city farmers

Monday, May 28, 2007

If you were wondering how the little seedlings seen in this post have been doing (and I am sure the matter has kept you up at night wondering), you will be happy to know that they are growing strong and were safely transplanted into new earth over the weekend.
We planted 2 big pots of basil and one of spearmint which had managed to survive and grow again from last year.

We also sent one bundle of basil and one of mint over to our darling neighbors.

Now all we have left to do is empty last year's planters and pot the rosemary and more mint...

Sadly, we decided to hold off on the more challenging plants - no watermelons, tomatoes or cucumber until we move to a place with an actual garden.

On a completely different note (and this one is especially for you Jalil) check out this big cat who likes to take a bath! If only Brookie were that cooperative.

week 3: bag watching

I caught a break this week, since it was my turn to bag watch at Saturday morning practice, I managed to avoid the 5 mile park loop *with 2 hill repeats* in 90 degrees weather!
Are they trying to kill us? This early in the season?

Frankly, instead of feeling relieved by not having to run, I panicked. I am not yet at a place where running is something I enjoy doing (I vaguely remember that being the way I felt the first time I trained) so I rely heavily on the group training sessions to get me to train. I was also a poor example of discipline last week where I failed to keep my pledge to run *every single day*.
So, after a frantic email to The Best Running Buddy In The World, she has taken charge and has put us on a serious 3-days-a-week schedule. We started today, with a 3.6 mile run and some cross-training.
And last night, after an amazing afternoon BBQ, I challenged Sana to join me in some resistance training with some exercise DVD I have. Had you been there, you would have found Sana and I sprawled on the living room floor after 30 minutes, laughing hysterically at our own poor performance and in complete and utter pain.
The resistance bands definitely won that battle.

PS: Isn't the new title bar fabulous? Thanks, Sham.

a stitch in time...

Friday, May 25, 2007

Inspired by ridiculously talented people (such as this lady, and this one here) I figured I must have some artistic/crafty skills stored away somewhere, I just hadn't tapped in to them yet!.
So I was never particularly artistic as a child, but I am very possibly just a late bloomer.
So my mother had to outline the borders of my drawings with markers so I could safely color inside them.
So I would trace said drawings from books and magazines and try to pass them as my own.
So my stick figures are not always obviously human.
So what? Surely I won't let that defy me.
I tested my skills tonight, when two insanely patient people kindly agreed to teach me how to knit. I have to admit, I found it a terribly frustrating experience, yet oddly rewarding. I think that a healthy dose of Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant helped the process along quite nicely.

Here are some lessons from tonight:
no.1: I am not a patient person.
no.2: Knitting makes me feel like I have arthritis.
no.3: My children will most probably not own cute, hand-made socks, blankets or sweaters.
Cary Grant is quite fabulous.
no.5: Do not give up. You will eventually learn how to start the second row.

In fact, after attempt number 5:

Half-way through:

Ta-da! Here is the final result of my efforts. Quite possibly a scarf for Brookie.

Thank you Elnaz and Elizabeth for putting up with my whining, my questions, my frustrated huffs and puffs, and for patiently undoing my messy stitches.
Next mission: hand made toys for my three little nephews.


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

This is how life should be... holding hands, floating in a pool. Keep watching till the end.
Happy 3rd Shamim.

week 2: favourite run

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Slight improvement in the speed status - I ran 3.4 miles in just over 30 minutes. WOOHOO! I also managed to go running on Monday morning (yes, the day AFTER the 6 mile walk/torture). I can't make practice tonight, but I am going to try and make up for it tomorrow morning (if i can drag myself out of bed).

Oh, and for all the avid runners out there, I found this amazing website that helps you track your running routes and calculate how many miles/kms you've covered. So when I run the Brooklyn Bridge? I know for sure I'm running over 3 miles.

P.S. I missed my running partner this week!

a lesson in determination

Sunday, May 20, 2007

I honestly believed that they would give in after a couple of miles and I would be on the subway headed back home shortly after noon. But these 4 kids showed some serious stamina - and really pushed us to complete the 6 mile walk as part of the annual New York City AIDS walk. Oh, and they also raised over $900.
I am very impressed and dead tired.

