getting five bucks out of me, but I win the war.” I sit up. “How do you figure?” “Because you still have to sit through the rest of this movie, and you’re going to hate every second of it. I, on the other hand, am enjoying it immensely.” The jerk is absolutely right. Unless…
Elle Kennedy (The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2))
It wouldn’t be the movie star Jason Thorn kissing her into oblivion in a few seconds. It would be me. Jason. Her friend. The man who wanted to make her his.
Ella Maise (To Love Jason Thorn)
A movie will do in one second, with one image, what it will take a novelist at least a page to describe.
Yann Martel
The rise of video games, movies like Avatar, and online social worlds like Second Life have brought the notion of virtual reality to dinner-table conversations.
Jim Blascovich (Infinite Reality: Avatars, Eternal Life, New Worlds, and the Dawn of the Virtual Revolution)
If you can, I implore you to watch this scene. It’s seven seconds long. Three hours. Thirty-two takes. And it was only the second day of filming.
Greg Sestero (The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made)
Working efficiently while a movie played was second nature to her by now, more comfortable than silence.
John Darnielle (Universal Harvester)
Horkman and I are on one side of the ravine, holding our guns over our heads. The Cubans are on the other side, going nuts, shouting "YI-YI-YI" ready to go kick some ass. In a movie, the next scene, we're all charging into battle. But what actually happened was, first, Horkman and I climb down our side of the ravine, which was hard because those guns are a lot heavier than they look, plus it is really steep. We both kept dropping the guns and falling down, so we ended up mostly sliding on our butts, which took awhile. The Cubans tried to keep cheering, but after a while they realized they'd better pace themselves. Like every twenty seconds or so, one of them would yell "YI-YI-YI!" But you could tell they were losing the mood.
Dave Barry (Lunatics)
Listen, Wesley, this may sound weird coming from me, since I hate you and all, but you can tell me stuff if you want.” It sounded like something out of a cheesy G-rated movie. Great. “I mean, I vented all of my shit about Jake to you, so if you want to do the same,… well, I’m cool with that.” The smirk slipped for a second. “I’ll keep that in mind.” Then he cleared his throat and added stiffly, “Didn’t you say that you needed to go home? You don’t want to be late for school.” “Right.” I started to stand, but his warm hand closed around my wrist. I turned around and found him looking at me. He leaned forward and pressed his lips against mine. Before I even realized what was happening, he pulled away and whispered, “Thank you, Bianca.
Kody Keplinger (The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend (Hamilton High, #1))
England no longer existed. He’d got that—somehow he’d got it. He tried again. America, he thought, has gone. He couldn’t grasp it. He decided to start smaller again. New York has gone. No reaction. He’d never seriously believed it existed anyway. The dollar, he thought, has sunk for ever. Slight tremor there. Every Bogart movie has been wiped, he said to himself, and that gave him a nasty knock. McDonald’s, he thought. There is no longer any such thing as a McDonald’s hamburger. He passed out. When he came round a second later he found he was sobbing for his mother. He
Douglas Adams (The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy #1-5))
When a man loves you, you will know. You will know it not by the expensive gifts he buys you or thousand times he articulates those three magical words. You will know by the sense of certain knowing, a sense that makes your bones tickle at the mere thought of him. You will know when you don't need to check on him after every another hour through calls or text messages. You will know when you don't have to stalk him on Facebook or last seen status on whats app. You will know when you can feel his laughter seeping through your soul as he hears your voice. You will know when he does not make loud promises but is there to hold your hand when things go wrong. You will know he loves you when either of you don't know what the future holds but still somehow you know you are always together. You will know when a man loves you..by the way he looks at you when you are shabbily dressed or when he discovers that first or second streak of grey hair. You will know..by the way he treats you on special days and ordinary ones...you will know when a man loves you. It is different from your rosy teenage dreams or romantic tales of SRK movies...when a man loves you, you may not hear any bells ringing in your heart, you may not get to pluck the rose buds to know if he is into you or not..when a man loves you, you will know by the way he says your name.
Sakshi Chanana
I have no rules. For me, it's a full, full experience to make a movie. It takes a lot of time, and I want there to be a lot of stuff in it. You're looking for every shot in the movie to have resonance and want it to be something you can see a second time, and then I'd like it to be something you can see 10 years later, and it becomes a different movie, because you're a different person. So that means I want it to be deep, not in a pretentious way, but I guess I can say I am pretentious in that I pretend. I have aspirations that the movie should trigger off a lot of complex responses.
David Cronenberg
Pleasure died forty years ago in America, perhaps further back, in a wave of carbon monoxide, gasoline, cigarettes for dames, the belief in everything and everybody, tolerance for the intolerable, the hatred of being alone in silence for more than twenty seconds, the assurance that immortality was Americans eating all-cow franks, with speeded-up peristalsis while talking to a crowd of fifteen trillion other same-bodies eating sandwiches, gassing cokes, peristalsing, and talking, while baseball-sound-movie-TV tomorrow's trots off track betting howled roared farted choked gagged exploded reentered atmo honked bawled deafened pawed puked croaked shouted repeated repeated REPEATED, especially SAY IT AGAIN LOUDER SAY IT AGAIN, stick that product in every God-damned American's mouth and make him say I BOUGHT IT, GOD I BOUGHT IT AND IT'S GREAT IT's HOLLYWOOD IT'S MY ARSE GOING UP AND DOWN AGAIN, IT'S USA, GOD, and if you can't get it in his mouth and make him SWEAR IT SWEAR IT USA, stick it in his anal sphincter (look it up in the dictionary, college graduates, on account of you didn't have time to learn it in the College of Your Choice).
James Purdy
Yes, a habit can be completed in just a few seconds, but it can also shape the actions that you take for minutes or hours afterward. Habits are like the entrance ramp to a highway. They lead you down a path and, before you know it, you’re speeding toward the next behavior. It seems to be easier to continue what you are already doing than to start doing something different. You sit through a bad movie for two hours. You keep snacking even when you’re already full.
James Clear (Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones)
I’m not sure how the ponies happened, though I have an inkling: “Can I get you anything?” I’ll say, getting up from a dinner table, “Coffee, tea, a pony?” People rarely laugh at this, especially if they’ve heard it before. “This party’s ‘sposed to be fun,” a friend will say. “Really? Will there be pony rides?” It’s a nervous tic and a cheap joke, cheapened further by the frequency with which I use it. For that same reason, it’s hard to weed it out of my speech – most of the time I don’t even realize I’m saying it. There are little elements in a person’s life, minor fibers that become unintentionally tangled with your personality. Sometimes it’s a patent phrase, sometimes it’s a perfume, sometimes it’s a wristwatch. For me, it is the constant referencing of ponies. I don’t even like ponies. If I made one of my throwaway equine requests and someone produced an actual pony, Juan-Valdez-style, I would run very fast in the other direction. During a few summers at camp, I rode a chronically dehydrated pony named Brandy who would jolt down without notice to lick the grass outside the corral and I would careen forward, my helmet tipping to cover my eyes. I do, however, like ponies on the abstract. Who doesn’t? It’s like those movies with the animated insects. Sure, the baby cockroach seems cute with CGI eyelashes, but how would you feel about fifty of her real-life counterparts living in your oven? And that’s precisely the manner in which the ponies clomped their way into my regular speech: abstractly. “I have something for you,” a guy will say on our first date. “Is it a pony?” No. It’s usually a movie ticket or his cell phone number. But on our second date, if I ask again, I’m pretty sure I’m getting a pony. And thus the Pony drawer came to be. It’s uncomfortable to admit, but almost every guy I have ever dated has unwittingly made a contribution to the stable. The retro pony from the ‘50s was from the most thoughtful guy I have ever known. The one with the glitter horseshoes was from a boy who would later turn out to be straight somehow, not gay. The one with the rainbow haunches was from a librarian, whom I broke up with because I felt the chemistry just wasn’t right, and the one with the price tag stuck on the back was given to me by a narcissist who was so impressed with his gift he forgot to remover the sticker. Each one of them marks the beginning of a new relationship. I don’t mean to hint. It’s not a hint, actually, it’s a flat out demand: I. Want. A. Pony. I think what happens is that young relationships are eager to build up a romantic repertoire of private jokes, especially in the city where there’s not always a great “how we met” story behind every great love affair. People meet at bars, through mutual friends, on dating sites, or because they work in the same industry. Just once a coworker of mine, asked me out between two stops on the N train. We were holding the same pole and he said, “I know this sounds completely insane, bean sprout, but would you like to go to a very public place with me and have a drink or something...?” I looked into his seemingly non-psycho-killing, rent-paying, Sunday Times-subscribing eyes and said, “Sure, why the hell not?” He never bought me a pony. But he didn’t have to, if you know what I mean.
Sloane Crosley (I Was Told There'd Be Cake: Essays)
It’s strange how we always want other people to feel what we feel. It must be a basic human drive. Misery loves company, right? Or when you see a movie that you love, don’t you want to drag all your friends to see it as well? Because it’s only good the second time if it’s the first time for somebody else—as if their experience somehow resonates inside of you. The power of shared experiences. Maybe it’s a way to remind ourselves that on some level we’re all connected.
Neal Shusterman (Bruiser)
He was old-fashioned looking, Grace decided. Not just the suit, which made him look as though he should be taking the air in one of those fifties movies on the French Riviera, but as if he was the second male lead in one of those same films. Not matinee-idol handsome enough to get the girl, but good enough to be the best friend of the one who got the girl. Or the arch nemesis of the one who got the girl who had his comeuppance ten minutes before the credits began to roll.
Sarra Manning
But what if I would’ve started dating someone?” Rip tipped his head closer to mine, bringing his mouth just inches from me. “I would’ve made sure there hadn’t been a second date, baby girl. I know you went on seven of them until this bullshit recently. I know you went to dinner on three, to the movies on two, a baseball game on one, and Mickey’s on another. I listened. I know. I was there the night you got your place broken into. I just wanted to make sure you were all right.
Mariana Zapata (Luna and the Lie)
Buy Experiences, Not Goods. Want to buy happiness? Then spend your hard-earned cash on experiences. Go out for a meal. Go to a concert, movie, or the theater. Go on vacation. Go and learn how to pole dance. Go play paintball. Go bungee jumping. In fact, get involved in anything that provides an opportunity to do things with others, and then tell even more people about it afterward. When it comes to happiness, remember, it is experiences that represent really good value for the money.
Richard Wiseman (59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lot)
 It’s weird being alone in the museum. It’s dark and eerily quiet: Only the after-hours lights are on—just enough to illuminate the hallways and stop you from tripping over your own feet—and the background music that normally plays all the time is shut off. I quickly organize the flashlights and check their batteries, and when I don’t hear Porter walking around, I stare at the phone sitting at the information desk. How many chances come along like this? I pick up the receiver, press the little red button next to the word ALL, and speak into the phone in a low voice. “Paging Porter Roth to the information desk,” I say formally, my voice crackling through the entire lobby and echoing down the corridors. Then I press the button again and add, “While you’re at it, check your shoes to make sure they’re a match, you bastard. By the way, I still haven’t quite forgiven you for humiliating me. It’s going to take a lot more than a kiss and a cookie to make me forget both that and the time you provoked me in the Hotbox.” I’m only teasing, which I hope he knows. I feel a little drunk on all my megaphone power, so I page one more thing: “PS—You look totally hot in those tight-fitting security guard pants tonight, and I plan to get very handsy with you at the movies, so we better sit in the back row.” I hang up the phone and cover my mouth, silently laughing at myself. Two seconds later, Porter’s footfalls pound down Jay’s corridor—Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! He sounds like a T. rex running from Godzilla. He races into the lobby and slides in front of the information desk, grabbing onto the edge to stop himself, wild curls flying everywhere. His grin is enormous. “Whadidya say ’bout where you want to be puttin’ your hands on me?” he asks breathlessly. “I think you have me confused with someone else,” I tease. His head sags against the desk. I push his hair away from one of his eyes. He looks up at me and asks, “You really still haven’t forgiven me?” “Maybe if you put your hands onme, I might.” “Don’t go getting my hopes up like that.” “Oh, your hopes should be up. Way up.” “Dear God, woman,” he murmurs. “And here I was, thinking you were a classy dame.” “Pfft. You don’t know me at all.” “I aim to find out. What are we still doing here? Let’s blow this place and get to the theater, fast.
Jenn Bennett (Alex, Approximately)
[O]ur attitudes towards things like race or gender operate on two levels. First of all, we have our conscious attitudes. This is what we choose to believe. These are our stated values, which we use to direct our behavior deliberately . . . But the IAT [Implicit Association Test] measures something else. It measures our second level of attitude, our racial attitude on an unconscious level - the immediate, automatic associations that tumble out before we've even had time to think. We don't deliberately choose our unconscious attitudes. And . . . we may not even be aware of them. The giant computer that is our unconscious silently crunches all the data it can from the experiences we've had, the people we've met, the lessons we've learned, the books we've read, the movies we've seen, and so on, and it forms an opinion.
Malcolm Gladwell (Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking)
Then we’ll be Tarzan and Jane, mating like wildebeests and frolicking from tree limb to tree limb.”               “The Disney movie never showed them mating.”               “Jane was a hottie. Tarzan would have tapped that ass the second the credits came up. Now that’s a fact.
R.J. Lewis (Burn (Ignite, #2))
It doesn't matter if you're seventeen or fifty-seven, if you come from a poor background or a rich one, if you went to the best schools or the worst. It. Doesn't. Matter. What matters is listening to the small voice at the back of your head that says *This is what gives me joy.* It's about fighting naysayers and self-doubt when you feel you can't fight for even one more second. It's about standing up when all you want to do is lie down until life stops hitting you. It's not easy. It was never *meant* to be easy. But it can be done if we *choose* to do it.
J. Michael Straczynski (Becoming Superman: A Writer's Journey from Poverty to Hollywood with Stops Along the Way at Murder, Madness, Mayhem, Movie Stars, Cults, Slums, Sociopaths, and War Crimes)
It was getting late, but sleep was the furthest thing from my racing mind. Apparently that was not the case for Mr. Sugar Buns. He lay back, closed his eyes, and threw an arm over his forehead, his favorite sleeping position. I could hardly have that. So, I crawled on top of him and started chest compressions. It seemed like the right thing to do. "What are you doing?" he asked without removing his arm. "Giving you CPR." I pressed into his chest, trying not to lose count. Wearing a red-and-black football jersey and boxers that read, DRIVERS WANTED. SEE INSIDE FOR DETAILS, I'd straddled him and now worked furiously to save his life, my focus like that of a seasoned trauma nurse. Or a seasoned pot roast. It was hard to say. "I'm not sure I'm in the market," he said, his voice smooth and filled with a humor I found appalling. He clearly didn't appreciate my dedication. "Damn it, man! I'm trying to save your life! Don't interrupt." A sensuous grin slid across his face. He tucked his arms behind his head while I worked. I finished my count, leaned down, put my lips on his, and blew. He laughed softly, the sound rumbling from his chest, deep and sexy, as he took my breath into his lungs. That part down, I went back to counting chest compressions. "Don't you die on me!" And praying. After another round, he asked, "Am I going to make it?" "It's touch-and-go. I'm going to have to bring out the defibrillator." "We have a defibrillator?" he asked, quirking a brow, clearly impressed. I reached for my phone. "I have an app. Hold on." As I punched buttons, I realized a major flaw in my plan. I needed a second phone. I could hardly shock him with only one paddle. I reached over and grabbed his phone as well. Started punching buttons. Rolled my eyes. "You don't have the app," I said from between clenched teeth. "I had no idea smartphones were so versatile." "I'll just have to download it. It'll just take a sec." "Do I have that long?" Humor sparkled in his eyes as he waited for me to find the app. I'd forgotten the name of it, so I had to go back to my phone, then back to his, then do a search, then download, then install it, all while my patient lay dying. Did no one understand that seconds counted? "Got it!" I said at last. I pressed one phone to his chest and one to the side of his rib cage like they did in the movies, and yelled, "Clear!" Granted, I didn't get off him or anything as the electrical charge riddled his body, slammed his heart into action, and probably scorched his skin. Or that was my hope, anyway. He handled it well. One corner of his mouth twitched, but that was about it. He was such a trouper. After two more jolts of electricity--it had to be done--I leaned forward and pressed my fingertips to his throat. "Well?" he asked after a tense moment. I released a ragged sigh of relief,and my shoulders fell forward in exhaustion. "You're going to be okay, Mr. Farrow." Without warning, my patient pulled me into his arms and rolled me over, pinning me to the bed with his considerable weight and burying his face in my hair. It was a miracle!
Darynda Jones (The Curse of Tenth Grave (Charley Davidson, #10))
Chloe had her knees pulled up, one arm wrapped around them. Her other hand was entwined with Derek's. He leaned back against the tree. Slumping, as if it was holding him up. His face glowed with sweat and his eyes were closed. When I'd seen Derek in wolf form, I figured werewolves grew when they shifted, like the ones in movies. They didn't. He was really that big. Even slumped, he was more than a head taller then Chloe. A huge football player of a guy. Beside me, Daniel whispered, "I was going to tell him off for bullying you. But I'm having second thoughts." I smiled at him. "I don't blame you." Despite his size, Derek was obviously no older than us. His cheeks were dotted with mild acne and I could see the ghosts of fading pocks, as if it had been much worse not too long ago. Dark hair tumbled into his eyes as he rested with his head bent forward.
Kelley Armstrong (The Rising (Darkness Rising, #3))
The second I get into a car and we start driving, I imagine a fatal crash to the last detail. When I’m in the liquor store, I imagine a robbery by the time the cashier tells me the total. Every plane ride is an 8-hour movie in my head of me planning what I would say to the stranger on my right if the pilot announced the plane was crashing. I always imagine these scenarios. Family dying. Earthquakes. The earth suddenly falling because gravity left the party. It’s exhausting. Yesterday someone was afraid of me. I was bicycling with Austin and we saw a dead deer on the road. It was so large. Austin nearly fell off his bike when he saw it. Then he looked over at me confused. He asked why I didn't react to it. I told him it was because I’d already imagined one six miles back. There are always two worlds playing in my head at once: what’s in front of me and what could be.
Karl Kristian Flores (The Goodbye Song)
It’s interval time in a multiplex cinema hall. You just watched first half of Movie-1. It was boring. You wish you could have watched Movie-2 instead which is running parallely in another auditorium. A manager called “Paramatma” approaches you with a solution. He puts your head between two electrodes and erases first half of Movie-1 from your mind. Then he transfers first half of Movie-2 directly in your mind. Now you enter inside the auditorium where Movie-2 is running and watch its second half. After watching the movie-2, you come out. Manager Paramatma says, “I migrated you from Movie-1 to Movie-2 in interval. I hope you are satisfied with my service.” You say, “What the hell are you talking about? I only watched Movie-2 from start to finish. I never watched Movie-1. If I had watched, I would remember.” Paramatma smiles and says, “Thank you for your positive feedback.
Shunya
Things happen in life to get our attention, to make us wake up. What does it say that I had to lose so much before I had to break down enough to rebuild? I think it says that the thing that got me here—this incredible toughness—was almost the thing that did me in. I got to a place where I could no longer just muscle through; I could either bend, or break. I got here because I needed all of this to become who I am now. I had been holding on to so many misconceptions about myself all my life: that I wasn't valuable, that I didn't deserve to be anywhere good, whether that meant in a loving relationship on my own terms, or in a great film with actors I respected who knew what they were doing. The narrative I believed was that I was unworthy and contaminated. And it wasn't true. There are two reasons I wanted to tell this story, the story of how I learned to surrender. First, because it's mine. It doesn't belong to the tabloids, or my mom, or the men I've married, or the people who've loved or hated my movies, or even my children. My story is mine alone. I'm the only one who was there for all of it, and I decided to claim the power to tell it on my own terms. The second reason is that even though it's mine, maybe some part of this story is yours too. I've had extraordinary luck in this life, both bad and good. Putting it all down in writing makes me realize how crazy a lot of it has been, how improbable. But we all suffer and we all triumph and we all get to choose how we hold both.
