Fate could be of help by giving him a gentle push down a slippery sidewalk.

How does one end up on a train at eight in the morning on a Sunday? It can only be the shriek of duty. The incoherent rambles of the people I still for somehow even reach out to here. I tried; I hugged all the sick and crippled between the stadium and the railway station, but nothing life threatening unfortunately clung on.

I wonder what they’ll have me do today. Price tags don’t straighten themselves, although they’ve certainly had the encouragement to do so. Yesterday I saw an opportunity for branching out in a new area of business, though. The Zamboni-man looked old, frail even. He can’t stick around forever, he might retire soon. I’m gunning for his position. Fate could be of help by giving him a gentle push down a slippery sidewalk. I’ve seen him going, it doesn’t look like sometime I couldn’t pull off with an ice proofed bike (I don’t have a driver’s licence). Ecologically valid. Sustainable. I bet I can also squeeze logistics in there somewhere and then I would have got my work placement in the pocket. School will be proud.

Shit-JYP.

If there’s one bunch of people I particularly hate with a passion, it’s that hockey team from Jyväskylä.

What they lack in actual skill, they make up for in bodymass and Neanderthal-tendencies. It’s a miracle they make it in and out of the bus each time, it’s a miracle they achieve forward motion at all. What a bunch of nitwits. ‘If you ram into something else long enough, no doubt it’ll collapse into a pile!’ seems a fitting team motto. I wonder how they’re allowed out to roam the streets at all.

Last summer at the airport there was a lonely jyp-bag left behind. I don’ know whose it was but I sincerely hope the bunch abandoned his ass and then left for Siberia. I sincerely hope the plane was made out of Chinese ducttape. Looks like the real deal but performs a helluvalot differently. Nice thought that your seat can be used as a flotation device but I doubt it would support their over-sized waterheads that smell like dead fish. I hope it was Nolan Wankman’s bag. Wankman can now be seen staggering around Vantaa like a bum. A bum with a JYP bag; you truly deserve each other.

In hindsight, they should have checked that bag thoroughly, you never know what crap it could contain. People who smash their heads smack-boom into their own sticks do not deserve to tell the tale, yet last Spring this one particular delinquent managed to skate onward to do exactly so. The only appropriate way for these idiots to leave a stadium is in bodybags.

It’s too bad it’s so difficult to translate the ‘Ziekte van Hedel’ into English cause it would truly fit the mood. It’s refreshing to swear with diseases.

Maybe because they want to smuggle baijiu Caribbean style, but methinks not.

2016 was a pile of pish for most of us, and then some.

We lost many a brilliant and talented soul. Of the top of my head: Alan Rickman, David Bowie, Sharon Stone, Prince, Sonia Rykiel, Franca Sozzani, Carrie Fisher, Bill Cunningham, Johan Kruijff, George Michael, and the list goes on for a couple of pages (Lenoard Cohen will be missed by many but I have bad memories to his songs due to an unfortunate hitchhiking trip through Norway). The rest got injured and cannot play and be epic for the remainder of the hockeyseason.

Speaking of which –my team sucks. No other way around it. Silver-lining speak such as ‘two steps forward, one step back’ does not cut the mustard. In fact, we’ve taken the mustard and I don’t know where else to go with this sentence other than that everything sucks, mustard spilled all over the ice, and it’s a big mess and all I can think of is getting a stack of big, fluffy cardigans from Fida for those cheerleaders cos they must be freezing cold!

The other remedy would be making hotpot for the whole bunch, with some nice extra Sichuan peppers for the coach. I’m sure Larry David would have something nice to say in defense of the bald gentleman but I sure have not. If you don’t have anything nice to say… hotpot it is. The great equalizer. Hotpot with Baijiu, which was the great equalizer amongst Chinese poets – most of whom drunk themselves to bottoms of many a lake and river.

