Dim Sum Diaries
Recently several people who shall rename nameless (Kyren and Katia (who is the worst offender)) keep blogging about the wonderful food they eat. This is really bad because every time I read their blog I have to eat something, and it really is horrible for my waistline. :)

So now its my turn!

Tonight I am making a Tuscan Chicken soup with a packet I picked up from Harry & David. It is simmering as we speak and it smells wonderful. I also purchased a baguette from the market. Ah, nothing like dipping into an aromatic, flavorful, rich Tuscan Chicken Soup with a warm chunk of French bread. Yum....

Man, now I'm getting hungry...

On a completely unrelated note, Firefly has started this Fifty Word Fiction Project, and its pretty neat. I already submitted a piece, so check it out!
It looks like http://www.dimsumdiaries.com is working now. I just acquired host masking so hopefully there will be no more bumps in the road. Let me know if anyone has problems.
Berklee has an alternate vision of DSD. Very cute!

My Plan For World Domination Is Almost Complete...

I guess I am on an Internet kick lately. I just registered the domain:


which will be for this website. So update your bookmark in a few days...cuz that's where DSD will be!!! (I'll let you know exactly when that takes place).
I have this anal-retentive internal clock that beeps without fail every June 1. This insistent beeping signals the onset of my "Must Get Ready For Thanksgiving & Christmas" behavior. It is a deep and abiding Imperative that induces me to call my Mom and ask her, "So what are we doing for Thanksgiving? Are we having the dinner at my house or her house?"

"Her" being my sister. She is now married and got a house roughly at the same time I did, so we have to "discuss" where to have the holiday meals.

"Its only June," Mom replies incredulously.

"I know," I protest. "But I call you every June 1 to find out, so why should this year be any different?" I hear a resigned sigh on the other end.

"Call your sister," Mom suggests.

I think I may have taken it a little far one year. At the time I was working the early shift (aka starting at 5:30 am). I was enthusiastically surfing the Internet for possible Christmas presents for my family. At about 7:30 am, I found cashmere socks that I thought my Dad would love. He should be up by now, I thought to myself as I called my parents.

"Hello," Dad answered groggily. He may have been a little unhappy that someone had the audacity to call so early.

"Hey, Dad!" I chirped brightly. "Cashmere socks! What do you think for Christmas? Or would you rather have the beef jerky?"

"Mmmpppphhh...I'll mpphh think about it mmmphhh," was the enthusiastic reply. I couldn't understand why my Dad wasn't more excited about the prospect of cashmere socks. They had seamless toes and were ribbed for a dressier look. Hmmm. I decided to put my dad out of his misery.

"Okay Dad, I'll call you later. Byeeee!!" I said.

"Mmmpphh," he replied and hung up the phone.

Perhaps I get more excited about the prospect of the holidays because I remember last year when I tried to cook the entire Thanksgiving dinner by myself for 17 people. I pooped out after attempting to make the seventh side dish.

"Screw this, everyone hates the green bean casserole anyways!!" I told my mom. She only laughed at me.

So now it is almost September and my daughter asked me, "What are we doing for Halloween?" I rub my hands with glee at the prospect of indoctrinating my daughter to the ways of "Holidays with Mir".

"Many things, my child, many things..."

DSD Really Has A Whole New Look Now!!!

Do you like it? I love it!

Thanks to Katia for doing such a great job. The blue of the old template was getting a little "cool" for my taste. This has a happy, warm feel to it.

taking a short break...work and life are kind of hectic.

Look for a new blog design coming up by Monday.
If you are looking for alternative ways to express yourself, read this. Its pretty damn funny. Oops. Its pretty darn funny.
One Friday evening in the Alpha Quadrant, Capt. Mir (CM) takes shore leave to spend the night at her Mom's house. Captain Hubby (CH) is left to man the U.S.S. Starship Household.

Capt. Mir's communicator chirps. She opens a communication line.

CM: Yes...

