6/24/2022

It is currently June 24, 2022 and our patio is almost finished. I also just took the dog out to the front yard to pee and got catcalled on my own front door step. I have been “catcalled” one other time while on my own property; we had just moved into the new house last May, and I heard on the security camera the men who would be installing our washer and dryer ask each other if I was each other’s type. At the time, I was sitting inside of my office, at my desk, working. I remember feeling disgusted that they were looking at me in my own home and judging by my appearance in that moment whether or not I was their “type”.

I also just read about Roe v. Wade being overturned. I feel disappointment, sadness, and fear because I believes it is a gateway to overturning other rulings as well… I guess we will find out in time the damage this has already begun to do.

I will say one positive thing (other than our patio being almost complete): I just returned from a business trip with two of my colleagues and it really was a great time; we were in NY and CT. Our hotel was extremely dirty, but we weren’t given a big enough budget to get something nicer, so it wasn’t really our fault. The rental car was about $750 for 3 days… all of our food was covered by the company, though, so that was great. The best things that came of the trip was bonding with my team and meeting the hiring manager of our client to learn more about what they’re looking for.

Our dog, Bruce, is doing well. He does have some sort of allergies going on, so we’re trying to get that under control. He also has been whining a lot today, and I can’t figure out if it is because he is bored or because he needs something. I did try to take him out, but he just wanted to play ball. I also tried getting him a “mind game”, but it is in the shape of a big ball, so he only wanted to play fetch with it, not actually try to get the treats out of it. I would give him a bully stick or lick mat, but I don’t want to feed him too many calories. We can’t walk him as much during the summer because the pavement is too hot and it would burn his beans.

It’s not even lunch time yet, and the day has been pretty meh. Our roommate also has COVID, so we’ve been taking drinks and food to her. We went to the store yesterday and stocked up on OTC meds and Gatorade, especially since we don’t know if we will also get it since we all live on the same property. I did disinfect handles and light switches, but there’s only so much you can do.

I hope this weekend will provide some form of optimism for the future because I could use some.

May 2022

So, we have adopted our 5th foster dog, Bruce. He is a 9 year old golden retriever/lab mix. We are also (finally) getting a patio in 2 weeks.

I have also been at my new job for about 2 months now; I work for a European company once again, but instead of doing a variety of HR activities, I focus solely on recruiting. So far, so good. I am not so sure that I want to make a lifelong career out of recruiting, but for the time being I am enjoying the challenge of something new.

We just returned from a short trip to New Orleans; we made a point to do activities that were outside of the French Quarter and I am glad we did. Our dog stayed with my mom; I really appreciate having access to a family member that is so willing to help out in that way because boarding your dog is EXPENSIVE.

Our roommate may be moving out a few months earlier than planned, and I am wondering how strange it will feel for me, my fiancé, and our dog to be in our house alone for the first time. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve really enjoyed having our roommate (she’s been one of my best friends for about 10 years now), but it is cool to think about what we might do with that room; it will obviously function as a guestroom, but I also want it to be a functional room for us as well. We’ll see…

Bruce, our cutie.

First Impressions

My fiancé and I were talking about first impressions this morning. No, not our first impressions of each other, but of other people. We got on to this topic because we both have “friends” who complain to us about other friends, but then they hang out with each other anyway, despite not liking each other.

For me, first impressions are everything. It’s not even something I can help. If my first impression of you is not positive, I will hold that version of you in my head until I die. So, if my first impression of someone goes south, they will not be seeing me any further because if I can’t get around what I first thought of you (because of bad behavior, negative attitude, pushy, disrespectful, you name it, etc.) then there really is no need to involve you in my life any more.

My fiancé feels the same way. She decides right when she meets someone whether or not there will be a friendship or a pursuance of one.

Now, the topic that got us into this one: friends who willingly hang out with people they complain about. Now, that is truly beyond me. For example, I have one friend who I have not seen in a while for other reasons that constantly complains about one of her other friends. In fact, some of the things she has disclosed about this person’s behavior and actions is, in my opinion, manipulative and abusive. However, whenever I check social media, she is always hanging out with this “bestie”. If someone did to me what has been done to my friend, they’d be cut off immediately. I really just don’t get it.

I will say that I believe it is easier to cut of platonic friends in your life than it is romantic partners. I stayed with one very bad romantic partner for 1.5 years too long; however, I have always been able to remove unwanted platonic friends from my circle quite easily.

