Friday, December 31, 2010

I have The Internet

So, I have been away. Not a good sentence to start a blog with, it tells you this is going to be boring and I will make excuses and such. Also I might tell you what is going on in my life, which is not what I started this blog for. I started this to talk about my thoughts on various things and that is very different from what I am actually doing. The topic of racism is still at the surface so I think I will write on that.

I thought I had blogged on racism before in my old MySpace blog but after tracing the blog back several years I found that I had not. The main thought of that imaginary blog post was that we evolved for racism. Back in the day when we still lived in caves, huts made of animal skin or what ever. We knew everyone around us and we all looked pretty much alike and there was not a lot of mixing with those other people across the river with the strange customs and odd clothes and those unnatural brownish eyes and what not. Those weird people may even have been enemies so it was safe for primitive ignorant man to stay with his own inbred group and breed a myriad or special genetic diseases only present in Finns (or insert there what ever small group of people). It was a survival trait to be suspicious of anyone who seemed different because they were probably out to get you.

With that sort of a legacy, no wonder we still get uncomfortable when we have to share an elevator or a bus bench with a person that is a different color or nationality. This is a completely inappropriate reaction today. Now we are hampered by our genetics. We have come a long way from those club carrying grunting simpletons that acquired this trait that helped them survive and turn into us. Still we have a long way to go and this trait is in our way.

I don't think there is a simple quick fix. We cannot go and have the racist gene eradicated from our kids to give them an edge in the global community. We cannot just tell ourselves that our feelings are wrong and stop it is not that easy. Still I think we must strive to be better than animals. The difference between animals and humans is that they are at the complete mercy of their genetics and do not even realize it. Humans can realize that they have a problem and struggle against their natural tendencies and better ourselves. Man is where the falling angel meets the rising ape.

I have many friends of different colors, nationalities, cultures and native languages but I still struggle against my tendency to feel uncomfortable with a person who does not look like me. I accept this is a condition that I will never be rid of but I have been struggling against this since my teens, since I was old enough to realize I had a problem. I will keep struggling until I die and am freed from the burden of my outdated genetic tendencies. Best we can do is realize we have a problem and forgive ourselves, but never give into it or believe the lie that natural=good. The second we start equating natural with good we may as well start condoning murder because someone pisses us off, because wanting to kill someone who angers you is perfectly natural.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

News and some meme at the end

My oldest reader, not age wise but the guy who started reading this the earliest asked me how I was doing. I am doing well and was going to write a blog about racism in Finland but got involved in looking for a blog I thought I had posted on my old MySpace blog about the subject. Was thinking of reposting it on here first before writing my new blog. This blog seemed to be a figment of my imagination.

In other news I swallowed my pride and went to social services because we were out of money and the kotiutumistuki (homing aid) was not materializing. I went there yesterday and got the money in my account today. Now we eat FOOD, you know versus not food or something. We are moving to our new apartment Sunday. It will hopefully be warm, as this one has failed to be.

Just to be more fun, I found this thing on and decided to do it for me.

"Here's a list that originally came from the BBC but I picked up from Ganching.
You copy the list and then bold the books you have read completely and italicize those that you have partly read or dipped into.

Apparently the average person has read 6 of these books. Yes six... frightening"

1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte

4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy

32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma -Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas

66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Inferno - Dante
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - E.B. White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo.

Okay, so not counting them, but I am patting myself in the back. No more memes I promise. I will get down to business and write about racism and all that soon.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Holy Spirit

"Same river different parts." Is what my husband says when talking about the way his Quaker beliefs see the holy spirit and the way my Pentecostal back ground sees it. Pentecostals focus on the strong events of encountering of the holy spirit, and from what I have seen the Quakers focus more on the quiet gentle, still small voice of daily guidance the holy spirit offers. We are swimming in the gently quiet shallows of the spiritual river basking in the love of God. The Pentecostals are in the rapids in their canoes wearing crash helmets and seem to be having a whole lot of crazy fun, WOOHOO!

I like the rapids, I do. I like strong tearing up shaking encounters with the spirit, I just cannot be sustained from day to day on them. I had a few good encounters like that as a child with God, when I was saved and when I received the holy spirit a different time some years later. These were wonderful experiences of closeness with God that probably resembled, in a small way what Moses felt when he saw the Lord pass by.

The danger of these experiences is sometimes you wish to "feel the presence of God" and forget that he is always present. He never leaves, you can always feel him, talk to him and listen to him with out crying screaming and begging for that next strong hit of the holy spirit, like a heroin addict begging for credit from his dealer. Christians, at least in America, often like to compare God to drugs. There is a song by a Christian alternative group, either Skillet or Thousand Foot Crutch, I forget which that is called "Better than Drugs". This is a cute, if over played metaphor many American Christians like to use but when Christians start acting like drug addicts it is no longer cute, it is alarming. It is alarming when a Christian cannot get by with out having a "profound spiritual experience" complete with crying, gnashing of teeth, writhing on the floor, passing out and spewing nonsense. I am not saying these things are somehow not true manifestations of the baptism in the holy spirit but what I am saying is that they are darn exhausting and alarming to the uninitiated, and even those who know what is going on and often indistinguishable from a classically demon possessed person. There is so much wrong when that high is all you are chasing and attaining it is about begging and pleading with God, like you are still a sinner, to come to you. What is wrong with shutting the frack up and listening for a change?

It works for me and when I stopped chasing that high and just listened and relaxed I started to feel and appreciate the daily presence of God more and I no longer felt unworthy because I had no apparent gifts. What God taught me in the silence is that I am good enough for him to love the way I am and there is no need to worry about any special gifts, just living my life for him is good enough. If I fail to enjoy his presence today, I can still do it tomorrow. He is always there for me and more like a warm cup of tea, a blanket and a hug from a loved one than a syringe full of whatever or a noseful of cocaine. Maybe I am just getting old and just no fun spiritually.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The First Week, Briefly

I have been pretty busy, well not literally just a lot of new stuff has happened in a short time.

Interesting aside, I am really sorry not to have a picture, it was just so shocking and happened so fast, we saw a Finn in black face. No, not a black Finn, we have a few black Finnish citizens but a white guy dressed like '70 black fella. "Play that funky music...white boy?"

It has been a proper cloudy damp fall here. Yesterday it was sunny and pretty but other than a walk to the store we were stuck inside cleaning. Cleanliness it a part of the contract to stay here, still they can't send anyone over to fix the fracking bathroom sink. This is an expensive residence.

Today we went to Jarvensivu, the part of town I grew up in. We had a good walk and felt shocked that the late '80 are alive and well. Teenagers are idiots.

Here are some things that are way better here than the US:

1. Everyone walks so the side walks are a single car lane wide and the crossing spots on the roads are ample and convenient.

2. Busses are frequent and easy to use. They are not only taken by the really poor but even by middle class working people and upper class teenagers. Even elementary schoolers take them unsupervised.

3. No one pities us for not having a car. Do you people realize how annoying that is? It is not a hardship not to have a car, you are just lazy. STFU, offer us a ride, thanks, but hold the side order of pity.

4. There is a lot more international food at the grocery store.

5. The food is a lot healthier, lower in salt, fat and sugar with out being much more expensive.

6. Getting Marcus's paper work to say here indefinitely done will take 120 euros, a few hours of our time to fill out the paperwork tomorrow a trip to the police station Monday, 7euro photo at the photo booth, turning it all in and a few months of waiting.

