Speaking Eloquently

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Jibber jabber.

It comes out of a lot of people’s mouths. A lot of words that mean nothing or few words that mean a whole lot. Words, words, words. Just to hear one’s own voice or to say something worth saying. I would prefer to be the latter in both of these statements, but that’s not always the case.

For years I’ve wanted to increase my vocabulary so that the words that come out of my mouth would be more enjoyable to listen to… more informative… stimulating! But of course not always, that would be too intense.

I also want to able know what all the words mean when I read. Come on, I’m not the only who doesn’t know the meanings to some words when I read, am I?

I want to sound more intelligent. Granted it would be counterproductive if I used language that no one could understand, but I would love to be one of those people who has a way with words.

Funny that I’m not writing this because I went to a literacy curriculum workshop today, or because I learned about the percentages of rare words in texts – I’m writing it because I was inspired when listening to a potential new hire at school yesterday. Weird, right? Not really. I was so encapsulated by the eloquence of this guy’s way of speaking that I wanted him to keep talking and sharing his experiences. His speech and writing motivated me to improve my own skills AND I think he will be able to help me out with my upcoming project…

So I think I’ll sign up for Word of the Day or something nerdy like that, because I like that kind of nerdy stuff! It’ll make me smarter!

Summer Streets Etiquette

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For the past 6 Augusts, Mayor Bloomberg has dedicated 7 miles of Park Avenue – from 72nd Street all the way down to Brooklyn Bridge for Summer Streets, on three consecutive Saturdays.

Fab idea! I love it! Runners, walkers, bikers, and bladers can enjoy the car-free zone from 7am-1pm on those Saturdays.

This year, with the new CitiBike system (kudos to the DOT/citibank for that), getting a bike was far easier so hubs and I decided to bike down from our ‘hood to Brooklyn Bridge. Last Saturday was really pleasant because it was a little rainy so the street was pretty open.

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Biking downtown

Yesterday was a different story. Because of the perfect weather provided by Mother Nature, the streets were far busier. And of course they should have been, people are out enjoying this glorious event!

Along the route there are signs to alert you to rest stops, activity stops and this year a voice activated pop-up art installation in the tunnel just south of Grand Central.

There are also many signs to show that pedestrians should walk or run on the right and bikers should bike on the left. Makes sense right? Well, not to everyone…. so here is some etiquette for Summer Streets. Again, common sense – not so common…

To enjoy Summer Streets, or any public event like festivals, parades, etc, please follow this simple etiquette (although I know this really doesn’t apply to you – it’s more of a vent with a positive tone haha!):

  • follow the rules of the road! You are not the only person there.
  • pay attention to your surroundings, you are not the only person there
  • watch out for others, you are not the only person there
  • if you are biking and need to pass, look behind you before darting out, you are not the only person there
  • clean up after yourself, there are garbage cans everywhere
  • use your bell, you are not the only person there
  • teach your kids the rules of the road before you head out to the streets, your family is not the only one there
  • give people their personal space whether running or biking, you are not the only person there
  • have fun 🙂

I know I live in a place where there are tons and tons of people, but just think a little. That’s all I ask 🙂

Minus the few people who did annoy me, we still had a good ride! If you haven’t been out to enjoy it yet, you should!

Saw and heard this fancy music wagon both times!

Saw and heard this fancy music wagon both times!

Mind Mumbo-Jumbo

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Is that like gumbo? Um, no.

It’s the mish-mash of craziness going on in my mind. You know the feeling I’m sure.

This week was filled with experiences I didn’t know I would have basically until they were happening… Participating in conference calls with prominent members of the education community, writing an Op-Ed article for the Daily News, and then appearing in segment on Good Day NY.

In addition to these career-related events, I did have time for fun at the beach, yoga, The Met, the movies. Each of these events is really a post of their own, but my mind cannot decide which to focus on, and that’s ok so I’ll just leave the list of events for now while my brain settles and refocuses. I’ve literally started writing three different posts and have trashed them all because my mind is not wanting to organize any of the information in a sensical fashion. So… what’s on your mind?

