Saturday, November 29, 2014


Been a long time both for a post & a lyrics post but here is one that hit home. Very quiet night last night just the two of us listening to some music & this popped up. Interestingly, he will be playing in DC in a few weeks so we decided to get tickets. What a great song--beautiful lyrics that say a lot:

The time has come for us to pause                          

And think of living as it was
Into the future we must cross (must cross)
And I'd like to go with you
And I'd like to go with you

You say I'm harder than a wall
A marble shaft about to fall
I love you dearer than them all (them all)
So let me stay with you
So let me stay with you

And as we walked into the day
Skies of blue had turned to grey
I might have not been clear to say (to say)
I never looked away
I never looked away

And though I'm feeling you inside
My life is rolling with the tide
I'd like to see it be an open ride
Along with you
Going along with you

The time we borrowed from ourselves
Can't stay within a vaulted well
And living turns into the lender's well
So let me come with you
And let me come with you

And when we came out into view
And there I found myself with you
And breathing felt like something new
Along with you
Going along with you


Lyrics taken from this page

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride or Governor's Cup 2014

Pride of Baltimore II
That's what one of the other crew members V said/yelled in my direction on Friday night/Saturday morning as we sat on the rail in the driving wind & rain sharing slimy gummy bears. Somehow she managed to get them out of the packaging & into our glove-covered hands--a little at a time & we rejoiced when we both got Pineapple--along with a mouthful of rainwater...  the grapes got a healthy dose of Chesapeake Bay water as they almost got swept away--but we caught them in time at least twice. But, we didn't have to worry about washing them off. 

Earlier in the day I'd listened to the weather report & heard that Baltimore was going to be spared the rain but if you were going to be in Southern Maryland like St. Mary's, it would be a different story...sigh. I grabbed my heavy foulies, my life jacket, 2 towels, & 3 changes of clothes & prepared myself for a few rain showers. I thought, well, CBOFs is calling for lighter winds so at least the rain will be manageable....HAH!
The Dove

The race start was 6PM & the Race Committee boat was Pride of Baltimore II. For those who don't know, the Governor's Cup is so named because it is the race from Maryland's new seat of government, Annapolis to the first one, St. Mary's. The Dove was race committee at the end. That is pretty cool. 

Anyway, back to the wild ride. It didn't start that way--we had better wind than expected but so far no rain--we had a decent start & were doing quite well--we decided that we'd have watch shifts of 4 hours on and then off, there were 7 of us--at 8:00 it was my turn to get some sleep--still no rain, & I wedged myself in the quarter berth & tried to sleep--we had a pretty good heel on but I was able to get pretty cozy. Until midnight when it was time to go back up--it had been raining, but not too badly, we were in a bit of a lull & so I thought that things would be pretty low-key. HAH!

The wind picked up, then the rain, then the sea state...ACK! I sat in my heavy foulies with my usual red hat on (Mt Gay Rum CRAB Regatta from 2009--now more pink than red), the hood from my jacket pulled low & tight & braced for the onslaught. The rain hit like little pellets of icicles & made it just about impossible to see much of anything let alone the long tow lights--thankfully not coming in our direction.  At first, I was thinking to myself, "I signed up for this?" I'm freezing, soaked to the bone, tired, & a little bit scared as I rarely have had to sail in these conditions--I just wanted the wind to let up a bit & I'd be fine. Then I thought, "find the zen in this--become one with the storm." Yeah, a little hippie-dippy, but I needed to flip my script 'cuz I was stuck there for the unforeseeable immediate future. I trusted the rest of the crew, knew the boat, & knew that this was a great opportunity to expand my sailing skills. Once I flipped my thinking pattern, I really began to enjoy the exhilarating experience.  I looked at the whitecaps glowing as they crested--bio-luminescent plankton really made the tops of the waves glow in an amazing way as well as the comb-jellies that got disturbed by the wake of the boat--kinda like the picture below but with more waves--it was incredibly cool.
Later, my skipper sat next to me, & yelled in my direction, practically nose-to-nose, "How's this for your first Gov Cup?"  "Intense!" was my response--he said that at times it was a lot like ocean racing--the sounds, the waves, the speed, the intensity. Cool.

