Wednesday, December 31, 2008

resolution #1.

happy new year everyone! may 2009 be successful and better in every imaginable way, whatever that means to each of you.

my first resolution is to actually write stuff in my blog(s) instead of just thinking about (writing about) them. i'll be back with a vengeance in 2009. read y'all later!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

lighten the load.

in case you're anywhere near helsinki, and wondering what to do, i'm dj'ing tomorrow at beatroot from 9pm till 2am. expect anything and everything, from light electropop to 90's dance gems and shitty house.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


a meme i received at facebook... it's absurd enough to make absolutely no sense, but does reveal something about the musical preferences of the person. or not.

i challenge anu, sugar kane, maire, rokkihomo, m, and the rest of you who feel like up to it.


1. Put your iTunes/Napster/Zune Player/WinAmp/etc on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
4. Tag 10 or more friends who might enjoy doing this as well as the person you got it from.

atlantis to interzone



feel good hit of the fall


prayers for rain

ride the lights

twenty-four hours

like it or not

10. WHAT IS 2+2?


auf achse

honey honey

crocodiles in the sky

take me anywhere

into the white


the chameleon

poika nimeltä päivi


don't make me come to vegas

anything can stop us


the silver series

nobody knows

season of illusions

the boy that never lied

1 2 3 4

suffer well

we are louder


Monday, December 22, 2008

poni hoax.

lotsa great music these days comes from paris. when poni hoax came out with their involutive star ep last year with an incredible mix by joakim, i knew something special was in the air: their music is a crazy mix of italo disco and post punk, confused bleeps and trashy basslines.

here's their new and slightly strange (but alluring) video for the song "antibodies" directed by danakil. (warning: gruesome animal cruelty.)


last week pharrell and his crew were in helsinki performing at kulttuuritalo. going to the show was somewhat random since i only know two songs by them, "provider" and "she wants to move". i kept expecting some familiar tunes, but was told they were only produced by the neptunes and not by n.e.r.d... well what do i know. bummer.

Friday, December 19, 2008

crazy knits.

i'm stoked to find überknits galore at stores for mere mortals. i'd love a piece by sandra backlund, but i fear being mistaken for a work from the museum of contemporary art wearing her stunning handiwork...

therefore the gems topshop is offering are more than welcome. the small collection by simone shailes is wearable but quirky.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

vanity sizing.

the fact that sizing has changed cannot be challenged: i wore 27-28" jeans when i was at my thinnest at 48kg (106lbs) in 2001, i go for 26-27" now that i'm a healthy(?) 56kg (124lbs). i used to be a US6, but now the older (and definitely not thinner) me needs a US0 or US2. nevertheless, this particular rant is not created by american brands such as gap which are known for catering to the whims of the world's fattest people, but by zara, the spanish high-street brand that has held a special place in my heart partially because of their predictable sizing. i still buy their tops in a medium because of my height, but require an extra small for dresses and pants. if they enlarge their sizes, i will need a seamstress which means bye-bye for me.

we all know that the claim that marilyn monroe was a size 12 is both true and untrue: she was a 12 of her time and probably about a 4 now. vanity sizing is a phenomenon that's been talked about in the press for years now. it is called "vanity sizing" because the favorite explanation given is that women want to feel thinner and a smaller number on the tag will convince them that they've gone down a size no matter what the reality. if made to choose between two garments, they'll go for the one with the smaller size rather than the one they like better initially. hence, women seem to be vain and stupid... and believe in xray-vision (which goes with stupid, i guess). some might deserve the stigma of vanity and fluff-headedness, since i do recall a girl from my high school who refused to buy anything bigger than size 8... i'm sure she's grown up by now.

there are other plausible explanations for the variety in sizing and why standardized charts, such as EN 13402, could create problems for manufacturers. for example, it could be argued that different demographics (in addition to men and women, that is) require different sizing charts, and stores that cater for construction workers and those that cater for ballerinas should use entirely different standards, i.e. one cannot expect to be a medium at both stores. then again, this argument is faulty, since there is no reason why the minute tutus and hulk-sized overalls should be available in all sizes: ballerinas could remain sizes xxs-m and construction workers can start from medium and run all the way to 5xl, if needed. right? my point is that rather than basing sizing on demographics, a standard sizing chart works partially for all -- even those who are small for a construction worker or huge for a ballerina. no-one in this world requires that a clothing manufacturer produces flannel shirts in a size xs.

in any case, my rant is not based on the fact that when i go to a new store, i do not automatically know my size. i also kinda get the idea that if i'm looking for a ballet leotard, i may need to start at a large rather than small. i'd be ecstatic if i did more-or-less know my size, since it would save me the hassle of dragging several identical garments into the dressing room and, moreover, would prolly mean i'd try stuff on more frequently in stores i don't normally shop at. that said, my complaint is that i have to guess my size at stores i've shopped in for years. since even designer brands aren't immune to vanity sizing, i cannot trust online shopping as i used to.

am i the only one who does not give a rat's bum about the number on the label but would really, thank you very much, like to be able to go, pick a consistent size, try it on for fit and color, decide whether the style was right for my body shape and buy it, rather than asking for several sizes in each garment, twitching like an ostrich trying on different sizes in the first style, getting frustrated, and eventually storming out of the store without buying anything?

must it be this hard?

the melodic one.

kitsuné maison compilation #6 is out. for those of you who are familiar with their previous compilations, the melodic one comes as a pleasantly easy listening experience. the french label produces tracks which are dj favorites at indie clubs everywhere -- when i'm feeling particularly lazy, i just pack my kitsuné compilations and a few 7" gems for a two hour set and i'm fine -- but their compilations so far have been slightly uneven when it comes to combining electropop and experimental roughness.

minimix here.

a book about helsinki.

the launch of bulgaria's a book about helsinki 2nd edition was last friday. the party was held at motellet -- probably for the size of the bar since the place itself is so midtown-jocks-and-prom-pom-poms, it scares me. nah, we did not stay long, but grabbed copies of the book and headed towards erottaja.

the first edition of "you should be here" came out just in time for the eurovision song contest in 2007, and the second one continues in the same path, only much sturdier, i.e. thicker, this time around. the book is not your traditional guide book, but rather a beautifully shot photographic reflection of the life of helsinki hipsterdom (for the lack of a better word which no doubt the creators would sneer at as true hipsters should. haha. sorry.) it's sarcastic, but gentle towards most of its depicted objects. very limited in its choice of content and viewpoint, it is not the book to turn to when trying to find historical walks around the city, but an informative and ambitious inside joke which challenges official city boundaries creating an alternative urban picture of the city -- similar to creating a guide book to manhattan where nothing between 14th and 110th street really exists and quick transportation to brooklyn was constantly recommended. in all honesty, i'd be happy with such a nyc guide book as long as circle line was included...

since all my favorite bars, stores, bands, and my apartment building are listed there, it is the only guide book i'd recommend to any of my friends visiting helsinki.

