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arafel_sidhe

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Gallivanting! [Nov. 4th, 2010|06:11 pm]
arafel_sidhe
[mood |excitedexcited]

Hmm.... it has been a long time since I’ve posted in here. Mostly I haven’t felt the need because things have been good and I’ve been blogging about my motorcycle-related stuff over at my motorcycle blog, and that’s been consuming pretty much all of my attention.

Which brings me to my point - I’m about to go gallivanting off on my motorcycle!

In a month, the partner and I will be leaving for a 3-4 month trip on the motorcycles. Logistics are still up in the air about which direction we’re going, but we’ll be traveling overland between Boston and Ushuaia, Tierra Del Fuego - the End of the World. We’ll either be flying our bikes to Buenos Aires and driving up from there, or driving down and then flying home from Buenos Aires. (It’s remarkably difficult to ship a motorcycle from Boston, which is what’s tying our logistics up.)

20,000 miles overland on the motorcycles. We’ll be traveling through South America, Central America and North America. We’ll be hitting at least 14 countries and maybe more (some smaller countries aren’t in our direct path but we might wander into them) and having what we hope is an amazing trip. I’m sure there will be moments of “WTF?!” and perhaps some danger, although I hope not too much.

We’re totally psyched. We’re working on putting together an iPad magazine, and we’re doing a website with video and pictures and stuff. When we get home, we’re gonna put together a print magazine from the trip.

Hopefully this will be the first step in a new phase in our lives. Personally, I’m getting burnt out on some of the writing stuff I’ve been doing. It’s hard to stay motivated to write about the same old stuff over and over again, and my biggest client right now is a bra seller. Bummer. Hopefully the magazine will give me a new direction, and we’re thinking about parleying it into an ongoing publication if we can get sponsors/advertisers and a decent circulation. There may also be a book out of the trip, and hopefully we can use the trip to somehow make money to fund the next one. (Africa? Around the world? No idea yet - one trip at a time.)

The partner was under the impression that unpaid leave would be available from work, but that didn’t happen (corporate BS) so there’s job-quitting. I’m a little apprehensive for what that’ll mean for our lifestyle once we get home - me without my regular clients for 3-4 months and the partner without a job entirely. The current apartment is a bit pricey and I certainly can’t afford it solo with what I make writing, so we’ll see what happens when we get back.

But things are falling into place. A lot of stuff was up in the air for a while - paperwork, passports, money, etc. that is starting to all click into place at once. I think we’ve got all of the important paperwork covered, and we’ve got cash either tomorrow or Monday to buy the remaining stuff we need before the trip. If we didn’t both have work obligations, we could take off ASAP - but we both have to wrap things with our respective jobs, and wait for the things we’re ordering to arrive.

I am sad that we won’t see our friends for 3-4 months. There’s Christmas and one of our friends has a birthday while we’re gone, and I’m bummed that we won’t be there for him. We’re planning a holiday thing before we leave but it won’t be the same. I’m also vaguely apprehensive about the dogs. We’ve invited a couple of recent college graduates to come stay here with their dog and take care of the dogs while we’re gone. We get dog sitting/someone to live in the house so it’s not empty while we’re gone for 3-4 months, and they get free rent and utilities in the Boston area for 3-4 months. Seems like a win-win, but it’s hard to really be sure after meeting someone once. It’ll also be the longest I’ve been away from Ben, and I’m a bit worried about how he’ll take it.

And this is me. I’m simultaneously psyched about the trip and at the same time thinking about all of the things that could go wrong. I wish I could just be happy without worrying, and I’m sure I will be once we’re on the road, but there’s still a lot to do in the next few weeks before we go.

Super psyched, though! (And if you want the website so you can follow along, let me know and I’ll pass it on to you.)
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I am Full of Love (For My Friends) [Jun. 29th, 2010|10:42 pm]
arafel_sidhe
[mood |contemplativecontemplative]

No, this isn’t another mushy post about my girlfriend (although, yes, I am full of love for her, too) but I was thinking today of how blessed I’ve been to have some wonderful people in my life. I’ve had some bad relationships, but for the most part, the people in my life have been good, kind, generous, entertaining, wonderful people. I haven’t always had a lot of friends, but the friends I *have* had have been good ones. Over the years, I’ve lost touch with some of them, and that’s sad. And the ones that are still in my life today - I hope they know how much I appreciate them, because I really do.

