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I only do it to get high

According to NY Times article from yesterday's style section, "Runner's High" has been scientifically proven. I thought it was well-established fact for many years. How else do you explain the way we start cheerfully chatting after 12 miles or so during group training run? Some will start singing, then the rest of the troop would join in. I've seen my friend Sid start laughing incontrollably, and wished I could get that myself. My 'high' would be usually pretty mild, but it is definitely one of the enjoyment of running. It clears up my head, and I would feel more energetic and positive after a run. Non-runners often think that we are masochists who love to go through the pain and agony of running long distance, but actually we just want to get high. It's scientifically proven!

A rumour says that there's a 24-story building going up on Delancey and Suffolk. Fortunately it's not going to block any more view from my windows, but people who live on the south side of 98 Suffolk will be very very unhappy- right now you can see their sunny windows from across Delancey, but they will be in a permanent shadow. The lot, which runs from the corner to the good half of the block on Delancey, seems a little narrow for a 24-story building, but from the size of scaffolding that has built it is going to be a big job. I just hope that it's not going to be another strikingly ugly building (although I am very sure it's not going to be a pretty one) and a construction crane won't be falling upon us.
on march 28, 2008 @ 05:48 pm [link]

Rabbit run

Sun was out. It seemed perfect for a long run, except the wind again. I secured my water bottle on my back, and went out for a long run. I decided to run past St. Patty's on 5th Avenue before hitting the park to catch Easter Parade. The crowd was so thick that I couldn't just run by there. There were some huge elaborate hats wearing people, and then 100 times more tourists snapping pictures at them. They should start calling this "Easter Hangout on the Street," because no one is marching. They are just hanging around in front of the church. I wondered if those people with funny hats actually attend the Easter mass, or they are just there as a street entertainment. Or would they even be allowed into church looking crazy? Or priests may say, that's too funny for the church. Also you'd be annoyed if you had to sit right behind those enormous hats. They could be too distructive. Next time I'll ask them if they attended the service. Anyway, my Easter sunday is just another long run day. The park was relatively quiet. Except the wind. But this rabbit was not discouraged. She kept running.

Apocalynn brought me some beautiful tulips, and we yapped as usual while she waited for her spicy tuna bowl. At the end of our conversation, she touched my hand and closed her eyes for a few seconds. She said, you have another vacation coming up in two months? I said, yes, I'm planning to run a marathon in Vermont in two months. I feel something exciting about it, she said. Maybe you meet someone. Wow, that'll be nice, I said. But I was thinking, I'm going to run my personal best! That will be really exciting. When she has such nice things to say, I totally believe in her psychic power. She is a great friend, whatever she says. Her tulips opened up in a few hours in the warmth of the restaurant, but closed up a little again by the time I locked up, to get some rest for the night. They are so alive.
on march 24, 2008 @ 11:50 pm [link]

spring magic

Thursday was Spring Equinox, a national holiday in Japan. It was terribly windy chilly morning but I was out for my bridge run. It was windy everywhere, and after 1 1/2 hours I was pretty tired. I was running back on the bridge, and wind was just the hardest ever. Before reaching the top of the bridge fighting so hard against the wind, I had to stop and walk a minute. I just could not push my body through the wind. It's ok. You just have to walk a little sometime. It's hard to keep running against the wind. It was fairly quiet day for business. I was glad to have some time to sit around.

I totally slept late because of alarm clock dysfunction, but just made it in time to open for lunch. First two hours, every dish I made seemed to come out just amazingly beautiful and perfect. I stared at each plate with awe. Ginger Tofu, just perfectly evenly browned on both sides. Spicy Tuna Bowls amazingly constructed with rim of beautiful arches avocado and topped with rosey chunks of tuna. Even Niku Japa slipped so naturally in a bowl like each place of potatoes were placed individually like petals of a flower and centered with a casual mound of meat in the center. But I was busy enough to forget to take pictures. Otherwise those dishes definitely made pages of my cookbook. Magic gradually wore out in the afternoon.

on march 22, 2008 @ 01:02 am [link]

Tap water for a dollar

Last week I already logged 48 miles. I've been doing higher mileage marathon training this time, and I was afraid that I would be tired at work after doing 10 miles in the morning. I'm doing just fine, and actually I'm feeling more energetic. This week Unicef's Tap Project is on. We'll be asking for a donation of a dollar for a glass of New York City tap water. Come join us for this wonderful initiative. Your dollar can provide safe clean drinking water for a child out there for 40 days.
on march 18, 2008 @ 12:30 am [link]

