Ship My Car Quotes

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I can never drive my car over a bridge without thinking of suicide. I can never look at a lake or an ocean without thinking of suicide.
Charles Bukowski (The Captain is Out to Lunch and the Sailors Have Taken Over the Ship)
What shall I give? and which are my miracles? 2. Realism is mine--my miracles--Take freely, Take without end--I offer them to you wherever your feet can carry you or your eyes reach. 3. Why! who makes much of a miracle? As to me, I know of nothing else but miracles, Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan, Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky, Or wade with naked feet along the beach, just in the edge of the water, Or stand under trees in the woods, Or talk by day with any one I love--or sleep in the bed at night with any one I love, Or sit at the table at dinner with my mother, Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car, Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive, of a summer forenoon, Or animals feeding in the fields, Or birds--or the wonderfulness of insects in the air, Or the wonderfulness of the sundown--or of stars shining so quiet and bright, Or the exquisite, delicate, thin curve of the new moon in spring; Or whether I go among those I like best, and that like me best--mechanics, boatmen, farmers, Or among the savans--or to the _soiree_--or to the opera. Or stand a long while looking at the movements of machinery, Or behold children at their sports, Or the admirable sight of the perfect old man, or the perfect old woman, Or the sick in hospitals, or the dead carried to burial, Or my own eyes and figure in the glass; These, with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles, The whole referring--yet each distinct and in its place. 4. To me, every hour of the light and dark is a miracle, Every inch of space is a miracle, Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the same, Every cubic foot of the interior swarms with the same; Every spear of grass--the frames, limbs, organs, of men and women, and all that concerns them, All these to me are unspeakably perfect miracles. To me the sea is a continual miracle; The fishes that swim--the rocks--the motion of the waves--the ships, with men in them, What stranger miracles are there?
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Well, my dear sisters, the gospel is the good news that can free us from guilt. We know that Jesus experienced the totality of mortal existence in Gethsemane. It's our faith that he experienced everything- absolutely everything. Sometimes we don't think through the implications of that belief. We talk in great generalities about the sins of all humankind, about the suffering of the entire human family. But we don't experience pain in generalities. We experience it individually. That means he knows what it felt like when your mother died of cancer- how it was for your mother, how it still is for you. He knows what it felt like to lose the student body election. He knows that moment when the brakes locked and the car started to skid. He experienced the slave ship sailing from Ghana toward Virginia. He experienced the gas chambers at Dachau. He experienced Napalm in Vietnam. He knows about drug addiction and alcoholism. Let me go further. There is nothing you have experienced as a woman that he does not also know and recognize. On a profound level, he understands the hunger to hold your baby that sustains you through pregnancy. He understands both the physical pain of giving birth and the immense joy. He knows about PMS and cramps and menopause. He understands about rape and infertility and abortion. His last recorded words to his disciples were, "And, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." (Matthew 28:20) He understands your mother-pain when your five-year-old leaves for kindergarten, when a bully picks on your fifth-grader, when your daughter calls to say that the new baby has Down syndrome. He knows your mother-rage when a trusted babysitter sexually abuses your two-year-old, when someone gives your thirteen-year-old drugs, when someone seduces your seventeen-year-old. He knows the pain you live with when you come home to a quiet apartment where the only children are visitors, when you hear that your former husband and his new wife were sealed in the temple last week, when your fiftieth wedding anniversary rolls around and your husband has been dead for two years. He knows all that. He's been there. He's been lower than all that. He's not waiting for us to be perfect. Perfect people don't need a Savior. He came to save his people in their imperfections. He is the Lord of the living, and the living make mistakes. He's not embarrassed by us, angry at us, or shocked. He wants us in our brokenness, in our unhappiness, in our guilt and our grief. You know that people who live above a certain latitude and experience very long winter nights can become depressed and even suicidal, because something in our bodies requires whole spectrum light for a certain number of hours a day. Our spiritual requirement for light is just as desperate and as deep as our physical need for light. Jesus is the light of the world. We know that this world is a dark place sometimes, but we need not walk in darkness. The people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, and the people who walk in darkness can have a bright companion. We need him, and He is ready to come to us, if we'll open the door and let him.
Chieko N. Okazaki
From the hood of his car, he hefted a large green insulated pack—the kind Fadlan’s Falafel used for deliveries. “This is for you, Magnus. I hope you enjoy.” The scent of fresh falafel wafted out. True, I’d eaten falafel just a few hours ago, but my stomach growled because...well, more falafel. “Man, you’re the best.
Rick Riordan (The Ship of the Dead (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #3))
From the hood of his car, he hefted a large green insulated pack - the kind Fadlan's Falafel used for deliveries. "This is for you, Magnus. I hope you enjoy." The scent of fresh falafel wafted out. True, I'd eaten falafel just a few hours ago, but my stomach growled because ... well, more falafel. "Man, you're the best. I can't believe - Wait. You're in the middle of a fast and you brought me food? That seems wrong." "Just because I'm fasting doesn't mean you can't enjoy." He clapped me on my shoulder. "You'll be in my prayers. All of you." I knew he was sincere. Me, I was an atheist. I only prayed sarcastically to my own father for a better colour of boat. Learning about the existence of Norse deities and the Nine Worlds had just made me more convinced that there was no grand divine plan. What kind of God would allow Zeus and Odin to run around the same cosmos, both claiming to be the king of creation, smiting mortals with lightning bolts and giving motivational seminars? Bur Amir was a man of faith. He and Samirah believed in something bigger, a cosmic force that actually cared about humans. I suppose it was kind of comforting to know Amir had my back in the prayer department, even if I doubted there was anybody at the end of that line. "Thanks, man." I shook his hand one last time.
Rick Riordan (The Ship of the Dead (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #3))
Song of myself Now I will do nothing but listen, To accrue what I hear into this song, to let sounds contribute toward it. I hear bravuras of birds, bustle of growing wheat, gossip of flames, clack of sticks cooking my meals, I hear the sound I love, the sound of the human voice, I hear all sounds running together, combined, fused or following, Sounds of the city and sounds out of the city, sounds of the day and night, Talkative young ones to those that like them, the loud laugh of work-people at their meals, The angry base of disjointed friendship, the faint tones of the sick, The judge with hands tight to the desk, his pallid lips pronouncing a death-sentence, The heave'e'yo of stevedores unlading ships by the wharves, the refrain of the anchor-lifters, The ring of alarm-bells, the cry of fire, the whirr of swift-streaking engines and hose-carts with premonitory tinkles and color'd lights, The steam-whistle, the solid roll of the train of approaching cars, The slow march play'd at the head of the association marching two and two, (They go to guard some corpse, the flag-tops are draped with black muslin.) I hear the violoncello, ('tis the young man's heart's complaint,) I hear the key'd cornet, it glides quickly in through my ears, It shakes mad-sweet pangs through my belly and breast. I hear the chorus, it is a grand opera, Ah this indeed is music--this suits me.
Walt Whitman
I decided I would not go to court to have my mother declared incompetent, I would not fight. I put the car in drive and hit the gas. I felt as if I'd jumped off a sinking ship and was in a life raft with my little girl, my face turned away from the horror, rowing, rowing, as fast and as hard as I could in the opposite direction.
