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The end is near

Sunday December 30th, only one more day left of the year, I had a party catering job. It was the 50's birthday of Bill, my loyal little customer Claire's dad. I was going up to Nyack, cooking for 25 people. When I went to pick up a Zipcar I reserved, the attendant at the garage told me that someone else just came and picked it up. I panicked. I was already late- I told Bill's wife Rita that I will be there around 12 noon, but it was almost 12 when I attempted to get the car. I called Zipcar, and they confirmed my reservation, but couldn' tell why this happened. Normally the car wouldn't open if someone else tries to get into the car. But obviously someone got in and drove away. The only car nearby that was available was a Cooper Mini at John Street. I was afraid that it could be hard to load all the stuff I'm carrying, but I couldn't think. I was freaked. I said I have to take this little car. And boy it was a cute little car. And it was rather strange car. All the buttons and meters and things were in weird places. It took me three minutes to find the meter for the gas level. I couldn't open the trunk- until I realized there was a button on the key. When I got to a gas station, I couldn't roll down the window. But it was cute. And red. I felt like everyone was looking at me on the road because it was such a tiny cute car and plus it was red. It was screaming, "Look at me, I'm tiny and cute and red!" Fortunately I didn't have too much trouble loading everything. The ride was smooth, but it was so small I felt like a giant. It was truly, "equal parts sports car and go-cart." This little thing could go pretty fast. I finally got to the house at 2pm, leaving me only two hours to prep, but actually no, their guests began to arrive at 3:30. I kept working, working, working non-stop, cooking and serving three and half hours straight. I mean straight. No bathroom break, no glass of water, I was on duty. I didn't have moments to admire the view of Hudson river in front of me. I had my camera, and I did dress up the plates nicely, but had no time to spare to take one picture. It was open kitchen, and guests were hanging around in front of me, observing what is happening in the 'kitchen stadium.' Although I had forgotten to bring a few vegetables, I survived my cooking battle for hungry bunch. I kept receiving praises for my cooking. It was a great gig despite of more stress driving back in pouring rain with very poor visibility. When I got home I wrote an angry email to Zipcar, and I received a reply this morning that they were very sorry for what happened and gave me a credit for 14 dollars. Where did this number come from? It's very quiet on Suffolk Street today, and it doesn't even feel like New Year's Eve. I'll cook some Japanese New Year food and have relaxing night after work. Happy New Year 2008!
on december 31, 2007 @ 08:15 pm [link]

Happy post Festivus

Our 3rd annual Festivus was a lot of fun. So much fun. Too much fun. I obviously had way too much fun and ended the party by passing out. Here's the proof. I got lots of Festivus presents, offered super strong Festivus cocktail and spicy tuna hand rolls, and took lots of Japanese pictures. Then we performed Festivus miracle by burning the amaretto cookie wrappers. You can see how much we all enjoyed here. I think I will make my Festivus drink less strong next year. It was fatal. Since I was half (or almost totally) asleep when we locked up the store, I forgot to take the Festivus pole inside. And of course it was stolen. Who took my Festivus pole??? I hope whoever took it knew what it was for.

The rest of my Christmas holiday was nice and quiet. I went to hang out with Orly and Jed across town on Christmas day. We just hang out having some wine. It was nice. Streets were quiet. Later Orly showed me a chocolate factory that produced 'Santa with a butt-plug.' Seriously. Only in New York. Someone was producing Chocolate Santa with a butt-plug for the holidays just around the corner from my friend's house.
on december 27, 2007 @ 01:09 am [link]

For the rest of us

I'm making a fast recovery from my latest injury and almost walking normally now. This morning I went to a gym and got on a stationary bike- which could be pretty boring, but the one I was on was equipped with virtual reality video-game-like cycling program. I had a little session biking along some imaginary coast with other cyclist- mostly girls with nice butts and boobs. I actually got really into this ride along the pretty scenary- and I missed so much of my morning runs along the river. I thought I was very fortunate to have my scenic running route along the river, under the bridges, through the park. The neighborhood is getting a little quiet since people already began to leave for the holidays. I'm getting ready for my big Festivus party on sunday. Last year was quite a turnout. In case you still don't know what Festivus is all about, check out the Seinfeld episode Saturday night on TBS. It's almost the Festivus for the rest of us!
on december 21, 2007 @ 12:47 am [link]