CH: Captain Mir! We have an urgent situation! Ensign P (daughter, aged 5) was trying to open the toothpaste cap with her teeth and has sustained damage to her lower forward incisor! Request assistance!

CM: Red alert! Repeat! We are on red alert!

Klaxons wail in the background...

Counselor P (aka Mir's mom): She probably just lost her first tooth. There's no need to worry.

CM (ignoring Counselor P): Standby, CH, I will now contact sickbay...the StarFleet Corp of Dental Engineers is the best in the galaxy...Capt. to SickBay...

Doctor K: Please state the nature of the dental emergency...

CM: Doctor, Ensign P has sustained heavy damage to her forward incisor. Request immediate medical assistance.

Doctor K: It sounds like she lost her baby tooth, its normal.

CM: Negatory, Doc K., request immediate attention in SickBay.

Doctor K: Uh, I'm going on vacation tomorrow...I'll be able to see her on Tuesday...

CM: Negatory, DK. I will find another dentist. Capt out.

CM mutters under her breath as she establishes contact with back-up dentist...

CM: CM to Dr. N., please respond.

Dr. N.: Please state the nature of the medical emergency.

CM: Dr. N., Ensign P has sustained heavy damage to her forward incisor. Request immediate medical assistance. Apparently its bleeding and she's in pain.

Dr. N.: She most likely lost her first tooth a little early. Perhaps I should speak to Capt. H., since you are away, and he is actually in the hotzone.

CM: Affirmative, Dr. N. You do that...

CM waits for several agonizing minutes before comfirming with CH that Ensign P will report to SickBay tomorrow at 1230 hours.

CM (smugly): Excellent. You see, Counselor P., this is what we call due diligence.

Counselor P: This is what we call overreacting...
I wanted to jazz up the blog a little, so I asked Cyc to draw some artwork for the site, which he did! It is so cool!! And it has rotating images! Yay! That's right ladies and gentlemen, I am that snazzy of a programmer...okay I copied the script from Javascript.com.

Cyc also thinks I mention him on this blog too much. I don't know how that could be, as Cyc most likely has an inflated ego and Cyc is imagining this. I don't mention Cyc too much, do I? ^_^

Thanks again, Cyc!

I Am Cerebro!!!!! I Am Also A Pie!!!!

What the hell is she talking about?? Yeah, that's what I said to myself, too.

I feel like a pie sometimes, cut up into many uneven slices. The biggest portions are alloted to things such as work, Hubby, kids, chores, etc., etc., etc... The sliver I claim for myself is devoted to Mir-centered activities: ballet, Krav Maga (starting in Sept.), and writing.

And when I do find the time and energy to write, the Muses that inspire poignant discourse are often fleeting. I usually write best when I intensely feel the emotions that drive a paticular piece, such as the last entry. Hubby often accuses me of being a Cerebro that way. Perhaps this weekend I should repeatedly watch romantic scenes involving Hugh Jackman to be inspired to get going on this manuscript (affectionately nicknamed THE BEAST).

Or I could listen to this inspiring piece, recorded by a bud of mine (+2 points if you identify where this is from). Heh heh.

I'll let you know how it goes... ^_^
You know you are getting old when you start to buy CD compilations of the music of your youth. In my case, it is the 1980's. I was shopping at Target and the seductive lure of bargain CDs drew me to the rack. "Fresh 80's Movie Hits - Pure Gold Hits", the cover exclaimed in bold red. How could I resist?

So I purchased this memento of my youth and brought it to work to listen to. It played the standard '80's favorites, "If You Leave" by OMD and "St. Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion)" by John Parr. All of a sudden, "True" by Spandau Ballet comes up and for a moment, the memories and emotions I associate with this song are relived as I listen to the song. I am back in high school, a gawky and awkward sophomore who lived and breathed the school newspaper. On this particular evening, my best friend and I are in the school gym, attending the Sadie Hawkins dance. The S.H. dance is where the gal asks the bloke to the dance, they buy matching shirts to wear, and they get their picture taken in front of a tropical island background, with some bundles of hay strewn in for ambiance.

