elokuuta 17, 2009

Intervention over

The replies are almost done. Bloody excellent. It’s amazing how much more one can get done at home – or more importantly without the net.

I’m taking a break, some coffee, blueberry pie that I made earlier today and Rammstein playing in the radio. They are going to start touring again this year and I have no tickets. Strange. Blasphemy. Or rather addictions diminishing when people don’t say anything in years. I do still intend to find out if it is possible to get tickets. Apparently they aren’t coming to Finland this time, but I am willing to travel pretty far to catch another concert. Last time I tried to get tickets to their concert abroad it was just so very difficult that I gave up. One needed an address in Germany or something.

I finished Härkönen’s book yesterday. Reading felt very good. At home I usually choose the net or TV instead of reading, but reading should win that competition more often. It felt “normal” – like part of life instead of avoiding it. Härkönen’s books are good although I don’t really like her way of leaving the end so open. I didn’t particularly like the main female character of her book either. Not that she wasn’t nice as such – and deep definitely – but she was judgmental. Very very judgmental and clingy. Of course it was because I could understand her husband 100 % and it felt strange that she was so blind that she couldn’t. Pushy selfish women for some reason annoy me much more than pushy selfish men.

Got most of them done, then I got access again. I don't know whether to be happy or sad. Most certainly I haven't done any work since getting back online.

Sunday musings

On Friday evening divine intervention hit again. I can’t get access to the internet at home, which has resulted in a bit of a rise in anxiety levels. However I’ve also been able to get some things done, which otherwise would still be undone. Including writing this blog entry. It seems that writing the blog actually fills in me the need to talk – whenever I can get to the forums that need seems to be (almost) as easily filled there. Or rather the need to write than talk of course. You see, I did the Meyers-Briggs test again and got classifies as an INFP. Apparently INFPs as a rule dislike talking – or at least prefer writing. ”They may be awkward and uncomfortable with expressing themselves verbally, but have a wonderful ability to define and express what they’re feeling on paper”. That’s what it said and I did recognise myself completely both in that and many other points. That wonderful bit sounds a bit arrogant, but to me it actually is a wonderful ability. On paper and in the net I am me. More in touch with my feelings.

But anywho, it’s been a mixed week, this first one in the city and work after the summer. I had extremely hard time concentrating on getting anything done at work. I really got a better hang of writing the replies to the appeals only during Friday evening – when I got home and noticed that the internet doesn’t work. The lesson to be learned from that is that I need to stay home tomorrow and try to get most of the remaining ones done (and that I need to avoid the internet, but let’s ignore that lesson). There are one or two people who may even get an extra point, proving that sometimes complaining actually does pay off. It is important after all – the right to appeal. I am however not at all looking forward to all the work that I still need to get done on that other appeal related issue. The dissy. We had a really good discussion about the dissy with H, but the amount of work required in order to get it to the shape that H, P and L would like to see it in is definitely daunting. Luckily the “definite” deadline is at the end of September. There is only so much one can do in a month or so. I’ll do what I can and have time for, the rest I’m just going to blithely ignore. It’s a survival tactic, which actually works relatively well. I’ve noticed that most of the stuff you ignore eventually just disappears and then you don’t have to deal with it.

So work was mostly crap. It was good to see people again. We have some wonderful people at the university, our lovely little community. Friends. That’s the good thing about work. That and the occasional trips abroad. And the freedom to choose what to do and when to do and where to do – or not do. Which is of course also the great downside. Since pretty much everything else (the actual work) is not fun, that can easily lead to much more not-doing than actual doing. Which also leads to guilt trips and not being able to concentrate on anything else in life either, because one feels that one should actually work. And work of course doesn’t appeal at all, since it’s really quite boring and stressful and just generally blaah.

The Meyers-Briggs personality type also had things to say about careers. According to it “The INFP is a special, sensitive individual who needs a career, which is more than a job. The INFP needs to feel that everything they do in their lives is in accordance with their strongly felt value systems, and is moving them and/or others in a positive, growth-oriented direction. They are driven to do something meaningful and purposeful with their lives. The INFP will be happiest in careers which allow them to live their daily lives in accordance with their values, and which work towards the greater good of humanity.”

