Friday, May 28, 2010

Don't Be Silly, Everyone Knows Moose Are Vegetarian

I’ve been away. I know you missed me, and I’m very sorry. I’ve been away because I realized that if I just tried really hard I might actually get something done in school. This was a bit of an epiphany for me. I’ve always thought that studying was mostly about drinking, partying, staying up late and sleeping all day. It turns out I was wrong and studying is not so much about marinating your liver in fine wine, but mostly about the actual studying. As you can probably imagine, I felt a little cheated. Anyway, I made one last big effort for the spring and finished all my courses. As of yesterday the only thing I have left to do for my master’s degree is the actual master’s thesis. With a little luck, I’ll be graduating before I turn 30.

With all my classes over, I’ll have a lot more time for silly stuff like getting addicted to Lost, popping popcorn and most importantly, blogging. However, seeing as I’m a little rusty in the blogging department at the moment, I’ll start out slowly by telling you about how awesome I am. I received another award! I was awarded the Bald Faced Liar Creative Writer Award by both Linda and the very funny and gullible 00dozo. (She honestly thinks I’m an evil penguin.) I have to say, I really like this award. Sure, it comes with a bunch of responsibilities, but I can ignore those and focus on the lying creative writing, because boy do I like lying creative writing.

Actual picture of me.

When Linda received this award she said, "In my book, there are two good reasons for lying; one reason is kindness, and the other reason is self preservation. Period."

I wish I were that smart... In my book, lying is not only useful when you want to be kind or when you’re practicing self-preservation, but it’s also very useful when you’re bored and want to have some fun. There’s nothing like seeing those kids running around looking for candy that I didn’t hide.

For this award the recipient has to post either six outrageous lies about themselves and one outrageous truth, or vice-versa. I won’t tell you if I chose to tell six truths and one lie or six lies and one truth, but I have a feeling you’ll soon figure it out for yourselves. Not that I’m not a good liar, I am. I just wanted to make it easy for you. Lying is actually what I do best. My mom is very proud of me. See what I did there? I lied and you didn’t even notice. Like she would be proud of me, ha!

Okay, here goes. The person who can identify the truth/truths wins absolutely nothing. Or maybe a fancy award.

1. In the 80’s my parents were millionaires, having invested in Nokia many years ago, but lost most of their fortune in a bad game of poker. Daddy played and lost and mom had to spend the night with an Arabian Sheik. 9 months later I was born.

2. Then mom and dad gave me away and I was actually raised by a pack of wolves. They taught me excellent surviving skills. Ask me anything about how to kill a hare.

3. I’m pregnant! Hehehe.

4. Chuck Norris comes to me for hair care advice, that’s how awesome my hair is. I’ll tell you what I always tell him; lather, rinse, repeat and occasionally stick a fork into the toaster for extra volume.

5. Due to my time in the wolf pack, I have a very close relationship with all animals. Sometimes I even feed moose and deer straight from the barbecue. They love my teriyaki-marinated steak.

6. I’m extremely intelligent. I once participated in a game show on TV and got to answer very interesting questions about flounders and Norse Gods. I won the entire thing, winning a book with 1001 jokes and a gift card to an electric shop. With the gift card I bought a lamp in the shape of a desk.

7. Ever since M and I started dating, I have told him I need Sundays to myself for my goat sacrifice and naked moonlight dancing. He doesn’t know this, but I just tell him that because I am horribly embarrassed about telling him the truth. Actually, I spend Sundays knitting and crocheting with my Grandma. I’m so embarrassed.

Regarding passing this on and such, if you’re reading this and feel like lying is something you might be interested in doing, I challenge you to accept the award courtesy of me and go lie your heart out. If you feel like you’re not into lying, your mom probably did a better job with you than mine did with me. *

Monday, May 17, 2010

So Much Bling It's Hurting My Eyes

Today is a wonderful day. I don’t often say this, because I’m a bit of a dark person so if it is a great day, I usually try to ignore it, but today really is an amazing day. There are just so many things to celebrate that I feel compelled to number them in a geeky, yet efficient, way:

1. The weather is amazing and has been that way all weekend. It hasn’t been this warm since August last year and if this keeps up, I’ll soon have to stop being such a dark person.
2. I passed my exam!
3. After having spent the past week in isolation, working on my essay 24/7, I have finally turned it in to my professor. I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I feel like laughing evilly every time I think of the poor professor who now has to read all that crap.
4. We bought a new TV! I can see the puck when Finland loses against Denmark in hockey!
5. Awards!
6. Threesomes!

