Then And Now Photos Quotes

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Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '97: Wear sunscreen. If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now. Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine. Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.
Mary Schmich
recant, v. I want to take back at least half of the “I love you”s, because I didn’t mean them as much as the other ones. I want to take back the book of artsy photos I gave you, because you didn’t get it and said it was hipster trash. I want to take back what I said about you being an emotional zombie. I want to take back the time I called you “honey” in front of your sister and you looked like I had just shown her pictures of us having sex. I want to take back the wineglass I broke when I was mad, because it was a nice wineglass and the argument would have ended anyway. I want to take back the time we had sex in a rent-a-car, not because I feel bad about the people who got in the car after us, but because it was massively uncomfortable. I want to take back the trust I had while you were away in Austin. I want to take back the time I said you were a genius, because I was being sarcastic and I should have just said you’d hurt my feelings. I want to take back the secrets I told you so I can decide now whether to tell them to you again. I want to take back the piece of me that lies in you, to see if I truly miss it. I want to take back at least half the “I love you”s, because it feels safer that way.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
Who's the other kid in the photo?' he asked. 'The sandy-haired guy.' Annabeth's expression tightened. Touchy subject. 'That's Luke,' she said. 'He's dead now.
Rick Riordan (The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, #1))
Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '97: Wear sunscreen. If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now. Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine. Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 pm on some idle Tuesday. Do one thing everyday that scares you. Sing. Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours. Floss. Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself. Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how. Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements. Stretch. Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't. Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone. Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's. Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own. Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room. Read the directions, even if you don't follow them. Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly. Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future. Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young. Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel. Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders. Respect your elders. Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out. Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85. Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth. But trust me on the sunscreen.
Mary Schmich (Wear Sunscreen: A Primer for Real Life)
It wasn't only that you didn't see him anymore, meet him anymore. You saw his absence and encountered it as something tangible. His not being there was like the sharply outlined emptiness of a photo with a figure cut out precisely with scissors and now the missing figure is more important, more dominant than all others.
Pascal Mercier (Night Train to Lisbon)
Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh nevermind; you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded. But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked….You’re not as fat as you imagine. Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday. Do one thing everyday that scares you Sing Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours. Floss Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind…the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself. Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this, tell me how. Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements. Stretch Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life…the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t. Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone. Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll have children,maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary…what ever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s. Enjoy your body, use it every way you can…don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.. Dance…even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room. Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them. Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly. Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future. Understand that friends come and go,but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.
Mary Schmich
I used to be really pretty,” I whispered, sharing the secret. “See? I used—” “There is no ‘used’ to be.” He snatched the frame out of my hand, and my mouth dropped open as he tossed it. The photo whizzed through the air, bouncing off a cushion and landing harmlessly on the couch. “You’re really fucking pretty now.
J. Lynn (Stay with Me (Wait for You, #3))
And Victor, who was so good at picking things apart, at understanding how they worked, how he worked, looked at the photo, and felt … conflicted. Hate was too simple a word. He and Eli were bonded, by blood and death and science. They were alike, more so now than ever. And he had missed Eli. He wanted to see him. And he wanted to see him suffer. He wanted to see the look in Eli’s eyes when he lit them up with pain. He wanted his attention.
Victoria Schwab (Vicious (Villains, #1))
Georgie took out her phone. 'I want to take a picture of you two.' She held up her phone and motioned for us to get together. Darcy and I lined up against the railing. 'No, I need you closer together to get you both in the photo,' she instructed. I had taken countless pictures on the waterfront and I knew that if you were getting the skyline in the background, you didn't need to be that close. Darcy put his arm around my shoulder and we leaned in. I slipped my arm around his waist and I noticed how easily I fit into the little nook on his side. 'Oh, hold on, I'm having problems.' Georgie played with her phone for a few moments while we just stood there in our posed embrace. 'Georgie...' She looked up at her brother and blushed. 'Um, I think it works now.
Elizabeth Eulberg (Prom & Prejudice)
No, this, she felt, was real life and if she wasn’t as curious or passionate as she had once been, that was only to be expected. It would be inappropriate, undignified, at thirty-eight, to conduct friendships or love affairs with the ardour and intensity of a twenty-two-year-old. Falling in love like that? Writing poetry, crying at pop songs? Dragging people into photo-booths, taking a whole day to make a compilation tape, asking people if they wanted to share your bed, just for company? If you quoted Bob Dylan or T.S. Eliot or, God forbid, Brecht at someone these days they would smile politely and step quietly backwards, and who would blame them? Ridiculous, at thirty-eight, to expect a song or book or film to change your life. No, everything had evened out and settled down and life was lived against a general background hum of comfort, satisfaction and familiarity. There would be no more of these nerve-jangling highs and lows. The friends they had now would be the friends they had in five, ten, twenty years’ time. They expected to get neither dramatically richer or poorer; they expected to stay healthy for a little while yet. Caught in the middle; middle class, middle-aged; happy in that they were not overly happy. Finally, she loved someone and felt fairly confident that she was loved in return. If someone asked Emma, as they sometimes did at parties, how she and her husband had met, she told them: ‘We grew up together.
David Nicholls (One Day)
I regretted what a serious teenager I'd been: There were no posters of pop stars or favorite movies, no girlish collection of photos or corsages. Instead there were paintings of sailboats, proper pastel pastorals, a portrait of Eleanor Roosevelt. The latter was particularly strange, since I'd known little about Mrs. Roosevelt, except that she was good, which at the time I suppose was enough. Given my druthers now, I'd prefer a snapshot of Warren Harding's wife, "the Duchess," who recorded the smallest offenses in a little red notebook and avenged herself accordingly. Today I like my first ladies with a little bite.
Gillian Flynn (Sharp Objects)
I used to be lost in us. Blurred were the lines that separated us. But now, I see our togetherness in our separateness. I see the you in me and the me in you. We are two independent beings who complement one another like photographs that are beautiful on their own but are enhanced when juxtaposed, creating an altogether new photograph.
Kamand Kojouri
They let you drive now?" he said in a wondering tone of voice calibrated to get under her skin. "I leave for a couple of years and miss kitty's first steps. Did anyone take photos for the baby album I sent you?" "It's full of pretty pictures." Holly bared her teeth at him in a caricature of a smile. "Honor is a little concerned about how I keep drawing you with your head cut off," she said in a deliberately thoughtful tone, "but an artist must follow her instincts.
Nalini Singh (Archangel's Viper (Guild Hunter, #10))
Before I lost my father, I never understood the rituals surrounding funerals: the wake, the service itself, the reception afterward,the dinners prepared by well-meaning friends and delivered in plastic containers, even the popular habit of making poster boards filled with photos of the dear departed. But now I know why we do those things. It's busywork, all of it. I had so much to take care of, so many arrangements to make, so many people to inform, I didn't have a moment to be engulfed by the ocean of grief that was lapping at my heels. Instead, I waded through the shallows, performing task after task, grateful to have duties to propel me forward.
Wendy Webb (The Tale of Halcyon Crane)
Just then a word floated out through the buzz saw of Zapata-speak: Nefertari. Dan tuned back in. "...the most beautiful tomb in Egypt," Ms. Zapata was saying. "You probably know the queen because there's a famous bust of her." A photo flashed on the screen. Dan raised his hand. "That's Nefertiti," he said. "Different queen." Ms. Zapata frowned. She looked at her notes. "You could be right, Dan. Uh...let's move on." Another slide flashed on-screen. "Now, this is the inner chamber of the tomb, where she was laid to rest." Dan's hand rose again. Ms. Zapata closed her eyes. "Actually? That's the side chamber." "Really." Ms. Zapata's lips pressed together. "And how do you know this, Dan?" "Because..." Dan hesitated. Because I was there. Because I was locked inside the tomb with an ex-KGB spy, so I got to know it pretty well. "Especially since the tomb is closed for conservation," Ms. Zapata said. Yeah. But we had this connection to an Egyptologist? Except he turned out to be a thief and a liar, so we captured him. I came this close to smashing him with a lamp...
Jude Watson (Vespers Rising (The 39 Clues, #11))
A hundred thousand people were killed by the atomic bomb, and these six were among the survivors. They still wonder why they lived when so many others died. Each of them counts many small items of chance or volition a step taken in time, a decision to go indoors, catching one street-car instead of the next that spared him. And now each knows that in the act of survival he lived a dozen lives and saw more death than he ever thought he would see. At the time none of them knew anything.
John Hersey (Hiroshima [With Photos of the Atomic Bombings and Their Aftermath])
On my way to the living room, where my family was gathered, I stopped to look at the photo in the foyer. As always, my eyes were drawn to my own face first, then those of my sisters, and finally my mother, looking so small between us. But I saw it differently now. When that picture was taken, we were all gathered around my mother, sheltering her. But that was just one day, one shot. In the time since, we had arranged and rearranged ourselves so many times. We’d all gathered around Whitney, even when she didn’t want us to, and Kirsten and I had gotten closer when she pushed us both away. We were still in flux, as had been clear at the table that night as I watched my mother and sisters come together again. Then, I’d been convinced I was on the outside, but really, I’d always been within arm’s reach. All I had to do was ask, and I, too, would be easily brought back, surrounded and immersed, finding myself safe, somewhere in between.
Sarah Dessen (Just Listen)
No I am not okay. I've just been pulled out of play tryouts where I had to be the first to audition and everyone's trying out for the same parts, I just had a very bizarre conversation with the school secretary, Megan may be throwing up her cucumber sandwiches, I've broken five of the seven deadly sins in as many hours, a demon may be inside a girl in my world religions class, Grant Brawner called me by name, my license photo looks like a dead fish, I have to drive my friends all over town in two hours when I've never even driven without Dad before, none of my birthday wishes have come true yet, and now you're here with muffins like I'm in second grade? So, no, I am not ok.
Wendy Mass (Leap Day)
Knowing what I do now, I think about shame and worthiness in this way: 'It's the album, not the picture.' If you imagine opening up a photo album, and many of the pages are full eight-by-ten photos of shaming events, you'll close that album and walk away thinking, Shame defines that story. If, on the other hand, you open that album and see a few small photos of shame experiences, but each one is surrounded by pictures of worthiness, hope, struggle, resilience, courage, failure, success, and vulnerability, the shame experience are only a part of a larger story. They don't define the album.
Brené Brown (Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead)
Spencer repeats, a little harsher now. "I want kissing, I want mad fucking passionate kissing. The kind of kissing I've seen in all those other photos of you, the kissing that is so filled with emotion and longing and lust, I'm instantly hard. Kiss me like that, Blackbird.
J.A. Huss (Manic (Rook and Ronin, #2))
Dear daughter, I won't try to call my feeling for Arty love. Call it focus. My focus on Art was an ailment, noncommunicable, and, even to me all these years later, incomprehensible. Now I despise myself. But even so I remember, in hot floods, the way he slept, still as death, with his face washed flat, stony as a carved tomb and exquisite. His weakness and his ravening bitter needs were terrible, and beautiful, and irresistible as an earthquake. He scalded or smothered anyone he needed, but his needing and the hurt that it caused me were the most life I ever had. Remember what a poor thing I have always been and forgive me. He saw no use for you and you interfered with his use of me. I sent you away to please him, to prove my dedication to him, and to prevent him from killing you... My job was to come back [from the convent] directly, with nothing leaking from beneath my dark glasses, to give Arty his rubdown and then paint him for the next show, nodding cheerfully all the while, never showing anything but attentive care for his muscular wonderfulness. Because he could have killed you. He could have cut off the money that schooled and fed you. He could have erased you so entirely that I never would have had those letters and report cards and photos, or your crayon pictures, or the chance to spy on you, and to love you secretly when everything else was gone.
Katherine Dunn (Geek Love)
It's like he has emotional amnesia... I think you have to accept that the person you knew isn't there at the moment. I was witness to how much he loved you. I have the photos. This isn't the person we knew. I don't recognize this person. He's shed his skin." Her heart is broken too. She has to say the thing that will give me back my life. She draws on every reserve. I see how much it hurts her and it hurts me too. I came from her joy and her pain, I lived in it and I live in it now.
Emma Forrest (Your Voice in My Head)
As I brush my teeth, I scroll through my phone to see if Sabrina texted when my phone was on silent last night. She didn’t. Damn. I was hoping my speech—and that amazing fucking kiss—might’ve changed her mind about going out with me, but I guess it didn’t. I do, however, find the most mind-boggling conversation in the group chat I have with my roommates. All the messages are from last night, and they’re bizarre as fuck. Garrett: The hells, D?! Dean: It’s not what you think!! Logan: It’s hard to mistake ur romantic bath with that giant pink thing! In ur ass! Dean: It wasn’t in my ass! Garrett: I’m not even going to ask where it was Dean: I had a girl over! Garrett: Suuuuuuuuure Logan: Suuuuuuuuure Dean: I hate you guys Garrett: <3 Logan: <3 I rinse my mouth out, spit, and drop the toothbrush into the little cup on the sink. Then I quickly type out a text. Me: Wait… what did I miss? Since we have practice in twenty minutes, the guys are already awake and clearly on their phones. Two photos pop up simultaneously. Garrett and Logan have both sent me pics of pink dildos. I’m even more confused now. Dean messages immediately with, Why do you guys have dildo pics handy? Logan: ALINIMB Dean: ?? Me: ?? Garrett: At Least It’s Not In My Butt. I snort to myself, because I’m starting to piece it together. Logan: Nice, G! U got that on the first try! Garrett: We spend too much time 2gether. Me: PLEASE tell me u caught D playing w/ dildos. Logan: Sure did. Dean is quick to object again. I HAD A GIRL OVER! The guys and I rag on him for a couple more minutes, but I have to stop when Fitzy stumbles into the bathroom and shoves me aside. He’s got crazy bedhead and he’s buck-naked. “Gotta piss,” he mumbles. “Mornin’, sunshine,” I say cheerfully. “Want me to make you some coffee?” “God. Yes. Please.” Chuckling, I duck out of the bathroom and walk the four or so steps into his kitchenette. When he finally emerges, I shove a cup of coffee in his hand, sip my own, and say, “Dean shoved a dildo up his ass last night.” Fitzy nods. “Makes sense.” I snicker mid-sip. Coffee spills over the rim of my cup. “It really does, huh?
Elle Kennedy (The Goal (Off-Campus, #4))
Rows and rows of books lined the shelves and I let my eyes linger on the sturdy spines, thinking how human books were, so full of ideas and images, worlds imagined, worlds perceived; full of fingerprints and sudden laughter and the sighs of readers, too. It was humbling to consider all these authors, struggling with this word or that phrase, recording their thoughts for people they'd never meet. In that same way, the detritus of the boxes was humbling - receipts, jotted notes, photos with no inscriptions, all of it once held together by the fabric of lives now finished, gone.
Kim Edwards (The Lake of Dreams)
Matthew Boylan, former NASA operational graphics manager, worked for years creating photo-realistic computer graphics for NASA.  Now a vocal Flat-Earther, Boylan claims that NASA’s sole reason for existence is to propagandize the public and promote this false ball-Earth heliocentric worldview. 
Eric Dubay (The Flat Earth Conspiracy)
I looked over Emma’s shoulder. I recognized the girls in the photos. I understood we used to be close. But they were like books I’d read two summers ago; I knew I’d liked them, but I couldn’t tell you now what they’d been about.
Sarah Shepard
I stare past her at the inspirational kitten posters. There's one of a soaking-wet kitten climbing out of a toilet with the caption "it could be worse!" "Just tell me whatever it is you're thinking," Mrs. Paulsen says. "Whatever is going through your mind right now." "I hope they didn't actually drop a cat in the toilet to get that picture," I choke out. "...Pardon?" "Nothing. Sorry.
Robin Stevenson (The World Without Us)
Then there were the negatives. How he missed negatives. They were the actual rays of light, bounced straight off a landscape, an object, a person, and scarred on to the film. Photographic negatives were the hardest evidence you could get of your memories. They were the char left by the fire, the bruise left on your skin. The same light that carried to your eyes, on the day of your photograph, that image of your mother, or your father, or your close friend, had recorded itself on the film. And now, staring at the photo on the wall of Ida's transparent toes against the bed sheets, he thought how similar her feet were to negatives: both subjects of that half-world between memory and the present. These were not real, flexible, treading toes, but a play of light that showed where toes had been.
Ali Shaw (The Girl With Glass Feet)
Kaien Cross: You both entered the room in the same pose! Ooh! If Yuki had seen it, she'd have been so happy! The mystique! Ichiru: Zero, is he always like this? Zero: Yeah...he doesn't act anything like his "former self" now...why're you sticking to me? Ichiru: Because you hate it when I do it (I'm being a pest). Zero(to Cross): Hey. Don't take a photo. Kaien Cross (thinking): The Kiryus really are twins.
Matsuri Hino (ヴァンパイア騎士 10 (Vampire Knight, #10))
The mountain panorama was the backdrop to every photo taken here, the backdrop to everything. At first Ursula had thought it beautiful, now she was beginning to find its magnificence oppressive. The great icy crags and the rushing waterfalls, the endless pine trees--nature and myth fused to form the Germanic sublimated soul. German Romanticism, it seemed to Ursula, was write large and mystical, the English Lakes seemed tame by comparison. And the English soul, if it resided anywhere, was surely in some unheroic back garden--a patch of lawn, a bed of roses, a row of runner beans.
Kate Atkinson (Life After Life (Todd Family, #1))
Now she want a photo You already know though You only live once: that’s the motto nigga YOLO We bout it every day, every day, every day Like we sittin’ on the bench, nigga we don’t really play Every day, every day, fuck what anybody say Can’t see 'em 'cause the money in the way Real nigga what's up?
Drizzy Drake
The Web is no longer just about the present-that crazy driver or this delicious meal. As we share messages, photos and updates, we're building a data trail about our lives and histories online.We can now tell stories not just about what is happening today, but where we've been, what we've shared, and what might happen in the future.
Keith Ferrazzi
Dear Tully-- I know you won't be able to stand my fucking funeral. You're not the star. I hope you at least had the photos of me airbrushed. There are so many things I should say to you, but in our lifetime we've said them all. Take care of Johnny and the kids for me, okay? Teach the boys how to be gentlemen and Marah how to be strong. When they're ready, give them my journal and tell them about me when they ask. The truth, too. I want them to know it all. It's going to be hard on you, now. That's one of the things I regret the most. So, here's what I have to say in my beyond-the-grave letter (very dramatic, don't you think?): I know you'll be thinking that I left you, but it's not true. All you have to do is remember Firefly Lane, and you'll find me. There will always be a TullyandKate. BFF <3 Kate
Kristin Hannah (Firefly Lane (Firefly Lane, #1))
Now you can be in bed with your spouse and ask, “Hey, honey, what are you looking at on your phone?” She could reply, “Oh, just reading this op-ed in the Times,” when she’s actually sending your neighbor a photo of her Mrs. Pouterson.
Aziz Ansari (Modern Romance: An Investigation)
I'm conscious of laughing attractively, so when the photo goes up on the website in two months' time, people will think I look pretty. Even though they'll probably only scroll past to see what they look like, I must still look pretty.
Holly Bourne (How Do You Like Me Now?)
Something that once had importance might be forgotten by most people but because millions of people once knew it, a force is present that can be harnessed. There might be so much significance attached to a song, for example, or a fact, that it can’t die but only lies dormant, like a vampire in his coffin, waiting to be called forth from the grave once again. There is more magic in the fact that the first mass worldwide photo of the Church of Satan was taken by Joe Rosenthal – the same man who took the most famous news photo in history – the flag-raising at Iwo Jima. There’s real occult significance to that – much more than in memorizing grimoires and witches’ alphabets. People ask me about what music to use in rituals – what is the best occult music. I’ve instructed people to go to the most uncrowded section of the music store and it’s a guarantee what you’ll find there will be occult music. That’s the power of long-lost trivia. I get irritated by people who turn up their noses and whine ‘Why would anyone want to know that?’ Because once upon a time, everyone in America knew it. Suppose there’s a repository of neglected energy, that’s been generated and forgotten. Maybe it’s like a pressure cooker all this time, just waiting for someone to trigger its release. ‘Here I am,’ it beckons, ‘I have all this energy stored up just waiting for you – all you have to do is unlock the door. Because of man’s stupidity, he’s neglected me to this state of somnambulism – dreaming the ancient dreams – even though I was once so important to him.’ Think about that. A song that was once on millions of lips now is only on your lips. Now what does that contain? Those vibrations of that particular tune, what do they evoke, call up? What do they unlock? The old gods lie dormant, waiting.
Anton Szandor LaVey (The Secret Life of a Satanist: The Authorized Biography of Anton LaVey)
we should not be surprised that deep work struggles to compete against the shiny thrum of tweets, likes, tagged photos, walls, posts, and all the other behaviors that we’re now taught are necessary for no other reason than that they exist. Bad
Cal Newport (Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World)
I have a strong aversion to Twitter, and yet there is a social obligation that forces me to pop in and spy on celebrities now and then. I don’t get Twitter. It’s impossible to follow conversation threads, and it’s too easy to spend hours and hours clicking on random names, and the next thing you know, you've become infatuated with Tweet photos from the Kardashians.
Jessica Park (Flat-Out Love (Flat-Out Love, #1))
My life was awful. When I was a kid, I was fat, pretty ugly and had awful hair. I used to get teased every fucking day, slammed up against lockers, punched in the face - you name it. Hell, I had to go to prom with one of my female friends because I couldn’t even get a proper date. I can’t even look back at those photos because I look so bad. I transferred schools, but the teasing just got worse. After an, let’s say, ‘incident’ I had with the school play the bullying just got worse. But I made it through high school, only to find out that real life was pretty much the same. I just stayed in my dark room all day and didn’t talk to anyone. I didn’t go outside. I just stayed inside and drew. I’d draw vampires, mummies, heroes, villains. Anything to help me escape all the bad in the world. I went to art school and didn’t really belong. All I could draw was comic book characters. I tried to put my only good talent to use by drawing a cartoon and pitching it - only to have it turned down. Life to me was just pointless. I started drinking, doing drugs and just generally wasting my life drawing.
Then one day, I saw bodies falling from the sky. I witnessed people dying. And that’s when I decided to turn my life around. I called up anyone I knew who had an instrument and we formed a band. Being on tour for the first few years was bad. All we’d do is get drunk and do drugs, but I loved it. Because I was doing something I loved with people I loved. And a few years ago I met the most perfect woman ever. It’s like we share a wave-link or something. She just knows me without even knowing me, if you understand. And now, 2011, I have a beautiful baby girl, a caring wife and I get to perform for my adoring fans everyday. I am living proof that no matter how bad it gets, it gets better. I am Gerard Way, and I survived.
Gerard Way
How many times have you stopped midsentence to ask a waiter to take a photo and then spent the next five minutes fucking with filters to post it on Instagram? It’s as if we have this strange obsession with proving to the world that we are, in fact, cool. Look, I’m totally guilty of this, and I’m not sure I ever intend to stop. It’s just the culture we live in now, but it’s important to keep things in perspective.
Brandi Glanville (Drinking and Tweeting: And Other Brandi Blunders)
I sat down at his tombstone, and I cried out everything within me. I cried until I felt depleted. I did not say a single thing. I did not feel any need. I had talked to Harry in my head and my heart for so long, for so many years, that it felt as if we transcended words. He had been the one to help me, to support me, through everything in my life. And now I needed him more than ever. So I went to him the only way I knew how. I let him heal me as only he could. And then I stood up, dusted off my skirt, and turned around. There, in the trees, were two paparazzi taking my photo. I was neither angry nor flattered. I simply didn’t care. It cost so much, caring. I didn’t have any currency to spend on it.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo)
Be honest. Do I look like a famous wanted criminal right now?" He struck a pose, complete with a dazzling smile. With the messy hair, filthy clothes, and bandanna, she had to admit that he was almost unrecognizable from his prison photo. Yet somehow still heart-throbbingly gorgeous.
