lokakuuta 30, 2007


It's a nice thing when the sun shines. I walked to town again, listening mostly to Marilyn Manson. He makes some nice music, which is very good for all sorts of twisted daydreams. I bought his new album today, along with the new ones of Subway to Sally and Diary of Dreams. I was really starting to need some new music.

The new album - the actual cover, not the music - of Diary of Dreams is the best I've come across so far. It's an actual little book and starts with a very nice quote. "Kunst ist nur ein Wort für das, was man nicht mit Wörten beschreiben kann" (Steven Lee Peterson). Art is just a word for that, what one can't describe with words. I like that. That's precisely what art is.

I didn't go to town for music - well, not directly anyway. I went to get some make-up and to look for cameras. Both because of music though, since I'm off to Augsburg tomorrow. The flash of my camera is broken and I was thinking of getting a new one, because it would have been nice to get some pics of Eisbrecher. In the end I couldn't make up my mind and so I don't have a new camera. If I am not meant to get a good picture of Eisbrecher (read Alexx) then I am not. It's not like that is going to be one of those experiences that I will forget. At least not if it is going to be even half as good as the Rammstein gigs, which are still very, very high on my list of best things in the world. If they are going to tour for the next album, I am so doing some massive travelling. Gosh, it was fabulous. --- Okay, I'm back. I just had to go and read my report of Rammstein's performance at Ruisrock. I had forgotten all the details actually, but I haven't forgotten the feeling. I still get a silly smile on my face just thinking about it. It was so utterly perfect.

I don't think there is much one can say after that. Blessed be the things that one loves.

I may not be able to write from Augsburg, in which case I'll be writing again on Saturday. Until then. Live well and enjoy life.

Currently listening to: Diary of Dreams - Tears of Joy

lokakuuta 29, 2007

More things to learn

Today was one of those days when it was very difficult to get going. I managed to write couple of e-mails, do the dishes, finish Thunander and then clear out of the room before the cleaning lady turned up. I needed a new book, so I finally went knocking on people's doors.

There's this book about argumentation that I had tried to borrow already during the first week I came here. It was out, so I tried again about a month later, but the same professor still had it. Today I had no more sensible options to read and I really needed to figure out a thing or two about argumentation, so I practiced a couple of sentences of German and headed to his room. He turned out to be very friendly and dug out the book for me from his bookshelf. That was much easier than I had thought. He looks angry in his official photo and I as a rule don't talk to angry or emotional people unless I absolutely have to. But the photo was just a sham and he smiled like Santa Claus to me and I got my book.

Now I have a week to finish it. I read the two first articles today and realised that it is not really that I have only forgotten all about argumentation, it's more that I have never really even got it. I have studied all this stuff and it is slowly coming back to me - interpretation theories and all that - but I have never really properly understood what it means in practice. I still don't. Or the difference between a question of fact and a question of law as applied to real cases - not at all clear to me.

Well, at least now I know that I don't know. Earlier I didn't even know that I didn't know. I'm not at all sure though which one is better.

Currently listening to: Apocalyptica - Helden

lokakuuta 28, 2007

Old stuff

Today I have really enjoyed doing nothing. I have sat in my chair, listened to music and crocheted. I've made that little dragon, which is going to get accompanied by another dragon. Perhaps even a number of dragons depending on what this is going to turn out to be in the end.

Crocheting is fun. Following the pattern takes enough concentration that you can't really actively think about anything very complicated. Yet it releases the thoughts to swirl freely in your head, sometimes along more guided paths and sometimes just totally randomly. I think at times it must be a little like meditation.

I think I will make myself some hot chocolate and continue with the dragons.

Currently listening to: Viikate - Armahda lapset

P.S. If someone has checked the profile and wonders why on Earth she is giving architecture as her profession, well, that ain't me... Blogger in all its infinite wisdom has decided that I'm into architecture and it won't let me change it into no info. So, apparently, I am an architect. Not that it wasn't one of the things that I wanted to be when I was young.

lokakuuta 27, 2007


I decided not to go traveling this weekend, since the trip to Augsburg is next week. (Yay, Eisbrecher!!) But anyway, after doing dishes and laundry this morning, I figured that I still had to do something. I went through my links and decided to go and see a part of Frankfurt called Höchst.

Now, if one likes old architecture, one would think that the most logical place to find it would be the part of the city, which is called Altstadt - or Gamla Stan or Oldtown or whatever in your chosen language. Not so in Frankfurt: the Altstadt has practically nothing, all the good stuff is in Höchst. Castle or two, the obligatory churches, town walls, old streets and houses of less modest standing, all there. Main and Nidda - the two rivers - coming together, house boats and beaufitul parks. And next to it all the suburb of Höchst itself, which is really not the best in Frankfurt. Fascinating place and I really recommend taking a look if you are hereabouts.

It was the best looking area in Frankfurt I've discovered this far. I walked, I took pictures, I sat in the park by the river and then I had a nice lunch in a two hundred years old restaurant. That was much fun and I really have to start eating out more.

I can't bother to wait for Blogger to download my pictures, so if you want to see Höchst, click on the link below. The password is the name of the best band in the world. If you don't know what that is, then, alas, you just have to redo your homework. The pics are in no sensible order, since photobucket decided that this would be a much better way to view them than in a plain, boring chronological order. Lot's of sepia and b&w pics this time, I'm afraid.

Höechst pictures

lokakuuta 26, 2007

how different days are

Today was a fine day - and I have done absolutely nothing but worked. Since before eight to almost seven o'clock.

I read Thunander and I now have an obscene number of new footnotes with the aforementioned Thunander in them splattered all over the dissy. Also a couple with the additional names of Becker and Szidzek that I thought would like to keep company to old Rudolf. Or young, if that is what he is.

Yep, and then I started going through the cases again - except, this time, I decided to do it by the type of the case. One actually sees some results right away and it is so much more easier to decide what you are looking at. A good decision, since that was actually fun instead of frustrating.

Since I didn't want to start with the hardest or the most boring thing, I started with the criminal stuff. Because, alas, there is no helping it - the criminal cases just are more interesting than the civil ones. There is far more drama in the "who hit whom" or "why did they have to sleep together before the priest's amen" than those "A owes B three hundred dalers and needs to pay it back now" cases. Not that I started with fights or sex, but the favourite criminal appeal cases of the late 18th century: illegal manufacture and selling of booze. Yep, alcohol is the winner.

Do you know what is the winner in the category of the more serious crime? Those cases that got sent to the appeal courts automatically for approval? You might think murder, you might think theft, but no. It is - by and far - abusing one's parent. Hitting or just calling names, whatever, that got you in trouble.

Hmm, someone just sent me a tattoo on Facebook. Beautiful things. I guess I have mentioned before that I'd like a tattoo - or two. Hmmmm indeed, maybe I ought to give myself a present...

Currently listening to: Depeche Mode - Enjoy the Silence

lokakuuta 25, 2007

I'm annoyed - which is much better than being bored

The dissy was getting me really frustrated today. I started going through the cases, but it took nearly four hours to manage just twelve of them. Just writing down some basic info, none of which still got to the actual dissertation. And since there are 500 of the cases, well, at this pace that means quite a few days... Plus then there are still those 3000 pictures worth of protocols and case files that I have not even transcribed yet. I have to see whether I would be able to just read them, since giving them just two hours per day would still require five months.

Yeah, I just hope I don't have to redo this one day too. I don't mind doing it, even if it is slow; it's just frustrating not to be sure, whether it is the right stuff I am even looking at. I'm reading Thunander and I see what he considers as "arguments" and "motivations", but he is looking at punishments in individual categories of crime. What do I get, except that the appeal court was a stickler for the procedure being flawless and investigations thorough? That's hardly anything new or surprising.

Bah, frustrating. I had to get out of the house after working, so I headed out to town. The fall is definitely here, so I couldn't enjoy sitting outside anymore, which is a bummer in itself. I've never been able to figure out what one can do in a city beyond sitting outside reading a book, walking around, shopping or going to the movies or museums. I wanted something more "active" than movies and I don't really like shopping all that much, so I chose the museum option. Unfortunately I only had less than an hour there, since it closed at six, but it was still refreshing.

Currently listenig to: Unheilig - Ich will alles

lokakuuta 24, 2007

I miss summer

I'm wondering whether I should bake an apple pie. Maybe I should. Not that I haven't gained kilos enough here, but I feel like something sweet. Once again. I did go for a little walk, didn't I? Hmmm....

Yep, that's also pretty much the only thing I have done today. Worked and gone out for a walk. I've realised that the charts about the court's users are not the only thing I have to redo. I read some of Thunander today and spent the rest of the day redoing the info about the law that the court referred to in its judgments. I hadn't separated the laws and paragraphs, which the appeal court was citing from those that the lower courts cited. A pretty major mistake, but when a girl doesn't get things, a girl doesn't get things.

I think I will bake that pie. And then I will again write some. I wrote two pages again yesterday and even though the writing isn't progressing quite as fast as I had hoped, I still have 38 pages. Keeping that pace would mean 450 pages in a year and I would be more than happy with that. I just fear I will never have the time for it at home, since even here the hours fly like a green parrot with a fire under its tail feathers.

Currently listening to: Eisbrecher - Adrenalin

lokakuuta 23, 2007

My back still complains

This morning I read two short presentations from the 50's Deutschen Juristentages and realised that I have forgotten nearly everything about modern procedural law. I was thinking about re-reading some of those books a couple of years ago, but they looked so utterly boring that I never got around to it. Everything that has to do with contemporary dogmatic jurisprudence, whether it is material or procedural law holds very little interest to me.

Yeah, I guess I mentioned before that I studied law for all the wrong reasons. To some degree I had watched too much TV, but mostly I was looking for protection. As I said before, school wasn't always the best for me and I had this strange idea that if I was a lawyer no-one would dare to be rude or mean to me ever again. I would have the protection of law on my side and I would be untouchable.

Surprisingly, that didn't turn out to be quite so. Law isn't about protection and justice, but about lot's of technical rules. Considering the things that interested me in law, I probably should have studied psychology and moral philosophy or some such thing. But I didn't. I studied law instead.

When I decided to apply to the university and went to the library to borrow some books about law, what did I take from the shelf? Books about legal history, never about law. I always thought I would figure out which fields of law interested me during the studies, but none of them really did. I liked legal history, sociology and philosophy. I liked languages. And all right, I did like PM's course about critical criminal law, but he showed movies and I rather assume he talked about moral philosophical issues.

But I never really liked law as such. Some books were okay, most were dreadfully boring and an odd one here and there was even relatively interesting. I did mostly quite alright, but I was always a surface learner. If a thing doesn't interest me, I've never been able to figure out why I should bother to deep learn it. And so I never did.

Yep, I never did and therefore I had forgotten for instance what applying law in the courts really means. What it involves and what judges do when they decide cases. It's a bummer, but I think I have to read some of those procedural books after all.

Currently listening to: Apocalyptica - Grace

lokakuuta 22, 2007

I want to shut down the computer early today

Work, work, woork, wooork, wooooooooooorrrrrrkkkkkk.... Nearly ten hours long.

I realised yesterday that I have less than two months left here. In essence some forty working days - give or take a couple depending on the holidays and the weekends. Forty days is terribly little considering how much one is able to do in one day. Being both a slow writer and a slow reader and having trouble combining the both - not to mention the cases - that is not much. Scary.

So I decided that I really have to pick up the pace, if the dissy is to be completed next year. I finished Wirilander, I fiddled with the manuscript, I started going through the cases again... I went to the Monday colloquium - mostly to get some practice in the language - and had some ideas about the honour-project when doing the dishes this morning.

Now I'm getting a headache, lying on the floor in a bad position isn't good for the neck. The insanely strong detergent the cleaning lady has taken to using isn't helping either. She was here more than eight hours ago and I can still smell it. It is lingering somewhere in the back of my skull - sometimes it makes an excursion to my left ear and then comes to peek out from the eyes.

Currently listening to: the rustling of leaves through the open window

lokakuuta 21, 2007


What have we learned today? That a) one chocolate bar is not enough to keep you up and going for nine hours, that b) the time for mittens has arrived, that c) walking around is much more fun if it is warm and sunny instead of cold and rainy and that consequently d) sitting outside enjoying the said sun and warmth becomes impossible and e) one has to come up with new, pre-planned things to do on these outings, since the sun is gone.

Yeah, I went to Worms today, but it wasn't quite as great as I had hoped. Mostly because of the weather. I think I have sat somewhere for an hour or two on every single one of these trips so far - reading or writing - and loved every moment of it. Not possible today and that was a serious downfall.

