Monday, December 29, 2008

From Christmas Wishes to New Year Visions.

The week after Christmas is not as stressful as the preceding month, but it has its own challenges. Not only am I desperately trying to recover from the food, the booze, the shopping; I'm also trying to take time for introspection. What have I accomplished the last 365-ish days? Did I advance my career? Did I save enough/any money? Did I see all the movies I wanted to see? Is my condo any cleaner? Did I lose the weight I set out to?

And if not, how will I do it all differently in 2009?
During these times of inventory, I like to avoid it all entirely and take Sake to the beach. Watching the Little One bound around with such pure joy always makes me feel seismically better about the days ahead.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Wishes 2008

Seems tradition now that I spend mid-December running about in a Whirly Twirly. But today is Christmas Eve and I feel finally, a sense of my Christmas Spirit back.  We have a rough road ahead of us in 2009(and 2010?); but may you all have a Lovely Holiday and a Bountiful New Year.

Merry Christmas To All, And To All A Good Night

Monday, December 15, 2008

Beijing in 2.5 Days

It's the Holidays but I find myself still talking about my trip to Beijing. It's as though I visited a city, a country, on the verge of a big shift and I can't stop marveling.
Some highlights:

First stop was the Beijing Zoo. First and Foremost I wanted to see pandas. It was in fact my initial desire to put in volunteer work in the Wolong Natural National Panda Reserve.. but I have to confess, I chickened out due to weather and possible disease. So instead I saw them at the Zoo. And with only 2 and a half days in Beijing, I could've spent the entire time just watching these amazing animals.
This is one of the 8 panda cubs that were brought to the zoo for the Olympics.

A grownup panda is really just mostly interested in munching down snacks. Still fascinating to watch. Note that all the pandas look much cleaner in photos! ha!

It was onto the magnificent Forbidden City after that. A good portion of the structures were refurbished, again for the sake of the Olympics and boy could you tell! There were the proverbial crapload of pictures taken that day, but I'll just leave you with this one.

Cleanliness and hygiene could be spotty in certain attractions and establishments. This restaurant calmed my western squeamishness with its shrink-wrapped serving set; but when I saw Dog Stew on the menu, well, let's just say the squeamishness came back.

Another sight on my list was the National Centre for the Performing Arts, also known as The Egg. Another amazing building designed by a French Architect that was not without its own controversies. You may notice by this point that I'm wearing the same thing in a lot of the pictures. Well, I'm a Californian and I was bloody cold there. I wore the same beanie, jacket, and gloves pretty much every day.

And here we are. The Great F&ckin' Wall. It does go on and on, as far as the eye can see; humbling anyone in its presence. And look how incredile those mountain ranges are in the distance. I've never seen anything like it.

I can't even really tell you much more about this picture than: Me + Llama = Awesome!I'm not usually a Starbucks drinker, but at the Great Wall? I had to do it. And with the milk crises going on, the default was soymilk. Perfect!
Definitely a highlight of my trip. I had to visit the 798 Art Zone.
A decommissioned military factory, it is now home to a thriving modern art community. And by chance there was an exhibit melding Christian Dior haute couture and Chinese artists. Here were curtains of pearls you had to walk through to begin the exhibit. This completely blew me away.
Some minor example of Shock Art. Naked chick on a bike (not me!).

I couldn't resist!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Hurray for Hollywould

I had a travel post ready, but something has taken precedence. I couldn't let the day go by without spreading the word about SHOES! Yes ladies, shoes.. and not just any run of the mill shoes. But Hollywould Shoes. Created, by Holly Dunlap, they have acquired quite a cult following for those with a big budget and a penchant for heels. Afterall, some styles cost as much as $495! Yes, AMERICAN dollars.

But here's the skinny... everything on the website is now $99!!
Yep. You heard me. $99. Tough times, even for Holly.
I know they are an extravagance, but if you can swing it are a shoe whore, you need to go check it out!
Go forth and be well-heeled....