Sunday, July 31, 2011

Thirty Days of Photographs: When I Was Young

When I was young, my grandfather was still alive.

My grandfather was a beautiful man. I saw pictures of him as a young man when he had thick black hair, and a smile that could charm the pants off any woman. He always had a mischievous look in his eyes, always seemed ready to laugh. By the time I knew him his hair was turning gray, but the twinkle in his eyes was just as bright. He married the love of his life at a very young age, and did hard labor all his life. He was a hard worker, and a very strict parent to my mother and her brother.

He was not as strict with us, though. In fact, it seemed like he devoted his entire life to making his grandchildren happy. He was a heavy smoker for over 30 years, and to this day I associate the smell of cigarette smoke with a safe place, and with nights spent sleeping in a cot next to grandpa's bed. When I was little he used to do jigsaw puzzles with me, he taught me how to play cards, and made me believe that I really won all those times we played. He helped me cut out paper dolls and make dresses for them, and he showed me how to play Tetris on the Nintendo and beat the high score every single time. In the summers he took us to the house at the lake and watched over us as we learned how to swim. He took us out in the little boat, all the way across to the other shore, where he bought us doughnuts.

He showed me how to build a little boat out of bark and to put resin from the tree on the end of it to break the surface tension and propel the bark boat forward. He showed me how to build animals from pine cones by giving them stick legs, and how to loosen the bark from a branch of goat willow and make a whistle out of it. And every year he made a ginger bread house with us for Christmas. This tradition we kept going even after he got sick, with me and my sister making the ginger bread house while grandpa and Anton watched and offered smart-ass comments. On the wall by his bed he hung a huge picture of me as a 5-year old, dressed as a pirate, and when I was little and sleeping over he used to run his finger slowly over my nose, lulling me to sleep.

When he was diagnosed with cancer I spent all my spare time with him, either at the hospital, or at home if he was having a good week. I don't remember doing any studying that year at all. I barely remember the entire year, in fact. From the moment I got the call from mom, saying that he was sick, to a year later when I got the call from mom, saying he wouldn't live through the night, it's all just a big blur. But we did share many laughs, even during that difficult year. I stayed with him that night after mom called, and in the morning I held his hand as he passed away.

I think about him a lot, and I cherish the memories I have of him. For this picture I went out and got some pine cones and gave them stick legs. They're cows, I decided, but M thought they looked more like sheep, and he's right. So they're sheep. The one on the left is Rosa, that's Billy in the middle, and little Eugenia on the right.


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Thirty Days of Photographs: Different

“Colourscape is made up of one hundred colourful sphere-like chambers, linked together into a giant labyrinth.” When I read that very British sentence I knew this was something I had to experience. So on Tuesday afternoon, M and I found ourselves standing in line, waiting to be swallowed by the giant vagina-like entrance to the enormous blow-up labyrinth. There’s a sentence I never thought I’d write.

Now you might be wondering why there was a giant labyrinth with a vagina entrance in a park near my house, and I assure you, it’s not something that happens all the time. Some people might even call it “different.” Personally, I call it freaky as hell. The reason for this is perfectly logical, though; Turku is the cultural capital of Europe this year, and as such, full of crazy art installations, floating saunas and exhibitions.

And so M and I decided to enjoy some culture. We entered the labyrinth and stepped into a world of color. I’ve never experienced anything like it. The spheres were all different colors, and the strange thing is, the different colors actually felt physically different. I felt drawn to the red spheres, but they were almost too intense to step into. The black sphere was like a big bubble of nothing, and the grey spheres a lovely calm neutral. Yellow made me feel mellow and happy, and green was just plain weird. In the very middle of the labyrinth, we found a band, playing very unique music that sounded throughout the labyrinth. The entire experience was sort of like swimming through light and color, very strange indeed.

These pictures don’t do the experience justice, but I’ll post them anyway. If you ever have the chance to visit Colourscape, you definitely should. Just don’t do drugs before you go in.