Marburg was also a very hard act to follow. That place was utterly gorgeous and I'm clearly not as easily pleased anymore as I was six weeks ago. I notice for instance that I'm plainly leaning towards medieval towns now. Worms didn't really have that - although it did have some lovely twisting streets with old houses that were still lived in. I discovered them as I was already heading towards the railway station and if it had been warmer, I would have stayed for another hour to wander along them.

Mostly I spent my time in the Nibelungen museum - Nibelungenlied being probably the most famous of medieval German epic poems, as most people are likely to know. What I didn't know was that a great part of the Nibelungenlied takes place in Worms, which is why the museum was there.

The museum itself was slightly disappointing. It was almost solely based on an audio-guide tour and some images from the story. The audio story was told by the imaginary author of the Nibelungenlied in a "dramatised" way. Dramatised can be good, but here it didn't really work. The bigger problem were probably my own expectations. The Nibelungenlied - as told to me again by Wikipedia - was recorded in writing around the 12th and 13th centuries, but like the Norse and Icelandic Sagas describes earlier times - here mostly the 5th and 6th centuries. What I was expecting to hear was the history of those times, maybe something about the background of writing the epic poem, about the problems of the Christian authors dealing with the pagan stories.

There were some of that, but the main interest was in the 20th century: the imaginary author literally gasping in horror at how his poem could be put into such horrendous uses. The idea behind it was basically good. You can't pass Wagner and national socialism and the 19th and 20th century uses of Nibelung as a source of symbols for the übermensch-ideology. It is also understandable, because it became clear that some people are afraid to even read Nibelungenlied these days; because they can't get pass the fact that those symbols and images were taken from it. That sounded like a very German way of thinking again: it is just the same as someone would refuse to read Kalevala, Iliad or the Icelandic sagas because they are national epics.

But fine, it was good and understandable, even if the tone of voice was a little preaching. However, when the dear imaginary author starts to claim that "his intent" was to write a very, very nice and completely peaceful story from the very first, not in any way glorifying revenge or bloodshed... Well, then bloody bollocks! This is the 5th and 6th centuries "he" was describing, the bloody feuding honour cultures, which would have dug his eyes out if he was suggesting that they weren't interested in honour and revenge and blood shedding.

You can and should have a 21st century - post WWII point of view - but that doesn't mean that you can go ignoring the fact that 1000 or 1500 years ago the world view was just slightly different. The bloody hero of one of those bloody sagas dug the eyes of his host out, because the hospitality wasn't good enough. He was considered to have acted just as he was supposed to - saying that doesn't mean that anyone today should act accordingly. Saying that the bloody Nibelungs glorified loyalty and revenge, power and strength doesn't make them responsible for the horrors of the second world war.

Yeah, can you tell that the place annoyed me. It was clearly underestimating the listeners' capability to think for themselves. And not giving enough factual information to make those judgments to anyone who hadn't heard of the honour cultures before. Annoying. It did make me decide to read the Nibelungenlied though, and the rest of the sagas, and the French, Celtic and British ones. I have read some of them already - as well as Iliad and some of the other Greek and Roman legends. That wonderful Greco-Roman class in the States, you remember. If I will continue this research thingy, then that type of sources will have more than a wee bit to do with my next project.

Currently listening to: Falco - Mutter, der Mann mit dem Koks ist da

lokakuuta 20, 2007

Political animals

Well, I didn't go traveling today, because I got delayed by a demonstration. As I headed to the U-Bahn this morning around 10 o'clock, the main road had been cut off and there were dozens of policemen behind barricades, a helicopter circling around.

I was able to get to the station, but there an announcement told me that the U-Bahn wouldn't be working today at all. Closed because of a demonstration. Google just told me that originally the demonstration had been called by the right-wing party NDP, which wanted to protest against establishing a new, third mosque in Frankfurt. The left party had answered by calling a counter-demonstration to show their disapproval of all right-wing and Nazi ideologies.

By the amount of the police it looked like they were preparing for some huge confrontation, but apparently no more than some 1000 people took part in the end - about 100 from the right wing side and 900 from the left.

At the U-Bahn station there was just a notice from the left wing announcing that they were doing a march against Nazism, so I didn't know anything about the background this morning. I just wondered about the huge amount of police and thought that this was again a perfect example of the national trauma that the Nazi Era still is here in Germany. You can hardly open a newspaper without some article about WWII or Nazism.

Mostly though my worries were much more mundane and I just wondered how I would get to town. I tried walking to the next open U-Bahn Station, but the road had been blocked. I returned to the U-Bahn and when I finally found the nearest S-Bahn Station, which was working, nearly an hour had passed. I had missed the train I had planned to take to Worms and the next one would have gone an hour later. The trains back from Worms run only at two hour intervals after five, so I decided to leave the trip to tomorrow. No fun to get acquainted with a new town, if you feel like you are in a constant hurry.

Instead I decided to go to the zoo. Now these days zoos of course are places that many people boycott, since they feel that zoos are an unfair institution and shutting animals into them is cruel. When you see a tiger pacing back and forth behind glass walls or some big eyed thing stretching its paw toward you from behind the bars, it is fairly easy to see how one could think like that. But it is also amazing to see these animals you would otherwise never get to see: the highly poisonous stone fishes (above), aardvarks, all the gorgeous night creatures from South America and Far East, fishes with no eyes, sea horses...

Or the animals that live outside. The big rhinos, lions warming themselves in the sunshine, shy giraffes, okapis and the coquettish flamingos. Not that I've ever really liked flamingos, since that pink colour looks like they forgot to draw their skin - or rather feathers - back on. Yeah, zoos may not be PC (that's still politically correct), but I did enjoy it. The beauty of some of those animals and their exotic strangeness is simply such, that you walk in these houses with your mouth open and heart fluttering. It's like being a child again.

Currently listening to: Maija Vilkkumaa - Totuutta ja tehtävää

lokakuuta 19, 2007

Just had to tell you...

that I have gotten nearly three pages written tonight. Even if Facebook keeps distracting me. Have I mentioned that writing is wonderful. Marvelously, stupendously wonderful. "I haven't got the words to describe how wonderful it is" -wonderful.

If you've never tried, you should really give it a go.


