måndag 24 november 2014

On training and inspiration

I have had loads to do at uni lately. Most of it has been very interesting - I write about things I am interested in, after all - but one downside is that I haven't been training (no karate, no running, no other kind of working out either...) for the last two weeks. Two weeks might not sound like a very long time to some, but for me it is. And while I'll confess that it would not have been impossible to train all days, on most of the free nights I've had, I've simply been too tired. Still not sure whether I'm making up excuses or tying to learn to accept weakness...

Last month, another member of the same karate organisation initiated the tart of a women's network within it. So far the network has been about sharing experiences, memories, photos and other things - we have a closed facebook group and a smaller number f the members have also started using the same training log site. This has all been very inspiring, and  the training log has been good for my motivation when it comes to actual training. Knowing that people you know can see both how and how often you train can really be that kick in the butt you need to get going some days. But the last two weeks this has made my inactivity even more frustrating - as now everyone has been able to follow it! Embarrassing!

I'll be back (doing karate) tomorrow, and have promised myself to throw in at least one good run too this week.

onsdag 15 oktober 2014

on aging parent(s)

Had a scary moment with my 75 year-old mother this Monday. Paid her a visit (after having been away fr two days) and just noticed something was wrong. She seemed very nervous and confused, and complained about this and about feeling "lost". She kept asking about small things in her home, which all seemed strange to her - groceries she had bought, some small objects on the table, books she had got from the library, the damp clothes hung up to dry... She couldn't recall any of them and asked me, over and over again, "have you brought those? "Did you wash here?" "Can you tell me what that even is?" No matter how many times I answered the same questions, she was not able to remember the answer. She couldn't remember what she had done the past couple of days, where she had been or even whether she had eaten the same day or not. This was both shocking and scary, as she had never suffered anything like this before, nor had problems with her memory.

This state, however, passed the same evening and she saw a doctor the following morning. His conclusion after many questions and tests (I had to answer some of the questions, as she had almost no recollections of the night before) was transient global amnesia, which is not uncommon among elderly women, and that there should be no imminent danger of any kind. She will go through numerous tests next week, though, and we both hope and fear learning something more then.I still fear that this will turn out to be a symptom of something worse.

I was still shaky after all of this was over (and after a sleepless night), but trying to feel relief now. Not quite able to convince myself, though. Her aging scares me, or rather the risks that entail aging. I guess it's one of the things you will never grow used to. And how could you, as it's a changing progress itself?

I must remember to cherish the good times. I'll log out now and pay her a visit.

fredag 10 oktober 2014

Friday afternoon procrastination

Friday. Very tired today and having absolutely no motivation whatsoever. Still decided to stay around a bit longer and at least pretend to work.I find myself checking my twitter feed more than anything else. And looking through the contents on my memory stick marked "Karate". I notice now that surprisingly much of the material is unknown even to myself. And while some of it certainly very interesting, it's also definitely not what I should be doing right now. It's far too easy to be lazy when there's no one else around.Or, well, distracted might be a better word than lazy - I'm actively procrastinating after all...

My conscience isn't too bad, though. I've made progress with both theses and I don't have any impending deadline right this moment. That I know of.

Wow. This was a very necessary post.

fredag 3 oktober 2014

Update from the Yellow House

Just realised I completely forgot to update last month. Lots of things going on, most of them relating to my studies. I'm glad to say I've finally got ahead with my thesis again. AND I found an actual interest in it again, so I rarely even have to force myself to work on it anymore. I'm not only working on my masters in Ethology, but at the same time also an essay in Art theory. The later one will, or so are the plans, later be included as a chapter in my masters, and the subject for it was chosen with this in mind - I'm analysing the architectural changes done to a representational building in the town I've already been studying for my Ethnology theses.

Beside the sheer inspiration, one more thing that helps me focus right now is I got myself a key to the so called "Yellow House", a building on campus reserved for students working on their masters theses. I don't really have my own room here - you are supposed to clear your table by the end of each day in case someone else needs it - but a locker for my stuff (so I don't need to carry it back and forth) and a table that's practically become mine.

There are many things I could also mention but I'll keep it short and try to return soon enough.

söndag 31 augusti 2014

I survived Summer School

I survived Summer School! Had a great course experience again this year, but I can't remember having ever before struggled this much to recover... I returned home early last Sunday (the course having ended on Friday) and it took until the end of this week before I started to feel "normal" again. Those first couple of days back at work were one.hell.of.a.mess... Or, rather, I was. And my first karate session back home, on Thursday, was ridiculously heavy. Still, I once again came home from Britain with lots of inspiration and good points to work on, and feel very motivated about practice overall. So it was all very much worth the pain. Like I knew it would be.

