Saturday, February 28, 2009

Rockin' Saturday night

Guess who's going to bed at 11:13 p.m.?

(And will sleep like she's never slept before?)

It's the insomni-maniac. Who is now. Officially. Exhausted.

As for the experiment to see how well I could function on 10 straight days of post-2 a.m. bedtimes....well....I....

....was still able to run 17 miles in the Newton hills this morning. In 2 hours 35 minutes. After which I cooked eggs.

....was still able to sing "On My Own", with feeling, at Courtside Karaoke Thursday night after drinking a pitcher of PBR.

....remembered to mail my rent check on time for the first time in the last 14 months.

....was still able to stay awake long enough last night to have a decent enough conversation to discuss a (possible) dinner date tomorrow with Young Scientist.

....watched Fellini's 8 1/2 without falling asleep.

....wrote a blog entry every day.

....and made it to a Saturday evening before hitting the wall. And doing so is not disrupting any plans.

It will be a sweet sleep.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Reverse trend

From OKC, yesterday, in the inbox:

Subject: Awesome!
Text: "Hey! You run AND you're a democrat. Instantly I'm a fan."
Naturally, I had to set this man straight: it is hardly difficult to find a liberal-minded runner in this town. Flattery is good...but he would have to find other reasons to be my fan.

So started a conversation with Young Scientist. (And no, it isn't difficult to find a liberal-minded scientist in this town, either.)

He's 26, works in infectious disease research, and is a rabid runner himself currently laid up with knee he inquired about the foot woes. Tallish. Handsomish. Plainly honest. We exchanged e-mails about running and dating histories yesterday; at the end of the third back-and-forth he asked me out for dinner.

I accepted the invite. His response?

(P.S. He already signed off on the blogging permission slip, thank you very much.)

You might remember Young Engineer from last week: age 25. After the months of hanging and talking with and kissing the CFO (55), this new inquiry continues an enjoyable reverse trend. Both men are highly attractive, yet intellectual. Both have been alike in their bold straightforwardness, interested in me first and not shying away from the age difference.

As, of course, this was always the case with the CFO and me....despite the fact he could remember watching the Watergate hearings (which I was born in the middle of), we had a great time together. In my case, I'll be able to tell this new man all he ever wanted to know about Ronald Reagan. Let's hope we also can have a great time.

I'll confess: this wooing by younger men is a substantial ego boost. Will our maturity levels match up?

No reason to not try and find out.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


I received an OKC message tonight from a man whom, I had noticed over the last several weeks, was viewing my profile frequently. As in daily.

Yet he made no move to contact me.

(Per its tongue-in-cheek mantra, OKC calls profile-viewing "stalking." This certainly didn't qualify. I read his profile. He seems perfectly mid-key temperament, good looking, friendly. Perhaps shy.)

So I decided to be the Girl of Initiative, and wrote him last night.
"So've been a frequent stalker....which I appreciate. A girl loves attention.

What's on your mind?"
Tonight he answered back. That he had been quite hesitant to write me because he did not want to end up on my blog. And/or spreadsheet.



You may remember, we were on this route once before with my online dating quest: a man's fear of being blogged.

Which, as I said then and say now, I respect. I can respect a man who doesn't swim in the same seas of narcissism as myself. The gentleman from this summer did not want me even to mention that I had spoken to someone (him) who didn't want to be mentioned in the blog.

Yet, this sentiment still strikes me as odd coming from folks who are willing to post copious personal data and photos on a dating website......which, while they can control the content, is frankly no less exposed.

And, unless I start getting picked up by on a daily basis, the dating website gets a hell of a lot more traffic.

Just saying.

It smacks a tad of hypocrisy. And men's lack of faith in my inherent goodness towards the collective Man.

Or else someone is just being shy.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Seems there should be an award....

....for the girl who can stay awake past 2 a.m. for 350 nights in a row.

At least that's how many nights in a row it feels like.

Sleep has gotten hard. 

When did sleeping get so hard? From where this restlessness?

I guess this is the Hey, look over there, there's another full basket of unfolded laundry that perhaps I could be folding since I'm awake Version.

Or Hey, even the old standby The Art of Fugue doesn't soothe like it used to Version. 

(It's been running for the last 45 minutes. I'm on Contrapunctus 13 of 14.  Boo.)

I've never been one to say--as both my mother and many friends have--that God has a plan for everything.  (In the words of Shug Avery in The Color Purple, "God is Trying to Tell you Something!")  Or in secular terms, that there is a reason for everything. Endure the tough and pointless trials of your life. Learn something from them.

But as the morning creeps towards 3 yet again, I have to believe something is going on.  That something radical, magical, un-effing believeable is meant for me to discover at 3:04 a.m. one morning and if I was able to sleep, it would go undiscovered by the world.

Anyone who has any thoughts as to what this un-effing believable revelation is going to be, please tell me.  Soon.  Preferably before I have to get up for work in a few hours.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Yesterday was a very bad stock market day. So was last Friday, and so was last Thursday.

