Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Mere three weeks

It was all I needed. Three more weeks. But no, surely it would've been asking for too much. Thanks a bunch, whatever deities decide over cars and how they work.

Mine didn't today and I'm majorly pissed off about it. The darling old Skoda of mine should've worked for three more weeks and then I would've been done with the dance lessons in Parainen and Lieto. I'm going to have to try again tomorrow, but if it doesn't cooperate, I'm forced to begin my biking season to get to Uittamo to fetch the Peugeot from grandpa. Today was a mix of getting my brother to drop me off at grandma's & grandpa's, getting their car & driving it back and forth to Parainen (I ended up being late from class because all of this) and eventually walking home later in the evening. I don't mind walking, but all in all I would've preferred a car that works...

It just felt like it wasn't my day today. Sometimes I do wonder why on some days I feel so out of tune with the world, even though the day would've been quite ok for the most part. Like today was. I got to go shopping for the materials for the Eximia course (well, two thirds anyway, now I have to wait another two weeks for the bookstore to get the last book for me, aagh), bought the last Harry Potter novel (finally!) for myself (got a good discount) and even found a decent movie soundtrack cd for only 2 euros. (A bargain, that one!)

Why is it that some days just don't match your life? Come to think of it, it could actually be a sign of the Matrix actually existing... The days that don't feel like they are "yours" would actually be a mistake in the programming and were meant for someone else. Wouldn't that be annoying?

Nah, the theory isn't very good. I suppose I like the old saying of getting up on the wrong foot better. Except that I get out of bed on the same foot every morning, since my bed is in the corner and it's just natural to roll out the same way every day. What made this morning different from any other? I still have a problem.

I hope some of my problems will be solved tomorrow. I so hope I'll finally get the word that the first Spin of the year is ready for print, that I actually get some serious studying done (for a political science exam and the Eximia course) and that I can drive my own car to Lieto in the evening. I don't think it'd be too arrogant of me to wish for all of this. Right? Right.

Friday, March 25, 2005

First week of spring

What a wonderful week it has been. On Wednesday I actually smelled the spring in the air for the first time. I love the smell of spring. Earthy, sunny, full of life. The sun has been shining almost all week and the temperatures have been above zero (Celsius, that is) almost every day, quickly melting away the snow. It's just wonderful to watch and listen how spring is really coming.

There are birds singing, too. Suddenly there are so many voices out there, after a silent winter. Last evening I actually heard a bird that is quite typically a summer night singer. (I'm not very good at recognising birds, but I know this one - except for its name in English, heh.) It made me feel really happy. I was almost as thrilled when I heard a seagull earlier this week. As I live in a city by the sea, the returning seagulls are a sure sign (and sound) of summer coming.

I'm sure the winter has a few more tricks up its sleeve, but I don't mind. I know it's time for spring to win the competition. I love the springtime. It's always such a nice surprise after a long and dark winter. I don't think I'll ever get tired of the wonder of the days growing longer. It happens every year and every year it has to be marveled at: "Isn't it wonderfully light out there although it's already 6 p.m.?" Ahh, I'm a spring person.

There are, however, a few cons to balance all the pros of spring. The gravel on the streets, for example. It's no longer needed, because there isn't any ice, but not all the maintenance companies are very swift in sweeping it away. The maintenance company of our apartment buildings being one of them. Our neighboring houses have already cleaned up their parts of the pavement and parking lots, but it's still rittlerattle around my building. *sigh*

One other thing comes to mind when I sit here by the computer. My windows. Not the kind that I have in the computer, but the kind I can see through. Or I would, if I washed them... The bright spring sun just highlights all the dust and dirt that the windows have on them. I think I'll have to wait till the weather warms up yet a bit, before I start washing them, though. Until then I'm going to have to watch everything through a sheet of dust.

A definite pro of the spring is that I can't wait to get my bike out. Walking is fine, but I greatly prefer biking, if it's possible. During the winter it isn't, because I'm such a wuss. I simply don't dare to bike when the roads are icy, because I'm afraid of falling down. So spring means that eventually all the roads will be safe (or at least not icy anymore) and I'll be able to get to places quicker. "But you have a car", some might say. Sure, the old faithful has survived yet another winter (knock on wood), but I don't usually drive it to places I can go to by bike. Cheaper, more ecological and well, cheaper. :) But now that I mentioned the car, I have to keep in mind to wash it this weekend when I go to Nousiainen. The dirt on that poor vehicle, huh.

