Monday, April 28, 2008

Video Killed The Radio Star

Over the last week I have on several occasions been lucky enough to enjoy Miia's extensive joy at the use of dirty words. Dirty words are not always extremely dirty, but things like "penis", "orgasm" and "swallow" can set off unexpected bouts of singing the word over and over again in... places like Pizza Hut.

So, yesterday I watched "my" local footie team FC Honka kick some ass just ten minutes from my apartment. The level of playing in the first half was terrible, but second half picked up and in the end it was all good. Highlights included laughing at local kids, not being mawled to a bloody pulp by the ball and Dave discovering that the Honka players not only had a big sponsor advert across their bums, but also a big, red advert blotched in their crotch. I can't help but wonder what a FC Honka player penis costs (penis, penis, penis, penis). The image above is not one of their current strips, but also here you will notice the big advert across his... reproductive area.

This evening I've been to a José Gonzâles concert in Kultuuritalo with Miia, Veera and Willem. I didn't really know what to expect up front, but this was really worth the effort. If you happen to know (probably not) the Norwegian Minor Majority (as usual, let me know if you want to borrow a record) it was very much like them. Warm-up act Death Vessel was also quite good, although we were puzzled to no end by the fact that he looked like a man but sang like a woman. Interesting! I then got a chance to sing a bit of Bon Jovi to Miia in the car while we waited for Willem to finish a radio interview. Good night! :)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Watching Over You

Download Seabound's Watching Over You with guest performance by Iris vocalist Reagan Jones for free on Good synthpop track, and I like Jones' voice. Never seen Seabound live, but saw Iris 5 (?) years ago at Arvika.

Have today become a member of Ravelry, a knitting web community. Within few heartbeats I had stacked up a long list of items I'd like to work on, and suddenly my resolve to knit nothing but socks and scarves vanished with the wind. Gloves, cardigans, sweaters, there are unlimited possibilities! *mad world dictator laughter*

This week has been insane, I am impressed I'm still standing. Loads and loads and loads of work, and a couple of shocking realisations with regards to the increased stress of month endings. Thursday Movie Night went to see Shine a Light, which I enjoyed tremendously. It is a concert movie, not a documentary, but even though Stones are not on top of my lists I got a good kick out of watching it. Next week is The Darjeeling Limited, and on Tuesday as Thursday is alcohol bonanza day in Finland.

Friday night I for the first time ventured out to Inferno, one of Helsinki's darker rock clubs. Dave had put an event up on JD, but in the end none of us succeeded in bringing in any of our rockin' friends to join us. Three or four different DJ's were spinning industrial and dark trance records, and it was fairly ok. Was not overly impressed by some of the choices, and they have a long way to go before they live up to my Oslo music scene standards with regards to alternative club concepts. The company was great, though, and I had a very good evening :)

Yesterday morning I hooked up with Deb and Quinn for Helsinki knitting. I am trying to convince them to start an English speaking knit group, as I have come to vastly enjoy knitting with company. I showed them my purple scarf that is now half done, and we cast on socks on magic loops. Knit one, purl one, knit one, purl one... I love it :) We were then joined by Miia, Alistair, David and Erin, with guest appearances by Paul, Ellen and in the end Willem joined us for beer debauchary in Teerenpeli.

Today there is no good football in sight, so I've signed up for the first game of Espoo team FC Honka in this year's Finnish league. You never know, I might be surprised and end up with yet another favorite team. Have to say I miss Lyn a bit now that the Norwegian league has kicked off...

Oh, and for some reason my phone is fucked up. Sorry if you've been having conversations with the lining of my purse lately!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Killing In The Name Of

Last week Movie Night went to see Funny Games in Tennispalatsi. It's a 2007 remake of Haneke's 1997 German original, by the same director. I was a bit scared the movie would be over the top disturbing, but it was ok in the end. Like the use of camera (very retro German tv style) and music (jumping from Vivaldi to screamo/punk/racket).

