Surprise Movie Quotes

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

I saw the movie, 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' and was surprised because I didn't see any tigers or dragons. And then I realized why: they're crouching and hidden.
Steve Martin
He wasn't the type for displays of affection, either verbal or not. He was disgusted by couples that made out in the hallways between classes, and got annoyed at even the slightest sappy moments in movies. But I knew he cared about me: he just conveyed it more subtly, as concise with expressing this emotion as he was with everything else. It was in the way he'd put his hand on the small of my back, for instance, or how he'd smile at me when I said something that surprised him. Once I might have wanted more, but I'd come around to his way of thinking in the time we'd been together. And we were together, all the time. So he didn't have to prove how he felt about me. Like so much else, I should just know.
Sarah Dessen (The Truth About Forever)
Life in the movie business is like the beginning of a new love affair: it's full of surprises, and you're constantly getting fucked.
David Mamet (Speed-The-Plow (acting edition))
You learn to appreciate the fact that what drives you is very different from what you’re told should make you happy. You learn that it’s okay to prefer your personal idea of heaven (live-tweeting zombie movies from under a blanket of kittens) rather than someone else’s idea that fame/fortune/parties are the pinnacle we should all reach for. And there’s something surprisingly freeing about that.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
So let me help you out. My favorite color is-hell, I don't know. I've never cared enough to think about it. My favorite movie is-what else-ZOMBIELAND. But not because the good guys win in the end, though that's a plus, but because Emma Stone is hot." I snorted. He was SUCH a guy. "My favorite band is-" "Let me guess," I interjected. "White Zombie? Slayer?" "Red. And no, not just because I want zombies to bleed.What about you? Who do you like? Because honestly, I'm surprised you know White Z and Slayer." "I like Red,too, but I'm partial to Skillet. Used to listen to them with my sister. But why wouldn't I know the other bands?" "You look so angelic." "And do you think angels are hot?" I asked primly, trying to play it cool so that I wouldn't reveal what a mess I was on the inside. All this time, he'd wanted to get to know me and date me. What craziness! "The hottest.
Gena Showalter (Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles, #1))
Daemon cursed again and I moved, blocking him. “Who does that?” Daemon demanded.Heat rolled off his body. “Actually, Kiefer Sutherland did. In the original Buffy movie,” he explained. When I continued to gape at him, he grimaced. “It was on TV a few nights ago. He threw one at Buffy and she caught it.”“That was Donald Sutherland—the dad,” Daemon corrected, much to my surprise.Blake shrugged“Same difference.” “I’m not Buffy!” I yelled.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Onyx (Lux, #2))
Considering that we live in an era of evolutionary everything---evolutionary biology, evolutionary medicine, evolutionary ecology, evolutionary psychology, evolutionary economics, evolutionary computing---it was surprising how rarely people thought in evolutionary terms. It was a human blind spot. We look at the world around us as a snapshot when it was really a movie, constantly changing.
Michael Crichton (Prey)
Instead of answering, Will took a step toward her, and all at once, everything happened too quickly to even make sense of it. One second he was standing three feet away from her, and in the next he had a hand on her hip and was pulling her close. Leaning in, he kissed her. His lips were soft soft, and he was suprisingly gentle. Maybe it was simply that he'd caught her by surprise, but even so, she found herself kissing him back. The kiss didn't last long, and it wasn't the kind of earthshaking, soul-destroying kiss common in movies these days; but even so, she was glad it happened, and for whatever reason, she realized it was exactly what she'd wanted him to do.
Nicholas Sparks (The Last Song)
I couldn't take much more of this. Being the object two men competed for wasn't as glamorous as it sounded in the movies. The two men who both wanted one hundred percent of my time weren't dashing, international playboys. They were undead and surprisingly immature, considering the youngest was just over a hundred years old.
Jenny Trout (Ashes to Ashes (Blood Ties, #3))
catalyst, n. It surprised me — surprises me still — that you were the first one to say it. I was innocent, in a way, expecting those three words to appear boldface with music. But instead, it was such an ordinary moment: The movie was over, and I stood up to turn off the TV. A few minutes had passed from the end of the final credits, and we’d been sitting there on the couch, your legs over mine, the side of your hand touching the side of my hand. The video stopped and the screen turned blue. “I’ll get it,” I said, and was halfway to the television when you said, “I love you.” I never asked, but I’ll always wonder: What was it about that moment that made you realize it? Or, if you’d known it for awhile, what compelled you to say it then? It was welcome, so welcome, and in my rush to say that I loved you, too, I left the television on, I let that light bathe us for a little longer, as I returned to the couch, to you. We held there for awhile, not really sure what would happen next.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
When a child reaches puberty, parents become so curious about their sex lives and whereabouts, put them behind bars to their own detriment. When such a child breaks free, don't be surprised to see him/her in porn movies.
Michael Bassey Johnson
I thought of telling her that I was seeing a boy, too, or at least that I'd watched a movie with one, just because I knew it would surprise and amaze her that anyone as disheveled and awkward and stunted as me could even briefly win the affections of a boy.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
The shock of photographed atrocities wears off with repeated viewings, just as the surprise and bemusement felt the first time one sees a pornographic movie wear off after one sees a few more.
Susan Sontag
In the moral realm, there is very little consensus left in Western countries over the proper basis of moral behavior. And because of the power of the media, for millions of men and women the only venue where moral questions are discussed and weighed is the talk show, where more often than not the primary aim is to entertain, even shock, not to think. When Geraldo and Oprah become the arbiters of public morality, when the opinion of the latest media personality is sought on everything from abortion to transvestites, when banality is mistaken for profundity because [it's] uttered by a movie star or a basketball player, it is not surprising that there is less thought than hype. Oprah shapes more of the nation's grasp of right and wrong than most of the pulpits in the land. Personal and social ethics have been removed from the realms of truth and structures of thoughts; they have not only been relativized, but they have been democratized and trivialized.
D.A. Carson (The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism)
We could, you know, go out for hot dogs. Don’t worry—they’re not actually dogs. It’s just a name. They’re these meat things that you put on buns—that’s a kind of bread—and then you top them with other things and—”             “I know what a hot dog is,” interrupted Mark. “You do?” I asked, legitimately surprised. “How?” “We’re not that remote. We have TV and movies. Besides, I’ve left Siberia, you know. I’ve been to the U.S.” “Really? Did you try a hot dog?”             “No,” he said. “I was offered one … but it didn’t look that appetizing.”             “What!” I exclaimed. “Blasphemy. They’re delicious.”             “Aren’t they compressed animal parts?” he pushed.             “Well, yeah… I think so. But so is sausage.”             Mark shook his head. “I don’t know. Something’s just not right about a hot dog.”             “Not right? I think you mean so right.
Richelle Mead (Foretold: 14 Tales of Prophecy and Prediction)
Plot twist: everything goes exactly as planned.
Criss Jami (Healology)
What kind of movies have you been watching?” asked Ralph with surprised interest. “The kind where girls actually keep their hairpins,” said Donald gloomily. “And are useful.
Ness Kingsley (Our Accidental Adventure)
The pop culture cliché of the American High School movie, which adapted old archetypes, depicted a social world in which the worst sexists were always the all brawn no brains sports jock. But now that the online world has given us a glimpse into the inner lives of others, one of the surprising revelations is that it is the nerdish self-identifying nice guy who could never get the girl who has been exposed as the much more hate-filled, racist, misogynist who is insanely jealous of the happiness of others.
Angela Nagle (Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars from 4chan and Tumblr to Trump and the Alt-Right)
Christy said. "It's just weird, your seeing him like that. What are you going to do?" "Nothing. What can I do?" "Maybe he'll call you to see if you're okay," Katie said. "No," Christy said, "in the movies he would have told his friend to stop the car, and he would have run back to you with an umbrella and walked you the rest of the way hoe, and you would have made him a pot of tea." Sierra laughed. "I am drinking tea right now," she said. "Maybe my life is a low budget 'B' movie, and all I get is the tea. No hero. No umbrella." "Yeah, well then my life is a class 'Z' movie," Katie said. "No tea. No hero. No umbrella. No plot--" "Yours is more of a mystery," Christy interrupted cheerfully. "The ending will surprise all of us.
Robin Jones Gunn (In Your Dreams (Sierra Jensen, #2))
I wish someone had told me this simple but confusing truth: Even when everything’s going your way you can still be sad. Or anxious. Or uncomfortably numb. Because you can’t always control your brain or your emotions even when things are perfect. The really scary thing is that sometimes that makes it worse. You’re supposed to be sad when things are shitty, but if you’re sad when you have everything you’re ever supposed to want? That’s utterly terrifying. Why am I curled in a ball in my hotel room bed, too self-conscious to enjoy life? Feeling like a failure and a fraud while a party in my honor rages on? How can I feel so awful and sick and guilty and sweaty with panic when things are so perfect? If everything is perfect and I’m miserable, then is this as good as it gets? And the answer is no. It gets better. You get better. You learn to appreciate the fact that what drives you is very different from what you’re told should make you happy. You learn that it’s okay to prefer your personal idea of heaven (live-tweeting zombie movies from under a blanket of kittens) rather than someone else’s idea that fame/fortune/parties are the pinnacle we should all reach for. And there’s something surprisingly freeing about that. *   *   * It is an amazing gift to be able to recognize that the things that make you the happiest are so much easier to grasp than you thought. There is such freedom in being able to celebrate and appreciate the unique moments that recharge you and give you peace and joy. Sure, some people want red carpets and paparazzi. Turns out I just want banana Popsicles dipped in Malibu rum. It doesn’t mean I’m a failure at appreciating the good things in life. It means I’m successful in recognizing what the good things in life are for me.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
I doubt she likes the idea of seeing him put back in a cage.” “Maybe not,” he said. “But she knows that the Authority are the only people who might be able to help him.” “Or kill him,” I said. “That too. What is life without risk?” “Long?” Terric laughed, a sort of high whooping that made me—and Zayvion, much to my surprise—smile. Contagious. For all he had a serious exterior, Terric was the guy you’d want to sit next to at a funny movie, just to hear him laugh.
Devon Monk (Magic on the Storm (Allie Beckstrom, #4))
You could kiss me, we’ve hardly kissed since you’ve come back. You didn’t meet another woman while you were gone did you?” I traced around the outline of his lips with my index finger. “There are other women out there?” The look on his face was one of genuine surprise. “Oh, you’re good.” I kissed his cheek. “Did you come up with that all by yourself, or is it a line from one of your old movies?” “All by myself.” Seth put his arms around my waist and drew me close.
Sherry Gammon (Unlovable (Port Fare, #1))
And Matilda found, to her surprise, that life could be fun. She decided to have as much fun as possible. After all, she was a very smart kid.
Roald Dahl
GONE TO STATIC it sounds better than it is, this business of surviving, making it through the wrong place at the wrong time and living to tell. when the talk shows and movie credits wear off, it's just me and my dumb luck. this morning I had that dream again: the one where I'm dead. I wake up and nothing's much different. everything's gone sepia, a dirty bourbon glass by the bed, you're still dead. I could stumble to the shower, scrub the luck of breath off my skin but it's futile. the killer always wins. it's just a matter of time. and I have time. I have grief and liquor to fill it. tonight, the liquor and I are talking to you. the liquor says, 'remember' and I fill in the rest, your hands, your smile. all those times. remember. tonight the liquor and I are telling you about our day. we made it out of bed. we miss you. we were surprised by the blood between our legs. we miss you. we made it to the video store, missing you. we stopped at the liquor store hoping the bourbon would stop the missing. there's always more bourbon, more missing tonight, when we got home, there was a stray cat at the door. she came in. she screams to be touched. she screams when I touch her. she's right at home. not me. the whisky is open the vcr is on. I'm running the film backwards and one by one you come back to me, all of you. your pulses stutter to a begin your eyes go from fixed to blink the knives come out of your chests, the chainsaws roar out from your legs your wounds seal over your t-cells multiply, your tumors shrink the maniac killer disappears it's just you and me and the bourbon and the movie flickering together and the air breathes us and I am home, I am lucky I am right before everything goes black
Daphne Gottlieb (Final Girl)
I’m pretty sure that this is the part of my movie when something surprising will happen, so I am trusting in God, who I know will not let me down. If I have faith, if I go to that special place, something beautiful will happen when the sun sets—I can feel it.
Matthew Quick (The Silver Linings Playbook)
the hospital after the diagnosis she formed a sudden and strong intuition: “This disease wanted to monopolize my attention, but as much as possible, I would focus on my life instead.” The cancer treatment that followed was exhausting and terrible, but Gallagher couldn’t help noticing, in that corner of her brain honed by a career in nonfiction writing, that her commitment to focus on what was good in her life—“movies, walks, and a 6:30 martini”—worked surprisingly well. Her life during this period should have been mired in fear
Cal Newport (Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World)
Movies were movies, whether they were old or new. They always captivated me, pulled me into worlds where anything was possible. Worlds where there were adventures and surprises, and life was never dull.
Chelsea Sedoti (The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett)
The way things are going, I wouldn't be surprised if pretty soon I start wearing ripped-up fishnet stockings and dyeing my hair black. Maybe I'll even start smoking and get my ears double-pierced or something. And then they'll make a TV movie about me and call it Royal Scandal. It will show me going up to Prince William and saying,'Who's the most popular young royal now, huh, punk?' and then headbutting him or something.
Meg Cabot (Princess in Love (The Princess Diaries, #3))
Did you get me that movie about Genghis Khan? 'It's in the Netflix queue, but that's not the surprise. You don't need to worry, it'll be something good. I just don't want you to feel depressed about going home.' Oh, I won't. But it would be cool to have a stream like this in the backyard. Can you make one? 'Ummm... no.' I figured. Can't blame a hound for trying. Oberon was indeed surprised when we got back home to Tempe. Hal had made the arrangements for me and Oberon perked up as soon as we were dropped off by the shuttle from the car rental company. 'Hey, smells like someone's in my territory,' he said. 'Nobody could be here without my permission, you know that.' 'Flidais did it.' 'That isn't Flidais you smell, believe me.' I opened the front door, and Oberon immediately ran to the kitchen window that gazed upon the backyard. He barked joyously when he saw what was waiting for him there. 'French poodles! All black and curly with poofy little tails!' 'And every one of them in heat.' 'Oh, WOW! Thanks Atticus! I can't wait to sniff their asses!' He bounded over to the door and pawed at it because the doggie door was closed to prevent the poodles from entering. 'You earned it, buddy. Hold on, get down off the door so I can open it for you, and be careful, don't hurt any of them.' I opened the door, expecting him to bolt through it and dive into his own personal canine harem, but instead he took one step and stopped, looking up at me with a mournful expression, his ears drooping and a tiny whine escaping his snout. 'Only five?
Kevin Hearne (Hounded (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #1))
Teacher, may I ask a question?” “Sure,” he said, surprised, and he shook his fingers free of clinging sand. “Shoot.” “What does it mean to love God?” “Decent dinner and a bottle of average rosé. Maybe a movie. I’m not picky.
Tamsyn Muir (Nona the Ninth (The Locked Tomb, #3))
I didn’t go to the moon, I went much further — for time is the longest distance between two places. Not long after that I was fired for writing a poem on the lid of a shoe-box. I left Saint Louis. I descended the steps of this fire escape for a last time and followed, from then on, in my father’s footsteps, attempting to find in motion what was lost in space. I traveled around a great deal. The cities swept about me like dead leaves, leaves that were brightly colored but torn away from the branches. I would have stopped, but I was pursued by something. It always came upon me unawares, taking me altogether by surprise. Perhaps it was a familiar bit of music. Perhaps it was only a piece of transparent glass. Perhaps I am walking along a street at night, in some strange city, before I have found companions. I pass the lighted window of a shop where perfume is sold. The window is filled with pieces of colored glass, tiny transparent bottles in delicate colors, like bits of a shattered rainbow. Then all at once my sister touches my shoulder. I turn around and look into her eyes. Oh, Laura, Laura, I tried to leave you behind me, but I am more faithful than I intended to be! I reach for a cigarette, I cross the street, I run into the movies or a bar, I buy a drink, I speak to the nearest stranger — anything that can blow your candles out! For nowadays the world is lit by lightning! Blow out your candles, Laura — and so goodbye. . .
Tennessee Williams (The Glass Menagerie)
He had a collection of science-fiction films on DVD and Blu-ray discs, and although he said he’d seen most of them before, Caitlin was surprised to discover how many of the cases were still shrink-wrapped. “Why’d you buy them if you weren’t going to watch them?” she asked. He looked at the tall, thin cabinets that contained the movies and seemed to ponder the question. “My childhood was on sale,” he said at last, “so I bought it.
Robert J. Sawyer (WWW: Watch (WWW, #2))
In movies, everyone is always surprised the door is unlocked.
Jac Jemc (The Grip of It)
Think Snake Plissken. You know…Escape From New York? You do this job, and if you don’t fuck it up, we let you live. (Joe) Yeah, I’ve seen that movie. At the end they try to kill him anyway. (Steele) Good, then you’re already acquainted with our methods. Saves me a lot of training time and you a low of surprises. (Joe)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Bad Attitude (B.A.D. Agency #1))
I am a sleeper, a spy, a man of two faces. Perhaps not surprisingly, I am also a man of two minds. I am not a misunderstood mutant from a comic book or a horror movie, though some have treated me as such. I am simply able to see any issue from both sides.
Viet Thanh Nguyen (The Sympathizer)
She’d been pleasantly surprised to find out the movie starred Mark Wahlberg and Reese Witherspoon and decided the tape probably belonged to Bethany—but around the one-hour mark, the scene happened. The one on the roller coaster when Mark uses his finger on Reese.
Tessa Bailey (Fix Her Up (Hot & Hammered, #1))
He slowed to a walk. As he approached her he was surprised at just how pretty she was. She looked a little like Maureen O'Hara in those old pirate movies. His writer's mind kicked in and he thought, This woman could break my heart. I could crash and burn on this woman. I could lose this woman, drink heavily, write profound poems, and die in the gutter of turberculosis over this woman. This was not an unusual reaction for Tommy. He had it often, mostly with girls who worked the drive-through windows at fast-food places. He would drive off with the smell of fries in his car and the bitter taste of unrequited love on his tongue. It was usually good for at least one short story.
Christopher Moore (Bloodsucking Fiends (A Love Story, #1))
His gaze meandered along my chest. "Hey!" I crossed my arms over my breasts. "Those are…" "Patrick's?" "Well, his name isn't tattooed on them, but yeah, currently they are reserved for him." I peered at him and noted the similarities between him and his sons. "Ruadan, I presume?" "Got it in one," he said, silver eyes twinkling. "You scared the shit out of me." One corner of his mouth lifted into a grin. He picked up the parchment and tapped on it. "So, you're Patrick's soul mate." "No." "But you read the scroll. Only his sonuachar can do that." "Let me explain." I paused. "No, there is too much. Let me sum up." " The Princess Bride!" Ruadan exclaimed in happy surprise. "I love that movie. 'Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!'" He leapt off the bed and made fencing motions. "Ruadan, we're in a bit of crisis around here." "Hey! My swords." He practically skipped to the dresser where I had left them when I got ready for my bath. He whirled the half-swords like a master swordsman, which, of course, he was. "My mother really knows how to smith a weapon, doesn't she? Real fairy gold." He stabbed an invisible foe's chest with one and his stomach with the other. "Die, evil one! Die!" He jumped up and down, the swords held above his head, and did a victory dance. "You're like a big puppy!" I exclaimed. "A big, dumb puppy.
Michele Bardsley (I'm the Vampire, That's Why (Broken Heart #1))
I want you to do me a favor. I want you to hit me as hard as you can." I looked around and said, okay. Okay, I say, but outside in the parking lot. So we went outside, and I asked if Tyler wanted it in the face or in the stomach. Tyler said, "Surprise me." I said I had never hit anybody. Tyle said, "So go crazy, man." I said, close your eye. Tyler said, "No." Like every guy on his first night at fight club, I breathed in and swung my fist in a roundhouse at Tyler's jaw like in every cowboy movie we'd ever seen, and me, my fist connected with the side of Tyler's neck.
Chuck Palahniuk
Movies were movies, whether they were old or new. They always captivated me, pulled me into worlds where anything was possible. Worlds where there were adventures and surprises, and life was never dull. The only thing I didn't like about movies was when the credits rolled and returned me to real life.
Chelsea Sedoti (The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett)
Here it comes,” I say gleefully. “The levelheaded reason for why they stay in the house.” “Watch, the ghost won’t let them leave,” Logan guesses. He guesses wrong. On the screen, the characters argue about whether they should go, and one of the girls announces, “We’re doing important work here, guys! We’re proving the existence of paranormal entities! Science needs this. Science needs us.” I burst out laughing, shuddering against Logan’s rock-hard chest. “Did you hear that, Johnny? Science needs them.” “I fucking hate you,” he grumbles. “Five bucks…” I say in a singsong voice. His hand slides down to pinch my butt, making me squeak in surprise. “Go ahead and gloat. You win the battle by getting five bucks out of me, but I win the war.” I sit up. “How do you figure?” “Because you still have to sit through the rest of this movie, and you’re going to hate every second of it. I, on the other hand, am enjoying it immensely.” The jerk is absolutely right. Unless…
Elle Kennedy (The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2))
I would advise you wait until I’m done because our little banter today was just the preview.” “That was a pretty bad preview. I wouldn’t be surprised if the movie tanked.
L.J. Shen (The Kiss Thief)
A challenge, a surprise: the kind of girl you can’t forget. They write songs about this type of girl; make her into a character in the movies.
A.D. Aliwat (In Limbo)
The sky surprised me. It was a deep blue, the blue of a sorcerer's hat, of night skies in old Technicolor movies, of deep mountain lakes in Swiss countrysides pictured on old puzzle boxes.
Steven Millhauser (The Knife Thrower and Other Stories)
Jason summoned his golden lance. He brandished it over his head and yelled, “Giant!” Which sounded pretty good, and a lot more confident than Leo could’ve managed. He was thinking more along the lines of, “We are pathetic ants! Don’t kill us!” Enceladus stopped chanting at the flames. He turned toward them and grinned, revealing fangs like a saber-toothed tiger’s. “Well,” the giant rumbled. “What a nice surprise.” Leo didn’t like the sound of that. His hand closed on his windup gadget. He stepped sideways, edging his way toward the bulldozer. Coach Hedge shouted, “Let the movie star go, you big ugly cupcake! Or I’m gonna plant my hoof right up your—” “Coach,” Jason said. “Shut up.” Enceladus roared with laughter. “I’ve forgotten how funny satyrs are. When we rule the world, I think I’ll keep your kind around. You can entertain me while I eat all the other mortals.” “Is that a compliment?” Hedge frowned at Leo. “I don’t think that was a compliment.
