Categories Blog Memes & Asks Personal

The Friday Five for 9 April 2021

The Friday Five question for today. Picture snagged from Pixabay.

1) Do you like to drive?

I like it fine, but what really gives me pleasure is the freedom and independence it gives me – meaning I don’t need to rely on bus schedules, or factor in how long a shopping trip to a big store (one with groceries, clothes, work tools etc) will take using a bus (three hours). I’ve and we’ve always shopped daily groceries in a nearby groceries-only shop. Big store shopping trip is for when you need more, or stock up on flour or washing liquids/powders or need to buy clothes because those big stores always take a lot more time to shop in because they’re so big that just walking through them takes time! When I had a car I was also able to take jobs out of town, and about half of them I wouldn’t have been able to take at all, or the commute would’ve been unpleasantly long. So for me, owning a car means freedom and independence.

2) Do you own (or have regular use of) a car? What kind is it?

Not for the last 5 years or so. I used have my Mom’s car, a 2000 three-door hunchback Toyota Corolla for about 15 years because they didn’t need a second car anymore. But what with my chronic illnesses making me dangerously tired to drive for several years/the car windows freezing on the inside in the winter and being a bitch to scrape and then fogging up too much see something/my needing to drive only short distances (5-15 mins) most times/there’s a good bus services in my city thankfully/the car getting to very old so for all that we finally decided to sell it.

Frankly the bus service is so good here in my city that I haven’t needed to even think about owning a car. The only reason I took my Mom’s car was because otherwise it would’ve gone unused. Since we sold it, I’ve used a taxi a few times coming from the ER/hospital, and those times frankly it’s better to use a taxi or a bus, because there’s always a chance I’ll be taken in to a ward for a day or longer (a week, the last time) so if I went by car then I’d maybe have the problem of parking, or due to the medication given me I might not be allowed to drive back anyway. The parking is only available for a few hours, a day at the most and when you’re in the hospital, the last thing you want to worry about is going out to feed the meter, or a huge parking bill and car being towed away because of not feeding the meter.

3) What is your favorite optional feature on a car?

Windshield that doesn’t freeze on the inside, and then fog up after scraping it!!! Seriously though… I don’t know! I haven’t kept up with what new cars have by default, much less what bells & whistles could be ordered as extra. My car didn’t have car radio or music player, and I always dreamed of having a car with one when I was younger. My friends either don’t own a car, or own a very basic, cheapest model with no bells & whistles. The one time I was driven by a acquaitance whose car did have all the bells & whistles, she didn’t know how to use any of them! *mind boggles* I suspect I’d love to have all the bells & whistles!

4) How much does gasoline currently cost where you live?

I don’t know! I haven’t needed to know for the past five years or so so I haven’t been paying attention. I only know that bus tickets keep getting more and more expensive).

5) What is the longest car trip you have taken?

When I was like 9 (so about 1983), we went on a summer trip from our home town Turku, all the way through Finland to Lapland. We’d drive 3-5 hours a day, camp in a tent in a camping area and often we’d stay in a place for a day or two as turists. Up in Lapland I think we stayed like a week, and then drove down a different route, again camping every night in camping areas. The whole trip took 4 weeks and was probably something like 2500-3000 kilometers of driving all in all, maybe going by Wikipedia. That’s the longest trip I’ve ever been on, and obviously I wasn’t driving, being a little kid ๐Ÿ™‚ My Dad did all the driving because Mom didn’t yet have driver’s license at the time. The next summer we also went on a car trip, this time only about half-way up to somewhere around Rovaniemi level. This was the trip where we for the first time noticed that something was going on with Dad (turned out to be a brain tumor that grew back three times, he died in 1989 of it). But I have very good memories of these trips and of the red Lada we had ๐Ÿ™‚

As an adult, and driving myself either all the trip or half of the trip, are probably the adventures from our home town Turku to Finland’s capital Helsinki we did with my best friend when we were in our 20s. I can’t remember the reasons for the other trips, but our first one was to go to the Korkeasaari zoo.

Categories Blog Memes & Asks Personal Reading

The Friday Five for 12 March 2021: Books

Answers for today’s The Friday Five questions. Pic from Pixabay.

1) Have you read more books, or fewer books, this past year than usual?

I only started to keep a yearly list of novels I read half way through 2019, but I’d say I’ve been reading books about the same as I usually do! Last year I read 51 complete novels, plus all the fanfic and non-fiction books on top of that.

2) What book are you reading now (or what book did you read most recently)?

The Finnish translation of Dead Water by Ann Cleeves. Having some problems getting through it because I watch the tv series version of these too, and remember just enough of the tv version of Dead Water to make it feel like I know this to well to keep reading, but not enough to remember who the murderer is or their motivation! It’s a quandary.

3) What is the best book you read in the past few years?

The whole The Expanse novel series by by James S. A. Corey, by far margin! Also enjoyed ideas in The Three-Body Problem and The Dark Forest by Liu Cixin very much, even if the writing was rather dry.

4) Do you read more than one book at a time, or just one?

Currently only one, and that’s because I currently only have books by Ann Cleeves from the library; they’re a series so I have to read them in order. But I often have at least two books under work, in different genres or different writing styles just so I can switch up if I don’t feel like reading a genre or an author that day.

