What Are Some Food Quotes

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All right, so give me some idea of what you can do," says Haymitch. I can’t do anything," says Peeta, "unless you count baking bread." Sorry, I don’t. Katniss. I already know you’re handy with a knife,” says Haymitch. Not really. But I can hunt,” I say. “With a bow and arrow.” And you’re good?” asks Haymitch. I have to think about it. I’ve been putting food on the table for four years. That’s no small task. I’m not as good as my father was, but he’d had more practice. I’ve better aim than Gale, but I’ve had more practice. He’s a genius with traps and snares. “I’m all right,” I say.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
What's so funny?" Bella mumbled. "I got food in her hair," I told her, chortling again. "I'm not going to forget this, dog," Rosalie hissed. "S'not so hard to erase a blond's memory," I countered. "Just blow in her ear." Get some new jokes, "Rosalie snapped.
Stephenie Meyer (Breaking Dawn (The Twilight Saga, #4))
We’re all searching for something to fill up what I like to call that big, God-shaped hole in our souls. Some people use alcohol, or sex, or their children, or food, or money, or music, or heroin. A lot of people even use the concept of God itself. I could go on and on. I used to know a girl who used shoes. She had over two-hundred pairs. But it’s all the same thing, really. People, for some stupid reason, think they can escape their sorrows.
Tiffanie DeBartolo (God-Shaped Hole)
I like storms. Thunder torrential rain, puddles, wet shoes. When the clouds roll in, I get filled with this giddy expectation. Everything is more beautiful in the rain. Don't ask me why. But it’s like this whole other realm of opportunity. I used to feel like a superhero, riding my bike over the dangerously slick roads, or maybe an Olympic athlete enduring rough trials to make it to the finish line. On sunny days, as a girl, I could still wake up to that thrilled feeling. You made me giddy with expectation, just like a symphonic rainstorm. You were a tempest in the sun, the thunder in a boring, cloudless sky. I remember I’d shovel in my breakfast as fast as I could, so I could go knock on your door. We’d play all day, only coming back for food and sleep. We played hide and seek, you’d push me on the swing, or we’d climb trees. Being your sidekick gave me a sense of home again. You see, when I was ten, my mom died. She had cancer, and I lost her before I really knew her. My world felt so insecure, and I was scared. You were the person that turned things right again. With you, I became courageous and free. It was like the part of me that died with my mom came back when I met you, and I didn’t hurt if I knew I had you. Then one day, out of the blue, I lost you, too. The hurt returned, and I felt sick when I saw you hating me. My rainstorm was gone, and you became cruel. There was no explanation. You were just gone. And my heart was ripped open. I missed you. I missed my mom. What was worse than losing you, was when you started to hurt me. Your words and actions made me hate coming to school. They made me uncomfortable in my own home. Everything still hurts, but I know none of it is my fault. There are a lot of words that I could use to describe you, but the only one that includes sad, angry, miserable, and pitiful is “coward.” I a year, I’ll be gone, and you’ll be nothing but some washout whose height of existence was in high school. You were my tempest, my thunder cloud, my tree in the downpour. I loved all those things, and I loved you. But now? You’re a fucking drought. I thought that all the assholes drove German cars, but it turns out that pricks in Mustangs can still leave scars.
Penelope Douglas (Bully (Fall Away, #1))
And I want to play hide-and-seek and give you my clothes and tell you I like your shoes and sit on the steps while you take a bath and massage your neck and kiss your feet and hold your hand and go for a meal and not mind when you eat my food and meet you at Rudy's and talk about the day and type up your letters and carry your boxes and laugh at your paranoia and give you tapes you don't listen to and watch great films and watch terrible films and complain about the radio and take pictures of you when you're sleeping and get up to fetch you coffee and bagels and Danish and go to Florent and drink coffee at midnight and have you steal my cigarettes and never be able to find a match and tell you about the tv programme I saw the night before and take you to the eye hospital and not laugh at your jokes and want you in the morning but let you sleep for a while and kiss your back and stroke your skin and tell you how much I love your hair your eyes your lips your neck your breasts your arse your and sit on the steps smoking till your neighbour comes home and sit on the steps smoking till you come home and worry when you're late and be amazed when you're early and give you sunflowers and go to your party and dance till I'm black and be sorry when I'm wrong and happy when you forgive me and look at your photos and wish I'd known you forever and hear your voice in my ear and feel your skin on my skin and get scared when you're angry and your eye has gone red and the other eye blue and your hair to the left and your face oriental and tell you you're gorgeous and hug you when you're anxious and hold you when you hurt and want you when I smell you and offend you when I touch you and whimper when I'm next to you and whimper when I'm not and dribble on your breast and smother you in the night and get cold when you take the blanket and hot when you don't and melt when you smile and dissolve when you laugh and not understand why you think I'm rejecting you when I'm not rejecting you and wonder how you could think I'd ever reject you and wonder who you are but accept you anyway and tell you about the tree angel enchanted forest boy who flew across the ocean because he loved you and write poems for you and wonder why you don't believe me and have a feeling so deep I can't find words for it and want to buy you a kitten I'd get jealous of because it would get more attention than me and keep you in bed when you have to go and cry like a baby when you finally do and get rid of the roaches and buy you presents you don't want and take them away again and ask you to marry me and you say no again but keep on asking because though you think I don't mean it I do always have from the first time I asked you and wander the city thinking it's empty without you and want what you want and think I'm losing myself but know I'm safe with you and tell you the worst of me and try to give you the best of me because you don't deserve any less and answer your questions when I'd rather not and tell you the truth when I really don't want to and try to be honest because I know you prefer it and think it's all over but hang on in for just ten more minutes before you throw me out of your life and forget who I am and try to get closer to you because it's beautiful learning to know you and well worth the effort and speak German to you badly and Hebrew to you worse and make love with you at three in the morning and somehow somehow somehow communicate some of the overwhelming undying overpowering unconditional all-encompassing heart-enriching mind-expanding on-going never-ending love I have for you.
Sarah Kane (Crave)
I brought you some coffee.” he held out the cup but she waved it away. “I hate that stuff. It tastes like feet.” At that he smiled. “How would you know what feet taste like?” “I just know.” -Luke and Clary, pg.209-
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
There are some things in life that shouldn't be given so much importance, if they don't change what is essential.
Laura Esquivel (Like Water for Chocolate)
What’s that?” said Ron, pointing at a large dish of some sort of shellfish stew that stood beside a large steak-and-kidney pudding. “Bouillabaisse,” said Hermione. “Bless you,” said Ron. “It’s French,” said Hermione.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4))
Learn to like what doesn't cost much. Learn to like reading, conversation, music. Learn to like plain food, plain service, plain cooking. Learn to like fields, trees, brooks, hiking, rowing, climbing hills. Learn to like people, even though some of them may be different...different from you. Learn to like to work and enjoy the satisfaction doing your job as well as it can be done. Learn to like the song of birds, the companionship of dogs. Learn to like gardening, puttering around the house, and fixing things. Learn to like the sunrise and sunset, the beating of rain on the roof and windows, and the gentle fall of snow on a winter day. Learn to keep your wants simple and refuse to be controlled by the likes and dislikes of others.
Lowell C. Bennion
Disappointment will come when your effort does not give you the expected return. If things don’t go as planned or if you face failure. Failure is extremely difficult to handle, but those that do come out stronger. What did this failure teach me? is the question you will need to ask. You will feel miserable. You will want to quit, like I wanted to when nine publishers rejected my first book. Some IITians kill themselves over low grades – how silly is that? But that is how much failure can hurt you. But it’s life. If challenges could always be overcome, they would cease to be a challenge. And remember – if you are failing at something, that means you are at your limit or potential. And that’s where you want to be. Disappointment’ s cousin is Frustration, the second storm. Have you ever been frustrated? It happens when things are stuck. This is especially relevant in India. From traffic jams to getting that job you deserve, sometimes things take so long that you don’t know if you chose the right goal. After books, I set the goal of writing for Bollywood, as I thought they needed writers. I am called extremely lucky, but it took me five years to get close to a release. Frustration saps excitement, and turns your initial energy into something negative, making you a bitter person. How did I deal with it? A realistic assessment of the time involved – movies take a long time to make even though they are watched quickly, seeking a certain enjoyment in the process rather than the end result – at least I was learning how to write scripts, having a side plan – I had my third book to write and even something as simple as pleasurable distractions in your life – friends, food, travel can help you overcome it. Remember, nothing is to be taken seriously. Frustration is a sign somewhere, you took it too seriously.
Chetan Bhagat
Halt," said the elegant diplomat, "when you asked me to marry you, did you think we could just sneak off to a glade in the woods with a few close friends and get it done?" Halt hesitated. "Well, no...of course not." As a matter of fact, that was exactly what he had thought. A simple ceremony, a few friends, some food and drink and then he and Pauline would be a couple. But he felt that it might not be wise to admit that right now.
John Flanagan (Erak's Ransom (Ranger's Apprentice, #7))
If what's always distinguished bad writing--flat characters, a narrative world that's clichéd and not recognizably human, etc.--is also a description of today's world, then bad writing becomes an ingenious mimesis of a bad world. If readers simply believe the world is stupid and shallow and mean, then [Bret] Ellis can write a mean shallow stupid novel that becomes a mordant deadpan commentary on the badness of everything. Look man, we'd probably most of us agree that these are dark times, and stupid ones, but do we need fiction that does nothing but dramatize how dark and stupid everything is? In dark times, the definition of good art would seem to be art that locates and applies CPR to those elements of what's human and magical that still live and glow despite the times' darkness. Really good fiction could have as dark a worldview as it wished, but it'd find a way both to depict this world and to illuminate the possibilities for being alive and human in it. Postmodern irony and cynicism's become an end in itself, a measure of hip sophistication and literary savvy. Few artists dare to try to talk about ways of working toward redeeming what's wrong, because they'll look sentimental and naive to all the weary ironists. Irony's gone from liberating to enslaving. There's some great essay somewhere that has a line about irony being the song of the prisoner who's come to love his cage… The postmodern founders' patricidal work was great, but patricide produces orphans, and no amount of revelry can make up for the fact that writers my age have been literary orphans throughout our formative years. We enter a spiritual puberty where we snap to the fact that the great transcendent horror is loneliness, excluded encagement in the self. Once we’ve hit this age, we will now give or take anything, wear any mask, to fit, be part-of, not be Alone, we young. The U.S. arts are our guide to inclusion. A how-to. We are shown how to fashion masks of ennui and jaded irony at a young age where the face is fictile enough to assume the shape of whatever it wears. And then it’s stuck there, the weary cynicism that saves us from gooey sentiment and unsophisticated naïveté. Sentiment equals naïveté on this continent. You burn with hunger for food that does not exist. A U. S. of modern A. where the State is not a team or a code, but a sort of sloppy intersection of desires and fears, where the only public consensus a boy must surrender to is the acknowledged primacy of straight-line pursuing this flat and short-sighted idea of personal happiness.
David Foster Wallace
I beg young people to travel. If you don’t have a passport, get one. Take a summer, get a backpack and go to Delhi, go to Saigon, go to Bangkok, go to Kenya. Have your mind blown. Eat interesting food. Dig some interesting people. Have an adventure. Be careful. Come back and you’re going to see your country differently, you’re going to see your president differently, no matter who it is. Music, culture, food, water. Your showers will become shorter. You’re going to get a sense of what globalization looks like. It’s not what Tom Friedman writes about; I’m sorry. You’re going to see that global climate change is very real. And that for some people, their day consists of walking 12 miles for four buckets of water. And so there are lessons that you can’t get out of a book that are waiting for you at the other end of that flight. A lot of people—Americans and Europeans—come back and go, ohhhhh. And the light bulb goes on.
Henry Rollins
There is probably no better or more reliable measure of whether a woman has spent time in ugly duckling status at some point or all throughout her life than her inability to digest a sincere compliment. Although it could be a matter of modesty, or could be attributed to shyness- although too many serious wounds are carelessly written off as "nothing but shyness"- more often a compliment is stuttered around about because it sets up an automatic and unpleasant dialogue in the woman's mind. If you say how lovely she is, or how beautiful her art is, or compliment anything else her soul took part in, inspired, or suffused, something in her mind says she is undeserving and you, the complimentor, are an idiot for thinking such a thing to begin with. Rather than understand that the beauty of her soul shines through when she is being herself, the woman changes the subject and effectively snatches nourishment away from the soul-self, which thrives on being acknowledged." "I must admit, I sometimes find it useful in my practice to delineate the various typologies of personality as cats and hens and ducks and swans and so forth. If warranted, I might ask my client to assume for a moment that she is a swan who does not realzie it. Assume also for a moment that she has been brought up by or is currently surrounded by ducks. There is nothing wrong with ducks, I assure them, or with swans. But ducks are ducks and swans are swans. Sometimes to make the point I have to move to other animal metaphors. I like to use mice. What if you were raised by the mice people? But what if you're, say, a swan. Swans and mice hate each other's food for the most part. They each think the other smells funny. They are not interested in spending time together, and if they did, one would be constantly harassing the other. But what if you, being a swan, had to pretend you were a mouse? What if you had to pretend to be gray and furry and tiny? What you had no long snaky tail to carry in the air on tail-carrying day? What if wherever you went you tried to walk like a mouse, but you waddled instead? What if you tried to talk like a mouse, but insteade out came a honk every time? Wouldn't you be the most miserable creature in the world? The answer is an inequivocal yes. So why, if this is all so and too true, do women keep trying to bend and fold themselves into shapes that are not theirs? I must say, from years of clinical observation of this problem, that most of the time it is not because of deep-seated masochism or a malignant dedication to self-destruction or anything of that nature. More often it is because the woman simply doesn't know any better. She is unmothered.
Clarissa Pinkola Estés (Women Who Run With the Wolves)
Those rabbits stopped fighting the system, because it was easier to take the loss of freedom, to forget what it was like before the fence kept them in, than to be out there in the world struggling to find shelter and food. They had decided that the loss of some was worth the temporary comfort of many.
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
Some people just don't have what it takes to appreciate a cookie.
James Patterson (The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride, #1))
Fuck no, that stuff just comes from food. The real poison comes out of your head. All your fuck-ups and sadnesses and fears drop down like some sort of brainshit into your guts and build up there. That's what really fucks you up. I told you before.
Matthew Stokoe (COWS)
Give people what they need: food, medicine, clean air, pure water, trees and grass, pleasant homes to live in, some hours of work, more hours of leisure. Don't ask who deserves it. Every human being deserves it.
Howard Zinn (Marx in Soho: A Play on History)
However, he wrote some verses on her, and very pretty they were.” “And so ended his affection,” said Elizabeth impatiently. “There has been many a one, I fancy, overcome in the same way. I wonder who first discovered the efficacy of poetry in driving away love!” “I have been used to consider poetry as the food of love,” said Darcy. “Of a fine, stout, healthy love it may. Everything nourishes what is strong already. But if it be only a slight, thin sort of inclination, I am convinced that one good sonnet will starve it entirely away.
Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)
The fears that assault us are mostly simple anxieties about social skills, about intimacy, about likeableness, or about performance. We need not give emotional food or charge to these fears or become attached to them. We don’t even have to shame ourselves for having these fears. Simply ask your fears, “What are you trying to teach me?” Some say that FEAR is merely an acronym for “False Evidence Appearing Real.” From Everything Belongs, p. 143
Richard Rohr
Are you okay with what we ordered?” Angeline asked him. “You didn’t pipe up with any requests.” Neil shook his head, face stoic. He kept his dark hair in a painfully short and efficient haircut. It was the kind of no-nonsense thing the Alchemists would’ve loved. “I can’t waste time quibbling over trivial things like pepperoni and mushrooms. If you’d gone to my school in Devonshire, you’d understand. For one of my sophomore classes, they left us alone on the moors to fend for ourselves and learn survival skills. Spend three days eating twigs and heather, and you’ll learn not to argue about any food coming your way.” Angeline and Jill cooed as though that was the most rugged, manly thing they’d ever heard. Eddie wore an expression that reflected what I felt, puzzling over whether this guy was as serious as he seemed or just some genius with swoon-worthy lines.
Richelle Mead (The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4))
The whole time I pretend I have mental telepathy. And with my mind only, I’ll say — or think? — to the target, 'Don’t do it. Don’t go to that job you hate. Do something you love today. Ride a roller coaster. Swim in the ocean naked. Go to the airport and get on the next flight to anywhere just for the fun of it. Maybe stop a spinning globe with your finger and then plan a trip to that very spot; even if it’s in the middle of the ocean you can go by boat. Eat some type of ethnic food you’ve never even heard of. Stop a stranger and ask her to explain her greatest fears and her secret hopes and aspirations in detail and then tell her you care because she is a human being. Sit down on the sidewalk and make pictures with colorful chalk. Close your eyes and try to see the world with your nose—allow smells to be your vision. Catch up on your sleep. Call an old friend you haven’t seen in years. Roll up your pant legs and walk into the sea. See a foreign film. Feed squirrels. Do anything! Something! Because you start a revolution one decision at a time, with each breath you take. Just don’t go back to thatmiserable place you go every day. Show me it’s possible to be an adult and also be happy. Please. This is a free country. You don’t have to keep doing this if you don’t want to. You can do anything you want. Be anyone you want. That’s what they tell us at school, but if you keep getting on that train and going to the place you hate I’m going to start thinking the people at school are liars like the Nazis who told the Jews they were just being relocated to work factories. Don’t do that to us. Tell us the truth. If adulthood is working some death-camp job you hate for the rest of your life, divorcing your secretly criminal husband, being disappointed in your son, being stressed and miserable, and dating a poser and pretending he’s a hero when he’s really a lousy person and anyone can tell that just by shaking his slimy hand — if it doesn’t get any better, I need to know right now. Just tell me. Spare me from some awful fucking fate. Please.
Matthew Quick (Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock)
When people dis fantasy—mainstream readers and SF readers alike—they are almost always talking about one sub-genre of fantastic literature. They are talking about Tolkien, and Tolkien's innumerable heirs. Call it 'epic', or 'high', or 'genre' fantasy, this is what fantasy has come to mean. Which is misleading as well as unfortunate. Tolkien is the wen on the arse of fantasy literature. His oeuvre is massive and contagious—you can't ignore it, so don't even try. The best you can do is consciously try to lance the boil. And there's a lot to dislike—his cod-Wagnerian pomposity, his boys-own-adventure glorying in war, his small-minded and reactionary love for hierarchical status-quos, his belief in absolute morality that blurs moral and political complexity. Tolkien's clichés—elves 'n' dwarfs 'n' magic rings—have spread like viruses. He wrote that the function of fantasy was 'consolation', thereby making it an article of policy that a fantasy writer should mollycoddle the reader. That is a revolting idea, and one, thankfully, that plenty of fantasists have ignored. From the Surrealists through the pulps—via Mervyn Peake and Mikhael Bulgakov and Stefan Grabiński and Bruno Schulz and Michael Moorcock and M. John Harrison and I could go on—the best writers have used the fantastic aesthetic precisely to challenge, to alienate, to subvert and undermine expectations. Of course I'm not saying that any fan of Tolkien is no friend of mine—that would cut my social circle considerably. Nor would I claim that it's impossible to write a good fantasy book with elves and dwarfs in it—Michael Swanwick's superb Iron Dragon's Daughter gives the lie to that. But given that the pleasure of fantasy is supposed to be in its limitless creativity, why not try to come up with some different themes, as well as unconventional monsters? Why not use fantasy to challenge social and aesthetic lies? Thankfully, the alternative tradition of fantasy has never died. And it's getting stronger. Chris Wooding, Michael Swanwick, Mary Gentle, Paul di Filippo, Jeff VanderMeer, and many others, are all producing works based on fantasy's radicalism. Where traditional fantasy has been rural and bucolic, this is often urban, and frequently brutal. Characters are more than cardboard cutouts, and they're not defined by race or sex. Things are gritty and tricky, just as in real life. This is fantasy not as comfort-food, but as challenge. The critic Gabe Chouinard has said that we're entering a new period, a renaissance in the creative radicalism of fantasy that hasn't been seen since the New Wave of the sixties and seventies, and in echo of which he has christened the Next Wave. I don't know if he's right, but I'm excited. This is a radical literature. It's the literature we most deserve.
China Miéville
The elevator shaft was a kind of heat sink. Hot food was cold by the time it arrived. Cold food got colder. No one knew what would happen to ice cream, but it would probably involve some rewriting of the laws of thermodynamics.
Terry Pratchett (Lords and Ladies (Discworld, #14; Witches, #4))
All civilized wo/men are prostitutes: Some sell what's between their legs; the rest sell what's between their ears.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana
I checked the icebox. The faeries usually brought some sort of food to stock the icebox and the pantry when they cleaned, but they could have mighty odd ideas about what constituted a healthy diet. One time I'd opened the pantry and found nothing but boxes and boxes and boxes of Fruit Loops. I had a near-miss with diabetes, and Thomas, who was never quite sure where the food had come from, declared that I had clearly been driven Fruit Loopy.
Jim Butcher (Proven Guilty (The Dresden Files, #8))
Ati sarvatra varjayet: Excess of anything is bad. Some of us are attracted to Good. But the universe tries to maintain balance. So what is good for some may end up being bad for others... Agriculture is good for us humans as it gives us an assured supply of food, but it is bad for the animals that lose their forest and grazing land.
Amish Tripathi (The Oath of the Vayuputras (Shiva Trilogy, #3))
Why is it that some people in the world get to wake up in beautiful houses with fairly normal parents and enough food in the fridge while the rest of us have to get by on the scraps the universe throws at us? And we gobble them up, so grateful. What the hell are we grateful for?
Heather Demetrios (I'll Meet You There)
This for many people is what is most offensive about hunting—to some, disgusting: that it encourages, or allows, us not only to kill but to take a certain pleasure in killing. It's not as though the rest of us don't countenance the killing of tens of millions of animals every year. Yet for some reason we feel more comfortable with the mechanical killing practiced, out of view and without emotion by industrial agriculture.
Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals)
In our heart we know that life loves life. Yet we feast on some of the other life-forms with which we share our planet; we kill to live. Taste is what carries us across that rocky moral terrain, what makes the horror palatable, and the paradox we could not defend by reason melts into a jungle of sweet temptations.
Diane Ackerman (A Natural History of the Senses)
What? Do I look stupid? A molecule of chicken? Eat some fucking food please. Thank you." "You curse a lot." "Fuck you-I hardly curse at all.
Tere Michaels (Faith & Fidelity (Faith, Love, & Devotion, #1))
The garden is one of the two great metaphors for humanity. The garden is about life and beauty and the impermanence of all living things. The garden is about feeding your children, providing food for the tribe. It’s part of an urgent territorial drive that we can probably trace back to animals storing food. It’s a competitive display mechanism, like having a prize bull, this greed for the best tomatoes and English tea roses. It’s about winning; about providing society with superior things; and about proving that you have taste, and good values, and you work hard. And what a wonderful relief, every so often, to know who the enemy is. Because in the garden, the enemy is everything: the aphids, the weather, time. And so you pour yourself into it, care so much, and see up close so much birth, and growth, and beauty, and danger, and triumph. And then everything dies anyway, right? But you just keep doing it.
Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life)
How are you coming with your home library? Do you need some good ammunition on why it's so important to read? The last time I checked the statistics...I think they indicated that only four percent of the adults in this country have bought a book within the past year. That's dangerous. It's extremely important that we keep ourselves in the top five or six percent. In one of the Monthly Letters from the Royal Bank of Canada it was pointed out that reading good books is not something to be indulged in as a luxury. It is a necessity for anyone who intends to give his life and work a touch of quality. The most real wealth is not what we put into our piggy banks but what we develop in our heads. Books instruct us without anger, threats and harsh discipline. They do not sneer at our ignorance or grumble at our mistakes. They ask only that we spend some time in the company of greatness so that we may absorb some of its attributes. You do not read a book for the book's sake, but for your own. You may read because in your high-pressure life, studded with problems and emergencies, you need periods of relief and yet recognize that peace of mind does not mean numbness of mind. You may read because you never had an opportunity to go to college, and books give you a chance to get something you missed. You may read because your job is routine, and books give you a feeling of depth in life. You may read because you did go to college. You may read because you see social, economic and philosophical problems which need solution, and you believe that the best thinking of all past ages may be useful in your age, too. You may read because you are tired of the shallowness of contemporary life, bored by the current conversational commonplaces, and wearied of shop talk and gossip about people. Whatever your dominant personal reason, you will find that reading gives knowledge, creative power, satisfaction and relaxation. It cultivates your mind by calling its faculties into exercise. Books are a source of pleasure - the purest and the most lasting. They enhance your sensation of the interestingness of life. Reading them is not a violent pleasure like the gross enjoyment of an uncultivated mind, but a subtle delight. Reading dispels prejudices which hem our minds within narrow spaces. One of the things that will surprise you as you read good books from all over the world and from all times of man is that human nature is much the same today as it has been ever since writing began to tell us about it. Some people act as if it were demeaning to their manhood to wish to be well-read but you can no more be a healthy person mentally without reading substantial books than you can be a vigorous person physically without eating solid food. Books should be chosen, not for their freedom from evil, but for their possession of good. Dr. Johnson said: "Whilst you stand deliberating which book your son shall read first, another boy has read both.
Earl Nightingale
You’re lying to yourself. Voron made us into serial killers. We can be okay without violence for a few weeks, but after a couple of months, the hand starts itching for the sword. You start looking for that rush. You get irritable, life turns stale, and then one day some fool crosses your path, attacks, and as you cut him down, you feel that short moment of struggle when he leverages his life against yours. If you’re lucky, he’s very good and the fight lasts a few seconds. But even if it doesn’t, that short moment of triumph is like getting an adrenaline shot. Suddenly color comes back into life, food tastes better, sleep is deeper, and sex is rapture.” I knew exactly what he was talking about. I lived it and I felt it.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Rises (Kate Daniels, #6 & #5.8))
A child's reading is guided by pleasure, but his pleasure is undifferentiated; he cannot distinguish, for example, between aesthetic pleasure and the pleasures of learning or daydreaming. In adolescence we realize that there are different kinds of pleasure, some of which cannot be enjoyed simultaneously, but we need help from others in defining them. Whether it be a matter of taste in food or taste in literature, the adolescent looks for a mentor in whose authority he can believe. He eats or reads what his mentor recommends and, inevitably, there are occasions when he has to deceive himself a little; he has to pretend that he enjoys olives or War and Peace a little more than he actually does. Between the ages of twenty and forty we are engaged in the process of discovering who we are, which involves learning the difference between accidental limitations which it is our duty to outgrow and the necessary limitations of our nature beyond which we cannot trespass with impunity. Few of us can learn this without making mistakes, without trying to become a little more of a universal man than we are permitted to be. It is during this period that a writer can most easily be led astray by another writer or by some ideology. When someone between twenty and forty says, apropos of a work of art, 'I know what I like,'he is really saying 'I have no taste of my own but accept the taste of my cultural milieu', because, between twenty and forty, the surest sign that a man has a genuine taste of his own is that he is uncertain of it. After forty, if we have not lost our authentic selves altogether, pleasure can again become what it was when we were children, the proper guide to what we should read.
W.H. Auden (The Dyer's Hand)
He smiled at her. “Now, are you going to thank me properly?” “I said ‘thank you.’ That’s considered in some cultures as thanking you properly.” “I was hoping for a little more than that.” She studied him for a long moment before she nodded. “All right.” She scooted down a bit on the bed, pulled her gown up high on her thighs, and relaxed back into the mattress. “If you could make it quick before the food gets here, that would be great.” Gwenvael felt a small twitch beneath his eye. He often got something similar right on his eyelid but only when he had to deal with his father. Apparently a new one had developed that belonged only to Lady Dagmar. “That’s not what I meant.” “I hope you’re not expecting me to get on my knees because I don’t think the healer—” “No!” Good gods, this woman! “That’s not what I meant, either.” “That’s always what men mean when they ask to be thanked properly.” “Your world frightens me. I want us to be clear on that.” He leaned over and grabbed her waist, lifting her until her back again rested on the propped-up pillows. “I’m unclear as to what you want, then.” “A kiss,” he said, pulling her dress back down to her ankles. “A simple kiss.
G.A. Aiken (What a Dragon Should Know (Dragon Kin, #3))
Where am I?" Magnus croaked. "Nazca." "Oh, so we went on a little trip." "You broke into a man's house," Catarina said. "You stole a carpet and enchanted it to fly. Then you sped off into the night air. We pursued you on foot." "Ah," said Magnus. "You were shouting some things." "What things?" "I prefer not to repeat them," Catarina said. "I also prefer not to remember the time we spent in the desert. It is a mammoth desert, Magnus. Ordinary deserts are quite large. Mammoth deserts are so called because they are larger than ordinary deserts." "Thank you for that interesting and enlightening information," Magnus croaked. "You told us to leave you in the desert, because you planned to start a new life as a cactus," Catarina said, her voice flat. "Then you conjured up tiny needles and threw them at us. With pinpoint accuracy." "Well," he said with dignity. "Considering my highly intoxicated state, you must have been impressed with my aim." "'Impressed' is not the word to use to describe how I felt last night, Magnus." "I thank you for stopping me there," Magnus said. "It was for the best. You are a true friend. No harm done. Let's say no more about it. Could you possibly fetch me - " "Oh, we couldn't stop you," Catarina interrupted. "We tried, but you giggled, leaped onto the carpet, and flew away again. You kept saying that you wanted to go to Moquegua." "What did I do in Moquegua?" "You never got there," Catarina said. "But you were flying about and yelling and trying to, ahem, write messages for us with your carpet in the sky." "We then stopped for a meal," Catarina said. "You were most insistent that we try a local specialty that you called cuy. We actually had a very pleasant meal, even though you were still very drunk." "I'm sure I must have been sobering up at that point," Magnus argued. "Magnus, you were trying to flirt with your own plate." "I'm a very open-minded sort of fellow!" "Ragnor is not," Catarina said. "When he found out that you were feeding us guinea pigs, he hit you over the head with your plate. It broke." "So ended our love," Magnus said. "Ah, well. It would never have worked between me and the plate anyway. I'm sure the food did me good, Catarina, and you were very good to feed me and put me to bed - " Catarina shook her head."You fell down on the floor. Honestly, we thought it best to leave you sleeping on the ground. We thought you would remain there for some time, but we took our eyes off you for one minute, and then you scuttled off. Ragnor claims he saw you making for the carpet, crawling like a huge demented crab.
