Friday, July 30, 2010

So much uncertainty

I mentioned in my last post that me and my girlfriend probably had a place to live when we got back to Cali. Now it turns out that we are not going to be living there because they want the co-signer to be present for signing the contract and we don't have a co-signer who would be able to be present. It is really difficult for us to get an apartment because we don't work (yet) and get our support from our parents. It sucks because we did pay rent without a problem for 5 months and still no landlord is willing to give us a chance and prove that we can and will pay.

I understand that landlords want a certain kind of security, but when I think about all the people who work who gamble/are addicts or have other kinds of problems and who don't pay their rent it makes me very mad that nobody is willing to even give us a chance. The only people willing to give us a chance are crooks who just want to rip us off. I really hope that we will find a place soon once we get back, because all this uncertainty is very bad for us - both in our relationship and individually. It adds so much stress and negative energy, because we both know that we have nowhere to go. I don't have any family out there and my girlfriend's family us absolutely unwilling to help us - to the point where they won't even co-sign for an apartment.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Warning: depressed post below

I'm in a bit of a funk right now. I get these phases sometimes, during which I just want to sleep all the time and do nothing and just lay around - almost like little depressed phases. I'm in one of those right now and it sucks, because I have so much stuff to do.

I might have mentioned that I'm taking a math class right now, which relies on self-motivation because it is all online. I'm at a point where I need to know all the stuff I have learned so far to keep going and I'm noticing that the fast pace is making me unsure in certain areas. I have never been great at math and so right now my head is swimming in all the things I've heard/learned before, but never really knew well. So far I've been doing pretty well, but this week I didn't put in enough work and even though the deadline is approaching, I'm still not motivated AT ALL.

On top of that, I'm working all day tomorrow and the day after that. I got a part-time/freelance kind of job doing interviews for a market research company. The job is super-boring, because you do the same interview over and over and over again - seriously, every 30 minutes for 10 hours a day - and they barely pay minimum wage. The only reason I'm even doing it is because I need the money for the apartment in the US. It sucks when you have an associates degree in business and are on your way to getting a second associates degree, yet the only part-time job you seem to get is boring and barely worth it. I don't know how other people work minimum-wage jobs all their lives, but I know I couldn't do that. I need a challenge in my job.

I was doing fairly well up until a few days ago, when all the difficult things from living in the US caught up with me again. We are moving into a new apartment which is super-far away from college and there are a thousand things that still need to be taken care of. I wish that just one part about my life would get a little bit easier, but it doesn't look like it will. Our living situation is difficult, school is awesome because I get to do what I like but at the same time so much work because I'm trying to keep a 4.0, our relationship is not always easy and it seems we never have any money. I don't even want to complain because we are mostly healthy and will hopefully have a place to live and the privilege of going to school, but at the same time I just wish that the basic things in life wouldn't be such a struggle.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Song stuck in my head

For the past day and a half, this song has been stuck in my head. My girlfriend played it for me once after we had had a bad fight and it is a song that means something to us, a song we sometimes play for each other when we can't say sorry well enough on our own.

Great friends = great support

Having seen almost all of my friends by now, and talking to them about some of the difficulties I face in loving a person with a horrible past and emotional problems, I was reminded by how good friends they were. They didn't judge, they didn't tell me to get out of a relationship that was at times difficult and the one thing Ms. K and Ms. L both said was 'As long as you are also looking out for yourself and you're still taking care of yourself,...' It is easy to judge other people. It is easy to think you know better. But both of them, and also my other friends, know that I didn't need/want their judgment. I wanted someone to talk to. And I really cherish the fact that while they had things to say about what we were talking about, it wasn't about how they felt or what they thought I should do. They showed that they cared about me and about my relationship and that while they couldn't really imagine what it was like, they understood me. I was a little afraid that they would judge my girlfriend or tell me to get out of a relationship that is at times difficult, but luckily neither of them did. And I am really thankful for that, because I don't want out of this relationship. At all.

I sometimes compare what is going on with my girlfriend to someone having cancer. It's not their fault they have cancer, but it an extremely difficult and painful thing to live through, not just for the person who is sick, but also for the partner/friends/relatives. Obviously, is someone becomes sick, you don't think about getting out just because it is hard. My girlfriend doesn't have a physical illness, but a mental illness. Yes, it is different in some ways. Yes, sometimes she hurts me because she is sick and can't help it. Does she hurt me on purpose? No! Does she regret hurting my feelings? Yes! Have I hurt her feelings before? Unfortunately yes.

It is always easy for people to judge other people's relationships. But I don't believe that a relationship in which no party has ever hurt the other party exists. My gf has hurt me and made me cry and there were a moment or two in which I had to gather myself and take a break before I could go back and accept her apology. She doesn't hurt me on purpose and when she apologizes, I always know she means it. Most of the time she feels worse about what she did/said than I feel afterwards. I have forgotten most of our fights and even the ones I haven't, I have forgiven. And I have hurt my gf too, I'm far from being a saint! I have said thing that I regretted later on, which I apologized for and made amends. I have knowingly said mean things once or twice, because we were fighting and I was mad. Does that make me a worse person - because I said something just to hurt her? Probably. But it's not really about who is a better person. Because we are both pretty good people. It is about the fact that no matter how hard it is, so far we have always managed to make it work and for the most part, we are both happy.

My gf is a great person, who has lived through horrible things and therefore has unique challenges. And as hard as it is sometimes, it is also totally worth it. Because she loves me and she cares about me and she makes me happy. Even though my friends don't experience that, because they haven't met her yet and probably won't for another two years (except for Ms. L, who might come visit soon!!! *YAY*), they don't criticize us or our relationship and I'm really thankful for it. It gives me strength to have their support.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

When it rains, it pours

And in my and my girlfriend's lives, it seems as if when it doesn't rain, it drips. Constantly. We can't seem to catch a break, at all. Even though I am enjoying my summer and am able to de-stress a little, there are still constantly small things going on that don't allow me to completly de-stress. Trouble with the storage unit we rented over the summer. Worries about the possible new appartment. Money issues. Fights with siblings/parents. Friends bailing out and therefore leaving her with no place to stay for too long. More money issues. Worries about friends who are sick.

