Monday, November 14, 2011

Awareness and compassion

I just witnessed something amazing. Outside my usual starbux, a homeless man frequents. I know this because I'm in this starbux A LOT. Its one of my writing haunts.
A woman walking her dog stopped and the dog greeted and played with the man as if with a long lost friend. This is happening while dozens of people walk by ignoring the homeless man, rendering him invisible.
What does it say when a dog is more compassionate than we are?
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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Morning exercise

Each school day I spend no less than 10 mins here watching my son get in some morning exercise. Its part of what we do.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Diet Change

For the next few months in preparation for several events, I have to lose some weight and tone. So I'm going on the shake and salad diet until the end of the year. Tomorrow is day one. It promises to be an adventure since the exercise load will only increase.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Cranky girl

My smallest, Z is cranky and out of sorts today. Slightly ill and in need of lots of cuddles. This is nap time after a very vocal(read extremely loud crying!) afternoon that wore her out.

Nesquik Mornings

Every school morning Rey and I stop at my favorite bagel store for deep conversations and observations about life. Here he is in a moment of deep introspection.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Implements of torture

On the right is weight vest. On the left are the assorted kettle bells from 10 lbs to 50 in this set. The heavier ones dwell elsewhere. Each day these are the tools of transformation.
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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Effecting Transformation

It has always been my belief that everything originates with thought. This has been confirmed almost daily for me in the last week or so. I know I am on the cusp of amazing happenings. My thoughts align with this feeling of impending greatness, knowing that in short order miracles will be unleashed, happiness will abound and joy will overflow.
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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Happy Z

Zoya at almost 5 months old. Sits up and stands assisted. I remember when she was born and now she is amazingly aware and becoming more present each day.
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Saturday, September 17, 2011


My youngest boy started school this week. Its amazing how quickly time can pass if we are not present to it. He looks dapper and is always excited to go to school.
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Tuesday, August 30, 2011


So I have been running 2 miles everyday. In addition to the series of 100: pushups, bicycles, squats and shin kicks. My knuckles( I do 300 punches on a makiwara daily) are currently mangled from tree work, who knew trees were so hard lol? The twist to all of this is that I recently purchased a weightvest from high quality vest worth every dollar). The vest I purchased allows me to go up to 50lbs, but I started at 30lbs and I'm working my way up. So to ramp up the training I'm doing everything with the vest on, I thought I was in shape until I started this a month ago. Will post the results over time. Stay tuned.
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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Zoya's lesson for today

Today I had Zoya with me for the afternoon. I had miscalculated how much milk my voracious 4 month old would require and so about 3 hours in I found myself with a very hungry and very loud little girl. The lesson: it doesn't matter if I didn't get the amount of food right, what mattered was meeting her need, in the moment. After she was reunited with her mom ( the source of food, since she is breast feeding) everything was right with the world. She became tranquil, fed a bit and just mellowed out. My being upset wouldn't have changed anything, except perhaps causing me to lose the moment and the lesson. There are times when its the right thing to get upset, this wasn't one of them.
Lesson learned.
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Friday, August 19, 2011

Meditation buddy

I sit every day for 15 minutes. Sometimes more but never less. Today as I sat, my daughter entered the room and inquired what I was up to. I told her. She paused a moment thought about it and then got a pillow and her seal (apparently he needed to sit as well) and sat beside me for 10 minutes. This of course is very unlike her but she stayed still the whole time eyes opening every so often,but maintaining her position. I have to say I was quite impressed.
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Wet pain?

Some signs are just too good to pass. This one caught my eye as it cautioned against wet pain. My first question was: I wonder how dry pain is expressed?
It made me laugh, and I needed that. : )
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Thursday, August 11, 2011


I have found that taking the time to sit and breathe is essential. I have also"found" some excellent music for this. I say found, because the music was always present, but like many of these things in my life, they reveal themselves to me when I am ready.

The music is Call of the Mystic by Karunesh.
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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Honoring Parents

My son Rey has opted to stay home for the last two days instead of going to camp. We had a serious ( at least he looked serious) discussion about why he wanted to stay. Yesterday it was because he wanted to spend time with Papa(his grandfather). He felt he didn't spend enough time with him(his words not mine)since they are only visiting for a short time. Today there was an urgent need to break in the new chess set, with Papa also said in a very thoughtful tone.
There is a special bond that is created with grandparents. I myself don't recall my grandparents sadly. He is fortunate in that he has his mama and papa.
I think when we have our own children, on a deep level we honor our parents when we foment this bond. There is a special joy in seeing them interact.
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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Attached at the hip.

