Monday, May 31, 2010

Savvy birds

Memorial Day, noontime, at L'Aroma on Newbury.  

Chic enough to enjoy the crumbs of a spinach, feta and red-pepper quiche.

Civilized enough to share.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Beating the blues with blue

Sometimes a weekend brings positives:

Sunshine.  Three 5-mile runs in 3 days.  Red impatiens in the patio pots.  Clean sheets. Spiked coffee at Cafe Arpeggio.  Sunday nights when Monday is a vacation. And did I say sunshine?

Sometimes a weekend brings negatives (and in this case, really only one):

Cleaning up on a Friday night, driving the 20 miles to Wellesley for a first date, to get there and discover the date isn't there.  Order Grey Goose Bloody Mary to appear chic and unaffected to bartender and busboy who both ask, several times, if I'm waiting for a companion before dinner, then try to pay and leave without ordering any only to discover Wellesley is a "dry town" and I must order food with my drink anyway.  Drive the 20 miles home, 20 dollars poorer and alone, to read an e-mail the length of a novel from said gone-missing date .... about how the restaurant was too noisy and how he had wanted to call and suggest a quieter place but he had left my phone number on a paper in his other pants pocket and how because I arrived late he wasn't sure if  I was coming so he just went home .... but hopes to eventually re-make a date when he gets back from a work trip and a vacation to Florida .... on June 12 ... if I'll allow him.

I thought about all these things this afternoon at the best possible place to think about everything -- Nantasket Beach

View Larger Map

when the temperature is 75 and sunny and the tide is warm enough to walk in and there is 3 miles of the tide, on top of soft white sand, and it takes 2 hours to walk that much, and it seems not to matter that dating with any degree of success feels harder than an Everest ascent, lately, especially when I'm grateful to live only 30 minutes from the wickedly endless Atlantic, which is so much bigger and amazing than anything I can offer up.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Grateful (V)

That I received an e-mail from my company's IT head this morning, saying
"Power will be shut down for the entire building over the weekend. It will be turned off at 10PM Friday night and restored by 10PM Sunday.  This means all of our systems will be unavailable during this time including email..."
so that I had no reason

(after spending 8 straight hours (8!) on this, the last Friday before the summer calculating the historical cost basis on one client's mishmash of stock certificates and spreadsheets and e-mail records and dividend reinvestment plans and splits and mergers for XOM and IBM and T and RY)

to come in here this weekend and spend even one minute under the fluorescents for any God-given reason,

especially when I've got a date with a 5-mile run in a few minutes,

followed by a date in Wellesley with a divorced architect who has been pestering for awhile,

and then a date to reply to the polite e-mail from a 33-year-old runner (6', dark hair and eyes) from Arlington who wanted me to share my experiences from Reach the Beach Relay,

followed by a tomorrow that includes sleeping in, getting up to sit on my patio with an iced coffee and read the Times, and then planting impatiens in the patio flowerpots,

followed by a BBQ on Sunday ..... and a BBQ on Monday ....

which might mean I don't have to think until at least Tuesday about how the stock market tanked throughout May, particularly this week, and how the XOM cost basis calculations aren't yet complete.

Which will, by then, be June.  


Thursday, May 27, 2010

DIBs: Cocktails

On the last 80-degree Wednesday evening in May, the DIBs hit up Southie for some patio cocktails at Franklin Southie.  Random Blog Reader and I were this time joined by Jen and Another Random Blog Reader. 

No bones about it.  We just sat for a couple hours and discussed  ..... Idiosyncratic Bostonians.  

Surprisingly and (again more and more not surprisingly), we knew many of the same characters.   Recognized screen names from websites.  When I launched into a story about man I'd gotten into several weeks of online conversation with before a relatively ill-fated live outing ... RBR injected with a wry smile: 

"That isn't _________, is it?"

And it was.

Don't worry .... we also discussed the horrifying possibility that we might be the Idiosyncratic ones. 

I can't speak entirely for my new friends, but I think we were striving for a sense of community and I think we found it:   four attractive (all), successful (all) mid-30s women.  Each with an active dating life and each with a litany of frustrations and sense of humor about it.  Each with an eerily encyclopedic knowledge of who has been hanging out on, OKCupid, PlentyOfFish,

All good reasons to get along.

In our other life circles we are the unmarried daughters or the one single in the group of married couples or the best friend of a dynamic guy who already has a girlfriend or the co-worker or the study partner.  In this circle we got to celebrate just being Singles in the City.

