You Got Served Quotes

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You've got to learn to leave the table When love's no longer being served".
Nina Simone
I can give her no greater power than she has already, said the woman; don't you see how strong that is? How men and animals are obliged to serve her, and how well she has got through the world, barefooted as she is. She cannot receive any power from me greater than she now has, which consists in her own purity and innocence of heart. If she cannot herself obtain access to the Snow Queen, and remove the glass fragments from little Kay, we can do nothing to help her.
Hans Christian Andersen (The Snow Queen (Everyman's Library Children's Classics Series))
In 2002, having spent more than three years in one residence for the first time in my life, I got called for jury duty. I show up on time, ready to serve. When we get to the voir dire, the lawyer says to me, “I see you’re an astrophysicist. What’s that?” I answer, “Astrophysics is the laws of physics, applied to the universe—the Big Bang, black holes, that sort of thing.” Then he asks, “What do you teach at Princeton?” and I say, “I teach a class on the evaluation of evidence and the relative unreliability of eyewitness testimony.” Five minutes later, I’m on the street. A few years later, jury duty again. The judge states that the defendant is charged with possession of 1,700 milligrams of cocaine. It was found on his body, he was arrested, and he is now on trial. This time, after the Q&A is over, the judge asks us whether there are any questions we’d like to ask the court, and I say, “Yes, Your Honor. Why did you say he was in possession of 1,700 milligrams of cocaine? That equals 1.7 grams. The ‘thousand’ cancels with the ‘milli-’ and you get 1.7 grams, which is less than the weight of a dime.” Again I’m out on the street.
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier)
Shivers heaved out a sigh. “Just trying to make tomorrow that bit better than today is all. I’m one of those … you’ve got a word for it, don’t you?” “Idiots?” He looked sideways at her. “It was a different one I had in mind.” “Optimists.” “That’s the one. I’m an optimist.” “How’s it working out for you?” “Not great, but I keep hoping.” “That’s optimists. You bastards never learn.
Joe Abercrombie (Best Served Cold)
You people always hold onto old identities, old faces and masks, long after they've served their purpose. But you've got to learn to throw things away eventually.
Neil Gaiman (The Sandman, Vol. 3: Dream Country)
When God has a plan for your life, I don’t care how much you murmur and complain and kick and fuss and scream and yell. When you know that God has a plan for your life, He got you tied up… I serve a God who will tie you up when you’re acting crazy, tie you up, while you’re trying to do your own thing, tie you up while your temper is raging, tie you up, when your ambition is out of control. Sometimes, God will tie you up til the time is right. Nothing will work, your money won’t work, your career won’t work, the boyfriend will leave, the house will sell, cause when God has you tied up, He’s not gonna let you get away. He’ll say, Be still and see the salvation of the Lord.
T.D. Jakes
J.D. scoffed at this. “Please—as if I’m worried about anything Payton has to say. What’s she going to do, give me another one of her little pissed-off hair flips?” He flung imaginary long hair off his shoulders, exaggerating. “I’ll tell you, one of these days I’m going to grab her by that hair and . . .” He gestured as if throttling someone. Without breaking stride, he returned Tyler’s serve. The two smashed a few back and forth, concentrating on the game when— Is violence always part of your sexual fantasies?” Tyler interjected. J.D. whipped around— Sexual—?” —and got hit smack in the face with the squash ball. He toppled back and sprawled ungracefully across the court. Tyler stepped over and twirled his racquet. “This is nice. We should talk like this more often.
Julie James (Practice Makes Perfect)
My favorite random email I got was from some guy who wrote: "Mr. Max, with the hope of a six year old on the night before Christmas asking about Santa, I ask the same question: Do you really exist?
Tucker Max (I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell (Tucker Max, #1))
It was what you gave out that made a man, not what you got back.
Joe Abercrombie (Best Served Cold)
I don't wanna be def. Death. Dead. This Burger Twin nappykin just got served as my will, BEOTCH! The fries here suck, by the way. If I die, don't feed my son your shitty fries. Don't give my son to the creepy child molester king you put in your commercials either. What the fuck is wrong with that guy? He's got a normal body and a plastic face that is always smiley. It's not right, man. It's just not right. My ears feel funny.
Tara Sivec (Seduction and Snacks (Chocolate Lovers, #1))
You ever have the feeling you were in the wrong place? That if you could just get over the next hill, cross the next river, look down into the next valley, it'd all...fit. Be right." "All my life, more of less" “All your life spent getting ready for the next thing. I climbed a lot of hills now. I crossed a lot of rivers. Crossed the sea even, left everything I knew and came to Styria. But there I was, waiting for me at the docks when I got off the boat, same man, same life. Next valley ain’t no different from this one. No better anyway. Reckon I’ve learned … just to stick in the place I’m at. Just to be the man I am.
Joe Abercrombie (Best Served Cold)
It’s the chemicals in our brains, they say. I got the wrong chemicals, Ma. Or rather, I don’t get enough of one or the other. They have a pill for it. They have an industry. They make millions. Did you know people get rich off of sadness? I want to meet the millionaire of American sadness. I want to look him in the eye, shake his hand, and say, “it’s been an honor to serve my country.” The thing is, I don’t want my sadness to be othered from me just as I don’t want my happiness to be othered. They’re both mine. I made them, dammit. What if the elation I feel is not another “bipolar episode” but something I fought hard for? Maybe I jump up and down and kiss you too hard on the neck when I learn, upon coming home, that it’s pizza night because sometimes pizza night is more than enough, is my most faithful and feeble beacon. What if I’m running outside because the moon tonight is children’s-book huge and ridiculous over the pines, the sight of it a strange sphere of medicine? It’s like when all you’ve been seeing before you is a cliff and then this bright bridge appears out of nowhere, and you run fast across it knowing, sooner or later, there’ll be another cliff on the other side. What if my sadness is actually my most brutal teacher? And the lesson is always this: you don’t have to be like the buffaloes. You can stop.
Ocean Vuong (On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous)
Of course, I must say that I don't think America is God's gift to anybody--if it is, God's days have got to be numbered. That God these people say they serve--and do serve, in ways that they don't know--has got a very nasty sense of humor. Like you'd beat the shit out of Him, if He was a man. Or: if you were.
James Baldwin (If Beale Street Could Talk)
I think the tingles are important. They are real, and I am in favor of their survival. But they are not the basis for a satisfactory marriage. I am not suggesting that on should marry without the tingles. Those warm, excited feelings, the chill bumps, that sense of acceptance, the excitement of the touch that make up the tingles serve as the cherry on top of the sundae. But you cannot have a sundae with only the cherry.
Gary Chapman (Things I Wish I'd Known Before We Got Married)
I couldn't think of anything other than her and the components of her. For example, her red hair. But was I so primitive I let myself be bewitched by hair? I mean, really. Hair! It's just hair! Everyone has it! She puts it up, she lets it down. So what? And why did all the other parts of her have me wheezing with delight? I mean, who hasn't got a back, or a belly, or armpits? This whole finicky obsession serves to humiliate me even as I write it, sure, but I suppose it isn't that abnormal. That's what first love is all about. What happens is you meet a love object and immediately a hole inside you starts aching, the hole that is always there but you don't notice until someone comes along, plugs it up, and then runs away with the plug.
Steve Toltz (A Fraction of the Whole)
In life they're not going to serve you lemons, they're going to serve you lemonade; and I don't really like lemonade because I've got a really bad acid reflux.
Felicia Day
If you grew up in a house where you weren't loved, you didn't know there was an alternative. If you grew up with emotionally stunted parents, who were unhappy in their marriage and prone to visit that unhappiness on their children, you didn't know they were doing this. It was just your life. If you had an accident, at the age of four, when you were supposed to be a big boy, and were later served a plate of feces at the dinner table - if you were told to eat it because you liked it, didn't you, you must like it or you wouldn't have so many accidents - you didn't know that this wasn't happening in the other houses in your neighborhood. If your father left your family, and disappeared, never to return, and your mother seemed to resent you, as you grew older, for being the same sex as your father, you had no one to turn to. In all these cases, the damage was done before you knew you were damaged. The worst part was that, as the years passed, these memories became, in the way you kept them in a secret box in your head, taking them out every so often to turn them over and over, something like dear possessions. They were the key to your unhappiness. The were the evidence that life wasn't fair. If you weren't a lucky child, you didn't know you weren't lucky until you got older. And then it was all you ever thought about.
Jeffrey Eugenides (The Marriage Plot)
The say addiction might be linked to bipolar disorder. It's the chemicals in our brains, they say. I got the wrong chemicals, Ma. Or rather, I don't get enough of one or the other. They have a pill for it. They have an industry. They make millions. Did you know people get rich off of sadness? I want to meet the millionaire of American sadness. I want to look him in the eye, shake his hand, and say, 'it's been an honor to serve my country.
Ocean Vuong (On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous)
Cole!" Cassandra smacked him on the shoulder. "Wha-?" When he opened his mouth all you could see was half-chewed goo. "How old are you?" I demanded. I threw shrimp at him and it got stuck in his tangle of wig hair. Bergman fished it out, wiped it off, and put it back on the serving dish. "Now, thats disgusting," said Cassandra. "Children!" Vayl's voice boomed in our ears, loud and sudden enough to make us all jump guiltily. "I trust you are all preforming actual work right now." "Chill out, Vayl," I replied. "Bergman is just conducting and experiment to see how vampires respond to ingesting brown hair dye." "That makes me curious, Vayl," said Cole in a sticky, goodie-between-the-gums voice that reminded me of Winnie the Pooh after a major honey binge. "Have you ever colored your hair? You know blonds have more fun." "Not when they are in the hospital.
Jennifer Rardin (Another One Bites the Dust (Jaz Parks, #2))
Damen said, "If you tell him, I can't serve him." "Tell him?" said Jord. "Tell him the man he trusts has lied, and lied again, has deceived him into the worst humiliation?" "I wouldn't hurt him," said Damen, and heard the words drop like lead. "You killed his brother, then got him under you in bed.
C.S. Pacat (Captive Prince: Volume Two (Captive Prince, #2))
Monza never had understood why getting out a tit or two made for a better painting. But painters seemed to think it did, so tits is what you got.
Joe Abercrombie (Best Served Cold)
I have discovered there are only a handful of good ideas in the whole world. You already know them. You have heard them your entire life. Here are some of the main keys to being more successful: Take personal responsibility. Things change, so be flexible. Work smart and work hard. Serve others well. Be nice to others. Be optimistic. Have goals; want something big for yourself. Stay focused. Keep learning. Become excellent at what you do. Trust your gut. When in doubt, take action. Earn all you can. Save all you can. Give all you can. Enjoy all you've got. Above all keep it simple.
Larry Winget (It's Called Work for a Reason!: Your Success Is Your Own Damn Fault)
You know that jersey you’ve got with my last name on it? When you see it hanging there in your closet, let it serve as a reminder to you, that soon enough, it’ll be her last name too.
Liz Tomforde (The Right Move (Windy City, #2))
She wants your secrets. She wants your soul. You've got to crack yourself open and find that broken, shameful piece of your heart that you'd hide from the world and God Himself if you could manage it. And then serve it up to her on a platter.
Tessa Dare (When a Scot Ties the Knot (Castles Ever After, #3))
You should never let your picture be in a magazine or newspaper if you can help it, as you never know what ends your face may be made to serve, by others, once it has got out of your control.
Margaret Atwood (Alias Grace)
So it hadn’t been wrong or dishonest of her to say no this morning, when he asked if she hated him, any more than it had been wrong or dishonest to serve him the elaborate breakfast and to show the elaborate interest in his work, and to kiss him goodbye. The kiss, for that matter, had been exactly right—a perfectly fair, friendly kiss, a kiss for a boy you’d just met at a party, a boy who’d danced with you and made you laugh and walked you home afterwards, talking about himself all the way. The only real mistake, the only wrong and dishonest thing, was ever to have seen him as anything more than that. Oh, for a month or two, just for fun, it might be all right to play a game like that with a boy; but all these years! And all because, in a sentimentally lonely time long ago, she had found it easy and agreeable to believe whatever this one particular boy felt like saying, and to repay him for that pleasure by telling easy, agreeable lies of her own, until each was saying what the other most wanted to hear—until he was saying “I love you” and she was saying “Really, I mean it; you’re the most interesting person I’ve ever met.” What a subtle, treacherous thing it was to let yourself go that way! Because once you’d started it was terribly difficult to stop; soon you were saying “I’m sorry, of course you’re right,” and “Whatever you think is best,” and “You’re the most wonderful and valuable thing in the world,” and the next thing you knew all honesty, all truth, was as far away and glimmering, as hopelessly unattainable as the world of the golden people. Then you discovered you were working at life the way the Laurel Players worked at The Petrified Forest, or the way Steve Kovick worked at his drums—earnest and sloppy and full of pretension and all wrong; you found you were saying yes when you meant no, and “We’ve got to be together on this thing” when you meant the very opposite; then you were breathing gasoline as if it were flowers and abandoning yourself to a delirium of love under the weight of a clumsy, grunting, red-faced man you didn’t even like—Shep Campbell!—and then you were face to face, in total darkness, with the knowledge that you didn’t know who you were. (p.416-7)
Richard Yates (Revolutionary Road)
Modern Romans insisted that there was only one god, a notion that struck Alobar as comically simplistic. Worse, this Semitic deity was reputed to be jealous (what was there to be jealous of if there were no other gods?), vindictive, and altogether foul-tempered. If you didn't serve the nasty fellow, the Romans would burn your house down. If you did serve him, you were called a Christian and got to burn other people's houses down.
Tom Robbins (Jitterbug Perfume)
I got a number of very thoughtful responses to the email I sent out last night, most of which I don’t have time to respond to right now. Thanks everyone for the encouragement, questions, criticism. Daniel’s response was particularly inspiring to me and deserves to be shared. The resistance of Israeli Jewish people to the occupation and the enormous risk taken by those refusing to serve in the Israeli military offers an example, especially for those of us living in the United States, of how to behave when you discover that atrocities are being commited in your name. Thank you.
Rachel Corrie
She sat silently in her rocking chair. Some people are good at talking, but Granny Weatherwax was good at silence. She could sit so quiet and still that she faded. You forgot she was there. The room became empty. Tiffany thought of it as the I’m-not-here spell, if it was a spell. She reasoned that everyone had something inside them that told the world they were there. That was why you could often sense when someone was behind you, even if they were making no sound at all. You were receiving their I-am-here signal. Some people had a very strong one. They were the people who got served first in shops. Granny Weatherwax had an I-am-here signal that bounced off the mountains when she wanted it to; when she walked into a forest, all the wolves and bears ran out the other side. She could turn it off, too. She was doing that now. Tiffany was having to concentrate to see her. Most of her mind was telling her that there was no one there at all.
