the chronic – 2007

For my next act, I will pull a rabbit from a hat… but first, allow me to expand and expatiate on The Chronic. In other words, I want to put theory into praxis:

* not dwelling on physical pain symptoms

I paid my dues a long time ago. I have adapted. I still burn with a huge passion for certain things. I don’t saddle family and friends with incessant whining. I stop and smell the roses, and try to be Buddha’s best buddy.

* emphasizing abilities rather than disabilities

Let’s not brag, shall we? But I still think I’m pretty good at a lot of things, hehe. See – nothing wrong with the confidence! Ah – the best advice you ever got, right here right now: nurture belief in yourself, and you hold the KEY to LIFE.
[Further advice: Fight people who bring you down. They are parasites of the worst kind and must be squashed underneath the heels of your Lacostes.]

* recognizing one’s feelings about the pain and discussing them freely

Duh. What do you think I’m doing right now? Besides, you’ve read King Of Pain, you’ve been to The Pyton Horror Picture Show. I know it is awkward and morbid for the outsider, but I have to do it for myself. I must.

* using relaxation exercises to ease the emotional tension that makes pain worse.

Apart from writing – the odd glass of good wine, a big-screen TV and a fun car does help ease emotional tension; all in the line of therapy, I will have you understand. What more, I have truly gained life from the summers of resurrection in the archipelago.

* doing mild stretching exercises every day (with medical approval)

Let’s put it like this: I try to keep in shape. Besides, I can not afford to put on weight – the ankle joints do not like a heavy billy belly.

* setting realistic goals for improvement and evaluating them on a weekly basis

Oh, coldly so. As far as improvements go, I was personally aiming a lot higher than the quacks/docs, but there is a limit to everything. Once you come to terms with that, you can move on.

* affirming one’s basic rights: the right to make mistakes, the right to say no, and the right to ask questions

I just wish everyone else would allow me to make mistakes too… from station to station, I am not a whole lot different than anyone else – I just want my fair slice of that magic word called ‘R E S P E C T’.

Thank you. Without knowing it, you have once again contributed to my well-being. Ain’t it marvellous? Don’t you feel good about yourself? Well, consider today’s good deed done.

the chronic

I am a man. By default, I consider psychology to be mumbo jumbo. But, since I’m no stranger to mumbo jumbo – I do blog – I intend to introduce a little piece of helpful mental training to you.

Feel free to laugh. I know I would have, before I fell from the moon on a motorcycle. Well, as alternatives ran bone-dry in the aftermath, I had to do something. Anything. Today, my mind is my only cure.

Let’s establish some perimeters before I get heavy on the New Age: My X-Man gift is chronic pain in both ankles. And that is that. It will not get better. It will get worse, in time.
In simple terms, there is not enough material between the joints to stop the bones from crashing into each other. My ankle joints do not float, so to say.
On a good day, it’s like having a headache in your feet. Bitching, but you must deal with it. [From the outside, no one can really tell – I’ve even managed to hide my limp.]
On a bad day, it’s like having broken glass in the joints. They crunch when you move, and it hurts so much you want to stab yourself somewhere else to ease the pressure.

I’m only doing this because so many have asked me how I cope with the ever-existing pain. “Does it not drive you freakin’ furious“, they wonder. “Sure it does“, I normally deadpan, leaving too much room for tiresome elaboration. “But how.. why don’t you take any pills?” usually surface at some point. “Pills kill” I may say, if I’m in a mood. I may even explain that nothing but opioids help. And that is death. Slow, but still.

Yes, the aftermath… in frantic desperation I travelled the net in search of witch doctors and medicine men and dudes with diplomas in Bombay. But all I came up with was a little list of seven coping skills, so simple it borders on obvious.
Acute pain is great – it performs a biological function as your body-alarm. Chronic pain, on the other hand, has no useful function, is resistant to medical treatment, and considered a disorder in its own right.
Plain to see, I AM the CHRONIC PERSONIFIED. I need alternative action from outside the box. Therefore, the list that follows has long since been my own little secret beacon:

* not dwelling on physical pain symptoms
* emphasizing abilities rather than disabilities
* recognizing one’s feelings about the pain and discussing them freely
* using relaxation exercises to ease the emotional tension that makes pain worse.
* doing mild stretching exercises every day (with medical approval)
* setting realistic goals for improvement and evaluating them on a weekly basis
* affirming one’s basic rights: the right to make mistakes, the right to say no, and the right to ask questions

On paper it looks like nothing; a few lines of empty mumbo jumbo. But in truth, you’d be amazed how well this works when you have no choice left than to really take it to the depths of your heart and adhere, adhere, adhere… until it becomes automatic.