Things are already looking up. I will also get my unemployment application in Monday. I was not able to do it before because it takes a few days for my new residence to get to the central database and can't get Tampere benefits when I am not a Tampere resident.

Not very interesting, I know, but have been too preoccupied to think of a good blog to post. For something more interesting and comprehensive go to My husband has written a few good and interesting posts about his first impressions.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Good Story

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I have had plenty of ideas for blogs but have not written them. I have been busy, my computer has had an identity crisis, my husband installed Vista without my permission and lost a blog I had written for later posting then the pirated version messed up and he had to go back to installing Linux, interesting times for Frodo, that is my laptops name. He did just download a program for posting blogs with out going to blogger. I am trying it out right now.

I guess some of you, my four readers, may want an update on my move. We will fly to Finland Monday. Tickets have been bought, arrangements made for temporary housing etc. Tomorrow a drift store will pick up most of our remaining possessions that are not coming with us. I have been experiencing some stress from the move and have been having some stomach upset that will not go away as long as I seem to be making terrible dietary decisions. Well, the Long John Silvers was not MY idea but the Wendy's was. Today the bacon wrapped chicken REALLY was NOT my idea but the cake was. So I can not entirely blame my sisters in law or my husband for all of it.

I have been thinking of some blog ideas lately. I have an idea for a Valentines blog. I think I will write it early because I have to write these things while I still want to. I had written a blog for European Father's day but that got lost in my husband's rogue re-install. I have no real ideas for immediate blogs. My husband should be posting often after our move, assisted by his new blogging consultant Adam, our son. He is planning on writing a blog a day to help him adjust. That should be fun if he can stick with it. Check out his blog at

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Where do You Get Your Power?

Today I was considering how I, and others, define ourselves. I have written before that I see myself as human first and female or woman several notches down in importance. Because society places so much importance on gender I am in a way forced to define myself as androgynous, while not inaccurate, I really just place very little importance on that part of me.

I was also considering why I place so little importance on it versus others. I think we define ourselves based on things that give us power and things that we fear. In other words the things that give us confidence and self esteem and those things that take it away. Many people derive a lot, or at least a significant amount of their self-esteem from their gender. Women feel confident when they look and feel feminine and can attract the opposite gender and impress other women. Men feel confident when they look and feel masculine, attract women and intimidate other men. I do not mean that I never dress in a manner to look feminine on purpose and to be attractive to the opposite sex. I just do it very rarely and not "for myself" (as their source of personal power) as many other women say. I dress feminine and attractive for my husband's benefit or because I am going to a place or function that expects it. I dress that way for others I just do not care. When we define ourselves, we give away in the things we do not care and try to stand firm in the things we do care about. I simply do not care about hair and clothes and go shopping maybe once or twice a year. I hate paying for hair cuts and usually shave it off. I am currently letting it grow because my mom pitched a fit about it.

Well, what is a big deal to me and what do I derive my strength from and my self-esteem. What do I do "for myself". I like to think I get it from my principles, my ability to stand up for myself and from portrayals of mental and physical strength. If I fail to stand up for my rights or the rights of others, even in the face of danger or humiliation my confidence gets shattered. I feel good about myself when I do the right thing. I feel confident and a few inches taller when I best some one in a display of physical prowess. I feel good when I work out really hard, and bad when I get tired soon and just can't perform my best. I do gain confidence from dressing in clothes that show off my physical hard work, but dressing too femininely makes me lose confidence and power because I get cat calls and no one acknowledges the things I like about myself. I hate the feeling that my looks maybe my best asset and the only way I can get compliments so sometimes compliments can make me feel worse about myself when all I get are comments on aspect of me I care little about. What about my toned arms? Do you know how much hard work it takes for a pear shaped woman to build any muscle there. Yeah, call me hot stuff one more time, objectify me and sexually proposition me and I will show you how hard I have worked on my right cross.

Where do you get your power? Is it from your gender? Your role as a parent? A spouse or being the best paralegal/secretary/firefighter/human cannon ball? When you fail in those areas do you feel like a weak shell of yourself for a while until you can prove yourself again?

Friday, September 24, 2010


The concept of women bullying women and girls bullying girls has been an interesting one for me because I have been bullied a lot during my life for various reasons and I admit often have inadvertently bullied others as well. The reason anyone gets bullied in general is that they are different, isolated and perceived as weak. Then the victim does something that goes against the, usually, unspoken rules of the group and they get descended on.

I was always particularly vulnerable to being bullied due to my absolute obliviousness of non-verbal communication. In other words, I am not a mind reader. Why do all you women think that I am? I can not fit in because I cannot perceive the groups reaction to what I do. This is combined with my uncool interests and abrasive sense of humor.

One reason for being bullied in a group of women is jealousy. I can not claim that is the reason I was bullied most often, in fact I cannot remember any times that that was the case. I did read a Dear Prudence chat transcript on that talked of a classic case of being bullied due to jealousy. I can not believe that neither Prudence or other chatters picked up on this. An American woman living in Switzerland was the only woman in her office not on a diet because she did not feel like she had to be. She felt like she ate healthy and exercised and was not over weight so there was no logical reason to deprive herself. Her female coworkers implied that she was a cow and as an American did not know how to eat healthy. They also said that her eating habits were responsible for hunger in third world countries. You might say, that sounds unbalanced, well that tends to happen when you are hungry, it makes you a bitch. Prudence and the other commenter kept blaming it on her being an American but she was not being made fun of because she was an American, that just made her different, isolated and vulnerable. She was being made fun of because the women were jealous that she could have the piece of zucchini bread with out guilt or excuses.

It is a classic tactic of female bullying to never keep on topic, even when you have a specific agenda. They were not going to say " Confirm and starve like the rest of us. Quit rubbing our faces in your mastication." Saying it directly and working out your differences like grown ups is just not feminine.

One time I became very much a target of 100% untargeted bullying for a righteous cause. When I was in college my joking and lack of ability to read non-verbal cues and general obliviousness had once again made me an unintentional bully. I had been making some hurtful remarks at a very nice over weight fellow on my dorm floor. I now deeply regret my oblivious callousness. One evening I was sitting around in one of the common areas with some of my floor mates, my unintentional victim was not there. Now let me let you in on a pertinent secret, this will be just between us, no spreading it, okay? I do not shave my legs by choice, and yes my husband is fine with it. One girl remarked to another girl that she wanted to braid her hair sometime. Another girl turned tome and out of the blue said to me "Skeptigirl, I could braid your leg hair for you sometime." The comment made a silence fall. It was awkward, I had no idea why she had said that. There was no provocation in my leg hair. I had said nothing and sat silently. It did not really hurt my feelings because I had no problem with my leg hair, I really did not care what she thought about me and no one else joined in. He righteous attack had absolutely failed to hit its target. I only in hindsight figured it out when someone actually got the ovaries to talk to me about it woman to woman instead of sending me psychic waves. Of course the bullying could have been for no reason at all and maybe the girl was just a raving bitch, I don't know, I have no psychic powers to discern motive.

