I pushed the red button. It sort of formatted my whole life. Now re-installation in progress, upgrading from Life v.1.0 to the new and enhanced Life v.2.0. Hopefully it is a bit more bug-free software. Wonder how modifyable it is, since there are quite a few const-type fields with set values. Nah, so far so good, the software seems to have quite a lot of possibilities. Been tapping all them radiobuttons during the installation wizard but still I feel that a lot is left to be modified later on along the way.
I installed Life v.1.0 quite a few years ago. It was good, can’t say it wasn’t. I made my choices while installing and they sort of set the path and the direction. Sometimes I felt like a passenger in my own life, drifting along the river drawn by my earlier choices. I was basically happy, though sometimes longing for somtehing I just couldn’t make happen, but for most of the time, very contented with my life.
Up until the river became murky and muddy. And my Life software began to corrupt and crumble from all the bugs in it. For a time there I tried to patch it, run service packs and install accessories. My harddrive became full and I needed more RAM – but it seemed to be out of stock for couldn’t get any. My Life became more or less dysfunctional since it could process only a limited amount of operations and kept crashing with certain ones.
It was time to reboot. And not only reboot to the old Life v.1.0 with all them bugs, for it didn’t fix any of the problems. I tried that too, but operation failed over time. Just like after any reboot, things seem to work fine for a time but then eventually after running buggy operation after another, all the old problems return and the system starts to fail and crash all over again.
So came the time to press the red format button and re-install and upgarde. The installation is still in progress, but one by one the configurations fall into place and Life v.2.0 will be up and running. Hardware is the same old, so some memory problems probably occur still. And the installation in itself does use up quite a lot of the available RAM so it really goes one configuration step at a time. It’s a slowish process when you look at it on a daily view, but as for the big picture, not so slow actually.
Sometimes this whole upgrading business feels like speeding head on to the unknown on the highway of life. Even though I can and need to make choices every step of the way, I can’t really know what each different configuration choice does and means in the fully installed Life v.2.0. But I believe in my future and cherish the good in the past. I’m not formatting my Life database, ofcourse not! Life v.2.0 needs it to build the basics of the system.
Leave it to a nerd to describe major life changes like divorce, new relationship, new home, new job… with an IT analogy.
In recent months my life has again been in a sort of a turmoil with winds of change blowing and often times I’ve been engulfed in a fog, not able to see the way. All of it is just part of the process of a life upgrade again, to Life 2.5. I’m not changing jobs or getting divorced or anything like that, but there’s new features to install.
One of the major changes was last of the kids moving out. In the beginning of September last year, we became empty nesters (with three dogs). This in itself forced new dynamics upon us. I admit that I like it this way. We are all a bit broken and fare better with our own spaces.
Some of the stuff that’s been going on is of such a personal nature, that I will leave it out. It has, however, had great impact on our lives and even though a lot of it is for the better, even that is a stress and causes anxiety and the need to adjust and learn new ways. Especially mixed with the stuff that wasn’t exactly positive. A lot of things, a lot of emotions. When it rains it pours.
The upgrade process is a lot of recalculation of old features, installation of new features, cofiguration of it all, and making choices of what to keep, what to remove, what to install, what to leave out. Sometimes anxiety takes over bigtime, when I feel I need to be making all these decisions right now. Like playing chess with life, trying to guess its moves five steps ahead in order to make my own move. It’s a little bit easier, if I remember to take it one step at a time and see where that takes me before panicking about the steps that are still days, weeks, months away.
Finding myself and especially updgrading my life, means more tattoos (and piercings) for me. This process so far has already resulted in three new tattoos: two orchids on my back and a bracelet on my right arm. My tattoos are all heavily symbolic, some more easily deciphered, some less. These orchids hold a promise of blooming, a memory and a hope. The armlet’s dreamcatcher hold a dream caught – one of the new features in my Life v.2.5.
Tomorrow marks the anniversary of our Finnish #coronageddon. Tomorrow last year our government held a press conference where they announced all those temporary restrictions that have become our new normal – at least for the time being. It marked the start of an era that has yet to come to its end. We all thought it would be a few months, but here we are, a year later, waiting to get vaccinations that may or may not end the pandemic. Sometimes I think this stuff won’t be over until those who’re going to die of Covid-19 are dead, and the rest survive together with the virus.