Kaylie Jones (Lies My Mother Never Told Me: A Memoir)
Outside the walls of the Crimson Cabaret was a world of rain and darkness. At intervals, whenever someone entered or exited through the front door of the club, one could actually see the steady rain and was allowed a brief glimpse of the darkness. Inside it was all amber light, tobacco smoke, and the sound of the raindrops hitting the windows, which were all painted black. On such nights, as I sat at one of the tables in that drab little place, I was always filled with an infernal merriment, as if I were waiting out the apocalypse and could not care less about it. I also liked to imagine that I was in the cabin of an old ship during a really vicious storm at sea or in the club car of a luxury passenger train that was being rocked on its rails by ferocious winds and hammered by a demonic rain. Sometimes, when I was sitting in the Crimson Cabaret on a rainy night, I thought of myself as occupying a waiting room for the abyss (which of course was exactly what I was doing) and between sips from my glass of wine or cup of coffee I smiled sadly and touched the front pocket of my coat where I kept my imaginary ticket to oblivion.
Thomas Ligotti (The Nightmare Factory)
(I know, it's a poem but oh well). Why! who makes much of a miracle? As to me, I know of nothing else but miracles, Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan, Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky, Or wade with naked feet along the beach, just in the edge of the water, Or stand under trees in the woods, Or talk by day with any one I love--or sleep in the bed at night with any one I love, Or sit at table at dinner with my mother, Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car, Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive, of a summer forenoon, Or animals feeding in the fields, Or birds--or the wonderfulness of insects in the air, Or the wonderfulness of the sun-down--or of stars shining so quiet and bright, Or the exquisite, delicate, thin curve of the new moon in spring; Or whether I go among those I like best, and that like me best-- mechanics, boatmen, farmers, Or among the savans--or to the soiree--or to the opera, Or stand a long while looking at the movements of machinery, Or behold children at their sports, Or the admirable sight of the perfect old man, or the perfect old woman, Or the sick in hospitals, or the dead carried to burial, Or my own eyes and figure in the glass; These, with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles, The whole referring--yet each distinct, and in its place. To me, every hour of the light and dark is a miracle, Every cubic inch of space is a miracle, Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the same, Every foot of the interior swarms with the same; Every spear of grass--the frames, limbs, organs, of men and women, and all that concerns them, All these to me are unspeakably perfect miracles. To me the sea is a continual miracle; The fishes that swim--the rocks--the motion of the waves--the ships, with men in them, What stranger miracles are there?
Walt Whitman
Over the years I have read many, many books about the future, my ‘we’re all doomed’ books, as Connie liked to call them. ‘All the books you read are either about how grim the past was or how gruesome the future will be. It might not be that way, Douglas. Things might turn out all right.’ But these were well-researched, plausible studies, their conclusions highly persuasive, and I could become quite voluble on the subject. Take, for instance, the fate of the middle-class, into which Albie and I were born and to which Connie now belongs, albeit with some protest. In book after book I read that the middle-class are doomed. Globalisation and technology have already cut a swathe through previously secure professions, and 3D printing technology will soon wipe out the last of the manufacturing industries. The internet won’t replace those jobs, and what place for the middle-classes if twelve people can run a giant corporation? I’m no communist firebrand, but even the most rabid free-marketeer would concede that market-forces capitalism, instead of spreading wealth and security throughout the population, has grotesquely magnified the gulf between rich and poor, forcing a global workforce into dangerous, unregulated, insecure low-paid labour while rewarding only a tiny elite of businessmen and technocrats. So-called ‘secure’ professions seem less and less so; first it was the miners and the ship- and steel-workers, soon it will be the bank clerks, the librarians, the teachers, the shop-owners, the supermarket check-out staff. The scientists might survive if it’s the right type of science, but where do all the taxi-drivers in the world go when the taxis drive themselves? How do they feed their children or heat their homes and what happens when frustration turns to anger? Throw in terrorism, the seemingly insoluble problem of religious fundamentalism, the rise of the extreme right-wing, under-employed youth and the under-pensioned elderly, fragile and corrupt banking systems, the inadequacy of the health and care systems to cope with vast numbers of the sick and old, the environmental repercussions of unprecedented factory-farming, the battle for finite resources of food, water, gas and oil, the changing course of the Gulf Stream, destruction of the biosphere and the statistical probability of a global pandemic, and there really is no reason why anyone should sleep soundly ever again. By the time Albie is my age I will be long gone, or, best-case scenario, barricaded into my living module with enough rations to see out my days. But outside, I imagine vast, unregulated factories where workers count themselves lucky to toil through eighteen-hour days for less than a living wage before pulling on their gas masks to fight their way through the unemployed masses who are bartering with the mutated chickens and old tin-cans that they use for currency, those lucky workers returning to tiny, overcrowded shacks in a vast megalopolis where a tree is never seen, the air is thick with police drones, where car-bomb explosions, typhoons and freak hailstorms are so commonplace as to barely be remarked upon. Meanwhile, in literally gilded towers miles above the carcinogenic smog, the privileged 1 per cent of businessmen, celebrities and entrepreneurs look down through bullet-proof windows, accept cocktails in strange glasses from the robot waiters hovering nearby and laugh their tinkling laughs and somewhere, down there in that hellish, stewing mess of violence, poverty and desperation, is my son, Albie Petersen, a wandering minstrel with his guitar and his keen interest in photography, still refusing to wear a decent coat.
David Nicholls (Us)
Evolution endowed us with intuition only for those aspects of physics that had survival value for our distant ancestors, such as the parabolic orbits of flying rocks (explaining our penchant for baseball). A cavewoman thinking too hard about what matter is ultimately made of might fail to notice the tiger sneaking up behind and get cleaned right out of the gene pool. Darwin’s theory thus makes the testable prediction that whenever we use technology to glimpse reality beyond the human scale, our evolved intuition should break down. We’ve repeatedly tested this prediction, and the results overwhelmingly support Darwin. At high speeds, Einstein realized that time slows down, and curmudgeons on the Swedish Nobel committee found this so weird that they refused to give him the Nobel Prize for his relativity theory. At low temperatures, liquid helium can flow upward. At high temperatures, colliding particles change identity; to me, an electron colliding with a positron and turning into a Z-boson feels about as intuitive as two colliding cars turning into a cruise ship. On microscopic scales, particles schizophrenically appear in two places at once, leading to the quantum conundrums mentioned above. On astronomically large scales… weirdness strikes again: if you intuitively understand all aspects of black holes [then you] should immediately put down this book and publish your findings before someone scoops you on the Nobel Prize for quantum gravity… [also,] the leading theory for what happened [in the early universe] suggests that space isn’t merely really really big, but actually infinite, containing infinitely many exact copies of you, and even more near-copies living out every possible variant of your life in two different types of parallel universes.
