Archive for March 2, 2007

A day of pain

I dragged myself home last night from court, soaked in Jacuzzi but it didn’t help much. I woke up few times during the night, due to the nagging pain. Lord, is my tennis career over? Irene said that she needs tuina – Chinese massage – to ease the pain. Ha, we are all nuts.

Just the other day I had chat with Yishi, she’s complaining that it’s hard to find a good tuina master – Cantonese style – in Beijing. We both sighted that when we were little, viewed Chinese medicine with indifference, thought it’s for the elderly or terminally ill, last resort. Now I’m in New York, and began visiting them with increased frequency. I told her that there are few in NY that are pretty good – just jet over: Mr Huang claims he’s the legendary Haung Feihong’s fourth generation disciple – don’t know his last name is coincident or he changed – I visited him for my sprained ankle, from tennis two years ago. He’s talkative, non stop, I learned very quickly bout his background, growing up in Hong Kong, learned his craft under rigid rules .. Prior to Mr Huang, I visited Ms Yan who’s from Taiwan. I sprained my knee from skiing and the orthopedic was no use: after few visits, my back began to acting up, which was new to me back then. So Ms Yan made me feel anew after just once or twice – it might be her magic touch, or maybe I suffered long enough.

Anyway, I ran to her this morning. It’s torture. Her skilled hands started from the back of my neck like handling the chicken neck, lol .. when she started talking nonsense, you know the pain’s to arrive. Sweating, tearing, I wanted to scream, trying to move away from her grapping hands. Her forceful thumbs dug deep into my neck, arms, back .. no escaping. All the while her calming voice repeatedly telling me, vinegar, wine, salty stuff, spicy stuff, tofu, meat and sex are bad for you, avoid them at all cost, if you want to live longer and healthier. Lord, save me from hell? Then on to the bed for more torture and acupunctural, back to the chair again, she put that thin long needle into my palm from the back once, I thought I’d fainted. That 20 minutes were like tornado, loud, powerful, excruciating, violently, brutal, swift, then the storm’s over, you see the sunlight.

“Can I play tomorrow or Sunday?” she looked at me in disbelieve. Never hurt to ask, it’s not my body when it feels good. She gave me some herb drug mixer to boil at home, kids would love that – it’s fun to see your children running away from home.

My next appointment is implant. I need a pair of 38C to boost my aging confidence, lol. How about settle for 10? #10 tooth. How I come to need an implant is anther sorry and sad story. Dr. Moss’s children went to the same school with mine, his youngest daughter was the same grade with Kinglazy .. but I have to trek to Park Avenue in the city. Can’t those good surgeons have satellite offices in town? Guess bigger fish needs larger pond. I was referred to him by another neighbor, a dentist who we met though our sons. We have easy time together, I knew quit bit of their associates – mostly the Columbia crowds with few NYUers – from the actual treatments and consultations. Gosh my pictures taken in Beijing, my teeth looked marvelous gorgeous and health. What’s wrong with those Gailao Drs, they found all kind of defects, which were all ok with the Chinese/Hong Kong Drs. I often say to Golfer, if weren’t for my dental flaws, he could have retired long time ago.

Don’s wife Lydia was an oral surgeon in Beijing, we often joked about this, severe shortage of dentists, so as long as your denture is not decaying, you’ll get clean bill of health, assume you can muscle a set of denture in the first place. My dad was health freak, he took me to see dentist when I was only 6 or so, we got up at 5am …. Lydia used to perform 8 surgeries a day, every single working day of the week. She said patients complained about no service, ‘I just wanted to cut them up, sew it and kick them out of my face immediately. Service? Lucky that I didn’t whack them ….’ lol..

Time to bed, need some beauty sleep. Tennis anyone tomorrow??? Don’t be shy … Ok, short notice, then how about Sunday?

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A surprise call

Out of blue, Wah called for a doubles game. I met him when I started playing with the weekend morning group 10 some years ago. He was one of the better players, 4 or 4.5, and was not as frequent as say Sunny or Kai who were very diligent and professional, a.k.a. there every weekend, both Saturdays and Sundays. Whenever he showed up for work, he’ll immediately snapped up by other guys, … he seldom played with me. I didn’t think we speak at all, except once he was egged on by others, played a set with me: handicapped 2 pts with 1 serve. He won’t cede 3 pts as Sunny suggested – my going rate was 2 points with a 4.0, like with Sunny and Kai .. ; and 4.5, what 4.5? I got bagelled. .. After few years, he just disappeared.

Although I have been playing with this weekend morning group –all from Hong Kong – for more than 10 years, winters included, but I never socialize with them, nothing much in common, our topic was tunnel-versioned on tennis, if we have a little time to talk. They are a very tight knit group, collect membership dues, elect a president every year, have dinners, play ma jiang, BBQs all the time… you have to be invited to join the group. Frank C and wife Terry were initiated few years ago. There were few playing couples, Frank L and Irene, Cheng Zai and wife Teresa ..

One summer few years ago, while Walter and I waited for the courts to dry, he started gossiping. Frank L had an affair with a waitress, for revenge, Irene started one with a good looking guy who used to play with us. Reportedly, she bought him a Benz. .. After that, Frank L and Irene didn’t come often, and as time gone by, they divorced. He still lives in town with their children, started that restaurant, couple of years later bought out the other managing partner. She went to Hong Kong often, left her family business .. I enjoy playing doubles with Irene, she’s pretty, has nice forms with lethal forehand – we pair well. We were neighbors but not close. This past summer I began seeing them – Irene and Wah – playing together. Two weeks ago I into them at the tennis party, we chatted, she moved to NJ .. but never made plan to play. Finding my phone # is easy since this is a small world. But what’s amused me was Wah made the call, not Irene. I wouldn’t recognize him at all except his husky voice. First I thought they needed fourth player. No, you’ll have to bring your own partner. Ok, so Simon G was it. Wah was nice and fair, called couple of his close shots out. I think the benefit of playing with better players is they in general have better line calls too, and they have no qualm of calling themselves out. I love to win fair and square. But sometimes when the call is too close, I usually let it go, but then felt being cheated. Couple of weeks ago when I made a close call – out, it bothered me a little. That same day with different opponents, when I served to the T, was being called out .. I was mad – I knew my serve very well, and with lesser players, this T serve was always called out, 9 out of 10. That day they reluctantly offered me 2 serves, but I was not pleased. I eventually lost that point, and they felt vindicated. Tough love.

Last night game could have been great, except my lower back was in pain. They won 6:3 and 6:2 easily. We switched partners for the third set and Wah and I lost 7:3 in tie break. Wah is playing tentatively, for he wants to please his pretty girl friend, they make a good looking couple :)) .. Simon rushed off the court for another game at the USTA, lol.. I’m not the only nuts.

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