New Years

Happy New Year! I’m quite glad to be in 2010, a year that will definitely bring more change than even 2009 (who knew a year could be more packed than graduating college and moving to a foreign country!). A lot has happened since Christmas. I experienced my first Boxing Day, something I think we should adopt along with Guy Fawkes night in the US, and Paihia has started to fill up with families on school holidays and tourists escaping Northern winters and Australian summer. There was a cute fireworks display in the bay which sounds exactly as romantic as it was, minis the moon successfully outshining any of the colors. You can see the boats lit up and the waves on the beach, how cool!

Poli then decided that, since it was still 2010 in America, we were going to ring my mum at 1am our time, 7am New Years Eve hers. She was classy and giggled the whole time, glad to have “made his night” talking to America. Here he is with mum on the other end.

I’ve also been reading some great books to help me fall asleep at night after another busy day at the restaurant. Martin Calder’s A Summer in Gascony was a great peek into life into d’Artagnan’s home province. Another travel book, Postcards from Elsewhere by Kiwi Graham Reid wasn’t engaging enough for me to get through the Louisiana swampland. My favorite was definitely Diplomatic Baggage, Brigid Keenan’s adventures as a diplomats wife displayed with that dry British humor I never knew I enjoyed (probably because I hadn’t thought much about the hometowns of authors and entertainers I like). If you are thirsty for some international exploits of your own, try to hunt down a copy of this book. She brings the most remote places to life and you almost want to move to Kyrgyzstan too.

While I put some travel reading on hold, I sped through Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol, a Christmas gift from Bronson and picked up Jodi Picoult’s Mercy, which my roommate brought home from work. DB does little to bore you with his 500+ page novel, and the over 130 chapters keep you engaged and intrigued because the point of view changes so rapidly. Picoult’s novel was her first that I’ve read, and while I picked it up to read the summary on the cover, I quickly ended up three chapters in before I knew it. Another must read, though the girls will probably appreciate her insights on relationships the most. Sorry boys, we will never stop analyzing your dramas and moments.

I’ve also taken some time to plan out a career list. Part of coming here was to sort out some of the bits of life that I would have otherwise happily ignored. While it might not be poetic, I thought it would be a good way to start the new year and have some goals to look for as I start job hunting back home:
1. Something publishing/writing related, perhaps editorial or photography as well
2. Travel and lifestyle subject areas (I’ve become obsessed with the non-fashion related sections of magazines here, clipping out recipes and saving tips)
3. Mixed media for sure, I love flipping and clipping, but clicking and tweeting can be fun too
4. Perhaps a stint in the baking/chocolate world to kill my incestuous sweet tooth for good, or just get more creative about satisfying it
5. Something with free time for sailing, if not potentially sailing related
6. Some opportunity to give back through non-profit work, working with kids, either professionally or volunteering

Hopefully 2010 can bring something off this list to life. Otherwise, I better start working on my novel. I’ll need to make Oprah’s book club list before she goes off the air next year. Happy new year!

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