On the dashboard of our family car is a shallow indentation about the size of a paperback book. If you are looking for somewhere to put your sunglasses or spare change, it is the obvious place, and it works extremely well, I must say, so long as the car is not actually moving. However, as soon as you put the car in motion ... everything slides off ... It can hold nothing that has not been nailed to it. So I ask you: what then is it for?
Australians are very unfair in this way. They spend half of any conversation insisting that the country's dangers are vastly overrated and that there's nothing to worry about, and the other half telling you how six months ago their Uncle Bob was driving to Mudgee when a tiger snake slid out from under the dashboard and bit him on the groin, but that it's okay now because he's off the life support machine and they've discovered he can communicate with eye blinks.
Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, allowing us to do things more quickly and efficiently. But too often it seems to make things harder, leaving us with fifty-button remote controls, digital cameras with hundreds of mysterious features and book-length manuals, and cars with dashboard systems worthy of the space shuttle.
For instance, I hated Pearl Jam at the time. I thought they were pompous blowhards. Now, whenever a Pearl Jam song comes on the car radio, I find myself pounding my fist on the dashboard, screaming, 'Pearl JAM! Pearl JAM! Now this is rock and roll! Jeremy's SPO-ken! But he's still al-LIIIIIVE!
News flash, Fern Taylor!" Ambrose barked, slamming his hand against the dashboard, making Fern jump. "Everything has changed! You are beautiful, I am hideous, you don't need me anymore, but I sure as hell need you!""You act like beauty is the only thing that makes us worthy of love," Fern snapped. "I didn't just l-love you because you were beautiful!" She'd said the L word, right out loud, though she'd tripped over it.
If car manufacturers made cars according to spec the same way software vendors make software according to spec, all five wheels would be of widely differing sizes, it would take one person to steer and another to work the pedals and yet another to operate the user-friendly menu-driven dashboard, and if it would not drive straight ahead without a lot of effort, civil engineers would respond by building spiraling roads around each city.
It was almost noon when the plane touched down at the Triad airport on the outskirts of Greensboro. There was a hire car waiting for me; I waved my notepad at the dashboard to transmit my profile, then waited as the seating and controls rearranged themselves slightly, piezoelectric actuators humming. As I started to reverse out of the parking bay, the stereo began a soothing improvisation, flashing up a deadpan title: Music for Leaving Airports 11 June 2008.
(I)f France's righteous bloviating against war makes them your Dashboard Saint of International Integrity, it's either because you are sand-poundingly ignorant of how the world works or it's because you think France's self-interest is more important than America's. If the former applies to you, read a book. If it's the latter, maybe you should move there along with Alec Baldwin, Robert Altman, and the rest of the crowd who promised to leave a long time ago. But whatever you do, don't call France's position principled, because that just insults us both.
I DO THE SAKS FIFTH - DO THE LENNOX AVE DO THE DASHBOARD, DRIVIN' LIKE I'M FINNA CRASH I DO THE MAGIC CITY, I DO THE JERSEY GIRLS I DO THE POLO, BUT I NEVER DO THE JERSEY, GIRL DO THE MASERATI, DO THE 'MARO DO THE BEVERLY HILLS, I DO THE MELROSE DO THE CLUB NIGHT, BUT I DON'T DO THE LINE ONE BIG ROOM FULL OF BAD, BAD BLONDES I DO THE 'HOOD - I DO THE BLOCK USED TO DO THE CABBAGE PATCH, USED TO DO THE WOP YOU DO THE YOU, I'LL DO THE ME COLLEGE GIRL GIVIN' BRAIN, TRYNA TUTOR ME
The old stage coach was rumbling along the dusty road that runs from Maplewood to Riverboro. The day was as warm as midsummer, though it was only the middle of May, and Mr. Jeremiah Cobb was favoring the horses as much as possible, yet never losing sight of the fact that he carried the mail. The hills were many, and the reins lay loosely in his hands as he lolled back in his seat and extended one foot and leg luxuriously over the dashboard. His brimmed hat of worn felt was well pulled over his eyes, and revolved a quid of tobacco in his left cheek.
