Dim Sum Diaries
Yo, that last post was totally cool! I've known about flickr for awhile, but resisted trying it out. But now that I have, I think it totally rocks!

Just picked up a new book by Kristin Gore (Al Gore's daughter), called Sammy's Hill.

Samantha Joyce, Gore's heroine, is a 26-year-old self-deprecating health-care policy advisor to Robert Gary, a well-respected senator from her home state of Ohio. Between endless work days, a grueling campaign schedule, and frequent trips to the pet store where she seeks advice on caring for her listless Japanese fighting fish, Sammy finds time to obsess over her new boyfriend, sexy speechwriter Aaron Driver. As things heat up with Aaron, Sammy's work schedule takes on a new intensity when Gary becomes the Democratic candidate for vice president. Along the way, scandal clouds both her personal and professional life, and our heroine discovers the often salacious underbelly of life on the hill.

I've read the first chapter and it seems pretty cool so far.

My Daughter
Originally uploaded by miriyaparino.
Mom emailed me today and included this photo.

Who is this in the photo?, she wrote.

I was like, Mom...bad shag carpeting, generic plastic shoe tree in the background...that's my old apartment. That's your first and only grandaughter!!! Don't you recognize her? You know...since she was born when we lived in aforementioned apartment with bad shag rug and tacky plastic shoe tree?

I don't usually like posting pics of my kids online (except privately) but this one is too cute to resist.
Whoa what a morning!

It was 7:00 am.

Two hungry children creep into my room, pressing their noses against my face and staring at me until I wake up.

"Mommy, we're hungry," they chorus together.

Oh, fine. So I feed the hungry horde, stumble back to my compy (with necessary cuppa coffee) and fire it up. Check blog stats...omg! An unusually large number of peeps visiting Dim Sum Diaries via Sean! Apparently he got written about (yay Sean!) and people are visiting here via his site.

So welcome everyone! :)

Also, its a bad idea to read about blogs that blog about food when you haven't eaten breakfast yet. For example, Kottke bragging about his soup dumpling eating technique...

One of the comments made regarding his technique:

Let's see, you eat a soup dumpling by gently nibbling at the dumpling and then urgently sucking out the hot soup inside, before taking the dumpling into your mouth whole...

Nope! Not erotic at all!

So of course, that made me want to...eat Asian food for lunch... ;)

Went to market to get ingredients for aforementioned Asian lunch...bought a packet of Thai Kitchen Curry Rice Noodle Soup. To which I will add firm bits of tofu, a sprinkling of cilantro and serve with lime wedges.


I'm All Over This Like White On Rice P2

Loobylu's Christmas cards are almost ready to go on sale!

It's gotten a bit cooler here so you can tell that fall is approaching. I put a fall themed "Welcome" sign over the front door. Very soon we'll be taking the kids to the pumpkin patch and buying Halloween costumes.

This is my favorite time of the year. :)
Wow, I got an email from Michele Mitchell (a former CNN correspondent), who authored The Latest Bombshell.

I blogged about wanting to read her book a few months ago (which I bought and enjoyed).

She wanted to know how I liked the book and she said she thought DSD was "funny as hell".

Oh my god.

Sometimes cool things like this happen and it totally makes your day.
Just found these cool escape games by Toshimitsu Takagi via The SaltwaterPizza Blog.

I'm too lazy to blog about it myself, so I'm stealing the text from his entry:

In each of Takagi's games, you find yourself in a room and must discover how to escape. Your first instinct will be to walk out the door. Ahhh....but things are never as simple as they appear. In order to leave each room, you'll have to discover the correct way to interact with all of the room's objects. Don't let the simple graphics fool you into thinking the puzzles are easy. They're not. You'll spend lots of time exploring each room before finally realizing how to use all of the objects to facilitate your escape.

Three of them, baby. Have at it:

The Crimson Room

The Viridian Room

The Blue Chamber

I'm All Over It Like White On Rice Baby

Wimbledon looks really good! Yay for romantic comedy!

Some Good Advice For Men (from joke email)

The Hormone Hostage knows that there are days in the
month when all a man has to do is open his mouth and he takes
his life in his own hands! This is a handy guide that should be as
common as a driver's license in the wallet of every husband, boyfriend, or significant other!

DANGEROUS: What's for dinner?
SAFER: Can I help you with dinner?
SAFEST: Where would you like to go for dinner?
ULTRASAFE: Have some chocolate

DANGEROUS: Are you wearing that?
SAFER: Wow, you look good in brown.
SAFEST: WOW! Look at you!
ULTRASAFE: Have some chocolate

DANGEROUS: What are you so worked up about?
SAFER: Could we be overreacting?
SAFEST: Here's my paycheck.
ULTRASAFE: Have some chocolate

DANGEROUS: Should you be eating that?
SAFER: You know, there are a lot of apples left.
SAFEST: Can I get you a glass of wine with that?
ULTRASAFE: Have some chocolate

DANGEROUS: What did you do all day?
SAFER: I hope you didn't over-do it today.
SAFEST: I've always loved you in that robe!
ULTRASAFE: Have some more chocolate.