Last year tomorrow Daughter was on her way to dance classa after school, for the first time in weeks, after being sick and sick again for quite some time. I called her two hours before dance class: “Sorry, kid. Come home. Dance school has closed its doors.” Everything closed their doors. Restaurants went into take-out mode. People stopped going to the office. Schools were closed. Everything became remote everything. Teams. Zoom. Something.
Year later, here we are still and again. After a less covidy summer the society started to gradually open up a bit again. Dance classes started again (though I did not attend and adviced my daughter not to attend either). Gyms opened. Restaurants opened their doors with limited seating. Most information workers I know still stayed mostly at home, even after the masks were finally introduced into our Finnish Corona fighting arsenal too, but I had started to go to the office in August, and just could not go back to staying at home all the time anymore. For reasons.
Now, after a half a year of using a face mask in public, it has become just a part of going out gear. No, I don’t don it every time I step out of the door, but I frequently forget to take it off when stepping out of the bus or coming out of stores. Once I was half way home from the bus stop almost 2km from home before I remembered to pull it off, when I started to wonder about the labored breath. I still have P3 (KN95) filters inside my cloth masks.
Another thing that has become a no-brainer already is avoiding to touch anything with bare hands out in the public. Pressing elevator buttons with cell phone, pushing doors open with elbow, pulling hand inside of the coat sleeve to pull a door open, leaning on escalator railing with forearm instead of hand, touching only what you buy in stores. And still using hand sanitizer at every opportunity.
Still, here we are, a year after it all began here, with Covid-19 case counts approximately at the same level as a year ago. Actually, there’s more registered cases, but there’s also a whole lot more testing. The amount of hospitalized people is still a tad less than it was at worst last year. And now things are being closed down again. Our government is thinking about curfews and other restrictions to people moving out and about – something they didn’t really do at all last spring. If you don’t count closing down the Uusimaa province as such.
The main difference is that people are not hoarding toilet paper. Or sanitizer. Even face masks are available everywhere, in all different formats. Cloth masks with and without filter pockets, surgical masks in every color, FFP3/KN95 masks with and without breathing valves, you name it. Last summer I bought this little purse with the idea that I can easily slip my phone into it, while otherwise just keeping it in my bag as a wallet, but now the space for the phone is taken up by a mask. So that I always have one with me.
I admit to living a rather normal life. I go to the office twice a week, I shop in stores occasionally, I’ve eaten in restaurants now and then, I get my hair done regularily, I have even had some tattoos and piercings done in recent months; my next tattoo appointment is tomorrow. Then again, otherwise my life is a boring life of a total homebody anyway. I walk the dogs, but as for hobbies, I’m fully content with my books.
Still, this time is taking its toll on me, too. All this everyone (erhm, husband) at home all the time. All this everything online (yes, certain things like trainings are immensely better done onsite, face to face). All this precaution. All this unease. The sheer understanding that we are living with an invisible enemy.
All these masks masking our faces. I do hope it won’t become a new normal. I do believe that a true smile can be seen in the eyes (even more than the lips), but still I would’ve wished that the old lady I helped off the bus would’ve seen me smile at her before I turned to walk away. That the other lady I helped on the bus a week ago when her groceries spilled all over the floor had seen me smile at her before I sat back down to stare out of the window, my mind blank again.
Then again, with the mask nobody can see my mouth agape when I sit dazed, lost in space, with music blasting through my AirPod, dulling my thoughts. So I guess there’s that silver lining in this.
Elämäni on taas vähintäänkin mielenkiintoista, outoa ja hämmentävää. On asioita, jotka vievät henkisen energiani pretty much kokonaan, sen mitä ei vie työ. Kirjoittamisesta ei siis oikein taaskaan tule mitään, taitaa tulla jälleen aika blogihiljainen vuosi. Kyselyitä en voi kuitenkaan vastustaa, joten tässä vaihteeksi yksi, naamakirjasta tietenkin poimittu.
Pidätkö sinihomejuustosta? Aura on best. Muista tykkään pienellä varauksella.