An American upper class family of three make a weekend trip to their summer house (in the Hamptons?), and get a couple of unwelcomed, whitegloved visitors who like to play games. The underlying concept as such is absolutely brilliant, exploring how we view violence as entertainment. Towards the end of the movie some of the leads have a "philosophical discussion" which is a bit over the top, but ignore that and this movie is one I will buy and watch again. In Paris it seems to be a big thing, there were posters of a hysterical Naomi Watts on every street corner.

Spring has come to Finland, and I'm lovin' it. It's warmer, lighter, people are happy and the birds are singing. To be fair I spend all days in the office, but still it does brighten the mood no end that it's light when I go to work in the mornings and when I leave in the evenings. Norwegian footballer/embarrassment Riise did a good job sqrewing up Liverpool's CL game against Chelsea last night, scoring an own goal in the last seconds of the match. Thumbs up :D

Now, I have two weeks to waste in June. What should I do?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I Like The Bed I'm Sleeping In

Something only a few people know about me: I have a major thing for pillows and duvets. (For natural reasons, the people that know this are mainly the ones that have shared mentioned objects with me over periods of time, so I figured it was time to share it with the wider public.) In my comfortably big IKEA (shop at Vantaa, good people!) bed I at all times have at least two duvets and two pillows. Why not settle for one? Just because, that's why. I also have a thing for blue bed linen. And that's how easy it was to share the secrets of my bedroom with the world.

I am very much looking forward to the Bon Jovi concert in June. A lot of people think I'm joking when I start ranting on about the lead singer, but I've been a fan for quite some time. His solo album Destination Anywhere (1997) is one of my favorite records, and I love his voice. I don't care for the most blatant "classic" ballads like Always and Bed of Roses, but a lot of the band tunes are good as well. Unlike many others I also enjoy the country flavor their music has had over the last years.

My hang-up with the guy originated in a liking for his voice. Believe it or not, but he held no attraction for me back in the long-haired days - I'm not a poodle fantast. In combination with the new do he's sporting these days, however, I must say his chiseled chin has made a believer out of me.

Monday, April 21, 2008

I've Got 99 Problems But The Bitch Ain't One!

Damage control time!
I got an e-mail from a friend today that went as follows:

Hi Cecilie!
Great fun to read your blog, but I have a question. Since when did you become so obsessed with being in a relationship? I mean, your life seems to rock pretty hard without men!!! :)


Uh. I'm obsessed with being happy, not with being in a relationship. On the contrary, there's nothing worse than being unhappy _in_ a relationship. Will stop bitching right away and start dealing with fluffier bunny material!

Finally had the guts to unravel my weirdo first purple scarf project, and started knitting yet another scarf, and this one is going great! I'm knitting and purling and following a pattern without the slightest difficulty :D Am so proud of myself I have to upload a picture.

Still struggling with my japanese crime story Out. It got a bit better yesterday on the flight back from Paris, but there are still sooo many pages left and I would much rather start a new one. Will stick it out, though. This week is rather busy, but Thursday I will squeeze in Shine A Light - a rockumentary by Martin Scorcese on Rolling Stones. Friday I'm going clubbing, back to my alternative roots, and hence I suspect Saturday I will be hungover.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


I'm in Paris. It's the first time I've had a chance to see the city the way I wanted to see it, and I have to admit I liked what I've seen. There is a sense of history and soul in this place that not many other cities posess.

The two days of training in Trappes were good, it was great to finally have a face for some of the telephone conference voices. Thursday evening I had beer in Versailles with our Ordering and Allocation contact, also this great. Friday evening I spent exploring Montmartre, with specific focus on Sacre Coeur (the stained-glass windows in that place...) and small wine bars in the backstreets away from the mass of tourists.

