fredag 20 december 2013

Christmas in Turku

We weren't able to finish it last weekend. Not only that, even though we worked all weekend (my back is still troubling me) there's still a ridiculous amount of junk left to sort through. We did do a lot, though, and I am happy with that. (But I still can't believe how many books she owns! I think we packed eight more boxes of only books, and these were only the ones left from the first move...) The moving business will now be paused over the holidays, to be continued in January. It's still frustrating not to see the end of it. I think the same thing applies to several areas in my life right now - I'm regretting all the things I never did, or dd but never finished, and imagining I'll not only get back to them in January, but make everything better.

I'm now looking forward to my first Christmas in Turku, until now I've spent every holiday in Jakobstad (with one exception. Also spent one Christmas hospitalized in Vasa) . Still not sure how I feel about it. I like Turku, as well as my mother's flat here, but it will be awkward not seeing my friends, who I normally meet up with every year.

During the move I've been the practical, pragmatic and effective person. I've chosen to ignore the mental stress and just work on (even harder) and organize things (even better), I've been lifting, carrying, digging through junk, packing and planning, never giving in to nostalgia or other distractions. Why does this not work in other areas as well?

tisdag 10 december 2013

on moving and training

This weekend I'll join my mother up to Jakobstad for what should be the last part of the moving ordeal. We are to collect and move the everything that's been forgotten, discard everything else, throw out junk and clean the place up best we can. Mother is obviously stressed about this (I don't blame her!) and keeps putting things up, while instead worrying about all the smallest things. She has this tendency to put up everything uncomfortable until later... (I have it to sometimes, at least  I know where I've got it from...) But we already chose this weekend and I've arranged with time off work so it has to happen now. It's also the last chance for us to get this done before Christmas. I try to remind her about how much better it will feel when it's all over. I mean, it's not like I'm exactly eager to do this either, but we have to. And it will be good to (hopefully!) have it finished before the holidays!

The Christmas party last weekend was great; I had lots of fun even though I couldn't practice myself. I still enjoyed the social in the evening, an during practice I spent my time snapping pictures instead, and brought along my karate journal to take notes. It's always frustrating not being able to take part in the training, no matter why, but this time I think I  actually learned a lot from watching. I noticed some things that I'll definitely want to work on, and realized how certain things (mistakes) seem to relate to each other... Very inspiring! Bring on the new year!

torsdag 5 december 2013

Door project photos

Before cleaning up...
...and after.
as seen from the hall

Here are some pictures of the door "painting" I wrote about yesterday. I chose to let the text continue in the small, lower window, as can be seen below. Medium: regular water colors.

Let me in let me in let me in!!!!!

onsdag 4 december 2013

new home decoration project/quote

Late last night, just as I was going to bed, I suddenly found myself redecorating the window on my hall door (This door has been mentioned before, when I've written about the "map butterflies"). I had tried to paint  a flower-themed thing on it some weeks ago, but was never too happy with it - and therefore never finished it. But last night, when checking facebook that last time before tucking in, I suddenly found this quote, and just knew that I had to use it! I have this fascination with words and text, also the aesthetic aspects of it, and have always wanted to find the right text for that door. Now I think I have, at lest for a while.  At some point it will change.

I don't have any pictures of the "painting" yet, but this was the text:

"I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he or she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you will miss them when they're gone from your life. I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as making a "life". I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one. I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I've learned that every day I still have a lot to learn. I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
Maya Angelou

I'll post photos when it's finished! Still needs some small fix-ups.

tisdag 3 december 2013

update about this and that

I know I haven't been posting in a very long time.  Sometimes it just doesn't happen. I have tried, several times even.

First of all, I thought I might mention that the whole moving business has gone fairly well after all.  Some things were left at the old address, but we've been able to replace most of them. And her flat is starting to look more and more like a home. I've also tried to help her get to know Turku and find her way here. This has been fun for me too, and a much welcomed change from old routines.