Cassandra Clare (The Bane Chronicles)
Why did I obsess over people like this? Was it normal to fixate on strangers in this particular vivid, fevered way? I didn’t think so. It was impossible to imagine some random passer-by on the street forming quite such an interest in me. And yet it was the main reason I’d gone in those houses with Tom: I was fascinated by strangers, wanted to know what food they ate and what dishes they ate it from, what movies they watched and what music they listened to, wanted to look under their beds and in their secret drawers and night tables and inside the pockets of their coats. Often I saw interesting-looking people on the street and thought about them restlessly for days, imagining their lives, making up stories about them on the subway or the crosstown bus.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
I want to be able to listen to recording of piano sonatas and know who's playing. I want to go to classical concerts and know when you're meant to clap. I want to be able to 'get' modern jazz without it all sounding like this terrible mistake, and I want to know who the Velvet Underground are exactly. I want to be fully engaged in the World of Ideas, I want to understand complex economics, and what people see in Bob Dylan. I want to possess radical but humane and well-informed political ideals, and I want to hold passionate but reasoned debates round wooden kitchen tables, saying things like 'define your terms!' and 'your premise is patently specious!' and then suddenly to discover that the sun's come up and we've been talking all night. I want to use words like 'eponymous' and 'solipsistic' and 'utilitarian' with confidence. I want to learn to appreciate fine wines, and exotic liquers, and fine single malts, and learn how to drink them without turning into a complete div, and to eat strange and exotic foods, plovers' eggs and lobster thermidor, things that sound barely edible, or that I can't pronounce...Most of all I want to read books; books thick as brick, leather-bound books with incredibly thin paper and those purple ribbons to mark where you left off; cheap, dusty, second-hand books of collected verse, incredibly expensive, imported books of incomprehensible essays from foregin universities. At some point I'd like to have an original idea...And all of these are the things that a university education's going to give me.
David Nicholls (Starter for Ten)
What's your name?" I ask. I don't need to know. In fact, don't want to know. Giving him a name makes it sound like we're somehow on the same side, which we can never be. It's like acknowledging that we could become friends. But that's not possible. It's pointless to make friends with your executioner. "Raffe." I only asked him his name to distract him from thinking about having to use his feet instead of his wings. But now that I know his name, it feels right. "Rah-fie," I repeat slowly. "I like the sound of that." His eyes soften as though he smiles even though his expression doesn't change from his stony look. For some reason, it makes my face heat up. I clear my throat to break the tension. "Raffe sounds like Raw Feet. Coincidence?" That gets a smile out of him. When he smiles, he really does look like someone you'd want to get to know. Some otherworldly handsome guy a girl could dream about. Only he's not a guy. And he's too otherworldly. Not to mention that this girl is beyond dreaming about anything other than food, shelter, and the safety of her family.
Susan Ee (Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1))
Your body is a Temple. You are what you eat. Do not eat processed food, junk foods, filth, or disease carrying food, animals, or rodents. Some people say of these foods, 'well, it tastes good'. Most of the foods today that statically cause sickness, cancer, and disease ALL TATSE GOOD; it's well seasoned and prepared poison. THIS IS WHY SO MANY PEOPLE ARE SICK; mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually; because of being hooked to the 'taste' of poison, instead of being hooked on the truth and to real foods that heal and provide you with good health and wellness. Respect and honor your Temple- and it will honor you.
SupaNova Slom (The Remedy: The Five-Week Power Plan to Detox Your System, Combat the Fat, and Rebuild Your Mind and Body)
To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise, you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their boats at sea... "cruising" it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about. "I've always wanted to sail to the south seas, but I can't afford it." What these men can't afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of "security." And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine - and before we know it our lives are gone. What does a man need - really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in - and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That's all - in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade. The years thunder by, The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed. Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?
Sterling Hayden (Wanderer)
You are eating the sea, that's it, only the sensation of a gulp of sea water has been wafted out of it by some sorcery, and you are on the verge of remembering you don't know what, mermaids or the sudden smell of kelp on the ebb tide or a poem you read once, something connected with the flavor of life itself...
Eleanor Clark (The Oysters of Locmariaquer)
No more fear of hunger. A new kind of freedom. But what then ... what? What would my life be like on a daily basis? Most of it has been consumed with the acquisition of food. Take that away and I'm not really sure who I am, what my identity is. The idea scares me some.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
Every time I see this one particular movie star on a magazine, I can't help but feel terribly sorry for her because nobody respects her at all, and yet they keep interviewing her. And the interviews are all the same thing. They start with what food they are eating in some restaurant. "As _____ gingerly munched her Chinese Chicken Salad, she spoke of love." And all the covers say the same thing: "_____ gets to the bottom of stardom, love, and his/her hit new movie/television show/album." I think it's nice for stars to do interviews to make us think they are just like us, but to tell you the truth, I get the feeling that it's all a big lie. The problem is I don't know who's lying.
Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
Out of frustrations, out of desperation, out of disappointments, out of mediocrity. out of idleness,out of limited insight, out of difficulties, out of insatiability, out of poverty, out of pain and the vicissitudes of life , so many people shall come to a conclusion that nothing is worth living for; not even what is solemn and sacred but, some shall always turn the woes of life into great land marks and indelible footprints worth emulating
Ernest Agyemang Yeboah
No doubt some people, probably guys, will be thrown off balance by your forthrightness. Who cares. Eat their leftovers. If they carry on judging you, eat them, too.
Ruby Tandoh (Eat Up: Food, Appetite and Eating What You Want)
...it's what life's all about." "what?" "a search. we're all searching for something to fill up what I like to call that big, God-shaped hole in our souls. some people use alcohol, or sex, or their children, or food, or money, or music, or heroin. a lot of people even use the concept of God itself. I could go on and on. I used to know a girl who used shoes. she had over two-hundred pairs. but it's all the same thing, really. people, for some stupid reason, think they can escape their sorrows.
Tiffanie DeBartolo (God-Shaped Hole)
She'd spoken of their happiness as though it were an undeniable fact, no matter what happened--apart from everything else and not subject to it. It was a new idea for him, that happiness wasn't a mystical place to be reached or won--some bright terrain beyond the boundary of misery, a paradise waiting for them to find it--but something to carry doggedly with you through everything, as humble and ordinary as your gear and supplies. Food, weapons, happiness. With hope that the weapons could in time vanish from the picture.
Laini Taylor (Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #3))
It's not right, man,” Jay said, following my stare. “Some guys have all the luck.” “What?” I finally broke my trance to look at Jay. “That guy, the drummer? Get this. He's a killer musician, he gets tons of chicks, his dad's loaded, and as if that wasn't enough, he's got a friggin' English accent!” I had to smile at Jay's mix of envy and admiration. “What's his name?” I hollered as the third song started. “Kaidan Rowe. Oh, and that's another thing. A cool name! Bastard.” “How do you spell it?” I asked. It sounded like Ky-den. Jay spelled it for me. “It's A-I, like Thai food,” he explained. Kai, like Thai, only yummier. Gah! Who was this girl invading my brain?
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
Well, I'm glad you're so amused," I said, running my fingers across the railing. Maxon hopped up to sit on the railing, looking very relaxed. "You're always amusing. Get used to it." Hmm. He was almost being funny. "So...about what you said...," he started tentatively. "Which part? The part about me calling you names or fighting with my mom or saying food was my motivation?" I rolled my eyes. He laughed once. "The part about me being good..." "Oh. What about it?" Those few sentences suddenly seemed more embarrassing than anything else I'd said. I ducked my head down and twisted a piece of my dress. "I appreciate you making things look authentic, but you didn't need to go that far." My head snapped up. How could he think that? "Maxon, that wasn't for the sake of the show. If you had asked me a month ago what my honest opinion of you was, it would have been very different. But now I know you, and I know the truth, and you are everything I said you were. And more." He was quiet, but there was a small smile on his face. "Thank you," he finally said. "Anytime." Maxon cleared his throat. "He'll be lucky, too." He got down from his makeshift seat and walked to my side of the balcony. "Huh?" "Your boyfriend. When he comes to his senses and begs you to take him back," Maxon said matter-of-factly. I had to laugh. No such thing would happen in y world. "he's not my boyfriend anymore. And he made it pretty clear he was gone with me." Even I could hear the tiny bit of hope in my voice. "Not possible. He'll have seen you on TV by now and fallen for you all over again. Though, in my opinion, you're still much too good for the dog." Maxon spoke almost as if he was bored, like he'd seen this happen a million times. "Speaking of which!" he said a bit louder. "If you don't want me to be in love with you, you're going to have to stop looking so lovely. First thing tomorrow I'm having your maids sew some potato sacks together for you." I hit his arm. "Shut up, Maxon." "I'm not kidding. You're too beautiful for your own good. Once you leave, we'll have to send some of the guards with you. You'll never survive on your own, poor thing." He said all this with mock pity. "I can't help it." I sighed. "One can never help being born into perfection." I fanned my face as if being so pretty was exhausting. "No, I don't suppose you can help it.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
He said, “So . . . do you like music?” It was a pretty stupid question. I mean, who doesn’t like music? Okay, maybe some puritanical zealot out in Hicksville. But really. It was kind of like asking, “Do you like food?” “Isn’t oxygen great?” “Have you got skin? I do.” I knew what he meant, though.
Kristin Walker (A Match Made in High School)
Tell me what you do with the food you eat, and I'll tell you who you are. Some turn their food into fat and manure, some into work and good humor, and others, I'm told, into God. So there must be three sorts of men. I'm not one of the worst, boss, nor yet one of the best. I'm somewhere in between the two. What I eat I turn into work and good humor. That's not too bad, after all!' He looked at me wickedly and started laughing. 'As for you, boss,' he said, 'I think you do your level best to turn what you eat into God. But you can't quite manage it, and that torments you. The same thing's happening to you as happened to the crow.' 'What happened to the crow, Zorba?' 'Well, you see, he used to walk respectably, properly - well, like a crow. But one day he got it into his head to try and strut about like a pigeon. And from that time on the poor fellow couldn't for the life of him recall his own way of walking. He was all mixed up, don't you see? He just hobbled about.
Nikos Kazantzakis (Zorba the Greek)
How To Tell If Somebody Loves You: Somebody loves you if they pick an eyelash off of your face or wet a napkin and apply it to your dirty skin. You didn’t ask for these things, but this person went ahead and did it anyway. They don’t want to see you looking like a fool with eyelashes and crumbs on your face. They notice these things. They really look at you and are the first to notice if something is amiss with your beautiful visage! Somebody loves you if they assume the role of caretaker when you’re sick. Unsure if someone really gives a shit about you? Fake a case of food poisoning and text them being like, “Oh, my God, so sick. Need water.” Depending on their response, you’ll know whether or not they REALLY love you. “That’s terrible. Feel better!” earns you a stay in friendship jail; “Do you need anything? I can come over and bring you get well remedies!” gets you a cozy friendship suite. It’s easy to care about someone when they don’t need you. It’s easy to love them when they’re healthy and don’t ask you for anything beyond change for the parking meter. Being sick is different. Being sick means asking someone to hold your hair back when you vomit. Either love me with vomit in my hair or don’t love me at all. Somebody loves you if they call you out on your bullshit. They’re not passive, they don’t just let you get away with murder. They know you well enough and care about you enough to ask you to chill out, to bust your balls, to tell you to stop. They aren’t passive observers in your life, they are in the trenches. They have an opinion about your decisions and the things you say and do. They want to be a part of it; they want to be a part of you. Somebody loves you if they don’t mind the quiet. They don’t mind running errands with you or cleaning your apartment while blasting some annoying music. There’s no pressure, no need to fill the silences. You know how with some of your friends there needs to be some sort of activity for you to hang out? You don’t feel comfortable just shooting the shit and watching bad reality TV with them. You need something that will keep the both of you busy to ensure there won’t be a void. That’s not love. That’s “Hey, babe! I like you okay. Do you wanna grab lunch? I think we have enough to talk about to fill two hours!" It’s a damn dream when you find someone you can do nothing with. Whether you’re skydiving together or sitting at home and doing different things, it’s always comfortable. That is fucking love. Somebody loves you if they want you to be happy, even if that involves something that doesn’t benefit them. They realize the things you need to do in order to be content and come to terms with the fact that it might not include them. Never underestimate the gift of understanding. When there are so many people who are selfish and equate relationships as something that only must make them happy, having someone around who can take their needs out of any given situation if they need to. Somebody loves you if they can order you food without having to be told what you want. Somebody loves you if they rub your back at any given moment. Somebody loves you if they give you oral sex without expecting anything back. Somebody loves you if they don’t care about your job or how much money you make. It’s a relationship where no one is selling something to the other. No one is the prostitute. Somebody loves you if they’ll watch a movie starring Kate Hudson because you really really want to see it. Somebody loves you if they’re able to create their own separate world with you, away from the internet and your job and family and friends. Just you and them. Somebody will always love you. If you don’t think this is true, then you’re not paying close enough attention.
Ryan O'Connell
People", Shai said, rising to fetch another seal, "by nature attempt to exercise power over what is around them. We build walls to shelter us from the wind, roofs to stop the rain. We tame the elements, bend nature to our wills. It make us feel as if we're in control. Except in doing so, we merely replace one influence with another. Instead of the wind affecting us, it is a wall. A man-made wall. The fingers of man's influence are all about, touching everything. Man-made rugs, man-made food. Every single thing in the city that we touch, see, feel, experience comes as the result of some person's influence.
Brandon Sanderson (The Emperor's Soul (The Cosmere))
The problem is that people have tried to look away from space and from the meaning of the moon landing. I remember seeing a picture of an astronaut standing on the moon. It was up at Yale and someone has scrawled on it, 'So what?' That is the arrogance of the kind of academic narrowness one too often sees; it is trapped in its own predictable prejudices, its own stale categories. It is the mind dulled to the poetry of existence. It's fashionable now to demand some economic payoff from space, some reward to prove it was all worthwhile. Those who say this resemble the apelike creatures in 2001. They are fighting for food among themselves, while one separates himself from them and moves to the slab, motivated by awe. That is the point they are missing. He is the one who evolves into a human being; he is the one who understands the future.
Joseph Campbell (Thou Art That: Transforming Religious Metaphor)
Growing up spoiled a lot of things. It spoiled the nice game they had when there was nothing to eat in the house. When money gave out and food ran low, Katie and the children pretended they were explorers discovering the North Pole and had been trapped by a blizzard in a cave with just a little food. They had to make it last till help came. Mama divided up what food there was in the cupboard and called it rations and when the children were still hungry after a meal, she'd say, 'Courage, my men, help will come soon.' When some money came in and Mama bought a lot of groceries, she bought a little cake as celebration, and she'd stick a penny flag in it and say, 'We made it, men. We got to the North Pole.' One day after one of the 'rescues' Francie asked Mama: 'When explorers get hungry and suffer like that, it's for a reason . Something big comes out of it. They discover the North Pole. But what big things comes out of us being hungry like that?' Katie looked tired all of a sudden. She said something Francie didn't understand at the time. She said, 'You found the catch in it.
Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
So you make this deal with the gods. You do these dances and they'll send rain and good crops and the whole works? And nothing bad will ever happen. Right.' Prayer had always struck me as more or less a glorified attempt at a business transaction. A rain dance even more so. I thought I might finally have offended Loyd past the point of no return, like stealing the lobster from frozen foods that time, to get myself fired. But Loyd was just thinking. After a minute he said, 'No, it's not like that. It's not making a deal, bad things can still happen, but you want to try not to cause them to happen. It has to do with keeping things in balance.' In balance.' Really, it's like the spirits have made a deal with us.' And what is the deal?' I asked. We're on our own. The spirits have been good enough to let us live here and use the utilities, and we're saying: We know how nice you're being. We appreciate the rain, we appreciate the sun, we appreciate the deer we took. Sorry if we messed up anything. You've gone to a lot of trouble, and we'll try to be good guests.' Like a note you'd send somebody after you stayed in their house?' Exactly like that. 'Thanks for letting me sleep on your couch. I took some beer out of the refrigerator, and I broke a coffee cup. Sorry, I hope it wasn't your favorite one.
Barbara Kingsolver
In Plaster I shall never get out of this! There are two of me now: This new absolutely white person and the old yellow one, And the white person is certainly the superior one. She doesn't need food, she is one of the real saints. 
At the beginning I hated her, she had no personality -- She lay in bed with me like a dead body 
And I was scared, because she was shaped just the way I was 
 Only much whiter and unbreakable and with no complaints. I couldn't sleep for a week, she was so cold. I blamed her for everything, but she didn't answer. 
I couldn't understand her stupid behavior! 
When I hit her she held still, like a true pacifist. 
Then I realized what she wanted was for me to love her: She began to warm up, and I saw her advantages. 

Without me, she wouldn't exist, so of course she was grateful. 
I gave her a soul, I bloomed out of her as a rose 
Blooms out of a vase of not very valuable porcelain, And it was I who attracted everybody's attention, 
Not her whiteness and beauty, as I had at first supposed. 
I patronized her a little, and she lapped it up -- 
You could tell almost at once she had a slave mentality. 

I didn't mind her waiting on me, and she adored it. 
In the morning she woke me early, reflecting the sun 
From her amazingly white torso, and I couldn't help but notice 
Her tidiness and her calmness and her patience: She humored my weakness like the best of nurses, 
Holding my bones in place so they would mend properly. In time our relationship grew more intense. 

She stopped fitting me so closely and seemed offish. 
I felt her criticizing me in spite of herself, 
As if my habits offended her in some way. She let in the drafts and became more and more absent-minded. 
And my skin itched and flaked away in soft pieces 
Simply because she looked after me so badly. Then I saw what the trouble was: she thought she was immortal. She wanted to leave me, she thought she was superior, 
And I'd been keeping her in the dark, and she was resentful -- Wasting her days waiting on a half-corpse! 
And secretly she began to hope I'd die. Then she could cover my mouth and eyes, cover me entirely, 
And wear my painted face the way a mummy-case Wears the face of a pharaoh, though it's made of mud and water. 

I wasn't in any position to get rid of her. She'd supported me for so long I was quite limp -- I had forgotten how to walk or sit, So I was careful not to upset her in any way 
Or brag ahead of time how I'd avenge myself. Living with her was like living with my own coffin: Yet I still depended on her, though I did it regretfully. I used to think we might make a go of it together -- 
After all, it was a kind of marriage, being so close. 
Now I see it must be one or the other of us. She may be a saint, and I may be ugly and hairy, 
But she'll soon find out that that doesn't matter a bit. I'm collecting my strength; one day I shall manage without her, 
And she'll perish with emptiness then, and begin to miss me. --written 26 Feburary 1961
Sylvia Plath (The Collected Poems)
When was the last time we slept?" "Day before yesterday?" Amy asked with a frown. "I know what you mean. This is some jet lag. Let's get a coffee while we make a plan." "Oh, yeah. Jet lag. That must be it," Dan agreed as he trailed after her to the espresso bar. "Not the fact that we pulled off a museum heist, went without sleep and food, and oh, yeah—did I mention this—almost got killed? Jet lag. That's why we're tired." "Well, if you want to get technical.
Jude Watson (A King's Ransom (The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers, #2))
Mrs. Forbes said that hating yellow and brown is just being silly. And Siobhan said that she shouldn't say things like that and everyone has favorite colors. And Siobhan was right. But Mrs. Forbes was a bit right, too. Because it is sort of being silly. But in life you have to take lots of decisions and if you don't take decisions you would never do anything because you would spend all your time choosing between things you could do. So it is good to have a reason why you hate some things and you like others. It is like being in a restaurant like when Father takes me out to a Berni Inn sometimes and you look at the menu and you have to choose what you are going to have. But you don't know if you are going to like something because you haven't tasted it yet, so you have favorite foods and you choose these, and you have foods you dno't like and you don't choose these, and then it is simple.
Mark Haddon (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time)
Be VERY careful of who or what you entertain when you’re bored. Boredom can get you caught up in some foul stuff. Trust!
Stephanie Lahart
Sex and food and drink and books. You really don’t need much else. Maybe a nice view of the sky. Some shoes that don’t hurt. A bed and roof that won’t leak. Some singing, some music and tempo. A heart full and a soul fed, a head full of dreams and possibilities, what more could you possibly want? What more is there?
Salena Godden (Mrs Death Misses Death: Salena Godden)
Imagine you’re walking down the street eating a sandwich and someone says, Damn, that looks like a delicious sandwich, can I have a bite? You’d think, why would I ever let you eat this sandwich? This is my sandwich. So you’d walk on and continue eating, and they’d say, What? You’re not going to say anything? No need to get mad, I was just trying to compliment your sandwich. Let’s say this happened three times a day, strangers stopping you on the street, letting you know how good your food looks, asking if they can have some of it. What if people started yelling out of their cars about how much they wanted your sandwich. Let me have some! they’d exclaim, driving by with a honk. Were you supposed to say, I’m sorry, no thank you, every time? Would you feel obligated to explain over and over again that you don’t wish to share because it’s your lunch and you don’t know them? That you don’t owe them any of it? That it’s a little unreasonable that they’re asking in the first place? All you would want is to walk down the street eating your sandwich in peace. Maybe I am making this worse by comparing a woman’s body to a sandwich, but do you see what I mean?
Chanel Miller (Know My Name)
You can win the rat race but you're still a rat. The human race is an unfair and stupid competition. A lot of the runners don't even get decent sneakers or clean drinking water. Some runners are born with a massive head start, every possible help along the way and still the referees seem to be on their side. It's not surprising a lot of people have given up competing altogether and gone to sit in the grandstand, eat junk food and shout abuse. What we need in this race is a lot more streakers.
Banksy (Wall and Piece)
Hey Wanda! Hey Ian!" Jamie was all grins, his messy hair bouncing as he moved..."Guess what? Jared was saying at lunch that he didn't think it was fair for you to have to move out of the room you were used to. He said we weren't being good hosts. He said you should move back in with me! Isn't that great? I asked him if I could tell you right away, and he said that was a good idea. He said you would be in here." "I'll bet he did," Ian murmured. "So, what do you think, Wanda? We get to be roomies again!" "But Jamie, where will Jared stay?" "Wait - let me guess," Ian interrupted. "I bet he said the room was big enough for three. Am I right?" "Yeah. How did you know?" "Lucky guess" ... "Will you come back?" Jamie begged against my shoulder..."If that's what you want, Jamie. Okay." "Woo hoo!" Jamie crowed in my ear. "Cool! I'm gonna go tell Jared! I'll get you some food, too, okay?...You want something, Ian?" "Sure, kid. I want you to tell Jared he's shameless.
Stephenie Meyer
When you're cooking with food as alive as this -- these gorgeous and semigorgeous fruits and leaves and flesh -- you're in no danger of mistaking it for a commodity, or a fuel, or a collection of chemical nutrients. No, in the eye of the cook or the gardener ... this food reveals itself for what it is: no mere thing but a web of relationships among a great many living beings, some of them human, some not, but each of them dependent on each other, and all of them ultimately rooted in soil and nourished by sunlight.
Michael Pollan (In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto)
To answer your question as honestly as I can, I've wanted since I was very little to not have to worry about money. I've never been poverty-level poor (I mean, there's been years where I've been officially beneath the poverty line, but that wasn't poverty: that was being a student and living the Student Lifestyle), but I've been in a place where you know you can't afford a better-quality food, where you can't do certain things because of money, and I'd prefer not to have those problems if I can. I sort of have troubles with money in general, with how it determines so much of our lives but with how we all try to ignore it, but I would like to be (and stay) in a place where I can pick up some new comics and games and not worry about how much they cost. This is terrible; you're asking me where I want to be in the future, what I want my life to be like, and the only thing I can tell you is "Man, all I know is I don't want to be POOR.
Ryan North
I, for my part, wonder of what sort of feeling, mind or reason that man was possessed who was first to pollute his mouth with gore, and to allow his lips to touch the flesh of a murdered being: who spread his table with the mangled forms of dead bodies, and claimed as daily food and dainty dishes what but now were beings endowed with movement, perception and with voice. …but for the sake of some little mouthful of flesh, we deprive a soul of the sun and light, and of that portion of life and time it had been born in to the world to enjoy.
Plutarch (Moralia: Volume II)
What is it that constitutes virtue, Mrs. Graham? Is it the circumstance of being able and willing to resist temptation; or that of having no temptations to resist? - Is he a strong man that overcomes great obstacles and performs surprising achievements, though by dint of great muscular exertion, and at the risk of some subsequent fatigue, or he that sits in his chair all day, with nothing to do more laborious than stirring the fire, and carrying his food to his mouth? If you would have your son to walk honourably through the world, you must not attempt to clear the stones from his path, but teach him to walk firmly over them - not insist upon leading him by the hand, but let him learn to go alone.' 'I will lead him by the hand, Mr. Markham, till he has strength to go alone; and I will clear as many stones from his path as I can, and teach him to avoid the rest - or walk firmly over them, as you say; - for when I have done my utmost, in the way of clearance, there will still be plenty left to exercise all the agility, steadiness, and circumspection he will ever have. - It is all very well to talk about noble resistance, and trials of virtue; but for fifty - or five hundred men that have yielded to temptation, show me one that has had virtue to resist. And why should I take it for granted that my son will be one in a thousand? - and not rather prepare for the worst, and suppose he will be like his - like the rest of mankind, unless I take care to prevent it?
Anne Brontë (The Tenant of Wildfell Hall)
Some people might laugh or roll their eyes and accuse me of tired cliches. But there it was-hot food in an empty stomach, water on a parched throat, that first glimpse of home just around the bend, or that first bite of something you thought you'd never have the courage to try, only to realize it was the best thing you'd ever tasted. That was what Finn's kiss was like. And in that moment, I realized I was starving and had been for a long time. I was starving. Hungry for companionship, affection, connection. And strangest of all, hungry for Finn Clyde.
Amy Harmon (Infinity + One)
So you're, like crazy, in love. You open your eyes in the morning and your first thought is her. You wonder how she is. What she's doing. When you can see her again. Those thoughts stay with you all day. You share them with whoever will listen — including your best friends, who of course respect you but, after a while, out of the kind of concern only real friends have, seriously question your sanity. And you make all sorts of plans — big plans, like, post-high school — when the rest of us can barely wrap our heads around the fact that we only two years left to get a clue. You live and breath this girl. You talk about her all the time, you hang out with your friends less and less, you're blind to other girls, no matter how hot or into you they are — and some of them are extremely hot and into you — and eventually, you break and actually say you love her. Not only that, you tell your friends you love her. Which, as you know, is about as major as you can get. Your friends may think you're a little out there, but they know you wouldn't be for any other girl. It's just because it's her. She's different. This girl is it for you. Food, water, oxygen, sleep — all details.
Tricia Rayburn (Siren (Siren, #1))
What will bring peace is inward transformation, which will lead to outward action. Inward transformation is not isolation, is not withdrawal from outward action. On the contrary, there can be right action only when there is right thinking and there is no right thinking when there is no self-knowledge. Without knowing yourself, there is no peace. An Ideal is merely an escape, an avoidance of what is, a contradiction of what is. An ideal prevents direct action upon what is. To have peace, we will have to love, we will have to begin not to live an ideal life but to see things as they are and act upon them, transform them. As long as each one of us is seeking psychological security, the physiological security we need; food, clothing and shelter, is destroyed. Some of you will nod your heads and say, “I agree”, and go outside and do exactly the same as you have been doing for the last ten or twenty years. Your agreement is merely verbal and has no significance, for the world’s miseries and wars are not going to be stopped by your casual assent. They will be only stopped when you realize the danger, when you realize your responsibility, when you do not leave it to somebody else. If you realize the suffering, if you see the urgency of immediate action and do not postpone, then you will transform yourself.
J. Krishnamurti
To restate an old law - when a man bites a fish, that's good, but when a fish bites a man, that's bad. This is one way of saying it's all right if man kills an animal, but if an animal attacks man, the act is reprehensible. The animal is labelled "killer," something to be feared, hated, shunned, punished, even killed by man. How dangerous are those sea animals with bad reputations? A few actually kill. A few maim. Some are poisonous when eaten by man. Most sting, stab,or poison and cause mild to severe discomfort to man. Yet man is one of the larger beings that sea creatures encounter, and these poisons usually can't kill him. Very often these poisons are used defensively against predators and offensively in food gathering. There are a few animals that have won themselves a bad reputation even though they have little or no effect on man. They have won their rating through man's interpretation of their attitude towards lower animals. These animals have been seen feeding in what appears to be a savage manner. But this behavior may perhaps be comparable to a man tearing the flesh off a chicken leg with his teeth.
Jacques-Yves Cousteau (The Ocean World (Abradale))
I yawned and I stretched. I sure was needing some sleep, but I guess I'm always in need of sleep like I'm always in need of food. Because my labors were mighty ones--ol' Hercules didn't know what hard work was--and what is there to do but eat and sleep? And when you're eatin' and sleepin' you don't have to fret about things you can't do nothing about. And what else is there to do but laugh an' joke...how else can you bear up under the unbearable?
Jim Thompson (Pop. 1280 (Crime Masterworks))
But it’s tempting to be Cool Girl. For someone like me, who likes to win, it’s tempting to want to be the girl every guy wants. When I met Nick, I knew immediately that was what he wanted, and for him, I guess I was willing to try. I will accept my portion of blame. The thing is, I was crazy about him at first. I found him perversely exotic, a good ole Missouri boy. He was so damn nice to be around. He teased things out in me that I didn’t know existed: a lightness, a humor, an ease. It was as if he hollowed me out and filled me with feathers. He helped me be Cool Girl – I couldn’t have been Cool Girl with anyone else. I wouldn’t have wanted to. I can’t say I didn’t enjoy some of it: I ate a MoonPie, I walked barefoot, I stopped worrying. I watched dumb movies and ate chemically laced foods. I didn’t think past the first step of anything, that was the key. I drank a Coke and didn’t worry about how to recycle the can or about the acid puddling in my belly, acid so powerful it could strip clean a penny. We went to a dumb movie and I didn’t worry about the offensive sexism or the lack of minorities in meaningful roles. I didn’t even worry whether the movie made sense. I didn’t worry about anything that came next. Nothing had consequence, I was living in the moment, and I could feel myself getting shallower and dumber. But also happy.
