Archive for May, 2008

Good education but poor upbringing 有教育没教养

Good manners will open doors that the best education cannot.

By Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
~ . ~ . ~
Chinese has good education but no upbringing. Ok, let me rephrase it, Chinese who with adequate to excellent education lack the social grace or basic upbringing, severely. (file 21628)

There are moments that left me exasperated. Like, a good buddy who opens a new can of tennis balls, but so routinely discard the thin tin lid on to the ground. I didn’t know to pick it up or left it laying there. If there isn’t a garbage can in sight, why can’t the player put it back to the can??? I found litterbugs on private court too – cap, tin and tissue.

One day the four of us playing. The wife of one player started to jump (warming up) around, next to the court. When the owner who sat outside of the court watching, asked her to do it elsewhere, she replied,
“It’s ok, I prefer it here.”
During the match, she would give comments and critics, mostly to her husband. It’s very annoying. Even her hubby asked her to stop.
After the match, Peter and I walked out of the court. His face turned purple from anger.
“这个女人真没教养.” .. This woman has no decent upbringing ..
“She’s too much.”

The couple are from the most elite university in Beijing.  She’s a decent player, ought to know the etiquette or acceptable social behavior.

Well, Irene reckoned, anyway.

Lou travels to China so often that he’s grievances are arm long: people in China would never holds the door for the followers, and as you can see, there are plenty followers in China, 1.3b to be exact .. thinking Manhattan is packed? Multiply that crowded four or six times.

When someone cut line, he would yell out loud, and the line cutter would look at him surprised, why does this man act so rude?

The ladies in Shanghai would still go out in their PJs and hair in rollers.. and they talk loud ..

Oh, about the spitters.
“They all have good qi gong.” Sucking it up from their stomach to their throat and spit it out so professionally, that they’ll make Leonardo DiCaprio looked amateurish on that Titanic.
“And they can do it so clean” not all over their face. And when they clean their nose, they don’t use tissue, they use one figure close off one side of their nostril,
“Man, they can do it so clean” not all over their face.

Some one told me that when the the school bags were passed out at the earthquake area, the kids would mobbed the truck.
“Can’t they wait on line one by one?? Every child will get one!!”

Shanghai has enough hardware that people often find Manhattan looked like the third world. Beijing has a face lift that makes DC looked like Baghdad. But you know what, I love living in the third world where people has more culture and decent upbringing.

My cousin once chatted with me, saying how modern Shanghai is, then ruefully said, “.. .. the air is bad ..”
You know what, there is a certain cost in building a sky scraper, only that much, compare to replace the air. How do you do it? I don’t think US$300m could even filter it.

The first time I landed in JFK, I had a draw string handbag and was lazy to tie it up – maybe I just trust NY that much. In the short distance from the seat of the aircraft to the line at luggage pickup, there were four people with various accents (New York too) reminded me to be careful.

First day at Village (in downtown), I was too busy snapping pictures and looking at the street vendors, I bumped into few people (one was a bus boy because later I sat at a cafe where he worked), and all of them said “I’m sorry”.

If it’s were in Hong Kong, people would stare at you, then goes
“Why the heck you got into my way” was more likely the out come of the clash.

One night at a reception where 40 or so (predominately Chinese from main land, the Consul General Peng Keyu was on hand too) raise US$88k for the earthquake victims. At the end, the speaker stood around entertained few questions. One good looking woman who works at a hedge fund with an eye popping diamonds was being assertive, kept on talking to the speaker beyond tolerable time. Few times the speaker tried to end the conversation – he first did it sutley but eough for everyone to notice, but she just kept on throwing more irrelevant questions. Finally he lost his patience, aburtly turned to me, held out his hand,
“Hi, I’m Joseph Fuller ..”
Woman, we weren’t listening to your insightful world view. Didn’t your husband pay enough attention to you?  We were waiting for you to take your exit voluntarily and in a timely fashion.  Like eating at a table, you shouldn’t hugging up all the food and should always ask when you want to take the last piece – my teenage kids know.  Why would those people invite humiliation? They all seemed education.  But where is the good manner?  No social grace at all.

If I see a Chinese in front of me (about to enter a door), I’m kind of prepare to fend for myself with it.  If I’m the one who’s holding the door for the Asian that follows me, I won’t be surprised not to hear a ‘thank you’.
It’s perfectly fine, I’m just a door man. It’s my job.
I always say thank you to the door man, even it’s his job.

One day at the subway, a lady with a baby and stroller was at the end of the long stairs. Two Asian men passed by. I walked up and held one side of the stroller. As on cue, Pumpkin went to the other side, helped out.  It’s weekend, and what’s so hard to help?  Don’t you feel great that you can be of a help?  Givers are always happier than takers!!!

