Tuesday, October 26, 2004


...to mention one of the most definite joys of staying at mom&dad's. Sauna. Ahh. Wonderful. I feel about as stiff as a blob of something jellyfish-like. Which is to say, not stiff at all but warm and wobbly instead. I don't know if the jellyfish feel warm when they wobble, but I'm warm now. And wobbly. And not about to think of a better way to describe this relaxed state I'm in. :) This'll do, I'll save my witty remarks for the students tomorrow.

Ta ta.

Monday, October 25, 2004

The joys and aaarrrggghs of living at home

I'm staying at mom&dad's for a few days to save in fuel (and grocery) costs. This way I don't have to drive from Turku to Nousiainen and back again every day. And I get free food, which is always nice. But most of all, I'm so happy my work load is a bit lighter to carry when mom's here to help me plan my lessons and give me advice. I'm most definitely avoiding quite a few anxiety attacks this way. :)

I'm feeling a bit peculiar about all of this, however. I sat in the sauna last night and thought about my situation. I live with my parents (even if for only a few days a week), I go to the same school I used to almost 10 years ago and what is the most pathetic part of it all, I still drive the same car I used to almost 10 years ago. Thank goodness I've so far managed to remember to go to the teachers' lounge in the morning instead of staying in the hallway with the students, like 10 years ago...

Funnily enough I feel terribly young and not very adult in the teachers' lounge. There are a few teachers who are about my age, but I still feel younger than they. Weird. I do know I am an adult and quite capable of doing my job properly teaching the kids, but still - most of the older teachers are my old teachers. It's nice in a way, because I know all the people and the places, but odd in a lot of ways. In a positive way odd, I mean.

What of the aaarrrggghs then? Well, not many of those, except for this darned modem. The phones were actually dead for a while when I was trying to log on and gosh, how frustrating is that when you're used to a nice ADSL connection at home. Plus the modem likes to cut me off every once and a while and it gets mighty irritating after a while. Oh well. Better to log off anyhow, before dad comes to remind me of the phone bill...

Oh, before I go, I do have to mention that yesterday I, once again, demonstrated how totally incapable I am of saying no. I'm now a newly chosen member of the Turku Science Fiction Society's board. I did try to stay out of it, but they managed to convince me that the editor of Spin needs to be in the board too. So I'm back after a few year's glorious break in meetings and trivial tasks. I have, however, quite clearly stated that I will not take on any other responsibilities besides editing the magazine. And may any deity help me, if I still end up with something more to do...

Gotta go now, need to go chat with mom about the grand finale of Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code. Mom just finished the book and is quite likely just as taken by it as I was. Wonderful piece of literature. Extremely readable and entertaining. :)

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Tough decisions

My gosh. I'm having such difficulties deciding who to vote for tomorrow in the communal elections. For me the communal elections are actually more a question of finding a good person for the job than voting for a particular party, since I'm not exactly a steady supporter of any of the parties. Aagh. Well, I have till tomorrow to think about this, the most important thing is to vote anyway.

Mom got out of the hospital yesterday. Everything had gone well and mom seemed quite cheery when I quickly went to see her at home, before dashing back to Turku with my brother. She'll have a nice sick leave, since she isn't allowed to lift anything that weighs over 1 kg, which means dad'll have to do all the housework for a month and mom can concentrate on reading light novels & watching good movies while I do all her work at school. Not altogether a bad deal. :)

Well, I seem to run out of things to ponder, so that's it for today. :)

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Older? Yes. Wiser? Probably not.

So there. I'm older. Whee. Don't feel that different at all. Oh, my back still aches and I have a cold I have to ignore because of work and I'm tired as heck, but that's just business as usual. Can't complain.

My day began quite nicely. I had to wake up bright and shiny well before 7 a.m., which, in case I haven't mentioned it before, is pure torture to me. But I managed. Took a shower, got dressed and got some breakfast to go with my newspaper. All of a sudden, my doorbell rings. Before 8 a.m., who in goodness' name can it be? I opened the door and got a hug. :) Lovely. My darling friend Satu had decided to pop by on her way to work, just to come and hug me and give me a birthday present. That's just utterly lovely, but then again, that's Satu for you. She'd gotten me a cake knife (or a cake slice, as it says on the package). Just perfect! :) I've invited her over for coffee and cake (or pie) every once and a while and I guess she took pity on me - I've never had a proper cake knife. Now I do, thank you ever so much! *hug*

Well, that was about all the celebrating I got to do today. Day at work went well, the students seemed to greet me with a good attitude and the program for the day wasn't too stressing. I even managed to plan most of tomorrow's lessons at school while the seniors wrote their essays. Wonderful.