One of the highlights for me was our spinnaker run. We could barely carry it because we were so on the beam but, we did for a while & I was trimming.  V was the grinder & thank goodness she was there because we really had to fight to keep it full--imagine, black kite, black sky, bulleting rain in your face--I needed swim goggles (no wonder the Volvo Ocean Racers wear face masks). Anyway, at first we rounded up pretty badly, but I let the sheet ease & we popped back up immediately--heart beating a little fast but under control. So many times as I felt the bow dip down, I gave a little ease & we were good. I heard later that most folk didn't put up their kites.  I feel that my ability to trim under these conditions was put to the test--what a way to see improvement--it is great to see how far I've come from when I began trimming the spinnaker so many years ago to now--of course there's still so much more to learn but I have a real sense of accomplishment from this experience. And after all was said & done, we won silver! Most Improved from the previous year. So happy to be part of the crew who helped win this recognition. I've been asked many times recently, would I do the race again? You betcha'!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Overnight Racing Part II

Couldn't find this year's but I like this logo

It appears that I've been bitten by the long distance overnight bug--now off to do the Governor's Cup starting tomorrow afternoon. This one is just a bit longer than the Solomons Island Race--68.6 nautical miles. CBOFS wind prediction is calling for 5-10 knots which is a hell of a lot better than the less than 5 predicted earlier this week. We have a good crew--people I've raced with quite a bit over the years so it will be nice to be out there with them again. I was supposed to do this race in '09 but instead went to Amsterdam...I think I made the right choice. But it has taken me this long to get back to doing it--usually because of scheduling--we tend to go to the beach either the last week of July or the first week of August but this year was a fluke & we'll be going a bit later. So now I'm finally going--I think it was good to get the experience of Solomons first so that I have a better feel for this race--but no fishtraps! Unfortunately I'll have to come back Saturday evening--I usually like to help bring the boat back from wherever we've raced to, but since our kitchen remodel there's stuff I gotta do on Sunday.  But for now, my thoughts are looking to the bay & the overnight into St. Mary's.

Off we go!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Fish Trap Mythology

Dog fight under the moonlight
What an amazing birthday! My last post was anticipating the event but the experience was way better than I anticipated! The wind was better, the race was better, & ultimately my birthday was better! Lucky me.

The race itself was challenging--we were in a dog fight with another boat pretty much the entire way down to Solomons--covering tacks at least a dozen times if not more--sometimes they were ahead, & sometimes we were. And the fish traps! Xing Fu warned that the boat could be swallowed whole & we all way!  But even under that full moon, we had our work cut out for us trying to steer clear. Sometimes you could hear a bunch of birds as they sat on top of the poles, but often, nuffin'! And at one point, crash tacking away so that the other boat could be clear ahead was critical. 
Also, as we crept up on another one, we realized that it spread out across the river like this one above--we were so close at one point we could've reached out & grabbed it! Hopefully no boats got caught up in it--didn't hear of any so maybe everyone was able to avoid these hazards this year.

At midnight, the crew sang Happy Birthday & we toasted with a little wine--just before tacking to avoid the fish trap--no rest for the weary! At 3:30 AM, we were getting punchy--the glow from the huge gas dock could be seen for hours & we kept saying--"Oh, there's the gas dock!" for about 4 hours straight. And singing traditional sailing songs....while tacking to keep in the fight. It was a lot of fun, but I was glad to finish at about 7:45 the next morning--beating out 3 boats--including the one we battled with all the way down, that managed to pass us when we were under the wrong spinnaker earlier. We crossed the line 3rd but were corrected over by 2 boats which gave us 5th place...ah, PHRF racing--so close & yet so far. When we got into the marina, there were Bloody Marys & other birthday drinks made by my skipper & another friend: Painkillers for my birthday! Xing Fu drove down & brought birthday cake so another round of Happy Birthday. Needless to say, the morning was a bit hazy--by 1 PM or so, I needed to sleep so I found my way to the motel & crashed for about 3 hours until it was time to go to dinner.

I think I heard Happy Birthday sung to me about 4 times that day--the last was a rousingly loud one by the entire bar at dinner--so fun! And it truly was a birthday for the record books--thanks to all of my sailing friends for such a super celebration!

Looking forward is Governor's Cup--I'm going to do this crazy overnight thing again--adding about 20 more miles....

