Archive for September, 2009

Some forms of tennis

Those school tennis courts have been renovated recently. Same court different times: 2005 vs 2009. Don’t think my game has improved much. In all honesty, as long as all my body parts agree to work together – not go on DL, I’m a happy camper.

Bending the Knees ..
knee bend .. 2005-08-25 2009-09-07

good jumps ..

good jump .. 2005-08-25 2009-09-07

Keep eye on the ball ..

keep eye on the ball 2005-08-25 2009-09-07

stay down ..

08-25 stay on your toes .. 2009-09-07

prepare; always think the ball will return .. good thinking .. but I often get lazy .. and rely on my partner ..

getting ready .. stay down ..

big hair do 🙂

? a big hairdo

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[troubled] Water under the bridge

Out of blue, two days ago some family member of the players from Beijing Chaoyang tennis club contacted me:

Subject: Sunday in NY

Hi Irene,
Please don’t mind if I ask who paid for the tennis court that day, I need to know this because I was told that I need to pay for my share of the fee, and I am not even part of the tennis team.

Weird .. was my first reaction.

What’s going on? Why would anyone ask the family member to chip in to share the court cost? We all knew USTA paid for the two courts for two hours 10-12 noon. Since we had about two dozen players from both sides, soon we played on the next two courts. Four courts in total. In any sense, we, as the host, should pay for the court cost, if there were any, just like the lunch.

Who actually asked you to pay for it, and how much? I questioned the sender.

No reply.

(On that Sunday 8/30, as we were leaving the tennis club, one of my buddies mentioned that Sandy went to the front desk at the club and negoated the additional two courts and paid for it.)

To be sure, I forwarded the e-mail to Andy and one of the organizers for clarification. The organizer replied two days later:

Subject: Re: court fee for BJ club

Hey Irene,
When you raise questions, you have to be specific. I have no clue what you or your someone are referring to.
What court, which court, where, when ???

Sorry .. for being not clear and specific. I thought the initial e-mail/subject is self-explanatory.

From reading the e-mail I forwarded to you, I think the inquirer is asking about Sunday 8/30 at Roosevelt Island tennis club. Have any of catsny member asked the Chaoyang tennis club to share the court fees (original two and the addition two ??) in any way?
It sounds very odd.

Best regards

From the organizer:

C’mon, Irene, that was history and whatever happened, happened. It’s water under the bridge.
Just to clear your doubtful mind,
USTA paid 2 courts for Chaoyang Tennis Club as courtesy and we were arranged to play the friendly games with them.
Then, Tom the club manager came later and told me that we can use balance 2 courts for free as the courts were paid for by seasonal players who did not show up.
As such, we got to use balance 2 courts that day. No fees were paid to no one.
To my knowledge, no one asked anyone for money in any form. I, for one, did not pay out any fee to Tennis club for additional courts.
There might have been conversation among our players to suggest that we rent the 2 empty courts and everyone chip in for the cost. That’s my guessing.
Both your neighbor HL and PZ were there. If anyone asking for money, I should have know about it.

So, here you go. I hope this will satisfy the sender.

Now, I have a question for the Inquisitor that wasn’t being answered:
– Who asked for payment? More importantly, was the request made after the 8/30 event – That’s the root of the problem.

Will the Instigator share this info that started this flurry of e-mails exchanges?

I won’t be surprised to see that Chaoyang has as much politics as the catsny although I sincerely hope not. But .. coming to NY/USA isn’t a small deal, especially when China makes tennis/golf so out of reach for the masses.

It’s just a game. People. Lets KISS. Let’s forge friendship and promote sportsmanship.

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Women are getting unhappier

Maureen Dowd told her friend Carl.

“How can you tell?” Carl deadpanned. .. “Because you care,” he replied with a mock sneer. “You have feelings.”

Which group of women Madam Dowd is talking about? And based on what criteria? And through her Americanized micro magnifier?
I found many American versions are often obscured and marginalized. The Muslim women are not unhappy, according to themselves. We Chinese or Asian women at large are relatively happy. We might have this stereotype image as being submissive, but deep down, what’s wrong with being submissive?

Through American point of view, there are many happy campers around, especially women. But keep in mind they are not Americans and don’t live in USA. They have their own culture and wisdom, own way to deal with life’s ups and downs.

