Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Last night, after some delay, I had a second date with Sunday-night Man.

He was again a good date.  He had the patience to hang in a loud room with a girl who had no speaking voice.  (Yes. Lost on Sunday night. Still gone.)  He requested the bartender make me a lemon and brandy hot toddy to soothe my throat, then insisted I have a refill.  He recommended dinner choices, then paid for them.  He kissed me standing outside my car.  He kissed me more sitting inside my car. He was a good kisser.

This all helped me forget for a few hours that, despite multiple exhortations to the contrary, C-2 and I never did see each other this weekend.  After 2 days of radio silence, he wrote yesterday to say he had been swamped, was sick, and was sorry.  Today, ostensibly, he leaves town for a long time.

This is good, I think.  Maybe I'll get on with my life after 9 months of unreliable dithering and frustration.  Like how, sometimes, I need to bury the Reeses Pieces at the bottom of the trash to keep from eating the entire bag.  Out of reach means out of mind.

(One would hope.)

Monday, November 29, 2010


I sat
in the tub
for an hour
and forty minutes
(as the water went lukewarm,
then cold),
staring at an exposed knee
and my toes,
despite the chill,
equally stagnant,
stuck on
why I like what I like
why I do what I do
why of late I'm
despite every effort
to defend
liking what I like
doing what I do
acknowledging this
can't identify
why I'm
so unwilling
to change
any of it.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Good poem

Wild Water

Insidious cruelty is this
that will allow the heart
a scent of wild water
in the arid land --
that holds out the cup
but to withdraw the hand.

Then says to the heart: Be glad
that you have beheld the font
where lies requitement,
and identified your thirst.
Now, heart, take up your desert,
this spring is cursed.

--May Swenson (1913-89)

Saturday, November 27, 2010


At 2:53 this morning I was lying in bed, listening to the BBC and talking with C-2.  On the phone.

I had started it at 2:15,  texting.  For the second straight night, I was unable to relax into sleep.  C-2 is the only one appropriate for this situation, as someone who, as a rule, doesn't go to bed before 4 and tends to be game for anything.  Indeed, he was on his way home from someplace, and after a few messages he dialed in, electing (thank God) not to text and drive.

C-2 and I have known each other for 22 months and this might have been our first real phone conversation.  And save our online Scrabble match, we have rarely even been in touch since the Night of Raucous Kissing.  He works in congressional politics.  The fall season was insane and I understood the delay but didn't love it.  I especially didn't love not being able to kiss him any time in the past 7 weeks.  I was waiting for November 4 and its aftershocks to fade off.

So, sigh, this morning he he tells me he's leaving town on Tuesday to work elections not in this state, not anywhere near this state.  He has sublet an apartment there.  He'll be gone a minimum of 3 months.  More like 5 months if the elections succeed for his candidates.

Which means that just as he was becoming ostensibly more available he became unequivocally not available.

Which unequivocally means I shouldn't hang my hat anywhere near any expectations for him. Which I have in some ways always known.

But it's difficult.  I've liked C-2 a lot, since our first exchange when he dared me to go, in the middle of a February night, to the bar in my pajamas. We were IM buddies. Then late-night Guinness buddies.  Then awesome car-make-out buddies.  He's single. I'm single. We're near the same age.  We're both responsible and hard-working and are, on occasion, known to be insanely irresponsible.

(I recently told a friend that C-2 is someone with whom, if the stars aligned, I would want to be with. He has the elusive intangible that for reasons I can't explain, feels tangible about him.)

Back to this morning, when he said he really wanted to see me before he left. That I should evaluate my next 72 hours and figure out when I could spend it with him, and if I didn't he would harass me until I did. Said he was getting folks together to go out dancing in Central Square tonight and that I should come. Said, "I would really really like that if you did." 

And of course I am going to go dancing. I know I'm not required to jump when this man snaps, but I want to. I seem able to forgive him for anything (absences, moodiness, his need to have a drink before feeling comfortable enough to say anything sweet) in large part because I like kissing him. I'm thinking right now about the kissing. And the idea of the intangible that can draw people together. Trying to decide why I crave being with him when he gives me so many other reasons not to, and why I still want to even as he goes away for 5 months.

