Dim Sum Diaries
We went to visit my parents for Mother's Day weekend. I took them out for dinner at this Korean BBQ place. Afterwards, my mom and I went to worship at the altar of Wal-Mart (we love that store!) to get some stuff. I got my mom onto the Slimfast shake diet and she seems to like it. Wal-Mart had "Buy 8 for the price of 6" and she wanted to get some. When we got there, we perused the various flavors.

"Don't get the cappuccino flavor, Mom. It makes your piss smell like sh*t." I told her. I watched her face closely to see if she if she was shocked and scandalized by my potty mouth.

"Well since I only want the vanilla flavor, I won't have to worry about my pee smelling like sheet, will I?" she retorted. She emphasized the word "sh*t" in a tone that implied "You are too old for your mouth to be washed out with soap but I will not acknowledge the fact that you are trying to shock me thus I will say the word too". I merely laughed.

As it turned out, Wal-Mart only had the special on the Banana Creme flavor. After some debating, she decided to get the banana despite earlier statements that she only wanted vanilla.

"Mom, you don't even know what that tastes like!" I protested. "You can't resist a bargain, can you, even if it tastes horrible?"

"Yup." She said. Somehow my mom always manages to get the last word.

More inspired lines from aforementioned romance...

"Lets get you a little more stable. You're cantilevered out a little too far for my comfort...Archictecture. Four semesters."

"You should see the expression on your face," she said. "like your lit up inside."
He swallowed. "I feel like I am. Like I'm a...rechargeable battery...hooked up to the power source."
She ran a tongue over her dry lips. "Interesting comparison. About the battery."
"I was in electrical...engineering for a while."

He clenched his jaw. "I'm running a self-control deficit here, though...One semester of accounting..."


I am a romance novel junkie. I enjoy romance novels. I admit it. I don't smoke. I don't do drugs. I don't drink that much alcohol. I cannot however, enter a store without perusing the book section. I have to buy a book at least once a week. I can't help it. Such was the case last night when I nipped into Barnes and Noble to see if they had the latest and greatest for the month of May. They didn't. Disappointed and desperate, I scanned the back covers of some Harlequins (you know the kind they sell next to the Enquirer in the supermarket checkout) and bought two. Surely they can't be that bad, I thought to myself. They were. Don't get me wrong, the much reviled romance industry (bad writing, no plots, gratuitous sex scenes blah blah blah) has some great writers which I thoroughly enjoy. But they don't write fast enough for me, so I am forced to buy the ones I wouldn't ordinarily buy because I need my fix. The worse one was one in which a "writer" secretly lusts after her limousine driver. He of course, is a totally hot stud. He is supposedly finishing law school but can't decide what he wants to do with life. In undergrad he changes his major four times. So to demonstrate this, this author peppers his dialogue with phrases (one time each) from the disciplines he studied. For example, he was premed for two semesters:

"Ooh baby, your outfit gives me a cardiac arrhythmia! I learned that when I was premed, baby."

Now that the hero is in law school, he feels free to enthuse:

"Let the evidence show that my legal briefs are hot for you, baby!"

Ugh. Remind me never to buy a romance book on impulse again.


50,000 Monkeys at 50,000 Typewriters Can Be Wrong!

According to some theory, if you have an infinite number of monkeys who have an infinite number of typewriters, they will eventually produce the works of Shakespeare. But if you give six monkeys access to a computer for a month, what do they produce? A mess!

Per the article, the monkeys pressed the "s" key a lot, did shits on the keyboard and had a lot of fun kicking the hell out of the computer. But sadly, no Shakespeare. Remind me to let these monkeys loose at my computer at work... :P

Update on the Iraqi Information Minister

Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf tried to surrender to U.S. forces, but they refused to arrest him because he isn't on the most wanted list. Apparently he is now living at his aunt's house in Baghdad.

(thanks to Big Pink Cookie for the link.)

Political Ramblings at the DSD today...

