Jo’s Weekly Questions – September, 2022
Categories Blog Memes & Asks Personal

Jo’s Weekly Questions – September, 2022

Image from Pixabay. Because pretty.

I totally forgot to answer to Jo’s weekly September questions So here’s the whole month in one go!

1. How important is it to you that people remember, spell, and pronounce your name correctly? Why?

Very important! Because one is my name, the other is not to quote Data from TNG.

My real first name (Piia) is spelled with two “i” letters, and all through my school years I had to specify that, because it can also be spelled with one “i” and all the teachers tended to assume that the one “i” was the correct form for me too, not the two “i”s one. To confuse the matter further, another girl in my class had very nearly the same name and that name (Mia) could also be spelled with either one or two “i”s… but her name was spelled with one “i”. So we both had that problem, just in reverse! Teachers were always confused about our names! My parents apologized so many times for giving me such a troublesome name – it hadn’t even occurred to them that the one “i” spelling would be also an option and often assumed. Probably because the one “i” version is a foreign/Swedish version, and the two “i”s version is the Finnish one. But both spellings are probably both used as much so one isn’t more common than the other.

Even now, when I have to give out my name for a new doctor or a nurse, if they don’t have my information on their systems yet, I have to make sure they catch it’s with two “i”s, not one!

Pronouncing is always correct because no matter if it was one or two “i”s, it is the same.

2. Are you a hugger or a non-hugger? Why?

When I was growing up hugging wasn’t really a thing in except in the immediate family (so children and parents, sometimes grandma), at least in my family, and I’ve lived alone since I was 17 so I’ve never got used to hugging most people. My friends, cousins and I don’t ever hug, it’s just not something we do except in exceptional circumstances like when somebody died or something like that. I don’t see them hugging their friends when we meet as a group, only their kids and SOs and parents. I do sometimes miss hugging/physical closeness with someone while living alone like I do.

That said, I have liked the “stranger” hugs I’ve received when my Dad died so I’m not categorically opposed to it or anything. It’s just not something my circles normally do. I normally only hug my Mom. And my Mom’s best friend and I sort of half-hug each other these days. It’s nice. Continue reading Jo’s Weekly Questions – September, 2022

The Friday Five for 23 September 2022: We are made of star stuff
Categories Blog Memes & Asks Personal

The Friday Five for 23 September 2022: We are made of star stuff

Answers to today’s questions at The Friday Five @ Dreamwidth.

1. How many stars can you see in the sky at night where you live? (Not looking for an exact number here, just a general description.)

Too many to count! On a typical clear winter night, the sky is full of stars!

In the fall when it starts to get dark earlier and then in the winter when the nights are long, you can see lots and lots of stars as long if it’s cloudless. The skies are often cloudy though.

Even in the biggest cities the light pollution isn’t so bad that you can’t see the stars if it’s dark out and clear weather. I love that! Most of the summer, the midnight sun night makes the night skies too bright so if you’re looking to stargaze in Finland make sure to come here between September and April or thereabouts. Northern Finland/Lapland is probably the best place for stargazing because all the bigger cities are in the south of Finland but even in our biggest city starry skies are normal due to less light pollution than in say New York or Paris and unpolluted air! Because our biggest combined cities, the Helsinki Metropolitan Area only has about 1 million inhabitants so even our big cities are tiny compared to metropolies of the world (and our entire country has only about 5,5 million people) so our skies are much clearer pollution and light pollution wise. As an example, I live about 20 minute bus ride from Turku city center (about 5 minutes by car), one of t ihe biggest cities in the country, and only have to step out my front door and see all the stars just by looking up if the sky is clear! In the mid-winter a day’s dark time is about 20 hours so plenty of time to observe the sky.

My favorite time of day is in the late fall and winter, when it’s at least almost freezing and the air is crisp and clear and it’s dark and quiet because it’s late, or early, and people are in their homes so the traffic is less than during the day, and you can see all the stars. That’s my favorite time to go for a walk, it’s so peaceful!

2. What is your favorite constellation?

I don’t care about the constellations. But my favorite nebular is Carina Nebula and this is one of my favorite photos of it that I’ve found:

I have so may images of Carina Nebula that I use as my laptop wallpaper!