I just got a message from dad, he'd called mom in the hospital. The operation had gone well, but mom was still a bit drugged up after all of it. No wonder though, she'd been under anesthesia for three hours, at least. Quite a trip to the la-la-land. I'm glad that everything went well and I'll be even more glad to see her tomorrow.

I probably had a dozen or so more things to babble about, but I find myself nodding off. Better to log out before the post becomes totally incomprehensible. Zzz.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Monday mumblings

I can't claim I hate Mondays like Garfield does, but this Monday has found me less than excited about, well, mostly everything. I'm beginning to get a bit anxious about mom's surgery (although it's a routine operation and she'll be in and out of the hospital within 24 hours on Thursday-Friday) and the month of work that begins on Thursday because of that surgery. Stress, stress. Besides that, my back hurts.

I woke up wanting to curl myself into a tight ball, because that was the only way my back didn't ache. I'm beginning to think it's my bed's fault. Thanks to dancing, I've never had problems with my back before, but this past summer things have changed. And now it's beginning to get very irritating. I think I may have to start saving up for a decent bed or a lot of massages...

My gosh, did I just complain about an aching back? Aiee, I'm really getting old! :) Pitiful, this is.

Weekend was nice, though. I even managed to enjoy myself at the sixties party, even though I had felt a bit non-festive before. I was very happy with my hair and makeup and actually my whole outfit. Mom's dress was cute and I even had the boots to match. Boots that one of the young men in the party told me were "fuck-me-boots"! *a shocked gasp* I beg to differ! My boots, although almost knee-high, are very conservative and so not what he said they were. I'm not that desperate! And besides, even if the boots were like that (which I refuse to believe), they haven't been of much help lately, hah. Mostly because I don't use them anymore... He did say, grinning, that maybe not all the men realize the nature of the boots and the ones that do, are too young. Ok, so what was that all about, anyway? Do I have a young admirer now? Geez, I feel old. :)

One more thing about the men in the party. I got them all kneeling down. Very obediently. :) I was the master of ceremonies for 10 minutes during the evening and someone suggested I should order a punishment (which is a drink) to the men who didn't kneel voluntarily when we sang a song for the ladies who had worked in the kitchen. As I'm so fond of men kneeling down, I agreed that the suggestion was appropriate and should be enforced. Fun, fun. The joy didn't last for long, though, since we girls got a punishment drink immediately afterwards for not burning our bras as the theme of the party would've required.

Bridget Jones' Diary was on TV last night. I so relate to that character and I so think Mr. Darcy is yummy. After watching the movie I had to watch an episode of Pride and Prejudice - only to gawk on Colin Firth a bit more... I borrowed my Hornblower-DVD to my brother, so I can't drool over Ioan for now - a dose of Mr. Darcy was a good remedy indeed. I'm a bit worried about the upcoming new version of Pride and Prejudice though. I don't think they'll be able to cast anyone as convincing as Mr. Darcy than Colin Firth. But the new Bridget Jones -movie is hopefully as good as the first one was. It'll be interesting to see how they've decided to handle the plot twist of Bridget wanting to meet Colin Firth since Colin will already be playing Mark Darcy... I've kept myself quite well uninformed about the production news, so if anyone out there knows the answer to my un-asked question, please do not spoil the experience for me. Thanks.

Gotta go wash the dishes now. No fun, blah.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

What's cooking?

At the moment, apples. I'm expanding my expertise in the kitchen. :) I can't very well expect to live my life without knowing how to make apple jam. Or puréed apples, I suppose. Luckily it isn't difficult at all, so there, yet another skill I can say I have. It smells wonderful in my kitchen now, makes me feel like I should be making pancakes or something, too.

Probably should not do that, however. Tonight I'm going to a sixties theme party and there's going to be food there. So I'm saving some room for that. I'm not in a good party mood right now, unfortunately. The only thing that keeps me from staying at home and renting a movie instead is the fact that I already paid for the party and won't get my money back if I don't show up.

