Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Please Don't Stop The Music

In another part of the world the people of two Gods are slaughtering each other like animals. All in the name of the patriarch Gods they believe watches over them. How come people are so quick to dismiss the humanitarian powers of religion, while they so easily embrace the destruction of their neighbours?

I have spent more time during 2008 listening to music than I can remember ever doing before, but I am struggling to put together a favorite list from the year. Most of the problem is caused by the fact that I've been buying truckloads of records, but they have been releases from previous years. So here goes:

Death Cab For Cutie - Narrow Stairs
Kings of Leon - Only By The Night
The Raconteurs - Consolers Of The Lonely

Rihanna - Don't Stop The Music
Death Cab For Cutie - I Will Possess Your Heart
Ladytron - Ghosts
Coldplay - Viva La Vida
The Killers - Human
Scarlett Johansson - Falling Down

The Cure, Oslo
Editors, Helsinki
Death Cab for Cutie @ Arvika
Interpol @ Arvika
Kent @ Arvika
Robyn @ Arvika
Servoskudd @ Elektrostat
Bon Jovi, Helsinki
Bruce Springsteen, Helsinki
Monomen, Oslo

In other words, album-wise it's been a poor year for me because I simply haven't been paying attention to new releases. Concert-wise, it's been awesome :-)

Tomorrow I have to work for a couple of hours before I can hook up with friends at Richard's place to rid myself of 2008. I wish you all a great NYE and a wonderful start of 2009.

Monday, December 29, 2008

You Can Have What's Left Of Me

Sometimes I get caught without ever seeing it coming. It grabs a fistful of my hair and drags me in. Ok, so I'm a sucker for ballads, but I mean... Jessica Simpson's ex husband? I saw Employee of the Month during Christmas, by the way. Not the best of movies, that one.

Christmas is over, and in two days so is the year. In many ways 2008 has been a good one. New job, loads of new and brilliant friends, a lot of laughter and plenty of records, concerts, travels, movies and books. Still, off course, something's always wrong! People are this year's hang-up. People that are not what they seem to be, sometimes more, sometimes less. It's frustrating the hell out of me, and I suspect it'll grow worse every year. On a good note it must be said that this year has had more people being better than expected than vice versa.

I always blog a year summary list with best records, concerts and trips, but that'll have to wait for another day. Today I will hook up with Hanne after I leave the office, and expect to have a morally productive conversation with her. And a beer or two. :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

And We're Dancing...

Work is crazy at the moment - we have some kick-ass campaigns running and they have to be tracked on a daily basis. A lot of Excels flying around, as always :)

When reviewing books a couple of posts down I completely forgot about Milan Kundera's Slowness. I don't know whether I should be appalled or relieved that the genious that delivered The Unbearable Lightness of Being is also capable of producing such utter nonsense as this book, but I'll chew it over some more. I read it before I started McEwan's The Comfort of Strangers, and man, was that a change of pace. Kundera "follows" a real time couple staying in a French chateau hotel, where the man imagines up the story of two other couples, one real time and one from times long past. The story's feeble attempts on sensuality, eroticism and rawness fall dead at his feet, and it was a waste of time to read through. Don't spend money on it.

Following my week in London/Oslo I've spent a lot of good time with friends, and I've managed to plan my Christmas. I'll be going to Sweden to spend a week at the farm, and I am _so_ much looking forward to it! I will surely miss my dog who passed away last year, but it will be good to spend some time with my family.

Before going on holiday I finished The End of Mr Y by Scarlett Thomas. Being a metaphysical exercise in supernatural disguise, this book was right down my alley and I was sad to turn the last page. The story follows a Ph.D. student who stumbles upon a book not meant for reading, and it throws her into a veritable whirlwind of issues to be handled in a matrix outside the normal level of consciousness. If you tend to go for real life, down to earth stories, this is not for you, but if your mind likes to dabble in more philosophical questions with a great story attached you should like it.

My first vacation read (of many) was The Dream of a Beast by Neil Jordan. Blah. Very hot summer in the city, greenery everywhere and soldiers in the streets. Boring office worker transforms into something different, something vile that causes his wife to throw him out of his home. Time overlaps and he's dating his daughter? Then he lives on a roof, sleeps in a rug and hangs out with bats in the elevator. Weirdness gets worse, he drowns a kid (I think) and suddenly he's back with his wife? I gave up on this story mid-way. Might make an interesting screenplay, but as a book it's somewhat of a waste of time and energy to try to figure out.

Better luck with The Lamplighter by Anthony O'Neill. My mother commented on the good looks of the author, and although I hardly think that has anything to do with the state of things I have to admit her right. He's a looker. The book is a good, old-fashioned detective story with a supernatural twist. The bodies of men slaughetered in the most wicked of ways keep turning up in 19th century Edinburgh, and the crimes are attempted solved by a pompous detective on one side, a metaphysics professor and his friend the graveyard watchman on the other. And sides is the main word here, as it becomes clear that the events can all be linked to the young Evelyn Todd and her long-time buddy Leerie. A good vacation read, and in particular one for long, cold winter nights.

Next stop on the reading bus route was Roddy Doyle's The Snapper. For an anglofile like myself, the dialogue of this book is spot on. If you have problems with reading Irish dialect, however, you'll stumble and fall from the get-go. The cover boasts that this book is "rip-snorting funny", and although I didn't really like the sound of that to begin with I have to sign myself up as a believer. Sharon Rabitte gets pregnant out of wedlock, and not entirely by own will. The book follows her in the process of relaying the information to her family and friends, and watches the mayhem that unfolds when speculation around the identity of the baby's father kicks off in the local community. Although the subject matter of the story is not something I'd normally recommend for a good read, I laughed out loud enough times in public places while reading this book to give it a good rate.

Visiting Porsgrunn I picked up a bunch of books from my mother's bookstore, Susan Hill's The Man in the Picture being one of them. I read her The Woman in Black last year, and _loved_ it. This woman can really write an old fashioned ghost story, like the ones I used to love as a child. The Man in the Picture is not as good as The Woman in Black, but still a good read about the powers of an old Venetian oil painting and the characters in it. It's a straight up, no fuzz, old style ghost story.


David Guterson's Our Lady of the Forest has been with me since my February London visit, and it now returned to the English capitol to finally be read. 16 year-old Ann Holmes is a rather messed up and unlikely candidate for Marian apparitions, but alas, she stumbles upon Our Good Lady on a mushroom picking walk. The mother of Jesus gives her a list of instructions, and the quest to make herself believed and to build a church in the woods begins. In the process she is helped (or is she?) by the non-believing, pot smoking Carolyn and the local Catholic priest, and you get an interesting view of how Catholic fundamentalists can go a bit overboard. I'm happy I read the book, but wouldn't recommend that you go out of your way to get it.

