Friday, December 31, 2010

Last Post of the Year

Been quite a year for me--an incredible one.  I wrote last year how I thought that 2010 was going to be a big one--I was right.  So here's to the end of a great year for me, & my kid & on to another forward-thinking & moving year.  A top ten of 2010 in no particular order:

1. My son's Bar Mitzvah
2. Great sailing & racing on the Chesapeake
3. Making some incredible new friends
4. Seeing Spoon twice
5. Seeing great music
6. Wine tasting with the BFFs
7. Raven's game
8. Much more laughter than tears
9. January 2010
10. Xing Fu

There are many more events, people, examples, etc., but yes, an incredible year and mostly a positive one--lucky me.  

Resolutions?  Continue working to become a better mom, friend, daughter, sister, girlfriend, aunt; a better me.   And looking forward to a great 2011!  

Happy New Year to all!

 

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Empty Bed Blues

Now, when my bed gets empty
I get to feelin' kind of mean and blue.
When my bed gets empty,
get to feelin' awful mean and blue.
The springs are gettin' rusty
sleepin' single like I do.

--Bessie Smith   Empty Bed Blues 

After about 5 days straight of being with each other, I now have been experiencing the empty bed blues.  Which sucks.  I wonder sometimes if I have separation anxiety--of course that diagnosis in the DSM IV is reserved for children--there is new research on the adult--I just don't deal well with separation..recollections of last summer for example.   I'm doing fine now--last night just sucked--most probably because I was worried since it was close to 10:30 PM & didn't know if Xing Fu had arrived at his destination OK.  I told him that other folk may not give a shit whether or not he arrived safely but since I cared about him, it would've been preferable to actually let me know.  Is that asking too much??  I don't think so...Intellectually I know that sometimes my feelings can be irrational, but they're there, ready to taunt me.  I think it is tougher at night--hence the EBB, & I know he'll be back, but I'm just uncomfortable is all.  

“What’s empty bed syndrome?” I asked curiously, pretty sure that I knew, but wanting to clarify because Anne was constantly coining new phrases.

“It’s how sometimes all you want is a warm body to cuddle with, especially when you’re used to having one—and when you don’t you really miss it, you know?” she replied.  (from Elle Magazine)

I really miss it. 

But earlier this week we passed another relationship test--we purchased something together for my house--a real sense of permanence--nice.  And New Year's Eve will be spent together--also wonderful.  But I still miss him even if he'll be back tomorrow.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Table Squared

"The Moon continues in Leo, creating a warm and friendly holiday glow. Parties and other social gatherings should be fun and entertaining as Leo lights up the dark nights of winter with a solar flare. Romance and good times are abundant now, so stay alert for opportunities."

--Cancer horoscope 

This is becoming a recurring posting of my horoscope on the 23rd of December & so is our lunch becoming a tradition--in fact we've decided it.  We met for lunch at the same place we did last year right before the holiday break. And there was certainly a glow.  We walked in & the hostess brought us to the exact same table as last year.  Xing Fu asked me if I'd called ahead to reserve the table--I hadn't.  Just further proof that it was all meant to be.  He said that they need a sign to put over the table, "Ours".  Just gotta smile at that.

Xing Fu also brought the little happiness symbol that I gave him--so romantic that he remembered it & brought it--such a great guy!  We commented that last year we were in a far different place than now.  We have moved into the "mature" relationship phase of things.  Last year our conversation (what I remember of it & it ain't much) revolved around more of a discovery of one another as friends & now we talked about the logistics of the upcoming break & what we'd be doing together--a party, geocaching, fixing stuff around the house--the mundane.  Maybe not as exciting, but certainly wonderfully comfortable, if not rather domestic.  Actually, it was very nice & the conversation did turn to the romantic by the end of lunch.  What a difference a year makes.  It has been a very quick year to be sure.  And I am quite happy to be where we are.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Reflections

I think I've mentioned in the past how this time of year I tend to get kinda reflective.  It seems like in the past events seem to occur this time of year & this one is no different.  Yeah, it's girly-girl of me but I can't help myself.  I start looking at old emails, old blog posts, & generally become slightly pensive--not in a bad way, just thoughtful.  

This time last year I was decidedly single & lamenting kissing all those frogs--I am in such a different place now & it all happened rather quickly.  I went from talking about my "circlers" to being in a very serious & committed relationship in about a month's time.  I'm truly liking where I am now--and I like my frog prince too.  


