Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's Raining Men Part II

Thanks for tuning in to my "It's Raining Men" series Part II. Haven't read Part I yet? Do so here.

When this International Woman of Mystery last left you, I had been telling you about the attempted. yet averted kiss from Locker Boy and had been alluding to juicy omissions I may or may have not made on this blog. I also told you that I was not done talking about boys... there is one more boy to talk about.

As for Locker Boy... well, I have yet to return his last text message to me asking me to go to the symphony with him in Boston... I know. I'm feeling bad enough. Don't rub it in.

As for the juicy omission it might be because:

a. It involves a colleague
b. It involves a guy with a girlfriend
c. It involves a lot of alcohol and is therefore a little bit blurry and non-sensical
d. It is a little bit embarrassing
e. I haven't managed to process it enough to write about it
g. It is still playing out and I realize it's either too premature to write about it or I might never be able to
h. All of the above

Moving on...

There is one last boy to make an appearance on the It's Raining Men Series... And I felt like he deserved a whole blog post in itself.

So, without further ado... INTRODUCING NOMAD BOY!!!!

Nomad Boy and I have had a long history together. Let me tell you about it...

I met Nomad Boy when I was 19. That summer I had been living on Martha's Vineyard. The final night I was there, K one of my best friend's from home, came out to visit and help me move back. She talked about going to a party where there was a guy who I would "love." I remember her describing him as a long-haired skater boy (totally my type back in those days). He was a friend of a friend from a town close to our hometown. Well, we never made it to that party and I soon forgot about the cute skater boy she was supposed to hook me up with.

I moved back home to my parent's house for the final weeks before school started again. And a couple weekends later, I went with K to a party in the town next to ours. I didn't really know the people at this party, nor did I have any idea who lived in the house. But while looking at the family pictures on the walls, I recognized a girl who I had worked with at my summer job during previous summers. However, I didn't see her at the party.

So, I'm sitting in a bedroom on the floor and suddenly this super cute long-haired skater boy walks in and points at me. "You." He says.

"Yes?" I say.

"You're that girl!"

"What girl?" I say innocently and flirtatiously - I mean this guy is seriously hot and oh-so my type!

"You're that girl on the Vineyard." He says. And suddenly it clicked - he must have been the guy my friend was telling me about...

I tried to play it coy "What girl on the Vineyard?" I asked. Anyway, we chatted for a bit and I told him that apparently I knew his sister. And we made the usual comments about small world etc. (remember this is like 1997 way pre-Facebook when degrees of separation were so less in your face and encounters like this still seemed weird and random yet meaningful).

And later on that night we found ourselves alone...

"It's so strange," he says. "You know how you make up lives for people in your head? Well, I totally did that with you. I saw you all the time on the Vineyard - you always hung out with that blond skater boy and you worked in that shop and you always wear headbands." Wow. I thought to myself, he must have been totally stalking me from afar because boy had the details down. But he was hot so I decided I was more impressed than creeped out.

"And," he continues. "I thought that you were a Vineyard girl and lived there all year long and that the blond boy was your long-term boyfriend. And then I come home from the Vineyard to find you sitting in my bedroom and find out you're from the town next to mine."

"Funny how that happens," I said. And then he kissed me. And that kiss launched the adventures of Nomad Boy and the International Woman of Mystery - a story that has dragged on for 12 years and has yet to play itself out.

I went home that night slightly tipsy and overly euphoric and I woke up my mother to tell her in a typical International Woman of Mystery over-dramatic fashion, that I had met the guy I was going to marry.*

I can't say that Nomad Boy and I ever had a serious thing. We haven't. What we've had is a series of summer flirtations and random hook ups, stolen kisses on the couch in his basement while his dad watched TV in the room above us, many steamy late night conversations, flurries of exchanged emails, gmail chats, facebook messages and (sometimes dirty) pictures. We've also had years where we haven't seen each other and we've had many "just missed" connections were we thought we would meet up, but at the last minute it didn't work out - like this summer when we had plans to meet up in San Fran but he suddenly moved to Hawaii just days before we were supposed to meet (the life of a Nomad Boy is this way I suppose).

I sometimes blame our lack of substance on the fact that Nomad Boy and I have never lived in the same place at the same time. Our colleges were nowhere near each other. And since college I've been jet setting around the world and he's been wandering around the US... But for some reason, we have managed to keep in touch all these years which in days LONG before cellphones and when Mark Zucherburg was still in diapers, this was a BIG deal. We actually had to work at staying in touch by doing things like calling eachother's parents houses to find out how to contact each other. Of course in the later years we eventually moved to email and more recently Facebook (Nomad Boy is one of those strange people without a cell phone).

So, to bring you up to the present date... A couple weeks before Thanksgiving, Nomad Boy contacts me via Facebook to tell me he's going to be around the Boston area for Thanksgiving. We were supposed to meet up last Wednesday night in Boston but in typical Nomad Boy style he cancels at the last minute (I'm proud to say that I've finally learned not to be dissapointed by him - or any boy these days). We've been in touch a bit over the holiday and today he told me that he's around in the are for the next month and is planning to come to Boston on Thursday and stay with me over the weekend. 

We will see... Nomad Boy is not really a man of his words. Nor is he to be trusted. But I can say that I would like him to come. I welcome the distraction. And I would love to see what he's up to these days.

I'll be sure to keep you posted.

This concludes the International Woman of Mystery's "It's Raining Men" series. Although it's obviously "To be continued."

So, there you go from nothing to many things. To still totally lacking anything substantial.

In the meantime, I have recently received some awesome awards from some awesome bloggers. Stay tuned for my acceptance speech and pass on of the awards.