Meanwhile, nitwits are thriving. Spina still happily scooping spinaattispoothies there where the sun daren’t shine. Americans once more got over competitive after that whole Brexit pile of shite –there can only be one dumbest of them all- and decided to hire themselves a cauliflower for leader (‘MURICA!). Numbnuts think somehow it’s now possible to grab a hold of a truck and bluntly start plowing through crowds of people. Wilders somehow is still on the scene – and people are somehow still listening to his incoherent rants about nothing. That hairdye must have gone through his brain by now. Nazi-zombies from below the sea. I’ll start on the script right away. The most horrifying things go on and on all around us, and all we care about is thingie not winning some singing show, a bunch of other dumbasses doing a bunch of other things, some other idiot got Jalapenos on his pizza even though he didn’t want to and while we’re all reminiscing on their lavish adventures, China has pumped a range of islands out of the sea. Maybe because they want to smuggle baijiu Caribbean style, but methinks not.

What, then, about the next year. Somehow January 1st is a milestone for many. Everything will be magically different. We’ll battle hunger. We’ll be nicer, and buy less crap. We’ll go to the gym (hyii). If only there was such a thing as a magical-slate-clean-wipe-make-doer. January 1st many pretend that there is, and for a week they manage to behave themselves moderately, only to continue being a sloppy dumbass for the remaining 14 months of the year.

Did you know that Noam Chomsky reads 6 newspapers + 80 articles a day? Did you know that John Galliano used to run stretches next to the Seine every day in order to get inspired? How about Bill Cunningham, who lived decades in a stamp sized apartment in Carnegie Hall, walls lined with filing cabinets collecting each and every photography he ever took, riding a bike every day, exclaiming to the real estate lady who showed him replacement houses cos Carnegie hall was to house telemarketers in office cibucles exclusively: ‘I don’t need a clothes closet, and who needs a kitchen and a bathroom!?’ Speaking of Andrew Carnegie – did you know he insisted on pumping his excess profits back into society by supporting the arts and whatnot – because thought that to be his duty?

Without telling you what to do or what not to do for your new year’s resolution (they can work. Mine worked throughout the year as I made it a very small sacrifice – always a smart trick), let’s all be inspired by Chomsky, by Bill Cunningham, by Sharon Stone whose musical career blossomed by the time she as well in her forties. Let’s start reading more stuff (it’s fun. Books are friends!) and question what we’ve read at the pub or somewhere. Let’s start running; not at one of those treadmill monstrosities at those gym places (yuk), but properly outside. Bonus if you go in winter. Be careful not to break your hand. And why not keep trying to do that one thing, the thing that everyone says we have to let go cos a) we suck at it b) we’re too old for or c) we have no time/place for.

Ps.:

Grace Coddington – if you’re reading this, please be safe. Stay put with lots of blankets and tea and whatever it is you need to stay alive. We need! We need you to thrive for many years to come!

 

p.p.s: the resolution I’m starting today is learning how to properly finish a piece cos that I still don’t know how to do.

If only Saruman could be Finnish.

My number one just got knocked of his number one pedestal cos guess what – Sir Christopher Lee has brought out a christmas album a wee while back and it is amazing. It’s whatever the metal equivalent of pouring liquid velvet in your ears, cos of that voice. But then with metal. If only Saruman could be Finnish.

That put me straight in a jollier mood. I am somewhat of a christmas freak, not for religiosity per se, but for the cosiness of it all. If you’re lucky it might even snow (not for us sad saps in the low lands, though. A bishop from Spain brings us a round of gifts already on December 5, and there’s usually a festive load of rain come christmas. We’d find ourselves sitting round a fake tree, watching Home Alone where the flakes come down with buckets while outside it pours like during the days of Noah), and snow we like. Taking out the bike, trashing and slashing down a road that looks like a pristine newborn baby’s blanket. Just like Lorelai Gilmore I, too, have massive Snowdar.

