Dim Sum Diaries
For the guy driving the big ass Ford truck and saw fit to dangle a pair of life-like latex balls (aka latex scrotums) from your rear bumper, let me tell you that I have never laughed so hard in my life. I wonder if you must be compensating for something...

Also, Mir finally sucumbs to an informercial and buys a crapload of Spacebags, and man do those things really work. I had a bunch of linens that were taking up too much space...but now with the power of Spacebags, my closet is now a little freer, the birds are singing a merry tune...etc etc etc
Just found out that I survived the first round of layoffs. Let's just get it over with already, I keep telling myself, all the while being secretly relieved that I have at least 2-3 more months of steady income.

Christmas was a very nice and relaxing time. I got Hubby this kick ass London Fog jacket, which he likes to strut around in and pretends to flash me. Hah. Hubby got me more moleskine notebooks and a copy of Sylvia Plath's Ariel. The kids made out like bandits, of course.

Christmas Day dinner at my sister's house was also pretty cool. I have this thing about crispy turkey skin, it's quite delicious and I'm pretty sure I singlehandedly nibbled the whole of the turkey skin before we sat down for formal dinner.

The only dark side to that day was the bitter lesson I learned though...that little sisters...will always be the little sister who likes to tattle on you...even if that little sister is 30 years old!!! Aforementioned younger sister, N, had her digital camera with her as I sat with Mom in the front room. We were chatting away, and I, in my usual state of bullshitting, was bragging how I had Hubby wrapped around my little finger and the various techniques I used to keep him in that state.

"I'm gonna film this!" N threatened, shoving the digital camera in my face. I ignored her as I continued my diatribe. She continued to hold the posture of someone who was filming something, but I thought she was just pretending. I later find out that she did indeed film it and actuallly showed it on TV to everyone.

Hubby emerged a few minutes later, giving me a dirty (though bemusedly affectionate) look. "Ooh you are in so much trouble now."
Just wanted to wish DSD readers a very Merry Christmas. It's been a very nice time, which I will detail in a later entry. We are going up to my sister's house for Christmas dinner, which I think is excellent because it means I don't have to cook.

Spent Christmas Eve with my in-laws. Apparently the men in my husband's family are prepared for everything. Whilst opening presents, I asked, "Does anyone have a pair of scissors to open this box with?" Hubby, my father-in-law, and brother-in-law simultaneously reached into their pockets, pulled out their individual Swiss army knives and cried out, "I do!!!!!!!!!!!!!" There was a brief pause after that in which I expected Paul Hogan to stride into the room, pull out his machete knife and declare, "Those aren't knives, THIS IS A KNIFE!!!" Or maybe it's me and my dramatic sense of drama. Anyways, y'all have a happy holidays.
I don't know why, but I really really want to jump onto my cube desk, plant my hands on my hips and sing the following...

Chicks and ducks and geese better scurry
When I take you out in the surrey,
When I take you out in the surrey with the fringe on top!

That song will not get out of my head!!!
Just read a blog entry from Polly regarding mother/daughter relations, detailing the angst that one feels in the conflict between the notion of duty and love of parent that must surely be tattooed on every bi-cultural Asian's butt and trying to establish oneself as an adult in the world.

My relationship with my parents now is amiable and affectionate, probably the closest as we will ever be. I look at them sometimes and it's hard to believe that at one point, the only way my dad and I communicated was by yelling at each other. My mom---it only took a look from her, which somehow implied that I had come up short yet again in some way. And the guilt, an emotion I know well. :)

When I was pregnant with child #1, it was around the time Mulan came out. I cried every time she sang that Reflection song. And every time I watched that scene when Mulan's dad has that hugging scene in the end with her...I would sob uncontrollably.

"I want to be like that too," I would tell Hubby. He would just pat my shoulder (it was a very emotional time).

That being said, I've found that parental-child relations do ease as you get get older. Especially if you give them grandkids. They'll fuss and coo with the baby...spoil them rotten...hey, they never did that with me!

"Because they're not our responsibility," my Mom told me. "So we're more relaxed about them. Now you understand about being a parent, maybe you'll understand a little more about us and where we're coming from."

Yeah, Mom.
Do you know when you know you've been playing World of Warcraft for tood damn long? Besides the fact that I stayed up till 3 am Friday night and 4 am last night...when you go to take off your makeup at the end of the day...reach over and pump a couple of shots of facial cleaner out of the bottle and slather it all over your face, only to find that you accidently reached for your hair gel bottle instead...and its all over your face. I'm not even going to dwell on the implications of that statement...
I must say that I am in a v.g. mood right now.

