Thursday, March 31, 2011


I mentioned several weeks ago that while visiting my nurse practitioner for a physical, she noted that my chronic insomnia, recent trending to chronic low moods, and chronic tendency to eat entire boxes of cereal when not hungry (among other qualities) made me a candidate for referral to Mass General's Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine.

BHI programs aim to "reduce the impact of stress through a variety of research driven skill-buildling exercises to improve medical symptoms, mood and well-being" and whose 6 core components include "relaxation response, social support, physical activity, nutrition, recuperative sleep and cognitive restructuring to increase positive emotions and behaviors."

In simpler terms:  therapy.

Wanting to shift away from each and every one of these negative chronic tendencies, yesterday I had my initial consultation with an internal medicine specialist at BHI. The poor doctor. She asked questions from time to time, but I talked and talked and talked and talked and talked. I talked so much that upon leaving the office I saw the doctor greet her next patient by apologizing for being a half-hour late ..... because I kept her, by talking and talking and talking, and she was too kind to say so.

Obviously I needed to talk. (Date Meltdown Man's observation had a point, maybe?)

Obviously the doctor recognized that. After our talk, she consulted with her supervising colleague down the hall, and the 2 women returned for a follow-up. The first question the supervising colleague asked:
"Do you have someone you can talk to when you need to?"
I was able to say that I generally do, that I have friends and family who listen, although as our lives get busier and more child-dominated and we all get older, it becomes more of a challenge to track each other down. I didn't tell her about the blog, which could be construed as another form of "talking to someone." It occurred to me later that I often substitute talking with blogging .... that I don't have conversations with my friends in the same way because I assume they already know everything about what's good and bad in my life.

The upshot? The doctor thinks, based just on our preliminary talk, I have symptoms synonymous with depression. She thusly handed me another referral: to a personal counselor, and to a weekly "mind body" discussion group at Mass General.

Obviously I think I need to talk more, because both ideas sound peachy. In fact, just hearing someone else tell me "you sound depressed" took a load off the feelings of depression. I'm scheduling both ideas into my schedule. And thank God for health insurance.

Last night I was out for beer and salad with Balint -- talking, go figure -- and almost immediately I told him about the therapy. Balint is one of my best friends, and his response to this revelation was quizzical .... as in, really? You're depressed? You've been depressed since November? As in either he's been too preoccupied to notice, or I've been too closed-mouthed to admit how I was feeling, or we were both abashed because both oversights are probably true.

It's always a good thing to talk, folks.

Day 31 of 31: 2 miles
March Total: 50.93
2011 Total: 153.99

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

If only I hadn't given up chocolate for Lent....

A (very) (approaching half my age) young man  left me a message this morning on OKC:
"I'm looking for a sugar mama and I'd like it to be you."
He is totally serious about this, no doubt.

To clarify what he is asking me to do on his behalf and for him to do on mine, I had to check out  the Urban Dictionary definitions of a Sugar Mama:
1) ... an older woman who buys extravagant gifts for a person and may/most likely will receive sexual favors, in return.
2) ... usually semi-professional caucasian women that are overweight and always have stringy hair and work in administrative positions. They usually have blue eyes and put on a ton of makeup.

3) ... woman (often an older woman) who holds her man/woman in nice standing with money, food, an apartment, etc. -- not always used in a derogatory fashion, or merely in exchange for sex, but because she can.

4) .... distinguished species of older females who seek the company of younger males whilst avoiding the entanglements of a relationship, in favor of a lack of restrictions. The sugar mama has overcome society’s proscribed behavior for women’s sexual behavior. Thus, embraces her true self and lives her life to its fullest. She know what she wants and isn’t afraid to hunt for it!
Distinguished, wealthy, empowered hunter with stringy hair, eh?

Day 29 of 31:  2.31 miles
March Total:  48.93
2011 Total:  151.99

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A (flipside and kind of manic) Monday

Yesterday was first a crappy day.  But then became a good day.

Crappy? And why? (You're certainly asking?)

I don't know. It was Monday. My morning bike ride went poorly. It was March 28 and still colder outside than it had been here February 28. A spreadsheet I spent hours compiling last Friday proved to be ineffective in achieving the task I wanted it to achieve on Monday. My early-evening bike ride to rehearsal went poorly, including an estimated 48 potholes per mile and a match of hopscotch-to-certain-death with a #77 bus making frequent stops.

Then .... I ate a can of black beans and a banana while waiting for rehearsal to start.  That had to have been the worm-turner. Because as rehearsal began my colleagues in song and dance were acting chipperly. I can only guess that consuming 180% of my daily fiber amped me up, but suddenly I was no longer annoyed by such spirit, and became the happiest person alive.