*My mother was typically unimpressed (and annoyed that I was waking her up) but I must say that in my 32 years this is the ONE AND ONLY time the International Woman of Mystery has ever proclaimed she has found a marriable man.

Monday, November 29, 2010

It's Raining Men Part I

So, after feeling all sorry for myself about the dry spot I was going through. Things suddenly changed and now there are boys everywhere!
The first boys to enter my life were my brother and his cute friend who came through Boston last Monday night to play a show (my brother is pretty much a nomadic musician these days but that's a whole other story).

My brother felt the need to send me an email in advance that said - and I'm quoting directly from his email here: "don't attack cute friend though.  he's tall and attractive and Germanic looking and he's kinda got a gf.  ;)"

I'm happy to report that I did not "attack" his cute friend - although he was cute and tall and had a really nice smile. He was also very sick with a sniffly sneezy cold which made him definite hands-off material (although I caught the stupid cold anyway it seems).

Next up was American Boy. Remember him? Here's the deal with American Boy (as I'm sure you are wondering what the deal is - oh what? You aren't? Too bad. I'm going to tell you anyway). American Boy unfortunately managed to move from Boston to San Fransisco right about the same time I moved to Boston - another sign that any sort of relationship between us is not meant to be - no matter how awesome he is. American Boy and I actually met for dinner this summer but outside of a kiss on the check, nothing happened between us. In fact, it was so uneventful I didn't even bother blog about it. And although American boy remains the hottest, coolest, cutest boy ever... I think that we are probably going to remain in the friendship territory. Unfortunately.

Anyway, American boy caught a ride home with me Wednesday night after work. So, we battled the 3 hour day-before-Thanksgiving car ride (normally 1.5 hours) together and spent the time chatting, catching up and listening to good music. It was actually kind of fun to drive with him. I tell you... he is really the perfect boy.

Being in my hometown brought forth lots more boys. On Friday night - Black Friday (btw - can someone pleas tell me when this became such a big deal? And wtf is cyber Monday? Clearly, I've been away too long), I met up with 4 boys from high school at the local pub in the town where we grew up. And although we are 14 years out of high school (damn we're old - although the bar tender did pull me aside to ask me if I really graduated with them because I look "way better" and "way younger" then them - I kid you not. I can't make this stuff up), it took about 5 minutes of conversation before it felt like we had never left high school as our conversation immediately regressed to high school immaturity levels.

And as sometimes happens when you catch up with the boys from highschool on Black Friday and find yourself as the only girl of the group, "handjobs" naturally became the the main topic of conversation. How does this even come up as a topic you ask? What is there to even say about handjobs when you are in your 30's? I have no idea... But that's how it goes with these boys.

So, handjobs was a recurring theme throughout the night. Awesome. And I kept telling them to be quiet since they were yelling the word handjob in really loud voices and I was embarrassed since I felt like the entire bar could hear or totally inappropriate conversation. Which come to think about it is probably why they talked about this particular subject for so long... I was giving them the total reaction they wanted. See? Just like high school. Awesome.

The other topic of the night was farting - but that's kind of the norm for one of those guy friends who has always (and I mean ALWAYS - I've known him since we were three years old) been abscessed with flatulence (high school friends who read this blog - take a BIG guess who I'm talking about). But what really amazes me is how this guy can bring farting into any type of conversation. And what's even more amazing that we have all known him for years but he still manages to make us laugh with the absolute outrageousness of his farting comments. For example, I was showing him a picture from a mutual friend's wedding this summer and he looks at a picture of the Groom and goes. "I bet he rips big juicy ones!" I mean who SAYS that? And who is even thinking that when they are looking at beautiful wedding pictures?

Alright. Enough potty talk. Sorry about that. Moving on...

One of the boys in the high school group was Locker Boy - who I have not seen since our kayaking adventure a month or so back although have been in some contact via text. Locker Boy actually picked me up and delivered me back home after the bar escapade. Upon dropping me off at my parents, Locker Boy made his move and tried to tried to kiss me (something I should have seen coming) and I politely declined by turning my cheek (seriously - this also felt like high school all over again - yes high school readers stop laughing and DO NOT tell him about this blog). Then I felt terrible... (and I kind of feel bad about blogging about this - I deleted this passage and then decided that I had to put it back in cuz this blog is supposed to be about boys and lately I'm omitting too much of the juicy stuff - more on that later... maybe -sometimes I can't don't tell you everything that's going on). I Especially felt bad when he texted me a really sweet message the next day apologizing for trying to make a move and telling me he hoped it wouldn't be awkward between us and asking to hang out again.

But that is not all... don't you worry. There are even more boys around that I'm going to tell you about. But as to not run the risk of writing a very LOOOONG post, I've decided to cut it into two parts.

You will have to come back tomorrow to read the next chapter in this International Woman of Mystery's "It's Raining Men" series.

I'm out. I'm going to work on over decorating my awesome new apartment for Christmas. If you are lucky there will be some pictures coming at you soon!

See you tomorrow.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

My First American Thanksgiving (since 2002)

Photo courtesy of Zwani.com

So, this is the International Woman of Mystery's first Thanksgiving in the US since 2002 - when I was home briefly between living in Bali and living in China.

I wish I could say that I was so happy to be back and celebrating this great American tradition. And I am happy to be back in many ways.

But mostly, today, I felt lonely, underwhelmed, and out-of-place.

First of all, the holidays are often a bit tough and lonely when you are single. There is no special person  who you look forward to spending a long cozy weekend with. Who can brighten up an ordinary day or holiday as the case my be, and make it wonderful. There is no one causing you to look forward to the holiday just because you know that no matter what, just sharing it with them will make it special and fun and just perfect.

