Tuesday, May 06, 2008

A Portrait of the Artist in Six Words, Courtesy of Dr But Why?

Anna MR - A small number of large experiences.


Anna MR said...

Nota bene - six-worded comments strongly encouraged.

Anna MR said...

Oh, and Reader - consider yourself tagged.

Anna MR said...

Please make up your own rules.

Reading the Signs said...

The good Doctor done me proud.

Anna MR said...

Yes. You and me both, Sistah.

But Why? said...

The pleasure is all my own.

I could do this all day. Speaking in six-word sentences, I mean. But tomorrow would present special challenges. Tomorrow, I must attend supplier briefings. Doing this, I might appear stulted. It would not create favourable impressions. Unless the suppliers were playing, too. I somehow doubt that they would.

Reading the Signs said...

Anyone here heard of George Perec? He wrote a book in French. Without the letter e in it. Very hard in that language, no? This reminds me of syllabic count.

tpe said...

Vry hard in any languag, surly?

Anna MR said...

Hello, esteemed Doctor, and thank you. Your bio-writing skills reveal great insight. Shame you're not a medical doctor. Your bedside manner would be outstanding. A great talent, going to waste.

Listen, never mind these suppliers, okay? I'm totally certain you've been outstanding. Hope your Thursday has been great. Look forward to hearing from you.

Anna MR said...

Hello, Signs MOCDOC, your esteemed eminence. I have now googled George Perec. A fascinating body of work, truly. Thank you for pointing him out. I'll certainly look into his stuff. Too bad my French is non-existent.

Am wishing you a speedy recovery. Delightful to see you, as always.

Should one swoon over dead writers? said...

(Perec had lovely expressive eyes, too. Just, you know, saying, Signs sees. Couldn't help noticing, thought I'd share.)

Anna MR said...

Oh, blovd Nglishman, my darst swt. How totally gorgous to s you. W'v had ths "lost lttrs" bfor... W both know this, of cours. And xtrmly funny it is too. It shouldn't b, rally, should it? But it is, for som rason. Wondr which lttr would b funnist? Prhaps w nd to rsarch this.

I sound lik I'm txt mssaging. It's unfortunat and not rally funny. Plas forgiv, hony you, I'v trid.

Kiss lov wlcom back and by.....

x x x x x x

tpe said...

Gd aliv, it's difficult dropping lttrs. You hav xclld, howvr, wll don. And six word sntncs ar limiting.

Fck a dck, I need E's. Goodness, that already feels mch better.

Tochingly beatifl pictre, by the way. And a sperb effort from Bt.

Lv nd lst frm Rlnd, frgnr.

(N, n vwls s pssbly hrd. Mks m lk lk a Wlshmn.)

Nough alrady, back to missing E's.

tpe said...

Do typos count under these circumstances? I meant "mpssbly", not "pssbly" - fck.

Anna MR said...

Y'v lkd lk [a] Wlshmn bfr. Whn [I] frst mt y, rmmbr? T srt f sts y, nstlgclly.

Y'r rght, thgh, bt n vwls. T's vr hrd - mpssbl, vn, mb? Nd [I] wndr f y ndrstnd. Sx-wrd sntncs r s b cmprsn.

Gddmnt, rsc m pls, hndsm Pnpk. M sffrng hr, qt bdl t. Gld y lkd th pctr, thgh. Frm nntn-svnty, mb sxt-nn, nt sr. Nd Bt hs trl dn wll. Vr wll - crdt whr crdt's d.

Lv nd lst chrshd nd rtrnd. Frm Fnlnd, C Mdn, yrs trly.

Anna MR said...

(And oh - typo amnesty, definitely, sweetheart.)

Reading the Signs said...

Excuse me, but you are both cheating. You have to pick words without the letter e.

But, as you wr saying, Anna, it is xtrmly funny and I find myself quit surprisd by this. Aftr all, I am, as I kp tlling you, an intllctual. Wll, Gorg Prc was too. Ys!

Vry sxy ys, ys. But latr on h just lookd bonkrs, so lt that b a warning.

Reading the Signs said...

I saw that "who cares because it's funny" label. But what I came here to ask is: who is that little girl by the typewriter??? Is it - ?

Anna MR said...

Christ, Signs, piling constraint upon constraint. I thought six words was bad... And now this, you hard lady. Choosing words thus hurts, you know.

That author hadn't a madman's look. (Not that I would mind, naturally. I am fond of a madman.) (That man knows, so it's okay.) Do you know his work, Signs? Must try my library for him.

Writing thus could hurt my sanity. This I must avoid, truly, Signs. Don't wish to go all OCD. I shall go back to yours.

Anna MR said...

Oh, goodness, it's you again, Signs. (Please note I'm allowing e's again). Yes, it is yours truly, writing. (The dummy soon replaced by ciggies. Oh, the heady days of youth.)

I still have that typewriter, Signs. I wrote reams with it - seriously. Then I dried up, I think. Still waiting for something to change.

I am going back to yours. It's somehow freer, more liberated there.

trousers said...

6 words?

a) I should drop by more often.

b) That's a very cute little photograph

c) I've done such a memoir too

d) Ths cmmnt thrd s rthr fb

xxxxxx (6 of these too)

tpe said...

Pls dn't ncrg hr Trsrs, srsly. Ths cld gt vry mssy ndd. Gd t s y gn, nywy.

Anna - hei again and bloody hell. What have you started here, hmm? For a gobshite, this is torture. I've never known such fierce discipline. But yes, excellent picture, very charming. Sch gd qlty fr nntn-frty-tw.

Evryn jst nds t clm dwn.

Lvng rgrds ctr ctr,

TP x

Anna MR said...

Hei young housut, a pleasant surprise. Often or seldom, always a delight. No tabs kept on guests here. Come and go, as you please. Thank you for the picture compliment. It is one of my favourites. I must nip to yours soon. Need to read your six-word bio.

(This is beginning to hurt, seriously.)

T's lvly y'v lkd th thrd. T'll prbbly kll m qt dd. Bt wh crs bcs t's fnny.

x x x x x x (six of those for you, too)

Anna MR said...

TPE, sweetest, hei, come save me. I know, I know - it's torture. That's the very word for it. Yet it seems to take over. I can't help myself, you know. Counting my every word, oh God. A nightmare, to be sure, yes.

(M nt rsng t tht tnt. Jst syng - y knw whch tnt. M jst s mtr, y s. Wrd nd wrd nd thrc wrd.)

You'd better have some kisses too.

x x x x x x

Anna MR said...

(Oh and But - Wednesday not Thursday. My bad and mea maxima culpa. Brain addled by illness, very sorry. Normal services maybe resumed one day. Until then we limp madly around. That's just the way it is. Sending hugs and funny stuff, okay?)

Reading the Signs said...

Aaaahh ha! That explains a lot then.

Anna MR said...

The Signreader doth speak cryptically, methinks. What explains what, I ask myself. Explain your thinking, please, dear heart.

Reading the Signs said...

Well actually, talking about brain-addlement and limping around madly, I'm not sure I remember now. But I think I'd just spotted the gorgeously bizarre bit of shame-ranting over at mine. Seriously though, conjoined sees, I hope you are feeling stronger and at any rate elevated in spirits.

sjinfcew is just rude.

I have been looking for a version of Red Riding Hood written without the letter e but can't find it anywhere. It exists, I tell you. Damn, I should write it myself.

Upon a day, a girl with a crimson hood brings food and drink to gran who is shack-bound in a wood. Walking away from path, said girl gets sight of a big gray wolf who says, hi wassup wanna pick far-out blooms at my pad? Oh no, says Little Crimsonhood, my ma said to carry on this path.

And so on. Gawd.

Reading the Signs said...

If you had darker hair, that pic of you would look just like my daughter used to. Unsurprisingly, I suppose, as we're so obviously related.

