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New Year, New Experiences

popcorn a mallon family tradition

Popcorn: A Mallon family tradition

The New Year is upon us and my jetlag has more or less worn off from our trip home for the holidays and it occurs to me that Maastricht Minutiae has laid fallow for long enough. It was never really my intention to go without a post for a few weeks but visiting family and friends in the States took more out me than I anticipated. It wasn’t until a tiny Carneval parade banged down my street yesterday that I finally shook off my travel funk and got back to work.

As we’ve spoken about on the podcast (and alluded to on the blog), Dan & I were in New England this year for Christmas and New Years. We’ve been in Maastricht for nearly a year now, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this first visit home. Turns out it was pretty painless. I’d been missing my family and friends since Thanksgiving and was thrilled to see them, but I don’t particularly miss anything else about the US. I did get a little homesick when we visited friends in Boston; but after having built the first 5 years of my marriage in that city, it stands to reason.

The thing I was struck the most with was what I think I’ll call the “luxury of space” we have in the US; something I never noticed before. Its a funny concept and I’ll be holding onto it for a future post. I think Maastricht has also ruined me (in a good way) for the sprawling life of the average American town/city/suburb.

And huge freaking cars. Seriously. Why are American’s all driving boats on the highway?

Dan at Harvey's Lake

Dan playing with the ice at Harvey's Lake in West Barnet, VT

Anywho, we’re home in Maastricht now and the New Year is a time for new plans. Firstly, I plan to continue expanding Maastricht Minutiae and finally move it over onto its own server space where I can have some more flexibility. We got a great new camera for Christmas and I’m hoping to improve my photography along with my writing this year. I have some series planned out on several topics of interest in expats which I’ve tweaked for the Limburg set. I’m happy to see some serious improvements in expat resources in Maastricht and hope that my little blog can be a part of it.

Dan & I are finally going to launch his online comic, Walking the Lethe, on January 19th. Its a dark story about a man who makes a deal with a demon to break his wife out of heaven. The comic will be available for free to read online (pages posted one at a time, Tuesday and Friday), with an optional monthly subscription that allows you to read ahead by about 24 pages. FYI: it is a mature comic. I’m very excited about this project (I’ve been building the websites for months) and I hope you’ll swing by and check it out after we get rolling. I’ll be giving another heads up on launch day and then probably in a month when we have some pages up.

By extension, I’ve been muttering on and off about starting my own Information Services business and I think that now is the time to finally dig in. I’ll be doing a combination of freelance copyright research, writing, and other organizational administrative tasks as befits my archivist/librarian background. Expect to see more in the next couple of weeks as I do all the paperwork and set up a little website. I’ll blog about the process too of course. Starting a freelance business in the Netherlands isn’t actually that complicated, but it does take more work than in the US.

Finally, everyone needs to have a fitness resolution right? Before the holidays (and snow) threw me off my schedule, I started an interval jogging program called Couch to 5k. The idea is to start out slow and work your way up to running a 5k (2.5 miles) in 30 minutes over the course of 9 weeks. I’ve always been anti-running, but my first couple of weeks were a lot of fun. Plus we bought new running shoes in the US. Now I’ll be starting from the beginning to get back on task. If you’re interested in starting up too, I’d love some virtual running partners.

I hope everyone out there is having an excellent New Year. I’d love to hear what your plans are and/or what you think you’d like to see here at Maastricht Minutiae. A new podcast will be out in a day or two as we get back on the ball with that as well. Cheers!

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