Tuesday, 27 December 2011

When will you just learn


Christmas time will probably never stop being busier than all hell, regardles of if you actually celebrate it or any other end-of-the-year holidays. Even if you might have nothing more strenuous than ordering pizza planned, rest assured if you have even one living relative or a friend that's not imaginery, the holidays will cause extra work. Relatives calling, baking like the world was running out of flour, the cat disapporving if there's no turkey. If your holidays are actually peaceful, then you're doing something wrong.

Now that mum's cookie factory (it's a long story but bascially she cooks traaditional holiday foods for a WHOLE bunch of people. We're talking about several kilos of any given food item and this year, 3 legs of a pig.. which sort of makes me wonder what they did with the fourth one or if they found a three-legged one especially for her. How would one go about locating a three-legged pig to eat it's legs?) has mostly closed for this year, the current projects are in no particular order: learn spanish (it's shamefull, really, my spanish), create portfolio (to sell myself), get a job (so I wont end up selling myself), read more because my brain is starting to get lazy and figure out what exactly do I need to do and to have in 2 months when I'm applying for schools in Finland.
Yeah.. I'm going back to Finland in 2 months.


Just to point it out, I don't actually wanna but I gotta. Laws and all that. Oh and free school. I would hurrah, but I don't really want to go back. But good on Finland for having free education. It's a great thing to have.
Now just to do something about that cold and that spiritual void and that drinking and what else... I'm sure there was something else that'll come screaming back to me as soon as I start understanding what people around me are saying again.

BUT, it ain't all gloom and doom. There is a plan being hatched. The plan would involve a lot of work on something or the other and still applying and studying in Finland for some time, but it would also include moving back to Mexico much much sooner than only after I've graduated. I like this plan. This plan makes me happy and gives me something to look forward to. That and the idea of at some point owning an apartment in Mexico City. I got goals. These goals also include learning a musical instrument, books, school, a work I enjoy, traveling and kissing people.
I think those are good goals.
Oh and possibly treating friends to holiday meals. And if I should ever make them cold fruit soup, then I would call it cold fruit soup and not a fruit salad with lettuce and beetroot. True story, bro. Maybe the beetroot just suffered in translation. Yeah, that's what it was. That's what I'm going to tell everyone if they question my cooking skills: "it's not the same in Finnish and in Spanish".

Monday, 5 December 2011

On post offices and ailing

This is a post office.
This is also a post office:

The difference between these two is that the former is an administrative building and currently serving as a museum in the historical centre of Mexico D.F. and the latter is a very actual post office, where people deliver mail and buy stamps and whatnots that go on mail. The latter is located across the street from the former. Never let it be said that Mexico wouldn't know how to appreciate what it's got.
Should you ever happen to saunter anywhere near the historical centre or one of it's museums, be prepared to get completely lost for several hours because nothing here is small or half-hearted. One could very easily, for example, visit a holocaust museum and end up spending 5 hours there.
Yes, there's a holocaust museum in Mexico City.
Yes, it is very large and thorough.
And yes, having excellent company is a must. Someone you can trust in case you get attacked by wilderbeast or need to be dragged out by your hair.

It's finals week in Mexico. Possibly this is a universal thing with all universities everywhere, but since I'm just learning this university language and life-style (apart from the sexual experimentation which I already did) (and the drugs, since I'm still trying to overcome the nausea caused by too much arnica tea.. it's for my foot... this isn't a tangent, I swear) I'm not going to swear on anything. So let's just say it's finals week in Mexico. Oh and next week also. What I've learned so far about our teacher and the few others I've run into is that they're generally very awesome and tend to pay more attention to your willingness and ability to learn than filling out papers to measure progress in terms of percentages and pie charts.
Mmm .. pie....
Er.. they might even give you a tip of two that are not entirely by the book should you exhibit enthusiams for more than sleeping in class. They also show patience beyond any normal human capacity. Personally, I would've whipped out The Ruler Of Doom a long time ago....
I've also learned that japanese guys are a tiny bit on the uptight/reserves side and it pays to have korean friends who know just how to make them feel uncomfortable. This is when things get funny. And that if you hang out with said korean friends, you get to say things like "You don't know 32. This is 32." and wave your finger in a very assertive way. And physically pester japanese guys into giving out their email addresses while saying "What's wrong with you?".
Good times.

It wasn't until Friday when the good times came to an abrupt halt when I accidently on purpose cracked my foot while trying frantically to out-manouver a stationary vacuum cleaner. And then I blacked out making arnica tea in the kitchen. And some people might have gotten a little worried. So they laid me on the livingroom table and taped magnets on me. Then I got cold, because christ it's bloody cold indoors in this country, and had to get off the livingroom table. Which is ok, because the lady who laid on the table after me, fell asleep on it. If there had been two of us asleep on the livingroom table with magnets taped on us, that would've just been weird.

