The woman working in the tiny periodicals room had two sets of glasses, one on her nose, one on top of her head, both on beaded chains around her neck and the no-nonsense expression all librarians worth their salt maintain up until the moment you ask for help finding something, at which point they turn beatific and actually seem to emit light.
– from I’ll Be Your Blue Sky by Marisa de los Santos
There are two kinds of Fascists: those who give orders and those who take them. A popular base gives Fascism the legs it needs to march, the lungs it uses to proclaim, and the muscle it relies on to menace-but that’s Fascism from the neck down. T create tyranny out of the fears and hopes of average people, money is required, and so, too, ambition and twisted ideas. It is the combination that kills.
– from Fascism: A Warning by Madeline Albright
There are even various discrete units included [in Encyclopedia of Scientific Units, Weights, and Measure: Their SI Equivalences and Origins], such as the perfect ream, which is 516 sheets of paper, and the warp, which is four herrings; it is used by British fishermen and old men at kiddush.
– from The Half Life of Facts by Samuel Arbesman
My friend and I invited each other for meals over Rosh Hashana. They were bringing their family, and I insisted that they not bring anything more when they came for dinner – no food, no wine, just themselves. In return, they insisted I, too, not bring anything as a hostess gift when I came over for a meal.
As though I would listen, and show up empty-handed. Ha! I went to the store and bought a quart of apple cider. Something seasonal, a treat, and a sweet start to a – hopefully – sweet year. I showed up, gave them the apple cider. They were pleased, I was pleased, it was delicious.
The next day, the family came over – and brought a pomegranate.
A new fruit? Seasonal? A symbol that our good deeds should be plentiful?
Game, set, match: pomegranate for the win.
Next year, if you’d like to invite me over for Rosh Hashana, feel free to tell me not to bring anything. Just know, I’ll be showing up with a pomegranate. Good planning for a good year!
Michelle Obama, thanks for all the pep talks, even if they were only in my own head.
– from The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
“Because. Cupcakes make everything a little better. Except for type 2 diabetes, I guess.”
– from Something Like Happy by Eva Woods
With her dreadlocks and wide smile, Lateesha looked as if she wasn’t afraid of anything. But as she got ready to speak, her book propped open at the podium, Charles asked how anxious she was, on a scale of 1 to 10.
“At least a seven,” said Lateesha.
“Take it slow,” he said. “There are only a few people out there who can completely overcome their fears and they all live in Tibet.”
– from Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
On my new boss’s first day, I told her that I could work on anything she wanted for the next 24 hours, but would then be away for following 2 weeks.
“Oh, you’re getting married?”
“So you’re going to Turkey?”
“Huh,” she said. And so, we began our working relationship.
On washing dishes: “Wash them all.”
On cleaning up: “It’s never too late – or too early.”
On buying new clothing: “I look at it and think, what does this do for me?”
Happy Canada Day
My parents don’t cook with pumpkin.
My mom only makes one cookie recipe.
That recipe is for chocolate chip cookies.
I don’t know the recipe because she memorized it, and never remembers to write it down.
I haven’t made my mom’s cookies since I lived within shouting distance of her.
So, I make other cookies. Lots of cookies. Lots of different kinds of cookies. Recently, I made these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, and a guest could not stop telling me how they were a taste of home. While his mother doesn’t bake much now, she used to make them as a treat for her kids when they were young.
So, while I can’t have a taste of home without going there, I’m glad to try someone else’s home instead. Though really, I’d rather have my mom’s chocolate chip cookies.