Hellraiser creator Clive Barker released his latest novel, Mr B Gone, in 2007. It's the first book by him I've read, and I started it on an extremely cold night at Holmen Fjordhotell in Asker. The setting was just right for Barker's story about the minor demon Jakabok, fished out of Hell by a group of vile demon hunters and launched into the wicked world of man. He falls in love, creates havoc, messes with angels, and it would seem he in the end gets trapped in a book. Well, shit happens. It's an entertaining read, but not much more than that.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Song From The Wrong Side Of Town

My 08 summer holiday took me to London for a week. In December. Well, better late than never, right? :)

I had plenty of chances to hang out with friends and my brother who lives there, and I had enough alone-time to be sufficiently introvert for my liking. Still, I can not help wish I'd stayed at home instead, because most of the time what I really wanted to do was to sit down in peace and quiet with a book and some good music! That said, I had a lovely time.

Definitive highlights were football and ale in Stanhope Arms Wednesday evening, beer with my brother and Mike in Ye Old Cheshire Cheese on Thursday, and expensive lunch in the best Italian ever on Friday. I only got around to find one open knitting shop (I Knit London), and apart from a lovely, bulky merino/cashmere blend I did not find much of interest. Also, the staff was a right disaster and I'd not recommend people to go out of their way to seek the place out.

I stayed in the Gallery Hotel in South Kensington, my standard area of residence whenever I go to London. I've never been to this particular hotel before, but it was good, clean and quiet, and fit me perfectly.

Before my trip I spent a couple of days at my mother's place in Porsgrunn, which was nice as I hadn't seen her for a while. We had some good food, and I finally brought her up to speed on how to use her internet banking. Coming back from London I've spent three nights at Holmen in Asker, which has more or less become my second home over the last months.

Sunday evening I was taken to see Monomen and Ladytron in Rockefeller as a belated birthday present. I've never seen either on stage before, and didn't really know what to expect. Monomen (think Joy Division, Interpol or ILYBICD) have been widely praised for their onstage performance, whereas the experience of watching Ladytron has been likened to "watching paint dry". I can easily sign off on Monomen, they were exceptionally brilliant and it's a right shame they were only the warm-up act. Rumours have it they'll be releasing a new album next spring (they played a new song, and it was _excellent_), so I'll definitely seek them out in concert again.

Ladytron were not at all as bad as I expected. One of the leading ladies did a weirdo Eastern European chant thing that turned me off completely, but the other one was quite all right, and all the songs I actually like by the band she performed well, if a bit still-standing. It was their last gig of an 8 month tour, and that might have helped on their willingness to give a bit more than usual. I don't know, but it was a good evening and I had fun.

Today Finnair will take me back home, and I have to say I'm looking forward to sleeping in my own bed and rummaging around my own bathroom. Funny how, however ambivalent I might be at times with regards to living in Finland, home is still home and there is no place like it.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Shine On

Apoptygma Berzerk (I still haven't been able to get out of the A's in my listening project) covered The House of Love's '87 hit Shine On on their cover album Sonic Diary (06). It's a _very_ addictive track! That aside, this is a book post. As mentioned a couple of posts down, I managed to get back on the reading horse a while ago, and my progress is mind boggling at the moment.

Shirley Jackson's We Have Always Lived In The Castle was a bit of a disappointment. I don't really know what I expected from it - more of an adventure, I suppose, but instead I got a rather grim story about prejudice and bullying in a small US town. Don't get me wrong, it's not a _bad_ book, it was just not what I wanted to get out of it.

After finishing Jackson's outbursts, I read the third and last book in Maxence Fermine's color series. I loved Snow, which is the first one, so much I immediately had to buy the other two once I'd finished it. The Black Violin was not as good as that one, but still a good read. The final book dealt with yellow, The Beekeeper. As with The Black Violin, I can not say I was blown away by it, but it was closer to what I loved about Snow. I'd recommend Snow to anyone, but you can easily live without the last two books.

After The Beekeeper I picked up a couple of Ian McEwan novels and took them with me to Norway for the weekend. I've previously read The Innocent and the short-story collection Between The Sheets by this author, and off course I've seen Atonement (not yet read it, though). But The Comfort of Strangers. Fucking hell! (Sorry about that.)

The reviews on the cover likens McEwan to a skilled torturer barely allowing his readers a moment of relief before drowning them in darker despair. I have never, ever agreed more with a review. This story is, from beginning to end, impossible to not get carried away with, and upon reaching the conclusion I physically shrank into a tiny pinpoint in the Gardermoen airport, emanating what I assume was a pretty tragic sound as the world collapsed on the pages. (Metaphorically speaking, it's not about the end of days or anything...) I'll not give away the story line, but if you're up for a quick read sure to keep you entertained, this is the book for you.

The second McEwan book I took with me to Norway I almost did not want to read, as I was totally exhausted after the previous one. For You turned out to be quite clever, not so much in the story it tells, as in the way it is told. The book is built up in the form of a libretto, where the characters narrate their way through a rather tragic story. Because of the way it is built, you get very little insight to the inner lives of the characters, but it's an interesting experiment and very quick read. I think it took me 25 minutes to get through, if even that.

Leaving McEwan for a while, I dug into The End of Mr Y by Scarlett Thomas, a book I bought quite some time ago, but have been looking forward to read. After the long procession of realistic characters in my previous reads, it is very nice to once again sink back into the arms of fantastic story telling where there are no laws or rules binding the universe to its normal behaviour. I've read about two thirds of it, and am hoping to finish it tomorrow. Will write a more in depth review when I return from London, no doubt with four-five more books I want to comment on :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Metronomisk Liv

04:40 is way too early to get up in the morning, especially when going to a country one hour behind your normal time. I am half dead, half alive, very tired. Have had a _weird_ day.

Sometimes I wish I knew when to quit, but then again, some things are worth not giving up on.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Another Way To Die

Bond trivia:
The cooperation between Alicia Keys and Jack White on the main track for Quantum of Solace is the first duet to feature as leading track for a Bond film. Whether or not it is a good cooperation seems to be the source of no small amount of debate, but I kind of like it. I love artist collaborations in the first place, and their voices complement each other well. It'll not go down in history as one of the great Bond themes, however.

So, what did we think about the film? I'll try not to spoil anything for anyone, but if you're worried, watch the movie first, read later.

