The Move, Underwater Modeling and the New Apartment

February 24, 2009 · Posted in Diving, Life · Comment 

It’s hard to imagine that we’ve been living in this new apartment for over two weeks. The time has been quite hectic, for many reasons, and there really hasn’t been time to slow down properly.

The Move

Finding a new place ended up being surprisingly easy. Well, when Susi and I put our minds to things, we can be quite efficient. We checked out a couple of places and then settled for a 62 square meter two roomer less than kilometer away from the old apartment. The settling part was giving up the idea of a separate work room, but then again, I don’t work that much from home anymore. Ironically enough the apartment we found was downstairs from a pal couples’ previous apartment, where I visited when larping almost eight years ago. The layout of the apartment is the same, but I didn’t make the association consciously, just found myself thinking about the game when walking from the apartment to the metro (no, the metro doors didn’t slam on me this time).

The move itself went more or less without problems – the main trouble being the egos of some people who live in Kruununhaka-district. Parking in that area is a bitch, so we called the area maintenance company and asked for a couple of beams with which we could reserve two parking spaces in front of the door for the parking truck. You know, these official stripy beams which makes a normal person think: “Hmm, that parking space / road / bridge must be closed for a reason”. But not for the mid-level bosses of Kruununhaka. Their reactions is to go “well hey, jolly good, some noble member of the lower classes has reserved a spot just for meeeee!”

I found one of the spots taken in the morning, but when I was checking the license plate the guy actually showed up and drove away, claiming that the beam hadn’t been there last night (yeah, right – it had just kind of drifted a couple of meters away…). I went upstairs for a half an hour, and lo and behold, there was another car in the same spot. I dug up the name of the guy with the help of the license plate and the local version of DMV and got his number, but he didn’t answer. The moving truck had arrived and our money was running. When I finally got the guy on the horn, the truck had already gone around the block and backed up near our door, effectively blocking the whole one way street.

The guy in the other end of the line started asking me where he should park and going on about how there was no announcement about the move (since when do you announce a move to the whole street?). I was starting to get really pissed off and informed him that because of his lack of basic manners the whole street is blocked. He then very magnanimously told me that he could come down and move the car. I stayed up in the apartment while he did that, since I didn’t want to start the move by slugging a guy who can hire more expensive lawyers than I do.

Well, apart from that the move went pretty well. We had a moving company to do the bulk of the work, this time Veljekset Koppanen, recommended by our friends. I can extend the recommendation: the guys were on time, a nice bunch and didn’t waste time screwing around or for cigarette breaks. In five hours, including the driving time, we were done.

Underwater Modeling

Some time earlier a pal had contacted us about her photography project, where she needed some people who could pose underwater. Susi and I promised to take part in the project, but originally we would have had to be at the nearby public swimming pool in the morning of the move at 7:30 or so. We obviously moved it ahead by a day. During the move the promise felt like a mistake, because we were frankly dog tired, but it was surprisingly easy getting up in the morning and lugging our ass outside with the regulators and air tanks.

Strike a pose.

Strike a pose.


Basically we went to the local public swimming pool equipped with the basic scuba gear and some clothes that weren’t too period specific. Then we jumped into the pool, all dressed in the costumes, breathed in some air and posed for the camera as long as our lungs held out. It was pretty easy for me, since I had done a lot of snorkeling as a kid and going without mask didn’t bother me, but Susi had to take a bit of time to get used to that. I was waiting for her on the bottom of the pool and actually managed to doze off for a couple of seconds. Fully clothed, sleep deprived and weightless in the water, it was very comfortable, although just perhaps not the safest thing to do.

The photographer herself.

The photographer herself.

Just lying on the bottom of the pool was surprisingly comfortable. Luckily I fell asleep for just a couple of seconds, max.

Just lying on the bottom of the pool was surprisingly comfortable. Luckily I fell asleep for just a couple of seconds, max.

When the pool opened to the public at nine we headed out. Getting to sit in a morning sauna was pure bliss after the physically quite demanding a week.

