Dim Sum Diaries

The Entry That Is Supposed To Be Part 3 But Isn't :(

I know I said I'd post it Monday, but it doesn't seem like its done yet. It keeps getting longer and longer. The last time I checked, I was editing it in MS Word and the entire entry was seven pages long, single spaced.

In the meantime, play with The Lego Treasure Hunt Game. Its pretty addictive and it reminds me of that old school game I forget the name of, where I wander around aimlessly in some castle, trying to find a key and avoid some dragon.

(Thanks to Ernie for the link.)

BTW (Rand_T, that means "By The Way"), look for a hidden surprise tomorrow Oct. 1 on the website!

*Mir rubs hands in glee*

The Next Entry Preceding The Big Story...

Bah! I'm kind of mad at myself for not getting to Part 3. However, my Internet provider was kaput last night and was still out as of this morning. I'm going to sit my butt down this weekend and hammer it out hopefully...

I was trying to book a flight for Lo-Gung and me's eighth anniversary trip. My Mom recommended we go with this Chinese travel agency, because they offer excellent rates.

"Just mention our name," my Mom said, "And they'll take care of you."

Excellent! I thought to myself. I can use my masterful command of the Chinese language (Cantonese) to score me some good deals here! So I call the travel agency.

Note anything in italics means it was spoken in Chinese.

Heavily Accented Chinese Voice: Hello.

Me: Hello, this is [insert Chinese name here]. I'd like to book a flight...

Travel Agent: Eh? You speak English or Chinese? Because I'm getting confused here.

Me: Shit. I speak English...

The travel agent was very nice though. :)

In completely unrelated news, NBC is showing the American version of Coupling tonight. I am really looking forward to seeing it. You should also check out the British version, which is even cooler!

I will be back on Monday with Part 3, I promise!!
Well its been pretty hectic lately in Mir-Landia, thus I haven't had time to work on Part 3. I am trying to get to it this week, since certain unnamed people (Rand_T and Effy and GM) keep bugging me about it. I'm writing already, okay!!!

In the meantime, let me tell you a little about this past weekend. I volunteered to do the website of this non-profit group awhile back. This year is their ten year anniversary, so they held this big gala soiree thingie. My friend, who is on the Board of Directors, invited me to sit at her table.

"We get to dress up!" I tell Hubby excitedly.

"Hmmmph..." Hubby replies, not very enthusiastic about being dragged along. He thinks it will be boring. However, his objections are OVERRULED! Its rare to see Lo-Gung decked out in a formal suit (woo hoo!) and I intend to enjoy it.

"It won't be boring," I inform him. "There will be some dancers performing that night. And free food!"

So on the day of the event, I start to get ready early. My gown is a beautiful navy blue Nicole Miller dress I wore for my sister's 1999 wedding. Of course, I was 10 lbs lighter back then and hadn't yet had Kid #2. I tried it on the day before and it fit, barely. THIS day, the McDonald's chicken sandwich I had must have "pushed me over the edge", because all of a sudden the aforementioned blue dress won't zip up all the way.

In a total panic, I desperately survey my wardrobe for a suitable replacement. The only other three possible candidates:

1. A lavender bridesmaid dress, though formal, really does look like a bridesmaid dress.

2. My Star Trek: Voyager Captain Janeway uniform, which in an alternate universe, if I was in StarFleet, could have passed muster at a formal StarFleet event.

3. A black velvet Ann Taylor sheath purchased back in the early '90s, with a square neckline and pouffy sleeves. Suitable for wearing to either a funeral or time travel back to 1994.

My options were not good. With Hubby grumbling all the while, I put on my makeup and jewelry, a t-shirt, shorts and some flip-flops. We head to Macys to see if I could find a formal dress off the rack. After some hemming and hawing, I settled on a classic black dress, while elegant and stylish, was also a little on the conservative side. No time to ponder on how my taste in clothing is getting decidedly more like my mother's as I get older.

We race down to where the event is being held and get there just in time to miss the VIP reception (damn, no free drinkies and A-List status canoodling). We did however, see the Chinese lion dancers lead the procession of Vippies to the main room. It was a very dramatic and fitting opening to the evening.

I was really looking forward to this night's event, as this non-profit group was celebrating their ten years of work in helping GLBT (and non-GLBT) Asians/Asian Pacific Islanders with HIV/AIDS. The food was great. I was surprised at the number of local politicians (two of which are being indicted for a local scandal) and people running for local office at the event. Many speeches were made toasting their success.

