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June 2007

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More cat talk

Day after Felix left, people are still asking me whatever happened to that adorable kitten. Everyone's happy to hear that he found a home. A group of customers inquired me about him this evening after their dinner. "You saved his life. He's always going to remember you." "Oh, I hope so. I hope someday he would come looking for me." "One day he'll be famous and he'll come thank you." That's a nice thought. We all laughed.

After that was over, I thought it was my elderly kitty's turn to visit a vet for a check up. I ndeed she's been losing weight, despite of her good appetite. So yesterday morning, I made a crying kitty delivery on our delivery bike to the vet. It was good thing that I brought her in, I was informed. She was diagnosed with hyperthyroid. That explained everything about her from being extremely whiney, overgrown nails, and vomiting with or without hairballs. But good news is at age 17 she is very healthy otherwise. She just has to take medication for her thyroid problem for the rest of her life. On the wall at the vet, I learned that she will be 88 years old in human age next year. Azumi said, "Wow, she's going to have Bei-ju!" which is 'Rice-Age Celebration' in Japan, because eighty-eight in Japanese character resembles the character for rice when written together.
on june 29, 2007 @ 01:24 am [link]

my baby was adopted

Jeff and Cynthia came earlier than expected in the morning, so I didn't have time to play with little Felix one more time. I dragged him out from the dark corner in the kitchen. He heard strangers voices and tensed immediately. He knew something was up. He grabbed my shoulder so tight and I said we should put him in a carrier. He was upset. We zipped him in the bag and while I explained them a few things about him he attempted escape and tried to go back to the kitchen. I was so sad to see him wishing to stay. They said they are looking to buy a house in Pennsylvania; it will be nice for him to have a backyard to play. So my baby had to go, and he'll be happy in a house with another kitty to play. Even though I had only four days with him, I won't forget the way he looked at me with those cutest round eyes. I felt that I don't want to rescue another kitty again because it was hard to let him go. But I'm sure I will, if I find another one lost and scared.
on june 26, 2007 @ 12:50 am [link]

First day of summer

Thursday was summer solstice. When I was coming back from shopping in the morning, I saw someone ducking to see under the garbage bin next door. I wondered what was under there. Then I saw a little black animal with long tail. A kitten! I had to make another run for my shopping round, then when I came back, I looked behind the bin and saw this little guy crouching behind. I asked Al, the super next door, to push him with the Festivus pole that was still sitting by my door, and I managed to grab him. I threw him into the store, and he quickly ran to the back and found dark quiet spot to hide. I took him to a vet late afternoon, and he was identified as 4-month-old male kitten, who was most likely been with a family before he somehow ended up behind the trash bin. I named him Felix, since he looks just like Felix the cat, with white collar, white paws, a perfect tuxedo wearing kitty. He hid most of the time, unless I dragged him out to show him off. He would snuggle on my lap for a while each time, until he decided to run to the dark corner to hide. He was still very scared of people and noise. And of course the restaurant was full of noise all day, all evening. I took pictures and sent it out to my mailing list in search of his new home. It was so tempting, but I couldn't keep him for my elderly kitty Coco is way too attached to me. For 17 years she's been my only kitty. By the end of afternoon next day, I got a call from my old customer Jeff that he is coming to take him. But he won't be back until late sunday. So poor Felix had to live hiding mostly, and went through the ordeals of hood cleaning Friday morning, ceiling repair Saturday morning with me. My baby is getting adopted tomorrow morning. It was so full of events this week, on top of my help calling sick and running the show by myself Friday afternoon- and it was the busiest lunch of the week! Felix was just beginning to be calmer yesterday. I still need to drag him out from the dark corner, but once out he would sit on my lap then start playing with my hands, gently biting on my fingers. When I find a little animal, which seems always around this time of the year, I think of the little baby sparrow I found years ago. I managed to feed him, and he was so cute and quite tame, sitting on my shoulder all day, but about a week later he died on the Fourth of July. I am so happy this time the rescue was successful. He found a loving home.
on june 24, 2007 @ 11:08 pm [link]

sometimes I feel like complaining

Japanese in me still makes me hard to speak up sometimes. There was a customer this afternoon who sat down, three of them, ate, ate, ate happily and left me a dollar and change in tips. The check amount was 48 dollars. And they weren't even Europeans. -Yes, many Europeans are bad tippers. So are Asians- since we don't have that custom.- I should've said something, because it could've been a mistake, but I felt Japanese and shied away. There was this frequent customer who only tipped me with just small change most of the time. I was mad at her for being such a lousy tipper but had a nerve to come day after day- after a while I realized she was simply mathmatically impaired. There's also been cases of absolutely no tips. People, look at our prices. You think we get paid well before the tips? But generally we're fortunate to have nice generous customers. With listing in Time Out magazine this week, we see many new faces coming in from all over town. Very hot and muggy today, Kaoru is making deliveries in short short skirt tonight!
on june 19, 2007 @ 06:15 pm [link]

on pigs

The girl at Chinese supermarket on Clinton always want to ask me how to say 'meat' in Japanese. I said "Butaniku" as she pointed at a pack of sliced pork. "Butaniku?" she said, and giggled. That's funny for you, huh?

Everytime I open Outlook I'm greeted by at least 20 reminders from 'to do' list, and believe it or not, I am dealing with a few items each day but list never decreases. But instead feeling overwhelmed, I'm getting good at forgetting the things to do and just do whatever I feel like doing. Yesterday I ended up riding around Williamsburg with my camera, for I read about dying Brooklyn industrial waterfront area. Soon the waterfront will be lined with new glass-enclosed high rises, and designer boutiques will arrive. I also have to get to Coney Island, for it may be the last season before major re-development.