All in all though, I just feel slightly nauseous from drinking too much arnica (apparently it's a poison and no one told me this before they told me to drink the tea) and the foot doensn't really hurt, it just looks like a purple waterballoon. Or a muskrat. Either one of those. So nothing is broken and I got an "oral" exam on Monday which my therapist found hilarious. And if I hang out with the korean friend some more, we might be able to force the japanese guy into giving out his home address for shenanigans.
Not that I'd really TP his house much....

Monday, 21 November 2011

The story of the roots

Once upon a time, there was a girl with a multitude of different hairstyles. Her hair was long and then short and then curly and then long again. It was blonde and red and purple and brown and chocolate. She liked almost all of her hairstyles except for the pudding bowl one she got when she asked the hairdresser to cut her hair like Red Sonja's. She also didn't like it when the same hairdresser cut her left eyebrow off.
The brown one she liked most of all, but because of her pale nordic roots, it was a pain in the buttocks to maintain. But maintain it she did, for nearly 10 years and all the while she felt very intellectual and noticed she could easily fool people into smart(ish) conversations when pretending to be a brunette. At least she didn't have to flash them quite as much boob.
But the day came when she noted that she wasn't quite happy working a shitty job and paying 120 euros every 3-4 weeks to fool people into not treating her like a sack of weeners. So she asked her fairy godparents (who also happened to be her real parents) to get her the fuck out of the situation. With a wave of a credit card, they did and she was magically transported to Mexico.

In Mexico her fairy godfather told her: "You are pigheaded and plagued by bad spirits and you has Teh Dumb." And to prove his point, he rolled an egg on her head and neck and the egg broke and she was covered in goop and everyone went "eeeeeewwwww".
"See? Bad juju." said the fairy godfather.
"To fix your Dumb, you need to visit one museum in Mexico City per day" he started. "And you have to work hard on something you really enjoy. To fix your bad spirits, you need to wear lots of perfume and ditch the crap (people) you've associated with in the past. Why do you want to hang on to people who have even more Dumb than you do and who have no desire to fix their situation? Your soul is so burdened by sad history and filthy people that your neck is cracking. And since you feel so badly about your body that you feel like hiding it way constantly, we're going to give you these pills that will make you kind of hyper and bleach that hair of yours to get you back to yourself."

So she took the pills that made her only a little bit hyper but otherwise more like she used to feel when she was just a wee little ankle biter and they bleacher her hair though the hairdresser recommended they cut it all off because of colour-damage (but her fairy godfather insisted that rubbing eggs on it would do just as well just as long as she didn't take a sauna with the egg on her head) and she took a good hard look at who the hell she was keeping company with and noticed that her fairy godparents were pretty damn right about how infectious teh Dumb was and so she clicked "unfriend" a bunch cuz thankfully, a lot of the people on her FB account were never really friends of hers. Not when she stopped to think about it. And when she thought about it a little more, she also discovered that the answer to "if we sleep together, will you like me better?" is always "no".

And then she went to a museum with her fairy godparents and altough she felt a little bit lonely (she hadn't had sex in a really REALLY long time), she noticed that her posture was better and she was understanding the art and what she drew better and she kind of liked her damaged hair because the colour was almost her natural one. And her boobs looked pretty good too.

And she felt really really confident that she would enjoy it if nice people would ask her out on dates and that she'd be totally cool even if  they didn't turn out to be the Man Of Her Dreams, cuz let's be honest, she didn't have a type per se and she was pretty darn content to be working on things she liked.

She also felt that it was necessary to mention that she deleted her personal MySpace account (so this is the only place this blog can be found anymore) given that MySpace is a broken pile of ick. Sorry, Justin. I'm not keeping that thing even for you.

IF - "Vanity"

IF - "Vanity"

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

And then there was a goat on the dance floor

Nature conservation area

True story bro.
We went to Tehuacan for Day of The Dead celebrations. And by celebrations I mean doing-some-definitely-non-touristy-things-besides-that-cactus-reservation-bit and by "we" I mean my family and my friend Rachael who is in fact a real person and not a figment of my imagination or a piece of fruit. The sheer shock of going outside at all kept me quite busy for a while but the best bit was actually doing things outside. Like normal people things. Yes, things like walking and looking at stuff and talking to others. And that got me thinking: this is really nice, this talking to people bit. And being outside. Oh and this walking thing is simply brilliant! I must do this more often. Am I doing a Carrie Bradshaw monologue in my head? God I hated that character. There was so much "me" in her monologues it sounded like Beaker talking. Oo, shoes! No wait, a butterfly! Weee! YES I WILL HAVE SOME OF YOUR DELICIOUS CHOCOLATE! OMG WHY IS THIS TOILET NOT FLUSHING, FLUSH, FLUSH DAMN YOU!!
And then I calmed down and we took a look around Tehuacan.

The short version of how and why is that Tehuacan is little city about 4 hour bus ride from Mexico City with a population of about 500,000 people. It's tiny and quiet compared to Mexico DF. It also has a town hall with a mural that has dinosaurs in it. And the last time I was there I could've sworn I saw a hummingbird. Though with my eyesight, it might as well have been a giant mosquito...
But the real reason we went there is because my family's family is from the area and we wanted to show my friend a more traditional Day of the Dead.
Surprisingly the celebration doesn't include zombies. Not really anyway.

