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April 2006

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soy diary

I'm the Goddess of Destruction

My bikes are fine, and my wounds from last week are slowly healing, but other things are breaking down this week. On Tuesday, one of the food warmers beeped and stopped working. Yesterday the food processor bowl chipped and the yogurt maker wasn't working, but it mysteriously started functioning again today after I left it plugged in for a few minutes. Today when I walked in the restaurant it was warm and smelt strange, like something almost burning. Soon I found out that the one of the refrigerator wasn't working. Fortunately the repair man Wada san came right away, and he fixed it in one hour. He said that the fan motor was burnt out. Are these just other incidents of rotten potatoes, or bad luck, or am I the goddess of destruction? I came home tonight and as I laid my late night snack on the coffee table, I knocked it over and it shuttered on the floor. It fell only about 15 inches! We have a great inprovement this week with this computerized point-of-sale system with touch screen. My girls are mesmerized by it. I'm so loving this new smart and dependable little worker who knows all my dishes and prices. It was another great marker in the history of SOY. I hope I don't break it by touching it so much.
on april 30, 2006 @ 03:17 am [link]

I could be a professional t-shirt folder

In case you didn't know how smart Japanese people are, watch this video:"How to fold a t-shirt in split seconds." When I went home after stumpling across this, I went home and took my t-shirts (I have plenty of them!) out from drawers and folded, folded, and folded. In split seconds! You lay a t-shirt in front of you with the shoulder on your right, and the bottom on left. You grab a point, half lengthwise and 1/4 in from right side of t-shirt with left hand. Then grab the shoulder vertically from this point on the shirt (horizontally in your point-of-view) with right hand. While holding onto this shoulder, cross right hand over left hand and grab the bottom hem, vertically (on the shirt) opposite from the shoulder you're just grabbing. Then you flip it, uncrossing your arms. Voila! You just tuck in the other sleeve and you have a beautiful retail store-like t-shirt fold. It sounds kind of complicated but if you can watch this video I think it's clear. And it works like magic. It may make you a bit smarter like Japanese. Or it may make you exclaim like Japanese: "Sugoooi! (super!)"
on april 27, 2006 @ 02:18 am [link]

Running can be dangerous

Friday morning, I forced myself out of bed and told myself, I should go running. I will feel much better when I go out. It was sunny and gorgeous out. So I did. As I warmed up running toward the overpass across FDR, I tripped on something and flew forward. With my arms stretched out, so I won't land on my pretty face, I slid across the sidewalk braking with my hands. Even though I wasn't going fast, I landed with such forward movement, I skinned my hands, knee, hips, and elbows. I saw a chunk of skin missing from my left palm and wee, wee, wee, cried all the way home. Hell, no. I was known as 'the girl who don't cry' in school. In elementary school, boys were always so eager to see me cry, because I hardly ever did. When they finally saw me cry in the first grade, they clapped hands and danced around me. Really. So anyway this was another case of rotten potato for me. Someone said, 'but the good thing is, you'll be getting a new skin there!' That's true. Now my medicine cabinet is supplied with new array of first aid products.

on april 24, 2006 @ 02:00 am [link]

A rotten potato

Last week, I had a flat tire fixed on my beat-up old road bike which I use for a transportation. Although the brakes are squeaky, it's still lighter and faster as a reliable ride around town. The day after I had the repair, I had a flat tire again on my midnight bike ride. When I brought it to Frank's bike shop yesterday morning, I asked him why it happened again so soon. He just shrugged and said, "Bad luck." He said there was a small nail that was in the tire. This morning I had to take it for a meeting midtown. Two hours later when I got out and saddled on my ride it was flat again! The same tire! I was able to hail a big yellow cab a few blocks down on 34th Street. Then the African cabby got out, put the bike in the back, bitching, bitching, bitching. "I should get a good tip for this." I told him not to worry. Then he started bitching some more since he was on the west bound lane. "I can't turn here, you know. I have to go all the way to 9th Avenue to go downtown." I could've told him to drive around the block and head down on fifth avenue, but I had already surrendered to my bad luck. He had heavy accent and I couldn't understand half of the things he was saying but somehow we began conversing. He's living here for 20 years and got kids, brothers and sisters here, too. He didn't know too much about Japanese food but he said he would come try my food sometime. He liked to have good soup, he said. I said I made good soup. By the time he dropped me off at the bike shop he wasn't bitchy anymore. I gave him a very nice tip and he was happy. I walked into the shop and he shrugged and said "Bad luck!" The repair man showed me a piece of glass stuck in the tire. But as a saying goes, (or does it?) "A rotten potato will not spoil the land." Yes I found a rotten potato in my veggie bin this afternoon but the rest of the bunch was fine. They turned into another potful of Niku Jaga.

on april 19, 2006 @ 01:12 am [link]


No, this was not Friday night at SOY. I rode JoJo the bike over the bridge and joined Betim and her friends for her birthday party in Williamsburg this Easter Sunday afternoon. Betim and her boyfriend Mike were among the greatest friends I made at SOY. After any little sacrifices I make, slavering day after day, these friends are the wonderful rewards. Yes it was a wild party as you can see in the picture, although I didn't not get to wear 'Free Lil Kim' panties. It totally made up crazy Saturday yesterday.

Yesterday morning at 7 o'clock in the morning I was woken up by violent drilling noise outside of my window. They were drilling a hole in the sidewalk across the street. I closed the windows, closed the doors, put earplugs and was able to fall back to sleep. But then only an hour later my cat Coco began whining at the food of the bed for no reason. Then it was followed by chaotic sound of four Bangladeshi children next door yelling running and pounding the walls. Here goes my beauty sleep. When I finally got up and went out for a run along the river, hazy air smelled like summer and I was soaked after 40-minute run. Dinner time was rather quiet, and I decided to go on a midnight bike ride after work, as I kept saying all these warm nights. It was windy but beautiful evening, and when I got to the west side just past Battery Park, I got a flat tire. I had a slow heavy and bumpy ride home. Now I was tired.

