Stand By Me Movie Quotes

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If you don't want them to find you, changing your last name seems a fairly elementary first step. Trust me, I'm an expert. I've watched a lot of spy movies.
Cassandra Clare (The Last Stand of the New York Institute (The Bane Chronicles, #9))
Barack intrigued me. He was not like anyone I’d dated before, mainly because he seemed so secure. He was openly affectionate. He told me I was beautiful. He made me feel good. To me, he was sort of like a unicorn—unusual to the point of seeming almost unreal. He never talked about material things, like buying a house or a car or even new shoes. His money went largely toward books, which to him were like sacred objects, providing ballast for his mind. He read late into the night, often long after I’d fallen asleep, plowing through history and biographies and Toni Morrison, too. He read several newspapers daily, cover to cover. He kept tabs on the latest book reviews, the American League standings, and what the South Side aldermen were up to. He could speak with equal passion about the Polish elections and which movies Roger Ebert had panned and why.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
I can give you honesty, monogamy, and more passion than you can stand, but not love. That emotion died in me long ago, as I suspect you already know.” I took a deep breath, fighting a twinge that made no sense because he was right. I had guessed that about him. “Good,” I replied in a steady voice. “I was worried that you’d turn into one of those obsessed, emo movie vampires, and that would be embarrassing for both of us.” His laughter rang out before changing into something rougher and infinitely more sensual. Emerald overtook his gaze once again. “Enough talk,” he muttered, and lowered his head.
Jeaniene Frost (Once Burned (Night Prince, #1))
I want you to know it was no big deal...those movies showing women screaming in labor are plain bullshit....there's nothing to it...you just push and push and finally the baby pops out...to tell you the truth I don't even rember that much about it except there was a very nice guy standing over me and every time a strong contraction started he gave me a whiff of gas...
Judy Blume (Forever . . .)
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)
Gillette--The best a man can get." I stared at the screen. What happened to me? I was meant to be one of those guys, vigorous and athletic and successful and, most of all, American. I was going to walk on the moon, be a movie star or a rock got or a comedian. I was going to have an amazing life and kids with Helen and die like Chaplin a thousand years from now in my Beverly Hills mansion surrounded by my adoring family, with the grieving world media standing by. Instead, I was just another show-business mediocrity. A drunk who shat his pants and ran for help. My life had been careless and selfish. Pleasure in the moment was my only thought, my solitary motivation. I had disappointed whoever had been foolish enough to love me, and left them scarred. I was a very long way from being the best a man can get.
Craig Ferguson (American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot)
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 stand before her, meeting her eye to eye and nose to nose. My head takes a slight bow as I clench my fist. “I should have just killed you like any other bloodsucking vampire.” “So why didn’t you?” She tiptoes, clenching her first as well. I have to admit. She is a much better version of the Snow White you see in a Disney movie. She’s kind of kickass. I like it, but I will never let her know.“Why do you care so much about me then? Ha?” She asks. "I should have killed you before," I repeated while all I could do is wonder how I'd ever fallen in love with a monster girl.
Cameron Jace (Snow White Sorrow (The Grimm Diaries, #1))
You're the tattooed, chain-smoking, beer-guzzling, train wreck, son of the movie star who's marrying my family-values, ex Marine Senator father. You're a tabloid headline, standing right here in front of me! Yeah? Well, you're the goody-goody, stuck up, boring-ass virgin who's so uptight she can't find anyone to punch her v-card except the manwhore from her school who will screw literally anyone. And then turns out to be the most boring fucking lay I've ever had.
Sabrina Paige (Prick (A Step Brother Romance, #1))
[M]y mother read a horror novel every night. She had read every one in the library. When birthdays and Christmas would come, I would consider buying her a new one, the latest Dean R. Koontz or Stephen King or whatever, but I couldn't. I didn't want to encourage her. I couldn't touch my father's cigarettes, couldn't look at the Pall Mall cartons in the pantry. I was the sort of child who couldn't even watch commercials for horror movies - the ad for Magic, the movie where marionette kills people. sent me into a six-month nightmare frenzy. So I couldn't look at her books, would turn them over so their covers wouldn't show, the raised lettering and splotches of blood - especially the V.C. Andrews oeuvre, those turgid pictures of those terrible kids, standing so still, all lit in blue.
Dave Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius)
My inner-movie director has me standing at the grave site holding fresh-picked daisies -Tabby’s favorite- in the rain, like always, and I want to punch him in his stupid fucking face.
Jared Reck (A Short History of the Girl Next Door)
POCKET-SIZED FEMINISM The only other girl at the party is ranting about feminism. The audience: a sea of rape jokes and snapbacks and styrofoam cups and me. They gawk at her mouth like it is a drain clogged with too many opinions. I shoot her an empathetic glance and say nothing. This house is for wallpaper women. What good is wallpaper that speaks? I want to stand up, but if I do, whose coffee table silence will these boys rest their feet on? I want to stand up, but if I do, what if someone takes my spot? I want to stand up, but if I do, what if everyone notices I’ve been sitting this whole time? I am guilty of keeping my feminism in my pocket until it is convenient not to, like at poetry slams or my women’s studies class. There are days I want people to like me more than I want to change the world. There are days I forget we had to invent nail polish to change color in drugged drinks and apps to virtually walk us home at night and mace disguised as lipstick. Once, I told a boy I was powerful and he told me to mind my own business. Once, a boy accused me of practicing misandry. You think you can take over the world? And I said No, I just want to see it. I just need to know it is there for someone. Once, my dad informed me sexism is dead and reminded me to always carry pepper spray in the same breath. We accept this state of constant fear as just another part of being a girl. We text each other when we get home safe and it does not occur to us that our guy friends do not have to do the same. You could saw a woman in half and it would be called a magic trick. That’s why you invited us here, isn’t it? Because there is no show without a beautiful assistant? We are surrounded by boys who hang up our naked posters and fantasize about choking us and watch movies we get murdered in. We are the daughters of men who warned us about the news and the missing girls on the milk carton and the sharp edge of the world. They begged us to be careful. To be safe. Then told our brothers to go out and play.
Blythe Baird
Do you want to watch a movie or something?” I ask, putting my plate in the sink. Rex shakes his head. “Do you want me to go so you can… do whatever?” Rex shakes his head again, a dangerous smile playing on his lips. He stands up and holds out a hand to me.
Roan Parrish (In the Middle of Somewhere (Middle of Somewhere, #1))
He reached out and gripped her upper arms. His fingers closed around something silky and he shook her slightly. “Unreasonable? Unreasonable? It’s the middle of the night and I’m standing in a room full of dogs, talking about a stupid movie!” “It’s not stupid. Why couldn’t you be more like Ralph Kramden from the Honeymooners? Sure, he was loud and obnoxious, but he saved the whole shelter of dogs when he found out they would be destroyed. Why can’t you be more human?” “The friggin Honeymooners, now? That’s it, I’ve had enough. You are going to pack up every one of those dogs and take them back to the shelter right now, or God help me, Alexa, I’ll get rid of them myself!” “I won’t do it.” “You will.” “Make me.” “Make you? Make you?” His fingers twisted around a wad of silky, satiny fabric as he fought for a shred of control. When the haze finally cleared his vision, Nick blinked and looked down. Then realized his wife was naked. Her lime-green robe had slid down over her shoulders and now gaped open. Her sash slipped unnoticed to the floor. He expected to catch a glimpse of some lacy negligee made to incite a man’s lust. He got much more. Jesus, she was perfect.
Jennifer Probst (The Marriage Bargain (Marriage to a Billionaire, #1))
It was Valentine's Day and I had spent the day in bed with my life partner, Ketel One. The two of us watched a romance movie marathon on TBS Superstation that made me wonder how people who write romantic comedies can sleep at night. At some point during almost every romantic comedy, the female lead suddenly trips and falls, stumbling helplessly over something ridiculous like a leaf, and then some Matthew McConaughey type either whips around the corner just in the nick of time to save her or is clumsily pulled down along with her. That event predictably leads to the magical moment of their first kiss. Please. I fall all-the-time. You know who comes and gets me? The bouncer. Then, within the two hour time frame of the movie, the couple meet, fall in love, fall out of love, break up, and then just before the end of the movie, they happen to bump into each other by "coincidence" somewhere absolutely absurd, like by the river. This never happens in real life. The last time I bumped into an ex-boyfriend was at three o'clock in the morning at Rite Aid. I was ringing up Gas-X and corn removers.
Chelsea Handler (My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands)
What matters is that you do good work. What matters is that you produce things that are true and will stand. What matters is that the Flaming Lips’s new album is ravishing and I’ve listened to it a thousand times already, sometimes for days on end, and it enriches me and makes me want to save people. What matters is that it will stand forever, long after any narrow-hearted curmudgeons have forgotten their appearance on goddamn 90210. What matters is not the perception, nor the fashion, not who’s up and who’s down, but what someone has done and if they meant it. What matters is that you want to see and make and do, on as grand a scale as you want, regardless of what the tiny voices of tiny people say. Do not be critics, you people, I beg you. I was a critic and I wish I could take it all back because it came from a smelly and ignorant place in me, and spoke with a voice that was all rage and envy. Do not dismiss a book until you have written one, and do not dismiss a movie until you have made one, and do not dismiss a person until you have met them. It is a fuckload of work to be open-minded and generous and understanding and forgiving and accepting, but Christ, that is what matters. What matters is saying yes.
Dave Eggers
One of the sicknesses of the twentieth century? I'll tell you the worst one. People can't stand to be alone. Can't tolerate it! So they go to the movies, get drive-in hamburgers, put their home telephone numbers in the crapsheets and say 'Please call me up!' It's sick. People hate their own company --- they cry when they see themselves in mirrors. It scares them, the way their faces look. Maybe that's a clue to the whole thing...
Paul Theroux (The Mosquito Coast)
Being kind, making hard decisions, helping those in need, standing up for what’s right, pointing toward hope and truth, and embracing the power of persistence . . . those were the qualities of Superman that mattered to me far more than his ability to see through walls. Because all of us can do those other things, can be those things; we can be Superman whenever we choose.
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)
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))
Sandra Bullock is an unmatched charm powerhouse, and I feel like nobody acknowledges that anymore because she made too many comedies for women, and men can’t stand that. Watch Sandra Bullock in action. Watch Sandra Bullock in Speed and then tell me you don’t want to frame your spouse for a crime so you can marry her instead! Watch While You Were Sleeping and try not to send Sandra Bullock a thank-you card with $4,000 inside. I DARE YOU.
Lindy West (Shit, Actually: The Definitive, 100% Objective Guide to Modern Cinema)
The conference is geared to people who enjoy meaningful discussions and sometimes "move a conversation to a deeper level, only to find out we are the only ones there." . . . When it's my turn, I talk about how I've never been in a group environment in which I didn't feel obliged to present an unnaturally rah-rah version of myself. . . . Scientists can easily report on the behavior of extroverts, who can often be found laughing, talking, or gesticulating. But "if a person is standing in the corner of a room, you can attribute about fifteen motivations to that person. But you don't really know what's going on inside." . . . So what is the inner behavior of people whose most visible feature is that when you take them to a party they aren't very pleased about it? . . . The highly sensitive tend to be philosophical or spiritual in their orientation, rather than materialistic or hedonistic. They dislike small talk. They often describe themselves as creative or intuitive . . . . They dream vividly, and can often recall their dreams the next day. They love music, nature, art, physical beauty. They feel exceptionally strong emotions--sometimes acute bouts of joy, but also sorrow, melancholy, and fear. Highly sensitive people also process information about their environments--both physical and emotional--unusually deeply. They tend to notice subtleties that others miss--another person's shift in mood, say, or a lightbulb burning a touch too brightly. . . . [Inside fMRI machines], the sensitive people were processing the photos at a more elaborate level than their peers . . . . It may also help explain why they're so bored by small talk. "If you're thinking in more complicated ways," she told me, "then talking about the weather or where you went for the holidays is not quite as interesting as talking about values or morality." The other thing Aron found about sensitive people is that sometimes they're highly empathic. It's as if they have thinner boundaries separating them from other people's emotions and from the tragedies and cruelties of the world. They tend to have unusually strong consciences. They avoid violent movies and TV shows; they're acutely aware of the consequences of a lapse in their own behavior. In social settings they often focus on subjects like personal problems, which others consider "too heavy.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
Straining to hear, I can make out something acoustic. Coming from...the backyard? I glance down from my bedroom window and feel my jaw fall open. Matt Finch is standing below my window, guitar strapped across his chest. I pull my window up, and I expect the song from that old movie - the one about a guy with a trench coat and the big radio and his heart on his sleeve. But it's not that. It's not anything I recognise, and I strain to make out the lyrics: Stop being ridiculous, stop being ridiculous, Reagan. What an asshole. The mesh screen and two floors between us don't seem like enough to protect him from my anger. "Nice apology," I call down to him. "I've apologised thirteen times," he yells back, "and so far you haven't called me back." I open my mouth to say it doesn't matter, but he's already redirecting the song. "Now I'm gonna stand here until you forgive me," he sings loudly, "or at least until you hear me out, la-la, oh-la-la. I drove seven hours overnight, and I won't leave until you come out here." (...) "This is private property!" My throat feel coarse from how loudly I'm yelling. "And that doesn't even rhyme!" The guitar chord continues as he sings, "Then call the cops, call the cops, call the cops..." I storm downstairs, my feet pounding against the staircase. When I turn the corner, my dad looks almost amused from his seat in the recliner. Noticing my expression, he stares back at his newspaper, as if I won't notice him. (...) "Dad. How did Matt know which window was mine?" "Well..." he peeks over the sports section. "I reckon I told him." "You talked to him?" My voice is no longer a voice. It's a shriek. "God, Dad!" He juts out his chin, defensive. "How was I supposed to know you had some sort of drama with him? He shows up, lookin' to serenade my daughter. Thought it seemed innocent enough. Sweet, even. Old-fashioned." "It's not any of those things! I hate him!
Emery Lord (Open Road Summer)
America I’ve given you all and now I’m nothing. America two dollars and twentyseven cents January 17, 1956. I can’t stand my own mind. America when will we end the human war? Go fuck yourself with your atom bomb. I don’t feel good don’t bother me. I won’t write my poem till I’m in my right mind. America when will you be angelic? When will you take off your clothes? When will you look at yourself through the grave? When will you be worthy of your million Trotskyites? America why are your libraries full of tears? America when will you send your eggs to India? I’m sick of your insane demands. When can I go into the supermarket and buy what I need with my good looks? America after all it is you and I who are perfect not the next world. Your machinery is too much for me. You made me want to be a saint. There must be some other way to settle this argument. Burroughs is in Tangiers I don’t think he’ll come back it’s sinister. Are you being sinister or is this some form of practical joke? I’m trying to come to the point. I refuse to give up my obsession. America stop pushing I know what I’m doing. America the plum blossoms are falling. I haven’t read the newspapers for months, everyday somebody goes on trial for murder. America I feel sentimental about the Wobblies. America I used to be a communist when I was a kid I’m not sorry. I smoke marijuana every chance I get. I sit in my house for days on end and stare at the roses in the closet. When I go to Chinatown I get drunk and never get laid. My mind is made up there’s going to be trouble. You should have seen me reading Marx. My psychoanalyst thinks I’m perfectly right. I won’t say the Lord’s Prayer. I have mystical visions and cosmic vibrations. America I still haven’t told you what you did to Uncle Max after he came over from Russia. I’m addressing you. Are you going to let your emotional life be run by Time Magazine? I’m obsessed by Time Magazine. I read it every week. Its cover stares at me every time I slink past the corner candystore. I read it in the basement of the Berkeley Public Library. It’s always telling me about responsibility. Businessmen are serious. Movie producers are serious. Everybody’s serious but me. It occurs to me that I am America. I am talking to myself again. ...
Allen Ginsberg (Howl and Other Poems)
In my yellow room, Sunflowers with purple eyes stands out on a yellow background. They bath their stems in a yellow pot, on a yellow table. In a corner of the painting, the signature of the painter: Vincent. And the yellow sun that passes through the yellow curtains of my room floods all this fluorescence with gold. And in the morning upon awakening, from my bed, I imagin that all this smells very good. Oh yes! He loved yellow, this good Vincent, this painter from holland. Those glimmers of sunlight rekindled his soul That abhorred the fog, that needed the warmth. When two of us were together in arles, both of us mad and at constant war over the beauty of color, me, i loved the color red, Where to find a perfect vermilion? He traced with his most yellow brush on the wall, Suddenly turned violet. Je suis saint esprit Je suis sain d'espri. Paul gauguin, 1894.
Paul Gauguin
In a movie version of this scene the driver wheels his glance abruptly to the window where a misshapen man stands watching it all unfold, and fixes me with a threatening look. That didn't happen.
John Darnielle (Wolf in White Van)
Look, I like you." Blunt was the only way to handle this type of situation. "But if we date-even just one date to the movies, or a quick lunch in a hospital cafeteria, you're going to become tabloid fodder. Strangers meet and decide to date all the time. People have one-night stands all the time. Couplesbreak up all the time. But with me? Or anyone in my family? All of that makes front-page news.
Nichole Chase (Recklessly Royal (The Royals, #2))
Remember where you're standing when the spotlight goes off," Lovell warned me once, when our book was a best-seller and the movie it spawned was in theatres. "You'll have to find your own way off the stage.
Jeffrey Kluger (Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13)
Call me Ozzie, doll,” he called back. He hunched over the keyboard like a starving man hunches over a plate of food. “And there’s no need to conceal my weapons. I figure everyone should see what’s in store for them should they attempt to fuck with me.”“ Oh man.” Dan groaned and rolled his eyes. “Next thing you know he’ll be coming to work shirtless with bandoliers strapped across his chest and a red bandana tied around his head.” “Ah, so you have seen a movie or two.” Ozzie swiveled in his chair, his eyes sparkling with devilish glee. “Rambo, huh? I can give you Rambo.” He lowered his voice. “‘They drew first blood. Not me…’” “What a crock of bullsh—uh, crap.” Dan scoffed. “Are you sitting there dissing Stallone?” Ozzie demanded, making like he was about to stand in defense of the Italian Stallion. “No. I’m sitting here dissing you, you stu—
Julie Ann Walker (Hell on Wheels (Black Knights Inc., #1))
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))
I never got home so early in my entire Manhattan career. This includes the time I had fifteen minutes to get home, change and go to the movie theater to stand on line for six hours for the midnight showing of “Twilight”. Don’t judge me. My mother does that enough for twenty people.
