Thursday, October 8, 2009

With greatest admiration and adoration, I present to you our first guest blog. Here is the gorgeous and amazing Christina Kingston's DON'T QUOTE ME ON THAT

Special thanks to the very cool, open-armed Karen Hohman Almeida (@Krinhoh) for letting me, CtKingston (@CTK1) guest on her blog.

You know the quote that goes around all the time on social networking sites? You know, this one:

"Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you've never been hurt and live like it's heaven on Earth." –Mark Twain

I've never done any of those things, have you? I dance like the world is dancing against me. Sing to annoy and you better listen! Love like passion is pummeling me and live like  tomorrow is heaven. Unfortunately for me, since tomorrow soon becomes today, I wind up having to wait yet another 24 hours for heaven and so on… One day maybe I'll get ahead of myself. Overall though, I'm quite happy, in so much as, heck, life is good, mostly.

I love Mark Twain. I've read his books and even biographies. Interestingly I've never seen mention of him singing and dancing or loving without repercussion. Truth be told, Twain was a bitter old misanthrope, even as a kid. He was a depressive. A brilliant one, mind you, but sad all the same.

I often see his quotes floating by in my Twitter stream, on people's Facebook walls, in bios on MySpace profiles and I could keep name dropping all the social network sites I'm on, but this isn't about me, it's about Twain. Mostly.

I've always felt he coined two different types of quotes. The ones tossed off for the easily pleased who don't really "get it," and then the ones he gifted to those who look beyond the surface and "get it" till it hurts. Which one am I? Both. Which one are you?

Real curious, I once asked someone who quotes Twain all the time, like he's got Twain Tourrettes, I asked, "Which is your favorite work by him?"

The answer surprised me. The Twain quoter said, "I've never read him, what kind of things does he write?"

What? But it's of no never mind since the quotes live and breathe on their own, no assembly required. But I hope you've read Twain.

I sometimes wonder if Twain were here and on a social networking site would he accept my friend request? I usually conclude that he wouldn't and that usually makes me happy. I'd prefer he keep to himself so he has more time to finally dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like he'd never been hurt and live like it's heaven on earth.

Have you done those things? If not, will you? And would Twain accept you as a friend on a social networking site? If so, why? If not, why not? And would I look good with Twain's hairdo? Seriously, I'm considering it. Are you?


  1. I can't say I read Mark Twain. But I think you'd look good in any hairdo.

    And I'm all for people singing like no one is listening.

  2. Laughing so hard, I am speechless! I write my own quotes...and I feel quotes should be *lived* instead of just repeating them!

    Excellent guest post!

  3. Ha ha! Good observation and funny blog!!! Quotable vs. Mysanthrope...and never the Twain shall meet.

  4. First off I have one very important thing to say: OMG TINA EAT SOMETHING!!!!

    Now in response to your blog post:

    I haven't read as much Twain as I would like to or should :(

    I often dance like no is watching and sing like no one is listening. In fact I am singing like no one is listening right now. For their sake I hope they're not because I sound nothing like Aretha Franklin.

    Y'know I've never heard this quote before at least in it's entirety. But, I think I manage to do all the things. The Heaven on Earth is tricky but we'll get there.

    "Love like you've never been Hurt" I tend to do this. But I admonish myself for it every time.
    (This an aside, but who the hell determined what degree words, every, some, etc, and one nouns should officially be words. Like why the hell is someone and everyone a word, but not everytime explain this. Also if Aren't is a contraction why isn't amn't? Back to your regularly schedule programing.)
    I mean what Twain is saying here is that experiential knowledge about love is a detriment to enjoying that love. But there are differences between an old cold bastard who never lets anyone in, as Twain may've been, and just being smart and not leaving yourself open to unnecessary hurt. I always dive head first into relationships, if I didn't I wouldn't get into them in the first place, but . . . I don't know where I'm going. Hmmmm . . . stopped to think there for a second. All I'm trying to say is that there is a happy medium somewhere and I hope one day to find it or never find it and just get married (once they legalize it) to the man who I love, whoever the hell that will end up being. (Also: who decided whoever should be one word.)

