Friday, July 31, 2009


So I do like men with nice hands. I don't know when I first realized it, only that it has just always been one of my things.

It's not a dealbreaker. Men without nice hands still rate.

Oy, though. I've got to change my OKC profile. I mention it in there three times:

I spend a lot of time thinking about....
How much I wished I was living with someone with strong hands so I could request a massage at will.

You should message me if.....
Strong hands may also apply. Piano players with strong hands .....yes, please.

And while I have lots of details about my running and love of politics and reading of Jonathan Franzen, etc. etc., most guys who hit me up mention that part. Of all the qualities. For example:

"I happen to be trained in deep tissue massage and have incredible strong hands if ur interested..."

"I also play hockey and rock climb, so my hands are very strong and they also happen to be disproportionately large - perfect for giving massages if you are so inclined."

Some are more articulate and thorough than others. This just came in a few days ago:

"As for “strong hands,” I’d say mine are better than many, and I do play a bit of piano. Those hands have become strong through a number of weeks a year of outdoor activities (volunteering to plan and lead hiking, canoeing, cycling, and horseback riding programs). Those hands have also worn out some high-end keyboards with all the typing they do of speeches, articles, and now a book. I
thus have all the requisites to message you!"

Generally, this is all good. I'm asking for this quality in a man, whether ironically or not.

But of course, someone has to come in and ruin all the fun, kind of make me wish I had never asked. Here's what came in this morning:

"hello gorgeous how r u sexy remember me whats up tonight wanna talk 7xx-xxx-xxxx"

Followed shortly by

"i have really strong hands i fight in cage 7xx-xxx-xxxx big bob"

OK. My dad's name is Bob. A man who calls himself "big bob" (especially without capital letters) is not allowed to write me. I certainly do not remember him.

And I draw the line at cage fighters.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Unwinding, if possible

Tuesday was an overwhelming, frustrating day at work.

To remedy, that evening I asked a friend to join me for a beer and chat to unwind.

Perhaps it was a poor idea to try and unwind from being overwhelmed with a friend who is himself overwhelmed, because his unwinding (which was quite necessary, don't get me wrong, I understood it) overwhelmed me even more. I left him inexplicably needing to drive ... went north on 93 instead of south .... up to Lawrence, west on 495 to Littleton, and back to Boston via Route 2, some 78 or more miles, with the moonroof and windows open and the BBC World Service as background, eating a King-Size Hershey bar, thinking about nothing but the dark highway, pulling into Southie at 12:55 a.m., finding myself still so wound up that sleep didn't come until after 2:30.

Which in turn made Wednesday an overwhelming, frustrating day at work. Perhaps the crankiest in my history of work. Enough where co-workers backed away at my approach.

Last night my attempt to unwind was no more successful.

Power yoga? No good ... a substitute teacher with no sense of flow and the stretching hurt more than anything else.

An hour on the Steinway at church, improvising with my eyes closed on hymns? Nope.

A nice run? My left ankle is oh so unhappy with me and the 80-percent humidity outdoors is hardly relaxing. Not possible.

And getting to bed before midnight? Ah. You all know me well enough I can't manage that even when totally inspired.

So here we are, Thursday morning, facing an inbox of remnants from yesterday's work crankiness without the fortitude or restfulness to deal. Stomach hurts from frustration and weariness. And in an enormous outpouring of salt .... woke up to discover that in my relative haze last night, I forgot to lock my bike to the street sign out front as usual .... and it is gone.

My rusty, unstealable, brakes-that-suck, free bike from the landlord was stolen.

All I need is for my car to get towed and life will be complete.

But hey ... The CFO. (Reminder: he's become a Friend who is a Boy, rather than boyfriend.) We last met up in early June for burgers and martinis at Lucky's, venting off whatever frustrations we both had at that time, but haven't communicated since.

This morning, an e-mail out of the murky, black sky:

"Been thinking of you lately ...

I was thinking of going over the Boston Harbor Hotel after work and catching some music .. I just checked and tonight's a blues band out back on the water. Any interest in meeting me there? I've not been, but have a sense it's a good crowd and a nice place to meet for a beer. "

Wow. His message produced an unexpected feeling of comfort and familiarity so acute it was like falling back onto a pillow.

