Monday, June 30, 2008

And sometimes, the strangest things happen

This I gotta blog about, since it has everything to do with my blog.

So, back in January I went for a walk with April and found this picture frame with an article "the white priestess, art and mysticism". This was part of a delightful day and so I blogged about it here. And then I forgot all about it.

Fast forward to Friday. One of the women here at the UN Hospitality Committee called, and rather mysteriously said that she had someone she wanted me to meet. I thought to myself that it must be someone Finnish, or maybe someone she wanted to set me up with, and didn't think much more about it. But then she came into the office around noon, in the rain, and requested that I go out to the front gates of the UN to meet this mysterious person. Puzzled, i went with her, and found a little woman with glasses waiting for us at the front gates. I looked at her-- something was vaguely familiar, but I couldn't place it. An old friend of my mother's? No... and the name, Caro Heller, so familiar, but... she pulled out a blue folder and from that extracted an article, old, from 1982, as she said, I've been wondering who found this article about me... I gasped. It was the woman from the article I had found in a picture frame months ago! But how? Had she seem me somehow carrying that around? but then how did she find my name and where I worked and...?

It is a small, small world, and the Internet makes it just that much smaller. You see, I blogged about that day, and included the name of the artist from that article in my blog. That artist is still alive and living well and creating in Brooklyn heights, and happens to have a computer. And, late one night (I imagine) she decided to google her own name, as we all do on occasion. In the list of pages about her, she came upon "Tales of the Summer Child" and read about a girl, on a warm January day, walking and finding a picture frame with an article about her from the 80s. Intrigued by the writings, curious about this person writing about her that she does not know, she continues to read. An interesting character, this Summer Child. Writing here about an Ambassador's Ball for the UN... and she puts together that this girl who wrote about her now works for a UN committee, the same one that a friend of hers works for! Excited, too big of a coincidence, she calls her friend, who knows about the blond girl who recently started working in the office. And thus, we come to this place, a rainy Friday in front of the UN Delegates entrance, me in shock and awed, and dear Caro with an impish grin on her face. This is too much fun.

We chatted for a few moments, and I have an invitation to go visit her on of these days. And oh, i will.

And to you, Caro, if you are reading this post of mine, meeting you made my day. It is rare that something quite this exciting happens to me. It was a pleasure and I look forward to chatting with yo again and seeing your work. And April and Emily are equally tickled.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Marriage of a sister

Vilja Hynynen and Jordan Johnson, Friday, June 20th, 2008, Boutiful Utah Temple.

The first I heard about Jordan was that Vilja had gone on this big group date and was paired off with this kid named Jordan who didn't mind pretending to kiss in a dumpster for a photos scavenger hunt. Pretending because my sister isn't that type of girl, but she didn't seem like she would really have minded... I next heard of Jordan when they had started dating, and Vilja proudly showed off a video of Jordan fitting into a refrigerator. Who wouldn't love that? And then he helped with the fort building, and drove her to Salt Lake to hear a talk of mine, and somehow managed to just weasel himself as a permanent institution into Vilja's life, so much so that she couldn't picture life without him. And we are all glad for that.

So wedding day. We all made it to the temple on time for the wedding, dressed prettily and with fancy shoes. Meri looked gorgeous in her bright green dress and gold shoes, of course. She was not going to sit around looking like a frumpy old maid at her little sisters wedding, that is for sure. I, on Th other hand, just attempted to forget all about the cold sore and live it up. After all, as Jackie and i always said, while Vilja and Peggy (Vilja's best friend and my friend Jackie's little sister) got the looks, at least we had personality. They also have personality, but that is beside the point. We traipsed into the temple for the ceremony, which was absolutely beautiful and the sealer gave them really beautiful advice on marriage. Nothing quite like being in the temple for a wedding to remind you that that is the right place to start a marriage. They kept looking at each other and wiggling because they were so excited. Who couldn't be happy about that?

I'll post some photos when my camera will connect to my computer again....

The reception was everything that vilja wanted-- friends, family, and dancing. I haven't seen a bride dance that much at her own wedding... well, ever. It was a blast, and it was such a delight to see so many wonderful friends, from all parts of our family history, there. I perhaps wasn't as social as I could've been, but I had a special request from he bride that I had to dance, so who was I to say no? Of course, anyone who knows me also knows that while i have zero rhythm, I am also impossible to keep off he dance floor. I even got little Hannele out there, and she loved it. Sweet little baby!

What a trip. What a wonderful way to spend time-- with the family, celebrating the creation of a new one. Congrats Twiga and Jordan! I love you guys!

Thursday, June 19, 2008


I've heard that chickens don't have lips. or maybe that they do have lips, just very thin ones. Although, lips would look really awkward on a beak. I'm going to go with chickens not having lips. Poor chickens. Lips are rather useful.

