Part of my daily regime

Part of my daily regime nowadays is meeting people. Doing my best in squeezing as many coffees, lunches, dinners and beers in company into every day as possible – with the obvious result that I should start working out harder if I don’t want to gain too much of weight;) I even managed to spend 3 hours with Jarno, a man I was with many years ago – the talk was surprisingly pleasant and tension-free even though this was practically the first time we talked since ’99. Maybe, indeed, time does heal… On the other hand, some other talks … it heard many things, maybe not all meant for my ears, but clearly not everybody any more is inclined to call themselves my friends. Most likely – I deserved it.
Also, met with a pretty ninja-girl who’s starting neuroscience – she had read my thesis and wanted to ask questions. I was overwhelmed by her enthusiasm, motivation and brilliant ideas – it was really weird to sit there and look at someone so determined to overcome all obstacles between her and scientific career – yeah, that’s me, some 6 years ago. What happened, to make me so exhausted and lacking in inspiration, that I can not even read a single article (I’ve tried several times last week – I will not get past the second line in the abstracts, my brain jus refuses to digest it), not to mention being excited by the prospect of doing experiments? ( I trust this will pass after sufficient time spent without dying in stress, though).
A chat with a hospital-bound friend made me, once again, wonder if I should change my views of life. ‘Is nothing enough for you?’ I was asked.
I feel I’m just living with the choices I’ve done years ago, not particularly striving to achieve anything – if not a life that would not consist of crushing amounts of worry and sadness. I’m going to Japan since that’s what is expected at this stage of this kind of job – truthfully, I would not have to go for 3 years, one would be considered sufficient, but hey, living only one year in such a different culture, with no time to really get to know it – that’d be just ridiculous! And, I need to get myself free of my old lab’s influence (a polite way to express this.. da), and, I want to collect some experience and darken out some circles in my character sheet, so that in some years I could be a decent candidate for any kind of permanent job with steady income
Dunno. If it is worth the price. For the last 2 years, the only things I’ve done are 1) sleeping too little 2) stressing myself and 3) priorising work over everything else. No wonder I screw up human relations.

I’ve started packing. Most of

I’ve started packing. Most of the time I just go around stressing over which things I should keep, which ones should go to the waste bin, which ones are such that someone would like to have them … Topi already took away all my CDs – for some reason, a French version of the Cats-musical was left over, and so that’s whats been on ever since – and most of my science books, and, the pile of swords – Matias&Minttu agreed on taking my aquarium and the poor fishes next week … But this, or the fact that I’ve been throwing stuff away more than the trashbins can take, does not seem to influence in any way the amount of things I still have to deal with. Most urgently – green plants, 3 big ones, 2 medium and one small – some of them I’ve been caring lovingly for since the eighties, and wouldn’t want to throw away. Surprisingly, all my inquiries so far have resulted in ‘no, not me, I KILL PLANTS’ or something similar… and I thought it’s normal to have green plants at home…
I’ve continued organising photos from Brasil, as well. It seems that even though there are almost as many photos from there than from Kenya, they mostly contain shots from the road – driving the car, taking a break at roadside, some scenery, Jukka fixing the air conditioning, us all eating, eating and eating – No wonder I gained so much weight that summer – in addition to the pile of photos where huge masses of water are flowing somewhere …. and thus do not make as an interesting story in photographic sense. Still, we saw more of Brasil than most Brazilians themselves ever will, not to speak of general tourists taking on a trip to Rio and flying over to the Iguassu falls.
Meanwhile, reading Janka’s log, had to make the map of places I’ve visited so far:

… found out that there’s still a lot to go to… And I thought I’ve been around a lot..:)
Anyhow, for over a year already, I’ve been longing for travel – ironically maybe, since I’m going to spend the next 3 years so far away. But, 2 months working in Tokyo does not abolish the need for exploring land. I’m placing my hopes on the eventual return trip – on boat from Japan to Shanghai, then by train via Beijing and Mongolia and Siberia and Moscow to the railway station in Helsinki, with Enough(tm) time to stop somewhere for a few days in the steppes… If anyone’s interested in joining us… 🙂
Reading still the Spring Snow, and getting used to the somehow indescribably foreign rythm of the text. Each paragraph, even thought entirely prosaic, reminds me of a haiku poem or a still image with slightly faded-out colours. The writer, Yukio Mishima, said when he got the inspiration for the story that he could die after it’s finished. The day he finished the manuscript for the last book, he performed seppuku. Go figure.
The departure is on 14th of February. So, I’ll miss Camarilla but, might be able to hava a game of Kulak – Juhana’s coming to Finland on the 13th…The farewell party is due on 9th or 10th.

