Monday, 6 December 2010

Where I was and why IKEA is dangerous

Ohai. Sorry I wasn't here. I got lots of stuff done and then regressed into a stressed out heap in a fleece watching hours of Frasier for some days. I got all my papers together and registered for the graduation ceremony on the 14th of December. My thesis got MCLA, which is pretty good :))

Just before I got my papers sorted, my popularity as a noob translator soared and I ended up knowing far too much about bridges. The world of concrete was opened up before me.

I had planned to start my business stuff on the 1st of December but for some unknown (but welcome) reason people wanted me to translate stuff in November already. I'm not one to turn away money that so desperately wants to take up shelter in my bank account, so I started organising stuff. See that chair in the picture there? Its name is Moses. Or something. I've spent a large chunk of my life in that chair, usually leaning back watching TV or spinning around on it because, well, it's still fun to do that. Unfortunately my chair didn't live as long as the biblical moses and I remembered something about not wanting a curvature of the spine so me and Ari set off to Swed- err, Ikea.

I wanted a chair, and more importantly, I wanted Ari to carry it home for me. Ari wanted some kitchen utensils so we were sorted. Ikea would not tempt us with its useless but desirable crap you never knew you wanted.

We were wrong. We totally wanted everything. Well, mostly everything. We sat on beds, divans and at desks. We wandered through the top floor of Ikea marvelling at stuff. Until we came to the armchair section. Ari found a chair that would set us back 6000 euros, but it was God in a chair. Leonard (ari) is about 6'3'' tall and this chair dwarfed him. It was so soft and comfortable it could have been a bed. It had a footstool that came out when you reclined in it. People walked past eyeing us with jealousy because they hadn't made it in time to sit in it before us. Unfortunately as yet we don't have the money for such an immense chair so I just returned home with a Verksam chair. Ergonomics hurt :(

On a lighter note, today is Finnish independence day. The independence fairy visits all conscientious citizens the night before independence day and leaves an independent state under your pillow. The fairy even chooses some people to go to a ball at the president's residence.

On an even better note, it's CHRISTMAS soon. Here's my advent calendar:

It has a mix of Christmassy stuff and stuff that I find interesting (strange quarks, for example). Christmas means that I am moving out of this place and away from stupid roommate, hooray!

On an even better note - I'm getting a PUPPY. Omg. I'm waiting to hear back from a lady who breeds Seiskari dogs, which are an old type of seal hunting dog from Finland. As yet they are an unrecognised breed of dog, which suits me fine. I can happily declare from my soapbox that I am not getting and will not ever get a purebred dog. Waiting to hear back from the lady is driving me nuts, but in a way it's like being a kid on Christmas Eve. Although it sucks to wait, it's kind of nice. You may expect tons of puppy pictures in the blog from now on.

During the week I seem to be glued to the computer with translations, but at the weekends I'll probably have time to update my blog with something vaguely funny. But I'm moving next week, so posting might be sporadic.

(This post is dedicated to Deborah, because she asks me to write stuff when I've been blog-lazy).

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Granny Physics

Out of 22 Christmases (really, spellcheck? Just the one s?), I've probably been shopping for Christmas gifts on about 18 of those occasions. During these times I've observed an interesting fact: Grannies seem to follow their own laws of physics which are inapplicable to those under 60. I am the kind of person who decides what they want to buy and finds out beforehand how much it costs and where to buy it. In such cases, for example, Grannies have the innate ability to block exactly enough of a corridor to make impossible for you to get past, should you be in a hurry.
They can sense the speed you want to go at, and the speed that they are going at is relative to yours. Basically, the more of a hurry you're in, the more space the grandma takes up and the slower she goes. Also scientists have correlation between the amount of grannies about and the amount of things you need to get done divided by the amount of time you have to get them done in.

I don't even know if that's an equation, I just wanted it to sound official.

Here's the second thing I've noticed. Having read some material on string theory and finding out that there's a good possibility that there are more than 4 dimensions (and having watched stargate, where there are definitely more), I've decided that grannies have developed the ability (perhaps through cataracts) to see into these other dimensions.

This manifests in the 4 (3 + time) dimensions we lowly whippersnappers can see as a sudden, unexplained and abrupt stop in the trajectory of the granny. Usually this happens as you are planning to overtake the granny (which they can sense, you know) so you end up nearly running the granny over, or crashing into her back. Of course, this would be totally YOUR FAULT. Because you are young. And she is old.

