Moody Monday: How to beat a bad mood, part 2

Change your commute, change your mood?

This summer I started riding my bike to work. I find that I am much more energized when I get to the office, and far more energized when I get home. The physical effort wakes me up and my urban commute requires a degree of focus and concentration that distracts from the petty annoyances that I would mull about if were driving or riding the bus.

Aside from putting me in a better mood the other big benefit of bike commuting is efficiency: my workout time and my commuting time are merged into one, which means I can sleep in a bit. Also it saves a few hundred bucks a week in gas, parking, bus fare, etc. When I was researching this blog post, I found out you can deduct $20 of biking expenses for every month you commute  on your bike from your taxes. Also, some people might feel smug and virtuous because they are saving the planet and all that, but that’s not me. If anything, I worry that people might peg me as an insufferable hipster, or more likely and worse yet, a wannabe insufferable hipster. But I am a bit too old and bit too busy let what people think keep me from going about my business. But I digress.

Luckily, this was a fairly easy transition because: a) I live 3 miles from my office; b) I already owned the essentials: a bike, helmet, bike lock, backpack for my laptop, and c) I have a rather casual workplace–it’s not dressy and the hours are pretty flexible, so I can keep my eye on the weather and traffic and pick a good time to make the trek.

The big challenges I encountered have been a) clothes and shoes that I feel comfortable wearing on the bike and wearing into the office, b) hair – yes, arriving at the office with sweat/wet/helmet head is not the best, and c) make-up.

At this point my post is going to get fairly girl-specific but I found that the best look so far is kind of a french girl vibe that consists of (from the ground up): Scrunch ballet flats with elastic so they don’t fall off your feet, black  “pixie pants” these are cooler than jeans and more work appropriate if you can take yourself seriously as a professional while wearing a garment called “pixie pants”, a tank top, a lightweight cardi (it’s hard to find a quality cardigan that doesn’t just make you look frumpy, but I have had good luck with Halogen brand from Nordstroms), and a gauze cotton scarf.  Aside from the cardigan, which should last for years, most pieces can be had inexpensively from Old Navy, and won’t show grease stains from your bike chain or sweat. The idea is to stash the cardi and the scarf in your bag and put it on when you get to work. I suppose that you could even put an extra and or nicer sleeveless shell  in the bag and change if you need to look a bit more presentable or you get extra sweaty.

I have read and can confirm that you need to wait about 10 minutes until you stop sweating to hit the ladies room, freshen up make the switch, and do your hair and make up. I just do my regular make-up for work. The hair, the hair now that leaves me flummoxed … I can’t say I have a solution … I am due for a trim and a will consult the hair dresser to see if she has any ideas because I sure don’t.

I put together a playlist for commuting for people who can’t commute by bike. I see people riding with earbuds, but yeah, no, because safety.

Anyway I listened to said playlist several times, trying to fine tune it as I do, and it make me sad, so I deleted it but didn’t have the time to come up with something new, so I am reviving an old playlist, called “Roadkill Romance”







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Vintage Valentine’s Day Playlist on Spotify

Oh, Valentine’s Day! Oh, once upon a time it was as simple as a heart-shaped box of chocolates and a dozen roses. A card from the drugstore. A nice dinner and a bottle of wine. Or so I imagine. Then we all had to go and get so smart. Valentine’s day isn’t a real holiday, we nod knowingly.  “We don’t do hallmark holidays,” we sniff. But I’m not one to pass up a bit of fun whenever I can get it. (Okay, that’s a total lie, but at least I’m trying. Trying to be fun.)

These days, we celebrate Valentine’s Day with a wink and a nod. One way to make the day romantic is by picking a surprising soundtrack. And the Owl Muse can help you out with that.

For Valentine’s Day, I’ve gone back, way back, to some unabashedly romantic songs. I owned Aretha’s “I Never Loved a Man The Way I Loved You” years ago, hot damn, there is not a bad song on that record. So I took a page from that book, found a lot of old blues, jazz, big band, and lounge type stuff that really floats my boat. I hope you (and yours) enjoy it, too!

Love and Kisses, The Owl Muse


  1. Fly Me to the Moon/Julie London
  2. I Only Have Eyes For You/Billie Holiday
  3. Le Poisson Des Mers Du Sud/Isabelle Antena
  4. I Never Loved a Man/Aretha Franklin
  5. I Just Want To Make Love to You/Etta James
  6. Decollage/Thievery Corporation
  7. Hallelujah, I Love Her So/Ray Charles
  8. Walking After Midnight/Sandy Kelly, Patsy Cline
  9. Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries/Judy Garland
  10. In the Mood/Glenn Miller and His Orchestra
  11. The Girl from Impanema/Billy Francis and His Orchestra
  12. Love and Kisses/Ella Fitzgerald
  13. L-O-V-E/Nat King Cole
  14. You’re My Thrill/Peggy Lee
  15. Devil May Care/Jamie Cullum
  16. Turn Me On/Norah Jones
  17. Dance Me to the End of the Love/Madeleine Peyroux
  18. I’m Just a Lucky So-and-So/Sarah Vaughn


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