Demi Moore (Inside Out)
Gustavo Tiberius speaking." “It’s so weird you do that, man,” Casey said, sounding amused. “Every time I call.” “It’s polite,” Gus said. “Just because you kids these days don’t have proper phone etiquette.” “Oh boy, there’s the Grumpy Gus I know. You miss me?” Gus was well aware the others could hear the conversation loud and clear. He was also aware he had a reputation to maintain. “Hadn’t really thought about it.” “Really.” “Yes.” “Gus.” “Casey.” “I miss you.” “I miss you too,” Gus mumbled into the phone, blushing fiercely. “Yeah? How much?” Gus was in hell. “A lot,” he said truthfully. “There have been allegations made against my person of pining and moping. False allegations, mind you, but allegations nonetheless.” “I know what you mean,” Casey said. “The guys were saying the same thing about me.” Gus smiled. “How embarrassing for you.” “Completely. You have no idea.” “They’re going to get you packed up this week?” “Ah, yeah. Sure. Something like that.” “Casey.” “Yes, Gustavo.” “You’re being cagey.” “I have no idea what you mean. Hey, that’s a nice Hawaiian shirt you’ve got on. Pink? I don’t think I’ve seen you in that color before.” Gus shrugged. “Pastor Tommy had a shitload of them. I think I could wear one every day for the rest of the year and not repeat. I think he may have had a bit of a….” Gus trailed off when his hand started shaking. Then, “How did you know what I was wearing?” There was a knock on the window to the Emporium. Gus looked up. Standing on the sidewalk was Casey. He was wearing bright green skinny jeans and a white and red shirt that proclaimed him to be a member of the 1987 Pasadena Bulldogs Women’s Softball team. He looked ridiculous. And like the greatest thing Gus had ever seen. Casey wiggled his eyebrows at Gus. “Hey, man.” “Hi,” Gus croaked. “Come over here, but stay on the phone, okay?” Gus didn’t even argue, unable to take his eyes off Casey. He hadn’t expected him for another week, but here he was on a pretty Saturday afternoon, standing outside the Emporium like it was no big deal. Gus went to the window, and Casey smiled that lazy smile. He said, “Hi.” Gus said, “Hi.” “So, I’ve spent the last two days driving back,” Casey said. “Tried to make it a surprise, you know?” “I’m very surprised,” Gus managed to say, about ten seconds away from busting through the glass just so he could hug Casey close. The smile widened. “Good. I’ve had some time to think about things, man. About a lot of things. And I came to this realization as I drove past Weed, California. Gus. It was called Weed, California. It was a sign.” Gus didn’t even try to stop the eye roll. “Oh my god.” “Right? Kismet. Because right when I entered Weed, California, I was thinking about you and it hit me. Gus, it hit me.” “What did?” Casey put his hand up against the glass. Gus did the same on his side. “Hey, Gus?” “Yeah?” “I’m going to ask you a question, okay?” Gustavo’s throat felt very dry. “Okay.” “What was the Oscar winner for Best Song in 1984?” Automatically, Gus answered, “Stevie Wonder for the movie The Woman in Red. The song was ‘I Just Called to Say I Love You.’” It was fine, of course. Because he knew answers to all those things. He didn’t know why Casey wanted to— And then he could barely breathe. Casey’s smile wobbled a little bit. “Okay?” Gus blinked the burn away. He nodded as best he could. And Casey said, “Yeah, man. I love you too.” Gus didn’t even care that he dropped his phone then. All that mattered was getting as close to Casey as humanely possible. He threw open the door to the Emporium and suddenly found himself with an armful of hipster. Casey laughed wetly into his neck and Gus just held on as hard as he could. He thought that it was possible that he might never be in a position to let go. For some reason, that didn’t bother him in the slightest.
T.J. Klune (How to Be a Normal Person (How to Be, #1))
Letter Thirteen In Case I Never See You Again I know we didn’t say goodbye but I know this is the end. I’ve seen this movie before. I know when it’s time to roll the credits. I know it all too well. So, in case you never come back, I want to you know that I truly cared. I want you to know that the first time I met you, I didn’t want to leave; I wanted to talk to you all night. I want you to know that I liked your smile, I liked your eyes, I liked your depth and all I wanted was to hear your story. I wanted to know your soul. I want you to know that the second time I met you, I knew I wanted to see you again, I wanted to be around you more, I wanted to hold your hand. I felt safe with you. You made me happy. You took me out of my darkness. I saw someone special. I saw someone delicate. I thought we made sense. I didn’t anticipate any plot twists. But that was my movie and I wanted a happy ending. But I guess your movie wins, your ending is climactic, your ending is more realistic. And that’s the thing about movies; they don’t always end up the way you want them to. And that’s the thing about endings; they can sometimes be sad. They sometimes end in tears. They end and they don’t always have a sequel.
Rania Naim (All the Letters I Should Have Sent)
While gently pushing her towards the dressing room, Lazarus ventured, "Can I ask you something kind of personal?" Pulling her shirt over her head behind the curtain, and holding her hand out for the corset, she replied, "Anything for you, Laz." "How are you still friends with him?" "Can you hook this thing?" Holding the corset on her stomach, Lazarus peeked through the curtain, fingers deftly snapping the twenty hook-and-eye latches. "He saved my life. There are a million reasons to hate him, but there are a million and one reasons to forgive him for his faults." Twisting to look in the mirror, adjusting her breasts in the tight silk, she continued, "He'll say the worst thing at the worst possible time, except every once in awhile, he says the one most perfect thing that just makes you want to cry from happiness. He knows the exact way you need to be touched at any moment, in any mood, like he's fucking telepathic. He'll make you want to scream when he ignores you, but then you find out he knows your favorite color, your favorite meal, what movie makes you cry and he can list every little thing in the entire world that you hate. And mostly? Well," Turning to face Lazarus and strike a pose, "I just can't fucking stop.
Shannon Noelle Long (Second Coming)
lower her to my side and pull her against me so that her head is resting on my jacket. Her breath tastes like starburst and it makes me want to keep kissing her until I can identify every single flavor. Her hand touches my arm and she gives it a tight squeeze just as my tongue slips inside her mouth. That would be strawberry on the tip of her tongue. She keeps her hand on my arm, periodically moving it to the back of my head, then returning it to my arm. I keep my hand on her waist, never once moving it to touch any other part of her. The only thing we explore is each other’s mouths. We kiss without making another sound. We kiss until the alarm sounds off on my phone. Despite the noise, neither of us stops kissing. We don’t even hesitate. We kiss for another solid minute until the bell rings in the hallway outside and suddenly lockers are slamming shut and people are talking and everything about our moment is stolen from us by all the inconvenient external factors of school. I still my lips against hers, then slowly pull back. “I have to get to class,” she whispers. I nod, even though she can’t see me. “Me, too,” I reply. She begins to scoot out from beneath me. When I roll onto my back, I feel her move closer to me. Her mouth briefly meets mine one more time, then she pulls away and stands up. The second she opens the door, the light from the hallway pours in and I squeeze my eyes shut, throwing my arm over my face. I hear the door shut behind her and by the time I adjust to the brightness, the light is gone again. I sigh heavily. I also remain on the floor until my physical reaction to her subsides. I don’t know who the hell she was or why the hell she ended up here, but I hope to God she comes back. I need a whole hell of a lot more of that. • • • She didn’t come back the next day. Or the day after that. In fact, today marks exactly a week since she literally fell into my arms, and I’ve convinced myself that maybe that whole day was a dream. I did stay up most of the night before watching zombie movies with Chunk, but even though I was going on two hours of sleep, I don’t know that I would have been able to imagine that. My fantasies aren’t that fun. Whether she comes back or not, I still don’t have a fifth period and until someone calls me out on it, I’ll keep hiding out in here. I actually slept way too much last night, so I’m not tired. I pull my phone out to text Holder when the door to the closet begins to open. “Are you in here, kid?” I hear her whisper. My heart immediately picks up pace and I can’t tell if it’s that she came back or if it’s because the
Colleen Hoover (Finding Cinderella (Hopeless, #2.5))
The frenzied hypernatalism of the women's magazines alone (and that includes People, Us, and InStyle), with their endless parade of perfect, "sexy" celebrity moms who've had babies, adopted babies, been to sperm banks, frozen their eggs for future use, hatched frozen eggs, had more babies, or adopted a small Tibetan village all to satisfy their "baby lust," is enough to make you want to get your tubes tied. (These profiles always insist that celebs all love being "moms" much, much more than they do their work, let alone being rich and famous, and that they'd spend every second with their kids if they didn't have that pesky blockbuster movie to finish.)
Susan J. Douglas (The Mommy Myth: The Idealization of Motherhood and How It Has Undermined All Women)
Getting old is the second-biggest surprise of my life, but the first, by a mile, is our unceasing need for deep attachment and intimate love. We oldies yearn daily and hourly for conversation and a renewed domesticity, for company at the movies or while visiting a museum, for someone close by in the car when coming home at night.
Roger Angell
Security ... what does this word mean in relation to life as we know it today? For the most part, it means safety and freedom from worry. It is said to be the end that all men strive for; but is security a utopian goal or is it another word for rut? Let us visualize the secure man; and by this term, I mean a man who has settled for financial and personal security for his goal in life. In general, he is a man who has pushed ambition and initiative aside and settled down, so to speak, in a boring, but safe and comfortable rut for the rest of his life. His future is but an extension of his present, and he accepts it as such with a complacent shrug of his shoulders. His ideas and ideals are those of society in general and he is accepted as a respectable, but average and prosaic man. But is he a man? has he any self-respect or pride in himself? How could he, when he has risked nothing and gained nothing? What does he think when he sees his youthful dreams of adventure, accomplishment, travel and romance buried under the cloak of conformity? How does he feel when he realizes that he has barely tasted the meal of life; when he sees the prison he has made for himself in pursuit of the almighty dollar? If he thinks this is all well and good, fine, but think of the tragedy of a man who has sacrificed his freedom on the altar of security, and wishes he could turn back the hands of time. A man is to be pitied who lacked the courage to accept the challenge of freedom and depart from the cushion of security and see life as it is instead of living it second-hand. Life has by-passed this man and he has watched from a secure place, afraid to seek anything better What has he done except to sit and wait for the tomorrow which never comes? Turn back the pages of history and see the men who have shaped the destiny of the world. Security was never theirs, but they lived rather than existed. Where would the world be if all men had sought security and not taken risks or gambled with their lives on the chance that, if they won, life would be different and richer? It is from the bystanders (who are in the vast majority) that we receive the propaganda that life is not worth living, that life is drudgery, that the ambitions of youth must he laid aside for a life which is but a painful wait for death. These are the ones who squeeze what excitement they can from life out of the imaginations and experiences of others through books and movies. These are the insignificant and forgotten men who preach conformity because it is all they know. These are the men who dream at night of what could have been, but who wake at dawn to take their places at the now-familiar rut and to merely exist through another day. For them, the romance of life is long dead and they are forced to go through the years on a treadmill, cursing their existence, yet afraid to die because of the unknown which faces them after death. They lacked the only true courage: the kind which enables men to face the unknown regardless of the consequences. As an afterthought, it seems hardly proper to write of life without once mentioning happiness; so we shall let the reader answer this question for himself: who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?
Hunter S. Thompson
I’m going to email you every week and invite you out for dinner, and you can turn me down as much as you want, but when you’re ready, we’ll go somewhere fabulous with huge drinks, my treat. And you can tell me about him, or we can talk about bridezillas or gossip or go to a movie. We can talk now if you want, or we can just get down to work.” I
Kristan Higgins (On Second Thought)
MOMENTS I saw you first You looked exactly The same as before Tall and awkward and shy I walked towards you My hands clammy I felt cold inside My insides were shaking Cant run This is it. U saw me Your face brightened A smile painted on your face I missed it Your smile It brought back the past You walked I walked Nearer It feels like in the Movies Two people A boy and a girl Meeting halfway Hoping for a happy Ever after I stopped Right before I reached you I realized This isn't like the movies I turned I told myself Don’t smile You reached me Close So close I felt the urge To touch you Hug you And maybe Kiss you There weren't Hellos Only silent prayers Smiling You reached for my hand Giving me something You knew I love It was awkward You standing there Me standing there So close Too close Yet so far I looked up to you I tried to ask myself Are you for real? You smiled wider Shy but happy You left as fast As you came back It was for a second I hated time I wished it was A little bit longer With that, I knew I still want you.
Marianne Escobar
The “Muslim speech,” as we took to calling the second major address, was trickier. Beyond the negative portrayals of terrorists and oil sheikhs found on news broadcasts or in the movies, most Americans knew little about Islam. Meanwhile, surveys showed that Muslims around the world believed the United States was hostile toward their religion, and that our Middle East policy was based not on an interest in improving people’s lives but rather on maintaining oil supplies, killing terrorists, and protecting Israel. Given this divide, I told Ben that the focus of our speech had to be less about outlining new policies and more geared toward helping the two sides understand each other. That meant recognizing the extraordinary contributions of Islamic civilizations in the advancement of mathematics, science, and art and acknowledging the role colonialism had played in some of the Middle East’s ongoing struggles. It meant admitting past U.S. indifference toward corruption and repression in the region, and our complicity in the overthrow of Iran’s democratically elected government during the Cold War, as well as acknowledging the searing humiliations endured by Palestinians living in occupied territory. Hearing such basic history from the mouth of a U.S. president would catch many people off guard, I figured, and perhaps open their minds to other hard truths: that the Islamic fundamentalism that had come to dominate so much of the Muslim world was incompatible with the openness and tolerance that fueled modern progress; that too often Muslim leaders ginned up grievances against the West in order to distract from their own failures; that a Palestinian state would be delivered only through negotiation and compromise rather than incitements to violence and anti-Semitism; and that no society could truly succeed while systematically repressing its women. —
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
Psychologists have devised some ingenious ways to help unpack the human "now." Consider how we run those jerky movie frames together into a smooth and continuous stream. This is known as the "phi phenomenon." The essence of phi shows up in experiments in a darkened room where two small spots are briefly lit in quick succession, at slightly separated locations. What the subjects report seeing is not a succession of spots, but a single spot moving continuously back and forth. Typically, the spots are illuminated for 150 milliseconds separated by an interval of fifty milliseconds. Evidently the brain somehow "fills in" the fifty-millisecond gap. Presumably this "hallucination" or embellishment occurs after the event, because until the second light flashes the subject cannot know the light is "supposed" to move. This hints that the human now is not simultaneous with the visual stimulus, but a bit delayed, allowing time for the brain to reconstruct a plausible fiction of what has happened a few milliseconds before. In a fascinating refinement of the experiment, the first spot is colored red, the second green. This clearly presents the brain with a problem. How will it join together the two discontinuous experiences—red spot, green spot—smoothly? By blending the colors seamlessly into one another? Or something else? In fact, subjects report seeing the spot change color abruptly in the middle of the imagined trajectory, and are even able to indicate exactly where using a pointer. This result leaves us wondering how the subject can apparently experience the "correct" color sensation before the green spot lights up. Is it a type of precognition? Commenting on this eerie phenomenon, the philosopher Nelson Goodman wrote suggestively: "The intervening motion is produced retrospectively, built only after the second flash occurs and projected backwards in time." In his book Consciousness Explained , philosopher Daniel Dennett points out that the illusion of color switch cannot actually be created by the brain until after the green spot appears. "But if the second spot is already 'in conscious experience,' wouldn't it be too late to interpose the illusory content between the conscious experience of the red spot and the conscious experience of the green spot?
Paul C.W. Davies (About Time: Einstein's Unfinished Revolution)
It should be illegal for a woman to look as good as you do.” “Really?” She peered down at herself again, but saw nothing all that spectacular. “I’m glad you like it.” “I love it. I love you.” He dug in his pocket. “When I left today, it was for this.” Speechless, Priss watched as he opened a now-wet jeweler’s box. Inside, securely nestled in velvet, was a beautiful diamond engagement ring. Her heart nearly stopped. “I wanted it to be a surprise.” There were no words. Her eyes suddenly burned and her throat went tight. Trace took her hand and slipped the ring on her finger. The fit was perfect, but then, anything Trace did, he did right. “Priss?” Using the edge of his fist, he lifted her chin. “We’ve been to movies and plays, to small diners and fancy restaurants. I’ve taken you dancing and hiking, to the amusement park and the zoo.” Sounding like a choked frog, Priss said, “All the things I never got to do growing up.” “But there’s so much more, honey.” He moved wet tendrils of hair away from her face and over her shoulder. “I was trying to give you time to enjoy it all.” “No!” Priss did not want him second-guessing his intent. “I don’t need any more time. Really I don’t.” Both still very attentive, Matt and Chris snickered. Trace just smiled at her. Closing her hand into a fist, she held the ring tight. “All I need, all I want, is you.” “Glad to hear it, because I’m not an overly patient guy. Hell, I think I knew you were the one the day you showed up in Murray’s office.” He kissed the tip of her nose, her lips, her chin. “You were so damned outrageous, and so pushy, that you scared me half to death.” “You felt me up,” Priss reminded him. “But that was a first for me, too.” “I remember it well.” He treated her to a deeper kiss, and ended it with a groan. “Every day since then, I’ve wanted you more. Even when you worried me, or lied to me, or made me insane, I admired you for it.
Lori Foster (Trace of Fever (Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor, #2))
I seriously doubt that Agnès Varda ever followed in anyone else’s footsteps, in any corner of her life or her art…which were one in the same. She charted and walked her own path each step of the way, she and her camera. Every single one of her remarkable handmade pictures, so beautifully balanced between documentary and fiction, is like no one else’s—every image, every cut… What a body of work she left behind: movies big and small, playful and tough, generous and solitary, lyrical and unflinching…and alive. I saw her for the last time a couple of months ago. She knew that she didn’t have much longer, and she made every second count: she didn’t want to miss a thing. I feel so lucky to have known her. And to all young filmmakers: you need to watch Agnès Varda’s pictures.
Martin Scorsese
Do you ever think what might've happened if they weren't so damn impatient? If Romeo had stopped for a second and gotten a doctor, or waited for Juliet to wake up? Not jumped to conclusions and gone and poisoned himself thinking she was dead when she was just sleeping? I've seen that movie so many times, and every damn time, it's like screaming at the girl in the horror movie. Don't go in the basement. The killer's down there. With Romeo and Juliet, I yell, 'Don't jump to conclusions.' But do those fools ever listen to me? I always imagine what might've happened if they'd waited. Juliet would've woken up. They'd already be married. They might've moved away, far away from the Montagues and the Capulets, gotten themselves a cute castle of their own. Decorated it up nice. Maybe it would've been like The Winter's Tale. By thinking Hermione was dead, Leontes had time to stop acting like a fool and then later he was so happy to find out she was alive. Maybe the Montagues and the Capulets would find out later that their beloved kids weren't dead, and wasn't it stupid to feud, and everyone would be happy. Maybe it would've turned the whole tragedy into a comedy.