Dream will come true

Last week I was longing for spring. This week it already feels like spring. I headed out for my long run in the afternoon. The sky was gray and gloomy, but I thought in mild temperature I may hear some music in the park. On the way to the Central Park, I passed by the site of recent crane collapse. A piece of big crane was diagonally bridging across 51st Street, leaning against the building on the opposite site. People stopped and snapped pictures. The park was quiet. Rain gently began to fall as I started on my lap. In any season, any weather, the park was still beautiful. I always felt so grateful of this beautiful oasis we have in the middle of city. I paid a visit to Strawberry Field. Roses were laid around "Imagine" mosaic, and a group of young high school students in rain coats were snapping pictures. By the time I left the park, rain was coming down more steadily. East River was unsaturated green against the gray sky. I stopped in the deli on Delancey for a sandwich before I came home, and the guys working there saw me drenched happily in the rain and gave me a look of respect.

A friend gave me a DVD with some sort of self-help video. Their teaching was exactly what I preach; power of positive thinking. It was not news to me, but it was still interesting. So they say the "secret" is Law of Attraction. You attract things that is in your mind. You have negative thoughts and negative events will enter in your life. You visualize positive image, what you want in your life, they it will come to you. So I decided to follow their advise. Cleaning my apartment is not a solution for me right now. Let's not worry about all the clocks not yet adjusted. I should just focus on my dream. What I want. However absurd it may seem. All these 'self-help preacher' types were braggin on the video how they became a millionaire and have a wonderful relationships and luxurious life to enjoy because that's what they wanted. They totally focused on the idea of having a great life as a rich person and it happened to them. Sweet. Ever since I moved to Suffolk Street in 1994, I always dreamt that that old school building across the street will one day my dream residence. I'm going to carve the middle part and put a ferris wheel. Like they have in Toy's-r-us store in Times Square. But I swear I had that idea long before they did it! In my residence this ferris wheel also acts as an elevator. You can go from floor to floor riding the ferris wheel. Or you can just ride it round and round until you had enough. Then I would also have this particular block named as 'Kizawa Way', and it will be a gated community. But the gates will be always open. Although the rumour will say that I was planning to close the gates one day and declare independence. Maybe I should really focus on this vision then it will happen. They said so in the video. It will happen in about three months.
on march 16, 2008 @ 11:19 pm [link]

time to change time

What a drama with that Governor Spitzer; I was always alarmed with those enormous ears of his. They didn't seem to belong to a human. I didn't think he should've been elected because of those scary gigantic ears. But this sex scandal proved that he was just a dick after all. I truly believe Hillary Clinton should be the next President for this kind of thing would never happen with her! You know she wouldn't pay a dime to a whore to please her. She wouldn't take it even if it was free. I really believe so. What about all these men never seem to be able to keep it in their pants. There's two kinds of men on this earth as I see it; dirty old men and horny young men. Come on women, we should be ruling the world!

After a emotional week digging up memories of my late friend Bartholomew, I was finally feeling calm by the weekend. The summer time kicked in on sunday but spring feels far away. Of course clocks in my apartment are still one hour behind- it seems I have too many clocks in my little residence. Also many calendars. I think it's a Japanese thing. Only Japanese people ever ask me why I don't have a clock in my restaurant. That is a little contradiction to my Japaneseness, but it actually comes from my high school days. In my school, for some reason, they didn't have a clock in classrooms. I don't know if that was because we had 90-minute classes - perhaps teachers didn't like us to be staring at the clock and lamenting that time was going just so slow. But we were permitted to wear a watch, so I got used to feeling safe wearing a watch. So I still have to wear a watch, especially when I leave the house. Inside my apartment I have enough clocks; I don't have to go too far to find out what time it is. Also knowing time and place is very important for me. I have to know what time it is, and I have to know where I am. Now, I'm beginning to sound a bit neurotic. But I assure you I am not. Anyway, I spent this first day of summer time at Jacob Javits Center, attending the big Restaurant convention. This is a great event where you can walk around and taste all kinds of stuff, junk or gourmet, and this year they had a little stage where some young guys were flipping, spinning some pizza dough to dance music. They also had a dangerous sidebar 'Wine Expo' where you could taste hundreds of domestic and international wine. After indulging hours at the show, I found a cute vintage spring dress on Orchard street. I tried on, and it was a perfect fit. Now it's hanging over my closet door. Can't wait for the warmer weather.
on march 12, 2008 @ 12:22 am [link]


