Monday, November 27, 2006

Best wishes from Praha / Prague. Crazy World. Good Bye, Juice Leskinen.

I just came back from a nice visit to Prague. One of the most interesting places in Europe.

At the same time in Finland there was

– EU summit in Helsinki, which was
– visited by Putin; and
– there was a demonstration reminding him of Anna Politkovskaya's brutal murder and demands to solve the crime and start respecting human rights‚ and
Juice Leskinen, one of the most favoured, loved and cited poets & songwriters in Finland, died.

And in London, Aleksandr Litvinenko, the ex-FSB agent died of radioactive Polonium poisoning.


Mr HP and I managed to visit one of the scariest places on earth, Museum of the Theresienstadt Ghetto. It is not just a museum, it is a big ghost town. Either there are new(er) inhabitants, or they are ghosts.

"This couldn't be happening any more, could it?", was what I was thinking when looking at children's drawings describing every day life at the concentration camp. (Only few of them survived. They were sent to Auschwitz.)

The world has become crazy, near us, too. Very, very strange things have happened this autumn: A friend murdered. A person gone missing, longed for and seached by a friend.

But happy things, too: new babies born, and there are some happy newlyweds around. And some, like SP, on the verge of final countdown. Sonja, this is for you! (And it's not "Final Countdown", I can assure you. It is the music we loved. Hahaa I still do...)

Glad to be back home. With miss Funnybunny.

Ei elämästä selviä hengissä.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

KGB. Jokes. Do not waste your time with bad books – Kafka again.

According to some TV news, a former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko has been delivered to hospital in London with acute poisoning. As I understood, he was investigating Anna Politkovskaya's murder. Privately? Don't know. I did not get good links to this story yet. So I put couple of KGB jokes instead. Enjoy:


A hotel. A room for four with four strangers. Three of them soon open a bottle of vodka and proceed to get acquainted, then drunk, then noisy, singing and telling political jokes. The fourth one desperately tries to get some sleep; finally, frustrated, he surreptitiously leaves the room, goes downstairs, and asks the lady concierge to bring tea to Room 67 in ten minutes. Then he returns and joins the party.

Five minutes later, he bends over an ashtray and says with utter nonchalance: "Comrade Major, some tea to Room 67, please." In a few minutes, there's a knock at the door, and in comes the lady concierge with a tea tray. The room falls silent; the party dies a sudden death, and the joker finally gets to sleep.

The next morning he wakes up alone in the room. Surprised, he runs downstairs and asks the concierge where his neighbors had gone. "Oh, the KGB has arrested them!" she answers. "B-but... but what about me?" asks the guy in terror. "Oh, well, they decided to let you go. You made Comrade Major laugh a lot with your tea joke."


The KGB, the GIGN and the CIA are all trying to prove that they are the best at catching criminals. The Secretary General of the UN decides to give them a test. He releases a rabbit into a forest and each of them has to catch it. The CIA goes in. They place animal informants throughout the forest. They question all plant and mineral witnesses. After three months of extensive investigations they conclude that rabbits do not exist. The GIGN goes in. After two weeks with no leads they burn the forest, killing everything in it, including the rabbit, and make no apologies. The rabbit had it coming.
The KGB goes in. They come out two hours later with a badly beaten bear. The bear is yelling: "Okay! Okay! I'm a rabbit! I'm a rabbit!"


This weekend has been good.

* Leena had an excellent birthday party at Kulosaaren Kasino. What a lovely place. Mr. HP and I have to start frequenting it. And boy, didn't we dance! Yes, we did! A lot! Mr HP has a new nickname now, "Fred A".

* Miss Funnybunny and I went to Heidi's, too. Our visit was brief, but it was good to see good guys. Some of them were there a month ago eating Greek salad.

* I had a good time with Miss Funnybunny all weekend. She´s great. She sings all the time, now her favourite is "Happy Birthday". She keeps telling me – tone of her voice requiring respect for a mature person – that she is not a baby any more. She says she is a big girl. Well, that's right, two years and a half is much more than baby ages, measured in months.

* Mr HP and I are getting ready for our visit to Prague, taking place next week: We have been reading travel guides - the best one being in Finnish, published by Mondo. Best wishes to Antti Helin!

So, a Kafka quote is needed. Do not waste your time, that is what he says. The following reminded me of the time-saving tips I wrote last summer. (But I refuse to link them here. Waste your time and find them in my archives.)

