Monthly Archives: January 2010


Mike and Lisa have just arrived at the bed and breakfast in Santa Barbara for their one-year anniversary weekend.

Lisa (flopping onto the bed): “I’m just going to have a 20 minute nap.”

Mike (bounding over and pestering her with kisses): “Later. You’re just going to have a 20 minute nap… later. Let’s sit out on the deck and have wine and talk.”

Lisa (sighing): “OK.”

Mike (relenting slightly): “OK. You can have a 5 minute nap while I move the car. After I come back you have to get up…” (clapping his hands) “Let’s talk! Let’s talk!”

Lisa (sighing): “OK.”

Mike (being obnoxiously cheerful and possibly deliberately inflammatory as he’s on his way out the door): “You’ve gotten so good at compromising! And it’s only taken you a year.”

Lisa: “That wasn’t a compromise. That was me knowing I was going to lose this one either way, so figuring I should just take what I can get.”

Mike: “Honey, that is compromise!”

New Year’s Resolution

January 1, 2010. Lisa decides to do yoga or pilates this year, she’s not yet sure which. Mike decides there’s no time like the present to action new year’s resolutions, so he proposes they both walk down the street and join the gym… immediately. Lisa follows along, wondering why she is still surprised by Mike’s tendencies to want to action decisions… immediately.

Gym membership comes with one free session of personal training which Mike schedules for the first available time – Monday night, January 4th. The evaluation discussion with the trainer, Ryan, proceeded last night as follows:

Ryan: “Well, what are your fitness goals?”

Lisa: “Huh, uh, I dunno. Core strength? Flexibility?”

Mike: “I don’t really have any goals. Cardio, maybe?”

Ryan: “When did you first start thinking about a serious exercise program?”

Lisa: “Three days ago.”

Ryan (the red flags popping up in his mind are almost visible to the naked eye): “Right. So, how many times in the past couple of years would you say you’ve set your mind to a diet or an exercise program and then not followed through?”

Mike: “Never. I’ve never done a diet or fitness program before.”

Lisa: “I don’t do that. If I set my mind to something, I follow through.”

Ryan: “Well, Lisa, when you were going to the gym regularly before how often did you go?”

Lisa: “Three times a week, every week.”

Ryan: “That’s great! Did you see good results?”

Lisa: “Well, I used to go to the gym and then come home and eat half a container of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, so not exactly. Though, I guess I held pretty steady during that time, so you could call that a result.”

Ryan: “Uh, huh. Ooookaaay. Well, on a one to ten scale how committed are you to your fitness goals right now?”

Lisa: “Seven. I haven’t yet decided to be fully committed, but I’m considering it.”

Mike: “I’m a five.”

Ryan (confused): “Five?”

Mike: “I thought you wanted us to be honest?”

Tour of 2009

January 15 (Los Angeles, USA): Lisa and Mike board plane #1, bound for Australia. Upon arrival Mike continues in his role of wedding logistics manager and Lisa is somewhat shocked to realize she is getting married in a week.

January 24 (Ballina, Australia): Wedding celebrations with family and friends. The afternoon thunderstorms hold off during the backyard ceremony but light up the sky with a fairytale backdrop for photos on the beach.

January 26 (Brisbane, Australia): Plane #3 heads to New Zealand for honeymoon. Three weeks of exquisite scenery and many delicious wines also yields some writing time for Lisa while Mike goes hiking in the rain.

March 14 (Los Angeles, USA): Lisa and Mike dance the night away at their LA Reception at a Lebanese restaurant. Much food. Much wine. Much fun.

March 17 (Los Angeles, USA): Mike boards plane #7 headed for 3 weeks in Papua New Guinea. Lisa quickly adapts to having the bed all to herself, and sometimes wonders if getting married was just a good dream. Lisa buys U2 tickets for a concert an unfathomable seven months in the future.

April 9 (Los Angeles, USA): Plane #12 brings Mike home. Lisa and Mike struggle to re-learn how to share the bed. Mike ends up on the couch.

May 23 (Washington DC, USA): Lisa and Mike chat the night away with lots of family and friends who have come to the Washington DC party from all across the US, as well as London and Australia.

May 24 (Atlanta, USA): Demonstrating rather ambitious tour planning, Lisa and Mike have back-to-back parties in different states and celebrate at their final wedding reception with many friends in Atlanta.

June 26 (Los Angeles, USA): Mike flies to PNG for another consultancy. Lisa loves having the bed to herself and hates not having Mike around. Lisa focuses on writing her next book and buys Diana Krall concert tickets as a surprise for Mike.

July 14 (Los Angeles, USA): Plane #25 brings Mike back. Lisa and Mike relearn how to share a bed without resorting to the couch. Unfulfilled by doing laundry and pouring wine for Lisa after work, Mike goes back to searching for a full time job.

August 17 (Juba, Sudan): Mike lands in South Sudan on plane #29. During the next month Lisa and Mike have skype dates on days that the internet is working, and Lisa goes to the Diana Krall concert without Mike.

September 9 (Los Angeles, USA): 36 hours and 3 flights after departing Sudan, Mike meets Lisa at LAX, where they promptly board another plane to Idaho to spend a weekend with friends in a cabin in the mountains.

October 27 (Los Angeles, USA): 21 hours after getting home from the U2 concert, Lisa drops Mike off at LAX. Lisa decides that 4 weeks of an empty bed really is second best, but manages to finish off the first draft of her book while Mike is away. In Banda Aceh, Mike decides that short-term consulting trips are just as tiring as full-time job searching.

November 24 (Los Angeles, USA): Mike returns from Indonesia on flight #42 and is awake between 1AM and 4AM for a week. Consequently, so is Lisa. Upon reading Lisa’s book, Mike reports that it’s a good first draft that needs a lot of work. Lisa tells him to get back on a plane to Indonesia.

And now…

December 5 – 31 finds us back in Australia. We’ve celebrated a friend’s wedding in Sydney, hung out with friends in Melbourne, and are now lounging around Mum’s and Dad’s home in Ballina helping cull the herd of bottles in the parental wine cabinet.

We’ll fly back to LA on New Years Eve. We’re looking forward to celebrating New Years (Australia time) on the plane (flight #47 of 2009). We’re anticipating celebrating New Years (LA time) sound asleep, hopefully in the same bed. After a year full of promises, planes, and plans we’re hoping for an upcoming year filled with even more love, just as much wine, and fewer planes.

Lisa and Mike