Archive for June, 2009

Pine Court Chinese Bistro

The celebratory dinner was at
Pine Court Chinese Bistro
249-32 Horace Harding Expy
Little Neck, NY 11362
(718) 279-1999

Lou is the food connoisseur if not the epicurean.  Dishes at Pine Court are mostly decent.  Service was slow that night (wasn’t crowded), and the lamb chop was too salty.  The fish soup was great.

We almost had the Ocean Six reunion at the tennis tourney: Lou and Simon were there; Larry came to be DQ’s groupie; only missing Clay.

3 of the Ocean Six Lou thinks my camera isn’t good enough to take his photo ... wa wa wa other body part is ok with my cheapo camera when Simon says ... only one Irene will listen

The big babe tennis 🙂 They’re all much taller than I’m, 5’6″ or 5’8″. When we take pictures, they tend to bend their knees so not to bury me. We had three tables about 30 people, mostly players and few spouses/friends/groupies.
I’m a Home Depot groupie.
Oh, talking about groupies, I had to share this.
First time I attended the tennis year end party, sitting at a single table because a widowed g/f wanted to meet someone.
As soon as I sat down, a middle aged man to my right introduced himself.
“I’m a podiatrist and single.”
No wonder he’s still single.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that many single women came because they perceived tennis players are loaded sugar daddies.
I could only shake my head.
It turned out, the Dr. Single and I had a mutual friend: Art Gudeon, a little famed podiatrist I used to play tennis with. Art has an office in Rego Park and used to be on the medical staff at USTA during the Open. He’s a huge tennis bum, would camp out at the stadium two weeks straight every year.
Dr. Single joked,
“Is he still alive?”
Geee… seriously I don’t know. We haven’t been playing for few years.
Art is really fun to have around.

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A battle of nerves

Dinara Safina's belly The war is playing out at Center Court in Wimbledon at the moment between 19 years old Sabine Lisicki, a German and choking artist and Number 1 Dinara Safina, 23 years old.
The German was serving for the set at 5:3.
But was unable, due to melt down.
Then she had the set point and missed an easy put away.
But no worry.
The Number One returned the favor instantly by double faulting.
Now they’re trading double faults and breaks, the play is just below the standard (it felt a high schooler could go out there and win) .. .. and … then there is Safina’s belly.
Man, that isn’t a pretty picture.
Aside from the pork belly hanging out, there is screaming, head banging, frustration in plain sight .. .. all from the current #1 ranked player who never wins a slam. Cool.
John McEnroe has bad temper on court, but that’s entertaining. The pork belly isn’t. It’s painful to watch, to a point of pity.  Desperation produces lousy games.

im not trying to be an ass, but she’s not pregnant is she? Damn, in her last match at the australian open, her belly was bulged out way passed her chest. just wondering. I mean, i now she cant be cause she wouldn’t be playing right?

the world #1's belly

Another fan added: “I know I should concentrate on the tennis and not the fashion, but why doesn’t Dinara Safina find a top that fits her? The top rides up practically every point. Will somebody get Adidas to suggest she might like a dress rather than separates for the next event?”

Mary Joe Fernandez was one of the commentators, and she said in a firm tone that Safina’s
“outfit has to go.”

Another fan, a male, said:

“I am watching right now the game between Safina and Mauresmo on Centre Court. In my opinion I am really surprised to see that the Wimbledon committee is allowing Safina to be dressed up like this on the probably most important court of the world. Look at her, she is probably wearing the shortest possible top and her belly is looking out of it very often. How is this possible according to the rules?”

Update: Venus sent the world number 1 home on [almost] a bicycle: 6:0 and 6:1 during their semi match. Don’t we get a new biker? Venue didn’t even break a sweat. The ranking system really need an update.

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Oh man … Simon says

CIMG5348This picture was taken on the way home from the CatsNY tourney last Saturday 6/27.