Rick Riordan (The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, #1))
Audiences see personalities on shows interacting with wild animals as if they were not dangerous or, at the other extreme, provoking them to give viewers an adrenaline rush. Mostly, the animals just want to be left alone, so it’s not surprising that these entertainers are seriously hurt or even killed on rare occasions. On one level, it’s that very possibility the shows are selling.
Chris Palmer (Shooting in the Wild: An Insider's Account of Making Movies in the Animal Kingdom)
He lied,” she said. “There is no way for us to seize bitcoins. Well, there is no current way for the federal government to seize bitcoins at will; in order to do that we’d need one of the creators of the currency.” She paused and watched me very closely for a reaction. This was all still gibberish to me. This was something out of a science fiction novel, or a Stephen King movie with Tom Cruise where Tom Cruise has to run someplace from some people—because that’s what Tom Cruise does, he runs while looking concerned and futuristic. Therefore, I decided to look surprised and thoughtful. “Yes.” She nodded; she believed I was following her train of thought. I wasn’t following her train because mine had derailed on thoughts of a running Tom Cruise…weird little man.
Penny Reid (Love Hacked (Knitting in the City, #3))
(Sadie)"I'm not judging you, Dylan. I love vampire movies. If I looked surprised it was only because it's so different from your TV work, that's all." His shoulders relaxed a notch. "Sorry. Olly gives me a lot of shit for selling out. He doesn't get that no one is ever going to make his movie about two old men on a fishing trip. Or, even if they do, no one is every going to go see it.
Sarah Mayberry (Take on Me (Secret Lives of Daytime Divas, #1))
she is still better known than most living movie stars, most world leaders, and most television personalities. The surprise is that she rarely has been taken seriously enough to ask why that is so.
Gloria Steinem (Marilyn: Norma Jeane)
But in the world of consumer advertising and consumer purchasing, no evil is moral. The evils consist of high prices, inconvenience, lack of choice, lack of privacy, heartburn, hair loss, slippery roads. This is no surprise, since the only problems worth advertising solutions for are problems treatable through the spending of money. But money cannot solve the problem of bad manners—the chatterer in the darkened movie theater, the patronizing sister-in-law, the selfish sex partner—except by offering refuge in an atomized privacy. And such privacy is exactly what the American Century has tended toward.
Jonathan Franzen (How to Be Alone: Essays)
perhaps we are not as free as we might think in the first place. Given your background, your friends, your family, the books you read, and the movies you watch, how surprising is your vote in a federal election?
Tyler Cowen (Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation)
Jessica Stone. The Jessica Stone. My costar. As in, indie film poster child, beloved by the internet for being sexy and cute and funny, sure to snag an Oscar one day Jessica Stone. I think I saw her last movie in theaters fifteen times, and not just because it was based on a graphic novel. Don’t fanboy, I order myself. Don’t fanboy. Gail looks at me, surprised. “But Dare, we were—” I cough. Twice. Gail looks between Jessica Stone and me, widens her eyes, and finally gets it. Her ears go even redder. “Oh. Oh.” She grabs her backpack and makes a hasty retreat. “I…um. I’ll be around if you need me, Dare.” After the door closes, Jessica Stone turns her eyes—which are super, freakishly, ice-water blue—to me. “I didn’t mean to intrude.” My tongue ties into ten hundred knots. She can intrude as much as she wants. I mean, not intrude—like, let me politely be in her presence for the rest of my life—but intruding works too. Into my life. As much as she wants. Is that weird? It’s probably weird. But it’s Jessica Stone. Damn it, man, don’t fanboy.
Ashley Poston (Geekerella (Once Upon a Con, #1))
The less worldly members of our household often refer to this small indulgence as a waste of money, yet they never fail to be surprised at how accurately I can list the actors in any given movie, even after a year.
Anne Frank (The Diary of a Young Girl)
You have demons?" "Yes." That answer didn't surprise me, although how these demons connected with the movie was anybody's guess. "Volkswagen demons," he said. "You have Volkswagen demons?" "Yes. There. I said it. Happy now?
Geoff Nicholson (Gravity's Volkswagen)
Another of Keaton’s strategies was to avoid anticipation. Instead of showing you what was about to happen, he showed you what was happening; the surprise and the response are both unexpected, and funnier. He also gets laughs by the application of perfect logic.
Roger Ebert (The Great Movies II)
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)
Though these all qualify as deceptions in Boswall's mind, they are not all necessarily bad. Boswall believes it's up to individual filmmakers to decide where to draw the line--but a warns that audiences might be surprised to know where filmmakers have been drawing it recently.
Chris Palmer (Shooting in the Wild: An Insider's Account of Making Movies in the Animal Kingdom)
No one likes to be condescended to, so it’s hardly surprising that so many high school students develop a loathing for the modernist novels they’re forced to read in senior English and go to the movies instead. (Movies have plots, after all.) They’re being good postmodernists.
Susan Wise Bauer (The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had (Updated and Expanded))
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))
The audience-- the book's actual cast-- quickly realized what had happened. The reason the movie dropped everything that made the novel real was because there was no way the parents who ran the studio would ever expose their children in the same black light the book did. The movie was begging for our sympathy whereas the book didn't give a shit. And attitudes about drugs and sex had shifted quickly from 1985 to 1987 (and a regime change at the studio didn't help) so the source material-- surprisingly conservative despite its surface immorality-- had to be reshaped.
Bret Easton Ellis (Imperial Bedrooms)
Lacking a clear formula for making decisions, we get reactive and fall back on familiar, comfortable ways to decide what to do. Pinballing through our day like a confused character in a B-horror movie, we end up running up the stairs instead of out the front door. The best decision gets traded for any decision.
Gary Keller (The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results)
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
give a New York friend a panic attack, turn up unannounced on a Wednesday and suggest going for a drink. It is easier to organize five guys to raise a flag on Iwo Jima than to get mates out for movie and dinner. Surprise parties are such fun, but require e-mail “save the date” warnings. And everyone needs to know how to dress.
A.A. Gill (To America with Love)
Getting old is the second-biggest surprise of my life, but the first, by a mile, is our unceasing need for deep attachment and intimate love. We oldies yearn daily and hourly for conversation and a renewed domesticity, for company at the movies or while visiting a museum, for someone close by in the car when coming home at night.
Roger Angell
It is little surprise, then, that after ten-plus years of watching movies with stars who are digitally altered, an international study shows that, as of 2014, “90% of all women want to change at least one aspect of [their] physical appearance. . . . [And] 81% of 10-year-old girls are afraid of being fat. Only 2% of [women] actually think [they] are beautiful.
Naomi McDougall Jones (The Wrong Kind of Women: Inside Our Revolution to Dismantle the Gods of Hollywood)
I think romance is maligned in large part because at first glance, love seems so pedestrian. It’s all around us. It’s in books and songs and movies and on billboards, so how could it really hold literary value? But what people tend to forget is that the search for love—for the simple idea that there is someone out there who will see us for who we are and accept us isn’t trite. It’s a huge part of our lives. And it’s an enormous part of our dreams. There are so many fabulous romances out there—there’s something for everyone. I really believe that. And I believe that most of the people who look down their noses at the genre haven’t ever read a romance novel. I think that if they did, they’d be really surprised by how good great romance can be.
Sarah MacLean
It should be illegal for a woman to look as good as you do.” “Really?” She peered down at herself again, but saw nothing all that spectacular. “I’m glad you like it.” “I love it. I love you.” He dug in his pocket. “When I left today, it was for this.” Speechless, Priss watched as he opened a now-wet jeweler’s box. Inside, securely nestled in velvet, was a beautiful diamond engagement ring. Her heart nearly stopped. “I wanted it to be a surprise.” There were no words. Her eyes suddenly burned and her throat went tight. Trace took her hand and slipped the ring on her finger. The fit was perfect, but then, anything Trace did, he did right. “Priss?” Using the edge of his fist, he lifted her chin. “We’ve been to movies and plays, to small diners and fancy restaurants. I’ve taken you dancing and hiking, to the amusement park and the zoo.” Sounding like a choked frog, Priss said, “All the things I never got to do growing up.” “But there’s so much more, honey.” He moved wet tendrils of hair away from her face and over her shoulder. “I was trying to give you time to enjoy it all.” “No!” Priss did not want him second-guessing his intent. “I don’t need any more time. Really I don’t.” Both still very attentive, Matt and Chris snickered. Trace just smiled at her. Closing her hand into a fist, she held the ring tight. “All I need, all I want, is you.” “Glad to hear it, because I’m not an overly patient guy. Hell, I think I knew you were the one the day you showed up in Murray’s office.” He kissed the tip of her nose, her lips, her chin. “You were so damned outrageous, and so pushy, that you scared me half to death.” “You felt me up,” Priss reminded him. “But that was a first for me, too.” “I remember it well.” He treated her to a deeper kiss, and ended it with a groan. “Every day since then, I’ve wanted you more. Even when you worried me, or lied to me, or made me insane, I admired you for it.
Lori Foster (Trace of Fever (Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor, #2))
i wonder where you are right now what are you doing? what are you thinking about? is it me and what we used to be? or is it someone else again? do i ever cross your mind? do you think about me now when i'm not there? did you think about me when i was? i wonder what we could have been would there have been evenings by the fireplace as you read to me? or the candle light dinners on our balcony because it was your last minute surprise? would there have been long walks in central park on valentine's day evening? or just any other night you wanted an excuse to hold my hand? would there have been movie nights after cancelling on that boring party we planned? would there still have been a me and you if i hadn't made you feel blue? did i burn the bridge we found home at? was i really such a brat? then i'm sorry, i always say but you didn't hear it as you walked away
Renesmee Stormer
What movie are you guys gonna see anyway?” “I don’t...know,” I answered when Rider remained quiet. An idea formed. “Do you want to come?” Jayden blinked as if he was surprised. “Aw, that’s sweet of you, but I’m not good sittin’ in a theater.” My brows furrowed. “Why?” “Because he’d talk through it,” Paige answered from the couch. “He would literally talk through the entire movie.” “True dat,” one of the other guys responded. I grinned. “It’s true. You know, I like to add commentary every once in a while,” Jayden explained. “But for some reason people be all upset over that.” “I can imagine,” Rider replied drily. “I like to think what I’m addin’ actually enlightens the experience,” Jayden said. Paige snorted. “I don’t think enlighten is the right word.” “My entire presence is enlightening,” he replied. Hector looked over his shoulder, eyebrows raised. “I can come up with a few words that describe your presence. Enlightening is not one of them.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (The Problem with Forever)
What’s most disappointing to me was that none of the adults in my life stepped in to stop any of this. In fact, they implicitly encouraged it. We were “toughening up,” “becoming men,” or “just being boys.” And this message was reinforced everywhere that I looked. On TV, in movies, in video games, men were supposed to enjoy violence. The more violence they could endure, the more violence they could do to others, the better. Is it any surprise that men are so violent in our culture, when we are raised this way?
Jacob Tobia (Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story)
To my complete and utter surprise, the writing on his door is gone. Vanished. “What happened?” I ask. It takes him a second before he realizes what I’m asking. “I washed it off,” he explains. “You what?” “I wasn’t going to, but I didn’t want the super to give me a hard time. Plus, I thought it might freak out some of my neighbors. You have to admit, death threats on doors can be pretty offensive, generally speaking. Not to mention the sheer fact that it made me look like a total asshole—like some old girlfriend was trying to get even.” “Did you take pictures at least?” “Actually, no.” He cringes. “That probably would’ve been a good idea.” “But Tray saw the writing, right?” “Um . . .” He nibbles his lip, clearly reading my angst. “You told me he was with you last night. You said you called him.” “I tried, but he didn’t pick up, and I didn’t want you to worry.” “So, you lied?” I snap. “I didn’t want you to worry,” he repeats. “Please, don’t be upset.” “How can I not be? We’re talking about your life here. You can’t go erasing evidence off your door. And you can’t be lying to me, either. How am I supposed to help you if you don’t tell me the truth?” “Why are you helping me?” he asks, taking a step closer. “I mean, I’m grateful and all, and you know I love spending time with you, be it death-threat missions or pizza and a movie. It’s just . . . what do you get out of it? What’s this sudden interest in my life?” My mouth drops open, but I manage a shrug, almost forgetting the fact that he knows nothing about my premonitions.
Laurie Faria Stolarz (Deadly Little Games (Touch, #3))
By mid-summer only Ma Barker remained in Chicago, lost in her jigsaw puzzles. Karpis drove over to visit her one weekend and found she was doing surprisingly well. He and Dock took her to see a movie. To their horror, the film was preceded by a newsreel warning moviegoers to be on the lookout for Dillinger, Nelson, Pretty Boy Floyd, Karpis, and the Barkers. Karpis scrunched low in his seat as their pictures flashed on the screen. “One of these men may be sitting next to you,” the announcer said. Karpis pulled his hat low over his forehead.
Bryan Burrough (Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933-34)
Tony Williams: You’ve often mentioned that Tales of Hoffmann (1951) has been a major influence on you. George Romero: It was the first film I got completely involved with. An aunt and uncle took me to see it in downtown Manhattan when it first played. And that was an event for me since I was about eleven at the time. The imagery just blew me away completely. I wanted to go and see a Tarzan movie but my aunt and uncle said, “No! Come and see a bit of culture here.” So I thought I was missing out. But I really fell in love with the film. There used to be a television show in New York called Million Dollar Movie. They would show the same film twice a day on weekdays, three times on Saturday, and three-to-four times on Sunday. Tales of Hoffmann appeared on it one week. I missed the first couple of days because I wasn’t aware that it was on. But the moment I found it was on, I watched virtually every telecast. This was before the days of video so, naturally, I couldn’t tape it. Those were the days you had to rent 16mm prints of any film. Most cities of any size had rental services and you could rent a surprising number of films. So once I started to look at Tales of Hoffmann I realized how much stuff Michael Powell did in the camera. Powell was so innovative in his technique. But it was also transparent so I could see how he achieved certain effects such as his use of an overprint in the scene of the ballet dancer on the lily ponds. I was beginning to understand how adept a director can be. But, aside from that, the imagery was superb. Robert Helpmann is the greatest Dracula that ever was. Those eyes were compelling. I was impressed by the way Powell shot Helpmann sweeping around in his cape and craning down over the balcony in the tavern. I felt the film was so unique compared to most of the things we were seeing in American cinema such as the westerns and other dreadful stuff I used to watch. Tales of Hoffmann just took me into another world in terms of its innovative cinematic technique. So it really got me going. Tony Williams: A really beautiful print exists on laserdisc with commentary by Martin Scorsese and others. George Romero: I was invited to collaborate on the commentary by Marty. Pat Buba (Tony’s brother) knew Thelma Schoonmaker and I got to meet Powell in later years. We had a wonderful dinner with him one evening. What an amazing guy! Eventually I got to see more of his movies that I’d never seen before such as I Know Where I’m Going and A Canterbury Tale. Anyway, I couldn’t do the commentary on Tales of Hoffmann with Marty. But, back in the old days in New York, Marty and I were the only two people who would rent a 16mm copy of the film. Every time I found it was out I knew that he had it and each time he wanted it he knew who had it! So that made us buddies.
George A. Romero (George A. Romero: Interviews)
A girl sat neatly on a flat rock. Somehow he’d not seen her. She looked like she’d stepped through the screen of a 1950s movie. Her skin and blond hair were such pale shades they looked monochrome. Her long coat was tied at the waist by a fabric belt. She was probably a few years younger than him, in her early twenties, wearing a white hat with matching gloves. “Sorry,” she said, “If I surprised you.” Her irises were titanium gray, her most striking feature. Her lips were an afterthought and her cheekbones flat. But her eyes...He realized he was staring into them and quickly looked away.
Ali Shaw (The Girl With Glass Feet)
As I turn the corner, I hear Peter calling out, “Wait! Wait! Sir!” He’s following a security guard who is approaching a red backpack on the floor. The security guard bends down and picks it up. “Is this yours?” he demands. “Uh, yeah--” “Why did you leave it on the ground?” He unzips the backpack and pulls out a teddy bear. Peter’s eyes dart around. “Can you put that back inside? It’s for a promposal for my girlfriend. It’s supposed to be a surprise.” The security guard is shaking his head. He mutters to himself and starts looking in the backpack again. “Sir, please just squeeze the bear.” “I’m not squeezing the bear,” the security guard tells him. Peter reaches out and squeezes the teddy bear and the bear squeaks out, “Will you go to prom with me, Lara Jean?” I clap my hands to my mouth in delight. Sternly the security guard says, “You’re in New York City, kid. You can’t just leave a backpack on the ground for your proposal.” “It’s actually called a promposal,” Peter corrects, and the security guard gives him a look. “Sorry. Can I just have the bear back?” He spots me then. “Tell him Sleepless in Seattle is your favorite movie, Lara Jean!” I rush over. “Sir, it’s my favorite movie. Please don’t kick him out.” The security guard is trying not to smile. “I wasn’t going to kick him out,” he says to me. To Peter he says, “Just be more aware next time. In New York, we’re vigilant. If we see something, we say something, do you feel me? This is not whatever little country town you guys are from. This is New York City. We do not play around here.” Both Peter and I nod, and the security guard walks away. As soon as he’s gone, Peter and I look at each other and break out into giddy laughter. “Somebody reported my book bag!” he says. “My promposal got fucked.” I take the teddy bear out of his bag and hug it to my chest. I’m so happy I don’t even tell him not to cuss. “I love it.
Jenny Han (Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3))
A Day Away We often think that our affairs, great or small, must be tended continuously and in detail, or our world will disintegrate, and we will lose our places in the universe. That is not true, or if it is true, then our situations were so temporary that they would have collapsed anyway. Once a year or so I give myself a day away. On the eve of my day of absence, I begin to unwrap the bonds which hold me in harness. I inform housemates, my family and close friends that I will not be reachable for twenty-four hours; then I disengage the telephone. I turn the radio dial to an all-music station, preferably one which plays the soothing golden oldies. I sit for at least an hour in a very hot tub; then I lay out my clothes in preparation for my morning escape, and knowing that nothing will disturb me, I sleep the sleep of the just. On the morning I wake naturally, for I will have set no clock, nor informed my body timepiece when it should alarm. I dress in comfortable shoes and casual clothes and leave my house going no place. If I am living in a city, I wander streets, window-shop, or gaze at buildings. I enter and leave public parks, libraries, the lobbies of skyscrapers, and movie houses. I stay in no place for very long. On the getaway day I try for amnesia. I do not want to know my name, where I live, or how many dire responsibilities rest on my shoulders. I detest encountering even the closest friend, for then I am reminded of who I am, and the circumstances of my life, which I want to forget for a while. Every person needs to take one day away. A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future. Jobs, lovers, family, employers, and friends can exist one day without any one of us, and if our egos permit us to confess, they could exist eternally in our absence. Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us. We need hours of aimless wandering or spates of time sitting on park benches, observing the mysterious world of ants and the canopy of treetops. If we step away for a time, we are not, as many may think and some will accuse, being irresponsible, but rather we are preparing ourselves to more ably perform our duties and discharge our obligations. When I return home, I am always surprised to find some questions I sought to evade had been answered and some entanglements I had hoped to flee had become unraveled in my absence. A day away acts as a spring tonic. It can dispel rancor, transform indecision, and renew the spirit.
Maya Angelou (Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now)
We only have a little bit of time before I leave for Korea. Let’s not waste it.” Then I slide my hand in his, and he squeezes it. The house is completely empty, for the first time all week. All the other girls are still at the party, except for Chris, who ran into somebody she knows through Applebee’s. We go up to my room, and Peter takes off his shoes and gets in my bed. “Want to watch a movie?” he asks, stretching his arms behind his head. No, I don’t want to watch a movie. Suddenly my heart is racing, because I know what I want to do. I’m ready. I sit down on the bed next to him as he says, “Or we could start a new show--” I press my lips to his neck, and I can feel his pulse jump. “What if we don’t watch a movie or a show? What if we…do something else instead.” I give him a meaningful look. His body jerks in surprise. “What, you mean like now?” “Yes.” Now. Now feels right. I start planting little kisses down his throat. “Do you like that?” I can feel him swallow. “Yes.” He pushes me away from him so he can look at my face. “Let’s stop for a second. I can’t think. Are you drunk? What did Chris put in that drink she gave you?” “No, I’m not drunk!” I had a little bit of a warm feeling in my body, but the walk home woke me right up. Peter’s still staring at me. “I’m not drunk. I swear.” Peter swallows hard, his eyes searching mine. “Are you sure you want to do this now?” “Yes,” I say, because I really, truly am. “But first can you put on Frank Ocean?” He grabs his phone, and a second later the beat kicks in and Frank’s melodious voice fills the room. Peter starts fumbling with his shirt buttons and then gives up and starts to pull my shirt up, and I yelp, “Wait!” Peter’s so startled, he jumps away from me. “What? What’s wrong?” I leap off the bed and start rummaging through my suitcase. I’m not wearing my special bra and underwear set; I’m wearing my normal every day cappuccino-colored bra with the frayed edges. I can’t lose my virginity in my ugliest bra.
