Sunday, 27 March 2011

Dust bunnies and other pets

I don't clean very often. I admit it, and everyone who's ever been to my place agrees. It's just not one of my top priorities. Besides, I'm the one who has to live in it, and I'm the only one who's bothered by it, so it's not such a big deal.

I don't like hoovering, mostly because there's usually so much stuff lying around on the floor that I'd have to start by sorting that out. I absolutely hate dusting, mainly for the same reason - it's just too much trouble to move everything around in order to get to the dust. Besides, I used to dust off my shelves once a week, but soon I noticed that they still looked as bad as always, because it's such a small apartment and dust accumulates really quickly, so I gave up (which of course is a solution to the problem, unlike, say, dusting a bit more often).

I know all this dust is probably the reason my nose is always, always running, and it'll probably end up giving me asthma. It's also a bit disgusting. But yesterday when I got home, something happened that gave me a bit more inspiration to clean, but which was hilarious at the same time.

When I'd gone out, I had left my window open, so there was a slight breeze. When I got back and opened the front door, the draught caused a huge dust bunny (ironically enough they're called poodles in Finnish) to glide across the floor to meet me, just like a dog coming to meet its owner! I thought I'd die from laughing so hard! I know, it's disgusting, but definitely hilairous as well!

I always say that one day when I get home, the dishes I've left in the sink for ages will meet me at the door, and clearly, I wasn't too far off!

Better start cleaning...

Thursday, 24 March 2011

At work, part 2

Here's another look into the fascinating life of a supply teacher...

English, 7th graders, i.e. 13-14 year-olds.

Student #1: Hey, we don't have a nickname for you yet! You need a nickname!
Me: Oh, great...
They try out a few different ones, all equally bad. 
Student #1: I know! Jay!
Student #2: Yeah! Jay!
Me: Riiight...
Student #3: Big J!
Me: No!
Student #2: Little J!
Student #3: Cool J!
Student #2: Hey, Jay! Oh, that rhymes!
Me: *facepalm*

Good luck trying to keep a straight face in those classes!

I'm hoping they forget all about it while I'm away for a week, but I guess I should be prepared to be called "Cool J" when I get back... Oh dear... But I guess it could be worse. And those 7th graders are really kinda cute. I just wish they'd actually get some work done every now and then...

At work

Repeated dicussion at work:

Me: I'll be here until Easter, and then your old teacher is coming back.
Students: What, why?! Does she have to come back? We don't like her! Can't you stay?

Whenever this happens, it makes me feel pretty good. Is that wrong? :)

Sunday, 20 March 2011

"I told you so!"

I went to see The King's Speech the other day. I'd been wanting to see it ever since it came out - and that's when I should have gone to see it, because back then I was still in London, where I could have seen it for half the price that I had to pay in Finland, but never mind.

The film was great in many ways, and I could almost feel the words getting stuck in my own throat at times when I watched the king's struggle to get the words out. There was one thing, however, that bothered me a little bit. I was watching the scenes with the (quite creepy) archbishop, and I knew I'd seen him in something else, but I just couldn't place him. I was wondering if he was actually as creepy in that film as I made him out to be, or if I was just remembering him from some other role.

This happens quite often*, and when it does, IMDb is my best friend. Sometimes, like now, I see an actor I know I've seen in something before, but I just can't place them, but at other times I keep thinking about it during the film, and I eventually come up with it, or at least an idea of who it could be. After the film (or during it, if I'm watching it at home) I head straight to IMDb to see if I was right. And oh, what a feeling when I am!

Even if it's just a tiny thing, being able to recognise and actor I've seen in something else, and even if no one else knows of my "accomplishment", there's still this sense of pride, that's really quite disproportionate to the level of achievement. It just feels good to be right. I'm even prouder of myself when I recognise the composer of the soundtrack, but I guess that's a bit more impressive than recognising an actor, anyway...

The same applies to any other bit of trivia, and I'm sure millions of people out there who, like me, just love being right, are praising Wikipedia for its help. When has it ever been easier to check facts (and prove yourself right) than now, in the time of Google, Wikipedia, and all those other useful sites, not to mention the fact that lots of people (including me) now have constant access to these sites from their phones.

I know this isn't a terribly attractive personality trait , but to be fair, most of the time it's just a little game I play by myself - it's not like I go and challenge people to take bets. But yes, I am a person who loves being right, and sometimes I'm a bit of a know-it-all, but we've all got our faults.

*It happens even more often after I started watching Doctor Who - it seems like every British actor's been on it at some point, because I now recognise half the actors in any other British film / TV series. Or maybe there just aren't all that many of them?

