Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Birthday Shout-Out: (Real Little) Boy

I was told
it would be cool
to be an aunt.

This much is true.

Kicks to the chin
and juicy orange mustaches

are secondary concerns
to wrestling on the grass
and finger chomping
with this level of joy.

Happy birthday,
dear Henry!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Being a girl friend

At the risk of self-back-patting to nauseating degree ... I'm declaring myself worthy of a lapel pin stating that I can be a good Friend Who is a Girl.

Having no dates this past week, I nonetheless:

1) Heard the buzz of this text from Boy Friend #1 at midnight on Wednesday:

"Karin!  I'm in love!" 

This after having talked to BF #1 a few days earlier and at that time, he had not so much as mentioned a date with anyone new. Which meant a love-at-first-sight encounter thwacked him, hard. Which meant impulse-emotion-troubleshooting was shortly on the horizon.

And it has been. While not wishing it, I'm awaiting the possible crying-on-shoulder to follow. Which, if it does, will be OK .... since he has done the same for me more times than he deserves to have had to.

2) With gusto, braved a public reading from a Glenn Beck screed at Brookline Booksmith Thursday next to Boy Friend #2.

Afterwards, while taking down a few beers at a pub and dissecting the multi-talents of James Franco, said goodbye mid-story when his fiancĂ©e -- returning from IKEA and rightfully needing a hand with some larger purchases for their apartment -- called to say she was picking him up, right then.

It is for good friends that a girl gets displaced for furniture and doesn't mind.

3) Spent additional quality beer time Sunday night, out with Boy Friend #3, watching Tampa Bay take down the Red Sox in the final innings.

While he and I dated briefly several years ago, we now hang on occasion to review the Major League Baseball teams we follow, eat nachos and burgers, talk life. I hope I've improved my ability to discuss a former love interest's current love interest ... and be truly interested. (The case in this case.) Learning, too, to notice that as time passes, it often leeches out whatever unhealthiness caused past unhappiness, allowing for present socialization.

(And yes, sorry. That indeed is almost a line from a high school psychology textbook.)

BF #3 is on the cusp of something good and because of that (or maybe just because he would be anyway) is magnanimous towards my own failings: Saturday Date Meltdown Man, the on-and-off dynamic with Boy Friend #1, the monstrous chat with HBI. I've told it all, he's heard it all and now gives feedback. Last night he went as far to suggest the danger in my attraction to clever men .... whose skills to charm and smooth often morph into manipulation and dishonesty.

True. Although might I note here that all 3 of these Boy Friends mentioned above are ridiculous clever. Smart. Driven. Which is of course why we get along and why in part, I (at least think I) don't have to worry about succumbing to their smooth charm .... since we're not dating anyway.

Although I do look forward to the continued, available insider information on other men they have already -- and I hope also continue to -- provide.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Long Run #6: Slow pain

A recipe for almost letting a run defeat you:

1) Don't get on the trail until 5:28 at night when it's hot .... like 85 degrees hot.

2)  Feel like crap:  Tense shoulders. Headache.  Calf muscles that hate you for no reason.

3) Unwittingly choose a route that forces you uphill, without break, for the first 8 miles.

4)  Miss the turnoff for planned loop out to the Mystic River at mile 6 and don't realize for another 2, inspiring fear of getting lost and forcing the dreaded and often numbing "out-and-back" on the same trail.

5) Starting at the 34th minute, check watch every 2 minutes.  Sometimes every 1.  If the run is to be 160 minutes, it could be the most times you've checked your watch in your entire career.  It doesn't matter; do it.


Having survived the experience, what made this run on these heavier-than-thou legs NOT defeat me were the exact qualities that made the first 8 miles excrutiating.

1) Leaving at 5:28 meant that the temperature was headed down rather than up.  So the last 45 minutes were in a cool dusk.

2) Missing the turn at mile 6 meant I spent the whole 16-plus miles on the Minuteman Bikeway.  Which is 95 percent under tree canopy.

3) Out-and-back when the first 8 miles are uphill means that the second 8 will be downhill.

4) There is zero problem getting at stool at the Rosebud Diner in Davis Square on a Saturday night.  I didn't have to worry about post-run aroma smoking out fellow diners, at all.

Dining companions.
6) A diner meal at breakfast does not always include a BLT triple-decker club, saucy potato salad and Harpoon UFO .... which, when consumed simultaneously, will save the experience from ruin.

And the name of the waitress (at left) was ... Karen.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

BBC 7: Organized spontaneity

Favorite Friday 6 p.m. yoga teacher's vacation
Unappetizing substitute yoga teacher
Newly-created free hour between 6 and 7 p.m. 
Need to stand outside gym in relative frustration
Opportunity to linger in Copley Square and note that bikers are amassing by the dozens 
Realization the number is more like in the hundreds
Hearing the sound of bongos, played by some of said bikers
Burning desire to bike slowly with the many hundreds -- Critical Mass, more specifically --  down Boylston to Washington Street and over to Cambridge Street and then the length of the Rose Kennedy Greenway during rush hour, running lights and blocking cars and following a man blowing rap music out of a bullhorn and yelling "Whose streets?  Our streets!"
Pretty awesome.

