Dim Sum Diaries
I am very excited today, as two books are, as we speak being overnighted to my humble abode via fedex and I will get today. The two books of course, Seduce Me At Sunrise by Lisa Kleypas and The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. I can't wait!

Also, as I was going through my current books, I happened upon an old favorite of mine, Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons. She wrote a bunch of other books as well (she died in 1989), but all of them are out of print and used editions tend to be hella expensive. A bit frustrating. But I've recently discovered that Virago Press is reissuing Nightingale Wood via amazon.co.uk. So that's exciting news! Not much more info on their website about whether they will be publishing more by Gibbons after that, but lets keep our fingers crossed.

Yay for books!
Today was a very good day. Not only because it is the weekend, but something rather cool happened today. I took the kids to the local B&N bookstore this morning, and told them they could pick one book each. Daughter immediately knew which book she wanted, while Son, who has thus far glossed over the joys of reading (do I have to, Mom?) meandered aimlessly through the kids section.

"Can I get a sticker book then, Mom?" he asked.

"No you have to get a real book that you will read," I said firmly. I pointed to a nearby scaryish looking themed Halloween chapter book that he might like. He shook his head no. Apparently talking wooden puppets on Halloween didn't appeal to him. He wandered around some more until he found the Geronimo Stilton series by Scholastic. It was perfect for his reading level and he was drawn into the book immediately. After we paid for the books, he actually read in the car, and all at home! For a few hours!! My son!! He read a whole book on his own! Without me prompting him!! And he liked it!! OMG!! And he wants to read more!!!!!!

Whats the big deal, some may think but I must consider this a personal triumph because he's never shown ANY interest in books until today. Daughter was easy enough to get hooked on reading (horse books galore), but Son was a bit of a stubborn stinker. So now I am so happy, and hope this newfound interest can be nurtured into a lifelong love of books and reading.

The really interesting thing is when I tried to expose Daughter to various books I had grown up with, such as Encyclopedia Brown, The Hardy Boys, Choose Your Own Adventure Books and some books by Beverly Cleary, she looked through them with polite interest, but only really got into current series that are popular, such as Harry Potter or the Warrior Series.

"Another convert to the fold!" I said happily to Hubby.

"Yes, dear," was all he said as he rolled his eyes.
I've been trying to think of what to write about over the last few days, and the same thing keeps coming up...ZIP. ZILCH. NADA. Sad huh? My life is more of the same stuff (trying to lose weight, trying to keep up with work, trying to keep kids happy and trying to save money and cook in instead of going out all the time, wondering what I should be doing to get ready for Thanksgiving etc etc etc), so instead I'll present you with links that are interesting....
  • Where you live in the U.S. has an impact on your personality...living in California, I don't like to socialize!

  • Artist Mike Mitchell finds a box on his doorstep. Inside is a note and an object from his past. Very interesting coolness via kottke.

  • Frank Chimero is one of my favorite graphic designers, and he's just redesigned and updated his website. I adore his work so much so that I've been buying his prints like crack and feverishly hanging them up all over the house. How's that for devotion!

And of course I gotta talk about my Etsy finds as well...

With the holidays coming up, one needs a comfortable, yet flirty skirt to wear to the endless round of dinner parties one must attend (ok not so much, but I can still wear it to the in-laws Christmas Eve party!):

The Anais Katya skirt by Zorya fits the bill nicely. She has a few pieces that go with the whole Russian schoolgirl look, and I'm really digging it.

Also lovely is the Tempest in a Teacup print by Courage My Love. If I wasn't running out of wallspace to put all these prints, I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

Well that is all for now folks! Blog more later!
--Little Britain goes American. I love this comedy duo, I can't wait till the premiere.

--Would you buy these high heels for the sake of fashion?

--Nifty tea bags!

Have a great weekend!
Via Minsoo, a very interesting article in the NYT about second generation Asian American parents (well, one in particular) and some of the challenges they face in trying to pass on their ethnic heritage to their children (italicized quoted from Minsoo's blog).

For me personally, sometimes I feel like I identify more with Caucasians (non middle-American types who are aware, if that makes any sense). Hubby and I (well I told him that if I were to spawn his children, he would have to agree to this) decided to hyphenate our childrens' last name, so it reflects its Chinese-Irish (Euro mix) heritage. It's a mouthful, but not so uncommon these days. I definitely tried to make more of an effort with Daughter (oldest) in terms of teaching her some nursery rhymes in Cantonese, how to count, etc., but I kind of don't see the point. No one speaks Cantonese around here, and if she wants to she can learn it later. I do see myself passing on the values of Asian culture, a strong emphasis on going to college and exposing them to many different activities. But I haven't forced them really (well except piano) to do anything, and I tell them as long as they try their best in school, straight A's aren't like required (though preferable). So the children know the odd phrase in Chinese (I constantly refer to oldest daughter as "gah-jeh", which is older sister when I am talking to Son. Also, there are certain items that I will only say in Chinese because it feels odd to say them in English...weird I know...such as the tv remote control, the back glass sliding door and the little knobby thingy lock on the car door that you use to lock and unlock the car door with).

And of course I expose them to as much authentic Chinese food when I'm in Los Angeles visiting the parents. Then there is Chinese New Year, Moon Festival and many other Asian holidays.