After two days of being out sick, reluctantly trudged back to work. We were provided with a Christmas continental breakfast this morning, so that was kind of cool. Didn't eat much because it was all carbs and I am trying to preserve my girlish figure (how girlish can you be after birthing two babies, I wonder).

Hubby finally got me to try World of Warcraft. I love it so much!! It's a online RPG game and I am a female human Paladin. You could not peel my ass off the computer chair with a spackling knife...that's how good it was.

Daughter had her piano recital and she did very well. Then Son had his preschool Christmas show. He is a very enthusiastic singer. :) BTW, here is a tip, if you are Asian and live in an area that doesn't seem to have a high concentration of Asians, here is where you go to find them. DO NOT go to the local Chinatown. Instead find a Chinese piano teacher who is holding a Christmas recital. That's where all the Asian parents are. Daughter's piano teacher is Chinese, and I don't think I've think I've seen that many Chinese in the nine years I've been living where I've been living. Incredible. Also found out the location of the nearest (non-church) Chinese school in case I ever decide the enroll the kids.

Was listening to Yahoo! Launchcast, and Loreena McKennitt's song, Seeds of Love came on. It's from her album A Winter Garden (Five Songs for the Season). It's so breathtakingly beautiful that I had to pause for a moment. Author Nora Roberts mentioned LM in one of her books Northern Lights. It filled the world, a strong, sweet female voice twined around strings and pipes lifted with sunrise over the endless white... That's how powerful it is.

All in all, I'm very grateful to be healthy and have my family this Holiday. That's what it boils down to for me this year.

UPDATE: I'd like to welcome the seven (so far) readers who came in via del.icio.us! And thanks to Leslie Russell to linking me. I feel loved. :)
Am sick today, so stayed home from work. I started 100 Things About Me entry which you can also get to from the sidebar. I have about 20 down. I'll keep adding as I go on...

After downloading some software that I shouldn't have (no it's not porn!!). This Internet cleanup stuff for Mac is absolutely useless. After the trial expired, there is a popup window which keeps popping up until you buy the damn software. There is no way that you can uninstall it, short of being an expert. So I decide to reinstall OSX. I've done so, but cannot get my Airport card to work. So my poor Mac has no internet access and I'm using the PC. Am very frustrated right now.

Oh yeah, and I'm still supposed to be working on my Chapters to get critiqued...but with all of this holiday nonsense and me being sick...not happening, peeps.

In the meantime, enjoy how to craft a miniature orange.
For the Male Readership of DSD : The 25 Laws of Japanese Animation.

For The Female Readership of DSD: A particularly delicious pic of HUGH JACKMAN!!!!

This service has been brought to you by Mir's Hauz of DSD, where no work is being done at this moment in time. :)
Silly Sammy blogs about eating crabs (Chinese style) today.

Not only does it make me hungry for some good Chinese food, it reminds me of a story about my grandmother.


I was about 11 or so, my Pou Pou (maternal grandmother) was staying at our house and she was cooking dinner. Having gone to the Chinese market that day (refer to above picture of Chinese market seafood display to illustrate this story), she had purchased two live crabs. They were still moving around in the sink when she slipped them out of the wrapping paper.

"You have to watch me carefully, Bowl, so you will learn to cook Chinese food like me when you grow up," she told me. Actually, she always called me (and still does), Ah-Woon, which is her nickname for me based on my Chinese name. Phonetically, it sounds like "bowl", so that's what I always imagined she meant to call me. :p

Curious as to how she would process the crabs to the delicious steamed appendages I would come to love and eat, I watched with some horror as she took a chopstick and PROCEEDED TO STICK THE CHOPSTICK UP THE CRAB'S ASS.

I gasped in horror. "That's how you kill them???" I asked her.


So that was a somewhat traumatic, though in the end, delicious experience.

Now that I think of it, my Pou Pou also has interesting names for the white barbarians who have married into our family. One is Deep Throat. He's been married to my Aunt for well nigh 18 years now and has picked up enough Cantonese to speak decent Chinglish. And when he does, it pleases my Pou Pou to no end. Since she speaks only a little English, when she calls the white barbarians by name, she can't say their English names properly so she improvises.