The highlight of the evening were the dancers (at least for me). There were dancers from various regions, the Phillipines, Tahiti, etc. The ones who caught my attention in particular were the Tahitian male dancers. They had long, gleaming dark hair, swinging freely as they moved about. Their muscular, well-defined bodies gleamed with the oil they had obviously rubbed on themselves. The outfit consisted of a white loincloth. The back was non-existent, with only a g-string in the back (naked bums woo hoo!) and a slip of cloth to cover the front. There were four of us girls at my table, and all of us were craning our heads to see there was anything else swinging freely underneath the loincloths. Sadly, it wasn't (mircro nude g-string). With the seductive beat of the drums frenetically pounding away, these four magnificent specimens expertly danced their tribal dance.

"Wow!" I whispered to my friend A during the performance. "Where did you get these guys? They seem very...athletic..."

She merely rolled her eyes. "I knew there was a reason why J (who is the organization director and is gay) picked this dance company," she replied wryly.

When the dance ended, the dancers received an enthusiastic round of applause and catcalls (admittiedly it was mostly from our table). I really enjoyed myself that night.

(And yes, to answer the question many have already asked, "And where was your husband?" He was there, rolling his eyes at me.)
Wow, much happened today, and it was really really interesting. I will post more soon...

Let's just say it involved Hubby and I dressing up in formal attire, hobnobbing with the most interesting of people...and naked bums!! Woo hoo!

Still working on Part 3 as well...will post that by Tuesday...

Off to bed...

Well, its 4:14 am and here I am blogging. Lo-Gung (Chinese for Hubby, which is how I will refer to him now on. Literally means "old man" but used to refer to one's Hubby) is on a business trip in Vegas, which means I don't sleep well at all. Luckily he is coming back tonight.

In typical male fashion, Lo-Gung neglects to tell what me what hotel he is staying at and he forgets to bring his cell phone. I assume he will call me the first night he is away, but nothing...zip...nada...zilch.

Luckily, employing my acute mental faculties and whizbang deductive powers of reasoning, I quickly deduce the hotel he is staying at. I call on the way to work (about 7:00 am) and confidently ask for Lo-Gung's room. The operator immediately patches me through and after a few rings I hear the sleepy voice I know so well.

Lo-Gung: Hello...

Me: Hello! Why didn't you call me last night? Do you know you forgot to bring your cell phone? And you didn't tell me what hotel you were staying at...

Lo-Gung: The hotel charges $1.00 a minute. I left the cell phone in the car. And remember I told you last week about the hotel?

Me: Luckily I remembered you stayed there last year. Luckily I didn't have to call every hotel asking for you. Aren't you glad your wife is so smart?

Lo-Gung: Yes, I'm very lucky my wife is a stalker.

Me: Hmph...

Do you see what I have to put up with here?

In addition, I was thinking about enrolling in this school. Perhaps I should ask my Mother to enroll as well...

(Mom, if you are reading this, you know I love you!)

(Thanks to Ernie for the link.)
Fancy a snack? Also an integral part of LaToya Jackson's weight loss program (I swear the website says this).
She leaned casually against the bar as she expertly scanned the room for a familiar face. Finding none, she sighed and took another sip of her apple martini. Her friend and co-worker Lynn had invited her over to this informal gathering with the promise of "exquisite food and excellent conversation". With the latter part of this promise yet to be fulfilled, Kate once again surveyed the scene before her.

Small groups of people chatted animatedly in the elegantly appointed room, with the occasional roar of laughter punctuating the din. The soft clink of glasses and the strains of Mozart's No. 1 in B flat, K. 207 playing softly in the background completed the picture of what should have been a fun and interesting evening.

The sound of his rich laughter drew her attention first. As she tried to pinpoint its source, she noticed him. He was standing in a corner and holding a beer, deep in conversation with another. Perhaps his innately captivating presence caught her eye. Or it could have been the blatantly military crew cut he sported. Kate imagined it would gleam like dark gold if he ever grew it out. He must have sensed her gaze lingering on him because he turned and his face broke into an open, friendly smile. She smiled in return. Glad that she finally had someone to engage in excellent conversation with, she made her way over to his side.

"Hi there," he said as Kate joined their group. "I'm Dan Huffman and this is Casey Shelton." Dan made a slight gesture with his right hand to indicate his friend.

"I'm Kate Lee. It’s nice to meet you both," she replied as she shook their hands in greeting. "Now I'm really curious. Did I actually hear the two of you arguing over jelly donuts?"