I usually avoid spending time with women because of our social discrepancies and maybe this has been one of the reasons I have adopted a more androgynous manner. I do not feel like I belong into the female gender at all, neither do I feel male and I am very comfortable being who I am. So, if I ever inadvertently bully you, remember this post and get a pair and tell me directly or just remind yourself that I most likely have no idea I am doing something to offend you and try not to be too offended.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Heaven and Hell

I was just thinking about the concepts of Heaven and Hell and life after death. It is remarkable how differently people see it. I personally know people who believe in reincarnation, ghosts, Heaven, but not Hell. I also know Atheists that believe in no after life at all except in the one in the memories of our loved ones or in progeny. I also have a pagan friend who believes that if he lives a good and honorable life, he will go to Valhalla. I respect all their beliefs and believe they feel the same way about them as do I. I laugh at none of the concepts, except the ghost one, but I am working on that. As I have said before, you can not believe just because you want to just like you cannot stop believing just because you want to.

What do I believe? Well, I like to use the Bible as a general guide for all my beliefs, that and my own conscience. I believe in Heaven and Hell, but not exactly as western cultural tradition portrays them. The Bible describes Hell as a separation from God and Heaven as a connection with him and other believers that have passed on. The Bible also describes them as realms beyond out imagining, where our existence is nothing like Earth. It does say that Hell is a place of fire and brimstone but if it is a non-physical realm that means very little and must be a metaphor. It also says that we have spiritual bodies in Heaven, but what are spiritual bodies? I have no idea, I am sure they would be something nice. I also believe that up on entering Heaven we will know what God knows. You know,answer to life, the universe and everything, and I bet it will not be 42.

Some people do not believe in Hell on the philosophical principle that it is unfair and that a loving God would never punish anyone. Well, I think the opposite, it would be unfair for God to force someone who wanted nothing to do with Him in life be be with constant communion in the here after. I think this would be a good time to answer the question of: Do I think Hell is a place of suffering? Yes, I don't know, maybe. Is the short answer. The long answer would be: Yes, it would be suffering for me to be separated from the presence of God forever. I don't know if it would be suffering for those who never knew him and since I do not know the extend which you can have contact with others sent to Hell, I guess it could be suffering for others too.

Now lets talk about the elephant on the page, well Elephant if you are an Evangelical Christian or someone who reads the Bible. Revelations. I believe that it has a really detailed account of how heaven looks with gold and gems and God being the source of light or something. I have read Revelations, it makes no sense to me and Bible scholars debated strongly weather it should be included in the Bible. Is it legitimately inspired by God or just the hallucinations of a man? I do not know, not until I go to Heaven and get all the answers. I have had no special revelation on Revelations from God. It just does not fit in with the rest of new testament and makes precious little sense to me. I honestly do not care what overly elaborate metaphorical, ope to interpretation way the world as we know it will come to an end. Even if it is legitimate it does next to no good in the way I live my life. It is a fear mongering book the skews the way people live their life. It (or rather its popular interpretation) makes people think they will be raptured any moment or it males them waste time looking for the signs of the end times which have been here since the resurrection because we have been living in the "end times" since then. Well, my views on Revelations would best be explored in another post.

I think there is a Heaven and a Hell. I also think that the boundaries between Heaven and Hell and the world of living are immutable so, sorry, I do not believe in ghosts. Neither do I believe that we linger in the world of the living after death. As soon as the brain dies, we are off to Heaven, or Hell and no turning back. That is what I believe about this. You are welcome to share what you think.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Moving is Closer

So our move is getting closer, a little more than a month away sometime at the end of November. Still no exact date, no passports, no place to live, no plane tickets. Nothing is certain but that we are going. Our lease will run out in a month, we will give notice in a few days and our rats have a new home where they will be moving to in a few weeks. I will really miss hose little girls, even the anti-social sisters Phoebe and Artemis. More and more stuff is being sold. We are asking for a room to rent from friends for a week, maybe two, after our lease runs out, if not it is a seedy motel for us, we really need to save money. I feel fine, a little stressed out because all the real work is ahead of me all at once. When the passports come I have to secure plane tickets, and an apartment. The apartment securing is pretty complicated when you are doing it from another country. I have to do all of that really quickly and there is very little I can do now to make that go smoother when the time comes other than to pay attention to when the passports ship and keep tabs on flights and apartments, in other words nothing to do but wait. This sucks.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Decisions And Klingons at the End

The way I make decisions works for me. There is nothing wrong with the process really but I think it seems that way to other people because I announce my progress, instead of just my decisions. I think some people, including my husband see me a flighty, obsessive but unable to go through with anything. I usually think about something and start to think it is a good idea and start researching it. As I research it, super obsessively, it is all I can think about. It is all I talk about, praising its virtues and how it would be great for me, worrying about possible detriments, I even explain how I would attain it. I have after all thought of everything as I have researched it, well almost everything and will look those things up just as soon as I can. As I research, ponder and make plans I feel decided, but am not really. I am not implementing any concrete plans I am just gathering information and making said plans.

The problem in recent years has been that I have no opportunity to implement any plans. I have thought, researched, fantasized and talked until I get bored because I can not move past this and move on to some other obsession that lasts a day, week, month or more. You can see examples of this on this blog here. I announced I was going to join the U.S. Navy. I was 100% sure I would do it. You know, after I was able to. After I became legal and could. I would resign myself to become a U.S. citizen, not in a bad way but in the Biblical way that tells us to practice the good of what ever country we dwell in.

Then, circumstances happened. My husband was already out of work and we were trying to get me a green card. No work came my husband's way. Green card getting was its usual slow self. I was progressing and getting fairly close to getting it done. Still my ability to fulfill my plan, joining the U.S. Navy, was years away. The economy was getting worse, less and less job prospect for my husband on the horizon. Unemployment is nearing it's end and so is our lease as is my youth. So we made a new plan. Dump it in a pile with the old ones and say nothing will happen, I would not blame you, but it is not speculation. We are implementing it. We are taking steps we cannot untake.

We are moving back to Finland for a better life. Ah, Finland, the land of opportunity, flowing with education and health care. Majestic waves of recovering economy rippling across it, more job opportunities than Wichita Kansas. Best country in the world according to a Newsweek article

More than that, it is home and will allow me to work with out a visa and will get my husband a work permit in about six months and a good health care to boot with fraction of the cost of the United States. It is not perfect but compared with the present state of the USA it seems darn near Utopian.

Well, that is where we are going. I haven't posted in a while due to the loss of the late nights I spent alone on the computer because I have to wake up earlier to get my son to school, well tomorrow he has no school so tonight I blog like a warrior, KAPLAH! Your comments would bring honor to my house.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

How I became Infected

When I was little I did not really know what racism was. It was around, it always is but you don't really get it until you see it yourself. As a child I heard all the jokes about the Gypsies being lazy thieves but yet really good singers and dancers. The Saami were claimed to be drunks. It was not really real to me because I had never knowingly met a member of either Finnish minority. That is because in reality no one looks like the exaggerated caricatures shown on TV.

Then I moved out of my sheltered life and into the United States. I moved from a country practically oblivious of the implications and evils of their racist attitudes to one very conscious of them. I was taught about the civil rights movement and became not only an admirer of Martin Luther King and of Rosa Parks but of the underground rail road and all the people who had stood up for that was right even at the cost of their own lives. I became emotionally involved with history of the civil rights movement and became emotional when confronted by injustices of any kind. I felt that to stand by and let something like that happen was wrong. I bristled when ever my parents or anyone said anything negative about someone based on looks, race or nation of origin.

I also became friends with people of varied back grounds. I was in ESL so I became closer and could identify better with other immigrant children than the people at large regardless of actual ethnic origin. The thought of hate groups like the KKK wanting to hurt my friends was horrifying to me.