First of all, I was stressed as hell showing up to Tennispalatsi, and after hoarding 12 JD's through the process of getting tickets and ordering beers (thankfully, after almost a year of running Movie Nights, I have some excellent regulars to help me), it was good to just sit and talk about films and music and life in general for an hour or so.

The opening of the movie was a bit much. The extreme high-speed scene changes almost made me dizzy, and at times it was difficult to even recognize a fight was going on before someone ended up dead. Someone else than Bond, that is. Otherwise, although the film has been heavily critizised for not having a proper plot, I enjoyed it. Not anywhere close to being as good as Casino Royale, but it's a very entertaining action flick that was worth spending money on seeing in a good theatre.

That said, I was not impressed by the leading lady. The ginger Brit girl was far more interesting (plus her exit was a good tribute to Goldfinger), and it's a shame they went for the anorectic Halle Berry-ish lead. Contrary to popular opinion I kind of enjoyed the villain. Sure, he's not one of your average Bond bad-ass cripples, but he's cold and ruthless, and I loved how the story turned out for him in the end. Which leads me to Bond. James Bond.

Daniel Craig had me a bit spooked before seeing Casino Royale. I mean, a blond Bond? I was quickly converted, and although I still think there's nothing like the real thing (Connery, that is), Craig makes the character uniquely his own. His Bond is raw, varnished, dirty; a potential serial killer in the making. And man, is he good looking in a well cut suit...

So all in all, go and see this movie for what it is, an action filled Bond flick that won't change your life but keep you well entertained for the duration of it. Oh, and let me know if you want to go to Haiti! :)

PS. Note the pleasant kick to the US regarding how the weak dollar is the price you pay for war...

PPS. I think I'm getting fluish.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Passenger Seat

Day 2 of Elektrostat was not quite en par with the first night, but still very good. Highlights of the evening were definitely In Vein, with great sound and a new song, and Front 242 who rounded off the evening. We were all very grateful to Henrik for providing such a good line-up on his birthday ;-p

Sunday I finished reading The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne in Gardemoen airport, and man, was that a bad idea. Cried my eyes out and proceeded to board the plane looking like shit had hit the fan in a big way. Exceptionally good book, however, I found myself hoping and hoping so hard throughout the pages that things would turn out well, and the storyline takes several surprising twists. It is narrated by a nine year old boy whose family gets relocated through the work of his father, a commander in Hitler's Germany. It's also coming out on the silver screen soon, but I'd strongly recommend you read the book. It's a quick read that will stay with you.

I'm on a good reading roll in general, just finished reading Paul Auster's The Book of Illusions last week. It's about a writer who loses his family in an airplane crash, and how writing a book about a silent movie comedian from the 20's takes him out of his comfort zone and brings him back to life. The dialogue is brilliant, and written in a way I've not seen done before. At first glance it seems a bit difficult to follow, but the characters are so extremely well defined in your mind that the story is easy to follow. A truly brilliant piece of story telling that really gripped me, and I found every inch of me screaming for it to end well.

Am now reading We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson. It's been standing on my shelf for more than a year, so it's about time I got started on a proper reading spree again. So far it is not really what I expected, without that being a bad thing. Will review further once I've finished it.

My CD listening project is going rather well, although I am now stuck on Tori Amos and have been for a week or so. Alphaville also kept me busy for a number of days before that. To complicate things I've just received the latest Snow Patrol record from Amazon, and expect to be sidetracked by that one for a while. Not easy, this focusing on one thing business!

The last couple of weeks were in general horribly depressing and shitty, but things are picking up. I saw The Lake House on Monday, with Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves, and although there was a serious logical flaw in the ending it was surprisingly good. Tuesday brought lemon chicken in Bar 9 with Deb and Quinn, and last night I went for Chico's dinner with Lotta. Today I'm taking Movie Night to see the new Bond movie, which will hopefully be a treat, and on Saturday I'm heading off to Tampere again, this time with Deb and a bunch of knitters.

Next week takes me to Oslo again for two days of work, and that'll go on for the overseeable future. I'm taking the first week of December off work to go to London and hang out with my brother, and am hoping to hook up with some friends and drink lots of ale while I'm there.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Come, Lie Next To Me

The first night of Elektrostat 08 is over with, and what a night it was:

Servoskudd - perhaps a bit inspired by Seigmen? Still very, very good, though, and would in fact have been worth the entire evening. I'll try to find their record today.
Trakktor - Nah... ok, they played with In Vein in Örebro, so I feel a weird sense of companionship, but still... nah.
8kHz Mono - Definitely not. If you feel you need to do an entire gig with distorted vocals, you lose ten points with me.
Bobby - Hanne tipped me about these guys... and she was right on one point - not so right about the music. A poor version of Alphaville, harmless enough, but nothing to cheer about.
Gothminister - Bjørn & co rocked so hard you couldn't not love it :D The Thriller cover at the end basically lifted the roof.
Mr. Jones Machine - Kent'ish synthpop with double vocals. Some of the songs were brilliant, others were surprisingly boring. I ended up not watching the end, which is a shame as the songs that were good were, as said, brilliant.
Apoptygma Berzerk - The third time I see Apop. Off course you can't really dislike seeing S. Groth on stage, especially when he decides to charm you with your favorite tracks by the band.

I've just had a lovely breakfast, and am about to go out and explore my old city. I assume there will be yarn. This evening is night 2 of Elektrostat, and In Vein goes on stage 22:00. :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Set The Fire To The Third Bar

Last night the lovely people from Knyttiöt (not spelled like that, but I like how it sounds when I read it) put winter tires on my car, and hence I am well equipped to handle the upcoming snow, whenever it should decide to arrive. Speaking of snow (Patrol, that is), Mr Lightbody & co released a new album - A Hundred Million Suns (a bit out of season, that title...) last week. I'll try to get around to buying and reviewing it asap, although I must say I kind of have enough with my record collection as it is at the moment.

Yesterday I hooked up with Deb and Quinn for Bar 9 lemon chicken and knitting, a very enjoyable affair. I am knitting a shawl, and progressing like never before seen with any of my other projects, but unfortunately I do not have enough yarn and will hence soon run into troubles will it. This Saturday I'm going to drag Quinn with me to the Menita in Espoo, to see if I can finally pierce a hole in one of those vouchers of mine, and in the evening I have been invited to a Halloween party that I think will be good fun.

I'm looking forward to closing the month of October on Friday. We're pretty much in line with our forecast, so it should be smooth sailing *knock on wood*. The same day I'm turning a little bit older, and as usual I'm trying to let it go by in silence. Will start a new life on Monday next week, off course, with exercise and a healthy diet :p

Now, back to my steady companion Excel, and the joys it brings. Show me some love by suggesting what on earth I should dress up as on Saturday!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

How Can I Sleep With Your Voice In My Head?