Dangerous, this.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanks IV (insomnia)

Yes.  That would be for real.

At 2:48 a.m. even the cats are asleep, which means no one is around to witness the selection of the biggest chunks from the crisp layer of the leftover apple crisp, or to remind me that cinnamon sugar has no documented soporific qualities.

Good thing the green bean casserole has already been refrigerated.

(Unless, of course, that would help?)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanks III (for the little things)

Like a job that

(even on the day before a major holiday,
as all who call in say "I'm so sorry you have to work!"
before they say hello,
even though they're working, also, it seems)

Provides unlimited Post-Its and

Lets me freely drink the world's best iced coffee

(with the world's cheesiest misspellings) and

Listen to the best Ben Folds covers on Pandora

(thanks for PC and auxiliary speakers) and

Put out pictures of my friends (like Balint)
and my nephew(s) (like Henry)

(both who I'm more than just thankful for, I'm humbled to know) and


Write a blog entry on my noon hour.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Long Run #18: Lucky Seven

26.2 miles in
3 hours 56 minutes 13 seconds

(A marathon PR by a long, long stretch.)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Race shirt

Wake-up in 5 hours ... 

 .... start line in 7.

(Finish line or bust.)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thanks II (for Karaoke and PBR)

It has been something like 3 years since 
Joshua and I went to the Courtside for karaoke.

Fortuitous camera shutter malfunction.

There was a time, for a long time, 
when we used to go every week. 

That was before Joshua moved to New York 
and I started doing other things with my 
Thursday nights.

But Joshua is back in Boston.
My Thursday night was otherwise unoccupied.

Wilson Phillips' "Hold On",
specifically "you got yourself into your own mess..."

So we went, and 
Mark the Shark remembered my name.  
Mary Ellen still brought the beer. 
(I helped pour.)

Vintage cheap draft.

Joshua and I once again lustily belted back-up harmony 

We might be 3 years older,
but we can still put down 
2 pitchers of Pabst Blue Ribbon in 2 hours,
no sweat.

Savoring vintage cheap draft.

And even though Joshua doesn't look like Aaron Neville 
and I don't sound like Linda Ronstadt
the DJ let us end the night 
one more time with

Serious singers.

we stayed up very, very late.

Vintage, my friends.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thanks I (for YouTube)

I can complain with the best of them (and will refrain from dredging up all the past examples of doing so in this space, as not to bore you and/or implicate myself).

Been thinking, though, for this week leading up to the official "Thanks" holiday, I'll refrain from griping and make some "Thanks" lists.

Today, I'm thankful for the all the cool music on YouTube that I can play on repeat at work without bothering my neighbor, as well as crank up for post-midnight dancing in the kitchen.

Especially my most recent top-5ers:

5) Ben Folds covering "Such Great Heights"
Must refrain self from wiggling in chair at :21
when the octave-pounding bass line begins...

"Symphony of Sorrowful Songs"
When the soprano begins her volume swelll at 3:51,
make sure to have your volume cranked by 4:11 to the end
for the orchestral coda.

3) Original theme to the Mary Tyler Moore Show
Maybe it's just the hormones,
but I can't be the only person in the world who chokes up
when the groovy  brass fanfares kick in at :30.
("Love is all around, no need to waste it.
You can have a town, why don't you take it.
 You're gonna make it after all.")

"Hallelujah!" Random Act of Culture -
Macy's, Philadelphia
OK. I want to do this in Boston.
Who's with me?

1) Beyoncé' "Single Ladies" spoof,
featuring Barack Obama
Because politics is so damn serious these days. 
And I have no idea who this dude is.
And how about that butt-slapping at 2:36?
Pretty presidential.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Happiness is ...

.... pogo-dancing to Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and lip-synching at your reflection in the patio window while the cookies finish baking when you really should otherwise be sleeping.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Long Run #17: You're gonna make it after all

Saturday's final training run.