Anyway, that is the topic of discussion on this fine morning.

2020’s never-ending surprises

Charlene and I were enjoying the company of some friends while roasting marshmallows last night when I got a phone call from my father. He informed me that my meemaw (grandma) was in the ER. Her rate was suspiciously low (35 bpm) and they did not know why.

She did not spend the night in the ER and she slept in her own bed last night. Everything seems to be okay today, but they will visit a cardiologist tomorrow if they can get an appointment.

The thought “it can’t get worse” has not crossed my mind in months- it’s 2020 and I expect each month to be worse than the last at this point. It’s just more of waiting on the enevitable doom each month; what does Satan have planned for me this month?

Other than the random bouts of unfortunate events, I suppose we’re still doing well. We just sold our dining room table, futon, and some Legos on FB Marketplace. My fiance got a new desk, so I am taking her old one. The dining room table hasn’t been used in months for its intended purpose and it is too large for this apartment anyway, so I decided to do away with it.

The rest of today will be spent on schoolwork and decluttering the area underneath our bed. I might step into the closet as well, but that might be a beast for another day..

2020 continues to suck.

Before I get into why 2020 is still the worst year ever, I want to say that I am actually fine. I would say that instead of being stuck in a pit of sadness, I am just in disbelief at how an already terrible year just defies all odds and continues to get worse and worse.

In my previous post, I mentioned my concern about a friend of mine who is an alcoholic. I also said that I hoped he would successfully detox at home and not repeat what happened in February of this year (a seizure).

Well, he had another seizure. He was taken to the hospital on Sunday and he is now (Tuesday) back at home continuing to self-detox. He isn’t out of the woods yet and there is still a chance that he will admit himself to a facility; however, I really don’t think he will. He is one of the most stubborn people I know. Anyway, that is one sucky thing.

The second sucky thing is that my fiancé’s grandmother just died. The grandmother lives in the Philippines, so she can’t be there for the funeral. This is the second family member she has lost this year. I lost a family member and a good friend this year as well, so this has been a record year.

One piece of good news is that my fiancé and I have decided that instead of renting and apartment next time we move, we will be renting a house. It’s a decision that is keeping me planning and excited, so I always think of that.

I think this is also a good time to mention that when I started to talk about “the woman I was seeing” back in August of last year, I named her Chelsea on this blog to protect her identity in case things didn’t work out; however, as you all know, we are now engaged and I think it is okay to tell you all her real name: Charlene. My fiancé’s name is Charlene. I had no idea that when I swiped right, I was swiping right on my future wife, but I’m so incredibly glad I did. I am also glad that she swiped back, haha. I look forward to documenting more of our adventures.

A Sprinkle of Disappointment

Today is Saturday and tomorrow is Sunday- the day that my lady and I were going to go camping; however, it is pouring outside with no signs of stopping, so it seems rather pointless to go now.

We’ve had a busy few weeks and I was really looking forward to a warm campfire and some smores. I’m thinking about going camping next weekend instead, but every week we push this, we risk freezing in the night.

Today was rather mentally and emotionally challenging. Last night I received a call from the roommate of a good friend of mine. This friend is an alcoholic and it’s not exactly a secret- everyone knows. Anyway, the past two months have been really bad and the roommate told me that my friend had a seizure back in February already. The doctor said if he had another that it could kill him.

My friend is convinced that he can detox himself because he’s done it before with success. Me and two other people drove to his house today to try and convince him to at least get evaluated and maybe get some medication to help him through the next [very critical] 72 hours. We were unsuccessful, as I knew we would be; however, it was important to me that we show up anyway just to show him that he does have a support system and that he is not alone.

When we left his house today, we left with the goal of checking in on him more, writing him letters, calling him, and visiting him. I’m the letter writer of the group, so I will try to do more of that and also set aside some time each week to call him. I hope that he is successful in his self-detox journey and I hope that if things go south that he able to get immediate help.

We’ll see what happens, I will keep you all updated.

Spooky Season is Upon Us!!!

Okay, let’s be real: 2020 has been the spookiest year yet; however, now the fun type of spookiness begins.

I LOVE OCTOBER! I LOVE FALL! I LOVE HALLOWEEN!

I have always been a huge fan of Halloween because I think witches are cool, I love making themed baked goods, and dressing up is always a good time. I just sent out an email to my coworkers letting them know that I am hosting a virtual bake off! I’m so pumped!