Friday, December 12, 2008

missoni home. and a rant-a-thon...

finally my missoni home cushions arrived. missoni, the italian fashion house known for their knits with kaleidoscopic patterns no-one quite compares to, have such a signature style and eye for color schemes that just browsing through their fabric samples leaves one short of breath. if you wanna do stripe, there's no better way than missoni.

my cushions are from their balbianello line of fresh satin cottons. lovely.

and then on to the rant.

one reason i order online is because many items are not available in finland, and even if they were, getting the exact product may be difficult due to various reasons such as the retailer being unwilling or unable to order something because they're a small distributor. another reason is that i like the convenience of it. provided everything goes right, that is...

this time the finnish post together with the courier had me infuriated. i waited for my parcel at home only to find out in the tracking system that "consignee was not in" when delivery was attempted. after calling the courier i was informed that codes at doors and gates -- which are standard everywhere midtown helsinki -- would prevent delivery although i did inform the courier that there would be codes. it said that right on top of the parcel. since my own post office was responsible for the delivery at this point, this sounded like a pretty lame excuse: they deliver the rest of my mail just fine and dandy.

well, supposedly they attempted delivery twice. there was no note informing me of the whereabouts of my parcel or the attempts. only after calling did i find out i would have to fetch the parcel from my local post office.

so it seems the finnish post offers a service they cannot live up to. since there are codes at every door in my neighborhood, this must mean that the finnish post does not do home deliveries in my area. naturally, i informed my retailer in the uk and demanded a refund on my postage: if i wanted to stand in line at xmas time at my post office, i surely was not going to pay them 30 quid for it.

sleek chic.

my perpetual hunt for the perfect messenger bag may have come to an end. perfection, for me, requires excellent quality leather which ages beautifully and does not lose its shape, great artisanship, no visible or extremely discreet brand logos and a design that's androgynous, functional and clean cut to a point of being minimal. i have been weighing the pros and cons of a mulberry messenger for quite some time, but dislike brass hardware and have not found one in exactly the right size for my needs.

entermodal may just fulfill every requirement with their "mobile" or their slightly smaller, but yet sleeker "revere" bag. each bag is handmade in portland, oregon and the company prides itself in supporting local industries and promoting a dying trade. they use toxin free and sustainably harvested tannins on their leathers, ionized aluminum for hardware because of its high recycled content, and the bags are designed with up-cycling in mind, i.e. they're easy to take apart and use the materials for something else if desired. handcrafted luxury does not come cheap as "mobile" (pictured left and right) retails at $1475 and "revere" (centre) at $775, but compared to other luxury brands their prices are nothing spectacular.

available online at juno & jove.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

upsidedown dogs.

i just found this hilarious site for all you dog lovers out there. the idea is simple: take a photo of your dog lying on it's back and rotate it upside down, and, whoopee, a funny loose skin face appears.

i'll post a photo of my little critter once i get her to stay still on her back long enough for a photo...

changing the scenery with the perfect bag.

the holidays are family time, and in this nomadic world, it means also traveling time. like many others, i pack my knick-knacks, presents, and head to another city to visit relatives.

packing is always such a hassle: i try taking only what i'll need to avoid a suitcase (and having to carry it up and down six flights of stairs which is too strenuous even with a polycarbonate rimowa suitcase), but figuring out the essentials in this nordic (sic!) climate can be quite tricky in a family of six people and four dogs with endless energy. my guidelines so far have been that everything needs to fit nicely into a weekend holdall.

my good old issey miyake bag has served me well throughout the years. i like the rugged look and the multiple internal pockets which are great for organizing. unfortunately, it is slightly on the small side and i often end up carrying additional shopping bags, which kinda ruins the charm, don't you think?

since it's not for work, a casual holdall works just fine. therefore, i've considered going larger and shinier with my weekend bag, and i really like the line raf simons did for eastpack. since i am not exactly a backpack kinda girl, i'd go for this:

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

fab fibres of the 70's.

this amazing and, at the time, technically advanced commercial was used to promote the happy synthetic fibre revolution of the mid-seventies. naturally, new fabrics required new detergents which were able to cleanse at low temperatures -- the fibres were more or less plastic and could not cope with warmth.

i still remember quite clearly that while i was growing up the promise that made a successful detergent was cleansing power in cool water. while these days cool temperatures are tantamount in importance, the reason does not derive from the fibres themselves as much as from saving energy and water.

to keep it real, instead of coral, try these detergent nuts a.k.a. sapindus mukorossi out. they work and are environmentally friendly!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

dilemma with the classics.

i've got a problem of my own concoction: if see a clear designer ripoff, i am unable to purchase it no matter how amazing and out-of-reach the original is for me. if i am unaware of the original, buying a copy is not a problem nor do i dwell on having copies of items i find out about afterwards. my inability adheres only to pre-knowledge.

while it is clear that the line between being a blatant copy and a garment inspired by some designer is somewhat vague, there are several really clear cases which cause too many headaches to my liking. to my detriment, the same dilemma applies to furniture and jewelry, as well, and when i see a jacobsen "inspired" chair, i cannot help feelings of betrayal flowing over me.

