January 20, 2012

Texas Trip Update: 2012 Really Will be the end of the world

I've been back in Texas for a week now. And the extremely warm January weather here is seriously making me reconsider winters in Finland :) No, that's not really an option. But it is nice to see the sun each morning, wear jeans and a t-shirt all day long, and not have to worry about scraping ice off my car every time I get in it. If only Finland could get onboard with this warm winter thing. Then, we would be in business!

So far, the trip home has been a mix of running errands, shopping and picking up lots of goodies to bring home (think sweets and Mexican food ingredients). I've spent a lot of time with friends and even more with family. It's been a great mini break at home. But, I am missing the hubs and getting ready to get back to Finland and wrap this season up. The last game of regular season is mid March, but once you are through January, time seems to fly by. I'll have one week left in January when I'm back, then a short Feburary, and before we both know it, we'll be back in sunny Texas for the spring. Ahhhhhhh.

But, there is something I saw this trip that is making me a little apprehensive about the state of my dear country. This is something that I had not seen before leaving Texas back in August. No, it's not the ridiculous GOP debates, the still looming financial crisis or even these, which I have (unfortunately) yet to see on my latest Lone Star trip.

No, it is something far more ominous than any of those combined. A sign that things in America are only going to get worse, and not better. That the youth of our nation, the ones we will hold responsible for continuing this country's legacy, are nothing short of doomed.

Feast your eyes on the destruction of the U.S.

Run for your lives! (source)
(Yes, It's a singing Justin Bieber Toothbrush. Gag me. No seriously, take the damn thing and gag me with it.)

OK, OK. I know I am out of loop on these things and this has been out for a while, but it still scares me. Why the heck would I want Justin Bieber to sing to me while I brushed my teeth?! I DON'T UNDERSTAND!! Will his songs help my plaque? Will "Baby" teach me that flossing really is as important as the dentist claims it is?! I'm so confused. And a little frightened.

This is how it will all end, won't it?? 2012 really will be the doom of our society. I have a feeling that this awful product will survive the apocalypse and will be singing "U Smile" as demons roam the earth. Now THAT'S a scary thought :)

BTW, I don't really write about 'being a hockey wife' that often. There are great bloggers out there that do that for me :) But, I did write a short little intro piece for an up-and-coming hockey news and blogging site called Rumor Me That. I thought ya'll might want to have a look. And try not to laugh at my big dorky picture front and center, haha.

January 7, 2012

Really Random Sport Facts...


...cause you know you love 'em. 

This is the time of year when fans start getting crazy about sports games, at least in the US. Football playoffs start tonight, and I know that my hometown is going crazy because the Texans have finally made it into the playoffs! So, in light of all the hype, I thought I'd share a few sports facts with ya'll. Haven't done a fact-filled post in a long time anyways, so I figured it was due. Plus, I just read about a few of these a couple of days ago and thought there were too random and interesting to pass up. 

So here goes, sports facts that even non-sports lovers will love. 

The High Five

The High Five wasn't invented until 1977. Hard to believe that this ubiquitous and international gesture has been around for only the last few decades. The high five is credited to major league baseball player Dusty Baker, who was with the Dodgers then. He had just hit a home run (off the Astros, thankyouverymuch) and was rounding third and on his way to score. His teammate, Glenn Burke, put his hands up over his head and was waiting for him to cross home plate. Baker wasn't sure what to do and in an act of excitement he reached up and slapped his hand. He said "It seemed like the thing to do". And thus changing history forever. Ok, maybe not that drastic, but you get the point. 

Welcome to the world, baby high five. (source)


The Wave

There is a bit of dispute on who actually invented "The Wave", but it is pretty clear that sometime in the early 1980s this sporting game phenomenon, and time passer/crowd pleaser, was first performed. Some claim it happened at a MLB game in Oakland, others at various college football games. No matter which group of bored fans invented it, it remains a fun, and then overly repetitive, wish-it-would-just-die-down-so-I-can-watch-the-game crowd activity. 

Here is a video of the hubs and I doing The Wave with 90,000 of our closest friends at a Barcelona Football game at Camp Nui. (That's soccer for you N.A. folks ;)). They were winning something like 7-0 at this point. Not much else to do, really.