Bush says watching "The Last Starfighter" is the real reason he entered politics.

Also, Republicans are using Hilary Clinton as a scare tactic to fundraise for their party. They call her the "top fund-raiser, their top ideologue, their leading voice in opposition to President Bush." Apparently if you don't give the Republicans money, and "If Republicans don't take immediate steps to counter her, Senator Hillary Clinton will continue to rise unimpeded to the very pinnacle of power in Washington and we will see the dawning of a new, more liberal Clinton era." This is despite repeated statements by Hilary that she is not running for President. You go girl!
Microsoft is building portable loos with internet access. This techno-port-a-potty offers a wireless, waterproof keyboard which can be placed on the user's lap. There are two plasma screens (one attached to the inside of the potty and one on the outside where everyone can see what your surfing) available. Aside from people spending more time on the toilet then necessary and the obvious sanitary issues, would one really want to touch a keyboard that has rested on countless pantless laps?. If you installed a mini-fridge in there some guys would call it home!
Call me a nerd (that doesn't like blood or gore), but I didn't mind this blood and gore. Its funny... ^_^

Jarrett's Blood Splatter Photoshop Tutorial (thanks to blog-fu for this link)

White Elephants...Part 1

Chinese New Year is always a big holiday for my family. In theory it is a way to transmit the cultural values and heritage of our race to our children. In reality, it is a loud, exuberant series of gatherings to welcome the new year. My Auntie S owns an orchid shop (FAH-PO in Chinese) and we always had the big family gatherings at her place. This year, she planned to serve a whole roasted pig. My Pou Pou (maternal grandmother who can wield a Chinese knife like no other) would chop it up to serve everyone. The married old farts (this includes me) would pass out red envelopes filled with money to the unmarried kids.

"Everyone bring a white elephant gift so we can have some fun," Aunt S. advised before the party.

I stayed at my parent's house the weekend of the party. In anticipation of buying the white elephant gifts, I rubbed my hands together with glee (most of you can see where this is going already).

"Grab something for me, ok?" my mom requested as I headed out the door.

"No problem!" I replied.

The only shop that sold items of questionable value was Spencer's Gifts in the mall. I was one of the first customers in the store. I decided not to be too pervy, so I bought some edible underwear and a fuzzy elephant that men could wear as an accessory. At the last minute I threw in some naked male bum gift paper too. The teenage clerk started laughing like Beevis when he rang up my purchases. I rolled my eyes at him.

"Are you going to a bridal shower?" he inquired.

"Uh, yeah," I replied. I didn't know how else to explain it to him.

When I got back to my 'rent's house, I asked, "Hey mom, want to see what I bought for the gag gifts?"

"I already know what kind of gift you got. Its HAM-SUP (Chinese for perverted), isn't it," she said knowingly.

"Hey dad," I called. "How about you? Would you like to behold the glory of my acquisitions?"

"Yeah," he said in a way that implied that he really didn't want to but what the hell.

"Look!" I held up the edible underwear box. "Strawberry flavor! And check out the male ass wrapping paper!"

My dad laughed somewhat nervously. I could see the thoughts running through his head. Why was his daughter showing him such things. Where did he go wrong in raising daughter that bought such things for a FAMILY party.

"Cool, huh?" I asked my dad.

"Uh, yeah," he said, not really meaning it.

I grinned evilly, but I decided to let him off the hook and wrap the gifts in my room.

To be continued...
Apparently in China I'm banned. DSD is too risque, pervy and liberal (???) to be displayed in the Mutha-Land. Harvard University has an application that can determine whether your website is banned or not. Go here to see whether you are a naughty webpage! (thanks to Ernie at LYD for this link).

An Italian Goes To Malta

Note: I went to this interesting Italian restaurant tonight. This was prominently displayed on the wall, I kid you not. I will post more later on the restaurant itself. This joke must be read in an Italian accent.