Well. It's just such a nice weather outside (+8 degrees and the brightest blue sky, whee!) that I won't waste a minute longer sitting inside. I'm going out for a long walk. I'll listen to the birds, smell the air, probably soak my shoes in the melting snow, but in any case I'll draw in every single ray of light. Maybe I'll even try to walk my face toward the sun all the time. I think I must've been a plant in a previous life... :)

Happy Easter, everyone.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

An experiment with pictures

A presentable trio, this one. Tytti, yours truly and Kirsi all in festive mood last fall. I'm posting this picture just because I'm learning how to use the picture posting program... :) Posted by Hello

Monday, March 21, 2005

Problems with makeup

"Makeup of makeup artists", yeah right. Any makeup artist using this product is seriously endangering the customers face. This particular kind of makeup almost ruined a perfectly fun evening for me. It most certainly did ruin my Sunday, so in a while an international makeup manufacturer is going to get some very stern customer feedback.

Mom had given me this lipgloss and the "finishing touch" -stuff, because it hadn't suited her. Since I've never had any problems wearing any makeup, I was willing to try it. I put some on for Saturday evening when I left for the "Fab 11" -party I was invited to (which, btw, was a great party - thanks to everyone involved!). Soon I noticed a burning sensation in my lips and had to wash the gloss off. Unfortunately it didn't help much, and my lips were very irritated by the time I got home. Well, I thought, it can't get much worse than this.

I was wrong. So very wrong. First of all, I woke up at 5 a.m. with an even worse burning sensation. I had to get some ice from the freezer to cool my mouth with before I was able to sleep again. When I finally got up later that morning, a horrid looking "Courtney Love with bad lip implants" creature was staring at me from the mirror. What the...? I looked awful, my lips all swollen and very irritated, almost blistering.

So I spent my morning and the better part of the afternoon sitting in front of the tv holding ice to my mouth to reduce the swelling. When it was time to leave to Uusikaupunki for dance rehearsals, I was looking less awful, but still noticeably odd. As I am today. What the heck do they have in that finishing touch -stuff? My reaction feels like I would've been using some kind of acid as lipgloss... Geez.

I'm so happy I had the test lecture thing last week, I would've hated to look like this when trying to convince people I'd be the best possible choice for the job.

Which, by the way, I managed to do! I got the job! Hooray! I'm going to be the teacher of the history prep course in May! They called me this morning with the good news. I'm so happy about it I could almost forget the face problem, unless my lips weren't still burning. I have to contact my professor and ask him, if this job would qualify for a few study credits for my advanced studies. I'm sure it will. It should, anyway. And then I'm going to have to begin to read through the required books myself... Yay!

Whee! What a good start for the week, despite the makeup problem. :)

Thursday, March 17, 2005

More things to do and less time to do it?

Oy, my schedules... As you've probably noticed from the lack of updates around here, I've been way too busy lately. How is it that everything always piles up? Especially everything I need to do. I so need a vacation. :)

Anyhow, despite the nagging feeling that I haven't been able to accomplish anything lately, I have actually been a busy little bee. I passed the exam I took last Friday (with flying colors, too!) and now there's one less exam to take before graduation. Yay! Only two more on the various topics of political sciences, one on the corporate economics (blergh, hate it) and then there are a few loose ends to tie up at the history department. Shouldn't be a problem, though. Especially, if I get the job at Eximia, I could probably get some study credits from that too.

About the job at Eximia, then. I went and gave the sample lecture on Tuesday and I think it went well enough. The lady who was there to "judge me", was very nice and after my lecture we talked for about 40 minutes extra. She told me about the details of the job, and I couldn't but wonder if that was a good sign or not. But since I have no idea of the level of competition I'm facing, I simply don't know if I'll get the job or not. They said they'd inform me next week. I hope I get it. It'd be great. It'd be very challenging to teach people who are seriously motivated to learn history.

I'm not saying that kind of students are totally non-existent in normal classrooms (well, where would the historians come from if not from regular classes?), but instead there are always some kids who couldn't care less and are just sitting in the classroom because they have to. I'm pretty sure there wouldn't be people like that on this course. At the price they're paying, I'd be surprised to see one of them nod off during class... Oh, but in that case the fault would be mine, oops. Well, I'll just have to prepare absolutely amazing lessons, if I get the job. ;)

On to a totally unrelated matter. I have a new(er) computer now! Yippee! And a new big(er) and non-broken screen, too! Whee! And can you believe it, I was able to install quite a lot of programs and such all by myself. Aren't I the cleverest? :) I'm sure I haven't done anything remarkable here, but since I am an honest simpleton when it comes to computers, I have to boast a bit. There are only a few problems left to solve. Like my other email account. I can't access it yet, I suppose it has to do with the different servers for incoming and outgoing emails. Or some other detail in the account settings I've failed to locate so far. Will have to work on it.