Max Tegmark (Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality)
Just sit right back And you'll hear a tale A tale of a fateful trip, That started from this tropic port, Aboard this tiny ship. The mate was a mighty sailin' lad, The Skipper brave and sure, Five passengers set sail that day, For a three hour tour, A three hour tour. The weather started getting rough, The tiny ship was tossed. If not for the courage of the fearless crew The Minnow would be lost. The Minnow would be lost. The ship set ground on the shore Of this uncharted desert isle With Gilligan, The Skipper too. The millionaire And his wife, The movie star, The professor and Mary Ann, Here on Gilligan's Isle. So this is the tale of our castaways, They're here for a long long time. They'll have to make the best of things, It's an uphill climb. The first mate and his Skipper too Will do their very best, To make the others comf'terble In their tropic island nest. No phone, no lights, no motor car, Not a single luxury Like Robinson Crusoe It's primitive as can be. So join us here each week my friends, You're sure to get a smile, From seven stranded castaways Here on Gilligan's Isle!
Sherwood Schwartz (Inside Gilligan's Island: A Three-Hour Tour Through The Making Of A Television Classic)
Hush little baby, don’t you cry, Mama’s gonna sing you a lullaby, and if that mockingbird don’t sing, Papa’s gonna buy you a diamond ring. Mama, Dada, uh-oh, ball. Good night tree, good night stars, good night moon, good night nobody. Potato stamps, paper chains, invisible ink, a cake shaped like a flower, a cake shaped like a horse, a cake shaped like a cake, inside voice, outside voice. If you see a bad dog, stand still as a tree. Conch shells, sea glass, high tide, undertow, ice cream, fireworks, watermelon seeds, swallowed gum, gum trees, shoes and ships and sealing wax, cabbages and kings, double dares, alphabet soup, A my name is Alice and my boyfriend’s name is Andy, we come from Alabama and we like apples, A my name is Alice and I want to play the game of looooove. Lightning bugs, falling stars, sea horses, goldfish, gerbils eat their young, please, no peanut butter, parental signature required, #1 Mom, show-and-tell, truth or dare, hide-and-seek, red light, green light, please put your own mask on before assisting, ashes, ashes, we all fall down, how to keep the home fires burning, date night, family night, night-night, May came home with a smooth round stone as small as the world and as big as alone. Stop, Drop, Roll. Salutations, Wilbur’s heart brimmed with happiness. Paper valentines, rubber cement, please be mine, chicken 100 ways, the sky is falling. Monopoly, Monopoly, Monopoly, you be the thimble, Mama, I’ll be the car.
Jenny Offill (Dept. of Speculation)
But you must admit,it's taking up an inordinate amount of your time. Why it's taken us six months to have dinner together." "Is that all?" He misinterpreted the quiet response, and the gleam in her eyes.And leaned toward her. She slapped a hand on his chest. "Don't even think about it.Let me tell you something,pal.I do more in one day with my school than you do in a week of pushing papers in that office your grandfather gave you between your manicures and amaretto lattes and soirees. Men like you hold no interest for me whatsoever,which is why it's taken six months for this tedious little date.And the next time I have dinner with you,we'll be slurping Popsicles in hell.So take your French tie and your Italian shoes and stuff them." Utter shock had him speechless as she shoved open her door.As insult trickled in,his lips thinned. "Obviously spending so much time in the stables has eroded your manners, and your outlook." "That's right, Chad." She leaned back in the door. "You're too good for me. I'm about to go up and weep into my pillow over it." "Rumor is you're cold," he said in a quiet, stabbing voice. "But I had to find out for myself." It stung,but she wasn't about to let it show. "Rumor is you're a moron. Now we've both confirmed the local gossip." He gunned the engine once,and she would have sworn she saw him vibrate. "And it's a British tie." She slammed the car door, then watched narrow-eyed as he drove away. "A British tie." A laugh gurgled up,deep from the belly and up into the throat so she had to stand, hugging herself, all but howling at the moon. "That sure told me." Indulging herself in a long sigh, she tipped her head back,looked up at the sweep of stars. "Moron," she murmured. "And that goes for both of us." She heard a faint click, spun around and saw Brian lighting up a slim cigar. "Lover's spat?" "Why yes." The temper Chad had roused stirred again. "He wants to take me to Antigua and I simply have my heart set on Mozambique.Antigua's been done to death." Brian took a contemplative puff of his cigar.She looked so damn beautiful standing there in the moonlight in that little excuse of a black dress, her hair spilling down her back like fire on silk.Hearing her long, gorgeous roll of laughter had been like discovering a treasure.Now the temper was back in her eyes,and spitting at him. It was almost as good. He took another lazy puff, blew out a cloud of smoke. "You're winding me up, Keeley." "I'd like to wind you up, then twist you into small pieces and ship them all back to Ireland." "I figured as much." He disposed of the cigar and walked to her. Unlike Chad, he didn't misinterpret the glint in her eyes. "You want to have a pop at someone." He closed his hand over the one she'd balled into a fist, lifted it to tap on his own chin. "Go ahead." "As delightful as I find that invitation, I don't solve my disputes that way." When she started to walk away, he tightened his grip. "But," she said slowly, "I could make an exception." "I don't like apologizing, and I wouldn't have to-again-of you'd set me straight right off." She lifted an eyebrow.Trying to free herself from that big, hard hand would only be undignified.
Nora Roberts (Irish Rebel (Irish Hearts, #3))
The accident has occurred, the ship has broken, the motor of the car has failed, we have been separated from the others, we are alone in the sand, the ocean, the frozen snow I remember what I have to do in order to stay alive, I take stock of our belongings most of them useless I know I should be digging shelters, killing seabirds and making clothes from their feathers cutting the rinds from cacti, chewing roots for water, scraping through the ice for treebark, for moss but I rest here without power to save myself, tasting salt in my mouth, the fact that you won't save me watching the mirage of us hands locked, smiling, as it fades into the white desert. I touch you, straighten the sheet, you turn over in the bed, tender sun comes through the curtains Which of us will survive which of us will survive the other
Margaret Atwood (Power Politics: Poems (A List))
Men as Friends" I have a few which is news to me Tom drops by in the mornings with his travel mug my mother would call it a coffee klatch we review our terrible histories with fathers and talk about the father he’s become and how much it will cost to replace gutters the ice brought down and then there’s soft-spoken Harvey with whom I enjoy long pauses in conversation about how they raised the Nelson town hall and put a foundation underneath during which we both look at Mt. Monadnock and then down at the ground and then back at each other silence precipitating the pretty weather we share before he goes inside for lunch when I had to pack up my office Tom boxed and loaded books into my car I didn’t think he’d want to but his idea of friendship includes carrying heavy things at the dog park the retired Marine with the schnauzer asked do you have a husband I replied I don’t care for men in that way as a Marine James mostly played cards on a supply ship now he mostly hunts and fishes climbs his orchard ladder for my Cortlands and in trout season leaves, in my fridge, two rainbows
Robin Becker
Why, who makes much of a miracle? As to me I know of nothing else but miracles, Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan, Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky, Or wade with naked feet along the beach just in the edge of the water, Or stand under trees in the woods, Or talk by day with any one I love, or sleep in the bed at night with any one I love, Or sit at table at dinner with the rest, Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car, Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive of a summer forenoon, Or animals feeding in the fields, Or birds, or the wonderfulness of insects in the air, Or the wonderfulness of the sundown, or of stars shining so quiet and bright, Or the exquisite delicate thin curve of the new moon in spring; These with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles, The whole referring, yet each distinct and in its place. To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle, Every cubic inch of space is a miracle, Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the same, Every foot of the interior swarms with the same. To me the sea is a continual miracle, The fishes that swim–the rocks–the motion of the waves–the ships with men in them, What stranger miracles are there?
