Archive for February, 2010

All My [adapted] Children

Old Westbury 12:30pmOld Westbury at 12:30pm

Snowed a bit today .. ya right.

From the air wave, one would imagine that the end of the world or something close to happen: everyone’s talking about the impending storm. What’s the big deal? It’s winter and suppose to snow. Correct?

My phone was ringing off the hock since 8:45am. First was my dentist. Errrrrrrrrhhhhhh .. Dr. Rubin wanted to grant me an audience earlier than his girl had scheduled. His office called last night at well past 7pm to inform me that they’re moving my appointment from 12:15pm to 11:45am. Forget about long wait at doctors’ offices, now we’re talkin about 30 minutes. Worth it? It took 5 big minutes to just make an appointment with his office. Don’t know, someone needs a life, or get their act together.
Anyway. My adopted children began to call too. Just to remind the aspiring captains: you’d better have a lot of time before you take on this job. I timed myself once to make an court arrangement: 32 minutes. You call the court and the players. Simple? Not that simple. Players have preferences. Between few venues, there are also players’ availability. I need to have a chat room just for this.
Dr. Rubin was nice today, patiently waited while I was on the phone with my lunatic children who wanted to play tennis.
“You’re going to play tennis this afternoon?!?” Dr. R questioned my sanity.
“Yes, doc.” I replied. Not just me crazy. There are 7 more nuts.
1pmAlley Pond Park on Feb 10 at 12:57pm – not a ski resort, we are going to play tennis
Yesterday I had reserved 2 courts at USTA for 2-4. There were four players signed up. This AM one more player wanted to play. So we needed to get two more warm bodies plus moi: I wan ‘t going to because I had a night game. Thank lord I remembered to call USTA: it’s going to closed in half an hour. So another round of calling, 7 players needed to know the new venue. Then one of them didn’t like this new venue. So we moved to the new new venue. Then a considered soul thought about street parking at this new new venue which wasn’t good during a storm. So we finally settled on the new new new venue. .. Irene needs a life. I’m feeling dumb just writing about this simple affair.

Six of my ACs plus one’s husband made it to the empty courts at 1pm. The highway condition wasn’t good at all. I had Jeep with four wheel drive on but could go only at 40 miles per hour or so with an open road. Very slippery. My daughter begged me to stay home. A bunch of lunatics is all I could say.

As soon as I set up the practice yesterday, few ACs questioned the timing: 2-4 on a weekday. Doesn’t anyone need to make a living?

Work is for people who don’t play tennis, kids!

3:24pmAlley Pond Park on Feb 10 at 3:26pm: the City kept the parking lot relatively clean on this big storm

It’s the interim time, half way through the regular season. I started to have better feel toward my children teammates hence the following rants.

指腹为婚 (in a sense that they arrived as a pair, the love bird): They got me into this in the first place and I now know why: her game has improved tremendously and they, as a team hasn’t lost yet. Did few wondered if Barack Obama run for president just to show off Michelle’s arms? Here you go .. They wanted to showcase her dazzling legs games.

BFFs: I have a pair of vets, one of them I’ve met and played with long time ago. Back then I once asked her to be my partner in a tourney but never heard back from her. Guess I was too weak and clueless 🙂 This time around, she said ok BUT with one condition: a certain ranked partner. Her BFF had a condition too: she would join only if the BFF’s joining. What’s the heck. They’re very experienced in the league play. So, I set out to recruit a specific-ranked-player. So here we’re. So they have been winning thus far.

天成一双: There are two players that are made for each other, in many ways.

ice hockey stuff地成一对: Since the certain-rank scenario I have this set-pair on my team. The recruit, no the Bagman‘s having so much fun that has inspired Golfer to join the ice hockey league. I’d think golfers have too much equipments to play a simple game, you should check out the hockey players – those are not whole set, yet – there are more to come to complete the outfit. Our little maid room used to be occupied by Golfer’s clubs only, now .. ice skate, sticks .. helmet .. gloves .. and between you and me: they are smelly from sweat.

The Secret Weapon: can’t rant on my secret player, sorry. Be aware is all I can tell you.

Shifu: Master of stokes.

The Heartthrob: Everyone on my team are either handsome or beautiful but there’s this particular player who’s just simply so hot that every girl wants to have their time with him. I’m telling you people, no kidding. He played hard to get in the beginning and refused joining the team. Then a lady called on him and he changed his mind. Girls young and old, single and married all wants him. Oh man, I’d better get my act together too 🙂 or putting some make up on.

The Softy .. has gorgeous strokes, with a generous smile .. what would you like to know about my silky? Send in your question. I’ll answer them one by one.

