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Tuesday, May 14, 2019

30-Day Blogging Challenge: Your Definition of Love

This is a hard one to quantify. I was asked this question just recently and gave a very kind of stoic and logical response. It's not a question that I can just up and answer without thinking on it some, first.
The reason I'm writing this now is because of something that I felt last night that I think helped me define what love truly is.

I think love is complete and utter acceptance of a person and who they are. It's knowing their flaws and not being bothered by them. It's somehow caring even more than you ever thought you could when they can't possibly understand why you would.
Love is honesty because it's acceptance. It's not being afraid to tell your partner anything and everything because there will be no judgement. 
For me personally, it's a feeling of empathy that is completely new. I'm not normally very empathetic, but I feel such a connection that it borders on scary. It's more than just caring, compassion and sympathy. It's knowing when they are in emotional pain and hurting when they do. It's not just seeing the signs, it's feeling it. Even in complete darkness.

Love is what remains after the dust settles. After that "honeymoon period" is over. It's a glue that allows a relationship to continue to flourish well into your wonder years.

Love isn't trying to fill a void, it's adding to what is already there. Sometimes you feel so full that you might burst.

Love is being out of your comfort zone. Wanting to be out of it. Maybe even excited to be.

Love is an evolution. It's not forcing you to change for the other person. It's not even wanting to change for them. It's a gradual process that you don't even realize is happening until it's almost over. You've suddenly realized that you've become a better version of yourself. Maybe the person you have always meant to be.

This is my definition of love.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

30-Day Blogging Challenge: Weird things you do when you're alone

Only when I'm alone, huh? I figured I was just weird in general. In fact, I can't even supply that the "weird thing I do alone" is even when I'm only alone. I know Patrick has heard me talk to myself. And yes - I will even answer myself! Does that make me crazy? I don't know - maybe my boyfriend should be worried!

Honestly though, I'm pretty laid back when I'm alone; I don't do a bunch of insane stuff. Writing, reading, watching LTT videos. All pretty standard. Sometimes I get wacky ideas. Just yesterday I decided that Patrick's hairbrush could no longer live on the bathroom counter so I drilled a hole in the plastic bottom and screwed a hook into it so that I could hang it under a shelf. The plastic was so soft that it got stuck in the teeth of my drill bit so I had to melt/burn it off using my lighter.

You know, regular stuff.

Back when Justin and I were living together, I had decided, for some oddball reason, that I wanted the living room in the bedroom and the bedroom in the living room. I legit used the domino method* to move all my furniture - yes all myself, even the bed - and by the time Justin got off of work and saw our queen bed in the living room he was like "um."
It was working out just fine until the downstairs neighbors complained that they couldn't sleep because Justin and his friends would play Rockband at 3am and the bedrooms were directly over each other.

[Domino method/effect: when one thinks in terms of how one action affects another which affects another, etc.]

I can sometimes be fairly determined in my quest to realize my ideas. Nothing will hold me back. I AM WOMAN. HEAR ME ROAR.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Birthday Continues

So even though I technically celebrated my birthday last week, I didn't have dinner with my parents until this week. I had been excited about this particular Sunday for a while; even though Patrick had already met my parents when we all went to the Spring Fair together, this would be the first time I get to show him the home where I spent most of my childhood.

However, before that, I had taken Patrick on the 5-mile Drive at Point Defiance Park, and he had showed interest in walking down at Owen's beach. So when I checked the tide table, I saw that it was going to be a -0.89 tide at 12:15 on Sunday, which would be perfect in order to get all the way up to the actual point of Point Defiance, which was only accessible at low tides. It was a super nice day, so it was perfect for a walk on the beach. We had a great time; it's gorgeous down there and we were both fascinated by the shear rock wall to one side and walking on hardened clay. Plus, we got to see the Narrows Bridges' from the right side, which is hard to do!

After our walk, I drove us to my parent's house. I had warned him that I wanted to show him the creek; the place I went to when I had an argument with my parents and needed a quiet space. So after showing him the house, we braved the nettles and Devil's Club to find my creek. Unfortunately, it looked like it had completely dried up. And on our way back up, I had promptly gotten us lost temporarily misplaced. We ended up on the opposite side of my parent's property, so I wasn't completely off course (Stop judging me). I forge my own path, okay?
So, we were perfectly sweaty and nasty from our hike as we ate our dinner: ribeye steaks, asparagus and a baked potato. I used Alton Brown's "new" technique of using mayonnaise as a searing agent instead of oil. It sounds weird (and I knew my parents would give me funny looks. I love that) but it works perfectly!

Shhh, don't tell anyone, but I think my parents like him. He had absolutely no qualms with not only teasing the heck out of me and doing daring things like hiding my phone a couple of times, but also by showing loving affection. No shame, this one.