i am not exactly sure what the reason behind all this is, but it has something to do with knowing i'm abusing a designer's talent. knowledge changes behavior. in other words, i've internalized the fashionista's command:

"thou shall not knowingly purchase designer knockoffs."

in case this sounds too mother theresa to you, let me assure you my tendency to abuse younger designers is much more prominent than my ability to ignore known tokens of fashion history. perhaps it is because of the often apparent difference in quality and craftmanship; i can create something similar myself when it comes to young designers and, moreover, their designs are not as iconic -- so down to the lower levels of hell it is for me, then...

the fact that i do follow fashion (and design) -- luckily quite sporadically compared to a true fashionista, to be honest, since my interests are far too wide for concentrating on runway shows and buying glossies -- i guess i tend to spot copies around more than the average person: i see mouret dresses and faux spy bags everywhere around me and, therefore, fake prada or vuitton bags (which i do not claim i recognize nor care to) are just the beginning of my consumer neverevers. because my style is not about owning the latest and the trendiest garments, but rather a collection of seasoned favorites and some oddities (and obviously, several tragic do-not-evers), i can ignore the temptation at the store when i realize i'm seeing a knockoff product.

nevertheless, from time to time, i wish i wasn't aware of the original source because i can't bring myself to purchase an item i really like just because it isn't an original. for example, louis vuitton's iconic leopard scarf was copied by zara this fall, but i'm still torn for not being able to bring myself to buy it because i just cannot afford the original (retails at a mere 470€). at the moment my fave rant is directed the abundance of red soles on cheap and crappy shoes...

in addition to the aforementioned scarf, there are a few classics i would like to own. two of them are chanel, which is prolly not a huge surprise from such a monument of a fashion house.

the first is the quilted handbag known as 2.55. i'd like the reissue jumbo (or large), in black caviar leather and silver hardware. before i can afford one, i will not buy a quilted bag. the other one is the classic boucle tweed jacket. i want mine all black and would not mind some military inspired detailing like in this photo i snatched from some blog (sorry!) a while back. both are eternally stylish and can be worn from now, combined with jeans and a flowing tee, till i've got my other foot in the grave and the other one on a banana peel.

obviously, my problem is not exactly severe. if i'm never able to afford a chanel original, i can manage quite well without a quilted bag or a tweed jacket: there are still a number of exciting styles to choose from. the stylist in me will no doubt suffer, but my elitist claims the moral upper hand. such is the baggage one gathers from knowledge... (hahaha!)

wishy washy part two: books.

all i want for xmas... continues with some food for thought.

1. a mercy by toni morrison.
morrison reapproaches slavery but this time crossing and challenging racial boundaries.

2. 2666: a novel by roberto bolaño.
a 900 page murder mystery and philosophical exploration.

3. indignation by philip roth.
i'm hoping it will be another masterpiece of the troubles of the masculine.

4. when you are engulfed in flames by david sedaris.
sedaris goes through midlife crisis. a sure gem.

5. i was told there'd be cake by sloane crosley.
a cross between sedaris and carrie bradshaw, could this be a piece of chick lit i might be able to finish?

6. the winners by julio cortazar.
a classic by one of my favorite authors.

7. brief interviews with hideous men by david foster wallace.
supposedly a very uneven collection of essays with a few brilliant anomalies worthy of reading the whole thing. if you like wallace, that is.

8. dangerous laughter by steven millhauser.
almost chekhovian formality characterizes this much anticipated collection of stories.

9. puhdistus by sofi oksanen.
the finlandia literary price winner of 2008.

10. kohtuuttomuus by pirkko saisio.
another much awaited novel by an excellent writer.

wishy washy part one: accessories.

all i want for xmas... just in case santa stumbles upon my blog.

1. red tartan scarf from vivienne westwood. a classic wool scarf in a hefty size of 50"x50" (approx. 130x130cm).

2. a fummel + kram pac-man scarf from colette. i am fond of cheeky takes on the keffieh, and this one sports a hand-embroidered pacman game with pompoms. for the inner kid.

3. anything from katherine sturgis's amazing collection of bracelets. the combination of silk thread, vintage rhinestones and silver chains is both delicate and rough and appeals to both the girly magpie and the need to remain androgyne. i may actually attempt making similar ones myself...

4. prada clutch bag from their mordore stripes line. classy, but not in the least over the top, it could work from day to a casual evening out. (fyi, raffaello network has a sale on prada and some other brands...)

5. my friend aino makes these pretty amazing cursed heart necklaces for her i know why no label. i'm also fond of her take on id-tags. available at helsinki10.

Monday, December 8, 2008

the scent of a holiday.

i like xmas mostly because it is the only precious time of year when my dispersed family spends time together under the same roof, but also because it is an excuse for having the scent of glorious spices around the house all the time. i am fond of warm spicy scents and the holiday season is my time to stock up on shower gels and body lotions for the rest of the year (and if i run out, there's always kiehl's and their coriander body wash).

start preparing for the season with some coffee flavored gingerbread to enjoy with an afternoon latte, and the basic, but always delicious carrot cake.

latte gingerbread

1,5 dl syrup
1,5 dl milk
2 tbsp instant espresso
2,5 dl sugar
3 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp baking soda
100g butter
7,75 dl all purpose flour

1 egg white
around 2,5 dl icing sugar

1. briefly boil syrup, milk, coffee, cinnamon and sugar, remove from stove. add baking soda and butter in cubes.
2. let cool slightly and add flour.
3. let the dough cool for a few hours or overnight.
4. roll out the dough thinly and cut into shapes. bake at 200° until brown. let cool.
5. blend egg white and icing sugar until smooth and decorate.

carrot cake

5 dl all purpose flour
4 dl sugar
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg
1 dl ground nuts
4 eggs
1,25 dl oil (sunflower)
6 dl finely grated carrots

100 g cream cheese
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla essence (or 1 tbsp lemon juice)
around 200g icing sugar

1. mix all the dry ingredients
2. break eggs, add oil and carrots. mix well.
3. add the dry ingredients into the carrot mix.
4. pour into a greased and crumbed tin, bake at 180° for about an hour. let cool completely.
5. mix cream cheese and butter until smooth, add flavoring.
6. mix with icing sugar until thick and smooth, pile on top of cake. decorate with nuts.