Sunday's 41-dollar reward for training 18 weeks injury-free.

Theme song for the next 6 days.

Next stop: Rocky-town.
(Joan Jett's hometown ....
... and where love indeed IS all around)

With Missy & Double-Deuce in mind

because maybe they'll beat me to the finish line,
even if I end up running how I'd like to:

See ya on the other side!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

There must be a pill for ...

.... the stomach ache I've got from my friend ceasing to pull his weight in the friendship, against my wishes.

Not even trying, really.  Or unaware he isn't trying because ... he seems to be unaware he isn't trying.  Busy, maybe, or busy dating someone.  Or maybe working a third job.  I don't know. I don't hear from him anymore.

I know you're thinking ... why even care?

I don't know.

I know I have an insistent urge to pull his weight for him, take the initiative he used to take in a previous life.  Suggest we meet for a beer, even when for a long time he was so rarely available.  And like now, when I'm starting to be doubtful that he'll answer at all.

It's weird, to viscerally want to be with someone who lacks either time or desire to reciprocate.  Especially when last week I spent 3 nights and one coffee hour socializing with friends who do.  One friend had me over for lamb chops and got tipsy with me on a bottle of Syrah. One friend took my suggestion we see live Shakespeare, sat through the 3-hour drama, then bought me a beer before I went home.   After writing this entry I'm off to meet my gay boys for a going-away party.

Yet, while writing this, I click continually back to Gmail and watch my friend be ostensibly available and know that he can see I'm available ... if he wanted to.   I have to restrain myself, really, from writing and saying hi. Aware that I'm afraid to do it and pissed that I am.   Aware he might very well have just chosen to stop caring as much as I don't want to believe he has.

Not supposed to be afraid to say hi to a friend out of fear that it might bother him.

Sad, damn it all.  Sad.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Less OKC, more sleep

Bill and I went out on a few dates long ago, I think you know.

So who better than to hit up for a heart-to-heart on the topic.

Especially, I'll bet, because 8 years after we last dated and 5 years since he got married, Bill might be weary from trying to solve my singleness.

From: Bill
To: Karin
Sent: Friday, November 12, 2010 11:48 AM
Subject: Talk to me
What else is going on?
From: Karin
To: Bill
Marathon next weekend is what’s going on. I feel creaky. But try to remember that’s usually what I feel about now.
My Sunday-night date, ugh, still hasn’t gotten back to me. This is so tiresome. Do I smell?
From: Bill
To: Karin
You do not smell. Is this another ok cupid date?
From: Karin
To: Bill
Although it was a really normal date. Ended normally. He acted normally. Etc. Did not have the get-rich-quick-scheme vibe of someone who just wants to casually date.
I disagree that I don’t smell. I can’t otherwise explain bad communication habits in others.
From: Bill
To: Karin
Maybe he just wasn’t interested.

Lets try a new dating site maybe? Or take an online dating break and maybe meet someone out somewhere?

We need a new strategy here my friend.
From:  Karin
To: Bill (the married man)
Sure, I’ll try a new strategy. I think you’re all set.
From: Bill
To: Karin
True, I am not looking.
From:  Karin
To: Bill (the Senior Media Buyer/Planner)
Sorry to harass you. You sounded like a Senior Media Buyer/Planner there for a second.

But as the strategist you are, if you have any wise ideas, let me know. I do have a feeling of “been-there, done-that” with, um, just about everything.

From: Bill
To: Karin
Well, how about a total moratorium on blogging and OK cupid to start? 2 weeks. Instead, use another dating site, or go out somewhere you’ve always wanted to go buy haven’t been or rarely go to. The MFA is opening that new wing, must be having some party to celebrate it. Just throwing some ideas out there….
From: Karin
To: Bill
Not bad ideas.

What rationale for the blogging moratorium….distraction? negativity?

From: Bill
To: Karin
Simple change. You stay up late to blog. Get more rest by taking a break.
From: Karin
To: Bill
Ah. Can I use this conversation as today’s blog topic? It would preclude me from staying up too late tonight ....

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What day was it?

I was going to have a gripe-for-no-reason day. 

Because I'm a bit tired.
Because the moment I got into work this morning I spilled a baggie full of raw oats on the carpet in front of my desk and, rather than roll my chair over them for the next 8 hours, had to gather each oat up by hand.

Because I'm waiting for all my Facebook Scrabble opponents to take next turns. Especially C-2, who may just be sulking these past 5 days because I'm up by 113 points.

Because I'm waiting for Sunday-night date to answer my invite (sent 2.5 days ago in response to his phone and e-mail messages about geting together this weekend) to see a Shakespeare play, which could be because he's busy working or just taking it easy or thinking my invite was lame ... and  my impatience wants to know which it is.

Noble reasons to gripe, all ... maybe on some other day. 

Like maybe not on Veterans Day.  Especially when I've got all these cool service members to be grateful for.

Choir buddy Dave:
US Army Reserves

Growing-up friend Carla:
US Marine, the Iraq War
Soon-to-be US Navy J.A.G.

Cousin Jeremiah:
US Army, the Iraq War

Grandpa Roy:
US Air Force, WWII

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Not one to bitch

about being employed and working in a nice office with a bunch of agreeable folks while doing interesting work,

but I confess

that doing those things on the 28th floor during Boston's Day 3 of foggy, rainy gustiness

and ending with a 4:28 p.m. sunset

has gotten me not wanting to

blog (which is probably OK, since I know y'all forgive the occasional lethargic writer)

or run  (which is probably not OK since I haven't run since Saturday)

or browse OKCupid! (which is probably OK, since I had a nice date on Sunday night and we seem to still be talking)

or sit on a folding chair in a church basement for 3 hours of council discussion (which is probably not OK, since 'tis better to be a cheerful giver of time and talent if you're going to give it)

or go home after the meeting and (finally) repair my bike's flat tire (which is probably OK since tomorrow is supposed to be cold, again, and gusty, again, and I'll probably wimp out anyway).

I am, however, in the mood to go to sleep. 

Right now. 

Must be November, eh?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sunday night beer

Sunday night was my first date in more than a month:  that in and of itself was noteworthy.

But when my date suggested a Southie dive bar and we ended up at Croke Park/Whitey's, I learned there is a place in my neighborhood where you can buy 2 pints of beer, together, for 5 bucks.

Yes.  This perfectly-poured Guinness cost 3 dollars. 

(My date is drinking a pint of Rolling Rock.  Which, as you guessed, was $2 a pint.)

The second, poured by a second bartender, was equally masterful.  For this round, we bought a handful of mixed nuts out of a vending machine for 50 cents.  There were no napkins nearby, so we improvised.

Maybe it is THIS place I should stop into on my way to work every morning, instead of Dunkin' Donuts.  It's certainly less expensive.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Long Runs #15 & #16: Back to river (and diner)

I apologize for not getting chatty about last week's long run ....  at the time, I think I thought I had more important things to write about.  (Like my Velma costume, of course!)

But at least one noteworthy thought is that I completed 2 successful 20-plus-milers this season and am still walking to tell about it.  Which I have not achieved in trainings of yore, and which is very good for the psyche of the future.  (Namely the 26-mile race 2 weeks from tomorrow.)


Not the easiest run.  Surest sign you're reached the end of a 4-month training program is that (much like REM might suggest) everything hurts.  Or, more accurately, aches.   Lower back. Hip sockets. IT band. Kneecaps. Shoulders.  The last 4 miles from the Science Museum and down the Rose Kennedy Greenway to home, I kept a running pace primarily because I repeated in my head, much like an overzealous motivational speaker:
"Almost there. Almost there.  Almost there.  Almost f***ing there.  You can do it.  Come on."
I was happy, though, to have returned to the Charles on a crisp afternoon quiet of runners but busy with a breeze strong enough to make waves on the water.  Those 13 miles of trails passed twice as quickly as the 7 it took to come and go from them.

