Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mmm, roasted high jumper, my favorite!

I was recently watching the Sweden Battle. It’s an annual athletics international between Sweden and Finland, and I’d like to say that the athletics fight it out until there’s only one person left standing, but sadly they just give out points and the country with the most points wins. Boring!

Here’s what I’m suggesting; let’s make things a little more interesting. To start with, the 100 meter run is just ridiculous. It only lasts for 10 seconds and especially men will be ridiculously proud of themselves after finishing the run. It’s a lot like sex, actually. I’m suggesting that we make those 10 seconds count. Let loose a few lions on the track to chase the runners, the one who wins is spared, while the other ones become cat food. That way it would make sense to have an event as short as the 100 meter run – because by then the lions will surely have caught up with you.

The javelin throw could also be made more interesting. How about little animals, children and senior citizens running around in the field, and if you hit one you get extra points. Also, if you hit a kid or an animal in just the right spot, it will probably run in the other directions before it falls down dead, carrying your javelin that much further. Score! Avoid hitting the senior citizens, though, they are slow and will most likely just fall onto their back.

The steeplechase really needs a few alligators in the water jump, and the long jump could definitely benefit from a pit of hot coals instead of boring sand. Or why not a great empty abyss that you will fall into if you can’t jump far enough.

The pole vault is pretty manly as it is – I sure wouldn’t do it – but I know we could make it a little more interesting if we tried. Tall sharp spikes instead of a mattress perhaps? Maybe the spikes could come up at regular intervals and if you didn’t time your jump to perfection you would get impaled. And how about a little fire on the high jump bar?

Tell me you wouldn’t want to see that?

Like this, but more painful.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Please Ignore The Doomsday Music In The Background

Fall is officially here. I can feel it in my bones. The temperatures have dropped from around 75 degrees to between 50 and 60 in just a week. Therefore, on Saturday night we celebrated the end of summer. We do this every year with a big party, trying desperately to tell ourselves that the 10 months of winter we have ahead of us will be the best time of our life, that we don’t really miss the toes we lose every winter and that the earth looks so much better when you can’t see it for all the snow. Yes, we celebrate the end of summer with fireworks and music, dancing and drinking, and we ignore the heavy sense of doom and despair that builds when hundreds of people gather to say goodbye to those few precious days of warmth.

Luckily, the music this year was nothing short of spectacular. I give you Zelma's band:

John Ryan's Polka

John Ryan’s Polka

It was an outdoors concert, and Zelma is the girl with the fiddle. The one in the middle. (The one on the right, or left, depending on your point of view, is Zeidi whom I’ve mentioned before, but ages ago.) M and I met up with the band before the concert at a local pub where they were drinking whiskey from a jar to calm the nerves. I think they only succeeded in getting a little drunk, but a little case of drunk can only make a concert better.

The Wild Rover had everyone clapping along:

Wild Rover

The Wild Rover

And Flogging Molly’s Drunken Lullabies had everyone singing along and dancing rather drunkenly:

Drunken Lullabies

Drunken Lullabies

That’s all for today, tomorrow I have no more work and will have to start studying so I have a feeling I’ll have lots of time for blogging. I’ll leave you with Zelma’s greeting to you.

“A blind weasel is better than a crossed-eyed fox.”

No one knows why they let Zelma out among people. *

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Youth = Ignorance

Why is it that youth automatically equals ignorance? I don’t mean this in the sense that they’re synonyms – you definitely won’t find the word young when you look up ignorance in a thesaurus. I mean it in the way the older generation view young people. If asked for their opinion, most people would say that young people are ignorant, lazy and impassionate. They have no respect for their elders, they have no respect for authority and they definitely have no understanding of good music. They are not spiritual, and if they are they’re simply adhering to the State religion without critical thought. They have no mind of their own, quote everyone but themselves and have no true understanding of the concept of original and critical thought.