Friday, July 29, 2011

Thirty Days of Photographs: Black

Black is the color of my hair when it’s wet. It’s the color of my car’s steering wheel, which gets intensely hot in the sun. Black is also the color of most of my clothes, and sometimes the color of the music I listen to. It’s the name of a girl who sings annoying songs about weekdays, and the color of the sky on cold winter nights. It’s the color of my computer, of the remote control and the TV. The cover of my copy of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is black, as is the cover of the dreadfully boring Environmental Law and Justice in Context that I should be reading instead of silly space adventures. Black absorbs all frequencies of light in the visible spectrum, and it’s the color of sorrow. That didn’t stop the Rolling Stones from painting it black, though, and it certainly didn’t stop the Man in Black from being awesome. Black is not the color of the rainbow, but sometimes it’s the color of my mood when I’m trying to figure out what to photograph for a certain theme, like Black, for example.

But most importantly, black is the color of my favorite kind of candy; ammonium chloride, the Finnish way. Salmiakki is black as the night, saltier than the Dead Sea and a candy only the most daring of connoisseurs would put in their mouth. I could live only on salmiakki, but I’m Finnish, it’s in my DNA. I’ve tried offering it to Americans, but they spit it out and thought I was joking when I told them it’s edible. If any of you feel like you’re up for the challenge of tasting it though, I’ll be happy to send you some.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thirty Days of Photographs: Tears

Today is the 18th day of this 30-day photography project, and when I first started the project, I thought today’s theme might prove very difficult. However, it was one of the easiest. A few days into the project I visited one of my best friends, Dani, and her young boys. This is Noah, a little tired, a little hungry, and so incredibly adorable.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Thirty Days of Photographs: A Moment

Every photograph is in itself, by definition, a moment. When the shutter opens and closes, that moment in time is frozen forever, available for anyone to look at. I've experienced many moments that I wish I could have frozen and gone back to time and time again, relived, re -experienced and perhaps even made a little better. But somehow it seems the camera is never around for those precious moments, and when you don't have the camera in your hand, you often don't even notice the moments slipping by. But when you do have the camera handy, all you see are moments in time, just waiting for you to capture them. You regret that you weren't fast enough to catch the butterfly on the flower, or to get a picture of the child jumping straight into the puddle. You smile to yourself when you realize that you just got a one in a million shot, and you didn't even do it on purpose. And sometimes, like it was for me with this picture, you just look up, and you realize that you're experiencing a perfect, peaceful moment. You lift your camera and you make the moment last forever.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Thirty Days of Photographs: Old

When I was eleven years old I had already spent many summers by the sea, and had learned all the important things like digging for worms and catching my own fish, and doing the puppy dog eyes at dad to make him clean it for me. And next, I wanted to learn how to drive a boat. My dad had a fast motorboat that I was dying to drive, but while I was pointing at the motorboat, my dad simply shook his head and pointed to this old, blue, rowboat, owned by my mother before me and her father before her. There was an old outboard motor attached to the appropriate end, but that was about it. I looked at it and shook my head. I wanted to learn how to drive the big boat. But dad wouldn’t give in, and eventually I just hopped into the rowboat. Aaand hopped out. The holes needed fixing first.

When the boat was sufficiently waterproof, I jumped in again and listened intently to everything dad told me about the outboard motor. Steer left, boat will go right, steer right, boat will go left. Simple enough. It took me about 72 tries to start the motor, though. But eventually I did learn to drive the thing, and I drove it everywhere, at staggering speeds capable of overtaking any wet cat out for a swim.

My mom and dad figured I was old enough to take care of my younger sister out at sea, and so our adventures begun. I’d drive, and she’d look out for underwater rocks, never shouting out in time. We drove from island to island, in to town for ice cream and back again. More often than not we’d run out of gas and have to row the boat several miles back. And if we didn’t run out of gas, someone had mysteriously taken our sparkplug, or forgotten to open the tank vent, or gotten rid of one of our oars. We were a menace out at sea, and if dad had known how and where I drove that boat, I’m not sure he would have let me do it.

I grew to really love that little old boat and the crappy motor. I promised myself I’d paint it some day, but now my brother has taken over ownership of the boat, and it’s still not painted. Dad did buy him a new motor, though, which you can see in the picture. The old held together only with love and duct tape and had to go when the propeller blades started to fall off.

