marraskuuta 30, 2005


Just a short note today. I finally wrote some letters and then, da-daa, I had an idea for a story that I think is worth realising. And since I’m feeling a touch guilty about not reading enough research literature, this story is going to take place in the 18th century Sweden-Finland – with side-trips to the early 23rd century – and involve some court-scenes. As well as discussion about time and matter, truth, morals, torture and assassinations, citizenship, estates and identities... There’s nothing like an extra little boost to the motivation always now and then.

Yup, but now I need more characters. I’m going to go back to inventing some and if you are lucky – or unlucky depending on whether you like my scribblings – you get to read this story in a few years time. Just take a number and wait patiently, please.

marraskuuta 29, 2005

I want something to eat

One ought to have a box somewhere – with countless topics just waiting to be written about. Then in those rare days when one doesn’t want to write about what happened during the day (stayed home again, finished recording the entries for the year 1800, read Eco and ate too much) one could just dip into the box and pull a topic out.

Now one is forced to rack one’s brains, check the TV for inspiration – how does macho guys who wish to impress you by wrestling with crocodiles sound? – or just randomly stare at the air and wait for divine revelation to strike. But alas, revelations are never there when you want them.

The TV-program is distracting – travelling in the Bahamas. Looks absolutely gorgeous. And is over just when you are about to get interested in it. Replaced by British humour. I rather like British humour. Thoughts on gardening. Why all these summery programs in the middle of winter?

- I have no idea.
- What?
- Why they are showing these programs in the middle of winter?
- It was a rhetorical question.
- And it’s not the middle of winter. It’s hardly even winter yet officially.
- A figure of speech! Darn, you’re a nimbwit, aren’t you? Where’s that nasty, sarcastic cousin of yours?
- Gone. Said that we were both damned boring and went to take a vacation in Sahara. Or possibly Costa Rica.
- Great. Do you have a topic for me to write about?
- I don’t know. Vacations?
- Vacations?
- Yeah... Is that not good? Philosophy then?
- Philosophy was where language went to take a vacation.
- What?
- Nothing. Just something someone said once. Oh, bugger it. If there is nothing to write about, there is always reading.
- Or you could talk to me. Hello? Hello? Where did you go?

marraskuuta 28, 2005


The cat is sitting on the living room table and staring at the birds and fishes in the TV again. She also likes the Christmas tree, which is a little worrying, since I think she keeps eating the whatchamacallits.

But anyway, I wasn't going to write about the cat today. I was planning to form an opinion. This morning, you see, in the paper a journalist wrote about blogs. I think he attempted criticism, but in the end his conclusion could be summarised as "I don't like blogs, since I think they are boring". Trendy, boring blogs; too many ordinary, boring people writing about their uneventful lives and not even attempting to contribute to the political/intellectual/critical discussion.

He tried to argue for his point of view by writing about his day. I didn't see it as quite as boring as he did, but then again some of us are more easily pleased than others. But why then, I have to ask myself, do I find writing this blog useful - not a boring, unnecessary exercise as the guy in the paper thought.

The first answer that came to me is that by writing about the day you create it. And I don't mean fabricate, au naturellement. By putting the day on paper you record it, prevent its slipping into the gray mass of the forgotten past. By writing you also recall events about the day that otherwise might have remained unimportant and, in that sense, recreate them. This however does not justify writing into a blog; for this there has forever been personal journals and private diaries.

Blogs are by their nature public - or at least potentially public. That means there must be an added interest in writing publicly. A practical interest or an advantage is the fact that writing publicly gives you a push to write. If I had started a personal journal in September, I think I would have stopped already weeks ago. Well, the jaded journalist says, then you probably don’t really have a need to write or anything to say, do you?

But that’s not it. I do, you see. By writing I come to realise that my life is actually much closer to my dream life than I ever thought. I do in a sense recreate my life and in reflecting about my life I see more clearly where it is that I want to go. The important thing about doing this reflection by the means of a blog is that it makes me “visible” also to others. Writing is a much more intimate and much more easier means to express one’s true nature than speech. This is who I am. By the means of a blog I am able to be who I am also to others, not just to myself.

Of course it is not interesting to everyone – I am quite sure that the cynical reporter would find my blog boring – but that is not the meaning of a blog, to reach the entire world. It has more to do with reaching oneself. But we cannot reach ourselves alone; we need others as a mirror in which our reflection is born. If we are not verbal people our reflection may become distorted. It resembles someone we do not recognise, someone we at least do not wish to be. Writing allows me to see in that mirror the other part of me, the part which makes me feel more balanced.

marraskuuta 27, 2005

Christmas decorating

This weekend has gone past very fast. Yesterday was very oriented around the OYY-seminar. I was planning to only attend the actual seminar, which still lasted from 12 to 18, but I was asked to come to the closing dinner too. I was a bit hesitant since I had planned to get some things done still that evening and was feeling a little tired. I didn’t want to end up regretting not going though, so I accepted the invitation.

