Tuesday, May 31, 2011


This Monday saw the highest temperatures and humidity the New York area has seen yet this season. I thought it would be a good idea to spend my mid-day running on a soaking wet trail course in Van Cortlandt Park with about 150 of my running chums. I was shooting for four laps on this challenging Holiday Marathon course, leading to my second full marathon since I started running seriously. Clearly, this was not the best of ideas.

There are countless posts on failure-leading-to-lesson-learned in the running blogging community. Running too fast, too hard, too soon in a race and learning the lesson of patience and race strategy and such. But this post is about failure and should have known better, no excuses and change.

Sunday I spent, for the most part, doing exactly what you should do before a huge race. I rested, I hydrated, I ate smart and I stretched out. I had veggies and brown rice for dinner and was in bed by 10pm. I slept alright, not the best sleep ever, but still nothing like the night before the NYC Marathon. I got up at 6:30 because my weekday alarm didn’t know it was Memorial Day, but I was able to go back to sleep and get going at the normal hour of 7:15 as I had planned.

I did my pre-race thing: Cliff Bars, water, newspaper, “other” and then got going. Walking to the bus I noticed it wasn’t anywhere close to the 90 degrees promised by the omniscient NY1 Weather Team. I caught the bus right away and only had to wait for a minute or two for the One Train. It was notably warmer during the transition from the bus to the train…but whatever. Things were still going to plan.

I am a sucker for ceremony. I love the National Anthem at baseball games, feel like I didn’t really watch the State of the Union unless I hear the Sergeant at Arms announce the President to the Speaker, and I like an Oneg Shabbat to have those little crispy chocolate sandwich cookies. (Ok the last one isn’t a ceremony but they are still really good.) It being Memorial Day, I thought I should take part in the moment of silence and listen to God Bless America with my fellow runners, so I started the race with most of the group, as opposed to starting earlier to beat the heat, at 10 am.

It was about 80 and muggy at that point. But I had my game plan.

I had frozen my Fuel Belt water bottles and had another .750 Lt. bottle to carry with me. I had my gels and a cooler with Gatorade for each lap. I also had extra water to refill each of my bottles on each lap. This game plan was set.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Dark Horse and a Bright Quote

The IMF needs a new leader for some reason or another. Conventional wisdom and vote counting point to French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde and then to a distant second of Mexico's Central Bank Governor Agustin Carstens.

However, Stanley Fischer, governor of the central bank of Israel, is also tossing his hat in the ring. (Fill in conspiracy theory here...)

But the real piece of news that I find fascinating is that in the Wall Street Journal article about Mr. Fischer, the reporter rightly points to the built in opposition that will inveitably surface within the Arab and emerging markets. But here is the sweet part.

George Abed, former head of the Palestinian Monetary Authority said this in an exchange with the WSJ via email:
Mr. Fischer is "the most qualified of all the candidates that I have seen mentioned din the media so far," calling Fischer "pragmatic, politically savvy, and a skilled manager."

Now this isn't an endorsement nor is it glowing but it is powerful.

In the real world, outside of college campus rallies and Washington think tanks, economics are key. Rhetoric and vitriol are fine and dandy, but wait until you can't buy a gallon of milk or bread cost as much rent. Then you will see real revolution. The fact that the guy in charge of the money of his enemy is willing to say he is the best for the job is a really powerful statement.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made

Also has rural farm communities and former industrial strong-holds where they die.

If you have been following my blog (thanks Mom!) you will know that over the past few years I have been working on the issue of Marriage Equality in the Empire State. For those of you not paying much attention and for some reason choose to get your news here (dude, get out more) here is the update:
1. Governor Coumo has promised to take on this issue as the most important social issue in his legislative agenda.

2. There is now a coalition being supported by the Governor's office that includes all the big LGBT players; they are putting on great ads and lobbying hard. We were all excited for a while.

3. The Conservative Party has come out to say that any Republican who votes for Marriage Equality will not receive their support in the upcoming elections.

4. Senator Golden of Brooklyn (Mayor Bloomberg's "besty" in the Senate) introduced a bill that would invalidate all same-sex marriages from other municipalities in the State of New York. (Read: Conservative Party litmus test.)

5. We have no reason to believe any votes will change in the State Senate before the end of this session. We are no longer excited.

I am bummed. I was pretty sure we were going to get it this time around. When the State passed a budget on time for the first time since Adam and Eve were doing their post-Eden accounting, I thought maybe, just maybe, this Governor has the juice to make it happen.

But after meetings last week in Albany and countless emails and phone calls from the coalition leaders, I do not believe the Governor is going to a) waste political capital and b) take an other loss for this extremely important civil rights issue.

