Saturday, February 27, 2010

Dateline 02/27/10: Killington Mountain

only the slowest skiers
have the time or the incline
to stop
and take pictures
of the wicked fresh powder.

maybe just
those on Easy Street.

2:27 pm

A good day
on the greens.

Friday, February 26, 2010


One of my more stinging dating memories took place about 4 years ago, in the front seat of my date's car, parked outside my apartment: the end of a date coming at the end of a perilous, brief, non-relationship. Drama ran high on both sides of the gearshift.

While discussing said end, I compelled myself across for a kiss of despair (not visually unlike Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling in The Notebook) to which he initially responded .... and then pulled back, not unkindly, but wincing slightly.
"Shhh," he said, cradling my cheeks with his hands. "You're kissing me so hard it hurts."
Oy. She's an emotional wreck. And then she's a lousy kisser.

(I think I might have even run dramatically from the premises, too.)

Since then, as you know, I've had a lot more dates. And a lot more kisses. Which means ....

.... anyway, it's been an interesting week in my world. A non-date on Wednesday that ended with a 15-minute kiss, standing on the sidewalks of our fair city's downtown. Followed by an impromptu date-date Thursday that included easily 45 minutes of kissing that was slow, fast and every speed in-between

I enjoyed each one of those minutes. No wincing. No desire for them to end. And while I vouch that both gentlemen were, in their own rights, skilled at their task (and they most certainly were) .... well, one does not kiss a girl for 45 straight minutes unless that girl is also doing her job.

Just saying .... it's been nice to find at least one benefit to all this dating practice.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Longtime readers of this space (should you actually exist?) might recall a period in April last year where it seemed every man I encountered on was strange and every woman who was reading had met the same strange men. One of those women, Random Blog Reader, went so far as to find my profile on Facebook so we could discuss our similar encounters off-blog.

Craziness. It it birthed the cliche "Greater Boston -- a smaller town than you'd think," and inspired an idea:
Maybe I should start a support group for 30-something female online daters contacted by idiosyncratic Bostonians with hankerings for (respectively) older ladies, certain types of their clothing, and certain varieties of chat function.
Or, as RBR dubbed it: the Daters of Idiosyncratic Bostonians Support Group.

(I like "DIBs" for short.)

On Tuesday night RBR and I finally met in person. She's about my age. She's single. We closed down Upstairs on the Square (in Harvard) over a couple glasses of wine, our conversation much less a bitch session than just frank talk about the scene, such as it is. For example: as Jewish, in her practice she has not found herself to be Jewish enough for the men of JDate. She's wary of dating guys from her swing dancing group, even though some could be viable, in case it were to go badly and ruin her enjoyment of a favorite hobby. She finds it ridiculously easy to get to a 3rd date ... and ridiculously hard to get any further.

As for me, well, I talked a lot. I tend to talk a lot. RBR was a good listener .... considering how vomitous I get when sharing woes, compounded that she already knew much of it from her daily reading. It was a good lesson in how to listen.

And the upshot? RBR and I departed in agreement that forming a DIBs group is a most necessary item of business for this blog. How and when, TBD. (lol!)

Watch for the details.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Back for more

Recent experiences have left me confident there is nothing left about dating and friendships in Boston to shock or surprise me.


In January 2004, my inaugural online-dating foray, via Craigslist (before it got completely weird, natch), resulted in a uniformly spectacular one-night stand with a fellow with whom -- by the nature of the one-night stand and how it materialized -- no further friendship or relationship or hooking-upship was desired or necessary.

A great learning experience (she says with a wink and smile).

Last night. Via OKC. A message:

"Hello my old friend... You look fantastic. Remember little old me?"
Him. He. Mr. Craiglist. Scooped from the memory banks and into new reality.

Unreal, I say. Unreal.

(I'm still working on the incredulous comeback.)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The 4 at 4

I work in finance. The 4 o'clock hour, the hour after the markets close, can either be frantic with day-end tasks ... or on occasion, a time to unwind from the earlier frantic whatever.

Yesterday, I spent a few moments during that hour checking my personal e-mail -- including, of course, OKC. In my time online I received the 4 following instant message requests.

Man #1 - 4:01 pm
(age 68, Collinswood NJ)

Man #1: are you looking for casual sex?
Oh. Of course. Thanks for asking.