Last Friday I did my last day of work at the museum. Double feelings. It will be good to have more time over for my studies, but at the same time I worry about my (closest) future - I still haven't found any job for this fall... And I defiantly refuse to go back to paper delivery... So that's one more thing on my list of things to fix. This list is always long this time of the year, with the new term starting. Oh well, back to reality it is, then.

måndag 4 augusti 2014

One of those days (or nights)

Yesterday was a heavy day. It had started the night before, a thing I heard about made me sad (no major issue, I have no idea why I reacted so strongly) and I went to bed in a bad mood. I woke up crying at 3.30 am, and couldn't get back to sleep until after 5pm. So the next morning I was not only still sad, but very tired. I didn't get too much done at work and, as the sadness passed, still felt empty inside for the rest of the day.

In the evening, I went jogging with some friends from my sports club, which seemed to kick the last pieces of miserable feelings out of my system. Amazing what physical exercise can do!

The thing is, these things don't happen too often, but still really scare me when they do. The emotional overreactions and, as in this case, the sleeplessness, are both thing that I recognize from my earlier depressions - which is exactly why these reactions scare me. I don't want to have anything like my last depression ever again. Every time this happens there's the fear of it not passing this time... Once again, I'm, happy it did. Relieved.

Today I have my weekly day off. And two weeks my vacation. I'll be careful not to pack any kind of work - a real challenge every year.

lördag 26 juli 2014


The talk of the town today - especially in my old home town - is certainly the Pride march that happened earlier today. In small-town Jakobstad, a town of just about 20 000 citizens; in Ostrobotnia, western Finland, which is considered quite a conservative area - or the "bible belt", 2500 happy people marched together through town together, watched and applauded by a similar number of spectators. Amazing! I wish I could have been there to witness it all and participate myself! Instead, I sat at work following the facebook and twitter feeds from the event, looking at all the pictures and comments and, for once, feeling a growing pride in my home town!

I don't think anyone could have anticipated just how many happy people would take part in the event, either to express themselves or to show their support for others, nor quite how positive the general feedback was, once it happened. The organizers started planning this event about a year ago, and since then the debate has been on, reminding us all of how much prejudice there is, to the point where you simply have to stay away from the comments section at all if you wanted to stay sane... This has, of course, also been an important and symbolic year in Finland, considering LGBITQ rights. There has been much (needed!) debate following the Tahdon-initiative (have mentioned that earlier - found here.) and this initiative surely helped keep that discussion alive.

Today, though, the trolls must have gone into hiding - I have read comments (Yes. My own fault.) about "feeling forced to leave town over the weekend" or choosing to boycott the entire local festival (An annual happening, culminating this weekend. Does not relate to the pride march) - so the whole thing seems to have gone down peacefully. Ans some believe that all the negativity and prejudice displayed in the debates might have been the spark needed for many to make the choice to take part and show their support. And so many did! I am both happy and proud!

Of course I realize this is no proof of an entire town suddenly having grown more liberal or tolerant, but it is a great leap of a first step, and I doubt that anyone will forget this party in the first place!

måndag 21 juli 2014

July. On work and such...

Been a while again.

July has, so far, been a bit more hectic than June. Which is good, in a way - more visitors at the museum is always technically good after all - but also means I am tired most of the time. Today, Monday, I have my weekly day off. Until now, it's been spent at uni, working on things I don't have the time or energy to do on most nights. I used to have this idea that I'd do something fun every Monday but now I never really seem to find the time for that, after all. Or the energy. Time and time again I ask myself whether it really was that smart to use all of my vacation days (six days ) on a one-week trip in August. It does heighten my expectations on that week, to say the least - this year it will have to be good to be worth it... But I bet it will.

Had a short visit by friends from back home this weekend, which was great fun! But lots of catching up and too little time, as so often happens. Will be strange not to go up north for a visit this year, and this is the week I'd normally do that.

I'm quite satisfied with the writing I've done today, but wish I had one more day off (a "Sunday" following this "Saturday") to use for other things, like cleaning my flat...

söndag 6 juli 2014

Quote of the day

"Your memory is a monster; you forget - it doesn't. It simply files everything away. It keeps things for you, or hides things from you - and summons them to your recall with will of its own. You think you have a memory; but it has you."

John Irwing, A Prayer for Owen Meany

torsdag 3 juli 2014

Work, work.

