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).

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Silence Is Not The Way

As I was heading out to meet Deb and David last Saturday, I was drawn in to (completely against my will, off course) one of Helsinki's many antiquarians to rummage around a while in their philosophy shelf. Ended up with a Swedish version of Sartre's Nausea and Simone de Beauvoir's Adieux. I never, and I repeat; never, put a book down before I've finished to start reading another one, but that evening I found myself well into Nausea even though I haven't even read through the first chapter of Auster's Book of Illusions. Strange indeed.

I love the book, though. Sartre writes about depression triggered anxiety in a way so tangible you can almost feel it on your skin. Although I have never experienced the extreme distance at which the main character finds himself from his surroundings and the physical distress caused by it, I recognize the idea of how I am with relationships sometimes. Daily life can just sometimes seem so far away from where you are mentally it almost disgusts you. Even the people you know and love can be so estranged, so contaminated by the "otherness" of everything.

What is undeniably good about Nausea is how its qualities as a novel does not suffer from its authors philosophical musings. And, it has got me sidetracked. The last time I was dragged off by a work of philosophy it took me halfway through a degree in comparative religion - and wouldn't you know it - Sartre has put me back on track. My enrollment at UiO is still valid, and yesterday I was lured back in by their tempting course plan and am once again a registered student. Bless my soul.

One of the saddest thing that I ever saw (was smokers outside the hospital doors) was the deaf wing of the Gaustad mental hospital in Norway. The hospital is located in a beautiful, old red brick factory-like complex north of the city centre, where vines cling to the walls and you just want to lay in the grass and watch the clouds. Why does a mental hospital have an own deaf wing? I understand that they will need a different type of care, but this place is huge. Do depressed people hurt themselves and go deaf, or are people separated from others by lack of hearing more prone to depression? I won't try to figure this out as I am not at all qualified to do so, but the thought breaks my heart. If you go to Oslo, you should visit.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Child Is My Name

This material is very copyrighted by Dilbert creator Scott Adams and I'm not being a good girl by putting it up here, but maybe it'll make someone buy some of his wonderfully funny strips. One of our colleagues was presented with the following two in his table calendar last week, and they crack me up no end :D

The next strip is on Sales, and off course not nearly as amusing ;)

After studying I lived in Oslo with a friend named Kari for a while. She loved Kemopetrol (female vocalist, popish almost Lamb-like sound), and hence I ended up with one of their CDs although I ever really only loved one of their songs. We used to sit on the windowledge and drink martini bianco with ice before going to So What! to build our futures, fucked up as we might have believed them to be. I wonder if my search for a So What! replacement will ever end... That was the same summer I decided not to go to Placebo's Black Market Music tour concert in Oslo. I must have had mental problems. Anyway, today someone quite randomly told me that Kemopetrol is a Finnish band. Huh. I never had the slightest idea. Not the most studied one of my CD pamphlets, in other words.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Get Cape, Wear Cape, Fly

Bruce was a charmer all right, in his tight jeans and leather wristbands. Bluntly ignoring some of his Tom Jones moves I must say I enjoyed myself a lot - the band was good and his vocal chords must be the strongest in the world - 3.5 hours with only the short break before the encore. Quite a few new songs and a long belt of very similar sounding tunes in the middle dragged the experience down a bit, but just the live performance of Born To Run in itself was worth the ticket money. Good company didn't hurt either, we hooked up with fellow JD Annu, and also got to meet one of Paul's friends. Beers after and an exceptionally short taxi queue at the end of the night secured the evening.

Saturday and Sunday was also spent with both or one of my favorite Brits as we on Saturday met up for the now more or less weekly Bar no 9 chicken and Black Door ale, and yesterday me and Deb had good intentions of going swimming in the sea although we ended up in their backyard with our knitting in the end (it was cloudy in the morning). Yesterday evening I almost asked the local store boy out on a date, but thankfully registered that I must have had a stroke or other form of temporary brain disturbance before I got the words out. No mom, I do not have a thing for the local store boy. Trust me. He's 20 tops. Ok, maybe a small facial crush. :D

Apart from trying my hardest not to be a creepy grown-up picking up youngsters in the local K-Market, this week I will do little except work. Saturday I'm shepherding a crowd of jollies onto a boat going to Porvoo.

