Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Parking Jobs

The Geek: Where the hell am I?
Caroline: I'll, uh, tell you where you are if you tell me who you are.
The Geek: I'm Farmer Ted.
Caroline: You're in the parking lot in front of my church.
The Geek: You own a church?

--Sixteen Candles



What can be interpreted by where a gentleman caller parks his car when he comes for a visit?
Apparently, my BFFs think quite a bit. Some of my friends park me in. BFF(A) & CFW say that is an indication of staking a claim on me or parts of me.... Others park down on the corner or around the corner facing up the street (I have a corner lot). Interpreted thusly: "Quick getaway.." One, and I am quite pleased about this one, parks right in front. Saying clearly--I'm honest & open to the possibilities. I just think it's quite telling, not even sure if it's a conscious decision on their parts...interesting.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Xmas for Singles


“I had this guy leave me a voice mail at work, so I called him at home, and then he emailed me to my BlackBerry, and so I texted to his cell, and now you just have to go around checking all these different portals just to get rejected by seven different technologies. It’s exhausting.” --He's Just Not That Into You

Despite it being Christmas & all that it entails (& I'm not even Christian...), I was a busy woman. And yes, the quote above tends to be true--not necessarily the rejection, although that has happened, but not too much recently. But in terms of rejection, what I have found is that if I'm doing the rejecting I tend not to answer those calls, texts, emails, etc., & hopefully the guy gets the picture (most do, some get a bit cyber-stalkery on occasion) & if I'm the one being rejected I just never get called again. Dude who dropped at least $200 last Friday is a no-call, speaking of not being interested, but neither was I so no harm, no foul. Still, very busy in portal-ville over the holiday.

Which begins the Jewish Christmas. What do you do when your kid is with the former in-law's family, your family is not doing anything, & you do not currently have a significant other? Movies & Chinese food on Christmas! Christmas Eve was with one of my good buddies, my Zen Cyclist, and we had sushi & saw Avatar 3-D. We always have a blast together & I can usually pick his brain about male behavior, & my situations. He can be a good source of info--kinda like Alex in the above-mentioned movie. He's recently remarried to a woman who is currently working in India so he was "single" as well. I wasn't disappointed--good insights always.

Last year I had this big cocktail party I went to with the Bull, this year I didn't go--it actually wasn't because I didn't have a date, that really didn't bother me, it was because my friend Aa had no one at all to hang with over Christmas & I felt bad for her. I am grateful because at least I had choices & she did not--it depressed me so I wanted to be a good friend. We did the double feature movie thingy--saw Up in the Air & then saw Sherlock Holmes. I haven't been to this many movies in ages! Up in the Air was good & reminded me quite a bit of one of my friends--similar parallels...I'm sure if he sees it, he'll get the similarities right away. Sherlock Holmes was a fun "date" movie in my opinion--good stuff for the guys & stuff for the chickies as well.

Then, finally, I made Mole for the first time. I had been gathering the ingredients for the past week & kept trying to find 1) a block of time cuz it takes FOREVER to make, & 2) a relatively good reason to make it. Yesterday was as good as it would get--of course aided by the fact that SM joined me for dinner. I must say that my Mole was quite spectacular--those layers of flavors were right there, including the subtle chocolate under all. The 3 hours it took to construct the Mole sauce was worth it for sure & paired with the chicken tenderloins--heaven--even my kid was awed. Had a nice Zin with it that didn't overpower. I even had plantains that I doctored up for a themed dessert...a very nice night.

So despite being single at Xmas, I was in a good place. Happy Christmas to all--
Now I have to make it through New Year's...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Waiting Game

"You might be experiencing a great deal of emotional confusion today, dear Cancer. There is a debate brewing inside you, and you are having a hard time deciding whether to pursue the practical or the fanciful. Looking to others for help may only add to the pot of confusion that is stewing on the back burner, so take other people's advice with a grain of salt. If nothing seems clear to you, then wait out the storm, and proceed when you have a better handle on the weather."

Funny, how things go. "Good things come to those who wait." I am not good at waiting for things I want sometimes; especially when they are right in front of me & my heart is racing. I find it hugely frustrating & my impatience tends to get the best of me. And looking at the horoscope above I must say that I am in an emotional upheaval of a sort. (Funny, I think I posted my horoscope last year this time as well...just thought I'd mention it.) I am also feeling things I haven't felt in a while...


Xing Fu has a way of drawing me out. But we have to wait & I respect greatly why we do. It doesn't make it any easier--this "trying to be adults" behavior, but I know it is massively important that we do because this has the potential for something--I sense it intrinsically. It was terribly difficult not to touch him, to reach across the table. As our lunch ended, we couldn't help ourselves & our fingers entwined.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Best Laid Plans



Usually I adore a ton of snow--after all, when the schools are closed, I get a free day. Used to wake up on snowy mornings, waiting to hear the closings on the radio, hear my school or system was closed, & shove my skis in my car & hi-tail it to the Pennsylvania Mountains. But I so fervently did NOT want snow this weekend. I had plans, damn--was I pissed. At least I was able to enjoy Friday night.

Friday was a date with an online guy. Haven't been doing too much online stuff--took a break, had other diversions. I figured if a guy emailed & he looked remotely interesting, I'd give it a shot. And, actually, for the first time in a huge while, this guy wasn't a complete loss. Plus he took me to a phenomenal restaurant too--Woodberry Grill. Of course the oysters on the 1/2 and the great Black Ankle '06 Syrah were added bonuses on a truly fantastic dinner. The question, aside from the obvious one is did I like him? Yes, he was a lot of fun. Yes, good conversation. Were there huge sparks? Nope, but it was actually ok. Weirdly I didn't expect them but there were a few so it gives me hope. Or maybe I was more relaxed. Being online hasn't yielded too much so I wasn't expecting this one to be any different & I had mentioned that I'd thought he was a little too eager. And I also had come to the realization that aside from the Bull, the entire raft of online guys had been a big bust for the most part. Pondering it a bit I think it has to do with the fact that these guys pick me & I then I look at them & decide. If I meet someone out doing something, we choose each other--vastly more appealing--just a theory. Anyhoo, I may be willing to entertain round 2 with this guy...

