Monday, August 31, 2009

One year later

My nephew turns 1 year old today and I'm still a maiden aunt.

Henry & Karin, Cando ND - July 4, 2009

Eh. My relationship status isn't really the point of Henry's birthday, I guess, until he gets old enough to start asking me why I don't show up with an uncle for him to practice WWF neck-breakers on.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Wedding of a friend

So tomorrow, the male version of me gets married, and not to me.

Princeton University -- New Jersey, September 2008

Which is OK. Because Justin has been seriously in love for a serious long time with his soon-to-be-wife, Mala, who in her own right has become a serious Friend Who is a A Girl to me. (In fact, I'm a sari-wearing bridesmaid for tomorrow's nuptials in Marblehead, going on with or without Tropical Storm Danny.) The 2 fall into a category of those who became closer friends after they became couples, their affection for one another inspiring them to share wisdom with me in tandem. Relationship advices from the learned. They've heard every one of my stories and I've heard theirs.

Although I've known Justin for 8 years, and will fondly recall him as a not-mature grad student from Ohio who never slept or ate or failed to miss a musical theater audition or bike from Revere to Davis Square at 5 a.m. or buy accordions and dulcimers on eBay, then use his barista card to buy discounted Starbucks drinks several times a day, then drive all over kingdom-come to suffer through 10Ks and half-marathons with his shorter (but faster) female version of him.

Of course, he can (and will) continue to be all these things, and a pretty good husband too.

Bravo, friend.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Three-hundred sixty-five ...

... is the magic number of this post.

Meaning we have together reached a year's-worth of blogging in 479 days.

No comment on that, folks, except ... thanks to you for reading. Because it keeps me writing.

Even on days that come after nights (yes, another night) of insomnia against all best efforts. Including purposefully not drinking coffee after noon. Including a 60-minute workout followed by a 3-hour musical rehearsal followed by a brisk walk home and downing of a Harpoon UFO White.

(So do you think after 365 entries it's about time I created a sleep-related tag? Yup. Just did it.)

But. Occasionally I have been known to be OK with staying up way too late ... usually, but not exclusively, because it involves great sex.

Last night while lying there, in this case alone with the cats, imagining this morning's physical therapy session and how much fun lunges and crunches can be after a very short night, enjoying the drone of BBC World Service ...... WBUR broke in at 1:30 to report Ted Kennedy's death.

Based on his stature and my 10 years in his constituency, I must have been thusly relieved to be allowed a "where were you when you heard" moment .... and with that knowledge finally fall asleep.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Monday PDA

Today the air was soupy. Like when you walk out into it, coming from air conditioning, and your skin simultaneously grows a second skin of sweat.

Thus, it felt prudent to wait and do my weekly long run after the sun had left this equation, so I set out from the gym at 8:42 p.m. Which turned out to be the right idea. Legs were strong. It took 72 minutes to do 8 miles through the Back Bay, up Mass Ave to Harvard Square and back around on Memorial Drive, breeze off the Charles the whole way, Brahms string sextets on the iPod .... a layer of sweat present but not stifling. When I hit Copley again, the fountain was still turned on (hallelujah!), so I peeled off my socks and shoes and iced the hot out of my feet.

A welcome treat.

As I dried off, turning and standing to walk to my car, I noticed a couple lurking just off the steps of Trinity Church. Two men, youngish, in t-shirts and khaki long shorts. One had his back to a tree and the second had just leaned in to kiss him, with a pre-lustful touch. As if they were just getting started, prior to hands and heads getting involved. The one leaning in would give the kiss, then pull back and grin, then lean in again.

I found myself watching as I walked by, trying not to look like I was looking. There was something so correct about this couple and how they were making out. Taking advantage of the emptiness and the shadows, the evening cool after a steamy day, no groping or grossing-out. Happy to be where they were.

Who wouldn't want to be in either of their places?

