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Mischief managed

  • Thursday, 2. February 2012 @ 11:49

If you're interested in hearing my performance from the December choir concert (FAILFinnish!), leave me a message and if I think you should I will get you totally unauthorized access to my totally unauthorized copy of the tape!

(no subject)

  • Friday, 30. December 2011 @ 17:34
I can't tell if I'm just being superglue-clingy to the only person who is nearly always available to listen to me, or if it's more than that. He knows my conditions, but really, those are the products of thinking, and when it comes down to it, it's hard for reason to overcome the heart.

I got a few good Boxing Day/Week deals: stuff from The Body Shop, couple of pairs of jeans, gloves. I also got a Team Finland hockey jersey. It was $94 plus tax, down from $130. It's a lot of money for me, and it's only a matter of time before my dad will get on my case about spending like that on luxuries. It's a blue one though, and Real Finns™ prefer white ones (I do too; something about colour proportions I think) , but at that kind of discount, it's hard to refuse. Everyone I know with a white one got it in Finland, and I couldn't find any here. Were I to, it likely won't be at that price anyway.

I feel like I'm living life on the edge right now. It's not a crazy-high cliff or anything, not even remotely threatening to most people, but risky and a bit scary to me. Buying all these crazy things; associating with people "below"1 me, wanting them to show me new experiences; encouraging the blatant scandalousness of being friends with CFJ (now with the weird feelings too). Pushing the limits of my self-punishment and guilt complexes. But I think I need it. Maybe I really AM just fifteen again, but this time for reals.

1 N.B. This is in scare quotes because it is not my epithet, but that of the middle/upper-middle-class environment I grew up in.

Blam! It's an update

  • Sunday, 18. December 2011 @ 23:41
A little holiday cheer to myself:

The shop didn't seem to want to take my credit card (hence Paypal) so I emailed them about it, and the guy was like "so what's with the Finnish music buying?" :p

Results for lectern / podium study: lectern seems to be more of an older, British people thing. Also, I find this page funny.

Concert Choir show was great, except for the part where, on my way up to the top of the risers to sing my solo part, I stepped on someone's water bottle, which made a nasty crunch sound during an otherwise relatively quiet part of the song. Also, I sounded loud to myself. CFJ says that the person singing the other half of the solo part seemed quiet. Okay, at least I wasn't alone in thinking that. CFJ also said that he wanted to try to understand listening to the Finnish throughout the song but it was so brutal he gave up and read the subtitles. My parents and my sister came to have dinner with me and watch the show, but they had to leave right afterwards because the weather was terrible and the hotel was full up (fortunately; because road conditions had eased off for the night but were worse in the morning).

I had stuck around with FinnishChoir this year mostly to, I guess, make a re-do of the same time last year but in compos mentis. But this was a couple of days after the Concert Choir gig, and even though my voice has had the practice of the entire school term and so I had zero trouble nailing the entry pitches and stuff, the whole reenactment-thing was overshadowed by the CC solo. I mean, a real solo part that I actually earned from among a group of equals. It's a very different feeling.

Mrs CF showed up at the aforementioned FC gig even though she hadn't come to practice all term, expecting to sing. Of course our director wasn't happy about that and said no. (Not to mention that she didn't pick up the new uniform shirt and missed out on a couple of lyric adjustments.) I don't know if it's true or if it's just the usual Mrs CF spin on things but according to CFJ, Mrs CF made it sound like that Mr CF was just as upset as she was at the director for booting her. Anyway, sounds to me like it's the end of FC for both me and Mrs CF.

I managed to get CFJ to come to the Finnish Christmas party, which he hadn't gone to for something like 15 years. At some point previously, Mrs CF had told CFJ that she didn't want his father finding out about CFJ and me being friends "or else things will be much worse". (Nobody knows what this might look like.) CFJ had said the night before that "If my dad asks me to go, then I'll think about it". I took this as a challenge.

So I said to CF (since he doesn't "know" about our "relationship"): "So how long has it been since your boy has come to one of these things?" "Oh, I dunno, many many years. We don't really talk so much anymore; he fixes my computer and we make him a meal." "Maybe you should ask him to come to the party this year? It'd be nice to see him again." "Well, call him then; the number is *** --" At this point I decide not to really hide it anymore. "Oh I have his number already." "???! Then call him." "...but he said that he wants you to ask him." "BS! I'm not playing Cupid for you two. You call him."

Anyway, CF comp'ed him a ticket (geez, I had to buy mine!) and there he was looking just slightly bothered and staying far, far away from his parents the entire time.