Which made it possible, mid-rehearsal, when logging onto my computer for clerical work related to my position, to fall into unaffected conversation with C-2 when he pinged me on Gmail, for the first time since he drove away last week, with a massive "YO!"
Karin:  How did your drive end up going last week?
C-2: argh
SO sucked
K: Really? What happened?
C-2: just...crappy truck, lots of rain, long long drive. etc
K: Did your tv make it?
C-2: haha. yes
and it's now attached to 1200 dollar speakers :)
K: Sounds like that alone was a reason to move... ;-)

C-2: :)
K: Now if I can just find a guy with 1200 dollar speakers, we'll be even!
C-2: that sounds like a good online post...
K: Craiglist, maybe?
wanted: big sound system.
C-2: haha. do it!
Which was the kind of silliness and unspoken affection he and I used to have all the time before we began kissing and he got too busy to either kiss me or be my friend and then left. Which I was glad to see return, to realize it can be achieved even when he lives halfway across the country, and to further realize (like it seems to be with so many of my Friends Who Are Boys) that this level is where he and I live best, even if it is talking about his new girlfriend's expensive electronics.

So maybe it was the chat, but then I biked home, and this time it was a good ride .... I even found the perfect 7.53-mile route, for the first time, sans potholes. (Thank you, freshly-paved Somerville Ave!) Was so keyed up on return I sauteed a pan full of spinach with onions and garlic and paired it with glass of shiraz from the 2-week-open bottle on the counter. And danced around in my kitchen before eating it.

Then changed into my comfy pajamas. Then called in to have the third conversation this week with a new OKC friend, who I think I'll call Piano Man:  48; single (yes!);  consultant; plays Brahms intermezzi and Bach's French Suites to unwind; thinks I'm good-looking; likes to talk on the phone instead of IM; likes to talk to me.

I like talking with him, too and also think he's good looking. Of course, he does live in Brooklyn.

So at least he likes to talk on the phone. So nothing's perfect. But hey, it was a Monday. I'll take whatever I can get.
Day 28 of 31: 2.31 miles
March Total: 46.62
2011 Total:  149.68

Sunday, March 27, 2011

And .... just like that.

I've told y'all, right, that one of the highlights of my OKCupid profile is my admitting to loving the movie Tootsie more than life itself?

And do you remember that I got into a quick and (non-) dirty conversation back in November with a guy who said it was his favorite movie too -- and we decided we should watch it together?  Or go for coffee?  Or both?

And are you surprised that we never did?  I can't remember who stopped talking to who, or if we just turned each other off after the initial conversation.

And are you surprised that this morning at 9:37:
Biking Guy: Hey stranger! :)
Which I responded to about 7:30 this evening:
Karin: Stranger, indeed.
And the rest of the story:
BG: Let's get coffee!
K: Sure.  I'm in Davis for rehearsal quite a bit these days.
BG:  Awesome! :) When are you free Ms. Marathon runner?
K:  I'm up in the square Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings for 7-10 rehearsals. Something on either side of that?
BG:  1015 outside the XXX Tuesday....thanks again for reconsidering!
K:  Reconsidering? I don't think I ever didn't not consider. You rather disappeared.
BG:  Okay well good then! :)
And I'm not sure if it's Okay Well Good Then! that I didn't not consider or that he rather disappeared.

And I guess I just agreed to drink coffee at 10:15 on a Tuesday night.

Lord help me.
Day 21 of 31: 2 miles
Day 22 of 31: 1.5
Day 23 of 31: 2
Day 24 of 31: 1.8
Day 26 of 31:  5.93
March Total: 44.31
2011 Total: 147.37

Friday, March 25, 2011

Restless, restless, restless ....

..... and I'm not even highly caffeinated this morning.

Jumping out of my skin, however, seems possible. Noticed myself speed-talking to the trainer at the gym at 7:30, to the person making my coffee at 8:30, to my bond-buying colleague a few minutes ago. I can't keep from taking off and re-putting on my shoes while sitting here. So far, multiple laps of walking the office for no reason than to do multiple laps of walking the office. I'm restraining from logging onto OKCupid with hopes of starting up an illict workday chat about unmentionable acts.

Not really any reason to account for this mood

I did just also do a search for the word "restless" on this blog ... .to find that the last time it was used was March 29, 2010 .... almost a year ago to the day.

What is it about the crazy, hazy month of March in my life?

Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote a great tune on the subject, by the way, and it has been recorded by every singer on the planet since 1945. But I'm indulging the Stan Getz/Brazilian samba version of it in an attempt to mellow out:

I'm as restless as a willow in a windstorm,
I'm as jumpy as a puppet on a string.
I'd say that I had spring fever,
But I know it isn't spring.