I was happy when I went after my first year of school to ESL summer school. It was like school with all the bad boring parts removed. I expected everyone to be nice. There was only one other white person in my class besides me but he was a boy and so I wanted nothing to do with him. The definite majority was the Vietnamese girls. There was about four of them but they seemed like more because they spoke Vietnamese together separating themselves, loud, boisterous and confident in their numbers. They played a game I did not understand and was not invited to join, not that it occurred to me, they seemed so insulated. There seemed to be a leader and her second, little kid gangs always have leaders and a hierarchy, like chickens. The leader had long hair and her second had very short hair. They seemed very tall and pretty to me, but I do not know if that was reality or an image borne from their confidence, self assurance and popularity.

I got along with other girls in the class and other classes just fine. The Somalese girls I took the bus with were nice and so was the Korean girl who was both in my class and on my bus, she was quiet but nice.

Then one day in class I changed my seat. Our seats were not assigned. I just wanted a change. One seat was differently made than mine and I wanted to sit in it so I moved. Unfortunately that seat was in the second to back seat of the Vietnamese row. I sat down behind the short haired girl and right in front of another girl from a different country. After a while of enjoying this novel seat the short haired girl turned around.
"You can't sit here you are not Asian." she said. I felt shocked and confused.
"But she is not Vietnamese." I said indicating the girl behind me.
"But she is Asian." she replied. I felt confused I did not understand. I mean I did, I had been bullied all my life. I could not deny I was not Asian. I felt heat on my face and my brain was not working so I moved back to my old seat. I was upset, humiliated and did not understand for a long time that I had been a victim of racism. I did not know it could happen to me. I did not really get it until years later that it did not matter who was really the majority what mattered was who was the majority at the moment. Being discriminated does not make someone a more understanding person and less likely to repeat it, it makes you more likely to repeat it.

Racism is an infection that is passed from person to person. Not only from discriminating father to discriminating son by example but from racist to victim. Making the victim scared and hateful. It was years after this my heart rate stopped going up when I was alone in a room with Asian girls and if I found out a girl was Vietnamese it got even worse. I became nervous and panicky and wanted to escape before I was attacked. I felt awful about this but could not control my feelings.

All over that minor little childhood incident. I am pretty thin skinned I guess. Not like anything truly bad happened but it is the principle of it. I admired Rosa Parks so much and I was not able to emulate her. If you cannot live by your convictions what are you? I have been wondering that myself. What am I if I cannot do the right thing when it matters so much to me.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Undocumented Aliens Like Me

I have been feeling exceptionally unaccomplished this week. I usually feel unaccomplished but this week has been worse. The only reason I really have to get up in the morning is to make sure my son does not get bored and destroy something and I guess I should feed him and all. The problem is that I really can do nothing. I cannot get a job. I cannot go to school. I can not pursue my dreams. Now with my husband having no job I can no longer pursue my hobby of martial arts. The only thing that makes me feel accomplished is working out. I run and try to beat the number of push ups I can do. I am up to seven regular push ups now, I can do 25 wuss ups. I can only work out in the evening because we cannot use the AC, not enough money.

This blog is not really about how depressed I am feeling lately and how I have drank three nights this past week, when usually when I drink two nights in a week I feel absolutely alcoholic. What this is really about is undocumented immigrants in the united states. I happen to be one, and every time I mention it I am worried I will piss someone off later and have them use it to hurt me or it gets read by a minute man. It is not something I really hide but it is not something I usually broadcast. When asked by strangers I usually just say I do not have a work permit or a green card yet. Usually it is not a problem because I am white and married to an American citizen. People just assume that if I am not a citizen that I am at least a permanent resident. After all you automatically become a citizen if you marry a citizen or it is free.

I started to think about this about a week two ago (time has lost all meaning to me). I went to a gathering of the yearly meeting that my monthly meeting belongs to (that is Quakerese for I went to the weekend conference of the governing body that my church belongs to and they discussed church business and had workshops and classes). I had a great time. I got to go with out paying and met lots of great people and learned new things. My pastor taught a workshop on a hot button issue in Quaker past and that issue was slavery. Everyone remembers quakers as great crusaders against the institution even risking their lives and property participating in the underground railroad. That is true, but just part of the truth. Meetings at large were very slow to accept the social activism of freedom and many activists were ejected from their meetings for their beliefs. Now all Quakers see them as great heroes. We have many hot button issues today and this workshop was followed by a discussion on one of those. It was on undocumented immigrants. There were quests from Iglesia de los Amigos, I believe their name was. Children who went to the meeting but had no fathers because they had been deported but they remained because they were citizens. Women who had lost their husbands to deportation. It was heartbreaking.

Many people ask me what I think of all these other illegals, after finding out I am undocumented, leaching on the country. I tell them while the United States has the right to control their borders human beings have the right to try to make a better life for themselves and their families. They do not leach off the country they pay taxes and are usually law abiding, other than being undocumented, and do not want to be here undocumented. They all want to have visas, they wanted to get visas before coming here and wanted to enter legally through a check point in a car seat like a human being instead of in the back of a van packed in tighter than the slaves on their way here from Africa crushing people beneath them to death and being crushed by those above them. We are human beings forced into this. Some people may say that we chose to come here. I did not, my parents chose for me. They did not poverty and the cries of their hungry children did. It was death or pay a crooked uncaring human trafficker to take them over the border because they could never have afforded a visa making $12 a week. This is awful. The United Stated is over run by people that often get taken advantage of by crooked people. They get hired, work hard and never get paid and they have no one to turn to. Women get raped and are to afraid to go to the police because they are scared of getting deported. I have actually heard men say, "If you are going to rape a woman make sure she is an illegal alien, they wont go to the police." America's immigration laws are an absolute failure like the war on drugs. They don't work and they will never work no matter how high of a wall they build on the border, how many border guards they hire or how many states adopt Arizona's policy.

I am a law abiding person and I hate being trapped the way I am. I have no life other than being a wife and a mother. Not that those two things are not good and honorable. I just have no choice. I cannot even choose to return to Finland because I do not want to go to jail. My husband and son speak no Finnish and I have not lived there for almost 20 years. I would have hard time fitting in. I want to be a police officer and I love the policies and methods of the Finnish police force but I would have no chance of passing the written portion of the test to get into the school because of my poor Finnish. In the mean time I am trapped here because I love my family, don't want to go to jail or live off the Finnish government because of my low education level. By the time I get a green card I will be in my thirties and if I want to be a police officer I have to be a citizen and I wont be there probably until I am 40, that may be way too late to start in my chosen field. I live with a lot of frustration and a lack of accomplishment. I find I cannot self motivate to do much of anything right now. I hope I will feel better soon.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Neighbourhood Snitch

It seems as if I have become the neighborhood snitch. I keep relaying information to the leasing office about things that I feel like are of interest to them and would improve life for us and just feel like it is the right thing to do. Not to even mention the times I have called the police for fear someone might get hurt.

This comes from an innate desire to do the right thing no matter what others think. I never regret doing something just how I did it. This leads me to call the police when a neighbor is having a loud argument I fear might turn physical. I failed to do it on two occasions in the past and regretted it. I pick up worms out of puddles so they don't drown. I report to the leasing office when someone is tossing bottles in to our little forested area, I worry about them breaking and the kids and animals getting hurt. I told them I saw a prostitute being picked up in the complex. I lived next door to a brothel before and will not put up with it.