Damn, I put gets. Substitute has.

Anna MR said...

Oh Signs, how is Crimsonhood now? And Mr Wolf, and his pad? It is hard handling this cliff-hanging. Pray, finish this story - you must.

(I have darker hair now, Signs. Just, you know, saying, conjoined sees.)

Reading the Signs said...

Er - I hoped someone else might write a next sentence. Quite a challenge, doing without E.

Don't do what Ma says, growls wolf, my blooms look cool, innit? ok, says Crimsonhood, but my gran is waiting. So she picks blooms and wolf pads along to gran's shack; clocks gran lying on a sofa and chomps gran up. Crimsonhood trips along and clocks wolf got up in gran's night stuff, thinks it's gran and says,
gran what a big nib you got.
Good to sniff you with, my doll, says gran.
What big hands you got, gran.
Good to grab you with, my doll.
What big chompers you got, gran.
Good to devour you with, my doll, says wolf and that's what he do.

someone else finish it

Reading the Signs said...

no - can't have "chompers".

What big toothy-chomps, gran.

But Why? said...

Huh? Wednesday and not Thursday? I think I must have missed something. Again.

But thankyou. And that tpe, too. And Signs. Most kind.


I wondered about that, too, But Why. I couldn't work out what she was going on about.

It turns out, however, that our fevered Finn said (to you): "hope your Thursday has been great". A harmless enough sentiment, true, except for the fact that she said it on a Wednesday. Then, of course, she went on to correct herself later, causing further confusion, misery and fear.

Personally speaking, I would have let the "mistake" stand. If you'd come back and said "but it's Wednesday, you fevered weirdy", then I would have said "I know, I was talking about last Thursday." Fixed.

This will clear things up for you, surely.

Signs - you seem crazed. It is extraordinarily difficult, isn't it? I tried my hand at your challenge for a while, but failed rather horribly. I would do something which seemed really good, but then would discover lurking E's everywhere. Why is it so terribly hard? I feel that it shouldn't be.

"What big toothy chomps, gran" is a winning solution to one of your problems, however. Keep up the work.

Anna Mr - hei. Do try to keep a tighter control of this zoo, please. Fever or no fever, you need to get a grip. Have you seen what's happening to Signs?

Hope your Saturday was great, fever-face.


Reading the Signs said...

It's all going to my head, I tell you - being a MOCDOC, showered with awards and all. But hey, But Why and TPE - TFI Sunday, what? Never mind day, what time is it anyway? And where am I?

Anna MR said...

Christ Almighty what a right mess. It is truly a zoo here. (Good you let me know, Englishman.) Let's see what can be salvaged...

So Mr Wolf scoffs up that lass, hood and all. Man that was good, sighs Wolf and starts asnoozing. That wolf is a star in snoring and soon that shack is all a-shaking with it. Along trots a woodman and that woodman thinks, what-what, that old bird Gran has a mighty snoring-action going. Mayhap Gran's ill, in a bad way, what with that snoring and all. So woodman walks in and twigs Mr Wolf fatly asnoozing in Gran's night kit and drooling on Gran's pillow. So woodman pulls out his tool and - slash - cuts up Mr Wolf round about his tum. Out flop Gran and Crimsonhood, looking a bit yucky-bloody with bits of wolf gut on clothing, in hair, and so on, but totally a-living. So woodman stuff rocks in that gap in Mr Wolf's midriff (Gran and Crimsonhood assist him in his work) and soon Gran can stitch up Mr Wolf's tum with string (Gran's right out of catgut). Our woodman grabs Mr Wolf (still snoozing) and chucks him in that pond Gran's got out back. Mr Wolf sinks right down to pond-bottom and that's that. Crimsonhood says "I am good girl from now on," but you can think what you want of that claim. Gran and woodman swig drinks and sing "Who's afraid of that big bad wolf", and all is grand in that woodland.

Anna MR said...

Okay, with that story I've earned myself a twenty-four-hour amnesty from six-wordedness on this God-awful thread which will surely be the death of me. God help me Signs, just you make sure never to land up leaving me that magnitude of bother to tidy up again.

But Mutta, the sweet Englishman has explained my weekday thinking to you better than I could have myself (how does he do that? Hello honey - my Saturdays are blessed and I hope the same is true for you every day of the week) so we can all wobble about in a state of complete confusion and worry about Signs who really seems to have lost the plot totally (hello, conjoined sees, just saying as I'm finding it, a-wibble).

Sending love, to one and all.

xx xx xx

nmj said...

okay, just feeling a wee bit like i have missed the party! -anna, dearest, are you feeling better? x

word ver: skazf.

what a brilliant bloody word!

Reading the Signs said...

ok - I'm shaking here. With laughter, if you must know, Anna, for it pains me to say that this is much better than my feeble attempt. Damnation, ladyprince, it's brilliant and you are a natural! And me the bloody poet monkey and all.

Either that or you've totally lost it as well, and what TPE will make of this I don't know.

NMJ? Hello! Don't worry, plenty of time to join in. For I'm sure that a sequel would be right and fitting in this post postmodern age. And you are a writer, even if you do use the letter e


Anna MR said...

NMJ, honey Cyberfriend, the party's finally started now that you're here - what's gone before has just been bedlam and lunacy. Skaz, incidentally (and just to blatantly demonstrate my faux-learnedness), is a term used about a certain type of story-telling in Russian literature - Gogol's style is a typical example of the Russian skaz. So skazf is probably the blog-equivalent of skaz, and the f of course stands for forensically fantastic foreigners faffling fatly for fundamental freedom, and not at all for swearing and being all crass and saying fuck a lot.

(I am improved, dear heart, and have returned to work today. Still coughing like someone inflicted really badly with smoker's cough bacteria, that pestilent illness that used to plough through armies of poets in the 1900s. Gorgeous to see you. How are you?)

nmj said...

okay, not only have i missed the party, but you've all been taking drugs and left me none.

no Es. fuck me.


not njoying this xrcis.

nah, E is necessary (sp?) for happiness.

am sure of it!

i will google that frenchman tomorrow.x

Anna MR said...

Damnation indeed, ladyprince as well, because stone me if you didn't make me all pleased with that high praise you heap upon my unworthy person (and I tell you I'm lapping it up), but then, oh woe with a hat on, whilst stroking with one hand you slap terrifyingly with the other, because what's that word I see you slip into your greeting to Ms Legs - sequel. Sequel. If I was made weak with horror when you insisted previously that I finish your goddamned fairy-tale sans e I am now positively limp with terror, because I foresee some convoluted rules and a tale of dread and yours truly having to gnaw on keyboard well and proper to come up with something to tidy it all up.

You're right and I share your sentiment, I wonder what TPE will make of all this. Maybe he'll ride to my rescue. Just about now.

Trying not to look too obviously hopeful. Tum-te-tum.

Come on, hot horse. Damsel in distress.

nmj said...

fuckety fuck, anna dearest, - you snuckety snuck in while i was compiling my last reply.

am glad you are feeling a bit better.

me, i am OKAY, i think!


Reading the Signs said...

Well double damnation, Anna, but I think yes: a sequel there must be. And if Ms Legs does not feel inclined, which one obviously understands, then it will have to be you - or the McStallion. For I am just off away for the weekend. But hellsbells I don't half look forward to coming back and seeing what's gone up here. Of course you could just tell me to get snaffled, and you'd be within your rights. I mean, who am I to be telling you what you should be doing in your own house and all? Who indeed? Er - fellow MOCDOC, though. Just saying.

Reading the Signs said...

I have not entirely forgiven you for being supremely talented at this, but enjoyment of it has clearly over-ruled any grudge I might reasonably be expected to have had. I'm too damn wonderful for my own good, Anna.

Anna MR said...

