Saturday, January 30, 2010

Ask Ziva

The other day I wrote about running again, seeing as how I love it so much, and as a good reader, j posed an excellent question:

I've been wondering, if a huge pile of money is on fire, would people run towards it or away from it? Or does it depend on the size of the money pile and/or the size of the flames? I guess a genius like M could simulate it easily :)

I immediately asked M for the correct answer to this, but he was mostly busy admiring himself on TV. He’s become somewhat of a TV star lately, having been on the news twice this week and once in the paper. Anyway, as M was busy playing the role of Narcissus, I decided this question needed answering. And as I’m an expert on piles of money, I just happen to know the answer.I don’t need a genius like M to figure it out.

This is how it works.

If x is the size of the pile of money, then y is the monetary value of the currency of the money in question. z will represent a coefficient for the method of fire extinguish at your disposal (e.g. a fire extinguisher will have a high coefficient while, say, a kitten would represent a not so high value for z, maybe even a negative value, seeing as how you might not want to extinguish a fire with a kitten since a) it’s likely to catch fire itself, b) you’d just get hurt in the process and while third degree burns are rather nasty, a scratch mark by a kitten is an unimaginable pain that you don’t want to inflict on yourself, and c) kittens are not that easy to come by in the event of a catastrophic money fire.) v is the speed of which you’re running towards or away from the fire, and h is the height of the flames.

v = x · yh · e-z

To figure out what you should be doing when confronted with a pile of smoldering money, simply put all of the variables above into the equation and calculate whether or not you should be running towards the money, and if so, at which speed. You’ll notice that many things will affect the outcome of the scenario. Not only will the fire extinguish coefficient be of help, but when you know the currency and denomination of the money burning to a cinder in front of you, you will know if it’s really worth the effort. See, you wouldn’t necessarily want to save a big pile of pesetas, even using a state of the art fire extinguisher, since, honestly, it isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on, whereas you might even want to give the kitten a go if the inferno was made up of 200 euro bills.

So, next time you see a huge pile of burning money, I’ve made it easy for you. Just take out this handy and deceptively simple equation, which you have laminated for situations just like this one and carry around in your wallet at all times, and calculate if you should be running towards or away from the fire, and at which speed. This can also be used in situations when you have two piles of money that are burning but are having a hard time knowing which pile to try to salvage.

You’re welcome, j. I hope this answered your question. *

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Nerdiness 101

I’ve mentioned running before, and as you might remember, I have firm views on running. It’s only good for you if you’re running away from fire or running towards a huge stack of money. The people around me, however, don’t share my views.

The other day I was talking to Casey and asked him what he was up to. His answer was “I’m setting up my nike+ ipod kit in my new shoes”. I had no idea why he would want to keep his iPod in his shoe since that wouldn’t only be really uncomfortable but also kind of impractical. Also, when did Nike start making iPods?

I asked him what he was talking about, and apparently the good people of Apple have teamed up with Nike to persuade gullible running people to give them money for a shoe with a built in pocket in which you put a sensor that will communicate via your iPod and tell you the time, distance, pace and calories burned. All things that you could calculate yourself by using a timer, a map and some fancy googling skills. Of course this thing will also give you feedback at the halfway point and in the final lead-up to your goal, and hell, I would totally pay for that. And all this while it’s playing your favorite music. Wow.

Kind as I am, I told Casey that this thing has to be the nerdiest thing ever. He retaliated by saying that if that were the case, M would have one. Which makes sense. Then I remembered that M is more of a Nokia guy than an iPod guy. So I told Casey that M doesn't listen to music while he’s punching himself in the face running. Instead he broadcasts his runs live on the internet with his phone and talks to the people that are chatting with him while Nokia Sports Tracker takes care of tracking everything he might ever want to know about the statistics of his run. Including pace, distance, speed, elevation, what phase the moon is in and how many roads a man must walk down.

Casey, of course made the perfectly understandable comment of “yeah, that was WAY nerdier.” I’m still on a fence though. One of them broadcasts his runs live, while the other one has a sensor in his shoe. It’s a close call. But seriously, when did running stop being exercise and become a question of who has the highest level of technology at his disposal? I can get behind wanting to know the pace you ran, or the distance, or hell, maybe even your pulse. But I don’t need a sensor in my shoe to tell me that. …If I ever ran, that is. As it is, I’m mostly just content in knowing that if I ever run, it will be for a very good reason. Like the apocalypse.

I have to get back to practicing playing the spoons now. Don’t ask, it was Zelma’s idea. *

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I Wanna Love You Tender

I had great plans for a post today, but M is away on karate camp so I’m busy enjoying an empty apartment. I’ll get back to you with a real post tomorrow, I promise. In the meantime, this is a Finnish music video with the artists Danny and Armi. It has been voted the worst music video ever. I’m inclined to agree. To think that somewhere, sometime, someone thought to themselves "Damn, this choreography is good." I’m so proud to be Finnish.