On the way home from Williamsburg this evening I came across this Chinese restaurant. Great name, huh? LOL
on april 16, 2006 @ 10:59 pm [link]

almost Good Friday

I had a bad bad bad dream this morning. I had a bigger restaurant. Maybe almost 100 seats. I still had like three girls working for me, and none of them spoke English. So I had to tend the hungry mob. There were people waiting for tables, besides the people waiting for food. The kitchen was upstairs and I couldn't see what was going on. The tables were filled with parties of 5 or more. There was a list of names of theh parties, and I tried to figure out who was here first, but the names were totally illegible. Food was coming down from the kitchen but I couldn't find the checks and couldn't figure out who was getting what. When I finally presentd a check to one table, the guy told me he's not going to pay because the service was a mess. When I woke up, I was very tired.

My official work day is at least about 13 hours, five days a week, then slightly shorter on the sixth day. People ask me how I can keep up with it. I say, having a business is pretty much 24/7, so it doesn't really matter anyway. This is what I mean. I sleep and still running the business. And it's a nightmare sometimes. People also worry that I must not have a life working all the time, but I have a big life! And it's all together. My work and personal life has a very blurred boundary; I have work, have fun, and socialize. I think it's a great life! Tonight after we served mostly parties of 4 or more, (just like my nightmare!) Paul and Beth walked in and feasted with me. Then another crazy friend Jack walked in with a piece of paper he found on the street, a spanish print something about collective suicide, freaked out. If you know Jack you'll actually understand this is an amusing picture. Oh how I love the Lower East Side. Suffolk Street. We all socialize a little more over wine and I really think I like to be buried right here on Suffolk Street some day.

I found a use for some collected junk and made Easter decoration with pastel colored paper cupcake cups, lined with shredded old money holding little chocolate easter eggs. Ikuko saw it and asked me if it was a traditional Easter decoration, with shredded money and all that. I said yes, and I invented it.
on april 14, 2006 @ 01:16 am [link]

Niku Jaga: the ultimate Japanese mama's dish

I was wondering yesterday why so many people are signing up on my mailing list. The statistics didn't show yet where the web traffic was coming from. Tonight, my little assistant returned to work on his gyoza wrapping skill. His mom told me that the extreme close-up of Niku Jaga was on Gothamist. I should have suspected something was up when Namazzi asked me if I wrote that he was a very good help in my 'notebook.' And yes, we sold lots of Niku Jaga tonight. Now that bunch of strangers may be also reading this very personal soy diary I must not gossip about my neighbors, nor disclose about my battle with hemorrhoids. Oh no I won't.
on april 12, 2006 @ 11:30 pm [link]

They are alive

Friday was my father's birthday, so I went to the green market at Union Square in the morning and bought myself some red tulips. I was tempted for cherry branches, too, but voted for something alive with roots.

We had another incredible run last week. Friday night, my favorite boy Namazzi came for his usuals: a big glass of ginger lemonade, soy croquettes and of course, nameshi. He's been a faithful customer since he was four years old and he'll be seven next week. After meal, he wanted to come help in the kitchen. We were a little busy in the kitchen but the little guy was quietly begging me. So I brought him into the kitchen and told him to sprinkle little sesame here and there, lay avocado slices for spicy tuna bowls, and bring dishes to the front. I guess I inherited the skill to make use of a little person in the kitchen from my mother. She was always able to find me stuff to do to help her, aquiring culinary skills from early age. Namazzi was such a delightful eager help I wondered if I can have my own little slave in the kitchen some day.

On sunny sunday, tulips opened. I went for a nice endorphin-producing long run. Along the water by the seaport and Battery Park were already getting filled with fat American tourists and surburbian brats coming in by the bus loads. They're planning to build an 'Aquatic carousel' in the Battery Park, which looks fantastic in the drawing. The park was also filled with 'sad Statue of Liberty' to have picture taken with tourists. They somehow reminds me of that Statue of Liberty for the New York Care's coat drive commercial they run before Christmas, hugging herself in the brutally cold New York weather, therefore 'sad Statue of Liberty.'

Late power breakfast after the run. I was startled by the sound of my neighbor making sweet love. It was as if the girl was screaming into the air shaft. Oh, boy. Did I prefer that to his bad music and loud singing? I just had to go to my living room and turn on the TV. In the evening the tulips downstairs were closed. They are so alive.

on april 11, 2006 @ 12:52 am [link]

SOY falafel

Another long day! I was up earlier to get ready for a Bar Mitzvah catering in the West Village. As a nightmare goes, you always feel you forgot something. And I did. When I got there I realized I forgot the gigantic jar of peanut butter. I was supposed to make peanut butter sandwiches for the kids. Ikuko had to run out to find it. As we were almost ready for the feast, the party poured into the room. The hungry mob dug into the piles of treasure sacks, soy croquettes, ganmo patties and smoked salmon sushi. I forgot my camera, too, but I didn't have time anyway. They especially loved the mini soy croquettes saying, "you make great falafel!" Many people asked me for the business cards, but I totally forgot to bring any. I was very tired already for the evening business, but I was in good spirit. Many more nice newfaces showed up. A group of young vegans filled the counter at one time, enjoying my veggie curries and tofu pudding. Thank you all for coming!

on april 2, 2006 @ 01:09 am [link]

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