Nice.  Watch for the next one.

Bikini Challenge BV: Off wagon (and back on)

Once again,
that after a week of pure decadence,
the scale
(while not moving down)
did not move back up.
May 4 Poundage: CXXXVII
May 26 Poundage: CXXXI
June 20 Goal Poundage: CXXI
(Poundage to go: X)
Not always a fan of
staying status quo,
but when one reintroduces
Kashi GoLean (by the box)
chips and salsa (by the double basket)
strawberry pound cake (with homemade whipped cream)
into the
Weight Watchers plan,
one expects consequences.

Back on the wagon
I go.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Matching attitudes

Yesterday afternoon, I involved myself in a 3-hour instant messager session with a 26-y-old whose moniker is a graphic synonym for a man's genitals.   (His intials are HBI. You may do all further investigation and/or guesswork to figure out why. Good luck.)

It was not my original intention. It was during those idle moments that come at the end of any work day -- the tour of all personal websites -- and while on OKC, a window popped up:
HBI: Down to f***? I am.
Imagine a 2-minute gap.

Most days I ignore the crassness. And as you know, some days I engage it.
Karin: Not today. Sorry.
HBI: lol. Why you lyin?
K: Not. Sorry.
HBI: Is it because I'm vulgar?
K: Nope.
HBI: Then I should try back tomorrow?
K: Nope. I'm taking a break for a bit.
HBI: Alright, so it's not my game. Becuase I talk a good one. Clearly.
K: Well.I wouldn't quit your day job.
HBI: God, we would be bffls if you weren't so prude.
K: bffls?
HBI: Best Friends For Life
K: Hm. I was sure "f***ing" was a part of that. I'm surprised.
HBI: You were hoping.
K: Yes. You read my mind. Obviously you were holding out.
HBI: Occasionally I play hard to get.
K: Um. yeah.
HBI: We are a 49% match, and only 47% enemy. So...
K: only 47?
HBI: More of a match than enemy, so I don't see why you are acting like we aren't falling in love right now.
K: Falling? I've totally fell. 100%.
HBI: I'd be lyin if I said I had a hard time believing that.
Now we had moved towards the same page. I checked out his profile. Clearly written in a voice meant to convey sex-crazed stupidity. Clearly playing games for some other amusement. I called him on it.
HBI: Who wants to be fake, on a site like this? Not I.
K: Who, indeed.
HBI: I'm all about sincerity.
K: Evidently today you are Down to F***.
HBI: It's true.
K: As I would guess, based on your logic above.
HBI: Right, I just thought I would reiterate.
According to his profile, he used to be a grad student, which he elaborated on, telling me he was quitting to become a
K: Professional poker player?
HBI: Indeed. Too unorthodox for a good christian girl, like yourself.
K: Do you think I'm a spring chicken or what?
HBI: Late spring, early summer.
Smart ass.
HBI: You quoted my profile. Did you have more thoughts? Questions? I apologize for depriving you of the opportunity.
K: Well. You seem pretty witty. But your profile is kind of gross.
HBI: Yeah. It is. It used to be grosser. I mean, "more gross."
K: So why not just be witty in your profile. You could pull it off.
HBI: I don't feel like the majority are deserving.
K: The majority of who?
HBI: OKCUpid.... people. OKCupiders. OKCupidians
K: Wow. Do you meet a lot of stupid women?
HBI: That's what I generally aim for.
K: Hm. That's too bad.
HBI: Marionnettes....
K: Why did you aim for me?
HBI: Well, today is my day off. I was bored out of my mind, and you were online. I actually found your profile charming, but who has the time or energy for genuine effort?
K: Well, thanks for not lumping me in with the stupid girls. You put in the time or energy you feel like, I guess.
HBI: Well, when you rejected my initial effort, you threw down the gauntlet. I may be lazy, but I have my pride.
K: Hm. So what is the general response to your initial effort?
HBI: "Ditto"
K: No kidding.
HBI: haha, no. I have never actually tried that exact line before. But it was the funniest thing I could think of, spur of the moment.
Now.  On the same page.
K: Well, thanks for trying to be funny.
HBI: Not funny to you.
K: Earnestness on this site is overrated.
K: No. I'll take creative approaches to whatever more often than other things.
HBI: I have a hard time taking this site seriously. I mean, it's a place for sad lonely people. Neither of which would describe me.
The crux. It isn't me, either. But I wonder how many people look at my profile and think ..... 

