reindeer meat

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My first stop in the United States yesterday was to a hospital because I got violently ill during the last bit of my second flight. Because of the dysautonomic condition I likely have, I was nervous that my body wouldn’t be able to handle the recovery on its own. This is where the story turns around to be something I’ll never forget (and the doctors either), in the best way: I was so exhausted by the time we got to the ER that when they asked me if I had eaten anything unusual, I somehow didn’t mention the fact that I had eaten BEAR AND REINDEER meat the night before. Oh, Finland!!! The second picture is of me laughing when the doctors and I realized and appreciated the weirdness and hilarity of the situation. I’m doing much better today after my short stay there, a long night of sleep, and dinner that wasn’t… Well, bear meat. :P

Sometimes, laughter is the best medicine (plus Zoftan and fluids, among others, because let’s be real, medicine makes my life continue as smoothly as it possibly can). Five days until Mayo Clinic and I meet for the first (hopefully only!) time and we really start to get things sorted out so my life isn’t quite so, well, nerve-wracking (pun intended). Here’s to smiling and being silly through as much of it as I possibly can.

Why Frozen is based on Norway / Not Denmark

Since I still see people believing that Frozen is taking place/inspired by Denmark, and that Elsa and Anna’s “native” language are therefore Danish, I just need you to correct you with this information. This is just what I found on Frozen’s wikipedia page, just because I’m lousy at formulating these things myself. There are LOTS of other sources connecting Frozen to Norway rather than Denmark, just google it and have fun. Yes, the story is LOOSELY based on H.C. Andersen’s the Snow Queen, but it’s very far from the original, and the movie couldn’t possibly take place in Denmark’s nature. While it’s a beautiful country on it’s own, it does not have the dramatic nature of fjords and mountains that Norway has to offer. 

Also, in the original story, the Snow Queen lives on Spitsbergen. A Norwegian Island. I’m starting to think that most of the people who claim it’s Danish based sorely on the fact that it’s slightly inspired by the Snow Queen, have never read the original story, or know much about it at all. It’s a completely different story, with only a few similar characteristics. 

OKAY, on to the movie facts: 

Norwegian and Sámi inspiration

The film contains elements specifically drawn from Norwegian culture and northern and central Norway’s indigenous Sámi culture. Several landmarks in Norway appear in the film, including the Akershus Fortress in Oslo, the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim and Bryggen in Bergen. Numerous other typical cultural Norwegian elements are also included in the film, such as a Stave church, trolls, Viking ships, Fjord horses, clothes and food such as lutefisk. A maypole is also present in the film, a tradition more common in Sweden and Denmark than Norway. The movie also contains several elements specifically drawn from Norway’s Sámi culture, such as the usage of reindeer for transportation and the equipment used to control these, clothing styles (the outfits of the ice cutters), and parts of the musical score. Decorations, such as those on the castle pillars and Kristoff’s sled are also in styles inspired by Sámi duodji decorations. During their field work in Norway, Disney’s team visited Rørosrein, a Sámi family-owned company in the village Plassje which produces reindeer meat and arranges tourist events, for inspiration. For Sven, Kristoff’s reindeer, the animators found inspirations in Roros, a former “mining town” in Norway, while Arendelle was inspired by Naeroyfjord, a branch of Norway’s longest fjord Sognefjorden, which has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The filmmakers’ trip to Norway provided essential knowledge for the animators to come up with the design aesthetic for the film in terms of color, light, and atmosphere. According to Giaimo, there were three important factors that they had acquired from this research trip: the fjords, which are the massive vertical rock formations, and serve as the setting for the secluded Arendelle kingdom; the medieval stave churches, whose rustic triangular rooflines and shingles inspired the castle compound; and the rosemaling folk art, whose distinctive paneling and grid patterns informed the architecture, decor, and costumes.

For the orchestral film score, composer Christophe Beck gave homage to the Norway- and Sápmi-inspired setting, employing regional instruments such as the bukkehorn and traditional vocal techniques, such as kulning. The music producers recruited a Norwegian linguist to assist with the lyrics for an Old Norse song written for Elsa’s coronation, and also traveled to Norway to record the all-female choir Cantus, for a piece inspired by traditional Sámi music. The score was recorded by an 80-piece orchestra, featuring 32 vocalists, including native Norwegian Christine Hals. Beck worked with Lopez and Anderson-Lopez on incorporating their songs into arrangements in the score. The trio’s goal “was to create a cohesive musical journey from beginning to end.”

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April 22nd, Reindeer Meat Just Destroyed My Childhood

Dear 2013,

This morning on CBC Radio:

CBC RADIO PERSON:  Up in Northern Canada caribou meat is just part of the mainstream diet but with increasing government restrictions it’s becoming harder and harder to come by.  One local entrepreneur is happy to provide an alternative.

CUT TO CBC FIELD PERSON:  Local Lloyd Binder sells reindeer meat.  You heard right.  He manages a herd of over four thousand Canadian reindeer in the Arctic tundra.  Describing the meat as ‘similar to caribou but with a milder flavour’.  People used to laugh and make fun of his business but now he’s making a very tidy profit.

ME:  So, to re-cap:  

 - A guy in the north pole is selling reindeer meat.  

 - People used to laugh and call him names.   

 - My childhood has officially been killed.