We started off with a toilet that didn't flush, just slowly filled with water and floated pieces of whatever you left in it on the surface. Then there was no shower. Hey, no problem as long as everyone in the company is equally stinky. By noon we had hiked up a hill at a nature conservation area, gotten bitten by mosquitoes and learned that one area of Mexico likes calling a plant Bad Woman while the same plant in another part of Mexico is called Bad Man. There might be a seed of an interesting socio-historical debate there. Or it could just be a case of "oh yeah, well we'll see how you like it!". The conservation area is gorgeous, btw. It's well worth the trip just to hug the Elephant's Foot Tree. Which we did.
There were also snakes in jars and some sort of a coyote-squirrel hybrid, that could very well be just a coyote with a fancy tail. What do I know. I can't even operate a toilet.
After the hike we spotted a school throwing some sort of a traditional fest for the holidays and sauntered in to secretly photograph the whole thing. Should've guessed there's no such thing as "secretly" in Mexico, not sure if there's even a word for it. What happened was that as Rachael and I were taking pics of the kids dancing, we got tapped on the shoulder and asked to move to the front. And by front, I mean we were asked to go sit on the front stage. And then our little troupe got introduced to the whole dang school by the two young ladies operating as MCs. AND and, then we were given tamales and told to dance. Yup, that happened. And there was a guy carrying a goat around on the dance floor.
It's tradition.
(sidenote: all of this was really quite lovely. The dances we saw were traditional to the area, depicting war and how important the goats are to the people there, mainly because they can thrive easily and  pretty much all of the goat is used, except for the balls. Thought I've heard that balls are usually the best, most meaty part in an animal, so I don't know if someone was just messing with me because they like saying "balls". Anyhow, the dances were wonderful, and us perfect strangers were treated with nothing but kindness. This is something a jaded westerner like me has sometimes trouble adjusting to: being treated like a welcome guest when you don't know the people from Adam. After getting danced around, we were offered traditional local treats. How mindblowingly hospitable are these people? Mind. Blown.)

There was initially talk of going to see some goats getting sacrificed.. I mean slaughtered.. wait, somehow that doesn't make it sound better. Um..  killed? Stewed? Ehm.. anyway, they have this thing where they "eliminate" goats once a year to cook their heads and use the ears and hooves for mole and that once a year happens around the time of the Day of The Dead. I swear it's a lot less macarbe than it sounds. The goats are delicious.
Eh, yes, well after carefull consideration, it was decided to nix the killing part and just go straight to the "eating goats" part. Which we did. There was also tequila. And then we got lost at a cemetary. Which is a lot nicer than it sounds (was actually really nice. Definitely the place to get lost in a cemetary at). And has a lot less to do with the tequila than it might appear. And since our little altar for the deceased was left in Mexico DF, we asked around and were invited to go in people's homes to take pictures of their altars. Yes, people were totally ok with us bumbling camera geeks coming into their homes and taking pictures of the altars they set up for their dead loved ones.
Us westernes, we know nothing about how to be open to one another.
After a day of hijinks, we got back to the hotel to find a working toilet. It's true when they say you don't know what you got 'till it's gone.

What it actually made me consider is that I really love this place. Even with the giant bugs and tree coyotes and the polution that makes your eyes sting. That's nothing compared to all the things Mexico has to offer. You want spiritual growth? Goa is for tourists looking for new alternatives to pot. Mexico is where you want to go if you really, truly, want to know how to open your heart right to the bone.

That's not to say the traffic still isn't completely deranged and that all this "emotional and spiritual growth" business means I have done sweet bugger all as far as drawing goes. Curses.
Eh, mañana mañana... Thems the seeds of wisdom. :D

Thursday, 27 October 2011

New things and my future home

My future home

This is my future home. Apparently locals kind of shun the gigantic, floor to cieling windows (that don't have bars on them) and the building has been pretty much empty since it was built a year or so ago. I think's magnificient. Roomy, white and has WAY too much exposure to ever allow for running around without pants and it's just perfect.
Lord knows I need some discipline with the pants issue....

Anyhow, before buying this entire building/just getting a single apartment to have orgies/torillas in, I should probably get good at spanish. And pass my therapy with a clean bill of health. And possibly learn salsa. Or not. I know the White Girl Shuffle, so I can be exotic and attract Le Suitors with my complete inability to connect with my hips. Falling on my face on the dancefloor is always funny. Gives potential mates the opportunity to show off their strenght. Getting carried to the ambulance = marriage potential. Getting dragged out by the hair = well... if they're cute...
Oh yeah, I started school last week. And went to my first ever therapy session. And burned my right eye and scalp by being a pasty european and standing outside. It happens. Good thing I only burned the skin around my right eye, otherwise I might look silly. Now it just looks like someone beat me up in school. But the best part is what I was told to do to treat it: dab milk on it before adding moisturiser. Done. That's not so bad. Only then I might have kind of overslept and not have the time to shower and yeah, I stil have milk from yesterday rubbed on my scalp, so it's starting to make more sense why people switched seats away from me in the class today . Sorry. I stink.
Sometimes I wonder if all these things I'm being told to do here actually ARE traditional local remedies or if step-dad is just messing with me. What do I know. He has street cred. He says to stick a lizard up my nose for good luck because it's a traditional mexican remedy, I go "ok!" and go find a lizard.

