Friday, July 20, 2007

8 random factoids

I have been tagged by Signs (again - Signs, you will pay for this). I am finding this surprisingly difficult, as I harp on about myself so incessantly anyway at various forums it seems there isn't a fact I haven't visited somewhere or another. But, for beloved Signs, I am willing to try.

Here are the "Rules":
(Note from Anna MR: Please adapt or ignore as you see fit).

1. Let others know who tagged you.
2. Players start with 8 random facts about themselves.
3. Those who are tagged should post these rules and their 8 random facts.
4. Players should tag 8 other people and notify them they have been tagged.

1) I have a good head for languages, which sadly has been completely thrown to waste, as I only speak two fluently (Finnish and English) and one passably (Swedish). I have, though, during my life attempted to teach myself several others, namely (in order of appearance)
- Swedish (yes I know, but I was teaching myself it at home as a six-year-old, before I started it at school at 11)
- Latin
- Hebrew
- Greek
- Welsh
- Russian.
Do you see a pattern of little use developing here? In addition to these, I did a smattering of German at school. Something tells me it would have been more worthwhile for me to focus on that and learn it, rather than spread my energies on a collection of difficult others.

2) I have slightly webbed toes - not all of them, I hasten to add, before you die of disgust. Just the two toes next to my big toe (why don't toes have names, the poor things? Index toe and middle toe), and not all the way up, just to the top joint. I have always known this about myself, but my mother only noticed it when I was five. We were in the sauna, and she exclaimed (in Finnish, so I am treating you to one of my translations) "Dear God, child, you have webbed toes!" to which I replied, "But mum, so do you." She does as well, and she had never noticed that (she was 33). This genetic anomaly has been carried to both my children. I also have minute feet - nowadays I take size 3 1/2 - before I had the children, I took a 3 (that's 36 for us Europeans, by the way).

3) I also have the wrinkliest palms in Christendom, or nearly - my mother and older son have these too. Another genetic anomaly.

4) In theatre, I have played one bitch, one bloke, four frustrated and/or mistreated wives, one madwoman, and Sylvia Plath's mother. Amongst other things. I don't know whether I am typecast or not.

5) I have had eleven cats but only one dog. The cats were called (in order of appearance) Sune, Nelson and Lulle, The Puss and Parsley, Punch, Eek-y-Puss. Between The Puss & Parsley combo and Punch, I also hand-reared four kittens (Parsley fucked off and never came back, and left me to deal with them). They were called (in order of appearance) John, Paul, George and Ringo (what else). I fed them from a special kitty bottle. They slept on my pillow, climbed in my dreadlocks, and called me Mum in kitty tongue. I found homes for all of them. George was the smallest and had the most disgusting habits. She (yes) was also the last to go. I have regretted giving her away at all ever since, although it is now nearly nineteen years and four moves-of-country ago, so she'd probably have given up by now anyway. The dog was a lurcher called Burroughs (after William S.). My first husband kept him - another great regret of my life.

6) I like French roast coffee (black, plenty of sugar) and Earl Grey tea (usually white, no sugar, occasionally black, with lemon). I prefer white wine to red, as even very small amounts of red has started to give me god-awful hangovers, and it stains my teeth and lips black.

7) I have fear of flying (manageable, barely), mild vertigo, middling claustrophobia. I will put off going to the doctor's and dentist's until I absolutely have to go. I get travel sick quite easily.

8) My unfulfilled/able ambition is to play the title role in Hamlet.


Phew. Done. In turn, I shall inflict the suffering on the following poor bastards:

Dr But Why
trousers
Ario
Mellifluous Dark
Zola-Ink-Spots
Anticant
Rhysaurus (he doesn't know I exist, I don't think, so this should be a goody)
Basest (he hasn't said a word since May, but perhaps he shall now)

Phew again.

33 comments:

Merkin said...

Size 36 feet?
Learn Chinese before it's too late.

Anna MR said...