It's a day before Vilja's wedding and I have a cold sore. Two days ago, i started feeling the prickling and I started putting stuff on my lips. but to no avail. Yesterday, i had numerous breakdowns because I'd look in a mirror and realize how massively swollen my lips were and that I look like a monster. Luckily, an in-law who is an orthodontist living in Georgia was able to call in a prescription for me, and the swelling has subsided somewhat today. I'm staying out of the sunlight, avoiding people and conversations, and anxiously awaiting to see what state I'll be in tomorrow. I'm prayign for a miracle, but this is mostly a selfish miracle so i don't know if God will go for it. Good thing we have a large family so the family pictures will be taken from far away.

Since my lips have become incapacitated, i've been thinking a lot about how much healthy lips mean to me. Lips are amazingly useful. I've been thinking of how this can be an object lesson of some sort one day, and was thinking this morning about whether or not I treat my lips right. Yes, i always use chapstick, but that's not what I mean. i mean the function of lips. Lips are used as a symbol for communication-- whether it be kissing or talking, communication of some form. I was thinking about the scripture in Isaiah 6:5 this morning where Isaiah says "... Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips..." What doe sit mean to have unclean lips? Perhaps it is to lie, to be dishonest, to gossip, speak negatively... letting words pass your lips that tear down and pollute rather than build people up. I certainly could be more positive in my speech, especially when it comes to talking about boys with my other unmarried sister (hey, we're bonding over this).

i could use my lips to communicate better with people. I've been very good at using my lips to express my attraction and interest in people, but lately i've gotten to the point where i've realized that I've been perhaps imprudent at times, and should use my lips more for expressing things with words rather than kisses (i simply said more words, not giving up on the kisses entirely. i think still think that those are a very important form of communication).

And then of course there are the things that go through the lips into the body. I was talking to a woman yesterday who was telling me that the cold sore was my body's way of telling me that there is something wrong with it. Perhaps the things I put into my body are harming it. Cut out some of the processed things and sugars and put in more natural, less toxic items. I suppose I should put away this box of graham crackers. Sigh. but there is a lot of sense to targeting the problems of my body by fixing what I put into my body through my lips.

Dear lips, i am so thankful for you. You make cleaning a fork much easier, and talking, and i would look so funny if I didn't have you. I know I've complained about having thin lips, but I promise, if you heal quickly, i will treat you so well. i'll buy you a nice lip gloss and use you only for good things.
Sincerely, your person, Suvi.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


the haircut isn't so bad today. I'm sorry to all the people I swore at in my head yesterday.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

vanity, oh vanity

I got a bad hair cut today. All I wanted was to look hot for my little sister's wedding next week. Instead, I now feel like I look like a suburban Mormon mom. Awesome. This is totally what I get for taking the cheap way out of a haircut and going to a student who is training at a good salon. Now I'll get to go to the wedding and have all of the married folk feel sorry for me and try to set me up with their single, not terrible looking, really nice-I-don't-know-why-no-one's-snatched-him-up-yet nephews/cousins/neighbor's sons/etc. I got a facial last week and a pretty new dress because I just wanted to look good, you know? Is it too much to ask to look attractive/confident/accomplished/self-assured/non-socially-awkward for the wedding? Evidently, yes it is. Sigh. Oh, vanity. Why even try. seriously.

Monday, June 9, 2008


Can I just brag about my roommate Emily for a moment here? She is amazing. Not only does she sing show tunes late at night with me and shamelessly facebook stalk friends and read me bedtime stories of her own creation and take out the trash because she knows I don't like to, but she also co-produced a documentary! There are many, many other wonderful things about Emily, but today I'm going to focus on the film she was part of creating.

So I've watched "Crawford" quite a few times now, and it never gets old. It just showed at the Brooklyn International Film Festival (also premiered at SXSW!) and so a few of us headed down the street to watch it and support Em. It is about what happens to a small town in Texas when the President decides to call it home. Man, I learned so much. It's a documentary shot over a number of years interviewing the residents of Crawford Texas about how they feel about their most famous resident, President George W. Bush. It is really fascinating to watch the characters and the diverging opinions, and how they react to the spotlight on their tiny town, especially as the war grows more unpopular.

There is a lot that I like about this documentary. For one, we get a really pretty intimate look at the lives of these people in Crawford. It could be a political film about George W. pretending to be from this town when he really moved there just a year before his election, or about the protesters who set up shop there when the president is in town. instead, we get to know people, some supporters of President Bush (such as Ricky Smith, a horse trainer and avid follower of Fox News) and one of the few opponents (such as Tom Warlick, a teenager who played in the band for Bush's inaugriation but then marched to the beat of another drum major by wearing a shirt to school on 9/11 pointing out the number of civilian casualties in U.S. wars). Another thing that I like is that this film is really funny. Not a cruel, mocking funny of this small town, but a thoughtful, people-sure-are-different funny.