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
I have heard that sometimes when a person has an operation to transplant someone else's heart or liver or kidney into his body, his tastes in foods change, or his favorite colors, as if the organ has brought with it some memory of its life before, as if it holds within it a whole past that must find a place within its new host. This is the way I carry Lexy inside me. Since the moment she took up residency within me, she has lent her own color to the way I see and hear and taste, so that by now I can barely distinguish between the world as it seemed before and the way it seems now. I cannot say what air tasted like before I knew her or how the city smelled as I walked its streets at night. I have only one tongue in my head and one pair of eyes, and I stopped being able to trust them a long time ago.
Carolyn Parkhurst (The Dogs of Babel)
I don't see what's so good about being genuine. Clog dancing is genuine. Isn't being fake more of an achievement? At least it takes some inspiration. Like, sherbet dips, they're a special food. Think of all the additives and coloring and grinding that it takes to create a sherbet dip. But carrots? They're just out there, shrieking, "Hi, we're some carrots! Love us for it!" They never have to prove themselves.
Emma Forrest
Slow rocking began to turn the kiss into something more. There was a knock at the door. "Come in," said Laurent, turning his head towards the sound. Damen said, "Laurent," shocked and on full display as the door swung open. Pallas entered. Laurent greeted him no self-consciousness at all. "Yes?" Laurent's voice was matter-of-fact. Pallas's mouth opened. Damen saw what Pallas saw: Laurent like some dream of a newly fucked virgin, himself unmistakably above him, fully roused. [...] "My apologies, Exalted. I came to seek your orders for the morning." "We're busy currently. Have a servant prepare the baths and bring us food mid-morning." Laurent spoke like an administrator glancing up from his desk. "Yes, Exalted." Pallas turned blindly, and made for the door. "What is it?" Laurent looked at Damen, who had detached himself and was sitting with the sheet pulled up to where he had clutched it to cover himself. And then, with the burgeoning delight of discovery, "Are you shy?
C.S. Pacat (Kings Rising (Captive Prince, #3))
We need to stop excusing mediocre and downright pernicious art, stop 'taking it for what it’s worth' as we take our fast foods, our overpriced cars that are no good, the overpriced houses we spend all our lives fixing, our television programs, our schools thrown up like barricades in the way of young minds, our brainless fat religions, our poisonous air, our incredible cult of sports, and our ritual of fornicating with all pretty or even horse-faced strangers. We would not put up with a debauched king, but in a democracy all of us are kings, and we praise debauchery as pluralism. This book is of course no condemnation of pluralism; but it is true that art is in one sense fascistic: it claims, on good authority, that some things are healthy for individuals and society and some things are not.
John Gardner (On Moral Fiction)
Her clothes were dirty, but fine enough to mark her as a thief’s target. So she’d carefully examined her ale, sniffing and then sipping it before deeming it safe. She’d still have to find food at some point soon, but not until she learned what she needed to from the Vaults: what the hell had happened in Rifthold in the months she’d been gone.
Sarah J. Maas (Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4))
THERE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN ITINERANTS, drifters, hobos, restless souls. But now, in the second millennium, a new kind of wandering tribe is emerging. People who never imagined being nomads are hitting the road. They’re giving up traditional houses and apartments to live in what some call “wheel estate”—vans, secondhand RVs, school buses, pickup campers, travel trailers, and plain old sedans. They are driving away from the impossible choices that face what used to be the middle class. Decisions like: Would you rather have food or dental work? Pay your mortgage or your electric bill? Make a car payment or buy medicine? Cover rent or student loans? Purchase warm clothes or gas for your commute? For many the answer seemed radical at first. You can’t give yourself a raise, but what about cutting your biggest expense? Trading a stick-and-brick domicile for life on wheels?
Jessica Bruder (Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century)
I’d have to prove to everyone, including Ellia, that I was more than some guy she used to know, that what we shared had and still mattered. She may have forgotten the promise we made on the beach, but I hadn’t, and it was up to me to backup those words with action. Memories and ghosts were for the dead. Living things moved, and I was never one to stand still." ~Liam
Jaime Reed (Keep Me In Mind)
We feign disinterest and laugh, and creep into the kitchen some nights, a triangle of light spilled on the floor form the fridge, shoveling cold casseroles, ice cream, jelly, cheese, into our mouths, swallowing without chewing as we listen to the steady, echoing tisk-tisk-tisk of the clock. I have done this. Millions of people have done this. There is an empty space in many of us that gnaws at our ribs and cannot be filled by any amount of food. There is a hunger for something, and we never know quite what it is, only that it is a hunger, so we eat.
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
When Suzie introduced Helen, she told the audience that one of the best things about books is that they are an interactive art form: that while the author may describe in some detail how a character looks, it is the reader's imagination that completes the image, making it his or her own. "That's why we so often don't like movies made from books, right?" Suzie said. "We don't like someone else's interpretation of what we see so clearly." She talked, too, about how books educate and inspire, and how they soothe the soul-"like comfort food without the calories," she said. She talked about the tactile joys of reading, the feel of a page beneath one's fingers; the elegance of typeface on a page. She talked about how people complain that they don't have time to read, and reminded them that if they gave up half an hour of television a day in favor of reading, they could finish twenty-five books a year. "Books don't take time away from us," she said. "They give it back. In this age of abstraction, of multitasking, of speed for speed's sake, they reintroduce us to the elegance-and the relief!-of real, tick-tock time.
Elizabeth Berg (Home Safe)
I don't have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It's a depression. Everybody's out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel's worth, banks are going bust, shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there's nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there's no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TV's while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that's the way it's supposed to be. We know things are bad - worse than bad. They're crazy. It's like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don't go out anymore. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, 'Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won't say anything. Just leave us alone.' Well, I'm not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get mad! I don't want you to protest. I don't want you to riot - I don't want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn't know what to tell you to write. I don't know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is that first you've got to get mad. You've got to say, 'I'm a HUMAN BEING, God damn it! My life has VALUE!' So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell, 'I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!' I want you to get up right now, sit up, go to your windows, open them and stick your head out and yell - 'I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!' Things have got to change. But first, you've gotta get mad!... You've got to say, 'I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!' Then we'll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first get up out of your chairs, open the window, stick your head out, and yell, and say it: "I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!
Paddy Chayefsky (Network [Screenplay])
The act of making music, clothes, art, or even food has a very different, and possibly more beneficial effect on us than simply consuming those things. And yet for a very long time, the attitude of the state toward teaching and funding the arts has been in direct opposition to fostering creativity among the general population. It can often seem that those in power don’t want us to enjoy making things for ourselves—they’d prefer to establish a cultural hierarchy that devalues our amateur efforts and encourages consumption rather than creation. This might sound like I believe there is some vast conspiracy at work, which I don’t, but the situation we find ourselves in is effectively the same as if there were one. The way we are taught about music, and the way it’s socially and economically positioned, affect whether it’s integrated (or not) into our lives, and even what kind of music might come into existence in the future. Capitalism tends toward the creation of passive consumers, and in many ways this tendency is counterproductive.
David Byrne (How Music Works)
[S]ometimes, when you are a food person, the possible irrelevance of what you are doing doesn’t cross your mind until it’s too late. (Once, for example, when I was just starting out in the food business, I was hired by the caper people to develop a lot of recipes using capers, and it was weeks of tossing capers into just about everything but milkshakes before I came to terms with the fact that nobody really likes capers no matter what you do with them. Some people pretend to like capers, but the truth is that any dish that tastes good with capers in it tastes even better with capers not in in.
Nora Ephron (Heartburn)
Is there some lesson on how to be friends? I think what it means is that central to living A life that is good is a life that's forgiving. We're creatures of contact, regardless of whether to kiss or to wound, we still must come together. Like in Annie Hall, we endure twists and torsions For food we don't like, and in such tiny portions! But, like hating a food but still asking for more It beats staying dry but so lonely on shore. So we make ourselves open, while knowing full well It's essentially saying, 'Please, come pierce my shell.
David Rakoff (Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish)
Children killing children. That's a terrible thing." "What do you think has gone wrong?" "It's not just the children. It's the grown-ups too. Some people are growing children, not raising children, and there's a big difference." "What do you mean?" "Well, people grow hogs. You give them a place to live, give them all the food they need to keep growing, and make sure that they don't get sick on you. With children you got to raise them. Of course, you feed and clothe them. But a parent has to take the time to teach them right and wrong. A parent has to discipline them. And a parent got to be there to listen to them, help them with their problems. I think most people do their best, but there are some parents these days that are growing children, not raising children. "It's a sad thing. These children have everything they need to grow up, but they are missing something inside. They must hurt awful bad and no one has shown them the way to live. Buying them their food or even fancy clothes or a car ain't going to help if a child is hurting inside. We all need the same things.
George Dawson (Life is So Good)
most cherished desires of present-day Westerners are shaped by romantic, nationalist, capitalist and humanist myths that have been around for centuries. Friends giving advice often tell each other, ‘Follow your heart.’ But the heart is a double agent that usually takes its instructions from the dominant myths of the day, and the very recommendation to ‘follow your heart’ was implanted in our minds by a combination of nineteenth-century Romantic myths and twentieth-century consumerist myths. The Coca-Cola Company, for example, has marketed Diet Coke around the world under the slogan ‘Diet Coke. Do what feels good.’ Even what people take to be their most personal desires are usually programmed by the imagined order. Let’s consider, for example, the popular desire to take a holiday abroad. There is nothing natural or obvious about this. A chimpanzee alpha male would never think of using his power in order to go on holiday into the territory of a neighbouring chimpanzee band. The elite of ancient Egypt spent their fortunes building pyramids and having their corpses mummified, but none of them thought of going shopping in Babylon or taking a skiing holiday in Phoenicia. People today spend a great deal of money on holidays abroad because they are true believers in the myths of romantic consumerism. Romanticism tells us that in order to make the most of our human potential we must have as many different experiences as we can. We must open ourselves to a wide spectrum of emotions; we must sample various kinds of relationships; we must try different cuisines; we must learn to appreciate different styles of music. One of the best ways to do all that is to break free from our daily routine, leave behind our familiar setting, and go travelling in distant lands, where we can ‘experience’ the culture, the smells, the tastes and the norms of other people. We hear again and again the romantic myths about ‘how a new experience opened my eyes and changed my life’. Consumerism tells us that in order to be happy we must consume as many products and services as possible. If we feel that something is missing or not quite right, then we probably need to buy a product (a car, new clothes, organic food) or a service (housekeeping, relationship therapy, yoga classes). Every television commercial is another little legend about how consuming some product or service will make life better. 18. The Great Pyramid of Giza. The kind of thing rich people in ancient Egypt did with their money. Romanticism, which encourages variety, meshes perfectly with consumerism. Their marriage has given birth to the infinite ‘market of experiences’, on which the modern tourism industry is founded. The tourism industry does not sell flight tickets and hotel bedrooms. It sells experiences. Paris is not a city, nor India a country – they are both experiences, the consumption of which is supposed to widen our horizons, fulfil our human potential, and make us happier. Consequently, when the relationship between a millionaire and his wife is going through a rocky patch, he takes her on an expensive trip to Paris. The trip is not a reflection of some independent desire, but rather of an ardent belief in the myths of romantic consumerism. A wealthy man in ancient Egypt would never have dreamed of solving a relationship crisis by taking his wife on holiday to Babylon. Instead, he might have built for her the sumptuous tomb she had always wanted. Like the elite of ancient Egypt, most people in most cultures dedicate their lives to building pyramids. Only the names, shapes and sizes of these pyramids change from one culture to the other. They may take the form, for example, of a suburban cottage with a swimming pool and an evergreen lawn, or a gleaming penthouse with an enviable view. Few question the myths that cause us to desire the pyramid in the first place.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
Even though some of you may experience some peace when you sit in meditation, don’t be in a hurry to congratulate yourselves. Likewise, if there is some confusion, don’t blame yourselves. If things seem to be good, don’t delight in them, and if they’re not good don’t be averse to them. Just look at it all, look at what you have. Just look, don’t bother judging. If it’s good, don’t hold fast to it; if it’s bad, don’t cling to it. Good and bad can both bite, so don’t hold fast to them.
Ajahn Chah (Food for the Heart: The Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah)
Not satisfied with what he's got? Is that it? That's husbands all over. Ungrateful pigs. You do everything for them, you bring up their kids, you cook their food, you wash their clothes, you warm their beds, you fuss over your face day after day so they'll fancy you, you wear yourself out to keep them happy and at the end of it all, what happens? They find someone else they fancy more. Someone young some man hasn't had the chance to wear out yet. Marriage is a con trick. A girl should marry a rich man, then at least she'd have a fur coat to keep her warm in her old age.
Fay Weldon (The Fat Woman's Joke)
A charge often levied against organic agriculture is that it is more philosophy than science. There's some truth to this indictment, if that it what it is, though why organic farmers should feel defensive about it is itself a mystery, a relic, perhaps, of our fetishism of science as the only credible tool with which to approach nature. ... The peasant rice farmer who introduces ducks and fish to his paddy may not understand all the symbiotic relationships he's put in play--that the ducks and fishes are feeding nitrogen to the rice and at the same time eating the pests. But the high yields of food from this ingenious polyculture are his to harvest even so.
Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals)
For a considerable portion of humanity today, it is possible and indeed likely that one's neighbor, one's colleague, or one's employer will have a different mother tongue, eat different food, and follow a different religion than oneself. It is a matter of great urgency, therefore, that we find ways to cooperate with one another in a spirit of mutual acceptance and respect. In such a world, I feel, it is vital for us to find genuinely sustainable and universal approach to ethics, inner values, and personal integrity-an approach that can transcend religious, cultural, and racial differences and appeal to people at a sustainable, universal approach is what I call the project of secular ethics. All religions, therefore, to some extent, ground the cultivation of inner values and ethical awareness in some kind of metaphysical (that is, not empirically demonstrable) understanding of the world and of life after death. And just as the doctrine of divine judgment underlies ethical teachings in many theistic religions, so too does the doctrine of karma and future lives in non-theistic religions. As I see it, spirituality has two dimensions. The first dimension, that of basic spiritual well-being-by which I mean inner mental and emotional strength and balance-does not depend on religion but comes from our innate human nature as beings with a natural disposition toward compassion, kindness, and caring for others. The second dimension is what may be considered religion-based spirituality, which is acquired from our upbringing and culture and is tied to particular beliefs and practices. The difference between the two is something like the difference between water and tea. On this understanding, ethics consists less of rules to be obeyed than of principles for inner self-regulation to promote those aspects of our nature which we recognize as conducive to our own well-being and that of others. It is by moving beyond narrow self-interest that we find meaning, purpose, and satisfaction in life.
Dalai Lama XIV (Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World)
Kit," said a female voice, "what's wrong with the fridge? All the food's gone. No, wait, there's a really ugly alien in here disguised as a leaky lettuce. Hey, I guess I shouldn't be rude to it; it's a visitor. Welcome to our planet, Mr. Alien!" This was followed by some muffled remark that Nita couldn't make out, possibly something Kit was saying. A moment later, Kit's sister Carmela's voice came out of Nita's refrigerator again. "Hola, Nita, are your phone bills getting too big? This is a weird way to deal with it...
Diane Duane (Wizard's Holiday (Young Wizards, #7))
Griffin spoke around a mouthful of food. “What’s it like being blind?” “Do you think about what it’s like to have hair every second?” Cheyenne blew air out of her nose. “It’s just who I am now. I try not to think about it all the time.” Which was true. But it didn’t work. She never really forgot that she was blind. And even if she did for a minute, she could count on there being a reminder. Usually painful. She sighed. “At first, it feels like someone has thrown a blanket over your head. Some days you just want to scream, ‘I’m inside here! Doesn’t anybody out there see that? Doesn’t anybody remember me? I’m still the same person!’ ” Cheyenne fell silent. She knew the last sentence wasn’t true, even if she wanted it to be. She wasn’t the same person.
April Henry (Girl, Stolen)
Think about what it would mean to fight," he said. "Say we barricade ourselves here in the hotel and refuse to leave. They come at us with their Weapon, whatever it is. Some of us are hurt, some die. We go out to meet them with whatever weapons we can find - sticks, maybe, or pieces of broken glass. We battle each other. Maybe they set fire to the hotel. Maybe we march into the village and steal food from them nad they come after us and beat us. We beat them back. In the end, maybe we damage them so badly that they're too weak to make us leave. What do we have? Friends and neighbors and families dead. A place half destroyed, and those left in it full of hatred for us. And we ourselves will have to live with the memory of the terrible things we have done.
Jeanne DuPrau (The People of Sparks (Book of Ember, #2))
E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G—is connected. The soil needs rain, organic matter, air, worms and life in order to do what it needs to do to give and receive life. Each element is an essential component. “Organizing takes humility and selflessness and patience and rhythm while our ultimate goal of liberation will take many expert components. Some of us build and fight for land, healthy bodies, healthy relationships, clean air, water, homes, safety, dignity, and humanizing education. Others of us fight for food and political prisoners and abolition and environmental justice. Our work is intersectional and multifaceted. Nature teaches us that our work has to be nuanced and steadfast. And more than anything, that we need each other—at our highest natural glory—in order to get free.
Adrienne Maree Brown (Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds)
I've been talking to myself a lot lately. I don't know what that's about, but my mother was the same way. She hated to make small talk with other people, but get her into a conversation with herself and she was quite the raconteur. She would tell herself a joke and clap her hands together as she let out a laugh; she would murmur to the plants as she watered them, and offer encouragement to the food as she cooked it. Sometimes I would walk into a room and surprise her as she was regaling herself with some delightful story, and I remember how the sound would dry up in her mouth. She stood there, frozen in the headlights of my teenage scorn.
Dan Chaon (Stay Awake)
Identity. That's my elephant. The thought came with certainty, without the question mark on the end this time. Not fame, exactly, though recognition was some kind of important cement for it. But what you were was what you did. And I did more, oh yes. If a hunger for identity were translated into, say, a hunger for food, he'd be a more fantastic glutton than Mark ever dreamed of being. Is it irrational, to want to be so much, to want so hard it hurts? And how much, then, was enough?
Lois McMaster Bujold (Memory (Vorkosigan Saga, #10))
I say, I can not identify that thing which is called happiness, that thing whose token is a laugh, or a smile, or a silent serenity on the lip. I may have been happy, but it is not in my conscious memory now. Nor do I feel a longing for it, as though I had never had it; my spirit seeks different food from happiness, for I think I have a suspicion of what it is. I have suffered wretchedness, but not because of the absence of happiness, and without praying for happiness. I pray for peace -- for motionlessness -- for the feeling of myself, as of some plant, absorbing life without seeking it, and existing without individual sensation. I feel that there can be no perfect peace in individualness. Therefore, I hope one day to feel myself drank up into the pervading spirit animating all things. I feel I am an exile here. I still go straying.
Herman Melville (Pierre; or, The Ambiguities)
What if you offered your body love instead of criticism? What if you offered it some compassion instead of insults? What if you saw the decades of abuse, wear-and-tear, and aging as cause for more love instead of less? What if you acknowledged the thousands of miles it has trekked through this rough and wild world and you felt nothing but appreciation and love for all it has withstood for you? What if you offered it more sleep, more hot baths, better foods, healthy exercise, fun activities, and more rest? What if you gave it more love? What if you stopped punishing it for belonging to you?
Emily Maroutian (The Book of Relief: Passages and Exercises to Relieve Negative Emotion and Create More Ease in The Body)
Often on the menu, oysters will be listed as “oysters on the half shell.” As opposed to what? “In a Kleenex?” Even the way you are supposed to eat an oyster indicates something counterintuitive. “Squeeze some lemon on it, a dab of hot sauce, throw the oyster down the back of your throat, take a shot of vodka, and try to forget you just ate snot from a rock.” That is not how you eat something. That is how you overdose on sleeping pills.
Jim Gaffigan (Food: A Love Story)
But the most astonishing thing about trees is how social they are. The trees in a forest care for each other, sometimes even going so far as to nourish the stump of a felled tree for centuries after it was cut down by feeding it sugars and other nutrients, and so keeping it alive. Only some stumps are thus nourished. Perhaps they are the parents of the trees that make up the forest of today. A tree’s most important means of staying connected to other trees is a “wood wide web” of soil fungi that connects vegetation in an intimate network that allows the sharing of an enormous amount of information and goods. Scientific research aimed at understanding the astonishing abilities of this partnership between fungi and plant has only just begun. The reason trees share food and communicate is that they need each other. It takes a forest to create a microclimate suitable for tree growth and sustenance. So it’s not surprising that isolated trees have far shorter lives than those living connected together in forests. Perhaps the saddest plants of all are those we have enslaved in our agricultural systems. They seem to have lost the ability to communicate, and, as Wohlleben says, are thus rendered deaf and dumb. “Perhaps farmers can learn from the forests and breed a little more wildness back into their grain and potatoes,” he advocates, “so that they’ll be more talkative in the future.” Opening
Peter Wohlleben (The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate—Discoveries from A Secret World (The Mysteries of Nature Book 1))
The next morning I told Mom I couldn't go to school again. She asked what was wrong. I told her, “The same thing that’s always wrong.” “You’re sick?” “I'm sad.” “About Dad?” “About everything.” She sat down on the bed next to me, even though I knew she was in a hurry. “What's everything?” I started counting on my fingers: “The meat and dairy products in our refrigerator, fistfights, car accidents, Larry–” “Who's Larry?” “The homeless guy in front of the Museum of Natural History who always says ‘I promise it’s for food’ after he asks for money.” She turned around and I zipped her dress while I kept counting. “How you don’t know who Larry is, even though you probably see him all the time, how Buckminster just sleeps and eats and goes to the bathroom and has no ‘raison d’etre’, the short ugly guy with no neck who takes tickets at the IMAX theater, how the sun is going to explode one day, how every birthday I always get at least one thing I already have, poor people who get fat because they eat junk food because it’s cheaper…” That was when I ran out of fingers, but my list was just getting started, and I wanted it to be long, because I knew she wouldn't leave while I was still going. “…domesticated animals, how I have a domesticated animal, nightmares, Microsoft Windows, old people who sit around all day because no one remembers to spend time with them and they’re embarrassed to ask people to spend time with them, secrets, dial phones, how Chinese waitresses smile even when there’s nothing funny or happy, and also how Chinese people own Mexican restaurants but Mexican people never own Chinese restaurants, mirrors, tape decks, my unpopularity in school, Grandma’s coupons, storage facilities, people who don’t know what the Internet is, bad handwriting, beautiful songs, how there won’t be humans in fifty years–” “Who said there won't be humans in fifty years?” I asked her, “Are you an optimist or a pessimist?” She looked at her watch and said, “I'm optimistic.” “Then I have some bed news for you, because humans are going to destroy each other as soon as it becomes easy enough to, which will be very soon.” “Why do beautiful songs make you sad?” “Because they aren't true.” “Never?” “Nothing is beautiful and true.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)
If anyone attempted to rule the world by the gospel and to abolish all temporal law and sword on the plea that all are baptized and Christian, and that, according to the gospel, there shall be among them no law or sword - or need for either - pray tell me, friend, what would he be doing? He would be loosing the ropes and chains of the savage wild beasts and letting them bite and mangle everyone, meanwhile insisting that they were harmless, tame, and gentle creatures; but I would have the proof in my wounds. Just so would the wicked under the name of Christian abuse evangelical freedom, carry on their rascality, and insist that they were Christians subject neither to law nor sword, as some are already raving and ranting. To such a one we must say: Certainly it is true that Christians, so far as they themselves are concerned, are subject neither to law nor sword, and have need of neither. But take heed and first fill the world with real Christians before you attempt to rule it in a Christian and evangelical manner. This you will never accomplish; for the world and the masses are and always will be unchristian, even if they are all baptized and Christian in name. Christians are few and far between (as the saying is). Therefore, it is out of the question that there should be a common Christian government over the whole world, or indeed over a single country or any considerable body of people, for the wicked always outnumber the good. Hence, a man who would venture to govern an entire country or the world with the gospel would be like a shepherd who should put together in one fold wolves, lions, eagles, and sheep, and let them mingle freely with one another, saying, “Help yourselves, and be good and peaceful toward one another. The fold is open, there is plenty of food. You need have no fear of dogs and clubs.” The sheep would doubtless keep the peace and allow themselves to be fed and governed peacefully, but they would not live long, nor would one beast survive another. For this reason one must carefully distinguish between these two governments. Both must be permitted to remain; the one to produce righteousness, the other to bring about external peace and prevent evil deeds. Neither one is sufficient in the world without the other. No one can become righteous in the sight of God by means of the temporal government, without Christ's spiritual government. Christ's government does not extend over all men; rather, Christians are always a minority in the midst of non-Christians. Now where temporal government or law alone prevails, there sheer hypocrisy is inevitable, even though the commandments be God's very own. For without the Holy Spirit in the heart no one becomes truly righteous, no matter how fine the works he does. On the other hand, where the spiritual government alone prevails over land and people, there wickedness is given free rein and the door is open for all manner of rascality, for the world as a whole cannot receive or comprehend it.
Martin Luther (Luther and Calvin on Secular Authority (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought))
One of the most frustrating words in the human language, as far as I could tell, was love. So much meaning attached to this one little word. People bandied it about freely, using it to describe their attachments to possessions, pets, vacation destinations, and favorite foods. In the same breath they then applied this word to the person they considered most important in their lives. Wasn’t that insulting? Shouldn’t there be some other term to describe deeper emotion? Humans were so preoccupied with love. They were all desperate to form an attachment to one person they could refer to as their “other half.” It seemed from my reading of literature that being in love meant becoming the beloved’s entire world. The rest of the universe paled into insignificance compared to the lovers. When they were separated, each fell into a melancholy state, and only when they were reunited did their hearts start beating again. Only when they were together could they really see the colors of the world. When they were apart, that color leached away, leaving everything a hazy gray. I lay in bed, wondering about the intensity of this emotion that was so irrational and so irrefutably human. What if a person’s face was so sacred to you it was permanently inscribed in your memory? What if their smell and touch were dearer to you than life itself? Of course, I knew nothing about human love, but the idea had always been intriguing to me. Celestial beings never pretended to understand the intensity of human relationships; but I found it amazing how humans could allow another person to take over their hearts and minds. It was ironic how love could awaken them to the wonders of the universe, while at the same time confine their attention to one another.
Alexandra Adornetto
The Last Words of My English Grandmother There were some dirty plates and a glass of milk beside her on a small table near the rank, disheveled bed-- Wrinkled and nearly blind she lay and snored rousing with anger in her tones to cry for food, Gimme something to eat-- They're starving me-- I'm all right--I won't go to the hospital. No, no, no Give me something to eat! Let me take you to the hospital, I said and after you are well you can do as you please. She smiled, Yes you do what you please first then I can do what I please-- Oh, oh, oh! she cried as the ambulance men lifted her to the stretcher-- Is this what you call making me comfortable? By now her mind was clear-- Oh you think you're smart you young people, she said, but I'll tell you you don't know anything. Then we started. On the way we passed a long row of elms. She looked at them awhile out of the ambulance window and said, What are all those fuzzy looking things out there? Trees? Well, I'm tired of them and rolled her head away.
William Carlos Williams (Selected Poems)
We are, after all, citizens of the world - a world filled with bacteria, some friendly, some not so friendly. Do we really want to travel in hermetically sealed popemobiles through the rural provinces of France, Mexico and the Far East, eating only in Hard Rock Cafes and McDonald's? Or do we want to eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble taqueria's mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish head? I know what I want. I want it all. I want to try everything once. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, Senor Tamale Stand Owner, Sushi-chef-san, Monsieur Bucket-head. What's that feathered game bird, hanging on the porch, getting riper by the day, the body nearly ready to drop off? I want some.
Anthony Bourdain (Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly)
Sybil entered, with a plate. "You're not eating enough, Sam," she announced. "And the canteen here is a disgrace. It's all grease and garbage!" "That's what the men like, I'm afraid," said Vimes guiltily. "I've cleaned out the tar in the tea urn, at least," Sybil went on, with satisfaction. "You cleaned out the tar urn?" said Vimes in a hollow voice. It was like being told that someone had wiped the patina off a fine old work of art. "Yes, it was like tar in there. There really wasn't much proper food in the store, but I managed to make you a bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich." "Thank you, dear." Vimes cautiously lifted a corner of the bread with his broken pencil. There seemed to be too much lettuce, which is to say, there was some lettuce.
Terry Pratchett (Thud! (Discworld, #34; City Watch, #7))
To Summarize briefly: A white rabbit is pulled out of a top hat. Because it is an extremely large rabbit, the trick takes many billions of years. All mortals are born at the very tip of the rabbit's fine hairs. where they are in a position to wonder at the impossibility of the trick. But as they grow older they work themselves even deeper into the fur. And there they stay. They become so comfortable they never risk crawling back up the fragile hairs again. Only philosophers embark on this perilous expedition to the outermost reaches of language and existence. Some of the fall off, but other cling on desperately and yell at the people nestling deep in the snug softness, stuffing themselves with delicious food and drink. 'Ladies and gentlemen,' they yell, 'we are floating in space!' but none of the people down there care. 'What a bunch of troublemakers!' they say. And they keep on chatting: Would you pass the butter, please? How much have our stocks risen today? What is the price of tomatoes? Have you heard that Princes Di is expecting again?
