Monday, July 30, 2012

Things I Didn't Count On...


Put some new shoes on...
Here it is, before dawn, and I’m lacing up to go for a big training run.  When I signed up for the September marathon in the Medoc region a few months ago, this isn’t what I imagined, but then again there were a few surprises along the way.

1. Diet: I never thought I’d pay so much attention to my diet.  From cutting out useless carbs and most all dairy (Lactaid pills as well) to adding almond milk and peanut butter shakes to my routine, it’s been weird.  I’ve never eaten healthier or paid as much attention to making sure I eat my meals before.  Gotta keep that engine fueled!

2.  Spending: Speaking of buying new foods, I’ve also become quite the runner shopaholic. Going to sports stores and throwing down for new shoes, energy gels, and new clothes is the new shopping spread for me.  While I normally hesitate to buy myself nice things for everyday life, I have absolutely no qualms spending 20 euros to wake up on Sunday mornings to participate in a race.  Who needs Chanel in Paris when you have sportswear?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bikes, theft, and things...


New used bike locked to old used bike...friends.
When something is stolen from you, the first question is, “Why?”  Or, more egotistically, “Why me?”  Last Friday, while on my way to a tour, I left my apartment decidedly on time and went to unlock my faithful new (used) bike Pascal only to find that he was not where I thought I had left him in front of my building.

Ugh.

Of all the bikes chained along the street, why had mine been selected?  Was there a shortage of Peugeot models in Paris?  Had I not locked him up properly?  Had I, embarrassingly, left the bike somewhere else and forgot?  After a little forensic work and backtracking, I settled on the inevitable answer that Pascal had been lifted, never to be seen again.  And on top of it all, I was late for Friday’s tour.

In the grand plan of life, a stolen bike – or being late for that matter – isn’t a bombshell.  In fact, I routinely hope someone will steal the mangled frame of my old bike that is taking up prime real estate in front of my apartment.  Still, the infringement does leave me a little more cautious while walking the streets of Paris that I generally deem safe.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

School's Out...


Some fool and his master's thesis...
This Friday, as I parked my VĂ©lib and walked towards Pink Flamingo for a pizza, the news came via email.  Bless the iPhone.  I ran past Pink Flamingo and up the stairs to call my best friend and family to let them know that they needn’t worry for my (near) future.  I’d be a doctoral student, with a nice little scholarship to boot.

After two years of relatively hard work, most of which was in a second language, I celebrated the end of my master’s degree at the Sorbonne, joining the academic ranks of Victor Hugo and Madame Curie (with less radiation poisoning than in the latter’s case).

While my work won’t be turned into a Broadway musical anytime soon – though I’m scoring the first act – I’m still proud to have finished and to be continuing next year without the worry of a thousand student jobs clouding my planner.  I guess I’ll cross off “Quick Burger cashier” and “street performer” off my list of potential jobs this year.