I’m an introvert person and especially when I’m tired I can’t be bothered to really concentrate on socialising. In my end of the table I had previously met only J, whereas the others all knew each other. That makes it more difficult to come up with things to talk about, since you do not have common history at all and do not have part in the common history of the others. The common nominator of course in our case was research, but the others were rather more social sciences and theory oriented than I am myself. If the discussion involves criticisms concerning the imprecise use of the concept empiricism and empirical sources, and you happen to be one of the people using the concept very imprecisely since you do not actually do sociological studies and it’s rather irrelevant what you call what you are doing...well, let’s just say that you can’t contribute anything terribly intelligent to the conversation then.

So it wasn’t the liveliest of all evenings, but food was fine, the speeches were funny, the acapella choir was great and I managed to make it to 23.30 train home. I didn’t spent today digging into the books of methodology and educating myself on the things that yesterday remained a little hazy to me. I spent a good part of it dragging things to the basement, cleaning up, bringing up the Christmas tree, setting up the Christmas tree and all the other decorations, baking and then settling down to read a little Eco, who is getting a bit more conventional and conservative than I thought at first.

Alrighty, I will settle down to watch the movie now. Good-natured, harmless, romantic stuff.

marraskuuta 25, 2005

ugga bugga

We have snow – not too much, but still snow. It’s my first snow of the winter since we were in Brussels during that first snowstorm. Not too bad actually. This time of the year snow is still alright and helps to put one into a sort of Christmassy mood.

Today I’ve gotten rid of about 100 hundred mails in my inbox – still nearly sixty left though. Also went to represent the Finnish Lawyer’s Association again; there were only three graduates present so that did not perhaps quite fulfil its purpose. So much food left over.

From there straight to the last session of the PBL-course. I thought it went quite well, but the majority of students gave the course only 8/10. Some of that had to do with the practical stuff: not enough time, not enough books, which is what you get when something like 250 people try to read for an examination and there are only 70 odd books in the library. But still I’m a little disappointed.

After the course I was planning of going to the art museum, Ateneum, since today is some kind of get free to the museums day. Or more specifically it’s the international don’t buy anything day and the theme this year is apparently consuming culture. But Ateneum closed at six today and since I was there something like five minutes to six there was no chance of getting in anymore. I didn’t feel like trying some of the other museums so I came home.

And now I am watching a rather stupid movie and feeling restless.

marraskuuta 24, 2005

dreams and exercises

Basically the third day in the row at home. Or rather it was going to be. M called this morning and needed a book that I had at home, so I went to town to take it to her. I didn’t stay though; I came home via the book store – both Guy Gavriel Kay and Stephen Donaldson have new books out, yeay! Two tickets to fantasy land just waiting in a plastic bag (new btw is a relative concept here – a book being published and making it into the Finnish bookstores are two different things).

Despite this side trip to town I still got my 150 entries done – I’m feeling pleased about that. What I didn’t get done because of that, is writing the two letters I was planning to write – sorry L, sorry S. Next week at the very latest, I promise.

My mailbox is also filling up since the thing about working home is that I want to feel “nonpressured” by outside demands – which include emails. I did check my mail today and managed to delete a good number of not important ones, but I couldn’t bring myself to do anything about the ones which required reaction. Tomorrow then.

After work I went through some of the old papers I had piled on the new desk from the drawer of the old desk. Old writings and drawings, postcards, very old girly envelopes and letter papers, which now already seem so antiquated. I can’t remember when I have last written a real letter. I found my old “dream-book”, too. When I came to study in Helsinki, I lived with a woman, who wrote down her dreams. I decided to give it a try, but apparently I have given up almost immediately. There are maybe five dreams recorded in the booklet, but they are surprisingly long and vivid. And strange. These days I hardly remember my dreams at all, which makes me think that maybe I should give the dream-book another try. Remembering dreams is partly just a matter of practise and it actually seems like a waste to miss all the weird experiences one goes through every night. The second, forgotten, exciting life.

I also have to go to the gym. My back is starting to be completely cramped and when I roll my shoulders it crunches like crazy. Hey, no time to start like now, is there? You don’t need a gym to do muscle exercises - or stretches at the very least. A soft carpet and a little space works wonders, ay? Will give it a try now.

marraskuuta 23, 2005

too tired to think in English

I’ve been carrying stuff today. I went to IKEA and bought a new desk and a new work chair – 31 kilos and 15 kilos respectively. The desk was quite heavy and I did spent a few minutes contemplating whether I would be able to get it into the car, out of it and inside without any major injuries. Getting it into the car turned out to be the most difficult thing, but not a major problem. It just so happens, you see, that IKEA has helpful young men in their employ, whose job it is to help women with no muscles who have bought heavier stuff than they manage to handle.