Not one, not two, but three people have given me this wonderful Sunshine Award. The Sunshine Award is awarded to bloggers whose positivity and creativity inspires others in the blog world. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, like one of those moldy bananas I lied to M about throwing out and hid under the paper so I wouldn’t have to touch them.

The beautiful, talented and certifiably cheesy Nicky from We Work For Cheese gave me the award in a grand gesture of Canadian goodness. Her reason? "Ziva, my love, because she wants to change the world one time zone at a time." I actually cried a little, it was so beautiful. Nicky conveniently left out the part where I want to change the world to suit my own blogging better. Thanks Nicky!

The intelligent, grumpy and very talented Frank, who doesn’t give a damn, crawled out of his cave and gave a damn long enough to give me this award, saying "because Ziva inspires me to imagine a beautiful Mossad agent with great hair getting the hots for another woman." I feel so proud. You’re the best, Frank.

Lastly, I received this glorious award from the equally glorious, funny, kind and beautiful Linda of The Good, The Bad, The Worse. Linda gave the award to me, "who I would give a butt transplant to, if she needed one! (But we all know that gorgeous green Fin has a perfect ass already.)" I think I’m all set with the ass thing, but I wouldn’t mind some new boobs... Books! I meant new books!

Oddly enough, the Sunshine Award doesn’t come with only sunshine. It also comes with three kids, a goldfish and a ton of responsibility. When you’ve received this award, you’re suddenly obligated to:

1. Post the award on your blog. I can do this. As long as I don’t have to change anyone’s diaper or remember to feed the fish.
2. Pass the award on to twelve bloggers. Twelve?? I can’t even count that far.
3. Link to the nominees in your post. Well, that I can do. As long as M does it for me.
4. Let the other bloggers know they’ve received this award, along with the three kids and dirty diapers, by commenting on their blogs. I might be able to do this, as long as the fish doesn’t need flushing while I’m at it, in which case I will probably forget about the commenting.
5. Link to the person you received this award from. Check, check, check.

Now comes the task of passing this award on to other bloggers who are award-worthy. Firstly, I’d like to give the Sunshine Award back to the three lovely people who gave it to me, Nicky, Linda and Frank, because these people truly inspire me. And I’m pretty sure they don’t actually have to do it all over again just because they get the award a second time, so don’t worry, guys. But if someone finds the manual and it says that you do actually have to do it all over again, please don’t give it back to me. Here’s my list:

1. Nicky, because I have a crush on her, and she has an amazing son and fabulous shoes. But she’s going to have to share the award with Mike and Jepeto, her very funny co-bloggers who definitely deserve awards as well. On second thought, I’m just going to send three awards your way, so you each can have one and won’t have to battle it out over the sunshine.
2. Frank, because he’s frank. (I crack myself up.)
3. Linda, because her pets are adorable and so is she.
4. MikeWJ of Too Many Mornings, because he truly inspires me. Also, his comments are often the single reason people read this blog. He's swamped with school work and work work right now, so he could really use some sunshine.
5. ReformingGeek of Confession of a Reforming Geek, because Evil Twin is hilarious and Cat has the eyes of Satan. What’s not to love?
6. Mrs. Blogalot, because she is thoughtful, interesting, and very funny.
7. Lauren of Think Spin, because we are all mutts, and as far as mutts go, she is fantastic.
8. 00dozo of When I Reach, who I haven’t been reading very long at all, but who actually believes me when I say evil penguins could eat her pavement.
9. Candice of Life According to Candice, because she cracks me up.
10. Jen of Redhead Ranting, because she has amazing hair, just like me, and she is a very funny and an incredibly talented woman.

Now, Linda took the award thing a bit further, and not only gave me the wonderful Sunshine Award, she gave me an entire threesome! I haven’t had one of those since college!

The Honest Scrap Award was the second award in the threesome and didn’t come with any other directions than to post 10 honest things about myself that no one knew about me.