Holidays are a time of joy, hope, reflection, heaps of chocolate and for once a wee drink here and there is not so much frowned upon, as well encouraged. ‘Pikkujoulu’ they do here; little Christmas. If you’re lucky there’s fifty of these celebrations crammed within the same weekend. l’Chaim. For our office’s pikkujoulu we had crappy Chinese in a deserted restaurant. The chef cooked according to the Belgian school; he provided us with load after load of foodstuffs dripping and steaming straight from the deep fryer (dumplings, peking duck, apples, uruk-hai, it didnae matter) which did not impress me much despite of the lazy Susan. Still, a nice gesture it seemed. Also there was wine.

The day before the event Empress Oink had instructed us (or apparently she meant to) on the do’s and dont’s of the evening. There were a lot. She tried to point them all out in the most incoherent speech I have ever had the displeasure of witnessing. I knew the Chinese have a knack for holding long, exhausting speeches and my boss insisted to make her countrymen proud. Thirty minutes came and went, confusing looks were exchanged. I had to re-assure with a coworker afterwards on the contents of the seemingly never ending slew of word vomit. Something about toilets, coffee breaks, coffee in the toilet. Something about the others -mates from the other store. there must have been a point somewhere, but I couldn’t decipher it from the gibberish in chinglish.

Thankfully there was wine. A bottle conveniently found it’s way smack next to my plate (terve kaveri!). The bottle did not leave from there, I made damn well sure it wouldn’t. Three glasses sort of made the evening slightly cosy, and also was the location close to home, so I could bike. Cycling clears the head even better, though the contents of that speech still haunt me. I made sure not to make too much eyecontact with the Others (they sat far away, so no worries there), and I want to stop talking about this evening now; it was a while back and there was wine, and that was all there is to it.

Friday is the pikkujoulu with the grownups from school. I know they can tank, and also we did a project on wine, so a little accumulative research is in order methinks. I want to elaborate on Empress Oink and the other fritters at my office so much, but I need to find out first in what way it interferes with my hefty confidentiality paper thing. I shall ask the grownups. They’re grownups, they know what to do.

 

Questions on work:

What do you do, when you don’t want to be ungrateful for the chances given, but when the place where you are contractually obligated to show up and perform a certain row of tasks is driving you up the walls batshit insane?

Should the place where you go to make your living not be a place of excitement? Should it not be a place for growth, possibility? Should it not be a place where you go to learn, rather to stand still? Should it not be a place to develop, rather than to be confined?

Is it normal to be watched, and is it expected to be told to move two centimeters to the left, as that is where you ought to belong? Should you be guided rather than to be constrained? Is initiative a bad thing?

Should I be a sheep? When five start doing the tasks of one, does that not mean that by the end of the day one fifth of the job got done? I hate to follow just for the sake of following. I rather am a member of a pack of wolves; where each has their own function to fulfil. Is it so wrong wanting to be a wolf?

 

It gets wild. People as far as the eye can see. Guomao at peak rush hour.

‘Doris, go shopping!’ he said. He meant the bookstore, but I’ve been there already too many times; I’m barred. So off to Fida I went, on my trusted vehicle.

I am not one for shopping. Stockmann in particular makes me nauseous. Too many pompous people, who are studying the ceiling with their nose in the air pompously, whilst marching, plowing as on a battlefield with ferocity -and whilst looking ridiculously pompous- through the crowds of peasants and serfs, through piles of pompous knickknacks, as if the Swedes were due back here any moment. I saw Kirsi P, I am pretty damn sure of it. For me that’s a big deal, he couldn’t care less.

My dear fellow, apple of my eye, man’s best friend etc. let me wait. Surrounded by the skirmish that is Helsinki during the holiday season (it gets wild. People as far as the eye can see. Guomao at peak rush hour) I put myself under the clock, which is where a lot of people like to meet. There’s also a tram stop, and a Christmas market, and the clock hangs smack above the middle of an entrance. People galore.