Currently listening to: Bela B. - Versuchs doch mal mit mir

Them Swedes make good cakes

The idea of sitting inside for two evenings in a row sounded utterly boring, so I headed out for a walk. I took the umbrella with me, which turned out to be a good idea. Proper rain today, not just a tiny drizzle. We even got hail. It wasn't really cold, but my hands were still freezing.

I went to the other direction along Nidda. It's not as beautiful as heading North, but the very same scenery always gets boring eventually. No matter how gorgeous it would be. After a few times one forgets to pay attention to the surroundings and just starts to follow what ever is at the time going on in one's head. That can be fun too, but it doesn't provide new, memorable experiences.

They are promising crappy weather for tomorrow too, but I think I will still go traveling. Only question is where should I head this time?

Currently listening to: Subway to Sally - Kleid aus Rosen

lokakuuta 18, 2007

Thor's day - like every seven days

I really should change my profile pic, shouldn't I? I don't look like that. I don't think I've ever really looked like that. Not that I wouldn't want to, but one can't always have what one wants.

Yep, yep.

I want to eat something. I want a little of that sangria. I want to add two words to my lovely fictional story, so that it won't feel forsaken. My beautiful baby. I do love it dearly, but I don't think I will really write today, since it always takes so long. I will eat and drink and play stupid, yet entertaining games - and then read some of that book by Toni Morrison.

Yep, yep.

I want to be brainless this evening and not do anything.

Yep, yep.

I think that sounds like a plan.

Currently listening to: Tanzwut - bitte, bitte

lokakuuta 17, 2007

New plans

The rain fell on the canopy and reminded me of summer nights in the "aitta". The sound of rain is beautiful. Drop, drop, drop. Nature's music on man-made objects.

I sipped at my hot chocolate and tried not to burn my mouth eating the wasabi peanuts. Wirilander's book lay on my lap and two Russian girls talked in the nearby table. The rain had surprised me when I had walked for nearly forty minutes and was approaching Westend. It was only a light drizzle and the air was none the colder, so I headed towards the Bar Celona again.

Wirilander had surprised me too. A book that I truly enjoyed reading and I could not remember when that had last happened. I got reminded of Natalie Zemon Davis and Montaillou and Bill Miller's book in my bookshelf that I hadn't yet touched. I got reminded of Iceland and that fabulous presentation. Of my graduate thesis, which was more social history than legal history; of the fact that sociology was perhaps the most interesting subject of all those that belonged to our degree; that I studied law for all the wrong reasons and that research as such can be fun...

Perhaps I don't have to abandon research altogether after all. At least not yet. Maybe I owe it to myself to try and write another book - a scientific book that is. Microhistorical perhaps, with psychological undertones, since I believe that actions ultimately have psychological causes - our fears and desires - and with sociological interests. Popular history, I think, since it suits me better to write to broader audiences than to the narrower interests of the academic world. Something to do with honour, since that is what really interests me.

I doubt that really interests the law faculty, but alas, they already gave me a five year tenure and I will still have four years left after I have finished the dissy. Yep, I think they will just have to blame themselves, if I get a bit more multidisciplinary than they had thought. Or find it necessary to spend some time abroad in foreign universities to get really acquainted with the subject. Or am forced to move outside the capital area to be able to really concentrate on the work...

Well, we'll see. I like that idea today, but no-one knows of tomorrow. It would solve quite a few things though and I could go back to the original plan for next year... Yeah, but we will see.

Currently listening to: Attrition - A girl called harmony

lokakuuta 16, 2007

Work and letters - that's today

The window is the dark soul of the night. It has no beginning and no end. It sucks in shadows and creates spurious dusky universes in the nothingness.

I wonder if it would reflect back my happiness if I were to peer into that realm of the Nyx. Would it be part of me, thrown back at my face, or part of the shadow world of that primordial daughter of Khaos?

Such questions. The world is full of them, if one only knows where to watch. I drag myself away from the world of letters to bring forth ever more letters. They make me happy. Throwing away something of myself to get back even more. It is bubbling inside me - the joy. I smile without meaning to smile. I chuckle for no reason just because life is good.

There are papers all over the floor. The stories of people seeking justice. There are books too. Signs, letters, words, sentences...

They call to me.

Currently listening to: Viikate - Kuolleen miehen kupletti

lokakuuta 15, 2007

Empirical experiences

The leaves dance slowly outside the darkened window. A stately waltz. The Greek - perhaps - with long dark curls and a prominent handsome nose explains of Luhmann and Autopoesis. I sit in the corner of the table and let the language wash over me.

Luhmann doesn't interest me - not in any language. Seminars rarely interest me, but I do find it fascinating to watch them - the others - as they argue abstract questions and details, far developed theories, which continue thousand year old debates that will never be brought to an end. I have no interest to participate and therefore I again push myself to the margin to observe. I am the spurious sociologist and they my subjects; I the collector and they my story.

It is almost always so, but habitually the story, the experiment, disappears into the white noise of the past: with no water and nourishment it has no chance to bloom and anon it is no longer part of my reality. Like the subjects of those countless seminars, which have departed from my memory without leaving any mark.

I hope it is not because I would not possess the capability. With a small smug smile tugging at the corner of my mouth I think back on the intelligence test I took earlier today. In the top one percent of the world's population. I feel impressed, until the realisation hits: that is over 67 million people. Not particularly remarkable after all.

I watch at them debating Luhmann in this language I cannot understand unless I concentrate. Top one percent doesn't make you very intelligent. Perhaps the tests are biased, perhaps the things they measure are of the world of observers. Those who enjoy watching others and measuring them, dissecting them from afar. Perhaps I just have an overabundance of practice - enjoy the tests too much and like seeing myself reflected in them.

Currently listening to: Diary of Dreams - Curse

lokakuuta 14, 2007


The train headed southwards and the young man across the aisle tried to catch my attention. In an otherwise empty compartment he had chosen the place closest to me and with a smile and broken German he addressed me. I answered and turned back to my paper, but he wouldn't give up. He asked to borrow the sports section of the paper, he asked me to watch his bag, but as I answered with one word sentences he finally left me alone. I felt a little sorry for him, but I wasn't in a mood to carry a conversation with this dark stranger with flirty eyes. His sighs failed to move me and I in turn sighed with content as a young woman sat next to him in Giessen. She enjoyed talking even more than him and they were not quiet for a second for the rest of the way.

