Friday, August 19, 2011

This Title is Not Relevant to the Story

Yesterday I was talking to MikeWJ and bitching about my lack of inspiration for blog posts.

MikeWJ: Write about something serious and personal.
Ziva: I hate serious and personal.
MikeWJ: Okay, so write about something not serious and not personal. 
Ziva: Like what?
MikeWJ: Write about the time you fell in love.

And so, I did.

It was a beautiful spring day. It could also have been fall, or winter, or even summer, I can’t really remember, but it’s not important to the story anyway, so just go with it.

It was a beautiful spring/fall/winter/summer day. Of course, since I can’t even remember what time of year it was, I can’t really say for sure that it was a beautiful day. It could very well have been raining small popular mammals or snowing or even just been overcast and dull. Finnish weather isn’t very predictable and I can’t really be expected to remember what the weather was like that beautiful spring day. Let’s just get on with the story.

Small popular mammal.

It was a beautiful/rainy/overcast/gray/snowy spring/fall/winter/summer day. Come to think of it, it probably wasn’t even day, what with the time zones and all. It was probably in the middle of the night and I should have been in bed hours ago and I probably had to work the next day and I probably spent all day at work yawning like the proverbial sloth that ran the marathon. What was that? That’s not a common saying? Well it should be. Anyway, what I was saying is that I was probably very tired, and spent all of the next day yawning, and then I probably took a nap after work, which shifted my internal clock forward to make me more internet-adapted, but at the same time making me less work-adapted and less Finland-adapted, which eventually resulted in the permanent black circles I have under my eyes now as a result of living on four hours of sleep every night.

Back to the story.

It was a beautiful/rainy/overcast/gray/snowy spring/fall/winter/summer day/night/evening/morning. You know, it probably didn’t even happen in one day or night at all. Now that I think about it, it happened over time, slowly but surely, like the sun slowly growing and expanding until it eventually kills everything on this planet in a raging inferno of fire and brimstone, souls screaming in agony and babies crying for their mommy, but less gruesome and more sweet.

I think it’s best if we just start over completely, don’t you think?

The first time she commented on my blog, I thought she was a man. She spelled her name weirdly, like a man, and she grabbed her balls a lot, too. Or so I thought, but as it turned out, she didn’t have any balls so I guess she mostly just grabbed her man’s balls. Or maybe she didn’t grab any balls at all and that’s something I made up just now. I really don’t know, I’m writing this at work and I think my brain is still asleep because I stayed up too late reading her blog again.

 Magic 8-ball, shown here with small popular mammal. Not relevant to the story.

I’m really not doing the story justice.

I have a crush on Nicky, okay??

And she wrote me a poem in her sleep, so I’m pretty sure she likes me, too. *

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thirty Days of Photographs: The Rejects

I bet you thought this would be over by now. If you did, you’d be 100 percent right. Yesterday was my first day as a free woman in a month, and boy did it feel good. This project has been a lot of fun for me, and it’s really helped me look at the world differently, from an artist’s point of view. I’ve taken some really good pictures, some really bad pictures, some really strange pictures, and a whole lot of really mediocre pictures. But it was also very challenging to try to keep up with the pace of one picture every day, and some days I cut it extremely close to the deadline.

Anyway, I'd like to thank you, Michael, for agreeing to share this project with me, and for kicking my ass every day with your fantastic photos, making me want to become a better photographer. Let me know when you feel like going for round two. And thank you, my dear readers, for not groaning out loud when you realized this thing would go on for thirty freaking days. Well, thirty-one, as it turns out. Because today I’m going to post some of the pictures that I took this past month and that didn’t make the cut the first time around.

These were the last ones, I promise. *

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Thirty Days of Photographs: God

God. Allah. Yahweh. El Shaddai. Deus. Gandalf. God has about as many names as P. Diddy, and is known in one form or other by literally dozens of people. When I was little I was sure that God was an old man with a long white beard, living in the clouds. And even though I'd like to think I know better now, I can't help but wonder if this is where God takes his vacation. It looks like a pretty laid back cloud, after all. *

Monday, August 8, 2011

Thirty Days of Photographs: Night

I live within spitting distance of the polar circle. This means that our summer nights last for about 30 seconds and never really get dark. But the sun does set, and sometimes you’re lucky enough to catch a sunset that sets the sky on fire.


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Thirty Days of Photographs: Weather

I’ve spent the last couple of days hoping for some extreme weather for this shot, but we’ve had a suspicious lack of weather lately. 70 degrees and cloudy. Every day. Yesterday we were supposed to get some rain and thunder, but it was 70 degrees and overcast, and not even a pretty kind of overcast, just boring overcast.