Marissa Meyer (Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3))
It’s that time of the month again… As we head into those dog days of July, Mike would like to thank those who helped him get the toys he needs to enjoy his summer. Thanks to you, he bought a new bass boat, which we don’t need; a condo in Florida, where we don’t spend any time; and a $2,000 set of golf clubs…which he had been using as an alibi to cover the fact that he has been remorselessly banging his secretary, Beebee, for the last six months. Tragically, I didn’t suspect a thing. Right up until the moment Cherry Glick inadvertently delivered a lovely floral arrangement to our house, apparently intended to celebrate the anniversary of the first time Beebee provided Mike with her special brand of administrative support. Sadly, even after this damning evidence-and seeing Mike ram his tongue down Beebee’s throat-I didn’t quite grasp the depth of his deception. It took reading the contents of his secret e-mail account before I was convinced. I learned that cheap motel rooms have been christened. Office equipment has been sullied. And you should think twice before calling Mike’s work number during his lunch hour, because there’s a good chance that Beebee will be under his desk “assisting” him. I must confess that I was disappointed by Mike’s over-wrought prose, but I now understand why he insisted that I write this newsletter every month. I would say this is a case of those who can write, do; and those who can’t do Taxes. And since seeing is believing, I could have included a Hustler-ready pictorial layout of the photos of Mike’s work wife. However, I believe distributing these photos would be a felony. The camera work isn’t half-bad, though. It’s good to see that Mike has some skill in the bedroom, even if it’s just photography. And what does Beebee have to say for herself? Not Much. In fact, attempts to interview her for this issue were met with spaced-out indifference. I’ve had a hard time not blaming the conniving, store-bought-cleavage-baring Oompa Loompa-skinned adulteress for her part in the destruction of my marriage. But considering what she’s getting, Beebee has my sympathies. I blame Mike. I blame Mike for not honoring the vows he made to me. I blame Mike for not being strong enough to pass up the temptation of readily available extramarital sex. And I blame Mike for not being enough of a man to tell me he was having an affair, instead letting me find out via a misdirected floral delivery. I hope you have enjoyed this new digital version of the Terwilliger and Associates Newsletter. Next month’s newsletter will not be written by me as I will be divorcing Mike’s cheating ass. As soon as I press send on this e-mail, I’m hiring Sammy “the Shark” Shackleton. I don’t know why they call him “the Shark” but I did hear about a case where Sammy got a woman her soon-to-be ex-husband’s house, his car, his boat and his manhood in a mayonnaise jar. And one last thing, believe me when I say I will not be letting Mike off with “irreconcilable differences” in divorce court. Mike Terwilliger will own up to being the faithless, loveless, spineless, useless, dickless wonder he is.
Molly Harper (And One Last Thing ...)
I’ve been chained to my bathroom scale for two decades now. I’ve used the number on my scale to tell me if I’m valuable or not. I’ve let the number on my scale destroy many beautiful opportunities in my life such as scheduling family photos, having fun at the beach, or giving myself 100% in intimacy. I’ve let the number on the scale tell me if I should be confident in who I am. I’ve let the number on the scale tell me if I am worthy of kind thoughts from others. Ultimately, I’ve always let some ridiculous number on the bathroom scale tell me whether or not I should love myself.
Dan Pearce (Single Dad Laughing)
Technology allowed us to share our photos with more people now than ever before, but where would these captured moments in time be in twenty years? On some outdated piece of hardware at the bottom of a landfill site? What happened to memories you couldn’t hold between your thumb and forefinger?
Linwood Barclay (A Tap on the Window)
I hit publish and slump back in this wet grass, waiting for the likes to come in. For my phone to come alive. I like how I look in this photo. I like the person this Tori is. This Tori has friends and a life and she doesn't care and she has fun and don't you wish you could be her? I wish I could be her.
Holly Bourne (How Do You Like Me Now?)
I like looking at your body,” she said. “Thank you. I like looking at you, period,” I responded. She removed her shirt. She asked for help with her bra. We embraced. Our skins touched. I felt her heart beat against my chest. I felt my heart beating. Our heartbeats became one. One heartbeat. We became one. Time passed. I looked at my watch. 10:10. I stood. She remained on the bed, defining beauty. “It’s getting close to eleven, baby. You should probably get up,” I said, looking for my shirt. I ran my hands through my hair. “Stand right there,” she said. “Don’t move.” I stood. She reached to the side of the bed, and got her phone from her purse. She held it at arm’s length. “Don’t move,” she said. “I heard you,” I responded. I stood. She took three photos. “I wish I could paint a picture of you,” I said. “Do you paint?” she asked. “No,” I responded, “But I wish I could. I would paint a picture of you right now, lying there without your shirt. I could stand here, Britney, and admire you for all of what is forever. You make me want to cry. But. That part of me is broken.
Scott Hildreth (Broken People)
Each and every one of us has moments like these, times when a book becomes more than a book. It is a touchstone and the stories between the pages are reflections of us. They remind us of who we were, who we are now and how we got there. The next time you have a bout of nostalgia, I encourage you not to pull out the old photo album. Head to your bookshelf instead, and see what surfaces. I guarantee it will be more than you think. The pen is mightier than a lot of things. The sword was just the first one down.
Emily Asher-Perrin
What are memories but photo images from the mind? Isn't the human mind so much like a camera, saving pictures every now and then?
Priyanka Naik (Twists Of Fate)
The photos I took in Afghanistan are lying in front of me. I peer into the faces of those who were with me there and who are so far away from me now, into the faces of those who were dying right next to me and those who were hiding behind my back. I can make these photos larger or smaller, darker or lighter. But what I can't do is bring back those who are gone forever.
Vladislav Tamarov (Afghanistan: A Russian Soldier's Story)
Without you having to do anything, the phone brackets the shot so that you can pretend to time travel, to pick the perfect instant when everyone is smiling. Skin is smoothed out; pores and small imperfections are erased. What used to take my father a day's work is now done in the blink of an eye, and far better. Do the people who take these photos believe them to be reality? Or have the digital paintings taken the place of reality in their memory? When they try to remember the captured moment, do they recall what they saw, or what the camera crafted for them?
Ken Liu (The Hidden Girl and Other Stories)
I liked it better when you couldn’t be so sure. When terrifying rumors were distant enough to be a UFO at the bottom of Loch Ness. When the horribly compelling train-wreck tragedies of less fortunate people’s lives were only as real as you let them be. Just a cover of a magazine, a black-and-white photo on some late-night commercial for a charity. Now confirmation is just a mouse click away.
Chuck Palahniuk (Burnt Tongues)
Our shimmering blue plaything is now a swollen black brute straining at its confinement. A beast in captivity, raging to bust free and devour its captors. As if it had secretly despised us all along.
Mary Hogan (The Woman in the Photo)
One day we will all be a photo, a lifeless picture! But this thought is valid only for now, it may not be valid after now! All truths can change, all truths are valid only at this very moment we are in!
Mehmet Murat ildan
It’s hard to exaggerate how much the “like” button changed the psychology of Facebook use. What had begun as a passive way to track your friends’ lives was now deeply interactive, and with exactly the sort of unpredictable feedback that motivated Zeiler’s pigeons. Users were gambling every time they shared a photo, web link, or status update. A post with zero likes wasn’t just privately painful, but also a kind of public condemnation: either you didn’t have enough online friends, or, worse still, your online friends weren’t impressed. Like pigeons, we’re more driven to seek feedback when it isn’t guaranteed.
Adam Alter (Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked)
Tobias took the photograph. At least, that’s what I saw. Most likely I still had the photo in my hand, but I couldn’t feel it there, now that I perceived Tobias holding it. It’s strange, the way the mind can change perception.
Brandon Sanderson (Legion (Legion, #1))
She closed her eyes, trying to remember the photos that had hung on the walls. She had passed these pictures every day, but now she only remembered them vaguely--her parents on their wedding day, her mother in a garden, her family at Knott's Berry Farm. How had she not memorized them? Or maybe she had once but she was beginning to forget. Did the house smell different because her mother's scent was gone? Or had she just forgotten how her mother smelled?
Brit Bennett (The Mothers)
Have you seen the crazy people who cheer for the protests and even the looting—when it’s far away? Then as it moves close by, they change their tune. Take Chris Palmer, a reporter who covers the NBA. On a Thursday, Palmer tweeted a photo of a building burning with the caption, “Burn that shit down. Burn it all down.”10 By the wee hours of Sunday morning, with the protesters in his neighborhood, he wrote, “They just attacked our sister community down the street. It’s a gated community and they tried to climb the gates. They had to beat them back. Then destroyed a Starbucks and are now in front of my building. Get these animals TF out of my neighborhood. Go back to where you live.
Donald Trump Jr. (Liberal Privilege: Joe Biden And The Democrats' Defense Of The Indefensible)
Did you ever think much about jobs? I mean, some of the jobs people land in? You see a guy giving haircuts to dogs, or maybe going along the curb with a shovel, scooping up horse manure. And you think, now why is the silly bastard doing that? He looks fairly bright, about as bright as anyone else. Why the hell does he do that for living? You kind grin and look down your nose at him. You think he’s nuts, know what I mean, or he doesn’t have any ambition. And then you take a good look at yourself, and you stop wondering about the other guy… You’ve got all your hands and feet. Your health is okay, and you make a nice appearance, and ambition-man! You’ve got it. You’re young, I guess: you’d call thirty young, and you’re strong. You don’t have much education, but you’ve got more than plenty of other people who go to the top. And yet with all that, with all you’ve had to do with this is as far you’ve got And something tellys you, you’re not going much farther if any. And there is nothing to be done about it now, of course, but you can’t stop hoping. You can’t stop wondering… …Maybe you had too much ambition. Maybe that was the trouble. You couldn’t see yourself spending forty years moving from office boy to president. So you signed on with a circulation crew; you worked the magazines from one coast to another. And then you ran across a little brush deal-it sounded nice, anyway. And you worked that until you found something better, something that looked better. And you moved from that something to another something. Coffee-and-tea premiums, dinnerware, penny-a-day insurance, photo coupons, cemetery lots, hosiery, extract, and God knows what all. You begged for the charities, You bought the old gold. You went back to the magazines and the brushes and the coffee and tea. You made good money, a couple of hundred a week sometimes. But when you averaged it up, the good weeks with the bad, it wasn’t so good. Fifty or sixty a week, maybe seventy. More than you could make, probably, behind agas pump or a soda fountain. But you had to knock yourself out to do it, and you were standing stil. You were still there at the starting place. And you weren’t a kid any more. So you come to this town, and you see this ad. Man for outside sales and collections. Good deal for hard worker. And you think maybe this is it. This sounds like a right town. So you take the job, and you settle down in the town. And, of course, neither one of ‘em is right, they’re just like all the others. The job stinks. The town stinks. You stink. And there’s not a goddamned thing you can do about it. All you can do is go on like this other guys go on. The guy giving haircuts to dogs, and the guy sweeping up horse manute Hating it. Hating yourself. And hoping.
Jim Thompson (A Hell of a Woman)
Oh, Mummy, it was hilarious,” laughed William. “They had a photo of Mrs. Parker Bowles and a horse’s head and asked what the difference was. The answer was that there isn’t any!” Diana absolutely exploded with laughter. We talked about which was the hottest photo to get. “Charles and Camilla is still the really big one,” I said, “followed by you and a new man, and now, of course, William with his first girlfriend.” He groaned. So did Diana. —Piers Morgan
Larry King (The People's Princess: Cherished Memories of Diana, Princess of Wales, from Those Who Knew Her Best)
This is meant to be in praise of the interval called hangover, a sadness not co-terminous with hopelessness, and the North American doubling cascade that (keep going) “this diamond lake is a photo lab” and if predicates really do propel the plot then you might see Jerusalem in a soap bubble or the appliance failures on Olive Street across these great instances, because “the complex Italians versus the basic Italians” because what does a mirror look like (when it´s not working) but birds singing a full tone higher in the sunshine. I´m going to call them Honest Eyes until I know if they are, in the interval called slam clicker, Realm of Pacific, because the second language wouldn´t let me learn it because I have heard of you for a long time occasionally because diet cards may be the recovery evergreen and there is a new benzodiazepene called Distance, anti-showmanship, anti-showmanship, anti-showmanship. I suppose a broken window is not symbolic unless symbolic means broken, which I think it sorta does, and when the phone jangles what´s more radical, the snow or the tires, and what does the Bible say about metal fatigue and why do mothers carry big scratched-up sunglasses in their purses. Hello to the era of going to the store to buy more ice because we are running out. Hello to feelings that arrive unintroduced. Hello to the nonfunctional sprig of parsley and the game of finding meaning in coincidence. Because there is a second mind in the margins of the used book because Judas Priest (source: Firestone Library) sang a song called Stained Class, because this world is 66% Then and 33% Now, and if you wake up thinking “feeling is a skill now” or “even this glass of water seems complicated now” and a phrase from a men´s magazine (like single-district cognac) rings and rings in your neck, then let the consequent misunderstandings (let the changer love the changed) wobble on heartbreakingly nu legs into this street-legal nonfiction, into this good world, this warm place that I love with all my heart, anti-showmanship, anti-showmanship, anti-showmanship.
David Berman
stopped in her tracks. ‘What?’ ‘That picture,’ he said. ‘What’s George been up to now?’ ‘You know this man?’ He laughed. ‘I know of him. I wouldn’t count him as a friend, though.’ Erika held the photo up. ‘This man is called George Mitchell?’ ‘Yes. And now you’re worrying me. He’s not someone you want to fuck around with. This isn’t going to come back on me, is it?’ ‘No. Do you know where he lives?’ ‘No, and that’s all I’m gonna say. I don’t know anything else.
Robert Bryndza (The Girl in the Ice (Detective Erika Foster, #1))
The human heart was created in the context of the perfection of the garden of Eden. But we don’t live there now. This is why our instincts keep firing off the lie that perfection is possible. We have pictures of perfection etched into the very DNA of our souls. We chase it. We angle our cameras trying to catch it. We take twenty shots hoping to find it. And then even our good photos have to be color corrected, filtered, and cropped. We do our very best to make others think this posted picture is the real deal. But we all know the truth. We all see the charade. We all know the emperor is naked. But there we are, clapping on the sidelines, following along, playing the game. Trying to believe that maybe, just maybe, if we get close to something that looks like perfection it will help us snag a little of its shine for ourselves. But we know even the shiniest of things is headed in the direction of becoming dull. New will always eventually become old. Followers unfollow. People who lift us up will let us down. The most tightly knit aspects of life snag, unravel, and disintegrate before our very eyes. And we are epically disappointed. But we aren’t talking about it.
Lysa TerKeurst (It's Not Supposed to Be This Way: Finding Unexpected Strength When Disappointments Leave You Shattered)
I was thinking, Ursula said . . . that the difference between a story and a painting or photograph is that in a story you can write, He's still alive. But in a painting or a photo you can't show 'still.' You can just show him being live.
Susan Sontag (The Way We Live Now)
Alex was right in front of the mantel now, bent forward, his nose mere inches from a picture of me. "Oh,God. Don't look at that!" It was from the year-end recital of my one and only year of ballet class. I was six: twig legs, a huge gap where my two front teeth had recently been, and a bumblebee costume. Nonna had done her best, but there was only so much she could do with yellow and black spandex and a bee butt. Dad had found one of those headbands with springy antennai attached. I'd loved the antennae. The more enthusiastic my jetes, the more they bounced. Of course, I'd also jeted my flat-chested little self out of the top of my costume so many times that, during the actual recital itself,I'd barely moved at all, victim to the overwhelming modesty of the six-year-old. Now, looking at the little girl I'd been, I wished someone had told her not to worry so much, that within a year, that smooth, skinny, little bare shoulder would have turned into the bane of her existence. That she was absolutely perfect. "Nice stripes," Alex said casually, straightening up. That stung. It should't have-it was just a photo-but it did. I don't know what I'd expected him to say about the picture. It wasn't that. But then, I didn't expect the wide grin that spread across his face when he got a good look at mine, either. "Those," he announced, pointing to a photo of my mulleted dad leaning against the painted hood of his Mustang "are nice stripes. That-" he pointed to the me-bee- "Is seriously cute." "You're insane," I muttered, insanely pleased. "Yeah,well, tell me something I don't know." He took the bottle and plate from me. "I like knowing you have a little vanity in there somewhere." He stood, hands full, looking expectant and completely beautiful. The reality of the situation hadn't really been all that real before. Now, as I started up the stairs to my bedroom, Alex Bainbridge in tow, it hit me. I was leading a boy, this boy, into my very personal space. Then he started singing. "You're so vain, I bet you think this song is about you. You're sooo vain....!" He had a pretty good voice. It was a truly excellent AM radio song. And just like that, I was officially In Deep
Melissa Jensen (The Fine Art of Truth or Dare)
The most basic mobile phone is in fact a communications devices that shames all of science fiction, all the wrist radios and handheld communicators. Captain Kirk had to tune his fucking communicator and it couldn’t text or take a photo that he could stick a nice Polaroid filter on. Science fiction didn’t see the mobile phone coming. It certainly didn’t see the glowing glass windows many of us carry now, where we make things amazing happen by pointing at it with our fingers like goddamn wizards.
Warren Ellis (CUNNING PLANS: Talks By Warren Ellis)
Partir est mourir un peu. I was very young when I first heard this sentence quoted and it expressed a truth I already knew. I remember it now because the experience of living in you as if you were a country, the only country in the world where I can never conceivably meet you face to face, this is a little like the experience of living with the memory of the dead. What I did not know when I was very young was that nothing can take the past away: the past grows gradually around one, like a placenta for dying.
John Berger (And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos)
Everything seems to be subject to time, yet it all happens in the Now. That is the paradox. Wherever you look, there is plenty of circumstantial evidence for the reality of time—a rotting apple, your face in the bathroom mirror compared to your face in a photo taken thirty years ago—yet you never find any direct evidence, you never experience time itself. You only ever experience the present moment, or rather what happens in it. If you go by direct evidence only, then there is no time, and the Now is all there ever is.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Create a Better Life)
What I loved about Anton was that he did the pictures really quickly, with no fuss, no fucking about: bang, bang, bang, and it was over. At the time, I thought, Now, that’s how a photo shoot should be. Those shots he took of us in the tube station: absolutely brilliant.
Peter Hook (Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division)
Right as my eyes were about to move onto the next photo in the sequence, they froze and focused on something that vexed me so powerfully that I can now, as I write this, distinctly remember feeling dizzy and capable of only a single, repeating thought. Why am I in this picture?
Dathan Auerbach (Penpal)
remember how they tracked down that green-eyed Afghan girl? And she’s now a leather-faced crone? Because her life went from misery and shit to more monotonous and meaningless misery and shit, while her famous photo went ’round and ’round the world making that McCurry guy famous? I say we do it.
Lidia Yuknavitch (The Small Backs of Children)
She gasped as he captured the picture from her hands, “Pining over what could have been? Funny, if you hadn’t spread your legs for anyone with a pulse, you might be standing here married to the other Karasphalous brother right now,” Nikos growled as he placed the photo back in its original spot and turned just as Adriana's hand made contact with the side of his smug face. “Go to hell!” she spat as she grasp the long folds of her dress and stormed toward the master bedroom like the hounds of hell were on her heels. Just before slamming the door behind her she heard him bark, “I’m already there!
Julie Garver (The Greek Tycoon's Revenge)
Look at this." I spotted Jeeves' photo near the end of the book. His hair was darker, but he still retained the same smooth charisma he had now. Aub looked up from her laptop. "Oh, an old Haverleau facebook." Raveling, Emma (2013-09-17). Crest (Ondine Quartet Book 3) (p. 490). Mandorla Publishing. Kindle Edition.
Emma Raveling (Crest (Ondine Quartet, #3))
I was talking to syndicated newspaper columnist and Fox News commentator Charles Krauthammer just after Clinton’s final e-mail scandal broke. I said, “The secretary of state uses her personal e-mail to send top-secret State Department documents to her weird personal assistant who is married to Anthony Weiner who is so crazy that he’s destroyed his political career twice by sending lewd Tweets and Instagram photos to random women and who is now under investigation for sexting with an underage girl. And the top-secret State Department documents wind up on his computer. How much worse can things get?” Charles said, “What if the ‘underage girl’ speaks Russian?
P.J. O'Rourke (How the Hell Did This Happen?: The Election of 2016)
Turn down enough invitations and eventually even the most determined will stop asking. It would take a Herculean effort now to weave myself back into their lives and I don’t have the energy for it. Instead I watch from the sidelines on Facebook, liking photos of barbecues, birthday parties, days out, knowing that I only have myself
Laura Marshall (Friend Request)
You’ve been wandering about Juarez like a zombie in a though experiment, an experiment in collective guilt, where the zombie is shown the morgue-slab photos, and responds by saying “I’m truly sorry”, and making out a check to Amnesty International, or Nuestra Hijas de Regreso a Casa, or maybe Save the Children or Habitat for Humanity, and then sealing the whole deal by forging his own signature. What’s that you say? You didn’t know it was forged? No wonder the authorities are beginning to get suspicious. We’re sorry to be the ones to break this to you, but the violence that man is doing to his home is not some sort of thought experiment, and the last thing on earth the world needs now is yet another anonymous onlooker, trying to get the picture; our drawing isn’t a drawing exactly, it’s more of a kind of framing device, and you, mon frère, so slow to get the picture, are not only under suspicion, but about to be framed. We didn’t exactly select you at random, and you’re not precisely The Viewer in the abstract sense, and we’re not about to give you a bird’s eye view of anything, or a view of Juarez from high atop a smelting stack; we’re about to put you back exactly where you belong, wearing Douchebag’s shoes, in the middle of the picture, because while Douchebag isn’t you in any literal sense, you appear to be standing in Douchebag shoes, and Douchebag, unfortunately, is now your problem.
Jim Gauer (Novel Explosives)
Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the base Only sentries were stirring--they guarded the place. At the foot of each bunk sat a helmet and boot For the Santa of Soldiers to fill up with loot. The soldiers were sleeping and snoring away As they dreamed of “back home” on good Christmas Day. One snoozed with his rifle--he seemed so content. I slept with the letters my family had sent. When outside the tent there arose such a clatter. I sprang from my rack to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash. Poked out my head, and yelled, “What was that crash?” When what to my thrill and relief should appear, But one of our Blackhawks to give the all clear. More rattles and rumbles! I heard a deep whine! Then up drove eight Humvees, a jeep close behind… Each vehicle painted a bright Christmas green. With more lights and gold tinsel than I’d ever seen. The convoy commander leaped down and he paused. I knew then and there it was Sergeant McClaus! More rapid than rockets, his drivers they came When he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name: “Now, Cohen! Mendoza! Woslowski! McCord! Now, Li! Watts! Donetti! And Specialist Ford!” “Go fill up my sea bags with gifts large and small! Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away, all!” In the blink of an eye, to their trucks the troops darted. As I drew in my head and was turning around, Through the tent flap the sergeant came in with a bound. He was dressed all in camo and looked quite a sight With a Santa had added for this special night. His eyes--sharp as lasers! He stood six feet six. His nose was quite crooked, his jaw hard as bricks! A stub of cigar he held clamped in his teeth. And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath. A young driver walked in with a seabag in tow. McClaus took the bag, told the driver to go. Then the sarge went to work. And his mission today? Bring Christmas from home to the troops far away! Tasty gifts from old friends in the helmets he laid. There were candies, and cookies, and cakes, all homemade. Many parents sent phone cards so soldiers could hear Treasured voices and laughter of those they held dear. Loving husbands and wives had mailed photos galore Of weddings and birthdays and first steps and more. And for each soldier’s boot, like a warm, happy hug, There was art from the children at home sweet and snug. As he finished the job--did I see a twinkle? Was that a small smile or instead just a wrinkle? To the top of his brow he raised up his hand And gave a salute that made me feel grand. I gasped in surprise when, his face all aglow, He gave a huge grin and a big HO! HO! HO! HO! HO! HO! from the barracks and then from the base. HO! HO! HO! as the convoy sped up into space. As the camp radar lost him, I heard this faint call: “HAPPY CHRISTMAS, BRAVE SOLDIERS! MAY PEACE COME TO ALL!