After dessert (who doesn't love a combo of oreo cake and peanut butter chocolate ice cream?!) we had to go because I desperately needed to take a shower. It had been quite a day, and I was seriously impressed with this man's stamina considering his age [cough cough] lol plus he was running on very little sleep, poor thing.

You know, I have a feeling I'm going to be making a lot more journaling entries with all of our escapades. I don't want to forget a single moment. And I'm hoping for many, many more moments to come.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Birthday 35

This weekend was definitely something special. For a while now, birthdays have been more about my experiences and who I'm spending time with as opposed to gifts. Although I did ask Patrick to help start a new tradition by buying me a birthday card and writing something personal in it; and I will keep them all in a special place as the years go by.

Saturday was fairly chill, especially since Patrick had to go to work that night. After he got up around 12 (from working Friday night), we headed over to my friend Dave's house to borrow his Sigma Art f/1.4 20mm lens because we were planning on going Milky Way shooting on Sunday night. I have to use a Nikon adapter in order to use it, and I honestly think that if I had a native Sony E-Mount version that the pictures might turn out better. It's still an awesome lens though.

We then had a 4:15 reservation at Duke's Chowder House (for which I get a Birthday coupon for every year) that is one of my favorite places to eat. The sweet potato fries are to die for. I usually gravitate towards the salmon and Patrick got the burger.

Patrick did have to go to work that night so we didn't have much time for anything else. Sunday was going to be packed with stuff, though. At 9:30am Sunday morning, we had tickets for Avengers: Endgame. It was opening weekend. Poor Patrick was running on about 3 hours of sleep but he managed to stay awake during the movie. We then only had a couple of hours to kill before I picked up Mary so that she could meet Patrick; and we played Scene It: Star Trek, which Mary and I always played together and I would win of course, but now I had some competition. Yeah, Patrick is a trekkie (of course he is! Would I be dating him otherwise??) ;) I pretty much knew I would get second place, and I did! It's just no fun when you don't win! lol We went to Bevmo and picked up some alcohol. Patrick likes Whisky Sours because he's some kind of weirdo lol I picked up Kinky Liqueur because I like my alcohol not to taste like alcohol. We couldn't hang out too long, though. I had to drop Mary off back home before 6pm because Game of Thrones was dropping on HBO then, and Matty couldn't wait to watch it.
Patrick is starting from the last season here, and I'd only "caught him up" by having him watch a 30 minute youtube recap of all the prior seasons. He's doing very well keeping track of everything considering how complicated the series is as a whole. He seems to be enjoying it at least.

So after GOT was over we both had to take a nap in order to leave at 1:30am to head out to Elbe for some Milky Way shooting. I was definitely going to take advantage of the fact that his days off are Sunday/Monday and I took Monday off. I was lucky that it was going to be a mostly clear night!
He was very excited because he'd never seen the Milky Way with the naked eye before. I was excited to show him my "secret" spot that I go to to practice my shots. But I think I was more excited because he was excited. It almost seems too good to be true that he enjoys coming out with me to stare at the night sky for a couple of hours while I take photos.

We had a really good night, and didn't even get home until almost 6:30am. After we woke up midday on Monday we took advantage of the nice weather and walked some on the Scott Pierson trail by my apartment, and watched The Greatest Showman - one of my favorite movies. He likes musicals, ya'll! Can you believe it?

This man is definitely a keeper.

That was pretty much it for my birthday weekend!

Thursday, April 18, 2019

30-day Blogging Challenge: A Letter to Someone. Anyone

Day 2: Stuff You're Not Good At
Day 3: Your Top 5 Pet Peeves

Dear Josh,

I wanted to start this letter by saying "Are you watching over me from Heaven?" But being agnostic, it's hard for me to accept or believe that. I don't find comfort in any of it. I remember only a few days after you died, the only thing that made any sense to me was to take a walk at night on my parent's property where the stars were brightly shining, and talk to the heavens as if you could hear me. It was cathartic, even though I didn't believe that you could actually hear anything I said. I remember that I believed you to be a ghost that was hanging around with unfinished business, because that seemed a lot more feasible to me and gave me an excuse to have conversations with you.

I still miss you. I think about you almost every damn day. I wonder what my life would have been like if I hadn't been such an idiot and just taken you to the ER when you were sick. I still feel guilty about my choices and how you suffered needlessly. It's been 14 years and I don't think I'll ever be able to let that go. It has become a part of me and my being, and it has helped me sharpen my focus on others.

I do sometimes wonder if you're aware of my happiness, or worry about my future. As logical and scientific as I am, it would be nice to know that your consciousness didn't just fade into the ether. I want you to know that you no longer have to worry about either.

