Dim Sum Diaries
The Adventures of Seinfeld & Superman. Its friggin hilarious.

Also, one guy's chemistry exam (via Berklee).

Also the book I blogged about yesterday...not as good as I thought it would be... :(
Yes! I just picked up the book I've been waiting for, Flashpoint, by Suzanne Brockmann. Here is an excerpt.

Scene takes place at a seedy strip bar...

A rumor had come in that Lawrence Decker's cover had been blown, and there was an ambush being set to kill him. The Agency's nightshift support staff had attempted to contact him, but had been able to do little more than leave a message on his voicemail.

No one in the office had bothered to get in touch with Diego Nash.

"Nash isn't working this case with Decker," Suellen Foster had informed Tess. "Besides, it's just a rumor."

Nash was more than Decker's partner. He was Decker's friend. Tess had called him even as she ran for the parking lot.

"So what do we do?" Tess asked now, looking up at Nash.

He had eyes the color of melted chocolate -- warm eyes that held a perpetual glint of amusement whenever he came into the office in HQ and flirted with the mostly female support staff. He liked to perch on the edge of Tess's desk in particular, and the other Agency analysts and staffers teased her about his attention. They also warned her of the dangers of dating a field agent, particularly one like Diego Nash, who had a serious double-oh-seven complex.

As if she needed their warning.

Nash sat on her desk because he liked her little bowl of lemon mints, and because she called him "tall, dark and egotistical" right to his perfect cheekbones, and refused to take him seriously.

Right now, though, she was in his world, and she was taking him extremely seriously.

Right now his usually warm eyes were cold and almost flat-looking, as if part of him were a million miles away.

"We do nothing," Nash told Tess now. "You go home."

"I can help."

He'd already dismissed her. "You'll help more by leaving."


"I can get a message to Decker," Tess pointed out. "No one in that bar has ever seen me before."

Nash laughed in her face. "Yeah, what? Are you going to walk over to him with your freckles and your Sunday Church Picnic clothes--"

"These aren't Sunday Church Picnic clothes!" They were running-into-work-on-a-Friday-night-at-10:30-to-pick- up-a-file clothes. Jeans. Sneakers. T-shirt.


Tess looked back down the hall toward the bar, toward the ordering station where the waitresses came to pick up drinks and drop off empty glasses.

"You stand out in this shithole as much as I do wearing this suit," Nash told her. "More. If you walk up to Decker looking the way you're looking..."

There was a stack of small serving trays, right there, by the bartender's cash register.

"He's my friend, too," Tess said. "He needs to be warned, and I can do it."

"No." Finality rang in his voice. "Just walk out the front door, Bailey, get back into your car and--"

Tess took off her T-shirt, unhooked her bra, peeled it down her arms, and handed them both to him.

"What message should I give him?" she asked.

Nash appeared to be completely dumbstruck. He looked at her, looked at the shirt and wispy lace of bra dangling from his hand, looked at her again.

Looked at her. "Jeez, Bailey."

Tess knew she was blushing, she felt the heat in her cheeks as clearly as she felt the coolness from the air conditioning against her bare back and shoulders.

"What should I tell him?" she asked Nash again.

"Damn," he said, laughing a little bit. "Okay. O-kay." He stuffed her clothes into his jacket pocket. "Except you still look like a Sunday School teacher."

Doesn't that sound great? :)
One writer offers his advice to would-be writers...

Here's a pretty nifty app, The Advertising Slogan Generator. Cool ones I've created so far:

Get Busy with the The Dim Sum Diaries.

Strong Enough for a Man, Made for the Dim Sum Diaries.

Washing Machines Live Longer With Dim Sum Diaries.

A Smooth-Running Mir is a Relaxing Experience.

The Real Smell of Mir.

Ha ha ha ha!!!
C-SPAN finally has the video (you have to look for the link on the front page) of the 2004 Radio and Television Correspondents' Association 60th Annual Dinner. This is usuallly when the President speaks and pokes fun at himself and his Cabinet. Bushy's speech shows up at about 24:12.