HBI and I continued talking for another 2 hours. No-strings relationships. Previous SOs. Aspirations. What would a 37-year-old want on a date that a 26-year-old should know about. I've been in these chats before.....when the conversation flows so easily that the mechanics eventually start to show, because topics get brought up simply to keep the talking going.

Eventually he even started acting earnestly, a little. So did I.
K: OK. I do need to go. I, myself, am losing my lovable charm from sitting here so long.
HBI: Have fun now. If you want there to be a next time, you let me know.
K: Well, I enjoyed the chat.
HBI: ditto
K: Let's do it again. You know where to find me.
HBI: haha, I'll leave it up to you, unless it's really my job.
K: It is. If I have to educate you in the ways of the world, I will.
HBI: How traditional of you. I will try to think of a better opening line for next time. Be prepared.
K: I'm girding the loins already.
Who knows. Maybe he will, maybe he won't. Maybe I will, maybe I won't.

Kind of nice to find someone else, for at least an afternoon, who can match my cynicism and make it seem charming.

Monday, May 24, 2010

All the single ladies....

We're at 3 bodies and counting for Wednesday's outing at Franklin Cafe. Which is dandy and definitely enough to get the conversation flowing....

Although there are certainly more DIBs out there than are owing up to it, no? 

All are welcome. Let's make it a bigger party.


Friday, May 21, 2010

Um, for real?

Obviously, I'm not a neophyte to online dating.

Obviously, I'm not new to personalized, targeted e-mail solicitations with little or no basis in reality.

Yet, I got this mail from OKCupid tonight. I kind of don't want to think it has any merit. Then I remember the OKC founders are all Harvard summa cum laude math majors who treat dating as a series of doable algorithms.

And I kind of do.

Karin = good looking 
 "We are very pleased to report that you are in the top half of OkCupid's most attractive users. The scales recently tipped in your favor, and we thought you'd like to know.
"How can we say this with confidence? We've tracked click-thrus on your photo and analyzed other people's reactions to you.
"Your new elite status comes with one important privilege: You will now see more attractive people in your match results.  This new status won't affect your actual match percentages, which are still based purely on your answers and desired match's answers. But the people we recommend will be more attractive. Also! You'll be shown to more attractive people in their match results.
"Suddenly, the world is your oyster. Login now and reap the rewards. And, no, we didn't just send this email to everyone on OkCupid. Go ask an ugly friend and see."
The world is my oyster.

Who knew.

If I only knew what OKC's definition of "attractive" really was.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bikini Challenge BV: Pool party

So, another week, another pound down.  Ten to go.  Considering the amount of beer I drank last week, I'm rather grateful for that pound.
May 4 Poundage: CXXXVII
May 19 Poundage: CXXXI
June 20 Goal Poundage: CXXI
(Poundage to go: X)
This coming week brings challenges .... kicked off today by my sudden prediliction to eat raw oatmeal by the cup while sitting at work.  It's fiber, but it's filling.  Twelve WW points worth of filling in 2 cups.

Challenges like the DIB drinks outing on Wednesday.  Cosmo city.

Like my friend Balint's birthday on Tuesday ...and since he cooked what I like for mine, I will probably cook what he likes for his .... which might be a couple of big steaks.

Like the road trip to Truro tomorrow to see Claudia, for which I will probably have to buy a $5 Espresso Frappucino (special treat, necessary) for the sunny, summer-like drive. Sure, C and I will probably be power-walking on the beach and scrubbing floors and otherwise getting her house ready for summer renters.  But it's also her birthday this weekend, so I expect wine, salmon, cheesecake ....


Thank goodness for the pressure of pool parties in May.  Which is what's on the docket Sunday.  Some generous folks from church choir who also happen to have a pool are throwing our choir's end-of-the-year bash.  Around their pool.

Which means I'll have to dig out the swimsuit exactly a month early.  Which means between now and then .... sit-ups, sit-ups .... and maybe about 20 miles of running.

See ya next Thursday .... hopefully (maybe, but doubtfully) another pound down.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

DIBs: Doing It (finally)

The time has come, Daters of Idiosyncratic Bostonians.

(And you know who you are.)

We're in the heights of spring: the days are longest.  Audacious men are everywhere. Sex and the City 2 opens next Thursday and please tell me you are not going to see it.