Man #2 - 4:07 pm
(age 22, Hengelo, Netherlands)

Man #2: damn sexy lady
Karin: Thanks.
Man #2: and what makes you feel sexy? clothing? heel? lingerie?
Imagine here a brief, varied exchange regarding what kind of shoes I liked. (Why not?) Which turned into a question about what color bra I was wearing. Which was the moment I looked at his profile to see how old he was. Which meant that I then needed to say

Karin: I've got someone here talking to me, got to go.
Man #2: thats a pitty (sic)
Man #3 - 4:54 pm
(age 49, Carlisle, Mass)

Ah. The old-fashioned approach to a girl's heart.

Man #3: great movie, "Tootsie"

Man #4 - 4:57 pm

Man #4 only said "howdy."

But Man #4 is 15 years older than me and lives in Lyndhurst, NJ. Which makes us perfect for each other.

For those of you still all misty-eyed about the online dating approach .... just sharing the scene.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Wisdom ....

.... I'm learning (and should know by now), so often comes courtesy of a good night's sleep.

I'm also learning that if and when I write several concurrent blog entries going on publicly about feeling emotionally fragile, people are going to write and call me offline, asking, in so many words, "What the hell? You gonna make it?"

It's a relief to know that.

Cousin J has been offline for a week; evidently, last night she read and got caught up. And then she wrote asking if I was "going make it."

I slept well last night, waking up with a fresh week in front of me and an unusual sense of hope because of it, and was able to reply:
"So I'm OK, really. Feel like I'm in a shift period and just trying to get my legs. But they're there, somewhere. "
OK, legs. I'm still looking for you.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday at the BPL

For the second week straight my Saturday night featured 90 minutes of sleep, and that punctuated by heinous dreams of random scary bar encounters with undesirable men whose profiles I'd seen on OKC, and this whole week has, as articulated in an e-mail just composed to my friend Chris, kicked the emotional shit out of me, and there seems no way to turn the brain off and let the tranquility catch up and, even though online Scrabble helps and so do friends like Chris (as well as Girl C, Boy B, the other Choir Boys and Girls, Ben's band, the Southie for McGee volunteers, etc., etc.) and so does finding a toy car on the bus and, this afternoon, listening to Gregori Allegri chants and checking projects off the checklist .... yet I can't help but be so damned unsatisfied with things that maybe the only thing to cure the restlessness is to put on the Asics and iPod, get the legs churning towards the Charles River Esplanade, buck the wind tunnels and capture the last 47 minutes of sunlight before sleep wins this battle.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Ask and ye shall receive (II)

Last night I went to hear my friend Ben's band(s) play at a club in the Fenway. After the set, I hung with him and his friends at the bar for awhile over a Rusty Nail (him) and Narragansett straight from the 16-oz can (me).

Ben is a talented bass player, so we talked about his success making a living as a musician. He introduced me to his drummer, who works a day job at a local college but rocks out at night. As we sat, guys from the other bands came over, too, speaking the language of riffs and songwriting and artistic freedom.

But after all that I confess that the moment of last night I felt most like a rock star was at 12:57 am, Arlington Street, after the final #9 bus of the night appeared around the corner and I stepped on, only to spy this '68 Mercury Cougar (naturally!) resting on the first available seat.

Under the relative haze of a Narragansett buzz ... no sweeter sight.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Update and Observation

1) Ask and ye shall receive .... for you curious types wondering what was going through his non-gentlemanly head, an e-mail tonight from Southie Med:

"I wanted to pass along what is probably obvious – I don’t think we are headed for a love connection. But I have enjoyed meeting a neighbor who can carry on interesting conversation over beer. If you would like to sample other destinations in the Southie bar scene from time to time I would be game for that. If not, I wish you all the best."
The note arrived while I was in IM conversation with Young Scientist, so I shared it. His retort: "why would you want to see him again?"

Nothing wrong with neighbors.

Neighbors who, particularly, have already proved adept at conversations about religion and family and are willing to buy the beer.

I'm thinking I'll probably take him up.

2) The last couple days I've been burning through a series of online Scrabble rounds with a guy friend. He is very accomplished and routinely defeats me by 75 to 100 points. In one game he played 4 bingos; in another, it was "zaftig" on the triple-word; it was that same one, I think, that he backed me into setting him up for all the triple-word squares on the board.

I'm actually not a poor Scrabble player. He just has no mercy. And he's smart.

Now, we are playing with such speed that I'm catching on, and getting closer and more aggressive. I keep starting new games and he keeps playing. I'm starting to anticipate his choices. I get a serious charge out of putting down a satisfying word and waiting to see how he'll come back.

OK. Am I the only one who is starting to think of sex after reading that?

My word. So to speak.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Yesterday I decided to cut someone out of my life.

It was a pretty straightforward decision. This person and his drug-like qualities pulled me in and out of his orbit several times the past year. A few days ago, when he decided to push me back to the perimeter yet again, it became clear I didn't need to give him another chance to ever come back. So I told him I was going to disconnect him and I wanted him to do the same to me.

He didn't disagree. He even apologized for having ever hurt me. (Very non-Lifetime movie. I'm happy for the civility of it all. He and I have not always been that civil.)

Last night, walking home from Shrove Tuesday dinner at church, I remembered that cutting people off completely really hurts. Even if completely logical. I found myself trudging bareheaded through the slush, that Jason Robert Brown song in which he promises, "I'll be your prince, I'll be your saint, I will go crashing through fences...." on iPod loop, looking up at how the wet, thick snow was building layers on the tops of tree branches and how it falling through streetlight beams always makes my chest heavy, which in turn makes me think of what makes me sad.

Damn soaring Jason Robert Brown lyrics and damn beautiful snow.

It took until this morning for me to disconnect my Facebook link. After I hit "remove from friends," a second box popped up: "are you sure?" And I had to stop and think before I did it.

Funny, with all the drama of my weekend I almost forgot today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, and as a good Lutheran I had not yet thought of something to "give up" for the season.
What appropriate timing.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Stuff. (Really. Stuff.)

My god.

This weekend.


Drama. Changes. Craziness.

[That's about all I can manage to say. Some of it I can't articulate, so I won't. Most of the rest I shouldn't talk about in public, so I won't. My head's a mess tonight, though. And I've already called the folks I feel like calling. IM'd with the folks who are around to IM. Didn't sleep Saturday night. Played my turn on all the online Scrabble boards for which it was my turn. Forgot to eat most meals. Finished my taxes. Bought a yoga mat. Drank vodka in relative excess (see: Didn't sleep Saturday night). Practiced 7 Goldberg Variations. Ate all the conversation hearts I bought for the office. Tried to figure out how to un-mess my messy life (see: Drama. Changes. Craziness.) Tried to figure out how to un-mess my head. Trying now, actually.]

But that's all.

Sorry. You don't get any meat. I mean, I could talk more about my tax refund (oh, yeah) and what kind of sweet trip to Europe I might take this summer with some of it .... or the sweet bike I could possibly buy ... but ....

Amazingly, my head isn't there at all.

Decreed: there should be a support group for bloggers with burning topics they can't blog about, who instead must post cryptic lists of nonsense.

Which doesn't satisfy, I know.

It doesn't me, really, either.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Dating press

Anonymous commenter from yesterday's post saw it, you'll see, and so did I:

OKC and their "matching" statistic analysis, outlined here in the Friday Times.
".... the company catalogued the photos on more than 7,000 user profiles and looked at how many responses those users received from others. It found, among other things, that it didn’t matter whether people showed their faces, as long as the photos were intriguing enough to start a conversation.

“If you want worthwhile messages in your in-box, the value of being conversation-worthy, as opposed to merely sexy, cannot be overstated,” wrote Christian Rudder, another OkCupid founder, in the post.

Last fall Mr. Rudder looked at the first messages sent by users to would-be mates on the site, and which ones were most likely to get a response. His analysis found that messages with words like “fascinating” and “cool” had a better success rate than those with “beautiful” or “cutie.”

“As we all know, people normally like compliments, but when they’re used as pick-up lines, before you’ve even met in person, they inevitably feel... ew,” he wrote.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Love Letters: Debriefing

Note to self:

Karin, remember.

You can try. But face it.

