Friday, April 13, 2012

Lost and Found

After last week's run and cheer, I found a music device near the Columbus Circle Central Park exit. It had the sad and lonely look of discarded sweaty socks so I picked it up.

There was no one nearby except for another runner who saw me pick it up. We both made poor thing noises, both for the music device and for the runner who'd lost it.

I tweeted about it a couple of times hoping to reunite it with it's owner. It got retweeted, but no dice. No one has come forward.

In the interest of learning more about its owner, I listened to what was on it. Based on knowledge from watching Law & Order, I've created a psychological profile to narrow down the suspects  try to find the owner.

The owner is a male runner in his late twenties. Maybe he's older, but he wishes he were in his twenties. He might wear bling. He likes to party and go to da clubs, or at least likes to think he does while he's running. I gathered this information after unscientific analysis of the lyrics.

There was a Lady Gaga song thrown in there, but the lyrics were mostly along the lines of "where the girls at", "what you got, boy, is what I want" and "baby girl, gonna fly you 'round the world." Also, there was no Justin Timberlake.

He's been hurt before, but he's hopeful and he mostly feels like the world is at his feet.

I got some fun song ideas and I've enjoyed downloading them and putting them on my shuffle. With Pandora's help, I added some more and now I have my own mostly hopeful with world at my feet playlist for 4-5 runs.

I'd post the playlist I found but I didn't write it down while I had the chance. The device is now out of batteries and I have no way to charge it. It's now sitting near my shuffle, wishing it could go for runs.

If you know someone who might have lost this, please let him know I have it and would be happy to return it. I won't judge him if he can't pick it up in his brand new limo.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Ombre Nails - The Pinterest Experiment

Ombre Nails
It's easy to see why Pinterest is growing wildly. Highly visual, it's a very practical bookmarking tool. And it's pretty. Oh, so pretty.

It has so many lovely things, so many beautiful crafts and small projects it inspires me to get adventurous and do more. 

Pinterest is directly responsible for my renewed interest in sewing, fancy up-dos, and nail polish (see picture).

So this is The Pinterest Experiment. Ideas from Pinterest, come to life. The inspiration for this nail treatment came from this pin, and I followed this tutorial. It was as easy as described. I've only done it once and the result is pretty good. Full disclosure - the four nails pictured above are the ones that came out best. The rest of them I didn't manage to get the tips as dark as I wanted them, but that was my left hand trying  a new technique on the right hand. I believe in my left hand's learning curve. It will get better and I still have some pretty fancy nails for today.

When I was a kid, my brother and I loved to play with a copy we had of the Animals volume of a children's encyclopedia. We'd flip pages and we had to quickly touch the image of the animal and scream "mío!"(mine). Whoever managed to touch it first claimed ownership of the pictured animal. If it was a cute one the winner had a right to be smug until we flipped to the next page and the loser would be jealous. If it was an ugly one, there would be "guácala!" (ew!) and mocking. We had the whole book memorized but we tried beating it by trying to flip pages at random. 

We used to spend what felt like hours doing this.

Pinterest is a non-competitive version of the same game but even better. There are almost no ugly pictures - maybe only not as pretty - and with a click of a pin you can claim ownership of anything. And you don't just claim it, you get to keep it on your board. It's surprising how satisfying that is.

And if you're feeling enterprising you can end up eating healthier meals, exercising more, and looking  better all the way to your nails.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Hard Way

View from the Manhattan Bridge
Eight miles is eight miles. Except when it isn't. There's that sense of satisfaction from completing a task, and then there's that inner ikickass warmth that comes from going beyond that.

The goal: to run eight miles. The plan: to run to Central Park and get there on time to cheer for runners participating in the Scotland Run 10k.  

This required getting up early on a Saturday and packing myself like a cargo mule so I could have water for the road and something warm and dry to wear when I got there.

Loops of the park would've been simpler, but I wouldn't have had the view from the bridge or have gotten to see two different elephant statues.

I ran out of Brooklyn trying to convince myself I could do it, telling myself I could stop once I got to Manhattan. The one-more-bite mom trick worked well for me.

Stop and smell the waffles.
I ran up the bridge and down to Canal Street. I ran past the Chinatown bus passengers waiting with their crates. I ran through Union Square past cherry blossom branches. The Broadway pavement was mine as I made my way towards Times Square where the billboards let me know I was getting close; it made no sense to stop. By the time I hit the high 40's I could see the the Central Park canopy in the distance.

In Central Park I got to listen to bagpipe music and got to see men in kilts. Nacht! Runners in kilts - even better legs.

The increased sense of badassery from doing this run the hard way was worth it. Plus, there was a wafelini for me at the end.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Pantry Lunch: Roasted Chickpeas with Cumin and Paprika

Roasted Chickpeas with  cumin and paprika

There are days when groceries are too heavy or the store is too far away. Or there is simply not enough time.

Since that's been the case for me recently, I've had to start getting creative with what was already in the cabinets. The challenge of coming up with meals cobbled together from what is already there can lead to some interesting meals.

One of my favorites: roasted chickpeas and rice. Easy, simple, delicious. Roast the chickpeas while the rice cooker is going and you've got a meal with a nice protein/carbs balance.

I got the idea from Pinterest but I wanted to skip the sweet flavor. A friend of mine mentioned she liked them better when they were microwaved first - don't know why but it does improve the texture - so I started experimenting and came up with what is going to be a favorite staple in my kitchen. Works great in the toaster oven.

Roasted Chickpeas with Cumin and Paprika
1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon of olive oil (or less)
1/2 teaspoon of paprika
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
salt to taste (about 1/4 teaspoon)

Preheat your oven. Microwave the chickpeas for a minute. Then add olive oil, spices and salt. Toss until the chickpeas are coated. Spread on an aluminum covered sheet and bake at 450 for about 30min - stirring (tossing? tumbling?) once or twice.

Allow to cool before eating. They'll get crunchier as they cool. Eat warm or at room temperature as a snack, over rice, as a side, or in a salad.

Other spices that work great for this: curry + turmeric, lemon + garlic + pepper, thyme + paprika, ginger + thyme.


Monday, April 2, 2012

14th Eileen C. Dugan Memorial 5K Recap

Straight from the hand of Marty Markowitz
The first glimpse of the course was from a print out being passed around at the start line. There were no details online and, since this was the first 5k in Brooklyn Bridge Park, there was no other information online.

When I'd signed up I'd hoped for a picnic kind of day with blue skies and a sparkly Manhattan skyline. Even with Saturday's weather shortening the skyline, the view was still amazing. Jane's Carousel in its glass enclosure looked like something from a watery dream.

Participants huddled under tents waiting for the race to start. When we lined up to start - there was a clock but no actual line - Marty arrived. He gave a little speech and made a joke about the early time then walked around the runners giving out pins.

The race itself was fun, if a little confusing. At times it felt like an adventure course with different terrains and a few obstacles here and there. It was a gravel, narrow sidewalk with scaffolding - watch out for the pole! - gravel, road, and twisty course with no mile-markers but with some very smiley volunteers who were very good at pointing runners in the right direction.

I didn't have my garmin with me so I was very confused most of the time and the finish line crept up on me. Maybe I could have gone a little harder at the end if I'd known the finish line was right there, but who am I kidding? I'm not racing these days.

It was a great way to kick-off Saturday and the t-shirt (not pictured) is the prettiest race t-shirt I've seen in a long time. I'd do it again next time.

Shortened Manhattan Skyline, Brooklyn Bridge, and Jane's Carousel.