Saturday, July 28, 2007

Interlude - Thoughtfulness - Great Blogs

I've finally posted story #406 (post below this one).

Seich has honored me with the Thoughtful Blogger award. I'll work out a post for that in the next days. So stay tuned...

A couple of weeks ago I went through all my comments, and searched in technorati for all the new links, and compiled a list of blogs which I want to stop by and get to know and to incorporate into my links. I wonder how, though, as there are more then 150 urls in that list. But over the last weeks I've noted a few of them, and wanted to mention a few here:

1) My Pseudobackpack
"One Blog. Five Restless Souls. Countless Adventures"

This is a blog by five lovely ladies who just finished grad school and are now traveling the world independently of each other, but using the blog as their meeting point to share with each other and with us. They hope to reunite in some remote island paradise in one year's time, but I am hoping I can convince them to do it Hamburg instead. The concept of the blog grabbed me right away - I think it's turning out very nice.

2) Half Dentist
"Stan Johns' Fictional Blog"

It's a fictional blog about a fictional UK dentist called Stan Johns - probably the name is made up too. The blog follows the adventures of Stan himself, Bessy (his dog), Cookie (his nurse), his friend Felix, his 60ish receptionist George, and the wife Margaret. What the writing lacks in non-fiction it makes up in wit, humor and hilarity. Maybe this is the ghost of Jerome K. Jerome blogging?

3) Madeleine in the Shade

This site has some incredible writing, a style that is intricate, intelligent and compelling. You will find prose and poetry, cultural reviews and some photography - a creative scrapbook. Madeline herself is very mysterious - she has not written much about herself, except that she is in Prague (for the moment) and is a teacher/screenwriter. I suspect she may be a professor of film and have written classic film that we've all seen. Her review of the Czech film "Sedmikrásky" especially impressed me - it went beyond anything I'd ever read about the film (one of my favorites).

4) Lorena's Blogbilingue
"Two languages, two cultures, the door opens. Dos idiomas, dos culturas, la puerta se abre"

This fantastic site features bilingual posts (English and Spanish), short stories with a wonderful fairy-tale like quality about them, poetry, observations, and occasional photography. I haven't explored everything yet but her story about the moon A Story / Un Cuento and her post Faces in the Stones are good starting points.

5) Things Look Like Things
"Blogs and photos as fable, fairytale, fiction and fact."

What can I say about this site except that I'm waiting for God to start commenting here.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Exhausted she lay on the bed, eyes pried wide with fear, her thoughts like waves of tempestuous ocean. She thought what would happen if they caught her. The violin sensed her dread and began to hum the chords of a Brahmsian lullaby, counteracting the turmoil that held her awake. Her eyes flickered shut as she slipped into a troubled dream of what had transpired...

She saw herself scurry up the tree, the violin secure in a small knapsack strapped to her back. There was just enough time to conceal herself in the branches before they came.

"She went this way."
"Follow the tracks -- Over here!"
"There she is! In the tree"
"Bring the ladder."

They'd have her down soon - she knew that, so she removed the violin and started to play, that melody without words, the melody that coaxed primal peace out of the depth of feeling. And it worked. Those who would destroy her talent stood like totem poles that had accidentally touched heaven. Hate, rage and the will to destroy became an altruistic love for one's fellow creatures. She sprang from the tree and vanished quickly into the brush. But their rapture would soon dissolve and the next time they caught her they might be wearing ear plugs.

She awoke on the bed of the motel room, the violin beside her. Men's voices penetrated the glass of the closed window. They had found her, and this time she was cornered. They would smash the violin, she knew. And she would be next. Why did the desire to hate perpetuate itself so savagely? But that's how it was. Not everyone welcomed the affects of her music, but she could at least stand for the principle. She decided to face them. She arose, opened the door and confronted faces hardened by the hours of pursuit and the lust for destruction. The burliest and roughest looking of the men stepped forward and spoke, moisture welling into a tear drop at the corner of one eye. "We'd like an encore," he sniffed.

Story #406

THanks to all who contributed! I'll answer leave my comments later tonight! So many stories to read and soak in! It's the part I like best.

Note: I've been having trouble with my spam filter - lately I've found several non-spams marked as spam. If you've written to me and I haven't answered, it could be I never got the message. I'm checking carefully now, but I can't help feeling that some mails got lost.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Ten year old Max was cleverer than Swatches in a cuckoo clock. He tackled IQ tests in ten minutes flat, obtaining perfect scores with one hand while beating the last level on his Nintendo DS with the other. He was so clever there was really no way to tell how clever he was, because no one had ever seen the likes of it before. So they gave up trying. "I want to invent things," the wunderkind stated one day out of the blue.

"He's clever," they said, "Give him everything he wants." And so they gave him a laboratory. It took him twenty minutes to work out the principle of time travel and prove it with a device that could transcend linear chronology.

"Wow!" everyone exclaimed.

The principle was simple: a perpetual motion energy field influenced by variably poled magnets.

"Aha," everyone said, quite confusedly, "But It's cute how he built it in the form of a 1920's Buick."

From his first journey in the years he brought back two of his future, older selves, one 15, the other 25. He dressed them up like Chicago gangsters to match the car.

"How sweet," everyone commented, "let him do it!"

He also set his future selves to work, each building a new time contraption and journeying off to snatch back further twins from the timeline who in turn began the process all over again.

"Ohhhhh, ahhhhhh," everyone noted with astonishment, "it's exponential."

By now there were hundreds of thousands of Maxes, each a unique instance from some point in time, population doubling and trebling by the moment.

"Hey," everyone noted with sudden consternation, "maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all."