You're just not the kind of girl who goes solo into a bar with 200 mingling people you don't know, especially a crowd made up primarily of 20-something women drinking martinis and, most clearly obvious by virtue of dress and over-shouted confidence, dying to engage the handful of men in the room and, like you, seem dying to make some sort of adventure out of the awkwardness,

(and you're not looking down on this crowd, you're really not, but you can see them so clearly, see their hopes so obviously, and you can see yourself in contrast and in common, and wonder how the handful of men see both themselves and you)

so you should clearly do just what you did, which was to throw back that first glass of sangria, exit the scene in your (also too obvious, you think) knit dress and Mary Jane heels and instead go solo to the late movie at Kendall Square, (a far more forgiving endeavor, to be sure) without any regrets for having tried the former,

but again remembering what made you leave.

Friday, February 12, 2010


So I already asked my friend Bill this one today, but perhaps you, my blog readers, might also advise me how respond to the following 2 aspects of my date last evening:

(Which, by the way, was perfectly and relatively pleasant, so this is not a diss, rather a genuine inquiry on social norms. And if I should be reading into them specifically.)

1) If on a February evening in Southie you are out with a date for a beer, and you have told him several times that you have just left a political organizing meeting to come meet him for said beer, what would be your response if he were to tell you in so many words, after a couple hours of conversation in which you describe your keen interest in politics, "I hate politics. In fact I abhor it."

2) Also. If you and your date live in the same neighborhood and your house is 6 blocks farther away than his, what would be your accepted response when, walking together up I Street from the bar at 10:45 pm (you walking in heels) and upon reaching his block, he says, "OK, here's my turn. Good to see you again and goodnight."

Bill has suggested that perhaps I have learned all I need to know. I'm suggesting that perhaps my date is firstly, just straightforward and honest, and secondly, not romantically interested in me, and thirdly .... well, I actually am still a bit shocked he didn't offer to see me home safely.

But perhaps that follows along with the secondly?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Zen aspirations

Woke up this morning
before the alarm,
sweaty and aggravated,
still mentally in a dream
that felt so real and
still needing to be dealt with
(at a musical revue,
supposed to be in charge
but there was no program order and
no music to play from and
no one to tell me what any of it should be)
it took a couple minutes to realize that
indeed it was a dream and that
I'm usually smarter than my dreams
(and sometimes even more capable?)
and that dealing with
idiosyncracies at the office
and a
first stab at pilates
and a
friend's political campaign meeting
followed by
a beer out, again, with Southie Med
(this time at esteemable Quenchers Tavern on I Street)
are all going to be easier than
that dream
and that
it would probably behoove me to
just be
them all.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Tuesday

Yesterday was up and down.

Morning: Mixed performance review at work. Near-tears involved at key moments. Boss comment: "You've seemed a bit off the last month or so. Would you agree? Instead of giving your normal 110%, you're only at, like 90?"

Noon: First ever successful parking ticket appeal at City Hall, resulting in $100 that can now be earmarked instead for coffee. Followed shortly thereafter by acquisition of first ever (110% legal) resident parking sticker, despite my earlier assurances to the contrary, since the process was held up by said $100 parking ticket. As I wrote in text to a friend, "Shazam!"

Evening: Church council meeting. I'm the secretary. 3.5 hours on a folding chair in a Back Bay basement, taking minutes. Although my friend and council colleague, Chris, provided some excellent Flying Dog Ale to make the proceedings go down smoother. Sometimes church business does go better with beer. Although it does certainly go slower.

Late Evening: Ride home from said meeting on the #9. iPod listening choice: Indigo Girls, 1200 Curfews. In the way that sometimes, some nights, some songs just make you, listened harder than necessary to the dressing-room cover of Gerard McHugh's "Thin Line," to wit:

i thought the time was passed when i could
find beauty in the birds
i set the stage and the scenery
rehearsing every word

with my confidence on fire
i set to fixin' up my roles
my separation of desires
just left me deeper down the hole

now i'm tryin to get back
to what i know that i should be
hoping to God that i was just
a temporary absentee
yeah when i tried to make it more
well it was always less
it's a thin line between pleasing yourself
and pleasing somebody else

Very Late Evening. Fried up a $2 steak with onions, tried to pair it with seriously overaged and overchilled Sangiovese from the fridge. Realized with some heavy-handedness that I'm on that thin line a lot these days. Grateful for coffeehouse songs from 1994 that still have truth about the ears.

Monday, February 8, 2010

"VD" is for ....

.... Victory Dance?

Video Download?

Venereal Disease?

Vichyssoise Deluxe, perhaps?

I'm not trying to avoid Valentines Day. Really.

For a girl mired in some variation of is-it-or-isn't-it? relationship limbo about this time of year for the past 3, I have some awesome plans so far:

1) Mail card to Grandma.
2) Call Mom & Dad.
3) Wake up on February 15.
4) Buy half-priced bag of
Necco hearts from CVS.
Other than that, I find it hard to get into.

When you're single on the Lovers Holiday, you are single on the Lovers Holiday. That means your friends either a) inundate you with well-wishes because they think you're feeling left out or b) ignore you because they know you write a blog about your dating life and aren't seeing anyone seriously, since you've told them as much, and they realize, based on the tone of your recent posts, you're acting a bit testily on the subject lately and maybe it would be both less painful and more PC just not to bring it up at all.

Folks, it's OK, really.

I give credit to Cousin J, who never seems to fear wading into the cesspool of my bad mood. She e-mailed from Nicaragua yesterday, asking me, rightly of course, to ease up and, well, just breathe.

" ..... get a date for next weekend with anyone to distract yourself and feel sexy so you can reduce the game we play of making med guy into someone before he has a chance to tell you who he is. and before you can decide whether you'd like him to like you."
It's good advice. Although I do need to share with her that, in fact, I had already brainstormed a potential great way to spend at least one evening .... Friday night at Noir in Harvard Square, attending the "Love Letters" party thrown by

Love Letters is a blog moderated by columnist Meredith Goldstein, herself 30-something and single. It features a daily letter of woe, followed by some serious Meredith advice (usually pithy and wise), followed by about 450 pages of sometimes irreverant, sometimes scary reader comments. (I suspect many commenters will be at the party, making other attendees try to guess their on-line monikers and reminiscing over their favorite letters.)

Nonetheless, it sounds wacky. Curious. Fun. Like one of those things you always tell yourself you'll do, but never quite have the figurative balls to follow through on.

Besides, in the "FAQ" post linked to above, Meredith answers a question well worth asking:

Q: I'm a straight guy who's too cool to go to this type of thing. Any reason I should let my guard down and show up?

A: Not to sound shallow, but every straight, single woman I've met who reads Love Letters is quite pretty. That's not really important, of course, but it's just something worth mentioning. It's a hot bunch, and a social bunch. Just so you know.
I could be into this. Stay posted.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Getting out of town

Even when the wind blows 21 mph and it feels like 11 degrees and no one told you ahead of time that the town of Gardner, MA (The Chair City!) has a bunch of 60-degree uphills that demand to be run uphill, it's a lot easier to finish a 10K in a bitter February wind when one of your best girl friends comes along for the ride and, after the race, agrees to go back out to the 4-mile marker to pose, as if proof were necessary.

(Well, if not necessary, a fun road trip, indeed. Thanks, C.)

The lonely road, from the runner's view.

The runner, revisiting the road.

The one-gloved photographer, with iPhone.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Does it have to be a virtue?

It does feel good to blow my top from time to time.

The Rambling Uncensored Maunder is cathartic. And as a piece of writing, I surmise, it should be more palatable to readers who can choose to read or not read it than to listeners who can't turn me off when confronted with the same in person.

So, naturally ...

.... last night I got an e-mail from Southie Med. Benign, friendly. Telling me, of all things, he got his wisdom teeth taken out yesterday. But he enjoyed our Wednesday night at Tom English's and thinks we should try another.

Not exactly a burning love letter. But, indeed, a request for a second date. Even if it is beers in Southie on a Wednesday. It's a second date.

(Since I left our first date feeling apprehensive because I had been so talky ... so nervous, maybe?.... and thinking that I just wanted another chance to hang out with him without the nerves, I should be thrilled.)

Instead I'm feeling foolish for having no patience, or at least for showing a relative lack of class about it. If the second date goes swimmingly and afterwards he asks for this blog address and I give it to him, he's going to have to read that I called him a turd.

(Not that I couldn't go right now and change that word .... although if he's worth his salt, he'll have a sense of humor about it. If I'm so lucky.)

