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On the way back from my morning run, I passed by Frank's bike shop on Grand Street and found our new delivery bike! It's ugly pink and I love it! My delivery guy is going to hate it! But the ride is pretty smooth. I'm going to name it simply 'Pinky' from John Irving's novel I just finished reading. It was a name of a girl acrobat in a circus in Bombay. Pinky and I will be running around the streets of the Lower East Side every morning.
on may 28, 2004 @ 04:24 pm [link]

bicycle thief

It seemed like another beautiful day until I came downstairs and found - or did not find - my delivery bike. It was one of those rare night that I didn't put the bicycle inside the store. I was in a hurry, since I was supposed to meet with a friend, and it was raining. When I realized I didn't take the bike inside, I said, well, it should be ok. I just left it chained right outside. Some people laugh at me when I lock the beat up bike; "who's going to steal it?" But they do. Here's the proof. Even if you bike cost only $30 (which is unlikely anyway), you have to invest in $100 Kryptonite lock to leave it outside. When am I going to learn after 15 years in NYC? In two and a half years, I've had stolen 3 bikes, 2 wheels, and 1 seat. Sometimes during early evening business hour, right in front of the store. And still, it's a big shock everytime it happens. I stood there in total shock. I lost my legs. I couldn't go shopping for food supplies. It was devastating to walk to the bank. This is just great. Another project for my holiday weekend. Find a new bicycle. It's actually not so easy to find a really beat up cheap bike. If one of those bicycle thief show up at the door today trying to sell a bike, I may have to grab it, unfortunately.
on may 27, 2004 @ 04:04 pm [link]

Almost Japan

Able to Rideout: Bret, frequenter at SOY, has been travelling around the globe. He just emailed me since he's heading to Japan sometime soon. He wants to know what kind of fun things I can suggest he'd do there. I haven't been home for three years, so I don't know exactly what is going on there. But the first thing that came across my mind was: Parasite museum. I've never been there. But I've read about the place somewhere, and I've been curious. It sounds pretty gross, but supposedly it's pretty educational. You can see all kinds of gigantic longish parasites and learn all about them! Last time I was home, I accompanied my friend who was studying to be a nurse to see Cancer exhibit, which was very very popular. Especially the model of female boobs which you can squeeze and check for tumor had a long curious patient line of mostly men. (So they can aquire the skill of checking female breast, which is very important, of course.) I didn't have an urge to squeeze the boobs, so I skipped this one. The exhibit was fairly gross, and I even paid for it. At least this parasite museum is free. I'll write more about what kind of fun things I've done in my last two visits tomorrow.
on may 27, 2004 @ 01:22 am [link]

Time for improvements

It's only tuesday (technically wednesday) but feels like it's almost weekend. Probably because I'm thinking of the weekend- since it's Memorial day weekend I'm considering taking a long weekend off and doing my hobby: Home improvement! It's actually store improvement (which is surely part of my home anyway). If I can figure out how by then, I'm laying a tile floor. New floor is due for a while.

Stayfree Ultra Thin overnight with wings is huge. I mean super long. I've never seen such long pads - it covers your entire butt crack and beyond. Seriously. I always thought American maxi pads are gigantic, but this one is serious in coverage. At least it's ultra thin, so it's not so uncomfortable. I thought some of you may want to know. I stride to provide you some useful information, which I think is one of the attractions of this blog.
on may 26, 2004 @ 01:14 am [link]

It's a bomb!

My 'smokin' photo from last week's half-marathon has arrived. The lioness is making the last spurt to the finish line.

Unknown little package also arrived this afternoon. Since I wasn't expecting any package, I was little thrilled at first. Maybe it's something nice from a secret fan! But the label was typed. And there was no sender's address. I stared at this little box. Could it be a bomb? But who wants to blow up SOY? McDonalds? (I wanted to come up with something more clever.. but hey, it's one o'clock in the morning and my mind is fogged up with greasy fume from the hard day's work.) Anyway, I assumed it's probably safe to open it, because I don't think anyone would possibly blow up SOY. Inside was.. just papers. It was from Citysearch; little cards for me to promote them, urging my customers to go vote for us. On the back of the cards says, Soy, best vegetarian. We're not a strictly vegetarian restaurant, but having lots of great vegetarian selection qualifies to be one, I suppose. If anyone could nominate SOY for best sushi as a joke, it would be great.
on may 25, 2004 @ 01:24 am [link]

Get your Tofu Dogs here!