Which is a primary reason I went back there this morning .... to get the job done with a minimum of fuss.  And thus it was so.  Again, it was quiet.  This past week was a typical November week of chilly rain and wind -- and as a result, the Blue Heron Trail in Watertown was obscured by enormous oak and maple leaves, melted together like soggy grocery bags.  However I failed to ever lose my balance.  The first 3 miles felt creaky -- the last 10, easy.

Of course, I was truly only motivated to run as hard and as much as I did by what was waiting for me at the end .... namely 4 of my best lady friends and a corner booth at the incomparable Deluxe Town Diner of Mt. Auburn Street.

Joy, Anne, Brandi & Christilyn post-feast
Where I was able to convivially and quite happily inhale yet another plate of food looking suspiciously just like this ....

Last seen August 15
.... that, despite being kind of loner, I found more fun to do in the company of friends.

A worthy morning, indeed.

Now how difficult was that?

Ah .... finally an OKC discussion about something other than genitals and legs .... like biking .... and my favorite movie ever.
Biking Guy:  I liked reading your profile a great deal! I think you're cute and I too shout swear words when riding my bike. Which is everyday. Hope you're have a good night! :)
Karin:  Hmm. Sounds like we could just be cute together and ride down the street in tandem, telling people to f*** off. You sound like a bit more of a biker than myself....which is sadly less than usual these days, thanks to my unrepaired flat tire.   Thanks for saying hi.
BG:  Perhaps we could simply be cute together. :) I could repair your flat tire and inflate your heart. How are you?
K:  Please tell me you use that entreaty on all the girls....
BG:  Unfort I don't - you want to get coffee sometime?
BG:  Also - I would consider getting locked in a room watching Tootsie for the rest of my life - Dustin Hoffman has a great story about filming that movie...
K:  Now you're talking. Maybe we could do that -- the get coffee, watch Tootsie get-together.
BG:  I agree! When are you free? :)
I might be in love.  And might have a date.  Or not.

Either way, stay tuned.

("You were a tomato!  A tomato doesn't have logic!")

Update, 8:27 PM:  I stand corrected.  

Bike Guy and I had an IM conversation a short while ago.  We had no sooner exchanged "heys" and started comparing our respective long workouts for the day -- 13 miles running for me, 24 miles biking for him -- when he joked that he would cure my aching knees with a sexual act.


Oh well.  Tootsie is still awesome. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Post #666

I'm hardly superstitious.

(Other than being that person who after knocking over the salt shaker -- which happened a lot working 6 years in the food service industry -- throws a couple spilled grains over each shoulder, unable to remember which is the correct shoulder.  And I don't walk under ladders.  Or pass a penny in the street.)

But when I saw the post number while getting ready to upload a map from Saturday's Long Run #15 (Post #667, coming soon), I could not associate a 20-mile run after which my legs ached like the devil with a number that, according to Google, means:
a) The name of the devil, as spoken in Revelation 13:17-18.
b) The mark of the beast who has 7 heads and 10 horns, and if you "worship him and receive his mark will receive the complete wrath of God."  And the beast is another name for the Antichrist.
c) Home of the star constellation Draconis (the Dragon, or Serpent), which lies above the latitude of 66.6 degrees.
I'm actually a little afraid that I just ran a Google search on it and clicked on a bunch of related websites.

Perhaps my resident Bible Scholar (yes, you, Joshua, again) would be willing to comment on if my fears are at all justified .... or at least tell me if referencing 666 websites will draw a different crowd of readers and commenters to this space .....

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Inertia (cat litter version)

As a once-organized and forward-moving person, I'm afraid I may have jumped the shark.

(If such a thing is possible.)

This morning was trash pick-up, so I was emptying and scrubbing down the cat litter box this morning, even though it probably needed it back on Monday.  After scrubbing my hands, I then swept several weeks of stray litter pellets and dust bunnies off my bedroom floor.

