Today is Christmas Eve in Russia (happy Christmas everybody!) and because of the 'major holiday' nature of the date, there is a lot of traveling. I live close to the Russian border so we get our share of the travelers - and so shops are open even though Twelfth Day is a public holiday. So this morning/last night when I was delivering papers I saw that the hotel had a sign up on its door that said in Finnish and English "our rooms are fully booked for the next night". If the paper had been outside and I had had a pen, I would have added to it "but there's room in the stable."
Guys, check out the Wikipedia article about Twelfth Night (holiday) and (in the box to the right) what is the correct way to observe this holiday :D
So I just finished reading "Harpo Speaks!" and my plan is to now read the book by his son, "Son of Harpo Speaks" and a realisation just hit me on the way home today: this book I am about to read will have a bit in it about Harpo's death. Now I do realise that he is dead from the fact that he is no longer living, but... his actual death is not real to me. I don't know what he died of or when or at what age. I looked it up once in Wikipedia and can't remember. And I'm afraid. I don't think I want to read this book. :/ I'm so sensitive to things in books and movies, those characters are all real to me, and I mourn the deaths of characters like real people. My little heart broke into millions of pieces when I got to that awful chapter 'Exit Alexander' in "Harpo Speaks!" where he tells of Woollcott's death. What will happen when it's Hoppo himself? ;_; I... I might need to read something else. I have the autobiography of Cheeta, which excites me a) because it's written by an ape! and b) because I think Cheeta and Harpo have quite a bit in common, in terms of the roles they played (on screen and in real life).
(In case you didn't hear the news before, Cheeta died just a little while ago, he was 80 years old, which is a lot for an ape.)
Need to get a hold of literature of the times of Harpo from Charlie Lederer, Oscar Levant (he has written an autobiography as well! Amg amg amg, he used to live with Harpo, plus he's mad and awesome!) and Woollcott obviously. And who all else was there... :3
A realisation came to me just now typing this. I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I have chosen that when it comes to movies I'm going to be a comedy aficionado. I intend to undertake a serious comedic education here and watch all possible comedies that I get my hands on, the good and the bad (I might skip the ugly a bit) to develop that aficionado taste in what is funny. And writing that thing about mourning characters made me realise that it is a good choice of genre I have made, but also made me wonder if the lack of death and sadness in comedies is partly the reason for the choice...? Maybe not, I do think it was originally based more on the idea of appreciating humour and especially appreciating the difficulty of making funny movies. Like Woollcott said: "surely there should be dancing in the streets when a great clown comes to town".
I appreciate comic genius more than sombre genius.
Enough babble. Time for dinner and bed.
Continuing with the theme that Ira Glass started:
Also, it's gonna blow up with Iran isn't it? :/ The situation down there scares me.
Samoa skipped Friday.
I didn't know you are allowed to do that. But now all those maps that show the International Dateline, or the timezones, are all wrong.
"One day before chemotherapy, I woke up in the morning and went downstairs. There on the kitchen table was this framed photo that had Matthew, Mike (my second son), Spencer (my third son) and then Matt's little boy named Clay (who is two years old). They all had shaved their heads to show solidarity and took a picture. They framed it with their locks of hair under the glass. It was very sweet."
That's right: I link to Forbes. Because I'm a well-rounded person.
This week's This American Life show has a big long chunk from David Sedaris's "Santa Land Diaries". Stories from when he worked as an elf at Macy's, read by the guy himself. It is amazing stuff, you should definitely check it out. Also in the episode another amazing Christmas spectacle: the Christmas Freud. One of the awesomest things I've heard of in a while.
"Freud will be back soon. Stop deceiving yourselves."
This is what I'm doing today: listening to podcasts and bunnifying squares.