The mass of Critical Mass
Washington Street,  Downtown Crossing - 8/27/10, 6:15 pm

Guess I should thank my yoga teacher for taking a Friday night off.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday (ironically-noted) Fun

For those of you reading the comments others make on these blog entries, might I direct you to Jen's response, on Wednesday, to my list of recent OKCupid correspondees.
"My last OKC conversation began with 'I think you are submissive.' I should have hit the X then."
No offense, Jen, but that's kinda funny. Particularly your follow-up to introduction .... which indicates that maybe you didn't "hit the X then." 

One must have a sense of humor and curiosity to not despair about online dating.

(I know Jen and, on a level she does.)

So ... this site is ripe for some sort of Most Memorable OKC Pick-up Lines, no? 

Of course, we've already mined the depths of the man behind "Down to F***?" .... but there are others.   It is Friday and sunny and I'm not currently dating the men behind any of these.

Note:  in my OKC history I have deleted hundreds of obscene chat requests and much, much silliness .... so do not consider this comprehensive.  These are in no particular order.  Also, I invite you to add your own in the comment section, as long as you recognize that both my parents and grandmother are readers ... and modify appropriately.

"I stalk you a couple times. Then you stalk me a couple of times. What's the next step in the dance again? I forget. And who wears the ear muffs?"

"First, let me say that you are adorable. But, when I caught a glimpse of your calf in your photo, my heart started racing. This probably sounds ridiculous! Hahaha. Whatever."

"I once happened upon an anonymous dating blogger with whom I was about to have a date. One of my goals, though devious, was to make it on her blog."

"Getting in a car with you must be interesting, I am having a hard time imagining a nice girl from the midwest like you yelling and swearing out your car window at people, I'm not so sure I would want to be in the same car with you!"

"What a body on you. Jesus!"

"Do people actually try to regale you with their genital descriptions? Every time i read something like this--men (presumably) behaving like asses--I'm incredulous. I guess I just don't get men contacting me :D"

"if cynicism, being hypocritical towards jaywalking, and snarky sarcastic wit isn't sexy, well, then we are both screwed. or should hang out."

"Ad nauseum??? Whooa.  Its big,it can rock, you'd get shocks and your legs will shiver, when its out you can run off, its the lion of the jungle, he wont stop till you surrender your den. ;)"

"Hi.  I am almost 30 :)"

"You do look kissable, I'd like to kiss you. I'm a writer & part time musician too, some of the stuff I've written is in my journal if you're interested. I work in Southie, you've probably flipped me off before or something."
"You should strongly consider introducing me to your v*****."

"Lotta Lutherans from the Midwest. I'm from Wisconsin; almost as many Lutherans there as Catholics."

"How are you? Im from somerville, a fellow cynic. Maybe we could hate things, together? haha"

"O.K., so you have the most interesting profile on this site. Big deal :)"

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thursday sun

Someone in my office,
is evidently
promoting female empowerment.

(Albeit in the restroom,
via Post-It.)

No reason to not be empowered.

(Especially since after long hiatus,

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

(Re) visitors

I was in Minnesota this weekend, throwing a party with my sisters to celebrate my parents' wedding anniversary.

While away, seems it was Old Home Weekend on the OKC.

I logged in Sunday night, post-party, to discover that
this (Date Meltdown) man,
this (Republican Stand-Up Comic) man,
this (Wrestling Wanna-be) woman ,
a Brooklyn-based political consultant from last fall, and
(amazingly, without guile)
this (So Sensitive I'll Berate the Girl I Want to See) man
had all viewed my profile. 

This (Nervous about Choice of Pants and Bar Was Too Loud and Lost Your Number and Thought You Weren't Coming)  man left a message, saying he still wanted to go out.

This (Falls Asleep while Making Out, unbelieveably, Twice) man, said Hi! with a :-) Sunday night as I was logged in. 

Then Monday night, up pops a (never wrote about him, either) man who, the couple times we chatted last winter, never failed to ask how much I would love sleeping with both him and his roommate and, if I was really feeling it, maybe a third friend, at the same time.

WTF?  I've rarely been on OKC in the last couple months, except to occasionally respond to an unsolicited message.  Did someone stick a GPS tracker on my profile? 

First guess, curiosity.  Then boredom.  (Not likely but perhaps possibly) regret over actions, lack of action, or indecisiveness.  Most certainly, a fair dose of horniness.

Ah, men. (And rassling women.) 


Although on some level, I'm feeling mild satisfaction that they all, indeed, still are, also, single.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mid-(delayed)flight journal

Tonight I sat at the only bar in General Mitchell Airport in Milwaukee for a stretch, awaiting a 7:40 flight to Boston that I found, upon arriving at the gate to make my connection from Minneapolis, would not be leaving until 9:29.