Yes, YOU - Miller, and Kate, and Jeffy, and Sarah, and Anthony, and some of my dog park friends with whom I’ve drifted apart, like Kristen, and Dara, and Laura, and Laura (yes, Laura is a common name). And to the Ghost of Friends Past, with whom I haven’t talked in years but who have been a big part of my life - Marcie, and Sara, and Mike, and Kevin, and Vinnie (who turned out to be an asshole), and even my ex-hubby, Chris - he was a friend before I made the mistake of marrying him.

I’ve even been fortunate in the people who have touched my life peripherally - as clients, or as friends of friends, or business acquaintances - they’ve been, for the most part, good, nice people who I’d probably enjoy knowing better. People like Rebekah and Derek, and Todd, and Diane, and Shannon, and Caroline, and Derek (Derek is another common name?), and Aaron, and probably a bunch of other people I’m not even thinking of. Even people who have been a distant part of my life have touched it - a passing smile on a crap day, a funny remark that lifted the mood, or an enjoyable conversation that left me with a good feeling. However peripherally, it rocks. They rock.

Even my clients have been, for the most part, good. I was reviewing my comments and feedback today on one of my work profiles and people have had glowing things to say about me. It makes me feel good about having worked with them, and knowing that they were happy with the work I did for them - that gave me a real boost today. I’m fortunate to have had, for the most part, wonderful clients. I’m happy to have built good business relationships with many of them.

My life has had some adversity, but in a lot of ways, I think I’ve been really lucky. I always manage to land on my feet, somehow, and there always seems to be enough of whatever I need at the last minute. I haven’t been through anything I haven’t been able to endure. And there’s been a lot of good in it. I feel like, on the whole, I’ve had more good days than bad ones. I’ve had a lot of awesome experiences. My life is filled with good people, whom I love.

I am a lucky person.
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Stop Stalking Me! [Jun. 24th, 2010|04:12 pm]
arafel_sidhe
[mood |annoyedannoyed]

Am vaguely annoyed. The most recent ex - the one who likes to text or email me every month or so being all wishy-washy - decided to try to get in touch with me again today. It started with an email early this morning, which I saw while I was waiting in line for the iPhone 4. (Yes, I waited in a 3-hour line even though I had pre-ordered it, and yes, it totally rocks.) Then he started texting me at around 9:45AM - sent me several texts over the course of an hour. I didn’t bother replying to his email or texts - just deleted them - and thought that would be the end of the matter.

I was quite surprised when I got an email from my motorcycle blog at around 2pm - from him. I’ve never told him about my motorcycle blog - the last time I actually talked with him, I hadn’t even bought the motorcycle yet - which means he was online stalking me. I’m fairly easy to find online, and I use my real name on my motorcycle blog, so I’m not terribly surprised he found me - I’m just annoyed that he felt the need to go looking for me, and send me YET ANOTHER email. I half expect that when he figures out that won’t work, he’ll show up at my house or try to find me some other way.

The last time I talked to him, it was a couple of months ago and the lady and I had been dating for a few weeks at that point. I ignored his initial email, but then he started texting me so I replied saying that I’m with someone else now and asked him to leave me alone. I seriously thought that would be the end of it - particularly considering that he’s claimed that he has “deleted” me from his phone several times, and called me horrible, nasty things after I refused to get back together with him in February, I think. And the man is STILL contacting me.

His persistence is annoying. I’m sick of his whining attempts to contact me. I’m perfectly happy with my lady, and feel no need to reply to him or see him. He says that he knows I’m with someone else and happy, and that he just wants me back in his life as a friend or something because I “understood” him. And then follows with some other message about how he screwed up, etc. etc. The man is a born manipulator, but I’m intelligent, and happy, which means I am not susceptible to his manipulation.

So stop stalking me already, you looser! (Not that he knows where this blog is, I think, but still.) I don’t want to engage him at all, so I’m not responding to his notes even just to tell him to fuck off - I already tried that before and it didn’t work, so I figure I’ll try ignoring him completely. Hopefully this works. I really don’t wanna walk out the door and run into him.
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GRR! [Jun. 22nd, 2010|05:34 pm]
arafel_sidhe
[mood |angryangry]

I need to vent and there’s no place else that’s safe to do this. It’s both writing-related and motorcycle-related, and I have blogs for both, but the object of my venting knows about both of them, so I’ve gotta do it here.

ARG!

