Monday, June 28, 2010

The Fight and Other Weekend Adventures

Do not need to say how busy the weekend was--kinda can be implied most of the time these days.  

We went to see Phish at Merriweather on Saturday.  It was great fun until the break between sets.  We were all chilling on the lawn, chatting with our neighbors when out of the blanket of people a group of folk with a double stroller with two babies bouncing around inside decides to park itself against our cooler & our backs.  The next thing we notice is that the "couple?" sorta disappears leaving one of the babies (must've been around 18 months old or so) standing up in the stroller, which of course was perched precariously on the hill (as I said, our cooler seemed to be the brake).  The couple directly next to the stroller & a little ways up the hill, kept putting up their hands so that if the baby fell, he or she wouldn't hurt themselves as there seemed to be no responsible adult in sight attached to said baby.   

Xing Fu & I turn back around & start to chat with the guy sitting to our right.  Next thing we know, there's beer pouring down on us & the sheet we were sitting on, & a roiling mass of folk directly behind us are engaging in a huge pushing & shouting match.  The guy to our right snatches the baby out of the stroller just as it starts to lurch back & forth because it would have been far worse if the baby had been trampled by the crowd.  Still no mother of baby in sight, btw...The baby is whimpering but doesn't seem too upset by the fact that a perfect stranger is holding him & that masses of people are tumbling about right near him.  I stand near the baby as well--a soothing female presence perhaps.  From what we can gather, the father? of the baby & hence owner of the stroller, was being asked (or told), to move the stroller as it was no place to be in the middle of a huge standing & dancing, etc. mound of people.  He didn't like what the guy had to say to him & proceeded to start shoving him.  That's when the fight broke out--we were amazed--at a Phish concert???  The vibe is decidedly Grateful Dead & most folk were just laid-back & grooving to the music.  Finally, the guy settled a bit & evaporated, leaving the guy next to us still holding the baby who now was beginning to cry & fret & the stroller.   Mom?  Mom?  We hear about 2 minutes later a woman crying out, "Where's my baby?  Where's my baby?"  The "hero" next to us hands the kid over & then she & the kid disappear--stroller with all their crap still sitting in the middle of us & not even a "thank you" to the guy who really did take care that the baby was safe.  Not a uniform in sight.  The couple who were directly next to the stroller begin to push it up the hill & out of the way, when the dad materializes again & reclaims the errant stroller.  The rest of the concert passed rather uneventfully but what an experience!

Sunday found us on the "imaginary" push-button sailboat that my folks own.  I say "imaginary" because up to this point Xing Fu had never been on it & said that he didn't believe that it actually existed...we had a great sail & I was very happy to see that my dad had to give respect to my boyfriend's sailing prowess.  Xing Fu couldn't help himself--trimming the main for maximum performance on a cruiser--just cracked me up--that's what happens when you put a person who primarily races on a cruising boat--they want to make it go better...but we dropped the anchor like good cruisers & went swimming in the bay--no jellyfish yet so it was a great swim.  Afterwards we ate dinner at the yacht club & played the "Ugly Commodore Contest"--anybody who is new to the yacht club has to pick him out--points given if you make the correct selection--of course Xing Fu passed....

Friday, June 25, 2010

Summer is Always Busy

 I think as soon as the summer solstice arrives things kick into high gear.  I have been going nonstop since the 21st & haven't had time to breathe.  Looking back on the two summers that I've been at this blog, I can definitely see a trend.

So, a recap of sorts:  my son was supposed to be in Paris by now (obviously he is not--instead he is spending 2 days in Boston touring that fine city & NOT using his French).  Most of this past week has been spent prepping & packing him for this trip & getting excited for him to go to the country whose language he's been learning & immersed in since kindergarten.  Tomorrow they're supposed to fly out finally--so no 3 days in Paris now, only La Jaconde for him but at least he'll see the La Tour Eiffel.  But he'll get a great overview of the entire country & fly out of Nice.  Shortly thereafter, we're driving him down to camp in NC.  Busy, busy him.