Er, yes, back to the school thing. So pronouciation, spanish in spanish and a class of salsa that I took because I had to take something and it was only supposed to be 2 hours once a week. But it seems our salsa teacher takes salsa very seriously indeed and once a week has now turned into twice a week and it's not so much swinging your hips and laughing at how awkward all of us Europeans are, but practising for dear life to perform in front of the entire university on December.
This is not what I signed up for. I am not having fun. Yet.
Also, it's not really falling on my face as it is realising that somewhere during the past 15 years, I completely lost touch with my body. I took ballet, for crying out loud! This cannot be so hard! unles I sucked at ballet and no one wanted to point that out....
.. best not think about that.
But yes. So far have only managed to feel like a gaseous blimp, swinging my arms around in what I think is an attractive manner but resembling mostly a motorboat. Or a blimp. If the blimp had arms and was wearing a dress and didn't know what rhythm was. Which is something that eludes a lot of blimps (little known fact).
Not a happy bunny. Maybe I'll learn to enjoy it? They say that people who get kidnapped eventually learn to like their captors.

It's probably not a good sign that I'm trying my damnest to NOT think about salsa classes even if I love the fact that the group is big and OMGALLTHESENEWPEOPLEICOULDGETTOKNOWANDSQUEEEPEOPLE!!!!

It's been a damn fast few weeks. I did promise art blog sort of stuff, and yet I can't deliver right now. There are computer and scanner issues (one computer does uploading faster but sucks at other things, the other computer does NOT like uploading at all and kind of has The Blue Screen Of Death, but has all the appropriate programs.. when you can keep it from dying on you. Getting programs on the less fatally ill computer is not an option for now) as well as some tiny little scheduling issues with there only being 24 hours in a day and some of those should ideally be used for sleeping. I'm working on that. Eventually, I might not have to sleep at all. It's good to have goals. But it could very well be that I might possibly just get something posted in an artsy manner tomorrow. Which would be nice. Cuz it would make me feel fussy with accomplishment. Fuzzy is good.
Really, it's all more organised than it sounds, but dang it I think my brain has turned to frijoles. Mmmmmm.. frijoles...

K, I think I might need to sleep a little now. By-e.


Monday, 17 October 2011

Serious matters are semi-serious

<3 mug

Now what does that even mean. I guess it means that yes, serious business is serious, but there's a very absurd side to almost everything. It means that while you need to invest yourself 100% to whatever it is you want out of life (or more precisely, whatever it is you want your life to be), if you do so by furrowing your brow so hard your eyes start bleeding, you're doing it wrong. Working hard doesn't mean stop laughing. If you ever find yourself doing that, you're in trouble. What are you really looking for in life if whatever you're doing is not bringing you joy? Are you waiting for someone to come and do things for you? Are you waiting for the unpleasantness to somehow magically turn into whatever it is you're dreaming about?
Life is not a montage.. fortunately. We are priviliged to be present and take part in every single moment of our lives. Even the bits we don't like.

What I'm getting at is a bunch of clichés that make more sense the more you think about them:
"Whatever you do in life, make sure it fulfills 3 basic rules: 1. it serves a purpose, 2. it has beauty, 3. it brings you pleasure." (think about that outside the measures of beauty = photoshopped model in Marie Claire or pleasure = getting your naughty bits out and rubbing them)
"There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going."
"We're all in a rush to get in line to reach our goals until we realise there's no goal, just a line." (Mexican version of the buddhist lesson of not doing your dishes to get the dishes done, but to do them to do the dishes)

Should you choose to accept this mission, you will have to invest +100% of yourself to your life and happiness, be present in every situation of it, listen carefully, love your heart out, wrap yourself in a blanket of awesome positive people and speak up for yourself.
Oh speaking, you elusive beast. As much as we like to produce words and talk, it seems actually talking about the things that matter is the second hardest thing in the world. It's a skill that you have to learn. Learn it, be happy.