But it was too late. Max opened up a dead end milliminute in a skipped chronological beat and transfered every man woman and child that wasn't him smack dab into the middle of it.

"Hey," they all nodded, "this looks very much like a cornfield."

But it was the beginning of the end. The youngest Max hadn't yet discovered girls, and as his elder versions explained them to him, it flustered him so, that he lost all his cleverness. Soon the Maxes were little more than a lonely, lustful mob with no place to go. They floundered around a few decades, lamenting the loss of ladies, then vanished into the timeless stasis of extinction.

Story #405

Friday, July 13, 2007

Carrie and Carl played volleyball at the lake, bopping the ball back and forth. The sun wanted to play too so in a twinkling of an instant blew a diversionary cloud of dust. The couple blinked, not noticing the momentary flash as the sun switched places with the ball. They continued their ritual of fun, slapping the solar disk form hand to hand until it was time for the sun to go down and the two to go home. They stopped, smiling at the incognito sphere, holding it between them.

"How did you know?" the sun asked.

"The tan," Carl answered.

"Yeah," Carrie continued, "our palms have a nice brown tan after playing with you."

"So what happens now?" the sun asked.

"We put you back," Carrie stated matter-of-factly.

"I'm afraid we'll have to," Carl went on, "we have plans tonight, and it rather involved it being dark."

So Carrie and Carl placed the glowing orb back onto the horizon. The night was one they never forgot. The horizon they'd chosen was the one in the East.

Story #404

Thanks for all the stories! I've finally commented them!

I'm off the front page of now so traffic has dropped down a bit. It's been a very rewarding time for me, as I've met so many new and interesting bloggers - which in itself has been a great source of inspiration to me. Most of all, so many of you have shared your creativity in producing these fantastic mosaics around the photos I've posted. I hope that you will all keep coming back, in spite of my strange stories. German untranslateables of the day: schräg and skurril.

Let's play another round of Russian roulette with some of the bloggers, artists and musicians I like. Take your click:

[eins] [zwei] [drei] [vier] [fünf] [sechs]

Sunday, July 08, 2007

It looked like a simple washing machine but in reality it was a transdimensional anti-phase fabric interpolator. For the less technically inclined, this means you turn it on, add soap, and clean clothes appear out of nowhere. Nowhere in this case is an identical palimpsest of our dimension, with the exception that clothes on that side are constantly disappearing - the way umbrellas do in our dimension. Bob got a shock one day when he reached into the machine to retrieve his new wardrobe. He selected a fresh pair of dress Levi's, but as he pulled on the leg a door on the other side of the machine opened and there was his completely naked parallel twin, pulling on the other leg, refusing to let go.

Story #403

Thanks everyone for all the stories! I've finally commented them and will now concentrate on the story for #404. Anyone still wishing to write their own story to the above photo, please feel welcome to do so!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Balloon: Which came first, the girl or the balloon?

Girl: I came first, and none too soon.

Balloon: You were a wish that I created!

Girl: You are a thing that I inflated!

Balloon: But I can float to outer space!

Girl: With a few quick squiggles I drew your face!

Balloon: I can prove that it was I.

Girl: Whatever you prove will be a lie. But please, let's hear you certify...

Balloon: It was like this: One day, floating along the shore, I spied a boy alone on his towel wishing for a girl. Since wishing for girls is what boys do best and since issuing wishes is my finesse, I hovered to the boy and presented him his complementary wish. Well, of course he wished for you! I dipped into the sea, patted some jellyfish together, added some seaweed for hair, some salt for preservation. And there you were! End of conversation.

Girl: Jellyfish!? Seaweed!? Salt!? My softness and huggability have nothing to do with jelly! And my hair is perfectly the opposite of algae! And last and never least, I am sweet, not salty! Your ravings are nonsense times triple and double - you're but a stick of gum I chewed and blew into a bubble!

Story #402

Note: Today's found photo is a self-portrait by Jenny, an Austrian photographer with galleries at where you'll find many sensitive images of femininity and an Alice in Wonderland kind of charm. Stop by and tell her what you think of her photography! And thanks Jenny, for your kind permission to repost this lovely photo.

You're invited to post your own spontaneous stories, captions or impressions to this photo here in the comments section. Sunday morning I will post a new photo for stories.

Second Note: The form of this story was inspired by Doug's delightful audio post "The Bath" at Waking Ambrose. I listened to that and had to start rhyming things.

Monday, July 02, 2007

The crack squad of philosophers paused after a violent dispute with the enemy. They'd discussed the meaning of life and war, but no one could agree to die. So they withdrew in a stalemate and waited while their sergeant consulted the magic 8 ball. "Does war have a meaning?" he asked. "Maybe" the 8 ball said. The sergeant tossed the black sphere wide into the air. It landed in a ditch some hundred yards away, exploding in a cloud of inconsequence and colored confetti. The philosopher-soldiers rested cross-legged on the ground, waiting for abstract orders. None came, but the enemy marched forwards now, carrying a banner bearing the large letters and digits: "Error 401"

"Now what does that mean?" one of the soldier-thinkers asked the soldier-thinker next to him.

"Damn! Why did you interrupt me?" the soldier-thinker answered, "I almost had what war meant!"

"It's all making nonsense to me too!"

They watched as the banner bobbed in nearer to their position. The enemy soldiers halted and bowed slightly in a show of respect, then brought out the t-shirts they were selling, complete with date and time of the battle ironed on in red, white and blue, a wonderful souvenir to take home to the family. And that was the revelation they'd waited for: There's no place like home, especially during a war. Now they could all go home and celebrate Independence Day.

Story #401

Happy Fourth of July! And thanks for all the stories you guys posted. I'll comment on them tomorrow. Ready to sleep now.