Trish Holland (The Soldiers' Night Before Christmas)
justice, n. I tell you about Sal Kinsey, the boy who spit on me every morning for a month in seventh grade, to the point that I could no longer ride the bus. It’s just a story, nothing more than that. In fact, it comes up because I’m telling you how I don’t really hate many people in this world, and you say that’s hard to believe, and I say, “Well, there’s always Sal Kinsey,” and then have to explain. The next day, you bring home a photo of him now, downloaded from the Internet. He is morbidly obese — one of my favorite phrases, so goth, so judgmental. He looks miserable, and the profile you've found says he’s single and actively looking. I think that will be it. But then, the next night, you tell me that you tracked down his office address. And not only that, you sent him a dozen roses, signing the card, It is so refreshing to see that you've grown up to be fat, desperate, and lonely. Anonymous, of course. You even ordered the bouquet online, so no florist could divulge your personal information. I can’t help but admire your capacity for creative vengeance. And at the same time, I am afraid of it.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
My body is a pebble to them, they tend it as water Tends to the pebbles it must run over, smoothing them gently. They bring me numbness in their bright needles, they bring me sleep. Now I have lost myself I am sick of baggage— My patent leather overnight case like a black pillbox, My husband and child smiling out of the family photo; Their smiles catch onto my skin, little smiling hooks.
Sylvia Plath (Ariel: The Restored Edition)
Shit. My Fitbit’s stopped working. Is it the battery?” Tilda clicks with annoyance. “How many steps have we done?” She bangs her Fitbit. “It doesn’t count unless it goes on my Fitbit. I might as well not have bothered.” Tilda’s Fitbit is her latest obsession. For a while it was Instagram, and our daily walk was punctuated by her taking endless photos of raindrops on leaves. Now it’s steps.
Sophie Kinsella (Surprise Me)
Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh never mind; you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded. But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You’re not as fat as you imagine. Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday. Do one thing everyday that scares you. Sing. Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours. Floss. Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind, the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself. Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this, and tell me how. Keep your old love letters; throw away your old bank statements. Stretch. Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life.
Baz Luhrmann
But maybe it takes a slightly unhinged person to reverse our decades of mindless consumption. Who else would dare suggest, “The basic rule for papers: Discard everything”? (Are they not required to keep tax records in Japan?) Who else would name a section of her book “Photos: Cherish who you are now”? Imagine Southwest Airlines changing their slogan from “Wanna get away?” to “What are you running from?
Heather Havrilesky (What If This Were Enough?: Essays)
I am being as honest with myself as possible, which is harder than it sounds. Who wouldn’t rather write down pretty things and pretend they are the truth?’ “My photos are a way of telling stories but without the pressure of all those words. I used to think of them as a way to capture everything that’s good. Everything my life wasn’t. but now I take pictures of all of it: the sad, the disturbing, the ugly.
Jennifer Niven (Breathless)
I don’t remember now who took the photo of us, but I’ve had it in my room for years. We’re leaning out of our windows and we’re laughing at each other with joyfulness purer than anything to do with the polite smiling you get used to doing when you get older. The photo has the kind of proper smiles that happen when you’re looking straight into the face of someone who’s been your best friend for a long time.
Sarah Moore Fitzgerald (The Apple Tart of Hope)
Tch.’ She turned to Helen and Mehlsanz. ‘He refuses to make me a fake ID, even as a joke. It wouldn’t even be that much work for him. He’s so lazy. Doesn’t care about my happiness at all.’ “Y’know what? Fine. One day, when the entire country isn’t in danger, I’ll do that for you. Okay? Happy now?” ‘Yes!’ “And for your photo, I’ll use a picture of an actual bitch.” ‘Maybe you should change yours to a picture of an actual cock!
George M. Frost (The Zombie Knight Saga - Volume One: Elegy for an Immortal)
Under the pretense of wanting to record the history of my brother’s year at college, I’d asked to take a picture of Sam with his roommate. Unfortunately, the zoom on my digital camera had somehow been pressed—by a renegade finger, I assumed—and I’d only been able to get a really good close-up shot of Brad. No evidence of Sam in sight. Gosh, darn. What a shame! The photo was now the background wallpaper on my computer desktop.
Rachel Hawthorne (Love on the Lifts)
She is shocked, and also afraid to look at him. As he turns the page, he's describing a dessert whose name he cannot remember but which arrived at the table in flames. She feels utterly bewildered. This is who her father is: someone tickled by the existence of sushi. Someone who takes pictures inside a restaurant. Her father is cheesy. Even his handsomeness, she thinks, looking at one of the few photos in which he appears, is of a certain harmlessly generic sort, the handsomeness of a middle-aged male model in the department-store insert of the Sunday Inquirer. Has she only imagined him as a monster? His essential lesson, she always believed, was this: There are many ways for you to transgress, and most you will not recognize until after committing them. But is it she who invented this lesson? At the least, she met him halfway, she bought in to it. Not just as a child but all through adolescence and into adulthood--until this very moment. She realized now that Allison does not buy in to it, that she must not have for years, and that's why Allison doesn't fight with their father or refuse to talk to him for long stretches. Why bother? Hannah always assumed Allison was bullied into her paternal devotion, but no--it is Hannah who has seen his anger as much bigger than it ever was.
Curtis Sittenfeld (The Man of My Dreams)
There she was. Roarke stood in the office doorway, took a few enjoyable minutes to just watch her. She had such a sense of purpose, such a sense of focus on that purpose. It had appealed to him from the first instant he’d seen her, across a sea of people at a memorial for the dead. He found it compelling, the way those whiskey-colored eyes could go flat and cold as they were now. Cop’s eyes. His cop’s eyes. She’d taken off her jacket, tossed it over a chair, and still wore her weapon harness. Which meant she’d come in the door and straight up. Armed and dangerous, he thought. It was a look, a fact of her, that continually aroused him. And her tireless and unwavering dedication to the dead—to the truth, to what was right—had, and always would, amaze him. She’d set up her murder board, he noted, filling it with grisly photos, with reports, notes, names. And somewhere along the line in her day, she’d earned herself a black eye. He’d long since resigned himself to finding the woman he loved bruised and bloody at any given time. Since she didn’t look exhausted or ill, a shiner was a relatively minor event. She sensed him. He saw the moment she did, that slight change of body language. And when her eyes shifted from her comp screen to his, the cold focus became an easy, even casual warmth. That, he thought, just that was worth coming home for.
J.D. Robb (Strangers in Death (In Death, #26))
Smile bigger.” Now I know how to get through photo shoots, because I know every angle they need. I do this super weird thing for my friends where I just slightly move my face to do a speed round of each red carpet pose and photo shoot I’ve done. The big smile, eyes up and then down, the Mona Lisa, the chin-down-lips-parted, the “Oh hi!” . . . My friends scream because I look like a robot model shorting out. But let me tell you, it makes it easy on the photographers.
Jessica Simpson (Open Book)
Has someone made you feel shame for taking selfies? For daring to believe so much in your beauty, in your style, in your badassery, in your joy, in your body, in your sensuality, in your humanity that you'd be so audacious, so bold, so (insert judgmental word of choice here) to want to witness and be witnessed for who and what you are. ⠀ ⠀ Has someone out there sold you their own truth that this is conceited or narcissistic or superficial? How dare you think so much of yourself that you stop to take a photo?⠀ ⠀ Forget. those. people. ⠀ ⠀ Seriously. You are worthy of capture. Of celebration. Of admiration. You are worthy of being seen and witnessed. Of being looked at with awe and with joy. Just as you are, right now. All made up and wearing the outfit that makes you feel like you can take on the world or just waking up in bed, bare skin and messy hair and eyes hazy with dreams. ⠀ ⠀ Here's the thing. Self-portraiture in art is as old as time. We are fascinated with the visible proof of our own existence, our own reality, and for damn good reason. We are infinite and complex and ever changing. We are majestic and mundane. Self-portraits, regardless of the medium, offer us a way to capture ourselves at a specific moment in time. ⠀ ⠀ For me, this is an act of self-love. Of self-honoring. Of owning myself as beautiful and sovereign. It is the way I learned to look at myself without needing to look away. It is how I learned to trace the lines of my own being with the sort of admiration I used to reserve for others, for those I loved or for rarified celebrities I never thought I could live up to. ⠀ ⠀ When I stop to take a photo of myself, it is a way to say that I am here. I have something to say that can't be spoken in words. It might be deep and poetic, or maybe I just damn well love my outfit and think you should see it. And that yes, it is a way to say I want to be seen and I no longer hold shame in that wanting.
Jeanette LeBlanc
I get mailings from Amnesty International, and as I look at their photos of men and women who have been beaten and cattle-prodded and jabbed and spit on and electrocuted, I ask myself, "What kind of human being could do that to another human being?" Then, I read the book of Acts and meet the kind of person who could do such a thing, now an apostle of grace, a servant of Jesus Christ, the greatest missionary history has ever known. If God can love that kind of person, maybe, just maybe, He can love the likes of me.
Philip Yancey (What's So Amazing About Grace?)
The official record for the fastest manmade object is the Helios 2 probe, which reached about 70 km/s in a close swing around the Sun. But it’s possible the actual holder of that title is a two-ton metal manhole cover. The cover sat atop a shaft at an underground nuclear test site operated by Los Alamos as part of Operation Plumbbob. When the 1-kiloton nuke went off below, the facility effectively became a nuclear potato cannon, giving the cap a gigantic kick. A high-speed camera trained on the lid caught only one frame of it moving upward before it vanished—which means it was moving at a minimum of 66 km/s. The cap was never found. Now, 66 km/s is about six times escape velocity, but contrary to common speculation, it’s unlikely the cap ever reached space. Newton’s impact depth approximation suggests that it was either destroyed completely by impact with the air or slowed and fell back to Earth. When we turn it back on, our reactivated hair dryer box, bobbing in lake water, undergoes a similar process. The heated steam below it expands outward, and as the box rises into the air, the entire surface of the lake turns to steam. The steam, heated to a plasma by the flood of radiation, accelerates the box faster and faster. Photo courtesy of Commander Hadfield Rather than slam into the atmosphere like the manhole cover, the box flies through a bubble of expanding plasma that offers little resistance. It exits the atmosphere and continues away, slowly fading from second sun to dim star. Much of the Northwest Territories is burning, but the Earth has survived.
Randall Munroe (What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions)
showing Jamie when he was much younger, no more than a child, yet staring at the camera with that same stony face he still wore now. It was strange enough that Haru would have such a thing, and yet there was something else that drew her to it. Haru had adorned Jamie’s head with gold ink to give him a crown of antlers. Lottie picked up the photo with extra care, tilting it in the light to get a proper look, and, when she turned it over, the world stopped. Written on the back at the bottom in English were the words THE LITTLE PRINCE OF MARADOVA. ‘No.
Connie Glynn (Princess at Heart (The Rosewood Chronicles))
He’s wondering if I saw him wipe the remnants of her off his mouth. Off his neck. He’s wondering if I saw him adjust his tie. He’s wondering if I saw him press his head to the steering wheel in dread. Or regret. He doesn’t bring his eyes back to mine. Instead, he looks down. “What’s her name?” I somehow ask the question without it sounding spiteful. I ask it with the same tone I often use to ask him about his day. How was your day, dear? What’s your mistress’s name, dear? Despite my pleasant tone, Graham doesn’t answer me. He lifts his eyes until they meet mine, but he’s quiet in his denial. I feel my stomach turn like I might physically be sick. I’m shocked at how much his silence angers me. I’m shocked at how much more this hurts in reality than in my nightmares. I didn’t think it could get worse than the nightmares. I somehow stand up, still clenching my glass. I want to throw it. Not at him. I just need to throw it at something. I hate him with every part of my soul right now, but I don’t blame him enough to throw the glass at him. If I could throw it at myself, I would. But I can’t, so I throw it toward our wedding photo that hangs on the wall across the room. In repeat the words as my wineglass hits the picture, shattering, bleeding down the wall and all over the floor. “What’s her fucking name, Graham?!” My voice is no longer pleasant. Graham doesn’t even flinch. He doesn’t look at the wedding photo, he doesn’t look at the bleeding floor beneath it, he doesn’t look at the front door, he doesn’t look at his feet. He looks me right in the eye and he says, “Andrea.” As soon as her name has fallen from his lips completely, he looks away. He doesn’t want to witness what his brutal honesty does to me.
Colleen Hoover (All Your Perfects)
During their subsequent meetings, which were soon and often, Lance confessed and anatomized his passion for her. He even gave her its (the passion’s, of course) biography. It had been born of a book jacket, the one responsible for the only really nice thing ever said about Eloise Michaud in a metropolitan review—“The photo-portrait on the book jacket will move as many books as, say, good writing might. To be honest, however, the picture is worth quite the price of the volume. Miss Michaud is the most scrumptious scrivener ever to set pen to the paper of a book-club contract.
Theodore Sturgeon (The Complete Stories of Theodore Sturgeon, Volume IX: And Now the News...)
It felt good to scrub my skin, as if I was removing everything that felt dead about me. I was the "queen of skin care." Who knew that simply exfoliating my skin until raw (which I knew better than to do but now couldn't resist) would one day be what was left of my skin care regimen? My daily cleansing and moisturizing, weekly hydrating and purifying masks, along with monthly photo facials, glycolic peels, or microdermabrasion, was down to "super-scrub Saturdays." Pampering was a thing of the past. No more sunscreen applications to guard against the "UVAging" rays that were out to get me 365 days a year. No more weekly Epsom salts hot baths to detox my body, or lathering up with my favorite vanilla-scented moisturizing cream. No more applications of extra virgin olive oil to the ends of my hair to prevent splitting. I didn't even treat myself to my bedtime chamomile tea. All that had been replaced by a new nightly ritual of passing out on the bed, face down, which went against my cardinal rule of youth maintenance. Before the deep hollow pain was born inside me, I slept on my back, at the perfect thirty-degree angle to ensure proper circulation and prevention of any unnecessary creasing or wrinkling.
Cari Kamm (Fake Perfect Me)
Some days it seems like every lowlife in town has Tail ’Em and Nail ’Em on their grease-stained Rolodex. A number of phone messages have piled up on the answering machine, breathers, telemarketers, even a few calls to do with tickets currently active. After some triage on the playback, Maxine returns an anxious call from a whistle-blower at a snack-food company over in Jersey which has been secretly negotiating with ex-employees of Krispy Kreme for the illegal purchase of top-secret temperature and humidity settings on the donut purveyor’s “proof box,” along with equally classified photos of the donut extruder, which however now seem to be Polaroids of auto parts taken years ago in Queens, Photoshopped and whimsically at that. “I’m beginning to think something’s funny about this deal,” her contact’s voice trembling a little, “maybe not even legit.” “Maybe, Trevor, because it’s a criminal act under Title 18?” “It’s an FBI sting operation!” Trevor screams. “Why would the FBI—” “Duh-uh? Krispy Kreme? On behalf of their brothers in law enforcement at all levels?” “All right. I’ll talk to them at the Bergen County DA, maybe they’ve heard something—” “Wait, wait, somebody’s coming, now they saw me, oh! maybe I better—” The line goes dead. Always happens.
Thomas Pynchon (Bleeding Edge)
Think of all the love poured into him. Think of the tuitions for Montessori and music lessons. Think of the gasoline expended, the treads worn carting him to football games, basketball tournaments, and Little League. Think of the time spent regulating sleepovers. Think of the surprise birthday parties, the daycare, and the reference checks on babysitters. Think of World Book and Childcraft. Think of checks written for family photos. Think of credit cards charged for vacations. Think of soccer balls, science kits, chemistry sets, racetracks, and model trains. Think of all the embraces, all the private jokes, customs, greetings, names, dreams, all the shared knowledge and capacity of a black family injected into that vessel of flesh and bone. And think of how that vessel was taken, shattered on the concrete, and all its holy contents, all that had gone into him, sent flowing back to the earth. Think of your mother, who had no father. And your grandmother, who was abandoned by her father. And your grandfather, who was left behind by his father. And think of how Prince's daughter was now drafted into those solemn ranks and deprived of her birthright — that vessel which was her father, which brimmed with twenty-five years of love and was the investment of her grandparents and was to be her legacy.
Ta-Nehisi Coates
I wished Adam weren’t jumping in for his turn. Because watching Adam wakeboard was not relaxing. He wasn’t careful when wakeboarding. Or in general. He was the opposite of careful. His life was one big episode of Jackass. He would do anything on a dare, so the older boys dared him a lot. My role in this game was to run and tell their mom. If I’d been able to run faster when we were kids, I might have saved Adam from a broken arm, several cracked ribs, and a couple of snake bites. Knowing this, it might not make a lot of sense that Mr. Vader let us wakeboard for the marina. But we’d come to wakeboarding only gradually. When we first started out, it was more like, Look at the very young children on water skis! How adorable. One time the local newspaper ran a photo of me and Adam waterskiing double, each of us holding up an American flag. It’s okay for you to gag now. I can take it. But Mr. Vader was no fool. He understood things changed. After the second time Adam broke his collarbone, Mr. Vader put us under strict orders not to get hurt, because it was bad for business. Customers might not be so eager to buy a wakeboard and all the equipment if they witnessed our watery death. To enforce this rule, the punishment for bleeding in the boat was that we had to clean the boat. Adam cleaned the boat a lot last summer.
Jennifer Echols (Endless Summer (The Boys Next Door, #1-2))
right now everyone is on their phones. Everyone has that ‘me, me, me instant gratification’ shit going on and so when the going gets rough in a relationship, as it always does, they bail. They bail because they have a million other people on their phone, on those fucking apps, all waiting for a hook-up or a date. A million people around the corner, with their perfect filtered photos uploaded, their bios updated and edited so they all represent the perfect fake versions of themselves. So even when you’re on a date with one person, you can look at your phone and go to the next person, have your fun, then go to the next. It’s not fucking dating man, it’s shopping.
Karina Halle (Before I Ever Met You)
It’s that right now everyone is on their phones. Everyone has that ‘me, me, me instant gratification’ shit going on and so when the going gets rough in a relationship, as it always does, they bail. They bail because they have a million other people on their phone, on those fucking apps, all waiting for a hook-up or a date. A million people around the corner, with their perfect filtered photos uploaded, their bios updated and edited so they all represent the perfect fake versions of themselves. So even when you’re on a date with one person, you can look at your phone and go to the next person, have your fun, then go to the next. It’s not fucking dating man, it’s shopping.
Karina Halle (Before I Ever Met You)
LUCAS HUNG ON, and Bob said to Rae, “If this works, I’m probably going to have to kiss Lucas’s ass. You might not want to be here for that.” “No time for it anyway,” Lucas said. “If this works, we need to get down to Quantico and check this stuff out.” Rae: “Why? We’ll just have him email it to us.” Lucas rubbed his face, and sighed. “Shit. You know, deep in my heart, I don’t understand that we don’t always have to go places to get things anymore,” Lucas said. “I was about to drive an hour over to the Medical Examiner’s Office to look at Ritter’s belt. The investigator sent me the iPhone photos in seven minutes. Kind of scizzes me out, the way it comes out of the sky now.
John Sandford (Twisted Prey (Lucas Davenport #28))
The call of self-expression turned the village of the internet into a city, which expanded at time-lapse speed, social connections bristling like neurons in every direction. At ten, I was clicking around a web ring to check out other Angelfire sites full of animal GIFs and Smash Mouth trivia. At twelve, I was writing five hundred words a day on a public LiveJournal. At fifteen, I was uploading photos of myself in a miniskirt on Myspace. By twenty-five, my job was to write things that would attract, ideally, a hundred thousand strangers per post. Now I’m thirty, and most of my life is inextricable from the internet, and its mazes of incessant forced connection—this feverish, electric, unlivable hell.
Jia Tolentino (Trick Mirror)
He smiled, and some of the knots in my stomach loosened. He would keep my secret. Devon hesitated, then reached over and put his hand on top of mine. His skin was warm, as though the sun had soaked into his body. I breathed in, and the crisp, clean scent of him filled my nose, the one that made me want to bury my face in his neck and inhale the essence of him over and over again. But I forced myself to exhale and step back, putting some distance between us, even though our hands were still touching. “Look,” I said, my voice carefully neutral. “You’re a nice guy, a great guy. But I’m going to . . . be here for a while. You’re an important member of the Family, and I’m your bodyguard, so it’s my job to protect you, and we’re going to have to work together. But I don’t think there should be anything . . . else.” “Because of your mom, right?” he asked in a low voice. “Because you blame me for her death?” I sucked in a breath, so rattled that I couldn’t even pretend I didn’t know what he was talking about. First, my magic, and now this. Somehow, Devon knew all my secrets. “How do you know about my mom?” I croaked out. “I remember everything about that day in the park,” he said. “Including the girl with the blue eyes who helped save me.” I didn’t say anything. I could barely even hear him over the roar of my own heartbeat in my ears. “It took me a while to figure out why you seemed so familiar. When I realized you reminded me of the girl in the park, I knew it had to be you. Mom would never have brought you here otherwise. Plus, there are several photos of your mother in the library. You look just like her. I know what happened to her. I’m sorry that she died because of me—so sorry.” His green gaze locked with mine, that old, familiar guilt flaring to life in his eyes and punching me in the gut. And once again, I found myself wanting to comfort him. “I don’t blame you for her death,” I said. “It wasn’t your fault. None of it was your fault. It was all the Draconis.” “Do you really mean that?” he whispered. “I do.” Devon closed the distance between us and stared down at me. I let myself look into his eyes for another heartbeat. Then I pulled my hand out from under his and stepped away. Hurt flashed in his gaze before he could hide it. I wanted to stop. I wanted to tell him that I felt this thing, this attraction, this heat between us just as much as he did. I wanted to wrap my arms around his neck, pull his lips down to mine, and lose myself in him. But I couldn’t. Not when I was planning on leaving the mansion, the Family, and him, the second I thought it was safe. I already cared about Devon way too much. And Felix and Oscar and even Claudia. I didn’t need to fall any farther down that rabbit hole, especially where Devon was concerned, because I knew exactly where I would end up—with my heart broken.
Jennifer Estep (Cold Burn of Magic (Black Blade, #1))
Can I wait until later to tell you my story?” he asked, sounding uncomfortable. “I don’t want to completely weird you out by talking about who I used to be before having the chance to show you who I am now.” He shot me an awkward smile. “Does that mean I don’t have to tell you about my past either?” I lobbed back. “No,” he groaned. “Especially since I’ve barely started to figure you out.” He paused. “Just please, don’t ask me yet. Any other question, just not that.” “Okay, how about . . . why do you have a photo of me next to your bed?” I prodded. “Did that creep you out?” he said, laughing. “Yeah, kind of,” I admitted. “Although I saw it about a second after I found you dead on your bed, so the creep factor was already pretty high.