The abrupt stop is followed by some sort of eerie silence where the granny is almost seemingly rooted to the spot. While you may think that nothing is going on upstairs, and are trying to figure out whether or not the old dear has dementia and thus gauging how nice you have to be to her when you ask her to get out of your way, the reality is that the granny is back on one of the other 11 dimensions that M-theory has speculated to exist. About now the granny starts to turn, but there is still no sign of higher-level intelligence or thought processes. You realise that she's just trying to decide which way to go.

Oh no. You've come dangerously close to the event horizon.

The event horizon is the circular region around a black hole beyond which is it impossible to escape the crushing force of gravity and you will become spaghettified (that's a real thing) as you are pulled mercilessly into the black hole. The nearer to get to the event horizon, the more time slows down, and this is the effect that you notice most when in the vicinity of the granny. You know where you want to go and how to get there, but for some reason the way that the granny was going about a minute ago was unsatisfactory and now she's trying to decide on whether or not to pick a new direction or to carry on as before.

Now you're in a lose-lose situation. Either the granny carries on going the way she was before - in which case she just wasted a good part of your day for no apparent reason, or:

The granny is now apparently oblivious to you. She is now entirely in her own dimension. Unfortunately you're stuck in this one, so you just feel the granny banging into you repeatedly. This has ACTUALLY happened. Instead of asking me to move out of the way (or going round), the old biddy in question actually tried (twice) to walk THROUGH me. Her quantum physics needed tweaking, otherwise she'd have been able to.

Of course, there are many kinds of granny. The one described above is reminiscent of an English or Helsinki granny. There are, however, a rare kind of lovely granny called the Finnish rural grandma
which appears to have separated from mummo anglicus and mummo helsingiensis before the latter developed the art of being the annoying side of geriatric. :

Among other talents, the Finnish granny, or mummo fennicus is able to make seemingly unendless amounts of coffee and sweet buns appear from nowhere. As soon as you drink one cup, you are offered more coffee and buns, until the minimum quota (the pulla constant) is filled. This hovers at around one litre of coffee and three buns. Should you need woolly socks, locate a mummo fennicus, who will gladly knit you a pair. The mummo fennicus has walking poles for exercise but chooses to use them for good rather than evil, rarely frequenting shopping centres at Christmas and preferring instead to entertain people at home, feeding them buns and coffee. For the love of humanity, please try to aim for this kind of granny and keep your tartan bag out of the way at Christmas.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Some bad art

I now have marginally less to do, having dropped off my master's thesis at the department office of the faculty of arts. It's their problem now. It was an epic journey (from the computer centre to the office, I mean) that I might consider blogging about just because it was so ridiculous.

An eye of calm has transcended over my storm of batshit crazy busy. Perhaps I'll stop almost falling asleep as soon as I sit down (I'm very scared I'll do it on a bus and end up in a neighbouring city) and will be able to process information like a normal person again. I've been cycling about 16-18km a day, writing the thesis, reading for exams and trying to sort out the business stuff. But when I get to bed, I encounter setbacks. I hope - and I'm quite sure - that I'm not the only person this happens to, but I'd really appreciate some reassurance on this one.

Here goes. I come home from cycling and read/clean/write/whatever all day. It's bedtime so I get into my lovely baggy pyjamas, slip into sultan (the name of my IKEA bed) and relax. Then I get up to shut the window, go to get the water I forgot, get back into bed and then get annoyed because it's not parallel to the wall. Adjust. Then I relax.
See how sensible the time is? 11pm. Twenty-three hundred hours. At around this time I am struck with a legitimate worry.
The offending thought is usually something of unsurmounted importance that would surely win me a nobel prize for science AND literature in one go, should I have included it in my thesis. I consider getting out of bed and editing my thesis, but sultan is comfy. The particular incident that made me think about blogging this was that I had run out of milk. Let's stick with that. I was going through a porridge phase and used about half a carton of milk per morning fer me oats. Okay. No porridge. That sucks. I'll buy milk tomorrow. Problem solved.

Seriously milk, you aren't that important. It's as if my mind is playing squash (is that the one where you smack a ball against a wall and it rebounds? Sort of like tennis for people with no friends?) with my awareness of my lack of milk.
Oh come ON. It's not like you can buy milk now anyway, the shop is shut. Write it on a post it so you remember to buy milk in the morning. (You won't see the post it note and will be surprised that you have no milk, even though you're wasting time faffing about having no milk now).

Guess who can't make cereal or porridge in the morning? YOU! Because you have no milk.