Jostein Gaarder (Sophie's World)
You must have carried that in your mouth the entire way. Thank you.” He grinned. “You are entirely welcome, my lovely.” I laughed. “Better to carry a backpack in your teeth over several miles than to have Ren sink his into your hide for letting me starve, eh?” Kishan frowned. “I did it for you, Kelsey. Not him.” I put my hand on his arm. “Well, thank you.” He pressed his hand on top of mine. “Aap ke liye. For your sake, anything.” “Did you tell Mr. Kadam that we would be a bit longer? “Yes, I explained the situation to him. Don’t worry about him. He’s comfortably camped near the road and will wait as long as necessary. Now, I want you to pack up some water bottles and food. I’m taking you with me. I would leave you here, but Ren insists that you get into trouble if left alone.” He touched my nose. “Is that true, bilauta? I can’t imagine an endearing young woman such as you getting into trouble.” “I don’t get into trouble. Trouble finds me.” He laughed. “That much is obvious.” “Despite what you tigers think, I can take care of myself, you know,” I said in a slightly sulky tone. Kishan squeezed my arm. “Perhaps we tigers enjoy taking care of you.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
Somewhere among the commotion I grew rather depressed. The depression stayed with me for over a year; it was like an animal, a well-defined, spatially localizable thing. I would wake up, open my eyes, listen-is it here or isn’t it? No sign of it. Perhaps it’s asleep. Perhaps it will leave me alone today. Carefully, very carefully, I get out of bed. All is quiet. I go to the kitchen, start breakfast. Not a sound. TV-Good Morning America, David what’s-his-name, a guy I can’t stand. I eat and watch the guests. Slowly the food fills my stomach and gives me strength. Now a quick excursion to the bathroom, and out for my morning walk-and here she is, my faithful depression: “Did you think you could leave without me?" I had often warned my students not to identify with their work. I told them, “if you want to achieve something, if you want to write a book, paint a picture, be sure that the center of your existence if somewhere else and that it’s solidly grounded; only then will you be able to keep your cool and laugh at the attacks that are bound to come." I myself had followed this advice in the past, but now I was alone, sick with some unknown affliction; my private life was in a mess, and I was without a defense. I often wished I had never written that fucking book.
Paul Karl Feyerabend (Killing Time: The Autobiography of Paul Feyerabend)
He rolled his eyes. " What Claire?"Claire snickered. " Corned-beef again?"Henry narrowed his eyes at her. " I like corned-beef, leave me alone."Claire laughed as he took a big bite of his sandwich while glaring at her. Ethan giggled as he watched the two of them. " What's so funny?" Henry asked Ethan around a mouthful of food, making him giggle some more. " Ew, Henry, that's gross," Claire groaned. Then Henry stopped her heart by winking at her. He freaking winked at her! Who the hell is this guy?! Claire gaped at him, trying to figure out who this person was. Henry rolled his green eyes at her. " What now?" he asked after swallowing his food. " Who are you and what have you done with Henry Beck?" Claire demanded. Henry gave her a bored look, but that couldn't hide the slight blush on his cheeks. " Whatever.
Andria Large (Henry (The Beck Brothers, #1))
Tell me something about yourself.” “I’d rather save the small talk.” “There’s no need to be rude, child, and believe me, I’m asking for a reason. Tell me something about yourself. Anything.” “I’m twenty-eight . . .” He rejected that one out of hand. “Something personal. Something . . . interior. Tell me something you love.” I thought about it for a long few seconds, then said, “Ralph Lauren’s summer line this year. Not the spring collection, which was way too pastel, and the winter was really crappy, all bland browns and grays. But he’s got some good fabrics this summer, kind of a hot tangerine matched with dull red. Only he skirts, though. Hiscapri pants are for shit. Pockets? Who wants pockets on capri pants? What woman in her right mind puts extra fabric on her hips?” There was a long and ringing silence. Patrick’s eyes were wide and rather frightened. He finally cleared his throat and said, “Anything else apart from fashion?” “What do you want me to say? Puppies? Fluffy kittens? Babies?” “Let’s try something simple. Your favorite food.” I rolled my eyes. “Chocolate.” Duh .
Rachel Caine (Heat Stroke (Weather Warden, #2))
You Don't Know What Love Is But you know how to raise it in me like a dead girl winched up from a river. How to wash off the sludge, the stench of our past. How to start clean. This love even sits up and blinks; amazed, she takes a few shaky steps. Any day now she'll try to eat solid food. She'll want to get into the fast car, one low to the ground, and drive to some cinderblock shithole in the desert where she can drink and get sick and then dance in nothing but her underwear. You know where she's headed, you know she'll wake up with an ache she can't locate and no money and a terrible thirst. So to hell with your warm hands sliding inside my shirt and your tongue down my throat like an oxygen tube. Cover me in black plastic. Let the mourners through.
Kim Addonizio
Another one of the most searched phrases that leads people to my site is “I’m so hungry what do I do?” Ummmm . . . What do you think? The fact that we are all wondering how to get rid of hunger instead of just eating is insane. At this point, so many of us are so confused that we now think hunger is some kind of horrible problem that we need to heal with anything but food. But the answer is not tricking your brain by eating on a smaller plate, or filling up on water or caffeine, or trying the newest appetite suppressant herb. Eat. The answer is, eat.
Caroline Dooner (The F*ck It Diet: Eating Should Be Easy)
The world is what it is; men who are nothing, who allow themselves to become nothing, have no place in it.... It wasn't only the sand drifts and the mud and the narrow, winding, broken roads up in the mountains. There was all that business at the frontier posts, all that haggling in the forest outside wooden huts that flew strange flags. I had to talk myself and my Peugeot past the men with guns -- just to drive through bush and more bush. And then I had to talk even harder, and shed a few more bank notes and give away more of my tinned food, to get myself -- and the Peugeot -- out of the places I had talked us into. Some of these palavers could take half a day....
V.S. Naipaul
10 ways to raise a wild child. Not everyone wants to raise wild, free thinking children. But for those of you who do, here's my tips: 1. Create safe space for them to be outside for a least an hour a day. Preferable barefoot & muddy. 2. Provide them with toys made of natural materials. Silks, wood, wool, etc...Toys that encourage them to use their imagination. If you're looking for ideas, Google: 'Waldorf Toys'. Avoid noisy plastic toys. Yea, maybe they'll learn their alphabet from the talking toys, but at the expense of their own unique thoughts. Plastic toys that talk and iPads in cribs should be illegal. Seriously! 3. Limit screen time. If you think you can manage video game time and your kids will be the rare ones that don't get addicted, then go for it. I'm not that good so we just avoid them completely. There's no cable in our house and no video games. The result is that my kids like being outside cause it's boring inside...hah! Best plan ever! No kid is going to remember that great day of video games or TV. Send them outside! 4. Feed them foods that support life. Fluoride free water, GMO free organic foods, snacks free of harsh preservatives and refined sugars. Good oils that support healthy brain development. Eat to live! 5. Don't helicopter parent. Stay connected and tuned into their needs and safety, but don't hover. Kids like adults need space to roam and explore without the constant voice of an adult telling them what to do. Give them freedom! 6. Read to them. Kids don't do what they are told, they do what they see. If you're on your phone all the time, they will likely be doing the same thing some day. If you're reading, writing and creating your art (painting, cooking...whatever your art is) they will likely want to join you. It's like Emilie Buchwald said, "Children become readers in the laps of their parents (or guardians)." - it's so true! 7. Let them speak their truth. Don't assume that because they are young that you know more than them. They were born into a different time than you. Give them room to respectfully speak their mind and not feel like you're going to attack them. You'll be surprised what you might learn. 8. Freedom to learn. I realize that not everyone can homeschool, but damn, if you can, do it! Our current schools system is far from the best ever. Our kids deserve better. We simply can't expect our children to all learn the same things in the same way. Not every kid is the same. The current system does not support the unique gifts of our children. How can they with so many kids in one classroom. It's no fault of the teachers, they are doing the best they can. Too many kids and not enough parent involvement. If you send your kids to school and expect they are getting all they need, you are sadly mistaken. Don't let the public school system raise your kids, it's not their job, it's yours! 9. Skip the fear based parenting tactics. It may work short term. But the long term results will be devastating to the child's ability to be open and truthful with you. Children need guidance, but scaring them into listening is just lazy. Find new ways to get through to your kids. Be creative! 10. There's no perfect way to be a parent, but there's a million ways to be a good one. Just because every other parent is doing it, doesn't mean it's right for you and your child. Don't let other people's opinions and judgments influence how you're going to treat your kid. Be brave enough to question everything until you find what works for you. Don't be lazy! Fight your urge to be passive about the things that matter. Don't give up on your kid. This is the most important work you'll ever do. Give it everything you have.
Brooke Hampton
This is the shame of the woman whose hand hides her smile because her teeth are so bad, not the grand self-hate that leads some to razors or pills or swan dives off beautiful bridges however tragic that is. This is the shame of seeing yourself, of being ashamed of where you live and what your father’s paycheck lets you eat and wear. This is the shame of the fat and the bald, the unbearable blush of acne, the shame of having no lunch money and pretending you’re not hungry. This is the shame of concealed sickness—diseases too expensive to afford that offer only their cold one-way ticket out. This is the shame of being ashamed, the self-disgust of the cheap wine drunk, the lassitude that makes junk accumulate, the shame that tells you there is another way to live but you are too dumb to find it. This is the real shame, the damned shame, the crying shame, the shame that’s criminal, the shame of knowing words like glory are not in your vocabulary though they litter the Bibles you’re still paying for. This is the shame of not knowing how to read and pretending you do. This is the shame that makes you afraid to leave your house, the shame of food stamps at the supermarket when the clerk shows impatience as you fumble with the change. This is the shame of dirty underwear, the shame of pretending your father works in an office as God intended all men to do. This is the shame of asking friends to let you off in front of the one nice house in the neighborhood and waiting in the shadows until they drive away before walking to the gloom of your house. This is the shame at the end of the mania for owning things, the shame of no heat in winter, the shame of eating cat food, the unholy shame of dreaming of a new house and car and the shame of knowing how cheap such dreams are. © Vern Rutsala
Brené Brown (I Thought It Was Just Me: Women Reclaiming Power and Courage in a Culture of Shame)
You should know about this energy because it’s yours. It’s your birthright, and it’s unlimited. You can call upon it any time you want. It has nothing to do with age. Some eighty-year-old people have the energy and enthusiasm of a child. They can work long hours for seven days a week. It’s just energy. Energy doesn’t get old, it doesn’t get tired, and it doesn’t need food. What it needs is openness and receptivity. This energy is equally available to everybody. The sun does not shine differently on different people. If you’re good, it shines on you. If you did something bad, it shines on you. It’s the same with the inner energy. The only difference is that with the inner energy, you have the ability to close up inside and block it. When you close, the energy stops flowing. When you open, all the energy rushes up inside of you. True spiritual teachings are about this energy and how to open to it.
Michael A. Singer (The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself)
Just Walking Around” What name do I have for you? Certainly there is no name for you In the sense that the stars have names That somehow fit them. Just walking around, An object of curiosity to some, But you are too preoccupied By the secret smudge in the back of your soul To say much and wander around, Smiling to yourself and others. It gets to be kind of lonely But at the same time off-putting. Counterproductive, as you realize once again That the longest way is the most efficient way, The one that looped among islands, and You always seemed to be traveling in a circle. And now that the end is near The segments of the trip swing open like an orange. There is light in there and mystery and food. Come see it. Come not for me but it. But if I am still there, grant that we may see each other.
John Ashbery (A Wave)
The explanation is that I consider cooking to be an act of love. I do enjoy the craft of cooking, of course, otherwise I would not have done so much of it, but that is a very small part of the pleasure it brings me. What I love is to cook for someone. To put a freshly made meal on the table, even if it is something very plain and simple as long as it tastes good and is not a ready-to-eat something bought at the store, is a sincere expression of affection, it is an act of binding intimacy directed at whoever has a welcome place in your heart. And while other passions in your life may at some point begine to bank their fires, the shared happiness of good homemade food can last as long as we do.
Marcella Hazan
What is it that constitutes virtue, Mrs. Graham? Is it the circumstance of being able and willing to resist temptation; or that of having no temptation to resist? Is he a strong man that overcomes great obstacles and performs surprising achievements, though by dint of great muscular exertion, and at the risk of some subsequent fatigue, or he that sits in his chair all day, with nothing to do more laborious than stirring the fire, and carrying his food to his mouth? If you would have your son to walk honourably through the world, you must not attempt to clear the stones from his path, but teach him to walk firmly over them- not insist upon leading him by the hand, but let him learn to go alone.
Anne Brontë (The Tenant of Wildfell Hall)
Standing on the bridge, looking across at that empty city, everything in the compass of my gaze had been set there by a human hand. Somehow those pylons had been strung with wire, and those towers raised, and roofs tiled. There had been food and drink for millions of mouths. I don't cry easy, but my vision blurred as I stared on the ruins of what we had been, and I watched the small band of men in rags move toward it to pick at it like birds on the carcass of some giant.
Marcel Theroux (Far North)
You burn to have your photograph in a tennis magazine.” “I’m afraid so.” “Why again exactly, now?” “I guess to be felt about as I feel about those players with their pictures in magazines.” “Why?” “Why? I guess to give my life some sort of meaning, Lyle.” “And how would this do this again?” “Lyle, I don’t know. I do not know. It just does. Would. Why else would I burn like this, clip secret pictures, not take risks, not sleep or pee?” “You feel these men with their photographs in magazines care deeply about having their photographs in magazines. Derive immense meaning.” “I do. They must. I would. Else why would I burn like this to feel as they feel?” “The meaning they feel, you mean. From the fame.” “Lyle, don’t they?” “LaMont, perhaps they did at first. The first photograph, the first magazine, the gratified surge, the seeing themselves as others see them, the hagiography of image, perhaps. Perhaps the first time: enjoyment. After that, do you trust me, trust me: they do not feel what you burn for. After the first surge, they care only that their photographs seem awkward or unflattering, or untrue, or that their privacy, this thing you burn to escape, what they call their privacy is being violated. Something changes. After the first photograph has been in a magazine, the famous men do not enjoy their photographs in magazines so much as they fear that their photographs will cease to appear in magazines. They are trapped, just as you are.” “Is this supposed to be good news? This is awful news.” “LaMont, are you willing to listen to a Remark about what is true?” “Okey-dokey.” “The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you.” “Maybe I ought to be getting back.” “LaMont, the world is very old. You have been snared by something untrue. You are deluded. But this is good news. You have been snared by the delusion that envy has a reciprocal. You assume that there is a flip-side to your painful envy of Michael Chang: namely Michael Chang’s enjoyable feeling of being-envied-by-LaMont-Chu. No such animal.” “Animal?” “You burn with hunger for food that does not exist.” “This is good news?” “It is the truth. To be envied, admired, is not a feeling. Nor is fame a feeling. There are feelings associated with fame, but few of them are any more enjoyable than the feelings associated with envy of fame.” “The burning doesn’t go away?” “What fire dies when you feed it? It is not fame itself they wish to deny you here. Trust them. There is much fear in fame. Terrible and heavy fear to be pulled and held, carried. Perhaps they want only to keep it off you until you weigh enough to pull toward yourself.” “Would I sound ungrateful if I said this doesn’t make me feel very much better at all?” “LaMont, the truth is that the world is incredibly, incredibly, unbelievably old. You suffer with the stunted desire caused by one of its oldest lies. Do not believe the photographs. Fame is not the exit from any cage.” “So I’m stuck in the cage from either side. Fame or tortured envy of fame. There’s no way out.” “You might consider how escape from a cage must surely require, foremost, awareness of the fact of the cage.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
Thinking about anything interesting?” I shrug and force my brain to stay with safer topics. “I didn’t know you could feed a baby Thai food.” Babydoll shovels a handful of shredded food into her mouth and swings her legs happily. She talks with her mouth full and half falls out. “Ah-da-da-da-da-da.” There’s a noodle in her hair, and Kristin reaches out to pull it free. Geoff scoops some coconut rice onto his plate and tops it with a third serving of beef. “What do you think they feed babies in Thailand?” I aim a chopstick in his direction. “Point.” Rev smiles. “Some kid in Bangkok is probably watching his mom tear up a hamburger, saying ‘I didn’t know you could feed a baby American food.’” “Well,” says Geoff. “Culturally—” “It was a joke
Brigid Kemmerer (Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost, #1))
New Rule: Just because a country elects a smart president doesn't make it a smart country. A couple of weeks ago, I was asked on CNN if I thought Sarah Palin could get elected president, and I said I hope not, but I wouldn't put anything past this stupid country. Well, the station was flooded with emails, and the twits hit the fan. And you could tell that these people were really mad, because they wrote entirely in CAPITAL LETTERS!!! Worst of all, Bill O'Reilly refuted my contention that this is a stupid country by calling me a pinhead, which (a) proves my point, and (b) is really funny coming from a doody-face like him. Now, before I go about demonstration how, sadly, easy it is to prove the dumbness that's dragging us down, let me just say that ignorance has life-and-death consequences. On the eve of the Iraq War, seventy percent of Americans thought Saddam Hussein was personally involved in 9/11. Six years later, thirty-four percent still do. Or look at the health-care debate: At a recent town hall meeting in South Carolina, a man stood up and told his congressman to "keep your government hands off my Medicare," which is kind of like driving cross-country to protest highways. This country is like a college chick after two Long Island iced teas: We can be talked into anything, like wars, and we can be talked out of anything, like health care. We should forget the town halls, and replace them with study halls. Listen to some of these stats: A majority of Americans cannot name a single branch of government, or explain what the Bill of Rights is. Twenty-four percent could not name the country America fought in the Revolutionary War. More than two-thirds of Americans don't know what's in Roe v. Wade. Two-thirds don't know what the Food and Drug Administration does. Some of this stuff you should be able to pick up simply by being alive. You know, like the way the Slumdog kid knew about cricket. Not here. Nearly half of Americans don't know that states have two senators, and more than half can't name their congressman. And among Republican governors, only three got their wife's name right on the first try. People bitch and moan about taxes and spending, but they have no idea what their government spends money on. The average voter thinks foreign aid consumes more twenty-four percent of our budget. It's actually less than one percent. A third of Republicans believe Obama is not a citizen ad a third of Democrats believe that George Bush had prior knowledge of the 9/11 attacks, which is an absurd sentence, because it contains the words "Bush" and "knowledge." Sarah Palin says she would never apologize for America. Even though a Gallup poll say eighteen percent of us think the sun revolves around the earth. No, they're not stupid. They're interplanetary mavericks. And I haven't even brought up religion. But here's one fun fact I'll leave you with: Did you know only about half of Americans are aware that Judaism is an older religion than Christianity? That's right, half of America looks at books called the Old Testament and the New Testament and cannot figure out which came first. I rest my case.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
If we didn’t have bodies, we couldn’t feel the sun on our faces or smell the earthy, mushroom-y rich smell of the ground right after the rain. If we didn’t have bodies, we couldn’t wrap our arms around the people we love or taste a perfect tomato right at the height of summer. I’m so thankful to live in this physical, messy, blood-and-guts world. I don’t want to live in a world that’s all dry ideas and theorems. Food is one of the ways we acknowledge our humanity, our appetites, our need for nourishment. And so it may seem trivial or peripheral to some people, but to me, when I’m telling a story, the part about what we ate really does matter.
Shauna Niequist (Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way)
Nevertheless" you've seen a strawberry that's had a struggle; yet was, where the fragments met, a hedgehog or a star- fish for the multitude of seeds. What better food than apple seeds - the fruit within the fruit - locked in like counter-curved twin hazelnuts? Frost that kills the little rubber-plant - leaves of kok-sagyyz-stalks, can't harm the roots; they still grow in frozen ground. Once where there was a prickley-pear - leaf clinging to a barbed wire, a root shot down to grow in earth two feet below; as carrots from mandrakes or a ram's-horn root some- times. Victory won't come to me unless I go to it; a grape tendril ties a knot in knots till knotted thirty times - so the bound twig that's under- gone and over-gone, can't stir. The weak overcomes its menace, the strong over- comes itself. What is there like fortitude! What sap went through that little thread to make the cherry red!
Marianne Moore
Boy everyone in this country is running around yammering about their fucking rights. "I have a right, you have no right, we have a right." Folks I hate to spoil your fun, but... there's no such thing as rights. They're imaginary. We made 'em up. Like the boogie man. Like Three Little Pigs, Pinocio, Mother Goose, shit like that. Rights are an idea. They're just imaginary. They're a cute idea. Cute. But that's all. Cute...and fictional. But if you think you do have rights, let me ask you this, "where do they come from?" People say, "They come from God. They're God given rights." Awww fuck, here we go again...here we go again. The God excuse, the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument, "It came from God." Anything we can't describe must have come from God. Personally folks, I believe that if your rights came from God, he would've given you the right for some food every day, and he would've given you the right to a roof over your head. GOD would've been looking out for ya. You know that. He wouldn't have been worried making sure you have a gun so you can get drunk on Sunday night and kill your girlfriend's parents. But let's say it's true. Let's say that God gave us these rights. Why would he give us a certain number of rights? The Bill of Rights of this country has 10 stipulations. OK...10 rights. And apparently God was doing sloppy work that week, because we've had to ammend the bill of rights an additional 17 times. So God forgot a couple of things, like...SLAVERY. Just fuckin' slipped his mind. But let's say...let's say God gave us the original 10. He gave the british 13. The british Bill of Rights has 13 stipulations. The Germans have 29, the Belgians have 25, the Sweedish have only 6, and some people in the world have no rights at all. What kind of a fuckin' god damn god given deal is that!?...NO RIGHTS AT ALL!? Why would God give different people in different countries a different numbers of different rights? Boredom? Amusement? Bad arithmetic? Do we find out at long last after all this time that God is weak in math skills? Doesn't sound like divine planning to me. Sounds more like human planning . Sounds more like one group trying to control another group. In other words...business as usual in America. Now, if you think you do have rights, I have one last assignment for ya. Next time you're at the computer get on the Internet, go to Wikipedia. When you get to Wikipedia, in the search field for Wikipedia, i want to type in, "Japanese-Americans 1942" and you'll find out all about your precious fucking rights. Alright. You know about it. In 1942 there were 110,000 Japanese-American citizens, in good standing, law abiding people, who were thrown into internment camps simply because their parents were born in the wrong country. That's all they did wrong. They had no right to a lawyer, no right to a fair trial, no right to a jury of their peers, no right to due process of any kind. The only right they had was...right this way! Into the internment camps. Just when these American citizens needed their rights the most...their government took them away. and rights aren't rights if someone can take em away. They're priveledges. That's all we've ever had in this country is a bill of TEMPORARY priviledges; and if you read the news, even badly, you know the list get's shorter, and shorter, and shorter. Yeup, sooner or later the people in this country are going to realize the government doesn't give a fuck about them. the government doesn't care about you, or your children, or your rights, or your welfare or your safety. it simply doesn't give a fuck about you. It's interested in it's own power. That's the only thing...keeping it, and expanding wherever possible. Personally when it comes to rights, I think one of two things is true: either we have unlimited rights, or we have no rights at all.
George Carlin (It's Bad for Ya)
When reading the history of the Jewish people, of their flight from slavery to death, of their exchange of tyrants, I must confess that my sympathies are all aroused in their behalf. They were cheated, deceived and abused. Their god was quick-tempered unreasonable, cruel, revengeful and dishonest. He was always promising but never performed. He wasted time in ceremony and childish detail, and in the exaggeration of what he had done. It is impossible for me to conceive of a character more utterly detestable than that of the Hebrew god. He had solemnly promised the Jews that he would take them from Egypt to a land flowing with milk and honey. He had led them to believe that in a little while their troubles would be over, and that they would soon in the land of Canaan, surrounded by their wives and little ones, forget the stripes and tears of Egypt. After promising the poor wanderers again and again that he would lead them in safety to the promised land of joy and plenty, this God, forgetting every promise, said to the wretches in his power:—'Your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness and your children shall wander until your carcasses be wasted.' This curse was the conclusion of the whole matter. Into this dust of death and night faded all the promises of God. Into this rottenness of wandering despair fell all the dreams of liberty and home. Millions of corpses were left to rot in the desert, and each one certified to the dishonesty of Jehovah. I cannot believe these things. They are so cruel and heartless, that my blood is chilled and my sense of justice shocked. A book that is equally abhorrent to my head and heart, cannot be accepted as a revelation from God. When we think of the poor Jews, destroyed, murdered, bitten by serpents, visited by plagues, decimated by famine, butchered by each, other, swallowed by the earth, frightened, cursed, starved, deceived, robbed and outraged, how thankful we should be that we are not the chosen people of God. No wonder that they longed for the slavery of Egypt, and remembered with sorrow the unhappy day when they exchanged masters. Compared with Jehovah, Pharaoh was a benefactor, and the tyranny of Egypt was freedom to those who suffered the liberty of God. While reading the Pentateuch, I am filled with indignation, pity and horror. Nothing can be sadder than the history of the starved and frightened wretches who wandered over the desolate crags and sands of wilderness and desert, the prey of famine, sword, and plague. Ignorant and superstitious to the last degree, governed by falsehood, plundered by hypocrisy, they were the sport of priests, and the food of fear. God was their greatest enemy, and death their only friend. It is impossible to conceive of a more thoroughly despicable, hateful, and arrogant being, than the Jewish god. He is without a redeeming feature. In the mythology of the world he has no parallel. He, only, is never touched by agony and tears. He delights only in blood and pain. Human affections are naught to him. He cares neither for love nor music, beauty nor joy. A false friend, an unjust judge, a braggart, hypocrite, and tyrant, sincere in hatred, jealous, vain, and revengeful, false in promise, honest in curse, suspicious, ignorant, and changeable, infamous and hideous:—such is the God of the Pentateuch.
Robert G. Ingersoll (Some Mistakes of Moses)
There are some who are still weak in faith, who ought to be instructed, and who would gladly believe as we do. But their ignorance prevents them...we must bear patiently with these people and not use our liberty; since it brings to peril or harm to body or soul...but if we use our liberty unnecessarily, and deliberately cause offense to our neighbor, we drive away the very one who in time would come to our faith. Thus St. Paul circumcised Timothy (Acts 16:3) because simple minded Jews had taken offense; he thought: what harm can it do, since they are offended because of ignorance? But when, in Antioch, they insisted that he out and must circumcise Titus (Gal. 2:3) Paul withstood them all and to spite them refused to have Titus circumcised... He did the same when St. Peter...it happened in this way: when Peter was with the Gentiles he ate pork and sausages with them, but when the Jews came in, he abstained from this food and did not eat as he did before. Then the Gentiles who had become Christians though: Alas! we, too, must be like the Jews, eat no pork, and live according to the law of Moses. But when Paul learned that they were acting to the injury of evangelical freedom, he reproved Peter publicly and read him an apostolic lecture, saying: "If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile, how can you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?" (Gal. 2:14). Thus we, too, should order our lives and use our liberty at the proper time, so that Christian liberty may suffer no injury, and no offense be given to our weak brothers and sisters who are still without the knowledge of this liberty.
Martin Luther
...nor do I want to suggest that the Amish are perfect people or that their way of life is perfect. What I want to recommend are some Amish principles: 1) They have preserved their families and communities. 2) They have maintained the practices of neighbourhood. 3) They have maintained the domestic arts of kitchen and garden, household and homestead. 4) They have limited their use of technology so as not to displace or alienate available human labour or available free source of power (the sun, wind, water, and so on). 5) They have their farms to a scale that is compatible both with the practice of neighborhood and with the optimum use of low-power technology. 6) By the practices and limits already mentioned, they have limited their costs. 7) They have educated their children to live at home and serve their communities. 8) They esteem farming as both a practical art and a spiritual discipline. These principles define a world to be lived by human beings, not a world to be exploited by managers, stockholders, and experts.
Wendell Berry (Bringing it to the Table: On Farming and Food)
This distinction between headspace and the emotion of happiness is an important one. For some reason we’ve come to believe that happiness should be the default setting in life and, therefore, anything different is somehow wrong. Based on this assumption we tend to resist the source of unhappiness – physically, mentally and emotionally. It’s usually at this stage that things get complicated. Life can begin to feel like a chore, and an endless struggle to chase and maintain that feeling of happiness. We get hooked on the temporary rush or pleasure of a new experience, whatever that is, and then need to feed it the whole time. It doesn’t matter whether we feed it with food, drink, drugs, clothes, cars, relationships, work, or even the peace and quiet of the countryside. If we become dependent on it for our happiness, then we’re trapped. What happens when we can’t have it any more? And what happens when the excitement wears off? For many, their entire life revolves around this pursuit of happiness. Yet how many people do you know who are truly happy? And by that I mean, how many people do you know who have that unshakeable sense of underlying headspace? Has this approach of chasing one thing after the next worked for you in terms of giving you headspace? It’s as if we rush around creating all this mental chatter in our pursuit of temporary happiness, without realising that all the noise is simply drowning out the natural headspace that is already there, just waiting to be acknowledged.
Andy Puddicombe (Get Some Headspace: 10 minutes can make all the difference)
I’m continually amazed at how even extremely high performers’ lives are often still controlled in some way by their family-of-origin or in-law relationships. I wish we had some cosmic algorithm that actually revealed how much lost performance comes from people having to continually negotiate the intrusion of family-of-origin conditioning and interference into their businesses, careers, marriages, parenting styles, life choices, and the like. It literally becomes crippling to even some of the most talented people out there. In these situations, even if the adult umbilical cord is providing food, it’s charging exorbitant rent.
Henry Cloud (The Power of the Other: The startling effect other people have on you, from the boardroom to the bedroom and beyond-and what to do about it)
You have the most contact with Packard." "No, I don't." "Yes, you do," they say in unison. "You just saw him," Helmut says. "He had to deliver some gloves to me," I explain. Helmut raises an eyebrow. "And he couldn't have sent them with one of his people?" I don't answer. I'm thinking about those pretty gloves, clearly chosen to match that specific dress of mine. So thoughtful. Did he pick them out himself? Helmut snorts. "And what was he wearing?" "A dinner jacket," I say, "but just to blend in with the crowd." "And did you share any food or beverage-" "It wasn't a date." Simon tips his glass into his mouth and chews ice loudly. "It wasn't a date.