But it was Saturday that I was truly bummed about. I had tickets to Alex Gray's Visionary Solstice Gathering at Sonar. I was seriously looking forward to this--after all, I missed it last year cuz of that guy who had 11 kids! But it appears that the fates were conspiring--sigh. At least it was postponed--there will be a gathering, but perhaps not solstice...I also was looking forward to the company-someone I've come to enjoy quite a bit--we always have so much to talk about--he's fun & comfortable to be around. I like it..safe, and that's a good thing. So another time... but the snow sure was beautiful, albeit quite deep. Being socked in is not my greatest wish--but I made my squash & root veg soup, and baked cookies for the kid, and listened to Radio Paradise while watching the blizzard outside. It was a nice, quiet day--rare but sometimes needed.

~and everyone checked in via some form of electronic device, also nice.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Eager Beavers


What is it with some men?

Recently I really haven't been dabbling too much in the online dating pool--I guess I was taking a break for a while & I think I've been rather consumed with my current crop of "friends" so there really didn't seem any point. But occasionally I like to pop back in & see what's out there--if anything.

At first, when I was just dipping my toes back into this whole dating process, the only activity I did was the online thingy & as I've said there were a lot of first & only first dates. Recently I've expanded my horizons to include other venues for finding men. As a result I can now make a basic comparison. All this being motivated by some online activity recently--I'll get to that in a bit. So I find that online seems to follow a certain pattern--it feels very contrived & somewhat unnatural. Here is the progression of sorts:

Guy contacts you via email. You check out his profile & decide if 1) he's at least used spell-check & capitalizes all his proper nouns, 2) he actually has something to say beyond, "I'm looking for my soul mate...I think communication is the key to a deep relationship...blah, blah, blah...", & 3) he's at least cute in his pictures. If he passes those parameters then a response may be warranted. Next comes the emails of introduction--stuff like, "Hey! Loved your smile!(I get that a lot), or "liked your top ten list" (yup, my profile contains a Letterman-like top 10). Finally, after a few emails, phone numbers are exchanged. Now here's where it gets dicey sometimes. More on that in a bit. So if there's a couple decent convos on the phone & you seem to have at least a few things to say to one another apart from, "what's your job, etc.?", then meeting for a brief first date is the norm. Usually my first dates have been anything but the norm--ah well. But that is the general gist of online dating.

I have to say that I feel like I've been far more successful when meeting people doing other activities & then cultivating a friendship. The men that I am currently involved with, in one way or another, I've seen far more than once. We may not go on dates but we do things together (not that, per se...all y'all need to get your minds out of the collective gutter!) My point being that I like the old fashioned way of meeting--it seems a bit more successful...who knows...anyway, that brings me back to the recent stuff.

The online dating seems to bring out the needy in some men. The newest guy that I'm actually going to meet soon sends me a ton of texts, & has called me everyday. Sigh--When we've talked on the phone--strike that--when he's talked on the phone, we have had nice discussions. But the constant barrage of texts, etc. is a bit much--we haven't even met yet! That's what I mean--what is it with some men? No, I don't like being ignored, & I do enjoy receiving texts from my men regularly, but I know them & we have fun stuff to say to each other, pictures to send, etc., etc. Sad thing is, I tend not to respond to this guy's texts & often don't pick up the phone when he calls. So not my usual behavior--any one of my friends knows that my phone is attached to my hip, & I usually respond quite promptly unless there really is something I can't interrupt or I'm at TKD, sailing, whatever. Why so blase? Not too sure--I think it does have something to do with being heavily pursued before even meeting--makes me want to run right in the opposite direction & already casts a pall over our initial meeting. Bleh! So we'll see--will he join the ranks of the 50 first dates or will he pass go & collect a 2nd date with me?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Replacement Wives


Every once in a while I get hit with an epiphany of sorts. This time is no different. It is usually sparked by something I've been mulling over--gee, isn't every "come to Jaysus" like that? Anyway, recently I have had a few discussions about what dating is like when you're in your 40's, divorced & a parent. In one word, BORING. Well, that sums it up, sorta. Dating itself isn't boring--it tends to be a lot of things--especially when the first dates keep piling up without second or third ones--more on that later. In fact, dating is on one hand traumatic and on the other--as I've said in earlier posts, an anthropological study, and still further it can be exhilarating. In other words, a roller-coaster ride--and with those I'm quite familiar.

Ok, so this is what I mean by BORING. I opened my blog last year with the following sentences: "
I have been on at least 50 first dates (most probably more) & truth be told it gets mighty frustrating out there. Most of these dates have come from my online antics & for the most part have proven that there are A LOT of men out there. Insert the but.... " Yup, that is definitely true. So of those 50 firsts I have had one significant relationship & all the rest near-misses, etc. There has been the guy who had 11 children & never drank & who got drunk on our first date, the guy who told me that dropping in on him without calling was ok-this on a first date, & the guy who took me to Amsterdam for a week--technically our 3rd date. And there have been sooooooo many more that just don't require mention. Most were very nice & getting ready for a first date is always an adventure in self-expression, but none just ever cut it. But I think I've figured it out now--hence the epiphany of sorts.

The one thing a lot of these men have in common is that they want replacement wives. The other thing I've noticed is that apparently all of their ex-wives were BORING--which I'm not. What does a vibrant, excited about life, intelligent woman do when it is very apparent that these divorced dads just want a new version of an old mold? No, I seek the thrill ride--the men who actually want an adventure too--it's not that we're necessarily finished raising our children & I am a TKD mom so I have to transport my kid to practices & tournaments just like a soccer mom, but it's that we're unwilling to settle once again for the status quo--for the coming home from work, feeding the kids, plopping on the bed/sofa/recliner & zoning out. Yeah, I can admit that my life certainly has a pattern & structure that could be considered routine
--and especially right now, while I recover from hernia surgery & can't participate in TKD, etc. it is even more routine, but the way I live it & who I share it with ain't. And it isn't as if we, those fathers (potential boyfriends) & I aren't committed to our children & raising them to be productive citizens isn't the priority--it is. It's just that we want more this time around--well I thought these potentials wanted more...hence the snooze button...and this is why there is never a 2nd date with them.

In fact, the man I was seeing for 9 months--the Bull--our activities were anything but bleh or routine. And that's how I like it. Subsequent relationships that have worked on whatever level they are--be it "fuck-buddy" or casual friends, or music buddies, etc. have one thing in common: that these men are uncommon & aren't seeking replacement wives. It's too bad that they don't want an official "we're dating" title. So why can't I find him? The man who wants a relationship that isn't the cookie-cutter wife version & the yawn? I know you're out there....











Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Clutter Buster


It seems that I will have an opportunity to de-clutter my house over the winter break. Anyone who knows me realizes what a momentous task this will be on many levels. No, I'm not a crazy-hoarder type where I have little paths through the junk piled to the ceilings, but I do have a lot of shit I've accumulated over the years. For me, just getting in there & throwing stuff out becomes a task in futility. I just can't figure out where to start...I turn in ever-smaller circles until I just throw up my hands in utter frustration, & bow out gracefully--giving into the mess that encroaches. Both BFF(A) & CFW have helped me in the past with smaller anti-clutter tasks but I need the professionals for the over-hall. I suppose the natural response is to feel some anxiety but in all honesty I'm somewhat relieved that I'll finally be rid of the lingering reminders of my ex-husband's existence in my home--I'm quite sure there's a bunch of his crap hanging out somewhere in my house....

Perhaps, along with the removal of the physical stuff, I can sweep out the emotional cobwebs & clutter as well--a real time for cleansing...It will be the new year & a new decade after all...

Then I'll be free to pile up new neuroses in the new decade. I'll just try to keep my house less filled with crap...just the important stuff. Wish me luck!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Emotionally Unavailable

"I'm in your movie & you're in mine. Two different films, really. We don't really know each other, we're just making a guess at knowing each other. Right? I think the same's true about love."
--Bored to Death Season 1, Episode 2


I've been circling around this concept recently of why I seem to be choosing the men that I do. I've alluded to this in past blog posts but I haven't given it full measure. All of them are emotionally unavailable for some reason or another & I haven't been able to put my finger on why I can't find one & only one that works at least 80% for me & only me (reference to the Bull here). Now, it could be as simple as the old abandonment game--you know the one--Daddy & Mommy got divorced, Daddy leaves family (in my case it was Mommy took kids & left Daddy), kiddos don't see Daddy in over a year--ABANDONMENT issues! Soooo, men=abandonment eventually; so why choose any that may not since they all will...Not so sure about this logic.

But, a run-down of them is as follows & why they aren't available.

Salad--too young--fun but NO way there's a future there & frankly I ain't interested.

Seamus--doesn't want anything more than a "friendship". He was honest from the start so I get what I get...

Sweet Mistakes--still dealing with divorce & its ramifications--we are in such separate spheres of existence. If I wait....but do I really wanna anymore?

Music Buddy--Soooo married. So far it's been purely platonic & I don't foresee it changing, which is fine--so not interested in that Karmic ass-kick. I think he's attracted to me because I may represent some piece of his life that he wishes he had--a certain exoticism perhaps...I don't know.

Those are on the current list--there are shifts here & there but these seem to be the more stable ones--heh..there are a few more who flit in & out--primarily flirtations with no real substance.

If I analyze all of these guys put together though an interesting idea formulates--if there was one guy who had all of their characteristics he'd actually be quite perfect....hey! Hadn't considered that!

Still, looking at them I still can't wrap my head around why I'm still choosing such WRONG guys. I always say I like the Bad Boys & the drama--my friend CFW, says that I get bored with the "safe & secure", which may be true, but not all of the men in that list are Bad Boys so where does that leave me? Still with nada, zip, zero. And yes, I know, some folk may say, "What the fuck are you complaining about? Look at all the fun you're having! And you still don't have to deal with any relationship bullshit!" Maybe I want to deal with the relationship bullshit--in fact, I hazard to say that some of my more happier moments were when I was dealing with the Bull-shit. So there it is....now what do I do about it & how do I resolve this?




Saturday, November 28, 2009

Surgery is no Fun


but you do find out who your friends are....

It truly sucks to be an active person & then have all the wind knocked out of your sails--to use a well-worn phrase. I guess I didn't realize how much of a literal sucker-punch this apparent minor surgery would be. On Wednesday I went in for out-patient fully expecting to be right back in the mix of the hustle-bustle of Thanksgiving, etc., but I've ended up being home & alone a great deal of this holiday, with an ice-pack on my belly & Percocet on the brain. Part of me enjoyed the hours of watching Sex & The City reruns (I think my favorite is Season 4, Episode 1), & the rest of me just wanted to get all this over with! But as I sat in bed contemplating my current state of affairs, I struggled with the inevitable feeling sorry for myself as well as being so thankful (the holiday word du jour) for the folks who texted me, IM'd me, called, & visited despite the demands of their own families. But through it all I just wished that for once there was one person who would just take care of me...sigh.

But I do enjoy my coterie & it has provided for an excellent diversion just before going under the knife--some of my men have provided some nice memories...& yes, I wouldn't have met these characters if I'd been involved with one person. Perhaps I'm channeling Samantha now--at least it's not a vast wasteland of tumbleweeds....still...


**The picture was taken by my cousin in honor of me--I asked her if I could now gain admission...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Experience Versus Youth


What can I say? Being single can sometimes have its perks. Earlier I posted about my new Cougar status but I really didn't say too much about what I've learned...certainly "Energizer Bunny" is a very apt description for my friend Salad & that is certainly fun & he is very appreciative, which is refreshing. But the young are always in a hurry....they miss out on the intricacies, the details, & the nuance. But I've been told that is my job. So we'll see. Needless to say it sparked quite a maelstrom from which I still reap the benefit.

What it did was to initiate a psuedo-competition of sorts. One of my other friends, Seamus--who is decidedly older than Salad & a Bad Boy of note, in fact much older than me, seemed spurred on to see which is better-- a well-seasoned man or a noob (Salad is definately NOT that, however). Hence the benefit to me. I'm the one who decides. Heehee...& believe me, I am NOT loathe to do that.

So this prompted a visit from my friend Seamus this weekend...

Did I say that being single sometimes has its perks?

Praying Mantis


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Growl


It had to happen. I've joined the ranks of cougar. Am I proud of this accomplishment? Not so sure because it admits that I'm older than I think I am. But on the other hand, as Cougar Town has titillated the masses, and become fashionable, here I am poised on the edge of acceptance. One of my other male friends told me that he found a T-shirt for me. Uh-Oh!

