73 Slices
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Medium 9781574411836

Desert Duel

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

D ESERT D UEL

187

First Astronomer

The king wouldn’t send a man with her unless he intended the man to kill a pretender to the throne. If he had wanted the mother and child to live, he would have sent her to a better place than that.

Third Astronomer

Maybe they were fleeing the king to claim the baby as their own so that he would never threaten the king and could live a good and ordinary life.

Second Astronomer

If you were the son of a king, would you choose to live an ordinary life?

First Astronomer

If I were a king, I’d choose to live in Rome.

Third Astronomer

You are so political. Money and power, that’s all you think of.

First Astronomer

Right now I’m thinking a plump chicken would be good.

Surrounded by peaches on a bed of couscous floating in butter. (He sighs.) We went to the wrong place. That wasn’t a pretender to the throne. Those two, and their baby, were rejected by their families and no one else would take them in.

Second Astronomer

Sometimes that’s the only thing you can do. When you give them every chance and they fail again and again, sometimes you just have to disown them.

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Medium 9781741795240

No Food, No Rest, No…

Simon Winchester Lonely Planet ePub

Pico Iyer is the author of several books of ill-starred travel, from Video Night in Kathmandu and The Lady and the Monk to The Global Soul and his most recent work, Sun After Dark. He tries not to travel with his friend Louis, but somehow they have ended up in Cambodia, Haiti, Morocco, Burma, Turkey and far too many other places (not least the Oakland Coliseum) together. On their most recent trip, to Bolivia, they had a car crash at 3500 metres that left one of them gibbering in nonexistent Spanish and the other training furious glances at their errant driver.

I got off the plane in Addis Ababa and there, as in so many airports so often in the past, was my school friend Louis, extending a shaky hand. ‘This place is pure magic’, he assured me. ‘We can go around the whole country with Ethiopian Airlines – the best carrier on the continent – for not much more than a hundred dollars. The plane stops at five major points of interest, and is perfectly suited to people on their first trip here, with limited means.

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Medium 9781574411836

Chicken Soup for the Damned

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

Chicken Soup for the Damned j

Jesus was born in the biggest house with the finest stable in

Bethlehem. His mother was a member of the Daughters of Jericho. His father, Joseph, was a famous hero who drove a stake through the heart of a Palestinian and became CEO of Nazareth

Land Development, employing hundreds of carpenters and masons, creating Mt. Tabor Estates, and reducing the Cedars of

Lebanon to Shittim Wood.

As a boy, Jesus was the best athlete in Galilee, and once, to help his father hide gold while tax collectors slept, with five smooth stones he killed three roosters before they crowed. He also knocked out the eye of a Pharisee’s son but gave the boy a gold coin to replace it.

When he became a man, Jesus used the management skills he learned in his father’s office to assemble a team of adherents who would denounce dissenters, punish the poor, and appropriate the sick in order to enrich themselves. Preaching health, security, and prosperity to all who followed him, Jesus found a hearing wherever he went. Once after he had told them the parable of the Ten Bridesmaids who cornered the market on lamp oil, hangers-on followed him until they were faint. Jesus told them to give him their money and he would give them the secret of everlasting bread. His adherents took the shekels to the nearest McEdonia. Upon their return there was a scramble for the bagels and lox. After they had eaten all they could, they bought all Jesus’ lamp oil at inflated prices. Then Jesus told them the secret of everlasting bread was in the lamp oil of

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Medium 9780615928272

Like a Born-Again Almost 40-Year-Old Virgin

Dani Burlison Petals & Bones Press PDF

DANI BURLISON

practice intentionally sex-free lifestyles for even longer. But for me, it is different. I have carried this dark secret like a heavy, forked iron tail through my land of milk and honey, my land of sexual liberation, of casual sex and militant polyamory. Of BDSM clubs, sex parties, sacred sexuality workshops and Tantra conventions.

Being celibate in the Bay Area may be the biggest taboo of them all.