Jenny Han (Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3))
Toyota wasn’t really worried that it would give away its “secret sauce.” Toyota’s competitive advantage rested firmly in its proprietary, complex, and often unspoken processes. In hindsight, Ernie Schaefer, a longtime GM manager who toured the Toyota plant, told NPR’s This American Life that he realized that there were no special secrets to see on the manufacturing floors. “You know, they never prohibited us from walking through the plant, understanding, even asking questions of some of their key people,” Schaefer said. “I’ve often puzzled over that, why they did that. And I think they recognized we were asking the wrong questions. We didn’t understand this bigger picture.” It’s no surprise, really. Processes are often hard to see—they’re a combination of both formal, defined, and documented steps and expectations and informal, habitual routines or ways of working that have evolved over time. But they matter profoundly. As MIT’s Edgar Schein has explored and discussed, processes are a critical part of the unspoken culture of an organization. 1 They enforce “this is what matters most to us.” Processes are intangible; they belong to the company. They emerge from hundreds and hundreds of small decisions about how to solve a problem. They’re critical to strategy, but they also can’t easily be copied. Pixar Animation Studios, too, has openly shared its creative process with the world. Pixar’s longtime president Ed Catmull has literally written the book on how the digital film company fosters collective creativity2—there are fixed processes about how a movie idea is generated, critiqued, improved, and perfected. Yet Pixar’s competitors have yet to equal Pixar’s successes. Like Toyota, Southern New Hampshire University has been open with would-be competitors, regularly offering tours and visits to other educational institutions. As President Paul LeBlanc sees it, competition is always possible from well-financed organizations with more powerful brand recognition. But those assets alone aren’t enough to give them a leg up. SNHU has taken years to craft and integrate the right experiences and processes for its students and they would be exceedingly difficult for a would-be competitor to copy. SNHU did not invent all its tactics for recruiting and serving its online students. It borrowed from some of the best practices of the for-profit educational sector. But what it’s done with laser focus is to ensure that all its processes—hundreds and hundreds of individual “this is how we do it” processes—focus specifically on how to best respond to the job students are hiring it for. “We think we have advantages by ‘owning’ these processes internally,” LeBlanc says, “and some of that is tied to our culture and passion for students.
Clayton M. Christensen (Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice)
SOCIAL/GENERAL ICEBREAKERS 1. What do you think of the movie/restaurant/party? 2. Tell me about the best vacation you’ve ever taken. 3. What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day? 4. If you could replay any moment in your life, what would it be? 5. What one thing would you really like to own? Why? 6. Tell me about one of your favorite relatives. 7. What was it like in the town where you grew up? 8. What would you like to come back as in your next life? 9. Tell me about your kids. 10. What do you think is the perfect age? Why? 11. What is a typical day like for you? 12. Of all the places you’ve lived, tell me about the one you like the best. 13. What’s your favorite holiday? What do you enjoy about it? 14. What are some of your family traditions that you particularly enjoy? 15. Tell me about the first car you ever bought. 16. How has the Internet affected your life? 17. Who were your idols as a kid? Have they changed? 18. Describe a memorable teacher you had. 19. Tell me about a movie/book you’ve seen or read more than once. 20. What’s your favorite restaurant? Why? 21. Tell me why you were named ______. What is the origin of your last name? 22. Tell me about a place you’ve visited that you hope never to return to. get over your mom’s good intentions. 23. What’s the best surprise you’ve ever received? 24. What’s the neatest surprise you’ve ever planned and pulled off for someone else? 25. Skiing here is always challenging. What are some of your favorite places to ski? 26. Who would star as you in a movie about your life? Why that person? 27. Who is the most famous person you’ve met? 28. Tell me about some of your New Year’s resolutions. 29. What’s the most antiestablishment thing you’ve ever done? 30. Describe a costume that you wore to a party. 31. Tell me about a political position you’d like to hold. 32. What song reminds you of an incident in your life? 33. What’s the most memorable meal you’ve eaten? 34. What’s the most unforgettable coincidence you’ve experienced or heard about? 35. How are you able to tell if that melon is ripe? 36. What motion picture star would you like to interview? Why? 37. Tell me about your family. 38. What aroma brings forth a special memory? 39. Describe the scariest person you ever met. 40. What’s your favorite thing to do alone? 41. Tell me about a childhood friend who used to get you in trouble. 42. Tell me about a time when you had too much to eat or drink. 43. Describe your first away-from-home living quarters or experience. 44. Tell me about a time that you lost a job. 45. Share a memory of one of your grandparents. 46. Describe an embarrassing moment you’ve had. 47. Tell me something most people would never guess about you. 48. What would you do if you won a million dollars? 49. Describe your ideal weather and why. 50. How did you learn to ski/hang drywall/play piano?
Debra Fine (The Fine Art of Small Talk: How to Start a Conversation, Keep It Going, Build Networking Skills and Leave a Positive Impression!)
The wonderful science behind taking the chastity pill is to preserve honor, respect, purity and worth. Again, the value of a woman’s future is dependent on how well she blocks any advances, foul balls, interceptions or explorations. It’s no surprise I question everything. What does going to the movies have to do with my vagina? What does going to the grocery store at ten pm at night to pick up a package of brownie mix have to do with my vagina? Why is ok for me not to go to a high school football game? Does wearing a tank top instead of a short sleeve shirt compromise my vagina shield? Do I have an Anti-Vagina Defense security chip installed on me that I’m not aware of, one that only works with loose clothing?
Sadiqua Hamdan (Happy Am I. Holy Am I. Healthy Am I.)
We walk inside, and I stop short. Our booth, the one we always sit in, has pale pink balloons tied around it. There’s a round cake in the center of the table, tons of candles, pink frosting with sprinkles and Happy Birthday, Lara Jean scrawled in white frosting. Suddenly I see people’s heads pop up from under the booths and from behind menus--all of our friends, still in their prom finery: Lucas, Gabe, Gabe’s date Keisha, Darrell, Pammy, Chris. “Surprise!” everyone screams. I spin around. “Oh my God, Peter!” He’s still grinning. He looks at his watch. “It’s midnight. Happy birthday, Lara Jean.” I leap up and hug him. “This is just exactly what I wanted to do on my prom night birthday and I didn’t even know it.” Then I let go of him and run over to the booth. Everyone gets out and hugs me. “I didn’t even know people knew it was my birthday tomorrow! I mean today!” I say. “Of course we knew it was your birthday,” Lucas says. Darrell says, “My boy’s been planning this for weeks.” “It was so endearing,” Pammy says. “We called me to ask what kind of pan he should use for the cake.” Chris says, “He called me, too. I was like, how the hell should I know?” “And you!” I hit Chris on the arm. “I thought you were leaving to go clubbing!” “I still might after I steal some fries. My night’s just getting started, babe.” She pulls me in for a hug and gives me a kiss on the cheek. “Happy birthday, girl.” I turn to Peter and say, “I can’t believe you did this.” “I baked that cake myself,” he brags. “Box, but still.” He takes off his jacket and pulls a lighter out of his jacket pocket and starts lighting the candles. Gabe pulls out a lit candle and helps him. Then Peter hops his butt on the table and sits down, his legs hanging off the edge. “Come on.” I look around. “Um…” That’s when I hear the opening notes of “If You Were Here” by the Thompson Twins. My hands fly to my cheeks. I can’t believe it. Peter’s recreating the end scene from Sixteen Candles, when Molly Ringwald and Jake Ryan sit on a table with a birthday cake in between them. When we watched the movie a few months ago, I said it was the most romantic thing I’d ever seen. And now he’s doing it for me.
Jenny Han (Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3))
The diagnosis shouldn't have surprised me, as we had been talking about my symptoms for so long. But it's easier to think you just have a bunch of parts inside. Everyone says things like "A part of me wants to go to the movies, but another part of me wants to just stay home." Using the term "part" made me feel normal. I knew I was a little different in that my parts were quite separate aspects of me. I knew my consciousness wasn't whole and knew that it was unusual to have some thoughts come to me in Spanish. I knew most people didn't experience terror and struggle to catch their breath when they were in benign situations. But we hadn't been calling this DID, so I'd been able to avoid fully accepting the implications of having these special parts.
Olga Trujillo (The Sum of My Parts: A Survivor's Story of Dissociative Identity Disorder)
Still lying on the floor of my bedroom, I took a deep breath and looked at my hand. I felt strange and tingly, almost separated from my body. I wasn’t really here, I told myself. I was in Chicago, and I was watching all of this happen to someone else. It was a movie, maybe on the big screen, maybe cable. But it couldn’t be my life…could it? My phone rang again. It was Marlboro Man. “Hey,” he said. I heard the diesel engine rattling in the background. “I just dropped Mike at the mall.” “Hi,” I said, smiling. “Thanks for doing that.” “I just wanted to tell you that…I’m happy,” he said. My heart leapt out of my chest and shot through the roof. “I am, too,” I said. “Surprised…and happy.” “Oh,” he continued. “I told Mike the news. But he promised he wouldn’t tell anybody.” Oh, Lord, I thought. Marlboro Man obviously has no idea who he’s dealing with.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
It is no surprise that, on the whole, professors lean left. So do artists, poets, and people who love to watch foreign movies. One of the strongest personality correlates of left-wing politics is the trait of openness to experience, a trait that describes people who crave new ideas and experiences and who tend to be interested in changing traditional arrangements.40 On the other hand, members of the military, law enforcement personnel, and students who have well-organized dorm rooms tend to lean right. (Seriously. You can guess people’s political leanings at better-than-chance levels just from photographs of their desks.)41 Social conservatives tend to be lower on openness to experience and higher on conscientiousness—they prefer things to be orderly and predictable, they are more likely to show up on time for meetings, and they are more likely to see the value of traditional arrangements.
Jonathan Haidt (The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure)
You have something to say to me, Cassidy, say it. Or shut the fuck up.” “All right,” Jules said. “I will.” He took a deep breath. Exhaled. “Okay, see, I, well, I love you. Very, very much, and . . .” Where to go from here . . .? Except, his plain-spoken words earned him not just a glance but Max’s sudden full and complete attention. Which was a little alarming. But it was the genuine concern in Max’s eyes that truly caught Jules off-guard. Max actually thought . . . Jules laughed his surprise. “Oh! No, not like that. I meant it, you know, in a totally platonic, non-gay way.” Jules saw comprehension and relief on Max’s face. The man was tired if he was letting such basic emotions show. “Sorry.” Max even smiled. “I just . . .” He let out a burst of air. “I mean, talk about making things even more complicated . . .” It was amazing. Max hadn’t recoiled in horror at the idea. His concern had been for Jules, about potentially hurting his tender feelings. And even now, he wasn’t trying to turn it all into a bad joke. And he claimed they weren’t friends. Jules felt his throat tighten. “You can’t know,” he told his friend quietly, “how much I appreciate your acceptance and respect.” “My father was born in India,” Max told him, “in 1930. His mother was white—American. His father was not just Indian, but lower caste. The intolerance he experienced both there and later, even in America, made him a . . . very bitter, very hard, very, very unhappy man.” He glanced at Jules again. “I know personality plays into it, and maybe you’re just stronger than he was, but . . . People get knocked down all the time. They can either stay there, wallow in it, or . . . Do what you’ve done—what you do. So yeah. I respect you more than you know.” Holy shit. Weeping was probably a bad idea, so Jules grabbed onto the alternative. He made a joke. “I wasn’t aware that you even had a father. I mean, rumors going around the office have you arriving via flying saucer—” “I would prefer not to listen to aimless chatter all night long,” Max interrupted him. “So if you’ve made your point . . .?” Ouch. “Okay,” Jules said. “I’m so not going to wallow in that. Because I do have a point. See, I said what I said because I thought I’d take the talk-to-an-eight-year-old approach with you. You know, tell you how much I love you and how great you are in part one of the speech—” “Speech.” Max echoed. “Because part two is heavily loaded with the silent-but-implied ‘you are such a freaking idiot.’” “Ah, Christ,” Max muttered. “So, I love you,” Jules said again, “in a totally buddy-movie way, and I just want to say that I also really love working for you, and I hope to God you’ll come back so I can work for you again. See, I love the fact that you’re my leader not because you were appointed by some suit, but because you earned very square inch of that gorgeous corner office. I love you because you’re not just smart, you’re open-minded—you’re willing to talk to people who have a different point of view, and when they speak, you’re willing to listen. Like right now, for instance. You’re listening, right?” “No.” “Liar.” Jules kept going. “You know, the fact that so many people would sell their grandmother to become a part of your team is not an accident. Sir, you’re beyond special—and your little speech to me before just clinched it. You scare us to death because we’re afraid we won’t be able to live up to your high standards. But your back is strong, you always somehow manage to carry us with you even when we falter. “Some people don’t see that; they don’t really get you—all they know is they would charge into hell without hesitation if you gave the order to go. But see, what I know is that you’d be right there, out in front—they’d have to run to keep up with you. You never flinch. You never hesitate. You never rest.
Suzanne Brockmann (Breaking Point (Troubleshooters, #9))
Are you chuckling yet? Because then along came you. A big, broad meat eater with brash blond hair and ruddy skin that burns at the beach. A bundle of appetites. A full, boisterous guffaw; a man who tells knock know jokes. Hot dogs - not even East 86th Street bratwurst but mealy, greasy big guts that terrifying pink. Baseball. Gimme caps. Puns and blockbuster movies, raw tap water and six-packs. A fearless, trusting consumer who only reads labels to make sure there are plenty of additives. A fan of the open road with a passion for his pickup who thinks bicycles are for nerds. Fucks hard and talks dirty; a private though unapologetic taste for porn. Mysteries, thrillers, and science fiction; a subscription to National Geographic. Barbecues on the Fourth of July and intentions, in the fullness of time, to take up golf. Delights in crappy snack foods of ever description: Burgles. Curlies. Cheesies. Squigglies - you're laughing - but I don't eat them - anything that looks less like food than packing material and at least six degrees of separation from the farm. Bruce Springsteen, the early albums, cranked up high with the truck window down and your hair flying. Sings along, off-key - how is it possible that I should be endeared by such a tin ear?Beach Boys. Elvis - never lose your roots, did you, loved plain old rock and roll. Bombast. Though not impossibly stodgy; I remember, you took a shine to Pearl Jam, which was exactly when Kevin went off them...(sorry). It just had to be noisy; you hadn't any time for my Elgar, my Leo Kottke, though you made an exception for Aaron Copeland. You wiped your eyes brusquely at Tanglewood, as if to clear gnats, hoping I didn't notice that "Quiet City" made you cry. And ordinary, obvious pleasure: the Bronx Zoo and the botanical gardens, the Coney Island roller coaster, the Staten Island ferry, the Empire State Building. You were the only New Yorker I'd ever met who'd actually taken the ferry to the Statue of Liberty. You dragged me along once, and we were the only tourists on the boat who spoke English. Representational art - Edward Hopper. And my lord, Franklin, a Republican. A belief in a strong defense but otherwise small government and low taxes. Physically, too, you were such a surprise - yourself a strong defense. There were times you were worried that I thought you too heavy, I made so much of your size, though you weighed in a t a pretty standard 165, 170, always battling those five pounds' worth of cheddar widgets that would settle over your belt. But to me you were enormous. So sturdy and solid, so wide, so thick, none of that delicate wristy business of my imaginings. Built like an oak tree, against which I could pitch my pillow and read; mornings, I could curl into the crook of your branches. How luck we are, when we've spared what we think we want! How weary I might have grown of all those silly pots and fussy diets, and how I detest the whine of sitar music!
Lionel Shriver (We Need to Talk About Kevin)
This mindset, known as loss aversion, the sunk-cost fallacy, and throwing good money after bad, is patently irrational, but it is surprisingly pervasive in human decision-making.65 People stay in an abusive marriage because of the years they have already put into it, or sit through a bad movie because they have already paid for the ticket, or try to reverse a gambling loss by doubling their next bet, or pour money into a boondoggle because they’ve already poured so much money into it. Though psychologists don’t fully understand why people are suckers for sunk costs, a common explanation is that it signals a public commitment. The person is announcing: “When I make a decision, I’m not so weak, stupid, or indecisive that I can be easily talked out of it.” In a contest of resolve like an attrition game, loss aversion could serve as a costly and hence credible signal that the contestant is not about to concede, preempting his opponent’s strategy of outlasting him just one more round.
Steven Pinker (The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined)
The instruments of murder are as manifold as the unlimited human imagination. Apart from the obvious—shotguns, rifles, pistols, knives, hatchets and axes—I have seen meat cleavers, machetes, ice picks, bayonets, hammers, wrenches, screwdrivers, crowbars, pry bars, two-by-fours, tree limbs, jack handles (which are not “tire irons;” nobody carries tire irons anymore), building blocks, crutches, artificial legs, brass bedposts, pipes, bricks, belts, neckties, pantyhose, ropes, bootlaces, towels and chains—all these things and more, used by human beings to dispatch their fellow human beings into eternity. I have never seen a butler use a candelabrum. I have never seen anyone use a candelabrum! Such recherché elegance is apparently confined to England. I did see a pair of sneakers used to kill a woman, and they left distinctive tread marks where the murderer stepped on her throat and crushed the life from her. I have not seen an icicle used to stab someone, though it is said to be the perfect weapon, because it melts afterward. But I do know of a case in which a man was bludgeoned to death with a frozen ham. Murderers generally do not enjoy heavy lifting—though of course they end up doing quite a bit of it after the fact, when it is necessary to dispose of the body—so the weapons they use tend to be light and maneuverable. You would be surprised how frequently glass bottles are used to beat people to death. Unlike the “candy-glass” props used in the movies, real glass bottles stand up very well to blows. Long-necked beer bottles, along with the heavy old Coca-Cola and Pepsi bottles, make formidable weapons, powerful enough to leave a dent in a wooden two-by-four without breaking. I recall one case in which a woman was beaten to death with a Pepsi bottle, and the distinctive spiral fluting of the bottle was still visible on the broken margins of her skull. The proverbial “lead pipe” is a thing of the past, as a murder weapon. Lead is no longer used to make pipes.
William R. Maples (Dead Men Do Tell Tales: Strange and Fascinating Cases of a Forensic Anthropologist)
catalyst, n. It surprised me - surprises me still - that you were the first one to say it. I was innocent, in a way, expecting those three words to appear boldface with music. But instead, it was such an ordinary moment: The movie was over, and I stood up to turn off the TV. A few minutes had passed from the end of the final credits, and we'd been sitting there on the couch, your legs over mine, the side of your hand touching the side of my hand. The video stopped and the screen turned blue. "I'll get it," I said, and was halfway to the television when you said, "I love you." I never asked, but I'll always wonder: What was it about that moment that made you realize it? Or, if you'd known it for awhile, what compelled you to say it then? It was welcome, so welcome, and in my rush to say that I loved you, too, I left the television on, I let that light bathe us for a little longer, as I returned to the couch, to you. We held there for awhile, not really sure what would happen next.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
Many potential readers will skip the shopping cart or cash-out clerk because they have seen so many disasters reported in the news that they’ve acquired a panic mentality when they think of them. “Disasters scare me to death!” they cry. “I don’t want to read about them!” But really, how can a picture hurt you? Better that each serve as a Hallmark card that greets your fitful fevers with reason and uncurtains your valor. Then, so gospeled, you may see that defeating a disaster is as innocently easy as deciding to go out to dinner. Remove the dread that bars your doors of perception, and you will enjoy a banquet of treats that will make the difference between suffering and safety. You will enter a brave new world that will erase your panic, and release you from the grip of terror, and relieve you of the deadening effects of indifference —and you will find that switch of initiative that will energize your intelligence, empower your imagination, and rouse your sense of vigilance in ways that will tilt the odds of danger from being forever against you to being always in your favor. Indeed, just thinking about a disaster is one of the best things you can do —because it allows you to imagine how you would respond in a way that is free of pain and destruction. Another reason why disasters seem so scary is that many victims tend to see them as a whole rather than divide them into much smaller and more manageable problems. A disaster can seem overwhelming when confronted with everything at once —but if you dice it into its tiny parts and knock them off one at a time, the whole thing can seem as easy as eating a lavish dinner one bite at a time. In a disaster you must also plan for disruption as well as destruction. Death and damage may make the news, but in almost every disaster far more lives are disrupted than destroyed. Wit­ness the tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri, in May 2011 and killed 158 people. The path of death and destruction was less than a mile wide and only 22 miles long —but within thirty miles 160,000 citizens whose property didn’t suffer a dime of damage were profoundly disrupted by the carnage, loss of power and water, suspension of civic services, and inability to buy food, gas, and other necessities. You may rightfully believe your chances of dying in a disaster in your lifetime may be nearly nil, but the chances of your life being disrupted by a disaster in the next decade is nearly a sure thing. Not only should you prepare for disasters, you should learn to premeditate them. Prepare concerns the body; premeditate concerns the mind. Everywhere you go, think what could happen and how you might/could/would/should respond. Use your imagination. Fill your brain with these visualizations —run mind-movies in your head —develop a repertoire —until when you walk into a building/room/situation you’ll automatically know what to do. If a disaster does ambush you —sure you’re apt to panic, but in seconds your memory will load the proper video into your mobile disk drive and you’ll feel like you’re watching a scary movie for the second time and you’ll know what to expect and how to react. That’s why this book is important: its manner of vivifying disasters kickstarts and streamlines your acquiring these premeditations, which lays the foundation for satisfying your needs when a disaster catches you by surprise.
Robert Brown Butler (Architecture Laid Bare!: In Shades of Green)
Throughout high school, Ben strove to be as colorless as his room. He chose to blend in with the crowd, a popular white-bread crewneck group, with parents who summered in Nantucket and owned ski houses near mountains in Vermont. One Saturday night after returning from a movie with the happy-go-lucky girl he’d been seeing on and off, he told Harvey and me, in the family room reading newspapers, that he was going to come out in college. Neither of us was astonished, or even surprised. It was a relief to both of us. We had wondered for a long time. When we took Ben to college in Middletown, we watched the gay and lesbian groups chalk messages on the sidewalks at the top of the hill: Say hi to a bi. Give us a year and you’ll be queer. Have you told a parent you’re gay today? Ben was smiling. Ben and Harvey moved the station wagon out of a load zone, and I waited on a creaking swing in front of a building with the school flag, the American flag, and the state flag waving on top. Peace washed over me as though I had taken a pill for it. I wanted chalk. I had something important to say on the sidewalk: Have you told your son you’re happy for him today?
Marilyn Simon Rothstein (Lift and Separate)
You get surprised by looking back and wondering when you started not allowing anyone to approach you, to decide that deep down you did not care about anything. And surprise: all you manage to remember is a chain of small troubles. No earthquake, no gigantic traumatic event, as in the movies, where a significant event explains a whole personality. No dad or mom who left home, no surprised ex-husband in bed with your best friend. Rather: trifles of children, if anything. Minutiae, something that is almost laughable. Very small movements of indifference, of continental drift, that did not really move the floor at all, but that, millimeter after millimeter, they recorded inside you the certainty that it is better not to completely support yourself, because the floor is not stable, and You must always be ready to jump before a crack in the ground opens. And only now that, for a single night, you granted yourself a truce, you let yourself go and relaxed, only now that you finally let someone come to you and - How incredible! - not only did you not die, but you liked it more than what you could imagine, only now that you realize that until this moment everything was terribly exhausting.