I’m 25 years old and I’m well on my way towards a master’s degree in public international law. I passionately advocate human rights and strongly believe that every human being deserves respect and honor and to be treated equally. I treat everyone I meet with respect, and expect them to do the same to me. And I definitely don’t think the age of great music is over yet. In fact, it will never be over.

As a young person, I’ve lived my entire life hearing about how things were better “back then,” and especially so in the 60’s with the great social revolution. The youth of the 60's didn't start the revolution, it had been a long time coming, but it is argued that they were more aware, more involved, more everything than today's youth. Today’s youth knows nothing and behaves horribly. Truth be told, I feel that the prejudice many members of the older generation harbors towards young people is not only painfully obvious, but often also lacking any solid ground at all. In my life the occasions when someone older than myself has behaved disrespectfully or condescending towards me far outnumber the occasions when I’ve behaved badly towards someone older than myself. I realize of course, that I’m generalizing – the very thing I’m telling you not to do – and not all people think this way, but even the most open-minded people can sometimes find themselves regarding the young generation as a mindless whole.

Frank wrote a terrific post recently that I urge you to read. His post wasn’t as much about the young generation being ignorant, as it was about the universal search for enlightenment that took place in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, only to slowly give way to more mundane goals. It was extremely well written and he put forth some great points. But while he didn’t write about the apparent inadequacy of young people today, it was brought up in the comment field. This is what inspired this post today, the way in which a young person will automatically be put in the category “young and ignorant, knows nothing of the real world.”

Sure, there are always a few rotten eggs among the youth, but there were just as many rotten eggs in the 60’s and 70’s. Yes, I’m talking about you, dear reader. I’m sure that many things that you did back then would easily land you in jail today. I doubt 20-year olds 40 years ago had a greater understanding of the world. They might have had easier access to drugs, but they weren’t any less lazy or ignorant than we are today. The only thing that has changed in 40 years is technology. While the youth of the 60’s were out in the streets, fighting to be heard, the youth of today use the venues they have at their disposal, e.g. the internet. And even in the 60’s and 70’s when young people rallied for peace, love and understanding, most young people just followed the leaders. They listened to anyone with decent rhetorical skills and took to the ideas presented to them – just like they do today. They didn’t have grand and original ideas worthy of anyone’s attention; they simply joined the crowd – which is exactly what today’s youth is accused of doing.

What made the social revolution of the 60’s so special? How was it different from the thousands of young people fighting for peace and understanding and a common goal in today’s world? It’s said that young people today don’t have the same deep understanding of life as the youth had in the 60’s. I say that this is simply not true. With the vast amount of information being forced upon us every day, we have no choice but to be aware of the world. I’ve grown up with video games and computers, but I’ve also ran around outside, played in the rain and built tree houses in the forest. I’ve read the great philosophers and studied religions and beliefs outside my own. The search for the great universal truth isn’t over, even though everyone knows the answer is 42. The search has just taken a new face, because today’s youth has different starting point than the generations before us.

And who made the world what it is today? It sure wasn’t the 20-year olds. I was never around in the 60’s, hell – my mom was hardly even around in the 60’s. I never heard the speeches, never lived the spiritual revolution, never searched for the great universal truth that would free us all while protesting in the streets and smoking marijuana. I never saw the world go from a spiritual awakening to falling asleep again, losing focus on the great goal of uniting all people in harmony. The very same people who preached love and peace eventually quit the drugs when it got too expensive, put their bra back on because who like their boobs hanging in the wind anyway, and little by little let go of the silly notion of peace and love. The young generation was born with their bras back on, they were taught that drugs are bad and that while peace and love are admirable goals, those damned foreigners just can’t agree to give it a try. The world was like this when I was born. This is the only world I’ve ever known. And I’m making the best of it, even though I’m a lazy, ignorant, no-good young person with lousy taste in music.

