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January 2007

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Fifteen years

I went for a short run in the morning to the East river track. It was still partly covered from the snow two nights ago. It's feeling like winter finally these days, after weeks of mild weather while we nodded to each other mumbling, "Global warming." This week Eri came to work with a news that we will be heading into ice age in 15 years, and it would be the world's end. I said she watched too much TV. She was serious though, with this story her friend just told her, but I was like, so what are you going to do now? It may not even be 15 years. Anything could happen tomorrow. Are you going to be more serious about your life? Last week I saw a very depressing documentary about kids with cancer. I watched years of their suffering, struggle, and eventually, many of them died. Then I watched antoher documentary about a family in Baghdad, living among bombs. I've been doing marathon movie watching these days, since I'm screening for Independent Spirit Awards. I often fall asleep because I'll be watching these DVDs they send me after a long day's work. Latest surprise gem was "Wristcutters: A Love Story." It's not as gruesome as it sounds. It was a truly imaginative funny romantic movie- one that makes me want to make movies again. Maybe in 15 years or less. Anything can happen. I will just keep going.
on january 31, 2007 @ 12:51 am [link]

A week in review

What a ordeal I went through in the past week! It started in the evening of Friday 12th, when my 4-year-old Dell laptop refused to go into Windows. On Monday I summoned my computer guy Ryan for rescue. But the CD drive which was replaced only two months ago was broken, and he couldn't do much after three hours. On Tuesday replacement CD drive arrived and Ryan came back for the second time, but he determined that it was a hard drive failure since it was not installing Windows. He ran to Best Buy and got a Hard Drive and replaced it, and still had very hard time recovering my computer. After five hours, it seemed to be finally working, and Ryan left saying, "The next time it crashes, you should buy a new computer." Four hours later, it crashed and it totally refused to boot up. So Thursday morning, I walked into J&R and told the salesman, "I need to buy a laptop. Right now." I couldn't take it anymore after almost a whole week of not connected. Then he immediately sold me a Compaq that was on sale. At the receiving, the man handed me the box and said, "oh, you bought an old computer!" Of course the salesman sold me an older model they wanted to get rid of. But so far I'm loving this 'Media Center' computer with a feel of Mac, and is loaded with useless features like 'Windows Dancers' who dance to your music on desktop. So the past few days I'm enjoying getting to know my new guy. I'm like dating my computer! Show me what you know, and what you can do. Are you going to be good to me? In the past week my first camera phone also arrived and now I can download ringtone! Connect to Web! Send emails! All the things I really don't need. But it surely is fun. I also started a SOY drawing book, where my artistc regulars immediately began showcasing their talent. I hope this coming week things would be calmer.
on january 22, 2007 @ 12:38 am [link]

free your toes

My mother just sent me a bunch of socks with toes. She says almost half of the socks you find stores now have toes like these. It's supposed to be healthier if you can wiggle your toes, she also says. So I've been enjoying wiggling the little piggies and they seem to be pretty content.

The other day I received a suspicious phone call. "How're you doing? This is your neighbor next door, Mike." It's such a common name, but I didn't recognize his voice, nor could match it with any of the Mikes I know. "I'm the tall skinny guy. I come in there all the time." People who says they are here 'all the time' are usually not the most frequent customers. "Listen, someone will come and drop off a computer part for me. If you can pay the guy $20, I'll give you $40 later when I come pick it up." This of course alarms me as a scam. "I don't know who you are and I'm not paying $20 to no one," I said. Then he hang up abruptly. Since I have a caller ID with name, I thought I should supply this information to the police. I called the local precinct, but the officer quickly dismissed me by saying, "But there's nothing to report. Nothing happened!" I said I have the phone number where the call came from, but she didn't care. If you are not a victim, they don't care. It's like "Nothing happened" for them. If you're victimized by such a petty scam, they still wouldn't care. I thought they could at least pretend to care. Next day, someone from police department called for fundraising. "As a business owner, you must have a friend in a force, right?" I said, "No. And I can't help you."
on january 12, 2007 @ 06:02 pm [link]


Hiroe was wearing this t-shirt that said "New York City Jail" at work three days straight, and I wondered if it was a bad joke or kind of insult. Someone told me before that he thought Japanese people don't understand jokes. I agree with it sometimes.

On Three Kings' Day three girls showed up for my Japanese Home Cooking class. It was an unbelievably warm day in January. People were walking around in short-sleeve shirts. In the evening, a few customers and I nodded to each other mumbling, "Global warming."
on january 8, 2007 @ 02:06 am [link]

Happy New Year

The pedestrian traffic light aross Delancey at Clinton street is a strange one. As soon as it changes to green, you have to run to make it to the other side. Otherwise you'll end up in the center island. It changes so quickly. Many neighborhood residents know this, thus, as soon as we see the light, we run!

After stopping at Betim's apartment for a quick shot of sake, I headed to the Central Park last night. At 9:30 on top of Sixth Avenue at Central Park South, there too many barricades, too many people, and too many police officers won't let me across to the park side. I had to make a detour to the East side again to head to 72nd street. Then I cut across the park to meet my friend Heidi on the West side and we joined the New Year festivity in the park for the Midnight run. We signed in as volunteers and waited for instructions. There was already party going on at the bandshell. Then our team: big white man Len from New Jersey, a hyper black lawyer Angela form London, and us two Asian girls, were led by George from Road Runners that we were heading to 102nd Street to serve as course marshals. We may not see the fireworks, and we would miss the costume contest. It was one of the lame assigments for volunteers, but we were committed to help this event. George was very pleased. "You guys are excellent." So we walked through the quiet park up to 102nd street, hang around for a half hour discussing anything from US criminal justice system to Japanese home cooking. Then we saw the fireworks behind the trees and it was time for us to get into position. We were supposed keep the runners in recreation lane, which was very hard to do. Thousands of runners almost ran over us, and it was just impossible at one point. Some runners complained why they had to stay in the rec lane although apparently no one else was using the park at midnight on New Year Eve. But people were in great spirit, and many people thanked me for being there. I called out everyone fior a Happy New Year, and everyone wished me back for a very Happy New Year. Runners high is quite infectious. You'd felt it if you were there. There was a great energy going in the dark and quiet park.

On the way back through Times Square, cleaning effort was already undergoing after the festivity. It began to drizzle, and drunk people on the street hailing for a cab asked me for a ride on my bike. I replied, "Sure, hope on!" and kept going.

On New Years Day, I was having an urge to go work out. My favorite gyms were closed for the holiday, so I headed to David Burton Gym on 23rd Street. This turned out to be the gayest gym I've ever been to. Who would be the most committed group of people to go work out at a gym on New Year Day: Gay Men, of course. I believe this is the gayest gym in town to begin with, but it was truly so this afternoon. Anyone with homophobia must stay away from this place; you would not survive 2 minutes in this place. All the employees seemed to be gay, and I'm sure 99% of men who were there working out were gay. There were a few other girls minding their own business. The gym had this pumping dance music. There was a soap opera on TV. I was greateful for abundance of clean towls. Beautifully lit work out floor was surrounded by mirrors so they (gay men) can check each other out from every angle. The workout machines were also accentuated by spot lights so they (gay men) can show off their gorgeous muscles. They also had the amazing locker room with dark wood floor, with non-English speaking employee dusting the lockers. I sat in a sensually illuminated steam room and thought that I didn't want to know what goes on in the men's locker room. Then I look a shower in the marble walled shower room. What a indulgence. I could feel it would be a very Happy New Year. I didn't mind riding back home in rain.
on january 1, 2007 @ 10:15 pm [link]

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