Thursday, June 30, 2005

The keyboard warning

There is a keyboard on my table that has a label that says:

Some experts believe that the use of any keyboard
may cause serious injury.
Consult statement on the back of this keyboard.

Old friends

Yesterday went grilling and drinking at Sipe's place and saw a number of old friends. I should see them more often. They have taken up bad habits like smoking and having babies, but I like them anyway.

Also saw a huge rainbow in Tapiola earlier.

A new job

Started a new job yesterday. So far so good. Having a properly working computer, actual work to do and two friends in the same room sure feels good. The downside is being in Innopoli and having to deal with Espoo buses, but I think the bus schedules will stop sucking so bad in August. The work is kind of fun in a perverse way, I like it.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The sex service guy revisited

Turns out that the guy who called me looking for sex services has also called some other people I know.

German Euro coins

Heli came over yesterday, and we started looking at Euro coins and noticed that 1-, 2- and 5-cent German coins have a letter before the year number, and that the letter is not always D.

We wondered about it for a while, but Google is our friend, and we found out that Germany has five mints and these are the mint marks:

A = Berlin
D = Munich
F = Stuttgart
G = Karlsruhe
J = Hamburg


Starting the new job tomorrow.

Monday, June 27, 2005



Hanged out in Java with Ville, Leena, Lyn and Dark; then went to the Koff park where Anu and Id were waiting for us. After the sunset went to William K. and then Teerenpeli. Had fun, was tired, went home by 2.


Grilling in Munkkiniemi. The liquid diet does not quite hold due to the fact that sparkling wine is notoriously hard to grill. Jari and Tommi made a big campfire in the grill, but luckily some guys donated us their used disposable grill which was hot and which we used until our grill was cold enough to use. In the end of the night the same guys also brought us flowers. Nice.

Joonas taught me to eat grilled bananas with chocolate. I also found out that lemon tagine spice paste mixed with yogurt makes a rather good marinade.

Met an American phonetician who understands Finnish but does not speak it, and who thinks that Bostonians are assholes. When I begged to disagree he said that I am not the real thing, but I bet that if I turned out to be an asshole he'd consider me to be a real Bostonian well enough.

Red wine is good.


Went to Killeri's place and grilled there. Lots of meat and sparkling wine. Not gonna drink any sparkling wine ever again.

Evil Jero stole my sausage.

When we were leaving the match between Anu and car seat ended 0-1, with the car seat winning and Anu falling on her ass. Everyone, especially Anu, laughed so hard that our stomachs hurt. We went to Leena and Ville's place and had some more to eat and drink. I managed to miss the last bus (it left earlier than usual), and what ensued was a very embarassing race to get me to Leppävaara in time for the last train, which they (Anu and her brother Kalle) did.

On the train met a funny woman from Kuopio with hair extensions and a martial art hobby.


Went with Killeri to Kärkölä to see Viu and Tapio and got lost on the way, but finally managed to get there. Had a very nice afternoon with more bratwurst than I ever thought four humans can eat. They have a really cute and funny little puppy now, a jack russell terrier. Yeah, and nine horses, too. And 12 cats of their own and 2 guest cats.

Now I know what female horses do when they are horny.

At some point we gave hay to the horses, and for the first time in my life I used a pitchfork, but nobody took any pictures of it so nobody can prove anything.

Took lots of pictures every day. They are on the home server, the participants and friends can ask me for an URL. I'll put some of them on the public server in any case as soon as I have time.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Attack of a giant ice pop

In its infinite wisdom Snapple decided to erect a 17½ ton strawberry-kiwi ice pop on the Union Square in downtown Manhattan.

Summer. New York. Ice pop. Melts. Flood all over Union Square. Pedestrians trying to get to higher ground. Firefighters.

"We planned for this. ... We just didn’t expect for it to happen so fast," says Snapple.

Being an immigrant in Finland

Yesterday we were drinking in a park with Anu and Elaine, and later Jarkko and Otava joined us. It was a lovely evening and Koff park has a great toilet, and there were huge hot air balloons flying over us.

We talked, among other things, about living in Finland as an immigrant. In fact we were talking only about immigrants from civilized countries, and the trend nowadays is to call them expats, but I am still resisting that word.