i don't do holiday decorations at home, but i do want a tree. i'd prefer a live one for the amazing scent, but being away for a fortnight to visit relatives does not a happy tree make. this year i also hauled my tree decorations to my parents' so that we could have a new look there without buying an extra set of ornaments.

therefore, we just got a teeny tiny (and slightly tacky) little tree and some new decorative balls: small black ones from ikea, beautiful muted colored ones from habitat and the outrageous goldfish with a feather tail from skanno.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

keep your borders in check, ladies.

the finnish independence day is celebrated on december 6th, and the most followed party method is to get trashed the day before and lounge in front of the telly to watch the president's independence day gala. this year instead of going out on the eve of the main event, we held a small house party on the day itself.

plenty of bubbly and cheese, a punch with a very secret recipe, and a team of extremely judgmental trend heads we were ready to take apart the outfits people chose to wear to the presidential castle. every year the finnish elite astonish me (and several others) with their inability to put together ensembles that work as wholes. again, there were some clear faux-pas, for example boobs popping out, au naturel faces and a pant suit (!), but my main issue this year was with the lack of proper undergarments: sheer fabrics and strapless gowns require corsets and shaping underwear or the end result is lumpy and formless. investing on suitable and well fitting underwear is just as important as getting the perfect dress.

while screaming snarky remarks create most of the fun, there are always perfectly balanced gems in the lot. this year my favorite was anna abreu. she looks age appropriate and fresh.

(photo: atte kajova)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

molecular gastronomy.

yes yes, i am aware that molecular gastronomy is officially out, or has been out for such a long time it is officially back. foams and little weird droplets of unfathomable stuff appear on plates everywhere, and that's just not cool, right? ('that' referring to being everywhere, not the droplets themselves... english 101, where are you when i need you desperately?) well whatever, and good riddance of thinking cool, i say. i still want to get a reservation at el bulli and experience the art of cookery/chemistry by ferran adrià.

in the meanwhile, i intend to get a book of el bulli recipes and start my own experimental kitchen lab. therefore, i hope someone in or visiting the nyc area gets me this kit from dean & deluca. hint hint.


continuing on the topic of favorite authors, i must mention david sedaris. my love for his self-deprecating humor started with me talk pretty one day (little, brown and company 2000), and has continued ever since. his observational skills concentrate on the every day absurdities of life and it seems his curiosity pushes him towards inexplicable explanations, as paradoxical as that may sound. he's just incredibly funny.

sedaris on letterman talking about, ahem, accessories for men.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


monday night ladytron performed at tavastia. it was my third (or fourth?) time seeing them live and while i'm not too impressed by their latest album, velocifero, their concentration on new material wasn't too bothersome. one of the most stylish bands i can think of, ladytron hold a special place in my heart, especially from their times of minimalist kraftverkian stage and video presence. helen's voice has an enchanting quality to it, but as we stood to the right of the stage, it was somewhat disturbing to see the mannerisms required for her signature stylization which sound effortless but were nothing but judging by her physical twitching.

here's "runaway" from their new album which definitely continues in the ladytron style mode we've come to know.

Monday, December 1, 2008

knits 2.0

i am stunned and mesmerized by sandra backlund's knits. she creates hand-knit masterpieces which challenge the form of the body (and probably the courage of the wearer), but are such a great example of handicraft taken to the next level with a formidable oomph factor, that i just have to sit back, catch my breath and admire.

from last breath and bruises collection:

from ink blot test collection:

from body skin and hair collection:

(i apologize for the lame title... 2.0 is soooo 2.0, right?)

let there be light.

i am fond of classic crystal chandeliers, but find them hardly appropriate anywhere else than the bathroom. call me strange, but i find the restroom a place where either zen-like serenity or decadent excess become fashions of choice. otherwise i like simple playfulness when it comes to interiors.

michael mchale has reinvented the chandelier by using construction materials, such as piping, to create cool, rugged light fixtures. you can choose from swarovski or bohemian crystals which are incorporated into a design of recycled materials.

my favorite is the five bulb compact chandelier, below, where crystals are illuminated by five refrigerator bulbs.


my simple claim about why most americans (stress on the word 'most' and not restricting the generalization on one nationality) cannot fundamentally understand a social democratic state has, for a while now, been that their view on success and failure are individual based. my basic tenet is that they cannot tolerate a political system where free-riding is possible: the idea that someone got something out of the system without individual effort hurts their ideal of singular success stories. i collided into my "revelation" when trying to explain our society to friends and acquaintances in the u.s.: the response was always admiring, but ended with a doubt about mooches. how did we deal with abuse of the system? how could we pay taxes knowing that somebody was just claiming the benefits without a need, that we supported the lifestyle of laziness? i explained that it was because we have internalized the fact that people are not solely responsible for what goes on in their life and whether they thrive or collapse under pressure. it does not agree with the american ideal of the self-made man. logically, failure is also accredited to the individual despite our psychological tendency to think our own failures are not our own fault.

americans base (and others who cheer for the right wing rather than the welfare state) their political system on liberalism in its purest forms. pure liberalism (or libertarianism) places responsibility on the individual, but more or less ignores the fact that not everyone starts the same nor is surrounded by the same opportunities. true to their name, liberalists believe that similar freedoms or liberty maximized, is the most important factor in creating equality. their thinking is faulty, as has been proven by liberalists themselves. john rawls, who's often named as The Liberalist Thinker, started his theory of justice (1971) from the simple realization that people are not born equal and these inequalities tend to follow them throughout life, and as much as rawls's analysis was insufficient, his reluctance to give credit to the singular greatness of those who succeed, rightly places him near the top of political thinkers.

to my surprise, malcolm gladwell has uttered the same thought in his new book outliers (little, brown and company 2008). he claims that we are too keen on explaining success through individual effort and strenuous work, and that we often ignore the advantages and possibilities that are enjoyed by those who do, in fact, succeed. it does not mean that success stories happen despite individual work and that we could not take pleasure and congratulate ourselves for our own triumphs, not in the least. nevertheless, it is quite a different story to take singular credit for one's victories and think that this choice to ignore the realities of what enabled the success somehow works as a good basis for social justice.