Robert Halliwell
I wanted to be a sex goddess. And you can laugh all you want to. The joke is on me, whether you laugh or not. I wanted to be one -- one of them. They used to laugh at Marilyn when she said she didn't want to be a sex-goddess, she wanted to be a human being. And now they laugh at me when I say, "I don't want to be a human being; I want to be a sex-goddess." That shows you right there that something has changed, doesn't it? Rita, Ava, Lana, Marlene, Marilyn -- I wanted to be one of them. I remember the morning my friend came in and told us that Marilyn had died. And all the boys were stunned, rigid, literally, as they realized what had left us. I mean, if the world couldn't support Marilyn Monroe, then wasn't something desperately wrong? And we spent the rest of the goddamned sixties finding out what it was. We were all living together, me and these three gay boys that adopted me when I ran away, in this loft on East Fifth Street, before it became dropout heaven -- before anyone ever said "dropout" -- way back when "commune" was still a verb? We were all -- old-movie buffs, sex-mad -- you know, the early sixties. And then my friend, this sweet little queen, he came in and he passed out tranquilizers to everyone, and told us all to sit down, and we thought he was just going to tell us there was a Mae West double feature on somewhere -- and he said -- he said -- "Marilyn Monroe died last" -- and all the boys were stunned -- but I -- I felt something sudden and cold in my solar plexus, and I knew then what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to be the next one. I wanted to be the next one to stand radiant and perfected before the race of man, to shed the luminosity of my beloved countenance over the struggles and aspirations of my pitiful subjects. I wanted to give meaning to my own time, to be the unattainable luring love that drives men on, the angle of light, the golden flower, the best of the universe made womankind, the living sacrifice, the end! Shit!
Robert Patrick (Kennedy's Children)
For now, the Simple Daily Practice means doing ONE thing every day. Try any one of these things each day: A) Sleep eight hours. B) Eat two meals instead of three. C) No TV. D) No junk food. E) No complaining for one whole day. F) No gossip. G) Return an e-mail from five years ago. H) Express thanks to a friend. I) Watch a funny movie or a stand-up comic. J) Write down a list of ideas. The ideas can be about anything. K) Read a spiritual text. Any one that is inspirational to you. The Bible, The Tao te Ching, anything you want. L) Say to yourself when you wake up, “I’m going to save a life today.” Keep an eye out for that life you can save. M) Take up a hobby. Don’t say you don’t have time. Learn the piano. Take chess lessons. Do stand-up comedy. Write a novel. Do something that takes you out of your current rhythm. N) Write down your entire schedule. The schedule you do every day. Cross out one item and don’t do that anymore. O) Surprise someone. P) Think of ten people you are grateful for. Q) Forgive someone. You don’t have to tell them. Just write it down on a piece of paper and burn the paper. It turns out this has the same effect in terms of releasing oxytocin in the brain as actually forgiving them in person. R) Take the stairs instead of the elevator. S) I’m going to steal this next one from the 1970s pop psychology book Don’t Say Yes When You Want to Say No: when you find yourself thinking of that special someone who is causing you grief, think very quietly, “No.” If you think of him and (or?) her again, think loudly, “No!” Again? Whisper, “No!” Again, say it. Louder. Yell it. Louder. And so on. T) Tell someone every day that you love them. U) Don’t have sex with someone you don’t love. V) Shower. Scrub. Clean the toxins off your body. W) Read a chapter in a biography about someone who is an inspiration to you. X) Make plans to spend time with a friend. Y) If you think, “Everything would be better off if I were dead,” then think, “That’s really cool. Now I can do anything I want and I can postpone this thought for a while, maybe even a few months.” Because what does it matter now? The planet might not even be around in a few months. Who knows what could happen with all these solar flares. You know the ones I’m talking about. Z) Deep breathing. When the vagus nerve is inflamed, your breathing becomes shallower. Your breath becomes quick. It’s fight-or-flight time! You are panicking. Stop it! Breathe deep. Let me tell you something: most people think “yoga” is all those exercises where people are standing upside down and doing weird things. In the Yoga Sutras, written in 300 B.C., there are 196 lines divided into four chapters. In all those lines, ONLY THREE OF THEM refer to physical exercise. It basically reads, “Be able to sit up straight.” That’s it. That’s the only reference in the Yoga Sutras to physical exercise. Claudia always tells me that yogis measure their lives in breaths, not years. Deep breathing is what keeps those breaths going.
James Altucher (Choose Yourself)
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))
As I’ve told you many times, I’m split in two. One side contains my exuberant cheerfulness, my flippancy, my joy in life and, above all, my ability to appreciate the lighter side of things. By that I mean not finding anything wrong with flirtations, a kiss, an embrace, an off-color joke. This side of me is usually lying in wait to ambush the other one, which is much purer, deeper and finer. No one knows Anne’s better side, and that’s why most people can’t stand me. Oh, I can be an amusing clown for an afternoon, but after that everyone’s had enough of me to last a month. Actually, I’m what a romantic movie is to a profound thinker—a mere diversion, a comic interlude, something that is soon forgotten: not bad, but not particularly good either. I hate having to tell you this, but why shouldn’t I admit it when I know it’s true? My lighter, more superficial side will always steal a march on the deeper side and therefore always win. You can’t imagine how often I’ve tried to push away this Anne, which is only half of what is known as Anne—to beat her down, hide her. But it doesn’t work, and I know why. I’m afraid that people who know me as I usually am will discover I have another side, a better and finer side. I’m afraid they’ll mock me, think I’m ridiculous and sentimental and not take me seriously. I’m used to not being taken seriously, but only the “lighthearted” Anne is used to it and can put up with it; the “deeper” Anne is too weak. If I force the good Anne into the spotlight for even fifteen minutes, she shuts up like a clam the moment she’s called upon to speak, and lets Anne number one do the talking. Before I realize it, she’s disappeared. So the nice Anne is never seen in company. She’s never made a single appearance, though she almost always takes the stage when I’m alone. I know exactly how I’d like to be, how I am … on the inside. But unfortunately I’m only like that with myself. And perhaps that’s why—no, I’m sure that’s the reason why—I think of myself as happy on the inside and other people think I’m happy on the outside. I’m guided by the pure Anne within, but on the outside I’m nothing but a frolicsome little goat tugging at its tether. As I’ve told you, what I say is not what I feel, which is why I have a reputation for being boy-crazy as well as a flirt, a smart aleck and a reader of romances. The happy-go-lucky Anne laughs, gives a flippant reply, shrugs her shoulders and pretends she doesn’t give a darn. The quiet Anne reacts in just the opposite way. If I’m being completely honest, I’ll have to admit that it does matter to me, that I’m trying very hard to change myself, but that I’m always up against a more powerful enemy. A voice within me is sobbing, “You see, that’s what’s become of you. You’re surrounded by negative opinions, dismayed looks and mocking faces, people who dislike you, and all because you don’t listen to the advice of your own better half.” Believe me, I’d like to listen, but it doesn’t work, because if I’m quiet and serious, everyone thinks I’m putting on a new act and I have to save myself with a joke, and then I’m not even talking about my own family, who assume I must be sick, stuff me with aspirins and sedatives, feel my neck and forehead to see if I have a temperature, ask about my bowel movements and berate me for being in a bad mood, until I just can’t keep it up anymore, because when everybody starts hovering over me, I get cross, then sad, and finally end up turning my heart inside out, the bad part on the outside and the good part on the inside, and keep trying to find a way to become what I’d like to be and what I could be if … if only there were no other people in the world. Yours, Anne M. Frank ANNE’S DIARY ENDS HERE.
Anne Frank (The Diary of a Young Girl)
October 17, 1946 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; and 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. 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 and 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 and that you want me to have full happiness and don't want to be in my way. I'll bet you are surprised that I don't even have a girlfriend (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 and 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. PS Please excuse my not mailing this — but I don't know your new address.
Richard P. Feynman
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))
I can stand onstage all night talking to thousands of people about my most vulnerable and private feelings—like my thoughts on the last guy who was inside me, or the fact that I eat like the glutton in the movie Se7en when I’m drunk. But I really don’t do as well at parties or gatherings where I feel like I am obligated to be more “social.” Usually
Amy Schumer (The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo)
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
In that movie, Mr Miyagi has Daniel doing all these mundane tasks like painting the fence and waxing the car, then later Daniel does the same moves and finds out it's kung fu. You have me doing all of these fighting moves... If I find out later that what you're actually doing is teaching me how to paint fences and wax cars, I'm not paying you, you understand? - Scapegrace
Derek Landy (Last Stand of Dead Men (Skulduggery Pleasant, #8))
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))
Sometimes I wish I could tell my younger self that. That it didn't matter. That the body I had then carried me up hills at Cross Country meets and through the water during the painful last lap at a swim meet, and that it should be celebrated instead of being picked away at and filled with hunger pangs. I should have gotten both the popcorn and the box of candy at the movies that night, instead of slipping away at a Diet Coke from the concession stand.
Tyra Banks (Body Talk: 37 Voices Explore Our Radical Anatomy)
The reasaon I'm shy of objects is because I like them. I transfer the thoughts that are against me onto them. Then these thoughts go away, unless I talk about them - just like my wariness of people. Maybe it all collects in your hair. After I separated from my husband, in the quiet days when no one was shouting at me anymore, I started noticing other people's wariness of strangers. I saw how they combed their hair in public. In the factory, in the city, in the streets, and trams, buses, and trains, while waiting in front of a counter or standing in a line for milk and bread. People comb their hair at the movies before the light goes out, and even in the cemetery. While they're parting their hair you can see their wariness of others collecting in their combs. But they can't comb it out completely if they go on talking about it. The fear of strangers sticks to the comb and makes it greasy. People who talk about it can't get rid of their fear of strangers; their combs are always clean.
Herta Müller (The Appointment)
Twenty minutes later, I was sitting in the federal building that housed the Department of Homeland Security, about fifteen stories up, locked in a standard federal issue interrogation room. Metal chair, metal table, big one-way mirror window, just like the movies. My arms were bound behind me with at least three flex-cuffs. The only addition to the room were the four tactical team members standing in each corner of the room, M4 rifles slung across their chests. Books, Splitter, Data and old Rattler himself, Agent Simmons.
John Conroe (Demon Driven (Demon Accords, #2))
Another time, I was at the bar getting a drink and this geezer is stood at the bar with a ciggie in his mouth, trying his best to look rock hard. He takes a drag and points his finger in my face and drawls, ‘Don't I know you?’ He was looking snake-eyed at me like a typical big screen gangster. I stood in front of him and drawled back, ‘I don’t know, but they call me Richy Horsley,’ and then bang, I batter him with a left hook that landed with a strange dull thud. Mr Movie Gangster was stood there leaning against the bar and staring out in to space, knocked out standing up.
Stephen Richards (Born to Fight: The True Story of Richy Crazy Horse Horsley)
She reached down to help him stand. "Where did you learn that move?" he asked. "From an old movie on TV," said Buffy proudly. "I think it starred somebody - Flynn, or maybe what's-his-name - Lancaster, I forget which. Are we done?" "No, we must complete the session." He rubbed his back and groaned. "As difficult as that might prove to be." "Okay! But don't say I didn't warn you - I've been watching a lot of old movies lately." "I was afraid of that." Stiffly, Giles assumed a fighting position. "This is called a wombat stance-" "Looks more like a drunken squirrel to me," Buffy giggled.
Arthur Byron Cover (Night of the Living Rerun (Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 1, #3))
It was awfully quiet. Chicago only gets this quiet when it snows, he thought. And then he flipped open the phone, pressed the voice button, and said “Katherine.” He said it softly, reverently. Five rings and then her voice mail. Hey, it’s Katherine, he heard, and in the background cars rushed by. They’d been walking home together from the RadioShack when she recorded the message. I’m not, uh. And she uhed, he remembered, because he’d goosed her butt as she tried to talk. Uh, at my cell phone, I guess. Leave me a message and I’ll call you back. And he remembered everything about it, and also everything about everything else, and why couldn’t he forget and beep. “Hey, it’s Col. I’m standing in a soybean field outside of Gutshot, Tennessee, which is a long story, and it’s hot. K. I’m standing here sweating like I had hyperhidrosis, that disease where you sweat a lot. Crap. That’s not interesting. But anyway, it’s hot, and so I’m thinking about cold to stay cool. And I was remembering walking through the snow coming back from the ridiculous movie. Do you remember that, K? We were on Giddings, and the snow made it so quiet, I couldn’t hear a thing in the world but you. And it was so cold then, and so silent, and I loved you so much. Now it’s hot, and dead quiet again, and I love you still.” Five minutes later, he was trudging back when his phone began vibrating. He raced back to the spot with good reception and, breathless answered. “Did you listen to the message?” he asked immediately. “I don’t think I need to,” she answered. “I’m sorry, Colin. But I think we made a really good decision.” And he didn’t even care to point out that they hadn’t made a decision, because the sound of her voice felt so good –well not good exactly. It felt like the mysterium tremedum et fascinans, the fear and the fascination. The great and terrible awe.
John Green (An Abundance of Katherines)
I’d been reflecting on this--the drastic turn my life and my outlook on love had taken--more and more on the evenings Marlboro Man and I spent together, the nights we sat on his quiet porch, with no visible city lights or traffic sounds anywhere. Usually we’d have shared a dinner, done the dishes, watched a movie. But we’d almost always wind up on his porch, sitting or standing, overlooking nothing but dark, open countryside illuminated by the clear, unpolluted moonlight. If we weren’t wrapped in each other’s arms, I imagined, the quiet, rural darkness might be a terribly lonely place. But Marlboro Man never gave me a chance to find out.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
I’m amazed when someone sees the sculpture inside a rock while the rest of us just see a rock. I say “hell yes” to the architects who imagine the spaces we will one day live in. And a round of applause for the stylist who sees what hair to cut to make me look respectable for a couple of weeks. I bow low and fast in the direction of those who paint amazing things on the ceilings of chapels, make life-changing movies, or deliver a stand-up routine that recognizes the humor in the mundane. What all those artists have in common is that they point out things that were always there, always dotting the sky. Now we can take it in and live what we missed.
Ben Folds (A Dream About Lightning Bugs: A Life of Music and Cheap Lessons)
Leaving Forever My son can look me level in the eyes now, and does, hard, when I tell him he cannot watch chainsaw murders at the midnight movie, that he must bend his mind to Biology, under this roof, in the clear light of a Tensor lamp. Outside, his friends throb with horsepower under the moon. He stands close, milk sour on his breath, gauging the heat of my conviction, eye-whites pink from his new contacts. He can see me better than before. And I can see myself in those insolent eyes, mostly head in the pupil's curve, closed in by the contours of his unwrinkled flesh. At the window he waves a thin arm and his buddies squall away in a glare of tail lights. I reach out my arm to his shoulder, but he shrugs free and shows me my father's narrow eyes, the trembling hand at my throat, the hard wall at the back of my skull, the raised fist framed in the bedroom window I had climbed through at three A.M. "If you hit me I'll leave forever," I said. But everything was fine in a few days, fine. "I would have come back," I said, "false teeth and all." Now, twice a year after the long drive, in the yellow light of the front porch, I breathe in my father's whiskey, ask for a shot, and see myself distorted in his thick glasses, the two of us grinning, as he holds me with both hands at arm's length.
Ron Smith (Running Again in Hollywood Cemetery: Poems)
Because I know there is still a wonderful person inside this big grouch standing in front of me.” Jake sighed. “I’m not a grouch.” “Please,” Naomi said with a gentle smile. “You’re so grouchy Oscar would call you his homeboy.” Jake rolled his eyes. “You’re so grouchy if they made a movie about you they would call it Grouch-zilla,” Naomi continued, stepping even closer, tapping her finger to the center of his chest. “You’re so grouchy, that if you were a leprechaun your name would be Snarly McGrouchyPot the Third.” “McGrouchyPot,” Jake repeated with a raised brow. “McGrouchyPot the Third,” she corrected with a straight face. “Knight of the Cranky Britches.
Jessie Evans (Melt with You (Fire and Icing, #1))
Carey recalled Tillman turning to him and tapping him on the shoulder. "Look who's coming up the road!" he said incredulously. In a scene straight from a movie, General Douglas MacArthur confidently walked straight up the center of the road, "bullets flying around him." Carey was dumbfounded. As MacArthur walked up to his position, Carey pulled him behind the building. "The general fell over" and stared at the lieutenant, quickly snapping, "What the hell do you think you're doing, Lieutenant?" "I'm just trying to keep you from getting killed," Carey snapped back. MacArthur glared at Carey with icy presence and said, "There isn't a bullet made that can kill me.
Patrick O'Donnell (Give Me Tomorrow: The Korean War's Greatest Untold Story - The Epic Stand of the Marines of George Company)
My seventeen-year-old son, Chase, and his friends are in the family room watching a movie. I’ve been trying to leave them alone, but it’s hard for me. I understand that most teenagers think their moms are uncool, but I am certain I’m the exception. I stand at the door and peek inside. The boys are draped all over the couch. The girls have arranged themselves in tiny, tidy roly-poly piles on the floor. My young daughters are perched at the feet of the older girls, quietly worshipping. My son looks over at me and half smiles. “Hi, Mom.” I need an excuse to be there, so I ask, “Anybody hungry?” What comes next seems to unfold in slow motion. Every single boy keeps his eyes on the TV and says, “YES!” The girls are silent at first. Then each girl diverts her eyes from the television screen and scans the faces of the other girls. Each looks to a friend’s face to discover if she herself is hungry. Some kind of telepathy is happening among them. They are polling. They are researching. They are gathering consensus, permission, or denial. Somehow the collective silently appoints a French-braided, freckle-nosed spokesgirl. She looks away from the faces of her friends and over at me. She smiles politely and says, “We’re fine, thank you.” The boys looked inside themselves. The girls looked outside themselves. We forgot how to know when we learned how to please. This is why we live hungry.
Glennon Doyle (Untamed)
I hear the wind call my name The sound that leads me home again It sparks up the fire - a flame that still burns To you I'll always return I know the road is long But where you are is home Wherever you stay-I'll find the way I'll run like the river-I'll follow the sun I'll fly like an eagle To where I belong I can't stand the distance I can't dream alone I can't wait to see you-yes I'm on my way home Now I know it's true My every road leads to you And in the hour of darkness, Your light gets me through You run like the river-you shine like the sun Yeah You fly like an eagle-yeah you are the one I seen every sunset and with all that I've learned Oh, it's to you, I will always, always, return
Bryan Adams (Spirit - Stallion of the Cimarron: Music from the Original Motion Picture)
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)
Richard ground his jaw. “I am not having this conversation right now,” he growled, standing. “Watch your bloody movie and stay in the house until we get all the paperwork filed and put out a press release.” Halfway to the door, a pillow hit him squarely between the shoulder blades. Richard froze. “You didn’t just do that,” he said, still unmoving. “The next thing I throw is going to hurt.” He turned around. “What are you, five?” “Maybe. You’re the one who just sent me to my room.” Samantha stood up. “You think you’re mad? I used to be able to go wherever I wanted, do anything, be anybody. And cops were never fucking waiting for me at my front door, because nobody knew where I lived! Now they all know who I am and where I am.
