Monthly Archives: August 2012

Workout Wednesday: Putting a Cramp in your Style

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I think each of us has been here before:

It’s been a while since you’ve worked out, but your playlists are updated and your gym clothes are ready to rock.  You eagerly drink some water, jump into your running shoes, suit your earbuds up real nice and head out the door.  When you hit the sidewalk, your legs begin bouncing – urging you to move forward.  As your iPod shuffles to your latest favorite song, you break into a skip, then a jog…and finally a run.  You’re feeling your energy as your feet hit the pavement, you might even be singing along without realizing it – and then you notice it, a stitch in your (insert appendage here).  Then it cripples you – and you’re left wondering: what is wrong with my body?!

Well the answer, my pretties – is that your workout just got cramped. As an athlete, I can tell you from a lot of personal experience that there’s nothing worse than getting into the groove of a good workout and getting sidelined by a cramp.  In the back of my head, I’m thinking – hey, body! why are you acting like its your first rodeo?!  But the fact of the matter is that no matter if you’re a world class athlete or about to commit to your first workout – cramps happen, but you can help!

The most common cramps for me are side cramps while running, foot cramps as a swimmer and calf cramps after a workout or a long night of dancing.  So what exactly is going on and what can we do if we want to keep the workout going?

Make sure you’re warming up properly and breathing right during the exercise.  If you’re planning on going for an epic run, try walking or jogging to warm up your entire body and make sure your body is hydrated enough to sustain the ass kicking you’re giving it.  If you notice a cramp coming on, try to even out your breathing and avoid exhaling when your feet hit the floor, if it won’t go away give yourself a break and get into some stretches.  Your body is a temple, you don’t want to destroy the foundation.

On the typical, cramps have one of two causes –  dehydration or poor nutrition. 

Think about things this way – your body is approximately 80% water but your muscles are closer to 75%; so when you work out, your muscles get dehydrated faster than your body.  When this happens, the muscles lose elasticity, become taut and eventually – if not re-hydrated – they’ll spasm, or cramp. The other possibility is that  your body is lacking in essential vitamins like iron, calcium and potassium, which is key for preventing muscle cramps.

Lucky for us, these are things we can control.  At the very least, on the daily you should pop a multivitamin in the morning and get your 8 glasses of water. In this “go-go-go” world, it’s hard to avoid caffeine and soda. However, if you’re serious about treating your body well – either curb your use of diuretics like coffee, soda, alcohol and energy drinks which naturally deplete your body of water, or for every “naughty” drink have double the amount of aqua.  When it comes to nutrition, an apple a day might keep the doctor away but a dose of potassium a day will keep the cramps away.  Dried fruits like apricots, prunes, dates, coconuts, figs and raisins contain a whole lot of it. And for the fresh fruit lovers, try throwing more avocados, bananas, peaches and oranges in your diet.

[Make Your Own] Record Bowls

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Creativity is a trait that I think most of my friends and I share – we’re imaginative about the way we view the world around us and when when it comes to personal interpretation of the world and manifesting it into something else, I’d like to think each of us gives in a uniquely talented way.  When I was younger, I was into beading and bead work – and truth be told, I actually brought my tools to Los Angeles with me. I’ve picked up and put down crocheting a number of times, though my drawings can seem elementary to me at times the more I use my watercolor pencils and pastel sticks the more fun I seem to have with them. But there’s more to being creative than these very specific mediums; I’d like to think I’m creative when it comes to Interior Design, organization of my apartment and DIY projects.

Freeze Fruit and Herbs in Ice Cubes for Flavorful, Non-Diluted Chilled Drinks

Websites like Pinterest and Instructables are always giving me crazy, fun and uniue ideas for the apartment, gifts and hostessing. Some of the ideas are amazing – like freezing fruit in ice cubes for a stellar and healthy Summer drink pick me up; and some of them prove to be more difficult, like the Cinco De Mayo inspired striped rainbow Donkey shaped pinata cookies full of M&M Minis.  Trust me, I tried and failed; and no, you can’t see the pictures.

When I moved to LA, my family gifted me with a great coffee table book called “Show Me How: 500 Things You Should Know“: it’s full fun and quirky things like how to roll sushi, dance the tango,  heal your body with accupressure points and tons of easy to follow DIY ideas.  So far, my ultimate favorite has been crafting old records into usable bowls. So, without further ado – let’s get to crafting!

Please note: No important records were hurt in this process.

Tools:

  • Vinyl Records from a second hand shop or hand-me-downs from a friend; if you can still play it and or enjoy it, you probably don’t want to melt it.
  • An Oven
  • 2 Bowls; one that can go into ovens: e.g. ceramic bowls, sauce pans for the stove
  • A Cookie Sheet
  • Oven Mitts

Steps:

  • Get your records on, or out rather.
  • Heat the oven to 225°F (105°C)
  • Wait for Ten minutes
  • Arm yourself with those oven mitts and take out the cookie sheet
  • Gently mold the newly malleable record to the shape of the bowl
  • Wait for another Ten minutes

And, voilà – you now have your very own record bowls;if you can find a vintage record of a favorite tune, it becomes a great gift for family, friends and yourself.

PS. Having an assistant doesn’t hurt….but sometimes, it definitely doesn’t help…

Quotable: The Beauty of Impermanence

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One day some people came to the master
and asked: How can you be happy
in a world of such impermanence,
where you cannot protect your loved ones
from harm, illness or death?
The master held up a glass and said:
Someone gave me this glass;
It holds my water admirably
and it glistens in the sunlight.
I touch it and it rings!
One day the wind
may blow it off the shelf,
or my elbow
may knock it from the table.
I know this glass is already broken,
so I enjoy it — incredibly.

