How are you? I am fine. It will be Christmas in a few days and I still haven't seen any snow. I'm trying not to be bummed about that, but thanks for asking.
Thank you for visiting my blog. I have only recently become aware of the fact that I'm so popular in your land. When I say, "popular" what I mean is that there have been four visits from Latvia in the past week and even a few the week before. Understand, this is an unexpectedly large percentage of traffic for me.
Admittedly, and probably unsurprisingly, I'm a pretty typical American and when I say "I know nothing about Latvia," I mean that I wasn't even convinced that it was a country until I wiki'd it several minutes ago. I have learned some exciting (hopefully) true things in my research. Here are several things that I learned about your land. Please alert me to the truthieness of this research. American friends, get ready to do the learnin' dance.
Latvia has a pretty straightforward flag and that's what I like in an identifier. One year, I spent Christmas with some people who, by and large, absolutely did not know me. They were, incredible, loving, gracious people who fed me, cleaned me up after I passed out in the shower and vomited--if I'm remembering accurately--all over every square inch of their bathroom and they gave me gifts. One of those gifts was a fleece blanket featuring the American flag. The American flag is pretty bold and difficult to incorporate into a classy design scheme. But you, Latvians, obviously you knew how well a throw blanket featuring your country's stripes would work in my living room. My birthday is in October, thanks.
In the 13th Century, a pretty big chunk of your territory was conquered by Germans. Then came Polish and Lithuanian management. Then there was an eleven year Polish-Swedish War and, guess what, Poland lost and Sweden got to keep you. This surprises me, honestly, because nowadays everyone pretty much assumes that Sweden's a pretty quiet, non-threat but I guess even Sweden went through a rebellious period. This is like that time that I found out that Barbara, my youth leader, used to be a stripper. That was unsettling for more than three different reasons. Poland kept fighting with Sweden even though Sweden clearly won fair and square until they called trucies-no-takebacks in 1629. Turns out that Sweden was good to your turf, though, so I'm happy to hear that.
So Sweden's in charge and everyone's happy and singing "summertime and the livin's easy" and driving around with their hands out the window when out of nowhere (and for reasons that I can't really follow) you eventually ended up with Russia in charge. Skip ahead some hundred years and now you're all Latvia (I guess) and you joined NATO in the 90's and the European Union in 2004. Congratulations! (I say that because Wikipedia says that was one of your goals--so I say reach for the sky, Latvia.)
Seriously, though, if you're from Latvia and you're reading this (and you're not offended--I sincerely hope you are not), then few things would make me more thrilled form hearing from you. Also, could you tell me a little about Jāņi, starting with how to pronounce it?