Dim Sum Diaries
We BBQ'd tonight, my immediate family---Mom, Dad, my younger sister and her Hubby and me, Hubby and our kids. Poor Dad though, per the doctor's orders he is to avoid all foods except jook (Chinese porridge) and baby food (and under my younger sister's watchful eye, could not sneak any prohibited foods, she had a list)...

(Hubby made a whole lot of guacamole for the BBQ tonight, so that's what my Dad had for dinner...jook and a big pile of guacamole.)

Thick slabs of juicy, tender rib-eye steak were stacked up on several plates, and I was on my 3rd piece (shhh secret)...Dad comes up behind me, puts his hand on my shoulder and gives it a tight squeeze. "How do you like the steak?" he asked. I sat for a moment...stunned by this ultra rare gesture from Dad.

"Good," I mumbled. My gaze darts to Mom, but she only looks back...indicating she is as surprised as I.

The moment passes, but this stays on my mind all night. My dad has always been a vocal communicator...and by that I mean when I was growing up, he yelled a lot. Affectionate gestures were pretty much non-existent...which is why, tonight...after just going through surgery to remove his thyroid...and he is about to undergo massive amounts of radiation soon to make sure nothing malignant spreads...that maybe he realized how fragile and tenuous life is?

My sister and I each have our own issues with the parents, but we show our support for them and are there for them in our own ways.

It's not something I'd ever talk about with him...

"Hey Dad remember that time when you did a huggie thing?"

Not that any of this post makes any sense, but Dad you are full of surprises. I love you.
Youngme Nowme is an awesome collection of pics of adults re-enacting younger photos of themselves (via_:

I know...me taking pictures is as rare as me uh...you know...taking pictures.


Added a new mini blog from Tumblr, figured I can post all the misc things there you can read if you want to. Its the red headed step child blog of DSD, have fun. I'll prob post more there, unless of course, I post more here.

In Which You Are Subjected To My Inner Monologue

I always marvel at parents who have more then two kids. I can barely keep up with mine, so congratulations are in order to those brave enough to have more then two! P and A both have such different needs, the most obvious one is a girl and one is a boy...then there is the age difference. P is on the cusp of puberty, and A is rapidly growing up as well....it's an education in itself trying to keep up!

Things going on here...I recently quit playing World of Warcraft cold turkey (yeah I know I said I quit before)...turned off the account and haven't really regretted it since. I try and talk more with Hubby now and spend more time with the kids, though WoW was good at killing time and keeping you occupied when you were bored. I ran into that, being bored...I knew it got really bad when I started to rearrange my closet and made tentative plans to DECORATE it... (on the plus side, Hubby has more space to hang his clothes now). THE MAN aka my boss took a 2 week vacay, and I was surprised how much I relied on interacting with him (for work related purposes and also to abuse him emotionally) to make the day go faster. Sure there is the odd email from other people in the company, but it makes a huge difference if you have someone to chat with about nonsense as well. Working freelance can indeed be lonely. So this was when quitting WoW didn't help much either, because at least you could talk to people in guild about stuff...man I'm just babbling now.

So anyways, I was like, what kind of hobby could I take up to keep me mentally occupied? Beekeeping? Candlemaking? Then I was like DUH read books!

"But you already read books," Hubby replied.

"DUH I mean read books more!" I scoffed.

Hubby only rolled his eyes. So here I am happily reading more books...which is a good thing, though I think I still might try to rearrange the linen closet sometime soon......
Besides having stuffed my head up the arse of Indesign trying to impress the pants off of a guy at work (figuratively!!) regarding a project (and I send it off to him...the silence of no replies kills me slowly by inches), and playing taxi for the kids and their summertime activities...it's been busy here!

Still trying to avoid the real world with all its depressing news, but I have found a new blog fave that is really really good...called The Big Picture. Started by Alan Taylor of the Boston Globe, (read an interview with him here), his use of one solitary picture and just a few words to describe a situation somewhere...transports you to that place there for just a moment...really great stuff.

And me being the total dork that I am...was thinking...wow I have so many blogs to keep track of, how can I possibly keep track of all of them without manually typing in the urls isn't there something that I can use to sort through all this crap? The answer is a big resounding duh yes! Google Reader silly! Big sigh of relief there!

In terms of books---Have been slowly reading Eaves of Heaven by Andrew X. Pham. Savoring a chapter at a time, it is his dad's story this time...and besides being exquisitely written...right now his Dad just got drafted into the Northern Army, recruits all had to report to this really crappy site...living conditions were horrible and they were deliberately fed nasty food (which of course they could not or would not eat), but conveniently there was a "cafe" there serving decent food (they had to pay of course, and at 3x the market price), and the recruits were kept there for weeks on end, so this cafe could make money off them, which the cafe in turn paid off the military leaders for allowing them to do this...win win for everyone except the recruits...Pham's dad's frustration at having to leave his wife and baby to fight for a supposedly noble cause and being stuck in a web of greed and corruption....

And wow I'm really meandering today.

The Likeness by Tana French is being released in July, and it looks pretty good. I read her first one In The Woods, and its one of the few non Lisa Kleypas books I read in pretty much one setting (4 am).

And finally, I leave you with this...since I work from home...I don't have to dress up for work, its pretty much a tank top and shorts for me, BUT if I chose to I could dress up like a fairy princess!!

