|I'll try to go through the WC games in the order I went to see them (except that's already messed up a bit because I went to see Switzerland-Canada before Russia-France) but I had to share this thing that's actually probably only exciting for me because I love books and I love when real life things connect to books.|
A while ago I made an entry (that's no longer FO) about reading a book about NHLers who came over to the NHL from behind the Iron Curtain back when the Iron Curtain existed. One of the first chapters, if not the first, was about Peter Stastny and his brothers and how they were basically the first players to defect from Czechoslovakia to play in North America. I got to see his son, Paul, play twice. The first time when the US played France I didn't connect the name to the book, it sounded familiar and I just figured I must have heard/seen it while following some random NHL game because I figured he wouldn't have been named team captain if he wasn't good… I mean I know about as much about the Avalanche team as the next person who doesn't really follow their division (i.e. "what do you mean
Long story short, during the second USA game I went to see (USA-Germany, tbh I only went to see that because it was one of the three cheap games they had in Helsinki and who says no to that level of hockey for cheap on a Sunday afternoon?) I didn't really care who won but during the whole time I kept on thinking that there was this connection between this dude on the ice in front of me and this book I read and my mind was totally overwhelmed. I almost want to say that it was more impressive and overwhelming than seeing Eric and Jordan Staal play (and Skinner and Eberle and Hall and Duchene and Ladd and the rest of team Canada, which is the one team on which I knew most of the players and have more or less followed their results on their respective teams for a decent amount of time). I bet if I ever got to meet Paul Stastny on the street my first reaction would be "I read about your dad in a book, how cool is that?" and that would be embarrassing.
I still cannot understand why I formed this deep emotional bond of sorts with the people in that Breakaway book. The book itself wasn't even all that great, it was rather superficial and left me wanting to know more about the people mentioned… and yet… and yet…
Anywho. Have yourself some Paul Stastny before a face-off.
|This morning I spent about three minutes overturning every single thing close to the front door in an attempt to find my keys. |
Keys I had put in my pocket right before starting to look for them.
This is what dogs feel like when they chase their tails, isn't it?
After these deep thoughts, have some more calanques.
As Sheldon said, "Good night. In case there is an apocalypse, good luck." And he would know, wouldn't he? He's got more PhDs than most peeps.
But really, can we stop talking about what "the Mayans predicted"? They did not freaked predict anything. They just knew how to keep calendars going and happened to believe in cycles and one happened to end a few weeks ago (due to leap years, etc.) and a new one started. It's ignorant people who predicted stuff by looking at things they did not understand. Instead of an apocalypse we mainly missed a big party to celebrate a new cycle. Bummer.
Heck, the skies were lacking a bit of red the other morning, if you ask me.
|Working with environmental issues has turned me into the most horrible cynic in the world but I have my utopic moments where I think, for a little bit at least, that everyone will see the light and we will no longer doomed. During my lectures on environmental aspects of product development peeps probably think I'm schizophrenic. |
Overall, though, the cynicism also invades other aspects such as the whole bio-food and fair-trade market stuff. Studies on the subject often come up with contradictory results and people get really opinionated easily so there have been extremely few objective debates (if debates can ever be objective). A tiny part of me hopes that my choice in bananas this morning somehow made life better for someone else but I can never be certain of that, can I?
|There is a common joke that with Finnish keyboards it's never "don't" it's "donät". I don't really have that problem with most Finnish keyboards but the width of the keys or their spacing on some, including on the 13" MBP, really make it "donät" all the time. For some reason, "can't" seems to almost escape the curse of "canät", my finger falls somewhere between the ä and the ' keys. |
Then again, no keyboard is equal. The one I have at my work desktop is horrible when typing with anything longer than very trimmed nails. No such problems on most laptops though.
If these reflections do not deserve a proper hashtag such as #computerproblemsthatnoonecaresabout... I don't (I really did first type donät) know what does.
