Friday, April 29, 2011

Lupe Fiasco, thought provoking rap

Lupe Fiasco!

If you're looking for some thought provoking, positive, "I'm so happy someone is finally rapping about this" music check him out. He even has a manifesto, watch it here.

"Lupe Fiasco earned his reputation as a rap philosopher, a sharp, dynamic lyricist, and an MC who could shock you, make you think, make you dance, and make you laugh, all without resorting to vulgarity or tired hip-hop alliterations. "
Most of the world might only know his most popular songs like Superstar or Kick,Push but these are not his best.

Favorite Lupe Fiasco songs:
~ Words I never said
~ Dumb it Down
~ Muhammad Walks
~ Never lies
~ All black everything
~ Close your mind
~ Conflict Diamonds

Monday, April 25, 2011

Whole Foods - vegan asparagus and caramelized onions pizza

Dear Whole Foods,

Thank you for introducing the vegan asparagus and caramelized onions pizza in your ready to eat food section. This pizza tastes absolutely great. Yes, it's slightly over priced as $4 a slice but it's NYC and daiya cheese is expensive.

Look 2 Beauty

PS Congrats on making the "100 best companies to work for" list again this year.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Baha'i Elections - Ridvan

Ridván starts tonight at sunset. So that means it is time for me to vote for 9 people to be elected to the Local Spiritual Assembly. There are no clergy in the Baha'i community, so we elect administrative leaders on a regular basis.

I have always been in awe at how absolutely no campaigning is used for Baha'i elections. It is basically up to the individual to spend the year getting to know everyone in the community to choose who you think is best suited for the role. Through prayer and deep thought you select 9 people and write their names on the ballot. It's so simple I had trouble believing it could work when I first became a Baha'i. However, now I love this concept and feel fortunate to be able to participate.

I found this article, Election Time By Mead Simon, that explains the election process pretty well.

Any Baha'i, in good standing, and over the age of 21, is not only both eligible to vote but also eligible to be elected. In the Baha'i community we are encouraged to vote for those people who exhibit criteria such as a "well-trained mind" (which is not the same as having a university diploma), "selfless devotion", "recognized ability" and "mature experience" (which is not necessarily the same as being elderly).

Picture explanation: This is a picture of the garden of Ridván which means paradise. It is located outside Baghdad where Bahá'u'lláh stayed for twelve days after the Ottoman Empire exiled Him from Baghdad and before commencing His journey to Constantinople.

Monday, April 11, 2011

forefoot strike can be a pain in the calf but it's a knee savior

Last year I discovered that if I ran more miles with a “forefoot strike” my knees hurt less. Sounds so simple….obviously I would choose to run all the time this way, right? Wrong. I purchased Vibram Five Fingers (VFF) and ran in them about once a week when it was warm/dry outside. I tried to push myself to run forefoot style when in my regular running shoes but often lost my drive. My running times tended to slow when I ran forefoot and required more work on my part. Also it took 3 months for me to be able to run more than 3 miles without significant calf pain the next day. Once the winter came I put my VFF away and ran only in my regular sneakers and forgot my forefoot discovery.

Saturday I dusted off my VFF and went for short run (1 mile to the dog park, then walking around the farmer’s market, then 1.5 mile run back). Come Sunday my calves hurt so much I spent all day reading on the couch.

Turns out if you go 5 months without practicing the forefoot strike you are basically back to the drawing board. I need to revamp my forefoot running training even when wearing sneakers. I get so focused on trying to run 5-10 miles at a fast pace that I allow myself to forego my running technique. Since I value my knees and want to be that 80-year old runner you see in the park jogging along, April will be dedicated to forefoot running.

My husband is a true VFF/forefoot runner. He doesn’t use his sneakers at all now when running. Last year he even ran a 10 mile race in the Vibrams.

Race calendar

~ June 11 – Women’s 10K – Central Park
~ August 21 (not yet confirmed) – Battle of Brooklyn 10 miler – Brooklyn Prospect Park
~ September 25 (not yet confirmed) – 18 miler – Central Park
~ October 9 – Steamtown Marathon – Steamtown, PA

Friday, April 8, 2011

new route=new running joy, but why the segregation?

I tend to run the same route all year round. In Harlem my route was along Riverside Drive in Brooklyn my route is Prospect Park. When I needed to increase my 4-5 miles I would just do another loop around the 3.3 mile park. Trying to avoid crossing streets and dealing with cars, I never changed up my route.....until today!

I must thank BrooklynRuns for the inspiration. I tried one of his routes combining Prospect Park and Greenwood Cemetery. The result was a glorious 9-mile run without redoing any loops. At first I thought it would be creepy running along a cemetery for five miles but it was quite pleasant and interesting. Along one part you get a straight look of the Statue of Liberty! Plus since I ran along the border of the cemetery I didn't have to keep crossing the street (limited car interaction). Although I do wish someone would clean up the trash along the cemetery.

This mini running tour of Brooklyn was also an anthropology demo ....The route by my apartment in Lefferts Gardens begins in an African American/West Indian community, the park is racially diverse, then you run a few streets by Park Slope and it's suddenly all white, then you run through Windsor Terrace and Sunset Park and realize you've entered "Brooklyn's Latin America". None of this is surprising, I have always known how segregated New York is. Sigh. I'd prefer all neighbors to be I'd prefer a garden with more than one type of flower.
"Consider the flowers of a garden. Though differing in kind, color, form and shape, yet, inasmuch as they are refreshed by the waters of one spring, revived by the breath of one wind, invigorated by the rays of one sun, this diversity increaseth their charm and addeth unto their beauty. How unpleasing to the eye if all the flowers and plants, the leaves and blossoms, the fruit, the branches and the trees of that garden were all of the same shape and color! Diversity of hues, form and shape enricheth and adorneth the garden, and heighteneth the effect thereof. In like manner, when diverse shades of thought, temperament and character, are brought together under the power and influence of one central agency, the beauty and glory of human perfection will be revealed and made manifest. Naught but the celestial potency of the Word of God, which ruleth and transcendeth the realities of all things, is capable of harmonizing the divergent thoughts, sentiments, ideas and convictions of the children of men." ~ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Steamtown Marathon - Oct 9

$80.44 later it's official. I have signed up for my first marathon. Four days after my 27th birthday I will be running 26.2 miles in Steamtown, Pennsylvania!!!

Now that the Baha'i fast is over and the weather is friendlier the "training" can begin. I'm aiming for under 4 hours (~9 min/mile).

Why Steamtown? The NYC marathon is overcrowded and hard to get into. Steamtown, caps at 2,620 people. Plus the route includes great scenery and foliage. Runner's world magazine voted it as the best for "small and quiet" marathons. All the proceeds go to St. Joseph’s Center. And last but definitely not least (actually the reason it's become so popular among runners) is the flat and downhill route, see elevation chart on the left. To read's review click here.

To celebrate my registration I ran 8 miles this morning. Let the fun begin :)