不是三代做官不知穿衣吃饭, so true.

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They annihilated us

Last Tue was Pumpkin’s Spring concert. Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto #3 was one of three pieces they played. OMG .. was great! In support of all the kids that night, I stayed till the end – Pumpkin’s orchestra was the second of the night.

Lacrosse season is on, she’s scored almost every game abut her team has been losing: new pair of goalies.  The very first game they played, ended up 5:20!  “They annihilated us” she said.  The weather had been unpredictable, so far I haven’t attended a single game yet.

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Lastings Milledge

What a name. Mets traded him last season, due to .. he’s too flashy. Too flashy, in NY? Got to be kidding. I think it’s more to do with him not being proven more than high-fiving fans. Michelle Wei hasn’t proven herself before she started to compete with da boys. Gosh, baseball .. I stopped watching since Bobby Valentine skipped to Japan.

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A sneaky Indian

I know many people (across a wide range of ethnic groups) don’t like Indians, because they’re sneaky. They have the caste system, and they had the British. From time to time, I found some Indians to be hard to swallow.

This morning, we were having a doubles at Andy’s court, an ungated condo community south of LIE. There are only four courts, we were on the second. The door that’s behind our court opened, three men looked like three generations came in. They left the door open and walked toward the court to the left most. I found people to be rude in this manner, regardless they know the tennis etiquette or not, but common sense would have that you opened a closed door, after entering it, you close it. Isn’t this courtesy universal? As usual, I said,
“Please close the door, Sir. Thank you.”
They paused. Kevin who’s closer to the door opposite from me, retreated few steps and closed it.

As we regrouped, getting ready to serve/receive, the middle aged man came over with a smile but asked condescendingly,
“Are you the owner of this place?”
As we stopped, stood up (from waiting positions), he fired away,
“If you’re only a guest here, you should be extra nice.”
Sorry Andy, if I have brought any trouble.   Doors to the courts are locked, and every owner that paid their due receive a key.  We’ve been playing there for three years. And 98% of time we were the only players.
“How do you know that I’m not an owner?” I asked.
“Because I’ve never seen you here.” Did this sound stupid? It’s a large compound.
“Which unit are you in?” He continued. Uhhhhh it’s getting ugly.
“Are you checking?  Where are you from?” Andy cut in.
“Do you have the right to check?” I challenged.
Threateningly he replied with a snarl, “ok, we’ll see” then walked back to his court.

I found the little mean man’s questions, especially the opening one to be very coarse and low. Is he just migrated from a jungle or inner city – please allow me to borrow Putin’s phrase, a little bit savage still or just climbed down from the trees? We have plenty public and private courts around the other side of LIE, and never question our fellow players. I’ve never seen an owner posting such rude comment to another in an association or club setting. What I found him to be distasteful is he’s wrong and get caught, instead of learning from the short coming, he wanted to have a fight. Man – both male and female – of decent education and upbringing, wouldn’t start a senseless fight. Doesn’t short man have larger ego?

Andy commented that perhaps he didn’t like the fact that a woman was telling him what to do. Possible.  Knee-jerk reaction?  It wasn’t a call out, by any measure!  Sweetheart, if you’re so good, then be perfect, dot your Is and Ts.

They left the court earlier than we did, and of course left the door open. This isn’t the way to have the last laugh.  It further proved that you’re a savage, need to have the dirt washed out of your beards and hair.  We had the last laugh, shorty.
.. ..
.. ..

In all fairness, one of our 4-some would ask Andy for his key when Andy went on vacation. Reluctantly I played once then stopped. It wasn’t right. I would feel deeply embarrassed should the association come to check.

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Heading to Flushing is a joy now, even it is still dirty, crowded and smell bad.  The new pool made me eager to go.  The locker is very jammed, short benches were always full with bags and stuff, we basically got on top of each other!  The floor is always watery.  A cleaner comes in from time to time, she does it pretty nastily, splatter all over the place.  That reminds me of the new Equinox opened in our town.  that I tried out.  The cleaners would mop away a single sweat quickly and quietly, as if they were invisible.  Of course, there is the initiation fee $150 and $110 per month ..

When it first opened, the water heater wasn’t working, the water was cold.  To me, it’s heaven, not only I had the pool all to myself, I even shed couple of minutes off of my 40 laps run – that’s a lot.  I was just about to join, then on the fouth day, the heater worked properly and the temperture jumped to 85° or so, aqua classes began and many walkers started to show up.  So that ended my run.