My current playlist:
Leaves - Breathe
Longview - Further
Mojave 3 - Breaking The Ice
Pete Yorn - Lose You
Thirteen Senses - Into The Fire
The Little Ones - Let Them Ring The Bells
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - All You Do Is Talk
Babyshambles - There She Goes
Get Cape Wear Cape Fly - Get Cape Wear Cape Fly
The Cardigans - Communication
Damien Rice - Accidental Babies
David Gray - This Year's Love
Embrace - Gravity
Gary Jules - Mad World
Gus - Don't Fear The Reaper
Kari Rueslåtten - Other People's Stories
Mew - Snow Brigade
Ryan Adams - So Alive
Stephen Fretwell - Bad Bad You, Bad Bad Me
Toad The Wet Sprocket - Something's Always Wrong
Death Cab For Cutie - Tiny Vessels

Now this, friends and loved ones, is a brilliant playlist if I may say so myself.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Want II

This morning I remembered why I stopped going to the JD weekly welcome on Wednesdays months ago. Hopefully it'll stick this time around. New colleague Kjersti was introduced to a couple of outside-of-work people, and it was all good fun. After a couple of weeks of insane work load and little sleep I am, however, feeling relatively tired at the moment. The weekend will be good, I just have to stay awake for Bruce first - going to see him in Helsinki with Deb, David and Paul tomorrow.

My Monday in Geneva was good, it was my first time on Swiss soil and I will definitely go back with some more time to see the country. Nature wise it is off course very similar to Norway, but the architecture got me really interested. There are so many places to go, so little time to do it in!

I want to listen to PJ Harvey's C'mon Billy and sing along so loud it rattles the windows. I also want to go to Newcastle and drink beer. And to get a new dog... I know I thought I'd never get one again, but I so miss the company of one, maybe I'll cave in and compromise with a cat. With this working schedule a dog would be miserable with me. On the other hand, even feline companions need a bit more stability than I can offer. *sigh* I need a pet, any volunteers?

I finished reading After Dark, and although I'm not totally sold on the author it was entertaining enough and I'll remember it for a while. After that I read Tideland by Mitch Cullins on various flights all over the place, and loved it. It's about a girl who gets dragged off to the middle of nowhere with her junkie father and how her over-active imagination spins an alternative perception of reality around her to shield her from what's going on. Rather brutal, and not at all the cute fairy tale story I was half expecting. Definitely recommendable.

Am now reading Paul Auster's The Book of Illusions - this is my second encounter with the author after reading Travels in the Scriptorium over New Year's. Loved that one, and have high hopes for this one as well. So far it's promising, I like his style and have already found a quote from it that I'll keep, a kind of meditation on silence. Which reminds me, I'd like to read Gibran's The Prophet again, maybe that's next. Have so many unread books waiting, though.

Type 0's October Rust found it's way to me again, and is my current in-the-car entertainment. Have also started listening to music in the office to shield myself while working with the new tool I'm developing. So far Sweden is totally sold on it, so it seems I had the right idea. Have to roll it out to the other markets, but that's next week's project on top of everything else that's going on.

After five years working with distribution I've almost forgotten how it feels to have a learning curve like this. Almost everything I do I've never done before, it's sink or swim in the extreme. Although I complain about not having enough hours in the day I have to admit I'm loving it. I wonder what I'll be capable of when I emerge on the other side of it all, and how it'll change my perspective and dreams. And, will it make me a better person? Or just really fed up with Excel? :)

I am now going home to sleep and water my poor ferns. Go to bed, world :)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

All You Do Is Talk

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Holy crap. Why has no-one told me to get a grip and start getting into this band? I love, love, love them, in the kind of heart rendering way I love bands like The National, Editors, Kent and Joy Division. Their 07 record Baby 81 is nothing short of brilliant - and it's been hanging around my computer since last September, just... not being listened to!

This post was sponsored by my employer. Thank you.