Both Dan and Casey chuckled. "I'm trying to persuade Casey here that President John F. Kennedy said he was a jelly donut," he said with a grin.

Kate arched her eyebrow. "Dan, are you sure this isn't some line you use to impress the ladies?"

"I swear it isn't. And he did," Dan said.

"He did not," she replied.

"He did," Dan insisted.

Casey cleared his throat meaningfully. "Well, I see I have someone to champion my side of the debate. I'm going to get another beer. Dan?"

"Sure, sure, get me another Rolling Rock," Dan muttered. Neither of them noticed Casey walk away. "I'm telling you that in 1963 President Kennedy said 'Ich bin ein Berliner'. Berliner was a popular jelly donut back then. Therefore, Kennedy is a jelly donut," Dan continued without missing a beat. He was on a roll.

Kate shook her head. "The correct translation is that he was trying to say that he was a citizen of Berlin. I should know, I minored in Political Science."

"And I speak fluent German and French," Dan countered. "So I should know."

Kate took a step closer to him and looked him straight in the eye. "You are never going to give up until I cry uncle, are you?" she asked sardonically.


"Thus succeeding in your mission to piss me off."


Thus a friendship that alternated between laughter and annoying the hell out of each other was born. The seeds of a romantic love that may have bloomed stayed dormant when Kate began dating Brad. However, the friendship between Kate and Dan deepened into a relationship in which each was a bastion of unwavering support and loyalty to the other, despite the circumstances.

During the months that Dan was away, Kate was busy with her work as a web developer. She missed him so acutely, it was like an ache. An ache she tried to bury with work and the letter and care package campaign she launched that would have impressed the USO.

"Man, do you have enough socks there?" Lynn asked in disbelief as Kate threw in 20 pairs of socks to the latest massive care package she was preparing.

"One can never have enough socks, especially since he is away from home," Kate said primly.

"That's because you are secretly in love with him," Lynn said, trying to get a rise out of Kate. Kate, as usual, took the bait.

"I am not! I am in love with Brad. You know, the man who happens to be my boyfriend?" she said.

"Right," Lynn agreed. She paused for a moment. "But you secretly love Danny."

Kate sighed and didn't answer as she tried to tuck in the pound of peanut brittle in the already overloaded box.

Kate subconsciously counted the days and the minutes until Danny's return. She wasn't sure if she should go meet him. After all, she was only a friend and not really family. Would it be appropriate, she wondered. However the decision was made for her when Dan's mother called and insisted that she join the family in welcome.

And so on the day that First Lieutenant Daniel Huffman was due to arrive home, Kate and Dan's family waited with anticipation at the airfield. The sky was a bright blue with nary a cloud in the sky. After an interminable wait for the plane to land, and an even longer wait for the ramp to be rolled to the plane, the first face appeared out of the airplane. A cheer went up in the crowd as a succession of men and women stepped out of the airplane. People were waving signs and jumping up and down, hoping to catch a glimpse of their own. Finally, she glimpsed Dan's familiar profile step out of the airplane.

"Do you see him, Karen? I think that's him!" Kate said excitedly. Karen, Joe (Dan's father) and Peter (Dan's brother) craned their necks to see if they could spot him. After everyone deplaned, the soldiers gathered in formation. A senior officer addressed the group, but none of the famlies could hear his words from the cordoned off area. Kate could feel the impatience of the crowd. Finally the group was dismissed and both groups surged towards each other. Kate saw Dan striding in quick steps towards them. Karen ran forward and was the first to embrace her son in a hug. Mother and son stood still for a moment, caught in the emotions of welcome and happiness. Joe and Peter moved forward to greet Dan as well. Kate felt slightly uncomfortable at intruding in this private family moment. She stepped back but kept her gaze on Dan. He had lost weight, it seemed, but the leanness was overlaid with sinewy muscle.

Dan shifted his gaze to her as he let go of his mom and walked quietly towards her until they were face to face. For a moment she merely looked at him until they moved towards each other and he swept her into the protective circle of his arms.

"Hi," he said, the warmth of his smile echoing in his voice.

"Hi," she replied, as she put her hand up to his cheek, as if trying to remember the texture of it. His eyes seemed to be full of something, she didn't know what.

"God, I missed you," he whispered hoarsely as he buried his face into her hair. Whatever reply she might have come back with was smothered as his lips came coaxingly down on hers. Kate was surprised and a little embarrassed. Mindful of his family staring bemusedly at them, she tried to push him back, but he wouldn't let her go.