I spent the first weekend this month in Vaasa, attending a karate weekend course. This was my first higher grade course in Finland (it was for black belts only) and it was a great experience! Interesting methods, lots of feedback from the higher grades, experienced practice partners and all in all many good points to try and remember... Unfortunately been suffering a flu ever since, so I haven't been able to repeat it all, however much I've wanted it...Very frustrating!

This upcoming weekend I'll be attending my first Christmas party of this year, in the company of the rest of my karate club. I haven't taken even the smallest part of planning it this year, and feel quite happy with that choice. At least I know that the event will be our by now traditional combo of training and partying.

The following weekend I'm joining my mother for what should be our last trip up north, to her old house, for some final emptying and cleaning. There is still an amazing amount of stuff left up there...I'm not too eager to do this, but it obviously has to be done at some point. I also need to start throwing out some of my own "collections" soon, as my 22 m2 flat is not large enough to hold both everything I own now and all of those things I used to own but at some point chose to start "temporarily" store at my mother's house... and then haven't missed for ten years or so. It's already close to impossible to keep my flat clean due to all of the stuff in there, and there are still things in Jakobstad that I need to move down here. A LOT will be thrown away, I think.

And, finally, I'm again taking baby steps closer to earning a degree! I think that's it for today. I'll try and return to updating normally again now.

tisdag 12 november 2013

Quote of the day

"I wish you were here. But you're not, you're there. And there doesn't know how lucky it is."

fredag 8 november 2013

Almost there - moving day

Her cats were put to sleep yesterday, "the hardest part of it is over now", as she said herself.

There was a change of plans, so I will be spending the weekend in Turku after all. I still have some things of my own in her house, which I would have liked to go through before the move, but I'll just have to do that later. We will still have to return at some point to do some final cleaning and emptying.

The big moving day is tomorrow, and with all the stuff arriving around lunchtime but my mother herself in the late afternoon, my job will be to be there to meet the moving van and try and arrange with the carrying on this side. It all still feels a bit unreal to me. Someone to whom I've had a geographical distance of several hundred kilometers will suddenly live next block to where I work everyday.

I've been in her (future) flat this week, looking round and moving some smaller pieces of furniture around to create more space. The place is smaller than I first remembered (having visited it years ago, when it was still in my uncle's use) and it's an absolute mystery to me how we can possibly be able to fit everything in there.

torsdag 31 oktober 2013

Relocating your mother

A new date has been set for my mother's move here down south. It is in a week. I still can't believe it, no matter how hard I try. She's lived there for over thirty years. I'm going up there next weekend to try and sort out more of my own old stuff, and to help out with whatever is needed.

I don't think I will miss the house, as in the house itself. It is the house where  I grew up, but the memories related to it are so mixed. Good and bad. And there's the disrepair. And I'm so relieved this is happening now and not... later. That fear of having to go through all of it on my own if something were to happen to her.

At the same time I see it as having parts of my roots cut off. I won't have any family(that I know of) left in that town now.

So this could actually be the last time. Obviously at some point it will be needed to return to really finish things, clean everything up and so on..? But no one will be living there. I've had my last Christmas in that house.

She wanted to move in the fall, so it wouldn't be so hard to leave her garden.

tisdag 29 oktober 2013

Nonsense weekend

I had last weekend off again, but wasted most of the time and got very little done. The original plan (and the reason for my Saturday off) had been to attend short karate course, but after my return to work last week my knee started to bother me so much again that I decided against the course. So instead I had one more free weekend to use for whatever I wanted. What I did? Well, it included two days of concerts (Thursday and Saturday), one bottle of a new favorite red wine (both cheap and ecologic!), some catching up with an old friend (former room-mate actually, from the small commune I lived in before the separation) and some drawing. I'm trying graphite again, and it's going surprisingly well. I was especially surprised to find a slightly more expressive style, compared to my more recent drawing... Interesting.

So all in all a good weekend, even though I had been more happy if I had also got something (anything!) sensible done. Something like finishing essays, cleaning my flat, looking for that lost, longer version of my thesis... I seriously hardly even took out the trash. Or then maybe I just need to learn to relax and enjoy things without guilt tripping...