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Overnight Racing

I feel that my standard opening lines are always, "Been a while..." Like my very own "Once upon a time." Okay, so, it's been a while. NYC was awesome--Hedwig even awesomer! My son is in Spain for 3 weeks studying Spanish & Global Business & so it has been quieter at home, but I've been keeping very busy with sailing, of course.
Solomons Island

And I'm going to write about sailing--now that's been a while! I think this may have been the first year where I haven't waxed poetic about racing & sailing. I guess it is a "goes without saying" by now, but I'm happy to inform everyone that I'm still out there at least 2-3 days a week racing or sailing, or practicing. This weekend is an overnight race to Solomons Island. It used to be the feeder race for Screwpile which I won't be doing for the 2nd year in a row--sad but as it is now out of sync with the Solomons race, no one wants to keep their boats down there for a week until Screwpile. Plus, racing overnight is more interesting for a lot of people who don't want to do windward-leewards in usually very light air for two days. It is certainly a new experience for me. I was going to do the Gov Cup in 2009 but instead went to Amsterdam--that would have been my first overnight racing experience & ever since, I've been unable to participate in either Solomons or the Governor's Cup because of scheduling reasons. So now it looks like at least I'll be doing Solomons & quite possibly Gov Cup this year--so new racing experiences for me after so many years.  I've sailed at night quite a bit, but no racing. There will be a full "super" moon for this race--how cool--at least we'll have some good ambient light--there can be many hazards: long tows--barges attached to tugs with a very long towing cable, fishing traps that according to Xing Fu can swallow your boat right up, unlit buoys, etc., always need someone on watch for these things but I'm thankful for the full moon & moonset isn't until 5:00 AM~lucky us.  Wind is predicted to be light & we should be beating(close hauled) most of the way, but looking at the stars, the moon, the water--the quiet, nice. And, it is my birthday on the 12th as well! How auspicious--Cancers are ruled by the moon & on my birthday there will be the super moon. Now I can get all horoscope-y & talk about how Cancer is a water sign-I'll be sailing, the super moon, & Fun!
See you in Solomons!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Hedwig--It All Comes Around Like Karma

What's going on here? I'm actually posting for a third time this week! Not sure why I've been so motivated recently, but it works. 
Neil Patrick Harris as Hedwig

I'm really looking forward to this weekend. We're going to NYC. That is exciting to be sure, but we have a reason to go. We are going to see Neil Patrick Harris star in Hedwig & the Angry Inch! Yes! On Broadway! Can you believe that this little snip of a musical has actually gone mainstream? Any of you out there who actually read what I say know how much I love Hedwig & also that I hoped that when I showed it to Xing Fu, he'd get it too.  And so, four years later, we're off to see it live. Every year around February, Xing Fu & I watch Hedwig--it is a reminder of the things that bring us together. I'm very happy that we have these special reminders. And so, I am re-printing my original post about The Hedwig Test & I urge everyone to see the movie with John Cameron Mitchell--the original Hedwig--so awesome. And maybe you'll pass the Hedwig test too! "I put on some make-up, turn on the tape deck, I pull the wig down from the shelf..."

  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.  


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!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Never Date a Non-Sailor & Other Truisms

It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

I agree with this statement wholeheartedly. Passionate love only lasts so long--it is the slogging through after the head-over-heals, feet never touching the ground ground feelings wear off that matters. Yes, "the slings & arrows of outrageous fortune" don't go away & how a couple deals with them together makes all the difference. Having the core of a deep friendship can make even the most difficult circumstances bearable. And true love is built on real friendship over time.

Having been through one failed marriage, I've come to the conclusion that my ex & I were at our best as friends. And at one time we were friends but I think we fooled ourselves into thinking that there was enough commonality in values, hobbies, interests to sustain us. There just wasn't. Xing Fu & I joke about the one dating rule that we adhere to: "Never date a non-sailor." We both did not follow that rule the first go 'round & look where it got us...We joke but I think there is a truth there. We met doing what we love--there isn't a day that goes by that sailing isn't mentioned. In fact, our house could be described as a shrine to sailing.  Sad, but true. All of our sailing friends love it...  But, that is our passion. I feel my happiest & most alive when I'm out there & what better than to share that with someone I love & who understands my need to be trimming the kite.  But this isn't a blog about sailing, really...ha! Who'm I kidding??  My point in all of this is that common interests, ahem, obsessions, (joking) are extremely important. I look at other sailing couples in our social circle & being out on the bay together seems to be very satisfying for them as well.  I know that when I was out in the dating scene, I decided to dive back into the sailing community for a big reason--I loved sailing & I really wanted to be with someone else who loved it as well (and my other passion of horseback riding has, like, zero men).  As I've talked about in much earlier posts, even if I didn't meet anyone, I was loving my hobby, er, obsession.  I also want to point out that even though sailing was what drew us together, that wasn't the only thing about our original friendship.  Actually, it was The Who. At least, that's what got us talking in the first place.  And our common interests are very important--we enjoy doing things together & building on the basis of our friendship. I think good marriages & LTRs are bound together by just enjoying being with your best friend.

