End of Days

Is it end of day yet?
I see it’s dark, the sun has set
It’s time for dinner (soup with baguette)
But is it end of day yet?

What about now? Another hour’s gone by
when I fell asleep watching Cobra Kai
Pressed my nose against the window with a sigh
The end of day was not nigh

But the story ends, and it ends well
With a ring of a bell
And a message from a uniformed man named Marcel:
It’s not end of day until you see the man from DHL

Observer’s Report From Planet Earth

Traveller’s log, 76.542.110 Original time (December 31, 2022 Earth time)

Dear Orson,

Apologies, apologies, apologies, O Great One! I hope this report finds you well (fed) even though it may be slightly overdue. The conversion between Original time and Earth time sometimes throws me off. I hope the contents of my report make it worth the wait. 

It’s only been .104 shuzhas since my previous report, but over here it’s been a full one of their units, called “Year”. These “years” seem to go faster and faster, O Big One. Has there been a change in the Sun’s gravitational pull? (I sometimes feel lighter). 

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Santa Claus Doesn’t Feel Like It

“Mr. Claus. Santa Claus, Santa. Nick?” the receptionist whispered into the man’s ear, gently waking him up. “You’re next,” she added. 

“Did I fall asleep?” the large man said with a grunt. It wasn’t a question. 

He got up from the armchair with considerable difficulty. He straightened his beard with his hand, got a good grip on his large belt and pulled up his pants. Then he opened the door to the office.

“Welcome, and … merry Christmas!” said the man sitting in a large leather armchair. He had a salt-and-pepper hair, and he was wearing dark glasses, a moss green sweater, and cappuccino coloured corduroy pants. 

“Please, Doc, don’t even mention that word. You know that’s why I’m here,” said Santa, and lay on the couch without saying another word.

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James Bond Comes to the Supermarket

Bond opened the fridge door and let out a sigh. No champagne. 

Nor were there any other basic things you might expect to find in a fridge, such as eggs, bacon, chives, or milk. Well, there was never any milk in Bond’s fridge due to his lactose intolerance, but Bond’s conclusion was as expected. 

In other words, no breakfast nor Ms Holly Moley – or anyone else – asleep in his bedroom. 

Bond had only one option. He had to go grocery shopping. 

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A doggy-dog world

“My sister Carey had trouble with her husband, who, after a few years, refused to talk directly to her and instead would talk through his Labrador, saying things like ‘Tell her to bring the bloody paper over here.’”
Lady in Waiting by Anne Glenconner

As soon as I woke up, I knew it was going to be one of those days. It was best to put off, whatever it I was putting off, to as late in the day as possible. So I went back to sleep. I hid my head behind the curtain and dozed off.

Master Oliver woke up about fifteen minutes later even though, it may as well have been two hours, I don’t know. I’m not great with times. Let’s just say it was a short enough time for me to feel like I had just fallen asleep but also long enough for me to have dreamt a juicy dream.

You know the ones in which you chase a squirrel through a maze and just when you’re about to catch it, you wake up? I suppose we all have those.

I shook myself awake, from head to tail, and walked around the bed to Master Oliver’s side.

I made my eyes as big as possible. Those puppy eyes always made his heart melt.

Call it a preemptive strike.

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It was twenty years ago today

I don’t remember my twentieth birthday, and that’s not me trying to be funny and imply I had a wild birthday party. I most probably didn’t have a party at all. 

It was a Tuesday, so I probably took the subway to the university, had a few classes before taking the subway back to my tiny apartment. In the afternoon, I’d guess I drove my Nissan Sunny to hockey practice and home, and then watched the Invisible Man on Sky Channel – and waited for Monsters of Rock to begin at 1am. 

A good day, in other words. 

Risto at 20.

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The blog’s alive

Hello, 

Welcome back. And welcome back to me, too. Here I am again, the keyboard warrior, the kitchen table columnist, the – dare I say it? – blogger. 

It’s not my first rodeo, and it’s not my first blog, either. In fact, this year marks the 20th anniversary of my blogging, which also coincides with Son’s 20th birthday. My first blog was called “Name That Baby” and it chronicled our expecting life, and the life of Wife and me as new parents. 

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You can take the boy out of Finland

“Are you Finnish?” the man asked me, wasting no time with niceties.

Now, he asked the question with a smile on his face, but his tattooed knuckles told me I’d better answer him, and answer him truthfully.

“Yes, I am,” I said.

“I could tell. Finnish genes are strong,” he said and raised his finger to indicate he was about to take a pause in the conversation.

We both did a set of bicep curls.

“I don’t know what it is, but there’s something very Finnish about you. My ex-wife was Finnish so I can tell,” he went on and wiped some sweat off his brow.

I did, too.

“Yeah, well, I don’t really know what it is, but sure, I’ve seen an image of the genetic map of Europe and we’re way out here when the rest of Europe is here,” I said, pointing holes in the air.

“Where in Finland are you from?” he asked me then.

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A polyglot on languages

Luis Miguel Rojas Berscia is someone who’s rarely lost for words, for the simple reason that he is a polyglot, someone who speaks a great number of languages.

Born in Lima, Peru, Rojas Berscia has traveled the world and has made languages his profession and his life. He’s studied linguistics and literature in Peru, Germany and the Netherlands. He’s taught Chinese in Peru and he completed his doctorate in the Netherlands before leaving Europe to study indigenous languages – Kukatja and Yidiny – in the Western Australia outback.

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Superfans

Last weekend, one of Daughter’s hockey teams played their last game of the season at our local rink. We played twice against the same team – and when I say “we” I’m trying to draw your attention to the fact that I’m the assistant coach – and since it was the season finale, we had even got a little news item on the club’s website. 

You get it. It was a special event. 

In fact, it was so special that even the man I had earlier only seen at local soccer games and the men’s hockey team’s games – working the door, hanging out with the officials, cheering on the boys – was there on both days. He hung out in the locker room corridor, fist-bumped the head coach, and took in the action.

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