I’m amazed that boat still floats, and something tells me it’ll still be floating long after I’m dead. *

Monday, July 25, 2011

Thirty Days of Photographs: Love

For this theme, I tried to think of things that I love. People that I love, places that I love. Surprisingly, I really struggled with coming up with something to take a photo of that would properly convey that feeling of utter love for someone else, be it love for your significant other, for your children, for your friends or family.
So I Googled love. I know, I'm pathetic. Wikipedia told me that love is "an emotion of strong affection and personal attachment." But that didn't exactly help me with the picture, now did it? So I read some more. I learned that the Greek have about as many words for love as the Inuit have for snow. I also learned that in a philosophical context, "love is a virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion, and affection". Big words, huh? Not much to take a picture of, though.

Wikipedia listed all sorts of different kinds of love, and even went as far as to say that some people argue that what we understand as love is just "an evolved state of the survival instinct, primarily used to keep human beings together against menaces and to facilitate the continuation of the species through reproduction." Yikes. Try to take a picture of that one.

When Wikipedia couldn't tell me any more, I Google love again and found something called a Love Calculator. I entered M's name and my own, and found out that our relationship has a 68% chance of success. Then I entered my own name and the name of my secret lover, and found out we only have a 17% chance of success. I knew the race thing would come back to bite us in the ass, what with him being a monkey and all. Then I entered in the name of the Ex, and learned that our chances of success were 93%. Since my relationship with the Ex ended so well, I decided that the calculator was probably defect.

Then I ran an anti-virus program to help with the sudden pop-up problem I had after visiting that site.

Next, I came across some love quotes.

Aristotle went all sappy on me and said, "love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies." Aww. Aphra Behn countered with, "each moment of a happy lover's hour is worth an age of dull and common life." So profound. Next, Ralph Waldo Emerson did a little soul searching and came up with: Thou art to me a delicious torment." Short, to the point. I like it. And Jeremy Taylor said, "love is friendship set on fire." Ouch. And someone who preferred to remain anonymous finished the sappy party with the words, "to be your friend was all I ever wanted; to be your lover was all I ever dreamed."

After reading the quotes I felt a little teary-eyed, so I kicked a dog and immediately felt better. And I promised myself I was done researching love.

And the picture?

Just some flowers on my balcony. Sometimes the simplest things say the most.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Thirty Days of Photographs: A Winter Picture

Winter for me means snow. Lots and lots of snow. I mean, snow like you wouldn’t believe it. So for this picture I went out and looked for snow. I looked everywhere; under the bushes in the yard, behind the dumpster, on the roof, under the bed, behind the TV. The closest I came to finding snow was in the freezer, but when I took it out, it melted.

Realizing that snow wouldn’t work, I tried Christmas next. But when I asked M to go out and get me a Christmas tree, he thought I’d gone crazy and tried to have me committed. So yeah, that didn’t work either.

Every idea I had seemed to melt away in the heat and I started to long for the cold of winter. And it hit me; I’ve been looking forward to winter for a long time already. Not because I like the snow or the cold, but because for the first time in ages I’m actually prepared for it. I haven’t had a decent pair of winter boots in years and the only thing keeping my frostbitten toes attached to my feet has been sheer determination. That, and a very good seamstress. This year will be different, though. Just as the weather turned warmer last winter, I finally took the bull by the horns and forked up an insane amount of money for these, the most awesome of winter boots. They’re not only pretty to look at, but they’re also guaranteed to keep my feet warm in -30 degree weather. And for the first time since I was a child, I’m excited about winter.

Bring it on!

Please don’t remind me of this post when I’m whining about winter and the cold in a couple of months.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Thirty Days of Photographs: Pain

There is so much pain in the world. Countless civilians suffer and die for the wars fought by politicians. Terrorists use violence to cause pain and suffering in the name of their conviction, and students go on killing sprees through their schools. Yesterday it was Norway’s turn to suffer when one of their own turned against his people and killed almost 100 men, women and children in two separate, unprovoked attacks.

I’ve never understood what makes someone want to cause that much pain and suffering to other living beings. Someone once said that human compassion is what separates us from animals. Someone else said it is the fact that we’re capable of evil that distinguishes us from animals.

In my studies of human rights, I’ve read about genocide, torture, the death penalty and crimes against humanity. I know for a fact how evil man can be, and how much pain a single man with a crazy idea can cause. And there’s always a man with a crazy idea.