I realized that it is true, as Elaine puts it in her blog, that "trying to explain how Finland differs for residents as opposed to tourists to the newly arrived is a chore since you either sound bitter or are constantly doubting your own experience of everything in a miasma of cultural relativism and personal baggage". I also realized that on some level both myself and other people consider my immigration experience exceptional, but I don't quite understand why. But I am, indeed, constantly doubting my experience, when explaining things to new immigrants. They are doubting it too.

Weird. It all went fairly smoothly, even though rather slowly on the bureaucratic front. It was a bit exceptional from the beginning because I did not come here because of a Finnish spouse, like most Western immigrants seem to. But otherwise... Came on a student visa, had no trouble with the univeristy bureaucracy, had no trouble learning Finnish, had no trouble meeting people - at least no more trouble than anywhere else. Occasionally met some people who hated foreigners, but did not think much of them. Occasionally had a bit of trouble with the immigration authorities when I was studying and working full-time, because they decided that they couldn't give me a student residence permit because I was not studying enough, and couldn't give me a worker residence permit because I hadn't graduated yet, but in those cases they told me that the situation can be resolved by taking a few more tests at the univeristy and I went and took tests, whether I needed them or not. I realize of course that my expectations of both immigration authorities and xenophobic people are quite a bit lower than most westerners', but even if we take this into account immigrating here was still fairly easy.

It seems to me that positive experiences of immigrating to Finland tend to be dismissed both by immigrants and Finns. The web forum where immigrants congregate tends to concentrate on negative issues, which is quite understandable in that the people tend to talk about things that bother them, but this also gives new people a skewed view of Finland, because the people who have integrated well are for the most part absent from that forum.

Once a student organization of which I was a rather active member decided to organize an event where department's foreign students would talk about their experiences coming to Finland. I wasn't invited to speak. When afterwards I asked the organizers why, an expression appeared on their faces that made it quite clear that the idea did not occur to them, and they said something like "but you've been here for so long... you are one of us... you speak Finnish". (I'd been here for 4 years or so by that point.) I understand the organizers in that they had probably heard all about my immigration experience already, but the other foreigners could have benefitted from it. Foreigners get an undeservedly bleak picture of Finland if only the people who have not integrated in the Finnish society are considered real foreigners and are listened to as such.

Anyway... In the unlikely event that any new immigrant is reading this: you can make it here, and learn the language, and meet people, etc. A lot of the problems that other foreigners are talking about are real, but for the most part you can overcome them. An there is a lot of us leading perfectly normal lives here - we usually just don't get invited to to speak at the foreigner events, and are not active enough to speak out by ourselves.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

On contacting people

Why is it that when I want to open a chat in Skype with someone, I am stressing over whether or not I am bothering the person unduly (much like calling them on the phone), but when I send them a private message in IRC this does not bother me at all? That is true even if it is the same person.

Is it just that Skype windows have a more compelling presence on the screen than Xchat tabs?

Every once in a while I have a feeling that I am always contacting everyone and nobody is ever contacting me. This is not exactly the case: some people contact me sometimes, and a lot of other people would if I did not call them first, and also a lot of people don't really feel the need to because they see me in IRC every day. I am just "faster on the draw" than most people. (And thanks to Heli and Ville and Leena and Anya and Tiina and occasionally Kristiina - did I forget anyone? - for often being faster than myself. But I like those of you who are slower too.)

Hrrrm, this entry sounds like a whine for invitations. I didn't really mean it that way. I am just expressing my insecurities. I kind of know that most people I hang out with like me even if they don't call or write.

Still, I wonder about some people. Old Aspekti people almost never call, and yet seem quite happy when I call them. Don't seem to call each other very often, either. Gotta have a party for them sometime this summer, because I have a feeling that if I won't nobody will.

New people are also difficult: how do I know whether they don't contact me because they don't like me or just because they don't bother to contact me? Scary.

Apropos new people: Tanya once told me (after we'd been friends for years) that the first 20 or so times that we talked I called her; she did not call me. I hadn't even noticed that back then.

