Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Challenge of Ten Blogs

La Petite Anglaise, herself. She was fired in 2006. That was probably one of the best things ever happened to her! But she did not realise it back then.

I was challenged by Vaiheinen to reveal a list of ten blogs I like. So here we go, the first one being Vaiheinen!

Good friends as excellent bloggers:

Vaiheinen. A dear old friend, with a very serious and clever blog. With those climate change comments & solutions he is kicking ass! And guess who's idea was the name Vaiheinen"? ("Phaser". Star trek. Think!)

A. ja Korvenranta
. She is a funny girl with a distressing job, lousy salary, but the nicest boss. She is vegan, does not drink, keeps practising running and does yoga like every night. (It is "night" before 07 am.) And then she is constantly wondering why people think she's strange. But that's kind of cute.

Ajatusten Rekolanoja. The same goes for her, except the rest starting from the drinking part. Has started to study Russian, poor girl.

Oderazzi. Without her I would not know what's going on in Frankfurt, and hey, I need to know what's going on in Frankfurt. She is a good friend and the best hostess I can think of.

Sedis. The King of Karaoke. Fan of the best films.

And, some multinational:

Petite Anglaise. She's the best. Maybe not so deep, and certainly not political... But with style, honesty and feeling.

Naked blog. I love Scotland, and this guy is so clever and funny. And stylish, yes, him & his blog, too. Next time I visit Edinburgh I will say hi, I swear.

La Russophobe. Like a news agency. And I love her courage – she does not seem to mind the ugly sound of not-at-all-politically-correct "phobia" in her blogger name.

Non-working Monkey. A new connection. Seems quite interesting, with rough writing and fun. Quite a respectful number of f-words here and there. And, if I ever visit the French Canada...

David Byrne. If Vaiheinen were more of an artist, he'd be David Byrne!

Or rather, David Byrne is the Vaiheinen in the New York based intellectual underground life.

She's not Tadpole, daughter of La Petite Anglaise, but my darling Miss Funnybunny instead.

Now, I'll send this Challenge forward to everyone reading this, but especially to A. ja Korvenranta, Ajatusten Rekolanoja and Oderazzi. Go, girls, go! And to Sedis, of course!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I'm here... With tons of writing, editing, serious thoughts and bad jokes.

I have not been able to update my blog as frequently as I'd like to. I have been writing some articles, my book, & lots of other stuff, attending several Litterary Meetings (like the Helsinki Travel Fair, which is a litterary happening, believe it or not), and I have tried to search for solutions how to deal with Miss Funnybunny's tantrums that make our life crazy, but kind of interesting. She is becoming a bigger and bigger lady, day by day. And very intelligent! (I have enjoyed reading La Petite Anglaise, and compared Funnybunny with her Tadpole. Not a bad comparison at all!)

But all these busy things do not lead to the conclusion I have not been thinking about the basic IStori stuff (whateverthatis).

Let me just list the basics I have in my mind right now:

THE THOUGHT: Ruhnama, the Holy Book of Turkmenistan. Written by the late dictator, Saparmurat Niyazov. Readind the holy sh*t is obligatory for the Turkmen (can't even get a drivers' licence without suffering through the book beforehand), and for everyone trying to do serious business with the locals!

THE REASON WHY: I am soon going to see this hilarious documentary, directed by Arto Halonen, soon; In The Shadow Of The Holy Book.


THE THOUGHT: Seven suicides in one village, in a short period of time, is too much of course, but also strange.

THE REASON WHY: At times, especially in April, I tend to think about a good friend I lost 23 years ago. And then, after a shock one tends thinks "he must be the last one" and "this should never happen again", but he is not the last one, and it does happen, and it has happened. This sounds like Hillary Clinton, but in addition to parents' efforts it does take a village, and even a state, to raise our children to be good and happy people. But hey, let's do so. Never leave anyone too alone.