This afternoon, SOY was unexpectedly participating in the scavenger hunt. Late afternoon, there was two people looking through the menu in the window, which wasn't usual. Then they walked in and asked me if I have Tofu Dogs. No. What suggest that I do? Then as Jonathan came, he asked me, "why are those people taking a picture in front of the store?" I didn't notice them that time, then a few minutes later, there were a few more people posing in front of the window and taking a polaroid, with a list in their hand. I had to go ask. As it turns out, they were participants of a scavenger hunt of the Lower East Side, and they were looking for the Tofu Dogs, which I don't have, but took the picture in front of SOY anyway. Then there were more and more small groups who would hover around the window to read the menu. When they can't find the 'Tofu Dogs' on the menu, they'd come in any way and ask if we do. I wonder what was the right answer. I never served Tofu Dogs here, and I don't know anyone who does in a few blocks radius, which was the area they were looking for. They were also looking for live chickens, which I proudly tried to direct them to the chicken breeder on Delancey and Attorney, but they said it was out of the area. I don't know who else got live chickens.. I overheard someone who purchased a chicken from the breeder for a pet while ago though. There used to be live chickens up the street with the people lived in the vacant lot between Rivington and Stanton. They were bulldozed over a few years ago. Where did those people and chickens go?

This was also another night of fun fun Sushi making class, where I introduced a secret new technique that I came up with that made the sushi roll making less messy. We had a very productive session, and finished all the rice that I thought was more than sufficiant for all of us.

Then between the class and the dinner time, I ran over to 107 Suffolk since they had the annual open studio. I went to visit some of the friends there and admired works of the local artists. There are supposedly some heavy politics going around in that building, but I didn't notice anything unusual. I already had a glass of sake one of the students brought in, then I was offered a glass of wine at one of the studio. I came in late to set up for the evening business, then it was the time for the scavenger hunt, which brings you back to the beginning of this entry.
on may 22, 2004 @ 08:20 pm [link]

The old man and the Japanese student

I read an interesting news from Japan. At the entrance exam for public high schools in Chiba, there was a question that almost half of the students couldn't answer in Japanese subject. The question was: write an essay about bringing this old man you met on the street to the city hall, choosing from the two routes on the map. First, the students were asked to make a choice about the old man. The old man seems to be: A. In a hurry. B. rather frail. C. in good health. D. having plenty of free time. They say students were too confused to make this choice, plus the choices between the route A which has a steep uphill and the route B which is mostly flat but longer in distance. They didn't mean to confuse the students in making either of these choices since no choice was wrong. It was merely for communication skills and to describe the story with proper words. The news reports only 14% answered correctly. Some students suffered too much from thinking that it's inapproprite to make the old man walk up the hill or make him walk a long way. The question also asked the students to express how they are being considerate for the old man, which they think caused the students further agony. Japanese schooling system is often described as 'examination hell,' but this type of essay question is rare. The exams are always to test their knowlege. They are trained to make the correct answers. When I went to college here, essay questions freaked me out because I wasn't used to them, and it was hard enough to write in English to begin with. I thought I did terribly at the first such exam, but turned out I did well. I realized that it was only a matter of explaining what I knew. But Japanese students are hardly encouraged to express and make points in their own words. The news reports that some students even started crying as they run out of time trying to compose a 'correct' essay. Poor kids. I wish I were there to cheer them on: the high school student and the old man walking up the big hill. Maybe then can see a better view from the top.
on may 22, 2004 @ 01:18 am [link]


The inspector showed up from the Health department yesterday. I was on my best behavior (like always) and followed the inspector flashing his flash light into the every corner in the restaurant. He found some dust in the hard to reach area behind the stove. He pointed out a couple more seemingly minor items. He sat down, started writing his report. At the end, he told me I got 15 points. What does that mean? I don't even know. They got this new rating system and I have no idea what my verdict is. He couldn't even tell me. I got a hearing date and he said then they'll tell me if I have a violation. Mmm.. But it didn't seem so bad. At least the new system seem to make it impossible to bribe the inspector.

There was a cancellation and two more spots are available for this saturday's sushi class. If anyone's interested, please call us - quick!
on may 20, 2004 @ 12:52 am [link]

wiz and clown

Monday afternoon, Alex, Roumanian computer wiz, showed up to revive my laptop. After three hours of his battle, my computer was alive and kicking again. He had to re-install windows, but was able to save all the documents. I'm still trying to restore the previous settings, but the worst is over.

Past 11 pm last night, Mike with a red clown nose (real clown nose! and a crown like a king) came to the door. I was already cleaning the floor. He realized it was too late to get his Nameshi, gave me a sad face, and left.
on may 18, 2004 @ 03:51 pm [link]

What a weekend

Truly eventful.
This is the third time I'm trying to write into my blog this weekend. The browser keep crashing on me.

So my weekend started on Friday at 6pm, when the Japanese electricians, Komuro san & Ikko san (the middle aged guys who call me oka-san or mother) showed up at SOY with a six-pack of Sapporo beer and a huge bottle of sake. They feasted, joked, kept pouring me sake, and danced to blue grass. They finished all the drink by closing.