The train pulled to the station and I followed the talkative couple out. I had checked the way to the old town and had no trouble finding the right way. A bridge crossed the river Lahn and I stopped for a moment to track its course through the old buildings. It brought back a memory from nearly twenty years ago: us visiting our aunt in Geneva, the trip to the little town on the French side. There had been a similar river there too.

The past disappeared to be replaced by new memories as I came to the St. Elizabeth's church. The bombs of the last war had left it untouched and I enjoyed the silence inside. The feel of the old stones. The war hadn't brought about only the loss of millions of lives and the loss of innocence; it had also destroyed irrevocable pieces of history, turned to dust and rubble layers and layers of the past. These German towns with roots going back to the Antiquity and the Middle Ages whispered of things, which were gone for ever and I had to mourn the man's desire to destroy.

But man is not inclined only for destruction, but also creation. I stepped from the church into sun light, called forwards by the sound of jazz drifting into this house of a god. Tents and stalls stood around the church and right outside a man sat moulding a piece of clay into a small round jug. The potter's wheel turned and turned and his wet hands shaped the clay - gently, but firmly. Less than five minutes had passed, before the piece of matter had turned into an object of beauty in those hands.

I watched the transformation with eagerness and desire. I wanted to sit so too, with the potter's wheel between my legs and give something inanimate life, a purpose. His skills astonished me; this balding middle-aged man in torn pants and dirty shoes, dried clay sprinkling his arms nearly to his elbows. He made it look so easy and I left him wanting one day to possess his skills, to be as good as him - to have a wheel and an oven of my own somewhere in the back of a garden.

The band was still playing - whether jazz or swing I couldn't tell. I bought a currywurst from a smiling young man in a nearby stall and ate standing, listening to the band play. Three old man and a youngish woman. They were having fun bringing the music into the world and enjoyed the attention of the crowd around them. The joyful notes followed me as I continued forward.

The Pilgrimstein wound along an old botanical garden towards the old town. The road started to climb higher, old steep steps led me to the old Rathaus and pushing the door open I peaked in. In the silence and emptiness I was greeted only by the smell of an old house. That wonderful smell of wood, which always brings to mind thoughts of home. It is connected to the smell of a damp, cool cellar, which I had smelled somewhere not long ago. A memory of that lingered still in the back of my mind, but I could not remember where it came from. I pressed my face close to a wooden pillar and inhaled the essence of wood. With those memories whirling in my head I stepped back outside.

I followed the way upwards, ever more steps brought me towards the market place and the sun was warm on my back. Café keepers were busily carrying out the tables and I wondered if they fell tempted to call in the panting old ladies who were struggling to get up the hill.

Another band was playing at the market square and stalls with free blood pressure and cholesterol controls were happily neighbouring tents selling sausages and beer. I left them both and continued ever upwards.

I reached the grounds of a Lutheran Church from which walls I could see the town nestled beneath. The medieval city centre stretched onwards. People were living in these beautiful, old houses and smoke was drifting from one of the chimneys into the clear autumn sky. How many centuries had these buildings witnessed, how beautiful and proud were they in their mixture of decay and stubborn resistance to the ravishing of the time. The modern houses further away must have been humbled by their longevity, shamed of their own ugliness.

Ever more steps lead to the highest hill of the town, where the old castle of the landgraves dominated all the surroundings. Guarded by wild boars and sturdy walls it stood over the town and whispered promises of beauty. I pushed the heavy, decorative door of the castle open and climbed up the stairs.

Saint Elizabeth told of her life from 800 years ago: the Hungarian princess who came to the magnificent castle of her future husband at the age of 4 and was a widow already at 20. Despite all that she could have had, Elizabeth chose a life of poverty and charity and the harshness of her life killed her when she was only 24. Was she happy with her choices or did she regret her life when she lay on her deathbed?

The castle was full of enticing, comely objects and I wandered the halls in silence - the joy bubbling inside. The intricate craftsmanship visible in the cupboards and commodes brought back the desire that the potter had already evoked. I wish to turn my hands also into instruments that could create such lasting marvels. I dreamt dreams of an old farmhouse bathing in sunshine, the dog running wildly in the garden as the cats guarded the sleeping baby. The striped one licked its paws as the longhaired tomcat yawned lazily. I had laid away my book and the chisels worked on the wood, which slowly acquired its shape.

The allure of the past centuries was overwhelming and I was saddened by the ugliness and the hectic spirit of my own age. But relief was there to chase away the repulsion. With thankfulness I realised that I did not have to endure the more nauseating sides of it if I didn't wish to; I could always choose a simpler life away from the pressures of the cities.

The hecticness came towards me as I slowly descended from the castle. Already from afar a sea of human voices, indistinguishable and blurred into one steadily ebbing and rising wave hit me. It was the burring of distant bees, which grew louder as I turned a corner and saw the shopping street in front of me. The slowly moving river of people swallowed me and carried me onwards: I tried not to bump into the rocks that were other people and as I felt that my strength was vanishing I made a final push. In the fork of roads I took the upper one that was braved by only three other souls and the milling, screaming mass of people streamed downwards.

It did not take long for the irritating sounds to disappear and soon I could hear my own footsteps and the birds singing again. The road ascended to the castle, but I went past it and stopped at the café. The sun caressed me and I had to take of my fleece. It was sleeveless but with the strength of the sun it was still too warm.

The waitress brought my Apfelwein and cheesecake soon and my thoughts circled back to the day. I shooed away an insistent bee and gazed down at the church and the town. It was good, very good: The traveling and all these old towns where you could feel the past seeping in. It was always there; the same way as the otherness of the strange language and the odd looking buildings and signs. It pushed against the boundaries of the mind: expanding them, enlivening and invigorating, expelling the murky mists of the commonplace.

It was good. The same way the business of this restaurant was good. I paid my bill, strolled down to the church and sat on the wall. A very good day indeed. This was how life was meant to be, but I wasn't sure if I could make it reality in the future. Did I want too many things? I wanted happiness - and at least today I had been happy.

lokakuuta 13, 2007

Dinner is waiting

I went to the Book Fair today, but it wasn't quite what I had hoped. It was all just too...massive. The place was huge and there were way, way too many people. In that chaos it was impossible to concentrate on anything particular. I did get a few free papers and a nice map of 17th century Switzerland, but that was the entire haul of today. All too soon I wanted nothing but to get out of that milling mass of people, so I left and didn't even go see the antique books sale they had there somewhere.