The clocks turned back last night. An hour gained. How lovely wouldn't it be if that was true?
I have twenty Powerpoint slides that need polishing before I can head over to Vantaa and catch a flight that hopefully will not fall down in this lovely (read: icy, sideways rain) weather we're having.

After not sleeping most of the night I finally finished Sartre's Nausea this morning. It is a remarkable work of literature, and I believe I will at some point want to read it again. I strongly admire the strength with which the author must have entered into the ever growing panic of his main character. And I really wish I did not feel such affinity to Anny.

Friday, October 24, 2008

It's Written In A Language That Was Meant To Fuck You Up

Life between weekends is short and merciless :D

I've been working from Vantaa today, forcing the board of directors to sit down and agree on an obscene list of items in just five hours. A rush of blood to the organizational skills! Tomorrow I have the pleasure of hosting Deb, David, Quinn and Mika for knitting and cooking. Well, the women will be knitting while the men hang around the kitchen and do... manly stuff. First, however, I have the almost greater pleasure of hanging out in the office for three hours with Sanna for some first class Saturday working ;p

A Complete History of my Sexual Failures was rather peculiar. Although it was entertaining enough and I laughed out loud on several occassions, it seemed to only be really funny in the exact places where it was supposed to be really funny, and otherwise a bit over the top irresponsible-male-with-a-penis-fixation. Recommendable enough if you're looking to be entertained and like the documentary kind of genre, though. Movie Night reached a new all time high with 18 participants, almost a bit scary! Off course I was dreadfully late due to overtime work, but a merciful soul stepped up to the plate and saved me :)

I've still not managed to move on from Ryan Adams in my CD collection recap. Easy Tiger had me trapped for a couple of days, and then Cold Roses disc 1 for a week. Am now on my second day on the second disc, but as next-in-line is AFI I am hard pressed to leave Adams behind. I'm skipping my Aerosmith - Don't Want To Miss A Thing single... Don't remember buying it and have no intention of giving it playing time.

Sunday I'm going to Oslo again, although only for the night. Will be working in Norway on Monday, before I come back here for a back-breaking, career shaking mid-term review that will either leave me extremely motivated or once again totally baffled by what I'm doing with my life. Ei kivä!

Now: Dinner, movie and a beer :)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

St. Anger

My weekend in Oslo is drawing to an end. Still have a presentation to finish for tomorrow, so I'll be plugging away on that one into the late hours, but the social part is over. It's been a good couple of days, have seen a lot of people I rarely see, and laughed a lot.

I'm not in a very good mood this evening. It was kind of in the cards that this weekend would be a bit weird, and I'm not sure I handled it very well. There's an anger in me that is so deeply rooted I doubt it'll ever go away. It's the sort of anger that used to make me believe I could commit horrible errors of judgement and not face the consequences. "If people do not believe I am good I will make them pay by being the worst I can be." ways of thinking quickly leads you down paths you don't even want to be on, but you are so far gone you can't see how to get back. It even takes you to the point where you yourself believe it rules you and that you're not a good person. So you start thinking no people are good, and to not expect anything from anyone. And you end up hurting yourself, the ones you love, and it breaks your heart to look in the mirror.

I don't live by my anger anymore, but being back here kind of makes me remember what that was like. It wasn't very good, and I don't like to think about it. Maybe I've changed, but I still don't really have the guts to right the wrongs I once made. Might be it's not even possible in some cases. I have to believe it is, though, otherwise you will always be running. And that, friends and loved ones, I'm sick and tired of. So here's to making the right choices, saying "I'm sorry!", telling people you love them and to not be scared. Even though it opens you up to rejection.

Now, go tell someone you love them.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Life On A Train

Blogging from mobile phone? When bored, why not? Am on the airport train heading into the city centre of Oslo, where I'll spend the evening drinking beer and catching up with friends. Tomorrow brings café visits with more friends and the birthday party of four more in the evening. Sunday schedule: knitting, reading and being hung over in the hotel.

Haben Sie eine guten Wochenend, bitte!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Is It Snowing In Space?

I spent last Saturday in Tampere. Now, that place is a waste of space if I ever saw one! No, that's unfair. The weather was bad, and the "cathedral" was a piece of modernistic shit with naked men running around painted on the balcony. Not my taste, not my taste at all. Crazy Days in Stockmann saved it a bit, though, and once again I returned to my apartment with a bag full of records.

I've decided to go for the "listen to all the albums I never listen to" idea, and have started in alphabetical order. 2 Unlimited I skipped (am being adventurous, not masochistic), but Bryan Adams reminded me that I like his Inside Out (from On A Day Like Today, 1998), and ABBA got me dancing with When I Kissed The Teacher (from Arrival, 1976). Ryan Adams, however, has me parked for now. I drove to Tampere with nothing but six of his albums, and although during the day I got to Cold Roses (2005) disc 1 I returned to Love is Hell (2004) in the evening and is still there.

Ryan Adams stepped into my existence with So Alive from Rock N Roll (2003), one of my favorite songs to date. He quickly became one of my dreaded "completion artists" (look up The Byrds or Tom Waits in my shelves and you'll know what I mean), and as with many of those I haven't given most of his records much listening time - including Love Is Hell. Those days are over, my friends, and I'd definitely recommend this album. Cold Roses is also a great double album, and I expect that'll keep me busy for a couple of weeks after I move on from this one. His cover of Wonderwall is gorgeous.

This weekend I'm travelling to Oslo, and must say I'm looking forward to it. Haven't been there for ages, and it'll be good to see some old friends again.

Recipes for Disaster was a very entertaining documentary. It made me laugh out loud several times, and as I read Swedish I wasn't bothered by the occassional Finnish outburst in the dialogue. Definitely recommendable, although I left the movie theatre with a somewhat guilty conscience because of my line of work.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Even If You Know Me

Ah, fuck it. I'm in an airport, which in itself is nothing new in this live-out-of-a-bag existence of mine, but this time everything just sucks. I declined going to Tallinn by helicopter as I was worried the weather would be bad, and on the way here everything went fine. Finnair was on time, I was on time, everything in its' right order. The way back, however... Well, Finnair was on time. I was not. I should have flown out of here 17:55, but instead I'm now waiting for the 21:15 flight. My travel companions that went by chopper were home at six.