I'm starry-eyed and vaguely discontented
Like a nightingale without a song to sing.
Oh, why should I have spring fever
When it isn't even spring?

I keep wishing I were somewhere else,
Walking down a strange new street.
Hearing words that I have never heard
From a man I've yet to meet.

I'm as busy as a spider spinning daydreams,
I'm as giddy as a baby on a swing.
I haven't seen a crocus or a rosebud
Or a robin on the wing.

But I feel so gay,
In a melancholy way,
That it might as well be spring,
It might as well be spring.

Although in this case, maybe it is spring fever.

(Now, if only the temperature would get above freezing, eh?)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Foggy glasses, perhaps?

Today's "Love Letters" LW

the Man With Dating Fatigue ....
"I've got a serious inertia problem. On the one hand I'd really like to be in a relationship, and I'm ready to have the fun and do the "work" of a relationship. But it just takes too much effort to get to that point. For one, dating is expensive, even doing it cheaply .... But mostly, I have the same date over and over again. Here's how it goes, more or less:

[Grabbing drinks, grabbing dinner, catching a movie, going to Quirky Artsy Thing, or doing Quirky Sport/Game Thing.] This weather is crazy! It's Snowmageddon! Compliment. Compliment. What do you do? Descriptions of what you are both passionate about and your shared values. Discussion relative to various tv shows, music, movies, or other pop/sub-pop phenomenon. Recall childhood cartoons/memory ...."
He ends it asking if he's being "a drag."

(Could this man be my Soulmate In Crime?)

Says Meredith, the moderator:
"I get it ... Dating can be annoying, especially when you've been doing it for a while. Your complaints are fair, by the way. Dating is expensive and can be seriously repetitive. (Snowmageddon, indeed.) And that's why you can only do it if you're psyched about it. Taking a break will give you some clarity to see beyond the small talk. Right now, your dating glasses are all foggy."
Says one of the unsilly of the 1006 mostly silly posted comments (a _thousand_ comments? strike a nerve with anyone, dude?):
"You're right: dating gets stale when you're doing the "one, two, three strikes you're out" and on to the next one. How often do you have to describe your passion for _____(fill in the blank). It does get old." 
And another:
"It sounds to me like you're not sick of "the process" of dating, but tired of meeting new people in general. I feel ya, it's EXHAUSTING. Any time I have to meet new people without my wife as a safety net, I need a nap immediately afterward. Meredith is right, just go hang out with people and enjoy life for a while. You need to get your mind right, because right now even if you meet the right person you might come off as so annoyed/bored/exhausted that they won't want anything to do with you."
And my favorite:
"Sorry, I can't muster up much sympathy for this guy or anyone tired of 'dating'. I've been on about 5 dates in the past 8 years. I'm tired of not dating."
I'm way simpatico to this "foggy glasses" concept to describe wanting something but not wanting to get up the energy required to figure out how to get it. The exhaustion of feeling the need to make yourself meet new people (Great Cosmo Challenge, anyone?)in order to have a wider pool to choose from. Fear that you are looking like "that girl" who is transparently trying new friendly! things with the goal of meeting new people ... and therefore looking .... lame?

Who knows. Maybe I should just e-mail the guy with no sympathy? He looks available.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Prolonging the celebration

I love that my younger sister -- with her teaching job and 2 young kids and claims of "not being a crafty person" -- figures out how to pull off this kind of project in the midst of it all.

Oliver (4 mos) & Henry (wild man)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A small, good thing

A couple days ago I happened to pull out a grad school relic: Where I'm Calling From, a retrospective of short stories by Raymond Carver.

One of the more affecting pieces in the collection concerns a small child on his birthday, hit by a car on the way to school, eventually dying of his injuries.  His parents, numb and grieving, end up harrassed by the baker of their child's birthday cake who, unaware of what has happened, calls the parents repeatedly to demand they pick up the cake and pay him for it.  In the end they head to the baker's store at 3:00 one morning for a confrontation -- only to have him apologize, empathize, and invite them in.
"You probably need to eat something," the baker said. "I hope you'll eat some of my hot rolls. You have to eat and keep going. Eating is a small, good thing in a time like this," he said."
I've not forgotten that line since first reading it years ago -- a small, good thing.  That something you didn't know you needed until it was offered, which is when you realized you couldn't have done without it.