Sometimes I wonder if I am just being a busy body. I told the office a few weeks ago that a little boy had broken a small window with a rock. His mother did not care so she was not going to tell them. Was that busy bodying? I guess it was. Still, I did nothing I would not do for myself. Had my son broken the window, I would have told them and made arrangements to pay for it. It is only fair. I think I have not crossed the like but I am getting very close to being that little kid who tattles on other kids about stuff they were not even involved in, or perhaps I have crossed the line.

I am thinking more carefully about how I go about doing what I perceive to be the right thing. I have hurt people and caused things to happen that should not have. I have let other people bully me into doing things I should not have.

When I was in college some evil fire and brimstone street preachers came to OU. They called every passing student a whore or a whore monger and said all homosexuals were evil and an abomination in the site of God. I thought they were terribly hateful and offensive. Someone stole a briefcase and a sign just out of spite. Not that they did not deserve it. They were horrible. I still did not think that was right. Vigilante justice and giving other people punishments we think they deserve just is not right. I saw that some of my dorm mates had stolen the sign, not the briefcase but the sign. I went and told the preachers I knew where their sign was and would get it back for them. I was going to go and talk to the boy who had stolen it and ask him to give it to me so I could return it. That was the plan but unfortunately I was still a little girl and much more manipulatable and intimidatable by authority figures. He bullied me into telling him where the sign was. I did not tell him who had it. I sent this horrible mean person to bully and yell at my neighbours. I was filled with guilt and shame. I had allowed him to intimidate me into doing a wrong in my quest to do what I perceived was the right thing. I was too ashamed to look at my dorm mate (he was coincidentally gay) who had taken the poster in the eye again. I avoided him and probably made everything worse. I was just so ashamed of myself.

I am always afraid of doing this but I do not let that stop me. I try to do the right thing no matter what but I am always conscious of how I should do it. What would be the right way. For example, when my neighbours smoke weed in their bathroom it is as if they smoke it in ours, there is an insulation problem between the two bathrooms. If they do it again I will not go to the police or the office or anything that tately, I will tape a sealed envelope on their door respectfully explaining that I really do not care if they smoke weed in their bathroom but I do care when it smells like they are smoking it in our bathroom. I will ask them respectfully to refrain from this and if they can I can refrain from telling anyone about it.

I guess all this ultimately stems from my poor social skills and belief in rules. Sure some rules are wrong and need to be changed but unless a rule is outright immoral, not just flawed, it should be followed until it is changed through the proper channels. Otherwise society would slide into chaos and we would screw each other over so much that we would lose our humanity. I do not believe in anarchy.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday's Coming

On the other end of this link is an enjoyable video about made up words and deep manufactured emotions that will change your life.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Imight sound insensitive, or maybe just clueless.

There are somethings I just do not understand, not that I do not want to I just do not. Many people put a lot of emphasis on their gender. I really do not get it. I personally think my gender is a very small part of who I am. Sure it affects every part of my life and especially how others treat and perceive me. Most of my interests are not "feminine" as perceived by others. I like Martial arts and am working on raising my upper body strength, I want to do a pull up. I wear no make up, I really don't care that much what I wear, sure I want to look a certain way but if it involves any effort I just cannot be bothered. I do not think I act all that feminine, I mean I am not exactly manly, I talk with my hands and giggle (well, my husband giggles too so I am not sure if that counts). I do care for reality shows involving dating more than I would necessarily want to admit but I never understood that fixation with getting a man, but I like watching them. I would rather bee smart than pretty, well that is a difficult decision but I would really rather be smart than beautiful.

The point is I do not understand people with gender identity issues. I do not mean I do not believe their life is hard and that they really feel uncomfortable in their bodies. I just cannot imagine feeling that way. I sometimes like to wear my head shaved and have no problem wearing my husbands clothing. I have been mistaken for a boy before, I say boy because I do not really have the dimensions to make a convincing man. This does not bother me. I get angry when my husband and I get homophobic comments and wish people were nicer. If it is not homophobic I just giggle and think "Teehee, I have boobs." I actually like looking male, reduces the catcalls from both men and women. I have not actually been catcalled by gay men, as far as I know. I never actually try to pass for a man, or a woman for that matter. I enjoy being my slightly androgynous self. I really have no ability to try to be anyone different. I am me no matter how I dress.

If I woke up as a man tomorrow my first reaction would be to be excited, what a strange and new experience. I have always wondered about what it would be like to have a penis. I would be concerned if it was permanent because my husband is straight and that would be a problem. Let's imagine I was not married and would not have to worry about anything like that. I do not think I would feel that terrible about being a guy. I think the biggest issue would be my effeminate mannerisms and speech patterns because girls are raised very different from boys. I would get my ass kicked for being queer the first day, at least around here. I would also have some figuring out when it comes to my sexuality. I do find both men and women attractive to a degree so that might get confusing, would I be more gay or straight with a penis?

I just do not get what the big deal is with gender. I am not a woman, I am me. I mean I have a vagina but I do not try to dress, act or live to reflect that. I feel bewildered when I get smacked in the face by gender stereotypes. I feel angry and confused when my sifu implies that women are not as good at martial arts as men. I think I am good, is he implying that I am not doing well in class? I thought that I was doing really well among students of similar experience level. Why should a guy open a door for me? Am I carrying stuff? What a polite person. Would he do it if I was a man? If yes, why thank you. If he did it just because I am a woman I am bewildered. I see absolutely no reason having a vagina, and possibly a pair of tits, is a reason by itself for this action. I am genuinely confused by this. So in conclusion, I am a human being, not a woman. I am confused by gender, not gender confused.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


I was reading

It reminded me of my teenage years. When we moved to the US we started attending an Assembly of God church. This was the worst thing that happened to me. I am not saying Assemblies of God churches are bad or that any churches we attended were bad either but for me and my development as a Christian and a person it was terrible. As a teenager I was just starting to define the specifics of my faith. I slowly started to realize that what I believed and knew to be true did not match up with what my church believed and this opened me up to some criticism. I did not understand why their opinion could be so different in these matters. That was because my brain was not completely developed yet. There was also something else wrong with my brain; I started to think. I had trouble spending time reading the Bible and concentrating on prayer. I knew that is what I had to do in order to maintain a good relationship with God. This started to worry me to the point that backsliding became a worry to me. What I did not realize is that having trouble remembering to spend time reading the Bible and praying was not the reason for my feeling of disconnect with God. I believe what really caused me to perceive a distance was my dissatisfaction with my self, my disappointment with myself and the stress caused by this. I think some of the reason I had trouble concentrating might have been a manageable form of ADHD combined with unrealistic expectations of what spending time with God meant. This disconnect set me up with increasingly lower self-esteem that spiraled off to depression.

So I started to feel bad about myself right on time to start going to youth services at my very large church. The emphasis on very regimented disciplined time spent with God continued added to it was the pressure to witness. It is not that you had to earn your salvation or anything, it was just that if one was truly saved one would naturally and eagerly do these thing. Having low self-esteem was also a sin but I was not able to love myself or even accept the love of God because I did not think I deserved it because I was not a good Christian. I asked God to help me be better, to change me, make me something else because I was not good. I felt flawed somehow, defective and even that I must have been the only mistake God ever made. God did not answer these prayers because there was nothing wrong with me. I was the way I was supposed to be. No one told me this. They just said I had to give my sins up, to nail them on the cross. I had to relinquish my sins to God, give up my low self-esteem and lustful thoughts. Did I say lustful thoughts? Girls don't have those, right, only boys. Wrong, I did and felt like no other girl did. This made me feel even worse. My pastor told us to take our sinful thoughts and pluck them out of our heads. We were told to imagine that it was a mouse or a rat and pluck it up right by the tail and toss it out of our minds. I tried it (never pluck up a real rodent by the tail) and it did not work. It was useless, stupid and ineffective. Still I kept on doing it because it was the only thing I knew to do.