Well, there is another reason, now that I think of it. I borrowed an authentic sixties dress from mom and it's going to be fun to wear that for the evening. Grandma made it herself for mom and the fabric is a nice Marimekko-design. It's as retro as they get! Add an old (huge) Kalevala-pendant, boots, appropriate makeup & hairdo and voilá, I'm a sixties girl. I think I have to choose a favourite Beatle to be more authentic. I don't think I'll pick Ringo. I suppose it'll have to be Paul or John. :)

I'm just a wee bit worried about the hair and makeup part. Especially the hairdo is going to be somewhat problematic, since I have two left hands when it comes to doing something with my hair... I'll have to see if I can find a ribbon of some kind, they used to be popular accessories (I spent much of last night surfing different sixties fashion sites...). I could just go with pigtails then. :) About as complicated a hairdo I'll ever manage by myself.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Still alive!

Whee, I survived the week of work! Out of the 18 lessons I had planned, only about 4 were sort of poor and very boring. The topic was just a motivational black hole. I talked with mom (I'm so glad I have her to help me in these situations!) quite a few times during the week and she told me she usually teaches that topic in an hour or so. I had to stretch the subject for friggin' five hours! I'm not least bit surprised that the history of the Finnish language or the Finno-Ugric language family made some students nod off. Well, of course, if I'd had some more materials and experience, I would've been able (maybe) to keep everyone awake (myself included...), but what can you do. No interesting materials, no interesting lessons. But luckily I had at least 4 quite good lessons on different subject matters to balance the week. :)

I have a week to recover, mom will begin her sick-leave on Thursday and from then on I'll be driving back and forth to Nousiainen almost daily for a month. I think I may have to stay with mom&dad every once and a while, otherwise all the money I'll be making will be spent on gas before I even get my first paycheck.

Money, unfortunately, makes me a terrible shopaholic. Now that I know I've got some money coming my way, I've already made a few orders... I'll be getting a few books from Amazon.co.uk and after I get a Visa (I'll have to go and apply for one, heh) I'll order the boxed set of all the episodes of Horatio Hornblower! Can't wait! :) But I've decided I deserve some pampering after all this (and all the upcoming) hard work. Besides, I need to buy myself a few birthday presents! It's such a good excuse.

Birthday, gosh. I'll be 27 years come next Thursday. Yikes. It seems a lot. Yes, yes, it's clearly less than 30 or 35 or whatever, but it still seems a lot. Especially when I think what I've achieved in life. Which isn't that much, if one judges by the standards the society sometimes seems to support. I haven't got a husband (or even a boyfriend), I haven't graduated from the University yet (getting there, though), I haven't got a steady job, I don't own my apartment, I don't have a dog or a nice car (but at least a car of some sort, that's good) and what else... Sounds like I'm a major looser. :) But the heck with it, I'm not! I'm just working my way up to a proper middle class life and it seems to take a while. Next year this time the situation may be completely different, which is a motivating thought.

I should be glad though that I don't live in the 17th century, for example. I'd be considered an old hag or a pitied spinster by now, for sure! What made me pick that century as an example was the wonderful movie I watched last night. Girl with a Pearl Earring. Just beautiful. I remember I had to copy the painting by Vermeer in art class in high school and I liked it a lot. It's a touching and delicate piece of art. The movie told a possible story behind the painting. The story of Griet is of course complete fiction, but it provided for many magical moments between the characters. The implied forbidden love (a maid and a master artist) never got further than a few hesitant touches or looks, but the sensual and erotic tension between Griet and Jan Vermeer was portrayed skillfully. The more probable identity of the girl in the portrait according to experts is Vermeer's daughter, but where's the fun in that, then? And by the way, Colin Firth was very handsome as master Vermeer!

On with the day, I really have to do something else today too, than just sit by the computer. :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Knights in shining armour shop at Versarchery

They make such good movies for kids. Especially when they think also of the parents accompanying their kids to the movies and underestimate neither the kids nor the older members of the audience. Shrek 2 was such a movie, saw it last night. My gosh how I laughed already during the first five minutes! Clever (and downright hilarious) intertextualities and references to modern popular culture, witty dialogue, likeable characters (I love the donkey, he's so darned annoying and adorable at the same time) and the story, although quite simple, will keep even an adult entertained. Oh, and the soundtrack is just groovy. :) Many thanks to Tytti and Jani, who dared me to go to the movies with them even though I had to work today. Now I have the image of cute little donkey-dragons (dongons? drakeys?) hopping around to think of whenever I feel gloomy. Instant cheer-up. I think those little critters were even cuter than the Puss in Boots. :)

Working has been ok. The students seem nice enough, and my lesson planning hasn't failed me once. (I actually should be doing tomorrows plans now, but I'll get to it in just a few minutes...) Tomorrow I get to show parts of the presidential debate again, so at least one lesson is already well planned.

