14 December 2009

3-In-One Best of 2009

A bit delayed due to the weekend:

December 12 New food. You're now in love with Lebanese food and you didn't even know what it was in January of this year.

Caribbean. I wondered what I would do without tomatoes, basil, egg plants, cabbage, apples, and pears when the idea of moving to the Caribbean first came up. For a while, we were planning to move to the Virgin Islands, but that wasn’t going to work as a place to open a brewery - turns out, neither would Key West. So, I started to do some research on Caribbean food. I thought it was all mangoes, fish, rice, and bananas. Not that any of those are bad (except bananas, which are simply evil in a skin). But, I don’t like sweet with my savory, and I loath bananas. I won’t even kiss B after he’s had one, the smell alone makes me want to vomit.

I was happy to find out that I could grow tomatoes. I was also happy to discover delicious Caribbean food: fish I had never heard of before, spiny lobsters, jerk spices, conch salad (the fritters too, but, really, anything that fried has to be good). And the avocados, not your average pussy Hass, but large buttery avocados literally falling off the trees. We went through bags and bags of several kinds of limes. I became a huge fan of all the citrus marinades - the only sweet I like with my savory. And I discovered how good fresh mangoes are - a completely different fruit than what I’ve had before. No shit, since my previous mangoe purchases were in Phoenix and Portland.

December 13 What's the best change you made to the place you live?

Doing without all of my crap. I participated in an accidental experiment this year. After traveling around with a carry-on sized duffel bag and backpack, I learned what I really need to feel comfortable and what is just excessive.

Of course, even knowing that, there are a few things that I have attachments to. Some things I have sentimental attachments to; they’re small and I will continue to carry them around (my violin, a stuffed scottie dog - both of which came with me to the US from Romania). Then there are items I can logically see the need to get rid of, but can’t seem to. One of those is my orange Dana Designs backpack.

I bought it 9 years ago for a long trip to New Zealand. I have not used it in 8 years because I have a better backpack for that kind of travel, it is too small for backpacking trips, and too big for day hikes. So, it has sat in closets or in storage for years. Every time I went to get rid of it, I couldn’t; I rationalized keeping it for something. I’m not sure why I have such an unreasonable attachment to it. It’s just so cute, and orange. Either way, succumbing to logic, I recently eBayed it. Someone will get good use out of it, and it will stop collecting dust in my closet. Damn you logic.

December 14 Rush. When did you get your best rush of the year?

I’m not sure what to write for this prompt. I did a lot this year: discovered I love kayaking, and saw sharks while I was out on the water; I moved several times; I skied in negative temperatures; I started a business and sold my writing; and I made new friends; I even held a yoga handstand for more than 30 seconds. I’m not sure I would call anything a “rush moment.” I think of extreme sports as rush moment inducing, and I didn’t do anything like that this year. Perhaps my definition is wrong, or, perhaps, I need to include a rush into next year’s plans. Learning to ride a motorcycle? Sailing solo?
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