Tomorrow I'm going to try working again and hope for the best. If my knee can't take it I'll simply have to contact my doctor again and see what to do about it. But still hoping I won't have to do that.

fredag 25 oktober 2013

Some days I hate myself for being such an introvert

and for still building so much my life around it.

Just let yourself in, I can't help you with that today.
Some doors need to be opened from the outside.
And some days it's easier to shout to the world than to look someone in the eye.

söndag 20 oktober 2013

weekend update

I've now enjoyed one more weekend off, but plan to try and return to work this week, depending on how it feels tomorrow. My knee has been much better these last couple of days, but I'll still have to be careful - I don't want to make anything (much) worse before next weekend, when I plan to carefully attend a two-day course in Kuusankoski.

I've done some drawing this weekend, a couple of small self portraits and an experiment with red wine... I had a bottle of cheap red wine that didn't taste too good, so I decided to see what it would look like as "paint". Just did some shading on a drawing, but I think I'll have to try that again, the wine sometimes reacted quite unexpectedly with/on the paper... But I'll have to return to that later.

Tonight I'll try training again, and see what works. We're changing the program on the lower grade side (that I teach), so next week on we'll be doing kicks for a while. Will be fun, as long as I can do it myself too!

tisdag 15 oktober 2013

on writing

It was amazing to have a full weekend off work! I got so much done. It was good to have that little extra time, a chance to catch up and to care for my long-neglected home. I've tidied my flat (which was in a state close to health hazard again), rested, read lots and even got some writing done. When cleaning, I found quite a pile of forgotten notes from last spring, that m now having great use for - both for my thesis and for the essays I'm working on for the moment. The pages of notes came with... maybe you could call it a bonus of kinds. On several of the pages (I had completely forgotten about this!) I had also made my own personal notes in the margins, spontaneous little notes on this and that, on things I had seen or thought of at the moment, absolutely unrelated to what I had been studying. These were very fun to read, made me remember things...I bet I still do them, haven't even thought about it really.

Where does this need to write come from? Sometimes I think I'd be nothing without my words.

I'll soon be off to see the doctor again about my knee. I need to know whether to keep eating the same medicines, and I'm going to ask for one more week of sick leave.

fredag 11 oktober 2013

Post- Poland update

The weekend in Poland, both the training and the socials, was quite amazing! And as guests, we were spoiled rotten! It was my first time in the country, and I liked it so much! I now have several new friends, and I've learned much more than I expected. The course itself could in a way be compared to this year's summer school - the program was very basic, and we did the same exercises for quite a while, but instead went through everything very thoroughly. It seems all participants were happy with the course, or if someone isn't, I haven't been told.

The flight back to Helsinki was cancelled, due to technical problems, so we had to stay one night extra in Warsaw, but once we got over the initial irritation this was fine, too. Got one night at a nice hotel just next to the airport and a voucher covering for dinner and breakfast. We went out on town in the evening, to meet up with some other late travelers, and had a beer or five, and lots of fun! And then in the morning a nice, long sleep-in followed by a hot bath and as much hotel breakfast as I could get away with.

One bad thing that came with the course was a damaged knee. I seem to have some kid of an inflammation in my right knee, not sure of the cause but quite possibly it's in the muscle hold in front of the knee. I went to see a doctor soon as I returned home, she wasn't sure of the cause but prescribed me painkillers and sick leave from work. I've been on ibuprofen for 4 days now, also using an anti-inflammatory gel on the knee. So far there's been no major change, just feels slightly better than when it started (in the car, leaving the last session). For this reason, I haven't been training very hard myself this week, not karate and definitely no running, but I've still instructed the beginner's group (twice this week). I miss training properly, and can't wait to go running again! And I'm walking so slow now... The only good part of this is that I'm on sick leave from my work - no way of running up and down stairs with a fucked-up knee. Still have to see what to do about my mother's moving... I hope this will pass soon so that everything can go back to normal!

tisdag 1 oktober 2013

on moving and karate. I can't think of good headlines anymore...