Suzanne Enoch (Billionaires Prefer Blondes (Samantha Jellicoe, #3))
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)
I sprinkle some flour on the dough and roll it out with the heavy, wooden rolling pin. Once it’s the perfect size and thickness, I flip the rolling pin around and sing into the handle—American Idol style. “Calling Gloriaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa . . .” And then I turn around. “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” Without thinking, I bend my arm and throw the rolling pin like a tomahawk . . . straight at the head of the guy who’s standing just inside the kitchen door. The guy I didn’t hear come in. The guy who catches the hurling rolling pin without flinching—one-handed and cool as a gorgeous cucumber—just an inch from his perfect face. He tilts his head to the left, looking around the rolling pin to meet my eyes with his soulful brown ones. “Nice toss.” Logan St. James. Bodyguard. Totally badass. Sexiest guy I have ever seen—and that includes books, movies and TV, foreign and domestic. He’s the perfect combo of boyishly could-go-to-my-school kind of handsome, mixed with dangerously hot and tantalizingly mysterious. If comic-book Superman, James Dean, Jason Bourne and some guy with the smoothest, most perfectly pitched, British-Scottish-esque, Wessconian-accented voice all melded together into one person, they would make Logan fucking St. James. And I just tried to clock him with a baking tool—while wearing my Rick and Morty pajama short-shorts, a Winnie-the-Pooh T-shirt I’ve had since I was eight and my SpongeBob SquarePants slippers. And no bra. Not that I have a whole lot going on upstairs, but still . . . “Christ on a saltine!” I grasp at my chest like an old woman with a pacemaker. Logan’s brow wrinkles. “Haven’t heard that one before.” Oh fuck—did he see me dancing? Did he see me leap? God, let me die now. I yank on my earbuds’ cord, popping them from my ears. “What the hell, dude?! Make some noise when you walk in—let a girl know she’s not alone. You could’ve given me a heart attack. And I could’ve killed you with my awesome ninja skills.” The corner of his mouth quirks. “No, you couldn’t.” He sets the rolling pin down on the counter. “I knocked on the kitchen door so I wouldn’t frighten you, but you were busy with your . . . performance.” Blood and heat rush to my face. And I want to melt into the floor and then all the way down to the Earth’s core.
Emma Chase (Royally Endowed (Royally, #3))
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
Have you ever made the world stand still before?" "What does that mean?" "It means making a conscious decision to leave the world behind, just for a little bit. To improve yourself and improve the world at the same time. To make yourself move better, and the world move better, when you come back to it. You have to make sure that no one and nothing causes you any problems during that time. Read a good book, watch good movies and above all, enjoy good conversation with someone who inspires you. And you know what?" "What?", I said, excited and intrigued. "Then the world gives you a reward. The universe moves in favour of those who move it. And the ones who move it are the ones who know how to make it stand still. Do you want to move the world, or do you want the world to move you?
Albert Espinosa (If You Tell Me to Come, I'll Drop Everything, Just Tell Me to Come)
My favorite scene was my dying scene, when I had to stand up and suddenly in that moment recall my wife and everything I stood for, and I say "My queen, my wife, my love" and I think of all my movies, that is the most powerful moment I ever had. In preparation for each take, I would scream at the ground, clench my fists, and scrape the ground, and cut all my knuckles and rip my nails... I would scream, and scrape, and scratch, and then I would stand and go "GO." And they would film. And it felt so visceral, and so powerful, and the next day, that was my last day of filming, the next day I was leaving Montreal and I went through US IMMIGRATION and the officer asked "what happened to your hands" and I said "I was just scratching the ground" and she took me for secondary questioning, and I missed my flight, and had to stay another day. So the next day I wore gloves.
Gerard Butler
Peter and I are standing in line for popcorn at the movies. Even just this mundane thing feels like the best mundane thing that’s ever happened to me. I check my pocket to make sure I’ve still got my ticket stub. This I’ll want to save. Gazing up at Peter, I whisper, “This is my first date.” I feel like the nerdy girl in the movie who lands the coolest guy in school, and I don’t mind one bit. Not one bit. “How can this be your first date when we’ve gone out plenty of times?” “It’s my first real date. Those other times were just pretend; this is the real thing.” He frowns. “Oh, wait, is this real? I didn’t realize that.” I move to slug him in the shoulder, and he laughs and grabs my hand and links my fingers with his. It feels like my heart is beating right through my hand. It’s the first time we’ve held hands for real, and it feels different from those fake times. Like electric currents, in a good way. The best way.
Jenny Han (P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #2))
As a person, [Barbara Stanwyck] was a great deal like the character she played in Ball of Fire, a stripper called Sugarpuss O'Shea. She had a wonderful, free, open quality in that picture, and that's what she was like as a woman. Reclusive by nature, she was happy to just stay home, but she read everything. She got me reading books as a way of life and, if I asked her, would help me out with my acting. We only had one scene together in Titanic—I played her daughter's boyfriend!—so there was a limit to what I could learn by working with her. She taught me what to do with my hands, how to get over my self-consciousness, and how to lower my voice, which I thought was still too high. And she taught me to be decisive with things like entrances. "When you walk in," she told me, "be sure you're standing up straight. Walk in with confidence." She didn't want me to sidle into a scene as if I were ashamed to be in the movie. Make the entrance! Take the scene! But I wasn't going there for acting tutorials.
Robert J. Wagner (Pieces of My Heart: A Life)
I have these worksheets. They're great for the irregular verbs..." "Not today." He shot me a look and kept shuffling papers. "Okay," I said. "D'accord.Pas de papiers aujourd'hui. S'il vous plait,Alex. Je...je fais les choses la derniere fois." "Prochaine." "What?" "La prochaine fois," he correct. "Next time. Derniere fois is 'last time.' I'm not even going to start on your verb usage." "Right.La derniere...sorry...prochaine fois. How do you say 'I'm begging you'?" "Jes t'en supplie," he answered. Then, "You are aware that in order to speak better french, you actually have to speak French." "Oui,monsieur. But the Eiffel Tower will still be standing next week, and french fries will still be American." "Belgian," Alex sighed. "French fries started in Belgium. Look,I'm not going to force you to work. It's your choice and not my job." "Next week," I promised. "I promise." "Right." He rubbed the back of his head, pushing his hair into a funny little ducktail. "Okay,fine. How 'bout a movie?" Worked for me. "Sure.
Melissa Jensen (The Fine Art of Truth or Dare)
I can’t help but think of one of my favorite moments in any Pixar movie, when Anton Ego, the jaded and much-feared food critic in Ratatouille, delivers his review of Gusteau’s, the restaurant run by our hero Remy, a rat. Voiced by the great Peter O’Toole, Ego says that Remy’s talents have “challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking … [and] have rocked me to my core.” His speech, written by Brad Bird, similarly rocked me—and, to this day, sticks with me as I think about my work. “In many ways, the work of a critic is easy,” Ego says. “We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations. The new needs friends.
Ed Catmull (Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration)
We needn't quibble about numbers," I said, loftily. "Oh, I think we do need," he said, and then just when I was about to relax, thinking I'd steered us back into safer waters, he dropped his arms again and his face went open and a little pale, leaving scared pink standing out on the edges of his collarbone. "I'd - - I'd like to ask. But not - - in here. After we - - if we - -" "Don't even try. I'm not getting engaged to go out with you," I said rudely, shoving in before he could drag us back onto the shoals. "If you're not asking, that's sufficient unto the day! If we make it out of here alive and you slog across the pond to come ask me, I'll decide what I think of it at the time, and until then, you can keep your Disney movie fantasies," and your secret pet mal, my brain unhelpfully inserted, "to yourself." He said, "Okay, okay, fine!" in a tone one-tenth irritation and nine-tenths relief, while I looked away, trying to stop my mouth contorting around the laugh I was having to fight so desperately to keep in yet again: thanks ever so, Aadhya. Her mum was a genius, actually.
Naomi Novik (A Deadly Education (The Scholomance, #1))
The tornadic bundle of legs and arms and feet and hands push farther into the kitchen until only the occasional flailing limb is visible from the living room, where I can’t believe I’m still standing. A spectator in my own life, I watch the supernova of my two worlds colliding: Mom and Galen. Human and Syrena. Poseidon and Triton. But what can I do? Who should I help? Mom, who lied to me for eighteen years, then tried to shank my boyfriend? Galen, who forgot this little thing called “tact” when he accused my mom of being a runaway fish-princess? Toraf, who…what the heck is Toraf doing, anyway? And did he really just sack my mom like an opposing quarterback? The urgency level for a quick decision elevates to right-freaking-now. I decide that screaming is still best for everyone-it’s nonviolent, distracting, and one of the things I’m very, very good at. I open my mouth, but Rayna beats me to it-only, her scream is much more valuable than mine would have been, because she includes words with it. “Stop it right now, or I’ll kill you all!” She pushed past me with a decrepit, rusty harpoon from God-knows-what century, probably pillaged from one of her shipwreck excursions. She waves it at the three of them like a crazed fisherman in a Jaws movie. I hope they don’t notice she’s got it pointed backward and that if she fires it, she’ll skewer our couch and Grandma’s first attempt at quilting. It works. The bare feet and tennis shoes stop scuffling-out of fear or shock, I’m not sure-and Toraf’s head appears at the top of the counter. “Princess,” he says, breathless. “I told you to stay outside.” “Emma, run!” Mom yells. Toraf disappears again, followed by a symphony of scraping and knocking and thumping and cussing. Rayna rolls her eyes at me, grumbling to herself as she stomps into the kitchen. She adjusts the harpoon to a more deadly position, scraping the popcorn ceiling and sending rust and Sheetrock and tetanus flaking onto the floor like dirty snow. Aiming it at the mound of struggling limbs, she says, “One of you is about to die, and right now I don’t really care who it is.” Thank God for Rayna. People like Rayna get things done. People like me watch people like Rayna get things done. Then people like me round the corner of the counter as if they helped, as if they didn’t stand there and let everyone they love beat the shizzle out of one another. I peer down at the three of them all tangled up. Crossing my arms, I try to mimic Rayna’s impressive rage, but I’m pretty sure my face is only capable of what-the-crap-was-that. Mom looks up at me, nostrils flaring like moth wings. “Emma, I told you to run,” she grinds out before elbowing Toraf in the mouth so hard I think he might swallow a tooth. Then she kicks Galen in the ribs. He groans, but catches her foot before she can re-up. Toraf spits blood on the linoleum beside him and grabs Mom’s arms. She writhes and wriggles, bristling like a trapped badger and cussing like sailor on crack. Mom has never been girlie. Finally she stops, her arms and legs slumping to the floor in defeat. Tears puddle in her eyes. “Let her go,” she sobs. “She’s got nothing to do with this. She doesn’t even know about us. Take me and leave her out of this. I’ll do anything.” Which reinforces, right here and now, that my mom is Nalia. Nalia is my mom. Also, holy crap.
Anna Banks (Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2))
LEADING LESSONS Use your fears; don’t let them direct or define you. Fear sends your brain a message that it’s time to make a decision--like when I decided I would ride that coaster. You can also decide to do nothing; you can stand watching the world zip by from the sidelines. I choose to see my fears as a green light. They mean go, not stop, and you’re always in the driver’s seat. Don’t give fear any more power than it already has. As I said, I was often afraid of failure. But instead of letting the fear keep me from reaching my goals, I let it propel me. In the movie After Earth, Will Smith’s character states that fear is simply made up by our own imaginations. “Danger is real, but fear is a choice.” Who knew Will was such a gifted philosopher? I agree 100 percent. Why is one person afraid of something and another other person isn’t? We’re all humans, but we’ve all had different experiences and therefore we have different associations. It’s personal. The possibility of freedom exists wherever fear lies. When you realize that it’s you who is creating this fear, the fear loses its ability to control you.
Derek Hough (Taking the Lead: Lessons from a Life in Motion)
There are so many reasons why I'm proud to be an introvert. I love being a great listener & observer. I've learned so much about people that way & it's made it very hard for anyone to deceive me. I love the fact that I'm able to enjoy my own company. I'm rarely bored because I have books & movies or even my imagination to keep me company. Speaking of books, since I love reading & researching, it's made me knowledgeable on various topics so that when I do talk to others, I can follow along & understand almost anything. Lastly, there is something about being an introvert that requires a quiet type of confidence. Yes, many times we might feel awkward & like an outcast in certain situations, but for the most part, we happily stand alone. It takes courage to not allow the world to mold us into what they want. Once we become comfortable in our own skin, we learn that we are unique & strong people. We are able to make significant impacts while flying under the radar & without making a scene. We don't need the spotlight or validation to know our worth. It's a beautiful thing to be an Introvert. Just thought I'd share.
Anonymous
I landed on my side, my hip taking the brunt of the fall. It burned and stung from the hit, but I ignored it and struggled to sit up quickly. There really was no point in hurrying so no one would see. Everyone already saw A pair of jean-clad legs appeared before me, and my suitcase and all my other stuff was dropped nearby. "Whatcha doing down there?" Romeo drawled, his hands on his hips as he stared down at me with dancing blue eyes. "Making a snow angel," I quipped. I glanced down at my hands, which were covered with wet snow and bits of salt (to keep the pavement from getting icy). Clearly, ice wasn't required for me to fall. A small group of girls just "happened by", and by that I mean they'd been staring at Romeo with puppy dog eyes and giving me the stink eye. When I fell, they took it as an opportunity to descend like buzzards stalking the dead. Their leader was the girl who approached me the very first day I'd worn Romeo's hoodie around campus and told me he'd get bored. As they stalked closer, looking like clones from the movie Mean Girls, I caught the calculating look in her eyes. This wasn't going to be good. I pushed up off the ground so I wouldn't feel so vulnerable, but the new snow was slick and my hand slid right out from under me and I fell back again. Romeo was there immediately, the teasing light in his eyes gone as he slid his hand around my back and started to pull me up. "Careful, babe." he said gently. The girls were behind him so I knew he hadn't seen them approach. They stopped as one unit, and I braced myself for whatever their leader was about to say. She was wearing painted-on skinny jeans (I mean, really, how did she sit down and still breathe?) and some designer coat with a monogrammed scarf draped fashionably around her neck. Her boots were high-heeled, made of suede and laced up the back with contrasting ribbon. "Wow," she said, opening her perfectly painted pink lips. "I saw that from way over there. That sure looked like it hurt." She said it fairly amicably, but anyone who could see the twist to her mouth as she said it would know better. Romeo paused in lifting me to my feet. I felt his eyes on me. Then his lips thinned as he turned and looked over his shoulder. "Ladies," he said like he was greeting a group of welcomed friends. Annoyance prickled my stomach like tiny needles stabbing me. It's not that I wanted him to be rude, but did he have to sound so welcoming? "Romeo," Cruella DeBarbie (I don't know her real name, but this one fit) purred. "Haven't you grown bored of this clumsy mule yet?" Unable to stop myself, I gasped and jumped up to my feet. If she wanted to call me a mule, I'd show her just how much of an ass I could be. Romeo brought his arm out and stopped me from marching past. I collided into him, and if his fingers hadn't knowingly grabbed hold to steady me, I'd have fallen again. "Actually," Romeo said, his voice calm, "I am pretty bored." Three smirks were sent my way. What a bunch of idiots. "The view from where I'm standing sure leaves a lot to be desired." One by one, their eyes rounded when they realized the view he referenced was them. Without another word, he pivoted around and looked down at me, his gaze going soft. "No need to make snow angels, baby," he said loud enough for the slack-jawed buzzards to hear. "You already look like one standing here with all that snow in your hair." Before I could say a word, he picked me up and fastened his mouth to mine. My legs wound around his waist without thought, and I kissed him back as gentle snow fell against our faces.
Cambria Hebert (#Hater (Hashtag, #2))
He was smiling! That was it; her actual sunrise. It lit the candles of answers to every query of her life. . Having wings is one thing and flying another. Having eyes is one thing and dreaming another. Having a heart is one thing and falling in love, quite another. . Destiny is the root of all limitations and a dream is the seed for all liberations. . By the way, is it darkness that gives light an identity or is it the other way round? . If life is divided into two parts, then one part is definitely about living it and the other, about missing the moments lived. . How can I comfort anyone with words of hope when I am myself empty of it? . It might all sound bizarre to you because I am sharing my thoughts for her only today but believe me something happened from the first time I saw her. Something did happen. The air (or what was it?) told me she was mine though I was a little apprehensive to accept the fact then but now, I think I am in love. No, I know I am in love for the first time in my life. (Ritwika was just a crush). It’s crazy, I know. It’s only been few weeks that I first saw her. I haven’t even talked to her till now. But does that really matter? . What the fuck is it with first love? So many ifs and buts. Damn! . Seriously I do have something to tell God: It’s tough to be God, I know, but mind you it’s tougher to be human in this crazy fucking world of yours. . No one asked me or forced me not to hug happiness but I consciously chose to sleep with pain. . I am not happy so I can’t stand anyone who is. . But I am helpless…you are helpless…we are helpless…the world is helpless and even help is helpless. . It’s not about reaching the edge, it’s about the jump. A jump for onetime-the fall of a lifetime. . It was eight years ago but time doesn't heal all wounds. . Isn't it better to lie and encourage a significant construction than to speak the truth and witness destruction? . From today onwards Radhika is not only a part of my life but also a part of my heart, my mind, my soul, my will, my zeal, my happiness, my tears, my depression, my excitement, my interests, my decisions, my character and my identity. . The times that go away at the blink of an eye are actually the times which eventually get placed inside the safe of our most treasured memories. . Life is no movie where we need to necessarily get all things right by the end. . She is too sexy to forget.
Novoneel Chakraborty (A Thing Beyond Forever)
Della & I are drunk at the top of Mont-Royal. We have an open blue plastic thermos of red wine at our feet. It's the first day of spring & it's midnight & we've been peeling off layers of winter all day. We stand facing each other, as if to exchange vows, chests heaving from racing up & down the mountain to the sky. My face is hurting from smiling so much, aching at the edges of my words. She reaches out to hold my face in her hands, dirty palms form a bowl to rest my chin. I’m standing on a tree stump so we’re eye to eye. It’s hard to stay steady. I worry I may start to drool or laugh, I feel so unhinged from my body. It’s been one of those days I don’t want to end. Our goal was to shirk all responsibility merely to enjoy the lack of everyday obligations, to create fullness & purpose out of each other. Our knees are the colour of the ground-in grass. Our boots are caked in mud caskets. Under our nails is a mixture of minerals & organic matter, knuckles scraped by tree bark. We are the thaw embodied. She says, You have changed me, Eve, you are the single most important person in my life. If you were to leave me, I would die. At that moment, our breath circling from my lungs & into hers, I am changed. Perhaps before this I could describe our relationship as an experiment, a happy accident, but this was irrefutable. I was completely consumed & consuming. It was as though we created some sort of object between us that we could see & almost hold. I would risk everything I’ve ever known to know only this. I wanted to honour her in a way that was understandable to every part of me. It was as though I could distill the meaning of us into something I could pour into a porcelain cup. Our bodies on top of this city, rulers of love. Originally, we were celebrating the fact that I got into Concordia’s visual arts program. But the congratulatory brunch she took me to at Café Santropol had turned into wine, which had turned into a day for declarations. I had a sense of spring in my body, that this season would meld into summer like a running-jump movie kiss. There would be days & days like this. XXXX gone away on a sojurn I didn’t care to note the details of, she simply ceased to be. Summer in Montreal in love is almost too much emotion to hold in an open mouth, it spills over, it causes me to not need any sleep. I don’t think I will ever feel as awake as I did in the summer of 1995.
