Tuesday, February 26, 2008

You Raise Me Up

You know whom I find really attractive? Yes, Jake Gyllenhaal and Jude Law go without saying, but the other day Josh Groban stepped up to the plate. That's right, none other than Josh I-am-a-curly-but-freakin-sexy-boy Groban. I know I have friends that will slap me across the face for writing this, but there you have it.

One of the items I came home with from London was season 1 of QI - Stephen Fry and Alan Davies' brilliantly funny quiz/comic show. I intended to not watch it all in one go, and succeeded. It took me two full evenings to watch trough it all :p I now need the other three seasons asap, so if you can be of assistance give me a shout. Also brought home Control on dvd, and will surely make all I love watch it with me until they know the plot by heart. Backwards.

This week will bring the closing of February (way ahead of schedule, we'll kick some proper wholesale target ass this month), some beer drinking with Miia, my first ever hair color session on Friday and a Brittish/American going away party on Saturday. There are also a couple of backstage surprises in the deck, but I'll dish those out on a later occassion. This week's movie is There Will Be Blood, on Thursday.

Going back to the original topic of ridiculously attractive people that I have crushes on; did you know Kate Moennig (Shane from L-Word, yes I know, I'm such a femme clichè) is the cousin of Gwyneth Paltrow (and hence the niece of Blythe Danner, Paltrow's rather classy mother)? I wonder what the rest of the family looks like...

I Can't Believe You If I Can't Hear You

I spent the weekend in London - where spring is a bit closer than in Helsinki (although to be fair all the snow had disappeared here as well when I got back Sunday night). Finally got to meet Tori's beloved - a very nice young gentleman if I may say so, and I did a bit of shopping. My to-read list now exceeds 40 titles, hence I needn't worry about impending boredom any time soon. I found a lovely, lovely bookstore called Bookthrift (22 Thurloe Street, South Kensington, right next to the underground station) - definitely worth a visit if you go to London.

Watched a bit of football in the weekend, and off course the Arsenal game did not help the heartbreak from the weekend before (they played 2-2 against Birmingham, even though the latter were 1 man down after an ugly incident involving Eduardo's leg). They clearly have no regard for my piece of mind. Apart from that London is always a nice place, I've been in love with the city since the age of 8. This time around I was, however, puzzled by the extent of security measures against terrorism. You can't get anywhere near the buildings you used to be able to walk right up to, and hence a big part of the atmosphere was lost for me. What used to be so good about London was that you would have a sense of history being right at your fingertips, now you have a very strong sense of metal bars and security cameras.

American Gods is proving to be an extremely good read, I've almost finished it and wish I could do the book club meeting all over again as there is so much to discuss. It has also stirred my old love for myths, and I'm contemplating whether or not I should finally finish my comparative religion studies. Might be a bit much with work and all, though...

In modern day Lutheran Christianity it is commonly believed that the concept of Hell can be defined as "the absence of God" - the absence of that which is good. The concept of "evil" is a bit more foggy. If evil leads to a state of hell, does this not mean that all absence of good is evil? When individuals group together and form big societies the need of good acts per capita is likely to decrease - each person does not have to perform good deeds for the society to function. My question is basically - is it evil to not do good?

If I don't watch out my blog will turn into a full blown philosophy site. For reference I do not prescribe to any system of faith myself, but I believe in the search for meaning and that religious philosophy has a lot to offer in this respect. I promise to go back to only dealing with music, movies, books and my mess of a life in the next posts.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

God's Light Will Save Us?

Just rediscovered Long-View - Mercury. One of the best albums there is, and I haven't picked it up for ages. The chorus line from Further reminded me of something; When I went to the JD book club one of the participants stated that he had outgrown his Catholic upbringing and was now areligious. Someone asked him if he did not have faith, and he said "I believe I can make my life better.". I made a statement at that point that "Isn't it like that these days, that the most believed in gods are ourselves?". All agreed, and the discussion ended.

Now, I believe I have a lot of good motives and that I have it in me to be a good person. I believe I can make the world a better place just by being me. Is this not faith? I think it is. Have we become our own golden calves and are we negating our own goodness by elevating ourselves to the level of gods?

