Food Pic of the Week

Ok, this the Food Pic of the Week is not from a restaurant, but it’s from my beer club’s annual cookie bake-off. No, I did not enter this year. I’m still a little salty for coming in 3rd place a few years back. Fuckin’ haters. Actually, I’ll explain the bullshit. 

The first place winner was a goddamn pastry chef, who should not have been allowed to compete. The second place guy made shortbread. Ummmmm, I thought it was a cookie bake-off, not a goddamn cake bakeoff. You see, I should have gotten first place with my “aconbay ocolatechay ipchay” cookies. #fuckers.

Anyhoo, these were my favorite “cookies” – peanut butter and chocolate macarons. 

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The baker won second place. 😦 What a minute, how did he get so many votes, when there were quite a few cookies on the plate? I know that I had about three of them before voting. Perhaps, the baker put out more cookies before the second round of voting. 

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Food Pic for the Week II

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A big bowl of spicy pork ramen from Mentoku (9th Avenue between 50th and 51st Streets).

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I do not think that I have ever seen french fries feature on a menu at a ramen restaurant. I guess that you have to have something for the kids.

Oh random. Last night, I came up with a new drink, called “shamlabu” . . . I think that’s how I spell it. The Shamlabu is a frozen drink that contains vodka, tequila, pear nectar (I have no idea why we have pear nectar in the apt), passion fruit margarita mix, ground pepper, honey, coffee beans, and sriracha.

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For inventing this drink, I was pretty parodying the somewhat pretentiousness of adult beverages in many NYC establishments.  Some of these crazy bars and restaurants have drinks that are 18 bucks and are made with 90 damn random ingredients, which takes about 20 minutes to make. Ninety is a bit of an exaggeration but you know what I mean.  Last night, five of us when to a restaurant where all of the drinks had about 8 ingredients in them. The damn appetizers arrived to the table before the drinks. I was already in a crappy mood, because of a rough day in the office. In my opinion, an alcoholic beverage should not have more than 4 ingredients in it . . . including the ice. Hell even some bartenders are referring to themselves as “mixologists”

Why are we still afraid to talk about race?

This will be a quickie post, but I wanted to express myself in a longer format.

Today, I went to a workshop/seminar titled, “Power, Privilege, and Oppression”, which is part of a series dedicated to building a socially conscious community. Going into the workshop/seminar, I did not think that my eyes would be open any further or that I would be even more “woke” than I was before the event. For example, I did not think there was a term for discrimination against particular body types. See how bad I am? I forgot the damn term, but it was an “ism”. This was an event designed to start dialogues about issues surrounding identity and inclusion between faculty, staff, and students. I believe there were about 18-21 people in the group; however, it was purposely meant to be smaller group.

A few things that I took away from this workshop/seminar:

  1. I was one of two black men in the group (the other black person was a freshman), and there were no black women in attendance. I was actually a little shocked with this lack of turnout, as women usually make up the majority of these types of events. The participants were predominately white, which is not a big surprise at this institution. I just was a little shocked that there weren’t more people of color in attendance, even for a 2hr, 10:30 AM, Friday seminar during a wintery mix storm.
  2. The first question asked by the moderator was something like: what do you think the most prevalent issue that involves identity and inclusion? Person 1 said gender. Person 2 said sexual orientation. Next, there was a noticeable moment of silence. Then, I said “clearly race“. Mentioning race seemed to get the conversation started, but it was like everyone was afraid to say race. It seemed like everyone was thinking that  “I know that this is an issue in the US but I do not want to be the one to bring it up.” To be completely honest, I was a bit hesitant to say it too. Mainly because, sometimes when people of color talk about these types of issues, we are seen as being “too sensitive”. The words “get over it” comes to mind as a typical response. Although this was a workshop about identity and inclusion, there was a sense that a problem does not exist if it is not spoken about.
  3. I chuckled to myself, because this group wanted to start a student council to further address these issues. So, I asked the facilitator if the participants in the program that I direct could join and she (I think that moderator used “she”, “her”, and “hers” pronouns) said that it was open only to “actual” undergrad and graduate students. To be clear, my program is a postbac program for underrepresented groups in STEM fields. Let me get this straight, you had this TWO-HOUR workshop on identity and inclusion but you are EXCLUDING a particular student population?!!!