Carolyn Crane (Double Cross (The Disillusionists #2))
How did you find out?” he asked. I dropped the coat I’d been holding. “How do you think? She told me. She couldn’t wait to tell me.” He sighed and sat on the arm of my couch and stared into space. “That’s it? You have nothing else to say?” I asked. “I’m sorry. God, I’m really sorry. I didn’t mean for you to find out like this.” “Were you ever going to tell me?” “Yeah...of course.” His voice was so sweet and so gentle that it momentarily defused the anger that wanted to explode out of me. I stared at him, looking hard into those amber brown eyes. “She said...she said you didn’t drink, but you did, right? That’s what happened?” I sounded like I was Kendall’s age and suspected I wore the pleading expression Yasmine had given Jerome. Seth’s face stayed expressionless. “No, Thetis. I wasn’t drunk. I didn’t drink at all.” I sank down into the arm chair opposite him. “Then…then…what happened?” It took a while for him to get the story out. I could see the two warring halves within him: the one that wanted to be open and the one that hated to tell me things I wouldn’t like. “I was so upset after what happened with us. I was actually on the verge of calling that guy…what’s his name? Niphon. I couldn’t stand it—I wanted to fix things between us. But just before I did, I ran into Maddie. I was so…I don’t know. Just confused. Distraught. She asked me to get food, and before I knew it, I’d accepted.” He raked a hand through his hair, neutral expression turning confused and frustrated. “And being with her…she was just so nice. Sweet. Easy to talk to. And after leaving things off physically with you, I’d been kind of…um…” “Aroused? Horny? Lust-filled?” He grimaced. “Something like that. But, I don’t know. There was more to it than just that.” The tape in my mind rewound. “Did you say you were going to call Niphon?” “Yeah. We’d talked at poker…and then he called me once. Said if I ever wanted…he could make me a deal. I thought it was crazy at the time, but after I left you that night…I don’t know. It just made me wonder if maybe it was worth it to live the life I wanted and make it so you wouldn’t have to worry so much.” “Maddie coming along was a blessing then,” I muttered. Christ. Seth had seriously considered selling his soul. I really needed to deal with Niphon. He hadn’t listened to me when I’d told him to leave Seth alone. I wanted to rip the imp’s throat out, but my revenge would have to wait. I took a deep breath. “Well,” I told Seth. “That’s that. I can’t say I like it…but, well…it’s over.” He tilted his head curiously. “What do you mean?” “This. This Maddie thing. You finally had a fling. We’ve always agreed you could, right? I mean, it’s not fair for me to be the only one who gets some. Now we can move on.” A long silence fell. Aubrey jumped up beside me and rubbed her head against my arm. I ran a hand over her soft fur while I waited for Seth’s response. “Georgina,” he said at last. “You know…I’ve told you…well. I don’t really have flings.” My hand froze on Aubrey’s back. “What are you saying?” “I…don’t have flings.” “Are you saying you want to start something with her?” He looked miserable. “I don’t know.
Richelle Mead (Succubus Dreams (Georgina Kincaid, #3))
What we take from granted in the United States as being Mexican, to those from southern Mexico, is almost completely foreign. Rural Mexicans don't have the spare money to drown their food in melted cheese. They don't smother their food in mounds of sour cream. Who would pay for it? They have never seen "nachos." In some regions of the south, they eat soup with bananas; some tribal folks not far from Veracruz eat termite tacos; turkey, when there are turkeys, is not filled with "stuffing"―but with dry pineapples, papaya, pecans. Meat is killed behind the house, or it is bought, dripping and flyblown, off a wooden plank in the village market. They eat cheeks, ears, feet, tails, lips, fried blood, intestines filled with curdled milk. Southerners grew up eating corn tortillas, and they never varied in their diet. You find them eating food the Aztecs once ate. Flour tortillas, burritos, chimichangas―it's foreign food to them, invented on the border. They were alliens before they ever crossed the line.
Luis Alberto Urrea (The Devil's Highway: A True Story)
When he was finished, he set his plate down, looked at me, and raised an eyebrow. I leaned forward and whispered angrily, “I am not going to sit on your lap, so don’t get your hopes up, Mister.” He still waited until I picked up a fork and took a few bites. I speared a bite of macadamia nut crusted ruby snapper and said, “Whew. Time’s up. Isn’t it? The clock is ticking. You must be sweating it, huh? I mean, you could turn any second.” He just took a bite of curried lamb and then some saffron rice and sat there chewing as cool as a cucumber. I watched him closely for a full two minutes and then folded up my napkin. “Okay, I give. Why are you acting so smug and confident? When are you going to tell me what’s going on?” He wiped his mouth carefully and took a sip of water. “What’s going on, my prema, is that the curse has been lifted.” My mouth dropped open. “What? If it was lifted, why were you a tiger for the last two days?” “Well, to be clear, the curse is not completely gone. I seem to have been granted a partial removal of the curse.” “Partial? Partial meaning what, exactly?” “Partial, meaning a certain number of hours per day. Six hours to be exact.” I recited the prophecy in my mind and remembered that there were four sides to the monolith, and four times six was…”Twenty-four.” He paused. “Twenty-four what?” “Well, six hours makes sense because there are four gifts to obtain for Durga and four sides of the monolith. We’ve only completed one of the tasks, so you only get six hours.” He smiled. “I guess I get to keep you around then, at least until the other tasks are finished.” I snorted. “Don’t hold your breath, Tarzan. I might not need to be present for the other tasks. Now that you’re a man part of the time, you and Kishan can resolve this problem yourselves, I’m sure.” He cocked his head and narrowed his eyes at me. “Don’t underestimate your level of…involvement, Kelsey. Even if you weren’t needed anymore to break the curse, do you think I’d simply let you go? Let you walk out of my life without a backward glance?” I nervously began toying with my food and decided to say nothing. That was exactly what I’d been planning to do. Something had changed. The hurt and confused Ren that made me feel guilty for rejecting him in Kishkindha was gone. He was now supremely confident, almost arrogant, and very sure of himself.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
Aren't there going to be any refreshments?" Tharamn interrupted. "I always think better with a little snack to keep me going." "I'm with you there," said Grishmak. "Bring on the nibbles!" "There aren't any!" Cressida snapped. "This is all far too important, and besides, once you lot start easting, it'll only turn into a party." "Can't say I have a problem with that myself," said Tharaman. "What about you, Grishy?" "None at all. Bit of food and fun helps the boring bits along, in my opinion. Let's call a chamberlain and order some grub." "No!" Cressida insisted. "We all need to concentrate, and I for one find it difficult to think one you and Tharaman start cracking bones and spitting out gristle." "I never spit out gristle!" said Tharaman in miffed tones. "A terrible wast of protein. It just needs a little extra chewing, that's all." Thirrin had watched the exchange in silence, but now she sat forward in her chair. "Actually I wouldn't mind a sandwich myself." Cressida looked at her thunderously.
Stuart Hill (Last Battle of the Icemark)
What finally turned me back toward the older traditions of my own [Chickasaw] and other Native peoples was the inhumanity of the Western world, the places--both inside and out--where the culture's knowledge and language don't go, and the despair, even desperation, it has spawned. We live, I see now, by different stories, the Western mind and the indigenous. In the older, more mature cultures where people still live within the kinship circles of animals and human beings there is a connection with animals, not only as food, but as 'powers,' a word which can be taken to mean states of being, gifts, or capabilities. I've found, too, that the ancient intellectual traditions are not merely about belief, as some would say. Belief is not a strong enough word. They are more than that: They are part of lived experience, the on-going experience of people rooted in centuries-old knowledge that is held deep and strong, knowledge about the natural laws of Earth, from the beginning of creation, and the magnificent terrestrial intelligence still at work, an intelligence now newly called ecology by the Western science that tells us what our oldest tribal stories maintain--the human animal is a relatively new creation here; animal and plant presences were here before us; and we are truly the younger sisters and brothers of the other animal species, not quite as well developed as we thought we were. It is through our relationships with animals and plants that we maintain a way of living, a cultural ethics shaped from an ancient understanding of the world, and this is remembered in stories that are the deepest reflections of our shared lives on Earth. That we held, and still hold, treaties with the animals and plant species is a known part of tribal culture. The relationship between human people and animals is still alive and resonant in the world, the ancient tellings carried on by a constellation of stories, songs, and ceremonies, all shaped by lived knowledge of the world and its many interwoven, unending relationships. These stories and ceremonies keep open the bridge between one kind of intelligence and another, one species and another. (from her essay "First People")
Linda Hogan (Intimate Nature: The Bond Between Women and Animals)
Bean was tired of talking about this. She looked so happy when she talked about God, but he hadn't figured it out yet, what God even was. It was like, she wanted to give God credit for every good thing, but when it was bad, then she either didn't mention God or had some reason why it was a good thing after all. As far as bean could see, though, the dead kids would rather have been alive, just with more food. If God loved them so much and he could do whatever he wanted, then why wasn't there more food for these kids? And if God just wanted them dead, why didn't he let them die sooner or not even be born at all, so they didn't have to go to so much trouble and get all excited about trying to be alive when he was just going to take them to his heart. None of it made any sense to Bean, and the more Sister Carlotta explained it, the less he understood it. Because if there was somebody in charge, then he ought to be fair, and if he wasn't fair, then why should Sister Carlotta be so happy that he was in charge?
Orson Scott Card (Ender's Shadow (The Shadow Series, #1))
It is in fact an orderly community. The green plants are food for the plant eaters, which are food for the predators, and some of those predators are food for still other predators. And what's left over is food for the scavengers, who return to the earth nutrients needed by the green plants. It's a system that has worked magnificently for billions of years. Filmmakers understandably love footage of gore and battle, but any naturalist will tell you that the species are not in any sense at war with one another. The gazelle and lion are enemies only in the minds of the Takers. The lion that comes across a herd of gazelles doesn't massacre them as an enemy would. It kills one, not to satisfy its hatred of gazelles but to satisfy its hunger, and once it has made its kill the gazelles are perfectly content to go on grazing with the lion in the midst.
Daniel Quinn (Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit (Ishmael, #1))
To begin with, there is the frightful debauchery of taste that has already been effected by a century of mechanisation. This is almost too obvious and too generally admitted to need pointing out. But as a single instance, take taste in its narrowest sense - the taste for decent food. In the highly mechanical countries, thanks to tinned food, cold storage, synthetic flavouring matters, etc., the palate it almost a dead organ. As you can see by looking at any greengrocer’s shop, what the majority of English people mean by an apple is a lump of highly-coloured cotton wool from America or Australia; they will devour these things, apparently with pleasure, and let the English apples rot under the trees. It is the shiny, standardized, machine-made look of the American apple that appeals to them; the superior taste of the English apple is something they simply do not notice. Or look at the factory-made, foil wrapped cheeses and ‘blended’ butter in an grocer’s; look at the hideous rows of tins which usurp more and more of the space in any food-shop, even a dairy; look at a sixpenny Swiss roll or a twopenny ice-cream; look at the filthy chemical by-product that people will pour down their throats under the name of beer. Wherever you look you will see some slick machine-made article triumphing over the old-fashioned article that still tastes of something other than sawdust. And what applies to food applies also to furniture, houses, clothes, books, amusements and everything else that makes up our environment. These are now millions of people, and they are increasing every year, to whom the blaring of a radio is not only a more acceptable but a more normal background to their thoughts than the lowing of cattle or the song of birds. The mechanisation of the world could never proceed very far while taste, even the taste-buds of the tongue, remained uncorrupted, because in that case most of the products of the machine would be simply unwanted. In a healthy world there would be no demand for tinned food, aspirins, gramophones, gas-pipe chairs, machine guns, daily newspapers, telephones, motor-cars, etc. etc.; and on the other hand there would be a constant demand for the things the machine cannot produce. But meanwhile the machine is here, and its corrupting effects are almost irresistible. One inveighs against it, but one goes on using it. Even a bare-arse savage, given the change, will learn the vices of civilisation within a few months. Mechanisation leads to the decay of taste, the decay of taste leads to demand for machine-made articles and hence to more mechanisation, and so a vicious circle is established.
George Orwell (The Road to Wigan Pier)
in English and Arabic. Clearly, even personal shoppers had him pegged as a complete geek. The shopper also managed to find some supplies for our magic bags—blocks of wax, twine, even some papyrus and ink—though I doubt Bes explained to her what they were for. After she left, Bes, Carter and I ordered more food from room service. We sat on the deck and watched the afternoon go by. The breeze from the Mediterranean was cool and pleasant. Modern Alexandria stretched out to our left—an odd mix of gleaming high-rises, shabby, crumbling buildings, and ancient ruins. The shoreline highway was dotted with palm trees and crowded with every sort of vehicle from BMWs to donkeys. From our penthouse suite, it all seemed a bit unreal—the raw energy of the city, the bustle and congestion below —while we sat on our veranda in the sky eating fresh fruit and the last melting bits of Lenin’s head.
Rick Riordan (The Throne of Fire (Kane Chronicles, #2))
When all’s said and done they’re a strange breed, these South and East Londoners, and they’re amused by little things. Their love of jellied eels and pie ‘n’ mash is astonishing. “Food of the Gods,” they call it, as they enter some filthy hovel to order pie ‘n’ mash, without even knowing what they’re eating. I’ve asked what meat it is and been told, “Meat? Its pie, pie ‘n’ mash with liquor. Food of the Gods.” But it’s not food of the Gods at all. It’s just pie and mashed potatoes, and that’s it. Nothing special about it. There’s nothing nostalgic about it. It’s not Bermondsey Billy Wells or the Artful Dodger. It’s just a meat pie and mashed potatoes. And it looks like Barry Manilow’s blown his nose in it.
Karl Wiggins (Calico Jack in your Garden)
Paris has a child, and the forest has a bird; the bird is called the sparrow; the child is called the gamin. Couple these two ideas which contain, the one all the furnace, the other all the dawn; strike these two sparks together, Paris, childhood; there leaps out from them a little being. Homuncio, Plautus would say. This little being is joyous. He has not food every day, and he goes to the play every evening, if he sees good. He has no shirt on his body, no shoes on his feet, no roof over his head; he is like the flies of heaven, who have none of these things. He is from seven to thirteen years of age, he lives in bands, roams the streets, lodges in the open air, wears an old pair of trousers of his father's, which descend below his heels, an old hat of some other father, which descends below his ears, a single suspender of yellow listing; he runs, lies in wait, rummages about, wastes time, blackens pipes, swears like a convict, haunts the wine-shop, knows thieves, calls gay women thou, talks slang, sings obscene songs, and has no evil in his heart. This is because he has in his heart a pearl, innocence; and pearls are not to be dissolved in mud. So long as man is in his childhood, God wills that he shall be innocent. If one were to ask that enormous city: "What is this?" she would reply: "It is my little one.
Victor Hugo (Works of Victor Hugo. Les Miserables, Notre-Dame de Paris, Man Who Laughs, Toilers of the Sea, Poems & More)
I don’t mean to interrupt your gossip free-for-all, but do you know if there’s a non-GMO or organic section in this grocery store? This New York skank has some standards.” Two faces pale, as expected when caught in the middle of an epic gossip session, but the brassy blonde straightens her shoulders. “You’ll probably want to go back to New York for that. Here we just have normal-people food and none of that fancy crap.” “I’m not leaving anytime soon, so I guess I’ll have to ask Logan to help me find what I need.” All their eyes widen at the mention of his name. “It sounds like he already found what you needed,” the blonde says in a snotty tone. “My G-spot, my clit, and the back of my throat? Absolutely.” With a smile, I turn my cart around and push it in the opposite direction.
Meghan March (Real Good Man (Real Duet, #1))
A’ight, so what do you think it means?” “You don’t know?” I ask. “I know. I wanna hear what YOU think.” Here he goes. Picking my brain. “Khalil said it’s about what society feeds us as youth and how it comes back and bites them later,” I say. “I think it’s about more than youth though. I think it’s about us, period.” “Us who?” he asks. “Black people, minorities, poor people. Everybody at the bottom in society.” “The oppressed,” says Daddy. “Yeah. We’re the ones who get the short end of the stick, but we’re the ones they fear the most. That’s why the government targeted the Black Panthers, right? Because they were scared of the Panthers?” “Uh-huh,” Daddy says. “The Panthers educated and empowered the people. That tactic of empowering the oppressed goes even further back than the Panthers though. Name one.” Is he serious? He always makes me think. This one takes me a second. “The slave rebellion of 1831,” I say. “Nat Turner empowered and educated other slaves, and it led to one of the biggest slave revolts in history.” “A’ight, a’ight. You on it.” He gives me dap. “So, what’s the hate they’re giving the ‘little infants’ in today’s society?” “Racism?” “You gotta get a li’l more detailed than that. Think ’bout Khalil and his whole situation. Before he died.” “He was a drug dealer.” It hurts to say that. “And possibly a gang member.” “Why was he a drug dealer? Why are so many people in our neighborhood drug dealers?” I remember what Khalil said—he got tired of choosing between lights and food. “They need money,” I say. “And they don’t have a lot of other ways to get it.” “Right. Lack of opportunities,” Daddy says. “Corporate America don’t bring jobs to our communities, and they damn sure ain’t quick to hire us. Then, shit, even if you do have a high school diploma, so many of the schools in our neighborhoods don’t prepare us well enough. That’s why when your momma talked about sending you and your brothers to Williamson, I agreed. Our schools don’t get the resources to equip you like Williamson does. It’s easier to find some crack than it is to find a good school around here. “Now, think ’bout this,” he says. “How did the drugs even get in our neighborhood? This is a multibillion-dollar industry we talking ’bout, baby. That shit is flown into our communities, but I don’t know anybody with a private jet. Do you?” “No.” “Exactly. Drugs come from somewhere, and they’re destroying our community,” he says. “You got folks like Brenda, who think they need them to survive, and then you got the Khalils, who think they need to sell them to survive. The Brendas can’t get jobs unless they’re clean, and they can’t pay for rehab unless they got jobs. When the Khalils get arrested for selling drugs, they either spend most of their life in prison, another billion-dollar industry, or they have a hard time getting a real job and probably start selling drugs again. That’s the hate they’re giving us, baby, a system designed against us. That’s Thug Life.
Angie Thomas (The Hate U Give (The Hate U Give, #1))
Now that we know that Spring Roll is a girl, we should probably think about setting up her room. Gabriel kept his eyes on the road as he drove the Volvo one Saturday morning in May. We should also talk about names. That sounds good. Maybe you should think about what you want and we can go shopping. Julia turned to look at him. Now? I said I'd take you to lunch, and we can do that. But afterward, we need to start thinking about Spring Roll's room. We want it to be attractive, but functional. Something comfortable for you and for her, but not juvenile. She's a baby, Gabriel. Her stuff is going to be juvenile. You know what I mean. I want it to be elegant and not look like a preschool. Good grief. Julia fought a grin as she began imagining what the Professor would design. (Argyle patterns, dark wood, and chocolate brown leather immediately came to mind.) He cleared his throat. I might have done some searching on the Internet. Oh, really? From where? Restoration Hardware? Of course not. He bristled. Their things wouldn't be appropriate for a baby's room. So where then? He gazed at her triumphantly. Pottery Barn Kids. Julia groaned. We've become yuppies. Gabriel stared at her in mock horror. Why do you say that? We're driving a Volvo and talking about shopping at Pottery Barn. First of all, Volvos have an excellent safety rating and they're more attractive than a minivan. Secondly, Pottery Barn's furniture happens to be both functional and aesthetically pleasing. I'd like to take you to one their stores so you can see for yourself. As long as we get Thai food first. Now it was Gabriel's turn to roll his eyes. Fine. But we're ordering takeout and taking it to the park for a picnic. And I'm having Indian food, instead. If I see another plate of pad Thai, I'm going to lose it. Julia burst into peals of laughter.
Sylvain Reynard (Gabriel's Redemption (Gabriel's Inferno, #3))
Back in Georgia everybody we knew had an automobile." A bu, don't tell stories. That is not possible." Well, not everybody. I don't mean babies and children. But every single family." Not possible." Yes, it is! Some families even have two!" What is the purpose of so many automobiles at the same time?" Well, because everybody has someplace to go every day. To work or to the store or something." And why is nobody walking?" It's not like here, Anatole. Everything's farther apart. People live in big towns and cities. Bigger cities than Leopoldville, even." Beene, you are lying to me. If everyone lived in a city they could never grow enough food." Oh, they do that in the country. In big, big fields. Peanuts and soybeans and corn, all that. The farmers grow it, then they put it on big trucks and take it all to the city, where people buy it from the store." From the market." No, it isn't a bit like the big market. It's a great big house kind of thing, with bright lights and all these shelves inside. It's open every day, and just one person sells all the different things." One farmer has so many things?" No, not a farmer. A storekeeper buys it all from the farmers, and sells it to the city people." And so you don't even know whose fields this food came from? That sounds terrible. It could be poisoned!" It's not bad, really. It works out." How can there be enough food, Beene? If everyone lives in a city?" There just is. Things are different from here.
Barbara Kingsolver (The Poisonwood Bible)
People,” Shai said, rising to fetch another seal, “by nature attempt to exercise power over what is around them. We build walls to shelter us from the wind, roofs to stop the rain. We tame the elements, bend nature to our wills. It makes us feel as if we’re in control. “Except in doing so, we merely replace one influence with another. Instead of the wind affecting us, it is a wall. A man-made wall. The fingers of man’s influence are all about, touching everything. Man-made rugs, man-made food. Every single thing in the city that we touch, see, feel, experience comes as the result of some person’s influence. “We may feel in control, but we never truly are unless we understand people. Controlling our environment is no longer about blocking the wind, it’s about knowing why the serving lady was crying last night, or why a particular guard always loses at cards. Or why your employer hired you in the first place.” Gaotona
Brandon Sanderson (The Emperor's Soul)
Once, my grandmama told me a story about her great-grandmama. She'd come across the ocean, been kidnapped and sold. Said her great-grandmama told her that in her village, they ate fear. Said it turned the food to sand in they mouth. Said everyone knew about the death march to the cost, that word had come down about the ships, about how they packed men and women into them. Some heard it was even worse for those who sailed off, sunk into the far. Because that's what it looked like when the ship crossed the horizon: like the ship sailed off and sunk, bit by bit, into the water. Her grandmama said they never went out at night, and even in the day, they stayed in the shadows of they houses. But still, they came for her. Kidnapped her here, and she learned the boats didn't sink to some watery place, sailed by white ghosts. She learned that bad things happened on that ship, all the way until it docked. That her skin grew around the chains. That her mouth shaped to the muzzle. That she was made into an animal under the hot, bright sky, the same sky the rest of her family was under, somewhere far aways, in another world. I knew what that was, to be made a animal.
Jesmyn Ward (Sing, Unburied, Sing)
It's not important whether someone is a gourmet. Everyone wants to eat and knows that food is crucial to live. But everyone has his own special reaction toward food. One person can become so excited about a certain dish that his eyes sparkle and his muscles harden, while someone else shovels in the same dish without paying any thought to what he's eating. A gourmet appreciates beauty. Gourmets eat slowly and thoughtfully experience taste—they don't rush through a meal and leave the table as soon as they're done. People who are not gourmets don't see cooking as an art. Gourmandism is an interested in everything that can be eaten, and this deep affection for food birthed the art of cooking. Other animals have limited tastes, some eating only plants and others subsisting solely on but, but humans are omnivores. They can eat everything. Love for delicious food is the first emotion gourmets feel. Sometimes that love can't be thwarted, not by anything.
Kyung-ran Jo (Tongue)
My concern with democracy is highly specific. It begins in observing the remarkable fact that, while democracy means a government accountable to the electorate, our rulers now make us accountable to them. Most Western governments hate me smoking, or eating the wrong kind of food, or hunting foxes, or drinking too much, and these are merely the surface disapprovals, the ones that provoke legislation or public campaigns. We also borrow too much money for our personal pleasures, and many of us are very bad parents. Ministers of state have been known to instruct us in elementary matters, such as the importance of reading stories to our children. Again, many of us have unsound views about people of other races, cultures, or religions, and the distribution of our friends does not always correspond, as governments think that it ought, to the cultural diversity of our society. We must face up to the grim fact that the rulers we elect are losing patience with us. No philosopher can contemplate this interesting situation without beginning to reflect on what it can mean. The gap between political realities and their public face is so great that the term “paradox” tends to crop up from sentence to sentence. Our rulers are theoretically “our” representatives, but they are busy turning us into the instruments of the projects they keep dreaming up. The business of governments, one might think, is to supply the framework of law within which we may pursue happiness on our own account. Instead, we are constantly being summoned to reform ourselves. Debt, intemperance, and incompetence in rearing our children are no doubt regrettable, but they are vices, and left alone, they will soon lead to the pain that corrects. Life is a better teacher of virtue than politicians, and most sensible governments in the past left moral faults to the churches. But democratic citizenship in the twenty-first century means receiving a stream of improving “messages” from politicians. Some may forgive these intrusions because they are so well intentioned. Who would defend prejudice, debt, or excessive drinking? The point, however, is that our rulers have no business telling us how to live. They are tiresome enough in their exercise of authority—they are intolerable when they mount the pulpit. Nor should we be in any doubt that nationalizing the moral life is the first step towards totalitarianism. We might perhaps be more tolerant of rulers turning preachers if they were moral giants. But what citizen looks at the government today thinking how wise and virtuous it is? Public respect for politicians has long been declining, even as the population at large has been seduced into demanding political solutions to social problems. To demand help from officials we rather despise argues for a notable lack of logic in the demos. The statesmen of eras past have been replaced by a set of barely competent social workers eager to take over the risks of our everyday life. The electorates of earlier times would have responded to politicians seeking to bribe us with such promises with derision. Today, the demos votes for them.
Kenneth Minogue (The Servile Mind: How Democracy Erodes the Moral Life)
Ecclesiastes This is a book of the Old Testament. I don't believe I've ever read this section of the Bible - I know my Genesis pretty well and my Ten Commandments (I like lists), but I'm hazy on a lot of the other parts. Here, the Britannica provides a handy Cliff Notes version of Ecclesiastes: [the author's] observations on life convinced him that 'the race is not swift, nor the battle strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to the men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all' (9:11). Man's fate, the author maintains, does not depend on righteous or wicked conduct but is an inscrutable mystery that remains hidden in God (9:1). All attempts to penetrate this mystery and thereby gain the wisdom necessary to secure one's fate are 'vanity' or futile. In the face of such uncertainty, the author's counsel is to enjoy the good things that God provides while one has them to enjoy. This is great. I've accumulated hundreds of facts in the last seven thousand pages, but i've been craving profundity and perspective. Yes, there was that Dyer poem, but that was just cynical. This is the real thing: the deepest paragraph I've read so far in the encyclopedia. Instant wisdom. It couldn't be more true: the race does not go to the swift. How else to explain the mouth-breathing cretins I knew in high school who now have multimillion-dollar salaries? How else to explain my brilliant friends who are stuck selling wheatgrass juice at health food stores? How else to explain Vin Diesel's show business career? Yes, life is desperately, insanely, absurdly unfair. But Ecclesiastes offers exactly the correct reaction to that fact. There's nothing to be done about it, so enjoy what you can. Take pleasure in the small things - like, for me, Julie's laugh, some nice onion dip, the insanely comfortable beat-up leather chair in our living room. I keep thinking about Ecclesiastes in the days that follow. What if this is the best the encyclopedia has to offer? What if I found the meaning of life on page 347 of the E volume? The Britannica is not a traditional book, so there's no reason why the big revelation should be at the end.
A.J. Jacobs
A group of older women walked past, wearing fanny packs and large cameras around their necks. ... "I think I'm going to get one of those." Weylin's voice was thoughtful as he watched the women jaywalk. "One of what?" Ree cocked an eyebrow and smiled at her friend. "I don't know, Wey-mand. I think they might be too much woman for you." Paden flashed a crooked grin. "Har, har. I meant a fanny pack." Looking thoughtful, Weylin ignored thier expressions of disbelief. "A...fanny pack?" Sophie was looking at Weylin as if he had lost his mind, but Ree noticed the corners of her mouth twitching. "Yeah. Think about all the cool things I could carry in one." Completely unperturbed, Weylin stopped at the crosswalk and hit the button on the light post. "I could carry knives and some of those collapsible swords that Roland uses. Oh and snacks!" Unable to control her laughter anymore, Ree leaned over and clutched her sides. "Snacks? Weylin, I think you might need to lie down. You obviously have a fever or something." "You won't be saying that the next time we're out and you get a hankering for a pizza or some popcorn. I could even carry bottled water and little sanitizer wipes." "How big of a fanny pack are you planning on getting? Paden raised an eyebrow. ... "Oh, hell no! I am not eating food you've been carrying near your man-pickle. That is so not going to happen." Everyone in the group sputtered and laughed at Juliette's comment.
Nichole Chase (Mortal Defiance (Dark Betrayal Trilogy, #2))
What a skeletal wreck of man this is. Translucent flesh and feeble bones, the kind of temple where the whores and villains try to tempt the holistic domes. Running rampid with free thought to free form, and the free and clear. When the matters at hand are shelled out like lint at a laundry mat to sift and focus on the bigger, better, now. We all have a little sin that needs venting, virtues for the rending and laws and systems and stems are ripped from the branches of office, do you know where your post entails? Do you serve a purpose, or purposely serve? When in doubt inside your atavistic allure, the value of a summer spent, and a winter earned. For the rest of us, there is always Sunday. The day of the week the reeks of rest, but all we do is catch our breath, so we can wade naked in the bloody pool, and place our hand on the big, black book. To watch the knives zigzag between our aching fingers. A vacation is a countdown, T minus your life and counting, time to drag your tongue across the sugar cube, and hope you get a taste. WHAT THE FUCK IS ALL THIS FOR? WHAT THE HELL’S GOING ON? SHUT UP! I can go on and on but lets move on, shall we? Say, your me, and I’m you, and they all watch the things we do, and like a smack of spite they threw me down the stairs, haven’t felt like this in years. The great magnet of malicious magnanimous refuse, let me go, and punch me into the dead spout again. That’s where you go when there’s no one else around, it’s just you, and there was never anyone to begin with, now was there? Sanctimonious pretentious dastardly bastards with their thumb on the pulse, and a finger on the trigger. CLASSIFIED MY ASS! THAT’S A FUCKING SECRET, AND YOU KNOW IT! Government is another way to say better…than…you. It’s like ice but no pick, a murder charge that won’t stick, it’s like a whole other world where you can smell the food, but you can’t touch the silverware. Huh, what luck. Fascism you can vote for. Humph, isn’t that sweet? And we’re all gonna die some day, because that’s the American way, and I’ve drunk too much, and said too little, when your gaffer taped in the middle, say a prayer, say a face, get your self together and see what’s happening. SHUT UP! FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU! I’m sorry, I could go on and on but their times to move on so, remember: you’re a wreck, an accident. Forget the freak, your just nature. Keep the gun oiled, and the temple cleaned shit snort, and blaspheme, let the heads cool, and the engine run. Because in the end, everything we do, is just everything we’ve done.