NMJ of Legs, hello honey. Yes, we snuckety-snucked in and out of here last night, it seems, hot on the heels of the same minute, bashing each other's foreheads with the swinging saloon doors. Ow. But super glad to hear you're OKAY - that's good news indeed. Although suddenly you seem dubiously absent in your absence, you know, and I rather suspect it has something (quite a lot, in fact) to do with the horrible, unrelenting demand for a sequel the heartless signreader has left here to worry my blood-pressure with. Ah well, fair-weather friend, hope you'll come back to laugh at me once the dastardly deed is done, at any rate.


Anna MR said...

Signs of Impending Doom, hello. What can I say. A fellow Member of the Order comes here with a quaint request (not to say blunt demand) and then buggers off to galavant round the planet, leaving her knnnnigg'htly sis to mop up the mess (as per bloody usual). Okay, alright, I'll see to you whims...but you've only yourself to blame. Word.

(And McStallion - why has thou forsaken me thuslike, leaving me in the hands of my tormentor? Have I not been a most faithful Snow Lass, always? Ah well. Here's looking at you too, handsome...)

Anna MR said...

So, back by popular insistation...

So Mr Wolf, awaking in pond-bottom, finds his tum full of rock and lungs full of liquid. Fuck this, thinks Mr Wolf, and, climbing out of pond all soaking, starts traipsing through wood and moor with his tail not at all hanging midst his hind limbs. At that hour, too, a gang of young pigs is saying ta-ta to Mum Pig, not far at all. This author wants to look at said pigs for a mo. Pigs, waddling through woods, want to build shacks for living in, and Pig First grabs a handful or two of hay from a passing man with haystack on his back. Shack of Pig First is soon built and Pig F sits in his shack, with a glass of shandy in hand, akin to a big laird. Man, this is good, thinks Pig First. Pig Two and Pig Last go on and on. Pig Two twigs a man carrying sticks and stuff and has a load of that for his shack-making task. That shack, too, is built in a flash, and Pig Two lights a cig to mark that occasion. Man, this is good, thinks Pig Two. Pig Last trots through woodland on his own. At long last, Pig Last cops a man with bricks on his back and nabs a load off him. That shack is not light building, no, but Pig Last is a workaholic and, upon finishing, has a glass of milk (a bit dull, this Pig, no drugs or nothing).

But oh, I say, if that isn't Mr Wolf hungrily stagg'ring along that path. Mr Wolf spots that Hay Shack and sniffs Pig First in it. Mr Wolf is fairly starving by now (rocks ain't that nutritious) and so, licking his lips, chants that thing "li'l pig li'l pig, allow Mr Wolf in". No no, not by all hairs on my chinny-chin-chin, I'll not allow you in, Pig First says. I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your shack in, says Mr Wolf [and this author says, ha, that wasn't difficult]. And lo, Mr Wolf huffs and puffs for a bit, and down falls that shack of hay. Mr Wolf scoffs Pig First and that's curtains for him.

Happy Mr Wolf runs on, but his tum is big from that rock-stuffing thing, and is not full from Pig First, no. And lo, but that's that Stick Shack of Pig Two. Ha, thinks Mr Wolf, and says that thing again, li'l pig li'l pig allow Mr Wolf in. No no no, not by all hairs on my chinny-chin-chin I'll not allow you in, says Pig Two. You all *know* what Mr Wolf says - "I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your shack in". And that's right, soon - puff - no Stick Shack and no Pig Two. Hmm, says Mr Wolf, a slight flavour of fag, I think. Not to worry. And on trots Mr Wolf, finally finding Brick Shitshack of Pig Last.

Now this shack is strong and big and Mr Wolf should know to go on, but what can you do. Wild animals don't know Bros. Grimm so Mr Wolf chants, salivating around his mouth, li'l pig li'l pig allow Mr Wolf in. But Pig Last is no fool. No way, fuck off, says Pig Last, and busily puts on a hob, at Gas Mark Six, a pot full of liquid. Mr Wolf is not happy and huffs and puffs as if no tomorrow was on its way, but to no avail. Fuck it, says Mr Wolf, I'll scoff you too if it's my undoing, and onto Brick Shitshack roof jumps Mr Wolf. An odour of pig wafts from within, through a purpos'ly-built gap in that roof, and Mr Wolf, unthinkingly, jumps down through that gap on that roof. But oh and splash and what a frightful horror - Mr Wolf lands tail-first into Pig Last's pot on hob (at Gas Mark Six). Gotcha, says Pig Last, and slams a lid on that pot. And that, as it is customary to say, is that. No Mr Wolf now, no way, no how. Grab a load of that, Gran, says Pig Last, ladling wolf soup into Gran's bowl (Crimsonhood is in mourning for Mr Wolf, for whom that foolish girl had a most hot and soft spot, and so that lass fasts tonight, all sad and silly).

And don't say I didn't warn you, for I did.

Anna MR said...

(Needless to say, folks, with that heroic endeavour I extend indefinitely my leave to speak sentences with as many bleeding words (and e's) as I see fit. Right? Right. Agreed.)


Oh my God. That's pretty bloody brilliant. I don't feel inspired to keep trying it myself, though, I feel beaten before I've properly started.

I forgot all about the six word rule, I'm afraid, whilst rushing to act as your secretary - sorry about that. The discipline was always going to do for me in the end, though.

I'm slightly concerned to note that NMJ seems to be the most sensible person on the page, however. What a sorry pass we have reached if NMJ is to be considered sane. Deary me. She kills flowers, you know. And spiders.

A stunning effort, Anna MR. People may not understand how hard it is unless they have tried to do it for themselves. I have, so I know - and that's excellent.

(Obviously, I'll be ruthlessly searching for any stray E's, just to spoil things for you a wee bit. Fingers crossed, anyway.)

Anna MR said...

Dear beloved McStallion, you're back and come bearing high praise, which feels like plaster and ointment to the wound left earlier by the fact you didn't ride to my rescue and write the tale yourself. So I'm all kind of healed and hellishly happy here, thank you sweetest, and you hastening in to do secretarial duties for me is in itself enough to obviously earn an amnesty from any convoluted rule of horror (which people haven't all adopted anyway - and I did state at the top for people to make up their own rules. We've had a few here - no e's, no vowels, only six words, cetra).

But yes - it has a way of tying the mind in knots, this no-e rule. I am a little surprised at the fact I managed it, and am left wondering. That dude Perec, according to wikipedia, the source of all human knowledge (alongside youtube, naturellement), wrote the book sans e to highlight the disappearance from society of the Jewish folk (his parents perished in the holocaust) and, as his name is full of e's, the author disappears in the process too. Now what I worry about is am I somehow naturally gifted in discrimination? A horrendous thought. I feel I need a personal Nürnberg to look into me now.

God - don't anybody please be offended. I'm doing my morning blether, to get my brain into gear. But seriously - this is something that's often bothered my mind. How do we know, unless we've been subjected to extreme circumstances, how we'd react? Most of us Westerners (and I sort of qualify, in spite of my youth in a Soviet satellite - but we had Coca-Cola) (and oranges) haven't, so we can't know if we'd be the brave heroes or the morally rotten onlookers or even the perpetrators. A friend of mine has written a book, and a very good book it is too - she recently gave me the manuscript for comments, so I'll be needing to tell her today it's good - where two people working on the digs at the scene of the war crimes in the former Yugoslavia try to discuss what they are seeing. One says he's heard of some idea, a "what if" - what if everyone capable of heinous acts against their fellow man would, for a moment, turn red, while he was out walking in London - how many red people would he see? And my immediate continuation of the thought was, what about if the speaker turned red, too?

If you see what I mean. Jesus, I've gone all serious and totally blethery here, McEnglishman. I'll shutsie up now, although I must agree with you in the surprise you feel at the apparent sanity of the Spider Killer. How very odd. Come back and be mad, girl, we all know you have it in you.