Amy Plum (Die for Me (Revenants, #1))
Calmly We Walk Through This April Day Calmly we walk through this April's day, Metropolitan poetry here and there, In the park sit pauper and rentier, The screaming children, the motor-car Fugitive about us, running away, Between the worker and the millionaire Number provides all distances, It is Nineteen Thirty-Seven now, Many great dears are taken away, What will become of you and me (This is the school in which we learn...) Besides the photo and the memory? (...that time is the fire in which we burn.) (This is the school in which we learn...) What is the self amid this blaze? What am I now that I was then Which I shall suffer and act again, The theodicy I wrote in my high school days Restored all life from infancy, The children shouting are bright as they run (This is the school in which they learn . . .) Ravished entirely in their passing play! (...that time is the fire in which they burn.) Avid its rush, that reeling blaze! Where is my father and Eleanor? Not where are they now, dead seven years, But what they were then? No more? No more? From Nineteen-Fourteen to the present day, Bert Spira and Rhoda consume, consume Not where they are now (where are they now?) But what they were then, both beautiful; Each minute bursts in the burning room, The great globe reels in the solar fire, Spinning the trivial and unique away. (How all things flash! How all things flare!) What am I now that I was then? May memory restore again and again The smallest color of the smallest day: Time is the school in which we learn, Time is the fire in which we burn.
Delmore Schwartz
For years I happily wrote nothing but carefully researched and argued cultural history. Now with fiction I can begin where the archives end. It’s like turning old black and white photos into a full-color video. Research reveals the past; fiction puts it in motion. And once history comes to life, it’s clear that people then wrestled with troubles a lot like our own. I love writing mysteries because they’re ultimately about justice, and what’s more complicated than guilt and innocence? I especially relish writing about crimes that pit the law against my characters’ moral code. In the end justice is often about power, and the struggle over who gets to decide what’s right or wrong makes for great stories in any genre. Historical mysteries are a great way into the life’s most meaty stuff.
Marlowe Benn
How do I focus it?” Joe asked him, lowering the camera. “Oh, don’t bother about that. Just look at me and push the little lever. Your mind will do the rest.” “My mind.” Joe snapped a photo of his host, then handed the camera back to him. “The camera is …” He searched for the word in English. “Telepathic.” “All cameras are,” his host said mildly. “I have been photographed now by seven thousand one hundred and … eighteen … people, all with this camera, and I assure you that no two portraits are alike.” He handed the camera to Sammy, and his features, as if stamped from a machine, once more settled into the same corpulent happy mask. Sammy snapped the lever. “What possible other explanation can there be for this endless variation but interference by waves emanating from the photographer’s own mind?
Michael Chabon (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay)
I felt sick that a stray tweet could actually result in a meeting, although I took some solace from believing that what motivated Trump was the press coverage and photo op of this unprecedented DMZ get-together, not anything substantive. Trump had wanted to have one of the earlier summits at the DMZ, but that idea had been short-circuited because it gave Kim Jong Un the home-court advantage (whereas we would fly halfway around the world), and because we still hadn’t figured out how to ensure it was just a Trump-Kim bilateral meeting. Now it was going to happen. North Korea had what it wanted from the United States and Trump had what he wanted personally. This showed the asymmetry of Trump’s view of foreign affairs. He couldn’t tell the difference between his personal interests and the country’s interests.
John R. Bolton (The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir)
Everything comes down to time in the end - to the passing of time, to changing. Ever thought of that? Anything that makes you happy or sad, isn't it all based on minutes going by? Isn't happiness expecting something time is going to bring you? Isn't sadness wishing time back again? Even big things - even mourning a death: aren't you really just wishing to have the time back when that person was alive? Or photos - ever notice old photographs? How wistful they make you feel? Long-ago people smiling, a child who would be an old lady now, a cat that died, a flowering plant that's long since withered away and the pot itself broken or misplaced...Isn't it just that time for once is stopped that makes you wistful? If only you could turn it back again, you think. If only you could change this or that, undo what you have done, if only you could roll the minutes the other way, for once.
Anne Tyler (Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant)
We were in Julie’s room one night, my eldest daughter and I, maybe a decade ago now. I wanted to show her how the canvas painting she had carefully labored over for her little sister's Christmas gift was framed and hung on the wall. I said, gazing at her masterpiece with no small amount of motherly pride, “Now it looks like a real work of art”. Bella looked at me quizzically, wondering yet again how her mother could possibly understand so little about the world. “Mama, every time you make something, or draw something, or paint something, it is already real art. There is no such thing as art that is not real” And so I said that she was right, and didn’t it look nice, and once again, daughter became guru and mother became willing student. Which is, I sometimes think, the way it was meant to be. ~~~~~ art is always real. all of it. even the stuff you don’t understand. even the stuff you don’t like. even the stuff that you made that you would be embarrassed to show your best friend that photo that you took when you first got your DSLR, when you captured her spirit perfectly but the focus landed on her shoulder? still art. the painting you did last year the first time you picked up a brush, the one your mentor critiqued to death? it’s art. the story you are holding in your heart and so desperately want to tell the world? definitely art. the scarf you knit for your son with the funky messed up rows? art. art. art. the poem scrawled on your dry cleaning receipt at the red light. the dress you want to sew. the song you want to sing. the clay you’ve not yet molded. everything you have made or will one day make or imagine making in your wildest dreams. it’s all real, every last bit. because there is no such thing as art that is not real.
Jeanette LeBlanc
her room now?” They were led down the hall by Beth. Before she turned away she took a last drag on her smoke and said, “However this comes out, there is no way my baby would have had anything to do with something like this, drawing of this asshole or not. No way. Do you hear me? Both of you?” “Loud and clear,” said Decker. But he thought if Debbie were involved she had already paid the ultimate price anyway. The state couldn’t exactly kill her again. Beth casually flicked the cigarette down the hall, where it sparked and then died out on the faded runner. Then she walked off. They opened the door and went into Debbie’s room. Decker stood in the middle of the tiny space and looked around. Lancaster said, “We’ll have the tech guys go through her online stuff. Photos on her phone, her laptop over there, the cloud, whatever. Instagram. Twitter. Facebook. Tumblr. Wherever else the kids do their electronic preening. Keeps changing. But our guys will know where to look.” Decker didn’t answer her. He just kept looking around, taking the room in, fitting things in little niches in his memory and then pulling them back out if something didn’t seem right as weighed against something else. “I just see a typical teenage girl’s room. But what do you see?” asked Lancaster finally. He didn’t look at her but said, “Same things you’re seeing. Give me a minute.” Decker walked around the small space, looked under piles of papers, in the young woman’s closet, knelt down to see under her bed, scrutinized the wall art that hung everywhere, including a whole section of People magazine covers. She also had chalkboard squares affixed to one wall. On them was a musical score and short snatches of poetry and personal messages to herself: Deb, Wake up each day with something to prove. “Pretty busy room,” noted Lancaster, who had perched on the edge of the girl’s desk. “We’ll have forensics come and bag it all.” She looked at Decker, obviously waiting for him to react to this, but instead he walked out of the room. “Decker!” “I’ll be back,” he called over his shoulder. She watched him go and then muttered, “Of all the partners I could have had, I got Rain Man, only giant size.” She pulled a stick of gum out of her bag, unwrapped it, and popped it into her mouth. Over the next several minutes she strolled the room and then came to the mirror on the back of the closet door. She appraised her appearance and ended it with the resigned sigh of a person who knows their best days physically are well in the past. She automatically reached for her smokes but then decided against it. Debbie’s room could be part of a criminal investigation. Her ash and smoke could only taint that investigation.
David Baldacci (Memory Man (Amos Decker, #1))
We have a civil rights photo collection in our house, a big, beautiful coffee table book with images so vivid they cause jaws to drop. When my daughters and their friends pick it up to look at the young Black boys and girls in the middle of a dangerous struggle, I remind them that our eyes are trained to look at the Black faces and their determination as they walk to school. But I tell them also to look at the white faces in the background: the young, jeering faces shouting slurs and throwing things. “All of those folks are now around your granddad’s age,” I tell my daughters. They’re still with us, and those people now walk around, every day, living with what they did, and either trying to rectify it in their brains, through penance, or voting for Donald Trump and passing that hatred down to their children’s children. That is this country. Them. We cannot afford to pretend they don’t live among us.
Michael Bennett (Things That Make White People Uncomfortable)
He was stricken anew by her, overcome with the knowledge that in the morning he would have to relinquish her. In Prison 33, little by little, you relinquished everything, starting with your tomorrows and all that might be. Next went your past, and suddenly it was inconceivable that your head had ever touched a pillow, that you'd once used a spoon or a toilet, that your mouth had once known flavors and your eyes had beheld colors beyond gray and brown and the shade of black that blood took on. Before you relinquished yourself--Ga had felt it starting, like the numb of cold limbs--you let go of all the others, each person you'd once known. They became ideas and then notions and then impressions, and then they were as ghostly as projections against a prison infirmary. Sun Moon appeared to him now like this, not as a woman, vital and beautiful, making an instrument speak her sorrow, but as the flicker of someone once known, a photo of a person long gone.
Adam Johnson
Definitions What is time? Is it the ticking clock hanging on the wall or is it the way the sun rises and sets on the horizon in summer is it the way a child grows over the course of seasons or is it the hourglass on my table counting the seconds until who knows when So when you said you wanted me to “give you time” i brought you the clock from my wall and i took you to watch the sun rise and set i showed you photos of a child growing and i brought you my hourglass instead of leaving it on my table to count the seconds until forever so now when you say to “give you time” what am i supposed to do? because i would cross oceans to bring you what you want i will do anything for you except leave your side So when you told me you needed to be alone i told you that was the one thing i could not do because without you my clock stops ticking and my seasons stop changing and the hourglass sitting on my table stops counting seconds because for me, without you there is no forever
Mae Krell (All The Things I Never Said)
In under two weeks, and with no budget, thousands of college students protested the movie on their campuses nationwide, angry citizens vandalized our billboards in multiple neighborhoods, ran a front-page story about the backlash, Page Six of the New York Post made their first of many mentions of Tucker, and the Chicago Transit Authority banned and stripped the movie’s advertisements from their buses. To cap it all off, two different editorials railing against the film ran in the Washington Post and Chicago Tribune the week it was released. The outrage about Tucker was great enough that a few years later, it was written into the popular television show Portlandia on IFC. I guess it is safe to admit now that the entire firestorm was, essentially, fake. I designed the advertisements, which I bought and placed around the country, and then promptly called and left anonymous complaints about them (and leaked copies of my complaints to blogs for support). I alerted college LGBT and women’s rights groups to screenings in their area and baited them to protest our offensive movie at the theater, knowing that the nightly news would cover it. I started a boycott group on Facebook. I orchestrated fake tweets and posted fake comments to articles online. I even won a contest for being the first one to send in a picture of a defaced ad in Chicago (thanks for the free T-shirt, Chicago RedEye. Oh, also, that photo was from New York). I manufactured preposterous stories about Tucker’s behavior on and off the movie set and reported them to gossip websites, which gleefully repeated them. I paid for anti-woman ads on feminist websites and anti-religion ads on Christian websites, knowing each would write about it. Sometimes I just Photoshopped ads onto screenshots of websites and got coverage for controversial ads that never actually ran. The loop became final when, for the first time in history, I put out a press release to answer my own manufactured criticism: TUCKER MAX RESPONDS TO CTA DECISION: “BLOW ME,” the headline read.
Ryan Holiday (Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator)
Soon after the raid was over, the White House released the now-famous photo of all of us watching the video in that small conference room. Within hours, I received from a friend a Photoshopped version with each of the principals shown dressed in superhero costumes: Obama was Superman; Biden, Spiderman; Hillary, Wonder Woman; and I, for some reason, was the Green Lantern. The spoof had an important substantive effect on me. We soon faced a great hue and cry demanding that we release photos of the dead Bin Laden, photos we had all seen. I quickly realized that while the Photoshop of us was amusing, others could Photoshop the pictures of Bin Laden in disrespectful ways certain to outrage Muslims everywhere and place Americans throughout the Middle East and our troops in Afghanistan at greater risk. Everyone agreed, and the president decided the photos would not be released. All the photos that had been circulating among the principals were gathered up and placed in CIA’s custody. As of this writing, none has ever leaked.
Robert M. Gates (Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War)
she’d posed for her wedding photo. The only thing missing was her father. She still remembered how gently Brian had told her he wouldn’t be coming. How he’d held her while she cried. She remembered how he’d whispered over and over that he’d never leave. The way that Brian cherished her was already changing the way she felt about the world. Her father might not be here today, nor her mother, but she was still surrounded by family. Friends. A community she was proud to be a part of. Cass swallowed hard. She was happy. So happy. The music swelled. Wye and her sisters straightened and got in line. “Ready?” Jo asked. Cass’s phone erupted from the side table in a burst of tinny music, and she wondered who on earth could be calling now. Everyone she knew in the world was sitting outside waiting for her. “Ignore it,” Lena urged her. “We have to go.” Something made Cass reach for it, though, and when she saw who it was, her heart skipped a beat. “It’s the General.” Her sisters stared back at her. “Answer it,” Wye said. She grabbed it from Cass’s hand, swiped to accept the call and held it to Cass’s ear.
Cora Seton (Issued to the Bride: One Navy SEAL (Brides of Chance Creek, #1))
We took the kids to see Chris’s body the next day. He’d been cleaned up a lot. Leanne had suggested that we have a photo book with pictures of Chris; it was a brilliant idea, a way of putting their good-byes in a better, if not exactly happy, context. Before going in, I told them they were going to see their father’s body without his soul. Their dad was now in heaven; all they were going to see was the body God had loaned him for this world. How much comfort that was, I don’t know. Bubba stood near him for a bit, then decided he was done. At some point he told me he didn’t like to cry. “It hurts too much when I cry.” Instead, he would run hard, play hard. The thing about grief is, we all do it in our own way, in our own time, kids included. He went out with V and they sat together on a couch, looking at the book. Within a few moments I heard V’s deep voice boom; laughter echoed in the hall. Bubba was telling him stories about his father, reminding him and all of us who Chris really was. Angel and I stayed with Chris. “Can I touch his hand?” she asked. “Yes.” There was a flower in the room. She put it on him.
Taya Kyle (American Wife: Love, War, Faith, and Renewal)
In a dream I sometimes have, I am frantically trying to save as much as I can from my childhood home before I am forced to leave forever because of some disaster. In this dream, from which I awake with my jaw clenched like a fist, I grab whatever I can reach, take whatever I can carry. Always my childhood books and our family photo albums, but sometimes also the silver candlesticks, the things on my father's desk, the paintings on the walls. Maybe it comes from the speed with which my family changed shape one day, maybe it comes from moving, maybe it comes from my grandmother's hinted horror of losing everything in the Holocaust, but I cannot part with a dented pot that I remember my mother putting on the stove each week. Or the sofa my father bought with his first pay cheque, which was never comfortable when I was growing up and is not comfortable now. I cannot part with the lipstick I found softly rolling in an empty drawer months after my mother left. Or a shopping list on an envelope in her handwriting. In a world that changes so quickly, and where everyone eventually leaves, our stuff is the one thing we can trust. It testifies, through the mute medium of Things, that we were part of something greater than ourselves.
Sarah Krasnostein (The Trauma Cleaner: One Woman's Extraordinary Life in the Business of Death, Decay, and Disaster)
September 10, 1965 Dear Francesca, Enclosed are two photographs. One is the shot I took of you in the pasture at sunrise. I hope you like it as much as I do. The other is of Roseman Bridge before I removed your note tacked to it. I sit here trolling the gray areas of my mind for every detail, every moment, of our time together. I ask myself over and over, “What happened to me in Madison County, Iowa?” And I struggle to bring it together. That’s why I wrote the little piece, “Falling from Dimension Z,” I have enclosed, as a way of trying to sift through my confusion. I look down the barrel of a lens, and you’re at the end of it. I begin work on an article, and I’m writing about you. I’m not even sure how I got back here from Iowa. Somehow the old truck brought me home, yet I barely remember the miles going by. A few weeks ago, I felt self-contained, reasonably content. Maybe not profoundly happy, maybe a little lonely, but at least content. All of that has changed. It’s clear to me now that I have been moving toward you and you toward me for a long time. Though neither of us was aware of the other before we met, there was a kind of mindless certainty humming blithely along beneath our ignorance that ensured we would come together. Like two solitary birds flying the great prairies by celestial reckoning, all of these years and lifetimes we have been moving toward one another. The road is a strange place. Shuffling along, I looked up and you were there walking across the grass toward my truck on an August day. In retrospect, it seems inevitable—it could not have been any other way—a case of what I call the high probability of the improbable. So here I am walking around with another person inside of me. Though I think I put it better the day we parted when I said there is a third person we have created from the two of us. And I am stalked now by that other entity. Somehow, we must see each other again. Any place, anytime. Call me if you ever need anything or simply want to see me. I’ll be there, pronto. Let me know if you can come out here sometime—anytime. I can arrange plane fare, if that’s a problem. I’m off to southeast India next week, but I’ll be back in late October. I Love You, Robert P. S., The photo project in Madison County turned out fine. Look for it in NG next year. Or tell me if you want me to send a copy of the issue when it’s published. Francesca Johnson set her brandy glass on the wide oak windowsill and stared at an eight-by-ten black-and-white photograph of herself.
Robert James Waller (The Bridges Of Madison County)
Anderson has spent enough time poring over ancient pictures that they seldom affect him. He can usually ignore the foolish confidence of the past—the waste, the arrogance, the absurd wealth—but this one irritates him: the fat flesh hanging off the farang, the astonishing abundance of calories that are so obviously secondary to the color and attractiveness of a market that has thirty varieties of fruit: mangosteens, pineapples, coconuts, certainly. . . but there are no oranges, now. None of these. . . these. . . dragon fruits, none of these pomelos, none of these yellow things. . . lemons. None of them. So many of these things are simply gone. But the people in the photo don't know it. These dead men and women have no idea that they stand in front of the treasure of the ages, that they inhabit the Eden of the Grahamite Bible where pure souls go to live at the right hand of God. Where all the flavors of the world reside under the careful attentions of Noah and Saint Francis, and where no one starves. Anderson scans the caption. The fat, self-contented fools have no idea of the genetic gold mine they stand beside. The book doesn't even bother to identify the ngaw. It's just another example of nature's fecundity, taken entirely for granted because they enjoyed so damn much of it.
Paolo Bacigalupi (The Windup Girl)
Being capable and productive feels somewhat beside the point these days. Either you're popular, and therefore exciting and successful and a winner, or you're unpopular, and therefore unimportant and invisible and devoid of redeeming value. Being capable was much more celebrated in the 1970s when I was growing up. People had real jobs that lasted a lifetime back then, and many workers seemed to embrace the promise that if you worked steadily and capably for years, you would be rewarded for it. Even without those rewards, working hard and knowing how to do things seemed like worthwhile enterprises in themselves. "Can she back a cherry pie, Billy Boy, Billy Boy?" my mom used to sing while rolling out pie crust with her swift, dexterous hands. Sexist as its message may have been, the modern version of that song might be worse. It would center around taking carefully staged and filtered photos of your pretty face next to a piece of cherry pie and posting it to your Instagram account, to be rewarded with two thousand red hearts for your efforts. Making food, tasting it, sharing it, understanding yourself as a human who can do things - all of this is flattened down to nothing, now, since only one or two people would ever know about it. Better to feed two thousand strangers an illusion than engage in real work to limited ends.
Heather Havrilesky (What If This Were Enough?: Essays)
Wow,” he says, looking around. “You’ve redecorated.” “When was the last time you were in here?” I search my memory, browsing through images of a much smaller, shaggy-haired Ryder in my room. Eight, maybe nine? “It’s been a while, I guess.” He moves over to my mirror, framed with photos that I’ve tacked up haphazardly on the white wicker frame. Mostly me, Morgan, and Lucy in various posed and candid shots. One of Morgan, just after being crowned Miss Teen Lafayette Country. A couple of the entire cheerleading squad at cheer camp. I see his gaze linger on one picture in the top right corner. Curious, I move closer, till I can see the photo in question. It was taken on vacation--Fort Walton Beach, at the Goofy Golf--several years ago. Nan and I are standing under the green T-Rex with our arms thrown around each other. Ryder is beside us, leaning on a golf club. He’s clearly in the middle of a growth spurt, because he looks all skinny and stretched out. I’d guess we’re about twelve. If you look through our family photo albums, you’ll probably find a million pictures that include Ryder. But this is the only one of him in my room. I’d kind of forgotten about it. But now…I’m glad it’s here. “Look how skinny I was,” he says. “Look how chubby I was,” I shoot back, noting my round face. “You were not chubby. You were cute. In that, you know, awkward years kind of way.” “Thanks. I think.
Kristi Cook (Magnolia (Magnolia Branch, #1))
An inch?” Minh held his fingers apart trying to judge the unfamiliar measurement. Shake took his hand and squeezed the fingers closer together.           “By such small amounts...we win or lose.”           “Nobody won in that fight, Minh. We both lost.”           “The dreams...”           “Yes. I have them too...and you are always there.”           “Where is all the hate?”           “Gone. It always goes...when you realize your enemy is just another man...just another soldier trying to do his duty.”           “That’s how you think of me?”           “It is now. Before this you were the black-eyed monster of my nightmares.”           “And you were the green-eyed monster...”           They smiled and studied the glow of the candle.           “You stayed in your Marine Corps...”           “Yes. I had nothing in common with civilians. Didn’t like them much. I was comfortable as a Marine...among others who understand me.”           “I understand you...”           “I believe you do, Minh.”           “Did you marry? Have children?”           “I was married but that is finished now. This is my only child.”Shake reached for his wallet and pulled out Stacey’s high school graduation picture in cap and gown.           “A scholar. She is very beautiful.”           “Yes...she is everything to me.”           “And if I had killed you that night up on those walls, she would never have been born.”Minh handed the photo back and nodded. “I wish I had known this. It makes me feel better.
Dale A. Dye (Laos File (The Shake Davis Series))
The truth is technical, clinical, not well understood. Essentially, somewhere behind my overactive, often dysfunctional frontal lobe, my hippocampus is getting hot, and in the back of my brain, deep inside the little, almond-shaped amygdala, flashes of light are igniting a fire that burns through my memory like a box of random photos left for too long in a dusty firetrap of an attic. Some are vivid, bright, resplendent in the superior technology that preserves their detail, context, meaning. Truth. Others, many in fact, are so faded I can hardly see the contrast of negative on positive. I can barely remember the incidents, events, places, and people that were, for whatever reason, worth recording. Where does the brain stop and the mind begin? Which part of my movie is merely mechanical, chemical? And how do fantasy, fear, desire, joy, loss emerge to become the story? If there is an answer, it’s all in the editing. For most of my life, my memories have been cut together, if not perfectly, then according to some system that has allowed me reasonable access to my story. To what I wanted to remember and how I chose to remember it. I had final cut. Now they are a mess. A beautiful mess, cut and recut, and playing in no particular order across the insides of my eyelids, running both forward and backward in time as the electrical fire in my brain chases them down and ignites them. I want to reach out my hand. I want to salvage one or two of my favorite frames. But memory is fast and my hands are strapped to this table.
Juliann Garey (Too Bright to Hear Too Loud to See)
Tina was hosting. She's a thirty-five-year-old version of Sienne, only bottle blonde.Same blind-you lipstick, same taste in clothes,same complete disregard for anyone else's opinion on anything. They hate each other. "You hate me!" Sienna wailed. It wasn't Tina's voice that snapped back, but Dad's, "Oh,no. I am not playing that game with you. Do you have any idea what a hundred pounds of filet is gonna cost me? And now you want lobster?" "But it's my wedding! Daddy-" "Don't you Daddy me, princess! I'm already five grand in the hole for the damned hotel,not to mention two for the dress, and every time I turn around, you and your mother have added a new guest, bridesmaid,or crustacean!" First of all,Dad was yelling.Almost. Second,he was swearing.Even damn is fighting talk for him.I set down my pizza and debated the best route for a sealthy escape. I'd seen the dress.Pretty, in a Disney-princess, twenty-yards-of-tulle, boobs-shaped-into-missiles sort of way. Sienne looked deliriously happy in it. She looked beautiful.The less said about the bridesmaids' dressed, I'd decided, on seeing the purple sateen,the better. "No lobster!" he yelled. There was a dramatic howl, followed by the bang of the back door. When I peeked out,it was like a photo. Everything was frozen.Dad was standing over the massive pasta pot, red-faced and scowling, wooden spoon brandished like a sword. Leo and Ricky had retreated to the doorway of the freezer. Nonna had her eyes turned heavenward, and Tina was halfway through the dining room door, smirking a little.