On Wednesday I went out with another boat--not my usual.  It was different to say the least--far more laid-back--people were not interested at all in winning--in fact, this boat is in the same Spin-A class as Xing Fu's boat & we watched them take off as we were still fumbling to set the spinnaker.  But I had fun--skipper has great food on board & as I trimmed the jib, I munched on lemon hummus & sushi--go figure!  It was sad watching as we left to race & my usual ride was anchored to its mooring--harder still when watching my usual fleet out & sailing by--except one one of our regular competitors ran aground & had to be DNF(Did Not Finish) because he was so on hard that he had to motor off (decidedly against the rules).  Next week I'll be back on my regular ride with the regular crew--looking forward to it.

Yesterday I delivered my son down to Reagan National.  We took the MARC & then the DC metro to the airport--so easy--until I had to get back.  I had a great time wandering around Union Station & window shopping in the stores there, but the train ride back was horrible.  The A/C in the train was broken & noxious fumes were in the car I was in.  I emailed Xing Fu just before I arrived at the BWI station half joking that I was going to hop off & could he pick me up?  Surprisingly he emailed me back & said sure--he rescued me from being overcome by diesel (or something) fumes--such a knight in armor...from there we drove back up to Baltimore where he was supposed to meet work friends for happy hour.  I was concerned about crashing but needn't be--very nice people--had a great time still meeting more of the folks in Xing Fu's circle.  

Earlier today, I posted that article from EHarmony--didn't really comment on it but after reading it I have found that most of what was written appears to hold true for us....makes me happy to be in a relationship that works well on the many levels it does--sorta confirms the direction we continue to follow & that we're there for each other. Case in point, this morning, after leaving his place, I drove to Starbucks for my usual fix.  As I was waiting in line, my phone rang--I thought it might have been my son updating me about his current situation, but it was Xing Fu just calling to tell me how much he enjoyed our morning & to have a great day--put a huge smile on my face despite my frustration around my kid.  That's what I mean--those seemingly little things really make it big & I appreciate us all that much more.  

But the weekend looks to be hugely busy...again.  Phish concert tomorrow & sailing on Sunday...a blur as usual.  This blog is great at keeping a good record if nothing else.

9 Signs You've Met The One, Have You Met The One? Meet your Soulmate, Advice, Relationships, Dating

9 Signs You've Met The One, Have You Met The One? Meet your Soulmate, Advice, Relationships, Dating

I liked what this little article had to say.  Somehow EHarmony keeps sending me stuff but in this case I'll use it. 

Monday, June 21, 2010

Meet the Friends

 So as we move forward in this relationship, we start a blending of sorts.  After all of the craziness of the Bar Mitzvah & Xing Fu meeting most, if not all of my friends, he & I are moving more toward a together--a we.  I've met his mom (very nice lady, I must add, & I've enjoyed our times together), but thus far I haven't met too may of his friends.  Of course we overlap with regard to sailing folks so that's one area where we've already been a "we" for a while.  And I have met a few other sailing friends of his that I didn't know from the West River crowd, but up until this point, I haven't met any of Xing Fu's other friends.  

New opportunity this evening to go have dinner with former co-workers of his--people that he's kept in touch with for some time after he left the company.  It is important that both people begin to include the other person with significant people in their lives.  A lot of the dating websites out there as well as the advice columns in women's magazines often say that if the guy doesn't include you in his circle then watch out--he does not see you in his future really.  I'd have to agree with that statement having been on the receiving end of that type of little episode...the dodge & weave...ask to meet the friends & family & it never happens.  So I am very happy to have had that opportunity this evening (even if they were a bunch of "enginerds").  

Also last night was dinner at my folks' house & another opportunity to become more a part of my circle--it was nice & I feel as though things are becoming comfortable between my parents & Xing Fu (of course the ultimate test would be my dad handing him the keys to the sailboat--not sure that will happen, but I can wish).  

Again, upon reflection, it is just easy..and we just realized that we haven't had an argument...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Turn and Run

Turn & Run (Neil Finn)

There's a light overhead, overhead
In the sky overhead, overhead
And I'm with you now in body and music and mind
And we're silent and still

Everything's so out of control tonight
In a plane that's flying past
At a speed that makes me cry
Have you left me now
To trouble that won't let me lie
I'm awake all the time
You know where I stand
Holding my plastic gun

So turn and run
You cold killers of innocence
Against us there's no defense
Your flash and your wickedness
You can't break our love

Tie my hands behind my back
Put a gag on top of my mouth
But I won't give you up
Till silverware's covered in dust
And my shoes fall apart
And the tumbleweed runs
Over my desert heart,

So turn and run
You cold killers of innocence
Against us there's no defence
Your flash and your wickedness
Will surely bring you down again
Somehow we must stay afloat
Won't give in to the undertow
Something's you will never know
You can't break our love
You can pull us down
But you can't break our love 


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Blur...But Awesome!