    "Live like it's heaven on Earth."

    Look I've never been known for brevity in my writing. I like nuance, complication when necessary and fully explanation and exploration of ideas. in fact in high school one my teachers threw one of my papers at me because it 5 pages or 10 pages over the limit; I love history and fun anecdotes what can I say. Earlier this week I wrote a great paper, problem is it was five pages and the limit was two. Great five page paper, not so great two page paper.

    Wow I love that I just proved my point about brevity. All I'm saying is, even without getting into the religious ramifications, Earth is not heaven. There are problems, issues, things to be upset about and to do things about. Like LITTER! Oh my goodness, it drives me batty. Especially when a trash can is within sight. But I think the more important underlying sentiment he is attempting to get at is important and worthwhile. I believe that the primary determinant of one's mood is what mood you want to be in. If you want to be Happy and look to be happy it is not hard to accomplish. I could probably go on and say variations on that theme for hours but I won't

    Now about this person who quotes Twain all the time but has never read twain. WHAT!?!? How could you constantly quote someone and not at least be interested in what they wrote long form. if there is one thing that I consider to be my defining trait is is my intellectual curiosity. I can never learn enough about something. If Wikipedia was a place they'd be seriously tired of me.

    Umm I didn't proof read this so forgive me.


    Wow I just realized there are questions at the bottom for answering. I'm an idiot.

    If you ever wanted to see me sing and dance like no one listening/watching just put on some Otis Redding. I'll shut the place down.

  5. I'm aware of my less than talented dancing and singing skills, so I probably would never do that (mostly for other people's sake). If I could learn how to forget about hurt, that alone would be worth it.

    I like the hairdo with the side part.

  6. Great post, Tina. I'm going on the assumption that your questions are rhetorical and dealing with the deeper issues you bring up. I love Mark Twain, and though I hate the almost endless stream of twitter quotes, do often smile at his. Assuming he wasn't really talking about dancing, or singing, but just about the way you should live your life, I think he pretty much did that. He was a horrible businessman, and made and lost several small fortunes trying to be a publisher. He was happy being cynical and misanthropic, so he was doing what he wanted.
    Now, after reading Matt's guest blog (oh, that was just a comment?), I feel I should comment on that, but being just a comment I won't!

  7. The brilliance that emanates from your words is so dynamic and easily consumable, clearly the hallmark of a talented writer. Many of us are operating on different levels of consciousness, and you obviously 'get it.'

    I love this: I sometimes wonder if Twain were here and on a social networking site would he accept my friend request?

  8. I dance with reckless abandon... and often in the supermarket aisles for the sole purpose of embarrassing my children. No one would want to listen to my singing. Love. Ahhh... love. I could do a whole blog on that, so I'll pass. For many people, heaven is their daily existence, but I find heaven comes in spurts in my world. Even a tiny bit of heaven is good, so I'll take it. I gave up having expectations. Life is less depressing that way.

    Would Twain follow me? Perhaps I would amuse him, perhaps I would anger him, but if he liked to drink and eat candy, he'd follow me, for sure.

    Tina, that is one ROCKIN hairdo. But maybe you should get Twain tattooed on your ass instead.


  9. his mustache looks like it would really tickle

  10. Since Twain was such a crusty old misanthrope, I'd be inclined to think that he wouldn't accept your friend request. Here's one of his lesser-known (but quite satisfying and honest) quotes . . . regarding Jane Austen:

    I haven’t any right to criticise books, and I don’t do it except when I hate them. I often want to criticise Jane Austen, but her books madden me so that I can’t conceal my frenzy from the reader; and therefore I have to stop every time I begin. Everytime I read Pride and Prejudice I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone.

  11. Christina, Twain is a favorite of mine. Genius usually comes in a complicated, colorful package. Makes them even more interesting.

    Have always loved he and Will Rogers. So much truth woven into so much wit.

    Personally, I think Twain would accept our friend request. He was naturally curious about people and liked them colorful. Think he would be bored with the famous who are full of themselves and tweet their lunch menus.

    Bravo! That was a great read.
    @AlphaMares ...Debi

  12. Twain would never, ever accept me as a social networking friend. I'd drive him nuts. Pretty much like I do everyone else!