One of my favorite parts is in this souvenir shop where Norma, the proprietor, showed us all of the George Bush memorabilia she had there. Christmas tree ornaments, mugs, baseball caps, t-shirts, talking bobble head dolls... anything and everything George W. The talking doll though, wow. The town of Crawford was completely revitalized by the moving of the president, but it hasn't ended up as well as they hoped. It makes me wonder-- what would've happened if it had been a popular president?

So, right now Crawford is doign the festival circut-- become friends with it on facebook and you'll find out when it is in a city near you. And if you aren't a film festival buff, I'm sure it'll be only a matte rof time before it makes it to a theater near you. Seriously, it is that good (and honestly, probably better than most things out there). Or, come visit me and we'll have a special screening just for you on my little computer.

Two thumbs up, 5 stars, 100% awesome. That goes for "Crawford" and for Em.

Hanging out before the show, Melinda and Kathleen got to feel jared's enormous rickshaw driving muscles.

After the show, lovely ladies in brooklyn-- Rachel, me, melinda, kathleen.
Merch girl Rachel. No, she didn't get to sleep with the band.

We love Em and Crawford! Kristian, Rachel, me, Em, Melinda Kathleen, Jared.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Obama clinched the Democratic party nomination last night!

What a historical moment. It has been so inspiring to see this race. yes, i have gotten frustrated by some of the meanness, but mostly inspired by Obama and Hillary hashing it out over policies. And now, to the presidential race... I suddenly had this sinking feeling that what if people vote for McCain? shudder. Please don't. I'll write a long essay sometime about that. But for the time being, just listen to the latest speech by Obama.

Speaking of America, I got my fingerprints taken yesterday for my citizenship application! I expected to have a nice photo of inky fingertips, but they do it all electronically these days with a fingerprint scanner. Not much else to say about it, except that there was a lot of waiting around, so if you are planning on going, take a book.

Sunday, June 1, 2008


I posted that video of Elna Baker, the single LDS comic, on my blog a while ago. It was a clip of her talking about going to an LDS singles Halloween Dance, and I posted it because not only was it funny, but I could also identify with it so, so much. I go, the activities end up being lame, I have a bad attitude, and I end up complaining about it a lot (although, it may not always occur in that order. the complaining usually starts before the going). But, this summer I've decided to be all about trying new things and having a good attitude, and so I signed up for the New York Harbor LDS Singles Cruise. Three hours, on a boat with music and a lot of awkward (desperate?) singles of varying ages hitting on each other. All the makings of my worst nightmare. But I got the announcement email, and in a fit of seizing the moment, I registered and paid my $19 to attend. I of course immediately regretted my decision and begged Aaron to go (which he flatly refused to do), and spent the remaining weeks prior to the cruise attempting to convince everyone else that I know to go with me. Heaven knows, I didn't want to go alone because I might actually have to meet people and talk to them! I am normally totally friendly person, but for some reason, at LDS singles activities my social awkwardness comes full force. Maybe it is because the whole "your soul mate might be there doing the funky chicken" idea.

I had three options: 1) I could bail and lose my $19 (as a poor grad student, this is a large investment, and so I decided that this wasn't an option-- I would at least have a cruise in the harbor). 2) I could go and sit in a corner watching the city pass by and count the seconds until the torturous event was over while making small talk with other awkward people (also, not a fun sounding option). or 3) I could swallow my pride, and determine beforehand that this was going to be a good time with a good view and a chance to do some dancing. I chose option 3, but you must understand, there is something in me that really enjoys mocking these activities, and so to have a good attitude meant I would be swallowing a lot of pride. But, I determined that if I could give up chocolate for a month and a half (yes! I really did it! Chocolate no longer controls my life!), then I could have fun on this cruise. And so I went.

Luckily, I had managed to beg enough of my friends from the ward to come along too, so I wasn't left to my own devices, and I ran into Kristian on the way over so we walked over together and i didn't have an opportunity to look at all the people and turn and run away. And you know what? I had fun. I actually had a lot of fun. the view was beautiful, the music was awesome (a dj named Justin Dean Thomas who played stuff that I can actually dance to and not just a night full of Rihanna and latin music, which of course led to an uproar but I enjoyed), and good company. Nothing to fear. So the lesson learned? Friends are awesome, good music solves all problems and eases social awkwardness, Mormon singles activities aren't all that bad, and any evening where you can convince someone to do a pretend model shoot on a boat while circling Manhattan is a winner.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, may I present the 2008 Nautica catalog models, Kristian, Greg, and yours truly. (you guys are such, such good sports)