Thursday, 11 December 2014

Friday freakout - what topped the scale this week

It's Friday! Time for a healthy dose of reflection upon the events of the week.

Last week HSK exam: went horrible. Don't want to talk about it. if you still make me, I'll talk nothing but Mandarin Chinese with ye for the rest of your days remaining. In a taxi driver's accent. Ye'd be warned.

a preview:

Last Saturday: international Finland day. Lots of dresses. Because i have the short term memories comparable to a goldfish, I forgot how to type 'dress parade' in Finnish into Google, so that gallery is still in draft.

The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show Aired! But I still haven't seen it becausr the links don't work. I'm patient though. I read a very interesting article on Jezebel, concerning the Angles and their candy consumption. I can only pray that is true, now I have another reason to squeeze myself into the castings for next year. Speaking of candy: 2005! in all their glory

I asked for directions on the modelling forum, and my-oh-my did I hear about it! Dull, one dimensional, non-artistic, boring, un-inspiring slab of junk you are Doris! One fellow made me cry, but it's possible my ladyparts were responsible for that too a little bit cos it's the chocolate time of the month.

So now I'm leaning how to code. #nerdsrule

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

潘家园


This may as well be one of my favorite places in 北京. It's an antique market (Panjiayuan market), that carries anything from jewelry and all types of crockery to calligraphy equipment and old Beijing opera costumes, brightly colored furniture and all kinds of paperwork. Isn't it great to discover a market like this, and just spend hour after hour browsing through it all? 
























The first time I stumbled upon this gem of a place, was after my first time working for the television. The studio was all the way in the South of the city, it was a long day, it was very cold.... all great circumstances to annoy a person. Until I took the wrong exit out of the subway, and all of a sudden ran into this gentleman playing catch with his birds. I got curious about what else would be going on at this place, and after a short walk I found myself at the entrance of the 潘家园 antique heaven.

I've been back there many times, told everyone all about it, yet never saw it being trampled by Laowai. If you're in the area and looking for something original, go visit this place, and be amazed! 

All the nick nacks one can carry <3 

Sunday, 7 December 2014

itsenäisyyspäivää. That's a lot of dots for a lot of a's.

Yesterday, December 6th, a day in honour of a Saint (Nicolas), the wind spew snowflakes left and right; a good day for a part. Finnish Independence day, to be exact.

Now, I'm not entirely new to the phenomenon, as I celebrated Finland day before. Last year, to be exact, in Beijing. Where it undoubtedly was very cold too, perhaps no snow, a quadruple amount of pollution and a pile of beer that refused to quit. I remember flags, Finns, a speech, a heap of blue wigs, and a game of darts.

No parades, no happy, flag waving people dancing on the streets. Instead, there's a 3 hour item on television, about the president. First he waves to a parade in front of his house, where he stands on the balcony with his first lady, doing his best not to shiver, because it's cold out and they didn't wear a jacket. Later, they took to the inside where they received all kind of rich bozo's important people; veterans, athletes, Teemu, you name it. Now pay attention  as this is apparently the main event of the evening.

The first thing I noticed, was the overall mood, from the ladies, mostly. I'd think, that meeting the president and his wife, shaking their hands, have a few words of small talk, would put a certain amount of pizzazz to one's daily routine. Shake things up a bit. Excitement! Would that not bring some sort of expression on someone's face? Not quite. Many people  seemed untouched (and downright bored)by it all, and iffy to get the hell out of there.

My latest fashion show was in Tampere, featuring an array of Finnish design (photos later), so despite not knowing who was who, I could certainly tell my Jukka Rintala;s from my Saaga Designs (there was one, and it was gorgeous. WHY can't I find it online anywhere??) before the commentators did. And luckily, among a stream of obligatory polyester numbers, and a lot of people took it upon themselves to show up in traditional costume (which is truly fantastic, and they should have their picture on the front of all the tabloids). Apart from those, there were dresses made out of recycled coffee cups, dresses so fluffy and pink they made my teeth turn to liquid, the lady from the students union wore something graphic with really cool colors.

Honestly, I'd love to participate in a more productive way (which I later sort of did, with beerpong), but considering I don't know who all of those people are (Didn't know any of them except from Teemu). I'm guessing my favorites are a lot different from what newspaper editors were thinking (Here's a link to Iltasanomat, with an obligatory stream of safely dressed swedes not smiling). Either way, many things stood out. I'll put up a picture parade later, as all I could find was either the boring ones, or last year's standouts. And only the finest here!

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Wings.

Happy Victoria's Secret day everyone!

Allow me to journey back to the day where I was living in Beijing, and had just booked my first gig. My very first official gig, after months of unsuccessful castings and agents who gave me the silent treatment. I was over the moon. It didn't matter that the show would be in Shenyang, and 'oh btw, it is a lingerie show'. I got booked for a thing, and I was excited!

Shenyang in the morning
One faithful evening we took to the railway station, where me, my buddy and 6 grumpy Russians boarded a night train that would took us to a place that was far, cold, and very windy. Me and buddy were excited, shared cheeseburgers and watched  the official VSFS from the two years before. We were all amazed by the spectacle, debating who looked the prettiest and how to walk 'The Walk', exactly.

We'd spend the whole next day (Christmas eve) in a hotel, rehearsing, getting our hair done, trying to take a nap. During our fitting it became clear that all of us would be walking in a Victoria's Secret rip-off event, as part of an event for Christmas. There were all kind of performances, kids doing acrobatics, kids in the audience, and we in panties and bras with wings, and other skimpy outfits.

Wings!  
But I was still very excited, as it was my very first time I'd ever set foot on a runway, or in this case, a stage (with steps), and the wings they gave me were huge and heavy.