Gayle Forman (Just One Day (Just One Day, #1))
Women have always been the most important part of monster movies. As I walked home one night, I realized why. Making my way down dark city streets to my apartment in Brooklyn, I was alert and on edge. I was looking for suspicious figures, men that could be rapists, muggers or killers. I felt like Laurie Strode in Halloween. Horror is a pressure valve for society's fears and worries: monsters seeking to control our bodies, villains trying to assail us in the darkness, disease and terror resulting from the consequences of active sexuality, death. These themes are the staple of horror films. There are people who witness these problems only in scary movies. But for much of the population, what is on the screen is merely an exaggerated version of their everyday lives. These are forces women grapple with daily. Watching Nancy Thompson escape Freddy Krueger's perverted attacks reminds me of how I daily fend off creeps asking me to smile for them on the subway. Women are the most important part of horror because, by and large, women are the ones the horror happens to. Women have to endure it, fight it, survive it — in the movies and in real life. They are at risk of attack from real-life monsters. In America, a woman is assaulted every nine seconds. Horror films help explore these fears and imagine what it would be like to conquer them. Women need to see themselves fighting monsters. That’s part of how we figure out our stories. But we also need to see ourselves behind-the-scenes, creating and writing and directing. We need to tell our stories, too.
Mallory O'Meara (The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick)
The way I feel about you, Jacinda...I know you feel it, too." He stares at me so starkly, so hungrily that I can only nod. Agree. Of course, I feel it. "I do," I admit. But I don't understand him. Don't get why he should feel this way about me. Why should he want me so much? What do I offer him? Why did he save me that day in the mountains? And why does he pursue me now? When no girl spiked his interest before? "Good," he says. "Then how about a date?" "A date?" I repeat, like I've never heard the word. "Yeah. A real date. Something official. You. Me. Tonight. We're long overdue." His smile deepens, revealing the deep grooves on the sides of his cheeks. "Dinner. Movie. Popcorn." "Yes." The word slips past. For a moment I forget. Forget that I'm not an ordinary girl. That he's not an ordinary boy. For the first time, I understand Tamra. And the appeal of normal. "Yes." It feels good to say it. To pretend. To drink in the sight of him and forget there's an ulterior reason I need to go out with him. A reason that's going to tear us apart forever. Stupid. Did you think you might have a future with him? Mom's right. Time to grow up. He smiles. Then he's gone. Out the door. For a second, I'm confused. Then he's at my door, opening it, helping me out. Together we walk through the parking lot. Side by side. We move only a few feet before he slips his hand around mine. As we near the front of the building, I see several kids hanging out around the flagpole. Tamra with her usual crowd. Brooklyn at the head. I try to tug my hand free. His fingers tighten on mine. I glance at him, see the resolve in his eyes. His hazel eyes glint brightly in the already too hot morning. "Coward." "Oh." The single sound escapes me. Outrage. Indignation. I stop. Turn and face him. Feel something slip, give way, and crumble loose inside me. Set free, it propels me. Standing on my tiptoes, I circle my hand around his neck and pull his face down to mine. Kiss him. Right there in front of the school. Reckless. Stupid. I stake a claim on him like I've got something to prove, like a drake standing before the pride in a bonding ceremony. But then I forget our audience. Forget everything but the dry heat of our lips. My lungs tighten, contract. I feel my skin shimmer, warm as my lungs catch. Crackling heat works its way up my chest. Not the smartest move I've ever made.
Sophie Jordan (Firelight (Firelight, #1))
Some gifted people have all five and some less. Every gifted person tends to lead with one. As I read this list for the first time I was struck by the similarities between Dabrowski’s overexcitabilities and the traits of Sensitive Intuitives. Read the list for yourself and see what you identify with: Psychomotor This manifests as a strong pull toward movement. People with this overexcitability tend to talk rapidly and/or move nervously when they become interested or passionate about something. They have a lot of physical energy and may run their hands through their hair, snap their fingers, pace back and forth, or display other signs of physical agitation when concentrating or thinking something out. They come across as physically intense and can move in an impatient, jerky manner when excited. Other people might find them overwhelming and they’re routinely diagnosed as ADHD. Sensual This overexcitability comes in the form of an extreme sensitivity to sounds, smells, bright lights, textures and temperature. Perfume and scented soaps and lotions are bothersome to people with this overexcitability, and they might also have aversive reactions to strong food smells and cleaning products. For me personally, if I’m watching a movie in which a strobe light effect is used, I’m done. I have to shut my eyes or I’ll come down with a headache after only a few seconds. Loud, jarring or intrusive sounds also short circuit my wiring. Intellectual This is an incessant thirst for knowledge. People with this overexcitability can’t ever learn enough. They zoom in on a few topics of interest and drink up every bit of information on those topics they can find. Their only real goal is learning for learning’s sake. They’re not trying to learn something to make money or get any other external reward. They just happened to have discovered the history of the Ming Dynasty or Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and now it’s all they can think about. People with this overexcitability have intellectual interests that are passionate and wide-ranging and they study many areas simultaneously. Imaginative INFJ and INFP writers, this is you. This is ALL you. Making up stories, creating imaginary friends, believing in Santa Claus way past the ordinary age, becoming attached to fairies, elves, monsters and unicorns, these are the trademarks of the gifted child with imaginative overexcitability. These individuals appear dreamy, scattered, lost in their own worlds, and constantly have their heads in the clouds. They also routinely blend fiction with reality. They are practically the definition of the Sensitive Intuitive writer at work. Emotional Gifted individuals with emotional overexcitability are highly empathetic (and empathic, I might add), compassionate, and can become deeply attached to people, animals, and even inanimate objects, in a short period of time. They also have intense emotional reactions to things and might not be able to stomach horror movies or violence on the evening news. They have most likely been told throughout their life that they’re “too sensitive” or that they’re “overreacting” when in truth, they are expressing exactly how they feel to the most accurate degree.
Lauren Sapala (The INFJ Writer: Cracking the Creative Genius of the World's Rarest Type)
Harrison brought along a copy of a new record he was obsessed with, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. On only his second album, Dylan turned in an all-original breakout with meteors like “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” and “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall.” Lennon and McCartney sponged it up as only two songwriters could while they hammered out sound-track songs for their movie, which would begin filming in March.
Tim Riley (Lennon: The Man, the Myth, the Music - The Definitive Life)
But I was stuck--stuck in a delicious, glorious, beautiful, inescapable La Brea tar pit of romance with a rough, rugged, impossibly tender cowboy. As soon as I’d have any thoughts of escaping to Chicago to avoid my parents’ problems, within seconds I’d shoot myself down. Something major would have to happen to pry me out of his arms. Marlboro Man filled my daydreams, filled my thoughts, my time, my heart, my mind. When I was with him, I was able to forget about my parents’ marital problems. On our drives together, preparing our dinners, watching our VHS action movies, all of those unhappy things disappeared from view. This became a crutch for me, an addictive drug of escape. Ten seconds in Marlboro Man’s pickup, and I saw only goodness and light. And the occasional bra-and-panty-wearing grandma mowing her yard.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
IT TAKES A certain amount of effort to be miserable and another kind of effort to be happy, and I was willing to do the work of happiness. I figured even if I couldn’t make Lucy deeply happy, I could very likely make her cheaply and immediately happy. I could provide the kind of happiness that would seem hollow if we had had the money or the time to stay in it too long. It was the same as carrying her. I couldn’t do it forever, but I could do it for a while. I booked Lucy a massage and had her eyelashes dyed. I took her for a pedicure. I bought her the best pâté I could find in Nashville along with Spaghetti-O’s and Hungry Jack biscuits and everything else I knew she liked. We went to a bad movie and then stayed for a second bad movie. I took her shopping and bought her whatever she wanted. And she was happy, and I was happy.
Ann Patchett (Truth and Beauty)
There are really only two kinds of monsters in the world, which you already know if you've been watching horror movies: Breeders and Non-breeders. So for instance, Frankenstein’s monster would fall into the second category if he was real. He’s a freak, a singular being and once you kill him, he’s gone. Problem solved. The Breeders are an exponentially bigger problem. Within that group you've got slow breeders like vampires (if they were real, which they’re not) which breed in a small-scale controlled way, but mainly to avoid extinction rather than spread. But then you've got the fast breeders, like zombies (if they existed, which they don’t) where breeding is all they do. They are basically walking epidemics, and are the worst of the worst-case scenarios, because such a creature could, hypothetically, wipe out civilization. This is humanity’s greatest fear, which is why at the moment half of the world’s horror novels, movie posters and video games have zombies on the cover. So in any situation like this, step one is to find out what category of creature you’re dealing with. Step two is to anticipate what the creature is going to do next, based on what you determined in step one. Then step three is you find out if the thing can be killed with a chainsaw.
David Wong (This Book Is Full of Spiders (John Dies at the End, #2))
[The public intellectual] will also describe how she can work a pop culture reference into her essay, comparing the Supreme Court to the creature in the number-one box office movie of the moment. Editors like this sort of mass-media integration, first, because it gives them a way to illustrate the piece, and second because they are under the delusion that pop-culture references will propel a piece's readership into the five-digit area.
David Brooks (Bobos in Paradise)
Martin is always telling me to put all of this behind me, to get on with my life. But the thing is, before Jesse, I never really had a life. I had a routine. I did things. But aside from the accident”—he gestured with his prosthetic arm—“nothing ever happened to me. But she happened. And it was like a train wreck. It was big and painful and beautiful and every second mattered. You know what Beaudelaire said about love? It’s ‘an oasis of horror in a desert of boredom.’ But it’s still an oasis. Our time together—that’s the story of my life. Everything before her was just the boring setup. Like the first hour of a miniseries, the part that’s just padding to stretch it out for three nights. And the time since she’s gone—that’s just been some sort of weird, dragged-out anticlimax. I can feel myself sitting in the audience watching my life and wondering, ‘Why isn’t this movie over?
Phoef Sutton (Fifteen Minutes to Live)
France has the largest, most lucrative cinema in Europe, making it the second most successful cinema in the Western world (a distant second, monetarily), and in terms of roles for women, it’s unquestionably in the lead. When a French actress comes to America, she leaves a cinema interested in exploring her essence in favor of one that’s not interested in anything about her, that’s even hostile to the notion of making movies about women at all.
Mick LaSalle (The Beauty of the Real: What Hollywood Can Learn from Contemporary French Actresses)
Something about the image looked familiar. “Oh yeah,” I said. “I think I saw a movie about her once.” David directed me to a dog-eared copy of The Story of a Soul in the novitiate library. “Read this,” he said. “Then you’ll understand why I like Thérèse so much.” His devotion and my dimly remembered reaction to the movie led me to begin her book that night. And thus began my second introduction to the woman popularly known as the “Little Flower.
James Martin (My Life with the Saints)
Do you believe in love at first sight?” He made himself look at her face, at her wide-open eyes and earnest forehead. At her unbearably sweet mouth. “I don’t know,” he said. “Do you believe in love before that?” Her breath caught in her throat like a sore hiccup. And then it was too much to keep trying not to kiss her. She came readily into his arms. Lincoln leaned against the coffee machine and pulled her onto him completely. There it was again, that impossible to describe kiss. This is how 2011 should have ended, he thought. This is infinity. The first time Beth pulled away, he pulled her back. The second time, he bit her lip. Then her neck. Then the collar of her shirt. “I don’t know…,” she said, sitting up in his lap, laying her check on the top of his head. “I don’t know what you meant by love before love at first sight.” Lincoln pushed his face into her shoulder and tried to think of a good way to answer. “Just that… I knew how I felt about you before I ever saw you,” he said, “when I still thought I might never see you…” She held his head in her hands and titled it back, so she could see his face. “That’s ridiculous,” she said. Which made him laugh. “Absolutely,” he said. “No, I mean it,” Beth said. “Men fall in love with their eyes.” He closed his. “That’s practically science,” she said. “Maybe,” Lincoln said. Her fingers felt so good in his hair. “But I couldn’t see you, so…” “So, what did you see?” “Just…the sort of girl who would write the sort of things that you wrote.” “What things?” Lincoln opened his eyes. Beth was studying his face. She looked skeptical-maybe about more than just the last thing he said. This was important, he realized. “Everything,” he said, sitting straighter, keeping hold of her waist. “Everything you wrote about your work, about your boyfriend…The way you comforted Jennifer and made her laugh, through the baby and after. I pictured a girl who could be kind, and that kind of funny. I pictured a girl who was that alive…” She looked guarded. Lincoln couldn’t tell from her eyes whether he was pushing her away or winning her over. “A girl who never got tired of her favourite movies,” he said softly. “Who saved dresses like ticket stubs. Who could get high on the weather.. “I pictured a girl who made every moment, everything she touched, and everyone around her feel lighter and sweeter. I pictured you,” he said. “I just didn’t know what you looked like. And then, when I did know what you looked like, you looked like the girl who was all those things. You looked like the girl I loved.” Beth’s fingers trembled in his hair, and her forehead dropped against his. A heavy, wet tear fell onto Lincoln’s lips, and he licked it. He pulled her close, as close as he could. Like he didn’t care for the moment whether she could breath. Like there were two of them and only one parachute. “Beth,” he barely said, pressing his face against hers until their lashes brushed, pressing his hand into the small of her back. “I don’t think I can explain it. I don’t think I can make any more sense. But I’ll keep trying. If you want me to.” She almost shook her head. “No,” she said, “no more explaining. Or apologizing. I don’t think it matters how we ended up here. I just…I want to stay…I want.. He kissed her then. There. In the middle of the sentence.
Rainbow Rowell (Attachments)
Sexual Arousal and Foreplay: If we’re to believe that what we see in movies, our sexual rendezvous would consist of 10 seconds of kissing, 5 seconds of groping, and another 5 seconds closing the deal. A straightforward sex scene doesn’t commonly show the female arousal process, and a lot of the time, this process is key in order to have a really satisfying sexual experience. Fooling around a lot before part A goes into slot B gets the female body prepped for sex in very important way.
Elle Chase (Curvy Girl Sex: 101 Body-Positive Positions to Empower Your Sex Life)
We need Holy Fools in our society, from time to time. They perform a valuable role. That’s why we romanticize them. Harry Markopolos was the hero of the Madoff saga. Whistleblowers have movies made about them. But the second, crucial part of Levine’s argument is that we can’t all be Holy Fools. That would be a disaster. Levine argues that over the course of evolution, human beings never developed sophisticated and accurate skills to detect deception as it was happening because there is no advantage to spending your time scrutinizing the words and behaviors of those around you. The advantage to human beings lies in assuming that strangers are truthful. As he puts it, the trade-off between truth-default and the risk of deception is a great deal for us. What we get in exchange for being vulnerable to an occasional lie is efficient communication and social coordination. The benefits are huge and the costs are trivial in comparison. Sure, we get deceived once in a while. That is just the cost of doing business.
Malcolm Gladwell (Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know)
To my complete and utter surprise, the writing on his door is gone. Vanished. “What happened?” I ask. It takes him a second before he realizes what I’m asking. “I washed it off,” he explains. “You what?” “I wasn’t going to, but I didn’t want the super to give me a hard time. Plus, I thought it might freak out some of my neighbors. You have to admit, death threats on doors can be pretty offensive, generally speaking. Not to mention the sheer fact that it made me look like a total asshole—like some old girlfriend was trying to get even.” “Did you take pictures at least?” “Actually, no.” He cringes. “That probably would’ve been a good idea.” “But Tray saw the writing, right?” “Um . . .” He nibbles his lip, clearly reading my angst. “You told me he was with you last night. You said you called him.” “I tried, but he didn’t pick up, and I didn’t want you to worry.” “So, you lied?” I snap. “I didn’t want you to worry,” he repeats. “Please, don’t be upset.” “How can I not be? We’re talking about your life here. You can’t go erasing evidence off your door. And you can’t be lying to me, either. How am I supposed to help you if you don’t tell me the truth?” “Why are you helping me?” he asks, taking a step closer. “I mean, I’m grateful and all, and you know I love spending time with you, be it death-threat missions or pizza and a movie. It’s just . . . what do you get out of it? What’s this sudden interest in my life?” My mouth drops open, but I manage a shrug, almost forgetting the fact that he knows nothing about my premonitions.
Laurie Faria Stolarz (Deadly Little Games (Touch, #3))
The most prominent word on the page was Bathyscaphe. “Get it?” the guy said. “A submarine,” Chang said. “Capable of going all the way to the ocean bed.” “Originally I called it Nemo. After the guy in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea. He commands a submarine named Nautilus. I liked him because nemo is Latin for nobody. Which seemed appropriate. But then they made a movie about a fish. Which ruined it.” He typed another command, and a search box came up. He said, “OK, start your engines. Thirty-two seconds is the wager.
Lee Child (Make Me (Jack Reacher, #20))
It takes an army to make a movie. Camera crews, lighting crews, wardrobe crews, makeup crews, hair crews, painters, builders (called grips), a crew to provide the props, a crew to provide the furnishings (the art department), electricians, special-effects people, stunt performers, stand-ins, the accountant, scheduling and finance (called the unit production manager), catering and someone to provide snacks and drinks (called craft service), and the team of walkie-talkie-armed Gestapo that police the second-by-second momentum of shooting: the assistant director staff.
Rob Lowe (Stories I Only Tell My Friends)
Let’s say that you have committed to running every day for two weeks, and at the end of those two weeks, you “reward” yourself with a massage. I would say, “Good for you!” because we all could benefit from more massages. But I would also say that your massage wasn’t a reward. It was an incentive. The definition of a reward in behavior science is an experience directly tied to a behavior that makes that behavior more likely to happen again. The timing of the reward matters. Scientists learned decades ago that rewards need to happen either during the behavior or milli-seconds afterward. Dopamine is released and processed by the brain very quickly. That means you’ve got to cue up those good feelings fast to form a habit. Incentives like a sales bonus or a monthly massage can motivate you, but they don’t rewire your brain. Incentives are way too far in the future to give you that all-important shot of dopamine that encodes the new habit. Doing three squats in the morning and rewarding yourself with a movie that evening won’t work. The squats and the good feelings you get from the movie are too far apart for dopamine to build a bridge between the two. The neurochemical reaction that you are trying to hack is not only time dependent, it’s also highly individualized. What causes one person to feel good may not work for everyone. Your boss may love the smell of coffee. When she enters a coffee shop and inhales, she feels good. And her immediate feeling builds her habit of visiting the coffee shop. But your coworker might not like the way coffee smells. His brain won’t react in the same way. A real reward — something that will actually create a habit — is a much narrower target to hit than most people think. I
B.J. Fogg (Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything)
Public service announcements were first created by the Ad Council during World War II to get Rosie to work and to tighten loose lips. In 1971, on the second Earth Day, the world met “the crying Indian,” played by Iron Eyes Cody. The famous anti-pollution ad, which showed Cody paddling a canoe and watching motorists litter, effectively gave the new ecology movement a huge boost. As it turns out, Cody was of Italian descent (real name Espera DeCorti), but he appeared in hundreds of movies and TV shows as a Native American and denied his European ancestry until his death in 1999.
