The Next Stop for the Pussycat Dolls Tour

July 29, 2008 at 6:49 pm | Posted in Fitness | Leave a comment

I remember when pole dancing first made its way into the gyms of the USA. The popularity of the Pussycat Dolls and Carmen Electra added to the popularity of pole dancing. This NY Times article talks about how pole dancing is becoming popular in other parts of the world. What is the country mentioned in the NY Times article? Well I’ll give you one big clue. The Olympics will start in this country in 10 days.

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Read This Now

July 28, 2008 at 3:17 pm | Posted in Read this now | Leave a comment

The Literacy Debate story on the front page of yesterday’s NY Times is thought provoking. Does the internet take away the power of books or can books and the internet exist side by side?

This week’s Modern Love story is written by a young woman, now married with kids, who got tattoos after breakups and what these tattoos meant to her then and what they mean to her now.

More people in the NY/NJ area are using public transportation and carpools, this story illustrates the lengths that people will go to in order to save a buck or two. I consider myself very lucky, I walk to work everyday except in cases of inclement weather, then I go on the bus. After reading this story, you better believe I will not be giving up my job anytime soon without a fight. There’s also a story on the increase of people who ride their bikes to work.

I Couldn’t Agree More

July 25, 2008 at 4:01 pm | Posted in Fitness | Leave a comment

The half-marathon is gaining popularity among runners. This is one trend that I absolutely love. About 8 years ago, I completed a marathon (Jersey Shore Marathon, in case anyone’s curious) in 4 hours and 6 1/2 minutes. It was a tremendous accomplishment but it was the precursor for me giving up running for quite some time. That distance just burned me out, ended up injuring my foot 6 months after the marathon when I tried to run a 5K (my most favorite distance ever). Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I did it, one thing to cross off my personal list of things I want to accomplish in this life. But I will never do another marathon again, I don’t care if someone were to pay me tons of money to do it.

Is marriage a business?

July 24, 2008 at 2:06 pm | Posted in Relationships | Leave a comment

According to Liz Pullman Weston, it is and after reading this article you might be inclined to agree with her. I certainly do, I know of someone whose marriage ended after a short time and who had to struggle with money problems of the ex’s for some time afterward. Talking about money is not a comfortable topic, it’s not supposed to be! But it can save you so much trouble if you take the time to talk about financial problems and goals.

What I’m Reading Now

July 23, 2008 at 6:05 pm | Posted in Books | Leave a comment

In the long days of summer, the quality of TV shows tends to go downhill. Reality shows seem to be taking over the airwaves, and my favorite shows (Heroes, Ugly Betty, Dirty Sexy Money) won’t be back on the air for another month and a half. Therefore, avoiding the ‘idiot box’ has become a top priority lately. Of course, free outdoor events in NYC makes my job easier. I’ve also been exercising outdoors in an attempt to avoid having to use treadmills and elliptical machines indoors (in order to make running on a treadmill bearable, I turn on the TV to watch the reality show offerings on MTV or VH1).

Thanks to the awesome libraries in my neighborhood, I’ve been catching up on notable novels of the last 25 years. EW recently made a list of the top 100 books since 1983 and I’ve been using that list as my guide on what books to check out from the library (saving $ is good). Here are my findings:

Kaaterskill Falls by Allegra Goodman: I have previously heard of Allegra Goodman through her book “Intuition”. The subject matter of KF was an instant draw; I have spent some time in religious communities, although probably not as religious as the one Ms. Goodman writes about in her book. The description of KF was so rich, you could see the colors of the leaves changing, the waterfalls. You also saw the good and the not so good side of living in a religious community, you get the social and familial connection but you might also feel stifled, you might feel your options are limited. I like that Ms. Goodman doesn’t outright villanize characters or try to make them too perfect. They are complete people, with their good qualities and their flaws.

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving: Wow, what a doozy of a book and I don’t mean only in length although it is over 500 pages. I wish I could write more details about this book but that would give so much away. You experience a wide range of emotions in this novel, and it will leave an undeniable impression on you after you’re finished.

Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian: Why none of this author’s books made the EW top 100 list is beyond me. I have read several of his novels and have enjoyed each one. The one book you’re probably heard about from CB is Midwives and that’s because it was on Oprah’s reading list. SATF differs from his previous novels; most of his other novels take place in New England in modern times. SATF is set in Europe during the end of WW II. I am a big fan of CB and historical fiction, I found the change in time and place maybe gave the author a boost, I found this to be his best work yet. There are 3-4 different story arcs that come together near the end of the novel. The main characters are a family who is from what was then called Prussia, they were very wealthy once upon a time and were supporters of the Nazi party. If you were to tell me that I would feel compassion for them, I would have probably thought you were crazy. It is the power of the writing that made me change my mind.  Once you start reading this book, you won’t put it down unless you have unbelievable willpower.

I plan on doing these weekly, or most likely, bi-weekly. Of course, if you come across any good novels, write about it in the “Comments” section : )

You Cannot Be Serious!