Adding to this sense of loneliness, my family is rather small - so they don't really fill the void that being without a partner creates. Although I have various Aunts and Uncles and cousins, they are scattered about the US and we don't tend to spend holidays together.

My immediate family is my mother, my father, my brother and I. Growing up, we celebrated most holidays with my grandparents (mostly the ones on my father's side). Sometimes our cousins would join for a big dinner at my grandparent's house. But often it was just the 6 of us. But my grandmother - who was the one who made holidays so festive and special - passed away a couple years ago (and is missed by me every single day) and my grandfather is now in the nursing home.

We are now in that phase of life where grandparents are no longer around and neither children nor even significant others (for my brother and I) have yet to arrive (perhaps in my family they never will). And let me tell you holidays suddenly have become rather sad and lacking in some sort of magical spirit that only the very young or the very old can bring to the holidays. Without my grandparents around, holidays have stopped being so special and magical.

My mother is not a big holiday person -and neither is my father. And although they did a great job at making the holidays meaningful when we were younger, as we got older, it was my grandparents who made the holidays special and festive and preserved the traditions. In other words, once the holidays stopped being about the children, they started to be about the grandparents. And in a natural cycle of life, once the grandparents are no longer around, ideally there are children around to fill the void and the cycle continues - but since neither my brother nor I are planning to push out babies anytime soon.... well, we have interrupted the natural cycle and this leads to a very unsatisfactory feeling during the holidays.

And let me tell you, I'm the kind of person who LOVES holidays! There is no 'Ba-humbug' here.  I can see myself in the future as the crazy lady who always invites the entire extended family over to her way too over-decorated house to over-indulge in lots of holiday goodies and goes totally way over the top every time - and loves it!

So, as I mentioned, my first Thanksgiving back in the US was rather underwhelming. My brother decided not to come home for Thanksgiving (despite being in Boston on Monday - he is now in DC playing music). My Aunt who was supposed to visit but got sick and didn't come. My father, my mother and I drove 2 hours (and then 3 hours back) to see my grandfather in the nursing home where we had bland stuffing and mashed potatoes and dry turkey. The best part about the meal was the gravy.

No. Of course the best part was being with my parents and my grandfather (don't get me wrong, I'm very thankful that my grandfather is still around and that I could be with him on this day and I wouldn't have it any other way). But let's face it spending Thanksgiving at a nursing home is never ideal and I couldn't help but feel  a little sad. I couldn't help but miss my grandmother. I couldn't help but reminisce about Thanksgivings past when my grandfather was young and healthy and would proudly cut the turkey and say grace (he is so much the same but at the same time so different than he used to be and sometimes it breaks my heart). I couldn't help but feel envious of friends and colleagues who were participating in large happy Thanksgiving dinners full of lots of family and friends as we sat at a lonely table in the nursing home cafeteria choking down dry turkey and screaming across the table at each other so that my grandfather (who is hard of hearing) can hear us.

It's funny because while living abroad, every year I definitely missed Thanksgiving and was sad not to be at home with my family. But this year, I found myself missing Europe - especially Sweden. I even found myself missing Swedish food! Cranberry sauce is just so similar to lingonberry sauce (a typical Swedish dish - if you are interested to try it, just go to Ikea and get the meatballs, it will come on the side) and I found myself wishing it tasted more like lingon (and laughing at myself because I remember the first time I had lingonberry sauce, I wanted it to be more like cranberry sauce).

And I found myself thinking that the Thanksgiving spread is nothing compared to a typical Swedish Christmas smorgasbord! If I had to choose, I would choose the Swedish julbord (Christmas table) over Thanksgiving any day. But I remember those first years in Sweden that I spent thinking that Swedish holiday food just didn't live up to American holiday food. I wonder when my point of reference changed? It was so gradual. I didn't notice it at all. One day I just felt more Swedish than American I guess...

I also have spent some time today reminiscing about Thanksgiving days spent abroad. Of course I was always working on Thanksgiving day and for the most part, Thanksgiving was a non-event. But I do remember each year recognizing the fact that it was Thanksgiving and thinking about that throughout the day.

I remember the year in China where we had great plans to either order in (you could literally order in a Thanksgiving dinner from the American store) a Thanksgiving dinner or go out to eat. But we started drinking right after work and this lead to us ordering pizza which led to us drinking bijao (Chinese rice wine - NEVER a good idea, trust me on this one), and then going to a karaoke bar and belting out American songs totally wasted.

I remember at least 2 Thanksgivings where I had big work dinners in Stockholm. I remember the Europeans toasting me and the other Americans because it was Thanksgiving. I remember wishing I was having turkey rather than salmon. I remember a Thanksgiving spent mostly on a plane back from Moscow. I remember a Thanksgiving where I had take-out Thai food. I remember a Thanksgiving where I ordered a turkey panini from the Cafe down the street and lit a candle and had a glass of wine and sat alone in my apartment wishing I was in the US. I remember last year in London going to a friend's house where this British guy cooked the most awesome Thanksgiving dinner for his American girlfriend and her American friends.

And while this year, I'm thankful for many things - including my family, my grandfather, my friends in the US and all around the world, my new life in Boston, my health, the fact that I have a great job, my awesome new apartment...

I've decided that this will be my last Thanksgiving in the US until I have children. A four day weekend for a holiday I find that I don't care about too much anymore, is way too good to waste. Next year, I'm jumping on a plane to Europe or Latin America or Africa or wherever I feel is interesting (probably Sweden).

And someday, if I ever settle down and find a husband and have children, then no matter where I live in the world, I'm going to throw a HUGE Thanksgiving dinner for all my friends and relatives and make sure that it's a bright and happy and fun-filled day!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sometimes Being Single Isn't All That Bad

I recently read a blog post that resonated strongly with me. So, much so that I couldn't have said it better myself so I'm going to re-post.

