Friday, May 22, 2009

...And The Day Has Been Beautiful So Far

Hm. You figure; "Well, there's no way Norway's gonna win Eurovision this year, being favorites and all we're gonna end up at the bottom of the pile.", so you might as well host a party. The party was a brilliant congregation of prettily clad people, so although the goal of clearing large amounts of alcohol from my shelves backfired in a major way the evening was an unmitigated success. Wine party, anyone? Oh yes, and Norway won. Yay :)

The Gothminister concert last Friday was good fun as well. Me and Kjersti ended up ditching the warm-up act to have beers with Bjørn & co backstage until their gig started. It was nice to see Bjørn again, and Glenn being there was a pleasant surprise. The concert was the best I've seen them do so far, and Lotta and her friend who joined us were also up in flames over it all :)

Monday and Tuesday we had our country managers visiting, and the working days were spent in the training centre in Vantaa. Me and Sanna got to do a little sightseeing in outback Järvenpää in the evening before dinner, before I left to the airport to pick up my returnee Swiss friend.

A couple of thousand years ago Jesus made the choice to go back to his father's farm on a Thursday. As this was celebrated by having a day off yesterday, me and Florentin went off on a road trip to Kotka, a couple of hours drive east of Helsinki. We quite randomly stumbled upon a Kotka/Grankulla IFK football game, the Kotka aquarium (which I had no idea existed), a lovely park area along the Kotka river basin, and taking multiple detours on our way back we came upon an area of giant's kettles (pot holes) somewhere close to Askola. Yet another beautiful day :)

Today I am going to see IAMX in concert, and tomorrow there's the World Village festival here in Helsinki. I have a couchsurfer inbound from Tallinn tomorrow morning who will only stay one night, but I am nevertheless quite excited about hearing his story. Next week I'm off to Cranfield for three days of training.

This is another one of those "first I did this, and then I did that, and then..." posts, but I don't have time to think through any deeper matters at the moment. Life is good :)

"I'm here with you, driving in your car,
and the day has been beautiful so far."

Bertine Zetlitz - Beautiful So Far (Beautiful So Far, 2000)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Come Back To Me

I wrote this post a couple of days ago but yanked it down right after posting as I figured it was a bit over the top happy even for my current state of mind. On closer inspection, however, it is quite fitting.

Some weeks back I had a conversation about how things have a tendency of sorting themselves out. Whether I was born under a lucky star or perhaps my paying off debt to karma is working out, I don't know, but somehow things do fall into place for me. Not without hickups, but still, if someone steals your last dollar bill and then the next day you win the lottery, you're able to recover from the loss quite quickly, right? If I am a lion or any other predatory feline, at least I can trust I will always land on my two feet ;)

Today my apartment will be invaded by men in suits and women in dresses for this year's Eurovision. Can't wait, especially to see all my lovely girlfriends all dressed up in the same room! :)

Life, ladies and gentlemen, can not even be said to be good right now. It's as close to perfection as I think it gets. The picture above of Tiia, Scott and Dave pretty much sums it up, I think :)

"Your voice it keeps pursuing me,
and I should have acted differently, I know."

Minor Majority - Come Back To Me (Reasons To Hang Around, 2006)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

...When I Ruled The World

Blogging's not really working out for me at the moment. I don't know why, there just doesn't seem to be anything that wants to be put into words. Or rather, whatever there is it seems to be too much of an entangled mess to be sorted out properly.

A couple of things could be noted, however.
I had my yearly appraisal discussion with my manager this week. It was quite good, but it left me a bit ambivalent when it comes to my future. When I moved to Finland I figured it would be for two years. Then I took my current position, and I figured that would be for two years. So come next April, what do I do - do I stay or do I leave? Truth is, I have no idea. I guess I'm waiting for someone to tell me, although I know well that's not going to happen (and even if it did I probably wouldn't listen).

I'm going to see Gothminister-Bjørn in Nosturi tomorrow (to the right, looking scary backstage with bananas). Before that I'm hooking up with the Norwegian crowd for a pre-May 17th dinner after work (the picture above is of Audun and Kjersti in Iguana). And, I have to get through both of these things without getting tipsy as I am hosting an Eurovision party on Saturday that I need to fix things for. What am I thinking? I don't know, but Sunday will be spent in a fun induced coma.

I don't really know why, but I feel a bit thinly stretched right now. So, off to bed. Sleep tight, world.

"I discovered that my castles stand
upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand."

