Friday, July 31, 2009

Sweet Mistakes

And if you love the girl man,
light up a torch

Blaze a trail to her front porch

Kiss her til your lips are scorched

Til the rain comes down on you

Bless your sweet mistakes,
That crumble you down to your knees.

That brought you to this place
Changing you by degrees...
When change was just what you needed...
What you needed...

--Ellis Paul--Sweet Mistakes

Of course all shit breaks loose just before I leave for Amsterdam. Just when I'd begun to think it wasn't possible to actually meet a man outside of the contrived website dating extravaganza, I meet someone the old-fashioned way..through common interest--wine. We have been dancing around one another for about a year now. And last week when he saw me with another man (the one who's taking me to Amsterdam), he just couldn't leave it alone. He comes over for a visit & brings dinner from the place we both really like. I open a bottle of Pinot Noir---Soter 2005 from Oregon(yes I actually DO drink Oregon Pinots, believe it or not!). And not THAT. But we do discuss the attraction & he does ask me to wait a few weeks while he works some stuff out--bad break-up, etc. Here it is: the "knocks the wind out of me" feeling--the one I haven't felt since the bull. Both of our hearts racing, the line above: "kiss her til your lips are scorched." Wow.

And now, with the guy who is amazing enough to take me to Amsterdam, what now? He says he doesn't have expectations beyond companionship & adult conversation, but....he doesn't rock my world.... yet....I guess he might grow on me & I really MUST give him a chance. Dare I comment again; the nice guy. But my wine drinking friend is also a nice guy...with the edge I think I like...all I can say now is....WOW, what a ride!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Corsica River Race

I had a great time on this race. I was on an old Trident from 1964 called Sea Deuce. Very nice people own this boat & they gave me an opportunity to do pretty much whatever I wanted to do: from flying the chute to being on the main sheet. I also took the helm for a while--great experience. I have been so lucky that everyone I've been crewing with have been so great--from my regular Wednesday night folk to my off-shore J-42 crew, the First people who will be back for fall series races, the Catalina 27 fleet & now the Tritons. These racing experiences have all been diverse but all super ways to learn & become a better sailor--I thank everyone!

The one-designs are cool because whoever crosses the line first is the winner--no PHRF time issues. The downside is that the one-designs tend to be at the back of the fleet--the last boats to come in. I couldn't get a t-shirt for this race because they were gone by the time we got to shore. But I did meet a bunch of folk from the sport-boat single day regatta youth fleet (Lasers, Optis, Penguins, Comets, etc.) from Baltimore County--just what I needed to find for my son. After this summer in NC, I really want him to focus on his racing--this is a travel team with coaches & everything--such a great opportunity to hone his racing skills for the future.

Dinner was a traditional Eastern Shore summer feast: bbq chickens, fresh white corn, garden tomatoes with Balsamic, potato salad & watermelon. There was a great bluegrass band & until the storms rolled in, it was great fun. I looked up & saw the sky & I knew I needed to get back out to the boat pronto--there was no docking like at Miles--everybody rafted up with their friends or fleet--the Tritons together, the Cals, etc., & there were skiffs to bring everyone back & forth. So I catch a ride & the river starts whipping up into a frenzy--I got soaked. The three Tritons were under motor in case the anchors stopped holding & we needed to move fast. I climbed aboard & watched the light show all around--spectacular.
The picture above is from the morning--crabbers were out, it was calm, & seemed rather idyllic. But we needed to get going for our 10:20 gun. Another fun race back & I must say I truly enjoyed the experience--thanks to the folk on Sea Deuce--you are quality folk!

That morning I checked my emails via phone to learn that I was in fact racing in the Governor's Cup. Big race--70 miles overnight from Annapolis to St. Mary's City--new Governor's seat to the old Governor's seat. Very exciting but runs smack into my trip to Amsterdam. I had committed prior to the trip opportunity so we may have to leave one day later--no worries. Over the next few days I have to prepare for two big events: Gov Cup & Amsterdam--both in less than a week. Gov Cup: off-shore self-inflating life jacket with embedded harness, MOB light, flares, dye, whistle--night racing is no joke. Amsterdam--clothes, passport & drivers' lisense copied, keys made, etc., etc...but I am very excited for both--again, if I were in a serious relationship I most probably would be unable to have the adventures I'm having--I think Karma can be a wonderful thing....

Friday, July 24, 2009

Call me Crazy but....

you only live once! I'm leaving for Amsterdam in 8 days. It has been a dating blitz since my kid was deposited at camp (received the shortest letter--5 lines) and one of my dates ( a very nice father of 3) offered to take me to Amsterdam. Yes, I know it's crazy and I may be insane for accepting, but when will I have the opportunity to go on an all-expenses paid trip to Amsterdam again? Huh? Huh? Like NEVER!!! Therefore, against my mommy's warnings but with the blessings of my BFFs, my sis, and even my principal at my school, I am going. And yes, I do have rules that must be adhered to or I will not go. Rest assured that everyone & his brother will know where I am--laptop comes with--gotta blog next to the canal! OMG!! I can't believe I'm even anyone who thinks I'm certifiable--you may be right, but as I said, "you're only given one life--gotta dance!"

