Dim Sum Diaries
So the Democratic Nat'l Convention was this week in Boston. Though I told myself last week to keep tabs on it...you know...at least watch the key speeches of my fave political peeps...Slick Willie, Hillary, Madeline Albright, Edwards & Kerry...either I was too busy or seemed slightly apathetic about it. I don't know why.

I mean I'll definitely vote for Kerry in Nov. But since CA isn't considered a battleground state, its hard for me to get very worked up about it. Poll X will show Bush has the lead and Poll Y shows that Kerry is ahead. So its anyone's guess what will happen. I guess I'll just have to hope for the best...

So I bought some makeup this weekend...foundation, powder etc etc etc. Have been maintaining a makeup routine for a week now. Am quite pleased with the result.

The writing is going extremely well too. Chapter one? BANG ON BABY!!! I think I am a very slow writer. I mean, I've been fiddling with Chapter 1 since like April now. I have enough material for 4-5 chapters now...but molding it into something I'm happy with is another matter entirely. Spent the last two days staring at 2 paragraphs...crafting...shaping...tweaking...and I think it turned out pretty well...the first part of a chapter is always the hardest...it sets the tone for that 5000 words...very important. I think the more I write, the easier it seems. So that's pretty good. Though, I must say that as a girl who only grew up w/ girls (one sister and all cousins except 3 who are boys)...I don't feel like I have that much exposure to the male psyche. I mean Hubby does...and Son is helpful in providing insight to the male id...but other then that...

I mean am I walking the fine line between the contrasting notions that are guys really all about food, comfort, sex and bodily functions? The other being the male in romance...the thickly muscled manly man standing tall and proud on some ship...his puffy pirate shirt (with lace at the sleeves and collar) torn open to reveal his manly chest?

I can't believe its not butter, Manly Pirate says, looking deep into the heroine's soulful eyes.

In my own case, the image of my hero...a Marine lewey in full battle rattle (the mustard colored desert combat boots, the camo fatigues, flak jacket/armored vest (I'm not sure what they call it), kevlar helmet, wearing sunglasses and carrying his rifle/gun thingie...confidently looking like the badass he knows he is...

That's the image that is projected in countless books and articles about Soldier X. Its my job to dig behind this facade and look deep into what makes the hero tick. What are his hangups...what is his personality like...stuff like that. Its a lot easier for me to write the heroine...but this guy...Dan...he's leading me on this journey to discovering who he really is. Very enigmatic bugger, he is. He's slowly choosing to reveal himself...but not very easily. Its like pulling teeth. :p

Writing, I have found, is much like preparing Thanksgiving Dinner. There is this work that goes into the preparation...you want everything to be perfect...you slave for hours in the kitchen for the food to be delish...for the presentation to be flawless...and when it is finally ready, you stare with pride at the spread before you. A minute later, it is all gobbled up in a matter of minutes!!!! The eaters then look up at you and say, what's next? When is the next dish? I'm ready for more. Sigh.

Damn, I getting maudlin now. Maybe I better stop listening to the love songs station on Yahoo! Launchcast...

PS - Sean from Doc in the Box, this might be a cool thing for you to have. ;)
Is is just me, or does Kimora Lee Simmons (wife of rap mogul Russell Simmons and baby phat designer) look a little too happy to be under arrest?
George W. Bush (aka Will Farrell) has a very important message for YOU.
Hero Guild Name
Villains fear me.
Heroes envy me.
Mir is...
The Intellectual Toxicologist


Heh heh. Hubby is The Diamond-Tipped WindRunner!! Hubby is my superhero...he was an absolute lamb yesterday...

Co-worker is relating a horrifyingly grossalicious story about her cat that is diabetic. Apparently medicating the cat w/ insulin causes said cat to spew things from its ass (yes, #2) and cat wiped his ass all over co-worker's house...on top of the table...all over the shoes...the walls...on the kitchen counter...its pretty funny if you aren't the owner of that cat. Co-worker's spouse had to stay home today to clean up the mess....

I don't know why I've been bloggin about such gory and gross things recently...weird...
What is the advantage of working next to an organic market? You get a kick ass supply of organic beauty products to choose from!!! Woo hoo! Although I draw the line at organic children's bandaids. :p

I usually don't wear makeup. Its actually quite a proud tradition for the women on my Mom's side to be au naturale. My Aunt G is the proudest of this. "Waxing? Pfffffft!" She would say. I don't know if its a Chinese thing or what.

But time marches on...and eventually...it marches across your face. So I succumbed (DAMN YOU VANITY) and now try to do at least a little beauty routine. Blindly tried to put on makeup at 4 am this morning. Then whilst in the restroom at work, freaked out because I couldn't figure out if the bags under my eyes (so big they could carry a week's worth of grocery home) were A) the result of me not getting enough sleep or B) the result of me being so horrible at putting makeup on half asleep in the middle of the night.

