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August 2006

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Great race at the end of summer

It was still dark when I got up and left Suffolk Street this morning. I took a cab ride uptown to the central park, to join other ten thousand runners for NYC Half Marathon. At dawn, I was on my warm-up job around the reservoir. Midtown skyline against the slowly warming up morning sky was just so beautiful. At seven o'clock, the race started in the park. This was our first half marathon that was taken into the streets of Manhattan. After the familiar loop of the park, with live classical chamber music here and there in the background, we went down Seventh Avenue and ran through the dazzling lights of Times Square, then out to the West Side. There was a musician with hand drums setting up on the West Side Highway at about mile 10, when one of the runners near me yelled, "Come on, we need some music!" Then suddenly it started pouring. The rain made me feel heavy, but I still was able to run perfectly even splits and finished in 1 hour 36 minutes. Great fast course, great support, and I think this will be my favorite race after NYC marathon in November. It was also great so many people on the street were excited to see us run! Fellow local Japanese runners in cheering section had a banner that said, "Japanese Marathon Addicts Association." It wasn't quite a popsicle weather, but I enjoyed a rainbow-colored popsicle at the finish line.
on august 28, 2006 @ 01:20 am [link]

it feels good in you

Since I receive hundreds of spam (not that strange meat in a can, but what's sent electronically), they usually goes right into trash with a help of spam blocker. But sometimes it's fun to open a spam mail. Proof is in this picture.

A complimentary issue of Sunday Times arrived courtesy of six flags. On the advertisement that covered the paper, it says, "Buy one ticket get UNLIMITED visits the rest of the year! See inside for details." I don't really have an intention of going to Six Flags, although that new roller coater looks like gut-turning fun, but I turned the ad anyway. Inside was a buy one, get one free ticket on the same day coupon. That was it. What was that bold, underlined, outlined, all-capital 'UNLIMITED' about? Was it a joke or simple stupid mistake that survived a scrutiny of a corporate advertising team?

Florian, who frequented SOY for the past few months, emailed me from Berlin. "I miss veggie gyoza, curry, smoothie..." So I sent him a picture. Wish you could eat this!
on august 21, 2006 @ 06:54 pm [link]

dreaming of mojito

Five years ago one summer afternoon, I discovered I was allergic to mint while sipping this great big glass of mojito. I got all itchy all over my face. A few months before that, I had the same reaction with a cup of mint tea. I sent the box of tea back to Celestial Seasoning with a note, 'something is wrong with your tea!' They wrote me back that I may have an allergy. No way! I always enjoyed mint teas since I was young; I used to grow a few kinds of mint on my balcony. But that summer day with fresh mint full of mojito, I realized I was allergic. Since then, I proudly announced that I was allergic to mint to doctors, and they all laughed that they never heard of it. But now that I am planning a trip to a carribean island, I wanted to test my tolerance to mojito. Besides, I was missing my great minty fruit salad. So I got a bunch of fresh mint and strawberries. First, I ate a leaf. It seemed all right. I made the fruit salad with the whole bunch of mint and savored a little. Nothing happened. This was a great news! But after work when I enjoyed a bowl of fruit salad with beer, yes, I found myself scratching all over my face a little later. Does this mean that I am allergic to mint and alcohol combined? This is really a bad news. I may try some mojito for the hell of it before my vacation.

on august 18, 2006 @ 01:10 am [link]

I should've gone swimming

My week began with a early early swim with Erin. Since she has to get to work at 9, we were at the swimming pool 7 am sharp when they just opened the gate. Water was so crisp and clean, and it was definitely worth getting up extra hour early. A few days ago, I ran into my neighbor Andrew and told him it was the last week for the adult lap swimming program. "No way! I'm just getting into shape. I'm calling the mayor." Later in the evening when I checked parks department's website, I found out that the program was extended to September 1st. Andrew spoke to the mayor! Next day, I saw Andrew coming out of the building and said, "You spoke to the mayor, huh?" He laughed and said, "oh, yes. I had a little talk with the mayor." Maybe someone did have a little talk with the mayor on subway. If it was indeed the last day of the program, I would've gone swimming on Friday, but I decided to go running instead. I got my new pair of shoes, new tangerin-colored sports bra, and air was perfectly cool and dry. Just off the overpass into the East River park, my feet were caught in something- a string or something. I tried to get out of it, but my feet got tangled and I fell in forward thrash into pebbly mud. My left knee was skinned, and I got scratches on my belly and along left arm. I'm feeling like a kid again. Running could be dangerous.
on august 13, 2006 @ 12:43 am [link]

Another intruder in the middle of the night

Two nights ago, I woke up with sound of commotion in my apartment. I jumped from my bed; I was just telling my mother about the intruder incident a few hours earlier. I turned on the light. It was 3:30 am and I saw my cat dragging my beige clog across the floor with her paw deep inside it. I thought maybe her claw got caught inside. I carefully took her paw out and peeked inside. There was a furry thing inside. Could it be...? I needed my glasses. I put it down so Coco can keep an eye, and hurried to find my glasses. But I can never find my glasses when I need it. When I returned, still without glasses, Coco was staring at a little furry ball with a long tail on the floor. Is it alive? I couldn't tell. I hurried into the kitchen and grabbed a plastic bag. While I hesitated to put the bag over the furry mass, it jumped to run for his life. Coco wasn't quick enough this time, and I was in a panic, and we lost it some place behind my shoe rack. I realized that my poor aging cat doesn't have enough teeth to kill it. Or she just like to play with it anyway. Next morning I was doubly upset to find little black pellets on the kitchen floor. But they turned out to be papaya seeds not mouse droppings.

20-mile training run in the central park early morning today. Not too many people were doing 20-miler this early in training for the New York City marathon in November. Group of 30 for my pace group was reduced to about 7 of us at the end of the run. I'm a little sore, but had a really good run.
on august 6, 2006 @ 01:20 am [link]

I've been frying my brain in my hot kitchen

We are experiencing a bad, bad, serious heat wave. I swear my kitchen has been about 120 degrees in the past three days. On monday night, microwave overheated and suddenly died. It was back and alive the next morning. The bouquet from Kate pretty much died after three days in the window. Our new cold noodle dish is doing well. I also came up with greatest summer rolls with shrimp, sprouts, and yuzu miso sauce. I finally made it to early bird swimming at the city pool. It's a great Olympic size pool, which my neighbor Andrew describes as '50 meters going, 65 coming back.' Water was a little cloudy after maybe too many kids taking dips this week, with clumps of hair floating here and there. But it was still a good way to start another steaming day. I made great fresh salsa and my hands were burning all day from chopping jalapenos. Hot hot hot everywhere.
on august 3, 2006 @ 12:35 am [link]

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