    Anyone who knows anything about me already knows that I live out this quote, the dancing, the singing, the loving part...

    Yeah. True... like an idiot I continue to do the love like you've never been hurt part. --When are you going to learn, Victoria??? --- but the whole heaven on Earth part? I don't know, I'd have to give that some more thought.

    But being myself (and thank God no one else!) I'll continue my dancing -and probably announce that on twitter. I'll continue my singing - and announce that on twitter also! And continuing to love as if I've never been hurt - not going to announce that one so much...

    If I get to the heaven on Earth part, I'll let you know, no doubt via some form of social networking!!

    Oh! and as far as the hair... Christina, you are gorgeous no matter what! You'd make a plastic trash bag with a bald head look good... xoxoxo

  13. Ok, Tina, now you have no excuse to launch your blog. You write quite well. Love me some Clemens. We have a saying in our house - we love hard and we fight hard. I think that's something like the dance/sing thing (tho we have some Welsh in here, so we definitely sing.) Again, well done.

  14. Excellent blog. I have done almost all those things, the dancing, singing and loving. I don't think I could accomplish the living like it's heaven on earth though. If heaven resembles earth in any way, shape or form; I'm going to be pretty pissed when I get there. Notice how I just assume I'm going to heaven someday.

    By the way Tina I love your very gorgeous and artfully done photos in this blog. You’re just a stunner.

  15. Hmmm...

    I'm probably going to come off as a crusty miserable git myself here, but sometimes (not always) I wonder if quotes are quoted because someone feels they have nothing interesting to say themselves? They may be the most interesting person on the planet (and usually, actually are!) but there's an inherent shyness at work that makes them feel anything they say couldn't (wouldn't?) be held up to the same respect levels as the person they're quoting.

    But everyone can be memorable. Think of Twitter - the RT system is basically you quoting someone. That makes them your new "quote hero", if you like - and that's the same when someone quotes you.

    Social bookmarking - Digg, Reddit, Stumbleupon, etc. All people quoting you.

    So, what am I trying to say? I don't know really ;-)

    Maybe believe in yourself more, quote your quotes because you are someone special, and have the literary chaps and chapesses in the background for when you need them.

    RE. your questions at the end - yes to all three, but not necessarily with the right people... ;-)

  16. *Thanks again Karen for having me as a guest:)*

    Thank you all for stopping by and thanks a bunch for your comments. I'll reply to you all in one big swoop!

    Rey, after the songs you've made, I know you sing for the sheer joy of it, which is awesome. You don't have to look before you pass! All hail @TheNoLookPass!

    Henie, I enjoy your homemade words of wisdom. Keep them coming @HennArtOnline!


    JeffersonR, hey wasn't it me who turned you on to Twain? haha! Oh and the internet too? :)

    The photo above, it's a trick of the angle, trust me, I eat. I eat a lot of sandwiches. I like to make sandwiches and after I make them,
    I admire them and then I eat them! There are some authors I recommend to everyone I know and some I just love all to myself. Twain I love but rarely suggest him to others because he's usually on all the school reading lists. And he's easy to find. Especially given the rampant quotes taken from all the witty and often scathing things he said in his time on earth. Check out the quote that Nate St. Pierre posted below you, in comments, regarding Jane Austen. THAT'S the Twain I'm most familiar with. Matt, I think it's great the way you approach love and the fact that you're 19…well…I hope you keep your open arms OPEN. Over time, after we've all been supremely screwed over, it can alter our views. Hopefully not for you. As for Twain, I don't mean to imply he was a hateful bastard, no, no, no, for if he were he'd of been stingy and never published. From all I've read of him, he clearly gave a damn… but that doesn't mean he gave it on purpose. Oops, now I'd have to explain what I mean by that. Nah, let's stick to you singing Otis Redding and shutting the place down! Treat me to that sometime, thank you!
    As I said, "You had me at LOL."

