Tag Archives: Mark Twain

Sharing My World 83

Share Your World Nov.19, 2018

Are you an early to bed, early to rise person, a night owl and day sleeper/dozer, or an ‘I’ll sleep when I’m dead’ person?

Well I don’t know, I’ve been both the first and the last one for sure. Early to bed is easy this time of year since it gets dark around 5 p.m. By eight it feels like midnight. After sleeping for eight or nine hours it’s STILL dark, but I get up and make coffee anyway and drink it by the light of my iPad, resisting the urge to stay in bed waiting for daylight while also lessening the likelihood of hibernating until February.

When we lived in Pond Inlet, NWT with close to six months of round the clock daylight, sleeping was something I would just sometimes suddenly remember I hadn’t done for a while, so I’d check my watch to see if it was a.m. or p.m. We covered our bedroom windows with tin foil to get some semblance of night. The six months of darkness were a whole other story.

W is a night owl prowler (we have night lights everywhere so he doesn’t bump into things and wake me up….I mean, kill himself) and he takes about 500 naps during the day. That could be a slightly exaggerated number. The snoring probably makes it seem to go on longer than it actually does.

What are some misconceptions about your hobby, should you have a hobby?

All my painting and drawing and crafting things are in my bedroom. That’s also where I store my yarn and finished art pieces and tools and patterns and ideas. If I don’t try to keep all this stuff confined to one room, it will grow and expand and multiply and eventually take over the entire house. It is impossible for me to create anything without making a colossal mess. Sadly, this makes me reluctant to start a new project because I dread the clean up that inevitably follows.

A penguin walks through the door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?

He is here to remind me that life is a lot less serious than I’m trying to make it out to be. He says

“Humor is the great thing, the saving thing after all. The minute it crops up, all our hardnesses yield, all our irritations, and resentments flit away, and a sunny spirit takes their place.”

I’m surprised to hear a penguin quote Mark Twain. I’m even more astounded by his poor choice of head-gear for such a chilly day in November.

Aliens have landed…do they come in peace?

They had engine trouble and were forced to make an emergency landing to do repairs. Everyone is busy texting on smart phones and no one notices. So I guess we’ll never know.

What are you really, incredibly thankful for this week?

Amazon. I am SO excited to have finally ordered a keyboard to use with my iPad so I don’t have to use the on-screen one anymore when writing things like this. I’m tired of pecking away with one finger. I will be extra thankful if my left hand still works and I can actually remember how to type. And W will be happy there are less greasy fingerprints to look through when I show him something like the above cartoon. Which he didn’t find nearly as funny as I did.

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The Other Side of Cloudy

Prompts for the Promptless:  Silver Lining  “Silver Lining” is a prospect of hope or comfort in a gloomy situation.

A pessimist sees only the dark side of the clouds, and mopes; a philosopher sees both sides, and shrugs; an optimist doesn’t see the clouds at all – he’s walking on them.  ~Leonard Louis Levinson

012In every difficult situation there is always a brighter prospect, some comforting possibility, an element of hope.  And in every crowd there’s always that one annoying person who points out some tiny bright spot in the midst of a disaster.  Don’t you just hate that, when you’re wallowing in the pits of despair and some positive happy person tries to cheer you up?  I’ve been that aggravating individual who says the exact wrong thing, trying to help, meaning well.

Empathy then points out to me that this sad and grieving person already knows deep down about the silver lining, and can almost see it, but right now being pathetic and wretched and miserable just feels so good.  I think it’s okay to let people sit on the gloomy side of a cloud for a while, because If we didn’t have a grand funk now and then, how would we ever recognize happy?

But, sorry, if that big black cloud hangs over your head for way too long, somebody has to kick you out from underneath it.  And what better way to do that than with some great cloud quotes??  Okay, there are probably better ways, but this is all I could come up with.  And there’s even a bright side to THIS, because I had saved at least ten more really sappy ones that I deleted.  You’re welcome.