Right now, I feel like with all the progress we have made and all the work we put into our relationship, something always happens that makes life in general harder. I'm handeling being away from her fairly well and even though I miss her like crazy, I don't overreact when I don't hear from her for two or three days. We haven't really had a fight yet, which I think is really good and important for both of us. We rely on each other for support and help. All of those things make me proud of our relationship and the fact that even though it sucks that we are so far apart for so long, we deal with it fairly well. At the same time I wish we could just, for once, have it easy for a little while at least. We might both work starting next semester, so things will get super-busy and stressful really fast, and we could just both really use a break.

Lets just hope when I get back and we have two weeks together before school starts, we can use this time to really enjoy each other's company and enjoy our relationship. We both need it.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Back from vacation

I spent the last week and some days on vacation, first with my family, then at my friend's place. The family vacation was okay, but I didn't really get along with my brother and sister so it wasn't that great.

However, I had a blast with my friend, Ms. L. Even though we hadn't been in constant contact over the last year, we re-connected immediately and it was just really nice to talk to someone who knows me as well as she does. We spent the three days together talking, catching up on the details that get lost in the ocean that seperates us, and simply enjoying life. Her time off from school had just started, so we both didn't really want to do anything. We cooked together, walked around town and watched some TV. I really felt how good it was for me to have my friend around and just share some of the things that had been really difficult during the last year. I tend not to talk about difficult things on the phone or through email, for multiple reasons, so it was nice to be able to talk face-to-face. It helped me process some of what had happened during the last year and just made me feel better.

We talked about her visiting me at home for a few days, if her work schedule permits it. I really hope that this will work out, simply because I had such a nice, relaxed time with her.

I also met my friend Ms. K, who I've written about before. All is well between us now and I'm really glad that we met and talked and caught up on all the stuff we missed out on in the last year. Even though now I feel closer to Ms. L, while when I left it was the other way around, things with Ms. K worked out really well too. We spent a nice lunch and afternoon together talking and doing some shopping and she might visit me at home too.

I have three more weeks at home and in a way, I can't wait to go back to the US and to my girlfriend. But, I also want to enjoy my time here and use it to meet friends, spend time with my family and just enjoy life. I have been stressed out for so long it's hard to remember what it feels like to be relaxed, so I want to try and have as much quiet time as possible. Sometimes, I feel a little torn between the social responsibilities and my personal needs, but mostly I'm just not stressing out about stuff anymore. Most things just aren't worth it.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

California Girls

Today I heard Katy Perry's 'California Gurls' for the first time, in this awesome video (via @britisshameless)

It made me think of the fact that I am actually by now living my dream. I haven't felt like that for numerous reasons, mainly because I haven't actually achieved that much, I'm still in school and going through major, major changes in my life. But I *am* living in the US and working hard towards my goals - getting a B.A. in Film Production and working as a movie producer. When I think back to how I felt a year ago, uncertain of how things would turn out, I'm really glad how far I got. Yes, I'm still dependant on my parents and there is a very, very long list of things that aren't working out so well yet, but at least I'm not stuck in freaking Austria anymore. And I'm mightly glad about that!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The strains a relationships can take on friendships

I have this very dear friend of mine, Ms. K, who was basically my best friend when I went to university in Austria. She knew me really well and we shared many secrets, things we didn't tell anyone else. But, when I moved, things with my girlfriend started happening that were private. And these things made my friendship with her harder. I want to tell her about the things that worry me, and why I'm not as happy as everybody else thought. I want to tell her about the difficulties I have being in a relationship with someone who needs more love and attention due to mental health issues. I want to talk to her without holding back, without weighing my words and trying to figure out what I can and what I can't talk about.

But with her, it's harder than with other friends. She knows me better and deeper, even though we only lived near each other for two years. It's harder for me to only tell her half-truths, so I withdrew myself from our friendship. I know that it wasn't fair towards her, because she didn't know what was going on, but it was the only thing I knew to do. She sent me a message asking what was wrong, whether I was okay and why I hadn't been in touch with her for so long. I told her a few basic things, things I felt I could tell her without neglecting my girlfriend's privacy. There are so many horrible things in my girlfriend's past I'm trying to deal with. The difficulties I have with processing what my girlfriend has told me show me how hard it must be for her to have lived it. But I'm processing all these emotions on my own and I can't really talk to the people I would have talked had it been my past or any other subject.

Luckily, Ms. K wasn't too hurt or mad at me and understood where I was coming from. She told me to tell her what I feel comfortable with and she wasn't going to ask any further. I know from experience that she is the kind of person who will listen, but also understand if you can't talk about something. Now I have to take the plunge and actually call her and hear her voice again for the first time in months. I fear that I'll start to cry because I did miss her friendship quite a bit, even if all the other things that were going on moved those feelings to the back of my mind. I have a best friend who happens to be my girlfriend now, but I think having two best friends is going to work out just fine. I just have to try harder to make it work.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Memories from a time long gone, yet still so close

Being back in my home town puts me into a weird mood sometimes. A friend of mine, who I visited twice by now, lives right across the street from where I used to go to school to for nine years. Every time I visit her I drive by the building that holds so many memories. Memories of madly falling in love with someone completely unattainable. Memories of friendships forming, but also falling apart. Memories of conversations as deep as the most private thoughts and also as eye-opening as therapy. Since I moved twice after I graduated from high school, my time in middle and high school in that same building seems so long ago. It doesn't feel like just three years ago. I'm still fairly young, yet I feel so much more mature when I think of the person I was then and the person I am now. And intertwined with these thoughts are thoughts of the people who help mold me into the person I am today.