Oh man, oh man… Let’s see
– Gerald (or Gerard Gonsalves?)… oh Man, he taught me the serve
– Rain storm … Oh well, mother nature
– 陪了三个男人 … Oh Man
– A win … OH MAN
Ya.. a win !!
Queens College.
21 years ago.
A coach with soft Jamaican sing-song accent (he might not have accent at all … my hearing is going), long hair …
Dick and GerardDick and his sidekick Fred were taking lessons from him too. So I got to know Dick and big Fred.
I didn’t remember much but I credit Ger for my serve.
He made the motion as a swan.
“Just, like, a ballerina.” He repeated.
I haven’t seen him since.
Why Dick brought a coach as his partner?
Ger is the assistant principal at Bayside High; married to Susan, has two boys, 8 and 13. Oh man. He hasn’t changed much, except losing some of his hair.
He still looks fit and handsome but I didn’t get to play with him.
hmmmmm ....
Given the fact how much rain we’ve seen here (hint: feeling like the The Hundred Acre Wood in Winnie-the-Pooh), the weather was awesome, cerulean skies with few clouds. I teamed up with Charlie Chiu against the Mengs; we won 6:2. Haven’t played with Charlie for a long time but we matched well.
Xing ba 星爸 Tom was my original partner. Poor Tommy tried to wrestle out of this lousy arrangement by circling around Queens in angst. Finally out of consideration to Andy, he showed up at 11. We promptly put to work, playing the twin sisters.
There were two all women teams playing in the mixed doubles.
I was wrong. Tommy not only knows how to play singles but is a strategist and theorist also good at coaching too. But unfortunately we received a bagel. We had good time playing, 100% 阿Q精神.

the rain drops… Then the downpour came.
The water began to wash the tiny little earth that was mattered to us only at the moment, out of nowhere. Did someone forgot to pray in the morning? Large part of the sky was still blue with sunshine.
Ha, good excuse.
Xing ba dashed off like a missile to Gulag. Yes, laboring there beats playing with Irene :(.
I was effectively got dumped.
No wonder the arranged marriage thing only worked in the past. 自由恋爱 is the way to go in the 21st Century.
The gang who organized the tourney perhaps felt bad for taking my money, so they arranged another an unsuspecting man, Jimmy Wang. I’ve seen him here and there but never played with him.
let's go to swimOur first opponents were Josh and DQ. As we were warming up, Jim called me to the net and said,
“Don’t over kill. When you do that, you lose your forms.”
Ok Jimmo.
Jim seems to be a tacit man, mild mannered.
That’s good.
We went to work.
exciting, isn't it?It turned out, we matched pretty well. He saves all the balls that escaped me, which were often. We won 7:1. I lobbed quite a bit.
I always felt unsportsmanlike hitting to the weaker player when I have the control, which wasn’t often the case. But when a match is on the line, over the years, I have less and less qualm of doing so. It’s also out of consideration to my partner. Often I’m being the weakest link on the court I don’t really have to entertain such dilemma.
the work station Our next assignment was, well, against Mary and Paul. Pual Lin that was. Many players had whispered that Paul was the number one player [I assumed in NYS].
I saw Paul play for many years and hit with him, only once; ok twice.
Mary who likes to play with the guys only is considered the best female player in our group, a 4.0.
So, I took gulp. I already got a bagel. What could happen? Adding an egg? That’ll make a bicycle 🙂

Remember what Simon says?
I lobbed.
I lobbed.
I lobbed.
Simon says
Sorry people. It DOES feel like cheating. I dislike this sissy stuff too. But I do want to win.
I also thought of Wah Zai’s comment that there is plenty of time [to set up a shot]. So took my time. Didn’t rush.
Didn’t Jimmo just say don’t overkill?
We were actually leading 3:0 till Irene served. I haven’t been able to serve regularly for a few months due to the pain in my shoulder. But for some reason, I was able to do half and under-armed the other half. It felt pretty funny.
Serve is a part of my game that’s dependable. The man who taught me well was there too. But I had to invent some way to serve otherwise, to avoid the pain and tenderness. Then it hurt other part of the arm, the inside muscle. Geee, I don’t even know there is a functioning muscle 🙂
There were some tense moments. We lost 2 games at deuce.
But we won at 5:3
That’s huge for me.
I’ve never beaten Mary.
Thanks Jimmbo. Thanks Simon. And thanks Wah Zai.