I have now spent just over two mostly grey, rainy weeks guiding at the industrial museum. The first week was quite quiet, but since midsummer the stream of visitors has been growing steadily and these last couple of days have even been a bit hectic! I'm enjoying it so far, but my weak Finnish is still a complex - no matter how well I try to learn the material, it can still be frustratingly difficult to answer spontaneous questions from visitors. Sometimes because I don't know the answer (this happens particularly often with local visitors, who tend to be familiar with the history represented and whom I sometimes suspect of asking merely to test my knowledge) but just as often because I am not able to answer in Finnish. Very annoying, and also embarrassing. Still, I like my job and now mostly worry about the fall. (as I still don't know what I'll be doing after August, job-wise.)

At first, I found it hard to work six days a week, but I think I'm getting used to it now. It's interesting to have Mondays off - my "weekend" starts right where everyone else's ends. I try to think of something fun or inspiring to do every Monday,  not to miss weekends too much. I'll get back to you on the Monday projects later.

fredag 13 juni 2014

Friday 13th

This has been such a messy day. I started it by - for the second time this week - missing the bus to Pargas, which made me late for work in the morning. And almost soon as I got started, I messed things up again. These past couple of days I've been going through a collection old things, moving them to a more suitable storage facility, and photo documenting every moved object in the process. I had just returned to doing that when I, wanting to delete a bad shot, accidentally deleted every picture on that camera. Every. Single. One. I had been using that camera all afternoon yesterday, when I had a particularly effective day. So most of today has been spent trying to correct that mistake by first figuring out which objects I needed to shoot again, and then re-shooting all of them. And worrying about whether or not I would mess something else up. At least I was able to finish it. So when my work day ended, I was just slightly past the point where I had started. Oh, joy.

The bus trip back home felt especially good today.

måndag 9 juni 2014

on work and karate

I've been at my new job for a week now, and missed the morning bus for the first time today. Interestingly enough, I was still the first person there. My boss was also late (family reasons) so it wasn't a problem after all. Still felt like shit watching the bus drive off right in front of my nose, though... Very much a Monday.

I haven't started actually guiding yet, that will be when the museum opens next week. I'm quite sure it will be fun, but still slightly worried about guiding in Finnish. Spent the end of last week (among other things) putting together a long list of Finnish terms to teach myself...

One surprising thing I have learned to appreciate about my job is the commuting. The bus ride isn't too long, takes about 40 minutes depending on the hour, and I found myself liking it. I usually spend it reading, and I have so many books on my reading list right now - as in list of books I actually want to read, nothing mandatory. Already finished two Vonnegut novels and now reading The sound of a wild snail eating....

Sadly, it looks like I'll be missing out on the upcoming karate course. I would only be able to attend half the course and, having now checked the details around all possible travel arrangements, it simply doesn't seem possible to go after work on Friday, unless I want to finally show up sometime well after three o'clock in the morning, after having caught a ride from Tallinn with that mystery driver I have not yet found...  This bugs the hell out of me, as this course (the June course, or "Nordic Summer School") is one of my favorites, and something i look forward to every spring - no less when it is in Estonia, as this summer... I guess I'll just have to attend our normal sessions as often as I can, and of course look forward to the big Summer School in Canterbury in August... I double checked with my boss that I can take that entire week off, so at least I should have that covered!

onsdag 4 juni 2014

Tired but happy

I was very happy to belatedly return my work keys last night. I've now had my third day at my new job, and so far I've been very happy with it - even though I spent most of the last two days cleaning. My next task is simply to learn as much as I can about the place and the exhibitions, so that I can guide visitors properly. Even having regular work hours feels good, especially after having submitted everything I've been writing on this spring (Yes - except for the thesis).

I was also most happy to return to regular karate practice last night, after not having trained for weeks (due to us not having a venue). Things worked out surprisingly well, considering the break, and I look forward to training again on Thursday!

fredag 23 maj 2014

...and a quote

"Maybe there’s a universe where I’m the right person for you. Where I adore every nice thing you did for me without starting to resent you. A universe where you actually end up with someone who appreciates you. Where no one becomes a doormat. Where both of us can shed our baggage and curiosity and issues. A universe where we’re happy without wondering if that happiness is some messed-up Jenga game ready to topple at the slightest quiver. A universe where we’re comfortable and sure. Where I don’t second guess everything and I’m not afraid of commitment and of the future and of love. Maybe there’s a universe without all the noise in my head and the pride that makes me so fiercely independent and the coldness in my heart that I can turn on and off like a security fence."
Gaby Dunn

Before the summer

The weather is still warm and lovely, but I hardly have time to enjoy it. When this week is over, I have only one more week to finish everything  before the summer - as I will be working every five to six days a week, I can't expect to have much time to write during the summer months. What I am writing on right now is the probably least inspiring group of essays I've had to do in years... While the sun is shining outside. Do I even need to mention that the progress is excruciatingly slow?