I'm the first to say I'm not usually a fan of public displays of affection. But I have memories of such ... long ago, a kiss in Brookline's Corey Hill Park that was worth every minute of its 2 languorous hours. The summer afternoon a date pressed me up against my front door while pedestrians crossed the street towards us not 10 feet away .... and another time, at 1 a.m., at the same door, when another man persuaded me into the same position with the same level of insistence. The last time I saw the CFO, when he open-mouthed kissed me standing out on Congress Street, traffic pouring past.

Ah, it must be a Monday. When one is wistful already for the next weekend, for the companionship and those times of unabashed openness and comfort.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Angst?

This is the look a cat will give after escaping down the patio stairs and crossing the yard and climbing over a fence and, in apparent confusion, up on the neighbor's patio, then mewing loudly enough so that his owner would be compelled to crawl through said fence (and a garden of weeds and gravel) before trespassing onto said neighbor's patio, thrilled at thought of possible neighborly discovery at 12:42 a.m., to scoop said cat, only for said cat to lose his cool on the way down the neighbor's stairs, windmilling claws and torso, tattooing said owner (not smart enough to wear a long-sleeved shirt and pants before attempting said trespass) with 7 punctures on 3 separate limbs and 1 set of cleavage, including this bloody 3-inch gash on the right calf that actually has a texture.

I'd suggest it might be guilt upon viewing his owner's possible 6-8 week healing time during the end of short skirt season.

Although it could also be angst at the realization that his owner will most likely never allow him outside again in either of their lifetimes.

Friday, August 21, 2009

BobKat's Big Day

Today is my parents' 44th wedding anniversary.

As the perpetual single girl, I find this humbling to think of living in consort with another person for that many nights in a row. Also: if I married next year, I would have to grow up to be 80 to reach a similar milestone.

I can't profess to know how great or how intolerable Bob & Kathie consider these many years to have been. Although I can say with some certainty that since we last checked in, they have adjusted to retirement (lots and lots of watching Tiger Woods and The Golf Channel) and became grandparents for the first time, and they are pretty damn happy with that.

(Henry loves beards.)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hey unknown....take that!

Well, the dahlias survive and so, today, do I.

Yesterday helped me reach this end on this occasion. Wednesdays have become the weekly du jour for my 7 a.m. physical therapy across town at Longwood Medical.

Ian, my PT, rocks.

Not a fan of rising at 5:30 to see him. Not a fan of having (as of last week) drained my annual Flexible Spending Account on his co-pays. And he's a golf-swing specialist, go figure.

But Ian came recommended to me by an ├╝ber-runner. (Young Scientist, natch, treated successfully for knee-popping.) He has sent my hip bursitis on hiatus and spent 3 months teaching me to teach my body not to hurt itself anymore.

This is a physical therapist's job and Ian is just doing it.

Nonetheless, his combination of knowledge and temperament is singular. At my evaluation in May, within 10 minutes, with a shrug of his shoulders, he diagnosed the nebulous groin pain that had been plaguing me for 6 weeks. I can still recall my relief at how matter-of-fact he was:

"Yup, bursitis in your hip. Here's this stretch. And this stretch. And then we'll strengthen your core. And you're not going to run for a few weeks but then you can. And if none of this works, we will try something else."
As in, quit your stressing. Quit your whining. We'll fix this.

Ian is mellow (the office music selection recently has been The Coffee House satellite) but doesn't baby me. He doesn't get angry when I whine, but he doesn't take it either. If I say my something hurts, he says, "I know why it hurts," and then tells me why and how to counter it.

So I've griped for weeks about my left ankle and right knee. You've heard about it, Ian has heard about it. Together we determined nothing is torn and nothing is broken and nothing is swollen. I've rather stopped agonizing and, when running, practice my best "mind-over-distraction" mantra.

But yesterday was a watershed. I think Ian was tired of listening to me gripe. He thusly ran me through a battery of standing and balancing positions, then exclaimed:

"So you see how you have very little flexibility in a squat? That means your calf muscles are super tight. Which throws your running stride off which then manifests in your joints elsewhere. When you told me where these pains were I thought, yes, I think it's the calf muscles and how you perform a squat confirms it. Stretch those babies out!"
And with that he gave me 3 new stretches and modified 4 others to make them more appropriate for this issue. One weight-bearing twisting lunge thing was taxing, enough that I yelled out how strenuous it was. He just as quickly responded: "What did you think it was supposed to be?!"