Soon I began to believe I was constantly backsliding. I would spent countless teary hours crying out to God believing I had lost my salvation and was going to hell. Every worship experience was an agonizing climb up to God, I knew God could never leave me so it had been me who left so I climbed and climbed. I did not know that all this self hatred and stress had build a wall that I could never climb. We were told to seek God and become cleansed like the newly fallen snow but we were never told that we were good enough for Him just as we were. We had to do nothing but accept the love and quit stressing. It was always an effort toward holiness. My Christian walk as a teenager was hell.

It has been a slow progress but now I know that while I am far from perfect God loves and understands me. I am exactly as he intended me to be and I no longer worry about it. That is so strange that something so seemingly good as a Christian community can be something so hurtful.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Pacifism and Concientious Objections

So I started thinking about my stance on war, violence and the like recently. My opinions have not changed but I have defined my position more clearly. My husband lost his job. He worked there for about a year and a half. The pay was better than any other job he has had during our entire marriage. He enjoyed it, gained satisfaction from it, was well liked and good at it, but he lost it. Now we are left in a jam with bleak prospects of finding him a job as good or better. We have been barely getting by and that was good, considering we have been homeless before. I cannot get a job because I do not have a green card and no work permit yet. A remote, yet unexplored possibility occurred to us. Marcus should reenlist in the navy. It is by no means a sure thing because he needs a special waver due to asthma. I am not going to get too into any of this because that is not what this blog entry is about, just giving some background about what led to this.

I have always thought of myself as a pacifist, knowing all along that that is not the term for me. Sometimes your brain gets stuck on a word to describe something with that you know is not accurate. I knew this but did not give it much thought. I was never really able to articulate my thoughts on the matter to many people because my convictions on war and peace are motivated by my faith but so many people around me did not agree and I feared judgment.

I come from a long line (well, two generations) of conscientious objectors. My father and grand father both served in the military, as dictated by Finnish law, my grandfather actually in a time of war. They served faithfully and did their duty, neither killed any one and had it come down to it they would not have. My father was never trained how to shoot a gun, use a grenade or anything of the like during training. My grandfather went through The War (in Finland we did not have WWI and II, just one war that affected us) in the front lines, of nearly the front lines with out carrying a gun and with the explicit knowledge that he would not so much as think about shooting a Russian, or anyone else, if it came down to it.

While I think war is a horrible barbaric thing I am not a pacifist. I would never dream of fighting in a war and killing people just because my government had a problem with their government. At the same time I see no problem with my father following the laws of Finland, putting on a uniform and serving as a mail carrier. The United States military has no such provisions for conscientious objectors as Finland does because it lacks mandatory service. In times of mandatory service the United States has been known to make such accommodations. I am a Quaker and we are traditionally pacifists but the way Quakerism is set up it leaves the specifics of things like this up to the individuals conscience. There are many people in my church who would be horrified with any person of the faith serving in the military and many with service records. The pastor does not comment on this issue much from the pulpit. Many of us attend a peace picnic on Memorial Day.

I am not really going anywhere deep and specific with any of this. I just wanted to share about my thought on this issue. I do not think violence or war is the answer to anything and saying God is on the side of bloodshed seems just wrong. God is on the side of peace but that is no reason to demonize the military. It is a career choice and what an individual makes of it. My husband would never choose a job involving killing, not that the navy has many of those. He will do a job any conscientious objector would be fine with doing, but he will choose to do it because that will be a way to support us. If God does not want my husband to be a part of the military he will prevent it and give us another choice.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Us Poor Down Trodden Pedestrians

I live in Wichita Kansas and people here are hicks and white trash mostly. At least that is what I encounter the most. I am a pedestrian and I am a pedestrian by choice. Well, not just by choice but if I had a choice I would still be a pedestrian. I walk to the store. I walk to my MMA class. I often even walk to church when no one offers me a ride. I walk my son to school and I run. I do not mind. I actually enjoy it. I will walk to places up to 5 miles away, no problem. Any further than that it just takes too long. I do not mind this at all.

People here do not understand. In the summer, when I dress in less, as in a tank top that shows no cleavage and knee length shorts, I get offered rides all the time. This would just be politeness if all the ride offerers weren't men. What do they think I am? A hooker? Well, Wichitan whores don't come looking this healthy or with this many of their own teeth. Even if they do not mistake for a hooker they have to think I am pretty stupid to take a ride with a strange man.

My reaction never reflects these two scenarios. I act as if their motives are pure and say "No thanks, I am fine. I enjoy walking and the exercise." Then they ask, "Are you sure?" I say, "Yes, I'm sure, thank you thou." Then they drive away with a slightly unbelieving shrug. Is it so hard to believe someone might enjoy mild physical exertion and some time to think for themselves? I do. I also enjoy saving the money from not having a car or taking the substandard public transportation system in Wichita.

This is not all I have to put up with as a pedestrian. I am at constant danger of dying. People here are unused to pedestrians and therefore do not see us. I also get honked at all the time. What is that the 21 century wolf whistle? Or are they afraid that I will jump of the side walk and run at them? Or are they implying that I have no right to be in the vicinity of the street with out a motor vehicle. All these possibilities are very offensive.

Then there are the other pedestrians, they are no better. Last night I was jogging and a man reeking of Swisher Sweets said "Hey baby." to me walking by. I ignored it and acted as if I did not hear. In my opinion the best option. I never want to acknowledge that because it would show I respond to "baby". I am not an infant neither am I well enough acquainted with these random strangers for it to be alright for them to call me that. Politeness people, if you do not know a person be polite and treat them with respect. Acceptable alternatives include "Good evening ma'am/miss." Or just plain "Good evening." Or for more casual yet appropriate flare try " Hi, how are you?"

By far the worst comment I have gotten was when walking to the store to buy milk. I was walking wearing loose jeans and a black tank top that was loose as well and showed no cleavage. Some girls drove by me in a white new looking car and yelled out something unintelligible. I did not think much of it. Then they drove past me again and yelled, quite clearly, "You're walking on Broadway, whore." Yes, indeed I was. Whore I am not as I do not charge for my services and neither do I sleep around. I was a little bit upset by the implication.

Why do people in Wichita have no manners? I mean it is just a few people acting this badly but it sheds a bad light on the whole city and makes me not like it here very much.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Well, I am Around but very Unreliable

I know I told my one reader that I would come on here more and even post a blog, something deep and meaningful was my intention, then I did not. I am not a very good blogger as in I can not come up with stuff on a consistent basis. I am also a mediocre blogger in every other way.

I cannot say I have been exceptionally busy or that I have not been online. I just post and use this account on my own computer and I have been on my husbands computer mostly. I have a very nice little Power Mac with a dual G4 processor and a painfully inferior graphics card. If you know anything about Apples you know that my computer is a very nice one but old getting into the antiquated territory. When it first came out it was a powerhouse of computing but now it is getting a bit geriatric. I can post blogs on it just fine but I just do not get on it that much, maybe every other day or so to check my e-mail and to listen to a few podcasts off my iTunes account. I really would like a new graphics card or Linux on my computer but the first costs money and the second requires a lot of expertise to achieve. I do not promise that if I achieve one or the other I will blog more often but it would get me using my own computer a lot more and up on opening Opera I would see Blogger on my dashboard and would click on it to visit and read blogs and maybe even get inspired to post a whole lot more often.