The 远近闻名 Champ: what can I say, I’m just a lucky clam. One day one of my non tennis friends from another planet asked me about someone, it turned out was my champ. It turned out the champ’s well known. Ok, that’s pretty lame. I think I’m running out of juice. Be good kids, till next time…

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The last Monday night in October [27] in 1986 I was awoken from a deep sleep by the mixed sounds of human shouting, car horning, beer cans scorched and bottles throw onto the ground.

World War III? I briefly thought. When I regained my full consciousness, I nixed the war theory. USA doesn’t really have a habit of hosting war on her soil. I listened closely, the human voice was cheers in English, but mostly were Spanish.

I am a good sleeper, soon afterward I felt asleep again. The following when I went to school, I saw the littered streets and the atmosphere was like Mardi Gras, light and festival. Mets had won the World Series, in game 7, the deciding game.

The classroom was filled with excitement and the teacher spent better part of the time talking shops, aka baseball with the student.

I was bewildered.

It was my first education in the capitalism. Sport 101 and Darryl Strawberry who hit a homer in the last game came into my view. He would be forever the Mr. Baseball for me. I soon learned, that the baseballers, and athletes in the major league, namely, football, basketball and a slightly in distance the ice hockey, they make fortune. Their salary is astronomical. I was shocked. How could that be? They are just athletes. In a FOB mind (Fresh off the Boat), the scientists should be making that type of income.

  • Three strikes you’re out
  • Touch down
  • It’s a lay up
  • Slam dunk
  • ..

Sports equate fair. I think the enormous success of sports in USA is because the Americans’ romantic and idealistic view of their country and that of us, the immigrants who came.



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MTG Availability

It doesn’t add up: the Availability page has glitches on MTG or it won’t show unless both partners confirmed?
MyTennisGroup ~ mtg

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Calligraphy, competition, chivalry, …

Calligraphy isn’t big in the West as it is in the East: we Chinese prize a great penmanship. I thought by now I’ve asked enough questions about dos and donts and know what to do, as a captain.
Obviously wrong again.
First, I found myself looking for my counterpart in a crowded lounge. Scanning who’s having a piece of paper in his hand – I’m new, don’t know anyone. After hitting on every single man in there (mind you, since I’m no longer a spring chicken, all of them just ignored me ..), I finally found mine. Ok. We exchanged the line up sheet. He asked if Su’s here and sent her his warm regards. So did his fellow players – they all played together or against each other forever. We’re all big happy family.
I didn’t look closely at the names he listed. What’s the point? There are only handful people and one could easily found the one from the USTA site.
Apparently I was wrong again.
some calligraphyLondon that is. Anything resembles London on this sheet of paper to the left? I saw Paris, I saw New York .. 🙂 Guess I need to drink more alphabet soup. Lots of it.

After the game when I tried to enter the score, I couldn’t make out the name. Yes, there are only handful players on his team, but it happens there are two players who shared the same first name. .. Ultimately I picked the wrong player to enter.
It’s my third outing. And did poorly. Earned my team’s first defeat.

At my last match with my Long Island team, Bob commented at the end ..
“My wife often asks me what’s like to play mixed doubles .. ” he paused and took sip of his water then gave out his conclusion:
“It’s like a marriage.”
It’s a precise one liner.

He’s of course absolutely right. Regardless in a doubles or mixed doubles.

The goal of the little team is to win. On a good hair day, they may win easily without much effort but on a stormy night with a bad hair cut, they may played their hearts out still lose. It’s test on those bumpy matches that the two belong in a team. 取长补短 quchang buduan learn from others’ strong points to offset one’s weakness – helps a lot. Be there, be accommodating and be supportive. Don’t go out there looking to change your partner in this short span of time. If one married long enough or in a long relationship, you know it is you who’s going to change, not the other way around if you want to live happily ever after. Coaching and pointers are greatly appreciated and probably work better than yelling and screaming. I know I would play better when my opponents are arguing and berating each other.
I often wondered why those high flying 4.0 boys would want to play with the weak 3.0 girls – because once I get involved, you could see the speed of the ball immediately cut into half, if not to a standing still. JK .. Ok, some girls aren’t exactly 3.0 but this old Irene is definitely a legitimate 3.0. The only reason I could think is they’re bored playing hard hitting men’s game and want different experience. Or using this as their warm up time for the more serious mens season ahead in the summer? In any case, they should know what to expect out of 3.0 – that I have limitations; lucky to even get the ball over the net, once in a while.

The competition. .. After the last game, I gently mentioned that there wasn’t much of resistance. Su wrote that competition comes fast.
She’s right.
It comes unannounced and furious. You’d better be ready.