Work sucked a little bit today, I had to do a different route and then when I was finished, I had to do a bit of my usual route as well because the other guy who covers for me is slow. If they suggest this tomorrow, I will say "no, he just has to bike quicker, it is not fair that I should do his bit just because he can't follow the list and bike a bit quicker." The baffling thing is that he has done it on time before, I don't understand why he can't finish by six anymore. I remember I specifically asked before booking time off in December "what about the centrum" and was told (by the regular boss, who is away on his holiday right now and we have a "guest star" boss) that the guy that covers for me has been told to bike a bit quicker and he has managed to be done by six. So I wasn't done til quarter past today because of having to do his leftovers, and didn't get home til seven because I live in the friggin' sticks. I just have to manage to communicate this all to her if she asks me to do it again tomorrow: no, because I won't get home 'til seven, and doing this will make me really really pissed off and I'll be biking home (in the rain today, please note, which I would have missed if I could have just gone home when I was done with my bit) and swearing and cursing and blaming the slow mofo for ruining my morning. All of which is then a problem for my conscience because I'd really rather like to be a better person than I am. I don't want to hate that guy. But he just makes it so damn easy. >.<
Take me away from here, Ira Glass. *presses play*
The Antarctica World Passport. Because individuals are not of an inferior status to that of capital, trade, telecommunicat
Have you heard of the ship thing that's going on in my neck of the woods? It's the trippiest thing. So I live in a port town, so there's a lot of international ships coming through here. And last week a ship called Thor Liberty came from Germany, it was going to pick up some stuff (scrap metal) and then continue on its way to Asia. And basically what happened is that the loaders, as they are about to dump a whole load of iron into the cargo hold, took a look and went "hoshit guys stop stop, there's some kind of an explosives sign in here!" So they stop and take a closer look, and they find that the ship is carrying two things: 150 tons of boxes of nitroguanidine
In other news, Finland's been having all sorts of awful storms. This year is going down kicking and screaming. *sings 'Ring Out Wild Bells'* "The year is dying in the night, ring out wild bells, and let him die!"
Guys, I think I can control the weather... >_> Or at least the snow fall. I've been hoping and praying and wishing for no snow and we have had no snow. Except when I said "for Christmas there can be snow. And in Sweden there can be snow during my trip." And this is exactly how it went: there was snow in Sweden, then I came here and 24th and 25th we had snow, and it all melted away on the 26th, so that my work yesterday and today was actually kind of pleasant. So now I'm wishing no more snow this year, and also no snow in January until the 19th, then Finland can have snow for a week, but it all needs to melt away again on the 24th.
And finally, the reason I started typing a diary post in the first place: two links related to This American Life.
Sweden trip going wonderfully. Like, good grief how awesome it is to be here again. Especially Sundsvall, there was so much love there that I nearly fainted. Sorry [Easterling] I totally forgot you live in Örebro, and now I don't have time to try to figure out to come see you, plus you're really busy too so... :S My bad, should have thought i förväg this here.
So yes, hopping on a train to GBG today at three, go see a friend in hospital there and to shops and staying with the person who may well be my very favourite person in all of Sweden. :)
Am seriously considering moving back to Sweden. After the loan is paid. If I can think of something to do (oh hello free education :O Where did you come from? What, you mean I could just go back to university and study something? Nah men, why of course, I'd love that :D ) But it should be Sundsvall. Or maybe Gbg, we'll see how I feel when I get there.
On wednesday evening begins the heights of this adventure, when I take the night train all through Sweden :D
Came home from town and noticed that I had an epic cowlick in my hair. :D Ah well.
Didn't watch either movie, I went to bed and read a book instead.
I am taking six books with me to Sweden (the Bible in Swedish, the Book of Mormon in English, the Christmas Mystery, of which I have to read one chapter per day until the 24th, Hamlet of course, a book about actresses' thoughts on being under the gaze, and a Swedish book called "Diktator Anorexia Nervosa"). o.O I have officially lost the ability to travel light. But on the other side, I'm taking only two blouses plus the one I'll be wearing. And two balls of yarn and a pair of knitting needles. I think my priorities are messed up. :P But then again, I know there will be a lot of train travel on this trip. 'Sides, any single person will see me max three days in a row, so I really only need the three different tops and then I'll just change back to the first one, and no one will know that I'm wearing laundry from two days ago :D Except all of you people now... Hmm, I guess I'll have to kill you now.