Ok, enough with the bitching. Deb had a birthday yesterday. *flowers and fireworks*

Am thinking of going to Tampere on Saturday, to check out local yarn (or rather record) stores. Friday I'll be going to check out the not yet opened café of the ever so lovely Tiia, and am quite exited about it :)

Will now try to close my computer before the battery dies and fucks up everything I've been working on. Catch you on the flipside!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

You're Out Of My Heart, Get Out Of My Town!

"Man, I must have been blind
to carry your torch for most of my life!"
Starsailor - Fever (Love Is Here, 2002)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Hell And High Water

After closing up September I proceeded to start October with some very long days in the office. Handed in the first draft on one my exams for this semester, a discussion around how philosophers in the 1800's radically broke with their predecessors. Boring material, but this weekend I've been working on another one where I get to indulge myself in thoughts about individuals and society. The picture above is from Nummi, of a random church I saw from the main road to Turku. It was quite lovely.

Watched Wall-E and loved it. Next week brings Recipes for Disaster, an English/Finnish documentary about a family who tried to live a year without oil without giving up their lifestyle. Am looking forward to it :)

Thursday I went out socialising with the LCV team and my departing colleague, and was a tad tired on Friday. Friday I went out for pool, dinner and subsequent partying with Sales and Finance, and Saturday morning I felt like I'd been hit by a train. Then proceeded to celebrate Veera's birthday, and I swear to God I'm not going partying again any time soon :)

Have listened a bit to Starsailor this weekend. Definitely recommendable. Will now go on to start from A in my collection and listen to everything but the albums I love, meaning I have no choice but listen through all the hundreds of records I've bought on good faith or because I just like one of the songs. Hopefully I'll find a bunch of good stuff!

Monday, September 29, 2008

These Flowers Will Always Die

Between you and me
it's hard to ever really know
who to trust,
how to think,
what to believe.

The Cure - Bloodflowers (Bloodflowers, 2000)

I'm closing the month again. Funny how life suddenly seems to skip from one month's end to the next, the time between passing in the wink of an eye and barely registering before the pressure is suddenly on again. One of my colleagues is leaving us for new challenges in Russia on Wednesday, and although we have our differences I'll miss him sorely from a brainstorming and discussion partner point of view.

Ventured out of the Helsinki region to explore other parts of Finland this weekend, taking the Qashqai on its first road trip. Turku proved to be quite the dump, but the church was worth it times seven. Lucky as I seem to be on my time off these days, they were arranging a Saturday night of church music, and hence I got two hours of lovely compositions in the stunningly beautiful tuomokirkko.

Spent the night Sat/Sun in Naantali (the city of Muumin) and went sightseeing there before returning home via Salo and Ekenäs yesterday afternoon. All in all a very, very nice and relaxing weekend. Didn't get any knitting done, but almost finished Nausea by Sartre, and will have to stop there before I continue with Auster, as I have my first exam deadline on Wednesday and hence will be busy reading school stuff over the next couple of months.

In Turku I, in addition to the lovely church and a couple of rather boring yarn stores, located a brewery with very hyvä beer and a brilliant music shop! Returned home with twenty something titles, and whatever spare space I had left in my CD shelves is shrinking rapidly. Amongst other things I finally replaced my long lost Bloodflowers by the Cure. I know it's unconventional, but it is my favorite the Cure record of all time, and I'm very happy to have it back in my life.

Other business... Oslo on Wednesday is cancelled, but I'll be travelling there a lot anyway over the next couple of months. Otherwise I think I have a rather Helsinki based month ahead of me. Was originally planning on having my summer holiday in October/November, but it looks like it'll be moved. I haven't even written here about the extremely good, but surprising news in the little brother department, but I will shortly and suffice to say it means I'll be seeing more of London in the years to come :D

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Let The Children Boogie

Autumn has hit Finland full force, and I'm freezing my lovely lady lumps off! It doesn't help that the AC in my office is set at a level that will allow us to preserve dinosaurs for future generations.

Today I'm going to see Hellboy II, and am looking forward to it. The last week has been completely insane and I can't wait for the weekend to begin. Caught a lite sneeze after the below mentioned night of music, but fortunately the receeding daylight is making it easier for me to sleep through full nights rather than toss and turn for hours on end.

My years and years of driving a Micra are over. Two days ago I picked up my brand new Qashqai 2.0 Tekna 2WD CVT in Vantaa, and this lovely new plaything has already given me some quality time behind the wheel :)

Saturday is Anu's birthday (yay!), Tuesday and Wednesday next week we have visitors from Paris, Thursday I'll be in Denmark, and then we're suddenly once again closing a month and heading to Oslo for a full dealer review on October 1st. To summarize: Still keeping busy.

I'm knitting something like ten projects now, some of which are doomed to never be completed. The vests (Hilja and Ms Marigold) I love and can't wait to finish, but my sock production is definitely suffering from me having moved on to bigger (and better?) things.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Your Light Eclipsed The Moon Tonight

08:00 - Heavy rain and the kind of sky you know will not lighten up during the day.
16:00 - Doors on Finnair Stadium opens. C leaves the office.
16:30 - C orders a taxi for 17:10
17:10 - Taxi doesn't show. C gets pissed off.
17:30 - Rendez vous time. Deb steps in and collects people.
17:35 - Taxi arrives.
17:55 - C arrives at Finnair Stadium just as music by the first warm-up act starts to emanate from the stage. Still raining.
18:05 - C, Deb and David have secured themselves a beer, and the singer sounds an awful lot like my previously mentioned hero Ken Stringfellow.
18:06 - The singer IS Ken Stringfellow.
-> Good times for all!

So no, I hadn't done my homework. When I lost track a bit of Mr Stringfellow's escapades a year and a half ago, it was because he started spending extensive time in Norway to record with a new band that I never in the end checked out. Yesterday they were, quite randomly, one of two opening acts for R.E.M. Well, not quite that random, off course, the last time I missed Mr Stringfellow on stage it was when he opened as a solo act for R.E.M. on Ullevål in Oslo. And he's been touring with them for years... it just didn't register in my mind that The Disciplines was his new act. It was great. He's always great. Wherever I am asked to list my favorite quotes, you will find Ken Stringfellow.

Editors were great too, when I found out they would be playing they quickly became my number one reason for going to the concert. The lead voice is gorgeous and the selection of songs they played was small but good. Even threw in two new tunes. It was still raining.

R.E.M. are not by any means my favorite band. I've seen them once before, in Oslo Spektrum, and that was... ok. The sound was rather poor and he went on this long, political rant about George Bush. No political rants yesterday, just a short mentioning of their commitment and that was it. The concert as such was good, they played all my favorites except Leaving New York, but they lost me during some of the more rarely played tunes - and it rained and it rained and it rained.