Merkin, consider yourself tagged too.

basest said...

can you swim faster with webbed feet? of course..you'd never know how fast you could swim without webbed feet, could you, so there's no baseline for comparison.

anyhow...i consider myself tagged. I'll do the 8 factoids tonight (Chicago time...) and maybe finish one of the 8 or nine postes I've started but left unfinished since I last wrote in May. I promise.

Anna MR said...

As it happens, basest, I am a very good swimmer. Random factoid number 9.

I look forward to reading yours.

x

ario said...

Groan.

Just because I called you a pink fluffy bunny...

But out of interest. Does that mean you can breathe underwater too?

And with those languages... You should really try Czech one day...Apparently just as difficult and obscure...

Yes, Miss. I will go and do my homework forthwith.

Anna MR said...

Only out, Ario, only out.

Czech is just as obscure and difficult as... which one? I am told Finnish is the hardest of the ones I have attempted, and, apart from Hebrew, the only one not belonging to the Indo-European language tree (please click on my signature link for proof of my claim). Random factoid number 10 - I speak a really obscure language as my native.

I look forward to checking your homework forthwith.

x

The PFB

Reading the Signs said...

Anna my dear, you'll just have to get used to this. Fame! We're gonna live forever etc. along with details of webbed feet (I have exactly the same, we are probably related) and the Hamlet ambition. Who knows, someone may Discover you now and offer you the part.

grhiq - and - who knows - a part in a grhiq tragedy as well.
For which the Polish is wsyvna

Anna MR said...

NO. You can't possibly be of the web-foot tribe as well?!

This is too much synchronicity for me to handle. I need some French roast now, Signs.

x

trousers said...

Love the names of the cats/kitties. Webbed feet and dreadlocks? Wow....
I wonder, also, if there is some kind of prize for the wrinkliest palms in Christendom. The Palm d'Or perchance?

As I said over on the press: since it's you, honey, that has tagged me, I shall endeavour to find a further 8 fascinating facts about my good self (I was tagged only a recently). Just spare me a thought as I trawl painfully through my personal archives to come up with something suitable...

Hopefully the results will appear at the weekend :)

Anna MR said...

Hei housut, you are such a smooth talker - "since it's you, honey". And I must say I dearly like the idea of my wrinkly palms being awarded a Palm d'Or.

The webbed feet I have for life, but the dreadlocks I cut off nearly fourteen years ago, because kittens was one thing, a human baby hanging on them quite another, and two human babies just made me feel like a fertility goddess. In the wrong sort of way.

I'm looking forward to reading more fascinating facts about your good self, and will spare your trawling person a thought (or even two, because flattery will get you anywhere around this site).

x

Merkin said...

wsyvna?
.
Synchronicity, indeed.
I am speaking on Skype to a friend in Poland and have just made a big pot of Polish Bigos for my dinner.

trousers said...

Haha, I can be a smooth talker sometimes, you know :)

I'm actually writing my post now while I have a little time to kill, though whether I finish it to publish tonight, remains to be seen.

Incidentally, I had dreadlocks too, but only for a short while. I used to put glue in my hair and twizzle it around, whilst I was at college. Ah, youth....

NMJ said...

Ah, the genetic quirks always show up on the feet. But I love your wee feet - mine are size 7/40, they are slender, but I have inherited my granny's bunion on my left foot, such horror!

x

Reading the Signs said...

The signs are everywhere, Merkin, everywhere. Spooky. And I love bigos.

R.H. said...

Your English is so good it terrifies me. I'm hoping you've got a funny foreign accent.

My three dogs live inside with me. The whole house is really a four-bedroom dog kennel. They do what they like, and carry on ridiculous. They piss on the furniture too, although I'd rather they didn't.

-Robert.
(All true)

Anna MR said...

Merkin and Signs - I have just this evening held back at the House of Signs with regard to a particularly tricky word ver - I was going to claim it was Polish, and then thought better of it (Merkin would have found me out and told everyone it wasn't really).

