kesäkuuta 27, 2006

In town for a change

I'm back. Briefly.

I came to the conclusion that I was originally right after all. About the city not being the place to spend the summer. Therefore I am planning to head back to the countryside pronto - like tomorrow or the day after at the latest.

Gardening, you see, is at least as much fun as sunbathing and reading a good book. Extremely relaxing too.

Not that there aren't things to do in the city too. Like going to the movies. None of the city things are specifically summer things though and these couple of months are just too short to waste. So back it is, to the lake, lawn mowing and possibly little painting. I'll miss the net though.

Oh, and speaking of movies, I finally saw Brokeback Mountain. That was one sad story. Very good and very, very sad.

kesäkuuta 20, 2006


The move at work is now over. Books and folders have been shelved, computer connected, new pillows on the window ledge. No couch yet though.

We are going to unpack the books of the legal history's own library still next week, but otherwise my packing and unpacking is done. Haven't really done much else these past two days. Yesterday morning I baked a little - muffins and danish pastries - to feed the folks who had been volunteered to pack the aforementioned library. It's much more fun to "volunteer" if you get something to eat, don't you think? We had fun. At least I did.

Tomorrow we are going to take off to Kaipiainen. Early start to the Midsummer festivities. S gets off from work at three and we'll leave after that. We already went to pick up my car today and did some grocery shopping. We still need to get some stuff from Kouvola, but it won't take as long and means less waiting-time for Maija in the car. The weather is supposed to get colder on Thursday or Friday, which would be quite typical for Midsummer day, but one can always hope that they are wrong!

I should pack for tomorrow, but I think I'll eat some cake instead.

kesäkuuta 18, 2006

Sunny Sunday

The summer continues hot. Today we went to Tervasaari with Maija and M. I had never been there before, even though it is so close by; then again it is often the places, which are close by, that you don't get around to visit. Usually because you think that you have the opportunity to go there whenever you wish - in this case though because I didn't know what Tervasaari was all about. Which in essence is about enjoying the summer, lying around on the grass or the rocks, listening to the sea and worshipping the sun.

The walk there along Pohjoisranta felt a little unreal. That part of Pohjoisranta for some reason feels to me as if it would better fit in Paris or some other South European city, not Helsinki. We strolled back, ate ice cream and I felt like a tourist on a holiday. It was good and I rather think Maija enjoyed it too: she did some swimming and digging and growling at other dogs who looked too closely at her rock.

M stayed to eat and to play with Maija for a little while. We master chefs made some pasta-salad and opened the wine bottle. Again a little "touristy". I cannot follow any of my routines here, which is probably a very excellent thing.

I'm enjoying the evening now and sipping tea. Maija on the other hand is in the bedroom, trying to learn not to bark at neighbours. This appears to be a thing she is not learning very well, because she has had quite a few lessons today. I hope the neighbours are patient. And love dogs.

kesäkuuta 17, 2006

The new look is working...

I have now stayed at my sister's for two nights. They are in the States to visit M's family and I'm minding the dog, Maija. Maija's been quite good, although she occasionally manages to annoy me. Like when she barks at the newspaper delivery guy/gal at night, even if we don't get the paper. Or when she barks at anyone walking in the corridor. But mostly she has been very good.

I'm liking my stay at my sister's. It's very lovely to live in the middle of everything. One can do things spontaneously, you see. When one comes home from work it doesn't mean one has to get stuck on the couch to stare at TV or the computer. Instead one can go out, on the spur of the moment, spontaneously so to say. Jup, spontaneous is the word.

And I'm happy to report that I've been spontaneous. You see, the eight miracle of the world happened yesterday - in the middle of the day, in a dog park. A genuine Finnish male of appropriate age, sane mind and reasonable looks asked yours truly out. Yes, you heard me, asked me out on a date. The thing which you are not going to believe is that I said yes.

Now those of you who do not really know me will ask "so what?". A reasonable looking lass, she propably gets asked out always now and then and says yes to at least some of the offers - even if she is now going to do the obligatory complaining of "I've not been out in ages". This usually in papers and tv-series means something along the lines of "Can you believe that I have not gone out in entire two months?!!"

How that always makes me laugh. I checked, you see, and it has been four years and about four months since my last date. That I consider to be long enough to merit a moan of "I've not been out in ages". Especially since it's been almost as long again since my date previous to that one.

