September 2000

September 29, 2000

I should be taking a math exam

It's Friday morning. Where should I be right now? Taking a math exam, of course! And where am I? I'm working at our studio. Just finished some banners for, a Finnish new economy/new media magazine. Maybe I'll get some work done on our current project, my labor of love/hate. It's really driving me crazy! One minute I feel depressed that it'll never be done, that it won't succeed, etc. and the next I'm raving about it and slaving at it like a maniac. We've gone through almost a dozen design proposals and drafts and yesterday we finally agreed on a look that we're going to go public with. But before that I have to create all the inner page templates and hook it all up with database connectivity. A lot of work!


September 28, 2000

Stuck at the border

Neale’s domain reminds me of our trip to the Czech Republic last spring. It was a spontaneous idea of Eemeli’s and his friend Tade’s that they came up with during a differential math lecture one morning. A few weeks later, four of us, Eemeli, Tade, Korte and I, hopped into Eemeli’s brother’s maroon ‘85 Mercedes and boarded a ferry to Tallinn.

In Tallinn, we stopped to eat, bought some groceries (a loaf of dark bread, some ham and a few liters of water) and continued our journey south through Estonia and then Latvia. Everything went fine until we tried to cross the border into Lithuania. We were stopped by the border guards, who checked the car’s registration and our passports — standard fare — but they wouldn’t let us cross the border. They didn’t speak any languages we knew. No English, German, Swedish, Czech or Finnish. We were stuck, and it was a mystery why.

After some hand-waving and shoulder-shrugging, the guard finally let up shouting at us in what I assume was Lithuanian. He ran over to the car in front of us and pointed at a little oval sticker that said EST, the country code for Estonia. He wanted us to produce a sticker with the country code for Finland! The border guard didn’t want to let us into Lithuania because we didn’t have a little “FIN” sticker on our car!

Everyone has the country stickers, but it’s not like it’s the law to have one. At least, we didn’t know it was. We couldn’t believe we weren’t being allowed to cross the border because of some silly sticker! The border guard just pointed back at the way we had come, and grunted: “Back! Finland! Back!”

In Finland, you can buy a FIN sticker at any gas station. But how many gas stations in Latvia sells FIN stickers? The situation was surreal. We’d been traveling for over ten hours, and here we are with a border guard directing us to turn back and go home.

Our stubborn guard finally broke down after impatiently watching us stand around wondering what to do next. He’d already directed us to move our car aside twice because we’d been blocking traffic. Tade was trying to negotiate our situation (kind of hard when there’s no common language) when the guard motioned a gesture with his fingers in front of his mouth, moving back and forth. For a second Tade got really scared. Finally he realized teh guard was imitating smoking. Tade ran over to the car and asked if any of us had cigarettes. I did, a half a pack Belmont blues.

The guard grudgingly accepted it, and waved us on.


September 27, 2000

Interpretations of nature

Interpretations of nature from junior high, high school, and college test papers and essays submitted to science and health teachers (spelling errors preserved)

"When you breath, you inspire. When you do not breath, you expire."

"H2O is hot water, and CO2 is cold water" Read more


September 25, 2000

Summary of The Misanthrope

Here's a good summary of The Misanthrope. Too bad I've actually read the play and don't just need a summary.


Last minute cribbing

Our history presentation on the Finnish language went well. I wasn’t prepared at all, but when sitting on the teacher’s desk on Friday at two o’clock, winging a presentation is not a problem. As to our Finnish class (actually called “mother tongue”) presentation on Moliére’s Misanthrope, it was bumped to Monday — today! I also have to hand in a paper analyzing the French comedy. That’s why I am now trolling the Web frantically for pointers on how to pull something together.

  • Have I mentioned I like It’s cluttered, but it’s also happening. Gives me the feeling that I can find all kinds of stuff. I like it.

September 22, 2000


Taneli got me addicted to NetBaby and I in turn addicted my brother and sister. It's awful because we can't play at home because of our phone bills. In Finland, even local calls are charged per minute. So surfing is actually a bit pricy. Finnish ISPs are way behind of the US or even Sweden. We are planning on getting a fixed wireless connection as soon as possible, so we'll have always-on wireless broadband access for a flat rate. The fixed-line comparative available here is ADSL, but it's really expensive. The mothly fee for home connections is USD100/month. And it doesn't even have a fixed IP-address, which we need to access our work's virtual network. I can hardly wait. NetBaby, here I come!


The eve of all due dates

Damn! Missed the cut-off time, midnight. Now this post, which I think of as being written on Thursday, will be published as a Friday post. Why do I care? Well, I'm aiming at writing something every day. Oh well, no big deal.

Today turned out to be the Eve of All Due Dates. Like the super-procrastinator I am, I held off starting any of my term projects or papers until—you guessed it—today! And I didn't really get any school work done today, either. Which means tomorrow I'll beg, cajole, con and plead my teachers to let me turn in my papers late. On Monday, that is. But of course I'll piss the weekend away and find myself in the same pickle as I'm in now. I create the most splendid mental blocks to forget anything I don't want to do, which in this case, include all my curricular responsibilities. I won't be able to work on school stuff even if I wanted to, so good are my mental blocks. Then, on Sunday at midnight: BOOM! My mental block will change back into a pumpkin and I will be left with two weeks worth of writing and researching and only seven hours to get it all done.

I really hurt myself with my �ber-procrastinator routine. I know. I pull muscles in my brain. But I did it again. I'm not going to worry, though. My bed is calling me, I can hear my pillow singing softly and I can feel my big soft blanket wrapped around me and nestling me to sleep. Such is the life of a happy go lucky procrastinator, the fool on road of life. Wait! I didn't say anything so stupid... Must keep eyes open... must erase inane corny ending... zzzz...


September 21, 2000

The beginning

I'm a great writer and an awful writer. And like many great and absurd projects, I'm starting this project to learn, both about myself and about the world around me. To start off, I want to say that I make no guarantees of quality of my posts, nor of the frequency of them. Great way to start a weblog, huh? Well, we'll see where this leads.

I also run... er, participate in a Finnish language weblog, Suodatin. Suodatin has had its ups and downs since the its inception in the beginning of this year. Suodatin's biggest hindrance is that I haven't told anyone about it. To my knowledge, it's the first Finnish blog ever. I like the notion of entering uncharted waters, but being the first also creates some problems. For example, there's no community to turn to shout "hey, look at me, I started my own weblog!"

The real reason I haven't told anyone about Suodatin is that I'm scared to. I worry I won't want to keep blogging Suodatin. I'm afraid people won't like it and that it'll show my own ineptitude. I don't know. I know I'm just a big 'fraidycat. I know I shouldn't worry about any of that. I know that I should throw caution to the wind and take chances. I know all that. I just need to do it. So that's what this is also all about. Breaking personal barriers, expressing myself without worrying it'll jeopardize my career. This is about a lot of stuff. I hope to see you on my journey.