Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The sauna: past and present

While tappin' my toe and slicin' up my Swedish pancakes last Sunday morning at the Swedish Cultural Center's once-a-month breakfast fest (if you haven't gone, get the hell up early the first Sunday of any month but August and go there, on Dexter. it's like a wedding without the pesky bride and groom. you got round tables, LIVE music, costumes, dancin' and eatin' for $9. And you can be nappin' by noon! costumes!) anyway, i find out about this there:
on Saturday, Oct. 9, at 7 p.m. at the same place, the Swedish Cultural Center, 1920 Dexter Ave. N., they're having a Finn hall. A what?? Gatherings, Finns. You get the picture. And this one features Arnold Alanen, Fullbright fellow and professor emeritus of Landscape Architecture at the University of Wisconsin.
He's going to tell us how Finnish immigrants brought their understanding of the environment and cultural resource preservation with them to here. Here's the good part, and I quote: "He will also address the question: Did the sauna change when it came to America?"
Sure, I poke fun. But I think Mr. Alanen will be fascinating. As a Fullbright scholar, he's been declared to be smarter than most of us, maybe even Nobel winners. I'm not sure of the pecking order there.
Mr. Alanen also is the Finlandia Foundation National Lecturer of the Year for 2010. But I don't know who his competition was, so maybe that's not such a big deal. But that Fullbright thing is.

TIDBIT: I had a boyfriend once, between husbands, who showed his affection by remodeling my house. Unannounced. While I was at work. And one day he decided to pay his teen-age daughter to tear out the sauna in the bathroom. Then he rebuilt it on the deck. It looked EXACTLY the same, except for one thing. He took the old dog door, cut the window out of it and inserted it into the sauna so we could look outside while we sweated naked. Only you could never see out the window with all the steam.
Again, I digress. I blame it on match.com and the exuberance of middle age.

photo: stock image of some naked guy in a sauna. if you wanted a naked women write your own blog.


  1. It gives me the heebie-jeebies to walk into a sauna at the club, a hotel or condo and see those little heart shaped wet spots on the wood benches. butt moisture. scourge of the sauna experience

  2. You may have hit on Scandinavian nirvana -eating Swedish pancakes while enjoying the sauna, heck -throw in shots of aquavit while you're at it. Now THAT'S America.