Speaking of the devil--I just received a text from my young friend...I spoke of Salad last year I think--he's been after me for quite some time & up until now I've managed to evade him. But I fell in a blaze of peer pressure & my own curiosity...here is what I had to say last January:

I have a friend who's about 19 or 20 years old. I feel like I'm sort of a mentor to him--he's had a few problems figuring out how to be responsible so we talk about stuff. I'll call him Salad. For the past few months he's been coming over every once in a while to hang out a little. So the other day he sends me a text asking about my boyfriend & how things are going with him. I'm a bit puzzled by this because why should he care until he begins asking me questions about whether or not I'd be interested in a "different" kind of relationship with him. At which point I definitely get where he's going with this. I tell him that I'm flattered but why would he be interested in someone so much older than he is. He tells me that I'm cool to hang out with, pretty hot, and he is interested in expanding our friendship beyond just talking....how nice. But again I don't relish the idea of being a Cougar for him. Hmmmm, then again I hear 20 year olds are like the energizer bunny......

So there it is.....

Monday, November 16, 2009

Dream a Little Dream


Had the strangest dream last night--got me thinking about interpretation, etc. So here goes:

I was somewhere out with my sister & I apparently met two guys. Both seemed interested in me & I ended up talking to one that I knew wasn't right for me. The other one sort of faded into the background of my dream. Time passes--dreams & time are quite nebulous so who the frig knows if days, minutes or seconds had passed....anyway, the one guy apparently turned out to be a jerk or something--again dream vacuum, so I meet up with my sister again, must've been a party or something. Did I mention it took place next to the Chesapeake?--important bit of info for later.

So my sis tells me that Guy #2 told her that if I was ever interested in pursuing something with him he'd be waiting. He told her that he left me a little gold music box & if I went to get it & brought it to him he'd know I was serious. (how fairy-tale!) Turns out he'd put the box on a square dock with no access other than swimming off the shore about 500 yards or so. Apparently I'm game because I tell my sis that I'm off to get the music box. Details are so interesting in dreams--I had to climb over a low barbed-wire fence to get down to the water--there were very lush marsh grasses growing up around the fence & I could see the flowers, bees & insects buzzing around (I guess the setting was the summer...) as I climbed over the wire. I take off my shoes & dive into the water.

The Bay was glistening in the sun, no wind, calm & clear. As I near the platform, I begin to see huge, dark, reddish-brown hulks floating in the water, coming towards me. I can't figure out what they are until I reach the ladder to climb up. A big, beef carcass is floating closer & closer, followed by 100's more. They all begin to bump into one another and then into the platform. I barely scramble up onto the deck before they start floating around, under & surrounding the platform. I call out to my sister onshore that there are these carcasses that are fouling the bay & that she'd better watch out. I see the music box glittering in the sun, pick it up, but have no way to get back to shore....I wake up.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Murphy was Right


So the week from hell continued...I was having a perfectly lovely day with my BFF(J)--shopping for new make-up at the MAC counter at Nordtrom's & getting a mini makeover together & then onto the McDonogh-Gilman game--where BFF(A) met us. Her son goes to McDonogh and BFF(J)'s goes to Gilman. After the game, which Gilman won, we were off to wine tasting. This time another friend of ours, runner gal came along. Met up with SM too--the fates seemed to be shifting in my favor when all hell broke loose.

First, though, all the friends came back to my house for a little wine & some great cheeses I'd picked up at various places during the week. We were all sitting around my dining room table with a little Truchard 2005 Pinot when I got a pain that made me double over. I thought maybe it was a little gastrointestinal distress--HS game food is never good--but I'd only had a couple fries....

I went in my bedroom to lie down hoping the pain would go away, but it just increased. My friends did the best they could, offered to take me to Sinai Hospital, but I thought it would get better so I waved them off. For a couple of hours it did feel better, then the pain was absolutely excruciating--it burned and I felt like I had the chills as well. By this time it was about 1:30 AM & I was beginning to also get violently ill. That actually helped a bit & for a little while I thought I'd get better--mebbe a stomach virus or something--24 hr.
thingy. But then I noticed a huge lump right next to my belly button--2 AM I knew I needed to go to the ER. Called my folks who offered to take me to Sinai (this hospital was obviously the choice du jour...). I knew that I needed to go way sooner than they could get to me & that if I went by ambo I'd be seen quickly instead of writhing in pain in front of a bunch of similarly adorned people.

I call 911 & the paramedics arrive just in time for me to start heaving all kinds of nasty from the depths of my stomach. (Thankfully my son was staying with my folks last night--he didn't need to see his mom in such obvious pain.) They tell me that Sinai is out of beds & chances are I'd need surgery so it was either Northwest Regional or GBMC. The plus about living in Baltimore is the dearth of hospitals--most of them quite good. So hmmm...GBMC it was. It was so quiet there when we arrived, & I was seen right away so I knew I'd made the right choice.

I was admitted pretty much right away & was told that I might need surgery straight away. MIGHT being the operative word...heh. I had a golf-ball size hernia that was making its nasty self known--I don't think I ever felt pain like I did then...but having surgery straight away? If I was going keel over then I'd get it done--I wanted to know my options. My BFF(J) needed to read the CT scan & I really couldn't afford to not go to work--this week will be a critical one! So the only mistake that GBMC made was that they told me that I was getting prepped for a 10 AM surgery. I never had any discussion with the surgeon--so I quickly said, "Nope. No way, not until I get all of the options explained." I must say however, that the folk there were great & the surgeon & I did talk--it wasn't critical that I have the surgery immediately so at least I can plan accordingly--but I must have it soon.

Ah..the next twist in the gut!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Argh!


Ever have one of those days? Actually, ever have one of those weeks, months, etc.? It has been an extremely frustrating & stressful time recently. I usually don't use this forum about work-related stuff for a variety of reasons but I'm just feeling so overwhelmed right now that a good vent may be just the thing I need. No Heart attack-ack-acks....just bad-tempered.

I seem to have bitten off more than I can chew--agreeing to chair a new team when I can barely tread water on the the team I was tasked to lead in the first place. Of course I want to do a good job & not do my second team half-assed but because I am so swamped, that's just what's happening...sigh. It sucks massively because I feel like I'm letting a ton of people down & I hate that.


Additionally, I'm supposed to have clerical assistance but that just ain't happening right now. THAT is a major problem as well--the clerical aspect is a job unto itself.