"Altogether, I think we ought to read only books that bite and sting us. If the book does not shake us awake like a blow to the skull, why bother reading it in the first place? So that it can make us happy, as you put it? Good God, we'd be just as happy if we had no books at all; books that make us happy we could, in a pinch, also write ourselves. What we need are books that hit us like a most painful misfortune, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, that make us feel as though we had been banished to the woods, far from any human presence, like a suicide. A book must be the ax for the frozen sea within us. That is what I believe.”
– Franz Kafka to Oskar Pollak, January 27, 1904

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Show must go on. Anna Politkovskaya's work, too.

More birthdays this week! What a wonderful world. Congrats, Leena, for your mega birthday, and to Heidi and Jussi, too! Your card is

Winter is closer. We have had a little snow in Helsinki, too, and in northern areas there are loads of it. Not melting before April.

But the sea around Helsinki is icy cold. Deadly dangerous, but looking harmlessly stiff and lazy, getting prepared to be buried under the ice.


The Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE has been proud to send the following piece of information:

"Tickets for international Eurovision Song Contest on sale before Christmas

Tickets for the international Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Helsinki next May will be on sale by mid-December. Tickets will be on sale for the international semi-final (May 10) and final (May 12) and for the dress and final rehearsals. All in all there will be eight possible audience events. The programme for the dress and final rehearsals will be the same as for the semi-final and final, apart from the voting of course. YLE has invited 12 artists to compete for the honour of representing Finland in the Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Helsinki in 2007."

WHO cares about Eurovision Song Contest? Who? I just don't get that.

Or, maybe I do care. As a taxpayer I care just enough only to wish the money spent on the contest of Euro clowns would be put to anything more important (and, almost anything is more important). Like to small cultural societies and magazines – to those who are to lose governmental funding this year.

I have always been so happy about Finland being the last one. If the forum is as bad as the annual Eurotrash, there is absolutely no need to qualify!

But back to _really_ important things: Anna is still here. Her show must go on. There is a bunch of us who will help.

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Monday, November 13, 2006

Happy Birthday! Kafka writing, no salvation.

This is for You, darling.

And I am trying to get better, recover. This flu makes me crazy. Have been at work, tough. As usual. Have written, edited, read. Half slept. Day or night. Must remember to:

"Hold fast to the diary from today on! Write regularly! Don’t surrender! Even if no salvation should come, I want to be worthy of it at every moment.

–– Franz Kafka, Diaries
February 25, 1912

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Flu. What the ... is Matrix?

Everybody, the whole Finland, has had a terrible cold, and now it is my turn. I think I am the last one to get sick. Everybody else have got well, totally recovered, and now they are having fun and partying, and practising extreme sports like skydiving, or horseback riding on ice, or snowboarding in half-pipe, or diving with white sharks, or at least having wild sex. Everybody except me who has to gather all her strength just to survive a normal day without falling asleep. (But unfortunately, I wasn't doing all those funny things all the time when the rest of the world was having this flu before me. Oh gee, I should have lived, much much more!) This flu has had a huge impact on my brain, too. I just can't think of anything clever. So why blog? Oh, just to spill around my stupidity and misery.

But I CAN SEE THE LIGHT: THIS made me laugh!

I must confess, so did the original movie, the plot was so incredibly weird: all for alien energy production!

Perhaps the Muppets' version is the original, and the Wachowski brothers stole the idea from the frog? Must be that way round.

Back to bed now. Luckily I have the newest
Rankin. That could make me stay awake for a while.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

In the Beginning Of a New Era and Camel Jumping

In the Beginning Of a New Era
is a wonderful piece, written by talented Terhi Kokkonen and composed by Kerkko Koskinen. None of the young – or older, if there are any – stars in the production team are gaining any money from this, but instead, they are to transfer the profit to Chechnya.

How to achive this altruistic goal, that is not the easiest of all the questions. It is on the same level as the biblical "how can a camel jump through the eye of a needle. But that's enough of the Bible for the rest of this year.

The banking systems of Chechya is either under a strict control of Moscow, or just collapsed. And to have someone transporting anything there over the borders, that is not actually easy either. Only few get visas that far. Permissions for visiting Chechnya must be asked from Kremlin. And surprising as it may seem, these guys are not know as very generous gentlemen.

But I will be telling you more about the Chechnya project later on. If this is really a New Era, things must be getting better and you will get happy updates. I will be personally involved, as many others. We are many now.

Voima, a Finnish magazine for thinking and active citizens, has the press release of this musical work of art in its pages also in Russian.

Otchen harasho.