Les People, the good folks, the laobaixing -there is a time and a place for everyone and everything, and today was clearly neither time nor place. From the moment I fetched my vehicle from the valet (= took bike from shed), people had universally agreed to be in my way. It was a done deal. Shadows on my path, from the island well onto the bike rack (I love me a good bike rack, don’t you?). The shrieking hordes began to well take shape before the gates with the twinkly lights. Apparently there’s some sort of a window display but I was none the wiser as I made my way to the clock, losing a shoe and half an arm in the process.

My gawsh, the vicious crowds.

And he made me wait, which is not that big of deal, except that today the menacing crowds were so much harder to deal with than usual. As that Frenchman once said: hell, it’s the others. Pinching and shoving and bumping and glaring, there they all were. I was after all the thing standing between them and the things in dire need of consumption, therefore I must have deserved the pinching and the poking and the toe-stomping somewhat. Therefore, when invited to join in the mayhem, I politely ignored the invitation to treat (Doris, go shopping! Go and consume, you woman!) there and then, and took to my vehicle (bike against rack) after our business was done with.

Now, there’s three UFF’s, two Fida’s and two Lidl’s on the way home.  It would be rude to not grace at least one of these institutions with a presence. Fida it was. Three shirts that I cannot wear until the temperatures are back in the double digits again – minus a student discount. As I zipped up my coat, a few posters congratulated me on the fact that my purchases had helped a school get writing equipment, and a girl got a little push in the back on her road on becoming a teacher. I’ll happily wait those fourteen months before it’s acceptable to wear sleeveless again.

 

 

 

We bantered about swamps and hockey merrily.

I have switched to wine recently. My waistbands should be grateful, as should my inner plumbing because of the anti-oxidants and whatnot. Oakiness. Palettes. Either way, red wine is what’s on the desk, the coffee table, in the fridge and at the pub. yes, I was as surprised as you are to find out that the local sports bar serves wine without blinking or spilling.

Even though the apple of my eye and definitely my better looking half has started calling me a ‘wino’, I feel very zen, balanced, and above all: a grownup. Everything becomes a little more sophisticated when you’re waltzing a glass of shimmering red in your hand. When procrastinating at your desk whilst sipping from an elegant glass on a long leg, you’re not just being lazy, nay, you’re simply pondering!

Yesterday I chose to ponder at the pub as I had a long day of redecorating the shop and it was matsipäivä (they’re at the other edge of the country this week). I staggered to the pub through the sludge (snow has started to melt, so simply walking is impossible. You have no choice but to stagger) after being absent for a while, cos they foodpoisoned my eye-apple. Also their service stinks, the beer is overpriced and when asking for a mug of tea you get a mug the size of my ass, filled half. Not good. Food poisoning is easily taken care of by simply, bluntly, dining elsewhere (hesburger), trying out a new beverage however looked like a gamble. I got quite pleasantly surprised.

A glass of house-liquid turned out ok, and there’s an even bigger upside to sipping wine than I ever realized. When you’re sitting, sipping, waltzing, pondering, looking sophisticated altogether, gulping the whole load at once would negate the pondering and the altogether sophisticated looking. One must stagger, and take one’s time. This adds even more to the grownup-ness, as staggering reeks of patience and washing down liquids glass after glass is something for silly little kittens.

It’s a wonderful thing, staggering just the one glass. Getting stink-eyed from behind the bar. Making it through two periods + breaks of a hockey match with just the one glass. Then, halfway through the second period, something happened. I got served a second glass. The second glass was way fuller then the first one, too. Folks, this never happens to me, it certainly never happened with beer. It turns out the wine was a gift from a set of gentlemen watching the other game.

I headed over there to express my gratitude, as ladies (and grownups) must, and had a lovely conversation (the match went down the drain, unfortunately). The fellas hauled all the way from Oulu (The Others) and were avid kärpät (rodents) fans. Their team was losing which unsurprisingly made me feel slightly better about my team also biting the dust (how they managed to go from 3-2 to 5-2 in mere minutes I’ll never understand. Black magic. Dark matter. Stephen Hawking was called in and is still pondering).