Alice Basso (L'imprevedibile piano della scrittrice senza nome)
Quickly I find another surprise. The boys are wilder writers — less careful of convention, more willing to leap into the new. I start watching the dozens of vaguely familiar girls, who seem to have shaved off all distinguishing characteristics. They are so careful. Careful about their appearance, what they say and how they say it, how they sit, what they write. Even in the five-minute free writes, they are less willing to go out from where they are — to go out there, where you have to go, to write. They are reluctant to show me rough work, imperfect work, anything I might criticize; they are very careful to write down my instructions word by word. They’re all trying themselves on day by day, hour by hour, I know — already making choices that will last too unfairly long. I’m surprised to find, after a few days, how invigorating it all is. I pace and plead for reaction, for ideas, for words, and gradually we all relax a little and we make progress. The boys crouch in their too-small desks, giant feet sticking out, and the girls perch on the edge, alert like little groundhogs listening for the patter of coyote feet. I begin to like them a lot. Then the outlines come in. I am startled at the preoccupation with romance and family in many of these imaginary futures. But the distinction between boys and girls is perfectly, painfully stereotypical. The boys also imagine adventure, crime, inventions, drama. One expects war with China, several get rich and lose it all, one invents a time warp, another resurrects Jesus, another is shot by a robber. Their outlines are heavy on action, light on response. A freshman: “I grow populerity and for the rest of my life I’m a million air.” [sic] A sophomore boy in his middle age: “Amazingly, my first attempt at movie-making won all the year’s Oscars. So did the next two. And my band was a HUGE success. It only followed that I run the country.” Among the girls, in all the dozens and dozens of girls, the preoccupation with marriage and children is almost everything. They are entirely reaction, marked by caution. One after the other writes of falling in love, getting married, having children and giving up — giving up careers, travel, college, sports, private hopes, to save the marriage, take care of the children. The outlines seem to describe with remarkable precision the quietly desperate and disappointed lives many women live today.
Sallie Tisdale (Violation: Collected Essays by Sallie Tisdale)
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))
American Indians share a magnificent history — rich in its astounding diversity, its integrity, its spirituality, its ongoing unique culture and dynamic tradition. It's also rich, I'm saddened to say, in tragedy, deceit, and genocide. Our sovereignty, our nationhood, our very identity — along with our sacred lands — have been stolen from us in one of the great thefts of human history. And I am referring not just to the thefts of previous centuries but to the great thefts that are still being perpetrated upon us today, at this very moment. Our human rights as indigenous peoples are being violated every day of our lives — and by the very same people who loudly and sanctimoniously proclaim to other nations the moral necessity of such rights. Over the centuries our sacred lands have been repeatedly and routinely stolen from us by the governments and peoples of the United States and Canada. They callously pushed us onto remote reservations on what they thought was worthless wasteland, trying to sweep us under the rug of history. But today, that so-called wasteland has surprisingly become enormously valuable as the relentless technology of white society continues its determined assault on Mother Earth. White society would now like to terminate us as peoples and push us off our reservations so they can steal our remaining mineral and oil resources. It's nothing new for them to steal from nonwhite peoples. When the oppressors succeed with their illegal thefts and depredations, it's called colonialism. When their efforts to colonize indigenous peoples are met with resistance or anything but abject surrender, it's called war. When the colonized peoples attempt to resist their oppression and defend themselves, we're called criminals. I write this book to bring about a greater understanding of what being an Indian means, of who we are as human beings. We're not quaint curiosities or stereotypical figures in a movie, but ordinary — and, yes, at times, extraordinary — human beings. Just like you. We feel. We bleed. We are born. We die. We aren't stuffed dummies in front of a souvenir shop; we aren't sports mascots for teams like the Redskins or the Indians or the Braves or a thousand others who steal and distort and ridicule our likeness. Imagine if they called their teams the Washington Whiteskins or the Washington Blackskins! Then you'd see a protest! With all else that's been taken from us, we ask that you leave us our name, our self-respect, our sense of belonging to the great human family of which we are all part. Our voice, our collective voice, our eagle's cry, is just beginning to be heard. We call out to all of humanity. Hear us!
Leonard Peltier (Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance)
RICHARD FEYNMAN LETTER TO ARLINE FEYNMAN, 1946 Richard Feynman (1918–1988) shared the 1965 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on quantum electrodynamics. Unrivaled in his generation for his brilliance and innovation, he was also known for being witty, warm, and unconventional. Those last three qualities were particularly evident in this letter, which he wrote to his wife Arline nearly two years after her death from tuberculosis. Feynman and Arline had been high school sweethearts and married in their twenties. Feynman’s second marriage, in 1952, ended in divorce two years later. His third marriage, in 1960, lasted until his death. D’Arline, I adore you, sweetheart. I know how much you like to hear that—but I don’t only write it because you like it—I write it because it makes me warm all over inside to write it to you. It is such a terribly long time since I last wrote to you—almost two years but I know you’ll excuse me because you understand how I am, stubborn and realistic; & I thought there was no sense to writing. But now I know my darling wife that it is right to do what I have delayed in doing, and that I have done so much in the past. I want to tell you I love you. I want to love you. I always will love you. I find it hard to understand in my mind what it means to love you after you are dead—but I still want to comfort and take care of you—and I want you to love me and care for me. I want to have problems to discuss with you—I want to do little projects with you. I never thought until just now that we can do that together. What should we do. We started to learn to make clothes together—or learn Chinese—or getting a movie projector. Can’t I do something now. No. I am alone without you and you were the “idea-woman” and general instigator of all our wild adventures. When you were sick you worried because you could not give me something that you wanted to & thought I needed. You needn’t have worried. Just as I told you then there was no real need because I loved you in so many ways so much. And now it is clearly even more true—you can give me nothing now yet I love you so that you stand in my way of loving anyone else—but I want you to stand there. You, dead, are so much better than anyone else alive. I know you will assure me that I am foolish & that you want me to have full happiness & don’t want to be in my way. I’ll bet you are surprised that I don’t even have a girl friend (except you, sweetheart) after two years. But you can’t help it, darling, nor can I—I don’t understand it, for I have met many girls & very nice ones and I don’t want to remain alone—but in two or three meetings they all seem ashes. You only are left to me. You are real. My darling wife, I do adore you. I love my wife. My wife is dead. Rich. P.S. Please excuse my not mailing this—but I don’t know your new address.
Lisa Grunwald (The Marriage Book: Centuries of Advice, Inspiration, and Cautionary Tales from Adam and Eve to Zoloft)
Galveston?” he asked in that amazing voice, still surprising me by keeping our conversation going. “Yeah. Staying at a beach house and everything. Totally slumming it and having a miserable time, you know?” I gave him a real smile that time. Rip just raised his brows. “I promised her I would go visit, and she promised she would come up too... What’s that face for?” I surprised myself by laughing. “I don’t believe it either. I’ll get lucky if she comes once. I’m not that delusional.” I didn’t imagine the way his cheek twitched again, just a little, just enough to keep the smile on my face. “I’m stuck making my own lunches from now on. I have nobody to watch scary movies with who’s more dramatic than I am screaming at the scary parts. And my house is empty,” I told him, going on a roll. “Your lunches?” was what he picked up on. I wasn’t sure how much he’d had to drink that he was asking me so many questions, but I wasn’t going to complain. “I can’t cook to save my life, boss. I thought everyone knew. Baking is the only thing I can handle.” “You serious?” he asked in a surprised tone. I nodded. “For real?” “Yeah,” I confirmed. “I can’t even make rice in an Instant Pot. It’s either way too dry or it’s mush.” Oh. “An Instant Pot is—” “I know what it is,” he cut me off. It was my turn to make a face, but mine was an impressed one. He knew what an Instant Pot was but not a rom-com. Okay. “Sorry.” He didn’t react to me trying to tease him, instead he asked, “You can’t even make rice in that?” “Nope.” “You know there’s instructions online.” Was he messing with me now? I couldn’t help but watch him a little. How much had he drunk already? “Yeah, I know.” “And you still screw it up?” I blinked, soaking up Chatty Cathy over here like a plant that hadn’t seen the sun in too long. “I wouldn’t say I screw it up. It’s more like… you either need to chew a little more or a little less.” It was his turn to blink. “It’s a surprise. I like to keep people on their toes.” If I hadn’t been guessing that he’d had a couple drinks before, what he did next would have confirmed it. His left cheek twitched. Then his right one did too, and in the single blink of an eye, Lucas Ripley was smiling at me. Straight white teeth. That not-thin but not-full mouth dark pink and pulled up at the edges. He even had a dimple. Rip had a freaking dimple. And I wanted to touch it to make sure it was real. I couldn’t help but think it was just about the cutest thing I had ever seen, even though I had zero business thinking anything along those lines. But I was smart enough to know that I couldn’t say a single word to mention it; otherwise, it might never come out again. What I did trust myself to do was gulp down half of my Sprite before saying, “You can make rice, I’m guessing?” If he wanted to talk, we could talk. I was good at talking. “Uh-huh,” he replied, sounding almost cocky about it. All I could get myself to do in response was grin at him, and for another five seconds, his dimple—and his smile—responded to me.
Mariana Zapata (Luna and the Lie)
When it begins it is like a light in a tunnel, a rush of steel and steam across a torn up life. It is a low rumble, an earthquake in the back of the mind. My spine is a track with cold black steel racing on it, a trail of steam and dust following behind, ghost like. It feels like my whole life is holding its breath. By the time she leaves the room I am surprised that she can’t see the train. It has jumped the track of my spine and landed in my mothers’ living room. A cold dark thing, black steel and redwood paneling. It is the old type, from the western movies I loved as a kid. He throws open the doors to the outside world, to the dark ocean. I feel a breeze tugging at me, a slender finger of wind that catches at my shirt. Pulling. Grabbing. I can feel the panic build in me, the need to scream or cry rising in my throat. And then I am out the door, running, tumbling down the steps falling out into the darkened world, falling out into the lifeless ocean. Out into the blackness. Out among the stars and shadows. And underneath my skin, in the back of my head and down the back of my spine I can feel the desperation and I can feel the noise. I can feel the deep and ancient ache of loudness that litters across my bones. It’s like an old lover, comfortable and well known, but unwelcome and inappropriate with her stories of our frolicking. And then she’s gone and the Conductor is closing the door. The darkness swells around us, enveloping us in a cocoon, pressing flat against the train like a storm. I wonder, what is this place? Those had been heady days, full and intense. It’s funny. I remember the problems, the confusions and the fears of life we all dealt with. But, that all seems to fade. It all seems to be replaced by images of the days when it was all just okay. We all had plans back then, patterns in which we expected the world to fit, how it was to be deciphered. Eventually you just can’t carry yourself any longer, can’t keep your eyelids open, and can’t focus on anything but the flickering light of the stars. Hours pass, at first slowly like a river and then all in a rush, a climax and I am home in the dorm, waking up to the ringing of the telephone. When she is gone the apartment is silent, empty, almost like a person sleeping, waiting to wake up. When she is gone, and I am alone, I curl up on the bed, wait for the house to eject me from its dying corpse. Crazy thoughts cross through my head, like slants of light in an attic. The Boston 395 rocks a bit, a creaking noise spilling in from the undercarriage. I have decided that whatever this place is, all these noises, sensations - all the train-ness of this place - is a fabrication. It lulls you into a sense of security, allows you to feel as if it’s a familiar place. But whatever it is, it’s not a train, or at least not just a train. The air, heightened, tense against the glass. I can hear the squeak of shoes on linoleum, I can hear the soft rattle of a dying man’s breathing. Men in white uniforms, sharp pressed lines, run past, rolling gurneys down florescent hallways.
Jason Derr (The Boston 395)
We did the dishes and talked--about the cattle business, about my job back in L.A., about his local small town, about family. Then we adjourned to the sofa to watch an action movie, pausing occasionally to remind each other once again of the reason God invented lips. Curiously, though, while sexy and smoldering, Marlboro Man kept his heavy breathing to a minimum. This surprised me. He was not only masculine and manly, he lived in the middle of nowhere--one might expect that because of the dearth of women within a twenty-mile range, he’d be more susceptible than most to getting lost in a heated moment. But he wasn’t. He was a gentleman through and through--a sizzling specimen of a gentleman who was singlehandedly introducing me to a whole new universe of animal attraction, but a gentleman, nonetheless. And though my mercury was rising rapidly, his didn’t seem to be in any hurry. He walked me to my car as the final credits rolled, offering to follow me all the way home if I wanted. “Oh, no,” I said. “I can get home, no problem.” I’d lived in L.A. for years; it’s not like driving alone at night bothered me. I started my car and watched him walk back toward his front door, admiring every last thing about him. He turned around and waved, and as he walked inside I felt, more than ever, that I was in big trouble. What was I doing? Why was I here? I was getting ready to move to Chicago--home of the Cubs and Michigan Avenue and the Elevated Train. Why had I allowed myself to stick my toe in this water? And why did the water have to feel so, so good?
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
The world recoiled in horror in 2012 when 20 Connecticut schoolchildren and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. . . . The weapon was a Bushmaster AR-15 semiautomatic rifle adapted from its original role as a battlefield weapon. The AR-15, which is designed to inflict maximum casualties with rapid bursts, should never have been available for purchase by civilians (emphasis added).1 —New York Times editorial, March 4, 2016 Assault weapons were banned for 10 years until Congress, in bipartisan obeisance to the gun lobby, let the law lapse in 2004. As a result, gun manufacturers have been allowed to sell all manner of war weaponry to civilians, including the super destructive .50-caliber sniper rifle. . . .(emphasis added)2 —New York Times editorial, December 11, 2015 [James Holmes the Aurora, Colorado Batman Movie Theater Shooter] also bought bulletproof vests and other tactical gear” (emphasis added).3 —New York Times, July 22, 2012 It is hard to debate guns if you don’t know much about the subject. But it is probably not too surprising that gun control advocates who live in New York City know very little about guns. Semi-automatic guns don’t fire “rapid bursts” of bullets. The New York Times might be fearful of .50-caliber sniper rifles, but these bolt-action .50-caliber rifles were never covered by the federal assault weapons ban. “Urban assault vests” may sound like they are bulletproof, but they are made of nylon. These are just a few of the many errors that the New York Times made.4 If it really believes that it has a strong case, it wouldn’t feel the need to constantly hype its claims. What distinguishes the New York Times is that it doesn’t bother running corrections for these errors.
John R. Lott Jr. (The War on Guns: Arming Yourself Against Gun Control Lies)
What if—” I stopped, swallowing hard. Nope. I couldn’t even say it aloud. We’d figure something else out because we had to. Time for a subject change before I lost it. “What did your mom say?” “Mostly that she thinks my hair is getting too long and I should cut it.” “That’s not helpful.” “That’s my mom for you.” He was trying for humor but his voice caught, and I wondered if he was thinking about how if she left and he didn’t, he’d never ever see her again. “So,” I said, sitting on the floor against the wall as close to the kitchen doorway as I could get without Lend dropping like a rock, “do you want your Christmas present?” “You got me something?” He sounded surprised. “I’ve been working on it for a while.” “I, uh, didn’t find you anything yet. I was actually setting up for your party, not Christmas shopping like I said.” “Being kidnapped by the Dark Queen and then cursed gets you off the hook for a lot. Besides, my birthday party totally counted.” “This isn’t how I wanted our first Christmas to go. We were going to go all out, pick out a Christmas tree on Christmas Eve, decorate it, watch cheesy holiday movies, drink hot chocolate, let my dad make his eggnog and then complain about how disgusting it was, then I was going to deck out my entire room in mistletoe . . .” “Wait, you mean you didn’t plan for us to be stuck in different rooms for the holidays?” “Well, that part’s kind of nice.” I heard his head bang against the wall where he was sitting right on the other side of it from me. “I mean, who wants to actually be able to touch their super hot girlfriend? Overrated.” “I know, right?” I tried to laugh, but it came out choked. I swallowed, forcing my one to come out light. “And I totally dig watching people sleep. It’s so sexy.
Kiersten White (Endlessly (Paranormalcy, #3))
Based on a 1934 play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, Merrily We Roll Along tells the story of three friends—Franklin Shepard, a composer; Charley Kringas, a playwright and lyricist; and Mary Flynn, a novelist—who meet in the enthusiasm of youth, when everything seems possible. The play traces what happens to their dreams and goals as time passes and they are faced with life’s surprises, travails, successes, and disappointments. The trick here is that the play moves chronologically backward. It begins on an evening in 1976 at a party for the opening of a movie Frank has produced. The movie is apparently a hit, but Frank’s personal life is a mess. His second wife, Gussie, formerly a Broadway star, was supposed to have starred in the movie but was deemed too old; she resents being in the shadows and suspects, correctly, that Frank is having an affair with the young actress who took over her part. Frank is estranged from his son from his first marriage. He is also estranged from Charley, his former writing partner—so estranged, in fact, that the very mention of his name brings the party to an uncomfortable standstill. Mary, unable to re-create the success of her one and only novel and suffering from a longtime unreciprocated love for Frank, has become a critic and a drunk; the disturbance she causes at the party results in a permanent break with Frank. The opening scene reaches its climax when Gussie throws iodine in the eyes of Frank’s mistress. The ensemble, commenting on the action much like the Greek chorus in Allegro, reprises the title song, asking, “How did you get to be here? / What was the moment?” (F 387). The play then moves backward in time as it looks for the turning points, the places where multiple possibilities morphed into narrative necessity.
Robert L. McLaughlin (Stephen Sondheim and the Reinvention of the American Musical)
Chelsea was something else. Like an unstoppable force of nature. Similar to a hurricane or a tornado. Or a pit bull. Violet admired that about her. And, in this instance, Chelsea had proven to be nothing less than formidable. So when Jay had mentioned earlier in the week that they might be able to go to the movies over the weekend, Chelsea held him to it. A time and a place were chosen. And word spread. And, somehow, Chelsea managed to unravel it all. She still wanted the Saturday night plans; she just didn’t want the crowd that came with them. She’d decided it should be more of a “double date.” With Mike. Except Mike would never see it coming. By the time the bell rang at the end of lunch on Friday, everyone had agreed to meet up for the seven o’clock showing the next night. But when they split up to go to their classes, Chelsea set her own plan into motion. She began to separate the others from the pack and, one by one, they all fell. She started with Andrew Lauthner. Poor Andrew didn’t know what hit him. “Hey, Andy, did you hear?” From the look on his face, he didn’t hear anything other than that Chelsea-his Chelsea-was talking to him. Out of the blue. Violet needed to get to class, but she was dying to see what Chelsea had up her sleeve, so she stuck it out instead. “What?” His huge frozen grin looked like it had been plastered there and dried overnight. Chelsea’s expression was apologetic, something that may have actually been difficult for her to pull off. “The movie’s been canceled. Plans are off.” She stuck out her lower lip in a disappointed pout. “But I thought…” He seemed confused. So was Violet. “…didn’t we just make the plans at lunch?” he asked. “I know.” Chelsea managed to sound as surprised as he did. “But you know how Jay is, always talking out of his ass. He forgot to mention that he has to work tomorrow night and can’t make it.” She looked at Violet and said, again apologetically, “Sorry you had to hear that, Vi.” Violet just stood there gaping and thinking that she should deny what Chelsea was saying, but she wasn’t even sure where to start. She knew Jules would have done it. Where was Jules when she needed her? “What about everyone else?” Andrew asked, still clinging to hope. Chelsea shrugged and placed a sympathetic hand on Andrew’s arm. “Nope. No one else can make it either. Mike’s got family plans. Jules has a date. Claire has to study. And Violet here is grounded.” She draped an arm around Violet’s shoulder. “Right, Vi?” Violet was saved from having to answer, since Andrew didn’t seem to need one. Apparently, if Chelsea said it, it was the gospel truth. But the pathetic look on his face made Violet want to hug him right then and there. "Oh," he finally said. And then, "Well, maybe next time." "Yeah. Sure. Of course," Chelsea called over her shoulder, already dragging Violet away from the painful scene. "Geez, Chels, break his heart, why don't you? Why didn't you just say you have some rare disease or something?" Violet made a face at her friend. "Not cool." Chelsea scoffed. "He'll be fine. Besides, if I said 'disease,' he would have made me some chicken soup and offered to give me a sponge bath or something." She wrinkled her nose. "Eww." The rest of the afternoon went pretty much the same way, with a few escalations: Family obligations. Big tests to study for. House arrests. Chelsea made excuses to nearly everyone who'd planned on going, including Clair. She was relentless. By Saturday night, it was just the four of them...Violet, Jay, Chelsea, and, of course, Mike. It was everything Chelsea had dreamed of, everything she'd worked for.
Kimberly Derting (Desires of the Dead (The Body Finder, #2))
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))
I Can't Make You Love Me.' Bonnie Raitt." "Oh,Fiorella." I glared at him a little as I climbed down. "Was that delightful list for your benefit or mine?" Frankie grabbed my hand and, when I didn't pull away fast enough, tugged me onto his lap,where he wrapped his arms so tightly around me that I couldn't escape. Sometimes his strength still surprises me.He tickled my cheek with his nose. "Don't hate me just because I'm hateful." "I never do." Here's the thing. Frankie's taken a lot of hits in his life. He never stays down for long. "Excuse me!" The mannequin's evil twin was glaring down at us fro her sky-high bootie-heeled heights. Her NM badge told us her name was Victoria. "You cannot do that here!" she snapped. "Do what?" Frankie returned, matching lockjaw snooty for lockjaw snooty. She opened and closed her mouth, then hissed, "Canoodle!" I felt Frankie's hiccup of amusement. "Were we canoodling, snookums?" he asked me. "I rather thought we were about to copulate like bunnies." I couldn't help it; I laughed out loud. Victoria's mouth thinned into a pale line. The whole thing might have ended with our being escorted out the store's hallowed doors by security. Sadie, as she so often did, momentarily saved us from ourselves. She stomped out of the dressing room and planted herself in front of us. Ignoring the angry salesgirl completely, she muttered, "I look like a carved pumpkin!" Frankie took in the skirt, layered shirts, and jacket. "You do not, but I might have been having an overly Michael Kors moment. This will not do for a date.Take it off." He nudged me, then added, "Right here.Every last stitch of it." As soon as Sadie was back in her own clothing and coat-which got an unwilling frown of respect from Victoria; apparently even Neiman Maruc doesn't carry that line-we moved on. Sadie did better in Frankie's second choice-a lip-printed sweater dress from Betsey Johnson,but wouldn't buy it. "We're just going to a movie!" she protested. "Besides,Jared's not...not..." She gestured down at her lippy hips. "He's practical and sensible and quiet." "Oh,my God!" Frankie slapped both palms to the side of his face,and turned to me. "Sadie has a date with a Prius!" He had to invoke the sanctity of Truth or Dare before he could even get her into Urban Outfitters. "Sometimes I love you less than other times," she grumbled as he filled her arms with his last choices. "No,you don't," he said cheerfully, and sent her off to change.
