Sunday, May 17, 2009

Eurovision Song Contest

Here's a tasty little tidbit that Americans are seriously getting shafted by missing: The Eurovision Song Contest. Country vs. country going head to head via song and dance. Loving it!

Last night was the finale, and up until then I was a Eurovision virgin. And I must be a good luck charm, because last night Norway won (woot woot)! You know when you're a kid (oh hell, to this day even) when your state makes it into the top 10 at the Miss America pagent? Well, Eurovision feels kind of like that. Except the people voting for the winner aren't washed up pseudo celebrities, they are your competition (the other countries)!

In honor of my new yearly ritual, I will count the top 4 best and worst songs in the finale. There were 25 total. And picking 5 of each wasy far too much work for my sloth self. Let's start with best (starting at numero uno):

#1 Norway

Yes, I'm biased. But myself and every other country in Europe (plus a few random ones in the Middle East) cannot be wrong. Alexander Rybak is adorable! And he can play the fiddle! Winner winner chicken dinner.

#2 Malta

Can anybody even tell me where Malta freaking is? Because I have no idea. But homegirl can sing! And homegirl has got meat on her bones, which is refreshing to see. She's got such a voice, and this song totally could be on the next Disney soundtrack. Do they even do that anymore what with Pixar taking over the world?

#3 Iceland

Again, I'm biased. I have Icelandic heritage and I feel so bad for the Icelandic people and their toilet-esque economy. Also the winner of the contest gets to host next years competition, and I know Iceland could use every tourist nickle they can get. But this girl can sing and picked a beautiful song. I vote her and Alexander Rybak get together and make beautiful Nordic babies. Hot hot hot!

#4 Estonia

I think rule #1 of Eurovision is to, as I say on an almost daily basis, speak freaking English. Yes, you've got a nifty language of your very own and you're proud of it. But 98.9% of the world can't understand a word you say! And I think that's what screwed poor Estonia. This song is haunting yet funky and seriously cool...but it's in Estonian. Raise your hand if you understand Estonian. Exactly.

We've seen the good, now let's move on to the bad and the ugly all rolled up into one. I realize Eurovision is a celebration of Euro-camp and flamboyant show off-ery but my God, people, have some dignity. These songs would make me ashamed to live in your country! Maybe even visit. I might cross these off my list of places to go before I die, just to punish them for making me listen to their craptacular music. In order from 4th suckiest to 1st suckiest we start with:

#4 Romania

No, sister, you like to suck like nobody. Repetative, silly Tinkerbell costumes, all around terrible. And thanks for the repeated near crotch flashes. More on those later.

#3 Greece

So I knew Greece doesn't always have the highest standards but umm, what is up with this guy?! The song itself could be worse, it's really a non-entity for me, but I think we have found the first male nip slip in the history of nudity. I want to know where Greece found this over-Botoxed, tanning-bed-living-in freak. He's icky.

#2 Turkey

Warning: This is not PG rated. There is near cooter shots every other second on this one. Not to mention the "tuk tuk tuk" pelvis thrusts. Correct me if I'm wrong but many women in Turkey wear traditional Muslim coverings, right? I'm as liberal as they come and this makes me blush. I bet this video was banned as porn in half the countries of the world. If not they should ban it for sucking.

#1 Finland

I can only sum this song up with a loud and clear "WTF". Apparently old Finnish white dude needs to be told that the Eminem look can't be pulled off by...old Finnish white dudes. There are burning garbage cans, there are 1980's hookers, there are flaming batons. Everything about this song is an absolute, vomit inducing, smeared-on-the-walls disaster.

So there you have the best and worst of Eurovision 2009. Since Norway won this year (we're #1! we're #1! we're #1!) we get to host it next year. And I will do anything to get my hands on tickets to the finale!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

I Want That!

Tomorrow is the 17th of May, Norway's version of 4th of July (kind of). At the very least it's the day when everybody is patriotic and uber proud to be Norwegian.

I have 2 beefs with this years celebration:

1) It is on a Sunday this year. No day off work or Norwegian class. BOO!

2) I do not have one of these:

This is a bunad. And it is pimp. They're really old timey and traditional but so, so beautiful. And expensive. People wear bunads at dressy events like weddings, Christmas or on the 17th of May. So I feel like a fish out of water without one of these things!

