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February 2007

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super size SOY!

For our lunch regulars, Spicy Tuna Supersize (double tuna!) is a popular choice nowhere to be found on our menu. I just watched a documentary "Super Size Me" with disgust. American fast-food culture is truly terrifying. But I did not feel bad about my supersized meal. My customers are thin. I get them addicted to our yummy and healthy food, but it seems to do good for them physically and psychologically. The reason could be- we are a slow food establishment. One customer once recommended me to ''slow food guide." I think we are usually pretty fast, but you may have sometimes experienced our 'slow-food period,' where after a few big orders our kitchen gets so congested and we can't serve fast enough. I always thought fast food was evil. I don't remember the last time I ate at McDonald's, possibly sometime in the last 5 years, when I was on a highway and didn't really have any other quick choice at a service area. Here comes my new mission: to have a truly healthy and delicious alternative to the existing harmful fast food industry. It can be done.

This afternoon I read a fascinating and sad story about Vanishing Honeybees. "It could just be that the bees are stressed out." So they just decided to take off. Oh, I can't do this anymore. It's not as much fun when it becomes WORK!!! So they don't want to pollinate California Almonds anymore. So one beekeeper recently shipped 14 million bees from Australia. Here comes immigrants to take the unwanted jobs! I just hope this has nothing to do with global warming.
on february 28, 2007 @ 12:48 am [link]

running around on the snow

Wednesday morning I had my first shoveling duty of the season. Even though it was barely an inch of accumulation at the point, it was quite heavy snow, being more like ice pellets. As I struggled from lack of upper body strength, my neighbor Andrew came out and shook his head. "Look at you, you can't even shovel. Here, let me help you out." It's nice to have a tall nice guy as neighbor. He quickly cleared my sidewalk in a minute. After a snowfall, I always enjoy going for a run in the East River Park. The track was completely covered with new snow, still mostly undisturbed. And the best thing was that it was such hard snow I could easily run on it. It was like cushy ground. It's been pretty quiet all week due to weather. Past two days I wouldn't send out my staff for a bike delivery for an obvious reason (to me). I still go out in the morning on the bike for shopping, but I almost fell many times. I wouldn't risk safety of my people! But some customers didn't understand and complained when I told them we won't deliver because of road condition. "But I'm so close!" Someone said yesterday. Grand and Columbia is not exactly walking distance for us. I can't afford to send Atsushi for 30 minutes round trip on foot. He won't like it either. And I assume these people also never rode bicycle in snow. We don't have snow tires on our little vehicle, you know.
on february 16, 2007 @ 05:22 pm [link]

I left my footprints in Bermuda

Only one and a half hour flight brought me to this little semi-tropical island in Atlantic. Weather was pretty bad all weekend; mostly cloudy and drizzling rain, but it was still beatiful! I adored the ocean view from my window. Every morning I took the same pictures from the balcony because it was just so pretty. Monday morning I finally had a few hours of sun, and I enjoyed clear blue water on a pink sand beach in a little cove. And no one was there! People were so nice and friendly- it is a customary to sit next to your cabby and enjoy conversation for the duration of your ride. In the old town of St. George, an old town drunk gave me a private tour and took pictures of me. In a bar restaurant near my apartment I watched Super Bowl with the locals. It was almost like America, but still little different. I totally loved this little island. I'll go back many more times.

It was on my to do list for a while, but today I finally filled out an application for my US citizenship. Again, thanks to the technology, I was able to download the application and instruction on the internet, without standing in this brutal weather for three hours just to get a form like we used to have to. To my surprise, it was easy 10-page application. There were just bunch of simple questions, like, Do you have any title of nobility in any foreign country? I guess if it's yes, they may treat you nicer. I was almost tempted to say yes, but you really don't want to mess with INS. One question that sort of puzzled me was, Have you ever been a member of or associated with any organization, association, fund foundation, party, club, society or similar group in the United States or in any other place? I assumed that this was sort of political, so I decided not to list that I've been a member of Association of Independent Filmmakers or Central Park Truck Club. They don't count, do they? Party? I guess my Festivus party is not what they mean by party here. And of course this was followed by a question, Have you ever been a member of or in any way associated (either directly or indirectly)with: The Communist Party? Any otehr totalitarian party? A terrorist organization? I wondered if anyone ever dare to answer yes in these questions. Also they ask you between March 23, 1933 and May 8, 1945, did you work for or associate in any way (either directly or indirectly) with: The Nazi government of Germany? So we can make sure no former Nazi can be an American citizen. But I wasn't born back then so they are never going to suspect I have any association with that. Then there were more questions, where if you answered yes to any of it you had to attach a separate sheet to explain 'why.' Have you ever (yes, in bold letters, I swear): Been a habitual drunkard? Been a prostitute, sold or smuggled controlled substances, illegal drugs or narcotics? Been married to more than one person at the same time? Helped anyone enter or try to enter the United States illegally? Gambled illegally? failed to support our dependents or to pay alimony? So no drunks, whores, drug dealers, dead beat dads! There's enough of them here already! Then here came a little tough part. Oath requirements. If you answer "No" to any of these, you have to attach your written explanation why the answer was no and any additional information or documentation that helps to explain your answer. Do you support the Constitution aqnd form of government of the United States? Do you understand the full Oath of Allegiance to the United Sates? Are you willing to take the full Oath of Allegiance tot he United States? If the law requires it, are you willing to bear arms on behalf of the United States? If the law requires it, are you willing to perform noncombatant services in the US Armed Forces? If the law requires it, are you willing to perform work of national importance under civilian direction? I wondered if anyone dared to say No to these questions. And any of them did write an impressive essay that they still got US citizenship. I wouldn't dare.
on february 12, 2007 @ 01:04 am [link]

Thank you, technology

It's been a bit chilly, and this word 'Bermuda' was hovering over my head. Tuesday morning, I borrowed a travel book from a library. Then within 24 hours, thanks to the modern technology of internet, I was able to complete my impulsive vacation plan all without leaving here or making a single phone call. Late night I sent an email inquiry about a studio rental. First thing in the next morning, the proprietor answered me that it's available and I can come this weekend. In the afternoon fetched me the best airfare on the market, and I booked my flight. 10 minutes later I realized I gave myself a month-long vacation with this flight - I booked wrong dates. February totally throws you off; dates and days in Februrary are the same as March! So I had to go back and correct it and pay additional $30. Without internet, I would probably never take a vacation. I would have fewer friends. I won't have new clothes or shoes. DVDs won't show up in my mailbox. I won't have these crazy amount of music on playlist. So I'll be going to have a quick dip under sun this weekend. And yes, they have internet access at the apartment I'm staying.
on february 1, 2007 @ 03:20 pm [link]

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