Like it might be possible to unwind, tonight?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I almost made a new post label today:

"The Road to 40."

(Why not? Only 1,333 days to go. And only 4,983 to 50. Woohoo!)

It came to mind mid-afternoon when I realized my left ankle and right kneecap, in tandem, had dully throbbed the whole day. Perhaps they're stiff because I didn't stretch this morning. Perhaps they're feigning arthritis due to the oppressive humidity of the last 4 days, even though I both slept in air conditioning last night and worked all day at a dry 68 degrees.

Who knows. When I have to get excited about a 4-mile training run tonight as 2 of 6 major leg joints hate me, I've completely lost my sense of humor.


But. About that same aching moment, when, seeing I had New Mail in my Yahoo! account, I clicked it open to discover that

"You may qualify for an electric wheelchair at little or no cost!"

thanks to some quick-thinking spammer.

Woohoo! (Again!)

It was the moment I realized I'm slightly worried about my ability to age gracefully, because I couldn't even bring myself to smile at the irony.

Although, again. Just yesterday a 19-year-old college student on the OKC "liked my profile," "loved my photos," and was "looking to meet some cool people for a casual relationship."

Which means maybe I'm getting slightly ahead of myself.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Congrats to my friend Susan -- a rare writer who, actually, makes a living as a writer -- as she wrote an article featured today in the online magazine connected to

"Sure, dating has the potential to give you lots of fodder for your blog. But should you reveal all online, just for the sake of a good story?"
The story includes a link to this space and a few choice quotes from yours truly. In turn, a link to the story is on the main search page of under "dating tips & advice."

I sense a few additional stories will stem from this. Stay tuned.

Wanted: Joy

I was on the phone yesterday afternoon with my Cousin J. She's in Managua, Nicaragua, coordinating Peace Corps volunteers for a couple of years.

Even though my brain is fully integrated into the capabilities of our small world, I still marvel that I was in the lobby of a health club in Boston talking about my love life with a woman who sounded like she was in the next room but really was 3000 miles away, helping hold North and South America together there on her isthmus.

She was also giving me sage advice. Cousin J is good that way.

"Karin," she said. "You've got to work on that sleep thing. Reading too much in the blog about how tired you are."
Oy, and here it be, 1:16 a.m. And here I sit on the patio, feeling today's draining humidity finally drain away as the thunder begins, lightning following, the breeze gaining energy. Not planning to sit out here in a storm but....

(Here start the raindrops on the leaves. I've got about 5 minutes before they filter down through my patio roof.)

I thought about Cousin J's comment as I left the club shortly after our call and embarked on the world's sweatiest 5.6-mile run. It's true I've not been sleeping well. And it's also true that I cannot remember the last time I felt joyful, which I think often has a lot to do with why someone either cannot or chooses not to sleep as much as she should.

This came as a solid realization about 2 miles in. It's been a couple months I've felt this way. Even though in that time I've seen musicals and concerts and movies and found them all to have been worth seeing, ate fried clams at The Barking Crab and was taken out for martinis several times and beer several times more, and sang many glorious hymns in church and played glorious cello duets with a friend, and saw a North Dakota sunset and half my high school graduating class and my 11-month-old nephew and my 89-year old grandma and my parents, whom I never get to see, and have had some stellar sex and titillating, flattering IM conversations with some other stellar-looking men who call me cute, and enjoyed several helpings of coffee-chip ice cream in waffle cones on hot, humid nights and found the perfect Vinyasa yoga teacher and retained my job in the midst of a corporate merger and got a new pair of Asics and started running, even though it's a little painful, and saw the Tall Ships and put my feet in the Atlantic Ocean, twice.

I have love ... that's evident. (See: previous paragraph.) I have people around me. I have finally achieved some tan on my legs and my impatiens are pink and orange and white and overflowing the barrels they're planted in, and I'm sitting among them in silence, having just come from a shower with washed hair.

And so I'm trying to figure out, where is the joy.

I cannot remember the last time I wanted to throw my arms in the air and dance down the street, even on the most joyous of occasions. Do I not have it because I can't sleep? Or do I not sleep because I don't have it? Did I get to be 36 years only to have it be siphoned off me by my uncertainties? Insecurities? A cursed memory for details? Knee and ankle and hip and foot arch aches?