Moving on to the wayback machine! July! Toulouse (or close to there)! Crème brûlée! Because my sis rocks (and I was totally a great little helper, as in I didn't break or drop anything).
|You know what just caught my attention today? Here, on packets of prunes it says "dried plums". Maybe there is some obscure Finnish word for "prune" but it seems that "dried plum" is the main expression. Isn't that fascinating? I find these kinds of things absolutely wonderful, differences in language and all of that. |
That said, I bet many people consider "prune", in its "dried plum" meaning, to be an obscure word in English. I will never understand why people don't like prunes, they're awesome! Then again, I love dried fruit in general. I don't like dried ginger though, but it's not really a fruit, is it?
Also, as a final note on prunes for today, on that package of prunes I have, there is a picture of plums on the front. Why put a picture of plums when you're selling prunes? I guess it's a bit like pictures of pigs on a pork product... it probably makes sense to the majority of the population but it doesn't compute in my brain.
Time to move on to July 22nd. As always, it's the weird photo that ended up being my favourite.
... oh, to have a decent-tasting tomato again! I guess those are only about seven or eight months away.
(HQer over here, for what it's worth)
|Religion and I have this really weird relationship in the sense that I am actually quite interested in the human mind and the human brain and the concept of deities is a very interesting aspect of the human psyche. I'm all for everyone enjoying their religion, or lack thereof, as long as no one tries to convert anyone. I quite enjoy visiting religious places that allow visitors of any faith to just come in and spend some quiet time but I have yet to visit the new "chapel of silence" that opened close to Kamppi. The main reason for my being reluctant to go there is that when it was first started, the message was that it was just going to be a place to relax and it was part of the Helsinki Design Capital event, I mean given the location (right in the city center, right in front of what is probably the most visited location in Helsinki) it just seemed obvious that it should not be a religious building. Now there is a cross that's at the entrance and the construction was paid for by churches and it is a religious place, although all faiths are welcome. Somehow I find that a bit disturbing. I don't really want to think about religion when I go to the shops or to the railway station, to be honest. |
All that aside, the other day I saw a quote from an article by Robert Lamb (of the Stuff To Blow Your Mind podcast, awesome thing to listen to along with Stuff You Missed in History Class and Stuff You Should Know) about religion and science. He's actually quoting David Eagleman,"The goal is to avoid committing to any particular story, whether that’s religious fundamentalism or strict atheism. The goal of possibilianism is to retain the wonder that drives us all into science in the first place and to avoid acting as though we know the answers to things we can’t possibly know at the moment." I had never heard of "possibilianism" before and it seems like there are new terms that are coined just for the sake of it. I've always been rather fond of "weak agnosticism" because that's what seems logical from a scientific point of view, although one might argue that strong agnosticism is more correct because everything in science is theory and we'll never have any irrefutable proof of anything... but that just makes my brain ache. But really, isn't possibilianism just agnosticism, we throw in the "wonder" term that seems to go with it. "Wonder agnosticism". That sounds all kinds of awesome.
Oh, who am I kidding? Why discuss all these things when we all know that the only correct point of view involves
And that brings me to some churches in Toulouse. Ta-da-duh! The number of weird saints they have is incredibly high. There seems to be a chapel for everything and I noticed that somehow miracles often involve young maidens and lamb.
Still, none of these things beat la Bonne Mère in Marseille and its collection of miniature boat replicas and OM football jerseys (I wonder if there is still Drogba's jersey there).
|I am majorly channelling ancestral habits right now. The moment the sun starts to set, that's roughly before 4pm right now, I get this irresistible need to just lie down and sleep for a while. I wake up an hour or so later, fresh as a daisy, cup of tea or cacao and I'm good to go for another few hours and then go to bed as regularly scheduled. It's not a post-lunch siesta type of thing, it really follows the sun and before it usually coincided with my coming home from work, it really wasn't a problem. Now I feel like I should have a sign on my forehead saying "don't even attempt to talk to me" from around 3pm till 5pm and every day it should appear earlier and earlier up until mid-December. I really am brain dead then. It's both rather sad and quite fascinating, if you ask me. I can see why it would have been useful back in the old days, you get up at 5:25am to feed the animals and take care of the house, you go work outside while it's light, the moment it gets dark you have a little nap and then you're up again, feeling refreshed, and have a couple more hours of fresh brain activity to ponder other essentials aspects of peasant life. The "double shift" sleeping pattern is quite commonly associated with the pre-industrial revolution era, it's just weird I'm channelling it so vividly, isn't artificial light supposed to destroy the body's sun-seeking rhythm (I bet there is a proper name for that, probably starting with "helio")?|
I'm pretty sure that it happens every single year but, as with almost everything related to the oncoming darkness, I am always surprised when it does.