"I missed you too...Mmmph...Dan...your family..." she managed to get in when he finally came up for air.

A discreet cough from his father finally brought Dan back to reality of his smiling parents. His brother, still a young teenager, was making gacking noises in the background. There seemed to be a new possessiveness in Dan towards Kate as he conversed with his family. He refused to let go of her hand, she noted. It was almost as if he were afraid that she would suddenly disappear. When Dan was finally able to get away to spend time with his family, they decided to go out and eat. Kate excused herself, saying she had to finish work, despite the noisy protests of his family.

Dan kept his gaze on her as she said her goodbyes.

"I'll see you at Casey's party?" he asked.

"Yes, I'll see you tonight," she said. The raw joy of seeing Dan after all these months and the shock of their public kiss disconcerted her. She needed time to think.


That evening Casey was throwing a party in honor of Dan's return. The backyard was crowded with people, beer and loud music. Casey and Dan were standing at the bbq, grilling various meats.

"She brought HIM along," Dan grumbled to Casey.

"Don't sweat it...shhh...here she comes..." Casey whispered loudly as Kate approached.

"Hey guys," Kate said in greeting. She glanced at the blackened grill. "Wasn't that a new BBQ grill, Casey?"

"Nothing a gallon of lighter fluid couldn't break in," he replied cheerfully. Casey nudged Dan in the ribs and glared at him pointedly. Talk to her, the look said.

Dan opened his mouth to speak just as Brad walked up behind Kate.

"So hey, Kate," Brad said casually, "I've got two tickets to La Boheme, front and center. How would you like to go?"

"Sounds interesting," she said. "But I'm pretty busy these days trying to plan my parent's thirtieth anniversary party."

Brad continued as if he hadn't heard her. "It’s in French. Although I feel that it would be better if they didn't have that marquis with the translated lines up there. It ruins the effect."

Dan arched an eyebrow. "Why Brad, do you speak fluent French?"

"Yes...yes I do, Dan," Brad replied. There was an air of tension rising. "Comment je t'aime? Laisse moi compter les façons. je m'aime aux plafonds et aux larges hôtels..." he recited smugly.

"Cool, Brad!" Kate said, impressed. "What did you just say?"

Dan spared Brad a withering glance. "If I'm not mistaken, that would be Elizabeth Barrett Browning. 'How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Except for the second line you just declared that you love yourself to the ceiling and at large hotels." Dan said acerbically.

"Really?" Brad said.

"It should be, 'Je t'aime aux profondeurs et aux largeurs et hauteurs,'" Dan corrected.

"Who knew the dumbass Jarhead could utter complete sentences?" Brad sneered, then jumped back in alarm as Dan advanced towards him angrily, fists clenched.

The conversation was getting out of hand. Though Kate might tease and abuse Dan, she would tolerate it from no one else. Not even a man she thought she was in love with at one time. Putting a hand on Dan's arm to restrain him, she cooly turned to Brad. The look she gave him could have frozen a pond at ten paces.

"Shut up, Brad. Before you say something you regret," she said icily. Her tone pierced the fog of Brad's drunken stupor enough to let him know she was peeved and working towards seriously pissed. Even he knew not to cross her when she was in such a mood. He held his hands up in mock surrender.

"Okay, okay, we were just joking around," he hedged.

"Right," she said sarcastically. Dan looked at her in amusement for coming to his defense, then his eyes widened in alarm when she turned and directed the full force of her stare on him.

"You," she said, poking her finger into Dan's chest. It didn't matter if he an officer in the Marines, used to commanding troops of his own. Kate on a rampage terrified him. "I want to talk to you."

"What?" he said somewhat defensively. She grabbed his arm and dragged him off to the guest bathroom and shut the door behind them. She crossed her arms and merely stared at him. Sighing, since he knew there was no way to avoid a confrontation, he tried adopting an charming smile. It didn't work.

"I want to know what that was all about."

"Just making conversation," he said in an innocent tone.

"I thought you would be more mature then that, Dan."

"He's an asshole, Kate. You should cut him loose for good."

"That doesn't give you the right to argue like two dogs fighting over the bone. Brad is none of your business, Dan," she said angrily. "And for your information, he invited himself. I couldn't refuse without being impolite." She poked his chest again to emphasize her point. He involuntarily took a step back and found himself bumping against the wall. He couldn't say that he completely disliked this assertiveness in her. In fact he rather liked it, but as she was pissed, wisely decided to say nothing.

"My love life is off-limits to you, understand?"