We met for lunch last year & I had given Xing Fu a little gift for the holidays--it is actually his namesake on this blog.  I used to have the Chinese symbol for "happiness"  hanging from my rear view mirror on my car--a little jade/glass number & when I pulled up to meet Xing Fu for lunch I saw it & thought that he really needed a good dose of happiness in his life because it was looking pretty bleak for him at that time.  We'd been friends for a while, having met sailing the previous April, & I never like seeing any of my friends in distress.  (Incidentally, one of my Asian friends told me I should never give away my happiness--I am somewhat superstitious & have since replaced the symbol in my car.)  So I pulled it off my mirror & gave it to him, never realizing that I would become part of his future of happiness, & mine as well.  

 And so it goes--I'll say it again, I am a mushy female & so we are meeting for lunch tomorrow to commemorate (?).  This time I hope to actually remember what I ate.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Party Time

I went to a great party with my sailing friends yesterday--had a super time but had to go it alone.  That isn't necessarily a problem, in fact there are two sides to the alone vs. the coupled party.  First I needed to get through all of the questions:  "Where's Xing Fu?"  That took about the first half hour of the party--explaining to all why he wasn't there.  Not a bad thing--this was actually the second party I've been to without him and with our sailing friends.  And even though I'd have preferred him to be there with me, I think there were some advantages to being there alone.  So a little comparison:


With Xing Fu, we'd have been there as a couple & probably interacted more like that with everyone else & certainly we'd have been more into one another.  That is very nice of course, but I think one on one conversations would've been far less & the real stories may not have made it to my ears.  Also the physical interplay with others would've most definitely been less.  You know, the touchy-feely guys, seeing Xing Fu with me would equal no touchie.  And yeah, some of it is ok, but as people get stupider drunk, then of course the inhibitions lessen.  I did very little drinking & mostly stuck to water because I had to drive back up to Baltimore.  I think if Xing Fu was there, I probably would've indulged more.  So score for having him there--both being able to have less attention paid to my physical person & that I may have imbibed a bit more & been fine.  Plus the comfort of his presence & not having to walk around for the first half hour answering questions.  


Without him was also very interesting--I learned a lot about stuff (drama stories--always fun).  Got to meet a ton of folk & had intimate conversations that probably wouldn't have happened.  In fact, may have found a great guy to do my hair who happens to live up here in Baltimore.  As I said before--much more of a hands-on evening--and of course the last folk left at the end of a very late night were the sailors.  Again, I think being alone allowed some people there to be more relaxed with me & I enjoyed that quite a bit.  So which do I prefer?  Ultimately I like to share the party experience with Xing Fu but it was fine without him too.  Good that I enjoy both ways.  Even better was seeing everyone--spent so much time with them over the summer--I miss them since we aren't spending most of our Wednesdays & weekends together anymore.  Love you guys!!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Playlist

 I have often posted song lyrics on this blog & thought that perhaps a comprehensive list of all of the songs was in order.  Most of the songs have significance with regard to what was happening at the time so it's kinda cool to look back at them.  Plus I happen to think they're damn good songs.  Alphabetical:

Always Love--Nada Surf
Backwards Down The Number Line--Phish
Bittersweet--Big Head Todd & The Monsters
Brighter Than Sunshine--Aqualung
Call On Me--Janis Joplin
Chasing Cars--Snow Patrol
Chasing Pirates--Norah Jones
Finer Feelings--Spoon
The Ghost of You Lingers--Spoon
Hold You in My Arms--Ray LaMontagne
Just Say Yes--Snow Patrol
Let Go--Frou Frou
The Lime Tree--Trevor Hall
Lovers Are Losing--Keane
Maybe I'm Amazed--Paul McCartney
No One Said It Would Be Easy--Cloud Cult
On The Road To Find Out--Cat Stevens
One Day--Sharon Van Etten
Origin of Love--Hedwig & the Angry Inch
Praying Mantis--Don Dixon
Pure--The Lightning Seeds
See You In Your Dreams--TR3
She Ain't Me--Carrie Rodriguez
Short & Sweet--David Gilmour
Sidedish Friend--Rachael Yamagata
Silver Lining--Rilo Kiley
Sleeping Angel--Stevie Nicks
Somewhere Only We Know--Keane
Stacy's Mom--Fountains of Wayne
Such Great Heights--Iron & Wine
Sweet Mistakes--Ellis Paul
Synchronicity I--The Police
Turn & Run--Neil Finn
The Underdog--Spoon
Waiting For My Life To Begin--Colin Hay
Weather To Fly--Elbow
Wicked Little Town--Ben Jelen
Wicked Little Town (Tommy Gnosis Version)--Hedwig & The Angry Inch
You & Me--Dave Matthews Band


ENJOY!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Schadenfreude


You know what it is, right?  Deriving pleasure from others' misfortunes.  Everyone has it on occasion.  So I did a little experiment.  Earlier I wrote a post about the biggest break-up days of the year--supposedly December 3rd-6th--ring a bell?   I have been thinking recently that my readership has been suffering--yeah, who the hell wants to read about a woman in a happy relationship?  Y'all want the not so nice stuff--the ugly, seamy underbelly of online dating.  My hypothesis was that if I used a very provocative title, all of my supposed followers would come out of hiding to read my blog again.  Anyhow, the title I used was Break-Up Days--



And wouldn't you know, my hits exploded over the next few days!   I'm guessing that most of you out there thought, erroneously of course, that Xing Fu & I had called it quits.  So there it is!  Proof that people love a little schadenfreude & that my happiness does not make for good blog fodder as now my readership is down.  


 So I put this question out into the blogosphere--Is it true that a blog is more interesting when the writer is not happy or at least not contented? 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Love Is A Deeper Season

yes is a pleasant country...

yes is a pleasant country: 
if's wintry
(my lovely)
let's open the year

both is the very weather
(not either)
my treasure,
when violets appear

love is a deeper season
than reason;
my sweet one
(and april's where we're)

--e.e. cummings
I love this poem & have for quite some time.  For whatever reason, the imagery & words just lend themselves to unconditional & soulful love.  What more can a person ask for?  I am especially moved by the line, "love is a deeper season than reason;".  

Another great weekend for the books--we went to see a play at the Fell's Point Corner Theatre--a piece of fluff but fun nonetheless.  And of course since it wasn't a movie, it doesn't count against our ban against the dinner & a movie for a year date,  We did go to Paper Moon for dinner though...and we did watch something.....

On Sunday we both had a lot of work to do so we set up our computers in the dining room & started at it--but even though we spent a good portion of the day quietly doing our own thing, there was a sense of togetherness which was very nice--as we keep moving toward that year mark, I've found that we don't always feel the need to be doing something 24-7 when we're together--it is nice just to be together--maybe in some ways that is "the deeper season."  It was a companionship that was comforting & easy.  Like it is right now, me sitting here blogging & Xing Fu sitting next to me reading.  No words but a sense of souls touching regardless.   I am enjoying this--my mother says that Xing Fu settles me--that I am less edgy; I think that may be true.  It has been a good month for us--and my co-worker always knows when I get an email from Xing Fu--she says I get that glow--it's nice to know how easy it is to continue to feel that way, even as the year-mark gets closer.  



Friday, December 3, 2010

Break-Up Days



Ever wonder why there seems to be an uptick in being dumped before the Christmas season?  Apparently, and now according to Facebook, it happens a lot.  And December 3rd-6th seem to be the peak days--so watch out!  The reasons I've found out seem fairly obvious.  You should break up early enough in December so you don't have to buy the other person a gift (of course, if you're Jewish & Hanukkah is early, then you're kinda stuck...).  Or be thrown into the middle of a bunch of holiday parties with someone you're not enjoying--and then perhaps go to parties alone & meet someone new.  It also makes sense to break up early enough in December because you have time to find a new date to the holiday parties.  Of course, the flip side is that if you break up then you have no date to kiss under the mistletoe. 

How about your soon to be ex's family events?  If you break up early enough in December then you are saved from having to mix it up with Uncle Mervin, who always seems to have something caught in his teeth.  

And of course, breaking up too close to Christmas is just too rude.  So if you've waited that long, now you're stuck through the New Year's midnight kiss.  Because it's just as rude to break up at the New Year too.  

So it makes sense that there'd be a spike in early December because lord knows if you wanna break up with someone & you have to wait until New Year's, you just may have to wait until the spring--who wants an empty bed through the long, cold winter months?  And then there's Valentine's Day...




Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Somewhere Only We Know

I came across a fallen tree
I felt the branches of it looking at me
Is this the place we used to love?
Is this the place that I've been dreaming of?

Oh simple thing where have you gone
I'm getting old and I need something to rely on
So tell me when you're gonna let me in
I'm getting tired and I need somewhere to begin

And if you have a minute why don't we go
Talk about it somewhere only we know?
This could be the end of everything
So why don't we go
Somewhere only we know?

--Keane 


I have loved this song since I first heard it--it is a hauntingly beautiful song--not sure the message is necessarily an optimistic one--but just the same--the idea of going "somewhere only we know" makes it intimate & private--I like that vision.  I also love the "fallen tree" image--part of the place that only we know.  And sometimes, after the busy of the week & even some weekends, I want a "somewhere only we know."  

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Pucker Up

A bit of a follow-up post from the quirky kissing one from a bit ago.  I read an interesting article in Redbook the other day that got me thinking--yeah, bad sign.  It was entitled The Kissing Project and pointed out some interesting facts.  One that struck me the most was that kissing & hand-holding are usually the first to go in a LTR.  How depressing!  And upon reflection I do realize that kissing does dwindle--at least it did with my ex-husband--mebbe a smooch in the morning--mebbe days without a peck at all.  Most likely had to do with the fact that I didn't like him too much and the thought of swapping spit at that point disgusted me...

The article points out also how men & women respond to kissing--men to spread testosterone & for both generating the feel-good hormones of oxytocin & endorphins--oxytocin is that infamous "bonding" hormone.  So isn't it interesting that when a couple is "bonded"  they actually stop hormonal bonding when they stop kissing.  Couples seeking therapy are sometimes counseled to kiss more--apparently the research indicates that it can help.  And so the article lists a few experiments.  I looked at each one & compared to what Xing Fu & I do.  

First & foremost--we are pretty touchy-feely anyway and have no problem smooching a lot.  But the one "experiment" that stuck out was actually one that I had absolutely no need to even consider (the other ones, yeah, could be interesting), but this one suggested making over his kissing style.  The problem I have with that is if you are reading this as a married couple or even in a LTR, it would totally suck if you've been dealing with a bad kisser for this long & it hadn't occurred to you to fix this a waaay long time ago...(apparently some men love the tongue thrust & swirl to the point of dripping...eeewww).
Here's the link if anyone would like to read it themselves:
http://www.redbookmag.com/love-sex/advice/kissing-tips

Pucker up!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thankful

Yep, gonna join the fray with all of the posts about being thankful--but I always think about where I was the year before--a reflection (Xing Fu says I'm just a sentimental sap--OK, guilty as charged!).  Last year's Thanksgiving was a brief one for me--I was recovering from hernia surgery.  I had had outpatient the day before & I was very hopped up on painkillers--my sis kindly picked me up & drove to my folks' but I didn't last too long--I really don't remember too much of last year except I was very happy that my sister was in town--this year not so lucky because she was home in Chicago, but it may have been the first year in a while that there wasn't something wrong with me.  

Enter this year--I am very grateful, thankful to the universe, Karma, what-have-you.  I have my wonderful BFFs (wine tasting ritual is still strong), my incredible son (working hard to get into a private school), my family--all the usual stuff.  But beyond that, I have found someone special that I want to share my life with and we're moving toward a year & it is just better & better.
Last weekend certainly reminded me of being thankful--the sailing season is essentially over & that in & of itself is depressing--but Xing Fu & I had an opportunity to race--the last of the fall series at Pirate's Cove--the last for the year--SIGH.  But even with the lighter winds(unusual for fall), it was just beautiful!  And I will miss it--Xing Fu & I will probably obsessively talk about sailing all winter to try to fill the void--but what else can we do?  Frostbite???  Ack!!  COLD!!  Then again, if we get desperate enough...

This Thanksgiving was certainly different--this year Xing Fu joined our family's ritual(is this a good thing?).   We had a wonderful meal at my uncle & aunt's house(his chestnut & oyster stuffing is to die for) & great conversation--nice to be together but I was still missing my sister.

Yesterday, we decided to try geocaching for the first time.  I tried to convince my son to come with us--but typical teenager that he is...
Xing Fu & I had been talking about it for a while.  I had downloaded an app to my phone & we set out to the closest one which was at the Quarry.  There are actually two there--the first one we were able to locate quite easily (found a euro & replaced it with a little kitty figurine, & then wrote on the log paper--"Thanksgiving 2010")--the second...not so easy.  First of all, it was a micro-cache & therefore could be about the size of a dime believe it or not & according to my compass GPS (accurate to 9 feet), we were right on top of it--we were very stubborn & therefore left very cold but empty-handed.  Xing Fu asked if this was our replacement activity for when we couldn't sail.  I don't think traipsing around in 2 feet of snow looking for treasures is much of a replacement activity but perhaps we'll try one per weekend, weather permitting.  


 We did have fun & Xing Fu thanked me for my creativity--coming up with another activity that we'd enjoy doing together.  We have a running joke--since we've been seeing one another, we have yet to have the standard "date night"--dinner & a movie--the challenge is to make it to a year before we admit defeat & cave.  We're damn close....

Thankful!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Brighter Than Sunshine

Love will remain a mystery,
But give me your hand and you will see,
Your heart is keeping time with me.

What a feeling in my soul,
Love burns brighter than sunshine,
It's brighter than sunshine,
Let the rain fall, I don't care,
I'm yours and suddenly you're mine
Suddenly you're mine.

--From Brighter Than Sunshine by Aqualung

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Supply and Demand


Are Dating economics like Voodoo economics?

I've been thinking about my last post & the article that I reprinted.  It makes a lot of sense regarding the concept of economics & love.  It is a valid idea--particularly as a 40 year old single/divorced woman.  Lori Gottlieb has talked about it--it's not settling but it is looking for the diamonds in the rough perhaps.  What I mean here is that as single women age there is an increased supply but lower demand.  And as men age, the supply is lower because by their 40's "normal" men are either married, in a relationship, or players (read: jaded, cheater, the Bull, etc.).  
Or there's something wrong with them.  I also think that men do not like being single & seek to rectify that situation quickly if they find themselves that way, so catch 'em while you can or miss the opportunity.  Women stay single longer, either after divorce or having never been married.  I may piss off a lot of folks, & I certainly have little to back up my theories other than what I observe around me & the things I've been reading, but it is a hell of a lot tougher to be single & 40 plus.  Even the idea of cougars--a lot of times portrayed as the desperate, predatory 50 plus woman...sucks.  And what this sometimes translates as, similarly to college full of women & less men, is men behaving badly & being allowed to act that way--because otherwise you don't have a boyfriend.  Yeah, kinda depressing, but reality can sometimes suck.  I can reflect a bit on my own experiences as well: on-line dating did have a great supply but as my history has shown, many of the supply were kind of marginal.  There were definitely some rough diamonds--Amsterdam, e.g., but overall it was very difficult.  And, yeah, the playa, too.  But, I think, trying not to be a total Debbie Downer, that if one keeps at it, and keeps the options open--my biggest advice has been to go do what you love--in my case, sailing.  Even if you don't meet someone, you're engaged in the day--your hobby.  And in my case, I met a very special person--it didn't happen all at once, but it did happen--and so far, so good & gets better everyday.  And now that I am in a wonderful, committed relationship, I have been getting a lot of questions from some of my 40-plus single girlfriends--they usually ask if it will happen to them.  My response is and will be that yes, absolutely--even if the demand is lower--hope trumps all--never give up--I am proof of that.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Freaks, Geeks, and Economists--from Slate

Found this article on Slate & found it quite interesting.  I was thinking about the implications of this study on men & women in their 40's.  I also began thinking about the findings and what Lori Gottlieb had to say about Mr. Good Enough.  If there is a shortage of eligible men in my age bracket, according to the study, it would appear as though women would lower their expectations of men (cheating, and other behaviors, e.g.) in order to find a match.  That thought is echoed in many places, I believe even in Sex & The City.  "And, as you move from age box to age box and the contestants get fewer and fewer, are your chances of finding your soulmate less and less?" Are soulmates a reality, or a torture device?So, depending on the population ratios of male to female, in my age bracket it just appears that we women get the short of the stick & are willing to make compromises as a result.  Wow.  That's a tough pill to swallow. 

I am still reading the original study--there's more to this paper than just the shortages, but that was the first thing that jumped out at me--and yes, economics does play a role here--supply & demand for sure!


Freaks, Geeks, and Economists
A study confirms every suspicion you ever had about high-school dating.
By Annie Lowrey

Posted Monday, Nov. 15, 2010, at 3:42 PM ET


 In the Darwinian world of high-school dating, freshman girls and senior boys have the highest chances of successfully partnering up. Senior girls (too picky!) and freshman boys (pond scum!) have the least.
These are truisms known to anyone who has watched 10 minutes of a teen movie or spent 10 minutes in a high school cafeteria. Now, however, social scientists have examined them exhaustively and empirically. And they have found that for the most part, they're accurate. So are some other old prom-era chestnuts: Teen boys are primarily—obsessively?—interested in sex, whereas girls, no matter how boy-crazy, tend to focus on relationships. Young men frequently fib about their sexual experience, whereas young women tend to be more truthful. Once a student has sex, it becomes less of an issue in future relationships.
A recently released paper—called "Terms of Endearment," but don't hold its too-cute title against it—looked at how and when high-school students choose mates and their preferences when searching for a partner. Economists Peter Arcidiacono and Marjorie McElroy of Duke and Andrew Beauchamp of Boston College examined an enormous trove of data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, more commonly known as Add Health. The survey first queried adolescents, from seventh graders to high-school seniors, during the 1994-1995 school year and has followed up with them periodically.
The poll asked a broad range of questions about health and behavior—and the data set has become the basis of dozens of famed medical, sociological, and economic studies. (For instance, James Fowler of UC-San Diego recently used data from Add Health to find that there might be a genetic foundation for an individual's political beliefs.) For their paper, Arcidiacono, McElroy, and Beauchamp focused on the dating and sex lives of high schoolers—a subject much-analyzed by magazine editors and romantic-comedy screenwriters, but less familiar to social scientists.
What the researchers looked for is called, in academic-speak, "matching": the likelihood and factors that lead to any individual partnering up. (They looked only at opposite-sex relationships within the same school.) That's uncommon: Most academic studies on marriage and partner-matching use a technique called "assortative mating," which looks at pre-existing couples and defines the characteristics they do and do not have in common. (Humans tend to partner with mates that look and act like them. In real terms, that means couples with the same socioeconomic, racial, and religious background are common. In high-school terms, that means math nerds date math nerds, though members of the debate team may also qualify.)
Arcidiacono, McElroy, and Beauchamp used a "two-sided matching model," which looks at what an individual says he or she seeks in a partner as well as what he or she ends up getting. The idea is that men and women—jocks and dorks, freshman and seniors—base their search not only on the characteristics of their chosen partner, but also the expected terms of the relationship. For 30-year-olds, that might mean predicating a relationship on willingness to marry or have kids. For high schoolers, that might mean basing a relationship on, well, the bases.
Arcidiacono notes that there's a treasure trove of statistical data on the dating preferences, rather than pairings, of adults, due to dating sites like Match.com. Relatively little such data exists for teenagers, who mostly work the old-fashioned meet-someone-in-homeroom way. But in examining the Add Health data, he and his colleagues found one classic economic tenet driving the byzantine high-school dating market: Scarcity determines value. Among freshman boys, what's rare, and therefore valuable, are freshman girls willing to have a relationship and, even better, willing to have sex. Among senior girls, what's valuable and scarce are boys willing to have a relationship without having sex.
The researchers open the paper by citing a New York Times article on dating at the University of North Carolina, where for every three women there are only two men. One coed argues that the gender imbalance has engendered a culture where men routinely cheat on their female partners. "That's a thing that girls let slide, because you have to," the student explains. "If you don't let it slide, you don't have a boyfriend." Dating, in other words, is a market like any other, and market power is determined by the abundance of resources.
A tamer version of that observation is borne out in the economists' work among high schoolers. Unsurprisingly, the majority of high school boys want to have sex (though only 47.6 percent of freshmen boys do). Unsurprisingly, the majority of high school girls do not (though 50.1 percent of senior girls do). Over the course of four years, the power shifts from the freshman girls who don't want to have sex to the senior boys who do.
The conclusion? Though high-school girls don't really want to have sex, many more of them end up doing so in order to "match" with a high-school boy. For them, a relationship at some point becomes more important than purity. Because of that phenomenon, in schools with more boys than girls, the girls hold more cards and have less sex. Where there are more girls, the male preference for sex tends to win out.
Of course, all this raises a question that has long bedeviled scores of Y.A. novelists, not to mention millions of teenagers: In high school, how exactly does one define a "relationship"? Rather sweetly, the Add Health study considers two a pair when they hold hands, kiss, and say "I love you." (It seems to me this knocks most high-school relationships out of consideration, but the criteria are the criteria.) And when does that happen? Boys and girls in the same grade account for about 42 percent of relationships, while older boys dating younger girls make up 40 percent of high-school relationships, and older girls dating younger boys make up 18 percent.
And who does the high-school dating system disadvantage most, statistically? Senior girls, at least according to the skew between stated sexual preferences and actual sexual activity. Though that will undoubtedly come as cold comfort to those legions of lonely 14-year-old boys.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Shadow Days

Been out looking for a new school for my son as he is ending his French immersion program at the end of 8th grade.  Of course I could rely on the public schools to provide a fine education--the only catch is that our zoned high school is only now deciding to add a French program.  Really?  Really?  When so many kids have come from the magnet program to that high school for tons of years and they're only now getting to it?  Puleese!  And would I even want him to go to a newly minted language program after 9 years of French?  So, that leaves us with a couple options: I could ask for an exception to another high school out of zone for area of study or I begin to look for a private school.  We will look at the other high school as it also has a fantastic Chinese program that I would love my kid to get involved with (he's had two years of Japanese too) but most likely he will go to a private school in the area and as many folk know who are from the Baltimore area, there are some truly top-notch private schools.  Which brings me to the title:  

There is a lot to do to get him prepared for these schools--the application, the transcript request, recommendations from teachers, etc.  But also he has to take the ISEE (Independent School Entrance Exam), and visit or shadow at the schools.  Today was his first one.  And oh boy, does this school want him!   Part of the application process is an interview with parents & I guess I really didn't need to sell my kid because the admissions director was falling all over himself telling me how he sees my kid at that school next year.  I am flattered of course & it is nice to know that if all else fails there's a great private school ready to embrace him with open arms, but I have another school in mind for him.  And yes, my son did love his visit & if that's where he ultimately wants to go, well then I'll be happy for him.  I did tell him to keep an open mind about the other 4 schools he's scheduled to visit--one this Friday.  

The parent interview thingy is stressful for me--I want to sell my kid but I also want to be realistic.  My BFF(J) feels that he'll have no problem getting into the school where her son goes--I hope so--the language program there has all that I'm looking for.  But ultimately it's my kid who has to score well on the ISEE, get the grades, & do well during his own interviews.  Plus, I really do want him to go where he feels best, even if it isn't my first choice.  So onward to the next....

Friday, November 12, 2010

10 Quirky Facts About Kissing




By Laura Schaefer


Think you know a thing or two about kissing? You probably do. But the facts below are so off the beaten path, we’ll bet you don’t know them all — and they could come in handy. Not only could they provide some steamy “Did you know…?” small talk, but they’ll help you see all the benefits a satisfying liplock can bring into your life. Happy smooching!

1. Two out of every three couples turn their heads to the right when they kiss.

2. A simple peck uses two muscles; a passionate kiss, on the other hand, uses all 34 muscles in your face. Now that’s a rigorous workout!

3. Like fingerprints or snowflakes, no two lip impressions are alike.

4. Kissing is good for what ails you. Research shows that the act of smooching improves our skin, helps circulation, prevents tooth decay, and can even relieve headaches.

5. The average person spends 336 hours of his or her life kissing.

6. Ever wonder how an “X” came to represent a kiss? Starting in the Middle Ages, people who could not read used an X as a signature. They would kiss this mark as a sign of sincerity. Eventually, the X came to represent the kiss itself.

7. Talk about a rush! Kissing releases the same neurotransmitters in our brains as parachuting, bungee jumping, and running. 
 
8. The average woman kisses 29 men before she gets married.

9. Men who kiss their partners before leaving for work average higher incomes than those who don’t.

10. The longest kiss in movie history was between Jane Wyman and Regis Tommey in the 1941 film, You’re in the Army Now. It lasted 3 minutes and 5 seconds. So if you’ve beaten that record, it’s time to celebrate!

Laura Schaefer is the author of Man with Farm Seeks Woman with Tractor: The Best and Worst Personal Ads of All Time. --From Match.com

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

One Day

snow is outside but i'm by your fire
i feel all the love you'll bring
you gotta see how we can see this out
summer in mind and spring by your side
you'll see all the love we'll keep
gotta see that we couldn't be there

--from One Day by Sharon Van Etten 





Monday, November 8, 2010

Wine and Ravens

Another great weekend for the record books.  It was busy in fits & starts & somewhat a domestic weekend but I guess that's what happens when the leaves fall, there's frost on the ground, sailing is essentially over for the season, & you feel like hibernating.  Saturday afternoon we went wine tasting--my BFFs joined us & we enjoyed conversation with all of the regulars; guess we're regulars too.  Had a very nice Cab from Darioush called the Caravan--I recommend it.  We'd planned to go out Saturday night but just couldn't muster the energy--not a loss though--quiet evening at home--simple but fun & believe it or not we were up until 2--as if we'd gone out--go figure.  We just got caught up watching Hedwig & the Angry Inch again--and discussing all the levels that strike us so deeply.  Hence, yesterday's post of the lyrics to Wicked Little Town.  We figured we'd watch it again in another 8 months--we seem to have a lot of magical thinking--and certainly the movie itself can lend itself to that.  I think it's good that we do--keeps our relationship special & reminds us of some of the things that happened to us early on--our synchronicity--that's what's great about this blog in some respects--we can look back on our "magical thinking" & revisit those first stirrings--helps to bring us back to that place that can get lost when everyday life gets in the way.  