Spoooooooky. I settled for a vaguer "East European vernacular", as you, Signs, possibly already know as we speak.

What's bigos?

xx

Anna MR said...

housut - glue?!

Oh, my. I did mine with a complicated process involving a large amount of hairspray and a pair of crimping irons. I have straight and very slippery hair, it really didn't want to go, initially. In later times, when the dreads were quite set, I used to henna my hair. It was virtually impossible to rinse off all the henna powder from inside the locks, though, so for a week or so afterwards, my pillow would look like I had a severe case of green dandruff.

(Oh dear. Not sure I wanted you all to know that. Ah well, factoid number 11. All, you know, in the name of blogging.)

x

Merkin said...

Wiki doesn't tell us how yummy it can be :

Bigos is a traditional stew typical of Polish and Lithuanian cuisine that many consider the Polish national dish.

A savory stew of sauerkraut, cabbage and meat, there is no standard recipe, as recipes vary considerably from region to region and from family to family. Typical ingredients include fresh and fermented white cabbage (sauerkraut, kapusta kiszona in Polish), various cuts of meat and sausages, often whole or puréed tomatoes, honey and mushrooms. The meats may include pork (often smoked), ham, bacon, beef, veal, kielbasa, and, as bigos is considered a hunters' stew, venison or other game; leftover cuts find their way into the pot as well. It may be seasoned with pepper, caraway, bay leaf, marjoram, pimento, dried or smoked plums, red wine, and other ingredients.

Bigos is usually eaten with rye bread and potatoes, often accompanied by vodka or dry white wine. As with many stews, bigos can be kept in a cool place or refrigerated then reheated later—its taste actually intensifies when reheated. A common practice is to keep a pot of bigos going for a week or more, replenishing ingredients as necessary (cf. perpetual stew). This, the seasonal availability of cabbage and its richness in vitamin C made bigos a traditional part of the winter diet in Poland and elsewhere. In Poland, it was a traditional dish to be served on the Second Day of Christmas.

Anna MR said...

NMJ my love, you are much taller than I am, so you need a bigger foot, else you'd sway in the wind, the slender thing that you are.

(Bunions, warts, etc...pfft. We are all perfect in the blog world, we are. Particularly you x )

Anna MR said...

RH - why thank you. Not wishing to frighten you any further, but I'd bet my bottom euro you'd think me a Brit if you heard me speak (which of course is a funny foreign accent to you upside-down Antipodean folk). I would claim I sound vaguely Northern English (this is due to a Yorkshire connection in the past of my future), although I can do very passable North London and West Wales accents, too, as well as Queen's English. If you want a foreign-foreign accent, I do an outstanding Russian English accent, if I say so myself, as well as flamboyant Italian or French (complete with the hands), not forgetting the Swedish Chef English. I cannot, however, sound like a Finn speaking English to save my life, my mouth just won't do it.

Factoid number 12, I suppose.

Very nice to hear your random dog factoid. I couldn't tag you, as your site is a bit non-existent (as you may have noticed), but feel free to give random facts about yourself here.

x

Mellifluous Dark said...

Hello you utterly brilliant linguist. It's funny but I can hear your voice when I read your words. Tis a good thing.

Anyway, I have done the taggy thing.
x

Anna MR said...

Merkin - why thank you, that was a very prompt recipe reply indeed. Now, how do I make it without things that fly or run?

x

Anna MR said...

Ms Dark - how charming to see you - now which accent do you hear me speak in, just out of interest?

I am nipping over in no time to witness your crimes...

x

Mellifluous Dark said...

I hear beautiful English with a tinge of Finnish – it's all very melodic.
x

Merkin said...