Cola vai Pepsi? Aito Coca Cola. Sitä kai tuolla Colalla tarkoitetaan, eikä esim. Lidlin Colaa?
Onko sinulla asetta? Muuta kuin terävä kieli? Ei. Tai no, onhan meillä BB-gun, hevosjousi, ja kaikenlaisia puukkoja ja veitsiä.
Viskiä, tequilaa vai vodkaa? Viski, sikäli kun noista pitää valita. Tequila lyhentää iltaa puoli tuntia per shotti. Just nyt en tosin joisi noista mitään, sillä pian puoleen vuoteen en ole alkoholiin koskenut, enkä ajatellut ihan hetkeen koskeakaan. Ehken enää ikinä.
Hot Dog vai Juustohampurilainen? Juustohamppari, itse grillattu.
Suosikkiruoka? Sushi. Tai fettunicine al fredo. Tai ehkä joku ihan muu kuten vaikka puoliraaka entrecôte ja smetana-ruusukaalit. Tough choice.
Mitä juot aamulla? Cappucinoa ja itsepuristetun hedelmäshotin (juuen todellakaan tee mitään sellaisia aamulla vaan teen mehua noin kerran parissa kuukaudessa monta litraa, pakastan ja sieltä sitten täytellään pieniä shottipulloja jääkaappiin)
Voitko tehdä 100 punnerrusta? En enää. En ehkä edes riittävän ajan kanssa.
Kesä, talvi, kevät vai syksy? Kesä. Kesäkesäkesä!
Onko sinulla silmälaseja? On 😒 Taas. Juuri jouduin hankkimaan monitehot ja päätelasit. Tai no, ei mulla niitä vielä ole, mutta ehkä viikon päästä.
Fobiaa? Trypofobia eli reikäpelko, suljetun paikan kammo (hissit ei ahdista, mutta esim. magneettikuvaus kyllä, samoin ihmismassat eli oisko kuitenkin vaan joku “paikkojen joista ei pääse milloin tahansa pois -kammo”?)
Viikon suosikkipäivä? Lauantai, tai jos pitää valita arkipäivä, torstai. Go figure.
Uskotko kummituksiin? Toki! Siis silleen kieli poskessa 😉
Vesisadetta vai lunta? Lunta (talvella, kesällä ois kiva jos ei päiväsaikaan ainakaan satais kumpaakaan mut jos valita pitää niin vettä 😉 )
Lävistyksiä? Korvissa kolme (kolmia “normireikiä” laskematta), ja ensi viikolla jälleen napaläväri (olen kaivannut sitä, sen menettäminen AN-leikkauksen myötä harmitti melkein yhtä paljon kuin kuulon menetys 😛 )
Ranskalaiset vai sipulirenkaat? Ranskikset, tai jos on tarjolla kunnon olutsipulirenkaan niin ne
Tekeekö 6 kaveria tämän? Joo, eri foorumeilla
Lapsia? Kaksi ja puoli, jo aikuisia
Lempiväri? Violetti, jos musta ei oo väri
Suosikkimusiikki? Hard/Alt Rock (Foo Fighters, Linkin Park, ja Rush tällä hetkellä eniten kuuntelussa)
Osaatko viheltää? Juu, mutten mikään mestari ole
Missä olet syntynyt? Stadissa, tarkemmin Naistenklinikalla, kuten ekalla luokalla johonkin lomakkeeseenkin rustasin 😋
Onko sinulla veljeä/siskoa? Pikkusisko, joka asuu Atlantin toisella puolen perheineen
Onko sinua koskaan pidätetty? Eipä ole
Onko sinua koskaan leikattu? Kolme kertaa: kitarisat kun olin 9v, akustikusneurinooma tammikuussa 2014, kyynärpää syyskuussa 2020
Oletko uskonnollinen? Ehdottomasti en.
Suihku vai kylpy? Yleensä suihku, mutta joskus kylpy tuntuu hyvältä
Lempivaatteet? Farkut ja huppari tai teepaita, mutta ihan mieluiten keikuin bikineissä (pitkä kuuma kesä kiitos!)