Yesterday started to feel like October all over again.....down 200 points one day, down another 200 points the next. A third day of down is a sucker punch. Except that it feels crunchier because the Dow Jones Index itself is worth 4000 points less than October. 200 points is now a much larger percentage of the whole.

My office is not in a panic, so much as a state of confused optimism. That is the mood an investment management firm works to project: Something will eventually, again, go up instead of down. Because something will. I admire this. Although I'm relieved I'm pushing paper, not trying to figure out what companies (if any) have northward momentum in the near future.

The online dating world seems immune to economic turmoil. This morning as I checked my OKC inbox and responded to a couple messages, 3 different men sent IM chat requests. So you might see how OKC can be an ADD addiction during the workday if I let it. Often I am faced with this choice of keeping busy:

a) creating new-account-paperwork flow spreadsheets for the marketing department;

b) clicking refresh every 10 seconds on the Yahoo! Finance screen to see just how quickly the Dow is falling, and yelling at the screen when it does;

c) responding to the invitation of a 25-year-old man, who has the day off from work, whose opening line is "you are very, very hot!"

Of course, yes, I know. Technically I am only getting paid for a).

But what can I say? If the # of hits on my OKC profile is trending upwards....shouldn't I be riding it?

(Setting a good example for my company, in theory, say.....?)

Update, 1:31 p.m. As of this hour the Dow has gained back 153 points today. It might be Ben Bernanke talking and raising confidence. Or it might be that analysts have started checking me out on OKC.

Stay tuned.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Flashback (a.k.a. nowhere to run to)

Last night, a bit post-midnight, I was merrily trolling OKCupid.

Up pops a window to tell me that a "Stand-Up Man" had viewed my profile.

Yes, it was none other than this Stand-Up Man. The Republican Stand-Up Comedian. With whom I went 2 rounds back in June. Here's an excerpt recalling Date #2B:

"As you may recall, all previous conversations with S-UC contained mere snippets of the issue most likely to deal-break this relationship: politics. This was to be the litmus-test outing. And I hoped to report back that a Republican and Democrat could successfully coexist, or if nothing else, agree to disagree.

Nope. This man was so Bushy it was like being on a date with Dick Cheney. Standing on the steps of Boston City Hall, over Bud Light and styrofoam containers of ribs and beans, it took very little prompting to get him on the two-hour roll from which he couldn't extract himself. His two most-oft-uttered statements: "I don't mean to lecture you, but...." and, after I suggested we change the subject, "Well, you asked...."

Last night his arrival on the OKC came when I was mid-IM-chat with another man. So I didn't break away a few moments later to take the following chat request when it popped up:
(12:45:24 am) Standup: Yes...I voted for George Bush!
(12:45:42 am) Standup: ....but the ribs were good!
(12:49:50 am) Standup: Hi Karen...

Oy. Vey.

Double Oy Vey.

R.I.P., duck friend

Sorry I forget to tell you sooner.

I left not my heart, but my hot pink duck-handled umbrella in San Francisco. Under the stool at Tokyo Go-Go sushi house. It was raining when we entered the restaurant....but had stopped when we left...and I walked out as if I'd never brought the umbrella in.

Which is the same method by which I have parted with at least a half-dozen umbrellas on subways, in coffee shops, or at park benches all over this fine country.

But this was particularly ignominious. This duck frequently earned me smiles from the #9 bus drivers. Never blew backwards in the wind. And, as you might recall, warded off a pesky mugger-to-be.

Très triste.

(Et....quand il pleut....très mouillé...)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Ode to a kiss

As a coda to my recent eventful Thursday night of many men....on a whim, and very late in the evening...I kissed a young engineer I met for the first time a few hours before.

It was dynamic kissing. It was kissing with legs. It was kissing that should be filmed for the big screen.

We would have kissed much longer, if I had my way. Alas, extenuating circumstances cut things short....the second of which was his violent allergic reaction to my cats and need to depart in order to continue breathing.

(Note to self: stock up on Benadryl. Stat.)

(And no, I'm not going to tell you any more of the Young Engineer story. Even if you ask.)

I forget how much I enjoy the act of kissing until I'm kissing someone I enjoy kissing. How when enjoying a kiss I can't help but run my fingers through his hair. How I want to grab his shoulder blades to the point of pain and then feel all the muscles in his back. How when it is a good kiss, there is no part of the kiss that is wrong. Nothing is gross. Nothing is too much or too little.

As a kisser, I will confess I often err on the side of overenthusiastic. This I chalk up to being single: by the time the occasion to kiss someone comes along after droughts of varying length, I have been known to act like a desert-walker spotting a cactus. Once I even got pushed away for, as he put it, "being too passionate"....or more passionate than he wanted to be, perhaps.

There was no such slobbering with Young Engineer. He wanted to kiss me. I wanted to kiss him. Someone taught him to kiss well....and I just followed his lead. And to my benefit, his lips were strong. I grabbed his head. He grabbed my head back. I grabbed his shoulder blades. He grabbed mine. I discovered every muscle in his back.

Alas....due to the transient nature of our meeting and interaction...odds are high I will never see this man again.

But I cannot stop thinking about kissing him. I spent most of my 12-mile run this morning thinking about kissing him. I spent the better part of the party I just came from wishing I had been kissing him instead of being at the party.

Bummer to the max.

Friday, February 20, 2009

A Thursday

From the Wikipedia:

"There is some argument about what qualifies as ironic, but all senses of irony revolve around the perceived notion of an incongruity between what is said and what is meant; or between an understanding of reality, or an expectation of a reality, and what actually happens."
It's official. I need to keep this quote in my back pocket for all dates stemming from initial online interaction.

Please view Exhibit A: Consultant from Lexington.

CL and I spent the last week enjoying the hell out of our IM chats. Wit. Ridiculous cultural references to poetry. Knowing self-deprecation that we were on OKC. Shared interest in the build-up to a date, in addition to the date itself, and milking it for what could be milked. Suggestive vibe without moving into raunch. Cheesy endearments with full knowledge they were cheesy.

So, why not. Last night I met CL for a drink at my favorite pseudo-dive for any occasion: DeLux on Clarendon. There is nothing not to like about DeLux.....from the fake Christmas tree next to the taps, to the crush of Sinatra and Elvis memorabilia on the back wall.....topped by a 10-foot-high print of a reclining nude that, it seems, my date did not have the wherewithal to stop staring at via the mirror behind the bar.

Reclining nude aside, CL did not enjoy the vibe at DeLux, and said so. One Guinness and 90 minutes of degenerating expectations later.......I was quite pleased to call it a night, and pleased that he didn't fight me on it.

I'll not run CL through, because an unsatisfying date is an unsatisfying date. The point is...the qualities that made him such a great chat partner quickly manifested themselves in person as manic. Encroachment into personal space. Nervous inability to stop stressing about the status of his leather jacket. Hyperawareness of what my face and arms were doing in reaction to what he said by commenting every time they changed, then apologizing for commenting.

In the meantime, I'd like to think I remained as confident and uncompromising-to-self as I projected in my profile, and not at all nervous. But I think this all just made him more nervous.


So we met at 8:15 and parted at 9:45. A hug at the parking garage, and I was left wandering into the Back Bay in my blue dress and black boots....still primed for a date, ready for another drink, ready for something else.

It was with this self-confidence that I wandered into Sel de la Terre on Boylston, ordered a raspberry lambic champagne cocktail and a baked goat cheese salad, and settled in to watch the Celtics on the big screen. I ended up sharing the next hour with a gentleman--taller, fairly older than me--who introduced himself by asking what was good on the menu, which led into a lengthy discussion of politics, sports, and the revelation that I was the first person he'd met in in Boston who knew where Manitowoc, Wisconsin was.

Is it irony to meet a nice man at face value when the only reason I was out last evening was to meet a man who, in the end, could not live up to his online persona?


Thursday, February 19, 2009


It's calming, soothing really, to walk home on a night when slush falls from the sky in plops and you're wearing the wrong shoes and the wrong coat and soaked pant legs sop against your ankles in rhythm, but it doesn't matter because you've drank a couple pints of Guinness and a talked a couple hours with some unlikely boy friends about your religion and dating websites that sometimes suck and sometimes don't, and what exactly are the crucial relationship deal-breakers, and if it is ever possible to know that you've met someone you just know you have have to be with........and you don't really want the ride home these boys offer, because this discussion is something you want to contemplate on your own for the 45 minutes down Arlington Street and across the Jimmy Kelly Bridge and up Broadway into the blowing spit, because when you're thinking about 4 boys you like who you're trying to navigate and a couple others who you have no control over but can never stop thinking about, not to mention the dozens of others you should go find and line up in case the first 4 go thud and the couple others refuse to stop weighing down your mind with your should-haves and their f#$%-ups and your f#$%-ups.....there's something about walking in the February rain in the dark by yourself that makes you wish for calm, for ease, for surety, in part, because in at least a couple of those 45 minutes such things seem possible.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tales of the OKC

Again.....must hit myself upside the head for buying 6-month membership to 5 minutes before signing up for OKCupid.

Here's today's head-to-head action:


3 profile views, 1 wink, 0 messages.


1) 3 separate IM chats, during work, with The Consultant from Lexington.  We swapped our dating histories with great aplomb. We have tremendous conversational rhythm.  We have a drinks date on Thursday.

2) Continued e-mail conversation with Will, an architect from Lima.  Peru. Who last week heard that I was interested in the poems of Jorge Luis Borges. Today he translated 2 of them for me into English.  Tonight we got on IM and discussed religion, the Nazis and our parents' ethnic backgrounds.  Tomorrow I'm reading the Borges poems, contacting him, and we're discussing.

3) Random hit on profile this afternoon from Strapping Blond Hunk (think: Owen Wilson), resulting in the following exchange....when I became too curious to look away:
SBH:  so pretty and feminine.....i wish i had someone like you to take to dinner when i go to boston for an interview? or look at pretty things.......

K:  that's kind.

K:  where do you come to Boston from?

SBH:  i live in manhattan.

SBH:  your skirt is soo pretty...... *blush*

K:  the skirt is pretty?

SBH:   yes

SBH: i have a soft feminine side.. *blush*
It went on. I will spare you. 

4) Drinks invite from a tall, dark Belgian Mathematician, a sweetheart, who runs 6-minute miles and with whom I had a spirited dissection of Tootsie.  A drinks invite tomorrow I can't make....due to church choir....but that I'm working to reschedule.

5) Finally, as I was typing this just before 1 a.m., a hello from CD, in Somerville. 

I contacted CD first, last week, because according to his profile, he has a thing for random Craigslist dates.  And he's lanky and smart ass, and cute. He liked that I have also have random Craigslist dates.  Thusly, he is convinced we must get out, get some beers, and share them and our stories with relish. Right this minute.

We began our chat at 1:03 a.m.
C:  Ahhh's my first time chatting with you! we have stories to share!

K:  Correctamundo! (as fonzie would say)

C:  fonzie would be right

C:  so, when drinks?

K:  So this weekend....

C:   Cause the way i look at it we have 50 minutes until bars close?

K:  Oh. Don't think me a cop out. But I'm in my pajamas.

C:   I'm sure there's bars where that's okay...

C:  I'm just up for doing something....and i like doing kinda random things

K:  I'm as random (and as up as they come) but might I rain check you this time.

C:  yeah yeah... famous last words

C: you're passing up the opportunity to meet some random guy for last call in PJs.... that's a shame!

K:  You realize I'm taking a far greater chance accompanying being in boxers and all.

C:  If I worked at it I could find pajamas....and if you worked at it you could meet me somewhere

K:  Guilt-trip often?

C: just tonight

This went on for another 15 minutes. In which we discussed when JJ Foleys actually has last call. And how, if we did this on any other night, it would not be nearly as fun.

C:  tomorrow is a bad night for me.  Plus, that would be like making a plan. how random is that not!

K:   What this embrace of randomness? Is it the only merit?

C:   naw, not the ONLY one....but it's fun. but also you seem kinda cool. plus the PJs at bar thing...i mean, what's not to like?   ....but alas....

K:  I think also you are cool. Which is why I'm even indulging the idea...but alas...

C:  see, that's the point when you're supposed to say "oh f#$% it..." and just meet up.
I eventually talked him out of it.  At 1:48 a.m. So I could blog about it.

Sigh. Surely should have gone out. 

But perhaps 3 date invites and a proposition from a married, cross-dressing Manhattan banker constitute a full day....which I now need to go sleep on.

In the words of the Belgian Mathematician....ciao, ciao!

Monday, February 16, 2009

4 days, 4 nights

The best of President's Day Weekend in San Fran....
.....a Top 10 List in No Particular Order
(except for #1. which really is #1.)

10) It is obviously cool to view the biopic of the Mayor of Castro Street at The Castro Theatre on Castro Street.

The film earned all its Oscar nominations, too.

9) It is obviously cool to buy a Dave Eggers' hardcover for very cheap at a bookstore 1 block over from his pirate shop.

8) This is the number, roughly, of $3 Shiner Bock pints drank at the 500 Club.


7) This, roughly, is the number of glasses of red wine drank at my cousins' apartment.

Yum, again. (See #6.)

6) Here was our Saturday night feast, per person, in this order:

1 glass syrah, 1 fresh mozzarella and cherry tomato sandwich, 1 baked spinach ball, 1 glass syrah, 2 fried risotto balls, several mega asparagus (steamed), 1 glass California red blend, 1 scoop cream-based carbonara, 1 inch-thick pork chop baked in homemade pesto, 1 glass cabernet sauvignon, 1/8th of chocolate cream pie (homemade), 1 round of sot-brained laughter at the Flight of the Conchords new episode, 1 ridiculously sound night's sleep.

5) My amount of guilt over zero-level participation in Week VI of the Bikini Challenge:


(And no. No sit-ups were harmed/executed in this diet meltdown.)

4) Even on second viewing (and while on some level it works because the owners wear tie-dye), still can't quite fathom that Ben & Jerry's is the corner store at Haight & Ashbury.

3) Running 15 miles on a Saturday morning in SF is just like running 15 miles on a Saturday morning in Boston.

Except the hills are steeper. The ocean faces a different way. Nylon shorts were possible. And the palm trees! (yes!)

2) This is the number of Pacific Ocean views.

First, on a fogless afternoon from the height of Twin Peaks, with D & Kh, the distance painting the scene with calm.

Second, on a fogless morning, alone, running south on the Great Highway, waves higher than the cars on the road.

(Thank you, fogless weekend.)

1) This is the number of times Gustav Holst's "Jupiter" came on the plane's radio on the flight home. Appropriately, at 34,000 feet above Wisconsin with the sky black in the east and pink in the west and thick clouds seemingly steps below. That middle section....where it feels as if you, the listener, should be floating in orbit, too.....celestial bodies all around....

Do it again, God! I'll take those perfect 2 minutes, whenever, again, you want to provide them.

(Random addendum: This is blog post #216. It was posted on 2/16. Someone give me a high-5!)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Mrs. Robinson (training session)

Scene: OKCupid IM chat. Time: a Thursday, early afternoon. College Boy (CB), 22, has attempted 4 times to chat with Karin (K). She relents.

CB: hi :)

K: what's up?

CB: nothing much, just killing time before work

CB: what are you up to?

K: Work.

K: Also.

CB: fun ;)

CB: maybe i can disstract you a little

CB: so what are you looking for on here?

K: Depends on the day.

K: You?

CB: well i just got out of a long relationship so just fun for now

CB: i really want to meet someone a little older, which is why im on here

K: Had any luck?

CB: not yet, its been kinda hard to find anyone

K: It is a bit hit or miss.

CB: lol* mostly miss

(*a.k.a. "Ha!")

CB: if i find anyone whos interested they only want to talk

K: Well, you can always start there, eh....?

K: Sweet talk can be very seductive.

CB: very true ;)

(Meanwhile, K heads off to view CB's photo and profile. OKCupid is set up so users can see when others view their profiles.)

K: If you put more details in your profile there will be less to talk about....

K: ;-)

CB: lol eh ill get to it

CB: checkin me out?

CB: your really cute ;)

K: Should I not?

CB: lol go for it

K: So I've got 5 minutes before I have to leave...

K: ...what constitutes fun for you?

CB: fun?

CB: like what do i mean by saying im looking for fun?

(Indeed, in his profile, fun is the only thing CB says he is looking for.)

K: You're looking for fun. ;-) Like what.

CB: gotcha

CB: whatever you want to do, im looking for a friend with benefits i guess

(Pause of at least 60 seconds. K decides not to dispense more helpful advice.)

K: gotcha.

K: Hey. I gotta run. Plane to get to.

CB: ok,have fun on your trip cutie :)

K: Later.

CB: definitly

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Single in the (other) City

Ah, sweet Thursday.....

....Girl Scout Cookies for breakfast....

....a half day of work...

.....sneak in a 5-mile run while it's still 50 degrees....

....then hop the T to Logan, where it's wheels up at 5:30, non-stop, for the weekend with Cousins D + Kh, in San Francisco....

....The Boston of the West.

I logged not nearly enough sleep last night, my traditional routine on the night before any vacation. At least it was for a reason that was not sorting laundry: last-minute plans with a new OKCupid acquaintance.

Yes, the drywalling canoe enthusiast. We hit it off enough to stay up late.

(I figured there was time to sleep on the plane.)

Despite weariness, it is a nice change to have a date the night before vacation. Canoe and I didn't hit it off so much that I'm pining for him. In fact, I'm not sure that he and I have a future with legs.

(For example: he has a fundamental problem with people who spill their personal life on the internet on places like blogs.....)

Nonetheless. We had a memory or two that can be fodder for daydreaming on the plane.

And I promise at least a few phone pictures from the road.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Flashback (a.k.a, Grandpa returns)

Remember this guy?

He "winked" at me on Match today.

Good times.

Where everybody knows your name....

I used to hang out a lot with Dave .

He's a singing guitar player, I'm a singing pianist. We're both narcissists about performing. So we go out for karaoke. Sing at piano bars together. And, quite seriously, worked on a lounge act featuring the duets from the Once sountrack and Paul McCartney's "Blackbird," in harmony.

Alas. Busy lives, other gigs, girlfriends, have truncated such times. Which happens.

So last night, it was a treat to hang out with Dave again, exploring some old haunts on Tremont Street.

First, The Tam. Emerson undergrads at one end of the bar.....glazed-over all-day drinkers at the other. Big screen sports highlights but cash only. Brubaker's in the bottle for 3 bucks (ahh.....), and it isn't even the cheapest brew.

In my first year of grad school, The Tam was where I had my first conversation with someone who admitted to being bi-sexual. It was the first place I saw cocaine snorted in public (or ever). The first time my wallet was stolen and the thief stuck it in his back pocket while he sat at the bar for his next round....for me to easily retrieve. I started 1 memorable St. Patty's Day and ended 2 memorable New Year's Eves there. My random date with a gorgeous Norwegian fireman ended there. So did the doomed outing with the Republican.

Dave is a dive bar fan. The Tam, and the Brubaker's, met with his approval.

Then we headed down to Encore Lounge for Tuesday-night with Bobby Femino on the piano bar.

The clientele here are primarily European tourists and gay men in their 50s and 60s who know every cabaret and musical theatre song known to man....and can sing along. Dave and I were Wednesday-night regulars once .....although it had been about 8 months since the last visit. We got a couple small glasses of ridiculously overpriced wine and lounged on a velvet couch.

It's good to have a place where you once were regulars. We might have gotten up to sing, anyway. But within minutes another regular, Bruce, called out our names from his dark introduce us to Bobby and tell him we were the singers whose turns were next.

So I spent the night in the '60s......first John Denver and, later, Mama Cass. Dave did Elton John, then Carousel, and I don't remember his third because by then we were on our next glass of wine.

But my third was Petula Clark's "Downtown"....which I always have loved singing at Encore because, hell, we are downtown, and everyone joins in on the chorus, and that when I never remember how the second verse starts, I just hold out the mike towards the crowd and Bruce fills in the blanks.

Which he did again last night, as I knew he would.

It's good to have old haunts.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Pitfalls and pratfalls

It's a common tale.

One chats away on e-mail with a new online acquaintance. She is me. He's a a serious academic...tall and shockingly handsome, writing in a bossy way....but a clever, take-charge way.

Sly humor is dished out, sly humor is returned. Chat is good. Photos are exchanged, photos are good. The chat continues. There is talk of a meeting, later. Suggestions are made.

So I ask for clarification on what later means, since the hour is already fairly late for social outings.
K: It sounds appealing....I would like to keep talking as well.....although do I throw you off stride if I'm not in a position to meet up tonight? That if we like each other and seem compatible I can ask for a rain check?

A: I am married so it has to be discreet and probably in the afternoon.
D'oh! Always.

At least he was upfront. Although, obviously, not nearly as upfront with some other (and certainly more) important folks in his life.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Bikini Challenge (Week V: Progress)

The ugly: Friday night, after the ballet and a healthy dinner at Rustic Kitchen....almost made it home, but was seduced by Runts candy (2 bags worth) at Store 24, 2 blocks out.


The bad: Marathon training = massive carbohydrate craving. Massive carbohydrates = extra flesh.

I know what healthy carbs are. Those just aren't the ones I Snyder's Honey Mustard Pretzel Bits. In large quantities.

The good: 25 miles of running a week is starting to show teeth. Favorite jeans, yesterday, had a modicum of breathing room. No lie.

The good (b): One pair of unforgiving silk trousers (Banana Republic, size 4, bought during a rare period during last winter's race training when my ribs were visible) fastened without extra effort this morning.

The numbers: Tonight a 5-mile run, then vinyasa yoga. Tomorrow a 6-mile run, with speedwork.

The next 3 days will be a barnstorm of preemptively counter a 4-day trip to San Francisco on Thursday involving a 6-hour plane ride full of airport temptations (See: The Ugly) and a cousin who likes to both drink beer and cook rich meats.

Should probably take the bikini along in my carry-on bag, eh?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Men of Greater Boston

Friends privy to my past tales of romantic woe should attest--I don't get over people easily.

This is despite (my usual) common sense, despite well-meaning advice, despite a rational realization on my part that unrequited love is not sexy.

Example: A couple years ago I was involved, mostly emotionally, with a man I didn't even truly date (we just hung out a lot)....and then he moved on and moved on without me. It took me until the next New Year's Eve not to fight the rock in my stomach at the thought of him....and because we ran in a shared social circle, I saw him regularly. He did not encourage me, and I had no reason to carry a torch.

Yet, wow. During that time it was unreasonably difficult for me to be interested in other men. I had no excuse except my own inability to let it go. Wallowing in melancholy was so much more fun than trying to date, evidently.

The good news is: I indeed let the man go. It just took time.

So when I'm in these situations and mouth off to various friends patient enough to listen....a common advice refrain is:

" this the only man in all of Boston?"
Correct. It seems I somehow build up a mindset that whatever happening I had happening was the only happiness I would ever know....that that kiss against the tree in the Arboretum would be the only time a man would kiss me like that......that no other man will again remember how I like my coffee seasoned or help me with dishes or open my car door.

Meanwhile I live in a metro area of 4.4 million citizens, half of them male, who I am not trying to meet. Some of them must be single. Some of them must know how to kiss. Some must know how to kiss well, I'm also sure.

So the last 2 days I've spent about 2 hours on OKCupid. In that time I had a thoughtful message from a 54-year old erudite (writer, author, even radio personality!) from Brookline who enjoyed my "writing wit." A 10-minute Instant Messager (IM) chat with a 23-year-old Jamaica Plainer who wanted to know if I was interested in younger men. A longer one with an avid canoer (more my age, from the north Metro) taking a break from drywalling and, seriously it seems, wants me to meet him for dinner later tonight.

This in addition to about 10 IM attempts from men (alert: vanity approaching) who thought the picture of my legs in a skirt was "hot."

Indeed, there are at least a few more men in Boston then I've been paying attention to.

This is nice to know.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Ominous omen?

So here's a question:

Last night, while diligently browsing on OKCupid!, for no particular reason and with no extraneous mouse clicks, a window opened to diligently install a virus on my laptop that eluded the security system.

