Tag Archives: music

Songs for Running

21 Feb


I wanted to say something really profound about why I’m sharing this playlist with you. Maybe I’d explore the philosophy of running or try to develop some metaphor about being chased.

But when it came down to it, I just wanted to share these songs because I like to run to them, and maybe you will too once you experience their energy like I did.

You can’t read into everything (and boy, did I learn that lesson last week), and it can get emotionally and intellectually exhausting trying to do so. Even when you’re trying to process new information, like learning that your ex-fiancé is newly engaged, you can reach a point where you just need a visceral experience that needs no analyzing.

More than ever, running has become my physical release that allows me to shut off my analytical mind. The songs I’ve included here are my favorites for running – they’re the ones that inspire me to pretend like I’m running from a villain in my own movie montage. (Don’t tell me you’ve never imagined that before.)

In the comments, please leave suggestions of new songs for running. Do you run? Why? (Also, keep in mind that I chose these because of their baseline or melody, not necessarily for their meaning.)


Songs for Running:

“Sayit” by Royksapp & Robyn

“Ramalama Bang Bang” by Roisin Murphy

“Here I Come” by the Roots

“Punkture” by Motor

“Release the Pressure” by Logistics

“Daftendirect” by Daft Punk

“We Are Rockstars” by Does it Offend You, Yeah?

“The Love Within” by Bloc Party

“Sheathed Wings” by Dan Deacon

“Time to Dance” by The Shoes

“Jubel” by Klingande

“WTF (Where They From)” by Missy Elliott


What To Listen To When You Cook

14 Jan


Some people believe that all you have is memory, that the present goes by so quickly that all you’re left with is a collection of sights, sounds, smells, touches, and tastes that live in your mind. Life is just a collection of multidimensional postcards.

The opposite of that is dreaming – you have no memory of a place, but you imagine what it would be like. You create a world where you want to go, in your mind, and try to mimic what it might be like to be there.

For someone who’s never traveled, dreams of what could be are all I have, for now. I wish I could say that this coffee tastes just like a cappuccino I had across the street from the Coliseum; I wish I could say this Pad Thai was better in Chiang Mai than in Bangkok; I wish I could say that the beef in Buenos Aires is unlike anything in the United States.

I remember when I was about 12 years old and my parents’ longtime friend had us to his home for dinner. He was one of their worldly friends, somewhat out of place in our little Midwestern community. The family friend, John, and his wife, Vanessa, lived in an old house they renovated. They decorated it with posters, trinkets, statues and paintings they had gathered on their many travels together.

When I walked into their home, I felt like we were traveling somewhere far away. Vanessa set up a long table in their dining room, lit only by several candles scattered around the room. She played some opera CDs while we dined. She and John made Italian food, and the air was thick with garlic and basil aromas. In my sheltered life, I hadn’t had an experience like that, and I recorded it deeply on my memory. The adults’ conversation was surprisingly interesting to my 12-year-old self, enhanced, I’m sure, by the lovely ambiance Vanessa and John had created. I remember leaving their home that night enchanted by their lifestyle and experiences.

Here I am today, many years later, perhaps no closer, physically, to that international experience. But I am learning to make the most of what I have at my disposal, and today, that is Spotify, iTunes, and a speaker.

The following is a playlist I created while I rediscovered cooking the other day. I made it in the hopes of creating a rich experience that would transport me somewhere far away. While I cooked, I tried to pause here and there, to savor the moment, imagining that instead of cooking in my kitchen in Denver, I was going to a fancy meal for a family in Brazil, or that I was dining with new friends at sunset in Mumbai, or that I was in a some romantic Italian village, cooking for some handsome man who would dine with me on our balcony overlooking a vineyard.

Whether or not the experience lives in my memory that way, only time will tell.

Enjoy the list and tell me what you think, if you feel so inclined. Better yet, tell me if the music helped you smell, taste or feel from a memory, or from a dream.

Continue reading

Theme Song

20 Nov


All this insight into the world of a super heroine has inspired me to tackle another item off my list of Must-Haves. Comrades, I do believe it’s time I found my International Woman of Mystery theme song.

Every superhero has a theme song. For that matter, so do athletes, politicians and action figures. Basically everyone powerful has a theme song. So then why not moi? Music is the ultimate motivator. I’ll need something upbeat and inspiring by which to do my ass-kicking.

I’ve been listening to music quite a lot since escaping the clutches of Mr. Poison. I’ve always found a good song to be a therapeutic experience. However, it occurs to me that I may have been using it a little too cathartically as of late. I’ve spent more nights than any woman of the world should listening to sad bastard music. You know exactly what I’m talking about – slow, droopy tunes about love lost and bittersweet romance that was never meant to be.

Upon realizing that Jewel’s “Foolish Games” had somehow climbed its way to the top of my “Most Played” list on iTunes, I not only wanted to change my own tune, I needed to. Shame is also a great motivator, sometimes.

So I’ve spent the bulk of a day compiling what I hope will be the first of many playlists (I avow to share the whole list soon) and have chosen one song in particular to be my own personal International Woman of Mystery Theme Song. It was a tough call. There are so many great and empowering songs, out there. When you think about it, pop music is one of the few places women are allowed to be unapologetic superdivas. Alas, I finally settled on a lesser known little ditty, “Big Sunglasses” by Dragonette.

For starters, it has exactly the right beat for many a pursuit. I can really picture myself running (and outrunning) to it. It’s got the right amount of panache for cruising down the highway on a mission or taking sharp city corners in my Mystery Mobile. I can already hear it playing in the background of an action montage, as I transform myself from every day citizen to Jenny G. (After ducking into a phone booth, naturally.)

Lyrically, I think it speaks to my current station in life – a woman who’s taken a few punches but isn’t finished off. I’ve got a little left, I’ve got a little left in me, she says.

It’s about a woman whose life hasn’t turned out exactly as planned. And yet she’s ready to bounce back and start making her own luck.

Better gather up what I left for dead
All the pieces needed in a level head
All the information that I’ve taken down all on my own

Further, what’s more International Woman of Mystery than a pair of big sunglasses?

I rest my case. Just listen to the song already.

“Big Sunglasses” by Dragonette

Jenny G.

Ten Things I Need

5 Oct


So now that it’s decided, now that we’re doing this, I’m going to need a game plan. It’s a bit overwhelming, becoming an International Woman of Mystery and all. How does a girl go from being a doormat to kicking down doors? I’ve decided to start with the basics. Mysteriousness: 101. I’ll start by tackling the essentials, acquiring all that I need to look and act the part before moving on to more complicated missions. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:
Continue reading