The only thing bothering me about this job is actually the teachers' lounge and the atmosphere in there. I felt practically invisible yesterday. I tried to participate in a discussion about some materials for history classes (and I did have something of value to say) but I was so completely ignored it was sort of funny. It seems like in this school the history teachers are the sort of old-fashioned elderly teachers, who talk loudly about their views and aren't that eager to listen to others. Today I witnessed a loud conversation, where one of the history teachers was complaining something about her daughter's school matters and the other history teacher got all very supportive and together they were bashing this other school. Enter a third teacher (who wasn't a history teacher) and the result in just a few moments was three people talking on top of each other and none listening to what the others were saying. Gosh, I hope I never become anything like that.

The Finnish teachers however are a bit younger, at least the ones I've met now, and they have been very nice. This is exactly what the life of a substitute teacher is. You have to put up all your barriers to go in front of the class the first times until you get to know the students a bit and when you go down to the teachers' lounge, you aren't exactly a member of that little community either. A stranger between two worlds, of sorts. Can't wait to get a real and steady job so I could actually begin to feel comfortable somewhere.

Well, so much for blogging for now. Have to plan those lessons, since I have to go to a meeting soon. I hope I get everything mostly done by that, so I don't have to do much in the middle of the night...

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Learning things the hard way

Aarggghh. I was just about to publish a post I had written (only moderately long this time) and decided to preview it and check that the links I had put into it actually worked. I clicked on the first one and got the right image and tried to return to the preview page. It had disappeared along with all the links and all the text. Dammit! I'm so mad at this darned program at the moment that I'm not even going to try to recreate the post I had written earlier.

The only thing I will put also into this posting is this. The one thing that cheered me up today when I had huge problems with planning tomorrow's lessons. I'll get back to posting whenever my bloodpressure allows it. Until then I will be staring at the above mentioned picture.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Sure signs of the approaching winter

Winter is really coming. Not that you'd believe it if you looked out of the window right now. One more beautiful day of fall, sun shining from a bright sky. But the weather forecasts are claiming that it'll be snowing tonight. At least in Lapland. I hope that doesn't happen here, I'm going to go to Suvi and Pasi's party by bike and snow doesn't fit into that picture.

And the other signs? Well, first of all, the small ice cream stand in the corner of the park I live next to, has been taken away. The owner will haul it back sometime in April, usually, which naturally is a sure sign of summer for me. But during the winter months ice cream has to be bought from the grocery store. How dull.

Second sign is, if possible, even clearer. I just found out that one my favourite ciders is being sold again. Whee! Someone in the marketing department of the brewery has had the bright idea of naming it Winter Cider (or something like that) and naturally it's only sold in the winter. And what makes it a wintery taste? Vanilla, apparently. I'm sorry, but I just don't get it. How is vanilla any less a summer taste than it is a winter taste? Am I supposed to quit liking vanilla for the summer? Not going to happen, you hear? I want to buy vanilla cider also in the summer, because I like it the year around.

Watched an interesting movie last night. I tried to find Wilde or Great Expectations to see more of Ioan Gruffudd (yes, Tytti, I was about to go on with the theme of the day...), but the video rental place didn't have either of them. Or at least I couldn't find them. So I ended up renting a movie called Shattered Glass. It came out last year, I think, and was about a young reporter who falsified most of the articles he wrote for the respected magazine The New Republic.

Quite a story, I have to say. What was even more interesting was the short interview of the real people who were working with mr. Glass when all the events actually took place in 1998. I felt kind of sorry for the young man (Stephen Glass), he's got a permanent reputation of a pathological liar now and it wasn't even sure whether he'd be allowed to practice law in New York due to this questionable trait in his character. Poor guy. He made some seriously stupid decisions in his youth and sure will pay for them for the rest of his life. Not to mention the bills he's sure to receive from his therapist. But I think he gets those covered by selling his novel, written about a young reporter who makes his stories up... Way to recover, mr. Glass.

Friday, October 08, 2004

The power of media

Go me. I did a good job lecturing about the presidential elections of the US today and yesterday. I think. The students seemed to be genuinely interested and asked very good questions. And made excellent comments on the clips of the first debate I showed them.

