The Venga, Vale, Vamos Variety Hour: December 2014

Life is chugging along splendidly here in Sydney, and Christmas is almost here! Here are a few miscellaneous updates from my life over the last few weeks.

  • In exactly [checks countdown app] 10 days, 1 hour, and 20 minutes, I will be on a plane for California to spend Christmas with many of my favorite people! I’m absolutely loving Sydney summer, crazy thunderstorms and all, but, as we all know, there’s no place like home for the holidays.
Christmas with the family, 2013

Christmas at home last year with the cousins

  • Since October, I’ve been attending a beginner Mandarin class, which wraps up next week. As of Monday, I finally feel like I’ve hit the threshold where I’ve gone from memorizing a few words to actually being able to (very slowly) put together full sentences, so that’s exciting stuff. Wǒ xǐhuān zhōngwén.
  • Thanksgiving in Australia was a success for the second year in a row. Last year, I celebrated with about 15 people from 12+ countries, while this year’s was a smaller gathering, but I love bringing a bit of America abroad each November.
This year's Thanksgiving feast down under

This year’s Thanksgiving feast down under

  • November was a record month for this blog in terms of visits, so thanks everyone for making that happen!
  • Several weeks ago, Hostelworld invited me as a blogger VIP to their Ultimate Race after party. Joined by two Americans-turned-Sydneysiders who I’ve met through the blogosphere, Kelly of Where in the World and Ashley of The Globe Trotter Diaries, we were treated to drinks and spectacular views on a cruise around Sydney Harbour. Not a bad way to spend a Tuesday night.

Sydney Harbour at dusk

  • Puresmile Sydney invited me to try their teeth whitening service this weekend. I had never considered getting my teeth professionally whitened before, but after an hour of looking like an egg-dwelling, futuristic Bono, my teeth are sparkling white, just in time for my adventures in California and Fiji! If you’re in Sydney and are looking for a touch-up, they’re great people, so be sure to check them out. Thanks, Puresmile!

Puresmile Sydney

  • I will soon be launching a series of interviews with expats and world travelers, so if you’re interested in sharing your stories from around the globe, please get in touch with me!

So that’s my life lately. How is your December shaping up so far?

11 Responses

  1. We are all so anxious to have you home for the holidays!

  2. …OOooh–an expat interview series???…Sounds AWESOME (and interesting)!!…

  3. Tony MacAdoo says:

    I ADORE variety hours and yours is no exception. If you would like some advice in the future, though, you should know that I am Tony MacAdoo, the host of the long-running Cable Access show Tony MacAdoo’s Wild, Fun-Time, Quiz-Bang Variety Hour. At times, we have topped the charts during our 2:30 AM time-slot in the greater Boseman, Montana DMA and have even been nominated for the prestigious Long-Stem Microphone Award sponsored by the Alliance of American Home Appliance Advertisers Council.

    The secret to a good variety hour is… you guessed it, VARIETY. I am what is known in the industry as a “shift-tactician” which means I have a talent for shifting topics quickly and efficiently. One moment I will be featuring a one-armed man spinning a dinner plate on a pole while riding a unicycle then -BAM- queue the music because here’s Mrs. Betty Appelton and her famous singing frog!

    What do the two have to do with each other? Nothing. It’s variety.

    Sometimes I’ll open the show up by showing off snapshots of my kids then I’ll start screaming like a maniac and running around knocking things over. Why do I do this? Because it keeps the audience on its toes and brings the spice of life (variety) to the forefront.

    Of course, there are recurring guests on my show, for instance, Doc Emmet O’Reilly and his Magical Fix’em-up Elixer. Of course, he is a paid sponsor so it makes sense that he would be a recurring guest, I suppose.

    Music is another area that you can use for spontaneity. One time I stopped by the local high-school gymnasium and recorded the marching band to use in my show. It was okay but needed some extra oomph so I mixed that together with a recording I made of a waitress from the Cracker Barrell. She had an enchanting way of pronouncing the word “Seditious.”

    The end result was a hypnotizing audio track of a marching band playing “oompa-oompa” as a woman’s voice echoed in the background: “Seditious Pancakes… Seditious Eggs… Seditious Check… Seditious Darling.” It was a big hit.

    Next time you want to REALLY put on a variety hour onto the blog-o-sphere you should incorporate some of these ideas. You won’t regret it!

    • Is that the real Tony MacAdoo, live and real, here on my little blog? What a pleasure, sir! You don’t need to tell me all about your guests, for I don’t think I have once missed an episode! Your polka night several weeks ago was an absolute hoot, and I don’t say that lightly! God bless.

  4. Cathy says:

    I hope you’re having a great time in California with your family! At least there shouldn’t be a huge thermical change between there and Australia 🙂

    Organizing Thanksgiving abroad is a great idea! I’m actually thinking about how I could transmit some French traditions to my Spanish friends… maybe a “Crepes day”? Or “cheese party”? It could be fun 🙂

    If you’re interested by the experience of a French girl in Spain (I live in Madrid and lived 1.5 years in Barcelona before that), I would be happy to participating in your project!

    • Ohh a crepes day or cheese party would definitely be fun! Awesome, I’d love to have you participate! I’ve been busy with the holidays but will put some questions together soon and let you know.

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