"The guy had to finish watching a football game before he came to the hospital after you called him. A god dam football game! How long did you wait in the emergency room before he came to your side?" he said impatiently.

Kate paused for a long moment before answering. "That is irrelevant," she said quietly.

"How long?" he insisted.

"An hour and a half," she muttered.

"If it was me, nothing would have stopped me from reaching your side," he told her gruffly.

Kate was suddenly aware of the heat emanating from his body. It was a novel experience to have 200 lbs of aggravated male so close to her. She could smell the spicy scent of his aftershave, one that she would always associate with him. The guest bathroom suddenly seemed too small for the both of them. He let out a long, audible breath. A loud knock on the door made them both jump back. "Aren't you done yet?" A loud, drunken voice asked in disgust. "You've been in there for like a year! I need to use the john!"

Kate moved away from him. "We should go. Everyone will be looking for you," she said softly.

"We're not done yet," he said. Whatever she had been about to say was cut off as he cupped her face and kissed her tenderly. When he pulled back, she had sort of a befuddled look on her face. "We'll talk later, Kate." Satisfied that he had gotten in the last word, he left before she could snap out a caustic retort.

Later that evening after the party, Dan sat on the couch of his darkened apartment. The TV was tuned to ESPN. He sat nursing a beer while watching the sports highlights of the day. The doorbell rang. Perhaps it was Kate, he thought. He nervously ran his fingers through his hair. Wearing only a bright yellow "Semper Fitness" t-shirt and boxers, he hoped he looked presentable. He walked over and opened the door. However, the person standing casually in the doorway wasn't who he expected.

It was Brad.

to be continued one final time...

*Like this? Read Part 1!

Thanks to Rand_T for the French translation.


Writing Part 2 is taking a little longer then I thought. Its very very long, so hopefully I'll post it by tonight.

In the meantime, here is a conversation I had with a co-worker recently. He got married, but his bride was still in the Phillippines. He was talking about some actress he thought was hot.

Me: OMG, you shouldn't be talking about women! You're married!

Co-Worker: Hey, I can still appreciate BOO-YOOOO-TEE! (said in a way that is hard to understand)

Me: What?? You pig! You can't appreciate booty anymore!

Co-Worker: What? I said beauty! Beauty!!

Another Coworker: *Laughing too hard to comment*

Such is the state of my workplace...

Marley links to a poignant Cox & Forkum cartoon regarding 9/11.

I wanted to post an entry about this day. Perhaps a poem or a speech that would be appropos. I even thought about writing something myself. But I couldn't find anything on the 'Net or summon any words that could adaquately pay tribute without sounding trite or pompous.

So all I can say is that thinking about September 11 invokes emotions similar to the time I visited the Vietnam War Memorial in DC. There are almost 60,000 names engraved on black granite. You immediately sense the somberness and grief that seems to emanate from that wall. Flowers, letters and personal items left in tribute to a particular soldier reminds me that even after 30 some-odd years, they have never forgotten. You walk around and stare at the names, trying to absorb the magnitude of the losses that everyone (not just Americans) suffered.

September 11, 2001.

I will never forget.
He carried a picture of her wherever he went. During the day, while on duty as a soldier and enduring the extreme heat of the Iraqi desert, the picture was safely tucked in his pocket. Every so often, he would absently pat that pocket to ensure it was still there. Sometimes it earned him strange glances from the men in his unit. Dan quickly learned to do it when no one was around.

At night, lying in his cot, he would take the picture out and stare at it intently while his tent-mates snored loudly. By now, he had memorized every aspect of her face: the aristocratic arch of her brow; the glossy black texture of her hair; her rich, dark-chocolate eyes which revealed her intelligence and wry humor.

The picture was of his best friend, Kate. It was a portrait from one of those photography studios in the mall. She had taken the time to apply make-up and worn an elegant, but simple black dress that accentuated the graceful curve of her neck. She seemed to be smiling directly at him. Just for him, he liked to think.

Yet it had been nine months, six days, thirteen hours and six minutes since First Lieutenant Daniel Huffman last saw a live glimpse of her face. That time had been spent on active duty since the conflict started. He completed his duties with the excellence and precision that was second nature to him. Life during deployment often meant enduring long work shifts, always wondering if the unknown person approaching you was friend or foe. He endured because he had little choice in the matter. His love for her only deepened as time passed. Yet he still hadn't dared to tell her of his feelings, fearing rejection. However, as time passed he realized he would have to, lest he lose her to someone else. He swore to himself that if...when...he got back to the States, he would.