Years back I would stick to a clearly defined belief that the individual is capable of unlimited good, but when individuals cluster together to form societies this potential plummets. I'll not go into this discussion here, but I am more and more often pondering how these two patterns of thought fit together. If the individual alone can do unlimited good, how is the individual as God a bad thing? And on the other hand, if every individual is God, how can it possibly be only good?

To celebrate this sudden pang of existensial thinking I will go out for beer and pizza with Miia, and probably crawl back home way too late considering I'm flying to London in the morning. Catch you on the flipside!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Like A Phoenix Out Of Fire Flames

I'm on a natural work-high. Some people don't understand what I mean when I say that, and I do pity them a bit :)

For some reason I haven't really listened to Dave Gahan's Hourglass before today. Don't know why, guess I've just been slow. The record is quite good, but I must say the difference from DM is minimal. A little more pure electronica, perhaps, but only one or two of the tracks would be a huge surprise on a DM record. Kingdom, Deeper And Deeper, Miracles and A Little Lie are my favorite tracks.

Yesterday I caught myself messing with my equilibrium. There's nothing worse, and I know I basically know better, but still, sometimes, I mean... man, life's complicated! Wish it came with a manual. Still, there is beauty in everything, and I am today back where I should be.

Found this video clip of Christopher Walken reading the story of the three little pigs. It's dead funny :D

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Where Does My Heart Beat Now?

Sometimes I think football is the devil's work and that it's designed to break your heart and make you want to throw TV's around rooms. At people. Arsenal managed to play the crappiest football ever against Man Utd. yesterday, and hence before the game was even over I had managed to get myself well drunk. You have no idea how frustrating it is to want to swear in Norwegian and yell "Driiit!" at random people when everyone around you speaks English.

Fortunately I was surrounded by good people, so at least the social part of the evening went as planned. I also went to a book club yesterday, never been to one before. We discussed Neil Gaiman's American Gods, and it was fun! I bought the book when I was in Oslo this week, but did not manage to finish it in time for the meet-up yesterday. Nonetheless it was a good time and I'll definitely go back next month. Met some more good JD people as well, and got a little introduction to the thinking behind the organization.

This evening I'll attend a piano recital in one of the churces in Helsinki. I'm looking forward to that, although my mind will mainly be with Miia and Willem as the latter managed to dislocate his knee cap dancing last night, don't ask me how. Next work week will be short, as I'm leaving for London Thursday morning. It will be _so_ good to have a break :)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Don't Call Me Motherfucker, Motherfucker!

Due to this week's work bonanza I have completely forgotten to tell people about two things that happened to me this week. Will now record them here as I am sure to not remember to talk about them this evening either.

When I came to Vantaa on Monday and was looking for a parking lot in parking house 2 (the one across the bus stops from the international terminal), a huge Volvo XC90 suddenly backed out and drove something like ten metres away from a two slot space and stopped. I'm in a hurry, so I quickly and smoothly slip my Micra in to one of the spaces. When I open my car door, I hear someone yelling in Finnish, which I off course choose to ignore elegantly and proceed to unload my luggage (why I bring a lot of luggage to a 36 hour trip will be explained in the next thing I have to tell).

I find a luggage trolley and hurry over to the elevators, observing in the corner of my eye that the Volvo owner seems to have the hardest time ever tricking his car into a huge parking space further down the row. When I get to the elevators the driver, a grey haired guy in his fifties, catches up with me and starts waving his arms around and yelling in Finnish.

Now, I am usually a rather straight forward person, and when working I can have a bit of an edge if stressed. I tell the guy I don't speak Finnish and ask him if he can translate, whereon he makes a remark about how I have a very smart little car and that it must be nice for me that I can steal people's parking lots just like that. I looked at him for a second before telling him that "Yes indeed, you should consider buying one, or at least taking some parking lessons with that monster truck of yours.". He turned around and took the stairs.

