Posts Tagged With: funny

The Illusion of Modesty (TMI alert)

TMI alert – Seriously, you have officially been warned.  This post deals with going to the gynecologist.  Stop reading now if you can’t handle it.

A visit to the gynecologist in Finland (and France from what I hear, and possibly the rest of Europe) is a different experience than a visit in the US.

In the US, when a woman goes to the gynecologist, she is put in a room and left alone.  There is usually a curtain she can hide behind to undress, and then she goes and sits on the exam table with a paper “shirt” that opens in the front and a paper rectangle that she drapes across her lap.  Then the doctor comes in and the exam starts – during which he/she will push the paper shirt apart and examine the breasts and push the drape up to perform a pelvic exam.

Embed from Getty Images

I’ve always been amused by this sham of modesty. Why do you have this paper draped across your lap when the doctor is just going to be all up in your business?  I’ve always assumed that it’s a disassociative thing, separating the woman (face) from the bits.  Whether it’s for the doctor’s benefit or the woman’s, I don’t know.

Here in Finland, though, there is no modesty to be had.  In my first gynecological visit here, I was surprised when the doctor said, “take off your clothes and lay down,” and then sat there all but watching me.  I stripped down in a corner, stacked my clothes, and asked if there was a drape or anything I should have.  She looked confused and gestured to the table.

Then came the funny part.  I’m laying there, naked from the waist down, legs in stirrups, and I realize the window in front of me is open.  The window with the perfect view into the office building next door.  Where anyone inside could basically see…everything, should they choose to look.  I stifled a giggle.  Things are certainly different here!

Fast forward a bit, and I’m pregnant.  I’ve been seeing the same public health nurse my entire pregnancy, and I feel quite comfortable with her.  However, due to the size of our town, they don’t offer childbirth classes in English.  My nurse said she would do an abbreviated class with me, but I decided to also contact a doula based in Helsinki who offered online childbirth classes in English.  It wasn’t that I didn’t trust my nurse, but the doula (a Finn) had lived in the US for several years, and had given birth both in Finland and the US, so she was able to understand my (US based) knowledge of the delivery process (hospital stay, etc) and describe the Finnish process to someone who wasn’t familiar with it.

Between the two women, I feel like I have a fairly good handle on things, but there have been some funny-strange moments, again related to false modesty.  In the US, everything is so very clinical – technical terms are used to describe things.  Here, whether it’s because of a language barrier or simply because of fewer puritanical hangups, the technical terms are not always used.  I’ve heard “pee hole” instead of “urethra.”  I was told when I pushed that it was like when I “poo.”  Although I get a good giggle out of these instances, I feel both more comfortable and uncomfortable at the plain speaking.

All of this is to say, I think the US system provides nothing more than an illusion of modesty.  Your doctor is going to see your parts, what purpose does the drape serve?  The doctor knows the plain words, why bother with the technical terms?  Is it for his/her comfort, or the patient’s?

Baby J update – 12 Days to go! I’m blogging every day until I give birth, so you’ll know when the baby is born!

Categories: Random | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

What not to say to your husband at 37 weeks

I’ll be 37 weeks tomorrow, officially “full term.”  This morning after getting out of the shower, I went into the bedroom to dress.  Stephen was in the living room.

This is what he heard:  “Oh, crap.  Honey? I need your help, quick.  Get me a towel.”

A couple of seconds later I realized that I had probably freaked him out.  No, my water didn’t break.  I had been about to put some coconut oil on, and it’s been warm enough that the oil has turned liquid, so I ended up spilling it everywhere.

Stephen comes in with a towel, looks at me, and I explain.  “You need to be careful what you say at this point,” he said.


In other news, many months ago – okay, like, three months ago – I jokingly said I wouldn’t be able to drive towards the end of pregnancy, because at month 6 I had about an inch of room between my belly and the steering wheel.  Kind of hard to scoot the seat back when you have a stick shift – you still have to be close enough to push the clutch in.  I haven’t gotten behind the wheel in a couple of months, but I took the car to get it washed this morning.  The result?  I can still fit behind the steering wheel.  I think Stephen inclined the seat back some, which gave me some room.

Baby J update – 22 Days to go! I’m blogging every day until I give birth, so you’ll know when the baby is born!


