Sunday, June 10, 2012
So, this is the penultimate weekend in Oz. And I must admit that I’m finding it incredibly hard to contain myself. This coming week, work begins on our place back home (painting, minor repairs, etc.), so the reality is starting to set in now. To add to the excitement, there’s a job prospect, which will make this entire experience come full circle if it pans out – well, full circle with a slight twist. Regardless of what happens, it’s the possibility of it that gives this adventure a sense of closure that I wasn’t expecting. The week we return will be the official week of Pride in San Francisco, so I keep joking with friends that I don’t want any parades or parties to celebrate our return. Oh, my poor liver…
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
After dragging out longer than anticipated, we have a date for returning home - June 19. So, basically this time in four weeks, we'll be in the air. It doesn't seem real. The irony of ironies is that we have around 16 boxes in storage that were never unpacked. In order to have these items shipped back to the US, we will need to unpack the items from their boxes, so the movers can repack them for shipment in their containers. The reason is to prevent any issues with customs when they arrive in California - border guards are less likely to worry with personal effects that have been pack by a professional moving company. Of course, this won't matter one bit if the shipment gets marked for random inspection. The moral of the story is, if you are planning to move overseas, don't take anything with you that you can't fit into a regular suitcase.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
This past Saturday, we went north of Sydney to Killcare via Sydney Seaplanes. It was a going away gift from a friend. The views were spectacular and it was one of the most amazing things I have done since I've lived here. David took most of the photos below, but of course, I had to muck around with them a bit.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
So, around 6:10AM this morning David came into the bedroom and tapped me on the shoulder with his iPhone extended towards my face. He said, "Read." I struggled, because the light was too bright. I took his device and held it at a length so that I could actually see the text. He seemed happy about something - did we get final word on a date for a move?!? Then, the words came into focus: OBAMA SUPPORTS SAME SEX MARRIAGE. The first words out of my mouth were, "Is this real?"
It wasn't long after we moved to Sydney in 2008 that Prop 8 passed in California (my rant, here). The punch in the gut that David and I experienced on that day was devastating and we quietly swore that we would never return to the United States to live. Over time, our anger and hatred towards many of our fellow countrymen subsided (well, at least the hatred did) and we grew to understand (painfully, at times) that our home was in San Francisco and that we would be returning there at the end of our visas in 2012.
I've spent the better part of the morning trying to understand what I'm feeling. I've read all of my favorite pundits and have sifted through the banter on various websites - some of it earnest and some of it nasty. Poetically, today's announcement by the President brings my expat experience full circle. People will spin this thing into every direction possible, but I know deep down in my heart that the country I'm going back to is a little better than the one I left 4 years ago. It is real.
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Monday, April 30, 2012
With the move back to San Francisco on the horizon, this bit from an article on the meaning of home by Verlyn Klinkenborg struck a chord:
Not that you can’t feel “at home” in other places. But there’s a big psychological difference between feeling at home and being home. Feeling at home on the Tiwi Islands or in Bangalore or Vancouver (if you are not native) is simply a way of saying that the not-home-ness of those places has diminished since you first arrived. Some people, as they move through their lives, rediscover home again and again. Some people never find another after once leaving home. And, of course, some people never leave the one home they’ve always known. In America, we don’t know quite what to say about those people.I've written about this before, but I recall the first time we went back to San Francisco after moving to Sydney and being terrified that it was no longer going to feel like (or be) home. This was because of the first time I went back to Kentucky and Tennessee after living in Washington for two years (and only briefly for a couple of months in California) it seemed so incredibly alien to me. It made me realize that that region was never home and it was never going to be. I was afraid that my living here was going to produce a similar response when I visited all of our usual hangouts back there and that it was going to feel completely foreign. But that is not what happened at all. From the moment we stepped off of the plane, it felt like a really nice pair of jeans. Our arrival experience was made complete by getting into a huge argument with the taxi driver on the way to the hotel, because he had taken the wrong route. Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of riding in a taxi with me and David will certainly appreciate why this was the icing on the cake for us - we knew we were home.
Friday, April 27, 2012
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Good news - today Homeland Security announced that gay families will soon be able to go through customs together when entering the United States. David and I have had our fair share of awkward moments with border guards when returning home, with one experience in particular that almost escalated into something very nasty. This is great news, and long overdue!
Friday, March 2, 2012
Last Friday, our friends Jo and Marty got married at Maroubra Beach—our first Aussie wedding! It was a beautiful ceremony and the weather was absolutely amazing. It was a perfect day. Hopefully, some of that perfection was captured in these photos.
Thursday, February 2, 2012
I took these a couple of weeks ago at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. While they have a broad collection of works from various cultures around the world, I enjoyed mostly looking at the European paintings from the fifteenth to the mid-nineteenth century. Although not a novel idea, it reminds me how much photography and cinema are indebted to this span of time and space.