On a side note on people who didn't worry too much, it's said that da Vinci had 3 dinner rules:
1. You are not allowed to murder anyone in the table during dinner.
2. You are not allowed to wipe your mouth on anyone else's clothing because..
3. .. that's what the cat tied to the table leg is for

On a side note to that side note in a completely unrelated subject... sort of...; this week will get some art/comics blog stuff going. Hold your breath, plaz. ;)

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Some dreams really do come true


I have been to Starbucks. Oh yes, I have been to Starbucks.
Also have been to 7Eleven, alas, was more underwhelmed by that experience. Maybe it's a Mexican thing, but there were no Slurpees and I was promised Slurpees. They were also lacking in the bubble gum I was looking for so no money for them. Ha! Though I did give them 6 or 7 tries by visiting all the different locations they have along Insurgentes. So you can't say I didn't give them the opportunity.
Starbucks. Right. What can I say... the drink was lime green and cold and delicious (yes, I admit that I enjoyed it) and looked nothing at all like green tea, but a lot like something called "green tea latte frappe thingypoo". It also looked nothing like anything they have on their website. This is what drinks look like on their site. This is how absolutely everything is served there, regardles if you're planning on taking your drink with you or being a hipsters and just sitting at the shop with your macbook and judging yourself silently.
Y?! Y U serve drinks from soulless plastic cups that slowly choke the life out of our planet?! Y U want to kill Earth, Starbucks, Y?! D:


Besides that, yeah, I did enjoy my flavoured sugar water. I might even go back for seconds. Though due to shop policies of getting tired of showing up on Tumblr blogs.. I mean protecting company secrets like chair shapes and such (I don't even know), there wont be pictures from inside the shop as we are not allowed to do such things. Only pictures with myself or whomever I'm with showing in the frame are allowed. Images of decor, drinks, foods, furniture, light fixtures, employers and their dogs in the frame are not allowed.
I'd love to say that such ridiculousness would make me take my moneys elsewhere, but I'd probably be lying. Until I can find a coffee shop in this city that serves coffee/hot flavoured sugar water in actual cups I'm affraid that I might have to get another green frappy flappy thingy with sporks from Starbucks.

Besides thrilling myself to pieces at a fastfood joint I have been sleeping on hotel couches, working in the kitchen for 3 days to prevent mum from killing another chef, sleeping on library couches to make room for extra spiritual ladies, eaten berries that had been thoroughly fondled by several hands, gone on a tourist tour of Tehuacan's town hall and not understood a word of what was being said (besides the bit about the president who got the mural painted.. that is president on the area of Tehuacan... wanted the history of the entire world from the forming of the universe until the present day and also the bit about killing goats once a year, included in the mural. It has skulls and dinosaurs in it. It's kind of kick ass. And I don't have pictures.) aaaand force fed a pigeon. The pigeon might be pregnant. Unles he's a dude.
Oh yeah, we got pigeons to replace the one that died. One doesn't eat and the other one has a very visible head trauma and is just too darn happy with everything ever. Either he's a rough and ready survivor or he just got hit on the head in exactly the right spot.

new pigeons

And I did actually learn something new this week: pine nuts are a lot of work. To get the nuts, you get a pine cone, you crack it open to get out all the dark lil nuts inside (easily 10 or so per cone and they can stick hard), then you crack the dark outer shell of the nut with your teeth to get to the actual edible nut inside. Now this is nothing new. This is how most nuts work. What is new is that a pine nut is pinkish when it's raw. It turns white when it's boiled. So if you're one of those people who prefer eating their food raw (like, say, a raw foodist), you now know that none of the pine nuts you get from the store are raw. If you're really hardcore about eating only "living" food, you go to the market and get a bag of pine cones and you make like a squirrel for your pesto. Or just eat them as is. Can't recall offhand now, but the energy you use for getting the nuts out.. no, not like that... is probably pretty equal to the energy you get from eating a nut. No, I don't mean it like that either.
You're a pervert and I'm totally not putting these thoughts into your head.
Also, almonds are not raw but steamed/boiled if you can rub the skin off them dry or after soaking. Pro tip.
Pine cones in the centre. Little nuts on the right with shell and in the middle without the shell:
Pine nuts

So that's my few weeks. Still haven't completed my homework for The Masterplan For The Rest Of My Life And Everything, but I think I had a pretty valid excuse for not getting around to it very much.
Having said that, I have put thought into it. And I think I might want to live in this crazy country for a wee while after I get a degree in something/to study if I don't get accepted in Finland. I might even want to learn how to drive in Mexico City.
I might have caught something from all the hugging and kissing these people do.
I don't think I want to get better from it.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

I'm on a boat!


If by chance you ever happen to have a hankering for a boat ride with someone else doing all the muscle work and you're not near Venice (and you happen to be in Mexico) there's a place designed just for you: Xochimilco Aztec canals. Why would you want to go on a boat ride with someone else doing all the muscle work and undermining your masculinity, you may ask. Well, here's why: the canals are what's left/after some modification a preserved piece of the Aztec world. They weren't originally meant for leisurly drunken boating like one would think. Oh no, they were an ingenious form of agriculture, combining wet and dry crop growing.
Not for ferrying tourists around.
For growing food for an ancient metropolis.
Also, if your masculinity can't take someone else pushing the boat along for a few hours, possibly you shouldn't be getting on boats.

Besides seeing the canal itself, the fancy boats and local wildlife (the place is said to be good for bird spotting), you can buy plants, see Isla de las Munecas, visit museums etc etc all of which you can find more about in the very comprehensive Wiki page.