Mark Jacob (10 Things You Might Not Know About Nearly Everything)
There are two ways to turn devils into angels: First, acknowledge things about them that you genuinely appreciate. Uncle Morty took you to the beach when you were a kid. Your mom still sends you money on your birthday. Your ex-wife is a good mother to your children. There must be something you sincerely appreciate about this person. Shift your attention from the mean and nasty things they have said or done to the kind and helpful things they have said or done—even if there are just a few or even only one. You have defined this person by their iniquities. You can just as easily—actually, more easily—define them by their redeeming qualities. It’s your movie. Change the script. Perhaps you are still arguing that the person who has hurt you has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. She is evil incarnate, Rosemary’s baby conceived with Satan himself, poster child for the dark side of the Force, destined to wreak havoc and horror in the lives of everyone she touches. A nastier bitch never walked the earth. Got it. Let’s say all of this is true—the person who troubles you is a no-good, cheating, lying SOB. Now here’s the second devil-transformer. Consider: How has this person helped you to grow? What spiritual muscles have you developed that you would not have built if this person had been nicer to you? Have you learned to hold your power and self-esteem in the presence of attempted insult? Do you now speak your truth more quickly and directly? Are you now asking for what you want instead of passively deferring? Are you setting healthier boundaries? Have you deepened in patience and compassion? Do you make more self-honoring choices? There are many benefits you might have gained, or still might gain, from someone who challenges you.
Alan Cohen (A Course in Miracles Made Easy: Mastering the Journey from Fear to Love)
Who will braid my hair when I’m at college?” I muse. “I will,” Peter says, all confidence. “You don’t know how,” I scoff. “The kid will teach me. Won’t you, kid?” “For a price,” Kitty says. They negotiate back and forth before finally settling on Peter taking Kitty and her friends to the movies one Saturday afternoon. Which is how I come to be sitting cross-legged on the floor while Peter and Kitty sit on the couch above me, Kitty demonstrating a French braid and Peter recording it on his phone. “Now you try it,” she says. He keeps losing a piece and getting frustrated. “You have a lot of hair, Lara Jean.” “If you can’t get the French, I’ll teach you something more basic,” Kitty says, and there is no mistaking the contempt in her voice. Peter hears it too. “No, I’m gonna get it. Just give me a second. I’m gonna master it just like I mastered the other kind of French.” He winks at me. Kitty and I both scream at him for that. “Don’t talk like that in front of my sister!” I yell, shoving him in the chest. “I was kidding!” “Also, you’re not that good at French kissing.” Even though, yeah, he is. Peter gives me a Who are you kidding? look, and I shrug, because who am I kidding?
Jenny Han (Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3))
Checking out shoes when looking for Lesbians is an elimination device, a negative marker. Lesbians wear sensible shoes whenever possible. Irene and I have learned to pass right by a woman who looks like a Lesbian from head to ankle, but wears flimsy shoes with pointed toes and heels. She is sure to mention a husband by her second sentence. So, what does a Lesbian look like? Well, we saw two old women drive into a campground in a large motorhome. One dog and no men accompanied them. These are Lesbian-positive clues. We seldom see old women in campgrounds unless they are accompanied by old men. They walked the dog, each wearing a long “ladies” winter coat and lipstick. We casually intercepted them. “Nice dog,” says Irene. The dog growled. We mentioned the movie about nuclear war on TV the night before. “They should go to Russia. Show it to the Communists,” they angrily replied. We walked on. If they were Lesbians, I did not want to know. “Not Lesbians,” pronounced my expert. “There are Lesbians who wear ‘ladies’ coats and Lesbians who wear lipstick. There are even Lesbians who prefer nuclear war to “Godless Communism”; but Lesbians would not let their dog growl at a woman without correcting it.
Julia Penelope (Finding the Lesbians: Personal Accounts from Around the World)
Wait a second,” Andy said, snapping his fingers. “You're Vietnamese.” “Don't say it,” Sun warned. But Andy, a grin stretched across his face, couldn't resist. “You're a Vietnam vet.” Sun’s face became even harder, something Andy hadn't thought possible. “Never heard that one before. Open the pen there.” Andy lifted the latch on the gate and Sun led the sheep out of the pen and over to the entrance door. “I've visited Viet Nam twice,” Andy said. “Beautiful place. All of those war movies make it look like hell, but it's actually very tranquil, don't you think?” “I wouldn't know. I've never been there. I’m an American.
Lee Goldberg (Ultimate Thriller Box Set)
Nearby,one of the overexcited frat boys started wildly windmilling his arms. He had overbalanced and now tipped himself right over the wall.In a second, the diver with us had grabbed his ankle and hauled him back.The sharks, instead of being attracted by the flailing, like they are in every single scary underwater movie, took one sideways look and promptly turned tail,heading for the other side of the tank. They stayed there and didn't come back. The culprit's buddies pounded him when we climbed out of the water. "Smooth move, Ex-Lax," one muttered. "Way to be a buzzkill." "hey" was the red-faced retort, "at least I can say I scared off a shark.
Melissa Jensen (The Fine Art of Truth or Dare)
Don’t be like this, okay, Lilith? Not with me.” I don’t know what he means. I shake my head, unable to speak, to say a fucking word, the tears falling faster, hot and wet down my face, buried against his chest. “Don’t try to pretend you’re okay when you’re not,” he says, his words rumbling from his chest, vibrating through me. “Don’t try to be so brave all the time, okay, baby? You don’t have to be. We got…” He stops for a second, and when he starts again, his voice is hoarse, nearly choked, so much emotion that he can barely get the words out. “We got fucked up, okay? We got fucked up, and you didn’t deserve it. You didn’t deserve any of it. And I’m so sorry I couldn’t help you. I’m so sorry you were here, so close to me, and I had no idea…I’m so fucking sorry. But you can fall apart with me, Lilith. Okay? You can fucking fall apart and I’ll put you back together, over and over and over again, scars and all.” He pulls away from me, spins me around, pulls me back to his chest, his arms wrapped around the front of me. “We’ll figure this all out, okay? Everything. When your memories come flooding back, tell me. Talk to me. And as for the other shit, you can meet Finn if you want, or if you don’t, that’s okay, too. And we’ll, ya know, go see a movie and go on a fucking date and do nice, normal things.
K.V. Rose (Pray for Scars (Unsainted, #2))
We only have a little bit of time before I leave for Korea. Let’s not waste it.” Then I slide my hand in his, and he squeezes it. The house is completely empty, for the first time all week. All the other girls are still at the party, except for Chris, who ran into somebody she knows through Applebee’s. We go up to my room, and Peter takes off his shoes and gets in my bed. “Want to watch a movie?” he asks, stretching his arms behind his head. No, I don’t want to watch a movie. Suddenly my heart is racing, because I know what I want to do. I’m ready. I sit down on the bed next to him as he says, “Or we could start a new show--” I press my lips to his neck, and I can feel his pulse jump. “What if we don’t watch a movie or a show? What if we…do something else instead.” I give him a meaningful look. His body jerks in surprise. “What, you mean like now?” “Yes.” Now. Now feels right. I start planting little kisses down his throat. “Do you like that?” I can feel him swallow. “Yes.” He pushes me away from him so he can look at my face. “Let’s stop for a second. I can’t think. Are you drunk? What did Chris put in that drink she gave you?” “No, I’m not drunk!” I had a little bit of a warm feeling in my body, but the walk home woke me right up. Peter’s still staring at me. “I’m not drunk. I swear.” Peter swallows hard, his eyes searching mine. “Are you sure you want to do this now?” “Yes,” I say, because I really, truly am. “But first can you put on Frank Ocean?” He grabs his phone, and a second later the beat kicks in and Frank’s melodious voice fills the room. Peter starts fumbling with his shirt buttons and then gives up and starts to pull my shirt up, and I yelp, “Wait!” Peter’s so startled, he jumps away from me. “What? What’s wrong?” I leap off the bed and start rummaging through my suitcase. I’m not wearing my special bra and underwear set; I’m wearing my normal every day cappuccino-colored bra with the frayed edges. I can’t lose my virginity in my ugliest bra.
Jenny Han (Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3))
Most of us do not like not being able to see what others see or make sense of something new. We do not like it when things do not come together and fit nicely for us. That is why most popular movies have Hollywood endings. The public prefers a tidy finale. And we especially do not like it when things are contradictory, because then it is much harder to reconcile them (this is particularly true for Westerners). This sense of confusion triggers in a us a feeling of noxious anxiety. It generates tension. So we feel compelled to reduce it, solve it, complete it, reconcile it, make it make sense. And when we do solve these puzzles, there's relief. It feels good. We REALLY like it when things come together. What I am describing is a very basic human psychological process, captured by the second Gestalt principle. It is what we call the 'press for coherence.' It has been called many different things in psychology: consonance, need for closure, congruity, harmony, need for meaning, the consistency principle. At its core it is the drive to reduce the tension, disorientation, and dissonance that come from complexity, incoherence, and contradiction. In the 1930s, Bluma Zeigarnik, a student of Lewin's in Berlin, designed a famous study to test the impact of this idea of tension and coherence. Lewin had noticed that waiters in his local cafe seemed to have better recollections of unpaid orders than of those already settled. A lab study was run to examine this phenomenon, and it showed that people tend to remember uncompleted tasks, like half-finished math or word problems, better than completed tasks. This is because the unfinished task triggers a feeling of tension, which gets associated with the task and keeps it lingering in our minds. The completed problems are, well, complete, so we forget them and move on. They later called this the 'Zeigarnik effect,' and it has influenced the study of many things, from advertising campaigns to coping with the suicide of loved ones to dysphoric rumination of past conflicts.
Peter T. Coleman (The Five Percent: Finding Solutions to Seemingly Impossible Conflicts)
Lake Natron resided in northern Tanzania near an active volcano known as Ol Doinyo Lengai. It was part of the reason the lake had such unique characteristics. The mud had a curious dark grey color over where Jack had been set up for observation, and he noted that there was now an odd-looking mound of it to the right of one of the flamingo’s nests. He zoomed in further and further, peering at it, and then realized what he was actually seeing. The dragon had crouched down beside the nests and blended into the mud. From snout to tail, Jack calculated it had to be twelve to fourteen feet long. Its wings were folded against its back, which had small spines running down the length to a spiky tail. It had a fin with three prongs along the base of the skull and webbed feet tipped with sharp black talons. He estimated the dragon was about the size of a large hyena. It peered up at its prey with beady red eyes, its black forked tongue darting out every few seconds. Its shoulder muscles bunched and its hind legs tensed. Then it pounced. The dark grey dragon leapt onto one of flamingoes atop its nest and seized it by the throat. The bird squawked in distress and immediately beat its wings, trying to free itself. The others around them took to the skies in panic. The dragon slammed it into the mud and closed its jaws around the animal’s throat, blood spilling everywhere. The flamingo yelped out its last breaths and then finally stilled. The dragon dropped the limp carcass and sniffed the eggs before beginning to swallow them whole one at a time. “Holy shit,” Jack muttered. “Have we got a visual?” “Oh, yeah. Based on the size, the natives and the conservationists were right to be concerned. It can probably wipe out a serious number of wildlife in a short amount of time based on what I’m seeing. There’s only a handful of fauna that can survive in these conditions and it could make mincemeat out of them.” “Alright, so what’s the plan?” “They told me it’s very agile, which is why their attempts to capture it haven’t worked. I’m going to see if it responds to any of the usual stimuli. So far, they said it doesn’t appear to be aggressive.” “Copy that. Be careful, cowboy.” “Ten-four.” Jack glanced down at his utility belt and opened the pocket on his left side, withdrawing a thin silver whistle. He put it to his lips and blew for several seconds. Much like a dog whistle, Jack couldn’t hear anything. But the dragon’s head creaked around and those beady red eyes locked onto him. Jack lowered the whistle and licked his dry lips. “If I were in a movie, this would be the part where I said, ‘I’ve got a bad feeling about this.’” The dragon roared, its grey wings extending out from its body, and then flew straight at him.
Kyoko M. (Of Claws and Inferno)
We're still going to Loggerhead this afternoon, right?” Hi glanced around, then dropped his voice. “For that...home movie thing?” I nodded. “We might as well deal with what we can. Let's take the afternoon shuttle. I'll think of an excuse for Kit, thought I'm open to suggestions.” “Ben?” Shelton asked. “Not today. I think the two of us need a little distance.” The bell rang. We gathered our things and headed for the door. “Tell Kit we're cutting a music video,” Hi suggested as we walked. “Something real gangster, so we need to smash-cut our dance routines. Lay down some visuals. We could offer to let him rap over the second verse.” I gave him a thumbs-up. “Foolproof. Anyone need a locker stop?
Kathy Reichs
All stories are incomplete. Yet in order to construct a viable identity for myself and give meaning to my life, I don’t really need a complete story devoid of blind spots and internal contradictions. To give meaning to my life, a story needs to satisfy just two conditions: first, it must give me some role to play. A New Guinean tribesman is unlikely to believe in Zionism or in Serbian nationalism, because these stories don’t care at all about New Guinea and its people. Like movie stars, humans like only those scripts that reserve an important role for them. Second, whereas a good story need not extend to infinity, it must extend beyond my horizons. The story provides me with an identity and gives meaning to my life by embedding me within something bigger than myself. But there is always a danger that I might start wondering what gives meaning to that ‘something bigger’. If the meaning of my life is to help the proletariat or the Polish nation, what exactly gives meaning to the proletariat or to the Polish nation? There is a story of a man who claimed that the world is kept in place by resting on the back of a huge elephant. When asked what the elephant stands on, he replied “that it stands on the back of a large turtle. And the turtle? On the back of an even bigger turtle. And that bigger turtle? The man snapped and said: ‘Don’t bother about it. From there onwards it’s turtles all the way down.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
There was a big “Sesame Street Live” extravaganza over at Madison Square Garden, so thousands of people decided to make a day of it and go straight from Sesame Street to Santa. We were packed today, absolutely packed, and everyone was cranky. Once the line gets long we break it up into four different lines because anyone in their right mind would leave if they knew it would take over two hours to see Santa. Two hours — you could see a movie in two hours. Standing in a two-hour line makes people worry that they’re not living in a democratic nation. People stand in line for two hours and they go over the edge. I was sent into the hallway to direct the second phase of the line. The hallway was packed with people, and all of them seemed to stop me with a question: which way to the down escalator, which way to the elevator, the Patio Restaurant, gift wrap, the women’s rest room, Trim-A-Tree. There was a line for Santa and a line for the women’s bathroom, and one woman, after asking me a dozen questions already, asked, “Which is the line for the women’s bathroom?” I shouted that I thought it was the line with all the women in it. She said, “I’m going to have you fired.” I had two people say that to me today, “I’m going to have you fired.” Go ahead, be my guest. I’m wearing a green velvet costume; it doesn’t get any worse than this. Who do these people think they are? “I’m going to have you fired!” and I wanted to lean over and say, “I’m going to have you killed.
David Sedaris (Holidays on Ice)
All that day we went about stunned – we, the small town of real people behind the corporate logo of a ringed blue planet spinning through starry space. In the studio's Corner Store, in small groups that met on the company streets and in a hundred offices, we pieced our own experiences together with what was coming to light in the media. The suspect: a deranged, 43-year-old drifter who two days earlier had allegedly killed three people in Albuquerque, NM. He had fled to California where for reasons unknown he had been trying to contact actor-producer Michael Landon on the day of the shootings. The employees he had approached had repeatedly turned him away, since Landon had no particular connection with our studio. But just after dark the man had come back to the main gate again. He had walked up to a young actress waiting for her ride after an audition, said "hello" to her and then stepped over to the guardhouse. "I heard a shot and looked up," a secretary who had been passing nearby told me. "I saw Jeren fall and heard him groan. And there was this guy in a gray jacket just standing over him, pointing down at him with a gun. Then he raised the gun and pointed it at the other guard and shot again, and I saw Armando fall out the other side of the guardhouse. For a split second – just because we're at a movie studio – I thought it must be a movie they were filming. But there weren't any lights or cameras, and I realized it was real, and I thought, ‘He's gonna come after us because we saw it!' So I ran. I felt I was running for my life.
James Glaeg
Is she really old enough to have crushes on boys? I feel like she’s too young for all that.” “I had crushes on boys when I was nine,” I tell him. I’m still thinking about Kitty. I wonder how I can make it so she isn’t mad at me anymore. Somehow I don’t think snickerdoodles will cut it this time. “Who?” Josh asks me. “Who what?” Maybe if I can somehow convince Daddy to buy her a puppy… “Who was your first crush?” “Hmm. My first real crush?” I had kindergarten and first- and second-grade crushes aplenty, but they don’t really count. “Like the first one that really mattered?” “Sure.” “Well…I guess Peter Kavinsky.” Josh practically gags. “Kavinsky? Are you kidding me? He’s so obvious. I thought you’d be into someone more…I don’t know, subtle. Peter Kavinsky’s such a cliché. He’s like a cardboard cutout of a ‘cool guy’ in a movie about high school.” I shrug. “You asked.” “Wow,” he says, shaking his head. “Just…wow.” “He used to be different. I mean, he was still very Peter, but less so.” When Josh looks unconvinced, I say, “You’re a boy, so you can’t understand what I’m talking about.” “You’re right. I don’t understand!” “Hey, you’re the one who had a crush on Ms. Rothschild!” Josh turns red. “She was really pretty back then!” “Uh-huh.” I give him a knowing look. “She was really ‘pretty.’” Our across-the-street neighbor Ms. Rothschild used to mow her lawn in terry-cloth short shorts and a string bikini top. The neighborhood boys would conveniently come and play in Josh’s yard on those days. “Anyway, Ms. Rothschild wasn’t my first crush.” “She wasn’t?” “No. You were.
Jenny Han (To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1))
In his movie The Seventh Continent, Michael Haneke depicts a normal middle-class family who, for no apparent reason, one day quit their jobs, destroy everything in their apartment, including all the cash they have just withdrawn from the bank, and commit suicide. The story, according to Haneke, was inspired by a true story of an Austrian middle-class family who committed collective suicide. As Haneke points out in a subsequent interview, the cliché questions that people are tempted to ask when confronted with such a situation are: “did they have some trouble in their marriage?”, or “were they dissatisfied with their jobs?”. Haneke’s point, however, is to discredit such questions; if he wanted to create a Hollywood-style drama, he would have offered clues indicating some such problems that we superficially seek when trying to explain people’s choices. But his point was precisely that the most profound thoughts about whether life is meaningful occur once we have swept aside all the clichés about the pleasure or lack thereof of “love, work, and play” (Thagard), or of “being whooshed up in sports events and being absorbed in the coffee-making craft” (Dreyfus and Kelly). Psychologically, or psychotherapeutically, these are very useful ways of “finding meaning in one’s life”, but philosophically, they are rather ways of how to avoid raising the question, how to insulate oneself from the likelihood that the question of meaning will be raised to oneself. In my view, then, the particular answer to the second question (what is the meaning of life?) is not that important, because whatever answer one offers, even the nihilist or absurdist answer, is many times good enough if the purpose is to get rid of the state of puzzlement. More importantly, however, what matters is that the question itself was raised, and the question is posterior to the more fundamental one of whether there is any meaning at all in life. It is also intuitive that we could judge someone’s life as meaningless if that person has never wondered whether her life, and life in general, is meaningful or not. At the same time, our proposal is, in my opinion, neither elitist, nor parochial in any way; I find it empirically quite plausible that the vast majority of people have actually asked this question or some version of it at least once during their lives, regardless of their social class, wealth, religion, ethnicity, gender, cultural background, or historical period.
István Aranyosi (God, Mind and Logical Space: A Revisionary Approach to Divinity)
In one of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite movies, Amadeus, Salieri looks with wide-eyed astonishment at a manuscript of Mozart's and says, "Displace one note and there would be diminishment. Displace one phrase and the structure would fall." In this, Salieri captured the essence of perfection. His two sentences define precisely what we mean by perfection in many contexts, including theoretical physics. You might say it's a perfect definition. A theory begins to be perfect if any change makes it worse. That's Salieri's first sentence, translated from music to physics. And it's right on point. But the real genius comes with Salieri's second sentence. A theory becomes perfectly perfect if it's impossible to change it significantly without ruining it entirely-that is, if changing the theory significantly reduces it to nonsense.
