Saturday, January 30, 2010

Ms. Karin Goes to Washington

Beautiful day here in our nation's capital.

In a few short hours,
I'll be going to this party wearing this shoe
(and its companion, of course).

Yesterday, I could have stood to have had a friend suggest
(since I seem to have no capacity to do it on my own),
"Hey, why don't you check the weather report before you leave?"

Which might have prompted me to remember these.

Oh well.

A party is a party is a party.

Even with the self-induced pressure of
(and the better part of the Washington press corps).

I'll just have to do so with soggy feet.

(Luck, please.)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Happy (felonious?) anniversary!

On Wednesday, it will be one year since I put a profile on OKCupid.

It was a conversation over coffee with the CFO that led this horse to that particular water and, I should note, the CFO is the oldest man (56) I've ever dated.

Which makes it mildly ironic that today at 10:14 a.m. (10:14 a.m.!) I received this inquiry from a local guy who was a whole 19 (no-I'm-not-joking) years old:

"Hey. You want to be a good Lutheran and have sex with me this weekend before I go to Marine bootcamp?"
My. (Big sigh.) We've broken through the basement floor.

What next? A 17-year-old hits me up and I run the risk of being charged with soliciting statutory rape?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Lazy writer's acrostic

Because sometimes you have days when
Every necessary task is
Hard and
Doable, you might then

Obviously feel no guilt in using
Nifty poetic devices to try and

Explain how
Easy it is to
Regret letting these tasks pile up in
Your brain and on your desk and in your laundry, and
That you can't remember how and when you seemed to
Have forgotten how to focus
In the
Necessary ways it takes to
Get through a day


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Blinding them with grammar

I'm not going to go back and pull up entries to prove it, but I have written plenty o' times in this space about men who whose main reason for saying hi to me online is to get me to confirm the utter fabulousness of their manhood.

(Verbally, physically, or otherwise. Usually younger than 23 years old and from Ithaca or Buffalo or, most recently, Guelph, Ontario.)

Wearying of such attention but wanting to remain relatively provocative, back in December I reworded the critical final section of my OKC profile, erasing references to my cynical nature and replacing with:

You should message me if .... You have yet to convince yourself that the coolest thing ever would be to tell me ad nauseum about your genitalia.

So last night I was talking for the first time in awhile with Young Scientist, who himself recently went back to OKC after a break. I was in the midst of telling him about a guy I once chatted with who, while not otherwise a poor conversationalist, would suddenly break into wanting to talk about said genitalia (which, incidentally, he seems quite proud of for reasons of size):
Young Scientist: wait a sec
YS: i just read your profile
YS: and the bottom part
YS: is a reference to big dick dude?
Karin: Not exclusively. You would not BELIEVE how many 20-22 year old guys write wanting to talk dirty with me.
K: I'm trying to stem the tide. Do I sound witty enough saying it?
YS: well it sounds like you just don't want to talk about genitalia
YS: and that's not a comment on talking dirty
YS: it sounds grammatically difficult
K: :-) Hence
K: maybe the boneheads will stay away.
YS: hahaha
Never thought of it quite that way. One could hope.

(And, furthermore, is the fact that a med student asked me out proof that non-boneheads appreciate my over-literariness?)

Monday, January 25, 2010


Let's review last week, shall we?

1) Massachusetts loses their Democractic Senate seat.

(Karin loses a night of sleep out of sheer incredulity. And a couple gallons of Guinness.)
2) Stock market loses 4 percentage points in 2 days.

(Karin loses her cool, and her vow to not talk politics in the workplace, when her manager goes on rant about how "her president" is responsible for her firm's clients losing money.)
3) Vikings lose NFC title game at the last minute ..... again ... setting the stage for another 12 years of could-have-been angst.

(Karin, 2 glasses of Riesling in while out with friends at a classy Back Bay establishment, at the moment the game turned, loses all dignity by leaping to feet, skirt and high-heeled boots and all, to jump up and down and scream, "No! No! No! No! What the holy F#$%!?")

Southie Med Student wrote back. Several times.

He's a busy boy .... but he asked her out on a date.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010


On this day, in this place, I am exercising my democratic right not to engage in political discourse with the people of my state.

So don't ask, please.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Too perfect

Probably. That I would get an OKC message this weekend from a man who is:

a) my age
b) single
c) lives in Southie
d) attractive
e) finishing medical school
f) could possibly be a med student who writes things like this on his profile:
" ... am skilled in the arts of procrastination and distraction, and given its frequent usage find it amusing how many people misspell "definitely" (which I have rather unscientifically guess-timated to be about 60% of the time)."
He also likes "This American Life," his fast orange sneakers, and is looking for a "fun, curious, funky, independent woman to run around with." In his message, he said he saw my profile on OKC while "window-shopping," liked that I gesticulate obscenely at other drivers while in my car, and was looking for someone in Southie to hang out with since his friends tend to live on the "cooler side of 93."

I wrote him back to say I would rather hang in Southie more, too .... with the full knowledge that odds are against him writing back again. Men this perfect on paper rarely do.

But we'll see.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Friday, January 15, 2010


So. It's Friday. And I'm still on The Diet.

Considering I haven't possessed willpower for anything (saving money, rejecting 1-night stands, not paying $5 for coffee, sleep) in the last year, forgive me that I find it mildly commendable, in my universe, to have made it to Day 5 of Week 1.

No beer. No chocolate. No bagels or oatmeal. Beans. Chicken. Salmon. Lots of eggs and V-8 for breakfast. Romaine and olive oil in vast quantities.

(Your basic protein infusion / sugar starvation. Yup.)

So - the upside: I am wearing the same pair of rayon trousers I wore last Friday .... and this week I am not tormented by stomach flesh pouring over the waistband. They now merely ... fit.

So - the downside: I am headed tomorrow morning for 3 days in New York City for what will amount to an extended social hour with 4 former Bostonians:

1) M, now of Queens -- gossip girlfriend to end all gossip girlfriends.

2) The Professor, now of Astoria -- who can stomach a full pitcher of PBR after a couple tequila shots and still belt out a better cover of Al Green's "Let's Stay Together" than Al Green.

3+4) M & J, now of suburban New Jersey -- tremendous artists and even more tremendous cooks.

Clearly, catching up with 4 of my favorite people is not a downside.

But how
the Hell
does one
stay on the wagon
in the face
of such tremendous

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Sometimes, on a bleak January night, when there's nothing on the boyfriend horizon but various half-hearted flirtations -- the missing-half of heart being on your end -- and not much desire to dig deeper for something more until the heart craves unforced desire, it might be prudent to stay in a church after everyone else has left, find a Steinway, and absolutely beat the shit out of Bach's Goldberg Variation 5

for a couple hours, to the point where it almost sounds as good as this man's version, to where it provides a satisfaction that spooning sex vodka or even the world's smartest conversation cannot duplicate, to where you think maybe, in the end, it might be prudent to just marry a piano.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

It's always on day 3 of The Diet ...

... that you find yourself recalling fondly
(perhaps too fondly)
the Sunday night before
at N & C's place,
and the feast of
reheated Hanukkah latkes
(doused with sour cream & applesauce)
and, naturally,

one of the finer Belgian Trappist Dubbels that exists,
breathing out waves of chocolate and fruit,
still calling my name.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Taking care of itself

The relative hand-wringing I did over my future with last Thursday's lunch date seems to sort of sorted itself out.

After I wrote him Friday simply to thank him for taking me out, he responded on Saturday in his typically upbeat way:

"You did thank me. No worries. It was my pleasure.

"How does your weekend look? I think my next 5 days will be filled with scheduling and paper-writing/researching."
Did I mention he's a PhD student just starting a new semester?

Suffice to say, I didn't check my e-mail until Sunday at which point I already had plans for that day so it took until Monday for me to get back to him.

"I'm generally free at some point most nights, but i know you are getting your legs about you this week. I have tentative plans to go to NYC next Saturday for the long weekend but nothing in stone. Why don't we stay in touch as feasible to your sanity level and go from there."
So it's now been a day and he hasn't again responded. This is not in a general or practical sense unusual because, yes, he has 3 new classes and a paper to write that completes an incomplete. But, for context: in December, in the midst of final papers and the thousand more he had to grade for one of his teaching assistantships, he did indeed have the time to ping me the moment I logged onto g-mail. Over a period of several weeks, every day.

It's a women's adage ..... if a guy is interested in you, you will know. Because he will not stop trying to get in touch with you.

So perceived ambivalence, no matter the circumstances, is usually telling.

I've been wrong before, of course. But, just saying.

Monday, January 11, 2010


Twenty days from today I plan to be in Washington DC, sparkly and lively, dressed to impress.

(Maybe a blonde too, yes.)

I've told you previously about my college buddy, Alan, who was elected president of the National Press Club. Who will be inaugurated during a black-tie gala on January 30 that is, naturally, at the same time, an irreverent tribute to the Midwest and Great Plains.

Sounds like my kind of party. Especially since there will be other folks from Minnesota, several from college who I haven't seen since college. Which is why I was pleased and honored to be invited to attend.

Which means I need to get my cocktail-dress mojo on, stat.

Because my default behavior at this moment generally involves Reeses Pieces and staying up until 3 a.m., wanting to look and feel good at my friend's gala is the best possible motivation to get back on track. I've mapped out a rigorous 3-week exercise routine. Mapped out a rigorous vegetable-eating plan and bought the groceries to fulfill it. Made my bed with fresh sheets and topped it with a fleece blanket to make it the desirable place to be on butt-cold January evenings, rather than at a bar adding calories and sleeplessness via beer consumption.

Tonight I'm going browsing at Lord & Taylor, to find further motivation in purchasing an evening gown for the first time since 2003.

And as always, I will make this blog a bastion of accountability.

And always, if I screw up, you will know about it.

But I'm hopeful I won't .... hopefulness being essential to the cocktail-dress mojo.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


It's funny.

At the moment you realize you don't feel just ambivalent about the man you're having lunch with (even though he is buying), but really just don't feel the spark at all, and you know for sure you don't ...

... as nice as the man is (and even cute, and even smart and generous) and how much fun your first date was followed by a truly awesome kiss-in-a-frigid-bus-shelter, followed by a second date that was slightly less awesome but redeemed by the solid way he held your hand through the movie, followed by hope that maybe by the time you reconnected with him in person after the holidays you'd overcome the deadening ambivalence creeping in during e-mail conversations growing more and more static despite his continuing assurances that he couldn't wait to see you again and cuddle under a warm blanket ...

... and as much as I whine about wanting a boyfriend and think maybe I should just wait this one out for another date to see what happens and, after yet another 4 weeks of my life spent in fruitless wonder that should leave me feeling disproportionate levels of sad ...

.... all I can feel is relief at recognizing certainty.

Which certainly comes with experience.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My Soulmate!

I am officially in love with the all-blogger website

I wish I could marry it.

In all seriousness. I cannot say I've read a posting there I disagree with. The writers there-on must just be universally on my wavelength at this particular moment of my emotional life.

Take, for example, Kate Harding, who regularly tackles feminism issues on "Broadsheet." Today she wrote about Neenah Pickett, a 40-something woman who "launched a year-long husband-landing project at the blog 52 Weeks 2 Find Him." Who at the end of 52 weeks is still single. But who isn't heartbroken about it. She insists that the project allowed her to learn tons about herself, tons about the human condition in general.

In her discussion of 52 Weeks 2 Find Him, Ms. Harding pretty much says all I have ever thought about how a woman my age is often perceived for admitting she wants to find a companion .... and for aggressively going about doing so. Instead of paraphrasing or restating, I'll just link you to the piece, and pull out these paragraphs that well-articulate frustrations I often feel about the challenges of the male-female dynamic.

"Everyone knows a lot of things that grossly oversimplify the human desire for love and the nature of attraction, much of that "knowledge" revolving around the theme that women are peculiarly needy and, if they wish to date men, must focus all their energy on pretending they're not. The only way you'll get a man to commit to you is if you act like it's the furthest thing from your mind -- which means your best bet is to focus on being as pretty, charming and non-threatening as possible and, once a potential love is on the horizon, never doing anything that might spook him, like admitting what you want out of a relationship.

