Monday, June 30, 2008

Challenges of all sorts

The biology textbook required a picture of some sort of common mold. Penicillinum or such. For those uninformed, moldy bread would do. We did discover Wikimedia Commons where one can find all sorts of useful stuff. The need of some nice mold arose a day after the fridge had been cleaned (because of the stink, mind you) so Wiki Commons was dug through and the rest of the internetz as well. There's even a blog about moldy food that seems to welcome contributions from readers so feel free to send them pics of the unidentifiable things at the bottom of the fridge.

Yesterday afternoon I found a nice heel of bread wrapped in plastic and growing its own colony of penicillinum. Since the macro lens was at work, I took it to the office. The mold isn't in the best shape yet so we have moldy bread in a plastic bag on the window sill with a huge sign of Don't throw away on it. Just in case - the cleaners here are neither diligent nor careful but moldy bread isn't usually the cherished thing. I'll be back here on Friday so I suppose that by that time, there will be the blue-green mold but also the white, yellow and black ones. I'll let you know.

To add some more gross factor: the chart of dog fur stinkiness. People spin anything. Although I totally detest the name of chiengora - hey, it's chien and angora stuck together. Dog fur has nothing to do with the angora bunnies. It's dog fur. Chien something (no I don't know how to say fur in French). Apparently, dog spinners have elaborated this. FIY, our huski smells of dogs, neither roses nor stinky cheese. The fur is great. Did I say that I plan to learn to spin?


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Boiled alive

Heat wave struck and the air conditioning in the office is broken. I wonder whether I didn't care when I was younger, whether the summers were less hot or whether the humankind in general was less spoiled. Not that matters would change if I knew.

My laptop is still broken which works as an excuse for no blogging, no social life on Ravelry and general nothing happening.

I needed to do some photography out in the wild so I spent most of Tuesday glued to the train seats with my own sweat. Since life isn't fair, none of the pics was finally used. I however found out that the Kolin church is being repaired so the yard around is open (not for public, just for the construction workers but it's open so why the hell I shouldn't sneak in and check) and I discoverd that there's a French-style western portal even with leftovers of the figural decoration and I totally don't even remember it mentioned in books. My fault, after a while of digging in the library catalogue, I discovered a few quite recent publications that might touch the subject. My local journalist friend promised to take me wherever I want so I see a future art paper crystallizing (although something less controllable from the faculty folks would be more practical - I'll rethink it).


Friday, June 13, 2008

Is this a tradition?

It's Monday and I'm bloated and overcarbed again. This weekend I didn't have any major carb binge as such but it was my mom cooking so it's rice here, strawberry cake with a ton of sour cream there... To be fair, I have to add that mom generously gave me the probiotics she got with her antibiotics when she had her latest dental issues. The probiotics seem not to work, or not today. They however added to my despair because it was the usual allergy meds, ibuprofen (I know, I know, it's not the right thing for stomach pains but I didn't have anything else and I felt shitty) and then some good microorganisms.
I resorted to a thing that works - simple good ole fasting.

The weekend was exciting. There was the cake. We cleaned the attic - I've been stashing my fave mag since 1996 and as usual, mom threatened with throwing it all away. There's still my dad's notes from the university - compared to him, I'm much less annoying hunter and gatherer. And, you've never seen that many dead wasps. No, nobody collects them, they just get to the attic and die there. Tähti had enormous fun helping. And puking on the clean floor, I had given her the worm meds and they were a bit wild, I guess.

No, no funny story about feeding cats medicine. I tried - the stuff is a paste that comes in a syringe. I had some experience with force-feeding so I thought it would be easy. You lay the cat on your lap, open her mouth and push the thing to her mouth. The only problem is that Siamese are strong, fast and slippery. The result was obvious, I had the worm medicine all over my hand and the cat was sitting under the table complaining and happily licking the remaining paste from her paws. Then she came to beg for more. Why the hell did I bother?

Random link of the day: Do you want to know about the present state of storms in Finland?

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

On a whim

My mom bought me a piggy bank a few years ago. It's an inox (or rather chromium plated anything) slab that has a would-be cute picture of a shoe on one side and an inscription that says If the shoe fits, get it in every colour.