All in all, rain or no rain, yesterday ended up as a brilliant day of music with very happy people walking out of the stadium. Don't have any more concerts in my calendar now, so I'm hoping bands will continue the good going-to-Helsinki trend I've seen so far this year.

Next week I'll be going to see Hellboy II, and after that the Love & Anarchy film festival is starting with a bunch of interesting music films. Also want to catch Wall-E, and need time to watch the rest of Dexter and Heroes season 2 on dvd. Phew!

Monday, September 8, 2008

They Are The Eggmen

My calendar reads September 8th, and my how time flies! August seemingly came and went without much notice. The end of the month was as always busy, but it didn't at all get personal like July did. Since then I've been re-forecasting TIV, brainstormed with our full sales staff and enjoyed a weekend with good company, both latter activities taking place in Tallinn.

Wednesday morning last week I got up before the sun, packed my bags for a five day worktrip, and boarded a flight for Stockholm. Spent the day there before flying to Tallinn in the evening, and proceeded to have a calm and quiet night. Wait. Go back. Was stopped in a random passport check in Tallinn, only had my drivers licence and was screamed at by an Estonian female border patrol guard for one and a half hours, before she went on to fine me 150 Euros for not having proper travel documentation. She looked almost as scary as Quinn does in this photo.

Spent two nights in a luxurious kick-ass hotel in the Old Town, and had the heaviest dinner of all time with the sales people. Then had Deb, David, Quinn and Veera join me and Sanna for a weekend of Tallinnism, and it was all good. Have eaten and drunk a bit too much, and feel tired and super heavy, but happy :)

Tomorrow I'll see R.E.M. and the Editors in Helsinki, but otherwise the workdays to come will be spent entirely in the office. Friday I'm joining my previous team in Distribution for Sebastian's belated leaving dinner in Tapasta, and after that I'm going to try to resume my personal life after ten days a bit outside the norm.

Today I have a very bad feeling about people who as managers make decisions and, instead of sticking to them, leave their employees feeling like they haven't performed if the grounds for the decision were completely unrealistic. Leading the way and setting good examples also when it comes to admitting mistakes is part of what we're freaking paid to do! A pox on the eggmen leaders of the world!
(Please note that I'm not referring to my own manager, he's still reasonably level-headed, as much as that is possible in this industry :))

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Why Do You Get All The Love In The World?

New TV in house, I've been doing a bit of catching up on my movie watching lately. Well, come to think of it I've mostly been watching movies I'd already seen, but still. New ones include Hancock (at the movies), which was actually not half bad. Rather entertaining and at times I laughed out loud. Pretty Aussie girl's role was interesting enough to numb the knowledge of it being a Will Smith flick. (Theron is off course South African, not Australian. Sorry about that.)

The Fountain (on DVD) was a lot of weirdness, but quite beautiful visually. Not sure I liked it, as the storyline was rather poorly put together, but I've had it for a while and it was about time I got to watch it. Stranger Than Fiction (also on DVD), on the other hand, was an enjoyable affair. Unusually well cast, and although the end is to some extent easy to foresee the plot as a whole is good and quite funny. The main character is an ordinary office rat with an extraordinary love for numbers who suddenly realizes he's the main character in a work of fiction.

Today I'm going to the movies to see Fireflies In The Garden, also this with a rather strong castlist, so I have high hopes. Last day of the month tomorrow, stress levels are (as usual) soaring through the roof. Am struggling a bit with my schedules at the moment, as I have a bit too many things going on at the same time. Would be nice to be able to be in several places at the same time!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Butter Butter! Bunnies In Your Pants!

The below was uploaded to JD by Scott, and I found it so hilarious I had to steal it for my blog. I guess it's funniest if you know enough Finnish to know some of the expressions behind the insane sentences :D

"Many years ago, I was sent the below. It is Finnish directly translated to English, although I think I had it with the original Finnish back then."

Scene: Two men at a table waiting for their dates

A: How plenty is the bell?
B: It lacks but a few minutes of eight.
A: Aren't the girls becoming visible already?
B: Shall we be having long ones as we're expecting?
A: I don't want to be in my heads when they come.
B: Virgin! Virgin! (Waitress enters)
W: What is coming to you?
B: Two long ones and food list.
W: (giving drinks) Be good, be good. Is it getting to be another?
A: No thanks.
W: Are you costing together or different?
A: Different. Moment, moment. I feel I've got Matthew in my pouch.
B: Don't care. I'll cost.
A: Thanks.
B: It won't last (pays waitress).
A: No. So, through the northern lands.
B: Through the northern lands.

Girls enter - D and E. The men stand up and everyone says "Healthy".

A: No so. What is audible?
E: (shivering) I'm all iced. It's freezing outside. I'm all at the chicken flesh.
D: Sorry we're late. We had bunnies in our pants.
A: Butter butter! Bunnies in your pants!
E: Don't rip your footbal shorts. We made it root and root.
B: Virgin! Virgin! Where's the foodlist?
W: I'm not a virgin. I'm a boymangirl.
B: Butter that. Give pardon, give pardon. Two long ones still.
W: Be good, be good.
D: She feels like having a potato. Isn't it so?
A: Do you have hunger?
E: No, I've already got crumbs under my breast.
D: There's a hard hunger on me. What's on the foodlist?
A: Let's see. A beginning it can be sister sausage soup.
D: Sister sausage soup! Butter brothers!
B: How about a blow on the ear?
E: Blow on the ear! Go and ski up a spruce tree!
A: Well, there's also dropbread, liverbox, a poor knight for afterfood.
D: Don't know. This shows from interesting.
E: What?
D: Fishcock and elk balls!

Monday, August 25, 2008

If My Star Should Fall

Here's a nice piece of Eastern European music trivia for you:
Latvian band Brainstorm finished third in the 2000 Eurovision finals with the song My Star. I loved it. In Latvian they're called Prāta Vētra, two words I haven't the slightest of how to pronounce, so I'll stick with the English translation. They are apparently quite big in Latvia, but as this is a rather small country we're talking about the record sales are off course limited. I've had some problems getting hold of their records as they're not even easily accessible on amazon without paying a fortune, so I'm hoping this autumn's Baltic travels will bring me closer to what I'm looking for.

Listen to My Star and just be happy. It's not humanly possible to listen to this and not get a bit of everything's-gonna-be-allright going on. In fact, if you don't fall in love I dare you to listen to it with me once and I promise I'll make you want to dance around in the summer rain :)

Oh, and note the heartbreakingly adorable singer. There's just something about that Latvian "Will it get me laid if I tell you I kind of want to off myself?" look.

