Getting all serious with my readers

IMG_8952As much as I didn’t want to do it, the last couple of columns reverted to the tried-and-true format of “making fun of myself for being a fish out of water.”

I wrote back-to-back pieces about winter, or the initial lack thereof, and what did we get? Over 40 inches of snow over two weeks.

This week I put my serious-writer face on (momentarily), and wrote about…terrorism. What did we get? Well, no blizzard, and no terrorism, thank God.

I also interviewed a handful of other Aussies living in Maine for their perspectives on “the lucky country” since they’ve left.

Enjoy!

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Skipping the country

Pictured: Not Mexico.

Pictured: Not a tropical locale.

For the better part of a decade, since I started my career, I’ve been using the same spreadsheet to keep some semblance of order over my budget.

My dad – a far more capable financial mind than I – helped me put it together, and it’s simple as hell to modify and adjust based on my income and expenditure.

Ever since I moved house last June, I’ve been meaning to get my shit together and re-evaluate my budget, given my rent went up and my pay stayed the same.

But I really need to do it now, because I finally have a savings goal again: my first overseas vacation in almost two years.

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Doubling down on cold-weather columns

IMG_8952So we got hit with a blizzard this week. That was fun.

I’d intended to write a separate blog post about it, but then it’d reveal to my bosses that I had *gasp* a couple of beers while I worked from home that night. Shit, did I just do that anyway?

I I ended up waxing a little more nostalgic about it in the paper, and it came out kinda nicely, even though I really didn’t want to go down the “writing about snow” route two columns in a row.

BEHOLD: Baby’s first blizzard. (more…)

The smaller the town, the more shoulders you rub

The State House, where it all happens. Probably. How would I know?

The State House, where it all happens. Probably. How would I know?

When I first started the interviewing process for my job at the KJ, I didn’t know anything about Augusta that the Wikipedia page hadn’t told me.

To that end, I knew a rough population figure and that it was the state capital of Maine, the third smallest in the nation behind Vermont’s and South Dakota’s capitals.

Now, a year on, I drive past the beautiful State House a couple of times a day, and I live on the same street as the Governor (a dubious honor indeed). It’s extremely easy for me to forget that this is the political center of Maine, to the point where I’m genuinely a little surprised when I see someone in a suit and tie carrying a briefcase on a weekday as I’m driving to work in jeans and a hoodie.

I grew up in a political hub of sorts – Brisbane is the home of Queensland’s government – and it never had any real impact on my life, but it’s a little different here.

I mean, hell: back home I never woke up to a phone message from the mayor.

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Winter: If you can’t beat it, join it

IMG_8952Did I mention the well of inspiration has been a little dry lately when it comes to writing? I think I probably did, a thousand times.

It came down to the wire with this week’s column, as I got to Thursday with absolutely no idea what I was going to put in Sunday’s paper.

I took the uncreative route and wrote about the weather and how I’m happily taking it in my stride. And in a vicious twist of fate, Sunday’s weather was awful. Freezing rain, slippery roads, dozens of crashes…FUN!

So this is absolutely not my best effort, but it’s…something.

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Happy new beard!

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Pictured: not a beard

For the first time in years, I’ve found myself using a comb twice a day.

But this sudden attention to hair styling is not for the reasons my mother would be happy with. I’m trying to tidy the beginnings of a beard.

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Transitioning from selfish back to selfless

IMG_8952As difficult as it is for a 29-year-old man to admit it, mothers are usually correct.

That’s why I kicked off Sunday’s column this week with a quote from my own mum, whose name has now been read by literally tens of people in central Maine.

For what seems like the fifth or sixth one in a row, this column turned out to be pretty introspective and corny, but I’ve got a pretty good response from it both in person and via email.

At its essence, it’s about letting more people into my professional and personal life in 2015. I wrote it in my head while literally staring off into space in my parked car on New Year’s Eve. Inspiration comes in the weirdest places.

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Crawfin’ USA: 2014 in review

Thankfully WordPress automates statistical breakdowns, because God knows I couldn’t be bothered to do it.

Here’s a look at Crawfin’ USA by the numbers in 2014. Pretty cool, I think!

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 32,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 12 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

An editorial message from the gang at Crawfin’ USA

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Please come to a full stop every now and then.

 

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about changing priorities in life, and how I’m intending to stick around in central Maine and nurture my existence outside of the career frame for awhile.

I launched into that particular post in the context of this blog generating a little less reader traffic than normal, and attributed that to a case of writer’s block.

Having thought about it though, and after a discussion with a friend of mine who’s an excellent writer with a huge literary brain, I think there’s more to it.

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Another Sunday, another sentimental column

Contrary to the fact that things are all sorts of frozen around here, I think I’ve been thawing out a lot lately.

My columns have taken something of a turn from wide-eyed wonderment to something resembling sappy, having touched on friendship, things I’m thankful for, racial diversity and feeling like a member of “the village” over the past couple of months.

I’m not going to lie to you: this weekend’s piece was no different. Hell, I even admitted in it that I cried. Some of you will not be surprised by this.

Without further ado… (more…)