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The day after I sprained my ankle, the registration for the NYC marathon arrived. Yesterday morning, I went out for my morning run. Just past Clinton street, I tripped on something and fell. As I fell hard on the asphalt, I also twisted my ankle. It hurt so much I couldn't even get up for a minute. I slowly limped my way back around the block. I could barely walk. I called all my help for the day and told them not to come in. It was unexpected but almost blessed day off except for the swelling painful ankle sprain. A few movies were due the next day. My computer was just overhauled on monday and needed more setting up. I was supposed to send out a new cooking class schedule a month ago. Well, this was my chance to sit around and catch up. So I brought up some food from downstairs (that's the greatest thing about having a restaurant and living above it- always plenty of food!) and watched a strange Herzog movie 'Even Dwarfs started small,' a beautiful melancholic cuban movie 'Memories of Underdevelopment,' and season 2 of the L-word. After that it didn't leave me too much time to finish everything else, but I still got a lot done and finally cooking class announcement was out. Today I wrapped my ankle with sports tape and went back to work. After the day's work, I unwrapped the injury, and it looks just as bad as yesterday, totally swelled up, and even worse, turning purple by my heel. The pain is not as bad, but it really doesn't look like I'm going to make it for the marathon next week at this point. It's a bummer, but I'm feeling fairly calm. I didn't train enough this year, and I'm not in my best shape. There's always next year. Last night I also found out that I didn't back up my screenplays I was working on and erased the latest copy. The only backup copy I found was from last september. I was upset but not terribly. I said to myself that I could always make a fresh start. Sometimes it's better that way.

I finally went to check out the haunted house across the street with Lynn on Sunday. She was really scared before we went in, but this tall Jewish girl laughed hysterically almost the whole way through. Especially in the 'torture room' where supposedly one of the girls from our group was taken hostage and being tortured in front of our eyes, Lynn was totally cracking up. There were some spooky moments when we had to crawl and feel our way around in darkness, but the 'ghosts' were more annoying than scary. Some were creepy and annoying. At the end we gave it thumbs down. We had fun time but it wasn't worth 20 dollars. So we went to Back Room afterwards. Lynn's friend Ryan behind the bar kept our little cups filled until I fell down the stairs (true, but I wasn't hurt). Next day Lynn crawled into SOY and said, "I was totally overserved last night."
on october 26, 2006 @ 01:40 am [link]

fresh tofu

Saturday afternoon, I went to a Japanese restaurant food show in Chelsea. The first thing that caught my attention was make-your-own-fresh-tofu-at-your-table thing. When I leaned over to sample yummy-looking fresh tofu someone exclaimed across the booth. "Etsuko-san!" It was Natsuyo, the girl I used to work with 8 years ago at a Japanese trading firm. "What are you doing here?" She was in a tofu maker's kimono jacket. "What are you doing here?" I asked back. I left the company to start my purse shop, and we weren't touch after that. She also left the company and now she has her own consulting company. She was helping one of her client that afternoon. I told her now I have a restaurant called SOY. "Then you really have to get this today!" Their tofu was so delicious and I said I am very much interested in the kit, which contains a beautiful little pot, a stand for table top cooking with a little fuel pack, their thick and tasty soymilk and Nigari, natural curdling agent. You can cook an individual portion fresh tofu in 10 minutes! It was a great reunion that came with the discovery of this wonderful product. Then I visited every sake makers booths and had so many tasting; I was in good mood but was so tired only after an hour. I just wanted to go home and take a nap, but I wasn't ready to venture underground on super efficient MTA subway system draggin my tofu making kit, two blocks of knife sharpening stones, and three bags of miso (they are also heavy!). So I hailed a cab but the ride home took forever in 2 o'clock saturday afternoon. I hate taking cabs in the afternoon because not many of these non-English-speaking cabbies don't know the streets of New York as well as I do. This guy hit every problem spot and we seemed to stop at every traffic light. Forty minutes later I was finally home. It was already time for shopping for another night of business. I tried my fresh tofu in the evening and it surely was delicious!