Or insomnia? It's now 1:58 a.m. I know I'm not helping my cause tonight.

But at least the thunder and lightning have stopped.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Dateline: Boston Public Library, 7/25/09

When you're spending the afternoon in a utopia, even if you are a writer known to be a copious abuser of descriptive modifiers, it is sometimes just more effective to upload a photo.

Friday, July 24, 2009


If a girl wakes up on a Friday morning with a wee bit of a headache, thanks to her company-merger-celebration-sponsored supply of Sauvignon Blanc and colleaugues who agreed to shoot the shit for a couple extra hours after the fact, she can also thank Dunkin' Donuts for its veggie flatbread sandwich and reliable Turbo Ice coffee and, even moreso, thank the calendar that it is, indeed, Friday, and most of all, thank God for His good sense to send a rainy day.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Not handy enough

Just when I thought it was safe to visit OKCupid! again, behold the first man I encountered after logging in earlier tonight:
mike: hi
(Ed. note: every third person on the OKC is named Mike.)
karin: Hi.

mike: How are you?

karin: Just cleaning off the desk at work.

mike: My name is mike i need help with a small project sewing can you sew a blanket binding back on.

karin: Um. No.

mike: why not?

karin: Don't sew.
The end.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Slow day

I don't know what is slowest about me today. Everything feels slow. Everything.

My wake-up at 7:35 a.m., when I rolled over to pick up my beeping cellphone and the only thing I could manage was to note that today was indeed 7/22/09, or 4 months since my last birthday, and then roll back over until 8:10, even after my cat Tusker jumped up onto the bed and stood several minutes with his rear end 2 inches from my nose.

The #9 Inbound bus, taking an extra 10 minutes to arrive, then taking an extra 10 minutes (25 total!) to get from Perkins Square to Copley, thanks to the broken water main that flooded the normal route up East Berkeley Street.

Today's eating schedule, which didn't start until I opened my yogurt and poured in the raw oatmeal in at 10:05 a.m., and continued in ignominious fashion a few moments ago when I decided to snack on a plum tomato by biting into it while sitting at my desk, rather than going to the kitchen to slice it, thereby losing approximately half the seeds and juice contained therein onto my brown silk pinstriped (dry clean only) trousers.

My brain, here at 11:56 a.m., seemingly impervious to the ministrations of my Turbo Ice, unable to compose an e-mail, any e-mail, be it business or personally related, in under 10 minutes, due apparently not to lack of sleep or lack of food or lack of adequate time on the bus to contemplate life, men, piano commitments, the movie I saw last night, or a sore right kneecap and sorer left ankle ... to the point where I should have completed my contemplation and moved right on to the doings of the day.


Perhaps my salvation lies in power yoga at 1 p.m. Perhaps Ujjayi breathing will save my slow, slow Wednesday soul. Perhaps it will put it into deeper sleep.

Pray for me, my friends.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fun with sunburn

Note to self: taking a picture of one's own sunburned back and thighs with a cell phone camera, alone, with the help of the bathroom mirror, will result in no usable photo and 45 minutes that could have been spent more productively.

That's too bad, actually, because it is my most impressive sunburn ever. Brown shoulders. Normal colored spine area. Then, discernible handprints breaking up the crimson splotches around both side waists. White rear end, leading to glutes that appear to have been slathered in cherry jello, which was then allowed to drip and dry.

So much for spray-on sunblock.

I should have spent that 45 minutes last night using my reasoning, comparing this careless sunburn to my dating life, but I didn't. (I went to bed, actually. Hallelujah!)

But this morning on the bus I thought of a whole bunch of topics .... none of which I really feel like developing. Feel free, if you so choose.

On being alone and scarred .... if only I had had a date with to help me reach the unreachable spots, or telling me to cover up at the first sign of pink, or forcing me to lie on my back, instead of exposing it, so that he could spend the time kissing me.

On the aftermath of a bad choice ..... since 2 days later, as it pours rain outside my window, I'm consumed by the itch under my left bra strap and shifting in my seat. There has got to be a metaphor relating this to a lousy date you feel in your gut long after he's out of sight.