It's still there today. It's lurking on the desktop....telling me that I have Spyware and I should install this new security program to combat it.....which I know enough not to....but it has disabled my internet access and general Windows desktop and needs to be zapped.

So tomorrow is going to be another Dell Service Sunday, I'd guess. And no online scoping for me tonight. (I'm here at work now, but my car's outside on a meter that has to be fed....)

It's unfortunate. I've quite enjoyed OKCupid up to this point and already have several great chats going that I can't pursue just as they're getting going.

Should I take this as any sort of sign?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Up against the wall.... see what sticks.

That's the mantra for tonight. Throwing away. Typing like mad. What else is there to do in the bitter cold of a night when drinks with the marathon training team fell through? Now I'm unneccessarily jumped up on Nutter Butters, confident in that usual way I am the first 3 days on a dating know, crucial to strike when I'm still the fresh meat and sharks are circling, etc. etc.

In this order, I:

1) Wrote a response to last night's Red-Hot Aries on Match. He's a drummer in a rock band. This one was easy....I just had to ask him what kind of Aries he was....

Then a message to a law student from Cambridge whose eyes, literally, pierced holes in my screen. Really. Gorgeous. Blond. Way too young. (And I thought I had sworn off law students.)

Then to a tall drink from Peabody who promised that cooking was a passion. Amazingly, I can tell you already this one is in the tank. He wrote back 5 minutes later....a speed atypical of most Matchers:

To: Cooking Man
From: Karin
Date received: February 5, 2009
Subject: Is that karaoke you're singing?

Hey there -So I was browsing along last night and thought, hmmm, that's a nice-looking man. And then I scrolled to the next picture....and, is it true? Are you singing dive bar karaoke? Dude! You must share.....what were you singing and how well did you nail it?!

To: Karin
From: Cooking Man

Stand-up comedy actually...not a huge fan of karaoke...and yeah I killed the night.

My second straight pretentious comedian with zero sense of humor. Blech.

2) Scoped for a half-hour on OK Cupid....and wrote one of my scopees, eventually.....the one with the awesome chin stubble.

Here's a reason I already enjoy this site: the correct term for for viewing other member's profiles is "stalking."

So, more accurately, I stalked several be-stubbled liberals, a few with tattoos. Woo-hoo.

3) Finally, a new one, MeetinBoston: a social networking site where members plan random events around town and, well, you just meet up and see who you meet. Their weekly newsletter arrived via e-mail this evening.

I RSVP'd to attend happy hour at The Living Room on Saturday night, thrown by member Jason who claims "the martinis are excellent." The cost is "what you consume and possibly a rough Sunday a.m." Seven attendees are already on board.

Excellent, indeed.

The work's done for tonight, and it's off to bed before midnight for the first time this week. Back to you later with a report on what (if anything) stuck.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Scoping Defense

Let the record please show:
that the reason I don't have a coherent idea
--much less a fleshed-out piece of writing--
is because
I first dumped the contents of my head and libido onto
a profile and
then spent the rest of my energy and evening

Let it also be known:
that in my inbox sits a new message from
a new connection who calls me a
Red Hot Aries! and
who worked hard to cram himself into the definition of
everything I'm looking for and says
I have legs to die for and,
besides that,
wants to take me dancing at our earliest convenience.

I'd say the evening was a success.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Re-Matched, and otherwise....

Tonight, I had no place to be for anyone else. This was good. So....

To the gym....5.5 miles on the treadmill at 8.2-minute miles, nothing hurting.

To the bus, then home. Snow and wind outside. Fireplace and stereo inside.

Then to the stove. Two helpings of rosemary sausage risotto washed down with the dregs of the pinot gris used to cook it. Red Hook Late Harvest Autumn Ale for dessert.

This was all very good.

Then, to the computer. Tonight I also re-upped the membership. (No, it's true. Hold off on the cardiac arrest.) I'm revamping my profile as I drink....which is really the only way to go about it....since this is like writing a term paper.....who am I looking for, what's the last thing I read, life goals?....blah, blah, blah. Laboriousness reigns. Need to get past this step.

Meanwhile in a third web-browser window, I'm simultaneously putting down a profile on Less expensive--free, actually--and cheekier, which is more my mood tonight, so this profile will now get more of my attention. And will probably get even moreso the farther down I get into this bottle.

It's good to occasionally be in the mood for such activity.

Hmm. So in part I've been urged back into this dating pool by an outing with the CFO Sunday afternoon. No salicious details or make-out sessions in alleys. Just coffee at Peet's and the sun in our eyes and conversation about the Obama Inauguration and the financial climate.

We walked the side streets around Coolidge Corner linking arms like bosom friends, only then getting into our romances (or non-romances) of the last 4 months. Not surprisingly, we're both in less impulsive moods and places than the summer. And the resulting quality of our conversation was tame, guarded. Undramatic.

He was frank about the woman he saw, who moved to Africa, and who he now misses. I told him how lethargic I'd felt about dating lately, and rather helpless to help myself up and out. He advised me, much like a college professor might about a job search.