Melissa Jensen (The Fine Art of Truth or Dare)
You don't have to say that," she insisted. "I mean - I'll understand, if you hate me." "I could never hate you, Bee. I just...I miss you." There was no reproach in Connor's words, only a weary, unflinching truth. "I miss you, too." she said, and meant it. Beatrice's tears were coming more freely now, but that wasn't surprising. Nothing in life hurt more than hurting the people you loved. Yet Beatrice knew she had to say all of this. She and Connor had loved each other too fiercely for her to let him go without a proper goodbye. "I am...forever changed by you," she added, her voice catching. "I gave you part of my heart a long time ago, and I've never gotten it back." "You don't need it back." His voice was rough with unshed tears. "I swear that I'll keep it safe. Everywhere I go, that part of you will come with me, and I will guard and treasure it. Always." A sob escaped her chest. She hurt for Connor and with Connor and because of Connor, all at once. This wasn't how breakups were meant to go. In the movies they always seemed so hateful, with people yelling and throwing things at each other. They weren't meant to be like this, tender and gentle and full of heartache. "Okay," she replied, through her tears. "That part of my heart is yours to keep." Connor stepped back, loosening his hand from hers, and Beatrice felt the thread between them pull taut and finally snap. She imagined that she could hear it - a crisp sort of sound, like the stem of a rose being snapped in two. Her body felt strangely sore, or maybe it was her heart that felt sore, recognizing the parts of it that she had given away, forever. "You're such an amazing person, Connor. I hope you find someone who deserves you." Again he attempted a crooked smile. "It won't be easy on her, trying to live up to the queen. For a small person, you cast quite the shadow," he said, and then his features grew serious once more. "Bee - if you ever need me, I'll be there for you. You know that, right?" She swallowed against a lump in her throat. "The same promise holds for me, too. I'm always here if you need me." As she spoke, the steel panel began to lift back into the ceiling. Beatrice straightened her shoulders beneath the cool silk of the gown, drew in a breath. Somehow she managed to gather up the tattered shreds of her self-control, as if she wasn't a young woman who'd just said goodbye to her first love - to her best friend. As of she wasn't a young woman at all, but a queen.
Katharine McGee (American Royals II: Majesty)
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)
Of course, no china--however intricate and inviting--was as seductive as my fiancé, my future husband, who continued to eat me alive with one glance from his icy-blue eyes. Who greeted me not at the door of his house when I arrived almost every night of the week, but at my car. Who welcomed me not with a pat on the arm or even a hug but with an all-enveloping, all-encompassing embrace. Whose good-night kisses began the moment I arrived, not hours later when it was time to go home. We were already playing house, what with my almost daily trips to the ranch and our five o’clock suppers and our lazy movie nights on his thirty-year-old leather couch, the same one his parents had bought when they were a newly married couple. We’d already watched enough movies together to last a lifetime. Giant with James Dean, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Reservoir Dogs, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, The Graduate, All Quiet on the Western Front, and, more than a handful of times, Gone With the Wind. I was continually surprised by the assortment of movies Marlboro Man loved to watch--his taste was surprisingly eclectic--and I loved discovering more and more about him through the VHS collection in his living room. He actually owned The Philadelphia Story. With Marlboro Man, surprises lurked around every corner. We were already a married couple--well, except for the whole “sleepover thing” and the fact that we hadn’t actually gotten hitched yet. We stayed in, like any married couple over the age of sixty, and continued to get to know everything about each other completely outside the realm of parties, dates, and gatherings. All of that was way too far away, anyway--a minimum hour-and-a-half drive to the nearest big city--and besides that, Marlboro Man was a fish out of water in a busy, crowded bar. As for me, I’d been there, done that--a thousand and one times. Going out and panting the town red was unnecessary and completely out of context for the kind of life we’d be building together. This was what we brought each other, I realized. He showed me a slower pace, and permission to be comfortable in the absence of exciting plans on the horizon. I gave him, I realized, something different. Different from the girls he’d dated before--girls who actually knew a thing or two about country life. Different from his mom, who’d also grown up on a ranch. Different from all of his female cousins, who knew how to saddle and ride and who were born with their boots on. As the youngest son in a family of three boys, maybe he looked forward to experiencing life with someone who’d see the country with fresh eyes. Someone who’d appreciate how miraculously countercultural, how strange and set apart it all really is. Someone who couldn’t ride to save her life. Who didn’t know north from south, or east from west. If that defined his criteria for a life partner, I was definitely the woman for the job.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
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)
I took a shower after dinner and changed into comfortable Christmas Eve pajamas, ready to settle in for a couple of movies on the couch. I remembered all the Christmas Eves throughout my life--the dinners and wrapping presents and midnight mass at my Episcopal church. It all seemed so very long ago. Walking into the living room, I noticed a stack of beautifully wrapped rectangular boxes next to the tiny evergreen tree, which glowed with little white lights. Boxes that hadn’t been there minutes before. “What…,” I said. We’d promised we wouldn’t get each other any gifts that year. “What?” I demanded. Marlboro Man smiled, taking pleasure in the surprise. “You’re in trouble,” I said, glaring at him as I sat down on the beige Berber carpet next to the tree. “I didn’t get you anything…you told me not to.” “I know,” he said, sitting down next to me. “But I don’t really want anything…except a backhoe.” I cracked up. I didn’t even know what a backhoe was. I ran my hand over the box on the top of the stack. It was wrapped in brown paper and twine--so unadorned, so simple, I imagined that Marlboro Man could have wrapped it himself. Untying the twine, I opened the first package. Inside was a pair of boot-cut jeans. The wide navy elastic waistband was a dead giveaway: they were made especially for pregnancy. “Oh my,” I said, removing the jeans from the box and laying them out on the floor in front of me. “I love them.” “I didn’t want you to have to rig your jeans for the next few months,” Marlboro Man said. I opened the second box, and then the third. By the seventh box, I was the proud owner of a complete maternity wardrobe, which Marlboro Man and his mother had secretly assembled together over the previous couple of weeks. There were maternity jeans and leggings, maternity T-shirts and darling jackets. Maternity pajamas. Maternity sweats. I caressed each garment, smiling as I imagined the time it must have taken for them to put the whole collection together. “Thank you…,” I began. My nose stung as tears formed in my eyes. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect gift. Marlboro Man reached for my hand and pulled me over toward him. Our arms enveloped each other as they had on his porch the first time he’d professed his love for me. In the grand scheme of things, so little time had passed since that first night under the stars. But so much had changed. My parents. My belly. My wardrobe. Nothing about my life on this Christmas Eve resembled my life on that night, when I was still blissfully unaware of the brewing thunderstorm in my childhood home and was packing for Chicago…nothing except Marlboro Man, who was the only thing, amidst all the conflict and upheaval, that made any sense to me anymore. “Are you crying?” he asked. “No,” I said, my lip quivering. “Yep, you’re crying,” he said, laughing. It was something he’d gotten used to. “I’m not crying,” I said, snorting and wiping snot from my nose. “I’m not.” We didn’t watch movies that night. Instead, he picked me up and carried me to our cozy bedroom, where my tears--a mixture of happiness, melancholy, and holiday nostalgia--would disappear completely.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
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)
The symposium was a closed-doors, synod-style assembly of people who would never have mixed otherwise. My first surprise was to discover that the military people there thought, behaved, and acted like philosophers—far more so than the philosophers we will see splitting hairs in their weekly colloquium in Part Three. They thought out of the box, like traders, except much better and without fear of introspection. An assistant secretary of defence was among us, but had I not known his profession I would have thought he was a practitioner of skeptical empiricism. Even an engineering investigator who had examined the cause of a space shuttle explosion was thoughtful and open-minded. I came out of the meeting realising that only military people deal with randomness with genuine, introspective intellectual honesty—unlike academics and corporate executives using other people's money. This does not show in war movies, where they are usually portrayed as war-hungry autocrats. The people in front of me were not the people who initiate wars. Indeed, for many, the successful defence policy is the one that manages to eliminate potential dangers without war, such as the strategy of bankrupting the Russians through the escalation in defence spending. When I expressed my amazement to Laurence, another finance person who was sitting next to me, he told me that the military collected more genuine intellects and risk thinkers than most if not all other professions. Defence people wanted to understand the epistemology of risk.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable)
There was a surprising amount of overlap between cute rom-com disaster scenes and your average horror movie disaster. Of course in rom-coms there is only sexual tension; in horror there's a knife-wielding serial killer, so the tone is subtly different, you know?
Ciara Smyth (The Falling in Love Montage)
The soul wants to forget all other realities to create the appearance of starting with a clean slate and then act like it is “discovering” and “learning” and what’s most important: Experiencing surprise – a concept that has little meaning for the infinite-self. The benefit of this existence is the joy of discovery and not knowing what’s going to come next. Do you recall situations from your childhood in which you were absolutely thrilled that you didn’t know what is behind the curtain? Isn’t it a bit dull of this society to want to have everything planned and figured out beforehand for reasons of “security” (which is actually fear). If you say “no” to your joy for reasons of “security”, the only security you are going to get is the security of joylessness and boredom. Therefore, take part in the “movie” willingly. The more you love life as it is, the more it will love you as you are. “Paradoxically”, the more you love “normal” life, the more you will “ascend” spiritually. Wanting to get away from here, as many “spiritual” teachings propose, binds you to this reality even more…as all resistance binds you.
Frederick Dodson
He did it voluntarily, willingly, and lovingly. No one forced him. It wasn’t just a duty. He faced unimaginable pain and death out of love for you. Don’t ever get between a mother bear and her cub. Think of the many stories or movies that depict a mother staunchly defending her children even against an overwhelming foe. Where does she get the courage? It is love. Why did Jesus have the courage to do what he did for us? Love! And how will you get your courage? The same way.
Timothy J. Keller (Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the Birth of Christ)
On Porter’s desk was a gold-framed portrait of Mama, looking as beautiful as a movie star, and be- side it, to my surprise, was a picture of me. The last time I was in this office, it had not been there, and I was pleased to see it.
Ruth White (The Search for Belle Prater)
On Porter’s desk was a gold-framed portrait of Mama, looking as beautiful as a movie star, and beside it, to my surprise, was a picture of me. The last time I was in this office, it had not been there, and I was pleased to see it.
Ruth White (The Search for Belle Prater)
While timing was only part of the issue with Doris Day, it would be a key reason why, from the mid-1950s onward, good people were unable to appear in good musicals. An original like Never Steal Anything Small was unsuccessful on every level—and heinous in its waste of Jimmy Cagney’s talent—while skillful adaptations like Silk Stockings and Bells Are Ringing flopped resoundingly. As fewer opportunities arose, they were sometimes attended by the questionable notion that dubbing solves all problems. This is why Rossano Brazzi and Sidney Poitier could look great, in South Pacific and Porgy and Bess, and sound ostensibly like the opera singers who were doing the actual vocalizing. While dubbing had been present from the very beginning, it achieved some kind of pinnacle from the mid-fifties to the late sixties. Hiring nonsinging names like Deborah Kerr and Rosalind Russell and Natalie Wood and Audrey Hepburn, even nonsinging non-names like Richard Beymer, was viewed as a form of insurance, conviction be damned.8 Casting for name recognition instead of experience has long been part of the film equation, and it cuts both ways. It may, for example, have seemed more astute than desperate to put Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood into Paint Your Wagon, despite the equivocal results. Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge! was far less a musical player than a photogenic, aurally enhanced artifact, and many people left Mamma Mia! wondering if Pierce Brosnan’s execrable singing was intended as a deliberate joke. In contrast with these are the film people who take the plunge with surprising ease.
Richard Barrios (Dangerous Rhythm: Why Movie Musicals Matter)
IAM A SPY, a sleeper, a spook, a man of two faces. Perhaps not surprisingly, I am also a man of two minds. I am not some misunderstood mutant from a comic book or a horror movie, although some have treated me as such. I am simply able to see any issue from both sides.
Viet Thanh Nguyen (The Sympathizer)
Guys, I’m not in labor. I just moved too quickly, OK?’’ Aisling said. ‘‘Take your hands off her,’’ Drake said in a low voice that sounded very much like a growl. Jim sucked in its breath, sitting up to watch. ‘‘I’m not hurting her,’’ Gabriel answered, bending over her belly as he continued to gently prod her. ‘‘I’m simply trying to ascertain if she’s in labor or not. Aisling, is the pain sharp or dull?’’ The door opened, and Gabriel’s two bodyguards, Tipene and Maata, entered. Behind them came one of Drake’s men, a thick-necked, redheaded man named István. The latter picked up on Gabriel’s question. ‘‘Aisling is in pain? She is having the baby?’’ ‘‘I should examine you more fully,’’ Gabriel said, smiling at Aisling as he took her hand. ‘‘Do not worry, Aisling. I have delivered many dragons over the centuries. My mother is a very good midwifeand has taught me well.’’ Drake snatched up her other hand. ‘‘You will not examine my mate any further! We have an excellent green-dragon midwife who is attending her. Now, get away from her before I have you removed!’’ Aisling looked perfectly fine to me. She rolled her eyes, casting a pleading look skyward. I might not have experience in this area, but it was clear to me that she was not in labor. I shot a glare at Gabriel, grinding my teeth just a little at the stupidity of what was normally such a bright man, my fingers itching to pry his hand from Aisling’s. ‘‘I will tell you once more—remove your hands from her!’’ Drake’s voice got even more menacing. ‘‘Gabriel, I think she would know if she was in labor,’’ I said, nudging the dragon of mydreams a bit more forcefully. ‘‘A voice of reason at last,’’ Aisling said, giving me a smile. ‘‘Guys, I’m not—’’ István turned in the doorway and bellowed out of it. ‘‘Pál! Call the midwife! Aisling is in labor! I will call Nora and Rene. They wish to be here, yes? Should I boil water?’’ He evidently asked the last bit of Maata, who, as the female member of Gabriel’s attendants, was obviously expected to know the answer. Maata looked surprised. ‘‘Would it make you feel better to boil water?’’ she asked. István nodded his head vigorously. ‘‘It is done, is it not? The boiling of water? It is important. I saw it in a movie.’’ ‘‘Then, by all means, boil water,’’ she answered. István nodded again, announced to the room in general, ‘‘I boil water!’’ and rushed out to suit action to word. Pál, the second of Drake’s two redheaded bodyguards, slammed into István as he was leaving, scattering apologies as he dashed into the room, a cell phone in his hand. ‘‘The midwife’s phone is busy!’’ he said, offering the phone to Drake as proof. ‘‘Oh, man, if there’s going to be baby juice and blood and guck, I’m getting out of here,’’ Jim said, sidling around the clutch of people that surrounded Aisling. ‘‘I’m going to Amelie’s to be with Cecile. Someone tell me when it’s all over.’’ ‘‘Hello, can anyone hear me? I’m not in labor!’’ Aisling said. ‘‘What should I do?’’ Pál asked Drake, shaking the phone at him. ‘‘It is busy! Busy! How can it be busy?’’ A little wisp of smoke escaped Drake’s nose as he glared at the phone. ‘‘It should not be busy. Go fetch her. There is no business she can have as important as this.’’ Pál didn’t stop to answer; he just bolted from the room. ‘‘Oh, for the love of Pete! I’m not in pain! And unless dragons have some sort ofpainless labor, a notion your mother vehemently says is false, then I’m not having the baby,’’ Aisling said, but was drowned out by Maata asking if Gabriel needed help at the same time Tipene offered to take overmidwife phone duty.
Katie MacAlister (Up In Smoke (Silver Dragons, #2))
That same year, Will Smith returned to the big screen after a hiatus, following 2008’s surprise disappointment, Seven Pounds. He starred in a sequel that Sony had been dying to make for many years. Men in Black 3 was a challenging movie to produce with a mature Will Smith. Now used to being the dominant creative force in his productions, he often demanded repeated changes to scripts and never worked with directors who could wield more power than he did. That was fine for Overbrook-led productions, but it became a challenge on the third Men in Black offering, which was made in a rush, to take advantage of New York tax credits. The production was a nightmare. The unhappy Smith holed up in his fifty-three-foot-long trailer, which featured a screening room, offices for assistants, and an all-granite bathroom, while multiple screenwriters reworked the script again and again. The creative conflicts between the star, his producers, and the studio were so severe that production was halted for three months to resolve them. Greenlit with a budget of $210 million, Men in Black 3 ended up costing $250 million and barely broke even.
Ben Fritz (The Big Picture: The Fight for the Future of Movies)
Obviously, The Princess Bride has a movie quote for every occasion, but you might be surprised to know that Bull Durham comes in a close second.
April White (Code of Conduct (Cipher Security, #1))
Take a trip to the library and browse the movie section, or browse through Netflix or YouTube. There’s a documentary on just about everything, right? Pick a documentary about a subject that’s always interested you, such as a certain event in history, a specific place in the world, or a person or career choice you admire. Now pick a documentary on a subject you know nothing about and weren’t really interested in before. It should be something you would never normally watch. Head home, pop some popcorn, and get ready for a double feature. Start with the movie you never imagined watching… You may be surprised what you learn.
Aubre Andrus (Project You (Switch Press:))
-I'm just surprised because most of the fantasy worlds in movies and books are lily white. -Well, that's just crazy!
Gene Ha (Mae #1)
Tech Magazine Pro is your most trusted technology stage to teach about the advanced tech and gadgets in the market which will transform you forever. techmagazinepro || Tech Magazine Pro Have you ever heard of uwatchmovies? It’s one of the best websites that share online content for free, but the main concern is they are pirated. If you are a movie lover, you might be looking for different ways to download or watch movies on the web. uwatchmovies || Watch Movies and Series Online For Free in 2021 If you want to know how to make a laptop faster, then you might be surprised at just how many different suggestions are out there. Most people just give up after trying all the different ways that they can try to speed up their laptops. I know that for myself I tried every single trick that I could think of in an attempt to improve on my computer’s speed and still was not able to get it to work properly. It wasn’t until I discovered how to make my laptop faster that I was able to actually accomplish something that made a difference. how to make laptop faster || How to Make Your Laptop Faster in 2021
Tech Magazine pro
Small data is big data in disguise. The reason we can often make good predictions from a small number of observations—or just a single one—is that our priors are so rich. Whether we know it or not, we appear to carry around in our heads surprisingly accurate priors about movie grosses and running times, poem lengths, and political terms of office, not to mention human life spans. We don’t need to gather them explicitly; we absorb them from the world.
Brian Christian (Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions)
Under the Code, actresses lost their edge, their ability to surprise. As one studio executive grumbled, “The leading lady must start out good, stay good, and be whitewashed for the finish.” Consigned by censorship to a fantasy land of purity, they lost their social relevance. After all, what is the point of a Kay Francis movie in which Kay Francis is less sophisticated than the viewer?
Mick LaSalle (Complicated Women: Sex and Power in Pre-Code Hollywood)
The events in Vietnam and the protests against the draft, led by college students, increased the growing influence of the youth culture, who made Vonnegut their literary hero in questioning the accepted wisdom of the status quo. Kurt was as surprised as anyone and had never wanted to be a “spokesman” of the young. He was very leery of the hippie phenomenon and wrote a searing account of one of their heroes, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, guru to the Beatles and assorted movie stars (“Yes, We Have No Nirvanas,” published in Esquire and collected in his book Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons). He satirized the stylish popularity of Eastern meditation, saying we had the same thing in the West—reading short stories, which also lowered your heart rate and freed your mind from other concerns. He said short stories were “Buddhist catnaps.” He thought the Maharishi was a phony but he loved the music of the Beatles, spoke up for Abbie Hoffman, and admired Allen Ginsberg. When
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Kurt Vonnegut: Letters)
What she was doing was watching TCM and eating tiny slivers of metal. If her health plan paid for more or better imaging, maybe the jig would have been up, and it all could have been an accident, bad luck, one failing kitchen appliance trying to kill her, her husband unwittingly involved. As it was, she just kept getting chewed up from the inside. And nobody suspected anything, least of all Sheila. Her mom was the right age for her body to be failing in unexpected ways, wasn’t she? It was a tragedy, it was sad, but it wasn’t any kind of real surprise. It’s what we all have waiting for us, surely. Only, it didn’t have to be. Not for my mother-in-law. Did she know right at the end, too? Did she finally see a glittering shard in her corn or peas and look up to her husband, watching her spoon this in? At that point, coughing up blood, blood in the toilet, her stomach and intestines in revolt, all failing, did she just guide that next bite in anyway and turn back to her classic movie? I don’t know. She was from that long-suffering generation, though. The one that would rather hide a thing like this than involve her own daughter. The one that would rather her daughter keep a father she could believe in.
Ellen Datlow (Final Cuts: New Tales of Hollywood Horror and Other Spectacles)
You grow predictable, your quirks no longer interesting but expected. Like a board game that you've played too many times to truly enjoy, a favorite movie that you don't feel compelled to watch all the way though anymore. You're comforted by your spouse's presence; yes, you still love them; but you are no longer thrilled by them, not in the way you once were. You are no longer surprised.
Janelle Brown (Watch Me Disappear)
Wanita Young vs. Free Cookies Cookies will brighten up anybody’s day—especially if they’re being given away for free. At least, that’s what two teenage girls thought when they surprised their neighbor with a plate of homemade cookies. But they were in for a surprise. The two girls, Lindsey Zellitti and Taylor Ostergaard, wanted to do something nice for their neighbors. So they went around their neighborhood, knocking on doors and leaving a small package of cookies in front of every door. When they got to 49-year-old Wanita Young’s house, the sound of the girls knocking on the door apparently drove her into an anxiety attack, causing her to call the police who eventually took her to the hospital. After the girls apologized, and after they offered to pay her hospital bills, Young still decided to take them to court and sue them for $900—and she actually won the case.