Sunday is election day for the European Parliament.  I still can't believe the number of people who chose to show their dissatisfaction by not voting - no less considering how common it is to complain about the European Union and the bad decision-making of the parliament... Many voters also seem to gather behind candidates who are simply "against" the European Union, which I find quite naive. How can anyone expect to change things simply by complaining about how little you like them? (Or, in the case of not voting, not even complaining. Choosing to just stay quiet.)

måndag 19 maj 2014

Sunshine is my new drug

It looks like the belated and longed for spring might finally be here after all. I seem to have more energy than I've had in a long time. Yesterday I went for my longest jog yet this year. Even though I waited until the evening, the weather was almost too hot. Still felt great afterwards, though (in spite of a slight dehydration)! I'm not sure whether I've written this before or not, but I've been surprised this spring of how little my allergies have bothered me when exercising! I still have no idea as to why, but so far I have not suffered one single allergy attack while, nor after, running. I have not done anything different that I can think of, I even exercised less last winter than I'd done the past couple of years, and I haven't changed my medicine (I still go for your average anti-histamines) or anything, but for some reason my health has just been better this spring than "ever" before! Which also means that it's so much easier for me to enjoy running - lovely! Strange, but lovely!

(Oh, I see now that I commented on this a couple of posts ago.)

One more thing that's going well at he moment is my artwork. Suddenly, missing pieces just appeared! Now I just wish I had more time to put on it. I still have deadlines to catch at uni, so I don't quite have the courage to really throw myself into my art just yet. I should probably also look into getting some new canvases, rather than just picking around on my old, un- or half finished ones... Not that I wouldn't love to finish them of course, I'm just starting to realise that it might never happen.And it would be interesting to try out some of the new ideas on fresh surfaces, to really start from scratch for once.

Have to go now (dinner at mum's). Will seriously try to keep up here on the blog. The longer it takes, the harder it is to write...

tisdag 29 april 2014

Quotes of the day

Working on my thesis and reading Hewison:

"Whatever the true figures for productivity and employment, this country is gripped by the perception that it is in decline. The heritage industry is an attempt to dispel this climate of decline by exploiting the economic potential of our culture, and it finds a market because the perception of decline includes all sorts of insecurities and doubts that make its products especially attractive and reassuring."
"Instead of manufacturing goods, we are manufacturing heritage, a commodity which nobody seems able to define but which everybody is eager to sell, in particular these cultural institutions that can no longer rely on government funds as they did in the past. Which means every single one, from the universities to the Arts council."

Oh. The sarcasm.

måndag 28 april 2014

writing and running


I'm getting ahead on my master's, and I've been glad to learn that it is much easier than writing your bachelor's - especially as I chose to continue on the same subject. The subject is somewhat familiar now, and the writing itself is easier, which I guess is a sign of development. I actually enjoy the work, so far at least. It feels interesting again, after having had a very necessary brake from it while writing on other projects.

One more thing that is going surprisingly well right now is my running! Not only have I finally got my arse out of the door and started again, but the return has not been even half as hard as I imagined it to be. Yesterday I did my longest jog so far, since starting again that is, and even pushed myself more than before, but I was still able to enjoy it - no allergy attack (which is what I fear the most), just a slight dehydration... I've been positively surprised at how little trouble my pollen allergy has given me so far this spring. Now I should just return to karate practice too, more than once every second week or so.

onsdag 23 april 2014

Update on this and that

I can't believe how fast this spring is passing. Around yesterday it was still February, as far as I remember... I do enjoy the warm, sunny spring weather, I just wish there was more left of it.

I don't remember whether I already mentioned this or not, but right now my brother is staying here in Turku until sometime the end of this month. This is the first time in.. I don't even remember how many years that my entire family is gathered all in the same town (not counting the occasional weekend or Christmas holiday). Feels a bit strange, up until now Turku has been "my" town. Still nice to be able to spend time together and catch up, of course. My mother's move is not yet finished - she resides in Turku now, but loads of stuff are packed/still unpacked up in Jakobstad, awaiting the next step. I don't know when that will be. Sometimes I think I wouldn't mind moving myself, but I refuse to do it before all this is over. In a family of three, you really don't need more than two members moving at the same time.