Frank Wilczek (The Lightness of Being: Mass, Ether, and the Unification of Forces)
I saw a guy the other day at a wedding, and I told him my theory on why we’ve seen this explosion in comedies in the past fifteen years. Number one, America is tacking hard to the right. That sort of extremism always kind of kicks up the need to create comedy. But the second thing is Avid. What’s Avid? It’s a digital movie-editing program that directors use, and it’s incredibly helpful. I think Avid is hugely responsible for this boom in comedy. In the past, one would have to shoot the film and edit it, which was a big deal. Now, filmmakers can record the laughs from a test audience at a screening, and we can then cut to the rhythm of those laughs, the rhythm of the audience. We synchronize the laughs with the film. We can really get our timing down to a hundredth of a second. You can decide where you want your story to kick in, where you want a little bit of mood, where you want a hard laugh line. All of this can really be calibrated to these test screenings that we do. It doesn’t mean that it becomes mathematical. It still ultimately means that you have to make creative choices, but you can just really get a lot out of it. Sort of like surgery with a laser compared with a regular scalpel. We’re able to download a movie onto the computer and literally do all our edits in minutes. The precision is incredible. You play back the audio of the test screening and get everything timed just right. Like, “This laugh is losing this next line; let’s split the difference here.” You’re able to achieve this rolling energy. You can try experimental edits, and do multiple test screenings, and it’s all because you can move so fast with this program. Comedy is the one genre that I think has just really benefited from this more than any other.
Mike Sacks (Poking a Dead Frog: Conversations with Today's Top Comedy Writers)
I don’t like stories. I like moments. I like night better than day, moon better than sun, and here-and-now better than any sometime-later. I also like birds, mushrooms, the blues, peacock feathers, black cats, blue-eyed people, heraldry, astrology, criminal stories with lots of blood, and ancient epic poems where human heads can hold conversations with former friends and generally have a great time for years after they’ve been cut off. I like good food and good drink, sitting in a hot bath and lounging in a snowbank, wearing everything I own at once, and having everything I need close at hand. I like speed and that special ache in the pit of the stomach when you accelerate to the point of no return. I like to frighten and to be frightened, to amuse and to confound. I like writing on the walls so that no one can guess who did it, and drawing so that no one can guess what it is. I like doing my writing using a ladder or not using it, with a spray can or squeezing the paint from a tube. I like painting with a brush, with a sponge, and with my fingers. I like drawing the outline first and then filling it in completely, so that there’s no empty space left. I like letters as big as myself, but I like very small ones as well. I like directing those who read them here and there by means of arrows, to other places where I also wrote something, but I also like to leave false trails and false signs. I like to tell fortunes with runes, bones, beans, lentils, and I Ching. Hot climates I like in the books and movies; in real life, rain and wind. Generally rain is what I like most of all. Spring rain, summer rain, autumn rain. Any rain, anytime. I like rereading things I’ve read a hundred times over. I like the sound of the harmonica, provided I’m the one playing it. I like lots of pockets, and clothes so worn that they become a kind of second skin instead of something that can be taken off. I like guardian amulets, but specific ones, so that each is responsible for something separate, not the all-inclusive kind. I like drying nettles and garlic and then adding them to anything and everything. I like covering my fingers with rubber cement and then peeling it off in front of everybody. I like sunglasses. Masks, umbrellas, old carved furniture, copper basins, checkered tablecloths, walnut shells, walnuts themselves, wicker chairs, yellowed postcards, gramophones, beads, the faces on triceratopses, yellow dandelions that are orange in the middle, melting snowmen whose carrot noses have fallen off, secret passages, fire-evacuation-route placards; I like fretting when in line at the doctor’s office, and screaming all of a sudden so that everyone around feels bad, and putting my arm or leg on someone when asleep, and scratching mosquito bites, and predicting the weather, keeping small objects behind my ears, receiving letters, playing solitaire, smoking someone else’s cigarettes, and rummaging in old papers and photographs. I like finding something lost so long ago that I’ve forgotten why I needed it in the first place. I like being really loved and being everyone’s last hope, I like my own hands—they are beautiful, I like driving somewhere in the dark using a flashlight, and turning something into something completely different, gluing and attaching things to each other and then being amazed that it actually worked. I like preparing things both edible and not, mixing drinks, tastes, and scents, curing friends of the hiccups by scaring them. There’s an awful lot of stuff I like.
Mariam Petrosyan (Дом, в котором...)
When he was in college, a famous poet made a useful distinction for him. He had drunk enough in the poet's company to be compelled to describe to him a poem he was thinking of. It would be a monologue of sorts, the self-contemplation of a student on a summer afternoon who is reading Euphues. The poem itself would be a subtle series of euphuisms, translating the heat, the day, the student's concerns, into symmetrical posies; translating even his contempt and boredom with that famously foolish book into a euphuism. The poet nodded his big head in a sympathetic, rhythmic way as this was explained to him, then told him that there are two kinds of poems. There is the kind you write; there is the kind you talk about in bars. Both kinds have value and both are poems; but it's fatal to confuse them. In the Seventh Saint, many years later, it had struck him that the difference between himself and Shakespeare wasn't talent - not especially - but nerve. The capacity not to be frightened by his largest and most potent conceptions, to simply (simply!) sit down and execute them. The dreadful lassitude he felt when something really large and multifarious came suddenly clear to him, something Lear-sized yet sonnet-precise. If only they didn't rush on him whole, all at once, massive and perfect, leaving him frightened and nerveless at the prospect of articulating them word by scene by page. He would try to believe they were of the kind told in bars, not the kind to be written, though there was no way to be sure of this except to attempt the writing; he would raise a finger (the novelist in the bar mirror raising the obverse finger) and push forward his change. Wailing like a neglected ghost, the vast notion would beat its wings into the void. Sometimes it would pursue him for days and years as he fled desperately. Sometimes he would turn to face it, and do battle. Once, twice, he had been victorious, objectively at least. Out of an immense concatenation of feeling, thought, word, transcendent meaning had come his first novel, a slim, pageant of a book, tombstone for his slain conception. A publisher had taken it, gingerly; had slipped it quietly into the deep pool of spring releases, where it sank without a ripple, and where he supposes it lies still, its calm Bodoni gone long since green. A second, just as slim but more lurid, nightmarish even, about imaginary murders in an imaginary exotic locale, had been sold for a movie, though the movie had never been made. He felt guilt for the producer's failure (which perhaps the producer didn't feel), having known the book could not be filmed; he had made a large sum, enough to finance years of this kind of thing, on a book whose first printing was largely returned.
John Crowley (Novelty: Four Stories)
Men like my father, and men like him who attend Trump rallies, join misogynistic subcultures, populate some of the most hateful groups in the world, and are prisoners of toxic masculinity, an artificial construct whose expectancies are unattainable, thus making them exceedingly fragile and injurious to others, not to mention themselves. The illusion convinces them from an early age that men deserve to be privileged and entitled, that women and men who don’t conform to traditional standards are second-class persons, are weak and thus detestable. This creates a tyrannical patriarchal system that tilts the world further in favor of men, and, as a side effect, accounts for a great deal of crimes, including harassment, physical and emotional abuse, rape, and even murder. These men, and the boys following in their footsteps, were socialized in childhood to exhibit the ideal masculine traits, including stoicism, aggressiveness, extreme self-confidence, and an unending competitiveness. Those who do not conform are punished by their fathers in the form of physical and emotional abuse, and then further socialized by the boys in their school and community who have been enduring their own abuse at home. If that isn’t enough, our culture then reflects those expectations in its television shows, movies, music, and especially in advertising, where products like construction-site-quality trucks, power tools, beer, gendered deodorant, and even yogurt promise to bestow masculinity for the right price. The masculinity that’s being sold, that’s being installed via systemic abuse, is fragile because, again, it is unattainable. Humans are not intended to suppress their emotions indefinitely, to always be confident and unflinching. Traditional masculinity, as we know it, is an unnatural state, and, as a consequence, men are constantly at war with themselves and the world around them.
Jared Yates Sexton (The Man They Wanted Me to Be: Toxic Masculinity and a Crisis of Our Own Making)
I begin this chapter with President Ronald Reagan’s Farewell Speech on January 11, 1989. President Reagan encouraged the rising generation to “let ’em know and nail ’em on it”—that is, to push back against teachers, professors, journalists, politicians, and others in the governing generation who manipulate and deceive them: An informed patriotism is what we want. And are we doing a good enough job teaching our children what America is and what she represents in the long history of the world? Those of us who are over 35 or so years of age grew up in a different America. We were taught, very directly, what it means to be an American. And we absorbed, almost in the air, a love of country and an appreciation of its institutions. If you didn’t get these things from your family, you got them from the neighborhood, from the father down the street who fought in Korea or the family who lost someone at Anzio. Or you could get a sense of patriotism from school. And if all else failed, you could get a sense of patriotism from the popular culture. The movies celebrated democratic values and implicitly reinforced the idea that America was special. TV was like that, too, through the mid-sixties. But now, we’re about to enter the nineties, and some things have changed. Younger parents aren’t sure that an unambivalent appreciation of America is the right thing to teach modern children. And as for those who create the popular culture, well-grounded patriotism is no longer the style. Our spirit is back, but we haven’t reinstitutionalized it. We’ve got to do a better job of getting across that America is freedom—freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of enterprise. And freedom is special and rare. It’s fragile; it needs [protection]. So, we’ve got to teach history based not on what’s in fashion but what’s important—why the Pilgrims came here, who Jimmy Doolittle was, and what those 30 seconds over Tokyo meant. You know, 4 years ago on the 40th anniversary of D-Day, I read a letter from a young woman writing to her late father, who’d fought on Omaha Beach. Her name was Lisa Zanatta Henn, and she said, “We will always remember, we will never forget what the boys of Normandy did.” Well, let’s help her keep her word. If we forget what we did, we won’t know who we are. I’m warning of an eradication of the American memory that could result, ultimately, in an erosion of the American spirit. Let’s start with some basics: more attention to American history and a greater emphasis on civic ritual. And let me offer lesson number one about America: All great change in America begins at the dinner table. So, tomorrow night in the kitchen, I hope the talking begins. And children, if your parents haven’t been teaching you what it means to be an American, let ’em know and nail ’em on it. That would be a very American thing to do.1
Mark R. Levin (Plunder and Deceit: Big Government's Exploitation of Young People and the Future)
I didn’t get the time to tell you, or to hold you, or get there to holding you without any awkwardness. It breaks my heart, not a little but a lot, to see how things have turned out and once upon a time i would try to set them right, but now i know there is no point, in trying or in hoping, because it is how it is, and not much can be done, or should be done, but i still wanted to tell you, maybe one of these days I will, maybe I won’t but I wanted to tell you that I wanted those things with you. Meeting you for coffee on a rainy day, in a cafe somewhere between our homes. Spending the evening sitting by the sea, looking at the waves, listening to the noise and chaos of the city around us. Talking a walk with you in that park where we met the second time. Watching a movie with you. Having you over, coming over to yours. Going out to bars, birthday celebrations. Fighting sometimes, crazy loving the next. I wanted these things, and a few more. Oh god, i really wanted them with you.
Preeti Bhonsle
How long does it last?" Said the other customer, a man wearing a tan shirt with little straps that buttoned on top of the shoulders. He looked as if he were comparing all the pros and cons before shelling out $.99. You could see he thought he was pretty shrewd. "It lasts for as long as you live," the manager said slowly. There was a second of silence while we all thought about that. The man in the tan shirt drew his head back, tucking his chin into his neck. His mind was working like a house on fire "What about other people?" He asked. "The wife? The kids?" "They can use your membership as long as you're alive," the manager said, making the distinction clear. "Then what?" The man asked, louder. He was the type who said things like "you get what you pay for" and "there's one born every minute" and was considering every angle. He didn't want to get taken for a ride by his own death. "That's all," the manager said, waving his hands, palms down, like a football referee ruling an extra point no good. "Then they'd have to join for themselves or forfeit the privileges." "Well then, it makes sense," the man said, on top of the situation now, "for the youngest one to join. The one that's likely to live the longest." "I can't argue with that," said the manager. The man chewed his lip while he mentally reviewed his family. Who would go first. Who would survive the longest. He cast his eyes around to all the cassettes as if he'd see one that would answer his question. The woman had not gone away. She had brought along her signed agreement, the one that she paid $25 for. "What is this accident waiver clause?" She asked the manager. "Look," he said, now exhibiting his hands to show they were empty, nothing up his sleeve, "I live in the real world. I'm a small businessman, right? I have to protect my investment, don't I? What would happen if, and I'm not suggesting you'd do this, all right, but some people might, what would happen if you decided to watch one of my movies in the bathtub and a VCR you rented from me fell into the water?" The woman retreated a step. This thought had clearly not occurred to her before.
Michael Dorris (A Yellow Raft in Blue Water)
We have snacks, everybody!” “Where’d you get them from, Delaware?” Ben asked. He was glaring behind me, where Sage leaned casually against the wall. “Practically,” I said. “My fault-I was dying for Red Hots. Pretty much impossible to find. So what movie are we watching?” Back in the cave, Sage had told me I wasn’t much of an actress, and apparently he was right. I thought I put on a brilliant show, but Ben’s eyes were filled with suspicion, Rayna looked like she was ready to pounce, and Sage seemed to be working very hard to stifle his laughter. Rayna yawned. “Can’t do it. I’m so tired. I’m sorry, but I have to kick you guys out and get some sleep.” She wasn’t much better at acting than I was. I knew she wanted to talk, but the idea of being away from Sage killed me. “No worries,” I said. “I can bring he snacks to the guys’ room. We can watch there and let you sleep.” “Great!” Ben said. Rayna gaped, and in the space of ten seconds, she and I had a full conversation with only our eyes. Rayna: “What the hell?” Me: “I know! But I want to hang out with Sage.” Rayna: “Are you insane?! You’ll be with him for the rest of your life. I’m only with you until morning!” I couldn’t fight that one. She was right. “Actually, I’m pretty tired too,” I said. I even forced a yawn, though judging from Sage’s smirk, it wasn’t terribly convincing. “You sure?” Ben asked. He was staring at me in a way that made me feel X-rayed. “Positive. Take some snacks, though. I got dark chocolate M&Ms and Fritos.” “Sounds like a slumber party!” Rayna said. “Absolutely,” Sage deadpanned. “Look out, Ben-I do a mean French braid.” Ben paid no attention. He had moved closer and was looking at me suspiciously, like a dog whose owner comes from after playing with someone else’s pet. I almost thought he was going to smell me. “G’night,” he said. He had to brush past Sage to get to the door, but he didn’t say a word to him. Sage raised an amused eyebrow to me. “Good night, ladies,” he said, then turned and followed Ben out. It hurt to see him go, like someone had run an ice cream scoop through my core, but I knew that was melodramatic. I’d see him in the morning. We had our whole lives to be together. Tonight he could spend with Ben. I laughed out loud, imagining the two of them actually cheating, snacking, and French braiding each other’s hair as they sat cross-legged on the bed. Then a pillow smacked me in the side of the head. “’We can watch there and let you sleep’?” Rayna wailed. “Are you crazy?” “I know! I’m sorry. I took it back, though, right?” “You have two seconds to start talking, or I reload.” Before now, if anyone had told me that I could have a night like tonight and not want to tell Rayna everything, I’d have thought they were crazy. But being with Sage was different. It felt perfectly round and complete. If I said anything about it, I felt like I’d be giving away a giant scoop of it that I couldn’t ever get back. “It was really nice,” I said. “Thanks.” Rayna picked up another pillow, then let it drop. She wasn’t happy, but she understood. She also knew I wasn’t thanking her just for asking, but for everything. “Ready for bed?” she asked. “We have to eat the guys to breakfast so they don’t steal all the cinnamon rolls.” I loved her like crazy.
Hilary Duff (Elixir (Elixir, #1))
Steven’s words slush together as he gets to his feet. “Crossing this one off the bucket list.” Then he unbuckles his belt and grabs the waist of his pants—yanking the suckers down to his ankles—tighty whities and all. Every guy in the car holds up his hands to try to block the spectacle. We groan and complain. “My eyes! They burn!” “Put the boa constrictor back in his cage, man.” “This is not the ass I planned on seeing tonight.” Our protests fall on deaf ears. Steven is a man on a mission. Wordlessly, he squats and shoves his lilywhite ass out the window—mooning the gaggle of grannies in the car next to us. I bet you thought this kind of stuff only happened in movies. He grins while his ass blows in the wind for a good ninety seconds, ensuring optimal viewage. Then he pulls his slacks up, turns around, and leans out the window, laughing. “Enjoying the full moon, ladies?” Wow. Steven usually isn’t the type to visually assault the elderly. Without warning, his crazy cackling is cut off. He’s silent for a beat, then I hear him choke out a single strangled word. “Grandma?” Then he’s diving back into the limo, his face grayish, dazed, and totally sober. He stares at the floor. “No way that just happened.” Matthew and I look at each other hopefully, then we scramble to the window. Sure enough, in the driver’s seat of that big old Town Car is none other than Loretta P. Reinhart. Mom to George; Grandma to Steven. What are the fucking odds, huh? Loretta was always a cranky old bitch. No sense of humor. Even when I was a kid she hated me. Thought I was a bad influence on her precious grandchild. Don’t know where she got that idea from. She moved out to Arizona years ago. Like a lot of women her age, she still enjoys a good tug on the slot machine—hence her frequent trips to Sin City. Apparently this is one such trip. Matthew and I wave and smile and in fourth-grader-like, singsong harmony call out, “Hi, Mrs. Reinhart.” She shakes one wrinkled fist in our direction. Then her poofy-haired companion in the backseat flips us the bird. I’m pretty sure it’s the funniest goddamn thing I’ve ever seen. The two of us collapse back into our seats, laughing hysterically.
Emma Chase (Tied (Tangled, #4))
My mom worked as a hairdresser at the Village Mall in Horsham Township when I was a little kid. There was a movie theater in the mall that showed second-run features, and I have clear memories of being around five years old and walking through the mall by myself to go watch Star Wars. I believe I saw it in that theater twenty-one times. The research definitely began then. Actually, it began even earlier. Before I was born, my father conspired with my uncle to name me Wyatt, after Wyatt Earp. There was an election held by putting names into a hat, and whatever name was drawn would be the winner. Uncle Billy distracted the people in attendance while my dad rigged the hat so that every name inside read Wyatt. My mom was horrified at the result, but eventually uncovered their ruse. The research was really just me referring to things I already knew from the life I’ve lived. You either hear the music of the open range and a man with two six-shooters or you don’t. You either look out at the stars and wonder what lies beyond them or…I don’t know what you are…someone who loves Nicholas Sparks books.