Jamie Frater ('s Epic Book of Mind-Boggling Top 10 Lists: Unbelievable Facts and Astounding Trivia on Movies, Music, Crime, Celebrities, History, and More)
When was the last time we took a verse like, “Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving” (Eph. 5:4) and even began to try to apply this to our conversation, our movies, our YouTube clips, our television and commercial intake? What does it mean that there must not be even a hint of immorality among the saints (v. 3)? It must mean something. In our sex-saturated culture, I would be surprised if there were not at least a few hints of immorality in our texts and tweets and inside jokes. And what about our clothes, our music, our flirting, and the way we talk about people who aren’t in the room?
Kevin DeYoung (The Hole in Our Holiness: Filling the Gap between Gospel Passion and the Pursuit of Godliness)
When she’s in a courtroom, Wendy Patrick, a deputy district attorney for San Diego, uses some of the roughest words in the English language. She has to, given that she prosecutes sex crimes. Yet just repeating the words is a challenge for a woman who not only holds a law degree but also degrees in theology and is an ordained Baptist minister. “I have to say (a particularly vulgar expletive) in court when I’m quoting other people, usually the defendants,” she admitted. There’s an important reason Patrick has to repeat vile language in court. “My job is to prove a case, to prove that a crime occurred,” she explained. “There’s often an element of coercion, of threat, (and) of fear. Colorful language and context is very relevant to proving the kind of emotional persuasion, the menacing, a flavor of how scary these guys are. The jury has to be made aware of how bad the situation was. Those words are disgusting.” It’s so bad, Patrick said, that on occasion a judge will ask her to tone things down, fearing a jury’s emotions will be improperly swayed. And yet Patrick continues to be surprised when she heads over to San Diego State University for her part-time work of teaching business ethics. “My students have no qualms about dropping the ‘F-bomb’ in class,” she said. “The culture in college campuses is that unless they’re disruptive or violating the rules, that’s (just) the way kids talk.” Experts say people swear for impact, but the widespread use of strong language may in fact lessen that impact, as well as lessen society’s ability to set apart certain ideas and words as sacred. . . . [C]onsider the now-conversational use of the texting abbreviation “OMG,” for “Oh, My God,” and how the full phrase often shows up in settings as benign as home-design shows without any recognition of its meaning by the speakers. . . . Diane Gottsman, an etiquette expert in San Antonio, in a blog about workers cleaning up their language, cited a 2012 Career Builder survey in which 57 percent of employers say they wouldn’t hire a candidate who used profanity. . . . She added, “It all comes down to respect: if you wouldn’t say it to your grandmother, you shouldn’t say it to your client, your boss, your girlfriend or your wife.” And what about Hollywood, which is often blamed for coarsening the language? According to Barbara Nicolosi, a Hollywood script consultant and film professor at Azusa Pacific University, an evangelical Christian school, lazy script writing is part of the explanation for the blue tide on television and in the movies. . . . By contrast, she said, “Bad writers go for the emotional punch of crass language,” hence the fire-hose spray of obscenities [in] some modern films, almost regardless of whether or not the subject demands it. . . . Nicolosi, who noted that “nobody misses the bad language” when it’s omitted from a script, said any change in the industry has to come from among its ranks: “Writers need to have a conversation among themselves and in the industry where we popularize much more responsible methods in storytelling,” she said. . . . That change can’t come quickly enough for Melissa Henson, director of grass-roots education and advocacy for the Parents Television Council, a pro-decency group. While conceding there is a market for “adult-themed” films and language, Henson said it may be smaller than some in the industry want to admit. “The volume of R-rated stuff that we’re seeing probably far outpaces what the market would support,” she said. By contrast, she added, “the rate of G-rated stuff is hardly sufficient to meet market demands.” . . . Henson believes arguments about an “artistic need” for profanity are disingenuous. “You often hear people try to make the argument that art reflects life,” Henson said. “I don’t hold to that. More often than not, ‘art’ shapes the way we live our lives, and it skews our perceptions of the kind of life we're supposed to live." [DN, Apr. 13, 2014]
Mark A. Kellner
Films featuring museums are on the whole, not serious ones. They are mostly comedies, mild thrillers, romances, and horror movies, with a few disaster movies and detective films. Nevertheless, they speak clearly to the popular perception of the museum: a place apart from normal, everyday life; dusty, dark, mysterious, with arcane processes being carried out by strange obsessive curators and naive restorers and scientists. Neither exhibitions nor collections in store are the focus: 'the museum' is a sort of composite of both, and its psychological depiction is of a place where surprising and extraordinary things can happen - a place with hidden depths and many secrets.
Suzanne Keene (Fragments of the World: Uses of Museum Collections: Uses of Museum Collections)
Another reason why disasters seem so scary is that many victims tend to see them as a whole rather than divide them into much smaller and more manageable problems. A disaster can seem overwhelming when confronted with everything at once —but if you dice it into its tiny parts and knock them off one at a time, the whole thing can seem as easy as eating a lavish dinner one bite at a time. In a disaster you must also plan for disruption as well as destruction. Death and damage may make the news, but in almost every disaster far more lives are disrupted than destroyed. Wit­ness the tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri, in May 2011 and killed 158 people. The path of death and destruction was less than a mile wide and only 22 miles long —but within thirty miles 160,000 citizens whose property didn’t suffer a dime of damage were profoundly disrupted by the carnage, loss of power and water, suspension of civic services, and inability to buy food, gas, and other necessities. You may rightfully believe your chances of dying in a disaster in your lifetime may be nearly nil, but the chances of your life being disrupted by a disaster in the next decade is nearly a sure thing. Not only should you prepare for disasters, you should learn to premeditate them. Prepare concerns the body; premeditate concerns the mind. Everywhere you go, think what could happen and how you might/could/would/should respond. Use your imagination. Fill your brain with these visualizations —run mind-movies in your head —develop a repertoire —until when you walk into a building/room/situation you’ll automatically know what to do. If a disaster does ambush you —sure you’re apt to panic, but in seconds your memory will load the proper video into your mobile disk drive and you’ll feel like you’re watching a scary movie for the second time and you’ll know what to expect and how to react. That’s why this book is important: its manner of vivifying disasters kickstarts and streamlines your acquiring these premeditations, which lays the foundation for satisfying your needs when a disaster catches you by surprise.
Robert Brown Butler (Architecture Laid Bare!: In Shades of Green)
The story describing the event circled the globe, thanks to the Associated Press, and brought its own surprise benefit. Hollywood took notice, and The Wolves at the Door was optioned for a movie. Only preliminary work has begun on the film, but I have every confidence that Virginia’s dedication to freedom will soon appear on the silver screen.
Judith L. Pearson (The Wolves at the Door: The True Story of America's Greatest Female Spy)
Pedaling fast fast fast, this is my only chance to stop it. This is the place where it looks like everything is gonna go horribly wrong and there's no hope, but then because it's a movie there is hope after all and there is a surprise that changes everything and everyone breathes a sigh of relief and everybody gets to go home and feel good about themselves and maybe fall asleep in the car.
Andrea Portes
No doubt a Cretan or Calabrian peasant might find it ironic that New York socialites and Hollywood movie stars—indeed, nearly all the wealthy peoples on the planet—are now trying to replicate the diet of an impoverished post-war population desperate to improve its lot.
Nina Teicholz (The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet)
Another CSPI campaign successfully convinced movie theaters across America to switch from butter and coconut oil to partially hydrogenated oils in their popcorn poppers.
Nina Teicholz (The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet)
No one trusted palm or coconut oil anymore. And the result for the public of all these efforts by CSPI, the ASA, and Sokolof was that every packaged food product on supermarket aisles, every serving of french fries and chicken fingers in every major fast-food restaurant, and every tub of movie popcorn were now made with partially hydrogenated oil, which contained trans fats.
Nina Teicholz (The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet)
 1 Sweet notes from my husband make me feel good. A I love my husband’s hugs. E  2 I like to be alone with my husband. B I feel loved when my husband washes my car. D  3 Receiving special gifts from my husband makes me happy. C I enjoy long trips with my husband. B  4 I feel loved when my husband helps with the laundry. D I like it when my husband touches me. E  5 I feel loved when my husband puts his arm around me. E I know my husband loves me because he surprises me with gifts. C  6 I like going most anywhere with my husband. B I like to hold my husband’s hand. E  7 I value the gifts my husband gives to me. C I love to hear my husband say he loves me. A  8 I like for my husband to sit close to me. E My husband tells me I look good, and I like that. A  9 Spending time with my husband makes me happy. B Even the smallest gift from my husband is important to me. C 10 I feel loved when my husband tells me he is proud of me. A When my husband helps clean up after a meal, I know that he loves me. D 11 No matter what we do, I love doing things with my husband. B Supportive comments from my husband make me feel good. A 12 Little things my husband does for me mean more to me than things he says. D I love to hug my husband. E 13 My husband’s praise means a lot to me. A It means a lot to me that my husband gives me gifts I really like. C 14 Just being around my husband makes me feel good. B I love it when my husband gives me a massage. E 15 My husband’s reactions to my accomplishments are so encouraging. A It means a lot to me when my husband helps with something I know he hates. D 16 I never get tired of my husband’s kisses. E I love that my husband shows real interest in things I like to do. B 17 I can count on my husband to help me with projects. D I still get excited when opening a gift from my husband. C 18 I love for my husband to compliment my appearance. A I love that my husband listens to me and respects my ideas. B 19 I can’t help but touch my husband when he’s close by. E My husband sometimes runs errands for me, and I appreciate that. D 20 My husband deserves an award for all the things he does to help me. D I’m sometimes amazed at how thoughtful my husband’s gifts to me are. C 21 I love having my husband’s undivided attention. B I love that my husband helps clean the house. D 22 I look forward to seeing what my husband gives me for my birthday. C I never get tired of hearing my husband tell me that I am important to him. A 23 My husband lets me know he loves me by giving me gifts. C My husband shows his love by helping me without me having to ask. D 24 My husband doesn’t interrupt me when I am talking, and I like that. B I never get tired of receiving gifts from my husband. C 25 My husband is good about asking how he can help when I’m tired. D It doesn’t matter where we go, I just like going places with my husband. B 26 I love cuddling with my husband. E I love surprise gifts from my husband. C 27 My husband’s encouraging words give me confidence. A I love to watch movies with my husband. B 28 I couldn’t ask for any better gifts than the ones my husband gives me. C I love it that my husband can’t keep his hands off me. E 29 It means a lot to me when my husband helps me despite being busy. D It makes me feel really good when my husband tells me he appreciates me. A 30 I love hugging and kissing my husband after we’ve been apart for a while. E I love hearing my husband tell me that he missed me. A A:_____ B:_____ C:_____ D:_____ E:_____   A=Words of Affirmation B=Quality Time C=Receiving Gifts D=Acts of Service E=Physical Touch Interpreting and Using Your Profile Score
Gary Chapman (The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate)
The thing about Laurel and Hardy movies that you can't get from the chopped-up versions on television is how beautiful they are. Things happen exactly at the moment they have to happen. They don't happen a second too soon or too late. You can even predict what's going to happen—and it does happen—and it surprises you anyway. It doesn't surprise you because it happened, but because it happened so perfectly.
Daniel Pinkwater (The Snarkout Boys & The Avocado of Death)
If life could be reduced to the purely rational, to a solvable equation, there would be no mystery, no excitement. Life would become utterly predictable; a tedious movie that could never surprise. The
Douglas E. Richards (Wired (Wired, #1))
It is not surprising that music can incite a broad range of motions, including passion, serenity, and fear. Most of us can recall instances when music caused changes in our own emotional levels, perhaps when we listened to Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus or the background music in a movie thriller. The reason for the emotional arousal appears to be that music affects levels of several brain chemicals, including epinephrine, endorphins, and cortisol, the hormone involved in the “fight-or-flight” response. In Chapter 9, we saw that one of the links between emotion and memory involves these same neurotransmitters and hormones. Perhaps this is why a mere snippet of a song from our past can trigger highly vivid memories.
Patricia Wolfe (Brain Matters: Translating Research into Classroom Practice)
It is not surprising that music can incite a broad range of emotions, including passion, serenity, and fear. Most of us can recall instances when music caused changes in our own emotional levels, perhaps when we listened to Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus or the background music in a movie thriller. The reason for the emotional arousal appears to be that music affects levels of several brain chemicals, including epinephrine, endorphins, and cortisol, the hormone involved in the “fight-or-flight” response. In Chapter 9, we saw that one of the links between emotion and memory involves these same neurotransmitters and hormones. Perhaps this is why a mere snippet of a song from our past can trigger highly vivid memories.
Patricia Wolfe (Brain Matters: Translating Research into Classroom Practice)
Your new challenge is to redesign your time allocations. Your strategic focus determines where your time resources will be mainly invested. Prioritise acting out your own script, make your own movie instead of spending too much time watching others at work through the TV. It is surprising the number of unsuccessful people who spend all their time resources on the social media platforms following the lives of the successful. Make the news, be the leader and let others follow you. Align you priorities and balance your activities.
Archibald Marwizi (Making Success Deliberate)
If life could be reduced to the purely rational, to a solvable equation, there would be no mystery, no excitement. Life would become utterly predictable; a tedious movie that could never surprise.
Douglas E. Richards (Wired (Wired, #1))
I don’t find it surprising that super-old people are so odd and grumpy. Half their friends are dead, they feel like shit most of the time, and the next major event in their lives is going to be their last. They don’t even have the salve of believing that going to the gym is going to make things better, that they’ll meet someone cute in the small hours of a Friday night or that their career is going to suddenly steer into an upturn and they’ll wind up married to a movie star. They’re out the other side of all that, onto a flat, gray plain of aches and bad eyesight, of feeling the cold in their bones and having little to do except watch their children and grandchildren go right ahead and make all the mistakes they warned them about.
Michael Marshall (The Straw Men)
I don't like being reminded about how self-absorbed I was. I wanted to be over this, done with this. I didn't want to live in a broken world or a broken me. I wasn't trying to weasel out of anything, I just wasn't in the mood to be on the earth that night. (I get like this sometimes when it rains, or when I see certain sad movies).
C.S. Lewis (Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life)
Reviews were scathing—most criticized its too-fast pacing, and overreliance on slapstick and sight gags, both of which had been intentional on Lucas’s part. But Lucas brushed off the criticism. “It came out almost exactly or even better than I hoped it would come out,” he told reporters defiantly.149 “I like my movies, and I’m always surprised if they do very well or do terribly. But Radioland Murders was inexpensive and we learned quite a bit.
Brian Jay Jones (George Lucas: A Life)
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))
Fidel Castro becomes a Sex Symbol “After entering Havana on January 8, 1959 as the conquering hero, women threw themselves at the normally quiet Fidel Castro. Much to his own surprise, he became a sex symbol and was tempted by the many bikini-clad young ladies at the as the conquering hero, women threw themselves at the normally quiet Fidel. Much to his own surprise, he became a sex symbol and was tempted by the many bikini-clad young ladies at the hotel pool of the Hotel Nacional de Cuba. Errol Flynn, the famous movie star and ladies’ man of that era, met Castro and had a number of Hollywood beauties with him, expecting to make a movie in Havana. For the most part Fidel was preoccupied with the affairs of government, but he always made time for the chosen few.
Hank Bracker (The Exciting Story of Cuba: Understanding Cuba's Present by Knowing Its Past)
The girl looked at her so sharply that Ripley was taken aback. The assurance in Newt’s eyes bespoke a hardness that was anything but childish. Her tone was flat, neutral. ‘I don’t want you for a friend.’ Ripley tried to conceal her surprise. ‘Why not?’ ‘Because you’ll be gone soon, like the others. Like everybody.’ She gazed down at the doll head. ‘Casey’s okay. She’ll stay with me. But you’ll go away. You’ll be dead and you’ll leave me alone.’ There was no anger in that childish declamation, no sense of accusation or betrayal. It was delivered coolly and with complete assurance, as though the event had already occurred. It was not a prediction, but rather a statement of fact soon to take place.
Alan Dean Foster (Aliens: The Official Movie Novelization)
The great thing about real life is that it will always surprise you. Nothing ever turns out the way you expect. I suppose that’s why I write nonfiction. If this were a movie, the organization would already have traced my number, bugged my phone, and kidnapped my brother. Instead I was being transferred to the publicist and media relations executive for a death cult.
Neil Strauss (Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life)
Finally, out of breath, they tried to slip behind some trash cans at the end of a narrow alley. But Floyd ducked a moment too late, and Alice’s rabbit ears gave them away. Leona squealed with delight. Yo Ho Ho! I see something funny. It’s Pirate Floyd And his baby bunny! The witches roared with laughter and slapped each other on the back. Floyd winced, but as he drew his saber, his face lit up with a pirate’s grin. First, he kept the witches at bay so his friends could carry little Alice to safety. Then, growling like a movie pirate, he swung out of reach on an overhanging tree limb, turned a quick flip, and somersaulted backward over the fence. “I didn’t know you could do that,” Mona said. Floyd looked surprised. “Neither did I.” “Come on,” shouted Wendell. “They’re right behind us!” They ran until they found themselves in an even stranger part of town. “It’s pretty creepy around here,” muttered Floyd. Wendell suggested they hide in the graveyard, but Mona scoffed. “You’ve got to be kidding.” “No, it’s perfect. They’ll never follow us into a place like this.” Actually, the witches didn’t mind the graveyard at all. “We see you, Wendell!” Leona crowed. What’s wrong with Wendell? Let me think. He must be MAD ‘Cause he’s dressed in pink! The witches shrieked and hooted, laughing so hard they nearly cried. For a moment Wendell’s face turned as pink as his smock. But then an idea began to brew. He reached into his mad scientist’s kit and started mixing potions. “Drink this!” he told his friends. “It will make us invisible.” At the word “invisible” the witches roared even louder. But their laughter turned to puzzled yelps when Wendell, Floyd, Mona, and Alice suddenly disappeared!
Mark Teague (One Halloween Night)
Rebecca, we live in a world where darkness seems, in the minds of many, something banished to the world of fairy tales and superhero movies. How surprising it then becomes—even for those of us who believe otherwise—that it may appear in our own lives, in our own battles. To face an opponent that is more than the average ‘jerk,’ who has made a deadly choice, is, let us admit it, nothing that we expect to experience.
Gina Marinello-Sweeney (The Rose and the Sword (The Veritas Chronicles #2))
He shouldn’t have walked out, because now the awkwardness was going to fester until she felt a need to talk about the incident in the bathroom. He could have laughed it off as morning wood, making it clear the pronounced lump had nothing to do with her. That would have been a lie, of course. He’d been up for several hours and it most definitely had something to do with her. But she might have bought the story and not had to talk about it. The kitchen felt claustrophobic all of a sudden, what with the two women he barely knew and the elephant in the room, so he took his coffee and muttered about catching the morning news. He turned on the TV in the living room and sank onto the couch with a sigh of relief. It would take a few minutes to make the French toast, so he had a few minutes of normal. “Can I talk to you for a second?” It was Emma, of course, and there went his normal. He sighed and moved over on the couch. “Knock yourself out.” She sat down, far enough away so none of their body parts touched. “I get the whole guy thing. Morning…you know, and I don’t want this to be weird.” “It’s no big deal.” “Okay.” She took a sip of her coffee, then wrapped both hands around the mug. “We’ll probably have more moments like this if we’re going to live together for a month. Probably best to just laugh them off.” He raised an eyebrow at her. “Actually, when a guy’s standing in front of you, fully hard and wearing nothing but a towel, laughing might not be the best way to handle it.” “True.” Her cheeks turned a pretty shade of pink and she laughed softly. “If we were in a movie, the towel would have fallen off. Could’ve been worse.” “With my luck, I’m surprised it didn’t.
Shannon Stacey (Yours to Keep (Kowalski Family, #3))
I needed to grab another box of screws, but, when I got to the truck, I realized I’d left my wallet in my tool bucket. When I went back ground the house to get it, she had my plans open and was double-checking all my measurements.” Emma’s cheeks burned when Gram laughed at Sean’s story, but, since she couldn’t deny it, she stuck her last bite of the fabulous steak he’d grilled into her mouth. “That’s my Emma,” Gram said. “I think her first words were ‘If you want something done right, do it yourself.’” “In my defense,” she said when she’d swallowed, pointing her fork at Sean for emphasis, “my name is on the truck, and being able to pound nails doesn’t make you a builder. I have a responsibility to my clients to make sure they get quality work.” “I do quality work.” “I know you build a quality deck, but stairs are tricky.” She smiled sweetly at him. “I had to double-check.” “It’s all done but the seating now and it’s good work, even though I practically had to duct tape you to a tree in order to work in peace.” She might have taken offense at his words if not for the fact he was playing footsie with her under the table. And when he nudged her foot to get her to look at him, he winked in that way that—along with the grin—made it almost impossible for her to be mad at him. “It’s Sean’s turn to wash tonight. Emma, you dry and I’ll put away.” “I’ll wash, Gram. Sean can dry.” “I can wash,” Sean told her. “The world won’t come to an end if I wash the silverware before the cups.” “It makes me twitch.” “I know it does. That’s why I do it.” He leaned over and kissed her before she could protest. “That new undercover-cop show I like is on tonight,” Gram said as they cleared the table. “Maybe Sean won’t snort his way through this episode.” He laughed and started filling the sink with hot, soapy water. “I’m sorry, but if he keeps shoving his gun in his waistband like that, he’s going to shoot his…he’s going to shoot himself in a place men don’t want to be shot.” Emma watched him dump the plates and silverware into the water—while three coffee mugs sat on the counter waiting to be washed—but forced herself to ignore it. “Can’t be worse than the movie the other night.” “That was just stupid,” Sean said while Gram laughed. They’d tried to watch a military-action movie and by the time they were fifteen minutes in, she thought they were going to have to medicate Sean if they wanted to see the end. After a particularly heated lecture about what helicopters could and couldn’t do, Emma had hushed him, but he’d still snorted so often in derision she was surprised he hadn’t done permanent damage to his sinuses. “I don’t want you to think that’s real life,” he told them. “I promise,” Gram said, “if I ever want to use a tank to break somebody out of a federal prison, I’ll ask you how to do it correctly first.” Sean kissed the top of her head. “Thanks, Cat. At least you appreciate me, unlike Emma, who just tells me to shut up.” “I’d appreciate you more if there wasn’t salad dressing floating in the dishwater you’re about to wash my coffee cup in.” “According to the official guy’s handbook, if I keep doing it wrong, you’re supposed to let me watch SportsCenter while you do it yourself.” “Did the official guy’s handbook also tell you that if that happens, you’ll also be free to watch the late-night sports show while I do other things myself?