THE REASON WHY: Mr HP and I need to get some visions for our new project. I will reveal more about this later! But the best hmmm hmm hmmm... sort of places happen to be in Paris. And I'd like to meet some friends there, too. And take miss Funnybunny with me. And let Shakespeare and Co gently suck me into it's heavenly womb.


THE THOUGHT: Auschwitz

THE REASON WHY: Sunday, 27/1, will be the 63rd anniversary of Auschwitch liberation. For me personally, at the moment, this just means a bit more writing to do. But for the mankind, more brain work. Why, oh why? A woman who survived Auschwitz just put it bluntly in a TV documentary, "the way to Auschwitz was paved with silence". I have seen the camps (or how they look about now), a lot of footage on site, and met some survivers, but yet: what actually took place escapes my mind. And, after having miss Funnybunny, killing kids becomes even more unbelievable, impossiple and devastating, as a thought.



THE REASON WHY: Really difficult to explain this one! The unexpected destiny of Heath Ledger made me think of stupid stuff: "Now he'll be a hero. Like a new James Dean." That's cruel, I know. Sorry. The guy is dead, and he was kind of good actor. Unlike the overrated but yet, for some reason appreciated blank faces Tom Hanks or Leonardo DiCaprio or Kevin Costner...

There was this poll in today's Independent. (My favourite, remember!)

The Academy has announced this year's nominations. What has been its worst decision to date?

And, after seeing the list the decision was soooo difficult: Forrest Gump was total zero (except Gary Sinise as an interesting sortof-best-friend and the cleverest person there was, and even sexiest, even though he did not have legs, but hey, what do you need legs for, all the time?), and so is Costner as both an actor and a director (and probably the pic he directed in 1990 was Dances With Wolves, which was crap...)

Here we go: The Academy has announced this year's nominations. What has been its worst decision to date?

Titanic - Best Picture, 1997
Rocky - Best Picture, 1976
Can You Feel the Love Tonight - Best Original Song (The Lion King), 1994
Braveheart - Best Picture, 1995
Forrest Gump - Best Picture, 1994
Chicago - Best Picture, 2002
Kevin Costner - Best Director, 1990
Judi Dench - Best Supporting Actress (Shakespeare in Love), 1998

I ended up voting "for" Costner.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Vodka Tourists

Finnish actor and the leading man in the show, Ville Haapasalo is – where? In Helsinki, of course.

I am watching a Finnish documentary on "Vodka Tourists" (Votkaturistit), title referring to the Finns who had a habit of visiting Russia, especially St Petersburg and Viborg, for a weekend (but several times a year) in 70'–80's. And who used to consume vast amounts of vodka. This was suggesting the Finns were living under prohibition.

And they swapped a pair of pantyhose for vodka. And bought vodka. And sex. And more and more vodka.

Well, the topic was most interesting, but this doc barely scratched the surface. They could have found so much, much more...

St Pete is an endless source of good stories.


By the way, an interview of and article on our friend Oksana Chelysheva is in this week's Me naiset, a Finnish ladies' weekly. Everybody in Finland, check that out!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Newspapers. Cruise and piggies. Real Life Scheherazade. (IStori's recommendations, part I)

Nadira Allieva, a certain Uzbek lap-dancer. (See The Guardian link, at the end.)

Newspapers in the web.

Nowadays my absolute favourite one is The Independent. Can't start the day without checking what's new.

Today there were two interesting stories – but these were not as serious as the main articles most often tend to be. (Recently on Pakistan, Darfour, Climate change, gobal poverty...) But interesting, anyway. The main article today was on Bush beginning the Middle East tour. I wonder if there are any security guards around?)

But back to these two interesting ones, of 7 Jan. Edit: Is Tom Cruise a prisoner in his own life? You can read this that way, too. Be aware, and be scared...

"Cruise is second most powerful Scientologist, Morton book claims
By David Langton
Published: 07 January 2008

Tom Cruise has been promoted to second in command of the Church of Scientology, according to an extraordinary new book by Princess Diana's biographer, Andrew Morton.