Melissa Jensen (The Fine Art of Truth or Dare)
What is it?” I asked, pasting a magazine photo of a football--found in an old Seventeen magazine spread--on my beloved’s collage. “Well, a bunch of cattle trucks just showed up,” he said, trying to talk over the symphonic mooing of cows all around him. “They were supposed to get here tomorrow night, but they showed up early…” “Oh, no…that’s a bummer,” I said, not quite sure what he was getting at. “So now I’ve got to work all these cattle tonight and get ’em shipped…and by the time I get done, the store in town will be closed,” he began. Our appointment with Father Johnson was at ten the next morning. “So I think I’m just going to have to come over there really early tomorrow morning and do the thing at your house,” Marlboro Man said. I could hardly hear him through the cattle. “Are you sure?” I asked. “What time were you thinking of coming over?” I braced myself for the worst. “I was thinking around six or so,” he said. “That would give me plenty of time to get it done before we go.” Six? In the morning? Ugh, I thought. I have only one more week of sleeping in. After we’re married, there’s no telling what time I’ll have to get out of bed. “Okay,” I said, my voice dripping with trepidation. “I’ll see you in the morning. Oh, and hey…if I don’t answer the door right away it probably means I’m doing some weight training or something.” “Gotcha,” Marlboro Man answered, humoring me. “And hey--don’t pull any muscles or strain yourself. We’re getting married in less than a week.” My stomach fluttered as I hung up the phone and resumed work on my collage.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
At the time that he had seriously begun to consolidate his organization, Parker was working in a custom photo lab. The reader who is not much taken by audiovisual pastimes may have a deficient picture of that place where Parker was employed; or perhaps not so much a deficient picture--the dyes faded, shoddily spotted, brutishly burned in and doltishly dodged by subhuman technicians under the glare of the enlargers--as an image which had been misfiled in the archives of the memory, representing instead one of those bleak Photo Drive-Ups and Presto Printses located nowadays on the corner of almost every large parking lot, in which the clerks wait sadly behind their glass counters, but no one comes in, and the air becomes darker and darker over the course of the morning as a result of exhaust fumes (there goes another brain cell; ping! - THAT thought will never be completed now); and the pink chubby tots smiling at your from the walls in sample enlargements become steadily more grimy, and by the lunch break they are brown; and the day ticks off on the loud digital clock; and then finally a car creeps into the lot, and a popeyed couple locks that vehicle doors listlessly; they request a reprint of a washed-out snapshot of their son who was killed in the Indian Wars, and they go away; and after a long time here comes a slick-haired teenager who once took a few pix of his girlfriend holding a balloon at the zoo in front of the monkey cage on a dirty overcast day, and the clerk can tell just by looking at this customer that they won’t come out, because the guy’s a loser if the clerk knows anything at all about losers and in fact he knows a hell of a lot about losers because why else would he be stuck with this job?
William T. Vollmann (You Bright and Risen Angels)
You didn’t marry?” Aunt Blythe asked Andrew. He glanced at me. “When I was a boy no older than Drew, I had a close brush with death. It always seemed to me a miracle that I lived.” Once more Hannah made an attempt to stop her brother with a poke of her cane, but Andrew went on talking, his eyes on my face, his voice solemn. “I often thought I’d been meant to die, so I decided to lead a solitary life. There’s no way of telling what one person might do to change the history of the world.” Before he could say anything else, Hannah patted Aunt Blythe’s arm. “I brought along an old photo album. Would you please fetch it from the car?” As soon as my aunt was out of sight, Hannah said, “If you don’t hush, Andrew, we’re going to leave the minute Blythe comes back. I swear I don’t know what ails you. You might as well be twelve years old!” She turned to me then and took my hand. “You know what I’m talking about, don’t you, Drew? He was an absolute imp when he was your age and he still is. All that’s changed is his outside.” I stared into Hannah’s eyes, faded now to the color of shadows on winter snow. “He told you, didn’t he?” “In some ways, I think I knew all along.” Hannah squeezed my hand. “I’m so glad we’ve lived long enough to see you again.” I flung my arms around her. She felt as thin-boned as a bird, and I was afraid to hug her too tightly. I didn’t want to hurt her. “It must be a shock to see us so old,” Hannah said. “I’m afraid I couldn’t climb a tree or shoot a marble if my life depended on it. Neither could Andrew, but I doubt he’ll admit it.” “If I put my mind to it,” Andrew said, “I could beat Drew with one hand tied behind my back. He was never any match for me.” Hannah raised her eyebrows. “It seems to me he outplayed you once.” “Pshaw. What’s one game?
Mary Downing Hahn (Time for Andrew: A Ghost Story)
We have become so trusting of technology that we have lost faith in ourselves and our born instincts. There are still parts of life that we do not need to “better” with technology. It’s important to understand that you are smarter than your smartphone. To paraphrase, there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your Google. Mistakes are a part of life and often the path to profound new insights—so why try to remove them completely? Getting lost while driving or visiting a new city used to be an adventure and a good story. Now we just follow the GPS. To “know thyself” is hard work. Harder still is to believe that you, with all your flaws, are enough—without checking in, tweeting an update, or sharing a photo as proof of your existence for the approval of your 719 followers. A healthy relationship with your devices is all about taking ownership of your time and making an investment in your life. I’m not calling for any radical, neo-Luddite movement here. Carving out time for yourself is as easy as doing one thing. Walk your dog. Stroll your baby. Go on a date—without your handheld holding your hand. Self-respect, priorities, manners, and good habits are not antiquated ideals to be traded for trends. Not everyone will be capable of shouldering this task of personal responsibility or of being a good example for their children. But the heroes of the next generation will be those who can calm the buzzing and jigging of outside distraction long enough to listen to the sound of their own hearts, those who will follow their own path until they learn to walk erect—not hunched over like a Neanderthal, palm-gazing. Into traffic. You have a choice in where to direct your attention. Choose wisely. The world will wait. And if it’s important, they’ll call back.
Jocelyn K. Glei (Manage Your Day-To-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind)
These senators and representatives call themselves “leaders.” One of the primary principles of leadership is that a leader never asks or orders any follower to do what he or she would not do themselves. Such action requires the demonstration of the acknowledged traits of a leader among which are integrity, honesty, and courage, both physical and moral courage. They don’t have those traits nor are they willing to do what they ask and order. Just this proves we elect people who shouldn’t be leading the nation. When the great calamity and pain comes, it will have been earned and deserved. The piper always has to be paid at the end of the party. The party is about over. The bill is not far from coming due. Everybody always wants the guilty identified. The culprits are we the people, primarily the baby boom generation, which allowed their vote to be bought with entitlements at the expense of their children, who are now stuck with the national debt bill that grows by the second and cannot be paid off. These follow-on citizens—I call them the screwed generation—are doomed to lifelong grief and crushing debt unless they take the only other course available to them, which is to repudiate that debt by simply printing up $20 trillion, calling in all federal bills, bonds, and notes for payoff, and then changing from the green dollar to say a red dollar, making the exchange rate 100 or 1000 green dollars for 1 red dollar or even more to get to zero debt. Certainly this will create a great international crisis. But that crisis is coming anyhow. In fact it is here already. The U.S. has no choice but to eventually default on that debt. This at least will be a controlled default rather than an uncontrolled collapse. At present it is out of control. Congress hasn’t come up with a budget in 3 years. That’s because there is no way at this point to create a viable budget that will balance and not just be a written document verifying that we cannot legitimately pay our bills and that we are on an ever-descending course into greater and greater debt. A true, honest budget would but verify that we are a bankrupt nation. We are repeating history, the history we failed to learn from. The history of Rome. Our TV and video games are the equivalent distractions of the Coliseums and circus of Rome. Our printing and borrowing of money to cover our deficit spending is the same as the mixing and devaluation of the gold Roman sisteri with copper. Our dysfunctional and ineffectual Congress is as was the Roman Senate. Our Presidential executive orders the same as the dictatorial edicts of Caesar. Our open borders and multi-millions of illegal alien non-citizens the same as the influx of the Germanic and Gallic tribes. It is as if we were intentionally following the course written in The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. The military actions, now 11 years in length, of Iraq and Afghanistan are repeats of the Vietnam fiasco and the RussianAfghan incursion. Our creep toward socialism is no different and will bring the same implosion as socialism did in the U.S.S.R. One should recognize that the repeated application of failed solutions to the same problem is one of the clinical definitions of insanity. * * * I am old, ill, physically used up now. I can’t have much time left in this life. I accept that. All born eventually die and with the life I’ve lived, I probably should have been dead decades ago. Fate has allowed me to screw the world out of a lot of years. I do have one regret: the future holds great challenge. I would like to see that challenge met and overcome and this nation restored to what our founding fathers envisioned. I’d like to be a part of that. Yeah. “I’d like to do it again.” THE END PHOTOS Daniel Hill 1954 – 15
Daniel Hill (A Life Of Blood And Danger)
Owen couldn’t believe his luck. Candice Mayfair was the beautiful white wolf he’d seen that day so long ago. Not that she looked like a wolf right now. He only knew she was the wolf, unequivocally, because he recognized her scent. After the initial shock of seeing an unfamiliar and intriguing Arctic she-wolf, he’d gone after her. The whole pack had gone on a run that night, but they knew to stay far away from any campsite. He and the other guys had swum across the river to explore a bit. Cameron and his mate had stayed on the other side with the kids. He’d even swum back across the river to find her and discovered her scent had led right to one of the tents. Since she had moved into the tent, he knew she had to be one of their shifter kind. He’d even hung around the next day, waiting to catch a glimpse of her, but there were several women, and he had no idea which one had been her. Two blonds, a couple of brunettes, and a red-haired woman—none of whom looked like the picture he had of Clara Hart, though. Being a white wolf in summer had made it difficult to blend in, so he’d had to keep well out of sight. Candice Mayfair was definitely the author of the books on the website, though she didn’t look like the photo her uncle had of her, if she was Clara Hart. She had the same compelling eyes, different color, but they got his attention, grabbed hold, and wouldn’t let go. He carried her to her couch and set her down, staying close, his hand still on her arm until she seemed to regain her equilibrium. “The wolf pup was yours,” she accused, jerking her arm away from him. “Wolf pup?” “Yeah, wolf pup. Don’t pretend you don’t know about your own wolf pup.” Then all the pieces began to fall into place. Campers. Campfire. Food. Corey, the wolf pup she had to be referring to, hadn’t just found the food like they’d thought. Candice must not have been a wolf until that night. “You fed him? Corey? His mom wondered why he smelled of beef jerky that night. We thought he’d found some at the campsite. Don’t tell me…he bit you.
Terry Spear (Dreaming of a White Wolf Christmas (Heart of the Wolf #23; White Wolf #2))
For our part, we thought we would be following her path from a distance in the press. Our friends called to tell us when the photo of Diana pushing Patrick in his stroller appeared in Newsweek, or when our name was mentioned in a news magazine or paper. We were generally mislabeled as the Robinsons. Everyone asked if we would be going to the wedding, and we would reply, “Us? No, of course not.” We truly never expected to hear from Diana again, so her January letter became especially precious to us. We were stunned when a letter from Diana on Buckingham Palace stationary arrived in late March. She was clearly happy, writing, “I am on a cloud.” She missed Patrick “dreadfully.” She hoped that we were all “settled down by now, including your cat too--.” Diana had never even seen our cat. We’d left him with my brother because England requires a six-month quarantine for cats and dogs. How did she ever remember we had one? Then, “I will be sending you an invitation to the wedding, naturally. . . .” The wedding . . . naturally . . . God bless her. Maybe we weren’t going to lose her after all. She even asked me to send a picture of Patrick to show to “her intended(!), since I’m always talking about him.” As for her engagement, she could never even have imagined it the year before. She closed with her typical and appealing modesty: “I do hope you don’t mind me writing to you but just had to let you know what was going on.” Mind? I was thrilled and touched and amazed by her fondness and thoughtfulness, as I have been every single time she has written to us and seen us. This was always to be the Diana we knew and loved—kind, affectionate, unpretentious. I wrote back write away and sent her the two photographs I’d taken of her holding Patrick in our living room the previous fall. After Diana received the photographs, she wrote back on March 31 to thank me and sent us their official engagement picture. She said I should throw the photograph away if it was of no use. She added, “You said some lovely things which I don’t feel I deserve . . . .” Surely, she knew from the previous year that we would be her devoted friends forever.
Mary Robertson (The Diana I Knew: Loving Memories of the Friendship Between an American Mother and Her Son's Nanny Who Became the Princess of Wales)
Jamie guessed he wasn’t sure if calling it a homeless shelter when it was filled with homeless people was somehow offensive. He’d had two complaints lodged against him in the last twelve months alone for the use of ‘inappropriate’ language. Roper was a fossil, stuck in a by-gone age, struggling to stay afloat. He of course wouldn’t have this problem if he bothered to read any of the sensitivity emails HR pinged out. But he didn’t. And now he was on his final warning. Jamie left him to flounder and scanned the crowd and the room for anything amiss.  People were watching them. But not maliciously. Mostly out of a lack of anything else to do. They’d been there overnight by the look of it. Places like this popped up all over the city to let them stay inside on cold nights. The problem was finding a space that would house them. ‘No, not the owner,’ Mary said, sighing. ‘I just rent the space from the council. The ceiling is asbestos, and they can’t use it for anything, won’t get it replaced.’ She shrugged her shoulders so high that they touched the earrings. ‘But these people don’t mind. We’re not eating the stuff, so…’ She laughed a little. Jamie thought it sounded sad. It sort of was. The council wouldn’t let children play in there, wouldn’t let groups rent it, but they were happy to take payment and let the homeless in. It was safe enough for them. She pushed her teeth together and started studying the faded posters on the walls that encouraged conversations about domestic abuse, about drug addiction. From when this place was used. They looked like they were at least a decade old, maybe two. Bits of tape clung to the paint around them, scraps of coloured paper frozen in time, preserving images of long-past birthday parties. There was a meagre stage behind the coffee dispenser, and to the right, a door led into another room. ‘Do you know this boy?’ Roper asked, holding up his phone, showing Mary a photo of Oliver Hammond taken that morning. The officers who arrived on scene had taken it and attached it to the central case file. Roper was just accessing it from there. It showed Oliver’s face at an angle, greyed and bloated from the water.  ‘My God,’ Mary said, throwing a weathered hand to her mouth. It wasn’t easy for people who weren’t exposed to death regularly to stomach seeing something like that.  ‘Ms Cartwright,’ Roper said, leaning a little to his left to look in her eyes as she turned away. ‘Can you identify this person? I know it’s hard—’ ‘Oliver — Ollie, he preferred. Hammond, I think. I can check my files…’ She turned and pointed towards the back room Jamie had spotted. ‘If you want—’ Roper put the phone away.
Morgan Greene (Bare Skin (DS Jamie Johansson #1))
NOTE: Practice your most effective relaxation techniques before you begin these exercises (refer to Chapter 6 if necessary). People are better able to concentrate when they are relaxed. Listening -Pay attention to the sounds coming from outside: from the street, from above in the air, from as far away as possible. Then focus on one sound only. -Pay attention to the sounds coming from a nearby room—the kitchen, living room, etc. Identify each one, then focus on a single sound. -Pay attention to the sounds coming from the room you are in: the windows, the electrical appliances. Then focus on one sound only. -Listen to your breathing. -Hear a short tune and attempt to re-create it. -Listen to a sound, such as a ringing doorbell, a knock on the door, a telephone ringing, or a siren. How does it make you feel? -Listen to a voice on the telephone. Really focus on it. -Listen to the voices of family members, colleagues, or fellow students, paying close attention to their intonation, pacing, and accent. What mood are they conveying? Looking -Look around the room and differentiate colors or patterns, such as straight lines, circles, and squares. -Look at the architecture of the room. Now close your eyes. Can you describe it? Could you draw it? -Look at one object in the room: chair, desk, chest of drawers, whatever. Close your eyes and try to picture the shape, the material, and the colors. -Notice any changes in your environment at home, at school, or in your workplace. -Look at magazine photos and try to guess what emotions the subjects’ expressions show. -Observe the effect of light around you. How does it change shapes? Expressions? Moods? Touching -When shaking a person’s hand, notice the temperature of the hand. Then notice the temperature of your own hand. -Hold an object in your hands, such as a cup of coffee, a brick, a tennis ball, or anything else that is available. Then put it down. Close your eyes and remember the shape, size, and texture of the object. -Feel different objects and then, with your eyes closed, touch them again. Be aware of how the sensations change. -Explore different textures and surfaces with your eyes first open and then closed. Smelling and Tasting -Be aware of the smells around you; come up with words to describe them. -Try to remember the taste of a special meal that you enjoyed in the past. Use words to describe the flavors—not just the names of the dishes. -Search your memory for important smells or tastes. -Think of places with a strong tie to smell. These sensory exercises are an excellent way to boost your awareness and increase your ability to concentrate. What is learned in the fullest way—using all five senses—is unlikely to be forgotten. As you learn concentration, you will find that you are able to be more in tune with what is going on around you in a social situation, which in turn allows you to interact more fully.
Jonathan Berent (Beyond Shyness: How to Conquer Social Anxieties)
Astonishment: these women’s military professions—medical assistant, sniper, machine gunner, commander of an antiaircraft gun, sapper—and now they are accountants, lab technicians, museum guides, teachers…Discrepancy of the roles—here and there. Their memories are as if not about themselves, but some other girls. Now they are surprised at themselves. Before my eyes history “humanizes” itself, becomes like ordinary life. Acquires a different lighting. I’ve happened upon extraordinary storytellers. There are pages in their lives that can rival the best pages of the classics. The person sees herself so clearly from above—from heaven, and from below—from the ground. Before her is the whole path—up and down—from angel to beast. Remembering is not a passionate or dispassionate retelling of a reality that is no more, but a new birth of the past, when time goes in reverse. Above all it is creativity. As they narrate, people create, they “write” their life. Sometimes they also “write up” or “rewrite.” Here you have to be vigilant. On your guard. At the same time pain melts and destroys any falsehood. The temperature is too high! Simple people—nurses, cooks, laundresses—behave more sincerely, I became convinced of that…They, how shall I put it exactly, draw the words out of themselves and not from newspapers and books they have read—not from others. But only from their own sufferings and experiences. The feelings and language of educated people, strange as it may be, are often more subject to the working of time. Its general encrypting. They are infected by secondary knowledge. By myths. Often I have to go for a long time, by various roundabout ways, in order to hear a story of a “woman’s,” not a “man’s” war: not about how we retreated, how we advanced, at which sector of the front…It takes not one meeting, but many sessions. Like a persistent portrait painter. I sit for a long time, sometimes a whole day, in an unknown house or apartment. We drink tea, try on the recently bought blouses, discuss hairstyles and recipes. Look at photos of the grandchildren together. And then…After a certain time, you never know when or why, suddenly comes this long-awaited moment, when the person departs from the canon—plaster and reinforced concrete, like our monuments—and goes on to herself. Into herself. Begins to remember not the war but her youth. A piece of her life…I must seize that moment. Not miss it! But often, after a long day, filled with words, facts, tears, only one phrase remains in my memory (but what a phrase!): “I was so young when I left for the front, I even grew during the war.” I keep it in my notebook, although I have dozens of yards of tape in my tape recorder. Four or five cassettes… What helps me? That we are used to living together. Communally. We are communal people. With us everything is in common—both happiness and tears. We know how to suffer and how to tell about our suffering. Suffering justifies our hard and ungainly life.
Svetlana Alexievich (War's Unwomanly Face)
The tulips are too excitable, it is winter here. Look how white everything is, how quiet, how snowed-in. I am learning peacefulness, lying by myself quietly As the light lies on these white walls, this bed, these hands. I am nobody; I have nothing to do with explosions. I have given my name and my day-clothes up to the nurses And my history to the anesthetist and my body to surgeons. They have propped my head between the pillow and the sheet-cuff Like an eye between two white lids that will not shut. Stupid pupil, it has to take everything in. The nurses pass and pass, they are no trouble, They pass the way gulls pass inland in their white caps, Doing things with their hands, one just the same as another, So it is impossible to tell how many there are. My body is a pebble to them, they tend it as water Tends to the pebbles it must run over, smoothing them gently. They bring me numbness in their bright needles, they bring me sleep. Now I have lost myself I am sick of baggage—— My patent leather overnight case like a black pillbox, My husband and child smiling out of the family photo; Their smiles catch onto my skin, little smiling hooks. I have let things slip, a thirty-year-old cargo boat stubbornly hanging on to my name and address. They have swabbed me clear of my loving associations. Scared and bare on the green plastic-pillowed trolley I watched my teaset, my bureaus of linen, my books Sink out of sight, and the water went over my head. I am a nun now, I have never been so pure. I didn’t want any flowers, I only wanted To lie with my hands turned up and be utterly empty. How free it is, you have no idea how free—— The peacefulness is so big it dazes you, And it asks nothing, a name tag, a few trinkets. It is what the dead close on, finally; I imagine them Shutting their mouths on it, like a Communion tablet. The tulips are too red in the first place, they hurt me. Even through the gift paper I could hear them breathe Lightly, through their white swaddlings, like an awful baby. Their redness talks to my wound, it corresponds. They are subtle : they seem to float, though they weigh me down, Upsetting me with their sudden tongues and their color, A dozen red lead sinkers round my neck. Nobody watched me before, now I am watched. The tulips turn to me, and the window behind me Where once a day the light slowly widens and slowly thins, And I see myself, flat, ridiculous, a cut-paper shadow Between the eye of the sun and the eyes of the tulips, And I have no face, I have wanted to efface myself. The vivid tulips eat my oxygen. Before they came the air was calm enough, Coming and going, breath by breath, without any fuss. Then the tulips filled it up like a loud noise. Now the air snags and eddies round them the way a river Snags and eddies round a sunken rust-red engine. They concentrate my attention, that was happy Playing and resting without committing itself. The walls, also, seem to be warming themselves. The tulips should be behind bars like dangerous animals; They are opening like the mouth of some great African cat, And I am aware of my heart: it opens and closes Its bowl of red blooms out of sheer love of me. The water I taste is warm and salt, like the sea, And comes from a country far away as health.