Like always, I bumped the broom against a white dressing screen folded in the corner, behind a coat rack covered in coats and hats.  The screen is a (gently used) present from my friends Peicha and Mark, who gave it to me in December of 2008 (in fact, during this dinner party) before moving to Philadelphia.  They were getting rid of it and thought it might, ironically, be something I could set-up to block the litter box from the rest of my bedroom.

But it is still folded in the corner. Behind a coat rack.

It is not just for the sake of this blog entry when I say that every time I sweep around that screen, I think of what Peicha and Mark have done the 22 months since leaving Boston.  Which is to a) buy an old house in Philly and renovate it from top to bottom; and b) start an independent speciality flower-shop.  I can't fathom the thousands of decisions made and steps taken to achieve both of those things ....

.... because in 22 months I still haven't figured out how to set up the white dressing screen in my bedroom.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


The first paragraph of today's Times editorial:
"Times are tough, and Americans are understandably worried and angry. This year’s campaign has only made things worse. Billions of dollars have been spent to destroy character rather than debate serious ideas. Still, there is no excuse for staying home on Election Day."
The best paragraph from a stellar article by analyst Stuart Rothenberg in a non-partisan D.C.-based newsletter called, aptly, The Rothenberg Political Report, on today's event:
"Politics and political coverage has deteriorated to such a point that even I am offended by it — and I’m about as cynical as anyone. There is more polling now, and much of it is useless. There is more political coverage on TV, particularly cable, and most of it is embarrassingly stupid .... Prime-time programming decisions by senior executives at Fox News and MSNBC apparently make financial sense, but they have undermined civility and divided the country. The country would be better off if starting at 4 p.m., the two networks ran test patterns for the rest of the night. “Gotcha” journalism has taken over our politics and elections, with feigned and real outrage standard fare, no matter how small or unintentional the misstep.
"Finally, America’s celebrity culture has spilled over into politics. Today it is Sarah Palin. Tomorrow it will be someone else. People are so desperate to get their faces on TV that they will talk about anything.   Tomorrow, it will all begin again."
What I have listed on my Facebook page next to Political Affiliation:
"Rather weary of them all"
A succinct summation of this weariness, as described by historian and author Tom Engelhardt on Salon.com this afternoon:
"....  it's the whole airless shebang we call an election that's gotten to me, the bizarrely hermetic, self-financing, self-praising, self-promoting system we still manage to think of as "democratic." That includes the media echo chamber that's been ginning up this nationally nondescript season as an epochal life-changer via a powerfully mad -- as in mad elephant – populace ready to run amok ...

"Whether the country I once wanted to represent was ever there in the form I imagined is a question I'll leave to the historians. What I can say is that it's sure not there now. What remains, angry or depressed, has made for a toxic brew as well as the most dispiriting election of my life. For what it's worth, consider that my ballot box blues on this dreary Tuesday in November 2010."
The e-mail that Joshua sent me over the weekend:
"Insofar as you are the most politically literate person I know, I think it would be fun to get drunk to midterm returns together on Tuesday night. What say ye?"
Since I am thrilled my friend lives in Boston again and can't believe I'm the most politically anything and that, furthermore, Joshua and I have watched returns in almost every even-numbered year since, together, witnessing the famous Al/Tipper Gore kiss of the 2000 Democratic National Convention, how I replied:
"I say that even though the election cycle has me nauseous .... most likely, sounds cool."
Even though Joshua and I are heading to Beacon Hill to hang out, I don't have enough money or any huge desire to get drunk.  There's no chance that Al and Tipper Gore will be kissing later tonight, or at least that I'll get to watch.   I'll try not to get pissed when people that I didn't want to be elected get elected and think that's a good reason to kiss his or her spouse.

And I will try not to get aggravated at the television coverage and to remember that easily half my Facebook friends announced they had voted and encouraged their friends to do likewise, and that my Facebook friends are good people no matter who they voted for, and as Stu Rothenberg claims, "tomorrow, it will all begin again" and how, despite all the crap of our system and my weariness with it, how I ought to be glad it will.