Could have kissed him.

I know I'm making Ian out to be a god when he is not. (We swapped oversleeping stories yesterday. He's human.) I can't tell you if my knees and ankles will never hurt again.

But he has cured me of my tendencies to think that every twinge is a torn ligament, making that particular unknown (leg pain) a known ... and by getting rid of just one in a life currently overflowing with unknowns .... and by working so assiduously to help me run comfortably again ... he helps me make it possible to go on.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ah ... hormones. Yes.

This morning, an e-mail from a friend who frequently joins me on Fridays, her day off, at the farmers market:
From: A
To: Karin

Subject: reminder

Go to Copley Market. Buy yourself some flowers so you can enjoy them this week at your desk. Be good to yourself.
A had thought to recall our conversation the Friday before. While lingering at one farmstand, I had complained about never remembering to buy flowers at the market on Tuesdays, to have them in my office for the remainder of the week. (With 2 cats who eat leafy plants on sight, they would never survive in my apartment over a weekend.)

So to honor A's request, this afternoon I went out into the heat and came back with some organic dahlias.


While out buying said flowers from said stand, I couldn't help remembering that I was doing this thanks to the concerns of a friend, worried about my lack of cheerfulness, generally, as of late.

Then I noticed was how cheerful everyone else I encountered was. How the cabby on St. James stopped, backing up traffic, to let me cross the street. How the Starbucks girl made a :-) on the Frappuccino cup next to my name. How the boy at the flower stand teased me into smiling and his co-worker, a girl, told me as I paid, "What a beautiful dress! And so comfortable-looking!"

Which is why, naturally, walking back along St. James with my flowers, I started crying. Audibly enough so that I held my breath while passing the crowd in the bus shelter. But just beyond, the street felt private behind my Jackie O sunglasses, and the tears followed me through the Hancock lobby and up in the elevator, to the office kitchen as I searched for a vase, only abating at the point where I thought the Small Cap Relative Value team was going to stop their conference and ask after me.

And I don't really know why.

It was not the first time I've had this reaction -- severe self-pity in the face of severe kindness.

I just wish I understood it.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Hazy & 94 ...


The concrete jungle holds occasional summer pleasures.

Shakespeare on the Common.

Coffee Oreo in a waffle cone from JP Licks on Newbury.

Cherry tomatoes from the farmer's market.

And lunch hours in Copley Square.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Productive chat

Friday, end of the work day, I began an IM chat with a kid from Wisconsin.

(Well, a 27-y-old kid, I guess. In his profile photo he shows spiky black hair and is winking at the camera. He works for the Center for Disease Control as an consultant and on this day was working from a lake cabin patio in Madison. And that's what I know.)

What started as innocuous job chat soon evolved into discussing our respective OKC experiences and if I'd had "any luck on scoring a date." How we're both attracted to self-deprecating types who are .... kind of like ourselves. And how we both find good, witty writers attractive.

I then got him to fess up about questionable male behavior on the OKC. I asked him why some are compelled to send me photos of their penises.

Madison: ....in the throes of their hormones, they are under the impression that you will see it. you will then start frothing at the mouth and have an uncontrollable urge to join theim in their quest .... they make the mistake that you are as easily visually triggered as they are .... because to them, if you sent a picture of your t*** or a** their pants will drop. They just ... dont ... understand you ... :-(
Then it began to get interesting.

I noted I have some suggestive references in my profile, and how the Young Scientist once told me I should pull them off if I want to be treated seriously and less as object. Madison concurred.

M: Yes.
M: He and I know men.
M: We are men. Men know all. ROOAAOOOARARR.
M: (thumps chest. eats raw meat. humps something.)
Karin: See. The well-spoken man with seductive powers who does those things is still interesting to me. I need to better figure out how to articulate that, I think.
M: Yea. I've learned that too.
M: Women love a man with an inner savage beast who can **** like a stallion and deconstruct it afterwards.

K: Exactly! (Although) men probably hate the deconstruction part.
M: I like it. ha ha.
K: Ah, so they exist!
M: As long as it is AFTER....
K: Not as build-up?
K: (reconstruct?)
M: There you go. Construct the scene. Then deconstruct.
M: But there has to be a lengthy intermission.
K: That's what I love about chat.
M: yea. I'm definitely turned on by words

And then we chatted for another 45 minutes. Discussing the benefits of literacy as seduction tool. Distracting me while I took some phone calls. Turning each other on with words.

It got relatively intense.

(And a lady tells no more.)

It was ridiculously freeing to have such a discussion with someone with whom you connect but will never meet. The pressure of making an impression evaporates and the id comes out to play. Minds and suggestion combining to create the tension.

As we signed off, I asked him if he regularly had such intense chats .... since it was rare for me.

M: This was a highly charged situation, not a common event.
K: It's not an ego thing, I promise. I was just curious.
M: You can exercise your ego. I don't mind.
K: We have similar tastes, then.
M: ....and your ability to be intellectually sexy...
M: ....professionally sexy. that helps a lot. We're similar. It works.
M: good dynamic. :-)

Ah, I love that good dynamic. It isn't until you have it with someone that you realize how elusive it usually is. Of course, when that person is in Madison, Wisconsin ...

Incidentally, it reminded me so much of the randy subjects I used to explore, to my immense entertainment, with Young Scientist that I immediately wrote YS to apprise him of what happened.

K: We starting off innoculously chatting and we had a very good rhythm going with it and next thing you know we're talking dirty. Very interesting. It was good for no other reason that it absolutely relaxed the hell out of me.
So to summarize. This Friday chat:

1) Relaxed the hell out of me. (Score one point.)

2) Found a man 10 years my junior who thought to call me "intellectually and professionally sexy." (Score 2 more. I should update my profile to quote that .... )

And,

3) I made a connection. Even a connection with no discernible future, to a girl's ego, I'd call priceless.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Birthday Shout-Out: Nica Girl

My homegirl Cousin J -- who does things like invite me to D.C. to attend "creatively dressing" inaguration balls (see above) and loan me orange leotards to fit in, and is always willing hash out every sordid up-and-down of every attempted interaction with the male species ever (even though she now has a man of her own and the peace that goes with that certainty), and survives not one but 2 break-ins to her house in Managua, losing 2 laptops and her hiking shoes, with the self-admonition "it's just stuff" and goes on climbing volcanoes in some other shoes, and who speaks fluent Spanish and half-fluent Russian and lived in Chile for a couple years after growing up near me in a one-stoplight town in North Dakota and whose energy as a toddler I was mortally afraid of and whose energy and intelligence and drive to change the world as an adult astounds me -- is turning 34 today.

Send the love vibes down to Nicaragua, everyone!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bastards!

Pot of Cascading Purple Petunias From The Front Step
(5/16/09 - 8/12/09)

Watered and Pinched and Deadheaded
Faithfully, Lo
These Last 3 Months
Before Being Spirited Gracelessly Away To Parts Unknown
While in Fullest Flower.

R.I.P

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Canoe enthuisiast tells it like it is

I have a soft spot for superhonest OKC guys, even if what they say does not serve their own best interests in getting to know me better. Simply because it's entertaining.

Take, for instance, Big Bob. Back again today with a message, unprovoked by me, as blunt as ever. As if I hadn't heard him the first time.
BB: I have strong hands.

BB: I fight in cage.
And that, evidently, is that.

Then there's Canoe Enthuisast. He & I had one random date back in February that, as I said then, was one date only for a reason. It wasn't a bad time. I would say though, as a girl knows, that I knew as the date ended that enough differences existed that I didn't need to see him again. So I decided to move on.

Canoe pops up about once every 6 weeks to say hi. I have no interest in getting together with him again, but he was a pleasant sort and we didn't have a bad date, so I'm not against banter.

The latest was Sunday night. It had been several months since I'd heard from him. At 11:33 p.m. he fired over an instant message:
C: What's up.....right this second? :-)
At 11:38, then this:

C: Or this second?
I had already gone to bed by the time he wrote; it's just that OKC was slow in registering that I had logged off, and Canoe thought I was still online when I wasn't. The unread chat requests showed up in my inbox, which I took until the next day to get back to him on:

K: Well at 11:38 yesterday I had just gone offline and didn't get this message in real time. What was up with you?
After 3 more days of hiatus, he thusly replied:

C: Not sure now. At the time... i'm sure i was most likely a ball of hormones.
Which is exactly when most guys feel the urge to call upon ex-dates.

Yes. Well said.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Image regret

All my life, I've done most of my writing in a state more asleep than awake.

High school term papers. Columns from my first job as a weekly reporter. Essays in grad school. Client letters now. And this blog, more often than not.

Results are always mixed. I know can't speak objectively about its quality until I've had a nap. At the newspaper, this was dangerous. I would frequently stay up until 6 a.m. writing captions and headlines (all for under $20K a year!). It was only post-publication, when the paper was in the hands of 2,000 subscribers, that I noticed typos, mismashed sentences, general gobbeldygook that could never, ever be unprinted.

Blog sleepiness is less serious. Except when it leads me to portray myself as someone I don't want to portray myself as.

So under extreme fatigue last night, I composed my thoughts on all the "looking for sex" dudes who have recently bombarded me on OKC. This afternoon I revisited it. Cranky city. I should have just gone to bed instead.

For the record, I do not fancy myself a sex magnet. Really. (Or more importantly, a sex magnet who makes fun of men with pale, lumpy chests. My chest and stomach are pale and lumpy, for God's sake!) I am fully aware that very very soon, after the googlebot has visited, anyone who types "sex magnet" into an internet search window will eventually reach this site and read my cranky, sex magnet tales of pale, lumpy chest judgements.

I'd rather be known to the world as an empathetic long-legged runner with piano hands who can string sentences beautifully and ride a bike in heels and has a loving family and friends as well as someone of her own to love.

Sounds like it's time to work on this image thing.

Monday, August 10, 2009

A drag (and not the gay, fabulous kind)

My activity on OKC has been limited of late.

(Ditto on the blogging, I know. Sorry.)

It's a combination of a low energy level, of a lot else going on and a lot of places to be -- and -- of wanting to escape the "work" of dating.

There are times, indeed, when such work feels draggy. Stale. Like I think I've seen every possible pick-up line couched in every possible tone. When responding feels like a drag, too.

I think of a long ago e-mail exchange with C, one of my first OKC friends. He's a confessed "serial" dater -- in part because the transient nature of his job allows him to stay out late most nights and I think he's in the habit of looking for a stool partner more than life partner. (Or maybe he desires a combination of the two?) I'm trying to be the former, following our vibe ... although I struggle since I just can't stay up that late anymore. Since our in-person meeting 3 weeks ago, he's cajoled me via text and instant message several times a week -- sometimes at midnight, sometimes at 3, wanting to talk through a Last Call downtown.

(I've promise this week to submit .... maybe.)

(And I digress.)

What C told me was that in his history on OKC, he'll be active for awhile, chatting up women and introducing himself, then get bored and ignore it. Then after a fashion he remembers what was scintillating about it and returns, finding it fresh again. This might be a couple months or a couple days. But whenever he comes back he's ready to go. He's not annoyed by flirtation from inappropriate parties or profiles that all sound the same or women who don't want to talk about anything but sex ...

Wait, that's me.

Me, the sex magnet as of late, for all OKC men.

