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It's the matter of showing respect

I'm quite fortunate to be surrounded by lots of nice people. Yesterday, there was this tall black man who came to buy his lunch. When I rang up, he realized he had 10 cent short in his pocket. He said he'll bring it by later, and gave me all he had. I gave him his lunch, and forgot about it. He was a first time customer and I wasn't going to cry over a dime. He came back this afternoon, politely thanked me and gave me a quarter. I thought it was such a nice gesture; I was touched by the way he showed respect. A few other times in the past I let customers I really didn't know walk away with short of money, sometimes just a small change, sometimes a few dollars. And they came back and paid whatever they owed me. Only one time, someone who came more than a few times, got some miso soup, and said he'll pay me the next day, and I never saw him again, which was surprising because I was pretty sure he'd come back. All the other people I knew who bought food on credit came back and paid. All the people I didn't know came back and paid.
on september 30, 2004 @ 01:18 am [link]

My sport

Pretty funny argument about what defines a sport on the Central Park Track Club's website: "What shall be our sport then?" from September 24 entry. For those of you who's seen wacky Japanese TV show "Iron Chef," you'd agree with me that cooking could be very much like a sport, although Bill Simmons would not agree since it has to involve 'judging.' Also I don't really need a sport bra, but I'm not B-cup so I don't know if it passes the sport bra argument. I need to shower after a night of cooking though. Some cooking activities, like flipping a heavy wok or pouring soy sauce out of 5 gallon pail, requires much strength and I am not really fit for it. I could as well say that running is actually a part of my training as a chef, participating in a sport of cookery. I need more upper body strengthning exercise to compete, if it ever make it to the Olympic sport.

My neighbor Jeff has a little Chihuahua named "Banzai." I thought my parents would get a kick out of it.

on september 27, 2004 @ 05:54 pm [link]

Super baby

There's this little Chinese girl I see at the East River track in the morning. She's only about 3 feet tall, must be 3-4 years old. And this little person runs around the track by herself every morning for at least half an hour while her grandpa on a cane watches in the middle of the field. She keeps going, swinging her arms joyfully. Sometimes Grandpa says something, telling her it's time to go or something, but she points ahead without slowing down that she's doing another rap. What would she become if she doesn't turn into a world-class athlete? She's truly a super baby. If you need an inspiration for exercise, go see her at the track around 9 am. She was there every morning this week.
on september 24, 2004 @ 05:11 pm [link]


"It's Mother's birthday!" Komuro san and Ikko san showed up with a big cake and a bottle (or two) of champaigne early evening. Since it was a slow night, I hang out and partied with them most of the night. At one point, Komuro san took a nap on top of a garbage bin next door, taking advantage of the beautiful fall evening. Later my friend David stopped by and we went for a late night bike ride to Seaport. We saw the reddest and biggest half moon hanging by the horizen. Everything looked so close in the clear night: Brooklyn, Verazono Narrows Bridge, Governer's Island. Reflecting the lights of bridges, quiet East River was covered with shiny glitters. I thought it would be nice to cross Brooklyn Bridge in the middle of the night, but I had a little too much to drink.
on september 23, 2004 @ 05:23 pm [link]

some glitches

Our website was down all day yesterday, because of a fire in Baltimore, right near where my host server is. Then by mid-afternoon the keyboard of my laptop seized up. It completely stopped working, not responding my gentle or rough taps. I was freaked out. I could live without a cellphone, internet connection, or television for a few days, I found out a few weeks ago, but computer without a keyboard was just too hard! It's scary how dependant I am on this little machine. This afternoon Nikita, a computer geek, a wiz, an IT consultant, arrived, as I booted my computer and found out that it was working fine. He checked the machine and said it looks pretty healthy. He only charged me $10 for checking the pulse of this baby. I gladly paid; I was happy as long as he's fine.

Today (wednesday 22nd) is my birthday. You're all welcome to stop by and give me a birthday hug! I'm getting old!
on september 22, 2004 @ 01:07 am [link]

Lucky race in the rain

Soon after the sharp loud sound of the thunderclap woke me, my alarm went off. It sounded like lightning was striking Burger King at the corner. Or perhaps McDonalds two blocks away? It was the morning of my lucky race! Past two years at this 4 mile race by Fitness Magazine, I've placed 3rd overall women and 1st in the age group. Two years ago, we ran in pouring rain, stormy weather like this Saturday minus lightning. When I got up in the darkness, I said to myself, this got to be my lucky race again. I couldn't ride my bicycle, so I walked to 6 train at Lafayette. By then my shoes were soaking wet. The train soon came, but stopped at Union Square. An express train slid in across the platform, but it also stopped. There was an announcement about 'water situation at 58th Street Station.' I stepped out and asked the conductor if he thinks it's going to be a while, and he said, yes, he thought so. I ran outside to the street, and hopped into a cab in pouring rain. I have to get to this lucky race! By the time I was running into the park at 72nd Street, rain almost stopped, but there was a big flood inside the park at east side drive on the race course. At 9:20 the race organizer was still debating whether or not to have the race. One of the voluteers was saying, "Basically, everyone wants to just go home." Except the runners, whom one of my teammate lovingly referred as "Fools in the rain." We were like, "Come on, the rain has almost stopped!" They delayed the race for about 5 minutes, but yes, we had the race. And I placed in 2nd overall and 1st in the age group. But everyone wanted to go home so there was no award ceremony and no picture was taken for the magazine. I collected a few goody bags and went home. There was all kinds of transportation mess, and it took me two hours to come home. It was much faster to run. My teammate Miwa sent me an email congratulating me that I did so well in that pouring rain. I replied, yes, the lightning helped me run faster. Later I found out that there was over a thousand of these fools who ran the race.
on september 19, 2004 @ 11:14 pm [link]