(Thanks, Logan Air Traffic Control! Blessings, low cloud ceilings!
Disclaimer:  I wrote this entry before my 1:10 a.m. arrival at Logan .... along with, evidently, tens of thousands of other travelers also delayed. All needing taxis. Since I waited 15 minutes for said taxi. Paid $30 to go 4.3 miles in it. And got out at home to find my long-tended basil plant shredded and dead on the patio, knocked over by the same storm that kept me in Milwaukee. Still smiling. It's all good.)

My default in past flight delays is to take the Times, find an empty stool, find a full wineglass, get mellow. Tonight there was time enough for 2 glasses, sipped over 2 hours.

Not sure why the edge-removing buzz never materialized.

(Should be sad that I’m too old for this particular strategy?)

It would follow, then, that by the time I actually got on the flight, the chardonnay would have dulled into a dry throb behind both ears. The nap I took on the first flight would have banished sleepiness. The length of delay would have ensured that I read the Times from front to back ..... even the sections most often skipped, like the mid-A-section analysis of conditions in the Gaza Strip .... leaving me free of planned reading material. My checked luggage would contain my Advil stash.

And the 2 girls (mid-20s, first-job-ambitious-young-professional types, I’d guess) seated 2 rows behind would choose to start talking before takeoff. And talk through the ascent and the beverage distribution and the Midwest Airlines chocolate-chip cookies. We’ve been together in this space for 108 minutes now and there has been no break. It’s a hum without end. As if the coveted wine buzz skipped me entirely and hijacked their vocal chords. One is doing most of the talking, in a dull roar as if mimicking our plane’s engines; the second is also talking, but responding at regular intervals with a Beavis & Butthead laugh. (Heh-heh! Heh-heh! Heh-heh-heh!)

 Each of them also has a special love affair with the word “like.”
Girl 1:  “Like, you know, she was only like, you know, like not old enough to like, you know, know any better and, like, totally suspicious and like her boyfriend was, totally ....”
Girl 2:  “Heh-heh! Heh-heh! Heh-heh-heh!”
I can’t be the cranky lady who summons the flight attendant to request that she ask my neighbors to use their post-midnight “indoor” voices, can I?

Maybe I am. How did I not bring earphones? A novel? Tolerance of conversation? A sense of humor?


Am glad, however, for this MacBook Pro and its vaunted 8-hour battery life. When writing gets in the groove, even the loudest thought and situational chaos can backseat.

I'm glad, too, for this $5 copy of Time magazine -- paid for in some desperation, running to the gate. Lev Grossman did a lengthy profile of (perhaps my favorite living) American writer, Jonathan Franzen, and did it superbly. So superbly, that reading it is what inspired me to get out my computer and turn off the bitching in my head.

I wanted to go into more analytical detail of some of Franzen's better quotes, but come now -- not at 30,000 feet and a wine headache. You can read the link yourself. But I will share this one that spoke to me, as much as it contradicted the specific situation in which it did the talking:
“The place of stillness that you have to go to write, but also to read seriously, is the point where you can actually make responsible decisions, where you can actually engage productively with an otherwise scary and unmanageable world.”

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Bob/Kat 45/65

It's my blog.

I am free to write about how 1986 was the last time I was small enough to fit into my mother's wedding dress.   Or how by the time she was my current age, she had three daughters, had owned a piano for 15 years, and with my dad, had just bought their first business and their fourth home.


I'll just post a picture of said mother in said dress, wish my parents a happy (45) anniversary and my mother a happy (65) birthday, marvel a little.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Long Run #5: Routine

Route I've done before.

Friday late not Saturday early.

No diner on either side.  (Power Bar and bag of almonds before, handfuls of Kashi GoLean after, standing outside the Star Market on Ring Road.)

Sorry for deviating from the regularly-scheduled adventure.  With a morning flight to Minneapolis (argh, 6 hours from now), had to choose something I could jog with my eyes closed, that could be accomplished on 5 hours' sleep and a slogging day at work:

Boston University, to Boston College, to circle Chestnut Hill Reservoir, and home on the marathon route.

Routine or not, exhausted or not, I'll take it .... a run is a run is a long run.  Done. No injuries. And another ascent of another monster hill to build character in the hamstrings.  (Yes. Thanks, Comm Ave outbound for Kicking. My. Ass. and for being there right there at mile 4 as the setting sun beat into my face.)

Made chicken for supper when I got home ... but I do miss me my diner reward.

Next week:  maybe Kelly's in Ball Square?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Key to survival

Earlier tonight (technically, last night) was the culmination of Rooftop Thursdays: 80 degrees, sangria, folks by the dozens at Ristorante Fiore on Hanover Street.

I did all six!

(God bless L.  She made perfect attendance badges.  Minor *sob*.)

It was midnight by the time I was biking past South Station, several sangrias in, reflective in that tipsy-and-the-evening-sky-is-lovely kind of way and, indeed, sad to see the end of this summer socialization exercise. I'm not necessarily leaving this series with a boyfriend.  But there was flirting and contacts and new friends that have my e-mail address who have friends who now also by default have my e-mail address.  Networking deluxe, and a totally new scene, which was totally welcome.