Another new date tonight--should be interesting--I'm quite sure that he won't be offering me a trip somewhere though--his car died so I'm driving. Never a dull one!

Racing this weekend--Corsica River & back--going on an old Triton--experienced crew & opportunity to learn other positions besides pit. I see a positive learning experience ahead. Sounds like a nice party as well but I don't anticipate drinking like I did when I was at Miles.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Horoscope for Cancer

"Today's Solar Eclipse is in your introspective sign, signifying big changes in your life. You are at the end of one cycle, but not quite ready to start the next one yet. You may not be able to see the good news that's already coming your way. But don't push it; give yourself sufficient time to process what's happening before jumping into something new."

I had lunch with one of my mom's oldest & dearest friends. She told me that it was time for a fresh beginning, especially for love. Many indicators seemed to float about today of new starts, luck, etc. A solar eclipse in India & China--the longest of the century for example. Part of me wants to believe these portents & part of me says, "been there, done that."

Monday, July 20, 2009

Single Gal (for a month)

I dropped off my son in North Carolina for a month of summer camp on Sunday. He was so excited to be off & running--not sure he will miss me too much. But that's ok--I have to admit that last year I missed him at the beginning of the month--I cried as I was leaving the camp in fact, but very soon I was immersed in dating--and then I met the Bull.

After last year's events, the bar is set fairly high for this summer as well. I suppose there's a level of expectation. But it's kinda weird because as much as I'd like to meet someone, I'm just not sure if I want to sink in like I did last year and, are any of these guys what I'm looking for. I'm tired of wasting time. And yes, I have a few dates set up for this week already. And so far they seem pretty nice & normal. First, though, I have a major paper due for my class--so no fun for me until Thursday. So I will ponder these questions & will go out this week & see what there is to see: frogs or princes.....

Saturday, July 18, 2009

"Ass to the Rail, Balls Over!"

Sailing is an inconsistent sport, especially while racing. One day you're sitting dead in the water & the next things are happening so quickly you can barely think. The last few Wednesdays have been quite tame & then there was Saturday & this past Wednesday. My son was racing with me on Wednesday--the last time before camp starts so I was anxious for him to get out there. I just don't think he was prepared for the intensity. There was a fairly brisk breeze & in the past, under light air, crossing the boat on windward tacks hasn't phased him. He wasn't quite ready for the hiking-out part of life--leaning against the metal lifeline, hanging over the edge. Quite the thrill ride. In other words--get the boat flat--as much weight as possible to get maximum boat speed across the water. Again, I came home with a bunch of bruises all over my legs & a cut on my knee, but it was worth every bump & gash. I think my kid loved it but he needs some time to adjust to the change in wind force--you race a much different type of race from the light air races. Everything in triple-time--like a fast forward button that doesn't pause.

I really am a novice racer & learning this sport has been at times great fun & at others quite terrifying. The unpredictability of the wind & what it can do the the sails, to the lines, to you, well.....things can go very wrong very quickly if everybody isn't on their toes, especially under heavy air. Listening to the horror stories of experienced crew--on the one hand, what NOT to do & on the other--always an opportunity to learn. Even after you've done the right thing. Example: After raising the spinnaker the person in the pit (me, in this case) flakes the line. What this means is essentially coiling it so that when we douse the chute very quickly, there are no knots to foul up the works & cause the spinnaker to catch air or drag in the water--both extremely bad things to have happen. So during one of the douses on Wednesday, even after I'd flaked the line, a knot miraculously appeared and caused the works to grind to a halt. I couldn't get the knot out & felt like a real boob because well, it appeared that I hadn't done my job. When you're new, you just don't want to make stoopid mistakes like that, even if you actually didn' just looks like you did. I think that's one reason I love racing--not the mistakes or the problems, but that you're battling the elements, yourself, & the unpredictability of it all, throw in a bit of danger and... what a fucking thrill ride!

So I was scheduled to race this weekend but instead I'm taking my son down to North Carolina for sailing camp. Four weeks & I really hope he comes back with more experience beyond sailing sunfish. I'd really like him to get competent with Lasers--those he can really race around here. He's too big for Optis. In the morning we will be driving down to Arapahoe. He is so excited--this will be his second year. I am excited because I get a few weeks to just be single again--no responsibilities beyond me, my animals, & my house--I already have a few dates lined up. Then later this month, I hope to sail in the Governor's Cup...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Happy Birthday, Now Walk the Plank!

When it all comes crashing down
Try to understand your meanings
No one said it would be easy
This living, it ain't easy, oh

You were sewn together
with a tapestry of molecules
A billion baby galaxies
and wide open spaces

And everything you need is here
Everything you fear is here
And it's holding you up
It just keeps holding you up

No One Said It Would Be Easy--Cloud Cult

I must say that my birthday was pretty frickin' good despite a few set-backs. But in all honesty this is not the first time I've faced birthday disappointment. But I'll get to that later--first the good stuff: My cousins had a great crabfeast at their house on the Wye River. My cousin's birthday was yesterday & they usually use that as a reason to have all the family & friends down for an annual crabfeast. It was great seeing all of my cousins--one is my blog buddy & you can see her comments pretty regularly here--bloggers need those comments--its our bread & butter so I appreciate all of her posts. We don't get to see each other often so it was nice to catch up & she was also instrumental in helping me put my set-back into perspective--thanks by the way. Also seeing her husband--my sailing cousin--he took that pic--it was an honor to have a birthday sail with him. His sister, an amazing woman who I kinda, sorta grew up with & with whom I endured her brother's torment when we were around 10 or 11. They, together with their parents, sailed for 2 years all over the world when they were kids. Their boat, Wisp of Dawn, was their home--what a cool adventure when you're a child. I was always a little bit envious of them when I was a kid, but it wasn't always easy for my cousins--I learned that later. So they all sang Happy Birthday & I had a birthday donut for cake. Anyhow--it was a great way to ring in my 42nd year.

There were so many crabs left that I took almost a bushel home with me & then up to my BFF(A)'s house. She bought me a bottle of Molly Dooker's the Boxer for my birthday--nice! We all settle in for crabs (Round 2 for me) & later her husband plays a great rendition of Happy Birthday--ad-lib the jazz flair--such talent. Again, another super celebration for my 42nd--just reminds me of all I'm blessed with.

Birthdays are often a time for reflection & this one is no different. Last year this time my folks & I were dropping my son off at an overnight sailing camp for the first time. My birthday was celebrated down in North Carolina in a seafood family restaurant with my folks, my son, my BFF(J) & her family. Next week my son goes down to NC so we're a week later this year. But back to the reflection: My birthday has often been rife with interesting turns of events. My grandfather, the one who instilled in me my love of sailing, died a few days before my birthday & we had to sit shiva on my birthday that year. Another year I was fired from a job--on my birthday!! Who does that? I guess some folks do--yet another year I'd finished a course at Coppin & was on my way home to some birthday cake when I was pulled over & given a speeding ticket. On my 35th birthday I jumped off a 35 foot cliff into the quarry at Beaver Dam. So this year is no exception. But I always learn from these set-backs or thrill-rides. I believe this one should follow suit. The bottom line is: I am thrilled to be in my 42nd year--doing the things I love. Whatever disappointments I have faced & will face can only make me a stronger, better person. It's all good!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

We Flew

I am battered & bruised but what an amazing race! And tomorrow's my birthday too! Couldn't have asked for a better intro: The West River Sailing Club's Twilight Race. I think we were done well before twilight. We just flew! Sustained winds at 24 knots & the boat speed was 17 knots: approximately 20 mph. For those who don't know it--that is very fast for a sailboat. And that isn't even this boat's top speed--18 knots I think I heard. The boat was made for today's wind --that much I could tell.

The coolest is that we won! And after being about a minute & a half late for the start! We were getting ready to set for the start when we see the other PHRF A boats heading for the line & then the gun goes off! Needless to say, we moved pretty quickly. The Chesapeake was fairly whipped up today & pretty soon we were all changing into our foulies because we were all soaked. Especially hiking out & the bow pounding into the water creates quite a spray. I was thankful for my purchases earlier this season.

On the downwind run I had the opportunity to be aft (in the back) of the boat & see the spinnaker flying--it is just a beautiful sail to watch. That's where we got all the speed--felt like surfing across the waves.

Next week are two of the larger races & if the wind is anything like today's, it will be exhilarating. Night sailing for Solomons & then Screwpile--I was told about the very short tacks--only a mile & a half--very quick pace....almost no time to think before tacking again (turning), Racing is like interval training--bursts of extreme high energy & then a few minutes of down time riding the rails. I am so happy that I have these opportunities to race--I'm learning to sail all over again & in a much different way--I used to race non-spin cruising class. This is waaaaaay different & I'm trying to learn as much as I can. Thanks to the team--I loved today!

Sunday, July 5, 2009


My 4th of July was quite fun but also quite a learning experience. I did get to go sailing--on a sunfish. My day started casually enough--wanted to by some more Boordy Cab Franc because I was out again--I had made a promise to myself not to buy anymore red wines but recently the request for red in my household has skyrocketed, heh, more on that later. I also wanted to bring my BFF(J) some more Shine Reisling so she'd have some for the party. The wine shop was out so I asked for another suggestion in the same pricepoint. So here is where things get interesting--one of the circlers (see previous posting) works at this wine shop & had called me 2 weeks ago to get together. I talked to him but didn't save his number & so we never finalized any plans--so here I walk into the store & hopefully this time we'll work something out--I did apologize for losing his number. And he was still quite interested so we'll see...

I had asked another girlfriend (Aa) of mine to come to the party with me (my son was already there with his best buddy) since her boys were with their father & she was all alone. I knew my BFF(J) wouldn't mind but I warned her that I'd be flitting around a bit since people I really like would be there that I hadn't seen in quite some time. Aa didn't mind & as it turned out she knew some of the folk there anyway so she was fine. this is juicy, one of her girlfriends has been having a 3 & 1/2 year affair with a married guy (Karma's gonna bite this woman's ass sooner or later) which isn't all that odd except for the fact that one of the guests at the party is very good friends with the guy's wife. Can we say, "AWKWARD!!" Also I can easily say: Smalltimore too. Aa was a little unsettled & told my BFF(J) all about it--I think I'd gone off with a few friends of mine to look at a house that was on sale on the water a block over from my BFF(J)'s house & I'm quite sure Aa needed to tell somebody--why not the hostess of the party to make life interesting? Explosive!

Anyhow, I was very excited to see 2 of my friends whom I hadn't seen since the Labor Day shindig last year. Additionally, another close friend of BFF(J), Boston, was also back down for the party, having been at the Labor Day bash as well. It wouldn't have been remarkable except that these 3 people had met & experienced the Bull when all was pretty new between us. They hadn't seen me since. My BFF(J) had filled Boston in on what had happened, & apparently my son told her even more...Perspectives are everything. Last year, when we'd all gone off together to see the very same house that was for sale, it was very obvious to me that Boston was falling all over herself for the Bull. In fact, at first I was irritated, but then I was amused, especially after it didn't look like he was rising to the bait. And later, the Bull & I had laughed about how obvious it was & how futile. But that perspective is far different then others'. Boston claimed that he was falling all over her & that she was toying with him. The two other friends said that they didn't think we'd last beyond the month--we did break-up in October so they were half-right (back together in less than 2 weeks as everyone knows). They also thought we were fighting at the party--which we weren't--we would often banter back & forth with one another--sometimes very intensely so I guess it could've appeared that way to an outsider. I did say the relationship was explosive.... But they all had opinions about the Bull & none of them very flattering..ah well. All I can say is that it was very interesting to hear what they thought of that party & how the ultimate demise of our relationship occurred--no one was too surprised by it.

The party itself was also interesting. There seem to be two separate groups of people there--the family set who sit in a big circle on the lawn & eat & chat, & the outsiders group--these folk move around a lot but can be primarily found out on the dock, on a boat, walking around the neighborhood, or in the water--doing something. Of course there are tons of kids who sort of weave in & out of both groups. I straddle both groups but I primarily hang on the dock. Some of the other group came & joined us--we were out on the raft for a while & a couple of the more laid-back women joined us there where we sipped red-neck margaritas & sangria. I also go sit & chat a bit--usually when I get some food, but I tend to find the lawn convo a bit staid & stifling--in other words--NOT I'm not there for too long. My friend Aa mostly hung on the lawn but she did come sit with us on the raft as well as on the dock so I felt like she didn't feel left out. How High School--but I have to say that things really don't change even when you're in your forties--I'm just much less apologetic for who I am, nor do I care what people think of me like I did when I was younger. So the party was winding down & we had plans to meet my folks on their boat downtown to watch the fireworks in the Inner Harbor.

Sitting on the boat watching the fireworks was just super! The docks were full of partiers & the night was fresh & festive. Friends of my folks had brought a plate full of chocolate-covered strawberries, & we all had some wine. I have to say that this 4th was quite exceptionally explosive.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Circling Wagontrains

Well maybe not that many. But recently there have been a lot of guys hanging around me--not that it's a bad thing but none of them are remotely appropriate for various reasons. And it's SO frustrating as well. Of course I enjoy the attention but I am wondering about the "Look, but don't touch!" policy. I keep thinking it is a test--have I learned yet? Yes--and massively! I am not interested in anymore Karmic debt in my lovelife.

The breakdown of these men: the marrieds (no way! I am SOOO not interested in destroying other people's lives! Show me the separation docs & we'll talk.), the ones who don't know what they want or are a wee bit younger then I am, the rebounders, & the ones who are into me but are either: too neurotic or too blah (translation: too nice). Here we go again: frogs & no princes.

Yes, I have a spotted history regarding my past relationships (No comments from the peanut gallery--Sis, this means YOU) & I know that I must work out of the shadows into a clean bill of Karmic health--I hope this wagon circle brings it just a lil' bit closer....