I think we got a good start to the whole moving project. I'll return once more now in October, before the actual move, to help out again. On our schedule this time will be throwing out heaps of old junk.... But, before that, Poland!! This weekend! I'm missing a lot of work (and, with that, pay...) this fall because of all the traveling, but so far it's been worth it. We hope to have the whole moving business finished in November. Before that, I'll have to throw out some old stuff of my own too, as I'll be needing space for that growing pile of stuff that I've been leaving at mum's place every time I've moved homes myself. This will be interesting, as I now live in a tiny, 22m2 flat.

In karate, our beginner's course has started. I'm quite happy both with the group of beginners and with the assistant teacher. Now we'll just have to see how many of them will stay with us, and hope for the best. OK, I'm very hyper right now and can't really concentrate on my writing. I think I'll just try again tomorrow.

måndag 16 september 2013

Out of shape

I had the worst morning jog today. I felt tired to begin with, it took me a full hour to even get myself out the door, and when I finally did, I never found that "flow" I've grown so used to enjoying during my jogs. My right ear started hurting before I had even started running, and after having finished 1 1/2 heavy laps (instead of the usual three) with my muscles still tense,  my throat was hurting like it hasn't since I quit smoking some three years ago... So I'm suspecting the flu... I know more than one person who has had it recently. I've also been very tired today, all day. I found myself dozing off several times during a lecture this afternoon, even though I found it interesting. Hope this will pass quickly, I so don't have the time right now! (But, then, when do you?)

söndag 15 september 2013

Still alive - and trying to learn this thing called responsibility

I realize I've had one of those longer breaks from the blog again - hope no one has worried. There are many things going on this fall, both at uni and in karate, and now also in my private life.

I am supposed to get two theses started this fall - and at least one of them finished before the spring term is over! In Ethnology and Art theory.

In karate I will, as I suspect that I've already mentioned tons of times before, be teaching this year's beginners group . I'm still looking forward to this immensely! But honestly staring to grow a bit anxious, too... Other karate news, I'll be going to Poland in October! Never been there before, so bet it will be exiting too.

On a personal note, my mother is planning a move down to Turku this fall, so I will be visiting here when I can to look for things to help out with. She has been living in the same big house since we (me, her and my father) moved in there in 1980-81. So you can just imagine the amount of stuff that's been collected there during the years... Also, the house is in quite a bad condition, so there is definitely work to be done... It will be strange but good to have here living in Turku. On one hand, I've grown used to a certain distance (of hundreds of kilometers) since moving down here myself, but on the other it will be good, as her daughter, to be able to be there for her when she needs it. She's already past 70, and not getting any younger after all, and my conscience has already been giving me a small personal hell about the situation for some while.

So if I were to sum this fall up in only a couple of words, I suspect "responsibility" would be one of them. I'll get back to you on the rest of them.

fredag 30 augusti 2013

Summer School and karate in general

I'm back! Almost two weeks later... Wanted to write earlier, but just never got myself to it.

Summer School was an absolutely great experience again this year. The course theme was kept simple, with an emphasis on "old" methods and so, instead of radical new methods we were given the basic old school ones with lots of time and repetitions to work on them - which I think was good. I could see myself making progress and I know I wasn't the only one! One more special thing this year was for me to spend my first time on the blackbelt- side of the group. This meant practice partners on a high level, and at the same time lots of feedback from the technical group members and other higher dan-grades.

I came home with lots of inspiration, for my own training as well as for my instructing this fall. I can't remember if I mentioned it before, but I've asked my instructors to let me teach the beginners' group again this year, and have now also got a kyu-grade (who happens to have started as a a student of mine) to do this with me. Will be fun! I have a basic set of ideas I'd like to try, but nothing very radical. In fact, I think I'd like to go quite orthodox with the whole thing this year. So the Summer School theme fit me like a glove this year. I'm also looking forward to this year's marketing campaign.

One more thing about Summer School: This year I finally got my ass out of bed every day in time for the morning jog an kata-session with our Estonian friends! And it was good! I have to repeat that next year! After returning home, I've tried to repeat this routine of early morning jogs, but failed badly so far. This morning I would have finally been up on time, but found it was raining quite hard outside so cancelled it. But I'll give it some more time.