Thank you Lucky Girl over at How Very Lucky for writing such an awesome list to remind me (and all the other awesome single gals of the world) of why it's not so bad to be single. I needed this as lately I've been bemoaning the fact that I'm without a man and I've been busy making a mental list of the opposite sort - all the reasons I wish I had a man.

Check it out and definitely get on over and visit her awesome blog as well! And let me know what you think. Do you agree with this list? Have anything to add?
  1. Everything in my apartment is mine.
  2. The only person who goes through my stuff is me.
  3. With the exception of the occasional cleaning lady mishap, my stuff stays where I put it.
  4. Often, this is my closet, which I don’t have to share.
  5. I can snore without consequence, and, conversely, not be kept awake by another who does.
  6. A similar principle applies to farting.  Yes.  Girls pass gas, too.
  7. I can hit snooze 6 times without making anyone angry.
  8. I can hog all the blankets, and all the bed.
  9. Morning breath?  What morning breath?  If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it…
  10. I never have to wait for the shower.
  11. My toilet seat is never in the wrong position.
  12. I can take as long as I want to get ready.
  13. No one uses my razor on their face.
  14. No one does the dishes after I cook.  But no one complains if I don’t do them, either.
  15. The only ones whining about food are my cats. (this one doesn't exactly apply to me yet, although I'm seriously considering getting a kitten).
  16. I don’t have to clean up anyone’s mess but my own. 
  17. I can play the music of my choice, at the volume of my choice, any time of my choice.
  18. I can have quiet, alone time anytime I want it.
  19. I never have to fight for the remote control.
  20. This means that sports is never on my TV.  Unless the Steelers are playing.
  21. I can go home with whomever I want.
  22. Or not go home with whomever I want.
  23. Three words: More. Sexual. Variety. Three more: Possibly. More. Sex.
  24. I never have to fake an orgasm, I can give them to myself daily.  And I never have “headaches”.
  25. Extra garlic, please.
  26. I can flirt wildly and without restraint.
  27. But maybe not after all the extra garlic.
  28. My friends all get along with my other half.  Because my other half is currently me.
  29. I can take care of myself.
  30. I have worked hard for and earned everything that I have.
  31. No marriage penalty tax.
  32. I don’t have to check anyone’s schedule before deciding on my own.
  33. Ladies night is every night.
  34. I can, and often do, go out every night of the week.
  35. I have more free time, for myself, my friends, and generally doing things that I enjoy.
  36. I am free to travel where and when I like.
  37. I don’t have to concern myself with what anyone else’s mother thinks.
  38. I can always spend holidays with my family.
  39. And…I put my happiness where it ought to be: First.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

What a Week!

I have not managed to get myself back on the dating horse here in Boston (I'm thinking this might be a project for Thanksgiving - to sign up for some dating sites and switch over my dating profile). But never fear! The life of an International Woman of Mystery is NEVER dull.

Let me tell you a little bit about my week.

Here is an executive summary of what went downn this week in the life of an International Woman of Mystery:

I did over 200 pushups. I did hundreds of sit ups. I sprinted up and down hills. I skipped Boot Camp due to the rain. But still managed to get to Boot Camp despite lots of drinks and shots the night before. I saw the Bruins win. I watched the Celtics loose. I learned what a hat trick is. I drank way too much Blue Moon beer. I drank way too much champagne on Saturday night. I discovered the burrito place down the street and ate burritos every single day (yes, I really did). I woke up with a hangover on Saturday but still managed to throw an awesome housewarming party. I worked a lot. I socialized with work people a lot. I texted my boss to tell him I thought my colleagues were hot I was the victim of a work practical joke...

And now for the details:

Being the insane person that I am, I have continued to torture myself with week number two of 6 am Boot Camp.  Although I will admit that even the International Woman of Mystery is not superhuman, I totally skipped it on Wednesday when the alarm went off at 5:30 in the morning and I could hair the sound of the rain POURING even over my white noise machine and the loud buzzing noise outside my bedroom window (I have mentioned this noise a few times now - it is unfortunately the downside of my new apartment). I can't say it's gotten any easier to get up in the morning but I do feel good about doing it (even though it makes me hungry and cold for the rest of the day - oh and tired. So very tired).
This week I got a re-introduction to the Boston sports scene in a BIG way! My company has box seats to the Garden for the Celtics and Bruins (how awesome is that)? So, on Thursday night I went to the Bruins game and Friday night I went to the Celtics game!

The Bruins game was exciting as it featured a hat trick - the same guy scored 3 goals. I found this out when I asked someone why everyone was throwing their hats on the ice! Look at all these things I'm learning.

Sporting events to to involve a lot of beer and as I live and work in walking distance of the Garden, it was way too convenient to go out for drinks after the game despite the fact that I tried to plead out of it. Drinks for some reason led to shots (I can't even remember the last time I did a shot on a weeknight).

So, needless to say that Friday morning Boot Camp (yes, I did make it) was not a lot of fun. Especially when the trainer seemed to be in a big bad mood and made us do hill sprints and over 200 push ups (obviously done the girlie way on our knees) and various other torturous exercises in the what was the hardest Boot Camp yet!

The Celtics unfortunately did not bring it the same way the Bruins did and ended up loosing by 4 points. But at the game I learned what little pranksters the guys I work with are (I'm working with mainly men in a technical environment so I guess it shouldn't surprise you). No one is safe from them. I know better than to leave my computer unlocked when I get up from my desk (or random emails and embarrassing emails will be sent). But after a few beers, I wasn't paying attention and had left my un-password protected phone laying around. Luckily one of my female colleagues managed to rescue my phone before any damage was done and remind me to keep my phone in a safe place at all times.