One half of my tiny suitcase is filled with presents that I'm taking to people (and I plan on seeing if the airport will sell something random that I can strew to children in Church). So on the way back, there is much space for julmust <3 <3 <3 And maybe some more books >_>
Two movies on TV tonight at the same time. Which one should I watch (day off tomorrow yay! Means I don't have to go to bed right now :P)
One is Kalifornia http://www.imd
The other is Look Both Ways http://www.imd
Overall Kalifornia sounds cool, it has cool people in it (Duchovny, Pitt). But it's on the channel that has ads.
Look Both Ways also sounds cool, possibly cooler (it has animation in it as well? :D) and it's on an ad-free channel, but it's an Australian film, so they probably speak Australian >_> And I don't like Australian accent a whole ton (I knew annoying aussies in uni...) But at the same time, being a non-Hollywood film is also kind of cool.
Neither seems to be a comedy, which is, of late, my genre of choice...
Okay, I think I'll go with Look Both Ways, Kalifornia is R-rated, plus there seems to be an even more R version that is the European version with even more sex and violence >_> Which is probably the one they will show on Finnish TV at 11pm. So yeah, Australians for the win, it's PG-13.
Hey, I just learnt how to find the rating details (why the movie has a certain rating) on imdb. Because sometimes it feels that movies are rated pretty randomly.
I know it's not Hallowe'en, but this week's New Yorker 'Comment' is just scary: http://www.new
The scary bit at the very end (made scarier if you read the whole thing):
In March, at the Cornerstone Church, in San Antonio, Gingrich declared, “I am convinced that, if we do not decisively win the struggle over the nature of America,” his grandchildren will live “in a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists and with no understanding of what it once meant to be an American.” Last spring, this was a kind of right-wing performance art. Now it is the language of the man leading in the Republican polls, a man who — in the real world, not the alt-world — could, not inconceivably, become President of the United States. Imagine that.
Read more http://www.new
As I was listening to this on the Out Loud -podcast, I was sniggering to myself "it's be great if this guy was the GOP candidate, because then Obama would just have no trouble at all getting second term" - and then he said that last bit and I was like "hoshi, fo real?!"
I'm on fire today. But this made me giggle much: http://chronic
A small article and an awesome list of misles, those words that have a spelling that makes it difficult to find out how it is pronounced. My favourite: warplane (the lane for driving at warp speed?)
You mean I didn't have anything better to do? I did. But I chose not to do them <_<
Sing something to enter the Christmas Carol Competition!
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I called Sundsvall this morning. This may have undone me somewhat. I called the phone that was my phone two years ago. I could hear my old apartment in the background there. I could hear Sundsvall and... I'm a bit shook up from this now. And I need to make a few more calls that way. And on Saturday, I will be there. As much as I'm looking forward to this trip... I'm quite scared now. I remember leaving Sundsvall, sitting on the bus (because we missed the train) and watching the landscape of my area swoosh past until it was no longer Norrland. And usually I get emotional amnesia (can't remember how something felt) pretty quickly once the thing is over, but I still remember how it felt to sit on that bus.
And now I will go back there, and then leave again. I might come back a zombie, just so you know.
Bending over backwards on the internet is quite unpleasant.
In the past whoknowshowlon
And why am I going through these digital acrobatics? To book a flight. I couldn't use my mum's visa because they said "we'll be needing to look at that visa card when you check in." -_- No you won't, since I won't be bringing it with me. Lufthansa, you have fail. RyanAir, why hast thou forsaken me? ;_;
My mum actually suggested that I get a visa card. I dunno about that, that's basically about debt. I'm not into debt, I want to live debt-free. So I'unno, since I do need it with the air travel stuff (which I do quite often after all) and I seem to have no moral gripes about using other people's debt cards... >_> So maybe I'll have to bend and get a credit card. :/
Of all days this all had to go down today. :/ Today I wanted to sit, have a quiet evening and listen to podcasts and make Christmas cards. Instead I'm messing around with money.