This is the first year where I've felt so stressed & over my head--I don't like it. Most folk don't like the job I do but I do, IEP Chair--I love my school, my team & my location & for the past three years I've thrived. I have felt extremely fortunate to be doing what I'm doing after so many years in the classroom--15 to be exact and a couple years as a principal too.
Maybe it's because I have a caseload this year far larger than the previous years or maybe it's because we've been hit with a ton of referrals, & re-evals, or maybe....I just don't know..

Anyway, just came back from an intense taekwondo class & I feel better--energized & refreshed--I got to beat people up & even managed to kick a little ass along the way...tomorrow's a new day & quite possibly a better one...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween


It was a good day & evening--one of those grateful for what you got kinda times. Started out with the usual TKD class & then my son's demo team practice. From there my BFFs & I dressed up as hippie-chicks. According to my son it wasn't much of a stretch--in fact my sis said the same thing--mebbe they're finally onto something... the three of us embraced the holiday (and also the free gift at one of the wine shops if you dress up...) My BFF(A) had go-go boots that Nancy Sinatra herself couldn't hold a candle to, & my BFF(J) wore tie-dye. I had a long velvet skirt with a peasant blouse & a scarf around my head. I also sported two long braids on either side of my face...My son decided to be a hippie as well--great 'fro with a bandanna around it, sunglasses, a Yellow Submarine tie-dyed t-shirt we bought at The Other Side in Towson, a big peace sign necklace & a tambourine. Can't forget the sandals as well.

Anyway, we planned to go to our favorite wine shops to sample as usual. I hadn't heard from SM so I was little bummed--we hadn't gotten together for our weekly dinner & I wasn't sure about wine-tasting. But finally I get a text in the morning asking me what time I'll get there. I told him & went about my business with my girlfriends. I go pick up my BFF(A) & we go over to the first place--they were sampling a great local vineyard's wines--Black Ankle--highly recommend them--they actually illustrate what Maryland wines can be....try Crumbling Rock in particular. But I digress--on my way to picking her up, I get a text from SM--he's over at the one store waiting for me--was I going to be there soon--he made sure that he was there when I told him I was planning to be there---that was very nice.

Onward to the next one--SM said he wasn't sure he'd be able to make it--his kids were waiting for him for Halloween--I understand completely. But he shows up & we try an amazing Pinot Noir from Acacia Vineyard--Lone Tree Vineyard--2005 Pinot Noir--simply amazing. My BFFs abandon me at the store & I'm left with SM--love my gals--they had it planned so we'd have some alone time together--sweeties!

Later, our boys had a Halloween party where all of the parents hung out--we all had pizza & the boys collected a TON of candy--I need to get rid of some of it--it was just over the top!

Overall it was a great time & not a bull or bear in sight like last year--funny how quickly things have changed...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Blogoversary--Part II


So here it is...one year--wow! A whole raft of shit has occurred since I started this running dialogue of my single life in the married world--and what a roller-coaster ride!

I want to thank Baltimore Diary for helping me out with so much about blogging--he is a gem among the rocks.

Yesterday I re-posted my first entry just to think & compare what has happened. Last year this time I was reeling from my break-up with the Bull--it didn't really look like it based on what I wrote but I walked around for a few weeks in an absolute daze--in retrospect I wish in some ways we'd stayed broken up--he turned out to be such a scumbag. But, I learned from the experience & many aspects of our time together were amazing...most of y'all reading this can prolly figure out which...

A lot of time on this blog was spent on him & it has helped me finally work through it & I can honestly say that I'm free from him now.
I did love that scumbag though--sigh. There will always be a little soft place for the Bull but he has ultimately helped me figure out what I do & don't want in a potential mate.

It has been a ride for sure--from all my sailing adventures to my amazing trip to Amsterdam--what a year! I am grateful for it all--all the new & great folk I've met along the way that I count among my friends now & my nearest & dearest friends that have been there through all the pain & joy, sometimes holding me up & sometimes celebrating with me. I am a lucky gal!

It has also been quite amusing to see the dating blunders I've written about--I think ultimately when I do find the right one it will be fun to go back & revisit it all from time to time just to appreciate the journey.

Overall I am happy with what I've experienced--a lot I would never have lived through if I were still married--it has been quite the adventure & I'm looking forward to many more along the way--

I hope everyone has enjoyed what I've written--all 4 of my readers...and get ready for the continued saga....to another interesting year--Huzzah!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Blogoversary--Part I

So welcome to my blog--if only for my own cathartic need & if no one reads this, at least I know I have a place to spill my guts. Before I get to my cyber-stalker let me just give a little background on why I started this running dialogue of the trials of modern single-mom dating.

I have been on at least 50 first dates (most probably more) & truth be told it gets mighty frustrating out there. Most of these dates have come from my online antics & for the most part have proven that there are A LOT of men out there. Insert the but.... & you fill in your own blank. Unfortunately those men have been just so wrong--except for a recent one--I'll call him The Bull from Van Ness (TBFVN) (here's where the story title comes in).

We met online this past summer & it was a rather instantaneous attraction--musical tastes, check, sailing, check, hot sex, check, check, check....oops--intelligence, quirky world-view...my list could go on. But as all really great things often go as being too good to be true--so did he--as my boyfriend & rather recently(OUCH). You know the old commitment issue--so I fall prey.

However, he seems to have a bit of a penchant for fucked-up former girlfriends. (I like to think that I was the first relatively normal one) but I digress. I've listened to him have a conversation with one such chickie & it is scary what I found out--something to do with stolen credit cards, cash & a DUI. And after 2 years he still has some of her shit stashed away....do I need to say hmmmmm? Anyway the convo was a bit disturbing: threats that if she doesn't make arrangements to pick the stuff up, he'll tell her son what a fucked-up liar she is, etc. I won't say how he has access to her son's info because that'd be too revealing here, suffice it to say-he most definitely could locate him. Anyway, he seems to have collected a few ones like that, which brings me to the cyber-shit.

One of my friends has a blog that I follow pretty closely--check out the list--there it is. He told me a couple months ago that someone was tracking my posts to his blog. Googling my screen name & following the links. So I asked him if he could find out why, how & from where it originated. He couldn't but would tell me if they came back. Anyway, I then googled my own screen name & lo & behold up pops links to TBFVN. Interesting. Time passes & last week my buddy tells me that the stalker has hit again. This time he found out where it came from--now this is very interesting....the SEC! He says--"are you in trouble with questionable stock dealings?" Laughing, I reply--"no way!" But my little red warning light comes on to tell me that TBFVN must be involved--you know...D.C. & all. Now I know it has to be a woman too--who else would be remotely interested in my connection to the Bull? I'm thinking--how stupid is this chickie! Why would you cyber-stalk someone from your work computer anyway??? As it stands, I immediately call TBFVN & tell him that he needs to let the person know to cut the shit out. I know it's relatively harmless, but I think it's really uncool to pry like that into my life & for that matter, my friend's(not TBFVN)--& to leave a calling card! I may google a new guy & pull up court records for safety reasons but I don't go tracking his connections in cyberspace--that's just not right. In a twisted way--it's nice that someone was so interested in who I was that they felt the need to track me twice, but really! My now ex won't reveal who she is, but he assures me that he took care of it--I wonder--what threats did he make against her?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Attentiveness


You know it's bad when people at the wine tasting who don't even know the back story comment on you. My BFFs & I were enjoying the current selections & waiting to taste the wines in the back room when my Purgatory Buddy, SM walks into the shop. He waves at me when he enters & I continue to chat with my friends, knowing that eventually he'll come over--what I didn't realize was that he'd make a bee-line for me & begin to caress my back. Talk about a tell to the entire store. My BFF(A) said that he was quite obvious. She has always had a problem with SM--didn't think he & I should be involved, didn't trust him, etc., but she even said he earned points for his attentiveness. Needless to say, I was quite taken aback especially after Thursday night--I had come off of that evening with a bit of a sense of awkwardness; I had felt that I may have said a few things that bespoke attachments, etc. and wasn't sure if I'd said too much. Apparently I didn't need to worry.

My BFFs & I had been planning to make this a short visit because we had plans to go to another wine tasting where there was a big party--plus BFF(A) & I had 6:30 PM deadlines--her son had a game & I had to meet the rest of my family for dinner at a great restaurant called Cinghiale. (super food & a great Chianti--I highly recommend it)
. Ah--the best laid plans....

We all stand around waiting to go into the back room & chatting, drinking wine & it was so funny--both SM & I found as many opportunities as possible to touch each other in some way, and not in any overtly sexual way either--like I said, dating purgatory--it's just not public knowledge about us yet except for the folk who knew from the start; i.e., my BFFs. One of the other regulars pegged it--he looked at the both of us & said, "looks like you two need a room." I think we both must have blushed but we didn't move apart either.

Finally we all go into the back & sit & try several beautiful Cabernets as well as my most disliked varietal Merlot. The rep told me that "it would knock my panties off." My response was, "How do you know I don't go commando?" Anyway, I was very pleasantly surprised--it was good! In fact, I may buy it & add it to the only other Merlot in my cellar--one from South America. SM & I were sitting at one end of the row of chairs, then my BFFs & then unfortunately some dude who reeked of the 70's--Old Spice Redux! It killed our palates for the most part. SM & I were the most spared but it wafted our way & SM remarked to me that it was difficult to appreciate the red current & licorice of the Cab when a bad 70's movie was playing in the background.

As we are trying to leave, my BFFs made some purchases, SM & I talk about future plans--dinner Thursday & Eric Lindell in a few weeks. Again, I wish things weren't so complicated with him right now--I know things will change very soon but it's getting harder to be patient.

On my way down to meet my family, late of course, with a pissed-off mother, I stop to text SM (no texting while driving--I was in a parking lot). I said that I hoped I wasn't too silly. Instead of texting back he called me--my music was way too loud & I didn't feel the vibrate either. So eventually I checked my phone & saw he'd called--another level of familiarity. He said he liked that I could be silly & told me about the other wines that were offered after we'd left. I told him I was trying to find the restaurant, which he knew of course, & how late I was. We said good-bye and I just had to stop for a moment & enjoy the fact that maybe finally I had found someone with the right level of sophistication again--with the added plus of being a oenophile. The Bull was not a wine-lover, but he did appreciate world foods & had that level of sophistication that I crave. The last guy I went out with--the one who felt that I could drop by whenever I wanted, truly was lacking in world-sophistication--I knew I'd run circles around him & get awfully bored. This is not being snobby, just that I need to have a convo with a man who knows the difference between curry & galangal. SM gets it & I am cautiously optimistic again....

Friday, October 23, 2009

Dating Purgatory?


Levels of Dating and the words to describe them are so awkward--especially when you are in your forties. One of my BFFs--CFW and I were chatting about my current status with SM. I say we're in dating purgatory. We're sorta beyond just dating because we see each other regularly, i.e., last night and plans for the future--seeing Eric Lindell, but it isn't a relationship yet either. It's the in-between time; the gray area. That brings up the inevitable question of how do you introduce someone to him? He's not my boyfriend & he's beyond a friend--awkward. And before you are in an official "relationship"--as I said--what exactly is that called? We're "dating"? Nope. "Friends with Benefits"? Nope. ????.....Especially if it's complicated, which in the case of SM, it is. In the interest of privacy I won't discuss why, but here I am again with a man & our relationship isn't straightforward---sigh. Hopefully soon it will be, but I am literally in purgatory currently. Maybe again the Universe taking pot-shots at me.

Equally difficult is the word "boyfriend". I am 40 plus years old--boyfriend doesn't seem to work--case in point--when I was with the Bull I felt it strange to say "This is my boyfriend D---". I often just said, "This is D---." I would tell people things like "the guy I'm seeing." And if you've read this blog or the archives, our relationship was never really clear cut so that added another level of awkwardness to the discussion.
So at forty plus we need a new term for a "boyfriend"--manfriend or middle-aged manfriend, maybe oldmanfriend?


OK, I've got it now. At a wine tasting I could say, "Hi. This is ----. We're in Purgatory." Heh--SM's my Purgatory Buddy!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sidedish Friend


Do you want to be my sidedish friend
'Cause I'll miss you if you go for good
Yeah
We can stay together 'til the very end of time

If it's understood that I don't want you hanging out with me
But I want you when I call
And we can stay together separately and we won't be lonely at all

Oh boy
Oh boy
I got to think about that
Oh boy

And do you want to be the one on hold
'Cause you know I'll always come right back
Yeah
We can find a quiet place for both of us to go

If you always know that I don't want you hanging out with me
But I want you when I call
And we can stay together separately and we won't be lonely at all

Oh boy
Oh boy
I got to think about that 'cause every time
(Every time)
I think I'm all right I think I'll win you over
I hear you say
(Hear you say)

That I don't want you hanging out with me but I want you when I call
And we can stay together separately and we won't be lonely at all

I don't want to get too close to you and I don't want you close to me
There's a back door waiting just for you if this isn't what you need
There’s a back door waiting just for you if this isn't what you need
Yeah


Rachael Yamagata

Friday, October 16, 2009

Reflections On My Navel

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.


T.S. Eliot--The Hollow Men


I have been sick for the past few days & I think I've mentioned before how being sick makes me unusually reflective. There have been a lot of endings recently & the weather, decidedly blechy, makes me rather melancholic.

Today officially marked the end of my racing season. I would have sailed tomorrow but since I have this nasty URI, I don't think it's a bit smart to go out in 10-15+ knot winds, in 40 degree weather, with a steady rain, in order to prove what a woman-stud I am. I emailed the skipper & let him know & he replied that this was pretty much it & feel better--crew party in January, see you after that in the spring (at least I don't need to upgrade my foulies now--very expensive). It was an awesome learning experience & I met some incredible people that I wouldn't have otherwise, made some new friends that I'm sure I'll see over the winter--looking forward to sailing with them all again. So not out with a bang, but a whimper as T.S. Eliot would say. Ah well..all good things must pass & now I need to concentrate on TKD for a while.

Seems like fall has ended as well--I had to put the heat on today--scary. I looked outside & I felt like I was looking at a Baltimore winter scene: cold, wet, & bleak--not even the trees turning could withstand this weird cold-snap. I am not a winter person & always struggle with the bare trees poking into the steel-gray skies from November through March/April. Perhaps I need to think about moving somewhere where there are no seasons except summer....I think I'd miss the Chesapeake Bay too much--can't afford to be a snowbird quite yet--probably never.


Currently, I am sitting in my kitchen working out a recipe for chicken & soba noodles. Cooking is a good activity for me when I am reflective. I can make something & if it's bad then at least there's no one to complain or pass out false praises--i.e. the sauce is wonderful, maybe the chicken was a wee bit salty. I am home alone, my son being at his grandparents with a friend, & unusually I have nothing really planned for this weekend. My excuse of course is that I'm sick & need time to recover. I have to admit that I need more "alone" times without distractions. I spent the last two days in my bed, sick & although I was alone, the only reflection I did was to blow my own nose. Now that I'm on the mend I can take stock...poke my head around & pick the lint out of my belly-button, analyze it & change course if I need to. One of my girlfriends(& I am honored to call her a girlfriend)--the wonderful woman I met in Amsterdam, said something quite profound to me the other day--of course what she said exactly is now lost to history but it shook me--actually a lot of what she says to me shakes me. Again, she & others touch on the drama that I seem to crave. I don't like T.S. Eliot's rendition of how the world ends--I want the roller-coaster ride & I tend to create it over & over. Soul Sister said once I figure out why I may find what I want--in the meantime I keep this wall up called drama for a reason...I have a few days to ponder it & I hope I won't distract myself--I usually do...maybe after a dinner of chicken & spicy soba I may actually think on it.




Monday, October 12, 2009

Boat Envy


(Summit 35) (Ericson 27)

I went to the US Sailboat Show on Sunday & decided that I want this boat. I really loved the look of it--the fact that it's a cruiser-racer is a huge plus. Unfortunately the base price of $250K sorta nixes the whole thing. Ah well--a girl can dream, can't she? Of course the Ericson is most probably what I will end up with at some point. Which is OK since I know that boat inside & out. Well, the Ericson 35 but what's a few feet between boats? Plus Ericsons are just old classic cruiser-racers so I can turn it into what I want too.

The great part about the show was hanging out with my cousins. They have a business & had a booth at the show. We don't get to see each other that often & we had a blast--of course free Gin drinks & a Painkiller certainly added to the fun. We hopped on & off some pretty amazing sailboats, um...yachts--mind-boggling luxuries. I looked at a few new lasers for my kid--radial--not even remotely ready for a full rig. I think an older laser may be the way to go--one that's been well broken-in for now. It was just a lot of fun & I think my son & I will become regulars. Again a tradition passed down from my grandfather. He used to take me every year.

I didn't race this weekend but it was a full one nonetheless. Thursday was dinner with SM--we made a brilliant Thai Salmon dish together & had a blast in the kitchen. I think kitchen compatibility is a very good sign. He told me that he had an amazing time so I'm cautiously optimistic & it looks like Thursdays may be a regular thing for now--I hope. Saturday was wine tasting with the BFFs & at night I went to listen to music at Ramshead Live--great show--not what I tend to go listen to but it was cool.

After driving home from Annapolis Sunday night, I sat on my bed thinking about what a great weekend it had been spending time with friends & family. Grateful.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Wedding Vows

"I don't mind a drop in." Huh? What?? I'm out with a guy on Saturday night & I think he's a pretty nice guy--& then this statement. I look at him, and I must've looked at him just a bit strangely because he clarifies. He says, "If you just want to come over to see me, you don't need to call, just come on over." Suuuurrrre, yyyyeaaahh, just been on a first date & thinking to myself: "Ok, not too bad, a little quirky, but he has potential." And then he says that. WTF???!!! If he drove by my house without calling that would be the end. If my parents "just drop by" that would be a problem. So, no. Do NOT drop by, do NOT pass go, do NOT collect a realationship with me--I'm a busy woman, living my life--I need to plan your visits. Bleh & double bleh--I felt like the man was already writing our wedding vows the way he'd planned out our lives already. And he was whiney because I couldn't fit him in next week--at all. Not even during the week--I HAVE PLANS--yeesh! Between my sports & another Thursday with SM (this seems to be becoming a regular thing...) & racing on Saturday, & Saturday night out with a friend (yep, a man) to listen to music, & the boat show on Sunday. And NO I do NOT want this guy to go with me & my kid. Dude, I am so not into possessiveness--unless I want it & believe me--not anytime soon with you...