Well, I got it out of the car and inside fairly easily, so it wasn’t actually too heavy. It took a few hours to put it together – or rather few hours for it and the chair and for dismantling the old desk. I have also sore fingers, aching back and a black and blue bruise in my elbow (unfortunate slipping of the screwdriver) to show for my efforts. But no matter, one of the fun parts about IKEA furniture is that you get to put the stuff together yourself. Gives one a sense of accomplishment even if it all happens strictly following the instructions and involves no “creation”. The not so fun part is cleaning up and trying to decide what to do with the old furniture. My storage space is rather limited, which suggests to me that maybe I should learn to throw things away.

Cleaning up tomorrow. Now watching some TV.

marraskuuta 22, 2005

things I did on the second day of the week

Must wake up to write a little. I baked today – real voisilmäpulla – and when you combine eating those with reading Umberto Eco, it’s not altogether strange if one starts to nod off.

Don’t take me wrong. I like Eco – Foucault’s Pendulum. I can’t remember when I have last read a book, which so pointedly doesn’t underestimate its reader. He refers to things without explaining them; he uses words that are not in the “need to know” -list of even a fairly educated person. He makes you want to learn more, look up things, question. And all of that by page 40 when he hasn’t really even got started.

Otherwise this hasn’t been the most exciting of days. I stayed home to work again and got 150 archive entries done. By this rate I will be done writing down the year 1800 by next week; then I need to figure out how to use the information, to systematise it, make charts and tables. After that: conclusions and writing, I hope.

I have also...done laundry, washed the dishes, baked as I said, listened to some music while doing both, played a few sudokus, mucked up one Japanese puzzle, read and nodded off – and not really much else.

Let’s see what I can manage to get done tomorrow.

marraskuuta 20, 2005


I’ve finally finished the second case for tomorrow’s PBL-course. One can always ask why I didn’t do this already on Friday. It’s not a bad question, but there are not always answers even for good questions. Done now, anyway.

I slept long, read the paper, managed to start cleaning up my wardrobe and sewed a button back on my winter coat. Then off it was to the city to watch the “Grand Opening Of The Christmas Season”. What? No, there can never be too many CAPITAL letters for the grand opening of the Christmas season.

I scraped the ice of the car and was only about five minutes late when I parked the car outside my sister’s apartment. There was not much traffic. If someone used thumbscrews or the iron maiden, I might confess that I drove a bit too fast, singing Rammstein-songs a bit too loud. But since we do not live in the middle ages anymore and all torture devices are forbidden – well, in these part’s of the world anyway – I will confess nothing.

It was a beautiful, crispy, sunny day and it was fun to have a walk downtown. The Santa and the choir were being very international – talking and singing quite a lot in English. Well, there were a fairly respectable amount of tourists around, so that was perhaps justified. We watched the procession pass us twice – Maija got a little excited about the horses the second time.

Then via the store to my sister’s – S came a little later, M and S maybe about an hour after her and M returned home with the new-made candles still later. And yes, I am using same initials for different people, so even if you think you know/assume that when using a certain initial I’m talking of you/the chap next door/the person from the town X, that doesn’t mean it would still be the same person when the initial next comes up. Confusing and totally unfair research methodologically, I know.

But anyway, where was I? Oh yes, at my sister’s. Eating, drinking, more eating, playing games, playing the piano, sitting around the table, sitting on the floor, talking, eating, surfing, throwing the ball/rock/ blue plastic dog known as Pertti/rock and ball to Maija. It was quite entertaining. We started the Christmas season early and had spiced wine and Christmas pastries (see yesterday’s entry). I realised it would be nice to have a piano. I can’t play beyond the “one finger and only the simplest notes” kind of thing and I don’t know if I would have the patience to learn. I think it might be possible to take it as a big puzzle though and learn which sign corresponds to which movement and eventually decipher it.

Dear me, I’m listening to Sister’s of Mercy from the comp and I have accidentally saved one of the live Rammstein-songs among them. Quite an amazing version of Nebel. I’m actually starting to like Sister’s of Mercy, but their music doesn’t stop me like R+. Sorry about the drooling again, but how can that man have such a divine voice.

Okay, back from the drooling. I took S, M and S home – since I had the car – and drove home (possibly a little too fast and singing Rammstein-songs on the top of my voice, but you can never be too sure of that). The cat came to greet me as soon as I came home; she does that almost always but it is possible that the thought in her mind is – as one cartoonist put it so well – “oh, the food dispenser is home”. I fed the cat, lit the candles, put Rosenrot on, started working on the case for tomorrow, took a break to make tea, checked the forum, continued with the case, finished it, switched to Sister’s of Mercy, started to write this and now I am more or less ready for bed.

It’s been a rather good weekend by all standards.

marraskuuta 19, 2005

Didn't win in the lottery again

Little things can be so good, can’t they? Like making dinner in a clean kitchen, with candles burning, apocalyptica playing and some wine in your glass.