Of course I only know what I see. I’m describing what I see in Finland and Europe, I can’t write about what’s happening in other places, e.g. the USA. However, I would like to believe that what I’ve said today pertains to young people all over the world. So perhaps we should just consider that it might not be the young generation that is lazy and ignorant – perhaps it’s the older generation that once was proactive and involved that has now become passive and simply can’t see the young generation for what it truly is.

If you’ve made it this far, I’d like to congratulate you and ask you to please check out what my fellow bloggers have written for this week’s Theme Thursday.

Edit: I just realized that today it's been exactly one year since I started this blog. Time flies when you're having fun. And fruit flies like a banana. Just ask Nonamedufus.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Of course I missed you honey. Now give me that book!

M will come home tonight from his trip abroad. Let’s hope a week of Brits has made him realize what a great sense of humor I have. During the week he’s been gone I have had lots and lots of spare time on my hands. I’ve had dinner with my parents, coffee with friends, been on a road trip to Helsinki, read a couple books, had a sauna party for all my blogging friends (but no one showed up), had my hair cut and dyed, realized I don’t look good with green hair, had another go at dying my hair, and then had a Pirates of the Caribbean marathon to celebrate that I was once again a brunette. Then, inspired by this, I tried one of those pore strips and almost ripped my entire face off. It was extremely rewarding. I’ve also jammed with a band in the middle of the night in the middle of the forest while it was dark as a donkey’s ass. The band played ukulele, mandolin, guitar and violin. I played the tin whistle out of tune. They sounded great; I should have just thrown the tin whistle into the fire. But it was a lot of fun, and they fed me a hamburger.

But while I’ve kept busy and had lots of fun this week, I’ve still missed M. I can’t wait for him to finally get home. And this has nothing to do with the fact that he bought me a new book while he was there. A book that isn’t supposed to be released until next Tuesday – don’t ask me how he did it. And it has absolutely nothing to do with the fudge I’m hoping he bought for me. And last time he went to England he also bought me a new perfume that I couldn’t find in Finland... Man, I’m starting to miss him a lot now. M, if you’re sitting at some airport in Denmark or Estonia or wherever you’re catching your connecting flight and reading this, please come home soon.

And whatever you do, don’t forget the fudge. *

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Oi maamme Suomi

Finally, it’s official. I’ve been saying it for years – I’ve preached to the ignorant, walked around with big cardboard signs, trying to convey my message, I’ve done everything to get the point across, but no one believed me. Well you can’t ignore me now, fools!

The best place to live in the entire world is… you guessed it – Finland!!

According to an extensive Newsweek study, Finland is (and always will be) the best place to live. In fact, the Nordic countries all made it into the top 10. Even Canada did well and came in 7th place. Canada obviously can’t compete with almighty Finland, but that’s okay, few places can. What about the USA, you ask? They finished so far down the list that my computer broke when I tried to scroll down to them.

The study took into consideration a number of factors such as health, economic dynamism (the openness of a country's economy and the breadth of its corporate sector), education, political environment, and quality of life. Good thing they didn’t use weather as a factor or Finland would have been right at the bottom of the list with Nigeria.

You want to live here, right? Right?

You'd think the weather would have a negative effect on the quality of life, but I guess they didn't take that into consideration either. Education on the other hand, I totally get because I’ve spent about 18 years of my life in some school or other. 18 years seems like an awfully long time to be studying, don’t you think? Gosh, I sure hope I’m smart now. Well, at least I'm smart enough to live in Finland. Are you? *

Monday, August 16, 2010


On Saturday morning M left for an utterly insignificant harmless little island in the middle of the Atlantic. The people inhabiting this strange little island speak in a funny manner, adore their queen and have a strangely close relationship with umbrellas. They call this island “Great Britain”. Rather silly name, if you ask me, seeing as the island isn’t very “great” at all, but rather small actually. Then again the people of Great Britain are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea. Luckily M has a digital watch so he’ll fit right in. He’ll be there until next Sunday, getting his ass handed to him by karate masters.

You all know what this means, don’t you?