Today my candle burns for the victims of the attack in Norway. Tomorrow it will burn for someone else. There will always be someone else.


Friday, July 22, 2011

Thirty Days of Photographs: Light

Last weekend M and I went to a concert/one-day music festival. It was held inside a big open limestone quarry, 350 feet below sea level. I’ve been down in the quarry before, but the ride down the steep sides of the mine never ceases to amaze me. Down in the quarry everything is white, and the sun so bright it hurts your eyes.

The main artist of the night was Roxette, the Swedish wonder duo behind It Must Have Been Love, Listen to Your Heart, Joyride, The Look and several other annoying song that have plagued mankind since the early 90’s. Luckily Roxette wasn’t the only band there, and I got to see my good friend Zelma’s band play, a very good local cover band do their versions of famous 80’s songs, and the band Suurlähettiläät. You won’t know who or what Suurlähettiläät are, but they sing in this long since extinct language called Finnish and are really quite big in the small forgotten European country of Finland.

The bands were great. And then came Roxette. After realizing that M sang along to every single song they played and actually knew the lyrics by heart, I briefly considered breaking up with him, but I guess you can’t break up with someone just because they have a lousy taste in music. And he does love Kent, which has to be a redeeming quality. Luckily, I survived both the sappy performance and M’s singing, and I was able to take these pictures for you.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thirty Days of Photographs: Monday

How come 6 a.m. always feels so damn early when it's Monday morning?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Thirty Days of Photographs: Desire


Not the computer, the forbidden fruit.

A symbol of ecstasy, fertility, abundance. Of love. And of desire.

Ever since that fateful moment in the Garden of Eden, the apple has served as a symbol for everything from evil to love. Professional dream analysts (of course it’s a real job, why do you ask?) will tell you that dreaming about an apple tree symbolizes knowledge, wisdom and great prosperity. I've never dreamt of an apple tree, but I bet that hardly surprises anyone. I have dreamed about eating an apple, though, something that apparently represents harmony and pleasure. In a biblical sense, it would be a representation of sexual appetite, lustful desires and sexual awareness à la Garden of Eden. Luckily, I’m not very biblical either, so it’s perfectly safe to keep reading, mom.

In Greek mythology, when Gaia married Zeus, she gave Hera (one of Zeus’ 64 other wives and mistresses -- monogamy is for lazy people who don’t have the stamina of a god) apples symbolizing long love and union. And Dionysus, the god of wine, offered Aphrodite apples to try to win her love. Personally, I think he’d have been better off going with diamonds, but I guess when you’re the goddess of love, all you really want is an apple or two.

In China the apple symbolizes peace, and the apple blossoms adoration, whereas the Celtic interpretation is all about sex and fertility, randy little Celts.

In this case, I’ll let the apple symbolize desire. There are many things I desire in this world. Chocolate cake, for example. A ready-made master’s thesis just for me. The early arrival of the weekend. Chocolate cake. A better zoom lens for my camera. The opportunity to travel wherever I want, whenever I want. The perfect body. Chocolate cake. I think the great French Renaissance writer François Rabelais said it best.

“We always long for the forbidden things, and desire what is denied us.”

Ain’t that the truth. Now gimme some chocolate cake.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Thirty Days of Photographs: Death

Some of my sources tell me that today is National Raspberry Cake Day, other sources say it won't be until July 31. Either way, I can't really risk ruining National Raspberry Cake Day by thinking about death, which is why you're not getting a long philosophical post about our precious mortality or about loved ones lost. In the interest of this project, though, I did drive by the cemetery on my way home from work today and took a picture for you.

Happy National Raspberry Cake Day!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Thirty Days of Photographs: Music

Today’s theme is music, and if I write one more post about how much I love music and love to play the piano, I might barf all over the keyboard. So instead I thought, since yesterday was all about my sister, why not make today all about my brother. My brother is a handsome young man of 15 years. He’s a foot taller than I am, smells faintly of motor oil, and has calluses on his fingers from playing the bass so much.

My brother is more gifted musically than I’ve ever been. He started by playing the piano, did it just long enough to become a better pianist than me, then decided it was too boring and switched to playing the bass, then the guitar and lately, the mandolin. He’s a natural, can play anything by ear and continues to awe his bass teacher and anyone willing to listen to him play.