On the after-effects of sunburn itself .... sometimes it mellows to a tan that looks good in tanktops; sometimes it blisters; and too many doses of it can lead to something cancerous.

Oy. That one works a little too well.

Monday, July 20, 2009

To Singing Beach (an ode)

On one of the last days of August in the year 2000, I discovered a beach on the North Shore with my friends Jon & Joshua & Rebecca & Jen.

It was my first summer near an ocean. It was a day heavy with clouds and chill, but it was the last weekend of the summer. It was our first trip to the beach.

The cabbie who drove us the 6.9 miles down to Manchester-by-the-Sea from the center of Gloucester (where we had gotten off the train, alas, to no beach within walking distance) told us that the sand squeaks when you walk on it, and it did. Hence, "Singing Beach." It was the whitest, finest, lightest sand I've seen north of Florida and there is enough to dig a hole and bury a man up to his neck. Joshua only went as as far as his waist.

Joshua and Jon (August 2000)

That day was the beginning of my love affair with Singing Beach.

On Saturdays and Sundays the Rockport line train leaves from North Station at 8:30 or 10:15 and gets you there in 50 minutes, plus the stop off at the drug store for the newspaper and soda, plus the half-mile walk along Beach Street.

Singing Beach doesn't have a boardwalk. The backside is bordered in boulders and scrub and the houses of the wealthy up on a bluff. When you enter from the bathhouse and pass hundreds of children with their rainbow pails and sand castles and parents dozing under umbrellas, clustered at the entrance, walking down the squeaky sand a half-mile towards the rocks on the far end, you are rewarded with quiet broken only by others who choose to make the similar trek.

I took the first boy in Boston I really, really liked to Singing Beach one Sunday night in September, after a Patriots game, to escape my roommates and to lay in those dunes next to those rocks and entwine bodies and mouths and watch the moon rise over the ocean.

I took my sisters, visiting from Minnesota, to Singing Beach on my (nippy, windy) 30th birthday to hang with the dog walkers and dodge the waves.

Kristin & Missy (March 2003)

I make it a personal edict to get to Singing Beach 5 times per summer. I usually go by myself. Yesterday was the first day this year worth going.

It seemed to be the first day for many people, because it was the first day this year where there was no choice with what with what to do with such a day. 85 degrees. No clouds. No humidity. The beach was mandatory. I took the 10:15 train with my Sunday Times and my Vanity Fair and my makeshift lunch of raisins and carrots and rootbeer.

Singing Beach was very, very crowded, even down at the quiet end. There was a line for the ladies bathroom. A line for slushies. A line for Captain Dusty's ice cream. The bay was full of sailing ships. The surf was cluttered with walkers and frisbees and footballs and bodies of every conceivable shape in suits bodies should be fit into and some they should not have.

But there is always a reward for staying on past the 5:30 train back to Boston, waiting for the 7:51, when the sun goes down on your shoulders. At that hour, teenage boys with their stick-out ribs and long flowered shorts and impossibly muscular backs attack the surf with wakeboards and a sprinting energy and heedlessness I don't remember possessing at any age.

(It's July. The water temperature yesterday was 63 degrees.)

At that hour, too, you can risk a trek onto the icy sand (but not quite the icy water) to cool your feet and not get run over, when you haven't yet realized that your entire back is turning ruby red from the day.

Karin (July 2009)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Back in Training

Aye, it is the steamiest day of our faire summer thusfar, at 95 happy degrees.

A perfect day to set up a new challenge for thyself ....

.... a physical endurance challenge ....

.... an activity o' sweating, measured in gallons rather than teaspoons .....

.... an excuse to supplement my core-strengthening kick of yoga, weights, and physical-therapy-mandated ab crunches while at the same time offsetting the re-emergence of an ability to down a box of cereal in one sitting* ....

.... something to assist in regaining bikini body form** from March, currently on hiatus (see: *) ....

.... a "No, I Really Should Not Go to JPLicks for Coffee Oreo in a Waffle Cone Right Now" challenge (see: **) ...

I'm trying to become a runner again.

Aye, indeed. I've half-heartedly tried to be a runner again these last 3 weeks. And I do seem to run out of breath at the 20-minute point (discouraging). I have the sensation, after weeks of bike-riding, that I'm carrying bricks with my thighs. I have beat my battle with hip bursitis only to replace it with chronic ankle pain (f#$%ing annoying).

But I have run through much worse in the past.

These are not excuses.

Besides. On Monday, I got an e-mail reminding me that in September I'll for the third time book 200 miles across New Hampshire with my favorite gang of running biochemical engineers, Cheap Yellow Mustard. On Tuesday, bought new Asics with extra gel cushioning. On Wednesday, registered for the BAA Half-Marathon.

That last item excites me the most. The Boston Half is the peachiest road race .... a Sunday morning in October before the traffic starts. Weather crisp, leaves in transition. Rolling swells through the Fenway and Jamaica Plain and the detour through the Franklin Park Zoo. At 13 miles, enough of a run to feel like a training challenge but not one to leave me limping and nauseous.

Now I've just got to get my running soul back in training. Sleep more. Ice the ankle. Eat something besides cereal. Kick the fatigue devil in the ass.

Figure out how to want to run again so 4 miles is back to being a joy rather than a slog.

I'm on it!

I'll keep you posted how it goes.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Storytelling (finally)

Yesterday afternoon I was chilling out on my Gmail account and got a pleasant surprise:

An IM hello from the first man (C) I wrote to on OKC, over 5 months ago. I can't now remember exactly why I did (or, even, what my first sentence is referencing):

K: If it makes you feel any better .... I'm on here because the 55-year-old man I until recently was "casually dating" told me he had a great time .... That sold me. I figured it was a place where people were a little less uptight. If you're up late, be warm. Cheers --

C: We should continue this conversation this weekend. :)

K: Hmm. Yes. You did promise that messagers would be treated to such uncomparable conversations. Sell me on it....?

C: Well, I'm surprised we never met on Craigslist.

K: Oh do tell. Have you a story?

C: Do I have a story? Haha! :)

K: Pick one. Come on. One with high entertainment value. I'll give you one back.
Eventually, our relationship morphed into a series of post-1 a.m. chats, mostly consisting of him trying to cajole me to come to last call at any number of local establishments.

Which I never did, mostly because it was the middle of the night in the middle of the winter. And he never shared any stories with me, preferring to wait until we were sitting together on barstools, racanteuring. Then we completely fell off.

But now we're back on.

So that's what I'm going to do tonight at 10 -- hear C's stories down at my favorite dive-that-isn't-really-a-dive, DeLux, with its fake Christmas tree and grilled cheese and reclining nude and (God, I do still hope) Smithwicks on tap.

I think he and I will drink beer and make fun of ourselves and help extend my wicked tired streak. Although I'm not really thinking this is a date. In all our chats I never felt he and I would ever "date." More bosom friends ... if men and women can be bosom friends in the "Anne of Green Gables" sense.

So while my reunion with C deserves this mention, this will be the last I'll tell you of C and his stories, because long ago I promised to keep him out of this space.

Which might be a shame if the stories are good.

And I hope they're good.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Damn, I'm tired this week.

I'm so tired that I believe it is the first thing I've said to each person I've met in the past 9 days.  

I'm so tired I wake up in the morning and count how many hours I have before I can be done with the day and be sleeping again. 

I'm so tired that (while first recalling that as recent as April I could run 50 miles a week and sometimes 18 miles at a time through often sub-zero temperatures) at the 2-mile point of each 4-mile run I have completed this week, I am so weary that I stop running altogether and have to stop and take heaving breaths, using vats of willpower to keep from lying down on the grass, usually the Cambridge side of the Charles River just before the Longfellow Bridge, to take a nap.

I'm so tired that it takes me most of the work day to do a task that should take an hour.  More explicitly: I spent 4 hours this morning contemplating my quarter-end mail merge, then another 2 hours compiling the data spreadsheet, and the final 2 hours printing the letters. 

I'm so tired that the idea of going out on a date is exhausting.  Being social is just out of reach. IM chat requests annoy me.   I had the chance to go for coffee today, and declined.  I had the chance for a wild night of debauchery last night with an old OKC acquaintance, and said Eh, I'm already in for the night, sorry.  

I do not know why I'm so tired. 

I'm tired of being tired.  

I want to sleep and wake up and want to be up.  

I want to leave the office satisfied as to some level of productive output.

I want to run unfettered. 