That had me nodding too. It also reminded me of something else I had read. About the consequences of working in job, which strongly clashes with one’s values. The results weren’t good. Now law has a potential to be “good”, to be used for the benefit of human beings, but if you want to believe that don’t ever enter the law faculty. In there law becomes nothing but rules and technicalities. It also becomes way too much about money and profit and gain. Not for everyone of course, but still it ain’t pretty. I don’t like to be a lawyer. I don’t feel like a lawyer. I don’t have the identity and more importantly I don’t want to have it.

Do you know what was listed as the first possible career path for the INFP? A writer. Not surprisingly that made me happy. The others were interesting too: counselors, social workers, teachers, professors, psychologists, psychiatrists, musicians, clergy and religious workers. I’ve known for a long long time that law isn’t for me and now the responsibilities are soon over, debts taken care of and I must finally decide for real what to do. I’m going to imagine that I’m twenty again and can start all over. Frigging scary, but better than continuing doing this for the next thirty years.

Otherwise this week had been very “social”. Yesterday I went to M’s wedding. I’ve never been to a wedding of someone other than a relative, so I felt quite honoured to have been invited. The wedding ceremony itself took place in Suomenlinna and the reception was at Katajanokan Kasino. The day was beautiful, sunny and warm. The ceremony was rather modern, the priest playing guitar and all. We were taken by a boat to the Kasino, the sea was gorgeous and I couldn’t help remembering how wonderful the paddling course last year was. I really loved it and still I haven’t gone out one single time after the course. Shame, shame, but it was a short course and I don’t trust myself to be able to handle the sea alone.

The Kasino was a beautiful place. A bit militaristic, but it is an old officers’ kasino. Our group from the university had all been seated in the same table and J as the only man did his duty and asked us to dance. It was a good evening. We continued to Kaarle II and split up there. The others headed upstairs and M and I went to the Suomi-bar to sing and dance. I’m not really that fond of the upstairs, since the music there isn’t as good. One can’t sing like downstairs. There’s something almost therapeutic about it all. I got reminded of Paulo Coelho’s The Witch of Portobello and the best of concerts I’ve been too. At its best that singing and dancing combination makes you lose time. Flow. There were brief moments yesterday, but as a whole I was too conscious of my dress, which didn’t fit to the place. Bad shoes for dancing too.

We were in Kaarle II on Thursday as well. L, R-L and I had some drinks and tapas in BarCelona at first and then met R-L’s boyfriend and some of his friends in Kalle. We downed three bottles of bubbly and talked about this and that, tried dancing in the Suomi-Bar, but they were playing some strange music there and headed upstairs. By that time there were anymore four of us left: R-L. her boyfriend, his friend P and I. P had started flirting with me from pretty much the first second he arrived. He wasn’t really my type, but I guess I did flirt back. Well, I most certainly did, but I’m not quite sure why. Perhaps because I had already had a couple of drinks and I can’t remember when someone has properly flirted with me the last time. Normally I never talk to guys who approach me in a bar, but friends of friends are a different thing. They may be as drunk as the rest, but since they are friends of friends one can assume that they aren’t complete weirdoes.

P asked me out. I was a bit hesitant and didn’t give him a definite answer. He was alright as a person, but there were no vibes and after the thingy with M – and the other M – I’ve disliked letting guys think there’s a chance if it’s fairly likely that there isn’t. We’ll see. Maybe he will be in contact, maybe not. We should see at another party anyway next Friday.

Yawn. It’s only 5.30, but I suddenly got really tired. Hard to keep my eyes open. I’ve slept badly every single night this week. It’s too hot in the apartment even if it hasn’t really been so warm anymore, the construction workers start too early or I stay up too late on the forum, all the parties and drinking more than usually, some stupid dog barking like mad this morning. I keep waking up after 4-5 hours of sleep, heart beating and feeling almost slightly feverish.