Some people probably stay awake at night pondering world hunger or what colour petrol is, but I, my friends, am super aware of dairy. It's crazy o'clock and my brain is a stuck record. Really. I have done everything in my power to ensure that not only will I KNOW upon my awakening that I have no fucking milk, but this fact will only prompt me to buy more. My brain finally gives up and turns off for the night.
You know what's really annoying? I was so concerned about missing out on my healthy nutritious porridge at night time, but I invariably wake up like:
You don't need milk for toast.

On a side note, have you noticed that something can really stress you out in the morning while you're in bed laying down, but the minute you sit up, everything seems much better? You don't even have to get out of bed, sometimes just sitting up works. Wtf?

Friday, 8 October 2010

O hai

Hi. I haven't written here for a while because I've either been too busy or in a procrastinatory coma. I thought I'd write a small update on my life, the universe and everything because that was the original point of this blog, until I decided to use it to inflict poor-quality artwork on everyone else just because I can. So no badly-drawn pics for you today. Sorry. Maybe tomorrow.

So I got my thesis back from my teacher yesterday and as soon as my maturity test is accepted I'm good to go and drop that bad boy off at the department where two Finnish language gurus will read it and then give me a grade. FYI, I really don't mind if you want to give me a laudatur. That is okay with me. After that, I only have two book exams to do, which means, I think, that I can graduate on time on 14.12. Weird. My university career will end on 14.12.2010 at 3pm. Unless I get approved to do a doctorate and decide to spend another 5+ years being really clever at one specific thing that most people don't care about.

My business is slowly coming along thanks to my strategy of flailing at people on the phone and being gormless in many places. I'm applying for business start money in 2 weeks. If I get that money, I won't die of hunger, which seems to be the better of two alternatives. I'm trying to see if I can buy a tax-deductable espresso machine "for the company" as a piece of "equipment" but we'll see.

Exercise. It appears I was scarfing down lots of crap because I had lots to do, which obviously justifies selective consumption of noms. So to combat this (make me feel like it's okay to eat a ton of crap) I decided to cycle to the centre of Helsinki from where I live about 3 times a week and swim twice a week. Somehow I feel like there could be a better solution (don't eat a ton of crap), but this works for me okay at the moment.

Procrastinatory coma. Have you ever been in one of these? They're pretty good. There's something you should do, but you can't do it before breakfast, because that would be inhumane. So you eat your breakfast, then you have to make coffee. And a biscuit. Coffee without a biscuit is inhumane. I am a humane person, so breakfast-coffee-biscuit out of the way first. Then you have to digest it. Browse the internet. Did you know how many puppies there are on the internet? Or pictures of cake? It's my birthday in too many days to be counting already, but I've been looking up ideas for cakes. I think rainydaygal and cakespy are great, btw.
If all else fails, make some tea and stare out of the window because the trees are all autumnal and pretty. Don't blink for an unnaturally long time. There you go.

Garments. I HAD to finish a scarf for Leonard, whose name is Ari, because I had been at it for four years. FOUR YEARS, you guys. I started it when I was a noob at knitting (knoob?) so I was stupid and decided to make a scarf taller than Leonard on number 4 needles. Never again. I have a weird callus on my finger now. I guess it's a friendship callus. I hope you appreciate the friendship callus, Leonard. I also crocheted myself a scarf (he doesn't get one if I don't get one). Here is a picture of my scarf.
There's a picture of it on facebook but I appear greasy and sort of look hungry/predatory in the photo and the colours didn't show up right. I think I look less alarming in this picture.

Due to the callus, I'm not knitting/crocheting for a little bit (though Leonard wants some socks now, ffs) and due to the READYability of my master's thesis, I'm not doing that for a bit either. Sure, I have to read about 600 pages in a couple of weeks, but hey, I just spent 40 euros in a shop that doesn't really sell anything useful, but sells tons of FUN stuff and I am going to felt some elves, bitches. --->

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Stupid thing I did as a child part #1

As a child I was afflicted with shortness. In fact, most children suffer from shortness. But I wasn't going to let it get in the way of something incredibly interesting that was sitting on top of a worktop in the kitchen one day. I can't remember what it is, but I wanted it.

I grabbed the worktop with one hand and reached for the the jar of whatever it was with the other. All of my attention was focused on the jar of enigma.

Until I noticed something on my arm.

I stopped trying to reach the mystery jar and inspected my arm.