Few years ago, Manon Rhéaume played in the NHL ice hockey team as a goalie. Aside from having the team added female locker room, and as publicity stunt to raise awareness of the expansion Lightning, she didn’t do anything to rise women’s standing in ice hockey. I would think she just publicly admitted the limitation women have [vs men].

Michelle Wie tried. And boy did she try. But came up empty handed.

Oh, how about sending girls into boys locker room, like NFL did or still does?  For what? Equal right? How would any one feel a media company sending a male reporter into girls’ locker room for that killer quotes? How about little consideration for the athletes, give them some privacy?

If a man and a woman are doing the same job, heck they should be paid same.

As in tennis: they do get paid equally. But the problem is, women work less, 3 sets are required vs men’s 5 sets. Why? We women are weaker? Which is true. .. but we should be paid the same with less work. Fair?

Women and men are made differently, so they could take on different assignments in life, complimenting to each other, rather than competing against each other?

Why can’t most people accept this simple fact?

When women stepped into male- dominated realms, they put more demands — and stress — on themselves. If they once judged themselves on looks, kids, hubbies, gardens and dinner parties, now they judge themselves on looks, kids, hubbies, gardens, dinner parties — and grad school, work, office deadlines and meshing a two-career marriage.

If a sister has ambition to accomplish all of the above, all the power to her. BUT do not complain. Do it like a man. Take it like a man.

A 50 year old man can choose his mate starting 20, all the way past his own age.  And a 50 years old woman could probably only has 50+ men to consider.
Don’t complain.
It’s a fact.
Don’t like the conversation? Change it.
Not happy? Date 20 years old men if you so desire.  No law said you couldn’t.

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Noblized sports 贵族化

Played with Alex the assassin who’s game has improved a lot. I like to tease him .. wondering which temple he’s visiting in China 🙂 [to hone his tennis skills]. We won 2 sets to 1.

He knew the Chaoyang tennis club in Beijing well even he holes up in a podunk somewhere near Guangzhou.
RMB 50,000 annual due that only gives you the priority to book a court. Each hour cost US$100 – hope I got the figures right here.
That’s cheap.” compares to golf in China.
One golf club charges RMB 1,000,000 (life time) membership fee and each outing would cost about RMB 2,000 – 3,000.

His opinion is that China couldn’t produce top notch tennis/golf athletes was due to the 贵族化 the sports, making it prestigious and unreachable for the mass.

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A good skipper

Dear All,
By now I suppose you all know the ground rule of our club but I would like to remind you all of one very important issue: please bring your shuttlecocks.

We all know that feather shuttlecocks are expensive and they don’t last. For a 15 minute session, we probably use one to two shuttlecocks, or three at the most. With four players in each round of play on a court, it is not exactly necessary we need four shuttlecocks per session. However, no one can argue that it is fair that everyone contribute to the game. We are well aware that some of our members never bring a shuttlecock to the court and this has to stop.

From now on, everyone sign in and come to play on a court must provide a brand new feather shuttlecock. Anyone else on the court has the right to ask any other player on the court to show his/her new shuttlecock. One who fail to show his contribution of new feather shuttlecock may be asked to leave the court and his/her round of play will be skipped.

We always have had this practice but most of the time it has not been enforced and recently I heard a few complaints about members not contributing, causing some others to keep buying new shuttlecocks while other keep playing for free. We must enforce the one-birdie-one-person rule so everyone enjoy the game fair and square…

Not finding a place to buy feather shuttlecocks is not a valid excuse. We understand that badminton is not a very popular sport in the US therefore a few of our members buy shuttlecocks from China by bulk to share with other members, charging only a bear minimum to cover their cost. Anyone needs new shuttlecocks please contact Alex Cuan or Jing He. You may also go to any badminton clubs in NY to buy from them as well. Otherwise, if anyone has shuttlecocks for sale please also let me know…

If anyone do no believe this is fair, please come to me in person in any club evening.

Best Regards,


Petty? Yes. But to ensure the longevity of any social/grass root group we need someone like Sam. Set rules that apply to everyone, and follow through with it. Put the group first and I the last.

I’ve witnessed him wrestling with court sign up process – too many players with too few courts. He openly invited everyone to voice his/her concern/suggestion/solution and finally came up with the current system. Now I guess it’s the shuttlecocks time.