Back to Flushing pool.  It’s only $75 per year, bring your own shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, and towel. Oh, no steam room either. .. .. some slow swimmers would clog the lane!  Don’t they have the slightest of coutesy?  Many Asians.  Haven’t seen this many naked Asian women and Speedos.  Why Americans don’t like Speedo?

When I took the kids to swim in Beijing, one young guy working there seemed very friendly to us and volunteered to help King.  But on our third visit there, he was bit annoyed, “ok, this is the last time I’ll allow him to wear this shorts.”  King had on a bright yellow bathsuit – long, baggy like homeboy.
“?? This IS a swimsuit.” I told him.
He’s mad now. “What do you take me for? Haven’t I been nice to him?”
“You think I don’t know any better? .. Just becasue you’re from America? .. ..”
Lord, wait a second. I wasn’t thinking. Looked around the pool, everyone had those speedos, if not the Speedo, it would still be tight, short and slinky..  So the next day I bought him a Speedo.  And I was told “Mom, it’s too small!”

It seems only US uses inches and the rest of the world is using metrics ..the Americans use pj for swimming, while the Europeans and Asians are into the sexy and slinky Speedos, And it’s American men getting caught while their pants down.  Hmmmm ..

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Ethnic minorities in China

Tibet is only one of 55 ethnic minorities in China, totalling 123m, or 9% to han Chinese.  I was reading the dream theater forums, someone there mentioned that “fuck tibet, there are many minorities suffering in china that don’t get any attention because they don’t have a rockstar lama in orange filling stadiums.” ha ha ha .. he’s right on the cue.  If the human rights are so concerned with repression, have they checked on other 54 groups yet?  Bet they don’t get much of press for doing so .. so no donation would pouring in .. so not worth doing it. What’s the agenda behind this Tibet thing, and who’s behind it? Thought of Martha Burk (be sure to read on the comments that followed) at the Augusta in 2003, protesting all-male membership policy? Give me a break – you give women a bad name!! Why doesn’t she shelter few working girls or starving young mothers or abused wives?  Forcing a private club to change its rule?  Isn’t America still a free country?

  •  2003.02.20, PBS

2015.01.25: Australian Open is going on right now. Tennis and golf are two handful sports where women are paid, in general, as much as men.
Although I don’t play and follow golf. But I did know when Martha Burk picketing the Augusta National Golf Club in 2003, see above.
For women in tennis, they’re paid on equal footing as the men. But they play best of three sets. Not sure it’s the right thing to do. Why don’t they change to best of five, at least for the last two rounds, semi and final? If you ask paid as much as men, you should be doing as much as men too, period.

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Go Susie GO ..

Beijing is calling!  Susan Rapp, the former Olympic silver medalist in 1984 is now Susan von der Lippe, mother of 2, at age 42 is trying to qualify for her fourth Olympic! WOW !! You go girl!!  Refreshing and romantic.

A little sad note that she had to sit out in 1980 when she’s 15 (who’s to dispute that she won’t win a gold medal that year?), because US decided to boycott the Moscow game.  Now there are thunders about boycotting Beijing game, but not a single nation is considering to withheld its athletes.  Smart move.  In consideration to the athletes: they only have so much youth and limited time span to shine, only every four years!  And most Olympic sports aren’t money-generating venue, except, well the late comer like tennis and basketball – ice hockey players aren’t being paid as much as other major leaguers.  They do deserve the moment in the lime light, pls don’t take that away.  Carter wasn’t a smart president anyway.  He got elected only because of Nixon, IMHO.  And what did Carter administration achieve for withholding their hard trained athletes?  More gold medals to the Russians.  A gold medal is a gold medal.

Sport is sport, pls don’t let the politics erode its spirit.  The hard training athletes inevitably speak different language, grow up in a different culture, but they can compete together abide by the same rule of the game.  That is a huge acomplishment, and it what the Olympic spirit is.  They might not be able to communicate orally, but they speak to each other directly thought the love and understanding of the sport they compete.

Just so this weekend I saw a little program showcasing a 12-year old Korean American violinist performing at Carnegie Hall.  She is a short cross eyed pre-teen at Juilliard.  It was the familiar Haydn piece she was playing drew me to the TV first – Steve practiced it often while I was living with them in Beijing.  What made me stay to watch was her enjoyment and composure, so radiant that I would take her as Julia Fisher or Sophie-Mutter, virtuoso, mature, has deep understanding and appreciation for music.  Later, the presenter also invited her two chamber music mates, a 11-year old pianist, and a 13-year old cellist who’s been in the US for only six months.  They all played without a sheet – all in their tiny heads!!!  The presenter who first accompanied the Korean as the pianist, a 6-footer man joked to the tiny pianist that she perhaps doesn’t trust his page turning ability.