The cool thing about them is each county in Norway has their own. So you get the bunad design where you come from. Some, in my humble opinion, scream working class. But others are really beautiful, with embroidery and silver jewelry. I especially love the male ones:

How freaking cool are those socks?! And that hat. Love!

Since I'm not really from Norway (*ahem* proud to be an American *ahem*) I see a few options for bunad purchasing in my future, if I so choose to. I could get an Østfold one, which is where I live now. Or an Oslo one, where Martin was born. Or I could put on my genealogical researching panties and figure out where my ancestors came from (but 2 of 4 grandparents families came from Norway -which to choose?).

We're going to Oslo tomorrow to see the royal family (who I am, for the record, highly unimpressed with) and enjoy the national day in the capital city. I've got to sit out of the bunad wearing this year :( but next year, who knows! Maybe I'll spend several thousand dollars on an outfit that is worn a few times per year!

P.S. I will post pics of the billions of beautiful bunads floating around Oslo!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Which Sucks Less #1

Memory Lane Monday is starting to feel like a chore every week and I don't want it to turn into that. I'll save that sort of do-I-have-to?! miserable drudgery for marriage and parenting. In the meantime I want to spice things up a bit for myself and for your enjoyment.

People often say I have nothing but bad things to say about Norway. What these people don't realize is that I have nothing but bad things to say about everything. So they don't know me very well. I have lots of stuff - good and bad - to say about both America and Norway.

So I'm going to start a little segment I like to call Which Sucks Less? which compares the good old US of A with Norway to see which country sucks less, and is worthy of my presence for the next, give or take, 65 years. In practice this will be a segment where I rave about things that are vastly superior in one country over the other.

Which Sucks Less #1 - Hotel Breakfasts

Winner: Norway (and Scandinavia in general)

I have one word for you people - meatballs. Meatballs on a breakfast buffet! I have found my people. I have enjoyed hotel breakfast buffets in Norway, Sweden and Denmark and let me tell you, included in the price of your room is absolute heaven. We're talking quiche, excellent bread, cheese and jam (fabulous trio combo, for my American friends who have never heard of it), and meatballs, people! You wouldn't think they're great breakfast food but take it from somebody who knows food: meatballs for breakfast are absolute heaven.

Here's one small fraction of what you will get on your breakfast buffet if you visit Scandinavia:

And I mean just a fraction. Replace all that fruit with meatballs and sausages. That's a taste of Scandinavia right there. Kjempe digg, if I do say so myself.

One note, though: Norway could do with a lesson in muffin making. Hey, this place ain't perfect. Which is what I hope to illustrate with my new segment. No matter where I live there are ups and there are downs. There are yays and nays. But in the end, one must suck less!

Norway: 1
America: 0

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Memory Lane Monday #8

MLM has morphed into MLT due to my obscene laziness. Apologies. But I think this one is worth the wait.

Today is Cinco de Mayo, when Mexicans the world over celebrate something or another, and Americans, um, America over feel it's appropriate to get blitzed even though they haven't a drop of Mexican blood in them.

So Cinco de Mayo got me thinking about Mexico and Mexicans and women who look 20 when they are 40 (they do not age - I swear!) and the Spanish language. Which brings me to my song:

"Macarena" by Los del Río

Oh the times I had dancing to this in junior high! And oh the lyrics I did not understand! I'm convinced this started as 2 songs, one with the pretty girls dancing and singing in English and another with these old dudes singing in Spanish. Put them together, though, and it is mid-90's magic!

A quick Wiki search tells me this song was first recorded in 1992, way before I was of junior high rug cutting age. So clearly it had a (much deserved) long shelf life. For future reference: Playing this at a prom is acceptable; a wedding dance is not.

So tonight I dine on tacos in honor of USA's swine flu-inventing neighbors to the south, Me-he-co, while listening to what might just be the greatest one hit wonder of all time. Until next time I bid you adiós!

P.S. Shout out to Mrs. Bata, my Pierce Brosnan-lovin' high school Spanish teacher, whose efforts on me have entirely been wasted by my studying Norwegian, a language .00000001% as useful to know. Seriously, I had to really think what "goodbye" in Spanish was!