I almost feel like adding a few lines here about my parents' contact habits and the stuff they taught me, but my mom has this URL and I'll be in trouble. And don't even let me start on the grandma.

No prize for this dog

Went to some kind of sports therapist today (not my idea, a doctor sent me) to find out what, in anything, is wrong with my ankles. The whole event reminded me of a dog show in a way that was totally hilarious. "Walk. Stop. Turn around. Walk." She even wrote down an evaluation that sounded much like the ones they do at dog shows.

I was told to perform a number of unnatural acts in a natural way, and tried my best. She also took a video of me walking. Seeing one's ass in a video is unhealthy (or maybe healthy): I feel like stopping eating forever. Maybe should go on a liquid diet of sparkling wine and rum.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Heard at work

Coworker: You are not drinking somewhere outside yet?
Me: No, came in late, have to be here till six.
Coworker: Why late, hangover?
Me: Doctor's appointment.
Coworker: A checkup?
Me: No, had to change my IUD.
Coworker: IUD? I never tried that...

The coworker is a man. The thought of him trying an IUD produced some interesting mental images. I told him not to do it.

Oh fuck, it's still Tuesday?

Feels like Friday already. Besides, this is the longest day of the year. And it's lovely outside. And I have to sit in our stupid office just in order to write appropriate hours, with nothing at all to do. And my back and shoulders are sore for some reason. And I had to wake up early in the morning a lot lately, which is surely not healthy.

I am praying for deliverance in the form of long weekend, but there are two more days before that.

Shit, I really need a vacation.

Maybe it would be a good idea to ask to work from home, or from a park with a laptop. It's probably quite fun, although not having a laptop might be a problem for this cunning plan. Maybe can borrow a company laptop. Working from home is easy when there is no actual work to be done.

Got a doctor's appointment at 8 tomorrow. No rest for the wicked. But no early mornings for 4 days after that, which is nice.

For the lack of better things to do wanted to write some more fiction, but it is proving to be hard to reconcile my desire for a sensible plot with the characters who totally refuse to do anything sensible.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Your tax money at work least for those of you who are Americans. Others may be glad that this is not their tax money at work.

FBI is being sued for failing to promote some guy and promoting less qualified people instead in its anti-terrorism unit. During the lawsuit it turns out that FBI believes that terrorism and/or Middle East expertise is nice but not necessary for work in the counterterrorism unit.

Some choice bits:

"You need leadership. You don’t need subject-matter expertise," - FBI Executive Assistant Director Gary Bald.

Hmm, strong leadership and knowing nothing about anything? Apparently if it's good enough for the president it should be good enough for the rest of the civil servants.

"Not technically, no." - Dale Watson, the FBI’s terrorism chief in the first two years after 9/11, on the question of whether he knows the differences between the Shia and the Sunni.


A headache and a sore wrist (not from what you people think).

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Deja vu

Our old friend Zhirinovsky is at it again. He suggests that Russian women who marry a foreigner should be stripped of their citizenship, sent to the husband's country, never allowed to return, and all her assets should be distributed between the state and her relatives.

Hmm. Been there, done that, haven't even gotten a man in the bargain. Don't feel particularly punished, though. Quite the opposite, the 700 rubles (at a time when median monthly salary was about 150) that we paid per person to get rid of that citizenship were the best-invested money in my life.

When we were leaving a number of people were saying "just go away, the Soviet Union is not gonna fall apart without you". And oops, look what happened...

The weekend

On Friday Killeri came over, and apart from entertaining me in the usual ways also figured out that he can tickle my wrists. After this amazing discovery we went to Ville's place, grilled something and watched Battle of Britain, which turned out to be an intersting movie in spite of not having any characters one could remember for more than a minute.

On Saturday there was Satu's and Ola's housewarming party, which had to be held through skype on account of Satu and Ola and their house being in Brisbane. One disadvantage of a skype party over a regular one is that one does not have a third hand to hold the glass while typing. Besides, during a voice connection I tend to hear my own microphone. Other skypers do not seem to be similarly afflicted. I am sure my sound settings are fucked somehow, but they have a million switches none of which I understand, and I still haven't gotten around to reading the fine manual. Maybe should do it next weekend.

