Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Acclimatize, schmaclimatiize

I've long believed that I am a better runner in the mornings, at 70 degrees and 75% humidity, than afternoon/evenings, at 95 degrees and 30% humidity. For whatever reason, the heat (especially the sun beating down on me) made me bonk. On three-mile runs. If that's not lame (and terrifying, in light of the fact that I'm supposed to be training to run three 3 to 8-mile legs on September 26-27), I don't know what is. Now I have proof that I am normal.

Of course, late last week, I managed to bruise the crap out of my knee while attempting galavasana (right). I got both legs off the ground and was about to extend the free leg when my core muscles rebelled and mayhem ensued. I came crashing down onto one knee. I actually went for a 5-mile run the following day, but then spent the better part of the weekend with the leg elevated, iced, and worried I would never build up a base for Ragnar. No worries, sports fans, it's a mere bruise on the knee, and although it's still a little tender, it's nothing that a little rest and ibuprofen can't take care of (says my doc).

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Merkado, how I will not miss thee.

One of the saddest culinary experiences I've had in years past is the anticipation with which I awaited the arrival of Merkado in Logan Circle in 2005....only to be disappointed at the execution of the Latin/Asian fusion thing. This week, I received an email from the restaurant group stating that Merkado will be closing on August 24, and the space will be renovated for 2 weeks to welcome Commissary, a Tryst-like wine bar, coffee, cafe, WiFi lounge thing. It sounds a little schizophrenic to me, but maybe it'll be a new place to have lunch on my Fridays off.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Ecstatic find of the week!

Bruegger's Bagels are in DC! They brew Green Mountain Coffee! Technically, the local coffee company Swing's is closer to my office, but there's this white neoclassical building between us that makes a quick jaunt unpredictable. So, I'll take Brueggers/Green Mountain Coffee. See ya, Starbucks!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

On Multifunctional Theme Songs

Is it just me, or does the music that FOX is using in year's MLB All-Star Game broadcast to fade to commercials sound suspiciously similar to the music that's used to end Oscar speeches at the Academy Awards? I can't find any digital comparisons, so you'll just have to trust me, they sound similar.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Ahead of the CSA Curve...

...or so says my friend Preston. He spotted this article in this past week's NY Times about Community Sponsored Agriculture (CSA) programs. I don't know how long CSAs have been around, but Preston got into it in the summer of 2006, and waxed so poetic about it on a drive to the beach that I quickly scoured my local area, found two that delivered with a block of my place and then signed up to take over the one-person share of someone who was trying to get out of hers.

CSAs are usually run by local farms; before the growing season starts, a farm offers shares in the produce to be grown. Shares can come in different sizes, like single shares, 4-person shares, etc. Members pay for the shares -- usually -- before the first seed is sown, and a lot is weather dependent. So, if there's a drought, or temps are unusually high, then the produce bolts and shareholders are a little screwed, but, if you think about it, the food in the grocery store is weather dependent, too. Come early June through early October, vegetables arrive once a week in a van one block away from me, and I wander over after work to pick 'em up. This actually works out pretty well for single cooks since it's annoying to have to buy, say, an entire bag of carrots when all you really need is one for a recipe. With a "single" share, I've essentially paid for what one person "eats" in a week. Although, even this is kind of ludicrous because in October, there'll be times when there are 3 sweet potatoes a week in a single share, and anyone who eats 3 sweet potatoes a week is not eating much of anything else.

What I like about CSAs, though, are 1) how close it is for me to pick up my vegs; 2) the new vegs that I've been introduced to (and then have to figure out how to prepare); 3) the likelihood of my tomatoes or peppers getting caught up in the latest salmonella epidemic is rare; 4) FRESH foods; 5) I actually think it's cheaper than buying them in the store. And that's good enough for me.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Watercolor of Bride & Groom

I didn't paint this, my mom did. But I thought I'd showcase it here, particularly since the painting will be headed home to Indianapolis with my cousin (the bride shown here) at the end of this week.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

(Yoga) Brick Workout

I intentionally have not purchased a road bike for many reasons, among them, if I owned a road bike, I would feel compelled to compete in triathlons, the training for which includes "brick" workouts. Generally, brick workouts are a part of tri- or du-athlon (I suppose probably biathlon, too, but I'm not sure. As an aside, any Olympic sport that has its roots in a military discipline is hard core.) training, and they consist of doing two disciplines right after the other, to mimic a race situation, including the transition.

Today, I did my version of a brick workout: a 4-mile run followed by a 1.5 hour jivamukti yoga session. Wow. I think I need a nap now. But only after I shower.