Nine out of 10 messages to my inbox in July and August have either overtly proposed sex or just said "hi" ... and when I click through to the latter's profile, it is often devoid of anything but a sentence noting that he's looking for someone to "have fun with." Sometimes these men are 22, or 19, or 53, or live in California or tell me how sexy I look, but mostly it is just "hi."

As in: "Hi. Go to my profile and you'll see that I'm looking for sex. I'm sure that alone will make you strip off your clothes and come running."

Attractive.

I was inspired to write this post, of all days, after being greeted this afternoon by this message: "If you're interested, I'd like to talk." His main profile photo was a man's pale, untoned, shaved chest from neck to hips. I dug down into his profile ... and his additional profile photo was a man's pale, untoned, shaved chest from a slightly wider angle.

Yawn.

However, I then read his profile. I admit this man gave new meaning to the word audacious. A sample:
"..... whether ppl want to admit it or not, a big part of life is the need and desire to physically be close/touching other ppl. For the slow ones out there, this translates into ppl need to f*** one another to feel a full sense of "goodness" of one's self. It's ok to want to hump everyday. To have those days where you walk around so horny you can't concentrate on anything. And for any of the so-called rightious ppl out there, save it losers! We're all supposed to be adults here, and we can make decisions without having others "morally" throwing up over us. If you don't like someone elses view of something, you don't have to like it, but don't disrespect someone just because they're not as uptight as you are. After all this is supposed to be America where ppl can express themselves freely."
He then went on to discuss his talents with tongue. How he likes to spend Friday night's recreating a "human tripod." How he wants to meet someone who also wants to satisfy the most selfish part of their personality, only.

Wow. Despite the pasty, lumpy chest I confess to wondering for 10 seconds what it would be like to start a conversation with him, how quickly it would lead to a proposition, and with exactly what kind of language.

Then I recalled .... I've seen a man on here like this before. I've seen 7, or 8, at least.

Purported sex god. Bombastic.

Stale. Stale. Stale.

Perhaps time to take C's advice and take a break.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Last found in the OKC inbox ....

.... at 9:04 this morning from the 54-year-old male from New Bedford MA with no photo and no profile info who doesn't know me from Eve ....
"I like your style, you got 'tude'."
Prescient on a day when, disembarking an MBTA train on route to the beach, I was called aside by the conductor (in italics because I still can't believe it) for not heeding his earlier request to take my feet off the seat, even though the only reason they were on the seat was to spare the elderly couple in the facing seat 45 minutes of knee hockey, and furthermore, I had promised that I'd move them if someone else needed the seat, and besides, I had my iPod headphones on and couldn't make out what all of what he was saying or I never would have messed with his distinct North Shore 'tude because I thought any logical customer service rep would see that I was being nice to my neighbors and since, have concluded that he picked me out of the 400 people on the 12:15 Rockport to lecture because it was a beautiful day and I was wearing headphones and a towel and he was working.

So yes. I'd call that 'tude.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Anniversary

My younger sister and her husband celebrate their
5th wedding anniversary today.

Missy & Chad - August 2004

Chad is a comfortable old soul.
He and Missy (a comfortable, high-powered, organized soul)
met on a blind date in 2002,
but it feels as if he has never not been a part of our family.
Likewise for Henry, even though he's only 11 months old.

It's as if the 1 were always 2 were always 3.

They make an excellent team.

Henry, Chad & Missy hiking in Butte, MT - July 2009

The traditional 5th Anniversary gift is wood.

This family of lovely souls live in metro Minneapolis-St. Paul and, naturally, this sister forgot to send them any sort of greetings for this milestone and certainly is not, today, Fed Exing to them shingles or figurines or, as this website recommends,
a Bonsai Tree.

So instead, I paste here some wisdom from the Indigo Girls.