Categories: Here Comes Baby | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Sum Sunday, August 25, 2013


  • I spent four months trying to get through a book on my kindle.  Finally finished it, decided to read a paper book, got through it in three days.  I’m trying to decide if it’s a kindle/paper issue, or if it’s simply the choice of books…
  • I went to sign up for a gym that’s in town, so I could run on the treadmill in the winter.  The gym is less than half a mile away, so it would be easy to get to in the snow, run a few miles, then walk home.  But then I found out that they’re moving in two months, and it’ll be about a mile away from me.  Which kind of negates the purpose…I mean, walk a mile, run a few miles, walk back home…I’ll have to walk two miles, to run 2-3 miles.  Silliness…
  • My entire life, I’ve thought gander was a flock of geese.  You know, “What’s good for one (“the goose”) is good for all (“the gander”).  Imagine my surprise to learn, this week, at the age of 37, that gander means male goose.  Seriously, how stupid am I?

Funny Shit Online:

  • This tree gets a lot of action:  
  • And the follow up gif of the bear pole dance (you still need to watch the full video – the full family of bears cracked me up!):  

Writing Progress:

  • “Young Love” still has me enthralled.  I’ve done a ton of brainstorming and plotting this week on Memory Thieves, and I’m loving the idea .  Now just hoping I can actually, you know, turn it into a novel
  • On Tuesday, Stephen downloaded the Scapple for Windows Beta for me, so I put my thoughts on scenes into that and did some character development.  It’s been really helpful – loving the electronic mindmapping it allows me to do!

What’s Making Me Happy this week:

  • My writing progress and Scapple for Windows (see above).
  • Stephen and I watched Long Way Down last year.  In it, actor Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman traveled by motorcycle from the northern tip of Scotland to the very southern tip of Africa.  It made me yearn to travel to Africa, and I still swear I will one day make a trip to Malawi.  This week, we started watching Long Way Round, which Stephen has actually seen before.  It was filmed before Long Way Round, and in it Charley and Ewan travel from the UK to New York on motorcycle, going east through Europe, Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Canada, and the US.  Now, I have no desire to travel by motorcycle like this, but I literally salivate over their travels through (so far through episode 3) Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Ukraine.  They stopped in at an orphanage that houses children that are still affected by Chernobyl.  It’s one of those things that you know happened, but you don’t think about people today still being affected by it.
  • If you like Walk on the Wild Side (“Alan! Alan! Alan! Alan! Alan! Al! Alan!”), you’ll enjoy Penguin Dilemma:  

What’s decidedly not making me happy this week:

  • No fewer than 5 people on my Facebook feed posted the slowed down version of Jolene this week.  I avoided it for as long as I could.  Yes, it’s great, but that’s one of those songs that gets stuck. in. my. head.  (In other news, Stephen says he’s never heard that song before….)
  • The sun is setting much (much) further south than it was a month ago.  Of course it is.  But it makes me sad.  Imagine this, if you will:  Our balcony faces due west.  This means we have a full sunset view year round.  Draw a line left to right, about the width of your arm span.  In the winter the sun set at the far left hand of that line.  In the summer, the far right hand.  Right now, it’s setting just to the right of your shoulder.  And it makes me sad…
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Sum Sunday, June 16, 2013


  • The search history of a writer is really something to behold.  I’d love to know what kind of dossier the PRISM program can put together from a writer’s information.  I remember this fun drawg on the blog c’mere, and I think of it every time I do some crazy search.  One day this last week I searched the following terms:  “Assassination attempts on the President,” “Undetectable poisons,” and “Ukranian word for penis.”  Yeah….

Funny Sh*t Online:

Writing Progress:

  • I’ve been listening to this podcast that keeps mentioning a “magic spreadsheet” for writing, so decided to check it out.  It’s kept on Google Docs, and it’s basically a point system to get you to write every day.  I decided to give it a go…then promptly missed three days.  I’m going to keep trying, though, and I hope it makes a difference.
  • I spent most of this week working on a scene outline and back story for a new novel, tentative title:  Assassin. I’ve been bouncing ideas off Stephen all week to see how it looks outside my head, but I still have some kinks to work out.

What’s Making Me Happy:

  • Adobe put together a stunt to promote Creative Days on June 11. “The Adobe pranksters – a photographer and a Photoshop wizard – installed both the digital ad board and several cameras in the stop, then waited for unsuspecting bus patrons to notice themselves get digitally retouched and morphed every which way in real time.”  Very cute, and it happened at a bus stop in Finland!  Embedded video below-
  • 20 hours of sunlight.  Midsummer is next weekend, and then the days will start getting shorter again, but in the meantime, we have very little darkness around here:
Official sunrise on Saturday, June 15th, was 3:56am.  This photo was taken at 3:30am.  Although the sun set at 11:15pm the night before, the time inbetween is officially twilight, as it never really gets dark.