Very interesting article about Trojan condom ad in today's New York Times. I thought it was a great concept that a honed pig buying a condom, although I really don't buy the evolution part where he turns into an attractive man. Obtaining a condom might make him less of a pig, but come on, he is still a pig. What struck me really odd and disgusting is that the network may accept ads for condoms promoted for disease prevention, but not for birth control. These ads will possibly run late nights anyway, so teenagers won't get the idea- with condoms, they can have safe sex and prevent unwanted pregnancy! There was a comment in the article: "you can use sex to sell jewelry and cars, but you can't use sex to sell condoms." Once in a college I helped a marketing professor in a research finding phallic symbols in print advertising. Boy we found many!
on june 18, 2007 @ 04:14 pm [link]

another wait has began

I finally put in my application for passport at the post office. I thought it was supposed to take 6 weeks or so, but it was posted at the post office that regular application takes about 10 weeks. When I got to the window the clerk told me it may take up to 12 weeks. Summer will be over by then! Therefore I felt I was forced into paying $60 more for expedited service, which could still take 4 weeks. He said it may come in about 2 weeks. It better. They took my naturalization certificate away, which is the only proof of my status. "They send it back with your passport," the clerk said. It still made me feel insecure, like when they took my greencard away. I was also going to register to vote, but when I finally took out the registration form I picked up at the library, I realized it was in Spanish. I could basically understand it, but to make sure that I'm not signing up for something I don't want, I'm going to wait until I get an English version.

In case you're really bored, here's some useless entertainment: Pigeoncam!!! I bet it will fill your void at least for 30 seconds waiting for the refreshed image. And even if you feel like there's never enough time to do everything, which is the story of my life, it's good to waste a little bit of time and take a breath.

on june 13, 2007 @ 10:51 pm [link]

season opening

I finally opened my running season on Saturday at Mini 10k in Central Park. This was the world's first women-only road race in 1972. It has such a great energy, and I really didn't want to miss this event. So I was among my teammates, although I really wasn't ready to race, behind the pro athletes, surrounded by cheerfully chattering women. I swear this is always the noisiest start of races I've ever participated. Ususally there's more male runners at races, so it's not very noisy. But you put hudreds, thousands of female runners excited for themselves and for this historical event, they all talk to each other at 100 mph. It was doubly exciting for me this year to see many Japanese pro runners among the stars. They all seemed like ordinary young little Japanese girls, until we heard the horn and they soon disappeared out of my sight. It was very muggy and hills of the park wasn't kind to me who just started running again two weeks ago, but I finished smiling.
on june 10, 2007 @ 11:24 pm [link]

action sunday

Lately I try to spend quiet 'no plan' kind of day off as much as I can, but yesterday was activity packed. In the morning on my first long run after the accident, I checked out Bang on a can music marathon at the winter garden for a few minutes. While I waited for the band to come on, I was sweating so much I was almost forming a puddle around me where I sat on the stairs. I pass by there so often on my run but hardly ever stop and walk in. The space was beautiful, with trees growing high in the atrium, and music was just perfect element to top the pieceful atmosphere.

In the afternoon I headed to Dumbo to catch a show which included Mark & Noe's film. They were very much surprised to see me; people who know me from SOY have impression that I'm working ALL THE TIME and I cannot possibly exist outside of my restaurant. Yes I pretty much work ALL THE TIME but I also make appearance elsewhere from time to time. At the box office I ran into Laura who I also know from SOY, but she couldn't figure out how she knew me from. People are often confused when they see me without my bandana and apron. Yes, I have hair. Yes, I have clothes. Anyway, we sat together and enjoyed the show. Haven't been in the area for a while, I was struck by the big changes Dumbo went through. I remember in mid-90s when new art scene began to sprout in this unheard of little neighborhood. Now it seems to be populated about 30% by babies who are wrapped around in designer clothes. My impression was further confirmed by the existance of nice looking kids' boutiques. There are also upscale furniture shops and kitchen design store and galleries and a restaurant with kids play area. And of course Jacque Torres' Chocolate factory. It has become such chichi neighborhood. It felt like I was in a little New England town in Disneyland. It even had a historical antique carousel going round and round in a gallery - but it was for display only. I guess it was easy to transform the area because there was nothing there. I think the Lower East Side, especially east of Essex Street, resisted the change, despite of arrival of table-clothed restaurants and dress-shirt wearing young professionals, but we are going down fast now. Boutique hotels are mushrooming. Babies are arriving. The daycare across the street has already expanded after 3 years. Every morning I watch the cart-full of little people taken for a ride. Should I start 'kids meals'? But I want to assure you the toys we have at SOY are not meant to be for real kids. Even though they do love to sit around the bar and handle them roughly. Kids are good, but I just don't want this area to be a place only accessible for resourceful kids.

In the evening in pouring rain Ikko san took me out to Bouillabaisse restaurant Brooklyn, but they were already out of their signature bouillabaisse at 8 o'clock. After dinner was Brazilian Forro music in Park Slope; that wine I had over dinner was already making a few rounds around my body, and watching fast dancing chubby Brazilians made me really dizzy. It was still raining hard when we left the bar.
on june 4, 2007 @ 11:13 pm [link]

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