Yesterday I dropped at Debenhams department store in a vain hope that I'll find a decent bra there. They sometimes have unpadded, pretty, affordable and unpadded stuff there. They possibly did but they had also a Good Fit Week so I was approached by a lady who offered to pick the right bra for me. To cut the long story short, it was decided that my size is 85E because it makes the bit in the armpits nice and firm. When I objected that (a) I don't wish to wear a bra that covers me up to my neck (b) would have to buy two pairs of stockings because although the bra fits nicely in the armpits, there's some spare space in the cups (c) it looks like something my grandma would consider old-fashioned, I was told that it's fitting well, it's the basic bra I should wear under t-shirts (erm, I own one t-shirt. Guys' t-shirt in XL size by, erm, some company that makes snowboards and I wear it around the house when it's not cold enough for a sweater) and that the lace thing I'm wearing now is a type meant for social events.*

I ran away and went to the theatre. Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company was here on the dance festival and early in the afternoon, after not having won the ticket in the contest on the radio. It rocked.

Since my attempt to buy a bra somehow failed , the next day I went to one of the shopping hells, the one on my metro line. i actually needed most to return a book to the department of philosophy which was very long overdue so I did my part of sponsoring the university. But, on the way back I stopped to check one particular shop in the particular mall. I got a tank top there some time ago and hoped that I might get one more.

Remember, when it fits, plunder the store.

I solved my clothing and bra fitting issues till the end of summer, I guess. the next project is to sew a copy or ten of my fave dance top.

*No, don't please be explicit in the comments in case you imagined such a social events.

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Sunday, June 08, 2008

Sick me

There were some couchsurfers around and I made the stupid silly mistake of eating too much, getting a frozen pizza for dinner, stuffing myself with enchilada and I topped it with a cake.
I am aware that I should eat meat and veggies, not carbs and grease but now it's too late. I'm all bloated, unwell and with sudden attacks of diarrhoea. Good thing that I bought two back numbers of Dance Zone so that I don't have to sit at the toilet in vain. And, no decent workout this week. I feel mildly guilty.

I dyed some yarns today - pics later, they are still on the rack. I'll go back to spinning, I got quite some chocolate brown alpaca fibre from flyingsquirrel from Ravelry. I wonder whether one can spin on the toilet without being considered a total wacko?
I'm in the process of destashing. Well, I put up something onto etsy and Ravelry with next to none response, I'll have to do a bit of shameless self-advertising because I don't feel like moving the yarns around Europe.

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

Sick keyboard

On Thrusday I indulged in my usual passtime: eating and talking to friends.* I made some wilder gesture and spilled quite some lentil soup over my keyboard. With sausage. It wasn't the worst spill but unlike the previous one, this stopped my keyboard from working.
I tried to wipe the stuff with a tissue but the overboiled proteins wouldn't give way. I took of several keys and I actually discovered that the keyboard has hairballs. Maybe I should sometimes feed her the kitty treats. I pulled out the fibrous blobs out, dried everything as much as possible and tried to find some geek on the phone. I managed, was told to find the Keyboard on the screen gadget where I could type using the mouse but it totally spoiled my late-night chatting.
On Friday I went to buy a keyboard. I wanted to get the cheapest one but I found one in pale blue silicone and I couldn't resist.

*note that most of my friends live in Internet

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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Floods, floods!

I went downtown without the least trace of enthusiasm. It was hot and humid. I however needed to copy something, namely Hugh of St. Victor's Didascalion. I did, I wandered around the neighbourhood where the copy place is (okay, there might be many others so I possibly don't have to go to the other side of the river and such but.. anyways) in a desperate effort to find a post office. There was none; I wonder how a busy neighbourhood can survive without one but maybe they use carrier pigeons, who cares.
I moved into another part of the town, went for a coffee and to read a bit of the Didascalion with it to a bookstore cafe. The personnel was discussing yesterday's rain, how it flooded the storeroom and destroyed a heap of books. When I was leaving, they were just piling them in front of the bookshop to be taken away.

The season of two tank tops per day started. Since I don't have that many clothes as to survive without being stinky for the whole week, I tossed a handful of laundry to the washing machine and went to the post office. Once in a long time I didn't check the hose, once in a long time it was fallen on the floor so when I came back, there was a centimetre of water in the whole place.

I see a pattern. Hopefully a new one appears.

Totally off-topic: One special link for Alpaca Granny. (I couldn't resist.)

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Monday, June 02, 2008

How I became a feminist

I have a history, you know. I'm not much into feminism for deep philosophical reasons that go beyond the everyday situations. I'm cynical, practical and lazy.
When I was around 16, I was as stupid as one can be at that age. One of the sypmtoms was that I wanted to be a good girl. I received regular doses of brain bleach from my parents. Among others, I was constantly being persuaded that I should change my clothing style, that I shouldn't dress (and be, for that matter) such a tomboy, that I'm a young lady and I should behave like one.
In the views of my mother, a young lady
(1) walks slowly in tiny steps
(2) doesn't use any deodorants because young ladies don't sweat at all
(3) dresses neatly in skirts, blouses, business suits, dresses and such
(4) wears pretty shoes, such as high-heeled pumps. Narrow shoes.
(5) doesn't waste her time in useless activities, such as reading, listening to classical music, painting and going to see strange intellectual movies to the Film Studies department at the local university.

