Saturday, December 31, 2011

So Long 2011

Where did 2011 go???  It seemed to go by in a flicker & again like 2010, it was a good one--more laughter less tears & all that stuff.  And it reconfirms my opinion about Karma.  

Yesterday, Xing Fu & I took his kids to the American Visionary Arts Museum--awesome museum if you haven't gone.  http://www.avam.org/
One of the exhibits was about all things round--which includes karma. Which got me thinking--I used to write quite a bit about karma & ridding myself of my history of negative karma especially with men. I have always been very conscious of my past decisions & all the time I was dating the 50 firsts I always wondered when that karmic wheel would turn in my favor. And now, on the precipice of our second year together, I can say that good karma is following me & Xing Fu as we plan our very important next step together.  It is at the end of another good year, that I remind myself to give thanks to the universe for all the positive karma that has continued to flow in my direction.  It has been a very good year full of great friends, family, & historic moments out on the bay & I'm looking forward to the next chapter in 2012.

I hope everyone has a very happy & safe New Year!  See you in 2012!

 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Missed Posts

Been crazy-busy the past few days & just haven't had time to post.  I suppose that is a good thing.  In fact I've missed my annual December 23rd post with the horoscope, my annual lunch with Xing Fu, & what happened over Christmas.  So instead I am posting today's horoscope:

Today's Cancer Horoscope from Cafe Astrology
December 28, 2011
Interactions with others can be intense today and early tomorrow, dear Cancer, but consider whether you are unwittingly stimulating these reactions in others by denying your own role in power plays or other complicated interplays. You may feel you are the innocent party, but are you instigating without realizing it? Consider all angles because today, the power of projection is strong. It can be all too easy to see in others what you are trying to avoid knowing about yourself. With self-honesty, this can be a strong day for taking a relationship to a new level, and for insight into finances.
Interesting tidbit about insight into finances--I happen to be working on financial aid for my kiddo's school...go figure.  The other stuff--not so sure about--as I am sitting here filling out forms & reviewing tax docs there really isn't much interplay with others currently.  


But Xing Fu & I did go to lunch on the 23rd & we did take my son to see Tin Tin in 3-D (and no, this doesn't count as dinner & a movie date because we took my son) on Xmas & then we had dinner at a Chinese restaurant--Ah, Jewish Christmas at its very best--And oy, was it crowded!  Looking back on previous years' posts for these dates, my life certainly has changed and increasingly for the better. So onward we march to the end of 2011--the next few days will be interesting: my kid is visiting with his father until New Year's Eve day, & Xing Fu's kids will be with him (and me) for a few days--hopefully we will have time to again work on blending our families like this past summer when we were at the beach.  To that end, we had a very nice dinner on the 23rd with all of the children & did a gift exchange--we both felt that it was a big success.  Always a chance to test how all the children are doing with each other & with us as we meld.  Check-in for the end of the year: pretty damn good!






                 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Intelligent Dating

Yesterday a friend of mine posted a link to this article on facebook entitled: 
If A Man Wants You by Salma Rumman.

Such truisms were never said better. In fact the first statement really says it all: "If a man wants you, nothing can keep him away".
How true.  I've read that all over the dating advice sites, books like He's Just Not That Into You, & Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man, & just about any guy friend I quizzed.  The advice also applies beyond the man having finally decided that he wants you--it's also how he treats you & how you allow him to treat you.

As I looked at these statements & reviewed my dating life before Xing Fu & cringed a bit because I so recognized my behavior.  I allowed so many ill-mannered behaviors, but I think as one of my friends said, "Those guys were part of your transition team."  Yes, they were--because now I know & expect to be treated with respect & not make the excuses, & concessions for poor behavior.  I really hope that my friend who originally posted this article to facebook follows the advice & prepares herself for the great guy I know is out there for her & only her. And, I absolutely agree with the article that dating is fun--it most certainly can be, if you relax & let it.   I think I'll label this advice "Intelligent Dating".

I also loved this article for recognizing & reminding me about the great guy I have now--he sometimes infuriates me, confounds & confuses me, but he does seem to encompass most of what I am looking for--almost two years out, in my partner. And as the article states, "Don't fully commit to a man who doesn't give you everything you need."  So not an issue--woohoo!

But the best statement for the already committed (heh, committed=crazy?) is, "You should not be doing all the bending...compromise is a two-way street."  Compromise, Communication, & Cuddling--the 3 C's.  YUP.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Gold Stars

Recently I came across an article about kids & their sense of entitlement--I thought it rather a timely concept as the holidays approach & a cacophony of little petulant voices start whining for this toy or that game or that iphone.  I thought I'd work it up into a blog post but just hadn't found the right moment until I heard this story at lunch today & it just knocked my socks off.  I reference this article where I first gained my inspiration for this post:
http://momshomeroom.msn.com/articles/7/31541447