Walt Whitman
As I became older, I was given many masks to wear. I could be a laborer laying railroad tracks across the continent, with long hair in a queue to be pulled by pranksters; a gardener trimming the shrubs while secretly planting a bomb; a saboteur before the day of infamy at Pearl Harbor, signaling the Imperial Fleet; a kamikaze pilot donning his headband somberly, screaming 'Banzai' on my way to my death; a peasant with a broad-brimmed straw hat in a rice paddy on the other side of the world, stooped over to toil in the water; an obedient servant in the parlor, a houseboy too dignified for my own good; a washerman in the basement laundry, removing stains using an ancient secret; a tyrant intent on imposing my despotism on the democratic world, opposed by the free and the brave; a party cadre alongside many others, all of us clad in coordinated Mao jackets; a sniper camouflaged in the trees of the jungle, training my gunsights on G.I. Joe; a child running with a body burning from napalm, captured in an unforgettable photo; an enemy shot in the head or slaughtered by the villageful; one of the grooms in a mass wedding of couples, having met my mate the day before through our cult leader; an orphan in the last airlift out of a collapsed capital, ready to be adopted into the good life; a black belt martial artist breaking cinderblocks with his head, in an advertisement for Ginsu brand knives with the slogan 'but wait--there's more' as the commercial segued to show another free gift; a chef serving up dog stew, a trick on the unsuspecting diner; a bad driver swerving into the next lane, exactly as could be expected; a horny exchange student here for a year, eager to date the blonde cheerleader; a tourist visiting, clicking away with his camera, posing my family in front of the monuments and statues; a ping pong champion, wearing white tube socks pulled up too high and batting the ball with a wicked spin; a violin prodigy impressing the audience at Carnegie Hall, before taking a polite bow; a teen computer scientist, ready to make millions on an initial public offering before the company stock crashes; a gangster in sunglasses and a tight suit, embroiled in a turf war with the Sicilian mob; an urban greengrocer selling lunch by the pound, rudely returning change over the counter to the black patrons; a businessman with a briefcase of cash bribing a congressman, a corrupting influence on the electoral process; a salaryman on my way to work, crammed into the commuter train and loyal to the company; a shady doctor, trained in a foreign tradition with anatomical diagrams of the human body mapping the flow of life energy through a multitude of colored points; a calculus graduate student with thick glasses and a bad haircut, serving as a teaching assistant with an incomprehensible accent, scribbling on the chalkboard; an automobile enthusiast who customizes an imported car with a supercharged engine and Japanese decals in the rear window, cruising the boulevard looking for a drag race; a illegal alien crowded into the cargo hold of a smuggler's ship, defying death only to crowd into a New York City tenement and work as a slave in a sweatshop. My mother and my girl cousins were Madame Butterfly from the mail order bride catalog, dying in their service to the masculinity of the West, and the dragon lady in a kimono, taking vengeance for her sisters. They became the television newscaster, look-alikes with their flawlessly permed hair. Through these indelible images, I grew up. But when I looked in the mirror, I could not believe my own reflection because it was not like what I saw around me. Over the years, the world opened up. It has become a dizzying kaleidoscope of cultural fragments, arranged and rearranged without plan or order.
Frank H. Wu (Yellow)
the cotton fields and strawberry patches of a much harsher world whose tragedies and daily burdens had blunted her temperament and quelled her emotions. But its most immediate impact on this teenage girl was not the lack of a demure coquettishness that otherwise might have defined her had she grown up in better circumstances; it was the visible evidence of the hardship of her journey. This was not a pom-pom-waving homecoming queen or a varsity athlete who had toned her body in a local gym. My mother never complained, but it was her struggles that had visibly shaped her shoulders, grown her biceps, and crusted her palms—while in a less visible way narrowing her view of her own long-term horizons. Decades later, when I was in my forties, I suppressed a defensive anger as I watched my mother sit quietly in an expansive waterfront Florida living room while a well-bred woman her age described the supposedly difficult impact of the Great Depression on her family. As the woman told it, the crash on Wall Street and the failed economy had made it necessary for them to ship their car by rail from New York to Florida when they headed south for the winter. Who could predict, she reasoned, whether there would be food or gasoline if their driver had to refuel and dine in the remote and hostile environs of small-town Georgia? My mother merely smiled and nodded, as
James Webb (I Heard My Country Calling: A Memoir)
I built, of blocks, a town three hundred thousand strong, whose avenues were paved with a wine-colored rug and decorated by large leaves outlined inappropriately in orange, and on this leafage I'd often park my Tootsie Toy trucks, as if on pads of camouflage, waiting their deployment against catastrophes which included alien invasions, internal treachery, and world war. It was always my intention, and my conceit, to use up, in the town's construction, every toy I possessed: my electronic train, of course, the Lincoln Logs, old kindergarten blocks—their deeply incised letters always a problem—the Erector set, every lead soldier that would stand (broken ones were sent to the hospital), my impressive array of cars, motorcycles, tanks, and trucks—some with trailers, some transporting gas, some tows, some dumps—and my squadrons of planes, my fleet of ships, my big and little guns, an undersized group of parachute people (looking as if one should always imagine them high in the sky, hanging from threads), my silversided submarines, along with assorted RR signs, poles bearing flags, prefab houses with faces pasted in their windows, small boxes of a dozen variously useful kinds, strips of blue cloth for streams and rivers, and glass jars for town water towers, or, in a pinch, jails. In time, the armies, the citizens, even the streets would divide: loyalties, friendships, certainties, would be undermined, the city would be shaken by strife; and marbles would rain down from formerly friendly planes, steeples would topple onto cars, and shellfire would soon throw aggie holes through homes, soldiers would die accompanied by my groans, and ragged bands of refugees would flee toward mountain caves and other chairs and tables.
William H. Gass (The Tunnel)
The girl circled in my arm was clean and fresh, and her sleeping breath was humid against the base of my throat. Something stirred in me in response to her helplessness, and yet at the same time I resented her. I had seen too damn many of these brisk and shining girls, so lovely, so gracious, and so inflexibly ambitious. They had counted their stock in trade and burnished it and spread it right out there on the counter. It was all yours for the asking. All you had to do was give her all the rest of your life, and come through with the backyard pool, cookouts, Eames chairs, mortgage, picture windows, two cars, and all the rest of the setting they required for themselves. These gorgeous girls, with steel behind their eyes, were the highest paid whores in the history of the world. All they offered was their poised, half-educated selves, one hundred and twenty pounds of healthy, unblemished, arrogant meat, in return for the eventual occupational ulcer, the suburban coronary. Nor did they bother to sweeten the bargain with their virginity. Before you could, in your hypnoid state, slip the ring on her imperious finger, that old-fashioned prize was long gone, and even its departure celebrated many times, on house parties and ski weekends, in becalmed sailboats and on cruise ships. This acknowledged and excused promiscuity was, in fact, to her advantage. Having learned her way through the jungly province of sex, she was less likely to be bedazzled by body hunger to the extent that she might make a bad match with an unpromising young man. Her decks were efficiently cleared, guns rolled out, fuses alight, cannonballs stacked, all sails set. She stood on the bridge, braced and ready, scanning the horizon with eyes as cold as winter pebbles. One
John D. MacDonald (The End of the Night (Murder Room Book 629))
We couldn’t take a dog with us in the passenger car of the train, and we could not afford the cost of shipping by crate. My last view of Ishpeming is of Putsie running along beside and then behind the train, trying to keep up.