david leonhardt writes in his ny times book review:
"Many people, I think, have an instinctual understanding of this idea (even if Gladwell, in the interest of setting his thesis against conventional wisdom, doesn’t say so). That’s why parents spend so much time worrying about what school their child attends. They don’t really believe the child is so infused with greatness that he or she can overcome a bad school, or even an average one. And yet when they look back years later on their child’s success — or their own — they tend toward explanations that focus on the individual. Devastatingly, if cheerfully, Gladwell exposes the flaws in these success stories we tell ourselves."

gladwell's capability to express ideas clearly and his reputation as a writer give me hope that this simple realization would gain more ground among people. it might work as a stepping stone for creating social minimums which were actually sufficient. hooray.

Friday, November 28, 2008

xmas hki10 style.

last night was the xmas party for helsinki10, my absolute favorite store in town. a small group of people gathered to enjoy music and drinks and, more importantly, plenty of new desirables in for xmas.

the staff succeeded in making an in-store event feel relaxed and not pushy while the employees that were present acted incredibly attentive. sure, the fact that there were plenty of friends there helped in creating an inviting mood, but they really had some je-ne-sais-pas going for them. well done.

i got myself a scarf from bernhard willhelm. it's signature willhelm in fabulous light 100% wool with a naive print and bright colors.

the goody bag offered created some laughs on our way home. was it some responsibility campaign to give a bottle of water to those leaving the party? it was evian by jean paul gaultier and yes, collaborations may be the thing to do right now, but it is water nonetheless...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

retro super style.

the new sins is a spinoff of new young pony club (who were pretty much a one hit wonder with "ice cream"). fresh and relaxed, their music combines disco and indie beautifully. the video is one of the most stylish i've seen in a while. enjoy.

new porn.

porn sells, right? yeah yeah, porn is so mainstream it's boring. well, it was boring to begin with, but it's become common enough to lose even the slightest bit of the ironic edge there might have been. throwing a porn theme party with swedish or german flicks from the 60's is just lame beyond description...

kasino a4 have titled their newest issue "new porn". known for their ambitious content, both visually and textually, the kasino team have created something (almost) fresh: a stylish and "homemade" ironic take on porn.

they even launched a video which keeps it on the safe side by only hinting towards male gay porn and utilizes lesbianism, s/m scenery and female imagery quite traditionally. what makes it pretty great is not irony (we've seen madonna do it before, for crying out loud), but a real, genuine playfulness. the music is a pretty big plus, too.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

these sounds fall into my mind.

plenty of old friends have returned this fall: bloc party, the kills and the killers all have a new album out. bp sounds as great as ever (or pretty much the same as ever, which is not necessarily a bad thing), alison mosshart remains my continuous style icon and the album is a jackpot, but the killers seem to be getting almost eurovision(ish) on me.

bloc party: talons. (from intimacy)

the killers: human. (from day and age)

the kills: tape song. (from midnight boom)

the phenomenal handclap band is something i really look forward to hearing more from. a collaboration of several dj's, artists, and musicians, they've got their groove right. i hope they can find the time to actually produce an album before the number of people becomes too much of a hassle...

the phenomenal handclap band: you'll disappear.

and then a great song that just keeps on going from summer to fall...

ladyhawke: paris is burning.

blizzard warmers.

when it's cold, i am very fond of ginger. the strong root works wonders as a natural warmth provider whether a spicy part (or end) of a meal or an ingredient of tea. it is known to ease an upset stomach and aid digestion, but also to calm the nerves.

here's my top 5 ginger products:

1. ginger yogi tea
2. yoghurt coated ginger
3. ginger snaps cookies (for a good recipe, go here.)
4. ginger and noodle soup
5. raw sugar coated ginger

and as an added bonus: ginger ale, preferably an organic one.

the perfect fabric.

new scientist reports of a new fabric created at the university of zürich which is completely waterproof. by using nanotechnology the scientist have been able to produce a fabric which repels water and, hence, the coating resists other liquid molecules creating a stain resistant, possibly a self-cleaning fabric. wouldn't that be great?

why start a blog?

Friday, November 21, 2008

be nouveau and nrj.

beaujolais nouveau est arrivé! i had meself a glass last night, on the "beaujolais day", at a small loyal customers' event at minus. one of my favorite boutiques in town, minus sells sandqvist laptop bags and select swedish fashions, such as acne, whyred, designer's remix, etc.

from there we ventured to nrj fashion awards at kaapelitehdas. it was packed and we barely caught a glimpse of the catwalk shows. the theme of the evening was "magic" and i'm not quite sure how to put this nicely, but a guy on a stage doing card tricks does not a magical night make. the most incredible single thing was an ice bar by finlandia vodka: an entire bar structure made of ice, melting away. the lack of magical entertainment was quite well compensated by watching people place their drinks off the provided mats and see their faces when their precious alcohol slipped off the bar.

party season has definitely begun.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


(better late than never...)

i like seeing shows at surprising or unconventional locations. i still remember fondly seeing chicks on speed perform in addition to peaches at deitch projects in nyc in 2004. the space came to life as a full arts project and i haven't seen much of anything like it since. maybe i haven't been paying attention, but it seems galleries are somewhat reluctant in planning music events. i'd like to see mob-like performances at shopping centres and office buildings.

in any case, as part of helsinki biennale and club misf*ts, i saw planningtorock perform at the helsinki design museum. her kaleidoscopic visuals combined with gloomy, but dancey basslines are quite exciting online, but she failed to own the stage however small it was. the impression reminded me of seeing peaches at bowery ballroom (or mercury lounge?) failing for the same reason: sometimes the stage just gets too big for the artist. sometimes going live is not the best option.

now they call me superstar?