Saturday I dedicated to the fabulous Notre Dame and the areas south of the Seine. Notre Dame is not even a church, it is an unparallelled monument to man's ability to bring beauty into being. Does God exist? I do not know, but I know I did not find one in that church, nor in the also stunningly beautiful gothic masterpiece St. Germain l'Auxerrois. What I did find, was a message from a friend inviting me to a disco party this evening. Turns out he has an appartment on the street right behind where I'm staying :D

All in all, Paris is lovely. I did, however, clearly not think this weekend through properly beforehand. Unless you are happily numbed by the throes of romantic bliss, this city in spring will tear your heart to shreds and feed you the pieces. Like on Friday, I picked a winebar where they played very loud, generic French rap, but when I sat down the cutish bartender decided to change the tune, and what do they serve? Smashing Pumpkins - Crestfallen. Man, I almost drowned myself in the fruity red he brought me (which was very good, by the way).

The rest of April will be rather travel-free, as I have loads of reports to develop and routines to improve. May will take me to Denmark, Estonia and Sweden, and it holds a couple of concerts. June hopefully has a longer vacation in store, but will also bring me to Norway, Newcastle, London, Riga and Sweden (again). Love that the travelling is kicking off again, have been climbing up the walls with the lack of new sights. Now, champagne and dancing!

I just wish I could patch this chest of mine back together again.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Everybody Here Is A Cloud

Not done writing today, it would seem.
I don't think I'll be posting much next week, so in the meantime you should (in addition to checking out Mesh) have a listen to Cloud Cult. I randomly stumbled on to this band last year, and I adore them. They have a sound which is slightly on the side of anything else I listen to, but in a good way. Their Meaning of 8 album from 07 is amongst my all time favorites. Apparently they are just about to release yet another record, and I can't wait :)

If you like bands like Death Cab for Cutie, The Postal Service, The Shins etc, you should like Cloud Cult. Until now I've only ever seen them list US gigs, but I hope this summer will take them to Europe. I'm prepared to do some travelling to see them.

Friends Like These

Friday's anniversary party was a big hit, very good evening with lots of food, drink and excellent people. Was awake enough to go home around 01:30, and hence I was able to follow through with yesterday's program without too many problems. Hooked up with Deb and Quinn in Helsinki for lunch in Bar no 9 (had the coriander chicken stir fry, not at all on par with the braised reindeer or chicken lemon pasta), knitting, drinks and good conversation. Our general aim was to not end up in a puddle before David would join us later for the beer festival, and apart from some crap knitting on my side we did rather well.

The Helsinki Beer Festival was a little puzzling. You buy a ticket to get in, you pay a deposit for the glass, and you still pay close to normal price for beer. The plus being, off course, that the festival featured a lot of _not so normal_ beer. I stumbled through a rather good range of ales, some of which I'll try to find again. Also tried a nothing short of excellent cheese that I will have to hunt down first thing on Monday afternoon. The funky texture ham they served in the pytt-i-panna in the cafeteria, however, was not something I hope to experience again.

The host of the JD event, Dave, turned out to be a refreshingly my-style-of-music kind of guy, which of course started me on a long and winded rant about my favorite bands. In the spirit of preaching good music, I urge you to take a few minutes to check out Mesh. I was introduced to this UK synthpop act in 1999, on a summer Bergen visit to a buddy who was very into everything alternative and had a thing for their You Didn't Want Me. I have loved them since, and seen them twice on Arvika. They are one of the reasons why people who steal music piss me off, as they have struggled to finance a couple of releases. Check them out on youtube or let me know if you want to borrow an album.

Again the evening was ended in a reasonable hour, and I am feeling pretty ok today. In a couple of hours I'm going to town to hook up with Anu for today's Liverpool game. Arsenal are playing Man Utd later in the afternoon, so it'll be a rather football heavy day.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Trick Is To Keep Breathing

Knitting by pattern... Man, have I picked a hobby unsuitable for my lack of patience! Well, I am still going at it, hoping it will become easier soon. Have not broken, burnt or thrown anything out the window just yet. Will practice more this weekend.

Work is busier than ever, but good. Today I've had a revival training session of our core management philosophy, which was rather good, and tomorrow is the anniversary/brand building party. Yesterday I had a lovely dinner in Restaurant Wellamo with our supply chain management contacts, followed by a (1) beer in Memphis. Was home in time to rehearse this mornings' Sales ops presentation a couple of times. Am now rather beat, but will go to the movies to watch The Band's Visit tonight.

