Saturday, December 31, 2011

Dateline: Dorchester Heights 12/31/11

3:20 p.m.

All hail the feet that ran 1,000 miles this year without injury, without complaint.

Many thanks.

(And onto the next year, my friends.)

Friday, December 30, 2011

(Late at) the office

It is rare for me
to be not upset
at still being
in the office
at 10:30 on the
Friday night of a
3-day weekend.

But then again.

It is rare for me
to have finished
2-years-worth of
back-filing and
be able to
start the new work week
(and the new work year)
with a clean desktop.

Stiff legs,
sore back,
crunchy neck,
weary fingers,
get me home.

There's a glass
of Pinot Gris
(and a jar of peanut butter)
(and a down comforter)
(and a hot bath)
with my name on it.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Did not acknowledge

Have I written this post before?  Can't believe I haven't ....

.... about how within a 5-day range of any major holiday, men from my past who have either a) ditched me b) ignored me or c) just generally been dismissive and uninspired and, therefore unworthy of my time, must insist upon pinging me as if we're best buds.

Ugh.  The Holiday Booty Call. Or Call-o-Regret. Or I Have Nothing Better To Do So I'm Trolling For a Past Lover, Any Past Lover, to See if She is Available.

So not attractive.

Take Not Available Man, who always represented himself as Available but never proved to be).  Who I never wrote about, because it was probably not public knowledge that he called himself Available.   Who ditched at the last hour more times (3) in 2 years than he actually came through ... most recently in June of this year, without remorse or explanation.  After which I told him to go (expletive) himself and deleted his contact info from all portals.  He evidently did not delete mine.  Last week he IM'd on Gmail  twice.  "Hi!", both times at 1 a.m. 

As if I had not told him to go (expletive) himself.  Did not acknowledge.

Then, take Coffee, Beer Big Hands Man.  From Oakland CA, with family in Mass; our one face-to-face encounter in October 2009 ended with him leaving my apartment, red-faced.  Who ever since, pops up on OKC every 3 months, as if it periodically occurs to him a cross-country conversation would be the cure to both our ills.  Three months ago he wrote in the same fashion, and  I cut the cord, suggesting I was weary of his no-effort approach:  he either had to be interested in me and do something about it or go away.  He apologized, but then didn't write again, so I thought he went away.

Until this weekend, when he wrote to say he was in Boston over the holidays and wanted to know if I wanted to get a drink.  Did not acknowledge.

Amazingly, last night, Canoe Enthusiast joined the procession.  Without any pretense.  Just the message:  "Want to get together?" As if, because we slept together in February 2008 and he ditched me in clueless forgetfulness on 2 successive dates in March, I might want to get together in December 2011.

While I was in mid-deletion of said request he, still online, pinged with an instant message, "Hello!" After which, when I didn't reply immediately, followed with "Hello?"

What the hell?  Yuck.

Finally, as if he knew I was going to write this and wanted to provide a finale as the King of Such Behavior, in comes the 1:35 a.m. text from C-2: "Yo!"

I knew he wanted me to be my old spontaneous self, meet him for last call, get drunk fast, see what transpired on Kingston Street. As if he had been in any meaningful contact since June, other than several times to suggest that if I volunteered for one of his local campaigns, it might afford me the opportunity to see him.  But that otherwise he was too busy.  As if he even deserved to still have my number in his phone.

Awake, but pretending to be asleep, I did not acknowledge.

But I gave in this morning at 10, because he is C-2, and I do this for him.
Replying: "Are you in town?"  

To which he said:  "I was. Was at Foley's, but on road back now. :( " 

To which I said:  "Thanks for the ample heads-up, as always."

To which he said:  "Sorry. I tried."

To which I wanted to say:  "Really, no, you never really did, your apology is hollow, and I think I'm safe without ever wanting to see you again.  Which makes me sad after all the things I liked about our friendship before you started treating me exclusively like your Boston booty call but, thanks anyway."
Next time, I swear:

Will not acknowledge.  At all.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

And 17 miles to run ....

....with 4 days to do it.

(Thought y'all needed to be reassured that despite consumption of approximately 128 Christmas cookies since I first mentioned having 60 to go,  my weekend in MSP with the family did not throw me off track, my legs are strong, my spirit is strong, my gym is open, my schedule is open, my iPod is charged, and Mother Nature is seemingly holding off on the snow and cold for my exclusive benefit.)