I had an interview today with a motorcycle journalist. She’s writing an article about women who begin riding on Ninja 250s, and I ran into her post so I emailed her because I’ve started riding on a 250. She tried to offer helpful information for me, but she said some things that just made me NOT LIKE HER. I’m so annoyed at this casual dismissal of me as a writer and a motorcyclist.

First, the writing. I’ve spent years establishing myself as a writer, and I had my first pieces published while I was still in high school. No, I do not have a writing degree from a formal institution. However, I have a farggin decade of experience. PEOPLE SEEK ME OUT AND PAY ME TO WRITE! I think that should count for something, no? Further, I have been making it as a full-time freelancer for a year and a half now, and doing pretty well for myself this year, as well as writing throughout the course of my careers ever since I had my first job out of high school. My writing career should not be less valid than a “journalist” just because I didn’t go $40k to $80k in debt on a piece of paper that is worthless now, since over 50,000 print media jobs have been cut in the last two years. Guess who’s still making money? Yeah, me. Eff you, “journalist” “experienced writer” “educated” fraggin meanihead.

Also? Don’t talk to me like “copywriting” isn’t real writing. She’s gotten me down as a “copywriter” and writing copy is only a small part of what I do on a regular basis. And even if it was all I did, don’t talk to me like copywriting isn’t “real” writing. Copywriting makes a hell of a lot more money than “journalism,” and a good copywriter is a good persuasive writer who can influence how people think. How is that any different or less valid than journalism? Plus I DO OTHER WRITING! I WRITE ARTICLES! AGH!!!

Hah. After re-reading what I’ve written here, I’ve drafted an email which I’ll send later asking her to refer to me as a “freelance writer” and listing a few of the other types of writing I do. That made me feel better. Take that, you stupid moto-journalist.

And another thing. Taking my bike on a long trip - any long trip? Don’t tell me I can’t do that. That’s bullshit. My bike - my personal bike - has been around the United States for two weeks and held up just fine. I wasn’t the one riding it, but that’s beside the point. My model of bike has been to Deadhorse, Alaska, down 250 miles of dirt road. It’s also been across the entire width of Canada and back on a trip of over 10k miles. This is just 10k miles in a different (and arguably more interesting - culturally, at least) direction, and there’s no reason my bike can’t do it. Some other street bike even more unsuitable for this trip has ALREADY DONE IT! And yes, I’ve spent hours on the bike and I know it gets sore after a while - but it’s not intolerable, and I can do things to mitigate that.

No, I do not need a “faster” bike. My bike easily did 70-80MPH on the interstate and that’s as fast as I’d ever want to go. That’s just fine for me. I don’t need to cover 1k miles in a day, and I’m not making this big trip for speed - I want to go and ENJOY myself, which doesn’t mean I want to be the fastest rider anyway. MY BIKE IS PERFECTLY CAPABLE OF MAKING THIS TRIP! AND IF NOT, I’LL DEAL WITH IT!! DON’T TELL ME NOT TO DO IT!!!!

It’s like I’m some little kid who doesn’t know any better. Yes, I know the bike isn’t the most appropriate choice for this trip. And yes, I’m planning to go on it in spite of that. A man rode a little postie bike from Australia to England. If a fargin postie can make that trip, my Ninja can certainly ride down a highway - even if the road is rough in places.

This annoys me. It annoys me so much. Her general sense of “I know better” and “I’m a real writer” and “that bike isn’t a bike for long trips” smacks of ignorance and elitism that just really gets to me. I’m so cheesed off right now. And I can’t even post about the bike being fine for the trip on my bike blog, or the fact that other types of writing qualify as “real” writing on my writing blog, because she might see them and she’ll know it’s about her. And then she could blacklist me as a writer/rider in the industry. But I want to rant about her! AGH!
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So this is what it's like to have an adult relationship? (Mush alert!) [May. 3rd, 2010|05:00 pm]
arafel_sidhe
[mood |happyhappy]

Pre-emptive warning: I may be compelled to say sweet/mushy things in this post. If this is bothersome, you may want to skip it and wait for some more innocuous post. Fair warning for those folks who don’t feel like hearing gushing.

So it’s been like... 5ish weeks since I confessed to the girlfriend that I had romantic feelings for her, and around 4 weeks since she told me she returned them. And, I’ve gotta say, this has been an absolutely wonderful time.