1. I’m pregnant.
2. I’m kidding! I’m not pregnant. I just wanted to start out with a bang. But I could be. Now you’ll never know. Unless I pop out a mini-Ziva or mini-M in a few months, I guess. Then you’ll know. Or not.
3. I’m allergic to chocolate, but eat it all the time. I’m brave like that.
4. As a kid I jumped down on a wooden board, and conveniently forgot to check for rusty nails sticking up, effectively nailing my foot onto the board.
5. Thanks to my years flipping burgers at Hesburger, my fingers are blackened pieces of charcoal not very sensitive to heat. M is always telling me to stop it when I use my fingers to flip things over in the pan.
6. Thanks to my years flipping burgers at Hesburger, I’m also very nit-picky about cleanliness in the kitchen, and would never use my bare hands to touch stuff in the pan.
7. I have a picture of a naked woman on the wall above my bed.
8. I named my car Steve, my external hard drive Steve, my next external hard drive Steve II and my big stuffed white tiger Tiger. I have a great imagination.
9. Ziva is not my real name. *cue the X-files theme song*
10. I’ve never done drugs. Which is really good, because it might mess with my drinking habit.

The last award Linda gave me was the Versatile Blogger Award.

The award says ‘poems’, ‘stories’, ‘essays’ and ‘messages’. I’ve never posted a poem on this blog, and I doubt if I ever will. I might have posted a message to someone, though. I can’t remember, did I ask M to buy some milk that one time? Also, I might have posted a story if the tale about my pink bike counts. I guess I could post one of my essays I’ve written for school… Which one would you like to read, “Challenges to the Right to a Fair Trial in the Fight Against Terrorism” or “Unaccompanied Refugee Minors’ Right to Family Reunification According to the Principle about the Best Interest of the Child”? (That last one was written in Swedish, but I would totally translate all 26 pages of it for you. Well, not me, but Google Translate.) Anyway, it is a lovely award, and I am truly honored that Linda would think of me.

And to celebrate all these awards, I did what Nicky would have done. I made cheesecake. With a mudcake base. Then I did what her co-blogger Mike would have done. I ate it. A piece if heaven, it was.


Saturday, May 8, 2010

See You In EEST!

I have a problem, and I think you might be able to help me. The problem is that I live in Finland. Well, that’s not my actual problem, but I have traced my problem back to this, and I believe that my living in Finland is the root to this particular problem. See, I live in a time zone called Eastern European Summer Time. It’s a very exotic time zone, if I do say so myself. In a few months, it will just be called Easter European Time, and it won’t be nearly as exotic. At the moment, this means that I’m at GMT+3 hours. Or, to put it in language even an American could understand, I’m 7 hours ahead of Eastern, 8 hours ahead of Central, 9 hours ahead of Mountain and 10 hours ahead of Pacific Time. And to go even further, so that even a Canadian could understand, that means that when I go to bed, it’s 3 PM where Mike lives and 5 PM where Nicky and Frank live, who are probably just getting home from work when I go to bed. And that’s just to name a couple. Everyone but me is living in a decent time zone.

That means that while I’m busy sleeping, everyone else is busy blogging. All major blogging takes place while I’m asleep, and so does all major commenting. My comment field has an entire life of its own whenever I’m asleep, or out partying, or busy studying. I miss out on everything just because I’m living in this exotic, yet completely impractical time zone. I’ve suggested to M that we convert to a less exotic time zone, like perhaps Eastern, but he really doesn’t see the advantages it would bring. He’s all “but it would be dark all the time and everyone else would be asleep and no stores would be open and everyone would try to get a hold of us while we’re sleeping because you know, that would be daytime for them.” And I’m all “but honey, I could read blogs the minute they’re posted and I could comment on them when everyone else is commenting.” And he’s all “you need help.”

And that’s why I need your help. I need a way to convert Finland to American time. I know this will take a lot of hard work, and that some of you might feel that I should just move to America, but I can’t really be bothered with moving again, it’s a hassle. And I just know that together we can do it. Like, maybe we could start a petition? Or we could all compromise and switch to British time. And start driving on the left side of the road.

Now, I wrote the above post yesterday, and was going to post it tonight as it was, but then something happened that I just had to add. My friends and I had a girls’ night out and I told Dani about my plan to convert Finland to American time. And she said perhaps the smartest thing anyone has ever said. And after having had a few glasses of wine, that is a lot to say about Dani. This is the girl who had a beer with Zelma and me when we were 16 and couldn’t figure out how to walk around the cat. Anyway, what Dani said was, “wouldn’t it make more sense to just have the rest of the world convert to Finnish time?” I realize that the girls’ night out might have made me a little drunk and that technically I shouldn’t be blogging right now, but I just can’t help it. My god, Dani is right. Americans, Canadians, and that one person from Chile who reads my blog, unite! Fight for your right to blog in the right time zone!