“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”  ~  Rabindranath Tagore (Stray Birds)

“It is a very beautiful day.  The woman looks around and thinks: ‘there cannot ever have been a spring more beautiful than this.  I did not know until now that clouds could be like this.  I did not know that the sky is the sea and that clouds are the souls of happy ships, sunk long ago.  I did not know that the wind could be tender, like hands as they caress – what did I know – until now?” ~ Unica Zürn

“Thirty-nine years of my life had passed before I understood that clouds were not my enemy; that they were beautiful, and that I needed them. I suppose this, for me, marked the beginning of wisdom. Life is short.”  ~ Iimani David

“The air up there in the clouds is very pure and fine, bracing and delicious. And why shouldn’t it be?–it is the same the angels breathe.” ~ Mark Twain (Roughing It)

“We pledge to fight ‘blue-sky thinking’ wherever we find it. Life would be dull if we had to look up at cloudless monotony day after day.” ~ Gavin Pretor-Pinney (The Cloudspotter’s Guide)

Silver Lining Clouds
Silver Lining Clouds (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Though outwardly a gloomy shroud,
The inner half of every cloud
Is bright and shining:
I therefore turn my clouds about
And always wear them inside out
To show the lining.
~ Ellen Thorneycroft Fowler

The Sisters Brothers Book

sisters brothers

A couple of days ago I broke my kindle.  It didn’t have its protective cover on it, and it fell from my hand on to the wooden floor with a mighty crash hard enough to jar the back loose.  I picked it up and got it snapped back together, but no amount of button pushing or shaking or cursing could coax it back to life.  Mark Twain was the screen saver at the fatal moment, and he has been slowly fading from view ever since.

Well, crap. What a bummer of a sad moment.  I was in the middle of some weird story but I decided it wasn’t good enough to warrant risking getting permanently crossed eyes trying to continue reading it on my tiny phone screen.  So that left me with no alternative but to go looking for a real book instead.  It was a quick search, because I have a whole room full of real books for just such dire emergencies.

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt caught my eye.  It’s bright and red and kind of gruesome looking.  I don’t know why I’ve been neglecting it for such a long time, because it looks GOOD, doesn’t it?   That’s some amazing book cover art.  I don’t think I even bothered to read the back cover or the inside flap when I bought it and may have been influenced solely by the big gold sticker on the front which reads…..

WINNER

Governor General’s Literary Award

Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize

…because it turns out it’s a book about two psycho cowboys in the Gold Rush of the Wild West in the 1850’s.  It’s a Western, and I never read Westerns.  These guys are hired guns and they travel around on horseback drinking whiskey and shooting people.  At least that was my first impression.  But the more I read, the more I loved it.  From the cover flap, which I finally read in its entirety –

Hermann Kermit Warm is going to die. The enigmatic and powerful man known only as the Commodore has ordered it, and his henchmen, Eli and Charlie Sisters, will make sure of it. Though Eli doesn’t share his brother’s appetite for whiskey and killing, he’s never known anything else. But their prey isn’t an easy mark, and on the road from Oregon City to Warm’s gold-mining claim outside Sacramento, Eli begins to question what he does for a living — and whom he does it for. With The Sisters Brothers, Patrick deWitt pays homage to the classic Western, transforming it into an unforgettable comic tour de force. Filled with a remarkable cast of characters — losers, cheaters, and ne’er-do-wells from all stripes of life — and told by a complex and compelling narrator, it is a violent, lustful odyssey through the underworld of the 1850s frontier that beautifully captures the humour, melancholy, and grit of the Old West and two brothers bound by blood, violence, and love.

That’s an excellent synopsis.  Maybe I was just desperate to read anything at all rather than go into panic mode over my busted kindle, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  Despite all the gun-slinging and lawlessness, there are some very funny and touching moments.

It took me all of twenty minutes of mourning the loss of my faithful old kindle to go on-line and order a new and improved version.  Yes, I am a spoiled brat with a broken toy, demanding a new one.  But my kindle was one of the originals, and the one I’ve ordered is the new paper white model with a built-in light and a touch screen, so no more tiny keyboard for my fat fingers.  It has been shipped already and will be arriving soon. I probably have time for one more 3-D paperback from the emergency library while I’m impatiently waiting.

I am such a book-aholic.  I don’t think there is any cure for this.  I mean, seriously, I just read a Western.