Isn’t music like sport, it nurture and cultivate the players from the world over who speak different tongues and fashion different cultures?  Why can we please leave the politics out?  Just let them play and compete, and us to enjoy the beauty of the music/game?  And please don’t rerate the slow runners – each one has its own ability and circumstance, China is coming up and catching up.

Oh, one more thought: can we exclude the professional players from the game?  Olympic is to showcase the best, but does the professional needs this venue to twinkle every four year when they have ESPN year round?

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Matrimonial Advice From A Considerate Husband

      It is  important for men to remember that, as women grow older, it becomes harder  for them to maintain the same quality of housekeeping as when they were  younger. When you notice this, try not to yell at them. Some are oversensitive, and there’s nothing worse than an over sensitive woman.

My name is Jeff.  Let me relate how I handled the situation  with my wife, Susie.Since I retired several years ago, it has  become necessary for Susie to get a full-time job along with her part-time  job, both for extra income and for the health benefits that we  needed.

Shortly after she started working, I noticed she was  beginning to show her age. I usually get home from the golf club about the  same time she gets home from work.Although she knows how hungry I  am, she almost always says she has to rest for half an hour or so before  she starts dinner. I don’t yell at her. Instead, I tell her to take her  time and just wake me when she gets dinner on the table. I generally have  lunch in the Men’s Grill at the club so eating out is not reasonable. I’m  ready for some home-cooked g rub when I hit that door.

She used to  do the dishes as soon as we finished eating. But now it’s not unusual for  them to sit on the table for several hours after dinner. I do what I can  by diplomatically reminding her several times each evening that they won’t  clean themselves. I know she really appreciates this, as it does seem to  motivate her to get them done before she goes to bed.

Another  symptom of aging is complaining, I think. For example she will say that it  is difficult for her to find time to pay the monthly bills during her  lunch hour. But, boys, we take ’em for better or worse, so I just smile  and offer encouragement. I tell her to stretch it out over two or even  three Edays. That way she won’t have to rush so much. I also remind her  that missing lunch completely now and then wouldn’t hurt her any (if you  know what I mean). I like to think tact is one of my strong  points.When doing simple jobs, she seems to think she needs more  rest periods. She had to take a break when she was only half finished  mowing the yard.

I try not to make a scene. I’m a fair man. I tell her to  fix herself a nice, big, cold glass of freshly squeezed lemonade and just  sit for a while. And, as long as she is making one for herself, she may as  well make one for me too.I know that I probably look like a saint  in the way I support Susie. I’m not saying that showing this much  consideration is easy. Many men will find it difficult. Some will find it  impossible!

 Nobody knows better than I do how frustrating women get as  they get older.However, guys, even if you just use a little more  tact and less criticism of your aging wife because of this article, I will  consider that writing it was well worthwhile. After all, we are put on  this earth to help each other.Sincerely,  Jeff


Jeff  died suddenly on March 1 of a perforated rectum. The police report says he  was found with a Calloway extra long 50-inch Big Bertha Driver II golf  club jammed up his rear end, with barely 5 inches of grip showing and a  sledge hammer laying nearby.His wife Susie was arrested and  charged with murder. The all-woman jury took only 15 minutes to find her  Not Guilty, accepting her defence that Jeff somehow, without looking,  accidentally sat down on his golf club.  

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Pool before the renovation


My local pool before the renovation.  It closed at the end of April 2008.

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A new pool in Flushing

A little sorrow reminder that we lost 2012 Olympic to London, but this pool at Flushing Meadow near the US Open is great.  Check it out.  I felt like idiot that the whole thing built right under my nose and I had no idea.  I pulled into the parking lot under the high way, did I spot it – I drove by there hundred times!  As I walked toward the door, I couldn’t contain my joy, greeting everyone that crossed my path, they must think that I’m an escapee from the mental hospital.

a rm w vu; Jan

It’s very similar to the one at Eisenhower Park, modern and spacious, and divided into small sections!!  So quintessential American.  It has the largest land and biggest wallet and their swimmers bring home gold, yet their pools are normally half the standard Olympic size: I just don’t get it!!!!  Pls some one light me up on this???

Jan 12, 2011

Jan 12, 2011

The locker room is small, feeling jammed with few small lockers!  I only got to do 20 laps because got to go to meet my Park Aveneue guy.  The wait to get a membership was long, even there weren’t that many applicants.  Now I’ll have a place to swim while the one I usually go to is under face lift – 塞翁失马 奄之非福?




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