Terry Pratchett (Wintersmith (Discworld, #35; Tiffany Aching, #3))
Does the Queen also not say ‘thank you’ when a man helps her?” She crosses her arms and lifts her nose, somehow making it feel like she’s looking down at me even though I’m a foot taller. “No, she doesn’t. It’s an honor to serve me, so…you’re welcome.” Well, would you look at that – the Queen’s got balls. Good for her.
Emma Chase (Royally Yours (Royally, #4))
You will go through your life thinking there was a day in second grade that you must have missed, when the grown-ups came in and explained, everything important to other kids. they said, 'Look, you're human, you're going to feel isolated and afraid a lot of the time, nad have bad self-esteem, and feel uniquely ruined, but here is the magic phrase that will take this feeling away. It will be like a feather that will lift you out of that fear and self-consciousness every single time, all through your life.' And then they told the cildren who were there that day the magic phrase that everyone else in the world knows about and uses when feeling blue, which only you don't know, because you were home sick the day the grown-ups told the children the way the whole world works. But there was not such a day in school. No one got the instructions. That is the secret of life. Everyone is flailing around, winging it most of the time, trying to find the way out, or through, or up, without a map. This lack of instruction manual is how most people develop compassion, and how they figure out to show up, care, help and serve, as the only way of filling up and being free. Otherwise you gorw up to be someone who needs to dominate and shame others so no one will know that you weren't there the day the instructions were passed out.
Anne Lamott
I am made of death. I am the Great Leveller. I am the storm in the High Places.” The Bloody-Nine’s voice, but it came from his own throat. The hall was strewn with fallen men and fallen statues, scattered with bits of both. “You.” Shivers pointed his bloody axe at the last of them, cringing at the far end of the dusty hallway. “I see you there, fucker. No one gets away.” He realised he was talking in Northern. The man couldn’t understand a word he said. Hardly mattered, though. He reckoned he got the gist.
Joe Abercrombie (Best Served Cold)
I live for the midnight info-dump. In fact, when I got up this morning I said to my cats, 'You know what's missing in my life? A late-night confessional to curl my toes.
Tilia Klebenov Jacobs (Second Helpings at the Serve You Right Café)
You deserve better." Mercifully, he kept eating as he spoke. "You've got to stop thinking of me that way. When it's just you and me, I'm not a Five and you're not a Six. We're just Aspen and American. And I don't want anything in the world but you." "But I can't stop thinking that way." He looked at me. "That's how I was raised. Since I was little, it was 'Sixes are born to serve' and 'Sixes aren't meant to be seen.' My whole life, I've been taught to be invisible." He grabbed my hand in a viselike grip. "If we're together, Mer, you're going to be invisible, too. And I don't want that for you." "Aspen, we've talked about this. I know that things will be different, and I'm prepared. I don't know how to make it any clearer." I put my hand on his heart. "The moment you're ready to ask, I'm ready to say yes." It was terrifying to put myself out there like that, to make it absolutely clear how deep my affection ran. He knew what I was saying, But if making myself vulnerable meant he'd be brave, I'd endure it. His eyes searched mine. If he was looking for doubt, he was wasting his time. Aspen was the one thing I was sure of.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
Hold it right there. You men from the bank?" "You Wash's boy?" "Yessir and Daddy told me I'm to shoot whoever's from the bank." "Well, we ain't from the bank young feller." "Yessir, I'm also s'posed to shoot folks serving papers." "We ain't got no papers neither." "I nicked the census man." "Now there's a good boy.
Joel Coen (O Brother, Where Art Thou?)
Zeus rolled his eyes. "A dimwitted god, apparently. But yes. With the consensus of the entire Council, I can make you immortal. Then I will have to put up with you forever." "Hmm," Ares mused. "That means I can smash him to a pulp as often as I want, and he'll just keep coming back for more. I like this idea." "I approve as well," Athena said, though she was looking at Annabeth. I glanced back. Annabeth was trying not to meet my eyes. Her face was pale. I flashed back to two years ago, when I'd thought she was going to take the pledge to Artemis and become a Hunter. I'd been on the edge of a panic attack, thinking that I'd lose her. Now, she looked pretty much the same way. I thought about the Three Fates, and the way I'd seen my life flash by. I could avoid all that. No aging, no death, no body in the grave. I could be a teenager forever, in top condition, powerful, and immortal, serving my father. I could have power and eternal life. Who could refuse that? Then I looked at Annabeth again. I thought about my friends from camp: Charles Beckendorf, Michael Yew, Silena Beauregard, so many others who were now dead. I thought about Ethan Nakamura and Luke. And I knew what to do. "No," I said. The Council was silent. The gods frowned at each other like they must have misheard. "No?" Zeus said. "You are . . . turning down our generous gift?" There was a dangerous edge to his voice, like a thunderstorm about to erupt. "I'm honored and everything," I said. "Don't get me wrong. It's just . . . I've got a lot of life left to live. I'd hate to peak in my sophomore year." The gods were glaring at me, but Annabeth had her hands over her mouth. Her eyes were shining. And that kind of made up for it.
Rick Riordan (The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5))
They say addiction might be linked to bipolar disorder. It’s the chemicals in our brains, they say. I got the wrong chemicals, Ma. Or rather, I don’t get enough of one or the other. They have a pill for it. They have an industry. They make millions. Did you know people get rich off of sadness? I want to meet the millionaire of American sadness. I want to look him in the eye, shake his hand, and say, “It’s been an honor to serve my country.
Ocean Vuong (On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous)
On the second floor was the office in which Houston pounded an ancient typewriter with two fingers, always setting an example of unceasing hard work for his admiring students. They had no hint of the fact that their hard-driving dean had contracted tuberculosis while serving as a GI in France in Word War I. Houstan always seemed vibrant and impassioned in the chase for justice as he tried to expose his students to everything relating to the law that might give them an advantage. . . . "I never worked hard until I got to the Howard Law School and met Charlie Houston," Marshal told me. "I saw this man's dedication, his vision, his willingness to sacrifice, and I told myself, 'You either shape up or ship out.' When you are being challenged by a great human being, you know that you can't ship out." So Houston rescued Marshall and launched him into a career as one of the greatest lawyers in American history.
Carl T. Rowan (Dream Makers, Dream Breakers: The World of Justice Thurgood Marshall)
It’s the chemicals in our brains, they say. I got the wrong chemicals, Ma. Or rather, I don’t get enough of one or the other. They have a pill for it. They have an industry. They make millions. Did you know people get rich off of sadness? I want to meet the millionaire of American sadness. I want to look him in the eye, shake his hand, and say, “It’s been an honor to serve my country.
Ocean Vuong (On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous)
Medicine, as we are practising it, is a luxury trade. We are selling bread at the price of jewels... Let us take the profit, the private economic profit, out of medicine, and purify our profession of rapacious individualism... Let us say to the people not 'How much have you got?' but 'How best can we serve you?
Norman Bethune
With a deliberate shrug, he stepped free of the hold on his shoulder. “Tell me something, boys,” he drawled. “Do you wear that leather to turn each other on? I mean, is it a dick thing with you all?” Butch got slammed so hard against the door that his back teeth rattled. The model shoved his perfect face into Butch’s. “I’d watch your mouth, if I were you.” “Why bother, when you’re keeping an eye on it for me? You gonna kiss me now?” A growl like none Butch had ever heard came out of the guy. “Okay, okay.” The one who seemed the most normal came forward. “Back off, Rhage. Hey, come on. Let’s relax.” It took a minute before the model let go. “That’s right. We’re cool,” Mr. Normal muttered, clapping his buddy on the back before looking at Butch. “Do yourself a favor and shut the hell up.” Butch shrugged. “Blondie’s dying to get his hands on me. I can’t help it.” The guy launched back at Butch, and Mr. Normal rolled his eyes, letting his friend go this time. The fist that came sailing at jaw level snapped Butch’s head to one side. As the pain hit, Butch let his own rage fly. The fear for Beth, the pent-up hatred of these lowlifes, the frustration about his job, all of it came out of him. He tackled the bigger man, taking him down onto the floor. The guy was momentarily surprised, as if he hadn’t expected Butch’s speed or strength, and Butch took advantage of the hesitation. He clocked Blondie in the mouth as payback and then grabbed the guy’s throat. One second later, Butch was flat on his back with the man sitting on his chest like a parked car. The guy took Butch’s face into his hand and squeezed, crunching the features together. It was nearly impossible to breathe, and Butch panted shallowly. “Maybe I’ll find your wife,” the guy said, “and do her a couple of times. How’s that sound?" “Don’t have one.” “Then I’m coming after your girlfriend.” Butch dragged in some air. “Got no woman.” “So if the chicks won’t do you, what makes you think I’d want to?” “Was hoping to piss you off.” “Now why’d you want to do that?” Blondie asked. “If I attacked first”—Butch hauled more breath into his lungs—“your boys wouldn’t have let us fight. Would’ve killed me first. Before I had a chance at you.” Blondie loosened his grip a little and laughed as he stripped Butch of his wallet, keys, and cell phone. “You know, I kind of like this big dummy,” the guy drawled. Someone cleared a throat. Rather officiously. Blondie leaped to his feet, and Butch rolled over, gasping. When he looked up, he was convinced he was hallucinating. Standing in the hall was a little old man dressed in livery. Holding a silver tray. “Pardon me, gentlemen. Dinner will be served in about fifteen minutes.” “Hey, are those the spinach crepes I like so much?” Blondie said, going for the tray. “Yes, Sire.” “Hot damn.” The other men clustered around the butler, taking what he offered. Along with cocktail napkins. Like they didn’t want to drop anything on the floor. What the hell was this? “Might I ask a favor?” the butler said. Mr. Normal nodded with vigor. “Bring out another tray of these and we’ll kill anything you want for you.” Yeah, guess the guy wasn’t really normal. Just relatively so. The butler smiled as if touched. “If you’re going to bloody the human, would you be good enough to do it in the backyard?” “No problem.” Mr. Normal popped another crepe in his mouth. “Damn, Rhage, you’re right. These are awesome.
J.R. Ward (Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1))
Because you’re involved with someone," he said. "It wouldn’t do you any good if I told you that I got out because I wanted to make you my first priority, that I didn’t want to be separated from you any longer. What would it serve if I told you that I’m still in love with you and I would follow you wherever you went?
June Gray (The DISARM Series Boxed Set)
I slammed the water off hard enough to make it clack, got out of the shower, dried, and started getting dressed in a fresh set of secondhand clothes. “Why do you wear those?” asked Lacuna. I jumped, stumbled, and shouted half of a word to a spell, but since I was only halfway done putting on my underwear, I mostly just fell on my naked ass. “Gah!” I said. “Don’t do that!” My miniature captive came to the edge of the dresser and peered down at me. “Don’t ask questions?” “Don’t come in here all quiet and spooky and scare me like that!” “You’re six times my height, and fifty times my weight,” Lacuna said gravely. “And I’ve agreed to be your captive. You don’t have any reason to be afraid.” “Not afraid,” I snapped back. “Startled. It isn’t wise to startle a wizard!” “Why not?” “Because of what could happen!” “Because they might fall down on the floor?” “No!” I snarled. Lacuna frowned and said, “You aren’t very good at answering questions.” I started shoving myself into my clothes. “I’m starting to agree with you.” “So why do you wear those?” I blinked. “Clothes?” “Yes. You don’t need them unless it’s cold or raining.” “You’re wearing clothes.” “I am wearing armor. For when it is raining arrows. Your T-shirt will not stop arrows.” “No, it won’t.” I sighed. Lacuna peered at my shirt. “Aer-O-Smith. Arrowsmith. Does the shirt belong to your weapon dealer?” “No.” “Then why do you wear the shirt of someone else’s weapon dealer?” That was frustrating in so many ways that I could avoid a stroke only by refusing to engage. “Lacuna,” I said, “humans wear clothes. It’s one of the things we do. And as long as you are in my service, I expect you to do it as well.” “Why?” “Because if you don’t, I  .  .  . I  .  .  . might pull your arms out of your sockets.” At that, she frowned. “Why?” “Because I have to maintain discipline, don’t I?” “True,” she said gravely. “But I have no clothes.” I counted to ten mentally. “I’ll  .  .  . find something for you. Until then, no desocketing. Just wear the armor. Fair enough?” Lacuna bowed slightly at the waist. “I understand, my lord.” “Good.” I sighed. I flicked a comb through my wet hair, for all the good it would do, and said, “How do I look?” “Mostly human,” she said. “That’s what I was going for.” “You have a visitor, my lord.” I frowned. “What?” “That is why I came in here. You have a visitor waiting for you.” I stood up, exasperated. “Why didn’t you say so?” Lacuna looked confused. “I did. Just now. You were there.” She frowned thoughtfully. “Perhaps you have brain damage.” “It would not shock me in the least,” I said. “Would you like me to cut open your skull and check, my lord?” she asked. Someone that short should not be that disturbing. “I  .  .  . No. No, but thank you for the offer.” “It is my duty to serve,” Lacuna intoned. My life, Hell’s bells.
Jim Butcher (Cold Days (The Dresden Files, #14))
How did I survive this long without you? I love you, Eliza. It’s all I can feel. I’m made of it. If you’ve got even an ounce of this for me, I’m so damn grateful.