The reason why I was hauling suitcases with me for such a short trip was that I would receive some clothes I've left behind when travelling. So Tuesday morning I was actually handed over the remains of a six year relationship in a huge plastic bag from IKEA. There are degrees to how over something is, but this certainly felt like a very, very definitive slap on the face.

There. I feel so much lighter now :D
...I also notice that I tend to go from past to present tense and back a lot when I tell stories, even in written form. Huh.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Cut Here

The Cure played for more than three hours in Oslo on Monday – 36 songs. My head was literally hurting after, but it was an incredibly good concert that made it right into my top five (with Placebo in Seoul, Depeche Mode in Stockholm, Snow Patrol in Oslo and Mesh at Arvika). Robert Smith does look a bit haggard, and at times the bass was far too dominant and messed with the soundscape. Didn’t matter, when they kicked off with Plainsong I actually cried. Other definitive highlights were Lovesong, Letter to Elise, Pictures of you, Just like heaven, Never Enough, A forest and Jumping someone else’s train.

Unfortunately the AC in my hotel room was crap and I spent the night after the concert not sleeping. Hence, when I got home Tuesday evening after working myself into an Excel frenzy in Bærum all day, I had no energy left to go to the Client concert.

Wednesday I went to the JD welcome event and forgot my resolve to not drink during weekdays. Yesterday was, needless to say, a bit… grey.

Saw Lust, Caution last night, though, and that brightened my day (if not my mood) a bit. Lovely filming, very dark story. Halfway in I thought I understood where the criticism of the sexual scenes came from, but everything is tightly sewn together in the unexpected ending. Without the brutal intimacy between the two main characters the end would not be as moving as it is. I am happy I started this weekly movie thing, I've been lucky with the movies I've picked and some of the people I've met are simply _good_ people. Next week is National Treasure, though. Have a feeling the quality is going out the window with that one, but at least I'm prepared for it. Keeping in touch with my mainstream side here!

This afternoon I've had my hair cut by a girl I met through one of the JD movie nights called Kaisu (works in Point, Aleksi 13). I can honestly say it's the first time in my life I've felt completely at ease in "the chair", and I even booked a new appointment for my first ever color in two weeks (no, this is not another drunk blog)! Can't wait :D So, all fellow Helsinki'ers, I don't often recommend people in service industries as it tends to backfire, but with this one I can without doubt say you would be happy. Write me a comment if you want the details :)

Now, I'm off to Greg's house warming party in an hour or so, with my new hairdo. Will try to remember not to blog when I get home, but I guess we'll see tomorrow...
And we all know what day tomorrow is, right? FA CUP DAY! Yay! :D

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Generation Ex

Don't drink and blog - only cryptic rubbish will come out of it. Will leave last night's post up to teach myself a lesson (as if I ever learn...). Today's hangover has been the worst ever - even my eyelashes hurt. They only seem to be getting worse, so it might be about time to step down the partying a bit.

I have to get packed for tomorrow's trip to Norway. I'm on the last flight back on Tuesday, but will try to pull it forward as I found out through the JD network that Client is playing in Helsinki in the evening.

I'm considering going to Vilnius for a couple of days in Easter. Don't know if I should bother, though, I'll be going there on work soon enough anyway. Maybe I should take the chance and go to Örebro for a couple of days. It was nice to be back on the farm for Christmas, and it probably wouldn't hurt me to wind down a bit.

I've been listening to Tori Amos' American Doll Posse and Kent's Tillbaka Till Samtiden this weekend. Both are good records, Kent is getting ever closer to DM and Amos is almost back to old form. Also finished season four of the 4400, it's a shame the show got cancelled as I'm very into the characters. Should try to get my hands on season two of Heroes.

Ah, and Manchester City kicked some United ass this afternoon. If Arsenal can just bring themselves to beat Blackburn tomorrow I will be one happy gooner.

Bouncing Off Clouds

There's nothing like this. Life, I mean. Nothing at all.

Friday I spent not going to my co-worker's poker do, and today I've spent not preparing for a football game.

Bouncing off the top of this cloud,
well, you can stare all day at the sky,
but that won't bring him back.