Bernard Schaffer
In the elaborate con that is American electoral politics, the Republican voter has long been the easiest mark in the game, the biggest dope in the room. Everyone inside the Beltway knows this. The Republican voters themselves are the only ones who never saw it. Elections are about a lot of things, but at the highest level, they’re about money. The people who sponsor election campaigns, who pay the hundreds of millions of dollars to fund the candidates’ charter jets and TV ads and 25-piece marching bands, those people have concrete needs. They want tax breaks, federal contracts, regulatory relief, cheap financing, free security for shipping lanes, antitrust waivers and dozens of other things. They mostly don’t care about abortion or gay marriage or school vouchers or any of the social issues the rest of us spend our time arguing about. It’s about money for them, and as far as that goes, the CEO class has had a brilliantly winning electoral strategy for a generation. They donate heavily to both parties, essentially hiring two different sets of politicians to market their needs to the population. The Republicans give them everything that they want, while the Democrats only give them mostly everything. They get everything from the Republicans because you don’t have to make a single concession to a Republican voter. All you have to do to secure a Republican vote is show lots of pictures of gay people kissing or black kids with their pants pulled down or Mexican babies at an emergency room. Then you push forward some dingbat like Michele Bachmann or Sarah Palin to reassure everyone that the Republican Party knows who the real Americans are. Call it the “Rove 1-2.” That’s literally all it’s taken to secure decades of Republican votes, a few patriotic words and a little over-the-pants rubbing. Policywise, a typical Republican voter never even asks a politician to go to second base. While we always got free trade agreements and wars and bailouts and mass deregulation of industry and lots of other stuff the donors definitely wanted, we didn’t get Roe v. Wade overturned or prayer in schools or balanced budgets or censorship of movies and video games or any of a dozen other things Republican voters said they wanted.
Matt Taibbi (Insane Clown President: Dispatches from the 2016 Circus)
Many potential readers will skip the shopping cart or cash-out clerk because they have seen so many disasters reported in the news that they’ve acquired a panic mentality when they think of them. “Disasters scare me to death!” they cry. “I don’t want to read about them!” But really, how can a picture hurt you? Better that each serve as a Hallmark card that greets your fitful fevers with reason and uncurtains your valor. Then, so gospeled, you may see that defeating a disaster is as innocently easy as deciding to go out to dinner. Remove the dread that bars your doors of perception, and you will enjoy a banquet of treats that will make the difference between suffering and safety. You will enter a brave new world that will erase your panic, and release you from the grip of terror, and relieve you of the deadening effects of indifference —and you will find that switch of initiative that will energize your intelligence, empower your imagination, and rouse your sense of vigilance in ways that will tilt the odds of danger from being forever against you to being always in your favor. Indeed, just thinking about a disaster is one of the best things you can do —because it allows you to imagine how you would respond in a way that is free of pain and destruction. Another reason why disasters seem so scary is that many victims tend to see them as a whole rather than divide them into much smaller and more manageable problems. A disaster can seem overwhelming when confronted with everything at once —but if you dice it into its tiny parts and knock them off one at a time, the whole thing can seem as easy as eating a lavish dinner one bite at a time. In a disaster you must also plan for disruption as well as destruction. Death and damage may make the news, but in almost every disaster far more lives are disrupted than destroyed. Wit­ness the tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri, in May 2011 and killed 158 people. The path of death and destruction was less than a mile wide and only 22 miles long —but within thirty miles 160,000 citizens whose property didn’t suffer a dime of damage were profoundly disrupted by the carnage, loss of power and water, suspension of civic services, and inability to buy food, gas, and other necessities. You may rightfully believe your chances of dying in a disaster in your lifetime may be nearly nil, but the chances of your life being disrupted by a disaster in the next decade is nearly a sure thing. Not only should you prepare for disasters, you should learn to premeditate them. Prepare concerns the body; premeditate concerns the mind. Everywhere you go, think what could happen and how you might/could/would/should respond. Use your imagination. Fill your brain with these visualizations —run mind-movies in your head —develop a repertoire —until when you walk into a building/room/situation you’ll automatically know what to do. If a disaster does ambush you —sure you’re apt to panic, but in seconds your memory will load the proper video into your mobile disk drive and you’ll feel like you’re watching a scary movie for the second time and you’ll know what to expect and how to react. That’s why this book is important: its manner of vivifying disasters kickstarts and streamlines your acquiring these premeditations, which lays the foundation for satisfying your needs when a disaster catches you by surprise.
Robert Brown Butler (Architecture Laid Bare!: In Shades of Green)
And then he's grabbing my hand, and pulling me into a storage room they use for art supplies. And he puts his finger to his lips, and the walls are filled with pads of paper and boxes of colored pencils and jars of paint, and I'm laughing and he shuts the door behind us and leans up against it to stop anyone coming in and like he's trying to get up his nerve now that he's started something, before we've ever gone to the dumplings and the movies— he leans in and kisses me. His lips are cold. The kiss is soft. He has gum in his mouth, and he stops, and giggles nervously, and takes it out and throws it in the trash can, and looks like he feels embarrassed to have kissed me with the gum, but I don't care, and so now I kiss him, and he's tall enough that he has to bend down to get to me, and I put my hand on his neck, which is smooth and warm, and we kiss for a minute in the storage room,and I want to run my hands up his shirt suddenly— but I don't. He pulls away for a second and touches my cheek. “I thought you'd never ask,” he whispers. “I thought I never would either,” I say, “but I did.” “Good job,” he says, and kisses me again.
E. Lockhart (Fly on the Wall: How One Girl Saw Everything)
One of the people in charge of props told me: “It’s not my job necessarily to make things look exactly as they were in real life. But I want [the movie] to look so authentic that when you see it, you’ll think it’s part of your own personal history. It will be your life to hold onto.” That attention to detail--and that care and dedication--moved me, and I did everything I could to help them. Still, I didn’t want to just put my memories in the mail or FedEx. To put me at ease, the studio offered to use a team of couriers so that the material would be in someone’s hands each step of the way. They sent a driver out one day. He was a big, hulking fellow who filled Chris’s office the way Chris would have. “I just have a few more things to pack up,” I told him. “If you could just wait a second.” “Sure.” Bubba came in, still wearing his jammies. “Hey,” he said to the guy. “You play darts?” “Uh--“ By now Bubba was so used to people dropping by and playing with him that he didn’t even need to ask who they were. He’d also become pretty good at darts. I wrapped up quickly, sparing the poor fellow the humiliation of losing to a kid whose voice wouldn’t change for several more years.
Taya Kyle (American Wife: Love, War, Faith, and Renewal)
The first movie star I met was Norma Shearer. I was eight years old at the time and going to school with Irving Thalberg Jr. His father, the longtime production chief at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, devoted a large part of his creative life to making Norma a star, and he succeeded splendidly. Unfortunately, Thalberg had died suddenly in 1936, and his wife's career had begun to slowly deflate. Just like kids everywhere else, Hollywood kids had playdates at each other's houses, and one day I went to the Thalberg house in Santa Monica, where Irving Sr. had died eighteen months before. Norma was in bed, where, I was given to understand, she spent quite a bit of time so that on those occasions when she worked or went out in public she would look as rested as possible. She was making Marie Antoinette at the time, and to see her in the flesh was overwhelming. She very kindly autographed a picture for me, which I still have: "To Cadet Wagner, with my very best wishes. Norma Shearer." Years later I would be with her and Martin Arrouge, her second husband, at Sun Valley. No matter who the nominal hostess was, Norma was always the queen, and no matter what time the party was to begin, Norma was always late, because she would sit for hours—hours!—to do her makeup, then make the grand entrance. She was always and forever the star. She had to be that way, really, because she became a star by force of will—hers and Thalberg's. Better-looking on the screen than in life, Norma Shearer was certainly not a beauty on the level of Paulette Goddard, who didn't need makeup, didn't need anything. Paulette could simply toss her hair and walk out the front door, and strong men grew weak in the knees. Norma found the perfect husband in Martin. He was a lovely man, a really fine athlete—Martin was a superb skier—and totally devoted to her. In the circles they moved in, there were always backbiting comments when a woman married a younger man—" the stud ski instructor," that sort of thing. But Martin, who was twelve years younger than Norma and was indeed a ski instructor, never acknowledged any of that and was a thorough gentleman all his life. He had a superficial facial resemblance to Irving Thalberg, but Thalberg had a rheumatic heart and was a thin, nonathletic kind of man—intellectually vital, but physically weak. Martin was just the opposite—strong and virile, with a high energy level. Coming after years of being married to Thalberg and having to worry about his health, Martin must have been a delicious change for Norma.
Robert J. Wagner (Pieces of My Heart: A Life)
Chapter 20 we will explore in far greater depth how to avoid brainwashing and how to distinguish reality from fiction. Here I would like to offer two simple rules of thumb. First, if you want reliable information, pay good money for it. If you get your news for free, you might well be the product. Suppose a shady billionaire offered you the following deal: “I will pay you $30 a month, and in exchange you will allow me to brainwash you for an hour every day, installing in your mind whichever political and commercial biases I want.” Would you take the deal? Few sane people would. So the shady billionaire offers a slightly different deal: “You will allow me to brainwash you for one hour every day, and in exchange, I will not charge you anything for this service.” Now the deal suddenly sounds tempting to hundreds of millions of people. Don’t follow their example. The second rule of thumb is that if some issue seems exceptionally important to you, make the effort to read the relevant scientific literature. And by scientific literature I mean peer-reviewed articles, books published by well-known academic publishers, and the writings of professors from reputable institutions. Science obviously has its limitations, and it has gotten many things wrong in the past. Nevertheless, the scientific community has been our most reliable source of knowledge for centuries. If you think the scientific community is wrong about something, that’s certainly possible, but at least know the scientific theories you are rejecting, and provide some empirical evidence to support your claim. Scientists, for their part, need to be far more engaged with current public debates. Scientists should not be afraid of making their voices heard when the debate wanders into their field of expertise, be it medicine or history. Of course, it is extremely important to go on doing academic research and to publish the results in scientific journals that only a few experts read. But it is equally important to communicate the latest scientific theories to the general public through popular science books, and even through the skillful use of art and fiction. Does that mean scientists should start writing science fiction? That is actually not such a bad idea. Art plays a key role in shaping people’s views of the world, and in the twenty-first century science fiction is arguably the most important genre of all, for it shapes how most people understand things such as AI, bioengineering, and climate change. We certainly need good science, but from a political perspective, a good science-fiction movie is worth far more than an article in Science or Nature.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
We can all be "sad" or "blue" at times in our lives. We have all seen movies about the madman and his crime spree, with the underlying cause of mental illness. We sometimes even make jokes about people being crazy or nuts, even though we know that we shouldn't. We have all had some exposure to mental illness, but do we really understand it or know what it is? Many of our preconceptions are incorrect. A mental illness can be defined as a health condition that changes a person's thinking, feelings, or behavior (or all three) and that causes the person distress and difficulty in functioning. As with many diseases, mental illness is severe in some cases and mild in others. Individuals who have a mental illness don't necessarily look like they are sick, especially if their illness is mild. Other individuals may show more explicit symptoms such as confusion, agitation, or withdrawal. There are many different mental illnesses, including depression, schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Each illness alters a person's thoughts, feelings, and/or behaviors in distinct ways. But in all this struggles, Consummo Plus has proven to be the most effective herbal way of treating mental illness no matter the root cause. The treatment will be in three stages. First is activating detoxification, which includes flushing any insoluble toxins from the body. The medicine and the supplement then proceed to activate all cells in the body, it receives signals from the brain and goes to repair very damaged cells, tissues, or organs of the body wherever such is found. The second treatment comes in liquid form, tackles the psychological aspect including hallucination, paranoia, hearing voices, depression, fear, persecutory delusion, or religious delusion. The supplement also tackles the Behavioral, Mood, and Cognitive aspects including aggression or anger, thought disorder, self-harm, or lack of restraint, anxiety, apathy, fatigue, feeling detached, false belief of superiority or inferiority, and amnesia. The third treatment is called mental restorer, and this consists of the spiritual brain restorer, a system of healing which “assumes the presence of a supernatural power to restore the natural brain order. With this approach, you will get back your loving boyfriend and he will live a better and fulfilled life, like realize his full potential, work productively, make a meaningful contribution to his community, and handle all the stress that comes with life. It will give him a new lease of life, a new strength, and new vigor. The Healing & Recovery process is Gradual, Comprehensive, Holistic, and very Effective. www . curetoschizophrenia . blogspot . com E-mail: rodwenhill@gmail. com
Justin Rodwen Hill
RICHARD FEYNMAN LETTER TO ARLINE FEYNMAN, 1946 Richard Feynman (1918–1988) shared the 1965 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on quantum electrodynamics. Unrivaled in his generation for his brilliance and innovation, he was also known for being witty, warm, and unconventional. Those last three qualities were particularly evident in this letter, which he wrote to his wife Arline nearly two years after her death from tuberculosis. Feynman and Arline had been high school sweethearts and married in their twenties. Feynman’s second marriage, in 1952, ended in divorce two years later. His third marriage, in 1960, lasted until his death. D’Arline, I adore you, sweetheart. I know how much you like to hear that—but I don’t only write it because you like it—I write it because it makes me warm all over inside to write it to you. It is such a terribly long time since I last wrote to you—almost two years but I know you’ll excuse me because you understand how I am, stubborn and realistic; & I thought there was no sense to writing. But now I know my darling wife that it is right to do what I have delayed in doing, and that I have done so much in the past. I want to tell you I love you. I want to love you. I always will love you. I find it hard to understand in my mind what it means to love you after you are dead—but I still want to comfort and take care of you—and I want you to love me and care for me. I want to have problems to discuss with you—I want to do little projects with you. I never thought until just now that we can do that together. What should we do. We started to learn to make clothes together—or learn Chinese—or getting a movie projector. Can’t I do something now. No. I am alone without you and you were the “idea-woman” and general instigator of all our wild adventures. When you were sick you worried because you could not give me something that you wanted to & thought I needed. You needn’t have worried. Just as I told you then there was no real need because I loved you in so many ways so much. And now it is clearly even more true—you can give me nothing now yet I love you so that you stand in my way of loving anyone else—but I want you to stand there. You, dead, are so much better than anyone else alive. I know you will assure me that I am foolish & that you want me to have full happiness & don’t want to be in my way. I’ll bet you are surprised that I don’t even have a girl friend (except you, sweetheart) after two years. But you can’t help it, darling, nor can I—I don’t understand it, for I have met many girls & very nice ones and I don’t want to remain alone—but in two or three meetings they all seem ashes. You only are left to me. You are real. My darling wife, I do adore you. I love my wife. My wife is dead. Rich. P.S. Please excuse my not mailing this—but I don’t know your new address.
Lisa Grunwald (The Marriage Book: Centuries of Advice, Inspiration, and Cautionary Tales from Adam and Eve to Zoloft)
Galveston?” he asked in that amazing voice, still surprising me by keeping our conversation going. “Yeah. Staying at a beach house and everything. Totally slumming it and having a miserable time, you know?” I gave him a real smile that time. Rip just raised his brows. “I promised her I would go visit, and she promised she would come up too... What’s that face for?” I surprised myself by laughing. “I don’t believe it either. I’ll get lucky if she comes once. I’m not that delusional.” I didn’t imagine the way his cheek twitched again, just a little, just enough to keep the smile on my face. “I’m stuck making my own lunches from now on. I have nobody to watch scary movies with who’s more dramatic than I am screaming at the scary parts. And my house is empty,” I told him, going on a roll. “Your lunches?” was what he picked up on. I wasn’t sure how much he’d had to drink that he was asking me so many questions, but I wasn’t going to complain. “I can’t cook to save my life, boss. I thought everyone knew. Baking is the only thing I can handle.” “You serious?” he asked in a surprised tone. I nodded. “For real?” “Yeah,” I confirmed. “I can’t even make rice in an Instant Pot. It’s either way too dry or it’s mush.” Oh. “An Instant Pot is—” “I know what it is,” he cut me off. It was my turn to make a face, but mine was an impressed one. He knew what an Instant Pot was but not a rom-com. Okay. “Sorry.” He didn’t react to me trying to tease him, instead he asked, “You can’t even make rice in that?” “Nope.” “You know there’s instructions online.” Was he messing with me now? I couldn’t help but watch him a little. How much had he drunk already? “Yeah, I know.” “And you still screw it up?” I blinked, soaking up Chatty Cathy over here like a plant that hadn’t seen the sun in too long. “I wouldn’t say I screw it up. It’s more like… you either need to chew a little more or a little less.” It was his turn to blink. “It’s a surprise. I like to keep people on their toes.” If I hadn’t been guessing that he’d had a couple drinks before, what he did next would have confirmed it. His left cheek twitched. Then his right one did too, and in the single blink of an eye, Lucas Ripley was smiling at me. Straight white teeth. That not-thin but not-full mouth dark pink and pulled up at the edges. He even had a dimple. Rip had a freaking dimple. And I wanted to touch it to make sure it was real. I couldn’t help but think it was just about the cutest thing I had ever seen, even though I had zero business thinking anything along those lines. But I was smart enough to know that I couldn’t say a single word to mention it; otherwise, it might never come out again. What I did trust myself to do was gulp down half of my Sprite before saying, “You can make rice, I’m guessing?” If he wanted to talk, we could talk. I was good at talking. “Uh-huh,” he replied, sounding almost cocky about it. All I could get myself to do in response was grin at him, and for another five seconds, his dimple—and his smile—responded to me.
Mariana Zapata (Luna and the Lie)
Well, poetry—at least lyric poetry—tries to lead us to relocate ourselves in the self. But everything we want to do these days is an escape from self. People don’t want to sit home and think. They want to sit home and watch television. Or they want to go out and have fun. And having fun is not usually meditative. It doesn’t have anything to do with reassessing one’s experience and finding out who one is or who the other guy is. It has to do with burning energy. When you go to the movies, you’re overcome with special effects and monstrous goings-on. Things unfold with a rapidity that’s thrilling. You’re not given a second to contemplate the previous scene, to meditate on something that’s just happened—something else takes its place. We seem to want instant gratification. Violent movies give you instant gratification. And drugs give you instant gratification. Sporting events give you instant gratification. Prostitutes give you instant gratification. This is what we seem to like. But that which requires effort, that which reveals itself only in the long term, that which demands some learning, patience, or skill—and reading is a skill—there’s not enough time for that, it seems. We forget that there is a thrill that attends the slower pleasures, pleasures that become increasingly powerful the more time we spend pursuing them. SHAWN Maybe people avoid poetry because it somehow actively makes them nervous or anxious. STRAND They don’t want to feel the proximity of the unknown—or the mysterious. It’s too deathlike; it’s too threatening. It suggests the possibility of loss of control right around the corner.
Mark Strand
And then I saw him speak. Years later, after writing dozens upon dozens of presidential speeches, it would become impossible to listen to rhetoric without editing it in my head. On that historic Iowa evening, Obama began with a proclamation: “They said this day would never come.” Rereading those words today, I have questions. Who were “they,” exactly? Did they really say “never”? Because if they thought an antiwar candidate with a robust fund-raising operation could never win a divided three-way Democratic caucus, particularly with John Edwards eating into Hillary Clinton’s natural base of support among working-class whites, then they didn’t know what they were talking about. All this analysis would come later, though, along with stress-induced insomnia and an account at the Navy Mess. At the time, I was spellbound. The senator continued: “At this defining moment in history, you have done what the cynics said you couldn’t do.” He spoke like presidents in movies. He looked younger than my dad. I didn’t have time for a second thought, or even a first one. I simply believed. Barack Obama spoke for the next twelve minutes, and except for a brief moment when the landing gear popped out and I thought we were going to die, I was riveted. He told us we were one people. I nodded knowingly at the gentleman in the middle seat. He told us he would expand health care by bringing Democrats and Republicans together. I was certain it would happen as he described. He looked out at a sea of organizers and volunteers. “You did this,” he told them, “because you believed so deeply in the most American of ideas—that in the face of impossible odds, people who love this country can change it.