I had no idea these kind of shows are a re-occuring thing in China, and they put me in all kinds of wings, on all kinds of wobbly stages, all the time. It's kind of fun. You learn how to be suspicious of confetti canons because they contain a matter that makes solid ground turn in to a surface on which to fall down and to never get up.

So, that first show kicked off a stream of wings and embarrassing moments. filled with sequins hastily glued on a pair of knickers that grandma would appreciate. Wings that were usually very pretty, but often also very heavy and impossible to wear gracefully. Always on a wobbly stage, always in front of an audience existing of somewhat important local people (old men).





Two happy models in an elevator
Shenyang by night
Skimpy outfit #3
The Stage

Thursday, 27 November 2014

to fizzle or to Bang?


I've had bangs for most of my life, as (or as my mom would argue) it would make my tiny narrow head seem more normal shaped. My mommy-biggest dearest would call a fringeless-face a 'bare-ass head', so that was possibly another motivation for me to keep my fringe. 


When I was little the fringe bothered me, then it became my statement (partly also because of Lanvin FW 2010), and after that it was just this thing that was a part of my forehead - always there. The Thing that would not leave. 


Currently though I am in the process of growing my bangs out. This decision came hand in hand with growing my entire hair out as I had it very short for a while.  I suspect 'them' throwing short haired girls in front of rapidly moving objects though (But everyone looks so alike and so dull and so bimbo-esque with their perfectly styled long plastic curls... and then here I come marching in with my toilet brush hairdo big_smilebig_smile)


My hair is very fine, so having my full fringe growing together with the rest will  - hopefully- give me a bit more volume. Only thing is, now I have these baby hairs at the front popping up like antennas, and impossible to tame down. Except when I decide to cut my bangs back. But then how will I continue to plot with outer space?Which brings us to.....



The Saturday Night dance-off! :D 


Fuse ODG feat. Wyclef Jean - Antenna




Wednesday, 26 November 2014

China's neglected backyard

Hebei province seen from the train looks like China's neglected backyard. I noticed that on one of my last trips for work. 'Work', where getting dressed up as princess Bubblegum means a positive turn of events.

Usually any of the train trips I had to take so far it was foggy (= heavily polluted) and therefore I was unable to look around much. Or, we left ridiculously early (or late) so it was already dark. One time, however, it was squeaky bright. I could see Tianjin and the Tianjin tower from the window of my train, and before that moment I only knew of Tianjin because one of the stations we'd pass was called 'Tianjin West'. Also there were villages, and abandoned factories, and piles of stuff, and peasants toiling in the heat. All by all, it looked like a neglected backyard (a backyard nonetheless).

I must have pictures somewhere that will paint a picture. Once I took as video as we crossed the Yellow River (in fog and haze), other times I'd try to commemorate the view in combination with a can of beer, which is never the same on a Chinese train (I've only boarded high speed trains in China. Don't judge! Train travel is still my favorite way of travel. Czech trains in particular. Go try them!).

I've sipped through quite a few epic cans (because there were a lot of trips *ahem*, not so much because I felt a need to drink my sorrows away, although that was usually the case after the gig). There was a specific type that 'American Troopers'  preferred apparently, and there was a beer from Tibet.

And I always felt obligated to, in the first place, plop myself down into the restaurant car the minute the train would start moving. There are plugs there for my laptop, and without chord the screen goes black after 15 minutes. Also, more often than not, the travel companions weren't always the coziest.

Anyway. Let me see what material I can snort up from the hidden nooks and crannies of both phone, camera and hard drive.




video
This is either very annoying, or incredibly sad, but please tilt your head a 90 degrees to the right in order to view properly. Weekly quiz: what's the guy in the background saying? Send in your lucky guess before next week, and maybe you're the lucky winner of a fresh batch of uncontaminated Yellow River silt! 

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

It's not easy being Geek....

I learned about a game today, a very intriguing game. The name of the game (according to my friends)  is 'Fuck this game" or 'this game sucks'. There's islands and forests and graveyards in the game, which, I think, all have different colors. Graveyards suck, and so do human wizards. Them's a nasty bunch, because 'Fuck This Game!'

There is also a thing called 'the Black Lotus', which apparently is worth thousands of dollars. We're not talking about ladies from the ancient Orient here, we're just talking humble playing cards.

This game does not even have a board, like with Catan! No sheep to obtain, no villages to raid. There's cards with creatures though, and cards for brainstorming, and mountains which have a color, different from swamps or forests or graveyards.

They're playing this game on an enlarged mouse pad of sorts. One of the guys playing won it. If he would not have won it, he would have counted out ten euro's for it, the enlarged mouse pad (which has the name of the game on it though, and an angry man waving about with a ball of fire. Looks pretty cool).

Did I mention that I don't get this game? There's two huge stacks of cards the table, two players, and each player is supposed to know his stack by heart. There's druids, and swamps (again with the swamp!), creatures, green creatures, elves, forests, but no meadows, because the meadows are still swamps due to lack of technology (I assume the game is set some time in the middle ages, in a parallel universe).

The goal of the game is a it unclear to me. My friends play and practice on a 'quality deck' they found on the world wide web and then printed and photocopied. Buying the whole stack would take too damn long, and would cost too damn much (you can either by packs, or buy single cards from the internet, and those prices tend to be steep).

So, by copying decks from people who know how to play, who have acquired the right cards, you hope to gain enough experience to play in a tournament somewhere and win a load of cash (or, and over sized mouse pad), which you then can flip into more cards. Really good and/or rare cards go for thousands of dollars sometimes on Ebay (the game got invented about 20 years ago, many cards are not being made anymore).

The essential goal of the game? I still don't know. To eventually beat the dude (I think this more of a game for dudes) who got his hands on an original black lotus. However, it does not make for a cosy night of fun and whimsy around a campfire, unfortunately.