So here, at 1:15, just past the necessary pasta snack before sleep, I was moved to dig up something Cousin J e-mailed me earlier in the month:
"i keep thinking back to something i read in a magazine lately, that many people meet their mates via mutual friends. and i can think of many, many cases where that is true ....  so...here's the question---how does one engineer social situations to bring out the friends and coworkers of others in a non set-up type way? rooftop thursdays are a good start...some of them have to have slightly older colleagues and neighbors and friends, right? regardless, i'm glad you met some new faces and got some energy from it, that periodic high from new people and unexpected fun is so key to survival!"
In a week that included ugly-style love chats and married deceivers, I'm not unhappy to glom on to another excuse to survive.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dateline: Fenway, 8/18/10

the cheap seats can be fun, 
at times.

D, C, A and the dugout.

But the expensive seats

(First Base Field Box 20, Row D, seats 1-4
gratis, no less
with a prime view of Lowell at first 
and Youk's on-the-DL noggin poking up 
like a lightbulb
from the warning track
and a pair of homers
and a 7-5 win,
with the ladies)

for a random Wednesday in August,
were slightly more fun.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Chat lessons

The sweet-talking HBI and I duked it out online recently.  A couple times, for several hours at a pop.  I'm doubtful we will again -- either argue or, most likely, talk at all.

Oh well.  Contrary to yesterday's conviction, my 6 weeks of engaging him haven't been a total waste of my time.  I've learned stuff.


1) Don't get into an argument with a professional male poker player after drinking Guinness.  It ruins both the argument and the Guinness.

2) If you decide to engage in an follow-up argument with a professional male poker player while trying to rationalize the argument you got into a couple nights earlier after drinking Guinness, don't be tempted to improve the situation by explaining that your friendly monthly visitor may also have contributed to your foul mood.

3)  If you went ahead and did that anyway, keep in mind that this particular male who insists he isn't angry while simultaneously insisting you are "too sensitive" is using this knowledge of your monthly visitor (that he calls "aunt flo") to unfair advantage and cannot be trusted.  And is, probably, angry.

4) Same goes if he -- who for 2 weeks sent  2 a.m. texts with "thinking of you" messages and *kiss* emoticons -- then goes on to explain the "5-hour-f***-a-thon" he had Sunday night with a girl he met in a bar.   He might insist it is not because he was angry at you for not being online to chat with him Saturday night, or for not responding quickly enough to his text at 10:30, wanting to make plans.  Of course he wasn't.  Which isn't at all the reason, either, for him to then provide his estimate of "close to 200 women, more or less, and 90% from online" that he has been with when you congratulate him on the "5-hour-f***-a-thon." This is probably not the moment to then say you are "honored just to be talking with such a stud."   Because he will probably say that you are being "too sensitive."

5)  Furthermore, if he claims "I didn't want you to think I was sitting in front of my computer all day, desperately waiting to talk with / see you," he might actually have been.  He also is most definitely not being "too sensitive".  Or at all angry.  Probably not a good idea to suggest either.

6) Especially because at this point he will probably ask if there "is any chance you could be a rational human being?" And you will decide, by his estimation, you probably cannot.  It is OK if you don't understand what his estimation of "rational" might be.  If you think it is he who is not a rational human being, this is probably the time to keep this information to yourself, because he might go on to claim that he "deals with his emotions appropriately," "does not have hormones coursing through him at all times that make it impossible to be rational," and that when he does have hormones, he just wants to "put his d*** in something" and "doesn't cry about it."

7) You might also have to listen to him claim that if you believe "this somehow implies I am sexist, I am not."  Which will probably be the line that makes you decide you are ready to stop listening to him imply anything.

8) Which, by this moment, is probably a wise decision. Rejoice ... for it might be the first one you've made.

Monday, August 16, 2010


of silly things said

on a Sunday,

some Mondays,

grips like a buttoned-up collar and

makes it hard

to enjoy the things

you force on yourself

(like singing Haydn's Mass in the Time of War at Old South,
on a whim)


maybe something whim-like will

blot some of it up,

but some Mondays

it still

cuts you off at the windpipe,

and at the same time

fuels even more memories of

wasted time,

and then you think

the next time

you won't waste your time.

But you did waste it

this time,

like you have in the past,

when you said you wouldn't

the next time.

Good times,


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Long Run #4: Firsts

Facebook status update last Wednesday night at 7:45:
"Karin knows it's dangerous to be thinking about the food to be consumed after the run, rather than focusing on the run. Meh."
Glad that when I set out Saturday morning at 8:30 do 14-plus, I didn't know how ridiculously decadent my (specified & delivered as such) over-medium eggs, non-greasy homefries, seven-grain crusty bread with orange marmalade and Karma coffee were going to be at 11.

Or I might just have skipped the run and gone straight to the grub.

Deluxe Town Diner, Watertown
(Note pot of homemade marmalade ...
no jelly packets in this joint.)

This diner will be back.
(Thanks Random Blog Reader!)

Glad to not have skipped the run (and not only for its calorie-offset benefits), as it came with a bunch of decent firsts.