But even with that reminder, I fell victim to a little practical joke that I should have seen coming a mile away. 

Since I'm working with mobile in my new job and since I'm working in a rather geeky tech environment, there is often a lot of discussion about mobile phones. There is a definite ongoing Android vs. Iphone discussion. I won't bore you with all the details. But I need to explain this to get to the next point.

So my rather Cute co-worker has an Android phone and rather than typing, you can kind of just drag your fingers over the keys without lifting them and the words will appear. It looks very strange. I had seen him do this in meetings and was wondering how hard it was to do. So, he opened his phone and started a blank text message and showed me how to do it.

He wrote: This is a text message
Then I wrote the following very uncreative sentence: This is International Woman of Mystery. I am at a Celtics game with Cute Co-worker now.*
Then our prankster colleague came up to see what we were doing and wrote: Prankster colleague is hot according to International Woman of Mystery. Have a good night.

And then of course he immediately sent this text message TO MY BOSS!

So this message from Cute Co-worker's phone randomly went to my new boss.

This is a text message. This is International Woman of Mystery. I am at a Celtics game with Cute Co-worker now. Prankster Colleague is hot according to International Woman of Mystery. Have a good night.

Needless to say I was pretty embarrassed. But apparently my boss is used to them doing such things as he immediately texted back to say that Cute Co-worker should know better than to leave his phone around when Prankster colleague is there. Still it was embarrassing for such an incriminating and unnecessary text to be sent with my name all over it. Oh well. Lesson learned. I need to watch those guys all the time!

Saturday night I had a kick-ass housewarming party at my new apartment! I invited old and new colleagues and friends and we filled up my apartment and drank way too much. I was super excited that many of my college roommates showed up even though many live out of state. It was great to see them! Although way way too much champagne and wine have made Sunday pretty miserable especially since I had a lot of cleaning to do.

So, that was my week. How was your week? Are you looking forward to the long weekend ahead as much as I am? I have lots of things going on this week. I will be sure to tell you all about them soon.

*Obviously real names were used

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Desperately Seeking a Man

So, at this point, I'm pretty much in a dry spell when it comes to men - it feels like it's been weeks since I've even flirted with a man. Correction - it HAS been weeks. The last man of interest in my life was THE WRITER and that was in London in September! And usually this doesn't bother me, but with the move and all, I've been noticing more than usual that I'm alone and kind of wishing I had someone there to fill in the lonely spaces and to help with the heavy lifting (emotional and physical) of the move. Let's face it moving is LONELY. It would be way more fun to do it with a special someone else.

So, with this thought in the back of my head, for the past couple weeks, I've been composing a list of the reasons why this International Woman of Mystery is suddenly desperately seeking a man.

Desperately Seeking a Man

To help carry all the boxes up the stairs (I promise to help - I swear).

To live in my apartment with me and split the exorbitant rent for the closet-like awesome space.

To hold my hand as we walk through the gaslight streets and discover the charming neighborhood of Beacon Hill with me.

To go for long runs with me on the Charles River.

To drive my car around Boston and hopefully do a better job at navigating the city than I do.

To discuss the apartment and help me decide which furniture would go best.

To go with me to pick out furniture for the apartment.

To help me build the furniture and recognize quickly when I am inevitably building things wrong (because I am too impatient to follow directions) and suggest I do it the right way before I "finish" it and then have to take it all apart and start over.

To step in and take over anything involving a hammer and nails as soon as he sees that I hammer every single nail in completely crooked.

To take the lead with anything involving 'tools.' Actually, he should probably ban me from using tools all together. It's not pretty.

To help with the emotional side of the move and the super life changes I'm going through.

To help me re assimilate to the US and remind me that it's ok to give up my jet-set life for awhile.

To tell me that when I'm ready to resume my jet-set lifestyle, that he will accompany me.

To go with me to pick out a kitten. And to clean the litter box help take care of the kitten.

To share the cost of my awesome car that I so do not need since I can walk to work in 15 minutes - note that in return, the boyfriend can drive the car all he wants as long as he sometimes will drive me somewhere...

To help with all the long "to-do" list associated with moving like setting up utilities, paying bills, switching the registration on your car, talking to your insurance, getting a Beacon Hill parking pass...

To cuddle with me at night and tell me that everything is going to be all right.

To listen to me talk about my new job and provide various other emotional support.

To reassure me that I'm awesome and cute when I'm feeling insecure.

To tell me I'm beautiful even when I'm not wearing any makeup.

To tell me that 6 am Boot Camp is already paying off (even though as far as I can tell the only result I'm seeing is uber-tiredness all the time).

To sit with me in front of the fire place and drink wine on a cozy night in.

To go out and party with me and my friends on a crazy night out.

To cook us dinner in our new kitchen (I have yet to turn on the stove or oven - actually, I just realized that I don't even own any pots or pans which leads me to the next point)

To buy us some pots and pans and wine glasses, and utensils and all the other things that are still "missing" in the apartment because I ran out of money motivation to buy them myself.

To buy a television and install it (this isn't high on my priority list but I feel like a boyfriend would make sure it happened).

To cuddle up on the couch with me and watch movies on the television (obviously he will have also figured out how to stream Net Flix).

To bring to the apartment some kind of video game system and sometimes let me play it with you (I secretly like video games in moderation and when played with boyfriends) and not to complain when I make him play Sing Star or Making the Band with me.

To help me host an awesome housewarming party tonight.

So, if you know any hot TALL Boston boys who favor skinny jeans, hate khakis, do not shop at Brooks Brothers, and are super smart, nice, tolerant, funny, interesting, love to travel and would consider living abroad, like cats, are strong and love to cuddle... well, please tell them about the International Woman of Mystery and send them over to Beacon Hill!

