Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Back in black

The stock market has plunged.

The sky is steel grey.

My t-shirt is black.

And here at the office on the last day of September, the pile-up of vacation hassles is twice as high as I expected to find when I left town six days ago.

None of this is what anyone wants to read about, but it is what today looks to bring in this girl's world.

At least Obama is up in the polls. Meeting the new nephew in Minneapolis was a wicked good time. And the Twins could win their division.There is a God.

Once I swim up from the murk, I promise you something sexy and fun.


Thursday, September 25, 2008


Hi from Minnesota, banging away at my sister's laptop while she, her husband and son have been sleeping the last 2 hours. They're the ones with the new baby and they went to bed at 9 p.m.

I'm the one with no excuse and, it seems, no desire to sleep.

These last days have been dangerous ones for my health.

Excessive web-surfing late into the night to read (and be enraged by) political maneuvering that simultaneously jeopardizes my finance job and secures my belief that the McCain campaign has lost both its scruples and its marbles.

Excessive eating of everything and anything at 2:30 a.m.....including half a box of Kashi Blueberry Flakes, another bag of Reeses Pieces, and teaspoons of butter doused in cinnamon-sugar.

Headache of concern that the CFO hasn't replied to my request for dating advice. (Unless he's so busy searching for my profile he hasn't yet had the time.)

Excessive lack of sleep, which just exacerbates all of the above.

I'm frustrated that I can't get settled in to this long (and relaxing?) family weekend where none of the above should be bothering me.

Think I'll go take an Advil. And get off the on-line.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Leaving on a jet plane....

While feeling super unenergetic about dating as of late, there is no cure like an excuse to not have to think about it for five days...

....cause I'll be in Minneapolis with the fam. My 88-year-old Grandma Martha. My parents and their newly-appointed condo. The aunts and uncles who like to swap Obama tales. Cousin J as a fellow "single in the city", never lacking for stories. My two sisters and their husbands, none of whom I've seen since June.

And oh yes. Henry. The nephew Twenty-five days old. Ten pounds and growing. Hope he's as excited as me that I'm heading to Logan at 5:30 tomorrow morning to go see him....here he is with grandma...

In the meantime, just before writing this post I sent the CFO an e-mail with my match.com handle. Requesting that he read, judge, "be candid."

Oh well. Might as well get one ball in the air while out of town.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

More guy advice. From guys.

I have a friend named Bill.

He and his wife live west of the city now, although once they were my Southie neighbors. Many times he has come to my apartment, if I was out of town, to feed my cats....and he is allergic to cats. We see each other, at most, once every four months, usually when running the same road race and I'm kicking his butt. Other than that and politics, few facets of our lives otherwise converge.

However, Bill and I e-mail most days. And this isn't "an" e-mail. It's full-blown conversation....he at his cube at a big-box corporation in the suburbs, me from my 28th-floor window in the Back Bay. A couple hours, or the whole day, depending on mood and subject matter. If too many days elapse in between, one of us will yell, "Still alive?"

I can't imagine working my corporate finance job without our e-mails. It's part of our relative sanity. We're simpatico, and after 6 years there is little we don't know....

So yes, you ask, Bill and I did date. For about 15 minutes in the Fall of 2002. He broke it.....I was mad, and didn't really believe him when he said it was important that we stay friends. But despite the occasional flake-out, which he will admit to, here we are.

And yes, you know what is coming next. I depend on Bill for dating advice. Why not listen to someone happily married to a woman I admire? Even if he wears t-shirts from the early 1990s, obviously he did something right. (It's always a relief when your male friends marry someone you, too, can hang out with....)

So Bill and I have been talking about my other wonderful dating-guru, the CFO. Take, for instance, after recapping last Thursday's outing:

B: "Very cool. At least you’re having fun, right?"

K: "Yes. We're generally good together on multiple levels. Although I think it can't go on indefinitely this way. Or I need to get going on something else so I also have dating stories to tell."

B: "Yeah, you are sort of leading yourself on here. Fun is great, but you could be spending time with someone who is closer to your age and shares your long term goals."

K: "I know. And 3 weeks between dates is kind of a lot of downtime so I really don't have an excuse. I have been strangely unmotivated to otherwise date lately, though. Feels like too much work."

B: "It is a lot of work…"

K: "Bill, where is my man?"

B: "Is he behind the couch?"

So this week Bill and I are talking again. About how match.com is not "the savior" and how I might benefit from expanding my social circles outside of running, theater, church and work. "Circulation in a different current," was the exact phrase. He suggests that the Obama campaign might have promise.

Like I mentioned: so far all men I've met with Obamamania have been married or gay. But there's 43 days until the election, so there's time to be patient.

But what else? Cooking class? Softball league? I'll take suggestions.

From Bill, and otherwise.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Thirty-five point five.

Today is my half birthday. Tomorrow I will be closer to 36 than 35. Which means I'm one day closer to 40. Which, actually, is true of every day of my life for the next four years. Oy vay.

Being the middle of a workday, I'm not sure if I have the time to do a full reflection on what the first half of 35 hath wrought.

But in short, I:

Ran a marathon in 4:06.

Grew basil and grape tomatoes on my patio. (Have eaten both and not perished.) My impatiens and gerbera daisies also flourished.

Got over some serious heartache.

Became an aunt.

Went on two dates with a Bush Republican. Went on five dates with a man in his 50s.

Saw outstate New Jersey for the first time. Saw FDR's rose garden in Hyde Park, NY. Went another summer without seeing Maine.

Found a reason to become an voting activist.

Ate the equivalent of 14 jumbo bags of Reeses Pieces and only gained three pounds.

And discovered my favorite song in the universe (thanks, Dave C): Joni Mitchell's "A Case of You".

It is now the official "Single In The City" Theme Song.

Just before our love got lost you said
"I am as constant as a northern star"
And I said "Constantly in the darkness
Where's that at?
If you want me I'll be in the bar"

On the back of a cartoon coaster
In the blue TV screen light
I drew a map of Canada
Oh Canada
With your face sketched on it twice
Oh you're in my blood like holy wine
You taste so bitter and so sweet

Oh I could drink a case of you darling
Still I'd be on my feet
oh I would still be on my feet

Oh I am a lonely painter
I live in a box of paints
I'm frightened by the devil
And I'm drawn to those ones that ain't afraid

I remember that time you told me you said
"Love is touching souls"
Surely you touched mine
'Cause part of you pours out of me
In these lines from time to time
Oh, you're in my blood like holy wine
You taste so bitter and so sweet

Oh I could drink a case of you darling
And I would still be on my feet
I would still be on my feet

I met a woman
She had a mouth like yours
She knew your life
She knew your devils and your deeds
And she said
"Go to him, stay with him if you can
But be prepared to bleed"

Oh but you are in my blood
You're my holy wine
You're so bitter, bitter and so sweet

Oh, I could drink a case of you darling
Still I'd be on my feet
I would still be on my feet

Click here to hear Joni and her autoharp in action.

And happy half birthday to me.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Date #3e: The man's got energy....and ideas....

The CFO and I had a good time on Thursday night. This is no surprise. We have always had a good time together. On this evening it was at Audubon Circle, across the turnpike from Fenway Park. It's a decent slinky nightspot....I wore a short skirt and heels, he a sports coat. We sat at the bar and started with a couple martinis apiece, and the conversation picked up commensurate to the liquor infusion:

The Democrats and Obama. The shared anti-love of Sarah Palin. The AIG bailout and his panicked roommate. Parking tickets. The three dates he had been on since we had last gone out.

(Or, admittedly, the three dates he was telling me about. I don't doubt that there were more. This man knows how to work Craigslist like a fool. One date with a woman who had extra tickets to Tanglewood; another with homeplate seats to the Red Sox and looking for a date.)

He asked me about what he calls "my personal life."

I admitted that I've been on the low end of dating enthusiasm these days. Getting involved with the Obama campaign had switched up my focus, that match.com wasn't really floating my boat anymore. To his credit, he didn't say or do anything to make me feel inferior for that--other than, perhaps, having a half-dozen women to juggle other than me, which is one reason we hadn't seen each other since before Labor Day.

We moved down the street to a dive bar for a cap-off beer. We held hands across the table. The conversation got more personal.....his marriage and why and when it broke up. Why he likes going out with me. His offer to vet my match profile, since he thinks I'm a good date and should advertise it more.

I think if you asked me once what constitutes proper date talk, giving tips on how to best date other people would not have been high on the list. But again, it seems to be a popular topic with the CFO and me. And it doesn't seem out of place. I thought, and then told him, why not? Why not have the man who likes to date me help me tell other men about...me....

This was intense stuff and brought up some intense emotion. We ended up back at my apartment for our "satisfactory good night kiss," also intense. Which made me realize there is good reason we only go out once every three weeks. It's exhausting, especially for something so casual.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

We now take a cat-sponsored break....

11:15 when I got home from work last night. Happy Hour ran long....having begun at 5:45

Five hours of conversation is not unusual when it comes to me and my longtime friend, A. Commonalities include a Midwestern background, similar age, love of Barack Obama, masters degree from the same institution, single status, and countless tales of romantic woe just dying to be rehashed. We had a lot to hash out.

Needless to say, that much relationship hashing got me in the mood to write a blog entry about my CFO date on Thursday night. A is, if nothing else, a sage listener and helps bring out the stories.... Then I had ridden home on my bike and the night was cool. I was primed to curl up with the laptop.

Well, I've had excuses before for not writing....but none as good as walking to the dining room table to find my computer in disarray. The wireless connection disabled. Four separate programs activated from the desktop icons. The screen orientation......upside down. (Ever tried to touch-pad mouse in reverse?)

A-ha. The cats had been busy once again. Seems the keyboard is a warm place to curl up....more comfortable than a blanket, couch or bed.

Last night my writing mood did not extend to troubleshooting whatever Velvet and her big paws had wrought. Today it took me 20 minutes of upside-down scrolling just to find the Dell customer service phone number, and another 20 minutes with the Dell rep to discover the key combinations to unlock the havoc.

And now I have to go for a run. And then go to a party. Such is the life.

So the CFO and I had a good date. It did, as usual, cause me mild emotional confusion. Which I promise to write about tomorrow.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Let's try this again....(Wednesday version)

Wednesday....yet another volatile day in the stock market. Ergo, a volatile day in the office where I work. Turned out it was a volatile day, also, in trying to either go or not go on the date with the CFO.

8:30 a.m. Day begins. We were on for oysters and baseball at Davios later that night.

11 a.m.: He texts, something had come up; could I do Thursday instead?

12 p.m.: I reply to the text. "Could do Thursday." (But really thinking....pre-emption? For what? We haven't gone out for three weeks. Slightly seething, hit the gym on my noon hour and pounded it out on the yoga mat. Indignation is effective fuel for low push-ups.)

2 p.m.: He e-mails. "Other plans fell through. Want to move it back to tonight? ....feel I'm on the same roller coaster as the stock market." (As if my thoughts during yoga had transcended and replanted in his psyche. That would be awesome.)

3 p.m.: I e-mail. "Yes. You're pulling me along with you on a roller coaster right now....you let me know which night works better."

4:58 p.m.: I e-mail again, having felt slightly catty. "Sorry for being a bit edgy. It's been an edgy day here and it must have rubbed off on my attitude. Tonight would be better...."

5:10 p.m.: He e-mails, replying to first e-mail. "Tomorrow better, exhausted from long day."

5:12 p.m.: He e-mails, to second e-mail. "No worries about the edgy-ness, I'm the one who's fouling up the plans and for that mea culpa. I hope you're okay w/ tomorrow night ....

So after all that, we're still trying to figure what to do tonight; he wrote about noon asking for my opinion on where we go. I said it just needed to be a warm place that serves drinks. Preferably Grey-Goose Cosmopolitans.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Oh, so romantic....

Tonight is martinis, oysters and and the Red Sox season finale (on tv) at Davios with the CFO.

Three weeks since our last date. Which--due to my current lackadaisical efforts--means three weeks ago was my most recent date, period. So tonight's company is welcome, even though I have to pay for it.....we're celebrating his recent birthday.

Last night I did a cursory sweeping, dusting and de-cat-hairing of furniture in anticipation of a likely nightcap at my place. Thus, after those efforts, it was a treat to wake up this morning and see that one or both of my cats had regurgitated a multicolored hunk of coagulated Meow Mix in the center of my laptop keyboard.

I have no idea if the digestive fluids had enough time to soak between the keys into the hardware below.

Gorgeous! Sanitary! Appealing!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Small City, Part II

Of course you understand that other than the small matter of wanting to help elect my candidate for President.....I wouldn't mind getting a spot or two of dating action from all this political involvement.

(I mean, let's be honest. It's great to volunteer and all. For anything service-oriented. But a single lady isn't a single lady if she doesn't admit that a wee smidgen of her interest is to meet a generous, selfless, looking-good-in-his-jeans-on-the-weekend bachelor. Hey, check this out!)

So far in my Southie for Obama phase, I have met several married men and several more gay men in their 40s. Which, as an upshot, takes any potential sexual tension out of canvassing and allows us to focus on the issues....

Saturday's trip to New Hampshire brought an additional surprise, however. You heard me mention that while at volunteer headquarters, I was randomly paired with Tom from Dorchester for street-combing purposes. Mid-40s, gay, about 6'4" with a face like a young Frank Langella...super-friendly and passionate about the task. We got along easily. We also made an effective pair: he had the nerve to knock on the doors, I had the secretarial skills to track the data and the memory to remember all the questions.

Tom gave me a ride back to Boston, during which he opined vociferously on all things election related. So it wasn't until 2 minutes before he dropped me off that I had the chance to mention (why? who knows?) that for several years, several years earlier, I had waited tables at Legal Sea Foods in Park Square. Tom gasped with recognition.

"No way! Did you know a guy named F__?

I did know a guy named F___. In fact, we had been friends for some time. I lent F____ a pile of my favorite books when he was suffering from extended illness. I went to watch him onstage as a professional actor. I had been to an Academy Awards-watching party at F___'s home back in 2002....the one he shared with Tom from Dorchester....as his then-boyfriend of five years.

F____'s ex-boyfriend as my random canvassing buddy. Go figure.

I'd say that coincidence, at least temporarily, makes up for the lack of single, straight men spending their weekends on the road for Obama.....

Monday, September 15, 2008

Grassroots....a love story

So after one of the worst days ever on Wall Street, the Saturday canvassing for Obama in New Hampshire does seem a couple years ago.

It was good, though, primarily because it bolstered my growing belief in the effectiveness of grassroot politics.

I first met with the Southie for Obama group a week ago; 15 of us showed up with the intent of not cold-calling voters, but calling folks who somewhere along the way gave their phone number and said they might volunteer for either the Democratic party or for Obama himself. We were each asked that night to call 25 people over the course of 90 minutes. I did that....left about 20 messages, got a couple wrong numbers, talked to 3 people who were thrilled that a neighborhood group was mobilizing.

Pat, our gung-ho lawyer-leader, said it best when "rallying the troops" prior to the calls. Going grassroots is about exponential exposure. Making 25 phone calls to get 3 volunteers is just that: 25 calls for 3 volunteers. But if 15 people make 25 phone calls for 3 volunteers, that's 375 phone calls for 45 volunteers.

So if those 45 volunteers call 25 people at 3 volunteers a pop? That's 135 more volunteers gained. Who could each pick up another 3 volunteers. And then when you're looking for people to call old voters or register new voters as the election nears, you've got that many more bodies to help you.

It worked to inspire me. It made me want to call those 25 people for 3 volunteers, thinking about how my phone calls would contribute to the emergence of 400 volunteers for the same purpose. Kind of the same theory behind casting your one vote among millions of others to effect a political change.

It was that same drive that propelled me about going up to Manchester, New Hampshire on Saturday. New Hampshire is the "New England swing state"...small population but a lot of clout, considering its role as one of the first doors for both Democratic and Republic party primaries. Since Massachusetts is considered a Blue State Extraordinaire, if you're Democratic and want to help canvassing voters, you're instructed to go 60 miles north and find out where the neighbors stand.

Seeing the hundreds of people milling in Obama's Manchester headquarters waiting for marching orders from dozens of volunteer coordinators.....thinking back to the exponential power of each person doing a small part. The sight alone made it possible for me to join forces with fellow Bostonian Tom -- an IT professional from Dorchester -- and to knock on 55 doors in the Belmont Street neighborhood that afternoon.

Twenty-two folks answered. Fourteen supported Obama; those who supported McCain (4) were not unpleasant about it. The undecided voters (4) wanted literature. Every one of those folks shook my hand and allowed me to introduce myself. Where no one answered, we left a flyer.....and I felt good about those....because even if people didn't read it, they knew the campaign had a presence and was working to be visible.

I'll admit I was ridiculously relieved when we were done after three hours, despite all of the positives. It takes more cajones than I first thought to feel so strongly about something....but to be able to articulate it to a stranger standing on their porch. Yet I had Tom with me. I had 28 other folks from South Boston who carpooled up with me. I had 100's of others throughout Manchester that afternoon.

So Grassroots 101 took me in last week. Will I continue with it? To be continued.....

Friday, September 12, 2008

Good things come to those who take their time

I came home this evening to find an unfortunate piece of mail waiting: official confirmation of my participation in the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon (The Most Beautiful Urban Marathon in America) on Sunday, October 5. As the cover proclaims: "this confirmation booklet must be presented to pick up your race number."

Ah. In reality, this confirmation represents a non-refundable $95 registration fee for a race in which I can't compete. If you just joined us, last week I began running after a 3-month hiatus nursing plantar fasciitis in both feet. More recently, both knees ache as if attached to a retired MLB catcher's thighs. I can't run the 2.8-mile Longfellow-Harvard loop on the Charles without pain....although it is improving.

The confirmation represents rashness. I registered for the Twin Cities just days after finishing the 2008 Boston. Ha! Waiting an extra week to see if my legs would be up for it with injuries? Pshaw. But I was afraid registration would close without me. For that, here I sit -- not only can't I run in the race, but I have to pay for it. And I have to read all about it because certainly they will continue bombarding me with literature on it for the next four weeks.

However. My weekend is shaping up beautifully on a number of other fronts because, for reasons ranging from coincidental to brave, I kept my powder dry.

1) A date. I think, anyway. The CFO has been wicked busy since Labor Day, he said, writing his mea culpa e-mail after being offline for 9 days. He wants to be social....with me....soon. I am agitating, once again, for martinis and shellfish at B&G Oysters, since I now have the Medal of Female Patience pinned to my breast.

2) Recognition. My favorite theater company, The Longwood Players, just took home 8 awards at the Eastern Massachusetts Association of Community Theaters award gala tonight. Including best musical direction and ensemble for She Loves Me, a show in April on which I was the assistant musical director.

For three years I've also been this group's rehearsal pianist.....a no-pay job taking up evenings for months at a time. This isn't necessarily my big Boston Musical Break Moment. But it was fun to get a slab of glass with "best"-something engraved on it....in a scene this big and talented.

3) Big-time B.O. So for two election cycles I have resisted door-to-door canvassing for presidential candidates. This is sheer fear, my friends, of being seen as an agent of harassment. But as you know, I've been sucked into a Southie for Obama volunteer group.....and I don't know if it was the Bud Lite or the camaraderie or the nausea at the political blogosphere that converted me at our meeting Tuesday night: I agreed to drive to New Hampshire tomorrow to do that which I most hate.

And lo, just today, from campaign headqarters: news that the candidate and his running mate, themselves, are holding a rally in Manchester, the very town I was to canvass.

So not only do I get to hear Barack Obama and Joe Biden speak in person, the rally is replacing the canvassing.

Score another point for patience.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Money matters (a lot?)

In May I went to Washington DC, where I went to coffee with a longtime friend, Alan.

Before explaining why this meeting is relevant to anything, let me give you a sense of our shared history: we met in 1993 on the staff of our college newspaper, The Concordian. Soon he became editor and developed a reputation as a liberal subversive...an intelligent smart-ass. Wore his hair and his cardigans like Kurt Cobain, played REM's Automatic for the People on a loop in the newsroom, and taught me chess at one of the first trendy coffee shops.....on University Ave in Fargo, and whose name I wish I could still remember.

I was pretty shy then, and pretty in awe. Alan is pretty bright. Our relationship has since gained nuance, but at the time I was just happy that he entertained me. For my senior writing seminar thesis I included a 30-page profile of him....and probably took it on just to have an excuse to sit with him while he manned his dorm's front desk, guitar in lap, theorizing and illustrating how REM's simple chords in "Nightswimming" were the basis of its appeal.

Post-college, our journalism careers wildly diverged. Me: features writer for a weekly in southwestern Minnesota....now working a low-level finance job and writing a blog about dating. Alan: managing editor of the University of Minnesota paper, business reporter at several dailies in the Midwest, promoted to cover the agriculture scene in Congress around the time of the original 9/11....talking to senators a lot, which he still does. Along the way he bought a pickup, moved to the political neutral zone, and won a fair sum of money on television game shows....Jeopardy!, Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

You can tell I've written about Alan before, no?

The gist is that I look up to the man. And no matter how big a deal he has become, or how many times he hangs out with Trent Lott, he is still a small-towner from Motley, Minnesota. And he doesn't forget we are friends.

So, dragging my butt back to the point....I met Alan for coffee (at Caribou Coffee near the Capitol , no less) the Friday before Memorial Day. He'd been covering the 2008 Farm Bill, which had seen action two days before, so he was looped and caffeinated from a week of marathon voting sessions. We discussed his work for awhile; we talked about our respective running; we dipped a toe into presidential politics and quickly retreated; he noted, to my awe, that he hadn't yet spent his game show winnings.

Naturally, the conversation floated around to Significant Others....both of us still unmarried these 13 years since graduation. I, of course, referenced this lovely blog as evidence I was trying to secure one. Alan, on the other hand, was several months into a relationship that was tracking well....she had Midwestern roots, had lived abroad, worked in journalism too, generally had her stuff together.

Then he brought up the woman he dated just prior. All I can remember is that she evidently carried a large load of credit card debt. And how, among other qualities, fiscal irresponsibility made her unattractive as a girlfriend. Essentially saying: who wants to date someone whose bills you might someday have to help pay off?

There was a moment of silence. I contemplated my many, many, many thousands of dollars of loans and credit yet-unpaid...as well as a conspicuous lack of game show winnings.....

"Well I guess it's a good thing we're not dating," I replied.

I chuckled. He chuckled. We didn't go further.

If I had ever entertained thoughts of how by some weird karma I would marry this man, with that statement I effectively severed ring finger from contention.

We're still friends, thank God.

All this came to mind because of a NY Times article suggesting that one of the best gauges of a successful relationship is financial compatibility. Those of you in marriages and shared households are most likely saying, "um, duh!" Take turns with the bills. Save for vacations. Live within means, and agree about it.

I concur with the concepts outlined therein. However, they also scare the shit out of me. And makes me wonder if in order to succeed in dating, I'm going to need a second job, stat.

Especially since I've been going out with a Chief Financial Officer. (Who, by the way, wrote this afternoon, and does want to go out again.)

Yikes, indeed.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Irony. Levity.

After staying up into the wee hours to write a missive about gut feelings when relationships are ending, I was pleased to click on the NY Times this morning and see that columnist Thomas Friedman has written a column using that same, visceral word. His argument is a horse of another color, of course, but does says much about the last 10 days in the election cycle, and gives a good theory for why my man seems to be swimming upstream against a tide of insignificant diversions:

"If you as a politician connect with voters on a gut level, they will follow you anywhere and not fret about the details. If you don’t connect with them on a gut level, you can’t show them enough details. Obama early on, and particularly with young people, connected on a gut level like no other politician since Ronald Reagan.

But in recent weeks, I feel as though he has lost that gut connection....Forget trashing McCain’s ideas. If Obama wants to rally his base, he has to be more passionate about his own ideas. I have long felt that what propelled Obama early was the fact that many Americans understand in their guts that we need a change, but the change we need is to focus on nation-building at home. We’re in decline. We need to get back to work on our country. And that is going to require strong, smart government."

Incidentally, I spent several hours last night at a trendy A-street condo for a call-a-thon with the Southie Volunteers for Obama. There were about 20 of us, all ages, armed with cell phones and lists of other folks in South Boston who might want to be recruited to volunteer. It was good to meet some friendly neighbors, and talk to more on the phone. The group of us made 363 calls to mostly positive response, and persuaded me that I should join them canvassing in Manchester, NH this weekend.

Political affiliations aside, it was a reminder that I should get more involved in my neighborhood, period. New friends are nice. New friends who live down the street are even nicer. New friends who live down the street who agree with your political views, of course, are the best! :-)

(Just wanted to act like a teenager for a couple minutes. Thanks.)

Meanwhile, I promised to not abuse this space with nepotism, but here is the latest on Henry. After all this drivel about love and politics, who doesn't love these baby blues?

(Especially if you're a Democrat....?!)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Insecurity in spades (a.k.a. gut feeling)

So I'm not writing the CFO this week. Not because I don't want to, but because he hasn't written me since Wednesday last. Not to plan a date. Not to say he was thinking of me. Not to say hello.

I wrote him Thursday, briefly. He had started a banter about Sarah Palin; in reply, I sent him a link for a parody website of the new Veep candidate, among a few other things. Still waiting for a return. And we're heading into next Wednesday.

Hmmmm. I dislike myself this way....in modified panic mode. Think back to our handshake that first date in which we agreed to always be frank. And here I sit, scared shitless to write and find out if he isn't planning to go out with me again. Pretty new at this casual relationship stuff.....is a week a normal time frame without communication? Maybe yes, although this follows two months of saying hello every other day.

Am taking the advice of three separate lady-friends.......do not write until he writes you back. Be chill. Be cool. It's casual, remember? But I am doing it again. Thinking through our date from two weeks ago and parsing the conversation, the kissing, the hand-holding, the door-opening, for signs of what caused his abrupt goodbye.

For what? I don't even know what I'd be looking for.

Ah. Silly female.

Some months ago (you may remember Another Man) I was in similar territory, just wearing winter clothes. Instant chemistry, instant pursuit....I met him in person and he tracked me down online. The next four weeks were heady. We wrote, we texted, we coffeed, we ran, we walked through a snowstorm at 2 a.m. on a Monday night. We spoke in loaded language and made plans for the weekend on Wednesday, then talked on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of how we couldn't wait for our date.

Then we had that date and everything changed. While it was going, it felt perfect. For me, nothing was wrong. But at 6:30 the next morning, something was. We woke up, and we were tired, but he was weird. Even though he kissed me goodbye and said he would write me, I was already afraid. And for three days I vibrated in a bubble of stress....one girlfriend might remember a mid-day anxiety attack she helped me through.....wanting him to go back to sweet-talk, giddiness, walking through the snow.

He eventually wrote, and we eventually went out several times, but that date, indeed, had been the last hurrah. It never, and still has not, returned from awkwardness. As he later admitted, some of it had to do with me; much of it had to do with him and things I had no way of controlling. Until I got over it, that did not stop me from dissecting that date at least 768 times in my head or with friends, trying to figure out where I had screwed up. How one person could be so involved in wanting to be with someone else.....and the next minute be so dis-involved.

How shitty of a date could I have been?

The CFO is another story altogether, that is wickedly clear. We made few promises other than to be frank and to not take things too seriously. For all I know he is over his head in work. Or his mother is sick. Or he is sick. Or Cambridge is under 4 feet of water and his power is out.

But, I feel the same way I felt that week in winter....I've already dissected two weeks ago Wednesday 25 times. The minute I stepped out of his car I felt different. Like I was going to start feeling like this. Unsure. Awkward. Too afraid to keep the vow of frankness and just the hell ask him how he is.


Sunday, September 7, 2008

Spam in the City

I tried to be positive tonight. Tried to go onto match.com and write flattering missives to my dream man when not really in the mood. (Sauteeing eggplant, green beans and canned tuna for my spaghetti sauce had approximately 100 times the appeal. Which I did first.)

Nonetheless. Before commencing my search, I opened my inbox to see if, by chance, someone might have thought to write me first. Three "winks" awaited me.

Ah, winks. My favorite. The equivalent of waving at the hot chick on the platform from a closed-door subway car as it pulls away.

I clicked on the first. No photo, which annoys me, but isn't a dealbreaker. He was 42, has an MBA, and likes everything that everybody should like: dinner with friends, his nieces and nephews, running and hiking, watching television. Standard stuff. A potential red flag in his last-read book: Alone in the Wilderness, about Dick Prenicke's 30 year solo existence in the Alaska wilderness.

Someone who likes an awesome book about solitude....just what everyone is looking for in a mate. Although I think I found a true red flag......he's looking for a "morning person." Yikes.

So I clicked to the second, from a man in Jamaica, Queens, NY.....and shortly thereafter, the third, from Kansas City, KS. Both were 42. Both looking for someone between 35-60. Both widowed with children not living at home (although, where were they then?). And both contained this killer profile info, truncated about 10 lines in for your sanity....

About my life and what I'm looking for
this a try. I am a 42year Old man. I just want to find one good real woman that knows how to treat a real man (Because I know how to treat a woman) I am a decent looking Man anThis is the first time, which I post my self on the internet (feels funny), because I normally meet people in person, but I guess it should not be a problem to meet the right person. (Yes it is) so I give d have a good heart and soul (sometimes to good that’s what people say) I am carring, very open & honest (I hate lies ) truthful, very romantic, funny and adventures love to do things, but also relax, love to cook, listen to soul, jazz and R&B, watch good movies etc. romance movie and my favorite is Love don't cost a thing and I am hard working and very ambitious, but know when to stop and take time for you.If you are looking for a good Husband and success relationship, call on me no games I will treat you like QueenThen maybe I am the one.......

My first Nigerian Scam lovers!

Hot, baby. Hot.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Wicked insomnia. Again.

Will not eat the rest of box of GoLean. Severely tempted.

I love the pictures my sister sent over of my new nephew, Henry. I should look at them for awhile now since I don't get to see him for three more weeks.

Will listen to one of the greatest set-pieces in modern music, Bach's Art of The Fugue. Calming, soothing. Quartetto Bernini does a particularly nice job with it....although Glenn Gould and his magic hands are more fun to watch.

Will not post awesome Judith Warner New York Times blog piece (see "Domestic Disturbances") about Sarah Palin in this space. Trying to return to non-partisanship for sake of diverse readership. Save it for the Facebook page. Where I hope everyone naturally goes immediately from this link.

Henry is blonder than any baby I've seen. He has his dad's hairline and his mom's Larson potato nose. Awesome photos.

Wonder: how possible that both cats have been sleeping without interruption for the last four hours? From where comes their exhaustion? Did they spend the day watching the Dow Jones drop 345 points....drops away from a flush into bear market territory? Do they have to get up in the morning and talk to clients about it?

How is it possible that Henry is sleeping in all these pictures? He's all of an hour old in this one and looks positively cashed out. He instead should be kissing his mother for the 26 hours of labor required for him to arrive.

Will NOT get sucked into checking the Times website every five minutes to see if the major columnists have reacted to John McCain's acceptance speech. This wants to be a non-partisan blog.

Although, damn, Paul Krugman has already outdone himself....who, like me, can't for the life figure out why everyone is so angry.

Wow. Four hours does not a night of sleep make. It didn't last night and it won't tonight. And I'm not even the new mother.

But Henry sure looks like he's worth it. Good night, sweet nephew!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Single in the City

***Note: Early Thursday morning I had wicked insomnia. Wicked. Until 4:30 a.m. and even then it wasn't good sleep. Something to do with eating a half-batch of chocolate-chip cookie dough and digesting comments on every politically-affiliated story on the New York Times website on a politically significant night. Somewhere in the midst I wrote the entry below but my computer battery bailed before I could post. Today I read it and am not sure I mean all of it. But I did sign up for the Obama event and, as of Thursday night, still plan to go.

Readers of this blog.....you know my political affiliation, as clearly as I wear it, but I've been determined to not get into drag-out partisan battles in this space. It is about the ups and down of dating.

Tonight, speakers at the Republican National Convention made me feel soiled for being a) educated; b) living in a city of diverse cultures; and c) a member of the media. They were sarcastic, angry, and mocking. They appealed to the basest instincts of fear. And what troubles me the most is the joyous manner in which the crowd egged on their anger.

I have to put in a plug for the RNC, though, because I suspect their anger may fuel my social life. Never before have I wanted to get more involved in a political campaign than this moment....Republican party leaders drive to make us fear each other has driven me to want to fight the fear.

I signed up today for an Obama in Massachusetts organizing event this weekend. To learn to knock on doors, make phone bank calls. Both of which I dislike.....but think I owe it to myself to try. And who knows, maybe I'll meet some folks who aren't so damn angry.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


So here we are, September 2.

In this single girl's land, the beginning of a new month is like New Year's Day. Resolutions galore. Beginnings of new months after major seasonal holidays cultivate even more self-reflection....and depending on the state of the union, self-flagellation.

Several times today I caught myself lecturing myself (thankfuly inside of skull and not out):

1) Why haven't you been working hard, or working at all recently, at match.com?

2) Why did you eat half a box of GoLean cereal at 2:30 this morning? And how about that entire bag of Reese Pieces on the way to Hudson last Friday?

3) Why suddenly start taking the CFO seriously when up until last Wednesday you were the coolest cat ever to go on a fourth date? Where did all the analysis come from?

4) Why get so steamed up that the abortion issue has to overtake YET ANOTHER presidential election, as if it were the only issue in the country, as if it is the status of that viewpoint and that viewpoint only that makes one worthy to govern and the last 18 months of campaigning are being flushed down the toilet? And when are you going to actually give a head butt to the the next anyone who use the phrase "ready to lead"?

Yeah. I feel pessimisstic and bloated tonight.

Good to know I can go to bed and wake up on a day a little farther into the month.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Weekend news blotter

Welcome back from the weekend....and it was a notable one for myriad reasons....

1) The 1991 Mazda 626 survived a 620-mile drive through multiple mountainous valleys and back....the only downer being that its driver forgot the gas cap in East Hartford, CT.

2) New Jersey is a fine, green state. The Hudson River Valley is a fine river valley. I have friends in both places who were fine hosts.

3) This was the nicest weather weekend the Northeast U.S. has seen all summer. Hands down.

4) Sarah Palin? A political and personal mess unfolds and even this vehement Democrat feels for a family forced so harshly into the spotlight.

5) My nephew Henry was born on Sunday morning. I've yet to meet him, but have already heard word that he is cuter, blonder and taller than his 35-year-old aunt. His arrival is a definite cause for rejoicing. Thanks, Missy and Chad, for the good work!

Back to our regularly scheduled single-girl programming tomorrow.