We bantered about swamps and hockey merrily. Apparently Oulu is the greatest biking-city in Finland; this gentleman certainly put a lot of energy in convincing me that I should hop over with my wheels and not just take his word for it. I happen to know that Lalaland is by far the most bike-friendly town I have ever encountered in this great nation, but I let this poor fellow have his moment.

How great it is to banter maters of life and death, in a pub, with a glass of wine at hand and civilized company. How great having a brain, which made the very sound decision to take the MTR to work today. How marvelous this thing called hockey. And how astonishing, my new liquid of choice.

And what’s worse, they’ve figured out that windows are basically a hoax. Or: Doris and the Domesticated Tit.

There was another encounter with a bird the other day. I don’t know anymore, about me and the birds. I think I’m being nice, putting food out way before that is even necessary. nice, and egocentric, cos I like having things moving around at the other side of the window. Makes it easier for me to sit down at my desk and do things. Scratch the niceness, those birds are being tolerated on my balcony purely for my entertainment and peace of mind.

My master-plan backfired somewhat. I took to the store and returned triumphantly with a decent German food-chain, or ‘Futterkette’. Peanuts and bits of tree and all that kind of stuff birds go num-nuts over. Methinks a philanthropist I shall play, but then  only with birds. A packet consisting of eight equal parts chow, ready to be turned into big piles of feather, ready for the winter. Last year all types of feathered friends found their way to the balcony, so this year would be just as fun, I thought. I thought.

There was ruffling of feathers, if I may say so, a mere minutes after I put the thing up. We are used to put clothes outside to air but we can’t, now that our balcony has turned into birdshit-ground zero. The moment you peek your head outside the door you’ll get dive-bombed. And what’s worse, they’ve figured out that windows are basically a hoax.

On a faithful morning, let’s say it was Wednesday, I was woken up by a  rustling of sorts. There was something moving about in my pencil vase that was not supposed to be moving about there. As I shot up the ceiling, it became apparent a bird had made its way to beyond the window (I’m one of those crazy snow people who insists on having the window open even if hell is about to freeze over). This happened before a summer ago, when the window was slightly more inviting for what’s outside to hop in. Wednesday, it was not. Yet somehow a bird made it through.

Birdie insisted to stay in, as we have such a lovely place. A pencil vase is a brilliant place to plan spawn into come spring. And please plant more poop onto my window sill! Perhaps this means good luck in Finland, I have no idea. Either way, I had just rudely been awakened -not a morning person, it takes about a barrel of coffee to make me civil, and then breakfast (brekkie! most important meal of the day folks), face painting, finding furniture with toes and knees, putting pants on, off, skirts, tights, ripping a hole into the tights so the tights need -MUST- be swapped for tights without holes, swap skirt, fall down, get up.

Getting on with it, I had just been rudely awakened. Staggering about, thinking what to do with the bird, perhaps keeping it in and making it docile (Doris and the Domesticated Tit), having it braid my hair just like in those Disney movies… but sooner rather than later it became apparent the bird would have to take back into nature. The other side of the window. Now, with a mind having the viscosity of lukewarm cauliflower at this hour, how would one possibly go about this?

Trying to persuade the bird to go back through the crack in the window, that’s right! Birds are smart and not at all skittish, they could easily follow my train of thought. Wrong, wrong, a thousand times wrong. Bird freaked out by me approaching the curtains, as a bird should. Bird went in between the two windows (we’re in Finland where all the windows come in two), insisting this was the way out. It was not. Bird took a dump.

I went outside trying to give the bird some space, and to chase the rest of the tribe of the railing (one bird in the building is quite enough, mind you). Came back in and made a second attempt in persuading bird to go whence he came. Yonder, beyond the glass. Of course, bird doesn’t like big yellow dish-gloves (thought that’s be wise) coming at him so after bird took another dump, bird took to the living room. There was now a living bird flopping, flipping and flapping about in our living room. I stayed behind in the bedroom horrified, hoping and praying it’d at least find a place to roost. It sort of hung above the curtain rail at some point. I managed to sneak out, open the door, and stay out on the balcony until birdie finally bolted out with a determination I have never seen in a bird.