And therefore I say again:

I want this.
It will happen.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Kodachrome Project (2011): Unseasonable

Longtime readers of this blog might remember the weather ghosts of Christmases past:


The Whew, Thank God That Blizzard Came 5 Days Before My Flight (rather than 2) Blizzard Drama.  (Also known as:  Where Will I Park My Car So It Doesn't Get Towed If There's a Snow Emergency While I'm Gone Conundrum.)

The Ha Ha, I'm Not Flying to MSP Until January! Evening but I'm Still Going to Drink Too Much Bailey's on the Rocks, because It Still Sucks to be Snowed In.

With those shots of my poor car and memories of inevitable flight delays fresh in your mind, note this very recent photo of the Boston Common heading from the Frog Pond towards the Back Bay and the Hancock tower:

That grass is GREEN, my friends.

Flight to MSP is in 6 short hours.  I doubt the plane will require a de-icer.  And I couldn't be happier.

Merry, merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A little metta with my coffee...

If I were to write here what I was planning to write --

-- which was that at 12:45 this morning I was running 8-minute miles through Southie, in shorts and baseball cap, through the most unlikely of hurricane-strength downpours (never a sentence I'd expect to write on the first day of winter in Boston) and how even though I was drenched, I was invigorated, and how even running uphill into the rain and headwind and with water squishing in the lining of my shoes from the massive puddles felt good in that "I'm running through a metaphor about perseverance and overcoming adverse conditions and enjoying it" kind of way --

-- you'd probably correctly guess that I did not sleep enough last night, that I felt restless and wired from too many Christmas cookies and joy over having (amazingly, before the day itself!) completing my Christmas letter, that I stayed up way later than I should have and woke up pretty out-of-sorts.

Arriving in the office, though, I found a "Seasons Greetings" e-mail from my only known friend who embraces Buddhism in a real and comprehensive way-- a former co-worker from Minnesota, go figure.  Here were his greetings. 

"Monks, whatever kinds of worldly merit there are, all are not worth one sixteenth part of the heart-deliverance of loving-friendliness; in shining and beaming and radiance the heart-deliverance of loving-friendliness far excels them.

Just as whatever light there is of stars, all is not worth one sixteenth part of the moon's light; in shining and beaming and radiance the moon's light far excels it;

and just as in the last month of the Rains, in the Autumn when the heavens clear, the sun as he climbs the heavens drives all darkness from the sky with his shining and beaming and radiating;

and just as, when night turning to dawn, the Morning Star is shining and beaming and radiating;

so too, whatever kinds of worldly merit there are, all are not worth one sixteenth part of the heart-deliverance of loving-friendliness; in shining and beaming and radiance the heart-deliverance of loving-friendliness far excels them."

Wishing you a metta, metta christmas and a metta new year...
In case you've not heard of the term metta, it has a lengthy definition, in part:  "a multi-significant term meaning loving-kindness, friendliness, goodwill, benevolence, fellowship, amity, concord, inoffensiveness and non-violence ...  the strong wish for the welfare and happiness of others ...  altruistic attitude of love and friendliness as distinguished from mere amiability based on self-interest." 

Richard's sentiments brought down my heart rate and shored up my focus for this last, hectic day before the holiday -- for which I'm grateful -- and reminded me of the many multi-significant and lovely people in my life I should also be grateful for.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Kodachrome Project (2011): The Grinch Who Keeps Stealing My Sky

Oh, fair patio.

With lovely view of the waterfront since September of last year.

Occasional summer yoga studio.  

Reliable summer party spot, among the impatiens and basil.

Frequent summer chill spot (and often insomnia hangout).

Only place I can say I've listened to both Jethro Tull live and a chorus of partygoers down the street wailing on Whitney Houston's "How Will I Know" at some early morning hour.

It is now the place where I watch construction workers hoist joists, tape wall panels together, add floors for future back-door neighbors; there has been another added in the week since this photo was taken. 

I'm kind of praying there isn't a fourth floor.

I want the chance to keep at least a couple inches of sky.

Monday, December 19, 2011

When It Won't Start: A drama in 3 days and 2 nights (and/or beyond)

Saturday, Dec. 17

1:48 p.m.  (Scene: West First Street, Southie)
Very cold.  Rehearsal starts at 2 at church (2.3 miles away).  Car does not start in kind  ... key turn produces wan vroom followed by ticking clicks, successive key turns produce even wan-er vrooms and fewer ticking clicks.  Abort driving mission.  Return to apartment, add sweatshirt, hat with ear-flaps and backpack to current outfit, pump up flat-tire on bike, pedal on down the road to be late (yet again) for rehearsal.