I’ve been trying to find black dresses at thrift stores, but I have had no luck. I also visited Goodwill in search of Halloween décor, but I failed in my mission. I just really don’t want to spend money on brand new items when there are so many homeless used ones.

This weekend, I will begin baking Halloween cookies and I will decorate them with my fiancé and best friend. We will also be dog-sitting for my grandma, but she is not food aggressive or interested in it all, so this should be fine.

I just found out that next semester (my final semester: WOOHOO!!!!) will most likely all be online again, just like this semester. As long as my classes are asynchronous I am perfectly fine with that.

Because me and my lady have been trying to lose weight, I’ve really been holding myself back in the baking area. We also go walking every evening and I think we will pick up jump roping or following workout videos again soon. We are flying to California for Christmas and I am going to meet her family for the first time (in person- I have met them many times virtually). We both want to look somewhat in shape and I would just love to fit back into my jeans again. That is all I ask. Screw abs, I just want my pants back!

My next weight and measurements check in is in about 4 weeks, so I will let ya’ll know then if we have managed to make any progress.

Surprise!

So, my girlfriend and I have been secretly engaged for over 6 months now. Surprise! For those of you who have read this blog from the beginning (about 1 year), you guys know how head over heels I was for her from the get-go. Well, that still hasn’t changed and after many many talks about us, our feelings, and our life together, we decided we might as well make it super official.

If you are anything like me, then your thoughts might look like this right now:

  • You are moving too fast.
  • Do you even know each other?
  • Don’t you think you should date a few years before committing to that?

Allow me to ease your minds a little. Again, if you have been reading this blog from the beginning, you would know that we moved in together after only knowing each other for about 3 months. Well, it is 1 year later and we are still quite content with each other and don’t plan on changing the living arrangement we have.

I can only speak for myself, but I will tell you what my lady has told me: She has been on dates before, yes, but they never progressed to anything. I am her first and her last relationship- by her own choice. She says that she never encouraged other people because they were not to her standard and she didn’t want to invest herself into something that didn’t feel totally right. Makes sense, in my opinion.

In the beginning I felt a bit of pressure because I wanted her first relationship to be AWESOME! I did not want to set a negative scene for her in regards to relationships in that case that we might not work out. I wanted to make sure that I always created a safe, open, and fun space to explore each other- emotionally and physically. Mostly, though, I just felt honored to be the person to see all of her reactions to these new experiences; I also felt incredibly special that she chose me to trust with her heart.

Now, on to me: I’ve dated 5 people before my fiance, and, clearly, all of those relationships failed. I can also pinpoint exactly what I didn’t like in each of them- the relationship itself or the person.

  • unresolved/untreated mental health issues
  • abusive family members –>abuse leaked into our relationship
  • poor finances
  • no goals/motivation in life
  • no desire to educate themselves about current events/important topics
  • my family and friends disliked some of them for various reasons
  • major political differences

Fast forward to now: With my fiance, there isn’t one thing that I would deem as reason enough to be dissatisfied in this relationship. Long story short: she’s got her shit together. We are both super organized people, we are open about our financials, and we communicate about everything- even if it is not a fun topic. It’s just not worth “sweeping under the rug” and “dealing with it later” because that’s how you build resentment.

I will write a separate post detailing my family and friends’ reactions; spoiler: they were not surprised.

I am super pumped to start this new chapter of engagement and even though it doesn’t really feel any different, every day is a great day when I’m with her, so here’s to many more of those!

This year has sucked a lot.

I want to begin by saying that 2020 hasn’t been ALL bad, but damn, it’s been rough.

I got a call yesterday that a good friend of mine died on July 31st. She was 78 years old and she died after what seemed like a successful surgery. Her husband, also a good friend to me, called me right before my girlfriend and I were going for a walk.

I’m okay, but it’s just sad. It’s one more shitty thing to add to this year.

Also, last weekend was a packed weekend for me and my lady. On Saturday we had plans to visit my grandmother and walk her very energetic dog for her. On Sunday, my mom, my sister, my stepdad, and my best friend were going to come over to grill out with us.

So, once we arrived at my grandma’s house on Saturday, I ran inside to pick up the dog. On my way out, she asked me if I would be able to stay and help her out with a few things. I said that I was sorry, but I [for once in my life] had to clean the house and start meal-prepping for Sunday. I usually say yes to my grandma because I normally have nothing going on. She was obviously not pleased with my answer, but didn’t say anything in that moment.