And so concludes the quest of Doris and the Domesticated Tit (I really like that title). i am too afraid to keep the window open now so at night it’s like I’m slowly being toasted, like a marshmallow.

Image result for bob's burgers marshmallow

 

 

 

‘Copper Scoundrel’ we say in the lands below the sea.

says facebook:
Good evening Doris! (there’s nothing good here, you fools)
 
‘tomorrow will be a bright and sunny day. Why don’t you go outside and enjoy it!’ (yea, like them normal peoples? Like them hipsters? Be vegan and politically correct in the sunshine? Wait while I hoist myself onto my vehicle!!)
 
Facebook how dare you. If you’d know me any better (and I’m surprised you don’t considering all the data mining and whatnot) you’d know that I loathe sunshine. Loathe. Sunshine is the worst. ‘Copper Scoundrel’ we say in the lands below the sea.
 
Sunshine makes the anxiety skyrocket. It blinds me as I sit here typing during the day. Sunshine is the work of the devil, as far as I’m concerned. Clouds is all I need. Monday was a damn fine day, weatherwise. Sunday too. Just hide that damn sun and we won’t have any trouble.
 
Foggy weather brings joy. Clouds make me get stuff done. Snow and ice – I can only dream still at this point, but the snowy picture on the news this morning made my mouth water.
 
Shove your sunshine where the sun won’t shine! oh, wait……

Numbers and figures and such don’t like to be folded into a nice, comfy blanket with words.

Stokpaardjes are fun, cos Stokpaardjes never slow down. Once they’re on fire, they’re on fire and it would take someone brave, or perhaps a professional hockey goalie to halt a Stokpaardje.I have not been on my Stokpaardje for a while now and it sure is great to be taken for a ride.

Whole bits and longer bits adjacent to the first bits got stamped out of my keyboard in no-time. Could have something to do with the two beers I downed under pressure, could have something to do with the fact that the deadline for a school report is not Thursday, but tomorrow already. Tomorrow. Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you. Tomorrow, is always a day away.

I sure hope my Stokpaardje stays, so much fun making sentences out of data. Making data Shakespearean, such joy. Numbers and figures and such don’t like to be folded into a nice, comfy blanket with words, nay, adjectives, and sub-contexts, and pieces of paragraph with diced discourse drizzled on top. Numbers are a goddamned chore. My stokpaardje can carry me through all that, even if the topic is girlie stuff from a jar and China. Stuff I should sort of know about. There should be no need for  a Stokpaardje here, yet here we are.

After having accomplished very little for a few months -well, there was a summer holiday. Scratch that, summer hiatus, in which I worked, labored. Tough-ass labour, in a store, with windows in the roof, and fancy stones in cabinets that we’re not allowed to photograph anymore, and Chinese people. A couple of phases I went through with these folks. Be-wondering – disbelief – zombie-ism – denial – sincere joy and backsliding to disbelief. They grope me for luck. Once my arm, usually my buttocks. Then again, Chinese old people are slightly shorter than your regular healthy, blushing, Dutch girl who pedals on her bike to the office, come rain come shine. They reach up, they get stuck in my bikebutt.

School started somewhere in the middle of all this and I forgot when exactly. ‘member school? I ‘member! I ‘member going once, getting kicked out cos the class was full, going again, getting the boot again cos again -full, and then there were all of the Chinese people again, who -let’s face it, pay for my beer, and Fida. Beer and Fida. Beer closes at 9, Fida closes at 7 already! What school? WHERE??

All there is now is a deadline, and thankfully – my Stokpaardje. I am galloping once more. Perhaps those Chinese old ladies stored numbers up my shaft cos that’s where I feel my inspiration is coming from at the moment. l’Chaim!