So....we left it with a kiss and a goodnight and I wrote him a note that night to say thanks.....but I haven't heard back yet. Not worried about it, either, and that itself is a weight off. Really. It seems important that we had a reunion....for me to realize that I still liked being with him but could live without him. I'm not sure what sense we still make....although if we wanted to, we definitely still could make sense on a certain level. I'm now waiting to see what he thought. But, let me be clear, I am not waiting around for it.


The CFO is actually the one who mentioned OKCupid....the hodgepodge Facebook of dating maybe a new place to spread out in. Haven't seen much of it yet, but got a glimpse of quizzes and chats and compatibility tests and randomness.....and, as I was pleased to see, a less earnest mood. Which seems just the way to dip the toes back into the water.

Oh, that those waters not be stagnant....(!)

Monday, February 2, 2009

It's about time

C is a random male acquaintance, the friend of my former roommate Rick and his husband Phil. Some years ago we met at one of their frequent house parties in Somerville.

C is in his late 30s and works in insurance, an Italian-American who talks like it and lives in the North End. We were introduced that night while getting ready to leave, finishing beer from bottles while standing on the curb. I can't remember our conversation, other than it was pleasant. C himself was pleasant. He would give a date's mother warm fuzzies by dint of his sheer gentlemanliness. And he was single.

A-ha! (You surely say.)

But we're talking a Rick and Phil party. I expect to meet other gay men, other single women, and couples. If I have been at a party hosted by gay men and single straight men were in attendance, I don't recall having met them.

So I automatically assumed C fit the typical profile and thought no further of it. Years passed.

Fast-forward to 2007, to Rick and Phil's wedding at the Somerville Holiday Inn. I re-met C in the cocktail line, non-alcoholic tonic in hand. Our circle of gay men and straight women welcomed him to eat with us, and he quickly became a focal point: collectively, we couldn't figure out why this well-dressed, social man in his late-30s was single. Was he gay and not sharing....or just shy? A workaholic with no time for dates? Or still just figuring things out?

So what else for all of us to do, but spend the entire dinner, dance, and after-dance---really, 7 hours fueled by vodka cocktails---making bets about and efforts toward who he might snag: the single men or the single ladies.

Turns out C snagged neither. After charming us all, he drank his tonic, shunned the dancing and was the first to leave. But was still a really nice guy.....just a nice guy who gave no clue.

However, in my efforts to get him on the dance floor, I did procure a business card, and since then we have had sporadic, non-commital contact. I was once in a Fourth of July crowd at his decidely bachelor apartment. Last year he chipped in towards my Boston Marathon charity-team fundraiser.

So here we are in the present. And C's address showed up unexpectedly in my inbox 2 days ago, sparking the following back-and-forth:

From: C
Sent: Sunday, February 1, 2009, 4:48 PM
To: Karin
Subject: RE: Karin running the Boston Marathon

Hey, wonderful to hear from you! Of course I will sponsor you! And remember my advice from last year: play to your strengths!

From: Karin
Sent: Monday, February 02, 2009 11:39 AM
To: C

C__! That's awfully kind of you. Yes, you need to start harassing Rick/Phil to throw another party so we have an excuse to hang out. I was set to go to their place on New Year's and had some snafus that prevented it.

I hope you are well, and thanks again!

From: C
Sent: Monday, February 2, 2009, 10:02 PM
To: Karin

Sounds good. I made my donation already. I didn't make their NYE party either. But maybe if you have some free time, we could meet up for coffee somewhere. I mean really, do two heterosexuals need two gay men to bring them together?

Good point, C.

So......he answered one question without being asked. The second question....single or not? up for discussion if and when he follows through. And if he does, the third question....would this be a date? And then what?

No matter then what. What fun! My friends will be so jealous....

(And, it's about time!)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Bikini Challenge (Week IV: Sucking in)

Not much to report this week, breathless bikini watchers. Not much to report last week, either, as you notice the gap between Week II to Week IV.

Just trying to keep up the running (27 miles since Monday, 14 on sheer ice), the core strengthening (yoga and yoga and crunches galore), protein consumption (here's to daily quinoa intake) and good sleeping habits (not at all).

A new tactic came to me Friday while studying my figure in the elevator door at work: Might I tone the abs by tensing my core muscles non-stop, much like one must in yoga, while going about everyday life? After 2 days of trying I'm not sure if it actually helps or my pants and skirts fit better simply because of the new fake space in the waistband.

Speaking of small monthly goals, I'm proud to have survived the January Chocolate Moratorium. Not a bite......with the exception of an inadvertant Power Bar snafu on the 24th, when it did not explicitly say "chocolate" on the wrapper. Amazingly, the best cure for cocoa cravings has been to inhale several cans of Fresca a day. Which has tripled my aspartame consumption. Yum.

Nonetheless, nice to know a monthly goal is reachable. So I might just proclaim February the "28 days of 24-Hour Sucking-In Challenge." Just might.