So I have been going on the last week because of C-2's unexpected departure.  Overcome by a melancholy in some ways earned yet, I know, belabored beyond its importance.  I didn't know how to be when faced by it so I just got angry.  Angry at losing him.  Angrier, perhaps, to realize I never had him.  Anguished in a way that is perhaps typical of a spurned woman who thinks she meant more to a man than she did.

And then, in a way I couldn't have otherwise fathomed, last night ended up being a small, good thing.

In which I (why? couldn't help myself?) wrote C-2 an e-mail before leaving work to see if he had left town yet.  To which he replied he was still packing and that yes, I should come over and bring bubble wrap for his television.  And how after a long rehearsal and some driving about, I finally got to his apartment with the bubble wrap at 11:56 p.m., just in time to ring in my birthday with a shot of Jameson and a Smithwicks and a couple other friends, all of us sitting on packing boxes. To find out he was planning to start driving away as soon as we filled the truck, so we filled the truck fast.  To see him in his own space, to help haul his bike (he has a bike?!) and chess set and boxspring and GRE prep books and hear about the woman he was headed to be with, and to feel like even after a hundred conversations in the last 2 years, how it was this night, the last night, that I got a far better view of him the person.

It was 3:48 a.m. when we did our last shot of Jameson and shut the truck door.  We 3 women stood on the street.  C-2 came over and hugged his first (and closest) friend, hugged his second friend, then came to me, kissed me on the lips and we hugged, also as friends.  A moment later, standing next to my car, I watched him cruise by on his way to the turnpike and just like that, be gone for good.

And now it's 5:26. I drove home with enough energy to want to sit up and write these thoughts.   I'll sleep only a few hours now but, like after previous rendezvous with C-2, I know I'll wake up at 8, invigorated.

Because, yes, it's my birthday.

Because I remembered why C-2 and I got to be friends in the first place and how that's a shining relief.

Because I never imagined in these last weeks of frustration that I'd be standing there at dawn on Holland Street as his last Boston kiss and his last Boston wave, knowing full well I've got nothing more needing crying about, if I can just keep myself from doing so.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Friday (or a short tale in 19 scenes)

Curtain up

9 a.m.-7 p.m.:  Classic bad day at the office, including getting ripped a new a**hole by a client, over the phone (in case you didn't know such a thing was possible.)

7:01:  Head to gym, elliptical machine specifically, burn off residual pain and anger from new a**hole.  Sweat heavily.

7:36:  While in locker room re-dressing in work clothes, to be presentable for 32-dollar Beethoven tickets at Symphony Hall, find that dress zipper for black and white party dress does not move past the waist.

7:36-8:05:  Pace around locker room trying to get dress zipper to move past the waist.  In either direction.  Dress will not stay on.  Dress will not come off.

8:06:  Borrow scissors from gym front desk.  Cut zipper apart. Take off dress.

8:08: Realize that tank top and yoga pants, unsweaty and fresh and in backpack due to not attending 6 p.m. yoga due to previously mentioned a**hole ripping, are presentable wear for Symphony Hall when paired with black knee boots (5-inch heels) and cardigan.

8:12-18:  Realize that riding bike in yoga pants and 5-inch heels isn't as easy as it looks.

8:19:  Storm the gates of Symphony Hall, missing the late seating.

8:20-8:56:  Cool heels in first balcony salon with help from a $10 cosmopolitan from the salon bar.

9:00:  Head to assigned seat to find on it someone else's coat and gloves.  Look around in confusion.

9:01:  Handsome 30-something male in sport coat appears out of nowhere, apologizes for leaving his things, sits down in his seat, one over.

9:02-9:16:  Have exceedingly smooth and flirtatious conversation about music and life with handsome 30-something male in sport coat -- a French-born accountant.

9:17-10:15:  Listen enrapt to second half of Haydn and Beethoven program, sharing witty asides with French-born accountant during the triple-forte sections.

9:28 (or thereabouts):  Think of how the accountant will tell grandchildren about how grandma getting her zipper stuck at the gym causing extreme tardiness led to their very existence.

10:16-10:20:  Head down stairs with accountant, getting ready to suggest heading for a nightcap to dissect the differences between Beethoven and Haydn first brought up during intermission.

10:21:  Listen to accountant say, "I have to take an early bus in the morning, but maybe I'll see you some other time at one of these events!" and watch as he waves, turns, and runs towards Green Line.

10:22-24:  Stand on steps of Symphony Hall.

10:25-11:31:  At Symphony 8, site of the Handel & Haydn Society's reception for "young professionals," recall that young professionals can often be cliquey, decide further attempts at socialization beside the point, sit at bar, alone, drink 2 pints of Guinness, watch Indiana State get pummeled by Syracuse, realize the danger of the choice to drink Guinness alone after being rejected by an accountant in the wake of emotional fragility over goodbye to C-2, notice tears unstoppably running down cheeks.