About an hour later, when we got back to her house, I ran inside again to drop off the dog and say good-bye. I found her putting chemicals into her pool and I told her about Cleo’s (the dog) behavior at the dog park. While I was talking, my grandma wasn’t really looking at me and when she did respond, she was very short with me.

She started making little jabs about how no one ever has time for her and that none of my family ever helps her out, etc. She also told me that I am free to go to now since I clearly have better things to do.

Disclaimer: this behavior is very normal for my grandma. She is super emotional, super sensitive, and has no problem making people feel sorry for things they didn’t even do. This day was just a shock to me because out of everyone in the family, I have been there for her the most, even spending a week at a time with her and helping her with outdoor and indoor work.

Anyway, I told her that I did not appreciate being guilt-tripped and that I help her out every time she asks, but I just couldn’t do that today. She pouted and told me to go then, go do the other things I had to do.

I walked out and I was definitely upset because, like I said, I have helped my grandmother out more than anyone. I also never ask for anything, unlike other family members. It was just really hurtful that she would talk to me like that.

Additionally, I will admit that it is very difficult to want to help out this grandmother anyway because she is the most vocal about her belief that my being gay is simply a phase and also that she prays for me and my sin daily. She has spoken to her church about me and outed me to them without my knowing. She referred to me to her friend as “the granddaughter that thinks she’s gay”. During Christmas two years ago, she met my girlfriend at the time and told me that she was lovely, but that she still prayed for me.

It’s an ongoing battle with this grandmother, and she’s always been quirky, but lately it’s just gotten more and more exhausting being around her.

My Alternator Has Bit the Dust

Tuesday started out as a pretty average day for me. My girlfriend and I worked out, she went to work to train a new person (we are still working 90% from home), and I started my work day from our dining table.

Sometime in the late morning I realized that we had completely forgotten to pick up the Filipino food that we ordered over the weekend from a local small business. I emailed them to ask if it was still available and also if I could pick it up later that day. They said 5:30pm would be a good time to come over.

5pm rolls around and I make my way to my vehicle. It’s about a 20 minute drive and my GPS has decided to take me through parts of town I didn’t know existed. I notice that my battery light is on. My battery is brand new and the light doesn’t mean that my battery is dying- it just means that the voltage isn’t where is should be and that it is not being charged correctly.

I make it to my destination and just in case the battery is completely drained, I decide to leave my car on while I run inside. I grab the food and I come back to my car, which is thankfully still running. However, then my radio shuts off. Now, my radio hasn’t been working 100% in years, so I thought this was just the natural next step for it. It was not. My gauges and lights also would not turn on. Finally, my car did not want to move forward.

Must be the alternator.

So, I called AAA and requested a tow truck. I was told it could take up to 50 minutes and I said, “Yes, that’s fine.” (It’s not like I really had a choice) I also called my girlfriend and asked her to pick me up. I thought the tow truck would arrive before her, but she beat it. We moved all of my stuff into her car and waited for the truck.

While we were waiting, the people we ordered food from came outside and asked us if we wanted to come in and eat. I said thanks, but no thanks, and my girlfriend said the same. They insisted. So, we went inside and were welcomed to a true feast. It turns out that they were hosting a dinner for all the small Filipino bakers and businesses in the area, so there was a TON of amazing food.

Well, 60 minutes passed and I called AAA again. They said they’re really backed up and that I was next on someone’s list.

Long story short, 4 hours pass before I see AAA. It is 10pm at this point. I am exhausted and I feel bad for staying at a stranger’s house for this long, although I must say that they were very hospitable and kind and did not make me feel bad.

I had plans to walk at the park and maybe cook and spend some time with my lady, but by the time we got home I was drained. I was also stressing out about the high possibility that I would need a new car sooner than I thought.

My car is a 2007 Mercury Mariner. It has 216,000 miles on it. I’ve had it for 7 years and my mother had it before me. It has been through A LOT. It has some engine damage, the paint job is whack, and it burns oil like a mofo. The radio hasn’t worked properly since I was in high school and all the seats in the car are stained (the backseat actually has a huge oil spill). I just think I’m coming to the end of the road with this one.

I’m excited to get a new-to-me car, don’t get me wrong, but it’s the biggest financial step I will have taken thus far in my life. I thought I had more time and that I would have had a higher paying job by this time. I’m trying not to freak out too much; I am working from home and all but one of my classes is online this semester, so that helps.

I’m going to make a spreadsheet with my car options and we’ll go from there.