Monday, November 15, 2010

My Apartment

So, I figured I would share with you some pictures of the mistress in my life. The reason that I have not had time for you lately. The thing that has been keeping me way to busy to blog

The good news is that my apartment now has enough furniture now to be livable and to feel like home! And most of my stuff is unpacked although I have a couple boxes in the closet that still need unpacking. So, hopefully I can stop totally stressing about it and get back to blogging.

Obviously my apartment is not yet complete. I still need to get some more furniture for the living room. I think I need a desk, some kind of eating table and maybe a chair. I probably need a shelf or storage space of some kind since I still have boxes in the closet of things that don't yet have a "home."

I also need a rug and stuff for the walls. Although not a big TV fan, I probably will get a television at some point, especially since the wall mount for one is already installed.

I also have ordered two more stools for the counter (the one in the pictures is one my parents brought from home because they felt bad that I had no furniture).

The pillows on the couch are so not right. I have to find more appropriate ones. The problem is that the couch has very low arms and is therefore not very comfortable to "curl up" on (do not buy a couch with low arms - trust me), so the couch needs lots of pillows - just not those pillows...

Anyway, I'm ready to show you it now. So, here it is... my new apartment in its current state. Let me know what you think.

Kitchen and living room area
Couch with the bad pillows and the $20 Ikea coffee table I bought to be "temporary" but that I kinda like

Kitchen Area



Bedroom and my awesome walk-in closet that actually has a washer and dryer over to the left-hand side

Does this seem like a pretty good apartment for an International Woman of Mystery? What should I do to improve it? Any suggestions on the rest of the furniture for the living room?

Hope your week is off to a GREAT start. Happy Monday!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Random Updates from an International Woman of Mystery

So, since I haven't had much time to blog lately, there is a lot I need to update you all on - including my Halloween adventure and costume choice!

So, this blog is going to totally lack any structure (as if my normal posts are so full of structure anyway) and I'm just going to tell you what's been going on and what's on the mind of this International Woman of Mystery!

So, here are my random updates:

On Halloween

The costume choice for Halloween ended up being...Drumroll please....

So, the vintage won out over the sexy firewoman - but mostly because I got the costume on and couldn't be bothered to change again. Both were pretty good outfits and Crazy Sexy Friend S was not very helpful as she liked them both too and made me change them back and forth until I got tired and went with the Nurse one because that was what was on!

Halloween weekend ended up being fun but not really over-the-top. Actually, I found it pretty overwhelming to be out and about and meeting new people and trying to adjust to American culture - especially after a long week at work of trying to remember names.

Friday at work was total Halloween madness. Some of my colleagues were in full on furry animal suits! Yikes!

I decided to do my part in dressing up. I wore a white dress and a halo and wings and my colleague wore devil horns and we were The Forces of Good and Evil. It worked and was kind of cute. At least that's what people told us.

The day was full of candy and sugar highs and culminated in a Halloween parade and costume competition followed by drinks at the bar. The bar was packed and I stayed for awhile drinking with colleagues whose names I for the most part couldn't remember, before heading out to another bar to dance to some live music. I made my way home around midnight - totally exhausted.

And the next day I woke up with a HANGOVER. Ugh. That's what happens when you drink 5 beers and do not eat dinner. A late afternoon run shook away most of the hangover. And then it was time to get ready for Halloween take II.

Crazy Sexy Friend S went hiking on the day of the party and managed to twist her ankle. So she was not in top form. Crazy Sexy Friend S lives in South Boston (aka Southie) so I went over to her hood. We started off at a pretty low key house party which was nice but there were not too many people there - and definitely no hotties.

We then moved on to a crazy huge party at a certified bachelor pad. This apartment was home to 5 men and had an HUGE INDOOR pool. It was a scene for sure. Lots of people. Lots of crazy with people cannonballing into the pool. But Crazy Sexy Friend S wanted to leave. And she kept asking me if I was having fun. And while the scene was interesting, it's kind of hard to really have "fun" when you don't know anyone and you know your friend wants to leave. So, we decided to call it a night.

On 6 am Boot Camp Class

Because it's totally normal that when you are in the middle of a move and feeling a bit out-of-shape that you sign up for a 16 session 6 am boot camp class to whip you back into shape. Oh wait? It's not normal? It's in fact absolutely insane? Oh yeah... Right. I wish someone had told me that BEFORE I payed $250 to be tortured every morning.

It hasn't helped that it rained poured 2 of the 4 mornings so far. On the first day, it was absolutely pouring down and really windy. As I lay on the cold wet ground doing sit ups with the rain splashing on my face... well, let's just say that I couldn't wait to come back the next day! ha ha...

Actually, it's not that bad. Physically it's challenging - but in a good way. Nowhere near as hard as the British Military Fitness I attended in London (which was good - I have back problems and as they didn't emphasize form or structure, I was too afraid of getting hurt).

And it's good for me to actually do something for myself. Since I have graduated college and started working for The Company, I have never ever done something like take a class. With my crazy work and travel schedule, I wasn't able too. Life was too unstable. So, I'm happy to be doing something for myself. Let's just hope the results pay off!

What was not such a good idea was starting this AND moving at the same time. Moving is rather physically challenging - especially since I live on the third floor. My body is so sore and exhausted right now. Friday was awesome because I actually got to sleep in. I never thought that sleeping until 8 am would feel like sleeping late!
Week one done - just 3 more weeks to go! Next week class meets every single week day!

On So Not Being a Morning Person

The most challenging thing about the Boot Camp is the fact that I'm so not a morning person! I never go to bed before midnight. I often don't go to bed until 2 am. I don't have to be at work until 9 and as I live close to work, this means I can get up at 8, or at the earliest 6:30 if I want to go for a run (although admittedly I tend to reach for the snooze button rather than my running shoes - which is why I'm torturing myself with the Boot Camp as it forces me out of bed).