"Obedient Rice," she tells him when he says something clever and witty in Chinglish. "Gwai Ah-Mai"

The other is my Hubby. When Hubby does something manly, like lift heavy packages for her or something, she'll respond with, "Obedient Gravy." "Gwai Ah-Jup"
I have a colleague at work who I go to lunch with a lot. Sometimes we have the funniest of conversations...I thought I'd share one with the world (I already warned her I'd be blogging about this btw). Let's call her "L".

L: Yeah, so since we're getting laid off, I've had my financial adviser help me out recently.

Me: Really? You have a financial adviser?

L: R's (a guy we both know) been doing online gambling lately and he won a lot! And through him I won too!

Me: So he's not so much your financial adviser as he is your bookie.

L: Yeah, for like two days.

Me: Cool.
Ah, nothing like the Mallet of Reality to smash you into the realization of, What The Hell Was I Smoking Again???

We have two children, a girl and a boy. Son's 4th birthday just passed. After he blew out the candles on his The Incredibles birthday cake, some weird hormone must have kicked in my system. All of a sudden there is this music playing in my head, you know that classical piece that they always play when there is a couple running towards each other in a field of flowers. God, I forget the name of it. Anyways, I'm studying Hubby with narrowed intensity. Could it be? Should it be? Is it possibly...TIME TO HAVE ANOTHER KID????????

A third child. I'm remembering the soft baby smell of newborns, their utter helplessness and dependency on you and how that makes you feel...their fuzzy, soft hair...deep sigh...

Luckily, the aforementioned Mallet of Reality bonks me on the head as I realize that:

1) I'm going to be laid off in like two months. Not the best circumstances to have another kid (they are so expensive).

2) I'm not in the best of health. If I did, I'd probably have to be on bedrest (which I had to do for #2)!!!!! Which totally sucks ass.

3) I read this entry from Dooce:

And I agree, “Yes. There is nothing you could do to me, except maybe infect me with your sperm, and then there were those 13 weeks of unending nausea, and then the swelling and the inability to hold my pee for more than three minutes. Oh, and then the hours and hours of labor with contractions 10 seconds apart, and the head of the baby RIPPING APART MY VAGINA, and then the stitches, and then the constipation and RIPPING APART OF THE STITCHES, and then the six weeks of bleeding, and then the cracked nipples, oh and those bladder infections from the catheter. Did I mention the clogged milk ducts in my breasts?”

Ah well, it was a thought.
Not really much to report lately. The month of December is all about me with my eyes buggin' out...continously scanning the horizon for tasks I need to tackle. When I see something I need to do I go all out (and slightly crazy) in getting it done.

Take for example, Daughter has a Christmas play coming up next week. The teacher sent home the lines she is supposed to learn. OMG, I think to myself, I'm thinkin the Christmas play is going to be like the final scene in Love Actually, where the kids in elaborate costumes does a Christmas play etc etc etc and Hugh Grant as the Prime Minister of England kisses his girl in the end...not that the Tony Blair (or Hugh Grant for that matter) would come to my daughter's elementary school, but you get the picture (do you really?).

So I go all out, even there is no pattern for an elf costume. I settle on a long sleeve red leotard, and a glittery red skirt. I plan to buy multicolored tights and black mary jane shoes. Then I plan to iron applique snowflakes to the decollete of the red leotard. The hats are supposedly already provided. I tell her teacher this.

"Wonderful!" she says. "Bring it to school so I can show the kids. By the way, it's actually just a play we're doing in class, it's not really a school play or anything. And so far you are the only one who made a costume."

Doh. Okay, no problem. I'm just a proactive mom. Then the teacher sends a notice home. "Parents, you should make costumes for your kids! Make sure it's all green!"

Remember that the costume I created is all red. o_O

Anyways, also heard via Berklee about this chick named Sophia Stewart suing the Wachowski bros and others (login: atfuser1 password:1z8mn0) for copyright infringement (basically they stole the Matrix and Terminator from scripts she wrote). The court found in her favor and awarded her 2.5 billion (for lost royalties...that means she gets more!!) in damages!!! Damn.

In other news, am loving the Moleskines, just found some new hacks. That's %@#%#$@!! cool.
So it was a pretty cool weekend. Last week was a rough week so Hubby and I decided that this past weekend would be family weekend, wherein we would all try to spend time with each other and try to relax and have fun. Mission accomplished baby!

It was raining cats and dogs on Saturday. To my surprise, Daughter's soccer match was not cancelled. We played in the rain! Or rather, the kids did. It wasn't raining where I live, and so I only had a light sweater. I recommended that Daughter not take her umbrella (since she couldn't use it on the soccer field anyways). But as drove to the local YMCA, realized with dawning horror that I should have in fact, brought an umbrella and probably a decent rain jacket. While Daughter shivered on the field, I, the team mom, had to approach all the parents and ask for money for the end of the season team party.