One of my co-workers read me an email sent to her husband who is an assistant coach on a travel league.  Recently they had their awards dinner & recognition for a good season.  Sounds pretty good, right?  Kids playing team sports should be recognized for demonstrating good sportsmanship, courage, being a team leader, & most improved player, etc.  This isn't handing out gold stars, just basic positive reinforcement--nothing over-the-top.  This email basically said that the mom couldn't understand why Johnny, who has been coached by the husband for two years was passed over yet again for an award.  She went on to say how much her son deserved the specific award (apparently the most vaunted one) & that this coach was very short-sighted for not seeing what a brilliant player Johnny was & how pissed off she was that he wasn't recognized, even for something small like, "great job this season," publicly. How dare Coach___ for not seeing this.  She went on to say that Johnny will never be coached again by this manOMG!!  This woman probably didn't read this out loud or to her husband before she pressed the send button & maybe she didn't want to, but if this is her typical behavior where Johnny is concerned, I fear for his future.  No wonder Gen Yers are so difficult to work with--they expect to be praised for everything they do, including farting well.  And now they are passing this trait onto their children. I'm sure that this mom doesn't realize what she is doing to her boy--by expecting to receive praise at every turn in his life, Johnny will not understand the harsh reality of the future that "Life Really Isn't Fair" sometimes. Ah, the wonders of Helicopter Parents.  Hovering so close so as to make sure that Johnny never gets hurt, disappointed, embarrassed, or ever feel sad. ever.


But I have to say that with the onset of Helicopter parenting there is a positive.  Believe it or not.  When I was a child parents really never considered the kids' feelings about big lifetime changes like divorce.  Parents just did what they wanted--move in with a new guy?  Ok. Never mind that he was an alcoholic, or hated kids, if mom wanted to live with him, so be it.  Thankfully, that seems to have come to an end (at least in my circles)--I know that when I was thinking about divorce I very carefully considered my kid's feelings.  And when I started dating again?  You best believe that he didn't meet the guy until it was fairly serious.  And if my son didn't like Xing Fu?  Probably a deal-breaker (Glad I don't need to even think about that--they have a great relationship).  I think a lot of this parent concern has come from the over-protective trend--sorta the plus side of it--twisted, but it is a positive outcome. 


Yup, this parent behavior just makes me cringe--especially around the holidays--so my statement to this woman?  Lady, you are doing your kid a huge disservice.  Teach him that when you are successful at your job as an adult, you usually get recognized by the boss by giving you more work.  There are no gold stars for farting in the real world.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Brrr...Sailing In December

Had an awesome opportunity to sail in the Annapolis Yacht Club's Frostbite series today on a J/80.  I had sailed on J/80s before when I did the J-World Spinnaker Racing Course earlier in the summer & I'd forgotten how much fun these little boats are--very much like a dinghy on steroids.  

I have been very loathe to do frostbite because Xing Fu always talks about how the last time he went out in 1988!, he froze & they had to crack the ice off of the lifelines.  So not what I want to do, but when the opportunity arose did I say no?  Of COURSE not!  Earlier in the week Xing Fu had sent me an email saying that a friend of his needed crew on his J/80 for this Sunday & did I want to go?  So for about a half an hour, while I looked at various weather predictions, decided if I had enough cold weather gear, & generally fretted, I stalled before responding, "Absolutely!  Sounds like fun!"  And then for the rest of the week worried that I'd freeze my ass off & be stuck out in a cold, wet, rainy day--especially as the temps plummeted & snow was predicted for mid-week. As I pulled out my sailing gear which had been lovingly packed away for what I thought was at least until April, I decided that even if it was pretty hella-cold out there, I was just excited to be back on the water.

But I couldn't have been more wrong.  What an absolutely gorgeous sailing day--mebbe a bit more wind would've been nice, but I ain't complaining too loudly 'cuz it was just great fun, even when we had to spin twice for a collision around the mark (really, not our fault), & it was very exciting!  There were at least 50 boats out there--a few different fleets, & the J/80 fleet is pretty competitive.  

So, how'd we do?  The first race was our collision race so obviously not as well since we had to take our 720. And despite the fact that half the J/80 fleet was late trying to get to the start on time--no motor, we did pretty well--4th. Last year my last sailing day of the year was in November & this year it may be December--mebbe I can fill in the rest of the months--my pops would be proud!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Slings and Arrows

Wow.  I feel beaten up.  The other day I was reading a little blurb somewhere on the 'net about divorce.  I think it was a statement like, "Remember to take care of your spouse & help them to remember to take care of you.  I lost sight of that early on in my marriage."  That statement is full of regret & loss & it makes me think as I often look at some aspect of divorce (prolly because I am divorced), & reflect back on my own & wonder, still, to this day, whether I should have worked harder to make the marriage last.  (I invariably come to the conclusion that no, I most definitely did the right thing by divorcing my ex.)  But as I reviewed this idea I was really struck--Does having children cause divorce or increase the likelihood of beginning the process of divorce? And, as I've looked around the WWW, it seems that there is a definite correlation. 