First loop of Cambridge's Fresh Pond in 5 years.  And first time in about that long that, when pulling even with a fellow (male, 40-something) runner, he noticeably picked up his pace to surge ahead .... until I pulled even with him again .... so he could noticeably pick up his pace to surge ahead, again.  Ego much?

First time to set physical foot in Waltham, Mass, and first visit to Bentley University, the alma mater of several friends. Had I known that getting there from Watertown means gaining 128 feet of elevation over 2 miles up Belmont Street ....  Oh well.  Good for the hamstrings.

First time I followed the painted footprints of the Blue Heron Path.  (Where I will, also, be back.) Took miles 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 in the shade of tall trees, on groomed trails, facing zero traffic, over the Charles River at its narrowest point on bridges like this: 

Mile 12 or so.

First Long Run in which I reached Mile 10 and didn't have a ripping desire to stop.  Didn't feel my knees burning.  And still felt, at 14.5, that I could have kept going. 

Which means the groove from last week is still on track.

Friday, August 13, 2010


You know me ... Queen of Cynicism.  Surprised by nothing.  So much never surprised that I would hate to disappoint everyone by admitting that sometimes, I am.

Naw. I'll admit it.  Tonight I got floored.

Just home from Rooftop Thursday with the Michigan folks, chilling on the patio with a bag of popcorn and the Gmail account, and up shows an erstwhile boy who, in April and May, I chatted with enough to matter.  The classic he's-10-years-younger-but-we-have-so-much-in-common type.

(Yes. Mock if you will.)

 We had two Almost Dates.  May was the last failed attempt and we hadn't talked since.
Erstwhile Boy: Hi
K:  Hey there.
EB:  How ya been? Find love yet?
K:  Oh, of course. You?
EB:  No
K:  Come on. It's super easy.
EB:  Nah... Not what I want
K:  Come on. Get a sense of humor
EB: Every girl wants an all or nothing relationship
K:   If I could find love you probably wouldn't be talking to me.  Why so blue?
EB:  Just stressed I think.  When it rains it pours.. I'm tired
Please go back and imprint in your head the dialogue you just read. Reserve it.
K:  What makes you say hi tonight?  It's been awhile.
EB:  I saw you in and I'm hardly ever on.  Trying to quit the Internet
K:  Noble.  Are you in school this summer?
EB:  I think about u often ....  Daydreaming mostly
Our chat pace was slow. About this time I recalled that he also wrote a blog, one pertaining to a major hobby ... and for which the blog is a major catalyst.  The name is unusual enough that I re-found it quickly and started browsing as I simultaneously wrote him about my trip to Europe. He was explaining some of his summer pursuits.

Funny, this, because I was reading about these same pursuits on his blog as he was writing them.  Was also reading a couple of phrases that seemed to be of relative import:
".... while on my honeymoon ..."

".... including my wife ...."
One entry pictured him kissing a woman, and the surrounding text suggested this would be the same said-wife, recently married.  Rather explains why we hadn't talked since May.

Meanwhile, back on Gmail, I had just finished a tale of Europe.
EB: Haha.  Very cool.  I still hope we can get together at some point
Here is me. Thinking maybe I should ask his wife if she would mind if we got together at some point.  Or ask if he remembered he had given me his blog address.

K:  Perhaps.   I'm sure you are quite otherwise occupied.
EB:  I'm pretty busy yes... But.. I still want to get together... Perhaps have some excitement in our lives
Really, really almost said something.  Realized I was too tired to play the devil.  Realized my job was not to fix this man,  but to just not talk to him any more.
K:   Hey, alright, I'm gonna bail.  I'm on the patio and it's cold
EB:   Wish I was there to warm you up
And people wonder sometimes how I could possibly be cynical about dating.  Bald-faced duplicity is just a total hoot. 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Just joking

About 9:30 last night, I returned from my 6-mile run to find a voicemail from my father, voice gravelly:
"Um, Karin? Call me back tonight, please.  I'll be up late."
Implied death and doom, so I called back within seconds.  Turns out all was well.  But he had read my blog yesterday ... and was worried.

(Cue *sigh*.  We stayed on the line the 40 minutes I walked home, pushing my bike.  Thanks Dad.  Good to talk to you too.)

But, then, this space was entirely too serious yesterday.  I thought the visual of me balancing on one foot trying to look like a Grecian warrior with poker face would potentially amuse.

Anyone know a good joke?

Work still busy today. Taking a break to write here more than this is not in my best interest.  But in service of lightening the mood, I have to again spout my love of my Pandora station that started with Iron & Wine's Such Great Heights .... to which I added Ben Folds and Phoenix and (of course) Sufjan and The Shins .... and which in return has been introducing me to lots of gooey smart-ass goodness, like tracks from Beatles' Abbey Road and Feist and Contra's Vampire Weekend and Tom Waits and most importantly, Cake.

