Siberia is so big, it’s almost more an idea than a place
Every once in a while, people need to be in the presence of things that are really far away.
Words are charms. It’s like a song you didn’t even know you knew.
There’s an idea of the Plains as the middle of nowhere, something to be contemptuous of. But it’s really a heroic place.
People in Russia adapt to misery by a deep, deep humor.
Human connection is the way things work. It’s like a patronage system. You know somebody, and he knows somebody, and he knows somebody, and he knows the district governor, and it’s okay.
When I needed to think or was really upset, generally I climbed a tree.
I only saw one English-speaking person all the way across Siberia.
Everything in Russia is made of cement – phone booths, fence posts and light bulbs.
When the days start to get shorter, I want to be in some nice brick building on the East Coast with the lights glowing in the windows. When the daylight starts changing, I want to be out West.
America can enjoy a vital, fully functioning government, with all the benefits provided by Texas, while reducing Texas at the same time.
Cursing dads are terrifying, you know? Cursing dads are – I don’t know why, but no. It just doesn’t seem to me that that would be funny. I mean it might be – you could try it and see. I suppose anybody just losing it and sputtering curses is pretty funny. But I think it would be more of a challenge, much more of a challenge, to make a cursing dad funny.
I don’t want to collect Indian art, though pots and beadwork and blankets made by Indians remain the most beautiful art objects in the American West, in my opinion.
I don’t want to participate in traditional Indian religious ceremonies – dance in a sun dance or pray in a sweat lodge or go on a vision quest with the help of a medicine man. The power of these ceremonies has an appeal, but I’m content with what little religion I already have.
I am an author, and like many in my profession, I am also a traveling salesman, going all over in an attempt to persuade people to spend twenty-five dollars on a hardcover book by me.
Leading economists have shown that by shrinking Texas, we can actually create more income for Texas in the long run.
I think what is important for things to be funny is if you the listener, or the reader, get a chance to supply the humor of it yourself.
I don’t have a disregard for my reader in humor pieces.
A book tour is not a good opportunity to let your mind wander. You have to pay attention, remember salespeople’s and interviewers’ names, succinctly summarize your book in a ‘selling’ way, and so on.
Despite the obvious benefits, many Americans do not like Texas. Some even say they despise Texas, and make no secret of their feelings.
Russians don’t complain, usually.
Russian humor is to adapt or make some sense or nonsense out of the insanity of their lives.
Roy Blount is so funny, and he sounds like he’s just talking, and the next thing you know he has tossed off
an essay as elegant and intricately structured as a birdsong. His ear for American speech is better than anybody’s.
Sometimes travel is merely an opportunity taken when you can.