5) How big is your to-be-read pile (or list)?

It’s got about 10 new-to-me authors to try out at the moment, all sci-fi. I’ve been on sort of a sci-fi kick lately when looking for new authors to read. I also got a vague mental list of new releases by the authors I usually read (such as above mentioned Ann Cleeves and James S. A. Corey) but they usually have a lot of people (like 600) queuing up for them when I put them on hold in the library, so I get them when I get them – it could take like eight months.

Sometimes I Hate Some Of My Neighbors
Categories Blog Personal Rant

Sometimes I Hate Some Of My Neighbors

It’s 04.00/4 a.m.  and some neighbor of mine has been playing loud music for five hours now :< I guess they have their windows and balcony door open because it’s even louder outside than inside. It’s so loud that I can sing along each song because I can make out the lyrics almost all the time. Echoes through the apartment building and all through the children’s playground and the yard in the middle of the apartment complex :/ They did this at least three times last summer too, which I can sort of understand, it being hot and summer and vacation and stuff. But in the middle of winter, and when people have to go to work in the morning.

Normally this is a quiet apartment complex, with little kids making the most noise and TVs sounding sometimes too loudly in the summer (due to those open windows and balcony doors due to the heat but they’re still at normal noise level), with the occasional party (a few times a year) that’s usually announced beforehand so people know it’s coming. This doesn’t even sound like a party – there’s like two voices, they talk normally and it’s quiet between songs (they skip a lot of songs) and sometimes it sounds like maybe they’re singing karaoke. It’s just that the music is so bloody loud, I can’t sleep or escape it. I don’t think other people can either, because when I went out so see if I can figure out which apartment it’s coming from, most of the windows had lights on in the entire building.

I’m really pitying people who have to go to work in the morning.  At this point I’m just about ready to murder these music blaring assholes with my bare hands while praying the loudness and lack of sleep won’t trigger a bad migraine attack :/ I’m so tired, I just want to sleep!

AstraZeneca Vaccine
Categories Blog Health Personal

AstraZeneca Vaccine

Got my first COVID-19 vaccination today, 10 hours ago. It’s the AstraZeneca one. So far so good, with no discernible side effects! I do have a rather unpleasant headache, but it’s totally within my normal range in every way so I’m unable to say for sure whether it’s caused in part or full by the vaccine because I normally have migraine or a headache every day anyway.

Pic from pixabay because it’s pretty and we’re still having snow ๐Ÿ˜€

EDIT February 18, 2021: during the night, the upper arm muscle I was the vaccinated to, started to ache just like with other vaccinations I have had. Still no other side effects as far as I can tell… Headache is better today and still totally within my normal, so still can’t say if it’s just my normal, or caused by the vaccine in half or full. I leaning towards my normal!

Categories Blog Memes & Asks Personal

The Friday Five for 29 January 2021

Answers to yesterday’s The Friday Five questions! Picture from Pixabay, because it’s pretty and because for once we’ve been having snow for the past two weeks or so ๐Ÿ˜€

1) How is your year going so far?

So far so good. I’ve felt terribly exhausted since early December, even more than my normal, but yesterday was a good day and today I’m also feeling okayish so far. I would even go so far and say I’m feeling rested yesterday and today ๐Ÿ˜€ Beginning of the year is always interesting, because I have my Crohn’s Disease yearly check-up in January/February. I had the blood and stool tests done last week, and will see the doctor on the 9th. The blood tests results were kind of weird, about half of them were either just above or below the normal range. But luckly ALAT and AFOS were okay (ALAT has been considerably elevated the last several times), and CALPRO is I think okay for a IBD patient but clearly higher than a healthy person’s.

Otherwise it’s just the same old, same old. Wearing masks and social distancing, staying home and try and do something creative every day, because that brings me pleasure and eases my mind.

2) Have you gotten vaccinated yet? If not, when do you think it’s likely to happen?

Not yet. I’m in one of the medical risk groups, not sure whether the higher or lower one, and currently it’s estimated that those vaccinations will begin in March in my home town. But delays are very possible due the delays in Pfizer-BioNTech has been having lately delivering the vaccines to EU/Finland.

3) Are you bored or are you busy these days?

I’m mostly tired, and sometimes bored. Never busy. I’m also a little worried about my Mom’s upcoming hip surgery, what with the virus spreading in some wards in some hospitals. But the alternative is for her keep going on in pain for who knows how long, and that doesn’t seem like an option either.

4) Is this pandemic good or bad for your finances?

About the same. I usually couldn’t afford even in normal times to go out to eat, to movies etc. Not that did that a lot when I was working for longer bits and could afford things like normal people – I’m more of a homebody, really, and never did appreciate those things so much. I’d much rather buy books and computer stuff, and recently fountain pen and art/crafts stuff when I had money to spend/saved up to. I live alone and don’t have children or anything like that, so pretty much the only additional expenditure due to the pandemic has been having to buy surgical face masks . But luckily I found them for cheap on last year so it didn’t cost me a lot.

5) What are you missing most these days?

Seeing my friend and my Mom without worrying about Covid-19; we only saw a few times last year in person and none so far this year.

Going to to the shops and using busses (I don’t own a car so I have to use a bus) without a mask and keeping a distance.

I guess just being carefree about going about in general.