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 :))