Thank you, Cake.  You made yesterday's work day entirely more palatable.  Is it possible  "Love You Madly" has existed for 9 years and I've never known these lyrics or sang them to anyone?  (Even though I've surely thought them? Have not we all?)
I don't want to wonder
If this is a blunder
I don't want to worry whether
We're gonna stay together
'Till we die

I don't want to jump in
Unless this music's thumping
All the dishes rattle in the cupboards
When the elephants arrive

I don't want to fake it
I just want to make it
The ornaments look pretty
But they're pulling down the branches
Of the Tree

I don't want to think about it
I don't want to talk about it
When I kiss your lips
I want to sink down to the bottom
Of the sea

I don't want to hold back
I don't want to slip down
I don't want to think back to the one thing that I know I
Should have done

I don't want to doubt you
Know everything about you
I don't want to sit across the table from you
Wishing I could run

I want to love you madly
I want to love you now
I want to love you madly, way
I want to love you, love you
Love you madly
Seriously. And they sound so damn chipper saying it.

(Serious chair dancing resulted.)

To top this, I went to YouTube this morning to find a video -- and it is simply footage from an episode of The Frugal Gourmet, pitting the band's then-drummer against the trumpeter, complete with celebrity guest judges (the late) Rick James and Phyllis Diller, and (the late) Jeff Smith.

Phyllis F#$%ing Diller, in a red-feather boa.

Good times.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Faith, fearlessness

Yesterday at work was ... a day.

The kind where you're doing your job the best you know how, all is well. 

Then at 4:30 something (out of your control, you might add) goes off-kilter, so someone in position of power who likes to yell decides to yell at you and demand action, so in frustration you make snide remarks across the file cabinet at the marketing rep, who gives it back as good as (if not better than) you, and by the time everyone chills it is 5:30 and the folks at Schwab have gone home and can't solve the problem anyway, and you're going to have to deal with it in the morning because you were the one who got yelled at in the first place.

I love waking up knowing the first thing I must do is solve the issue I didn't solve yesterday. It made me not want to get out of bed. In fact, I lay there an extra 15 minutes, praying for patience.
(Really. That's exactly what I prayed for. Perhaps God listens to whiners, because I eventually pried myself off the mattress.)

It was only as I stood in the shower, staring at the tile with deadened eyes, that the revelation came:

I'm decent at my job.  I've solved 100,000 problems while at it.  I must have faith that I will also solve this one. Neither my co-workers nor my clients need to see my fear.

(There's this great pose in yoga called Natarajasana, or dancer's pose, where you grab the foot of your back leg with one hand and lean forward so your back foot arches up over your head, while you thrust your front hand forward with fingers stretched.   In the class I currently take, the teacher works us into this pose and, as we're balancing and leaning, murmurs in a way that makes you want to giggle and lose it, "Natarajasana ... the pose of fearlessness!" Although I don't lose it.)

Well, that thought got me out of the shower, anyway.  It did also get me into the kitchen to make coffee.  And onto my bike alongside the dozens of UPS vans and MBTA buses heading full-speed into the Back Bay on East Berkeley .... another balancing act that requires some fearlessness.

And I realized I had that, too.

Let's see how these two qualities get me through this day.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Cynic, avowed (maybe)

Tom Waits came on my Pandora mix a half-hour ago.

Didn't recognize it as Waits at all. Not at all the signature basso growl (usually described as "soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hang to dry in the smokehouse for a couple months, and then taken outside and run over by a car").  But indeed, here it is again, onYoutube, attributed to both his body and his body of work, first recorded the year I was born. 
"Well I hope that I don't fall in love with you
'Cause falling in love just makes me blue,
Well the music plays
and you display your heart for me to see,
I had a beer and now I hear you calling out for me
And I hope that I don't fall in love with you.

Well the room is crowded, there's people everywhere
And I wonder, should I offer you a chair?
Well if you sit down with this old clown,
take that frown and break it,
Before the evening's gone away,
I think that we could make it,
And I hope that I don't fall in love with you.

Now the night does funny things inside a man
These old tomcat feelings you don't understand
I turn around and look at you, you light a cigarette
Wish I had the guts to bum one, but we've never met
And I hope that I don't fall in love with you.
I can see that you are lonesome just like me,
and it being late, you'd like some some company,
Well I've had two, I look at you, and you look back at me,
The guy you're with has up and split,
the chair next to you's free,
And I hope that you don't fall in love with me.

Now it's closing time, the music's fading out
Last call for drinks, I'll have another stout.
Turn around to look at you, you're nowhere to be found,
I search the place for your lost face, guess I'll have another round
And I think that I just fell in love with you."
do want to be a big softie on these lyrics.  Especially with the broken-chord acoustic backdrop, crying out for sentimentality.

Yet it must be my mood today.  Cynicism in pure form.  Thinking instead:

Yeah right, beer doesn't solve anything. Especially 2 beers.  Image of man as tomcat? Hardly sexy. (Although that might explain why the woman doesn't understand.)  Late-night loneliness? Dangerous.  Unproductive.

And women in bars who frown do not get picked up.  This I know.