Tessa Bailey (Exposed by Fate (Serve, #2))
How imperious the homicidal madness must have become if they’re willing to pardon—no, forget!—the theft of a can of meat! True, we have got into the habit of admiring colossal bandits, whose opulence is revered by the entire world, yet whose existence, once we stop to examine it, proves to be one long crime repeated ad infinitum, but those same bandits are heaped with glory, honors, and power, their crimes are hallowed by the law of the land, whereas, as far back in history as the eye can see—and history, as you know is my business—everything conspires to show that a venial theft, especially of inglorious foodstuffs, such as bread crusts, ham, or cheese, unfailingly subjects its perpetrator to irreparable opprobrium, the categoric condemnation of the community, major punishment, automatic dishonor, and inexpiable shame, and this for two reasons, first because the perpetrator of such an offense is usually poor, which in itself connotes basic unworthiness, and secondly because his act implies, as it were, a tacit reproach to the community. A poor man’s theft is seen as a malicious attempt at individual redress . . . Where would we be? Note accordingly that in all countries the penalties for petty theft are extrememly severe, not only as a means of defending society, but also as a stern admonition to the unfortunate to know their place, stick to their caste, and behave themselves, joyfully resigned to go on dying of hunger and misery down through the centuries forever and ever . . . Until today, however, petty thieves enjoyed one advantage in the Republic, they were denied the honor of bearing patriotic arms. But that’s all over now, tomorrow I, a theif, will resume my place in the army . . . Such are the orders . . . It has been decided in high places to forgive and forget what they call my momentary madness, and this, listen carefully, in consideration of what they call the honor of my family. What solicitude! I ask you, comrade, is it my family that is going to serve as a strainer and sorting house for mixed French and German bullets? . . . It’ll just be me wont it? And when I’m dead is the honor of my family going to bring me back to life?
Louis-Ferdinand Céline (Journey to the End of the Night)
What is a Gallagher Girl?” Liz asked. She looked nervously down at the papers in her hand even though I knew for a fact she had memorized every word. “When I was eleven I thought I knew the answer to that question. That was when the recruiters came to see me. They showed me brochures and told me they were impressed by my test scores and asked if I was ready to be challenged. And I said yes. Because that was what a Gallagher Girl was to me then, a student at the toughest school in the world.” She took a deep breath and talked on. “What is a Gallagher Girl?” Liz asked again. “When I was thirteen I thought I knew the answer to that question. That was when Dr. Fibs allowed me to start doing my own experiments in the lab. I could go anywhere—make anything. Do anything my mind could dream up. Because I was a Gallagher Girl. And, to me, that meant I was the future.” Liz took another deep breath. “What is a Gallagher Girl?” This time, when Liz asked it, her voice cracked. “When I was seventeen I stood on a dark street in Washington, D.C., and watched one Gallagher Girl literally jump in front of a bullet to save the life of another. I saw a group of women gather around a girl whom they had never met, telling the world that if any harm was to come to their sister, it had to go through them first.” Liz straightened. She no longer had to look down at her paper as she said, “What is a Gallagher Girl? I’m eighteen now, and if I’ve learned anything, it’s that I don’t really know the answer to that question. Maybe she is destined to be our first international graduate and take her rightful place among Her Majesty’s Secret Service with MI6.” I glanced to my right and, call me crazy, but I could have sworn Rebecca Baxter was crying. “Maybe she is someone who chooses to give back, to serve her life protecting others just as someone once protected her.” Macey smirked but didn’t cry. I got the feeling that Macey McHenry might never cry again. “Who knows?” Liz asked. “Maybe she’s an undercover journalist.” I glanced at Tina Walters. “An FBI agent.” Eva Alvarez beamed. “A code breaker.” Kim Lee smiled. “A queen.” I thought of little Amirah and knew somehow that she’d be okay. “Maybe she’s even a college student.” Liz looked right at me. “Or maybe she’s so much more.” Then Liz went quiet for a moment. She too looked up at the place where the mansion used to stand. “You know, there was a time when I thought that the Gallagher Academy was made of stone and wood, Grand Halls and high-tech labs. When I thought it was bulletproof, hack-proof, and…yes…fireproof. And I stand before you today happy for the reminder that none of those things are true. Yes, I really am. Because I know now that a Gallagher Girl is not someone who draws her power from that building. I know now with scientific certainty that it is the other way around.” A hushed awe descended over the already quiet crowd as she said this. Maybe it was the gravity of her words and what they meant, but for me personally, I like to think it was Gilly looking down, smiling at us all. “What is a Gallagher Girl?” Liz asked one final time. “She’s a genius, a scientist, a heroine, a spy. And now we are at the end of our time at school, and the one thing I know for certain is this: A Gallagher Girl is whatever she wants to be.” Thunderous, raucous applause filled the student section. Liz smiled and wiped her eyes. She leaned close to the microphone. “And, most of all, she is my sister.
Ally Carter (United We Spy (Gallagher Girls, #6))
Spare change. Can't imagine how it got there." She tipped her head in reproach. He exhaled, sounding resigned. "It's not what you think." She turned her hand palm-up between them, letting the coin serve as its own accusation. "I think I know a shilling when I see one." "Look again." She looked down at the coin in her gloved palm, where its embossed face stood out in sharp relief against white satin. Light glinted off the surface, revealing the color to be not the expected dull silver, but a coppery hue instead. Oh. A sharp pang of surprise caught her heart. He'd been telling the truth. It wasn't a shilling after all. It was a penny. A bright, newly minted penny. One he'd been keeping tucked in his breast pocket. Right next to his heart. She drew a shaky breath. "Gabriel." His hands went to her shoulders- but it was his low, husky voice that reached out and drew her close. "You know the squalor I was born to. And you know I promised myself I'd never be that barefoot, starving boy again." She nodded. "I have every luxury a man could desire. Hundreds of thousands of pounds in my accounts. I worked like hell to build a fortune, and yet..." His thumb met her cheek with a reverent caress. "Now I'd sell my soul for a Penny.
Tessa Dare (The Wallflower Wager (Girl Meets Duke, #3))
They began to invent humourless, glum jokes of their own and disastrous rumours about the destruction awaiting them at Bologna. Yossarian sidled up drunkenly to Colonel Korn at the officers' club one night to kid with him about the new Lepage gun that the Germans had moved in. 'What Lepage gun?' Colonle Korn inquired with curiousity. 'The new three-hundred-and-forty-four-millimeter Lepage glue gun,' Yossarian answered. 'It glues a whole formation of planes together in mid-air.' Colonel Korn jerked his elbow free from Yossarian's clutching fingers in startled affront. 'Let go of me, you idiot!' he cried out furiously, glaring with vindictive approval as Nately leaped upon Yossarian's back and pulled him away. 'Who is that lunatic anyway?' Colonel Cathcart chortled merrily. 'That's the man you made me give a medal to after Ferrara. You had me promote him to captain, too, remember? It serves you right.' Nately was lighter than Yossarian and had great difficulty maneuvering Yossarian's luching bulk across the room to an unoccupied table. 'Are you crazy?' Nately kept hissing with trepidation. 'That was Colonel Korn. Are you crazy?' Yossarian wanted another drink and promised to leave quietly if Nately bought him one. Then he made Nately bring him two more. When Nately finally coaxed him to the door, Captain Black came stomping in from outside, banging his sloshing shoes down hard on the wood floor and spilling water from his eaves like a high roof. 'Boy, are you bastards in for it!' he announced exuberantly, splashing away from the puddle forming at his feet. 'I just got a call from Colonel Korn. Do you know what they've got waiting for you at Bologna? Ha! Ha! They've got the new Lepage glue gun. It glues a whole formation of planes together in mid-air.' 'My God, it's true!' Yossarian shrieked, and collapsed against Nately in terror.
Joseph Heller (Catch-22)
That bar also delineated the realm of sweat and hourly wage, the working world that college was educating me to leave. Rewards in that realm were few. No one congratulated you for clocking out. Your salary was spare. The Legion served as recompense. So the physical comforts you bouth there—hot boudain sausage and cold beer—had value. You attended the place, by which I mean you not only went there but gave it attention your job didn’t deserve. Pool got shot not as metaphor for some corporate battle, but as itself alone. And the spiritual comforts-friendship, for instance—couldn’t be confused with payback for something you’d accomplished, for in the Legion everybody punched the same clock, drew the same wage, won the same prize.
Mary Karr (The Liars' Club)
And What Good Will Your Vanity Be When The Rapture Comes” says the man with a cart of empty bottles at the corner of church and lincoln while I stare into my phone and I say I know oh I know while trying to find the specific filter that will make the sun’s near-flawless descent look the way I might describe it in a poem and the man says the moment is already right in front of you and I say I know but everyone I love is not here and I mean here like on this street corner with me while I turn the sky a darker shade of red on my phone and I mean here like everyone I love who I can still touch and not pass my fingers through like the wind in a dream but I look up at the man and he is a kaleidoscope of shadows I mean his shadows have shadows and they are small and trailing behind him and I know then that everyone he loves is also not here and the man doesn’t ask but I still say hey man I’ve got nothing I’ve got nothing even though I have plenty to go home to and the sun is still hot even in its endless flirt with submission and the man’s palm has a small river inside I mean he has taken my hand now and here we are tethered and unmoving and the man says what color are you making the sky and I say what I might say in a poem I say all surrender ends in blood and he says what color are you making the sky and I say something bright enough to make people wish they were here and he squints towards the dancing shrapnel of dying light along a rooftop and he says I love things only as they are and I’m sure I did once too but I can’t prove it to anyone these days and he says the end isn’t always about what dies and I know I know or I knew once and now I write about beautiful things like I will never touch a beautiful thing again and the man looks me in the eyes and he points to the blue-orange vault over heaven’s gates and he says the face of everyone you miss is up there and I know I know I can’t see them but I know and he turns my face to the horizon and he says we don’t have much time left and I get that he means the time before the sun is finally through with its daily work or I think I get that but I still can’t stop trembling and I close my eyes and I am sobbing on the corner of church and lincoln and when I open my eyes the sun is plucking everyone who has chosen to love me from the clouds and carrying them into the light-drunk horizon and I am seeing this and I know I am seeing this the girl who kissed me as a boy in the dairy aisle of meijer while our parents shopped and the older boy on the basketball team who taught me how to make a good fist and swing it into the jaw of a bully and the friends who crawled to my porch in the summer of any year I have been alive they were all there I saw their faces and it was like I was given the eyes of a newborn again and once you know what it is to be lonely it is hard to unsee that which serves as a reminder that you were not always empty and I am gasping into the now-dark air and I pull my shirt up to wipe whatever tears are left and I see the man walking in the other direction and I chase him down and tap his arm and I say did you see it did you see it like I did and he turns and leans into the glow of a streetlamp and he is anchored by a single shadow now and he sneers and he says have we met and he scoffs and pushes his cart off into the night and I can hear the glass rattling even as I watch him become small and vanish and I look down at my phone and the sky on the screen is still blood red.
Hanif Abdurraqib
Southern Cheap is, I’m gonna eat stale cookies while I serve you these fresh, warm buttered biscuits. Yankee Cheap is, I’ve got ten million dollars in the bank but I’m gonna cut off the thermostat during a blizzard and here’s my great-great-grandpa’s mothballed coat from the War of 1812 if you don’t have the character and fortitude to generate your own body heat.
Karin Slaughter (Girl, Forgotten (Andrea Oliver, #2))
You grew older today, but did you age as well? If you drank a few cups of green tea, had five servings of fruits and vegetables, exercised for at least 30 minutes at your target heart rate, took nutritional supplements optimized for your age and health situation, spent quality time with close friends and loved ones, consumed a glass of red wine, had a romantic (and sensual!) time with your spouse or significant other, and got 8 hours of quality sleep, then you probably aged very little if at all.
Ray Kurzweil (Transcend: Nine Steps to Living Well Forever)
I've heard youngsters use some of George Lucas' terms––"the Force and "the dark side." So it must be hitting somewhere. It's a good sound teaching, I would say. The fact that the evil power is not identified with any specific nation on this earth means you've got an abstract power, which represents a principle, not a specific historical situation. The story has to do with an operation of principles, not of this nation against that. The monster masks that are put on people in Star Wars represent the real monster force in the modern world. When the mask of Darth Vader is removed, you see an unformed man, one who has not developed as a human individual. What you see is a strange and pitiful sort of undifferentiated face. Darth Vader has not developed his humanity. He's a robot. He's a bureaucrat, living not in terms of himself but of an imposed system. This is the threat to our lives that we all face today. Is the system going to flatten you out and deny you your humanity, or are you going to be able to make use of the system to the attainment of human purposes? How do you relate to the system so that you are not compulsively serving it? . . . The thing to do is to learn to live in your period of history as a human being ...[b]y holding to your own ideals for yourself and, like Luke Skywalker, rejecting the system's impersonal claims upon you. Well, you see, that movie communicates. It is in a language that talks to young people, and that's what counts. It asks, Are you going to be a person of heart and humanity––because that's where the life is, from the heart––or are you going to do whatever seems to be required of you by what might be called "intentional power"? When Ben Knobi says, "May the Force be with you," he's speaking of the power and energy of life, not of programmed political intentions. ... [O]f course the Force moves from within. But the Force of the Empire is based on an intention to overcome and master. Star Wars is not a simple morality play. It has to do with the powers of life as they are either fulfilled or broken and suppressed through the action of man.
Joseph Campbell (The Power of Myth)
(Danni) “I was kinda busy on the way back, too,” she admitted, her face reddening. Tommy frowned. “I thought you said Dillon was passed out?” “He was, but Derek wasn’t.” She grimaced. “I guess he got a little hot and bothered by the action in the back seat and wanted a little for himself.” “Chrissakes,” exploded Ray. “Did anyone not get blown on this trip?” Danni’s gaze came up then, her eyes glinting with tears and suppressed anger. “Yeah. Those of us without dicks.
Norah Wilson (Protecting Paige (Serve and Protect, #3))
I had come to New York when I was seventeen because—and maybe I was not fully conscious of this then—the city had seemed like a great place to discover who you are. It just seemed that there was a lot to experience here, as if all you had to do was show up and the city would take care of the rest, making sure you got the education, the maturing, the wising-up you needed. Its crowds, the noise, the endlessness of it all, the perpetual motion, felt exciting then—revealing—just the deep end I needed to jump into. There is something unique about New York, some quality, some matchless, pertinent combination of promise and despair, wizardry and counterfeit, abundance and depletion, that stimulates and allows for a reckoning to occur—maybe even forces it. The city pulls back the curtain on who you are; it tests you and shows you what you are made of in a way that has become iconic in our popular culture, and with good reason. In thirteen years, the city has kicked my ass and made me strong and served me well.
Rayhane Sanders (Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York)
When you got right down to it, my dick was the one organ that hadn’t presented itself to my consciousness through pain, only pleasure. Modest but robust, it had always served me faithfully. Or, you could argue, I had served it – if so, its yoke had been easy. It never gave me orders. It sometimes encouraged me to get out more, but it encouraged me humbly, without bitterness or anger. This past evening, I knew, it had interceded on Myriam’s behalf. It had always enjoyed good relations with Myriam, Myriam had always treated it with affection and respect, and this had given me an enormous amount of pleasure. And sources of pleasure were hard to come by. In the end, my dick was all I had.