4:30 p.m. (Scene: Rehearsal, happy Advent music)
Still very cold.  Hands still numb from bike ride with $2 gloves.  Friends Brian and Chris listen to vocal imitation of wan vroom and clicks, assess it "might be" the starter.  Sympathies professed.  Mentally calcuate cost of new starter to be more than value of all remaining current parts of car. Recall insurance renewal is mid-January and could be not-renewed.  Brainstorm scenarios for junkyard transport and/or zipcar membership and/or investment in sub-zero biking gloves.

6:46 p.m.  (Scene: Red Line Subway Car)
Very cold and (now) very dark.  Enroute to cookie-swap party in Teele Square in Somerville, 7-dozen gingersnaps in backpack, bike propped on knees.  Text MSF to gripe; replies I should attempt complimentary battery jump from mechanic on Monday before assuming worst.  Reminded via loudspeaker of Red Line partial suspension on winter weekends and there are no trains to Davis.  Curse and question choice of high-heeled dress shoes and skirt.  Brainstorm  fastest route between Harvard and Teele Squares.

7:10 p.m.  (Scene:  "Up" Escalator, Harvard Station)
Yoga abs-of-steel engaged to counter backwards torque from bike slanting diagonally over 3 stairs, front tire jamming on one wall, back tire jamming on the opposite.  Brief view of possible death or mortal injury.  Mental note:  escalators + bike + high-heeled dress shoes = pretty dumb idea.

7:15 p.m.  (Scene: Mass Ave, Cambridge)
Twenty-mph headwind? Check.  Spongy, low-pressured back tire? Check.  Crunchy glass sound underfoot? Check. High-heeled dress shoes?  Still on.  Sub-zero biking gloves?  Not yet.

11:30 p.m. (Scene: Southie Apartment, kitchen)
Home to rehearsal (2.3 miles x 2) + Harvard to Teele Square (2.5 miles x 2) +  Broadway Station to home (1.2 miles x 2) + Temps in single digits + Still-spongy back tire + Still inappropriate shoes and gloves = f***ing cold fingers and toes.  Commence Maker's Mark cocktail.

Sunday, December 18

All Day (Scene: Back Bay and Surrounds) 
Very, very, very cold.  Very, very, very underdressed (see:  Scene: Red Line) and required to be out all day for church, shopping, concert and dinner.   (Author's Note:  Audience is allowed to smack Yours Truly upside head for not picking up parka from the drycleaner on Stuart Street, where it has been since May.)

Monday, December 19

7:15 a.m. (Scene: Southie Apartment, Interior)
Very, very cold.  Lying under 3 layers of covers, picturing moment of truth when mechanic declares car total loss.  Close eyes, hit Snooze.

8:45 a.m.  (Scene: Emerson Auto, Southie)
Mechanic hands over a portable hand-held battery charger (yes!), explaining that it should be used to start car to drive back in for the check, in one swoop eliminating tow truck fees.  Briefly want to marry mechanic.  Car indeed starts.

9:00 a.m.  (Scene: Same)
Battery deemed low-ampage and unsuitable for cold-weather starts.  Replacement suggested.  Car left with said mechanic for replacement, oil change, nervous laugh and edict:  "Call me if anything more serious shows up". 

9:30 a.m.  (Scene:  Office Chair)
Gulp extra-strength coffee and check savings account balance. Try to work.  Await call.

2:09 p.m.  (Scene: Same)
Mechanic to call any minute.  Or will he?

3:27 p.m.  (Scene: Same)
Auto shop closes at 5 p.m.  Mild ulcer forming.

4:50 p.m.  (Scene: Same)
Borderline sadistic.

5:12 p.m. (Scene: Same, Only More Sanguine)
Mechanic calls:  battery, windshield wiper, oil change,  with labor- $215.   Ask:  "Anything else?"  Hear:  "Well, it holds fluids well."  Reply: "Yeah, so about the carriage rocking [from the ostensible 3-inch layer of rust on the undercarriage from stem to stern] ....?"   Reply:  "Yeah. Well.  It's just an old car."    Proud to be the owner of a sparkling new battery in the oldest car in Southie -- which is saying something.