(Ah.  Sweet Mondays!)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Long Run #3: Generally content

Can't complain about rising early on a Saturday when the weather is so damn 65-and-partly sunny-and-calm-and-dry fine.

Not griping, either, about the view of the harbor islands and the bay from 3 miles of Wollaston Beach in such conditions.  (Might I also recommend the Lower Neponset River Trail?  Or the quad-busting climb up Adams Street in Milton, if big fat hills are your thing.)

Can't even complain about my knees that generally ached for days after last week's too-long trek through Wellesley ... because they didn't ache today.  Nor about my lack of consistency in comparison: I ran .15 miles more (11.58) in 1 extra minute (1:53) in hillier conditions for an almost identical pace.

Soldier on. Still slow, but as for the training groove starting to jell?  Amen.

To top it, the reward breakfast was sincerely the bomb. Although I would expect nothing less of the Wheelhouse Diner.  Check out this dumptruck-sized portion of home fries (taken from the even larger stockpile at the back of Doug's grill.)

Awesome.  Let's do it again next week.

Friday, August 6, 2010


I gave up going on a date tonight, to sleep.  I hope to be sleeping very soon.

This is partly to have energy to run 13 miles through Quincy early tomorrow morning.  Partly because all this week, I have not slept as I should, and the accumulated lack is towering over my ability to articulate, to work well with others, to desire others.

Last night I hung with my dear friend (the Professor) and the Thursday Michiganites near Harvard Square, roofing it until late, then biked the 6 miles home well after midnight and inhaled a bag of peanut butter M&Ms upon my return, to recover.

But the other nights were no excuse. No late gym visits.  No late meetings.  No desperate projects to finish. No scintillating chats ... with HBI .... with anyone.

(I tell the truth on that last one, ye non-believers.)

No.   I just didn't want to go to bed.  I wanted to websurf and eat almonds and listen to jazz on WGBH and empty the dishwasher.  Then it would kinda sorta be about 1:45 a.m. And I'd open a can of Fresca and recline on top of the bed, invite the cats to join, and do a reading run through last week's New Yorker, usually with help from a frozen fudge bar.

In writing this tonight I almost Googled "purposely staying up on weeknights" and "needing to sleep early on a Friday night" and "unresolved personal issues and / or relative lack of life direction" to see if perhaps some therapist had a website for treating not inability, but unwillingness to sleep, and they could tell me how to get my act together.

I almost feel like a petulant child, here.  Being bad for myself.  For no reason.

Why I'm doing this?  Worth exploring.  Stay tuned ... after I get some sleep.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dateline 8/4/10: My table

He:  up from the Garden State
She: over from the Back Bay.

90 degrees.
(And almost that much humid.)
4.25 miles run, 38 minutes, 8:50 pace.

Stop at the
Southie Stop-n-Shop.
Find filet of sockeye.

Air-conditioned apartment. 
Agneta's 2000-calorie salmon recipe
(heavy cream, parmesan)
totally earned, no?

(Counter with light

No need to shower
lose the sweaty clothes
stop checking e-mail
dinner is with an old friend
9:36 on a Wednesday night.

Good times.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Thwack (upside the head, that is)

Gave myself one last night as my chat with HBI, for the 3rd time in 3 days, acquired Harried Married Conversational Tone. 
HBI:  Sorry about earlier
K:  Yes, you were a bit short.
HBI:   I had to look some stuff up quick, and then get to the post office.
K:  Yup.  It's fine.  You should just not list yourself as available to chat. Then I wouldn't ask.
On g-mail, HBI frequently shows the green light of "I'm here." Frequently he is not.  Or not wanting to be, responding to "hello!" in a tone of, "um, not really."  Such as he had that afternoon. We had left things awkwardly.
HBI:  I prefer the mystery.
K:  Well then you're not allowed to be short.
HBI:  People are going to have to take what they can get.
K:  Sigh. Yes, I know. Because you're so wonderful ... we must suffer for your attention ...
.... say I, joking.  Perhaps a ;-) would have helped here.
HBI:  Sure don't. No one has to do anything. But if they desire my attention, beggers cannot be choosers.
He might have put a ;-) here.  Obviously not so moved.
K:  Noble.   And it's beggars.  Anyway.  Did you make it to the post office?
HBI:  No.
K:  Ah.  So that's why you're crabby.
HBI:  Yes, because I missed the post office.
K:  Well, I can only guess.
HBI:  Well, I'm not crabby.
K:  Gotcha.  Me neither.
I was crabby, in that way where the crabbiness feeds on itself and inflates.  He was .... something.   Distracted?   Disengaged?  We went on like this for a half-hour, enough to inspire serious teeth-grinding.

