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August 2008

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soy diary

dregs of summer

Frustrating day. It makes me want to shake that plush toy up and down very very hard many times. Coinsiding large complicated delivery and pick-up orders. No mushroom this, no rice that, extra spicy, can you substitute with noodles, add pork, and so on and on. Lots of telemarketing calls from India, then the Con Edison guy comes around yelling at me at the doorway, "Open the basement, please!" On a day like this, Rhapsody music software also refuses to work, stalling my computer numerous times. It's only Wednesday. I really can't wait for the weekend. Long weekend. Last long weekend of the summer. Dregs of summer. That's what it feels like right now. Stressful day continued into the evening. We had the full floor most of the evening, and Elliot freaked out at the end of the night because I yelled at him for a mistake he made. I was feeling like I had just enough of everything already. It was just one of these days that I was too stressed and nothing was going to make it easier. Well, it's just like a rule that you shouldn't have your friend as your roommate; You shouldn't have your friend as your employee. Disagreements became too personal and he called it quit. I'm feeling the end of summer.
on august 27, 2008 @ 11:59 pm [link]

mosquito alert

This summer, I'm getting bitten by mosquitos daily. I got bitten on my butt last night, and I feel invaded. My bites would itch the entire week, too. I've never been bitten so much in New York; It's like we have a mosquito epidemic or I must be just delicious. I'm burning Japanese mosquito coils every night, although usually after it's too late- I wake up scratching myself in the middle of the night, and finally remember to burn some mosquito incense. We burn these coils all summer long, so it's kind of nostalgic smell. It's not extremely present one, though. My apartment smell like something burnt.

Olympics are getting close to the end. I'm now watching men's platform dives. As much as I enjoy looking at those beautiful bodies, I think it would be fun to have one hairy diver in the competition. Very hairy diver. His beautiful chest is covered with thick dark hair from neck down- all the way continuously to his toes. He would slowly raise his arms, getting ready for his dive on the platform, and the spectator would gasp in the sight of his magnificent bush in his armpits. Would all that hair interfere with the dive? Would he be penalized to be hairy? Or he could be noted as a 'brave diver.' At least he would enjoy full media attention.

Amazing performance of Jamaicans in men's 400m relay, but I thought it was even more amazing that Japan took the bronze after those incredible black sprinters of Jamaica, and Trinidad. People are telling me that when they saw a track event or the marathon, they thought about me. It's quite flattering. In the park on my morning run, I ran into Mellie, whom I was encouraging to start running. "You inspired me! Thank you! Go girl!" I was very happy to see her. I picked up my pace.
on august 22, 2008 @ 11:55 pm [link]

shake it!

This is so cute and pointless, reminds me of the early days of internet:a fluffy squeaky toy you can shake! Nothing more, nothing less, and something that you want to share for no particular reason! A fake order came in late afternoon. Worth 45 dollars, which is rather large order for us, and it was never picked up. The phone number was unlisted and we could never trace the caller. So on the day like this, this fluffy silly being provided with a nice laugh- I guess that's just the point. Mindless silly. Yesterday afternoon Kristin came off the mountain of Vermont and visited me with these beautiful purple peppers and eggplants. Other than that, it was frustrating day with a parade of annoying customers. The worst being, a girl who wanted to sit down at the table and have a cup of tea, but didn't find a kind she liked from my selection, so she went, "Could I just have a glass of water?" Nonchalantly she tried to settle at the table taking out her laptop. "That's all I want." You got to be kidding me!!! You want to occupy one of my precious tables, not order ANYTHING but ask for a glass of water? I was speechless, but my answer was clearly NO. So she packed up and left. Thank you for not coming here again! I'll just shake my toy and forget all about it.
on august 21, 2008 @ 06:54 pm [link]

summer streets no. 2

Saturday morning, air was cool and pleasant, and sky was clear. I enjoyed biking through the second installment of 'Summer Streets' heading uptown. In the Central Park, we had Team Championship 5-miler. I went too fast on the second mile, taking avantage of the nice stretch of downhill, then had a rough time coming back on the fourth mile, giving a look at the 'Cat' sneering at me at Cat Hill. Overall, not a bad finish, in 33 minutes and 40 seconds. On the way back, the Summer Streets was turning into 'Rollerbladers' Heaven.' Some sections were getting a bit chaotic. I felt like I was in a videogame zipping through the sea of rollerbladers, bikers, runners, and walkers. Next week I should go out earliest possible- I think more people would come out to enjoy the final week of traffic free streets. In the afternoon I had inaugural 'Japanese Dessert' class. Everyone was amazed to learn how easy it was to make traditional Japanese dessert. Especially French girls were impressed, "French desserts are so hard to make, very easy to mess up, and fattening. These are complete opposite!" At the end we stuffed ourselves with daifuku mochi, dango, yokan, okaki and tofu pudding. In the evening there was the most important Olympic item for me: Women's Marathon. This is the only sports I can sit and watch more than two hours. Impressive strong win by 38-year old Constantina Tomescu. It made me feel really good about also being 38. Tonight I was visited by people from Chronicle Books in San Fransisco. I met the marketing guy Peter at the food show last month, and he promised he'd come to the restaurant. This morning I had a dream that he brought 5, 6 other people and freaked me out, because we had full tables. Sure enough, he brought his troop of six, and they all ejoyed feasting at SOY. Then the restaurant filled up very quickly, and I was freaked out. Am I psychic? I have to work on my cookbook so they can publish it.
on august 19, 2008 @ 12:30 am [link]