Below is a little quiz thingy I found about knowing your spouse/significant other. Have you lost touch with these things? Yeah, some of them seem trivial but when I thought about it, I realized that these are the dailys--and adapt as needed--if your partner doesn't like movies that much, how about favorite books.  If you have lost touch--use this as a way to jump off & reach back out to reconnect.

  • I can name my partner's best friends.
  • I know what stresses my partner currently faces.
  • I know the names of those who have been irritating my partner lately.
  • I know some of my partner's life dreams.
  • I am very familiar with my partner's religious beliefs.
  • I can outline my partner's basic philosophy of life.
  • I can list the relatives my partner likes least.
  • I know my partner's favorite music.
  • I can list my partner's favorite three movies.
  • I know the most stressful thing that happened to my partner in childhood.
  • I can list my partner's major aspirations.
  • I know what my partner would do if he/she won a million dollars.
  • I can relate in detail my first impressions of my partner.
  • I ask my partner about his/her world periodically.
  • I feel my partner knows me fairly well. 
Adapted from:  Gottman, J. M., & Silver, N. (1999). The seven principles for making marriage work. New York: Crown. And from "Forever Families"

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Will You Cheat?

I came across this infographic about cheating. Very interesting. Especially the large testicles. Question: How many women are now going to inspect their man's testes??? Answer: All of the women who live in DC! *SNORT*

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Separation Anxiety

Came across this on Huffpost today. Pretty spot on so I thought I'd share as it has been since 2004 when my ex & I separated & I could've used some of these wise words:


20 Things I Wish I Could Have Told My Newly Separated Self

by Jackie Pilossoph

As I look back on myself as a newly separated 41-year-old with two young children, I realize now how utterly lost I was. Those first several months were brutal. Not only was I trying to navigate the waters of divorce, dealing with the ups and downs of litigation and mediation, but I was also trying to heal my broken heart, and at the same time trying to find my way to a happier life.
It was like a roller coaster, and I remember that winter, I got the worst flu I've ever had in my life -- probably my body's reaction to months and months of some of the worst stress I can ever remember.
Had I had someone like me (a divorce blogger and someone who has been there) to give myself some good advice, it would have been nice! A lot of stress, probably most of it, stems from the fear of the unknown, so if someone would have given me a few nuggets of advice, it really would have been useful.
So, here are 20 things I wish I could have told my newly separated self.
1. This isn't going to be easy. Put on your seatbelt and go for the ride. Try to enjoy the non-bumpy times, because there aren't many, but some parts of the journey are wonderful, believe it or not.
2. Your ex is hurting too. And he's angry. Try to be understanding of erratic, unreasonable behavior. I'm not saying accept it. It's not okay. Just understand why it's happening.
3. Getting divorced doesn't make you a failure so stop looking at it that way.
4. Be careful who you talk to. Airing your dirty laundry to the wrong people could have consequences.
5. Reach out to the people who love you. They want to be there for you. Don't sit in a room and cry by yourself all the time. There are times you need to call up your girlfriend and just sob.
6. You won't be alone and single when you're 70, so stop worrying about it.
7. Your kids are going to act out, cry a lot, and possibly be angry. It's your fault for getting a divorce but their behavior isn't YOUR fault and it doesn't mean you made a mistake getting divorced. Deal with it the best you can and get your kids therapy if you think it will help them. Don't feel guilty.
8. Your ex will have a girlfriend in the next two weeks. Be prepared. And, he will still be cold and distant to you, no matter how blissful he seems with her.
9. Your in-laws will act like strangers to you. Be prepared to be in shock when they treat you like the scum of the earth.
10. Some of your friends will stop calling you or returning your calls. Don't take it personally. Your divorce is THEIR issue.
11. Some of your friends will start calling you and want to get together to hear the dirt on why you got separated. After one get together, you will never hear from them again.
12. Start doing yoga. Today.
13. You're going to get calls from your attorney telling you what is happening in your case. Some calls will cause you to cry so hard you will hyperventilate. Remember that it will all turn out fine if you make good, ethical choices, be the best mom (or dad) you can be and don't break the law.
14. You're going to meet a lot of men who will paint a bleak picture of what the dating scene after divorce is like. Trust me, there are good ones out there! Don't lose hope.
15. One night, you will be out and you won't be expecting anything, and a guy who you never thought would be interested in you will be. And it will make you feel young again and sexy and pretty!
16. There will be so many nights you will feel exhausted and feel like things will never get any better. They will.
17. If someone other than your soon-to-be ex tells you that you should consider getting on anti-depressants, consider that they might be right.Many men and women go on medication for the short term during the beginning of a divorce. There's no shame in it!
18. Worrying doesn't really do anything except cause sickness and disease and make you feel depressed.
19. Whenever you feel extreme anger, sadness, depression or anxiety, do one of two things: go to the gym or write in a journal. Just do it. Don't even think twice. Those two things are guaranteed temporary remedies.
20. Don't lose sight of other things going on in the world, or your friends and family's lives. Your divorce isn't the center of the universe.