3. Are you able to see and identify any planets in the sky? Which ones?

I think they can be seen here, but I can’t identify them.

4. Have you ever seen a satellite orbiting above the earth?

As far as I know, only on TV!

5. Have you ever seen a rocket blasted off into space?

Nope, only on TV! It’s my understanding rockets in general including the Finnish rockets, satellites etc. and ones Finland is involved in the creation and use of are blasted off into space by NASA in USA and/or ESA in French Guiana? In locations that are always in the Southern Hemisphere while we are almost at the top of Northern Hemisphere. I’ve never visited those places.

Categories Blog Memes & Asks Music Personal

The Friday Five for 9 September 2022

Answers to today’s question at thefridayfive @ Dreamwidth

1. What is the last song/bit of music you heard?

I haven’t listened to “music” music this week and can’t remember. I have been watching various tv episodes though, so score from them, I guess, if that counts. But nothing that stands out. Although Shetland’s theme music is great.

2. What is the song you can’t get enough of right now?

There’s none such song right now! My head is hurting bad enough that I need silence.

3. What song/band did you just discover and think are great?

Haven’t discovered new obsession music in a few months.

4. Do you listen to the same song over and over on repeat? Why?

Oh yes, it’s like one of my two main modes of listening to music – the other being listening to a selection to music on repeat. Because the pieces get stuck in my head, and/or I love them so much that I can’t get enough.

5. Do you make music, or do you want to?

Nope, for the first.

I’d like to be able to maybe play something, on a violin or a piano, but it’s one of those fleeting thoughts of “wouldn’t it be nice” and then promptly forget all about it things.

I’ve never gotten to play an actual instrument so I don’t know if I’d actually like it. In school when we were supposed to get to learn play some basics – we weren’t allowed to because the instruments were too precious for us mundanes to play music with – only the pupils in the choir/orchestra were allowed to touch them. Yeah, I didn’t like my music teacher. She was also supposed to be the teacher for ET (ethics, for those of us who didn’t belong to Church) but more often than not she forgot the ET lessons and then we’d go looking for her and find her conducting extra rehearsals with the choir and the orchestra. Looking back, our parents should have escalated this to the principal but for some reason that never happened, probably because only 2-4 pupils attended the ET lessons depending on the year. We were an afterthough most of the time even to the school bureaucracy. At the time I didn’t really care (I hated school – fewer lessons were great in my book!) and because I had zero liking or respect for this particular teacher, seeing her face less was a huge plus as far as I was concerned. But looking back, it’s clear that she didn’t put any value on anyone who wasn’t into singing, music and prefereably was musically gifted… and that just pisses me off. As an adult, I’m not enough into making music that I’d try and take lessons because money’s always been too tight and I’d rather use what extra money I have for something else. I’ve never felt not being able to play an instrument is a huge loss or anything like that.

Jo’s Weekly Questions – August 18-31, 2022
Categories Blog Memes & Asks Personal

Jo’s Weekly Questions – August 18-31, 2022

Image from Pixabay. Because pretty.

Answer’s to Jo’s weekly questions over at Dreamwidth.

18. Using only one word per person, what was your first impression of each person present with you now?

I’m alone so can’t answer this.

19. What books on your shelf are begging to be read?

Two books from the library: the crime novel by Anna Jansson I’m a little more than half-way through right now, and another crime novel by Elle Griffiths, because they’re new enough that other people are waiting for them and am likely unable to renew them!

20. What do you do if you can’t sleep at night? Do you count sheep, toss and turn, or get up and try to do something productive?

I suffer from insomnia and bad quality/short sleep; I’m always sleep deprived and tired. I usually try to rest anyway, to get myself quiet and peaceful because I’ve noticed that even if I can’t sleep, I function better the next day if I can rest.

21. Which do you do more often: hum or whistle?

I can’t whistle so humming wins… but I rarely do that either.

22. When you’re alone at home, do you wear shoes, socks, slippers, or go barefoot?

Barefoot if it’s summer, socks if it’s winter. Indoor shoes aren’t a thing here: it’s considered the epitome of rude to wear shoes inside and everyone automatically takes them off right after stepping through the front door, even people like plumbers unless you specifically tell them that they can keep their shoes on. Some people, usually grandmas and grandpas, wear slippers. Continue reading Jo’s Weekly Questions – August 18-31, 2022

Categories Blog Memes & Asks Personal


Snagged these language-related questions from annaserene@Livejournal

What would you consider your native language?