By the way, did you know that all the chemicals in a human body combined are worth about 6.25 euro, if sold separately? I didn’t either, but now that I do, I see that there is a huge potential for a black market here. I’m going to have to start making plans… *

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Everything Is Prettier In Neon Yellow

Working this week has proven exhausting. It turns out that when you spend a month doing nothing but sleep all day and stay up all night, your body doesn’t like it when you suddenly get up before 6 am. M, on the other hand, is loving it. The cutie gets to stay in the warm fluffy bed while I get dressed and have breakfast and then the idiot gets to look all tired and drowsy when I kiss him goodbye and then the bastard gets to lie there another hour or so until his alarm goes off, and then the motherf****er gets to turn the alarm off and sleep some more until his conscience tells him it’s time to get up.

Oh well. Work has been okay so far. The computer I work on has a keyboard with the most stubborn keys ever. They’re pretty much stuck in the non-writing position and it is only with great strength and determination that you can press them down to type. Since most of what I do at work is type up dictations by the doctors, I find this very amusing. By the end of the week my fingers will be so big I can’t type without hitting seven keys at once.

Working at a hospital I’ve come to hear and see a lot of things I didn’t need to know:

“The wart is just getting bigger and bigger!”

A lot of things I didn’t want to know:

“I’m here for the enema.”

A lot of things that I definitely didn’t ask to know:

“I need more erectile dysfunction pills.”

But yesterday I saw the weirdest thing yet. Normally when a patient is coming in to see a doctor, we type in a little comment on the computer about their condition. For example, it could say: “pain in the abdomen” or “can’t hear worth shit” or “thinks she’s a chicken”.

But never, ever, have I seen what I saw yesterday. A patient was coming in to see a doctor, and the comment read: Neon yellow hands. I can just picture that phone call.

“Hi, I’d like to see a doctor.”

“Yes, what’s this about?”

“Um.. I have neon yellow hands."

“Say what? You like to yell over ants?”

“My hands. They’re neon yellow.”

“Oh. Right. And how long have they been like that?”

“I noticed it last night.” (Probably because he couldn’t sleep due to the bright neon yellow light emanating from his hands.)

“And you’re sure they’re neon yellow? Couldn’t be more of a mustard color…? Or a lemony yellow?”


“Right. I’ll check to see if Dr. Seuss is available for you.”

Oh what I would have done to be a fly on the wall during that doctor’s visit. *

Monday, January 18, 2010

Feeling Lucky?

We’re doing a very special post this freezing Monday evening. In 70 words or less I will tell you a little something about anyone I’ve recently mentioned or am likely to mention on this blog. If you’re (un)lucky enough to find your name among the ones mentioned you should probably skip that part and go on to the next name on the list.

Zelma is my BFF. She’s mildly neurotic and a hypochondriac who somehow always fails to notice when she’s sick for real and ends up with pneumonia. She has a twisted sense of humor and still laughs her ass off when I remind her of the time we put her cat on a piece of floating wood and gave it a push out onto the swamp.

M is short for a male name beginning with the letter M. I live with him. You could almost call him my boyfriend. He knows how to reverse engineer network protocols by using packet sniffers, but couldn’t start a fire with a blowtorch.

Muschu is my younger sister. Her greatest wish in life is to have a penguin that would live in her bathtub. She doesn’t have a bathtub yet, so if she got a penguin I can only assume it would have to live in the freezer for the time being.

Sin sometimes leaves constructive and helpful comments on my posts. I went to see her in USA and I will never be the same again. She’s model gorgeous, has a slightly deranged mind and is going to be famous one day, either by writing a bunch of books or by getting arrested.

Dani is almost as short as I am, has a husband, a son, a job, a house on the way and is younger than I am. She’s singlehandedly responsible for all my oh-god-I’m-still-not-pregnant-and-I’ll-be-old-as-hell-soon guilt. It’s okay, though, I still love her.

Jonas is Dani’s husband, not pregnant, always hungry and probably doesn’t end up with a portable microwave oven when he wanted a computer.

Jenn is another wonderful friend from the USA. (I like to collect them.) She’s a librarian and possibly the only person in the entire world who reads as many books as I do. But she can hold her liquor significantly better than me.

Casey is Jenn’s husband and a great friend of mine. Last year he kicked some cancer butt (you can read about it here). He also likes to rock out while listening to music. I cannot, however, vouch for his taste in music. Yuck.

So there you are, a little who’s who of Ziva’s Inferno. You’re welcome. Any penguins you’d like to donate can be sent to Muschu. Likewise, any blowtorches you’d like to donate should not be sent to M. *

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Anyone Looking to Adopt?