It didn't taste like anything and wouldn't come off, so I assumed it was a part of me. If it wasn't originally a part of me, I was willing to accept it. But where did it come from? Why was it brown considering the rest of me was a pasty white colour? I thought and mulled and pondered in a way that was probably an early sign of my impending career in humanities, but I could not figure out what it was. Since I didn't have any idea what melanin is and didn't quite grasp the concept of pigmentation, the nearest conclusion I came to was:

And that was my second ever outburst of political incorrectness. :)

Tuesday, 14 September 2010


I'm back from doing all of my incredibly important stuff so here's a longer post now :) How are you? I'm ill, but let's move on.

Every single boyfriend (except for a horrific breach of judgement I brought home at the age of 14) I've ever had has been interested in computers. Jukka almost majored in Pharmacy but then he met me and changed over to studying IT. What is this business? I know I usually draw myself with a computer, because I'm usually WITH a computer, but I can't program anything, I fight regularly with hardware and I'm nervous around white text on a black background. That firmly rules me out of being the kind of person I'm talking about. Anyway last night Jukka and I had a conversation that really emphasised the humanities side of my studies.

I've got a cough and a cold, so I was taking cough medicine. The brand name is "Resilar". Suddenly:
Jukka told me afterwards that his brain did something like this:
He was trying to think how perhaps the packaging reminded me of something. Or if it tasted familiar. No!
Turkish really does use the suffix -lar and resilar had reminded me of something I couldn't place for a long time. I'm pretty sure I found out what it was now <3

I've noticed that the humanities student girlfriend and computer studies boyfriend is a common pairing. At my department in university a lot of girls have a boyfriend from the University of Technology. I had one for a while, too. There's some friendly rivalry going on between the two univiersities, but obviously, it's childish and immature because my university is epic win and therefore better.

So to make everyone's life easier I decided to write a troubleshooting guide. You're welcome.

Sometimes your computer science boyfriend may feel like humanities studies aren't very.. concrete. There's a common stereotype of humanities studies being wishy-washy, lots of hippies just thinking and forming dangerous opinions of their own. And yeah, there are a lot of questions "which don't have a right answer, as long as you can argue your case", which is annoying. Yes, literature analysis, I'm talking about YOU. Personally I prefer linguistics, which is more scientific. However, I do seem to spend a lot of my time doing this:
1. Thinking 2: wondering
3. mulling4. In general just HARDCORE PONDERING

Do not be fooled, computer science man! Mulling is deceptive. It's not quite as passive as it looks. I squeezed out 86 pages of master's thesis and handed it into my teacher(s) yesterday. Now it's totally THEIR PROBLEM FOR A WEEK. <3>

If you are lucky you may have some things you like in common. Unfortunately there may be some things that your computer science boyfriend can't quite be as enthusiastic about as you are:
This may happen in the nerd --> humanities direction.

Fear not, there is a solution! Notice that I was sneaky and put this on the internet so even computer science boyfriend can find my ingenous guide. You have to find ANOTHER person who has a computer science boyfriend or humanities student girlfriend and then latch on to this person to stop you from learning how to tell the time in binary or understanding bits of code. Likewise, computer science boyfriends can pass the time complaining about how stupid Windows is (it really is, though) and how their distro of Linux totally pwns yours. This also prevents computer science boyfriend from invading YOUR computer and "seeing what it can do".

Here's something to mull:

1. Why does everything taste like bleach after a cold?

Mum pointed it out today and she was right. It does. Why?

Sunday, 5 September 2010

How to tell if your dad is a reptile

The other day I was trying to force my hair into submission with my hair straighteners and some goo when I remembered the time my dad did my hair. I can't remember him ever doing it before, but I'm pretty sure he did. They just don't stick in your mind as much as when you suspect your dad is half reptile. Let me explain.

My dad had come over from Australia to visit and was staying at my nan's house. My mum had taken me to my nan's place to stay for a couple of days with my dad. I remember it was a school day because I loudly announced that my hair had to be put in a ponytail in accordance with school rules. I had really long hair, almost to my knees, and doing it myself usually ended badly.

My dad took the hairbrush, sat me down in front of him and began to brush my hair. It was going fine until he swept my hair away from my eyes and his fingers brushed my face. They RASPED on my face.

I panicked because the only reason that my dad would have such scaly fingers is obviously that he was half reptile. I waited in silent shock until he'd finished my ponytail and then asked him what was wrong with his fingers. He told me that he had callouses on the ends of his fingers from playing guitar. This was obviously the reason for his weird raspy fingers because he played the guitar every day. It was his thing, but you know how 5 year olds think :D

I've often wished I could play the guitar, because dad liked it so much. He was also really good at it. I've tried to plink my way through a few songs, but understandably I don't want to grow callouses on my fingers :D And I'm just not guitar-inclined.

