Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Year in Review....

From Christmas 2010

Happy New Year (‘s eve, eve, eve)!

Hope this holiday/post holiday season finds you warm and safe and dry. Here, we’re warm and safe and anything but dry. It rains. And then, it rains some more. Then, again. From a quick look at the Qld weather map it looks like we’ve received somewhere between 16 and 24 inches of rain this month. More to come.

But, prior to December, we could almost be said to be adventurous folk!

First – A life-lesson: Eyelash glue will NOT hold bread on one’s face.

We have new passports. (Let me pause while that sinks in. It’s OK to be envious. Who could resist?) This is just the icing on the cake from our attaining Australian citizenship in July. (The cake would be the collectable plastic flags and the shrublings they gave us…which we haven’t killed yet.)

We made our first trip to New Zealand – flying into Wellington to visit friends and then borrowing their car for a counterclockwise expedition around the South Island. We had a great time. Our highlights: “climbing” Franz Josef Glacier and swimming with the seals in Kaikoura. We can teach you your first word in Kiwi…. “beer” - go ahead, say it. That’s an animal that lives in the woods and eats honey (though, not in NZ which is very deficient in mammals.)

We got our Chipotle fix by visiting the US – twice! Kevin scored an extra Chipotle run because this was the 20th Anniversary of his film “Night of the Living Bread” and, as such, the film and the man were featured guests at the Halloween Horror Movie Marathon in Columbus.

AND…. We have a “flash new car”… that is, if flash means 20 years old. It wasn’t exactly a planned purchase but something about totaling one’s current car makes buying a new car look like a good idea. It is a Toyota Corolla. Michael Jackson has been established in its trunk – though I’m thinking his value as a Good Luck Protective Demigod is over-rated. Still, he makes us smile.

Zelda worked hard to secure her title of Bad Ass Dog of the Year. In August she engaged in a bout of uncontrollable vomiting which eventually I determined was the result of a foreign body being lodged in her intestine. I just cannot believe it took her 13 years to accomplish this feat – she’s tried so hard. We removed a bluish green rubbery object which neither Kevin nor I had ever seen before. We don’t know where she found it, but she didn’t show it to us. (This is what can happen when you leave the internet on while you are at work!) Anyway, while she was sick she was an ideal patient – quiet and cooperative. No one could imagine why I kept insisting that Zelda is a very, very, very bad girl. Then, post surgery she felt better. The howling and screaming began. “I’m alone! Help!! Help!! I need a couch! I’m ALOOOONE!”. She chewed her IV line into THREE pieces and peed over everything. Then, BOOM! The clinic lights went out. I joked that even Zelda couldn’t do this – but she had. She chewed through the electrical cord on her heating pad and shorted out the clinic and wrecked both computers in the reception area. Now, our mail box is filled with come-ons addressed to Zelda from various terrorist organizations.

Our biggest news: Kevin and I are very pleased to inform you that we have decided to and have all but succeeded in adding a real human being to our family. If everything continues to go well – as well as it has gone up to this point – we’ll welcome a little boy to our – and your family in March/April. We appreciate the idea of the estimated arrival date of April 1, April Fool’s Day. We’ve been calling him Zuperfliegen Baadasssss – a Faux-German translation of “Super Fly” and Baadasssss from the 1971 movie “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song”– all in salute to 1970’s Blaxploitation films. (Can you guess whose idea this was??) Zupe for short….And, now for what you expect.

Movies: We did better seeing films this year thanks to several “series” playing in the city: The closing of The Regent Cinema in downtown Brisbane. They featured one classic movie from each decade they operated (from the 20s to the present). And, the Gallery of Modern Art featured a series of New Zealand films during their New Zealand Unnerved exhibition. Flying internationally added to our consumption – though not necessarily of anything we’d recommend to others. Anyway, hands down “Toy Story 3” gets our nod for best film. We laughed. We cried. Second place probably belongs to “The Social Network”. Our favorite from NZ: “Once Were Warriors” – though lets say it isn’t “upbeat”. The sequel, “What Becomes of the Broken Hearted”, was also worth seeing. But, you really should do them in sequence. Lighter fare: “Scott Pilgrim Versus the World”, “Black Sheep” (NZ film with man-eating sheep!), “RED” (which I liked more than Kevin.)

Books: This year I read a lot of Zombie books. Really. They were a fun lot – though none as supremely pleasing as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Zombies really spice up Jane Austen. If you can’t bring yourself to have that much fun, then I’ll recommend Let Me Sing You Gentle Songs by Linda Olsson. It was a beautiful novel of friendship between two lonely women – and nothing undead anywhere. (The US title is not as lovely: Astrid and Veronica.) One book I feel I need to caution you about: Ah-choo! by Jennifer Ackerman. My mother sent me this nonfiction account of research surrounding the common cold. It was interesting – but I was then sick with two consecutive colds for the next six weeks. I blame the book. I’m sure it is laced with various viruses. Now, I want to get it off my shelf – and, if truth be told, I want to give it to someone else to see if they get sick, too. Would that make me, how do you say it, evil?????

Music: We really outdid ourselves this year with missing good music. First, we missed Laurie Anderson’s “Music for Dogs” concert at the Sydney Opera House. Maybe if I’d learned about it further in advance it would have worked out for us – though I suspect even then we’d have left Zelda at home. Then, only recently, we missed the Double Feature of Blondie and The Pretenders. This time we had tickets! Front row tickets purchased 7 months in advance!! But, it was an outdoor concert scheduled for early December and … it was rained out. Instead, we’ve been basking in another NZ discovery: Kasey Kasem’s American Top 40 from the 70s and 80s is still being broadcast. We’ve been enjoying this – so much I get up at 6 AM on Sundays.

Last but most, Television: Since we now only watch pre-recorded television we have the pleasure of watching only what we want to see (no channel surfing – which means we’ll never stumble upon “Dude, Where’s My Car?” – a loss we’ll never have the opportunity to recognize) and we avoid all the commercial breaks. So, we’ve seen some things that pleased us immensely. Comedy: “The Big Bang Theory”, “Modern Family”, and the show we’re most consistently impressed with: “Community”. Drama: Wow! Wow! Wow! We watched all three seasons of “Breaking Bad”. I don’t know how we’ve managed to sleep since waiting to resolve the cliffhanger which won’t be aired until JULY!!! We slogged through the first 2 seasons of “Mad Men” wondering how it was that it would beat “Breaking Bad” for Emmy Awards: Glacially paced with enigmatic dialog, all style and no substance. Then, we watched season 3 and, then, season 4 and we’re converts (though we still prefer cooking methamphetamine to writing advertising.) Also rans: “Men of a Certain Age”, “Fringe”, and “Big Love” – though the latter did some serious shark jumping.

Just can’t get over that baby thing? You’re right. We’re likely over our heads. We’ve got NO IDEA how to avoid the dingo threat. I’m just hoping it’s kind of like a Land Shark attack.

Excuse me. Someone is at the door.


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