I may expand on these thoughts at a later time.

Rants and Raves

Rants: Why do people congregate the front of the bus instead of walking toward the back? It gives the impression that there are no seats at the back of the bus.

Another public transportation rant: Why do people try to sneak on the bus without paying the fare and get pissy when the bus driver kick them off?

Rave: I’m so excited for the start of fall TV – Empire, Law and Order SVU, Blackish, (maybe) Star, This is Us, and The Middle. 

Rant: Speaking of fall line ups, what is with the cast of “Dancing with the Stars” (one of my not so secret guilty pleasures? Did ABC use too much money for last year’s cast? From this season, I only recognize the actor from Malcolm in the Middle, Nick Lachey, and Deborah Gibson (or does she go by Debbie, now?). 

I am still a little annoyed that the blonde girl from Glee, who used to be a backup dancer for Beyonce, was on last season’s cast. 

Rave: I’m really enjoying the Ken Burns documentary about the Vietnam War. Actually, “enjoying” may be the wrong word for it. Watching this documentary and witnessing some of the events that are going on in the world today make me think that we really have not learn from our past mistakes. 

Rants: If you are against players in the NFL kneeling, then stop watching the games and more importantly stop bitching about it. Everyone has different ways and reasons for both protesting and showing patriotism to his/her country. I’m just going to leave it at that. 

Rave/Rant: Recently, Gov. Andrew Cuomo introduced a tuition-free college program that should benefit the middle and lower classes in New York. I thought this was a great idea when I read about it back in January. Actually, I think that still is a good idea. One, education is a good thing. Two, college enrollment is up, which means I will get assigned more classes and more classes means more cash for me. However, I have noticed thatITmeme there are a lot more students academically, compared to those from last semester. Last week, I administered my first exam and the scores were very low for both of my sections. The scores were so low that I am going to administer a make-up exam and take the average of the two exams (I rarely do this). I think the average was around a 52 for this exam; whereas, the average was around 69% last semester. I model my exams from the previous semester’s exams, so last week’s exam was not super difficult. Also, I provide a sample exam, which is the exam from the previous semester. I do think that some adjustments may need to be made for this college program. Now, it seems students are going to 2- or 4-year colleges just because they can. My City of New York (CUNY) school is more of a community college type of school, so many of my students are coming from high schools with lower standards for academic achievement. This may lead to even more unprepared students coming into the college, not doing well in their coursework, and then dropping out. The point is to get students into AND have them complete college with a degree. Another thing that may happen is something similar to what is going on in various public school. Administration may start asking educators to skew or inflate grades to keep enrollment up, so schools will receive money from the city and the state. 

Here are a few questions that were missed by many students. Keep in mind that I’m teaching a Biology 101 laboratory course. Honestly, these would be questions asked on a test for students in a 6th grade biology class. 

In the metric system, the _ is the correct unit for volume. 

A) ounce, B) meter, C) liter, D) pint

The _ of a microscope  is used to carry the instrument from point A to point B. 

A) arm, B) diaphragm, C) nosepiece, D) stage

From the acids and bases laboratory exercise, acetic acid [CH3COOH] can best be described as a _. 

A) strong acid, B) weak acid, C) strong base, D) weak base

C’mon! For the last question, two of the answer choices had the word “acid” in the question. 

Rave: Two of my favorite holidays are around the corner. That would be Halloween and Thanksgiving. I like Christmas, but there is too much to do and I do not even have kids. Although I do love watching Christmas movies from my childhood.

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Rave: Two fun reunions. In October, I will meet some old friends from high school in Philly. They will be going to the Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull concert. I’m still on the fence if I will pay money to see him in concert (I’ll see how much tickets are on Stubhub, closer to the date). It will be nice to hangout because I have not been to Virginia since Thanksgiving. Reunion 2: Three of my classmates from my comparative ecology study abroad program will be visiting New York. It may be nice to hang out . . . IF they keep the kid talk to a minimum.