Oletko hyvä ystävä? En tiedä. Toivon niin. Ei minulla tosin mitenkään kovin paljon ole ystäviä, joten ehkä en?
Onko luita murtunut? Kerran. Viime syyskuussa kun värttinäluu murtui.
Kuinka monta telkkaria talossasi on? Kaksi, yksi kummassakin kerroksessa
Pahin kipu? Sisäinen. Joo, ne fyysisetkin kivut voi olla aika karmeita, mutta kyllä pahiten runtelee särkyneet tunteet.
Tykkäätkö? Usein, paitsi jos en
Ovatko vanhempasi vielä elossa? Isä on, äiti kuoli pian 7 vuotta sitten
Tykkäätkö retkeilystä? Päiväseltään joo, mutten missään nimessä halua enää koskaan nukkua teltassa!
Oletko sinä outo? Ehdottomasti. Normaali on pelkkää illuusiota anyway.
Spotify was the first to release the year 2020 stats and top lists, so I’ll start with that. Oddly enough, Rush rushed to the top of the list, having been the band I hadn’t much even listened to, ever, until late last year (that would be 2019). During this year, however, it has become one of my favorite go-to bands, right there with Foo Fighters, Muse, and Linkin Park. And Morcheeba, the mellow moody music.
Books get to be next. Did not read quite as much this year as the year before: 35 books/13,424 pages (2019 46 books/18,919 pages), but last year was exceptional due to the binging of Harry Potters. This year was more according to average. If I had to select the best and the least liked book of the year, the least liked one is an easy pick: Berlin Poplars by Anne B. Radge. The best one is more difficult to pick, but I think if I had to choose only one of this year’s book to take with me on a desert island, I think I’d take Erin Morgenstern’s The Starless Sea. Or maybe Kate Morton’s The Secret Keeper. It’s a tie.
Photos next. The Top Nine’s from Instagram are kinda bs, for depending on the app you get a different set of nine. Best Nine app creates collages without watermarks (unlike the Top 9 app that wants you to pay a few euros to remove the watermark), so we’ll go with them. Flickr, unfortunately, doesn’t give a yearly recap, not even yearly stats.
Lastly, blog posts. I still have a bunch of blogs in Blogger, even though all of them get updates rather infrequently. The Happy Dogs Diary was the most active of them this year, mainly due to Ace, and me writing quite many posts about him during his first months. The most viewed post was Ace’s first day at home.
Artzy Bunny had some new posts too during the year, since I did do some painting and other art projects this year too. The most viewed post was my painting of Ace, go figure 😉
From Kitchen, with Love had a few new posts during this year, too. It is my most viewed blog, for sure, even though I don’t add much content there anymore. The most viewed post of this year was, in fact, a recipe from 2013, that of a feta and spinach pie (a very delicious pie, I can assure you!)
This one, the home of marilka.net, had 2,113 views this year, with a total of 20 new posts (not including this one) and five new pages published this year. The most read post is still that one about the busted OBHNordica blender 😀 There’s a few other posts that keep on keeping on in the top list, like the one about sulphate free shampoo and the one about a snowy winter’s morning.
I think that wraps it up for this year, with 5 hours to go until the Mad Max year of 2021.
I almost wrote something about the “Corona year”, but truly, it hasn’t defined my year, even if it has had its impact on my life just as everyone else’s. Life has continued through it all, things have happened – both good and bad – and now it’s time to take a look at all of it.
Corona was distant world news only, nothing bigger than the SARS everyone had already forgotten about. More important things were those like going to the IMAX movie theater to see the latest Star Wars movie with daughter, and starting the remodeling of our studio/office. Daughter and I started dance lessons again after a few years’ break.
Quote of the month: I think they’ve gotten it all wrong here at the airport. We actually need to board the plane, get in the air and fly to our destination. NOT enough to just gather people to the gate and turn off the lights. (Me) Book of the month: Garber, Stphanie – Finale (Caraval #3) The finale of a series that in many ways resemble The Night Circus. A world of magic and illusion. The battle of good and evil, not only in the world but inside of individuals.
Pic of the month:
There was the Ypäjä open doors, daughter’s school production, our new bed, and an ear infection. Nothing major going on.