I am sitting on the bleachers with my best friend. The DJ switches the mood of the room to languid romance as he puts on "True" by SB. Specks of light whirl around the dance floor as the disco ball spins lazily. Couples start dancing slowly in time to the music. I always hate this part of the dance because I envy the couples, that I'm not out there with some guy myself.

"Why are we here again?" my best friend asked, irritated because I made her come with me.

"Because I have to cover the dance for the school newspaper," I reminded her.

"Why don't you have that schmuck sports editor cover it? He's here," she said. She had a point there. I didn't have to come here to torture myself. I could have let one of the reporters who actually had a date cover the event. My best friend narrowed her gaze thoughtfully at me.

"Wait a minute, I know why you are really here," she said. "Its because of Bernie!"

"I know not what you speak of," I replied haughtily. "I am merely here to cover a newsworthy event."

Bernie was in my class, and to my adolescent eyes, a total cutie. He had wavy brown hair and an irresistible grin. During 7th grade, we did a production of "We Are The World," for a school show. He "was" Kenny Rogers, who became my favorite musical artist for a whole year after that. He (Bernie, not Kenny Rogers) and I shared a brief flirtation, but he had since moved on. I still had a bit of a crush on him.

My best friend sighed. "Shall we SOAD?" she asked. SOAD was our term for "Seek Out And Destroy", referring to searching the dance for a glimpse of the elusive Bernie.

"Yes, we shall," I grinned. "Target shall be acquired and locked in." We were such total nerds. Best Friend and I casually walked through every part of the high school gym, but alas, he was nowhere to be found. By now, Best Friend was starting to get bored and wanted to leave.

"I'm sure you've seen enough of this dance for a decent story by now," she complained. "Couples dance, take pictures in their dumb matching outfits, go under the bleachers and suck face. What more do you want?"

"Fine," I mumbled.

We left the dance early that night. There would be many more occasions where I would "seek out", but never quite "destroy" Bernie, so to speak. As I sit in my cubicle at work now, listening to SB, it is easy to recall my teenage years with a degree of nostalgia. Perhaps my perpetual search for Bernie that year embodied a deeper meaning of things I yearned for as a teenager: love, a sense of belonging and finding my place in this world. Things that would take me some time to find.


Because I Have Nothing Better To Do...


is a Giant Ape that was Constructed in a Laboratory, and has Four Sets of Teeth and a Metal Jaw.

Strength: 8 Agility: 6 Intelligence: 4

To see if your Giant Battle Monster can
defeat Mir, enter your name and choose an attack:

fights Mir using

(thanks to Pob for the link)
My buddy ABA recently started a blog. He is going through relationship troubles, so head over there, leave a comment, and make the poor boy feel better.
He had dark hair, most of it hidden under the battered cowboy hat he had jammed onto his head. The long length of his matted, bushy beard lay menacingly on his chest. He stared at me intently as he sat parked next to me, as if I had grown three heads or something. I wondered if he was a Hatfield or a McCoy as I washed the dirty red LeMans at that forsaken car wash. He never said a word, and yet I felt a sense of dread as his gaze stayed unwaveringly upon me...

Did I get your attention yet? Good. This is actually a true story, but you have to keep reading in order to find out what happens next.

So anyways, last week's power outage in the Northeast shocked me greatly. It made me think that I took for granted things such as running water and electricity. Things that seem so basic yet are an absolute necessity in this day and age. Stocking up on emergency supplies seemed like a good idea, so I went to the local Wal-Mart.

"What does one buy for an emergency?" I muttered to myself as I stood in the store, uncertain as to where to go. I supposed that I should start with food. I headed over to the canned good section and filled the cart with beef stew, spaghettios, Spam, and soup. There was even this lovely offering, which as delicious as it looked, I avoided like the plague. One thing I noticed about many of the canned goods they sold at Wal-Mart, many were extremely high in sodium. Confident that my family would have enough to eat for several days (though they would probably have high blood pressure), I moved on.