Somehow we all (the Helsinki part of the party) ended up at Juha's place, and had a pretty good time there. The Brisbane part passed out but then woke up in their morning. Juha had an undescribably vile drink - in fact he had several different ones, but one of them not only smelled but looked scary. In the morning I wished to think that the drink was my private nightmare, but then I found photo evidence. The vile liquid was called Pipra, and had a wormlike chili swimming in it. I stayed with beer and wine.

Was tired and walked back home. Ran into a foreign (my guess would be Mosambique) guy who asked me whether I had a boyfriend. When I answered in the affirmative, he asked whether I could take him home anyway. I told him he was not Killeri's type and left, laughing. I decide to share this absurdity with Anu, who was still at the party. Anu was immediately concerned and asked me whether I have beaten him up, even though I don't usually beat people up without first making sure that they have all their protective gear in place. I attributed Anu's reaction to Pipra and Juha's other fearsome drinks and went on. On the way I ran into Irrette, which was nice, and then into another guy who asked me to bed. The amazing thing about that was that the guy was cute enough to have rated a fuck if I were single, even though not quite cute enough to take as a second lover. The reason it was amazing is that usually fuckable men never look for women in the streets, not even at 3 am. Maybe should have had sex with him just for the novelty value, but was too tired. Besides, in my old age fucking people without googling them first would probably feel strange. Oh well...

Friday, June 17, 2005

More google searches

Sometimes people search for answers to the questions that I could in principle answer.

This morning's interesting searches:

acrivastin alcohol

Yes, I have used them together with no ill effects.

krav maga frying pan

Not strictly against the rules, but I wouldn't recommend using frying pans during a regular practice session.

elf vandalism


ja ja binks masturbation

I find the fact that my blog comes up fifth in this search profoundly disturbing. Besides, somebody who knows how to spell "masturbation" should also be able to spell "Jar Jar Binks"

The most common search is, of course, Vera Izrailit. The second most common search is Pol Remy Brut. I have no idea why that should be.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Social manipulation

Talked with Anu about manipulating people in social situations last week. The particular example we discussed is pretending to be shy, or at least shyer than one really is in order to put a shy person more at ease, but I am sure some other examples could be imagined.

I was surprised when Anu said that she finds such behavior objectionable, and that most other people would, too. I don't find it objectionable at all, unless there is some sinister purpose to it (like trying to put people at ease just in order to make trouble for them when they least expect).

While I don't see why people would find this objectionable, it's the kind of thing I'd never do myself: simply don't have the skill to understand whether a shy person wants me to be also shy or more outgoing, and believably pretend to be shy/outgoing in the right way.

Now I am curious to know what people think, and whether acceptance of such social manipulation is correlated in any way with unability to implement it oneself.

A moment of absurdity

Somebody has just found my blog by searching for "pride and prejudice movie script calls for darcy erection" (without the quote marks) on Google.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Pakistan upholding its image in women's rights

Mukhtar Mai, the Pakistani woman who was gang-raped in a notorious case in 2002, has been placed on the Exit Control List, thus being prevented from visiting some Amnesty International event in Washington and thus tarnishing Pakistan's otherwise stellar image as a country where women's rights are upheld.

Gang rapes are fairly common in Pakistan. What makes her case notorious was that she was actually sentenced to being raped by the village council. (Sentenced by the village council - the story does not say whether any of the 14 rapists were members of the council. Another thing that makes it notorious is that she tried to bring the rapists to justice.

The crime that she was sentenced for was that her 12-year-old brother was seen walking with a girl from another, "better" tribe. The people of that tribe demanded that they should be allowed to rape her as a punishment. Raping the brother would have been more logical, but I guess they did not fancy him.

In the 3 years that have passed since the accused were arrested, released, rearrested, rereleased, etc. ad nauseum.

“We want her case to be processed and resolved first,” said Minister of State for Interior. Wonder if this means that if Pakistanis are generally not allowed to travel abroad while being a plaintiff in a criminal case.

Monday, June 13, 2005

The rest of the weekend

On Saturday the lack of sleep struck back with a vengeance, and I was sleepy for the whole day and still sleepy at night. Tiina came over and cheered me up a bit, and borrowed Wyrd Sisters (yes! one more for the dark side!). Then Anu came over but was even more comatose than me on account of having actually gone to the dog show in the morning and worked there all day.