One day ima gonna Malta to bigga hotel. Ina morning I go to eat breakfast. I tella waitress I wanna two pissis toast. She brings me only one piss. I yella her I want to piss. She says go to the toilet. I say you no understand. I wanna to piss onna my plate. She say you better not piss onna plate, you sonna ma bitch.

Later I go to eat at the big reataurant. The waitress brings me a spoon and a knife but no fock. I tella her I wanna fock. She tella me everyone wanna fock. I tella her you no understand. I wanna fock on the table. She say better not fock on the table, you sonna ma bitch. I don't even know the lady and she calla me sonna ma bitch.

So I go to my room inna hotel and there is no sheit onna my bed. I calla the manager and tella him I wanna sheit. He tella me to go to the toilet. I say you no understand. I wanna sheit onna my bed. He say you better not sheit onna bed, you sonna ma bitch. I don't even know the man and he calla me a sonna ma bitch.

I go to the checkout and the man at the desk say, say "Peace on you." I say piss on you too, you sonna ma bitch. I gonna back to Italy.

I was just checking the news sites and I came across some interesting stories. The first is about the emotional trauma that U.S. forces endure while serving in the Gulf. They go through "critical event stress debriefings" where they talk about their experiences. The article gives some vivid examples:

The tough young recruit frothing in anger as he recalled a lieutenant's command to leave a dead brother soldier on the road - another crew would retrieve him, "Keep that vehicle moving!"

The veteran squad sergeant, all sinew, jaw working against his grief, recalling the task of pulling the remains of a dead friend from his ruined tank, "even a piece of skull that I put in my pocket and carried around, I don't know why."

Also, the Iraqi lawyer who helped to save Jessica Lynch has been granted asylum by the U.S. He arrived here on 4/10 and is now free to start a new life.
I'm trying to dredge up the fortitude to sit down and write the next to final chapter of the DC saga, but I keep getting distracted by work and day-to-day stuff. As I am slightly depressed, I decided to relate something cheerful for a change. This is about my Auntie G, who lives near San Francisco. I've always admired her because she is such a free spirit and an adventurer. And she loves to lecture me.

Back in the Day (1994):

Auntie G: We should all go hiking sometime.
Me (thinking it is a stroll through Golden Gate Park): Oh yeah, dig it baby!
AG (warming up to the subject): You'll have to take a couple of days off. We each carry a giant backpack on our backs and it weighs like 50 lbs. We only eat what we can carry. And we hike twelve miles a day over rough terrain. It'll be fun! Out of all the nieces and nephews, you always struck me as the most adventurous.
J (my boyfriend): *rolls eyes because he knows the truth*
Me (enthusiasm for hike rapidly dwindling): Oh, that sounds...lovely...uh...so where do you go to the bathroom?
AG: You dig a hole.
Me: Doh.

2002 (J, now my hubbo and I are visiting Auntie G in S.F. We have just finished breakfast):

AG: You know your cousin R just went on a hike with us.
Me: Oh yeah?
AG: Yeah we hiked to the top of Half Dome (a 17 mile hike up a mountain that rises 4800 ft from the valley floor) and he loved it. He didn't even complain once! And there was this group of Marines hiking too. They were all 18 and probably in boot camp. Some of them were having a hard time making it up top and complaining. And then I, an old woman in my late '40's, hiked right past them. Well they took it as an insult that I could beat them, so they tried to climb up faster. Some of them actually beat me too. (AG looks smug).
Me (sprawled out on the couch after breakfast and about to take a snooze): That's wonderful, Auntie G.
AG: You never did go hiking with me, did you.
Me: Nope. I finally admitted to myself that I am a lazy ass.
J: Yes you are.
I should be writing deep, insightful stories. Instead I'm playing dress-up with Saddam!
This is funny. If its Saturday night, and you've got nothing better to do, then Spank The Monkey! (Hint: Do it really fast to get better results). Mwhaaaaaaaaaaaa...

I am a big emotional sop...