Quote of the month: To expect something greater after life was to forget that life was the greatest thing of all. (Nina George, The Little Breton Bistro) Book of the month:George, Nina – The Little Breton Bistro Seek and destroy. Escape and find a new life. A book about finding oneself, one’s selfworth, the essence of life and family – not necessarily of blood but of friendship.
Pic of the month:
A day trip to Tampere, and Bryan Adams in concert in Espoo right before the Corona shits started for real in Finland. No more dance classes, stay at home working, stay at home school. Just, stay the fuck at home.
Quote of the month:My life just changed when I realised that Bon Jovi sings “let it rock, let it GO”, not “let it rock, let it roll!” My life has been a lie (Me) Book of the month:Itäranta, Emmi – Teemestarin kirja (Memory of Water) A dystopia where water is restricted, owned by the government and used as a means of oppression. A young Tea Master still has a secret water source and she tries to help the villagers inconspicuously. She also plots her escape, to go to her mom. A rather fascinating read.
Pic of the month:
More of stay at home. Except that we didn’t entirely, but went for an outing or two, out into the nature, just to get away from the four walls closing in. Ok, once. Once we drove to Linlo. Other than that we had walks aroung here. And we went to see a lady about a puppy ❤
Quote of the month:Quarantine ups: teen’s room stays clean when she wears her jammies day and night (Me) Book of the month:Riley, Lucinda – The Shadow Sister (The Seven Sisters #3) Perhaps my favorite of the Seven Sisters books, perhaps because it travels in the booky world. I read them all – except for the seventh one which is to be expected next year. I fancied them all what with the mixture of contemporary and historical all over the world. Not all stories ended well – actually quite a bit of them didn’t – but life always wins.
Pic of the month:
I suppose the month could be just as well named Ace. First impatiently waiting for him to come, then our life revolving around the little meatball. Though, we actually got a whole lot of renovation stuffs done in our hallway while waiting for the little dude, and I did go to the hairdresser too.
Quote of the month:Deep down we all want to be twelve years old again. With all the innocence of childhood still lingering, with all of of our life still ahead. We all have that one thing that took us over the bridge. (Me) Book of the month:Mujunen, Salme – Pentuaapinen Puppies for Dummies or so. The beginner’s guide to caring for a pup. We’ve had dogs for years, but neither one came to us a puppy. It was ok, lot’s of tips and stuff.
Pic of the month:
Oh, glory! I turned 45! Went kayaking with some colleagues, swimming at our summerplace, and just, erhm, stayed at home. Oh, we ventured out to the public enough to enjoy a sunny evening on the terrace of Torpanranta (in Munkkiniemi). I lauched my new FB page Mama Loves Bully – all about dogs.
Quote of the month:You know it’s summer when there’s no socks of mine in the laundry (Me) Book of the month:Barker, Pat – The Silence of the Girls Interesting different approach of the legend of Achilles and Troy. Really. It’s not so much about the war heroes, more like the ugly side of it all. Told by the women in the camp of those so called heroes. The only thing I missed in the book though was that there was no Trojan horse. I mean, how was there no Trojan horse!
Pic of the month:
Vacation month. Zippy ziplining with daughter, day-trip to Hanko and Tammisaari, a weekend at our summer place, a few days at a cabin up in Vesanto picking up daughter who worked for a week at our relatives’ dairy farm. Stuffs like that – in addition to reading in the sun on our terrace, whenever the sun decided to warm our days.
Quote of the month:I KNOW you KNOW how to [use a knife, drive, do whatnot], it’s just that you’re so absent minded. Like, driving down the road, you’re like thinking of unicorns and other universes and such. (H) Book of the month:Morgenstern, Erin – The Starless Sea An adventure between worlds. Who is good, who is evil, who is right, who is wrong? And why, and does it even matter? Morgenstern knits a dreamlike world full of intrigue and danger, but somehow this book is just not as dreamy and amazing as her first one, The Night Circus.
Pic of the month:
Back to work. Actually back to work at the office, at least a couple days a week. We spent some time outdoors in Linlo and Luutalammi, visited some friends in Labböle, ate crawdads at our summer place, and whatnot. Hunted for an apartment (actually a room) for daughter, prepared for her moving to her own place at the beginning of September. Had my last drop of alcohol for the rest of however long time.