TCS NYC Training Update Week “I don’t know”

I am glad to see that everyone is still, since that Christian numerology amargeddon turned out to be a hoax. For these doomsday prophecies, is there specific time zone that is linked to the end of the world?

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So, I am back to training for this damn marathon after my slight hip injury. The giphy
marathon is so close (40 days away), and I’m nowhere near where I would like to be with my training, but one must push through, right?

It was kind of nice to get back into training mode this week. I hope that there will be no more hiccups before November 5th. I did not realize how much I missed running. Maybe I have become jealous about reading about everyone else’s training progress, PR’s, and race pictures.

MONDAY: Rest

TUESDAY: Zumba and 3 miles

In addition to jumping back on the running wagon, I also got back on my Zumba grind. In my absence, the instructor added a couple new songs/routines, so class was a pleasant surprise. I think going forward (and even after the marathon) that I will run from work to Zumba.

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I will have to bring extra socks though. Normally, I only wear socks on my feet for Zumba; however, running makes my socks sweaty, which makes me slip in class.

I didn’t burn as many calories as I normally do (probably because of the three mile run before) but I had a blast, like always.

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I randomly found a somewhat new ramen restaurant (Nana Rame) in my neighborhood of Bed-Stuy. I liked the restaurant, but two things kind of annoyed me – cash only and no Diet Coke. In this day in age, there should be no reason for a cash only restaurant if they serve beer, wine, and/or liquor. Nothing will ever change my option about that. The Diet Coke only was a thing because I really was craving one after Zumba class.

Even though the place has two strikes in my book, I will go back because the ramen was delicious and I really want to try some of the restaurant’s appetizers.

WEDNESDAY: 20 min elliptical, strength, and stretching.

For strength training, I focused on the back and shoulders.

One thing that I love about NYC is you can go to so many restaurants and bars that you forget where you have been. We visited One Mile House (***), a pub and craft bar on the Lower East Side, for dinner and some beers. The food was just ok; I only had beers the last time I visited. No wait, the truffle oil fries were really delicious.

I even tried this random ass beverage, the Mango Beermosa – a combination of Bell’s Two Hearted IPA (one of my favs), mango sector, Jack Daniels, simple syrup, and lemon juice. Since I do not like drinks that are super sweet, I ordered my beermosa without simple syrup. At first it was kind of gross, but you get used to it. Matter of fact, I think that I had three of those beverages, so I really must have liked them. I am still a little confused about the name, “beermosa,” because it would imply the presence of champagne.

THURSDAY: Rest and date night.

I really tried to go to the gym in the morning, but that clearly did not happen. The boo (or “bu” in espanol) and I hit up our favorite seafood restaurant in Astoria.

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I am sure that I have written about Astoria Seafood Market many times on this blog.

FRIDAY: 8 miles

I’m trying to ease back into my longer distances (although 8 miles is not that long at this point in training). I ran from work (Flatbush, Brooklyn), over the Brooklyn Bridge, and  back into Brooklyn via the Williamsburg Bridge.

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*I know that I have complained about this before. NYC really needs to ban cyclists from riding their bikes across the Brooklyn Bridge, because the Bridge is way too congested.*

It was kind of cool running through the city at night; however, I did experience major FOMO. I was out running and other folks were out drinking, partying, and starting their Friday evening social plans. The run was a little struggle, but I enjoyed it. It was a struggle, because I ate lunch kind of late, so my food was not completely digested. During the run, I was quite gassy and I really needed to poop. I held strong, because I did not want to be like the poop-n-run jogger from Colorado Springs (***).

SATURDAY: Stretching

I really wanted to strength train and stretch, but I did not have enough time. I had to go to the lab job and squeeze in a workout before teaching at 12:30. I find that I have to go to the gym before teaching, because I’m either too tired or hungry after class (my class goes from 12:30 PM to 3:30 PM). I figured stretching would be more important/productive to my overall training plan, since I did a run the night before and I had a race the next day.

After class, I met up with my beer club (Yes, I am in a craft beer Meetup group) at Lucky (***) in Alphabet City and saw a friend’s band play at Arlene’s Grocery (***) on the Lower East Side.

