Posts in the category "Thoughts".

I didn’t want all posts that have some sense going to the miscellany category which I think of as an over-flow category. So I made this. Writings that don’t go to any category but have some sense regardless. :)

Found & irreversibly lost

I like to imagine different scenarios. I’m really good at the coulda shoulda woulda and I often plan possible scripts of conversations I know I need to have (face-to-face or, especially, on the phone). I like to “plan” beforehand so I can more easily think on my feet, in a way, even though the real situation is of course different from what I had imagined.

Yesterday I found a cellphone on the bus on my way home from work. I took it to the driver because I figured they must have a lost&found. Later that night I started wondering what will happen to the phone: will they try and find the owner or will they just chuck the phone in a box labeled “Phones” and wait for the owner to contact them?

What if I would’ve tried to play Sherlock Holmes and investigate? Would the phone have been accessible and not locked? Would I have found the owner’s details in the phonebook or by calling myself to get the number and then by checking the directory service? Would they have lived nearby so I could’ve taken the phone straight to them? I would’ve walked up some stairs to their apartment, rang the doorbell, and asked if they’d lost a phone. Then I would’ve asked for distinguishing marks before giving them their phone back.

It was a nice phone, too. A black Nokia Lumia 920 (I think), just like the one I have, in a nice leather case. I wonder if the owner would’ve been nice too.

Now I’ll never find out.

To each their own tune

Very often when I’m “on the road” by myself and not reading a book I listen to music on my cellphone. And at work if I’m having trouble concentrating I may listen to music quietly on the background.

I pretty much always listen to music on my way back from work because I’m too tired to read. Today when I was sitting on the bus and listening to music (Muse, Milow, and Maroon 5), I was shaking my foot to my tunes. Next I noticed a reflection in the window: the guy sitting in front of me, with earbuds on, was drumming his knee with his hand. I couldn’t help but smile.

I can easily imagine a future where most people walk around with headphones on. I’ve even seen groups of teen girls where everyone is listening to their own music (and trying to chat, ha). Or maybe they are listening to the same song. Social music playing could get popular so wouldn’t one-to-many Bluetooth pairings be great? Or cords with multiple pairs of headphones on the other end? Those would at least be much better than what these groups do now: listen to the songs from the loudspeaker. To the enjoyment of everyone around them.

A sudden realisation

Back in 1997 I popped my knee really badly in April and had to use crutches for quite some time: first till I got in a surgery that summer and then finally to heal.

It was horrible having to ask help for anything and everything when both my hands were occupied by the crutches. In school I felt such a burden to my friend — just getting to class was a challenge. (And boy, the confirmation camp that summer was such a hoot.)

At a time when I’d got rid of one crutch I went to McDonald’s with my friend. I was left at the counter to carry the tray to our table. Yes, the one-armed me. The tray was quite heavy — with two drinks, two burgers and two sets of fries — and pretty soon after I’d started walking to the table, I dropped it.

I was sooo embarrassed. My friend had to go ask for refills for the drinks and someone had to come and wipe the Cokes off the floor. And I had to sit there and eat that meal.

Just now, after all these years of still being embarrassed, as something made me think about the crutches again (not that I haven’t thought about them before…) I surprised myself by realising something: why should I be embarrassed about what happened? No one offered to help me (a 15-year-old girl). Not my friend, not the person at the counter, no one. They should’ve been embarrassed.

Take a sauna on it

Sauna is an amazing thing: you may go in there worked up about something or worried, and come out calm and — more importantly — in your right mind again.

For instance, yesterday I was feeling furious at my bank because they paid an instalment of my apartment two months early. I thought, of course, that I’m losing money in interests because I’m starting to pay them now instead of two months later.

Then I went to the sauna (today).

Now I’m thinking, what difference does it actually make if I’m paying for this particular instalment + its interest for x number of months starting now instead of x number of months starting a bit later. I’m still feeling a hint of uncertainty, but logically thinking it doesn’t make much of a difference (the interest rate does change annually but it affects the situation only marginally).

This “enlightenment” has happened so many times that I sometimes feel stupid when I realise I’ve been worrying about something for no reason.

One Pepsi, hold the vodka

Last Friday I went out with a couple of colleagues, “for a pint.” We were walking to the subway station when the other asked me to come along and I had to make sure, “You’re asking me? Even though I don’t drink alcohol?” I was told that was beside the point. So, I tagged along.

We went to a beer house and I ordered a Pepsi (I was treated, how kind). The bartender asked, “you want some vodka1 with that.” My response? A loud “god no!” When we sat at the table my colleague laughed and asked if I get asked that a lot. I don’t but that might be because it was my first time “out for a pint.” (I had a wonderful time!)

I’ve never drunk alcohol, nor tasted, nor wanted to. Usually it doesn’t cause any problems but in the company’s summer festivities we were at a Greek restaurant and I asked for something to drink other than beer or the lukewarm water they served at the tables. The waitress shrugged and said “this is a Greek restaurant in Finland, why would we have something else?” (What about kids?!?)

Finns are big drinkers and I’m one of the odd ones out. Proud of it, too, although I don’t remember making a decision between to drink or not to drink. There has been no need; drinking has never even crossed my mind.

I suppose it’s “common knowledge” at work that I don’t drink alcohol. (It certainly is common knowledge with my family and friends.) In our last Christmas party I won a bottle of wine and a promotional t-shirt. I asked if the competition organizer would mind if I gave the bottle away to everyone. I kept the t-shirt although I don’t think I’ve worn it once.