You know, there are so many studies out there about the effects of divorce on the kiddos but it's kinda a new thought about the kids' effect on the marriage... Many researchers attribute the trend of unhappy marriages after children to the type of society we've become--the need instant gratification & if we can't make it work we get out without trying to put the real effort into the relationship.  Committed relationships take WORK!!  Or, women don't need to be married anymore--roles have changed & women can very easily take care of themselves without benefit of a man, or marriage expectations have changed as people are waiting to find their one true love.  (I certainly can relate to that)In fact, people are entering into marriage with the expectation that this man or woman will be their everything: lover, confidante, BFF, exercise partner, etc., etc.  So, with all that energy being put into the relationship with that one soul mate & all of a sudden a new critter is bawling its eyes out wanting its diaper changed, it's no wonder that that kind of relationship gets a little fragmented especially if one or both parents really wasn't ready to be a parent in the first place.  See this great article by Vicki Glembocki in Philly Mag:

And, according to the research, marital satisfaction drops a whopping 70% after the kids are born!  YIKES!  But I believe it & we change after the kids are born (at least some of us do...).  I had to grow up & actually become responsible--go figure!  Dr. Mark Goulston asked his couples therapy clients what they were like before marriage & here was the response: "most will say that it was happier. They were more carefree, playful, happy and most importantly and poignantly they remember putting a smile on each others' face.  Very quickly they will catch themselves and say something like: 'Now don't get me wrong, we love our children, but we did get along better before we had kids.'" Reference: http://www.divorce360.com/divorce-articles/causes-of-divorce/general/getting-through-to-anybody-can-children-cause-divorce.aspx?artid=1353

Now don't go thinking that children cause divorce--I think what studies have shown is that if the marriage is a little rocky to start, adding kids may send it over the edge--or if the couple doesn't take stock of the situation early enough & seek to fix it then perhaps that relationship may not last.

So what do I take from this?  Because, am I a hypocrite spouting this nonsense after the fact, as both Xing Fu & I have played the divorce dance?  No, I am learning from my mistakes.  Being in a LTR & planning for the long haul I will re-state what brought me to write this post in the first place: Take care of your SO, and he/she will take care of you.  Don't lose sight of this connection when the slings & arrows of life muddy the waters so much that you forget why you were together in the first place.  Love each other.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Relationship Trends 2011

So this time last year I wrote about trending break up days--apparently December 3rd-6th are big ones for those non-committers out there.  You know who you are--too cheap to buy a present which reads "LTR" all over it, too shallow too handle the parties where you have to introduce this person as your "girlfriend" or "boyfriend".  Yup, been there, done that.  So hurry up--if it's gonna happen, now's the week to do it!


I read a little meme on on MSN-glo about the relationship trends of 2011 by Natasha Burton.  See here:
http://glo.msn.com/relationships/relationship-trends-from-2011-7643.gallery

In particular I was reading that the trend for marriages is way down for the first time in America.  People are either waiting longer to wed or just deciding that marriage just isn't in the cards for them.  According to the glo article: "...the formality of marriage appears to be taking a backseat to simply creating a happy, stable relationship."  Interesting for me to read as a lot of people ask me whether or not Xing Fu & I will tie that knot.  Well, I think both of us would say, "Been there, done that" & that we follow the trend of "creating that happy, stable relationship."  

Further findings have been the effects of fatherhood.  In fact scientists have found this year how much becoming a father does change the man.  Funny, when my ex & I had my kid, I really didn't see too much change--he was just as irresponsible as he was before kid.  One of the qualities that draws me to Xing Fu is his responsibility to his children & just how great a father he is.  


The other interesting "trends" are lower divorce rates but increased use of cheating sites like AshleyMadison--so because of the economic downturn more folk are staying together but then more folk are looking for satisfaction outside of their marriages to compensate for their lack of marital bliss.  I get it, in fact one of my old "beaus" has in fact decided that he can't afford to divorce & he & his wife are co-habitating.  And perhaps all of these unhappily marrieds are sexting their hook-ups--yes, another trend that has seen an uptick.


As 2011 moves into the history books remember the last trend: that if you missed getting married on 11-11-11, you can become the new trend for 12-12-12.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Relationship Checklist

One of the blogs that I follow is written by Alisa Bowman entitled: Project Happily Ever AfterHere's the link to the post that I'm referencing:  http://www.projecthappilyeverafter.com/2011/12/what-happily-married-people-know/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ProjectHappilyEverAfter+%28Project%3A+Happily+Ever+After%29

She's written a book with the same title that I've read.  Today's post I've found quite applicable to my current thread here.  Even a bit of the 3 Cs--compromise too.  It is about happily married folk but in all honestly as I've said previously--it is just as important for LTRs too. I really like the list that she provides & much of it rings quite true. One part of the list talks about accepting defeat.  Being able to say, "Ok, you win this one."  Not necessarily out loud but being able to back down is important--a compromise of sorts if you will.  Along with that is what Bowman says about being able to say "I'm sorry."  She says it is easier & more gratifying to say sorry than to defend your actions.  I've even said to Xing Fu that if he simple says I'm sorry, chances are that I'll let a lot of what was bothering me go--

Realizing of course that there will be arguments--how you deal with them is key--in fact I think that arguing shows a healthy relationship--not ever arguing indicates that one or both people aren't vested anymore--that the passion is gone. If you spend your life in a house where you never talk to one another--watch out!  If you get to a point where it is better to just ignore your problems & hope that they fade, then that's where resentments build up--I'm the opposite--I tend to deal with issues right away--I hate having things drag--I want it done & over with so I can move on.  I was the exact opposite when I was married so perhaps I've learned from my mistakes.   Hopefully, we both have.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Three Cs