Jep, I would have regretted not going, but I definitely won't be back there tomorrow. The atmosphere was all wrong. Books are about calm, peace and relaxation - no matter if they talk of wars and torture, suicide, unhappiness and depression, catastrophes, sadism or oppression. They may get you upset, they may make you contemplate the dark, hidden corners of life, but they are still always a personal, intimate, quiet experience. Books and their worlds aren't about competing publishers and thousands of people pushed into tight corridors. No, never about that.

Competition in itself rather sucks, doesn't it? In honour of that a few competition quotes.

“If you're able to be yourself, then you have no competition. All you have to do is get closer and closer to that essence.”
“The only competition worthy a wise man is with himself”
“Competitions are for horse, not artist.”
“Somebody will always break your records. It is how you live that counts.”
“In business, the competition will bite you if you keep running, if you stand still, they will swallow you.”

Currently listening to: Marilyn Manson - The Reflecting God

lokakuuta 12, 2007

I'm liking today too

Ahh, tea is good. I just wish I had a bigger mug; these tiny coffee cups just don't fulfill the purpose.

The weather looks very autumnal today. It's grey and the wind is rustling the leaves in the maple trees outside. If I turn off the music, I can actually hear it. It rained a tiny bit too earlier. Not snow though like in Finland. I saw the little clip on MTV3 and it was just snow in the usual pitch black morning hours. I don't miss that at all.

I don't mind today's greyness, although I do hope it will still get better. For tomorrow they promised 14 degrees, which is definitely colder than it has been. I think I will go check the Book Fair tomorrow and leave traveling for Sunday. Unless the Book Fair turns out to be really interesting and I have to go back. I'm looking forward to that. Only thing that annoys me about the Fair is that they have the most awful website in history. It's practically impossible to find info from there about what is going on and when.

Yep, but anyway. Today I have really only worked and I'm actually feeling quite hopeful of this current fiddling around with the text. I started reading this book called "How Judges Reason" today and it has a couple of enlightening points. I also started with Wirilander's Herrskapsfolk, since I have to redo the parts about the court's users. Jep, jep.

Candles are really nice, aren't they? Yes, they are.

Currently listening to: Kotiteollisuus - Kuolemanvakavaa

lokakuuta 11, 2007


Just came back from town with T. We walked there, we walked back, we stopped in two bars and had some beer. Well, only in one place, something else in the other place. I suppose it goes without saying that it was again fun.

He is like H and S - he understands life. Happy, happy. I think I may have to start doing that in the future. Telling people what I like and what I don't - if they can't live with that then that's their problem. I can't please everyone, can I? And those who do understand, will then understand much better.

I have to think about the future again. We talked, you see. There are really so many possibilities out there. Life is really quite exciting, isn't it?

His little pep talks concerning the dissy have been working too. I borrowed some books again - unfortunately I only got two out of the six that I wanted, but it's still a start. I read the stuff I've written here over the past month or so, and realised that I'm happiest with the dissy when I'm reading and learning new things. It makes me feel more in control of things, so I've decided to start doing it again. I'm not entirely stupid - I just feel so because I don't read enough. That wall to reflect things back, you know.

I now have almost 190 pages that may more or less work - after I've read Thunander and corrected the part about the judges. Then I'll add something to the section IV about the different parties of the court and it's tasks. I'll do section V about the argumentation and the sources and something about the functions based on all that, and it will hopefully look reasonably decent. If it doesn't then I will fiddle with it again. I've only fiddled with it two times now and apparently you are supposed to do it five times or so. It may turn out fairly fine in the end after all. It isn't yet, but this ain't the end either.

Yeah, this was a wonderful day. The library lady called me and I talked German with her like nothing. M sent me a message and she will probably be coming to Frankfurt in the end of November. I worked for almost nine hours and didn't feel a bit bored. I think it may be partly because of my theory.

I have this theory, you see, that if you have a real life after work - family or friends or something like that - then concentrating on work is easier. Work is more distinguishable from leisure and therefore you can spend the hours that you are supposed to be working actually also working. If work and free time blend into each other however, then you aren't likely to work efficiently and concentrate on the things at hand because you feel like you are wasting the time that you have. And because there is really no reason to work efficiently. It's like the difference between a couple and a single spending a free day. The couple can just be, the single has to make decisions about how to spend the hours. Well, the saying didn't go exactly like that, but you may still remember the feeling.

Yawn. I think I have to go sleep now.

Currently listening to: Rammstein - Spieluhr

lokakuuta 10, 2007

Autumn is coming

Just came back from town with T. We walked there, we walked back, we - or he - shopped some presents for his children, we stopped in two bars on the way back and had some beer. Yep, me too. I've finally decided to learn how to drink beer. I think it is bloody time considering that one is 30 and then some. I suppose it goes without saying that it was again fun.

Yep, today was a good day. I got the tickets to the Marilyn Manson concert. That will be 20th of December in Helsinki, which is also the day when I will be coming home. Just so you know. Hehe, Marilyn Manson. I'm really looking forward to that.

Work wise I had a really good day too. I read a wee bit of Thunander and decided to take a closer look at my own dissertation - yes, again. I think I am fairly happy with the first 130 pages or so and they may actually work after all. But I also realised that in the remainder there is nearly 100 pages where I have maybe ten footnotes altogether. That is not good. Not good at all. It means, you see, that I have lot's of stuff there, but it doesn't really say anything. It is silent and incapable of communicating - it is in essence dead stuff. I have to find the wall that will reflect its voice back and I will have to find it soon.

Yep, yep, I'll continue with that tomorrow. It will require quite a lot of effort, but for once I think that it will succeed in the end. It will be a book. That sounds almost scary. Me - finish something? I could be a doctor of laws this time next year?

I wonder why it sounds scary. Is it because I know that the book won't be as good as I had hoped. Because of what that says about me. Or because finishing this project means the beginning of something new and I don't want to face that. Face the unknown, make the conscious decisions about what to do next. I always keep postponing decisions, you see, to the last possible point. Especially if they are important things and this certainly is.

Currently listening to: Viikate - Siunattu hiljaisuudessa

lokakuuta 09, 2007

Working is better again

I am so full that it is crazy. Seriously, I look like I was five months pregnant. Yargh.

We had lunch with T in the Chinese place nearby. It's been awhile, since I have had Chinese. It's been four years and some since I've been in that particular place. Yep, I like Chinese.