The vast majority of my relationships have not lasted more than 6 weeks. In fact, I’ve only had three relationships that have lasted more than 6 weeks, if you don’t count 2009 (where there was so much ping-pong it’s hard to count them as ‘relationships’) - my marriage to my ex-husband, which was 5 years, a 6-month stint with a guy who was supposed to be purely a physical relationship a few years ago, and about a year and a half with my crazy ex. But even in those cases, I had serious misgivings or knew it wasn’t going to work out within weeks of beginning to date them - I just let those relationships continue in spite of that.

In the case of my ex-husband, I’ll plead that I was young and didn’t know any better. I was 18 when we met, and had just unexpectedly lost the first man I’d ever let myself love - and had to put my dog to sleep, who I’d had since I was 7 - and was afraid I’d never find love again. So I latched onto the first man I met after that. Stupid, I now know, but I’ve made my share of stupid relationship mistakes.

With the 6-month relationship with the guy in 2006, it was never supposed to be a relationship at all. We were just two people who met in a bar, had a good physical relationship, and were going to enjoy ourselves together. It sorta developed into hanging out *and* a physical relationship, but I knew all along it was never going to go anywhere, and I thought he did, too. We actually still kinda talk - he friended me on FB, and used to chat with me on Yahoo every now and then. It’s fine now.

The crazy ex - I knew on our second or third date that something was seriously wrong with him. But I choose to plow ahead anyhow. I was lonely (again, on the rebound) and thought I’d rather deal with whatever than be alone. I was still in a mindset where I thought I had to accept sub-par because that’s all I’d ever have.

Last year, both of those guys, I knew there were issues with - but I thought it was ‘good enough’ for now. I still shudder to think I actually agreed to marry one of them. I knew, in my heart, that it was a huge mistake - and I don’t think I would actually have gone through with it - but it was quasi-comfortable and I was trying to adjust to a new life and so I latched on to what I thought was comfortable.

After things went down with him, I resigned myself. I didn’t want anything to do with any more men. I wanted to be alone, because relationships were just too much hassle. Guys were just too much hassle. I was happy in my little twin bed; happy with the thought that I had my friends and I could be perfectly happy alone, and lead a fulfilling life on my own.

I hate this cliche, but people always tell me you find the good relationships when you stop looking. I was totally not looking for anything when things started with the girlfriend. I was happy with my life, and content to be alone. And then, one day, driving back from upstate NY in a rental car with her riding her new motorcycle behind me, it totally hit me what I’d managed to ignore for who knows how long - that the feelings I had for her weren’t just friendly. That I ‘cared’ for her. That was the most I could characterize even to myself, at that point, it caught me so by surprise - that I ‘cared’ for her.

And then I started agonizing. It was a revelation to me. I’d never had romantic feelings for a girl before. I didn’t know what to think. And it was complicated by the fact that I was living with her - that she had let me come stay with her when I moved back up to Boston. I didn’t want to make things awkward between us by admitting that I’d gone and developed a crush - but on the other hand, I’ve tried to make it a guiding tenet of my life to tell people when I care for them. Not to hide it.

I almost told her when we got home that night. I started to tell her, but then chickened out at the last minute, and she didn’t notice that I’d left out part of what I was saying. I must have started to tell her a half dozen times over the next 5 days. I did talk to friends about it, and try to think about what was really happening, because it was still so strange to me - that I had somehow developed romantic feelings for a girl. But late one night, after almost telling her yet again before bed, I decided to tell her. It felt dishonest not to tell her. I felt awkward about living with her and having to hide this big thing. I figured it’d be better to have it out in the open, and I rationalized that it should never be a bad thing to hear that someone cares for you - isn’t it nice to know you’re cared for, even if you don’t return the sentiment in the same way?

So I drafted an email. I know it was a totally chicken thing to do, but I’m a writer, and I wanted the option to deliberate over what I said. I also thought it would be a less confrontational way to talk with her about it than talking to her in person - with me in her face, she might feel compelled to defensiveness, or whatever, instead of having the impartiality to react however she wanted to react when she read it. (And yes, it would save me having to look at her face when I told her. I didn’t think she’d return my feelings, but I still couldn’t face the prospect of seeing her be sorry for me, or whatever.)