Now things you should know that they might not tell you but are still darn good to know about boating in general:
  1. DO NOT visit this place during a national holiday. It will be much like bumper cars only with less cars, more water and not quite as much fun. It's also much like Mexico City traffic in general only with less of a chance of getting run over/exploded/basically killed. There's a very good possibility that you will end up going in small circles in the canal with your condolier getting increasingly frustrated by the lack of maneuvering space and occasionally falling off the boat. But there will be plenty of refreshments and colliding musical numbers to keep you reasonably entertained if you'll follow the next advice...
  2. Getting drunk is a good idea, especially if you're not into all the history and ancient awe and stuffs. This will keep your spirits either high(ish) or your grasp of time appropriately muddy. It will also make you hungry for corn/tortillas/beer/candied apples and submissive to any of the myriad musical numbers being performed on top of each other by the musicians floating by. Make no mistake, these are talented people making a living and they will do their very best to entertain you. However, this does not include playing the same song at the same time as all the other bands touring the canals.
  3. Also know when getting a boat, you pay either BY THE BOAT or BY THE HOUR. If by any chance someone tries to tell you that you have to pay per person, know that they are a lying, scheming scumbag who will surely catch a horrible venerial disease from all the scammed pesos in their pockets that will make their balls turn green and rot away. Raybans and official badges do not mark a friend from a foe in this case. Just know that 200-300pesos per hour for a boat is reasonable. And that's all I got to say about that.
  4. No one seems to know what's up with the swans. Possibly an early onset of Oh-that's-nice-I'm-going-to-do-the-same-thing. They just are.
  5. Water is wet.
  6. Don't drink from the canal.
  7. Are you really still reading this?
  8. Fine then.
  9. Here's a picture of a tiny dog.


Wednesday, 14 September 2011

I say tomaatti, you say tortilla!


Welp, here we are. Going on 3rd week in Mexico.
What have I learned so far? That the words for "chicken" and "assist" sound suspiciously similar in spanish to the untrained ear. That there are spiders in living quarters that may bite you in the face in the middle on the night and lay eggs under your skin. That there are a lot of Starbucks' and car dealerships in Mexico City. That people die on busses going over the mountains from the City to Toluca due to the rapid altitude change. That Santa Fe is pretty and expensive and built on soil that'll swallow your house like a loose rectum when an appropriate earthquake hits. That there are tiny, insignificant earthquakes here every day that you only notice when items mysteriously change places without anyone touching them. That Spanish is a good thing to master. That these people really like monumental buildings and murals. That water pressure is low and but the temperature is balmy. That avocados on tortillas with a little salt is just about the best thing I've ever eaten.

It might also be added that the people are pretty awesome, just like they are in most places once you get to know them, and they'll continue on being awesome even after they notice you don't speak their language. They also work hard and long hours and appreciate a good education above all else.Well, all else besides not being a dick to other people and other such hippy nonsense. And whatever else you might have heard about Mexico City, you should know that their university is pretty darn impressive in size alone. AND and, if you're a culture snob like I am, you'll be duely impressed by their library, which houses the most first edition books in the entire world.
It's also bloody enormous.
But that's nothing compared to the culture centre right next to it.
Am I impressed? Oh hell yes.

Relatives are still as nuts as any. But it's a good kind of nuts. Like walnuts: a litte wrinkly on the outside but containing huge amounts of healthy oils and minerals.

I'm sure that in the coming months I'll run into more things I don't much care for besides cold morning showers and sneezing black snoot every few hours and the underground being slightly on the warm side, but right now, life is pretty good.
I'm anxiously waiting for next week so I can go visit a 7Eleven and eat fruit and spend some money on guanabana ice cream.
Oh yeah, did I mention I'm not allowed to eat fruit? Yeah.. doctor's orders. Kinda put a damper on that whole "raw vegan" thing.
Oh well, at least I'm allowed an avocado on a tortilla per meal. Life is grand.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Done and done!


Slept on the floor this past weekend with most of the furniture having been picked up by... well, everyone and their pet snake in the two days before that. Then two days of Extreme Cleaning and finally today handing over the apartment keys.
So officially I don't have a home of my own anymore. What I do have is 2 forwarding addresses and tickets to Mexico City for tomorrow morning.

It's very weird, very surreal, very constipating and my god did I have a metric shit-ton of crap in my house!
(double points for managing to make two references to poo in the same sentence)
And it's not even that I'd collect stuff. Bar Friends DVD boxed sets, I don't collect things. I don't like excess stuff. Unless it's pretty clothes. Wait, no, not even when it's pretty clothes. I don't like excess stuff. I hate tiny little things that serve no purpose and unles they were hand-carved by someone dear to me out of bark from The Tree Of Life and they wept blood and raw dreams on it, I'm not going to like useless knick-knacks. And I still managed to have a whole other housefull of useless items.
I'd like to blame all the friends I have that like carving shit out of The Tree Of Life.
Mostly though, what it boils down to is that there was a lot of stuff I was carrying around that belonged to mum that I'm pretty sure she's already forgotten she ever owned AND the fact that we, as people/humans collectively, manufacture, use, own, desire a whole lot of pointless stuff. Could I live my life perfectly happy without having all seasons of Friends on DVDs at my constant disposal at all times 24/7? I think I might. Could I bear to pot my plants in pots that don't perfectly match in shade to the curtains? I'd probably live. Why exactly have some unnamed relatives given me several kilograms of substandard drawing paper as gifts over the years? Because they're awesome at supporting me but really crap at estimating what sort of paper would be worth even looking at twice.