Right. Happy Sunday, sweet McYou, and everyone else who might be looking in too.


nmj said...

anna, honey, you are too clever - you have been slain by bronchial horrors and yet you are writing so cleverly without Es.

portugese horsey, i am not sane. not remotely. you know i am not!

now i must google the french man.

xx kisses for you both.

Anna MR said...

Ha, good morning, Sweet-Pea Murderess (we all know what you're capable of). Go google the Froggie, but do feel free to click on the link I left for Signsmeister- the one called "Should one swoon for dead writers?" or similar. There's half an interview with the said dude there, and of course I understood nothing, it being conducted in French (most inconsiderately, I thought), but given your linguistic talents, you'll probably catch his drift. I just admired his eyes.

Perhaps, as your penalty for acting sane on these pages, Cyberfriend, you should be made to tell us a fairy tale...starring a S-P-I-D-E-R.

nmj said...

hey hon,i googled georges, what an interesting man, the interview is hard for me to absorb on a first listening, the washing machine is on, which doesn't help...if the interview were transcribed i could understand, but spoken french is tough for me, though i get fragments...is 25 years since i lived there after all!

please don't ask me to write fairytales with sp****s. Never!!!

(Yes, Georges has kind eyes... You know how he died, don't you??? Only 45.x)

nmj said...

he also wrote a novella, using *only* the vowel E

word ver: eokaa


georges is speaking to us...

Reading the Signs said...

Took a peek first thing. Too brilliant for me to say much right now, FabFin but thought I should wave at you just in case (what with you being psychic and all, seeing me looking in) it was thought that I might be offended. Cos one has to be so careful with some people thinking they've given offence when they haven't. But the ones who think that aren't usually the ones who do, know what I mean. And I didn't know that about GP's reason for this endeavour!

I was just about to thank you muchly for the kiss NMJ, and realised in the nick of time that it wasn't really intended for me - is ok, really.

Be seein you, Sees.

Anna MR said...

Ha. That's more like it, Cyberfriend - keep channeling dead writers through my word verifications if you want to be let off the forfeit of spi*er storytelling. Yes. Well done and keep up the good work. (Yes, I noted the reason of GP's death. Nasty business, but in those days you see, they didn't have the wee warnings on the boxes of ciggies. Silly, silly things - those things save lives, you know.)

Signs of Some Times, hello and welcome home. Glad you liked the story, and yes I know what you mean. I am not going to harp on at great length right now, given I've just been all talkative at your house, and I need to go and buy a vine plant to start my own balcony vineyard. Quick quick, the garden centre shuts soon. But be seeing you, seeskins. Laters späters...

xx xx

trousers said...

My word, you've all been busy! I don't know where to begin!

Oops, they weren't deliberately intended as 6 word sentences. I too shall step aside from that particular framework.

This sentence is composed of eight words. This sentence is not composed of eight words.

Now I'm really confused.

nmj said...

Of course,Cyberfriend - if Georgy Perec had had the warning on his fags, he would still be alive and kicking!

Or aliv and kicking.

You have been at the garden centre, I am jealous. Why did you go without me?

. . . okay, I killed sweetpeas and a wallflower last summer, but this spring I have nurtured and mothered *many* beautiful tulips.

And there may be lupins.

Signs, of course you can have a kiss too. x

Gael said...

Thank goodness you've reverted back to standard English, i popped in yesterday to say hello but fled in fright. Thoroughly enjoyed the tales of Crimsonhood though.
Thanks for leaving your mark at my place. There are actually pics of Finland there (p. 61-63), i had a great skiing holiday in Ruka a few years back. Lots of lingonberries, pickles and reindeer.
Interesting selection of favourites on your profile - Ari Kaurismaki doesn't crop up very often - have you seen Drifting Clouds? And ALK's Paradise is one of my favourite books too : )
I think that's enough for now, good to make your aquaintance, and thanks again for the kind words

Reading the Signs said...

Message for you at my house, Gael - (scuse me barging in like this, Sees and not even staying for a cup of tea. Spaters).

Anna MR said...

Hei, confused housut. This reply is not a pipe. Cette réponse n'est pas une pipe. Man, I can be peculiar too, housut, if you want to go down the obscure road, oh yes verily. But hei, good to see you, and yes, there's been the odd word splurge over here. Do feel free to join in - how are your e-less fairy tale skills, incidentally? Should a mood for spinning yarns grab you, don't allow anything to stand in your way.

Like that, you see. Go go, tell us a story...

Anna MR said...

Cyberfriend, hei. Yes, I went to the garden centre without you. This is true, oh woe, and I am shamed by my selfish actions. But, you see, I simply had to go and get myself a proper vine, because the idea of having a vineyard on the balcony of a tenth-floor igloo was just keeping me up at night with a furious, a frenetic and utterly uncontrollable desire to make it happen. So now I have a vine, I am a vineyard keeper, and my soul can rest again. Sort of, for I still need to pot it on - I got a ceramic pot to put the damned thing in but need to buy potting compost stuff and some chicken shit manure. Oh yes, I bet you're glad you brought up gardening with me now. But hei, I have been to see your garden this spring and it's true, you have nursed some totally lovely tulips this year (how are they faring now, though?). However, I was even more impressed with the supremely lovely stone wall you've grown. What a clever, clever gardener you are. How did you manage it? Give me some tips, please, because I am now gripped with an uncontrollable desire to grow one of those on my balcony, to complement the vineyard.

(You can't fail with lupins, really - but be careful, they have a tendency to take over.)

nmj said...

lovely cyberfinn, glad you are now a vineyard keeper ... but will the vine bear grapes?

excuse my ignorance. i'm not even sure what a vine is, if not a grapevine.

the tulips are doing well, i posted some last night, did you see?

(and i also have a publication date. 17 july!!!) x

Anna MR said...

Gael, what a delight, welcome and hei. Don't you worry about the mad atmosphere in this room, it'll be all the making of the oddballs who've gathered here. This does not mean, however, that you and I can't talk like sane and mature grown up people about intellectually viable things and interesting places we've seen. Like Ruka, for instance. I will confess I didn't make it to pages 61 - 63 on your blog yet, but I shall go there directly after dealing with the mayhem and zoo this place has turned into. But how lovely to hear you've been to Igloo Land, my native shores, and even better that you didn't have a piss-awful time (or at least you're polite enough to claim it was okay).

But oh, those favourites. You have no idea how much grief and worry and shame they have caused me till now, and continue to do so as we speak. There isn't really any earthly reason why I should go completely spastic-idiotic if I have to list a few things I like - and, for God's sakes, I could just say no, I'm not listing any, but both options are as bad as each other and I have quite literally tossed and turned in agony, unable to sleep, over my profile pages. It's true, Gael, so don't laugh, please, you cruel individual. It’s strange, you see, because I like an odd mixture of thises and thats and listing everything would be impossible but then lifting out one over another is really hard. For the longest while I had Tom Waits as the only music as I liked, which is just silly, but I ran out of courage to list any others, and the longer it took the harder it was to add any others.

So now that we’ve established I’m weird, we can move on. I am decidedly unsure as to whether I've seen Drifting Clouds (Kauas pilvet karkaavat - I've left you the title tune under my name, Gael, just to make you feel welcome). However, courtesy of my favourite auntie, I have a whole Kaurismäki collection, so I could rectify the matter quite soon. I expect it’s one you have seen (and maybe liked?). Caring for Kaurismäki films is not that uncommon over here, although they are a bit of an acquired taste. The stunted-stilted dialogue amuses me because it’s quite quintessentially Finnish and only marginally stylised. And AK Kennedy was originally introduced to me by the young NMJ (visible above there, blethering on about spiders, which she loves), and she actually gave me Paradise (which was a jolly lovely present to give someone, wouldn’t you agree?).

