On Writing: Mrs. Kowalski Is Elusively Stationary

But language is a treacherous thing, a most unsure vehicle, and it can seldom arrange descriptive words in such a way that
they will not inflate the facts…

Mark Twain, Following The Equator

Words can do so much. They can show us things and educate us. They can lead us to feel joy or sorrow. Words pass legends between generations.

Mark Twain headstone in Woodlawn Cemetery.

This picture works for this post. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When we put them on paper, they can dance on the page like the most exquisite ballerina. They can also stumble off the edge of the page like a bumbling drunk.

Words can take us places, or not. This is a tale of how they can fail to get us where they’re intended to send us.

A Journey Starts With A Word

The family of a young man who was taken too soon came to town to visit where he was buried. Because we miss him too, several of us who worked with the young man volunteered to escort his family on their sad journey.

The task of leading the procession of cars to the cemetery fell to me. I am familiar with the cemetery’s location. Getting to the gates of the graveyard was not a problem. Moving beyond the gates to the burial site was a bit more of an issue. Read the rest of this entry »


The Book That Lives Under My Bed

I usually keep a book or two under my bed, within arms reach. Reading a bit before I go to sleep slows the race in my mind to a casual stroll and allows me a good nights’ sleep.

It seems weird that another person’s words would make the ones running through my mind take a break. Perhaps it wouldn’t work if people wrote books about things I’m supposed to do tomorrow or expressing concerns about my uncertain future. Thankfully, books about me are not among the more popular genres.

In The Interest Of Accuracy

“A book or two under my bed” is not completely accurate. If you were to look there, you’d usually find two books. One of those is just passing through.  It will be gone in a week or so. The other one lives there. Read the rest of this entry »


A Tale Of Two Parakeets – Clarence Takes The Rap

Mark Twain photo portrait.

Parrot quote taken from my favorite book, Following The Equator. (Image via Wikipedia)

“She was not what you would call refined. She was not quite what you would call unrefined. She was the kind of person that keeps a parrot.”  Mark Twain

Several roofs over my head ago, I lived in a little apartment. I was dating a woman  who was several roofs younger than she is today.

On a shopping expedition one day, the topic came up again about how I needed something to “liven up” my apartment. I tried being slick and said something like how she livened things up. It didn’t work. She still bought me the two parakeets like she intended to. Read the rest of this entry »


Mark Twain calls the Kentucky Derby

Reposting something I wrote after last year’s Kentucky Derby. Sometimes, amazing happens.

Truth is stranger than Fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.  – Mark Twain

This past weekend I had the chance to travel with some great friends for the sole purpose of traveling with great friends. We hit the beach, then bounced to another town for a concert. I am convinced that there are few pleasures greater than those  opportunities we have to relax and enjoy those we’re close to, be they family, or those we’d choose as family.  We had a great time, a lot of laughs, and some beer.

All right. More than just some beer.

In the course of the weekend, one of our beer drinking stops was at a restaurant to watch part of the hockey playoffs. The game went the right way, the beer was cold and the laughs kept coming. After the game, coverage of the Kentucky Derby came on. Read the rest of this entry »


Just say what happened.

The principal difference between a cat and a lie is that a cat only has nine lives.

Mark Twain

I am not a current events guy. I don’t see me turning this into a current events blog. So, to that end, I’m going to write about current events.

Lets discuss the lady whose chimp attacked her friend. God bless her, I’m sure shes stressed. But lets talk Xanaxing a chimp.

First she says she gave the chimp the anti anxiety medicine, the next day she says she didn’t. Read the rest of this entry »


Some stuff from this weekend.

Here’s a couple things I ran across on a quick run to Atlanta this weekend. I guess if I put a lot of effort into them I could make full length posts about each. I don’t think that’s going to happen! Read the rest of this entry »