Of course, like most paths I’ve dragged myself down, I didn’t exactly plan to move in this direction. Slimy boyfriends, one fruitless date after another, too many afternoons riding public transportation; it all wore me out. I grew tired of men treating me like some foul thing clinging to the bottom of their shoes. And so many years of choosing substandard men for myself short-circuited my intuition and clobbered what little sense of self worth I had to begin with. I stopped trusting myself. So I have closed up the girly bits shop, slipped on an invisible but highly effective magic chastity belt and dimmed my magical pelvic chakra glow until further notice.

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Medium 9781741795240

Wangara’s Cross

Simon Winchester Lonely Planet ePub

Joshua Clark, founder of Light of New Orleans Publishing, contributes fiction, travel and photography to various US publications, from the Los Angeles Times to the Miami Herald. He is also the associate editor for Scat magazine. An oyster-eating champion, certified personal trainer and retired bartender, Joshua was raised in Washington, DC, got a somewhat irrelevant economics degree from Yale University, lived in Spain, Australia and Argentina, and now resides in New Orleans.

There is a part of the Simpson Desert in Central Australia where day is split clean into red and blue, earth and sky, with only bone-white trees between the two. And dusk is the same as dawn. The small leafless trees reach like hands, the branches fingers grasping for sky, silhouetted against the red above the horizon. Above the red is a strip of orange and above that canary yellow and pastel blue which gets deeper, then darker overhead, until it’s black against clouds of stars you can’t see in the Northern Hemisphere. It was below those stars and between those trees that my overturned ’74 panel van lay hulking against the red horizon.

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Medium 9780615928272

Hired Help

Dani Burlison Petals & Bones Press PDF

DANI BURLISON

have very lazy landlords. Porno mags left on the back of the toilet usually mean it’s a good time to bust out the disposable toilet seat covers tucked in your purse.

The only thing that reveals more about a person than simply dropping by their apartment for a quick martini after a Thursday night Zumba class, is working for them. As a housekeeper.

Housekeepers have up-close-and-personal access to people and their varied and bizarre habits. We catch glimpses of– and sometimes become frighteningly aware of–very intimate details about people. Many are often oblivious of this despite the fact that we are often washing their 8-gazillion count Egyptian cotton sheets and disposing of all of the interesting things they toss into the trash and recycling bins.

We mop up their messes. We make their kids’ beds and organize their bookshelves.

I say “we” even though it is embarrassing to admit–I am one woman in the vast and growing population of housekeepers. I have, and sometimes still do, clean other people’s homes for extra cash.

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Medium 9781574411836

Radio WWJS

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

Radio WWJS j

Brother McCoy could find no backing for Station WWJS,

“What Would Jesus Say.” He called Brother Harold and enjoyed several minutes of long-distance listening to Jesus rock, sung by Christians who believed intelligibility was gay if not foolhardy. When he explained his problem, Brother Harold offered to sponsor an hour-long show on a local station if McCoy would promote Brother Harold’s products in addition to McCoy’s WWJS bracelets.

Sales of the Bible that bled red ink had slumped. However,

Harold had acquired Bibles that had belonged to heroes and other actors, including the Bible that sanctioned the deaths of more than two hundred German soldiers killed by Audie Murphy, the genuine Gideon Bible that Ronald Reagan included among the weapons he sent to terrorists, the Bible that told

Oliver North how to make crime look patriotic, the Bible that belonged to John Wilkes Booth, inscribed with his dying words, “Tell Mother I died for my country,” the Bible that told

Martin Luther King, Jr. how to die for his country.

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Medium 9780615928272

DIY Ecstatic Dance Jam

Dani Burlison Petals & Bones Press PDF

DANI BURLISON

Do I enjoy unconventional cardio workouts?

Do I become giddy at the mere mention of “embodied play,” “soul activation,” or “vibrational sound healing”?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be ready to ecstatically jam on the dance floor.