I admit it...CNN just published an article about Rachel Loy, who wrote a song about her friend Matt who is serving in the Gulf. I thought it was so touching. Now I have to buy this CD. The lyrics are below...

The Same Man (for Matthew)
by Rachel Loy
This is for you my friend
I'm waiting on the other end
checkin' every day to see if you wrote me a letter
This is 'cause I miss my friend
off fighting with the other men
but you know I couldn't be more proud
even if I felt better
'Cause the same man who held me so close that night
is the same man who is sleeping with his gun
And the same man who would never ever start a fight
is the same man who would never ever run
I thought of you again last night
Thought of you in a brand new light
Head high with your proud stare
never looking back
I know you'll fight bravely
I know it 'cause you promised me
soon you'll be home with your short hair
and your funny little laugh
'Cause the same man who left me speechless with his eyes
is the same man now squinting in the sun
And the same man who would never ever start a fight
is the same man who would never ever run
And the same man who left my heart all big and sore
is the same man now facing his death
And the same man who would never ever start a war
is the same man who would always protect
2003 Rachel Loy

Wil Wheaton makes an interesting point today in his blog. Apparently Dubbya called the Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf "his man". This was in an interview with Tom Brokaw. But Wil has this to say:

"He's my man?



You know who Bush's MAN should have been? Every American soldier who was in Iraq fighting his immoral, illegal, and totally unnecessary war. Every child who is without a father or mother, every husband or wife, son or daughter who isn't ever coming home . . . they are "your man," Mr. Bush."

I think it is quite interesting...

Also, VT005 (rt.com chat buddy) is going to boot camp on Monday. He’s joining the Army, so I just wanted to wish him good luck!

Winter was inching in slowly. The bare trees and decreasing temperatures was a stark reminder that the semester was almost over. A few of us "guilty ones" had gathered one Friday to informally discuss the PSD?s announcement. No one was certain whether they should come forward or not. To confess would only mean certain humiliation and possible expulsion.

"I think we should do it," said Dave suddenly. Dave was the elected president of our class. He had a casual personality and an easy smile for everyone who met him.

"Are you serious?" I said. "You?re going to get kicked out!"

"Well technically, I did drink, so why the hell not?" he replied. "What do you guys think?"

"I think you?re crazy," I told him. He shrugged.

I had already decided not to say anything. The semester had started out so brilliantly. I was enthralled with my internship and the city. However, this idealism quickly soured when the teachers kept shoving their dogmatic opinions down my throat. I reacted by regurgitating exactly what they wanted, but I was also frustrated and bitter. Perhaps subconsciously I defied the honor contract as a way to protest the Program?s stringent mentality. With only two weeks left in the program, I reasoned that coming forward would be futile and give them the final say over an already horrible experience.

The debate continued for a while longer. In the end only Dave and his two roommates decided to come forward. Having made their decision, all three went to go talk to PSD. I just sat and stared off into space. I must have looked pretty upset because Jack grabbed my hand. "Come on, let?s get out of here," he said quietly. He told me to grab my gear in order to spend the night at Daniel?s place, who was away on a flight.

We got take-out and ate dinner at the apartment. By that time I had managed to calm down somewhat. Jack made banana pudding to cheer me up.

"I hate this fucking place," I told Jack. "I don?t know if I can stand to be here for another three weeks."

"I know. Why don?t you reschedule your flight so that you leave DC earlier instead of staying that extra week after school ends?" he suggested.

I seized upon the idea immediately. "Great idea," I said. I called American Airlines and changed my flight. It wasn?t cheap, but it was worth it to leave the hellhole. I?d also get to see my boyfriend sooner. After the phone call, I immediately felt better. When I got back to my apartment the next day, I sought out Dave to ask him what happened. He grimaced.

"PSD said the faculty has to discuss it and they?ll let us know their decision on Monday," Dave said. Well their fate was sealed. The only thing to do was to wait.
Class was only an hour away and I was nervous. Jack still hadn't come by, which meant he was either at his internship or he was meeting with the Studies Program Director. There was still that upcoming "announcement" by the Studies Program Director in class to contemplate. Time passed slowly as I gathered my books and notes for class. As I walked down with D to class, I couldn't stop fidgeting.