Zoe Whittall (Bottle Rocket Hearts)
I’d gone on dates with every flavor of cute boy under the sun. Except for one. Cowboy. I’d never even spoken to a cowboy, let alone ever known one personally, let alone ever dated one, and certainly, absolutely, positively never kissed one--until that night on my parents’ front porch, a mere couple of weeks before I was set to begin my new life in Chicago. After valiantly rescuing me from falling flat on my face just moments earlier, this cowboy, this western movie character standing in front of me, was at this very moment, with one strong, romantic, mind-numbingly perfect kiss, inserting the category of “Cowboy” into my dating repertoire forever. The kiss. I’ll remember this kiss till my very last breath, I thought to myself. I’ll remember every detail. Strong, calloused hands gripping my upper arms. Five o’clock shadow rubbing gently against my chin. Faint smell of boot leather in the air. Starched denim shirt against my palms, which have gradually found their way around his trim, chiseled waist… I don’t know how long we stood there in the first embrace of our lives together. But I do know that when that kiss was over, my life as I’d always imagined it was over, too. I just didn’t know it yet.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
The reason you might be having trouble with your practice in the long run—if you were capable of building a practice in the short run—is nearly always because you are afraid. The fear, the resistance, is very insidious. It doesn’t leave a lot of fingerprints, but the person who manages to make a movie short that blows everyone away but can’t raise enough cash to make a feature film, the person who gets a little freelance work here and there but can’t figure out how to turn it into a full-time gig—that person is practicing self-sabotage. These people sabotage themselves because the alternative is to put themselves into the world as someone who knows what they are doing. They are afraid that if they do that, they will be seen as a fraud. It’s incredibly difficult to stand up at a board meeting or a conference or just in front of your peers and say, “I know how to do this. Here is my work. It took me a year. It’s great.” This is hard to do for two reasons: (1) it opens you to criticism, and (2) it puts you into the world as someone who knows what you are doing, which means tomorrow you also have to know what you are doing, and you have just signed up for a lifetime of knowing what you are doing. It
Jocelyn K. Glei (Manage Your Day-To-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind)
It can’t be over, not when I finally found my courage. I can’t let it be. My heart is pounding like a million trillion beats a minute as I scoot closer to him. I bend my head down and press my lips against his, and I feel his jolt of surprise. And then he’s kissing me back, open-mouthed, soft-lipped kissing-me-back, and at first I’m nervous, but then he puts his hand on the back of my head, and he strokes my hair in a reassuring way, and I’m not so nervous anymore. It’s a good thing I’m sitting down on this ledge, because I am weak in the knees. He pulls me into the water so I’m sitting in the hot tub too, and my nightgown is soaked now but I don’t care. I don’t care about anything. I never knew kissing could be this good. My arms are at my sides so the jets won’t make my skirt fly up. Peter’s holding my face in his hands, kissing me. “Are you okay?” he whispers. His voice is different: it’s ragged and urgent and vulnerable somehow. He doesn’t sound like the Peter I know; he is not smooth or bored or amused. The way he’s looking at me right now, I know he would do anything I asked, and that’s a strange and powerful feeling. I wind my arms around his neck. I like the smell of chlorine on his skin. He smells like pool, and summer, and vacations. It’s not like in the movies. It’s better, because it’s real. “Touch my hair again,” I tell him, and the corners of his mouth turn up. I lean into him and kiss him. He starts to run his fingers through my hair, and it feels so nice I can’t think straight. It’s better than getting my hair washed at the salon. I move my hands down his back and along his spine, and he shivers and pulls me closer. A boy’s back feels so different than a girl’s back--more muscular, more solid somehow. In between kisses he says, “It’s past curfew. We should go back inside.” “I don’t want to,” I say. All I want is to stay and be here, with Peter, in this moment. “Me either, but I don’t want you to get in trouble,” Peter says. He looks worried, which is so sweet. Softly, I touch his cheek with the back of my hand. It’s smooth. I could look at his fce for hours, it’s so beautiful. Then I stand up, and immediately I’m shivering. I start wringing the water out of my nightgown, and Peter jumps out of the hot tub and gets his towel, which he wraps around my shoulders. The he gives me his hand and I step out, teeth chattering. He starts drying me off with the towel, my arms and legs. I sit down to put on my socks and boots. He puts my coat on me last. He zips me right in. Then we run back inside the lodge. Before he goes to the boys’ side and I go to the girls’ side, I kiss him one more time and I feel like I’m flying.
Jenny Han (To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1))
The myth that morality and fidelity are old-fashioned and trite can imprison more than just one individual as generations are affected by the choices perpetuated by this lie. The myth that withholding judgment or having charity means that all values are relative and should be given equal importance or loyalty creates a heavy chain that eventually traps a person in doubt and disaffection, leaving him or her to be constantly "driven with the wind and tossed" (see James 1:6). However, confidence that Christ honors those who honor him (see 1 Samuel 2:30) provides an anchor to our souls (see Ether 12:4) whereby we are capable of giving affirmative answers to those who question the "reason of the hope that is in [us]" (1 Peter 3:15). I remember one of my saddest moments as a faculty member at BYU. One of my students came to me in emotional tatters. She had come to BYU looking for a supportive community that shared her values, something she had not enjoyed being the only Mormon in her high school. Instead her peers at BYU teased, sneered at, and demeaned her because she was not willing to watch an R-rated movie. How proud I was of her! Despite the hurt of rejection "by her own," her faith carried her through the social prison created by her peers. To "stand in holy places, and be not moved" (D&C 87:8) in today's world requires faith, courage, poise, and patience.
Sandra Rogers
Steven Spielberg’s 2012 film Lincoln is dramatization at its best. It shows the president, played by Daniel Day-Lewis, trying to make good on the claim, in the Declaration of Independence, that all men are created equal: what more praiseworthy cause could a hedgehog possibly pursue? But to abolish slavery, Lincoln must move the Thirteenth Amendment through a fractious House of Representatives, and here his maneuvers are as foxy as they come. He resorts to deals, bribes, flattery, arm-twisting, and outright lies—so much so that the movie reeks, visually if not literally, of smoke-filled rooms. 27 When Thaddeus Stevens (Tommy Lee Jones) asks the president how he can reconcile so noble an aim with such malodorous methods, Lincoln recalls what his youthful years as a surveyor taught him: [A] compass . . . [will] point you true north from where you’re standing, but it’s got no advice about the swamps and deserts and chasms that you’ll encounter along the way. If in pursuit of your destination, you plunge ahead, heedless of obstacles, and achieve nothing more than to sink in a swamp . . . , [then] what’s the use of knowing true north? 28 I had the spooky sense, when I saw the film, that Berlin was sitting next to me, and at the conclusion of this scene leaned over to whisper triumphantly: “You see? Lincoln knows when to be a hedgehog (consulting the compass) and when a fox (skirting the swamp)!
John Lewis Gaddis (On Grand Strategy)
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)
The reason you might be having trouble with your practice in the long run—if you were capable of building a practice in the short run—is nearly always because you are afraid. The fear, the resistance, is very insidious. It doesn’t leave a lot of fingerprints, but the person who manages to make a movie short that blows everyone away but can’t raise enough cash to make a feature film, the person who gets a little freelance work here and there but can’t figure out how to turn it into a full-time gig—that person is practicing self-sabotage. These people sabotage themselves because the alternative is to put themselves into the world as someone who knows what they are doing. They are afraid that if they do that, they will be seen as a fraud. It’s incredibly difficult to stand up at a board meeting or a conference or just in front of your peers and say, “I know how to do this. Here is my work. It took me a year. It’s great.” This is hard to do for two reasons: (1) it opens you to criticism, and (2) it puts you into the world as someone who knows what you are doing, which means tomorrow you also have to know what you are doing, and you have just signed up for a lifetime of knowing what you are doing. It’s much easier to whine and sabotage yourself and blame the client, the system, and the economy. This is what you hide from—the noise in your head that says you are not good enough, that says it is not perfect, that says it could have been better.
Jocelyn K. Glei (Manage Your Day-To-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind)
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)
It's hard to form a lasting connection when your permanent address is an eight-inch mailbox in the UPS store. Still,as I inch my way closer, I can't help the way my breath hitches, the way my insides thrum and swirl. And when he turns,flashing me that slow, languorous smile that's about to make him world famous,his eyes meeting mine when he says, "Hey,Daire-Happy Sweet Sixteen," I can't help but think of the millions of girls who would do just about anything to stand in my pointy blue babouches. I return the smile, flick a little wave of my hand, then bury it in the side pocket of the olive-green army jacket I always wear. Pretending not to notice the way his gaze roams over me, straying from my waist-length brown hair peeking out from my scarf, to the tie-dyed tank top that clings under my jacket,to the skinny dark denim jeans,all the way down to the brand-new slippers I wear on my feet. "Nice." He places his foot beside mine, providing me with a view of the his-and-hers version of the very same shoe. Laughing when he adds, "Maybe we can start a trend when we head back to the States.What do you think?" We. There is no we. I know it.He knows it.And it bugs me that he tries to pretend otherwise. The cameras stopped rolling hours ago, and yet here he is,still playing a role. Acting as though our brief, on-location hookup means something more. Acting like we won't really end long before our passports are stamped RETURN. And that's all it takes for those annoyingly soft girly feelings to vanish as quickly as a flame in the rain. Allowing the Daire I know,the Daire I've honed myself to be, to stand in her palce. "Doubtful." I smirk,kicking his shoe with mine.A little harder then necessary, but then again,he deserves it for thinking I'm lame enough to fall for his act. "So,what do you say-food? I'm dying for one of those beef brochettes,maybe even a sausage one too.Oh-and some fries would be good!" I make for the food stalls,but Vane has another idea. His hand reaches for mine,fingers entwining until they're laced nice and tight. "In a minute," he says,pulling me so close my hip bumps against his. "I thought we might do something special-in honor of your birthday and all.What do you think about matching tattoos?" I gape.Surely he's joking. "Yeah,you know,mehndi. Nothing permanent.Still,I thought it could be kinda cool." He arcs his left brow in his trademark Vane Wick wau,and I have to fight not to frown in return. Nothing permanent. That's my theme song-my mission statement,if you will. Still,mehndi's not quite the same as a press-on. It has its own life span. One that will linger long after Vane's studio-financed, private jet lifts him high into the sky and right out of my life. Though I don't mention any of that, instead I just say, "You know the director will kill you if you show up on set tomorrow covered in henna." Vane shrugs. Shrugs in a way I've seen too many times, on too many young actors before him.He's in full-on star-power mode.Think he's indispensable. That he's the only seventeen-year-old guy with a hint of talent,golden skin, wavy blond hair, and piercing blue eyes that can light up a screen and make the girls (and most of their moms) swoon. It's a dangerous way to see yourself-especially when you make your living in Hollywood. It's the kind of thinking that leads straight to multiple rehab stints, trashy reality TV shows, desperate ghostwritten memoirs, and low-budget movies that go straight to DVD.
Alyson Noel (Fated (Soul Seekers, #1))
You whom I could not save, Listen to me. Can we agree Kevlar backpacks shouldn’t be needed for children walking to school? Those same children also shouldn’t require a suit of armor when standing on their front lawns, or snipers to watch their backs as they eat at McDonalds. They shouldn’t have to stop to consider the speed of a bullet or how it might reshape their bodies. But one winter, back in Detroit, I had one student who opened a door and died. It was the front door to his house, but it could have been any door, and the bullet could have written any name. The shooter was thirteen years old and was aiming at someone else. But a bullet doesn’t care about “aim,” it doesn’t distinguish between the innocent and the innocent, and how was the bullet supposed to know this child would open the door at the exact wrong moment because his friend was outside and screaming for help. Did I say I had “one” student who opened a door and died? That’s wrong. There were many. The classroom of grief had far more seats than the classroom for math though every student in the classroom for math could count the names of the dead. A kid opens a door. The bullet couldn’t possibly know, nor could the gun, because “guns don’t kill people,” they don’t have minds to decide such things, they don’t choose or have a conscience, and when a man doesn’t have a conscience, we call him a psychopath. This is how we know what type of assault rifle a man can be, and how we discover the hell that thrums inside each of them. Today, there’s another shooting with dead kids everywhere. It was a school, a movie theater, a parking lot. The world is full of doors. And you, whom I cannot save, you may open a door and enter a meadow, or a eulogy. And if the latter, you will be mourned, then buried in rhetoric. There will be monuments of legislation, little flowers made from red tape. What should we do? we’ll ask again. The earth will close like a door above you. What should we do? And that click you hear? That’s just our voices, the deadbolt of discourse sliding into place.
Matthew Olzmann
You can talk to me, Clay,” I said with a little hope.  I really began to wonder if he could speak.  When he didn’t respond, I spoke again.  “Okay, do you want to go out or stay in?” He moved to the couch and sat in the middle, his choice clear.  Stay in tonight. I hesitated.  The chair, set at an odd angle to the TV, gave you a sore neck if you tried to watch a movie from there.  That meant I’d need to sit next to him to watch a movie.  But I felt so exposed in a skirt and sleeveless shirt. I wasn’t sure if I could sit next to him for a full movie. While I debated my options, he watched me closely. “I’m going to go change,” I stammered. “I’ll be right back.” I turned and made it one step before the back of my shirt snagged on something.  Surprised, I looked over my shoulder and found Clay standing right behind me.  He held a fold of my shirt between his thumb and forefinger.  I could see the glint of his brown eyes behind the still damp strands of his hair.  He tilted his head back toward the couch and gave a slight tug on my shirt.  My stomach dropped, and I couldn’t tell if it was in a good way or a bad one. When I hesitated, he gave another tug.  I surrendered, turned back, and sat on the couch. He padded over to the movies, made a selection I couldn’t see, and crouched to start it.  It amazed me that he knew how to do that.  Then again, he watched everything Rachel and I did.  I wondered if anything escaped his notice. He pressed play, stood, and walked toward me with fluid strides.  I felt graceless in comparison.  He settled next to me and watched the previews.  I tried to focus on them, too, but couldn’t.  Instead, I noticed our bare feet, the scratch on the wall next to the TV, his leg lightly pressed against mine, the sound of the water as it slowly dripped from the showerhead in the bathroom, his hands loosely resting on his lap.  The long list of unimportant details would not let my mind settle. It was midway through the movie when my mind calmed enough to notice we watched an action-comedy I’d wanted to see.  I’d just mentioned it to Rachel this past week.  She must have gotten it after that. Slowly, I began to relax and enjoy the movie.  I even laughed aloud at one point.  Clay’s echoing chuckle startled me, but in a good way.  So, he could do more than growl as a dog.  His deep laugh sounded pleasant. When
Melissa Haag (Hope(less) (Judgement of the Six #1))
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’d been reflecting on this--the drastic turn my life and my outlook on love had taken--more and more on the evenings Marlboro Man and I spent together, the nights we sat on his quiet porch, with no visible city lights or traffic sounds anywhere. Usually we’d have shared a dinner, done the dishes, watched a movie. But we’d almost always wind up on his porch, sitting or standing, overlooking nothing but dark, open countryside illuminated by the clear, unpolluted moonlight. If we weren’t wrapping in each other’s arms, I imagined, the quiet, rural darkness might be a terribly lonely place. But Marlboro Man never gave me a chance to find out. It was on this very porch that Marlboro Man had first told me he loved me, not two weeks after our first date. It had been a half-whisper, a mere thought that had left his mouth in a primal, noncalculated release. And it had both surprised and melted me all at once; the honesty of it, the spontaneity, the unbridled emotion. But though everything in my gut told me I was feeling exactly the same way, in all the time since I still hadn’t found the courage to repeat those words to him. I was guarded, despite the affection Marlboro Man heaped upon me. I was jaded; my old relationship had done that to me, and watching the crumbling of my parents’ thirty-year marriage hadn’t exactly helped. There was just something about saying the words “I love you” that was difficult for me, even though I knew, without a doubt, that I did love him. Oh, I did. But I was hanging on to them for dear life--afraid of what my saying them would mean, afraid of what might come of it. I’d already eaten beef--something I never could have predicted I’d do when I was living the vegetarian lifestyle. I’d gotten up before 4:00 A.M. to work cattle. And I’d put my Chicago plans on hold. At least, that’s what I’d told myself all that time. I put my plans on hold. That was enough, wasn’t it? Putting my life’s plans on hold for him? Marlboro Man had to know I loved him, didn’t he? He was so confident when we were together, so open, so honest, so transparent and sure. There was no such thing as “give-and-take” with him. He gave freely, poured out his heart willingly, and either he didn’t particularly care what my true feelings were for him, or, more likely, he already knew. Despite my silence, despite my fear of totally losing my grip on my former self, on the independent girl that I’d wanted to believe I was for so long…he knew. And he had all the patience he needed to wait for me to say it.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
What did it look like?” “My watch? It was silver. Not expensive or anything. Just a regular watch.” “Shiny?” “I guess.” “Raccoons.” Determined not to say anything stupid for at least the next ten minutes, she considered his single-word statement. Raccoons? Okay. He probably hadn’t started a word-association game, so what did he mean? Going with the safest response, she cautiously repeated, “Raccoons?” “They like shiny things. Take off with them whenever they can.” “You’re saying a raccoon stole my watch?” “Probably.” She really wanted to point out that they couldn’t possibly tell time, but knew instinctively that was a bad idea. “Can I get it back?” “Sure. If you can find it.” Could she? She glanced around at the underbrush, the trees, the stream. “Is it safe for me to go exploring?” she asked. “You’re not likely to be attacked by raccoons, but you’ll probably get lost, fall down a ravine, break your leg and starve to death. But if the watch is that important to you, have at it.” She felt herself deflating. “You don’t like me much, do you?” she asked sadly. She half expected Zane to stalk away, but instead he exhaled and shook his head. “Sorry.” She blinked. “What?” “I said I’m sorry.” Had the earth stopped turning, or had the taciturn hunky cowboy standing in front of her just apologized? “I--you--” She paused for breath. “That’s okay. I guess it was a stupid question.” “No. It was a reasonable question under the circumstances.” He shoved his hands into his pockets. “I get a little sarcastic sometimes.” “Let’s call it a dry sense of humor.” He half nodded in acknowledgement. “You’ll never find them, and even if you did, your watch would probably be all broken up and rusty from them dunking it in the water. Don’t leave out anything they’ll take. Shiny jewelry, another watch.” “I don’t have another watch. Not with me.” “You need to know the time?” “Just when the meals are.” “Cookie rings a bell.” “Really? Just like in the movies?” “Yeah.” One corner of his mouth turned up as he spoke. It wasn’t exactly a smile, but it was close enough to get her breathing up to Mach 3. “Come on,” he said. “It’s nearly time for lunch.” He started back toward the camp. Phoebe followed him happily. “You think the raccoons could ever learn to tell time?” she asked. He glanced at her. “You’re kidding, right?” “Maybe I have a dry sense of humor, too.” “City girl.” He was probably insulting her, but the way he said the word made her feel almost tall and, if not blonde, then certainly highlighted. “I think Rocky likes me,” she confided. “I’m sure he does.