We both believed that we were meant for each other; that we were soulmates. The things we had in common were staggering. We even had the same thoughts at the same time. Our histories were similar, which garnered similar personalities. When you died, I was convinced that I would never find someone as good as you. Someone who could love me just the way I was; with my quirks and all. If you were at all aware of my existence after you passed away, I am certain you were concerned regarding my choices after you died. I've been through some things that were painful, but I've chocked them up to life experience. I had to go through some bumps in the road, but I believe I have finally found what I was seeking.

Josh, I have found your equal. I never thought it would even be possible. It's the knowing. The knowing that I have found my match, my partner, my Number One, despite only having known him for a short while. The connection I feel is remarkable. It is like nothing I have felt with anyone else since your death. Every other love felt forced. This feels 100% natural; as easy as breathing, just as it was with you.

I've never been this happy. He treats me right, Josh. Just know that even though you are no longer here with me, I'm still being taken care of. I will never stop loving you, but I have made room in my heart for another, and I know you would approve.

Rest in Peace, my Joshie.



Wednesday, April 10, 2019

I hope I'm a decent teacher

I don't know everything. I know, ya'll are shocked. Before my obsessive drive to watch everything from Linus Tech Tips, I already knew a fairly decent amount about PC's; I had even built my own completely from scratch just last year (placing the CPU and the cooler for the first time because the last time I'd upgraded I was living with Justin and I had him do it because I was too scared that I would damage something). But that was just the basics. I know quite a bit more than before now thanks to youtube.

Patrick, my boyfriend, was in dire need of a computer upgrade. He was boasting a Micro-ATX ASUS motherboard with single channel 8GB RAM stick and an AMD FX-8300 CPU with a NVIDIA 750Ti video card.

not an actual pic of his machine, but close enough!

He didn't even know this. I had him download CPU-Z so that I knew what I was dealing with. And all of my old components were better than his by a long shot. Oddly enough, he had a better PSU than mine, but that wasn't horribly surprising because mine was a super generic silver box. At least his was semi-modular. The only things he had to buy was a CPU cooler (A Hyper 212 EVO, of course), a thermal pad (because hellz yeah) and an SSD because we were working with a 1TB HDD (probably at 5400 RPMs. Ugh.)

I was trying my best to teach him as much as I could regarding the building of his own PC. What wires did what and where they went, how to place a CPU, and most importantly - PLACE THE IO SHIELD FIRST! xD
I think we worked pretty well as a team. I do hope he learned something. He will need to upgrade again at some point, but considering what he was already working with prior to this upgrade, he might not need to for a while. But when he does, he will have to replace the mobo/CPU/RAM all at once because it's already outdated by several years (Sandybridge architecture and DDR3 RAM).

The best part is that when we were finally done putting it together, I plugged it in to my monitor and it posted on first boot! Ahhhhh, such an amazing feeling. CPU thermals at idle were great with the new thermal pad, and all the RAM was accounted for. The only thing left was to get WIN10 on the SSD and we were set. It took all evening but we got it done!

He told me once that I am the only person he has dated who doesn't know sports, and I told him he's the only person that I've dated that doesn't know computers! But that's ok - he's willing to learn! And I think we had a good time while we were at it.

Monday, April 8, 2019

30-Day Blogging Challenge: Stuff You're Not Good At

Day 3 Here (this is where it starts)

Well isn't this an excellent post to make me feel like crap about myself? lol I think the obvious answer here is math. I've kind of given up with anything that even remotely takes effort when it comes to trying to figure out real-world math issues. With my phone glued to my palm, I've pretty much allowed my brain to gel out with even simple tasks like addition or subtraction. I have a tip calculator for restaurants. I haaaate places that force me to tip while they're standing there waiting because I can not do this shit in my head and I look like a damn noob pulling out my phone just to figure it out. I'm actually quite happy about the ipad app that gives me tipping options, though. At least there is that.
The only thing I wish I knew were ways to figure out certain problems. I would sometimes call my dad to "math something out" because I don't know how to reach the conclusion that I need. For example, and this is an extremely simplistic one, is how to figure out tax or like 15% off when I don't have the option to use the % sign in the calculator.

I'm also not good at sympathy/empathy. It's not that I don't possess either trait, it's just something that doesn't really mesh with my logical side.

I can certainly feel bad for others' situations, especially when they're super close to me like a boyfriend or my parents. But beyond that, I find it more difficult to express. Sometimes I skip Empathy and go straight to compassion. I do have compassion for those close to me. But I always think of situations logically, which can make me seem cold and distant. It's not that I don't care, but it's hard for me to show it sometimes.

What about you guys? What kind of stuff are you not good at?