Sunday was rather lazy too, but then Anu arose from the dead and came over, almost losing her pants on the way. She bought them two days earlier, and they keep growing and therefore falling down. I think she should get her money back, or at least demand a belt and/or suspenders into the bargain. Viljo also came, and we bought beer and Chinese food and hanged out in Ruttopuisto. At somepoint even Ebu came for a while in a cute tiny car that lacked a roof.

Friday night

Was planning to spend Friday night with Glenn and Iain and Tiina after their company party, and went to Kappeli after getting the message that they are there.

When I came in some woman greeted me very enthusiastically. I responded with appropriate enthusiasm, all the time thinking "oh my god, who is that?" After having a drink with her I decided that I like her, whoever she is, and later I did in fact remember who she was, even though still don't remember the name. She found it very romantic that I was born in Russia, and I kept thinking "just you wait till the paper strike continues a bit longer and we run out of toilet paper, and then you can have a taste of genuine Russian romanticism too". I liked her anyway - would want to hang out with her again, but still can't remember the damn name.

She introduced me to my ex-project manager, whom I had never seen in person, and by that time I was in a condition where meeting one's ex-project managers seems like a good idea. He turned out to be quite nice, even though at some point he tried to convince me that a person my age should not play role-playing games. But that was about 4 o'clock in the morning, so he is forgiven.

Was really good to see Glenn again. He is one of the most immediately pleasant people I've met in my entire life. And this is not just the question of personal compatibility either: everyone who meets him seems to like him immediately and a lot. In spite of that he seems just as concerned about whether or not people like him as the rest of us, and probably more. I wonder if everybody in the world is afflicted with some degree of social paranoia. But more about it later.

All their company was in Kappeli, except Tiina who went to check out that place called Base. Not a very nice place, but they make good irish coffee. After collecting Tiina, her keys, Glenn, Kai, everyone else who still could move and the remains of my sanity we moved to Teatteri. There the degree of surrealism was much enhanced by a strange man who came up to me and started talking Portuguese, and by the fact that I was drunk enough to talk back to him in Portuguese.

Later we moved to the dancing part of Teatteri for awhile, and got out of there at four in the morning. People (a whole lot of them, at least 15 or so) wanted food, and I (all the other locals had gone home) led them to a kebab place much in the manner of Moses leading Jews to the Promised Land, and they strayed on the way about as much. The Promised Kebab Place only sold take-out at that point, and we drifted to Carrolls, where people got food and at some point went home.

Glenn came over for coffee after that (the regular variety and not irish one) and we talked a little about life and then he went home too. I looked at IRC, saw Anu who had just woken up, and told her that I would probably be in no condition for the dog show I was planning to go to on Saturday morning.

Myöntäkää, siat!

Eilen mun lankapuhelin soi päivällä puoli kahdelta. Liian aikaisin bostonilaisille, eikä kukaan täältä ikinä soita mun lankalinjaan. Nostan luurin.

Minä: Hello.
ATM: Halo?
Minä: Niin?
ATM: Halo? Kuka tämä on?
Minä: Vera.
ATM: Onko täällä jotain seksipalveluita?
Minä: Ei. Sulla on väärä numero.

Laitan luurin paikalleen. Hetken päästä kännykkä soi. Tuntematon numero.

Minä: Vera Izrailit.
ATM (se sama): Onko täällä jotain seksipalveluita?
Minä: Ei.
ATM (epätoivoisesti): Onko täällä edes joitain palveluita?
Minä: Ei. Mistä sä sait nämä numerot?

Tänän se tyyppi lopetti puhelun. Olisi varmaan pitänyt sanoa sille että C-koodausta, 100€/tunti. Olisi ollut oikein mukava sivutoimi.

Vieläkin ihmettelen kuka se oli ja miksi se soitti mulle. Varmaankin joku bloginlukija, joka sai numerot mun webbisivulta. Joten: myönnä pois, senkin sika!