2. The next step to creating an Ecstatic Dance Jam is to find attendees that share the same feelings about sweat, drumming, raw foods and saffron-dyed fabric. Again, find a quiet place, practice deep breathing and tap into your intuition’s core. It will lead you to the people you need to invite. If you live near power lines or a cell phone tower and find that their unnatural energy or radioactive waves create a barrier between you and your clairvoyance (and you loaned your tin foil hat to your aunt Freya), there are other avenues to finding the group of Ecstatic Dance Jammers that will mesh well with you in your sacred space. Places to seek these jamming dancers include the Whole Foods raw desert aisle and Earth

Day festivals. You may also spot potential guests dancing to jam bands at the local farmers market or pedaling pot brownies or other cannabis-rich snacky treats at reggae concerts. And of course, don’t forget the 7 a.m. naked yoga class at the nearest hot spring resort. Also, tantra workshops, crop circle study groups and your neighborhood psychic institute are well worth looking into for attendees. Tip: Men wearing linen pants and no underwear are always game for

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Medium 9781741795240

Naked in Oaxaca

Simon Winchester Lonely Planet ePub

Laura Resau has lived and travelled extensively in Oaxaca, Mexico, and is currently working on a collection of stories about her experiences there. She teaches college anthropology and ESL (English as a Second Language) in Colorado, and her fiction and essays have appeared in numerous magazines, including Brain, Child, Cicada and Cricket. The temazcal adventure recounted in ‘Naked in Oaxaca’ inspired Laura’s Master’s thesis in cultural anthropology. Her young adult novel set in Oaxaca, tentatively entitled What the Moon Saw, will be published by Delacorte Press in 2006.

An impulsive decision to visit a small town in Oaxaca, Mexico, on market day led to a naked, sweating matriarch beating a naked, sweating me with branches.

After several months of teaching English in the mountainous Mixtec region of Oaxaca, I was ready to venture outside the town I was based in to explore. ‘I’ve never felt safer’, I assured relatives back in the US when they asked how I liked living in a remote, impoverished village only a state away from guerrilla fighting. Although I attracted attention as the only young blonde woman in town, my skinny body and chunky baby cheeks inspired people to treat me protectively, as a daughter or sister.

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Don't Touch Me There

Dani Burlison Petals & Bones Press PDF

DANI BURLISON

an environment so far out of my comfort zone that I might as well be visiting Pluto was also a little horrifying. I needed some reassurance.

The information on the front page of the CuddleParty.com website is straightforward and nonthreatening. Yet I couldn’t erase the visions in my mind of middle-aged pony-tailed dudes cruising for young, pretty, affirmation-thumping

New Age women. As I poked around the internet, however, photos of past parties, revealing bare arms intertwining indistinguishably in a sea of flannel-pajama bottoms and overstuffed pillows, tapped into a deep fear inside of me.

Thoughts of germs and cold, clammy hands running lightly across my back while moaning and sighing mixed with enchanted dolphin music invoked visions of what I imagined would be not unlike an unwilling visit to a couple’s tantra retreat. My blood pressure rose. I laughed nervously. I decided that I needed to go and see for myself.

As we drove the streets of San Francisco, Skye already sporting his completely awesome glow-in-the-dark footie pajamas, I prayed that we would be lost for so long that they would not admit our late arrival. Being one of the most grounded and open-minded of my friends, Skye was there to calm my nerves and talk me down from the extreme anxiety I was experiencing.

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Medium 9781741795240

An Idyll in Ibiza

Simon Winchester Lonely Planet ePub

Karl Taro Greenfeld is the author of three books on Asia, most recently Plague: The Inside Story of the Killer Virus that Nearly Crashed the World, about the SARS virus. A former staff writer and editor for Time and correspondent for the Nation, he is currently Editor-at-Large for Sports Illustrated. Karl has lived in Los Angeles, Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong, and now resides in New York City with his wife and two daughters.

Anya had warned me. Yet I had discounted her descriptions of her wealthy German family as exaggerated. Who wasn’t a little embarrassed by their parents? But now, as I sat at the breakfast table with the Becker family and watched them spoon huge quantities of yogurt and muesli into their mouths, pile blutwurst, cheese and ham onto thickly buttered black bread and fit entire open-faced sandwiches between their lips, gulp carafes of orange juice and pots of coffee and then light and smoke Fortuna cigarettes before commencing another round of breakfast, I felt I had landed among some race of aliens who had an entirely different notion of what should constitute the first meal of the day. I sipped coffee and had some toast. Including Anya and myself, there were nine of us around the marble-topped table on the veranda overlooking the Mediterranean. The Balearic sun was already blazing; within an hour it would be so hot that you would feel too fatigued to do the folding and refolding required to read a newspaper and would instead place the paper on your face to shield you as you slept.