And by the way, I've stopped following my protein intake now, but still eat a bit extra of it, now that I have the routine.

torsdag 15 augusti 2013

Like a kid before Christmas

So exited. Just one more day, and then it's on. Summer School! Same feeling as last year: Can't believe it's finally happening! After having waited for this long! At this point, I am so hyped that  I'm getting absolutely nothing done, but doing so in the pace of a Duracell bunny... There's so much left to do tomorrow... I'll confess I'm a little nervous about the actual trip there, as I'll be traveling on my own this time. As in, there will be three other guys from Finland, we just haven't syncronised our trips. On the other hand, I'm always a nervous traveler. I worry about getting lost, or leaving something important behind (memo to self : passport!).. Or oversleeping - the bus to Helsinki airport leaves at 03 in the morning. In reality, these things rarely happen.

Found no less than two people to feed miss Cat while I'm away (they will share the task) but still have to clean my flat so I can let them in... This was so much easier back when I had flatmates.

I'm still on sticking to the higher protein intake (that I mentioned in my last post), and it seems to be working for me. I'm guessing my body has grown more used to it already, as the before-mentioned tiredness is gone.Or then it's just me being hyper.

That's it. Have to go out for a run now, hopefully it will calm me down.

fredag 9 augusti 2013

On training and dieting

My latest "mania" when it comes to training is proteins. The fact that you need to eat more protein if you train actively is nothing new to me, but lately I've started to actually keep track of my protein intake. I don't count calories, just how many grams of protein I eat every day. I don't eat any less than before, and want to point out that this is not about weight loss - I don't need to lose weight (rather the opposite!). On the other hand, even following your eating habits tends to make you change how you eat, and so I have obviously been loading in more protein than before. I've been doing this for a week now, and found it quite interesting. Also, I've learned new things too, one of the nicest being the probably simplest recipe for protein/banana pancakes to eat after training! But now, after a week of it, I feel a bit weak - not sure whether it's the diet or something else. Maybe it's just a question of getting used to it.

Last night, when I went out for my regular jog in the park, I had a quite unpleasant experience. The jogging itself felt good, but after only 1 1/2 laps in the trails, I encountered this... strange..? guy at the bars. First he just paced the bars while looking at me - never starting to train on them - and then just hung himself from the lower one, rocking back and forth like a money while staring straight at me (I was running past). This might all sound like me being paranoid, but I just got seriously bad vibes from him. I jogged past, trying to just relax and not "do" anything or pretend to react, and when I had past him with about 10 metres,... ...the lights went off. This was when I got scared. At that point I just tried to mantra "IamablackbeltIamablackbeltIamablackbelt..." and then left the trail at the first chance to do that. Jogged home under the streetlights instead. What I don't get is: Why turn off the lights in the at 22.30 in the evening? This is when it's just got dark enough for them to actually be needed. The streetlights were obviously still on. Why not the lights in the park, too? Are you not supposed to jog that late? Or is it to keep people out of the park at nighttime? If it is to save energy, couldn't one hour oor so be saved in the early evening instead, by turning them on later?

Also, I do realise that this guy was probably no real danger, but it still felt very uncomfortable. And guys: If you feel like flirting, the jogging trails by nighttime might not be your greatest pick of a place for it...

tisdag 6 augusti 2013

Belated post about my weekend up north

As I mentioned before, I spent the weekend before the last in my hometown, as every year, for a local festival. It was a mostly nice extended weekend. I don't know much I care to write about it, so instead I'll just post a picture roll this time. As you can see, I brought miss Cat with me. These were among the things we did or experienced:

torsdag 25 juli 2013

think of a headline, think of a headline... meh, this one's about work and the weekend, and it includes a quote, OK?

Fed up with my job again. Doing those extra rounds in June didn't pay as much extra as I expected. Not by far. Even though it was a lot of extra work. I'm also tired of having such a hard time even trying to calculate what I'll make the next month. Which is rarely enough anyway.