That’s right, party at my place! *

Thursday, August 12, 2010

You Know You're Cooked To Perfection When Your Lips Are Nice And Crisp

For hundreds of years Finns took pride and joy in their national sport – sauna bathing. A sauna was a small room with a couple wooden benches and a huge furnace with rocks on top. Into the furnace the wood would go, and onto the rocks the water would be thrown. Bliss ensued. The old saunas smelled of the forest, and were a pure joy. They got very hot, but never too hot. Everything was perfect.

Then one day out of the blue, some guy called Benjamin Franklin flew a kite and discovered electricity. (Although I do believe that people like Edison, Tesla, Ampère, Ohm and Faraday might have had a hand in the development of electricity in other forms than deadlier-than-sin-lightning.) Nevertheless, Finns, realizing the huge potential here, immediately decided that the sauna needs to go electric. They took a big metal box and chucked a generator in it. Then they threw a couple resistors in with the generator, and connected everything with lots of exposed wire. Next, they placed a couple stones on top of the resistors, and plugged it in. No one’s ever accused Finns of being cowards, so while the sparks were still flying from the wires, the Finns got undressed, took their birch whisks and threw a gallon of water on the contraption.

They all died.

But since then, the electric sauna has come a long way, and today almost every Finnish house and apartment has one. This is the sauna M and I have in our apartment.

I was first going to post a picture of me in it, but M talked some sense into me and told me no one wants to see me naked. Very true indeed.

Don't mind the wires at the bottom, they're perfextly safe.

The old wood-burning ones are still the best, though, and almost every little summer cabin in the archipelago has one. Wood-burning ones are also used in the World Sauna Championships. The World Sauna Championships are held every year in Finland, and won almost every year by a Finn. Except this year when the one of the two finalists died (that would be the Russian, Vladimir Ladyzhensky) and the other one is still in a coma (that would be the slightly tougher Finn). Personally I could think of more effective ways of committing suicide, but to each their own, I guess.

Experts have ruled that “hot steam was likely the cause of death.” You don’t say? In a sauna bathing contest, the sauna is heated to 110°C (230°F) and 0.5 liters of water is thrown onto the rocks every 30 seconds. For those of you who are not scientifically gifted, I can tell you that water boils at a lower temperature than that. I can also tell you that the steam is therefore hot, and will hurt. I like to keep my sauna at a comfortable 70 or 80°C (158-176°F), which you’ll notice is considerably lower than the 110 it takes to kill a Russian. And that’s not because I’m less tenacious than a Russian, I just like my skin attached to the rest of my body. *

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Old MacDonald Had a Farm, ee ii ee ii o

I’ve been away. Again. Not literally, just figuratively speaking. I know I promised I would never leave my blog for any length of time again, and I know that some of you even sent me worried emails asking me if I finally sought out professional help and am now locked into an asylum. However, I did not seek help. My absence can be explained by a far simpler reason.

I’m having a mid-life crisis.

It all started when I realized that on August 25 my blog will turn one whole year. It’s been a great year. I’ve made some amazing new friends; I’ve had a lot of fun writing, and even more fun reading other people’s blogs. But still one year seems like a very long time to do nothing but write about inane stuff and create horribly mediocre text. So I had something of an early mid-life crisis.

I cut off all contact with the internet. A huge storm helped with this. Then I bought a Ferrari, drove it into a tree, sold the Ferrari and bought a motorcycle instead. I drove the motorcycle into a ditch and recognized it for the stupid idea that it was. I then developed an acute case of alcoholism, drove away the wife and kids and sought help in AA. I bought a tinwhistle, learned to play Old MacDonald on it and joined a band that played Irish music. I then got kicked out of the band when I dressed up as a leprechaun for band practice, and threw the tin whistle into my new 42” flatscreen TV. I pleaded for the wife and kids to come back when I realized that no one was doing the dishes and then finally checked back with the internet.

What I’m trying to say is that I’m back. Figuratively speaking. *