I have a special relationship with my first love. She was not just my first love - who ever has a first love who *just* was that anyways? - but she was also a person who helped me get through my teenage years and influenced me heavily. Let's call her Mrs. Teacher, since she was my teacher. Yeah, that old cliché. I started getting to know her better in my first year of high school, when my mom fell ill. None of my friends understood my fears, so I felt like I had to talk to an adult. Since she had told us to talk to her if we had problems, I took her up on that offer. She actually listened to what I had to say and made me feel like I wasn't a child anymore, but actually a person with valid feelings and thoughts. I felt like she saw me, the real me, not the child many people saw in me. Yes, I was only 15, but I felt more mature than that and I know I was more mature than most 15-year-olds. So after talking to her a few times, I started falling for her more and more. She was way too old for me, straight and just in general completely unattainable, but that didn't stop me from having fantasies about our lives spent together. I knew that she was divorced, but in my second year I found out that she was in a relationship. That revelation broke my heart. I cried myself to sleep for days. But, since she was completely out of my reach before I knew about her boyfriend, my feelings for her didn't change much. She was not any closer to being mine than she had been before. Time went on and we continued to talk after school sometimes, forming a teeny tiny bit of a friendship, as much as we could given the whole student-teacher relationship. In my last year at high school, a lot happened between her and my class, so the friendship that could have been after I was done with school was no longer an option.

Since I needed some documents for my college application, I saw her once last year. We talked a bit and she said things that only someone who really knows me would say. We also talked about staying in touch. I wrote to her, but hadn't heard back from her. Since I'm going to apply to universities soon, I will need more of the same documentation I had already gotten, so I called the school and asked her for it. I can still vividly remember how I felt about her. I know and cherish how she influenced my life. But at the same time, the feelings towards her have changed so much. Now, I have a girlfriend I love more than I loved her, and a girlfriend who loves me back. Now, I can't imagine living without my girlfriend and feel so deeply about her I sometimes almost can't handle it. Now, I feel more deeply than I had ever felt for this unattainable woman. Back then, I thought I loved as much as I could love. Now, I know I am capable of more, even without teenage hormones.

I wonder if all people who fell so hard the first time feel that way about their first love. Or if I'm different because of the circumstances and the fact that my first love was in my life, actively, for five years. I still know so well how I felt about Mrs. Teacher, yet the feelings are somehow removed from my emotions today. I still want to know her and I still want to talk to her. I still cherish her as an influence on my life. But now, I want to tell her about my girlfriend, and how being in a relationship has change me. Now, I want to tell her about my dreams, about the dreams I have when it comes to getting married and having kids. Now, I want to talk to her like we're even, the way she made me feel back then. Like we're friends.

I know one thing for sure: whenever I form a deep bond with a person, which I don't do easily, they remain in my heart. I'm loyal and I don't trust easily, but when I do, I do so fully. She has gained my trust a long time ago and even though I wasn't on her side when I felt she was wrong, I still feel loyalty towards her. And even if I'm not in touch with her, I will never forget how I felt for her a long time ago and how she made me a better person.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Home again

I'm 'home' again. I came back almost a week ago not, but left America exactly a week ago. Things here seem so familiar, yet at the same time not anymore. I felt weird, in a way like I wasn't in my skin, or where I was supposed to be. I keep telling myself that it's only 2 months.

I applied for a few jobs and got two, hopefully they will actually pay me enough to save up some money. The one is with a market research company, doing personal interviews. I'm not sure where I'm going to find people willing to sit down with me and do an interview for 45 minutes, but I guess I'll have to if I want to make money. The other job is with an event organizer, hopefully I'll get to do a few interesting things. Money is always on my mind, lately, with the Euro loosing its value and rent being so expensive. At least right now I don't have to pay for my living expenses. On top of working, I am also taking a math class this summer, which should be interesting. I've learned this kind of math before, but I suck at math, so it might impact my GPA.

Other than that, there really isn't that much going on. I haven't met any of my friends yet, as they are all still busy with school and work. I haven't been too eager to yet either, I just didn't feel like it yet. I miss my girlfriend, but it's not too bad yet. I had a bad dream about us today though, so that makes it harder. Right now I'm just trying to focus on other things than just on missing her. She has her sisters visiting now, so she should be fine too.

That's all for today. Just wanted to post a little update, get back into blogging, like I've said only about a million times before... Maybe this time I really will.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Clarification on "Breaking Up..."

Based on the two comments I got on my last post ("Breaking up is hard to do"), I thought I had to clarify what I wrote. My girlfriend breaks up with me when she is at her lowest. She always means it when she does, it's not something she 'uses' to get her way or anything like that.

She grew up in one of those families where Social Services didn't got involved because she didn't go to school covered in bruises, didn't have her bones broken frequently or was completely mal-nourished. However, she did not grow up being a loved, wanted child. She was the oldest out of four siblings and the black sheep, she was always blamed for the adult's mistakes and they took their frustrations out on her. Because of how she grew up, she doesn't feel like she deserves love. In her mind, she didn't do anything special to deserve to be loved. She doesn't see how funny, loving, caring or smart she is, all she sees is what she has been told all her life by the people who were supposed to love her... That she is fat, lazy, stupid and worthless. Her mother sees that they have a horrible relationship and naturally, 1) blames her for it, and 2) thinks she has to fix it. My lovely future mother-in-law recently complained about the fact that my girlfriend never calls her just to talk and find out how she is doing. She completely ignored that fact that my GF had been trying to get in touch with her for 3 weeks and had been leaving messages which were completely ignored by her mother. She never calls to ask how her daughter is doing, so why should her daughter call her. My girlfriend has also left messages with her father a number of times by now (probably since shortly after Christmas) and has yet to hear from him - she didn't get a call at her birthday.