Monday, July 7, 2008

I See That You've Come To Resist Me

Yet another summer of Arvika has gone down in history, and I dare say in some respects this one kicked the hell out of previous ones. The last three days of music in the middle of the Swedish woods were spent laughing so much my stomach muscles are sore... as is my neck, my legs and more or less every muscle in my body. Houston, we're not 18 anymore.
(The picture of Karine, Henrik, Cec and PC has been shamelessly stolen without permission from Else.)

Anyway, I did not log on to write this in the middle of the night because I am not tired, on the contrary I've been travelling for 12 hours today and feel like crap. I did, however, just get into bed in the by far most outrageously delicious hotel room I've ever been in. Travelling with work I've been to some pretty nice hotels, and some of the Asian ones I've slept in are right up there as well, but this... my, oh my, I never want to leave. Hotel de la Paix on quai du Mont Blanc, Geneva. I tell you, you'll thank me. If the bath I intend to start my day with tomorrow lives up to my expectations I will be a very, very happy girl.

Some quick notes in case I do not write more about Arvika in the days to come:
I've never seen Kent as good as they were on Friday, it was utterly fantastic. Interpol also rocked massively, and while Hellström let me down this time around, Robyn was totally amazing. Death Cab were of course beautiful, and outrageously cute balcony neighbours Ståle & Makrellbekken from the last couple of years provided good beer tent entertainment. Somewhere out there there's a Norwegian pen salesman who thinks my name is Turid and that I work as a park care taker, I might be responsible for an Indian guy turning pirate taxi driver, and I have to check out Efterklang when I get home because they were amazing. Belgian waffles with chocolate sauce are still great, but Arvika is _not_ scaled for a festival that suddenly super increases their visitor numbers from one year to the next. They ran out of freaking _everything_ :) Didn't affect us much, thankfully. The ones not there were missed.

If God lent his voice to me to speak,
I'd say "Go to bed, world.".
The Cardigans - 03.45: No Sleep

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Where Soul Meets Body

Closed the month ahead of target. Closed the quarter ahead of target. Only a few weeks until the next month's ending...

Thursday morning I'm flying to Oslo on the early flight. Am going to Asker to pick up one of the X-Trails (yay!), and will then collect Else in Oslo before we catch Lotta at Gardermoen and head off to this year's Arvika. PC, Cecilia, Bjarni, Henrik, Karine and loads of other people I haven't seen in ages will be there, and the line-up puts a smile on my face. Will definitely miss Erlend, Hanne, Christer, Vidar, Ida and Andreas, but it'll be good fun to experience it with someone who has never been there before. This is the plan, let's see if we manage to stick to it:

Timo Räisänen (me)
Blood Music
*beer and socialising*
Håkan Hellström*
Kate Nash
The Kooks*
Slayer (Lotta)

Lykke Li
Hardcore Superstar (Lotta)
Assemblage 23 (me)
Saul Williams
The Hellacopters
The Crüxshadows (me)
Suicide Commando (me)
And One (me)*

In Strict Confidence (me)
Alice In Videoland*
Combichrist (me)
Totalt Jävla Mörker
The Go! Team
Deathstars (me)
Death Cab for Cutie*
Hot Chip

If I manage to go to all of the * ones I will be happy with myself. My plans at Arvika never turn out quite like I think, so there are some ok-to-miss-ones in there. And some I've seen plenty of times already... I mean, there's a limit to how many times you can see Suicide Commando and still focus more on the music than how much the guy sweats. There will also be swimming, pizza eating, sun worshipping/rain cursing, t-shirt shopping, alcohol drinking, weirdo spotting and loads of lust for life. Looking at the list I now realise I'm about to introduce one of my best friends to a very ebm'ish music scene. Oh well, she'll manage. Can't just live of metal for the rest of her life. :D

Oh, and it turns out you should never say yes to helping people that are going on holiday with meetings without seeing some kind of meeting invitation. My kind offer to help out with a 1.5 hour video conference on Tuesday has suddenly turned out to be a meeting in Switzerland on Monday. There goes my next week planning. But I get to go to Rolle :) There's beauty in everything.

Catch you on the flipside!