Jackie Pilossoph is the author of the blog, Divorced Girl Smiling. She is also the author of her new divorce novel with the same name, as well as her other divorce novel, FREE GIFT WITH PURCHASE. Ms. Pilossoph is a weekly business features reporter and columnist for Sun-Times Media. She lives in Chicago with her two kids. Oh, and she's divorced!
Follow Jackie Pilossoph on Twitter:

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Post-Divorce Dating

I really like this blog post from Huffington Post blogger Magda Pecsenye.  She talks about the guys that women will date & what they ought to be like.  It is a very encouraging post. But first I want to chat about the guys who a newly minted post-divorce dater may run up against.  When I began dating after divorce I really ran into some doozies. Pecsenye talks about "The Dude Who Never Learned".  Yeah, I seemed to find a lot of those guys.  Scratching their heads wondering why their marriages failed--chasing the younger chicks--very young chicks, & wondering why you don't fawn all over him when he brags about his car, boat, job, money, etc., etc.  In other words, a very superficial guy who learned NOTHING from his failed marriage.  Yikes!!  These men are often the "confirmed bachelors" who never found the perfect girl. Any of you newly single post-divorce women out there--make sure you recognize the signs--they can be very charming & a lot of fun but there will never be a future.  Expect that the previously married ones have accounts with Ashley Madison & are always looking for, as my friend C says, "the bigger, better, deal" or BBD. 

Eventually, you may tire of these guys & actually start to look at some of the options that you passed on early on.  These guys may not be the most exciting at first glance but they turn out to be just about perfect for the reasons that Pecsenye points out in "6 Things About the Men You'll Date After Divorce". 

She's right--basically, these guys do "really like you."  They're appreciative of who you are & what you have to offer, warts & all.  They are honest & do not play games.  Who has time for that crap?  I don't.  One of the reasons I liked Xing Fu was because he was honest.  There are no hidden agendas--I've said that about him before. And as far as I know there are no Ashley Madison accounts....And, when Pecseyne talks about not texting or calling--it has nothing to do with nefarious intent & everything to do with being busy with kids, work, a Duke basketball game--Xing Fu always, always got back to me.  Yeah, he's really obsessed during March Madness, but I've decided it is a lot of fun & I look forward to it as well--something that we can share. What you see is what you get--that is all.  

Here are a few other reasons right from the post--

They might be hurt. Whether it's stuff from a previous marriage and divorce, stress from being single for so long, work and life pressure, or just the normal crap that happens to boys that they're not allowed to talk about but that they bring with them into manhood, men this age are unlikely to not have something hurting them that they carry around without realizing it. That means that sometimes their urge is to self-protection, and that doesn't mean that they don't trust you or don't want to be with you. It just means that they aren't perfect, and that they could use a friend. If you two can become real friends -- the kind of friends who help each other heal by being honest and trustworthy and loyal -- then you'll both have someone to trust, whether or not you end up together romantically.
They like sex. And they're radically better at sex than they were 10 or 15 years ago. They're better at individual acts, at pacing, at appreciating your body, at paying attention to what's working for you, at doing something explosive together. They have a more mutual view of pleasure than they did when they were younger, and they're more confident in themselves and their bodies. They're really happy to be having sex with you, and they're happy that you want it with them.
They're good at their jobs, but it's not how they identify themselves. By now they've done the whole "master of the universe" career-building thing, so they've gotten really good at what they do. But they've also figured out that it's not the only thing that gives them identity, and isn't the most important thing about them. This gives them confidence, but also makes them more interesting to talk to than guys in their 20s who self-identify by their job titles. Men over 35 will tell you what their jobs are, but then they talk about "what they do," whether it's hang out with their kids, play soccer, take pictures, or whatever else has their heart instead of just their working hours.

Those guys are out there--believe me, I should know.  I'm very lucky to have found one.  

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


OK, so maybe in chasing the fun & interesting story, I may have fabricated in the telling.  To those that I may have caused concern, my apologies.  It will not happen again.