Friday, December 16, 2011

Christopher Hitchens: Tribute

Christopher Hitchens, the undefinable essayist critic author rhetoritician contrarian smoker-drinker brilliant world's-most-famous-atheist unapologist known for taking on both liberals and Mother Teresa and (quite famously) his own body hair, died last night from pneumonia outlying from esophageal cancer.

I have a hard time recalling any recent public figure more feted in life or in death -- a man who seemed to win respect even from those he decimated.

Reading the tributes today, and rereading many of his recent essays, I as a writer have, too, succumbed to the desire to highlight this larger-than-life icon .... even if he would have smote me dead for using such a cliched phrase to describe him.  It was this article, just weeks after his all-encompassing cancer diagnosis last summer, that cemented my respect:
Vanity Fair (CH - from September 2010):  "The notorious stage theory of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, whereby one progresses from denial to rage through bargaining to depression and the eventual bliss of “acceptance,” hasn’t so far had much application in my case. In one way, I suppose, I have been “in denial” for some time, knowingly burning the candle at both ends and finding that it often gives a lovely light. But for precisely that reason, I can’t see myself smiting my brow with shock or hear myself whining about how it’s all so unfair: I have been taunting the Reaper into taking a free scythe in my direction and have now succumbed to something so predictable and banal that it bores even me. Rage would be beside the point for the same reason. Instead, I am badly oppressed by a gnawing sense of waste. I had real plans for my next decade and felt I’d worked hard enough to earn it. Will I really not live to see my children married? To watch the World Trade Center rise again? To read—if not indeed write—the obituaries of elderly villains like Henry Kissinger and Joseph Ratzinger? But I understand this sort of non-thinking for what it is: sentimentality and self-pity. Of course my book hit the best-seller list on the day that I received the grimmest of news bulletins, and for that matter the last flight I took as a healthy-feeling person (to a fine, big audience at the Chicago Book Fair) was the one that made me a million-miler on United Airlines, with a lifetime of free upgrades to look forward to. But irony is my business and I just can’t see any ironies here: would it be less poignant to get cancer on the day that my memoirs were remaindered as a box-office turkey, or that I was bounced from a coach-class flight and left on the tarmac? To the dumb question “Why me?” the cosmos barely bothers to return the reply: Why not?"
Thanks for your indulgence and for reading the tributes of others.... words tend to fail me when presented with such a work ethic, such practicality, and someone who most excellently lived his life his way.
The New Yorker (Jane Mayer):   "Hitch lived so large, and so beyond the rules, that his mortality seems especially hard to accept. I remember the day some eighteen months ago when he told me that he was mortally ill. He had missed a few stops on his book tour, which wasn’t like him, so I called to see if he was all right. 'No,' he said frankly. 'I’m not. I have cancer.' I was so stricken for the next few days that I couldn’t get much work done. Then I noticed that during the time that I was using his illness as an excuse to procrastinate, he had himself authored a handful of brilliant pieces. I couldn’t work, but he couldn’t stop working. He was a born writer, whose irrepressible talent and verve put most of the rest of us journeymen to shame."
The New Yorker (Christopher Buckley):   "When we made a date for a meal over the phone, he’d say, 'It will be a feast of reason and a flow of soul.'  I never doubted that this rococo phraseology was an original coinage, until I chanced on it, one day, in the pages of P. G. Wodehouse, the writer Christopher perhaps esteemed above all others. Wodehouse was the Master. When we met for another lunch, one that lasted only five hours, he was all a-grin with pride as he handed me a newly minted paperback reissue of Wodehouse with 'Introduction by Christopher Hitchens.' 'Doesn’t get much better than that,' he said, and who could not agree? ..... Everything he said was brilliant. It was a feast of reason and a flow of soul, and, if the author of ‘God Is Not Great’ did not himself believe in the concept of soul, he sure had one, and it was a great soul.”
Vanity Fair (Graydon Carter):  "He wrote often—constantly, in fact, and right up to the end—and he wrote fast; frequently without the benefit of a second draft or even corrections. I can recall a lunch in 1991, when I was editing The New York Observer, and he and Aimée Bell, his longtime editor, and I got together for a quick bite at a restaurant on Madison, no longer there. Christopher’s copy was due early that afternoon. Pre-lunch canisters of scotch were followed by a couple of glasses of wine during the meal and a similar quantity of post-meal cognac. That was just his intake. After stumbling back to the office, we set him up at a rickety table and with an old Olivetti, and in a symphony of clacking he produced a 1,000-word column of near perfection in under half an hour."
The New York Times (Ian McEwan):  "The place where Christopher Hitchens spent his last few weeks was hardly bookish, but he made it his own. Close to downtown Houston is the Medical Center, a cluster of high-rises like La Défense of Paris, or London’s City, a financial district of a sort, where the common currency is illness ..... No man was ever as easy to visit in the hospital. He didn’t want flowers and grapes, he wanted conversation, and presence. All silences were useful. He liked to find you still there when he woke from his frequent morphine-induced dozes. He wasn’t interested in being ill. He didn’t want to talk about it .... And so this was how it would go: talk about books and politics, then he dozed while I read or wrote, then more talk, then we both read. The intensive care unit room was crammed with flickering machines and sustaining tubes, but they seemed almost decorative. Books, journalism, the ideas behind both, conquered the sterile space, or warmed it, they raised it to the condition of a good university library ....  at Christopher’s request, Alexander and I set up a desk for him under a window. We helped him and his pole with its feed-lines across the room, arranged pillows on his chair, adjusted the height of his laptop. Talking and dozing were all very well, but Christopher had only a few days to produce 3,000 words on Ian Ker’s biography of Chesterton. Whenever people talk of Christopher’s journalism, I will always think of this moment.   Consider the mix.  Constant pain, weak as a kitten, morphine dragging him down, then the tangle of Reformation theology and politics, Chesterton’s romantic, imagined England suffused with the kind of Catholicism that mediated his brush with fascism and his taste for paradox, which Christopher wanted to debunk. At intervals, Christopher’s head would droop, his eyes close, then with superhuman effort he would drag himself awake to type another line. His long memory served him well, for he didn’t have the usual books on hand for this kind of thing. When it’s available, read the review. His unworldly fluency never deserted him, his commitment was passionate, and he never deserted his trade. He was the consummate writer, the brilliant friend. In Walter Pater’s famous phrase, he burned “with this hard gem-like flame.” Right to the end.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Kodachrome Project (2011): (At) the start