"Don't worry about it," D tried to reassure me. "Maybe the Studies Director just wants to announce that he's going to finally take that stick out of his ass."

"I wish," I replied. We arrived at the classroom and took our seats. A hush settled over the room as the Studies Program Director (herein known as SPD) walked in. He paused at the lectern and gazed emotionlessly at the class. The room grew quieter still as we waited for him to begin speaking. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Jack sneak in. I gestured for him to sit in the seat I had saved for him, but he shook his head and sat by the back wall instead. Now I was really scared. SPD shuffled some papers and cleared his throat. The tension in the room was palpable.

"I want to make an announcement. A grave thing has happened." SPD stated.

I glanced nervously at Jack. He just had a grim look on his face.

"I've heard some reports from unnamed sources that a few of you have been drinking alcohol. Now I can't say who," he said piously, "but you know who you are and that it is against the rules. I am going to leave it to you to voluntarily turn yourselves in, and then we'll see how it goes from there. That is all." He exited the room as quickly as he had entered.
Everyone was stymied, but the rest of class passed quickly and without incident.

I cornered Jack after class. "So what happened?" I asked him urgently. "I though PSD was going to crucify you in class or something!"

"I totally denied it," he said. "And there wasn't much that they could do. I just have to keep a low profile until the semester ends."

"You know Jack," I mused, "I never asked you why you joined this program in the first place. It's so frigging conservative."

"I joined this Studies Program because it was the only way to get an internship in DC," he said. "A small religious college in the deep South isn't exactly crawling with opportunity, you know. I knew there was a chance of "being caught", but I couldn't pass it up, you know? I didn't think it would come to this, though. You know my roommates didn't even apologize." he explained.

"Damn them all to hell," I muttered.

"Well, that's the least of our problems. Are you going to turn yourself in, you lush?" he said half-jokingly.

Good question.

Trouble Comes A Courtin'

I woke up crying. Again. Have you ever had such an intensely bad dream that you cried because you thought it was real? Luckily my roommates were already gone so I didn’t have to deal with their curiosity. I wiped the tears from my face and padded over to the bathroom. While the water was running, I scrutinized myself in the mirror as I waited for the water to warm up. I’d been having a lot of these kinds of dreams lately. I thought it might have something to do with my mom’s accident a few years ago. The one where she almost died and was in a coma for the better part of a week. I splashed water on my face and pushed the depressing thoughts aside. I’d deal with it later, I thought to myself.

I was supposed to meet Jack for breakfast this morning and I was running late. I hurriedly got dressed and went out the door. He wanted to eat “out” this morning, instead of meeting at the studies program dining commons as we usually did. This was unusual, but no big deal, I decided. I met a somewhat depressed looking Jack at the restaurant and after the waitress took our order, he gave me a desolate look.

“I have something to tell you. I’m royally screwed.” he said grimly.

“What, isn’t that a good thing for you?” I joked, trying to lighten the atmosphere.

“Be serious, will you? My roommates have accused me of being gay,” he said.

Damn. I immediately knew the implications of his statement. The studies program we were both enrolled in didn’t tolerate homosexuality, drinking or premarital sex. In fact, we had to sign a “honor contract” promising we wouldn’t “engage” in these things. If we did and got caught, it was grounds for expulsion.

“Those bastards! That’s slander! You should kick their asses!” I said angrily.

“I’m supposed to meet with the Studies Program Director today,” he continued.

“What are you going to say?” I asked.

“Deny it, of course,” he said. “What else can I do? I can't tell them I really am gay. I can’t afford to be kicked out because I need the credits to graduate college. Plus I don’t think that my school (Jack attended a private, religious college too) would take to the fact that I’m gay either.”