On Monday a colleague of mine had emailed a project manager saying that he hadn’t had time to finish a task so he’d buy a beer to whomever finished it for him on his day off. And either the PM or the colleague had added, “or a Hyvää Päivää2 to Minna.” Today — I got a bottle of vitamin C + caffeine Hyvää Päivää.
(Yup, caffeine is my drug of choice. I’m not pretending to be a goody two-shoes.)

1. Well, he said “kossu,” but who cares. (See Wikipedia if you do care.)
2. Hyvää Päivää wellness drinks, another site, in English


Suddenly I’ve started to look for apartments for real. I made an appointment at my bank for Monday and then I’ll find out what sort of money I can plan on putting into an apartment. On Sunday we’re going to 4-5 showings (whatever it’s called — open house) and 4 more on Monday.

I have started a list of the things I need. And now I know some requirements for the apartment too: two rooms + kitchen and bathroom, preferably a balcony with “window glasses” (although a balcony will make it easier for my parents to smoke when they’re visiting…), storage space in the apartment (lots of old apartments have walk-in closets), no bathtub (takes unnecessarily much space)…

First I started looking for apartments nearby but Dad suggested the area where we used to live years ago. Not because he wants me far away (I hope so) but because it’s a nice area and it would make commuting easier. The apartments are also cheaper there. Still, I’m worried about “shunning my responsibilities” if I move too far away: I wouldn’t be able to help with the dog.

I’m going to buy an apartment instead of renting. Furthermore, I’m getting a two-room apartment instead of a studio because I see studios as temporary abodes — I want a Home. With a capital H. Also, there’s something about having all rooms in a single space that bothers me.

[Edit: June 17] Dad told me that it is actually forbidden in many places to smoke on the balcony nowadays. Therefore people have to smoke either inside their apartments or in the yard. Two of the buildings we went to see today smelled awfully of tobacco… Anyway, if I had a balcony, my parents would have to go outside to smoke because I would definitely forbid smoking inside. [/Edit]

Lots of will but no skill

For a long while I’ve been wanting to re-do my site — the blog, more specifically. I try and sketch, find colour schemes, and start coming up with the basic structure. The problem is, I have no graphic design talent.

Finding nice colours is quite easy, there are lots of tools to make it even easier, too. I have collected hundreds of fonts through the years and there are the selected few that I really like. But after those are taken care of, I should start making my site pretty. That’s when I hit the wall.

I can’t draw (seriously), I possibly can doodle but doodling doesn’t make pretty. Of course, I could make my site with only coloured boxes, but that’s quite dull.

I took a look at my past designs and I may just resort to using one of the old ones (coded better, of course). However, I’d really really like to create something new. Maybe I’ll finally continue with the design which was in the “final polishings” stage two years ago(!!!) — if I can find the files, that is.

How do you do it? Are you one of the lucky ones who have an artistic bone in their body? Do you use some sort of resources to help with the design?

[Edit May 18] And where do you get an idea for the design?! I’ve only managed to think of the main colour so far. Argh! [/Edit]

Why am I so scared?

I dread social situations, more precisely official situations: presentations, calling on the phone on official matters, handling things at a counter or office somewhere. When I realise I have to do something like that, my heart rate jumps a lot of notches and my face feels like it’s turning red. I have to think how I’m going to start and rehearse a few times.

Still, the situations don’t cause me to blunder; I don’t stutter, get mixed up with my words, or mumble unintelligently. In fact, I’m very normal and seem at ease. Why, then, can’t I remember it when the pre-socialising symptoms start disturbing my calm and collectedness; I won’t make (too bad) a fool out of myself however much I fear it.

I just made a call to customer service to change my parents’ magazine subscription to a discount. I tried to think of a way to state my business, thought I’d figured out a good way to start but still managed to say something quite ungrammatical (it is very easy in Finnish with the 15+ noun cases we have). Nevertheless, I was understood. Don’t get me wrong, I was flushing and well on my way to arrhythmia. But I sailed through it.

Very frustrating.

Instant photos – if you happen to have the phone

Now that I can take a photo any time with my phone I’ve started noticing the times when I can’t. Then I see something and think “aw, I would’ve wanted to take a photo of that.”

I don’t take the phone with me when I’m walking the dog but maybe I should. A couple of weeks ago in the morning there was a really wonderful full moon, the sky was clear and very dark. That would’ve made a wonderful photo. I thought, “it’ll be there when I leave for work”. Well, it wasn’t, a cloud had drifted over it. The next morning the moon and the whole setting was back — I didn’t have my phone. When it was time to leave for work, the sky had lightened too much.

Today I saw an interesting spray painting on the asphalt — and I didn’t have my phone. I’ll have to try and remember to take it with me tomorrow.

In 7th heaven on the 4th floor

Last night I had a Moment. It was a moment when I realised that what I do at work is really really fantastic (or should I say fah-bulous).

I’m not really talking about the technical stuff. It’s mostly pretty monotonous and, most importantly, only temporary. I do My Thing to the files and wish them well, and the projects go on living their lives I’ll never be a bigger part of (except when I get the files back and do My Other Thing before they’re sent to the client). But the projects I’m managing are really interesting! Of course, I can’t talk about them, which sometimes is a shame when I’m itching to tell about something great that happened at work and I can’t.

These Unspecified Fancy Operations make me feel very cutting-edge — which I’m not. But because I’m not, they feel very hip and groovy. (Convenient.) Anyway, it doesn’t matter what I do. It feels great to have settled in, found my place, and actually be excited about what I do. It takes one over the stressful times quite nicely, doesn’t it? (Today was pretty hectic, as a matter of fact.)

4th floor is the floor I work on. I’m one of the upstairs people.