    @Lynnster23, Lynn thanks love! I hear you on the forget about hurt thing. I'd pay top dollar for a pill helping me erase the ugly memories. Many people say that PAIN is what makes us what we are today. I find that a load of rubbish in so much as I think I'd still be me even if I hadn't been screwed over… I'd be me and a BETTER happier me. Former unnecessary pain makes people bitter and untrusting. I say "unnecessary" because how necessary was it? It was very necessary for the a-hole who caused it… I guess.

  17. @Booksbelow, Roger, I'm not sure anyone could possibly be happy as a cynical misanthrope because that, in and of itself, negates what we term "happiness"…we need to redefine the word happy. Perhaps he was content with his lot in life. I'm content with his contribution. OK, I'm HAPPY with his contribution and yours!

    ----, hi @NikisNotes, thanks for coming out and spreading the love! I have the feeling that when we finally meet, we'll be dancing and singing… Let's make sure of that!


    Jeanne V. Bowerman, Hey @jeannevb! I think Twain would follow you even if he didn't have a sweet tooth. I like the idea of heaven coming in spurts and no I'm not making a sex joke. I feel there are some great days on earth. I have all of them written on a post-it note, so I'll never forget the exact dates. Keep dancing Jeanne! With reckless abandon. Save a few moves for me! *rolos*


    Nate St. Pierre, Looks to me like you "get it". Hey I like Pride and Prejudice. Saw the film version in school as a little itty-bitty kid and thought it cool. Read it later and still enjoyed it. I'm not sure what Twain was going on about, but if he he'd posted that ….review….via Twitter it'd create a spirited debate. Then again when tweeters make such blunt tweets like that, people tend to just get offended and hit the unfollow button. Mostly!


    Debi, hello @AlphaMares! So glad you could come, especially since the gist of this blog came from a tweet conversation you and I had many months ago! I agree "Genius usually comes in a complicated, colorful package." -In Twain's case, the HAIRDO was just icing on the cake! In all seriousness, I enjoy seeing the quotes. The words are pulled out and made quotes for good reason. It resonates with people and helps explain the human condition. Twain and Rogers are both wordsmiths! I'm not sure if Twain would be bored of celebrities who tweet their lunch menus… I'd love to find out though, wouldn't you?


    victoriamoss, "Yeah. True... like an idiot I continue to do the love like you've never been hurt part. --When are you going to learn, Victoria???" -No harm no foul unless it harms and fouls you. But even still, the choice to stay OPEN regardless of what's happened in the past, is indeed a choice and no one has a right to tell you to
    stop it… just keep singin', dancing, lovin… Figure out the heaven stuff LATER!x

  18. [con't]

    6p01053528eadd970c JIM! "We have a saying in our house - we love hard and we fight hard." great saying. That's my motto as well. Mostly. And thanks for the push to get my own blog… I'm getting bruised from all the jovial pushings! But I prefer bruises to tats… both are fun to look at, but the bruises are forever changing… I like change. I mean, I like change when it comes to bruises.


    Vonia, hey hey @voniaperna! So true, if there is a "heaven" I sure hope it's better than earth. And open 24 hours, 7 days a week. I imagine you'll get through the door with ease. OMG, what if heaven had a dress code and a big ugly bouncer standing there giving us all dirty looks? Keep on dancin'…


    Danny Brown! greets @DannyBrown, I do think some folks post quotes because they themselves "think" they haven't anything as good to say on a subject. And then again maybe they feel that since someone else said it so well, they should post that… whatever the case may be, it works wonders in keeping the great wits and artists of our time in circulation. I'd love to see a study on how many people have found authors, painters, photographers, etc from seeing them mentioned via a social networking site. Found them and took the extra step of digging up more information. I'm hoping the number is a big one.

    THIS " But everyone can be memorable. Think of Twitter - the RT system is basically you quoting someone. That makes them your new "quote hero", if you like - and that's the same when someone quotes you." ----INDEED! It's why I love RT so much!

    But what is all this about "chapesses"? I LIKE IT!!!!!! Thanks D.