"The three Cs: compromise, communication, and cuddling! If something seems to be wrong, it's usually because one of these things is missing." -Kim (Cosmopolitan Online)


Wow!  I so agree with that statement as simple as it is.  A couple fractious days in relationshipland.  And although we don't always get along as well as we'd like, I always think that at the end of the misunderstanding, miscommunication, or mis-something we are able to learn a little more about one another.   Yup, we had a bit of a disagreement & as always it had to do with time and waiting--reference to the post just before this one.  And I think in some ways all three of the above Cs were missing which is why we argued in the first place.  For me, sometimes the only thing that my BF needs to do when we've been at it is to simply say that he's sorry & give me a hug & believe it or not, all of my vitriol, etc., will quite possibly just, dissolve....even if he's sorry for just a small part of the issue--like sorry for just the act of getting into the argument in the first place, that small gesture will move the situation miles forward.  When that happens, I don't need to win, I just know that I've been heard & that is most important.


Another piece of this relationship stuff is growing familiarity--everyone knows the hackneyed phrase, "You always hurt the ones you love." Why?  Perhaps one part of the answer comes from something I saw on TV this afternoon (DVR'd).  I've begun watching The New Girl & I really like it.  But I found these statements ring true:

Nick:
“You know what sucks about getting old?
Your friends have known you for way too long. They’ve got too much on ya’.
I want friends who still lie to me because they don’t want to hurt my feelings.  I sadly kind of mean that.”

Familiarity brings verity...when a relationship is new, one is on one's best behavior--now things are different.  But unlike Nick, I'd rather hear the truth & work through it because who wants to cruise through life with only superficial friends?  I hope that when we have disagreements that the resolution brings about a deeper understanding--as well as the three Cs.  :)

I haven't really touched on the compromise thing yet...but I will--that's a big one.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Waiting

I am currently reading The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides (really liking it thus far, btw) & have been fascinated by his use of Roland Barthes' A Lover's Discourse: Fragments in the novel.  I am struck by Barthes' analysis of love--his descriptions of the feelings one may have as he/she falls in, out, develops unrequited love, desire, & passion.  Many feelings he writes about are echoed by all of us--I challenge anyone not to agree.  Interestingly, it is one part that Eugenides excerpts that struck me quite viscerally.  It was about waiting.  I HATE to wait for anything.  I am extremely impatient (strangely though, when I was teaching very emotionally disabled kids, I was the utmost in patient--people would comment on that in fact). So, when I have to wait for Xing Fu, which I often end up doing, I get anxious & agitated.  Some of the exact descriptions that Barthes has indicated.  Following is a piece from that "fragment" on waiting:
Waiting
attente/ waiting
Tumult of anxiety provoked by waiting
for the beloved being,
subject to trivial delays (rendevous, let-
ters, telephone calls, returns).

...Waiting is enchantment: I have re-
ceived orders not to move

I am stuck in a holding pattern--I cannot go forward & therefore it feels like my spirit is squelched in some way--maybe it means giving up control & all the anxiety that goes with that.  It is exquisitely painful for me.  And why am I always the one who waits?  What's up with that?  Is it that way for most of us--that there's always one who waits for the other?  Which brings me to another quote from Barthes:

The necessity for this book is to be found
in the following consideration: that the
lover's discourse is today of an extreme solitude. 

Yes, Barthes is correct, these feelings that one has usually occur in solitude; in our minds & nowhere else.  The absence of a lover, love, unrequited love, etc.--historically, writings about love are all about that.  The waiting (for something to happen or to see the person, e.g.). God, I hate to wait.
  

 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday

After another very nice Thanksgiving meal with my family, including my little sister, in from Chi-town, I wake this Friday morning being blasted about the head & neck about Black Friday.  Let me just state for the record that I DO NOT DO Black Friday.  I am not up at 2 o'clock in the morning like my co-worker, camping out at Walmart with her hubby hoping to get the latest cheap-o laptop/net book, nor am I hanging around Old Navy hoping to grab that elusive pair of special jeans that are only available between this 2-minute long, deep-discount, special, door-buster, Black Friday monogrammed time.  Let me state unequivocally that I really HATE Black Friday--it just makes me cringe.  All that Black Friday serves to do is remind me that after we have all given thanks for the wonderful things that we have in front of us: family, friends, etc., off we go re-affirming that we are a superficial, consumerist society grabbing as many new, shiny, electronic, Kaye jewelery encrusted gadgets that we can before the highly commercialized, now-meaningless all-consuming BIG-ASSED holiday is upon us in a month's time (especially since all of these lovely stores began decorating for X-mas even before Halloween 2011 was a memory).  OK, yeah, I'm sounding a little shrewish but you know, when did we turn what was supposed to be an extra day of family football & turkey leftover time into the biggest crazed-induced consumerist holiday?  I guess we need to extend the Black Friday holiday to "Small Business Saturday" & "Cyber Monday" too. You can accuse me of being a "Bah! Humbug!" scrooge if you'd like & I'll agree with you. But I really wish that people would pause in the action to think that this behavior just re-affirms what a lot of OWS is all about--paying more money to the corporate bigwigs.  I'm just saying.  