A little sideline: it’s amusing to see some tennis players whom I’ve been playing with for years, never once opened a can of balls. Don’t have balls? Hmmmmmmm.. They must be the firm believers that there is free lunch.

Anyway, I have been playing with Sam for years but we don’t invite each other to our own BBQs. Once I dared to nag him to stop smoking – it bothered me. There were many his friends around, he retorted in his booming voice, well .. little woman, pls mind your own business. He wasn’t joking.

Sam volunteers to run the badminton group in lower Manhattan in an effective manner, for years. He does a lot to make it fair and interesting, between setting/enforcing rules and soothe disputes. At year-end, he would collect money for the staff at the recreation center where they call it home. He has been at it for a long time, 4 years by now. He is well respected by his constituents so no one challenges him for this prestigious position because it’s a lot of hard work and painful headache, not to mention time consuming .. unless you have real love for it. The only reward is seeing this group has good time each time.

Any one who aspires to run a group should learn a thing or two from Sam. First put your personal agenda or benefit aside, do a string unattached job. When everyone sees your effort, unselfish effort, they will come, and reciprocate with respect and support.

Last week, Sam’s group started the second round of their league tournament (dreamed up by Sam, with inputs from everyone .. ) and from the scores, the three matches were very intensive, great time and games by all.

Match A1: 4 vs 15, ..
Game 1: 4, 21-18, 15
Game 2: 4, 21-23, 15
Game 3: 4, 23-21, 15

Match B1: 3 vs 5, ..
Game 1: 3, 21-13, 5
Game 2: 3, 16-21, 5
Game 3: 3, 21-13, 5

Match B2: 1 vs 8, ..
Game 1: 1, 21-14, 8
Game 2: 1, 10-21, 8
Game 2: 1, 24-22, 8

Last September he got 20 tickets to the WNBA game at the MSG, Madison Sq Garden. It was given to the group as whole. He announced it on the web and allotted them to the first 20 repliers.

During his reign so far, I could only recall one whiner who perhaps in desperate need of some attention. The trouble maker complained about something that’s neither made sense or out of line. After few polite e-mail exchanges, Sammy finally told the person .. be quiet. (No, Sam didn’t fine the person $1,500 as Roger was fined by USTA .. ) Players lined up behind him, because they could see Sam in it is NOT for himself.

Chaoyang and CatsNYOur group picture with Chaoyang at the end of a friendly game in New York.
The same could not be said for other groups.
It’s just happened, during the US Open, Chaoyang had extra 12 tickets and they gave to catsny since we entertained them for a friendly game on Sunday. I knew nothing about the tickets till an unhappy camper told me. To find out for myself, I asked the organizer who replied:

I received 6 day’s ans [sic .. and] 6 night’s tickets from Jennifer. I gave out to whomever wanted to go and kept 1 night ticket for myself.

How come I was never offered one?? Thought we’re friends 🙂

In all honesty, I don’t believe friends should get any priority or preferential treatment in a group setting. Fairness is the key. I added that just being factious. After all, I was part of the group, and I was indeed unaware of the tickets.

The organizer replied:

many said the sane [same] thing. Tickets came and go in no time. Just couldn’t keep everyone happy

Meanwhile, those few heading a group with clear mission statement, incurred many complains are wondering why they put in time and effort but were not appreciated.
Well, my suggestion is:
Stick to your mission statement, and review it often, and carry it out
Make it open and transparent, no back door dealings
Put the G – group first, I second if not last.

I’ve always felt a bit ambivalent about the motives of the xx organization. It seems they’re not aware of their own mission statement.

One successful sport league captain commented.

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The little people’s serves

Pumpkin’s serve ..

DSCN1084 DSCN1085 DSCN1087 DSCN1089

Their team lost narrowly to Roy and Pan – they were leading 5:1 in tiebreak .. .. and beat Roy and I 6:3.

DSCN1047 DSCN1048 DSCN1049 DSCN1050

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Giants at Cowboys

Oh well .. another NFL football season is (already .. they beat Red Skins last week 23:17) under way.

100,000+ people are at the new Cowboys’ stadium plus 20k+ milling around – did I hear it right? Top that. George and Laura Bush flipped the coin for the opening night. (Is he reduced to that?)

Tiki Barber covers for the NBC. I think I just found some one to replace Lionel Richie with 100 teeth.