Or it could be the fact that I am going to turn 40 (in eight years).

Concealer is my new best friend. Sigh.
Yeah its Sunday morning...the kids are hyper so I'm taking them to MickeyD's playground to blow off some steam.

I had fun at the zoo camping thing with daughter, although...sleeping at an angle (on a hill) and on the ground is HELLA NOT FUN. Apparently if you buy extreme sleeping bags that can weather -1600 degrees Celcius...maybe they area little too extreme for a balmy summer night. They keep you warm. Too warm. Mayhap I should've bought regular sleeping bags instead. They also had some cool animatronic dinos. I'll blog more about it later. For now, I'll just show you this cute little bunny frolicking...oh and a gigantic dino!!! Oh and a cape buffalo (the second most dangerous animal in Africa...the first is the hippo!)

One of my dorky co-workers sent me a joke email this morning...

A guy is speeding down a highway and he gets pulled over. The cops says, "You were speeding." The guy says,"No, I wasn't,I was going slow." The guy's wife in the passenger seat says,"Yes,he was,Officer,He was speeding the whole time."The guy glares at his wife and says,"Shut up!" Cop says,"I see you don't have your seat belt on,May i ask why?" Guy says,"Well, I saw you were about to pull me over to ask for my license,so i took it off and got out my wallet." Guy's wife says,"No,Officer, He's had the seat belt off the whole time." The guy says to his wife,"What the hell is wrong with you?" The cops leans over to the wife and ask,"Is he always this nasty?"The wife says,"Only when he's drunk."

I read it and had a laugh. Then a light bulb went off in my head and I jumped up and ran over to aforementioned co-worker's cube.

"Oh my god," I said.

"What?" he said, somewhat alarmed.

"You know that joke you just sent me? Its from a speech that James Carville gave awhile ago!"

"Oh," he said. He gave me a side look. "That's nice."

I'm pretty sure he didn't know who James Carville was. "You know, the professional political operative that was instrumental in getting Clinton elected? He's married to Mary Matalin? He's a Democrat and she's a Rebublican?"


I sighed. I think he thought that I was getting a little excited. "Never mind."

"Heh heh," he said. That's what he says when he's glad I'm going back to my cube and not bugging him anymore.

ANYWAYS. Here's the proof (click on the He Said, She Said link on the top right hand side).
Tomorrow I am taking my daughter to the local zoo to spend the night. NO, not to visit my relatives, as some smartasses may try to imply. They have this program for families, where you can spend the night in tents (with food provided) and have a tour of the zoo. This is my idea of roughing it. I've purchased sleeping bags that can endure like -1500 degrees Celcius or something like that. Its pretty cool.

I'll be taking some pics, maybe I'll post them to my photoblog later.

The results of the 2004 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest is quite interesting. Per the website, its an international literary parody contest, the competition honors the memory (if not the reputation) of Victorian novelist Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873). The goal of the contest is childishly simple: entrants are challenged to submit bad opening sentences to imaginary novels. Although best known for "The Last Days of Pompeii" (1834), which has been made into a movie three times, originating the expression "the pen is mightier than the sword," and phrases like "the great unwashed" and "the almighty dollar," Bulwer-Lytton opened his novel Paul Clifford (1830) with the immortal words that the "Peanuts" beagle Snoopy plagiarized for years, "It was a dark and stormy night."

Some of my favorite entries:

She sipped her latte gracefully, unaware of the milk foam droplets building on her mustache, which was not the peachy-fine baby fuzz that Nordic girls might have, but a really dense, dark, hirsute lip-lining row of fur common to southern Mediterranean ladies nearing menopause, and winked at the obviously charmed Spaniard at the next table.
Jeanne Villa
Novato, CA

The legend about Padre Castillo's gold being buried deep in the Blackwolf Hills had lain untold for centuries and will continue to do so for this story is not about hidden treasure, nor is it set in any mountainous terrain whatsoever.
Siew-Fong Yiap
Kowloon, Hong Kong

Sigh. I only hope that one day my prose will be as prose-a-licious as these...

Another great milblog: MY WAR - Fear And Loathing In Iraq.

I tell ya, I'm addicted to these things.
That Hubby has to find out all the latest news about random decisions I make by reading this blog. Guess what honey! I've booked our anniversary vacation!!!!!!!

Just a quick little posty today. Can I just say how much I lurrrrve the weekends?

Had hair done. No more redhead (it was like stoplight red apparently). Decided to go with a warm, blonde tone.

Pronouncement from mother: Looks better, not so funky now.

Got an email from HR (Human Resources) at work last week. I get to take a 2 hour online sexual harrassment course (with a test at the end!!). Everyone on my team was laughing at me because I was the only one that got the email. Apparently I am a sexual harrasser. Then one by one, everyone else on my team got the same email. We're all sexual harrassers!!!! I plan on taking it today, but so far the curriculum reminds me of something like this. Sigh.