So, getting up at 5:25 to be at Boston Commons by 6 fully dressed and stretched is a difficult one!

So, because of these EARLY mornings, I should really be in bed by 10 or 11 at the latest. But with all my trips to Ikea and building furniture and unpacking boxes, this has been a total FAIL this week. And therefore at work I've been completely exhausted yawning and barely able to keep my eyes open. Not fun! I really need to get myself on the early morning schedule!

However, it is kind of nice to be up that early. I'm back at my apartment by 7:10 and I can sit and have a coffee and read the news blogs and not have to worry about rushing around. I even managed to put together some Ikea furniture before work!

And as the work out is done in the mornings, I have my evenings free - which is nice. I can now meet people for drinks after work without feeling guilty about not going to the gym.

On living in America again

The transition is harder than I thought in some ways and easier than I thought in others.

I don't think it's hit me yet that I'm here for good. I still feel like I'm on vacation. And I've been so focused on the move and getting settled, that I haven't really been living. I have hardly been out of my apartment or office besides my trips to Ikea and Target. I haven't had any chance at all to explore Boston or the nightlife.

I have to say though that when I have a quick moment to reflect, I feel desperately homesick for Europe. I miss my friends and I feel far away from them.

I'm afraid that when all the manic craziness of the move is over, that I'm going to look around and want to pack up and leave again.

On the other hand, there are lots of nice things about being home as well. Boston is a beautiful city. And I have a pretty nice life here. My office is great. Life is comfortable. I have more friends around then I thought... It's pretty easy to live in the US (once you get past all the moving bull shit). Although I have never been one to go for "easy."

On my new neighborhood: Beacon Hill

This might be one of the most charming neighborhoods in the world! I can't wait to explore it more. But the gaslight streets and tiny brick roads make it seem so cozy and cute. And what a great location. Walking distance to everything in Boston! Whole Foods (the best and unfortunately the most expensive store ever) is right across the street. And it only takes me 15 mins to walk to work (bonus exercise) - good thing I bought that new car!

On the loudness of city living

The only downside is that it's LOUD living in the city. My apartment in London was really quiet.

In addition to the loud constant buzzing noise from a generator on the roof of the store next door, there is also a fire station less than a block down the street. So, the wailing of fire engines is now incorporated into the daily background noise of my life.

And speaking of fires and loud noises, I learned the hard way that the fan must be when you take a hot shower or else the fire alarm WILL go off. There is nothing like loud obnoxious beeping first thing in the morning when you are naked and soaking wet!

On Downsizing from a big two-bedroom to a tiny one-bedroom apartment

This is no fun at all. My London apartment was about twice the size of my new Beacon Hill one! Last Tuesday, moving men delivered 43 boxes from London. I could hardly even fit the boxes into the apartment. Luckily Super Dad came to the rescue and helped me unpack and put together the couch that was delivered. And I sent a whole carload of "stuff" home with him (much to my Mother's dismay).

On Ikea

Well, I've hardly had any time to miss Sweden since I've practically been LIVING at Ikea!

Seriously, that place sucks you in. I have been there 3 times in the past week.

And then you get the furniture home and you have to spend hours BUILDING it! I finally finished the last piece of furniture I had to build yesterday. My apartment now has a full  bedroom set plus a couch thanks to Ikea.

But at least my visits to Ikea got me a good dose of Sweden with some Swedish meatballs, mashed potatoes and lingon berries. Yum!

On Dating

Moving alone is lonely. More than ever, I'm ready to find a man. Since the Hot British Writer (who I still think about way too much btw), I've been in a bit of a dry spell. I definitely feel like I'm missing intimacy at the moment.

However... the sad sad thing is, that I have not seen one attractive man since I've been home! I know. I know. I haven't exactly had time to be out on the prowl... but in Stockholm (the land of beautiful men), I would see hot men everywhere. The walk to work alone was great for hottie spotting!

As soon as I can manage to get settled, I need to switch my Match.com account back over to the American version and line up some dates (another good thing about working out in the morning, I have evenings free to do social things - once I get my apartment settled that is).

I'm also hoping that I'm Attractive Single Friend C will soon take me out on the town and teach me the Boston tricks!

Alright. I could go on forever. But I think that's enough of my random updates for now. I hope you all feel caught up on the life of an International Woman of Mystery.

Come back tomorrow for pictures of my new apartment!

Monday, November 8, 2010

An International Woman of Mystery's Awesome Guide to the Do and Do NOTS of moving

Guess what?

I'm baaaack!!!! Yay! I never meant to be away for so long. Moving is very very hard. Let me tell you. But I'm happy to say that I now have an apartment. And it even has a few pieced of furniture in it. Tomorrow I have 40 boxes (and no idea where I am going to put them) being delivered from London so I will finally have all my stuff! I will also get a couch delivered tomorrow.

I just have to say that these last couple weeks have been REALLY REALLY hard. I can't wait to put this all behind me and start living and enjoying life again and blogging on a regular basis. I have missed you all so much!

I have so much to update you all on. But let's start with a list that will give you some major insight as to what has been going on in my life.

The International Woman of Mystery's Guide to the DO's and DO NOTS of moving

Do NOT think that moving will be easy. Do not even think that it will not be that hard. Tell yourself it's going to suck and make sure you set your expectations right from the beginning.

DO try to keep a positive attitude even when it seems that life is working against you in every single way possible

If possible, DO NOT start a new job that is hard and difficult at the SAME time as you are moving. This will make your life very difficult.

DO NOT think that you will get a good deal (aka cheap apartment) in Beacon Hill.