It was very naive shortsighted of me to decide for a trip to Britain this summer too, but it can't be cancelled now. And secretly I'm glad, but this also means that almost everything goes to Britain-and-Bills. (No less with the expensive phone bills I receive after the update to a phone I can use to access the internet.....) Now I've been forced to shorten this weekend's trip to my hometown, as the train tickets are too expensive. VR (the Finnish national railways) have raised the ticket prices again, so now the price of a return trip - with one cat - to my hometown ends up at around 80 euros, or possibly even more. And that's with a student discount. I will be missing out on one reunion, but luckily not all. Still feel bad for not being there.

There are good things, too. I still have this trip, this small break from everything to look forward to. It did feel good to return the work keys. And I've had offers of car rides, and been able to take up one of them - tomorrow. Did not find anyone to care for miss Cat, though, so she'll be coming along. I so hope she'll... well, not sure if you should ever use the word "behave" when talking about a cat, but let's just say I hope she won't be a complete pain in the @#%* - at least not all the way! Keeping fingers crossed.

...oh, almost forgot the quote:

söndag 21 juli 2013

About blogging and self-promotion

Lately, I've been pondering what to do with my other blog, the "art blog" as I think it's been referred to here. It was once created to be a place for me to post and update about my own artwork (and, on the side, about inspiring work of other artists) but it's obviously not being used for that. Too actively, that is. I've been wanting to post pictures from my sketchbook for quite a while now, but this seems just to turn into one more of those things I find myself not going... And recently, I haven't posted much else, either. Yesterday, I tried to give the blog a little fix-up, but to be honest, I'm still not sure if it's for the better or worse. It is more reader-friendly (and viewer-friendly) now, with the bigger text and all, but, on the downside, this almost makes me nervous to post - about my own work, that is.

But after doing a test-post, and liking the new looks of the blog as well as the overall picture quality, I've decided to give the blog one more chance. And to motivate myself to keep posting, I immediately shared the post on G+. Let's see how long it lasts this time.

Listening to: Testament! \m/

tisdag 16 juli 2013

My cat is not spoiled

disgusting "head"-end of now former cat toy
tiny craft project

Yay! New prey!

I do confess: miss Cat only "plays" with them to be nice, when she wants to be scratched or fed, or just needs the attention.

måndag 15 juli 2013

Aura river photographic expedition

One thing you can chose to do (for free!) if you, as I actually complained about in the last post, have too much time off, is to go on your own photographic expedition. I decided to do this yesterday, and  went for a long walk with the simple plan of snapping pictures of anything nice or interesting that comes my way. As a route I chose to go along the Aura river, on both sides. I had planned for this to be an early-morning walk, but lost track of time and found myself out walking in the blazing mid-day sunshine in close to 30 degrees heat. It was still fun - nice to walk around acting like a tourist in your own town!

Posted some of the photos on google+:

(Quite often I've posted pics here on the blog and the a link here on my google page but I'll just do it the other way around this time)

lördag 13 juli 2013

me complaining about my job and listening to great music

I'm tired of my job again. I only work a couple of days every week, but this just makes it more frustrating. Right now, in the summer, I'd have the time to do so much more, and I also know that I function better when I'm active enough. Of course, this gives me the chance to spend more of my time doing things that actually feel rewarding for me to do, and I am doing that - I focus on my health, my art, I train, I write... - but I would still want to work more.

Of course, I also dream about simply finding a new job, a different one, one that relates ever so slightly to my area of knowledge. Or something where I could earn more. I'll keep looking.

This month I will take only one day off my normal work schedule, for the Jakobs dagar- weekend in two weeks, when I'll be revisiting my hometown again, as every year. This year I can specially look forward to one more reunion with the girls (we did this last year and hope to turn it into a tradition!) on Thursday and of course the Party Of The Year on Saturday.

...and midst my complaining, I found this on the zenhabits blog:
-an article on learning to cope with your discomfort. Great timing again.

Listening to: Electric six, David Bowie (Hunky Dory!)

tisdag 9 juli 2013

Update on training

I've found my way back to karate practice again - or at least attended two sessions in a row. It's been quite hard for me to follow this summer's practice schedule, as the sessions are so early, especially the Wednesday tends to clash with my work hours. But right now we are having some difficulties with cancelled sessions, meaning we have instead practised in the park on times suitable for as many as possible - ironically making it easier for yours truly to attend. From now on, the Wednesday sessions will probably be easier to attend too, as I'm, starting tomorrow, no longer doing the double round.