Half-Assed Runner

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Yes! I am a half-assed runner! I have NO problem admitting it! I have no problem not really wanting to improve my time or change routes too much. I’m fine with taking it a bit slower if I want to run longer… if I can mentally make myself that is…

Is that bad? Should I want to run a 9:00 minute/mile rather than a 9:30-9:45min/mile? Should I be more competitive? How much do I push myself? Don’t worry, I already know the answers. But I want to hear yours too.

Well, I’m not completely half-assed I guess. I do have a purpose for running:

  • it’s my thinking time, when I let ideas fly through my head
  • to strengthen my legs and eventually will make them look awesome… still waiting
  • I like the running community
  • it allows me to experience new places and people

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And some goals:

  • to run for endurance rather than speed (most of the time)
  • to only sometimes try to beat my own time, like maybe in a 5k
  • to run at least 2 half marathons a year at new venues
  • to push myself to run farther even if my day’s route is complete (mental push there, not physical!)
  • to run more in the winter, yes I tend to be a fair-weather runner….
  • keep having fun just running for the fun of it

What kind of runner are you? Regardless, keep running!

The Power of Kindness

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Never underestimate the power of being kind to someone, especially someone you don’t know.

I found myself getting a little annoyed at people as I was shopping at the grocery store today. When I start feeling that fire in my belly, I try to think of something positive.

While I didn’t have an opportunity to perform a random act of kindness today, besides hold a door for someone, here is a list of some things I have done for strangers:

  • Bought someone a coffee (I’ve done this many, many times back home – especially in the Tim Horton’s drive thru!)
  • Bought a homeless person food
  • Made someone laugh randomly
  • Offered a seat on the bus/subway
  • Signed a petition for a cause someone else believes in
  • Opened many doors
  • Indirect acts of kindness – sponsoring children in third world countries, purchasing items that support charities like FEED USA + Target
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On the Target website

In February a week is dedicated to Random Acts of Kindness, but really it should be every day.

For ideas about spreading kindness, click the link 🙂

❤ Be kind to each other ❤

Interesting…

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Did you see, hear or do anything amusing or intriguing today?

Something that made you laugh?

Shake your head?

Make you feel stunned?

Let’s see….. I saw an attractive lady wearing a very patriotic monokini.

I saw a woman cab driver!

I heard toddlers screaming on the LIRR….

I walked on the new boardwalk at Long Beach, Long Island. 🙂

The new boardwalk at Long Beach. Just reopened!

The new boardwalk at Long Beach. Just reopened!

I examined sand and thought how amazing it was.

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Weathering is an amazing process!

I was in disbelief that I was in an area that was washed away in a hurricane (see CitiBiking post and watch the video link).

Old boardwalk, damaged from the storm.

Old boardwalk, damaged from the storm.

I watched many, many, many aircraft fly over the beach.

I saw a townhouse with a bright blue door.

Keep your eyes peeled, you never know what you’ll see.

Very Inspiring Blog Award!

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What?? A blogging award? Me? Cool!

Charlotte of My Crazy, New York, Post-Grad Life  nominated me for The Very Inspiring Blogger Award! I’m flabbergasted and uberly excited!

I’m not sure why I waited so long to get into the blogosphere – there are so many hilarious people I can relate to. It’s kind of awesome.

Rules to accept the award:

1. Display the Award Certificate on your website – done!

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2. Announce your win with a post and link to whoever presented you with the award – done! See above.

3. Present 15 awards to deserving bloggers – Listed below. Going to let them know!

4. Drop them a comment to tip them off after you have linked them in the post – next to do!

5. Post 7 interesting things about yourself – only 7? See below

  • I’m afraid of birds and other things that fly such as grasshoppers, bats, dragonflies, etc.
  • I can be an excessive and obsessive organizer.
  • I like cooking even though I rarely do it.
  • I hadn’t had red velvet cake until I was about 33 years old. Horrible shame.
  • I think pregnancy is gross, no offense to anyone.
  • I love books about prison, the Holocaust and slavery.
  • I get annoyed by stupidity easily.

Ok, all requirement done or nearly done! Thanks again Charlotte!

 🙂 tameramb

Common Sense is Not So Common…

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One of the best quotes I’ve ever heard, mostly because it is so very true!

You know my posts are usually pretty sunshiny, but I do have those days – don’t we all – when the things people do just annoy the crap of me.