Clarence L. Johnson (Kelly: More Than My Share of It All)
Actions Summary The following list of new institutions, policies and actions is my best effort at envisaging what is required for Australia to survive the climate emergency. • A National Target and Plan for 95% or more of electricity to be supplied by renewables by 2030. • State plans to electrify all transport, beginning with the swift retirement of non-electric buses and including a plan for 50% of all new car sales to be EVs by 2030. • Implement planned changes to how we work and live so as to minimise unnecessary travel. • A plan for clean hydrogen to replace bunker fuel in shipping. • A plan for the adoption of e-fuels for aviation, with an aim to have all domestic flights running on e-fuel by 2030. • A National Commission for Climate Adaptation, with a Coastal Defence Fund and a Commission for Primary Production operating under its umbrella. • A National Initiative on Drawdown Innovation to provide leadership in early stage research and fund some on-ground projects. • The Federal Government to help convene a Global Working Group on Geoengineering.
Tim Flannery (The Climate Cure: Solving the Climate Emergency in the Era of COVID-19)
Your wife?” “Right.” “What does she do?” Tracy asked. “She works for a janitorial company; they clean the buildings downtown.” “She works nights?” Kins said. “Yeah.” “Do you have kids?” Tracy asked. “A daughter.” “Who watches your daughter when you and your wife are working nights?” “My mother-in-law.” “Does she stay at your house?” Tracy said. “No, my wife drops her off on her way to work.” “So nobody was at home when you got there Sunday night?” Bankston shook his head. “No.” He sat up again. “Can I ask a question?” “Sure.” “Why are you asking me these questions?” “That’s fair,” Kins said, looking to Tracy before answering. “One of our labs found your DNA on a piece of rope left at a crime scene.” “My DNA?” “It came up in the computer database because of your military service. The computer generated it, so we have to follow up and try to get to the bottom of it.” “Any thoughts on that?” Tracy said. Bankston squinted. “I guess I could have touched it when I wasn’t wearing my gloves.” Tracy looked to Kins, and they both nodded as if to say, “That’s plausible,” which was for Bankston’s benefit. Her instincts were telling her otherwise. She said, “We were hoping there’s a way we could determine where that rope was delivered, to which Home Depot.” “I wouldn’t know that,” Bankston said. “Do they keep records of where things are shipped? I mean, is there a way we could match a piece of rope to a particular shipment from this warehouse?” “I don’t know. I wouldn’t know how to do that. That’s computer stuff, and I’m strictly the labor, you know?” “What did you do in the Army?” Kins asked. “Advance detail.” “What does advance detail do?” “We set up the bases.” “What did that entail?” “Pouring concrete and putting up the tilt-up buildings and tents.” “So no combat?” Kins asked. “No.” “Are those tents like those big circus tents?” Tracy asked. “Sort of like that.” “They still hold them up with stakes and rope?” “Still do.” “That part of your job?” “Yeah, sure.” “Okay, listen, David,” Tracy said. “I know you were in the police academy.” “You do?” “It came up on our computer system. So I’m guessing you know that our job is to eliminate suspects just as much as it is to find them.” “Sure.” “And we got your DNA on a piece of rope found at a crime scene.” “Right.” “So I have to ask if you would you be willing to come in and help us clear you.” “Now?” “No. When you get off work; when it’s convenient.” Bankston gave it some thought. “I suppose I could come in after work. I get off around four. I’d have to call my wife.” “Four o’clock works,” Tracy said. She was still trying to figure Bankston out. He seemed nervous, which wasn’t unexpected when two homicide detectives came to your place of work to ask you questions, but he also seemed to almost be enjoying the interaction, an indication that he might still be a cop wannabe, someone who listened to police and fire scanners and got off on cop shows. But it was more than his demeanor giving her pause. There was the fact that Bankston had handled the rope, that his time card showed he’d had the opportunity to have killed at least Schreiber and Watson, and that he had no alibi for those nights, not with his wife working and his daughter with his mother-in-law. Tracy would have Faz and Del take Bankston’s photo to the Dancing Bare and the Pink Palace, to see if anyone recognized him. She’d also run his name through the Department of Licensing to determine what type of car he drove. “What would I have to do . . . to clear me?” “We’d like you to take a lie detector test. They’d ask you questions like the ones we just asked you—where you work, details about your job, those sorts of things.” “Would you be the one administering the test?” “No,” Tracy said. “We’d have someone trained to do that give you the test, but both Detective Rowe and I would be there to help get you set up.” “Okay,” Bankston said. “But like I said, I have
Robert Dugoni (Her Final Breath (Tracy Crosswhite, #2))
Get it out of your head and onto paper. When I had to explain to my board that, since we were a public company, I thought that it would be best if we sold all of our customers and all of our revenue and changed business, it was messing with my mind. In order to finalize that decision, I wrote down a detailed explanation of my logic. The process of writing that document separated me from my own psychology and enabled me to make the decision swiftly. Focus on the road, not the wall. When someone learns to drive a race car, one of the first lessons taught is that when you are going around a curve at 200 mph, do not focus on the wall; focus on the road. If you focus on the wall, you will drive right into it. If you focus on the road, you will follow the road. Running a company is like that. There are always a thousand things that can go wrong and sink the ship. If you focus too much on them, you will drive yourself nuts and likely crash your company. Focus on where you are going rather than on what you hope to avoid.
Ben Horowitz (The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers)
It’s a little known fact, but Hoboken, the Mile Square City, was originally an island in the Hudson River. Of course, its eastern boundary was the Hudson River, but on its western side, the river ran into tidal lands, described before, that extended along the base of the cliffs of the Palisades. Named after his ship, Half Moon Bay, north of Hoboken was where Henry Hudson anchored his ship. The photograph showing “Heavy Frigates at Anchor,” identified to be in Half Moon Bay, shows a sailing vessel that appears to be the USS Constitution, with her decks protected from the elements by a canvas awning. It is recorded that at the outbreak of the Civil War the USS Constitution was relocated farther north because of threats made against her by Confederate sympathizers. Several companies of Massachusetts Volunteer soldiers were stationed aboard her for her protection when she was towed to New York Harbor, where she arrived on April 29, 1861. It cannot be verified, however from my research the other ship in the photograph could well have been the USS Constellation. A third frigate only shows her rigging and cannot be identified. Originally, on March 27, 1794, the United States Congress authorized six similar frigates to be constructed at a cost of $688,888.82. The tidal lands with cattails and river water were filled in at the turn of the 20th Century. Without any concern regarding the ecology, this bay which was used by nesting birds and had served as a protected anchorage, became low lying flatlands. Most of the fill used was from dredging, ballast, dunnage and even garbage. Once filled in, it became the site of the Maxwell House Coffee Company, the Tootsie Roll factory, Todd’s Shipyard, and the Erie railroad yards in Weehawken. The flats were used as a holding area for railroad cars waiting to cross on barges to the eastern side of the river. It also became the location of the western entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel.