That combined with the work stress hasn’t really made this the best of weeks despite the night out and the wedding. Today morning got going really slowly too. Without the net I was forced to come up with something else to do. It was raining so outdoor activities seemed out of order and I didn’t want to just stay home to clean up the house. Eventually I hopped into a car and drove to a lake close by, hoping to find a café where I could sit for a while to read or write. It had just stopped raining so I sat by the water for a moment and tried reading. The wind came in bursts, the pier was damp and I felt too restless, so I didn’t stay long. I walked for a few minutes in the woods nearby, but even that didn’t sufficiently calm me down. I hopped back into the car and drove to the mall. Jumbo. I wanted to break the routines and do the grocery shopping somewhere I normally don’t go to. I think the drive may have done it, speeding, like I always do. There really is something awfully great about driving fast. Perhaps the shopping helped too, although I don’t have any great love for shopping. Nevertheless as I came out of the mall, with the groceries and two new books I was feeling quite alright again. Now I think I will close my eyes for a wee moment.

…the wee moment was nearly thirty minutes. Now it’s past nine, I’ve read almost half of Härkönen’s “Ei kiitos”, which I bought today. It also turns out that the feeling slightly feverish part was not just the result of a mild hangover, but that I am slightly feverish. 37,22. An even better reason to stay home tomorrow to work. Yup, I’m taking Härkönen to bed now.

elokuuta 07, 2009

Still behind schedule

Wednesday, the 5th of August

I finished the second book yesterday and started the third and last one today. H said that it's the best of the three. I'm much looking forward to finding out if she was right.

A second night in the row not sleeping enough. It's too hot in the apartment and the crew fixing the house started their work way too early for me. I'm so glad I've been gone for the summer. I have nice new windows now and the building will get an entirely new look in the next few months, but it's noisy. And messy. There in the city. S and I drove to Saimaa, to the parentals, for the rest of the week. No noise here.

I'm having withdrawal symptoms. Well, not really, but I miss the forum. Truly. I hardly ever start threads, but I decided to do that for once. If there aren't enough threads to my liking one can do something about that, right? I wasn't sure anyone would answer, but it was a smashing success. Pleased me enormously. The discussion which has mostly kept me awake though has centered around religion. I've talked for the first time in my life to a person who believes in creationism. A fundamentalist of a sort. It's thoroughly odd. The conversation is odd - partly because he's a very competitive soul and just likes to win arguments, but also partly because he refuses to acknowledge any basic rules of scientific argumentation. Which is why we will never ever get anywhere of course, but I'm looking forward to finding out if I can understand at all how someone smart can believe the way he does. The stupid thing is that I feel a little like someone who has just come across an alien. It is not often that one gets to talk to somebody who has such a different view of the world. Which is probably thoroughly my own fault. His views on politics are the total opposite of mine too, but I'm staying out of that discussion. Religious discussion on this level is still rather abstract, but politics are deadly business. US politics anyway. It's hard to take lightly decisions and policies, which get hundreds of thousands of people killed. Yep, Finland has its drawbacks - like the stupid weather - but in some regards this is also a very good country.

Thursday, the 6th of August

We have a storm. It's raining little grannies out there. The trees are dancing, dancing, dancing. And singing.

It came out of nowhere. I was just sitting outside a few minutes ago. Reading Larsson's third book as the sun went to hide behind the clouds. I read a few moments more, thought that I don't like cold and went inside. And then suddenly this storm came out of nowhere and the trees are dancing and the rain is singing. Drumming against the roof.

The parentals are down by the lake at the old cottage. With some guests from their church. I had some coffee with them, but since I'm an atheist pagan I didn't stay for any talks. Plus I'm horrible with people. With general chit-chat and small talk. So I went out, found a sunny spot where the wind wasn't too hard and continued with Larsson. And then the storm came.

I like storms. I like the strength and the violence of them. I like the stormy lake and how the tree tops go around and around and around and how the rain hits against the windows. The horizon becomes all gray and I can't see the islands anymore. This is not a thunderstorm, but those are even better. Mother Nature in all her glorious fury. Makes me feel alive.

