Still Thoughts

WordPress changed their editing Dashboard (and self didn’t know about it until she tried to stick a post to the front of a page)

Moreover, she still has to figure out how to attach thumbnails.

But, as Humphrey Bogart’s character says in the immortal Casablanca, “the problems of . . . little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.”

Paris happened.

Here is self, back to reading Master Shih Cheng-Yen’s Still Thoughts.

Still Thought # 36: Even though reason is on one’s side, one must be forgiving; even though justice is on one’s side, one must be well-spoken and humble.

BTW, self loved Spectre very much. Daniel Craig’s age is showing, but he still looks mighty fine.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Still Thought # 20: “Weeds Do Not Easily Grow On a Field Planted With Vegetables”

The above Still Thought is from a publication called STILL THOUGHTS: MASTER SHIH-CHENG YEN, which self picked up from a Manila Book Fair, about 20 years ago. Never before or since has she heard of Sage Master Shih-Cheng Yen.

Self is presently using Still Thoughts to calm down because she is so not-happy with her internet connection.

Do you know how many times she’s tried to load pictures for Careful # 2: her would-be second post on The Daily Post Photo Challenge this week?

Each time, the system does this little poky dance, and then she gets the horrible Red X with the message: System Error.

Then she has to begin all over again.

But there is one spot that continues to shine like a beacon in all this dross that is self’s current internet experience.

And that is, each time she clicks on a bookmark to an Everlark Fan Fiction website, no matter what the website, and no matter how poky her internet connection, like a gear slipping into a groove, her MacBook goes straight to the site and the whole comforting nest of Katniss/Peeta stories unfurl before self. It’s as if self has rubbed the magic lamp and said the magic words and HOLY SMOKE THIS IS SO BEAUTIFUL.

This evening, self is going down a list of questions from Everlark fans. The questions are as follows:

Do you know of any fan fiction where Katniss and Peeta build a blanket fort?

Do you know of any canon-divergent Quarter Quell stories?

Do you know of any Canon AU One-shots?

Do you know of any fics with Peeta-Hits-a-Force-Field scenes?

Do you know of any fics that have Dark Peeta?

Do you know of any fics that have Kidnapped-But-Not-Hijacked Peeta?

Do you know of any fics where Peeta is popular and Katniss is a loner?

Do you know of any fics where Katniss is a bartender?

Do you know of any fics based off the movie Jurassic World? (Indeed, self can name one, right off the bat: Raptors Out of Containment)

Are there any Cinderella/Everlark fics? (You betcha!)

And now, self simply must get to reading her current fan fiction.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Change 2: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is CHANGE.

The Daily Post includes a quote from Lao Tzu:

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow.

Here’s a picture of the Triskel Art Centre in Cork, which was the venue for the Kelly Link/ Heather O’Neill reading last Thursday, during the Cork International Short Story Festival. It used to be a church, and they kept the wooden pews:

Triskel Christchurch, Cork

Triskel Christchurch, Cork

Another event self attended was the launch of a new literary journal, Banshee, edited by three intrepid young women: Laura Jane Cassidy, Claire Hennessy, and Eimear Ryan:

Below, Issue # 1:

Issue # 1, Banshee Literary Journal, Autumn 2015

Issue # 1, Banshee Literary Journal, Autumn 2015

Finally, a sign on the wall of the Galway Train Station. NIIICE! Trains represent movement, movement represents change:

Galway Train Station

Galway Train Station

Funny, in the States, self has grown used to associating the color red with STOP signs.

Here in the UK, she’s seen red phone booths, red sofas, red walls, red sneakers, red sweaters, and now this sign in a train station.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Quote of The Day: NOT Clockwork Princess

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

— Albert Einstein

You’re welcome.

Chapter XXVIII, FOLLOWING THE EQUATOR: Pudd’nhead Wilson Quote

Self does remember telling dear blog readers a little while back that each chapter of Following the Equator began with a quote from Pudd’nhead Wilson.

And many’s the time she fully intended to share a Pudd’nhead Wilson quote, but that resolution usually fell by the wayside because she is having so much fun reading the Cassandra Clare trilogy, The Infernal Devices.

But now self will make a Pudd’nhead Wilson quote. Here it comes. Ready?

  • Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Mark Twain: Disquisition on Railroad Coffee

At 62, Mark Twain undertook a journey to follow the equator. He called his book — what else?– Following the Equator.

At this point in his narrative, he’s been to Fiji, Molokai, Australia, etc (Wonder why he skipped the Asian countries?) got very very sick, then resumed his journey by train through Australia. He got a tall tale from a fellow traveler (Of course — what is travel if not a series of encounters with tall tales told by strangers one meets in the course of a trip?)

Last weekend, self was in Lake Louise, and it was almost completely iced over. As soon as she got back to Banff, she started reading Robert Falcon Scott’s diary of his disastrous South Pole expedition. The poor man led a team to the Pole, but days away they already saw signs that they had been beaten to it by another team: there were sledge marks in the snow, small cairns, and far off, the Norwegian flag. 1 and 1/2 miles from the Pole they came across a compact tent with a note inside listing the names of five Norwegians and the date: 16 December 1911.

On the way back, all of Scott’s party perished in a blizzard.

Having now gotten completely off-tangent, self has to pull herself back by the nose to Mark Twain’s disquisition on coffee:

Twain experiences his own frustrations during his Australian train journey:  “We saw birds, but not a kangaroo, not an emu, not an ornithorhyncus, not a lecturer, not a native.”

He did, however, encounter something called “sheep-dip,” which he describes as follows:

It is a stuff like tar, and is dabbed onto places where a shearer clips a piece out of the sheep. It bars out the flies, and has healing properties, and a nip to it which makes the sheep skip like the cattle on a thousand hills. It is not good to eat. That is, it is not good to eat except when mixed with railroad coffee. It improves railroad coffee. Without it railroad coffee is too vague. But with it, it is quite assertive and enthusiastic. By itself, railroad coffee is too passive; but sheep-dip makes it wake up and get down to business. I wonder where they get railroad coffee?

Just for fun, self looked up “sheep dip” on Urban Dictionary and got this.

The next chapter, Chapter XV, begins with this quote from Twain’s novel Pudd’nhead Wilson:

Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn’t.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.


And self is back to reading Twain.

She’s on Chapter X of Following the Equator:  “Some Barbarous English Laws.”

The opening quote is: “Everything human is pathetic. The secret source of humor itself is not joy but sorrow. There is no humor in heaven.” (Pudd’nhead Wilson)

Twain lets his indignation/sarcasm go flat out in this chapter. The excerpt below is probably his mildest in this section:

When the colony was about eighteen or twenty years old it was discovered that the land was specially fitted for the wool culture. Prosperity followed, commerce with the world began, by and by rich mines of the noble metal were opened, immigrants flowed in, capital likewise. The result is the great and wealthy and enlightened commonwealth of New South Wales.

It is a country that is rich in mines, wool ranches, trams, railways, steamship lines, schools, newspapers, botanical gardens, art-galleries, libraries, museums, hospitals, learned societies; it is the hospitable home of every species of material enterprise, and there is a church at every man’s door, and a race-track over the way.

Twain’s next stop was Australia, where he was to spend three-and-a-half months.

(Self still going to be quoting from Clockwork Angel. She’s just alternating between the Twain and that)

Stay tuned.


Each chapter of Following the Equator begins with a quote from Pudd’nhead Wilson (Distraction/Digression: One of the poets tells self the Golden State Warriors are playing tonight. Apparently, since the Calgary Flames have been eliminated, it is now OK to ask at the MacLab for the giant screens to show basketball)

Anyhoo, where was self?

Oh yes, Following the Equator, Chapter V.

The quote that begins the chapter is this:

Noise proves nothing. Often a hen who has merely laid an egg cackles as if she had laid an asteroid.

Mark Twain! Self laughed so hard when she got to the very last word of that sentence. An asteroid! A hen laying an asteroid!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

SILAS MARNER Quote of the Day (Last Monday of January 2015)

“Well, Master Marner, it’s never too late to turn over a new leaf, and if you’ve never had no church, there’s no telling the good it’ll do you.”

Silas Marner, Everyman’s Library edition, p. 94

San Francisco Chronicle, Sunday 18 January 2015

“Two great talkers will not travel far together.”

—  Spanish proverb

Quoted in Quotable Traveler by Larry Habegger, p. L3 of the San Francisco Chronicle (18 January 2015)

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