I'm not a political person, far from it, at least when it comes to standard party politics. Lately there have been a few people who have said I should get involved, but actually I enjoy other ways of making a difference, like teaching high school kids about the Finnish democracy (and telling them they have a responsibility to vote as soon as they are able to). But even though the game of politics as such isn't my favourite thing, I've enjoyed digging into the US presidential campaign a lot. I've surfed all the official sites of the two main parties and both senator Kerry and president Bush. Absolutely fascinating. Especially the role of media in today's politics. It doesn't seize to amaze me how detailed the planning is behind the seemingly flawless performances of the candidates.

The first "debate" for example. Rules, rules, rules. In these vast documents the representatives of both parties had compiled, were regulations on the distance between the two podiums, camera angles, what type of pencils the candidates would have available for them... and the list just goes on. It's easy to undestand why the republican side would be interested in the distance of the podiums. If the candidates would've been too close to each other, senator Kerry would've seemed every inch as tall as he is, while president Bush would've seemed shorter. So what, one might think, that's just the way it is. But think again. Throughout human history it has been obvious that the strong, tall people are the fit & able ones (as mislead as that conception may have been at times). Many leaders in world history have been tall. Many short military leaders have worn tall hats to compensate. Nowadays we know that the employers tend to hire taller people (I read an article on that some time ago, unfortunately most of the details escape me). Ergo, when it's absolutely necessary to make use of every psychological weapon in the arsenal, you set the podiums so that it's not that obvious that the other candidate is taller than the other. In that way the primal gut instinct of "taller is better" won't kick in. The whole campaign is full of these details. It's a media war and every single psychological weapon will be used, whether subtle or not. (And I won't even go to the rhetorics of the speeches, which are every bit as interesting as the ways of influencing the subconscious through the gimmicks of modern media.)

What I really hope is that all my American friends do go and vote on November 2nd. And that all my Finnish friends vote in the local elections on October 24th. That's my little piece of propaganda for the day. Vote! :)

Whee, it's Friday already! Whee and yikes. I have to get some serious work done this weekend with the lesson plans for next week or I'll be in trouble. Luckily it will be easy to avoid the "all work and no play" -type of weekend, since Suvi and Pasi are having their house warming party tomorrow. Whee. I expect it to be quite literally that. They have a small apartment in the student village and I think there'll be at least as many people there as there are square metres available. :) Have to remember not to wear a thick sweater, I suppose. It'll be fun though, I'm sure. There's bound to be some new people there besides all my old friends, which'll be refreshing.

Oops, have to go and check on the dinner. It'll be overcooked in a moment, if it's not that already...

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Somewhat annoyed

What is going on with this blog? I got a message from a friend that the Pool has disappeared. When I tried to see for myself, it had indeed gone missing. All I got was a blank page when I tried to view the actual blog. I was already writing a very annoyed message to the Blogger support team, when the page suddenly reappeared. So what the heck was that all about anyway? I'd like to keep my blog visible, thank you very much.

Another annoying thing. Or maybe not annoying, but disappointing. You got it. My car didn't pass the check up. Not for the reason(s) I was afraid it wouldn't (the exhaust or the brakes - and please excuse me again, if I get my terminology confused, I'm no engineer...), but because a part of the brakes, a disk of some sort (jarrulevy, for those of us who speak fluent Finnish, heh), was just a bit too corroded. Humm. As I consult my advanced learner's dictionary a bit better, it seems that the disk is actually "a rotating plate at the centre of a car wheel". Right. Now that we got that settled, I can say dammit. This means I have a month to fix the matter (back to the repair man again) and then I have to take the car to another check-up. And it costs money, surprise surprise.

The guy who did the tests was kind enough to comfort me that those plates (or disks or whatever) aren't that expensive, though. Well, that's good news, but the bad news is that I really don't have that money either. Or to be more precise, I wouldn't want to spend much on this car anymore. Every full tank of gas probably triples the value of the vehicle anyway, so you can probably understand my point... I shouldn't be complaining though - if I'm going to have to drive around in this car, I think I'm better off if it's at least not broken. I think I do have to appreciate brakes. They are handy sometimes while driving, I suppose. :)

In addition to all this, I think I'm coming down with yet another cold. My throat is sore and my temperature is a bit high. This is absolutely the last thing I need right now. I have to be able to work next week, and this week also. Not much fun giving a lecture, if there's no sound coming out of the lecturer? Gosh, I hope this is just a result of not sleeping enough last night.