I’m extremely proud of my brother, and I know that he’ll make it big one day. I took this picture at our lake house in the archipelago last weekend. There was a storm heading our way, you could feel it in the air, the water was choppy and the wind blowing hard. Anton sat in a rocking chair on the porch with an old beat-up guitar in his lap, and played beautiful music, accompanied by the thunder in the distance.

I love you, little brother. Oh, and I forgot to ask earlier, do you and Wiki want to come see the new Harry Potter movie with me and M? *

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Thirty Days of Photographs: Happiness

This picture combines two things that make me very happy. My sister, and the sea. My sister has recently moved to Helsinki, a small village located two days from here by horse. It’s nearly impossible for us to meet nowadays, and talking to her by telegram is just not the same thing. My sister and I are very much alike, but at the same time we’re about as different as two people can be. She’s light, I’m dark. She’s pretty, little children run screaming from me. She turns gay men straight, and I, well you know what happened to my first boyfriend. When we were young we fought horribly, and thought of ever more creative ways to try to kill each other, including but not limited to very sudden and impressive stair dismounts, death by dog, using the blades of ice skates to sever fingers, biting, clawing, pulling the brain out via the hair and blaming everything that ever went wrong on the other sister, hoping for the mythical death by mother to happen.

It didn’t. We both survived, and we became best friends. We talk about everything, and laugh about even more. We’ve spent so much time talking to each other that we understand each other even without words. She’s a fantastically artistic person and a very talented seamstress. She’s my best friend and whenever she’s around, my heart swell with happiness.

I love you, little sister. *

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Thirty Days of Photographs: Green

If everything works out according to plan, I will be busy suffering through enjoying the dynamic pop duo Roxette in concert as this post goes up. When trying to think of something for this theme, I tried to think of the word green. Environmental issues and recycling came to mind. Fruits and vegetables. Envy. How an artist will create the color green by mixing blue and yellow until he gets the exact shade he wants.

I didn’t end up working with any of those ideas, though. While trying to take a picture for another theme later in the list, I looked up and I saw this couple. They were sitting all alone in a sea of green, looking out over Aura River in the late evening sun. And I knew this was my Green picture.


Friday, July 15, 2011

Thirty Days of Photographs: Evil

It's a miracle I have a photo for you today since the subject of this photo also happened to be M's dinner last night. I had roughly 6.9 seconds to shoot this, and as it turns out, 6.9 seconds is just about the time it takes to take one picture. Which I did. I then stepped back to look at the picture and realized that I wanted the entire burger to be sharp, not all blurred at the edges. So I adjusted my f-stop for increased depth of field, adjusted my shutter speed to compensate for the smaller aperture, and tried to take a new picture. But during the few seconds I'd been fiddling with the settings, M had inhaled the food. Annihilated it. It was no more. You're just going to have to make do with this photo today, I'm afraid. That said, McDonalds is evil. And I will prove it to you by backing up my statement with hard facts.

Fact #1: Junk food is almost as bad for you as Pepsi Max is.

Fact #2: Low wages make workers spit in your food.

Fact #3: Before the meat ends up as your hamburger, it spends all day eating grass and farting, producing staggering amounts of methane gas, and thus being the main cause of global warming.

Fact #4: Several gallons of rainforest is cut down every day to make the packaging for their products.

Fact #5: And with all that packaging, McDonalds is single-handedly responsible for The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, (awesome movie, by the way.)

Fact #6: Their representative is a clown.

Today marks the 5th day of this photography project. Thirty photographs in thirty days is proving to be a bit of a challenge, but luckily for you, my dear readers, whenever I serve you up with a picture of a hamburger, you can hop on over to MikeWJ and see if he'll have the fries to go with the evil. Click here to read the introduction to this project and for the list of themes.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thirty Days of Photographs: My Hobby

Growing up I had a lot of hobbies. I rode horses and I was a Girl Scout. At one point I tried my hand (foot?) at soccer, and another time I gave making pottery a chance. Does reading count as a hobby? If it does, I did that too. I also wrote stories about magic carpets, about unicorns and about two little girls having a very serious talk in a sandbox.