And that is, no more, no less, exactly how I cope with pain.

fast and furious: inkoo drift

Last weekend, I hung out with best buddy Batman, who lives by the sea in Inkoo with his three lovely girls – one of which is my goddaughter. And, not only did he install my cool new car stereo – I’m an electrical doofus – I also got a free lunch, and… and… ooo-eeee… is that the wide open ice I see?!

Yes, we crammed ourselves into the red car, and – rather nervously – drove right down the Inkoo harbour pier and out onto the frozen water. Amazingly, the ice was thick enough.

No guts, no glory; no Porsche on the bottom of the sea.

In nary a time unit at all, I was swinging the broad booty of the 944 out like the front window is the side window, while Batman risked life and limb to take pictures of a maniac on drift.

Better yet, there were no snow-walls, meaning no new dings and scratches to the apple of my eye. [Cough cough]. Yes, I’ve chewed enough heart this winter to know that fat low-profile friction tires do not offer much in ways of traction. ‘Friction’ tires? Yeah, right! Better keep your tongue out like Mikko Hirvonen!

When it goes, it goes. But when in doubt, gas it.

You will have to make your own vroom-vrooms, but how I wish I could provide you with the soundtrack to these pictures!
Because, one, two, three and… the roar hardcore of this 944 two-door two-five Thor who swore is all but a fourbore snore offshore when you floor the score like a whore in war and scream for more from the store

[[Hoho! I beg you, read the riot out aloud; that was EIGHTEEN rhymes rolling off your mouth in ONE SINGLE reasonably realistic sentence. Suck me, Shakespear! You too, Eminem!]]

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taste this

You can not trust a man who does not drink” the apt saying goes. No, I am not the one who coined it, but I dearly wish I had. Whoever did apparently had a very true and deep understanding of life.

Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen takes it even further; not only is he a teetotaler, he does not eat cheese, nor onion, including garlic.

Come, come. Does this sound like someone who understands you – the people? Like someone who shares your values? Like someone you would vote for to act as your representative?

NO.

No wine, no cheese, no life. What does the minister – who holds the keys to our country – live on? Milk and boiled potatoes? You make me suspicious, man-politician. I look at you from the corner of my eye.

I will always vote for someone who has functioning tastebuds

Thus spake citizen Pyton.

the conspiracy against the middle-aged man

I have uncovered a huge conspiracy; the whole of the European Union is in on it. And believe me, this is serious. This is not one of those cucumber standardization programs that makes the wanna-be federation look like potatoheads, oh no-o-oh, this is danger, danger, high voltage.

This remarkable expos̩ Рwhich I, hehe, read in Helsingin Sanomat last week Рwill reveal to you the latest plan by the EU to kill all fun left in the old world! All fun Рit could soon be gone! Gaasp!

I’ll leave you hanging while I digress: sensationally, I used to be the best friend the EU ever had. In the early nineties, I walked around wearing those damn pro-EU stickers – you know, circle of stars, blue background, the letters E and U in the middle – which I also stuck onto everything including cars and houses and more often than not, the backs of people. I preached the part, too, told all the haters that the Union was the best thing since sliced bread and remote controls. Sir, we are not Lower Moldavia – we are a sophisticated member of Western Europe Elite Ltd, I used to say, besser-wisserly.
Ever the die-hard cosmopolitan and soft-brain visionary, I saw unified Europe as a way of restoring past grandeur, splendeur, amour, glamour to the continent that had lost its buff after too many wars and narrow moustaches.
And Finland O Finland, the best, the most high-tech, the most developed and least corrupted country in the world, was going to be right up there, fighting for a place at the helm of the rudder. I made plans for myself, too; moved to London to go to university, to study… guess? European Politics, of course. Oh yeah. A piece of that helm!
Sadly, I soon noticed it was never going to work.
Europe is just too… French.
Then I bailed, just as the boat got too heavy and started to take in water. The rudder was no longer working, either. The blind hens aboard the sinking boat struck gold with the common currency, but since then, nothing but crap and corpses. Slowly but surely, I’ve been turning into one of those heathen haters I was converting over a decade ago.

Post-insightfulness, we make a post-haste return to that remarkable exposé teaser from the beginning:

The EU Commission has put forth a proposal stating that by 2012 all cars sold inside the EU must average less than 130g of CO2 per kilometer. Oh, great, you should think upon hearing this, rejoicing riotously in our nigh-on futile battle against nigh-on inevitable global warming.
Unfortunately, in praxis this means that no cars can consume more than about 5 litres per 100 kilometers after 2012.

And that, my friends, I have come to realize, is the sad death of the sports car as we know it.