They have more nice songs, if you're into the synthpop scene you might want to check out Online, you can find it... online.

Monday, August 18, 2008

In Her Room

So... I mentioned I had bought a TV, right? Well, today they delivered it and it's HUGE! 42'' sounds much more manageable when it's not sitting in your living room! Am actually a bit terrified by the size of it, but I guess movie watching will take on a different format from now on which will be a welcome change from the miniature black box I've used the last two years (thank you, Miia :).

Am trying to figure out how to spend my holidays for the coming year or so. Really want to go to Peru, and have previously talked this over with Lotta. Might be difficult to go through with, though. The alternative might be going somewhere over Christmas and New Year's, as this gives me a bit more time to play with. New Guinea, maybe? Also, I'll need time to do at least one US road trip next year, and that's bound to tie up some weeks. And whatever happened to Romania? I even have a small hope that my chances of having European road trip company might be looking up.

Today I am going home to cook dinner and watch a movie. Garden State, I believe. Fun and good times for all :)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Pretty When You're Faithful

I never was much for Rossdale's (1 very sexy Rolling Stone cover) escapades, although I must admit the man, back when he fronted Bush, was sex personified, if in a slighly more sleezy way than the man himself, Trent Reznor (3 Rolling Stone covers, not so sexy but it's still Trent Reznor). I wonder if he ever slept with Manson (Reznor, that is, not Rossdale). Do I really want to know? Probably not. I read a blog post that likened him, back in his Perfect Drug days, to Severus Snape as played by Alan Rickman in the Harry Potter movies. Funny :)

So, you ask, why this sudden return to That Which Is Trent? I never was much of a NINie back when that term still made any sense, but I wonder how much of the current me he is responsible for. Did I pick my music because of what I was becoming, or did I become what I did because of the music I picked? Surely there are thousands of influences, but how much of me boils down to what I've been listening to?

I do believe that no action is triggered by music, you can't blame lyrics or performers for your own actions. But surely, if music is as big a part of ones environment as it is of mine, it must color us in some ways? Songs I love do have the power to drag me up and down in equal measures, and I would lie if I said I've never used lyrics to achieve goals. Is God in the music? Would God then also be in Trent? Oh, the implications, someone call the pope!

"Burn the witches!", right?

Celebrated Miia's and Alistair's birthdays last night, and am a tad on the tired side today. Splendid evening with loads of excellent people. Next week I have Thursday and Friday off, and am probably going away somewhere. Doesn't matter how busy I am at work, I have very good private life karma right now :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

There's Beauty In The Breakdown

I've been too busy living to do much blogging lately, but here's a short update:

The end of July came and went and almost killed everything called motivation in me. With August the workload has thankfully eased up a bit, so I'm hoping it'll stay this way.

No books read, still working on both Auster and Sartre and not really getting anywhere with either one as I haven't even picked them up in weeks. Music wise I'm being a busy bee, and have twenty-something titles waiting for me in Norway for the next time I go there. Also bought a huge tv and a new camera, just to make sure I have even more stuff to do rather than blogging :)

Still loving the knitting, and in addition to more advanced socks I've cast on my first ever sweater. Not going particularly well so far, but I'm hoping that Deb will work her magic and put it right tomorrow. I've seen The Happening and The Dark Knight in the movies. Shyamalan's movie scared me a few times, and was in general a bit too gross for me to like it. Didn't help that the acting, dialogue and general screenplay sucked bigtime. The Dark Knight was good, it is very, very dark compared to the earlier Batman movies, and all involved put up a good performance. Am not even close to agreeing with the "best movie ever" stamp it has received, though. I mean, it's still just a marvel comic turned movie. It marked the return of JD Movie Nights after summer, and this week Hancock is on the programme.

What else? I've been ocean swimming, IKEA shopping, furniture assembling, almost mushroom picking (chickened out due to rain), liquid chocolate drinking, graveyard wandering, lemon chicken eating, pasta cooking, beer drinking, photo watching (Miia & Willem are back from Thailand) and in general laughing a lot and loving life. Oh, and I've decided to finally give Finnish an honest try. Can't be all that hard once you have your motivation sorted out, right? :)

I just read through the CD insert of Snow Patrol's Eyes Open and discovered that my long time hero Ken Stringfellow appears on piano on my favorite track on the record; Warmer Climate. As always, I love the connections :)

Maybe it's the warmer climate,
maybe I'm the smarter primate.
Maybe it's the beer I'm drinking,
maybe I've stopped over-thinking.

Snow Patrol - Warmer Climate (Eyes Open, 2006)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Falling Slowly

I saw Once in Tennispalatsi last night. If you like Tom McRae, or even better; Damien Rice's cooperation with Lisa Hannigan, you will love, and I repeat; love this movie. The story is good, the actors charming, the chemistry between them tangible and I'm going to buy the soundtrack. Just go see it, your life will be a little bit fuller.

Last day of the month today, and the stress level is only surpassed by the amounts of adrenaline pumping through my system. I know I will sleep like a child tonight, and tomorrow I get to start it all over again with August. One of our managers yesterday proclaimed that Sales Ops (me & my team) have energetic bottom power. What that is supposed to mean I have no idea, but I love it :D

My brother will be moving to LA in a little over one month. I am very proud of how he has decided to go after his dream, but I have to admit the big sister protective syndrome kicks in a little bit as well. Thankfully he has a good head planted on his shoulders, and is well equipped to find happiness. I wonder what it was in our upbringing that lead to this intense drive to fulfill potential and chase dreams. Whatever it was I am very thankful for it :)

This last week has been so filled with life it's almost difficult to understand how the days keep from bursting into fragments. What a lovely gem collection they would make :)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Come Loose Your Dogs Upon Me

I've had a couple of conversations lately around fairytale endings - do we or do we not want our lives to be like them? 17 year old maiden gets carried away by Harlequin novel poster boy to live well protected and happily ever after in a castle. This is where my being me kicks in and starts rebelling. Hell no!

If I was asked to conduct the fairytale of my life, it would consist of personal development, lovely music, great reads, morning walks in Paris, ale in London, baguettes in Laos, dusty old bookstores, vineyards in Mosel, antiques markets in Beijing, sidewalk cafés in Greenwich Village, ruins in Turkey, Norwegian mountains, Swedish thunderstorms, Finnish summer days, hundreds of yet unseen countries, daily life in a house by the sea, my bed, good movies, long hours in the dark behind the wheel, countless hours of conversation, churches, trees, lust for life, me and the one I choose.