"they used to call me tricky kid, i live the life they wish they did, i life the life, don't own a car, now they call me superstar..."

what a strange evening last night was. tricky played at nosturi and, not very unexpectedly, anticipation was high and i was let down. i am solely to blame for not being aware of a new album and, quite honestly, not following his career after the release of pre-millenium tension, but i did expect more of the older material.

it was a show where the artist spent more time with his back towards the audience than showed his face. it was a show where the artist himself felt more absent than i've ever experienced before. moreover, he also would not participate in any of his trip hop hits of maxinquaye. sure, he's been quite vocal about feeling iffy about the genre he created and with which he subsequently was labeled with, but i love him forever for gems like "overcome" and i wish he did not express his separation from his past by ignoring the fans who love his music.

without acknowledging his past his present feels empty. he's fragile without the base and ending with motörhead's "ace of spades" did not provide a salvation, at least in my books. i wanted more.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

war of the covers.

album covers gone to war. har har.

star trek.

the new star trek movie trailers are here.

needless to say, i'm a sci-fi nerd. therefore, i have rigorous views on acceptable star trek (original and next generation, none of that deep space nine crap!) and star wars (iv, v & vi), used to speak klingon and get giddy about the promise of new films.

but what's going on with casting sylar as mr spock? i'm disturbed.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

food for thought.

the economist has, as a part of their north american advertising campaign, launched a set of pizza boxes they distributed around pizza vendors in philadelphia or, more accurately, spots located around college and university campuses. each box sports a pie graph which informs the buyer of pizza related facts of global food production. some quite intriguing, others plain silly trivia, these boxes do provoke a thought or two about the favorite food consumed by students.

Monday, November 10, 2008

cut copy.

i saw cut copy play at tavastia last night. it was sold out, i.e. packed, hot and steamy. but the crowd was rowdy, bouncy and excited. since most of the crowd seemed to be acquainted with the band only since their latest release, in ghost colours, older songs created some confusion among the audience. for example, they chose to close their set with lights and music followed by their greatest all-time hit, future, and the reaction was harsh: almost all dancing instantly stopped.

as someone somewhere said, cut copy may be to rock for those into dance music and too dancey for rock purists, but if one is willing to ignore boxes, it's a most delightful band with two pretty great albums.

my all time fave, the opening track from bright like neon love. it's one of the signature, repetitive songs cut copy stole my heart with.

Friday, November 7, 2008

top 5 of the moment.

1. ikea samla clear storage boxes with lids.
2. elevators.
3. bubble wrap.
4. strong friends who love doing cardio.
5. storage facilities which remind you of gnome residences, such as low spaces above bathrooms and basement cupboards with miniature doors.

yes, i'm moving. and i am moving from a top floor flat to a renovated attic loft, from a building with an elevator to one without. running up six flights of stairs repeatedly is no joke.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


until a couple of years ago i was all about great print tees. my fave of all time was just another rich kid and his hand-printed limited edition tees -- the just another rich kid "f*ck gucci" tee was in 2005 what the house of holland "cause me pain hedi slimane" was like, eh, two years ago, you could say. with print tees i often go for men's because of the fit: they're loose and long enough, and i like the absence of curve which, in my opinion, accentuates the natural curves of the body.

when oki-ni started catering to men only, i almost forgot about it. it was my favorite online spot for limited edition sneakers for years, but eventually i grew out of my sneaker freakery (only to grow into a heels freak). i still get their e-mail bulletin and got excited about their tees.

electronic poet "tweak" tee. it's a little obvious, but the dj-insinuation is kinda cool.

passarella death squad "mickey" tee. just awesome.

obama the savior.

he won. everyone is happy -- at least outside the united states. up until the last minutes i was wondering whether it was possible for americans to elect an african-american president; whether racism would prevail over reason (as it by definition does). i wondered whether it was possible to admit political failure in the face of a world that acted as if it was voting for americans; would pride overcome reason (as it almost by definition does). i seriously could not imagine the united states as a voting community where east coast intellectuals with their "european aspirations" would agree with evangelical southerners. i was proven wrong. i'm glad.

americans appear ready for some serious change. my view of american citizens has changed from imagining them as guided by fear and pride -- the scariest combination of them all, especially if ignorance is added -- to a people who vote for a future despite their historical handicaps. the landslide result of the election showed that americans can think beyond race and their self-image as the world police as the boastful xenophobic rhetoric of the republican party failed.

the interest of the rest of the world in the election does appear slightly exaggerated and somewhat controversial. the facebook group aim for normalizing "hussein" as a middle name should not be forgotten after the elections; i wish finns would continue with "mohammed" as an act of solidarity towards our own minorities who are discriminated against. seeing everyone agree on obama "the leftist" as the best candidate does strike me almost hypocritical after local finnish elections ended with a booming victory for the right wing while it is undoubtedly true that what is considered leftist in america is not quite the same in our social democratic society.

the man has had the cape of a messiah landed upon him. no envy on my part. i wish him luck.

Monday, November 3, 2008

how to double your collection.

this campaign by bianco footwear feels lovely in the midst of all the homophobia visible in this world. it's a brave move that just has to be admired.

the fact that a group of religious lunatics celebrating atrocities as vengeance from god to countries accepting homosexuality can travel around the world and get press coverage saddens me. (note: i will not post a link for them here because i don't think they deserve any kind of increase in exposure.) the fact that some people seem to get away with homophobic recruitment policies because people seem to find it compelling to think it's acceptable they're "just keeping their subscribers and advertisers happy". it makes me wonder which part of the need for anti-discrimination laws does the general public not understand: if people did discriminate because of good reasons and if this was acceptable, we would not need legislation on the matter in the first place. we're not allowed to discriminate because the reasons that make some people unhappy, such as open homosexuality, are not considered legitimate. it really is pretty simple.

bianco's ads consist of pretty pictures and a couple of videos. they're just beautiful. there's hope for a more tolerant and accepting world, somewhere.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

false oppositions.

there is a significant glitch quite apparent in marketing and brand messaging which bothers me and what i, personally, identify as one of the most interesting challenges in the future of marketing: the promotion of ethical ideals. i am not talking about some idealistic anti-materialistic view going towards corporate extinction, but about the fact that social responsibility is increasingly important, accepted and promoted as part of marketing, and it should be profitable and beneficial to move towards more responsible production and consumption.