What will now happen to the middle-aged man?!! I weep for the rich Lamborghini-driving bastard of caucasian complexion. We need to protect these dinosaurs of the male species! They are under serious threat of extinction.

Veto the EU! Save the sports car! Save the rich middle-aged Lamborghini-driving man of caucasian complexion! Save… ME!!!

[[This gonzo rampage blog is not called “A New Paradigm Of Ego” for nothing. When I turn 50, not only will I want a younger wife, but I will also want to march straight to my local Lamborghini dealer for some extra hair on the chest, i.e. a middle-engined sports car that consumes at least a throaty 50 litres per 100 kilometres at the speed of sound.]]

The fountain of youth exists.

Please, let me be able to drink from it when I turn auld.

o captain, my captain

I went to VENE 2007 yesterday. Perambulated confidently among the double-brested navy jacket-set. Loved the Aquariva 33. Have to sell a kidney. And at least one lung. Add the liver. And my only heart. Just to get permission to touch it. But sweet Jesus, if you only bow to the Material God, the line starts right here!

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Riddle: Why does most everyone speak Swedish at the annual Yacht & Boat Exhibition in Helsinki?

the idiot

The idiot is me, jag, moi, minä und mich selbst. I am a double idiot, triple idiot, village idiot. I hate myself and I want to die. Do you know what I just did? Well, I’ll be sure to let you know…

The idiot was writing all morning long, just like he does any morning long. However, as afternoon came around, the idiot started feeling restless. It was snowing in suitable fashion, and the streets were calling this idiot by name.
Ok, the idiot figured, I’ll just go for a quick and rejuvenating ride in my lovely car.
It has to be said that the idiot had a decent point there, as this zesty procedure had never yet failed to inject an elephantine dose of joie de vivre into his idiot body and brain.

Said and done, and as the idiot had plugged in the engine warmer earlier, the car started right up. He unplugged the cable, rolled it up like the pedantic idiot he is, and let the engine idle for awhile. In the meantime, the idiot busied himself with something irrelevant and mundane – and because he is such an idiot, he forgot to do something important instead…

Hey everybody, look at this damn idiot driving away in his red Porsche! He thinks he’s so cool, but his bonnet is NOT QUITE SHUT

In the whole epic history of this idiot’s lousy lifetime, he has yet to drive slowly. He simply can’t – his inherent idiotness will somehow not allow it. He has tried, and failed, on countless occasions. So, once again, the idiot proves his idiocy by taking off like his ass is on fire. He sits low in the car, and is unable to see the gap between bonnet and body. He feels chuffed as he holds a long idiot powerslide in third gear…

About half a kilometer of vivacious driving later, air finally gets under the bonnet, and the idiot gets a stupendous surprise. The whole damn bonnet comes flying up, hits the windscreen, introduces zero vision.
Oh shit, the idiot repeats a hundred times in less than two seconds. It is at this very moment he suddenly remembers he forgot to shut the bonnet properly…

No, no, no, the idiot doesn’t crash into anything. He may be a raging idiot, but he drives like Timo Mäkinen… he comes to a smooth halt at the side of the road, and climbs out to survey what his idiocy has produced. The windscreen is cracked in both lower corners, the bonnet is slightly bent, one of the gas springs under the bonnet is ripped out, and there is a modicum of other various heartbreak.

Now, if you excuse me, I’ll be in the closet, crying.

cruisapalooza

In morbid celebration of the end of the definition of freedom as I know it – read “angry young man” – I did something I’ve never done in my life so far. I went on a mini-cruise!
Oh, don’t get me wrong; I’ve been to the Stocky Holm in Swedendeden a great endless number of times – I like to shop [like you didn’t know..] – but this was one of those cruises that traps you, drops you off in exactly the same place you started…

I admit; I considered these kitschy cruises to be Canary Island tango. Only old people need apply. But whaddyaknow? I was wrong. This rarely happens, so I recommend you enjoy those three little words while you can.
Moreover, it is a splendid opportunity to “save a few bucks” while you stock up on your supply of Châteauneuf du Papes and pink Moët & Chandons.
[I was outdone, however, by one of my friends who splashed out on a Glenfiddich that was older than himself, for an undisclosed sum of a whole lotta cash].

There we were, my two buddies and I, seaside, listening to Cyndi Lauper, getting drunk on Cono Sur, loudly discussing underlords, overlords, überlords (these only speak German), sir Killalot and “level three minion-ship”… don’t ask unless you have read Dante’s Hell and have capabilities of boundless surplus imagination!
The whole experience was very Hunter S Thompson, so to say. And then, just when you least expected it, you meet a slender girl from Estonia called, adorably so, Madli.