Yes, I have only myself to blame for that, because I stayed up last night and watched the rest of the Horatio Hornblower movie. Or miniseries. I'm so totally confused by the format of the thing that it's downright annoying. How appropriate for the day. Then, I tried to search for more of the Hornblower-series on DVD, but I couldn't find any region 2 box sets listed. Not in amazon.co.uk anyhow. Annoying! I guess I'll have to continue looking. I'd very much like to have more of Ioan in my DVD-collection. ;)

That's probably the least annoyed thought I can produce at this point, so I'm going to make that my closing today. More Ioan for me. Please. :)

Monday, October 04, 2004


I've got wheels again! I'm free! I don't have to bike around to get around unless I want to! Whee! *knock on wood*

Yes, I got my dear old grumpy car back. The door handle isn't broken anymore! Isn't life wonderful? Well, yes it is, at least till tomorrow morning, when I take the car to the annual check-up. I'm afraid that there is something wrong with the car still and it won't pass the tests and then I have to take it back to be repaired again and that costs more and the new check-up costs more... Oh well, I suppose it's not very smart to worry about it now, the car has had a wonderful habit of surprising me by passing the tests every once and a while. Maybe this'll be one of those years again.

Today I went to see the Finnish teacher I'm going to be substituting for next week. She seemed nice enough, but somehow I got the impression she wasn't a hundred percent sure I could do the job. It wasn't anything she said directly, but I just had that feeling. Well, I'm sure I can manage, I'll just have to get quite a bit of planning done already this week. And besides, it's only for four days.

I'm, to be completely honest, a bit more worried about the whole month I'm going to be substituting for my mom. More worried in the sense that there's even more responsibility connected to the job, when I'll be teaching over a half of the length of those courses. I'll probably have some influence on the grades of the students and that's something I'm not that used to at all, since I've mainly done really short periods of substituting. On the other hand, it'll probably be somewhat easier than my worst case scenarios are, because mom will be at home and she'll be able to help me ("It's not like I'm going to have a lobotomy!" as she so nicely put it). And besides that, it'll be a school environment I'm completely familiar with, since it's my old senior high school. Small things like knowing the routines that have to do with lunch breaks give me some more confidence, because the students won't be able to trick me quite as easily. Not that they usually are either, mind you. :)

Ah, I'm getting a bit too tired to think about work anymore. So I'll go and watch Horatio Hornblower instead. It's a BBC-produced miniseries about an English navy officer in the end of the 18th century. Starring my new favourite, Ioan Gruffudd, yummy! :) In the episode I watched last night he was seen swimming around delightfully often. Which of course means that he had considerably less fabric hiding his (...erm...) nice upper body than in most of the shots... A girl has got to have some eye candy every once and a while, right?

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Meeting new people

It's always nice to meet new people. Especially if they turn out to be fun and smart and pleasant. I met several this weekend.

First of all, I get to add yet another name to my list of famous people I've talked with. (Not that I actually keep, say, a written list, but it is nice to be able to say that I've had lunch with Neil Gaiman...) Mr. Alastair Reynolds was, as I already mentioned, visiting the Turku Book Fair. A very nice chap. I got my book signed at the fair and so on, but the best part was that he was nice enough to come to a local pub to sit down and chat with a bunch of us Turku sf-fans.

I was so totally tired after a three-hour dance workshop I had in the evening that I almost didn't go to the meeting at all. I thought it'd be just the same old faces I see all the time anyway. :) Well, luckily Tero had sent me a message and told me that Reynolds might be visiting, too, so I decided I'd go no matter how tired I was. Besides, the thought of cold apple cider began to nest in my head. And it nested well, too - boy, the cider tasted good when I finally got to it!

The result of the evening - some promised materials for next year's Spins (whee!) and interesting discussions about the nature of history and writing and what have you. It was indeed nice to meet this fellow.

Second new person I met was the teacher of the dance workshop our dance group organized this weekend. She is one of the best oriental dancers in Finland, a very liked teacher, an extremely skilled choreographer and simply a nice person in general.

