The way to split it

26. maaliskuuta 2010

Dear Kirsikka,

What a letter. I'm speechless. It made me think of my grandparents. I sent my grandpa a letter a few weeks ago. I'm gonna write another one after I finish with this. I'll send good thoughts to my grandma as well, where ever she is. I miss her.

So, because I've lost my words I'm gonna talk about something really ordinary (don't stop though if you want to read about photography for a change!) this time and not even try to make it anything special. Ok? Here it comes.

I wanted to split it.

So I tried to buy the original Diana Splitzer. It is a small device made out of plastic that helps you use only half or a quarter of your photo at once. Then you can move it and shoot the other half. Well, unfortunately they were out of stock. Bummer. What to do? Make one out of black cardboard, tape (and fix it here and there with black nailpolish...no fix it with purple one first and then realize it needs to be black). Voilá!

The thing looks like crap, you need to hold it still BUT it works quite amazingly! Or what do you think? The Wall Street one is my favorite.

I had just gotten used to the double exposures and now I need to practice the slicing of things. But it's fun to challenge yourself. I recommend you try it!

Aah Ruttopuisto, the park of plague, don't you just love it. Well obviously without the snow.

--She is like a cat in the dark
And then she is the darkness
She rules her life like a fine skylark
And when the sky is starless

All your life you've never seen a woman
Taken by the wind
Would you stay if she promised you heaven?
Will you ever win? Will you ever win?--

No tricks on the last one. Just to point out that you don't always remember how you've used the "Splitzer" or did you at all. But I love the boots. She does have two heels on the left one so maybe a little trick worked after all?

I'm going to try 800 film the next time. Hope it would work better indoors than this 400. My attempt to create people with twisted body parts etc. fell through. Better luck next time!

Until then:

With love, Diana and I

PS. It's the changing of the seasons: it is RAINING. WATER.

quote: Fleetwood Mac - Rhiannon


She taught me how to really look at things

24.03.2010 Los Angeles
Dear Emmi!

Wow, amazing pictures last time! I enjoy them so much more, knowing I am not there. Honestly: I don't need snow anymore.

When I was young my Grandmother would make an ice rink for me on the frozen ocean. We would light a million candles on edges of the icy skate way, and it felt like a magical night and I will never forget it. She made snow a part of my fondest childhood memories and thats enough.

HOOVER DAM. it's big.

I'll tell you more: In the summer she covered the bottom of a canoe with pillows. I would lie on my back and look at the sky and we would glide into a bed of reeds and all I heard was the ocean and sometimes she would sing.

THE BOY. smiles like one has never been hurt.

She always had strawberries for me and we would eat them on the porch on summer mornings from teacups and I always ate with a golden fork. Sometimes she let me climb on the roof and I felt like she trusted me.

She put me into a wheelbarrow with a down blanket and and pushed me around in the forrest and we looked for flowers and bugs and she always called everything beautiful, like bugs and worms and insects and she taught me how to really look at things.

She bought a microscope and we looked at plants, and spit and dirt and lipstick and cotton and everything we could find. And then she would change the order of every single piece of furniture in the house and she would say that change is good for a person and I believe to this day that she was right.

I wore her silk scarves, lipstick and cocktail jewelry and no clothes and ran around the yard naked and she made me ankle bracelets out of yellow flowers and always warned that the rocks were slippery. She was always worried I would fall over and now she's old and she is always worried she will fall over and I hold her hand when we walk.

We filled small see-through plastic bags with glitter and water and they looked like those glass domes with "snow". She had the glitters in old medicine bottles and there were at least 20 different colors and they were my favorite thing in the world for a very long time.

She tamed a family of swans. They made a nest and brought the whole family over and they were not afraid of her. Every day they came for food and not only that year but they remembered and she waited for them, and they returned every spring for a few years. I really think she loved them and one year when they did not come anymore we knew something had happened.

When my grandfather died she put a single feather that one of the swans had dropped, on the coffin. I cried.

She called me Mii and made me feel like I was more special than anyone in the world and we did things that you read from a Astrid Lindgren books and think no one really does.

She is funny and fierce and beautiful and has stories for days, she has seen the war, rode horses, played the accordion and piano, had a million admirers (I have seen the love letters) and I miss her. We listen to records, smoke cigarettes, read her old journals and every time I have a nap and her smell reminds me of the days by the ocean.

With Love, Kirsikka


When I was young I thought only of getting out

Helsingissä 18.3.2010

Dear Kirsikka,

It's snowing...again. Usually we get some snow in Helsinki in between December and February, you know that. Usually they move about 35 000 loads (that is for the whole winter) of snow away from the city center. Away from cars, away from life. But this year, things have been a little different. They've already moved over 130 000 loads! And that was last week. I'll say it again. IT IS SNOWING.

But wait a minute! If they are moving the snow to one particular place there must be A HUUUGE PILE OF SNOW SOMEWHERE. Oh yes indeed. Massive. And they say that it might not melt until the fall. Ok, now some of your uneducated US friends might say that of course not, you live in the polar zone (just kidding). But no, it usually gets pretty warm up here at least by July (I hope). So, imagine how cool it would be to go sledding in summertime!

The cool thing about snow is that it's super beautiful when it's white. The bad thing is...

