Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A house in the country

I think that one day I will move to Finland. It is just a sense that i get while there. Not anytime very soon, but I think one day when I am old(er), that place will be home. I went to this coastal village called Haga with my family, and we had a delightful day wandering around old castle ruins and looking at all the churches and shops and things. I am a total nerd about all of that. We spent a lot of time visiting family and things, so it certainly wasn't the most exciting vacation, bt it was really nice to spend time with my family and go all over the country. And I mean, all over. And Finland isn't a small country. Pictures will be more interesting than me just telling about that part. So here you go.

pictures of: the temple, nature, family.
This may have been the last time I see my grandmother. She isn't doing so well. I wish that my kids could meet her, but that really isn't going to happen unless I get pregnant right now and she lives a long time.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Harry Potter...

So here we are traveling around as a family in Finland, and my little brother and I have had some quality bonding time in the back seat of the car reading Harry Potter together. Not aloud, mind you, but he has given me permission to read over his shoulder. That first day it was out, he begged until we took him to a bookstore where he plunked down €24,90 for it. So the reading is going rather slowly and I amnot done with it yet, but boy, it is exciting! And, Beni and I are totally bonding while discussing who will be next to die.

Here I am in Finland, visiting my grandmother. I've been completely overwhelmed by the memories and the smells. This is what my childhood memories consist of-- tromping through stinging nettles, going to sauna, mowing the lawn, eating ridiculous amounts of sweets... And of course doing a variety of chores for my grnadmother. For some reason, no matter how much you do, she manages to make me feel lazy. Maybe it is because I took a few minutes to sit in the sun on the swing, and she, with her artheritis and pain medications, hobbled out of the house and started chopping wood! Yes, chopping wood, and heating water in the outdoor kitchen for the sauna. This woman is 84 and sick, and here I am, taking a break from whatever it was I was supposed to be doing, young and spry. And she told me so as well. ah well, that is Mummu.

I'm at the Pyhäntä library right now, so I better get going here soon. but oh, there is so much to tell! I'll post pictures when i can.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Helsink Airport

I watched ayoung man with a bouquest of small oses wait for an hour. When he left, the roses were still in his hand and he left alone. i wonder if the person he was waiting for was expecting him.

Some old peple took my bench that I was going to claim for the night when i got up to brush my teeth (over 24 hours makes fo vey furry teeth).

I am sitting in the lounge watching peole (just saw some gypsies) and eading the Finnish newspape about smoking trends in thrid world countires. I learned the word fo industialized county-- it is teollisuusmaa.

The soldies just walked by in forest greet unifoms and completely bicced heads. I suppose that i spart of the unifom, though they do look kind of funny.

Rooms here in helsinki cost E80 a night: That´s over 100 dollars. I don´t need my own bed that badly. I hope I don´t end up sleeping on a pak bench with this attitude. My family will be arriving early tomorow morning, so I should be fine, right?

I am amazed at how many people fly in and go directly for the alcohol. Although, come to think of it, if I ween´t into he Word of Wisdom, i would probably get a good stiff one for myself as well. A good stong coffee to keep me awake all night inteh lounge, o a good stiff one to knock me out fo a few hours.

The old couple left the bench. I´m going to go claim it.

Duty free is the place to be

London Heathrow airport

The foreign exchange is $2.2 to 1 British Pound. And the price of everything in the airport is still the same. Yikes!

I am totally amazed that the London Heathrow airport doesn’t have toothpaste in a vending machine. I also was imagining some sort of showers and maybe even some longer benches on which to sleep. Seems I was sorely mistaken and am now running on 4 hours of seated sleep. Luckily, I was right about the fuzzy British Airways socks they provide and really convenient sleeping masks. My morning has thus far been spent in the duty free shops trying on make-up and perfumes. This Clinique foundation is really quite something—it is really light and makes my skin look really even, erasing the dark circles under my eyes. And lip gloss has never before made quite such an improvement… if it weren’t for the shirt that I’ve been wearing for 24 hours and the nappy hair, I would look almost presentable.

Here I am on my way to Finland. I haven’t really had a chance to get excited about going since I was so busy getting ready to leave Utah. Now I am on my way, and can’t stop being giddy. It has been four years since I’ve last been to Finland, and I am just excited to be there again. I wonder if I’ll feel that same pull that I have in the past, the feeling inside like, yes, this is familiar, this is what your blood knows. I can’t really explain it any better than that, but maybe I’ll try once I’m in the country. I’m excited to see family, and to speak in Finnish (though I’ve gotten quite rusty), to swim in lakes and go to real sauna, eat some Fazer chaoclate and pear ice cream and makarra (sausage). I have butterflies I am so excited. Or maybe that is just the lack of decent food to eat that is finally kicking in.