David Litt (Thanks, Obama: My Hopey, Changey White House Years)
Based on a 1934 play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, Merrily We Roll Along tells the story of three friends—Franklin Shepard, a composer; Charley Kringas, a playwright and lyricist; and Mary Flynn, a novelist—who meet in the enthusiasm of youth, when everything seems possible. The play traces what happens to their dreams and goals as time passes and they are faced with life’s surprises, travails, successes, and disappointments. The trick here is that the play moves chronologically backward. It begins on an evening in 1976 at a party for the opening of a movie Frank has produced. The movie is apparently a hit, but Frank’s personal life is a mess. His second wife, Gussie, formerly a Broadway star, was supposed to have starred in the movie but was deemed too old; she resents being in the shadows and suspects, correctly, that Frank is having an affair with the young actress who took over her part. Frank is estranged from his son from his first marriage. He is also estranged from Charley, his former writing partner—so estranged, in fact, that the very mention of his name brings the party to an uncomfortable standstill. Mary, unable to re-create the success of her one and only novel and suffering from a longtime unreciprocated love for Frank, has become a critic and a drunk; the disturbance she causes at the party results in a permanent break with Frank. The opening scene reaches its climax when Gussie throws iodine in the eyes of Frank’s mistress. The ensemble, commenting on the action much like the Greek chorus in Allegro, reprises the title song, asking, “How did you get to be here? / What was the moment?” (F 387). The play then moves backward in time as it looks for the turning points, the places where multiple possibilities morphed into narrative necessity.
Robert L. McLaughlin (Stephen Sondheim and the Reinvention of the American Musical)
What the hell do you want, Bettinger?” I asked, already bored of him. “I wanted to let you know I haven’t forgotten about what you did.” “What I did?” I kept my voice even, almost conversational. I lifted my eyebrows. “And what was that?” He stepped closer, a snarl marring his pretty-boy features. “Payback’s a bitch,” he said low. “Is that a threat?” All the muscles in my body tightened. My eyes narrowed on his face. Braeden appeared beside me, planting his feet into the floor and mirroring my position. His arms folded across his chest as he glared at Zach. But he spoke to me. “What’s going on, Rome? Trouble in the neighborhood?” “Nothing I can’t handle.” I stared directly into Zach’s eyes when I replied. “I don’t make threats,” Zach replied, looking back at me. “I make promises.” I couldn’t help it. I grinned. “What the fuck is this?” I asked. “Some cheesy after school movie?” A couple snickers floated through the store around us, and Zach stiffened. “Get the hell out of here, man,” Braeden said. “Before you embarrass yourself more.” After another long, charged stare from Zach, he turned. “See ya later, Rimmel,” Zach called, making the muscles between my shoulder blades squeeze together. Braeden put a hand in the center of my chest like he knew I was seconds away from grabbing that bastard by the scruff of his neck and face-planting him into the closest hard surface. “Forget him,” Braeden said low. I grunted and turned back to Rimmel. She gave me and then Braeden a withering look. “What the hell was that all about?” Braeden whistled under his breath. “Tutor girl gets pissy.” Rimmel narrowed her eyes. Braeden spoke quickly. “Gotta jet. Hot girl is holding my place in line.” He slapped me on the shoulder and left. “Coward,” I muttered after him, and he laughed.
Cambria Hebert (#Hater (Hashtag, #2))
This is the part of the book where the author usually sums it all up in a conclusion chapter and announces, “I did it!” I suppose I could have titled it “The Finale,” but that’s just not me. I don’t think you ever reach a point in life (or in writing!) where you get to say that. It ain’t over till it’s over. I want to be an eternal student, always pushing myself to learn more, fear less, fight harder. What lies in the future? Truthfully, I don’t know. For some people, that’s a scary thought. They like their life mapped out and scheduled down to the second. Not me. Not anymore. I take comfort in knowing not everything is definite. There’s where you find the excitement, in the unknown, uncharted, spaces. If I take the lead in my life, I expect that things will keep changing, progressing, moving. That’s the joy for me. Where will I go next? What doors will open? What doors will close? All I can tell you is that I will be performing and connecting with people--be it through dance, movies, music, or speaking. I want to inspire and create. I love the phrase “I’m created to create.” That’s what I feel like, and that’s what makes me the happiest. I’m building a house right now--my own extreme home makeover. I love the process of tearing something down and rebuilding it, creating something from nothing and bringing my artistic vision to it. I will always be someone who likes getting his hands dirty. But the blueprint of my life has completely changed from the time I was a little boy dreaming about fame. It’s broadened and widened. I want variety in my life; I like my days filled with new and different things. I love exploring the world, meeting new people, learning new crafts and art. It’s why you might often read what I’m up to and scratch your head: “I didn’t know Derek did that.” I probably didn’t before, but I do now.
Derek Hough (Taking the Lead: Lessons from a Life in Motion)
The same song was playing the second I met my ex–best friend and the moment I realized I’d lost her. I met my best friend at a neighborhood cookout the year we would both turn twelve. It was one of those hot Brooklyn afternoons that always made me feel like I'd stepped out of my life and onto a movie set because the hydrants were open, splashing water all over the hot asphalt. There wasn't a cloud in the flawless blue sky. And pretty black and brown people were everywhere. I was crying. ‘What a Wonderful World’ was playing through a speaker someone had brought with them to the park, and it reminded me too much of my Granny Georgina. I was cupping the last snow globe she’d ever given me in my small, sweaty hands and despite the heat, I couldn’t help imagining myself inside the tiny, perfect, snow-filled world. I was telling myself a story about what it might be like to live in London, a place that was unimaginably far and sitting in the palm of my hands all at once. But it wasn't working. When Gigi had told me stories, they'd felt like miracles. But she was gone and I didn't know if I'd ever be okay again. I heard a small voice behind me, asking if I was okay. I had noticed a girl watching me, but it took her a long time to come over, and even longer to say anything. She asked the question quietly. I had never met anyone who…spoke the way that she did, and I thought that her speech might have been why she waited so long to speak to me. While I expected her to say ‘What’s wrong?’—a question I didn’t want to have to answer—she asked ‘What are you doing?’ instead, and I was glad. “I was kind of a weird kid, so when I answered, I said ‘Spinning stories,’ calling it what Gigi had always called it when I got lost in my own head, but my voice cracked on the phrase and another tear slipped down my cheek. To this day I don’t know why I picked that moment to be so honest. Usually when kids I didn't know came up to me, I clamped my mouth shut like the heavy cover of an old book falling closed. Because time and taught me that kids weren't kind to girls like me: Girls who were dreamy and moony-eyed and a little too nice. Girls who wore rose-tonted glasses. And actual, really thick glasses. Girls who thought the world was beautiful, and who read too many books, and who never saw cruelty coming. But something about this girl felt safe. Something about the way she was smiling as she stuttered out the question helped me know I needn't bother with being shy, because she was being so brave. I thought that maybe kids weren't nice to girls like her either. The cookout was crowded, and none of the other kids were talking to me because, like I said, I was the neighborhood weirdo. I carried around snow globesbecause I was in love with every place I’d never been. I often recited Shakespeare from memory because of my dad, who is a librarian. I lost myself in books because they were friends who never letme down, and I didn’t hide enough of myself the way everyone else did, so people didn’t ‘get’ me. I was lonely a lot. Unless I was with my Gigi. The girl, she asked me if it was making me feel better, spinning the stories. And I shook my head. Before I could say what I was thinking—a line from Hamlet about sorrow coming in battalions that would have surely killed any potential I had of making friends with her. The girl tossed her wavy black hair over her shoulder and grinned. She closed her eyes and said 'Music helps me. And I love this song.' When she started singing, her voice was so unexpected—so bright and clear—that I stopped crying and stared at her. She told me her name and hooked her arm through mine like we’d known each other forever, and when the next song started, she pulled me up and we spun in a slow circle together until we were both dizzy and giggling.
Ashley Woodfolk (When You Were Everything)
So what did you and Landon do this afternoon?” Minka asked, her soft voice dragging him back to the present. Angelo looked up to see that Minka had already polished off two fajitas. Damn, the girl could eat. “Landon gave me a tour of the DCO complex. I did some target shooting and blew up a few things. He even let me play with the expensive surveillance toys. I swear, it felt more like a recruiting pitch to get me to work there than anything.” Minka’s eyes flashed green, her full lips curving slightly. Damn, why the hell had he said it like that? Now she probably thought he was going to come work for the DCO. Even if he wanted to, he couldn’t, not after just reenlisting for another five years. The army wasn’t the kind of job where you could walk into the boss’s office and say, “I quit.” Thinking it would be a good idea to steer the conversation back to safer ground, he reached for another fajita and asked Minka a question instead. “What do you think you’ll work on next with Ivy and Tanner? You going to practice with the claws for a while or move on to something else?” Angelo felt a little crappy about changing the subject, but if Minka noticed, she didn’t seem to mind. And it wasn’t like he had to fake interest in what she was saying. Anything that involved Minka was important to him. Besides, he didn’t know much about shifters or hybrids, so the whole thing was pretty damn fascinating. “What do you visualize when you see the beast in your mind?” he asked. “Before today, I thought of it as a giant, blurry monster. But after learning that the beast is a cat, that’s how I picture it now.” She smiled. “Not a little house cat, of course. They aren’t scary enough. More like a big cat that roams the mountains.” “Makes sense,” he said. Minka set the other half of her fourth fajita on her plate and gave him a curious look. “Would you mind if I ask you a personal question?” His mouth twitched as he prepared another fajita. He wasn’t used to Minka being so reserved. She usually said whatever was on her mind, regardless of whether it was personal or not. “Go ahead,” he said. “The first time we met, I had claws, fangs, glowing red eyes, and I tried to kill you. Since then, I’ve spent most of the time telling you about an imaginary creature that lives inside my head and makes me act like a monster. How are you so calm about that? Most people would have run away already.” Angelo chuckled. Not exactly the personal question he’d expected, but then again Minka rarely did the expected. “Well, my mom was full-blooded Cherokee, and I grew up around all kinds of Indian folktales and legends. My dad was in the army, and whenever he was deployed, Mom would take my sisters and me back to the reservation where she grew up in Oklahoma. I’d stay up half the night listening to the old men tell stories about shape-shifters, animal spirits, skin-walkers, and trickster spirits.” He grinned. “I’m not saying I necessarily believed in all that stuff back then, but after meeting Ivy, Tanner, and the other shifters at the DCO, it just didn’t faze me that much.” Minka looked at him with wide eyes. “You’re a real American Indian? Like in the movies? With horses and everything?” He laughed again. The expression of wonder on her face was adorable. “First, I’m only half-Indian. My dad is Mexican, so there’s that. And second, Native Americans are almost nothing like you see in the movies. We don’t all live in tepees and ride horses. In fact, I don’t even own a horse.” Minka was a little disappointed about the no-horse thing, but she was fascinated with what it was like growing up on an Indian reservation and being surrounded by all those legends. She immediately asked him to tell her some Indian stories. It had been a long time since he’d thought about them, but to make her happy, he dug through his head and tried to remember every tale he’d heard as a kid.
Paige Tyler (Her Fierce Warrior (X-Ops, #4))
a young Goldman Sachs banker named Joseph Park was sitting in his apartment, frustrated at the effort required to get access to entertainment. Why should he trek all the way to Blockbuster to rent a movie? He should just be able to open a website, pick out a movie, and have it delivered to his door. Despite raising around $250 million, Kozmo, the company Park founded, went bankrupt in 2001. His biggest mistake was making a brash promise for one-hour delivery of virtually anything, and investing in building national operations to support growth that never happened. One study of over three thousand startups indicates that roughly three out of every four fail because of premature scaling—making investments that the market isn’t yet ready to support. Had Park proceeded more slowly, he might have noticed that with the current technology available, one-hour delivery was an impractical and low-margin business. There was, however, a tremendous demand for online movie rentals. Netflix was just then getting off the ground, and Kozmo might have been able to compete in the area of mail-order rentals and then online movie streaming. Later, he might have been able to capitalize on technological changes that made it possible for Instacart to build a logistics operation that made one-hour grocery delivery scalable and profitable. Since the market is more defined when settlers enter, they can focus on providing superior quality instead of deliberating about what to offer in the first place. “Wouldn’t you rather be second or third and see how the guy in first did, and then . . . improve it?” Malcolm Gladwell asked in an interview. “When ideas get really complicated, and when the world gets complicated, it’s foolish to think the person who’s first can work it all out,” Gladwell remarked. “Most good things, it takes a long time to figure them out.”* Second, there’s reason to believe that the kinds of people who choose to be late movers may be better suited to succeed. Risk seekers are drawn to being first, and they’re prone to making impulsive decisions. Meanwhile, more risk-averse entrepreneurs watch from the sidelines, waiting for the right opportunity and balancing their risk portfolios before entering. In a study of software startups, strategy researchers Elizabeth Pontikes and William Barnett find that when entrepreneurs rush to follow the crowd into hyped markets, their startups are less likely to survive and grow. When entrepreneurs wait for the market to cool down, they have higher odds of success: “Nonconformists . . . that buck the trend are most likely to stay in the market, receive funding, and ultimately go public.” Third, along with being less recklessly ambitious, settlers can improve upon competitors’ technology to make products better. When you’re the first to market, you have to make all the mistakes yourself. Meanwhile, settlers can watch and learn from your errors. “Moving first is a tactic, not a goal,” Peter Thiel writes in Zero to One; “being the first mover doesn’t do you any good if someone else comes along and unseats you.” Fourth, whereas pioneers tend to get stuck in their early offerings, settlers can observe market changes and shifting consumer tastes and adjust accordingly. In a study of the U.S. automobile industry over nearly a century, pioneers had lower survival rates because they struggled to establish legitimacy, developed routines that didn’t fit the market, and became obsolete as consumer needs clarified. Settlers also have the luxury of waiting for the market to be ready. When Warby Parker launched, e-commerce companies had been thriving for more than a decade, though other companies had tried selling glasses online with little success. “There’s no way it would have worked before,” Neil Blumenthal tells me. “We had to wait for Amazon, Zappos, and Blue Nile to get people comfortable buying products they typically wouldn’t order online.
Adam M. Grant (Originals: How Nonconformists Move the World)
Finally, he looked sideways at Vaughn. “So. I guess this is probably a good time to mention that Isabelle is pregnant.” That got a small chuckle out of Vaughn. “I kind of figured that already. I’ve had my suspicions for a few weeks.” Simon nodded. “Isabelle wondered if you knew.” “You could’ve told me, Simon,” Vaughn said, not unkindly. “I get why you might not want Mom to know yet, but why not talk to me about it?” Simon leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees. “I guess I didn’t think you’d understand.” “I wouldn’t understand that you want to marry the woman who’s pregnant with your child? I think that’s a concept I can grasp.” “See, that’s just it.” Simon gestured emphatically. “I knew that’s how you would see it. That I’m marrying Isabelle because I got her pregnant. And I don’t want you, or Mom, or anyone else to think about Isabelle that way—that she’s the woman I had to marry, because it was the right thing to do. Because the truth is, I knew I wanted to marry Isabelle on our second date. She invited me up to her apartment that night, and I saw that she had the entire James Bond collection on Blu-ray. Naturally, being the Bond aficionado that I am, I threw out a little test question for her: ‘Who’s the best Bond?’” Vaughn scoffed. “Like there’s more than one possible answer to that.” “Exactly. Sean Connery’s a no-brainer, right? But get this—she says Daniel Craig.” Simon caught Vaughn’s horrified expression. “I know, right? So I’m thinking the date is over because clearly she’s either crazy or has seriously questionable taste, but then she starts going on and on about how Casino Royale is the first movie where Bond is touchable and human, and then we get into this big debate that lasts for nearly an hour. And as I’m sitting there on her couch, I keep thinking that I don’t know a single other person who would relentlessly argue, for an hour, that Daniel Craig is a better Bond than Sean Connery. She pulled out the DVDs and showed me movie clips and everything.” He smiled, as if remembering the moment. “And somewhere in there, it hit me. I thought to myself, I’m going to marry this woman.
Julie James (It Happened One Wedding (FBI/US Attorney, #5))
If we are absorbed in a movie it may seem at first that the screen lies behind the image. Likewise, if we are so captivated by experience that we overlook the simple experience of being aware or awareness itself, we may first locate it in the background of experience. In this first step, being aware or awareness itself is recognised as the subjective witness of all objective experience. Looking more closely we see that the screen is not just in the background of the image but entirely pervades it. Likewise, all experience is permeated with the knowing with which it is known. It is saturated with the experience of being aware or awareness itself. There is no part of a thought, feeling, sensation or perception that is not infused with the knowing of it. This second realisation collapses, at least to a degree, the distinction between awareness and its objects. In the third step, we understand that it is not even legitimate to claim that knowing, being aware or awareness itself pervades all experience, as if experience were one thing and awareness another. Just as the screen is all there is to an image, so pure knowing, being aware or awareness itself is all there is to experience. All there is to a thought is thinking, and all there is to thinking is knowing. All there is to an emotion is feeling, and all there is to feeling is knowing. All there is to a sensation is sensing, and all there is to sensing is knowing. All there is to a perception is perceiving, and all there is to perceiving is knowing. Thus, all there is to experience is knowing, and it is knowing that knows this knowing. Being all alone, with nothing in itself other than itself with which it could be limited or divided, knowing or pure awareness is whole, perfect, complete, indivisible and without limits. This absence of duality, separation or otherness is the experience of love or beauty, in which any distinction between a self and an object, other or world has dissolved. Thus, love and beauty are the nature of awareness. In the familiar experience of love or beauty, awareness is tasting its own eternal, infinite reality. It is in this context that the painter Paul Cézanne said that art gives us the ‘taste of nature’s eternity’.
Rupert Spira (Being Aware of Being Aware)
THE IRIS OF THE EYE WAS TOO BIG TO HAVE BEEN FABRICATED AS A single rigid object. It had been built, beginning about nine hundred years ago, out of links that had been joined together into a chain; the two ends of the chain then connected to form a loop. The method would have seemed familiar to Rhys Aitken, who had used something like it to construct Izzy’s T3 torus. For him, or anyone else versed in the technological history of Old Earth, an equally useful metaphor would have been that it was a train, 157 kilometers long, made of 720 giant cars, with the nose of the locomotive joined to the tail of the caboose so that it formed a circular construct 50 kilometers in diameter. An even better analogy would have been to a roller coaster, since its purpose was to run loop-the-loops forever. The “track” on which the “train” ran was a circular groove in the iron frame of the Eye, lined with the sensors and magnets needed to supply electrodynamic suspension, so that the whole thing could spin without actually touching the Eye’s stationary frame. This was an essential design requirement given that the Great Chain had to move with a velocity of about five hundred meters per second in order to supply Earth-normal gravity to its inhabitants. Each of the links had approximately the footprint of a Manhattan city block on Old Earth. And their total number of 720 was loosely comparable to the number of such blocks that had once existed in the gridded part of Manhattan, depending on where you drew the boundaries—it was bigger than Midtown but smaller than Manhattan as a whole. Residents of the Great Chain were acutely aware of the comparison, to the point where they were mocked for having a “Manhattan complex” by residents of other habitats. They were forever freeze-framing Old Earth movies or zooming around in virtual-reality simulations of pre-Zero New York for clues as to how street and apartment living had worked in those days. They had taken as their patron saint Luisa, the eighth survivor on Cleft, a Manhattanite who had been too old to found her own race. Implicit in that was that the Great Chain—the GC, Chaintown, Chainhattan—was a place that people might move to when they wanted to separate themselves from the social environments of their home habitats, or indeed of their own races. Mixed-race people were more common there than anywhere else.
