Thursday, January 29, 2009

Where Have You Been, Lisa?

What, have y'all been missing me?

Really? Aww, that's so sweet!

Well, I'm not participating this time around, but make sure you check out the Bloggy Giveaways carnival. Lots of great stuff there, as always.

Through an acquaintance on twitter, I found out about this sweet baby girl who is fighting for her life. Send prayers and good thoughts her way. Cute pics of her can be found here.

If you ever doubted the devastation that's taken place in Africa, this video is a little long, but WOW.

And for a little levity, or maybe just if you want something over the top to serve at your Super Bowl party, check this out.

Oh, you wanted to know what I've been up to? Oh, OK. Well, other than working and playing World of Warcraft, I've been trying to finish this little project for a baby shower on Sunday:

I don't know if I ever mentioned that I crochet, but I make baby afghans for friends. This one is for a friend I've had for 15 years or so. I'm SO excited about her baby girl. Her shower is Sunday. I went to three places on Saturday to find just the right yarn (she's a crocheter too and has opinions about such things), so I didn't get started until Sunday or so. One week to finish an afghan is pretty ambitious, and it's not really what I had in mind, but for Shell I'll do it. It's less than half done now, so I have a long way to go.

It's kind of hard to tell in the pic, but the blue is really more purple (her favorite color and mine), and the variegated white has pink and purple in it. I hope she and her baby girl love it!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My Home Away from Home

I'm in Taiwan this week, and since I've been attacked by the jet lag monster, I haven't had much to say. I've been asleep or at work pretty much every minute since I've been here.

Tonight I promised myself I'd stay awake long enough to post something, even if it isn't much.

When I found out I would be coming back, I asked Jessica (the fabulous admin who handles such things as my hotel reservations) if I would be staying in the same hotel as last time. She asked if I wanted to stay somewhere else. My unedited answer is a little stronger than "Heck no!" but it's along those lines.

Here is my current home sweet home... the Berkeley Business Hotel.

That's right, I'm staying in The Classy Hotel For Classy People.

And do you want a list of reasons I wouldn't want to stay anywhere else? Aside from the fact that I've been here and I know it, these are the reasons why I love it here:
  • The staff is the friendliest I've ever come across. I'm greeted with a smile, a "Hello!" and a small bow every time I walk in the door. I'm sure they all know who I am because I'm the only American in the hotel, but still, virtually any American hotel could take a page from their book.
  • The room is large, comfortable, and reasonably priced.
  • Every day when the maid service does their thing, they leave two fresh bottles of water in my refrigerator.
  • There is a small basket of goodies (cookies, crackers, and fruit) upon arrival.
  • Within one block of the hotel: 7-11, Starbuck's, and a Mister Donut.
  • I don't rent a car when I'm here, so I have a driver every morning (usually a taxi at night). It's possible I might have the same driver if I were at a different hotel, but I might not. I like her (I posted her pic when I was here before), and in this part of the world, having a driver you trust is kind of a big deal.
  • And last, but certainly not least... my hotel is four doors down from the world's greatest beverage!
My, how I've missed this bubble tea. Yes, there is bubble tea in Austin, but not THIS bubble tea.

They have a big sign up advertising what is apparently a new flavor: hazelnut milk tea with bubbles. And I keep not seeing it until after I've ordered my tried and true milk tea with bubbles (usually small bubbles, although today they were out). But tomorrow? I'm gettin' me some hazelnut, y'all.

Monday, January 5, 2009

What the Heck: a Book Review

I know, I haven't posted in eons, and you'd think I'd have something to talk about, like an upcoming trip to Taiwan or something, but no.

So I think I'll tell you about the book I just finished: The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson.

I've already verbally recommended it to a couple of people, but I have to say -- providing you can get through the gruesome first part, in which the main character describes how he was burned in his car accident -- the book is very involving. As he recovers in a hospital burn ward, he is visited by a psych patient who tells him stories of true love, heartbreaking loss and redemption. Their stories are intertwined further than he can imagine (the angel wing tattoos on the front cover are hers, not his).

The narrator begins the book as a drug-addicted pornographer who had been a gorgeous physical specimen of a man. After he is burned beyond all recognition, he changes of necessity into a different sort of man. The main characters aren't people you might normally pull for in your real life, but Davidson infuses them with humanity so that we can see their good as well as evil. It's a fascinating look into the heart of a man. Highly recommended.