This reply, Gael, has grown to such enormous lengths, because while I’ve been writing it I’ve lost my internet connections and it’s just grown and grown. Sorry about that. Please don’t allow this to discourage you from visiting again.

(And Signs - stop apologising, silly you, and barge in and out all you like. But for heaven’s sakes, have some tea, at least. You’ll give yourself dehydration, rushing around like that without any tea. Späters, ja.)

Anna MR said...

Well yes, Cyberauthor (huge big mega congratulations) - a grapevine. I seem to have suffered a forrin geerl attack there. Whether it will bear grapes or not is in higher hands - it might, which is quite tantalising, but at least (unless it dies completely) I can make dolmades with the leaves, and I am imagining it to creep and climb all over my balcony. We'll see.

I have been to see your tulips and they were fabulous - very alive-looking (you'll never live down the disasters of last summer, NMJ, never). And the publication date is just top-brilliant news, fabulous in the extreme. Time for champers, girl, for sure. By the gallon.


cusp said...

Tangle of Writers Wrestle and Wrangle

You'r* all nutz h*r* !

Anna MR said...

Cusp, too right. It's total insanity in this blog-shack. Obviously, with you arriving, I am hoping this will instil a thing akin to calm and a thoughtful artsy flair. But mayhap I'm too optimistic? What you said wasn't rightly full of sanity, was it? Oh oh. It's contagious, this word-wrangling malady.

(Lovely to see you, incidentally, with all e's intact and in place.)

Reading the Signs said...

Wait - wait. I'm mad, I am. I never said everyone else could be too or that you could run an insane blog-shack, thereby making my totally unique madness look a bit, you know, tame.

But oh, sodit, I think someone should start writing Cinderella - with restrictions implied.

Anna MR said...

Signs. I am going to be quite serious with you now. I will expect you not only to write my obituary, but you'd best make it bloody nice at that. Jesus. Okay. You know as well as I do that this is a mean and evil challenge, so we'll not even bother mentioning it. But you say start writing - and this means I'll leave it to you the moment I hit trouble. Ha-ha.


A Story about Ash Lass.

Long ago in a kingdom far away, a man and his missus had a tiny baby girl. Unhappily, Mum didn't stay living for all that long, making that girl a half-orphan in infancy, and Dad (who didn't fancy minding this baby on his own) took a bad harridan for a marital companion nr. two. This harridan also had offspring, two pig-ugly girls, and lazy to boot. This pair of ugly siblings did not work, so our young girl had to do too much, got hardly any food (mainly sharing scraps and slops with Pigs), and had to kip in a cooking facility nook, which is a mucky, ashy nook. Poor Ash Lass.

A hot young King's Son was looking for a foxy girl to marry, arranging a big girl-finding ball-dancing party. I want him, both Ugly Siblings said (lustily). Ash Lass hid in that ashy nook, scrubbing pans and wiping things. I ain't got no ball-dancing party frock, that poor thing was thinking.

And over to you, Signs - hope you're feeling strong, because this is really hard.

Reading the Signs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Reading the Signs said...

And on that night Ash Lass was picking corn out of ash as pig siblings had said to do so as to cook up a soup, and feeling glum on account of not going ball-dancing or having any fun at all, what with good old Mum a-dying so soon and no-one but harridan and pigs bossing and cussing all day long. But what should happen than the old clock striking ding dong and whoosh! In a puff of mist, stood a tall woman all got up in a shiny frock, waving a big magic wand, saying,
“I am your Fairy Godma. You shall go ball-dancing in a fabulous frock and king’s son will fall for you,” and with a wand-tap Ash Lass was all got up in a fab foxy outfit and a pair of glass moccasins to boot. Pumpkin and four mousykins was up for magicking into a classy-looking coach and four –
“but”, said Fairy Godma, “ you got to jiggy back by midnight or it will turn mighty bad for you cos all this stuff won’t go past that hour.”
“Will do”, said Ash Lass. That’s young things for you - but did it turn out that way? Did it bollocks!
What with dancing and flirting and having a fabulous night with dish of a king’s son, that lass forgot to jiggy out by midnight and snuck off just as clock was striking, losing one glass moccasin.

This is a stinker! What we do in the cause of art, seestah. And, as you can see, the story is not yet done. And I am going to Germany on Thursday. Har! (just saying).

My second attempt. I had more 'E's in the first one than a raver in the high street on a saturday night.

Reading the Signs said...

oh soddit and dammit there is still an 'e'.

I'm not giving up the day job, I can tell you that.

But Why? said...

Erm... what to say? I disappear for a few days and you've all gone nuts or happy and telling tales about a wolf, tulips, and channeling the dead. I don't know whether to call for help or film the procedings and post it on YouTube...

Reading the Signs said...

Call for help, I think, But Why. Most appropriate in the circumstances. I have a terrible 'E' habit that has only now come to light.

Anna MR said...

Right. Okay. Hello Signs, and despair not. We'll beat this into shape by Thursday, then, if it be the last thing we do (and yees, you do still have the odd lurky e there, but I'll keep nice and schtum about it all. You did, after all, come up with glass moccasin - I was worrying I'd have to have Ash Lass in a "Hawai'ian glass slippah").

What's up, don't go, says King's Son into dark night, don't go, oh good-looking girl with tiny limbs. And lo, look, what's this, if it isn't a glass moccasin. And King's Son picks it up and holds it to his lips and vows to having no girl but that whom this (small, possibly 3 – 3 ½) glass moccasin fits. Which would brightly-sprightly up Ash Lass to know, but Ash Lass is glibly limping cooking-nookwards, missing a moccasin, totally not knowing of King’s Son’s loving adoration of Ash Lass’s moccasin, but worrying about tomorrow and what’ll folk all say and such stuff what silly girls worry about.

So tomorrow all town is all a-talking about this foxy lass with cool glass moccasins who was dancing and flirting and totally swoontastically taking King’s Son by storm. Who is that lass, gossip gossip. Ash Lass, busy washing and scrubbing and wiping, as always, knows not of this. Piggy-Ugly Siblings did no dancing with King’s Son and thus ain’t all that happy. But King’s Son is totally forlorn and looks high and low for that tiny-foot lass, galloping on his trusty pony from building to building, asking all girls to try on that moccasin. Oh oh, think Pig Siblings, this is too good, and craftily cut off bits of limbs to fit that thing. But no - blood is dripping into glass and it’s not attracting King’s Son, no. Yucky bloody-foots, this hunk is thinking. But look – in an ashy nook sits a lass who looks kind of familiar. Try it on, you tiny thing, King’s Son says, and lo, it fits. And much carousing, dancing, singing, pigging out on good food and drink, and such fun stuff is coming up for all, for King's Son is marrying Ash Lass, but no fun for Pig Ugly Siblings, who won’t stop having bloody-foot complications, soon hobbling off into a faraway horizon of doom. Which is as it ought. But Ash Lass and King’s Song will marry and do a fair old bit of kissing and hugging, for such is youth and adoration.

Alright - consummatum est, as I believe the saying goes...

Anna MR said...

Son, not Song. Nevermind.

But Mutta - never mind Signs' call for help. She's teetering on the very edges of her e habit, but my vote is still on videoing the proceedings for youtube. Good thinking, Mutta. Very good.

Signs - you raving-mad raver. That's all.

Reading the Signs said...

Never mind YouTube, I think you should send this in to the TLS, with a note saying, "Culchah? I'll give you culchah! Put that in your pipes and smoke it, you bastards, for this is the classiest bit of postmodernist bollocks you will see." Something like that.

It didn't escape my notice that you cleverly and subtly (galloping on his trusty pony) managed to get TPE into the story.

But look, you are just too good at this. I mean some of us just get on with feeling pleased to lose a few 'e's, but you turn it into ART.