I thought that water purification tablets would also be a good item to acquire. I stopped a passing associate and asked him where I might find such an item.

"What do water purification tablets do?" he asked.

I paused, trying to phrase my answer so it wouldn't sound so sarcastic. "It purifies water," I replied. Damn, I ended up sounding sarcastic.

"Why don't you try the outdoor/sports section," he suggested. I thanked him and made my way towards the o/s section. Being a city girl who isn't inclined towards the outdoors, I instantly felt like I was intruding on foreign territory. There was an entire aisle dedicated to ammunition. The next aisle boasted fishing lures and hunting accoutrements. The sales guy for this department wore fatigues beneath his bright blue "Hello How May I Help You" Wal-Mart vest. He ignored me for several minutes while he debated the merits of a particular brand of ammunition with a customer.

I cleared my throat meaningfully. "Excuse me," I asked him. "Do you sell water purification tablets?"

"Nope," he said flatly. "Fresh out."

"Er, thank you," I said and walked away.

This exchange reminded me of my brush with the wilds of West Virginia. I was (and still am) a sheltered city girl who considers camping to be staying at a nice hotel near Yosemite, not actually staying in the park.

Back in college, I dated this guy who lived in WV (long distance relationship) and went to visit him one Christmas. I was very excited because I would get a chance to see another part of the country. When we first drove into his small town, I was charmed by the picturesque landscape of wilderness and rivers. This is the countryside that Aaron Copland envisioned while composing 'Appalachian Spring', I thought excitedly to myself.

I don't think it hit me at the time how people would react to the sight of one of their own dating an Asian girl. A's parents were nice enough. His father was the minister of the local church and his mother was a very nice woman who made me feel welcome. Since I was staying there for several days, I made an effort to help out with the family chores. A's sister had a Ford LeMans that was filthy, since the dirt road that led up to their house was completely muddy. I volunteered to drive the car down to the local car wash to clean it. A gave me directions and I went off. The town car wash was little more then several concrete stalls with a hose attached to each stall.

I parked in a stall and began to wash the mud off the tires. As I cleaned, a truck with a mounted gun rack pulled into the next stall. The man in the truck had dark hair, most of it hidden under the battered cowboy hat he had jammed onto his head. The long length of his matted, bushy beard lay menacingly on his chest. He stared at me intently as he sat parked next to me, as if I had grown three heads or something. Perhaps I was the first Asian he had ever seen in his life. I wondered if he was a Hatfield or a McCoy as I washed the dirty red LeMans at that forsaken West Virginian car wash. He never said a word, and yet I felt a sense of dread as his gaze stayed unwaveringly upon me.

I nervously finished washing the car. Shit! I thought to myself. This guy is going to kill me and my body will never be found. I hopped into the car and quickly started it. As I drove away, I could see him in the rear view mirror. He had gotten out of the truck and started to wash his truck. I hoped that he wouldn't follow me. I breathed a sigh of relief when I got back to A's house.

"BTW, we're going to church tonight," A informed me. Fair enough, I thought to myself. Surely I could handle a church service. That night I went with A and his parents to the service. We pulled in next to a big red truck with; you guessed it, a mounted gun rack.

One of A's friends came up to greet us. "Hullo," he said to us. "Hey A, look what I bagged me yesterday! A deer! Come take a look!" He gestured to the red truck. I peered into the back and sure enough, there was a dead deer. "Mom still has to butcher it," he enthused. I was in shock, not only from the sight of the dead deer, but because my WV experience thus far was so different from what I was used to...