Michel Houellebecq (Soumission)
DEE DEE RAMONE: Sid Vicious followed me all over the place...the worst time was one night when we had a big party...They were serving beer and wine, and everybody was bombed. The whole bathroom was filled with puke -- in the sink, in the toilets, on the floor. It was really disgusting...All of a sudden I had a huge amount of speed in my hand. I started sniffing it like crazy. I was so high. And then I saw Sid and he said, 'Do you have anything to get high?' I said, 'Yeah, I got some speed'. So Sid pulled out a set of works and put a whole bunch of speed in the syringe and then stuck the needle in the toilet with all the puke and piss in there and loaded it. He didn't cook it up. He just shook it, stuck it in his arm, and got off. I just looked at him. I'd seen it all by then. He just looked at me kind of dazed and said, 'Man, where did you get this stuff?'.
Legs McNeil (Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk)
What sort of God do we serve? Certainly not one who can be tamed or boxed or fully understood. Don't get me wrong: I'm all for precise theology and sound doctrine. Squishy, undefined theology is a breeding ground for heresy. But if we're not careful, the regular handling of sacred truths can slowly diminish our capacity for awe and make us think we've got our minds around God.
Stephen Altrogge (Untamable God: Encountering the One Who Is Bigger, Better, and More Dangerous Than You Could Possibly Imagine)
I reached the privy and emptied the slop pail, and so forth. And so forth, Grace? asks Dr.Jordan. I look at him. Really if he does not know what you do in a privy there is no hope for him. What I did was, I hoisted my skirts and sat down above the buzzing flies, on the same seat everyone in the house sat on, lady or lady's maid, they both piss and it smells the same, and not like lilac neither, as Mary Whitney used to say. What was in there for wiping was an old copy of the Godey's Ladies' Book; I always looked at the pictures before using them. Most were of the latest fashions, but some were of duchesses from England and high-society ladies in New York and the like. You should never let your picture be in a magazine or newspaper if you can help it, as you never know what ends your face may be made to serve, by others, once it has got out of your control. But I do not say any of this to Dr. Jordan. And so forth, I say firmly, because And so forth is all he is entitled to. Just because he pesters me to know everything is no reason for me to tell him.
Margaret Atwood (Alias Grace)
A child is born with no state of mind Blind to the ways of mankind God is smilin' on you but he's frownin' too Because only God knows what you'll go through You'll grow in the ghetto livin' second-rate And your eyes will sing a song called deep hate The places you play and where you stay Looks like one great big alleyway You'll admire all the number-book takers Thugs, pimps and pushers and the big money-makers Drivin' big cars, spendin' twenties and tens And you'll wanna grow up to be just like them, huh Smugglers, scramblers, burglars, gamblers Pickpocket peddlers, even panhandlers You say I'm cool, huh, I'm no fool But then you wind up droppin' outta high school Now you're unemployed, all non-void Walkin' round like you're Pretty Boy Floyd Turned stick-up kid, but look what you done did Got sent up for a eight-year bid Now your manhood is took and you're a Maytag Spend the next two years as a undercover fag Bein' used and abused to serve like hell 'til one day, you was found hung dead in the cell It was plain to see that your life was lost You was cold and your body swung back and forth But now your eyes sing the sad, sad song Of how you lived so fast and died so young
Grandmaster Flash
And we were in our thirties. Well into the Age of Boredom, when nothing is new. Now, I’m not being self-pitying; it’s simply true. Newness, or whatever you want to call it, becomes a very scarce commodity after thirty. I think that’s unfair. If I were in charge of the human life span, I’d make sure to budget newness much more selectively, to ration it out. As it is now, it’s almost used up in the first three years of life. By then you’ve seen for the first time, tasted for the first time, held something for the first time. Learned to walk, talk, go to the bathroom. What have you got to look forward to that can compare with that? Sure, there’s school. Making friends. Falling in love. Learning to drive. Sex. Learning to trade. That has to carry you for the next twenty-five years. But after that? What’s the new excitement? Mastering your home computer? Figuring out how to work CompuServe? “Now, if it were up to me, I’d parcel out. So that, say, at thirty-five we just learned how to go on the potty. Imagine the feeling of accomplishment! They’d have office parties. "Did you hear? The vice president in charge of overseas development just went a whole week without his diaper. We’re buying him a gift." It’d be beautiful.
Phoef Sutton (Fifteen Minutes to Live)
Shivers had some pride still, and this prick’s sniggering was starting to grate on it. He’d have liked to just knock him off his cart with an axe. But he was trying to do better, so he leaned over instead and spoke in Northern, nice and careful. ‘I think you’ve got a head full of shit, which is no surprise because your face looks like an arse. You little men are all the same. Always trying to prove how clever y’are so you’ve something to be proud of. But it don’t matter how much you laugh at me, I’ve won already. You’ll never be tall.’ And he grinned right round his face. ‘Seeing across a crowded room will always be a dream to you.’ Morveer frowned. ‘And what is that jabber supposed to mean?’ ‘You’re the fucking scientist. You work it out.
Joe Abercrombie (Best Served Cold (First Law World #4))
They say addiction might be linked to bipolar disorder. It’s the chemicals in our brains, they say. I got the wrong chemicals, Ma. Or rather, I don’t get enough of one or the other. They have a pill for it. They have an industry. They make millions. Did you know people get rich off of sadness? I want to meet the millionaire of American sadness. I want to look him in the eye, shake his hand, and say, “It’s been an honor to serve my country.” The thing is, I don’t want my sadness to be othered from me just as I don’t want my happiness to be othered. They’re both mine. I made them, dammit. What if the elation I feel is not another “bipolar episode” but something I fought hard for? Maybe I jump up and down and kiss you too hard on the neck when I learn, upon coming home, that it’s pizza night because sometimes pizza night is more than enough, is my most faithful and feeble beacon. What if I’m running outside because the moon tonight is children’s-book huge and ridiculous over the line of pines, the sight of it a strange sphere of medicine? It’s like when all you’ve been seeing before you is a cliff and then this bright bridge appears out of nowhere, and you run fast across it knowing, sooner or later, there’ll be yet another cliff on the other side. What if my sadness is actually my most brutal teacher? And the lesson is always this: You don’t have to be like the buffaloes. You can stop. There was a war, the man on TV said, but it’s “lowered” now. Yay, I think, swallowing my pills.
Ocean Vuong (On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous)
I'd hooked on to that one word, pretending. What Dr. Raeburn would never understand was that pretending was what had got me this far. I remembered the morning of my mother's funeral. I'd been given milk to settle my stomach; I'd pretended it was coffee. I imagined I was drinking coffee elsewhere. Some Arabic-speaking country where the thick coffee served in little cups was so strong it could keep you awake for days. Some Arabic country where I'd sit in a tented café and be more than happy to don a veil.
Z.Z. Packer (Drinking Coffee Elsewhere)
It was all a mistake,” he pleaded, standing out of his ship, his wife slumped behind him in the deeps of the hold, like a dead woman. “I came to Mars like any honest enterprising businessman. I took some surplus material from a rocket that crashed and I built me the finest little stand you ever saw right there on that land by the crossroads—you know where it is. You’ve got to admit it’s a good job of building.” Sam laughed, staring around. “And that Martian—I know he was a friend of yours—came. His death was an accident, I assure you. All I wanted to do was have a hot-dog stand, the only one on Mars, the first and most important one. You understand how it is? I was going to serve the best darned hot dogs there, with chili and onions and orange juice.” The
Ray Bradbury (The Martian Chronicles)
The Government set the stage economically by informing everyone that we were in a depression period, with very pointed allusions to the 1930s. The period just prior to our last 'good' war. ... Boiled down, our objective was to make killing and military life seem like adventurous fun, so for our inspiration we went back to the Thirties as well. It was pure serendipity. Inside one of the Scripter offices there was an old copy of Doc Smith's first LENSMAN space opera. It turned out that audiences in the 1970s were more receptive to the sort of things they scoffed at as juvenilia in the 1930s. Our drugs conditioned them to repeat viewings, simultaneously serving the ends of profit and positive reinforcement. The movie we came up with stroked all the correct psychological triggers. The fact that it grossed more money than any film in history at the time proved how on target our approach was.' 'Oh my God... said Jonathan, his mouth stalling the open position. 'Six months afterward we ripped ourselves off and got secondary reinforcement onto television. We pulled a 40 share. The year after that we phased in the video games, experimenting with non-narcotic hypnosis, using electrical pulses, body capacitance, and keying the pleasure centers of the brain with low voltage shocks. Jesus, Jonathan, can you *see* what we've accomplished? In something under half a decade we've programmed an entire generation of warm bodies to go to war for us and love it. They buy what we tell them to buy. Music, movies, whole lifestyles. And they hate who we tell them to. ... It's simple to make our audiences slaver for blood; that past hasn't changed since the days of the Colosseum. We've conditioned a whole population to live on the rim of Apocalypse and love it. They want to kill the enemy, tear his heart out, go to war so their gas bills will go down! They're all primed for just that sort of denouemment, ti satisfy their need for linear storytelling in the fictions that have become their lives! The system perpetuates itself. Our own guinea pigs pay us money to keep the mechanisms grinding away. If you don't believe that, just check out last year's big hit movies... then try to tell me the target demographic audience isn't waiting for marching orders. ("Incident On A Rainy Night In Beverly Hills")
David J. Schow (Seeing Red)
THE COUNCIL WAS NOTHING LIKE Jason imagined. For one thing, it was in the Big House rec room, around a Ping-Pong table, and one of the satyrs was serving nachos and sodas. Somebody had brought Seymour the leopard head in from the living room and hung him on the wall. Every once in a while, a counselor would toss him a Snausage. Jason looked around the room and tried to remember everyone’s name. Thankfully, Leo and Piper were sitting next to him—it was their first meeting as senior counselors. Clarisse, leader of the Ares cabin, had her boots on the table, but nobody seemed to care. Clovis from Hypnos cabin was snoring in the corner while Butch from Iris cabin was seeing how many pencils he could fit in Clovis’s nostrils. Travis Stoll from Hermes was holding a lighter under a Ping-Pong ball to see if it would burn, and Will Solace from Apollo was absently wrapping and unwrapping an Ace bandage around his wrist. The counselor from Hecate cabin, Lou Ellen something-or-other, was playing “got-your-nose” with Miranda Gardiner from Demeter, except that Lou Ellen really had magically disconnected Miranda’s nose, and Miranda was trying to get it back. Jason had hoped Thalia would show. She’d promised, after all—but she was nowhere to be seen. Chiron had told him not to worry about it. Thalia often got sidetracked fighting monsters or running quests for Artemis, and she would probably arrive soon. But still, Jason worried. Rachel Dare, the oracle, sat next to Chiron at the head of the table. She was wearing her Clarion Academy school uniform dress, which seemed a bit odd, but she smiled at Jason. Annabeth didn’t look so relaxed. She wore armor over her camp clothes, with her knife at her side and her blond hair pulled back in a ponytail. As soon as Jason walked in, she fixed him with an expectant look, as if she were trying to extract information out of him by sheer willpower. “Let’s come to order,” Chiron said. “Lou Ellen, please give Miranda her nose back. Travis, if you’d kindly extinguish the flaming Ping-Pong ball, and Butch, I think twenty pencils is really too many for any human nostril. Thank you. Now, as you can see, Jason, Piper, and Leo have returned successfully…more or less. Some of you have heard parts of their story, but I will let them fill you in.” Everyone looked at Jason. He cleared his throat and began the story. Piper and Leo chimed in from time to time, filling in the details he forgot. It only took a few minutes, but it seemed like longer with everyone watching him. The silence was heavy, and for so many ADHD demigods to sit still listening for that long, Jason knew the story must have sounded pretty wild. He ended with Hera’s visit right before the meeting.
Rick Riordan (The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, #1))
As I lay there, trying to swallow a loud, obnoxious yawn, I remembered something he’d said when we first met, about life being too short. I imagined he had firsthand experience with shortened lives while he was serving. That mentality came from experience. I got that now. Could even understand it, but there was something I didn’t understand. “Why?” I asked. There was a beat. “Why what?” Jax sounded tired, and I should shut up or point out that I was now tired and could sleep, so he could leave. But I didn’t. “Why are you here? You don’t know me and . . .” I trailed off, because there really wasn’t anything left to say. A minute went by, and he hadn’t answered my question, and then I think another minute ticked on, and I was okay with him not answering because maybe he didn’t even know. Or maybe he was just bored and that was why he was here. But then he moved. Jax pressed against my back, and the next breath I took got stuck in my throat. My eyes shot open. The sheet and blanket were between us, but they felt like nothing. “What are you doing?” I asked. “Getting comfortable.” He dropped an arm over my waist, and my entire body jerked against his. “It’s time to sleep I think.” “But—” “You can’t sleep when you talk,” he remarked. “You don’t need to be all up on me,” I pointed out. His answering chuckle stirred the hair along the back of my neck. “Honey, I’m not all up on you.” I freaking begged to differ on that point. I started to wiggle away, but the arm around my waist tightened, holding me in place. “You’re not going anywhere,” he announced casually, as if he wasn’t holding me prisoner in the bed. Okay. The whole prisoner thing might be melodramatic, but he wasn’t letting me up. Not when he was getting all kinds of comfy behind me. Oh my God, this was spooning. Total spooning. I was spooning with an honorary member of the Hot Guy Brigade. Did I wake up in a parallel universe? “Sleep,” he demanded, as if the one word carried that much power. “Go to sleep, Calla.” This time his voice was softer, quieter. “Yeah, it doesn’t work that way, Jax. You have a nice voice, but it doesn’t hold the power to make me sleep on your command.” He chuckled. I rolled my eyes, but the most ridiculous thing ever was the fact that after a couple of minutes, my eyes stayed shut. I . . . I actually settled in against him. With his front pressed to my back, his long legs cradling mine, and his arm snug around my waist, I actually did feel safe. More than that, I felt something else—something I hadn’t felt in years. I felt cared for . . . cherished. Which was the epitome of dumb, because I barely knew him, but feeling that, recognizing what the warm, buzzing feeling was, I fell right asleep.