I drafted the email at midnight, decided to sleep on it, couldn’t sleep, and then ended up sending it at like 3:30AM. And then still couldn’t sleep. I agonized practically all day, wondering if she’d read it, wondering how she’d reply, and wondering whether I’d fecked up our friendship. When she did reply, it was to ask for clarification, as my wording had been vague. Intentionally so, I might add - I was that cowardly. So I had to come out and say it - ‘romantically’ - and dread her response. As it turned out, she was totally cool about it - she didn’t make me feel like a complete loser, and basically just said she’d never thought about me in that way, because she thought I liked guys. I took it as a polite dismissal, and told myself to be glad she was so cool about it (which I was).

But then, during the rest of the week, I noticed things changing. I was suddenly propelled into a world of giddy glances, wondering what things meant, longing for casual physical contact; something different was in the air. It was more than I had dared to hope for, and yet still not quite what I wanted. But I was satisfied to let things proceed at their own pace, and convinced that there was something special developing.

Now I’m thinking that something has probably been developing for a long time, and I was just too stupid to notice, since it never occurred to me that I might have romantic feelings for a girl.

She waited until I had finished my MSF Safety Course to tell me that she, too, was having ‘romantic’ feelings for me. She said she didn’t want to distract me, because I’d been busy with work and would need my concentration for class, which was totally awesome of her. But that, if there was an opportunity for something, she’d like to see where it went.

So we did.

We had our first date on April 4. We walked down to Inman Square to have dinner at an Indian place to celebrate me passing MSF class and getting my motorcycle class. And then I got ice cream after, and we walked home. And sat on the couch, and chatted and stuff.

I’ll admit things happened kinda fast after that. I suppose it was, in some ways, not a surprise, since I already lived with her and we already spent a lot of time together. But in retrospect, I’ve noticed a lot of things in a new light, and I think this has really been coming on for quite a while.

For example, I noticed that before all this happened, we never touched. Ever. I’m not a particularly touchy-feely person, but I do hug my friends, or I may touch them when passing them or whatever. All completely casual, innocent stuff. But before we started dating, I *never* touched the girlfriend. And I’ve known her for years. On the occasions when I accidentally did touch her, I was immediately like “sorry” and would immediately draw away. And she did the same thing. After I realized I had romantic feelings for her, but before I admitted things to her, I started experimenting. I’d stand closer to her, and she’d move further away. I’d lean toward her to look at something she was showing me on her laptop, and she’d lean away. It was actual avoidance. Of course, then I despaired - I figured if she was so careful not to touch me, she must really not like me.

Hah. I think I was wrong about that.

The shift to girlfriend was completely easy and natural. There wasn’t any awkwardness, after my initial “ZOMG I TOLD HER IS SHE GONNA HATE ME AHH!??!” We just sorta slipped into a relationship like it was completely normal, and that’s how it feels to me. It feels completely normal, and easy, and comfortable. There’s no conflict. There’s no “Oh, what the hell am I doing with this person?” There’s no “God, this irritates me, why can’t she be more like/not do...” It’s just “Oh, hi, here’s this person that I adore and YAY, she’s home from work!” or “Yay, I get to spend time with her!”

And that’s not even the best part (although she totally *is* the best part, but that’s not what I mean). The best part is that this doesn’t bother me AT ALL.

I don’t trust easy. I’ve had such a fucked up life that easy makes me anxious; I keep waiting for something bad to happen, or ‘the shoe to drop’ - or whatever cliche you wanna use. I couldn’t start calling myself a writer for close to a year after I started freelance writing full-time - because it was too damn easy. I just decided to do it, and started doing it, and I was doing it. I didn’t trust the motorcycle thing for being too easy, either - and I kinda wonder if that’s why I made such a stupid mistake and crashed, since Freud is all like “there are no accidents.” Did I crash because I thought that getting and riding a motorcycle was too easy, and so I had to make some sort of challenge for myself?

But in this case, with the girlfriend - it’s easy to be with her, and easy to have these feelings for her - and it doesn’t bother me at all that it’s easy. I’m not asking myself what’s wrong, or waiting for something bad to happen, because it’s ‘too easy’ and I don’t trust it. I’m just enjoying her, and being with her. It just feels right, and comfortable to be with her. I don’t question my feelings for her, or hers for me. And yes, this is all kinda fast - but that doesn’t even bother me, because I think this isn’t as fast as it seems. I think it’s been happening for a while, and I was just too blind to notice. I don’t want to run for the hills. I just want to be with her.

And it’s awesome being with her.