I want to go on wild dates on every wild, clear summer night of July.

I am tired of being this boring because I'm so tired.

I am now, for the record, going straight to bed.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Matchless Monday

The energy level of sunny summer (yes, sunny summer!) Mondays is inversely proportional to the relaxation of the preceding weekend ... as if the world feels compelled to atone for the relative slothfulness from whence it came.

Today the air was full of busy. While biking to work, cars sprawled willy-nilly in intersections, waiting for cranes and delivery trucks and pedestrians (most definitely not at intersections). Copley Square -- tour bus central, dispensing gangs taking pictures of my office tower. Starbucks -- another uncharacteristically long wait among the suited-folk for the iced black-eye.

Funny. OKC was a world of busy today too.

Funny, out of a dozen (yes, 12) IM chat requests and inbox messages, there was no one circumstance that made any practical or logical sense.

Lead-off Batter: 27, goofy smile, from San Fran, here visiting relatives:
"Your profile makes you seem like a really witty and funny person. I would love to buy you an espresso-charged coffee and talk to me more about Pixar movies or running. I also play hockey and rock climb, so my hands are very strong and they also happen to be disproportionately large - perfect for giving massages if you are so inclined. As far as cure for cynicism is concerned - ice cream always works for me."
We exchanged a bit. I suggested he keep flattering me as he did, that I never turn down a coffee hour and I am indeed attracted to men with powerful hands.

Alas, he wrote back this evening -- noting that he flies back to the other coast tomorrow. I replied to ask if he does lunches. But I now believe I am part of his blanket effort to get laid before leaving town. Strike 1.

Batter 2: 38, Somerville, first man to reference my profile reference to David Foster Wallace.

IM'd to ask how my reading of Infinite Jest was coming along. We moved into discussing the literature of Jonathan Franzen, then our evidently shared love of community gardening. This went on for some 10 minutes.

So I clicked onto his profile for a closer look at his photos ... he is indeed handsome and well-travelled and frank ... and to discover that he is in a polyamorous relationship ... and that anyone he dates would need to also get along with his wife and his serious girlfriend.

At that point I suggested that the water for my pasta was boiling and I needed to run. Strike 2.

Batter 3: 27, from Worcester, no photo.

Sometimes I follow a chat just to see where it goes. This one is 100-percent genuine.
Worcesterite: hey gorgeous
W: wassup
Karin: cooking dinner.
K: wassup you?
W: nothin much
W: got bk frm wk
W: i love women of ur age
W: thts how caught da attn
W: ;)
K: thanks for that.
W: do u like younger guys?
K: depends on the younger guy
W: are you in to nsa?* *( no-strings attached )
Insert 3-minute pause.
W: here?
K: Sorry
W: its ok
W: you dint ans my question
K: I am sometimes but actually not right now.
W: i m not in a hurry
W: ;)
Insert 10-minute pause.

W: here babes?
Strike 3.

Hmmm. However, redemption today came in the form of additional communication with the gentleman who made my Friday by thanking me for "making him laugh." Turns out, from his pictures he also just sent, he is long, dark and handsome and works nearby and is 30 and knows how to spell. Turns out he also runs 8:30-minute miles and we're going to attempt 3 or 4 of them together Wednesday afternoon.

A running date!

To fully finish abusing the baseball metaphor ... so nice to at least get on base after all this swinging away.

Update: Tuesday, 12:19 p.m. From the department of That Was Too Easy and Good To Be True: Wednesday run suspended due to partner's late conference call with the other coast. Rescheduling nebulous, as he says, "next week is much freer, so maybe we can figure it out by then." I will hold my breath .... but only a little. So, I use the next week to improve my pace as to further impress him if the run ever happens ... and if it doesn't, I'm just a faster runner. Oy.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


4:52 p.m., on the boardwalk in Gloucester, MA.

I know I write a lot on here about how I wish I had a boyfriend.

But there are occasional benefits to being single.  

Kind of like when it is 85 and sunny and I've gone up to a friend's in North Andover on a Sunday afternoon and when leaving,  instead of taking I-93 back to Boston, take 38 miles of slow road due east, because I had no better place to be than cruising with a coffee frappuccino and NPR and the sunroof open and nothing to do but think thoughts and see the ocean and not a single person to answer to for any of it.

