There must be some advantage to spending a few days, little more than a weekend, in Helsinki and then Houston in quick succession, if only for the stark contrast in one's observation of the general human condition in each, and the deterioration of one's own with zillions of air miles. If the Finns are reserved, the Texans are not. For one, I seem to be surrounded by body builders. maybe it's a Charles Atlas convention, everybody called something like 'Billy the Bat'. The women look, at least they did last night, how you say, extrovert, one was litterally dressed up as Snow White. As Dolly Parton said 'you wouldn't believe how much money it costs to look this cheap'. All this from just sitting in the hotel atrium agog on a Friday night for half an hour nursing a Bud light. And thinking of that atrium; the architecture, far from paradise, embodies an infrastructural enthusiasm often passed over by European critics. This is big, brash, stuff, it takes no prisoners, it makes no pretence at manners, it just does startling things, like putting you in a glass lift and shooting you twenty five storeys up. The architecture is like the tailgating on the Freeway, scary. Then there's the attack minded toilets, if Zizek is minded to divide European toilet design in terms of German idealist, French revolutionary and English empiricist, I wonder what he'd make of the one in my hotel room here, which appears to dispose of my shit almost before I've had it.