Instead, you are going to meet me, Random Blog Reader, and whoever else chances to show up next Wednesday to drink and nosh with the DIBs.

I checked in with RBR a few days ago to tell her I felt stuck these past weeks. It doesn't feel good to have it be spring and have the days be long and have the men be audacious and to feel .... stuck.

She replied to needing the same. Whew.

Wednesday, May 26, 8 p.m.

Franklin Cafe, 152 Dorchester Ave, South Boston


Technically, we're
"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."

But we realize there are
idiosyncratic lady Bostonians out there, too. 

So men, join us, if you've got the tales to prove it.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Post #553

Tuesday, May 4 came and went.

Gov. Patrick lifted the Great Boston Boil-Water Order of 2010.

Pamela Anderson was kicked off Dancing With the Stars.

The Times Square bomber was arrested.

I was working the first day of work after a 3-day weekend in Minnesota, and if I look back at my work e-mail from that day .... well, the day pretty much happened to suck lumps of used cat litter.

I recall being ridiculously tired.

To boot, I was feeling particularly lumpy that day after having eaten 8 servings of Reeses Pieces on the plane-ride home the night before, and thusly wrote a post about needing to achieve washboard abs while wearing a plaid Victoria's Secret bikini 6 weeks hence, and further declaring that Weight Watchers was going to start. Right. That. Moment.

It's unfortunate that in this world drama and world of self-drama, I skipped right over the most narcissistic reason I should have been writing that day.  Namely, what I had written in Post #277 365 days prior ..... and Post #1 730 days prior to that.

Yes.  I forgot my own 2-year anniversary of this blog.

In fact, I forgot it for 2 weeks. 

And only remembered it today at, seriously, about 2 p.m., while plowing down the Comm Ave Mall on my daily 2-Weight Watchers-Activity-Points power walk.

Maybe this is all a good excuse to drop everything and go for a beer.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Typo Hall of Fame (OKC version)

I'm beginning to believe that my ability to be hit on by unlikely characters should be unparalleled in the annals of OKCupid.

Tonight I'm doing my normal Sunday night at Diesel in Davis, minding my own business, typing away on some McGee campaign lit, a couple of browsers open for distraction.

Oh, look.  OKC chat request.
"I would love to have sew with you <3"
He's from Morocco, so I suppose I should cut him slack.

(Or pull out my needle and thread, perhaps.)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Rude (but honest)

It must be a pleasant Friday afternoon, if I find myself deigning to give naively clueless men hints on how better to effectively proposition women on OKC.

A guy from New York, of an age who should know better, by way of IM greeting, earlier today demanded that I do something that rhymes with "duck tea." 

Of course, I could just ignore.  But why ignore when I can engage?
K: Excuse me?

Rude But Honest:  sorry, i am a bit horny

K:  Evidently.  But that's kind of rude.

RBH:  i guess so

RBH:  and i said it to the wrong person i guess

K: Well, you might have better luck with a bit more of a lead-in.

K: And work up to the s***ing part.   Just saying.

RBH:  yeah i'll note that

K: Alright. Good luck.

RBH:  it sometimes work with horny ladies tho

K:  Yeah, but you wouldn't usually know they're horny unless you ask.

RBH:  are u horny by any chance :}

K:  Nope.  But thanks for asking.
Coming attraction:  the other conversation I had today with a college student who, after turning down his request to meet up and share a massage, suggested that he instead join a yoga class if he wants to meet fit, smart girls ... to which he replied that "yoga makes me fart."

Stay tuned.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Bikini Challenge BV: First Weigh-In


Today is one of the stressful work days.  The kind where you sit and stare at the floor and have to decide between 3 equally unappealing courses of action to rectify a dire situation.

Happily, I can think about last night, when I finished the elliptical and yoga and bike activity for the evening and stepped on the scale to discover the following:

Original Poundage:  

May 12 Poundage: 

June 20 Goal Poundage: 

(Poundage to go:  XI)

Something is working.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

It's a wonderful day when ...

.... I wake up to find that my candidate came in second.

..... my boss comes to me at noon, says he's going to the 1:35 p.m. Red Sox game, and leaves without me.
.... I end up spending an entire afternoon calculating cost basis from 3 different spreadsheets and 2 different websites and it still doesn't equate.

.... a 20-year-old Berklee student who, about 6 months ago, attempted several times to engage in his vaguely naive idea of erotic chat on OKC, and who you successfully fended off, re-emerges this afternoon to say,
"Hi, remember me?"
To which I said, "no." To which he said:

 "I was J**** before, but then I got a girlfriend and deleted my account. She broke up with me yesterday, so I'm back here."
.... another man who is, amazingly, my age and who engaged me a week ago to converse about Yo-Yo Ma and the Museum of Fine Arts, replies today to my initial reply to say that, because his ex-wife has cancer and isn't doing well, he will consequently be full-time taking care of his children and probably won't be in touch for a couple more weeks, if he is.

.... and yet another man, this one in his late 40s who lives in New Hampshire with his girlfriend and first wrote 3 months ago to say they were looking for a "sensual partner," thought I seemed "ideal" to join them, and included a couple photos of his bare chest for good measure, and to whom I decided not to respond, writes again today:

"I'm holding my breath."
.... there is a hole in each toe of each sock I'm wearing.

.... and it's raining.


Thank God my gym has a sauna and a Vinyasa yoga class and I've got nowhere else to be tonight but there.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Pretty morning

Today is the special election to fill the Massachusetts state senate seat vacated in January by our current U.S. Senator, Scott Brown, when he won that election.

For a couple of hours this morning,  before work, and earlier than I'm usually up and at 'em I hung out at the Broadmeadow Elementary School in Needham, holding a campaign sign for the Democratic candidate for for the seat, Peter Smulowitz

An added bonus:  I got to stand next to Peter Smulowitz while doing it. Broadmeadow is his home polling place. 

Smulowitz is 34 and passes for younger, short-statured, and today he wore a pin-striped suit and his "lucky Obama-blue tie."  For someone who works full-time as an emergency-room physician and has run a full-time political campaign since January, he revealed no black circles under his eyes. And he was in excellent candidate form, asking what I did and thanking me for helping out (which was because his campaign strategist is a buddy of mine).  

Around 7:45, his wife stopped by from down the street with a Box o' Joe from DD, then proceeded to mix in the cream and sugar how each of us volunteers requested.  She even offered some to the man across the driveway, who was holding a sign for his opponent.

It was a congenial couple of hours.

The temperature was 39 degrees -- we were all in winter coats and gloves -- but the sky was as blue as the candidate's tie and it soon grew more tolerably warmer. We held our signs for the benefit of arriving voters, for the hundreds of cars carrying parents and children to the start of classes, for the smart-ass crossing guard directing the kids coming in via skateboard (and there seemed to be hundreds).  Some cars honked and waved at us. Some pointedly ignored us and waved at the guy across the driveway. Smulowitz and a couple other volunteers and I drank our coffee and stayed even as the traffic died down,  bullshitting, prognosticating about the voter turnout, noticing our hands turning numb from gripping the signs. 

No one is paying me to say this (and yes, that includes my friend the paid strategist) -- but for a guy who seems to be ridiculously smart, successful, driven and passionate about healthcare policy, Smulowitz was as neutral and calm as if we were standing around waiting for our tee time. 

Nice to know smart, successful, driven individuals my age can also be normal.

In any case, no moral to this story.  Just a pretty morning in the burbs, in the May sun.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Dateline: Diesel Cafe, Davis, Somerville 5/9/10

10:32 PM

I do sit at coffee shops on Sunday nights wearing
my church dress and cardigan 
my running gear.

Wanna make something of it?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Love is a crap-shoot

I like when Love Letters publishes letters that sound like I could have written them, like the one from yesterday  (except the lesbian and therapy and having had a long-term relationship parts).

OK.  More concisely, I just like it because every so often when I've been tooling along dateless for several weeks and I get to a beautiful Friday on a weekend with no dates to anticipate -- I'm reminded how long I've been dating and how I've still got no boyfriend to show for it.
"I find myself in need of some combination of wise counsel, kindness, and perhaps tough love. My question is: do you think some people are just not meant to be in relationships? Is it possible that some of us are hard-wired in ways that make it impossible to have love that sticks around?

"Clearly, I fear I am one of these people. I am in my late 30s and recently single after the demise of a relationship that I thought could be for good (or at least for whatever future I can currently imagine). I am very tired of finding myself in this place. I have no trouble making and keeping wonderful friends, and the ones who've known me for 20-plus years assure me that I am lovely and kind and smart and the right woman will be lucky to have me. I'm attractive enough to occasionally get hit on in bars (usually by men, and I am a lesbian so this isn't super helpful in terms of finding a partner). I have a professional job, had therapy when I needed it, and have excellent table manners, so the more obvious obstacles to connecting with someone aren't an issue.

"All of which leads me to wonder: is there just something inherent in some subset of people to which I belong that poses an insurmountable barrier to being in a relationship? Are some of us just doomed and would I be better served by giving up the ghost, accepting that I was meant to remain single, and trying to make peace with that?  I feel like I have totally lost perspective on the whole thing and would be grateful for any you can provide."
Meredith, to her credit, suggests that she sounds completely normal and that it's just a matter of time.

Readers, at least the first 30 or so, were also uniformly kind

From a girl:
"I have a wide range of friends in the 35+ range; many were single past 35, it seems slowly but surely, even the straggles find love. So, my money is on you finding it… someday. Maybe not today, or next month or even next year – but I believe it’s out there. That said, you do have to make peace; accept being alone (at least for now) b/c there are no guarantees. There is no rhyme or reason to love – I know beautiful, educated, sweet single gals in their late 30s, and I know just as many not-so-pretty, be-atchy chicks that landed fantastic guys. So, you have to stop thinking it’s something about you… love is kinda a crap-shoot."
From a guy:
"While I do believe there is a subset of people who are not meant to be in relationships, I wouldn't be so quick to put yourself in the cat hoarding spinster category. (OK.  Why is being a woman and owning cats SO UNATTRACTIVE?  Someone ... please ....)   In your late 30s, you are still young and have time to explore the world for Ms. Right. If, however, in another decade you find yourself caked with too much makeup, nursing a cosmopolitan at an otherwise empty bar reeking of cheap cigarette smoke, and mumbling "everything gonna be all right now", then you will know that are you are hard wired for loneliness."
Probably the rightest of all:

"There's nothing wrong with you. You sound wonderful. I hope that you are as confident in real life as you are on paper, because confidence is super sexy and if you believe in yourself and what you have to offer, the right person is going to come along and fall in love with all of it."

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Last weekend I spent a couple days in Minnesota with my parents.

Bob and Kat retired in January 2008 and moved from North Dakota to a middle-class Minneapolis exurb, Buffalo, a couple summers ago.  I've gone to see them 4 or 5 times since, and admit that it was on this most recent visit that, in my opinion, they've finally settled into the groove of the thing.  A personal friendship with nearly every person at their church.  Serious mileage on the sedans they drive to see my nephew, my sisters, my Grandma, their old ND friends in neighboring towns, and theater and concerts downtown. 

Enough to do but not too much to do. Comfort with not doing too much.

(I came up for breakfast at 7:30 Sunday morning to find them sitting across from each other at the kitchen table, coffee mugs in hand, eating cereal with sliced bananas, Star Tribune spread between, not talking.  Serenity personified.)

Of particular pride to all who know Dad is his gig singing baritone with the Apollo Male Chorus -- one of the oldest continually performing men's groups in the US.  For someone relaxing, he spends a lot of time memorizing music.  Wicked fun to see him looking sharp Sunday afternoon in concert, here (below, in white beard) belting out "Oh, Susannah!"

Maybe they were just glad to see me and their mood reflected it.  But I thought Bob and Kat seemed as well as I've seen them in years.  When I saw my sister, Missy, the next day, I asked if she agreed ... and she did.  She reminded me that 6 weeks ago, Dad joined a YMCA and, since then, has been going to Silver Sneakers exercise classes and walking the treadmill 20 minutes at a pop. Hates to miss a class if he can help it.
"I really think that exercise has given him new energy," she said.  "Think of how that feels when you're really active and you feel good about yourself."
Dad has for the last 2 years been more sedentary than not.  This is a good thing. I have faith in Missy's theory.

I also like how it feels to be energized. Yet, I've been so tired since the early part of April that I haven't felt that good about myself.  (And obviously haven't felt like blogging, as you might tell.)  I miss that energy. I miss feeling good.

The Budapest Challenge unveiled on Tuesday is my effort to jump start myself back from (my self-defined) energy oblivion.  Weight-loss edicts of that magnitude force me to stop eating peanut butter by the half-jar and get out and move, no matter what.  Really wanting to look good in a bikini not just for y'all, but for me (it does indeed feel good to rock the 2-piece at the beach) is more incentive. 