as we all know, moral consumption and ethical buying are huge trends. whole brands, such as american apparel or edun, rely on their image as more ethical than their rivals. eco-chic, sweatshop-free, organic, fair trade, social resposibility... you name it. (almost) everyone is doing it, and ethically sound seems to have surpassed healthiness as the main added value to a brand. nokia made it up the greenpeace scale for eco-friendly electronics. the paradox, in my view, lies in that once it's been established that corporations realize the importance ethical thinking and action, they cannot succeed by definition because they are corporations. it does not matter what kinds of changes they're willing to make, because everything will be viewed as superficial image polishing just because the changes are made in a profit oriented matrix. it seems that a huge false opposition exists between profit and morally proper action.

the history of opposition is obviously between large corporations (evil) and ngo's (good); between creating profit no matter what and holding up ethical values and justice without financial gain. since values, morals and ethics became a trend and, increasingly, a basis for running a credible business, the demanding party has been holding the ethical halo on a stick and the business donkey has followed without ever making it underneath the ring of salvation's light. the inquisition is after you with boycotts, riots, vandalism and flyers if you don't suck up to them, but don't you dare think you can ever actually make them happy.

why call it a false opposition? obviously corporations and every company smaller than the few global mammoths are essential for the well-being of people: we need services, commodities and the jobs they provide. sure, we may not need as much material well-being or prices as cheap as we're used to. and sure, the ceos or major stockholders of corporations may not need as much of an increase per annum as they may be used to. if we were willing to pay higher prices and buy slightly less of everything, profit could still fit in the picture and working conditions could be better. the thing is, we're in this together.

the trend is too good to let pass because of skepticism. idealism may be a vanity we cannot afford, either, but where does the need to dismiss every effort a company makes towards becoming more ethical grow from? the insecurities of ngo's as the final holders of Moral Truth? the false premiss that a moral agent needs to be consistent and throughout, a moral archangel in the harean sense, or they won't be considered moral at all -- an argument all too familiar from discussions about vegetarianism as a dietary choice where the credibility of the defender of herbivores is challenged because of leather shoes. it's all or nothing, baby, they seem to think.

such ngo groups as the carrotmob offer an example how the halo at the end of the stick becomes attainable and what is possible from the morals guarding side of the polarity. by concentrating on the positive -- by rewarding a business for ethical conduct with tangible benefits rather than lamenting on whatever monstrous act was hidden behind a corporation's latest effort to appear ethical -- it seems ngo action and business can hit a pleasant chord together.

but isn't there something that could be done by just altering the messages that marketing agencies are producing for their clients? if i am right about the opposition being only an apparition, there must be means to surpass it creatively and conceptually. it cannot be that only ngo guided or controlled activities should be and are truly ethics promoting and significant while cooperation with them may be essential -- if only for information. if we really want to attain a better world, why are we so damn hesitant to reward movement towards it? would somebody think this over with me?

compaq: computers often make people quite angry.

in the midst of desperate efforts to create successful slogans and milking then endlessly until everyone is dead tired or creating insight from illogical allusions which are (supposedly) absurd, these ads are a breath of fresh air straight from the 80's. sometimes being plain silly and ridiculing one's own brand works wonders.

the absurd comparison.

the commercial not worth watching.

just forget what i said previously.

remember the brand? you sure?

Friday, October 24, 2008

store yer veggies.

i presume not being alone in searching for my lost cloves in the fridge. i don't like storing garlic on a tabletop, but sprouts galore and the notorious vanishing act of drying garlic cloves keep me wondering what i'm doing wrong. am i just not eating enough of the stinker?

well, ahoy, here comes bruno super deluxe and their veggie storage bags. they're made of cotton canvas which keeps garlic and mushrooms fresh with necessary airflow and protects from light. and they've got cutesy prints, they're reusable and washable. how very cool.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

5 firstevers of this fall.

1. peeling crayfish at a traditional fall party. i did not quite succeed; the vegetarian in me had a hard time dealing with an individual with a malformed limb and i could not continue, but i did try. i ate the poor btard, though.

2. playing with a playstation. (i know! but yes, it is possible i never did it before...) later on i tried wii fit, and realized i have a natural talent for ski jumping. if you want to have a go, visit the miltton and their hillstreet 8 entertainment studio on a saturday.

3. adjusting a flash code to my likings. (i'm one of those fake nerds who are nerdy mostly in the socially awkward sense.)

4. eating produce i grew myself, such as onions and beets. i do not have a green thumb, nor am i really all that into gardening. but i did enjoy the sporadic sticking of fingers in the dirt and pulling of weeds. and the stuff tasted pretty good.

5. voting strategically. since people tend to harden their political views in the company of like-minded people, i believe it is extremely important to retain variety in every decision-making body. i voted extreme, just to help idealists create a certain dissonance in the helsinki city council. that should keep them in check...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


anu wrote about how the chilly fall weather creates a craving for hot, steamy soups and shared a couple of recipes. i promised i'd add some of my own and here's the noodle, mushroom and ginger soup. a great substitute with a twist for chicken noodle soup when you're feeling a little under the weather.

noodle, mushroom and ginger soup.