Perhaps I'll post more on my West Virginia adventure tomorrow. ^_^
I just read this article that talks about this website, where for the low price of $19.95, you can have a Hollywood B-list actor call you and chat you up a bit. Some of the celebrities you can choose from: Rerun, Lorenzo Lamas, Tod Bridges and The Barbi Twins. I think there is even an astronaut in there somewhere. I can't help but be a little sad over this, but I guess its a way to make money. Oh Tuvok and Q, how far thou art have fallen...
I was determined to have my son go potty this morning. After some initial protests, he sat on the potty for five minutes giving me dirty looks all the while. My reward for this effort was to have my pants leg peed on AGAIN because he has not yet learned to aim.

Me: Gah! Where the hell is the off switch! Aim down! Aim down!!

Son: Ha ha!!!

So of course he has to get candy as a reward. Let us hope that he is associating the positive reward with peeing in the potty, not on Mommy's pant leg.

And on a completely unrelated note, I purchased The Romance Writers' Phrase Book for some inspiration on how to write a manuscript that exudes "romantic tension". The author speaks of using "tags", little phrases you slip in to paint a vivid picture to the reader.

So the first "tag" I encounter is about a heroine's body...

"Her hose felt like sheaths of clammy cloth on her exceptionally pretty legs..."

That one is a little weird, but there are some good ones. I can brighten up my manuscript with these handy little tags. An example:

Original: Chickie had some long-ass eyelashes...

With Tags: Her lashes swept down across her cheekbones...

Not that I would ever write "Chickie had some long-ass eyelashes" in my manuscript...cough...of course not...

I'll post more later, I've got some editing to do... ^_^
Jarhead has asked me five pointless questions, and I'm answering for the fun of it!

1. How often do you wear it?

I wear it everywhere I go, baby. It is my tattoo on my right shoulder, of a butterfly and my Chinese name, which means "Beautiful Clouds". I had it done shortly after the birth of Child #1, in a desperate attempt to still "be cool". Hah.

"Why don't you come with me to get a tattoo?" my sister asked. "This guy is supposed to be the best in Southern Cal. He's done work on all the great kung-fu masters, apparently."

That was mildly reassuring, so I decided to go for it. Hubby went with us. The parlor was located in this run-down section of L.A. The Tattoo-Master's wife was giggling to my sister as I had the procedure done. Apparently thinking that I didn't understand Chinese, she gestured to my Caucasian husband and whispered naughtily to my sister, "Wow, he's so tall. How does she do it?"

My sister muttered an incoherent response and I just rolled my eyes. I actually consider the tattoo a proud symbol of my heritage. ^_^

BTW, you should read Ernie's story about tattoos of Chinese characters. Its pretty damn funny.

2. Which was your favorite and why?

My favorite Snapple Ice Tea flavor was mint, because it was so delicious and refreshing. Too bad they don't make it anymore.

3. What routine do you wish you could get rid of?

I wish I could stop waxing my eyebrows. It stings.

4. What is the weirdest thing you've ever eaten?

Being Chinese, I've eaten many things that some may consider weird. However, I think the weirdest thing I've eaten is cow tongue. And fried okra.

5. What was the worst gift you've ever given?

I'm thinking worst as in the naughtiest gift I've ever given at a bridal shower. It would be the gift set of a slave collar, handcuffs, and various battery operated implements. I had to explain to the blushing bride-to-be what the implements were for.


So if you would like to participate in this, read the following:

1. If you want to participate, leave a comment here saying "interview me."
2. I will respond by asking you five questions (not the same as you see here).
3. You will update your blog/site with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.
I would never do this! Uh, at least not yet... :p

(Thanks to BlogFodder for the link)
Yesterday was one those hectic Tuesdays, where I went through the day as an automaton. Perhaps I was still tired from the Legoland adventure. Multiple projects at work had to be completed. Traffic must be navigated on the hour-long drive home. An appetizing yet nutritionally complete dinner must be prepared. Must clear dishes, sort the bills, bond with the kids, worry about getting in a couple of hours of meaningful writing and on and on and on (Hubby shares these tasks jointly with me, I don't do it all alone).

