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November 2005

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It was my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. I made a beautiful turkey and was so proud of it! Our feast consisted of: ginger stringbeans, cauliflower with anchovie vinaigrette, orange glazed carrots, brussel sprouts with caramelized shallots and parmesan cheese, mashed potatoes, and of course a perfectly roasted big bird and stuffing with apples and cashews. Kathy brought burbon soaked sweet potatoes with marshmallows and mashed turnips. Orly and her family showed up with a big apple pie, my favorite grape leaves, cheese pastries and moroccan carrot salad. Yukiko made couscous salad, creamy mashed pumpkin, and burdock salad. Oh, I also baked a pumpkin pie. Yuri, Taiga, and Rikako showed up early and helped me cook all the food. They kept saying that it was like Japanese New Year, when we cook all kinds of special food for the celebration and feast all day. Akiro san also came with his beloved French bulldog Noriko. She also loved my turkey. Later Kathy showed us a trick with amaretto candy wrapper and we all fascinated to see the paper fly up in the air aflame. Orly's kids Mai and Guy of course went crazy with it, catching descending ashes in their little palms. Clean up was done with lightening speed with the expert help of my girls. It was one hell of a great holiday. Tonight I made another killer soup: turkey rice soup. It surely will go fast.
on november 26, 2005 @ 01:47 am [link]

call from home

I got a call from my mother in the morning, and I immediately sensed it was not a good news. Otherwise she wouldn't call me 9 o'clock in the morning. I thought it would be about my uncle, who's been counting his last days in bed with cancer. It was actually about his mother- my grandmother. She passed away monday morning. She had Alzheimer and was bed-ridden for many years. She was 93 years old. My mother just came back from a wake, and my father and my cousin were spending the night by the coffin as part of the Japanese funerary ritual. I wasn't very close to her, but it is still sad to lose a family. My mother said she read through some of my grandmother's vast diary she left and found my name. "She wrote, 'I was meaning to write to Etsko so long but it's been already three years..'" I told my mother that she WAS writing to me through my college years in New York. She forgot about it? Maybe it was already a beginning of her disease. My father was keeping vigil by my grandmother all night. He may soon be the only surviving member of his immediate family. I wondered what was going through his mind as I started my day. I'll go buy some insents tomorrow.
on november 23, 2005 @ 01:30 am [link]

It's revolutionary

I finally got DSL service this weekend. I used this oxymoronic little device to use dial-up service wirelessly for a year, but it was painfully slow being wireless on top of dial-up connection. I have resisted the change long enough but getting DSL for $15 a month is much cheaper than dial-up. And even though this is a slower DSL service available, it's like a million times faster than dial-up. Now I'll be addicted to the internet all over again.

The other night Ikko san walked in and his first line was, "Okasan (mother), I have no money today." I felt like a mother being nagged by a teenager. I let him eat anyway, because he would pay off next time, which was the next day. Then next day Hayashi kun came in and said, "Okasan, I don't have money today." I fed him and said, "Go out and make some money."
on november 20, 2005 @ 08:52 pm [link]

Thinking of Turkey again

I sweated so much this morning on my morning run in unseasonably warm weather. Then rain returned and temperature is quickly dropping this evening. Marathon ache is all gone, but I'm still recovering from last week's second installment of gum surgery. I've been eating mostly soft soupy diet, which is very frustrating, but more bearable after fininshing marathon training and my metabolism slowing down with much lower amount of workout. Fulton Fish market has moved to Bronx, which is kind of sad as another history eroding from our surrounding. But it's better for my running because I hated to run through dead fishes, dirty slippery streets, and market workers sometimes paying too much attention to me. With fallen leaves, East River park smells so much more earthy. Thanksgiving is creeping up on us. I don't think I'm doing Turkey Trot with full house of guests coming to my Thanksgiving dinner.
on november 17, 2005 @ 01:48 am [link]

excitements around SOY

My girls were so excited on Monday that they saw me at the marathon, and they kept talking about it to everyone. Rikako saw me in Williamsburg, Yuri was in Greenpoint and caught up with me again in the Central Park, and Yukiko was at mile 25. Ikko san came and said Kazu saw me in Sunset Park and called him right away. Ikko san was on First Avenue and then on Fifth Avenue uptown. Many many more people cheered me on along the way by calling, 'Go SOY!' because I had a headband with 'SOY.' Next year my girls want to have a SOY cheering section together. That will be another reason to run again.

Last week new front help Mariko joined force. On her first day, a musician customer sitting at the counter invited us to his gig coming up. When I asked him what his music is like, he said it's a little bit like Sonic Youth. Mariko's face lightened up. "I love Sonic Youth!" "Oh yea, they come here to eat." I showed her the picture on the wall of Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon. She was super thrilled. It was only about 15 minutes later when Thurston himself walked into the door. He was playing down the street at Rothko. You can imagine how excited she was - she was so nervous she couldn't even look at his face in the beginning, but took up a courage to talk to him at the end. She had a picture taken with him and it totally made her day. I think she's going to stay with us for a while. Thank you Thurston.
on november 11, 2005 @ 12:33 am [link]

I did it again.

It was a calm warm fall day, perfect marathon viewing weather, a little too warm for runners, and I ran my favorite race again. This was my 6th New York City Marathon, and it still doesn't get any easier. Out of 8 marathons I ran, maybe twice I had fairly comfortable race to the finish. Other times were all pretty tough. Today I had another horrible race. Pretty much each marathon felt like the worst race ever. Today's race was definitely another one. I started out too fast feeling too great, and I tanked very early- by mile 20 I was significantly slowing down. By mile 22 I was almost getting cramps in my legs and had to walk for a minute. But I didn't want to drag my feet in front of my teammates' cheering section at mile 24, and managed to recover somewhat. The result wasn't still not so horrible, almost exactly same time as last year, 3 hours and 22 minutes. Finishing a marathon is often a great accomplishment and defeat at the same time, since it feels so bad toward the end. But it makes me want to challenge again. I think I can still run a better race (if I had more time to do more miles in my training!). And it is an incredible experience running through 5 boroughs cheered by all those people! I may quit running this race some day, but not just yet.
on november 6, 2005 @ 08:26 pm [link]

Halloween 2005

If you didn't stop by on Halloween, this is what you've missed. Pictured here: Yuri as a cute convict, me in my lime green bathrobe and green mask, Rikako as a little blue girl, and Kathy as a spider which none of us noticed at first thinking she's just wearing extra sweaters around her neck with sleeves hanging around her body. I got many good laughs from customers, except one guy who totally showed no reaction seeing me in my halloween attire. Bunch of kids in dresses, masks, and capes stopped by on their trick-or-treating. Later Elliot came by with Frankenstein face. Then Jemma came down with her 50s outfit. She looked so pretty as usual. Yuri's cell mate Taiga showed up in time for dinner. As if we didn't have enough fun working in our costumes, we went to Barramundi and competed in a costume contest against other crazies, but we didn't win. But it was just about enough fun for the day.
on november 2, 2005 @ 12:57 am [link]

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