Friday, 18 March 2011


In Swedish we've got the expression i-landsproblem. I-land means 'developed country', and i-landsproblem is a kind of small problem or irritation in your every-day life which you find annoying, but which, when you put things into perspective, really isn't much of a problem at all (yes, a First World problem, but I happen to like the Swedish term for it!)

We've all experienced this. You're trying to put up a post-it note, and it just won't stick. How irritating. You're eating take away food, and the plastic cutlery breaks too easily. Very irritating. You've got too many remotes, so that you never know which one to use to change the channel. Your intenet connection is too slow. The cash machine won't give you notes that are small enough (e.g. 10€ notes). The Facebook chat isn't working properly. The shop's run out of the specific kind of crisps/sweets/other that you like. How very, very irritating!

Life is just hard, isn't it? ;)

What kind of i-landsproblem have you experienced recently?

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Three Great Things

Here are three things that make me happy right now:

Bare streets
A clear sign that spring is on it's way. Bare streets are so underrated! After months of walking like an old lady, carefully assessing at every step what the ground under your feet is like (is it just snow, or ice, or the worst of all, deceitful ice covered in snow?), wearing heavy boots, or shoes that don't keep out the snow and leave you with soggy socks every day, there is nothing like finally seeing a bit of black pavement under all the ice, and actually feeling the ground under your feet... And spring shoes! The moment when you can finally wear all those nice little spring shoes that have been collecting dust all winter... Ok, getting a bit carried away here, but if you didn't guess already, I LOVE spring!

After I got back from my exchange, I was in a situation I hadn't been in for about two years - I had no trips coming up. During most of 2009 and 2010 I always had at least one return ticket booked, often even two or three. I know this might sound like I'm spoilt, and should just shut up, but that's just how it was. Then I spent 7 months in London, and at the end of that time I had to come back to Turku and its -27 degrees, without even a trip to look forward to. Very depressing.
At the end of last month, however, I had some well-paid work coming up, and I decided I couldn't stand this anymore. So, in less than two weeks from now, I'll be heading back to London for 6 days of shopping, meeting friends, and enjoying the bare streets! :)

I've got quite an empty schedule school-wise at the moment, which has given me more time to see my friends. Lately, I've had tons of nice moments, having coffee or lunch with my friends, or just hanging out, as well as a great evening of drinking and board games. I've also had Skype-dates with those of my friends who are far away. I'm happy to have more of the same coming up in the next two weeks; two more Skype dates, going to the movies, a concert and a couple of nights out, and maybe even a few lunches, with good friends. And soon I'll get to see my mates down in London, I can't wait!
Love you all! xx

Monday, 7 March 2011

Ode to a Couch

Today I read a column which focused on something as simple as the couch. The writer argued that the couch is the most important piece of furniture in a home; that it's where good ideas are made, where everything begins and everything ends, where you always return. It's where the family meets, where you can relax, and it's the centre of a home. He wrote that a considerable amount of thought and effort should be put into choosing the right couch, because it is such and important part of people's lives and homes.

The writer had some interesting thoughts about the couch, and reading his column inspired me to tell you about my own couch.

I got my couch almost two years ago, when I moved into a bigger apartment. My old apartment was too small for a proper couch, so there I had this bed/couch-thing instead. When I moved, my mum knew someone who wanted to get rid of their old couch, and I was, of course, more than happy to get a free couch.

The couch is terribly heavy, which doesn't normally matter, but it did matter when we had to get it into my 6th floor appartment. My friend, my brother and my step-brother carried it all the way up the stairs (I walked behind them and carried their coats :P ), and although it looked bad for a while, they managed to get in inside.

Once the couch was in place and I had moved in, I found out that the couch was, in fact, very comfortable. It's soft, but not too soft, so you don't get swallowed by it. Its cushions don't slide too easily, and its armrests are high and solid, so they're good to lean against, too. It can fit three people, possibly four if it has to, and it's big enough for people to sleep on without having to curl up too much.

Since I got the couch, many of my friends have enjoyed sitting or sleeping on it. Most people comment on how comfortable it is. It's been the main base in Turku to sleep on for many, many exchange students these past two years (a couple of them even created the Jenni's Couch group on Facebook), and it has also welcomed several CouchSurfers.

Since the couch is white, time has left its marks on it. The couch hasn't escaped the occasional stain, but so far it hasn't been affected by accidents that left any noticeable marks.

I was really lucky to get hold of such a good couch, and for free, too, and it has served me and my friends well these past two years. Let's hope it keeps on doing so for many, many more!
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