Sylvia Plath (Ariel)
The last refuge of the Self, perhaps, is “physical continuity.” Despite the body’s mercurial nature, it feels like a badge of identity we have carried since the time of our earliest childhood memories. A thought experiment dreamed up in the 1980s by British philosopher Derek Parfit illustrates how important—yet deceiving—this sense of physical continuity is to us.15 He invites us to imagine a future in which the limitations of conventional space travel—of transporting the frail human body to another planet at relatively slow speeds—have been solved by beaming radio waves encoding all the data needed to assemble the passenger to their chosen destination. You step into a machine resembling a photo booth, called a teletransporter, which logs every atom in your body then sends the information at the speed of light to a replicator on Mars, say. This rebuilds your body atom by atom using local stocks of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and so on. Unfortunately, the high energies needed to scan your body with the required precision vaporize it—but that’s okay because the replicator on Mars faithfully reproduces the structure of your brain nerve by nerve, synapse by synapse. You step into the teletransporter, press the green button, and an instant later materialize on Mars and can continue your existence where you left off. The person who steps out of the machine at the other end not only looks just like you, but etched into his or her brain are all your personality traits and memories, right down to the memory of eating breakfast that morning and your last thought before you pressed the green button. If you are a fan of Star Trek, you may be perfectly happy to use this new mode of space travel, since this is more or less what the USS Enterprise’s transporter does when it beams its crew down to alien planets and back up again. But now Parfit asks us to imagine that a few years after you first use the teletransporter comes the announcement that it has been upgraded in such a way that your original body can be scanned without destroying it. You decide to give it a go. You pay the fare, step into the booth, and press the button. Nothing seems to happen, apart from a slight tingling sensation, but you wait patiently and sure enough, forty-five minutes later, an image of your new self pops up on the video link and you spend the next few minutes having a surreal conversation with yourself on Mars. Then comes some bad news. A technician cheerfully informs you that there have been some teething problems with the upgraded teletransporter. The scanning process has irreparably damaged your internal organs, so whereas your replica on Mars is absolutely fine and will carry on your life where you left off, this body here on Earth will die within a few hours. Would you care to accompany her to the mortuary? Now how do you feel? There is no difference in outcome between this scenario and what happened in the old scanner—there will still be one surviving “you”—but now it somehow feels as though it’s the real you facing the horror of imminent annihilation. Parfit nevertheless uses this thought experiment to argue that the only criterion that can rationally be used to judge whether a person has survived is not the physical continuity of a body but “psychological continuity”—having the same memories and personality traits as the most recent version of yourself. Buddhists
James Kingsland (Siddhartha's Brain: Unlocking the Ancient Science of Enlightenment)
The power behind words and voices is substantial to life! I dedicated this book to all of you readers before you even read it, to understand- the book of misunderstandings for the misunderstood. To have a voice, when you were made not have one or told not to have one. Maybe if you are like me, trying to get your voice back this is the story you need. Nonetheless, let us not fail to remember all the voices, which will never speak again, for being rejected and misunderstood.' 'Yes, be that voice with this book, this book is for you, to speak up, and be heard.' 'Why?' 'So, there are no more lost and forgotten voices of life. This book is a stepping stone to abolish bullying altogether, along with your help; we can take that step forward, and forget about the past!' 'At this time, I would like you all to take a moment of silence, to remember someone, that is no longer with us. So, they are not forgotten.' Preface: 'To understand, you must read between the lines of a story just like mine. My wronging if you do not read this book, is you'll find out fast that life is going to suck, and then you make the discovery, that you are going to die alone, and the hex- I have will now be on you.' 'At least that is what I thought; I thought I read, my story before it was written, and this note was the last thing that I was going to write. However, I never realized that there was so much more to life, which I did not appreciate. I came near a stone's throw away from the end. Yet I got additional unplanned lifespans. Yet, was the second chance what I needed?' 'Nevertheless, there were things that I concerned my mind with, which was not substantial to my existence.' 'If anything- learn from me. Try to do the virtuous things I did and not the mistakes I made. Though it is up to you to decide what was good or bad, it is what you feel and believe is morally right in your mind.' 'Yeah- I never really put any thought into what was going to happen to me someday, and the others that are part of my surroundings.' 'However, life goes on, and the existence of what was stands for nothing but- a memory of what you can and cannot have. If you are someone like me, but all I ever wanted was someone that appreciates me. They say life is free or is it. Do I want it- No- not really!' 'The existence of life…!' 'Is what I do not want to have anymore. There must be a way out of all this misery that I live in today? 'They say dying is easy, as well as lasting, and living is difficult and uncertain.' While- I am going to find out!' 'I guess life is all about what you want, need, and love.' 'Likewise, existing in life comes down to what you cannot have in it.' 'All I have to say is don't let anyone or anything pin you down, and make you less than whom you are. Always be whom you were meant to be, regardless of what they say… because who in the hell are they!' 'My story- is somewhat graphic at times, just like looking into a black and white photo of the past in a scrapbook. All the color in it washes away over time, one way or another. Besides all that is left is still frames that keep on fading, and distorting.' 'On the morning I was scheduled to die, I saw my life as if I had lived it to its whole. Oh, the captivating angel beamed lovingly as she roamed forward help me hang myself, a part of me felt death, and other parts of my mind, body, and soul felt as if it would never dye.
Marcel Ray Duriez (Walking the Halls (Nevaeh))
A famous British writer is revealed to be the author of an obscure mystery novel. An immigrant is granted asylum when authorities verify he wrote anonymous articles critical of his home country. And a man is convicted of murder when he’s connected to messages painted at the crime scene. The common element in these seemingly disparate cases is “forensic linguistics”—an investigative technique that helps experts determine authorship by identifying quirks in a writer’s style. Advances in computer technology can now parse text with ever-finer accuracy. Consider the recent outing of Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling as the writer of The Cuckoo’s Calling , a crime novel she published under the pen name Robert Galbraith. England’s Sunday Times , responding to an anonymous tip that Rowling was the book’s real author, hired Duquesne University’s Patrick Juola to analyze the text of Cuckoo , using software that he had spent over a decade refining. One of Juola’s tests examined sequences of adjacent words, while another zoomed in on sequences of characters; a third test tallied the most common words, while a fourth examined the author’s preference for long or short words. Juola wound up with a linguistic fingerprint—hard data on the author’s stylistic quirks. He then ran the same tests on four other books: The Casual Vacancy , Rowling’s first post-Harry Potter novel, plus three stylistically similar crime novels by other female writers. Juola concluded that Rowling was the most likely author of The Cuckoo’s Calling , since she was the only one whose writing style showed up as the closest or second-closest match in each of the tests. After consulting an Oxford linguist and receiving a concurring opinion, the newspaper confronted Rowling, who confessed. Juola completed his analysis in about half an hour. By contrast, in the early 1960s, it had taken a team of two statisticians—using what was then a state-of-the-art, high-speed computer at MIT—three years to complete a project to reveal who wrote 12 unsigned Federalist Papers. Robert Leonard, who heads the forensic linguistics program at Hofstra University, has also made a career out of determining authorship. Certified to serve as an expert witness in 13 states, he has presented evidence in cases such as that of Christopher Coleman, who was arrested in 2009 for murdering his family in Waterloo, Illinois. Leonard testified that Coleman’s writing style matched threats spray-painted at his family’s home (photo, left). Coleman was convicted and is serving a life sentence. Since forensic linguists deal in probabilities, not certainties, it is all the more essential to further refine this field of study, experts say. “There have been cases where it was my impression that the evidence on which people were freed or convicted was iffy in one way or another,” says Edward Finegan, president of the International Association of Forensic Linguists. Vanderbilt law professor Edward Cheng, an expert on the reliability of forensic evidence, says that linguistic analysis is best used when only a handful of people could have written a given text. As forensic linguistics continues to make headlines, criminals may realize the importance of choosing their words carefully. And some worry that software also can be used to obscure distinctive written styles. “Anything that you can identify to analyze,” says Juola, “I can identify and try to hide.
Auto-Zoomar. Talbert knelt in the a tergo posture, his palms touching the wing-like shoulder blades of the young woman. A conceptual flight. At ten-second intervals the Polaroid projected a photograph on to the screen beside the bed. He watched the auto-zoom close in on the union of their thighs and hips. Details of the face and body of the film actress appeared on the screen, mimetized elements of the planetarium they had visited that morning. Soon the parallax would close, establishing the equivalent geometry of the sexual act with the junctions of this wall and ceiling. ‘Not in the Literal Sense.’Conscious of Catherine Austin’s nervous hips as she stood beside him, Dr Nathan studied the photograph of the young woman. ‘Karen Novotny,’ he read off the caption. ‘Dr Austin, may I assure you that the prognosis is hardly favourable for Miss Novotny. As far as Talbert is concerned the young woman is a mere modulus in his union with the film actress.’ With kindly eyes he looked up at Catherine Austin. ‘Surely it’s self-evident - Talbert’s intention is to have intercourse with Miss Taylor, though needless to say not in the literal sense of that term.’ Action Sequence. Hiding among the traffic in the near-side lane, Koester followed the white Pontiac along the highway. When they turned into the studio entrance he left his car among the pines and climbed through the perimeter fence. In the shooting stage Talbert was staring through a series of colour transparencies. Karen Novotny waited passively beside him, her hands held like limp birds. As they grappled he could feel the exploding musculature of Talbert’s shoulders. A flurry of heavy blows beat him to the floor. Vomiting through his bloodied lips, he saw Talbert run after the young woman as she darted towards the car. The Sex Kit.‘In a sense,’ Dr Nathan explained to Koester, ‘one may regard this as a kit, which Talbert has devised, entitled “Karen Novotny” - it might even be feasible to market it commercially. It contains the following items: (1) Pad of pubic hair, (2) a latex face mask, (3) six detachable mouths, (4) a set of smiles, (5) a pair of breasts, left nipple marked by a small ulcer, (6) a set of non-chafe orifices, (7) photo cut-outs of a number of narrative situations - the girl doing this and that, (8) a list of dialogue samples, of inane chatter, (9) a set of noise levels, (10) descriptive techniques for a variety of sex acts, (11) a torn anal detrusor muscle, (12) a glossary of idioms and catch phrases, (13) an analysis of odour traces (from various vents), mostly purines, etc., (14) a chart of body temperatures (axillary, buccal, rectal), (15) slides of vaginal smears, chiefly Ortho-Gynol jelly, (16) a set of blood pressures, systolic 120, diastolic 70 rising to 200/150 at onset of orgasm . . . ’ Deferring to Koester, Dr Nathan put down the typescript. ‘There are one or two other bits and pieces, but together the inventory is an adequate picture of a woman, who could easily be reconstituted from it. In fact, such a list may well be more stimulating than the real thing. Now that sex is becoming more and more a conceptual act, an intellectualization divorced from affect and physiology alike, one has to bear in mind the positive merits of the sexual perversions. Talbert’s library of cheap photo-pornography is in fact a vital literature, a kindling of the few taste buds left in the jaded palates of our so-called sexuality.
J.G. Ballard (The Atrocity Exhibition)
These Claudines, then…they want to know because they believe they already do know, the way one who loves fruit knows, when offered a mango from the moon, what to expect; and they expect the loyal tender teasing affection of the schoolgirl crush to continue: the close and confiding companionship, the pleasure of the undemanding caress, the cuddle which consummates only closeness; yet in addition they want motherly putting right, fatherly forgiveness and almost papal indulgence; they expect that the sights and sounds, the glorious affairs of the world which their husbands will now bring before them gleaming like bolts of silk, will belong to the same happy activities as catching toads, peeling back tree bark, or powdering the cheeks with dandelions and oranging the nose; that music will ravish the ear the way the trill of the blackbird does; that literature will hold the mind in sweet suspense the way fairy tales once did; that paintings will crowd the eye with the delights of a colorful garden, and the city streets will be filled with the same cool dew-moist country morning air they fed on as children. But they shall not receive what they expect; the tongue will be about other business; one will hear in masterpieces only pride and bitter contention; buildings will have grandeur but no flowerpots or chickens; and these Claudines will exchange the flushed cheek for the swollen vein, and instead of companionship, they will get sex and absurd games composed of pinch, leer, and giggle—that’s what will happen to “let’s pretend.” 'The great male will disappear into the jungle like the back of an elusive ape, and Claudine shall see little of his strength again, his intelligence or industry, his heroics on the Bourse like Horatio at the bridge (didn’t Colette see Henri de Jouvenel, editor and diplomat and duelist and hero of the war, away to work each day, and didn’t he often bring his mistress home with him, as Willy had when he was husband number one?); the great affairs of the world will turn into tawdry liaisons, important meetings into assignations, deals into vulgar dealings, and the en famille hero will be weary and whining and weak, reminding her of all those dumb boys she knew as a child, selfish, full of fat and vanity like patrons waiting to be served and humored, admired and not observed. 'Is the occasional orgasm sufficient compensation? Is it the prize of pure surrender, what’s gained from all that giving up? There’ll be silk stockings and velvet sofas maybe, the customary caviar, tasting at first of frog water but later of money and the secretions of sex, then divine champagne, the supreme soda, and rubber-tired rides through the Bois de Boulogne; perhaps there’ll be rich ugly friends, ritzy at homes, a few young men with whom one may flirt, a homosexual confidant with long fingers, soft skin, and a beautiful cravat, perfumes and powders of an unimaginable subtlety with which to dust and wet the body, many deep baths, bonbons filled with sweet liqueurs, a procession of mildly salacious and sentimental books by Paul de Kock and company—good heavens, what’s the problem?—new uses for the limbs, a tantalizing glimpse of the abyss, the latest sins, envy certainly, a little spite, jealousy like a vaginal itch, and perfect boredom. 'And the mirror, like justice, is your aid but never your friend.' -- From "Three Photos of Colette," The World Within the Word, reprinted from NYRB April 1977
William H. Gass (The World Within the Word)
Alice's Cutie Code TM Version 2.1 - Colour Expansion Pack (aka Because this stuff won’t stop being confusing and my friends are mean edition) From Red to Green, with all the colours in between (wait, okay, that rhymes, but green to red makes more sense. Dang.) From Green to Red, with all the colours in between Friend Sampling Group: Fennie, Casey, Logan, Aisha and Jocelyn Green  Friends’ Reaction: Induces a minimum amount of warm and fuzzies. If you don’t say “aw”, you’re “dead inside”  My Reaction: Sort of agree with friends minus the “dead inside” but because that’s a really awful thing to say. Puppies are a good example. So is Walter Bishop. Green-Yellow  Friends’ Reaction: A noticeable step up from Green warm and fuzzies. Transitioning from cute to slightly attractive. Acceptable crush material. “Kissing.”  My Reaction: A good dance song. Inspirational nature photos. Stuff that makes me laugh. Pairing: Madison and Allen from splash Yellow  Friends’ Reaction: Something that makes you super happy but you don’t know why. “Really pretty, but not too pretty.” Acceptable dating material. People you’d want to “bang on sight.”  My Reaction: Love songs for sure! Cookies for some reason or a really good meal. Makes me feel like it’s possible to hold sunshine, I think. Character: Maxon from the selection series. Music: Carly Rae Jepsen Yellow-Orange  Friends’ Reaction: (When asked for non-sexual examples, no one had an answer. From an objective perspective, *pushes up glasses* this is the breaking point. Answers definitely skew toward romantic or sexual after this.)  My Reaction: Something that really gets me in my feels. Also art – oil paintings of landscapes in particular. (What is with me and scenery? Maybe I should take an art class) Character: Dean Winchester. Model: Liu Wren. Orange  Friends’ Reaction: “So pretty it makes you jealous. Or gay.”  “Definitely agree about the gay part. No homo, though. There’s just some really hot dudes out there.”(Feenie’s side-eye was so intense while the others were answering this part LOLOLOLOLOL.) A really good first date with someone you’d want to see again.  My Reaction: People I would consider very beautiful. A near-perfect season finale. I’ve also cried at this level, which was interesting. o Possible tie-in to romantic feels? Not sure yet. Orange-Red  Friends’ Reaction: “When lust and love collide.” “That Japanese saying ‘koi no yokan.’ It’s kind of like love at first sight but not really. You meet someone and you know you two have a future, like someday you’ll fall in love. Just not right now.” (<-- I like this answer best, yes.) “If I really, really like a girl and I’m interested in her as a person, guess. I’d be cool if she liked the same games as me so we could play together.”  My Reaction: Something that gives me chills or has that time-stopping factor. Lots of staring. An extremely well-decorated room. Singers who have really good voices and can hit and hold superb high notes, like Whitney Houston. Model: Jasmine Tooke. Paring: Abbie and Ichabod from Sleepy Hollow o Romantic thoughts? Someday my prince (or princess, because who am I kidding?) will come? Red (aka the most controversial code)  Friends’ Reaction: “Panty-dropping levels” (<-- wtf Casey???).  “Naked girls.” ”Ryan. And ripped dudes who like to cook topless.”  “K-pop and anime girls.” (<-- Dear. God. The whole table went silent after he said that. Jocelyn was SO UNCOMFORTABLE but tried to hide it OMG it was bad. Fennie literally tried to slap some sense into him.)  My Reaction: Uncontrollable staring. Urge to touch is strong, which I must fight because not everyone is cool with that. There may even be slack-jawed drooling involved. I think that’s what would happen. I’ve never seen or experienced anything that I would give Red to.
Claire Kann (Let's Talk About Love)
Once I was beautiful. Jesus hair falling behind—burning blue like a storm crazy for destination. Now I borrow light like the moon...overexposed like a bad photo...transistors shot—a bad radio.
D.B. Cox
Nowadays negative press & media might make people scared of everything foreign or different: culture, religion, people and the places themselves. This xenophobia is taking over our lives and prevents us from seeing the real world as it is: a wonderful place with beautiful people. There are no bad or evil countries, religions or people. There is bad and good people in every culture, including your own.
William Wyatt (Photography: NOW! - The Ultimate Guide to Take STUNNING Photos And Change the Way You See the World - Master The Art of Digital Photography With Your Camera ... Photography Books, DSLR, Creativity))
I can easily find out what you’re thinking, reading, watching, and feeling right now. What I can’t get is context. I have little sense of the past that brought you to that thought, or the future that will bring you to your next thought or latte photo.
IBM estimates that 90 percent of the world’s data was created in the last two years. As co-authors Rick Smolan and Jennifer Erwitt stated in their exquisite photo book, The Human Face of Big Data, “Now, in the first day of a baby’s life today, the world creates 70 times the data contained in the entire Library of Congress.
Robert Scoble (Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy)
For consumers, most of these problems are invisible. That is by design. You’re not supposed to know that the trending topics on Twitter were sifted through by a few destitute people making pennies. You’re not supposed to realize that Facebook can process the billions of photos, links, and shareable items that pass through its network each day only because it recruits armies of content moderators through digital labor markets. Or that these moderators spend hours numbly scrolling through grisly photos that people around the world are trying to upload to the network. Uber’s selling point is convenience: press a button on your phone and a car will arrive in minutes, maybe seconds, to take you anywhere you want to go. As long as that’s what happens, what do consumers have to complain about? Now joined by a host of start-up delivery services, ride-sharing companies are in the business of taking whomever or whatever from point A to point B with minimal fuss or waiting time. That this self-indulgent convenience ultimately comes at the expense of others is easily brushed off or shrouded in the magical promise that anything you want can be produced immediately.
Jacob Silverman (Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection)
Chikusho, I thought. This was the famous Imogen Kato, right here! She saw me and glanced down at the magazine I'd been looking at while waiting for my meeting with Chloe, open to the photo spread- of her. God, how embarrassing. I closed the magazine abruptly. It was definitely the same girl, although now her hair was platinum blond with dark roots instead of a mixture of auburn with honey and green apple-colored streaks. Beneath her plaid uniform skirt, she wore deep purple-and-blue-and-silver leggings that had prints of galloping gray unicorns, and over her blouse was a worn-out, oversize, cream-colored cardigan sweater with the belt tied to the side instead of center. Apparently, the uniform dress code was not that strict at this school.
Rachel Cohn (My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life)
Photographs thrust home the fact of our mortality. We look at faces and limbs warm or tense with life, knowing full well that they are now dust. Sound haunts me even more. I can look at a photo of Maria Callas and accept the fact that she is dead, but I am bewildered when I hear her voice coming out of my CD player. For that voice, quivering with immediacy and passion, is the quintessence of life-of what it means to be fully alive.
Roland Barthes
But behind all her visions of possible matrimony — and there had been a few — was the comfort of the photo on the mantelpiece. She had loved and lost him and, come what may, there was still consolation in that past romance. He had been a soldier billeted in Swarebridge in 1915. He met her at the Saturday evening concerts at the Sunday School. She had been worth looking at then. So he took her home and afterwards met her, took her for walks along the path by the Sware, and kissed her a time or two. Then off to another place and, unknown to Miss Sleaford, another girl. A few letters which she still kept somewhere safe among a welter of odds and ends and a newspaper cutting telling that he was missing. He turned up after the armistice, but not at Swarebridge. In the heart of Miss Sleaford was enshrined through twenty lonely years, a young man who, still alive and now gross and fat, keeps a little pub in the Walworth Road and beats up his wife every Saturday night.
George Bellairs (Death Stops the Frolic)
Down the entire length of the waiting line, as if Annie’s fit was a kind of wildfire, other children began to scream and shake. A few parents had to drag their possessed children away, giving up their places, which caused the children to scream even more. The people who remained in line looked at Caleb and Camille and Annie as if they had personally ruined Christmas for all time. It was, Caleb realized, amazing. “Hurry up and take the photo,” Caleb said to the bored elf and there was a flash of bulbs, the click of the captured image, and Caleb quickly ran toward Santa, plucked the child out of the terrified old man’s lap, and hugged his daughter, feeling the radiating warmth of her unhappiness now happily in his possession
Kevin Wilson (The Family Fang)
Time out. Serenity 101: Progress, Not Perfection. The glamorous lifestyle gurus who have advised us through books, magazines, and television shows starting in the 1980s and have crescendoed in popularity via the blogs, Instagrams, and photo sharing sites we all see now haven’t really been honest with us. They have full-time professionals working for them, including stylists—stylists who wave magic paintbrushes dipped in burnt sienna over mud smears on terra-cotta potagers before the flash pops or the camera rolls.
Sarah Ban Breathnach (Simple Abundance: 365 Days to a Balanced and Joyful Life)
A photograph develops in a tray of liquid. Previously it’s been just a blank sheet of printing paper shut up in a lightproof envelope; now it has a function, an image, a certainty. We slide the photo quickly into the tray of fixer to secure that clear, vulnerable moment, to make the image harder, unchippable, solid for at least a few years. But what if you plunge it into the fixer and the chemical doesn’t work? This progress, this amorous motion you feel, might refuse to stabilize. Have you seen a picture go on relentlessly developing until its whole surface is black, its celebratory moment obliterated?
Julian Barnes (A History of the World in 10½ Chapters)
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It had been four years since he’d seen the government agent, but he looked like he’d aged twice that. A bad patch. That’s the way it happened. A body could hold the line for a decade, one Christmas photo just like the ten previous, then bam, the years zoomed up and flattened you like a Mack truck. The last of the man’s football-hero good looks had been swallowed by age and carbohydrates. Now he was a blocky head on a big rectangular body, like a microwave atop a refrigerator.
Daryl Gregory (Spoonbenders)
Ever connected, perhaps fearing disconnection itself more than the fear of missing out, we live the informational appetite. We have internalized and institutionalized it by hoarding photos we’ll never organize, much less look at again; by tracking ourselves relentlessly; by feeling a peculiar anxiety whenever we find ourselves without a cell phone signal. We’ve learned to deal with information overload by denying its existence or adopting it as a sociocultural value, sprinkled with a bit of the martyrdom of the Protestant work ethic. It’s a badge of honor now to be too busy, always flooded with to-do items. It’s a problem that comes with success, which is why we’re willing to spend so much time online, engaging in, as Ian Bogost called it, hyperemployment.
Jacob Silverman (Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection)
How much longer can I get away with being so fucking cute? Not much longer. The shoes with bows, the cunning underwear with slogans on the crotch — Knock Here, and so forth — will have to go, along with the cat suit. After a while you forget what you really look like. You think your mouth is the size it was. You pretend not to care. When I was young I went with my hair hiding one eye, thinking myself daring; off to the movies in my jaunty pencil skirt and elastic cinch-belt, chewed gum, left lipstick imprints the shape of grateful, rubbery sighs on the cigarettes of men I hardly knew and didn’t want to. Men were a skill, you had to have good hands, breathe into their nostrils, as for horses. It was something I did well, like playing the flute, although I don’t. In the forests of grey stems there are standing pools, tarn-coloured, choked with brown leaves. Through them you can see an arm, a shoulder, when the light is right, with the sky clouded. The train goes past silos, through meadows, the winter wheat on the fields like scanty fur. I still get letters, although not many. A man writes me, requesting true-life stories about bad sex. He’s doing an anthology. He got my name off an old calendar, the photo that’s mostly bum and daisies, back when my skin had the golden slick of fresh-spread margarine. Not rape, he says, but disappointment, more like a defeat of expectations. Dear Sir, I reply, I never had any. Bad sex, that is. It was never the sex, it was the other things, the absence of flowers, the death threats, the eating habits at breakfast. I notice I’m using the past tense. Though the vaporous cloud of chemicals that enveloped you like a glowing eggshell, an incense, doesn’t disappear: it just gets larger and takes in more. You grow out of sex like a shrunk dress into your common senses, those you share with whatever’s listening. The way the sun moves through the hours becomes important, the smeared raindrops on the window, buds on the roadside weeds, the sheen of spilled oil on a raw ditch filling with muddy water. Don’t get me wrong: with the lights out I’d still take on anyone, if I had the energy to spare. But after a while these flesh arpeggios get boring, like Bach over and over; too much of one kind of glory. When I was all body I was lazy. I had an easy life, and was not grateful. Now there are more of me. Don’t confuse me with my hen-leg elbows: what you get is no longer what you see.