I know you are reading, sweet-speaking Madli. Kisses. I also know that Madli is short for Madly In Love. And I certainly know that the next time I go on a cruise, it is going to be to Tallinn.

Anyhoo, the remains of the hour of the bat was spent hanging out with Madli and her schlager hipster crew – the finest performers this side of the Baltic Sea, I’ll have you know; they do a mean version of ABBA’s Waterloo on the stage, in strippers’ pants – I am really NOT making this up… nor am I being sarcastic!
Ah. Now where was I? Oh yass oh yass, hanging out with the Balts, having the bestest time, smoking Kents in the hallways, drinking their vodka, putting inspired words into fantastic sentences like you get paid to do so. This can only end in… in what? In staying the night in a cabin that does not have your number on the door.

Mini-cruises, man. The best thing since the combustion chamber. Shrimp sandwich forever!

fauna

Pour yourself a cup of green tea. Put your feet up. Play some Magenta Skycode. Then, just lean back and absorb a few animal pictures. Soothing, so so soothing. Thus, in a generous public service gesture, here’s some Thai massage for your eyes:

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Escape from the aquarium; the big bottlenose of the blue jungle.

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Pingo the yellow-eyed penguin in the Pacific Ocean breeze.

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Another Pingo, beach-strolling in from yet another fishing expedition.

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All eyes on me; so this is what it feels to be famous?

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Kea is not afraid of anything or anyone; also the only parrot in the world to live in mountains. That’s probably why they like the rubber seals on cars…

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This concluding image should relax even the most high-strung; Big Sälle in all his lazy glory. Aaaaaah. He sure knows how to chill out. Learn, modern man, learn!

the angry young man

The joys of life is punctured by episodes of blind rage and furious anger. I can think of several at this very moment, but one that stands out more than a lot is the latest and possibly lousiest decision ever taken by the Finnish government:

Say hello to warning labels on ALL bottles of alcohol; aka the tarrapakko.

If you are of a sensitive disposition, look away now; a rapid stream of vulgarity commences. [“It’s my blog, and I swear if I want to, swear if I want to!”]

What the FUCK are these FUCKING nazis doing messing with one of the last bohemian pleasures left in this world?!!! Don’t these FUCKERS have anything better to do?!! FUCK!!! What the FUCK do they think this will accomplish?!!! A beautiful dark green bottle of God’s blood is as much part of good dinner as the flesh itself. This FUCKING guilt-adding lunacy trip is completely destroying the visual feast this is. A die-hard aesthete like me finds this utterly revolting. I have one mother already!!! It’s not like I’m sipping on kerosene from Lithuania to go with the Camembert! You buttplugs!!! And what about the proven health benefits of wine, you FUCKING idiots!!! When will you realize you are not Jesus, Napoleon complex to boot!!! Why not return to prohibition while you’re at it?!! Then, next thing you know, we’re heading straight for the Dark Ages again!!! I bid a teary-eyed goodbye to the final remains of the age of enlightenment and illumination. What now: warning labels on candles – danger: hot to touch – yeah, that will go down nicely over a candlelight dinner with wine. Then, slap on some stickers on the knives and forks, too, you fascist pigs!!! You don’t want anyone to cut themselves, do you?!! Answer me!!! Do you?!! Where does it end?!! What the FUCK goes on in your heads?!!! This is not the sue-me-too US of FUCKING A!!! Do you think the filthy drunks in the parks care about warning labels?!! I can just see them give up booze because of this… duh!!! This senseless new sticker law only affects the good citizens like you and me – business just as FUCKING usual!!! Oh, this unhinged display of pathetic uselessness… I say, keep on underestimating the intelligence of the people in Finland like this, and I FUCKING swear we’ll come and burn your FUCKING house to the ground!!!

C’est ca, so listen up, little Hitlers! You do NOT represent me! You are NOT getting away with this! I will dedicate the rest of my life fighting you! And I start right here, right now:

The gormless Jesus nazis (104 persons) voting for this bill are:

Keskusta – Centre Party
SDP – Social Democratic Party
KD – Christian Democrats
RKP – Swedish Peoples’ Party (yeah nannies, look for my ever trusty Swedish-speaking vote in the FUCKING moon!)

The parties (71 persons) battling mindless stupidity, ie against, were:

Kokoomus – Coalition Party
Vasemmistoliitto – Left Alliance
Vihreät – Green League
(Individual people: Raimo Vistbacka, Arto Bryggare, Ilkka Taipale)

Tell all your friends, my good citizens. Don’t let the bullies sans brains walk all over you. Know that warning stickers are only one step away from complete forbiddance. Personally, I’ll mourn the last vestiges of freedom by getting gloriously drunk this weekend. I suggest you do the same. Kippis.