In other news, I plan on taking a close look at some cool recipes from Loobylu. That girl has got it goin' on. Yay, butter chicken!!!!
I couldn't resist posting this. We had Hawaiian BBQ for dinner tonight and they always include these soy sauce packets. Apparently one of them was left open and lying next to my daughter.

"I'm STRONG!" my daughter declared emphatically, pounding the table with her fist. The soy sauce packet splattered all over her face and t-shirt. Naturally, she was quite upset.

"Why don't we go and take a bath," I told her. And then to cheer her up, I jokingly said, "And then we'll see if you taste like chicken or beef, okay?" (family joke)

She got into the tub, still sniffling and looked up at me soulfully. "No, Mommy, I taste like soy sauce!" she said plaintively.

Sigh. My daughter...
Here's an idea: Sell your company for $80 million, buy back at $2 million, sell again for $70 million.

If that sounds like its beyond your scope, you can always give your cat an enema.

In other news, writing blockage has now been unblocked. Must see if I can persuade Hubby to bake me some brownies tonight.
Sometimes I wonder what I should do to increase the readership of this blog. Buying textads on various sites is cool, but the costs add up rather quickly. Perhaps I should change the name of the blog. I've noticed many a popular blog includes the word pixel in it. Probably to denote some cool web design affiliation. And as always, the inclusion of the word sex in the title is GAH-ROHN-TEED to bring people to my 'lil corner of the web. How about this....


Can you tell I haven't had my morning coffee yet? -_-

Just a thought! Sheesh!

In the meantime, enjoy the Diary of a Congressional Candidate in Florida's Fourth Congressional District.
I am mentally banging my head against the wall...writer's block...can't get over it...sucks to be me today...

Tom Mauser is sponsoring a online petition urging Congress to renew the assault weapons ban. It has a nifty map that tracks its progress.

His son Daniel Mauser was killed at Columbine.
I went to visit my parents' house in LA this weekend. Not only did I see Spiderman 2 for the fourth time (I'm a geek, yes I know), but its always nice to have some authentic Chinese food for a change.

So we went to this cafe this morning. Its Hong Kong style, meaning its been influenced by the Britsh, so they serve Chinese as well as Western dishes. I had yin yerng, which is a mixture of coffee and tea. If you infuse it with condensed milk...yummy...

So it was my parents and me and my daughter, sitting at a booth and chatting happily. The waiter (who is always nice to us) happens to walk by. My nose is suddenly assaulted by a burst of foul air.

"Oh my god, Mom. What the hell is that smell?" I say in horror.

"I don't smell anything," my Mom replies.

Now my daughter smells it too. "P.U.!!!" she says.

"Its that waiter," my Dad whispers conspiratorially. "He doesn't take a shower very often." As if to affirm that statement, aforementioned waiter passes by and the smell hits me AGAIN.

"Someone should tell him...he needs a shower and some deodorant," I say adamantly.

"Chinese people don't use deodorant," Mom declares.

"He should," I say.

"Well," Mom says again. "He works very hard in the cafe. He works long hours, so maybe he forgot."

I guess. But smelliness aside, it was a lovely breakfast.

And more proof that things in HK have changed since I last kept up with the trends. Like when I was in high school, the Chinese movies they used to make, the hero and heroine, even if getting together, would never kiss onscreen. It's just the way things were done back then. So I was very shocked when my dad gets a bunch of Chinese newspapers and I see THIS on the cover.

"Dad!!!" I say in shock. "What is that?"

"Oh," he says casually. "All the Hong Kong actresses are doing that now."

"She's so obviously airbrushed," I say, as if I am the foremost expert on airbrushed boobage.

"Uh huh," my Dad says, now uncomfortable with the fact that he is now talking to his daughter about juggies.

I decide to give my dad a break and drop the subject. As I am glancing through the magazine, I also spot the latest new boy band.

Sigh. I must be getting old.
Warning: Mir rambles quite a bit in this entry...

Here's something I've been thinking about lately. This year is my ninth year of marriage to a Caucasian man. We fit together rather well...I guess that's why we've been married for so long. ;) I don't really think about the racial aspects of our relationship anymore. Its so widely accepted, nobody really bats an eyelash when they see us as a couple.

Except for maybe when I first introduce myself as one who has an Irish last name (I took Hubbo's last name)...and then they get a Chinese lass! Oh, the initial look of surprise is always hilarious.

