February 29, 2012

I couldn't make this stuff up

So I was doing a little research for a short travel article on Finland. I was looking into the Lapland region and getting some info on it through Wikipedia.

That's when I saw the traditional Coat of Arms for the Finnish Lapland region. And was LOVING it.

Let's go over why this coat of arms might just be the best Finnish thing ever.

1. Are those canon balls? Black pearls? Ball bearings? I don't care, they look good up there. But let's be honest, that's not where anyone's focus is.

2. The Laplanders took the saying "walk tall and carry a big stick" to a whole new level. Look at that thing. How is he even carrying it? It's literally almost as tall as he is. I get it, you Laps are strong!

3. No, he can't be. Is he pointing to his six-pack?? How great is that!? I mean, he does have some mighty sculpted abs. I bet he works out. And now that I am thinking of it, The Situation could be part Laplander and not even know it.

4. Maybe you weren't aware, but Lapland is in the freakin' arctic circle. That's a place that you need clothes, no matter the season. But not the Laps. No way. This one here is sporting a mini little loin cloth and is not one bit phased by the -40F air around him. I'm sure the Laplanders might get cold, but they'd be darned if they are going to show any kind of weakness on their coat of arms.

(and I forgot to label his Grizzly Adams beard. That rocks too!)

Yesterday was Finnish culture day here, and although I didn't get to write a post on it, I thought this might be just as good.

Enjoy your leap hump day. And don't try that move at home.

February 22, 2012

Now THAT'S A Cool Feeling...

I'll make it short and sweet.

There used to be a morning radio segment on one of the Houston stations called "Cool Feelings". Those of you who are from H-town might be familiar with it. Every morning it would run down a list of cool feelings, like "waking up and thinking it is time to get up but you still have 3 hours to sleep" or "digging out your winter coat and finding a crisp $20 in the pocket". You get the idea.

It would end with the host saying, "Now THAT'S a cool feeling".

Well, I've been in the need for a cool feeling lately. February's just been one of those blah-di-blah months and I'm so over it. (Don't you worry your pretty little face about me, it's nothing I won't overcome). Heck, we all have those days, weeks, months. Mostly first world problems, but still, they suck.

Anyways, I had one of the best 'cool feelings' the other day and it was just perfect timing to pick me up.

So, I'd thought I'd share it with ya'll, and let you have your own cool feeling too.

"When you get in the car and turn on the radio and an old school, corny jam that you used to love and haven't heard in years is just starting to play"

Now THAT'S a cool feeling.

And I know you want one too. Enjoy any of these pick-me-up, sing your heart out songs and feel good about starting the day off right.

(this first one is the actual song that came on. Haha, Oh Celine, you know I needed a corny song like this to get going!)

Another one of my faves. How can you NOT jam out to Marky Mark

One that I'm not ashamed to love because it is just so dang catchy!

And because it would be rude to NOT include my boyfriend

Enjoy one of these songs and have your own cool feeling. Or share one of your own! What song gives you that 'cool feeling'? It put a smile on my face just posting these :) Here's to a good last week of February and a much-anticipated March!!

**DISCLAIMER: these songs have nothing to do with what's going on. I just like ridiculously lame jams, what can I say!?

February 6, 2012

Some Rando Finnish Facts and a Suomi Life Update

My oh my February is already here and roughly 20.7% already through. Gotta love short months (although not happy about that extra day in there!). Forgive me if I should harsh about the time going by. I know I should be thankful and enjoying every minute, which I am, but seriously, it has been sooooo cold here. Like Arctic cold…wait, that is pretty much where I am. Shiz. You know what I mean. Or maybe you don’t, because before this week, I didn’t know what it meant.

I dress like this in that kind of cold, just less sexier (source)

I don’t scale the weather in degrees anymore, because past a certain point I can’t relate to how cold it is because I have no reference. Surprise, surprise, Texas doesn’t get this kind of weather. So, this is how I explain what 0F feels like…Booger Freezing. Yep, I know you’ve heard of tears and snot freezing in really cold weather, but if you’ve never felt it, you truly haven’t lived (or felt like you were going to die!). This last week in Finland has been down right boogie freezing cold. You walk outside and it almost instantaneously feels like you have tiny, snot icicles hanging from inside the bat cave. Nice, right?!

I am hopeful that this weather will not be here long (it is supposed to be gone this week, but we’ll see about that). Heck, I am even happy for a 25F (-5C or so) day! Never thought I’d be saying that.

Since you might be interested in a few other things besides the weather, everything else is going fine here too. Been back in Finland for over a week. The hockey season is coming to the home stretch. As soon as January is over, February flies by and March is already an afterthought. Only 38 more days until the last game of the season…but who’s counting, right?! And never say never, I guess, but this year isn’t the same pulse-racing, at the edge of your seat thriller that last year’s championship season was. Meh, can’t win them all, unfortunately. But it’s been a good experience here nonetheless. In true hockey form, we don’t know where we will be next year just yet, but I kind of like it that way sometimes. Just means that we are always open to exciting possibilities.

Actual picture of us holidaying in Finland. We look good, right? (source)

And I’ve been working and writing away online. It is going great, actually, and excited for a few new projects in the works. This freelancing is picking up faster than I ever thought imaginable and I’m ready to take on more and more challenges as time goes on.

Enough about me, here is the random Finnish info, as promised.

Sunday, yesterday, was the presidential election here in Finland. The Finnish president, Tarja Halonen (aka Conan O’Brien’s long lost twin sister), had served her two-term maximum, each term being 6 years, and is ready to abdicate her position.

You might be groaning in your head thinking of yet another presidential election, one with absolutely offensive candidates that are better suited in a nut house than at a debate podium. But things are different here. They are much, MUCH more relaxed. Don’t get me wrong, being president of a important European nation is a big job, but the Finns aren’t ape shit crazy over this election nonsense. In fact, the candidates weren’t allowed to start campaigning for the job until about a month before the election! How nice would that be in the US??? Life without caucuses, smack-talking commercials and useless debates would be awesome, right? I know I could certainly do without them, and I’m not even in the U.S. for most of the gong show, something which I am quite happy about.

Anyways, back to the Finnish presidential election. There are 8 major parties, yep, that’s 6 more than the U.S. and it looks like the winner is… Sauli Niinisto.

I sure hope this is really a picture of him (source)
 Their presidential election process is slightly different from the U.S.’s but I won’t get into it. His final opponent was Pekka Haavisto, an openly gay candidate. I thought that was pretty neat and not often seen in politics.

This guy. Niinisto. Not sure what his views are or what policies he is going to implement (still haven’t figured that Finnish language thing out yet!) but congrats to him. Really, though, the actual winners are the Finnish citizens. Kudos to you and your government not turning presidential elections into a full-blown circus. If only we could take a hint and do the same.

Except for this. This can stay. In fact, I’m basing whom I vote for on these BLRs.