I spent the rest of breakfast trying to reassure Jack and cheer him up. I don’t think it helped much, as I was pretty pissed myself. I couldn’t believe the narrow-mindedness and intolerance of the people in the program I was associated with. Jack and I both went to our internships afterwards. When I got back from work, D came into my apartment without knocking.

“What’s up?” I said.

“Rumor has it that the Studies Director wants to “talk to us” in class today,” she said. “You know what that means, someone is in hella trouble!”

I wondered who that someone would be.

This Will Be The Last Personal Update from DSD...

I will now be putting all personal thoughts/rants in Mir's SideBlog, which you can get to from the sidebar here. I played around with the design, and contrary to what some people think (rt.com chat nerds) it isn't pink and froofy. I am currently working on a short story and will be posting it tomorrow!
I'm attempting to create a mini-blog, so I can post daily stuff about my life and it won't interrupt the flow of this blog, which focuses on short stories, articles, links and witty observations (at least I think they are witty). However, it seems like Blogger and BlogSpot aren't being very cooperative with me today (plus work), so look for it in the next few days.

In this time of war, news networks like CNN broadcast endlessly about the war in Iraq---the details of a particular battle, the politics of the war, the number of casualties and so on. For me, the war is a distant reality. None of my immediate family is serving in the conflict. I go about my daily life though I check CNN and MSNBC periodically for the latest news. In fact, my experience with knowing actual soldiers eligible to serve is limited to a friend’s husband. I appreciate how a soldier looks hunky and gorgeous in dress blues. What little I thought I know about Marines is derived from the sadly skewed perspective of romance novels (read: big, bad sexy, noble hero of a Marine who is totally lethal and highly trained. He is reserved but carries secret emotional baggage that can be cured with sex, the love of a good woman and lots of babies).

Enter Anthony Swofford, whose book, “Jarhead: A Marine’s Chronicle of the Gulf War and Other Battles”, totally blew me away. It is a gritty, candid look at his life as a grunt. He joins the Marines because he feels a duty to continue the military tradition of his family. He almost immediately regrets this decision, but sticks it out. During breaks in training, he reads “The Pocket Nietzsche”. As one would expect in an organization with a large aggregate of men, there is prolific profanity and violence embedded in the culture of the Marine Corps. A person's hands are referred to as “dickskinners” and one’s mouth is a “cum-receptacle”.

His take: “Like most good and great marines, I hated the Corps. I hated being a marine because more than all of the things in the world I wanted to be---smart, famous, sexy, oversexed, drunk, fucked, high, famous, smart, known, understood, loved, forgiven, oversexed, drunk, high, smart, sexy---more than all of these things, I was a marine. A jarhead. A grunt.”

When the Gulf War commences, he details the boredom of waiting for combat, seeing the countless burned out corpses of Iraqis who were hit by bombs. He almost gets killed himself. Tony is smart enough to know that the Gulf War was more then liberating Kuwait. “None of the rewards of victory will come my way, because there are no rewards, not on the field of battle, not for the man who fights the battle -- the rewards accrue in places like Washington, D.C., and Riyadh and Houston and Manhattan, south of 125th Street." The men in his battalion morph into different beings during wartime. They cope with their stress and emotions by engaging in “field-fucking”. The group targets a guy that everyone is pissed at and they all take turns pantomiming sodomy on him. In another instance, a member of his battalion repeatedly desecrates an Iraqi corpse.

This book chronicles the depths of the despair Anthony Swofford experiences. There are some funny moments, but there is no happy ending here. He ends his book with the following: “Some wars are unavoidable and need well be fought, but this doesn’t erase warfare’s waste. Sorry, we must say to the mothers whose sons will die horribly. This will never end. Sorry.” A damning conclusion that makes one think about the war we are fighting now and whether all the suffering it is causing our soldiers and the Iraqis is indeed worth it.


Seven U.S. troops that were listed as POWs or MIA have been rescued! They are all in good shape except that two have bullet wounds. Everyone is very happy. For the full story click here.