The happily ever after could still be there, we'd just have so much more to talk about. The last time I went to Paris, as I stepped out of the train on the Louvre metro station, an old man was playing the first violin voice over a tape recording of Pachelbel's Canon in D, and it followed me along the Seine and into Notre Dame. Pictures like that will decorate my fairytale.

Kjersti (bless her heart) has managed to color her hair green today. I have laughed so much I've cried, and hope she's able to fix it before the new work week starts tomorrow.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

More Like A Song

My relationship with Bright Eyes is a bit bumpy, to say the least. Their Pull My Hair, however, is a recurring good thing.

It'll seem more like a song,
and less like it's math
if you pull on my hair
and bite me like that.

Bright Eyes - Pull My Hair (Letting Off The Happiness, 1998)

I saw the Anton Corbijn exhibition in Tennispalatsi yesterday, and loved it. Some of the pictures are positively beautiful, others are just plain freaky. It was a very good and surprisingly fun way to spend half an hour, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who hasn't been yet. I might even go back before they take it down. Visit his homepage to see a list of the music videos he has made - you will find an astonishing list of my favorites. I had no idea he was behind so many of them, although I guess I should have figured he had something to do with Front's Headhunter :)

Then hung out with various laid back JD's on terraces the rest of the night, and fell asleep happier than I have been since February. Silence is not the way.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Every Day Is Exactly The Same

I saw Wanted last night, and man was that a pleasant surprise! I kind of expected a straight up, no twist assassin story, but no, this one is different. Absolutely recommendable, and the soundtrack is great as well. Remember to bring excellent company :)

Update on life in general:

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Break The Night With Colour

Note on life in general:

Other business:
My dish washer started leaking water in the middle of the night on Wednesday. Took me ages to get all the water off the floor, and at the speed I'm going now most of Thursday will be spent sorting it out with the apartment owner and janitor. All of a sudden I'm very happy to be renting a place :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I Kissed A Girl And I Liked It

Holy Mother of All that is Horrible and Offensive: did you have the orgy of your life the night someone decided to sign Katy Perry?

I can not even begin to describe how... _horrific_ this song is. Not only are the vocals bad, the woman (kiddo, whatever) far too made up and the song bluntly toying with everything that gets teenage boys going about girl-on-girl action, it actually suddenly made me understand why every lesbian I know is more or less scared witless of hooking up with bisexual girls. And oh, this song has been on the top of the Billboard chart.

"I kissed a girl just to try it
I hope my boyfriend don't mind it
It felt so wrong
It felt so right
Don't mean I'm in love tonight."

"Us girls we are so magical
Soft skin, red lips, so kissable
Hard to resist so touchable
Too good to deny it
Ain't no big deal, it's innocent."

Katy Perry - I Kissed A Girl (One of the Boys, 2008)

In fact, I could quote the whole song, it's so bad. I mean, _come on_! If they'd at least given the tune to some techno bimbo with boobs the size of Texas it would have been more where it belonged, but why this? I am shellshocked.

I haven't felt like posting with caps lock in ages. Enjoy.

(An hour or so later: Ok, if it makes more girls want to experiment I guess it's ok, but come on, it shouldn't be because it's in or because the boys like it. Ah, hell no, I still don't like this song.)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sunday, July 20, 2008

They Come To Build A Wall Between Us

I've been very productive in here lately, haven't I. Maybe I should do more around the apartment and spend less time with the laptop, but what can I say, there's apparently a lot that needs stating. My ferns are feeling neglected, I can tell by the silence emanating from the kitchen window sill.

This week has been a heavy one, the load at work is still completely insane and this will just simply have to stop at some point or I will go bonkers. I did, however, meet up with Deb and Quinn on Wednesday for Bali Hai dinner and some knitting - which was nice. Quinn has returned from her Romania holiday and I really, really want to go there. Please, dear friends and loved ones, would one of you just freakin' decide to join me?

I also re-connected with my favorite e-mail writer during the week, after clearing up a misunderstanding that underlines the problems I have with virtual communication. I need the eye contact, I need the voice, I need the skin and the manneurisms. Sometimes it puzzles me no end how I managed to live for so many years with internet as the preferred mode of communication. I try not to think about what I probably missed during that time. Anyway, this made me happy and took the edge of some long hours in the office.

Friday I spontaneously ended up having beer in Helsinki with Kjersti, and must confess I ended up in a well good mood. We ended up conversing a group of men who were out on the prowl in Teatteri and as a result I had a date invitation for Tuesday tick in to my mail box last night. Weird, I have a very hard time believing I was particularly charming. Well, always nice to get some proper attention, although I think I'll pass on this one.

Saturday I went to Porvoo on the M/S Runeberg that I had previously only taken part of the way a few times with Lotta & Co. After a very stressful morning that included a nasty run-in with a bus driver and his bus, I got to the boat kind of last minute to find a great group of Jollies waiting for me. Beer and sun and good company secured a truly brilliant Saturday, and I was so spent when I got home it took me hours to move from the sofa to bed. Sometimes it's just so lovely to close your eyes for a little while right there, without moving anywhere :)

Next week will be work, work, work again, and then weekend. Am toying with the idea of a road trip, but don't really know where I want to go. The next time I go to a Finnish town I want their blasted church to be open, that's for sure. (Blasted church? I must say, very feisty female here today.)

"If heaven is on the way,
we'll wrap the world around it."
Bush - Letting The Cables Sleep (The Science of Things, 1999)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

According To Plan

Have had a lovely day basking in the sun along the Finnish coastline. Am dead tired.
If you've not heard I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness it's about time. Editors/Interpol/Joy Division/The National lovers will also like ILYBICD.

Oh, and I think I've forgotten to say "Yay, Editors are opening for R.E.M. in September!". So yay, Editors are opening for R.E.M. in September!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

And It Feels Like It's Tearing Me Up

I've posted about this artist before somewhere, but apparently not here. Even Johansen aka Magnet (Norwegian singer/songwriter) released a duet cover of Dylan's Lay Lady Lay with Gemma Hayes on his 2004 album On Your Side. The song was picked out for the Mr & Mrs Smith soundtrack (never heard), and was played over and over and over and over again on Norwegian radio. I've seen Magnet a couple of times (three, actually) live, and he's great. Give him a chance, you'll find it on youtube (try to ignore the video, however).

The original of Lay Lady Lay I actually don't care much for, but somehow this cover brought the first couple of lines to my attention in a new way ("Lay, lady, lay. Lay across my big brass bed."), and I fell. Should you happen to like his version or not I'd anyway recommend some of his own songs - Hold On (Torniquet, 2005), The Day We Left Town and The Last Day Of Summer (both also from On Your Side, 2004).