So I spent yesterday in New York, running some errands and visiting with friends (special thanks fo Di and Mim for letting me crash at their cute Little Italy apartment, and we’ll hang out more once I move to come back to the states). Although I still don’t have an apartment, I’m feeling a lot better about that after meeting with Emily (hey, if any of you are aware of any apartments for rent in New York, let me know…) Guys, I think I’m ready to move there. It felt good… not quite homey, but it just felt like I could get a handle on it, and there were pieces that I felt that I could definitely get used to owning. I was so relieved to feel this way because last time I was in the city I was totally overwhelmed by the volume and action. I’m chalking it up to first date nerves with gigantic expectations of making a good impression. This time, the city felt more familiar, not as crazy, opening up to our tentative relationship—as if it was opening up to engulf me, to make me part of it, and I was stepping into it’s mouth, not quite knowing what sort of experience this would be, but ready to be digested whole.

The best part about being in New York, and definitely a contributing factor to enjoying New York, is that I got to spend the afternoon with my friend Mike. We’ve been friends since we met at the age of 14, and he has been one of my favorite people in the world since then. We met up at NYU and he had a container of cherries, and we spent the day running little errands, looking at beautiful things, and just talking. We have a list of about 20 things to do in New York and I can’t think of anyone else I would rather share the adventures in New York with. He knows and loves the city, he loves life, and is always doing something and experiencing something amazing and can’t wait to show me so many cool things. I can’t wait to meet the kids he is teaching, and I know he is an amazing teacher because he cares that the kids learn. I remember one time he came to visit me in Provo and we made falafels and wondered how sea shells were formed. The following week, I received a letter in the mail with a full description, including a diagram, of how seashells are formed. Mike, you totally inspire me to find the beautiful corners of New York, and not only that, but to see the beauty in everything there.

Oh, and there is a really good Vegan restaurant that you, my friends who come to visit, will have to eat at. It is called Angelica’s and they make wheat free stuff and this amazing peach pudding-like stuff. Oh how I love food!

More to come.,..

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Dating Girl!

One day, a few years ago, Sarah Monson was lamenting with a friend about dating, or rather, the lack there of. She concluded that in order to be a "dater" you practically have to have super powers. And that is when the idea of Dating Girls struck. A super hero, with the super power to date. Listen to my interview with Sarah to here how Dating Girl was born and how Sarah herself has adopted this alter ego. (listen to Dating girl first, and then Dating Girl 2 for the full interview).

p.s. This is the first in my audio doc/interview series "Mysteries of Love". This is a work in progress, so let me know if you have any recommendations. I'm so excited to finally get this project off the ground! Enjoy!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Beautiful Finland.

A friend forwarded an article from the Washington Post about Finland, called In Finland's Footsteps. It is mostly about the education system but also mentions how well it is making a welfare state work. I know I am somewhat partcial to Finland, you know, being my home country and all, but here are other people saying that Finland is wonderful, with numbers to back it up. Let's all move there. I am getting so excited to go next week!!

And you wonder where I get all my crazy socialist ideas of universal health care, education, and that politicians should be honest and responsible...

Well, you actually probably don't.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Lavender Days

My friend beautiful and talented friend Heather made the brilliant suggestion to go to the Lavender Festival at the Young Living farm in Mona, Utah. Having never been to such a festival and trying to take advantage of my last little while in Utah, I of course jumped at the chance. Due to the unfortunate choices of a ridiculous male, we were determined to use the healing powers of lavender to heal the heart. And oh, what a wonderous day it was! Here are some pictures of what we did! And may I just say, Heather is a wonderful, positive, kind person and a delight to spend the day with. And Lavender ice cream is Delicious.

A bank heist! With a gun! Oh no, what will occur?

The law wins again. :(

Some wild west girls... armed and dangerous.

Picking lavenders to make some delicious tea.

So how many of you have attended a mideval joust? Not exactly what we expected at a lavender festival, but here we are anyway, enjoying some jousting and, of course, some turkey leg.

A trip to Mona wouldn't be complete without a trip to the pond. So many good, summer memories here, such as rope swinging and skinny dipping. The water was perfect and the pond was sooo beautiful.

Railroad tracks and a beautiful sunset, with crazy girls wandering along.

And that was our wonderful, healing day. We also ate lavender ice cream and learned about distilling lavender oil, rode through a field of lavender and watched kids play. And had beautiful conversations, the like that good friends can have that make the world a little bit better.

