Welcome to my blog. I write about fitting in, sticking out, and missing the motherland as a serial foreigner.

Free as a bird

Jeremy's parents are in town, so I went running yesterday afternoon without Miriam. I felt absolutely naked running unencumbered by a jogging stroller. It was just me, my iPod Shuffle, and my canister of mace that Jeremy bought me. And it was glorious.

It rained yesterday morning, so the air was fresh. But the sun had since come out, so all the birds were singing and green foliage (what little there is here in the desert) was starting to appear. And I could devote all my energies to exercising, without having to worry about managing Miriam's snacks, sippy cup, level of sun exposure, or other miscellaneous fussing.

Added to all of this was the pleasure of having recently downloaded the soundtrack to Pride & Prejudice from iTunes. This purchase was a year in the making. I held off for six months after having seen the movie about a year ago, and then finally broke down and bought the piano music. After six months of playing that to death, I decided to buy the soundtrack so I could listen to someone else play it on the piano for a change. I also downloaded Evanescence's "My Immortal" and Josh Groban's "You Raise Me Up." Trust me, the only reason I'm admitting to buying those last two is that they remind me of my Amideast students in Damascus. (We used to take popular songs and figure out the lyrics as a kind of English exercise.)

So my solo run was accompanied by some lovely, ponderous music. I felt like an Elizabeth Bennet of sorts, scampering about the countryside. I think listening to hyped-up music while exercising is overrated. I've really enjoyed listening to softer, thinking-man music while running. Before these most recent purchases, I've been listening to Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, a group called Pristina, and some of Guster's quieter music.

Of course, the real reason for all of this may be that even while running, I have to keep the music volume low to a) listen for potential attackers stalking me (there's this one homeless guy by the bridge that I've been keeping an eye on) and b) be available to Miriam's requests for more drink/snack/sunshade action. But at least I can pretend it's because I prefer it.

A Tale of Three Massages

Tons o'pictures