I’m about to hit the road, going on a quick trip to the old country. I thought I’d update this blog as I go, so .. stay tuned.
12.25: “No, I don’t live in Sweden,” I said to her. Not that there’s anything wrong with it – naturally. I just didn’t want to hear her pitch about the benefits of having an American Express card.
I had one, a long time ago. I think I used it once.
15.15 (3.15 pm): People who laugh out loud even though they’re alone amuse me, and make me laugh, too.
I amused myself on the plane while reading Conan O’Brien’s commencement speech to the graduating class at the Stuyvesant High (The Best American Nonrequired… see “Risto reads”, left). He writes about how experimenting and doing what you love has opened some interesting doors for him.
“I never would have swum naked in the Arctic waters with the Finnish Ministry of Defense.”
Wait! That was true!
16.50 (4.50 pm): My wife is ashamed of me every time I yell “MOOOOO!” in a big crowd. I know that she knows that I know, and yet, I keep doing it. No, I don’t have a mad cow disease, or Tourette’s. My “MOOOOO!” is simply a statement. Two-fold. One, it’s a statement to the rest of the world (in my vicinity) that I think people in crowds are just like cattle, and two, it’s me telling my wife that I’m sick and tired, and frustrated, and stuck.
These days she laughs at me, but I know she’s ashamed. She agrees with me, but not my preferred way of showing my frustration.
Airports are the worst. I once saw a big Russian tourist group go through the passport control at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. That’s my definition of chaos these days.
But I made it. Let’s see how I do at the hockey game, and the line to get a cup of coffee. Who am I kidding? The line to get a hotdog.
19.15 (7.15 pm): I love trams, or streetcars. Love the sound of them, the look of them, the smell, even. Not so much the sound, look or the smell of the bums riding in every single one of them in Helsinki. That’s why I always try to get a single seat.
No such luck today. This gentleman was talking to himself, sneezing (not once, not twice, but seven times in a row), yelling, coughing, (oh, make that eight sneezes, no, nine), and drinking. Vodka, it looked like. Could have been mouthwash.
A couple of years ago, I was on the same tram line (7A), when a group of homeless people hopped on. Two men, two women, maybe two couples, that is.
A few stops after they had got on, one of them started to yell to somebody standing in the back (I was sitting in a single seat): “Hey you! Got change?”
The person said, “no.”
“Ya sure?” said the homeless person. That’s when the other man told him to cut it out, and stop bothering people.
“Oh, come on, man! You gotta work. All the time.”
So true. Here I am, at work.
20.25 (8.25 pm): People can really be talked into anything, the whole history of the world tells us that, but let me add another piece of evidence to the case.
Why would anyone, anywhere, agree to wear a shirt that has advertising on the collar? Seriously. These are well-paid professionals, hockey coaches. Some of them are known to be really tough, hard as stone. And they go to the game, wear a suit and tie — and a shirt with advertising for ketchup?
21.30 (9.30 pm): Spoke with the man with the shirt but didn’t get a chance to ask about it. He got a little upset when I suggested that his players had been shaky nervous when the other team pulled their goalie, one minute remaining. “You’re looking for something that isn’t there,” he said. “No, I’m not looking, I just thought I saw something,” I replied. Then we agreed that one of the players just made a soft play.
Like me, not asking about the advertising.
Anyway. Good day, and it just got better.