pain comes back

I had a really great 10k run on Sunday. It was only 30 seconds late from my personal best that I ran 4 years ago. I ran comfortable even splits again. I'm not feeling as agressive as 4 years ago, but I feel years of experience and knowledge is actually making me a better runner. It was again a wonderful hot chocolate weather, and our team totally kicked ass. On the way back I was waiting for F train at West 4th street, and this strange looking train stopped at the platform. First I thought it was a service train, because it looked very old, but then there were people inside taking pictures. It said 'Special'
on the side of the train- is it a special party train? It turned out, it was the antique subway cars running only on sundays through the end of the month. I suspiciously got on, hoping that it is going to take me home like a regular train. It was a fun and interesting ride; the car I got on was made in 1930s! Inside of train was also adorned with reproduction of old advertisements. Unfortunately again I didn't have my camera to prove my little trip back in time.

So I was very proud of myself, running so well, feeling so well, also it is still sometimes hard to get out of bed and head out for a run in the morning. This morning was one of those. I hit the snooze on alarm five times, and decided that I should get up and go. Maybe it was the wrong thing to do this time around. I went to the East River Park and did a few laps of baseball field. My body was well warmed up and my steps were light going up the little hill at the bandshell. On the way down while I was enjoying my speed I twisted my bad ankle really hard. I screamed and almost fell. I inched my way over to the nearest bench to sit down a few minutes. It was a bad one I immediately knew it. I was thinking that last year's sprain wasn't well healed lately. And it is the very same area I hurt this morning. I limped my way home. In high school these sprains (which I had numerous) felt like a blessing sometimes since it was the only possible way to be off the hook and get out of the hard workouts since I was never sick. Well, it doesn't feel like I'm off the hook right now, limping my way around all day. I just got a cookie catering gig for a party and I have to deliver 300 cookies on Thursday. At least it's quiet in here at the restaurant for this is the holiday party week. I got an excuse not to race this Saturday, which I was looking forward to taking home a little award. My biggest concern is that if I'm going to be danceable for my big Festivus party, and if I'm going to be able to race in Bermuda in a month, which I have non-refundable travel arrangements. At least I'm able to ride my bike, and I maybe able to keep fit by riding a stationary bike at a gym only if I can prevent myself from getting bored to death. Mobility is very important in my life. As much as I feel lucky that again it was only a stupid sprain, this little injury is going to be another painful and frustrating one. I thought I was back, but not so fast.

on december 11, 2007 @ 06:51 pm [link]

Santas are in town

A mild winter afternoon: I went uptown on my bike this afternoon to pick up my race number for tomorrow's 10k. The afternoon light was so perfectly beautiful along Park Avenue on the way back, I regretted not carrying my camera. It always happen this way. Then further down I came across hundreds of Santa Clause around Tompkins Square and I was very sad not having my camera. I still don't know what was going on- many of the Santas were already leaving the 'Santa Convention' and bar-hopping along Avenue A. Later they seemed to have brought the parties down to the Lower East Side - my delivery boy said, 'Muchos Santa Clauses!"
on december 8, 2007 @ 08:48 pm [link]

did he travel across the water?

I was showing the picture of turkey in Battery Park to Kathy this evening, and it occured to me, did he come from Staten Island? I've heard about the wild turkeys roaming around on a hospital ground in Staten Island before. I took this picture of large and clear bird footprint coming out of the ferry terminal right after the turkey sighting. Did he travel on the ferry from Staten Island?
on december 4, 2007 @ 01:20 am [link]


In 30-degrees crisp winter Saturday morning, I ran 'Hot Chocolate 15k' race in the Central Park. My toes were so cold they felt like rocks in my shoes for the first two miles. I had a steady good run and came home with an award that looks like a big mug. Hot chocolate offered after the race was so good I had two of them. This morning I woke up to the first snow of the season, and of course I had to get out for a run. I have encountered a runaway turkey in Battery Park, munching on snow-covered lawn. I hope he wasn't too cold. Squirrels in East River Park were shivering.

on december 2, 2007 @ 10:28 pm [link]

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