Hank Bracker
Failure can feel like the ultimate death sentence, but it’s actually a step forward. When we fail, life is pushing us in a different direction so we can experience something new. One adventure has ended and another is about to begin, because it must. Think of your activities in life as scientific experiments. Scientists expect the vast majority of their tests to fail, but they still view each test as a step forward, regardless of the outcome. This is because each failed test rules out that particular approach, narrowing the remaining scope of potential solutions. You might be thinking, “What if all of my experiments fail until the day I die?” Great question. That might happen, depending on how you define failure and success. Here’s the magical solution to that problem: The results of your experiments are of little consequence. Only the experiments themselves matter. The old platitude is true: It’s about the journey, not the destination. Doing experiments will account for 99% of your time on this earth. That’s the journey. The result of your experiments is the other 1%. If you enjoy 99% of your life (the time spent in experimentation), who cares about the results? This is how to remove the problem of failure. Failure is just a temporary result. Its effect is as big or as small as you allow it to be. Elon Musk is becoming a household name. He cofounded Paypal. He now runs two companies simultaneously. The first, Tesla Motors, builds electric cars. The second, SpaceX, builds rocket ships. Many people think of Elon Musk as a real-world Iron Man—a superhero. He’s a living legend. He works extremely hard, and he’s brilliant. Did you know that Elon Musk never worked at Netscape? This is interesting because he actually wanted to work there very badly. He applied to Netscape while he was in grad school at Stanford, but never received a response. He even went to Netscape’s lobby with resume in hand, hoping to talk to someone about getting a job. No one in the lobby ever spoke to Elon that day. After getting nervous and feeling ashamed of himself, he walked out. That’s right. Elon Musk failed to get hired at Netscape. The recruiting managers didn’t see a need for him, and he was too ashamed to keep badgering them. So what happened next? Well, we know what happened from there. Musk went on to become one of the most successful and respected visionaries of our time.[30] Take a deep breath and realize that there are no life-ending failures, only experiments and results. It’s also important to realize that you are not the failure—the experiment is the failure. It is impossible for a person to be a failure. A person’s life is just a collection of experiments. We’re meant to enjoy them and grow from them. If you learn to love the process of experimentation, the prospect of failure isn’t so scary anymore.
Jesse Tevelow (The Connection Algorithm: Take Risks, Defy the Status Quo, and Live Your Passions)
Yo mama is so stupid… she thought Dunkin’ Donuts was a basketball team! Yo mama is so stupid… she tripped over a wireless phone! Yo mama is so stupid… she failed a survey! Yo mama is so stupid… she got locked in a grocery store and starved to death! Yo mama is so stupid… when they said that it is chilly outside, she went outside with a bowl and a spoon. Yo mama is so stupid… she tried to drown a fish! Yo mama is so stupid… she tried to throw a bird off a cliff! Yo mama is so stupid… she took a knife to a drive-by! Yo mama is so stupid… she thought Boyz II Men was a daycare center! Yo mama is so stupid… she bought a ticket to Xbox Live! Yo mama is so stupid… she thought she couldn’t buy a Gameboy because she is a girl! Yo mama is so stupid… she thought a scholarship was a ship full of students! Yo mama is so stupid… she threw a clock out the window to see time fly! Yo mama is so stupid… she went to the ocean to surf the Internet! Yo mama is so stupid… you can hear the ocean in her head! Yo mama is so stupid… she thought Hamburger Helper came with a friend! Yo mama is so stupid… she got locked in Furniture World and slept on the floor. Yo mama is so stupid… she sits on the floor and watches the couch. Yo mama is so stupid… she stayed up all night trying to catch up on her sleep! Yo mama is so stupid… she got her hand stuck in a website! Yo mama is so stupid… she thought Christmas wrap was Snoop Dogg’s new song! Yo mama is so stupid… she can't pass a blood test. Yo mama is so stupid… she thought the Harlem Shake was a drink! Yo mama is so stupid… she ordered a cheeseburger without the cheese. Yo mama is so stupid… she tried to climb Mountain Dew! Yo mama is so stupid… that she burned down the house with a CD burner. Yo mama is so stupid… she went to PetSmart to take an IQ test! Yo mama is so stupid… she went to the library to find Facebook! Yo mama is so stupid… she stole free bread. Yo mama is so stupid… she sold her car for gas money. Yo mama is so stupid… she stopped at a stop sign and waited for it to turn green. Yo mama is so stupid… when she asked me what kind of jeans I am wearing I said, “Guess”, and she said, “Levis”. Yo mama is so stupid… she called me to ask me for my phone number! Yo mama is so stupid… she worked at an M&M factory and threw out all the W's. Yo mama is so stupid… she tried to commit suicide by jumping out the basement window. Yo mama is so stupid… she got lost in a telephone booth. Yo mama is so stupid… she stuck a phone in her butt to make a booty call! Yo mama is so stupid… I said that drinks were on the house and she went to get a ladder! Yo mama is so stupid… she went to a dentist to fix her Bluetooth! Yo mama is so stupid… she put lipstick on her forehead to make up her mind. Yo mama is so stupid… it took her two hours to watch 60 seconds.
Johnny B. Laughing (Yo Mama Jokes Bible: 350+ Funny & Hilarious Yo Mama Jokes)
Leaving West Africa was bitter sweet. I had made friends the most of which I would never see again. I was seen as an adult in Liberia and for the first time in my life I was accepted as a grown-up. In fact I was given responsibilities I could never have expected had I remained in the United States. As the captain of a coastal vessel I had the same duties as the captain of any ship, large or small and the decisions I made affected the lives of everyone aboard. Although I never gave it much thought the value of the ship and cargo was worth millions of dollars and I was entrusted with it and the lives of the crew and the occasional passengers that sailed with me. When I embarked on this venture I was under the legal age of 21 and signed for everything “under protest.” The skillsets needed to be the captain of a small ship are the same as those needed on a larger vessel only there were less people to do them. Navigation was the same and ship handling without tugboats or thrusters was even more difficult. I did my own piloting, calculated the center of gravity and figured out fuel, water and cargo placement without even the use of a calculator. Computers, GPS, Depth finder, Loran and Radar were thing not yet available for most ships. Since you don’t miss what you never had, life was good and I did what I had to do. Fortunately for the most part everything worked out well. I remember that when I returned to New York and rode in a subway car thinking “Wow, none of these people know that I just returned from West Africa where I was a harbor pilot and the captain of a ship.” The thought that I had accomplished so much at my young age seemed important to me and I thought that it was something they might want to know. The thought that flashed through my mind next brought me back down to earth. “No one would give a shit!” I was back in New York City and would soon be back out to sea….