Yesterday was also the first time I've ever been asked out by a Finnish guy. That is a rather interesting order of affairs, don't you think? I would love to say it tells something about Finnish guys, but I'm afraid it says more about me.

Well, the date was yesterday too. Spontaneous, you remember? It was interesting, it was educational, it was for the most part very entertaining and fun, but so in retrospect also little disappointing and confusing. Mostly because of the educational part and because I haven't yet had time to process everything that this date tells me about me. And before you ask, no, you do not have any hope of seeing him. It ended traditionally with very different expectations of the course of a first date and no hope for a second one. He did rather return some of my faith in men though and I think that in the future I won't let another four years pass before the next date.

Yeah, it was fun. The couple of weird moments, which I thought were going to need a little careful editing of memories, are going to end up in a story somewhere. As examples of things not to say, if you are trying to sound sexy or seductive. At least not if the girl in question is a full-fledged, even if cynical, romantic.

Yeah. Yep, yep, yep...

Oh, and today we went to Suomenlinna, our beautiful island fortress, with Maija and M. Maija was happy to see her, since I'm apparently the boring auntie. The fourth annual "Culture Festival of the Enlightenment Era" - say that with the pompousness it requires - was on and so we spent couple of hours sunbathing and listening to 18th century music and excerpts from the texts of Voltaire and Frederick the Great. Ahem, romantic, remember. Maija on the other hand spent the time barking at seagulls and digging holes in the ground.

I liked today very much too. Now I've been reading Milan Kundera - my, he is good - drinking wine and tea, eating chocolate, being generally happy and watching a silly romantic comedy.

kesäkuuta 14, 2006

Should I do something useful?

I am so full of chocolate that I feel ill. Healthy life is not going good at the moment.

The weather on the other hand is perfect. Summer is truly finally here (at least for a couple of days) and as luck would have it, I was at Imatra to enjoy it. Spent last night at the summer cottage, managed to shed the winter coat a.k.a go swimming. The water was +20 degrees and not yet really warm, but not cold either. In other words very refreshing.

It was quite windy, but not so much as to stop me from sunbathing for hours. I can so well understand why the ancients worshipped the sun. Now there is a goddess, which gives you happiness. I try not to complain when she demands her price and I die a few years earlier because of skin cancer. I do think that I am willing to give her couple of years though. There is nothing like lying by the lake on a sunny day with a good book and the sun warming your back. Summer is without any doubt the best of all the seasons.

kesäkuuta 10, 2006

Congratulations A!

The defence of A's doctoral thesis is over - has been over for couple of hours already - and I didn't bother to go home again. The party will be starting in about three hours and so I am eating grapes at work and waiting for the hours to pass.

I have been putting books in boxes and going through my papers in preparation for the move to Porthania. It's actually quite fun - and useful. I have managed to throw away a huge amount of completely unnecessary papers that had just piled up over the years. It's quite interesting the things that one has saved for some unfathomable reason. Or the things that one finds - like my English dictionary.

I still have a few piles to go through so I think I return to them now. Have a nice weekend!

kesäkuuta 08, 2006

Blogger's playing up again

Today I wasn’t cultural, I went shopping instead.

We have another dissertation-party coming on next Saturday and I felt in need of some new clothing. I couldn’t find a nice dress though and didn’t feel like spending a hundred odd euros on a dress I didn’t particularly like. Therefore I bought a new bolero to go with an old dress of mine. Finding one was surprisingly hard work, since it seemed there was none in any of the stores. I’m sure there would have been in some of the small boutiques, but I hate boutiques. Shopping requires anonymity and freedom from overly helpful patronising sales ladies, who are tschk-tschking at your clothes the minute you turn your back.

I’ve also been thinking about memory. I have a fairly bad memory. Or alternatively I’m not interested in too many things. I read an article, you see, which says that you remember the things that interest you, things that you can associate with previous experiences. I’m constantly surprised by people who seem to remember “everything” they read or hear, the strangest little things. Through my head, on the other hand, experiences just pass without leaving any mark of themselves. An exaggeration of course, but I do have a bad memory. The good thing, according to the article, is that you can practise your memory. The long-term memory is apparently nearly limitless and you can remember huge amounts of information. The only thing is to be interested and to associate.