Doing your karate training outdoors does include some small challenges, like having to adjust to weather changes or training on uneven ground instead of a good hardwood floor. But this is where you really get some use for those hard foot soles earned from seven years of karate practice.

This summer I've also started to work out at home, with small weights. I can't say too much about the progress yet, but I'm sure its good for me. I hope it will work as a good balance to my running on the side of karate training. In this, I'm focusing mostly on torso, especially upper back muscles, but also arms. I try do some kind of training or exercise every day (and yes, I count my job as exercise, too),  except for the occasional Sunday.

lördag 6 juli 2013

torsdag 4 juli 2013

Perfect stranger

This morning I woke up from a dream of you. It felt so strange. I haven't seen you in ages and, honestly, hadn't even thought about you in weeks but there you were. Nothing in particular happened in the dream, it was just the two of us being silly and ridiculously happy together. And waking up from that alone in a filthy flat to a normal workday just felt so drab. Especially as I could still, as I normally never do, remember the dream in such exact detail.

I don't consider myself as very superstitious. Still, you just showing up like that, by surprise and uninvited, made med think of you. I hope everything is OK with you, and that your day got off to a better start than mine. And I hope you didn't dream of me too. Just wanted to say that.

måndag 1 juli 2013

Medieval market 2013

End of last week, it was the annual Medeval Turku happening and, once again, I just had to visit  the "medieval market". Took a whole bunch of pictures, here are some of them.


Turku painters' guild

fish "since 1350"


insanity certificates

måndag 24 juni 2013

on junk, work and vacation

I decided by the end of May that I would not even touch any of my academic work throughout June. Why? Because I really needed the break. Now that June is almost over (still have no idea where the whole month disappeared to?!) I still think it was the right choice, it's been very good for me to lower the pace a bit for a while and allow myself to focus on the simple things - like my home and my health.

I've finally cleaned my flat up (not completely, but getting there) and also moved stuff around a little, for more space - and  I love the result! And at the same time I've finally got to throwing lots of junk out. The only thing that hasn't happened yet is the flea market table I had planned for. I did go and ask at a place, but the owner just said it was fully booked and  took my phone number to contact me whether this would change... and I still haven't heard from him. There are, of course, other flea markets in Turku but most of them have ridiculously expensive weekly fees.

In my last post I wrote that i now "should have more time to focus on my art", and I've tried to do that, too. I have done a number of sketches, but the really good ideas are never there when you crave them the most, I guess. Anyway, I'm hoping that this will also be easier to focus on now, with the worst mess gone from my home.

Where did I want to go with this post? I don't remember. It turned into one if these...

onsdag 19 juni 2013

my temporary studio

This is what it looks like when I want to (do art)work at home. I do have a nice big table and all, but... It's overflowing with all kinds of junk. Also, I simply like working on the floor, it gives me more space. I still haven't seen anything like the drive I had last spring, but try to return to my art every once in a while. Think I got of to a good enough start again, at least. And now that the term is over, I should have more time to focus on my art.

I say this every year.

What are the sunglasses doing in the picture, you ask? Oh, they were actually included in a self portrait (hence the mirror)

söndag 16 juni 2013

The jar of awesome - revisited

Remember back in January when I wrote about the Jar of awesome project? Well, this week I guess you could say I updated it a bit...

 The plan was not to open the jar before next new year's, but just about six months into the project, the jar was absolutely packed with little notes... I emptied it, but saved all the notes in another place for later...

...and made a brand new start with new ones. Now I can watch it grow again. (For more details, go to my previous post on the same project.)

söndag 2 juni 2013

Quote of the Day

"When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life. "
John Lennon

onsdag 29 maj 2013

On nostalgia, karate and text messages

Just missed a deadline by 18 minute, but this still means I finished something. In this case the course on contemporary art. Feels great! Fourth course finished this month.

