Let my blog be the last to wish you a happy 2009. It’s been too long, really. So long that I will count down, in chronological order, all the CRAZY ASS SHIT that has gone down since I last posted.
First, we elected a black president! Remember when everyone was all “swing state” this and “trig palin” that? That’s how long ago my last post was. I did my meager part in the historic proceedings, submitting my absentee ballot for a non swing state with plenty of time to spare. Congrats to Obama for taking care of business and leaving no doubt who the man is. Winning Virginia and North Carolina was a really nice touch. I can report that the Australians, who a few months earlier had expressed skepticism that Obama would pull it off, were appropriately happy for us.
A few weeks later, I went to the Rugby World Cup final between Australia and New Zealand with a couple australian mates. It was a lot of fun, New Zealand pulled off the upset to the chagrin of most of the crowd (although there were a ton of Kiwis there), but that created some nice drama and tension, which is what sports are all about. The highlight was probably the streaker:
Then in early December, I went to a Kanye West concert. I foolishly forgot to bring my camera to document the experience, but rest assured, it was a lot of fun. The preponderance of white people at a rap concert in the US is a known phenomenon that takes a little getting used to. But in Australia… I mean, we’re talking a near total whitewash. There were a few pacific islanders here and there, but I have never seen so many pasty white kids rolling on E before in my life. Should I acknowledge the fact that I’m also white or should I just move on? Let’s just move on.
Then I flew back home for a few weeks.
First I went to Giants stadium with my old man, who hadn’t been to a game in nearly 20 years. It was cold, it was windy, but it was amazing. We witnessed one of the all time regular season thrillers, a Giants victory in overtime to clinch home field advantage, before a frigid crowd of 80,000 Giants fans. Great stuff.
Then I went home and met my niece Clara for the first time! Meeting a baby human, who shares 25% of the same genes as me, knowing that she doesn’t understand a word I say and won’t remember a single thing that happens, was truly a bizarre experience. I have hardly had any real interaction with a baby before, and it was pretty fun to see what would make her perk up, giggle, or bawl uncontrollably. I’d say we got along swimmingly. Here are some pictures:
The other great part of being home was obviously the home cooking. Chicken wings, rock cornish hens on christmas, bagels and lox, the works. I should have taken some photos of the food because it was that delicious.
Then I went to NYC for New Year’s. A couple of my friends not only graciously put me up for a few nights, but they also threw a slamming party on New Year’s Eve. Good times all around.
I was in New York for less than a week, but I consumed no fewer than three pastrami sandwiches from Katz’s deli:
Other new york highlights: Going to a knicks game (they lost of course), watching more football over beers and wings, seeing the Wrestler (great movie), and making an illegal copy of my buddy’s apartment key which came in handy.
Then I flew back to Australia, and on the second leg of the flight they bumped me up to first class! It was predictably amazing. The glasses of champaign, the fully reclining seats, the lamb chops and smoked salmon, I could go on…
It’s good to be back. Out with the wool socks and in with the flip flops. We’ve had highs in the 80’s every day since I’ve been back. (suck it). The only low point so far was when I got up at 4 am (the 3am kickoff moved back an hour when the US went to daylight saving time) on a monday workday morning to watch the Giants get their asses knocked out of the playoffs by the f’ing eagles. All of the excitement from the victory I had witnessed a few weeks prior vanished real quickly. What a disaster.
But that was mostly forgotten last weekend, when I went to my friend Trent’s engagement party. Nothing like an engagement party to break the ice with 75 australian strangers over an endless open bar. I think Trent’s aunts and uncles were amused by the tall loud american walking around. The details are a little foggy but I specifically remember the good times rolling.
and now, bringing us full circle like a good narrator should, Obama is in the Oval Office. It’s sort of bogus to sum up all of my political feelings in less than a full sentence, but like a lot of people, I’m optimistic yet undeniably guarded with respect to the potential for real progress in the next four years. Mostly I’m just amazed that we finally have someone different in there- the last time we had a president not named Bush or Clinton, I was just four years old.
Well, that’s it for now. Check back in early February, I am going to dust off the old photo journalism skills (shhhh…) to document my upcoming trip / bender to Melbourne.