Friday, June 10, 2005


"Paperiliitto valmis luopumaan juhannus- ja jouluseisokeista," sanoo Hesari. Tämä on jotenkin rivoa.

Tosin joku onkin todennut jo että juhannus on saamattomuuden juhla.

Work: much better

Had a meeting with three bosses. Mostly discussed the question of me not being evil, and decided that I am not evil. The boss said that she does not have anything against me. All in all everyone really tried to be constructive. Thanks to the CEO for arranging the whole thing.

Canadian health care system

Canada's Supreme Court has struck down Quebec's ban on private medical insurance.The critics say that this might undermine Canada's current healthcare system. From everything that I've read about Canada's current health care system I can only say "good riddance".

All the other civilized countries in the world have both a private and a public healthcare system. Canada is the only one that in its infinite wisdom fights tooth nd nail against any private healthcare. As the result, the lines for procedures are unbelievable and, unlike in places like Finland, you are not allowed to seek faster private treatment if you are tired of waiting in line or feel like you are about to die.

I can already imagine the screeching: "We have to get rich to die in lines together with the poor in the name of equality", or something like that. Let's remind them that the rich are perfectly well capable of travelling to the US and paying for the private health care there. It's the people who cannot afford paying out of the pocket south of the border but could afford a private insurance if there were any who are fucked. Which is, like, most of the population.

On the other hand, let's not remind them. Next thing they'll decide to ban travelling out of the country in order to get medical treatment. All in the name of True Equality.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Work: better. Sleep also better

Went and has a chat with the CEO yesterday. He was nice and promised to help. Whether he really can help is another question, but at least he can help to some degree. Anyway, it was good to talk to him.

Sleeping better, too: only woke up at 5:30.

Yesterday drank some sparkling wine in Ruttopuisto with Anu, and tried to take a picture of a weird black bird with big beak. The bird did not want to cooperate.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Work, once again

Boring, I know, but this is the foremost thing on my mind now. Can't think or write of much else. Can't sleep properly, either: woke up from a nightmare at 4:30 and spent the rest of the night reading webpages about workplace harassment, how to fight it, relevant laws, etc.

Feel like describing the situation right here in all its glorious and dirty detail, and with her name, too, but that would probably be unwise.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

War on drugs, US-style

The US Supreme Court has in its infinite wisdom decided that people who use marijuana for medical purposes with a doctor's prescription in the 11 states where it is legal can be prosecuted in a federal court for it.

The Supreme Court is of course not responsible for all the anti-medical-marijuana idiotism - the Controlled Substances Act is, since it bans marijuana use for medical purposes. God knows what will happen if those pesky cancer and AIDS patients start using marijuana. Next thing you see they will go on to stronger substances to control their pain, maybe even morphine...

The Supreme Court has only decided that the federal government has the jurisdiction in this case, since this is an activity that has a substantial effect on interstate commerce. I don't quite understand how growing pot in your backyard has an effect on interstate commerce, but maybe that's because they are Supreme Court justices and I am just a frustrated software engineer with too much time on my hands and no schooling in economics.

In other news, the federal government is preparing a law that would limit the sales of cold medications containing pseudoephedrine in order to prevent people from making meth out of it.


It's not going well. Got the most hostile boss I'd ever seen. Luckily there is another boss over her.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Kunnia meni jo ajat sitten, mutta maine vain kasvaa

Evil Lasu posted a link to my Debian ad posting to Planet Debian, and I am getting hundreds of hits from previously sweet and innocent Debian people.

The weekend

The weekend was quite social, which is good because now is the start of the time of the year when pretty much everyone I know is working on Ropecon.

Hanged out with Anu on Thirsday and Friday, ate pancakes at Lasu's place on Saturday.

On Sunday Tiina and a friend of hers invited me to see Helsinki kehyksissä exhibition in Hakasalmen Huvila. For some reason I assumed it would be photos, but it was mostly paintings. I liked it anyway.

Hanged out with Tiina for a while afterwards, and somehow managed to advertise role-playing to her. We'll see if it worked. Afterwards went outside to buy some bread and ran into Heli and invited her to come over. It's good to live in downtown, keep running into friends in stores.