Then again, I'm feeling foolish for feeling foolish. Don't I deserve to be impatient? I'm 6 weeks from being 37, and have I not already exhibited years of patience? Should I have to wait 3 days after a date to hear if my date likes me enough to want to see me again?

There are only so many 3-day windows left in my life. I kind of want to know sooner than later if he thinks we could be mutually fascinating or is just happy for a weekly drinking buddy.

It's probably unfair to place this particular burden on Southie Med. We've had one date. We didn't use it getting into any lengthy or weighty discussions about expectations or desires; we talked like normal people about our jobs and our running and our families. He's not responsible for all facets of my future happiness or satisfying my impatience ....

.... yet.

This never gets easier, does it.

Friday, February 5, 2010

12-Minute Maunder

It's Friday.

Let's see. How much can I maunder about in 12 minutes, starting .....

.... if the pleasant, bespectacled, chisel-jawed med student from Southie with whom I share an 80% compatibility ranking on OKC takes me out for a couple beers at a respectable Southie dive bar but, 2 days later, has not found the time to respond to my thank you note or acknowledge that he both pursued me and is now ignoring me, should I just be glad that if he really feels that way or just is never going to have the time for me, he has shoved off and doesn't string me into anything more than disappointment that such a promising lead turned out to be such a turd?

.... Argh. Men. Or boys. 24-year-old from Brooklyn, who for the last 2 months has hit me 2x a week looking for a chat or wanting to talk about hooking up, and whom I good-natured indulge in banter because he is a political consultant with something to say and writes a blog about his favorite hamburgers .... finds it necessary to update his Facebook status update today with: "(24-y-o) was relentlessly pursued by a woman 12 years his senior this evening. Thankfully I shunned her advances." So I should keep talking with him ....... WHY?

.... why must men from central Illinois, central Pennsylvania, central Rhode Island, or Boulder, Colorado take up my time and space sending me pointless messages on OKC? Are there no women in central Illinois, central Pennsylvania or central Rhode Island? Or the Rocky Mountains?

Men of Boston (or Cambridge or Somerville or Medford or Brookline or anywhere in a 25-mile radius) ..... where the f#$% are YOU? Hitting up women from central Illinois?


Time for lunch.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Sweet talk

On the basis of this photo,
taken by my friend C
on a September afternoon
2 years ago,
between Berkeley and Clarendon streets,
reading a book
someone else left behind,
I should surely be married
by now
for the number of
online dating hits
it hath wrought.
(Thanks, C.)

a 26-y-old man
from Schenectady NY,
couldn't help himself,
telling me that
"i like that picture with the skirt
my god so into your work :)
do u got id for those legs

if not i am going to have u thrown in jail"

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Cookie Day Pledge

I, Karin,

having ordered

1 box Lemonades
1 box PB Patties
1 box PB Sandwiches

(who, even with co-workers who, now fully recovered from Christmas season treat gluttony overload, are more than willing to snack if you put them out on the counter, was able to consume roughly half of said cookies in a single afternoon of spreadsheet composing)

hereby decree to reassert in public

(my previously private) pledge

to complete

1 10K road race
for each of the
12 months of

January's done.

February will be represented by this one, this Sunday.

(Which means I'd better leave the office right now


go for a run.)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Emotionally undecided

I spent the weekend in Washington, D.C. (without boots, as you well know).

Alan, my college newspaper colleague from eons ago, a man I'll still call a good friend, is now president of the National Press Club.

Saturday night was his big inauguration party during a big snowstorm with some big names (like Bob Schieffer and the senior senator from Minnesota) and some small names (like mine) in attendance. He took the oath of office over a Brett Favre Vikings jersey. Alex Trebek & Meredith Vieira sent video. We ate Jell-O and bison steaks and devilled eggs with krumkake for dessert. We marvelled that for a very-D.C. event we got very-Minnesota weather.

I've been emotionally laid low by it.

I still haven't figured out how to articulate what it felt to witness an old friend reach a mountainous career pinnacle at the age of 36 -- watching him willingly shoulder the opportunity and the burden of being the face of journalism in the United States at a time when the very profession is in peril. Relieved that, despite all things, he still harbors the same stubbornness, inventiveness, and singular personality that he did when he was 20. Realizing how hard he has worked and how much he has sacrificed, and wondering on some level if this is really what he wants.

I need to think about it some more and get back to you.