11:32-12:05:  Biking 5 miles home after 2 pints of Guinness and dehydration from crying is not as easy as it looks. But it happens.

Day 17 of 31:  2 miles
Day 18 of 31:  2
Day 19 of 31:  5.93
March Total:  31.08
2011 Total: 134.14

Friday, March 18, 2011

Because sometimes even Fridays can suck

And So it Goes

In every heart there is a room
A sanctuary safe and strong
To heal the wounds from lovers past
Until a new one comes along

I spoke to you in cautious tones
You answered me with no pretense
And still I feel I said too much
My silence is my self defense

And every time I've held a rose
It seems I only felt the thorns
And so it goes, and so it goes
And so will you soon I suppose

But if my silence made you leave
Then that would be my worst mistake
So I will share this room with you
And you can have this heart to break

And this is why my eyes are closed
It's just as well for all I've seen
And so it goes, and so it goes
And you're the only one who knows

So I would choose to be with you
That's if the choice were mine to make
But you can make decisions too
And you can have this heart to break

And so it goes, and so it goes
And you're the only one who knows

--Billy Joel, 1983

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Closure, of a fashion

It was both good and bad to hang out late with C-2 and his friends late into last night.

He confirmed in person that he's packing a U-Haul and getting rid of his apartment and driving later this week to his new city for permanent, not just for temporary. He confirmed in person that a primary reason he's going is because his new girlfriend lives there.

I knew I had to go out and stay out late. Even if exhausting. Even though there'd be no time to talk seriously. Or for me to demand that after everything, he apologize for, like, getting a girlfriend without telling me. C-2 has lived in Massachusetts all his 40-plus years and he's leaving rather suddenly. He has many, many folks other than me to say goodbye to.

As I drove him and another guy friend across Somerville from bar #1 to bar #2, the friend leaned forward and begged that C-2 spill details about the new woman. I looked straight ahead and drove, flattered that C-2 had the decency to hesitate before answering, sitting there in the seat where, the last time he sat there, I was on his lap and he kissed me so hard my lips bruised.

(Strange, this being friends with boys who were once more than friends. I wonder if I've reached my emotional saturation point with this demographic.)

Later in the drive, to amuse guy friend and maybe to make a point, I asked C-2 if he remembered the night he sang nonsense lyrics and banged on a tambourine (a stray in my backseat) with the vigor that only a man who drinks Jameson and Guinness can provide, the entire 25 minutes it took us to drive from Southie to Davis Square. This was also the night we stayed up past sunrise next to Spy Pond.

Again, he paused.
"I remember everything about that night," he said.
Full stop.

I was glad he said that, because I couldn't make myself say what I was thinking, which was,
"Yes. Me too. I remember most of every time we've been together, actually. I remember that night you said how good we were together and I agreed and we talked about seeing each other much more often. And how I tried to and then you flaked, working too hard and then, when not working too hard, leaving and meeting someone. I hate that you said all these things you didn't follow up on and now you're gone."
When we got to bar #2 he followed me in, and I turned and asked him if he wanted a Guinness. He paused, put a hand on my shoulder, looked me in the eye, said,
"Hey. Thanks. Thanks for hanging out."
I would have preferred he be an obnoxious ass so I could hate. But I can't. I've just earned the right to regret. Now I just have to suck it up and move on.

Which meant that after the bar closed and we said goodbye and I drove home alone, it was somewhere in the 93S tunnels that a Guinness-fueled helplessness came up my throat and filled my eyes and ears and before I could resist, brought on great sobs. I sobbed the rest of the way home. I cried until I fell asleep.

But today was not a bad day.

And I'm sucking it up and moving on.

(Well, trying to, anyway.)

Monday, March 14, 2011

More good kissing

No, not mine. is featuring this link to the multimedia magazine GOOD and its examination of the subject, which itself is a video riff on the recent study The Science of Kissing: What Our Lips Are Telling Us by Sheril Kirshenbaum.

(Talk about derivative.)

Nonetheless, it's a compilation of most kisses-on-video you might care to see.

My favorite factoids:
-- Around 90% of the world's cultures kiss and 2/3 of us tilt our heads to the right.

-- A kiss can be 10 times more effective than morphine in reducing pain.

-- In the Middle Ages, illiterates could seal legal deals with an "x" and a kiss ... which is how the kiss got its "x" signature.

-- Passionate kissing burns 6.4 calories per minute. 1 Hershey Kiss = 26 calories. That's a 4-minute kiss.