It’s always fascinating to me that Giants’ tickets are so much harder to get by than, say Denyce Graves of Met Opera – its season is also under way. I last saw Graves‘ Carmen at the Met. Would I have traded that one with a Giants game? Hmmmm .. not sure 🙂

Ok, my little Giants are leading by 3 at 3rd quarter, 20:17. Go Giants.

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A wedding ..

DSCN1108Not sure Tini Tran and Edward Wong’s is the first wedding announcement took place in Beijing that appear on the New York Times.

The bride and bridegroom are foreign correspondents in Beijing, the bride for The Associated Press and the bridegroom for The New York Times.

Daniel Gross and Steven Goldstein were the first same-sex couple to appear in The Times’ wedding announcements.

Watch the video, it’s really heart warming. One’s mother broke down at the party
“Not of joy but embarrassment.”
17 years and they’re still going strong.


Anyway, it’s a gorgeous weekend, hope all of you had plenty out door activities. I played tennis for 3 straight days, today 7-11:30am .. the last set was against Pumpkin in doubles .. .. we or I lost, 6:3.

I need a life.

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College Stars Run for Cover From Fans’ Cameras

While shopping recently at RadioShack, Florida quarterback Tim Tebow was approached by a woman with a seemingly innocuous request to take a picture with him. But an instant before her mother snapped the photo with a cellphone camera, the woman tried to take off her shirt.

What kind of mother is this woman?! Haven’t they heard of photoshop and wide arrary of tools with ever changing new technology that enable you cut and paste, and putting together a picture?

As for cellphone camera ..

NEW YORK (CBS) ― The student who alleged she was gang raped by five men inside a Hofstra University dormitory bathroom on Sunday has admitted to making the entire story up, the Nassau County District Attorney’s office confirmed on Wednesday night.

The cottonhead recanted her accusation was .. due to .. cell phone video existed backing up the five men ..

Don’t those women give females a bad name? I’m the third sex. I don’t worry 🙂

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Be quiet .. I don’t give a shit

Chair umpire: “.. .. Be quiet.”
Roger Federer “.. .. I don’t give a shit .. ..”
Wow.. Men’s Singles Final is in progress, between Juan Martin Del Potro and FedEx.
One set apiece.
Del Porto broke Rog and was serving at 4:3. But couldn’t hold. Rog broke back and the last point that gave Rog 5:4 was questionable. Del Porto decided to challenge the call long after 2 seconds has passed; and Rog walked to his chair. Players have two seconds to file a challenge.Rog .. “I wasn’t allowed to challenge after two seconds. The guy takes like 10 every time.”
“Be quiet,” The umpire told Federer.
That irrated FedEx
“You have any rules? Don’t tell me to be quiet, ok? When I want to talk I’ll talk, all right…I don’t give a shit what he said, ok?”
I think he has Serena’s incident in mind.
Mary Carillo commented that it’s joke for no coaching:
“Everyone cheats.” They all look up to their coach.
“Whom would you turn to?”
The 2-second rule is to cut down the chance to consult with coach.
I’m not sure now, but for a long time, Roger didn’t have a coach.
4th set, tiebreak.
Del Potro’s serving.
His first serve looked out. No call.
I think someone from the crowds called out.
Federer approached the chair. After brief conversation, Rog challenged the point.
Del Porto said .. didn’t we just had this 2-second exchange?
He had a point.
But the chair umpire allowed the challenge.
It was out, by a hair distance – but it’s beside the point – why did the chair umpire allow it??
Del Porto did his second serve .. and went on to win the 4th set at 7:4.
US Open is tarnishing its name.
I can’t wait for the Federer trophy ceremony and interview ..

Did anyone feel funny when US Open claimed

A Storybook Ending for Clijsters


I disagree for she didn’t exactly, actually win that match.

5th set: Del Potro leads 3:0. He started the 5th set .. Rog started the previous 4 sets. Hmmmmm…
5th set, 4:1. Del Potro serves. Rog has 10 double faults and 58 unforced errors. He’s playing below himself and looks dare. .. he lost the match at 6:2 5th set.

Ironically, given what’s happened earlier about the delayed challenge, Rog changllened a Del Potro’s first serve after prolonged delay. Del Potro protested. But the chair umpire allowed it anyway.
It was out.
Del Potro went to the line and smacked out a second-serve.

Really, IS THERE any rule at US Open?

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