Well, the camera has a definitive start date .... April 21, 2008. 

It has a definitive start line too ..... that of the 112th Boston Marathon.  Must have pressed a Children's Hospital teammate into service just minutes before hopping that white fence my left thumb appears to be holding up.  The first-wave runners are underway....their cast-off warm-ups littering the ground behind me.

Here's the better version, same pose, with a mystery no-numbered runner crowding me out.

Don't recall how nervous I was that day.  Do remember a specific mortification at my pale, exposed winter skin.  Remember loving those (what must have been special edition) appropriately golden Asics.  Had no idea that that rainbow bandana would not want to stay tied, or on my head, during the 26 miles to come, that I would stop to rejigger it 4 or 5 times, or photos from the finish would show it hanging off, bouncing against my neck.

I still own that damned bandana, incidentally. And wear it still; it's in my backpack this afternoon, ready to be worn for the treadmill tonight.  It has the density of a piece of Kleenex, edges shredded as if my cats had played catch with it.

It's a weird nostalgia.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

FWAB: Auf Wiedersehen (not goodbye)

My man Mitch,

who in the 5 years I've known him has

a) got himself a true love,
b) got himself hitched,
c) got himself a doctorate,

Boston University (May 2011)

d) got himself a daughter in September,

(and through it all, got himself every new release of an iPhone since January 2007),

BC/UND Hockey night (October 2007) --
 first (photo) illustration of what an iPhone could do.


e) got himself a real job. 

Unfortunately for me, it is in Maryland, which means much less common-sense shoulder-leaning advice or Minnesota Vikings griping in person.

Fortunately for him and his family, it is a new adventure capably undertaken. I trust he'll get success and happiness from it, just as he's gotten everything else he's strove for.

Auf Wiedersehen, mein Freund!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

And (60) miles to run....

... before I can rest
on January 1 and
relish in knowing
I logged
1000 (miles)
on these feet
in 2011.

Which means running
3.157 miles per day
each of the next 19 days.

Even if it's below zero, or
raining, or
Post-workplace-holiday-party-hangover Day, or
Christmas Eve in Minneapolis.

It will happen.
I want this.

