Friday, July 25, 2008


Two people passed away this week. Although only one wrote a book, both of them can be inspirational to writers.

The first one is Estelle Getty, more famously known as Sophia on the Golden Girls. Although she started acting at a young age, it took her decades (about forty years, from the article I read the other day on CNN) to achieve breakthrough success. She also auditioned a couple of times for the Golden Girls, but initially they passed on her because she looked too young for the part. Only after she asked a makeup artist to make her look older did she land the part. Perseverance does pay off.

The other person who passed away was much younger. Professor Randy Pausch, who gave his famous "Last Lecture" after being diagnosed with an incurable cancer, was only 47. But he focused on achieving your childhood dreams and seeing the world as a Tigger instead of an Eeyore. I saw part of a TV special about him, but I haven't read his book yet. I think it might be time to pick it up. Who couldn't use a little inspiration?

Monday, July 21, 2008

New Links

I recently decided to change my template for this blog, which required me to update Blogger. This new version has some new features, such as allowing you to maintain a blog list with active links. So, taking my cue from Heather, I decided to add some links to some agent blogs. I've been following some of them (such as Nathan's) longer than others, but they offer helpful advice. Some agents also hold contests to help writers improve their skils. Go ahead, check them out!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Wild Weekend

I didn't have a traditonal bachelorette party--not that I wanted one. The most I did was stay overnight at the Fest for Beatles Fans with one of my friends. Even then, I was so tired I didn't even go to the late night events; I just stayed in bed and read. What a fitting end to my singledom, eh?

Anyway, that same friend of mine is getting married in a few weeks, and I was invited to her bachelorette party/birthday party. It actually started yesterday afternoon with a purse-making party, but I had to skip that part. After Eugene came home and was able to watch Alex, I was free to leave for the main event.

The party was at a house in Chicago. I have to admit, I haven't driven in Chicago before, and if the place wasn't so close to I-90, I probably would have chickened out and not gone. But although I did make a wrong turn, I managed to find the place in one piece.

Most of the people at the party were relatives of the bride. We ate some hot dogs and listened to 50s-60s rock until the main event--a Passion Party! Yes, they had a sales rep show us all sorts of stuff. Some of it was "mild," while some of it was "wild." I'm not going to go into detail here, since I don't want to attract the attention of spammers. But I will say the funniest part of the party was when the bride's mother was handed a product, and she didn't realize it was on.

After that part of the party, we stayed up until midnight for a balloon release and ice cream. I wound up spending the night, but I left early (before the scheduled brunch) so I could help Eugene with Alex. Alex has been clingy the last couple of days (I can't even put him down for his nap; he only sleeps as long as he's on me), so I knew Eugene wouldn't be able to shower until I came home. Besides, with the weather being so beautiful, we wanted to go visit the Chicago Botanic Garden. We spent a couple of hours there, letting Alex do "walkies" occasionally (he can walk if he holds onto our hands) and feeling some of the plants. Then we stopped for a late lunch on the way home.

I don't have any pictures; even though I brought my camera, I forgot my memory card. Ah well, at least I managed to stretch my boundaries a bit.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Sushi Station

We had a couple of Japanese visitors at work today. Since my company is the American division of a Japanese company, we often get visitors from our parent company. Normally we have lunch catered in in their honor. Today, instead, we had lunch at a new restaurant close by, Sushi Station.

The building is quite large; from the outside, it appears to have two stories, though it doesn't. Inside, the entire wait staff greeted each group of customers. (They also did the same thing when people left--something I found annoying.) The most unusual thing about this restaurant is that there were several long conveyor belts running from the kitchen for most of the way across the restaurant. Plates of food circled on the belts, and the tables were arranged next to the belts. The idea was that people would pick the plates with the food they wanted from the belt as the plates passed by. (The belts were encased to keep the food chilled, but there were doors you could open to take out the food.) The plates were different colors, indicating the price of each dish. At the end of the meal, the staff would count your dishes and total up your bill.

While I'm no stranger to sushi, even if I'm not an expert, this method of serving food was novel to me. I sat next to the belt and passed out food to my co-workers. One of them hadn't had sushi before, so she was a little nervous about it. Another co-worker gave her advice. Meanwhile, I had shrimp, salmon, a California roll, another type of roll similar to a California roll, and eel. After that, I switched to dessert, having several dishes of fruit. The food was good, but some of the dishes seemed overpriced to me. For instance, the dish of strawberries probably had about two berries on there when you added up all of the slices, and the sauce that came with it tasted suspiciously like condensed milk. Still, it might be worth an occasional visit to this place--especially if someone else is paying.

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