Another good one is Clinton's 2000 Final Days video.
I used to have a lot of energy to write meaningful blog entries. However, that stream of creative energy is now being used for other things, so I'm reduced to blogging about how I used to blog.

Me still writing manuscript. That's pretty much it. BTW, how does one write a "battle" scene when one has never been in a battle? My gut tells me to add more explosions. How does one move the plot along? Add more explosions. How does one navigate through life's stresses? Add more explosions... I'm not really doing that, btw.

So instead I will link to more pictures of delish Japanese food.

Also, for the more liberally inclined DSD readership, Noam Chomsky has a blog!!! Naturally Noam is gonna get a lot of wacky comments (some people have waaaaaaaaay too much time on their hands).

(both links via Main Primary Objective).
Just found this interesting site via Ernie, a bento moblog. That would be a pretty neat thing to be able to do (assuming you have the inclination, time and energy to do it). Maybe I'll try it sometime on the kiddies (who are currently getting the Americanized version of bento, pb&j, juice box and chips).
Lo-Gung is a chemist and would surely be ashamed of this...but since I am the homework go to person and more artistically inclined then he is, this task fell to me to accomplish...

3 year old son has a preschool science project that had to be completed (see earlier blog entry). Its due this week and since I have to use the laser printer at work, I was going to take half an hour to work on it very quickly. I bought some polished rocks and he was supposed to identify them. Translated, that means I am going to identify them and also put together the whole presentation. So I buy the poster board, even a nifty little sticker kit that has titles such as "Data", "Materials", "Hypothesis", etc etc etc. I didn't think it would be that hard to stick some rocks on a board and make it look all science-y. But my background betrays me...my last science experiment was back in the 4th grade. Mr Dixon, my teacher kept asking me what my experiment was. I told him it was a surprise. He apparently let me get away with that. On the day of my science fair, I had NOTHING. Quickly recalling a trick I had seen before, I quickly grabbed a glass jar, some matches, toothpicks and fork and a spoon. When I got to school, I laced the fork and spoon together putting the circle thingy in the tines, making a arc-y thing (don't you love my technical terms). you stick it in a toothpick, stick it on top of the glass so that this utensil arc is balancing from the glass by only the toothpick...then you burn half of the other toothpick off...and TA DAH!!!! it is still balanced!!!!


"This demonstrates the principles of balance and gravity," I kept telling everyone who would listen. Of course everyone was duly impressed by my toothpick-fork-spoon balancing abilities. I don't remember what grade I received for that one though.

So anyways, fast forward to 2004. I have all the materials...but basically all I intended to do was identify the rocks based on the handy rock guide that came with the rocks. Its pretty mainstream, like hematite and amethysts. But when it came to the actual execution of putting together the project, I panicked. What would be a good title? Rocks Are Our Friends: An Informative Guide To Rocks and Fossils. I pretty much threw out all principles of experimentation that I learned in high school. It has the materials section (rocks, microscope, blown up to 72 font to take up space). The conclusion: "To study rocks is to study a part of our earth and to dig a little deeper about ourselves. For more info, visit the following websites." The clipart volcano I used printed out black and white and looks like an exploding zit.

It gets even better, but I'm busy at work...I'll blog more later about it.
Yep, its the day. Thank you for all of the birthday wishes. Lo-Gung set me up for a day at the spa, so it was a nice blissful day of relaxation. Then Lo-Gung and I had a nice late lunch at a local bistro...which was pretty romantic and the food was excellent. Was finally able to get my eyebrows properly waxed...had been going to this other cheapie place next to work where they always seemed to shape one brow thicker then the other...making me look like I had one eyebrow arched perpetually in surprise or something.

In regards to the agent thingie...still pretty surprised about that. A bunch of us met at this local Mexican restaurant...where my group had set the meeting up. This agent met us in groups...5 each time...and we had a few minutes to pitch our story. She is the agent for a couple of the published authors in our group. I read her my summary somewhat woodenly...and tried to make it sound interesting...and to my surprise, she said it sounded "cute", and to send her the first 3 chapters and a synopsis. I was semi-excited...but it didn't really hit me until the next day when she spoke at our monthly romance group meeting and detailed just how hard it was to get her attention...so...its a big thing, I guess. The story is really shaping up now. I need to sit my butt down and really hammer it out.

I'll let you know as more happens...
Agent wants 1st 3 chapters and a synopsis!!!!!!
This weekend is going to be hella busy. Tomorrow my romance group and I are having dinner with an AGENT. A live agent! So that's pretty exciting. Everyone attending the dinner gets the chance to make a quick verbal pitch to aforementioned agent. So basically you have to sum up the heart and soul of your story in a few lines. Some of the published authors were kind enough to provide an example via email...

I'm writing a pirate historical romance set in Colonial America and the high seas. A pirate's daughter goes in search of riches promised in a treasure map, unaware that the handsome rogue who assists her is really the man who killed her father.

This is actually from the coverflat of this author's latest book. And so it is with some trepidation that I begin to craft these few integral sentences that will determine my entire future...no...no pressure at all... o_O

Here are a few that I've rejected so far:

Forrest Gump style:

Dramatic Movie/Romance style:
From the hot desert sands of Iraq to the romantic city of Paris to the jungles of Berkeley, California....the romance of Kate and Dan burned with the intensity of a thousand fires...their passion, the strength of 10 tigers!!!...could not be denied..........

Yeah ok, maybe I should concentrate on the actual pitch itself.

So then my birthday is coming up on Monday. Quite traumatic. I've been freaking out...don't ask...its a long story...
So I guess its official, my Remember When entry won the BlogMadness 2003 competition. Wow!

Thanks to everyone who voted for me and to Rand, Effy and Jedi (who were my biggest cheerleaders), the rt.com guys and Lo-Gung. Thanks to Pete & Manny for hosting such a cool competition. Not only did I discover many great blogs, this compeition imparted a dose of much needed confidence to my writings in this blog. And thus begins my very meandering and slow-moving journey as an embryo writer (yes I'm still working on that manuscript).

Thanks again, everyone! :)
Bloggers are a tightly-knit community. At least it seems so to me. You have your certain list of daily reads, sometimes you find a cool new blog by accident. You link to them, comment on one of their entries, they make their way back to your website and perhaps comment or show the link love to you as well. Sometimes you get to be buddies and you actually establish a relationship with them (sometimes its halfway around the world). You actually get to know the person, etc etc etc.

Maybe its a blog you read on a semi-regular basis, you don't know each other, but you know of each other's blogs, much like an acquaintance.

Either way, I think it is really cool.

Just found out via Lt. Smash that Bob Zangas, a blogger who was a Marine Corps Reservist working in a civilian capacity for the Coalition Provisional Authority, was killed last Wednesday in an ambush south of Baghdad.

I didn't know him, but it becomes more personal for me because this guy and I had something in common, we are both bloggers. People are paying their final respects here.
Apparently almost anything can kill you now...one must be wary of this latest threat, dihydrogen monoxide.

Lo-Gung and his chemistry crony (aka Sushi-Man) and KK (the beautiful, intelligent chemistry colleague - torturing J is fun, yes?) will probably get a kick out of this one. Also, one of my relatives lives in this city, so that makes it even funnier.
Man, I need to clone myself. Because I have to be at work at 5:30 am, Lo-Gung drops the kids off at their respective schools. Which means that unless I make the effort to keep myself informed regarding school related activities, I am totally out of the loop. Quizzing Lo-Gung or FIL (father-in-law) about school is no good either. You can interchange those two MALES...and get the exact same response/amount of information.

Me: So how is Son's school going?

[subtext - What I Really Mean]: Give me the info, the inside scoop about everything. Tell me that Parent-Teacher conference signups are not out yet but will be by Wednesday so I can get a good slot. Also tell me that the Science Fair is coming up and we need to sign up for something and get it in by next week. And that you need to pick up an information sheet about what the acceptable format for the science project is.

Lo-Gung or FIL: Good.

[subtext - What They Really Mean]: Yup, its good.

So I guess I'll have to make a habit of showing up to the kids' school at least 1x a week. -_-

So then when I do show up to the school today, I am informed I have to "pick" a science experiemnt. I leaf through a folder full of experiments.

"Oh, this sounds good," Janice, the preschool director tells me. "Why don't you do this one?"

Simple Machines - Screw. You need a wood peg, a golf tee, a nail and a slab of styrofoam. 1) Try pushing the wood peg into the styrofoam. 2) Now try pushing the golf tee into the foam. 3) Push the nails into the foam. What do you observe?

I stare blankly at the instructions. I'm not sure what I would observe, besides the obvious. Noticing my lack of comprehension, Janice goes on to read the conclusion helpfully provided on the bottom for dorks like me.

A wedge has one wide end and a sharp pointed end. It is used to split or seperate things. The nails and golf tees are wedges. They go into the styrofoam more easily then the peg.

Many things race through my mind at that point. A wedge? Isn't that like a wedge of cheese? And a peg is like a pirate's peg leg...I'm pretty sure in a contest a pirate's peg leg would kick the wedge of cheese's ass in a styrofoam stabbing contest any day...but then I realize that sounds lame...so I merely nod and say, "Good."

About half an hour a few minutes later, the light of comprehension finally dawns on me...oh...a nail is a wedge because of the shape of its tip...okay...I get it now...

Mrs. Giggles is da bomb. I recently read one of her reviews, which reminded me of the badly written romance that I blogged about before.

Apparently, it involves the hero named Ronin and the heroine in flagrante delicto...while Ronin is riding a horse...at least I hope he's riding the horse, not RIDING the horse...nudge nudge...wink wink...

his c**k immediately sprang free, almost purple with passion, the veins along the shaft pulsing... he shoved his massive member into the delicate, pinkening center... his harsh sound and clenched thighs angered the horse and he again rose up in a tremendous rear.

Mrs. Giggles points out, "This scene is really impressive because not only can I not determine which animal, human or horse, Ronin is "shoving his massive member" into, but delicate, pinkening center? What on earth is that?"

And before the male slaves boo and hiss about romances, I might remind you that you've read several already at my behest (DAN AND KATE!!!). So ha ha.
Ever wonder how a man and woman are different?
Whoa! The final round of Blogmadness begins tonight!! So like go read the entries and vote!

And there is nothing like having children to keep you grounded in reality...

Me: Oh look! You drew a nice picture! Is that me?

Daughter: Yes!

Me: Wow, its so nice. Wait a minute, why is my belly button hanging down round my knees?

Daughter: Because you're old. But I still love you!

Me: ...

BTW, the next best thing to writing... is buying books about writing (when you have writer's block)...

Joyeuse Anniversaire, Dim Sum Diaries!

*Cue dramatic music* (refer to this if you need inspiration)

A year ago today...The Dim Sum Diaries was started to scratch my itch to write...something...anything...and a year later...its grown. There is now a small but loyal following (thanks everyone!) and I really enjoy blogging...

So...in celebration of the event I'm giving away 1000 goodies bags to the first 1000 people who come here and comment! OK, not really, but Cyc was kind enough to draw an anniversary pictoral commemorating a year of DSD. Without further fanfare, here it is.

So thanks Cyc, you totally rock! :)
I didn't realize how conservative some of the older Asians at my company, a mid-sized one based in the Midwest really were...until recently...so remember I blogged about my friend, the older, more conservative/traditional Vietnamese lady (who was not born here) from my work?