And now it's dying down. it was just a brief beautiful moment. A much needed one since I was getting all restless again. Because of work mostly. The idea of going back to the dissy next week does not appeal to me. Not at all. However reading the appeals was fun. The only time I've felt like I would enjoy lawyering is when I've been writing the replies to those appeals. Which was two years ago when I did this for the first time. I like reading their arguments and then coming up with my own to tell them why they are all wrong and they are not getting any extra points. Some of them let the matter rest after that and some take the appeal further to the courts. Poor buggers - wasting their time and money. Usually none of them win and even if they do, it will be spring already and it would have been much smarter for them to just try again next year. It doesn't matter to me whether they win or lose, but it matters to the university. I just enjoy writing the replies.

One of them buggers was a very handsome bugger too. I saw him drop off the appeal on Tuesday. Well, a year to think things over can be a very good thing. I'm hoping now that I wouldn't have gotten in on the first try. My alternative plan was to go work as an au-pair somewhere abroad. In the long run that would have been a good thing. I would have got to see the world, would have matured a little and perhaps realized already then that law is not for me. Well, too late now.

The sun is shining again. It's August and the autumn is just around the corner so I must go enjoy the sun while it lasts.

elokuuta 04, 2009


I'm falling asleep already. Badly. Let's see if coffee will help.

My mailbox was filled to overflowing and after a small clean-up operation I started getting old mail through. Like the one, which reminded me that the appeals on the entrance examinations arrived - today. Goodbye vacation. I headed to work.

Before I headed to work though I rummaged through my drawers. I had been invited to a birthday party so I wanted to look a wee bit nicer than normal. I didn't tie my hair back, I digged out the ridiculously big earrings I bought last week, I put on my new black hat and some of the new clothes. The results were interesting. As I went to buy the present, a guy smiled at me and called out "lovely". A foreigner of course since Finnish men do not call you lovely unless they have a sufficient amount of alcohol in themselves. As I was heading towards the train another guy - also a foreigner - walking ahead of me turned around three times to look at me. A guy at the party - there with two little girls who possibly were or were not his daughters - flirted with me. Nothing too obvious, but still. I could almost get used to this.

The Birthday party was for E who turned 2. Yep, lot's of children, balloons, running around and occasional crying when someone got smacked around - or lost a balloon to a meanie 6-year-old. It was a picnic really. In a park. K and T were there also with L and it was nice to see them. I also had a longer chat with D than I've probably ever had before. E was a bit shy and didn't start talking to me until everyone else had left and I stayed over to help S with the stuff. I really should start using names, shouldn't I? This sounds like bollocks. Oh who cares. I got to hear about how fun the Moomin house is. Well, kind of anyways. The vocabulary of a two-year-old is not huge, but the point was clear though. Nothing like repetition is there.

Children. Damn decisions.

I'm more awake now. Good coffee.

elokuuta 03, 2009

Summer Journal - part two

Tuesday, the 28th

Kind of a shitty day yesterday. It started out alright, the morning was warm and pleasant, the ride to Imatra went rather quickly, I cleaned up the car and it even passed the MOT test. Yay for that. I made a short stop at the store and then headed back home to wash some clothes and towards my date with the internet and the forums, which I had missed already. It became a long date, a very very long date. Click click click. It was past two when I finally put the computer away. Probably ten hours, me, some ice-cream and a few pieces of rye bread. It was nice to notice that I had been missed, but still at two I was feeling rather crappy. What does that click-click-clicking give me? I enjoy the conversations most, but how many people are there who actually enjoy talking with me about the things, which I find interesting. Two, three, four? More? Less? Hearts on the wall are indeed extremely nice, but in the end they are rather superficial. Bugger it, I'm just jealous of people who are good at socializing. It's possible that one can get better at it though. I did write to couple of people yesterday to whom I've never written spontaneously before. Steps in the right direction.