The practice/party-combo of last weekend turned out absolutely awesome, and I think everyone agreed on that. We had loads of fun, and any occasional gaps in the program of the day were quickly filled - training (both indoors and out in the park), sauna and chilling, dinner with speeches, nostalgic pics and videos, and after-dinner beers in the evening sun on one of the river boats. And it was all very inspiring too, at least for me. So eager to go on the next course!

On a completely unrelated topic, my phone finally decided to die on me last week. This was no shock, it was 8 years old after all. I got myself a new phone and everything is working well... except for the one small detail of me having lost every single phone number I had on the old phone. (Assumed they were on the card. Turned out they weren't.) I've been able to retrace some of the most important numbers, and I'm currently working on most of the rest.

One more thing that came out of this: I remember writing here, not too long ago, about how the dilemma of what to do with old text messages you have a hard time letting go of. Well, let's just say I don't have that problem anymore. They are all lost. Realising this first made me very sad, but then again - you can't hold on to everything that makes you nostalgic, and I guess sometimes maybe you just have to trust your own brain to save those memories for you.

måndag 27 maj 2013

Late Knitn'tag photos

A bit late, but here are some of my photos from the "Knit n' tag" exhibition of knitted graffiti along the river Aura. I love the idea! And the artwork ads a bit of fun and change to a space we are very used to. I walk here almost every day, to and from uni. The works are made both by individual artists and different organisations, as part of the Turku Design Week project.

A tree-hugger! Unfortunately, you can't see her arms in this picture)

torsdag 23 maj 2013

Update on this and that/ first post of May

I know I've been neglecting this blog recently. Or... well, this month. I just realised I haven't written at all since April. Have had lots to do at uni, with everything that needs to be done and/or finished before the  term is over. The  same thing every year, except  this time I'm actually getting things done. Maybe not quite as effectively as I should, but doing the best I can, I believe. On the other hand, so far the grades haven't been too bad either, if I may say so myself...

Lots of things coming up, too! This weekend my karate club will have a party (the concept, as always, is practice first, then party.) to celebrate 10 years as an organization. I haven't been too active a part in the planning myself (not been able to!) but enough to be allowed to watch the whole thing develop, and I've been very happy...quite impressed with what has been done! I'm really looking forward to the weekend now!

This is folllowed by a week full of deadlines, and then the double-booked weekend starting with the Ethnological symposium here in Turku on Wed-Fri, and ending with a karate course in Nykarleby Fri/Sat-Sun. I'm expecting to feel quite wrecked on Sunday. But in a strange way looking forward to that, too.

I had planned to post some photos here, but haven't had the time to sort through them. Oh well, in time...

söndag 28 april 2013

On excercise, dog owners and essay production

This morning I finally went out running again (or er... jogging.) after a break of... months..? This has been the longest break I've had since I first started running, so I was a bit worried about my shape, but it went well and I enjoyed it so much! I had started to notice my own bad shape on karate practice, where I haven't been able to train on the (physical) level I had grown used to. The one thing that bothered me was - again - certain dog owners... There are obviously still people who refuse to accept that it's against Finnish law to bring your unleashed dog to the jogging trails. If you want to train with your unleashed dog, please stick a fenced dog park. There are several in most towns. Don't believe me? Google it.

Now at uni, trying to finish a package of four ethnological essays. Looks like I'll be spending the rest of the night here. I find what I'm working on right now very interesting, I just wish there were more hour in a day so I wouldn't always have to have to feel I'm compromising the result to finish on time. Or, now that I think about it, that is quite possibly just exactly how I would still feel, no matter how much time I'd have.

Listening to: Von Herzen Brothers, Kings of Leon, Megadeth

torsdag 25 april 2013

Tallinn revisited

Field trip to Tallinn with the department of Ethnology, April 23rd. Here on my personal blog, I've chosen to try and avoid posting too many pictures with people in them.

Open air museum

...and Old Town architecture

Old pharmacy

All in all an interesting trip, even though it was tiring (bus from Turku at 4 am, then almost 24 hrs on the go) and I was especially impressed with the open air museum. Have to return for more touristing, or take the time next time I have a karate course over in Estonia.

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