I can also report that I seem to live in some sort of “weak bladder” –neighbourhood. For two days in a row I’ve now run into a guy peeing on the sidewalk. Two different guys that is. What is that all about?

kesäkuuta 07, 2006

hfhgia eritivu ri

I continued my cultural excursions today and went to Ateneum to see some art. They have free admission every Wednesday 17-20. Do you notice a pattern here? Yeah, I like free things. And having done a little research it actually appears there's plenty to do for free in a city the size of Helsinki.

I enjoyed most of the same paintings that I always do. I rather like Per Ekström, Werner Holmberg and Magnus Enckell for instance. I also realised that I really like sculptures and "grafiikka" - is grafiikka graphic arts? Google fails me as does my dear friend I really should get a dictionary. I do check out words often, the spelling or synonyms at, but that is no help if one doesn't already have an idea where to start from. Let's pretend grafiikka is graphic arts.

My, my, I'm feeling a little full now. I've just eaten half a kilo of grapes.

kesäkuuta 06, 2006

Football commercials are annoying

Long day today. Squash in the morning, then full day at work and in the evening I decided to fight boredom by going to a concert. A piano concert at the Sibelius Academy - Liszt and Brahms mostly. They have this series "Music and Philosophy" going on and this was apparently part of it. Couldn't figure out what the philosophy part was supposed to be, but the music was good. And all for free. If you ever wish to hear classical music in Helsinki, Sibelius Academy is a good option because they often have free concerts - even by (locally) famous performers. Personally I'm planning to go more often, since I've decided to become more cultural.

I've read some interesting (and entertainingly sarcastic) internet articles about the number of the beast, since today is the 6th of June 2006 a.k.a 6.6.06, which for some is close enough to 666. According to most articles the number of the beast refers to emperor Nero (not a great favourite among the bible authors), but there was an interesting alternative numerological explanation.

The prophecy apparently says something like that a false prophet will come, cause the downfall of Christianity and thereafter the end of the world. Whether that means the Christian world or the world altogether is another question entirely. Anywho, if you take the number 666 and interpret it numerologically according to the Hebrew alphabet, you get WWW (since in the Hebrew Alphabet the number 6 corresponds to the letter W). And so, asks the article, "Is this the real prophecy? Is the WorldWideWeb the real ‘beast’, the ‘entity’ whose rise will cause the downfall of Christianity and the beginning of the end times? Is it the advent of the Web that has acted as the false prophet?"

Isn't life full of interesting and ever so important questions? ;-) You can ponder that. Does the web enlighten us, make us question stated authorities and take us to a Godless Era? And if it should do that, is it good or bad? I guess it depends on whether you like people to think for themselves and whether you think morality is somehow tied to religion or not.

kesäkuuta 05, 2006

Empty places between minutes

Sometimes there are boring days (or rather evenings). I guess it is up to oneself to decide whether boring days beget more boredom, or whether they become catalysts to ensuring that the next day won't be a boring one.

I want more!!

kesäkuuta 04, 2006

The sky is red-striped

Quite a good week this one. On Thursday we had the summer party of the institute. I went a bit early to help out, make the salad and generally carry stuff around. The party was good: we played some darts (or rather tikka, don't quite know what it is in English), ate more than enough and drank sufficiently. E played the guitar and the rest of us - or most of us anyway - tried our hand in singing. Lovely. I like our traditional summer parties. Last year I got invited too even though I was at the ministry at the time. It was one of the things that made me really realise that I missed the university and the people there.

On Friday was the last graduation day of this spring. The post-graduation event of the Lawyer's Association was one of the better ones. I went there in my new style, which I'm starting to like more and more, and actually got invited out to lunch. Probably not due to my new style, since it was not a date-type of invitation, but anyway. After the event I decided for once to spend some money on myself and went and bought two new coats. Did some clearing up later that day and managed to throw away a few pieces of clothing - you know those that haven't been worn in years, but somehow it's been impossible to get rid of anyhow.

Yesterday it rained all day long, so I did nothing but sit inside, clean a little, read a little and play a little. Today I went to town and saw a movie - "Lucky number Slevin", which was pure action-entertaiment, but very enjoyable. After that I walked to my sister's to get some house- and dog-sitting tips. They are heading to the States in couple of weeks and I will be staying at their place to take care of the dog. It will be interesting to see if living in the centre - even if for just couple of weeks - will have any effect on my use of time. Oh, and thanks for dinner! It was great.