(from 1994's Swamp Ophelia,
from "the wood song" by Emily Saliers)


.... now I see we're in the boat in two by twos

only the heart that we have for a tool we could use

and the very close quarters are hard to get used to

love weighs the hull down with its weight

but the wood is tired and the wood is old

and we'll make it fine if the weather holds

but if the weather holds then we'll have missed the point

that's were i need to go

no way construction of this tricky plan

was built by other than a greater hand

with a love that passes all our understanding

watching closely over the journey

yeah but what it takes to cross the great divide

seems more than all the courage i can muster up inside

but we get to have some answers when we reach the other side

the prize is always worth the rocky ride

sometimes i ask to sneak a closer look

skip to the final chapter of the book

and maybe steer us clear from some of the pain that it took

to get us where we are this far

but the question drowns in its futility

and even i have got to laugh at me

cause no one gets to miss the storm of what will be

just holding on for the ride

the wood is tired the wood is old

and we'll make it fine if the weather holds

but if the weather holds then we'll have missed the point

that's where i need to go


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Deep Thought: Keep Buying the Coffee

On Monday I had one of those moments.

You know, the moment where you're writing your rent check and debiting your American Express bill and your other credit card payment from checking and moving over cash from savings because you're recalling that your IRA deposit and gym membership both automatically withdraw before the next paycheck, just then realizing you still haven't bought your bridesmaid sandals for that wedding on August 29 and that you should replenish the cat litter, stat, and while going to get the litter notice that those squeaks emanating from the car brakes-when-stepped-on are probably not the best and, besides, that baby hasn't had an oil change since April, and how you still want to be able to visit the Copley Farmers Market on Fridays and maybe, just maybe, go up to Singing Beach on Saturday, but there is only so much money in savings and there are still 10 more days to paycheck, and then, just then, the landlord writes you quite seriously about the broken washing machine in your basement that for many reasons he wants you to help pay to replace, and you think, I know I am spending way too much at Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts to get my espresso-iced-coffee every morning and from now on, until the end of time, I am going to brew my own iced coffee and keep it in a pitcher in my fridge and add my own half-and-half and put it in a mug and bring it from home and and save that 20 bucks a week.

When you come upon these moments and then you actually try to make your own iced coffee and then you drink it and you want to spit it back in the sink, I implore you.

Keep buying the coffee.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Feelings ... nothing more than feelings ...

Wow. It seems not possible to blog about one's dating travails when a man can terrorize and kill middle-aged women taking a Latin impact dance class in Pittsburgh on a random Tuesday night, angry over never having found someone to love.

As Yahoo! News reports, excerpting the shooter's online diary:

He complained of not having a girlfriend since 1984, not having a date since May 2008 and not having sex for 19 years.

"Women just don't like me. There are 30 million desirable women in the US (my estimate) and I cannot find one," he wrote. The page ended with the words "Death Lives!"
There's no place for wry commentary in this situation. When you're someone who frequents online dating sites and have either not responded to or turned down a substantial number of unsuitable men, I shudder to think that someone I've rejected could be a man like this.

His purported reputation as an “anti-social” (from the same article) reminded me of an op-ed in Monday’s Boston Globe about “male relational dread.” The author, a (male) doctor, tried to explain, in so many words, why certain men can’t verbally express their craving for emotional connection. How, despite wanting that closeness, they push away partners asking them to talk about it. One eerie line in light of last night’s shooting:

“But scratch our surface and you find that we men desire connection every bit as much as women, and get sick and even do sick things - think of all the destruction wrought by male “loners’’ - if we don’t experience it.”
It is at this point that I feel the need to do 2 things:

1) Link you to the Morris Albert classic, “Feelings” – heartbreak in a song … an example of how to react to loneliness rather than random violence.

2) Add levity into this non-levitous (for so many reasons) day with, after interminable hiatus, some Jermaine and Bret … in this instance doing the "Angry Dance” – yet another appropriate way to deal with inappropriate emotions.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Enthusiasm (sigh)

I went out last Friday with a man I met on OKC.

He's a post-doc engineer at MIT who enjoyed that, in my profile, I included a picture from Obama's inauguration. Like others, he included his "cure for cynicism" since it is something I ask for in my profile (along with strong hands, yes). His opening line:

"I saw your profile and liked it, so I just wanted to write to say hello."
I replied precisely because ... well, why not? I felt volatilely emotional most of last week and he projected well-adjusted calm. And straightforwardness. And a great smile. And then, responding again, he answered my questions on why he was an atheist and if it was really possible that he did like Sanjaya on "American Idol" before asking me out to dinner.