Right. And in the meantime, I'm slowly, once again, losing the battle against the hundreds of photos accumulating everywhere. I'm just not too much in the mood for post-processing stuff these days, reading has been way more entertaining.
Anywho, wayback machine trip! To September 22nd and sunshine and decent temperatures and red berries!
I should go check if those berries are still around. Technically speaking they should last the winter, I do believe that birds don't quite like those even though they're that red.
|Please gather around as I tell you the brilliant ways the connections in my brain work!|
This morning, as it was still cold and there were still patches of ice on the ground, I went for a run. With a proper amount of peanut butter and cheese the night before for a long run (it seems that I have finally found what my body needed in unsweetened peanut butter because clearly I need to load up on fat the night before but too much cheese is a bad idea, as seen last weekend), I set out in -4C a bit after 8am. Somewhere after a full circle of Seurasaari and on towards Otaniemi, it finally registered that it was too light for that time of day. Then I calculated, today is the Sunday closest to my birthday and that means it's Marseille-Cassis weekend and that means that we switched clocks! Every single thing I use to check the time automatically switches the time in my flat and now it's done without even informing me (unlike in ye olden days of pop ups asking me if I was sure that we had switched over to winter time). I think only my cameras still have the old time and I never bother with that. I don't even own a mechanical wrist watch! I don't own any wrist watches for that matter... I feel like I'm failing Douglas Adams on some level.
And, thus, it is clear that I am a slave to modern machines. And now it's dark outside at 4:30pm. Oh, I suppose I should be happy with a 7:30am sunrise except that I'm already at work by then and soon that sunrise will be 9am in any case. We're down to under 9 hours of daylight. Every year I am surprised at how fast it goes. I really am like one of those people on the telly that act all surprised when it snows a shitton in winter in the mountains, "oh, this is crazy, can you believe it, snow in winter, around here!"
Back to the running though, -4C which warmed up to around -2C... quite different conditions from the Marseille-Cassis stuff but maybe we can say that my Sunday half-marathon ran around Töölö bay was a bit equivalent to climbing those 10km and going down the other 10 in 15C weather? Certainly, there was no dip in the sea afterwards but you can't have everything. I really should run that race again eventually, I like to think that I am much stronger mentally and can take on much more pain these days than four or five years ago.
And for shits and giggles - mini!Gali and some running.
|Sure there are awesome things to being a girl but then there are the not so awesome things like your body deciding to bloat to the size of whale and your mind going on an emotional roller-coaster from time to time. That's basically me all of yesterday and today. Well, the bloating part started yesterday and it might also explain why the heck I stayed up until almost midnight to read a book because it was all emotional and I just couldn't put it down (for those who don't know, I am a 10pm bed-time person because I wake up at 5:25am for no other reason than because it makes me feel like I can have a productive day that way). Today I've wanted to bitch at so many things, and have bitched on twitter, and then half an hour later I just started feeling terrible for being so negative. |
But hey, you can't get the good without the bad! Some moments just have to be at the bottom of that happiness curve.
Speaking of things that aren't all that awesome, I'd like to point to exhibit a:
I mean, how cool do these chocolate bars look? Very cool, right? I expected them to be amazing when I got them last week. The truth is, you can't even taste the coffee! It's all sugar in that filling. It's like I expected to have all the ~*~feelings~*~ about the filling (see what I did there) and in the end those weren't ~*~feelings~*~ but more like :/ feelings.