I played some piano at the party. You know I was super-not-caring about the choir singing stuffs because I buried my head in my music and didn't even notice CFJ taking a picture of us with my camera. Other than that, the party was kind of fraught with technical difficulties. Otto couldn't get his synth to work properly with his accordion, Jari was really really sick so he couldn't come to the party (he helped his dad set up the sound system beforehand, as usual), the mic wouldn't fit into the wrong stand, and one of the wheels on the upright piano has fallen off.

Been off the happy-drugs for... hmm... five weeks now? I haven't noticed much difference, though I get super-moody sometimes. Like right now. I have exams in the next two days and I've been so stressed out I can't get myself to sleep and certainly can't get myself to study.

According to my Twitter feed, 25 days ago (23 Nov) I slipped on a patch of ice on the front step to the apartment building and bruised up my knee real good. This is important because my knee is still tender right below the kneecap, which means it hurts quite a bit when I get down on my knees for whatever. There is an eaves-trough by that front step, which connects to a vertical that runs down the wall, but there is a leak in the trough before it gets to that part, so when there is rain or thaw, the water comes out through the leak and falls, forming a puddle on the step. This ices up overnight. Sand gets put on it during the day if the groundskeepers come by to clear snow or something else and notices it.

If I had a ladder I'd climb up there and slap some duct tape on that leak. But since I don't, I'll just whine about it here. Okay, I understand that it's winter now and it's no good time for outdoor work, and that there were some rough spots on the walls and the paint on the railings has patches worn off from wear, but you guys prioritize painting the darn place over, say, FIXING SOME OF THOSE DENTED AND BROKEN GUTTERS? You know, just sayin'. Oh yeah, there was some exterior painting in autumn, too. BUT NO GUTTERS!!

Language survey!

  • Wednesday, 30. November 2011 @ 18:28
Edit: Wow, I got way more responses than I was expecting even in only 24 hours. I have now closed the comments section. Thank you for contributing!

Hello everybody!

I'm conducting a really quick survey for a term paper, and would like native English speakers to answer the following questions:

In the picture below, a man is giving a presentation.

(Picture from Extra Credits)

1. What do you call the piece of furniture that he is standing behind?
2. Do you know of any other words for it in English? If so, how are they different in meaning than the word you gave in question 1?

Please provide the following demographic information:
City/Town you are from:
Highest level of formal education completed:

All comments to this post are screened (i.e. only visible to me) and the information will be kept anonymous. You can also post anonymously without signing in under an account at all, if you prefer.

(no subject)

  • Monday, 7. November 2011 @ 01:12
Me: "I think it'd be really nice if you could come to the Christmas party, but I know you have reasons you want to stay away from Finnish Society stuff."
Crazyfinn Jr: "Two big reasons."
Me: "Your mum and your dad."
Crazyfinn Jr: [silent agreement]

Onto the big stage, off of the big stage

  • Monday, 24. October 2011 @ 01:49
[Ever-so-slightly redacted version]
Ooooh, look at the homescreen on my phone. It's so pretty (well yeah, I've spent many long hours over the last week customizing it).

Concert Choir is doing some music in back-country Finnish. Guess who's doing pronunciation coaching. I didn't exactly ask, but I insist (it's okay, my director is accommodating). Hearing my director give a go at some of the lyrics, I had to stifle a bit of a giggle. His [y] sounds to me too cardinal; it might do better pulled back a little towards [ʉ], though I'm sure he's just kinda exaggerating.

There's a lot of female solos in the songs, most notably one singer who gets the last word after everyone else (including the director) has left the stage. Let's just say... that whoever gets that part (pick me! pick me!) will get a lot of attention from me personally. Because there will be native Finnish speakers in the audience (I'm inviting them) and you don't exactly want them walking out of the auditorium laughing at the soloist's unintelligible lyrics.

I would also like to be able to furnish my director with a more literal translation of the lyrics than is printed in the score (as singable text), for printing in the concert programme, ASAP. Interested volunteers may take a look at the link above for the text.

Meanwhile, just about everybody of importance in FinnSoc below a certain age cut-off (this is by coincidence, I swear!) knows kind of about CF Jr and me. The cut-off appears to conveniently exclude his parents.