Susan Mallery (Kiss Me (Fool's Gold, #17))
But there were problems. After the movie came out I couldn’t go to a tournament without being surrounded by fans asking for autographs. Instead of focusing on chess positions, I was pulled into the image of myself as a celebrity. Since childhood I had treasured the sublime study of chess, the swim through ever-deepening layers of complexity. I could spend hours at a chessboard and stand up from the experience on fire with insight about chess, basketball, the ocean, psychology, love, art. The game was exhilarating and also spiritually calming. It centered me. Chess was my friend. Then, suddenly, the game became alien and disquieting. I recall one tournament in Las Vegas: I was a young International Master in a field of a thousand competitors including twenty-six strong Grandmasters from around the world. As an up-and-coming player, I had huge respect for the great sages around me. I had studied their masterpieces for hundreds of hours and was awed by the artistry of these men. Before first-round play began I was seated at my board, deep in thought about my opening preparation, when the public address system announced that the subject of Searching for Bobby Fischer was at the event. A tournament director placed a poster of the movie next to my table, and immediately a sea of fans surged around the ropes separating the top boards from the audience. As the games progressed, when I rose to clear my mind young girls gave me their phone numbers and asked me to autograph their stomachs or legs. This might sound like a dream for a seventeen-year-old boy, and I won’t deny enjoying the attention, but professionally it was a nightmare. My game began to unravel. I caught myself thinking about how I looked thinking instead of losing myself in thought. The Grandmasters, my elders, were ignored and scowled at me. Some of them treated me like a pariah. I had won eight national championships and had more fans, public support and recognition than I could dream of, but none of this was helping my search for excellence, let alone for happiness. At a young age I came to know that there is something profoundly hollow about the nature of fame. I had spent my life devoted to artistic growth and was used to the sweaty-palmed sense of contentment one gets after many hours of intense reflection. This peaceful feeling had nothing to do with external adulation, and I yearned for a return to that innocent, fertile time. I missed just being a student of the game, but there was no escaping the spotlight. I found myself dreading chess, miserable before leaving for tournaments. I played without inspiration and was invited to appear on television shows. I smiled.
Josh Waitzkin (The Art of Learning: A Journey in the Pursuit of Excellence)
I started blasting my gun. Letting loose a stream of words like I'd never used before. True to form, Misty didn't stay put and stood at my side. Tears stained her cheeks. Her gun firing wildly. It was a blur. The next thing I knew, no zombies were left standing and we knelt at Kali's side. I took out a rag and wiped the feathers from his face. We could tell he was still alive. His chest rising and falling in jerks. "Kali, how bad are you hurt?" I asked with an unsteady voice. "I'm okay, guys. Did we get all of them?" he whispered. "Nate, he's been bit all over!" I looked down at his body, covered in white feathers, speckled with splotches of deep red. "Yep. You got 'em, even those freak chickens." "Nate, I'm thirsty," his voice shaky and cracking. "Okay, buddy. We've got water in the truck." "No, not water. How about a glass of lemonade?" "Kali, what are you saying?" Misty's voice was tense as a piano string. "Hurry, Nate. I'm getting weak—the lemonade." I think running into the crowd of zombies would have been easier than this. Maybe that's why Kali chucked a rock at my head—he knew he could count on me for this. I ripped off a small water gun I had taped on my suit and tore off the cap. "Oh, Nate, don't. Maybe there's something we can do. Maybe—" she stopped. I put my hand behind Kali's neck and felt a slight burn, probably zombie snot. Misty took one of his hands and held it to her chest. "You were so brave, Kali, so brave." My hands didn't shake anymore; they were numb, as if they didn't belong to me. I manipulated them the best I could—like using chopsticks. Lifting Kali's head, I poured the juice into his mouth until it was gone. He was burning up; his skin felt like it was on fire. "I never thought I'd have friends, real friends—thank you, guys." He closed his eyes and I felt the muscles in his neck go limp. Gently, I put his head down and cleaned my blistering hand with the rag. Misty wiped her tears as I put the rag over Kali's face. "No, thank you, kid." We sat there still, silent except for the small cries that we both let slip out. Misty, still holding his hand. Me, staring down at my hands, soaked in tears. I don't know how much time passed. It could have been five minutes; it might have been an hour. Suddenly, the feathers moved, flying in every direction. Looking up, I saw a helicopter coming down in front of us—one of those big black military ones. It landed and three men stepped out. They wore protective gear like you see in those alien movies. I worried a little about what they might have planned for us. I've seen enough movies to know those government types can't be trusted—especially when they're in those protective suits. "What happened here? How did you manage to negate the virus?" one of the hooded figures asked. "Zombie juice," I replied. "Zombie juice?" "Actually it was the Super Zombie Juice Mega Bomb," Misty added as she stood and took my hand.
M.J. Ware (Super Zombie Juice Mega Bomb)
It’s my turn next, and I realize then that I never turned in the name of my escort--because I hadn’t planned on being here. I glance around wildly for Ryder, but he’s nowhere to be seen, swallowed up by the sea of people in cocktail dresses and suits. Crap. I thought he realized that escorting me on court was part of the deal, once I’d agreed to go. I guess he’d figured it’d be easier on me, what with the whole Patrick thing, if I was alone onstage. But I don’t want to be alone. I want Ryder with me. By my side, supporting me. Always. I finally spot him in the crowd--it’s not too hard, since he’s a head taller than pretty much everyone else--and our eyes meet. My stomach drops to my feet--you know, that feeling you get on a roller coaster right after you crest that first hill and start plummeting toward the ground. Oh my God, this can’t be happening. I’ve fallen in love with Ryder Marsden, the boy I’m supposed to hate. And it has nothing to do with his confession, his declaration that he loves me. Sure, it might have forced me to examine my feelings faster than I would have on my own, but it was there all along, taking root, growing, blossoming. Heck, it’s a full-blown garden at this point. “Our senior maid is Miss Jemma Cafferty!” comes the principal’s voice. “Jemma is a varsity cheerleader, a member of the Wheelettes social sorority, the French Honor Club, the National Honor Society, and the Peer Mentors. She’s escorted tonight by…ahem, sorry. I’m afraid there’s no escort, so we’ll just--” “Ryder Marsden,” I call out as I make my way across the stage. “I’m escorted by Ryder Marsden.” The collective gasp that follows my announcement is like something out of the movies. I swear, it’s just like that scene in Gone with the Wind where Rhett offers one hundred and fifty dollars in gold to dance with Scarlett, and she walks through the scandalized bystanders to take her place beside Rhett for the Virginia reel. Only it’s the reverse. I’m standing here doing the scandalizing, and Ryder’s doing the walking. “Apparently, Jemma’s escort is Ryder Marsden,” the principal ad-libs into the microphone, looking a little frazzled. “Ryder is…um…the starting quarterback for the varsity football team, and, um…in the National Honor Society and…” She trails off helplessly. “A Peer Mentor,” he adds helpfully as he steps up beside me and takes my hand. The smile he flashes in my direction as Mrs. Crawford places the tiara on my head is dazzling--way more so than the tiara itself. My knees go a little weak, and I clutch him tightly as I wobble on my four-inch heels. But here’s the thing: If the crowd is whispering about me, I don’t hear it. I’m aware only of Ryder beside me, my hand resting in the crook of his arm as he leads me to our spot on the stage beside the junior maid and her escort, where we wait for Morgan to be crowned queen. Oh, there’ll be hell to pay tomorrow. I have no idea what we’re going to tell our parents. Right now I don’t even care. Just like Scarlett O’Hara, I’m going to enjoy myself tonight and worry about the rest later. After all, tomorrow is another…Well, you know how the saying goes.
Kristi Cook (Magnolia (Magnolia Branch, #1))
I’m at my locker; the door is jammed, and I’m trying to yank it open. I finally get the door loose and there’s Josh, standing right there. “Lara Jean…” He has this shell-shocked, confused expression on his face. “I’ve been trying to talk to you since last night. I came by, and nobody could find you…” He holds out my letter. “I don’t understand. What is this?” “I don’t know…,” I hear myself say. My voice feels far away. It’s like I’m floating above myself, watching it all unfold. “I mean, it’s from you, right?” “Oh, wow.” I take a deep breath and accept the letter. I fight the urge to tear it up. “Where did you even get this?” “It got sent to me in the mail.” Josh jams his hands into his pockets. “When did you write this?” “Like, a long time ago,” I say. I let out a fake little laugh. “I don’t even remember when. It might have been middle school.” Good job, Lara Jean. Keep it up. Slowly he says, “Right…but you mention going to the movies with Margot and Mike and Ben that time. That was a couple of years ago.” I bite my bottom lip. “Right. I mean, it was kind of a long time ago. In the grand scheme of things.” I can feel tears coming on so close that if I break concentration even for a second, if I waver, I will cry and that will make everything worse, if such a thing is possible. I must be cool and breezy and nonchalant now. Tears would ruin that. Josh is staring at me so hard I have to look away. “So then…Do you…or did you have feelings for me or…?” “I mean, yes, sure, I did have a crush on you at one point, before you and Margot ever started dating. A million years ago.” “Why didn’t you ever say anything? Because, Lara Jean…God. I don’t know.” His eyes are on me, and they’re confused, but there’s something else, too. “This is crazy. I feel kind of blindsided.” The way he’s looking at me now, I’m suddenly in a time warp back to a summer day when I was fourteen and he was fifteen, and we were walking home from somewhere. He was looking at me so intently I was sure he was going to try to kiss me. I got nervous, so I picked a fight with him and he never looked at me like that again. Until this moment. Don’t. Just please, don’t. Whatever he’s thinking, whatever he wants to say, I don’t want to hear it. I will do anything, literally anything, not to hear it. Before he can, I say, “I’m dating someone.” Josh’s jaw goes slack. “What?” What? “Yup. I’m dating someone, someone I really really like, so please don’t worry about this.” I wave the letter like it’s just paper, trash, like once upon a time I didn’t literally pour my heart onto this page. I stuff it into my bag. “I was really confused when I wrote this; I don’t even know how it got sent out. Honestly, it’s not worth talking about. So please, please don’t say anything to Margot about it.” He nods, but that’s not good enough. I need a verbal commitment. I need to hear the words come out of his mouth. So I add, “Do you swear? On your life?” If Margot was to ever find out…I would want to die. “All right, I swear. I mean, we haven’t even spoken since she left.” I let out a huge breath. “Great. Thanks.” I’m about to walk away, but then Josh stops me. “Who’s the guy?” “What guy?” “The guy you’re dating.” That’s when I see him. Peter Kavinsky, walking down the hallway. Like magic. Beautiful, dark-haired Peter. He deserves background music, he looks so good. “Peter. Kavinsky. Peter Kavinsky!
Jenny Han (To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1))
As I’ve told you many times, I’m split in two. One side contains my exuberant cheerfulness, my flippancy, my joy in life and, above all, my ability to appreciate the lighter side of things. By that I mean not finding anything wrong with flirtations, a kiss, an embrace, an off-color joke. This side of me is usually lying in wait to ambush the other one, which is much purer, deeper and finer. No one knows Anne’s better side, and that’s why most people can’t stand me. Oh, I can be an amusing clown for an afternoon, but after that everyone’s had enough of me to last a month. Actually, I’m what a romantic movie is to a profound thinker—a mere diversion, a comic interlude, something that is soon forgotten: not bad, but not particularly good either. I hate having to tell you this, but why shouldn’t I admit it when I know it’s true? My lighter, more superficial side will always steal a march on the deeper side and therefore always win. You can’t imagine how often I’ve tried to push away this Anne, which is only half of what is known as Anne—to beat her down, hide her. But it doesn’t work, and I know why. I’m afraid that people who know me as I usually am will discover I have another side, a better and finer side. I’m afraid they’ll mock me, think I’m ridiculous and sentimental and not take me seriously. I’m used to not being taken seriously, but only the “lighthearted” Anne is used to it and can put up with it; the “deeper” Anne is too weak. If I force the good Anne into the spotlight for even fifteen minutes, she shuts up like a clam the moment she’s called upon to speak, and lets Anne number one do the talking. Before I realize it, she’s disappeared. So the nice Anne is never seen in company. She’s never made a single appearance, though she almost always takes the stage when I’m alone. I know exactly how I’d like to be, how I am … on the inside. But unfortunately I’m only like that with myself. And perhaps that’s why—no, I’m sure that’s the reason why—I think of myself as happy on the inside and other people think I’m happy on the outside. I’m guided by the pure Anne within, but on the outside I’m nothing but a frolicsome little goat tugging at its tether. As I’ve told you, what I say is not what I feel, which is why I have a reputation for being boy-crazy as well as a flirt, a smart aleck and a reader of romances. The happy-go-lucky Anne laughs, gives a flippant reply, shrugs her shoulders and pretends she doesn’t give a darn. The quiet Anne reacts in just the opposite way. If I’m being completely honest, I’ll have to admit that it does matter to me, that I’m trying very hard to change myself, but that I’m always up against a more powerful enemy. A voice within me is sobbing, “You see, that’s what’s become of you. You’re surrounded by negative opinions, dismayed looks and mocking faces, people who dislike you, and all because you don’t listen to the advice of your own better half.” Believe me, I’d like to listen, but it doesn’t work, because if I’m quiet and serious, everyone thinks I’m putting on a new act and I have to save myself with a joke, and then I’m not even talking about my own family, who assume I must be sick, stuff me with aspirins and sedatives, feel my neck and forehead to see if I have a temperature, ask about my bowel movements and berate me for being in a bad mood, until I just can’t keep it up anymore, because when everybody starts hovering over me, I get cross, then sad, and finally end up turning my heart inside out, the bad part on the outside and the good part on the inside, and keep trying to find a way to become what I’d like to be and what I could be if … if only there were no other people in the world.
Anne Frank (The Diary Of a Young Girl)
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)
Eli: They say the war tore a hole in the sky,you've probably heard the stories. Solara: Yeah. Eli: The war tore a hole in the sky, the sun came down, burnt everything, everyone, I wandered, I didn't really know what I should do or where I was going. I was just moving from place to place,trying to stay alive.And then one day I heard this voice.I don't know how to explain it, it's like it was coming from inside me. But I could hear it clear as day. Clear as I can hear you talking to me now. It told me to carry the book west, it told me that a path would be laid out before me, that I'd be led to a place where the book would be safe it told me I'd be protected,against anyone or anything that tried to stand in my way. If only I would have faith. That was thirty years ago and I've been walking ever since Solara: And you did all this because a voice told you to? Eli: I know what I hear, I know what I heard, I know I'm not crazy, I didn't imagine it
Book of Eli Movie
Eli: You know what's the good thing about no soap, you can smell a hijacker from a mile away Hijack Leader: The hijackers come out of hiding "I am impressed, this man can smell us from thirty feet away, now what's that say about our hygiene! To Eli " What's in the bag? Eli: What bag? Hijack Leader: You got a gun, he's got a gun, tip it on the ground Eli: I can't do that Hijack Leader: This guy's a fucking genius, drop the fucking bag on the ground!Are you listening to me? "He taps Eli on the side of the shoulder" Eli: Yeah, are you listening to me, touch me with that hand again and you're not getting it back Hijack Leader: He laughs and goes to touch Eli again, Eli cuts off his hand "He cut off my hand, what are you standing around for kiss him! Hijacker: Why'd he say? Eli: He's in shock, I think he meant kill him.
Book of Eli Movie
The sad truth is that what I could recall in five seconds all too soon 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 it 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.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
Once, I was having lunch with the president of another movie studio, who told me that his biggest problem was not finding good people; it was finding good ideas. I remember being stunned when he said that—it seemed patently false to me, in part because I’d found the exact opposite to be true on Toy Story 2. I resolved to test whether what seemed a given to me was, in fact, a common belief. So for the next couple of years I made a habit, when giving talks, of posing the question to my audience: Which is more valuable, good ideas or good people? No matter whether I was talking to retired business executives or students, to high school principals or artists, when I asked for a show of hands, the audiences would be split 50-50. (Statisticians will tell you that when you get a perfect split like this, it doesn’t mean that half know the right answer—it means that they are all guessing, picking at random, as if flipping a coin.) People think so little about this that, in all these years, only one person in an audience has ever pointed out the false dichotomy. To me, the answer should be obvious: Ideas come from people.
