Wednesday, January 18, 2012

When was the last time you cut your grass with a sickle?

The park that I have been doing most of my running at is fairly large. There are probably 12 to 14 soccer fields surrounding a large monument in the center and it's probably about 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) around the sidewalk that borders the soccer fields. There are workers, both men and women, there everyday that keep up the maintenance of the park. Since I'm training for a marathon, you can imagine that I run several laps around this park everyday. Unfortunately for me, running on the street is NOT an option so many boring laps around this park it is! As I run, I watch these workers, that I am positive make next to nothing for the job that they do. And it is no small job considering that they cut most of the grass with a sickle. I have seen a push lawnmower, however, even that would prove difficult when keeping up with 12 soccer fields, but apparently it was not working today since I saw several people just chopping away. There are always patches of grass that are longer than others because by the time someone gets done cutting one section by hand another section has already overgrown! They also sweep the sidewalks to clear away the leaves and any garbage with brooms that can hardly even be considered brooms. They are more like bunches of straw tied together. It's amazing what we take for granted back in the States...

Speaking of things we take for granted... I haven't taken a hot or even a luke warm shower for that matter in 2 months, so think about that the next time you scald yourself because you've turned the water on too hot!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Makes me wonder...

I was running at the park the other day as I normally do, the park that makes me feel as though I’m a bit of a celebrity. I’m the only westerner I’ve ever seen at this particular park and as I run my laps, I get several smiles, waves and thumbs up. I even get the occasional person that tries to stop me to shake my hand and have a conversation, only to realize I don’t speak their language. Enough about me and my celebrity though, as I was running this guy took a picture of me as I went past him. It didn’t bother me in the slightest bit but it did make me wonder about how many strangers have pictures of me...

Do you ever look at a picture of yourself and see a stranger in the background? How many moments of other people's lives do you think you have been a bystander in? Have you been in the background of a picture when something eventful was happening or when someone’s dreams were coming true? Just think, you could have witnessed a big part of someone else's life and not even known it…

As you can tell, I have a lot of time time to think on my runs!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Music to set your life to...

So, I have been adding to this playlist on my itunes titled "50 songs to save your life". So far it has exceeded 50 songs but it's not quite to 100 yet. Music is one of the loves of my life. I have always loved hearing new music, reading lyrics and making meaning out of those lyrics. It might be cliche but I really believe that music can save your life, or it can mine anyway. For me, one song can change my mood in an instant. Whether it's a song that just makes me smile, a song that has deep meaning to me or a song that makes me think of some significant memory. It's no wonder that I started creating this playlist when I got to Bali; I needed something to make me smile and something that would remind me of home and great memories!

I have a couple of friends that are going through hard times right now so I wanted to post the list in hopes that there's a song or two that might make them smile or get them through a rough patch. Like I said, some of the songs just make me smile but there is the occasional depressing song (everyone needs one of those every now and then) and maybe even the occasional cheesy song. I would love to explain why every song is on this list but I'm afraid that would end up being an extremely long post, so you'll just have to make up your own meaning as to why I have certain songs on my list!

They are in no particular order (except for #1, that one always remains at the top) and the list is never complete... Enjoy!

1. Imagine - John Lennon          
2. Return to Innocence - Enigma                                  
3. These are Days - 10,000 Maniacs                           
4. Into the Mystic - Van Morrison                               
5. Heartbeats - Jose Gonzalez                                     
6. Talkin about a Revolution - Tracy Chapman            
7. Dare you to Move - Switchfoot                              
8. Inside of Love - Nada Surf                                     
9. Just Say Yes - Snow Patrol                                    
10. These Days - Gregg Allman                                  
11. Queen of Hearts - Gregg Allman                           
12. Detours - Sheryl Crow                                         
13. I Shall Believe - Sheryl Crow                                
14. My Favorite Mistake - Sheryl Crow                     
15. Forever my Friend - Ray LaMontagne                  
16. True Colors - Phil Collins                                     
17. The Verve - Bittersweet Symphony                      
18. Harvest Moon - Neil Young                                 
19. Hell on Heels - Pistol Annies                                
20. Lightning Crashes - Live                                      
21. Good Life - One Republic                                   
22. One - U2 and Mary J. Blidge                              
23. Untold - Pete Francis                                          
24. Kind and Generous - Natalie Merchant               
25. Yellow Ledbetter - Pearl Jam                              
26. Fumbling Towards Ecstasy - Sarah McLachlan    
27. Hold On - Sarah McLachlan                               
28. New Strings - Miranda Lambert                          
29. Brandy (You're a fine Girl) - Looking Glass         
30. You Got It- Bonnie Raitt                                     
31. Can't You See - Marshall Tucker Band
32. Where I Stood - Missy Higgins
33. September - Earth Wind & Fire
34. A Long December - Counting Crows
35. A Whiter Shade of Pale - Procol Harum
36. Sara Smile - Daryl Hall & John Oats
37. Lean on Me - Bill Withers
38. She Said - Collective Soul
39. Say Goodbye - Dave Matthews Band
40. #41 - Dave Matthews Band
41. Have You Ever - Brandi Carlile
42. Lovers in Japan/Reign of Love - Coldplay
43. Hard Sun - Eddie Vedder
44. Babylon - David Gray
45. Please Forgive Me - David Gray
46. Streets of Philedelphia - Bruce Springsteen
47. My Hometown - Bruce Springsteen
48. Walf of Life - Dire Straights
49. Pictures of You - The Cure
50. Close to Me - The Cure
51. Your Song - Elton John
52. Bennie & The Jets - Elton John
53. Heart of Life - John Mayer
54. Keep Breathing - Ingrid Michaelson
55. Can't Help Falling in Love - Ingrid Michaelson
56. Count on Me - Jefferson Starship
57. Peaceful Easy Feeling - The Eagles
58. Gypsy - Fleetwood Mac
59. You are so Beautiful - Joe Cocker
60. Don't Give Up - Kate Bush & Peter Gabriel
61. Hardliners - Holcombe Waller
62. Only God Knows Why - Kid Rock
63. Non-Believer - La Rocca
64. Doctor My Eyes - Jackson Browne
65. The Trouble With Love Is - Kelly Clarkson
66. What a Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong
67. Young Americans - David Bowie

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The simple things...

As you might imagine, life is pretty simple in Bali and if you know me pretty well you know that most of the time it's the simple things that make up the "highs" of my day. My family plays this game at the dinner table where we say the best and worst parts of our day and who we helped. A few days before I left for Bali, we played the game as usual. My high that day had been when I was driving down A1A at about 8am with the windows rolled down and the song "Doctor my eyes" by Jackson Browne came on. Great song and great simple moment. Today I had a very similar moment. I was driving back from a run at the park with my windows rolled down (I always have the windows rolled down on my scooter) and "Gypsy" by Fleetwood Mac came on. Again, great sing and great simple moment! That's when I just smile, take in the smell of Bali's Frangipanis, in between breaths of gasoline and pollution since I live in the city and realize just how lucky I am to be here...