Shannon Stacey (Yours to Keep (Kowalski Family, #3))
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))
Sorry.” I’m surprised and glad she doesn’t recognize it. I run my thumb back and forth over a crusty bit on the shoulder strap as a five-second version of the cake fight flashes behind my eyes like a movie stuck on quick search. Don’t cry over spilt frosting, Anna. “I just – I like this one.” “What for?” she asks. Just tell her. “It’s from the – it’s just the–” I bite my lower lip. Tell her. “Anna? What’s wrong?” Oh, it’s nothing, really. Just that it’s from the first time your brother kissed me and made me promise not to tell you. And I was in love with him forever, and he was supposed to tell you about it in California, and we were all going to live happily ever after. I still write him letters in the journal he gave me, which he doesn’t answer, since he’s dead and all. But other than that? Honestly, it’s nothing. “Anna?” She watches me with her sideways face again. “Huh? Oh, sorry. Nothing. I’m fine. I – I’ll get rid of it later.
Sarah Ockler (Twenty Boy Summer)
Take just one well-known event: The Beatles' 1964 appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. This has been depicted with astonishing regularity as a pivotal cultural moment; in fact an entire movie -- I Wanna Hold Your Hand -- was built around it. And that Sullivan episode was indeed a major event in popular culture. But did you know that in 1961, 26 million people watched a CBS live broadcast of the first performance of a new symphony by classical composer Aaron Copland? Moreover, with all the attention that sixties rock groups receive, it may come as a surprise to learn that My Fair Lady was Columbia Records' biggest-selling album before the 1970s, beating out those of sixties icons Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin and The Byrds.
Jonathan Leaf (The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Sixties)
Heavy Issues (Bowen #2) : chap 9 Chapter Nine Christy paid for her soda and looked around. Tonight was a low-key event, no fund-raising dinner or dance, just good old outdoor-movie night. And thank God for it. Alden was a small town, but boy these people knew how to party. The whole park was packed, but she soon found Sophie at the far end and walked toward her, dropping onto a wooden chair the second she reached her, tired after a long day. She hadn’t had time to properly sit when Rose and her entourage approached them, the beautiful blonde glancing around and then focusing on Christy, disdain oozing from her. “Where did you leave Cole? Or has he gotten tired of you already?” Sophie snorted. “Wouldn’t you wish that.” “He’s filling in for Mike down at the gym—karate lesson. I’m very surprised you aren’t there drooling.” “We weren’t drooling,” Rose retorted. Ah, so they’d been there. What a surprise. “I still can’t believe he’s dating you. Did he lose a bet or something?” she asked, looking toward her friends. Bitch. Christy shrugged and offered her a sweet smile. “What do you want me to say? I just want to fuck the man, but he insists on dating me. Go figure that one.” Rose’s malicious eyes narrowed on her. “Enjoy it while it lasts. You can’t hold on to a man like that. You don’t have what it takes.” And with that parting shot Rose strode away, all long legs and swinging hips. “‘You don’t have what it takes,’” Sophie repeated, mocking Rose’s tone. “And what’s that, Botox and a bad case of sluttiness?
Elle Aycart (Heavy Issues (Bowen Boys, #2))
He’d stopped talking about bonding her to him forever and had apparently decided to concentrate on being charming instead. Liv never would have believed that such an intensely alpha male could be light and playful but she had been seeing an entirely different side of Baird lately. Aside from the sushi class, he’d also taken her to an alien petting zoo where she was able to see and touch animals that were native to the three home worlds of the Kindred and they’d been twice to the Kindred version of a movie theater where the seats were wired to make the viewer feel whatever was happening on the screen. He’d also taken her to a musical performance where the musicians played giant drums bigger than themselves and tiny flutes smaller than her pinky finger. The music had been surprisingly beautiful—the melodies sweet and haunting and Liv had been moved. But it was the evenings they spent alone together in the suite that made Liv really believe she was in danger of feeling too much. Baird cooked for her—sometimes strange but delicious alien dishes and once Earth food, when she’d taught him how to make cheeseburgers. They ate in the dim, romantic light of some candle-like glow sticks he’d placed on the table and there was always very good wine or the potent fireflower juice to go with the meal. Liv was very careful not to over-imbibe because she needed every ounce of willpower she had to remember why she was holding out. For dessert Baird always made sure there was some kind of chocolate because he’d learned from his dreams how much she loved it. Liv had been thinking lately that she might really be in trouble if she didn’t get away from him soon. If all he’d had going for him was his muscular good looks she could have resisted easily enough. But he was thoughtful too and endlessly interested in her—asking her all kinds of questions about her past and friends and family as well as people he’d seen while they were “dream-sharing” as he called it. Liv found herself talking to him like an old friend, actually feeling comfortable with him instead of being constantly on her guard. She knew that Baird was actively wooing her, doing everything he could to earn her affection, but even knowing that couldn’t stop her from liking him. She had never been so ardently pursued in her life and she was finding that she actually liked it. Baird had taken her more places and paid her more attention in the past week than Mitch had for their entire relationship. It was intoxicating to always be the center of the big warrior’s attention, to know that he was focused exclusively on her needs and wants. But attention and attraction aside, there was another factor that was making Liv desperate to get away. Just as he had predicted, the physical attraction she felt for Baird seemed to be growing exponentially. She only had to be in the same room with him for a minute or two, breathing in his warm, spicy scent, and she was instantly ready to jump his bones. The need was growing every day and Liv didn’t know how much longer she could fight it.
Evangeline Anderson (Claimed (Brides of the Kindred, #1))
To some it may come as a surprise that the KGB considered extremist leftists, communists, and so forth, ill-suited to divulge the secrets the KGB wanted, or to gain the highest levels of government clearance. After the 1950s it was KGB policy to always try to recruit the highest level spies from circles that were unexpected; they specifically targeted Westerners from conservative ideological profiles. Bezmenov said: My KGB instructors specifically made a point. Never border with leftists. Forget about these political prostitutes. Aim higher. Try to get into wide circulation, established conservative media. The rich. Filthy rich movie makers. Intellectuals. So-called academic circles. Cynical egocentric people who can look into your eyes with an angelic expression and tell you a lie.9
Malcolm W. Nance (The Plot to Hack America: How Putin's Cyberspies and WikiLeaks Tried to Steal the 2016 Election)
Britt ignored the growing sense of dread swirling inside her stomach and tapped tentatively on the battered door of Lorraine Grayson’s office. Fifteen seconds dragged by. Apart from her heart beating more rapidly in her chest, nothing happened. As she raised her hand for a second attempt, a scream from inside caused her to recoil. It was the kind she’d only ever heard in those low-budget horror movies Howie enjoyed watching on a Friday evening after drinking too much Guinness. The scream morphed into a deathly gurgle. It sounded like someone was being strangled. A few seconds of forbidding silence. Then a grunting noise, followed by the sound of something being smashed in furious retribution, caused Britt to think twice about entering this madwoman’s lair. Maybe she would come back in half an hour. Yes. A quick espresso in the NSIS canteen to allow things to calm down. By then, Lorraine’s mood would have descended from the realms of complete insanity, dropped through the domain of the dangerously demented, and settled into its more natural state of moderate lunacy. Hopefully. Then the door swung open and Lorraine’s squat figure was in front of her – cheeks crimson, hair tousled, eyes bulging, lungs heaving. From the look of her, Britt wouldn’t have been surprised to discover she had just strangled someone.
Paul Mathews (We Have Lost The Plot (We Have Lost #5))
My threshold for being respectful to this lucky, absent bastard was evaporating. I was going to make a move on her. If I didn’t, I’d never forgive myself for not trying. If there was even the slightest chance she might be into me, I had to try. But how? Should I just try to kiss her? Would she tell me to go to hell? Probably. What if I slid my hand over hers? Would she yank it away? She would. I knew she would. I needed something else. Something less. More subtle. Something that could go either way to test the waters. Something that could lead to something else. “Hey, I give a decent foot massage if your feet hurt.” I nodded to the center console where her heels still sat after being dropped through the sunroof. To my surprise, she pivoted until her back was against the door, and she swung her legs over into my lap. She put an arm behind her head and leaned back. “Go for it. Those heels were killing me today.” I grinned inwardly that my strategy worked and put my back to the door while I took her tiny foot in my hand. “I’m a foot massage master. ‘I don’t be tickling or nothing,’” I said, giving her a Pulp Fiction line. She snorted. “I’m exfoliated and pedicured. Someone should touch them.” I thought about what Vincent Vega says in the movie, that foot massages mean something. That men act like they don’t, but they do and that’s why they’re so cool. This meant something, and I knew she knew it. She was as familiar with that movie as I was. She had to be making the connection. And she’d allowed it. I reveled in the chance to touch her and at the unspoken meaning behind her letting me do it. “So, Foot Massage Master, what other tricks do you have in your bag?” she asked, giving me a sideways smile. I pressed a thumb into her arch and circled it around with a smirk. “I’m not giving you my trade secrets.” What if I need them? She scoffed. “Your gender doesn’t have any secrets that every woman hasn’t already seen by the time they’re twenty.” I arched an eyebrow. “Ever heard of the naked man?” She rolled her eyes. “Oh God, the naked man. That one’s the worst.” I laughed. “Why? Because it works?” She scrunched up her face. “I have to admit it has worked on me in the past. I mean, the guy’s naked. Half the work is done for you already. It’s kind of hard to say no. But when it doesn’t work, it’s so cringey.” I tipped my head from side to side. “It’s risky. I’ll give you that. You have to know your audience. But big risks can reap big rewards.” “Waiting for your girlfriend to leave the room and then stripping naked to surprise her when she gets back is so unoriginal though. You men have no new material. I swear you could go back twenty thousand years and peek into a cave and find cavemen drawing penises on everything and doing the naked man and the helicopter.” I pulled her foot closer and laughed. “Hey, don’t knock the helicopter. It’s the first move we learn. It can be a good icebreaker.” “The helicopter should be banned over the age of eight. I’m just going to spare you the illusion right now. No woman is sitting around with her girlfriends going, ‘Gurl, it was the sexiest helicopter I’ve ever seen. Totally broke the ice.’” I chuckled and ran my hand up her smooth calf, rubbing the muscle. I pictured that delicate ankle on my shoulder where I could kiss it, run my palm down the outside of her thigh, pull down those light-blue lace panties…
Abby Jimenez
Anything I learned about Real Acting I learned from watching Alec Baldwin. By Real Acting I mean “an imitation of human behavior that is both emotionally natural and mechanically precise enough as to elicit tears or laughter from humans.” Alec is a master of both Film Acting and Real Acting. He can play the emotion at the core of a scene—he is falling in love, his mother is torturing him, his mentor has been reincarnated as a peacock—while reciting long speeches word for word and hitting all the jokes with the right rhythm. You would be surprised how many major Oscar-winning movie stars cannot do this. There are only about nine people in the world who can do this; maybe three more that we don’t know about in North Korea. Alec knows how to let the camera come to him. He can convey a lot with a small movement of his eyes. He speaks so quietly sometimes that I can barely hear him when I’m standing next to him, but when you watch the film back, it’s all there.
Tina Fey (Bossypants)
wants to be a zombie, but finds that she can’t get bit to save her life.” Madison thought about that for a minute. “You are a strange man. But I mean that in a good way.” She looked up, seeing the surprise that she had arranged for him walking down the aisle toward his booth. With a little prodding, Spenser and Target had agreed to be zombies hanging around ExBoy’s booth. Target in particular was quite eager. But best of all, Crystal had agreed to try to get Toonie out of the house by bringing her to the convention, and Madison could see now that they were doing more than just attending. They, too, were walking toward them, made up as zombies. Crystal, her beautiful complexion drained to a deathly pallor, was dressed like a cheerleader with her little pleated skirt and sleeveless shell top in bloody tatters, carrying what Madison had thought was a dirtied pom-pom but now realized was a head with long bloody hair. Spenser wore a nurse’s old fashioned white uniform, with a little white hat attached to her blonde hair pinned up like Tippy Hedren’s in an Alfred Hitchcock movie. Choosing to keep her face its prettiest, she sported a bloody gouge on her left forearm. Instead of sensible nurse’s shoes, she wore high heels. The blood on her uniform
Lucy Carol (Hot Scheming Mess (Madison Cruz Mystery #1))
And sometimes those remembered images aren’t even accurate; in revisiting some of the movies I discuss here, I’ve been surprised to realize that what I remember about a particular movie moment, the influential lesson that has stayed with me—how to kiss in the rain, what to say to my shell-shocked parents about their divorce, where in the linen closet to hide the liquor—sometimes doesn’t actually exist in the film. It’s a trick of memory,
Tara Ison (Reeling Through Life: How I Learned to Live, Love, and Die at the Movies)
Travis," I whisper, like I'm trying to get his attention in a movie theater. He glances up at me, shifts his eyes to the side to check for supervillains or anyone else I might be wary of hearing me. "What?" he whispers back. Then he hands me the syrup. "What happened last night ..." I start to say, but I can't continue because I am choking on the awkward. "Was really awesome?" He finishes the sentence for me with a crooked smile and I die. Then he lowers his voice to a whisper again. "I thought so, too." "That's not what I was going to say." "Really?" he asks in mock surprise. "Because last night you seemed to think it was pretty awesome. That is, if all the orgasms were any indicator." Now I'm choking on my coffee and ready to hide my own face in my napkin. He's got a verifiable point, though. "Wait, you weren't faking it, were you? For my ego's sake?" I shake my head no. No, I wasn't faking it, and no, you are not teasing me about this. No, you are not. "Travis, I'm serious." "I'm sorry," he says. "I'm serious, too. Last night really was awesome.
Mercy Brown (Loud is How I Love You (Hub City, #1))
Paul must have watched the tapes on the same VCR that Lydia and Claire had seen in the Fuller house. Claire imagined her young, awkward husband sitting in front of the television watching his dead father’s movies for the first time. Was Paul surprised by what he saw? Was he disgusted? She wanted to think that he’d been outraged, and repulsed, and that habituation and necessity had compelled him not only to sell the tapes, but also to try out his father’s deviations for himself.
Karin Slaughter (Pretty Girls)
One of the boys groaned. “Great, man. She’s on the rag, she’s depressed. She gets pregnant, she’s no longer on the rag—and she’s depressed. She has a baby, and she’s depressed. I’m getting depressed just thinking about it.” “That’s not surprising,” Allison said smoothly. “It can be depressing to realize you can’t just hang out with your friends at night. You can’t go to a movie on a whim, or go out clubbing. You have responsibilities now. You’ve got to spend time with your baby. How do we deal with this depression?
Judith Arnold (Father Found (The Daddy School, #1))
want to say something that might sound surprising: the greatest battle for your soul is not the war going on between angels and demons; it is the war going on in between your ears. The battle starts with how you think and the “snake eggs” you allow the enemy to lay in your head. Brutal mass killings in America are tragically becoming more common as of late. These horrific events have stirred major controversies over gun violence and gun laws. I’m not here to enter that debate, but I will tell you that taking all the guns away will not take care of the problem because the “snake eggs” will still exist. The young men who shot up their high school years ago did not suddenly come up with the idea. Neither did the man who shot innocent victims at a movie theater. Like the man who slaughtered innocent children and adults in Connecticut, they had been carrying around those demonically inspired thoughts for weeks, maybe months, perhaps even years—like eggs waiting to hatch. The greatest battle for your soul is not the war going on between angels and demons; it is the war going on in between your ears. It starts with a thought, and that thought is like an egg that Satan puts in your head. I often call these snake eggs “thought bombs.” The
Jentezen Franklin (The Spirit of Python: Exposing Satan's Plan to Squeeze the Life Out of You)
book The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction as a jumping off point, he takes care to unpack the various cultural mandates  that have infected the way we think and feel about distraction. I found his ruminations not only enlightening but surprisingly emancipating: There are two big theories about why [distraction is] on the rise. The first is material: it holds that our urbanized, high-tech society is designed to distract us… The second big theory is spiritual—it’s that we’re distracted because our souls are troubled. The comedian Louis C.K. may be the most famous contemporary exponent of this way of thinking. A few years ago, on “Late Night” with Conan O’Brien, he argued that people are addicted to their phones because “they don’t want to be alone for a second because it’s so hard.” (David Foster Wallace also saw distraction this way.) The spiritual theory is even older than the material one: in 1887, Nietzsche wrote that “haste is universal because everyone is in flight from himself”; in the seventeenth century, Pascal said that “all men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.”… Crawford argues that our increased distractibility is the result of technological changes that, in turn, have their roots in our civilization’s spiritual commitments. Ever since the Enlightenment, he writes, Western societies have been obsessed with autonomy, and in the past few hundred years we have put autonomy at the center of our lives, economically, politically, and technologically; often, when we think about what it means to be happy, we think of freedom from our circumstances. Unfortunately, we’ve taken things too far: we’re now addicted to liberation, and we regard any situation—a movie, a conversation, a one-block walk down a city street—as a kind of prison. Distraction is a way of asserting control; it’s autonomy run amok. Technologies of escape, like the smartphone, tap into our habits of secession. The way we talk about distraction has always been a little self-serving—we say, in the passive voice, that we’re “distracted by” the Internet or our cats, and this makes us seem like the victims of our own decisions. But Crawford shows that this way of talking mischaracterizes the whole phenomenon. It’s not just that we choose our own distractions; it’s that the pleasure we get from being distracted is the pleasure of taking action and being free. There’s a glee that comes from making choices, a contentment that settles after we’ve asserted our autonomy. When
Antarctica.  Though the width through the center of the continent was about the same as that of the US, the total area was nearly twice that of the fifty contiguous states. Antarctica was the coldest, windiest continent, and on average the highest. It was also the driest. The latter had been a surprise to some of the expedition members, who imagined it snowing constantly for six months of the year. In fact, much of the wind-driven snow featured in movies and videos of Antarctica was picked up from the ground and tossed in the strong winds, rather than falling from the sky.
J.C. Ryan (Ninth Cycle Antarctica (Rossler Foundation #2))
Ashima feels lonely suddenly, horribly, permanently alone, and briefly, turned away from the mirror, she sobs for her husband. She feels overwhelmed by the thought of the move she is about to make, to the city that was once home and is now in its own way foreign. She feels both impatience and indifference for all the days she still must live, for something tells her she will not go quickly as her husband did. For thirty-three years she missed her life in India. Now she will miss her job at the library, the women with whom she's worked. She will miss throwing parties. She will miss living with her daughter, the surprising companionship they have formed, going into Cambridge together to see old movies at the Brattle, teaching her to cook the food Sonia had complained of eating as a child. She will miss the opportunity to drive, as she sometimes does on her way home from the library, to the university, past the engineering building where her husband once worked. She will miss the country in which she had grown to know and love her husband. Though his ashes have been scattered into the Ganges, it is here, in this house and in this town, that he will continue to dwell in her mind.
No no, Ivan, I love it!” I laugh and wrap my arms around him, blushing half out of embarrassment and half out of how absurdly cute this otherwise terrifying man was trying to be. It was like he was studying romance movies just to figure out how to surprise me. Me! The girl that is technically his sex slave, but who he treats like a Goddess.
Alexis Abbott (Owned by the Hitman (Hitman, #1))
ONCE YOU’VE HOOKED readers, your next task is to put your early chapters to work introducing your characters, settings, and stakes. The first 20-25% of the book comprises your setup. At first glance, this can seem like a tremendous chunk of story to devote to introductions. But if you expect readers to stick with you throughout the story, you first have to give them a reason to care. This important stretch is where you accomplish just that. Mere curiosity can only carry readers so far. Once you’ve hooked that sense of curiosity, you then have to deepen the pull by creating an emotional connection between them and your characters. These “introductions” include far more than just the actual moment of introducing the characters and settings or explaining the stakes. In themselves, the presentations of the characters probably won’t take more than a few scenes. After the introduction is when your task of deepening the characters and establishing the stakes really begins. The first quarter of the book is the place to compile all the necessary components of your story. Anton Chekhov’s famous advice that “if in the first act you have hung a pistol on the wall, then in the following one it should be fired” is just as important in reverse: if you’re going to have a character fire a gun later in the book, that gun should be introduced in the First Act. The story you create in the following acts can only be assembled from the parts you’ve shown readers in this First Act. That’s your first duty in this section. Your second duty is to allow readers the opportunity to learn about your characters. Who are these people? What is the essence of their personalities? What are their core beliefs (even more particularly, what are the beliefs that will be challenged or strengthened throughout the book)? If you can introduce a character in a “characteristic moment,” as we talked about earlier, you’ll be able to immediately show readers who this person is. From there, the plot builds as you deepen the stakes and set up the conflict that will eventually explode in the Inciting and Key Events. Authors sometimes feel pressured to dive right into the action of their stories, at the expense of important character development. Because none of us wants to write a boring story, we can overreact by piling on the explosions, fight sequences, and high-speed car chases to the point we’re unable to spend important time developing our characters. Character development is especially important in this first part of the story, since readers need to understand and sympathize with the characters before they’re hit with the major plot revelations at the quarter mark, halfway mark, and three-quarters mark. Summer blockbusters are often guilty of neglecting character development, but one enduring exception worth considering is Stephen Spielberg’s Jurassic Park. No one would claim the film is a leisurely character study, but it rises far above the monster movie genre through its expert use of pacing and its loving attention to character, especially in its First Act. It may surprise some viewers to realize the action in this movie doesn’t heat up until a quarter of the way into the film—and even then we have no scream-worthy moments, no adrenaline, and no extended action scenes until halfway through the Second Act. Spielberg used the First Act to build suspense and encourage viewer loyalty to the characters. By the time the main characters arrive at the park, we care about them, and our fear for their safety is beginning to manifest thanks to a magnificent use of foreshadowing. We understand that what is at stake for these characters is their very lives. Spielberg knew if he could hook viewers with his characters, he could take his time building his story to an artful Climax.