Heli exercised some mind control over me and I tasted a soy ice cream and made a vegetarian food, which was sort of like normal food minus the shrimp. Ice cream turned out to be edible, which was a surprise. Still, I wish they'd make a normal ice cream in blackcurrant flavor.

Caught up on sleep a little. Also, went to a hairdresser and had them color my roots. Love the color, but afterwards they washed my hair with some damn volume conditioner and dried it with a blow dryer. Now it feels twice as thich as normally and I look hairier than Chewbacca. Gotta wash it again with something that will make it look normal again.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Chocolaty goodness

Leonidas has finally come to Finland, under the cryptical name of Kaakaopuu, and is located in the new Kamppi shopping center. The prices are very un-Belgian, though.

Koodarit, yhtykää!

Yesterday we were making pancakes at Lasu's place with a few friends, and somebody said that Debian releases are so often late because nowadays most Debian developers have wives and girlfriends (the female ones mostly have husbands and boyfriends, but this is no big news). After wondering for a couple of minutes whether wives and girlfriends are a part of an evil plot by Microsoft we came up with an idea for a consciousness-raising ad for Debian developers in order to show them that sex should not stop you from coding:

A man and a woman are having sex doggie-style. The man's laptop is on the woman's ass and the woman's is on the pillow in front of her. And there is a counter running in the corner: "N bugs fixed".

Lasu encouraged me to give an actual demo at the Debconf, but I am afraid Killeri, authorities and many Debian people would disapprove of the idea.

Friday, June 03, 2005

"Are you pregnant?"

Once upon a time, when I was young and innocent, I had to have some X-rays taken. "You are not pregnant, are you?" - asked the X-ray technician. "I don't know, but this is highly unlikely," - I answered, - "and it doesn't matter anyway, I'd have an abortion if I were pregnant".

She really did not like my answer. Now that I am old and wise (haha) I sort of know that you are supposed to answer "no" if you are using birth control and have not missed any periods, even though you really don't know. But I still don't quite understand what's wrong with being more exact and what was her problem.

Enemy of the people

When I was in daycare at the age of five, we had one really nasty teacher (we also had a few simply nasty ones, and a few that were OK). Her name was Natalya Anatolyevna.

We were supposed to sleep every day 3pm-5pm. A lot of kids can't really sleep during the daytime, but we still had to pretend to be asleep, for 2 hours every day. If we could stay in bed and read these two hours, or talk quietly to the person next to us, this would be no problem. But no, we were not allowed to read or to talk. Not that we didn't try. Two hours in bed without being allowed to talk or to read and without being able to sleep feel like a hellish eternity. (I had discovered masturbation already by that point, but I was not very good at it, certainly not good enough to do it in a room full of people without anyone noticing. I discovered that technique at the age of 14 in a physics class, but that's going too much ahead...) The more reasonable teachers allowed us to lie in bed with our eyes open, the less reasonable demanded that we keep our eyes closed, but Natalya Anatolyevna demanded that we actually sleep, or pretend well enough to be undistinguishable from a sleeping person. Such pretense is difficult: when a person is only pretending to sleep the eyelids tend to tremble a bit. When she noticed something like that she always started screaming like a rabid baboon, so that even the people who were actually sleeping woke up in horror.

Another problem with sleeping is that people want to piss, and having a dinner just before going to bed does not help. Going to the toilet during the quiet hour was a problem: on one hand, we were not allowed to go to the toilet or even get out of bed without a permission, on the other hand, we were not allowed to open our mouths to obtain said permission. The solution given to us was to raise our hand and hope that a teacher notices it. Sometimes they noticed it; if they didn't, we had a choice of pissing in bed or rising without permission, and the latter usually caused so much yelling that almost everyone preferred the former. Natalya Anatolyevna never gave permission even if we asked.

If people were treated in such a way in Guantanamo bay, Amnesty International would have made noise, and for a good reason. Unfortunately this was just a daycare on the 12th Line in Leningrad, and therefore did not come to the attention of Amnesty and similar organizations.