This post is also inspired by my sister's blog post about her friend "Ivy" who is being made to work the overnight shift at one of the bigwig corporate stores on Black Friday...she points out that we should thank these folks who are working these shifts--think of them & the sacrifice that they make--I agree.  Pause for a moment in your feeding frenzy to thank them, smile & be nice even if that last jewel-encrusted gadget you just reached for was snatched out of your hand by the grandma across the sale table.


What am I doing this Black Friday you ask?  Well, I am hanging with my lil' sis--we rarely have time together JUST us so we plan to have lunch together & do what we'd do together regardless of the date--go shopping at small boutiques.  I guess in one sense the fact that it is Black Friday will garner better deals then normally offered at these stores but that is coincidence. Black Friday is secondary to being with my sister & doing what we'd do anyway.  I'm just hugely thankful to have that one-to-one time together--isn't that what Thanksgiving is all about?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Prove It!

by Shel Silverstein
It's scary that Thanksgiving is so near--seems like yesterday I was hiking out during a windward leg of the Screwpile Regatta.  Sigh....I think this weekend may be the last sail of the season.  As we talk about all of the things that we are grateful for & give our thanks for family, friends, etc.,  during the season, I think this little piece of advice fits right in. I keep coming across things in my travels that strike me as important & good ideas to try.  Xing Fu is a good sport because I keep trotting out activities & he very willingly jumps right in.  I haven't run this one by him yet, but I think he'll give it a go.  

Anyway, I was reading Good Housekeeping (I know, I know, me??  Good Housekeeping???),  and inside there is a monthly advice column called "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin.  It's all about finding your happiness--through various thoughts, actions, with yourself, family, etc.  I usually find a few good tidbits in it--in fact, may have written something from it before, but I was struck by this one.  Her happiness thought for December is: 
Hug more, kiss more, touch more.  These actions take no extra time, energy, or money, but they make a big difference.
 http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/wellness/hugs-and-kisses
She goes on to include this advice for greeting family warmly when they come home or making sure to bid farewell also.  This builds connectedness, creates feelings of worth & meaning, & shows that family members are cherished.  I like this & I want to try it.  But also I like what she says about her "spiritual master" St. Therese of Lisieux.  St. Therese said, "It isn't enough to love; we must prove it."  We often forget to show the people we love that we love them.  Saying "I love you" is nice to be sure, but hugging, touching, going out of our way to welcome someone home is a simple way to prove love.  According to Gretchen Rubin these are "proofs of love."  I couldn't agree more.  In fact, I often write about the little things--here's another one that I hope becomes a big habit.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Warts & All

I was reading a Cracked.com (go figure) article about the "4 Kinds of People (And What You Can Learn From Them) by Gladstone & was struck by a saying that he says has been out there for a while.  I must be naive 'cuz I've never heard this before: 


There are four kinds of people in this world:
people who like you for the wrong reasons;
people who like you for the right reasons;
people who dislike you for the wrong reasons; and
people who dislike you for the right reasons.

And it's only the last group you need to worry about.


Ok, I'll buy that & it is the last group that I do worry about to be sure, because it's all about doing better in life & working on your faults. But I'm also reading a book by Alisa Bowman entitled Project: Happily Ever After  which examines her road to fixing her marriage & how we all can do better with our SOs, hubbies, BFs, etc., & came across a point about allowing those we love to really know us.  She found the following statement from The Seven Levels of Intimacy by Matthew Kelly:
"We are afraid that if people really
knew us they wouldn't love us...

And although we are afraid to reveal
ourselves because of the possibility of
rejection, it is only by revealing our-
selves that we will ever open the possi-
bility of truly being loved."

That statement is huge--the trust involved in allowing that level of intimacy can be exceedingly difficult to achieve--especially if you've been burned before--as we all have, but in particular having gone through a separation & a divorce.  The sense of thinking that you've allowed someone to know you & perhaps rejecting them or their rejection of you & then allowing someone in that close again is scary.  It takes a lot to allow the one person you hold closest (besides your children) to see what you often hide from yourself & allow them access.  It's saying "Here are the reasons that some folk don't like me, but because I trust you & hope that you'll help me to become a better person, I'm going to allow you access to my ugly."  And hope that they still love you & want to be with you.  It's hard to do & doing it makes one vulnerable--but I think one of the ultimate gestures of love is opening yourself up to do just that.  Because one of the reasons I chose you to become so close to me is that I believe that you will help me to overcome the bad qualities & become a better person.

Friday, November 11, 2011

11.11.11

But I was alive
And kicking through this cruel world
Holding a notion of you at 11:11
Tell me what else can I do
What else can I do? 

--Rufus Wainwright "11:11"


Yeah, me & everybody else.  But it's a cool thought--the palindrome of it, the binary, the prime number, the auspicious meanings...not even 12.12.12 is as cool.  And, if you wanted to have a kid on 11.11.11, you would have had to conceive on 2.14.11--Valentine's Day!  I've looked through a few websites about the significance of 11.11.11 & I came across this one by Nina Amir.  I like it: http://purespiritcreations.com/wordpress/2011/11/11/the-meaning-of-11-11-11/

 
"Geller says 11:11 is a positive sign whenever we see it–on a clock radio, a hotel door, the odometer of your car, the columns in front of your house. See today’s date as just that–a positive sign that it’s time to wake up. Have you been sleeping, sleep walking through life? Just becoming more awake will change your perspective, your consciousness. That’s also worth considering at least for 11 seconds at exactly 11:11 a.m. on 11-11-11 and again at 11:11 p.m. on 11-11-11. Don’t you think?