Take my hat off to you, Princeling.

Going to Germany now to catch bears and liquorice cats.

Anna MR said...

Signchen, I thank thee. Couldn't have done it without you (and certainly wouldn't have, either). (And yes, well spotted re TPE. Who else to use for a template, when in need of a handsomely-galloping character? He is an inspiration to us all.)

Trouble now is something I'd already read and tried to unread from my mind - the bleeding Perec novella with only e, which the young and bloody-minded NMJ saw fit to bring into this room.

Oh dear.

It is taking over my mind now, this Revenge of the E - The Empire Strikes Back thing. To make matters worse, it seems to be tending towards something blatantly erotic, dammit (I suppose I'll have to borrow the image of TPE again). My brain is boiling, surely.

Signs, sehr viel Spaß mit die Bärchen und Katzen haben, ja? Und ein fantastiche handsome Bärchen-Photo das war, in deinem Haus. Say hello to Rotkäppchen und Aschenputtel für mich. Tschüß, missing you already.

Reading the Signs said...

The Sleeping Belle

Queen gets twelve feefemmes bless her bebe gel.

Right - that's the first sentence - bloody impossible. Your turn. I reckon it's much easier if one were doing it in French.

Anna MR said...

"The bebe'll be meek'n'sweet," the twelve femmes deemed. When the twelfth femme went, then the never-expected rebel femme (13) left them bereft, when she expressed, "The bebe Belle, when seventeen, meets sex, defenceless, needle-tempted, then sleeps, sleeps, sleeps, 100 evernevers."

Signs, you are clearly evil. (There's an i in sleeping and a u in queen. Just thought I'd mention that, in case I fail at some point.)

This is going to kill us, you realise that?

Mwah all the same.

Anna MR said...

No, wait, I'm all inspired now (Here Be Madness):

"Belle's Mère she weeps, Belle's Père decrees: "We'll defend Belle. Never-ever needles here, else Belle'll bleed'n'sleep."

Take it away, Signs...

Reading the Signs said...

No, look, I came rushing back here knowing I'd totally messed up. And me a poet and intellectual! Can't the 'qu' count as one sound? No, bollocks. 'Kween', then. We'll have to employ a bit of text spelling.

The Sleepy Belle

Kween gets twelve feefemmes bless her bebe gel.

The bebe'll be meek'n'sweet," the twelve femmes deemed. When the twelfth femme went, then the never-expected rebel femme (13) left them bereft, when she expressed, "The bebe Belle, when seventeen, meets sex, defenceless, needle-tempted, then sleeps, sleeps, sleeps, 100 evernevers."

100 evernevers went. Then evergreens grew keen. Men tempted by needy, greedy deemings, been and left. Then entered the Bees Knees of Men.

A 'y' is not a vowel, ok? So don't even start.

Anna MR said...

I am enjoying myself immensely. You'll find that I had a little insert there, but luckily (or, naturally, by way of our synchro-communicative skills), there is no doubling of the storyline. Let me just point out there's the odd i in your bit, but maybe we can tease them out. Let's have the whole lot here....

The Sleepy Belle

Kween gets twelve feefemmes bless her bebe gel.

"The bebe'll be meek'n'sweet," the twelve femmes deemed. When the twelfth femme went, then the never-expected rebel femme (13) left them bereft, when she expressed, "The bebe Belle, when seventeen, meets sex, defenceless, needle-tempted, then sleeps, sleeps, sleeps, 100 evernevers."

Belle's Mère she weeps, Belle's Père decrees: "We'll defend Belle. Never-ever needles here, else Belle'll bleed'n'sleep."

100 evernevers went. Then evergreens grew keen. Men tempted by needy, greedy deemings, been and left. Then entered the Bees Knees of Men.

But wait. We need her to prick her bleeding finger, do we not? There's a bit missing there. Oh sheet.

Anna MR said...

Okay - please find inserted, the missing bit. Also I've teased out the a's and i's, and as many y's as I could (I am not sure about them, you know. "Yew" would be okay, but "needy" is borderline...):

The Belle Sleepeth

Kween gets twelve feefemmes bless her bebe gel.

"The bebe'll be meek'n'sweet," the twelve femmes deemed. When the twelfth femme went, then the never-expected rebel femme (13) left them bereft, when she expressed, "The bebe Belle, when seventeen, meets sex, defenceless, needle-tempted, then sleeps, sleeps, sleeps, 100 evernevers."

Belle's Mère she weeps, Belle's Père decrees: "We'll defend Belle. Never-ever needles here, else Belle'll bleed'n'sleep."

Seventeen evernevers fleet. Belle feels the secret, femme-gender-engendered need t'see needles. Then, the seventeenth evernevers' eve, she creeps, t'where elder femme 13 keeps secret needles. Belle sees, she feels, she yelps, she keels, helpless - then, she sleeps. Mère sleeps, Père sleeps.

100 evernevers went. Then evergreens grew keen. Men, need-greed-tempted, been'n'left. Then entered the Men's Bees Knees.

He's sweet. The steed he steers, everwhere seeks, then enters the keep where Belle sleeps, bedded w'100 evernevers' evergreens. Next t'her bed he kneels, tempted, presses between her cheeks the redness-wetness dew.
[See what I mean, Signs? It's no longer family-friendly here.] Belle feels the wetness deed, the 100 evernevers' eventlessness ends. "Serve thee best," she weeps. There's cheers.

Hmmm. It seems I accidentally finished it. Please feel most free to edit and add as you see best.

Three, seven, eleven, seventeen mwahs...and have a wonder Sunday.

Anna MR said...

Oh bugger - the culminating point of the story should, of course, have the dramatic bleeding. Let me say it again...

The Belle Sleepeth

Kween gets twelve feefemmes bless her bebe gel.

"The bebe'll be meek'n'sweet," the twelve femmes deemed. When the twelfth femme went, then the never-expected rebel femme (13) left them bereft, when she expressed, "The bebe Belle, when seventeen, meets sex, defenceless, needle-tempted, then sleeps, sleeps, sleeps, 100 evernevers."

Belle's Mère she weeps, Belle's Père decrees: "We'll defend Belle. Never-ever needles here, else Belle'll bleed'n'sleep."

Seventeen evernevers fleet. Belle feels the secret, femme-gender-engendered need t'see needles. Then, the seventeenth evernevers' eve, she creeps, t'where elder femme 13 keeps secret needles. Belle sees, she feels, she bleeds, she yelps, she keels, helpless - then, she sleeps. Mère sleeps, Père sleeps.

100 evernevers went. Then evergreens grew keen. Men, need-greed-tempted, been'n'left. Then entered the Men's Bees Knees.

He's sweet. The steed he steers, everwhere seeks, then enters the keep where Belle sleeps, bedded w'100 evernevers' evergreens. Next t'her bed he kneels, tempted, presses between her cheeks the redness-wetness dew. [See what I mean, Signs? It's no longer family-friendly here.] Belle feels the wetness deed, the 100 evernevers' eventlessness ends. "Serve thee best," she weeps. There's cheers.

Reading the Signs said...

I don't believe that I left in some 'i's. Feck! But listen, I've just shown this to Mr. Signs who had pronounced it "quite extraordinary", and I agree. You are talented, and no mistake. And this (redness-wetness dew, blimey!), forces one into a kind of poetic utterance. Squeek!

Anna MR said...

Well-well, thank Meester S for me most humbly, and a keess for thee (it would all be so much easier in an Italian accent).

Trouble is I can't rid my brain of this stuff, and land up having to compulsively wind it round and round my poor mind. Seriously, I have an "e-poem" an A4-and-a-half long, so far. Here Be M*dness, I'm telling you, seriouslee.

Reading the Signs said...