J. Lynn (Stay with Me (Wait for You, #3))
I opened myself up to the kiss and kissed him back with enthusiasm. Putting all my secret emotions and tender feelings into the embrace, I wound my arms around his neck and slid my hands into his hair. Pulling his body that much closer to mine, I embraced him with all the warmth and affection that I wouldn’t allow myself to express verbally. He paused, shocked for a brief instant, and then quickly adjusted his approach, escalating into a passionate frenzy. I shocked myself by matching his energy. I ran my hands up his powerful arms and shoulders and then down his chest. My senses were in turmoil. I felt wild. Eager. I clutched at his shirt. I couldn’t get close enough to him. He even smelled delicious. You’d think that several days of being chased by strange creatures and hiking through a mysterious kingdom would make him smell bad. In fact, I wanted him to smell bad. I’m sure I did. I mean, how can you expect a girl to be fresh as a daisy while traipsing through the jungle and getting chased by monkeys. It’s just not possible. I desperately wanted him to have some fault. Some weakness. Some…imperfection. But Ren smelled amazing-like waterfalls, a warm summer day, and sandalwood trees all wrapped up in a sizzling, hot guy. How could a girl defend herself from a perfect onslaught delivered by a pefect person? I gave up and let Mr. Wonderful take control of my senses. My blood burned, my heart thundered, my need for him quickened, and I lost all track of time in his arms. All I was aware of was Ren. His lips. His body. His soul. I wanted all of him. Eventually, he put his hands on my shoulders and gently separated us. I was surprised that he had the strength of will to stop because I was nowhere near being able to. I blinked my eyes open in a daze. We were both breathing hard. “That was…enlightening,” he breathed. “Thank you, Kelsey.” I blinked. The passion that had dulled my mind dissipated in an instant, and my mind sharply focused on a new feeling. Irritation. “Thank you? Thank you! Of all the-“ I slammed up the steps angrily and then spun around to look down at him. “No! Thank you, Ren!” My hands slashed at the air. “Now you got what you wanted, so leave me alone!” I ran up the stairs quickly to put some distance between us. Enlightening? What was that about? Was he testing me? Giving me a one-to-ten score on my kissing ability? Of all the nerve? I was glad that I was mad. I could shove all the other emotions into the back of my mind and just focus on the anger, the indignation. He leapt up the stairs two at a time. “That’s not all I want, Kelsey. That’s for sure.” “Well, I no longer care about what you want!” He shot me a knowing look and raised an eyebrow. Then, he lifted his foot out of the opening, placed it on the dirt, and instantly changed back into a tiger. I laughed mockingly. “Ha!” I tripped over a stone but quickly found my footing. “Serves you right!” I shouted angrily and stumbled blindly along the dim path. After figuring out where to go, I marched off in a huff. “Come on, Fanindra. Let’s go find Mr. Kadam.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
The bartender is Irish. Jumped a student visa about ten years ago but nothing for him to worry about. The cook, though, is Mexican. Some poor bastard at ten dollars an hour—and probably has to wash the dishes, too. La Migra take notice of his immigration status—they catch sight of his bowl cut on the way home to Queens and he’ll have a problem. He looks different than the Irish and the Canadians—and he’s got Lou Dobbs calling specifically for his head every night on the radio. (You notice, by the way, that you never hear Dobbs wringing his hands over our border to the North. Maybe the “white” in Great White North makes that particular “alien superhighway” more palatable.) The cook at the Irish bar, meanwhile, has the added difficulty of predators waiting by the subway exit for him (and any other Mexican cooks or dishwashers) when he comes home on Friday payday. He’s invariably cashed his check at a check-cashing store; he’s relatively small—and is unlikely to call the cops. The perfect victim. The guy serving my drinks, on the other hand, as most English-speaking illegal aliens, has been smartly gaming the system for years, a time-honored process everybody at the INS is fully familiar with: a couple of continuing education classes now and again (while working off the books) to get those student visas. Extensions. A work visa. A “farm” visa. Weekend across the border and repeat. Articulate, well-connected friends—the type of guys who own, for instance, lots of Irish bars—who can write letters of support lauding your invaluable and “specialized” skills, unavailable from homegrown bartenders. And nobody’s looking anyway. But I digress…
Anthony Bourdain (Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook)
Furthermore, Professor Uzzi-Tuzii had begun his oral translation as if he were not quite sure he could make the words hang together, going back over every sentence to iron out the syntactical creases, manipulating the phrases until they were not completely rumpled, smoothing them, clipping them, stopping at every word to illustrate its idiomatic uses and its commutations, accompanying himself with inclusive gestures as if inviting you to be content with approximate equivalents, breaking off to state grammatical rules, etymological derivations, quoting the classics. but just when you are convinced that for the professor philology and erudition mean more than what the story is telling, you realize the opposite is true: that academic envelope serves only to protect everything the story says and does not say, an inner afflatus always on the verge of being dispersed at contact with the air, the echo of a vanished knowledge revealed in the penumbra and in tacit allusions. Torn between the necessity to interject glosses on multiple meanings of the text and the awareness that all interpretation is a use of violence and caprice against a text, the professor, when faced by the most complicated passages, could find no better way of aiding comprehension than to read them in the original, The pronunciation of that unknown language, deduced from theoretical rules, not transmitted by the hearing of voices with their individual accents, not marked by the traces of use that shapes and transforms, acquired the absoluteness of sounds that expect no reply, like the song of the last bird of an extinct species or the strident roar of a just-invented jet plane that shatters the sky on its first test flight. Then, little by little, something started moving and flowing between the sentences of this distraught recitation,. The prose of the novel had got the better of the uncertainties of the voice; it had become fluent, transparent, continuous; Uzzi-Tuzii swam in it like a fish, accompanying himself with gestures (he held his hands open like flippers), with the movement of his lips (which allowed the words to emerge like little air bubbles), with his gaze (his eyes scoured the page like a fish's eyes scouring the seabed, but also like the eyes of an aquarium visitor as he follows a fish's movement's in an illuminated tank).
Italo Calvino (If on a Winter's Night a Traveler)
Adrian was a man who, in certain respects, could be seen as slightly less than average. He was slightly shorter than the average man. He was slightly thinner than the average man. But his face… There was nothing average about his face. He was gorgeous. Dreamy blue eyes that were so light they were almost translucent and those blue eyes were only further accentuated by his short, dark hair. However, it was not those eyes that got women caught in his talons. No. It was his smile. His smile served as bait to the unsuspecting. It was a Brad Pitt sort of smile—naughty and sexy at the same time. The type of smile that warned you of the heartbreak to come, but left you powerless to protect yourself against its charms.
Jacqueline Francis - The Journal
But you know, the longer you listen to this abortion debate, the more you hear this phrase “sanctity of life”. You’ve heard that. Sanctity of life. You believe in it? Personally, I think it’s a bunch of shit. Well, I mean, life is sacred? Who said so? God? Hey, if you read history, you realize that God is one of the leading causes of death. Has been for thousands of years. Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Christians all taking turns killing each other ‘cause God told them it was a good idea. The sword of God, the blood of the land, vengeance is mine. Millions of dead motherfuckers. Millions of dead motherfuckers all because they gave the wrong answer to the God question. “You believe in God?” “No.” Boom. Dead. “You believe in God?” “Yes.” “You believe in my God? “No.” Boom. Dead. “My God has a bigger dick than your God!” Thousands of years. Thousands of years, and all the best wars, too. The bloodiest, most brutal wars fought, all based on religious hatred. Which is fine with me. Hey, any time a bunch of holy people want to kill each other I’m a happy guy. But don’t be giving me all this shit about the sanctity of life. I mean, even if there were such a thing, I don’t think it’s something you can blame on God. No, you know where the sanctity of life came from? We made it up. You know why? ‘Cause we’re alive. Self-interest. Living people have a strong interest in promoting the idea that somehow life is sacred. You don’t see Abbott and Costello running around, talking about this shit, do you? We’re not hearing a whole lot from Mussolini on the subject. What’s the latest from JFK? Not a goddamn thing. ‘Cause JFK, Mussolini and Abbott and Costello are fucking dead. They’re fucking dead. And dead people give less than a shit about the sanctity of life. Only living people care about it so the whole thing grows out of a completely biased point of view. It’s a self serving, man-made bullshit story. It’s one of these things we tell ourselves so we’ll feel noble. Life is sacred. Makes you feel noble. Well let me ask you this: if everything that ever lived is dead, and everything alive is gonna die, where does the sacred part come in? I’m having trouble with that. ‘Cuz, I mean, even with all this stuff we preach about the sanctity of life, we don’t practice it. We don’t practice it. Look at what we’d kill: Mosquitoes and flies. ‘Cause they’re pests. Lions and tigers. ‘Cause it’s fun! Chickens and pigs. ‘Cause we’re hungry. Pheasants and quails. ‘Cause it’s fun. And we’re hungry. And people. We kill people… ‘Cause they’re pests. And it’s fun! And you might have noticed something else. The sanctity of life doesn’t seem to apply to cancer cells, does it? You rarely see a bumper sticker that says “Save the tumors.”. Or “I brake for advanced melanoma.”. No, viruses, mold, mildew, maggots, fungus, weeds, E. Coli bacteria, the crabs. Nothing sacred about those things. So at best the sanctity of life is kind of a selective thing. We get to choose which forms of life we feel are sacred, and we get to kill the rest. Pretty neat deal, huh? You know how we got it? We made the whole fucking thing up! Made it up!
George Carlin (More Napalm and Silly Putty)
Damen said, ‘You haven’t told him.’ ‘You don’t even deny it?’ said Jord. A harsh laugh, when Damen was silent. ‘You hated us so much, all this time? It wasn’t enough to invade, to take our land? You had to play this—sick game as well?’ Damen said, ‘If you tell him, I can’t serve him.’ ‘Tell him?’ said Jord. ‘Tell him the man he trusts has lied, and lied again, has deceived him into the worst humiliation?’ ‘I wouldn’t hurt him,’ said Damen, and heard the words drop like lead. ‘You killed his brother, then got him under you in bed.’ Put like that, it was monstrous. It’s not that way between us, he ought to have said, and didn’t, couldn’t. He felt hot, then cold. He thought of Laurent’s delicate, needling talk that froze into icy rebuff if Damen pushed at it, but if he didn’t—if he matched himself to its subtle pulses and undercurrents—continued, sweetly deepening, until he could only wonder if he knew, if they both knew, what they were doing. ‘I’m going to leave,’ he said. ‘I was always going to leave. I stayed only because—’ ‘That’s right, you’ll leave. I won’t allow you to wreck us. You’ll command us to Ravenel, you’ll say nothing to him, and when the fort is won, you’ll get on a horse and go. He’ll mourn your loss, and never know.’ It was what he had planned. It was what, from the beginning, he had planned. In his chest, the beats of his heart were like sword thrusts. ‘In the morning,’ said Damen. ‘I’ll give him the fort, and leave him in the morning. It’s what I promised.’ ‘You’re gone by the time the sun hits the middle of the sky, or I tell him,’ said Jord. ‘And what he did to you in the palace will seem like a lover’s kiss compared with what will happen to you then.’ Jord was loyal. Damen had always liked that about him, the steadfast nature that reminded him of home. Strewn around them was the end of the battle, victory marked by silence and churned grass. ‘He’ll know,’ Damen heard himself say. ‘When word of my return to Akielos reaches him. He’ll know. I wish you would tell him then that I—’ ‘You fill me with horror,’ said Jord. His hands were tight on his knife. Both his hands, now. ‘Captain,
C.S. Pacat (Captive Prince: Volume Two (Captive Prince, #2))
And it is then, when The Cause, with its greedy mouth, tries to take more from you, tries to take that part of you that you cannot give away, it is only then that you realize all of your sacrifices have been for nothing. You have given yourself to a fraud. And what is left to replace what has been taken is not a hero’s pride, but a bitter emptiness that sours even that last little core of yourself that you cling to. This is the destiny of the man who serves, the man who stands for others. This is the lot of the ones who go out to confront the wolf. This is the disillusionment of all those who protect the flock. This is their secret: that they have allowed their instincts to be used, not for the protection of others, but for the gain of a few. And their “honor” is a monument to the ashes of all those little pieces of themselves that they never got back.
D.J. Molles (Fractured (The Remaining, #4))
So, when I read of a recent study that found that children are significantly more inclined to eat “difficult” foods like liver, spinach, broccoli—and other such hard-to-sell “but-it’s-good-for-you” classics—when they are wrapped in comfortingly bright packages from McDonald’s, I was at first appalled, and then … inspired. Rather than trying to co-opt Ronald’s all-too-effective credibility among children to short-term positive ends, like getting my daughter to eat the occasional serving of spinach, I could reverse-engineer this! Use the strange and terrible powers of the Golden Arches for good—not evil! I plan to dip something decidedly unpleasant in an enticing chocolate coating and then wrap it carefully in McDonald’s wrapping paper. Nothing dangerous, mind you, but something that a two-and-a-half-year-old will find “yucky!”—even upsetting—in the extreme. Maybe a sponge soaked with vinegar. A tuft of hair. A Barbie head. I will then place it inside the familiar cardboard box and leave it—as if forgotten—somewhere for my daughter to find. I might even warn her, “If you see any of that nasty McDonald’s … make sure you don’t eat it!” I’ll say, before leaving her to it. “Daddy was stupid and got some chocolate … and now he’s lost it…” I might mutter audibly to myself before taking a long stroll to the laundry room. An early, traumatic, Ronald-related experience can only be good for her.
Anthony Bourdain (Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook)
Almost everyone can remember losing his or her virginity, and most writers can remember the first book he/she walked away from thinking, "I can do better that this. Hell, I am doing better than this!" What could be more encouraging to the struggling writer than to realize that his/her work is unquestionably better than that of someone who actually got paid for his/her stuff? Good writing on the other hand, teaches the learning writer about style, graceful narration, plot development, the creation of believable characters, and truth-telling. A novel like The Grapes of Wrath may fill a new writer with feelings of despair and good old-fashioned jealousy--"I'll never be able to write anything that good, not if I live to be a thousand"--but such feelings can also serve as a spur, goading the writer to work harder and aim higher. Being swept away by a combination of great story and great writing--of being flattened, in fact--is part of every writer's necessary formation. You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you. So we read to experience the mediocre and the outright rotten; such experience helps us to recognize those things when they begin to creep into our own work, and to steer clear of them. We also read in order to measure ourselves against the good and the great, to get a sense of all that can be done. And we read in order to experience different styles.