Subject: PMS

13 Things PMS Stands For

1. Pass My Shotgun
2. Psychotic Mood Shift
3. Perpetual Munching Spree
4. Puffy Mid-Section
5. People Make me Sick
6. Provide Me with Sweets
7. Pardon My Sobbing
8. Pimples May Surface
9. Pass My Sweatpants
10. Pissy Mood Syndrome
11. Plainly; Men Suck
12. Pack My Stuff
And my favorite one...
13. Potential Murder Suspect

Pass this on to all of your hormonal friends and those who
might need a good Laugh! Or men who need a warning.

And remember: Money talks.... But Chocolate sings
Just found this site, Live Ireland. It's obviously geared to promote tourism in Ireland, but it is pretty nifty all the same.

Especially cool is The Sounds Of Ireland, where you can listen to the sounds of an irish cottage...

There's a crackling on the hearth And the wind is whining about the eaves; A lone blackbird sings outside and distant waves break on the shore.

Its like one of those white noise machines that play the sounds of the ocean or the jungle or something like that. Pretty relaxing stuff, but I wonder if I designed my own website to promote tourism to my house, what sounds you would hear...

Come away with us to chez Mir. The dishwasher is running and the dog is barking in the backyard. Come on inside and step out of your shoes (as required in this half Chinese household)...have a seat and have a sip from the thoughtfully provided juicebox...close your eyes and relax...

Son (running around the house): Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Daughter: Mom! Dui Dui (little brother in Chinese) is swinging from his curtains again!!

A Tired Post-Work Hubby: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz....

Mir: Ai-yah! (okay I don't really say that but I couldn't think of anything else to say).

Also cool is the audio tour about Inishbofin. The narrator has this David-Attenborough-nature-documentary-type voice. He is calm and speaking sotto voce:

The boat trip to Inishbofin was so rough, I thought I was going to die. But luckily I didn't. So then I went and met with the nice old lady...
My brain is not here today, so am thus quite useless at blogging.

One of Hubby's coworkers, Sam, sent me some lovely dim sum pics and I thought I'd share them with you.

For those who are not familiar with the concept of dim sum, here is a handy definition.

In Cantonese, Dim Sum means "the heart's delight" or "touch the heart." They are also know as Yam Cha. Dim Sum is Cantonese cuisine that comes mainly in the form of steamed and fried dumplings containing a wide array of fillings. They are usually served in tiers of bamboo steamers or small to medium-sized plates (so that many different varieties can be sampled) or they are served like "dessert carts". That is a cart filled with several different types for people to pick and choose from. Long before the Spanish created tapas and the Americans discovered finger foods, the southern Chinese were gathering for yum cha (tea) and sampling savory morsels known as dim sum.

That's right baby, the race of apparently eyelash-less peeps kick ass! ;)

The picture is of little dishes of chicken feet (yum), ha gau (which is a shrimp dumpling with translucent rice-flour skin) and siu mai (steamed pork-filled wonton wrappers). Damn, now I'm hungry for some.
While perusing MSNBC this morning, came across this article:

Societal preference for sons in China results in the "largest, the highest, and the longest" gender imbalance in the world.

...In the last census in 2000, there were nearly 19 million boys more than girls in the 0-15 age group. "We have to act now or the problem will become very serious."

The hint of "serious" problems ahead can be seen in the increasing cases of human trafficking as bachelors try to "purchase" their wives.

China's police have freed more than 42,000 kidnapped women and children from 2001 to 2003...

Imagine this scene...

The kids are at grandma's and grandpa's spending the night. This is the first weekend that Hubby and Mir have to spend alone. The possibilities for fun and excitement are endless...

And what do they do?

Why they spend the afternoon watching DIY shows like Life Laundry and House Invaders and Location, Location, Location on BBC America of course!

Also, I decide to clean the entire house!

"Hubby!" I declare, let's clean all the bathrooms. And then lets vacuum like mad."

Hubby merely grumbles under his breath.

I guess this is what happens after one has been married for almost 9 YEARS!!!

I did get a haircut that day though (short as usual) and was feeling quite sexy, so when it was time to dress for dinner, I put on some sexy jeans, a sexy black sleeveless stretch tee and some sexy black boots. The effect was quite sexy, let me assure you. We decided to drive along the coast and maybe stop at a beachside restaurant. It was very spontaneous (and therefore very unusual for us). There was this lovely little trattoria that had come highly recommended by a friend. We went there. Luckily it wasn't that busy, so we had a nice, cozy little Italian dinner.

