Archive for February, 2010

Sick and Tired

I don’t get sick. The last time I was sick was .. ? Couldn’t remember; and I almost forgot what it feels like.
It started Friday, the headache came visiting. At first, I didn’t know what it was, just feeling little uncomfortable, my head was mushrooming. Not myself. Then by 6 pm, I diagnosed that I was sick, like ill; had headache and been frequent the little bathroom more often than usual. Sorry I’m slow. At hot pot dinner, I joked my headache was because kids were home – they had a snow day. We watched Apolo Ohno jumping and sliding to avoid two disasters then only being robbed away a silver medal by the Canadian referee. How convenient. 狗急跳墙 gouji tiaoqiang – a cornered beast will do something desperate?? US beat the Canadian in ice hockey, their own game at their own backyard. How grand. The little bros are in shock. ha ha ha… It’s bemusing that USA is doing so well in the Winter Games.
So is China.
So is Korea .. but why their males speed skaters all look like girls? Jap included. The pretty K men are all dirty and assertive.
What’s the matter with the Olympic? Shouldn’t they use a referee from other nation than the skaters’? With cheat (isn’t that K’s specialty?), Canada has the most gold medals.

Anyway, I took two aspirin and went to sleep in disgust, emailed my LI cap that I was sick.
Bathroom need woke me up.
More trips.
I was scheduled for my LI team match at 6pm. Cap said she couldn’t find anyone.
Haven’t I always swim off my sickness? How about tennis it off? Actually I was thinking of going to swim. But duty call.
I got to the court 2 minutes late. We were facing the team that has a perfect season so far – 8:0. I played them in my first outing and was routed 1 and 2. What was I thinking and doing there?

The girl either nervous or has senior moment or overly courteous (I think nervous was it) because she introduced herself to me twice. I take that as comfort. Michael served first. Great. Very wide. She had to reach hard to return. Only managed it to my backhand. Sweet, a huge piece of char siu – fillet. Just what I was waiting for and somewhat good at.
But ..
I was too ecstatic .. 乐极忘兴
.. and hit it out. Ouuuuuch.
The gentleman was a lefty. My partner warned me that he’ll serve to the center .. .. then did I realized he’s left. What IS the matter with me? I warmed up against him, for Pete’s sake.
Old and blind.
We took the first set at 4. It was the best set I’ve played on the USTA league: no clear advantage and every point was being fought vigorous.
During the second set, the lady’s first served was way wide that I didn’t even bother to call. Michael didn’t called out either, just hit it back to her. She paused then continually played as if it’s good.
“Oh, it’s out.” I said.
“No call .. so it’s first serve.” The guy at the net said.
The rules.
I understood there are rules. They were not at fault for following and enforcing it. But come one, the serve was arm length out. We said nothing. She put her next serve in that avoided any further argument. I was bit mad – more at myself.
Please remember to call out scores, and call out out, loud and clear, regardless it’s out by a mile or event landed in New Jersey.
I was able to serve the set hence match out at 1 after few deuces. Michael put away their returns of my serves often, gave me a lots of relief. Great team work. Hope my partner isn’t reading this: I missed many hand signals he gave when I was serving, or was expecting he put away immediately – too lazy to run. Over all, it was us who made less errors.
The pair who had routed my previous partner and I the last time split up last night: he played first doubles and she second, which was next to us. She moved well and had many great shots. Oh, she had a really pretty long sleeve metallic green top on.

Oh sugar .. Canada beat USA for the ice hockey gold … Sidney Crosby (Mario Lemieux‘s replacement?) scored a goal by in sudden death over time who’s team – Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup last season. Darn.

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Ski incident

Years ago in Poconos, Pennsylvania, I was skiing down a mountain trail designated for novices. It was very relaxing watching the trees, the other slopes, and that village at the horizon’s edge drift by like movie stills, frame by frame. However, I was interrupted when one of the kids skiing in front of me stumbled and fell. To avoid crashing, I swerved… into a ditch.

I twisted my left knee.

Ouch, it hurt.