Margaret Atwood
The missing girl's name was Rebecca, or Becky, or Bex. In the photo her face was half turned away from the camera as though she didn't want to be seen, as though she wanted to be somewhere else. She would be twenty years old by now but she was always spoken of as a girl. It had been seven years, and there was talk that now she would legally have to be declared dead. This turned out to have no basis in law, according to a statement released by the police. Any such declaration would always depend on the circumstances. The girl's parents had never stopped looking and the police statement confirmed that the case remained open. In the village people looked up to the hills and felt that they'd long known. She could have walked high over the moor and stumbled into a flooded clough and sunk cold and deep in the wet peat before the dogs and thermal cameras came anywhere near, her skin tanned leather-brown and soft and her hair coiled neatly around her. She could have fallen anywhere and be lying there still.
Jon McGregor (Reservoir 13)
Fumio to dinner. We look at old photos. I turn up one of [Na­ka­no] Yuji at work—part-time laborer, standing there for forty years now. I wondered why I still think so much about him, now that I have not seen him for decades, now that he is an old man, if even alive. Fumio said, “Because, he was the last Japanese.” It’s true. Yuji had all of the old virtues—he saw a connection between himself and nature, the way things are. He believed in authority, though he was sly about evading it; was polite, decent, honest to the extent that he did not get caught; willing to do his best and allow himself to be much imposed on; fond of pleasure, and probably drank himself to death. And, more, he embodied an attitude now extinct—he accepted without bitterness, and made the most of what was left. I don’t know if this defines old-fashioned Japanese-ness, but it defines Yuji.
Donald Richie (The Japan Journals: 1947-2004)
Suppose, you are moving up a ladder to reach the tenth floor of a building. And it is very important to you, say, you need to rescue something stuck up there, and all other ways are closed. On your way up, various things from your pocket fell down, but those were frivolous, so you continued moving up. Now, suddenly on the sixth floor, something very important, say a photo of your close one or something more useful, say, your cell phone fell down. It was important for you at that moment, but, you missed it. Now ask yourself, is it worth going six steps down and then ten steps up. Now, suppose you decided to move down, but, by the time you reached down, it was stolen or worse, a heavy truck crushed it. You have become twice as tired and angry asyou were before and say, the weather became adverse to thwart your movement ahead. Think. I just want to say that- never ever look back. You’ll never find everything same again, neither the person/thing left behind, neither you nor the circumstances. If somebody/something has left you and you are still moving ahead in your pursuit, believe me, you have become stronger and more eligible to achieve it. If something is a part of your pursuit, it’ll be there with you but only until the time it is needed.
Neha Katyal (The Writer's Bloom)
Belghazi arrived early that evening. I was enjoying a cocktail with Keiko in the lobby, where I had a view of the registration desk, and made him in an instant. He was swarthy, the legacy of an Algerian mother, and his hair, which had been long and unruly in the CIA file photo, was now shaved close to the scalp. I put him at about six feet and a hundred and eighty-five pounds. Dense, muscular build. He was wearing an expensive-looking blue suit, from the cut maybe Brioni or Kiton, and a white shirt open at the collar. In his left hand he gripped the handle of what looked like a computer briefcase, something in black leather, and I caught a flash of gold chain encircling his wrist. But despite the clothes, the accessories, the jewelry, there was no element of fussiness about him. On the contrary, his presence was relaxed, and powerful.
Barry Eisler (Winner Take All (John Rain #3))
Well, I know you don’t want to talk about it anymore, but I signed you up for that computer match thingy.” Why is it that so many people over the age of sixty refer to everything on the Internet as some sort of “computer thing”? Helen was trying to contain her laughter. “Laura, do you mean” My father was groaning audibly now. “Yes, that’s it. Charles helped me put up her profile.” “Oh my god, Mother. Are you kidding me?” Helen jumped out of her seat and started running toward the computer in my dad’s home office, which was right off the dining room. “Get out of there, Helen,” my dad yelled, but she ignored him. I chased after her, but she stuck her arm out, blocking me from the monitor. “No, I have to see it!” she shouted. “Stop it, girls,” my mother chided. “Move, bitch.” We were very mature for our age. “This is the best day of my life. Your mommy made a Match profile for you!” “Actually, Chuck made it,” my mother yelled from across the hall. Oh shit. Helen typed my name in quickly. My prom picture from nine years ago popped up on the screen. My brother had cropped Steve Dilbeck out of the photo the best he could, but you could still see Steve’s arms wrapped around my purple chiffon–clad waist. “You’re joking. You’re fucking joking.” “Language, Charlotte!” my dad yelled. “Mom,” I cried, “he used my prom photo! What is wrong with him?” I still had braces at eighteen. I had to wear them for seven years because my orthodontist said I had the worst teeth he had ever seen. You know how sharks have rows of teeth? Yeah, that was me. I blame my mother and the extended breastfeeding for that one, too. My brother, Chuck the Fuck, used to tease me, saying it was leftovers of the dead Siamese twin I had absorbed in utero. My brother’s an ass, so it’s pretty awesome that he set up this handy dating profile for me. In case you hadn’t noticed, our names are Charlotte and Charles. Just more parental torture. Would it be dramatic to call that child abuse? Underneath my prom photo, I read the profile details while Helen laughed so hard she couldn’t breath. My name is Charlotte and I am an average twenty-seven year-old. If you looked up the word mediocre in the dictionary you would see a picture of me—more recent than this nine-year-old photo, of course, because at least back then I hadn’t inked my face like an imbecile. Did I forget to mention that I have a tiny star tattooed under my left eye? Yes, I’d been drunk at the time. It was a momentary lapse of judgment. It would actually be cute if it was a little bigger, but it’s so small that most people think it’s a piece of food or a freckle. I cover it up with makeup. I like junk food and watching reality TV. My best friend and I like to drink Champagne because it makes us feel sophisticated, then we like to have a farting contest afterward. I’ve had twelve boyfriends in the last five years so I’m looking for a lifer. It’s not a coincidence that I used the same term as the one for prisoners ineligible for parole. “Chuck the Fuck,” Helen squeaked through giggles. I turned and glared at her. “He still doesn’t know that you watched him jerk off like a pedophile when he was fourteen.” “He’s only three years younger than us.” “Four. And I will tell him. I’ll unleash Chuck the Fuck on you if you don’t quit.” My breasts are small and my butt is big and I have a moderately hairy upper lip. I also don’t floss, clean my retainer, or use mouthwash with any regularity. “God, my brother is so obsessed with oral hygiene!” “That’s what stood out to you? He said you have a mustache.” Helen grinned. “Girls, get out of there and come clear the table,” my dad yelled. “What do you think the password is?” “Try ‘Fatbutt,’ ” I said. “Yep, that worked. Okay, I’ll change your profile while you clear the table.
Renee Carlino (Wish You Were Here)
Happiness is now a concept you find in magazines selling women regressive ideas repackaged for an Instagram photo.
Jill Filipovic (The H-Spot: The Feminist Pursuit of Happiness)
In the middle of the chaos, the only item that is clean and dust free is a framed photo of Cilian's dad. I've never seen him before. I pick it up to take a closer look. "Twelve years he's been gone," Cillian says. "And she's still trying to find some way to reconnect with him. With magic off-line, she's desperate for anything else." "I can't blame her. He's handsome. He looks a little like Orlando Bloom." "Dammit, Nina! Orlando Bloom?" Cillian snatches the photo away from me. "I can't unsee that! My feelings about my dead dad were already complicated; now I have to worry that I'm Oedipal, or whatever the guy-crushing-on-his-own-dad equivalent is. I swear to God if you so much as breathe about more handsome men in connection to anyone I'm related to, I will never speak to you again." "You're not messed up! I'm sorry. He looks nothing like Orlando Bloom. Or any other person you've ever had a crush on." "Just shut it and let me find the handcuffs." I turned away from Cillain's definitely Orlando Bloom-look-alike father and wait, keeping a wary eye on the demon.
Kiersten White (Slayer (Slayer, #1))
What will become of you and me (This is the school in which we learn ...) Besides the photo and the memory? (... that time is the fire in which we burn.) Avid its rush, that reeling blaze! Where is my father and Eleanor? Not where are they now, dead seven years, But what they were then? No more? No more?
Delmore Schwartz
In last month’s photo, a front tooth dangled over her bottom lip and Iris laughed out loud, wanting to reach into the picture and yank the loose tooth from her daughter’s mouth. She wondered about the conversations she missed with the child—the fights they must have had over Melody’s need to keep that tooth a day, a week, a month, longer. Why hadn’t Aubrey snuck into her room in the middle of the night and yanked it the way her own father had done—Iris waking in the morning with that new space in her mouth and a crisp dollar bill beneath her pillow. But now the tooth was gone. Had Melody gotten a dollar for it too? Iris studied the space—the pink half circle of gum beside a tiny front tooth that hung at a slight angle as though it too was loose now. Iris shivered. Ran her tongue along her own straight teeth. She had missed the child’s birthday but had called, only to have Melody say, It’s my birthday and it’s party day. Bye! Daddy got me a bicycle. Bye again. And when she reminded the child that the bicycle was from both of them, Melody said, But Daddy put it together. And Daddy’s gonna teach me to ride. Always the phone calls were Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, and TV shows she’d watched. When she tried to ask Melody what she was reading, the child laughed. Everything, she said. I read everything. Now, staring at the picture of her daughter, she remembered again how her own mother had said more than once that there was nothing at all maternal about Iris and wondered if the maternal gene kicked in later. Iris wondered if it would happen in her twenties or thirties. And if it did, would she want more children?
Jacqueline Woodson (Red at the Bone)
there is such an unfortunate irony in photography these days. for as people pursue desires to visit and capture images of unspoiled landscapes. they inadvertently in the process turn these beautiful locations into anything but unspoiled, regardless of ideals of conservation. and more-so, so many ruin natural beauty by exploiting these magical places with their greed and dreams of success, and regrettable egos with overdeveloped look-at-me-syndromes...sadly sometimes, for so many of us, now the only way today to truly protect an unspoiled place is to not share its beautiful photo or location with anyone, anymore
Bodhi Smith (Bodhi Smith Impressionist Photography (#6))
Oh, are you calling the cops, bitch? Maggie says, Yeah, I actually am! There is a counterprotest that same day. “West Fargo for Knodel.” Maggie watches it on television. It’s led by eight of Aaron Knodel’s current students. Most are female. They play sports and their Facebook profile pictures are assertive and tongue ridden. They wear short shorts and their legs are tan. They hold signs that say, Best teacher we’ve ever had #WF4Knodel Not Guilty #WF4Knodel Passing drivers slow and honk or speed up and scream. Cheers and sunshine. Now the Knodel family station wagon drives past. A photo is snapped. Marie is in the passenger seat, her hair up like a mom’s, her skin considerably brighter than it was in the courthouse, her mouth open like it’s whooping, Yeah! A boy is in the seat behind her, thumbs-upping out the open window, with a smaller boy beside him, looking confused. And Aaron is in the driver’s seat with a little white dog pressed between his rib cage and the steering wheel. On his face is a look of slightly embarrassed yet utterly exultant pride, like a sun over the funeral of an enemy.
Lisa Taddeo (Three Women)
Before I could assume my official functions, I was required to present my credentials to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.* For reasons I cannot now fathom, I chose to wear a striped sundress that exposed both too much shoulder and too much leg. Upon seeing the official photo of me with the secretary-general, the French Ambassador to the UN, Gérard Araud, would later ask mischievously, “You wore your swim suit to present credentials?
Samantha Power (The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir)
I felt the weight of that responsibility even more now that I had seen firsthand what life here had been like. I took the donuts and juice to a little table we had set up in the Blue Room. I opened the box and set out some paper cups. Matthews was the first to arrive at the table. “Thank you, Carrie Jo.” “My pleasure. Have you heard anything from C. M. Lowell on those mantelpieces? I know it’s only been a few weeks, but TD is going to need to install them before they cut the molding for the rest of the room.” “Right. I’ll put a call in to them this morning. I’d forgotten about that. I’ve got some leads on paintings for the two main parlors. One is pretty incredible; I emailed you photos of both of them. Don’t forget, we’ve got boxes of paintings in the attic. And good news—we have air up there now, too. If you can’t find what you want, there is plenty of room in the budget, but many of the local families are willing to allow us to use their pieces. With all credits, of course.” I couldn’t figure Hollis Matthews out: one minute he was cold and distant, and the next he was kind and friendly. One thing I knew for sure—he was always a man with a plan. “Great. I’ll check out those pictures and let you know. I’ve got some plans ready for the ladies’ parlor, including a significant display of Augusta Evans books. I’ll have those to you by the end of next week.” With a nod of his salt-and-pepper head, he walked away, probably off to call about those mantelpieces. I invited the interns to have a donut and took a few minutes to get to know them. There were two Rachels, Rachel Kowalski and Rachel McGhee, and James Pittman. All of them were excellent archaeological students who had earned their spots on our team. I’d Skyped with them individually before I came to Mobile, but this was the first time we’d met in person. “Well, guys, are you ready for the grand tour? It’s the same one visitors will take once the museum is open.” We started in the ladies’ parlor, continued on to the men’s parlor and the Blue Room, and then went up the opposite side of the hall to the servants’ waiting area, the music room and the ballroom. There were of course a myriad of
M.L. Bullock (The Ultimate Seven Sisters Collection)
The photos on her page had not done justice to the arresting, wide-eyed symmetry of her face, the radiant shine of her hair. She was 'clean': no piercings, tattoos or scarifications. All the kids were now. And who could blame them, Alex thought, after watching three generations of flaccid tattoos drop like moth-eaten upholstery over poorly stuffed biceps and saggy asses?" (p. 314)
Jennifer Egan (A Visit from the Goon Squad)
The photo I had engraved on Mike’s stone makes me smile. I can only imagine what he’d say about the likes of me today: private investigator. He’d never believe it. Huge difference from when we worked the streets together.I can still hear his voice. “Here, Paul. Taste this.” When I concentrate hard enough, I can still taste that awful cooking of his. If there truly is life after death, I sure hope he’s a better cook now than he was back then. Funny the things you miss after someone you love is gone.
Joseph Freeman
I find the fact of the past, the reality of time's passage, incredibly difficult. My house is full of books I can't read and records to which I can't listen and photos at which I can't look because they are too strongly associated with the past. When I see friends from college, I try not to talk about college too much because I was so happy then--not necessarily happier than I am now, but with a happiness that was particular and specific in its moods and that will never come again. Those days of young splendour eat at me. I hit walls of past pleasure all the time, and for me past pleasure is much harder to process than past pain. To think of a terrible time that has gone: well, I know that post-traumatic stress is an acute affliction, but for me the traumas of the past are mercifully far away. The pleasures of the past, however, are tough. The memory of the good times with people who are no longer alive, or who are no longer the people they were: that is where I find the worst current pain. Don't make me remember, I say to the detritus of past pleasures. Depression can as easily be the consequence of too much that was joyful as of too much that was horrible. There is such a thing as post-joy stress too. The worst of depression lies in a present moment that cannot escape the past it idealizes or deplores.
Andrew Solomon (The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression)
This period of the internet has been labeled Web 1.0—a name that works backward from the term Web 2.0, which was coined by the writer and user-experience designer Darcy DiNucci in an article called “Fragmented Future,” published in 1999. “The Web we know now,” she wrote, “which loads into a browser window in essentially static screenfuls, is only an embryo of the Web to come. The first glimmerings of Web 2.0 are beginning to appear….The Web will be understood not as screenfuls of texts and graphics but as a transport mechanism, the ether through which interactivity happens.” On Web 2.0, the structures would be dynamic, she predicted: instead of houses, websites would be portals, through which an ever-changing stream of activity—status updates, photos—could be displayed. What you did on the internet would become intertwined with what everyone else did, and the things other people liked would become the things that you would see. Web 2.0 platforms like Blogger and Myspace made it possible for people who had merely been taking in the sights to start generating their own personalized and constantly changing scenery. As more people began to register their existence digitally, a pastime turned into an imperative: you had to register yourself digitally to exist.
Jia Tolentino (Trick Mirror)
Cleo has been an amazingly wonderful addition to our little household!  The only bummer is that overnight we now understand how people become crazy about their pets.  On more than one occasion, I’ve had to restrain myself from showing someone a photo of Cleo doing something that is “the cutest thing in the entire world!”  We’re working on a solution to that problem.
Rachel Eleah Roisman (Cancer Without Walk-a-Thons)
Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!…” —Matthew 21:8–9 (RSV) PALM SUNDAY: REMAINING FAITHFUL It’s graduation day at the University of Pittsburgh. It’s thrilling, watching the young men and women I’ve taught go forth and do all of the world’s work, but there’s a nagging disquiet. Like many weighty truths, their education is accompanied by an equally weighty lie. I’ve told my students they’re unique and capable of wonderful things (true); I didn’t warn them of the attendant difficulties that lay ahead. I’ve long stopped betting on their futures. Who am I to tell them about the odds of a successful life, the weird dance of hard work and good luck, the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune? Luckily, today is filled with smiles, flowing robes, hugs, funny hats. In ancient times such celebrations would be marked by palm fronds, like Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem. And then is no different from now, where celebration can suddenly turn to trepidation, where young lives quickly discover that speaking the truth may lead to trouble, betrayal, or worse. But today they’ll throw their hats into the air with faith in the future. And when asked, I’ll pose with them for photos. Years from now they’ll wonder about the teacher with the gray hair and wan, anxious smile, who looks as if he might be praying. Lord, we often praise You one day, then betray You the next. Let us overcome our fickle nature and be faithful companions to You and our brothers and sisters. —Mark Collins Digging Deeper: Mt 21:1–11
Guideposts (Daily Guideposts 2014)
Sophie Bushwick/Popular Science 7/16-inch inner diameter ribbed hose 5/16-inch wood dowel 1/4-inch outer diameter vinyl tubing Small hose clamps Five 1/4-inch hose barbs x 1/4-inch male threaded adapters Five 1/4-inch hose barbs x 1/4-inch female threaded adapters Electrical tape Yellow Teflon thread tape Several long balloons (type 350Q) 1-inch x 6-inch board or other support Fluidic control board Robot Hand Instructions 1. Insert the 5/16-inch dowel into the ribbed hose to hold it straight. Use the center punch to carefully punch holes between each rib in a line along the seam of the hose. Flip the hose over and repeat along other seam. (Photo ) 2. Use the drill press to drill a hole at each center-punched location between the hose ribs, leaving the dowel in place to provide support. It is best to drill the holes on each side of the hose separately, rather than drill straight through. When you are done you should have a neat line of holes on each side of the ribbed hose. These holes will act as a stress relief and prevent the hose from splitting when it is flexed. (Photo ) 3. Remove the dowel and cut the hose into five 3-inch fingers with the utility knife. For each finger, use the utility knife to very carefully cut between each rib from the hole on one side to the hole on the other. Leave the first two ribs on each end uncut. Cut through one side of the hose only. It is critical that you do not nick the far side of the stress relief holes or you will reduce the reliability of the finger dramatically. Now the hose can flex in one direction more than in the opposite direction. (Photo ) 4. Insert another piece of dowel into one of the long balloons. Use it to gently feed the balloon into one of the fingers until the end of the balloon sticks out enough to grab it. Remove the dowel, and fold about 1/4-inch of the balloon tip over the rim of the hose. Secure it by wrapping a piece of electrical tape all the way around the tip of the finger. (Photo ) 5. Now feed the dowel back inside the finger from the non-taped end, but on the outside of the balloon. Insert it until it is just within two ribs of the tip of the finger. Fill the tip of the finger with hot glue, allow to cool, and then carefully remove the dowel. 6. Use electrical tape over the end of the finger, covering the hot-glued end. Another wrap of electrical tape over this will seal the end of the finger. (Photo ) 7. Cut the open end of the balloon away, leaving about an inch beyond the end of the finger. Stretch the open end of the balloon out and over the end of the finger. (Photo ) 8. Repeat steps 4 through 7 for each finger. (Photo ) 9. Use the yellow Teflon tape to wrap the threads on each of the male hose barbs. Thread each male hose barb onto each female hose barb and tighten firmly with the crescent wrenches. Then use more yellow Teflon tape and wrap each female hose barb several times around. The ends of these hose barbs should fit snugly into the open ends of each finger. (Photo ) 10. Use the small hose clamps to affix each finger onto the Teflon wrapped ends of the five hose barbs. (Photo ) 11. Now use hot glue to firmly attach each finger to the end of the 1x6-inch board (or other support) to form a hand. Finally, attach a length of 1/4-inch O.D. vinyl hose to the open hose barb on each finger. (Photo ) 12. Now the hand is complete--but it still needs a control system. Check out Harvard’s Soft Robotics Toolkit for inspiration, or just follow the instructions below. Building The
facts about the pyramid that he sometimes forgot some of them until reminded. This was one of them. Instead of the typical four flat sides, the Great Pyramid had eight, but it had been forgotten in the mists of time until an aerial photo had been taken at just the right time. It was now known that at dawn and sunset on the spring and fall equinoxes, a shadow appears in such a way as to divide the pyramid in half, and the concavity that divides each side on the center line is revealed.
J.C. Ryan (The 10th Cycle (Rossler Foundation #1))
Even traveling despondently is better than arriving here.” To welcome visitors the arrivals hall featured a picture of the president of NowWhat, smiling. It was the only picture anybody could find of him, and it had been taken shortly after he had shot himself, so although the photo had been retouched as well as could be managed, the smile it wore was rather a ghastly one.
Douglas Adams (The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy #1-5))
THE TWINS WERE eighteen months old now, walking (and standing and staring and screaming and sitting) just like other children more or less their age, and Andy found herself increasingly preoccupied with those baby scrapbooks her brother’s wife had sent when they were born. Andy had gotten Janny’s to the six-month mark—the last photo was of her sitting up in the baby bath with her fingers in her mouth. Richie’s and Michael’s—not even birth pictures. Birth pictures of the twins existed, but they reminded Andy more of mug shots than of baby photos, naked in incubators, little skinny limbs and odd heads, no hair except where it shouldn’t be, on arms and back, like monkeys. She had stuffed the scrapbooks onto the upper shelf in the closet in Richie and Michael’s room, and every time she slid open that door, she would see their spines, white, pink, and blue, the silliest objects in her very modern house, ready to get thrown out.
Jane Smiley (Early Warning)
more photos are now taken every two minutes than in all of the nineteenth century.