Was I ready? Perhaps as ready as I could be. I am always late for my shots. It’s so much easy to be the arm chair general, but on the battle field, I am usually clueless. I had no idea how and why we won the previous outing but how and why we lost last night. 兵败如山倒 bingbai rushandao – defeated army retreat like a mountain collapsing. I had this sinking feeling after the first set. But I experienced that exact feeling the first time. Come to think about it, the opponents were more self-destructive and my partner was more supportive during the first match. I remembered Jim Courier said to Andre Agassi at their 1991 French Open final ceremony after his won 6:4 in the 5th set ..
“Sorry Andre,” Jim looked genuinely sorry .. “I knew it’s just a point here and there .. ”
Really, there was few points could have gone our way and hence could change the out come of the game.

Chivalry. .. My partner lost his cool and yelled at me. Really, yelled, outburst. It looked just very uncouth. I was shocked, my little heart shrunk. To be honest, it’s very nerve-racking. Harmless little Irene being yelled at. I was embarrassed. Although I’m clueless but I do know the stereotype Asian men have .. the image of being less chivalry, weak and geeky .. so I was particular aware when things happened when non Asians are around. That’s where my embarrassment came from: one for being on the receiving end and two for being Chinese. My partner is Chinese and that alone made me feeling short and small instantly. I DO NOT think one race is better than the other but I can’t deny the perception.

Partnership .. I always enjoy a talking partner who tells me what to do. My partner has been the solid rock in there with me and I felt very secure and couldn’t possibly do wrong. He would rescue any bad shot I made and correct any mistake I just invented (if there were only 3 commonly committed mistakes Irene would sure create the 4th and 5th). Basically I was getting a free ride. A joy ride I shall say. But when he suddenly turned bit off, it surprised me to no end. I was very lost and feeling abandoned. It’s easier to weather a storm but far more difficult to deal with a rejection. Ya, I felt like a reject out there. I think this feeling also stemming from the fact that I don’t know him well. I was playing against two players across the next from the starting then I was facing 3 players .. brok my back mountain ..

Back in the first set, there was this crucial line call .. one side said ..

The game took a turn for the worst when I drew the guy super wide and I smashed his lob crosscourt on the tape. He hesitated and then called it out fm across the other doubles alley. The court was clean and for an overhead smash to not leave a mark was outrageous. I was fuming and went into punishment mode which didn’t turn out well. ..

and the other side said ..

There was some line call issue at one point and your guy was staring over the net looking for a mark on an out ball but Kristin said it was OUT and she’s honest.

What I saw was .. he called it out quickly but she hesitated. I was on the ad court and saw it pretty clear. They conferred then the call stood. If you cared about my opinion, I wouldn’t call it out: too close to call. I thought it touched the outside the tape (line). But it’s their call. The guy said it loud enough.

The guy was really skillful, never hit anything hard. The girl has great forehand but played on the backhand side. Hmmmmm ….. I really didn’t feel all the balls came to me during the match. It could be ..
1. I’m clueless
2. I’m used to it since I’ve been the weakest link for all those years

First doubles: 1:6, 3:6
Second doubles: 6:4, 6:4
Third doubles: 6:1, 6:1

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Paying for the match

The match fee $30 ($31 if we’re the home team) is due on 3pm the day before the match. Please feel free to pay for the match online (estimate # of matches you’ll play) or paypal, Chase QuickPay, or settle it with me at match. The payment site has a clear record but I don’t check it often. I will put in few dollars as cushion just in case anyone forgets and pay up the full balance on due date February 3, 2012. You should NOT pay online after the due date because it will result in double payment. You’ll be reimbursed after the season but it’s an extra work we can all avoid. The actually match play is based on availability not on number of matches you paid, we’ll settle the over payment at end of the season.


To pay for matches:

  1. Have a credit card ready (Visa, Mastercard, American Express)
  2. Have your 10-digit team code (starts with “1002”) from your captain
  3. Know how many matches you are supposed to pay for (your captain will tell you this)
  4. Go to On the top, select USTA Leagues Tennis. On the left, select “Pay for Matches Online”
  5.  Fill out the form, using your team’s 10-digit team code
  6. Enter in the number of matches you have been asked to pay for. Each match is $30.
  7.  At the bottom, if you have not already joined the USTA or registered for your team on Tennislink, you can do that here.
  8. Submit your info & wait for confirmation (only click once or you’ll be charged multiple times!)
  9. If you experience any problems, contact your captain right away.


Pay to play, Jan 13, 2013

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Islanders to Hold Part of Training Camp in China

Life after Computer Associates: Islanders to Hold Part of Training Camp in China. Charles Wang is enjoying his role as the Islanders’ owner – ice hockey. He brings (bridges) the sport to China and showing his players his home country.

“The facilities there are much newer and much better than the Coliseum,” Wang said, joking, referring to the Nassau Coliseum, the Islanders’ home.

For years, Wang has sought approval from Nassau County and the Town of Hempstead for a real estate development that would include the renovation of the Coliseum.

Talking about Wang’s project to renovate the Nassau Coliseum: I can’t understand what’s holding it back. Sometimes the USA sounds and acts more like a communist state.

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