The school(MKD Karate) is in the midst of summer camp. We have an awesome camp with karate, movie making, dance, origami, yoga, acting,and cool crafts. Throughout this all I have my little assistant who is attached at the hip. Here she is posing for a photo op.
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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Home on 8th

Some of the best food you can eat, vegetarian and non. 8th avenue between 30th and 29th streets. Good food, great service.
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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Impacting Lives

Our summer camp has started. In addition to karate we have some pretty amazing classes an Teaching Artists. In each class I can see the potentiality of the children take shape. Its in those moments when you realize the far reaching impact you can make in a persons life.
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Friday, June 17, 2011

Shotei yummy smoothie

This morning as I arrived from my morning class, my son Rey greets me with his demonstration of shotei. For those who don't practice a martial art shotei is a palm heel strike. He was actually executing very good technique as he followed me into the kitchen. "What are we doing?" Was the question of the morning. "Making a smoothie." I responded. Apparently I was mistaken since my usual morning smoothie has been renamed into the Shotei Yummy Smoothie! Because as its made, shoteis are executed and frankly its just plain yummy. I have to agree with both, the name and the critique. Thanks Rey.
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Friday, June 10, 2011

Our Connections

As I was perusing my facebook friends, I took a quick glance over to the friends its suggests. I started to see that many of these people and myself had several mutual friends in common. This is the default of facebook, and for the most part it suggests people you are connected to in some way. I scrolled over some of the names and was pleasantly surprised over and over again how I was connected to completely diverse groups of people, whose connection seemed to be knowing me. What it brought home was that we are all connected in some way, even when you think you aren't.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


My wife, knowing the avid reader that I am recently purchased a Kindle for me. I have to say that as e-readers go, its one of the best. It even has a basic mp3 player that allows me to listen to music while I read. Overall I highly recommend it, if you are seeking a very good e-reader. With the right cover(mine has an M-Edge) it even feels like a book. It also has a large selection of books (free and inexpensive) that you can add fairly quickly. Will take some time to get used to, since I enjoy the feel of books, but I think I will grow accustomed to it fairly fast.
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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Zoya arrives!

10:21pm Zoya blessed us with the gift of her presence!
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Babywatch continues. We are at 9 centimeters and counting. At this rate Zoya will arrive very soon!
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We are back in hospital and 6 centimeters dilated. Looks like Zoya is going to make her grand appearance tonight!
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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Eva's Ants

Today at the park my daughter Eva decided she was going to find some ants. I was thinking one or two. Eva being who she is, found a colony. When a two year old wants to find ants be careful!
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No baby yet and I think she wants to wait until May at this point. Exciting and scary all rolled into one.
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Friday, April 22, 2011


Sitting in hospital, contractions have started but it appears they have subsided. False alarm? We will see.
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Friday, April 15, 2011

Babywatch Day 1

So my amazing wife is very VERY pregnant. We are at 37 weeks and she looks about ready to burst. Babywatch has begun. We are due for May 8th, but none of the children arrived on their "due date". This leads me to believe that its mostly guess work. Zoya will arrive when she is ready despite what is happening out here. Babywatch has begun!
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Monday, April 11, 2011

Training as Bliss

Its no accident that where I train on mondays is located on Bliss street. It is never perceived as such when you are doing it. In hindsight though, there is nothing better than a tough class that pushes you to and past your perceived limits. I have just come from such a class.
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Monday Training

On my way to monday torture/training. There are times I would like to stay home,( I certainly have the perfect reasons) but being that mondays are the only day I get to train as a student and not an instructor, they are very important for me to keep my perspective as a martialist. Off I go.
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Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Just restarted a regimen with kettle bells. I have to say for all my experience around weights and exercise machines, these little cannonballs with a handle can really make you work. After an hour(because I'm easing back into it) I'm feeling muscles I didn't think were possible to use in a typical workout, then I realize- that's just it. This isn't a typical workout. When you train with kb your entire body gets involved. Its something that is only familiar to me through martial arts training. Kettle bells are a pleasant/painful surprise to work with.
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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Transforming lives

A few days ago my wife commented on how we are transforming the lives of those who train at the school. To drive this point home, today one of the moms informed me that her child will no longer need physical therapy because his karate training has helped him progress to the point where therapy isn't required. To realize that I was part of this process is amazing and humbling.
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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Captivating Facades

Occasionally as I walk through Manhattan certain things or places will resonate with me. This building, The Lucerne on 79th and Amsterdam has been calling to me for some time now. It has amazing architecture and detail no longer seen on buildings. Its very reminiscent of the building that houses the Petrossian, on 58th but not on the same level of detail. The color is a fantastic burnt sienna that is a stark contrast to everything around it on a sunny afternoon.
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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Conflict resolution.

As I sit here in the waiting area of family court, I am struck with a feeling of helplessness, anger,and despair. I know these aren't real but rather created by my perceptions of potential loss and damage. While this is a visceral feeling, I know that above it all everything will work out. I know it sounds optimistic of me, but it's who I am.
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Thursday, March 10, 2011


Im anxious today because Im close to finishing my book, at least the first of several books in progress. I realize that I didnt do this earlier because I had a fear of success that hindered my writing. Now that I am almost at the end there are a few conflicting emotions: anxiety, excitement,relief, a sense of accomplishment and most of all gratitude. I still dont have the eneding, but like the rest of the book im sure when the time comes to end it, it will present the ending to me.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

My writing cave

I'm currently working on my book and this is my writing cave. Every chance I get I go to the only one in my neighborhood(79th and 37th ave) and get a few pages in. The first book of the series is almost done and another book has been started. With the exception of Domas in manhattan, I haven't found another place like this one to write in. The energy, the people and the interactions actually make it easy to put pen to paper. Or finger to keyboard.
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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Time passes

Its been a little over a week since my mom passed away. As sad as I was by her passing, the week did have joyful moments. I was able to spend time with my family. My sister who I don't see often enough spent a week over and we reflected how many families only seem to come together in death(the passing of a loved one) and we promised to transform that about our family. My brother and I were able to bond, and I sadly recognized that it took my mom passing away to cause that. We reminisced about our mom, told war stories, and had heart to heart talks with the upcoming younger generation( the house was invaded by young folk).

I realized that as the eldest son, I am now the leader of our family cell. It felt odd at times and then perfectly natural at others. I still have moments when I say to myself, " I have to tell mom that." Then it comes rushing back that I won't be hearing her anymore. Those are sad moments. Each day I make a little more peace with her physical absence, knowing that she has left an incredible legacy in each of her children. She may gone, but she will never be forgotten.
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Sunday, February 20, 2011


My mom passed away a few hours ago. Within I feel a huge void where my heart used to be. She and I, we had a great relationship. There were times when it was war, she could push buttons no one else could, and there were times that were sheer laughter and joy. As I think back there were many more times of joy and laughter than the battles. I have no regrets, except that she could have been around more so I could harass her about showing me her recipes(which she wrote down for me a week ago), give her more hugs, tell her I loved her more(you can never say it enough), and just remind her that I truly and deeply appreciated everything she did for me, and my siblings. It hurts to think on these things, but I felt putting them out here, sharing this part of me would help. I won't say it makes the ache go away, because it doesn't, I think only time can do that. What I will say is that writing about it, sharing it, brings many of the joyful times to mind, and right now, that's enough.
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Friday, February 18, 2011

Rare as an eclipse

4:30 in the afternoon and my two dynamos are down for the count-at the same time! This is unprecedented and hasn't happened since last summer. This is what they look like when they are recharging for fun and mayhem : ).
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morning meditation.jpg

This is dojo this morning right before meditation. The space feels full of energy and yet is tranquil. One of my favorite times of the week.
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Friday morning. My alarm in no uncertain terms informs me that class needs to happen soon. The only thing that makes this better is that its no longer 20 degrees and snowing. By this point I'm actually used to it, or so I tell myself. It all boils down to commitment and integrity, my favorite set of checks and balances. When all else fails, C and I step in quietly to remind you of your word. On some mornings it would be welcome if they slept in.
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Thursday, February 17, 2011

First post

The first post in a new blog. It's a space that while influenced by the martial aspect of my life, is not driven by it. This is a space for the more mundane everyday going ons, ruminations, rants and observations. It will be exciting to see where this goes.
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