So amidst all the hustle and bustle of the day, Hubby walks up behind me while I cook dinner and tenderly kisses the back of my neck. I don't shoo him away like I usually do. Instead I enjoy the sensation. For a moment we become an island of calm serenity in the sea of stress and endless tasks. Later after dinner, he insists I take a rest while he bathes the kids and plays with them until bedtime. Sometimes its nice to get a reminder of why you fell in love with your mate in the first place.

Thanks honey.
Kyren (my blog buddy) posts a great entry today about the "perfect" women photographed in those glossy fashion magazines. Check out the link in her entry, its pretty amazing what they do to alter the photos...
I'm having problems with my archives...so in order to fix it I've placed them on the main page in the sidebar. I hope they work now.
It was a hot and steamy day today. Instead of staying in our cool, air-conditioned home sipping mint juleps all day, we decided to venture out.

"And what shall we do today, children?" I ask in my best Maria from Sound Of Music Voice.

"LEGOLAND!" they scream. Well actually, Child Unit #1 and Hubby scream. So after packing some bottled water, a credit card and slathering the children with enough sunscreen to withstand a nuclear attack, we are on our way. I wear a "look at my sexy shoulders because I do ballet" tank top and some shorts. I mostly douse myself with sunscreen, but neglect my shoulders. So we walk around, and after paying $30 for two pizzas, a banana, two cokes and a bag of chips for lunch, we had a nice family bonding time.

However, there are two things that I discovered about my children today.

1. Child Unit #1 (daughter) does not like roller coasters. But she did love the disposable camera we got her as a souvenir and took several pictures of us next to the Lego version of Darth Vader and Bobba Fett.

2. Child Unit #2 (son) is extremely protective of his mother. He was slathered from head to toe in sunscreen, but wanted me to carry him for most of the day. He had one hand gripped on my back while I was carrying him. When I get home, I discover that my shoulders and back are completely red and sunburned, except there is an imprint of his fingers, hand and arm on my back from me carrying him all day. That part wasn't sunburned. Do you see how much he loves me. He thinks to himself, this section of Mommy's back will NOT be sunburned. Not on my watch!!!!

I love my children. ^_^

Further Proof That My Brain Is Not Working...

I was working on some code this morning and I was trying to search through this big ass file for the keyword "security". I decided to shorten the search phrase to "sec", but I could not find any instances of it. WTF??? I thought to myself. Then a colleague (a nosy one) walks into my cube.

"Hey, why are you looking for 'sex'???" he says loudly so everyone can hear. "If your looking for sex you won't find it here!!!"

"Shut the hell up," I tell him grumpily but he ignores me. Three other people immediately flock to my cube to investigate the sex phenomenon and of course everyone has to chuckle at my expense.

This is what happens what you work with a bunch of smart-asses.
I have been in a very maudlin mood lately, as you can probably tell from the last couple of entries. Bradley passing away may have had something to do with it.

"So why have you been so emotional?" Hubby asked me yesterday.

"I don't know," I reply. I sigh dramatically. "I've been watching a lot of Kate & Leopold lately."

"Oh yeah? I haven't watched that one yet. Is it any good?"

"Well, its okay, but Hugh Jackman is great in it as Leo. There's this one scene when Kate (Meg Ryan) and Leo are cuddled up together. Kate falls asleep in his arms and Leo is totally in love with her. He gets all choked up as he stares into her sleeping face. He pulls out this ring, which belonged to his mother, and then he says in that sexy Brit accent of his...'Kate...would you...mm...might you consider...' But then Kate is totally asleep so he kisses her gingerly on the head. Its so romantic! I could watch it over and over and over..."

"Oh my god," Hubby says in horror, "You memorized that whole scene? Maybe I'll pass on this one..."

So that is what it has been like for the last couple of days. On the plus side, my writing has been very prolific. I think I've written about forty pages of the manuscript. That's roughly 10,000 words, so that's good.
Bradley as a puppy

Today my mom took our beloved dog Bradley to the vet to get him checked out. Bradley is ten years old and has increasingly had health problems. According to the vet, he was going deaf and the bump on his shoulder was cancerous. The vet gave him another year to live, but it would have been painful for him, so mom opted to have him humanely put to sleep.