'Now, how do I make it without things that fly or run?'
.
(Kill them first and they won't fly or run. Trust me.)
.
The important bit is that it is a 'peasant' food and as such depends on a cheap bulk item flavoured with something else.
In the case of Bigos, it is cabbage plus something (usually a smoked something)
I remember having a party in Wroclaw a coupla years ago where I made a big pot of Brazilian Feijoada.
The Poles being notoriously conservative about food were horrified, until I explained that it was basically Brazilian Bigos - using black beans instead of cabbage as the bulk ingredient.
And they loved it, of course.
Yum yum.

http://tinyurl.com/33pmpc

R.H. said...

Thanks Miss Anna but I never bet with ladies and wouldn't take your bottom Euro anyway, someone might witness it. (I thought my dog confession was on topic, but that's all right.) My 'blog' is actually a swipe at a grasshopper-headed sociologist gasbag here who himself runs a huge group blog called Lavartus Prodeo and who banned me to satisfy some skirt he hoped might fall in love with him one day. The joke is I'd already donated $15 to the twerp too, in three lots of five. But it didn't save me.

Anna MR said...

Black beans it is, then, Merkin. They run so slowly I'll have no trouble catching and killing them...

x

Anna MR said...

Right RH - you have piqued my interest (as, no doubt, was your intention) so I will most likely have to go and check out these twerps you mention. Not, however, before I've nipped over to the fine House of Housut to see if his secrets are out yet, as well as looking up Merkin's tinyurl (I bet all the girls tell you that, Merkin), followed by a quick visit to Zola-a-Grumpy-Bollocksy-Thing (he had the audacity to call me "The Old Tug-Boat" over at The trouser Press, so I'm out for his blood now, not just 8 random facts), and possibly to see whether the Welsh Rhysaurus and Anticant have seen me pay them a taggy visit yet.

Also, I absolutely must go and get myself some cigarettes (sorry, Ms Dark) (incidentally, bloody hell, you snuck back quickly, girl - and how comes you hear a tinge of the one accent I can't actually do? It must be those tarot cards of yours). So - talk amongst yourselves, folks. I may be some time.

xxx kisses all round

(And, RH, truly - and this goes for others, too - there is no need to keep to topic, any topic, on this site. If I am not going to comment, I say so beforehand, ok? Apart from that, everything goes except unfriendly behaviour towards other visitors. Preferably not me either, but I'm made of sturdy Finnish stuff and give as good (or bad) as I get. I bet that's put the fear of Anna MR in all of you, hmmm?)

Merkin said...

Well yes, tiny url.
Double click and it more than makes up for it.

R.H. said...

I am floored by your charm.

montag said...

I had never actually witnessed this process ( involved in the tagging procedure ) before:
Random facts.
Interesting.

At the risk of being tiresome, I may state that I have no random facts. My facts are linear, predictable, and appalling.

Anna MR said...

Merkin - I did. It is.

RH - enchante, my friend.

Montag - charmed to see you here. Your random fact is most random. Please feel free to tell more. Incidentally, it is annoying me to bits I cannot remember the name of the bearded wise dude in your picture. It is that Robert Crumb character, isn't it? Mr.... Something. Wise? Small? Beard? It's killing me. Particularly - and here comes random factoid number 13 (actually 14, because I have just blurted out number 13 over at the house of the charming fellow romantic, Zola-a-Romantic-Thing, whose tug-boat sins are just totally forgotten, but I think I mistakenly called it 12 there) - so, random factoid number 14, as it is, I used to live in a house in North Finchley once (I lived in a few houses in North Finchley, but consequtively, as it were) and this said Mr Whats-his-name seemed to live on the same street. My kitchen was on the top (fourth) (third by British counting) floor overlooking the street. I often saw him walk past. This will be some eighteen years ago. It was the house of kitty-rearing.

What is his bloody name?

x

Anna MR said...

Eureka - I have remembered it. It is Mr Natural, is it not? That's anyway the name of the Robert Crumb character I was thinking of, and what we used to call the old bloke who wandered up and down the street we used to live on in North Finchley, with his beard to his knees and his hands clasped behind his back, nearly twenty years ago. Oh, the things one remembers, the huge multitudes of them.