Well put the poem up here pleeze. Oh, and - meant to say - Periodic Horseman is in the story again, the steed he steers etc. innit? Just as well he's probably not the sort who'd be complaining about things not being family-friendly.

That 'e' poem: yes do it, pleeze, thank you.

Anna MR said...

Of course he is, sweet sees - he's my muse (but that aside - I can't help princes riding horses, can I?). But wait - I'm not being all coy when I say I cannot put that e poem here - not yet. It's literally a list of phrases and such, at the moment. Let me see if I can tame a taster out of it, for you, soon - hopefully tonight, although there's footy, of course, and ironing, which I intend to combine.

Reading the Signs said...

Don't keel me, sees, and I'm sorry to interrupt the ironing (though the footy has finished so that's ok) - but I have put the Belle story on my blog. It was too good, see.

Anna MR said...

Jeez, sees. I need to run over to see. I hope you haven't linked here - have you? Because then that e poem will have to go elsewhere.
(The footy was even duller than the ironing.) (I'm currently undecided about keelling you. I'll need to see what you've done first. If you're still alive in three meenutes, you're probably safe. Mwah in the meantime.)

Reading the Signs said...

Well at any rate, I have lived to see another day. Truly hope you don't mind, just wanted to share the delightfulness. And anyone who doesn't appreciate it is a mashed potato, in my book.

And apropos: have been lunching with someone today who spoke much about Julia Kristeva - language, psychonanlysis and whatnot, v interesting. I reckon this 'e' version of Belle goes straight to the oral primal mother stage which is, apparently, where (lyric) poets draw from. Ach, I babble. Mweh and mwah.

Reading the Signs said...

- and just felt I ought to say that I actually quite like mashed potato. But I wouldn't want to be one.

Anna MR said...

I've never seen a purple cow
I never hope to see one
But I can tell you anyhow
I'd rather see than be one.

(Hei Signs - sorry about the poem, it just came as a natural response to the mashed potato issue. Also sorry about the delay in replying...be back in a little while with Very Clever Things to Say. Oh yes.)

Anna MR said...

No no NO, sees, of course I don't mind - au contraire, pleased as a dog with two tails, you know. We had brilliant fun with it and there's no reason why briliant fun couldn't or shouldn't be posted. So, you know, fear not for your life.

Julia Kristeva is interesting - although I can hardly claim to be an authority on her stuff. I read "Etrangers à nous-mêmes" (obviously in Finnish translation) and liked it a lot, although it tended to tie my brain in knots. I also tried "Soleil noir" (again, in its Finnish incarnation) but its theme of maternal depression and its effect on the child was (more than) a bit ouchy at the time. Funny enough, I thought the ouchiness was engendered by my background as the child of a depressed mother - but the real reason may have been rather closer to home. Ouch.

And although babbling isn't strictly speaking expected around these parts, it is nevertheless strongly encouraged. So keep on keeping on, Ms Mweh... x

Anna MR said...

(And as for the purple cow issue...there's The Sequel:

Ah yes, I wrote the purple cow
I wish I never wrote it
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I'll kill you if you quote it.

Not really. And I loved the Belle illustration. Mweh-mweh, Signs.)

Reading the Signs said...

Lawks-a-mercy, Sees, I love the purple cow poem. And you have just gone and apologised over at mine, haven't you? And thereby transgressed the sacred vow of the Seestahood, for which I declare that you must write the 'e' poem and post it up at the top. Tee hee.

The Accidental done did my head in an all btw.

And right now I have acute brainscramble on account of having taken myself off to a workshop in Brighton which I really did not need and it cost me both loads of money and energy, but will I learn? Will I bollocks! Ok, I'm rambling, but then again you did say I'd gone a bit quiet so thought I'd make a bit of a racket.

Reading the Signs said...

Oh, and I thought of something else for you an all. Over at my place, post Accidental etc.

And oh blimey, this is one short of 100, sees MOCDOC

Anna MR said...

FUCK. I did, didn't I (apologise). I'm in a right old pickle now, aren't I. Goddamit all to hell - and you've given me hopelessly difficult penalty tasks (I turned on the "email follow-up comments" option at the Accidental, so I know what you've thrown at me there, too), which I will take forever completing (just warning you), and to top it all off, I'm leaving the 100th comment here myself, which is a bit poor really.

However, so glad am I to see you I'm willing to forgive you instantly (and particularly as you've not apologised at all - damn). The workshop sounds like right load of bollocks and you should certainly tell all the gory-wanky details of uselessness.

I should go and compose an apology at your place. Of course the way the world works is when I'm told to apologise for everything (which really does give for nice artistic scope), I stop seeing my all-encompassing universal guilt quite as clearly as I do under normal circumstances.

So, expect delays, sees MOCDOC.

Reading the Signs said...

Damnation and all, why don't I know how to switch on email follow-up comments? Why don't I know as much as you altogether, Anna? Why am I such a troglodyte?

Well anyway. I have magnanimously decided to offer you an alternative to the Apology task; which is, basically, to do the opposite, which is to write something in which you praise yourself to the very skies. (Ever read a poem by Tomasz Salamun that begins "Tomasz Salamun, you are a genius"? Tried to find it on the internet but couldn't.)

Alternatively, you could just tell me to naff off. But here's something: if you do complete one of the tasks it will confer on you the right to give me one. Can't say fairer than that now, can I?

Anna MR said...

As if I would (tell you to naff off) - but fear not, a most heinous task will be imposed upon you once I've managed my penalties. But oh and woe, don't confuse me with alternative penalties (you know I work well under restraint) - I am working on both punishments and, no doubt, something hideous and silly will emerge sooner or later.

And I have just spent a stupidly long time trying to find anything at all online by Tomasz Salamun (so far totally in vain), and my laptop battery has gone red in the process.

As for the reasons behind your admirable troglodytehood, I cannot say. However, if you look five lines under the wee box you write comments in, it usually has a little tickable box that says "email follow-up comments to Signs of the Troll Caves or whatever. If thou tickest that said box, Signs, I believe you'd have activated emailing follow-up comments. Works for me, at any rate.

Mwah mweh and off to look up Tomasz S, so as not to have to write apologies and e poems and stuff. Run awaaaaaaaaay....

Reading the Signs said...

Oh my Gawd, Anna, you are too brilliant. I've tried to find the Salamun poem online and failed, otherwise I'd have done a pretty blue link to it, as this is something I have mastered.

I might just have to type it up myself and send it - just to see what it might ignite in you, as antidote to the extreme (and beautifully-rendered) guilt.

Laters and spaters and mwahs!

Anna MR said...

Watch it, seeskeens, you praise me overmuch. I might die. But very glad you didn't feel too embarrassed by the apology landing at your site. I am, a little, truth to tell, but the worse one is yet to come (e poem at the top here, oh woe. You can be sure I'll blame you for it, most publicly). And I am working day and night to come up with a counter-forfeit for you, I can tell you that for free.

And yes please, do write and post the Salamun for me - here will be good because I landed at some writer's site yesterday looking for Salamun online, and I'd like to have such erudite searches on mine, too (instead of the usual "webbed toes women" and "David Tennant's p*nis"). I knew a young Icelandic writer once, I produced his first play and I believe his career is sharply rising over in his native land now, but he'd written a poem which was called something like "The Artist Loses All Sense of Perspective" and it was all in the lines of "They'll shout my name from the rooftops/ They'll whisper it when they come" and so on. Damn how I wish he hadn't written it, because that'd be a hell of a line.

On that high note (oh fnarr fnarr, that was a brilliant double entendre if I say so myself, and I do, and in saying it, ruin the deadpan effect, but anyway), on that high note, Signs, I bid you spaters-laters for now. The sun is up (it is most of the time, this time of the year) and I must walk the wolfette. Mwahs in the meantime.

Reading the Signs said...