Neal Stephenson (Seveneves)
Knightmare. Breezeo’s archenemy. Where Breezeo is light, a breath of fresh air, the nice breeze on a warm summer day, Knightmare is the storm that rolls in and takes it all away. Darkness, thick and suffocating, the shadows you can’t escape in the night in back alleyways. Black leather framed with dark armor, head to toe, from the combat boots the whole way up to the oversized black hood with a metal mask covering part of the face, rendering him unrecognizable. I’ve always been envious of the costume. Beats the damn pseudo-spandex, that’s for sure. “I, uh, wow.” Kennedy stands in the doorway of her apartment with a look of awe as her eyes scan the costume. “That’s just… wow.” “Wow, huh?” I glance down. “Good or bad?” “It’s just, uh, you know…” “Wow?” I guess. She nods, fighting off a smile. “Wow.” I smirk. “It’s the original.” “Seriously?” “Straight from the second movie,” I say, touching an armored chest plate with a fingerless glove-clad hand. “Well, except for these gloves. The real ones wouldn’t fit because of the cast, so I had to improvise.” “It’s, uh…” “Wow?” “Nice,” she says, touching the costume, fingertips grazing the armor. “Kind of weird seeing you like this, but still, it’s nice.” “Thanks,” I say as she steps aside for me to come in the apartment. “I talked them into letting me borrow it. Might not give it back, though. I’m kind of enjoying it.” “You should keep it,” she says, her eyes still scanning me as she closes the door. “It’s, uh…” “Nice?” “Wow.” She smiles playfully as she walks away. “I need to finish getting ready for work. Maddie, you've got a visitor!” A moment after Kennedy disappears, Madison runs in. She skids to a stop when she spots me, eyes wide, mouth popping open. “Whoa.” I push the hood off, shoving the mask up, her expression changing when she sees it’s me, face lighting up. She runs right at me, slamming into me so hard I stumble. I laugh as she hugs me. “Hey, pretty girl.” She looks up at me. “You think I’m pretty?” “What? Of course.” I kneel next to her, grinning as I press a finger to the tip of her nose. “You look like your mom.” “You think Mommy’s pretty, too?” “I think she's the most beautiful woman in the world.” Her expression shifts rapidly when I say that before her eyes widen. “Even more beautifuler than Maryanne?” I lean closer, whispering, repeating her words. “Even more beautifuler than Maryanne.” “Whoa
J.M. Darhower (Ghosted)
I Can't Make You Love Me.' Bonnie Raitt." "Oh,Fiorella." I glared at him a little as I climbed down. "Was that delightful list for your benefit or mine?" Frankie grabbed my hand and, when I didn't pull away fast enough, tugged me onto his lap,where he wrapped his arms so tightly around me that I couldn't escape. Sometimes his strength still surprises me.He tickled my cheek with his nose. "Don't hate me just because I'm hateful." "I never do." Here's the thing. Frankie's taken a lot of hits in his life. He never stays down for long. "Excuse me!" The mannequin's evil twin was glaring down at us fro her sky-high bootie-heeled heights. Her NM badge told us her name was Victoria. "You cannot do that here!" she snapped. "Do what?" Frankie returned, matching lockjaw snooty for lockjaw snooty. She opened and closed her mouth, then hissed, "Canoodle!" I felt Frankie's hiccup of amusement. "Were we canoodling, snookums?" he asked me. "I rather thought we were about to copulate like bunnies." I couldn't help it; I laughed out loud. Victoria's mouth thinned into a pale line. The whole thing might have ended with our being escorted out the store's hallowed doors by security. Sadie, as she so often did, momentarily saved us from ourselves. She stomped out of the dressing room and planted herself in front of us. Ignoring the angry salesgirl completely, she muttered, "I look like a carved pumpkin!" Frankie took in the skirt, layered shirts, and jacket. "You do not, but I might have been having an overly Michael Kors moment. This will not do for a date.Take it off." He nudged me, then added, "Right here.Every last stitch of it." As soon as Sadie was back in her own clothing and coat-which got an unwilling frown of respect from Victoria; apparently even Neiman Maruc doesn't carry that line-we moved on. Sadie did better in Frankie's second choice-a lip-printed sweater dress from Betsey Johnson,but wouldn't buy it. "We're just going to a movie!" she protested. "Besides,Jared's not...not..." She gestured down at her lippy hips. "He's practical and sensible and quiet." "Oh,my God!" Frankie slapped both palms to the side of his face,and turned to me. "Sadie has a date with a Prius!" He had to invoke the sanctity of Truth or Dare before he could even get her into Urban Outfitters. "Sometimes I love you less than other times," she grumbled as he filled her arms with his last choices. "No,you don't," he said cheerfully, and sent her off to change.
Melissa Jensen (The Fine Art of Truth or Dare)
I didn’t think we were being quiet, particularly. High heels may have looked dainty, but they didn’t sound that way on a tile floor. Maybe it was just that my dad was so absorbed in the convo on his cell phone. For whatever reason, when we emerged from the kitchen into the den, he started, and he stuffed the phone down by his side in the cushions. I was sorry I’d startled him, but it really was comical to see this big blond manly man jump three feet off the sofa when he saw two teenage girls. I mean, it would have been funny if it weren’t so sad. Dad was a ferocious lawyer in court. Out of court, he was one of those Big Man on Campus types who shook hands with everybody from the mayor to the alleged ax murderer. A lot like Sean, actually. There were only two things Dad was afraid of. First, he wigged out when anything in the house was misplaced. I won’t even go into all the arguments we’d had about my room being a mess. They’d ended when I told him it was my room, and if he didn’t stop bugging me about it, I would put kitchen utensils in the wrong drawers, maybe even hide some (cue horror movie music). No spoons for you! Second, he was easily startled, and very pissed off afterward. “Damn it, Lori!” he hollered. “It’s great to see you too, loving father. Lo, I have brought my friend Tammy to witness out domestic bliss. She’s on the tennis team with me.” Actually, I was on the tennis team with her. “Hello, Tammy. It’s nice to meet you,” Dad said without getting up or shaking her hand or anything else he would normally do. While the two of them recited a few more snippets of polite nonsense, I watched my dad. From the angle of his body, I could tell he was protecting that cell phone behind the cushions. I nodded toward the hiding place. “Hot date?” I was totally kidding. I didn’t expect him to say, “When?” So I said, “Ever.” And then I realized I’d brought up a subject that I didn’t want to bring up, especially not while I was busy being self-absorbed. I clapped my hands. “Okay, then! Tammy and I are going upstairs very loudly, and after a few minutes we will come back down, ringing a cowbell. Please continue with your top secret phone convo.” I turned and headed for the stairs. Tammy followed me. I thought Dad might order me back, send Tammy out, and give me one of those lectures about my attitude (who, me?). But obviously he was chatting with Pamela Anderson and couldn’t wait for me to leave the room. Behind us, I heard him say, “I’m so sorry. I’m still here. Lori came in. Oh, yeah? I’d like to see you try.” “He seems jumpy,” Tammy whispered on the stairs. “Always,” I said. “Do you have a lot of explosions around your house?” I glanced at my watch. “Not this early.
Jennifer Echols (Endless Summer (The Boys Next Door, #1-2))
I got your flowers. They’re beautiful, thank you.” A gorgeous riot of Gerber daisies and lilies in a rainbow of reds, pinks, yellows and oranges. “Welcome. Bet Duncan loved sending one of his guys out to pick them up for me.” She could hear the smile in his voice, imagined the devilish twinkle in his eyes. “Oh, he did. Said it’s probably the first time in the history of WITSEC that a U.S. Marshal delivered flowers to one of their witnesses.” A low chuckle. “Well, this was a special circumstance, so they helped me out.” “I loved the card you sent with them the best though.” Proud of you. Give ‘em hell tomorrow. He’d signed it Nathan rather than Nate, which had made her smile. “I had no idea you were romantic,” she continued. “All these interesting things I’m learning about you.” She hadn’t been able to wipe the silly smile off her face after one of the security team members had knocked on her door and handed them to her with a goofy smile and a, “special delivery”. “Baby, you haven’t seen anything yet. When the trial’s done you’re gonna get all the romance you can handle, and then some.” “Really?” Now that was something for a girl to look forward to, and it sure as hell did the trick in taking her mind off her worries. “Well I’m all intrigued, because it’s been forever since I was romanced. What do you have in mind? Candlelit dinners? Going to the movies? Long walks? Lazy afternoon picnics?” “Not gonna give away my hand this early on, but I’ll take those into consideration.” “And what’s the key to your heart, by the way? I mean, other than the thing I did to you this morning.” “What thing is that? Refresh my memory,” he said, a teasing note in his voice. She smiled, enjoying the light banter. It felt good to let her worry about tomorrow go and focus on what she had to look forward to when this was all done. Being with him again, seeing her family, getting back to her life. A life that would hopefully include Nathan in a romantic capacity. “Waking you up with my mouth.” He gave a low groan. “I loved every second of it. But think simpler.” Simpler than sex? For a guy like him? “Food, then. I bet you’re a sucker for a home-cooked meal. Am I right?” He chuckled. “That works too, but it’s still not the key.” “Then what?” “You.” She blinked, her heart squeezing at the conviction behind his answer. “Me?” “Yeah, just you. And maybe bacon,” he added, a smile in his voice. He was so freaking adorable. “So you’re saying if I made and served you a BLT, you’d be putty in my hands?” Seemed hard to imagine, but okay. A masculine rumble filled her ears. “God, yeah.” She couldn’t help the sappy smile that spread across her face. “Wow, you are easy. And I can definitely arrange that.” “I can hardly wait. Will you serve it to me naked? Or maybe wearing just a frilly little apron and heels?” She smothered a laugh, but a clear image of her doing just that popped into her head, serving him the sandwich in that sexy outfit while watching his eyes go all heated. “Depends on how good you are.” “Oh, baby, I’ll be so good to you, you have no idea.
Kaylea Cross (Avenged (Hostage Rescue Team #5))
We need to be humble enough to recognize that unforeseen things can and do happen that are nobody’s fault. A good example of this occurred during the making of Toy Story 2. Earlier, when I described the evolution of that movie, I explained that our decision to overhaul the film so late in the game led to a meltdown of our workforce. This meltdown was the big unexpected event, and our response to it became part of our mythology. But about ten months before the reboot was ordered, in the winter of 1998, we’d been hit with a series of three smaller, random events—the first of which would threaten the future of Pixar. To understand this first event, you need to know that we rely on Unix and Linux machines to store the thousands of computer files that comprise all the shots of any given film. And on those machines, there is a command—/bin/rm -r -f *—that removes everything on the file system as fast as it can. Hearing that, you can probably anticipate what’s coming: Somehow, by accident, someone used this command on the drives where the Toy Story 2 files were kept. Not just some of the files, either. All of the data that made up the pictures, from objects to backgrounds, from lighting to shading, was dumped out of the system. First, Woody’s hat disappeared. Then his boots. Then he disappeared entirely. One by one, the other characters began to vanish, too: Buzz, Mr. Potato Head, Hamm, Rex. Whole sequences—poof!—were deleted from the drive. Oren Jacobs, one of the lead technical directors on the movie, remembers watching this occur in real time. At first, he couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Then, he was frantically dialing the phone to reach systems. “Pull out the plug on the Toy Story 2 master machine!” he screamed. When the guy on the other end asked, sensibly, why, Oren screamed louder: “Please, God, just pull it out as fast as you can!” The systems guy moved quickly, but still, two years of work—90 percent of the film—had been erased in a matter of seconds. An hour later, Oren and his boss, Galyn Susman, were in my office, trying to figure out what we would do next. “Don’t worry,” we all reassured each other. “We’ll restore the data from the backup system tonight. We’ll only lose half a day of work.” But then came random event number two: The backup system, we discovered, hadn’t been working correctly. The mechanism we had in place specifically to help us recover from data failures had itself failed. Toy Story 2 was gone and, at this point, the urge to panic was quite real. To reassemble the film would have taken thirty people a solid year. I remember the meeting when, as this devastating reality began to sink in, the company’s leaders gathered in a conference room to discuss our options—of which there seemed to be none. Then, about an hour into our discussion, Galyn Susman, the movie’s supervising technical director, remembered something: “Wait,” she said. “I might have a backup on my home computer.” About six months before, Galyn had had her second baby, which required that she spend more of her time working from home. To make that process more convenient, she’d set up a system that copied the entire film database to her home computer, automatically, once a week. This—our third random event—would be our salvation. Within a minute of her epiphany, Galyn and Oren were in her Volvo, speeding to her home in San Anselmo. They got her computer, wrapped it in blankets, and placed it carefully in the backseat. Then they drove in the slow lane all the way back to the office, where the machine was, as Oren describes it, “carried into Pixar like an Egyptian pharaoh.” Thanks to Galyn’s files, Woody was back—along with the rest of the movie.
Ed Catmull (Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration)
He removed his hand from his worn, pleasantly snug jeans…and it held something small. Holy Lord, I said to myself. What in the name of kingdom come is going on here? His face wore a sweet, sweet smile. I stood there completely frozen. “Um…what?” I asked. I could formulate no words but these. He didn’t respond immediately. Instead he took my left hand in his, opened up my fingers, and placed a diamond ring onto my palm, which was, by now, beginning to sweat. “I said,” he closed my hand tightly around the ring. “I want you to marry me.” He paused for a moment. “If you need time to think about it, I’ll understand.” His hands were still wrapped around my knuckles. He touched his forehead to mine, and the ligaments of my knees turned to spaghetti. Marry you? My mind raced a mile a minute. Ten miles a second. I had three million thoughts all at once, and my heart thumped wildly in my chest. Marry you? But then I’d have to cut my hair short. Married women have short hair, and they get it fixed at the beauty shop. Marry you? But then I’d have to make casseroles. Marry you? But then I’d have to wear yellow rubber gloves to do the dishes. Marry you? As in, move out to the country and actually live with you? In your house? In the country? But I…I…I don’t live in the country. I don’t know how. I can’t ride a horse. I’m scared of spiders. I forced myself to speak again. “Um…what?” I repeated, a touch of frantic urgency to my voice. “You heard me,” Marlboro Man said, still smiling. He knew this would catch me by surprise. Just then my brother Mike laid on the horn again. He leaned out of the window and yelled at the top of his lungs, “C’mon! I am gonna b-b-be late for lunch!” Mike didn’t like being late. Marlboro Man laughed. “Be right there, Mike!” I would have laughed, too, at the hilarious scene playing out before my eyes. A ring. A proposal. My developmentally disabled and highly impatient brother Mike, waiting for Marlboro Man to drive him to the mall. The horn of the diesel pickup. Normally, I would have laughed. But this time I was way, way too stunned. “I’d better go,” Marlboro Man said, leaning forward and kissing my cheek. I still grasped the diamond ring in my warm, sweaty hand. “I don’t want Mike to burst a blood vessel.” He laughed out loud, clearly enjoying it all. I tried to speak but couldn’t. I’d been rendered totally mute. Nothing could have prepared me for those ten minutes of my life. The last thing I remember, I’d awakened at eleven. Moments later, I was hiding in my bathroom, trying, in all my early-morning ugliness, to avoid being seen by Marlboro Man, who’d dropped by unexpectedly. Now I was standing on the front porch, a diamond ring in my hand. It was all completely surreal. Marlboro Man turned to leave. “You can give me your answer later,” he said, grinning, his Wranglers waving good-bye to me in the bright noonday sun. But then it all came flashing across my line of sight. The boots in the bar, the icy blue-green eyes, the starched shirt, the Wranglers…the first date, the long talks, my breakdown in his kitchen, the movies, the nights on his porch, the kisses, the long drives, the hugs…the all-encompassing, mind-numbing passion I felt. It played frame by frame in my mind in a steady stream. “Hey,” I said, walking toward him and effortlessly sliding the ring on my finger. I wrapped my arms around his neck as his arms, instinctively, wrapped around my waist and raised me off the ground in our all-too-familiar pose. “Yep,” I said effortlessly. He smiled and hugged me tightly. Mike, once again, laid on the horn, oblivious to what had just happened. Marlboro Man said nothing more. He simply kissed me, smiled, then drove my brother to the mall.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
I am speaking of the evenings when the sun sets early, of the fathers under the streetlamps in the back streets returning home carrying plastic bags. Of the old Bosphorus ferries moored to deserted stations in the middle of winter, where sleepy sailors scrub the decks, pail in hand and one eye on the black-and-white television in the distance; of the old booksellers who lurch from one ϧnancial crisis to the next and then wait shivering all day for a customer to appear; of the barbers who complain that men don’t shave as much after an economic crisis; of the children who play ball between the cars on cobblestoned streets; of the covered women who stand at remote bus stops clutching plastic shopping bags and speak to no one as they wait for the bus that never arrives; of the empty boathouses of the old Bosphorus villas; of the teahouses packed to the rafters with unemployed men; of the patient pimps striding up and down the city’s greatest square on summer evenings in search of one last drunken tourist; of the broken seesaws in empty parks; of ship horns booming through the fog; of the wooden buildings whose every board creaked even when they were pashas’ mansions, all the more now that they have become municipal headquarters; of the women peeking through their curtains as they wait for husbands who never manage to come home in the evening; of the old men selling thin religious treatises, prayer beads, and pilgrimage oils in the courtyards of mosques; of the tens of thousands of identical apartment house entrances, their facades discolored by dirt, rust, soot, and dust; of the crowds rushing to catch ferries on winter evenings; of the city walls, ruins since the end of the Byzantine Empire; of the markets that empty in the evenings; of the dervish lodges, the tekkes, that have crumbled; of the seagulls perched on rusty barges caked with moss and mussels, unϩinching under the pelting rain; of the tiny ribbons of smoke rising from the single chimney of a hundred-yearold mansion on the coldest day of the year; of the crowds of men ϧshing from the sides of the Galata Bridge; of the cold reading rooms of libraries; of the street photographers; of the smell of exhaled breath in the movie theaters, once glittering aϱairs with gilded ceilings, now porn cinemas frequented by shamefaced men; of the avenues where you never see a woman alone after sunset; of the crowds gathering around the doors of the state-controlled brothels on one of those hot blustery days when the wind is coming from the south; of the young girls who queue at the doors of establishments selling cut-rate meat; of the holy messages spelled out in lights between the minarets of mosques on holidays that are missing letters where the bulbs have burned out; of the walls covered with frayed and blackened posters; of the tired old dolmuşes, ϧfties Chevrolets that would be museum pieces in any western city but serve here as shared taxis, huϫng and puϫng up the city’s narrow alleys and dirty thoroughfares; of the buses packed with passengers; of the mosques whose lead plates and rain gutters are forever being stolen; of the city cemeteries, which seem like gateways to a second world, and of their cypress trees; of the dim lights that you see of an evening on the boats crossing from Kadıköy to Karaköy; of the little children in the streets who try to sell the same packet of tissues to every passerby; of the clock towers no one ever notices; of the history books in which children read about the victories of the Ottoman Empire and of the beatings these same children receive at home; of the days when everyone has to stay home so the electoral roll can be compiled or the census can be taken; of the days when a sudden curfew is announced to facilitate the search for terrorists and everyone sits at home fearfully awaiting “the oϫcials”; CONTINUED IN SECOND PART OF THE QUOTE
Orhan Pamuk (Istanbul: Memories and the City)