Stephen King
It was us they were talking about, with the objectivity of businessmen completing a routine transaction. In Barrett there wasn’t even the hint of remorse or conscience. Some folks, they say, are born incapable of those things. Often they behave beyond suspicion, those sick people, until it’s too late. Sometimes they’re good-looking, charming, intelligent. Maybe they liked to pull the wings off flies more than other kids. But boys will be boys. If they served in the Army they made lousy soldiers, complaining and griping all the time about discipline, until they got a taste of combat. They often won medals, then, and were afraid but didn’t go stiff and inadequate with fear like some of their buddies. They felt above the crowd. They were arrogant. Laws didn’t apply to them. They could kill you with an absolute lack of concern if it suited them. They were called psychopathic personalities, P.P.’s, and Barrett was one of them. It looked as if we were going to die.
Stephen Marlowe (Model for Murder)
Once this is over,' he says, 'there are some things I want to tell you. Some explanation I have to give.' 'Like what?' I ask, keeping my voice low. He looks away, toward the edge of the pine forest. 'I let you believe- well, something that's untrue.' I think about the feeling of Oak's breath against my neck, the way his fox eyes looked with the pupils gone wide and black, the way it felt to bite his shoulder almost hard enough to break skin. 'Tell me, then.' He shakes his head, looking pained, but so many of his expressions are masks that I can no longer tell what is real. 'If I did, it would serve nothing but to clear my conscience and would put you in danger.' 'Tell me anyway,' I say. But Oak only shakes his head again. 'Then let me tell you something,' I say. 'I know why you smile and jest and flatter, even when you don't need to. At first I thought it was to make people like you, then I thought it was to keep them off-balance. But it's more than that. You're worried they're scared of you.' Wariness comes into his face. 'Why ever would they be?' 'Because you terrify yourself,' I say. 'Once you start killing, you don't want to stop. You like it. Your sister may have inherited your father's gift for strategy, but you're the one who got his bloodlust.' A muscle moves in his jaw. 'Are you afraid of me?' 'Not because of that.' The intensity of his gaze is blistering. It doesn't matter. It feels good to pierce his armour, but it doesn't change anything.
Holly Black (The Stolen Heir (The Stolen Heir Duology, #1))
I don’t have custody. Wayne is just—We’re on good terms about our son. It’s not an issue.” “Got a number where we can reach him?” “Yes, but he’s on a plane right now. He visited for the Fourth. He’s headed back this evening.” “You sure about that? How do you know he boarded the plane?” “I’m sure he had nothing to do with this, if that’s what you’re asking. We’re not fighting over our son. My ex is the most harmless and easygoing man you’ve ever met.” “Oh, I don’t know. I’ve met some pretty easygoing fellas. I know a guy up in Maine who leads a Buddhist-themed therapy group, teaches people about managing their temper and addictions through Transcendental Meditation. The only time this guy ever lost his composure was the day his wife served him with a restraining order. First he lost his Zen, then he lost two bullets in the back of her head. But that Buddhist-themed therapy group he runs sure is popular on his cell block in Shawshank. Lotta guys with anger-management issues in there.
Joe Hill (NOS4A2)
soldiers serving in the Military Police and those serving in the Air Corps (the forerunner of the Air Force) about how good a job they thought their service did in recognizing and promoting people of ability. The answer was clear. Military Policemen had a far more positive view of their organization than did enlisted men in the Air Corps. On the face of it, that made no sense. The Military Police had one of the worst rates of promotion in all of the armed forces. The Air Corps had one of the best. The chance of an enlisted man rising to officer status in the Air Corps was twice that of a soldier in the Military Police. So, why on earth would the Military Policemen be more satisfied? The answer, Stouffer famously explained, is that Military Policemen compared themselves only to other Military Policemen. And if you got a promotion in the Military Police, that was such a rare event that you were very happy. And if you didn’t get promoted, you were in the same boat as most of your peers—so
Malcolm Gladwell (David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants)
Quote from Father Tim during a sermon given after the former priest was found after a suicide attempt. "      'Father Talbot has charged me to tell you that he is deeply repentant for not serving you as God appointed him to do, and as you hoped and needed him to do.         'He wished very much to bring you this message himself, but he could not.  He bids you goodbye with a love he confesses he never felt toward you...until this day.  He asks--and I quote him--that you might find it in your hearts to forgive him his manifold sins against God and this parish.'         He felt the tears on his face before he knew he was weeping, and realized instinctively that he would have no control over the display.  He could not effectively carry on, no even turn his face away or flee the pulpit.  He was in the grip of a wild grief that paralyzed everything but itself.          He wept face forward, then, into the gale of those aghast at what was happening, wept for the wounds of any clergy gone out into a darkness of self-loathing and beguilement; for the loss and sorrow of those who could not believe, or who had once believed but lost all sense of shield and buckler and any notion of God's radical tenderness, for the ceaseless besettings of the flesh, for the worthless idols of his own and of others; for those sidetracked, stumped, frozen, flung away, for those both false and true, the just and the unjust, the quick and the dead.           He wept for himself, for the pain of the long years and the exquisite satisfactions of the faith, for the holiness of the mundane, for the thrashing exhaustions and the endless dyings and resurrectings that malign the soul incarnate.           It had come to this, a thing he had subtly feared for more than forty years--that he would weep before the many--and he saw that his wife would not try to talk him down from this precipice, she would trust him to come down himself without falling or leaping.         And people wept with him, most of them.  Some turned away, and a few got up and left in a hurry, fearful of the swift and astounding movement of the Holy Spirit among them, and he, too, was afraid--of crying aloud in a kind of ancient howl and humiliating himself still further.  But the cry burned out somewhere inside and he swallowed down what remained and the organ began to play, softly, piously.  He wished it to be loud and gregarious, at the top of its lungs--Bach or Beethoven, and not the saccharine pipe that summoned the vagabond sins of thought, word, and deed to the altar, though come to think of it, the rail was the very place to be right now, at once, as he, they, all were desperate for the salve of the cup, the Bread of Heaven.             And then it was over.  He reached into the pocket of his alb and wondered again how so many manage to make in this world without carrying a handkerchief.  And he drew it out and wiped his eyes and blew his nose as he might at home, and said, 'Amen.'                 And the people said, 'Amen.
Jan Karon
You can have mad thoughts in here. Like ... tell me, when I die, do they bring my corpse back to my cell to serve out the full term of my second sentence plus those seven years? Perhaps I've already been brought back and have just forgotten it? Maybe I'm already a corpse? A breathing cadaver? But no, no. A cadaver couldn't smile at himself this way. Somewhere, somehow, there's got to be something funny about all of this. Something horrendously funny. A wild cosmic joke on me, a real knee-slapper in some demonic heaven or hell. A while back someone was crying out eerily down the corridor in the echoing half-darkness. "Slur the buds!" he cried out dementedly, repeating those meaningless words over and over again in a ghostly voice, softly hissing and hollow. "Slur the buds! Slur the buds!" That's all I could make out. He must have called it out in that soft hollow hiss a dozen times in the course of fifteen minutes. Still other voices picked it up, and for a short while there was an impromptu ghostly chorus of "Slur the buds!" echoing down these unholy corridors. I never learned what the words meant. I never learned who it was who called out. Maybe I dreamed it. Maybe that was just me myself calling out in the demented darkness of my own imagination. Doing time does this thing to you. But, of course, you don't do time. You do without it. Or rather, time does you. Time is a cannibal that devours the flesh of your years day by day, bite by bite. And as he finishes the last morsel, with the juices of your life running down his bloody chin, he smiles wickedly, belches with satisfaction, and hisses out in ghostly tones, "Slur the buds!"
Leonard Peltier (Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance)
At the Minsk tractor factory I was looking for a woman who had served in the army as a sniper. She had been a famous sniper. The newspapers from the front had written about her more than once. Her Moscow girlfriends gave me her home phone number, but it was old. And the last name I had noted down was her maiden name. I went to the factory where I knew she worked in the personnel department, and I heard from the men (the director of the factory and the head of the personnel department): “Aren’t there enough men? What do you need these women’s stories for? Women’s fantasies…” The men were afraid that women would tell about some wrong sort of war. I visited a family…Both husband and wife had fought. They met at the front and got married there: “We celebrated our wedding in the trench. Before the battle. I made a white dress for myself out of a German parachute.” He had been a machine gunner, she a radio operator. The man immediately sent his wife to the kitchen: “Prepare something for us.” The kettle was already boiling, and the sandwiches were served, she sat down with us, but the husband immediately got her to her feet again: “Where are the strawberries? Where are our treats from the country?” After my repeated requests, he reluctantly relinquished his place, saying: “Tell it the way I taught you. Without tears and women’s trifles: how you wanted to be beautiful, how you wept when they cut off your braid.” Later she whispered to me: “He studied The History of the Great Patriotic War with me all last night. He was afraid for me. And now he’s worried I won’t remember right. Not the way I should.” That happened more than once, in more than one house.
Svetlana Alexievich (War's Unwomanly Face)
Lord, here's what we need today, right away, or as soon as we can get it: we need world peace, prosperity, security, life without risk, pleasure without pain, happiness without cost, and discipleship with no cross. That's why we're here, at church, to get our needs met. Our church tries to be user-friendly and seeker sensitive. That's why on Sundays we serve espresso with a dash of amaretto before our services, a little caffeine boost until we get to the main point of our worship: the prayer requests. So like we were saying, we need a quick recovery from gall bladder surgery, an effortless cataract removal, a happy marriage, obedient and chaste kids, and a reason to get out of bed in the morning. If you love us, you'll meet our needs. Now then, is there something that we could do for you? You're thirsty? Well, if you're the Messiah, why don't you fix yourself a divine drink? We've got needs of our own, thank you. It's our job to have need; it's your job to meet need. For this and all other needs, spoken and unspoken, felt and unfelt, incipient and obvious, personal and corporate, immediate and long term, we pray. Amen.  
William H. Willimon (The Best of Will Willimon: Acting Up in Jesus' Name)
To be ridiculously sweeping: baby boomers and their offspring have shifted emphasis from the communal to the individual, from the future to the present, from virtue to personal satisfaction. Increasingly secular, we pledge allegiance to lowercase gods of our private devising. We are concerned with leading less a good life than the good life. In contrast to our predecessors, we seldom ask ourselves whether we serve a greater social purpose; we are more likely to ask ourselves if we are happy. We shun self-sacrifice and duty as the soft spots of suckers. We give little thought to the perpetuation of lineage, culture or nation; we take our heritage for granted. We are ahistorical. We measure the value of our lives within the brackets of our own births and deaths, and we’re not especially bothered by what happens once we’re dead. As we age—oh, so reluctantly!—we are apt to look back on our pasts and question not did I serve family, God and country, but did I ever get to Cuba, or run a marathon? Did I take up landscape painting? Was I fat? We will assess the success of our lives in accordance not with whether they were righteous, but with whether they were interesting and fun. If that package sounds like one big moral step backward, the Be Here Now mentality that has converted from sixties catchphrase to entrenched gestalt has its upsides. There has to be some value in living for today, since at any given time today is all you’ve got. We justly cherish characters capable of living “in the moment.”…We admire go-getters determined to pack their lives with as much various experience as time and money provide, who never stop learning, engaging, and savoring what every day offers—in contrast to the dour killjoys who are bitter and begrudging in the ceaseless fulfillment of obligation. For the role of humble server, helpmate, and facilitator no longer to constitute the sole model of womanhood surely represents progress for which I am personally grateful. Furthermore, prosperity may naturally lead any well-off citizenry to the final frontier: the self, whose borders are as narrow or infinite as we make them. Yet the biggest social casualty of Be Here Now is children, who have converted from requirement to option, like heated seats for your car. In deciding what in times past never used to be a choice, we don’t consider the importance of raising another generation of our own people, however we might choose to define them. The question is whether kids will make us happy.