Ed Catmull (Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration)
I didn’t want to go, but his arms were underneath me, easing me toward the edge of the gurney and a waiting wheelchair padded with pillows. I was afraid any resistance would result in another game of hospital gown peekaboo. He settled me so gently in the soft wheelchair that my hip and my back hardly hurt. Pushing me past the curtain and into the bustling emergency room, he leaned close, over me, to say, “I fixed it. They’re going to lose the records of your visit, so you’ll never get billed. But you’re my girlfriend.” “What do you mean, I’m your girlfriend?” What delicious blackmail was this? And was it worth the price? Perhaps I could stand it. ‘I had to make them think I have a vested interest in you,” he whispered. “They never would have agreed to lose your records if I told them you were my friend at twelve years old but not so much at eighteen and I had pretty much walked in and stolen the birthright to your family farm. See? Shhh. Hey, Brody.” He slapped hands with another man in scrubs wheeling an empty gurney in the opposite direction. The man eyed me, waggled his eyebrows at Hunter, and kept going. “Couldn’t you have said we’re friends and left it at that?” I needed to keep up the façade that I did not like the idea at all. At the same time, I was a little afraid Hunter would call the charade off. “I have a lot of friends,” he explained, wheeling me into a waiting room marked X-RAY. he rounded the wheelchair and knelt in front of me. Behind him, a door stood ajar. A contraption I assumed to be an X-ray machine was visible through the crack. He glanced over his shoulder at the door, then turned back to me. “Sorry about this,” he murmured as he slid both hands into my hair and kissed me. All I could do at first was feel. His lips were on mine. His hands held me steady, so I couldn’t have shrugged away if I’d tried, but I would not try. Bright tingles spread from my lips across my face and down my neck to my chest. I longed to pull him closer for more. I reminded myself that we were faking this for a reason. I didn’t want to make the kiss deeper than necessary in case it turned him off. Hunter deepened it. His tongue pressed past my teeth and swept inside my mouth. One of his hands released my hair and caressed my shoulder, traveling down. The farther his hand went, the higher I felt. My hip hardly hurt and my back pain was gone. I wondered how low his hand would go. I never found out. A shadow stood in the doorway and cleared its throat. I stopped kissing Hunter back and braced for him to jump away. He did back off, but very slowly. He sat back on his haunches and glared at the X-ray tech as if she had a lot of nerve. His cheeks were bright red. “So, Hunter,” she said mischievously. “This is your girlfriend.” “Hullo.” I gave her a small wave. “And you got hit by a taxi while you were crossing the street to visit Hunter? That is so romantic! Have you seen Sleepless in Seattle?” “Not romantic,” I said flatly. “I hate that movie. They don’t meet until the last scene. They don’t kiss at all.” Too late I realized I sounded like I was begging Hunter for more. “But in that movie,” the tech said, “they talk about An Affair to Remember. Have you seen that? Deborah Kerr is crossing the street to meet Cary Grant and gets hit by a car. Years later he comes back to her and she’s paralyzed from the waist down.” “You call that romantic?” I heard myself yelling. “That is repulsive!” Hunter stood and put a heavy hand on my shoulder as he pushed my wheelchair past the tech and through the doorway to the X-ray machine. “Erin is in a lot of pain,” he murmured to the tech, “and she doesn’t want to think about being paralyzed from the waist down.” After that the tech was a lot nicer, because Hunter had a way with people. Hunter lifted me onto the table and left the room so he wouldn’t be irradiated or see my bony ass.
Jennifer Echols (Love Story)
River stretched. He wiggled his toes in the fading sun, and smiled. "Violet, Violet. You curl up next to me, nap, and leave. What is this, some sort of one-nap stand?" He smiled. "Screw the movie. Get back over here.
April Genevieve Tucholke (Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Between, #1))
How much longer can I get away with being so fucking cute? Not much longer. The shoes with bows, the cunning underwear with slogans on the crotch — Knock Here, and so forth — will have to go, along with the cat suit. After a while you forget what you really look like. You think your mouth is the size it was. You pretend not to care. When I was young I went with my hair hiding one eye, thinking myself daring; off to the movies in my jaunty pencil skirt and elastic cinch-belt, chewed gum, left lipstick imprints the shape of grateful, rubbery sighs on the cigarettes of men I hardly knew and didn’t want to. Men were a skill, you had to have good hands, breathe into their nostrils, as for horses. It was something I did well, like playing the flute, although I don’t. In the forests of grey stems there are standing pools, tarn-coloured, choked with brown leaves. Through them you can see an arm, a shoulder, when the light is right, with the sky clouded. The train goes past silos, through meadows, the winter wheat on the fields like scanty fur. I still get letters, although not many. A man writes me, requesting true-life stories about bad sex. He’s doing an anthology. He got my name off an old calendar, the photo that’s mostly bum and daisies, back when my skin had the golden slick of fresh-spread margarine. Not rape, he says, but disappointment, more like a defeat of expectations. Dear Sir, I reply, I never had any. Bad sex, that is. It was never the sex, it was the other things, the absence of flowers, the death threats, the eating habits at breakfast. I notice I’m using the past tense. Though the vaporous cloud of chemicals that enveloped you like a glowing eggshell, an incense, doesn’t disappear: it just gets larger and takes in more. You grow out of sex like a shrunk dress into your common senses, those you share with whatever’s listening. The way the sun moves through the hours becomes important, the smeared raindrops on the window, buds on the roadside weeds, the sheen of spilled oil on a raw ditch filling with muddy water. Don’t get me wrong: with the lights out I’d still take on anyone, if I had the energy to spare. But after a while these flesh arpeggios get boring, like Bach over and over; too much of one kind of glory. When I was all body I was lazy. I had an easy life, and was not grateful. Now there are more of me. Don’t confuse me with my hen-leg elbows: what you get is no longer what you see.
Margaret Atwood
When I go to the movies, one of my strongest desires is to be shown something new. I want to go to new places, meet new people, have new experiences. When I see Hollywood formulas mindlessly repeated, a little something dies inside of me: I have lost two hours to boors who insist on telling me stories I have heard before. ROGER EBERT
Sam Horn (Pop!: Stand Out in Any Crowd)
Even though the cut was about twenty minutes longer than the ultimately released movie, Pulp Fiction was an even better movie than Reservoir Dogs. The structure was not only more audacious; the movie was funny as hell and had some extremely intense suspense sequences. Afterward, when Quentin asked me what I thought, remembering the Reservoir Dogs screening, I demurred and bit my tongue. I didn’t want to make a casual comment that might inadvertently influence this great movie. Even though a scene or two might have been tightened I just told him how much I loved it, which was true. As I was walking to my car I looked over and was surprised to find Dennis Hopper walking beside me. Usually I try to give celebrities their space and not bother them in public, but Hopper’s Easy Rider had made a huge impact on me at a very young age and it was hard to contain myself. I decided to keep it simple and just said, “I really loved Quentin’s film.” Hopper stopped in his tracks and suddenly it was like I was standing beside Francis Ford Coppola’s character the “photojournalist,” right out of his Apocalypse Now. Just him and me. “Yeah, man. Quentin really did it, man. I mean really. He really did it.” We both stood there in silent contemplation for a long moment, then wished each other good night and that was that.
Don Coscarelli (True Indie: Life and Death in Filmmaking)
Sometimes we work hard in the short term but still fail to achieve our big-picture goals. How do you keep your short-term work aligned with your long-term objectives? The reason you might be having trouble with your practice in the long run—if you were capable of building a practice in the short run—is nearly always because you are afraid. The fear, the resistance, is very insidious. It doesn’t leave a lot of fingerprints, but the person who manages to make a movie short that blows everyone away but can’t raise enough cash to make a feature film, the person who gets a little freelance work here and there but can’t figure out how to turn it into a full-time gig—that person is practicing self-sabotage. These people sabotage themselves because the alternative is to put themselves into the world as someone who knows what they are doing. They are afraid that if they do that, they will be seen as a fraud. It’s incredibly difficult to stand up at a board meeting or a conference or just in front of your peers and say, “I know how to do this. Here is my work. It took me a year. It’s great.” This is hard to do for two reasons: (1) it opens you to criticism, and (2) it puts you into the world as someone who knows what you are doing, which means tomorrow you also have to know what you are doing, and you have just signed up for a lifetime of knowing what you are doing. It’s much easier to whine and sabotage yourself and blame the client, the system, and the economy. This is what you hide from—the noise in your head that says you are not good enough, that says it is not perfect, that says it could have been better.
Jocelyn K. Glei (Manage Your Day-To-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind)
Just then I looked up to see Chef Pascal standing over our table. "Excuse me for one moment." He reached over me, and I think Emerald and I both gasped aloud at him. He smelled like bacon and caramelized onions and had a movie-star-perfect face, soft but still chiseled. A little stubble. Dark skin and big eyes with long, thick lashes. And the gold streaks in his eyes? Even better in person, luminous and crackling with light. Now I felt like Melinda in the living room, asking me what I was. Was he Egyptian? Mexican? Spanish? But of course he wasn't like me at all. He was closer to a model or an actor than anyone like me. Pascal didn't appear to notice our gawking. He removed the housemade kimchi-ghee hot sauce from our table and replaced it with a new bottle. He gave a soft, barely there smile, then continued to the other tables, leaving almost every girl- and many guys- shivering in his wake. "Ha!" Emerald said, clearly exhilarated. "That was a rush, huh?" "Yeah..." Elliott struggled. "That guy... has a lot of tattoos." I watched Pascal march back into the kitchen. From the pass, where the dining room met the kitchen, I thought I saw him look back at me, too. Yeah, right, Tia, I thought just as quickly. Like that could ever happen.
Jessica Tom (Food Whore: A Novel of Dining and Deceit)
A lawyer is standing in a long line outside a movie theater. Suddenly, he feels a pair of hands massaging his shoulders and neck. The lawyer turns around. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?” “I’m a chiropractor, and I’m just keeping in practice while I’m waiting in line.” “Well, I’m a lawyer, but do you see me screwing the guy in front of me??
Scott McNeely (Ultimate Book of Jokes: The Essential Collection of More Than 1,500 Jokes)
It’s a beautiful sunlit Monday in August, the kind of day that would make your heart sing, your spirit rise. It’s lunchtime, and I’m standing in an absent-minded fog by the German sausage stall in Borough Market, under London Bridge. I can hear the trains rumbling overhead, and it reminds me of that scene from The Godfather, the one where Michael Corleone is about to assassinate his father’s rival mafia boss. Trains always seem to rumble overhead in movies when something ominous is about to happen, and it’s kind of spooky, not to mention fitting, because things couldn’t get much more ominous for me, right now.
Ruth Mancini (Swimming Home (The Swimming Upstream Series #2))
We stalked carefully through the park in best paramilitary fashion, the lost patrol on its mission into the land of the B movie. To Deborah’s credit, she was very careful. She moved stealthily from one piece of cover to the next, frequently looking right to Chutsky and then left at me. It was getting harder to see her, since the sun had now definitely set, but at least that meant it was harder for them to see us, too—whoever them might turn out to be. We leapfrogged through the first part of the park like this, past the ancient souvenir stand, and then I came up to the first of the rides, an old merry-go-round. It had fallen off its spindle and lay there leaning to one side. It was battered and faded and somebody had chopped the heads off the horses and spray-painted the whole thing in Day-Glo green and orange, and it was one of the saddest things I had ever seen. I circled around it carefully, holding my gun ready, and peering behind everything large enough to hide a cannibal. At the far side of the merry-go-round I looked to my right. In the growing darkness I could barely make out Debs. She had moved up into the shadow of one of the large posts that held up the cable car line that ran from one side of the park to the other. I couldn’t see Chutsky at all; where he should have been there was a row of crumbling playhouses that fringed a go-kart track. I hoped he was there, being watchful and dangerous. If anything did jump out and yell boo at us, I wanted him ready with his assault rifle. But there was no sign of him, and even as I watched, Deborah began to move forward again, deeper into the dark park. A warm, light wind blew over me and I smelled the Miami night: a distant tang of salt on the edge of rotting vegetation and automobile exhaust. But even as I inhaled the familiar smell, I felt the hairs go up on the back of my neck and a soft whisper came up at me from the lowest dungeon of Castle Dexter, and a rustle of leather wings rattled softly on the ramparts. It was a very clear notice that something was not right here and this would be a great time to be somewhere else; I froze there by the headless horses, looking for whatever had set off the Passenger’s alarm. I saw and heard nothing. Deborah had vanished into the darkness and nothing moved anywhere, except a plastic shopping bag blowing by in the gentle wind. My stomach turned over, and for once it was not from hunger. My
Jeff Lindsay (Dexter is Delicious (Dexter, #5))
Soon, I found myself criss-crossing the country with Steve, in what we called our “dog and pony show,” trying to drum up interest in our initial public offering. As we traveled from one investment house to another, Steve (in a costume he rarely wore: suit and tie) pushed to secure early commitments, while I added a professorial presence by donning, at Steve’s insistence, a tweed jacket with elbow patches. I was supposed to embody the image of what a “technical genius” looks like—though, frankly, I don’t know anyone in computer science who dresses that way. Steve, as pitch man, was on fire. Pixar was a movie studio the likes of which no one had ever seen, he said, built on a foundation of cutting-edge technology and original storytelling. We would go public one week after Toy Story opened, when no one would question that Pixar was for real. Steve turned out to be right. As our first movie broke records at the box office and as all our dreams seemed to be coming true, our initial public offering raised nearly $140 million for the company—the biggest IPO of 1995. And a few months later, as if on cue, Eisner called, saying that he wanted to renegotiate the deal and keep us as a partner. He accepted Steve’s offer of a 50/50 split. I was amazed; Steve had called this exactly right. His clarity and execution were stunning. For me, this moment was the culmination of such a lengthy series of pursuits, it was almost impossible to take in. I had spent twenty years inventing new technological tools, helping to found a company, and working hard to make all the facets of this company communicate and work well together. All of this had been in the service of a single goal: making a computer-animated feature film. And now, we’d not only done it; thanks to Steve, we were on steadier financial ground than we’d ever been before. For the first time since our founding, our jobs were safe. I
Ed Catmull (Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration)
Hulking piece of rust,” she grumbled, then gave it a little pat on the wheel well as she scooted out between her truck and Hannah’s car. “Can’t let the car gods hear you dis their minions,” she said when she caught Cooper’s amused look. “They’ll strand you in the desert as sure as look at you. Besides, she might be a hulking piece of rusted metal but she’s my hulking piece.” She stopped when she reached her sister and gave her a one-armed hug. “And to what do I owe this pleasure? Cross-examining my afternoon date, are we?” “Maybe,” Hannah said, hugging her back. “Oh, good.” Kerry grinned, rubbing her hands together. “What did you learn?” “Hey, now,” Cooper said, chuckling. “What makes you think I’d give anything up?” “Oh, she’s good,” Kerry told him. “She once talked a tribal chief in Papua New Guinea, out of marrying me to his youngest son.” Cooper looked at Hannah, who just raised an arched brow but didn’t refute the statement. “Well, then, I suppose I’m even more in your debt,” he told Kerry’s oldest sister. “Unless of course the tribe believes in polygamy.” Kerry looked affronted. “You’d share me? Well, well, good to know.” She folded her arms. “So glad we’re having this little chat.” “Oh, no, Starfish, no such luck. You’d be stuck making do with only me. You see, I know a guy who could fly us out of there on his helicopter, and I’m guessing your erstwhile tribal spouse wouldn’t go anywhere near one of those flying birds. I’d spirit you off and--” “And leave my poor first husband brokenhearted and alone? Do I get a say in this?” She looked to her sister. “You’re drawing up my pre-nup, right?” Cooper brightened and clapped his hands together, which earned him an arched brow from Kerry. “Well, while I’m not too thrilled about your attachment to Number One, speaking as Number Two, I will say I’m happy to hear we’re in the negotiation phase.” “Husband Number One is a lot younger,” she said consideringly. “And while he doesn’t have as many head of cattle as you do, he does come with an entire village, and if something happens to his other six brothers, he’ll be chief one day.” She smiled sweetly. “Just saying.” Cooper flashed her a smile that might have been a little too private with her sister standing right there, but what the hell. “Keep in mind, Number Twos traditionally try harder. So I have that going for me.” Hannah looked from Cooper to Kerry, then at both of them, before finally looking at Kerry. “Seriously, marry him before he wises up.” “Hey,” Kerry replied, mock wounded. “And why do you say that?” “You speak the same language.” “Says the woman who communicates with her husband using old movie quotes that nobody gets but the two of you.” Hannah smiled, really smiled, and it transformed her often more serious expression into something truly radiant. “Yes, that’s exactly who’s saying that.” She looked at Cooper. “I have a feeling you and Calder will become fast friends.” “Thank you,” Cooper said, “for both sentiments.
Donna Kauffman (Starfish Moon (Brides of Blueberry Cove, #3))
Once, after one of our special effects software guys resigned, he wrote me an email containing two complaints. First, he said, he didn’t like that his job involved cleaning up so many little problems caused by the new software. Second, he wrote, he was disappointed that we weren’t taking more technical risks in our movies. The irony was that his job was to help solve problems that arose precisely because we were taking a major technical risk by implementing new software systems. The mess that he encountered—the reason he quit—was, in fact, caused by the complexity of trying to do something new. I was struck by how he didn’t understand that taking a risk necessitated a willingness to deal with the mess created by the risk. So:
Ed Catmull (Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration)
After dinner Marlboro Man and I sat on the sofa in our dimly lit house and marveled at the new little life before us. Her sweet little grunts…her impossibly tiny ears…how peacefully she slept, wrinkled and warm, in front of us. We unwrapped her from her tight swaddle, then wrapped her again. Then we unwrapped her and changed her diaper, then wrapped her again. Then we put her in the crib for the night, patted her sweet belly, and went to bed ourselves, where we fell dead asleep in each other’s arms, blissful that the hard part was behind us. A full night’s sleep was all I needed, I reckoned, before I felt like myself again. The sun would come out tomorrow…I was sure of it. We were sleeping soundly when I heard the baby crying twenty minutes later. I shot out of bed and went to her room. She must be hungry, I thought, and fed her in the glider rocking chair before putting her in her crib and going back to bed myself. Forty-five minutes after my head hit the pillow, I was awakened again to the sound of crying. Looking at the clock, I was sure I was having a bad dream. Bleary-eyed, I stumbled to her room again and repeated the feeding ritual. Hmmm, I thought as I tried to keep from nodding off in the chair. This is strange. She must have some sort of problem, I imagined--maybe that cowlick or colic I’d heard about in a movie somewhere? Goiter or gouter or gout? Strange diagnoses pummeled my sleep-deprived brain. Before the sun came up, I’d gotten up six more times, each time thinking it had to be the last, and if it wasn’t, it might actually kill me. I woke up the next morning, the blinding sun shining in my eyes. Marlboro Man was walking in our room, holding our baby girl, who was crying hysterically in his arms. “I tried to let you sleep,” he said. “But she’s not having it.” He looked helpless, like a man completely out of options. My eyes would hardly open. “Here.” I reached out, motioning Marlboro Man to place the little suckling in the warm spot on the bed beside me. Eyes still closed, I went into autopilot mode, unbuttoning my pajama top and moving my breast toward her face, not caring one bit that Marlboro Man was standing there watching me. The baby found what she wanted and went to town. Marlboro Man sat on the bed and played with my hair. “You didn’t get much sleep,” he said. “Yeah,” I said, completely unaware that what had happened the night before had been completely normal…and was going to happen again every night for the next month at least. “She must not have been feeling great.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
The thing we don’t want to say is that our world today is based entirely on self. We sit on the throne of our own lives. It’s about self-expression, self-love and then somebody does something to you.That’s why this film has been controversial in a funny and unexpected way. What has been controversial, of course, is families loving their enemy. But when you understand Christ and understand that he paid an unpayable debt for you, and that before God, we all need forgiveness in a way that is just as severe as even a murderer. It gives you the resources to humble yourself before even your enemies and extend the same mercy that you’ve experienced in your own life. That’s something Christianity has done from the beginning in every justice initiative that has put us all on the same level. We can love anybody no matter what they’ve done, where they’ve from, what they look like, and the ground for the cross is flat. There’s this false idea that one day, we’re going to just all get along just because there’s some human ideal that we have. But we all know that, at least within the Christian context and the Judeo Christian belief, is that [is] impossible, apart from redemption. It changed human heart not just, they say, politics turns the bush, but the gospel cuts the root. With these families, you see people who have been changed and forgiven. Therefore, they have the ability to extend that. It was something that led me through the whole process. I feel like I made the whole movie from the place of no one, and I stand the need of that same mercy and grace.