|There are fun things in life and then there are some that are not so fun. Last week one of those not so fun things that happened, my grandma passed away. Death is one of those things I try not to think about because worrying about death is worrying about something that is inevitable and even the best of us will go one day. Sure, there are people out there who hypothesise that my generation or the 90s-2000s babies generation will live for hundreds of years, but I hope that only happens when someone figures out how to live without getting sick/ageing and how not to have to work for up until about three years before you die. Can you imagine having to work for hundreds of years? Possibly doing the same job for all those years? That's enough to drive one insane.|
But I digress. The event made me think a bit and look at my relationship to my inner feelings and I've come to some very startling, for me, conclusions. First of all, the one that shocked me most was that I felt no inclination to go to the funeral. I was fine with flying in and being there in general, but actually just the idea of going to the funeral (and worse, seeing the body) made me very uncomfortable. The main reason being that currently my last memory of my grandma is that of my last visit and I didn't want it to be replaced by a memory associated with her dead body. It's not the first time I notice that I try to avoid associating bad memories with events or people and if I do have memories like that, I usually start feeling very uncomfortable when asked to bring them back up.
The second thing that felt rather strange was the fact that in the end what upset me most wasn't the death itself, it was the fact that people I cherish a lot were suffering because of it. Perhaps trying to put everything into perspective and trying to be rational and practical about everything is my way of dealing with things.
Rereading the whole thing above makes me think that I sound a bit cold-hearted. Oh well, as I said, that's probably how I try to keep everything together.
I actually tried finding a photo or two of my grandma to post, I know must have some in the old scanned folder or maybe in the blackhole known as "photo-archives" (photos go there after being on the harddrive for more than a year and then are never heard of again, it's a scary place I rarely venture into)... but I can't find any right now... so here is a funky photo of mini!me (it seems I haven't posted anything under that tag in over a year!)
|These last few days have taught me quite a bit about the way I perceive others' eyes on me. When half your face is swollen to double its size and you have a huge swollen black eye, you expect people to stare, to do a double take. At first I was really self-conscious. Usually I am as plain and unnoticeable as they come, average height, average weight, average hair, average clothes. And then I became a tiny bit more noticeable. I doubt that I had ever felt as self-conscious as during the first two days.|
This is what my eye looked like on the third day, without any swelling.
On Sunday something clicked in my head. Or maybe it was the fact that Finns are good at not doing double takes, or they've seen much worse. Instead of feeling like I had to deal with it, it became about others having to deal with it. Does that make sense? Before I was trying to become smaller and go unnoticed with the bruises, now I don't even bother with sunglasses or anything and figure that if someone gets bothered by them then they just have deal with their questions of "what the hell happened".
This entry was so deep and thoughtful in my head but typed out it just sounds silly... end of story is that I feel like I've greatly grown over the last few days, I would even say evolved mentally to a whole new level.
( +2 - with and without the blues )
|I have come to the conclusion that I only liked taking photos of flowers in my parents' garden mainly because it was their garden, they grew those flowers and yeah, those were their flowers, the fruit of their labour. On my bike ride this morning, I went past so many tulips and other flowers and truth be told I kept on thinking, "I should come back here one day with the camera" but I had my camera with me yesterday and I took exactly zero photos. Of course those tulips were amazing, of course those wild flowers were beautiful but, come on, many people with better cameras and who are better photographers have taken photos of such things... there is no real soul in those flowers, is there? They're just that. Some random flowers. |
It kind of reminds me of taking loads of photos of food in restaurants, it's pretty, but there is no soul in that stuff unless you see the magic of the preparation happen before you.
Heck, here are the only flower photos from the last month I have... and it's spring, the season of flowers!
( +6 - but only one more of flowers )
|It's silly stuff but there has been more and more asparagus everywhere lately. I don't know if it's because the harvest has started in the south or because there is some tradition involving asparagus and Easter around here but the end result is that there is more of it, as usual though it's overpriced - nothing new here. This package made me think about how most of the import fruits and veggies get here. It would make sense for them to come by plane but that would turn everything more expensive. I guess tomatoes from the Netherlands can come by boat, those things can survive an obscene amount of time after harvest... everything that's a bit more prone to deterioration, that's bound to get here by plane or be local, like salads - usually those are Finnish and they can usually last a day or two, especially if their roots are kept in water. Maybe that's why they're sold here with their roots... |
|Remember that one time I said I was going to get plants for my place? That was a NY's resolution a couple of years back. Yeah, that kind of fell through. I blame it on the fact that the window sill in my current flat is so tiny and can't possibly house plants. And I figure that my parents make up, both in terms of house plants and gardening, where I lack. |
(also going through all these photos from Marseille has made me realise just how much light inspires me. I haven't taken the camera outside in weeks here, it's just so bleak all the time. Only a few more weeks till February and then I know that the sky is always clearer as it gets colder!)