Not surprisingly, from a Kabbalistic standpoint, the numerology of today’s date also points to the beginning of the new age: the arrival of the World to Come or Heaven on Earth. If you add up all those ones (1+1+1+1+1+1), you come up with the number 6. Six equates to Tiferet on the tree of life. Tiferet is the domain of beauty, harmony, artistry, gracefulness, synergy, peace, blessing, and balance.  It can be best described as many voices blending together in beautiful harmony; it’s the opposite of discord. Sounds a bit like peace on earth, no? A bit like heaven?"

I like this in particular as it references Judaism a bit.  But 11:11 has personal meaning as well.  Xing Fu once told me that as a teen he & a group of his friends would be out driving around near his home in Texas & one kid had an 11:30 curfew.  At 11:11 they'd have to stop & begin driving him home.  They'd always say, "It's 11:11.  Time to take N___ home."   So now, we often pause at 11:11 and say that.  Goofy, yeah, to be sure.  But it is 11:11 & synchronicity seems to be in the air for all of our collective consciousnesses. Everyone, if you haven't done so already, make a wish at 11:11 PM on 11.11.11.  You will be glad that you did.  Oh, & while you're at it--go hug a Veteran--it's their day too--

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Catch The Wind

Heard this last night on Parenthood & was entranced--I know I've heard it many, many times before but for some reason it spoke to me last night in particular.  Great show by the way if you haven't watched it--I highly recommend & the music is usually top notch.



In the chilly hours and minutes
Of uncertainty
I want to be
In the warm hold of your loving mind

To feel you all around me
And to take your hand
Along the sand
Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind

When sundown pales the sky
I want to hide a while
Behind your smile
And everywhere I'd look, your eyes I'd find

For me to love you now
Would be the sweetest thing
It would make me sing
Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind

When rain has hung the leaves with tears
I want you near
To kill my fears
To help me to leave all my blues behind

Standing in your heart
Is where I want to be
And long to be
Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind

Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind 

by Donovan

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Rock Island

"Gone, gone
Gone with the hogshead cask and demijohn, gone with the sugar barrel, pickle barrel, milk pan, gone with the tub and
the pail and the fierce"

--"Rock Island" from The Music Man

Okay, I wish this house thang would move more quickly--I must admit though, with Merryfish's dedication, the main floor of this house is actually coming together.  It looks like a hotel--so many of the things that I valued at one point I've let go or packed away.  To quote The Music Man, "Gone, gone."  Mixed blessing to be sure--Xing Fu & others have commented that it must be nice to have room (especially in the kitchen) to do things--that one can breathe easier with all the stuff gone--I do admit in some ways it is nice but in others, well, I liked my stuff...But Merryfish pointed out that many of those things were from a different life (why do I feel like I'm a blushing bride moving out of her folks' home?)  & I'm getting ready to embark on a new one--time to let the baggage go. So gone are the Spongebob, head, & fake flower frond. Gone with the candles, & vases, & potpourri....

Yup, got The Music Man on the brain--my son is in this musical--so funny 'cuz I was in it too about 26 years ago.  It was very thrilling to see my kid on stage--Xing Fu, one of his kids, & I went to see the production--I thought it to be quite well done for a high school staging--the 2 leads had good voices.  And, even the barbershop quartet kept in tune.  The music is difficult in that musical--my hat goes off to the cast & crew.  My kid has 3 more performances & then he's decided to take on Shakespeare's Twelfth NightAuditions are 3 days after the close of The Music Man.  I figure, since his grades are good, if he wants to try his hand at it, so be it--a great experience for him if he makes it.  

Ok, time to close--got to go into work to sell baked goods for 2 hours during the city elections...nice to have a day off.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Oops! Missed Blogoversary

Chicago Skyline

The "Bean" or Cloud Gate
Don't know where to start--it was a crazy, fun weekend in Chicago with my sis & her family--Yup, missed my blogoversary--was gonna write from my sister's house but I just never found the time--good.  So I'll just celebrate after the fact & show why I just couldn't get behind the 'puter until now.  
From walking around the Loop to Millenium Park & geocaching at the Cloud Gate to a somewhat chilly boat tour of the Chicago River to Lake Michigan--it was jam-packed!  Even more was a great time spent with my sister, her husband, & my niece. 

Saturday it was time to explore the city--Xing Fu & I booked a boat tour & had a couple hours to kill before it so we took a walk over to Millenium Park & spent a good bit of time playing with the bean or Cloud Gate. We even geocached there--a virtual geocache where we had to take our pictures reflected in the bean & post on the web site--

Next, off to our boat tour--a bit nippy 'cuz it is the tail-end of October--looked at the cool architecture of the city, learned about how an engineering feat created the Chicago River to flow backwards & keep Lake Michigan clean.

And then, walking over to meet my sis & BIL for dinner at a very yummy Frontera Grill.  The Mole--OMG, the mole....I can only hope that the next time I decide to make mole that I can even get that close...and then...we drive over to The Aviary.  I so wish that there was something like it here, but no such luck--Molecular Gastronomy for your drinks!  First we were invited downstairs to the very selective Office--you get your own key to open the door--the vibe inside was distinctively speakeasy--dark corners & heavy furniture.  We watched the bartender (you really can't call him that--more like a drink artist--REALLY!) mix our drinks--mine had infusions of herbs & spices with a tonka bean as a swizzle stick.  The ice was a chipped ice ball--beautifully reflecting the drink around it--so cool.  Upstairs in The Aviary, I had a drink called the Oolong--infusions again but it happens as pear brandy is heated & forced up a tube to swirl around with all kinds of herbs & fruit--served in a mini tea cup--steaming...so cool.

Sunday was no less busy--slept in & then went to the Bongo Room for brunch--great stuff there too--we kicked around my sister's old neighborhood Buck Town & also Wicker Park--spent some time hanging with my niece--I think she was far more entertained by Xing Fu...I'm just not used to girls--I'm soooo a boy mom....anyhoo, I digress. Finally, my BIL cooked an amazing dinner--very nice way to end the visit.

Up at 3:30 AM on Monday morning just sucked--we almost were able to get a $400 voucher for giving up our seats for a later flight at 8:45 but the folks never checked in for the flight so we winged away as planned--6:15 AM.  It would have been so worth it too--mebbe not so much fun hanging at O'Hare, but we'd have found stuff to do & made money by just waiting around.  AH, well...better luck next time.  And then I went to work---I haven't stopped until now which is why this is the first I've been able to write.  More to come--


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Chicago Bound

Off to Chicago to visit my sis & her family.  Fun times, especially because Xing Fu is coming too--our first plane trip together!  Uh huh, we're getting away from it all--right to 40 degree weather!  WooHoo!  This was supposed to be a trip taken earlier in the season so we could go sailing with my sis & her husband but as usual, timing is everything...even so, looking forward to a weekend with my sis in her stomping grounds & time away with my guy.  I have mentioned in the past how important I think getting away as a couple is important--often we've gone to the beach together for a weekend--this is a bit of a departure for us--heh--I think a good one.  I often think that we just don't have a lot of "us" time & I feel it is vitally important to build that in on occasion.  I sent an  email to Xing Fu after we'd had a little back & forth about scheduling.  It is truly what I feel:


"we already have such limited time during the week & even some weekends that it is often a press to simply have "us" time.  One reason that this weekend will be nice for that--I am a very firm believer that a successful relationship must have times where the focus is solely on the relationship & very little else if at all possible."

And while I'm away it will be my 3rd year "blogoversary"--hopefully I will get a chance to send a message out into the blogosphere from Chi-town.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ants & Birds

It's a birdhouse around here!  Heat has been out & I've been reluctant to call anyone--I'm in denial, damn it!  I am SO NOT interested in the change in season to that nasty one we call...shhhhh....autumn....Oh god, I said it....GACK!!  It means the definite end is in sight...sniff....sailing season will be over...sniff, sniff.

But I caved from BF & child pressure & called the HVAC guys to come have a look-see at my furnace which wasn't working. And yes, once again, Momma Nature is lovin' my house--first it was ants in the A/C & now it's birds in the furnace--I didn't stick around to see two dessicated birds being pulled out of the pipe---eeewwww...

But I still gotta believe it's the house planning revenge on me for even contemplating putting it up for sale... 

Ah, fun times but at least I'm warm.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Risk Worth Taking

I think that possibly, maybe I'm falling for you
Yes, there's a chance that I've fallen quite hard over you
I've seen the paths that your eyes wander down, I wanna come too
I think that possibly, maybe I'm falling for you


No one understands me quite like you do
Through all of the shadowy corners of me

--"Falling In Love At A Coffee Shop"  Landon Pigg

Yesterday I spent a good portion of the day starting the real work of getting ready for the move.  My good friend Merryfish helped me with the very arduous task of sorting years of stuff--Good Will, Keep, or Toss.  I was very stressed by the ordeal but we managed to clean out the dining room completely save for the pile of things in the corner that I will box & put in the crawl space.  We also put a sizable dent in the kitchen too.  During the entire time though I felt so overwhelmed by the enormity of what I must do in the next month or two.  But she was awesome--kept me focused, coaxed me through my emotional upheaval with a level-headed calm that was spectacular to see.  You go girl!  I must say that it sure was nice cooking pumpkin pancakes this morning & actually have the space in my kitchen to do it...

But this whole process is scary--when we do buy this house together, what happens if it doesn't work out?  I am out of a house--my house--the one I bought all by myself--it ain't much but it's all I've got....one of Xing Fu's children pointed out a similar concern--what if they have go through a separation again?  What about my son who's had almost 2 years to build a great relationship with Xing Fu?  Yes, he hasn't dealt with real separation since he was 7 so it isn't as fresh as it is for Xing Fu's children, but what if? What if?  But, as Xing Fu pointed out--we cannot live life as what if it doesn't work. 