Some progress considering my studies. Not much, but slow. Two more coures to finish this spring, waiting to receive credits for one more finished one, and still work (most of it, to be honest) to do on my masters. I naively plan to write on it this summer, as I'll be working quite short days. We'll see.

I wonder what happened to my blogging. I'm doing lots of interesting things, but never seem to gather the energy/inspiration/motivation/whatever to write about any of them here. And when I do blog, I end up with texts like this one - rarely about anything in partcular. Hmmm...

tisdag 25 mars 2014

post-weekend update

I was going to post yesterday, but accidentally deleted the post and was after that too pissed off to re-write it. Here's a slightly shorter version of it:

First of all: Two of the jobs I had applied for let me know that they wanted me, so I had the hard luxury problem of picking one of them. Chose the one that seemed more challenging .Will be working at a museum, starting June. Very happy about this, and enjoyed telling my old job I cannot work for them anymore after May. Still have to find something nice for the fall, though.

Last weekend was good. My brother paid a short one-night visit to Turku so I met him on Friday. He has just sold his flat in Stockholm and is now planning a move to Spain. In the evening I joined a friend to a concert, Swaying Wires played a release gig at Dynamo. Good gig, but felt short, I kept expecting the second set that never came...

The rest of the weekend was spent in Iitti (south-eastern Finland) attending a short weekend (three-session) karate course. This was a great experience, with good training and great hospitality. Will be happy to return at any time! We were quite a small group training this time, but there are also good aspects of that, like more feedback from the course instructors. The only thing troubling me was the back problem I got from work last Thursday... Had to sit one session, so took lots of photos. Now trying to chose which ones to share on facebook.

The article on death is going forward, but not the English in-class presentation. More and more clueless about it. Oh well, I still have just over a week to prepare it.

fredag 14 mars 2014

exciting work-related headline goes here... (No. I'm keeping this one.)

Waiting to hear from two different eventual future workplaces. I've applied for internships for this summer, and so far been interviewed for two of them. Both interviews were surprisingly nice experiences! The interviewers asked only relevant questions, answered my questions, and seemed more focused on letting me learn about the places in general and the tasks and other details linked to my eventual work there. In both cases I left the interview with a more more positive image of the place, than I had had before. So, of course I hope to receive a positive answer from at least one of them. Still have some places left to apply for, though.

 At Uni, things are... well, quite interesting right now, to be honest. Except for just having started on my masters, I'm also currently working on an article... on Death! Or, rather, on writing about death. Still fascinating, though! It's inspiring to work on a subject this new to me, after having stuck to more "relevant" (to e.g. my thesis) subjects for quite a while. And today, by shear coincidence, I found one more article to use! I might or might not use the same (or a similar) theme for an upcoming presentation in English, but haven't quite decided on this yet. Bo Lönnqvist, who is one of the scholars I'm referring to in this work, will be giving a lecture on the subject here at Uni next week, so looking forward to that!

Library closing, have to log out. Happy weekend everyone!

tisdag 11 mars 2014

One of "those" days again

There have been lots of changes this winter, big and small. Even the good changes can be hard to go through, as they still force you to leave behind not only the old picture, but also the hopes and dreams, the imagined possibilities that related to it. And even though the change might be for the better, you will still find yourself feeling empty without these dreams and possible futures. (You never realize what a major part of your day they are until they are suddenly not needed anymore)

Yesterday I had one of "those" days again. Nothing particularly bad happened, the day (or I) was just wrong from the start. I had to force myself out of bed and off to Uni, and then, returning home in the end of the day, I was so exhausted (from doing not too much) I just cried. And hid myself under the blanket for most of the evening. I hadn't even really done that much, I was just out of energy right from the start. Even being around people was enough.

söndag 26 januari 2014

right now

I realise I've hardly written at all this month. I've been lost for words again. It's not like I wouldn't have had anything to say, but... no words.

January has been an interesting month so far. There's always so much more happening this time of the year than in the fall - and I like it. I like juggling many things and not yet knowing which projects will turn out well or, for that sake, even finish. At the same time I'm looking forward and trying to plan at least for the closest future. Why am I even writing this? Guess I'm trying to get started again. Be back in February, by the looks of it.

torsdag 9 januari 2014

the jar of awesome revisited - again

A couple of days into the new year it hit me: I had completely forgotten to open the Jar of Awesome! So I did. (Truth to be told, the notes had, by the end of the year, to be stores in two separate jars because there was so many of them...)

I then sat down and read them all, and was in some cases surprised by the things I had written about - I had never guessed that they would be so different, rather expected most of them to be about things like training... I also decided to repeat the project this year.

 Earlier posts about the project can be found here and here.

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