I remember when we first got Bradley. I was a sophomore in college. My sister and mom went to the local Humane Society, and my sister spotted him first. He was a puppy in a litter of many and lounging in the corner. Unlike the other puppies, he didn't bark and jump up.

"Pick that one, Mom!" my sister said, gesturing to Bradley. "He reminds me of you," she said to Mom.

"What???" Mom was incredulous.

"Well, he's hiding in a corner. He's kind of anti-social, just like you Mom." my sister said, backpedalling.

"Oh well, that's all right then," Mom replied.

So they brought him home and he was all gangly puppy. He initially hid behind the bench in the backyard, probably because he was unsure of his new surroundings. Building a doghouse for him became a family bonding event, a rarity for that period in my life.

"So what are we going to name him?" my sister asked.

I was desperately missing the guy I was dating at the time. "How about Bradley?" I suggested casually. "Bradley" was this guy's middle name.

My sister and mom considered it for a moment.

"Bradley is kind of a dorky name though," my sister protested. "But okay."

"Bradley it is, then," Mom decided.

Being a mix of Chow Chow and German Shepard, he looked like a big teddy bear. I'll always remember snoozing on the front porch during the summers in a lounge chair. Bradley would lay next to the chair and snooze with me. Then there was the time my sister and I drove to her dorm and we took Bradley along. When we got to the parking structure, he threw up all over my sister's lap. I thought it was funny, my sister didn't. Brad-burt (as I nicknamed him) merely shook it off.

I called Mom awhile ago and she was pretending not to cry. It will take awhile for my family to get over Bradley. He was always well-behaved and friendly.

Bradley, we'll miss you.

Let's Take a Meandering Trip Down Memory Lane

There is a certain weird sense of deja vu when you take your children to visit your parents. Your child sleeps in the room you once called your own. Since my parents are notorious packrats (a trait I will possibly acquire when I get older), the children play with many of my old toys. In fact, my books and even the drugstore makeup and perfume I used to buy (because it was all I could afford as a teenager) still sits on my old bookshelf.

This sense of deja vu is extended to the the small town I grew up in, where the local mall is the only place of relief from boredom and the heat. I decided to visit the mall in order to buy ballet shoes for my daughter. The "Town Centre", as they call it, was where I hung out and even worked at. After school, my friends and I would flock to the Burger King. We thought we were the shit when we could afford to buy fries and a small coke. Then we would hang out there for a couple of hours, talking about the boys we thought were cute, doing homework and taking advantage of the unlimited refills (unlimited refills was a big thing back then, at least for me).

So as I walked through the mall with my daughter, I bought her the ballet shoes and I decided to "make the rounds", as I used to call it. I walked around, eyeing the stores that were still there and used to frequent. Red Eye, purveyor of "cool" (to my teenage eyes) and inexpensive clothing. I had to to stop by Waldenbooks to buy a romance as well, some things never change. I passed by Athlete's Foot, where I purchased my first set of track shoes, then Marie Calendars, which I used to think as the ultimate in fancy restaurants. Then there was Mr. Entertainment, where I would sing karaoke on my breaks from being a sales clerk at Electronics Boutique. I walked around some more, hoping that the guys I had tried to pick up as a teenager weren't still hanging out there some fifteen years later and going to jump out of some corner and confront me. "Why didn't you ever call me?" they would demand. As we passed the food court, the ubiquitous smell of funnel cake continued to trigger memories. Memories of a younger, awkward Mir trying to navigate the teenage years.

"Mommy, why are we walking around in circles?" my daughter asks me, interrupting my train of thought.

I shake myself from my reverie. "We'll be going in a bit, sweetie, but first let's go eat lunch at the Burger King that Mommy used to hang out at when she was a little girl," I tell her.
Go to this link. Look at the picture. Read the story. Look at the picture again.

(thanks to Ernie for the link)