Stone Sour (Stonesour)
I was extremely curious about the alternatives to the kind of life I had been leading, and my friends and I exchanged rumors and scraps of information we dug from official publications. I was struck less by the West's technological developments and high living standards than by the absence of political witch-hunts, the lack of consuming suspicion, the dignity of the individual, and the incredible amount of liberty. To me, the ultimate proof of freedom in the West was that there seemed to be so many people there attacking the West and praising China. Almost every other day the front page of Reference, the newspaper which carded foreign press items, would feature some eulogy of Mao and the Cultural Revolution. At first I was angered by these, but they soon made me see how tolerant another society could be. I realized that this was the kind of society I wanted to live in: where people were allowed to hold different, even outrageous views. I began to see that it was the very tolerance of oppositions, of protesters, that kept the West progressing. Still, I could not help being irritated by some observations. Once I read an article by a Westerner who came to China to see some old friends, university professors, who told him cheerfully how they had enjoyed being denounced and sent to the back end of beyond, and how much they had relished being reformed. The author concluded that Mao had indeed made the Chinese into 'new people' who would regard what was misery to a Westerner as pleasure. I was aghast. Did he not know that repression was at its worst when there was no complaint? A hundred times more so when the victim actually presented a smiling face? Could he not see to what a pathetic condition these professors had been reduced, and what horror must have been involved to degrade them so? I did not realize that the acting that the Chinese were putting on was something to which Westerners were unaccustomed, and which they could not always decode. I did not appreciate either that information about China was not easily available, or was largely misunderstood, in the West, and that people with no experience of a regime like China's could take its propaganda and rhetoric at face value. As a result, I assumed that these eulogies were dishonest. My friends and I would joke that they had been bought by our government's 'hospitality." When foreigners were allowed into certain restricted places in China following Nixon's visit, wherever they went the authorities immediately cordoned off enclaves even within these enclaves. The best transport facilities, shops, restaurants, guest houses and scenic spots were reserved for them, with signs reading "For Foreign Guests Only." Mao-tai, the most sought-after liquor, was totally unavailable to ordinary Chinese, but freely available to foreigners. The best food was saved for foreigners. The newspapers proudly reported that Henry Kissinger had said his waistline had expanded as a result of the many twelve-course banquets he enjoyed during his visits to China. This was at a time when in Sichuan, "Heaven's Granary," our meat ration was half a pound per month, and the streets of Chengdu were full of homeless peasants who had fled there from famine in the north, and were living as beggars. There was great resentment among the population about how the foreigners were treated like lords. My friends and I began saying among ourselves: "Why do we attack the Kuomintang for allowing signs saying "No Chinese or Dogs" aren't we doing the same? Getting hold of information became an obsession. I benefited enormously from my ability to read English, as although the university library had been looted during the Cultural Revolution, most of the books it had lost had been in Chinese. Its extensive English-language collection had been turned upside down, but was still largely intact.
Jung Chang (Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China)
It’s normally agreed that the question “How are you?” doesn’t put you on your oath to give a full or honest answer. So when asked these days, I tend to say something cryptic like, “A bit early to say.” (If it’s the wonderful staff at my oncology clinic who inquire, I sometimes go so far as to respond, “I seem to have cancer today.”) Nobody wants to be told about the countless minor horrors and humiliations that become facts of “life” when your body turns from being a friend to being a foe: the boring switch from chronic constipation to its sudden dramatic opposite; the equally nasty double cross of feeling acute hunger while fearing even the scent of food; the absolute misery of gut–wringing nausea on an utterly empty stomach; or the pathetic discovery that hair loss extends to the disappearance of the follicles in your nostrils, and thus to the childish and irritating phenomenon of a permanently runny nose. Sorry, but you did ask... It’s no fun to appreciate to the full the truth of the materialist proposition that I don’t have a body, I am a body. But it’s not really possible to adopt a stance of “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” either. Like its original, this is a prescription for hypocrisy and double standards. Friends and relatives, obviously, don’t really have the option of not making kind inquiries. One way of trying to put them at their ease is to be as candid as possible and not to adopt any sort of euphemism or denial. The swiftest way of doing this is to note that the thing about Stage Four is that there is no such thing as Stage Five. Quite rightly, some take me up on it. I recently had to accept that I wasn’t going to be able to attend my niece’s wedding, in my old hometown and former university in Oxford. This depressed me for more than one reason, and an especially close friend inquired, “Is it that you’re afraid you’ll never see England again?” As it happens he was exactly right to ask, and it had been precisely that which had been bothering me, but I was unreasonably shocked by his bluntness. I’ll do the facing of hard facts, thanks. Don’t you be doing it too. And yet I had absolutely invited the question. Telling someone else, with deliberate realism, that once I’d had a few more scans and treatments I might be told by the doctors that things from now on could be mainly a matter of “management,” I again had the wind knocked out of me when she said, “Yes, I suppose a time comes when you have to consider letting go.” How true, and how crisp a summary of what I had just said myself. But again there was the unreasonable urge to have a kind of monopoly on, or a sort of veto over, what was actually sayable. Cancer victimhood contains a permanent temptation to be self–centered and even solipsistic.
Christopher Hitchens (Mortality)
It is hard to understand how a compassionate world order can include so many people afflicted by acute misery, persistent hunger and deprived and desperate lives, and why millions of innocent children have to die each year from lack of food or medical attention or social care. This issue, of course, is not new, and it has been a subject of some discussion among theologians. The argument that God has reasons to want us to deal with these matters ourselves has had considerable intellectual support. As a nonreligious person, I am not in a position to assess the theological merits of this argument. But I can appreciate the force of the claim that people themselves must have responsibility for the development and change of the world in which they live. One does not have to be either devout or non devout to accept this basic connection. As people who live-in a broad sense-together, we cannot escape the thought that the terrible occurrences that we see around us are quintessentially our problems. They are our responsibility-whether or not they are also anyone else's. As competent human beings, we cannot shirk the task of judging how things are and what needs to be done. As reflective creatures, we have the ability to contemplate the lives of others. Our sense of behavior may have caused (though that can be very important as well), but can also relate more generally to the miseries that we see around us and that lie within our power to help remedy. That responsibility is not, of course, the only consideration that can claim our attention, but to deny the relevance of that general claim would be to miss something central about our social existence. It is not so much a matter of having the exact rules about how precisely we ought to behave, as of recognizing the relevance of our shared humanity in making the choices we face.
Amartya Sen (Development as Freedom)
Why are you so mad at me?" Norris shouted back. The neighbors could definitely hear them now. His throat dry, but he didn't care. "I'm sorry if I interrupted one of your dates, or whatever, but I DID NOT DO ANYTHING! Ground me for leaving prom, ground me for drinking, but I didn't drive, I didn't have unprotected sex, I didn't even get high! You know that! You're supposed to be on my side here, Mom!" "NO!" she hurled back. "Not on this, Norris" I can't be!" "Why the hell not?!" "You know damn well! Trayvon Martin," she began. "Tamir Rice, Cameron Tillman, so many others that I can't remember all their names anymore!" Norris knew too well. It was almost a ritual, even back in Canada. They would sit as a family and watch quietly. "Be smart out there," Felix used to say. "You're not a handsome blue-eyed little Ken doll who's going to get a slap on the wrist every time he messes up. That, tonight?" she said, pointing to the door. "Do you know what that was? Do you?!" "I-" "That was a fucking coin flip, Norris. That was the coin landing heads." Her finger dug into his chest, punctuating every other word she was saying, spittle flying at his face. "Heads. A good one. Officer Miller, who has four sons, and luckily, mercifully, thank Jesus saw someone else's kid back-talking him tonight." She exhaled, her breath Thai-food hot against his face. "Tails." Her voice broke. "Tails, and I would be at the morgue right now identifying you! With some man lecturing me about our blood alcohol level and belligerent language and how you had it coming.
Ben Philippe (The Field Guide to the North American Teenager)
We can take things as slowly as you want, but you know it’s too late now to change your mind, Pierce,” he said, in a warning tone. “Of course,” I said. I could see I had approached this all wrong. Where, when you actually needed one, was one of those annoying women’s magazines with advice on how to handle your man? Although that advice probably didn’t apply to death deities. “Because the Furies are after me. And I promised you that I wouldn’t try to escape. That isn’t what I was-“ “No,” he said, with an abrupt shake of his head. “The Furies have no part in this. It doesn’t matter anymore whether or not you try to escape.” He was pacing the length of the room. A muscle had begun to twitch wildly in the side of his jaw. “I thought you knew. I thought you understood. Haven’t you read Homer?” Not again. Mr. Smith was obsessed with this Homer person, too. “No, John,” I said, with forced patience. “I’m afraid we don’t have time to study the ancient Greek poets in school anymore because we have so much stuff to learn that happened since you died, such as the Civil War and the Holocaust and making files in Excel-“ “Well, considering what they had to say about the Fates,” John interrupted, impatiently, “Homer might possibly have been of more use to you.” “The Fates?” The Fates were something I dimly remembered having been mentioned in the section we’d studied on Greek mythology. They were busybodies who presided over everyone’s destiny. “What did Homer have to say about them?” John dragged a hand through his hair. For some reason, he wouldn’t meet my gaze. “The Fates decreed that anyone who ate or drank in the realm of the dead had to remain there for all eternity.” I stared at him. “Right,” I said. “Only if they are pomegranate seeds, like Persephone. The fruit of the dead.” He stopped pacing suddenly and lifted his gaze to mine. His eyes seemed to burn through to my soul. “Pomegranate seeds are what Persephone happened to eat while she was in the Underworld,” he said. “That’s why they call them the fruit of the dead. But the rule is any food or drink.” A strange feeling of numbness had begun to spread across my body. My mouth became too dry for me to speak. “However you feel about me, Pierce,” he went on, relentlessly, “you’re stuck here with me for the rest of eternity.
Meg Cabot (Underworld (Abandon, #2))
Gentlefolks in general have a very awkward rock ahead in life - the rock ahead of their own idleness. Their lives being, for the most part, passed in looking about them for something to do, it is curious to see - especially when their tastes are of what is called the intellectual sort - how often they drift blindfold into some nasty pursuit. [...] But there! the poor souls must get through the time, you see - they must get through the time. You dabbled in nasty mud, and made pies, when you were a child; and you dabble in nasty science, and dissect spiders, and spoil flowers, when you grow up. In the one case and in the other, the secret of it is, that you have got nothing to think of in your poor empty head, and nothing to do with your poor idle hands. And so it ends in your spoiling canvas with paints, and making a smell in the house; or in keeping tadpoles in a glass box full of dirty water, and turning everybody's stomach in the house; or in chipping off bits of stone here, there, and everywhere, and dropping grit into all the victuals in the house; or in staining your fingers in the pursuit of photography, and doing justice without mercy on everybody's face in the house. It often falls heavy enough, no doubt, on people who are really obliged to get their living, to be forced to work for the clothes that cover them, the roof that shelters them, and the food that keeps them going. But compare the hardest day's work that you ever did with the idleness that splits flowers and pokes its way into spiders' stomachs, and thank your stars that your head has got something it must think of, and your hands something that they must do.
Wilkie Collins (The Moonstone)
The air smelled of paper and dust and years. Jon plucked a scroll from a bin, blew off the worst of the dust. A corner flaked off between his fingers as he unrolled it. “Look, this one is crumbling,” he said, frowning over the faded script. “Be gentle.” Sam came around the table and took the scroll from his hand, holding it as if it were a wounded animal. “The important books used to be copied over when they needed them. Some of the oldest have been copied half a hundred times, probably.” “Well, don’t bother copying that one. Twenty-three barrels of pickled cod, eighteen jars of fish oil, a cask of salt . . .” “An inventory,” Sam said, “or perhaps a bill of sale.” “Who cares how much pickled cod they ate six hundred years ago?” Jon wondered. “I would.” Sam carefully replaced the scroll in the bin from which Jon had plucked it. “You can learn so much from ledgers like that, truly you can. It can tell you how many men were in the Night’s Watch then, how they lived, what they ate . . .” “They ate food,” said Jon, “and they lived as we live.” “You’d be surprised. This vault is a treasure, Jon.” “If you say so.” Jon was doubtful. Treasure meant gold, silver, and jewels, not dust, spiders, and rotting leather. “I do,” the fat boy blurted. He was older than Jon, a man grown by law, but it was hard to think of him as anything but a boy. “I found drawings of the faces in the trees, and a book about the tongue of the children of the forest . . . works that even the Citadel doesn’t have, scrolls from old Valyria, counts of the seasons written by maesters dead a thousand years . . .” “The books will still be here when we return.” “If we return . . .
George R.R. Martin (A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2))
I will here give a brief sketch of the progress of opinion on the Origin of Species. Until recently the great majority of naturalists believed that species were immutable productions, and had been separately created. This view has been ably maintained by many authors. Some few naturalists, on the other hand, have believed that species undergo modification, and that the existing forms of life are the descendants by true generation of pre existing forms. Passing over allusions to the subject in the classical writers (Aristotle, in his "Physicae Auscultationes" (lib.2, cap.8, s.2), after remarking that rain does not fall in order to make the corn grow, any more than it falls to spoil the farmer's corn when threshed out of doors, applies the same argument to organisation; and adds (as translated by Mr. Clair Grece, who first pointed out the passage to me), "So what hinders the different parts (of the body) from having this merely accidental relation in nature? as the teeth, for example, grow by necessity, the front ones sharp, adapted for dividing, and the grinders flat, and serviceable for masticating the food; since they were not made for the sake of this, but it was the result of accident. And in like manner as to other parts in which there appears to exist an adaptation to an end. Wheresoever, therefore, all things together (that is all the parts of one whole) happened like as if they were made for the sake of something, these were preserved, having been appropriately constituted by an internal spontaneity; and whatsoever things were not thus constituted, perished and still perish." We here see the principle of natural selection shadowed forth, but how little Aristotle fully comprehended the principle, is shown by his remarks on the formation of the teeth.), the first author who in modern times has treated it in a scientific spirit was Buffon. But as his opinions fluctuated greatly at different periods, and as he does not enter on the causes or means of the transformation of species, I need not here enter on details.
Charles Darwin (The Origin of Species)
BOWLS OF FOOD Moon and evening star do their slow tambourine dance to praise this universe. The purpose of every gathering is discovered: to recognize beauty and love what’s beautiful. “Once it was like that, now it’s like this,” the saying goes around town, and serious consequences too. Men and women turn their faces to the wall in grief. They lose appetite. Then they start eating the fire of pleasure, as camels chew pungent grass for the sake of their souls. Winter blocks the road. Flowers are taken prisoner underground. Then green justice tenders a spear. Go outside to the orchard. These visitors came a long way, past all the houses of the zodiac, learning Something new at each stop. And they’re here for such a short time, sitting at these tables set on the prow of the wind. Bowls of food are brought out as answers, but still no one knows the answer. Food for the soul stays secret. Body food gets put out in the open like us. Those who work at a bakery don’t know the taste of bread like the hungry beggars do. Because the beloved wants to know, unseen things become manifest. Hiding is the hidden purpose of creation: bury your seed and wait. After you die, All the thoughts you had will throng around like children. The heart is the secret inside the secret. Call the secret language, and never be sure what you conceal. It’s unsure people who get the blessing. Climbing cypress, opening rose, Nightingale song, fruit, these are inside the chill November wind. They are its secret. We climb and fall so often. Plants have an inner Being, and separate ways of talking and feeling. An ear of corn bends in thought. Tulip, so embarrassed. Pink rose deciding to open a competing store. A bunch of grapes sits with its feet stuck out. Narcissus gossiping about iris. Willow, what do you learn from running water? Humility. Red apple, what has the Friend taught you? To be sour. Peach tree, why so low? To let you reach. Look at the poplar, tall but without fruit or flower. Yes, if I had those, I’d be self-absorbed like you. I gave up self to watch the enlightened ones. Pomegranate questions quince, Why so pale? For the pearl you hid inside me. How did you discover my secret? Your laugh. The core of the seen and unseen universes smiles, but remember, smiles come best from those who weep. Lightning, then the rain-laughter. Dark earth receives that clear and grows a trunk. Melon and cucumber come dragging along on pilgrimage. You have to be to be blessed! Pumpkin begins climbing a rope! Where did he learn that? Grass, thorns, a hundred thousand ants and snakes, everything is looking for food. Don’t you hear the noise? Every herb cures some illness. Camels delight to eat thorns. We prefer the inside of a walnut, not the shell. The inside of an egg, the outside of a date. What about your inside and outside? The same way a branch draws water up many feet, God is pulling your soul along. Wind carries pollen from blossom to ground. Wings and Arabian stallions gallop toward the warmth of spring. They visit; they sing and tell what they think they know: so-and-so will travel to such-and-such. The hoopoe carries a letter to Solomon. The wise stork says lek-lek. Please translate. It’s time to go to the high plain, to leave the winter house. Be your own watchman as birds are. Let the remembering beads encircle you. I make promises to myself and break them. Words are coins: the vein of ore and the mine shaft, what they speak of. Now consider the sun. It’s neither oriental nor occidental. Only the soul knows what love is. This moment in time and space is an eggshell with an embryo crumpled inside, soaked in belief-yolk, under the wing of grace, until it breaks free of mind to become the song of an actual bird, and God.
Rumi (The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems)
Oh, I had all sorts of ego-polishing notions about my unhappy self. And I had theories, too. What, after all, is a depressed intellectual without his theories? I can’t reconstruct the details of them now. It would be too boring to try. But there was a lot of Nietzsche involved and Freud, too—oh, and Marx. That was it, my trinity: Nietzsche, Freud, and Marx. Which is to say I believed that power, sex, and money explained all human interactions, all history, and all the world. To pretend anything else, I thought, was rank hypocrisy, the worst of intellectual sins. Faith was a scam, Hope was a lie, Love was an illusion. Power, sex, and money—these three—were the real, the only stuff of life. And the greatest of these, of course, was sex. I don’t remember how I worked all this out philosophically. But for some reason, the other two persons of my trinity—power and money—were things to be disdained. They were motive forces for them, you know, for society’s evil masters, the greedy, the corrupt, the makers of orthodoxy. Sex, though—sex was for us. It was the expressive medium of the liberated, the unconventional, the unbowed, the Natural Man. When it came to sex, there was nothing—nothing consensual—that could repel or alienate such enlightened folks as we. Anyone who questioned that doctrine or looked askance at some sexual practice, anyone who even wondered aloud if perhaps, like any other appetite—for food, say, or alcohol or material goods—our sexual desire might occasionally require discipline or restraint, was painfully irrelevant, grossly out of the loop, unhip in the extreme. No, no. A free man, a natural man, a new man—so my theories went—threw off hypocrisy and explored his sexuality to its depths.
Andrew Klavan (Empire of Lies)
For the next eight or ten months, Oliver was the victim of a systematic course of treachery and deception. He was brought up by hand. The hungry and destitute situation of the infant orphan was duly reported by the workhouse authorities to the parish authorities. The parish authorities inquired with dignity of the workhouse authorities, whether there was no female then domiciled in 'the house' who was in a situation to impart to Oliver Twist, the consolation and nourishment of which he stood in need. The workhouse authorities replied with humility, that there was not. Upon this, the parish authorities magnanimously and humanely resolved, that Oliver should be 'farmed,' or, in other words, that he should be dispatched to a branch-workhouse some three miles off, where twenty or thirty other juvenile offenders against the poor-laws, rolled about the floor all day, without the inconvenience of too much food or too much clothing, under the parental superintendence of an elderly female, who received the culprits at and for the consideration of sevenpence-halfpenny per small head per week. Sevenpence-halfpenny's worth per week is a good round diet for a child; a great deal may be got for sevenpence-halfpenny, quite enough to overload its stomach, and make it uncomfortable. The elderly female was a woman of wisdom and experience; she knew what was good for children; and she had a very accurate perception of what was good for herself. So, she appropriated the greater part of the weekly stipend to her own use, and consigned the rising parochial generation to even a shorter allowance than was originally provided for them. Thereby finding in the lowest depth a deeper still; and proving herself a very great experimental philosopher.
Charles Dickens (Oliver Twist)
What did she say to you?" "Nothing." "Oh, great. I have to try to get you out of this mess after you hit a girl for nothing," he whispered angrily. "Josephine, don't waste my time. You don't seem like a violent type. She had to have said something to rile you. "I just don't like her. She's vain. She puts her hair all over my books when she sits in front of me in class." "So you hit her?" "No ... yes." "A girl puts her hair all over your books, so you break her nose?" "Well, I don't think it's broken, personally." "Doctor Kildare, we are not here to give a medical opinion. I want to know what she said to you." "God," I yelled exasperated. "She said something to upset me, okay?" "What? That you were ugly? That you smell? What?" I looked horrified. "I'm not ugly. I don't smell." He sighed and took off his glasses, sitting down in front of me and pulling my chair towards him. "I was just asking for a reason." "Never mind," I said. "That creep out there wants -you to pay for his daughter's nose-job. Because of that nose-job she will be a famous model one day and you'll be working in a fast-food chain because you couldn't finish your Higher School Certificate due to expulsion. Now tell me what she said." "There's nothing wrong with a fast-food chain," I said, thinking of my McDonald's job. "I'm really getting pissed off now, Josephine. You called me out of work for this and you won't tell me why." "Just go," I said, as he stood up and paced the room. "I'll defend myself in court." He groaned and looked up to the ceiling pulling his hair. "God save me from days like this," he begged. "Go," I yelled. "Okay. Let him win. He's a creep. Creeps always win," he said walking to the door. "But don't think you're going to make it in a court room, young lady. If you can't be honest, don't expect to stand up in a court room and defend honesty." "She called me a wog, amongst other things," I said, finally. "I haven't been called one for so long. It offended me. It made me feel pathetic." "Did you provoke her?" "Yes. I called her a racist pig due to some things she was saying." "Is she one?" "God, yes. The biggest.
Melina Marchetta (Looking for Alibrandi)
FATHER FORGETS W. Livingston Larned Listen, son: I am saying this as you lie asleep, one little paw crumpled under your cheek and the blond curls stickily wet on your damp forehead. I have stolen into your room alone. Just a few minutes ago, as I sat reading my paper in the library, a stifling wave of remorse swept over me. Guiltily I came to your bedside. There are the things I was thinking, son: I had been cross to you. I scolded you as you were dressing for school because you gave your face merely a dab with a towel. I took you to task for not cleaning your shoes. I called out angrily when you threw some of your things on the floor. At breakfast I found fault, too. You spilled things. You gulped down your food. You put your elbows on the table. You spread butter too thick on your bread. And as you started off to play and I made for my train, you turned and waved a hand and called, “Goodbye, Daddy!” and I frowned, and said in reply, “Hold your shoulders back!” Then it began all over again in the late afternoon. As I came up the road I spied you, down on your knees, playing marbles. There were holes in your stockings. I humiliated you before your boyfriends by marching you ahead of me to the house. Stockings were expensive—and if you had to buy them you would be more careful! Imagine that, son, from a father! Do you remember, later, when I was reading in the library, how you came in timidly, with a sort of hurt look in your eyes? When I glanced up over my paper, impatient at the interruption, you hesitated at the door. “What is it you want?” I snapped. You said nothing, but ran across in one tempestuous plunge, and threw your arms around my neck and kissed me, and your small arms tightened with an affection that God had set blooming in your heart and which even neglect could not wither. And then you were gone, pattering up the stairs. Well, son, it was shortly afterwards that my paper slipped from my hands and a terrible sickening fear came over me. What has habit been doing to me? The habit of finding fault, of reprimanding—this was my reward to you for being a boy. It was not that I did not love you; it was that I expected too much of youth. I was measuring you by the yardstick of my own years. And there was so much that was good and fine and true in your character. The little heart of you was as big as the dawn itself over the wide hills. This was shown by your spontaneous impulse to rush in and kiss me good night. Nothing else matters tonight, son. I have come to your bedside in the darkness, and I have knelt there, ashamed! It is a feeble atonement; I know you would not understand these things if I told them to you during your waking hours. But tomorrow I will be a real daddy! I will chum with you, and suffer when you suffer, and laugh when you laugh. I will bite my tongue when impatient words come. I will keep saying as if it were a ritual: “He is nothing but a boy—a little boy!” I am afraid I have visualized you as a man. Yet as I see you now, son, crumpled and weary in your cot, I see that you are still a baby. Yesterday you were in your mother’s arms, your head on her shoulder. I have asked too much, too much.
Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends & Influence People)
Some gifted people have all five and some less. Every gifted person tends to lead with one. As I read this list for the first time I was struck by the similarities between Dabrowski’s overexcitabilities and the traits of Sensitive Intuitives. Read the list for yourself and see what you identify with: Psychomotor This manifests as a strong pull toward movement. People with this overexcitability tend to talk rapidly and/or move nervously when they become interested or passionate about something. They have a lot of physical energy and may run their hands through their hair, snap their fingers, pace back and forth, or display other signs of physical agitation when concentrating or thinking something out. They come across as physically intense and can move in an impatient, jerky manner when excited. Other people might find them overwhelming and they’re routinely diagnosed as ADHD. Sensual This overexcitability comes in the form of an extreme sensitivity to sounds, smells, bright lights, textures and temperature. Perfume and scented soaps and lotions are bothersome to people with this overexcitability, and they might also have aversive reactions to strong food smells and cleaning products. For me personally, if I’m watching a movie in which a strobe light effect is used, I’m done. I have to shut my eyes or I’ll come down with a headache after only a few seconds. Loud, jarring or intrusive sounds also short circuit my wiring. Intellectual This is an incessant thirst for knowledge. People with this overexcitability can’t ever learn enough. They zoom in on a few topics of interest and drink up every bit of information on those topics they can find. Their only real goal is learning for learning’s sake. They’re not trying to learn something to make money or get any other external reward. They just happened to have discovered the history of the Ming Dynasty or Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and now it’s all they can think about. People with this overexcitability have intellectual interests that are passionate and wide-ranging and they study many areas simultaneously. Imaginative INFJ and INFP writers, this is you. This is ALL you. Making up stories, creating imaginary friends, believing in Santa Claus way past the ordinary age, becoming attached to fairies, elves, monsters and unicorns, these are the trademarks of the gifted child with imaginative overexcitability. These individuals appear dreamy, scattered, lost in their own worlds, and constantly have their heads in the clouds. They also routinely blend fiction with reality. They are practically the definition of the Sensitive Intuitive writer at work. Emotional Gifted individuals with emotional overexcitability are highly empathetic (and empathic, I might add), compassionate, and can become deeply attached to people, animals, and even inanimate objects, in a short period of time. They also have intense emotional reactions to things and might not be able to stomach horror movies or violence on the evening news. They have most likely been told throughout their life that they’re “too sensitive” or that they’re “overreacting” when in truth, they are expressing exactly how they feel to the most accurate degree.
Lauren Sapala (The INFJ Writer: Cracking the Creative Genius of the World's Rarest Type)
I can give no adequate description of the Horror Camp in which my men and myself were to spend the next month of our lives. It was just a barren wilderness, as bare as a chicken run. Corpses lay everywhere, some in huge piles, sometimes they lay singly or in pairs where they had fallen. It took a little time to get used to seeing men women and children collapse as you walked by them and to restrain oneself from going to their assistance. One had to get used early to the idea that the individual just did not count. One knew that five hundred a day were dying and that five hundred a day were going on dying for weeks before anything we could do would have the slightest effect. It was, however, not easy to watch a child choking to death from diphtheria when you knew a tracheotomy and nursing would save it, one saw women drowning in their own vomit because they were too weak to turn over, and men eating worms as they clutched a half loaf of bread purely because they had to eat worms to live and now could scarcely tell the difference. Piles of corpses, naked and obscene, with a woman too weak to stand propping herself against them as she cooked the food we had given her over an open fire; men and women crouching down just anywhere in the open relieving themselves of the dysentery which was scouring their bowels, a woman standing stark naked washing herself with some issue soap in water from a tank in which the remains of a child floated. It was shortly after the British Red Cross arrived, though it may have no connection, that a very large quantity of lipstick arrived. This was not at all what we men wanted, we were screaming for hundreds and thousands of other things and I don't know who asked for lipstick. I wish so much that I could discover who did it, it was the action of genius, sheer unadulterated brilliance. I believe nothing did more for these internees than the lipstick. Women lay in bed with no sheets and no nightie but with scarlet red lips, you saw them wandering about with nothing but a blanket over their shoulders, but with scarlet red lips. I saw a woman dead on the postmortem table and clutched in her hand was a piece of lipstick. At last someone had done something to make them individuals again, they were someone, no longer merely the number tattooed on the arm. At last they could take an interest in their appearance. That lipstick started to give them back their humanity.
Imperial War Museum
Over the years I have read many, many books about the future, my ‘we’re all doomed’ books, as Connie liked to call them. ‘All the books you read are either about how grim the past was or how gruesome the future will be. It might not be that way, Douglas. Things might turn out all right.’ But these were well-researched, plausible studies, their conclusions highly persuasive, and I could become quite voluble on the subject. Take, for instance, the fate of the middle-class, into which Albie and I were born and to which Connie now belongs, albeit with some protest. In book after book I read that the middle-class are doomed. Globalisation and technology have already cut a swathe through previously secure professions, and 3D printing technology will soon wipe out the last of the manufacturing industries. The internet won’t replace those jobs, and what place for the middle-classes if twelve people can run a giant corporation? I’m no communist firebrand, but even the most rabid free-marketeer would concede that market-forces capitalism, instead of spreading wealth and security throughout the population, has grotesquely magnified the gulf between rich and poor, forcing a global workforce into dangerous, unregulated, insecure low-paid labour while rewarding only a tiny elite of businessmen and technocrats. So-called ‘secure’ professions seem less and less so; first it was the miners and the ship- and steel-workers, soon it will be the bank clerks, the librarians, the teachers, the shop-owners, the supermarket check-out staff. The scientists might survive if it’s the right type of science, but where do all the taxi-drivers in the world go when the taxis drive themselves? How do they feed their children or heat their homes and what happens when frustration turns to anger? Throw in terrorism, the seemingly insoluble problem of religious fundamentalism, the rise of the extreme right-wing, under-employed youth and the under-pensioned elderly, fragile and corrupt banking systems, the inadequacy of the health and care systems to cope with vast numbers of the sick and old, the environmental repercussions of unprecedented factory-farming, the battle for finite resources of food, water, gas and oil, the changing course of the Gulf Stream, destruction of the biosphere and the statistical probability of a global pandemic, and there really is no reason why anyone should sleep soundly ever again. By the time Albie is my age I will be long gone, or, best-case scenario, barricaded into my living module with enough rations to see out my days. But outside, I imagine vast, unregulated factories where workers count themselves lucky to toil through eighteen-hour days for less than a living wage before pulling on their gas masks to fight their way through the unemployed masses who are bartering with the mutated chickens and old tin-cans that they use for currency, those lucky workers returning to tiny, overcrowded shacks in a vast megalopolis where a tree is never seen, the air is thick with police drones, where car-bomb explosions, typhoons and freak hailstorms are so commonplace as to barely be remarked upon. Meanwhile, in literally gilded towers miles above the carcinogenic smog, the privileged 1 per cent of businessmen, celebrities and entrepreneurs look down through bullet-proof windows, accept cocktails in strange glasses from the robot waiters hovering nearby and laugh their tinkling laughs and somewhere, down there in that hellish, stewing mess of violence, poverty and desperation, is my son, Albie Petersen, a wandering minstrel with his guitar and his keen interest in photography, still refusing to wear a decent coat.