"..Today you are a fountain pen."

What an amazing weekend!  It was quite the blur but what I do remember just blew me away.  First off, my son was was truly amazing to watch during his service.  I was honored to be his mom.  I say this a lot but it's so true.  He was self-assured in front of so many adults & his peers--he had expression, he engaged the audience--his singing/chanting was spot-on (I'm not just saying this because he's my child--ask anyone who was there...).  I challenge many adults to do as good a job--really.  I was so proud of him--all of his work & consistent study most definitely paid off & he led the congregation as if he's been doing it all of his life.  He admitted to me that he was nervous when he started but soon after he found his rhythm.  The people & rabbi/cantors from my congregation were incredible as well--so helpful & supportive--I remember my Bat Mitzvah as quite the ordeal but at my synagogue everyone was involved & created an intimate feel for the service--it was beautiful--people who've never been to a Jewish Shabbat service let alone to a Bar Mitzvah said they were moved at the joy & beauty they witnessed....

My family was super as well--no weird politics, everyone participated & we all came together to ensure that my son's special day was indeed a spectacular one.  My BIL was great giving the 2nd Aliyah and blessings & my sisters & their families were part of the service too--opening & closing the ark.  My son honored Xing Fu by having him on the bimah to open the ark.  It was great that my extended family traveled from far & near to be part of our day--looking out over all of the people at the service I felt so honored & supported--lucky, lucky.  Not to mention our friends--especially the families of my BFFs(A&J)--I have the bestest friends as does my kid...

The parties afterwards both the luncheon & the kid's party were great.  The food, the music, the company...My son was a mensch--walking around to all of the lunch tables & greeting all of his guests--even the ones he didn't know--again making me proud of his social skills even in the awkward teenage years.  My son's candle-lighting ceremony was a lovely tribute to the people that have touched his life--even the woman who watched him during the first 2 years of his life while my ex & I worked (yup, he actually worked!).  To sum up--the entire event was just phenomenal & many thanks to the players behind the scenes who made it so.

This could have been a very difficult time for Xing Fu as well--meeting so many of my family & friends all at once & being there for me as I stress out royally--he was just amazing--I am a very lucky gal--very interactive--genuinely interested & involved with my family & friends--in one word--engaging.  It was asking a lot to have to deal with everyone all at once & many people approached me later to say how nice he was & how obviously devoted he was to me & my son.  And he was with us from start to finish--the entire "ordeal"(said with a grin).  We just get better & better together--

There are a few folk out there waiting to hear about the ex-factor (in fact some people check my blog almost 10 times daily to see if I've posted) & I wouldn't dream of letting them down.  Certainly interesting to have him there--he even said to me that he was being well-behaved--he was--credit for that--I spoke to him, was cordial & even friendly--introduced Xing Fu & they even had a chat.  I asked Xing Fu later if my ex had any dire warnings for him about me...but in all honesty the physically attractive man I married was not there anymore(even his blue eyes looked tired & lackluster--no spirit or spark behind them)--it was rather sad & the comparison most of my friends & family made between Xing Fu & the ex was telling.  Xing Fu is a few years older than my ex & my ex looked twice his age...was the first comment.  One of my co-workers remarked to me, "What were you thinking???!!  You were married to that?  I can't even imagine that!"  I replied that he didn't look remotely like that when we were married--time has not been kind.  But..this is only a part--I wondered what he thought of his son--he certainly contributed little to nothing to helping him get to this day--doesn't really know our son anymore--he used to claim that our son was autistic...not with the social skills he displayed on Saturday!  Did he sit out in the seats thinking that he had nothing to do with this amazing kid leading the congregation so easily; that his own child was a bit of a stranger to him?  Was he sad about the loss?  Did he even care?  I'm sure he was proud but he can't claim any responsibility, really--sperm donation & a few years.  He was a good father to our child early on but now he can't really claim true fatherhood.  He could have chosen to be more involved, but instead my son is like a stranger in many ways.  Sad.  (Hope I've satisfied the stalkers out there)

All I can say is that it was a weekend that will be a cherished memory for me.  I am a very proud & happy "mather" as my son calls me.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Ready, Set....


It's beginning--the family is descending upon us....not a bad thing, but now all this prep is becoming a reality.  Not sure I'm ready for prime time yet.  I'm nervous & stressed but my kid--cool as cool can be--go figure, mebbe Saturday will be a different story.  I was so tense yesterday (mostly because of work related stuff), that I if it was a Wednesday anyway).  Good race--only 3 of us crewing but we made it around the course & didn't finish at the bottom.

But I digress, this Bar Mitzvah thingy has really taken on a life of it's own.  I worry about the family dynamics (of which there are at least a few), my ex & his baggage (praying he's on his best & least obtrusive behavior), all the little details that we haven't thought about, etc., etc., etc.,....all I want to do right now is escape...Calgon, take me away!

I am quite excited & proud of my kiddo--he really has great presence & has got this truly under control--he's treated the whole experience with the right attitude, with respect, & with what I feel is true understanding--he's studied hard & consistently practiced.  I think he can look back on his day Saturday and see that he did "become a man" in some ways.  Right now he's gone to the baseball game with his cousins--glad he has the opportunity, as I did last night, to unwind & not think about Saturday & its implications.  But I, time to hit the ground much to do, so little time.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

And So It Goes....

I'm a bit amused when I think back on my experiences with dating--and boy, were there a lot.  The other day I happened on the "Dating in Smalltimore"  edition of Baltimore Magazine & reread what I'd said.  Since I'm now "officially off the market", that chapter of my life is somewhat over--strangely when I was dating the Bull, I didn't feel that way at all when I wrote(must have been something to do with that other woman...).  Now I definitely do and I'm thinking back on all those missed-the-mark guys & those very interesting first dates, & I think to myself that while it was certainly a fun time (uh-huh, right....), I don't miss it at all.  Xing Fu has remarked that he's very relieved that he isn't having to go through the "dating after divorce saga".  He claims that he wouldn't know what to do--my reply was that I was glad to be of service...but I think he'd manage just fine after a few outings (but I'm very happy that he isn't). 

Although a lot of the dudes I went out with are a blur, I sometimes wonder what happened to a few (Amsterdam, drop-in dude, ex-evangelical priest, drummer-boy, cameraman, to name but very few)of them.  Did they find their bashert?  Did they go back to their exes?  Did they follow their over-the-top texting behaviors for days on end & then disappear routines? Did they continue to look for the cookie-cutter woman who was just like their ex?  Did they continue to play those BS games that some tried with me? And what was it that I saw in them in the first place?  Why is it that Xing Fu fits so much better than anyone else (a very good thing)?  And funny that when we met last April, neither of us saw that (even if I did ask about him out of general curiosity).  It is wonderful that I find it so easy to be with him--things just flow & yeah, as I've said, we have our bumps, but they're not ever (so far) that bad.  Big, Cheesy, Grin...I am content & that searching is the challenge shifts to not fucking it up(my mom says that to me--I told her to stop saying that).  

Now we shift from "Adventures in Dating" to "Adventures in Relationships".  Navigating these waters have been just as interesting and I'm learning so much here too--hopefully how to do it right this time, making sure the kid is in a good place (as best can be), and keeping the joy & humor intact.  And making sure to go sailing as much as possible (not sailing is a HUGE deal-breaker!)--no protest from Xing Fu there at all.

Ah, but soon the family descends upon us(a new chapter in "Adventures in Relationships").....eek!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Great Race Despite Ourselves

It's been a few weeks since I crewed on a Wednesday night--stuff just got in the way, but last night we were back down for the normal Wednesday Night Series.  And it was quite a race.  We had very decent wind, surprising because the forecast said only 3 knots & I was expecting to be bobbing. 

Our start was great until we started nosing in with the big boys (those who usually win our class & are highly competitive) & they wouldn't give us space.  I was in pit for the beginning of the race, & watching 5 30' boats fighting for a few yards under the spinnaker was pretty hair-raising!  As a result of a few near misses--another boat & the mark, we ran aground hard.  Better to run aground than to hit the other boat or the mark for sure.  But we managed to roll off & get set, & get back in it. 

Later, I flew the kite & did a bit of jib trim so overall I felt well-utilized during this race--was glad that I can offer to do a few different positions as crew--good to have that kind of versatility.  And, dare I say it, I actually enjoyed being in pit for the time I was there (generally I do not enjoy that position but will do it if there is a need & no one else is available).  Thanks to the skipper for rotating folks around--great for practice. 

And, despite ourselves, we did manage to beat two other boats!  So not completely a total loss after all of the drama at the start of the race.  I think we're beginning to gel as a team--feeling out what works, etc.  Again I say it is quite nice to have a regular boat to be crew for--and we have a great time too.  A shout-out to my J-30--love you guys!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Water Everywhere or Miles Part II

Drawbridge at Knapps Narrows
                                                        Sharps Island Light

The theme of the weekend was water.  Everywhere.  From all vantage points. It started Friday driving the cars down to St Mikes.  We drop the cars off & then decided to have lunch on Tilghman Island right by Knapps Narrows.  We drive down to the very tip--Black Walnut Point & look out over the Choptank River & Sharps Island Light--I love the story of Sharps Island--one of the coolest stories of many on the Bay.   It was great watching the drawbridge traffic.  Even better is that it is soft shell crab season--I had a fantastic sandwich.  After lunch we walked around looking at a bunch of sailboats on the dry--specifically little O'Days around 22' to 23' long.  Most of them hadn't seen water on their hulls for at least 3 years.  We wondered how much the owners would sell them for or if they were abandoned. 

  When racing to St Mikes, you don't always see the town, so we decided to poke around after we left Tilghman's.  I picked up a t-shirt for my son as I always like to get one from places I've visited.  We spent about an hour there & decided to make sure that we beat bridge traffic & get back towards Galesville where we'd be spending the night in preparation for a very early morning departure.  Up over the bridge--another beautiful view of all of the sailboat traffic & we decide to stop in Annapolis & walk around Ego Alley. 

We sat on the dock & looked out at all of the sailboats moored--all "Benehuntalinas" of course.  It was funny, we realized that we had done very little most of the day, but had covered much ground (or water)--on many levels.  As we were trying to decide what to do for dinner, I see one of my friend's boats sail in to find a tie-up at the dock--thought about yelling over to them but they motored by too fast.  They must have just finished the AYC Beer Can racing.  It was a gorgeous evening and whatever we decided it certainly had to be on the water for dinner to be truly excellent.

Our decision led us next to the South River & dinner on the water at Yellowfin.  As I said--big water theme--makes sense as we both decided that we need to be near the water as much as possible.  After dinner we drive down to Galesville & hang out with the skipper of my boat and some of the crew.  My skipper has a beautiful house on the West River and we woke up on the morning of the race to a beautiful water view even if it was pouring down rain at first.

No wind.  Big Problem.  Light air jib trim can be very dicey.  Long race but by the time we made it to the Eastern Bay we could fly the kite and the wind picked up enough to finish nicely & sail up to the Miles River Yacht Club for the party.  And no, this year I did not get drunk.  Instead, I swam in the river with some of the crew, & had a great dinner out on the raft-up of a few boats that did not race but came down for the party afterward.  Friends of the skipper had a dinner for someone's birthday--bbq off the stern of the boat was truly wonderful--good company, & of course good conversation about sailing & the race we'd all just completed.  Xing Fu & I sat on the cabin & I had my one Dark n' Stormy of the party--wonderful to watch the sun come down over the river & watch the tenders flit between the raft-ups, dropping off & picking up people to go to the club house.  I love the boat I've been sailing on--not only do we have fun, but I am learning so much--opportunity is everywhere with this skipper--very happy that Xing Fu linked me to this boat. 

On Sunday, we had to hi-tail it out of St Michaels to get to the party that my BFF(J) was hosting on the water in Essex.  Xing Fu & I almost immediately grab the two-man kayak & head out.  Another water perspective--it was truly beautiful, even with all the boat traffic--just can't beat a day on the water in whatever form it appears in.  Lucky to have found a man who loves being on/near the water as much as I do.  After paddling around, we come back & enjoy  great times with my friends--finished with fireworks that my BFF(A)'s husband brought--perfection!

OK, so it may be a bit of a reach to count the pool & view of the Jones Falls on the way back from dinner with my folks as more water, but we thought, "Why not?"  We did look out from my folks' house in Canton over the water so I think that counts.  It was a tremendously busy weekend but a hugely satisfying one.  Happy is really the theme here.