Then.  Thwack!  The realization I should have slapped myself with a week ago:  You're conversing with a man
a) you've never met
b) who is not moving back to Boston
c) who is being a modified ass right now and
d) who is seriously out of game or
e) not even bothering to fake it.
Why stay up? Why chat? Why waste good aggravation?
K:  Seriously. Question here:  Should I bother checking in with you again?  You seem entirely less than interested.
HBI.  yes.   heh, you are mistaken
K:   It's hard to tell.
Grand pause.
K:  Just let me know then.  You hit me up when you're in the mood to talk next time.
HBI:  There's no reason to get excited.  I am just on vacation, with friends, and have a lot of things going on at once, all the time. So sometimes I am distracted or short. But it has nothing to do with you.  I am just busy. I try to talk to you as frequently as I can.
K:  I understand that.  I'm not excited.
K:  But I also have other things going on and if you have nothing to say - or are distracted or short - then just tell me you don't feel like talking so I can go do those other things.  That's all.
HBI:  Well, if I was on, and didn't say anything at all you would tell me that I am "being quiet"
Five minutes.  During which I laid my forehead on the table and just stayed there.
K:   That has only ever been a joke as a way of greeting.
HBI:  It's fine.
I couldn't think of a response.  So I went off to Facebook to play Scrabble.

It's possible HBI tells the truth that he's not mad,  is really only distracted, is perhaps truly interested in me. Or at least interested in a couple dates.

But at the moment, Scrabble is more fun.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Post #601: Walking

A pretty morning in Boston.

Decided to forego the zippiness of a bike commute.  Walked instead. 

(Even though I am kind of a zippy walker.)

In riding the 9 to work, I pretty much only notice how slow we roll and hear only the rumbling motor. When driving, I can only impatiently focus on the impatience of pedestrians who show no doubt as to their entitlement.  When biking, it's all about watching for potholes and avoiding death.

When walking, I find myself just listening and seeing.  Listening, mostly this morning, to motors -- of leaf blowers and electric hammers and (yes, you can't escape) buses accelerating through intersections. 

And walking up Berkeley, about to turn at Stuart Street, I saw a woman carrying a bookbag printed with this:

Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History *
Which of course made me wonder why, as I am so poorly behaved with my late nights and cereal cravings and weakness of engaging online with college boys and their lousy come-ons ...  I am not more famous.

Although, maybe if I just go on with my bad self ** I will be?

* From Harvard historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, winner of the Pulitizer Prize.  Whose husband I sang with in a choral group, not knowing of  her prominence. 

** Happy 600-blogpost milestone to me, BTW. 

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Long Run #2: An Event

So Philly on November 20 will be my first marathon in several in which I'll be training myself, not depending on the planning and support of Children's Hospital Boston.

This means getting to sleep at a decent hour most nights. (Um, yeah ... )  Not eating with the appetite of a professional football player, therefore gaining weight and exacerbating knee and ankle joint stress. (Um, yeah again ... ) Running on days I'm supposed to without someone telling me I must. (Wow.  Hmmm ... )

You know me by now: motivating myself to a larger goal requires bells and whistles.  No different in the case of Long Runs .... the essential weekly jaunt that starts at 6 miles on Week 1, grows longer by 2-mile increments, and works up to 21 miles by Week 15, just in time to get ready for race day.  An essential psychological and physical component in marathoning.  Unwise to get behind on.

When training for Boston the past 2 years, Children's coaches made these runs Events, each at 8 a.m. on Saturdays. And damn, that requirement worked for me.  Even in the black cold of January, or after a 60-hour workweek, or when my IBT cried torture .... I got up at 6:30 on Saturday and made a cup of coffee, ate a bowl of oatmeal, drove to Newton, and was cranking out 15 or 18 miles as the sun came up.

So my motivational conceit this training season is to do the same:  make each Long Run an "Event."  And henceforth,  an Event will contain going to contain the following:
1.  It will be Saturday morning, if at all possible. It will never be Sunday.
2.  It will be mapped out ahead of time.
3.  It will never be in the same place twice.  
4.  It will start and end at some awesome food locale, which I will patronize after successful completion.
Yesterday was Long Run #2, but Week #1 of Long Run as Event.  And .... despite setbacks like oversleeping and burning the coffee (yes!) and not leaving the house until 10, then zoning the Route 16 exit off 128 and being forced to backtrack around a traffic jam on Route 9 which means the run didn't originate until 11:15, then mapping out 2.5 extra miles by accident and choosing as "awesome food locale" a bakery without eggs or sandwiches or one bit of greasy diner goodness ....

Not a total failure.  

Completed just under 11.5 in slow but serviceable 9:30 pace.  Scenery included the rich and rolling hills of a rich and rolling suburb.  Sun hot, breeze cool.  Knees: behaved.  Carrying a water bottle in lieu of water stops, not a deal-breaker.  Lack of conversation or music replaced with looping internal monologue on frustrating men in my life:  as usual, rewarding.

And despite lack of eggs and sausage, Quebrada Baking Co. (just off the Wellesley Hills Commuter Rail Stop) did make up for it with a killer blueberry scone.  Which I ate as I drove over to Nantasket Beach for the afternoon.

So Long Run #3 next Saturday:  12 miles .... along Wollaston Beach and around through the Milton Hills. The Wheelhouse Diner in Quincy as motivation.  Full report to follow.

(And, incidentally, I'm taking suggestions for future runs or future diners.  Do share.)