Saturday morning was the belated start of my running race season with the Queens half-marathon. I figued it would be faster than the subway, and got on my bike to get to the start in College Point. It was only one hour ride. The empty streets of Brookly and Queens at 6 am was so nice and clean; it felt like I was riding through a suburbia. The waterfront at the park in College Point was covered with thick fog. It was dump and chilly until we started at 8 am. Then it was so hot all of a sudden! I was together until about mile 9 then tanked. A male runner fell unconscious in front of me near the end. It was a tough race, with the question returning to my head: "why am I doing this again?" But result wasn't bad. I placed 7th in the age group and brought home a little trophy. Tall brothers with amazing bodies told me after the race, "you were smokin, sista!" I wasn't smoking but steam was rising from my body as we stood around and chat. Ride home was dusty and hot, but I didn't mind. There was a big strawberry from "Fresh Direct" standing still at Nassau and Lorimer. He looked kind of sad. Why do those promotional dummies look so sad? I always wonder. Probably that fake permanent smile they have on.

In the evening, my laptop won't start. It just would not start. So this beautiful Sunday I spent all afternoon trying to recover the corrupt windows. After 5 hours of trying to find information, doing some partial repair effort, getting stuck in the middle, and talking to extremely unhelpfull unknowledgeable tech support lady who conversed in 5 seconds delays, I just had to find a computer repair guy. Hopefully he can fix this tomorrow. Meantime I'm battling with an old desktop who's been buggy. It's scary how you can be paralized without a computer. And of course I realize I should back up files regularly. Readers, please go and back up some important files, right now!
on may 16, 2004 @ 04:52 pm [link]


We're nominated in vegetarian restaurant category for the best of Citysearch 2004. Go vote! Or you can nominate us under different categories like "Steak." Now, when visited the site, I noticed a unusually negative review by a user, which contains lots of false information, perhaps on purpose. "Chicken curry is a staple of Japanese "home cooking." .. Not true. My family never ever made chicken curry. " - almost everything at Soy is pan fried." ????? "The salads are oily and there is nothing vaguely Japanese - or tasty - about the pickes." Which salads? And what is "pickes" anyway?? If you doubt the authenticity of my home cooking, ask at the Japanese hair salon next door. They come almost every day. I don't understand how some people mean so much menace. "One review described the food as "healthy;" Soy's is possibly the least healthy Japanese food you could find anywhere." I eat here every day and haven't even caught a cold once in years. I don't think our wonderful NYC tap water is the only contributing factor. My wall is adorned by the pictures of many people who believe in my food. I will not be discouraged.

While outraged, I totally forgot something else I wanted to write about..

According to my mother, the little kitties that arrived from Japan (picture yesterday) are made by this lady who's almost 100 years old. Go grandma!
on may 14, 2004 @ 02:51 pm [link]

It's Margit again!

Seeing sudden increase in site traffic, I inquired our intelligence team at SOY what has happened. Then I found out that my neighbor Margit tipped off Lockhart | Web Presence about this blog. Now I'm going to be paranoid again facing my customers, wondering if they read my blog, like when I started the blog I kept wondering who knows about my hemorrhoids. Not that I write all the private details of my life.. much. But what do you mean the site might be even better than my food? You can't eat this blog, or can you? I guess it's like saying, "love doesn't pay the rent."

Since I'm an edurance runner who eats about 3000 calories a day and carb-loads regularly, I often laugh at the new low-carb trend. Do you want to lose weight? Do vigorous exercise like me! But if you like to stick to your diet, here's a delicious alternative: our new arrival, tofu noodles! The fettucine-like noodle is made of tofu and konnyaku root. It's low calories and low carb. It's great both in hot or cold broth. Try!

on may 13, 2004 @ 01:00 pm [link]

made in Japan

A care package arrived from home. Inside was my new aprons, cookies, mom's homemade
umeboshi, teas, towels as stuffing, dried mushrooms and other random cute objects
my mother found around the house as these. Cute!

on may 13, 2004 @ 12:28 am [link]

I want to ride the kitty bus

This fantastic Japanese vehicle is available from Kogensha Dreamworld. It's about $67,000. I'm going to start saving for the kitty bus today!
on may 11, 2004 @ 05:19 pm [link]

Free hug

Did you read this story about this huggable guy in Washington Square Park: The New York Times >"Inviting the Public's Embrace, One by One." What a sweet idea! I'm thinking of offering a free hug at SOY. Please ask for a free hug next time you come in.