(Off to knock off 5 more.)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Yes. It's that easy.

Yesterday there was a party at Balint's place. It was as good of a time as a Sunday early-cocktail hour should be. Our friend Mark, dressed in sweater vest and tie and a serious countenance, muddled oranges and maraschino cherries with sugar into pretty scrumptious Old Fashioneds. Homemade peppermint bark on the appetizer table. I won a clip-on bow tie in the Yankee Swap gift exchange.

As evening came and the crowd thinned, Balint and another friend and I shot some palinka before settling in: Balint and Mike to the couch to discuss matters of physics, reasoning and philosophy; me, to Balint's Steinway for a playing tour through Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier. I'd run through a prelude and a fugue, then break to flip pages, see what fingerings my slightly-tipsy brain could still handle .... and in the silence the boys would call out for me to keep playing, offering to toss a $20 my way for continued service. Once I got to #22, the Prelude in B-flat Minor (BWV 867), I stopped to work on it for awhile:

After that I had to stop playing because of the hour and the upstairs neighbors. The boys had moved to the breakfast table, still talking heatedly, and my buzz was still on and the air outside was still frigid and unwelcoming, so I busied myself .... bagged leftovers and put in the fridge, stacked placements, wiped the tables, swept the floor, loaded the dishwasher ... they were still talking. Finally then, acknowledging weariness, I settled in on the couch and tucked feet underneath, leaning head back for a quick doze. It was at that moment Balint seemed to first recognize I had just completed his party clean-up without him ... I heard his shuffling my way on stockinged feet, felt him settle onto the couch in front of me, hip against my hip, opened eyes as he leaned in to kiss me high on the cheek up by the ear and exclaim, "Did you do all that? That's sweet! I should marry you!"


Yes. Bach. And elbow grease. It's that easy.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Peace, Generosity

I know I've never said this before ... but damn, I did not sleep well last night. Yesterday was busy at the office and I was tense. I was thusly still tense while online Christmas shopping before leaving the office, and a vigorous run-and-row at the gym, a hot bath while downing a 3-shot bourbon cocktail, and a bowl of reheated Thanksgiving turkey soup did not take the edge off. Nor did a 90-minute chat with a (very) groggy MSF followed by perusing the The New Yorker (complete Nov. 7 edition), nor did playing Tetris on Facebook for 45 minutes before polishing the last 2 servings from a box of Kashi Go Lean and re-delving (for the third time) into Fred Emery's Watergate.  (Yeah, I agree: conspiracy and breakfast cereal at 3:30 a.m. do not exactly inspire a mind to shut down.) Woke up hard at 6:45 out of a dream where I was biking as fast as I could through the Back Bay, along the brick sidewalks of Marlborough Street, and I still could not catch the insouciant man jogging in front of me, who I know I was meant to catch, needed to catch. And thusly could not get back to sleep and could not get out of bed and didn't know how I was possibly going to manage the latter, ever, body unwilling and brain frustrated. It wasn't until I recalled how some 6 weeks ago I had similar dread of the uncertainty around me and only recovered from that dread when realizing that I have Patience Judgment Family Friends Health and my world does not really suck ass. That still holds true. And I realized I could remind myself in this season (and any time, really), that when I want to mire in a self-centered wallow I can instead tell myself to aspire to a Peace Within and a Generosity to Others ... to let go of little annoyances, to realize the ones I think aren't so little are minuscule in the grand scheme, that peace indeed can be a chosen state of mind, and that anything I can do to brighten someone else's day is an anything worth doing.

So, eventually, I got up. (I'll let you know how the rest of the day goes.)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Bachelor of the Day!

My e-mail account was pinged today by an OKC  'Hi!" courtesy of a 39-y-o man from Baghdad, Iraq: 

Not interested beyond the fact that I wondered who in Iraq was checking me out, I clicked for a peek.  He's a 59% Match (57% Friend).  He works in Computer / Hardware / Software and makes less than $20,000 a year.  He speaks English and Arabic.

He also seems to be, in another life, a 20-something woman from Virginia.
He likes long walks and being a good friend to others and enjoys driving to volunteer in his dad's office a couple times a week.  His peep-toed pumps are among the things he can't live without.  Also:
You should message me if:
- You want a new dental hygienist
- Need a gal to go to a concert with
- Need someone to talk about anything over a bottle of wine and good cheese plate
- Or....someone to potentially be a girlfriend.

