September 14, 2005

IN MEMORIAM 12.1.2004-13.9.2005

My faithful eyeglasses have now been replaced with now ones. But then, it seems like I'm the only one who can tell the difference between the thin and round frames enclosing the lenses which just weren't good enough for me anymore with the slightly edgier (and larger) spectacles I inaugurated yesterday. Then again, I'm the only one who can see the difference in more senses than one - I no longer have to squint when turning towards the bookshelf from where I am sitting now.

My previous glasses were special in that they were the very first glasses I ever used. Everything went perfectly from day one, when people said they fit me so well they hardly even realised I was wearing glasses. I also got used to the glasses very quickly, and remember forgetting them home only once.
However, there were also times when they were a pain in the ass.

Like the time one of the lenses just came off and I had to quickly come up with a plan b as an alternative to my already-packed schedule a day before travelling to Moscow, so that I managed to get them repaired. And how can I forget the day when I woke up on a perfect morning, groggy but refreshed, and the sunlight outside inspired me to strike the harp and play a few lush chords to start the day, only to hear a crunching noise from under my backside.

Sh*t happens!
Good night.

September 11, 2005

A glimpse into the now

Things to stress about:
- "my" harp is once again being forced into the scary wide world. Due to harp shortage at Stadia (at the moment, one harp for three harpists and about three different happenings taking place simultaneously), I have been asked to give up the Venus Concert Grand for two weeks. Getting hold of the driver and arranging the transport is difficult enough, but also finding time to be at home when the harp is taken away and spending at least an hour driving it all over the place is, frankly, a pain in the ass.

- For our 20th century music course, I am supposed to compose a piece in the dodecafonic style for voice and some obscure insrtument I haven't yet thought of (piano is out of the question). We're supposed to find time to just relax and let inspiration flood our brains. I already have the twelve-tone melody in my head, but trying to make text, voice and harmony come together is enough to make dodecafony turn into cacofony.

- This blog entry, which, I fear, is not nearly as entertaining as usual.

Things to look forward to:
- The Great Escape to Tunisia on Friday. Four long days to go before that, though..

- Picking up my new glasses, hopefully on Thursday. The process of choosing new frames took long, and in the end, the ultracool dark green frames came second to the slightly more conservative but still hip brown spectacles.

Things to be pleased about:
- I have bit by bit learned the art of mastering Google Earth, which includes marking spots like Työsaari outside Joutseno and Nana's and Solhi's house in Damascus with placemarks.

- Today's Full House-rehearsal went as well as expected/hoped (see picture), which was probably due to the magnificent mushroom pie baked by Kaisa.

Some might have noticed that the points to stress about were considerably more elaborate than the others, but this is because I realised that it's time for bed and refueling for a hard day tomorrow.

September 06, 2005

Monday, Monday!

It came and went, the first Monday of the school year, doing relatively little damage. Just over 12 hours of everything falling blissfully into place - the lesson timetables, my calendar, and, of course, the Helsinki bus schedule. Half a whole day of slowly drifting from place to place, picking the ripe fruit from the trees of knowledge and the school cafeteria. If this sounds too good to be true, I'm sorry to say it isn't true.

Because of problems concerning our school's computer intranet system, instead of starting a course of writing contemporary music, I found myself in renaissance analysis. Luckily, the teacher understood the problem, took matter into his own hands and declared we were going to do contemporary music, and us students (two altogether) worked on 12-tone writing for some time. Next time there will be more students, when people finally wake up to the fact that the holidays have long packed and gone.

I decided to drop by Stockmann to pick up my huge order of photos I ordered via the internet. This is when the phone started ringing and didn't stop until I put down my tray of food in Ruoholahti and switched it off, cursing for the thousandth time that I still haven't recorded a new answering machine message. Oh well, I suppose any callers were interested in hearing I was on a trip until the 22th of July. Callers ranged from baffled mothers of boys who are supposed to start their theory lessons with me tomorrow to chamber music teachers persuading me to be active once more in next year's "Musica Nova".

After my singing lesson, during which my teacher advised me to have myself checked at a doctor to see whether I have symptoms of asthma (my coughing always lasts for weeks after the cold has gone), I realised that, while finally having all those pictures to put in my album was great fun, I wasn't very keen on dragging a huge paper package with 510 pictures with me all day, and so I ran home to drop them off here.

I checked my email, but switched the computer off in shock after seeing I had about twenty new messages, again from clueless mothers and CM Swing, with what seemed like ten more performances for the next two months, requesting urgent replies. After reading the emails in peace now I realise that the matter was about only three performances. I can just about make it to one of them.

The course "musiikkipedagogiikka" took place in a stuffed classroom smelling of sweat. Perfect conditions for dozing off, if it weren't for the horrible quiet beeping of cell phones here and there. What is WRONG with people?? Is it so difficult to put the phone on silent altogether? It seems like half of the time we're having to endure bags which suddenly start causing an earthquake because of the vibrating phone or high-pitched beeping sounds here and there, "discreetly" announcing an incoming call.

With one hour to go before Dominante, I joined my friends at the cafeteria for a piece of the sinfully delicious and expensive Snickers-cake (2€!!!!!!!!!!!!). This made me miss my bus (102T) to Otaniemi, so in an act of desperation I hopped on the next bus (147) to Hanasaari, hoping to catch my bus there, and arrived there about two seconds too late. Hanasaari is a lousy bus stop to wait at because you can't even read a book for constantly having to keep your eyes wide open (very wide in my case) to see whether your bus is coming. Usually I make out the number of the bus alarmingly late. If you see your bus, the best thing to do is jump on to the middle of the road and wave your arms high up until the driver notices someone wants to get on the bus. The fancy displays showing how many minutes you have to wait for your bus are usually totally misleading - if the display tells you to wait 20 minutes it means the bus will come any minute; after displaying four minutes, the numbers turn into a cute little symbol of a bus approaching, which usually is a sign you have about ten more minutes to wait.

It felt nice to be able to produce some sound more substantial than a croak at the rehearsal for the first time in two weeks. But because the rehearsal lasted a little until after nine o'clock, us Helsinki-bound singers missed our bus and had to wait some ten minutes or so. Fortunately, the next bus was 194, which brings me very close to home.

And after that, I sat down for a relaxing hour or so to make the lists of my music theory students. This mainly consisted of looking up addresses, names and telephone numbers from about a hundred different papers and leaflets, all crammed in a folder for me to dig up "next day, next week". But now, less than 24 hours before my first lesson, I could no longer postpone this moment. I now realise that one of my two groups might consist of as many as almost thirty students, which is more than doubly more than anyone can stand under the conditions. If I REALLY find myself with that many boys tomorrow, I'll have to schedule a crisis meeting with the staff to see what to do, because I definitely do not have the time to divide the group in two and work two more hours every week.

And then I wrote this newest entry in my blog, which was actually quite much fun, because it's a sign that this really was more or less a normal Monday! But now I've had enough of it. Good night!
Oh, and the picture at the top was taken by Anna Toivakka at 01:17 on the 28th of August in Kilo's train station.