Now I am going to go through my subscriptions open the most interesting ones and ones by bloggers I care for the most, then I will go for a run and when I come back I will read them. Sounds complicated? it is.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Things I Would Like To Do but Know I Never Would

1. Mug a drug dealer. They always have loads of cash on them and what are they going to do call the police? Also I really do not see the moral objection especially if the person is peddling hard addictive drugs.

2. Steal a tank. Enough said.

3. Get in a bar brawl with three to five drunk people that I started. Unfortunately the tenents of wus fu forbid me.

Really, who wouldn't want to do any of these things but most of us have some limits and common sense to stop ourselves and a healthy respect for the law.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


I like to think I know a bit about self-defence. Not only how to do it but also the pros and cons of different strategies. I have taken a little over three years of martial arts as well as several self-defence classes and read much about the subject. Am I an expert? No, not at all, there are many people who know much more about the subject than I do. I merely know enough to discuss the issue, not pretending to be an authority.

One thing one can never go wrong on in regards to self-defence is preparation. Preventing the occurrence of an attack and not putting one self in danger. Not going down dark alleys and the like. Going places in pairs. If you walk or run a lot after dark like me take well lit routes with sidewalks and some traffic. Also being aware of your surroundings and not letting your guard down just because you are somewhere familiar like your drive way.

Then after that comes choices that are less clear. If all you do to prevent fails how will you defend yourself. If you are an American, you may say carrying a gun is a good choice and it can be but there are some risks and short comings to consider. Guns are not fool proof and can be taken away and used against you. I could do it, but that may not be a good decision. Unless you are really willing to shoot when you pull it out and have practiced it can be dangerous to you and innocent by standers. If your attacker is really close to you you could actually shoot yourself, trust me it can happen that is why you should always practice. If you shoot and fail to hit you can shoot someone else. If you are not well practiced and perfectly willing to pull the trigger it may not work either in case someone decides to call your bluff. Guns can be just as dangerous to you as to someone else if they are off your person. If you are the type of person to keep one in your house an attacker can find it and use it on you. I just heard a story of a woman who kept a gun under her pillow. She got up in the morning and got in the shower. She thought she heard a noise outside and looked out the window, saw nothing and thought nothing of it. When she got out she was greeted by a man holding her gun who then raped her.

So, the next most common choice is pepper spray which can also be a good choice, provided you know how to use it. The main draw back with pepper spray, other than that it can be taken away from you like a gun except you may have much less moral qualms about using, it is that it is impossible to use with out it contaminating the sprayer. If your attacker fights it and continues the attack are you going to be in good enough shape to fight back and maybe run? I know how it feels, I have sprayed pepper spray before under very controlled circumstances and it felt pretty lousy and I had to run out of the room. Let's not discuss why I did it, it was just curiosity.

Now, tazers are all the rage. They are used by law enforcement and are very effective at temporarily immobilizing and bringing a person down. A tazer over loads the nervous system and prevents your brain from telling your muscles what to do. It is hard to fight but a determined person can pull the hooks out and after the hooks are out you can not refire. Then you have to have a plan b. Let us not forget that a tazer just like the first two choices can be taken away and used against you.

Then there is a myriad of other weapon options which you need to practice with if you choose to use. Weather or no you choose to use a weapon you should still learn to defend yourself physicall. Your skill at weaponless self-defence cannot be taken away or used against you. I can not recommend enough going to a self-defence class. Everyone has the right to fight to defend themselves when attacked. Self-defence skills are not for beating someone in a bar brawl over a guy insulting your significant other or mother or your man/womanhood. Which is one of the reasons I will not discuss the specific techniques here because the most effective moves can kill and mame a person even when done by a child on an adult. The other reason is that they are completely useless if they are not practiced and in muscle memory. Just knowing a technique you have never practiced is no good. Go to a self defence class. Don't be scared of looking stupid. I used to but that did not stop me. I still look stupid in class most of the time but I am okay with it. If you don't know where and when and how much contact your local police through their information number, not 911. Or a martial arts school. Don't be afraid to be safe.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Something Unsettling is Happening to Me...

I may be losing my ability to read. I don't mean that I can't read any sentence placed in front of me, I can, very quickly and read it out too. I am very literate still. My problem is in passages exceeding a paragraph lenght, if we define a paragraph as a passage of three or more sentences that go together. It starts feeling like the information travels through a fog to reach the relevant part of my brain for interpretation and absorption.

This has been going on for about a week now. At first I thought it was just the book I was reading, A Sudden Wild Magic, by Diana Wynne Jones. She is one of my favourite authors and writes young adult fiction so it should be an easy read but wrong. I have a lot of trouble keeping it straight in my head. I have trouble separating the characters and remembering where I am in the plot. Sometimes she is rather hard to follow because of her tendency to jump from one location to another, but not with out warning, so I figured that it was just the book. It was not. Last night I was reading my father's blog. Yes my about 65 year old father not only knows what a blog is but writes one. It is in Finnish and about personal theology (vs serious academic theology) and faith. I struggled to read it and the comments tacked to the end by readers, many very long. This morning I tried to read some friends personal blogs in English and ran into the same problem.

I hope this is only temporary. I really enjoy the printed word. I do not read as much as I did when I was a teenager due to some heavy debts to the local library along with an unfair charge of ruining a book that was already water damaged when I checked it out. I want to read more. I think the last books I actually finished was The Silent Planet and Till We have Faces, A Myth Retold both by C.S. Lewis along with The Gospel According to Larry by Janet Tashian. That was almost a year ago and then about a half year before that I read a book about the history of the evolution creation struggle written by some philosopher, it was very interesting and I learned a lot and right before that, actually a matter of hours, I finished a mystery novel called Raven Mocker. That is definitely not counting all the books I started and never finished. I may lack resolve and I am definitely that girl who in high school would read all night because she lived in the book she was reading and regardless of her slowness in reading would happily read Les Miserables (is that what it is called, I read it in Finnish and it is called Kurjat) by Victor Hugo for light summer reading.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Good Old Days, a repost from my MySpace blog

A very short time ago I wrote a blog on my MySpace blog. I don't really use it anymore because my computer is too old to handle MySpace anymore since it forced the new format of "home" on me. I still log in sometimes but the lack of spell check and ability to inform my 5 subscribers of my posts really makes it undesireable. Also two out of those five have left anyway. I am aware that coming here I kind of lost those subscribes, none followed exccept my husband but I am used to talking to myself, I do it all the time.

I like the job I did on this post. I know it has no evidence or anything, just expressing my opinion to contrast with other people's opinion and all that. I am too lazy to write researched blogs. I still put a lot of work into writing a good blog. Here it is in it's entirety, hope someone someday reads it.

The Good Old Days

One of my most hated phrases is "These days..." or a variation of when used to state that people were somehow different in the past morally or intellectually. I really think that no one really thinks about it critically when they make statements like these. So let us assume that people used to be fundamentally different and according to these statements people used to be more moral and intelligent, at least the ones I have read. It seems easy think that people were more moral than today but we need to think are we hearing about a mythical past that is the way we want it to be or perhaps people were just as immoral but doing different immoralities.