Lionel Shriver
ultimately, most of us would choose a rich and meaningful life over an empty, happy one, if such a thing is even possible. “Misery serves a purpose,” says psychologist David Myers. He’s right. Misery alerts us to dangers. It’s what spurs our imagination. As Iceland proves, misery has its own tasty appeal. A headline on the BBC’s website caught my eye the other day. It read: “Dirt Exposure Boosts Happiness.” Researchers at Bristol University in Britain treated lung-cancer patients with “friendly” bacteria found in soil, otherwise known as dirt. The patients reported feeling happier and had an improved quality of life. The research, while far from conclusive, points to an essential truth: We thrive on messiness. “The good life . . . cannot be mere indulgence. It must contain a measure of grit and truth,” observed geographer Yi-Fu Tuan. Tuan is the great unheralded geographer of our time and a man whose writing has accompanied me throughout my journeys. He called one chapter of his autobiography “Salvation by Geography.” The title is tongue-in-cheek, but only slightly, for geography can be our salvation. We are shaped by our environment and, if you take this Taoist belief one step further, you might say we are our environment. Out there. In here. No difference. Viewed that way, life seems a lot less lonely. The word “utopia” has two meanings. It means both “good place” and “nowhere.” That’s the way it should be. The happiest places, I think, are the ones that reside just this side of paradise. The perfect person would be insufferable to live with; likewise, we wouldn’t want to live in the perfect place, either. “A lifetime of happiness! No man could bear it: It would be hell on Earth,” wrote George Bernard Shaw, in his play Man and Superman. Ruut Veenhoven, keeper of the database, got it right when he said: “Happiness requires livable conditions, but not paradise.” We humans are imminently adaptable. We survived an Ice Age. We can survive anything. We find happiness in a variety of places and, as the residents of frumpy Slough demonstrated, places can change. Any atlas of bliss must be etched in pencil. My passport is tucked into my desk drawer again. I am relearning the pleasures of home. The simple joys of waking up in the same bed each morning. The pleasant realization that familiarity breeds contentment and not only contempt. Every now and then, though, my travels resurface and in unexpected ways. My iPod crashed the other day. I lost my entire music collection, nearly two thousand songs. In the past, I would have gone through the roof with rage. This time, though, my anger dissipated like a summer thunderstorm and, to my surprise, I found the Thai words mai pen lai on my lips. Never mind. Let it go. I am more aware of the corrosive nature of envy and try my best to squelch it before it grows. I don’t take my failures quite so hard anymore. I see beauty in a dark winter sky. I can recognize a genuine smile from twenty yards. I have a newfound appreciation for fresh fruits and vegetables. Of all the places I visited, of all the people I met, one keeps coming back to me again and again: Karma Ura,
Eric Weiner (The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World)
Perhaps Bufalino’s closest friend was Philadelphia crime boss Angelo Bruno. Law enforcement referred to Bufalino as “the quiet Don Rosario”; Bruno was known as the “Docile Don” for his similar low-key approach to heading a major crime family. Like Bufalino’s family, the Bruno crime family was not permitted to deal in drugs. Because of his perceived old-fashioned ways Bruno was killed by greedy underlings in 1980. Bruno’s demise would lead to everlasting anarchy in his family. His successor, Philip “Chicken Man” Testa, was literally blown up a year after taking over. Testa’s successor, Nicodemus “Little Nicky” Scarfo, is now serving multiple life sentences for murder, having been betrayed by his own underboss and nephew. Little Nicky’s successor, John Stanfa, is serving five consecutive life sentences for murder. Frank Sheeran got a Christmas card every year from John Stanfa in his Leavenworth cell. John Stanfa’s successor, Ralph Natale, is the first boss to turn government informant and testify against his own men. Frank Sheeran calls Philadelphia “the city of rats.” On the other hand, Russell Bufalino lived a long life. He died of old age in a nursing home in 1994 at the age of ninety. He controlled his “family” until the day he died, and unlike Angelo Bruno’s Philadelphia family, not a sign of discord has been reported in the Bufalino family since his death. Frank
Charles Brandt ("I Heard You Paint Houses", Updated Edition: Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran & Closing the Case on Jimmy Hoffa)
There was another inspiring moment: a rough, choppy, moonlit night on the water, and the Dreadnaught's manager looked out the window suddenly to spy thousands of tiny baitfish breaking the surface, rushing frantically toward shore. He knew what that meant, as did everyone else in town with a boat, a gaff and a loaf of Wonder bread to use as bait: the stripers were running! Thousands of the highly prized, relatively expensive striped bass were, in a rare feeding frenzy, suddenly there for the taking. You had literally only to throw bread on the water, bash the tasty fish on the head with a gaff and then haul them in. They were taking them by the hundreds of pounds. Every restaurant in town was loading up on them, their parking lots, like ours, suddenly a Coleman-lit staging area for scaling, gutting and wrapping operations. The Dreadnaught lot, like every other lot in town, was suddenly filled with gore-covered cooks and dishwashers, laboring under flickering gaslamps and naked bulbs to clean, wrap and freeze the valuable white meat. We worked for hours with our knives, our hair sparkling with snowflake-like fish scales, scraping, tearing, filleting. At the end of the night's work, I took home a 35-pound monster, still twisted with rigor. My room-mates were smoking weed when I got back to our little place on the beach and, as often happens on such occasions, were hungry. We had only the bass, some butter and a lemon to work with, but we cooked that sucker up under the tiny home broiler and served it on aluminum foil, tearing at it with our fingers. It was a bright, moonlit sky now, a mean high tide was lapping at the edges of our house, and as the windows began to shake in their frames, a smell of white spindrift and salt saturated the air as we ate. It was the freshest piece of fish I'd ever eaten, and I don't know if it was due to the dramatic quality the weather was beginning to take on, but it hit me right in the brainpan, a meal that made me feel better about things, made me better for eating it, somehow even smarter, somehow . . . It was a protein rush to the cortex, a clean, three-ingredient ingredient high, eaten with the hands. Could anything be better than that?
Anthony Bourdain (Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly)
I think I have done you a disservice,” my father finally said, looking me in the eye. “I told you from such a young age that you could be the very best. But I never explained to you that it’s about aiming for excellence, not about stats.” “What?” “I am just saying that when you were a child, I spoke in…grandiosities. But, Carrie, there is no actual unequivocal greatest in the world. Tennis doesn’t work like that. The world doesn’t work like that.” “I’m not going to sit here and be insulted.” “How am I insulting you? I am telling you there is no one way to define the greatest of all time. You’re focusing right now on rankings. But what about the person who gets the most titles over the span of their career? Are they the greatest? How about the person with the fastest recorded serve? Or the highest paid? I’m asking you to take a minute and recalibrate your expectations.” “Excuse me?” I said, standing up. “Recalibrate my expectations?” “Carrie,” my father said. “Please listen to me.” “No,” I said, putting my hands up. “Don’t use your calm voice and act like you’re being nice. Because you’re not. Having someone on this planet who is as good as me—or better—means I have not achieved my goal. If you would like to coach someone who is fine being second, go coach someone else.” I threw my napkin down and walked out of the restaurant. I made my way through the lobby to the parking lot. I was still furious by the time my father caught up to me by my car. “Carolina, stop, you’re making a scene,” he said. “Do you have any idea how hard it is?” I shouted. It felt shocking to me, to hear my own voice that loud. “To give everything you have to something and still not be able to grasp it! To fail to reach the top day after day and be expected to do it with a smile on your face? Maybe I’m not allowed to make a scene on the court, but I will make a scene here, Dad. It is the very least you can give me. Just for once in my life, let me scream about something!” There were people gathering in the parking lot, and each one of them, I could tell, knew my name. Knew my father’s name. Knew exactly what they were witnessing. “WHAT ARE YOU ALL LOOKING AT? GO ON ABOUT YOUR SAD LITTLE DAYS!” I got in my convertible and drove away. —
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Carrie Soto Is Back)
The girl seemed even younger in sleep, and smaller, as if part of her had vanished into the couch. With her asleep, Pike believed he was seeing her Original Person. Pike believed each person created himself or herself; you built yourself from the inside out, with the tensions and will of the inside person holding the outside person together. The outside person was the face you showed the world; it was your mask, your camouflage, your message, and, perhaps, your means. It existed only so long as the inside person held it together, and when the inside person could no longer hold the mask together, the outside person dissolved and you would see the original person. Pike had observed that sleep could sometimes loosen the hold. Booze, dope, and extreme emotions could all loosen the hold; the weaker the grasp, the more easily loosened. Then you saw the person within the person. Pike often pondered these things. The trick was to reach a place where the inside person and the outside person were the same. The closer someone got to this place, the stronger they would become. Pike believed that Cole was such a person, his inside and outside very close to being one and the same. Pike admired him for it. Pike also pondered whether Cole had accomplished this through design and effort, or was one with himself because oneness was his natural state. Either way, Pike considered this a feat of enormous import and studied Cole to learn more. Pike’s inside person had built a fortress. The fortress had served, but Pike hoped for more. A fortress was a lonely place in which to live.
Robert Crais (The Watchman (Elvis Cole, #11; Joe Pike, #1))
Every Pirate Wants to Be an Admiral IT’S NOT AS though this is the first time we’ve had to rethink what copyright is, what it should do, and whom it should serve. The activities that copyright regulates—copying, transmission, display, performance—are technological activities, so when technology changes, it’s usually the case that copyright has to change, too. And it’s rarely pretty. When piano rolls were invented, the composers, whose income came from sheet music, were aghast. They couldn’t believe that player-piano companies had the audacity to record and sell performances of their work. They tried—unsuccessfully—to have such recordings classified as copyright violations. Then (thanks in part to the institution of a compulsory license) the piano-roll pirates and their compatriots in the wax-cylinder business got legit, and became the record industry. Then the radio came along, and broadcasters had the audacity to argue that they should be able to play records over the air. The record industry was furious, and tried (unsuccessfully) to block radio broadcasts without explicit permission from recording artists. Their argument was “When we used technology to appropriate and further commercialize the works of composers, that was progress. When these upstart broadcasters do it to our records, that’s piracy.” A few decades later, with the dust settled around radio transmission, along came cable TV, which appropriated broadcasts sent over the air and retransmitted them over cables. The broadcasters argued (unsuccessfully) that this was a form of piracy, and that the law should put an immediate halt to it. Their argument? The familiar one: “When we did it, it was progress. When they do it to us, that’s piracy.” Then came the VCR, which instigated a landmark lawsuit by the cable operators and the studios, a legal battle that was waged for eight years, finishing up in the 1984 Supreme Court “Betamax” ruling. You can look up the briefs if you’d like, but fundamentally, they went like this: “When we took the broadcasts without permission, that was progress. Now that someone’s recording our cable signals without permission, that’s piracy.” Sony won, and fifteen years later it was one of the first companies to get in line to sue Internet companies that were making it easier to copy music and videos online. I have a name for the principle at work here: “Every pirate wants to be an admiral.
Cory Doctorow (Information Doesn't Want to Be Free: Laws for the Internet Age)
Wrapped up in all of this talk of acceptance and tolerance is the matter of judgment. The worst thing in the world, we are told, is to judge. We must never judge, never be judgmental. We are constantly reminded that Jesus said, “Do not judge” (Matthew 7:1). And those three words have become the most popular words ever uttered by Our Lord. We like to pretend that everything else He said is summarized by this one phrase. We treat “Do not judge” as the distillation of His life and ministry. There are over seven hundred thousand words in the Bible (yes, I counted), and we have come to believe that they all can be condensed down into those three. We’re wrong. Yes, He does tell us not to judge. But to understand what “Do not judge” actually means, and how it ought to apply to our lives, we have to look at those words in the context of Christ’s teachings. We don’t even have to look very hard, because He makes the point clear in the very same chapter of the Bible. Here is the full verse from the seventh chapter of Matthew: Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, “Let me take the speck out of your eye,” when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. The point here is that we must judge rightly and fairly, as Jesus says specifically in John 7:24: “Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.” The whole Bible is chock-full of judgments we are told to make about ourselves, about others, about actions and things and situations. Of course Jesus is not warning against judgment per se. He is warning, instead, against hypocritical and self-serving judgments. He says we must attend to the plank in our own eyes rather than focusing on the dust in our brother’s eye. But He does not recommend that we just leave our brother there to deal with the dust on his own. He tells us to take the plank out of our own eyes first and then help with the dust. This is both a practical and moral prescription. Moral because ignoring your plank would be self-righteous and dishonest. Practical because you cannot see well enough to handle the dust problem if you’ve got a big plank sticking in your eye. Judgment is good. We are commanded to judge. But our judgments themselves must be good, and made out of love and concern for our brother.
Matt Walsh (Church of Cowards: A Wake-Up Call to Complacent Christians)
I want to make sure we understand in this reminder what duʿā’ is not? Duʿā’ is not placing an order at a restaurant. Duʿā’ is not placing an order for a product. When you place an order, you pay something and you get what you expected. You place an order for French fries; you’re not supposed to get a burger. You’re supposed to get French fries. When you place an order for a laptop, you’re not supposed to get a phone in the mail. You get what you ordered, and when you order something you obviously pay for it. You paid for it, so you’re expecting what you paid for. When you and I make duʿā’, we pay nothing. We pay nothing. When you pay nothing, then you have no expectations, you have no right to complain about what you get. You don’t get to say, ‘Hey! Wait, I asked for a hundred on my exam. I made duʿā’ last night. I still got a forty. What is this Allah? I placed the right order!’ You and I don’t get to do that. Allah is not here to serve you and me as customers. We’re used to customer service in this world. We are used to it so much that we think the way we are going to deal with Allah, is the same. Some of the young people today; unfortunately, their relationship with their parents has become like their parents are supposed to provide them customer service. ‘Mum, I asked you to buy me Grand Theft Auto! How come you didn’t get it yet?’, ‘I told you I’m going to do my homework!’ Like your homework is payment or something, right? Because we feel so entitled all the time, we bring this entitled attitude when we turn to Allah and we make duʿā’ to Him. ‘Yā Allāh, heal me.’ ‘Yā Allāh, get me a promotion.’ ‘Yā Allāh, do this for me or do that for me.’ And it doesn’t happen; and you’re like: ‘Forget this, I don’t need prayer. I even took the time out to pray and He didn’t give!
Nouman Ali Khan (Revive Your Heart: Putting Life in Perspective)
I took my solo and beat hell out of the skins. Then Spoof swiped at his mouth and let go with a blast and moved it up into that squeal and stopped and started playing. It was all headwork. All new to us. New to anybody. I saw Sonny get a look on his face, and we sat still and listened while Spoof made love to that horn. Now like a scream, now like a laugh - now we're swinging in the trees, now the white men are coming, now we're in the boat and chains are hanging from our ankles and we're rowing, rowing - Spoof, what is it? - now we're sawing wood and picking cotton and serving up those cool cool drinks to the Colonel in his chair - Well, blow, man! - now we're free, and we're struttin' down Lenox Avenue and State & Madison and Pirate's Alley, laughing, crying - Who said free? - and we want to go back and we don't want to go back - Play it, Spoof! God, God, tell us all about it! Talk to us! - and we're sitting in a cellar with a comb wrapped up in paper, with a skin-barrel and a tinklebox - Don't stop, Spoof! Oh Lord, please don't stop! - and we're making something, something, what is it? Is it jazz? Why, yes, Lord, it's jazz. Thank you, sir, and thank you, sir, we finally got it, something that is ours, something great that belongs to us and to us alone, that we made, and that's why it's important and that's what it's all about and - Spoof! Spoof, you can;t stop now -- But it was over, middle of the trip. And there was Spoof standing there facing us and tears streaming out of those eyes and down over that coaldust face, and his body shaking and shaking. It's the first we ever saw that. It's the first we ever heard him cough, too - like a shotgun going off every two seconds, big raking sounds that tore up from the bottom of his belly and spilled out wet and loud. ("Black Country")
Charles Beaumont (American Fantastic Tales: Terror and the Uncanny from the 1940s to Now)
If you’re going to give me the third degree,” she tells him, “let’s get it over with. Best to withhold food or water; water is probably best. I’ll get thirsty before I get hungry.” He shakes his head in disbelief. “Do you really think I’m like that? Why would you think that?” “I was taken by force, and you’re keeping me here against my will,” she says, leaning across the table toward him. She considers spitting in his face, but decides to save that gesture as punctuation for a more appropriate moment. “Imprisonment is still imprisonment, no matter how many layers of cotton you wrap it in.” That makes him lean farther away, and she knows she’s pushed a button. She remembers seeing those pictures of him back when he was all over the news, wrapped in cotton and kept in a bombproof cell. “I really don’t get you,” he says, a bit of anger in his voice this time. “We saved your life. You could at least be a little grateful.” “You have robbed me, and everyone here, of their purpose. That’s not salvation, that’s damnation.” “I’m sorry you feel that way.” Now it’s her turn to get angry. “Yes, you’re sorry I feel that way, everyone’s sorry I feel that way. Are you going to keep this up until I don’t feel that way anymore?” He stands up suddenly, pushing his chair back, and paces, fern leaves brushing his clothes. She knows she’s gotten to him. He seems like he’s about to storm out, but instead takes a deep breath and turns back to her. “I know what you’re going through,” he says. “I was brainwashed by my family to actually want to be unwound—and not just by my family, but by my friends, my church, everyone I looked up to. The only voice who spoke sense was my brother Marcus, but I was too blind to hear him until the day I got kidnapped.” “You mean see,” she says, putting a nice speed bump in his way. “Huh?” “Too blind to see him, too deaf to hear him. Get your senses straight. Or maybe you can’t, because you’re senseless.” He smiles. “You’re good.” “And anyway, I don’t need to hear your life story. I already know it. You got caught in a freeway pileup, and the Akron AWOL used you as a human shield—very noble. Then he turned you, like cheese gone bad.” “He didn’t turn me. It was getting away from my tithing, and seeing unwinding for what it is. That’s what turned me.” “Because being a murderer is better than being a tithe, isn’t that right, clapper?” He sits back down again, calmer, and it frustrates her that he is becoming immune to her snipes. “When you live a life without questions, you’re unprepared for the questions when they come,” he says. “You get angry and you totally lack the skills to deal with the anger. So yes, I became a clapper, but only because I was too innocent to know how guilty I was becoming.” ... “You think I’m like you, but I’m not,” Miracolina says. “I’m not part of a religious order that tithes. My parents did it in spite of our beliefs, not because of ii.” “But you were still raised to believe it was your purpose, weren’t you?” “My purpose was to save my brother’s life by being a marrow donor, so my purpose was served before I was six months old.” “And doesn’t that make you angry that the only reason you’re here was to help someone else?” “Not at all,” she says a little too quickly. She purses her lips and leans back in her chair, squirming a bit. The chair feels a little too hard beneath her. “All right, so maybe I do feel angry once in a while, but I understand why they did it. If I were them, I would have done the same thing.” “Agreed,” he says. “But once your purpose was served, shouldn’t your life be your own?” “Miracles are the property of God,” she answers. “No,” he says, “miracles are gifts from God. To calthem his property insults the spirit in which they are given.” She opens her mouth to reply but finds she has no response, because he’s right. Damn him for being right—nothing about him should be right! “We’ll talk again when you’re over yourself,” he says.