Friday, July 10, 2009

A Friday in July

Yesterday afternoon 
the clouds moved out.

Today the city was 

Not an optical illusion.
There were simply no clouds.

I lay on the Copley Square lawn tonight
after a windless, humidity-free 4-miler on the Charles
(in the sun, natch),
with my feet pointing to the library and my head to Trinity Church, and
I rolled my eyes back and 
discerned only the metal outlines of the Hancock Tower, 
the glass within them was so blue.

Here's how I knew I was in a good mood:

I dropped $16 at the 
organic food stand of the Copley Farmer's Market, 
bagging up
organic celery ($4) and broccoli ($4) 
and sugar snap peas ($2) and cousa squash ($2)
and, of course, unshelled organic fava beans ($4).
Which I'm sure I'll figure out to prepare tomorrow, 

I didn't get crabby at
the slower-than-usual staff energy at Starbucks 
that kept me in line for 10 minutes this a.m. and 
made me late for work
the slow-moving tourists strolling 4 abreast down Boylston 
this afternoon
the super-slow-flow style of the substitute yoga teacher tonight.

I got my 3rd e-mail 
from a newish boy on OKC 
who is 30 and
who is dark and lean and
who loves nothing more than running on the Charles and 
who said, in reply to my last e-mail,
"thanks for making me laugh ... again!"and 
who wondered if
our paths could try and cross soon.
I wrote him back a few minutes later and said
"yes, please, I think they could try."

This is how all the Fridays in June should have been.

But I'm not complaining about July so far.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Crusin' & Chillin' (with the Tall Ships)

Here lies the Portugese ship Sagres in Boston Harbor.

What you can't see is the sailor who, about 30 seconds after this photo was taken, jumped on the starboard wall, stripped off his shirt and performed another 30 seconds of pelvic thrusts for the masses.

I figured he was indulging some energy, since the ship just got to port yesterday. However, I did not indulge him a photo.

And that, folks, is as dramatic as last night's cruise got ....

.... I didn't find me a man, but got Corona in a can, a free martini from Mike, a couple hot dogs, heavily goose-bumped legs, and lots and lots of views like this:

Thanks, Cobb via for the image, since my phone camera was not up to a similar task.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


So I'm headed out tonight on a Summer Music Cruise around Boston Harbor.

Yes. A Booze Cruise.

(Yes, under a forecast of "numerous showers and scattered thunderstorms this evening .... may produce small hail and heavy rainfall ....")

Eh. Why not live dangerously. Drink. Meet new folks. Maybe get struck by lightning. A perfect Wednesday night.

I'm happy to report that this outing, a fundraiser for the South Boston Neighborhood House, came to my attention thanks to a product liability attorney who has become a friend -- one of the Obama campaign organizers I met last fall. Mike lives a block away in Southie, so we see each other frequently on the #9 bus or walking Broadway on the weekends or at the South Bay Plaza Target.

Mike is also a man about Southie .... whenever I see him, he is on his way to a fundraiser or a community meeting or a campaign event. He's gregarious and open. He once took me to Saturday breakfast at Mul's. He has gotten me in the mood to participate in neighborhood improvement projects, which I've done far too little of in my 10 years in town.

I wrote Mike earlier this afternoon since I am clad in a lime-colored cotton sundress and wedgy sandals and had read the above-referenced forecast. He replied thusly:

M: Yes, the cruise is still on. The hourly forecast on is hopeful - only cloudy, temperatures around 60, and winds at about 10 mph.

K: OK, I bought a ticket and am bringing my windbreaker .... I'm holding you to the forecast!

M: :) I'll buy you a martini if I am wrong.
Then, about 10 minutes later.

M: Bring that windbreaker, we might have some light showers to start off our three-hour tour.... our three-hour tour. How do you like your martinis?"
I'm writing this much now, in case we pull a Gilligan's Island.

A fuller report will follow after-hours .... perhaps with a cosmo or 2 in my bloodstream ... and perhaps from the ubiquitous rain-drenched patio ....

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Ode to (yet more) rain


July has not proved a barrier to the march of the low clouds. God's tears. Heaven's milk.

It's raining!