Kate Douglas Wiggin
Try to imagine a life without timekeeping. You probably can't. You know the month, the year, the day of the week. There is a clock on your wall or the dashboard of your car. You have a schedule, a calendar, a time for dinner or a movie. Yet all around you, timekeeping is ignored. Birds are not late. A dog does not check its watch. Deer do not fret over passing birthdays. an alone measures time. Man alone chimes the hour. And, because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures. A fear of time running out.
Love makes the world go 'round, it's true, but lust stops the world in its tracks; love renders bearable the passage of time, lust causes time to stand still, lust kills time, which is not to say that it wastes it or whiles it aimlessly away but rather that it annihilates it, cancels it, extirpates it from continuum; preventing, while lasts, any lapse into the tense and shabby woes of temporal society, lust is the thousand-pound odometer needle on the dashboard of the absolute.
I felt the familiar warm tingling at the center of my chest and had just enough time to gasp as some invisible hand yanked me forward, smacking my forehead against the dashboard with enough force to stun me dumb. Chubs slammed on the brakes, forcing my seat belt to do its job and lock against my chest. I was thrown back into my seat, an explosion of colors bursting in my vision. "Oh, hell no!" Chubs roared, slamming a hand against the steering wheel. "That's it! We don not use our abilities on one another, goddammit! Behave yourself!
So what's the deal with you and my sister?" He laughs shortly and rubs the back of his neck like something is there, tickling, tapping. "Tamra." Clutching the dashboard, I turn and glare at her. "There is no deal." She snorts. "Well, we wouldn't be sitting here if that was the case now, would we?" I open my mouth to demand she end the interrogation when Will's voice stops me. "I like your sister. A lot." I look at him dumbly. He looks at me, lowers his voice to say, "I like you." I know that, I guess, but heat still crawls over my face. I swing forward in my seat, cross my arms over my chest and stare straight ahead. Can't stop shivering. Can't speak. My throat hurts too much. "Jacinda, " he says. "I think you've shocked her, " Tamra offers, then sighs.
That tank, " Bucktooth pointed at the gas gauge on the dashboard of the decidedly unfredneck-like '65 Dodge Dart, "is almost empty. We ain't going much farther." "Indeed it is." A solemn Phosphate agreed. "I suggest we stop the car and weigh our options." "What options?" Professor Buckley asked. "Why do-that is- we've been traveling up and down this path for over an hour without seeing anyone or encountering anything. Even the doughnut shop cannot be relocated. In light of this, what options do we have?" It was difficult to argue with the ex-history teacher's typically alarmist position. Brisbane's reliable old automobile had indeed been expending its remaining fuel supply in what seemed to be a hopeless effort to exit the unnamed dirt path. After leaving the doughnut shop and the blonde presidential descendant who worked there, they'd been unable to find DeMohrenschildt Lane again, or any other side street.
To turn the page to the next chapter of a more satisfying life-as-adventure, these steps that have proved fruitful for me - when I've actually followed them. 1. Find Your True North to Become More Joyful First be clear about choosing a goal that rings true. Forget "should" or adopting someone else's goal for you. 2. Picture Being Your Hero Afraid you will fail? Supplant your fear with a greater motivation. When you are tempted to fall back, picture how you'll feel when you succeed.." Rather than talking about what you are giving up or how you might fail, reflect upon and discuss the benefits you clearly see. 3. Surround Yourself With Mutual Support Systems To keep your resolve, surround yourself with those who want you to succeed - and who are also on a path of practice. Agree on shared and individual behaviors that reinforce your mutual support. The authors of Influencer found that is the only way to permanently change. 4. Involve Your Senses To Stay On Your Path Tie your goal for your new chapter to your frequent experiences. Write it down. Say it out loud. Associate it with things you see, hear, smell, taste and touch every day. Plant sticky messages on your bathroom mirror, your car dashboard and smart device screen. Smell your shampoo and connect it with living that chapter. Brush your teeth and feel the motion towards it. 5. Notice Where You Get Detoured Notice your pattern of avoidance. What activities get you sidetracked? What time of day or day of the week is it most likely to happen? What else is happening that can numb you into avoidance? What colleagues and friends help or hinder you on your path? Conversely, when are your stronger moments? 6. Plan A Grand Reward The bigger the change, the larger the reward you deserve. Enable others who supported you, to savor it with you. Since behavior is contagious to the third degree, you don't know which friends, and friends of your friends' friends might be moved, by your example, to also turn the page to the next chapter of the adventure story they were meant to live.