K.M. Weiland (Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story)
I am not super-attached to my career,' Audrey Tautou says in that sultry, Gallic voice of hers, a glint of recklessness in her big brown eyes. 'I have several plan Bs: I want to become a sailor; I like to draw; I would love to learn many things, but I don’t have time…' She trails off, leaving an uncertain silence hanging over the Kensington hotel room where we’ve met to discuss her latest film, a delightful comic confection called Beautiful Lies. 'That is the problem, you know,' she continues, more carefully. 'That is the reason why I will quit acting very soon.' She lets out a strange little laugh, a creaky exhalation, as if her own admission has taken her by surprise... 'I didn’t want to have this power,' she says, with a shrug. 'I would rather have freedom; and to find that you have to stop being in big, exposed movies. I don’t surf on the big waves. When I see them coming, I take my board and go straight back to the beach.'... 'I am always surprised to be chosen by a director for a role because I never understand why they like me,' she says. Surely, I suggest, that is false modesty, coming from one of Europe’s most bankable stars. 'Oh no, really, I am serious,' she says, leaning forward and planting her feet back on the carpet. 'I am always surprised to be cast.' Does her track record – in Jeunet’s hits; or in Stephen Frears’s acclaimed Dirty Pretty Things, or as a compellingly self-possessed Coco Chanel in Anne Fontaine’s 2009 biopic – not give her at least a little confidence? 'No,' she says with a scowl, 'pas du tout.' 'A few months ago, I watched one of my old movies and I thought to myself, 'Oh, Jesus!’ Thank God that at the point I made that film I didn’t realise the extent to which I was terrible. Oh, mon dieu! Mon dieu!' But surely, I say, she can take from that the reassurance that she has only improved as an actress. 'Or,' she says, jabbing a finger in the air, 'I say to myself, does it simply mean that if in another 10 years I rewatch the films I am making today I will say, 'Oh mon dieu, how terrible I was then.’ She laughs that odd, breathy laugh again and then looks me dead in the eye. 'You have to be very careful in this life.
Benjamin Secher
But I was even more surprised when he stuck around with me and smiled a full, toothy, letter-D-shaped movie star grin. The magazines said he was only twenty-eight, which was young for an executive chef but felt old to me. He looked like a man. Even when Elliott turned twenty-eight, I doubted he would look as manly as Pascal. Somehow, in the supermarket lighting, Pascal seemed hotter- more capable and more real. In restaurants, he blended in with the scenery of the meal. But here, holding his basket just like everyone else, looking at the discounted produce, getting lost in the aisles, his presence became even more magical, as if I were seeing a beautiful, powerful animal in the wild instead of at the zoo.
Jessica Tom (Food Whore: A Novel of Dining and Deceit)
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)
I’m at the airport. I’m waiting for the plane to take me home to my sister and my mother. I bought cream at Lush to rub onto Elf’s body. She has a surprisingly beautiful body for a woman in her late forties. Her legs are slim and firm. She has muscular thighs. Her smile is an event. She laughs so hard. She makes me laugh so hard. She gets surprised. Her eyes open wide, comically, she can’t believe it. Her skin is pristine, smooth and pale. Her hair is so black and her eyes so green like they’re saying go, go, go! She doesn’t have horrible freckles and moles and facial hair like me and big bones poking out like twisted rebar at the dump. She’s petite and feminine. She’s glamorous and dark and jazzy like a French movie star. She loves me. She mocks sentimentality. She helps me stay calm. Her hands aren’t ravaged by time and her breasts don’t sag. They’re small, pert, like a girl’s. Her eyes are wet emeralds. Her eyelashes are too long. The snow weighs them down in the winter and she makes me cut them shorter with our mother’s sewing scissors so they don’t obscure her vision. I knocked over a tray of bath bombs the size of tennis balls, bright yellow, onto the floor and I couldn’t figure out how to pick them up. The woman said it was okay. I can’t remember now if I paid for the cream. I’m going home. NINE When Elf went away to Europe my mother decided to emancipate herself as well and enrolled in university classes in the city to become a social worker and then a therapist.
Miriam Toews (All My Puny Sorrows)
Loss is the hardest thing,” I said. “But it’s also the teacher that’s the most difficult to ignore.” Her fanning hand went still. She regarded me with an expression that I took to be surprised agreement. Because Birdie seemed to expect me to elucidate, I fumbled out what I thought she might want to say herself: “Grief can destroy you—or focus you. You can decide a relationship was all for nothing if it had to end in death, and you alone. Or you can realize that every moment of it had more meaning than you dared to recognize at the time, so much meaning it scared you, so you just lived, just took for granted the love and laughter of each day, and didn’t allow yourself to consider the sacredness of it. But when it’s over and you’re alone, you begin to see it wasn’t just a movie and a dinner together, not just watching sunsets together, not just scrubbing a floor or washing dishes together or worrying over a high electric bill. It was everything, it was the why of life, every event and precious moment of it. The answer to the mystery of existence is the love you shared sometimes so imperfectly, and when the loss wakes you to the deeper beauty of it, to the sanctity of it, you can’t get off your knees for a long time, you’re driven to your knees not by the weight of the loss but by gratitude for what preceded the loss. And the ache is always there, but one day not the emptiness, because to nurture the emptiness, to take solace in it, is to disrespect the gift of life.
Dean Koontz (Odd Hours (Odd Thomas, #4))
expression that I took to be surprised agreement. Because Birdie seemed to expect me to elucidate, I fumbled out what I thought she might want to say herself: “Grief can destroy you—or focus you. You can decide a relationship was all for nothing if it had to end in death, and you alone. Or you can realize that every moment of it had more meaning than you dared to recognize at the time, so much meaning it scared you, so you just lived, just took for granted the love and laughter of each day, and didn’t allow yourself to consider the sacredness of it. But when it’s over and you’re alone, you begin to see it wasn’t just a movie and a dinner together, not just watching sunsets together, not just scrubbing a floor or washing dishes together or worrying over a high electric bill. It was everything, it was the why of life, every event and precious moment of it. The answer to the mystery of existence is the love you shared sometimes so imperfectly, and when the loss wakes you to the deeper beauty of it, to the sanctity of it, you can’t get off your knees for a long time, you’re driven to your knees not by the weight of the loss but by gratitude for what preceded the loss. And the ache is always there, but one day not the emptiness, because to nurture the emptiness, to take solace in it, is to disrespect the gift of life.
Dean Koontz (Odd Hours (Odd Thomas, #4))
Lucy picked up the point. “I remember this one time when I was in the third grade? And Jesse Cantu decided that he liked me? But I didn’t like him? So he decided that I would fall in love with him if he rescued me from some kind of danger, because that’s what always happens in the movies? So one day he told me that there was a surprise waiting for me in the cupboard at the back of the classroom and all I had to do was go in at recess and open the cupboard door—” “And you believed him?” Benno interrupted, aghast. “Of course!” Lucy said indignantly. “Because I’m from Mississippi! Where we believe people! So anyway, when I opened the cupboard there was a whole mess of spiders in there and I know people say that spiders scuttle away when they see you coming, but these spiders jumped out at me like they were rabid or something and Jesse ran into the room to save me but I was screaming so much that the principal called 911!” She paused for breath. “And the only good thing that happened was that we all got out of school for the rest of the day.” There was a brief silence as everyone absorbed this. Finally Silvia muttered, “Men are pigs.” Giacomo sighed. “How old was this boy with the spiders?” he asked Lucy in a patient voice, as if they had all gone off the rails but were fortunate that he was there to put them right. She frowned, as if suspecting a trick, but finally answered, “Eight.” “As I thought! Far too young to realize what a mistake he was making,” he said triumphantly. “But I’m sure he learned from this sad experience, yes? He didn’t keep trying to attract women with spiders?” “Well, no, of course not,” Lucy said. “Jesse’s still real immature, but he’s not an idiot.” “There you are, then.” Giacomo leaned his chair back, teetering on the back two legs, looking pleased with himself. “Everyone makes mistakes in love. The point is to learn from them. For example, Jesse learned—” “What?” Kate scoffed. “That attacking a girl with spiders isn’t a good way to say ‘I love you’? That should have been obvious from the start.” “Well, yes.” He nodded, as if conceding the point, but then added. “Of course, all knowledge is useful.” “But not all knowledge is worth the cost.” “And what cost is that?” Giacomo’s deep brown eyes were alight with enjoyment. “Looking like a fool.” “Oh, that.” He folded his arms across his chest with the air of one who is about to win an argument. “That’s nothing to concern yourself with. After all, love makes fools of everyone, don’t you agree?” “No, I don’t.” Kate bit off each word. “I don’t agree at all.” “How astonishing,” he muttered. “In fact,” she said meaningfully, “I would say that love only makes fools of those who were fools to begin with.” She smiled at him, clearly pleased with her riposte. Giacomo let his chair fall back to the floor with a thump. “If the world was left to people like you,” he said in an accusing tone, “we’d all be computing love’s logic on computers and dissecting our hearts in a biology lab.” “If the world were left to people like me,” Kate said with conviction, “it would be a much better place to live.” “Oh, yes,” he said sarcastically. “Because it would be orderly. Sensible. And dull.” “Love doesn’t have to end in riots and disaster and, and, and . . . spider attacks!” she said hotly.
Suzanne Harper (The Juliet Club)
... but I also know that in the movies, just when the main character is about to give up, something surprising happens, which leads to a happy ending.
Matthew Quick (The Silver Linings Playbook)
It’s a special state of mind. You know, like when you switch channels on TV, and surprise, it’s your favorite movie just starting.
Joe R. Lansdale (Bad Chili (Hap and Leonard, #4))
To decide which film to make first, Marvel convened focus groups. But they weren’t convened in order to ask a random cross-section of people which story lines and characters they would most like to see onscreen. Instead, Marvel brought together groups of children, showed them pictures of its superheroes, and described their abilities and weapons. Then they asked the kids which ones they would most like to play with as a toy. The overwhelming answer, to the surprise of many at Marvel, was Iron Man. “That’s what brought Iron Man to the front of the line,” said a person who helped to decide which movie Marvel would self-produce first.
Ben Fritz (The Big Picture: The Fight for the Future of Movies)
After considering making the Mandarin, a mustache-twirling Asian villain from the comics, Iron Man’s first foe, the new studio instead decided on Obadiah Stain, played by Jeff Bridges. He was less fantastical, had a more personal connection to Downey’s character, “and saved us $10 to $20 million we would have had to spend going to China,” noted Maisel. The first twenty minutes of the movie take place in a cave, and there are surprisingly few scenes of Iron Man flying or doing battle in his combat armor, which kept the budget down. Nonetheless, Perlmutter kept as close an eye on the script as he did on office supplies. When a convoy attack at the beginning of the movie was supposed to include ten Humvees, the frugal executive said, “No, too many, too expensive, we can do it with three.” Another scene, in which Iron Man saves villagers from a group of terrorists, was going to cost $1 million, and Perlmutter wouldn’t authorize the money until the last minute, figuring it could be trashed if costs rose elsewhere. All of this backseat driving by Perlmutter, who became Marvel’s CEO in 2005, drove Arad insane.
Ben Fritz (The Big Picture: The Fight for the Future of Movies)
We have a problem.” The cat’s voice sounded grim. Despite everything, I was surprised when it spoke. I’d never seen a cat talk outside of a Disney movie. No wonder everyone had looked at me funny when I petted it. You don’t pet things that talk.
Lish McBride (Hold Me Closer, Necromancer (Necromancer, #1))
You’ve probably heard the stories about lottery winners losing it all. They’re not urban legends; they really happen. The depths people fall to after big lottery winnings are heartbreaking and mindboggling. And it isn’t only lottery winners. You’ve also heard the stories about famous movie stars, recording stars, or star athletes who make incredible fortunes, literally hundreds of millions of dollars, and somehow manage to wind up broke and in debt. And when you heard those stories, you probably thought the same thing I did: “Man, I don’t know how they pulled that off, but if I made that kind of money I sure wouldn’t squander it all like that!” But let me ask you a tough question: are you sure about that? Speaking as one who’s made it to the top and then seen it all evaporate, all I can say is, you might be surprised. There’s a reason those lottery winners lose it all again, a reason those shining stars plummet to those dark places: they may have had the big breaks, but they didn’t grasp the slight edge. Their winnings changed their bank account balance—but it didn’t change their philosophy. The purpose of this book is to show you the slight edge philosophy, show you how it works, give you plenty of examples, and show you exactly how to make it a core part of how you see the world and how you live your life every day. Throughout this book, if you look carefully you’ll find dozens of statements that embody this philosophy, statements like “Do the thing, and you shall have the power.” Here are a few more examples that you’ll come across in the following pages: Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal. Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do.
Jeff Olson (The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness)
DOES SUGAR REALLY MAKE KIDS HYPERACTIVE? Parents are always looking for an excuse to explain their children’s bad behavior, and sugar has taken a lot of blame. This may come as no surprise, but the Coca-Cola Company doesn’t want to take responsibility, and makes it very clear that studies have failed to find any substantial evidence proving a relationship between sugar consumption and hyperactivity. Well, the company is correct. Sugar does feed the body as an energy source, but it doesn’t make kids hyperactive. It is more likely that kids tend to eat sugary foods at times when they would be excited and rambunctious anyway (parties, holidays, movies, weddings, funerals). This can only be good news for the producers of such fine healthy treats as Cap’n Crunch with Crunchberries, Pixy Stix, cotton candy, and Laffy Taffy.
Mark Leyner (Why Do Men Have Nipples? Hundreds of Questions You'd Only Ask a Doctor After Your Third Martini)
I’ve said many times that statistics reveal a surprising city: one that has more movie theaters than Paris, more abortions than London, more universities than New York. Where nighttime has become sparse, desolate, the kingdom of only a few. Where violence rules, corners us, silences us into a kind of autism.
Paco Ignacio Taibo II (Mexico City Noir)
What had happened, for instance, at one of the war's biggest battles, the Battle of Midway? It was in the Pacific, there was something about aircraft carriers. Wasn't there a movie about it, one of those Hollywood all-star behemoths in which a lot of admirals look worried while pushing toy ships around a map? (Midway, released in 1976 and starring Glenn Ford, Charlton Heston, and -- inevitably -- Henry Fonda.) A couple of people were even surprised to hear that Midway Airport was named after the battle, though they'd walked past the ugly commemorative sculpture in the concourse so many times. All in all, this was a dispiriting exercise. The astonishing events of that morning, the "fatal five minutes" on which the war and the fate of the world hung, had been reduced to a plaque nobody reads, at an airport with a vaguely puzzling name, midway between Chicago and nowhere at all.
Lee Sandlin
The most significant source of my adolescent period anxiety was the fact that, in America in 2016 (and far more so in 1993), acknowledging the completely normal and mundane function of most uteruses is still taboo. The taboo is so strong that it contributes to the widespread stonewalling of women from seats of power - for fear that, as her first act in the White House, Hillary might change Presidents' Day to Brownie Batter Makes the Boo-Hoos Stop Day. The taboo is strong enough that a dude once broke up with me because a surprise period started while we were having sex and the sight of it shattered some pornified illusion he had of women as messless pleasure pillows. The taboo is so strong that while we've all seen swimming pools of blood shed in horror movies and action movies and even on the news, when a woman ran the 2015 London Marathon without a tampon, photos of blood spotting her running gear made the social media rounds to near-universal disgust. The blood is the same - the only difference is where it's coming from. The disgust is at women's natural bodies, not at blood itself.
Lindy West (Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman)
We’d had a revelation. This was the direction American movies should take: into idiosyncratic characters, into dialogue with an ear for the vulgar and the literate, into a plot free to surprise us about the characters, into an existential ending not required to be happy.
Roger Ebert (The Great Movies II)
An old Chevy, I think,” he was going on now. “It’s supposed to be back soon, though. Not really the same without it, is it?” He actually sounded genuinely mournful. I was surprised to find myself battling back a quick, involuntary smile. He did seem to be more interesting than your average, run-of-the-mill BMOC. I had to give him that. Get a grip, O’Connor, I chastised myself. “Absolutely not,” I said, giving my head a semi-vigorous nod. That ought to move him along, I thought. You may not be aware of this fact, but agreeing with people is often an excellent way of getting them to forget all about you. After basking in the glow of agreement, most people are then perfectly content to go about their business, remembering only the fact that someone agreed and allowing the identity of the person who did the actual agreeing to fade into the background. This technique almost always works. In fact, I’d never known it not to. There was a moment of silence. A silence in which I could feel the BMOC’s eyes upon me. I kept my own eyes fixed on the top of the carless column. But the longer the silence went on, the more strained it became. At least it did on my side. This guy was simply not abiding by the rules. He was supposed to have basked and moved on by now. “You don’t have the faintest idea what I’m talking about, do you?” he said at last. I laughed before I quite realized what I’d done. “Not a clue,” I said, turning to give him my full attention for the very first time, an action I could tell right away spelled trouble. You just had to do it, didn’t you? I thought. He was even better looking when I took a better look. He flashed me a smile, and I felt my pulse kick up several notches. My brain knew perfectly well that that smile had not been invented just for me. My suddenly-beating-way-too-fast heart wasn’t paying all that much attention to my brain, though. “You must be new, then,” he commented. “I’d remember you if we’d met before.” All of a sudden, his face went totally blank. “I cannot believe I just said that,” he said. “That is easily the world’s oldest line.” “If it isn’t, it’s the cheesiest,” I said. He winced. “I’d ask you to let me make it up to you, but I’m thinking that would make things even worse.” “You’d be thinking right.” This time he was the one who laughed, the sound open and easy, as if he was genuinely enjoying the joke on himself. In retrospect I think it was that laugh that did it. That finished the job his smile had started. You just didn’t find all that many guys, all that many people, who were truly willing to laugh at themselves. “I’m Alex Crawford,” he said. “Jo,” I said. “Jo O’Connor.” At this Alex actually stuck out his hand. His eyes, which I probably don’t need to tell you were this pretty much impossible shade of blue, focused directly on my face. “Pleased to meet you, Jo O’Connor.” I watched my hand move forward to meet his, as if it belonged to a stranger and was moving in slow motion. At that exact moment, an image of the robot from the movie Lost in Space flashed through my mind. Arms waving frantically in the air, screaming, “Danger! Danger!” at the top of its inhuman lungs. My hand kept moving anyhow. Our fingers connected. I felt the way Alex’s wrapped around mine, then tightened. Felt the way that simple action caused a flush to spread across my cheeks and a tingle to start in the palm of my hand and slowly begin to work its way up my arm. To this day, I’d swear I heard him suck in a breath, saw his impossibly blue eyes widen. As if, at the exact same moment I looked up at him, he’d discovered something as completely unexpected as I had, gazing down. He released me. I stuck my hand behind my back. “Pleased to meet you, Jo O’Connor,” he said again. Not quite the way he had the first time.
Cameron Dokey (How Not to Spend Your Senior Year)
But first a description: Clara Bowden was beautiful in all senses except maybe, by virtue of being black, the classical. Clara Bowden was magnificently tall, black as ebony and crushed sable, with hair plaited in a horseshoe which pointed up when she felt lucky, down when she didn’t. At this moment it was up. It is hard to know whether that was significant. She needed no bra – she was independent, even of gravity – she wore a red halterneck which stopped below her bust, underneath which she wore her belly button (beautifully) and underneath that some very tight yellow jeans. At the end of it all were some strappy heels of a light brown suede, and she came striding down the stairs on them like some kind of vision or, as it seemed to Archie as he turned to observe her, like a reared-up thoroughbred. Now, as Archie understood it, in movies and the like it is common for someone to be so striking that when they walk down the stairs the crowd goes silent. In life he had never seen it. But it happened with Clara Bowden. She walked down the stairs in slow motion, surrounded by afterglow and fuzzy lighting. And not only was she the most beautiful thing he had ever seen, she was also the most comforting woman he had ever met. Her beauty was not a sharp, cold commodity. She smelt musty, womanly, like a bundle of your favorite clothes. Though she was disorganized physically – legs and arms speaking a slightly different dialect from her central nervous system – even her gangly demeanour seemed to Archie exceptionally elegant. She wore her sexuality with an older woman’s ease, and not (as with most of the girls Archie had run with in the past) like an awkward purse, never knowing how to hold it, where to hang it or when to just put it down. ‘Cheer up, bwoy,’ she said in a lilting Caribbean accent that reminded Archie of That Jamaican Cricketer, ‘it might never happen.’ ‘I think it already has.’ Archie, who had just dropped a fag from his mouth which has been burning itself to death anyway, saw Clara quickly tread it underfoot. She gave him a wide grin that revealed possibly her one imperfection. A complete lack of teeth in the top of her mouth. ‘Man…dey get knock out,’ she lisped, seeing his surprise. ‘But I tink to myself: come de end of de world, d’Lord won’t mind if I have no toofs.’ She laughed softly.
Zadie Smith (White Teeth)
You may think that sending equipment hidden in a gift to prisoners is purely an invention of the movies, yet you might be surprised to learn it happened for real - and most likely in a more amazing way that you would expect. In the Second World War, Germany allowed the International Red Cross to send packages to POWs; amongst the items the Nazis permitted was a Monopoly set. With this in mind, Allied forces made special versions of the game that helped the prisoners to escape. German, French and Italian money was hidden amongst the standard Monopoly notes; a metal file was hidden within the board itself; a small compass could be found in one of the playing pieces and maps of the camp the prisoners were in were printed on silk and hidden inside the house and hotel pieces!
Jack Goldstein (101 Amazing Facts)
I nod. “Thanks. Molly was definitely right about one thing, you know.” A grin inches across his face. “That I’m gorgeous?” Yes, I think. “No,” I say. “I meant that you’re a really nice guy, but now it looks like you’re developing this huge ego problem . . .” I swat at him playfully and he catches my hand. “One more thing. When Deo is back safe and sound . . .” He stops and his shoulders slump. “What?” “Well . . . I was about to ask if you’d want to go to a movie or get dinner. But we’d probably have to worry about you picking up a ghost or me realizing the guy at the next table is about to punch his waiter. Maybe we could just watch Netflix and . . .” He stops again and closes his eyes. “I truly suck at this. I was not going to say chill, I swear to God. I was going to say watch Netflix and order takeout.” I lean forward and kiss him. It’s a quick kiss, just a featherlight brush of my lips against his. He looks surprised. I probably do too, because that wasn’t at all planned. It just seemed right. “I’d like that, Aaron. When all of this is over, I think I’d like that a lot.
Rysa Walker (The Delphi Effect (The Delphi Trilogy #1))