So at his suggestion, I met him for Thai food over by the Prudential Center. As we were sitting, perusing menus, he pointed out the plethora of pad thai options. A moment later he pointed out the riesling options on the wine list, commenting that "he knew I liked those things."

Just then my OKC profile flashed before my eyes.

On a typical Friday night I am

Running, I hope. Or doing yoga to unwind from the running. Or waiting for the 9 bus after running and yoga and, while getting antsy, instead going across Boylston to the Thai cafe for an emergency pad thai and riesling.

And here I was on a Friday night. On Boylston Street. Eating pad thai and drinking riesling after yoga class. With a nice man with whom, I discovered shortly thereafter and believe he would agree, I had no chemistry.

Sigh. Enthusiasm.

Now in the other corner, I've got a man a decade older than me who has been courting with IM enthusiasm from the North Shore since June 23. He has requested chats 14 times; if he's online when I log-on, he says hi!. He is a musician and theater buff and is excited I am too, asking how my musical is going. He is liberal with the use of happy emoticons. He asked me for a drink after the first exchange .... a drink that hasn't happened yet due to my travel, then his travel, then me being hungover a couple Fridays ago when we were supposed to go out.

I was not surprised then, this morning, knowing he was due back from vacation, to find this e-mail from before the sun came up:
"I think I'm free thursday for a drink around 9ish. What does your world look like then? What about that rain check? Is it still redeemable?"
(So I just went on to capture that quote from the OKC website for this entry, and he hit me up for a chat, which included:

North Shore: hi there!

Karin: Hi -- at work. How goes?

NS: it goes well, thanks

NS: sent you a note

NS: Thursday?)
I am game to go out with him, at least initially, because he is nice to me. He is positive. He sings and plays piano and music-directs in his spare time. He sails boats on the ocean.

He is enthusiastic (sigh).

I will work to match him (sigh).

Monday, August 3, 2009

Dateline: Back Bay of Boston 8/2/09

7:28 p.m.
John Hancock Tower
corner of Clarendon & Stuart

Sky metal gray,
air humid enough to produce forearm moisture,
walking by a reflective high rise,
texting,
missing enough correct buttons to instead produce
a something alive with a surreality and texture
that looks more like
a failed shot of the Charles during
at the very least,
a fistful of sparklers
in the rain.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Unexpected

I was kicking around the topic of how on Friday night at the gym, when the 6 p.m. yoga teacher didn't show up so the manager came down and offered all the students refunds, I asked if I could stay in the studio and stretch and the manager said sure, so then I stayed for 75 more minutes with the rain coming down outside and ran through a power routine as if I were still in the class, keeping the ujjayi breathing, including the extended triangle and all the warriors and finishing with spinal twists and a shoulder stand and even attempting savasana and feeling relief that I occasionally can still figure out how to deal with a situation about which, in the past, I might have instead bitched and decided my evening was ruined, and don't really thank the yoga itself but instead realize how much I appreciate the unexpected.

Also unexpected:

It's early on a Sunday morning and I'm on my patio with feet up and a glass of Riesling, to come down after cleaning my apartment for the last 5 hours, and 2 patios over some girls and their boyfriends are partying and it is not your normal Southie party, but instead one where they've blasted several repeats of "Landslide," my favorite Stevie Nicks song and almost-favorite karaoke song, and then produced a mandolin and harmonica and jammed for awhile with something that sounded like skill, and now they are playing Balderdash and saying "shoot!" instead of "f#$%!" when they can't think of answers and screaming in laughter as if to rouse the seagulls, and again, I could have been, and have been many times before, that woman who rolled her eyes at others' Saturday nights that are more social than hers but, unexpectedly, instead I find myself glad to live 2 patios down from people enjoying an August evening in a fashion I can appreciate.