Dani and Jonas are probably dreading the appearance of this post. When they left tonight my parting words were “I’ll write about this on my blog.” Which made Dani wonder if being friends with someone who writes a blog, and a sarcastic one at that, really is a good idea.

She hasn’t called yet to let me know we’re not friends anymore, so I can only assume she’s willing to take her chances. Which is a good thing since we had a great time. Dani and Jonas came and let their young son Adam loose in the apartment. This was immediately followed by frantic childproofing of every surface within his reach. After they left I took down the candles from the bookshelf, but I still can’t find the TV remote control.

Dani and I have been great friends since high school and M and Jonas are friends from university (I say university because telling you the truth and saying they met online would sound gay). This makes for great dynamics since M and Jonas can talk about computers and boring stuff whenever Dani and I get too girly. Which we almost never do, but still the guys always end up talking about weird computer stuff. Except they don’t call it boring stuff, they call it “business”. Weird how that works.

Amidst the business talk, I learned Jonas is buying a new computer – one tiny piece at a time. He’s going to buy a bunch of parts and then when he feels he has enough parts to make up an entire computer, he’s going to put them all together and voilĂ  – a new computer! If I went to a store and asked for enough computer parts for an entire computer, they could sell me absolutely anything and I wouldn’t have a clue. I would come home and put it all together only to realize they sold me a portable microwave oven, complete with bicycle generator and a little Chinese kid to pedal. And M would look at me disappointedly and say something like “Sweetie, didn’t you notice something was wrong when they sold you a high frequency fixed attenuator instead of a central processing unit?” And I’d answer “Well no… The kid was weird, though.”

Anyway, we ate some cheese, we drank some wine. I gave M high blood pressure by continuously talking about house building, marriage and kids. It was a good night. *

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Say Cheese!

M was very happy with me going back to work yesterday. He did a double take when he saw me and said "wow, you look great". I'm pretty sure I wasn't, in fact, looking great. He was probably just surprised since it was the first time in weeks that I wasn't wearing pajamas and had actually taken the time to operate a mascara brush.

A couple good friends of ours are coming over tomorrow for a little wine and cheese, so last night M and I went to the store to hunt down the cheese part of the menu. We were going to buy just a couple different cheeses but got sort of carried away. We came home with an assortment of molded and not-so-molded cheeses that ranged from pristine white to seasick-green in color. Yum! So, Dani and Jonas, if you're reading this, you better be hungry tomorrow! Also, if you're reading this and object to my using your real names, just tell me and I'll change it to something inconspicuous. Like Sonny and Cher.

Speaking of cheese, I called my doctor to discuss birth control today. M is terrified of doesn't want kids just yet, so I wanted to have a new IUD put in, The doctor's answer was "No, no, no! I'm not putting in a new IUD, you're too old. You need to start making babies now!" Way to go doc, I can hear my biological clock ticking so loud it's a wonder I'm not deaf already. I'm a whopping 24 years old and if I were to believe my doctor, my womb and ovaries are shriveling up like little raisins as we speak. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. *

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

And Lots of E's Too!

Don’t worry, I’m still alive and well despite the weather’s repeated attempts at freezing me to death. I’ve been MIA on account of Christmas, New Years and my own laziness. I haven’t been to work or school since before Christmas, which means I haven’t got the slightest idea of what day of the week it is, how many episodes of NCIS I’ve watched, how many books I’ve read, when was the last time I wore make up or got up before 8 in the morning. It’s probably a good thing I have to work tomorrow so I’ll get back on some sort of schedule again. I told myself on New Years Eve that this year I’ll be all kinds of productive. So far the only productive thing I’ve done is save the princess in the New Super Mario Bros Wii game. But that took a lot of work so I really shouldn’t be too hard on myself.

This is the first year M and I spent Christmas together and therefore the first year we had to battle it out over where to spend it. I thought spending Christmas at my parents’ place was a great idea while M thought that Christmas should be spent in bum freaking Egypt with his parents. After a duel almost to the death, using cunning dialogue and manipulative suggestions, I came out victorious. We spent Christmas with my parents. After Christmas we spent a few days with M’s parents and I thought for sure I would die of boredom. I love M, and his parents are really thoughtful and nice, but their idea of an exciting evening is sitting in the dark and reading the paper. By the third day of reading the paper in silence, I was ready to break my own finger for an excuse to get out of there.

I didn’t break my own finger, which I’m grateful for now. I’ll probably need all my fingers to operate my alarm clock again. I haven’t used it in a almost a month so I’ll need to relearn how to use it. Luckily I’ll only have to learn how to turn the darned thing on; I have a pretty good idea about how to shut it off. Mostly it’s just a question of how hard I can throw it at the wall.

Anyway, I’m back. You can look forward to a year of sarcasm and fun with the awesomeness I like to call Ziva’s Inferno. Bigger, better and now with 10 supplementary vitamins, 200 grams of fibre, no fat, no taste and no rat poison! *