My twisted left knee would be in pain for the next two months, doctor visits and MRIs  notwithstanding. Nothing was broken but my limp just refused to go away and it even compromised my back because of my newly acquired walking gait. The doctor sent me to the third MRI. My back was in such severe pain that I could not lay peacefully for even five minutes.
I began to worry.
It was a miserable three months. I could not play tennis. I could not swim. Desperate to get my normal life back, finally I went to a TCM – traditional Chinese medicine. Up till that moment, my mind set had it that TCM was in the territory with the barefoot doctor. The barefoot doctors were mostly farmers with minimal medical training who worked in the countryside in China. Seriously, who on earth would want to visit a TCM? I have been blessed with good health and could always swim off or tennis off headache, cold and other illness. When I was in Beijing, only the old or the terminally ill who had exhausted all other options went to the TMC.
As miracle would happen in life, after a couple of visits to a TCM in New York, my back pain was gone. My limp disappeared. And soon, I was back on court and in the pool like nothing had happened before.

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Match standings

Having played 7 matches we have three more to go till the regular season ends on March 21.
Flight: 7.0 Mixed Adults
League: 2010 Queens Mixed Doubles Leagues – Adults
District/Area: Metropolitan Region – Queens
USTA Section: USTA/Eastern
Queens Winter 2010 has 3 Mixed Doubles flights:
6.0 Flight: 5 teams

  • First place team has played 7 matches and won 65 points, the second place team played 6 matches won 55 points.

as of Feb 237.0 Flight: 9 teams

  • Div I: 5 teams – leader has 61 points and 2nd place team has 52. Both teams played 7 games so far.
  • Div II: 4 teams – we the leader played 8 matches, racked in 86 points and the 2nd place team has 65 with 7 matches played.

8.0 Flight: 14 teams

  • Div I: 7 teams – leader has 64 points won 8 matches, and the 2nd place team has 44 with 5 matches played.
  • Div II: 7 teams – leader has 62 points with 6 matches played and 2nd place team has 49 with 5 matches played.

The real captain called today. My heart stopped: there has been few issues within the team .. and he’s had enough of the nonsense and calling it quit. I was ready on my knees (ok, this is an inside joke: someone made the partner kneed overnight .. we knew who you’re .. hehehehe .. and we’re forming a facebook group to support the victim .. ha ha ha). But it turned out rosier. Most my teammates are super wonderful, courteous and considerate. I asked them at the last second to sub, they would rush to the club only be benched. Non of them uttered a word. No matter what they had to cancel at the last second. I’m deeply grateful.
Grandma Luck used to say that to know a person’s to travel with him/her. I fully appreciate this. If not on the road, but doing something. The experience of togetherness, of facing ups, downs and emergency would tell you a lot about the person. I’m thankful most of my children are low maintenance (or maintenance-free) and very supportive. Thank you teamo. Only three more matches to go. You’ll never see me again, never have to deal with me again, never have to receive long winded email spams again. Sees no evil hears no evil. Amen.

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How nervous are you before each match?

I don’t feel that I get nerves before a match, and I play it as normal as I normally play. Hmmmm … The other day Feb 11, returning to the Westside tennis club I was bit jumpy. As soon as I sat down, I suddenly felt my knees were going.
Oh sugar, I forgot to bring balls: home team supplies balls.
Think quick. Ha, no worry. I have extra cans in the truck.
Quickly I raced to the car and got an armful of balls.
Oh, sugar. No, we weren’t the home team.
Anxiety. Not me. Ya right.
Paul perhaps sensed something or he never had confident in me, rearranged the line up, pairing me with him in the third. It wasn’t a close match. I’ve been playing lopsided matches except the first one when it was decided in the third set tie break .. but we got a 3:0 lead to start off .. so, it wasn’t a tight match as one would like to have.

#1 Doubles: 3-6, 6-1, 1-0 (10:8)
#2 Doubles: 6-2, 6-2
#3 Doubles: 6-1, 6-2

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Oh Canada ..

Team USA beating Canada 5:3 in ice hockey. YAAAAAAA! It’s preliminary run in Olympics, but still. At tonight’s match, one of my teammates wore a bloody red shirt with Canada printed across the chest. It’s front and center. Cheering for the little bro instead?
Go China
In that order. The rest of the world can fight for whatever the medals those two giants don’t want/care. 🙂

I was amused to see China is doing rather well on ice skates. Did anyone notice that few Asians on the speedy skates are all very girlie looking? They skated pretty dirty and aggressive too.

I felt soooo bad for Shani Davis who only got a silver in 1,500 event. Isn’t he good looking, with great diction?! Tiger shall move aside ..

Ok, back to tennis. The first set went quickly. It began with a bad line call from me: she served to the alley. I thought it was way out. But from the body languages across the net, I knew they thought it was good. Man, that haunted me for the rest of the match. Our opponents were very gracious. That just compounded my guilt. A perfect match to me is no questionable calls.

I had no idea why and how did we loss the second set. I had a double fault that handed over a game and back hand netted that gave the set away at 4. The lady had great serve. I was thinking the whole time why hadn’t I take that into consideration when I called her serve out in the beginning?

During the 3rd set tie break, I asked my partner .. please just don’t abandon me. I didn’t think I could play against 3. He didn’t, thanked lord – in spite of few times he wasn’t pleased with my play. What else is new? Irene’s trying to get everything by jumping, reaching and backtracking, etc. After the match was over, Paul told me how/why we lost the second set: I was standing in the middle. Doesn’t Wai always tell me to stand there? Guess tonight I didn’t play with Wai. Not making an excuse but shows I have no clue.
Wah was sitting at the first doubles court by the entrance. He later told me that as our opponents were leaving, they sported such huge grins and were very bubbly he thought that they had won.

#1 Doubles: 4-6, 1-6
#2 Doubles: 7-6, 4-3
#3 Doubles: 6-2, 4-6, 1-0 (10:6)

P.S. I just watched world atp tour’s the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships in Memphis this past weekend on TV: John Isner lost to Sam Querrey 6:3 in the third set. At award ceremony, little John slowly walked over and instantly drowned everyone in his presence, one would or could appreciates his 6’9″ frame truly. On court alone all by himself doesn’t show that much. Anyway. I thought about last night: our first doubles team had to face off with a huge guy who’s tall, speedy, lefty, moves well and runs fast. And with a booming lethal serve. He was the captain and when we exchanged our sheets, my neck hurt from looking up at him 🙂

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It has four har tru courts. A few pix on FB. More details about the little town in this 1996 article –

If You’re Thinking of Living In/Kings Point, L.I.
Where Gatsby Could Still Be Comfortable

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Memorial Field

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  • Memorial Fields, 16
  • Allenwood 4 hard
  • Kings 4
  • Parkwoods, 9 (4 indoor)
  • Kings Point Tennis Ctr, 2 indoor
  • North, 8? (middle 8, high ?)
  • South, 18 (middle 3 + 5, high 4 + 6)
  • Whitney, 4, hard –> subtotal: 65
    • GN
    • GN Estate, 7 (5 indoor)
    • University Gardens, 2 with pool
    • GN Plaza
    • Russell Gardens, 3 red clay
    • Lake Success 11 (3 hard, 4 har tru 4 red clay) –> subtotal: 23

If You’re Thinking of Living In/Great Neck; Great Site for Schools, Parks and Trains

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Candy Baron

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We had lunch at SF Fishermans Wharf over looking the Golden Gate Bridge. I’m no fan of the bridge. The only time I was impressed was when I kayaked from Jack London Square in Oakland one early morning years ago. My flight was out at 1pm that day and I just discovered an active Kayak shop the day before after lunch there. The friendly proprietor offered to take me out to the bridge if I got there early enough. I couldn’t refuse the offer. Seeing the famed structure underneath was awesome even I was wearing borrowed wetsuit (the proprietor won’t accept my payment either), and even I never thought the bridge worth a second look. It’s the best kayak trip I’ve taken so far. I meant to do it on the Hudson, but yet haven’t .. simply being lazy.

kids in the candy landAfter lunch we wandered into the candy store.
Oh great Mom ..
Now you finally brought us into a candy store ..
My kids teased me.
Ya, I finally had change of heart..
Soften up a lot as I’m getting older ..
Maybe not 🙂
Not really:
This store has great view out to the Golden Gate Bridge ..
I like the decor on the walls ..
It’s not summer yet, yet the line queued long at the cashier’s It gives me headache just to think what it would be like in the height of tourist season ..
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