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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Mountain Bike Wreck and Broken Collar Bone

I went mountain biking with Jen last Wednesday: Three Larch, a standard local ride. About a mile or so down the descent, on a non-technical spot, I hit a big rut, and went over the bars. I'd been pushing my descending of late, trying to go faster. It was working, but apparently I'd pushed too far.

I landed on my left shoulder and my collar bone broke into a few pieces. I passed out for ten minutes. Good thing Jen was with me. At her persistence, I waited for the EMTs and Search and Rescue to get there and drag me out. She blogged about this (somewhat embarrassingly for me) on her blog site.

Things like this happen and you kick yourself: shouldn't have been pushing the descending, should have been paying closer attention, etc. It's a reminder that the sports I/we do are potentially dangerous. Strangely, one of the first thoughts I had when I came to after the wreck was, "I should back off on my tree skiing at Snowbowl." I also thought, "Shit, I'm way the heck back in the woods." On a bike you can get so far so fast. It's a good thing to remember.

These concerns are in my mind now. Will it change me? I hope just enough: not too much, nor too little.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

East Coast Renaissance -- mid-90s New York City Rap

For most of my life, I've willfully avoided listening to rap. But over the past few years, Alex has forced me to listen. So, I've slowly been coming around. And then over the past couple of months, something clicked and now it can hit me as deep as any great art form.

When I most willfully avoided rap, during the mid-90's, was the so-called East Coast Renaissance, when a bunch of great rap came out of New York City. Jay-Z was a product of this scene. Over the past few days, I've been listening to some of the classic rap albums of this time and place. The below Spotify playlist contains three songs from six of these albums.

Rap comes from the streets. Many of these artists came from the New York slums, and some were drug dealers before they made it as rappers. So if you're like me and haven't listened to much rap, the subject matter might seem rough and offensive. But as with experiencing any great art, it's best to shut off your brain and just feel it. And if you can't get past the crude subject matter, well, rap isn't for everyone. As for me, I love this stuff!

East Coast Renaissance -- mid-90s New York City Rap

1. Gang Starr – You Know My Steez
2. Gang Starr – Work
3. Gang Starr – Moment of Truth
4. Nas – New York State of Mind
5. Nas – Represent 
6. Nas – It Ain't Hard To Tell 
7. The Notorious B.I.G. – Machine Gun Funk
8. The Notorious B.I.G. – Warning
9. The Notorious B.I.G. – Unbelievable
10. Mobb Deep – Survival of the Fittest
11. Mobb Deep – Q.U. - Hectic
12. Mobb Deep – Shook Ones Part II
13. Jay-Z – Brooklyn's Finest
14. Jay-Z – D'evils
15. Jay-Z – Regrets
16. Chef Raekwon – Knuckleheadz
17. Chef Raekwon – Ice Water
18. Chef Raekwon – Guillotine (Swordz)