books for the third

as i said in the previous post, i do not make new year’s resolutions. however, recently catching up on my old internet-friend kari’s blog, through a glass darkly, has inspired me to start reading again. kari, who is a librarian and the consummate bookworm, read 128 books in 2009, which baffles my brain but also makes me want to read more. of course, kari tends to read fiction, a genre i’ve never been particularly good with. so, in an effort to put down the computer, which has become an increasingly difficult task of late, and pick up a book, i’ve decided to begin with some titles that inspire me in my passions. [tweetmeme] Continue reading “books for the third”

it takes a year to make a travel writer

being the guide in shanghai, april 2009

2009 has been a busy year of traveling, traveling and more traveling. some of it was travel for pleasure, other trips were induced more from need to get away. in fact, in many ways, 2009 was a banister year for me.

‘this is china, a guidebook for teachers, backpackers and other lunatics’ was finally released in july, after a long, unfortunately drawn out contract finally came to a painful demise when my publisher, duffie books, went bust. i got my first real foray into the world of travel writing at sites like the circumference, your 24 and unearthing asia.  this time last year, bill and i were surviving a cold, wet irish winter in our tiny basement flat in rathmines. now we are spending our days writing and computing from a cozy albuquerque apartment. i guess it takes a year to make a travel writer. [tweetmeme] Continue reading “it takes a year to make a travel writer”

on being carless in a car society

an 'average-sized' american car one thing that has often struck me upon returning to the U.S. after time abroad is the size of the vehicles. nowhere else on earth do the size of the cars match those of the united states. i distinctly remember after a year and a half in china and 2 weeks in new zealand following it, i landed in san francisco and nearly had a heart attack as my friend’s teeny ford escort buzzed down the highway with huge pickup trucks screaming by.

Continue reading “on being carless in a car society”

mom, me and 10 counties

it seems like all the recent freelance writing i’ve been doing has begun to suck me dry of any possible topics to write about for this blog. i do tend to have these moments of inspiration where i come up with these great ideas that just have to be blogged about. but unfortunately, said moments generally occur at three possible times:

1) whilst riding dublin bus
2) whilst walking down o’connell st.
3) whilst grocery shopping

needless to say, not so conducive to pulling out the ole laptop and word-vomiting right then and there. Continue reading “mom, me and 10 counties”

and the pendulum swings…

after emailing my vote in yesterday morning (irish time) and staying up ’til 1:30 am over a glass of wine to watch the states turn colours on CNN.com with bill, i woke this morning happy to see that we have a new president-elect, and it’s not john mccain.

herein lies the end of my political dialogue. i have thought a lot about this today and decided that, although i have oft been loathful of my americanness in the past, there is no reason why today should be any different from any other day. the fact is that the united states is a divided country, and i stand one one side of the divide. this year, and for the succeeding 4, we will have a president and a state who lead the way i want them to lead (more or less). but there is no less history in any election before this one, as the pendulum swings left, so shall it again swing right sometime down the road. from kennedy to nixon and ford to reagan to bush, to clinton to bush to obama. every four or eight years, the same pattern has repeated itself since april 30, 1789, when george washington took office as the first president of the united states of america. Continue reading “and the pendulum swings…”