Bugger. Woke up at 5.30,

Bugger. Woke up at 5.30, can’t sleep. Read Yukio Mishima’s ‘Spring Snow’ for some hours, and now watching Elviira waking up – even the bird seems to be reluctant to wake up: whenever it sticks its head out from beneath the covers, she clearly thinks ‘naah, not yet’ and goes back to downy sleep.
Darn. Even the gym does not open until 10.

Over a week ‘on vacation’.

Over a week ‘on vacation’. Or, more precicely, ‘unemployed’. Whichever, I still quite have not grasped it – last night I dreamed I was back in our lab doing some Utterly Useless But Arduous and Time Consuming experiment… I’ve been told about a concept called ‘Autuas Joutilaisuus’, or ‘Blissful Idleness’ – but I’m still waiting for those vast expanses of unmarked ground to open in front of me in my calendar…
I received a mail today from Ayako, the secretary girl at RIKEN:

Weekend went by muffled in

Weekend went by muffled in the continuous fall of snowflakes – missed a party, suffered a hangover (not necessarily in this order), ate okonomiyakis with some friends and hunted for monsters living under the snowpiles with Astra. A lot of sleep – but I suppose my internal time knows it is Monday today and I can’t sleep any more…I do my best to not worry, and to get rid of this inner feeling of hurry and need to accomplish urgent tasks…
Finished already reading Ash – the ‘historical’ story was very good, loved the technical details of medieval war – but, modern e-mail story in and between the main plot felt naïve and, unnecessary. Nevertheless, a good read. While looking for the next big book to read through, I entertain myself with Jules Verne’s 40000 leagues under the sea – first time with a clear understanding on how ingenious the man has been, to invent such things! But, why did Monsieur Verne, a zealous seafarer, sell his sailboat in suddenly 1886 and never after that set foot on board?

Bliss. No more work. Slept

No more work.
Slept until mid-afternoon, enjoyed parma ham & cheese sandwich at Wayne’s, and made the mistake of walking past Sirus’. I had planned to buy a birthday present for my sister, something in the range of a music CD – and found myself with a two-piece dress for her, a long dress for myself and a lot less money. In the mean time, a jacket, a pair of trousers and maybe a couple of shirts had changed ownership (fortunately, there were 4 of us at the same time in the shop…). Anyway, the dress will fit my dear sister like a fist into a hat.
After fixing my conscience for spending money at the gym, I went to attend to my schoolmate’s PhD celebration – good food, dear friends (supposedly not dear enough to keep in touch more often than once in 5 years,though), inspiring conversation (on how the birch trees survive cold weather? what is the definition of an animal? etc..), wine and other drinks until 4AM…
When leaving Botta, I accidentally lost the people going for the afterparty in the whirling snowfall – but no regrets: suddenly, while I was admiring the snow on the rail tracks behind Kiasma, a hooded man appeared out of nowhere and said: “Oh? A lost angel in snow?”
And the walk through night time Helsinki was breathtakingly beautiful, everything decorated by falling snowflakes just asking to be caught with my tongue. Felt happy, peaceful – like, at last, everything’s really going to be well and fine. Feel still happy, even though I must admit it might be (partly) the portwine speaking…
Bliss… to curl up in bed with the cover as soft and white as the snow, and sleep…

I dreamed … a lonely,

I dreamed … a lonely, abandoned, huge elephant, sitting on the highest peak of a green mountain with sparkling streams and butterflies, playing a sad melody on bagpipes. I climbed the mountain to the elephant, and asked it to come down – I had a car and could drive it back to Africe – but it just looked at me sadly and said, ‘I’d rather stay here’.
The supposedly last day at work starts with a familiar headache, but maybe that’s just fitting. I wonder how badly I will lose to the boss today – yesterday I found out I was paid 200 euros less money that I thought we had agreed upon.
*rehearsing* “No. No. I will not work any more here.”
(at 3PM)
First collision was easy. “So, you’re making an experiment?” “No.” “Hmm.”
“I won’t be here tomorrow, so, if there’s something to be done, you should tell me.” “Hmm…” and off he goes for a meeting. Been waiting for some hours now, throwing stuff away and chatting with people. And reading the man pages of Movable Type – maybe, maybe….

Ahhm. It seems that listing

Ahhm. It seems that listing at Pinseri brought a huge crowd of visitors – too bad I’ve never bothered to even think about the looks of this page. I suppose I’m never going to get around to upgrading – no, making, of proper homepages with at least correct addresses. Maybe life in Japan will be just soooo boring that it’ll happen…
The last day at work (I wish!) drags on at the set up. The boss did not appear at work today, so I suppose I’ll still have to come here today for saying adios. I’m not holding my breath, though.. it may well be so that I’ll be sitting here still next week. Even though I am practising already the clash of wills by reciting the words ‘No. I will not do anything more here. Anything. No. Have a nice day.’
The sword katas are miserable. And the techniques using the ninja-fan, with metal spikes, are even worse. Just praying I won’t hurt anything very badly, at least not the tatami. I trust the uke to evade the sharp tip.
Hmm. Should perhaps anyways do some updating – to keep up with progress, and invent a new name for the blog. Something very originalm and trendy, and catchy, and…

Progress: there’s an address already:

Progress: there’s an address already:
RIKEN, I-House# G-510, 2-6 Hirosawa, Wako-shi, Saitama 351-0106 Japan
Snowfall. Looks pretty from the inside, but not going to miss it (even though they are mailing ‘please enjoy your winter in Finland as we do not have good snow in Japan). Spent 2 days gearing up my old and trusty set up (which I was not using before as it had been looted bare while I wasn’t paying attention), and, the first experiment seems to (knock the wood) work. Bautiful straight baselines and clear potassium responses and everything. Not much swearing, today; but no great rejoicing, either, since I don’t believe this project will ever be published.
There is a saying among the wise of Bujinkan: “Yoe – well, she has problems with weapon techniques”. I wouldn’t say so, though, since in my opinion I just am completly clueless with weapons – no matter how well I’d know a certain kata etc, the moment I’m given something to hold in my hands (regardless of wheter it is a stic, a sword, or a fan) I get as lost as a bushman in space.
I suppose this is the very reason I am to present a line of weapon techniques – with real sharp swords! – on out Monday’s show. And, since I am one of the kind (hair and belt color), I am supposed to draw hordes of new practisers to our art.
As if 😛
(Bujinkan Shinden Dojo demonstration and enrollment for beginners’ course is on Monday 19th, at 7PM, at the Vuosaaren Urheilutalo.)

Big wheels in motion. Once

Big wheels in motion. Once again, I just stand aside and wonder how I don’t have any control, like my life just took another turn and steers itself. Almost relief – to let go… and just watch the circus. (An evening at my parents’ house was just that, once again… 😀 )
More red wine with friends – went to check out the ‘La Bodega’ that suddenly had appeared where ‘Copacabana’ had been (with *minimal* changes in the facade), and so got another serving of good steak this week (even thought both the meat and decoration were better at Jari’s place:). In a true ‘lazy weekend’-style saw a day showing of the film ‘Together’ (‘He ni zai yi qi’ in original, ‘Poika ja Viulu’ in finnish) and got a sudden urge to start practising violin, again…
I can’t decide whether I should mail my violin (or both of them) to Tokyo, or take the effort of carrying at least one of them with me on the plane.
I found out that the ‘Trans-Siberian train’ -plan for getting to Japan won’t work, as the ferries from Vladivostok don’t operate in wintertime. I seem to have completly forgotten what ‘Winter in Siberia’ is supposed to mean… But maybe it’d be a better idea in any case to take the long route (with all the stops in Ulan Bator etc) on way back home.
Oh. I finally signed this up at Pinseri – must be what everyone’s been waiting for (yearite 😉