DO NOT think that your Beacon Hill apartment will be big. It will not be. In fact you do not even want to calculate the rent per square foot. It might make you cry.

DO NOT constantly compare the small small one bedroom Beacon Hill apartment to your huge two bedroom London flat.

DO realize that your Beacon Hill apartment is actually nicer than your London one... just a LOT smaller.

DO be thankful for your walk in closets - remind yourself how rare this is in Beacon Hill (and try not to dwell on how much it all costs).

When looking at apartments, DO take note of important things like the fact that there is a loud generator outside of the bedroom window that creates a loud buzzing sound that is enough to drive you absolutely insane and will ensure that you will never ever be able to open the window. DO NOT sign a lease without checking up on that shit more than once!

DO NOT stress too much about it when you realize that the living room windows in your apartment look DIRECTLY into the windows of one of your married male colleagues (yes, awesome things like this happen to me).

DO take a strong note that you had better keep those shades locked down!

DO NOT expect that moving into an apartment that has NO furniture at all will be anything like moving into a completely furnished apartment. Believe me, it's a whole new ball game.

DO NOT sign up for a 6 am boot camp class (every single morning) when you are in the middle of a move.

DO NOT think that you will be able to have any form of a personal life or social life while you are in the middle of a move.

DO try to blog but do NOT beat yourself up if you cannot manage it because you are so tired that it's all you can do to keep your eyes open when you realize that it's midnight and you are nowhere near done with your to-do list and you think about opening up your computer but realize that nothing good is going to flow from your fingers to your blog. Seriously. Don't feel guilty. (I'm still working on this one).

DO ask your friends for help.

DO make sure you have a LOT of money. Moving is freaking crazy expensive.

DO have a really awesome friend like I'm Attractive Single Friend C who let's you stay at her place for a very long time and takes trips with you to Ikea and offer you lots moral support

DO have awesome parents who will help you in your time of need.

DO set a time limit for your Ikea trip. That store is MASSIVE. You could live there. Or at least stay there for forever.

DO have a list when going to Ikea - focus, focus, focus.

DO NOT go to Ikea 1 hour before it closes and expect to get a lot done (although I might have set a world record for being in and out in an hour with a full bedroom set

DO expect and plan to go back to Ikea more than once... It happens.

When the man delivering the mattress tells you that there is just no way he is going to get it up the stairs and is generally just being mean to you, DO start to cry. Believe me if there are enough tears, he will get that mattress up the stairs just to shut you up.

Do NOT expect any delivery or assembly men to come anywhere NEAR the time they tell you they are going to be there. Be prepared to wait around the house the ENTIRE weekend.

DO right mean yelp reviews of companies like Urban Express who really messed up your life by making a prisoner in your furniture-less apartment all weekend while you stood (because there is no furniture to sit on) around waiting for them to arrive for hours and hours just to finally find out (after you called them 5 times) that they will not make it until tomorrow - and then repeat the whole process.

DO NOT use the company Urban Express which is the company the Ikea in Stoughton, Ma uses for deliveries and assemblies (the delivery was ok, the assembly was a nightmare - I waited for the guys for about 10 hours in total and waited on the phone for 45 minutes talking to incompetent staff each of the 12 times I had to call them to check where the assembly guys were).

DO grin and bear it when the delivery men and assembly men call you "cute" nicknames like "beautiful" and "honey" - decide that if it makes them get shit done faster, it's worse a little degradation

DO try to see the humor in everything even when all you really want to do is cry and cry and cry

DO let yourself have a major breakdown on a Friday night when it all seems impossible and your are so miserable in your furniture-less apartment in a new city and are so homesick for Europe and your friends there.

DO try to wake up with a more positive attitude on Saturday morning

DO NOT think that you will not need a winter jacket in Boston in November. DO pack this in your things you are bringing with you.

DO NOT think that you will not need summer running clothes in Boston in October. Do remember that sometimes it is 70 degrees one day and 30 degrees the next day.

DO NOT think too much about Europe and all your friends there who you miss so much.

DO NOT freak out when you pull the Ikea furniture out of a box and you end up with 300 small pieces. This is normal. Take a deep breath. And then begin the long assembly process.

DO know that building Ikea furniture has a big learning curve. It does get easier. Although not that much easier.

DO NOT make fun of your father when he wears dorky knee pads to put together your furniture. DO remember that he is there to help.

DO covet your fathers kneepads (although still wonder why he needed to put them on in the street OUTSIDE your apartment where he then has to walk two blocks with them on) when you have been kneeling for 4 hours putting together furniture on the hardwood floor and have massive bruises on your knee

DO consider asking your father if you can borrow the kneepads... Although DO NOT even for a moment consider wearing them OUTSIDE the apartment.

DO NOT think twice about buying a wine opener even though one is eventually coming in your boxes from London. You are going to need a LOT of wine to get through this.

DO NOT think that it is a good idea to drink while putting together Ikea furniture. This will inevitably lead to big messes. Although DO consider drinking if it is the only way that you can convince yourself to stay at home on BOTH Friday and Saturday night and put together said furniture.

If you DO drink while putting together Ikea furniture (hey, sometimes it just has to be done) DO make sure you put aside some time the next day to fix all the stuff you put together wrong.

DO set a hard date on when you are determined to be finished with the move by having a housewarming party (mine is November 20th).

DO try not to stress about 40 boxes coming to your tiny apartment tomorrow! I will for sure update you and let you know how that goes.

And the number one piece of advice that this International Woman of Mystery has for all those other hot messes who are considering a move:



I promise to write again soon! I think I'm just about ready to be back to normal blogging (although this damn Boot Camp is sure not helping things) Miss you all!

Kisses and hugs and glasses of vino.