My browser just destroyed my life. -_- I use the "open all windows from last session" thing every morning to get back to where I was before closing the puter, and today when I did that, it opened one tab. -_- Son of a... I tried looking in history what all the cool tabs I had open might have been, but it's pretty messed up in there. I need a new system. Esp. for keeping tabs where I am in Thisisn'thappi
In better news (for Silvie), I has an idea for a tumblog. So I might get one. :D
I'm going to still be having this cold when I fly to Sweden, aren't I? >.< Thank goodness it is a very short flight. But still, flying with a head cold is awful.
Long and boring wall of text. Feel free to skip.
First proper freeze of the year. Couldn't have happened on a worse night >.< Let's see: I was asked to work on my day off. It was not just papers to the people who want them but also had to deliver ads to people who don't yet subscribe to a newspaper, which makes it take an hour longer, and there already is a situation where apparently the taxi station has lately been very unhappy with their paper coming constantly too late (I haven't been on my route in the centrum in two weeks but have been teaching downtown to some kid, and then for reasons absolutely beyond me I've been taught the HH route and I friggin' hate it) since the guy who does my route when I'm not there is just... kind slow and dumb >_> So knowing that there are unhappy customers at the end of the route was making me nervous, and I really would have wanted to be on time for them and not being given the chance was really pissing me off (you can imagine an iippo going up and down stairwells in the middle of the night, delivering papers and junk mail and fuming as she does :P) But since I haven't been in the centrum route in such a long time I couldn't do it from memory since things keep changing with the list (cancellations, new subscriptions etc) so having to check the list all friggin' time takes time too. And then! The kid I taught how to do downtown was at work and he took my bike! >.< The bikes are kept in a garage, so as I come to work this morning I see him go in the garage right before me, and I meet him as he is coming out. And I look at his bike and say "you took the bike I usually ride". And he did a little laugh and said "huh, did I?" and went on. What I meant, you sob, was "give my bike pleasethankyou
All of this did make me think about the nature of fear and dread (y'see, falling over on your bike isn't that terrible, I've had it happen before, no big deal - it's the accelerated heart rate and the anticipation of falling that makes it so unbearable); how fear turns into other emotions like anger (hello Yoda) in some strange attempt of covering up the real reason for being upset; the irrationality of it all. Yet for all my cool insights I was not able to convince myself to not be so scared and just do my job like I always have. :/ This will all get better when not being able to trust the ground under your feet becomes a given - it's just this transition stage that causes all the stress. Soon I'll be used to slippery roads. And that punk won't be taking my bike anymore! D: If he tries again I'll ask him nicely "please can't I just have it, it's the one I'm used to, you go get used to some other bike" and if he's a twat I'll just start coming to work earlier than he does. It's not like I sleep well at midnight anymore anyway, I might as well start waking up earlier so snoozing in the morning after work won't be so bad >_>
I was so exhausted when I got home (at 8am! D: ) that I just read a bit and then cuddled/spoone
Tomorrow will be better. It is troll night which means that every household in town is delivered a newspaper, and since they know that this takes effing forever, they split the centrum route between two people (me and my slow off-day replacement), so I am absolutely positive that the taxi station's paper will be on time tomorrow.
This makes my heart ache. </3 Sure, my view of Woollcott is coloured by the fact that I know him through the person who most loved him, but even if I knew him like his many enemies did I'm pretty sure i would think this was a nasty prank.
Interesting note: Minnie and Susan are both names of the women in Harpo's life (his mother and his wife - though in all fairness I think he wasn't married to Susan by 1935... May have been, I'm not sure).
(You may deduct from this that I am once again totally engrossed in the Harpo Marx universe that takes over my life ever so often: I'm reading Harpo Speaks! and watching Marx Bros. movies day in and day out, I've ordered a book by Harpo's son from Amazon, I'm scouring the internets for Woollcott etc...)
I have to do an add-on that the poultry podcast ended with a story about a man who farms geese in Spain in a way that makes foie gras without inhumane treatment of the birds (and if you know anything about foie gras - I didn't - you know that this is a sheer impossibility).
And then from another source I learnt that there is a cheese cave under Bleaker St. in New York. Totally doing an east coast trip in 2013: the island of Neshobe in Lake Bomoseen, Viking, Avaz, and then the Cheese Cave and other essentials in NYC :P