CIMG5320 -1 charging the net good volley a point well done

Those 4 guys look slow on video – because the TV has trained or altered our eyes – but they’re 5.0 players. Well, I don’t know the pair but IF they challenged Tony, I would assume they’re 5.0 too.

Over all, it’s a great event and hope all had great time.
Andy didn’t get to play: 顾全大局 take the entire situation into account, he only watched. A decent skipper.
Respect is earned.

Wait, who has Jimmbo’s cell number?

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Ballperson tryout at the USTA

CIMG5210 The tryout at the USTA for the upcoming US Open was held on June 25, more than 400 showed up. It just reinforced my believe that people who run the tennis events are less capable. The event’s scheduled at 3pm:

The registration begins at 3 p.m. and tryouts start at 4 p.m. at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

We arrived at 3pm. Immediately saw a friend of ours.
Go wait on line, out side of Court 7.
The line was huge.
Weather was extremely nice, bright sunshine and the sky was actually blue.
The line didn’t move a bit for the next hour except grow longer.
All I could think was …
‘Darn, we’re missing out on a dry day to play …’
Because New York has been raining a lot lately.
Global warming?
People watching?
check out her fuzzy furry sandals a view bon appetite balls in the water

At about 4pm, the skipper who ran the show walked briskly by. I tried to ask her if the birth certificate is needed (Charlie told me so but I forgot …).
She was very abrupt.
CIMG5172“I can’t stop [walking].” She said and continued her walk.
I shout my question if birth certificate was needed.
She yelled abck:
“No, you don’t need anything to registier, today.”
The registration finally began.
Someone passed a single page of flyer to the waiting crowds that indicating the requirement. 14 years old and up are eligible to work there. Good.
Then why didn’t they pass the registration forms as well?
What they did was … every one passed by the first table to pick up a numbered card and was given a form to fill, then proceed to another row of tables, hunch over it to fill. All those could have been accomplished while they waited on line.
A huge sum of time was wasted.
They were like newbies, as if it was their first time to do so.
There were swamps of media on hands too. The girl in the third pic (unaltered) from left is real, and really thin. American Beauty? More like an eyesore in my eyes: malnutrition. She might born that way but lord don’t send her to a sport event or have her legs covered. She doesn’t project a healthy image. Well, unless you compare to the obsess .. ..
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Ok, I knew tennis is popular and there are huge populace stands at attention to be associated with it. But do they really have to (or want to) abuse fans’ good will?

We were in the middle of the line up. But Pumpkin got a card numbered 425. Clearly it’s a screw up. The twin sisters were there too, and more than 20 spots behind us. One of them had #418.

Many parents were complaining too.

#425 one size fits all waiting at Court 7 after filling forms .... Franklin

They had few pro ball boys/girls demonstrated their crafts. This dream girl did the Center Court – not centerfold. She has the speed which the net ballperson needs. With a strong throwing arms, one could do the baseline.

We ran into many acquaintance aside from the twins.
Peter’s daughter was there.
Franklin was there with 3 of his buddies.

Salute .. the fly overThe two adults evaluator or recruiters took their time with each candidates (about 5 minutes), mostly kids, the very end. you're looking good babe ...
Pumpkin was second to the last, 2nd of the twins. They explained the tasks and conferred with them. The two adults were patient. There were youngsters feeding the balls to the net and the tryouts try to copy what they saw earlier, or what they saw on TV since most of them are also tennis bums.

Having said the above, I wondered if it’s fair for all when the candidate is clearly not going to make it. (So so American, bending backward to be fair ..) I have no intention to embarrass anyone but do we have to watch her trying?

It was a very long day. We didn’t leave USTA till 7:20pm.
Ok, I’m overkilling this post with pictures.
SO … allows me here one more, just 1 more …
The Kodak moment came at the end: capturing my kids in the USTA is priceless ..
Kodak moment: capturing my kids in the USTA is priceless

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Melanie Oudin the Georgia Peach

I never wasted a minute to say that I don’t like Jelena Jankovic, here is one more why …

After losing, Jankovic was ungraciously moved to suggest that Oudin isn’t one of them. As I said, the women do not quite reach the model comportment level of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Jankovic’s excuse was that she was wobbly from the heat — she required two medical timeouts — and the cyclical nature of “some woman problems.”

