Thursday, February 26, 2009

chicken dance and treadmills

last year i wrote about how surreal it was to listen to music from home against the backdrop of bustling benin, west africa.

now the opposite is true... when an african song starts playing on my shuffle as i fight with the treadmill (i can't wait for sunnier mornings and outside runs!)

it's happened before. i can't help but smile at the music, thinking of outdoor market scenes and sandy toes. but today it took everything in me not to jump off the treadmill and start gyrating... struttin' my african dance moves. oh, how the heads would turn! how can you NOT dance to that music?!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

that settles it

in the past week, i have come to realize... i've settled. i've been here less than a year, but this is definitely my town, my house is definitely my home, and my friends are true friends... not just on loan.

i think hosting the 5th annual (1st one here) wine and cheese party last friday sealed the deal. i had to (finally) unpack the last few boxes that had been living in various corners for months. i (finally) took all the empty boxes lying around up to the attic. i finished hanging pictures, many from once familiar, now distant, sites in africa. i even hung up my "mali mud cloth" that i'd been waiting to collect from rhett in dc, but finally caved and asked him to send it to me. my house looks like a museum of artifacts from all over. add to that the very grown up grass rug, leather dining chairs and real (versus hand-me-down) sofa i just obtained (it's my new form of investments... buy furniture i'll keep forever while the stock market struggles). it's all very adult and not temporary and slightly contrary to my nature.

and it's becoming my town too. i know people everywhere... the movie theater, grocery store, waiters recognize me and say hello. it's a little different from knowing all the bouncers and bar tenders in baltimore. 30 people were crammed in my kitchen friday night (the living and dining rooms were much less popular), and 30 more couldn't make it (out of town for the long weekend). how did this happen? in 8 months? less than 4 seasons?

makes me look forward to what this next season, spring, will bring.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


i have moved to a city that knows NOTHING about snow.

they are paralyzed by it.

they get all up in a tizzy just THINKING about it!

i woke up this morning... didn't even notice the snow outside my window. why? because there wasn't much! when i finally did notice a dusting on the ground, i walked out to turn on my car and let the little bit of snow on the windshield melt off while i changed into my gym clothes.

i didn't even have to get out the windshield scraper. i don't even know where my handy scraper is... because it's NOT NECESSARY here!

i drove to the gym, walked into spin class, and was immediately asked if i was teaching. apparently all instructors are told not to come in any day that the county schools close for snow. my face contorted in shock as i screamed, "they canceled school today?!?!?!" oh yes. they did.

so spin class was canceled.

lucky for me, i brought my trusty swimsuit along... so i hit the pool. 1000 yards into my swim, a life guard pelted me with a foam thingy in the head. "pool is closing. you have to leave." what? seems the next lifeguard on duty couldn't brave the 3 snowflakes in his driveway to come to work.

i went home. i fixed a protein shake. i got a call from my boss... the church had canceled all activities scheduled for wednesday, including youth group tonight. never mind that the sun is shining brightly, melting even imaginary snow away.

the up-side to all this is that i get a night off. i haven't had a free night in... 3 weeks? and though i'm dogsitting, and won't actually be staying in my home, i'm looking forward to a very chill night of addressing valentines, watching tv, and cuddling with spike and stella (the dogs).