Anyway, Jari and I got to the FinnSoc AGM last weekend super-early, so I was pounding away on the piano, facing the wall, when I heard a distinctive whining sound from elsewhere in the room. I turned around to confirm that, yep, Mrs CF was in the room. Oh dear. Somehow, Jari got roped into chairing the meeting, and then he and I wound up on the next executive board. Not speaking Finnish apparently isn't a good enough reason to refuse (since technically correspondence has to be in English), so I guess I just have to enforce the use of English. Mrs CF isn't on the board, and neither is CrazyLady, and so aside from CrazyFinn's occasional creepiness, the others on the board are people I seem to get along with (like Tuula and her husband, AwesomeGramps, Jaana, and so forth).

I'm moving up in the "Scandal" world, I guess. Jari, his dad, and I kind of form a radical bloc within the board; we have some ... progressive ideas. This will be interesting. I've never done any of this actually-official (since we're a registered non-profit) executive kind of stuff before. Most university student group roles are just résumé-fillers anyway... I'm also kind of hoping that this might put a bit of pressure on getting people to take me to the cabin in the springtime.

Also: Not really enjoying Phonology. At all. Feels like calculus class: 1. Watch prof do examples on the board. 2. Do homework. 3. You're supposed to develop a 'sense' for phonological patterns with practice and experience. Just like figuring out integrals.

I am hungry. I'm going to eat this pack of Reese's peanut butter cups on my desk. CrazyFinn bait really should be consumed and replaced with fresher packages regularly, anyway. Especially when they're partly melted from being in my "saunariffic" room.

Where do you go when you have nowhere to go?

  • Saturday, 15. October 2011 @ 01:48
There were a couple of new people at LOLchoir (that is, as opposed to Concert Choir, aka SRSchoir / FUNchoir) today, so we went around introducing ourselves by which parts of Finland we were from. (This seems, in my very limited experience, much more usual with these Finnish-Canadians than it is with Hong Kongers asking each other what their 鄉下 [heung haa, ancestral village/region] in China is.) As may be expected, this doesn't really apply to me, but I suppose I like to think that my Finnish past life must have been a Tamperelainen.

Mrs CF still hasn't let go of her prejudices against me. But seeing as she's the only person anyone knows of who actually takes The Mongerer (henceforth CrazyLady) seriously, it might be more fruitful to divert efforts toward combating this other fact rather than appealing to my reputation or my desires and stuff like that.

I couldn't go to the cabin for Thanksgiving because CF had to take Mrs CF - which meant that I was out - and nobody else I'd be comfortable riding with was going. I was originally super-upset about this - is it not just a little bit selfish to not put aside our differences between us for a maximum of six hours (and just pretend I'm invisible or not there or something even during those six hours) so that I could have a HAPPY EFFING THANKSGIVING WEEKEND in the only place that I know of nearby at which I can ACTUALLY let out my frustrations and have some peace and quiet animal noises? And EFFING SAUNA?! And to see AwesomeGramps? (It's certainly a bit circular that access to a safe release for my frustrations is the very thing that is frustrating me.)

Meanwhile in town, Jaana and her husband wanted to make a nice meal for the holiday, so she invited me over, and I brought a special guest - CF Jr. Jaana had casually remarked that one of the boys-who-like-a-little-target-practice-while-they're-out-there was at the cabin this weekend, so my heart lightened. Kind of hard to deny that something divine has been at work here, keeping me away from the lake whenever people are going to end up goofing around with things-involving-gunpowder. Not to mention that I'm starting to wean myself off my psych meds now, and the last thing I want is a trigger situation (pun intended) for my as-yet-unexplored violent tendencies. Remember, don't drink and drive. Nor drink and stab. And definitely don't drink and shoot.

So since I was stuck here for the weekend, I spent most of it with CF Jr. And nausea and a headache. (It's from the medications, I'm sure.) He had briefly appeared during Heritage Days with his mother, during the part with the "scandalous" stuff involving me and CF and the boat. On a whim I contacted him a few weeks ago. Turns out he's the fantasy-gaming-geek kind of type, complete with M:tG cards and WH40k armies. He's way more into that stuff that I ever was, but hey, common interests. He never seems to have much to do so we've been hanging around, watching movies and eating pizza. He'd never watched Finnish movies before. Since he doesn't really talk to his parents anymore unless he absolutely has to, he's been finding it amusing to hear me retell some of their antics. Because of the emotional distance from his family, he hasn't really shown up at FinnSoc stuff for probably like a decade, so nobody there really knows him.

I'd be lying to say that I don't kind of fancy him, but it's not that way at all; I'm clingy as hell to anyone who shows a shred of actually caring about who I am and willing to spend time with me, it's generally frowned upon for girls (especially those with higher education) to court people of less education, and he understands but doesn't speak Finnish anymore. (And he TOTALLY has his mother's forehead.)