While you’re busy uniting, I have to get to bed. Again. I bet you’re just getting home from work, aren’t you? *

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Pom-Pom Madness

I’m going to tell you something that might come as a huge shock for most of you. I hope that we can still be friends, and I hope you realize that this doesn’t change who I am. I am the same old Ziva, and just because this dirty secret has come out, it doesn’t mean I’m any less wonderful fantastic human. Okay, here goes.

I have a past.

And his name is The Ex.

The Ex and I were a couple for five years, and were engaged for two of those years. Roughly. I can’t be bothered to get up and check the engraving in my old engagement ring for the exact date, but it might have been the first and the last year. Or a couple in the middle. The Ex is a great guy, he’s a little like one of those puppies you take home from the animal shelter and then you realize that it’s going to grow and shed hair and pee everywhere and probably eat your favorite pair of leopard heels. Except The Ex didn’t actually pee everywhere. And he didn’t really shed any hair. And he didn’t actually eat my shoes, even though he had the appetite of a much larger dog. But it was a metaphor anyway, so it doesn’t really matter what he ate.

The Ex and I grew apart and separated about two years ago. We’re still friends and occasionally I’ll invite him over for coffee and he’ll try to teach me to drink that vile stuff and tell me that it’s impossible to be a grown up and not drink coffee. Well call me Peter Pan because I ain’t drinking it. Yuck.

The reason I’m telling you about The Ex today, though, is not because he apparently has some canine in his cocktail, but because he has read my blog about Vappen and the hats with pom-poms and wanted to show me what his pom-pom looks like. This is not as dirty as it sounds. The Ex’s pom-pom looks like this,

His pom-pom has been thoroughly soaked in some alcoholic beverage or other, just like I wanted to do with M’s pom-pom! The Ex’s pom-pom can actually stand up on its own. Now if that isn’t an academic achievement I don’t know what is. *

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Glada Vappen!

Being a university student involves many obligations. You have to study hard, sit through hours and hours of lectures, and write long academic and often a little boring essays that no one but a professor is going to read. You also have to memorize insane amounts of information that you are never going to need, and will probably only use to impress some people at a party. And speaking of parties, as a student you are obligated to party. You’re obligated to party long and hard and preferably often.

This weekend was one of those times when partying is obligatory. Friday was valborgsm√§ssoafton, or vappu, or vappen for short, or Walpurgis Night in English. It’s celebrated in Northern Europe and mostly centers around drinking copious amounts of alcoholic beverages and mj√∂d, or sima, which is a type of homemade mead. We also eat fresh doughnuts and rosettes, and carry around balloons and other fun stuff, but mostly it’s about the drinking. Students gather at a huge hill in the middle of the city, and listen to a men’s choir singing to celebrate the arrival of summer spring slightly warmer weather. Then everyone puts on their white caps and go on to get shitfaced.

Now imagine all of those people up on a hill, drinking, wondering where the hell they’re going to find a toilet because all that mead is so ready to come out now.

The party continues long into the night. After a couple hours of sleep, everyone meet up on the hill again the next day for a 5.000 people picnic. Some more alcohol is enjoyed, and if you’re feeling brave, some food as well. Many bring little portable barbecues and grill up sausages or steaks, preferably eaten with potato salad, and perhaps some alcohol as well. This year I made cookies for the picnic, just so I could show everyone that I still have cookies. The white cap stays on during the picnic, but has most likely become less white during the night. If you’re an engineer and therefore have the need to feel a little special and show everyone you can do advanced math, your white hat has a black pom-pom hanging from the side. This makes you look ridiculous, and a little bit like Grandma’s curtains, but everyone still looks up to you. M has one of these, and I always have to suppress the urge to dip it into my champagne glass.

Now imagine the pom-pom soaked in champagne. It would really complete the picture, wouldn’t it?

M and I had a great time celebrating vappen this year, and I am really happy tomorrow is Sunday, because we could definitely use some time to recuperate. Also, I have to finish my schoolwork and read a bunch of UN reports, because on Monday I will have 9 hours of lectures with the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights while Countering Terrorism. Now that’s a title if there ever was one. I feel like maybe I should do a little curtsey when he comes in to the lecture hall. *