July 22, 2008 at 3:31 pm | Posted in News and Views, Random Stuff | Leave a comment

Anyone who moves to New York City is aware that there are tradeoffs. You can go to free concerts and movies everyday of the week, or pretty close to it, but the cost of living is expensive. I hear of the monthly rents my friends pay for their apartments now and it is just ridiculous, not to mention the price of food and transportation. According to the New York Times, the MTA wants to propose a fare increase for next year to close down a budget gap. Wasn’t it not long ago that the MTA supposedly had a budget surplus and now there’s a large gap? That takes alot of nerve to even talk about proposing a fare increase, especially with the delays that alot of commuters are experiencing on the subway. First fix the problems with delays, then discuss increasing fares, mmkay?

On a completely different note, I heard of this comment from a nationally known radio host about children with autism. While the comment is extremely ignorant, I do not think this host should be fired. Instead, he should do some volunteer work at a school for kids with autism, maybe he can observe a classroom of older kids with autism, see the work that teachers are doing with these kids so they can find a job, maybe that will change his point of view, or not.

Read this now!!

July 21, 2008 at 2:52 pm | Posted in Read this now | 1 Comment

This is the debut of a new weekly feature. I have always loved reading, as a kid you would find me with my nose stuck in a book most of the time. Although it is more challenging to make time for reading, I try to find time for reading when I can, even if it means reading for minutes at a time while on a crosstown bus or right before going to sleep.

1. When I looked at the cover of this week’s New York Times magazine, I was instantly drawn to this story. It is a fascinating glimpse into the mind of a former drug addict and how he got drawn into using and selling drugs and more interestingly, how he changed his life.

2. Having spent some childhood summers in this city, I got a kick out of the cover story in this week’s Travel section.

3. Vacation is one of my favorite words ever. I try to go on vacation once a year. It could be for 2 1/2 weeks in Israel, which I did back in 2006 or a 1 week jaunt through Prague and Amsterdam, like I did back in 2004. My most recent vacation was a 4 day vacation in Las Vegas with my family. I find vacations to be a necessary but overlooked part of life. It gives me something to look forward to on those crazy workdays when the phone won’t stop ringing. However, with rising prices of travel, many people are rethinking their vacation plans, either postponing or canceling their plans. This story leads off the Style section and combines personal stories of how people changed their vacation plans to save more money and also gives some sobering statistics that might change the mind of those people that are too attached to their workplaces.

4. Read this piece about an Orthodox synagogue in the middle of Venice Beach, specifically the conflict between the synagogue and a store next door that sells t-shirts, bathing suits, and lingerie.

Instead of blogging, I’m…

July 17, 2008 at 7:59 pm | Posted in Outings, Random Stuff | 2 Comments

1. going to free concerts in the city (Yael Naim, the 2 free NY Philarmonic concerts in Central Park, Bon Jovi); on this note, I though the sound system for the 2nd NY Philarmonic concert sucked; there didn’t seem to be as many speakers placed around the lawn and it seemed more crowded for this concert than the last one.

Now I can say that I’ve seen Bon Jovi in concert. For a jersey girl not to see Bon Jovi live, what a travesty ; ) Seriously, I never really appreciated Bon Jovi until recently. Their upbeat songs all sound the same, not much variety in their music until recently. I don’t like their new stuff as much as their 80s stuff but their show was phenomenal, made standing on line for what seemed like eternity worthwhile. Jon Bon Jovi is one good looking man who should be sponsoring toothpaste, seriously did you see how white his teeth are?  How many times can you say you saw a rock concert on the Great Lawn? Plus, the sound system rocked!

2. trying to get back into running; I got new running sneakers (Brooks Addiction, in case anyone’s curious) and have been running 2-3x a week (might alternate with spinning class, swimming, dancing one day a week and lift weights or do yoga 1 day a week), there’s an awesome pre-season sports conditioning class at the gym that is super popular, whenever i’ve come to the class, it gets at least 20 people, sometimes close to 30 or more people; what I like the most is the class does it all for you, you get your cardio with the sprints we do in class and you get strengthbuilding from the different exercises with free weights (lunges with bicep curls, pushups, mountain climbers).

3. exploring the great outdoors. Last Thursday, I went hiking in Morris County, NJ with the JOC; we hiked 6 miles and there was so much variety, we walked on roads, grass, had to climb up rocks and the scenery was beautiful, everything from waterfalls, forests, green meadows; oh, and my fellow hikers were very nice as well : ) Yesterday, I went to the Bronx Zoo (another JOC adventure) and decided that I want a lemur as a pet, forget about dogs! Other than the weird eyes, they are cute furry creatures and it would make for a great ice-breaker. I saw tigers, snow leopards, monkeys, giraffes, and tapirs (yes, you heard right).

4. seeing family; Fathers Day was great; we went to a sculpture garden in NJ followed by a family barbecue. My nephews are awesome; a couple weeks ago my mom and I took Big Peanut to the Children’s Museum followed by a sushi lunch. Little Peanut is now walking, it’s funny because he hasn’t quite figured out yet how to work his knees while walking. There is a youtube video of him walking, it’s the most adorable thing ever.

I remember a time when I used to post everyday but the pace was too much for me to keep up with.  There has to be a middle ground between posting everyday and posting 1x a month. Also, I debate with myself over the format of my blog. Don’t worry, I’m not putting away the pen yet, far from it.

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