Summer in New York

Saturday morning, I was out to enjoy the "Summer Streets." The traffic free streets through Manhattan. At 8 am, I ran out to Lafayette, and headed uptown. The air was cool, and only a few runners enjoying the empty streets. We have these street closures in most cities in Japan every weekend, usually around the busiest shopping district, and we call it "walkers' heaven." Running uptown, it was "runners' heaven." Volunteers from Road Runners Club handed us water and cheered us on. It was like a road race with no pressure. I didn't mean to make it all the way to 72nd street, but it was a quick run with no traffic to fight. By the time I came back downtown, more people were out, on foot or on bikes. Air has been already dry and cool in the past few days and it feels like summer is winding down. Three more weeks to enjoy the short summer in New York.
on august 12, 2008 @ 12:21 am [link]

miracle spray

About a week ago, a man walked in with a spray bottle in the afternoon. "I have a window cleaning solution for you! This spray will protect your door from dirty handprints. May I show give you a demonstration?" He sprayed on the glass door, wiped off, and ran his hands all over it. "See, you can't leave a mark!" "Huh! Tony, check this out." Tony from Alias was having his new favorite Hiyashi-Chuka cold noodle at the counter. "Wow. That sounds great." According to the sales guy, this spray will protect the glass for 10 days. And it's cheaper than windex. "Why not? If we don't have to clean the door twice a day!" So I bought this mysterious gallon bottle concentrate which had label only in Hebrew. If you have a retail space with a glass door, which we all do, you know what I'm talking about. Handprints everywhere on the door. "I don't understand why they have to push the glass, even though there's a handlebar. I wouldn't!" Tony said. I told him if this miracle spray really works. A few days later he came in for his lunch, and I told him, "Guess what? That spray doesn't work! We still have to clean the door twice a day!" So we didn't see a miracle this time.

I had found an irresistible toy at Sunrise Mart. A 3-D puzzle in a shape of "Onigiri," a rice ball. There's even a little hollow to hold a Umeboshi, pickled plum. It was so perfect for SOY and I had to get it. Come and play!
on august 7, 2008 @ 12:15 am [link]

more things that don't work

It feels like I've been talking too much about things dying and/or not working. Yes, life is endless battle against the things that don't work. Recently I was forced to switch to Rhapsody from Yahoo Music which was sucked into it. It sounded like Rhapsody would bring a better service with more extensive music database, but... Software for Yahoo Music was plain horrible. They used too much memory, too buggy, would freeze or keep playing a same song in a shuffle mode. So I would only use the software to search and download music and use Windows Media Player. Well, I thought this was a horrible software. Now I had to switch to Rhapsody player. Now, this being developed by Real Network, you think it's going to work. IT DOESN'T. It uses at least 10 times more memory, and it makes me feel like I'm back in time of dial-up connection. Downloading of music takes forever, which I often have to keep closing and restarting the software. Now hundreds of albums, my proud collection of eclectic music, are going to expire. Now I'm trying to replace them one by one via Rhapsody, but looks like it's going to take me million years. I will probably never get everything in my library restored, but that's ok. It's like a natural disaster cleared my closet and I can forget about all the junk I accumulated. Overall, this music subscription service is amazing thing, that I hardly need to purchase CDs, but I would really like a software that works.
on august 1, 2008 @ 09:34 pm [link]

more invention

Last week my phone died. One afternoon it became impossible to hear the calls because of static noise. Then it started beeping intermittedly like it was going through the last twitch. I had to let it go by unplugging the battery inside. So it was time for a new phone. I liked the late phone's overall features, but the cordless headset which made me a smooth operator lasted only about 8 months. The maker of the phone RCA could not offer me a replacement headset, but only option is to send it back for a repair. But this device seemed to be too fragile for a rough use by a restaurant owner who is literally running around the space all day while on the phone. Then the warranty expired and the handset died anyway. After some search, I picked a fancier phone system with bluetooth headset. This turned out to be capable of more things than I need, like answering cell phone or voice calls via computer, which is useless because I don't have a bluetooth cell phone or internet phone service. But it looks nice sounds nice and so far I'm happy with it.

Today I came up with another invention out of food item but not for consumption through mouth. 100% natural facial scrub made with crushed red beans, 'nuka' rice bran and 'okara' soy pulp. I washed my face with it and my skin feels softer and smoother than ever. Ask for samples when you come in; it's incredible!
on august 1, 2008 @ 12:35 am [link]

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