The Hollywood star is now allegedly consulted by Scientology leader David Miscavige on "every aspect of planning and policy", claims Morton.

The unauthorised Cruise biography makes a number of surprising claims about the actor and his growing interest in the movement.

Among the more outrageous are suggestions that his daughter, Suri, was conceived using frozen sperm from the movement's dead founder L Ron Hubbard and that Scientology leaders ended his marriage with Nicole Kidman because of her devotion to Catholicism.

Morton claims Scientology has all but taken over the 45-year-old actor's life, with its officials allegedly selecting many of the staff at his Hollywood mansion." ...

(Please see the article as a whole in here.)


... And this one is equally interesting, and even far more important to the mankind (yes, really :-) than the first one!

"What are we eating?
Published: 07 January 2008

So you only eat free-range eggs, and spend the extra on organic sausages. But what's life really like for the animals that end up on your plate? And how can you be sure that the meat in your shopping bag is cruelty-free? Rob Sharp investigates.


Many a poultry farmer will tell you that "a battery chicken's a happy chicken", a view based on their not altogether erroneous view that relatively unintelligent birds are well suited to intensive conditions.

The same argument can most definitely not be applied to pigs, though. As the most intelligent British farm animal, the porker is also the most abused, in order to satisfy our demand for cheap bacon.

'If we think of it in human terms, in the terms of intelligence that we value, pigs do have high levels of intelligence," says Julia Wrathall, head of the RSPCA Science Group's farm animals department. "They out-do dogs in many intelligence tests. To realise that a pig can be just as clever in the same way that dogs are is a very interesting thing.'" ...

Please see the article as a whole in here.)


The rest of the top 5? Probably, at the moment, at least,

* Le monde diplomatique , and also IN FINNISH!

* The Guardian. Check out the story on Uzbek lap-dancer. Mamma mia. But a beautiful story on today's Real Life Scheherazade.

* Novaya Gazeta. Telling what's going on in Russia; 'nuff said.

* Kommersant. If you read Novaya, you must read this one, too.


Suri Cruise (on the right) with Brooklyn Beckham. (The both of them look so much like their mothers, by the way.)

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Better New Year 2008.

I remember last year 2007 beginning. I was quite frustrated and infuriated because of the so very nasty stuff that had been going on around me – further or closer.

And despite of all that ass kicking I insisted on a year ago, many things did not get any better. Too bad.

The world politics, work on peace and for the environment are in a lousy state (– given all the credit for the active NGO's, but still...), not supported by major governments, and therefore the stability of the earth and people seems more endangered than ever and even getting far worse.

But – you can sigh now – some things have remained the same or have even improved:

1) Miss Funnybunny. She is more spectacular then ever!

These beautiful high-heeled shoes, two sizes too big, came from... well, from Santa I guess, and the 2nd guess is... NOT ME!

2) Friends. As great as ever, and more and more of them year by year. Have even bumped into some very, very old ones!

Suomi! Suomi! Suomi! (Didn't you all know "Suomi" is "Finland" in Finnish.)

3) My secret hobbies, so far only one of which I have found worth boasting; running. (Gee, I love the fact I became a runner. Can you believe it, it sounds so cool.)

But I'll start with figure skating and snow boarding in no time... Exactly like we middle-aged people fancy.

So, where's the snow, for christ's sake?

Sampo found.

Popol Vuh. An ancient story about men fighting for the right of existing - eternally or not.

The remains of Sampo Feodor Lindfors, who has also been looked for by this blog, have been found.

IStori is sending warmest condolences for those to whom Sampo was dearest.

Helsinki, on Christmas Eve.

Back to the snowless Christmas, before it really is over...

Some ships do not rest.

The Town hall with Christmas lights.

The Reindeer House are on holiday.

I hope we have everything...