David Nicholls (Us)
A woman named Cynthia once told me a story about the time her father had made plans to take her on a night out in San Francisco. Twelve-year-old Cynthia and her father had been planning the “date” for months. They had a whole itinerary planned down to the minute: she would attend the last hour of his presentation, and then meet him at the back of the room at about four-thirty and leave quickly before everyone tried to talk to him. They would catch a tram to Chinatown, eat Chinese food (their favourite), shop for a souvenir, see the sights for a while and then “catch a flick” as her dad liked to say. Then they would grab a taxi back to the hotel, jump in the pool for a quick swim (her dad was famous for sneaking in when the pool was closed), order a hot fudge sundae from room service, and watch the late, late show. They discussed the details over and over again before they left. The anticipation was part of the whole experience. This was all going according to plan until, as her father was leaving the convention centre, he ran into an old college friend and business associate. It had been years since they had seen each other, and Cynthia watched as they embraced enthusiastically. His friend said, in effect: “I am so glad you are doing some work with our company now. When Lois and I heard about it we thought it would be perfect. We want to invite you, and of course Cynthia, to get a spectacular seafood dinner down at the Wharf!” Cynthia’s father responded: “Bob, it’s so great to see you. Dinner at the wharf sounds great!” Cynthia was crestfallen. Her daydreams of tram rides and ice cream sundaes evaporated in an instant. Plus, she hated seafood and she could just imagine how bored she would be listening to the adults talk all night. But then her father continued: “But not tonight. Cynthia and I have a special date planned, don’t we?” He winked at Cynthia and grabbed her hand and they ran out of the door and continued with what was an unforgettable night in San Francisco. As it happens, Cynthia’s father was the management thinker Stephen R. Covey (author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People) who had passed away only weeks before Cynthia told me this story. So it was with deep emotion she recalled that evening in San Francisco. His simple decision “Bonded him to me forever because I knew what mattered most to him was me!” she said.5 One simple answer is we are unclear about what is essential. When this happens we become defenceless. On the other hand, when we have strong internal clarity it is almost as if we have a force field protecting us from the non-essentials coming at us from all directions. With Rosa it was her deep moral clarity that gave her unusual courage of conviction. With Stephen it was the clarity of his vision for the evening with his loving daughter. In virtually every instance, clarity about what is essential fuels us with the strength to say no to the non-essentials. Stephen R. Covey, one of the most respected and widely read business thinkers of his generation, was an Essentialist. Not only did he routinely teach Essentialist principles – like “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing” – to important leaders and heads of state around the world, he lived them.6 And in this moment of living them with his daughter he made a memory that literally outlasted his lifetime. Seen with some perspective, his decision seems obvious. But many in his shoes would have accepted the friend’s invitation for fear of seeming rude or ungrateful, or passing up a rare opportunity to dine with an old friend. So why is it so hard in the moment to dare to choose what is essential over what is non-essential?
Greg McKeown (Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less)
167 It’s one of those days when the monotony of everything oppresses me like being thrown into jail. The monotony of everything is merely the monotony of myself, however. Each face, even if seen just yesterday, is different today, because today isn’t yesterday. Each day is the day it is, and there was never another one like it in the world. Only our soul makes the identification – a genuinely felt but erroneous identification – by which everything becomes similar and simplified. The world is a set of distinct things with varied edges, but if we’re near-sighted, it’s a continual and indecipherable fog. I feel like fleeing. Like fleeing from what I know, fleeing from what’s mine, fleeing from what I love. I want to depart, not for impossible Indias or for the great islands south of everything, but for any place at all – village or wilderness – that isn’t this place. I want to stop seeing these unchanging faces, this routine, these days. I want to rest, far removed, from my inveterate feigning. I want to feel sleep come to me as life, not as rest. A cabin on the seashore or even a cave in a rocky mountainside could give me this, but my will, unfortunately, cannot. Slavery is the law of life, and it is the only law, for it must be observed: there is no revolt possible, no way to escape it. Some are born slaves, others become slaves, and still others are forced to accept slavery. Our faint-hearted love of freedom – which, if we had it, we would all reject, unable to get used to it – is proof of how ingrained our slavery is. I myself, having just said that I’d like a cabin or a cave where I could be free from the monotony of everything, which is the monotony of me – would I dare set out for this cabin or cave, knowing from experience that the monotony, since it stems from me, will always be with me? I myself, suffocating from where I am and because I am – where would I breathe easier, if the sickness is in my lungs rather than in the things that surround me? I myself, who long for pure sunlight and open country, for the ocean in plain view and the unbroken horizon – could I get used to my new bed, the food, not having to descend eight flights of stairs to the street, not entering the tobacco shop on the corner, not saying good-morning to the barber standing outside his shop? Everything that surrounds us becomes part of us, infiltrating our physical sensations and our feeling of life, and like spittle of the great Spider it subtly binds us to whatever is close, tucking us into a soft bed of slow death which is rocked by the wind. Everything is us, and we are everything, but what good is this, if everything is nothing? A ray of sunlight, a cloud whose shadow tells us it is passing, a breeze that rises, the silence that follows when it ceases, one or another face, a few voices, the incidental laughter of the girls who are talking, and then night with the meaningless, fractured hieroglyphs of the stars.
Fernando Pessoa (The Book of Disquiet)
Once there were three tribes. The Optimists, whose patron saints were Drake and Sagan, believed in a universe crawling with gentle intelligence—spiritual brethren vaster and more enlightened than we, a great galactic siblinghood into whose ranks we would someday ascend. Surely, said the Optimists, space travel implies enlightenment, for it requires the control of great destructive energies. Any race which can't rise above its own brutal instincts will wipe itself out long before it learns to bridge the interstellar gulf. Across from the Optimists sat the Pessimists, who genuflected before graven images of Saint Fermi and a host of lesser lightweights. The Pessimists envisioned a lonely universe full of dead rocks and prokaryotic slime. The odds are just too low, they insisted. Too many rogues, too much radiation, too much eccentricity in too many orbits. It is a surpassing miracle that even one Earth exists; to hope for many is to abandon reason and embrace religious mania. After all, the universe is fourteen billion years old: if the galaxy were alive with intelligence, wouldn't it be here by now? Equidistant to the other two tribes sat the Historians. They didn't have too many thoughts on the probable prevalence of intelligent, spacefaring extraterrestrials— but if there are any, they said, they're not just going to be smart. They're going to be mean. It might seem almost too obvious a conclusion. What is Human history, if not an ongoing succession of greater technologies grinding lesser ones beneath their boots? But the subject wasn't merely Human history, or the unfair advantage that tools gave to any given side; the oppressed snatch up advanced weaponry as readily as the oppressor, given half a chance. No, the real issue was how those tools got there in the first place. The real issue was what tools are for. To the Historians, tools existed for only one reason: to force the universe into unnatural shapes. They treated nature as an enemy, they were by definition a rebellion against the way things were. Technology is a stunted thing in benign environments, it never thrived in any culture gripped by belief in natural harmony. Why invent fusion reactors if your climate is comfortable, if your food is abundant? Why build fortresses if you have no enemies? Why force change upon a world which poses no threat? Human civilization had a lot of branches, not so long ago. Even into the twenty-first century, a few isolated tribes had barely developed stone tools. Some settled down with agriculture. Others weren't content until they had ended nature itself, still others until they'd built cities in space. We all rested eventually, though. Each new technology trampled lesser ones, climbed to some complacent asymptote, and stopped—until my own mother packed herself away like a larva in honeycomb, softened by machinery, robbed of incentive by her own contentment. But history never said that everyone had to stop where we did. It only suggested that those who had stopped no longer struggled for existence. There could be other, more hellish worlds where the best Human technology would crumble, where the environment was still the enemy, where the only survivors were those who fought back with sharper tools and stronger empires. The threats contained in those environments would not be simple ones. Harsh weather and natural disasters either kill you or they don't, and once conquered—or adapted to— they lose their relevance. No, the only environmental factors that continued to matter were those that fought back, that countered new strategies with newer ones, that forced their enemies to scale ever-greater heights just to stay alive. Ultimately, the only enemy that mattered was an intelligent one. And if the best toys do end up in the hands of those who've never forgotten that life itself is an act of war against intelligent opponents, what does that say about a race whose machines travel between the stars?
Peter Watts (Blindsight (Firefall, #1))
And so, beginning with the small early frustrations and deprivations, the child is helped to govern himself. his ego develops by learning to regulate his own food intake and feces evacuation: he has to learn to adapt to a social schedule, to an external measure of time, in place of a biological schedule of internal urges. In all this he makes a bitter discovery: that he is no longer himself, just by seeking pleasure. There may be more excitement in the world but the fun keep getting interrupted. For some strange reason the mother doesn’t share his glee over a bowel movement on the sofa. The child finds that he has to “earn" the mother’s love by performing in a certain way. He comes to realize that he has to abandon the idea of “total excitement" and “uninterrupted fun," if he wants to keep a secure background of love from the mother. This is what Alfred Adler meant when he spoke of the child’s need for affection as the “lever" of his education. The child learns to accept frustrations so long as the total relationship is not endangered. This is what the psychoanalytic word “ambivalence" so nicely covers: the child may hesitate between giving up what has previously been an assured satisfaction, and proceeding to a new type of conduct which will be rewarded by a new kind of acceptance. Does he want to keep the breast instead of switching to the bottle? He finds that if he makes this switch he gets a special cooing of praise and a little extra attention. Ambivalence describes the process whereby the infant is propelled forward into increasing mastery by his developing ego, while at the same time he is lulled backward into a safe dependence by his need for approval and easy gratification; he is caught in the bind, as we all are, between new and uncertain rewards and tried and tested ones.
Ernest Becker
Chang-bo took to his bed, or rather to the quilts on the floor that was all they had left. His legs swelled up like balloons with what Mrs. Song had come to recognize as edema — fluid retention brought on by starvation. He talked incessantly about food. He spoke of the tofu soups his mother made him as a child and an unusually delicious meal of steamed crab with ginger that Mrs. Song had cooked for him when they were newlyweds. He had an uncanny ability to remember details of dishes she had cooked decades earlier. He was sweetly sentimental, even romantic, when he spoke about their meals together. He would take her hand in his own, his eyes wet and cloudy with the mist of his memories. “Come, darling. Let’s go to a good restaurant and order a nice bottle of wine,” he told his wife one morning when they were stirring on the blankets. They hadn’t eaten in three days. Mrs. Song looked at her husband with alarm, worried that he was hallucinating. She ran out the door to the market, moving fast and forgetting all about the pain in her back. She was determined to steal, beg — whatever it took — to get some food for her husband. She spotted her older sister selling noodles. Her sister wasn’t faring well — her skin was flaked just like Chang-bo’s from malnutrition — so Mrs. Song had resisted asking her for help, but now she was desperate, and of course, her sister couldn’t refuse. “I’ll pay you back,” Mrs. Song promised as she ran back home, the adrenaline pumping her legs. Chang-bo was curled up on his side under the blanket. Mrs. Song called his name. When he didn’t respond, she went to turn him over — it wasn’t diffcult now that he had lost so much weight, but his legs and arms were stiff and got in the way. Mrs. Song pounded and pounded on his chest, screaming for help even as she knew it was too late.
Barbara Demick (Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea)
Bet you didn't know that when you agreed to be 'betrothed' to me, huh? Husband-eviscerating apparently runs in my family." Still no reaction, and I felt shame curl in my belly. "Of course, you also didn't know you were getting a damon bride," I added in a softer tone. Very few people knew what my dad really was. I'd always assumed Cal had found out the same night I did. That's why I was really surprised when he raised his head and said, "I knew." "What?" "I knew what you were then, Sophie. Your dad told me before the betrothal. And he told me about your grandmother, and what happened to your grandfather." I shook my head. "Then,why?" Cal took his time before answering. "For one thing, I like your dad. He's done good things for Prodigium. And it-" He broke off with a long exhale. "It felt like some kind of honor, you know? Being asked to be the head of the Council's son-in-law. Plus, your dad, he,uh,told me a lot about you." My voice was barely above a whisper. "What did he say?" "That you were smart, and strong. Funny. That you had trouble using your powers, but you were always trying to use them to help people." He shrugged. "I thought we'd be a good match." The vast dining room suddenly felt very small, like it consisted only of this table and me and Cal. "Look, Sophie," he started to say. But before he could finish, Jenna walked in. "I am so glad I still get to eat human food, because that bacon smells insane..." she said, and then froze. "Oh!" she exclaimed, her ealier bounciness draining out of her. "Sorry! I didn't mean to interrupt...whatever. I c-can...leave?" She gestured with her thumb over her shoulder. "And then come back,uh, later?" But the moment was broken. Cal sat back, and I pushed my hair behind my ears. "No,it's fine," I said quickly, concentrating harder on my eggs than I had on my SAT.
Rachel Hawkins (Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2))
I called the Keep, introduced myself to the disembodied female voice on the phone, and asked for the Beast Lord. In less than fifteen seconds Curran came on the line. “I’m going into hiding with Jim.” The silence on the other side of the phone had a distinctly sinister undertone. Perhaps he thought that his kissing superpowers had derailed me. Fat chance. I would keep him from having to kill Derek. That was a burden he didn’t need. “I thought about this morning,” I said, doing my best to sound calm and reasonable. “I’ve instructed the super to change the locks. If I ever catch you in my apartment again, I will file a formal complaint. I’ve taken your food, under duress, but I did take it. You rescued me once or twice, and you’ve seen me near naked. I realize that you’re judging this situation by shapeshifter standards, and you expect me to fall on my back with my legs spread.” “Not necessarily.” His voice matched mine in calmness. “You can fall on your hands and knees if you prefer. Or against the wall. Or on the kitchen counter. I suppose I might let you be on top, if you make it worth my while.” I didn’t grind my teeth—he would’ve heard it. I had to be calm and reasonable. “My point is this: no.” “No?” “There will be no falling, no sex, no you and me.” “I wanted to kiss you when you were in your house. In Savannah.” Why the hell was my heart pounding? “And?” “You looked afraid. That wasn’t the reaction I was hoping for.” Be calm and reasonable. “You flatter yourself. You’re not that scary.” “After I kissed you this morning, you were afraid again. Right after you looked like you were about to melt.” Melt? “You’re scared there might be something there, between you and me.” Wow. I struggled to swallow that little tidbit. “Every time I think you’ve reached the limits of arrogance, you show me new heights. Truly, your egotism is like the Universe—ever expanding.” “You thought about dragging me into your bed this morning.” “I thought about stabbing you and running away screaming. You broke into my house without permission and slobbered all over me. You’re a damn lunatic! And don’t give me that line about smelling my desire; I know it’s bullshit.” “I didn’t need to smell you. I could tell by the dreamy look in your eyes and the way your tongue licked the inside of my mouth.” “Enjoy the memory,” I ground out. “That’s the last time it will ever happen.” “Go play your games with Jim. I’ll find you both when I need you.” Arrogant asshole. “I tell you what, if you find us before those three days run out, I’ll cook you a damn dinner and serve it to you naked.” “Is that a promise?” “Yes. Go fuck yourself.” I slammed the phone down. Well, then. That was perfectly reasonable. On the other side of the counter an older, heavyset man stared at me like I had sprouted horns. Glenda handed me the money I’d given her. “That was some conversation. It was worth ten bucks.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels, #3))
So, did you see that community center I was talking about?” “What? Where?” “We walked right past it, just before that grocery store. I mentioned it on the way to the city? You just drop in and take classes. They’ve got all sorts of stuff. I bet you can get a student rate, even.” “But I’m not a student—” “You’re young enough that they’ll assume—” “—and how am I supposed to find the time to take dance classes, now that I’m the dessert?” “I’m starting to really regret using that metaphor,” Silas says, grinning. “And let me explain something, Rosie.” He takes a swig of the coffee and presses his lips together, searching for words. “I’m from a long, long, long, long line of woodsmen. My brothers are all supertalented. They all built their own rooms. For god’s sake, Lucas built a freaking wooden hot tub in his bedroom with wooden monkeys pouring water into it.” “Monkeys?” “Don’t ask. Anyway, I can do some woodworking. I know my way around the forest, I can handle an ax better than most, I can make a tree grow where nothing else will, I can live off berries and hunt for my food, and I’ve known about the Fenris since I could crawl. I’m a woodsman, for all intents and purposes. But that doesn’t mean I live for it any more than the fact that you’re good at hunting means you have to live for that. So maybe breaking out of the hunting lifestyle for a few hours here and there will help you figure out if it’s really for you or not.” I shake my head, confused as to why he’d even think that was possible. “I can’t just not hunt, Silas. So yeah, I take a few random classes, and what if I decide that I hate hunting and want to quit? That doesn’t mean I can. I owe Scarlett my life, and if she wants to cash in by having me spend my life hunting beside her, so be it. It’d kill her if she ever thought I wanted to quit.” “Rosie,” Silas says quietly. “I’m not suggesting you drop your sister like a bad habit and take up intense ballet training.
Jackson Pearce (Sisters Red (Fairytale Retellings, #1))
She had just given Liger his food when a tap sounded on the connecting door. Priss’s heart leaped into her throat. With excitement. Not dread, or annoyance, or even indifference. Pure, sizzling stimulation. Suddenly she was wide-awake. Tamping down her automatic smile, Priss leaned on the door. “Yeah?” “Open up.” Still fighting that twitching grin, Priss tried to sound disgruntled as she asked, “Why?” Something hit the door—maybe his head—and Trace said, “I heard you up and moving around, Priss. I have coffee ready, but if you don’t want any—” Being a true caffeine junkie, she jerked open the door. “Oh, bless you, man.” She took the cup straight out of Trace’s hand, drank deeply and sighed as the warmth penetrated the thick fog of novel sentiment. “Ahhhh. Nirvana. Thank you.” Only after the caffeine ingestion did she notice that Trace wore unsnapped jeans and nothing else. Her eyes flared wide and her jaw felt loose. Holy moly. “That was my cup,” Trace told her, bemused. But Priss could only stare at him. Despite the delicious coffee she’d just poured in it, her mouth went dry. When she continued to stare at him, at his chest and abdomen, her gaze tracking a silky line of brown hair that disappeared into his jeans, Trace crossed his arms. Her gaze jumped to his face and she found him watching her with equal fascination. A little lost as to the reason for that look, Priss asked with some belligerence, “What?” With a cryptic smile, Trace shook his head. “Never mind. Help yourself, and I’ll get another.” Oh, crap, she’d snatched away his cup! “Sorry.” He lifted a hand in dismissal and went to the coffee machine sitting atop the dresser. His jeans rode low on his hips. The sun had darkened his skin, creating a sharp contrast to his fair hair. Another drink was in order, and another sigh of bliss. Hoping to regain her wits, Priss said, “God, nothing in the world tastes better than that first drink of coffee.” Trace looked over his shoulder, his attention zeroing in on her mouth, then her chest and finally down to her bare legs. “Oh, I don’t know about that.
Lori Foster (Trace of Fever (Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor, #2))
For months beforehand, I fielded calls from British media. A couple of the reporters asked me to name some British chefs who had inspired me. I mentioned the Roux brothers, Albert and Michel, and I named Marco Pierre White, not as much for his food as for how—by virtue of becoming an apron-wearing rock-star bad boy—he had broken the mold of whom a chef could be, which was something I could relate to. I got to London to find the Lanesborough dining room packed each night, a general excitement shared by everyone involved, and incredibly posh digs from which I could step out each morning into Hyde Park and take a good long run around Buckingham Palace. On my second day, I was cooking when a phone call came into the kitchen. The executive chef answered and, with a puzzled look, handed me the receiver. Trouble at Aquavit, I figured. I put the phone up to my ear, expecting to hear Håkan’s familiar “Hej, Marcus.” Instead, there was screaming. “How the fuck can you come to my fucking city and think you are going to be able to cook without even fucking referring to me?” This went on for what seemed like five minutes; I was too stunned to hang up. “I’m going to make sure you have a fucking miserable time here. This is my city, you hear? Good luck, you fucking black bastard.” And then he hung up. I had cooked with Gordon Ramsay once, a couple of years earlier, when we did a promotion with Charlie Trotter in Chicago. There were a handful of chefs there, including Daniel Boulud and Ferran Adrià, and Gordon was rude and obnoxious to all of them. As a group we were interviewed by the Chicago newspaper; Gordon interrupted everyone who tried to answer a question, craving the limelight. I was almost embarrassed for him. So when I was giving interviews in the lead-up to the Lanesborough event, and was asked who inspired me, I thought the best way to handle it was to say nothing about him at all. Nothing good, nothing bad. I guess he was offended at being left out. To be honest, though, only one phrase in his juvenile tirade unsettled me: when he called me a black bastard. Actually, I didn’t give a fuck about the bastard part. But the black part pissed me off.
Marcus Samuelsson (Yes, Chef)
The last time I’d been unwell, suicidally depressed, whatever you want to call it, the reactions of my friends and family had fallen into several different camps: The Let’s Laugh It Off merchants: Claire was the leading light. They hoped that joking about my state of mind would reduce it to a manageable size. Most likely to say, ‘Feeling any mad urges to fling yourself into the sea?’ The Depression Deniers: they were the ones who took the position that since there was no such thing as depression, nothing could be wrong with me. Once upon a time I’d have belonged in that category myself. A subset of the Deniers was The Tough Love people. Most likely to say, ‘What have you got to be depressed about?’ The It’s All About Me bunch: they were the ones who wailed that I couldn’t kill myself because they’d miss me so much. More often than not, I’d end up comforting them. My sister Anna and her boyfriend, Angelo, flew three thousand miles from New York just so I could dry their tears. Most likely to say, ‘Have you any idea how many people love you?’ The Runaways: lots and lots of people just stopped ringing me. Most of them I didn’t care about, but one or two were important to me. Their absence was down to fear; they were terrified that whatever I had, it was catching. Most likely to say, ‘I feel so helpless … God, is that the time?’ Bronagh – though it hurt me too much at the time to really acknowledge it – was the number one offender. The Woo-Woo crew: i.e. those purveying alternative cures. And actually there were hundreds of them – urging me to do reiki, yoga, homeopathy, bible study, sufi dance, cold showers, meditation, EFT, hypnotherapy, hydrotherapy, silent retreats, sweat lodges, felting, fasting, angel channelling or eating only blue food. Everyone had a story about something that had cured their auntie/boss/boyfriend/next-door neighbour. But my sister Rachel was the worst – she had me plagued. Not a day passed that she didn’t send me a link to some swizzer. Followed by a phone call ten minutes later to make sure I’d made an appointment. (And I was so desperate that I even gave plenty of them a go.) Most likely to say, ‘This man’s a miracle worker.’ Followed by: ‘That’s why he’s so expensive. Miracles don’t come cheap.’ There was often cross-pollination between the different groupings. Sometimes the Let’s Laugh It Off merchants teamed up with the Tough Love people to tell me that recovering from depression is ‘simply mind over matter’. You just decide you’re better. (The way you would if you had emphysema.) Or an All About Me would ring a member of the Woo-Woo crew and sob and sob about how selfish I was being and the Woo-Woo crew person would agree because I had refused to cough up two grand for a sweat lodge in Wicklow. Or one of the Runaways would tiptoe back for a sneaky look at me, then commandeer a Denier into launching a two-pronged attack, telling me how well I seemed. And actually that was the worst thing anyone could have done to me, because you can only sound like a self-pitying malingerer if you protest, ‘But I don’t feel well. I feel wretched beyond description.’ Not one person who loved me understood how I’d felt. They hadn’t a clue and I didn’t blame them, because, until it had happened to me, I hadn’t a clue either.
Marian Keyes
A brick could be used to show you how to live a richer, fuller, more satisfying life. Don’t you want to have fulfillment and meaning saturating your existence? I can show you how you can achieve this and so much more with just a simple brick. For just $99.99—not even an even hundred bucks, I’ll send you my exclusive life philosophy that’s built around a brick. Man’s used bricks to build houses for centuries. Now let one man, me, show you how a brick can be used to build your life up bigger and stronger than you ever imagined. But act now, because supplies are limited. This amazing offer won’t last forever. You don’t want to wake up in ten years to find yourself divorced, homeless, and missing your testicles because you waited even two hours too long to obtain this information. Become a hero today—save your life. Procrastination is only for the painful things in life. We prolong the boring, but why put off for tomorrow the exciting life you could be living today? If you’re not satisfied with the information I’m providing, I’m willing to offer you a no money back guarantee. That’s right, you read that wrong. If you are not 100% dissatisfied with my product, I’ll give you your money back. For $99.99 I’m offering 99.99%, but you’ve got to be willing to penny up that percentage to 100. Why delay? The life you really want is mine, and I’m willing to give it to you—for a price. That price is a one-time fee of $99.99, which of course everyone can afford—even if they can’t afford it. Homeless people can’t afford it, but they’re the people who need my product the most. Buy my product, or face the fact that in all probability you are going to end up homeless and sexless and unloved and filthy and stinky and probably even disabled, if not physically than certainly mentally. I don’t care if your testicles taste like peanut butter—if you don’t buy my product, even a dog won’t lick your balls you miserable cur. I curse you! God damn it, what are you, slow? Pay me my money so I can show you the path to true wealth. Don’t you want to be rich? Everything takes money—your marriage, your mortgage, and even prostitutes. I can show you the path to prostitution—and it starts by ignoring my pleas to help you. I’m not the bad guy here. I just want to help. You have some serious trust issues, my friend. I have the chance to earn your trust, and all it’s going to cost you is a measly $99.99. Would it help you to trust me if I told you that I trust you? Well, I do. Sure, I trust you. I trust you to make the smart decision for your life and order my product today. Don’t sleep on this decision, because you’ll only wake up in eight hours to find yourself living in a miserable future. And the future indeed looks bleak, my friend. War, famine, children forced to pimp out their parents just to feed the dog. Is this the kind of tomorrow you’d like to live in today? I can show you how to provide enough dog food to feed your grandpa for decades. In the future I’m offering you, your wife isn’t a whore that you sell for a knife swipe of peanut butter because you’re so hungry you actually considered eating your children. Become a hero—and save your kids’ lives. Your wife doesn’t want to spread her legs for strangers. Or maybe she does, and that was a bad example. Still, the principle stands. But you won’t be standing—in the future. Remember, you’ll be confined to a wheelchair. Mushrooms are for pizzas, not clouds, but without me, your life will atom bomb into oblivion. Nobody’s dropping a bomb while I’m around. The only thing I’m dropping is the price. Boom! I just lowered the price for you, just to show you that you are a valued customer. As a VIP, your new price on my product is just $99.96. That’s a savings of over two pennies (three, to be precise). And I’ll even throw in a jar of peanut butter for free. That’s a value of over $.99. But wait, there’s more! If you call within the next ten minutes, I’ll even throw in a blanket free of charge. . .