Part of my strategy is, indeed, re-enrolling in Weight Watchers for portion control.  Second part is biking a minimum 5 miles a day (easy enough when I make it my commute). Yoga in my living room is on tap to start after Mother's Day.  Running several times a week will continue.  And yesterday I began the daily noon-hour half-hour power walk.  (3 WW exercise points!)

Today I did just that, heading out onto Stuart Street and around the Common and back down Comm Ave's grand boulevard to Dartmouth Street.  Awesome.  At 3:30 p.m. it was 75, breezy, and partly cloudy.  The Public Garden ripe with tulips. Pedestrians strolling, not striding, around me.  Sun on my bare shoulders.  Legs .... energized.  As was I, who got back to the office and ripped off my last 2 hours of Schwab paperwork like it was breathing.

Hopefully, this energy is the start of a trend. 

Thanks, Dad, for the inspiration.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Bikini Challenge BV: Encore Begins

It's that time again.

Time for a self-improvement exercise, that old chestnut of a pick-me-up.

There's a young man from Brooklyn, an interesting political consultant sort, with whom I infrequently chat. When we do, we quite often talk about The Bikini Shot.  I sent it to him long ago.  Didn't realize he would be quite so obsessed with toned abdominal muscles on women and use gratuitous (and in my current state, wickedly inaccurate) adjectives to fawn what he imagines mine look like.   The times we've discussed possibly meeting, my thoughts are dominated not about how much fun that would be ... but rather, that I'd have to work out with Jillian Michaels videos for 2 weeks before so as to not embarrass myself.

Well, I'll say right now I'm not doing this for the young man.

But I am going to lose 15 pounds by Monday, June 21 ... before I get on a plane to Budapest for a 2-week vacation.

I haven't figured out exactly how yet.  Although I have figured out that Weight Watchers will be involved. Maybe Jillian Michaels, too.  Possibly my faded, still-valid swim passes to the Chinatown YMCA.  Yoga. A 10K, or 2.  Spray-tanner.  Most definitely some more hours of sleep than I've been getting the last 2 weeks. And hopefully less hip flesh. And much less peanut butter straight from the jar than I've been slurping down daily the last 2 months.

So, here's my weight as of today:  CXXXVI.

The weight I will be:  CXXI.

Here's the suit in question.

In which I will be photographed on the banks of the Charles River in sun or in rain on Sunday, June 20.

And here, imagine if you will, the electronic tear-stains from thoughts of foregoing peanut butter for 6 weeks.

Budapest Version of the Bikini Challenge, begin!

(Plan details, as they say in my line of work, TBD. But definite. Soon.)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Hiatus (mais brièvement, bien sûr)

Last Saturday I encountered my bassist friend Ben (who is known to keep a wicked schedule and) who, for lack of any more poetic phrase, looked more haggard than I've known a fellow human to look. As we finished hugging, he stepped back and managed to croak,
"You'll have to pardon me. My eyelids are in pain."
I could tell.

Tonight, I think I know what that feels like.  The last week at work was more intense and full and dramatic than any week in the past year.  The wired state did not make for quality sleep.  It did not make for quality free time ... almost none of which I had.  It meant that a power nap taken Friday night at 9 p.m. in order to have the required energy to prepare for my Saturday-morning flight to Minneapolis meant that I couldn't fall asleep until 1:48 (at last look) prior to my 4:30 wake-up call for the 5:00 taxi pick-up and 6:30 departure (so most of that night's sleep came via sporadic napping through the flight) and resultingly drank 5 (or more?) cups of coffee upon arrival to have the spunk necessary (and desired) for a long lunch with 3 college girlfriends and an afternoon and evening playing Backstreet Bridge with my sister, mother and grandma, Martha ... who is almost 91 years old and (I'm sure all present would agree) was more awake than me. 

And here it is, 12:35 CST.  1:35 EST.  I'm still awake.  Thanks, 5 cups of coffee.

(Oy. The pain.)

I'm in Minnesota until Monday night.  Other than this brief episode of telling you how tired it is possible to be (with all due respect to parents with collicky babies), I gotta take a blog break. I've got to not spend the weekend wondering what I'm going to write about since I haven't had a date in 2 weeks and am growing cynical about the current prospects.  I've got to spend the rest of my weekend seeing more of Grandma and singing at my parents' church and coddling the nephew and relaxing the brain to create the necessary space to tackle the pile-o-work that re-awaits me Tuesday morning without lurching forth into a level of being-fried-ness and nonsense that I don't want to contemplate.

So .... see ya Tuesday (yah, sure, ya betcha).