There are world number one players who have won slams – plenty of it – and, there are two recently minted #1 players who have yet to produce one … Geeeeeee … don’t they remind me of Jim Kelly (the QB of the Buffalo Bills): bridemaids. Gone to slam or Superbowl few times but never won one.

Btw, Irene doesn’t have ‘some woman problems’ … It’s beyong me that she complains about it, competing at that level and blames girlie stuff? ISn’t Oudin a woman? To cite woman problem may suitable when you are facing a man, logically? What are the woman prbolems? Man has bad hair days too. Sour loser is more like it. Anyway … Glad to see Melanie Oudina, a 17 years old American is rising. You go girl … Take the world.

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Irene got her man

Many many years ago when the Williams sisters just began taking over the world, once during a mixed doubles match (a rarity!!), Chris Evert marveled at the power the sisters were dispensing.
“She’s over powering the men …” On both sides of the net.
Then she went on to say …
“During my time, we would just sit by the phone [till the man called for a mixed doubles game]; now they chose. …” I reckon the male players are flattered?
You go girls.
Girls Rule

IF anyone care to remember that Irene had, [pls note: past tense] a grand ambition, to reach the level 4.0. As being Irene, I have to say it’s not going to happen, any time soon. One I’m aging and two I’m lazy … let’s just hope that she obtains the 3.0 first.

So, tomorrow is our summer tennis tourney with 4 divisions:
Mixed Doubles
Men’s Doubles 3.0
Men’s Doubles 3.5
Men’s Doubles 4.0
And the committee decided to limit a player to only one event for easy court management.
So I figure IF I asked a guy to play with me, he’ll miss the real fun and challenge with the boys.
So I decided not to participate.
Seeing the registration getting a slow start, more warm bodies are needed, Irene felt obligated to help out. Ya right.
SO, no man called even I sat by the phone day and night.
SO, I called.
Rob: “Sorry my back hurt.”
Kenneth: “My leg hurt.” Guess I am no Barbie.
Bill: “Sorry … “ he’s hinding out in Europe.
Some popular woman here.
Some thick skinned woman here.

This morning I just found out that I’m in an arranged union. With Tom.
The acer Tom?
The Tommy who has the meanest back hand?
The 6’5” Thomas who nails every single shot?
It turned out, the daddy Tom, father of a movie star.
Does Dad Tom even own a tennis racket? Sure the committee just wants my money 🙂

I first met him 5 years ago at a friend’s wedding. Then recently we reconnected at a dinner with mutual friends, the tennis buddies. I sat next to him.
After greeting and intro, he insisted that
“We’ve met before.”
Ok, whatev. I had no recollection at all.
Halfway though the dinner some one mentioned his star daughter, Lucy Liu, then a light bulb turned on.
He’s a sweet gent who always chats me up whenever we meet.
But tennis?
Hey, it might turn out that he’s as good as any other guy who carries Irene through the match.
What does Irene know? It’s a pure miracle that I manage to remember my name.

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Andy Murray

Allan St. John wrote in the current issue Maxim that back to 2004 when Murray, a Scot has won US Open boy’s title, British tennis officials decided to pay “the esteemed [Brad] Gilbert $1.5 million a year to coach him”, a future UK hopeful.


So far, he hasn’t won a slam (12 singles titles) but is ranked as high as #3 in May 2009. The commentators were amused to discuss the British press putting a cross on the face of the departing hometown players.

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Big babe tennis

It’s so cute and cool. Did any one see it on ESPN2? Pam Shriver, Mary Carillo and Mary Joe Fernandez covering Wimbledon, did this little sketch. Hope no one is going to rise a hell, citing political incorrectness.