This picture is from a few weeks ago when the weather gods actually delivered on their promises and gave us rain and thunder. Muschu and I were sitting on the beach, I was taking her picture when the wind suddenly picked up and we heard thunder. In the far distance we could see the rain, and I forgot all about taking Muschu’s picture and instead tried to capture the ominous-looking cloud on film.

Edited 7:15 pm: 15 minutes after posting this, it's now raining. *

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Thirty Days of Photographs: Two


Friday, August 5, 2011

Thirty Days of Photographs: Chocolate

If there’s one thing I like almost as much as I like Pepsi Max, it’s chocolate. Show me a person who doesn't like chocolate and I'll show you a person who's lying. I realize of course that someone will read this now and feel the need to be original and say that they don't like chocolate at all, just to contradict me and to stand out. But it's no use. I know you like chocolate, you big fat liar. You can't fool me. Chocolate is like cheese; everyone likes it. *

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thirty Days of Photographs: Dinner

Today M exhibited an extraordinary lack of judgement when he left for Helsinki for three days and left me in charge of the apartment, the cat, and most importantly, feeding myself. And with M gone, I did the only thing I could do. I enlisted the help of my two favorite men, Ben and Jerry. Dinner is served! *

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Thirty Days of Photographs: Wet

When I hear the word “wet,” I automatically think about sex water. Water makes things wet, right? I like water, in every form. I love the steam in a good sauna, I enjoy to swim in it and skate on it. I think snow and frost is beautiful, and I even like to drink water straight from the tap. Yes, I’m really that hardcore. But my favorite form of water is, and always will be, rain.

This picture is of raindrops on the windshield in M’s car. We were on our way to see friends, it was raining, and I was smiling.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Thirty Days of Photographs: Summer

Summer in Finland is like a short but intense love affair. We make everything we can of it, because we know another long and cold winter is waiting just around the corner. This summer has been hot. Very hot, by Finnish standards. We’ve gone to bed sweaty, woke up sweaty, gone to work sweaty. My skin has felt constantly sticky, my coloring deepened by the sun.

Summer in Finland is making the most of what’s given to us. Eating typical summer foods, swimming in the sea, lying in the sun, even when it’s too hot to really enjoy. It’s endless summer nights, spent watching the sunset, then the sunrise a couple hours later. It’s bare legs and mosquito bites. Picking wild strawberries and threading them onto a strand of wild grass, like a string of rubies. Eating them, one by one, savoring the taste. It’s blueberries, raspberries and strawberries, eaten with milk and sugar. Barbeques with friends, a sauna by the lake. Summer in Finland is all these things, and more.

It’s stupid socialist 5-week vacations, 20 hours of light a day. It’s thunderstorms, rain and hail. It’s camping and road trips and days on the beach. It’s ice cream and rowboats and sea gulls and hedgehogs. It’s silly romance novels and laundry drying in the sun outside. It’s drinks with ice, live music and dance. It’s love and romance and time with your family. And it's hardly any snow.

The last weeks in July, newspapers in Finland announced that we were experiencing the hottest summer in 23 years. But a couple of days ago, when July turned to August, autumn came knocking. As if someone had flicked a switch, the warm summer mornings that left you longing for a cold drink turned cool. Suddenly, I found myself wanting to go back in to get a sweater. The days are still warm, summery, even, but the nights are quietly telling you that fall will soon color the leaves red. Red like the wild strawberries on that blade of grass.

I’m looking forward to fall. To the beautiful colors and the crisp air. I love fall mornings when you can taste the cold on the air. I love fall nights when the wind is howling and the rain keeps everyone inside. I love leaving work to an already dark afternoon, and lighting candles at home.

We still have a little summer left, though, and in Finland, we enjoy every last moment of warmth and light. We drink it in, so that when the winter is at its coldest, we can already tell by the lightening skies that summer will soon be here again.

This picture is from the home M grew up in, where the gooseberries are ripe, and the sun still warms the grass under your feet. But you can tell it’ll soon be over.


Monday, August 1, 2011

Thirty Days of Photographs: Self-portrait

For 22 days now, I have been dreading this day. Dreading this picture. There is nothing I hate more than photos of myself, videos of myself the only possible exception. If I can, I avoid being caught on film, and even when I can’t, I turn away. There are a disproportionate number of pictures out there featuring the back of my head.

This means that I’ve spent the past three weeks trying to figure out how to cheat on this picture, and I think I finally have an answer.

Behold, Ziva: