Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sailing Obsessions

Maybe I need to change my blog focus....or not. Actually I've recently been very obsessed with racing. It seems to have overtaken my desire to date...or not. But at least with racing I feel like I'm going somewhere (of course I am--I'm RACING!!). What I mean is that I'm moving forward, learning & getting better at sailing every time I'm on the boat. Which is massively satisfying. With this whole dating thing I feel stagnated, frustrated & at a loss. The dearth of appealing men out there--WHERE ARE THEY???? And where are the ones who sail? Bleh! What I find fascinating is last night's race & how that relates to, you may say...well, I'll tell ya'. Of the crew on the boat four of them met either crewing on that boat or on another one from the same racing group. So, as I said to one of the women who was 6 months pregnant (& still out there racing!), "There's hope for me yet."

Last night was amazing, though. It was rainy, messy & cold but my son & I put on our foul weather gear, sailing gloves, smartwool socks, & drove down to the West River to crew on an SR-33. My son was a trooper--I was so proud of him. It is tough to go out on a boat & crew for the first time in fair weather, but in the nasties, well...tons of props to my kid! He was part of the foredeck crew--he handled the downhaul for the kite this time. I was in the pit. Pit duties include the jib halyard, the main halyard, & the spinnaker as well. I also have to grind too. I liked being in the pit just as much as I enjoyed being on the foredeck of the J-42. It was a short race, but the captain & regular crew (of which I hope my son & I get to become part) were great. Particularly the sailmaster--he was so patient with my son--explaining everything & helping him do his job effectively.

After the race, which we lost, we all go over to eat at the place that sponsored the series: Pirate's Cove. They are set up for all of the sailors--and there are a lot--there's a buffet, etc., & everyone gathers to watch the video of the race & hang. It was a lot of fun--a great community. My son loved that part as well & it was too bad we had such a long drive ahead of us or we'd have stayed longer. The best part was that we will be back again in two weeks to race again. Both of us can't wait.

My cousin, who is also a sailor, pointed out to me on facebook that the last race I was in fell on my grandfather's birthday--April 18th. What a great tribute. Pops is no longer with us, but he was my hero--he was the original sailor. He would be so happy to see his greatgrandson out there like that. My son, for his part, finished the race with such great happiness & enthusiasm that I knew Pops was somewhere smiling, knowing that the sailing tradition continues.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Ghost Lingers

If you were here
Would you calm me down?

The ghost of you lingers
It lingers
And I always think about it

Oh, would you calm me down?

From: The Ghost of You Lingers by Spoon

On Wednesday my son & I are going to the West River to race in the Pirate's Cove sponsored Wednesday Night Series Races. We are going to be on another boat to see if we can crew in future races. This is great news because I have many offers to race & multiple boats wanting crew. Many more than I thought would happen. Also super because this is yet another activity my son & I can do together--another thing we both love. He will get so much racing experience before he goes off to sailing camp this summer.

This is not such a good thing because a certain other person frequents this area quite a bit & the sailracing community isn't all that big. He doesn't race the big boats--thank god for small favors. However, opportunities may arise where we are both sailing out of the West River on the same day. I honestly don't think I'm ready for that possibility yet--not sure how to deal with that--there are overlapping social activities after racing out of that sponsorship. But I refuse to curtail my racing & socializing activities because of the possibility we may actually collide again some day. Just not quite ready.....

I have been asked to crew again on the J-42 this Saturday. I am so thrilled to be asked back--I never believed that I'd have so many opportunities to learn how to race & sail better. And on top of it all, have almost an every week time to get on the water--beyond my own family's boat--a sailorgrl can't ask for too much better than that!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Plight of the "Nice Guy"

Mr. Big: Hey, have you got a light?
Carrie: I quit.
Mr. Big: Aw, we always used to share a cigarette together.
Carrie: We did a lot of things that were bad for me together.

From: Sex & The City


I was so excited about this weekend. Two new guys, two new opportunities to find "the one". The Saturday one was very young--too young for me. I knew it going in but I figured it could be fun. It was fun but he just wasn't a keeper--in the words of Steve Harvey--he was a sport fish--gotta throw 'em back.

I had built up guy No. 2 as a real potential--and perhaps he will become that--I'm not ruling him out just yet--but he is a "nice guy" & I struggle with them. I just find myself making comparisons that just muddy the waters. We went to Lake Roland & had a picnic lunch with a nice bottle of wine (7 Deadly Zins). We had very good convo albeit sometimes on the serious side. I think there was chemistry--it was just not so "in your face". I liked this guy but again there wasn't the zing & the instant chills up my back that I got before. And as a result I felt myself holding back with this all or nothing thinking. I realize that I need to allow someone to grow on me--maybe the slow burn may be better than the instant ignition & engulfing flames. So frustrating. So disappointing. And even more: my missing someone, shedding more tears I swore I was finished with. That's the part that sucks--I don't give men a chance & then I start making comparisons & they all come up wanting & then I get sad & allow the sociopath more power again. Guy No. 2 deserves a second shot & I will attempt to alter my misguided views & see if a little compromise makes things a lil' bit less disappointing. Obviously I think this guy is more of a keeper fish or I wouldn't have wasted so much blog space--so maybe that's a good thing afterall....


It's finally spring--more like summer! I can wear my fun clothes. I am going racing most weekends which is awesome. And out there somewhere is the guy...naughty & nice.

Friday, April 24, 2009


For the past few days my blog has been hit by someone in DC--they have read ALL of my posts from October to now. Just wondering....

Anyhow, looking forward to quite the exciting weekend. No racing this weekend but I am meeting two different guys. One is much younger than I am, not enough that I could be his mother, but young enough. He & I are going to hear some music & have dinner. The second guy & I have a picnic planned for Sunday afternoon. He is a little older than me & we really seem to have quite a lot in common. I have, of course said this before, but I am being optimistic that perhaps one won't be a frog but may in fact be a prince in disguise. Only time will tell--still I wish I knew who was hitting the blog....

Monday, April 20, 2009

Significant Dates

Why is it that I seem to remember most of my ex's birthdays? I remember my ex-husband's (October 15th), my first real boyfriend's (May 12th), the first man I lived with's (March 18th), & now I can add the sociopath's (April 20th). There were more of course but these are the significant ones. It just makes me somewhat melancholic--none of these worked out for various reasons yet I still have the memories. As the birthdays go by, I pause & think about each man or boy-depending, & what they contributed to my life. How do I feel about them now--is it still painful or have I moved well beyond them? My ex--well he looks far, far older than his 43 years & frankly Karma has not been good to him--I'm so over that. My first boyfriend--well if he were to pop back into my life I think I'd be beyond thrilled--definitely unresolved feelings there. He's 39--yep, I robbed the cradle my senior year of High School. Caused a bit of a scandal too. And then there's the drunk from Missouri I lived with for 18 months--that one took me a while to remember his birthday--he was an alcoholic so most birthdays were no fun with him. He just turned 48. Of course today's candidate is too fresh so right now I'm tickled that the asshole had a crappy weather day for his 49th birthday. Serves him right that it poured & was chilly. He fucking deserves it!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sailracer in 'Napolis

It's been a long time. I used to race on sailboats ages ago & have been looking to get back into it but up until recently I just didn't feel like I was in a place to go there. This year I decided it would be different so I listed myself in a local magazine for sailors around the Chesapeake Bay area. There are classifieds for those who want to race, both skippers & crew. Last week I received an email asking if I wanted to race on Saturday. The boat was a J-42 out of Annapolis & they were pretty serious racers but they were willing to take on a relatively novice racer but certainly an experienced sailor. So off I go.

Drove down to Annapolis on Saturday morning well before the 10 AM rendezvous so the team could practice flying the kite. Which means the Spinnaker, the big-bellied sail with all the colors. Working a spinnaker is a real bitch. It is very lightweight, very big & quite full of itself--or wind, rather & that is its biggest problem as well as the fore-deck crew's biggest problem. But we managed quite well, although we were in very light wind during the practice, which makes it much easier to handle. Regardless, the skipper was satisfied we could deal during the race even in a heavier wind. The race was mostly against a bunch of Navy boats. These were the big guys, approximately 40 plus feet, known as "blue-hulls". I always find the start of the race the most exciting part--we're all making a mad dash for the start & you don't want to cross the line before the horn or you have to circle back & cross again losing precious minutes. Usually the closest calls happen at the start, rounding the buoys, & then the finish. Depending upon the set of your sails you may have to give way to another boat--for our start we were maybe a foot apart from one of the blue-hulls. Even one of the middies reached out to fend-off (a very stoopid move by the way--a very good way to lose a limb) in case we brushed one another. Think about pirate boardings & how rigging can get tangled & you get the general idea. It was a huge adrenalin rush. That & the near miss we had rounding one of the marks--unfortunately we had to give way that time. It's almost like playing chicken--you try to get as far you can without crashing & hope the other guy gets nervous & comes about before you have to. The next huge rush happens everytime you tack (turn) & also when you have to put up or take down (dowse) the spinnaker. Taking down the spinnaker is when most of the mistakes happen--you are fighting a huge belly full of wind hoisted on a pole & attached in 3 places. Meanwhile you are also putting up the head sail (jib). It takes perfect timing & no fouling up the spinnaker to make time. But usually mistakes happen, the skipper screams & the boat loses time. We executed 2 times out of 4 perfectly so 50% was our statistics--my goal was not to mess up at all & thankfully I didn't--I wanted to make sure I got asked back to race again. It was a lot of fun & I learned a lot. I especially learned what it feels like to be the only female on board--very interesting & a great way to watch how men communicate. Yes, sailing is a great sport to get into especially if you are a single female.

There are a few female sailors but mostly the men dominate. Even more fun are the after-race parties. Sailors are huge partiers. After a race, folk all go to the local bars & drink--A LOT. So just as expected, we all hop off & go to a bar up the street from the marina & there was a party already in full swing--apparently it was the opening of rockfish fishing season & all of the fishermen were having a blow-out. We joined in with the live band & the flowing Meyer's Rum which seems to sponsor a lot of events near the water.

Today I was back down in Annapolis for the crew listings party--people who want to crew & people who need crew find the excuse to party & sign people up to crew on their boats. Yep--the Meyer's was fast & free. It was good to go & network a bit--I hope I get a few calls to crew soon because the race I was in was so great & I do want to meet a sailing kinda guy to spend some quality time with in the future. Dating experts always say go to where the men are or pick a new hobby or interest that men may like as well & then do it. I am going to try that with my sailing but I will also get even more out of the racing--I will learn how to be a better sailor & ultimately that's really what I want most out of this adventure.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Poly-what?? Does That Affect My Tax Rate?

What is it with men being polyamorous? I am sick & tired of men saying that they're poly. It is an excuse to fuck as many women as they can & not commit to any. The sociopath claimed he was a poly after we'd been together some months & look where it got me. This seems to be a new trend on the online sites.

"I love to sail, go to listen to music, & walk on the beach. I'm looking for that special woman to share that with & who will match my intellectual curiosity. I'm polyamorous so she'd have to be into that lifestyle as I already have a primary relationship."

WTF??? Yeesh--he sounded great until we got to the poly line. Yesterday I was online checking emails & I was IM'd by a guy who said I was hot & wanted to chat. My new rule is to generally not IM or text message anymore but I was bored & not feeling too good so I checked out his profile & responded to the IM. Stoopid me--he was "seeing someone"--actually he was married & his wife lived in NY. I tried to shake him & he asks me what my problem was about "meeting new people." I told him I didn't have time for cheaters & polyamorists. I've read The Ethical Slut & that lifestyle just doesn't appeal to me.

So here I sit stuck between the perfectly nice guy (my friend MFish pegged it as perfectly boring) & those that look great but won't commit. Sigh...mebbe it's the awful April weather we're having or mebbe it's because it's TAX DAY, but I feel I've paid my dating dues & am due a refund....Happy Tax Day all, hope you've filed or asked for an extension...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Stuck-Up in Illinois

According to my son's new stepmonster, he is stuck-up. She said it to his 11 year old face. Now anyone who knows my son in any way cannot say that he's stuck up. Stuck up & my guy are a juxtaposition. She got mad at my ex-husband because he was paying too much attention to my son & not paying enough attention to her & her boy. One needs to understand that this was the first visit my son has had at his father's new place in Illinois since he moved there in September of 2007. You'd think she'd want my ex to pay attention to our son. But this merely points out that this woman is 1) very insecure, 2)silly, & 3)rather stupid because all she'll do is alienate my son from his dad even more. Oh well. This is just one part of the "weekend visitation" that my son had to endure.

The story:
As a family we all went to visit my sister & her family in Chicago for Passover. Part of that visit was that my son would go to his dad in a drab town about an hour & a half outside of Chicago. Passover was awesome--my brother-in-law outdid himself putting on an amazing seder for all of us & friends of theirs. He is a bit of a foodie as am I, so it was fun seeing all the amazing places he & my sis have gone to eat in Chicago & experiencing his own great cooking. It was good to be together & for the most part everyone behaved themselves--we all know how families get. I was able to spend very necessary time with my sister alone--even trying to teach her how to drive stick on her porsche. We always have such a great time together & we rarely get to see one another. Luckily, no princess room in sight, for me at least. Her daughter has a great princess room though--the addition of the gauze butterflies brought back some Florida rooms I know....

Anyhow, my son gets picked up at my sister's house on Friday. The fun begins: my ex looks horrible--I've described him before but now it was just...well...grotesque. When I was married to him he did not look like this cuz I'd never want to be around something like that. He & his new wife had driven up with the babies: a boy a year & a half & a girl just a few months old. Now this is a man living off the dole & he's squeezing out new babies like no tomorrow. They arrive in a Dodge Durango that reeks of cigarette smoke--my ex doesn't smoke as far as I know--more on this later. But even worse is that my son has to cram in between two clunky car seats with two screaming babies for the hour & a half trip back to Bumblefuck, Illinois. Barf!!

On Sunday my son is dropped off: He walks up to the porch & the cigarette smell rolls off of him in waves. I almost gag. He tells me that his step-grandfather smokes 4 packs a day & plays videos all day long. That is a huge health hazard--my son said he had severe headaches the entire time he was there. My sister & I shove him in the shower, dump all of his clothes--clean & otherwise into the washer & fumigate his coat, shoes & bags with Febreze. I got a headache just being near all his stuff. Not to mention the poor little babies--I may not like my ex or his simpleton of a wife, but those poor babies don't have a chance in hell not to develop asthma or other major health issues. My son begins to describe the squalor that my ex has now sunk to. Question as to whether or not there's adequate working sinks, cleanliness is definitely not a priority, & most folk there in this small house with 8 people & then the addition of my son do not work--only the brother of the stepmonster does apparently. You are getting the picture that just makes me shiver with aversion. Again, those poor babies. All I have to say about my ex is: I may have had to pay off a shitload of his debt, endure his lawsuit to change visitation & have to attend a "Special Issues in Parenting" Class, & deal with my poor son having to accept that his dad has moved away. But I have to say that ultimately I've gotten the much better end of the bargain here. I have a wonderful son who is most definitely NOT stuck-up but one of the most empathetic & kind boys I know with amazing talents--that no one in Bumblefuck, Illinois could even conceivably understand. I have a great house, albeit small. I've got a good job & my health (although I am feeling kind of sick at the moment). I have amazing friends who love me no matter what & a family that despite itself is there for me & my son. My ex doesn't really know my son & hasn't really participated in raising him for quite some time--he is missing out on raising this wonderful kid. I have self-respect & know that I am not relying on public tax money to support me. After all of this--my last comment is: Ain't Karma a bitch?

Monday, April 6, 2009

From the Belly of the MVA Beast

Heard as I was waiting for my number (D129) to be called, "Sitting here is enough to make you lose your religion". Which prompted me to speculate if heaven was set up like the MVA: "Number A201 go to window 9. Number H76 go to window 43." I can just see all these folk sitting on the rows of metal benches clutching numbers imprinted with PGA (Pearly Gates Administration) and numbers. You shuffle off to a window to confirm that you get to enter. Some people get right on through but the rest of us dumb bastards get sent to other windows to be "judged" for worthiness. You wait one HELL of a long time.

Yes, I wasted a whole day at the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration in Glen Burnie. Yes, I am very bad at paying off old debt that can be attributed mostly to my ex-husband, who has no job & lives in Illinois with his newly minted family--who all incidentally live off of SSDI or SSI & therefore no one can go after him for acquired debt. Because after sitting upstairs for an hour and a half waiting to pay & find out exactly what was owed, I found out that it was his car that was the problem--not mine. Yes, the gift that keeps on giving--all of his debt is still mine--even after divorce! Because, well, we WERE married at the time so I own his old debt in order to drive my car now. Of course I also had to pay off a speeding ticket I received in Montgomery County this past summer on my way to visit... And an old parking ticket from Baltimore County. That parking ticket forced me to drive back up to Towson with my expired tags, & pay the ticket in person because God knows why, if Montgomery County can take a credit card over the phone & fax a release for the ticket to the MVA, Baltimore County won't process it until the next day. So in order to get my new registration & sticker, I had to drive back in the pouring rain & pay in cash to get that release paper. Again, upon my return to the MVA, I had to wait yet again. By this time they were on D200. So my number was decidedly out of place--although I did see a D29 come up--guess they had far more tickets to pay. All in all I visited 3 separate windows to gain that elusive 11 sticker for my car. But it's nice to be legal even if I'm now broke...again. The state of Maryland loves my ass.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Perfectly Nice

Recently, back on the dating websites, I've met a few men & gone out on a few dates. They've mostly been real misses for various reasons but I remind myself that this could be an anthropological experiment if I choose to make this dating thing a "study". Most of the guys I've met recently & blogged about have been ok--not knock your socks off, but certainly "nice" in their own ways I suppose. Which bears some self-examination: the type of guy who has knocked the feet out from under me--most definitely they are bad boys--case in point is the sociopath. I am trying to rethink this a little, if we go back to the anthropological study aspect. I need to let the perfectly nice guys have a chance. I'm more than willing to write them off straight away because they don't immediately make my heart go pit-a-pat. And look where the bad boy has gotten me...

Which brings me to my date last night. It was very nice--he planned everything: dinner, music. Opened the door for me, made sure I was safely crossing the street (as I storm right into Annapolis traffic without batting an eye), picked up the tab everywhere, drove the entire night, never pressured for anything more than a goodnight hug & kiss, & was always quite attentive. I really liked him--we had great conversation. But there weren't those intense "I can't wait to rip off your clothes" feelings, just the "Hey, this is so nice not to have to think about anything, just enjoy". As my mom might say & has said before, "Keep an open mind. You aren't a teenager anymore. He may grow on you." And to top it all off--he is actually a man & not a Peter Pan--he takes care of his lady. Nice.