This is defeatist I know...but I still have some hope.

I met a man last Monday in Albany who has a child with his husband but spends every Monday and Tuesday in the Capital meeting with as many Senators and staff members as will let him in the door. He has been doing this since the budget passed. This kind of dedication to his civil rights is inspirational and utterly depressing at the same time; the fact that he does this is powerful, the fact he has to do this is shameful.

However, I choose to look at the better side of his work and our impending defeat. We will know who to target. We will continue to become better organized. Eventually New York will take a step forward and lead by example. Until then, we fight.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Unfit for Trail, But NRA Protected

me: NYT NEWS ALERT: Judge Finds Jared L. Loughner, Accused in Tucson Shooting, Unfit to Stand Trial
Friend: unfit to stand trial!?!?!
he's just too crazy!?
oh good. then let's bring up the gun debate and how the hell he even got one if he's too crazy to go to trial
me: amen
Friend: how was he not seen as unfit to buy a gun?
Gun control is a touchy issue in the United States for any number of reasons. However the powerful National Rifle Association is one of the major contributors to the vitriol that dominates what should be a logical debate.

The right to have guns (well, the right to bear arms in a militia is delineated in the Amendment, but who wants to split hairs here?) is mentioned in the US Bill of Rights. Cool, we should have some guns. But should everyone get a gun?

Some will say any regulation of gun ownership is a violation of the Second Amendment of the Constitution. Those people are wackados. Some say guns should be taken off the streets completely in that they are actually not mentioned in the Second Amendment. Those folks aren't winning any friends (or much support from the Court).

However, a vast majority of Americans in a poll I just made up (but also I remember seeing in the aftermath of the Shooting in [fill in the blank]) support logical safeguards against people like Loughner getting their hands on guns.

I am not getting into the nitty gritty of what kind of guns should be on the street or gun show loopholes or even the interstate issues of people being arrested for lawfully owning guns in one state and being arrested for them in others. This is simply a statement of fact: people who are crazy should never be able to purchase a gun or ammunition. Period. End of Story.

But I am sure, in the coming months, perhaps in a year or so, the NRA will set up shop in Tuscon and talk about American freedoms and the importance of liberty. I am just not sure there will be much discussion about Justice for All.

Monday, May 23, 2011

It has been so long

This feels like that first conversation with the ex that you are forced into because of reunion or happenstance places you at the same airport bar during a layover. So lets get the small talk out of the way.

Here are the top 5 reasons I haven't called blogged when I said I would:

1. I have been working a lot.
Work has made it harder to blog, because I have had to you know, work. While I loved having the six people who read this when I was actually working hard to get people to read this, it didn't seem worth any of our time for me to come home and blog about nothing after working for 10 hours. I hope you understand, it wasn't you, it was about really me.

2. My volunteer responsibilities have expanded. A lot.
So I am now the Co-Chair of my Temple's Social Action Committee, The Reform Jewish Voice of New York State and serve on the Temple Board of Trustees. And as New York State becomes more entangled in the fight for Marriage Equality, my time is being taken away from this blog and pushed towards more important things like equality for all people in this great state. This is something I really care about and hope that you care about as well. If you live in New York, call your State Senator today. If you live out side of the state please give some coin to New Yorkers United for Marriage (or to RJV...that is cool too).

RJV leadership meeting with State Senator Liz Krueger on May 16, 2011 in Albany

3. I have been running, a lot.
It has become an addiction, a healthy one, but an addiction all the same. I am shooting for 1,200 miles by December 31, 2011 and I am well on my way. I will be training for the Philly Marathon in November over the summer and am most likely going to run The Memorial Day Marathon in Van Cortlandt Park. I have run five Half Marathons and bested my time in each one. To be honest, I could write a lot more about running in this post, but really we are here for excuses and running is going to turn into more of a topic for this blog (duh) and I will hold off for now.

4. I have found someone else.
Hi my name is dcc and I am addicted to Twitter. Armed with a smart phone complete with camera and Twitter aps, I am just simply out of control. Unlike my above mentioned running addiction, this one isn't so healthy. I won't quite but I will at least try to call blog a bit more to complement my 140 character bursts of brilliance.

5. This relationship was really a lot of work.
But I am willing to try again. Inspired by many of my running chums and their successful blogs along with a number of the food blogs my lovely wife reads on a regular bases I have decided, once again, to give this a go. And again, who knows how long this bad boy will be live.

But here is the goal: I will post three times a week for a month and I will do my best to mix up the topics. Today is about excuses, tomorrow the world!