I still delight in freaking her out from time to time. Like one time, she was getting something out from a drawer at the office supply area. I walk up behind her and in a deep, booming voice, I say, "Nice skirt there, sexy mama!" She jumps up and turns around, ready to bash someone on the head, then sighs when she sees its only me. You think that she would know who calls her sexy mama by now. Of course, delighting in scandalizing the older people with your newfangled Americanized ways (albeit sometimes unintentionally) can sometimes come back to bite you in the ass...

So anyways, she and I power-walk together from time to time. Three other traditional, older Asian males usually walk with us too. Since its been pretty warm lately, I decided to wear this racer-back tank sports top to walk. I wore a t-shirt over it (fearing comments from the more conservative people) in the office, but as soon as we hit outside, I took the t-shirt off.

As soon as we start walking, the three guys see the tank top and start chattering in Cantonese about the fact that I'm wearing a tank top. I give them the EYE and say, "Hello, I can only understand everything you guys are saying!!!"

Silence ensues. T speaks up. "Oh...we were just wondering about your tattoo on your right shoulder."

"You mean the butterfly with my Chinese name?"

"Yes," the three stooges chorus together in scandalized delight. "We were discussing what it means in Chinese."

"It means beautiful clouds. Sheesh. Its only a tatoo."

Of course then we had to have a full and deep discussion about whether getting a tatoo hurt or not. One of the guys had the audacity to ask whether I had any more tattoos in any other places. I wondered if "Shut the hell up" would be an appropriate repsonse but then I just ignored him.

Next time I'm gonna wear one of these shirts to work instead.

In other news:

Thanks to everyone for voting for me in BlogMadness, it was a spirited round with Interested-Participant. The final round is coming up soon.

Also, tomorrow is the 1st year anniversary of DSD, so look for a neato, nifty surprise tomorrow!

Update: Couldn't resist posting this interesting analysis (real player) of Karl Rove's strategy to re-elect Bushy.
This is the round before the final round for BlogMadness 2003. I'm up against Interested-Participant this time, so go check out his entry and vote ton conscience.

I seem to be in an anti-blogging funk lately, I don't know why. But in the meantime...here is an interactive and somewhat humorous voting guide you might enjoy.
Last night Colin Firth hosted SNL with Norah Jones as the musical guest. So OF COURSE I had to watch it...sigh...there's just something about that Mr. Darcy taking your hand, kissing it gently...looking intently into your eyes...and declaring in that SEXY British accent of his with those underlying hints of vulnerability...

Let me...allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you...you are too generous to trifle with me. If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes are unchanged, but one word from you will silence me on this subject forever.

*Huge sob*

And of course, Hugh Jackman is on Bravo tonight...must watch...
Read and vote in the latest round. r80o has one of the funniest entries in the competition.


Oye (Lame Title But I Can't Think Of Anything Else)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Paul reminded me of something I heard on NPR the other day, about the Pew Internet and American Life Project. They released this report that only 2% of those surveyed maintain web logs. I was surprised at how low the number is.

Tis almost a year since I've started blogging on The Dim Sum Diaries. I had just turned 31...the terror...the trauma of getting older...I had to do something drastic...I had my hair colored!! And I turned to blogging. I try to post something every other day. And though I don't reveal all aspects of my life, I do talk about some of it. What I'm going through daily, linking to something funny or if I'm feeling strongly about something, blogging seems to help me get through life.

So in a few weeks I'm turning 32. I can definitely say that blogging has been a positive experience. I've met a bunch of new people and been exposed to some cool blogs. Some of the news that I read on the main news websites, I find out about sooner on blogs. I'm writing on a daily basis and now at least I have 3500 words towards a manuscript that I didn't have a year ago. Now if I could just win the lottery, find the cure for cancer and achieve world peace, life would be good. :p

More: I forgot to add that I want to thank all the readers of DSD for being so supportive and loyal. From those who have been there from the beginning, to those who have recently found my 'lil corner of the web (there, I actually used the term!), y'all definitely make the blogging experience more enjoyable.