( +3 - whiteness and redness )
|Once again here a dilemma that I am often faced with - there is a photo that is terrible from a technical point of view and yet it's my favourite of that certain subject. Take for example the photo below, there are three more photos under the cut and at the first one there shows the structure of the flower in a much clearer manner than this one... and yet it has no soul. This one, there is just something in that light on the side, the transparency of the leaves, the out-of-focusness of the middle part, it's interesting and not bare! |
So yep, so far that's my favourite photo of the year.
( +3 - the middle stems are rather fluffy )
|I personally am not a huge fan of Kinder Eggs (or Kinder Surprise Eggs, as they're called in some places) because I find them rather too sweet but you have to admit sometimes they have some really nifty toys. I actually have some toys that were in the LOTR edition, they're all sitting on the shelf along with my Tolkien books.|
But you know who can't have Kinder Eggs? Americans. Legally that is. Because a "1938 Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act prohibits embedding "non-nutritive items" in confections. Additionally, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall on the eggs in 1997 (mostly via import shops)" (thank you Wiki for that one). People have had their eggs confiscated at the border coming from Canada (and even got a 7 page letter telling them that their one egg will have to be destroyed and that they should give permission before the destruction can go ahead). So yes, in the US they're illegal because the small toys could be a chocking hazard, even though the label clearly states they're not intended for children under 3, even though it also says that parents should be present at all times because there is a chocking hazard, even though the toy is inside a freaken plastic thingy which I have often had trouble opening and I'm an adult! But nooooo... dangerous! Don't touch.
Given the trouble that the US authorities go to in order to protect people (they've raided import stores around Easter because they were selling some contraband eggs, google it up there are hilarious photos included), you might ask "just how many people have died because of those chocking hazards?" and the answer is 7. In the whole world. Over the 30+ years that the Eggs have been sold everywhere. I'm not saying that the deaths of seven kids are not bad... but, yeah, actually I'll be mean and that's exactly what I'll say. Compared to the amount of kids who will die of health complications because their parents did not instill basic survival things (healthy eating habits, you're responsible for your acts so don't do stupid things, etc.), seven deaths in all those years are nothing. Even if those Eggs could be sold they'd probably have to come with a three page warning label to avert any possible liabilities because of the stupidity of people. Nah, seriously, if you're dumb enough not to know how a microwave works and expect a cat to dry in one, then you should just go feel dumb in a corner, not sue the manufacturer for millions because they did not indicate that a cooking device should not be used to dry pets.
I've often complained about the fact that we are and we're grooming a generation of completely incompetent idiots but seeing laws and mindsets like that makes me really fear about the future of some countries. Do we really want kids who only know "yes, you're perfect, don't over-strain yourself, if you don't want to do it then it's ok, nothing bad will ever happen to you, you'll never be alone, if anything happens you don't like you can just sue for compensation, etc." in their lives? That's boring. Just as those new playgrounds. They're rubbish. Falling down, getting back up, scraping knees are all part of a great learning process. A lot of compensation cases should just be dismissed on the grounds of "you're an idiot, tough luck" because some common sense should just be expected from everyone... and not 7 page warning notices from manufacturers.
But as always THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!!!1!!!!!eleventeen!!!!!!
|If had taken the bac philosophy exam today, I would have loved being in any of the sections! All of them had something to do with freedom and science. Totally love all the subjects.|
Et sur ce, je pars philosopher sur... euh. Non, en fait, on fait un petit break.
|First response - "how dare you change deadlines like that!"|
Response at the end of the day - "well, it's my own fault anyway. Damn you procrastination!"
( +4 - more flowers and a tiny spider, you've been warned! )