Neal Shusterman (UnWholly (Unwind, #2))
Treating Abuse Today (Tat), 3(4), pp. 26-33 Freyd: I see what you're saying but people in psychology don't have a uniform agreement on this issue of the depth of -- I guess the term that was used at the conference was -- "robust repression." TAT: Well, Pamela, there's a whole lot of evidence that people dissociate traumatic things. What's interesting to me is how the concept of "dissociation" is side-stepped in favor of "repression." I don't think it's as much about repression as it is about traumatic amnesia and dissociation. That has been documented in a variety of trauma survivors. Army psychiatrists in the Second World War, for instance, documented that following battles, many soldiers had amnesia for the battles. Often, the memories wouldn't break through until much later when they were in psychotherapy. Freyd: But I think I mentioned Dr. Loren Pankratz. He is a psychologist who was studying veterans for post-traumatic stress in a Veterans Administration Hospital in Portland. They found some people who were admitted to Veteran's hospitals for postrraumatic stress in Vietnam who didn't serve in Vietnam. They found at least one patient who was being treated who wasn't even a veteran. Without external validation, we just can't know -- TAT: -- Well, we have external validation in some of our cases. Freyd: In this field you're going to find people who have all levels of belief, understanding, experience with the area of repression. As I said before it's not an area in which there's any kind of uniform agreement in the field. The full notion of repression has a meaning within a psychoanalytic framework and it's got a meaning to people in everyday use and everyday language. What there is evidence for is that any kind of memory is reconstructed and reinterpreted. It has not been shown to be anything else. Memories are reconstructed and reinterpreted from fragments. Some memories are true and some memories are confabulated and some are downright false. TAT: It is certainly possible for in offender to dissociate a memory. It's possible that some of the people who call you could have done or witnessed some of the things they've been accused of -- maybe in an alcoholic black-out or in a dissociative state -- and truly not remember. I think that's very possible. Freyd: I would say that virtually anything is possible. But when the stories include murdering babies and breeding babies and some of the rather bizarre things that come up, it's mighty puzzling. TAT: I've treated adults with dissociative disorders who were both victimized and victimizers. I've seen previously repressed memories of my clients' earlier sexual offenses coming back to them in therapy. You guys seem to be saying, be skeptical if the person claims to have forgotten previously, especially if it is about something horrible. Should we be equally skeptical if someone says "I'm remembering that I perpetrated and I didn't remember before. It's been repressed for years and now it's surfacing because of therapy." I ask you, should we have the same degree of skepticism for this type of delayed-memory that you have for the other kind? Freyd: Does that happen? TAT: Oh, yes. A lot.
David L. Calof
STUFFIN’ MUFFINS Preheat oven to 350 degrees F., rack in the middle position. 4 ounces salted butter (1 stick, 8 Tablespoons, ¼ pound) ½ cup finely chopped onion (you can buy this chopped or chop it yourself) ½ cup finely chopped celery ½ cup chopped apple (core, but do not peel before chopping) 1 teaspoon powdered sage 1 teaspoon powdered thyme 1 teaspoon ground oregano 8 cups herb stuffing (the kind in cubes that you buy in the grocery store—you can also use plain bread cubes and add a quarter-teaspoon more of ground sage, thyme, and oregano) 3 eggs, beaten (just whip them up in a glass with a fork) 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground is best) 2 ounces (½ stick, 4 Tablespoons, pound) melted butter ¼ to ½ cup chicken broth (I used Swanson’s) Hannah’s 1st Note: I used a Fuji apple this time. I’ve also used Granny Smith apples, or Gala apples. Before you start, find a 12-cup muffin pan. Spray the inside of the cups with Pam or another nonstick cooking spray OR line them with cupcake papers. Get out a 10-inch or larger frying pan. Cut the stick of butter in 4 to 8 pieces and drop them inside. Put the pan over MEDIUM heat on the stovetop to melt the butter. Once the butter has melted, add the chopped onions. Give them a stir. Add the chopped celery. Stir it in. Add the chopped apple and stir that in. Sprinkle in the ground sage, thyme, and oregano. Sauté this mixture for 5 minutes. Then pull the frying pan off the heat and onto a cold burner. In a large mixing bowl, combine the 8 cups of herb stuffing. (If the boxed stuffing you bought has a separate herb packet, just sprinkle it over the top of the mixture in your frying pan. That way you’ll be sure to put it in!) Pour the beaten eggs over the top of the herb stuffing and mix them in. Sprinkle on the salt and the pepper. Mix them in. Pour the melted butter over the top and mix it in. Add the mixture from your frying pan on top of that. Stir it all up together. Measure out ¼ cup of chicken broth. Wash your hands. (Mixing the stuffing is going to be a lot easier if you use your impeccably clean hands to mix it.) Pour the ¼ cup of chicken broth over the top of your bowl. Mix everything with your hands. Feel the resulting mixture. It should be softened, but not wet. If you think it’s so dry that your muffins might fall apart after you bake them, mix in another ¼ cup of chicken broth. Once your Stuffin’ Muffin mixture is thoroughly combined, move the bowl close to the muffin pan you’ve prepared, and go wash your hands again. Use an ice cream scoop to fill your muffin cups. If you don’t have an ice cream scoop, use a large spoon. Mound the tops of the muffins by hand. (Your hands are still impeccably clean, aren’t they?) Bake the Stuffin’ Muffins at 350 degrees F. for 25 minutes. Yield: One dozen standard-sized muffins that can be served hot, warm, or at room temperature. Hannah’s 2nd Note: These muffins are a great accompaniment to pork, ham, chicken, turkey, duck, beef, or . . . well . . . practically anything! If there are any left over, you can reheat them in the microwave to serve the next day. Hannah’s 3rd Note: I’m beginning to think that Andrea can actually make Stuffin’ Muffins. It’s only April now, so she’s got seven months to practice.
Joanne Fluke (Cinnamon Roll Murder (Hannah Swensen, #15))
Our two taco specials get shoved up on the serving counter, crispy, cheesy goodness in brown plastic baskets lined with parchment paper, sour cream and guacamole exactly where they should be. On the side. There is a perfect ratio of sour cream, guac, and salsa on a shredded chicken tostada. No one can make it happen for you. Many restaurants have tried. All have failed. Only the mouth knows its own pleasure, and calibration like Taco Heaven cannot be mass produced. It simply cannot. Taco Heaven is a sensory explosion of flavor that defies logic. First, you have to eye the amount of spiced meat, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, and tomatillos. You must consider the size and crispiness of the shells. Some people–I call them blasphemers–like soft tacos. I am sitting across from Exhibit A. We won’t talk about soft tacos. They don’t make it to Taco Heaven. People who eat soft tacos live in Taco Purgatory, never fully understanding their moral failings, repeating the same mistakes again and again for all eternity. Like Perky and dating. Once you inventory your meat, lettuce, tomato, and shell quality, the real construction begins. Making your way to Taco Heaven is like a mechanical engineer building a bridge in your mouth. Measurements must be exact. Payloads are all about formulas and precision. One miscalculation and it all fails. Taco Death is worse than Taco Purgatory, because the only reason for Taco Death is miscalculation. And that’s all on you. “Oh, God,” Fiona groans through a mouthful of abomination. “You’re doing it, aren’t you?” “Doing what?” I ask primly, knowing damn well what she’s talking about. “You treat eating tacos like you’re the star of some Mythbusters show.” “Do not.” “Do too.” “Even if I do–and I am notconceding the point–it would be a worthwhile venture.” “You are as weird about your tacos as Perky is about her coffee.” “Take it back! I am not that weird.” “You are.” “Am not.” “This is why Perky and I swore we would never come here with you again.” Fiona grabs my guacamole and smears the rounded scoop all over the outside of her soft taco. I shriek. “How can you do that?” I gasp, the murder of the perfect ratio a painful, almost palpable blow. The mashed avocado has a death rattle that rings in my ears. Smug, tight lips give me a grimace. “See? A normal person would shout, ‘Hey! That’s mine!’ but you’re more offended that I’ve desecrated my inferior taco wrapping with the wrong amount of guac.” “Because it’s wrong.” “You should have gone to MIT, Mal. You need a job that involves nothing but pure math for the sake of calculating stupid shit no one else cares about.” “So glad to know that a preschool teacher holds such high regard for math,” I snark back. And MIT didn’t give me the kind of merit aid package I got from Brown, I don’t add. “Was that supposed to sting?” She takes the rest of my guacamole, grabs a spoon, and starts eating it straight out of the little white paper scoop container thing. “How can you do that? It’s like people who dip their french fries in mayonnaise.” I shudder, standing to get in line to buy more guac. “I dip my french fries in mayo!” “More evidence of your madness, Fi. Get help now. It may not be too late.” I stick my finger in her face. “And by the way, you and Perky talk about my taco habits behind my back? Some friends!” I hmph and turn toward the counter.
Julia Kent (Fluffy (Do-Over, #1))
TIO TITO’S SUBLIME LIME BAR COOKIES Preheat oven to 350 degrees F., rack in the middle position. ½ cup finely-chopped coconut (measure after chopping—pack it down when you measure it) 1 cup cold salted butter (2 sticks, 8 ounces, ½ pound) ½ cup powdered (confectioners) sugar (no need to sift unless it’s got big lumps) 2 cups all-purpose flour (pack it down when you measure it)   4 beaten eggs (just whip them up with a fork) 2 cups white (granulated) sugar cup lime juice (freshly squeezed is best) cup vodka (I used Tito’s Handmade Vodka) ½ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon baking powder ½ cup all-purpose flour (pack it down when you measure it) Powdered (confectioners) sugar to sprinkle on top Coconut Crust: To get your half-cup of finely-chopped coconut, you will need to put approximately ¾ cup of shredded coconut in the bowl of a food processor. (The coconut will pack down more when it’s finely-chopped so you’ll need more of the stuff out of the package to get the half-cup you need for this recipe.) Chop the shredded coconut up finely with the steel blade. Pour it out into a bowl and measure out ½ cup, packing it down when you measure it. Return the half-cup of finely chopped coconut to the food processor. (You can also do this by spreading out the shredded coconut on a cutting board and chopping it finely by hand.) Cut each stick of butter into eight pieces and arrange them in the bowl of the food processor on top of the chopped coconut. Sprinkle the powdered sugar and the flour on top of that. Zoop it all up with an on-and-off motion of the steel blade until it resembles coarse cornmeal. Prepare a 9-inch by 13-inch rectangular cake pan by spraying it with Pam or another nonstick cooking spray. Alternatively, for even easier removal, line the cake pan with heavy-duty foil and spray that with Pam. (Then all you have to do is lift the bar cookies out when they’re cool, peel off the foil, and cut them up into pieces.) Sprinkle the crust mixture into the prepared cake pan and spread it out with your fingers. Pat it down with a large spatula or with the palms of your impeccably clean hands. Hannah’s 1st Note: If your butter is a bit too soft, you may end up with a mass that balls up and clings to the food processor bowl. That’s okay. Just scoop it up and spread it out in the bottom of your prepared pan. (You can also do this in a bowl with a fork or a pie crust blender if you prefer.) Hannah’s 2nd Note: Don’t wash your food processor quite yet. You’ll need it to make the lime layer. (The same applies to your bowl and fork if you make the crust by hand.) Bake your coconut crust at 350 degrees F. for 15 minutes. While your crust is baking, prepare the lime layer. Lime Layer: Combine the eggs with the white sugar. (You can use your food processor and the steel blade to do this, or you can do it by hand in a bowl.) Add the lime juice, vodka, salt, and baking powder. Mix thoroughly. Add the flour and mix until everything is incorporated. (This mixture will be runny—it’s supposed to be.) When your crust has baked for 15 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and set it on a cold stovetop burner or a wire rack. Don’t shut off the oven! Just leave it on at 350 degrees F. Pour the lime layer mixture on top of the crust you just baked. Use potholders to pick up the pan and return it to the oven. Bake your Sublime Lime Bar Cookies for an additional 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and cool your lime bars in the pan on a cold stovetop burner or a wire rack. When the pan has cooled to room temperature, cover it with foil and refrigerate it until you’re ready to serve. Cut the bars into brownie-sized pieces, place them on a pretty platter, and sprinkle them lightly with powdered sugar. Yum! Hannah’s 3rd Note: If you would prefer not to use alcohol in these bar cookies, simply substitute whole milk for the vodka. This recipe works both ways and I can honestly tell you that I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like my Sublime Lime Bar Cookies!
Joanne Fluke (Blackberry Pie Murder (Hannah Swensen, #17))