I seriously should go around all day dressed like that...
While Boss is away on vacation, the mice will play! Well I guess I am the mouse. So anyways, instead of working...I learn how to make bread.
Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there...especially my own Dad and Hubby.

Both my sister and I pay tribute to our Dad in our own way...Sis and her her hubby do a big ole houseclean for my mom and Dad, including replacing the toilet seat covers. Were not amused by my suggestion to use this one:

I got Dad some lovely, ripe juicy pears from H&D since he is going to be on a restricted diet soon.

I got Hubby a bunch of new work clothes and jeans and some cool cazh shoes. He seemed dazed by the volume of clothes I got him (whats wrong with 5 shirts, 5 pants and 2 pairs of jeans).

Also, here's a lovely quote I came across on Etsy...Susan Angebranndt said this:

Thirty years ago I had left home for college, 20 years ago I was managing a team of software developers, 10 years ago I took a year off to train for a long-distance bike ride, and this year I'm printing limited-edition letterpress prints. Whatever I am in 10 years, it'll be a great adventure getting there.

This is one of her work:

Fresh out of ideas as to what to get for the Dad that has everything? How about the ultimate iconic symbol of TV fatherhood...

That's right!! Heathcliff Huxtable's sweater is for sale on ebay! How about them apples! All you need is $5k and a dream....

In other news, work has been progressing quite nicely, so much so that I feel like I can expand my freelance repetoire from technical writing to graphic designer. Wow! That's kinda exciting! So much so that...and this is probably all vanity, but I've had business cards printed up (wow, my own business cards...my very first in my entire life)!!! How awesome is that. Know what I'm gonna do when I get them? First I'm going to display one prominently on my desk...then give one to Hubby and make sure he puts it in his wallet so he can brag about his wife...then I'm probably gonna give one to my Mom, and then my dad...and make him put one in his wallet...then probably my sister and also my brother-in-law (Sister's hubby) whom I will also make him put one in his wallet while I stare at him threateningly. But wait, I live on the other side of the country from where my work is located!!!! About 3000 miles...no problem!! I will mail some to my boss whom is sure to to put a crapload in his wallet...so much so that his ass will look misshapen (one cheek bigger then the other) as he walks around and passes it out to everyone and anyone who will take it...see how my evil plan is working out so far?

Here is a lovely find from Etsy:

A San Francisco Letterpress Print from Lab Partners, a pair of designers living in San Francisco who sell cheery, 50s style retro prints. Check out their blog here.

To balance that out, here's something from the WTF category. I dunno, maybe it appeals to some people, but not me...

A gigantic resin wolf head!! *Shudder
Well dear readers, things seem to have changed again lately...maybe its because I'm getting old?

Daughter is now 10 and navigating the murky tween almost teen years is a learning experience for both of us. Fourth grade seems to be a rough year for many (I remember it being that way for me). But Daughter has always been somewhat sensitive, and with dealing with social issues, academic pressures, popularity and the like, her ability to cope with and manage stress is something we've been working on lately. She'd been complaining of ongoing headaches (for a few days), which put me in supercharged mode....first I called my Mom in a panic...

"Mom! How did I deal with stress when I was that age???"

"Well, you pretty much didn't give a shit about popularity or what anyone said about you back then. It didn't faze you. Being a bull in a china shop has its benefits."

Gee thanks Mom! But she did reassure me that everything was okay and how I should approach the problem calmly. So I tried, and then I called Daughter's pediatrician and made an appointment regarding her headaches. Dr. Hogen has known P since she was a wee one and actually has daughters who are almost the same age. During the doc visit, he was able to tell her about his own daughter's experiences in 4th grade and being sensitive, that it'd be okay, to talk things out with your parents when things bother you etc etc etc. Reassured both of us I think. Thanks Dr. Hogen, btw. :) There was a possible allergy issue and the possible need for glasses, which now seems to have helped (taking Zyrtec and getting glasses for classroom use). Things seem to have calmed down now for her, so I'm glad.

The thing is that your so used to being a mom one way, which consists of changing diapers and feeding the kids and reading them bedtime stories...when they get older and their needs change, man ITS A WHOLE NEW BALLGAME. Dr. Hogen did recommend two books which I find really helpful, Raising Your Spirited Child Rev Ed: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, and Energetic by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka and The Highly Sensitive Child: Helping Our Children Thrive When the World Overwhelms Them by Elaine Aron. Not all of it applies to me (thankfully) but it is nice to know that other parents go through the same things I do.

Cool things I've found around the web lately:

Chocolate and Zucchini is a food blog by a Clotilde Dusoulier, a Parisienne who writes the most lovely things about food. I'll have to add her to my list of reads whenever I get around to updating the website.

I'm still in love with Etsy, the initial love affair has died down so I'm not as prone to spending huge amounts of money (shh don't tell Hubby) on various vintage finds and handmade bits and bobs I find on there. I'm thinking I'll post a Pet The Pretty Things once in awhile to showcase what I really like, and also the OMFG PEOPLE ACTUALLY TRY TO SELL THIS CRAP things. Working freelance has opened my eyes to all sorts of indie things that I really adore. I can't really define it but if I keep posting shit the you'll see what I mean.

In the meantime, here are a couple of items that I think are cool:

Shaybelle designs and sews some lovely clothes that are awesome and she has a store on Etsy.

Also these cards are kinda cool and offbeat...

I must try to slip some of these into various correspondences in the future....