Also, I always thought I was an open person emotionally...liking to talk about my feelings and all that stuff...but it turns out I really don't. I keep a lot of stuff inside me...but sometimes blog about it. There's something vaguely disturbing when Lo-Gung and my parents find out more about me...my thoughts and feelings...by reading the blog then by talking to me in person. Go figure.
Well I guess its no secret that I'm taking Dan & Kate's story, a three part short story I wrote last year and trying to develop it into a full length manuscript.

I just finished sketching out the bare bones of a scene and I'm sobbing because I'm so emotional over it. Its that good! Or maybe I'm just a big emotional sop. Who knows. Anyways, I've made some changes to the story and I thought it would be good to list the changes I've made:

1. I now have a detailed idea of what Dan looks like.

2. Kate is now a lawyer instead of a web developer.

3. Dan becomes an Army man instead of the Marines. Mostly because it seems that I've been reading more Army blogs and have access to pumping some ex-Army guys for information. Even though I live near a base, I really can't imagine myself going up to a Marine and saying, "Excuse me, do you mind baring your soul to me? I would like to use you as research material." My initial hope is that a bunch of them in dress blues will break out singing, "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" by the Righteous Brothers, but I'm not counting on it.

4. Aforementioned Army man Hover Tanker (dubbed Hovey Lovey) is briefing me on the intricacies of mil life. "Your man Dan is a butter bar (2nd lewey)????"

5. Uh...that's all I can think of right now. I'm off to cook dinner.
Back in Dec. 2003 there was an email floating around about troops in Iraq who were requesting letters or care packages from people back home.

So I sent a couple of packages. A female soldier just sent me an email...

Hello there my name is SPC A. O., a soldier of the United States of America ARMY. Currently I am one of those listed on that email that went around and was posted in several websites requesting mail. I am really glad and sincerely thank you so much for all the support you have given to us the troops fighting for Operation Iraqi Freedom. By receiving all these letters and packages just shows me how much more we are appreciated by the citizens of the United States of America. The packages were shared amongst all the troops.

Again from all of us, THANK YOU!

So that's pretty cool to get a response back. :)

That stream of creative energy that enables me write---it waxes and wanes, depending on whats going on in my life. Right now its going pretty well. To tell you the truth, I don't even know why I'm blogging about this. I'm at work, haven't had my morning coffee and thus am not quite awake yet. My head is filled with Dan & Kate...and I have to be at work for 8 hours. Weird stuff. Being creatively "in the zone" leaves me rather distracted and muddled in general...

And I had this really odd thing occur to me yesterday.

Since I listen to Yahoo! LaunchCast at work a lot, I sometimes hear snippets of Jeff Foxworthy's comedy albums. I enjoy it. So then I go to a Hallmark store yesterday. I'm browsing around...and who do I spot? OMG its Jeff Foxworthy! Live! In person! I am totally floored.

"How you doing?" he asks me.

"F-f-fine...uh...how you doing Jeff Foxworthy?" I ask.

"I'm good. Hey I just made you a peanut butter sandwich. And I smushed it up real good. You know you are a redneck if you like smushed peanut butter sandwiches!" Then he hands me the sandwich. "Pretty funky situation, eh? You should blog about this!!"

And I was like, "Yeah! This is pretty damn blogworthy!!"

Then I wake up and realize I'm a total dork...it was some weird-ass dream...dreaming about blogging...that is so weird...

Ok...back to work then...
The creative juices are finally flowing!! I'm on a roll in terms of writing...now all I have to do is get some good writing time in...hopefully after the kids are in bed...and First Lieutenant Dan Huffman is toast...

*Mir laughs evilly*

PS- Best compliment I ever got on Dan & Kate's story...a female chat buddy asking..."So...is Dan single or what? Cuz I'd like to meet him..."
The next round of BlogMadness has started. Read again and vote!