Those who have pissed in bed were punished by yelling in front of a formation of everybody else (standing in military-style formations was the first thing they taught you in a Soviet daycare - I still have nightmares about people screaming "eyes right!", "attention!" and "at ease!"), but this was not a big source of shame, because it happened to everybody fairly often. Besides, their linen was given to their parents to take home and wash. The biggest problem was having wet underwear for the rest of the day, although the rest of the day was not much. At some point I got a great idea: if you take the panties off, piss in bed and then put them on, you can piss in bed and still have fairly dry panties. This pissed the teachers off terribly. They made me stand in front of a formation of kids and yelled at me, saying that Izrailit is a really bad person, since she pisses on society's sheets but prefers to keep her private panties dry. I didn't feel very ashamed, in fact quite amused at the absurdity of life. I guess this was the start of me as a right-winger and a general enemy of the people. This was also probably the moment I developed a taste for absurd comedy.

My technique did not catch on, though. I guess nobody else wanted to be called an enemy of the people.

The end is near, the hell has frozen over

I went to the Aliens's police today to apply for a new residence permit, and it took 11 minutes from walking into the building to walking out of it. OK, I went there 10 minutes before it opened, but still...


Bussi jäi lopullisesti jumiin liikenneruuhkaan Ruoholahdenkadulla. "Jopas on paljon ihmisiä tulossa mielenosoitukseen," - ajattelin minä, hyppäsin ulos bussista ja lähdin kävelemään Eduskuntatalon suuntaan.

Matkan varrella soitti Lasu, joka halusi tietää missä helvetissä mä olin ja käski mua käymään kaupassa ostamassa banaaneja.

Pari korttelia Eduskuntatalossa suloinen nuori mies vaaleassa puvussa yritti jakaa mulle papereita, jossa luki että softapatentit on pahuus. "Itsehän olen menossa siihen mielenosoitukseen," - sanoin minä ja jatkoin matkaa. Mies näytti pettyneeltä.

Eduskuntatalon edessä oli noin viisikymmentä tyyppiä, lukuunottamatta turisteja. Kaksi kylttiä törrötti molemmasta reunasta.

"Bananas for the revolution!" - sanoin minä ja ojensin ne Lasulle.
"Hyi helvetti, Vera. Eihän ne ole edes reilun kaupan banaaneja."
"Pitikö niiden olla? Miksi vitussa? Lasu ei kertonut mitään."
"Koska me niinku kannatetaan reilua kauppaa."
"Ottakaa joku edes se Chiquita-tarra pois!"

Ideana oli se, että EU:sta ei haluta banaanivaltiota, kuten luin yhdestä kyltistä. Ihmiset heristeli banaaneja kansanedustajille, ja yksi tyyppi ihmetteli lasketaanko tämä seksuaaliseksi ahdisteluksi. Id söpöili yhdelle kansanedustajan avustajalle yhteisen asiamme nimissä, mutta sanoi että entiselle Keskustan pääministerille ei silti antaisi.

Lasu laittoi banaanin hattunsa päälle. Se sopii sille.

Kansanedustajat aina välillä tuli ulos, ja katsoi meitä epävarmasti. Tyypit vei niille paperilappuja. Ajattelin viedä sellaisen Halmeelle, jos se tulisi, mutta sitten muistin olevani ulkomaalainen.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Panic! Panic!

Pretty much everybody is getting married this year, and some people invited me and some possibly will, and where the fuck will I find a dress? Do I have to run to a store and buy one? Do I have to actually look through the stuff I have?

For all it's worth, I promise that if I ever get married, which is highly unlikely, everybody can come dressed any way they want.

No, this is not a criticism of anyone who wants people to dress up. I am just panicking.

In the moments like this I really want A-sized breasts. I would even settle for B. There should be an easy method to donate breast tissue to people who need it.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

In the news

All the restaurants in Sweden went smokefree today. When is finally Finland's turn?

A suidice bombing in a mosque in Kandahar. Wonder if any Korans got blown up. Or flew into a toilet accidentally.

Dominique de Villepin became the prime minister of France. Now we'll see why some bloggers use the terms "idiotarian" and "villepinist" interchangeably.

Anttila started selling music on the web. For Windows users only.

Sony, or rather First4Internet, came up with an anti-piracy solution that hits 10 out of 10 on my weirdshitometer. I won't believe this until I see it.