15g dried chinese mushrooms (or 125g fresh forest mushrooms)
1l vegetable stock
125g egg noodles
2 tsp sunflower oil
3 garlic cloves
2,5 cm ginger
1/2 tsp (mushroom) ketchup
1 tsp light soy sauce
125g beansprouts
fresh coriander to garnish

1. soak the mushrooms in 3dl of veggie stock for 30min. reserve the stock. remove stalks and discard. slice the mushroom hats.
2. cook the noodles for 2-3mins, drain, rinse and drain. set aside.
3. heat the oil in a wok, add garlic and ginger, then mushrooms. stir for 2 mins on high heat.
4. add the combined stock and bring to the boil. add ketchup and soy sauce. stir in beansprouts and cook until tender.
5. divide the noodles into serving bowls (4) and pour the soup over the noodles. add coriader and enjoy.

a list of funky photoshop actions.

this list of photoshop actions seems pretty cool for anyone like me who likes to play around with their collection of snapshots. i especially like the lomo effects, the long term lomophile that i am.

the semco system.

i went to a brekkie meeting a while back to listen to a marketing agency manager and a consultant talk about new forms of leadership. as usual, the bullshit factor was relatively high, but there were interesting ideas thrown in the air. obviously, i was not their target audience and much of the information provided was tangential.

the glorification of original thinkers in economics and business seems to have shifted in focus to journalists, such as malcolm gladwell of new yorker and chris anderson of wired, and leaders of smaller companies outside the us instead of academics and global company ceo's. at the lecture, i was introduced to the phenomenon around ricardo semler, the ceo (chief enzyme officer) of semco sa in brazil. his building idea is that the structure of a company or corporation should and can be challenged in extreme ways while maintaining a profitable business but with increased employee contentment. he questions the plausibility of hierarchy, compulsory meetings, working hours, the corporate ladder, hiring policies and so on, and has applied his insight into his own company with the result of less than 2% employee turnover and around 30% growth per annum.

while he insists there is no semco system when it comes to the organization of his own company as an application to be followed elsewhere, i think the system is apparent: follow instinct and never stop questioning the obvious.

his lecture "leading by omission" can be seen here.

r.i.p. dave.

i'm not sure how the news escaped me. one of my favorite authors, david foster wallace, committed suicide on my bday, september 12. he was 46.

wallace was one of the characters whose writing fed my perpetual love of language and word-play. he studied philosophy and english, the same double major as yours truly, and seemed to enjoy disrupting linear thinking just for the sake of proving an argument. postmodern and analytical never came so neatly packed.

fully finishing his second novel, infinite jest, has been (and probably will be) an unattainable and continuous goal in my life, and despite being only a partial read the book remains one of my favorites - a ridiculous achievement for a book and something of an embarrassment for anyone claiming to read books, not cliff's notes, but oddly comprehensible to those who have actually picked up the book with its bible thin 900 pages of 10px font and 30 or so pages of footnotes, endless acronyms and temporal displacement. it is a work of fiction which simultaneously provides a continual headache and intense pleasure.

there aren't many authors i could say i'd mourn. dave would be one of them.

here's a relatively short and a pretty damn funny reading from harper's 150th anniversary.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


when it comes to dj'ing i'm old school. i drag the crate with the vinyls, suffer the bruises on my shoulders and deal well with a basic mixer and two decks. i'm no purist, though, and i do play cds (and have even tried ipod dj'ing way back in 2004, no click wheel...) and get a kick out of great cd players and funky mixers with effects.

i feel somewhat hesitant about the new generation of laptop djs. my feelings are not based on the format of the music, but the use of software for mixing. selecting a great playlist is not always easy, but i still think some essential part is missing from a set where the computer does the hardest job.

last night at beatroot i was surprised to see a dj with a laptop with swirling images, a pretty efficient looking beat counter, a list of what seemed like mp3s and vinyls spinning. i watched him handle the records with telltale ease: the guy obviously knew a lot about spinning vinyl. curious, i walked over to the booth, checked out the laptop and noted that he wasn't using any phono inputs on the mixer (meaning there was no music coming from the vinyls). was the guy pretending to dj? why the lavish performance?

so i took a minute to figure out what he might have been doing and proposed he was mixing mp3s by using some specialty vinyls. and he told me about serato scratch live which "is a DJ solution that comprises of the Serato Scratch LIVE software, Serato Control and an audio interface from Rane" according to the website. instead of vinyl crates, he brings a laptop, two vinyls and a small usb box. the software does not mix anything, and it seems the only point is to enable the dj more variability and a better back. the downside is that with unlimited mp3s there's easily too much to choose from, and one does need to start remembering the names of songs and artists instead of recognizing sleeve art.

such a great invention comes at a pretty steep price, but if you play enough, it may just be worth it. i'm just not sure how having such a system set up at one of my gigs would be interpreted since i already gather quite a lot of speculation about my skills or lack thereof. the laptop girl who really cannot play but fakes it well?

Saturday, October 18, 2008


since lg released it's prada collaboration with a large touch screen i've been wondering how users of iphones etc. deal with winter. touch screens are difficult to handle when wearing gloves. some people were spotted answering their phones with their noses last winter which obviously lacks convenience, to say the least.

freehands offers a solution of a sort. hopefully they'll soon come up with a more, ahem, streamlined version for the girls who do not want to look like lumberjacks.

notes on a beginning of a blog.

to be honest, i'm not new to the game. in fact, i've had a blog for several years. why start another one then, they ask. let me explain.

cardinal mistake #1: thinking no-one would actually read your blog in this universe of infinite bloggers.

cardinal mistake #2: imagining that using a pseudonym that was not restricted to the virtual world would not interfere with anonymity.

cardinal mistake #3: failing to censor oneself in thinking that a public blog is a great outlet for intimate, somewhat private thoughts.

outcome: realizing that you have a public blog of intimate thoughts with compromised anonymity and a steadily increasing number of readers amounting to a couple hundred hits a day with a few dozen regulars.

*all sorts of stuff hitting the fan*

therefore, a few months ago i went private with my older blog. not that i really have anything to hide; my closets are kept neat and swiped. it just started to feel slightly iffy meeting people for the first time and realizing they knew quite a few things about me when all i had was a name and a face. i do accept the blame for my choice of an outlet, but it must have felt weird for them, as well -- as if they'd been snooping into my badly hidden journal. let's just say going private with my other blog and starting anew with this one is to even things out a bit.

*takes a bow*

hey, y'all. i'm a girl with funny, helmet-like hair you'll find dj'ing all around town. my educational background is in philosophy, political theory and english, among others, but my older readers will know i have a keen interest in science, music, fashion, urban culture, design, gadgets and lists of all sorts. my interests will determine the content of this blog.

outrageous outings? i will out stuff i find outrageously cool, impressive, or beautiful. and i'll complain about all sorts of stuff, if i feel like it.

welcome. feel free to comment.