I love spending time with her. I’ve always enjoyed spending time with her, anyway - and that hasn’t stopped since moving in with her. I’ve been living here for 7 months now, and spending a lot of time with her, but I never get tired of it. And there really isn’t any conflict. We can generally agree on what to do, or what to have for dinner, or all of those stupid trivial every-day details; even before we started dating.

But the dating part is awesome. (And it might really start getting mushy, here, so if that offends your sensibilities, flee!)

I love holding her. I love cuddling with her. I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed just vegging on the couch and watching a movie so much. I look forward to snuggling with her. I look forward to greeting her when she comes home from work, or first thing in the morning.

I adore this woman with an intensity that has caught me somewhat off-guard, but which I just can’t help. She’s just that awesome.

I love the conversations we have about language. I love the intellectual conversations we have. I love just walking around the city with her. I love sitting on the couch with her, or holding hands with her while we walk the dogs. And I love, love, love kissing her. When I’m kissing her, it’s like the whole world stops, and there’s just me and her, and I just can’t help but sigh because it feels so perfect.

And I enjoy spending time with her even when we’re both in our own little worlds. Like when she’s sitting on the couch with me, and she’s doing something important on her laptop, and I’m working on mine, and we can just be together in the same space, each working on our own things, but still spending time together. I don’t feel like I can’t get shit done because she demands my attention, and I don’t feel like I need to demand her attention - we can just get stuff done, because I know I can kiss her if I want, and eventually we’ll be done and we can snuggle, and in the meantime I’m with her.

I don’t feel like she needs taking care of. I don’t feel like I need to rescue her, or ‘fix’ her, or finance her life, or do any of those other things I always end up trying to do for guys when I’m in a relationship. And I don’t worry that she’s going to leave me because I’m not doing those things for her. I know how I feel about her, and I trust how she feels about me, and that’s enough for me. I don’t have anything to ‘prove.’ Some old habits still die hard - it’s hard to let her do things for me, like walk the dogs, or especially financially - because I don’t want to ‘be a burden.’ (She loaned me most of the money to buy the Mac, for example, but I insist that I’m paying her back ASAP because I can’t let her just buy it for me.) But even that doesn’t carry the same weight in my mind as it used to. I know that if our roles were reversed, and if I could do something for her, I would in a heartbeat - so I don’t feel like I can’t let her do things for me. It’s both humbling and liberating.

So this is what it’s like to have an adult relationship?

I am definitely in favor of this. I want more. Lots more.

That 6-week wall? So not a problem. I have absolutely no misgivings about our relationship - zero - and that’s a first.

I am most pleased. To use a word that a friend of mine used the other day - I’m ‘smitten.’ I adore her, and I’m totally happy and content with this.
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More Mac Love [Apr. 28th, 2010|10:09 am]
arafel_sidhe
Ooo, the Mac is awesome. How awesome is it? Pretty damn awesome. I've done at least some work on it every day for the past 5 days, and I spent over 10 hours working on it yesterday (I was running behind due to getting a late start last week). If you're curious about the things I love about the new Mac - the software-based things, anyway, that I'm using for my work stuff - I've written a rather lengthy blog about it on my professional blog:

http://bit.ly/bSIzml

In short, it rocks and I are vera happy with it. The price tag is still a bit daunting, as there are a lot of things I need money for in the near future - like a motorcycle trip just a month away, and new tires and stuff I need for the bike before then - but I still love the Mac. It are awesome.
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My New MacBook! [Apr. 23rd, 2010|11:34 am]
arafel_sidhe
Inconveniently, my laptop died yesterday. (Although it was actually working again by the end of the day... no idea what happened, but it was enough of a wake-up call because the thing has been gradually dying for the past 10 months that I decided it was time for a new laptop.) So I looked in my bank account and checked out my credit cards, and determined that I could barely afford a *cheap* laptop (like under $700) if I spent myself broke and maxed out my CCs. I should theoretially have more cash coming in soon, but that's always pending clients paying me, which is generally an iffy prospect.

So I headed over to Best Buy and checked out the laptops they had. I found a couple of HP laptops that weren't horrid, and both were in the $600-700 price range before tax. But when I told Masukomi about my laptop woes, she suggested "MacBook!"

I was so torn. I've been jealous of her Mac-ness for a while now. Cobie has a Mac, and many of my other friends have and love their Macs. It's like a totally different computing experience. And there's so much pretty software for Mac that simply doesn't exist for Windows, and I've been jealous for a while. So I wanted a Mac when she said Mac. But the price tag... the price tag is prohibitive.