I hadn't been on her courses before, so I had been waiting for this workshop for quite a while. We were going to learn a dance with a veil and zills. Wow. It was a multi-piece song with some balady, a short drum solo and a separate finale. Not an easy dance to learn in 6 hours. But we did it anyhow. Even I was able to remember almost everything, which in itself is a small miracle. My brain doesn't deal with remembering choreographies too well... All this, of course, tells me something about the teaching skills of Sirke. So, as a result of this meeting I have a whole lot of sore muscles and a beautiful choreography I can use. (Now I only have to get a new dress I can wear!)

The third new person I met was one of the newest people I've ever met in my adult life. I went to see the baby Ville in the hospital today. Ville is Tomi and Hanne's firstborn, who had, in fact, been born at the time I wrote my previous post. So he was a two-day-old today. I probably haven't held anyone so young since I was four myself. That was when my little brother was born and I'm sure mom&dad let the big sister hold the baby for a while. Sure, there have been quite a few babies around lately, as my friends have begun to procreate, but I haven't been able to visit them in the hospital.

Ville was such a tiny and cute little thing. Slept (like a baby, duh...) through the whole ordeal of everybody taking pictures of him all the time and only wrinkled his brow a little when passed around to everyone who wanted to hold him for a while. Hanne had a happy smile on her face, although she said she's still a bit tired from everything. No wonder, I suppose. Tomi looked just as happy as he was photographing his son. They'll be such good parents, I'm sure of it.

And to add to the list yet another new person I met this weekend, I also have to mention that I met Venja today. She's Shimo and Petra's second daughter and she was also very cute and sleepy when she came to visit Hanne and Ville with her parents and big sister, Iria. And I got to hold her, too. Aww.

So what was the result of meeting the two babies today? Well. I'm not exactly having any more motherly thoughts than before, that's for sure. I simply can't imagine being a mom, which doesn't mean I don't want to have children one day, because I do. I suppose it's just that the "opportune moment" hasn't exactly arrived yet. One of the reasons clearly being the fact that I'm single... :)

I guess what seeing all these happy parents with their kids really does to me is to make me think about how difficult it actually is to achieve that much in life. First you have to find a person to share your life with (and darn it, there aren't that many good candidates around! *mutters*) and when you find that someone, it still doesn't mean that the family bliss will begin 9 months after the wedding day. So I hope all my friends who have a happy marriage and healthy children know just how lucky they are. I can't say I consider myself any less lucky at this point of my life, the feeling of happiness just comes from different things. Which is fine with me. And as my grandma says, I still have time. Or as my other grandma says, it's a shame I'm alone. :)

In any case, I'm very happy for Tomi and Hanne. Ville is going to be a fine man one day, I'm sure.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Books, books, books

Turku Book Fair. The most effective way to make lots of money disappear is to go there. And I'm volunteering to work there. On two separate days, too. Two hours of sitting behind the desk selling funny text buttons ("If the ear's not pointy, it's not worth nibbling." "Human by birth, elf by choice." and so on) and I get a free entrance. And that's exactly where the "free" ends. Luckily I do have some self-control. (Not having won the lottery lately helps, too.) I bought only two books today. I have to buy one more tomorrow and see if there are any cd's worth buying. And tomorrow I have to catch mr. Alastair Reynolds so that I can get my book signed. Another addition to my collection of signed books, yay! I may have to try to ask mr. Reynolds for his contact information, since I've been thinking about an interview. Nobody's doing one for Spin yet (at least I haven't heard about anyone), so I might as well try and squeeze some more writing into my schedule. (No, I don't have any suicidal tendencies, I just find it extremely difficult to say no and equally difficult to not volunteer for stuff like this...)

Well, it finally stopped raining here. It actually stopped a few days ago already and the last couple of days have been just perfect. Bright blue sky, cool and clear feel to everything. Except for the fact that the sun has been shining so nicely that it's actually been quite warm rather than cool at times. Very nice. As I was waiting for the bus this morning to go to the Book Fair, I remembered what is one of the most beautiful sights one can see in the fall. A bright red, orange and yellow maple tree against a bright blue sky. That, my friends, is what nature created colours for. I could just stand and watch such a scenery till the leaves fall off... Of course the bus came before that and I had to leave the tree to be beautiful against the sky without me staring at it.

The last thoughts in the pool today go to Tomi and Hanne. I haven't heard anything new since about 12 hours ago, but it could well be that Hanne is already holding their firstborn in her arms. All the best to the whole family. May all the Elven Stars shine brightly on the path of your first child.

And so I close my blog for the day, happy as a clam. :)