"That Neenah Pickett remains husband-free after knocking herself out to change that status can -- and no doubt will -- be presented as further evidence that desperation is the ultimate turn-off and playing hard to get is the only viable option for women who wish to be got. But focusing on her marital status means ignoring what she did achieve in the last 52 weeks. She went on over 30 dates -- some of which she describes as "awesome" -- gaining new insight into her preferences and her own behavior."

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Yes. I know.

Nothing more tiresome than listening to someone whine about falling off the New Year's wagon on January 5 and thus commencing the even more tiresome act of self-flagellation.

But my wishes of this particular resolution were simple:

Be in to work earlier in the morning
in order to be able to
leave work earlier in the evening
in order to break the habit of
not getting to the gym until 8 pm
and thusly
not getting home from the gym until 10
and then
not eating supper until 10:30
and then
(with full belly and renewed energy)
not being able to sleep until 1:30 or 2,
then being to work later than desired the next morning.

Is it possible that on Day 2 of this attempt, I could manage to ignore 3 alarm bells? Wake from the dead at 8:52 am? Get to the office so late that I can't with any conscience take a lunch break and go to the gym then, as originally planned, so I'll have to go after work, which means I can't do as I so diligently planned to do this evening: finish the damn 2009 Christmas cards?

Perhaps my resolution should have been to be Less Tiresome and Tired in Twenty-Ten.

Bad Karin.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Blondes have more....

My buddy John lives in a small studio but simultaneously has a great desire to throw large gatherings on certain occasions. More specifically, annually, on New Year's Day evening.

So he appropriates the Back Bay Hotel downstairs bar and tells everyone he knows to come visit after 4 pm.

As you might have inferred, he knows me, has known me for years. So I come visit. And when NYD evening falls on a Friday, it means drinking ridiculous $13 cocktails instead of beer, just because ... why not.

It was after first the espresso-cream martini, second the Grey Goose Cosmopolitan, and halfway through the first of 2 Smithwicks that I started conversing with John about frustration and desires and love. (Gay men are the best men to have this conversation with, BTW, if you're a straight woman. No one trying to impress anyone. Just old-fashioned lay-it-out-there.)

This is not an unusual conversation for John and I to have. On this night, it mostly centered around his new ever-so-possible flame, who had been in attendance earlier. Although it was followed by a delve through my annoyance, obviously exacerbated by drink, that I could still possibly be single after a year of hardcore dating effort.


But then the conversation took a turn. Out of nowhere. I don't even recall what led into it, except that suddenly I was listening to John say:

"You know, you're one of the only people I know whose natural hair color doesn't work for your face. Have you ever thought about changing it?"
Ouch. I've known John since 2001. Not only have I had the same hair color since then, I pride myself on having had the same hair color since then. It's a combination of conviction that dishwater-brown is what God gave and meant for me and the snobbery of not succumbing to that degree of vanity.

But once I got past the sting of a friend saying he's never liked my hair ..... I found myself glad for the input. Thinking it was the perfect New Year's foil. Debating the merits of a possible auburn rinse -- a shade found on my paternal side of the family -- against going completely and shockingly blonde, the color of my youth. To wit:

The Fam, c. 1982
So? Ya think?

Thanks for the Quote of the Month, Mary Elizabeth:
"Coloring one's hair, whether you're a teenager sticking it to your parents or a dowager looking for new lease on life, is like having Ty Pennington standing outside your house with a megaphone and a demolition squad. I'm not saying a pair of Spanx and a good blowout can't change you in the blink of an eye, too, but nothing, nothing can do it more dramatically -- and enduringly -- than dye. Makeup and control garments are mere loaners from the fairy godmother. By the end of the night, their time is up. Hair color, on the other hand, will give you at least a good month, which is more than I can say for several of my relationships. And yet, if things go wrong and you don't like it, it's easy to wash away and forget it ever happened. Try that with the guy who gave you that urinary tract infection."

Friday, January 1, 2010

Dateline: Salisbury Beach MA 01/01/10

12:53 pm: upon completing the Hangover Classic 10K, watching the Optional Ocean Plunge.

For 5 minutes there on the beach, still warmed through from the run, watching the fearless, shirtless wave divers acting out a prime metaphor for rebirth and washing clean, despite the sub-freezing temps, I wished I had thought to bring a towel.