I wasn't a young lady because:
(1) I walked neither slowly nor in small steps. I found that boring and useless, especially when I walked because I wanted to get from point A to point B, not for sightseeing. And, it's more efficient to make long steps, one needs less of them
(2) I sweat a lot and without using a deodorant, I simply stink. I was the same when I was sixteen. I preferred not to stink, it complicates social life, if nothing else.*
(3) Jeans and a hoodie, thanks.
(4) I wore birks. Or sneakers. Or anything big enough for my feet. I sensed some inherent logic in that.
(5) That's insane. Just insane.

I was however a good girl who wanted to make everyone happy. Or at least I was like that until my nervous breakdown, then I changed my general opinion on the humankind. So I decided that I might give it a try and let myself be persuaded to get some clothes my mother considered pretty. Including some high heels.
I stumbled, I got blisters, I cursed, I swore. I was told that all that stuff suits me. I wasn't sure but I wanted to please mommy and daddy.

Did I mention that I have big feet? And wide? No? Well, I have big and wide feet. For whatever reason, all things high-heeled are made for someone with narrow feet. There are not many shoes that I can put on and of those, not many actually fit. I'm quite heavy* so high heels are uncomfortable to me.
In no time, my transverse arches collapsed, I got bunions and my arthritis in the little toe joints started probably at that point. It hurt, too. Not speaking of practical things - one cannot walk while wearing high heels. Maybe I looked like a young lady but I wasn't finding any pleasure in it.

After some pondering, I decided that it's not fair. That I want to have a life, life with normal things like running, jumping down half a flight of stairs, climb over railings and any things that young urbanite may need. Neither can be done in pretty clothes and shoes. Guys can wear jeans and hoodies of nondescript colours and birks - why can't I? And why guys are allowed to have all the fun when girls must behave themselves? Or should the shape of genitals determine the shape of shoes worn by the individual? No, so what the hell, then?
Obviously, there were times of doubts. Maybe the world is right and I'm wrong. After all, the other girls wear high heels and don't complain about blisters and pain so it's normal to feel normal in high heels and I'm a freak - let's give it another try... and wrap my poor innocent toes in more plaster. Maybe the other girls use better plaster, maybe there's something I'm doing wrong? Maybe I have a bad attitude and something like breathing exercise or some fashionable branch of yoga could help?
At the end I decided that I might be a freak of nature but I'll be a freak without constant foot pain and bite the world. Much later I learned that dancing in pointe shoes actually isn't as painful as the legends say. It might well be the training in foot pain I had had when I was 16. Or maybe it's some Lamarckian genetics, my father doesn't feel pain in his burnt foot either.
I started to wear ugly orthopedic sandals again. Then, cute and fashionable orthopedic sandals appeared. The world didn't come to an end when I was wearing comfy shoes so I started more experimenting: Will the world collapse when I'll go and study Oriental studies instead something ladylike, such as accounting or law? Is the Apocalypse inevitable if I buy myself an Aalto vase instead of something useful? Will the mob lynch me if I show signs of independent thinking?
The general answer showed in due time and it was one big No. The world is still the way it is even when I'm becoming a scholar in something highly un-economic while wearing flat sandals with cushioned insole.
What makes me wonder, why there are still women who topple in their pretty but apparently uncomfortable stiletto sandals instead going and doing something? Are they trying to be good girls wondering whether anyone else feels the same pain? Or have they had so much brain bleach that they don't feel the pain in their feet nor the pain of wasting their lives on wasting their joints? Or is it that they just don't care that they cannot do such normal things like run, leap and dance?

Maybe I should have posted the gross pictures of my burn healing instead of wandering into the muddy waters of philosophy.

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Sunday, June 01, 2008

... and such things.

As for the last week's quiz: the ugly bug on the picture is actually a seed of Strelitzia. Nobody guessed that. Well, most of the world didn't bother anyway.
I was however asked whether our huski is a dead wolf. Good guess, a few times I started resuscitating her before she made the 'you're an asshole, now leave me alone' look. She's not a wolf, though.
Nothing exticing hapenned this week. Some visitors, the burn on my arm is healing (mildly gross pic tomorrow, it's dark now), work is being done. I planned a dyeing workshop for the next weekend so I hope my artsy friends will appear.
I however dug out a sweater I made a million years ago for Kristina. I found out that it looks better than I remembered. I just freaking love the colour. Too bad that it's hard to reproduce. but I'll try someday - and don't tell me that black is just black.

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