December 24, 2005


December 18, 2005

wash, wash, wash, washing the christmas tree... (sing to the tune of your favorite generic christmas song)

Me and my mom, we're starting a new Christmas tradition, giving a bath to the Christmas tree, and its high time: we've had our fake plastic Christmas tree for probably 15 years now, and it is starting to look more brownish grey than green. But soon, after we take it out of the water it wont only be squeaky clean, but it will also smell like a real pine - we put half a bottle of pine-scented handsoap in the bath water.

Christmas is such a bizarre time of year. First you spend weeks trying to figure out who you should give gifts to and how big, expensive, personal, practical or not, they should be, then you run around with what seems like half the population of your city trying to find the perfect gift, and then after you're done with that you just lie around the house eating too much for three days so that you need to get on a diet as soon as its over.

As you can probably tell I'm still feeling a bit strange here, but what can you expect in a city where there's only a few hours of sunlight and one of the main cultural events of the moment is an exhibition on men's underwear through the years. Ever seen batique-dyed bright pink long thermal underwear? They looked pretty cool on the news just now.

December 16, 2005

In Finland again

wow, here i am again, back in finland. its only been three months since i last was here, but it feels like so much more. i feel strange meeting up with my friends at the coffee shops i used to go to all the time, almost as if i had suddenly been misplaced in time. in many ways its wonderful, we still manage to pick up on the same conversations almost as if i hadnt been living some place else for the past two years, but then all the not so little changes that have happened start to creep into the conversation, people have graduated and have started to work real adult jobs, someone's had a baby, or two, they've met new partners and old one's have gone, old group's of friends have disbanded. its a bit disconcerting especially for my still very jetlagged brain. this time i decided to skip the melatonine and try doing yoga instead in the mornings. it actually worked great yesterday, but today i was too lazy to go after having got in at 2am from a gig, and now i still feel half asleep at 4pm. but the band, the soundtrack of our lives, was definitely worth it.

tonite i've been invited to a party, i'll have to see which kind of pre-christmas party it turns out to be. the "pikkujoulu" (little christmas) parties are something of an institution here, every little club and organization, as well as workplace and group of friends tends to organize one. and they're pretty much all the same, usually you end up spending the night with people you dont necessarily know that well or would hand out with normally getting too drunk on glogi, a type of mulled wine you put almonds and raisins in.

a friend of mine just sent me this fairy-tale guide to finnish "pikkujoulu":
* Lord of the Rings -pikkujoulu:
You remember saying good-bye to your friends, meeting dwarves, fighting a lot, talking to trees, walking hellish distances and loosing your ring by throughing it down the sewer behind the main church.
* Kristoffer Kolumbus -pikkujoulu:
You don't know where you were going, and when you get there you dont know where you are, but the government paid for it all.
* Cinderella-pikkujoulut:
You come home without (even) the other shoe.
* Sleeping Beauty- pikkujoulut:
You pass out for a hundred year. You may wake up to someone kissing you, but you can bet its not a prince.
* Snow White-pikkujoulut:
You wake up in the morning inbetween seven men.
* Little Red Riding Hood-pikkujoulut:
You wake up in the morning next to grandmother. Extra points if its someone esle's grandmother.
* Winnie the Pooh -pikkujoulut:
You're so stiff in the morning that you cant reach your toes and your teeth feel like you'd washed them with hunny. The situation is made even worse by your over-energetic friend, who woke up without any kind of hang-over and is now jumping around manically around your apartment.
* Goldilocks-pikkujoulut:
You wake up to your partner asking "Who has slept in my bed?"
* Traditional Finnish pikkujoulu:
Your wallet is empty, you've lost your cell phone, tango delirium is still ringing in your head and you're afraid to see who's snoring beside you.

December 10, 2005

Living the good life

Can life get more beautiful than this, brunch at home on an early Saturday afternoon after a night of dancing, listening to the Grateful Dead, the sun shining through the snowy trees and knowing that you dont have to do a thing all day if you dont feel like. I love being on break! Maybe I'll just take a nap in my hammock after I'm finished with my coffee.

December 04, 2005

Freedom at last?

I can't wait till Tuesday noon. Then, Systems I will officially be over, my final paper turned in, and I'll be on break. It sounds like something completely out of this world, but I'm already fantasizing about all the things I could do both here in Chicago and in Helsinki where I'll be spending Christmas. I'll probably end up doing very little, but it even the idea of spending a whole day in a coffee-shop reading something only for pleasure or lying in my hammock listening to music, or of taking a long walk in the snow on Suomenlinna and drinking a hot glass of glögi afterwards is exhilarating. I love my work, but at times like now when I've spent the last 5 days thinking only about Hegel, Darwin and Freud and trying to figure out what they think about such a random topic as love and society it gets a bit too much.