It’s pitch black outside – no snow yet – and - 1.1 °C (written earlier today, can you tell?). It’s the first time I really realise that it is only a month until Christmas. Next weekend I will put up the Christmas tree (of an urban plastic variety) and bake Christmas pastries (joulutorttuja to put it more exactly) and switch tea to spiced wine (I don’t think there is a better translation for glögi, although I wish there were, since I always feel the need to explain that it is not wine and not even alcoholic).

I’m wondering whether I ought to go to IKEA before next weekend. I need candles and – what is tuikku in English – and I want a new desk. My current one looks a little as if it had been bought for a fifteen-year-old; it’s small and there is not enough room to stretch one’s legs under it. I hardly ever use it, except as a place to pile things on. I do nearly all my writing on the couch with the computer on my lap. Once in awhile it feels as it would be nice to have a proper desk though – good for you back and all that. Now there would be room for it too. I spent a good part of the day cleaning up and moving things around. The shelf from the balcony is now in the kitchen – along with the chives (that’s ruohosipuli; learned a new word today) that were still alive. The chair is in the living room and the aquarium – currently housing only pebbles that pretend to be sand and two pieces of dried wood – is on the other side of the couch.

Yup, but that’s all folks. Will go surf now as I wait for a file to download.

marraskuuta 18, 2005

A title

Yaaaaaaaawwwwnnnn. Dear tea-cup, could I ask you to materialise on the table in front of me? With a big splash of milk and a dash of sugar? Pretty please?

These days when one stays home to work are a little weird. I did go to the store during the day to get some groceries, but other than that I didn’t step out of the house. Somehow, sometimes, that makes it feel as if the day didn’t really exist. It’s a bit like living outside of time. There are many positive sides to working at home, but there definitely are also downsides. Maybe I ought to go to town tomorrow – check out the Mayan exhibition or something.

Is there anything decent in TV? A Canadian comedy just starting. I’ll give this five minutes and if I don’t like it I’ll just go back to reading Narnia.

marraskuuta 16, 2005


I’m feeling a touch unimaginative right now. What should I write about? Should I write about anything, if I don’t really have anything to say? This, you see, hasn’t really been what you would call the most eventful of days. Stayed home to work, but honestly said I have had more productive days than this.

I drew mindmaps and decided to incorporate the appeal-part into the other two chapters. Now I’m starting have doubts again, though. But the thing is that it is either doing it really properly or being done in an approximately decent time. If I do it properly it will take far more than a year. Damn, I am such a slow thinker. I should have been at this point already two-three years ago. But I wasn’t and now the dissertation isn’t going to end up being anywhere near as good as it could have been. But I think I’ll forgive myself.

I did get something written today as well, but only fiction. I always talk about writing, but I don’t write nearly as much as I should. I was planning to start writing a real proper story with characters and a plot. I did actually manage to create the characters and write short character-descriptions, but what happens when I start writing the story? It’s the same pseudo-intellectual crap that I always write. “There are people, who are, and people, who wish to be.” Now is that anyway to start a story.

Let me give you a better example of some of the old stuff. Translation to English, since sometimes I do actually write in Finnish too: “Does thought matter? Thinking? We contemplate matters and connect consequences to reasons, but can we say why we do it. If we get no joy out of it, is there any reason to torture one’s brain cells. They claim that the human race has to go forward – to progress – but I wish to shake them and scream “why?” Progress does not make us happy and what use is there of knowledge and material possessions, if our minds have withered.”

Okay, it’s not all like that and maybe – if I can control myself – I can really turn it into a story. Something that sounds like a novel. With a plot. Or maybe I could combine the two. Hey, the beginnings of a new idea for a story. Can you tell that if I won the lottery, this is what I’d be doing.

marraskuuta 15, 2005

One November evening

The PBL-course started yesterday and it went surprisingly well. The students didn’t really know all that much about legal history, but they managed to analyse the text much better than I had expected. But I got to tell you that they looked soooo young. That kind of made me realise that I’m not twenty anymore, but I rather liked the feeling.

Today I stayed home again to work. I managed to read a book and at long last write something too. All this teaching and going through the archive records has had the unfortunate consequence, that I haven’t had the time/energy to read and write that much. But now I intend to correct the matter.

I’m staying home tomorrow as well, but then I have to figure out where I’m at with my dissertation. I’m having a meeting with P on Thursday and I need to tell her what I’ve been doing and what I am planning to do. And I’m still uncertain of chapter three. I’ve always been uncertain of chapter three: the part about appeal. What is it exactly that I want of appeal? Do I need it as a separate chapter in the first place or would the whole book make more sense, if I tied the questions concerning the appeal to the other chapters? That’s what I will try to figure out tomorrow.

I haven’t been sitting on the couch the entire day, but did go to town too. Jaakko Hämeen-Anttila was talking about his research in the post-graduate seminar of legal history today – mostly about pagans in the 7th to 10th century Iraq. He’s a very fine speaker. Did you for instance know that Hammurab’s law wasn’t meant primarily as a code to be applied in practise, but was instead a letter of the king to the gods? Just one piece of interesting information learned today.