What was your first language learning experience?

We started learning Swedish (the second mother tongue here in Finland) in the third grade when I was nine. My memory of learning Swedish in the 3-6 grades is that all the lights were put out in the class room and as if the curtains were drawn to shut out the sun and like I would die of boredom. I remember this is not true, but the Swedish teacher made me feel this way – very sad, very dark… it was all about her manner of being. She wasn’t bad, or nasty, or unfair or anything. Just that I wasn’t into Swedish at all and then we had a complete and utter chemical failure between me and that particular teacher that made it so bad and boring.

What languages have you studied and why did you learn them?

Swedish for six years, starting with grade 3 when I was nine. It’s a required subject, and is forced on students in school.

English for 3 years, starting with grade 6 when I was 12. It’s a required subject, but I was very happy to start learning! All my fave tv shows were either English or US.

French for two years, starting with grade 8 when I was 13. It was a voluntary subject I wanted to take, because I’ve always been interested in mid-European history and particularly in French castles and palaces. German was also a voluntary subject that I wanted to take, but I only had room for two additional voluntary subjects and I also wanted computer science as a voluntary subject. So French it was.

How does your personality affect your language learning?

I was an obedient, if mostly mediocre pupil because I hated school and couldn’t easily be motivated to put in effort beyond a certain point. But in certain subjects I was passionate about, I got better than good grades. English was one of them – I was serious about it, did all the homework assigned and even the extra ones that we didn’t have to do but could if we wanted to. My first English teacher was very demanding, strict and fair and respected her a lot (she was generally hated because she took no shit from pupils and kept the classroom in order; I respected her for it). When she gave you a good grade, you know you had earned it (and vice versa). She taught me a good grammar base that was easy to build on and extend my vocabulary later on.

I LOVE reading and always have! When elementary school was over, and I started the library school, the biggest, best book store chain in the country had English language Star Trek tie-in novels on its shelves, and I dithered many months about buying one – I wanted to so badly, I wasn’t sure my English was good enough. But finally I did buy one novel, and two days later went back for more! Reading novels became the major motivator for me to keep at it, especially after I finished all schooling. One of my favorite things to do was to curl up with a novel in English and a thick Finnish-English-Finnish dictionary, read and look up any English words in the dictionary I didn’t know that the meaning of. I’m not at the point that I very rarely have to look up the meaning of a word in dictionary – mostly when it’s something sciency, or medical.

Do you prefer learning a language in a class or on your own?

In a class! Over the years I’ve done a few attempts to better my Swedish and to continue my French lessons, but it’s been half-hearted at best.

What are your favourite language learning materials?

Well, in school we had typical 1980s grammar books, and excercise books. My favorite though were the pronunciation and discussion practise lessons my French teacher gave us – she said it was very important to learn to pronounce French properly. I don’t remember us having those things a lot in Swedish or English. English pronunciation I think I mostly learned from tv and movies, grammar and spelling in school.

How much time do you spend on language per day?

I read in Finnish and English every day, for hours and hours. I write at least a little in English and Finnish most days, and several days a week, I write a lot in English. Swedish very little, randomly and French not really at all, sadly. I’ve forgotten 99% of my French, honestly.

What are your short-term and long-term language goals?

I don’t have really have language goals. I just want to keep reading and writing English and Finnish fluently.

Oh wait! I lie! I do have a goal – sometimes, often, I forget the Finnish word for a thing, and all I can think of is what it is called in English. I’d like that to happen less! So I guess I need to keep reading Finnish widely going forward!

What is your favourite language?

English just because fanfic in my fandoms, or for my fave characters, doesn’t exist in Finnish. And the availability of certain published book genres is much wider in English than Finnish, and yet other book genres practically non-existant in Finnish.

What is the next language you want to learn?

If I could pour French language into my head that be cool! But I don’t think I’ll actually try to learn it again. German would be nice too!

What advice could you give new language learners?

Submerge yourself in it in whatever format you love! If it’s movies, great! If it’s reading, great! If it’s, writing, discussing… it’s all great! Whatever makes you want to spend time on it.