But the only thing that really stuck with me was the piano. I started playing the piano when I was 7 years old, and took lessons until I was 18. When I moved away from home I didn't have the opportunity to continue with the hobby, and forgot all about how to play. I didn’t have a piano, and didn’t have an apartment big enough for a piano even if I had one. I resigned myself to never playing again.

And then came M. I moved in with him almost two years ago now, and one of the very first things I did in the bigger apartment was to buy a piano (read as: convince M to buy one for me.) There was a space in the apartment that was perfect for the piano, and when it finally arrived, I was over the moon. Since then I’ve slowly been getting back to playing. I still am nowhere near as good as I used to be, but I'm getting there. For this picture I drove to my parents' house and took a picture of the vey piano I learned to play on. After I took the picture I sat down to play. The keys were dusty, and the piano out of tune, but I know this piano by heart, all its quirks and kinks. I sat there and played for a long while. I forgot the time and was transported back to when I was good enough to play intricate pieces by Bach, Beethoven and Kabalevsky, and young enough not to appreciate the gift.

Today I do appreciate the gift. And I’ll try my very best to never let go of it again.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Thirty Days of Photographs: My Addiction

I would like to think I'm one of those self-righteous people who are not addicted to anything and are perfect in every way. but sadly, I’m not one of them. I bet you didn’t know that my cat actually has three names. The first is a fancy regal name given to him by the breeder, a name which I’ve told myself is so ridiculous I would never say it out loud. The second is a beautiful name that M and I have given to him with love, to describe both his temperament and his handsome looks, a name that we lovingly use for him when he’s being especially cute: Darth Vader. And the third name is the one we use every day, all day: Pepsi.

Why Pepsi, you might ask. Well, I’ll tell you why. Pepsi Max is the drink of the Gods. Twice the caffeine compared to Coca-Cola, it’s guaranteed to wake you up when you’re falling asleep at your desk. Which I never do. Especially not earlier today. There’s just something about the caffeine and the little bubbles and the taste of brain-rottingly sweet chemicals that just gets me going. And it’s perfect for someone who loves caffeine but hates the taste of coffee. Keep your Coke, my drug of choice is Pepsi Max.

No money exchanged hands for this endorsement, but if anyone from PepsiCo happens to be reading this, I do accept PayPal. *

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Thirty Days of Photographs: A Favorite Object


For this theme it would have been easy to choose my camera, my phone, my piano, my computer, a good book, any number of things, really. But I decided to go with something --someone-- else. Someone that has been with me for 26 years. Snoopy was once bright white, had a nose and his head didn’t come off every time you pulled on it. 26 years later he's a little worse for wear, but few stuffed animals have been loved as dearly as my Snoopy.

When I was little my mother had to wash him while I was sleeping so I wouldn’t wake up without him, and as a teenager I secretly hid him in the suitcase when I traveled to England all on my own. Nowadays Snoopy sits on my bed all day long, waiting patiently for me to come play with him.

Maybe one day I will. *

Monday, July 11, 2011

Thirty Days of Photographs: A Member of My Family

I'm currently living with two men in a sort of weird, furry, ménage à trois. First, there's M, the furriest of the three of us, who flat-out refused to have his picture taken for the blog. And then there's Darth Vader, who gave me this look when I asked him about the picture.

"Perfect!" I said, and thanked him.

Please don't hang me, this will be the only cat picture in this project. I hope. *

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Thirty Days of Photographs

I feel like this blog has been a little too quiet lately. It’s not my fault, it’s this damned summer with all its sunshine and warmth and happy people. People have committed suicide for less, you know. But this will all change now. With only this as my weapon:

I will take one picture a day for 30 days. I will post the pictures here for your viewing pleasure, and you will be happy about it. And so as to not make things too easy, I’m using this list of themes for the pictures:

Day 1: A member of my family
Day 2: A favorite object
Day 3: My addiction
Day 4: My hobby
Day 5: Evil
Day 6: Green
Day 7: Happiness
Day 8: Music
Day 9: Death
Day 10: Desire
Day 11: Monday
Day 12: Light
Day 13: Pain
Day 14: A winter picture
Day 15: Love
Day 16: Old
Day 17: A moment
Day 18: Tears
Day 19: Black
Day 20: Different
Day 21: When I was young
Day 22: Self portrait
Day 23: A summer picture
Day 24: Wet
Day 25: Dinner
Day 26: Chocolate
Day 27: Two, a pair
Day 28: Weather
Day 29: Night
Day 30: God

Be afraid. Be very afraid. Things are going to get artsy. *

Sunday, July 3, 2011

...or Richard Simmons eating a sausage.