Erik Brynjolfsson (The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies)
Todd the manager was at her cubicle the moment her chair squeaked. “How you doin’, Jane?” he asked in his oft-affected pseudo-Sopranos accent. “Fine.” She stared. He had a new haircut. His white blond hair was now spiked with an incredible amount of pomade that smelled of raspberries, a do that could only be carried off with true success by a fifteen-year-old boy wielding an impressive and permanent glare. Todd was grinning. And forty-three. Jane wondered if politeness required her to offer a compliment on something glaringly obvious. “Uh…you, your hair is different.” “Hey, girls always notice the hair. Right? Isn’t that basically right?” “I guess I just proved it,” she said sadly. “Super. Hey, listen,” he sat on the edge of her desk, “we’ve got a last-minute addition that needs special attention. It may seem like your basic stock photo array, but don’t be fooled! This is for the all-important page sixteen layout. I’d give this one to your basic interns, but I’m choosing you because I think you’d do a super job. What d’you say?” “Sure thing, Todd.” “Su-per.” He gave her two thumbs-up and held them there, smiling, his eyes unblinking. After a few moments, Jane cringed. What did he want her to do? Was she supposed to high-five his thumbs? Touch thumb-pad to thumb-pad? Or did he just leave them there so long for emphasis? The silence quivered. At last Jane opted for raising her own thumbs in a mirror of the Todd salute. “All right, my lady Jane.” He nodded, still with the thumbs up, and kept them up as he walked away. At least he hadn’t asked her out again. Why was it that when she was aching for a man, everyone was married, but when she was giving them up, so many men were so awkwardly single?
Shannon Hale (Austenland (Austenland, #1))
Eh, I’ll just get another computer. This will be my Disney trip computer.” My parents had boxes of photos in their closets. Now we have old computers in our closets. “Hey, honey, there’s our wedding computer.” “There’s my computer from when I was single. I guess I should destroy that one.
Jim Gaffigan (Dad Is Fat)
Apparently, Ellory had been right yesterday when he told me that Chekov was a ghost—Prague, Johannesburg, Rome, Hong Kong—Alexei would materialize out of nowhere, do his work, and then disappear. But at least now, thanks to the video surveillance cameras at the Minneapolis–St. Paul International Airport, we had a photo of him.
Steven James (The Queen (The Patrick Bowers Files, #5))
Most major media outlets covered the story, and people around the world began immediately to respond with prayers and good wishes on social media. When Jep heard what was going on, he jumped on Twitter and tweeted this on Saturday from his hospital bed: Well, I about died this past Sunday…I’m doing much better now. Thanks for all the prayers! #seizuresuck #gladtobealive As if that wasn’t enough, he also posted a side-by-side photo of himself and a bearded Steven Seagal, both unconscious in a hospital bed and wrapped in a white sheet. “Just like Steven Seagal, I’m hard to kill,” it said in a caption at the bottom. It’s always a good sign when you get your sense of humor back.
Jessica Robertson (The Good, the Bad, and the Grace of God: What Honesty and Pain Taught Us About Faith, Family, and Forgiveness)
Most major media outlets covered the story, and people around the world began immediately to respond with prayers and good wishes on social media. When Jep heard what was going on, he jumped on Twitter and tweeted this on Saturday from his hospital bed: Well, I about died this past Sunday…I’m doing much better now. Thanks for all the prayers! #seizuresuck #gladtobealive As if that wasn’t enough, he also posted a side-by-side photo of himself and a bearded Steven Seagal, both unconscious in a hospital bed and wrapped in a white sheet. “Just like Steven Seagal, I’m hard to kill,” it said in a caption at the bottom. It’s always a good sign when you get your sense of humor back. Monday morning, most of Jep’s doctors said he could go home. One of his doctors wanted him to stay for a month, but Jep wanted out. I didn’t blame him. We walked out of the hospital together. Jep could walk, but he was very weak and wobbly. One the way home we stopped to check out the house we were remodeling, and then I got him home to rest. The next day he asked, “When are we going to go look at the house?” “We went yesterday,” I told him. He didn’t remember. I let the kids stay home from school that Monday, and we had a wonderful time just being together. There were lots of hugs and smiles, and Jep played cards with River. I noticed he was talking a little slower than normal, but he was talking. And I knew everything was going to be okay.
Jessica Robertson (The Good, the Bad, and the Grace of God: What Honesty and Pain Taught Us About Faith, Family, and Forgiveness)
One of the masters of trendspotting is Rohit Bhargava, author of Non-Obvious. He curates the biggest trends each year and packages them up into a book. Then he explains how people and businesses can take advantage of these trends to improve their position in the marketplace. Thinking deliberately about trends is a secret sauce for most successful hustlers, because it creates an unfair advantage. When Evan Spiegel built Snapchat, he was capitalizing on a trend. He saw people using Facebook and their phones to share photos, but noticed they felt inhibited by the fact that the images were either permanent, or public. By reversing those two elements―making image-sharing ephemeral and private, he solved a big problem. Snapchat exploded across the younger demographics and quickly became a multibillion-dollar business. Another example is Kik, a popular messaging app. When Kik launched, plenty of messaging services already existed. In fact, the ultimate messaging services seemed to be the ones already  built into everyone's phones. Apple had a messaging app, and so did Android. So, why reinvent the wheel? Ted Livingston, the founder of Kik, had other ideas. Why? Because he had identified a trend. Consumers were clearly upset with the built-in messaging services. First, the telecom companies were charging per message sent and received, which was a horrible experience. It felt like classic, capitalistic highway robbery. Second―and this was a big problem for teens: You could only exchange messages by giving out your phone number. Livingston noticed that teens wanted to chat with other people they met online, but had no safe way of doing that without giving out their number. So he created Kik, which allows people to create a username instead. Kiksters can then share their username to start chatting, while keeping their digits private. But even better, messaging is unlimited, and completely free. By examining the trends happening in the messaging market, Livingston was able to build a product that rivaled the multi-billion dollar incumbents. Now his company is valued at over a billion.   
Jesse Tevelow (Hustle: The Life Changing Effects of Constant Motion)
To her surprise, Linc was waiting around the first curve on the road, listening to the radio. She could see his hand tapping a beat on the back of the other seat. Kenzie slowed her car to a stop when their windows lined up. He rolled his down. “Hey. How’d it go?” “No big deal. I handed the papers to his temp assistant. What the hell are you doing here?” Linc studied her face. “I wanted to see if the beacon I put on your car was working.” She should have known. “Is that necessary?” “The readout is on this.” He tapped the face of his watch. “I can’t see. And I don’t believe you.” Kenzie put her car into park, got out, and walked around. He turned his wrist to show her. “Check it out. Your dot merged into my dot.” “Isn’t that sweet.” He grinned. “It’s not a problem to remove the beacon if you don’t like it.” “No. It’s all right. You’re the only person who knows where I am most of the time now.” That didn’t seem to have occurred to him. “Really?” She nodded. “So where are you off to?” Kenzie shot him a mocking look. “You don’t have to ask, do you?” Linc laughed. “The beacon can’t read your mind.” She rolled her eyes. “Thank God for that. If you want to know, I was heading to the drugstore to print out some of the photos for Mrs. Corelli. Where are you going?” “Just running errands,” he said. “Need anything from the electronics store?” “I don’t think so.” “Okay. I’m just picking up a couple of components.” Kenzie gave a little yelp. “Yikes--that reminds me. Yesterday my boss asked me to pick something up for him out in the boondocks. I forgot until you said that. So if my dot falls off your watch, you’ll know why.” He smiled at her warmly as he bent his arm and rested it on the bottom of the window frame. The bicep under the flannel rounded up very nicely as he lifted a hand and chucked her gently under the chin. “Funny.” The friendly touch was unexpectedly intimate. In fact, it triggered a dangerous sensation of giving in. She smiled at him, feeling weak. His brown eyes were dark and warm. She felt herself blush under his steady gaze. Linc was the real deal. Maybe she didn’t have to be so tough all the time. It was okay to be protected. More than okay. Back when she’d had Tex at her side, she’d actually liked the feeling. Like all military working dogs, he’d been trained to maintain an invisible six-foot circle around her, and woe to anyone who crossed into it without her permission. Including guys she was dating. “Kenzie?” She snapped out of it. “Sorry. You knocked on my stupid spot.” “I’ll have to remember that.” She shook her head in mock dismay. “Please don’t. Let’s touch base around four or five o’clock.” He nodded and turned the key in the ignition. “Works for me.” His gaze stayed on her a moment longer. “Call me if you need anything.” “I will. Thanks.” She glanced back at the gray monolith a little distance behind them and her mouth tightened. But when her green gaze met Linc’s brown eyes, she managed a quick smile. He raised his left hand in a quick good-bye wave and eased his car ahead of hers, rolling up the window again. She watched him go, then got back into hers and drove on, turning off on the road to the firing range.
Janet Dailey (Honor (Bannon Brothers, #2))
We trapped several smaller females, all around the nine-foot mark. That’s when Steve stepped back and let the all-girl team take over: all the women in camp, zoo workers mainly, myself, and others. We would jump on the croc, help secure the tracking device, and let her go. At one point Steve trapped a female that he could see was small and quiet. He turned to Bindi. “How would you like to jump the head?” Bindi’s eyes lit up. This was what she had been waiting for. Once Steve removed the croc from the trap and secured its jaws, the next step was for the point person to jump the croc’s head. Everybody else on the team followed immediately afterward, pinning the crocodile’s body. “Don’t worry,” I said to Bindi. “I’ll back you up.” Or maybe I was really talking to Steve. He was nervous as he slipped the croc out of its mesh trap. He hovered over the whole operation, knowing that if anything went amiss, he was right there to help. “Ready, and now!” he said. Bindi flung herself on the head of the crocodile. I came in right over her back. The rest of the girls jumped on immediately, and we had our croc secured. “Let’s take a photo with the whole family,” Professor Franklin said. Bindi sat proudly at the crocodile’s head, her hand casually draped over its eyes. Steve was in the middle, holding up the croc’s front legs. Next in line was me. Finally, Robert had the tail. This shot ended up being our 2006 family Christmas card. I look at it now and it makes me laugh out loud. The family that catches crocs together, rocks together. The Irwin family motto. Steve, Bindi, and I are all smiling. But then there is Robert’s oh-so-serious face. He has a top-jaw rope wrapped around his body, with knots throughout. He took his job seriously. He had the rope and was ready as the backup. He was on that croc’s tail. It was all about catching crocs safely, mate. No mucking around here. As we idled back in to camp, Robert said, “Can I please drive the boat?” “Crikey, mate, you are two years old,” Steve said. “I’ll let you drive the boat next year.” But then, quite suddenly and without a word, Steve scooped Robert up and sat him up next to the outboard. He put the tiller in his hand. “Here’s what you do, mate,” Steve said, and he began to explain how to drive the boat. He seemed in a hurry to impart as much wisdom to his son as possible. Robert spent the trip jumping croc tails, driving the boat, and tying knots. Steve created a croc made of sticks and set it on a sandbar. He pulled the boat up next to it, and he, Robert, and Bindi went through all the motions of jumping the stick-croc. “I’m going to say two words,” Robert shouted, imitating his father. “’Go,’ and ‘Now.’ First team off on ‘Go,’ second team off on ‘Now.’” Then he’d yell “Go, now” at the top of his lungs. He and Steve jumped up as if the stick-croc was about to swing around and tear their arms off. “Another croc successfully caught, mate,” Steve said proudly. Robert beamed with pride too. When he got back to Croc One, Robert wrangled his big plush crocodile toy. I listened, incredulous, as my not-yet-three-year-old son muttered the commands of a seasoned croc catcher. He had all the lingo down, verbatim. “Get me a twelve-millimeter rope,” Robert commanded. “I need a second one. Get that top-jaw rope under that tooth, yep, the eye tooth, get it secured. We’ll need a third top-jaw rope for this one. Who’s got a six-millimeter rope? Hand me my Leatherman. Cut that rope here. Get that satellite tracker on.” The stuffed animal thoroughly secured, Robert made as if to brush off his little hands. “Professor Franklin,” he announced in his best grown-up voice, “it’s your croc.
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
We trapped several smaller females, all around the nine-foot mark. That’s when Steve stepped back and let the all-girl team take over: all the women in camp, zoo workers mainly, myself, and others. We would jump on the croc, help secure the tracking device, and let her go. At one point Steve trapped a female that he could see was small and quiet. He turned to Bindi. “How would you like to jump the head?” Bindi’s eyes lit up. This was what she had been waiting for. Once Steve removed the croc from the trap and secured its jaws, the next step was for the point person to jump the croc’s head. Everybody else on the team followed immediately afterward, pinning the crocodile’s body. “Don’t worry,” I said to Bindi. “I’ll back you up.” Or maybe I was really talking to Steve. He was nervous as he slipped the croc out of its mesh trap. He hovered over the whole operation, knowing that if anything went amiss, he was right there to help. “Ready, and now!” he said. Bindi flung herself on the head of the crocodile. I came in right over her back. The rest of the girls jumped on immediately, and we had our croc secured. “Let’s take a photo with the whole family,” Professor Franklin said. Bindi sat proudly at the crocodile’s head, her hand casually draped over its eyes. Steve was in the middle, holding up the croc’s front legs. Next in line was me. Finally, Robert had the tail. This shot ended up being our 2006 family Christmas card. I look at it now and it makes me laugh out loud. The family that catches crocs together, rocks together. The Irwin family motto. Steve, Bindi, and I are all smiling. But then there is Robert’s oh-so-serious face. He has a top-jaw rope wrapped around his body, with knots throughout. He took his job seriously. He had the rope and was ready as the backup. He was on that croc’s tail. It was all about catching crocs safely, mate. No mucking around here.
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
For many, Facebook is less about looking up friends than it is about looking at friends. Research tells us that, on average, Facebook users spend more time examining others’ pages than adding content to their own. The site’s most frequent visitors—most often females who post and share photos and who receive status updates—use the site for “social surveillance.” These social investigators usually aren’t getting in touch or staying in touch with friends as much as they are checking up on them. And my clients are right: Judging and evaluating are involved. In one study, nearly four hundred participants examined mock-up Facebook pages and rated web-page owners for attractiveness, only to decide that the best-looking owners were the ones with the best-looking friends.
Meg Jay (The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter--And How to Make the Most of Them Now)
Step 2: Build the LED-Controlling Circuit Now, you’re going to connect the 4017 decade counter with resistors and LEDs. There are a lot of connections, so take as much time as you need to get them all correct. Plug the 4017 decade counter into the breadboard so that the middle of the decade counter is around row 20, with the chip marker pointing up toward row 1. Then, take out five LEDs and ten 100 Ω resistors. Connect each LED’s negative (short) leg to the negative supply column on the right, and connect each positive (long) leg to its own empty row in the component area on the right. Place the green LED in the middle, the two blue ones on each side of the green LED, and the red ones on each end. Then, connect the ten 100 Ω resistors. In the circuit diagram, notice that pins 1 to 7 and pins 9 to 11 of the 4017 decade counter each connect to one side of a resistor. The other side of each resistor needs to be on a row by itself. Take care to ensure the resistor legs don’t accidentally touch one another. Look at the following breadboard circuit to see how I connected them: Now, connect the LEDs to the resistors on the 4017 decade counter, and connect the decade counter circuit to the 555 timer circuit according to the circuit diagram. Jumper wires are the best way to make those connections. From each resistor, connect a jumper wire to the corresponding LED. Look at the circuit diagram and notice, for example, that the other side of the resistor connected to pin 4 of the 4017 decade counter should connect to the positive pin of the green LED in the middle. Go through the pins in the circuit diagram to figure out which LED to connect each resistor to. Connect pins 8 and 15 of the 4017 decade counter to the negative supply column, and connect pin 16 to the positive supply column. Use a wire to connect the output from the 555 timer (pin 3) to the clock input of the 4017 decade counter (pin 14). Make sure that you have positive and negative connections in all of your power supply columns. The breadboard I recommend in this project’s Shopping List (page 267) divides its power supply columns into two sections, one upper and one lower. Just connect each of the upper and lower halves on the left side with a wire to bridge the gap, as shown. Do the same on the right side. Alternatively, use two jumper wires from the left columns to the right columns. You can use a jumper wire, or you can cut off a small piece of wire, as I’ve done in this photo. Then, use two long jumper wires to connect the lower-left power supply columns with the two lower-right columns. When you’re done connecting the two circuits and all the power supply columns, your breadboard should look like this:
Oyvind Nydal Dahl (Electronics for Kids: Play with Simple Circuits and Experiment with Electricity!)
You know what the problem is?” I tell him, gesturing to the bar, which is quite busy for a Thursday night. “It’s that right now everyone is on their phones. Everyone has that ‘me, me, me instant gratification’ shit going on and so when the going gets rough in a relationship, as it always does, they bail. They bail because they have a million other people on their phone, on those fucking apps, all waiting for a hook-up or a date. A million people around the corner, with their perfect filtered photos uploaded, their bios updated and edited so they all represent the perfect fake versions of themselves. So even when you’re on a date with one person, you can look at your phone and go to the next person, have your fun, then go to the next. It’s not fucking dating man, it’s shopping.
Karina Halle (Before I Ever Met You)
Being an introvert doesn’t mean you’re shy. It means you enjoy being alone. Not just enjoy it—you need it. If you’re a true introvert, other people are basically energy vampires. You don’t hate them; you just have to be strategic about when you expose yourself to them—like the sun. They give you life, sure, but they can also burn you and you will get that wrinkly Long Island cleavage I’ve always been afraid of getting and that I know I now have. For me, meditation and headphones on the subway have been my sunscreen, protecting me from the hell that is other people. There’s a National Geographic photo I love of a young brown bear.
Amy Schumer (The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo)
Eventually, at 7:22 A.M. on the morning of May 26, 1998, with tears still pouring down my frozen cheeks, the summit of Mount Everest opened her arms and welcomed me in. As if she now considered me somehow worthy of this place. My pulse raced, and in a haze I found myself suddenly standing on top of the world. Alan embraced me, mumbling excitedly into his mask. Neil was still staggering toward us. As he approached, the wind began to die away. The sun was now rising over the hidden land of Tibet, and the mountains beneath us were bathed in a crimson red. Neil knelt and crossed himself on the summit. Then, together, with our masks of, we hugged as brothers. I got to my feet and began to look around. I swore that I could see halfway around the world. The horizon seemed to bend at the edges. It was the curvature of our earth. Technology can put a man on the moon but not up here. There truly was some magic to this place. The radio suddenly crackled to my left. Neil spoke into it excitedly. “Base camp. We’ve run out of earth.” The voice on the other end exploded with jubilation. Neil passed the radio to me. For weeks I had planned what I would say if I reached the top, but all that just fell apart. I strained into the radio and spoke without thinking. “I just want to get home.” The memory of what went on then begins to fade. We took several photos with both the SAS and the DLE flags flying on the summit, as promised, and I scooped some snow into an empty Juice Plus vitamin bottle I had with me.* It was all I would take with me from the summit. I remember having some vague conversation on the radio--patched through from base camp via a satellite phone--with my family some three thousand miles away: the people who had given me the inspiration to climb. But up there, the time flew by, and like all moments of magic, nothing can last forever. We had to get down. It was already 7:48 A.M. Neil checked my oxygen. “Bear, you’re right down. You better get going, buddy, and fast.” I had just under a fifth of a tank to get me back to the Balcony. I heaved the pack and tank onto my shoulders, fitted my mask, and turned around. The summit was gone. I knew that I would never see it again. *Years later, Shara and I christened our three boys with this snow water from Everest’s summit. Life moments.
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)
My favourite quotes, Part Two -- from Michael Connelly's "Harry Bosch" series The Black Box On Bosch’s first call to Henrik, the twin brother of Anneke - Henrik: "I am happy to talk now. Please, go ahead.” “Thank you. I, uh, first want to say as I said in my email that the investigation of your sister’s death is high priority. I am actively working on it. Though it was twenty years ago, I’m sure your sister’s death is something that hurts till this day. I’m sorry for your loss.” “Thank you, Detective. She was very beautiful and very excited about things. I miss her very much.” “I’m sure you do.” Over the years, Bosch had talked to many people who had lost loved ones to violence. There were too many to count but it never got any easier and his empathy never withered. The Burning Room 2 Grace was a young saxophonist with a powerful sound. She also sang. The song was “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” and she produced a sound from the horn that no human voice could ever touch. It was plaintive and sad but it came with an undeniable wave of underlying hope. It made Bosch think that there was still a chance for him, that he could still find whatever it was he was looking for, no matter how short his time was. ---------------- He grabbed his briefcase off his chair and walked toward the exit door. Before he got there, he heard someone clapping behind him. He turned back and saw it was Soto, standing by her desk. Soon Tim Marcia rose up from his cubicle and started to clap. Then Mitzi Roberts did the same and then the other detectives. Bosch put his back against the door, ready to push through. He nodded his thanks and held his fist up at chest level and shook it. He then went through the door and was gone. The Burning Room 3 “What do you want to know, Bosch?” Harry nodded. His instinct was right. The good ones all had that hollow space inside. The empty place where the fire always burns. For something. Call it justice. Call it the need to know. Call it the need to believe that those who are evil will not remain hidden in darkness forever. At the end of the day Rodriguez was a good cop and he wanted what Bosch wanted. He could not remain angry and mute if it might cost Orlando Merced his due. ------------ “I have waited twenty years for this phone call . . . and all this time I thought it would go away. I knew I would always be sad for my sister. But I thought the other would go away.” “What is the other, Henrik?” Though he knew the answer. “Anger . . . I am still angry, Detective Bosch.” Bosch nodded. He looked down at his desk, at the photos of all the victims under the glass top. Cases and faces. His eyes moved from the photo of Anneke Jespersen to some of the others. The ones he had not yet spoken for. “So am I, Henrik,” he said. “So am I.” Angle of Investigation 1972 They were heading south on Vermont through territory unfamiliar to him. It was only his second day with Eckersly and his second on the job. Now He knew that passion was a key element in any investigation. Passion was the fuel that kept his fire burning. So he purposely sought the personal connection or, short of that, the personal outrage in every case. It kept him locked in and focused. But it wasn’t the Laura syndrome. It wasn’t the same as falling in love with a dead woman. By no means was Bosch in love with June Wilkins. He was in love with the idea of reaching back across time and catching the man who had killed her. The Scarecrow At one time the newsroom was the best place in the world to work. A bustling place of camaraderie, competition, gossip, cynical wit and humor, it was at the crossroads of ideas and debate. It produced stories and pages that were vibrant and intelligent, that set the agenda for what was discussed and considered important in a city as diverse and exciting as Los Angeles.
Michael Connelly
As soon as I felt that we were a safe distance away from Bischoffsheim, I recovered my suitcases and fortunately got a ride from a farmer back to Rosheim, where I boarded the train leaving for Strasbourg. I recall looking out of the train window at newly dug trenches and wondered how many soldiers would make them their eternal resting place. There were also heaps of ammunition for weapons called Panzerschreck which were similar to American bazookas. If a soldier could approach close enough to a tank so that he could fire at it, it would cause the tank to explode. Here in Rosheim, the Germans were definitely expecting the arrival of the French Army and were preparing for the assault. Photo Caption: German Soldiers firing a Panzerschreck Captain Hank Bracker, who served with the U.S. Military Intelligence Corps, is the author of the multi-award winning book, “The Exciting Story of Cuba” has now written “Suppressed I Rise.” This book is for anyone interested in a very personal human view, of the history of World War II. A mother’s attempt to protect and raise her two young daughters in hostile NAZI Germany challenges her sensibilities and resourcefulness. Both books are available at, Barnes&, and many Independent Book Stores.
Hank Bracker
We’d known each other over a very short period of time. He left France in June of 1964, and I’m writing this in April 1992. I never received word from him and I don’t know if he’s dead or alive. The memory of him had remained dormant, but now it has suddenly come flooding back this early spring of 1992. Is it because I came across the picture of my girlfriend and me, on the back of which a blue stamp says Photo by Jansen. All rights reserved? Or for the simple reason that every spring looks the same? Today the air was light, the buds had burst on the trees in the gardens of the Observatoire, and the month of April 1992 merged by an effect of superimposition with the month of April 1964.
Patrick Modiano (Suspended Sentences: Three Novellas)