More importantly: why are companies producing piss poor drawing paper that doesn't stand for any other kind of drawing method besides lightly brushing with a very very soft pencil from several feet away? Why is there so much manufacturing (ie. using natural resources from raw ingredients like oil and minerals and trees and water to pure energy expenditude) of items that do not last, are not meant to last, are not qualified to be used for the things they say they are and basically serve no purpose but to employ people and to use up those pesky dwindling natural resources I mentioned?
Here's an idea: how about we just make stuff that actually does what it claims to and isn't built so that it only has Functional and Fuck That Shit settings? You think that might help with all that Energy Crisis and Depleted Natural Resources stuff?

Of course, the bad bit with thinking crazy like this is that it'll eventually lead you to thinking that wait, if we did that, there'd be a lot less demand for stuff (because the stuff would last longer and be fixable), ergo there'd be a lot fewer jobs and a lot less money to go around. Now, I know this may sound like crazy talk, but I keeping thinking that you know, maybe we like possibly work too much. Like, maybe, just maybe, there are people who work like 12-14 hour days and make tuppence for it. And like.. I dunno.. maybe it might be possible that if we produced less pointless crap, those people who work crazy hours could work like only moderately crazy hours and maybe if we spread out all that left-over work, they'd have to work even less and maybe have time for living and stuff and you know, if the money was sort of more evenly and fairly distributed, it wouldn't matter that people would only work for like 4 hours/day because they could still afford to live.

But that's just crazy hippy commie talk. So better stop thinking nonsense.

Is it a perfect plan? Of course not. There are no perfect plans, just happier people.

It's 1am already. Maybe I should get a few hours sleep from all this socio-economical gobbledygook. Got a continent to change today.
So yeah... next Sunday I'll be in Mexico wondering what the hell happened to my life.

(Oh and in case you were wondering about the smells in my apartment and I know you're not but I'm going to tell you anyway; the old booze smell came from emptying out my liquor cabinet in the sink and the butt-smell came from my favourite ballerinas starting to rot from all the humidity and foot-sweat we've been having over here lately. I thought you'd appreciate all the details. You know I only tell you because I love you.)


Thursday, 18 August 2011

With the wave of my magic wand...

Household Appliances

.. all the furniture magically doesn't go anywhere. Yup, it's all still there. You'd think what with most people complaning about lack of money and insane prices, selling furniture (that does NOT smell like urine and as far as I've noticed, does NOT have cooties) for tuppence would be dead easy. You'd think that and you would be wrong. People don't seem to want used furniture. I'm reminded by that every day by the sheer amount of furniture still sitting in my living room AND by that sorry old sofa someone ditched in the hallway of our building. We get that a lot. Which makes this place sound a lot more like a slum for very rich people with a lot of extra furniture, than it actually is. I've come to the conclusion that most people don't seem to know that if your stuff is broken, you can fix it. If it can't be fixed (and smells like weewee and has cooties) there are places that you're pretty much obliged by law to take those things to. These places will then either fix the unfixable for you because let's face it, you suck and just didn't know how to do things right, or they'll dig a hole and bury it.

And when I say "pretty much obliged by the law" I mean, you are required by the law to do these things or get fined/jailed depending on how much environmental damage your crap causes when not thrown away in the proper manner.
That's how we roll.
And I think we roll ok all things considerable.

So the furniture is pretty much all still there even though my cousins are supposed to come by at some point to see if they want anything and I've been texting friends and relatives to come pick up premium quality crap (read: "wholesome, useful everyday items that are totally not unused ticklers or whips because I already gave those away for a good home")for cheapskies/free. It's not really the furniture I get attached to though, it's the books. And I got a lot of books to give away. Even used book stores don't want the stuff anymore and apparently most libraries are verboten to accept donations in books.
But... it's books. One does not simply throw away books. There be information in those things! It's like throwing away food! You just don't do it man, unles you find a finger or a used condom in those. Used condom inside a fish.
Not to sound whiny about all this, but does it strike anyone else as complete insanity that there's so much perfectly useful stuff, items that are fully functional and not contagious and we're forced to throw this stuff away in most cases? I realise that manuals for Paint Shop Pro 9 are probably not really useful for anyone anymore, bar antique tech geeks, but take the washing machine for example. Y U not want my totez awesome used washing machine, world? Y?! If there was ever a moment when the amount of stuff cluttering up the world became a concrete concept, it's this. Why get a perfectly awesome, not broken, vintage couch for 10€ when you can buy a clunky new one from Ikea for 200€ even if it wont last you for 5 years because it's made of cheap materials and glued together with the tears of a child labourer. Screw you world, it matches my bleached bunghole!