They wrote each other frequently via snail mail. Sometimes through email if he could sneak onto a computer. Kate included the picture of her in one of the many care packages she sent him. This particular package included beef jerky, Good 'N Plenty (his favorite), wet naps (for quick on-the-spot bath), toilet paper (one could never have enough of this) and a videotape of recent episodes of The Daily Show (good place to get the news).

Dan had never considered himself a writer, but the letter-writing provided an outlet for his emotions. It helped to cope with the monotony of the daily routine as well as the relentless onslaught of the heat. It helped him to endure the terrifying moments when live rounds exploded or there was live weapons fire around the compound. She would never truly understand what he was going through. She was a civilian and safe on the other side of the world. But her willingness to listen and the unflagging emotional support in her letters kept him sane. He tried to express how he felt once in a letter:

Kate...for all the crap I keep telling you about...I'm glad that you are there to listen. It helps me get through each day. Sort of like I am load of dirty laundry...all the colors, whites and darks are mixed together. Somehow you manage to get everything clean, get them all separated and folded nicely...how lame a metaphor is that? You mean a lot to me, I hope you know that.

It was as close as he dared to declare his feelings for her. He wondered if she realized the subtext of his message.

The only time he really went out of his mind was when he recieved an urgent call from his mother. Kate was in the hospital. He went crazy with worry until Kate herself called him directly from the hospital. There were only two things that were broken, she said. One was her arm. The other was her relationship with Brad, whom she had kicked to the curb. He sighed in relief on both counts.

After what seemed an eternity, the order to come home had finally come through. He wanted to be home. He wanted to have the satisfaction of being in his own place. He wanted to drink a beer while lounging on his sofa, watching a game on television. He wanted to sleep in his own bed. How long had it been since he had done those things? Most of all, he wanted to be in the comfort of her arms, because that above all symbolized home to him. Everything had been packed up and all the soldiers were loaded on a commercial flight back to the United States. On the long flight home, he thought of the last time he saw her...

She and a group of their mutual friends had gone to some dive to celebrate his last night of freedom. Kate volunteered to be the designated driver, and after a long night of carousing, she had dutifully driven each of the others home. Only Dan and she were left in the car and they shared a comfortable banter on the way to his apartment. When Kate reached in front of his building, she slid into an available parking space and turned off the ignition. Dan glanced at her in surprise. He thought she would merely drop him off and leave.

"Brad is going to get jealous when he hears we've been alone," he joked to break the increasing tension. Their friendship over the last three years had evolved from friendly teasing to a rock solid friendship, each unhesitatingly being there for the other through various crises.

"He'll get over it," Kate replied. "I'll miss you. I wish you didn't have to go."

"I know," he replied. "But I'll be back."

"Well, this may sound lame, but I wanted you to write me, if you could. If you need someone to talk to, I'm here."

"I will," he promised. He had been planning on doing that anyways.

"I care for you, you know," she said.

"Same here," he said casually. He ruffled her hair as one might towards another guy. "Hey, why are you so serious now? I'll come back and then we can resume annoying the hell out of each other, as always."

She slid him an unfathomable gaze. "Fine," she said. "Well, I guess this is it then."

Kate leaned towards him, intending to kiss his cheek in farewell. At the last second he turned so that his lips softly met hers. Time stilled for a moment before she pulled away. His green eyes met her wide-eyed brown ones, and his world suddenly shifted from beneath his feet. He stiffened as a sudden realization hit him. He loved her.

"Kate..." he murmured, his voice suddenly husky. "I..." Yet the words crammed in his throat as he tried to express the depth of his emotions to her.

Awkwardly, she cleared her throat and shifted away, as if to put some distance between them. The moment was gone. Dan shook his head, mortified at what he had been about to reveal. She had a boyfriend, for god's sake. She probably didn't feel the same way. To her they were still the best of friends, platonically. He was going away tomorrow. His earth-shattering declaration would have to wait.

"I should go," she mumbled. Not sure of what he was feeling himself, he opened the car door.

"Goodbye, Kate," he said quietly and was gone...

Dan shook himself out of his reverie when the plane landed. He got his gear together and waited patiently while others filed out before him. Everyone was called to formation. The soldiers who were almost home and could certainly hear the cheers of their waiting families expertly lined up in three rows and stood at attention. It was an impressive sight to behold. "Great job!" the Commanding Officer barked. While the senior officers made the usual rousing speeches of "Well done!", Dan tried unsuccessfully to scan for a glimpse of Kate out of the corner of his eye. The speeches lasted another ten minutes.