Brian Ivie
dustpan that he emptied into a larger trash can. If I were him, picking up after people who carelessly dropped stuff on the ground, I’d be nothing but angry. They call it littering when you carelessly drop things. They call the careless folks who drop things by a cute name: litterbug. There’s nothing cute about dropping things carelessly. Dropping garbage and having puppies shouldn’t be called the same thing. “Litter.” I had a mind to write to Miss Webster about that. Puppies don’t deserve to be called a litter like they had been dropped carelessly like garbage. And people who litter shouldn’t be given a cute name for what they do. And at least the mother of a litter sticks around and nurses her pups no matter how sharp their teeth are. Merriam Webster was falling down on the job. How could she have gotten this wrong? Vonetta asked me again. Not because she was anxious to meet Cecile. Vonetta asked again so she could have her routine rehearsed in her head—her curtsy, smile, and greeting—leaving Fern and me to stand around like dumb dodos. She was practicing her role as the cute, bouncy pup in the litter and asked yet again, “Delphine, what do we call her?” A large white woman came and stood before us, clapping her hands like we were on display at the Bronx Zoo. “Oh, my. What adorable dolls you are. My, my.” She warbled like an opera singer. Her face was moon full and jelly soft, the cheeks and jaw framed by white whiskers. We said nothing. “And so well behaved.” Vonetta perked up to out-pretty and out-behave us. I did as Big Ma had told me in our many talks on how to act around white people. I said, “Thank you,” but I didn’t add the “ma’am,” for the whole “Thank you, ma’am.” I’d never heard anyone else say it in Brooklyn. Only in old movies on TV. And when we drove down to Alabama. People say “Yes, ma’am,” and “No, ma’am” in Alabama all the time. That old word was perfectly fine for Big Ma. It just wasn’t perfectly fine for me.
Rita Williams-Garcia (One Crazy Summer (Gaither Sisters, #1))
Fifteen feet. The unspoken irrevocable distance like an old Western movie where the mountain man meets the braves in some meadow. Or the homesteader confronts the landgrabbing rancher and his hired guns, the horses always pulling up to stand in a nearly taut line as if at a precipice. Always that bit of mutually respected demilitarized zone across which words can be flung followed maybe by bullets and arrows and death. That’s what we called it, the DMZ. Awkward at first but not now. In this case we had decided without discussion or even any medical evidence that there was no way the sickness could infect from that far off. Probably not even from five feet, probably not even in a casual touch, but everybody, mostly me, felt better about this gap. If we needed to, we placed objects in the middle of it to be retrieved and that was okay
Peter Heller (The Dog Stars)
No one, good, bad or indifferent. If it’s gangs you’re thinking of you can drop that angle right now. He wasn’t that kind; he didn’t have the time. Know what that kid was doing? Working nights at the hotel, sleeping mornings, helping me out in the shop afternoons, and going to night school three times a week in the bargain! The couple of evenings he had left over he usually took his girl to the movies. He was no slouch, he wanted to get somewhere. And now look at him!” I turned away. “If they’d only broken his leg, or knocked out his teeth, or anything — anything but what they did do! I’m going home and drink myself to sleep, I can’t stand thinking about it any more.
Cornell Woolrich (Walls That Hear You)
Try any one of these things each day: A) Sleep eight hours. B) Eat two meals instead of three. C) No TV. D) No junk food. E) No complaining for one whole day. F) No gossip. G) Return an e-mail from five years ago. H) Express thanks to a friend. I) Watch a funny movie or a stand-up comic. J) Write down a list of ideas. The ideas can be about anything. K) Read a spiritual text. Any one that is inspirational to you. The Bible, The Tao te Ching, anything you want. L) Say to yourself when you wake up, “I’m going to save a life today.” Keep an eye out for that life you can save. M) Take up a hobby. Don’t say you don’t have time. Learn the piano. Take chess lessons. Do stand-up comedy. Write a novel. Do something that takes you out of your current rhythm. N) Write down your entire schedule. The schedule you do every day. Cross out one item and don’t do that anymore. O) Surprise someone. P) Think of ten people you are grateful for. Q) Forgive someone. You don’t have to tell them. Just write it down on a piece of paper and burn the paper. It turns out this has the same effect in terms of releasing oxytocin in the brain as actually forgiving them in person. R) Take the stairs instead of the elevator. S) I’m going to steal this next one from the 1970s pop psychology book Don’t Say Yes When You Want to Say No: when you find yourself thinking of that special someone who is causing you grief, think very quietly, “No.” If you think of him and (or?) her again, think loudly, “No!” Again? Whisper, “No!” Again, say it. Louder. Yell it. Louder. And so on. T) Tell someone every day that you love them. U) Don’t have sex with someone you don’t love. V) Shower. Scrub. Clean the toxins off your body. W) Read a chapter in a biography about someone who is an inspiration to you. X) Make plans to spend time with a friend. Y) If you think, “Everything would be better off if I were dead,” then think, “That’s really cool. Now I can do anything I want and I can postpone this thought for a while, maybe even a few months.” Because what does it matter now? The planet might not even be around in a few months. Who knows what could happen with all these solar flares. You know the ones I’m talking about. Z) Deep breathing. When the vagus nerve is inflamed, your breathing becomes shallower. Your breath becomes quick. It’s fight-or-flight time! You are panicking. Stop it! Breathe deep. Let me tell you something: most people think “yoga” is all those exercises where people are standing upside down and doing weird things. In the Yoga Sutras, written in 300 B.C., there are 196 lines divided into four chapters. In all those lines, ONLY THREE OF THEM refer to physical exercise. It basically reads, “Be able to sit up straight.” That’s it. That’s the only reference in the Yoga Sutras to physical exercise. Claudia always tells me that yogis measure their lives in breaths, not years. Deep breathing is what keeps those breaths going.
James Altucher (Choose Yourself)
In 1995, when Steve Jobs was trying to convince us that we should go public, one of his key arguments was that we would eventually make a film that failed at the box office, and we needed to be prepared, financially, for that day. Going public would give us the capital to fund our own projects and, thus, to have more say about where we were headed, but it would also give us a buffer that could sustain us through failure. Steve’s feeling was that Pixar’s survival could not depend solely on the performance of each and every movie. The underlying logic of his reasoning shook me: We were going to screw up, it was inevitable. And we didn’t know when or how. We had to prepare, then, for an unknown problem—a hidden problem. From that day on, I resolved to bring as many hidden problems as possible to light, a process that would require what might seem like an uncommon commitment to self-assessment.
Ed Catmull (Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration)
Uh oh,” my dad comes in the room but dramatically stops short. “Are we talking about boys?” I roll my eyes. “No, we’re talking about stubborn men.” “So we are talking about boys,” he says and comes over to stand beside me, helping himself to some of the veggies off the platter. “Who did what this time?” he asks Jill. She raises her hands in defense. “This time it isn’t my problem.” “Travis is not exactly being the ideal muse,” I say while I dip one of the carrots into the ranch dressing. “And you really expect him to be?” he asks, trying to hide his smile. “Well, I expected him to try a little harder,” I say defensively. “I never understand how you manage to talk him into these things,” my dad says, leaning across the counter for a piece of bruschetta. “Even Scott gave up most times. But you were always able to convince Travis to stick it out with you.” “Well, we aren’t ten anymore,” I argue. “And apparently he’s taken a card from Scott’s book.” “I don’t know,” my dad says, wiping his mouth. “He’s always been team Etty. You can’t just switch.” “Have you and Mom been watching the Twilight series again?” I accuse. My dad just raises his eyebrows but doesn’t say anything. My dad is team Jacob; Mom is team Edward; I’m team I don’t care. Not that I have anything against Twilight, it’s just when you come into the house and your parents are in the middle of a legitimate argument over what creature they would like their daughter to date… things just got weird for me. I toldScott not to drop those movies off at their house; now whenever they have to decide on something they say they are “team so-and-so”.
Emily Harper (My Sort-of, Kind-of Hero)
I tracked down a vegan baker and had this cake special ordered for tonight. It’s a vanilla cake made with almond milk and maple syrup, glazed with cocoa icing. The damn thing smells delicious, yet my mouth is as dry as the Sahara Desert. That’s probably because of the message. Or, I should say, question iced on top of the cake. Walking up to the kitchen, I see her shaking her booty as she sings to the loud music blasting through the apartment. In her hand, she has a knife and is cutting up a banana. On the stove, I can see a small pot of melted dark chocolate and what looks like toasted and chopped walnuts on a plate. “Hey, babe! You’re home too early.” She gives me a fake pout. “I wanted to surprise you.” Setting my chin on her shoulder, I place my hands on her hips and watch as she starts cutting up another banana. “Surprise me with what, Pixie?” “Something sweet for us to eat while we watch the movie tonight.” Kissing the side of her neck, I murmur into her skin, “I’ve got your sweet covered.” She looks at the box with curious eyes. “Oh? And what do you have there, Trevor Blake?” Lifting the lid, I push the now visible cake with its question closer to her, and she gasps. Her hands start to tremble, and I watch the hand holding the knife with a wary eye. Perhaps I should have asked her to put that down first. I watch her face as her eyes tear up at the question in red icing. Will You Marry Me? The ring is the dot at the bottom of the question mark, shiny and blinking at her. Standing here, I wait for an answer. And I wait more. Thing is, it’s too quiet. There are silent tears running down her face, but she’s not said a single word. Fuck. What if she isn’t ready for this? I open my mouth to try to fix this, but suddenly my little sprite is squealing loudly, jumping up and down. I should be fucking thrilled that she’s happy, but all I can see is that knife bouncing up and down with her little body. She’s talking so fast I can barely understand what she’s saying. “Oh-my-gosh-Trevor-are-you-serious-right-now!” “Babe, happy as hell that you’re excited, but can you do me a favor really quick?” Paisley stops jumping up and down and nods her head repeatedly like a bobble head doll. I have to stop myself from laughing at her. She smiles brightly at me. “If you wanna know my answer, it’s yes!” “Well, that, too. But, Pixie, can you please put down the knife? Would really fucking hate it if one of us got accidentally stabbed on the night that I’m asking you to become my wife.
Chelsea Camaron (Coal (Regulators MC, #3))
Leo, I don’t know for sure if he would’ve shot me. But after all the other shit he’d let happen, I fought for my life, I fought for my mom, I fought for Gen. I figured if I died, there’d be no one to keep him from hurting them. We wrestled around with the gun between us, and fell to the floor. The gun went off and I knew I was dead. We were both still for a long time until I realized that my pain wasn't from a gunshot wound. I pushed him off me and realized that he was dead, bleeding out from the bullet in his stomach. I managed to get up and I picked up the weapon off the floor. Of course, just like a damn movie, my mom and Gen walked in while I was standing over a dead body holding a weapon. My mom started screaming, Gen started wailing. I tried to explain, but she was afraid of me, telling me to stay away from them. I dropped the gun and ran. “I slept in the park that night, the pain so fucking intense I wished for death. I ended up turning myself in. The police officers were not so gentle with me after I killed one of their own, but one officer believed me. He brought the DA to me and they got me to a hospital. There was clear evidence of long-term violence and gang rape. They didn’t prosecute me, I was never charged, it was deemed a justifiable homicide. All the medical records and legal documents were sealed for my protection. “When
A.E. Via (Nothing Special)
But before, not so long ago - my own rose from prom still OK on the mirror, dried but not a corpse - you were just Ed Slaterton, jocky hero, handsome in the student newspaper and star of a million strands of gossip. Now Annette was a person to me, standing right there, and not just an oh-my-God-have-you-heard, and I tried to put it together in my head, the print and the negative, the boyfriend and the celebrity shadow, like Theodora Sire sat next to me in history, borrowing pencils, but was still a movie star above my bed. Because as you came out of the dark to me, you were the boy I was kissing and wanted to kiss more, back to find me at a party like anybody might do, but you were Ed Slaterton too, and not the cad you are now, but just Ed Slaterton, co-captain, with a beer in your hand and Jillian Beach on your arm.
Daniel Handler (Why We Broke Up)
What’s that like, being a movie star?” “Being a star, as you put it, is like living an imaginary life. Acting, however, is the hardest work you’ll ever find. Look at me,” she said, connecting with his eyes. “Closely, closely—yes, like that. Now look angry.” He scowled for her. “Very nice,” she said. “Now—look vulnerable.” He frowned in confusion. “Not easy, is it? Add to that, you have to memorize one hundred and twenty pages of dialogue, be on the set at 6:00 a.m. and won’t get done before 10:00 p.m., you’ll either sweat or freeze, you’ll stand at attention for so many goddamn hours your hips will lock and the man you have to kiss will have breath that would gag a maggot or the promising young actress who’s playing your daughter will be a snotty little shit who holds up the whole production and costs everyone time and money.” She leaned back and grinned at him. “It’s not easy. I swear to God.” “Well, no wonder you retired.” “Why’d
Robyn Carr (Second Chance Pass)
Can’t you tell I’m broken?” she demanded. “I can’t stand anyone touching me!” “You handled me touching you until I pushed you too far.” “Freaking out because someone you’re enjoying kissing tries to get closer to you is not normal.” “It wasn’t normal that I was turned into a vampire because a female vamp became obsessed with my best friend,” David replied. “When Liam didn’t follow after her, she decided to turn his friends in the hopes she would get him to fall in line with her. That’s about as far from normal as it gets. I didn’t have a clue about the paranormal being real when my transformation occurred. Vampires were for horror movies, not reality. Life’s not normal. Shit happens. We all work through it.” “Is that so, Dr. Phil?” The frustrating man smiled at her. “That’s so,” David replied.
Brenda K. Davies (Fractured (Vampire Awakenings, #6))
It was during the early summer of 1952 that I found myself in the small community park next to Stevens Institute of Technology. Although I had a job, I had only worked as a “soda jerk” for a little over a week before I started looking for something else. The Hoboken waterfront was still familiar to me from earlier years when I walked this way to catch the trolley or the electrified Public Service bus home from the Lackawanna Ferry Terminal. Remembering the gray-hulled Liberty Ships being fitted out for the war at these dilapidated piers, was still very much embedded in my memory. Things had not changed all that much, except that the ships that were once here were now at the bottom of the ocean, sold, or nested at one of the “National Defense Reserve Fleets.” The iconic movie On the Waterfront had not yet been filmed, and it would take another two years before Marlon Brando would stand on the same pier I was now looking down upon, from the higher level of Stevens Park. Labor problems were common during this era, but it was all new to me. I was only 17 years old, but would later remember how Marlon Brando got the stuffing kicked out of him for being a union malcontent. When they filmed the famous fight scene in On the Waterfront, it took place on a barge, tied up in the very same location that I was looking upon.
Hank Bracker
Oooo, I love attics.” Ashley gave a little squirm of anticipation. “Maybe your grandpa has some old trunks up there, do you think? Like attics in the movies? With clothes and old hats and those dressmaker dummies?” Roo drew on her cigarette. “You’re looking for dummies? Don’t tempt me, Ash.” “Well, as tempting as it is to continue this fascinating and stimulating discussion”--Parker grimaced--“I’ve got to get home.” Standing, he pulled Ashley up with him. “I guess we’ll see y’all later?” As the others got to their feet, Ashley gave Miranda a tight hug. “We’re coming tonight. You know, to the wake.” Miranda, once more, was touched. “Look, you guys, I appreciate it--really. But you don’t have to. It’s going to be so depressing.” “We’re coming,” Roo said. “Yeah, Roo likes depressing,” Parker insisted. “She’ll feel right at home.” “Parker, that’s so rude,” Ashley scolded him. “This isn’t anything to joke about.” “Right. Sorry.” The last to leave, Gage paused on the top step to look back at her. “We’ll be there.
Richie Tankersley Cusick (Walk of the Spirits (Walk, #1))
Relationships don't work the way they do on television and in the movies. Will they, won't they, and then they finally do, and they're happy forever . . . gimme a break. Nine out of ten of 'em end because they weren't right for each other to begin with, and half the ones who get married get divorced anyway, and I'm telling you right now, through all this stuff I have not become a cynic, I haven't. . . . Yes, I do happen to believe love is mainly about pushing chocolate covered candies, and, you know, in some cultures, a chicken. You can call me a sucker, I don't care, because I do . . . believe in it. Bottom line . . . is couples that are truly right for each other wade through the same crap as everybody else, but the big difference is they don't let it take 'em down. One of those two people will stand up and fight for that relationship every time, if it's right, and they're real lucky. . . . One of 'em will say something.
Dr. Percival Ulysses Cox
No matter how hard I tried to get Ronnie’s attention he wouldn’t look me. He avoided eye contact by toying with the ring tones on his cellular phone. His unwillingness to look me in the eye and speak directly to me annoyed me. Ronnie was seventeen and stood about five foot nine inches tall. He had brown skin just like mine and wore his hair French braided. That day he was wearing an oversize white T-shirt, baggy Sean John jeans and what appeared to be a new pair of Nike Air Force One gym shoes. We were standing on the sidewalk in front of the apartment building that he lived in with his mother. In the distance I heard the thud of music from a trunk amp bouncing against the air. Ronnie is my boyfriend, or should I say was my boyfriend until I caught him snuggled up with some girl inside of a movie theater. When I saw him and the other girl I decided to play it cool at first, you know, just to make sure that I wasn’t overreacting. I discreetly positioned myself in a seat directly behind them so that I could keep a close eye on them. No sooner than the lights
Earl Sewell (Keysha's Drama (Keysha, #1))
So many memories come rushing over me as I stand here. They run through my mind like a movie…an old Italian movie. Some scenes are in black and white. Some are in vivid color. Some are silent…just images etched into my memory. Many are filled with laughter or tears. They all bring back the happiness of Terra d’Amore and a life in the paradise of my youth. The sights and the sounds and the smells are all returning to me now, filling up my senses, overwhelming my heart.
Giacomino Nicolazzo (Terra d'Amore. Sojourners (An Italian Story, #1))
He slowly brought his hand out of his jacket. He was holding a long-barreled pistol. “Wait a minute!” Jack yelled. Woody looked down at the pistol. “I didn’t know what to expect when I saw that note. Figured I better not take any chances.” “I’m glad we got everything straightened out,” Jack said. I shifted around and got my feet under me. When Woody started to raise the pistol, I figured the time for talking was over. I took off running along the shoreline. Behind me the pistol went off. I veered away from the lake and dashed uphill toward the trees, leaping over rocks and half-buried driftwood. “Eddie!” Jack yelled. I kept running. “Eddie, you idiot!” I glanced back over my shoulder. Jack and Woody were still standing beside the lake. “Get back down here,” Jack yelled. “He was just signaling.” I came down a lot more slowly than I went up. “I wish I had a movie of that,” Jack said. “You took off like you were shot out of a cannon.” “Yeah, yeah.” I knew I’d be hearing about that one for a long time.