Another important step however is the vow to never ever spend ten hours at the internet anymore. It is an addiction and it does make me feel like crap. Real life - gardening, reading, writing, all of that - is so much better. And yet, as soon as I got there, near the net, I forgot all those - I didn't manage to write the blog entry, I nearly missed the documentary that I wanted to see, I forgot to eat properly, I sat on the couch instead of sitting on the garden or heading to the summer cabin. All good intentions gone in a second. That made me afraid of the fall, the return to Helsinki. Blood vessels crisscrossing my eyeballs already after one badly slept night, the town and the net depressing me even though the yard was just outside the front door, even though it is still vacation. Reading a few of the blog entries from 2005 depressed me as well. That me sounded more in touch with life. On the other hand it was the fall when I had just returned to the University so I was pretty excited about everything. I was feeling stress free. There have been good times and in order to remember those - and the not so good times - it is important to keep writing this blog. I don't want to forget the years.

And now I'm going to go pick up M and M.

...I'm tired. It's been a busy day. Children are so full of energy that it's both tiring and a pleasure to watch them. Or him in this case. Such a well-mannered little boy he is. Actually I'm probably tired because I slept so horribly badly last night. Yaaaaaaawwwwwwwwnnn.

Wednesday, the 29th

Today we have picked blueberries. Well, M and I have. Mikael ate them, built huts and played the role of a slave driver promising to whip us if we were being lazy. We were out there for more than two hours, weren't lazy at all and Mikael was happy playing by himself pretty much all the time. He's such a big boy for a five-year-old. Nearly five-year-old. Never cried when he hurt himself, picked me up flowers when they arrived yesterday. Says thank you and sorry and comes to give you a hug for good night. If only all children were like that. Yeah, Operation Baby is definitely a go. Being a mother was my dream job when I was a child. It was my dream job when I was quite a bit older too. I hope I have still time for two. And the money. Sorry, my dear children, but you are going to be poor. Perhaps that's a good thing too. I don't want you to grow up to be materialistic assholes. *knock, knock* Must not tempt Fate.

Saturday, the 1st of August

It's Saturday already, and August. Time flies. I drove M & M to Kouvola on Thursday morning. They hopped on a train towards Mikkeli and I headed to Hennes & Mauritz to buy myself a new pair of sun glasses to replace the pair that broke. After a couple of stops at other stores I made it back to the cabin where Ä and S were sunbathing at the new pier and Maija the Dog was just generally running around. Sunbathing looked nice so I took out the book M & M had brought me - Maeve Binchy - and a bottle of cider and settled down to read. It was rather Victoria Holt -type of literature, but once in a while one can hang the brains on the coat track and read about girls who wish to find mr charming.

That took care of Thursday. And most of Friday. Ä had left the cabin already on Thursday to go keep company to the other S and the cat at the house. We stayed at the cabin and S went to pick up her friend R from the train station on Friday. She's taking her back now. Just a short one night stay - sauna, swimming, lot's of food, drink, pancakes, a game of skip-bo. I finished Binchy yesterday and switched to Stieg Larsson's Män som hatar kvinnor. It's a bit windy outside and not as warm as the past two days, but I'm just heading back to it now. Everyone's all bonkers about those books, but so far the guy has spent 90 pages on introducing the people. I hope he gets down to the action soon enough.

Other than that I've spent the morning thinking about hierarchies. About who gets to approach whom. Everyone has their own private sphere and just like with cats and babies you can't "jump at them" unexpectedly, you can't talk to people unless they first indicate that it is okay. But in order for that to work someone always has to be the first to indicate that it is okay to approach and to draw the lines of what it is okay to talk about. The question is how does one know which one is the one who has the duty and/or right to make the first move. Or is it always contextual and changes from situation to situation? I'll never learn to figure out the rules of socializing.


It's dark outside already. I've now read nearly 390 pages of Larsson and things are slowly starting to happen. I've also been invited to a birthday party. In fact two birthday parties and a wedding in this merry month of August. Not too bad. The question is should I have a birthday party for myself too. 35 years. Huh, I'm going to be old. Where did the last fifteen years disappear to?

Monday, the 3rd of August

I'm back home again. For a day or two. Yesterday was mostly rainy - we even got a thunderstorm during the evening. I read Larsson. Finished part one and almost part two as well. The second book is much better than the first one. Yep yep, I can most definitely see the attraction now. Lisbeth could be my new hero.

Today we cleaned up at the cabin and drove home. You can guess what I've done since then.