DIARY 2005















Fri, May 27

<23:46> With only a week left in my teaching post, I suddenly found the school has reached international fame with regards to its potential shutdown. I guess any publicity is good publicity, and this might help us in some ways. Even if my professional bond with the school is coming to an end, I think it is sad if the alma mater of several specialties such as Linux education is closed down.

The Finland Diary has also managed to make my friend/roommate/director Rigorist world-famous with its coverage of Yläkaupungin Yö. The Jyvaskyla section of this flash photo gallery boasts no fewer than two pictures of the man with the blues. Lurking in the background of some pictures are a few more friends.

Finally, on Sektori there was a story about All Rights Reserved?, a critique of intellectual property laws written by some Green Party youth members. Naturally I've added the link into my IP rant section :)

A strange technical glitch happened to find a solution today, and I'll probably never know exactly why. In the past weeks Firefox had been running painfully slowly, regardless of the exact version. In addition to excruciating delays in rendering, it had used up the CPU a lot, causing too much fan noise for something so simple. Today as I tried a bleeding edge version of the server, the browser suddenly sped up back to its expected behaviour. It was not due to the X server itself, because the change persisted after I switched back to the stable version. I guess there were some libraries updated at some point that didn't kick in until the X server was restarted/reinstalled.

Tue, May 24

<22:41> After the premiere of Fandango! we've so far had five more shows, with two to go, and since the practices are finally over I've had time to enjoy other people's stage work in the past week or so. Last Wednesday's fun was the improvisation act Ässiä hatusta, featuring a number of Fandango! crew members. The night was immensely funny and it left the odd feeling that there's no way I could ever emulate anything like it. I'm usually happier working from a script, even if it's rather loose like the one I use with F.

The weekend's big event was Yläkaupungin Yö, and this year I was particularly pleased to be one of the artistic contributors as we had scaramouched the Fandango into the night's programme. The seats were packed, which was nice, but unfortunately we were in a hurry setting up and cleaning up, and there was a lot of extra noise from the outside. This took away a lot of the sensitive overtones of the play. On the other hand, the harsh and powerful performance was consistent enough and it worked just as well as most of our official shows, even if differently.

The night went on nicely, and in many ways it was the best of the three YKYs I've experienced. Among other things, I listened to a somewhat interesting band called Kuolleet Intiaanit that sounded a lot like Kuusumun Profeetta with a heavier Tool-like approach, and did some clubbing in Agora. After the official programmes were over, I hooked up with some of the Fandango! crew and their friends. One guy showed me how to play with devilsticks and it was great fun, once I got the hang of it. It probably helped that I wasn't half as drunk as most people there :)

Sun, May 15

<00:25> Fandango! premiered on Thursday. I must begin by stating I am still quite exhausted both mentally and corporally. This is partly due to me oversleeping through the whole of Friday morning, which with the kind of job I have is not a very good thing.

I'm very happy with the play though, it seems like quite a success already, judging from people's reactions, though I have yet to see any formal reviews. One big surprise, to me at least, was how much of a comedy the story turned out for the premiere audience. I hope it did not diminish the impact of the serious matters; in fact the contrast may have worked to our advantage in this sense.

The subsequent party started with rather expected patterns, and by about midnight I was feeling ready to go home. Then I heard Rigorist the Director mention they are going to make some soundscapes. I was awake in an instant, with my electric guitar ready in seconds. The following couple of hours I spent in a rather warped sense of reality, banging power chords while lying on my back for starters. Percussions such as a steel barrel and some metal furniture, a kazoo and a lot of singing were thrown into the mix. It felt strange as I haven't done anything like that before, but at the same time I felt very much at home.

The next show will be tonight, and I look forward to it with mixed feelings. On one hand I enjoy performing and working with the crew, but I also feel exhausted of creativity: it's all accomplished now and a pessimist might say the only direction now is downhill. However, the premiere should really be a turning point, where the director hands the responsibilities over to the crew. I'm sure the play and the story it tells will take further interesting turns.

Risto A. Paju