T gave his presentation today and I went to watch. The woman who talked to me last time came to talk to me again and we finally settled on a date of my presentation. End of November, which means that I still have some time to write it. She suggested that I would concentrate on methodological questions and problems with the archive material - maybe use a case study for it. Sounded good to me. I mean it's not like I don't have problems with the archive material. I have to think about it soon, because maybe I could come up with something that I could use in Copenhagen too. If I can't, I'm not sure that I will be going.

I borrowed Thunander's book today - Hovrätt i funktion. I think I have read that book already like three times, but I still couldn't remember any of it. I was hoping he would have a clear structure in the book and I could do something very similar. You know, to figure out what people think is interesting about the functions of an appeal court. I can use some of it, but most of his questions are so 17th century and criminal law specific that it probably won't really work with my material. Darned too.

It did get me to write about the hemställte mål. Have been writing until now. But I am again just making charts and writing the cases instead of really saying anything. Maybe I should just read Thunander first and then see what is important about them anyway.

I think I have to go write a wee bit of fiction now. Yesterday was the second day when I didn't write at all and I can't make it two days in a row. One day is okay, but two days are a beginning of a habit and this is something that I really don't want to give up.

Currently listening to: Gjallarhorn - Norafjelds

lokakuuta 08, 2007

Need sleep

Gosh, I am tired.

Today was a good day. T from Helsinki is here for a week and we went out tonight to have dinner. The local places didn't look all that promising, so we headed downtown and had pizza near St. Paul's. Afterwards we walked around downtown for a while and then had a beer in the local football club's bar near the institute. That was a cute little place in the end of a narrow dark road, just us and a couple of local men and a few guys outside playing football. It was all much, much fun.

I have to say that using a language that one can actually speak is a wonderful thing. And it is even better to use that language talking with someone who really listens, is genuinely interested in what you have to say and doesn't judge. There aren't too many people like that in the world. Although perhaps more than I used to think.

Hmmm, I've really been brainwashed by school years to expect the worst of people, haven't I? I should listen to those existentialists, shouldn't I? Everyone creates the meaning of their own existence. If it is about a choice, can I not choose to believe that people want good? Choose not to be defined by the past.

I hope it is so easy.

Yep, people are the worst thing in life, but they are also the best.

lokakuuta 07, 2007

One shouldn't drink wine - or should one?

Have you noticed how sometimes when you need something or would like to do something, that something just falls in your lap? Like last Monday when I wanted to find a hobby shop, I took a road I usually don't and there it was. I think it was yesterday when I started to think that it would be again time to find out what was going in the world, maybe buy a paper and read it in a cafe. So what happens when I stand outside the old opera house today checking the programme? A girl comes and asks if I would like to have a copy of the Welt am Sonntag, for free. Yes, thank you, I would like one very much!

Promo action of course and if the paper could actually be delivered to the institute I might have even subscribed. But as it was I just sat for two hours or more in the park near the opera house and read the paper. That was good. The sun shone again and it was warm even if I only had a t-shirt on. The paper was long and had some interesting articles about Putin's Russia and religion and literature. The famous Frankfurt book fair starts next week, so they were reviewing some of the books: some critic campaigning rather shamelessly for his favourite, which was actually quite funny.

Yeah, but it was great. Couldn't help thinking how nice it would be to do that regularly. Buy the morning paper and sit in a cafe somewhere reading it, with no hurry to go anywhere... I went to the Tapas place again after reading the paper to have an Alster and a Fajita - read some Toni Morrison and enjoyed the smile and the tattoos of that handsome waiter - and did some calculations. If I rented out my apartment, I could live for about year on my savings. Less if I did some proper traveling and enjoyed life. More if I get all the money I still have coming from different sources and if I live cheaply. If I were to sell my house the number of those years would be at least four and living cheaply a few more....

I have been spoiled, haven't I? I am 33 and I have worked in a "9 to 5" job for less than a year of my entire life. It is starting to sound so dreadfully horrible to me. Going to work every day, living in some horrid suburb and doing the "normal, bourgeois" life... I'm sure it is the dream for many, but I wonder if I am not ready to leave it behind.

I'm already thinking of it, you see. Living in Finland during the summer - I love Finnish summer - in the summer house and you know where, but spending the winters away, except for X'mas. (Oh, and just as a side note, good GRIEF how LOUD the sounds are, when you have had a couple of glasses of wine. Just pulled a piece of paper from the bag and it rattled like it was the thunder god itself. Not that I am drunk or anything...) The autumn in Europe maybe, when it is still warm enough and then at least to Spain - not that it isn't Europe - or to India. I am still thinking of India. I can't find the site now, but it was possible to live in Goa for a month for something like 200 euros.

Don't you think it would be wonderful? I still think it would be great. It also sounds a bit scary, but people do it all the time. And I think it is better also to do scary things than to just die of boredom. Of the utter meaninglessness of it all. I want to LIVE. It is better than to suffer depression and work in a boring job for forty years and then ultimately die rich and leave all your money to great-great-nephews and nieces, who have hoped for your death for the last twenty years.

It is of course also what some people call selfish, but the ultimate fact is that we only have one life. We can get stuck in our routines and hate our lives - or we can do something about them and change them. It is scary and there is no guarantee that it will get better, but is that a reason not to try. Hmm, yep, what can we learn of this. Wine is good and I hope - I hope beyond hope - that I have the courage to fulfill these dreams when the time comes.

Currently listening to: Eisbrecher - Kein Mitleid

lokakuuta 06, 2007


The destination of today's travels was Darmstadt. Not a bad place to visit, but also not somewhere you would absolutely have to go. It takes awhile to get from the railway station to the city centre and the walk isn't particularly impressive. Darmstadt is also very good at hiding it's tourist info. I walked around for over an hour before I finally found it. I had, you see, gotten into my head that I absolutely needed a map before I could relax and start enjoying the scenery. And once a girl gets something into her head, it stays there. So I walked around, got increasingly annoyed, spent extra energy trying to remember where I had come from and finally decided to give up. I went to a store to get some food and decided to head to a nearby park to eat and read, when I finally stumbled upon the info.

I got myself a beautiful map and immediately the day brightened up. I was again safely in control of my surroundings and free to wander wherever I wanted. I still headed to the park, since by now I was carrying a bottle of cola and some schockobrötchen. I sat down, I ate - far too much - and studied the brochures I had got; even if only to find out that the most interesting museum had closed already at 1 o'clock. So I used the bag as a pillow and decided to finish de Beauvoir's book. It's very good and I can only recommend it highly. I recognised myself in so many things she says. I've never read anything of hers before, but I have to correct that mistake. I do feel drawn to both feminism and existentialism after all.