Taking it all in while taking a break...

Bursts of energy...

Walking in front of us...

Surely they must mean us?

Ants marching...

Best comment of the day? Arian telling me, as we stood patiently waiting for the sea of humanity around us to move: "I think we are in a traffic jam."

A much smarter participant...

Finally finished...

week 1: sweepers

Sunday, May 13, 2007

I really didn't have particularly high expectations for my first week of marathon training. I haven't ran much the past few months and even at the peak of my form I was not the speediest of the bunch. But I figured that having ran a marathon before would count for something. I thought I could at least run the whole way - it was supposed to be a light, social run after all! Apparently not.
My running partner and I managed to be the last people to return to the starting point.
That means that people that have never ran a marathon before made it back before us.
It means that people twice our age and more made it back before us.
It means the walkers made it back before us.
We ran about 2 miles in Prospect Park and walked the rest of the way. And then they made us do lunges. And squats. And leg lifts.
I can barely walk today. Please don't ask me to get up from the couch just yet.

I know what to do in case of an emergency

Thursday, May 10, 2007

I had just stepped on the A train at Columbus Circle when my phone rang.
Odd - I can't get service when I'm smack in the middle of Times Square, let alone on a subway train. I fumble to retrieve the phone from my bag:

"AMY!!...fnsdfjnerjfsk..ggrrssamfajsuuuwe...our building...fndsfneo...on fire!"
"WHAT? Our building is on fire? GET OUT! TAKE BROOKIE! CALL ASH & ELIZABETH! Can you please make sure you take that picture of my mom that I love? (I've got my priorities straight!)."
"No ...dnfsdjfnsio... the building across ...cccccrsntgjksui... from us is on fire."
"oh. Make sure you take a picture"
"nfdjskfnioejfsk" - train goes into the tunnel.

Courtesy of my darling husband and his cell phone.


Tuesday, May 8, 2007

A friend sent me a link to this series by French photographer Denis Darzacq. Elizabeth, Ramin and Mehdi, I thought you guys would particularly enjoy it. I think his pictures are amazing - and apparently so does World Press Photo, since they gave him their 1st prize for Arts and Entertainment stories 2007.
He worked with dancers to create these "just about to hit" moments. He was inspired by the alienation and upheaval caused by the Paris riots of 2005, and tried to capture a generation that is freefalling without a safety net.
And I thought they were just pretty pictures...

fresh air

Monday, May 7, 2007

The moment I step outside the confines of the five boroughs, I am always surprised at how quickly my whole demeanor changes. My shoulders relax, I stop grinding my teeth and the hard shell which as a New Yorker you learn to build around yourself to survive, just melts away in the sunshine.
This past weekend was just like that - I drove up to Green Acre with a friend for a conference for institute coordinators and despite the looooong drive, little sleep and a busy schedule, it was completely worth it.

I was so happy to meet and share stories with friends from around the region, to walk around the grounds and pray in the room where 'Abdu'l-Baha' stayed when he was here in 1912.

Despite missing home, it was hard to leave this spot and return to the city. But when I got home, there were cousins and macaroons from La Durre waiting for me. Oh, how lucky am I? And, in case you were wondering, the macaroons taste as good as they look.

little emo update...

Friday, May 4, 2007

The wonderful creator of Little Emo was kind enough to provide me with the pattern for Emo so I can make my very own (you know, once I learn how to crochet and all). What I love is the little description that comes with the patterns:
Little Emo could use some sympathy and a hug. Play with him and carry him around with you, but don’'t expect him to cheer up. Life is just too depressing.

little emo is me!

I came across the picture below on flickr... Sharim & Jalil have been calling me Emo for years now, ever since we shared a home together in London.
I think there is a striking resemblance here, especially back in the day when I wore all black all the time (mmmmh, yes - that would be yesterday).

Oh, and one more thing: turns out, Emo is a boy.