Finally, the command all had been waiting for: "Dismissed!"

Families and soldiers surged towards each other. Dan walked quickly towards the waiting area. Suddenly he spotted her, standing beside his mom, dad and brother. Kate waved.

"Son!" his mom cried joyously as she ran forward to greet him. He dropped his gear and ran forward as well, embracing his mother in a fierce hug. He could see his dad heartily clap his younger brother on the shoulder, his face all smiles.

He took in the sight of her. She was smiling too, but stood a slight distance from his family as he walked towards his father and brother, one arm around his mother. As if she didn't want to intrude on the family privacy. Was she glad to see him? Did she have any idea of how he felt? Did she feel the same way?

The jubilation he felt at finally reaching home and seeing his loved ones turned to nervousness as he finally stood before her, face to face. She smiled he stepped towards her.

"Hi," he said, his heart full of emotion as he swept her, weightless, into his arms...

to be continued...


sobbing noisily as I work on a new entry for the blog. Yes, its that sappy and romantic. :p

If I am happy with the finished product, I'll post it in a bit...
One evening after work, Mir sits at home watching yet another Hugh Jackman movie. Suddenly the phone rings...

Mir: Hello.

Unknown Voice: Hello Mir, this is Cruz calling.

Mir: OMG! You mean the same Cruz Bustamante that is the Democratic frontrunner in the California recall election against Gray Davis?

Cruz: The one in the same!

Mir: Wow. Why are you calling me? How did you get my number?

Cruz: Well remember when Bush was elected back in 2000? You were so pissed off that you signed up with your regional Democratic Party organization and volunteered to do web development?

Mir: Yes, sir. And I still believe that through the effective use of web development, we can defeat Bush in '04.

Cruz: Riiiiiiiiighhht....Anyways, the reason I called is because I think you are special, Mir. People like you are a vibrant force in the Democratic Party. I really would like to meet YOU personally.

Mir: Wow...I am special! You know I was thinking, I should do a website for you...www.cruz-on-into-the-governorship-2003.com! You can sing show tunes and everything! I am so excited! You know, I was a political science minor in college. I also did an internship at USAID...

Cruz: Err, actually, you have to pay $250 per person. But you get a nice chicken and rice dinner. And you get to meet me...perhaps even a photo op?

Mir: So wait a minute. If the Democratic Party is sponsoring this shindig, doesn't that imply that you think Gray is going to get his ass kicked?

Cruz: *Cough* Well you know I think the recall is a really really bad idea. But, you know, just in case, I'd be a great alternative. You know, just in case. *Laughs* Gotta keep the governorship in the "family", you know! So what say you, Mir? You in or not?

Mir: Oh. Well I guess I'll think about it. That's kind of a lot of money you know. So its going to be at some really fancy, ritzy hotel for that much money right?

Cruz: Actually, its at the Holiday Inn...

Mir: Damn...

*Disclaimer: This conversation didn't actually take place, I got a fundraising letter in the mail. It detailed a chance to meet Cruz at the local Holiday In (they actually spelled it "In" instead of "Inn"). This entry is tongue-in-cheek, so nobody should get offended as it is only a joke. And yes, I am a registered Democrat.

Also, the local Holiday Inn is known as a nice, mid-level priced place to stay, I'm not bashing it in any way either.
Kyren has done it. She has thrown down the gauntlet via this rather nefarious attempt to one-up me in describing the delicious food she eats (although I may never best her tandoori chicken entry).

Then we have the elegantly subtle Katia. She doesn't try to challenge outright, but did you see her comment there? Its so obvious that there is a food blog war going on! And the casualty is my expanding waistline.

I was running late for work this morning, so I didn't have time for coffee or breakfast at home. When I get to work, I visit my usual websites and I read Kyren's blog. Curses! Now I have to make a coffee shop run for some food because I'm so hungry!

So for breakfast I order coffee. When the barista hands me the cup, I take a sniff of the fragrant aroma. It smells delicious. I gently sprinkle sugar into the cup until it suits my taste. Because that is how I like my coffee. Sweet as sin and black as the devil....bwhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa...ahem...

I also order a warm, golden, flaky, buttery croissant fresh from the oven (okay it was nuked). In it the chef has placed a thick slice of honeyed ham and melted Provolone cheese. Cheese that was made by this old nun from cows that frolick all day in the hilly, green lands of Provolone...

I pick up this delectable creation and take my first delicious bite....