Achaan Chah Subato

What the Wednesday: Tracks on Mars

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Today is a big day for the Mars ‘Curiosity‘ rover as it prepares itself for its very first test drive in search for life, the universe, and the number 42.

After considering the not so simple notion that we’re currently, right fucking now, on another planet searching for other forms of existence (pause; geek the eff out), my next thought was this:. If you were operating Curiosity, what would be on the soundtrack to your first ride?

Tracklist:

  1. Kid Cudi – Embrace the Martian (Crookers Remix)
  2. Daft Punk – Robot Rock (Soulwax Remix)
  3. Chuckie – We Can’t Hear Anybody Out There
  4. Boys Noize – Kontact Me
  5. The Bloody Beetroots – Rocksteady (Gigi Barocco Remix)
  6. Fake Blood – Mars (Herve Re-fix)

Tech Tuesday: Can You Find Me Now?

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The Ice Cream Sandwich update for my Rezound has mostly been a good thing; my phone boots faster, applications load quickly, Facebook doesn’t force quit in the middle of loading pictures and the OS is a lot sexier.

But the other day, as I was trying to use Verizon Navigator – I noticed a small hiccup with the update.

Any time I attempted to load a ‘Map‘ related application (e.g. Verizon Navigator, Google Maps, Latitude, Places), my phone restart itself.  On the plus side, it’s challenged me to actually know directions instead of being super dependent on technology to lead the way.  Conversely, it’s been pretty damn frustrating because I realized I might not know Los Angeles quite as well as I thought I did.

I did some research on the interwebz and realized that this isn’t a unique issue; quite to the contrary, there have been quite a few complaints and forum threads dedicated to this very issue.

The Bug:

  • Open Map or Navigation App
  • Select Destination
  • System Reboot

The Fix:

Unfortunately, there isn’t a long term fix for this problem.  According to Google’s forums, this issue has elevated status and was given to the product development team.

In the mean time, there is a short term solution:

  • Uninstall Google Maps 6.10 and revert to old version of application (6.9 or 6.3)
  • Toggle the “Automatic Update” button
  • Go ahead and try the app again

And voilà, problem solved!

Sunday Soundcheck

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I’ve spent some quality time with my cats and my music this weekend; it’s been both nice and necessary. If you have air conditioning in your apartment (and it works) consider yourself very lucky right now! This weather has been ridiculous lately – maybe upper 90s for the past few weeks at the very least. Which is fine and dandy during the weekends, but during the week it’s just cruel and unusual punishment to have the beach so close yet so far.

Basically every day I dream about sitting near some calming body of water with some great friends and good music. Well, I’ve accomplished half the battle; enjoy this hour long playlist of some of my favorite mid-summer, sunny Sunday sounds!

Tracklist

  1. Eats Everything – Jagged Edge
  2. Flashmob – Need in Me
  3. Aaliyah – If Your Girl Only Knew (Finnebassen Remix)
  4. Martin Roth – Beautiful Life
  5. Finnebassen – Touching Me (Dj Christodoulos Remix)
  6. Jamie Woon – Lady Luck (Luciano Remix)
  7. Kameleon – Confetti
  8. Green Velvet – Preacher Man (2012 Edit)
  9. Umek vs Traumer – She Never Wants to Come Down (Tocadisco Remix)
  10. Funkagenda ft. Big Ed – Afterclub (Riva Starr Remix)

Doing it Right: Going Overboard with Harmonic Productions

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Besides the times I sing along to ‘The Lonely Island’ – I rarely step foot on any type of boat.  When I was in preschool,  one of my teachers had a little 15′ boat he’d take us little tykes out on; it was honestly one of the highlights of my childhood.  A group of 15 kids would go out in the middle of the Bay and have story time; but the older I got, the more seasick I became and started to avoid smaller boats like the plague.

My body has a weird habit of internalizing my movements during the day and replaying them at night, and even if I was on a Ferry – I would wake up in the morning, feeling like my body was rocking to and fro. Last summer for the 4th of July, I went out in Santa Barbara on a friends boat and had to jump ship 30 minutes in because being in the cold water was preferable to feeling sea sick.  Long story short, I’ve essentially sworn off boats of all shapes and sizes.

TWel, that all changed last weekend when I cruised down to Newport with some of my good friends for some fun in the summer sun.  Harmonic Productions, the promotional team that runs HEAR, BASK,and Damaged Goods, has been throwing Overboard boat parties on the famed Tiki Boat in Newport Harbor for the past few summers.

Los Angeles was in the midst of a 100+ week long heat wave and being outside wasn’t exactly fun.  Down in Newport the weather was a gorgeous 85 and sunny, a few clouds but overall amazing weather to sail around the harbor.  The timing could not have been better.

The Tiki Boat has a fully stoked bar on the bottom level, a DJ booth, dance floor and there were a few booths to sit and relax in if you’re into that type of thing.  But between the deep house jams, lively conversation and run ins with friends both new and old – that wasn’t a very likely scenario.  The upper deck had a large observation area and ample space outside for us to mingle and enjoy some sunshine. The cruise lasted for five crazy fun hours and we were making friends up and down the harbor; there were a few little kid moments that reminded me of being on the school bus and making faces at the people passing by.  But instead of faces, it was peace signs, good vibes and fresh dance moves.

I was lucky enough to have several different groups of friends in attendance, which FYI was kept to a very low number so we could get everyone on the boat.  Maybe 250 tickets were sold for the event, and that’s being generous. But even if you didn’t know anyone when you got on the boat, when you left you had some brand spanking new friendships to show for yourself.  Everyone that was involved, from the promotional team, to the DJs, to the bartenders and back to the fun loving, trouble making crowd in attendance – helped make that event as fabulous as it was.  I can’t wait to go back for the party next year!