Coldplay - Viva La Vida (Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends, 2008)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Next Plane Out

Some days back, whilst having a cigarette in our lovely smoking room at work, someone said something about loneliness. True to form, Miia picked up a word and started singing. To my gargantuan surprise, what came out this time around was a Celine Dion tune! And not just any tune, a rather random one from The Colour of My Love, and of course I also know it by heart. I think Kjersti almost had a brain bleed right there and then, and I do feel a little uncomfortable quoting it at the end of this post. Anyway, nice to know I'm not the only one hauling around song lyrics I have little use for in my head.

My Swiss friend left Finland on Thursday, taking a substantial part of my equilibrium with him across the Baltic Sea to Rostock. All evening and most of the day on Friday I was one hundred percent sure I would never ever take the chance of letting a couchsurfer into my life again if they would keep on leaving with fragments of my soul, but quite unexpectedly I already Saturday morning headed into town to pick up Bianca and Emilie, two German girls who needed adopting. As I was not really prepared to host this weekend, both mentally and timewise, they were left to their own devices most of the time, but I think they managed well. I took them to Bar 9, of course, and then onto an unofficial CS event at Olutkellari where Rock Delusion did a bunch of covers and loads of smiles were to be seen. Good times!

I'm starting to wonder if the invasion of German speakers into my life over the last couple of months should be telling me something. My understanding of the language is getting better by the day, but with the speaking I am still too impatient to pick it up again. It frustrates me to have to search for the words and to know I'm not getting the grammar right. Maybe it's time to sign up for a refreshment course.

I am so restless!

"I listen to the sound of the rain falling down my window,
praying for a gentle wind to bring my baby back again.
Trying to be strong, but I'm not getting any stronger,
loneliness is tearing apart this heart of mine."
Celine Dion - Next Plane Out (The Colour Of My Love, 1993)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

On Any Other Day

Blog silence is good silence!

Last Monday I welcomed my first ever couchsurfer into my home, and although I was a little nervous to begin with I must deem it an unmitigated success. A young Swiss gentleman called Florentin has been kind enough to enrich my life as what was intended to be a two day stay turned into one and a half weeks of integration into my social life and a spontaneous three day road trip to Oulu.

After a lively JD Vappu celebration last week, we hit the road heading north. We took the coast route through Pori, Vaasa and Kokkola, with only one unintended detour and little traffic. The 800 km drive took us around 8 hours not counting numerous breaks, so we made good time considering the long and winding minutes spent behind trucks and trailers.

Oulu I must say was not what I expected. I can imagine it's quite a nice place in summer, and already now the weather was more than warm enough to enjoy strolling through the city. It does leave something to be desired with regards to an organized city centre, but along the waterfront there are plenty of cuteish hang-outs for food and sun worshipping. We spent half of Saturday there before we went on a roadtrip within the roadtrip, up to the Swedish border crossing of Haparanda and to the island of Seskarö where we consumed a bit of wild game and watched the locals posing for pictures on the beach. We were hoping to go swimming, but up north the ice has not yet broken and hence there was no chance to jump in the water (thank God).

Heading back from Oulu we took the inland route through Jyväskÿlä, Jämsä and Lahti. My oh, so clean car changed color from black to brown as we set off on muddy local country roads around Pihtipudas to locate a Shell station in Keitele (and as it turns out that station only caters to diesel trucks), and suffice to say I got my fair share of Finnish country side! The stretch from Jyväskylä through Jämsä down to Lahti is gorgeous, and much more similar to Norway than anything I've seen as of yet in Finnish nature.

All in all, we did close to 2000 km this weekend, spending around 23 hours in the car and listening to dozens of albums. Although this sounds like way too much it is possibly the best roadtrip I've ever been on, and I only regret not having time off to be able to continue down the Swedish coastline on to Stockholm and taking the car back by boat from there. It definitely gave me the inspiration to rekindle my thoughts around a Romania trip, although this year it's not likely to happen.

On top of the travel loveliness, I think I've learnt more about myself in the last days than the last couple of years combined. How do you react when a complete stranger inhabits your guest room, what do your instincts say, and are you able to fully understand and comply with them? I've experienced a mixture of maternal instincts kicking in, extreme honesty and need for trust and the kind of intensity that comes from having little time. I think I've gained a long-lasting connection from it all, and although I don't think I'm likely to find a CS match again that will be able to dig out the same amount of "spontaneous me" from underneath it all, I will keep it up and hopefully be able to learn some more about myself and the world in the process.

"I like where this is going,
yeah, cause I know where it's been."
Bon Jovi - Any Other Day (Lost Highway, 2007)