I was smart enough to leave somewhat early in the (around 10, which is early for KOS), because I had a very early wake up call for the Bronx 10-mile race. Plus, I knew that I had drank way too much booze and smoked way too many cigarettes during the day.

SUNDAY: Bronx 10 mile race

The last of the NYRR outer borough race series gives you a little taste of the second-most forgotten borough, the boogie down Bronx. I’ll write a race report about the race later.

ETCETERA:

In addition to working a full- and a part-time job, having an active social life, and watching too much TV, I decided that I have too much free time ;). To fix this “problem”, I am going to be a mentor with iMentor.

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iMentor builds mentoring relationships that empower first generation students to graduate high school, succeed in college, and achieve their ambitions. Students work with their mentors one-on-one, in-person and online, to develop strong personal relationships, nurture a college aspiration, navigate the college application process, and build critical skills that lead to college success. Since 1999, iMentor has connected 11,000 students with mentors, through our partnerships with public high schools in New York City, Chicago, the Bay Area, and nonprofits nationwide.

I actually volunteered for this program waaay back in the day, around 05/06, when it was based only in NYC. Now, the program has expanded to several cities in the US. Oh: NYC peps, the program is looking for more volunteers, especially male volunteers.

There was one more thing that I wanted to put in this section but I forgot. Oh well … feet smell

What have you done outside of your training, this week, that you proud of?

(Late) Random Thursdays

I got so busy at work that I did not get a chance to post my entry .

I got this “Random Thursday Thoughts” idea from thedancingrunner’s blog (***) and I thought that I would follow suit. Maybe it’s a WordPress thing.

Latin Stuff

For some reason, I really wanted to listen to Latin pop music from the early 2000’s (pre-reggaeton). Luckily for me, there is a Spotify playlist made for that.

I never really used Spotify before, because I have a massive amount of music on my phone and  I did not want to use extra data streaming music. Now, I have an unlimited plan, so this may change my music streaming experience. Who knows? Maybe I will become a premium subscriber.

Why this random interest in Latin music from the 2000’s? I have been watching the telenovela, Amigas y Rivales, that was very popular in ’01. During my Spring 2001 ecology program in Ecuador, I remember watching this telenovela almost everyday at lunch. I was so sad when my study abroad program ended and I could not finish the entire episode. I do not know what searches I was doing on Youtube, but this show was a suggested video. Then, I found a youtube channel that has the ENTIRE telenovela – all 187 episodes.

Long story short, this show is about a group of 4 friends in their early 20’s who are sometimes friends and sometimes rivals. As the theme song goes “siempre tan amigas, siempre tan rivales. Ellas solo quieren amar”. The telenovela kind of reminds me of a early adult version of Real Housewives of ____.

 

Running Stuff:

I finally ironed out all of my 9+1 NYRR races to qualify for next year’s TCS NYC Marathon.

Sunday, September 10, 2017 | Fifth Avenue
Sunday, October 1, 2017 | Central Park
Sunday, October 29, 2017 | Central Park
Sunday, November 5, 2017 | 5 Boroughs
Sunday, November 19, 2017 | Central Park
Saturday, December 9, 2017 | Central Park

 

Since I missed the Percy Sutton race last week, I am  a little pissed that I had to pay for another race. If I miss another race, I’m going to have to run a race on New Year’s Eve at midnight, which I really do not want to do. One other thing, I’m still debating if I want to run the Staten Island Half-Marathon in October. That half does not really sell out, so I have some time to think about it.

Running in Prospect Park

I think that I like running in Prospect Park more than running in Central Park, because

  • it has more of a natural feel.
  • it’s less crowded than Central Park
  • no cars really drive through this park.

Weather

I know that some people are a little sad, but I am enjoying this cooler weather. “It’s about time” is all I have to say about this.

DRAAANKSIMG_1554With the change of season, I will miss Frose cocktails. I’m not a huge fan of rose wine, but I like something about rose wine in a slushie form.

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There’s a Presidente Light beer? I kind of thought that Presidente was already a light beer. Is Presidente Light just plain water?

Have a great Labor Day weekend, y’all.