Afterwards I walked around a bit in the park, saw one church and quickly peaked in. I think they were about to start a wedding ceremony there, so I didn't linger. I headed back to the railway station and just made it to the 5 o'clock train - or U-Bahn to be more accurate. A middle aged couple who kept bantering and flirting with each other sat down next to me and kept me amused for most of the journey - not that I was really listening, but it was impossible to avoid.

Yep, not a bad day all in all.

Currently listening to: Maija Vilkkumaa - Saaressa

lokakuuta 05, 2007

Sugar high

I have done battle with a bee and emerged victorious. It was warm earlier today and I got an uninvited and an unwelcome quest in through an open window. I didn't kill it right away, since I was just leaving out to town. When I came back it was already dark and so instead of buzzing at the window, it was doing long-distance flying around the room. Bees can be tolerated outside, but I don't want to share my bedroom with one, so we had words and it ended up in the trash can. Rest in peace, little bee.

Today was work wise the first good day of the week. If only they could all be like this one... I had fun again and actually enjoyed reading Weitzel - even if I still didn't get everything he was on about. Sometimes I think my German is just getting worse, because I don't really use it all that much.

After work I went to town to buy a new monthly travel pass. I decided to walk there, which turned out to be fun. The city centre is even closer than I thought and it only took an hour to walk there. I might want to do that again sometime. After getting the monthly pass I decided to do some more walking and headed down to the river. I sat down for a moment to watch the people and the airplanes and then headed out to find a yet untried U-Bahn station.

Yep, it was fun and I should go out to town more often during the week. It is just that I can't always come up with things one could do there. Going to sit at a cafe every evening becomes routine eventually and kills the fun of it. And new places become old places far too quickly. Maybe I'll just have to start going through the different suburbs one by one.

Currently listening to: Don Huonot - Olemme kuin veljet

lokakuuta 03, 2007


Well, today was the Day of German Unification. Which I didn't realise until just before noon, when an e-mail reminded me of this fact. Did I feel the need to head out to town to see how the Germans celebrated this festivity? No, not really. I did plan to do that later, even checked to see if there was something going on downtown, but then the time just flew.

I did use this as an excuse not to work. It would not be a very nice to commemorate the occasion by working, would it? No, so I promptly stopped working and spend the day writing e-mails instead. That's sort of appropriate, isn't it? Unity through letters...

Äh, I really should have gone out. Too late now.

Currently listening to: Rammstein - Spiel mit mir

lokakuuta 02, 2007

Work progresses

Today, well, today was one of those days when I didn't get much done.

The day's biggest accomplishment was probably deciding that I would try and finish the dissertation from a general functional point of view. I had thought that I would concentrate on reading this week, since I had just played around with the existing text for couple of weeks. Reading however didn't want to get going at all. Not at all, so I thought that it would be better to finally do some decisions about the dissertation. Then I know which books I still absolutely have to read and what kind of information I'm looking for anyway. Well planned is half done and all that.

So I went and printed out the pages with the contents. I had some sangria and stared at the contents long enough to come to the conclusion that the only thing that the last pages have in common has something to do with the functions of the court. You know, efficiency and control and providing better jurisdiction and authoritative decisions and who knows what. If I mix up everything that I have thus far and shove them to whole new chapters...if I add some to the part about the court's establishment...then I think I may be able to keep most of what I have now - albeit in a different form - and even make it work. It won't be good, but it will get finished during the next year and that is the most important thing.

Now I will go write something fun. I think I left them at the table and Alcis had just come in from the stables...

Currently listening to: Rammstein - Mein Teil

lokakuuta 01, 2007

Good Monday today

Today I very strongly felt that it was time to do something real. When you spend too much time just writing and reading for work and then writing and reading some more for fun, you eventually realise that too much is too much. Or at least that sometimes you need to do other things too. Since there is the cleaning lady around, I'm almost down to doing the dishes for any physical labour these days.

There were no gardens around or houses to paint, no fires to start or metal workshops to enroll for, so I had to settle for what I could think of. I baked an apple pie earlier and then later I headed out to town and went to buy some supplies. I made a short stop in a nice Spanish cafe, got served by a rather nice looking waiter, had a lemon beer and some tapas and sat there reading Simone de Beauvoir again. It was very lovely. I spent a moment thinking of the foremothers of hundred years ago and how much more opportunities to see the world I have than they did. Yeah, I really like this German experience.

Then I came home and did some playing around with glue, scissors, paper and coins. I made myself a little tealight-holder and then threw the paper clippings and some thread on a piece of paper just for some artistic affect. The tealight-holder is now being tested to see if it actually works or if it will heat the coins too much. The clippings and paper thing is not any kind of masterpiece by any standards, but it is also partially functional since the thread is capable of holding little notes. I think I may experiment some more later and see if I couldn't make something better.

I've decided to embrace all my artistic sides, you see, and try to get rid of the rational me. This also involves going out with my hair tied back and in my dad's old zip sweater. It got the waiter to flirt with me, so apparently it works much better than the lawyery sort of jackets.

Currently listening to: Diary of Dreams - Soul Stripper

In exile

I have been banished into exile again. It´s a cleaning day and I don´t like to be in the room when the cleaning lady comes.

I spend two hours every morning transcribing the court cases and I´ve come to the conclusion that my cases won´t speak to me. They have never really spoken to me. Or rather when I hear of Daniel Pekuri heading to the fields in the morning and bunching Anders Pekuri in the presence of numerous witnesses, I want to know why. When I read of Andres Aulin with his criminal past being involved as the only witness for the prosecution in a number of cases of illegally manufacturing alcohol, then I want to know why. Has he become an honest citizen like the prosecutor claims - the prosecutor who is getting two thirds of the fines - or is he rather making up tales to bring rewards to himself. I want to know who these people were and most importantly what made them do all those deeds. What did they think and what was their world like. I want to know their stories.

But considering anything that vaguely resembles a reasonable, legitimate legal historical viewpoint, the cases just don´t want to tell me anything. Everything they whisper to me, has been written already by another pens. Except for the stories of these people they won´t speak of anything that would be truly fascinating or interesting.