For one particular girl, did not realize that the coach had asked her mother for $12 and then I asked her stepmother to cough up the $12. Don't know how the relations between the two are, possible uncomfortable scene next week in which the two women are waving the money at me and yelling:

Stepmom: Take the money! Here it is!

Mom: No bee-yotch, she's my daughter! Take the money from me!

So we shall see.

Took the kids to Medieval Times, which is live dinner theater that features real knights and horses and jousting and stuff. The kids loved it. Daughter loved it because our knight (each section roots for their knight of a certain color, ours was red & yellow) threw her a carnation whilst astride his horse.

"I'm going to marry him," she said dreamily (she's only 6).

"Sure you can," I replied. "After you finish college and get a good job."

Since it was Son's 4th birthday celebration, he especially loved the action and the plastic suit of armor he got afterwards.

The whole premise of the dinner theater is that there is this king and his princess daughter. They came victorious from the field of battle. But the king's brother was mysteriously killed under suspicious circumstances. A tournament is held to determine who the new champion of the realm will be. 6 knights duke it out on fabulous Andalusian horses. One of them is supposedly a traitor. As the tournament continues, the sword-fighting gets tougher and tougher (some of it was realistic looking, some was totally lame). Because I am a RPG geek, I am able to explain to daughter about all of the weapons in detail.

"Now that is a morningstar and it's pretty cool, but Mummy much prefers the halbred, because it can inflict serious damage, especially with a +6 of melee attack."

At the end the traitor is revealed and I cringe when they are about to bring him to justice. Even though I know it's not real, it's kind of weird to see him tied up, a length of rope tied to each hand and then dragged about the arena. He refuses to bow down to the "king" and repent for his traitorous deeds.

"Let the audience decide the his fate," the King decreed. "Shall he be executed now or not?"

Most of the audience, totally caught up in the group-think-spirit of the spectacle, either yelled "OFF WITH HIS HEAD!" or something muffled I couldn't understand because I'm an old fart.

I wanted to shout "PROCEDURAL DUE PROCESS!!!!!!" But then I think the drunk guy sitting next to me would have freaked out or something. So I just said nothing instead. In the end he was supposedly shuffled off to the dungeon where he would endure many tortures, like the iron maiden or something like that for all eternity.

So all in all, it was quite enjoyable, though the modern, liberal woman in me was glad that I didn't have to really live in a medieval society.
I had a pretty cool Thanksgiving, the experience which only confirmed my prowess as a star, gourmet chef. I soaked the turkey (free range) overnight in a Williams-Sonoma Turkey Brine Seasoning Mix. Made of including coarse sea salt, cane sugar, orange and lemon rind, Spanish rosemary, wild French thyme, Albanian sage, Turkish bay leaves and three types of peppercorns, it infused the bird with a wonderful flavor. I also highly recommend their Turkey Gravy Base, the gravy turned out soooooooooo yummy.

Also kind of weird to note when it turns out the fruit of my loins (aka daughter) has the same sense of dramatic flair and quirky sense of humor that I do. She wrote an entry in her 1st grade journal (like a blog but on paper) that had her teacher rolling in stitches, but since I promised not to tell anyone about the actual entry, I can't blog about it.

Work has been crazy. Have done massive amounts of Christmas shopping. Son's 4th birthday is this Monday so we will be going to Medieval Times for dinner. Daughter will love the horsies (so will I). Son will like the action (so will Hubby). I, of course will enjoy the handsome knights, with their rippling, brawny muscled selves vying in battle to win my noble hand the food.

I also picked up some Moleskine notebooks.

They seem like they are pretty cool, something I can use as an aid to further my writing...they seem evoke a certain sense of romance (at least that's how they market it)...

The above is Vincent Van Gough's moleskine notebook. Ernest Hemingway supposedly used them. I suppose it brings to mind one sitting at a tiny Parisian cafe jotting down their great work of genius in this book. Or perhaps travelling the world and sketching out beautiful images of what the traveller sees. Hmmm I guess I'm hooked on the romance of the book too. It even has a nifty little evelope-y thing on the inside cover you can store pieces of paper in.

Apparently it's quite popular, there are entire blogs and websites dedicated to it. Even boingboing got in on the action. I got mine from bn. I'm still wondering if it's actually made of moleskins.

"Could be," Hubby noted. "Moles are pretty big."