-- When people kiss they exchange between 10 million and 1 billion bacteria.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


I'm wondering tonight if I'm the only blogger out here who feels trite and outlandish writing about things like

road races
peanut butter
(frankly unreasonable)
sadness in learning C-2 is leaving Boston for good

with a news week including

Chinatown bus crashes
Michelle Bachmann

just feels....
too damn
for its
own good.
Day 13 of 31: 3.10 miles
March Total: 21.5
2011 Total: 124.21


when I'm awake this late
(on DST spring-ahead night, no less)
even when my eyes squint
from chronic fatigue
and I'm running a road race
in a 7.5 hours
(not counting
how early
I must get up
for travel and stretching
and pre-race caffeine),

I have to wonder
how much of this
insomnia issue
is lack of willpower?

As in,
how hard is it
to remember that
sleeping is
in my best interest
and if I
really wanted to try,
I'd just
shut my eyes?

I don't know. 
It's a mystery.
Day 13 of 31: 5.6 miles
March Total: 18.05
2011 Total: 121.11

Thursday, March 10, 2011

You can say that again

C-2 and I are only very occasionally in touch since he moved more or less out of state in December.  He said hi at Christmas.  I wrote him late one night mid-January, in beery nostalgia.  Otherwise we're silent.

As has been discussed in this space ad nauseum, this is not a bad thing.  He and I are known to have highly above-average makeout sessions on occasion. Beyond that he is a badly-behaving distraction who, when given the excuse, I yearn for fruitlessly.  I know he doesn't want to (or can't) give me what I know I want even in a friendship, much less anything more.  Haven't seen him since October.

Hm.  But a few days ago, I was moved to include him on the e-mail invite to my upcoming birthday drinks outing. Within minutes:
C2:  Oh crap, I'll be back in (out-of-state city) by then. But I'm here for a week...Foley's at some point?
Within minutes:
Karin:  But of course.
Bad girl. (Slaps hand.)

Based on our track record of proclaiming we will be together and not being together, I find it unlikely this purported meeting will happen, which is (maybe / maybe not) why I so readily replied.  Although I probably have to admit I'd like it to happen.

So last night I was (surprise!) up very, very late, working on a volunteer editing job for church.  Lo, at 2:53 a.m. (surprise!):
C-2: mornin
K:  indeed
C-2: :)  how r ya
K:  I'm cool. I got caught up in a project. What you up to?
C-2:  just got home
K: Good night? (as in, did you have a good one?)
C-2:  one
C-2:  sec
K:  O
K:  K
C-2:  :)
Eighteen minutes pass.
C-2:  ok, back now
K:  Cool.  I think I have about 5 minutes left in me.
C-2:  yeah, probably true with me too.  Shall we just say g'night?

K:  Sure.
C-2:  less fun than we used to be  :)
K:   Hey, I'm up. That's got to be worth something.
C-2:  it's something
Ain't that the truth.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Floored (Redux)

From the Single in the City archives (8/13/10):
"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."
During the chat we went on to have,  he asked if I had found true love yet. He said he had not. He said he day-dreamed about me all the time. How even though we were both busy, he wanted to meet so we could both have some excitement in our lives.

He didn't realize that as we chatted, I was reading his blog. A blog that talks about his competitive recreational pursuits, mostly, but also references a woman he calls his wife. It shows pictures of their wedding, which had happened just months before.

Incredulous he didn't remember sharing his blog address with me, I decided not to make a scene. He has problems enough without me taking it personally. The conversation trailed to a close, and I knew I would ignore him if he were ever to contact me again.

I'm still planning to do that.

However, I admit to reading his blog. Pretty regularly, actually. The subject is a recreation I'm well familiar with, and he's passionate enough about it to make it interesting. He admits to a long history with depression and medication and how his devotion to his recreation has helped him get healthy. How he's looking forward to moving from New England after finishing school in May.

It made me empathetic for his struggles rather than pissed at his lying to me and attempts at cheating on his wife. Having been lower myself than I like to be for a number of months now, I've wondered if the depression issues probably contributed to his bad behavior. (Kind of like how mine have contributed to double-digit weight gain and insomnia.)

This past Sunday at 2:35 a.m., 8 months since Erstwhile Boy and I last said goodbye, this OKC message arrived.
Miss talking to you.

How have you been?"
He still claims to be single. He still doesn't lie on his profile about his age or where he lives or make any effort to hide his identity.

And I was sad. Both for him and his wife. But it also gave me pause. I think to the dozens of his blog entries since the new year. Touting challenges set and met. Excitement for his life after school and the new job and new town, for goals, for integrity. Yet at the end of the night he is lonely, quiet, trying to find his fantasy outside of all these things.