My girlfriend grew up in a broken family full of abuse and neglect and she is only now learning how to have healthy, loving relationships with anyone. While she has a decent relationship with one of her sister, few people in her life had ever cared about her. She doesn't break up with me because she thinks she is so much better than me or because she thinks she would be better off without me. She breaks up with me because she thinks *I* would be better off without her and that *I* deserve someone better. She has problems, which is not really surprising, and she hasn't had any time yet to deal with her issues. So far she has always been in the situation where she was dependent on people who were being abusive towards her. Even when she lived with her dad, who was nicer to her than her mom, she lived with a step-mom who treated her like a piece of sh*t and it was very obvious that her dad cared more about his new wife than he ever did about his daughter. For the first time in her life she is in the situation of living with someone who doesn't abuse or mistreat her. She is in a safe place and it brings out a lot of the issues she had to deal with on the inside for a very long time. If she had tried to deal with her issues when she was living with either of her parents, she would have gotten kicked out, because they didn't care about her well-being. They only cared about themselves and their spouses/boy-friends/current flings.

It is hard to understand or know all the things that are going on inside of her on any given day. I don't know or understand everything she is going through and I don't know of all the horrible things that happened to her as a child. Without knowing her history or her current issues, it is impossible to know her motives for her actions. She isn't trying to hurt me when she breaks up with me. She is at an extreme low point and doesn't know what to do, so she tries to remove herself from a situation that in that moment causes her further pain.

I write about her and us in this blog because I don't have anywhere else to talk about it. I don't want my friends to know because they wouldn't understand and I can't tell them what happened to her as a child because it is her story to tell and very private. Here, I can be more open, because nobody we know reads my blog. But I don't want to be judged by people who only know part of the story and I don't want her to be judged. Life is hard enough for her as it is and I don't need people telling me what I'm doing is wrong either. I am committed to my girlfriend because I know what an awesome person she is. I also know her at her low points, even though I can't and don't always know/understand what is going on inside of her. All I know is that I want her to heal and get better and she won't heal if she doesn't get the chance to now. If she doesn't have someone to rely on, someone who will love her and show her that she can break the cycle, that she can get better and have a happy life - unlike her mother - I don't think she will be able to heal enough to have that life.

She has shown me a lot of incredible things. She accepts me the way I am, she reminds me how important it is to love every day and she made me more in touch with my feelings. I don't feel empty inside anymore. Sure, some days she makes me cry, but most of the time she makes me incredibly happy and I can't imagine my life without her. And I won't let anyone say that we aren't supposed to be together just because it is hard sometimes. I complain sometimes, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth it. I know of a relationship which is "perfect" - no fighting, no disagreements - and this relationship is completely empty. Those two people are together simply because it would be too difficult to break up. I choose my relationship over that any day.

[Comments are turned off. I said what I had to say and I don't feel like having a conversation about this topic.]

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Breaking up is hard to do...

When the Girlfriend and I are having a bad day relationship-wise, I can sometimes see and experience the full fight-or-flight reaction in my girlfriend. She has broken up with me multiple times by now, too many to count (honestly, I really don't want to count). Here are some reasons why she broke up with me:
  • I deserve to be with someone who isn't "broken", or just generally better - smarter, prettier, funnier,... - (her words, not mine!)
  • She can't handle the stress of us fighting - she realizes that over the long-term, our relationship decreases her stress more than it increases it, but at that point in time she cannot see it
  • I haven't stopped making the same mistakes, which leads to her stress levels being increased (see above)
  • and other things I can't think of right now
Until two nights ago, I have always put in quite a fight to make her not break up with me and was always able to convince her that we are meant to be together - something we both believe in. However, two nights ago, we had a generally bad night - partially because of my behavior - and when she broke up with me I didn't stop her. I couldn't. I felt like if she really wanted to be with me, if I was worth the hard times, she wouldn't keep breaking up with me. Many things were said, I said things I regret saying, but in the end I told her it was up to her. I still loved her and wanted to be with her, but she needed to want to be with me too. She managed to get out of the pit she was in and tell me that she wanted to be with me and so we are not broken up. However, the whole thing showed me how much my behavior affects her behavior and how much I can influence whether she sinks really low or just low - in her emotions, not in the different sense.

I think it was good and important for me to see that she was willing to fight for me too, because I did somehow feel like I wasn't worth fighting for. I realize that she has special issues people with 'normal' childhoods don't face, but sometimes it is hard for me to act accordingly. I am only human and I make mistakes. My mistakes just have more of an impact on her because of the issues she deals with every day. I'm learning, but sometimes the learning experiences include really low points and lots of tears.

That's all I really have to say about that right now. We're not broken up and I think we are really meant to be together, if we can navigate our lives and the issues that are there, if we want them or not.

Oh! Em! Gee!!!!

Is this not the cutest thing you've ever seen:

I stumbled across this picture on the People site recently, I almost died of cuteness!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Finals week and HUGE update

The school year is almost over and we managed to survive it somehow - I still don't quite know how. I have one more final tomorrow, which I have to get a good grade on to get my A. I am not completely happy with how the last weeks went, as I might have ruined my chance at getting an A in two classes simply because I didn't have enough energy left to put enough effort in. Most of my time in the last weeks was trying to convince the girlfriend that 3 am the day an assignment is due is not the best time to still play video games and procrastinate. Her issues have really taken a toll on her self-motivation and even though she asked me to be stern and 'mean' with her, she got mad when I tried to. My approaches on how to deal with her self-motivation or lack there-of have so far all failed and I am quite frankly out of ideas.

In some ways, I can see how dealing with her issues is slowly healing some of the wounds. In others, it seems like she still has to get worse before she will get better. After a fight yesterday we had a talk about how she is doing and everything that is going on with her. She feels guilty because she thinks I deserve better and she is scared I will one day not be able to handle it anymore and will leave her. She wants me to leave if it gets too much, but at the same time she doesn't want me to leave because she needs me. In the last weeks, we have made good progress, at least in my opinion, with addressing and voicing some of her wounds. The question of why nobody except for me and one of her sisters loves her and wants her has been brought up multiple times and always leads to tears. It breaks my heart to hear her say these things, because I know that no matter what I say, her pain still will be there. Mostly, I tell her that her mother is incapable of truly loving someone because of all the things she went through and therefore the men she attracted in her life were emotionally equally scarred/incapable of love. I also tell her that if a child gets told that it is not worth of love, it will soon believe that and that that is not the child's fault, clearly. But it is hard to get through to her, because she has lived feeling not worthy of love for so long and I've only loved her for not even a year and a half.

