Thursday, January 14, 2010


Perhaps tired of covering the struggling US economy, the media reflected on the year and decade past with endless 'best' and 'worst of' lists. Being the list lover that I am (now if only I could make a career out of that), I decided our impromptu New Year's Eve party would follow the trend. Jess and I came up with a bunch of list titles such as 'Best Movies 2009' or 'Favorite Fads of the Naughts' and encouraged guests to complete them. The easiest and most enjoyable list to complete was 'So You Think You Can Douche 2009 - aka Douchiest People of 2009':

1. Tiger Woods
2. Kanye West
3. Jon Gosselin
4. Octomom
5. Speidi
6. Richard Heene (of balloon boy fame)
7. Rod Blagojevich
8. Levi Johnston
9. Eliot Spitzer/Mark Sanford
10. Tareq and Michaele Salahi (White House party crashers)

Of course, we were just rehashing the stories and characters that already received enough media attention, but we had fun with it. Were there more headline-makers that made us exclaim, 'what a douchebag!/fame-whore!' in 2009 than in past years or has reality television, 24 hour news networks and the internet just been more adept at luring them and bringing them to our collective attention? I don't know, but I can't wait to see what 2010 brings.

Anyway, though I feel NYE is always a bit anticlimactic, Mickey and I have managed to spend the holiday in different places: 2003 - San Francisco, 2004 - New York, 2005 - Seattle, 2006 - Columbus, Ohio, 2007 - LA, 2008 - Kyoto, Japan and now 2009 - Sydney! We were excited to spend the last night of the year at our apartment, avoiding the madness of the Sydney crowds, but maintaining a prime spot for watching fireworks over the harbour.

Years before moving here, we knew that Sydney was one of the best places to spend NYE: they're one of the first cities around the world to ring in the new year, they put on an incredible fireworks display and it's summer! I don't think I'm the type who'd wait six hours in Times Square for the ball to drop, but the whole idea would seem much more appealing if you could celebrate among warm, summer breezes instead of below freezing temperatures.

I would have liked to watch the 9pm fireworks show (just for those with early bedtimes!) at our friends Thor and Jennie's house across the harbour, but heavy pedestrian traffic and restrictions made the two-party option almost impossible. So, we hosted a small gathering for those south of the bridge and toasted the occasion with champagne to wash down the fish tacos. Our feast was casual, guacamole-intensive and made all the sweeter by Jess and Chris' glutard peach cobbler.

Though jetlagged, Mickey and I managed to keep our eyelids open for both the 9pm and midnight fireworks displays. And funny enough, it wasn't any of our guests who nabbed the best spots on the balcony, it was the fancy DSLR cameras on their tripods. Indeed, it felt that there were more cameras than people in attendance on NYE. Of course, the fireworks were spectacular (this is Sydney after all!), but partially obscured by clouds and smoke.

And now that I've partaken in Sydney's over the top fireworks NYE extravaganza (and have the pictures to prove it, thank you, Chris, Mike and Mickey), I feel that I need a stamp in my holiday/life experiences passport. Fireworks? Check! I've earned a free pass that allows me to spend my future New Year's Eves cozily cuddled next to Mickey on the couch, guilt-free. Thank you, Sydney.

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Priscila Andrade ( said...
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