Side note:  Don't let my age discourage you. I appreciate men in their 40's and 50's. In fact, some of my best friends are in that age group. Some would say I am old soul at times. Also, I don't mind traveling to NOVA... Gives me an excuse to get out of Richmond. Although, I am willing to host here as well! Lots of goodies here in Richmond.
In addition to the cleavage shot above, according to his profile pictures, he looks like this:

And this:

Incidentally:  between 6:30 p.m. when I first viewed his profile and 8:44 p.m. (now), his residence changed from Iraq to .... Bro, Finland.

Not that I am one to judge how other people productively or unproductively spend their time, but .... what the hell?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Kodachrome Project (2011)

Among the many reasons I appreciated MSF's recent visit, one such was how the occasion inspired the deep-cleaning of several places in my apartment previously invisible through layers of dust and clutter.   Not only did I organize my file of car-repair receipts by date, collate every set of tax returns since 2003, and locate my passport at the bottom of a laundry basket, I found this disposable camera in a box of miscellaneous stationary.

Seven exposures taken.   Stamp on the bottom reading  "Develop Before 07/2008."  Probably purchased in 2006.

I immediately realized I needed to find out what those 7 pictures were of.....even if just the inside of my backpack, in error.  I needed to shoot out the rest of the roll and scour the Yellow Pages to see if anyone anywhere still develops color Kodak film, since the company stopped making it in 2009.  I realized that it was a bonafide opportunity to stop and document occasions with care like the photojournalists of old -- a la the Kodachrome Project -- and examine places around the city in this season when the city is adorned and the light in the sky is low, places that I walk by every day and, because I have lived here too long, never consider as much as I should.

'Tis the season for reflection, no?

I'll take 7 days shoot and the rest of 2011 to share.  Meet me back here next Wednesday....

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


O blessed, blessed night! 
I am afeard. 
Being in night, all this is but a dream, 
Too flattering-sweet to be substantial.
-- "Romeo & Juliet" Act II, Scene 2
I was not falling asleep quickly last night and then, remembering a half-unwatched Shakespeare in Love idling on iTunes from last week, kept myself even more from falling asleep (because I can watch this movie unendingly for its cleverness and passion even after growing tired), and where I picked it up was the rolling sequence of Will writing the balcony (Act II, Scene 2) scene from Romeo & Juliet as the players are both performing it and he is living it through gauzy exchanges with his half-dressed muse Viola, and I did not of course equate this tragedy and romance with the 3 days and 2 nights just spent with MSF (and the chocolate he brought with him on the Friday-night red-eye), because the 3 days and 2 nights were rife with easeful enjoyment and Kobe sliders from Lucky's and homemade banana bread with sharp cheddar and unexpected moments of realization that after 2 months of not being face-to-face, 3 days and 2 nights of face-to-face are only slightly bittersweet and moreso only luxurious and gratifying and filling, despite the necessary end and the distance so briskly reestablished as the Monday-night sun set along with the plane taking him home, real life crashing its way back in just as quickly.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Actions speak

Got caught up last night getting my hair cut and going for a run and making banana bread and washing my kitchen floor.  Which kept me up later than I probably should have stayed up.  Which meant I was a tad tired waking up this morning.  Which is not abnormal for me.

What is abnormal is getting to the office, taking off the commuter-girl tennis shoes I wore to bike in with, and zipping up these knee-length black boots

then walking the length of my office to make a cup of coffee and pick up something from the file room before realizing that something felt a bit ... off... then realizing I had zipped the boots onto the wrong legs

In my defense, this is how they look from above, on the wrong feet. 

Not so obvious, no?

Still.  It probably should have been, sooner than I deduced.

Oh, sleep.  You necessary evil.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Birthday Shout-Out: O-Dog

Mom and Oliver -- December 1, 2010

I've written before about how much fun it is to be an aunt. 

That still holds true. 

(Even when Henry is kicking Oliver in the head and laughing about it and laughing at me for yelling ....)

I've written before too, how, more than my own birthdays (or my parents' or my sisters'), it is these little men's birthdays that make me sense and appreciate just how much life changes in one short year and, more than ever, grateful for the joy of life.

Oliver riding shotgun -- Thanksgiving 2011

Happy birthday .... my stubborn, determined, strong (and no worse-for-the-wear-from-getting-kicked-in-the-head) adorable blue-eyed boy!