Here's tentative dates for cooking classes, since so many people have been asking me: Japanese home cooking on November 11th, Soy cooking on December 2nd and Sushi class on December 9th. I'm still trying to set up the new mailing software, but annoucement should be out any day.
on october 22, 2006 @ 06:29 pm [link]

one in 300 million

The nation's population hit 300 million this morning (at 7:46 am to be precise) according to the census bureau, although this is just an estimate, which could mean that there's already a lot more people in this country. Anyway, what it really means is that two people meeting in this country is one in 300 million against one in 300 million. And it happens every day. All the time. In every possible way. In New York City I'm one in 8 million. That feels special enough.
on october 18, 2006 @ 12:33 am [link]

fire on delancey street

At 10:30 this morning, I was about to go out for my shopping rounds when my neighbor Brent knocked my door. "There's a fire somewhere. I don't think it's this building, but we should get out." I looked out the hallway, which was filled with thin smoke. I slowly panicked, and looked around my apartment. The word "preparedness" floated in my brain, but I was far from it. I was just reading about the plane crash yesterday in today's paper. What's going on? How am I supposed to prepare for these sudden visitors? My cat Coco was sleeping peacefully on the chair. I'm not going to wake her up. I grabbed my passport just in case and head out the door. There were a few of my neighbors in front of the building. "It's around the corner. Probably the Chinese place." Delancey street was already lined with fire trucks. On the corner of Suffolk and Delancey I joined the crowd. It looks like Chinese restaurant. But when I went across to the south side of Delancey, I saw heavy smoke going up from the Kids Stop boutique right next to the Chinese restaurant. I went shopping to Chinatown, and smelled smoke all the way to Allen street. When I returned Suffolk Street was also filled with fire engines. Sirens, smoke, flashing lights- all stirred up the memory of terror attack five years ago. I went inside and cried. How can we prepare for all this? Fortunately nobody seemed to be hurt from the fire. By the time we opened at noon, fire was out and fire engines left the block. Afternoon was busy and I was able to get back to 'normalcy.'
on october 13, 2006 @ 01:06 am [link]

Tuning up

It's a busy October. Marathon tune-up 18-mile race on sunday morning. This race was usually held in August in previous years, which made it one of the hardest race of the year under blazing sun. It was still a bit tough this year, only a week after my favorite half-marathon, and so close to the big marathon. I ran fairly steady until the third loop of the central park, then had to face the reality. I am fit, but not as strong as a few years ago. I have to be more patient. At mile 14, this guy zipped past me singing loudly a cuban song from Buena Vista Social Club. Unfortunately I wasn't feeling so high at the moment. But my last mile was exactly the same split as the first mile. So I did all right.

I heard this theory (not scientifically proven, I don't think) from Ikko san that people who sweat a lot have overdeveloped sweat glands that attract mosquitoes. This evening I was sitting at my laptop in my usual seat at SOY, the far end of the counter, and got 4 stings on my arm. I caught the suspect in his act and smeard my own blood on my arm. I must really taste good from eating yummy food all the time. Even this whimpy city mosquito gave me a serious itchy bites; one of the bite on y left arm is really swollen- good one inch in diameter. I thought it was only the wild cuban mosquitoes who could give me that terrible itch that swelled up so much, but not the city mosquito has proven his power. I seem to have gotten rid of mint allergy, but now I've got a mosquito allergy!
on october 9, 2006 @ 11:53 pm [link]

I didn't mind the rain, really

Half-marathon in the central park sunday morning. When I left home at 7 am it was just beginning to drizzle. I decided not to take my bike. By the time when I got to the park it was raining steady. Then it began to come down hard. In my warm-up I took a refuge under a quiet overpass. Another guy for the race soon joined me. He asked me, "You don't mind, do you?" "No." Then he began urinating against the wall. A few others run in looking for a little bit of dryness. Then one called out, "well, I guess we got to do what we got to do!" Then we all run into the pouring rain to the start. Right before the horn rain subsided and we all cheered. Next hour and half, two loops and a change of the park, I enjoyed runing under on and off rain. I was feeling pretty good on the second loop, but then died a little in the last two miles. I was also distracted by this older guy behind me who was panting like he was having an endless orgasm. But I finished in decent time of 1 hour 35 minutes. In the evening I got together with my friend Pablo who was in town before he went off to play in Japan. He took me to Odeon in Tribeca, and told me fascinating tales about the days he hang out with his childhood friend Basquiat there. We walked across Chinatown afterwards, which was so peacefully quiet. I thought about the very first night I was in New York City 18 years ago. My friends drove me into the city at 4 am from Long Island, and we had bowls of noodle soup in Chinatown. It felt just like that morning, quiet, a little dampness in the air, trash everywhere on the street. That morning I was totally taken with the streets of New York and I still am.
on october 3, 2006 @ 01:58 am [link]

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