Official sunrise on Saturday, June 15th, was 3:56am. This photo was taken at 3:30am. Although the sun set at 11:15pm the night before, the time in between is officially twilight, as it never really gets dark.


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Random Amusing Things

Creative Street Art in France – artist OakOak sees more to that cracked plaster than just…cracked plaster.  He sees a seal.   Those manhole covers?  He sees a snowman.   That hanging potted plant is a hot air balloon.  That pole is a nose.  And I just love what he’s done with the love padlocks.  I’m going to see the town in a whole new way the next time I go for a walk!

Image:  OakOak

Image: OakOak

If you live in a big city, the light pollution kills any chance you have of seeing a great astronomical display.  But what if the lights went out?  Photographer Thierry Cohen shows us what we’re missing.

Image:  Thierry Cohen

Image: Thierry Cohen

Sloopy the Dancing Chihuahua (the music totally makes this!!):

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Non-truths about Finland

It’s not dark 24 hours a day in the winter, and other non-truths about Finland:

Non-truths about Finland.

via Non-truths about Finland.

Categories: Finland | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Unintentional Writing Insight

“My eyes sting from the smell of typing ink. My fingers are striped with paper cuts. Who know paper and ink could be so vicious.”

Kathryn Stockett, The Help, p. 357

Who knew paper and ink could be so vicious. True Dat.

Categories: On Writing, Writer Sara Johnson | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Wierd” words that trip me up “alot”

I think I’m a pretty good speller, and although my grammar isn’t always perfect, I do a pretty good job with it.  I know how to use to, two, and too, as well as you’re and your and their, there, and they’re (note the Oxford comma, TYVM).  But there are certain words and phrases that trip me up every time.  You would think that after spelling a word wrong 200 times, I would know how to spell it, but no.

“I before E, except after C, unless sounding like A, as in ‘neighbor’ and ‘weigh.’”  But, ‘weird’ is not pronounced ‘wayrd,’ so why the hell isn’t it ‘wierd’?

I refuse to ever write “Xmas” on anything.  If ‘Xing’ is “crossing,” wouldn’t ‘Xmas’ be “Crossmas?”

Chicken Xing

Image by 4nitsirk via Flickr

There are specific lessons that stick with you from school.  For me, one of those lessons came from Mrs. Nelson in 8th grade English:  It is not ‘alot,’ it’s ‘a lot.’  To this day, seeing one word instead of two drives me batty.

Separate.  Sep-ah-rut.  I have to distinctly say each syllable in my head, lest I use a second E instead of an A (seperate).

Commitment – one of one letter, two of another, but which is it?  Whichever way I don’t spell it.  And ‘disappointment’ – 2 S’s?  2 P’s?  Thank goodness for autocorrect.

I end sentences in prepositions often enough that I think that grammar rule is null and void.  And “Where y’at?” doesn’t actually mean “Where are you,” at least according to Remy McSwain, so it’s totally acceptable.

(And apparently, I can’t spell ‘sentence.’ I always want to throw in an A instead of the second E.  What kind of writer can’t spell that word?!)

What words do you have a hard time spelling correctly?  What grammar issues do you have, which ones drive you nuts when you see other people use them?

Categories: On Writing, Writer Sara Johnson | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

5 Things I wish my cat understood

  1. Just because I’m in the kitchen does not mean I am there to feed you.
  2. You can’t be starving to death if there is still food in your bowl.
  3. You’re supposed to kill the insect, not stare at it and meow for help.
  4. The shower is not going to hurt me.
  5. Tomorrow is Saturday.  If you wake me up at 6am to feed you and I find food in your bowl, I will be pissed.

This is my cat, particularly the part at the end when he points to his mouth:

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Books, Maps, and Laughter – Weekend Roundup May 29

We talk about living and breathing something – art, football, shopping.  Books.  Breathing Books has some beautiful photos of books, among other things.

Books can transport you to a whole other world, and sometimes they can blow your mind.  Need proof?

Great journeys, from your desk.  Follow Amelia Earhart’s flight path, tag along with Jack Kerouac, ride the Trans-Siberian Railroad.

Need a good laugh?  Check out the 20 best corpsing videos from The Telegraph.  I love #4!

Categories: Random, Writer Sara Johnson | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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