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Medium 9781741795240

The Boat From Battambang

Simon Winchester Lonely Planet ePub

Christopher R Cox is a feature reporter on the staff of the Boston Herald. He has survived Cambodia’s transport system on six trips for his newspaper and such magazines as Men’s Journal, Travel & Leisure and Reader’s Digest. He is the author of the adventure travel book Chasing the Dragon: Into the Heart of the Golden Triangle, about Burma’s narco-warlords, and can order cold beer in more than half a dozen languages. When not experiencing Third World gastro-intestinal distress, Christopher lives in Acton, Massachusetts.

The route from Battambang to Siem Reap makes a long sweep around the western shoreline of the Tonlé Sap, Southeast Asia’s largest lake, via kidney-rattling roads crowded with death-wish buses, overloaded lorries and plodding ox carts. In Cambodia, it’s an immutable fact that travel is 90 per cent perspiration and 10 per cent sheer terror. So it seemed a miracle when the Angkor Express Boat Company promised to whisk me from Battambang down the Sangke River and across the Tonlé Sap to Angkor’s doorstep in just five hours – half the time I’d spend on a sweltering, crowded bus fretting about an impending head-on collision.

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Reasons for Being a Southern Baptist

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

Reasons for Being a Southern Baptist j

You can believe in sole freedom however you feel about soul freedom.

You can have church by yourself, preach at yourself, or anyone else who displeases you.

You can have Communion by yourself; drink real wine if you don’t get caught buying it.

You can suspend or bar from membership anyone who disagrees with you or has skin or money of an inappropriate color.

After baptism, that’s it. No eating fish on Friday or going to confession. No trip to Mecca or praying five times a day. Giving alms is recommended but not required. You can keep the alms in your church if you want.

You can read the Bible for yourself. Written study guides are suspicious if not dangerous and studying the origin of the

Bible is discouraged and should be forbidden.

You can believe the Bible is literally true and that you are born again. That you are dust and will return to dust but that you have a soul. That you are made of clay and that if you cut yourself you will bleed. That God is your shepherd although you didn’t sleep in a pasture last night. That at the Great Judgment the sheep were surprised that they were sheep, the goats that they were goats, and be absolutely certain that you not only have a pass to heaven but also know who has a one-way ticket to hell.

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Snake Karma

Simon Winchester Lonely Planet ePub

Linda Watanabe McFerrin has been travelling since she was two and writing about it since she was six. A poet, travel writer, novelist and contributor to numerous journals, newspapers, magazines, anthologies and online publications, she is the author of two poetry collections and the editor of the fourth edition of Best Places Northern California. Her work has also appeared in Wild Places, In Search of Adventure and American Fiction. Other book-length works include the novel Namako: Sea Cucumber and short-story collection The Hand of Buddha. In spite of everything, she is still a great lover of snakes.

The fer-de-lance is an extremely venomous snake. More deadly than a rattlesnake, this pit viper is also missing its genetic cousin’s one redeeming virtue – a warning rattle. It strikes suddenly, and when it bites, it injects a substance that is part neural toxin, part anticoagulant and part digestive enzyme, so that the process of digestion can begin at once. You don’t have long once it bites: a minute, maybe two.

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A Matter of Trust

Simon Winchester Lonely Planet ePub

Michelle Witton is an Australian actor/writer, currently based in London. She studied law in Australia and at Cambridge University, where she wrote and acted with the Footlights comedy revue. A well-travelled backpacker, Michelle’s travel stories and satire have been published in TNT Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald and Backpacker Essentials. This is the first time her work has appeared in book form. This story is dedicated to the man who assured her, ‘It never hurts to kick your toe on the moon’ – her father, Bill Witton (1932–2004).

My watchband, already old when I started travelling, had served me well in the three months I’d been on the road, but it finally chose the Italian town of Lucca in which to end its short, though eventful, life. Luckily, I’d planned to stay a while in Lucca, visiting my friend Elizabetta and tending to necessary chores such as mending my dog-eared guidebook and spending quality time with a washing machine. Now I added finding a new watchband to the list.

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