So, about sex it seems to be the elephant in the room. Were people better able to keep it in their pants until marriage? Did they stay more faithful to their partners? Did they not get divorces? Well, the short answer is: sort of, definitely not and, yes they did not get nearly as many divorces as we do today. I am sure many people out there know all about this and I am regurgitating well known facts but just play along, it will make me feel smarter.

Premarital sex. I am unsure as to how much the numbers of premarital sex today compare to those of say, 1950 or 1900 or so on. If you have any numbers share them but I would think them to be highly inaccurate because people lie. Today people do not lie as much because everyone accepts premarital sex as the status quo. Let's not be unclear about one fact, it has always been okay for men to have premarital sex, even in puritanical America. I bet a Puritan boy of the colonial era could still have easily married regardless of rumors of premarital indiscretions. We all know why that is, girls get pregnant, boys don't. A girl might have to visibly carry the proof of this on her body and later in her arms. Back then a woman would have been ostracized and later in the good old 1950's and there about would promptly have to be married to "make an honest woman out of her" or be sent away on a vacation from which she would return alone. As long as there has been marriage and prohibitions of sex outside it has been happening. The good old holy Middle Ages were filled with it and the premarital pregnancies to prove it. This has always been going on. I am making no judgments on premarital sex, one way or the other, just on the hypocrisy surrounding it. Besides, during WWI most of America had STDs when mass physicals were done in the military for all the men revealed that 20% to 30% of them had late stage gonorrhea or syphilis. Men would sleep around prior to marriage and then gave it to their wives and their children were born with it.

Did people stay more faithful to their partners in the good old past, definitely not. The only difference was that it was okay for men to have mistresses. Women, not so much. I guess they could have had affairs secretly but if they feared judgement and discovery, which could have been harsh, they would have given their husbands space and drowned themselves in social distractions and hobbies.

What about divorces? No, not really. They did not divorce as much and it was not because of their shorter life spans as some people claim because they married about ten or twenty years earlier, like as young as thirteen for girls and as quality life rose with its extended life spans so did age up on first marriage. The real reason there were no divorces to speak of was because it just was not done. People just stayed in miserable marriages and hated each other drifting apart or fighting like rabid dogs.

Then there are all important family values like mothers caring for kids and fathers working hard to provide. Well, if that is all you know you do it and some people were terrible at this and beat their children neglected them, gave them opium hired nannies to do the childcare for them. You know the iconic image of the child left on a door step? That came from our much cherished past. Mothers giving children up for adoption or just dumping them off at a relatives is nothing new or selfishly toughing it out until the child protection services comes. That is life and people are just as judgmental of it now as they were then. Sucks for the kids to know that they were not wanted by their parents but maybe it could have been worse the other way around. Personally I think it is great if a parent has the maturity to say that they can't do it if they can't having a child is hard and draining and not as much fun as commercials would have you think, but I am off topic here.

As for intelligence, we are not dumber. 100 or 200 years ago most people were illiterate, certainly a lot more than today. Also I read somewhere that people's IQ has been steadily rising. I do not trust IQ that much, to me it is nothing more than an approximate measure. So much more goes into intelligence than can be measured on a test.

I guess what I am trying to say is that we are no better or worse than our predecessors. We should always strive for better and we have in some ways like abolishing slavery, women's rights, children's rights etc. but we have not fundamentally changed on the inside and we still do the same things, society still gives it's harsh judgement just on different things. Maybe a sociologist could shed some more light on this.

If you finished this, thank you. Tell me one of your least favourite phrases, maybe we can loathe together.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

What We Do When Bored, When the Oportunity Presents Itself

Warning, this post is silly and possibly offensive and lacking in substance and writing talent.

You know what is fun, other than pledging your undying love to someone trolling your stuff on the internet, messing with wrong number texters. Well, tonight, it was not the funniest ever, but a guy named Gaston wrong number texted me. I asked him if he used antlers in all of his decorating and if every last inch of him was covered in hair. I must tell you, it really brightened up my day especially since he thought it was coming from someone else, that he knew.

Now Marcus is the best wrongnumber-tester-messer-with, I have to find a better name for that. Right after he got his current phone he received a text from some girl and let's just say it ended up with him impersonating the number's previous owner and asking the girl over for a night of carnal fun and it turned out he was talking to the phone ex-owners sister (he did not know it was a sister or even a girl). That was fun. I mean the reaction, not that she came over, no addresses were given or anything, of course.

Then there was the time some guy texted the same chick and after messing with him a while he revealed it was not her and let him guess about his real identity. He confirmed nor denied none of it so since it was a guy he started to assume he was texing to a busty, blond woman. He asked for a pic and Marcus said that he should send one first. It went back and forth for a bit and finally Marcus cave in, we never got another text from him.

Fun times, now to get a call from a telemarketer and sexually harass them on the phone. I have been waiting to do that for years now, they just won't call.

Monday, January 4, 2010


A facebook friend of mine posted this as a status message a while ago:
"Life should not be a journey to the grave w/ the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, latte in the other, body thoroughly worn out screaming, WOHOO what a ride!!"

Honestly it made me vaguely uncomfortable. I am glad that she can post such a happy status message, I am always glad when my friends and acquaintances feel happy about their lives, bodies and can live with things that aren't as perfect because everybody has imperfect parts about them and their bodies. The reason this made me uncomfortable is because I am a human, as is everyone else capable of reading this, I assume. Humans have a tendency to make everything about themselves. I made it about myself. I know she means no judgement, how could she. I still felt a bit vain.

I work out about four to five nights a week and have a physique that majority of people would consider attractive, except for those who prefer chubbier women. I am very thin and would venture to guess that if I were to stop working out I would probably gain only 5 pounds and get severe back problems. I have plenty of lattes and chocolate bars but youth, genetics and exercises keep me from gaining weight.

Would I honestly be able to scream "WOOHOO what a ride!!" if my knees were worn out and broken, my body half paralyzed from a stroke and other health problems associated from wearing out my body, would the ride be any fun in a thoroughly worn out body? I would rather die with full mobility and independence like my grand mothers. One went swimming twice a week until she died and the other was just fine other than the use of a cane and walked a lot.

Still I would be lying if I said that health and mobility were my only reasons for working out. In my opinion lying and self deception is a far more insidious of a sin than vanity. Still I can safely say that on most days looks do not enter in my top five reasons for working out. I think that the top five reasons I have right now for working out, in no particular order would be: (1) health in general but more particularly, my lower back (if I skip the core exercises for more than a week I get constant back pain), my heart (if I do not do cardio on a regular basis my resting heart rate in usually in the 90), (2) I wish to be a police officer in my native country of Finland and top physical condition is essential for that, (3) I enjoy working out, sure lately I have been doing less enjoyable work outs because my future goals include different physical prowess than my natural talents push me toward, (4) I like the sense of achievement, weather I complete a work out or move up a dumbbell size at the end of a work out I feel I accomplished something and everyone wants that in their lives, (5) like any parent I like to show a good example to my son and want him to grow up healthy and active.

True, I am vain, I like to be attractive and on some days I work out because my butt is not quite in the same place as it was when I was younger. Those work outs are never any fun and feel like a chore. I just can't manage it for the reason of vanity, I guess looks are a boring goal for working out. Keeping ones body well preserved for the grave is not anyone's goal, especially mine. We all want to live well, live fully and live healthy and have a few lattes and chocolate bars along the way.