I just wanted to see you smile

A little adorable boy said "Excuse me..?" like he wanted to ask me something, as he was passing by me at Essex Market this morning. When I turned to him, he gave me the sweetest smile and said, "Hi!" I smiled and said "Hi!" Then the little man just walked on. He was so cute it made my day.
on september 16, 2004 @ 04:23 pm [link]

Happy New Year

It's Jewish year 5765! I celebrated the New Year at SOY cooking Treasure Sacks and wrapping Veggie Gyoza, since I'm not Jewish and didn't know what else to do. I forgot to wish Tal Happy New Year, who's been working so hard getting ready for film market next week with his film. I wish everyone a very happy new year, especially my friend Miles who sent me a New Year email but sounded pretty down. He said to me before, "Good things will happen to good people." And I always think about it when things are rough.
on september 16, 2004 @ 12:30 am [link]

Good day over all

Leo, the little boy who lives a few doors down, was heading to a park with his baby sitter this afternoon. But he decided to bring his lunch to SOY and eat it here. He made a huge mess as usual, but he got away with it because he's cute as heck. I even gave him a cookie and no, I'm not going to tell on his parents.

So many bugs today- I was swatting flies left and right. Even flies prefer the window seating. If they add the sport of 'fly swatting' in the Olympics, I'm sure I'd make the team.

'Stormy' busy dinner time. We kept running out of rice! Excellent help by Akiko and Masao. They're very hard working young people. Quite pleasant to work with.
on september 14, 2004 @ 01:08 am [link]

towers of light

I saw the two beams of lazer light shooting up into the sky last night. With gilitters flying around in the light, it was stunning, and disturbing at the same time. Because it is a strong visual reminder. It makes you aware the exact location. It evokes our memory of the glowing light in the night sky from Ground Zero during the rescue effort. It was truly beautiful, though. Towers of light, I mean.

After running around the Central Park I took a ride to the park by Manhattan Bridge on the Brooklyn side and accidentally attended someone's outdoor wedding at dusk. It was so peaceful. All the accidental guests surrounded the ceremony applauded when the couple was announced as a husband and a wife.
on september 13, 2004 @ 12:10 am [link]


Here we are, on the somber anniversary, like we needed to be reminded of, like picking on raw wounds, prayers, names, sad faced politicians. This is the anniversary of the day we died. It's been three years since the day I saw two towers collapse in front of me. I shut off the TV this morning that's showing memorieal ceremonies and went off to my usual run. Running along the river to the plaza at the World Financial Center has been my regular route for the past five years. Even now I often look up the empty space in the sky where the towers stood. Running along the West Side around dusk was really beautiful. Now it strikes me more as a sad reminder. I think of the smoke, the smell, the dust, the streets thickly covered with pieces of papers, echoing sirens day and night, living surrounded by police and national guards (because I'm right off the bridge), seeing missing people's pictures at every bus stop, hospitals, subway stations, everywhere. Candles, flowers, and we talked to strangers and hugged each other repeatedly. For days, weeks, and months. How could we forget? We all died, and we lived.

on september 11, 2004 @ 03:53 pm [link]


Since my main means of transportation is a bicycle, and even without a bicycle my commute to work is about 98 steps (estimate), I didn't know that the city was paralized in yesterday morning's heavy rain. (The New York Times ) For me it was like a completely normal day: running in the rain, shopping on the bicycle in the rain, and no rain in the kitchen.
on september 10, 2004 @ 01:15 am [link]

refreshed and back

I was a hermit for four days in a little village in western Massachusettes. No cell phone signal, no TV, no internet. I did lots of hill running and writing, got bitten by mosquitos, and enjoyed fresh vegetables off the garden. Only regret is I didn't get to swim in the lake across the street, because sunday was cloudy and chilly, and didn't really get to see the stars, because of clouds. I came back and there was no urgent messages or important emails, and realized that I could live forgotten at least a few days. Driving down the west side highway on the way home monday evening, I felt how I missed the city, although nature and tranquility always feed and free your soul.
on september 8, 2004 @ 05:04 pm [link]

vacation, really, this time (hopefully)

I'm feeling a bit like this lately, and it's time to take a few days off! I'll be off to Massachusettes for my end of summer vacation from tomorrow.. I'm going to hang out at a writer's retreat to work on blog. Yeah, right. Well, unlike some people, I would not be keeping a diary during my vacation, therefore no updates for a few days. Please go do something interesting yourself in a meantime. I'm hoping for something better than that July 4th weekend off.
on september 2, 2004 @ 05:10 pm [link]

it looks like a bust to me

Fortunately down here in the Lower East Side, we're not seeing the (bad) effect of the Republican Convention. According to The New York Times juries still out on whether this has been a boom or a bust. Akiyo, who works at a Japanese restaurant in midtown, said it's been a total bust this week. And her restaurant is not even across from the Garden, it's on 56th street. We wondered why they had to do it in New York, the city that seemingly everyone hates Bush. Why couldn't they do it in New Jersey, like in Meadowlands? Or Flint, Michigan, the city that could seriosly use economical boost, but not quite terrorists' interest? Over here on Suffolk Street we're business as usual. More people are coming back in town and I'm getting ready for a long weekend off.
on september 1, 2004 @ 05:15 pm [link]

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