You know what else is hard to get rid off that I have a metric ton of? Canned fish in tomato sauce and wooly socks. Your guess is as good as mine. You always try to prepare for a zombie apocalypse and then it never comes when you're all stocked up on canned fish and warm socks. If the zombies come right after I get this move done, I will look SO silly.

Other than that the week has been one big runaround taking clothing to charity shops and digging through the closet to find all the what-the-hell-was-I-thinking-back-then that I'm sure someone is going to be wearing ironically very soon. Tiny white tee with a light pink sparkly Superman-logo? Yeah.. remember that year when all the shirts were so short they barely covered your bewbs... that wasn't really a good look. We just did the 80's, so early 2000 is bound to be vintage by now, right?

This week I'll be mostly battling humidity, so next Sunday you can read all about how my apartment smells like ass and old liquor.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Blogs, how do they work?!


Oh , where to start. Let's start with the fact that this might not be the funniest thing you'll ever read. I'm so out of practise with funny that I'm like a very out of practise un-funny person. Also, it's Wednesday here, so clearly, this isn't exactly written or posted on a Sunday. So what prompted this sudden need to share in the middle of the night on a rainy Wednesday when it's pretty painfully clear that I should be getting sleep? Here's the thing: the very first post in this blog is about how a job should work (or, you know, life in general) in order for a person to be happy. You need to be able to develop in your work, you need to able to use your assets in other sense than flashing ankles/penis at people to get them to throw money at you. Even if you're not the sharpest tool in the beginners tool-set, you need to feel like you might be one because that's makes you feel appreciated and man, feelings is what it's all about mang. You need to be able to enjoy what you do. In short(-ish): Getting loads of money or even a moderate amount of money only carries you so far in life, doing the things you love, progressing in them, having goals and having people is what makes for a happy camping trip.

"I used to think two was not enough. But now things are great; there are loads of people... I don't know what Will was so pissed about. I don't think couples are the future. The way I see it now, we both got back-up now. It's like that thing Jon Bon Jovi said: 'No man is an island.' "
About A Boy

What I'm getting at is not that I've gone hardcore polyamorous. I haven't even gone hardcore monogamous. BUT, I have learned - and by god it took my thick-ass skull long enough - is that people need people to live a happy life. And that the best way to monologue about your ailments and lack of pants is by monologuing about them to someone else face to face. Then you can hug it out and you realise that pants are a pretty good deal and you should own more than one pair. And you get a hug. Hugs are pretty awesome. So you need other people to keep you sane and to meet yet more people and you can all be a giant cluster of islands that have mutual agreements on helping each other out by talking or borrowing pants or having coffee and sushi and carrying each other's furniture. That's kind of what life's composed of. I have now learned this after having been deprived of such things for several years partly because I didn't know how awesome island clusters are and partly because I live in the Devil's Butthole. I could blame it on the internets, but that would be giving the internets undue credit.

What I've also learned is that there's a reason why most jobs that would constitute as proper jobs and not slavery, have anual vacations. It's not because everyone hates their work so much that they need to get away from it as often as possible, but because you can very easily burn out doing something you enjoy if you don't know how to vacate. I mean have vacations. As in take time off. Or more precisely, regularly do something else besides work. It's not simply a yearly thing. Every day you should do something that isn't your job. And then every week, you should have a day or two of doing something that is also not your job. And every year, you should take a week or a few to go somewhere that's not even close to where you work. That does NOT mean you hate your job. It means you love yourself enough to take care of yourself.

So, getting back to today. I'm now employing my vast knowledge on How To Live Like A Human Being into Living A Happy Life And Having A Job That I Don't Hate More Than Homophobia. Ok, other people kind of maybe put me up to it, but hey, that's their job when they see that I'm not in a position of becoming a beautiful butterfly all on my own. What happened is that I've been slowly gathering up quite a bit of Heavy Crap and Stress that's been completely running my motor down. You know how it goes, first there's one giant arsenugget of a relationship, then another and then you have a nervous breakdown and then you enrol in a school that you don't like just to make some titcrumpet see you (don't do it kids, it never works) and there's (shockingly) more relationship drama and sexual incompetence that would be funny if you weren't lying under it and drinking and yadda yadda yadda... the whole hairy taco with all the garnishes. And you think that you need to deal with it all on your own, but you really didn't have to. But eh, you learn. So I have. And as I'm writing this the current situation is this:
I'm moving to Mexico at the end of this month. And then I'll be applying to study something I enjoy. And while I do this, I'll be arting with my other hand. And I will be happy because I'm not doing any of this alone but I have awesome relatives and friends who want to help out even if they can't say it in nice words. Not everyone knows how to do nice words. You learn. And you learn to listen to what people say as opposed to what you think they say.

I'm going to try to update regularly on Sundays, but I'm not promising I wont miss a day or post late. It could happen that there just aren't internet connections or some people who are supposed to write blogs could be drunk out of their arse. First up: Selling Of The Furniture! - Adventures in getting rid of your stuff