Life has a way of surprising you when you least expect it, which isn’t much of a surprise really, since “when you least expect it” is the very definition of the word “surprise.” But life is very good at it, and that’s how I found out about my superpower while having a perfectly normal conversation with my sister. I don’t know what the proper protocol for finding out about your superpower is, but I’m sure having your sister inform you about it is way down the list of preferable ways, somewhere between accidentally turning your aunt into a toad and freezing an entire city with your icy stare.

I bet you’re wondering what this new superpower of mine is. I’m extremely happy to tell you that it’s no ordinary superpower like flying or shooting laser beams out of my eyes. It’s not even the boring art of mindreading or the ability to remember everyone’s birthday. No, it’s far better than that.

See, I was talking to my sister on the phone, and she mentioned that she ran in to my very first boyfriend. He was looking well, she said. And he had introduced her to his new boyfriend.

Yep, you heard me, I can turn men gay! How awesome is that?? Is your husband acting like a chauvinist pig? No problem. Send him to me. One kiss from me and he’ll be gayer than George Michael riding a rainbow.

Look out men of the world, here I come.

And so will you.

Right out of the closet.

This is what came up when I googled George Michael. Personally, I've always liked the noses-for-eyes look some gay men are sporting.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Ziva - Solving the World's Financial Crises Since 2011

Greece is pretty much bankrupt. Normally I wouldn’t care about a silly little thing as the cradle of modern civilization going broke, but Greece happens to be part of a political and economic union I like to call the “EU.” You might have heard about this, you might not have. Suffice to say that the “EU” is not the same as “Europe,” which in turn is not one big country, but a whole bunch of little countries. Instead, the EU is made up of a select number of said little countries (remember: Europe ≠ one big country; Europe = a bunch of small countries,) namely the ones that are economically and politically stable enough to shoulder the responsibility of an adult sovereign state. Somehow Greece, in all its adolescent ignorance, managed to con its way into the EU, and now it’s broke and asking the rest of EU to pay for its upkeep. Lazy bastard.

The EU told Greece that in order to get a loan they will have to clean up their act, stop touching the marble and try to save some money. The Greekians (not actual term) didn’t like this. At all. Protests, riots, blah, blah. At least they had the common sense to wait until we came home from our vacation.

But while the vacation was nice, and I should just forget all about Greece now, I can’t. As many of you know, I live in a country called Finland. Finland happens to be one of the adult sovereign states the EU is made up of, and as such, it will have to pay lots of prime Finnish euros to keep Greece from taking everyone down with them. And that’s where I come in. I happen to have come over a list of benefits that the Greek government grants its employees, and based on these benefits I have made some suggestions as to how they could save some money.

Keep in mind that this list is entirely true, I did not make it up.

1. Employees of the Greek railway company, OSE, specifically the locomotive engineers, receive a monthly 420-euro bonus for washing their hands. Washing. Their. Hands.
My suggestion: don’t give them money for washing their hands, cut their hands off if they don’t wash them.

2. Couriers working at the ministries receive a monthly 290-euro bonus for carrying documents.
My suggestion: Wrap the documents around a slab of marble; make them work for their money.

3. Many Greek agencies give workers compensation for knowing how to use a computer or a printer.
My suggestion: Anyone who’s working at an official agency and doesn’t know how to use a computer or printer should be fired. Not via email, though.

4. The state-owned bus company’s drivers get a bonus of 320 euros if they arrive at work on time.
My suggestion: Actually, I’ve seen the streets the buses drive on and if I were a bus driver in Greece, I wouldn’t want to come to work either, let them keep their bonus.

5. State civil servants receive a bonus for arriving at work in reasonable time.
My suggestion: Let’s all move to Greece and start working for the government. Applicants are required to have a high tolerance for tear gas. *