In certain ways he is just like me with my public face as a kicker of asses and my private nights, which rarely display the same person.

So, I think, I understand why he wrote.
Day 9 of 31: 3.1 miles
March Total: 12.45
2011 Total: 115.51

Monday, March 7, 2011

Great Cosmo Challenge: Profiling

While there have been many things I've let fall down in recent months -- my running chops, the cleanliness of my kitchen floor, my abdominal muscles -- I have not done so regarding the Great Cosmo Challenge, lest you think that be the case.

Although I've done the next best thing: crossed off three online sign-up things.

1)  Be a guy on Groupon

Cosmo says:  "Groupon is an awesome way to find bargains .... and men.  Here's how:  The site sends people different deals based on their profiles. So if you create a Groupon account for a 28-year-old male, you'll get daily e-mails with the lowdown on all the fun, cheap, and (most important) guy-friendly events happening in your area."

Karin says:  Since I already have a Groupon account attached to my Yahoo! e-mail, last Friday I set up a male profile (and made him 32) for my Gmail account.  Since then, here, my respective offers have been:
Saturday Girl: 75% off car-sharing services through RelayRide
Saturday Boy: 52% Off Massage & Mani-Pedi at Vim in Cambridge 
Sunday Girl:  20% for Irish-Heritage Trolley Tours
Sunday Boy:  20% for Irish-Heritage Trolley Tours 
Monday Girl:  Half-off products & classes at Stitch Boutique
Monday Boy:  Half-off products & classes at Stitch Boutique
Folks, I've identified a reason for my singleness: I'm a 32-year-old man and didn't know it.

Meanwhile, the car-sharing service seems the most promising. Can you imagine the sparks unexpectedly flying over the key exchange and fuel receipts? That's a novel waiting to be written.

2) Join a co-ed intramural

Cosmo says:  "Men are obsessed with recreational sports leagues.  But if your athletic abilities are lacking, they're not exactly your idea of a good time.  Luckily, lots of fun, new options are popping up that require zero talent (think skee-ball, dodgeball, or even Quidditch, the game from Harry Potter).  Sign up for one to increase your dating pool with none of the embarrassment."

Karin says:  Maybe down the road I'll have a stomach for kickball, but for now I want to join something for which I do have a minor talent.  I was thusly pleased to see The Most Informal Running Club Ever (TMIRCE) still meets every Saturday morning for Charles loops and brunch.   Duly signed up and will have a report next week.

3) Get random and silly ... online.

Cosmo says:  "Online dating sites are cropping up lately that match you with guys based on random, silly shared interests.  A couple of our favoirtes:, which looks at your favorite reads, and, which gives you your Salad Soul Mates based on your go-to toppings.  Since they don't take dating as seriously as the big matchmaking websites do, you're likely to meet more laid-back dudes with a sense of humor."

Karin says:  On the former, I listed The Corrections as favorite novel and JoAnn Beard's Boys of My Youth as most memorable memoir, followed by a tale about how I came to know Beard's book 13 years ago while trying to talk my way into the University of Iowa's Writers' Workshop. But haven't browsed yet, since I seem to have lost track of my user ID and password.

Just Salad serves "just salads" and has 5 locations in New York and 2 in Hong Kong. So I couldn't answer to most-visited site (there's one at 30 Rock!)  or if I brought my own reusable bowl and bag when visiting. But I did confess that my favorite salad toppings were (in order) portabella mushrooms, reduced fat cheddar cheese, butternut squash and pumpkin seeds and that I don't add bread because I'm "watching my carbs."

I thought it would be fun to have my profile photo show me ravishing a roasted goose leg, so I added one that does.

I also thought it would be fun to say my age is 28, so I did.

My first "search" tonight yielded a slender, dark-complected six-o-clock shadow man balancing an appetizer plate in one hand. We only are a 43% match," but share an affinity for "spicy Thai peanut dressing."

Day 6 of 31: 1 mile (just enough treadmill time to break a sweat)
March Total: 7.55
2011 Total: 110.61

Saturday, March 5, 2011

BBC 10: Ode to Storrow

Every so often,
when I'm
alone in my car
and when
there's no other traffic
headed eastbound
coming home from
Cambridge at midnight
Longwood after morning rush hour
Arlington at sunrise
(ah....Spy Pond),
I love Storrow Drive
so much.