So here is my list of “Please Don’ts”, because a list of “Things That Annoy Me” is not very Canadian of me 😉

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Thanks for sending me this cute and oh so true tweet Monica – Honorary Canadian!

Please don’t…. (Whoa – be careful, I’m writing in red!)

  • spit on the sidewalk
  • run on a crowded sidewalk
  • ride your bike on the sidewalk (yes, I’m a bit of a side walk rule Nazi)
  • ride your bike in the wrong direction in the bike lane
  • leave your doggy doody on the sidewalk
  • be rude
  • act like you’re entitled to something

Is this too much to ask? Please use your common sense, if you have it.

I’ll stop there. My next list will be a PLEASE DO!

Best Running Apps?

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I’m struggling people!

I’ve used 3 running apps and all seem to start well but end up not working out. I’ve tried:

Endomondo – Decent app, might go back to it, but it’s quite a battery drainer. Hopefully an update fixed that…

RunKeeper – Loved this one until the GPS went crazy! It had me running 7 minute miles! I wish! I really really want to use it again because it’s exactly what I wanted in an app. I loved the pause feature. I’m not super crazy about having exactly precise stats, but let’s get real, I don’t run a 7 minute mile.

Runtastic – Highly rated but I hate the constant advertisements to upgrade to the gold app. Leave me alone, I don’t want it. You can’t pause your workout either and that drives me crazy. If I want to stop for a picture I have to stop the workout and start another. Boo!

So I googled the best running apps… Number 1 comes up as RunKeeper! What??? Others have had the same GPS problem so I don’t trust the list…

Suggestions?

The Skin You’re In

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A walk past the coolhaus ice cream sandwich truck on my way to the park for a run spawned a nice afternoon with my friend Tina.

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After enjoying our amazing ice cream sandwiches we walked en route to Lincoln Center. Our conversation topics were varied, one of them being running/body image/self esteem/skin conditions. Okay, I know that’s kind of a big topic.

I shared my personal struggle with acne-prone skin up until maybe two and a half to three years ago. I struggled with breakouts and scarring for many years and it really seemed like nothing was working for me. I eventually chalked the trouble up to hormone imbalances. And thankfully perhaps a combination of hormone rebalances and some awesome products helped me and my skin out of its awful mess.

Here goes my second post to endorse some of my favorite products that I think really helped my skin. So if you’re having trouble or know someone who is, here are some tips and some of the steps I took. I know finding a new product can be daunting because of the crazy number of choices.

First step was a few sessions of microdermabrasion to remove the disgusting dead skin off my poor face. I simply bought a groupon and off I went to get a good face vacuum at Red & White Spa in SoHo.

Next I went to get some new face products at Bloomy’s. I was actually just walking through one day and this very entrancing sales associate for Borghese lured me to their shop for a free mini-facial. I was sold. After the 15 minutes of the Cura-C scrub/exfoliating, toning and moisturizing, my face actually had a glow so I knew I had to purchase the Cura-C skin care line. After these first two steps, a few months and probably some hormone changes, my skin changed remarkably. I am forever grateful to that girl at Bloomy’s.

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I used the whole cleaning regime, which I believe is not available anymore but has been replaced by some other products on the line.

After a couple of years of using the Borghese line (which apparently is too long to use the same product – duh me!) I noticed my skin was looking and feeling blah. It was winter after all and I was using a product for far too long.

So, I purchased another groupon and went for an exfoliating facial at The O’Live Organic Spa on 23rd Street. The lovely spa-titians use organic skin care products made in Hungary. I decided to try these Eminence products after my amazing facial hoping these products were the boost my skin needed in the dry winter.

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Night cream! Used for about 3 weeks and then stored in fridge for later use.

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For day time to calm skin. No SPF, but it’s in my tinted moisturizer.

I used this camomile daily moisturizer for about two months and decided I should get a third alternate in my new skin care cycle so I went to Sephora and bought a little set of Origins anti-aging products.

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Love this set!

I love the facial cleanser and purchased a regular size after using the whole mini. I love the mimosa moisturizer because it’s very light but meets the needs of my skin. At night I’ll add some of the serum after applying the moisturizer and will use the charcoal mask every in a while to really smooth out my skin.

I hope the products I use can be useful to you. The right product can be life changing, kind of like that snicker doodle and strawberry ice cream sandwich I had. 😉