Quote of the month:Kuoleman läheisyydessä pelkäämme meluamista, aivan kuin viikatemies ei olisi vielä poistunut vaan etsisi seuraavaa uhriaan ja voisi kuulla. (Indrek Hargla, Apteekkari Melchior ja Olevisten kirkon arvoitus) [Freely translated: “In the vicinity of death we are afraid of making any noise, as if Death was still lingering nearby looking for his next victim and could hear us.”] Book of the month:Hargla, Indrek – Apteekkari Melchior ja Olevisten kirkon arvoitus Humhumhum. I did even get the next book in the series. It’s kinda like the C. J. Sansom Shardlake books. A bit slowpaced, like I suppose life was back hundreds of years ago. Much doesn’t really happen, the main character just goes about noticing things and finding the culprit with sharp-witted deduction. Not bad, but not my favorite style of writing either. Intriguing, though.
Pic of the month:
Daughter moved to her own place, a room in a dorm-like apartment. Son turned twenty and is not a teen anymore. I went kayaking with colleagues, and downhill biking with colleagues. Kayaking was all good despite the rough waters, but the biking ended in a broken arm and surgery. Gotta get some new experiences sometimes, right? So then, the rest of the month I was on sickleave from life.
Quote of the month:Consultant is a machine that turns coffee into speech(No one and everyone) Book of the month:Lipasti, Roope – Jälkikasvukausi How does one translate a word that is not really a word even in Finnish but more like a mesh-up of two compound words? Maybe it’s unimportant anyway. The story is that of a completely normal family with teens. It’s all about growth and pains and mistakes and learning from them. Written with warm humor.
Pic of the month:
Yey! Back to work again, feeling like a human again. We built a whole lot of cabinets in the room vacated by daughter. There was even a dinner with my dad and kids, and 69 Eyes gig at Tavastia. Kinda like almost like normal life.
Quote of the month:The wave harmonic theory of historical perception, in its simplest form, states that history is an illusion caused by the passage of time, and that time is an illusion caused by the passage of history. (Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) Book of the month:Radge, Anne – Berlin Poplars I can’t actually recommend this one really. I think it was the worst book I read all year. Quite boring, going into seemingly unimportant details forever before getting to the beef – which really was the last 3 pages of the book. Yes, intriguing in a strange way, enough for me to not stop reading halfway (or fourthway or thirdaway or… I did consider!) with crash boom bang at the end. I guess it was worth it. Maybe.
Pic of the month:
November was actually a rather good month. It started all sorts of good new things in our life. Nothing special or major events, just good times together with and without our offspring who visited us every so often.
Quote of the month:Humor is looking at the broad picture, and then finding the incongruous detail. Humor is another word for looking at life from a slightly different angle. It means not taking yourself too seriously. In addition to all that, it adds a bit of fun to the process of living. (Elaine Cunningham, Elfsong) Book of the month:Jones, Terry – Douglas Adams’ Starship Titanic One of the lesser known Adams stories. While Douglas Adams was busy creating the video game, Terry Jones wrote the story into a book. Very much a Douglas Adams book, if not entirely written – or maybe finalized into novel format – by him.
Pic of the month:
Oh Christmas tree…! No Christmas tree in this house, except for a tiny non-real one. Like 40cm tall. Surprisingly enough dude has left it alone, at least mostly. There was Christmas time, teens and the non-teen visiting. There was Cards Against Disney, puzzles, good foods, and just good times together. And then the year came to its end.
Quote of the month:“My life is such a mess,” I said to Lula. “Maybe,” she said, “but your hair looks good.” (Janet Evanovich, Fortune and Glory) Book of the month:Adeyemi, Tomi – Children of Blood and Bone A magical fantasy built on Nigerian culture. As is true in most fantasy, the main characters are barely out of their diapers – actually most of the characters are – but if you don’t let the naivety innocence of them bother you, the story actually flows rather nicely and I truly enjoyed the read. Way more than I did the sequel (and still I definitely will read the third one once it comes, for the second one left off on such a cliffhanger).