Dim Sum Diaries
I went and saw Fahrenheit 911 (just like Fresburger!!!!) last night. I really enjoyed it, though it was slightly depressing.

Surprisingly, the theater was completely full for a Tuesday night showing. I sat in the front and everyone in the theater was riveted. I got out about 10 pm. If I waited two more hours, I could probably catch Spidey 2, but then common sense prevailed (I'm not a spring chicken anymore, eh).
Hmm...I think I kind of went on a book buying binge yesterday.

I zoomed out at 9:30 last night to Walmart because I read on a bbs that Julia Quinn's When He Was Wicked was on display!! Bagged the book and spent the next 2.5 hours devouring every word of it. Keep in mind that I usually go to bed by 9:00 pm because I have to get up at 4:00 am to go to work. But it was well worth it. Not only was it well written, but it conveyed a depth of emotion that had me sniffling the whole time. I loved it.

The next one to obsess over is coming out in November, which is Lisa Kleypas' book, Secrets of a Summer Night.

Of course earlier in the day, I stopped at the bookstore after work trying to find the aforementioned Julia Quinn book at Borders Books (they didn't have it). In a fit of desperation, I bought The Da Vinci Code on audio tape (sounded pretty good...do Sophie and Rob get together? Do they? Do they???) and Harvard's Education (Sigh...I love romances involving NAVY Seals).

Kiddies are well on their way to mirroring their Mom on their love of books, which is a good thing.

Why do I love reading books? Its definitely nice to immerse yourself and escape somewhere for a few hours. Why is writing even better (at least to me)? Because you can totally control the universe and the characters you create. Where you can determine the ending that takes place. In my book, its always a happy one where the hero and the heroine get together in the end. How I wish I could translate a happy ending to real life (see my prevous post).

Oh well, if all else fails, I can always read SAT Vocabulary novels. *shudder*
The fate of U.S. Army Spc. Matt Maupin.

Mir Deems Today Happy Unofficial Grandparents/In-Laws Day

Sigh. Today's blog entry is dedicated to my in-laws. I really have to hand it to them. I suppose there are certain situations (very limited) in which one could possibly consider that I, Mir, am a very demanding person. Throw in an absent-minded Hubby and two kids and you've got a very interesting mix.

So my darling daughter gets to go to summer day camp this week. She is very excited about it because it is a cool summer day camp (because I am a cool Mom who sends her kids to cool summer day camps). So I call my father-in-law (FIL) this morning.

"So FIL, you are taking P (my daughter) to camp today, eh?" I say.

"No," he said. "J (aka absent-minded Hubby, his son) is taking her."

"Oh," I said. "I thought you were supposed to take her. Let me call you back."

I frantically call Hubby. "Why are you taking P to camp? FIL is supposed to take P to camp!"

"Oh," says Hubby casually. "Did I mention that I'm driving P to camp? Where is it by the way?"

"Damn it!" I say urgently. "Its 25 minutes away from where you are! How are you going to get to work on time???"

"Oh," he said contritely. "I guess I should have told you."

"Well, you better go humbly ask FIL to take P then."


So I wait 10 minutes for Hubby to drop P off at FIL's house, then call Hubby again.

"So how did it go?" I asked him.

"Not good," he said grimly. "They're mad at me."

"Why?" I asked.

"Because FIL wasn't even dressed and he has to drive a long ass distance. And then I parked on the right side of the driveway. When MIL (his mom, my mother-in-law) tried to back out of the garage (which was on the left side), in trying to avoid my car, she angled too far to the left and tore the driver's side mirror off."

Oops. So me, in a frantic rush, call the YMCA, who is sponsoring the camp to find out we have about 15 minutes of wiggle room to show up before camp really starts.

I call FIL on his cell phone (which he finally turns on).

"Hi FIL," I say humbly. "Thanks for driving P to camp. I'd like to take you and MIL out to dinner out tonight to thank you for doing all this driving. And for watching the kids."

"Oh, I think that's a good idea," FIL says ominiously.

I'm a blogging maniac today. I was glancing through my Romantic Times Monthly, and I couldn't resist blogging about this.

It lists what some publishing houses are looking for in a manuscript. Sometimes it will say, oh we want paranormal, chick-lit, detective-police-crime, etc etc etc. Then I happened upon this one p.h., I've never seen such specificity in their demands of a manuscript. The italicized stuff is their actual, honest to god words...

The focus of the plot should be the romance and interaction between the hero and the heroine. Good sub-genre plots such as mystery, adventure or humor are also welcome. Social issues are okay as long as they don't overwhelm the story.

So far so good eh?

The hero is tall, dark and handsome with issues of trust, fear or some other flaw, but he must be honest. The heroine is beautiful, smart, and successful with issues of trust or fear, but she can't be a man-hater.

Short, ugly dumb people need not apply.

She can't be sexually involved with anyone at the time she meets the hero and he can't be emotionally involved with anyone at the time he meets the heroine.

I swear to God this actually says this.

What does this mean? She can't be bonking someone but she can be in love with someone else? While the hero can be doing the nasty with some girl as long as he's not emotionally involved with her? In the beginning that is. o_O

Professions, educatioin and social status may vary, but remember the audience is primarily educated and middle class.

Fair enough, they are highly aware of their target demographic.

Profanity in text (not dialogue) is not allowed and abusive language is discouraged.

Acceptable: "Damn," she said angrily.

Not Acceptable: Damn, she was angry.

Also, the couple should not be living together; that indicates that there is little commitment.


Surprisingly, such stringent requirements are not demanded by an Inspirational/Christian line, its the BET Books line.
Microsoft is boosting its storage capacity for email, with 250 megabytes for users of its free MSN Hotmail. Paying users get 2 gigs.

Its about time...
Well, thats it. Hubby and I have talked about it for a long time, and it has finally come to pass.

We are moving to Sweden!!!!

Why? Because we are striking out to make our fortunes there!

And what do we have to do to become filthy rich in Sweden?

Why, dear reader, I am so glad you asked. First, Hubby has to wander the forests of Northern Sweden and look for some abandoned baby female moose calves.

Then he must tame them...and when they grow up, he will milk them (apparently it takes two hours per moose).

Then I, Farmer Mir will take that milk and make it into moose cheese, and sell it for $500 a lb.

And that is only the first step in my plan for world domination. Then I can concentrate on writing full time as Hubby takes over the moose cheese making business and then I will become a famous author...and win the Pulitzer Prize for best romance of the century...

Yeah okay...probably not but its always a good backup plan.

Speaking of weird things...I had a dream that I met fellow bloggers Kyren and Katia in Paris and we had tea. o_O

I think that's what happens when I get on these writing jags...my brain gets all loopy...

(shutup Rand).

Well I decided to post an excerpt from the manu. Kate (the heroine) is at a party and caught between a rock and a hard place. She uses her keen intellect in trying to escape her dire situation...

Kate was currently seated next to her Aunt Regina, who seemed determined to lecture Kate on the duties of being a responsible adult. It was a lecture she’d heard countless times before, so Kate had tuned Aunt Regina out early on, providing only the occasional “Uh-huh” or “Yes, Auntie” while she kept an eye out for Dan.

“Kate, you’re not a little kid anymore. You have responsibilities.” Aunt Regina said sternly. “You need to start saving at least 10% of your disposable income each month. It’s very important!”

“Uh-huh.” Where was he? If he didn’t show up in exactly one minute, she was going to storm the bathroom.

“You’re complexion is so green! You’re not eating enough, are you?” Aunt Regina pinched her cheeks. “Hamburgers for dinner every day aren’t good for you!”

“I’m not green!” Kate said in protest.

Aunt Regina continued on as if she hadn’t heard Kate. “You tell your Mom to teach you how to cook real Chinese food. It’s more nutritious then those French fries!”


“And,” her Aunt Regina continued, “You need to keep in touch with your parents at least once a week. Your Mom says she hasn’t seen you in at least a month! Is it so hard to pick up the phone and talk to your poor old Mom?”


“It is?” Aunt Regina inquired sharply.

“Is what?” Kate said absently.

“So hard to call your Mom?”

Oops. Aunt Regina was sure to lecture her for another half an hour for being inattentive. Spying her Cousin David walking by, she jumped up and grabbed his arm as if it was a lifeline.

“David! My darling cousin!” The look of terror in his eyes would have made Kate laugh if she hadn’t been so intent on escape herself.

“What did I do?” David said warily.

“Save me from Auntie R. If you don’t help me out I’ll tell your Mom you think she smells like eucalyptus oil,” she whispered fiercely as she pulled him over to where Aunt Regina sat.

“You’re going to owe me for this. And she does smell like eucalyptus oil,” David muttered under his breath.

“Yeah fine,” she whispered back. Then in a louder voice, she addressed her aunt. “Just a minute, Auntie, I’ll be right back. In the meantime, David said he really wanted to hear about disposable income.”

And with that parting shot, she was free.

Update: Forgot to mention that this one is for VT005, who is in Iraq. Stay safe bud.

Update Update: If anyone would like to contribute ideas as to what is "good lecture material" from thine elders, please feel free to note them in the comments. Thanks!
I'm at my parents' house this weekend, visiting for Father's Day. Surprisingly, its been pretty restful. Maybe its because I got to actually sleep in late (yay!) while my mother had to get up at the crack of dawn to feed the hungry horde (el kiddos). Its nice to get a break once in awhile. I also got some good writing time in. After a two week dry spell, I'm getting into the groove again, baby. I also got a chance to watch Dodgeball, with Ben Stiller. Its pretty damn funny.

I will now take a moment to reflect on my kids:

My daughter has now finished kindergarten and insists she is a first grader. "No more baby stuff for me!" she says. She is growing up so fast. I think she is also more advanced then me then I was when I was her age (does that make sense?). Riding a two wheeler without training wheels? It took her a day to figure it out (with Hubby's help). Me? It took me two weeks when I was 9!!!!!!

My son is in his terrible threes stage now. Sigh. He is trying to test his independence. I think he knows how to work the system (me). He'll come up to me and give me a big smacking kiss. "I love you mommy!" he yells and I completely melt. Then of course he has his devious side...where he somehow got a hold of my tube of lipstick (Mac, no less) and smeared it all over himself, his bed and his beside table (luckily not the wall). Deep sigh. My mom is into knitting hats for everyone so I suggested she knit my son this (via Loobylu).

Stinky butt sons are always the best form of birth control, I say.
I'm going to watch The Terminal this weekend, which is based loosely on the story of Merhan Karimi Nasseri. Fascinating stuff.

Also, cannot get enough of Julia Quinn's upcoming book, When He Was Wicked. Read the excellent excerpt here. The juicy intro:

In every life there is a turning point. A moment so tremendous, so sharp and clear that one feels as if one's been hit in the chest, all the breath knocked out, and one knows, absolutely knows without the merest hint of a shadow of a doubt that one's life will never be the same.

For Michael Stirling, that moment came the first time he laid eyes on Francesca Bridgerton.

After a lifetime of chasing women, of smiling slyly as they chased him, of allowing himself to be caught and then turning the tables until he was the victor, of caressing and kissing and making love to them but never actually allowing his heart to become engaged, he took one look at Francesca Bridgerton and fell so fast and so hard into love it was a wonder he managed to remain standing.

Unfortunately for Michael, however, Francesca's surname was to remain Bridgerton a mere thirty-six hours longer; the occasion of their meeting was, lamentably, a supper celebrating her imminent wedding to his cousin.

Sigh. I love broody, tortured heroes. :)
Hubby and I have been in this BBQ'ing mood lately. It is fun to do when the days are long. We open up all the windows and there is a nice breeze blowing through the house. Yesterday I bought some chicken thighs and drumsticks and soaked it in a beer marinade for a few hours. I used this big ass, super-sized can of Budweiser and the chicken completely soaked it all up! After Hubby started grilling the meat, he brushed a honey bbq glaze on it. The chicken was plump, juicy and delicious. I cooked some rice (acknowledging my Asian heritage) and creamed corn (for some reason, I've always eaten creamed corn with bbq and rice...I am now passing the tradition onto my kids. Hubby used to think it was weird but now he loves it so much).

Started reading Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss. Apparently it was a runaway bestseller in the UK. It sounds interesting, so I'll let you know how it goes.

The back cover gives one satirical example on how punctuation can be misued:

A panda walked into a cafe. He ordered a sandwich, ate it, then pulled out a gun and shot the waiter. 'Why?' groaned the injured man. The panda shrugged, tossed him a badly punctuated wildlife manual and walked out. And sure enough, when the waiter consulted the book, he found an explanation. 'Panda,' ran the entry for his assailant. 'Large black and white mammal native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves.'
Well, that does it. Apple Customer Care has officially screwed me over. I dearly love my iBook...but when I get my next laptop, it will NOT BE A MAC.

Since the year warranty on my iBook was almost up, I decided to go ahead and buy the AppleCare warranty. Biggest mistake of this year. Because I am a dork who wasn't paying attention when I called Apple Sales, I was sold the PowerBook warranty instead of the iBook one. I didn't realize this until later, so when they shipped it, I refused to sign for it so it could be sent back to Apple and I could be given a credit. This was back on 5/21/04. So on 6/4 I call Apple to check the status. The package is still at the FedEx warehouse, but they will request that the package be sent back to Apple so I can be given a credit. So as of today I still haven't heard anything, so I decide to call to see what's up. After being put on hold for 20 minutes, I am informed that the package is in limbo. No new tracking # has been issued for the return, Raymond (or maybe his name is Bill?) unhelpfully says. You'll have to call FedEx yourself and see if you can find it yourself.

Not so, I say. I would like to speak to your manager. 10 minutes later, Leanne the supervisor comes on the phone and says, oh, why don't you just buy the correct apple warranty and we'll put a tracer on the missing package then you'll be given a credit. I'm not sure if I should talk to her about buying the new warranty? I'll even give you free overnight shipping, she says. Have a great day! Click.

Now I am really confused! Did I already buy the second warranty? What just happened? So I call back, get the regular applecare tech. Do you know Leanne, I say? Nope, the tech unhelpfully says. I'll have to transfer you to the same resolution department. So on hold I go for another 20 minutes. The hold music is creepy and boring. Finally another tech guy comes on. I explain the situation to him. Should I talk to Leanne again, I ask?

No, he says. You should talk to Sales about buying the new warranty. He'll kindly transfer me. Wait a minute, I say. How are they going to know about the free overnight shipping?

Oh, after Sales takes your money, have them transfer you back over to us, then we'll give you free shipping. And you can keep calling back about the credit too. We know you love the hold music so much. Of course, he puts me on hold again. I am ready to stick my cell phone up this guy's ass. I am so pissed off with the hoops I have to jump through in order to get a credit. Its not my fault that FedEx is a slacker. It should be your problem, not mine. I hang up the phone.

When I get home, I get on the phone with my credit card company and tell them about the dispute with Apple. So I'm not liable for the amount anymore. I don't know when I'm going to get the credit from Apple...maybe next year some time. But now they can take it up with my credit card company.

I find it quite ironic that I paid $239 for extended excellent customer care and in the process of getting customer care for the customer care, I get completely screwed.

So you just lost me as a customer, Apple computers. My next laptop will be a non-Mac.
I am a 60% Blogaholic (via Kyren)!

You are a dedicated weblogger. You post frequently because you enjoy weblogging a lot, yet you still manage to have a social life. You're the best kind of weblogger. Way to go!
Well, I did it.

I officially did research for my manuscript! And it was quite exciting, let me tell you!

Since the heroine, Kate, is a professional political operative, I thought it might be useful to get some insight on what it takes to be a PPO. So I decided to attend an event sponsored by the National Women's Political Caucus of CA. It was titled Campaign Matters: A Political Skills Training Course. They try to encourage/support women to run for elected positions by training them and their staffers on effective methods of running a successful campaign. It sounded pretty cool, and since it was sponsored by Lifetime Television for Women and Loews, it sounded legit (too legit to quit!)

Let me first say that Coronado is on the very southern tip of San Diego, and is quite a picturesque beach resort town. There is also a big Naval presence there, so as I drove slowly through the town, I looked quite avidly for signs of any muscular Navy SEALs who may have been jogging/working out/training with no shirts on. You know...with all those gleaming pecs...wearing only the skimpiest of shorts...but no such luck. :(

I was loving it. The coastal fog chilled the morning air and shrouded the gunmetal grey ocean waters. I was really enjoying the scenery when I happened upon my destination. After parking and wandering around aimlessly for a few minutes, I followed a trail of women heading towards a particular ballroom. I signed in, got my materials and sat down. There was a full continental breakfast and these cute little bottles of Evian water, so I grabbed an Evian and some food and sat my butt down. Eventually, the room began to fill up. The people at my table began to introduce themselves. Their first questions to each other are "Are you running for office?" and "What is your political experience?".

Everyone had a little spiel going...

"I am the Executive Politcal Director for this organization..."

"I did some graphics for this candidate and they loved it!!!"

"I did some field work for Kerry..."

Stuff like that. When it came to my turn, I kind of froze. No, I was not running for political office. I hadn't really thought ahead to what I would say. I mean would it be weird if I revealed my true purpose?

My true purpose:

I am interested in the political process (I minored in Poli Sigh in college), but actually I'm here to do research for a book...

That would sound kind of stalkerish, wouldn't it? They'd probably think I was a secret spy or something????

What Was On The Tip Of My Tongue

Hellz yeah I was a campaign manager! I ran this guy's election campaign like a well-oiled machine! His name was Giovanni Mauro and I had artfully put up signs all over the place with the following tag that really resonated with people---"Giovanni Mauro, the candidate of tomorrow...TODAY!" He won too. By a landslide. Yeah, he was a much loved high school class president...

What I Actually Said

Uh...Cuz I'm interested...

The first two speakers were pretty cool, they talked about campaign fundraising and crafting the campaign message. Maybe I'll post some of the cool stuff I learned about, but for now I'll concentrate on what happened today. Because I did minor in Poli Sigh in college and I have always been interested in politics, i snidely considered myself somewhat an expert on the general political process. It also helps to watch The West Wing on DVD over and over and over and over...

So then it was really cool because the first chick who was talking...and she referred to this other political group, called Emily's List. I wanted to jump up and shout:


and do a cheerleading pose like Mary-Katherine Gallagher in SNL. But of course, I didn't. :P

So then!! This guy in a suit seats himself next to me. He seems to be a little overdressed, but it turns out that he is the third speaker. His name is Dan Rosenberg...remember his name, if you will...I have a little beef with Mr. Rosenberg.

So remember that cute little bottle of Evian water that I'd taken? I was saving it for later and kept it on the table next to my folder. We all go to lunch, and when I come back...I see that my cute little bottle of Evian water has shifted to Dan's slice of the table! I think nothing of it at the time, but then...when he comes back from lunch he grabs my beloved little bottle and says, "Oh can I have this? Oh thanks." and then opens and drinks from it before I can say anything!! Man, I know I can be anal retentive about things, but that guy was soooo rude.

Then there was a lull...it turns out that DAN ROSENBERG ran for Congress unsuccessfully. Someone at my table asks what happened during his campaign, why he didn't win, etc.

"Because he is a wanker water bottle stealer, that's why he didn't win!" I would have said if I had the nerve to say something. Or if I was drunk. Unfortunately, I was neither.

Okay enough the ranting. But overall it was a very fruitful day in a very beautiful location. I'll write more about it later. :)
Berklee and Kyren, this PS2 Game is for you (wmv file):

I'll be attending a very interesting conference this weekend, so maybe I'll post more about it later.
Behold the glory...

Note: Yep, its my aspiring author website. Much kudos to Firefly for putting so much work into it. :) Its coming soon, baby!
I am Elizabeth Bennet!

Take the Quiz here!

You are Elizabeth Bennet of Pride & Prejudice! You are intelligent, witty, and tremendously attractive. You have a good head on your shoulders, and oftentimes find yourself the lone beacon of reason in a sea of silliness. You take great pleasure in many things. You are proficient in nearly all of them, though you will never own it. Lest you seem too perfect, you have a tendency toward prejudgement that serves you very ill indeed.

And I did marry a Mr. Darcy! Albeit without the sideburns...hee hee

Just call me Loobylu, baby!

Admittedly, my mom knitted those for me, but it looks good. :)

Took some more pics and put it up on my photoblog.
Thanks to lovable Hubby, I am able to steal away for a few hours to get some writing in. Its this cool bakery called Panera (I'm too lazy to provide the linky) and they offer free WiFi!

Wow...this is so cool. So now I am here...sipping some iced green tea and blogging away. Yeah, I'm going to actually write next. I just had to bask in the glory of technology for a moment.

Which reminds me...next time I try to pick the names of characters, I shouldn't pick names off of a business card of associates I will deal with often. In this case, I couldn't think of any cool sounding names...so happened to glance at my cube wall, saw my vet's business card (for my dog Max, not me...I don't need a vet). There were six vets with interesting sounding names, so I happily raided their names for use.

Then a week later of course, I have to take el doggo to the vet. Its early Saturday morning, I'm kind of out of it. Max and I are sitting in the exam room. The vet slips in.

"Hello, I'm Dr. Kagan," she said to me.

I stare at her blankly for a moment. Kagan? I have to shake my head and remember that Kagan is not the evil bastard who wants to destroy the heroine's life...its just the vet.

"Yes!" I chirp a little too enthusiastically. "Dr. Kagan. The vet. Dr. Kagan. Of course..."
Another website update:

Got the hosting, baby! Muddled my way through setting up all the necessary customizations. Saw a preliminary design for the website (No Rand, you don't get to see it beforehand). Its wonderful!

Wrote some content...the "About Me" section in which I referred to myself continuously in the third person:

Back in the day, when Mir was but a twinkle in someone's (her dad) eye, little did the world know that it would be graced with the presence the world would know as MIRRRRRRR!!!

Mir also enjoys making apple pie and hopes to achieve world peace someday!!!

Okay, its not that cheesy.

I'll probably also post an excerpt from the manu.
Reason #13 on why my attorney advises me to give up weblogging...

13. You pull a great dramatic hiatus, putting a placeholder announcing that you will be back with “something that isn’t a weblog". Except, when you re-emerge after everyone’s forgotten your URL, all you can come up with is another weblog. And then, after umming and ahhing about the pointlessness of it all, you give that up after a fortnight.
Okay, here's an update on new website...

1. Got the url registered.
2. Found a fabulous, wonderful person to design it!
3. Still need to find hosting.
4. When looking for someone to do your website, discovered that no matter how talented a prospective web designer may be, I have no patience for said certain designer's snarky bullshit (I'm not talking about fabulous, wonderful person in #2).
5. Now I don't have to obsess worry about it anymore, so I can get back to the business of writing.
6. Hubby's take: Why don't you actually get the damn manusscript completed before you worry about creating a website.
7. In reference to #6, fair point, Hubbo. Deep sigh.