Back on U.S. Soil

Behind the Scenes, My Spaces

We’ve returned from a great trip to Finland and Worldcon 75.

Suitcase w Fin Flag Luggage Tag

I’m not only jetlagged, I’m exhausted from meeting so many people – to borrow a word from Finnish, I’m rag tired, meaning ‘limp-as-a-wrung-rag tired’ (rättiväsynyt). I suppose the closest equivalent in English is bone tired, but it feels like I don’t have the bones left for that!

I confess the only way for me to get through the last days of the con was to fake it in a grand way:

Catching Fire Eyes Bright Chins up Smiles on

Screencap from the movie Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

“Eyes bright. Chins up. Smiles on.”

I’m not an extreme introvert for nothing! 🙂 I loved the trip nevertheless. 😀

Now it’s nice to be home. After settling back to my routines, I’m looking forward to getting back to work!

I’ll open my shop again on Monday (August 21). See you then!

Cell Phone with Jesus Rays

Arts & Crafts, Geek out!, My Spaces

Some time ago, I drew a simple cartoony sun with a smiley face for A Thing. It sat for a long time on my desk, covered by whatever I was working for afterwards, until I cleaned my office. The other day I happened to set down my phone on top of the sun just in the right spot to make the phone have jesus rays. 🙂

Cell Phone Sun

And, being a linguist and a non-native English-speaker, I had to check whether there are any other terms for the phenomenon, since jesus rays is the only phrase I know. Apparently jesus rays are more scientifically known as crepuscular rays. Crepuscular (from Lat. crepusculum ‘twilight’) is a reference to twilight hours when these rays often occur.

The intriguing thing is that there are also anticrepuscular rays or rays that seem to converge from an antisolar point, for example the horizon opposite a sunset.

Isn’t the world just amazing?

 

 

Signs of Spring

My Spaces

The weather’s turned from end-of-winter to definitely-spring, with flowers in full bloom and leaf buds either out or starting to emerge, in about a week flat. There are other signs of spring, too:

Bumblebee on Window Screen

A bumblebee visited us the other day. And I went out barefoot!

April First Time Bare Toes

I usually get cold very easily, so this is indeed a minor miracle at this point in April. 🙂

Prolonging the Life of a Torn Bag

Arts & Crafts, Fabrics & Materials, My Spaces

I love my blue Marimekko unikko (poppy) bag to bits – literally, I’m sorry to say. Something had to be done.

Poppy Bag Damaged

Ta-dah! Reinforcing the torn edge with buttonhole stitch should give it a few more years.

Poppy Bag Fixed

I used regular cotton embroidery floss, since that was the best color match I had. I know it’s not the most durable of threads; I’ll have to see how well it does under the rigors of everyday life.

Very Snowy Weekend

My Spaces

So far, this winter has been odd. There was barely any snow in December and January – enough to say that there was snow – but it didn’t stay. Now we’re getting it all at once, it seems: last Thursday’s storm brought about 9” / 22 cm in our neck of the woods.

Snow Toes

Then, on Sunday, we got another storm that continued into today.

2017 Mid-Feb Forecast

Although a cold makes this sudden slew of shoveling difficult to cope with, the woods look really beautiful and I’m glad for that.

Book Treat to Start the Year

Books & Mags, My Spaces

Finally arrived a few days ago:

Maria Turtschaninoff Maresi

Yay! Eagerly expected, and apparently also eligible for a 2016 Hugo nomination:

Turtschaninoff is a fellow Finn, and Maresi comes highly recommended by a friend of mine who read it in the original Swedish a few years ago. Since the Hugo nomination period just opened, I think I have to move Maresi to the top of my reading pile!

P.S. I found Brit Mandelo’s review at Tor.com interesting.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Jean Sibelius Day

My Spaces

Jean Sibelius (1865–1957) is the most well-known of Finnish classical composers. Today is a public flag day in Finland (Jean Sibeliuksen päivä), commemorating Sibelius and Finnish music.

Finlandia (and especially the Finlandia Hymn part) is perhaps the most famous of his compositions. The Liverpool Philharmonic’s version is lovely:

Jean Sibelius, Finlandia performed by Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Vasily Petrenko by Liverpool Philharmonic

Here’s a version of the Finlandia Hymn by Cantus Vocal Emsemble, with lyrics (I believe) from a Unitarian Universalist hymn book:

The Finlandia Hymn by cantussings

While Finlandia and the Finlandia Hymn are incredibly popular, they are by no means alone. I’m very fond of this intermezzo from his Karelia suite, for example:

Jean Sibelius: Karelia – Intermezzo I from legrandchene

I’ve been playing my Sibelius all morning while working. Hyvää Jean Sibeliuksen päivää!

Blast from the Past: Souvenir from the First Ropecon

Geek out!, My Spaces

Souvenir from the very first Ropecon, the largest Finnish role-playing con:

Signed Card Game Card as Bookmark

I wasn’t there myself, but friends kindly brought for me this card signed by the guest of honor, Steve Jackson. It’s a blank card for the card game Hacker that I made into a bookmark.

I have been to many of the early cons, but the later ones (after year 2000) only on and off. (Kinda difficult when you live an ocean away.) It’s really nice to know that it’s still going, though. I suppose it makes Ropecon into a nostalgic event for me. 🙂