The prophet said to write in a journal (July 2002)

So I'm packing up my life right now, and came across an entire box full of journals. Ever since I went to Africa and had to keep a journal for my anthropology class, I have been hooked on writing my thoughts, granted, at some times better than at others. I don't even know how many I have, and some of them are only half full because I felt that they were no longer conducive for writing. But these journals have been my refuge and confidant on so many occassions when I just have needed to spill my thoughts somewhere to sort them out. Like a pensive (from Harry Potter). Amazing how once I get the thoughts out of my head onto paper (or computer) it leaves space in my head to make sense of my world and what is happening, and why.

So I picked up a small blue one, with a hard cover and gold embossing. Blank white pages (lines are restrictive) that are very thin, so much so that at some points the pen has leaked through. I glanced through it, not remembering what stage of my life it contained. It starts on July 3rd, 2002, and I wrote:

"I'm in Provo now. No job, no home, but lots of friends. And no idea what I am doing now. Sigh. It'll work out someday soon. So Liina and I were planning on driving to Boston on Friday. However, she is now staying longer due to honors thesis trauma, so i am stranded. My options-- get Isi to buy me a ticket home now, and just get back to Boston, or stay here and find a job. This is a tad ridiculous, And stressful and frustrating. But I'll figure it out. Today it doesn't feel like I will, but soon I hope. I need to go to the temple and how.

I hate packing, it never feels done. And it brings so much nostalgia. And sadness. And everything else. Jason and i talked last night, he says he needs more sleep, and isn't satisfied with how things between us are going. He needs to prioritize sleep and school. Of course I heard this, along with him saying that he'd almost be relieved if i were leaving Friday. Ouch. That's what i was fearing and so i got kind of upset. And then he explained it a bit better to me, that he wants this to be a healthy relationship and he likes me, that's why he needs more sleep, so that the time that we do spend together is actually quality. Got to respect that."

This was all written right after my graduation from BYU, as i was in that stage of life trying to figure everything else out. I see some parallels to my life now-- on the brink of something brand new, strange. And of course, i am again packing and leaving behind dear friends and a comfortable life. I continued to read some of the journal, fascinated even though I already know how that portion of life ends. I moved to Boston, got a job at STA Travel that I wasn't satisfied with but had good benefits, and attempted a long distance relationship with this fellow Jason which ended a few months later. But is was interesting to read my thoughts and feelings, during this whole time, things that I couldn't remember. I was so grateful to have that record to jog my memory, open up my feelings again to that time of my life. It also made me smile reading about my friends, ones that i am still friends with, because I just thought that they were the greatest, most inspiring people, and I still think so. Sometimes i look back on my life and thing, wow, I have learned so much and i was a fool before. But reading a journal validates the 21 year old me. I was spiritual, i did think deep thoughts, I did feel things intensely, and even maturely. Reminds me to continue writing now, so one day, 10 years from now, I can look back and thing, that 26 year old me was kind of a cool chick. Or, gee, looks like I still haven't progressed.

A Ivy song just came on, one that I listened to a lot during that time period that goes "While we're in love, we'll bleed each other dry. We'll hold each other close, we'll make each other cry. While we're in love, we'll get what we deserve, until we lose our faith, until we lose our nerve. We both know it can't last forever, cuz we're not meant to be together, make the best of a bad situation, face the fear and the desperation, while we're in love, while we're in love..." Good song, one I related to a lot at the time.

I write and i love to write. Maybe one day my kids will read it. maybe. I don't know if I really want them to read all of this. My journal writing isn't what i think the prophet was referring to when he asked that we keep a record of our lives, it is more just the jumbled thoughts and feelings of my life, nothing to help them thing that mom or grandma was a pioneer, rather a somewhat screwed up kid. And obsessed with boys (hey, admit it, journal writing always goes better when there are relationship issues to sort out). But then again, knowing what I was like as a kid, maybe this would help them out. We shall see.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

July 4th

I carried a camera with me the whole entire day, and did not take one single picture. Not of our hike (which ended at a construction site-- very lovely indeed). Not of the lake (which we reached by car, since the hike was rather unsuccessful). Not of us floating in Echo Resevoir on rafts (finally remembered to bring some and loungae about on them while floating... once we made it actually onto the raft, which in nd of itself was wuite an adventure, especially for Meri). Not of the bbq at Maren's with tons of friends and good food. Not of the fireworks which we viewed from afar to catch them all over the valley.

In any case, it was a beautiful day with the sun shining down on our heads, the birds singing, and dust in the air. Just take my word for it. Wish you were here! Have a great summer and keep in touch!