Its undulations
first Harvard,
then diving under the
Western Ave Bridge
and the
River Street Bridge
and the
BU Bridge
and the
Harvard Bridge
(that crosses to MIT)
and past the
runners and runners and runners
on the bike paths
(at any hour)
and then
the S-curves
back and forth and
back and forth,
(that no one steps on their brakes for)
leading under the
to the
Leverett Circle
clusterf*** of cars
heading out of
Mass General
towards the freeway ...
always a cluster***

But of course
it's really the river basin
that always
reminds me
exactly what city I live in,
and the reflections
of the trees
or the full moon
never fail to
make me glad
I'm here.

The rare, traffic-less Storrow,
off the Dartmouth-Street crossing
after the Red Sox Duck Boat Victory Parade -
Nov. 2004
Day 6 of 31: 2.00 (this is wimpy. I admit it)
March Total: 6.55 (wimpy, too)
2011 Total: 109.61

Friday, March 4, 2011

Needs work

I just came from the doctor.

(Follow-up for my physical in December. A follow-up because I was so tardy for the first appointment the nurse practitioner could only complete half the tests and requested a second appointment. Yes, it does take me 3 months to schedule follow-ups for appointments that require follow-ups because I was tardy.  Welcome to my life.)

I'm glad my NP is a listener and a recommender.  Based on our discussion today, she gave me five (count 'em) referrals for specialists:
1) Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist -- for periodic, chronic tinnitus.

2) Dermatologist -- for the whatever-you-call-it on my collarbone that flares red when my sports bra chafes it.

3) Sleep Study -- to rule out apnea as a source of my fatigue.
4) Nutritionist -- to discuss my recent weight gain and if it has to do with eating the wrong things for all the wrong reasons. (Search this blog for peanut butter, Reeses Pieces, cereal, conversation hearts, attempts and failures to curb gratuitous consumption despite wanting to .... )

5) The Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine  -- for a consultation,  again regarding the weight gain and insomnia, to see if I want to get involved in a program that "reduces the impact of stress through a variety of research driven skill-buildling exercises to improve medical symptoms, mood and well-being" and whose 6 core components include "relaxation response, social support, physical activity, nutrition, recuperative sleep and cognitive restructuring to increase positive emotions and behaviors."
Leaving, I commented to the NP that I'd be doing nothing but going to doctors over the next couple months (while silently thanking my employer for affordable, comprehensive health insurance that covers almost all of it). 

She replied that sometimes it is beneficial to health just to get one's mind off all the things they're convinced are wrong with them ...

Amen to that.  Now only if she could cure procrastination. 
Day 3 of 31: 2.05
March Total: 4.55
2011 Total: 107.61

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Love thyself


Even though I have the nicest manager in the business, I am relieved the annual performance and salary review (that I annually dread, convinced this will officially be the year they discover my lack of talent to do what I do) is done and gone.

My company generally succeeded  in 2010 and I historically fare well at these chats, but I was stressed. Something to do with my chronic insomnia, tendency to lateness, the occasional stay-out-to-4 a.m.-drinking-Guinness-and-making-out-in-cars, and many more occasions on the lowest rung of the mood and motivation ladder. You can't tell me these things didn't affect my earning power.

Well, if they do down the line, they didn't this year. My manager and I had a good chat and I'm still employed and I get to make a little more than last year. In this era of mega-unemployment, this could not be better news.

Maybe I need to stop beating myself up for being, um .... fairly normal.

(BTW, I'd be petrified to undergo a "How Did Your Dating Life Go?" review for any of the past 5 years. Thank God my take-home pay does not depend on my OKC success rate. And no, you're not allowed to insert any prostitution-based jokes at this point.)

Meanwhile, into the day comes a Times article titled "Go Easy on Yourself, a New Wave of Research Urges:
"People who find it easy to be supportive and understanding to others, it turns out, often score surprisingly low on self-compassion tests, berating themselves for perceived failures like being overweight or not exercising. The research suggests that giving ourselves a break and accepting our imperfections may be the first step toward better health. People who score high on tests of self-compassion have less depression and anxiety, and tend to be happier and more optimistic."
And later:
"With self-compassion, if you care about yourself, you do what’s healthy for you rather than what’s harmful to you.”
Yup. And yup. Read it, for many yups more.

Day 2 of 31: 2.5 miles
March Total: 2.5 miles
2011 Total: 105.56

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Truth (a brief tale)

My Facebook status at 9:30 this morning:  March!

(Because it is. And because I slept more than 8 hours last night and was perky.)

To which my former roommate Tim, now in Fort Lauderdale, commented:   I was at the beach Sunday... Just saying. How are you?

To which I replied, not rising to the bait:   I rode my bike to work today. It is cold but the sun shines.

Replied Tim, not breaking stride:  Cold sunshine. How very deceptive of you Boston. Well played.