Hank Bracker
I leaned my head against the glass of the car window. If only Mom were still alive, then I could stay at home and not be shipped off elsewhere
Katrina Kahler (TWINS : Part Three - Books 7, 8, 9 & 10 : Books for Girls 9-12 (Twins Series Book 3))
Where are you? I need you to answer. Of all the times for you not to answer, this is the worst. I just kissed Garner. Oh my gosh. Rose! What am I going to do? Today was a long, hard, long—did I already say long?—day. I was working here at my desk and I was incredibly frustrated because I was having to fix a mistake one of the financial analysts made, when I heard a knock. I looked up and Garner was standing just inside my doorway, with his suit jacket over his arm. My heart squeezed because . . . you know why. This thing I have for him. He asked me why I always work so late. I explained about the mistake I was fixing and then told him about all the other things I still have to finish before I can call it a night. He said he thought it was dangerous for me to remain on our floor after hours, to walk to my car alone, to arrive at my apartment alone. He told me he was concerned that I’m being careless with my safety. I stared at him, speechless, because lots of people work late. Almost all of them are men, so the only thing I could figure was that he was basically scolding me for working late because I’m female. Which is completely sexist and infuriating. But hold the phone. It gets worse. “Going home earlier will be better for you in other ways,” he said. “It’ll help you balance things out. Get more sleep. More rest.” And then this is the kicker. He said, “It might be time for you to get a life, Kathleen.” He said it nicely. There was humor in his eyes, there was. But I knew . . . I knew, Rose, that he was serious. That he really does think I need to get a life. And it just . . . it sparked something inside me because here I am working my butt off for Bradford Shipping, spending my time at the office, because I’m trying to save his company. He’s the one leaving to go home and he has the audacity to tell me to get a life! I stood and came around my desk as I told him all of that. Everything I just told you. I didn’t scream it. I spoke it quickly and I think, quietly. But I said it like I meant it. Because I did mean it. I was upset. How dare he! Get a life! From the man who’s not exactly known for making the best life decisions. I found myself standing right in front of him. He raised an eyebrow slightly. That’s it! That’s all he did. He was totally unmoved by my speech. He looked calm. He looked like someone I could never have. Plus, his eyes are ridiculous. My destructive streak surfaced and I stepped forward and I put my palms on his cheeks and I kissed him. Just a press of lips to lips. That’s it. I waited for maybe one whole second, which felt like ten, for him to kiss me back, to put his arms around me. Something! Instead he moved backward. Oh, Rose. It was horrible. His gaze narrowed on me and his chest expanded with his breath a few times, but otherwise he stood there like a statue. And I stood there like a statue. Then he turned and left. I could die. I’ve locked my office door and closed my blinds and I’m sitting on the floor behind my desk. How am I supposed to face him now? I’m sure he thinks I’m insane. Why
Becky Wade (Then Came You (A Bradford Sisters Romance, #0.5))
Having been a Ship’s Captain, a Naval Officer a Mathematics & Science Teacher, most people would believe that my primary interests would be directed towards the sciences. On the other hand, those that know me to be an author interested in history, may believe me to be interested in the arts. University degrees usually fall into the general category of Art or Science. It’s as if we have to pick sides and back one or the other team…. With my degree in Marine Science I am often divided and pigeon holed into this specific discipline or area of interest. One way or the other, this holds true for most of us but is this really true for any of us. As a father I can certainly do other things. Being a navigator doesn’t preclude me from driving a car. Hopefully this article does more than just introduce Cuban Art and in addition gives us all good reason to be accepted as more than a “Johnny One Note.“ My quote that “History is not owned solely by historians. It is a part of everyone’s heritage” hopefully opens doors allowing that we be defined as a sum of all our parts, not just a solitary or prominent one. As it happens, I believe that “Just as science feeds our intellect, art feeds our soul.” For the years that Cuba was under Spanish rule, the island was a direct reflection of Spanish culture. Cuba was thought of as an extension of Spain's empire in the Americas, with Havana and Santiago de Cuba being as Spanish as any city in Spain. Although the early Renaissance concentrated on the arts of Ancient Greece and Rome, it spread to Spain during the 15th and 16th centuries. The new interest in literature and art that Europe experienced quickly spread to Cuba in the years following the colonization of the island. Following their counterparts in Europe, Cuban Professionals, Government Administrators and Merchants demonstrated an interest in supporting the arts. In the 16th century painters and sculptors from Spain painted and decorated the Catholic churches and public buildings in Cuba and by the mid-18th century locally born artists continued this work. During the early part of the 20th century Cuban artists such as Salvador Dali, Joan Miró and Pablo Picasso introduced modern classicism and surrealism to Europe. Cuban artist Wilfred Lam can be credited for bringing this artistic style to Cuba. Another Cuban born painter of that era, Federico Beltran Masses, known to be a master of colorization as well as a painter of seductive images of women, sometimes made obvious artistic references to the tropical settings of his childhood. As Cuban art evolved it encompassed the cultural blend of African, European and American features, thereby producing its own unique character. One of the best known works of Cuban art, of this period, is La Gitana Tropical, painted in 1929, by Víctor Manuel. After the 1959 Cuban Revolution, during the early 1960’s, government agencies such as the Commission of Revolutionary Orientation had posters produced for propaganda purposes. Although many of them showed Soviet design features, some still contained hints of the earlier Cuban style for more colorful designs. Towards the end of the 1960’s, a new Cuban art style came into its own. A generation of artists including Félix Beltran, Raul Martinez, Rene Mederos and Alfredo Rostgaard created vibrantly powerful and intense works which remained distinctively Cuban. Though still commissioned by the State to produce propaganda posters, these artists were accepted on the world stage for their individualistic artistic flair and graphic design. After bringing the various and distinct symbols of the island into their work, present day Cuban artists presented their work at the Volumen Uno Exhibit in Havana. Some of these artists were Jose Bedia, Juan Francisco Elso, Lucy Lippard, Ana Mendieta and Tomas Sanchezare. Their intention was to make a nationalistic statement as to who they were without being concerned over the possibility of government rep
Hank Bracker
The 5th Marine Division had suffered such severs casualties, they were able to bring our entire Division back to Hawaii in only 5 or 6 ships. We docked in Hilo and boarded a single train normally used to haul sugar cane to mill. These were open flat cars, the weather was beautiful, the scenery fantastic. As our train gets underway the Marines break out their Jap flags captured on Iwo Jima. There were hundreds of Jap flags flying from on end of the train to the other. This was a beautiful sight. The victors had returned home. I've never felt so proud to be a part of anything like this before in my life. There were no spectators, no one watching us, no crowd, no cheering, no band, only the remainder of a proud 5th Marine Division returning home. For some reason I preferred it this way, no one could understand our feelings at this time.