Anyways, in writing the manu (about a bi-racial couple, the heroine is Chinese-American), its forced me to revisit my feelings and thoughts of my teenage years/twenties. How did I navigate and manage the clash of the Chinese and American cultures? I honestly don't remember right off the bat. In college, I was the lone Chinese in an all-white crowd. But I did make an effort to "get back w/ being Chinese", for example, trying to order food only in Chinese if I went to a Chinese restaurant, even striking up conversations and charming the waitstaff into giving me free tea because I still spoke the language (I speak Chinglish), despite being born here. These days I've abandoned all pretense of doing that anymore. The waiters speak English well. They know it. I know it. So I just point.

"Let me have the #35 please?"

In terms of a boyfriend, I always preferred a white boy, because they are more open emotionally then Asian guys. Let me qualify that, white boys who are sensitive to Asian culture or open to learning about it.

So in terms of the manu, in me making the hero a white boy who is a Marine who was in Iraq...I've kinda trolled around the web trying to construct the archetype of one who is such (by reading milblogs and the plethora of soldiers/ex-soldiers detailing their experiences in the Gulf). So far I am leaning towards making Dan one who, though a soldier, does not support the war and the reasons behind it. One who wouldn't cheer Lee Greenwood warbling I'm Proud To Be An American as Lee Greenwood parachuted into Baghdad during the early days of the war as some type of psychological assault or declaration of American dominance (not that the singer would or did, I'm just saying that image and all that it connotes is one that I am against). Two milblogs that I visit regularly, Turning Tables and Lt. Smash are good examples of contrasting opinions (though there seem to be more who take Smash's stance).

So here is Dan, an ex-soldier whose poliitcal ideologies mirror mine the heroine's (libbie) AND is sensitive to Asian culture. Heh heh. A tall order indeed.

So anyways, this is something I'm still stewing over in my head. I'll let you know how it goes. :P

BTW, for those of you wondering why I am so preoccupied with writing a story about a Marine, I point you to Suzanne Brockmann, who has written numerous romances about Navy seals. Though she never let politics become a factor in her stories. :p
Kerry and Edwards. Don't they look cute together?

Finally, something to get excited about. Why do I think Kerry and Edwards should win? Kerry said it himself, "This is the dream team. We have better ideas, better vision, a better sense of the difficulties in the lives of average Americans.''

He then paused and added, "And we have better hair.''

Here's an interesting book that I'll probably pick up today,
The Latest Bombshell by Michele Mitchell (a CNN correspondent). Its a fictional story about Washington intrigue. Girlfriend has to defend journalist ex, who is accused of selling secrets to the Chinese. Those crazy Chinese (I can say that because I am)!!!!!! Erm. Chinese. And probably crazy. :p

Speaking of crazy, I like to drive Hubby crazy. :)

I've been listening to a lot of Don Henley recently. I really dig the song "Taking You Home" (listen to the sample...its beyootifulll). I've told my daughter that that song is the song I thought about when she was born. I get all sniffly when I listen to it. I was (and still am convinced) that Hubby would too.

So the other night we were driving to see Spiderman 2 (me for the 3rd time, Hubby for the second). I was like, "Listen to this song! I think you'll cry for joy when you hear it!"

"Whatever you say, dear," Hubby said.

So I made him listen to it, staring intently into his visage, searching for any drop...any glimmer...of tears...

"There! I see one! You're dewey eyed! You're tearing up!! You love this song so much!!!!"

He looked at me askance. "No, I'm not crying yet."

I stuck my face an inch next to his (he's driving this whole time btw) and stared at him continuously.

"There's one!!!"

"Nope, not yet."

The song ends. I see a faint smirky expression from Hubby.

"Guess what, we're going to listen to the song again! I'm absolutely sure you'll cry with emotion this time," I say determinedly.

We drive away into the sunset, with Hubby heaving a deep sigh with Don singing soulfully in the background.

Here are the top 5 things that Mir did over the July 4 weekend:

5. Watched Spiderman 2 three times!

4. BBQ'd with the family and spent time with the kiddies.

3. Got some solid writing time in. Attempted to write first lurrrrrrrve scene. You really have appreciate my effort in trying this. Does the couple have cheesy porn music playing in the background? Is the scene really explicit like Susan Johnson? Or is it lushly passionate in a well-written way like Lisa Kleypas? Or is it like that scene in Naked Gun, where it's just a montage of rockets, missle silos and fireworks and the like? After one stops hyperventilating over the initial he put his what on where and then she did the whatsit on thingamajingy????? Its not that bad...really...its...just interesting...

2. Despite my doctor's strict instructions not to lift anything heavy, I may have lifted a 60 lb box that I wasn't supposed to, injuring myself in the process. Must call doc on Tuesday morning. :(

1. Rested!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Here's a bit of Americana, neat photos of the Bodie Ghost Town, a nicely preserved mining town (via Waxy).

What movie Do you Belong in?(many different outcomes!)
brought to you by Quizilla

BTW, saw Spidey 2 last night. Excellent!!! It rocks!!! Go see it!!!!