I also told her about her brain and how most likely, her brain right now is learning a lot of new things and that because her brain is so busy learning, it sometimes gets thrown back. I feel like in some ways, she is for the first time in her life learning how to have healthy, 'normal' relationships with someone other than friends. From the stories she has told me, her mother clearly did not and does not have healthy relationships with any of her children. She blamed and blames problems on her children that were caused by her behavior - a reaction to her and her inability to parent a child with more complex needs, especially emotionally - and doesn't take over any responsibility for anything. One thing my beloved monster-in-law likes to say is that she had it even harder at 22 and therefore my girlfriend should stop complaining and grow up and be completely independent - as in go to school full time, get good grades and work enough to pay for rent, food and all other expenses, all at the same time. Yeah, right, that's very likely going to happen. Anyways, my point is, my MIL always states how hard she had it and how hard her life was and that her children should just stop complaining, hold their heads high and do what she did, which is take care of their own business. In my opinion, she doesn't want her children to have it any easier than she had it and that's why she is so unwilling to help her children out. What she doesn't see is that as a mother, she should want her children to have a better life than her. She should want her children to heal and grow, so that they can have more fulfilling lives, relationships and so that they don't end up where she is right now. In a recent conversation, MIL complained that we didn't ask if she needed any help when she was forced to move out of her boyfriend's place. Um, excuse me, you are the 40-something-year-old MOTHER who doesn't give a sh*t about her daughter and you expect US, the 22-year-old college students who can't find a job because of the economy to offer help? Really? I mean, REALLY??? And what angers me the most is that she thinks it is her daughter's responsibility to call and ask her how she is doing,... so that their relationship can get better. My girlfriend didn't fuck up their relationship, yet she should work to make it better while her mother can pat herself on the back for being a great mother? Yeah, I don't think so. MIL complained that my girlfriend never calls and asks her how she is doing, yet she never calls her to ask how school is going. Plus, she is incredibly hard to reach and generally doesn't return phone calls, so how exactly is that supposed to work? Anywho, enough about that, but that should give you an idea of why my girlfriend doesn't feel loved by her parents. Not that her dad is any better, since he doesn't know how a phone works either, apparently.

So even though we still fight a lot, there are definite improvements in some areas. We had a rather lengthy talk last week about my alleged 'OCD-ness'. GF likes to complain about my desire to have a clean apartment and about my unreasonable request for her helping me clean. So when she once again complained about how my expectations were too high, I made her give me a list of how often she would clean (major cleaning only). Here is her list:

  • Clean the bathroom - tub, counter, toilet - once a week
  • Clean the kitchen floor once to twice a week, depending on how dirty it is
  • Clean the bedroom floor at least once a week
Now funnily enough, I only want the kitchen floor to be cleaned once a week, however I want it to be mopped. After she gave me her list, I asked her how often she had done any of these things in April - usually, the bathroom is her 'chore'. She tried to claim she cleaned the bathroom twice, whereas I believe she cleaned it once, because the second time I gave up hope after a week of waiting and cleaned it myself. Now, I was sick twice in April and therefore didn't clean nearly as often as I would usually, which drove me almost insane. However, I still did most of the work. Then I explained to her that our ideas of how often to clean are almost identical, yet the question to who should clean is quite different. See, the girlfriend thinks everything should be cleaned at least once a week, but would like magic fairies (as in me, the magic cleaning fairy) to do the work. She finally admitted that my OCD-ness is not the problem here, but rather her unwillingness to actually do any of the work. Now here's the thing: from about age 7, she was expected to clean after at rather large number of people (at least 8 or 9) every day. She had a lot of chores to do and never had much help from the adults. As someone who thinks children should have to help out around the house, her responsibilities seem insane to me. So every time I ask her to do something, she emotionally feels like she is doing EVERYTHING, that it is too much for her to handle and that she shouldn't have to do so much work, when in reality I handle most of the housework. I try to be patient, but am at a point now where I can't take over all of the work. So I try to get her to at least do the dishes when it is her turn and take care of the bathroom. I just have to figure out how to change her feelings/reaction from what she is was used to when she was little to what it should be now. Which is really difficult. I hope our talk made her realize and see what is going on, because I feel like she has this very warped view of who does how much work around the house right now.

Anywho, that was a really, really long update on what is going on. Unfortunately, this is only a small part of our daily lives, as the struggle with her depression, anxiety and PTSD continues. But, there is hope at the end of the tunnel!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Stability update

So, my dear two readers, you might wonder what happened to that chart and all? Well, someone (me *sadface*) got sick and slept for about 15 hours between Thursday afternoon and Friday noon, which threw off our plans slightly a lot. Then there was the karaoke with future monster in law (FMIL) Saturday, which took up even more of our none-existing free time. So now it's Sunday night, 2 am, and I'm still up, taking a break from doing homework. *YAY*

Anyways, I will probably write about the *wonderful* /sarcasm evening we spent with FMIL and her best, bestest, super-awesomest-bestest friend and how I told him that she was a liar. Which, in case you were wondering, I was entitled to do, because I told him repeatedly that I didn't want to talk to him and that it was none of his business. But I figured since she had asked her bestest, awesomest, greatest friend to get involved in her business and then told him a half-truth and some lies, I could tell him what a liar she was. She brought that on herself. But enough about that, I'm going back to the history take-home finale. *YAY* /sarcasm

Oh. My. God!!!! She is soooo dyke-y!!

Here is something I stumbled across a week or two ago. Don't ask me why I waited that long to post it on my blog. I sincerely apologize! That picture is just prizeless! I think, having seen that picture, my love for Rachel has only increased. She is human too, like the rest of us! Well, she's a million times smarter than most of us - no offence, but she's a Rhodes Scholar!! - but she, too, has had bad haircuts.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

How 'bout some stability round here?