He has more M:tG cards than he has stuff to do with, so along with a laser printer and some rubber cement (though spray glue would be so much more efficient), I can be a DIY card game maker! But only in black and white.


Le Havre (nooo, not the board game, the movie!)

  • Saturday, 24. September 2011 @ 23:37
Though the film is all in French (uvular trills!), I spotted a couple of Finnish easter eggs in "Le Havre" (the latest A. Kaurismäki film): The door of the shipping container the refugees are found in has the logo of the production company (Sputnik) on it, and there's a ship with the name "Sillanpää" shown prominently in the background of one shot.

As for what I thought of the film itself...the plot of this one is more shallow than his previous films I've seen. It's a comedy, but not a tragicomedy like I've come to expect. It's "ha ha" but without the "hmmm". There's a funny situation involving a pineapple. Also, nobody gets beaten up in this film (something I've also come to expect).

The setting is interesting too; the cars and buildings and costumes are styled to look like the 1940s (this is usual for the director), but there are cell phones and Euros. Hmm.......

Um, here's the pineapple part. So this inspector guy is trailing our protagonist, who is harboring an illegal refugee. He's already questioned the baker and now he's talking to the grocer.

Indian summer

  • Wednesday, 7. September 2011 @ 20:36

I came back to my apartment yesterday to find that summer has finally 'come', that is, the temperature in my room went above 30℃ for the first time this summer.  Not only that, one of the new roommates had moved in last week to find the plumbing in the bathtub backed up. This means that our shower is currently unusable. Plumbers started working on it today but they didn't finish, and in this kind of heat I think a trip to the swimming pool would be very enjoyable indeed, not least for the use of shower facilities. [Edit: After some holes in walls and more holes in walls and replacing pipes in the room downstairs, things seem operable again though with a hole in the wall. It is now Friday.]

Turns out I didn't lose a friend over Juhannus after all. AwesomeGramps said it was just that his son (Jari) was going through some tough times and needed a little space.

The same day Jari spontaneously started talking to me again, Mrs. Crazyfinn called to say that the reason she didn't want Crazyfinn to drive me to camp along with her was because she worries that I stress her out. (Turns out I wasn't too far from the truth when I joked to CF that about the likeliest way for me and her to get along again would be to have a restraining order keeping us at least ten metres apart.) Well I don't know how it took her two whole months to 'have the voimaa [motivation+opportunity]' to think of how to tell me this, when Jari was able to do pretty much the same thing early on after Juhannus, in a single text message. 

I suspect that it's actually because I'd been nagging CF about mediating the situation (and AwesomeGramps was probably passing on what I was telling him). Regardless, it would have been really nice for her to have talked to me sooner so I wouldn't have had to spend the last two months wondering why she didn't want me at camp and would have looked at the possibility of alternative transportation.

The reason why I don't buy her explanation is because she blames it on her health but she always uses that excuse. I'm not saying that it's not a serious concern, because it is, but that she's overused it to the point that nobody can take it seriously anymore. (And how does she expect to sing with me next to her in the chorus, hmm?) I don't know about you, but it all just seems so childish.

I have a new mobile phone. Sadly, it's not a Nokia. But it runs Android, so I can officially say that I feel kind of Linux'ed out.

I am disappointed to report that my family's disappointment in me is so great that they'd rather pretend that the last two years of my life never happened. ("Don't say the 't' word.") But since it is in failure that one learns the most about themselves, I will have to relate those lessons learnt absent of their context. That troubles me somewhat.

My new roommates are all Asian and are so gentle that I'm letting them use my stuff.

Here's another bit of music from the Trine soundtrack.

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.


  • Thursday, 1. September 2011 @ 16:12
Being ashamed ought to mean that a youth gives up some cherished error or conceited image of himself, and goes on, without loss of dignity, to achieve an ideal that is real; this is honor. Only the community can bestow honor, on those who enhance the community, who follow the useful callings, or bring new culture.
Boys today hardly aspire to immortal honor, the honor of self-fulfilling achievement. It is highly disapproved of in the code of the organized system. Instead, they devote themselves to protecting their "personal honor" against insults; and conversely they dream of the transient notoriety which will prove that they are "somebody," which they doubt. The personal honor that they protect does not include truthfulness, honesty, public usefulness, integrity, independence, or virtues like that. A reputation for these things does not win respect, it has no publicity value; it's believed to be phony anyway, and if it's true, the person is hard to get along with.

— Paul Goodman, Growing Up Absurd: Problems of Youth in the Organized Society (1960)