As is the case with the old email address book of mine. It was copied from my old computer to the new one, but I can't for the life of me import it into the new program. Darn. Oh, and what really bums me out is that I completely forgot to mention to Mikko, who put this new machine together, that I hadn't had time to make a copy of my old bookmarks folder... So now I'm in the middle of a very slow process of trying to find all the important webpages again. That, to be honest, sucks so bad.

Luckily there are some good distractions available, so I don't have to keep fretting about problems like that all the time. I completely forget them when I watch the episodes of the final season of Angel. I think I have four more episodes left and then there are no more, ever. *snif* Why do all the really good series come to an end so soon? Only five seasons? I would've liked to watch at least five more. Especially with Spike on the show, too. Yummy.

I can't hype about everything that happens yet, because the season is being shown on tv too, and I don't want to spoil it for those, who are watching it an episode per week... But I do have to say I one of my favorite moments was when a character called Ratio Hornblower was introduced! ;)

Hmm. I'm sure there was (once again) a million other things I was going to babble about, but I'm letting you off the hook now. Or soon, at least. :) I still have all the stuff I couldn't sell last Saturday (our second flea market trip with Satu, not as much income as the previous time & place) lying around the apartment. I need to do something about it. Preferably sooner than later.

Or maybe I should write the "learning diary" for yesterday's Shakespeare -lecture. I'm really looking forward to the rest of this course that began yesterday. It's about hearing Shakespeare, using Hamlet as an example. The lecturer (Bruce Johnson) comes from Australia, and it was so much fun listening to him. Not to mention interesting. Yesterday we discussed the transition from the culture of listening to a culture of seeing, from the spiritual perspective of the medieval world to the more dynamic and physical views of the reneissance. It was all very interesting. Compared to the Finnish dialects course, which is frustrating me more and more every week. Gaah. I won't get into that now, though. In fact, I'm going to not get into anything anymore. This'll be enough for now. :)

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

That was fast

My goodness. I don't think I've ever written a job application and received an invitation to present myself quicker than today. I had decided I'd apply for a history prep course teacher's position, because the job description fit me better than well.

The company asked for an informal application via email, which I finally sent them today, about 10 a.m.. The deadline, according to the job ad, is on the 13th (which is Sunday), so I didn't expect to hear anything from them until on Monday, at the earliest.

You can imagine my surprise when I answered my phone this afternoon (around 5 p.m.) and it was a cheery sounding woman calling about my application. She asked me a few questions (like the topic of my thesis and so on) and told me I was invited to give a sample lecture next Tuesday. Whoa! That, my friends, was some quick action! Seven hours from sending the application to a sort of a job interview and an invitation to give a sample lesson. Seven hours! Yay!

So, come next Tuesday, I'll be lecturing for about half an hour about any aspect of 19th century history (the catch being that there's only one person listening). Wow. That should be a piece of cake. I was given advice that the lecture should show my expertise on the matter (no prob, in a week I can become an expert on anything, heh), give proof of my presentation skills (should be no problem either) and on top of it all it should be motivating. Aren't I always? :) I already chose a topic, which I can easily connect with the actual university entrance exam (I had to study the same subject for my exam way back when...) and which will sound interesting. I hope. :)

All in all, I'm feeling pretty good about this - I hope there are no better qualified candidates around... The lady on the phone said that they only invite a few of the best candidates to give a sample lecture, so I'm already one step ahead. Whee! The job's not going to involve more than 30 hours of teaching though, so we're not talking about fortunes here, but hey, I'm not complaining. I'll take anything I get and if the job fits my specific field of education, I'm going to be even more glad about it. So, keep your fingers crossed for me on Tuesday!

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

The truth in dreams

I've got some serious problems, it seems. With my bed and my pillow. I desperately need to get a new mattress, because my back hurts in the morning. (Shush there, Sarin and Tytti! I know what you're thinking. I'm getting old, too...) I've never had problems like that before, probably partly due to all the dancing which keeps my back in some sort of shape. I hope.

However, I don't consider my back the biggest problem. Why? Because I haven't had any bad dreams about broken backs yet. But I had this really weird and disturbing dream about my neck the other night...

I had slept in a somehow crooked position a few nights ago and thanks to that and my poor excuse for a pillow, I had a really nasty crick in my neck on Sunday. Ouch. So what does my subconscious tell me the next night? Get a new pillow! This was how it was told to me in my dream.

In this dream I was at a party or something with a bunch of friends and when I left the livingroom to check my makeup or something in front of a mirror, I noticed this huge lump in my neck. And I mean huge. Like a loaf of bread large (and actually shaped like a loaf of bread too, like sticking out of the back of my neck - blergh). In my neck! Quite naturally I freaked out and yelled to all my friends "Why didn't you say anything about this to me??", which of course makes them freak out and call an ambulance. So the ambulance arrives and in come the nice paramedics. Two young guys who call me Mrs (oh, how I hate them for it!) and make me lie down on the wossitsnamebedthingie, which I absolutely hate (even more than the Mrs part). I tell them over and over again that I can walk, because the problem is in my neck, not my feet. They just keep patronizing over me like good little paramedics and I'm freaking out more and more by the minute. I think the dream ended when the doctor tells me there's nothing to be worried about and to be sure, the lump begins to grow smaller. Jeez...