Next day we had a brunch date with one of Xing Fu's co-workers and then tickets to the Ravens game. We had reservations at Corks, a great restaurant (My sis & I had been there once) in Federal Hill--super wine list--& I was thrilled to see that they carried many of the bottles I have in my own cellar--oh the prices!!  Nice little investment I've got--such a satisfying feeling that the wine cellar I've put together has in it some stellar pieces.  Anyway, after a couple very good Bloody Marys, a wonderful brunch, & some schmoozing with the chef & owner of Corks--we were off to the game.  We had some pretty amazing seats--lower level just at the 30 yard line.  Certainly was a great game to watch especially since we won. It was great company, not too cold, & Xing Fu & I just had a enjoyable time--just so easy--no drama--fun.  Simple & lasting.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Wicked Little Town

You know, the sun is in your eyes
And hurricanes and rains
Blacken cloudy skies

You're running up and down that hill
You turn it on and off at will
There's nothing here to thrill or bring you down
And if you've got no other choice
You know you can follow my voice
Through the dark turns and noise
Of this wicked little town

Oh Lady Luck has led you here
And they're so twisted up
They'll twist you up, I fear

They're pious, hateful, and devout
You're turning tricks 'til you're turned out
The wind so cold it burns
You're burning out and blowing 'round
And if you've got no other choice
You know you can follow my voice
Through the dark turns and noise
Of this wicked little town

The fates are vicious and they're cruel
You learn too late you've used
Two wishes
Like a fool

And then you're someone you are not
And Junction City ain't the spot
Remember Mrs. Lot and when she turned around
And if you've got no other choice
You know you can follow my voice
Through the dark turns and noise
Of this wicked little town 

--From Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Would You Pass the Hedwig Test?

I love the musical/movie Hedwig & the Angry Inch--I know I've written about it a bunch.  I've seen both the musical (directed by my late friend Terry Long (I miss him!!)) and the movie quite a lot.  It is a bit twisted but it is certainly a love story.  But I think I've developed a test (at least, that's what Xing Fu called it way back when).  The test consists of whether or not a person can appreciate the movie & all of its quirks, & complexities; the humor & the pathos.  


Briefly:


Born a boy named Hansel whose life's dream is to find his other half, Hedwig reluctantly submits to a sex change operation in order to marry an American G. I. and get over the Berlin Wall to freedom. The operation is botched, leaving her with the aforementioned 'angry inch'. Finding herself high, dry and divorced in a Kansas trailer park, she pushes on to form a rock band and encounters a lover/protégé in young Tommy Gnosis, who eventually leaves her, steals her songs and becomes a huge rock star.

A bitter yet witty Hedwig with her pan-Slavic band, The Angry Inch, shadows Tommy's stadium tour, performing in near-empty restaurants for bewildered diners and a few die-hard fans. Through a collage of songs, flashbacks and animation, Hedwig tells her life story while on a tour of chain strip-mall seafood restaurants, trying to capitalize on her tabloid celebrity as the supposed ex-lover of famed rock star, Tommy Gnosis. Somewhere between the crab cakes and the cramped motel rooms, between the anguish and the acid-wash, she pursues her dreams and discovers the origin of love.



There are a lot of references to Aristophanes' speech in Plato's Symposium.  Most specifically in the song the Origin of Love.  My last post was an excerpt from that song.  The movie/musical is full of references to mythology, Christianity, etc., and how aspects of Hedwig's story mirror these ideas.  Additionally, many of the songs also reflect the concept of opposites & contradiction--like I said, there's a lot there.  Also a wonderful homage to glam rock, a la David Bowie androgyny.  I recommend it highly--if you can pass the test that is.

So, early on, I suggested to Xing Fu that we watch this film--in my mind, if a guy can appreciate all the levels, the humor & a little bit of discomfort (transgenders anyone?), then he & I will probably have a lot to talk about in the future.  Not that this is a prime indicator of the success of a possible relationship with a guy, but if he's open-minded, & gets it...well, he gets beyond my 50 first date screening pretty quickly.  Mebbe even closer to prince versus frog status....


I think I've created a monster.  Xing Fu absolutely got it--I knew he would, of course!   And he references the movie often as well.  Passed with flying colors!