Jarod Kintz (Brick)
Subject: Some boat Alex, I know Fox Mulder. My mom watched The X-Files. She says it was because she liked the creepy store lines. I think she liked David Duchovny. She tried Californication, but I don't think her heart was in it. I think she was just sticking it to my grandmother, who has decided it's the work of the devil. She says that about most current music,too, but God help anyone who gets between her and American Idol. The fuzzy whale was very nice, it a little hard to identify. The profile of the guy between you and the whale in the third pic was very familiar, if a little fuzzy. I won't ask. No,no. I have to ask. I won't ask. My mother loves his wife's suits. I Googled. There are sharks off the coast of the Vineyard. Great big white ones. I believe you about the turtle. Did I mention that there are sharks there? I go to Surf City for a week every summer with my cousins. I eat too much ice cream. I play miniature golf-badly. I don't complain about sand in my hot dog buns or sheets. I even spend enough time on the beach to get sand in more uncomfortable places. I do not swim. I mean, I could if I wanted to but I figure that if we were meant to share the water with sharks, we would have a few extra rows of teeth, too. I'll save you some cannoli. -Ella Subject: Shh Fiorella, Yes,Fiorella. I looked it up. It means Flower. Which, when paired with MArino, means Flower of the Sea. What shark would dare to touch you? I won't touch the uncomfortable sand mention, hard as it is to resist. I also will not think of you in a bikini (Note to self: Do not think of Ella in a bikini under any circumstanes. Note from self: Are you f-ing kidding me?). Okay. Two pieces of info for you. One: Our host has an excellent wine cellar and my mother is European. Meaning she doesn't begrudge me the occasional glass. Or four. Two: Our hostess says to thank yur mother very much. Most people say nasty things about her suits. Three: We have a house kinda near Surf City. Maybe I'll be there when your there. You'd better burn this after reading. -Alexai Subect: Happy Thanksgiving Alexei, Consider it burned. Don't worry. I'm not showing your e-mails to anybody. Matter of national security, of course. Well,I got to sit at the adult table. In between my great-great-aunt Jo, who is ninety-three and deaf, and her daughter, JoJo, who had to repeat everyone's conversations across me. Loudly. The food was great,even my uncle Ricky's cranberry lasagna. In fact, it would have been a perfectly good TG if the Eagles han't been playing the Jets.My cousin Joey (other side of the family) lives in Hoboken. His sister married a Philly guy. It started out as a lively across-the-table debate: Jets v. Iggles. It ended up with Joey flinging himself across the table at his brother-in-law and my grandmother saying loud prayers to Saint Bridget. At least I think it was Saint Bridget. Hard to tell. She was speaking Italian. She caught me trying to freeze a half-dozen cannoli. She yelled at me. Apparently, the shells get really soggy when they defrost. I guess you'll have to come have a fresh one when you get back. -F/E
Melissa Jensen (The Fine Art of Truth or Dare)
Lost In The World" (feat. Justin Vernon of Bon Iver) [Sample From "Woods": Justin Vernon] I'm up in the woods, I'm down on my mind I'm building a still to slow down the time I'm up in the woods, I'm down on my mind I'm building a still to slow down the time I'm up in the woods, I'm down on my mind I'm building a still to slow down the time [Chorus 2x:] I'm lost in the world, I'm down on my mind I'm new in the city, and I'm down for the night Down for the night Said she's down for the night [Kanye West:] You're my devil, you're my angel You're my heaven, you're my hell You're my now, you're my forever You're my freedom, you're my jail You're my lies, you're my truth You're my war, you're my truce You're my questions, you're my proof You're my stress and you're my masseuse Mama-say mama-say ma-ma-coo-sah Lost in this plastic life, Let's break out of this fake ass party Turn this into a classic night If we die in each other's arms we still get laid in the afterlife If we die in each other's arms we still get laid [Chorus:] (I'm lost in the world) Run from the lights, run from the night, (I'm down on my mind) Run for your life, I'm new in the city, and I'm down for the night Down for the night Down for the night I'm lost in the world, been down for my whole life, I'm new in the city but I'm down for the night Down for the night Down for the night Who will survive in America? Who will survive in America? Who will survive in America? [Chorus:] I'm lost in the world, I'm down on my mind I'm new in the city, and I'm down for the night Down for the night Said she's down for the night I'm lost in the world, I'm down on my mind I'm new in the city and I'm goin' for a ride Goin' for a ride I'm lost in the world, been down for my whole life I'm new in the city but I'm down the for the night Down for a night, down for a good time [Gil-Scott Heron:] Us living as we do upside down. And the new word to have is revolution. People don't even want to hear the preacher spill or spiel because God's whole card has been thoroughly piqued. And America is now blood and tears instead of milk and honey. The youngsters who were programmed to continue fucking up woke up one night digging Paul Revere and Nat Turner as the good guys. America stripped for bed and we had not all yet closed our eyes. The signs of truth were tattooed across our open ended vagina. We learned to our amazement the untold tale of scandal. Two long centuries buried in the musty vault, hosed down daily with a gagging perfume. America was a bastard, the illegitimate daughter of the mother country whose legs were then spread around the world and a rapist known as freedom, free doom. Democracy, liberty, and justice were revolutionary code names that preceded the bubbling bubbling bubbling bubbling bubbling in the mother country's crotch What does Webster say about soul? All I want is a good home and a wife And our children and some food to feed them every night. After all is said and done build a new route to China if they'll have you. Who will survive in America? Who will survive in America? Who will survive in America? Who will survive in America?
Kanye West
Here’s a simple definition of ideology: “A set of beliefs about the proper order of society and how it can be achieved.”8 And here’s the most basic of all ideological questions: Preserve the present order, or change it? At the French Assembly of 1789, the delegates who favored preservation sat on the right side of the chamber, while those who favored change sat on the left. The terms right and left have stood for conservatism and liberalism ever since. Political theorists since Marx had long assumed that people chose ideologies to further their self-interest. The rich and powerful want to preserve and conserve; the peasants and workers want to change things (or at least they would if their consciousness could be raised and they could see their self-interest properly, said the Marxists). But even though social class may once have been a good predictor of ideology, that link has been largely broken in modern times, when the rich go both ways (industrialists mostly right, tech billionaires mostly left) and so do the poor (rural poor mostly right, urban poor mostly left). And when political scientists looked into it, they found that self-interest does a remarkably poor job of predicting political attitudes.9 So for most of the late twentieth century, political scientists embraced blank-slate theories in which people soaked up the ideology of their parents or the TV programs they watched.10 Some political scientists even said that most people were so confused about political issues that they had no real ideology at all.11 But then came the studies of twins. In the 1980s, when scientists began analyzing large databases that allowed them to compare identical twins (who share all of their genes, plus, usually, their prenatal and childhood environments) to same-sex fraternal twins (who share half of their genes, plus their prenatal and childhood environments), they found that the identical twins were more similar on just about everything.12 And what’s more, identical twins reared in separate households (because of adoption) usually turn out to be very similar, whereas unrelated children reared together (because of adoption) rarely turn out similar to each other, or to their adoptive parents; they tend to be more similar to their genetic parents. Genes contribute, somehow, to just about every aspect of our personalities.13 We’re not just talking about IQ, mental illness, and basic personality traits such as shyness. We’re talking about the degree to which you like jazz, spicy foods, and abstract art; your likelihood of getting a divorce or dying in a car crash; your degree of religiosity, and your political orientation as an adult. Whether you end up on the right or the left of the political spectrum turns out to be just as heritable as most other traits: genetics explains between a third and a half of the variability among people on their political attitudes.14 Being raised in a liberal or conservative household accounts for much less. How can that be? How can there be a genetic basis for attitudes about nuclear power, progressive taxation, and foreign aid when these issues only emerged in the last century or two? And how can there be a genetic basis for ideology when people sometimes change their political parties as adults? To answer these questions it helps to return to the definition of innate that I gave in chapter 7. Innate does not mean unmalleable; it means organized in advance of experience. The genes guide the construction of the brain in the uterus, but that’s only the first draft, so to speak. The draft gets revised by childhood experiences. To understand the origins of ideology you have to take a developmental perspective, starting with the genes and ending with an adult voting for a particular candidate or joining a political protest. There are three major steps in the process. Step
Jonathan Haidt (The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion)
Has he invited you to dinner, dear? Gifts, flowers, the usual?” I had to put my cup down, because my hand was shaking too much. When I stopped laughing, I said, “Curran? He isn’t exactly Mr. Smooth. He handed me a bowl of soup, that’s as far as we got.” “He fed you?” Raphael stopped rubbing Andrea. “How did this happen?” Aunt B stared at me. “Be very specific, this is important.” “He didn’t actually feed me. I was injured and he handed me a bowl of chicken soup. Actually I think he handed me two or three. And he called me an idiot.” “Did you accept?” Aunt B asked. “Yes, I was starving. Why are the three of you looking at me like that?” “For crying out loud.” Andrea set her cup down, spilling some tea. “The Beast Lord’s feeding you soup. Think about that for a second.” Raphael coughed. Aunt B leaned forward. “Was there anybody else in the room?” “No. He chased everyone out.” Raphael nodded. “At least he hasn’t gone public yet.” “He might never,” Andrea said. “It would jeopardize her position with the Order.” Aunt B’s face was grave. “It doesn’t go past this room. You hear me, Raphael? No gossip, no pillow talk, not a word. We don’t want any trouble with Curran.” “If you don’t explain it all to me, I will strangle somebody.” Of course, Raphael might like that . . . “Food has a special significance,” Aunt D said. I nodded. “Food indicates hierarchy. Nobody eats before the alpha, unless permission is given, and no alpha eats in Curran’s presence until Curran takes a bite.” “There is more,” Aunt B said. “Animals express love through food. When a cat loves you, he’ll leave dead mice on your porch, because you’re a lousy hunter and he wants to take care of you. When a shapeshifter boy likes a girl, he’ll bring her food and if she likes him back, she might make him lunch. When Curran wants to show interest in a woman, he buys her dinner.” “In public,” Raphael added, “the shapeshifter fathers always put the first bite on the plates of their wives and children. It signals that if someone wants to challenge the wife or the child, they would have to challenge the male first.” “If you put all of Curran’s girls together, you could have a parade,” Aunt B said. “But I’ve never seen him physically put food into a woman’s hands. He’s a very private man, so he might have done it in an intimate moment, but I would’ve found out eventually. Something like that doesn’t stay hidden in the Keep. Do you understand now? That’s a sign of a very serious interest, dear.” “But I didn’t know what it meant!” Aunt B frowned. “Doesn’t matter. You need to be very careful right now. When Curran wants something, he doesn’t become distracted. He goes after it and he doesn’t stop until he obtains his goal no matter what it takes. That tenacity is what makes him an alpha.” “You’re scaring me.” “Scared might be too strong a word, but in your place, I would definitely be concerned.” I wished I were back home, where I could get to my bottle of sangria. This clearly counted as a dire emergency. As if reading my thoughts, Aunt B rose, took a small bottle from a cabinet, and poured me a shot. I took it, and drained it in one gulp, letting tequila slide down my throat like liquid fire. “Feel better?” “It helped.” Curran had driven me to drinking. At least I wasn’t contemplating suicide.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Burns (Kate Daniels, #2))
. . . waves of desert heat . . . I must’ve passed out, because when I woke up I was shivering and stars wheeled above a purple horizon. . . . Then the sun came up, casting long shadows. . . . I heard a vehicle coming. Something coming from far away, gradually growing louder. There was the sound of an engine, rocks under tires. . . . Finally it reached me, the door opened, and Dirk Bickle stepped out. . . . But anyway so Bickle said, “Miracles, Luke. Miracles were once the means to convince people to abandon reason for faith. But the miracles stopped during the rise of the neocortex and its industrial revolution. Tell me, if I could show you one miracle, would you come with me and join Mr. Kirkpatrick?” I passed out again, and came to. He was still crouching beside me. He stood up, walked over to the battered refrigerator, and opened the door. Vapor poured out and I saw it was stocked with food. Bickle hunted around a bit, found something wrapped in paper, and took a bottle of beer from the door. Then he closed the fridge, sat down on the old tire, and unwrapped what looked like a turkey sandwich. He said, “You could explain the fridge a few ways. One, there’s some hidden outlet, probably buried in the sand, that leads to a power source far away. I figure there’d have to be at least twenty miles of cable involved before it connected to the grid. That’s a lot of extension cord. Or, this fridge has some kind of secret battery system. If the empirical details didn’t bear this out, if you thoroughly studied the refrigerator and found neither a connection to a distant power source nor a battery, you might still argue that the fridge had some super-insulation capabilities and that the food inside had been able to stay cold since it was dragged out here. But say this explanation didn’t pan out either, and you observed the fridge staying the same temperature week after week while you opened and closed it. Then you’d start to wonder if it was powered by some technology beyond your comprehension. But pretty soon you’d notice something else about this refrigerator. The fact that it never runs out of food. Then you’d start to wonder if somehow it didn’t get restocked while you slept. But you’d realize that it replenished itself all the time, not just while you were sleeping. All this time, you’d keep eating from it. It would keep you alive out here in the middle of nowhere. And because of its mystery you’d begin to hate and fear it, and yet still it would feed you. Even though you couldn’t explain it, you’d still need it. And you’d assume that you simply didn’t understand the technology, rather than ascribe to it some kind of metaphysical power. You wouldn’t place your faith in the hands of some unknowable god. You’d place it in the technology itself. Finally, in frustration, you’d come to realize you’d exhausted your rationality and the only sensible thing to do would be to praise the mystery. You’d worship its bottles of Corona and jars of pickled beets. You’d make up prayers to the meats drawer and sing about its light bulb. And you’d start to accept the mystery as the one undeniable thing about it. That, or you’d grow so frustrated you’d push it off this cliff.” “Is Mr. Kirkpatrick real?” I asked. After a long gulp of beer, Bickle said, “That’s the neocortex talking again.
Ryan Boudinot (Blueprints of the Afterlife)
I'm going to throw some suggestions at you now in rapid succession, assuming you are a father of one or more boys. Here we go: If you speak disparagingly of the opposite sex, or if you refer to females as sex objects, those attitudes will translate directly into dating and marital relationships later on. Remember that your goal is to prepare a boy to lead a family when he's grown and to show him how to earn the respect of those he serves. Tell him it is great to laugh and have fun with his friends, but advise him not to be "goofy." Guys who are goofy are not respected, and people, especially girls and women, do not follow boys and men whom they disrespect. Also, tell your son that he is never to hit a girl under any circumstances. Remind him that she is not as strong as he is and that she is deserving of his respect. Not only should he not hurt her, but he should protect her if she is threatened. When he is strolling along with a girl on the street, he should walk on the outside, nearer the cars. That is symbolic of his responsibility to take care of her. When he is on a date, he should pay for her food and entertainment. Also (and this is simply my opinion), girls should not call boys on the telephone-at least not until a committed relationship has developed. Guys must be the initiators, planning the dates and asking for the girl's company. Teach your son to open doors for girls and to help them with their coats or their chairs in a restaurant. When a guy goes to her house to pick up his date, tell him to get out of the car and knock on the door. Never honk. Teach him to stand, in formal situations, when a woman leaves the room or a table or when she returns. This is a way of showing respect for her. If he treats her like a lady, she will treat him like a man. It's a great plan. Make a concerted effort to teach sexual abstinence to your teenagers, just as you teach them to abstain from drug and alcohol usage and other harmful behavior. Of course you can do it! Young people are fully capable of understanding that irresponsible sex is not in their best interest and that it leads to disease, unwanted pregnancy, rejection, etc. In many cases today, no one is sharing this truth with teenagers. Parents are embarrassed to talk about sex, and, it disturbs me to say, churches are often unwilling to address the issue. That creates a vacuum into which liberal sex counselors have intruded to say, "We know you're going to have sex anyway, so why not do it right?" What a damning message that is. It is why herpes and other sexually transmitted diseases are spreading exponentially through the population and why unwanted pregnancies stalk school campuses. Despite these terrible social consequences, very little support is provided even for young people who are desperately looking for a valid reason to say no. They're told that "safe sex" is fine if they just use the right equipment. You as a father must counterbalance those messages at home. Tell your sons that there is no safety-no place to hide-when one lives in contradiction to the laws of God! Remind them repeatedly and emphatically of the biblical teaching about sexual immorality-and why someone who violates those laws not only hurts himself, but also wounds the girl and cheats the man she will eventually marry. Tell them not to take anything that doesn't belong to them-especially the moral purity of a woman.
James C. Dobson (Bringing Up Boys)
FATHER FORGETS W. Livingston Larned Listen, son: I am saying this as you lie asleep, one little paw crumpled under your cheek and the blond curls stickily wet on your damp forehead. I have stolen into your room alone. Just a few minutes ago, as I sat reading my paper in the library, a stifling wave of remorse swept over me. Guiltily I came to your bedside. There are the things I was thinking, son: I had been cross to you. I scolded you as you were dressing for school because you gave your face merely a dab with a towel. I took you to task for not cleaning your shoes. I called out angrily when you threw some of your things on the floor. At breakfast I found fault, too. You spilled things. You gulped down your food. You put your elbows on the table. You spread butter too thick on your bread. And as you started off to play and I made for my train, you turned and waved a hand and called, ‘Goodbye, Daddy!’ and I frowned, and said in reply, ‘Hold your shoulders back!’ Then it began all over again in the late afternoon. As I came up the road I spied you, down on your knees, playing marbles. There were holes in your stockings. I humiliated you before your boyfriends by marching you ahead of me to the house. Stockings were expensive – and if you had to buy them you would be more careful! Imagine that, son, from a father! Do you remember, later, when I was reading in the library, how you came in timidly, with a sort of hurt look in your eyes? When I glanced up over my paper, impatient at the interruption, you hesitated at the door. ‘What is it you want?’ I snapped. You said nothing, but ran across in one tempestuous plunge, and threw your arms around my neck and kissed me, and your small arms tightened with an affection that God had set blooming in your heart and which even neglect could not wither. And then you were gone, pattering up the stairs. Well, son, it was shortly afterwards that my paper slipped from my hands and a terrible sickening fear came over me. What has habit been doing to me? The habit of finding fault, of reprimanding – this was my reward to you for being a boy. It was not that I did not love you; it was that I expected too much of youth. I was measuring you by the yardstick of my own years. And there was so much that was good and fine and true in your character. The little heart of you was as big as the dawn itself over the wide hills. This was shown by your spontaneous impulse to rush in and kiss me good night. Nothing else matters tonight, son. I have come to your bedside in the darkness, and I have knelt there, ashamed! It is a feeble atonement; I know you would not understand these things if I told them to you during your waking hours. But tomorrow I will be a real daddy! I will chum with you, and suffer when you suffer, and laugh when you laugh. I will bite my tongue when impatient words come. I will keep saying as if it were a ritual: ‘He is nothing but a boy – a little boy!’ I am afraid I have visualized you as a man. Yet as I see you now, son, crumpled and weary in your cot, I see that you are still a baby. Yesterday you were in your mother’s arms, your head on her shoulder. I have asked too much, too much. Instead of condemning people, let’s try to understand them. Let’s try to figure out why they do what they do. That’s a lot more profitable and intriguing than criticism; and it breeds sympathy, tolerance and kindness. ‘To know all is to forgive
Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends and Influence People)
Obviously, in those situations, we lose the sale. But we’re not trying to maximize each and every transaction. Instead, we’re trying to build a lifelong relationship with each customer, one phone call at a time. A lot of people may think it’s strange that an Internet company is so focused on the telephone, when only about 5 percent of our sales happen through the telephone. In fact, most of our phone calls don’t even result in sales. But what we’ve found is that on average, every customer contacts us at least once sometime during his or her lifetime, and we just need to make sure that we use that opportunity to create a lasting memory. The majority of phone calls don’t result in an immediate order. Sometimes a customer may be calling because it’s her first time returning an item, and she just wants a little help stepping through the process. Other times, a customer may call because there’s a wedding coming up this weekend and he wants a little fashion advice. And sometimes, we get customers who call simply because they’re a little lonely and want someone to talk to. I’m reminded of a time when I was in Santa Monica, California, a few years ago at a Skechers sales conference. After a long night of bar-hopping, a small group of us headed up to someone’s hotel room to order some food. My friend from Skechers tried to order a pepperoni pizza from the room-service menu, but was disappointed to learn that the hotel we were staying at did not deliver hot food after 11:00 PM. We had missed the deadline by several hours. In our inebriated state, a few of us cajoled her into calling Zappos to try to order a pizza. She took us up on our dare, turned on the speakerphone, and explained to the (very) patient Zappos rep that she was staying in a Santa Monica hotel and really craving a pepperoni pizza, that room service was no longer delivering hot food, and that she wanted to know if there was anything Zappos could do to help. The Zappos rep was initially a bit confused by the request, but she quickly recovered and put us on hold. She returned two minutes later, listing the five closest places in the Santa Monica area that were still open and delivering pizzas at that time. Now, truth be told, I was a little hesitant to include this story because I don’t actually want everyone who reads this book to start calling Zappos and ordering pizza. But I just think it’s a fun story to illustrate the power of not having scripts in your call center and empowering your employees to do what’s right for your brand, no matter how unusual or bizarre the situation. As for my friend from Skechers? After that phone call, she’s now a customer for life. Top 10 Ways to Instill Customer Service into Your Company   1. Make customer service a priority for the whole company, not just a department. A customer service attitude needs to come from the top.   2. Make WOW a verb that is part of your company’s everyday vocabulary.   3. Empower and trust your customer service reps. Trust that they want to provide great service… because they actually do. Escalations to a supervisor should be rare.   4. Realize that it’s okay to fire customers who are insatiable or abuse your employees.   5. Don’t measure call times, don’t force employees to upsell, and don’t use scripts.   6. Don’t hide your 1-800 number. It’s a message not just to your customers, but to your employees as well.   7. View each call as an investment in building a customer service brand, not as an expense you’re seeking to minimize.   8. Have the entire company celebrate great service. Tell stories of WOW experiences to everyone in the company.   9. Find and hire people who are already passionate about customer service. 10. Give great service to everyone: customers, employees, and vendors.
Tony Hsieh (Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose)
I wish I could answer your question. All I can say is that all of us, humans, witches, bears, are engaged in a war already, although not all of us know it. Whether you find danger on Svalbard or whether you fly off unharmed, you are a recruit, under arms, a soldier." "Well, that seems kinda precipitate. Seems to me a man should have a choice whether to take up arms or not." "We have no more choice in that than in whether or not to be born." "Oh, I like choice, though," he said. "I like choosing the jobs I take and the places I go and the food I eat and the companions I sit and yarn with. Don't you wish for a choice once in a while ?" She considered, and then said, "Perhaps we don't mean the same thing by choice, Mr. Scoresby. Witches own nothing, so we're not interested in preserving value or making profits, and as for the choice between one thing and another, when you live for many hundreds of years, you know that every opportunity will come again. We have different needs. You have to repair your balloon and keep it in good condition, and that takes time and trouble, I see that; but for us to fly, all we have to do is tear off a branch of cloud-pine; any will do, and there are plenty more. We don't feel cold, so we need no warm clothes. We have no means of exchange apart from mutual aid. If a witch needs something, another witch will give it to her. If there is a war to be fought, we don't consider cost one of the factors in deciding whether or not it is right to fight. Nor do we have any notion of honor, as bears do, for instance. An insult to a bear is a deadly thing. To us... inconceivable. How could you insult a witch? What would it matter if you did?" "Well, I'm kinda with you on that. Sticks and stones, I'll break yer bones, but names ain't worth a quarrel. But ma'am, you see my dilemma, I hope. I'm a simple aeronaut, and I'd like to end my days in comfort. Buy a little farm, a few head of cattle, some horses...Nothing grand, you notice. No palace or slaves or heaps of gold. Just the evening wind over the sage, and a ceegar, and a glass of bourbon whiskey. Now the trouble is, that costs money. So I do my flying in exchange for cash, and after every job I send some gold back to the Wells Fargo Bank, and when I've got enough, ma'am, I'm gonna sell this balloon and book me a passage on a steamer to Port Galveston, and I'll never leave the ground again." "There's another difference between us, Mr. Scoresby. A witch would no sooner give up flying than give up breathing. To fly is to be perfectly ourselves." "I see that, ma'am, and I envy you; but I ain't got your sources of satisfaction. Flying is just a job to me, and I'm just a technician. I might as well be adjusting valves in a gas engine or wiring up anbaric circuits. But I chose it, you see. It was my own free choice. Which is why I find this notion of a war I ain't been told nothing about kinda troubling." "lorek Byrnison's quarrel with his king is part of it too," said the witch. "This child is destined to play a part in that." "You speak of destiny," he said, "as if it was fixed. And I ain't sure I like that any more than a war I'm enlisted in without knowing about it. Where's my free will, if you please? And this child seems to me to have more free will than anyone I ever met. Are you telling me that she's just some kind of clockwork toy wound up and set going on a course she can't change?" "We are all subject to the fates. But we must all act as if we are not, or die of despair. There is a curious prophecy about this child: she is destined to bring about the end of destiny. But she must do so without knowing what she is doing, as if it were her nature and not her destiny to do it. If she's told what she must do, it will all fail; death will sweep through all the worlds; it will be the triumph of despair, forever. The universes will all become nothing more than interlocking machines, blind and empty of thought, feeling, life...
Philip Pullman (The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, #1))
Even without world wars, revolutions and emigration, siblings growing up in the same home almost never share the same environment. More accurately, brothers and sisters share some environments — usually the less important ones — but they rarely share the one single environment that has the most powerful impact on personality formation. They may live in the same house, eat the same kinds of food, partake in many of the same activities. These are environments of secondary importance. Of all environments, the one that most profoundly shapes the human personality is the invisible one: the emotional atmosphere in which the child lives during the critical early years of brain development. The invisible environment has little to do with parenting philosophies or parenting style. It is a matter of intangibles, foremost among them being the parents’ relationship with each other and their emotional balance as individuals. These, too, can vary significantly from the birth of one child to the arrival of another. Psychological tension in the parents’ lives during the child’s infancy is, I am convinced, a major and universal influence on the subsequent emergence of ADD. A hidden factor of great importance is a parent’s unconscious attitude toward a child: what, or whom, on the deepest level, the child represents for the parents; the degree to which the parents see themselves in the child; the needs parents may have that they subliminally hope the child will meet. For the infant there exists no abstract, “out-there” reality. The emotional milieu with which we surround the child is the world as he experiences it. In the words of the child psychiatrist and researcher Margaret Mahler, for the newborn, the parent is “the principal representative of the world.” To the infant and toddler, the world reveals itself in the image of the parent: in eye contact, intensity of glance, body language, tone of voice and, above all, in the day-today joy or emotional fatigue exhibited in the presence of the child. Whatever a parent’s intention, these are the means by which the child receives his or her most formative communications. Although they will be of paramount importance for development of the child’s personality, these subtle and often unconscious influences will be missed on psychological questionnaires or observations of parents in clinical settings. There is no way to measure a softening or an edge of anxiety in the voice, the warmth of a smile or the depth of furrows on a brow. We have no instruments to gauge the tension in a father’s body as he holds his infant or to record whether a mother’s gaze is clouded by worry or clear with calm anticipation. It may be said that no two children have exactly the same parents, in that the parenting they each receive may vary in highly significant ways. Whatever the hopes, wishes or intentions of the parent, the child does not experience the parent directly: the child experiences the parenting. I have known two siblings to disagree vehemently about their father’s personality during their childhood. Neither has to be wrong if we understand that they did not receive the same fathering, which is what formed their experience of the father. I have even seen subtly but significantly different mothering given to a pair of identical twins.
Gabor Maté (Scattered: How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates and What You Can Do About It)
Corn is what feeds the steer that becomes the steak. Corn feeds the chicken and the pig, the turkey, and the lamb, the catfish and the tilapia and, increasingly, even the salmon, a carnivore by nature that the fish farmers are reengineering to tolerate corn. The eggs are made of corn. The milk and cheese and yogurt, which once came from dairy cows that grazed on grass, now typically comes from Holsteins that spend their working lives indoors tethered to machines, eating corn. Head over to the processed foods and you find ever more intricate manifestations of corn. A chicken nugget, for example, piles up corn upon corn: what chicken it contains consists of corn, of course, but so do most of a nugget's other constituents, including the modified corn starch that glues the things together, the corn flour in the batter that coats it, and the corn oil in which it gets fried. Much less obviously, the leavenings and lecithin, the mono-, di-, and triglycerides, the attractive gold coloring, and even the citric acid that keeps the nugget "fresh" can all be derived from corn. To wash down your chicken nuggets with virtually any soft drink in the supermarket is to have some corn with your corn. Since the 1980s virtually all the sodas and most of the fruit drinks sold in the supermarket have been sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) -- after water, corn sweetener is their principal ingredient. Grab a beer for you beverage instead and you'd still be drinking corn, in the form of alcohol fermented from glucose refined from corn. Read the ingredients on the label of any processed food and, provided you know the chemical names it travels under, corn is what you will find. For modified or unmodified starch, for glucose syrup and maltodextrin, for crystalline fructose and ascorbic acid, for lecithin and dextrose, lactic acid and lysine, for maltose and HFCS, for MSG and polyols, for the caramel color and xanthan gum, read: corn. Corn is in the coffee whitener and Cheez Whiz, the frozen yogurt and TV dinner, the canned fruit and ketchup and candies, the soups and snacks and cake mixes, the frosting and candies, the soups and snacks and cake mixes, the frosting and gravy and frozen waffles, the syrups and hot sauces, the mayonnaise and mustard, the hot dogs and the bologna, the margarine and shortening, the salad dressings and the relishes and even the vitamins. (Yes, it's in the Twinkie, too.) There are some forty-five thousand items in the average American supermarket and more than a quarter of them now contain corn. This goes for the nonfood items as well: Everything from the toothpaste and cosmetics to the disposable diapers, trash bags, cleansers, charcoal briquettes, matches, and batteries, right down to the shine on the cover of the magazine that catches your eye by the checkout: corn. Even in Produce on a day when there's ostensibly no corn for sale, you'll nevertheless find plenty of corn: in the vegetable wax that gives the cucumbers their sheen, in the pesticide responsible for the produce's perfection, even in the coating on the cardboard it was shipped in. Indeed, the supermarket itself -- the wallboard and joint compound, the linoleum and fiberglass and adhesives out of which the building itself has been built -- is in no small measure a manifestation of corn.
Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals)
Whether this propensity be one of those original principles in human nature of which no further account can be given; or whether, as seems more probable, it be the necessary consequence of the faculties of reason and speech, it belongs not to our present subject to inquire. It is common to all men, and to be found in no other race of animals, which seem to know neither this nor any other species of contracts. Two greyhounds, in running down the same hare, have sometimes the appearance of acting in some sort of concert. Each turns her towards his companion, or endeavours to intercept her when his companion turns her towards himself. This, however, is not the effect of any contract, but of the accidental concurrence of their passions in the same object at that particular time. Nobody ever saw a dog make a fair and deliberate exchange of one bone for another with another dog. Nobody ever saw one animal by its gestures and natural cries signify to another, this is mine, that yours; I am willing to give this for that. When an animal wants to obtain something either of a man or of another animal, it has no other means of persuasion but to gain the favour of those whose service it requires. A puppy fawns upon its dam, and a spaniel endeavours by a thousand attractions to engage the attention of its master who is at dinner, when it wants to be fed by him. Man sometimes uses the same arts with his brethren, and when he has no other means of engaging them to act according to his inclinations, endeavours by every servile and fawning attention to obtain their good will. He has not time, however, to do this upon every occasion. In civilised society he stands at all times in need of the cooperation and assistance of great multitudes, while his whole life is scarce sufficient to gain the friendship of a few persons. In almost every other race of animals each individual, when it is grown up to maturity, is entirely independent, and in its natural state has occasion for the assistance of no other living creature. But man has almost constant occasion for the help of his brethren, and it is in vain for him to expect it from their benevolence only. He will be more likely to prevail if he can interest their self-love in his favour, and show them that it is for their own advantage to do for him what he requires of them. Whoever offers to another a bargain of any kind, proposes to do this. Give me that which I want, and you shall have this which you want, is the meaning of every such offer; and it is in this manner that we obtain from one another the far greater part of those good offices which we stand in need of. It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages. Nobody but a beggar chooses to depend chiefly upon the benevolence of his fellow-citizens. Even a beggar does not depend upon it entirely. The charity of well-disposed people, indeed, supplies him with the whole fund of his subsistence. But though this principle ultimately provides him with all the necessaries of life which he has occasion for, it neither does nor can provide him with them as he has occasion for them. The greater part of his occasional wants are supplied in the same manner as those of other people, by treaty, by barter, and by purchase. With the money which one man gives him he purchases food. The old clothes which another bestows upon him he exchanges for other old clothes which suit him better, or for lodging, or for food, or for money, with which he can buy either food, clothes, or lodging, as he has occasion.
Adam Smith (The Wealth of Nations)