I also received a letter from S today. It’s strange how she can know me so well, even though we’ve never met. She pointed out something about me that I realise is very true; I just don’t know for sure what it means. I am hoping that this will again be a case of “recognising and admitting one’s weirdnesses is the first step to overcoming them”. Not that one needs to overcome all of one’s weirdnesses; some of them are pleasurable, but this one is not. But S, if you should be reading this, thank you for being my personal therapist. You’ve made me realise that it is not necessary to be perfect to be liked and accepted, that it is okay to make mistakes and to be “strange” and that it is very important to learn to trust people. I would never be writing this journal without you.

And I guess I ought to thank L and H, too. And ultimately of course Rammstein and Till. And a weird horoscope I read at my sister’s birthday party in February, which told me that if I would have the courage to make a big decision in the next couple of weeks I would be thankful for it later. I’m too much of a rationalist to really have faith in horoscopes, but this one did cause me to make the other one of those big February decisions. The less important one, but still. I really am feeling quite happy about life right now.

And I sound like an idiot. No, I don’t sound like an idiot. My brains do tell me that I sound ever so slightly mushy and irrational though. But that’s okay. I’m embracing my weirdness today. I think I better go and post this before I’ll end up deleting every word.

marraskuuta 13, 2005

Father's day

It's Father's day today.

What did I do on a Father's day?

I made a cake - a mango cheesecake. It's easy and fast to make - or at least it would be fast if one didn't check the web every other minute. But I managed to eventually get it done. Then I listened to some Rosenrot and did the dishes, checked the forum, cleaned up the house, checked the forum, cleared up the balcony, checked the forum, read the paper, checked the forum, finally managed to begin reading Fulbrook's "Historical Theory" and checked the forum.

By then it was 4.30 and E arrived with Viennetta and a Saint-paulia (also known as African Violet apparently; thank you again google for enlightening me). I like flowers. The others arrived half an hour later - with Viennetta and a bottle of red wine. Hi-ha, I have to remember to start taking something to people when going over. It's nice when people come bearing gifts (except the Greeks I suppose...). Now don't look at me like that. I know it's common courtesy to bring something with you, but we haven't been in the habit of doing it every time. We...wait a moment, I'm going to go and light the candles on the window sill...ok, now that's done. Hm, I think I have to turn off some of the lights or that was absolutely pointless. Nice. Candles are a very nice thing about autumn. What was I saying? Oh, who cares.

We had a very nice dinner. The cat was hiding in the closet on top of the linen the entire time, since Maija was running around the house. People must think that the cat is invisible since she always disappears as soon as someone comes around. And yet she does like company. To a certain degree she does follow me around and every night she settles to sleep either on top of my back or nestled close to my feet. She's playing with a ball of yarn now like a cat that she is.

This was a good day. I'm tired again, but that's good too. I will still listen to these few songs, check the forum one more time and then go to bed and read a little. Or maybe finish my japanese puzzle. Yup, that's a plan.

Happy Father's Day!

marraskuuta 12, 2005

The Day of Legal Culture

It has been a long day. The Finnish Lawyers' Association had their annual "Day of Legal Culture" today. It started at 13.00 and I ended up being home at midnight. "What?" you ask, "Now that must have been some marathon of presentations." It wasn't. The official program was over at about five, after which there was still a cocktail happening.

The theme of the day was Legal Science and the expectations of the Legal Community. Five presentations, some of them by very good speakers, then a panel, giving out the awards and scholarships, speeches by the two awardees and then a meeting of the Association. All in all it was a much better success than I had originally thought; it also turned out to be definitely worth it to stay for the cocktails. I met some people I hadn't seen in ages, which was very much fun. I met some new people, which was even more fun.

One of the new people and other of the evenings awardees asked me to come have dinner with him, his daughter J and AS. He called me "madame" ;-) I hadn't realised J was his daughter, even though they of course have the same last name. She remembered me, which surprised me a little. It surprised - and delighted - me even more that AS had heard of me. "Only good things," she said. Feeling quite, quite happy about meeting her. She was very easy to talk to, as was J.

I did end up going to dinner with them, to Kosmos, where I had actually never been before. I'm very glad that I did, since it turned out to be a very good night. I don't know if I dare to call it one of the best I've had. We talked of law and history and justice and a dozen other things and I really felt like I was part of the discussion. Well, also listened to J and her father carry on some excellent debate, but still... That is what an evening should be like. AS told me I ought to come to the dinner after the OYY-seminar in two weeks too. The dead-line for registering was already earlier this week, but she thought it should be no problem. I think I will write to their secretary on Monday and see if it would be possible to go.