- but meanwhiles, take a look at this - think we should tell her about our (well, mainly your) version?

Reading the Signs said...

Who is Who (by Tomaz Salamun)

Tomaz Salamun you are a genius
you are wonderful you are a joy to behold
you are great you are a giant
you are strong and powerful you are phenomenal
you are the greatest of all time
you are the king you are possessed of great wealth
you are a genius Tomaz Salamun
in harmony with all creation we have to admit that
you are a lion the planets pay homage to you
the sun turns her face to you every day
you are just everything you are Mount Ararat
you are perennial you are the morning star
you are without beginning or end
you have no shadow no fear
you are the light you are the fire from heaven
behold the eyes of Tomaz Salamun
behold the brilliant radiance of the sky
behold his arms behold his loins
behold him striding forth
behold him touching the ground
your skin bears the scent of nard
your hair is like solar dust
the stars are amazed who is amazed at the stars
the sea is blue who is the sky's guardian
you are the boat on the high seas
that no wind no storm can destroy
you are the mountain rising from the plain
the lake in the desert
you are the speculum humanae salvationis
you hold back the forces of darkness
beside you every light grows dim
beside you every sun appears dark
every stone every house every crumb every mote of dust
every hair every blood every mountain every snow
every tree every life every valley every chasm
every enmity every lamb every glow every rainbow

(translated by Tomaz Salamun and Anselm Hollo)

Anna - stunned (and stunning) said...

(Ahem. Just practising, Signs, just practising.)

But hells bells, that is quite a spectacular bit of self-praise and a very good poem to boot, in its own odd way. Me like. And you know, of course, being the intellectual you are, that Anselm Hollo is a Finn - albeit he's lived in the US since the year of my birth (there was only room for one of us in this country, you know). Click my name for more info...

As for informing the other instance about our effort (our, Signs), hmmmmmm. Interesting though the version she posts is (and I've only had the chance for a brief view, rather than a proper peruse) - I am a little shy of her (she seems one of these successful and self-assured ladies who intimidate the hell out of me) (and of course, because I've clicked your link she will find her way here, if she bothers following such things, from her statty machine) (so hello and welcome, Ms B - just in case) so I am not going to go and advertise anything I've been involved with over at her house, at any rate.

I am off to speak to you at one or two other locations, Signs, so must run. Be seeing you...

(oh and, this is not to be read as you not being successful or self-assured. For your information, you used to intimidate the living heebie-jeebies out of me, too, before you started talking bollocks at That Place. Just, you know, telling you, since you might not have known otherwise)


Reading the Signs said...

Now look, I come over here all panting and dishevelled expecting to be afraid, and what do I get? You telling me that I don't intimidate you any more! I'll have you know that I'm very scary indeed - dammit, I even intimidate myself so much I can hardly look in the mirror sometimes and meet my own eyes. And that's not all down to ugly bad hair days either, so don't be thinking that.

So, ahem, anyway. Hello Ms B, if you're looking (how can she be, Anna, she'll never find her way down here).

ok, drumming my fingers here.

Anna MR said...

You're in the wrong room, Signs.

(there's a direct link between here and Ms B's (hello, again, charming lady) now, via the link you left and I clicked - statcounter at any rate would list it as the "came from" address which is clickable and would bring the intrepid explorer exactly here)

Reading the Signs said...

Is she intrepid enough, I wonder? Ms B? If you're here I doff my hat to you.

Mwah an all, sees. Prepare to have the heebie jeebies completely blown away by my smouldering brilliance. Coming atcha. Soon. (ish)

Anna MR said...

I quake in my hush puppies, volcanically shiny Signs. I shall go fortify myself with coffee, now, that sweetest of nectars. As it happens, I feel a bit empty now that I haven't a penalty to force me on. Hmmm. Ms B - if you're here, penalise me, please. Alternatively, I shall have to take up The Salamun Challenge.

And yes - mwahs and, I suppose, mwohs too.

Reading the Signs said...

Up bright and early with the larks, Missy Mr. A shirker? Not moi. Just watch me bash out my ten words a day. Also hoping to ambush Mr. S with cat birthday song before he goes off hunter-gathering in the land of computer software project management.

But where is Ms B - where? For she has surely heard us talking about her. Think I'll put another link here (go look) just as a friendly, if perhaps a little insistent, wave in her direction. Cooey! Ms B! Over here is where it's at.

orgery, my dear. Just saying.

Anna MR said...

No way. Orgery, you say? That's simply too brilliant, an orrery for orgies. God, how wonderful a word. I am stealing it this instant.

But hei, sweet sees, I can't apologise for keeping you hanging here for ages (God knows what would be my penalty) but you know, no hurt or upset was meant, I just fell off the planet for a few days, The Outside World seemed to want too much out of me, all that. Back now, though, although only briefly tonight (need sleep). Hoping Mr Signs' birthday bash was a rip-roaring success - the card was a bit twee in the end but I drove myself crazy picking one to a man who's your other half but whom I've never met, so after an hour of various youtube extravaganzas (I'll maybe link to them at some point for you, just out of interest) the singing kitty seemed more like a cute thing possessed by the Devil himself (which seemed like a suitable card for the afore-described man) (coo-ey, Mr Signs) than a twee little furball.

Anyway. I shall rise and go now (well, go anyway) and click on the link you left, and I hope this letter finds you in fine form and see you soon. Must sleeeeeeeeep.....mwah.

Reading the Signs said...

dearest apologiste - you very nearly did, didn't you? And I am so itching to give you the Salamun penalty, I almost did. But on the other hand I haven't done my 'ohs' and 'ahs' yet and am quite honestly in no state to, so am not in a good position to be imposing penalties.

I sent Mr. S the cat birthday song in an email to his work and as soon as it began he switched the sound off - presumably so that no-one would think he was a sissy (men - I ask you!), but then he played it twice over at home. He knows it's from you.

Now, when you've had a good sleep (sweet dreams, sees) perhaps you would enlighten me as to who this "other half" is (assuming you weren't referring to Mr. Signs?

And what the blazes has happened to Mr.Dashing Horseman, I wonder? Just thought the secretary might know.

Reading the Signs said...

Shamefacedly, I have to admit that the O's and A's are way beyond the capacity of this neurologically-malfunctioning brain. Blimey, and I almost apologised. It will have to be something different, like a topic or something.

Hope you're ok, Seesah - and that Outside World is behaving itself.


Anna MR said...

Ha. You did nearly apologise there, Sees - but I'm willing to forgive you as I've shamefully left you here, unattended to, for ages. Dear oh dear. But when does it (Outside World) ever (behave itself)? Never.

But listen. Don't give up on the malfunctioning neurons just yet - I spent ages over the ee thing, ages. When NMJ first mentioned the Perec novel, which a quick look will tell me was May 11th, I started obsessively writing down phrases and words and sentences and stuff with just e's. This means I worked at it for over a month. So, you know, you are not released from your bond as yet. (I am also left with intriguing little snippets and gems such as "The weekend left me self-centred, extreme", "We never need keep secret the extreme defenselessness we feel", "the depressed men never rebelled", and my personal favourite, the simple yet dramatic "Eleven knells. Twelve."

I don't know what to do with the bastard things, let alone the other stuff I choose not to quote here.

I shall try to get my head into gear and reply to the other people (upstairs) and stop being such a blog wuss. Hoping you're keeping well, though, in the meantime. Now I must to my sauna. Mwah, be seeing you, siskins, I've missed you.

Anna MR said...

And oh - no - I was referring to the eminent Mr Signs with the "other half" thing. I have read over my comment there and it is a mite messy, I have to confess. Um, s*rry.

How are the ah's and oh's coming along? Oh no, too long has a blog-lass long'd for that song...

And just between you and me - the Salamun penalty is unstoppably brewing in my brain. Oh woe.