Today's hang-up is double standards in communications. FUCK, why can't people just say what they mean and mean what they say? There is nothing, ever, that pisses me off more than people saying one thing and then doing the exact opposite.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Break Me, Shake Me

Remember Savage Garden? Daniel Jones was one fine guitarist. Visually, that is. Darren Hayes got chubby, went on to do some rather low standard solo work, and off course turned out to be gay. Surprising, really, that I didn't have a crush on him. I have no idea what happened to the hottie.

The Kite Runner was a good movie. The screenplay skips a lot of what happens in the book, but not in a way that damages the story. It is slightly altered to fit the shortened format, but it all sticks well together and forms a fine product. I would even go so far as to say that you can watch the movie before reading the book without it spoiling the experience of the written story. I recommend both book and film.

Yesterday I went to Helsinki early in the morning to hook up with Deb for knitting. I now know how to both purl and knit, and have yarn and needles for more projects. David joined us after a while for lunch in Bar no 9. I had the lemon chicken pasta, which was quite good although their reindeer pasta is better. From there the day spiralled on to sports and drinking bonanza, with games watching in Elmo, chinese quisine sampling in Dong Bei Hu and beer goggles in Teerenpeli. Very fun day, but today's hangover is nothing short of record breaking.

My hopes were set rather high for the gan bian niu rou si in Dong Bei Hu, but the expectations were not met. It was ok enough, but the beef had clearly been deep-fried instead of being simmered over enough time, and hence it was rather shoe-leathery and just not right. The beans were slightly better, but not right either. So, the hunt continues.

Arsenal vs Liverpool in the Premier League was rather disappointing, they played 1-1 and hence the Gunners' chances of winning this year's league are growing slim, especially considering Chelsea beat Man City. Next week SCM are visiting, and hence we're having dinner with them on Wednesday. Thursday movie is The Band's Visit, which should be good, and then we have NNE's second anniversary party on Friday and the Helsinki Beer Festival on Saturday. Week after that brings a Paris trip with work and Funny Games.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Every Day Without End

Some days.
I miss him.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Who Wouldn't Be The One You Love?

Yesterday's football game was _amazing_! I haven't been that nervous/stressed/happy/scared during a match for ages, it really reminded me of what I love about football :)

I've now finished my eye meds, and it's more or less back to it's normal white. Still have a bit of a cold, but it should be gone soon enough. Three days into the new job, and am enjoying it so far. A lot of training, whereof not all good, but best be on the safe side. Due to long hours both book and knitting projects have been put on hold until the weekend, but Saturday will bring both knitting, more football, beer and even some ice hockey!

Tuesday, when I got home in the evening, Herbert von Karajan's recording with the Vienna Philharmonics and Anne-Sophie Mutter of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons (1984) had arrived from one of my best friends (amazon sellers). Now, a lot of people do not know (or care) how big difference the conductor, orchestra and/or lead performers make to a piece of music. The Four Seasons has always been one of my favorites, but the Karajan/Mutter sessions really capture the quintessence of what I love about it all. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, find Karajan/Mutter Summer 3 or Winter 3 on youtube. It hurts my heart when people only connect the third summer movement with Vanessa Mae's shrill electric violin.

Karajan conducted the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra from shortly after WWII until his death in 1989. He was Mutter's mentor and got her started on her path to the world renowned violinist she is today. In addition to this splendid recording of Vivaldi's Seasons, he was somewhat of a Beethoven perfectionist. Some hate his work, others love it, and I belong to the latter category. Beethoven is my favorite composer, and I think the Berlin Philharmonic recordings of his symphonies under Karajan's lead are amongst the best investments one can make.

Anne-Sophie Mutter, in turn, has done some of my favorite violin recordings, and I hope to see her with the Trondheim soloists at some point. Although artists like Hahn, Midori, Chang (good Sibelius) and St. John do some composers very well, there's something about Mutter's sound that I just instinctually connect with how a good violinist should sound, female and almost brittle. This is the source of no minor amount of debate in classical circles.