I hope dad wouldn't mind that my thing is obscure Finnish dialects... :D

Sunday, 29 August 2010

I get shit done. Look at this hat.

Good innit? :)

Apart from finishing that hat off, which was supposed to be done by Spring, I've got a lot of other shit done in the last ten days, too. That's why I haven't drawn anything for this post. But hey the stuff was exciting. Here's what I did:

- Felt inferior and stupid just because I was in a bank
- Made a lot of scary phonecalls in Finnish
- Annoyed a lot of people a lot of the time about a meeting
- Drank a lot of coffee
- Ate a bun (an apple turnover sort of thing, to be precise) - v. important
- Chaired aforementioned meeting
- Corrected and hopefully sorted out two chapters of my master's thesis
- Had a fight with both printers in the first floor of the learning centre Aleksandria (and won)
- Registered a business
- Signed a contract
- Was mathematically dyslexic in a variety of places
- Made a hat!

So now in theory, technically, I am now kind of sort of my own boss! Sort of. In reality I think both the tax office and the bank pwns me. Anyway, at least in December I'll be starting up business as a freelance translator and that's why I took the trouble to go to a lot of different places to be gormless instead of just doing it in a few places out of people's way.

While I am in the grip of this maniac responsibility I'm aiming to get everything business out of the way and then I'll get on to drawing some new posts. I can totally arrange my time like that. I'm my boss. I'm allowed.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Stacy vs. Nature: An illustrated saga

This post deals with a creature that looks like a spider but isn't. Some people call them harvestmen, some people I'm not sure what it is in English, but in Finnish it's called a lukki, and that's easier to write than daddy-long-legses, so I will use the Finnish word. If you want, you can think of it as Dave.

So one day in 2008 I was perched innocently on the toilet taking care of some business. Leonard, whose name is Ari, was not home.

I was staring off into space quite contendly until I thought I saw something move out of the corner of my eye. I focused my vision.
Oh my giddy aunt, I thought, because I'm British. A fucking spider. I must stress at this point that I'm not particularly scared of spiders, but these things are unnecessarily huge. My bowel movement paused while I inspected what was crawling up my wall. It was a lukki. Upon receiving this information, I jumped.
I kid you not, it was staring at me.
This carried on for a while.

I kept my eyes on it while I hurriedly finished what I was doing, and then tried to figure out what to do with it. Even though I wasn't scared of it, it was disgusting. I'm not sure why, but it repulsed me. However, I didn't want to kill it unnecessarily, which made my first idea null and void.
So I decided to find a glass and some paper, and put it out on the balcony. I dug through our cupboards and found the biggest glass I could. It was pretty big, a massive pint.. stein from Ikea. Trying not to turn inside out, I approached the bathroom with the glass. The lukki, or Dave, didn't move. Good. I carefully placed the glass over Dave the lukki, but failed, and one of his legs got stuck underneath the rim of the glass because, as I mentioned, they are unnecessarily large. Dave started to spaz out.

This was a new level of repulsion for me. It was freaking out because of its leg, which is understandable, but I couldn't bring myself to sort its leg out. Eventually I slid paper underneath the glass and saved the leg. After a ridiculously long time trying to gather myself, and still trying not to turn inside out, I got the lukki about 2 metres to the table in our living room.
There it sat, while I shook my hands and did that brr thing you do when someone tells you about headlice or that they had a spider on them once. I pondered leaving the lukki where it was until it died, but that would have been cruel, and I'd already got it two metres nearer the balcony.It was also taking me a stupid amount of time to deal with this issue. Time had elapsed, you guys. I sucked it up and opened the balcony door, placed the glass on the floor and wondered if the lukki would suddenly run up my arm when I tip the glass over. I went and changed my shirt to a sleeveless one.

There it sat. For a really long time. I periodically looked through my (locked) balcony door to see if it had fucked off, but it was still sitting there. I opened the door and looked to see if it was dead.

It was fucking waving its legs at me in a freaky lukki wardance. I later told this to Ari, who said it was probably trying to scare me. I informed Ari that the lukki had been successful. I'm not sure why it disgusted me so much but I have never seen anything so gross before (I am serious. Blood, guts, snot, whatever, but this was another level). Just waving tiny harvestman threats at me. I was traumatised.

So two days ago, when I came home from the shop and decided to make some coffee, and a massive lukki came sauntering out from behind the coffee maker, I knew what to do.

Nature 1- 1 Stacy.