The girlfriend and I have been struggling a lot lately. Lots of fights, meltdowns, ups and downs... You get the pictures. Sooo, I figured the one thing we could really use more of is stability and structure. So, I made a very, very, very (seriously, very) basic plan of what the next four days will look like and put it on a piece of paper. Don't judge my artistry here, I made that plan in less than 5 minutes.

I've been wanting to bring more structure into our daily lives for a while, but right now I'm at the point where I will actually implement this. I haven't discussed my plan with the girlfriend yet, but this is important to me. I think it will eliminate a lot of our fights/struggles. At least I hope it will. For all the times I put down Study/Practice, if she doesn't want to study/practice then, that's fine. However, she will not be "allowed" (I technically can't tell her what to do) to do anything fun either, so if she wants to sit and stare at the wall that's fine too. I think that because she has issues that make it hard for her to study when it is time to study, maybe quiet time in which she will not have any other activities might actually help her. So while she's not studying, she will have time to be calm and think about what is going on in our lives. Anywho, we'll see if she will accept the plan, but based on the fact that we have been fighting almost daily - actually, we have been fighting daily - about the most basic things, I think trying something new would really help. Besides, I will have to follow the plan just the same as she will, so she can tell me to go study now too :-).

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Day at the Beach

Since I moved to California, I haven't really spent much time at the beach or the ocean at all, even though I love the ocean. Things are just always too stressful to go, or the weather sucks, or other things happen. Anywho, yesterday we finally took a day off to go to the beach and have a bonfire. It was a little too windy, but we managed to get the fire started and some of the food actually turned out pretty good.

We had invited a few people from college, but only one showed up. In the end it worked out pretty well that way, as we were able to spend some quality-time together, just enjoying each other's company. I really hope it helped us regain some energy for the upcoming finals week!

We even saw dolphins!!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sandra Bullock's big surprise

Apparently, some people in Hollywood do have the ability to keep a secret. As People Magazine revealed today, Sandra Bullock adopted a new-born baby from Louisiana about three months ago. Look how cute!!

Aaawwwww. She looks really happy!! I hope she can leave the pain of the last months behind and enjoy life as a newly single mother. She has parenting experience from being a mother to Jesse's three children and I am sure she will make a great mother for little Luis. I only feel sad for Jesse's children - even though Sandra said she wants to stay a part of their lives, their lives have still fundamentally changed.

Honesty and Guilt

The girlfriend and I had a bad Sunday, mostly filled with fights about homework, housework and going to bed at a decent time. I didn't quite understand what was going on and why she was procrastinating all day, but it drove me up a wall a little. Okay, quite a lot. I wanted her to do the dishes or at least clean the bathroom counter/sink, but she wouldn't do it. I offered help, tried asking nicely, got mad, but nothing made her budge.

After having a fight about it Monday morning and another one Tuesday morning, she finally told me that she had been having a really bad day with her issues, mainly the depression, but that she didn't want to tell me because she already puts so many of her issues on me. I told her that it was way easier for me to deal with her issues if I knew what was going on, because I honestly thought that she was fine. She told me that she is never fine, which I sometimes forget because she has her good days, or because she can keep her bad days secret from me well enough.

We had a talk about it and I understand why she doesn't always want to tell me about her feelings. She feels guilty because I take care of her and because she "puts so much on [my] plate", and then the guilt makes her feel even worse. It's a vicious cycle that I haven't figured out how to break yet. In her mind, I should be with someone "better", who can take care of me - which she does, she took care of me really well when I was sick last week - and who doesn't need the support that she needs. I tried to explain to her that if she had cancer, I wouldn't leave her either, just because that is hard to go through. She has an illness and it is hard every single day, I won't lie, but it's not her fault.

I make the conscious decision to be there for her and support her the best I can, even though I clearly fail some days. While I didn't know how bad some of her issues were when we started dating, I have since not changed my mind about her being the one for me. Yes, it is hard, but I love her and I want to be there for her so it can get easier. Not to sound full of myself, but I do think that without me, it would be even harder for her to get better. She thinks I "deserve" someone better, but I think she deserves better. The people in her life, the people who are supposed to love her unconditionally, have so far done very little for her and continuously keep hurting her by being irresponsible, mean, absent and all kinds of other things. And while she thinks I will eventually end up hating her because of her issues, it is truly the people who have caused her issues that I hate. I just wish I could erase her guilt and make her understand that I love her, no matter what issues her past bring up.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A summer apart

On friday, both my girlfriend and I had somewhat of a meltdown. This summer, I'm going home to see my family and friends and I will be gone for exactly two months. Since the first months of our relationship were spent apart and since we are a bit co-dependent, we really don't look forward to spending two months separated.

Now don't get me wrong, I look forward to seeing my friends and family and I really can't wait to spend some time with my nephew. I'd just rather either have her by my side or not be apart for that long. Since my mom is going to be working for the first month I'll spend at home and since I plan on going to visit friends in the town I used to study in and other places, I will actually be quite busy. Especially since I'm also taking an online math class, which is 5 units, and therefore almost fulfils the 6 unit requirement of being a full-time student. So I will be more than busy. But, I know I will still miss my girlfriend terribly.

She will probably miss me even more, because she won't be as busy as I will and she will probably spend most of her summer living with the family she used to babysit for. She knows those people fairly well, but it's not really the same as staying with family, not that staying with family in her case would be that great. She will get to see her sister, with whom she is close, but she won't be going on 'vacation' the way I will. We both have already cried about spending our summer apart and on Friday we had a real meltdown about it. It sucks, because even though we do spend essentially all of our time together, most of it is spent with doing schoolwork, cleaning, cooking and other chores. We don't have a lot of quality time together, and when we do often we are working through issues and things like that. We both just rather spend the summer really enjoying each other's company, since we have not been able to really do that over a longer period of time since we started dating.