...it turns grey.

I've been complaining a lot about the weather in Finland since I got back from LA.

--When I was young I thought only of getting out
I said goodbye to my street, goodbye to my house
Give a man gin, give a man cards, give an inch he takes a yard,
And I rue the day that I stepped off this train.--

Sorry everyone! I'm trying to be more positive from now on. Today I bought the loveliest pair of sandals. Summer, I'm ready when you are! In the mean time...I know, I know. It snows.

With Love, E.

PS. Greetings from Shafik. He got away from this all and is now in Miami. Say hi to him: http://woodandleather.blogspot.com/

quote: Tom Waits/Scarlett Johansson - Fannin street


Sleepless in la la land.

16.03.2010 Los Angeles
Dear Emmi,

I've lost my sleep. I simply do not have it anymore. It feels like I don't know how to do it anymore. Never before 2am do I get any. I have dreams where people have animal heads. The most disturbing head is the one of a squirrel. Way too small for a human.

Maybe if I lived in Vegas. There's no clocks- so people loose track of time. I would sit at the lobby, playing them games with quarters. I'd secretly drink milk to get sleepy and smoke a small cigar. The ones that taste like vanilla.

I'd post pictures of the signs for you. (Like I do now) Or maybe I'd start picturing the people taking pictures with the signs. All the families, tourists, lovers and scum. I'd make up stories about them and you would think I know them all.

It's Elvis.
How I wish that there were more
Than the twenty-four hours in the day
'Cause even if there were forty more
I wouldn't sleep a minute away
Oh, there's black jack and poker and the roulette wheel
A fortune won and lost on every deal
All you need's a strong heart and a nerve of steel
Viva Las Vegas, Viva Las Vegas

The worst thing about insomnia is the feeling you are the only one in the world who is not asleep.
Second worst is the fear of morning. "Only three hours left to sleep- only two hours left to sleep..."

Once I had a dream that me and The Boy were avocados. It sounds bizarre, but it was peaceful. Being an avocado. Not much happened but I slept well.

With Love, Kirsikka


Memories of LA

Helsingissä 13. maaliskuuta 2010

Dear Kirsikka,

This is where you play. Thank you for the best time ever. I miss the salty smell of the ocean. I miss the waves. I miss all your friends. I miss the karaoke night in Korea Town. I miss your Linus bike. I miss THE sushi. I wish I had chosen the soy paper. I miss the kid who called me grandpa. I miss you guys calling me grandpa.

I miss Anne. I miss Elmo. May he rest in peace. I miss Venice Beach. I miss the moment we won the bronze medal. I miss the huge beers we had that night. I miss the moment we sang Finland's national anthem in the bar. I even miss all the cars.

--Long walks in the dark through woods grown behind the park, I asked God who I'm supposed to be.
The stars smiled down on me, God answered in silent reverie. I said a prayer and fell asleep.--

I miss the hot tub. I miss the sun. I miss the ginger chicken we cooked for your friends. I kinda miss the stripper girls as well. I miss eating popcorn super loudly. I miss your roommates. I miss waiting for you to get off from work. I miss the manicure. I miss going crazy with all the shopping. I miss Hollywood and its rusty atmosphere. I miss the flea market.

And finally...I miss YOU. I'm super glad that I have all these wonderful memories.

--Now I'm old and feeling grey. I don't know what's left to say about this life I'm willing to leave. I lived it full and I lived it well, there's many tales I've lived to tell. I'm ready now, I'm ready now, I'm ready now to fly from the highest wing.--

With Love, E.

quote: Priscilla Ahn - Dream


The Neon Light Grave Yard.

10.03.2010 Los Angeles

Dear Emmi!

You've just left a week ago. I'm in the kitchen where we just sat awhile ago, drinking whiskey and beer, talking about boys and other important things. There's another friend here now. We are eating hummus and sesame bread and I thought I'd tell you about the time I went to the neon grave yard in Las Vegas.

I mixed vivid color and neutral color film. This is the group walking to the grave yard.

I sat on the shoulders of The Boy and took this over the fence.

The Boy. Not that you don't know him.

double exposure

She told us stories of each sign. All of them used to glow in the night and lure in the gamblers and players. Until the hotels and casinos where closed and the signs abandoned. Now they lay on the dust of that yard and she takes people to see the broken bulbs and tubes and tells stories of gangsters and hoes.

The Stardust.
Most of the casino complex (including the main 32-story tower) was built in 1991, and its March 13, 2007 demolition marked the youngest undamaged high-rise building to ever be demolished.
The Stardust closed its doors to the public forever on November 1, 2006. The last dice throw at a Stardust craps table was by tourist Jimmy Kumihiro of Hawaii. Slot machine betting was officially halted at 7:30 a.m. Just before the casino was officially closed at 12 Noon, the Bobbie Howard Band led the customers out the doors for the last time (in a conga line) to the tune of "When the Saints Go Marching In", and the hotel/casino complex closed forever after a 48 year run of continuous 24 hour operation. Outside, the loudspeakers were playing the John Lennon song "Nobody Told Me"
"Nobody told me there'd be days like these / Strange days indeed."

To me this was the most beautiful.

I hope you are well, we miss you.
With Love, as always; Diana and I