Friday, July 27, 2007


Fun with anagrams

No, not Lorrie Moore's novel Anagrams (though I loved it when I finally read it, a few years ago). Actual anagrams. When I'm stressed out I like to keep my brain from randomly generating useless anxiety by distracting it with words that don't have anything to do with the source of the stress. I find this works remarkably well. Hence New York Times crossword puzzles in the evening, a minor Scrabble addiction (it's not like I have a problem or something), and a general love of other forms of wordplay. I'm not very good at anagrams, but I'm a bit stressed after this torrid week (a Bermuda high is creating 90 degree-heat and there's lots of wilting going on), on top of rushing around signing house papers and peering into septic systems and, oh yeah, trying to sell books. For a living. Which can be worrisome. So I pulled Michael Curl's book The Anagram Dictionary off the shelf just now. I think I've mentioned it before. Here are a few cognate anagrams from the book's appendix (I may have mentioned some of these before, too - if so, forgive me - as I said, my brain has wilted):

bargain sale - an aisle grab
eleven plus two - twelve plus one
Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott - a novel by a Scottish writer
Kingsley Amis - slimy ink sage
the nudist colony - no untidy clothes
punishment - nine thumps
softheartedness - often sheds tears
Southern California - hot sun or life in a car
upholsterers - restore plush
Yorkshire pudding - hungry, risk odd pie

Ahh. I feel better already. I think I'll go play a game of Scrabble against my computer.

Sarah, sorry I've been lurking the last month. It has been a very hectic summer. Most times I get a couple of minutes before bed to stop in and see how things are going. But I wanted to take the time tonight and say I am so glad you found the right house. I can remember the first time I committed name to paper (with Steve, my husband) and actually owned a house, I was so scared. I did get over it and was thrilled to have a house. I hope you like yours as well as I did mine.
I really like the paintings, I lean toward the tree with Ryan (I did get a degree in Forestry) so I always like to see trees. So friendly.
Hi Jodi - lurk away, you are not alone... I have lurkers in Manila, and Texas, and Belgium, and even at the National Portrait Gallery in London (hi there!). I check the blog stats from time to time and can see who's been reading, it's neat. Thanks for the good wishes about the house - we've been halfheartedly looking for a few years but only seriously looking for a few months - and this is not a starter home, it's a place we will love for years and years. I'll get pictures up sometime soon, especially of the book-room to be.

I like trees, too. The elms on this island were so beautiful - planted a hundred years ago and now tall and healthy and unexpected amidst the dark Maine spruce. Trees in my paintings are usually stand-ins for people, as well as being themselves. Usually benevolent, too.
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