So sadly, "language death" will occur rather quickly in this family, but as I identify myself mainly as American, I don't think it really matters.
As Daughter speeds towards tweeniness (is that a word?), news that the first girl in her 5th grade class has gotten her period has made its way round the grapevine (and she's only 10 or 11!!!!). Which now puts me the delicate position of having to explain the birds and the bees in GREATER detail to her very soon. And eventually I'll have to explain the concepts of birth control and such (aka now you get to know the REAL reason why Mommy can be such an angry bitch 3 weeks out of each month) to her as well. Mayhap a powerpoint presentation of all the nasty ass std's one could get and it's effect upon the body would in order at some point too (in a few years?). Just me overworrying to be sure, but as my mom gleefully cackles, this is when I get my payback for all the trouble I caused her at that age, except I remember being quite a perfect angel all through my teenage years (all I wanted to be was a missionary!!!).

Anyways, just wanted to link some interesting stuff:

Via Green Chair Press Blog, Crate & Barrel is selling a lovely wood type coffee table. It is nice and definitely a focal piece, but kind of on the pricey side.

As time passes, my taste in clothes seem to have changed. I have now embraced my inner 70s hippie love child. Does that mean I will now be (A) dressing like John Travolta?

Or (B) maybe like this?

DING DING DINGO if you ANSWERED (A) YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY BLOODY RIGHT! My new fetish is polyester disco shirts!!! They are bright, bold and super comfortable, so first I bought this one, which Hubby thought was cute:

Then this one, which is my favorite so far.

So, now you are thinking to yourself, why Mir, those prints are quite bold! Not too bad, I would reply, because you haven't seen my latest acquisition yet....

"Holy mother of God, that thing is bright," was Hubby's reaction.

"Ummm Mom, wow yeah...umm it looks great!" said Daughter (trying to be nice).

"WEEEIRRRDDDDDDDDDD!!!!" was Son's reaction.

Okay so it is a bit of the orange-y red bright and you could probably pick me out of a crowd quite easily. But its fun and I love it and its not too tacky. :)

Soooooooooo moving on! Books that I plan to read that are being released soon:

Seduce me at Sunrise by Lisa Kleypas. She is one of the few romance authors that I read these days because she writes novels that don't go off on some weird tangent and don't suck. This is the story of Win and Merripen, a dark, brooding hero who so needs to to find love.

Next is Neil Gaiman's new one, The Graveyard Book, about a cast of various undead and creatures in a graveyard who save and raise a young boy to manhood, and his various adventures. Ever since I saw the movie Stardust (and subsequently read all his books, and then got Hubby hooked and then Daughter on Neil's kids' books, am currently working on converting Son) I've been a huge fan. Another favorite is Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. The thing about Gaiman is that he hooks you in immediately and you have to keep reading the WHOLE DAMN THING.

Katie Landon recently recommended another book called Hotel World, described as totally inspiring art meets fiction meets truth meets brilliance book, which of course that means I'll have to get it and read it now.

PS-More JC Penneys Catalogue from the 70s hilarity. Also here is the original post.
Another animated short from the genius that is PES. Note: use headphones if you are at work or in a public place. :P

This weekend was fairly laid back, with a huge ass BBQ going on at Younger Sister N's house (which means that I don't have to cook). Brother-in-Law (henceforth BIL) smoked a rack of ribs (devoured in minutes), and we followed up with melt-in-your-mouth rib eye steak and lovely chicken wings. N is moving, essentially to Northern California for a new job, but plans to stay up there 3 days a week and commuting back and forth back to Southern California (as her home base). Will miss her since she is further away now, but I am very excited for her.

Since all the rooms were taken, I was the "lucky" one who got to spend the night on the couch in the family room. But with Dad and N and BIL talking shop about her new job until midnight, had to interrupt with a subtle hint by declaring, "OKAY I'M TIRED, ITS TIME FOR ME TO GO TO SLEEP LEAVE THE FAMILY ROOM IMMEDIATELY" hint, they grumbled their way upstairs and everyone went to bed.

Next day I stopped at Staples for office supplies and found this new and interesting display, it was like one of those candy shops in the mall where they have huge dispensers of candy, but in this case it was cute little shiny pretty office supplies, and you could fill up a bucket of whatever you wanted for $5.99. Could not resist, and since Kateri blogged about doing the same thing (but she takes way better pictures then I do) I'm stealing her pictures to post here. Aren't they cute!!!

So now the clipped paper in my office is that much more stylish!

Also, have noticed that N and Mom look at me more peculiarly now...

"You buy a lot of stuff from Etsy don't you?" commented Mom, when she saw me wearing this:

"What is that? Your wearing a necklace of 2 people having sex?" asked N.

"NO...this is an ampersand...the font is Cooper Black. Actually, the & symbol (or ampersand) has a long history. Marcus Tullius Tiro, who was Cicero’s secretary, is credited with having invented it around 63 BC. as part of a system of abbreviations to speed up writing. The phrase ‘et cetera’ was first printed ‘&c’ before being abbreviated to ‘etc’. Today the symbol is also used as a shorthand for ‘and‘," I said rather snottily. "You know, as they say, design WILL SAVE THE WORLD." (okay I didn't say that whole explanation but it is fun being snotty to the relations once in awhile)

There was no reply, only a raising of eyebrows between my mother and N. As if there was a silent point of agreement that I'd finally gone round the bend. Which I probably have.

In the meantime, it is quite possible I will wear this lovely Methods of Murder Mystery Charm Bracelet to our next gathering to demonstrate how much of the bend I've gone round.