In the end, she offered to help me out because I need a new laptop, and she said she'd rather see me get a good laptop (Mac) than buy a 'cheap' Windows laptop that just wouldn't make me happy. I was torn about that, too. I hate borrowing money. I'm just not good with taking money from people. But theoretically, I should have the money to repay her for the rest of the laptop (most of it, actually) before too long. And if I put off my bike repairs, I can repay her for the laptop quickly. I'm a bit depressed about the prospect of putting off the bike repairs, but this is just more motivation for getting more work, right?

Anyway, I spent most of last night (like till 1:30AM) and a fair amount of this morning getting everything put together and 'customizing' my Mac experience. Now I have all my music on the Mac, and my photos, and my email is set up, and I have some cool apps. And it's a drastically different experience - it really is. It's so pretty. I feel so much more productive. I *want* to sit down and use my computer - I'm not dreading it. I really think the new apps and this new way of working is going to make a big impact in my productivity and the overall computer usability. And that is huge, for a writer.

At the moment, I'm writing this post in a new journaling app I'm trying out. It supports LJ and Blogger, but not WP - and my motorcycle blog and my work blog are WP blogs. I may try out another app for that, but it's far more corporate-looking; this is just a nice, simple journaling app. Will see how I like it, in the long term.

Anyway: in summary, Macs rock. I was depressed about the price tag last night, but not today. Not at all. I'm already wondering how I've lived without this all this time. It's awesome.

In short: Get a Mac.
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Coming Out to My Family [Apr. 12th, 2010|02:24 pm]
arafel_sidhe
[mood |contemplativecontemplative]

Something sorta unplanned and unexpected happened yesterday: I came out to my family. My grandpa called, completely out of the blue - he never calls - and we chatted for a bit. And he told me that he wanted my email address, so his girlfriend could email me and stay in touch (because he doesn't have a computer). And then he asked if I was on Facebook, and I confirmed that I was, but then I realized something: my Facebook account lists me as 'in a relationship' with the girlfriend. And his girlfriend would see that, when she friended me.

So I had two options: let him find out via Facebook, or tell him.

I opted to tell him.

The thing is, I would have told him eventually, anyway. I'm vera happy with the girlfriend, and while I can't predict what will happen there, I don't see that changing anytime soon. Yes, it's in that 'new' phase where everything seems super awesome and wonderful, but the thing is - I've always thought she was super awesome and wonderful. It just took me a while to realize I have romantic feelings for her, too. So I don't anticipate ever deciding that she's not 'super awesome and wonderful' - the worst possibility I can foresee is the 'new'ness fading off. I don't anticipate the romantic feelings going away when the newness goes away, but that's always a possibility when romantic feelings are involved - that they simply fade over time.

Anywho. Not that I meant to muse over all that here. For the purposes of this discussion, I hadn't particularly thought about talking to my family about her, but I wouldn't have *not* talked to my family about her. In fact, I probably would have told them when I'm out visiting this June. It just wouldn't have occurred to me to mention things with her right now, because we're still in that 'new' phase and I'd rather have waited a bit just to see how things are going to settle in. (And again - not anticipating anything. It's just in that 'new' phase.)

But when I realized they were going to find out anyway, I decided I'd rather have told them about it. One thing I will *NOT* do is hide my feelings for her. So it was gonna be out there - it was just up to me to decide how to present it.

I was sorta caught on the spot. I hadn't prepared for it, and I didn't really know what to say. It ended up coming out something like this (and this is a recreation from memory - don't know if it's exactly accurate, because it's kind of a blur now):

Me: I suppose there's something I should tell you.
Pappaw: Ok.
Me: Well, you know I've been telling you that my friend let me come stay with her when I moved back up to Boston, and that I'm really grateful to have such good friends, and everything.
Pappaw: Yeah.
Me: Well, I've realized lately that the feelings I have for her aren't exactly... friendly. So we've started dating. I'm dating my roommate.
Pappaw: Well. Isn't that something.
Me: Yeah. We've been friends for years, and I think she's really awesome, and I adore her... so yeah. We're dating.
Pappaw: I worry about you being out there in Boston like that. Do you have enough money to live on, and everything?
Me: .... yeah. I've been doing pretty well with money lately.
Pappaw: Well, I worry about you. I want to make sure you're doing ok. I wish I had more money and I could help you out more.