George Nations (Iwo Jima - One Man Remembers)
Most of the cadets accepted an invitation to attend a reception at the Venezuelan Naval Academy in La Guaira. Don Silke and I had other ideas and figured on getting a cab to the capital city of Caracas. The ride would take about a half hour, if the car did not overheat going over the mountain pass on the newly constructed highway. The capital city had an elevation of 7,083 feet and we were at sea level. As we stepped off the gangway, I noticed two stunningly beautiful girls standing on the concrete dock looking at the ship. Neither of us could figure out why the girls were there. Perhaps they were tourists, but I would find out. Approaching them, I asked if we could help, but soon discovered that they didn’t speak English and we didn’t speak what seemed to be French. It could have led to an impasse but my knowledge of German saved the day. It turned out that both girls were from France and one of them came from the Alsace Province and spoke German. They were both quite bubbly and we soon found out that they were dancers with the Folies Bergère, on tour to South America. From what I understood, they would be performing in Caracas that night and could get us free tickets. It all sounded great except that we had to be back aboard by 10:00 p.m., since the ship would be leaving first thing in the morning. Rats! You win some and you lose some, but at least we were with them for now. Don and I offered to take them aboard for lunch. It all seemed exciting for them to board a ship with so many single men. Ooh là là. The girls attracted a lot of attention and the ship’s photographer couldn’t stop taking pictures. The rest of our classmates couldn’t believe what they saw and of course thought that we were luckier than we really were. For us, the illusion had to be enough and fortunately the lunch served that day was reasonably good.
Hank Bracker
At noon one day Will Hamilton came roaring and bumping up the road in a new Ford. The engine raced in its low gear, and the high top swayed like a storm-driven ship. The brass radiator and the Prestolite tank on the running board were blinding with brass polish. Will pulled up the brake lever, turned the switch straight down, and sat back in the leather seat. The car backfired several times without ignition because it was overheated. “Here she is!” Will called with a false enthusiasm. He hated Fords with a deadly hatred, but they were daily building his fortune. Adam and Lee hung over the exposed insides of the car while Will Hamilton, puffing under the burden of his new fat, explained the workings of a mechanism he did not understand himself. It is hard now to imagine the difficulty of learning to start, drive, and maintain an automobile. Not only was the whole process complicated, but one had to start from scratch. Today’s children breathe in the theory, habits, and idiosyncracies of the internal combustion engine in their cradles, but then you started with the blank belief that it would not run at all, and sometimes you were right. Also, to start the engine of a modern car you do just two things, turn a key and touch the starter. Everything else is automatic. The process used to be more complicated. It required not only a good memory, a strong arm, an angelic temper, and a blind hope, but also a certain amount of practice of magic, so that a man about to turn the crank of a Model T might be seen to spit on the ground and whisper a spell. Will Hamilton explained the car and went back and explained it again. His customers were wide-eyed, interested as terriers, cooperative, and did not interrupt, but as he began for the third time Will saw that he was getting no place. “Tell you what!” he said brightly. “You see, this isn’t my line. I wanted you to see her and listen to her before I made delivery. Now, I’ll go back to town and tomorrow I’ll send out this car with an expert, and he’ll tell you more in a few minutes than I could in a week. But I just wanted you to see her.” Will had forgotten some of his own instructions. He cranked for a while and then borrowed a buggy and a horse from Adam and drove to town, but he promised to have a mechanic out the next day.
John Steinbeck
Grant read my book, and he said it was good! A tiny parade marches through my chest, filled with baton-throwing, tutu-clad dancers, people on floats throwing confetti, a full marching band with tubas and bass drums, and not a clown car in sight. Those are creepy and nothing about this moment feels the least bit creepy. Grant read my book. A sigh of contentment softly blows through my nose, and my grin feels like the first taste of summer after a long year of sitting in a stuffy classroom. Grant read my book. I sigh. Is this what swooning feels like?
Savannah Scott (Doctorshipped (Getting Shipped! #5))
Prologue In 1980, a year after my wife leapt to her death from the Silas Pearlman Bridge in Charleston, South Carolina, I moved to Italy to begin life anew, taking our small daughter with me. Our sweet Leah was not quite two when my wife, Shyla, stopped her car on the highest point of the bridge and looked over, for the last time, the city she loved so well. She had put on the emergency brake and opened the door of our car, then lifted herself up to the rail of the bridge with the delicacy and enigmatic grace that was always Shyla’s catlike gift. She was also quick-witted and funny, but she carried within her a dark side that she hid with bright allusions and an irony as finely wrought as lace. She had so mastered the strategies of camouflage that her own history had seemed a series of well-placed mirrors that kept her hidden from herself. It was nearly sunset and a tape of the Drifters’ Greatest Hits poured out of the car’s stereo. She had recently had our car serviced and the gasoline tank was full. She had paid all the bills and set up an appointment with Dr. Joseph for my teeth to be cleaned. Even in her final moments, her instincts tended toward the orderly and the functional. She had always prided herself in keeping her madness invisible and at bay; and when she could no longer fend off the voices that grew inside her, their evil set to chaos in a minor key, her breakdown enfolded upon her, like a tarpaulin pulled across that part of her brain where once there had been light. Having served her time in mental hospitals, exhausted the wide range of pharmaceuticals, and submitted herself to the priestly rites of therapists of every theoretic persuasion, she was defenseless when the black music of her subconscious sounded its elegy for her time on earth. On the rail, all eyewitnesses agreed, Shyla hesitated and looked out toward the sea and shipping lanes that cut past Fort Sumter, trying to compose herself for the last action of her life. Her beauty had always been a disquieting thing about her and as the wind from the sea caught her black hair, lifting it like streamers behind her,
Pat Conroy (Beach Music)
It was early spring of 1997, about five years into my career as a journalist, a day of dark skies and cold rain. Peter Diamandis and I had gotten together for the very first time at a rundown diner on the outskirts of Chinatown, San Francisco. The diner was long and narrow, and we were seated toward the rear of the room. I was sitting with my back to the building’s far corner, Peter with his back to the rest of the restaurant. And the rest of the restaurant was staring at him. For twenty minutes, Peter had been getting more and more excited while telling me about his newly launched endeavor: the XPRIZE, a ten-million-dollar competition for the first team to build a private spaceship capable of taking three people into space twice in two weeks. Already, the Sharpie had come out. There were charts on napkins, graphs on placemats, a healthy rearrangement of condiments — the ketchup marking the end of the troposphere, the mustard the beginning of the mesosphere. About the time he got loud about how some maverick innovator working out of a garage somewhere was going to “take down NASA,” people began to stare. Peter couldn’t see them; I could. Twenty folks in the restaurant, all looking at him like he was stark raving mad. And I remember this: I remember thinking they were wrong. It’s hard to put my finger on why. Part of it was a strange hunch. Journalists tend to be cynical by nature and disbelieving by necessity. The job requires a fairly healthy bullshit detector, and that was the thing — mine wasn’t going off. More of it was that I had just come from a month in the Black Rock Desert, outside of Gerlach, Nevada, watching Craig Breedlove try to drive a car through the sound barrier. Breedlove’s effort was terrestrial-bound rocket science, for sure. The Spirit of America, his vehicle, was pretty much a miniature Saturn V — 40 feet long, 8 feet wide, 6 feet high, and powered by a turbojet engine that burned, well, rocket fuel. During those long days in the desert, I spent a lot of time talking to aerospace engineers. They all made one thing clear: Driving a car through the sound barrier was a lot harder than sending a rocket ship into low-earth orbit. In fact, when I asked Breedlove’s crew chief, former Air Force pilot turned aerospace engineer Dezso Molnar — who we’ll meet again later as the inventor of the world’s first flying motorcycle — what he was going to work on when all this was over, he said, “I want to do something easy, something relaxing. I think I’m going to build a spaceship.
Steven Kotler (Tomorrowland: Our Staggering Journey from Science Fiction to Science Fact)