(so there!)
My daughter is a very mature five year old who recently started Kindergarten. I took the day off from work so I could "see her off" and ensure her first day of school went smoothly.

In the week preceding the BIG DAY, I took her shopping for school supplies. I remember the excitement I felt when my mother took me shopping for back to school. I wanted my daughter to have that same feeling. She picked out her purple Disney Princess backpack and a Finding Nemo lunchbox complete with its own thermos. I also got some pens (do Kindergarteners need pens?), paper, pencils, erasers, pencil sharpener, a Sharpie, a folder and various other items I thought she might need. I also bought her new shoes, some new shirts and shorts. She also had a haircut. She was ready...

So on the Big Day, we made our way through the chaos of children, parents and teachers. Her hand tightly clutches mine. She carries her lunchbox in the other hand. Her backpack bounces a little each time she takes a step. When we reach the classroom, her teacher Mrs. Thompson is busy handing out "Hi My Name Is..." tags.

Perhaps I am getting maudlin. Here is the little infant I cradled in my arms, smelling of baby powder and that sweet baby scent that is uniquely hers alone. She has always had a family member (me, Hubby or her grandparents) to watch over her for the first five years of her life. Now she will be on her own. Will she make friends easily? (I sure hope so). Will she excel academically? (Of course, this is MY daughter we are talking about here). A degree of control that had formerly been in my hands is now in hers. Her personality and her upbringing will now have to kick in to help her navigate the way. She has been asserting her independence as she gets older. She decides what to wear, what type of foods she wants to eat, how she wants to wear her hair. She understands that she is now responsible for keeping track of her papers, her backpack and lunchbox.

I got a little choked up when I see her get into line with the other kids to walk into the classroom. I gave her a quick kiss and wave goodbye. When school is over and I go to pick her up, she is again walking jauntily in line with the other kids.

"So," I asked her. "How do you like school?"

"I liked it a lot!" she said enthusiastically.

"Is your teacher nice?"


"Did you eat all of your lunch?"

She gave me wounded look. That I would even ask such a question. "Of course I did, Mother," she said. I laughed at her slight sarcasm. This was the same tone I used on my own Mom.

"Is Mr. Smiley (the lunch box icepack) still in your lunchbox?"


"Did you have any problems getting the straw into the juice box on your own?"

She gave me another look. As if I had posed some lame question one would only ask a preschooler. Which she wasn't anymore, of course. "Nope."

"So did you have fun?"

She smiled up at me. "Yep!"

My little girl is growing up.
This Labor Day holiday weekend was very relaxing. It was nice to spend time with Hubby and the kids.

Random things that happened this weekend:

I was in the bedroom typing away on the computer. All of a sudden, smoke begins to fill the room. I jump up in alarm and wonder why the smoke detector hasn't gone off. Then I remember going to Michaels that morning and buying a fog machine. I cannot resist the idea of mysterious plumes of smoke wafting about while little trick-or-treaters venture to our doorway.

"Hubby, stop playing with the fog machine!" I yell.

I hear the sound of mischievious giggles downstairs. I run down and scowl at Hubby and Kid #1 hunched over the little black contraption, as swirls of smoky fog fills the entire house.

"You are supposed to wait till Halloween you know," I tell Hubby. He sticks his tongue out at me. I sigh.


On Saturday morning, the kids wake up at the crack of dawn (as usual). Hubby wakes up with a stiff neck and is in a lot of pain. I get up and stumble to the bathroom medicine cabinet to look for some type of pain medication to give him. The only thing that hasn't expired is my Pamprin. Too bleary and tired to go downstairs and rummage for something else, I give Hubby two fat pills. He chides me later when I tell him what I gave him, but he feels somewhat better, so it can't be that bad.


My in-laws are gracious enough to babysit the kids for a few hours while Hubby and I go out "on a date". We go to this charming little bistro that is very cozy and romantic. I order duck and he orders filet mignon. Tiny little white lights twinkle as we enjoy our food. There is a long rectangular canvas that dominates one wall of the restaurant. It is painted in muted tones of green, as if to depict a landscape. There are horses galloping in the middle of this "painting". Hubby looks closely at the horses.

"My god, those horses are made of bread! They are thorough-breads! Get it? Like thoroughbreds, but they are made of bread?" Hubby exclaims. I laugh.

"Hey, that's pretty good!" I tell him. I lean in a little closer and meet his gaze.
"So, you are in a good mood tonight. Is it because you are with me on a romantic date or is it because you took the Pamprin?"

Hubby rolls his eyes.