P.J. Petersen (The Freshman Detective Blues)
Cook yourself some bacon or something.” “Pfft. Rather have the beer.” “Not while I’m standing here,” I said. “You’re underage.” She puffed air up against her fallen bangs, making them flutter. “Aren’t you, like, a thief or something?” “Or something, sometimes.” “But you won’t let me have a beer,” she said. “Nope. A man’s got to have standards.” Melanie pulled a sealed package of turkey bacon out of the fridge and reached for a frying pan. “Ooh,” she said sarcastically, “the code of the criminal underworld, just like in the movies. Like you won’t shoot women or kids, right?” I shrugged. “I try not to shoot anybody if I can help it. If I’m put in a position where I have to, though, their gender or their age doesn’t have a whole lot to do with it.” “And let me guess, you never steal from your boss?” “Depends.” “Depends?” she said. “On how much of an asshole he is.” “That happen a lot?” “Working for assholes?” I said. “You have no idea.” She laughed.
Craig Schaefer (Redemption Song (Daniel Faust, #2))
And from what I remember about our casting meeting, his eyes kept circling back to you.” “Don’t be ridiculous,” she said in as light a voice as she could manage, as if they were joking about something that would never, ever happen in a million years. “Well,” George said after a pause that was just a little too long for her comfort, “I think we both know that if the beautiful and talented and filthy rich Smith Sullivan is smart enough to try to stick his hands up your skirt, you won’t stand a chance.” She hated knowing her friend and colleague was right, hated it so much that as she grabbed a stack of notes on her desk, she tried to put a stop to all of his nonsense by saying, in her sternest, most businesslike tone, “If you’re done speculating over whether or not Smith Sullivan wants to stick his hands, or any other body part, up my skirt—or if I have strong enough superpowers to resist him—perhaps we can now discuss the details of Tatiana’s recent commercial offer.” A creak from her office doorway made her finally lift her gaze from her paperwork…to stare straight into Smith’s amused eyes. Oh, God. Oh, no. Could he have heard what she’d just said? About her skirt, and his hands, and… Yes, she realized with a hard thunk of her heart as it careened down to the bottom of her stomach. Of course he’d heard every last word of it. Why else would he look so amused…and, quite possibly, delighted? “George, I’ll need to call you back in a few minutes.” “Oooh, you sound tense. And more than a little breathless. A movie star must have walked into the room.” George was obviously giddy over it. “Why don’t you just leave your phone on speaker so I can hear his voice—just in case he says all those naughty things I know we’re both hoping he’ll say.” She hung up on Tatiana’s agent and immediately stood up so that she and Smith would be on even ground. Well, as even as they could be, given the six or so inches he had on her even in her heels. “You didn’t need to hang up so quickly for me,” he drawled in a voice that didn’t try to be sexy. It just was. “I know how busy you are,” she replied. And it was true. As star, director, producer and screenwriter of Gravity, she wasn’t sure how he’d managed more than a handful of hours of sleep a night since production began. And yet, he didn’t look the least bit tired. Instead, he looked even more handsome than he usually did. Clearly, he wore smug well. Because she knew damn well just how smug he had to be feeling after what he’d heard her say to George.
Bella Andre (Come A Little Bit Closer (San Francisco Sullivans, #7; The Sullivans, #7))
He frowned and reached out, lifting a lock of her hair off her shoulder. “Do you have mud in your hair?” “Probably,” she said. “I was standing on the porch, appreciating the beauty of this nice spring morning when one end gave way and spilled me right into a big, nasty mud puddle. And I wasn’t brave enough to try out the shower—it’s beyond filthy. But I thought I got it all off.” “Oh, man,” he said, surprising her with a big laugh. “Could you have had a worse day? If you’d like, I have a shower in my quarters—clean as a whistle.” He grinned again. “Towels even smell like Downy.” “Thanks, but I think I’ll just move on. When I get closer to the coast, I’m going to get a hotel room and have a quiet, warm, clean evening. Maybe rent a movie.” “Sounds nice,” he said. “Then back to Los Angeles?” She shrugged. “No,” she said. She couldn’t do that. Everything from the hospital to the house would conjure sweet memories and bring her grief to the surface. She just couldn’t move on as long as she stayed in L.A. Besides, now there was nothing there for her anymore.
Robyn Carr (Virgin River (Virgin River, #1))
Nick stands behind me. He puts a hand on my waist. I yank in a breath. The world seems to swirl around me. “Are you going to faint?” he asks. I back into him and blurt, “But you’re so cute. Werewolves aren’t supposed to be cute. Vampires are, I think. They are in the movies. But the werewolves are pretty much ugly and they wear leather jackets and are all dirty with these monster sideburns.” “That’s all you have to say? That I’m cute?” He takes a stray piece of my hair and curls it around his fingers. “Most people faint or shriek or never talk to me again.
Carrie Jones (Need (Need, #1))
When I heard about Randy’s death, I instantly thought about the movie Stand by Me, based on the novella The Body, by Stephen King. I thought about the end of that movie, when we learn that Chris Chambers, played as a kid by River Phoenix, became a lawyer. And we also learn that he was stabbed to death while trying to break up a fight in a fast-food restaurant. A tragic, unpredictable death. I have seen that movie a hundred times, at least, but I still cry every time. And I really cry when Gordie Lachance, played by Richard Dreyfuss as an adult, types those amazing, amazing words: I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?
Sherman Alexie (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian)
To reiterate, it is the focus on people—their work habits, their talents, their values—that is absolutely central to any creative venture. And in the wake of Toy Story 2, I saw that more clearly than I ever had. That clarity, in turn, led me to make some changes. Looking around, I realized we had a few traditions that didn’t put people first. For example, we had a development department, as do all movie studios, that was charged with seeking out and developing ideas to make into films. Now I saw that this made no sense. Going forward, the development department’s charter would be not to develop scripts but to hire good people, figure out what they needed, assign them to projects that matched their skills, and make sure they functioned well together. To this day, we keep adjusting and fiddling with this model, but the underlying goals remain the same: Find, develop, and support good people, and they in turn will find, develop, and own good ideas.
Ed Catmull (Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration)
When I walked across a room I saw myself walking as if I were someone else, when I picked up a fork, when I pulled off a dress, as if I were in a movie. It’s what I thought you saw when you looked at me. So when I looked at you, I didn’t see you I saw the me I thought you saw, as if I were someone else. I called that outside—watching. Well I didn’t call it anything when it happened all the time. But one morning after I stopped the pills—standing in the kitchen for one second I was inside looking out. Then I popped back outside. And saw myself looking. Would it happen again? It did, a few days later. My friend Wendy was pulling on her winter coat, standing by the kitchen door and suddenly I was inside and I saw her. I looked out from my own eyes and I saw: her eyes: blue gray transparent and inside them: Wendy herself! Then I was outside again, and Wendy was saying, Bye-bye, see you soon, as if Nothing Had Happened. She hadn’t noticed. She hadn’t known that I’d Been There for Maybe 40 Seconds, and that then I was Gone. She hadn’t noticed that I Hadn’t Been There for Months, years, the entire time she’d known me. I needn’t have been embarrassed to have been there for those seconds; she had not Noticed The Difference. This happened on and off for weeks, and then I was looking at my old friend John: : suddenly I was in: and I saw him, and he: (and this was almost unbearable) he saw me see him, and I saw him see me. He said something like, You’re going to be ok now, or, It’s been difficult hasn’t it, but what he said mattered only a little. We met—in our mutual gaze—in between a third place I’d not yet been.
Marie Howe (Magdalene: Poems)
me to be honest about his failings as well as his strengths. She is one of the smartest and most grounded people I have ever met. “There are parts of his life and personality that are extremely messy, and that’s the truth,” she told me early on. “You shouldn’t whitewash it. He’s good at spin, but he also has a remarkable story, and I’d like to see that it’s all told truthfully.” I leave it to the reader to assess whether I have succeeded in this mission. I’m sure there are players in this drama who will remember some of the events differently or think that I sometimes got trapped in Jobs’s distortion field. As happened when I wrote a book about Henry Kissinger, which in some ways was good preparation for this project, I found that people had such strong positive and negative emotions about Jobs that the Rashomon effect was often evident. But I’ve done the best I can to balance conflicting accounts fairly and be transparent about the sources I used. This is a book about the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing. You might even add a seventh, retail stores, which Jobs did not quite revolutionize but did reimagine. In addition, he opened the way for a new market for digital content based on apps rather than just websites. Along the way he produced not only transforming products but also, on his second try, a lasting company, endowed with his DNA, that is filled with creative designers and daredevil engineers who could carry forward his vision. In August 2011, right before he stepped down as CEO, the enterprise he started in his parents’ garage became the world’s most valuable company. This is also, I hope, a book about innovation. At a time when the United States is seeking ways to sustain its innovative edge, and when societies around the world are trying to build creative digital-age economies, Jobs stands as the ultimate icon of inventiveness, imagination, and sustained innovation. He knew that the best way to create value in the twenty-first century was to connect creativity with technology, so he built a company where leaps of the imagination were combined with remarkable feats of engineering. He and his colleagues at Apple were able to think differently: They developed not merely modest product advances based on focus groups, but whole new devices and services that consumers did not yet know they needed. He was not a model boss or human being, tidily packaged for emulation. Driven by demons, he could drive those around him to fury and despair. But his personality and passions and products were all interrelated, just as Apple’s hardware and software tended to be, as if part of an integrated system. His tale is thus both instructive and cautionary, filled with lessons about innovation, character, leadership, and values.
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
Emotions Dreams I feel like my skin is crawling with viruses when it is on my figure. It’s mid-November and I am standing in the rain, as I run out the door it is, so cold, so lonely, and so freaking loveless! As I found my way back to him, I left behind oh so long ago. Up till now this is not habitual for me, I am always naked around my house, yet this is not a home at all, I don’t know what you call this place, it’s like a school however not so. I have my reason you’ll see, not to say too much, I have someone looking down at me with the eyes and the face and crap. The rain is falling on me, eyes and ears, and boys and girls all like knives inside me, never since the moment I got off the damn bus so it could just run my ass over and get it over with. The rain is matting my long brown hair on me as it lies on down my rump, just like a movie just like the books. Just like me living it, like her. Some of this shower is cascading off my little face, and it slowly collects on my breasts, where it beads up and separates into two different watercourses down to my belly button. I eyeball it, as it goes all the way down the front of me. Yet I am okay with it… at last, I am free. To a fact! I still feel so shut in by all of them. Ten or twenty-five or three minutes have passed, I am still in a similar varied advertisement. ‘Girly portion.’ Almost like a waterfall gushing in-between my legs. It trickles down to me to where it turns and goes in my butt cheeks, falling too and thrashing my mud exposed toes. After standing so long, holding me upright, weekly my legs so not right give out. Just letting water follow me down. I'm soaked! Soft thump, sooner or later the pounding gets rains resilient. Making me fall to the ground with where I will remain until I feel that I can get up and over what has happened to me. I can feel the wetness as it lingers in my hair for a while, so unforgivably waterlogged my body even more. That’s if I can… like if I can accept it all. It’s all because of them! Counting my sanctification, I feel dissatisfied in a way when I do feel it releasing offends my hair. Like it is wiping away everything that happened to me today, away from the day of the past. I feel the dropping rain weeping for me, like hell’s tears of pain and flam it runs out of me as I yell out for his safety in a call of his name.
Marcel Ray Duriez (Nevaeh A Void She Cannot Feel)
I will never forget standing in the middle of a historical home that is supposed to be home to a ghost that has a nasty attitude. The subflooring and some of the walls were exposed from the dilapidation of time, and on a night where winds were high, the sounds and atmosphere felt more like a movie set than they did reality. A couple of days before I had just written a farewell that I had never wanted to write, and my mind was interrogatively scouring the, "whys," of why there had to be a farewell? While standing there, not long before it was time for me to call it a night and conclude my overnight stay, while bathed in an empty sorrow, I felt a microsecond's calm from the grief. For a fleeting moment, I was grateful that I had been given the opportunity to show up and to put things to the measuring stick in the name of science. That seems to be my calling. Callings are not always the lives that we would choose on our own. That ever brief snippet of time was the closest thing I could find next to solace in the moment, if it was even in the proximity of solace, at all.
Blaine Thompson
How can I be ? Proud of my struggle, but having nothing to show. Guns , petrol, tires , gas, everything blows Now I am standing on top of Museum building burned into ashes. It Is smoke in the mirrors. Look at our Repercussions. Our legacy, our reputation. Canvas and portraits of arrogance Lies, deception, fractions results of politicians Insurrection results of a failed mission Blood used to paint our image Poor quality in this fotos, because nothing changed. You might think it is the 80’s, because you can see tribalism and racism. A perfect black and white picture. Sound of freedom turned into sound of violence, Ambulance, Police siren , people crying and dying Hunger and poverty used as tourists attraction They say look more poorer, so we can get more donation. I am getting global media coverage, Because I am queuing and walking long distance for food, Not because we are getting killed , abused and treated unfairly. They look at me and say Africa is starving Took my pics , post them on social media. Now they are laughing. Being born with a price tag, that says you not worth it, because your black. Government looted everything from the poor Now the poor are looting the government. It is like a stolen movie. Those who started it all and who are behind it, are not getting their credit and spotlight . If we change looting to colonization , then they would be heroes. Not sure whether to say goodbye or good night Because when you're in Phoenix , this might be your last night. 
De philosopher DJ Kyos
Well, Misty Hoyt,” Sergei grinned. “Why don’t you go up there on the stage and strut your stuff? I’d like to see you pole dance.” “What?” “Pole dance.” “Oh, pole dance,” I mumbled, slurping back saliva. I figured I would hardly be able to stand up, let alone pole dance. I had never pole danced in my whole life though Misty Hoyt had pole danced and had admitted as much at the bar to Andrei, but I hadn’t had time to catch up with all of Misty’s skills. This was definitely a hole in the planning of my backstory – giving me experience, as a pole dancer, I would not be able to fake. I would look utterly grotesque too, tattooed as I was; the vanity of self-consciousness never dies – I shuddered at the thought of me tattooed and pierced among those buff, golden, perfectly beautiful girls. Whatever! I had to do it. “Okay,” I said, “You are the boss, Mister Sergei.” I managed somehow to stand up, wobble, and then make my way, through tables and guests, and get over to the runway, and climb up onto it. It seemed very high. I weaved, tottered this way and that, and then somehow, I pulled myself together. I pole danced with one of the pole dancers – me weaving around one pole, and she around the other. She was the petite, fine-featured golden Vietnamese girl I had noticed before. I’d seen movies of pole dancing, so I managed to fake it; and then I was the tattooed pierced clown, a freakish waif, I didn’t really have to be very good. Then – I’m foggy about actually when – the golden Vietnamese girl and I were ordered to make love on the runway in the bright lights. The strobe lights had stopped. The other pole dancers had disappeared into the crowd. And now, except for the spotlights on the two of us, the whole place was subdued in dull amber light, a sort of nightclub twilight. The music went down, and it was quiet. I thought maybe I was hallucinating the silence. But no, it was real.
Gwendoline Clermont (Gwendoline Goes Underground)
Those war movies always do that to me. I don't think I could stand it if I had to go to war. I really couldn't. It wouldn't be too bad if they'd just take you out and shoot you or something, but you have to stay in the Army so goddam long.
J.D. Salinger (The Catcher in the Rye)
Perhaps to be human is to struggle one’s whole life to find some solid ground to stand on and then die never coming anywhere close. And perhaps that’s not even a bad thing. To know the true meaning of life and self is to do what with it? End the mystery? End the game? What then? Perhaps one day we will find some unifying theory of everything and perhaps somehow this will make everything better, but what are the odds that we still care about the point of life after we’ve found it? Imagine a movie in which you knew exactly why and what everything was from the start. Imagine a life, if we found a theory of everything or an equation that connected the mysteries of quantum mechanics and Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, and we understood the very core of how and why the universe worked, what difference would this really make in terms of the meaning of life. Would two different people still not watch the same movie and experience and interpret two different things? We would of course all agree that it’s a movie and on how the movie works, but when it comes to meaning, there will always remain a perceptual layer completely relative to the individuals observing it. Because of this, if we found the overarching ultimate truth of existence tomorrow, half the world would not believe it, and the other half would fight for it. And as a whole, we would be no different. And if somehow the whole world did agree upon one truth, what then? Utopia? What then? The truth we seek when considering the quality and meaning of our lives is not an outward truth, not a truth that resolves the questions of the universe, but a truth that glimpses inward and assembles into a stable self that can be integrated seamlessly into our perception of the whole around us, a truth we can’t ever truly have. Truth is not even the right word here, there is no right word here. That’s the point. I sit here writing, thinking about my being, about the strange relationship I have with this life and this plane of existence. I think about how alive I feel right now while writing. How potent this moment is. How insane and beautiful it is. How important it has been to me in the past. Thinking, writing, talking, and reading about earnest experiences and attempts at living. Personally, the direct confrontation with the challenges, complexities, sufferings, and plights of the human condition have provided me with some of, if not all of the profound, potent, and beautiful moments of my life. And I wonder if I would have ever experienced any of those undeniably worthy moments if life made sense. If it didn’t hurt and overwhelm me… How beautiful would the night sky be if we knew exactly where it went and how the stars got there? Would we ever be inspired to create art and form interpretations out of this life, what would I have written about? What would I have read about? How would I have ever found love or friendship or connection with others? Why would I have ever laughed or cried? What would I be doing right now? Would there be anything to say? Anything to live or die for? I don’t feel that my life would have been any better if I had known any more of what it was all about, in fact I think it would have only worsened the whole thing, we seem to so desire certainty, and immortality, a utopic end of conflict, suffering, and misunderstanding, and yet in the final elimination of all darkness exists light with no contrast. And where there is no contrast of light there is no perception of light, at all. What we think we want is rarely what we do, if we ever got what we did, we would no longer have anything. What we really want is to want. To have something to ceaselessly chase and move towards. To feel the motion and synchronicity with the universe's unending forward movement.
Robert Pantano
he dropped his arms again and his face went open and a little pale, leaving scared pink standing out on the edges of his cheekbones. “El, I’d—I’d like to ask. But not—in here. After we—if we—” “Don’t even try. I’m not getting engaged to go out with you,” I said rudely, shoving in before he could drag us back onto the shoals. “If you’re not asking now, that’s sufficient unto the day! If we make it out of here alive and you slog across the pond to come ask me, I’ll decide what I think of it at the time, and until then, you can keep your Disney movie fantasies,” and your secret pet mal, my brain unhelpfully inserted, “to yourself.
Naomi Novik (A Deadly Education (The Scholomance, #1))