OK--so yet again there are all these men & none are suitable--exhibit A described above, all the way to exhibit B--my sailing friend. Extremes, the lot of 'em. My neighbor, also a single woman, sighed & said at least I have a stable to choose from. My reply was--too bad they're old hacks--they can't make it out of the barn let alone making it out of the gate! My mom throws her 2 cents in--similar to a Sex & the City quote--that as I get older the pickins are slimmer so exhibit A may not be so bad....lord help me--

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Prickly


Been a grouchy week for me but I hope I've turned the corner now. It hasn't helped that I've been phenomenally over-whelmed at work and Yom Kippur was on Monday so I was off. When I returned on Tuesday I knew I'd get hit hard. I also dislike when I'm out because my team likes to make my empty office theirs--they don't clean up after themselves & I always walk into messes--I wasn't disappointed. It tweaks me every time--love my team & wouldn't trade 'em but for this lil' treasure...Big meeting day on Tuesday so many of my co-workers were in my office as I was frantically getting ready for meetings while cleaning & straightening....irritated a little? One told me that I was grouchy. Gee, what clued you in? Was it my snippiness? The sarcasm? Hmmmmm....I paused & thought about it and sure enough, I was. Which is kinda unusual for me. I'm actually a generally happy person but that set the tone for the rest of the week. I described myself as "prickly". Maybe it's the turn of the season or month or perhaps it's the holiday & what it means, but I really have been ouchy & it has lasted until perhaps this evening. One of my BFFs--CFW told me to embrace my inner grouch--so maybe Oscar & I are becoming friends..

This evening I hope is a shift in the wind. I have two great days of racing to look forward to--both AYC fall series--one Saturday for PHRF & Sunday for one-designs. But tonight I had a very nice evening, without regret, with SM. He came over for dinner & I made whole wheat ravioli with a very fresh tomato and basil sauce. We drank a great Italian wine recommended by the folk at Grand Cru and managed to keep our hands, etc. to ourselves. It was a lot of fun and as I said before--no regrets. Mayhap Oscar is gone now.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Did I Mention That I Love to Sail?

(J-24s racing as we sail home with the spinnaker)

So I just finished another race today--the Hospice Cup. I was on the Beneteau First that I raced on in the spring & early summer. The skipper goes away with his wife up to Maine for the summer to cruise on their other boat--50 feet & then come back to race in the fall series races. Today was just a practice for those of us that he's chosen to be regular crew for the fall. I'm pretty happy about that because most of the rest of his crew have some affiliation with the Navy sailing teams & again I have an amazing opportunity to learn. It was a great race with 20 knot winds--I was back in the pit but I was grinder for the chute so I had to be able to anticipate what the guy on the chute would need--I must admit--I did quite well--our jibes were very smooth & synchronized--we didn't lose much speed--and the skipper kept telling us how well we did. I am a bit battered--bruises up & down my legs & arms & I re-opened a gash I received that I thought had healed from way back in August--but I am proud of my war wounds.

It looks like most of October will be taken up with racing on the weekends--I am so not complaining. My parents on the other hand, are. They told me that I'm obsessed & have been focusing too heavily on racing to the exclusion of all else--this coming from lifelong sailors! They should at least get it...but then again they enjoy push-button sailing these days. I don't think they've raced in over 20 years--since by grandfather was still racing. Push-button sailing is--push a button, out comes the mainsail. Push a button & unfurl the genoa. Bleh! From the other side of my mom's mouth are statements like, "I really admire you getting out there & racing without knowing anyone or what the boats are like. I would be scared to put myself out there." So which is it? Admiration or condemnation????

I do admit that there is some obsessive behavior but I have this drive in me to get out on the water, sailing as much as I can. I just love the thrill of the race, the way things can go wrong at the drop of a hat--case in point--foredeck screwed up today & managed to wrap the chute around the headstay--we had to douse & re-set the spinnaker costing precious moments. I love that we all know what to do & move in a kind of synchronization that is cool to see--crossing the deck on the windward tacks. I love watching other boats tack & seeing the crew dive for the rail as quickly as they can. It can be hard work--my shoulders are killing me, but I wouldn't trade it.


Which brings me to a source of puzzlement. A few weeks ago I had a conversation with a fellow sailor who described the following scenario: Women who go sailing to find a husband & then once they do, quit sailing & try to force the husband to stop as well. I just don't get that. Yes, if I meet someone while I am racing that would be awesome--but for me it's because I want to be sailing as much as possible & sharing such an intense hobby is important. So there are women out there who have really never sailed before & they don't plan to sail again after the ring is on their finger. In my opinion that seriously sucks--sailing is in my blood & I imagine that the men I sail with have it in their blood as well--to try to make me stop sailing would be like cutting off my air--NEVER!



Friday, September 25, 2009

The Jumper


It is so tragic it's funny. I live near a new development that is built around an old quarry. The water hasn't filled up entirely, at least a 1/2 mile down from the top to the surface of the water but rumor or urban legend has it that it is about 500 or more feet deep. At the bottom are supposedly a ton, at least, of heavy equipment--somewhat like the canals in Amsterdam--supposedly a mile thick in mud & then a mile thick in bikes before the water on the top.

Anyway, yesterday I was driving home with my kid about 9:15 pm or so & we see an ambulance drive into the quarry development. We glance up & there is a helicopter circling over the quarry with its spotlight on. My son says, "what's going on?" I reply, "Looks like someone jumped into the quarry." I was right. The entire street next to the quarry was lined with police & emergency vehicles. We drove into our neighborhood & pulled into an overlook street but we couldn't really see anything. My son asked why would anyone want to jump into the quarry because it doesn't go straight down--you'd have to bump down the side until you hit the water. He figured the person would really be injured or dead.

The next morning I visit the Starbucks in the shop part of the development & ask the manager if she knew what happened. She told me that a guy jumped in--I knew that, but the tragically funny part of this was that apparently the same guy jumped last year--on the same day! It had to be a water rescue because the ropes weren't long enough to reach the guy, which cost the county even more. I just couldn't believe it--the audacity of this guy--and the vast amounts of money it cost to rescue his sorry ass! I want to send a bill to him, after he gets released from Sheppard-Pratt of course, for the expenses he incurred as a result of his SAD--my tax rate will be impacted--they shoulda let him drown! OK--maybe not, but still....