Category Archives: Seasonal

cliché

I get it! Writing a post in honor of the new year is marginally bromide, but whatever, I’ll bite. I figured I’d compile a small review of 2011.

I don’t believe that the world will end in 2012, and I think any crackpot who truly does believe so should probably make a call to the local institution where they can ride it out in one of those fancy rooms with the mushy walls. However, after looking back on all of the immensely ludicrous events of 2011 and the choices people made, I will say that one could argue that we deserve to be annihilated.

1. The End of the World!

"Two words: Judgement. Day."

Yeah. Remember this guy? He’s a Christian radio host who predicted the end of the world on May 21, 2011. Here’s the kicker: some people believed him. Some people quit their jobs and sold their homes (why would you do that if the world were really ending? Not like money’s gonna do you any good in Hell! Duhhhh) So after all the hullabaloo, the guy basically apologized. Even his apology was pointing that damn finger you see above at anyone but himself, though. He decided to scapegoat his blame to God and expected his audience to shoulder some of the shame for believing a false prediction. Way to go, asshole. Now we just gotta worry about the OTHER end of the world prediction. Le sigh.

2. Casey Anthony

Don’t look at me like that!

In 2008 this woman was indicted on the charge of first degree murder. I’m sure everyone remembers. This lovely ladeh went on a fun-time spree and neglected to mention her dead daughter to the police for like a month. Not surprisingly, the public assumed her guilty and also assumed that the courts would serve justice, which never happened. On July 7 2011, Casey Anthony was found innocent of the aforementioned charge due to lack of evidence, making her the new OJ Simpson. Instead, she was charged with lying to the police and was sentenced to one year in prison and $1,000 for every charge she was found guilty of. Even that didn’t really mean squat, though, since her sentence was set to time served. Bitches be crazy!

3. Bin Laden

Green camo totally blends in the desert!

Enough Said. I know this is still a hot button/controversial issue/whatevs you prefer to call it. No matter what way you spin it, this man became the face of a war that has dominated the news since I was a wee tot in elementary school.

4. The U.S. Gets Stormy

The U.S. doesn’t usually make these lists, but this last year has been one helluva ride. Over $35 billion in damages and 700 deaths this past year due to a compilation of major disasters. These include over 300 tornadoes in the span of 24 hours in a massive outbreak on April 27, 2011; and a month later, on May 22, 2011 there was the EF-5 tornado at Joplin, destroying the city and killing 158 people; there were also numerous floods and a drought (riddle me that!) and a big blizzard in the past year.

5. Drought in East Africa

The drought spreads across Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Djibouti has laid waste to the land and water supply, making the worst famine in decades. Estimates predict a minimum of 30,000 children dead due to famine. Thousands upon thousands flood the refugee camps daily. One camp, Dadaab, in Kenya was intended for a population of 90,000 and is now populated by 380,000 people. As many as 10 million people are affected by the drought and famine in the horn of africa to this day.

6. The Earth Quakes and Shakes

From CNN.com

the 8.9 earthquake of 2011 in Japan was one of the worst in recorded history, and it triggered a massive tsunami which has a death toll that is still ticking. I can’t say much to speak to this because the damages to property and lives are too great and too many and still rising.

One more thing…

7. This Guy Exists

"Activating: lusty, yet thoughtful gaze"

Seriously, guys?

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Top 5 Awesome Winter Sports

So it’s getting to be that time of the year – the blistery cold wind is howling and snowfall is imminent. It’s fun to bundle up in – let’s face it – the most comfortable clothes in the entire wardrobe. Cozy is what it’s all about! Winter is kind of a love/hate thing for most people who truly experience it. Some days are gorgeous – trees covered in a layer of sparkly ice and snow, deer leaving tracks in the snow and bounding up to your house to stay near a heat source, bright white light when the sun makes an appearance. However, that’s a small portion of real winter. Most winter days are dreary and unbelievably cold, at least here in MN. Last winter consisted of few days of sunshine and about two to four feet of snow at any given time (give or take), coupled with literally single digit temps and sub zero wind chills. The wind gets so cold it actually burns.

90% of days of the winter season in MN, everyone has to spend 30 mins scraping ice and snow off their cars and shoveling snow away from tires. Then we proceed to deal with cars slipping and sliding all over the damn place like the roads are a pinball machine, due to a sheet of ice about an inch thick. Aaaah, winter. The time of the year when everyone’s fifteen minutes late to work every day – and the boss can’t say a damn thing about it.

So, I know that after the first two weeks or so of snow, MN winters can get pretty depressing. Days are short and cold, so we spend way too much time inside. I’m here to make a list of things to do that will help people like me, who are hellbent on remaining active year round, do just that.

 

Without further ado, I give you:

 

The Amazing List of Winter Wonderful Awesomeness

Or simply,

Crap To Do When There’s Snow

1. Snowboarding or Skiing:

This is TOTALLY how cool everyone looks when doing snowsports.

Granted, this picture is totally glorified (thank you, Google), but you get the idea. Whether you can ski downhill or cross country, it’s a great workout and a lot of fun. Snowboarding, in my opinion, is much easier than skiing, so give both a shot and see which you prefer. You can get all the gear you need for a couple hundred bucks, maybe less if you buy used, and you can keep it for many years – believe me, the gear will probably outlast you.

2. Tubing!!:

It only looks dorky

Yeah, so… you might think it looks totally retarded – but you’d be sorely mistaken. It is probably literally THE most fun you can have all freakin’ winter. Bring your whole family, cousins included, and go rent a few tubes. I guarantee you will spend an entire day doing this shit. My family goes every year, it’s kind of a ritual.

3. Sleigh Rides:

"Mush! You silly horse, mush!!"

Yeah, there’s only two ways to go about this without it being lame. The first is to make a date of it, go with someone you wanna knock socks with. The second is to go with (ironically) your family, especially if there’s kids. They love this crap, and it’s pretty fun to see them get all excited.

4. Snowshoeing:

"Damnit. She told me to follow the trees."

Contrary to what one may believe, this is a serious workout. It can be fun if you bring a group of friends or family with you, so make a day of it and bring food and some extra gear – have a wintertime picnic atop a big hill!

5. Dog Sledding:

"Oh. NOW we say 'mush.'"

Yeah, for real. Ever tried it? Bet you haven’t. It’s actually a lot of fun, especially for those of us who adore anything with fur. A common practice in MN, dog sledding is a winter pastime that probably won’t ever die. If you’re a fan of Siberian Huskies or Alaskan Malamutes, this is something you should look into. This is such a huge (yet oddly unmentioned) hobby that there are marathons every year all along Minnesota’s North Shore. The Beargrease race starts in Duluth, Minnesota and takes a 411 mile trail (Gunflint trail) all the way through Grand Marais and Beaver Bay to the final destination at Grand Portage. I’ve personally seen this route and it is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen to date. The race honors a man named John Beargrease who was the son of an Anishinaabe chief and worked to deliver mail through the North Shore by – you guessed it – dog sled. His route is remembered yearly by many enthusiasts to date.

For your viewing pleasure, here’s a recent video from the Beargrease Race: