Thursday, December 31, 2009


Fully aware that I'm (still) avoiding my Christmas letter because I don't feel yet like reflecting upon 2009.

Fully aware that it didn't even register until 2 days ago that we are also at the end of a decade (that every media outlet in creation is making top-10 lists about), which has caused me to be even more overwhelmed at the pressure to reflect -- either here, or in the Christmas letter.

Fully aware this all sounds terribly negative ... when truly, I don't feel all that negative. Just curious about why and how a writer loses desire to reflect. Or maybe trying to pretend this is not, indeed, how I often seize up when trying to write something "important." I often do.

No. Reflection is good. Living in the moment works, too, effortlessly combining old and new.

Which is how I plan to spend tonight's bridge between the decades: at my old grad-school friend A's place with a bunch of her friends. Drinking wine. Making a new mushroom and caramelized-onion risotto recipe from ye olde creative chef friend, Chris. Eating the last dessert before the diet. Game-playing, hanging with her cats. We might reflect. Although I kind of hope not.

Tomorrow morning I mean to start the new year with a couple shots of espresso, then get in the Mazda and head up the coast to Salisbury. There's a 10K I've registered for.

The NYD run has been constant of my time in Boston .... and the seaside's forecasted bluster (rain, they say) should be no match for last year's post-blizzard ice skitter ... so I'm not worried.

And I'm not planning to give it any symbolism, either. So don't ask.

But Happy New Year. With all due merriment. Really.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Casual ≠ easy (a.k.a. come on, boys)

I know y'all are going to bash me over the head for even having this conversation.

But I'm still incredulous. (Even though I shouldn't be.)

Incredulous at the number of adult males convinced life would be easier if they just had a girl on the side to sleep with them when they had the time, magically requiring nothing else.

I find this increasingly with online dating. Men for whom a commitment would be a burden. Despite getting along conversationally and us finding each other relatively fascinating -- they have no interest going on a date to see if we get along. They'd like to have me around for a hook-up. If I'm not up for that, they're not up for me.

Today's lunch-hour example: Local. My age. Nice eyes. A skydiving instructor in his spare time. Hit me up to say hi, and we let forth 20 minutes before we got to the crux. (And there is always a crux.)

Local Man: so how are things going for you on OK?

Karin: OKC and I have a bit of a history. It goes in fits and starts.

LM: i hear that

K: How about you?

LM: well I signed up a while ago but then work got very busy so I hadn't checked in a while. just kind of checking it out again now

K: I always like hearing the honest male perspective about the site.

LM: it's been ok i guess, have only met one person

K: I have met some normal, non-crazies on here.

LM: well that's good. I have faith that there are a few normal people left in the world haha

K: Well, I worry about that more and more the older I get... ;-) But, me too.

LM: haha, yes thats true. so are you looking for something more serious or casual?

K: Well, to be blunt. I have been-there-done-that with casual, at least for now.

LM: i hear ya

K: I am definitely trending wanting something more regular. "serious" might not be the word. Serious sounds too scary.

LM: haha

K: "serious" -- amazingly at this age -- seems to scare the shit out of most guys I've talked to.

LM: yes I'm sure

K: What about you?

LM: Well to be honest, I think with my schedule at this point, I think something a bit more casual

Naturally. Line in the sand.

I should know better ... but would you believe I actually tried to sound rational and persuade him in a different direction?

Silly me.

We stayed all dignified and respectful, but the result was the same.

K: this isn't a criticism but just an observation ..... why does "casual" always seem like an easier option to people? I find it rather stressful!

LM: i can understand that too. seems so non committal

K: Yeah.

LM: but I just think with how my work schedule is and planning on going ... to teach skydiving for a few weeks, that I wouldn't want to lead anyone in the wrong direction. not being able to be there for someone the way a person should be ... I wouldn't want to start something and then say, oh by the way I'm going away for a few weeks

K: But wouldn't it be great to just go into meeting someone and seeing what happened first, before deciding what you wanted out of it?

LM: yes that's true but again, you don't want to lead anyone on or make them feel like they have wasted their time

K: I understand where you're coming from. But just being upfront about your schedule should usually cull the field. If she can't deal with the 3 weeks away then you wouldn't want her around, anyway, eh?

LM: true. but i think that also limits the potential

K: You asked me about my experiences on here ... and almost every guy I talk to has a reason upfront for wanting to have a casual relationship. And it seems to also limit the potential.

LM: true

K: Why not just meet someone and see what the possibilities are? Then go from there.

LM: well again you just want to be upfront about it

K: True.

LM: especially if someone has Casual in their profile. Good to ask.
Yes, folks. I still have it on there.

I also have 100 other things in my profile. Including "looking for a long-term relationship." And he didn't ask me about being Lutheran.

K: True. Good idea. So what is your definition of "casual?"

LM: just someone who is comfortable getting together when they have time and having some mutual fun together ...
The fantasy of every man.

Every man, perhaps, who hasn't tried it yet.

K: Got it. Well I've done that. I can understand the appeal.

LM: and i understand it's not for everyone. hence why i ask upfront
What I love is his suggestion that he's unusual for wanting to have sex without commitment. If he were a woman on OKC, approached by men across the age spectrum for exactly that ...

K: Did you hit me up because I listed casual?

LM: well I liked your profile and your pictures and was curious to see what you were open to
This is where I'm always lost in the male rationale. If he likes my profile and my pictures, why wouldn't he want something more?

Our discussion went for a bit about how not very many women list casual as an option. I tried to explain my relative dilemma at doing so.

K: There are some fine lines to being a woman here. I get almost ZERO hits if I take casual out of my profile. I used to have it on there, had some experiences, kind of got it out of my system. So I took it off. Like I hits. Not even views. So I put it back on.

LM: i can understand that

K: hence why I reacted like I did when you brought it up.

LM: but it might save you from having waste of time conversations if that isn't something you are looking for

K: Well it is a matter of then having no conversations at all...;-) Trying to find the middle ground, I guess. Still working on it.

Thus, we ended. Amicably, yes. Agreeing that if either of us changed our minds about what we were looking for, we should reconnect.

But, neither of us are any better off for having found each other both date-able and desirable. A lunch hour I'll never get back.

Perhaps I'm naïve thinking I could persuade him by saying I've tried casual relationships and, that while sometimes they work and are often fun for a time, they are no easier than being in love or being committed. They still can take up your time, still can make it hard to sleep a good-night's sleep, still can be rife with unfulfilled expectations.

(P.S. Being naïve isn't easy, either.)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Still in the office

Can't decide why it's 9:07 p.m. and I'm still in the office.

Because ....

.... once I decide to work past 7 p.m., I might as well stay the whole night?

.... I'm wearing my fall coat and a skirt and don't feel like walking down the sub-zero wind tunnel called "Clarendon Street" towards a car that has been sitting in a sub-zero wind tunnel for 15 hours? (not like it's getting any warmer the longer I wait)

.... I know the gym closes at 10 and the longer I wait to go there, the less time I have to spend running inclines on the treadmill? (unfortunately necessary to prep for the 10K I'm doing in 2 days, since training in sub-zero wind tunnels is equally unfortunate)

.... I'm in mad, passionate love with the growl of industrial vacuum cleaners late at night, second only to the squeal made when a cleaning crew wheels industrial garbage cans across marble floors?

.... I'm really, really, really, really, really, really avoiding writing my Christmas letter?

.... going home and going to bed because I'm sleepy would be too easy and lame ....?

Probably the last of the latter.


Monday, December 28, 2009

Almost (!)

You know you've been blogging for awhile, too long -- maybe, when you find yourself mimicking the exact same subject you wrote about on the exact same occasion you did the year before not once, not twice ...

(been there with the identical 2008 and 2009 pre-Christmas snow-ins .... and duplicate O'Hare outgoing madness )

.... but 3 times in 1 week.

This time the culprit was (wait for it) the return Christmas flight from Minneapolis.

I am always wistful on my return flight to Boston, from wherever. Even the rare times when a man is waiting at Logan to pick me up, me dying to see him. Even when there's an afghan to crochet or a pile of Christmas letters to address. Even when I'm drenched in a cynical, non-focused haze of self-regard like the one I can't seem to shake this season.

I desire, more than I desire most things, the possibility of a connection with a fellow traveller. I'm not a romantic. But what is romantic in me is easily stirred by the random encounter and (what seems could be) its endless possibilities.

Sunday, it actually kind of happened at MSP.

The storyline isn't special:

Brief flight delay, an hour to spare. Feel restless, carrying too much baggage to walk laps, with no desire to sit waiting. Desire instead a mid-afternoon Chardonnay and the Packers game at the bar across from the gate. Find a man on the next stool on his 8th hour of trying to get to Chicago, on his 3rd standby list, on his 3rd (or 4th?) tall Bud Light. (Gregarious, blond, animated.)

Enjoy inebriated bitch session about O'Hare and standby lists. Discover you both work in finance. You both love Boston. Pending his place on the list, you are on the same flight at 3:19. Talk so animatedly the guy on the other side of him leaves in annoyance at being left out.

Then ... lose track of each other in the slightly confused rush to gate upon realizing the time.

It's a natural part of the storyline: you will always lose each other in the slightly confused rush to the gate. As if stepping outside the bar confines is the harsh light of day after a one-night stand.

It was OK. He's a youngin'. He lives in Chicago. He drinks Bud Light.

But even that remote connection, for 15-minutes on the E Concourse at MSP, gave me and my resident cynicism a lift, at least until I stepped off the plane in Boston and resumed my real life.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Greetings from Minnesota

It's been snowing for 2 days. Christmas just ended. Two days full of Swedish meatballs and prime rib and candy up the wazoo and singing and lounging and driving over the, amazingly, drivable highways of the central part of the state, to the various homes of various family.

Now I'm just back from a late night tromp down the road from my mom and dad's place, here in Buffalo, for fresh air and some quiet after these days of talking. The streets are slushy, so I stayed on the sidewalk. Or what used to be a sidewalk. Tonight it evidently doubled as a snowmobile path.

It's so very Minnesota.

This is a good thing. Minnesota is a good thing. This girl's reflectivenss gene has lain dormant these last several weeks .... stymieing production of a Christmas letter and Christmas gifts and general goodwill to all people. Which is a fancy way for saying that I've been damn crabby.

It's difficult to stay crabby when hanging out with family members who drive through both slush and wind to be there, and the toddler nephew toddles about dressed in a toddler Santa outfit and the red zinfandel is flowing, followed by coffee and then a couple cans of Grain Belt beer apiece and dozens of tangential conversations and so much homemade food goodness there's no room here to elaborate.

Here is when I must recall some folks don't get even one of these many luxuries .... and when I know I must be so. very. grateful.

And then, after all that, I get home safely. And I get to put on the Sperry Topsiders and skate down the snowmobile paths of a traffic-free road as the flakes just keep falling on my bare head and hands.

Crabbiness, begone.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Inside joke

Presenting .... the original Sage Risotto.

(If you get why this matters ... you get it.

If you don't get it .... well ... it was some cheesy goodness spiced up with Jimmy Dean sausage and washed down with a zesty Chardonnay. And that's all you really need get.)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Dateline: United Airlines 541 12/22/09

Ah, air travel at Christmas.

The predictable delayed connection through
the great black hole of the Midwest,
Chicago O'Hare.

Something about a low ceiling and limited landings.
Your typical cluster-f@#$.)

Although, had our departure not been pushed back 90 minutes,
we would have missed taking off into the sunset.

Heading west from Logan, 4:45 p.m.

The bad news ....
I was supposed to be in Minneapolis about 20 minutes ago.

The good news ....
ostensibly, I'll get there yet tonight.

Merry merry.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The more things change...

This I can live with.

December 20, 2009

The good news, though,
is this year I'm flying out on
December 22 instead of December 24,
possibly precluding the normal

One can hope.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Saturday (so far)

Sleeping in until 12:15 p.m ...... necessary.

Braving the 20-deep line at the Family Dollar Store on West Broadway, all for the sake of cheap dishwasher soap .... grateful for survival.

Realizing it was inadvertantly wise to have parked on a Non-Snow-Emergency Route when a Snow Emergency has just been declared in a neighborhood of Snow Emergency Routes .... priceless.

Realizing soon after a drive to Target at the South Bay Shopping Plaza for the sake of cheap, bulk cat litter and food is a necessity, not an option .... inevitable.

Realizing that giving up a prime parking spot to hang out at Target with the 800 other people who had the same idea ..... headache-inducing.

Realizing that once I get home and find a new parking spot, I must stay in all night and make Christmas cookies and drink wine and anticipate a snowy day tomorrow that includes a dear friends' open house followed by a date with a man I had a first date with just on Wednesday, but which went well enough (including a deal-breaker of an unexpected goodnight kiss at the Copley Square bus shelter) that we needed to set a second date sooner than later .... nice.

Very nice.

Now I just have to a find a parking spot .....

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Basic algebra

First, let's say you sleep on the same side of the bed every night.

Then, let's say you have a cat who likes to sleep on the same side of you every night.

(Do also factor in habit of said cat to never jump on bed directly from floor; he must jump onto nightstand before climbing past your face to settle his massive rear end against your hip.)

Then, add the first really cold night of the season, a night where you might choose to light a votive candle in the candleholder on the nightstand next to your face because it cozies up the place.

Knowing this, please calculate the odds that when you climb into bed, said cat will jump on the nightstand and catch on fire before leaping onto the bed, causing a brief vision of a charred bed and cat skeletons and the phone call the police will make to your parents in Minnesota, informing them that their daughter made it to 36 without knowing how to put 1 and 1 together.

Oy. Oy, indeed.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Need for Speed(o) VII: Dénouement

Since we're 4 days and a full mindset past this august event, I'll keep my reflections brief.

(Ha! again.)

1) People who run can drink a lot.
I've never seen so many folks slugging back Long Island Teas at 11 a.m. while at the same time exposing 98 percent of their completely ripped physiques:

Gives credence to the twin adages that alcohol contains performance-inducing carbohydrates and that I'm not the only one who runs primarily to eat and drink whatever I want.

2) A lot of folks I know read
And wanted to know about this race. Because a lot of folks I know directed me to this link as early as late Saturday afternoon:

It pays to make friends with the Globe photographer, because a professional wouldn't put a bad picture in his paper.

3) The cold really was more tolerable than you might expect.
With the wind chill the air felt like about 5°F.

But a scarf and arm warmers helped. A shot of Grey Goose did, too. It also helped, once on Boylston and huddled in a clump like so much cattle, we jumped up and down en masse for 10+ minutes screaming "Spee-DO! Spee-DO! Spee-DO!"

Even if it caused wicked-cramped calf muscles and endless armpit views like this:

I mean, I shaved.....but hey.

4) Sometimes naked flesh is sexy. Sometimes not.
From the middle of the pack, this was my view for most of the run.

Proves that even folks with chutzpah and defined abs are human in their underwear.

Seeking the groove

Last night at 10:50 I went running through Southie until exactly 11:20.

It was a hard 30 minutes. Creaky knees, creaky ankles. Labored breathing. I looked at my watch every 90 seconds. While slogging the final 3/4 mile uphill on Dorchester Street to the intersection at Broadway, I was convinced my lungs were going to give way.

(They didn't. A relief to my neighbors, I'm sure, to not have to endure a 911 ambulance call at that hour.)

Other than the frozen pseudo-mile of the Speedo run Saturday, I haven't run in 16 days, my longest break since a 2005 hand-surgery hiatus. Last night felt like I'd never run.

But it was good to seek the groove again. Many nights in the last month I've talked myself out of needing to do this, convincing myself I had drinks to drink or stair-climbers at the gym more weather-friendly or laundry to do. Just like anything, then, the longer you talk yourself out of getting back to a habit you want to get back to, the higher the hill to overcome.

It was a g-mail conversation on Saturday with the Young Scientist (a serious speedster if you remember) that gave me an opening:

YS: You been running a lot recently?

K: Eh. Not at all, actually. I'm not running cause I feel sluggish....and feeling sluggish since I'm not running. I just signed up for a
10K on NYD, though, hoping that will spur me. Yourself?

YS: Been running with the intention of training again starting on the new year.

K: Like you ... I need a fresh start...

YS: start now by doing 30 min per day, or so. after the race do the real training
That was the key: the 30 minutes a day. I can run 30 minutes a day.... can't I?

I'm not going to keep a running (ha!) tabulation in this space to prove I can. Although I'll most likely publicly flog myself if I don't. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Holiday reflection (kind of)

Since living in Boston, every year when this week arrives -- the week before I get on a plane to Minneapolis -- I love it and hate it.

I'm a last-minute Christmas person in every sense of the bad cliché, true to my nature for last-minute everything, and this week gives me the proverbial ulcer.

Ask my family. Christmas makes me a wreck. I have never not stayed up all night before the morning I fly out .... finishing afghans, doing laundry, making presents, hunting down cat-sitters, writing the annual letter ..... and then I'm usually addressing the envelopes for said letter (and still making presents) while on the plane. Cousin J once told me that it wouldn't be Christmas if she picked me up at the MSP airport and I didn't have rolls of wrapping paper sticking out of my carry-on.

This year is trending worse than most, since work has been crazy busy, the Santa Speedo event took up most of my last Saturday, and all my friends seem to be in similar last-minute social-planning mode. Believe me: I'm not complaining about parties. I love parties. I love the people that organize them. Yesterday I got 3 invitations that gave me someplace possibly else to go tonight (already got one planned!), Thursday and Friday. This is on top of an Advent commitment at church Wednesday night, an all-day-baking extravaganza on Saturday (part of my Grandma's Christmas present), and more church and parties already on Sunday.

But I fly out next Tuesday. I want to celebrate this season with my friends. In between now and then I could conceivably do all the above, and then I also need to work every day. Compile the Christmas letter. Buy presents. Wrap presents. Find the cat-sitter. Occasionally sleep. Etc.

It never changes.

Don't know where I'm going with this, other than to get it off my brain, where it had been since I woke up this morning at 5, too tired to get up but too wound-up to sleep. I'm certainly not alone in this embarrassment of riches that despite all intentions, causes more angst than joy.

But indeed, if having too much is my greatest concern, my life is a cakewalk.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Friends Who Are Boys: The (First) Editor

And now a break from our regularly scheduled narcissism to shout out to my friend Alan, who on Friday was elected president of the National Press Club.

Not just the regional press club. The National Press Club, the "world's leading professional organization for journalists." The kind of club that interviews the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. The kind that, for Alan's inauguration ball in January, is featuring Honky Tonk Confidential, a band led by CBS "Face The Nation" host Bob Schieffer.

Of course, the story is that I knew Alan "when." Since April 1993, my first day as features editor of our college newspaper and he, assistant editor, sat with his feet on the desk, dressed in standard-issue tie-dye, Chuck Taylor All Stars, and Kurt Cobain hair.

Looking back at who I was then, it was rather unlikely that I'd hit it off with someone as outspoken and gregarious as Alan -- known on campus at that time, primarily, for antagonizing the College Republicans. He grew up near Motley, Minnesota and was planning to be a history professor, I believe, and he turned me on to REM during that year of long nights in the newsroom.

But we did hit it off. We rode bike down to Fargo's first trendy coffee shop. He taught me chess. I wrote a long non-fiction profile of him for my senior seminar and he made me a tape of Nirvana's Heart-Shaped Box on repeat. He took a road trip with his girlfriend to see my hometown. Here we are in front of the Concordia bell tower in 1995:

I'll fast-forward through our intervening years. Obviously, Alan did not become a history professor. He helped run the newspaper at the University of Minnesota, followed it with jobs at a series of Midwestern dailies, and landed in Washington in 2001. He now covers agricultural policy for Bloomberg News and has traveled on fellowships to China and Ethiopia, among many other achievements.

We've always stayed in touch, some years meeting up at the NPC for karaoke night (true!) or other years, time only for a cup of coffee on the fly. He's a runner, so we'll talk about running. Or the incongruity of me working in finance. Or pop culture of any sort. Or about what we miss about Minnesota.

It's good to have old friends. Especially one whom, from the first day, was so smart and ambitious and chutzpah-driven and curious and a cut-above that you knew he was capable of achieving anything he chose to do, and that some day you'd be writing a piece about "Alan Bjerga .... yeah, the guy standing there with Dick Cheney on The Daily Show .... I knew him when ...."

So of course I'm not surprised he is in charge of this country's journalists, 15 years after being in charge of me.

Many congratulations, my friend.

Friday, December 11, 2009


While walking through the Back Bay this morning, sun beaming, wind howling up Boylston Street and straight through my knee-length fuzzy-hooded parka and into the depths of my pancreatic region, I could only think (and, begging your pardon for invoking the colloquial cliché) that it was cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.

And that was while wearing a down parka.

I don't think I'm ready for this cold. Particularly because gave today's weather forecast as this:

Friday, Dec 11 Windy and colder
32°F 21°F

Then, they say tomorrow looks like this:
Saturday, Dec 12 Partly sunny; breezy
36°F 26°F
See that Friday notation of 32°F for a high? See my comment about the brass monkey?

That doesn't give me a lot of faith in the improvement to 36°F. Nor does the important omission on Saturday of the word "warmer" after "breezy."

Oy. You may think, next, that I'm going to whine, now, about the whole swimsuit bare-tush jog up the same street tomorrow, and that I've lost my nerve.

Hell no. Bring it on.

(But I am going to go shopping for leg warmers after work.)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Me & Kurt .....

My new, recent, method for painlessly enduring the #9 bus commute has been to delve into our city's esteemed free daily, the Metro.

(I know, I know. If you're a Bostonite, do not mock. Please. Simply easier reading to hold with one hand when you're standing in the aisle gripping onto a seat back, your backpack and your coffee with the other.)

This new habit comes from a renewal of my love for Sudoku. The Metro features 2 daily, and I do the "easy" level while still waking up in the morning and the "hard" on the way home. Focusing on the puzzles allows me to suppress any aggravation from fellow passengers, stoplights, squawking brakes and jerk-stops.

That aside -- after 2 weeks of such Sudoku-ing, it was only today that I noticed another daily Metro feature, just above the puzzle boxes: Word of the Day. Partially because the word is so foreign, so cool, so normally unused by most ...
maunder (MON-duhr), intransitive verb: 1. To talk incoherently; to speak in a rambling manner. 2. To wander aimlessly or confusedly.

Quote: "Now I find myself maundering about parts of plays hardly anybody knows or cares about anymore, such as the graveyard scene in 'Our Town.'" -- Kurt Vonnegut, "Timequake"
Do I even need to explain why this applies to me?

As of today, all posts on this blog labeled as "Rambling" will now be tagged with this more appropriate intransitive verb.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Dateline: View from the Office, 12/9/09

2:34 p.m. Looking through the hurricane to Boylston Street, the Back Bay beyond, and the Mass Ave Bridge and the Charles undiscernible in the back.

(Not pictured: 45-mph winds & the creak of the Hancock counterweights as we sway in the breeze.)

(Not pictured, either: Snow. That which we were supposed to get. That which every other town in Massachusetts got today, instead. Oh well .... a grey Christmas, perhaps ...)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

If only he never had to write....

A couple nights ago, in the OKC inbox:

hello dear

what a nice lady u are I would like to talk to you more and know u better if you interrest just keep in touch see you bye!
Spam alert, of course.

Or maybe not. Just a moment later, he had sent a second message, this one more targeted :


and I saw that u are a pianist also Im a pianist too I got dgree from julliard school in newyork:)
Ah, the courting ritual on OKC these days: first, troll for sex; second, check for common interests.

But Julliard for piano? Worth at least a minor delve.

It was as expected .... the prose of someone not familiar with English.. Half-Turkish half-Italian, he says, and in Boston as a concert pianist. Three of his 4 photos are of him playing, 1 showing him furiously ripping on a Chopin score. He is 26. When he is not practicing, he likes to go clubbing. (Or, in his spelling, "clupping.")

One of the very first posts on this blog described how a perfectly nice guy with a perfectly nice profile lost my allegiance when he revealed himself as a poor writer. More recently, I connected with a young man in Wisconsin with whom I almost fell in love on the strength of his wit and our shared facility for literary seduction, even if he proved to be a total troll.

I want to be attracted to talented, fun-loving people even if their language skills grind obnoxiously on my ear .... my brain .... my sensibility .... my libido ....

But it's not happening.

Writing isn't everything. Although, perhaps good writing is just too crucial and I'll have to face it, Julliard or not.

Perhaps I need to stress that criteria next time I update the profile?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Need for Speed(o) V: Oy.

So campers, mea culpa:

I did indeed buy a swimsuit that will cover my stomach

(figuring that--despite my vow to eschew carbs for the next 5 days and do nothing in my spare time but push-ups and planks--exposed winter-white glutes will be humbling enough).

Today I was walking to the bus dressed in sweater, long skirt, knee-high boots, wool coat, hat and gloves ..... and felt a bit chilly. I then realized that in this whole equation, the second thing I forgot to factor in (after realizing I'd actually have to buy a swimming suit, evidently) was that it could possibly be really, really cold next Saturday....

... like the windy and high-of-32 that is forecasting.

I don't know about you, but I'm getting wicked excited. Wicked.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Start of the season

I was running over the ice-covered streets o' Southie this morning, iPod set to the newly-loaded Christmas-themed mix, when this twirpy little Sufjan Stevens tune popped up:
Put the lights on the tree
(put them on the tree, put them on the tree)

Put the ribbon on the wreath
(put it on the wreath, put it on the wreath)

And call your Grandma on the phone
(call her on the phone, call her on the phone)

If she's living all alone
(living all alone, living all alone)

Tell her Jesus Christ is here
(tell her he is here, tell her he is here)

Tell her she has none to fear
(there is none to fear, there is none to fear)

If she's crying on the phone
(crying on the phone, crying on the phone)

Tell her you are coming home
(you are coming home, you are coming home)
If anyone has a theory as to why it is the most unlikely of holiday songs that will make me cry out loud on the street .... do share.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Thankful (Redux) ...

.... for 69 degrees and sunny in December, even though simultaneously frightening ....

.... for Glenn Gould's existence and what he does to Bach's Bb Major Partita No 2 ....

.... for the no-news-is-good-news news from the doctor appointment yesterday ....

.... for Joy & Brian and Nick & Kelly and Lisa & Sam and Christine & Mark and your other (seemingly hundreds of) friends whose babies are being born healthy this month ...

.... for other friends who invite you for walks on lunch hours, others who invite you to their home for a Nepalese feast, for still others who agree to spend a Saturday baking Christmas cookies for homebound folks from church ....

.... for another friend who knows where all the last calls are and meets you at one, who buys you the $13 martini, then stands on the street in Brattle Square and listens to your historical litany of bad-romance-and oversexed-inconsiderate-male stories and laughs with you until 3:25 a.m. on a Friday morning, without himself acting the part of oversexed-inconsiderate male, then after making sure you get home OK, texts again at 3:55 to invite you back out for diner breakfast at IHOP ....

.... for the miraculous ability to function at work on 4 hours sleep, which only manifests when the lack of rest seems to have actually rejuvenated you ...

.... and for whatever inspires an attitude adjustment that allows you to balance out the cosmos and remedy the bad mood of a day before and enter the weekend with equanimity.

Thank you. Peace out.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Deep Thought: Whose Fault is it Anyway?

Rhetorically ....

.... on the days that, despite working very hard to be equable in face of overwhelming chaos, you manage to directly or indirectly offend everyone you encounter ....

.... from the Southie meter maids ($100 for being too close to an unmarked "handicapped ramp" abutting, of all things, a marked driveway?), to your first direct manager and then your second direct manager and then the sales manager and then his internal sales associate and then one of your service contacts in Tampa and then another service contact at Schwab, followed by the doctor you ended up seeing because your own doctor was unavailable, followed by the office manager at your church, to a recent date who won't answer your e-mail .....

.... and you haven't even gotten to 4 p.m. and think of all the folks you should encounter in the next 8 hours and can't wait to see what kinds of shenanigans you'll resultingly kick up, if trends continue .....

.... do you ever just wonder if the problem is you? ....

..... or, could there possibly be a city-wide conspiracy of dunces pulling the strings to ensure your relative insanity?

On days like this, I do.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Need for Speed(o) IV: Distressed Garment(s)

You know how some days you just got nothin'?

Today, I got nothin'.

The adjective to best describe current state: Drained.

(Like the stack of turkey-leftover soup pots in my kitchen sink are not.)

That said, it occurred to me with all this talk of squats and lunges and abdominal discipline and fundraising to get ready for the Santa Speedo Run, I have many times intimated what it was I was planning to wear. However, I really have no idea what I'm going to wear. All I know is:

1) It needs to be cherry red.
2) It needs to be runnable.
3) It needs to be mildly tasteful.
4) It needs to smack of heedless Christmas cheer.

(What the hell? This is going to be more of a challenge than sucking in my stomach.)

I went down the street a few days ago to my favorite running attire store, City Sports, for inspiration and discovered that they have everything in pink and nothing in red. Meaning my inspiration has been curbed ..... and, being Drained and all, the thought of a massive www search is beyond me today.

Are any of y'all willing to pass on suggestions that meet my criteria?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December Firsts

.... first day the Mazda 626 will have a bonafide, legal South Boston Resident Parking Permit Sticker.

.... first day of Facebook life after getting over the incredulity that my 67-y-old father, who doesn't even have his own e-mail account, has friend-requested me and, now that I've accepted said friendship, have to think twice about any future status updates.

.... first day wearing the BCBG Paris Braden Platform Leather Mary Janes I scored at DSW in my first (yes, first) shopping spree of 2009 a few days ago. Which was also the first time I have willingly entered a department store on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

.... first date tonight (beers and eats in Harvard Square) with the first guy who, responding in a discussion of my 5'2" stature, said, "Don't feel the need to wear heels. I like short girls."

Monday, November 30, 2009

You are not alone....*

Last night I was at the gym, natch, because that is where I plan to be for the next 12 days in light of the great Santa Speedo Run unveiling. While attending to business on the Stairmaster, I was also reading the November issue of SELF magazine, primarily because of the tempting headline:

Sculpt Sexy Curves (Look Like You Lost 5 Pounds!): The 7 New Moves for Incredible Abs, Show-off Shoulders, Lean Legs and More!
It was only secondarily that I noticed a sub headline:

SEX SPECIAL: Flirting, Fantasies & Facebook. What Women Are REALLY Doing Online.
Since I spent substantially more time this weekend flirting online than I did on working on lean legs and since I, on the Stairmaster, was already working on my lean legs, I immediately flipped there ("Click Here For a Good Time") for affirmation of my extracurricular activities.

"Sexting. Emailing a naked photo. Flirting on Facebook. In a groundbreaking survey, SELF polled more than 1,100 women ranging in age from 18 to 50-plus to see how the Internet is changing the way we're mating, dating and relating. The results are now in, and the overwhelming response to whether women are pursuing virtual action is "Oh, God, yesss!"

Some of our surprising findings: Sixty percent of women say the Internet helps them explore their sensuality without embarrassment...."

Other things I learned from the article and the many sub-articles there-in:

* 61% of women surveyed have viewed porn on their computer
* 21% of 36-to-50-y-olds have used the web to find a real-life booty call
* 24% say they have "faked it" during cybersex
* 18% have stripped for a web cam
Just saying, y'all.

Not everyone has to agree with the practice. But can we admit that me and my IM proclivities are hardly out of the ordinary....?

*(.... one of my least favorite Michael Jackson videos, BTW, especially the part where he's naked in a pool wearing angel wings ....)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Deep Thought: Make Your Own

The best part of spending Thanksgiving alone is giving yourself permission to pull off as much crispy skin as you want, whenever you want.

No platter required.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Philippians 4:6-9

The wisdom of Paul, from tonight's Epistle:

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

"Finally, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me--practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you."

Liked it.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Damn. I'm not THAT old.

About 6 months ago I followed the lead of my fine, Bible-scholar buddy Joshua (and his fine, Bible-centric blog), in experimenting to see if there were any God-given reason that, at this point in time, I could make a few bucks off this blog.

Well, truly, I never expected to actually make money. I think I know my audience, who doesn't come here on their way to somewhere else. The number of daily visitors is not enough to generate any substantial number of clicks. Even the occasional pick-up by or, causing a massive spike in readership for one day, does not produce necessary traffic.

But I was temporarily seduced. Google makes it sound easy:

"AdSense for feeds places relevant ads into your feed's items. Google automatically chooses which ads to show based on your blog's content, and you earn money when visitors view or click on these ads."
So ... I just checked my "account", and my theory has been borne out. Ads here have generated 3 clicks in 6 months. Three. Earning me $2.77 that I won't see, anyway, anytime soon, since Google won't send the check until the balance exceeds $10....which at this rate, will be when I have grandchildren.

Meanwhile, I came on to post this morning and, paying attention for the first time, noticed the four ads "based on your blog's content" that Google's algorithms chose today (ostensibly based on either this or this entry?):

Meet Older Singles
Free to Join.
1000's of pictures & video's of Beautiful Senior Singles

Dating After 50
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For professional singles after 50

Older Women Younger Men
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Virtual Directory for IdM
Virtualize all your datasources to create a single IdM infrastructure!

Senior dating (2 chances!). And, natch, Follwed by instructions on how to create an identity-management software application. So I clicked onto the arrow at the top of the box to see what the second set of ideas might be and was even more impressed:

Find a Date
Sign Up to Meet Local Singles.
Search 1000s of Profiles For Free !

Body Grooming Tips
Visit And Browse Through
Tips & Tricks For Body Grooming.

Meet Filipino Beauties
Find Your Filipino Dream Women! Join For Free.
View Profiles & Pics

Meet Italian Women
Meet Italian Singles Today! Browse photos, send Flirts & More.

You never knew y'all were only being asked to visit here to find your Filipino Dream Woman?Folks. This perhaps is what Google thinks of y'all. Be afraid. Be very afraid. (Or, be very afraid of my writing.)

Hmm. It's a no-brainer. After you've had a chance to browse them today, I'm going to jettison the ad routine ... unless I am one day featured on "Good Morning, America."

At which point I'll add it back and retire to my Florida vacation home.

Monday, November 23, 2009


So I was on Facebook a few moments ago to change my status update:

"Karin will be doing nothing this week. Nothing."

Three friends clicked on the "like" button for this.

I wish this status wasn't so nebulous. I do still have to go to work. I do still have to find a Christmas ticket to Minneapolis under $500. I do need to do 3 weeks-worth of laundry. I do have to kick the softness out of my running legs and abdominal muscles because I told everyone and my mother I plan to wear a Speedo in public in 19 days.

And there are a hundred other things I probably could do. Christmas letter. Christmas cookies. Volunteer on turkey day. Clean the dead impatiens off my patio. Buy a dresser. Put away the summer clothes. Vow to not talk online with any man under 30 because as I find time and time again .... and seem to never remember .... it all just circles back to what's in their pants.

Most importantly, I could probably learn to relax again.

That's probably a "should," actually. So I'll stop being so uptight about all of the rest.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Just because I can

I'm up.

It's precisely 4:12 a.m.

I'm in my parka.

I'm in the Adirondack chair on the patio.

I've got a vodka cranberry buzz, but not one buzzy enough to regret.

So blog?

Why not.

I might still be on the high from today's matinee and then the night show with its extra adrenaline from the 20 seconds of wrong-synthesizer-setting panic in the middle of song #12 followed by even more extra adrenaline from it being the last show followed by the ripping apart of the set and then the cast party and the serious post-show love and the aforementioned vodka cranberry buzz and the sense of relief and gratitude that, amazingly and thankfully, always materializes at such moments when you almost can't believe that 6 months ago all this was was an idea and some publicity posters and 3 months ago you didn't know 2/3 of these people and that even 2 weeks ago you couldn't imagine feeling this satisfied and even as of last night, you didn't think you were going to miss any of them.

But you will. And I will.

Thanks, good folk of The Longwood Players and YAGMCB, for taking the leap.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Confidence (a.k.a 28)

It's a confidence kind of day when,
heading out to grab a late lunch,
a girl steps into an elevator with a man
in a button-down and top-siders who looks,
about 28 and well put-together
(but not too much so),
and rides down with him
while checking out his reflection in the mirrored doors,
not saying anything
in those 28 seconds it takes to go 28 floors
(in part because he really isn't her type),
(in part because who really ever talks to strangers in elevators
but in erotic literature or Aerosmith videos),
but believing that
if she had had a few more ounces of confidence and
he was indeed her type,
she indeed might have said something as easy as
"plans for the weekend?", and,
in part because
he was also checking out her reflection
(she could see),
he might have at least smiled at her chutzpah
before he stepped out.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Chatting (a.k.a, rank curiosity)

Someday, dear reader, please insist you are tired of hearing about various random IM chats I get into on OKC.

Until then ....

There's a small chance that a chat might turn into something. But I hold no hope. My willingness to get into most chats arises from a combination of boredom, curiosity and a smidgen of chutzpah. Most guys with whom I chat feel the same, driven also by the desire, no matter how futile and random, to get sex out of it. Which in turn drives my curiosity and chutzpah to participate in their efforts to get sex, no matter how futile and random.

It's a game, really. I don't want to play it forever. But when in my current middle ground of no serious prospects and no chance of a serious prospect until at least after this weekend, when I exhale from musical commitments, it's a distraction during a late supper eaten alone.

The hours of 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. seem to be the most highly-populated trolling hour, and last night didn't disappoint. I got requests from an Irish Bostonian, a burly man in central Ohio, and a gentleman from San Francisco whom I chatted with last weekend and like, but haven't decided how to handle yet.. All 3 that I didn't follow through on because I was in the midst of 2 others -- the first a 22-y-old musician who had messaged me earlier in the day:
"Kissable and Fiesty? i hope you like younger guys. Hi there how are you doing? I looked your profile you seem like a very cool girl and if you dont mind me saying so you are also very beautiful xoxo =) So far from what I've read we seem to have a quite bit in common. I hope you like what you read about me in my profile Im told Im a very sweet and passionate guy I hope that wins me some points hehe. Anyway I was juat wondering if you would like to chat? I hope my words have at least made you smile and I also hope to hear from you soon if you like what you hear I am all yours xoxo"
As soon as I logged on last night at 11, there he was. As always, when someone who could conceivably be my son wants to flirt, I delve for motive. Trying to, perhaps, educate him on what he would be getting into.

22-y-old: How are you my dear?
Karin: Late dinner. Slow wireless.
22: that sux. so u get my message to you?
K: Yes. Curious. There's quite an age gap here.
22: i know but honestly I am mature for my age and very respectful
K: Oh, I don't doubt it. What is appealing to you about an older woman?
22: well olderwomen seem to really know what they want and know what pleases them and im not just speaking in a sexual way any time I've ever been asked out by a woman she has always been at least a little older lol I guess its some kind of pattern
K: interesting.
22: do you like younger guys?
K: Well, I do. But it isn't always ideal, actually.
22: how so?
K: It's kind of fun, but can be difficult to find common ground.
22: how do you mean?
K: A man who is 22 is at a totally different place in his life.
22: very true but that doesnt mean we couldn't have fun
K: True, of course. What is fun, as you suggest it?
22: well you tell me. what do yu imagine us doing for fun?

That actually took a lot longer to get to the sex reveal than I expected. I was not inspired to go further but, surprisingly, could not figure out how to say that. I also could have just logged off, but that felt mean.

K: Well, there are possibilities. I have to confess I'm not quite in the mood to discuss it tonight.
22: well can you give me an idea?
K: No, actually I'm on my last legs and falling asleep. We'll have to chat later.
oh of course I didnt know Im sorry
K: Cool. Later, then.
22: sweet dreams. just nice there is hope xoxo

I didn't really mean to give him hope, which means I'll just have to deflate it later. Bad Karin.

Meanwhile, I had already responded to a request from a 40-something with a fantastic smile. Definitely more promising:

Nice Smile: happy wednesday... at least for a little while. What are you up to?
Karin: Eating a late supper. Working on some cereal from the box right now... Yourself?
NS: similar... I'm on to oatmeal with cranberries
NS: and scotch... woo!
K: Excellent.
NS: agree... I'm in that lovely transition phase
K: Is the scotch a necessity or an indulgence?
NS: certainly an indulgence. one bottle lasts months around here
Ah. A conversation more my style. At least a modicum of banter.

K: I'm sure oatmeal goes faster, yes.
NS: ha! you are so right. how did you spend your day?
K: Well, I dropped my parents off -- here for a long weekend - at the airport.
K: Then very busy at work. Then the gym. & voila.
NS: sounds like quite a day. how was the long weekend with the parents?
K: .... visiting for the first time in 4 years. So generally, it was fun.
This went on for a bit. I asked him what he does; he's busy with job, etc. Inspired to check out his profile for more details, I discovered the following.

K: Hmm. Interesting that you're married. What's the scoop on that?
NS: married for many years. long and sordid story...

(substantial pause)

K: They usually are.
NS: we have both started sort of openly dating recently
NS: which has been interesting to say the least

(more substantial pause)

K: I would guess.
NS: yea... I have saved you the part how we get from point a to point b

So, finished as a date prospect, obviously. But, still a curiosity. This man has chutzpah of his own. Delve.

K: Have you gone out much?
NS: I have met some very interesting women
K: Mostly through here?
NS: here... starbucks... the supermarket
K: must live in a promising neighborhood to meet folks at Whole Foods, etc. That's challenging...
NS: I have some interesting Whole Foods stories
K: Naturally.
NS: exactly!
K: Interesting concept, this dating while married. How's it working out for you?
NS: well, it is challenging. I seem to handle her dates better than she handles mine
K: Women do take these things harder, yes. That seems perhaps a general gender trait.
NS: that could be
K: I suppose neither of you bring dates back to the house, eh...?
NS: never
K: Hmm. You must get asked these questions a lot.
NS: I do, in differing tones
NS: some are curious (like you). many judgemental.
NS: some like that I am married
K: Well, it is something that differentiates you from the crowd...
NS: interesting... I never thought of it that way
K: Depends on if that way is advantageous or otherwise, I guess.
NS: I do not work from a plan
K: Of course. Does this, then, become your main topic of conversations or, generally, do the women get past it and go on?
NS: no. I would get bored
K: Naturally.
NS: If I have a connection with someone, then we chat about everything
K: As the woman, I wouldn't want to linger, either.
NS: there you go
NS: you obviously have a lot going on. there is a lot to explore in your life
K: Sometimes, yes.
NS: well, yes. but you seem open to experiences
Ah. The moment where I had to decide if I was going to be open to this experience.

I begged off, at least for that moment. We might connect again; I liked our energy. But it seems not worth the energy. Mostly, my brain is too tired to find out more. Minutely, because of the frustration, again, of wanting to encounter a man I like talking to who a) comes without debilitating baggage; b) lives in my age range; c) is not exclusively looking to get off; d) who employs punctuation in e-mails; and e) not married.

When I come down off the musical high after this weekend, even though I know OKC is not the ideal forum to find any of these things, I'll rewrite my profile to include these parameters. See what happens. Maybe get some chats worth staying up late for.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Vermont Fun Fact

Even lakeside cities in socially liberal states (even on sunny off-season Tuesdays) will give your (rental) car an orange ticket when you stay 5 minutes past your meter limit.

Burlington = Boston? (who knew!)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Blowing the pop stand (a brief diary)

Hey folks.

Hi from Vermont. The north side. Waterbury in the off-season, to be exact. 190 miles northwest of the city of noise and chaos.

The great non-peopled open. Yes.

I've got my Mom & Dad in tow. They've been with me since Saturday afternoon, actually. Seeing the show. Getting me up for early church. Serving as chronic dining companions. All good. I've not been to Vermont in 7 years, but they've never been here. And they like it. It's leafless and cold but the sky is blue and I'm driving a sweet Toyota Camry rental with working shocks that corners with a kick and I-89 through the Green Mountains is as good as empty on Monday afternoon, BTW, and did I mention it's the off-season here? We are the only guests in a 20-room inn. The caretaker built a log fire and is making us omelets in the morning.


Early this evening, just after 2 Triple Caramel Chunk samples from the Ben & Jerry's factory tour and just before my parents took me out for a bison burger and Otter Creek Copper Ale at the local pub, I stretched out on the sofa in our room and took a power nap while Dad watched ESPN SportsCenter. Best nap ever. For the first time in 2 months, after 2 months of every day trying to force my shoulders to demagnetize from my earlobes and wildly failing, they relaxed of their own accord.

And we had only been in Vermont for 5 hours.

It was something in the quiet. Maybe, after 3 years of not having a television, it was the ESPN (excoriating the Pats, BTW), too.

Tomorrow we'll have 18 hours here.

It's all good.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Tonight, we open.

It's just in the nick of time. My fatigue has chronic fatigue.

But the show came together, as it should have, 8 months from the day the producer first approached me. It sounds good. It looks good. It runs like a machine. It still has moments that make me laugh, even on the 41st viewing. I've become comfortable with both conducting musicans and wearing a pale yellow unitard and a can-can feather on my head.

It feels like a wedding day. Or a bar mitzvah, except cheaper.

I've done a whole lot of these kinds of shows in my life and, always, when we reach this point I kind of don't believe how much creative and organizational energy must flow from everyone involved in order to reach this point. Kind of take it for granted, really.

It's crucial to remember to be grateful at moments like this. For talent. For connections. For opportunities. For wit. For visions. For passions. For willingness. For human kindness. For grand rallentandos with kick lines.

It'll be a grand night.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Flaky in the city

Yesterday afternoon, I began arguing over e-mail with one of my FWABs re: hatred of the City of Boston's parking rules and the resulting crimp it has put on my checkbook and sanity.

My friend is known to have strong, no-nonsense opinions, I know this, and know how he feels about my war with the meter maids, but was surprised at the vehemence of his practicality: why don't you just pay the tickets and get a sticker and quit blaming others.

When I suggested that I got tired of having to deal with the bureaucratic issues like parking stickers and inconsistency of enforcement, he said: so move, then.

I was furious at both his failure to agree with me and equal lack of empathy. But it was at that moment that I realized, of course, that he is right. Even while I still couldn't disagree more.

It's a larger issue of weariness with the necessity (and yes, it is a necessity) of conforming to relatively arcane, and in many cases arbitrary, processes and rules that keep order in a large population center where, if everyone just did what they wanted ..... chaos. Sometimes you don't want to have to attend to the 50 things you have to always attend to when you have car in a city: registration, excise tax, parking signs with different messages every 10 feet, neighborhood stickers for some hoods and not others, visitor permits, moving vans that might appear the next day, street cleaning schedules with varying frequencies, snow emergency routes that may or may not go into effect when it snows, unposted legacy rules about parking in medians....

Sometimes, when you've got other things to think about -- like friends, and money, and coffee, and pets, and trying to find dates, and remembering to sleep, and doing other things you love -- you just want to have a car. And to drive it when you want to. To park it where you need to. Without being penalized.

In short: you want to be able to be the flaky, occasionally irresponsible, personality you are and live in the city you love without going to the poorhouse because of it.

Maybe this desire and the resulting reality are at dire odds.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I mean, really.

City of Boston. Really.

Are you getting back at me for mocking the Southie Christmas tree stand?

I registered my car to Southie nearly 2 years ago. I have a resident parking sticker from the former car owner that is valid through November 2009. I've parked in resident parking in Southie for nearly 2 years.

When you first gave me a parking ticket last March for parking in resident parking when I didn't "technically" have a resident parking sticker, I paid that ticket. And I didn't want to get another, so I went in to get my own sticker.

But I was in the middle of contesting the infamous St. Patrick's Day no parking zone violation. According to the rules of resident parking stickers, you told me, a resident cannot procure a parking sticker with outstanding tickets. It took until October for you to schedule a hearing on the St. Patty's tickets.

So I was unable to get a new parking sticker. In the meantime, in June, you handed out another groundless ticket: for parking in the median of Columbus Ave on a Sunday afternoon, even with no signs that say "no parking". Again, 5 months to get an appeal hearing, which is coming uip on Friday.

Meaning that I still haven't replaced the sticker ....since I have outstanding tickets.

So, since I have been parking in Southie resident parking, with the borrowed sticker, since December 2007 (I'm guessing about 500 days and nights) and only incurred that one March 2009 ticket -- imagine my surprise that, last night, you would see fit to assign me a No Resident Parking Sticker ticket. Even though the car was on the same spot it had been for the last week ... ay, much of the last year ... without a ticket.

I mean, really, City of Boston. Feeling stingy? Needing that $40 pretty badly?

Are you trying to MAKE me not want to live here anymore?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The bare chest hall of fame

So back on one of the first posts of this blog, I vowed to do my damndest not to mock men who wrote me on dating websites. We're all just mortals in the crazy play ....


Recently I vowed that if I got one more online message from a man who uses his cell phone to take a picture of his chest in a bathroom mirror, seeming to believe that naked flesh, no matter in what context or lighting or state of fitness presented, will encourage a response from a woman 14 years older than him (even though age has nothing, really, to do with it), without really understanding what would make a younger man attractive to someone my age, or displaying even a hint that he has previously heard of the word subtlety .....


Sorry, dude.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The cliché of a Monday

Having a hard time getting going this morning. Reasons why, at least in theory, although none very compelling, are:

1) Fatigue. (Don't call me predictable for nothing.)

2) A to-do list from the weekend left primarily unaccomplished. Meaning I've doubled the number of items on the list for the week ahead -- such as booking a Christmas plane ticket as prices flow ever upward (today's cheapest = $428), gathering appropriate evidence to appeal yet another 2 parking tickets and think about what reason I can give for appealing a 3rd, emptying the dishwasher, disassembling the (still blooming!) pots of impatiens on the patio before freeze and my parents' arrival on Saturday, and hand-scrubbing-down the hardwood floors to remove the spots left from the occasional regurgitated cat food stain.

(Actually, that last one is left over from a to-do list of about 2 months ago. Although it will get done this week. Having remnants of regurgitated cat food on one's floor when one's mother is visiting is about as viable as leaving condoms in the nightstand drawer in the bedroom where she is to sleep. So even with rehearsal the next 4 nights until 11 p.m., it will get done, even if I'm on hands and knees at 6 a.m. the next 4 mornings.)

3) Overwhelming guilt at the realization that despite being busy and allowing undone tasks to pile up, I'm hardly busier than almost anyone else I know (i.e. friends that are composing symphonies, running restaurants, raising children) and they aren't griping to me about it, and I want to know why my act is so hard to get together.

So, speaking of getting its act together on a Monday morning, I must shout-out to the City of Boston, no matter the number of parking tickets they foist upon my vehicle. Seems November 9 is the ideal day to pull the neighborhood Christmas tree stand out of storage, pictured here as I stood waiting for the #9 near Perkins Square.

It makes me feel better, despite the proactive get-aheadness of this action, that last year's tree stump is still screwed in place, and that to get rid of it has probably been on someone's to-do list since last December 26.

Friday, November 6, 2009


So I was looking down and assessing today's outfit:

Sleeveless knee-length dress of a fabric covered in navy blue circles

Grey, cropped cardigan sweater

Black Mary Jane pumps

Rust, brown & cream-colored scarf, natch.
I'm not trying to denigrate my sense of style, but rather to point out that it is November and therefore the opening of scarf season. You know, when you walk in from outside and take off your coat, hat and gloves .... but leave the scarf on. Whether it goes with your clothes or not. Ideal for someone like me who frequently hangs in drafty church basements for rehearsals and meetings, or in 52-story office towers that take awhile to efficiently change the HVAC over from AC to heat in transition weather.

I like the one I've got on, because its made of soft, oft-washed yarn and is skinny enough to wrap around several times and a) not have its tails catch in the wheels of my chair; or b) intrude up over my chin.

This scarf has origin of some interest -- an impromptu gift during a date some time ago with a man I called The Editor, at Davio's on a frigid Sunday night. Recalled thusly last summer:

"Perhaps the most polite gentleman alive. Recently relocated from New Jersey, edits reading curriculum textbooks. We made 2 dates in January---both Sunday nights at swanky Davio's for wine and pizza, both three-hour conversations on politics, family, our jobs. There was minimal spark, but it was agreeable talk. During the course of Date #2 the temperature outside dropped 30 degrees and I shivered as we prepared to leave. The Editor took off his lengthy multi-colored scarf and handed it over:

"My mother has made me a dozen of these. Use it. Keep it."

The Editor's bad luck was timing. Those of you in the single world know: dating success comes in waves and droughts. I was under a tsunami.

The same day as Date #1, I had met Another Man in the flesh....who could not have been more different... with whom there was noticeable romantic spark. We e-mailed every day between my dates with The Editor. The same day as Date #2, I had spent the afternoon flirting over lunch and coffee with Another Man. I really wanted to date Another Man.

So after several unsuccessful attempts to get him in person, I broke things off with The Editor via e-mail. He responded, again, with utmost politeness. He rebuffed my offer to return his scarf. "

It's less about remembering The Editor with any great fondness than evaluating that incident of choices. When faced, I took spark instead of the gentility, and where did it get me? Another Man and I eventually crashed and burned and he left without a trace. But I still have the scarf of the man I ditched. It's a favorite possession.

I don't even really know why it feels symbolic. Or what it would symbolize. Why does it seem like it should?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Need for Speed(o) III: Abs of Evil.

Musical ramping up. Work ramping up. And despite the complete lack of a love life, it's been a hectic couple of weeks in Karin-land.

In the manner of an exercise addict, I have not forgotten the inevitable Speedo & Sports Bra & Bare Stomach & Bare Thighs look that I have committed to on Saturday, Dec. 12. Which means that despite the work chaos and rehearsal chaos and never, ever having a free evening between now and Thanksgiving, you'd better believe I am still making sure I get to the gym during the day. Even if a nap would be preferred.

So on Monday I ran 3.75 miles on my lunch hour. No sweat. (Literally, no sweat. It was cold out.)

On Tuesday, noticing that despite the run my midsection drooped gelatinously in a post-Halloween-candy way, I forewent cardio and instead attended this class at the gym:

Body Defined Strength training class that may feature a variety of equipment including free weights, bands or Body Bars. Balance work may also be included in the class. Instructor: Jakki.

On my gym's website, Jakki's bio states that she enjoys challenging participants with a safe but intense workout. "My favorite part of teaching isn’t the music or the exercises, it’s the smile I see when people leave class feeling better about themselves and more confident to take on a new challenge…maybe another class!”

What Jakki's bio didn't say: "I like to stride around the room when you're on the 13th minute of the 15-minute non-stop abdominal workout and shout out, 'I know what I'm asking you to do is evil. Who thinks I'm evil?! I don't hear you! Who thinks I'm evil! You will thank me later! You will!"

I have a propensity to eat candy and full loaves of Iggy's Cranberry Pecan Rolls in one sitting. And full boxes of Kashi Go Lean. It's possible there are parts of me that are not as firm as they could be.

Nonetheless, I consider myself to be relatively in-shape. (You know. That marathon and yoga thing, etc.)

Folks, if I'm going to make a habit of Body Defined, "relatively" will not cut it. After my Tuesday time with Jakki, the muscles of my torso hurt so badly two days later I cannot, literally, stand up straight, and the inner-thigh ache causes me to walk bow-legged as if I'm squeezing an exercise ball between my knees.

The overall effect is that I look and feel like a pecking hen. An old pecking hen, at that. Still deciding if I'll feel like smiling, if I'll feel more confident about myself, and if I feel like I ever want to take on a new challenge, ever again.

Onward! (she whispers)