The New Apartment

So, about the new apartment. In theory it’s further away from the downtown geographically, but practically we’ve moved far closer to civilization once again. Kruununhaka is a bit of a rich people’s sleeping suburb right next to the downtown. There isn’t much stuff in there and getting anywhere takes several blocks of walking (oh, the horror). On the other hand the current apartment is next to one of the main arteries of the city, a street with a ton of good restaurants, our friends’ favourite drinking hole literally around the corner, the Kauppahalli indoor market practically next door and all the trams and busses so handy that they pretty much come to knock on your bedroom door in the morning and brew you some coffee.

Right from the start I liked the apartment far more than the previous one. This one is more airy, the kitchen is roomy and handy and generally this just feels much more like home. The only downside are the paper thin walls, which give us the pleasure to enjoy the antics of the unruly dog and the cursing of his owners upstairs, and right after the move a teen drinking party next door. I could hear every word and could have taken part in the conversation if I would have wanted to. Generally things tend to be quiet, though. A noisy party now and then is not a problem and we are intent on having those too. If you want absolute silence, move to the countryside.

I really love our new kitchen. Even with all the counters full of moving stuff, there was still room to cook.

I really love our new kitchen. Even with all the counters full of moving stuff, there was still room to cook.

Three Weeks of Hell

The last three weeks after the move have been pure hell schedulewise. I had a nice, relaxed timetable mapped of this year last December. The sickness during the Christmastime dented it somewhat and having to manage a week of working-while-moving didn’t really help. With the dayjob I managed to stick to the essentials of the tasks and hammer the hours in, but some of the freelance work I had to postpone. So, for the last two weeks I’ve worked triple speed on the dayjob, because we’re going to spend the next week in a diving holiday in Egypt and the TV show much come out nevertheless. At the same time I had to do the backlog of the freelance work plus the non-essentials of the dayjob which I pushed forward. In the weekend before the last one I simply had to stop doing anything for a couple of days to stay functional, but it wasn’t really enough to get properly relaxed. It had much to do with the knowledge that there was a fuckton of work waiting for me.

There was also a big time gala-evening during the week, a black suit + tie thing for the local games industry and media. It’s held yearly and for me it was a work trip, since we had to take a camera there and do some interviews. I also had some awards to present in front of the audience. When I was a teenager, having to step on a stage in front of a few hundred people dressed to the nines would have scared the shit out of me, but nowadays I pretty much enjoy it. Working, mingling, socializing, drinking up a comfortable buzz and getting home at four in the morning didn’t really help getting up at nine to go through the work backlog. At least the evening was pretty enjoyable.

But organization, willpower, stomach acid and the superpowers of a type A personality – the work is pretty much done. I had to cancel a diving practice in a pool last Thursday, plus our ice diving course this weekend. The latter because in addition to me being in a godawful hurry, Susi was feverish – and going ice diving feverish and tired, after a long diving pause is one of those ideas that may end up as statistics. Turns out that I got the bug too, or alternatively some nasty side effects from the shots we took, which messed the the schedule of last week.

So, right now there’s only one day of work left before the holiday. Shit, I don’t remember the last time I was in this big a need of one. I’m afraid that I won’t probably be able to find a working net connection in Egypt and my cellphone battery will develope some weird problems. Yeah, I think that is very very probable.


Sylvia Earle: Here’s how to protect the blue heart of the planet

February 21, 2009 · Posted in Activism, Diving · Comment 

Just a brief interlude: powerful stuff, well worth watching for everybody who’s even slightly interested in the world we are living in.

The video is from, the website of a yearly conference that brings together the best minds from technology, entertainment and design. Check out the other videos too and you might surprise yourself by making a night of it. Highly inspirational stuff.


Ice Diving Course – Photos & Video

February 7, 2009 · Posted in Diving · Comment 

These are photos and a video from our ice diving course, which we did a couple of days after returning from Egypt. The difference in the conditions was pretty extreme. The sea water temperature was from 0-1 C – my dry suit hood was leaking, so it felt like being stabbed on the forehead with an ice cold knife.

[flickr album=72157614982473176 num=20 size=Thumbnail]


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