Some reader of this blog commented yesterday: "ah..yes..youth. What a lovely poetic time of innocence, vitality, & promise. Pity we cant barter father time for clemency " Well, youth is certainly beautiful, but I also find growing up (or old) so nice and comfortable. I don't think I'd ever want to go back to the time when I was so vulnerable. I still get into trouble and get hurt, but learned to minimize the pain. So what, if I have to use so much more moisturizer than a few years ago. Physically, I'm in much better shape than 10 years ago. I wouldn't have been able to run marathons back then.
on may 11, 2004 @ 01:27 am [link]

pink liquid

I love the Pepto-Bismol commercial. Those office people seem so happy dancing about nausea, heartburn, upset stomach, indigestion and diarrhea, yay! Its simplicity and stupidity totally works. But frankly, that pink liquid scares me. That's the grossest medicine there is. I have never taken it, so I don't know how it tastes like, but just the thought of it, taking that pink liquid down my throat, scares me. Makes me sick. So I'll never take that scary pink liquid. I'm serious on this. Did you know they got the greatest domain name? It's

Comet Neat is en view in the evening sky this week. Neat, yah?
on may 9, 2004 @ 01:14 am [link]

soy boys

Here's my new boys: Jonathan, cute little Swiss, and Hayato, cute tall Japanese. They are 22 year olds. Oh boy, I feel old.

The new powerful air conditioner came today. All ready for the summer heat!

The fabulous ginger lemonade is back!
on may 8, 2004 @ 12:00 am [link]

more new neighbors

My neighbor Margit sent me an email this morning:
" - is that the new place that's opening up where adult world used to be?" Yes, exactly. A new club with an ugly green doorway sticking out on the sidewalk opened up in the box that formerly housed the famous 'adult world,' the lower east side's original strip joint. Then Margit adds: "you always know what's going on on Suffolk -- whether it's new japanese hair salons or naked neighbors, so I figured I'd ask!" I had a vision of myself as an old lady of 100 plus years old sitting in front of SOY, collecting gossip and all kinds of information. If a question arises, people would say, "let's go ask at the lady at SOY." I think that's cute. Margit is going to see Morrissey tomorrow, so I've been playinbg the Smiths today. The first customer for lunch said, "Did you know he's playing at the Apollo?" I said, "Yes, I was just informed." I got a booking for a "sushi making bachelorette party in June. What a fun idea!

Someone sent me a few Japanese literature from Jehovah's Witness in the mail. Sometimes, these religious literature contains amusing articles. The one titled "What's wrong with phone sex?" caught my eye. That sounds like some practical information. It says that phone sex is not safe because it makes you horny. It's dangerous because it's addictive. So as masturbation. Bad. Even engaged couples should not talk dirty- that's against God's will. They say they got practical answers in their book on how to stop masturbating. So whoever wants to stop it, please ask Watchtower people who can be spotted knocking on the doors on Sundays.
on may 6, 2004 @ 02:45 pm [link]


I went to get some flowers and my choice this morning was these peonies. The lady at the Korean grocery said, "Peony! People who buy peony know flowers." Therefore, I know flowers.
on may 6, 2004 @ 12:29 am [link]


Upon hearing the news of Benito's departure: Michael- "You must be a really tough boss!" Jose- "Are you a scary person back there?" Guida- "You have a curse! You have to chant!"
on may 5, 2004 @ 01:02 am [link]

try this

1) Go to
2) Type in (but DON'T hit Enter):
"weapons of mass destruction".
3) Hit the "I'm feeling lucky" button, instead of the normal "Google
search button.

More drama this weekend: my kitchen help Benito announced he's not coming back as he left on Saturday. Don't ask me why. These people are unpredictable. At least he told me he's quitting, and of course after he got paid. He said he's been called back to an old job, but who knows. He probably didn't like making deliveries in the rain, which he openly complained.

So I went out with my crazy Chinese friend Ping, who was off duty since her daughter was sleeping over at her friend's. At Salt Bar the bartender made us dangerous pretty cocktails. We were pretty drunk when she asked me whether I can be the guardian to her daughter if she ever decides to go back to China. Her daughter hates China, she says. She's not gonna want to move to China, even with her mother. I said yes and we both cried. Then we went to back to my place and took some Japanese hangover remedy. She threw up in the middle of the night, soiling the bathroom and doorway. When she woke up I told her I found spinach she ate last night in my shoes and all over the floor. Instead of showing remorse she just cracked up.
on may 3, 2004 @ 04:11 pm [link]


I went to my favorite restaurant supply store on Bowery this morning. I love this store filled with all my dream equipments and tools. They put price tags 10-15% higher than what they actually charge, so when they ring you up you feel that you saved whole a lot of money. I also love hardware stores. If I had to choose between spending an entire day at Macy's or Home Depot, I would definitely choose the latter.
on may 1, 2004 @ 12:29 am [link]

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