American Mardy Fish, who’s seeded 28 just won his match; he’ll face the Joker, Novak Djokovic. Why doesn’t he stripe any more? Don’t be shy

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The golfers

Tiger, Vijay, Phil, .. at Bethpage 2009 US Open


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US Open 2009 @ Bethpage

We were lucky to have gone yesterday: on a perfect 10 out of 10 day for golf. I went to food shopping after dropping off the kids few hours ago, and stepped in a poddle of water that was to my calf in the parking lot. The next few days look like more rain drops than sun rays.

We parked at Jones Beach and took the coach to the Park. It’s about 20 minutes righe, painless, except the dust. As soon as I got off the bus, I found the first piece of garbage on the ground.

CIMG4817 CIMG4821 CIMG4829 CIMG5046 CIMG5111 CIMG4975

Michael dropped his sunglasses as we were watching the Tiger roaring. Ben Crane the slowmo came to pick it up. Ben is renowned for his slowness, once his partner walked off without him.
“Keep it.” I joked.
Ben CranHe playfully put it on top of his shades.
Michael took off his cap. Meaning you can have this if you want.
But Mr. Celebrity is so used to autograph seekers, he thought Michael was one of them.
He signed it without asking.
Guess everyone had their mind and eye on Tiger, no one was handing their stuff out for signature for Mr. Crane.
Well, no worry.
There is always an Irene.
Without knowing who he was, I handed him my cap.
I didn’t want to see him standing there, waiting.
An older gentle stood to me left, joked
“He’s just a ground crew.”
Early we chatted briefly. He posed a question or comment on Tiger, then waited for my reply. I looked at him blankly, confessing that I knew nothing about the game.
“Then why are you here?” He laughed.
“Oh, I was kidnapped.” 🙂 I pointed to DQ to my right.
He wanted to be kidnapped too.

CIMG5003 CIMG5006 CIMG5013

The check points at Jones Beach by the coach were through, like in an airport: empty your pockets and gone through a beeping arch.
No cell phone
No food
No water
No camera case, camera is ok
They provided the phone booth.
It’s kind of cool, for the younger generation who grow up on computers and cell phones.
Dad and Mom used to live this way, make a call from a big machine that’s moored to the ground. Oh, needed to have quarters to make the call.
The famous Nathan Frankfurter, hot dog cost $5
The beer $6
I sneaked in a Trader Joe’s strawberry bar. I must have a tendency to challenge the authority.
A born rebel, I reckon?
There was this huge shopping mall
A gleaming white tent.
CIMG5018 CIMG5022 CIMG5020

Merchandise Pavilion
Gift shops are Americans’ tradition. They need to have their dose of shopping crave filled. Everywhere.
DQ was trying on hat
CIMG4885James Dodson, the author of A Son of the Game was on hand signing his books.

I left my purse in the car, had to borrow money for my shopping spree.
Love the idea that they decorated the mall with orchards.

The mall was packed, humming with activities. It was only a practice day.
Well, golfers are better paid than tennis players.
Even every one can pick up a game of golf.
Count how many pro-am/celebrity golf tournaments are out there, vs tennis?
And pro golfers have much longer shelf live.
Their careers last longer than any other athletes.
The golf pros and tennis pros charge similar fee per hour. But tennis pro most likely has to sweat out the entire hour.

CIMG4882 CIMG5024 CIMG5016

NY Times‘ take on New York fans are on the money. The older gentle on my left was yelling out tips to Tiger on how to swing.
These two cuties were at the middle of the 18th hole, waiting for Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh.
I sneezed.
“Excuse me.” I said to no one in particular.
“God bless you.” One of them said.
After thanking him, I asked
“Why are you on wheels?”
They both stood as the balls dropped.
“We’re disabled.” They replied curtly.
Mind your own business, will you pls Irene?
CIMG4986 Nathan Tyler Tyler girl friendNathan Tyler has an Asian girl friend -> right.
Behind her were the sponsors – corporate white tents. The big boys would rent a house or a tent or both, to entertain their clients and enjoying the game themselves. Golfer never has worried where to park
or how much a beer cost 🙂
I had just as much fun as anyone would. Thanks DQ.
I’ve heard that I’m slated for the July Girls’ game in Pennsylvania, LPGA.
You got to know the right people 🙂

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