  19. I didnt even know that the quote WAS of Marc Twain... ! But yeah, probably seen it a trillion times on people's profiles too, either as a status or as a typical fortune cookie message. LAME! And now, as a dancer I can say, if I danced, as if noone was watching, I would totally miss the point of being on stage, when everything is about passing on some vibes to the audience... And if I SING as if noone was listening, then I would probably have noone to listen to me very soon around and well yeah that love doodelido about not having been hurt before is all therapy talk... BLAH.
    BUT: The idea of a Mark Twain inspiring your future hairdo, now that's something I would like to see...;) Facial hair included please, you know how I like the bearded human beings! ;) Nic

  20. Hi Nic! Hey you, next time put a link! Grrr :) I love your comment! I guess that makes good sense, as a dancer your big goal is to get people watching and that desire also fuels a need to make it GOOD and get even more eyes watching. I think the notion of doing something "just because you feel like doing it" and without caring who sees or hears, well, that's also a cool way to live, I just haven't done it like that in the grand scheme of things but sure, solo, alone. Except for the fact that we do it in the first place to please ourselves, so WE are watching first...someone always is! Hmmm, maybe it's very possible to do it just like the quote as well as do it the opposite of quote...a good healthy marriage of living.

  21. I just love to boogie all the time.

  22. Howdy,

    I dont really know much about Mark Twain so I really wouldnt care to much if he didnt accept my facebook friend request. He could unfollow me on twitter and I wouldnt even notice. But he better friggen join my Mafia Wars!!!

    The hair wouldnt be to good, but that moustache is pretty cranking. Rock one of those and you shall get alot of attention.

    I have danced like no one is watching. I always sing like no one is listening. Loving like I've never been hurt is a tough one though. And I feel that Life is what you make it and there is no heaven. If you want to enjoy life you have to put in the hard yards to make it enjoyable. Shit aint easy. But it can be if you try hard enough. Sounds stupid i know. Anyway I'm tangenting. I'm off!!


  23. Hi @McFearless1 thanks for the boogie.


    Hello @Joelsk_ often when I see the Twain quote on sites, the part about "loving" is cut off and the person sticks to the singing and dancing. Maybe the loving part is to difficult for mere mortals to achieve :)Thanks for reading and shouting out!

  24. You have taken something that I have been wondering about and articulated it very well. I have seen that quote tossed out and have often wondered if it was misattributed to Samuel Clemens. I have read a large part of his work, including journals published posthumously, and have never encountered it anywhere except in social networking sites and one search engine that failed to provide the work that it came from. But Twain wrote a great deal and I’ll allow that it might be staring me in the face; And it might be that I refuse to see it for the same reason you do:

    It is so utterly “un-Twain” like.

    Don’t get me wrong: Dude had his sentimental side, but in all the things he said about life itself, the ones that stand out are either humorous or cynically depressive. Regarding heaven, Twain commented on the dullness of people who made it there when he said that both heaven and hell have their advantages: “heaven for climate, hell for company!” He also said that if heaven went by merit, you would be out but your dog would be in!

    In the Mysterious Stranger he takes his dimmest view of life itself: “Oh, this human life, this earthy life, this weary life! It is so groveling, and so mean; its ambitions are so paltry, its prides so trivial, its vanities so childish; and the glories that it values and applauds- lord, how empty!”

    But more often than not he was curmudgeonly funny and it is hard to imagine this cigar smoking pragmatist, this cranky newspaper reporter dancing or singing like there was no tomorrow. In some ways I would like to think that if we “friended” him on Facebook he would turn us both down - and write about it the next day - with special emphasis on our propensity to turn nouns into ad hoc verbs. But there was a part of Twain that appreciated the 1898 version of social networking, and who knows? Maybe we could all dance together:

    “Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.”
    From Mark Twain’s notebook, published posthumously, 1898

    Thanks for the great post, and don't change your hair! :-)

  25. Greetings Skischooldad.
    Hi Joe. Great comment and love the addition of "dimmest view of life." It is hard to imagine a curmudgeonly funny grumpus like Twain dancing around, belting out opera.

    If he were on a social networking site he might list that as his status. Actually I'd like to see if he quotes anyone and if so who.

    One thing that seems certain, unless he was amazing at hiding it, is that heaven to Twain was a smoky pub with perpetual happy hour.