Finnish Independence Day 2018

Today is Independence Day (Itsenäisyyspäivä) in Finland. Last year was the centennial, which was a huge celebration. This year things are a bit darker, because it’s now 100 years since the brief but bloody Finnish civil war. No longer a Grand Duchy of the Russian Empire, there was disagreement (to put it far too mildly) […]

Celebrating Katie’s Birthday

Today’s Katie’s birthday. Of course, she’s out on a consulting gig for most of the day, and I’m at work as usual. That doesn’t mean that we don’t have some fun things planned. For dinner I’m making her meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and brussels sprouts. She requests this every year. I make the meatloaf with dark […]

Welcome to Black Friday 2018

Hey, it’s Black Friday 2018! That means that as a self-identified minimalist I’m supposed to denounce consumer culture and all of the horrible materialistic practices that come with it! Yeah, no. Not so much this year, sorry. Not feeling it. You know all of this stuff already. Something Something Spirit of the Season This time […]

Happy Thanksgiving 2018

It’s just another Thursday here in Finland. No one’s getting together with relatives they don’t like because cultural pressure requires them to. That’s what Yule is for! Why do it twice, and only a month apart? There’s no parade. People aren’t panicking over turkey. Football? American football? Never was my thing, anyway. Thanksgiving 2018 is […]

How I Spent My 55th Birthday

Yesterday was my birthday. Hold for applause. Katie asked what I want, but on a regular basis I sort of already have that. If I don’t already have it, either I don’t need it or can’t currently afford it. Since I equate stuff with stress anyway, anything material would have had to have been spacial […]

Here Come the Christmas Police

On November 1st, stores in America put all of their Halloween stuff on clearance and started rolling out more Christmas merchandise. I say “more of” because I know a lot of places were setting up for the holidays as early as September. And every year, here come the Christmas Police, complaining that it’s too soon. […]

Halloween… with Katie and Berin

This week’s topic: It’s Halloween somewhere! Katie and Berin compare and contrast October in the United States, where Halloween rivals Christmas in its cultural influence and commercial crassness, to Finland where it’s barely even a thing. Katie talks about why she loves Halloween. Berin explains why he doesn’t. Special Thanks to Gary E. Weller Pertti […]