Yep, but now I'm home and getting quite tired. It's 1.20 and I've been writing this now for forty minutes. Argh. The rose K gave me is in water. He got one of the smaller scholarships and didn't want the rose, so your's truly took it home. It's big, red and beautiful and no worse for wear even if it stood through whole dinner. The cat is restless, the moon is lopsided and looks as if it's about to fall through the clouds, I'm feeling tired and happy and in need of doing some thinking because of tonight. I think I'm figuring out one or two things more of what I really want. That's good.


Alright, no more thinking before morning. Good night!

marraskuuta 10, 2005

a, b, c, d, sing with me...

It's 10.30. How can it be 10.30? It was six o'clock only a minute ago. And why on earth am I still working? I stayed home today to finish the first case for next week's PBL-course (that's Problem Based Learning for those who wish to learn yet another abbreviation). Hah, this is the fourth course I'm teaching this fall. No matter, I like teaching - especially courses like this. Yup, but I read the book, which took nearly seven hours and now - admittedly amidst some heavy net-surfing - I have tried to write the case. I'm only half-done and I can't write another word anymore. Have to finish it Saturday, because tomorrow is another busy day.

From now on I think I am going to start working at home at least two days a week. I get so much more done this way.

Brains have short-circuited again. Cannot think anymore. Yeah, I better just clickety-click the "publish" button.

marraskuuta 09, 2005

Ordinary great day

Isn't it strange how by contemplation and recording things we create meanings and emotions? And by that I actually mean that "I love my blog!" ;-) Today has been basically an ordinary day, which without my blog would have got lost in the midst of all the other ordinary days. But by writing down all the good little things that happened today I realise that my ordinary day was actually a bloody good day.

I woke up without the alarm clock going off. Not because I got up so early, but because now for three days I haven't been setting my alarm clock. Yes, I am actually trying this. Hasn't made a huge difference yet, since I have gotten up every morning just a bit after seven. After I have woken up during the night to check the clock at two and five and six and... Nasty conscience. Last night I woke up only once, which is pretty much normal anyway.

I read the paper, caught the train to town, but didn't go all the way to the centre. I hopped off already at Pasila and walked to work from there. About 45 minutes walk and quite a bit of it is through the park along the Töölönlahti bay. The swans are still here! And look at that: someone had given the stonesnake horns! Or are they antennae? If I ever write a fantasy-book and it has a stonesnake who desperately wants the biggest horns in the universe, you know where that idea came from.

Work was work, but I had lunch with H. That was fun. And then I checked my blog and got the best compliment of my life. Yay and a double-yay. That made me happy. A happy little bunny. One never knows how other people see you.

We also had the meeting of our legal historical Matthias Calonius -society. I was the secretary of the society for two years, but now luckily only in the board. We gave out our third Legal Historian of the Year -award and got to hear a presentation about legal history and legal language. Does adopting a certain kind of legal language, legal terminology, mean adopting a certain type of legal thinking as well? Quite interesting.

After the meeting we went to have a drink in our usual place. Little Mikael was there for awhile and I contemplated again whether it would be fun to have a baby of one's own. Mikael was adorable anyway. I don't think I'll start with babies anymore tonight, since that is a one loooooong topic.

Ok, I think I'll watch the movie now. Or try to find out if the stonesnake wants to talk to me.

marraskuuta 08, 2005


Have you ever thought about how using a particular language affects the way you think and express yourself? English for me is a "light" language, sometimes even a touch superficial. Like the word "love": when in English one uses the word love, it doesn't necessarily mean that you would actually love something or someone. It means excitement, liking something a lot, but not necessarily, not even most of the times "rakastaa". When you use the word "I love" in Finnish - minä rakastan - you really do mean love. And perhaps that is why love is so much scarcer here.

The same goes for many other emotions. Vihata is stronger than hate; Finnish curses have power in them that the English ones can never reach.

But English is also a witty language; it laughs, teases, floats and dances like a insubstantial fairy in the air. It flows unlike Finnish. Finnish has hard edges, angles, long blunt words which topple on top of each other without mercy. Swedish is playful - in Swedish you can hear the sound of the sea, soft gentle sea, light laughter on a summer day and the sound of little children - babes with golden locks - playing on a meadow full of poppies and forget-me-nots. And the giggling of little mischievous trolls. In German I can sometimes hear the passage of time - the echo of some of the words takes me back two thousand years and I can smell the earth and something, almost magical in the air. It's a strong feeling, emotional.

I wish I knew languages better. To be able to speak German and Swedish properly. To know other languages well enough to feel them.

Well, maybe someday.

marraskuuta 07, 2005

Looking horrid

Oh frigging f**k, M sent some of her pictures from Brussels and I had to, absolutely had to gasp in the most girly manner and utter the words “OMG, I look hideous!”. Seriously, it was like looking at a big lump of overgrown white dough. So much for looking pretty for that trip. I can look good at times. ::points to the pic on the right:: I like that pic, I do look good in it – in my personal humble opinion – I mean why do you think I chose to put it up in the first place. Taken in September btw and not in some distant long lost past. But the Brussels pictures – OMT and all the other deities!

I think it is time to lose a couple of kilos again – and damn, here I was thinking of baking today. And perhaps dip into the purse and head to the hairdressers. I guess one could do that once a year. No, I’m not kidding. Please don’t scream, I have long hair, it’s quite possible to make it look decent even without cutting it all the time. Once a year is plenty; once in five years could be said to be questionable. Whaaaat, really, there is nothing wrong with looking like a barefooted nature girl. But looking like an overfed vampire in a bun that aunt-Prudence could have worn in 1880 is not the most attractive of things.

Do I sound just a touch shallow? Yes, I do. I know. But looking decent is a self-esteem question. It really is, as horrid as it sounds. Have I told you of my childhood? When I was little I had warts – yes, I guess you could call them warts, or moles? – on my hands and a one teeny tiny one on my nose. The ones on my hands disappeared eventually by themselves, but the tiny one on my nose was removed in a hospital. I was then either on first or second grade, I don’t remember exactly. But I do remember that after the removal of the wart the girls in my class would play with me; that one of them said afterwards that she didn’t want to be my friend before – because of the tiny wart. So you can tell me it doesn’t matter how a person looks, but I learned it a long time ago: no-one wants to play with you if you look horrid.

marraskuuta 06, 2005

she cleans, she reads

I really was tired yesterday, since this morning the alarm clock greeted me with the numbers 11.11 on its face. I can't remember the last time when I've slept past 11. But that's the reason why I haven't yet forgotten my alarm clock and gone to living according to my "natural rhythm". It's very relaxing to sleep as long as one likes, but nine and a half hours instead of seven per night means two and a half hours "wasted" every day. I don't know if I am quite willing to do that.

So what did I do today except sleep? I spent about three hours cleaning up the house and still didn't make it to vacuuming or doing the dishes. A mess? My house? But never! I do like it clean and tidy, but during the week I just don't have the energy to clean up and stuff keeps...piling up. Now I like the look of the place so much that I think I'll stay home to read tomorrow. I really, really can't read at work and I have to start reading.

I read today, but only fiction despite my best intentions. I finally finished In America, which really is a wonderful story of desires, restlessness, finding your place in the world and the sacrifices you are prepared to make for it. And the way she uses different literary styles - I like it.

After finishing In America I started with another book - The Chronicles of Narnia. Fantasy for children ;-). I got introduced to Fantasy and Scifi ten years ago and I must admit it was love at first sight. Not the most intellectual thing to read, I know, but you can't choose what you love. And since the other part of my chosen readings doesn't consist of Donald Duck and Cosmopolitan I think that I am still on the clear. Not that there is anything wrong with Donald Duck. Or Cosmopolitan. But still it is a good thing if a person has read a real book or two in her life. Books give you so much and life without them would be sad indeed.

Once upon a time...

I am tired. It’s only a little after ten o’clock and I can hardly stay awake. And it’s not like I didn’t already nap once today. I don’t know why I feel so tired.

I went to town today to see a movie. Brothers Grimm – a fairly amusing fairytale, even if it was rather fond of its stereotypes. I like movie theatres – you can get lost in the movies in a completely different way than at home. I am not too keen on the crowds in the theatres though, which is why I tend to prefer the day showings. There are far less people and once I’ve even had the whole movie theatre to myself. In the evenings and weekends when there are designated seats I find a place on the side with enough room to stretch and breathe.

I was originally planning to get cultural and visit the adjoining museum at the same time. But the exhibition was about Japanese Manga art and I did not feel like Manga today. So I came home to prepare dinner and finish Sontag’s book; I have only the last pages left to read.

Very tired.

Well, couldn’t post this right away, since is/was doing maintenance. Luckily I got mystically more alert when Top-40 started and they said the magic words “An interview with Rammstein”. Only a very short one with Paul and him full of normal Paulisms again: “We went to the States to get fat for the Keine Lust –video and then to Thailand to lose the weight again (not a direct quote).” I wonder if that was meant as a critical social comment or was just a joke.

Rosenrot went to number one on the album list - yay, but I would have been disappointed if it hadn't - so they showed Benzin. Naturally since it's the only video from the album this far, but a shame because Benzin really is the worst song on the entire album. The presenter was a blathering idiot and did your usual German Sauerkraut-barks. Maybe it is good that my computer claims that the DVD on which I recorded the interview is empty (it’s not, checked and tried) and I therefore can’t share the file. I wouldn’t want the others to think that Finns are brainless bimbos.

marraskuuta 03, 2005

Dogs, rocks, Feeney's and partners in crime

I shouldn't leave writing to such a late hour of time. Reflection becomes description and wittiness has left town to introduce it's Dalmatian to the Himalayan mountain goats.