A fellow blogger, Maria, is going through something similar and is waaaay better at expressing the sentiments, so please go read her story here and here. See, the things is, as much as I love my family and parents, I would rather stay here with my girlfriend. Especially because I know that I will be going back to Austria for Christmas already again and that my girlfriend can't come with me, like we had originally planned. And even though I used to love being alone and having no responsiblities towards other people, now I don't want to give up the right to care for my love for two whole months. It just seems too long.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

United States of Tara

Today, episode 5 of the second season of United States of Tara aired on Showtime. I don't have Showtime, so I didn't see it, but I did watch episodes 3 and 4 today, since I am sick. I am so excited for that show to finally be back! I absolutely loved the first season, the writing is amazing, Toni Collette is amazing and the rest of the cast is pretty dang good too!

In case you have never seen the show, it basically revolves around Tara, a mother of two and artist, who has dissociative identity disorder. DID is the new term for split personalities, which Tara has 4 of in season one. There is Tara, the mother and 'main' personality; Alice, the 1950s housewife; T, the 16-year-old rebellious teenager and Buck, the guy (!!). Yes, one of her alters thinks he's a guy. Last year at the Emmy and the Golden Globe Awards, Toni Collette won Best Actress awards for her portrayal of Tara and her alters. She really deserved those awards, because she plays each of those alters so distinctively that even with just looking at her face you can see which alter is in control at a given point in time.

But it's not just Toni Collette who does an outstanding job, even though she certainly stands out. All of the main characters are played by great actors, I mostly adore Rosemarie DeWitt as Tara's sister Charmaine and Brie Larson as Tara's daughter Kate. I love how Charmaine is secretly jealous of Tara's disorder, because she always gets all the attention. Kate's outfits basically rock completely, even though I don't always like them, but they are just so unique and so Kate, I love it!

The writing is really good and it has a lot to do with Diablo Cody's creative talent. Obviously, 'Juno' was no one-hit wonder and her Best Screenplay Oscar well deserved. The storylines are all fascinating and as a whole the show seems very realistic. There are no plot points whose only purpose seems to be to create drama, because the alters and the family's life already is dramatic enough.

I just really love everything about this show and I can't wait to watch the next episode!

[I might start writing weekly recaps of USoT, but I don't want to give anything away in case my 5 readers aren't watching the show. So let me know whether you would like to read recaps or not. I'll put spoiler warnings up in any case, if I do decide to recap the show.]

Monday, April 19, 2010

'Parenthood' tackles syndromes and disobedient teenagers

[This is another review I wrote for the student newspaper. I'm not that happy about how it turned out, but oh well.]

Before NBC's "Parenthood" had even aired, the usual teasers and promos gave viewers a good idea of what to expect. In one of these teasers, daughter Amber, brilliantly played by Mae Whitman, says about her mother Sarah - right to her face, nonetheless - "Her bark is worse than her bite." Next thing we know, Sarah is lunging at her teen-aged daughter, and then dragging her off to Berkeley.

Lauren Graham, well known from her previous turn as a single mother on "Gilmore Girls," replaced Maura Tierney, who had to drop out due to health issues. Even though this involuntary casting change delayed the show's airdate from fall 2009 to spring, it seems to have worked out to the show's advantage. Having seen Tierney on "ER" as Nurse Abby and Graham as Lorelai Gilmore, Graham seems more suited for the likable role of mother of two who is forced to move back in with her parents.

At age 38, Sarah Braverman is divorced, unemployed and out of money, so she moves her family back home to Berkeley and, therefore, back into her family's daily lives. Being the oldest sister certainly doesn't help with her feelings of failure, but she does the best she can to provide a stable home for her two children, Amber and Drew. Viewers can easily relate to Sarah and her struggles, having to take care of two typical teenagers without any support from her drug addict ex-husband. Living with her parents makes her life even harder, as she has little space and uncovers her parents' problems without even trying to.

The most unique storyline features 8-year-old Max, son of oldest Braverman sibling Adam and wife Kristina. Adam was the perfect son, as he played sports and let his father turn him into "a tough guy." Max is very different, a sweet, but quiet and withdrawn child. Not only does he refuse to go to his baseball game - until his father bribes him with ice cream - he also frequently has problems at school. Even his classmates notice how different he is, and tease him, as kids do. Regular trips to the principal's office make his parents' lives hard, but his certainly harder. His reclusive behavior leads his parents to the conclusion that Max might suffer from Asperger's syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism. Because this disorder is hard to diagnose and very rare, Adam tries to tell himself that his son is just different.

So far this storyline has been the most intriguing and has been handled surprisingly well thought-out by the creators of the show. Max Burkholder, who portrays his character with the same first name, does a fantastic job at playing this difficult part. At 12 years old, he doesn't look any older than his role, but he brings the experience and certainly the talent to show Max as the three-dimensional fictional person he is.

"Parenthood" started off strong, with a very well-made pilot, which is rare in TV. The show revolves around the Braverman clan and their lives, specifically the trials and tribulations of parenthood, both for the grandparents - Zeek and Camille - as well as the parents - Adam, Sarah, Julia and Crosby. The characters are relatable three-dimensional people who make watchers care, almost as if it were their own family. The show trumps with great acting and has many household names attached to it, such as Peter Krause ("Six Feet Under" and "Dirty Sexy Money"), Monica Potter ("Boston Legal"), Dax Shepard ("Baby Mama" and "Old Dogs") and Mae Whitman ("Hope Floats" and "Arrested Development"). Even though the show has its laugh-out-loud moments, it does offer a reflection of life in its seriousness. "Parenthood," early into its run, has found the perfect mixture between drama and comedy.

"Parenthood" airs on NBC, Tuesdays at 8 p.m. If you missed the first episodes, you still have time to catch up. Watch "Parenthood" online at or and become part of the Braverman family.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Why you shouldn't mix work and romance

Or in this case, homework and romance. My girlfriend and I are taking two classes together, one of them history. We are supposed to work on a project, in which we have to write a paper and present it in class. We have known about that for about 2 months now and as you can probably guess, have not really done that much work yet. It partially has to do with the fact that my girlfriend keeps telling me that she has so much other stuff to do, for other classes. It drives me up a wall. I want to just sit down and do the project, and she keeps pushing it back and back. She doesn't want to do it by herself, which is an option, but she also doesn't want to do it in my time frame - and that time frame is pretty big!! I don't even know how often we have fought about this stupid project so far, but definitely too many times.