My strange day began when my friend Red passed by the door. The rain was beginning to come down. He tried to hide a shopping cart full of stuff out of my site, but I already saw it and asked him what he got there for me. He said it was just his stuff. He was homeless again. When I met him on the street of the Lower East Side 18 years ago, he was homeless. Then when he ran into him again eight years later, he had a home. He still didn't have a telephone. He began showing up around dinner time, throwing a stone at my window. I invited him up, fed him, and he would go, never overstaying his welcome. When I opened my restaurant, he proudly said, "I told you you should open a restaurant. You're a great cook!" This eccentric 40-something year old man, who often acts like a 14 year-old, was homeless again. It made me sad. He said he's going to a shelter. I told him to hurry on before
rain gets worse. He only said, "I got time."

Mid-afternoon, this tall gorgeous young girl right out of L-Word walked in. She was looking for me. It turned out that she was half-sister of my friend Bartholomew who overdosed next door in 2001. Since I opend my purse shop here on Suffolk street, we became good friends. Next few years he was my best gay boyfriend. He would often drop in to the shop with beer and we'd enjoy late afternoon drink together. So this young girl wanted me to tell her about her brother she barely knew. I told her that he took me to dives around town. We went New Wave dancing at Pyramid club. We sipped martinis at Algonquin Hotel, in the dark little lounge Dorothy Parker used to hang out with her friends. His favorite drink was "Martini, a little dirty." He once sent her my purses for her birthday, and I remembered how he was writing extended explanation about the purses in the card- "This small one is evening purse which you can take with you when you go out dressed up..." I didn't open SOY in time for him to see it, but I always thought how he'd been so proud of me. He would've so enjoyed my food. After Bartholomew was gone, my landlord rented the space next door to a bunch of Japanese motocycle guys. They kept the place as is, and used it as their shop to work on their bikes. One night, the whole group came in to eat together. Although I knew most of them individually by then, it was unusual to have them all at the same time. Afterwords, I realized that it was exactly a year since Bartholomew died, and I cried. He sent them over, I was sure. So I spent the rest of the day today in rememberance. I had many more visitors, poeple I haven't seen for a while, for the rest of the day. It was a strange day. It was very hard to acknowledge the fact that I lost someone I thought would be always in my life. But in a sense, he will always be. He is here. I went on taking care of my business, and at the end of the day when I closed the shop, I broke down and cried one more time.
on march 5, 2008 @ 12:42 am [link]

Things we never learn

Last year, the on-line running log at which I so relied on for some time was sucked into another online training program. One of those business mergers I suppose, but unfortunately it was no improvement from a user's point of view. The new software simply sucked. So after a training intrupption from a sprain, I found a solution at another website, But only after a couple of weeks of loving this new online running log, the site disappeared. There was some technical problem on the server side, it seemed. I am already into a few weeks with new marathon training program, I had to migrate to anther site,, which actually has a great logging software. Well, for a non-runner, a running long may sound like something so unimportant, like an expired Metrocard from two years ago. But for us it is the record of our achievements, a personal diary, an album of our baby pictures, or your babies' precious pictures and video footage that no one else appreciates or understands. After two weeks finally the webmaster from posted a note explaining what happened. The log database was corrupted and couldn't retrieve any of the data. Basically, the site is dead. Gone forever. I was only glad for myself I've used it only 2,3 weeks before I lost my data. I don't know how long the site was around, and how many users they had, but I'm sure plenty of people felt so hopeless after years of record they kept. It reminded me all those nightmarish but so painfully real moments of losing a disk, a file, or sometimes the hard drive or the whole computer itself and losing all kinds of things. Eventually I (almost) forgot what I have lost, and moved on, but I still didn't learn. It happened over and over again through many years I've been using computer that I lost stuff. Do I back up important files now? Of course not. And surprisingly enough, only two programs asks me if I want to back up the files in different locations from time to time. Therefore, I don't have any recent back-up of the files I regularly use and rely on. There's some things we never learn. For everthing else, there's MasterCard.
on march 1, 2008 @ 01:26 am [link]

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