As we wandered through the corn maze & then the pumpkin patch looking for the just right pumpkins to carve, as we made dinner & carved the pumpkins, lit them, & put them outside to see how we did, I knew that this was no risk--it was right where I needed to be.  It is a risk worth taking.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

ACK!

I am just so stressed & anxious about the house thing--we have begun.  The list is just so long & I'm feeling quite overwhelmed by the whole thing.  But first things first, de-clutter. 

Last night, Xing Fu & I tackled the crawl space under the house.  There were years of stuff in there--books, papers, stuff from my ex--two bar stools he picked up off a Baltimore street over 15 years ago...it was hard to just toss it aside (not the bar stools).  No, I don't want to keep any of it--but it represents my history--kinda tough to sift through it all.  Getting all that stuff out will leave room to box up the stuff upstairs so that the house can be "staged" to sell--kinda like living in a hotel room for a few months.  When we leave this house, a chapter of my life will definitely close & that's kinda scary.  

We're all full of talk like, "When we have a house together such & such will happen" or "When we live together this is going to be how things will be...", etc.  Positively nerve-wracking! And exciting.  I know my kid is getting more interested as he sees things being moved out--he's talking about wanting to have a bigger space & more privacy.  He has also said that he'll miss the only home he's known--


But everything in the crawl space except my stuffed animals "Snuggles" is going to the dump or to Good Will.  Especially the bar stools--as I throw them onto the metal scrap heap I will be thinking that I am definitely happy that chapter of hoarding husbands is closed!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Boyfriend, Defined?

As my 3rd "Blogoversary" looms nearer, I often take some time to reflect how things have changed from year to year & of course this one is no different.  So as I have been thinking back & how when I first started this blog it was all about the myriad of frogs that I had kissed, was kissing, & was going to kiss, I fell across this article in the lofty rag, of all places, The New York Times.  Finding love can be frustrating, discouraging, interesting, & sometimes pretty fun, but it is difficult for all ages as this particular essay by Marguerite Fields shows.  It was published in 2008 (I wonder what has since happened to its author--has she found "the one"?)Anyway, it wants to target college students or recent entrants into the "adult" world, but I think it applies to all of us enchanted frog-seekers newly minted or not:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/04/fashion/04love.html?pagewanted=all 


 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Bagels

I wanna make you happy. 
I wanna make you feel alive.
Let me make you happy.
I wanna make you feel alive at night.

--The KOOKS "Junk of the Heart "

Mornings are usually a little nuts now that we have to get up & moving earlier so I can make sure that I get my kid to school & get myself to work on time....which I so hope will change once we move.

Every morning that Xing Fu is at the house he seems to be in charge of breakfast--nothing huge, usually a half a bagel but he goes into the kitchen & toasts them up & meticulously spreads something on them for us.  Ok, not such a big deal but in a way it is--I could do it some days or we could just get something on the road.  But he does it every morning.  I said once before that it was the little things--and this is one example.  I told him that I appreciated his efforts especially as we're rushing out the door--not taking these little things for granted.  The little things are the glue--recognizing them--important.



Tuesday, October 11, 2011

House Revenge

Yup, this moving thing is stressing me out.  I think my house is out to get me.  It knows something's up--yeah, giving life to inanimate objects certainly questions my sanity but let me explain.  First my heat went up--tried to turn it on the week it was so freakin' cold & sure enough it just clicked--the basement crickets were louder--same thing happened last year too--ARGH!!  Frustrating!  But that ain't the worst of it.  Yesterday I decide to do laundry--not so remarkable to be sure & it definitely needed to be done--the kid had no khakis & the BF no socks sooooo.... Anyhoo, I step outside to talk to my dad as he dropped off the kid & when I go back inside I notice a little water on the floor in front of the washer--& then I look up & notice the gusher that is the washer hose--now backed up & spewing water all over the place!  After fixing that part of it, I then follow the huge puddle of water all the way across my laundry room--past the cat box with the litter that was kicked out turning to gray sludge, past the dog food bowl that is now floating away, over to the utility door that is NEVER used & where a virtual lake has formed.  I decide to sweep out the extra water through the door, & then clean up the rest, sanitize the tiled floor & call it a night.  Sounds easy right?  Not so fast!  Upon opening said utility door (which by the way may have only been opened once or twice the entire time I've owned this house), the hinges crack & separate from the door jamb & something I didn't notice as I attempt to jam the door back closed, a crack in the door proper.  This is an original flimsy wood door from a house built in '57.  It just will not close--no matter how hard my kid & I slam our bodies against the damn door--it just will not close!  Hence my thoughts that this crazy-ass house is out to get me!  After calling Xing Fu to beg him to help me out of this mess, I realize that this house selling operation ain't gonna be cheap.  I am sooooo far away from listing this house & we needed to list it last week in today's housing market.  Case in point: New steel door (so as to pass house inspection) $1250.  GACK!  Painting, possible new roof, possible new kitchen cabinets, de-cluttering...AGAIN, etc., etc., etc......the list is getting longer & longer--any volunteers?  Please? I'm begging.....yeah, I'm hearing those cellar crickets again...something else I'll need to get rid of...