The rain is random and fat tonight.  Slow.  It splats onto the third-floor open patio of my 3-story row house in big drops, and then the patio below that in medium drops and, finally, through the cracks of that patio and, seeming to avoid my slicker-covered head, hits this laptop in drops of its original, fat size. One loud drop at a time finds the keyboard, which I try to locate to wipe up before it sinks into the crack between the T and the G.  Another finds screen, where a drop hits the top and smears down, slowed by the electronic warmth. 

I'm complicit in the destruction of my computer, it seems.  

Perhaps I'm daring the rain, in its randomness, in its relentlessness, to spare us both, to let me write something tonight out here in the superior wireless signal because I feel like writing.  

Alas.  I don't know why I think it will obey.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Dateline: Cando ND 7/4/09

Sometimes you have to get up from 4 hours of sleep to go and stand 45 minutes in the Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport security line at 6 a.m., after which you sprint the length of the E Concourse (to the end gate, natch) only to miss the flight back to Boston even after they "paged you for 20 minutes" and then pay $100 for the privilege of getting on another flight back to Boston that doesn't leave for 3 more hours, to get on the plane, only to get off the plane in Boston and onto the Green Line with 221 sweaty tourists at Government Center so you can all stand belly-to-butt for 4 stops, then step out at Copley into a solid hotness as you dodge bicyclists and construction workers spreading tar at the corner of Dartmouth Street and cars who disobey Yield to Pedestrian signs and more tourists so busy looking up at the Prudential Tower that they also fail to Yield to Pedestrians in a way that makes you wish that personal space in the city wasn't a fantasy.

So then you remember Fourth of July parades in small towns where you didn't have an internet connection or a cell phone signal for 4 days, and take a breath of appreciation for the place you came from.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I'm at Logan Airport.

And yes, I have my wallet.  

It's 5:50, and my 5:45 flight to Milwaukee is now leaving at 8:15.  I won't make it to my sister's in Minneapolis now until after midnight. 

Damn runway landing equipment malfunction. Damn low cloud cover.  Damn 3-hour weather delays on the 1st of July.

I'm paying $7.95 for Logan Wifi.  Ay. But I feel compelled to do something constructive with my 2 hours (blog? yes!) besides drink Guinness and socialize with the men in suits also spending their weather-related delays drinking Guinness.  Or martinis which, come to think of it, don't sound too awful either.  This might have to do with the fact that I'm in a non-pick-up-able outfit of yoga pants, purple hoodie, running shoes and unwashed hair.

But hey.  My butt is numb from sitting on this linoleum floor watching folks come through TSA security. My thighs are numb from holding up this laptop.   And there's Boston Beer Works to my left.  And some men in suits there-in.

Catch ya later!

Shout-out: MJ

I heard about Michael Jackson's death on June 25th while sitting at work, polishing off the day's remnants before joining my colleagues to run a corporate road race. 

The news came, from all places, National Public Radio ... when an announcer broke into the evening broadcast of "All Things Considered."  And you know it's serious business when someone interrupts the uninterruptible ATC.

I knew a death such as his in a fashion such as his in a town such as his would produce the circus it has indeed turned out to be already.  Narcotics, which ones and how much.  Ex-wives contesting paternity.  Wills excluding fathers. And teddy bears--always teddy bears--piled at wrought-iron gates.

All to be expected.  Not worth lamenting because it could be nothing else.

Oh, to go back to last Thursday night, though.

To come out from work, not 20 minutes after the announcement, to see the lone man on the Copley Square fountain blasting a mega boombox next to his buddy, another lone man with an R.I.P. sign aimed at passing cars.  Bittersweet disbelief as a primary emotion -- even in the crowd of corporate runners on the first sunny evening in weeks, and after as we nursed beers at Clery's.

The next day, a friend sent me a link to a blog containing this version of Jackson, then 30, at the 1988 Grammy Awards .... back in an era where he amazed, rather than baffled.  

For years I have had no great love for this man. 

But I cannot stop watching this video.  I estimate that since last Thursday I've done so about 40 times. It's the simplicity, the understated costume, the rhythm, the scatting, the exhortations, the cracking vocals, the jump-roping ... and those spins ....

... and I can't look away, and I'm very very sad, and I wish he had been happy enough in this moment to just stay here.