This won't bring him back.
I think I'm ready to move on from all the crap. So don't break my heart, world. Ok?

Make it easy,
make this easy,
it's not as heavy as it seems.

Friday, February 8, 2008

All Your Days Will Be Blessed

Busy, busy, busy week.

I saw My Blueberry Nights on Tuesday. The movie features Norah Jones as the young, heartbroken girl who makes friends with the ever lovely café owner Jude Law. She travels around the US for a year and meets different dysfunctional characters. I liked this movie, it was of the feel-good-kind but in a very down to earth "life isn't always sunshine and muffins" way. The filming was at times a little over-artistic, but all together it worked well with the soundtrack and colors of the movie. Worth seeing :)

Last week I went to see I am Legend, which was also entertaining enough, but not so feel-good'ish... It took me many years to see anything but Fresh Prince when seeing Will Smith, but I guess he has moved on... at least his upper body has!

Now, contrary to popular belief, I did not pick this movie because of the mentioned gentleman's six pack, the film came recommended. I've not read the novella the movie is based on, but I will. The story line in the book is based around vampires, but in the movie these have been replaced by blood crazed humans infected by some stort of rabies like virus. I have a feeling I liked the idea of what the story could be more than I liked the movie itself. The main character's existence could have been made into a much more interesting (albeit depressing) part of the movie. All in all, worth seeing, but I hope I'll get more out of it when I've read the novella.

On Monday I'm travelling to Oslo to see The Cure in concert. Been a fan since forever, never seen them before. Needless to say I am very excited. Tuesday I'm going to my old employer to spend a day trying to sort out their ordering system for them, before I come back to Helsinki. Friday I'm getting a hair cut, found a hair dresser through the JD network. So I guess next week will not be any calmer.

On the bleaker side:
Yesterday the world lost a good man. One of our co-workers based in Newcastle had a heart attack while playing football last night, and did not recover. He was my age, and an inspiration both in his cutting cynicism, sense of humor and talent. May his loved ones find comfort in his memory.
Rest in peace, Gavin.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Pocketful Of Sunshine

Today has brought welcome bursts of sunshine and bird song to Tapiola. I am still suffering from the after effects of Friday's work do, but have been able to go for a long walk. Lovely day, can't wait for the real spring to arrive.

Tacos are on the menu tonight - a dish definitely not created for single people. The last time I had tacos (it's only happened two or three times since I moved here) I almost ate myself into a coma, and I'm guessing we'll see a repeat of that success this afternoon. Next week I will definitely start working out and look into a healthier life style. I think. :D

I am currently reading The Lover by Marguerite Duras. I've been reading it since my Christmas holiday and just can not seem to finish it. I'm not one for reading several books at the same time, and hence I can't pick up any of the other ones I have waiting either. Basically, I've gone from reading 7-10 books per month to not even being able to finish one in all of January.

This book is difficult for me. It's a classic, sure, and I have the movie lying around for when I've finished the book. My mother loves it, and I have had it recommended by friends. But here's the deal - I don't like it! It's not boring, nor is it poorly written, but this story simply does not appeal to me. There's no buzz, no love story going on between me and the characters. Maybe I've been so spoilt by all the great reads I had last year I've become too picky. Don't know, but I'll give it another shot this evening. If I can just get through it, Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk is next in line.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Erase & Rewind

Yesterday I accepted a job offer. This morning I signed the contract that will make me sales manager of the company I work for starting April 1st, and this afternoon it was announced to the employees. I am a little bit overwhelmed, but I've had a lot of time to think about it and feel confident that I will do this job well. It'll feel good to have a more active role with the countries and dealers.

What is not so fun is how the competitiveness of this business suddenly sneaks up on you when something like this happens. There are the ones that come rushing to congratulate you and tell you how you deserve this, and then there are the ones that won't look you in the eye and make it their business to avoid you for the rest of the day.

Today there will be beer, and the rest of the weekend there will be sofa and dvd. And if I ever stick my nose in the air and act like you don't exist, feel free to simply walk away. It's still all about people.

PS. Do feel free to congratulate me, this is a very big deal and I am very happy about it! :D