Another check-in with Eric & Beth, our friends from the blog El Mundo. This postcard proves to be an adventurous one … Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Another stop on their trip around the world.
Since in today’s tech age the physical postcard has now been altered to text messaging, here’s the abbreviated (somewhat) summary with photos…
ngoại động từ (English translation from Vietnamese-enjoy!).
I didn’t write this week’s post. An old friend tracked down through the power of social networking did. He has graciously written an extraordinary piece for danapop in what I think captures the true essence of the holiday season.
Happy holidays all.
When I was a kid, I used to watch the holiday messages made by troops stationed overseas. I aspired to be like those soldiers on television. I envied those who were off in some far away country, doing interesting things. I wanted to give a big smile, a wave and tell everyone best wishes from somewhere nobody had ever heard of. Of course, when I was growing up, we were not at war.
I recently had the opportunity to make just such a video. You could record a holiday message in an area set aside in the morale tent. I sat down on the stool, looked at the camera, started to say something, but nothing came out. I looked at film tech and said, “I’m sorry, but I can’t do this.” I then grabbed my helmet and walked off to a meeting to talk about the latest insurgent tactics.
I am not sure why I couldn’t say anything. Maybe because it was September and it was 110 degrees. Maybe because Christmas was the last thing I was thinking about. Maybe because I didn’t want to make a video wishing everyone back home a Merry Christmas, when there was the possibility that I might be dead before the video even aired back home. And when I tried to say Merry Christmas in September, it just sort of…died on my lips.
Time back home is marked by holidays and the passage of seasons. The hands on the clock and the days on the calendar have meaning. Around September, when the air first starts to get a chill, we pull our sweaters out of the closet and can’t help, but think that soon it will be Christmas.
Ah the art of Savoir-Faire. Does it really come down to a good haircut and good champagne? Maybe.
Merriam Webster’s definition of the French noun is this:
Capacity for appropriate action; especially: a polished sureness in social behavior.
I find it funny right now, in this economy, I’ve gotten a part-time job to fill in some holes with my freelance work while my husband and I both search for full-time work again post his layoff. Oh right, the funny (ironic) part–the 20 hours a week I am working at a gourmet retail store called Bella Cucina Artful Food is the best 20 hours a week I spend. What does that say? I adore it. I love my coworkers, love the product, love our customers and honestly cannot believe I get paid to chat about food all day. That’s interesting to me, considering I’ve spend the better part of my adult life getting the good degree, landing the coveted position at top companies–and for what? To find out I adore retail (or maybe it’s the chatting about luxurious foods all day part)?
At any rate, I don’t think Mireille Guiliano (the queen of Savoir Faire) would be all that surprised. See, she was CEO of Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne and took it to 25% share of the market while she was at the helm (she was there from 1984 until her retirement in 2007). And she’s recently written a fabulous business book called Women, Work & The Art of Savoir Faire: Business Sense & Sensibility.
This little gem is one part business book, one part style and etiquette. The perfect read in today’s corporate culture.
Work life for me has always been a delicate balance of finding something I’m passionate about and how that fits into my life in the bigger sense. Now that my husband and I are both in the market for full-time work (click here to hear all about the highs and lows of job loss), it sometimes makes you look at what you’ve done in the past career-wise to see if you’d in fact, like to revisit it.
Thankfully, I’ve enjoyed most of the jobs I’ve had throughout my career (give or take … bosses, now that’s another story, ahem, I digress). Before I became a full-time freelance writer, I was a publicist-a senior publicist to be exact–at a top entertainment boutique firm in Atlanta. Most of my clients were in the food realm, but I did assist on other accounts, and one of them, was by far the most fun … Sixthman.
This niche travel company has booked some of the best known musicians in the world on its music cruises, which essentially put musicians and their fans on the same boat at sea. On any given ship you get to see impromptu performances, as well as your favorite singer hanging out on the Lido Deck. Sixthman charter boats have booked everyone from The Barenaked Ladies to Josh Rouse to Lynyrd Skynyrd … a ship full of fans signing “Sweet Home Alabama” in unison is something, let me tell you. Oh–and even this guy, whose time on a Sixthman ship created quite the Internet buzz with this photo.
I recently got a chance to chat with Sixthman founder Andy Levine who, by the way, seems to have mastered the balance of one’s passion, one’s work, and one’s life.
I adore giving and receiving food as gifts. These days you’d be hard pressed to not find your favorite specialty items online. Here’s a food roundup of sorts, containing what I think are the best edible presents–anyone on your list would be thrilled to gobble up. I’ve tried to include finds from my own travels and discoveries from friends, as well as, fellow writer recommendations. From the best ice cream evah to snack worthy options that would’ve curbed Chris Farley’s hunger … ’tis the season for a full tummy’s worth of gift options.