And then he went on to talk about totally different things for a few more minutes, before we both hung up. And he said that he loves me, and everything - he didn't just hang up on me or whatever.

At first, I couldn't figure out why he changed the subject like that so quickly, asking about my financial state and everything. Eventually, I realized he was probably inferring something along the lines of me 'dating my roommate' because I didn't have enough money to live on my own, etc. My mom had a habit of doing that - getting into totally unsuitable relationships because she didn't have the money to support herself, so she'd essentially... whore herself for living expenses. She'd date a guy because she couldn't afford to support herself, and she'd become dependent on him, and it generally went downhill. So I can only assume my grandpa went there because it happened so often with my mom, and he couldn't understand why else I - someone who's always talked about guys - would suddenly be dating a chick.

I'm vaguely annoyed that he would think so little of me. I've managed to make my way here in Boston for the past 5 years, and I could have continued to do so even without the gf letting me stay here initially when I came back. It was just *much* easier since she was so gracious as to host me. And me dating her has nothing to do with that - it's about finally noticing something that seems to have been sneaking up on me while I wasn't looking. It's not about financial gain, or any other sort of gain - it's just because she's such an awesome person that I can't help feeling this way about her.

So yeah. That could have gone better. At least he didn't disown me on the spot, but I don't expect him to ever show much interest in her, or how my life with her is going. I'm not sure whether he'll call me again any time soon, or if the ball is now in my court to call him. I don't think I'll be calling the rest of my family for a while, because I don't know how they'll take this news. My uncle is home-schooling my youngest sister 'because there are too many black kids' at the local school. Where I come from is a conservative, prejudiced place. And I don't know if that prejudice is going to extend to me, now that I'm dating a woman.

On the one hand, it's kinda funny because these are problems I never anticipated that I'd have. I adore my gay friends, and I'm outraged on their behalf that so many states are being ass-backward about gay marriage, and gay rights and all that. But it's not something that has ever really impacted me personally. Nor did I ever expect it to impact me personally. But now I'm suddenly in that group, except I don't feel any different - so it doesn't occur to me that people might look at me differently. It's vera strange.

Ultimately, I don't care. The people who are going to be asshats because I'm dating a girl probably aren't the people I want to associate with, anyway. And they can go fuck themselves if they think that anything they say or do is going to have an impact on me feeling the way I do about a girl. I feel the way I feel about her, and that's completely internal - it has nothing to do with their external 'social norms' or whatever. But it's just a bit strange to suddenly find myself on the inside of a group I could only sympathize with as an outsider, without feeling any real shift inside myself. 

Amusingly, it didn't even occur to me until after I'd hung up the phone that my grandpa's girlfriend would also see all the stuff about my motorcycle on my Facebook page. Including my recent crash. I also hadn't planned to tell them about that - I was just going to show up in June. So now I'm thinking he probably thinks I've become some completely different person - riding a motorcycle and dating a girl. He probably thinks I'm some tattooed biker chick now (and I will be, as soon as I loose enough weight - not getting a tat now because I don't want it to distort) but I'm still the same girl I've always been, inside. And it's amusing to me that he probably thinks I've become this completely different person, but in reality, all I've done is become more... me. 
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I crashed the bike :( [Apr. 11th, 2010|11:47 am]
arafel_sidhe
[mood |contemplativecontemplative]

I know not all of you who follow me here follow my motorcycle blog, but this one kinda affects both: I registered and insured the bike on Thursday, and I managed to crash the bike. I low-sided going through a corner too fast when I tried to brake, stupidly. My left knee is sore and hurty right now since I got a little patch of road rash, and jeans pull against it and make it hurt. I've also got a bunch of bruises, but my gear did its job and protected me the way it was supposed to.

So now, instead of buying upgrades for the bike, I get to spend the next crap-ton of money I get on fixing the bike, and buying new motorcycle pants, before I can do anything else.

But you know what? Even the fact that I crashed the bike doesn't make me want to ride it any less. Mmmmm, bike.

(So yeah - the two important, noteworthy things in my life right now are girlfriend and bike. Both make me vera happy. Even though one of them has proven to be slightly dangerous and expensive.)
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I've got a girlfriend! [Apr. 7th, 2010|11:20 am]
arafel_sidhe
[mood |bouncybouncy]

...and she rocks. In fact, I adore her.

Just wanted to point that out.

Life is good, and there is much happiness and giddiness and feeling like a teenager. Is wonderful. Yay life, and yay Kate.
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