This has not been the most productive of days. I went this morning to the ministry to help my successor to get started. "But wait", you say, "Didn't you come back to the University already two months ago?! Have you lazybutt waited this long before going there to help the poor guy out?" "But no," I cry. "I haven't." The guy started just two days ago - or possibly three, I'm not quite certain - so they were without a junior lawyer for two months. The senior lawyer has not been appointed yet either, so in reality there were no lawyers. Is that heaven or hell? :P Sorry, lawyer jokes...

It's difficult to know what to pass on, but I hope I were of some help. I remember how frustrating it was, when I started in March. It took quite awhile before I even realised what was expected of me. My predecessor had briefed me shortly when I went there for the job-interview, but it didn't really sink in then. Eventually though... The officeroom felt so familiar that I'm afraid I kind of took possession of it as if it was still mine and not yet his. And we got interrupted so many times - because people kept dropping in to say hi to me. They seemed so genuinely pleased to see me that I left beaming. I'm very happy that I returned to the university, but there are some very nice people at the ministry too - like my fellow partners in crime, the "drafters of the infamous Master's Degree Programme Statute".

I spent few meagre moments at the Uni before I left to walk my sister's dog. They had a long day - or at least were supposed to - so I took Maija out to the little dog park by the sea. That dog likes her rocks. She found one, which was apparently guite tasty because she had to keep licking it for quite awhile. She didn't take it home this time though, but I can tell you that her collection is starting to be already rather impressive.

My sister came home earlier than expected and so I stayed for almost three hours - to go through a decent amount of chocolate and check for summer cottages in Estonia among other things. Now I'm home, enjoying a nice dash of Feeney's - that's a cheaper, although just as fine version of Bailey's for those of you not in the know -and I'm starting to think that this was quite a fine day.

Favourite quote of the day: "Turn your bedsheets around so that the slot with the buttons points upwards, so that you don't get stuck while you sleep."
Flake Lorenz, the keyboarder of Rammstein, explaining the hidden message in their album covers.

marraskuuta 02, 2005


I took the car to my sister’s this morning, since she decided to go to Imatra. On my way to the tram stop from her apartment this completely ordinary looking old man turned to me in the lights and said something I couldn’t hear since the music was too loud. So I took my earphone off, said “Sorry?” and he says to me “Good morning”. What was that about? Did I miss something and people have started going around saying “good morning” to strangers in the traffic lights? Or did he think that he did know me?

Maybe I should do a sociological study and ask a select group of people if they are in the habit of greeting their fellow human beings in the traffic lights. Or should I ask them if they experience it as strange that someone would do that? Maybe they think that it is the most natural way to begin a morning. Or maybe it should be? Would it make the world a happier place, if we started saying “good morning” to a minimum of three strangers every morning?

I didn’t feel happier though, only puzzled. Being a polite young woman I said “good morning” back to the old man, but then I decided in an instant – or didn’t even consciously decide, just reacted really – and walked to the next traffic lights without stopping as I had intended to. I am not quite certain I want to know what that tells about me.

Ah, I don’t want to think about it.

Today. What happened today? We had the last session of the Enlightenment-course, not a real session anymore, but a one for feedback. I think the students liked the course all right; 9/10 is the grade they gave to it – anonymously au naturellement. It was certainly good enough a course to be worth doing again; personally it was also a good opportunity to remind oneself how important it is to know the subject matter one is teaching. It is much more rewarding this way. Not that I’m saying that I would ever have taught a course the subject matter of which I would not have known. No. Never. Ever. It’s just that knowing is such a relative matter.

This is again one of those days when I’ve felt the desire to know more, to learn more, to read more. S was presenting his licentiate thesis today, legal philosophy. I’ve had an interest in philosophy for who knows how long, but my knowledge of philosophy is not much better than that of an average coffee-table debater. I know just enough to think that sometimes I get hold of the rope and manage to pull myself a little above the water. I can feel the thoughts tickle the surface of my brains, expanding them. But they do not make real contact, not enough for my brains to start emitting thoughts back – not yet at least. I want to know more, but there are so many things I want to know more about. So many things I want to do.

I love it that I want again.

I hate it that I have wasted so much time.

marraskuuta 01, 2005

bored again

I’m booooreeeeeeeeeeeed.

I had a fine day earlier today, at work, but now I’m bored. That’s what happens when you get lost in the net for too long. And don’t eat enough. You get BORED.

I think I will swallow in my boredom now for a while. And watch some TV. I’m an old TV-addict, have I mentioned that? I’d say that makes me boring, but then again some very interesting people spend too much time watching TV. I’d say the R or T words again, but I think I’ll save your ears tonight. Except maybe to explain that if someone interesting enough does something boring and still doesn’t become a boring person, that means I can apply the same to myself and actually believe it. Psycho-babble.

That makes me question my own prejudices again – am I too judgmental? Do I make too great demands on people? I’d try to figure that out, but I can’t be bothered. Maybe tomorrow. Now I’m busy being bored.