The next day it was all about DIY. Using this Pottery Barn image as a design reference:

We finished building the window bench in the living room using the same sage green velvet to cover the foam cushion and the front of the bench.

It was a nice weekend, the only snag being that the fridge is not working properly, called a technician in to check it out.
Bah I have nothing to write about today.

But here's something interesting:

Seniors Rule!!!!
This has been on my mind for awhile...and since I'm unconsciously avoiding writing the manu, I thought I'd expend some creative energy on this subject.

With my daughter now entering the first grade, I feel like I'm really becoming that typical Soccer Mom (sans mini-van). I joined the PTA. I'm volunteering to do some classroom duties. I enrolled her in piano lessons. These are the same things I remember doing when I was her age...oh so long ago...so it's kind of like its now coming full circle...

My mom came down and stayed with us for a week a couple of weeks ago. It seems like the older we get, the more we spend ruminating on the past.

"It's great that you're so involved with your daughter. You're lucky," she remarked.

"Why?" I asked.

"Because you grew up in this country. Since I was the oldest, your grandmother kept telling me it was my duty to marry as soon as I turned 18. It was either I quickly pick someone or there would be an arranged marriage. I hated the fact that I didn't have the option of choosing to go to college before I got married. But that's what I did---I got married."

I didn't know what to say.

She started to get a little emotional and wiped at her eyes. "Your grandmother practically dictated everything I did until I got married. That's why when I had you and your sister, I swore that I would never do that to you."

"Yeah, Mom."

"When I enrolled you in piano lessons, you fought like hell because you hated it. I think it's because you didn't like people telling you what to do. So I let you drop it and I kind of kept my distance in a way after that." She continued on to say that she knew that if she kept being closely involved with our activities...she would keep pushing at us...just like her mother did...and she didn't want to repeat the cycle...so I can remember growing up that she was a distant figure in some ways. We never wanted for physical things...but there was always a distance between us.

And now I find myself at the same position that she was at. I am the type to get involved. I sit at my daughter's side when she practices the piano because she hasn't quite gotten the hang of practicing efficiently by herself. I give her pointers when she needs it and can be quite serious during piano practice. I want to be involved in my daughter's life in every way...She's not the stubborn cuss that I was/am. So I guess that's a good thing. I wonder sometimes if generations---grandmother to mothers to daughters...can improve...if they can realize that the way habits of raising children can change...and find a resolution from the problems of before. In my case, of my grandmother's being too involved to my mother's hands-off policy. Its an interesting thing when you are consciously aware of the history and how it should color your approach to shaping the future.

It is indeed a struggle...and one that is not easily overcome.
Kurt Vonnegut Gives Out Rulz For Creative Writing.

#8 - Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

Watched the first half of A&E's Pride & Prejudice and Sense & Sensibility (w/ Emma Thompson). Hung out with the kids and Hubby. Its been a nice, restful weekend.
I just read this pretty compelling story regarding the school hostage situation in Russia...

Shortly after, she learned that she would have to choose between taking her son or her daughter.

Alana was clinging to me and holding my hand firmly. But they separated us, and said: 'You go with the boy. Your sister can stay here with her.' I cried. I begged them. Alana cried. The women around us wept. One of the Chechens said: 'If you don't go now, you don't go at all. You stay here with your children … and we will shoot all of you.' "

She couldn't save both of them. She could only die with both of them — or save one of them and herself.

"I didn't have time to think what I was doing," she said. "I pressed Alan even stronger to myself, and I went out, and I heard all the time how my daughter was crying and calling for me behind my back. I thought my heart would break into pieces there and then."

I don't even want to think about what I would do in that situation.
So just how much fun can one have at 5:30 am?

A lot! Okay, not really.

In the meantime, check out hot Canadian models.

Then check out cool teddy bear pics.

Incidently, istockphoto is where I got this lovely dim sum image from.

This weekend is lovely 3 day holiday. Yay!
Its spring in Australia, and Loobylu's site redesign reflects the changing season. Kinda weird for me cuz its almost fall here. Fall reminds me of how much the kids have grown in the past year.

Son is now fully potty trained and really loving his preschool. My daughter started first grade yesterday and she absolutely loves it. Her teacher seems very nice (so my Mom says) and she has some of her classmates from Kindergarten in Room 4. She has already discovered the in status of buying hot lunches from the cafeteria (v. bringing a lunch from home). I told her she can do the hot lunch thing on Fridays, and possibly Thursdays if she is diligent about practicing the piano. Speaking of piano lessons, I think its going rather well. I remember enough from my own lessons to help her along if she needs it.

Still writing when I get the chance to. I've been much more motivated these days because I have a irl critique partner. We met last Sunday and had a nice old time sipping coffee (her) and iced tea (me). We gave each other some nice feedback on our respective manuscripts.

Probably need to go on date with Hubby this weekend to remind us we are still a couple and not just two people who live together and take care of the kids after a full day at the office.