Serious note to self: buy new pillow. Soon! Or maybe buy fewer bread loafs? I can't be sure, really...

However, after I get the new pillow (or no more bread loafs), I'd better try to watch less of Pimp My Ride... And yes, this truth was also revealed to me in dreams. I think I ought to worry, when I start to dream about being personal friends with Xzibit and having him visit some summer cottage somewhere (which I obviously don't have), where I'm hosting a huge party for loads and loads of people...

Weird, but fun. Well, the lump wasn't fun when I was dreaming about it, but I did wake up feeling quite amused despite the crick in my neck - which had also taken a turn for the better.

Folks, listen to your dreams. They'll teach you something one of these days. Or not. :)

Monday, March 07, 2005

Fleamarket frenzy

Voluntarily waking up at 5 a.m. on a Sunday morning? I must've been seriously out of my mind when agreeing to that! Up at five, setting up a fleamarket table about an hour later...

Yes, Satu and I went to sell some of our old stuff (clothes, books, cheap-o jewellery etc.) at a local fleamarket yesterday. Satu is about to move to a smaller apartment, so she wants to get rid of all the useless trinkets and I just want to clean up my closets. And make a few euros while at it.

In preparation for Sunday I had been working as a de facto laundromat for a week. First I had rummaged through all my closets and piled loads and loads of old clothes in the middle of the livingroom floor. It's nicer to sell clean clothes, I thought, and so on Tuesday my task was to wash all of them. I honestly think I washed about 16 loads of laundry that day. From 8 a.m. till 5 p.m. And it wasn't much before midnight when I went to get the last dry clothes from the drying room. I never thought laundry could make me so dull-brained. I had to pop by the TSFS board meeting in the evening and I felt really grumpy and agitated all the time. Umph.

If only the washing of the laundry was all that was needed. But no. I couldn't very well go and sell clothes that are all crumpled. So I took upon me the task of ironing the stuff. Ohmigod. I'm such a slow person when it comes to ironing that it took me several hours to get everything ironed. I stayed up a few nights (well past midnight) ironing away... In my defence it has to be said that I watched tv at the same time, so didn't really notice the time. All I noticed was my aching back... (It's really not that nice to notice, to be honest.)

So did it pay off, all that work? Sort of, but not really, if you think of how much clothes I sold, or didn't sell, to be more exact. Most of my clothes stayed with me (it seems that the only pieces of clothing the people wanted to buy yesterday were black slacks, good thing that I had several pairs to sell), but luckily I got rid of my old tv (way cheaper than what I actually wanted to sell it for) and an old, big & ugly lamp.

The fleamarket seemed also to be the right place to sell old vhs-tapes. I had several movies I wanted to sell (I want to replace them with the dvd-versions), but lately it has become quite obvious that old vhs-movies aren't that easy to sell anymore. This was proven to be a misconception among the fleamarket people. The only movie I had to take back home when we finished the day, was a movie called 28 Days. But I think that's just my destiny. When I bought the movie, I bought it only because it had Viggo Mortensen in it and now it became quite clear he wants to stay with me. :) Which won't prevent me from trying to sell him again next time. So sorry, dearie.

Yes, the next time. Although it was the first time of going to the fleamarket to sell something for the both of us, we already planned on going again this week. We'll try a different place and this time it'll be on Saturday. Last night I immediately had to rummage my closets again, this time a bit more carefully, because it's darned addictive, the whole process. I won't be doing as much laundry this time (thank any deity for that), because all of the clothes I didn't sell yesterday are still going to be fine. Instead I'm going to try to rummage through my old kiddie stuff (some of my toys and such) in Nousiainen, maybe there'd be something I could sell.

All of this for a few lousy euros? Well, yes. I managed to sell stuff for about 100 euros yesterday. It's a fortune to me at the moment, so I'm more than happy to go through a bit of trouble for it. Although I don't expect to do as well next time, since I no longer have a tv to sell. (Or perhaps dad would have some gadgets I could try to turn into money...)

Ok, I think I'll wrap up for now. I have an exam on Friday (wohoo, I haven't had one of those in a while) and this week I'm going to have to seriously study for it. Less work on the thesis, more studying of the basics of the political systems and international politics. Wahey. My week's going to be all NGO's and such. Wish me luck. :)