The First Million Dollar Sports Endorsement Deal

Long before Tiger Woods and Micheal Jordan were making millions and millions on products they wouldn't be caught dead using, the first million dollar endorsement deal went to the king of the lanes. Yes, I'm talking about professional bowling. The now often-mocked sport was big time back in the day and the man known as Mr. Bowling, Don Carter, was the first man to make a million bucks by selling name for marketing purposes. The Ebonite Bowling Company used his name on a line of bowling balls and Carter raked in the cash. Interesting, huh!?
(on a side note, Don Carter just passed away this week. Here is to the man who paved the way for all the Gillette, State Farm, Lincoln, and Hanes underwear crazes)

Good for you, Don! (source)



How Many Baseballs are Used?!?

(source)
It is estimated that the average lifespan for a baseball in an MLB game is 6 pitches. That means that each game uses around 45-50 balls. At this rate, that would mean that almost 115,000 balls are used throughout the entire season! No wonder it is "America's Pasttime". The founders of the game must have already known how the U.S. just looooves to waste. Joking, love you 'Muurica and you too baseball. Make April come soon, K??


So, I'm pretty much huddled up inside today. The snow has finally made it's big debut and I don't have any desire to greet it. Just waiting for next week's warmer weather in Texas. WHICH, BTW, is not looking all that warm. Forecasters are calling for a cold front to come in the day I land. Thanks Houston, I really, really appreciate that. Here's for wishing for at least a little bit of sunshine!

January 4, 2012

A New Year and New Post

I'm back. 

I thought about staying gone. Thought about how to stay tucked away in my little slice of heaven. Thought about disappearing into the great unknown and never coming back. 

Deep thoughts about how we can make a living in Barcelona...street performer??

I'm talking about Barcelona, of course. Nothing to do with you, bloggyland, and my lackluster attendence of late. 

Spain was flippin' awesome! Barcelona is an amazing city and I highly recommend any and everyone going if they ever get a chance. It exceeded my expectations and is right up there with the Greek islands as one of my favorite European destinations. 

While the city might have a totally different feel in the summer (i.e. extreme tourist overcrowding and less welcoming locals) it was a complete joy in mid-December. Not only was the weather sunny and warm - temps in the mid 60s - but the lines were short everywhere, the Catalonians were overly friendly and welcoming, and the city was alive with the Christmas spirit. 

I told the hubs that he got me the best present ever...the sun! That little bit of vitamin D, not to mention the sun actually up in the sky when we woke up each morning, did a world of good. 

Our highlights included...

La Sagrada Familia



Its stunning architecture and design blew me away. It is hard to capture it's true essence with any camera...especially my ancient one. 



G├╝ell Parc


....but mostly because it was the perfect day to lounge on the tiled benches. 



La Rambla



As 'touristy' as most people might think it is, it is worth a stroll no matter the time of year. People from all walks of life and corners of the world are out and about here. Picked me up a nice little piece of local art as well. 



The Beach!


Yes!!! Nothing like walking barefoot on a Spanish beach in the middle of winter. It was amazing. The water was freezing, but that didn't stop a pack of surfers...or a naked, bathing man. Yeah, I have distant pictures to prove it. No, they aren't making the blog. 



Montserrat Day Trip

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! We had a picnic on top of the world. No big deal. Might have to expand on this trip a bit further in the future. 



Codorniu Cava Wine Tour

Getting a glimpse into Spain's, nope WORLD's largest sparkling wine producer and touring the cellars that have the capacity for over 40 million bottles. NBD. 


And have I mentioned the sun? 'Cause that was awesome. 

:)


There is so much more to share, gotta save some for most posts. We got a lot done in a short 4 days. 

So, eventually we bounced back to reality and realized that there was no way logical way the hockey team in Finland could be transported to Barcelona. We headed back home on Christmas Eve and honestly can't wait to return again soon. 

As for New Year's, it was spent with the team and was such a great time! Too much champagne and faulty (and potentially hazardous!) fireworks. Perfect combination. 

And what's new for now!? Well, January in the hockey world is the sloooooowest and longest month ever. The festivities of Christmas have passed, winter has settled in (well, Finland, not really. WTH is up with this mild winter, I love it!) and yet the season just seems to chug along. This year has hopes of being better than others, in terms of pace. Three games a week, instead of the usual one or two, make the time go by faster for the hubs. 

As for me, time will go by super fast since I am headed home in one week to recharge my sun batteries (yes, they are already low since Spain), see family and friends, eat my weight in authentic TexMex and see what sales I can't hit up while back in Houston. Yeehaw, I am looking forward to that! Nothing like taking a 12 day Texas break in the middle of it all. 

So, I've been trying to make blogging rounds, and hope that everyone had a great Christmas and New Year. 

I have a feeling 2012 is going to be a great one.