This is a perfect example of one big difference between her and me: she likes to do everything last minutes, as she needs the pressure to get motivated. I prefer doing projects earlier rather than later, because in my opinion, it is the one thing in school I have complete and total control over. I would not accept anything other than an A from myself when it comes to projects, because you get to choose the topic (most of the time), have enough time to prepare it and there is relatively little stress involved. With a test, you never exactly know what the questions will be or sometimes you have a blackout (happened to me yesterday, but I was able to get my brain to work again, thankfully). With a project, you're in control. So if you don't get a good grade, you probably didn't put enough work in. Which is ok, if you don't care.

So anyways, I will write what I want to write about this weekend and then we'll see if we will do our projects separately or together. I just want this whole thing to be over with. We really have enough other problems...

Friday, April 16, 2010

Dancing with the Stars fever

I started watching Dancing with the Stars this season, for two reasons. One, it's hard to watch the show when you aren't in America and have to rely on bad-quality Youtube uploads. And two, I absolutely adore Shannen Doherty and really miss her being on my screen. I was also curious to see how Kate Gosselin, who I admire for her strength, and Pamela Anderson would do.

As you can imagine, I was really disappointed to see Shannen Doherty get eliminated so early. I thought that she did a great job at both dances and I really liked how her cute, awesome personality shone through. And those cheeks! I love those cheeks!

Pamela Anderson really impressed me, because she works hard and does well. I thought the white dress she wore in week 3 was very beautiful and I think she might actually get fairly far if she keeps her performances up.

What I don't quite understand is all the Kate Haters that are out there. I get if you don't care about reality shows and don't think it's that special to have 8 kids, but that doesn't mean you hate her. To me, she is making 200,000 dollars in at the most probably two months, depending on when she gets eliminated. If you even that out over a year's worth of income, she would have to earn a little under 20,000 dollars A MONTH to earn that kind of money. As a nurse, that might be what she earns in A YEAR, but certainly not a month. So if I were in her shoes and I knew that this job would mean that my children would be taken care of financially for at least a year, I would accept not seeing them for 4 days a week too. She gets to see them all week long when she's not working, and if she were a nurse she'd be away from them for 8 or 9 hours a day as well. Calling her a bad mother because she took a job that paid extremely well means that you just don't understand the fact that she cannot work a normal job. First of all, she is too famous by now. And second of all, she's a single mother with 8 kids - do you really think a nurse's salary would pay to feed all of them? I was really hoping she would get better and improve, because she really has it hard. She's not a performer or athlete, so she really has a no advantage whatsoever compared to the other stars on the show. Given that, I think she is doing well and I really liked the fact that this week, she finally looked like she knew the choreography and like she was actually dancing. So I'm rooting for her!

Therapeutic Blogging

I want to get back into the habit of blogging for a certain reason. Even though I'm so busy with life, I need an outlet and since I already have this blog, I will use it. I haven't quite figured out exactly how much of my daily life and struggles I want to tell, because I don't want to dishonor (I looked for the right word, but really, could not find it. aarrrggg) on my girlfriend's privacy. But I guess we'll figure it out as we go along.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Being in a funk

If you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen the following tweets on your feed:
I gained so much f*cking weight in the last two months, none of my skirts fit anymore. Not a single one! Aaaagghh... I will stop eating now
Thinking about @UhHuhHerMusic 's Leisha Hailey' and Alice's obvious superiority makes me sad. Only thing I've going for myself in comparison?
My boobs are nicer. I'm 16 years younger, so obviously that will change too, probs sooner than 16 years. Very depressing thoughts... If I
didn't look up to Alice so much, might not be quite as bad. And yes, I know she's a fictional character, but Leisha still f*cking rocks!
A couple of things happened today that made my self-esteem sink to a new low. First of all, the weight issue. I've blogged about weight before, because it is something that is often in the back of my mind. Today, I took out my summer skirts and tried them all on. None of them fit. Not a single one. I knew that I had gained weight because my pants were fairly tight, but I hadn't realized that it was so bad. One skirt I was particularly upset about because I only just bought it last summer and hadn't worn it very often. Yes, when I bought it it was tight, but I figured it would be a good motivation to stay at my weight at that time, because I really love that skirt. Guess eating my stress doesn't exactly help with that, does it?

There is so much going on in my life right now and my life pretty much revolves around my girlfriend and school. I haven't made any real friends here yet and I'm having a hard time staying in touch with my friends in Austria. I don't want to/can't tell them about all the bad stuff that is going on here, because I don't want them to think I'm unhappy about my decision to move here - I am really not. I also don't want them to think I'm unhappy in my relationship or that they get a wrong picture of my girlfriend.

The thing is, she is depressed, has anxiety issues and very likely posttraumatic stress disorder. She is starting to heal, but it is a long process and we are just at the beginning of it. We both know that everything that is going on with her is taking a toll on me and it makes her feel even worse. I love her and don't want to be without her and I want to help her get better, but there is only so much I can do. And I'm not going to lie and say everything is great, because it is hard. Really, really hard. Will I give up on our relationship because it is hard? No. Does that make it any easier? Again, no.

With all of that going on, and the fact that I gained all that weight I was already not feeling great tonight. Then, I was finally wearing something I liked and I thought I looked hot, so I asked my girlfriend to take a few pictures. She's a pretty good photographer and knows how to handle a camera, but she's no miracle worker. The pictures didn't turn out great, because I can't pose or make my face look less stupid, so that just added on to my general mood and now I'm just in a real funk.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Oscar winners

Yeah, the Oscars were a while back, but I hadn't gotten around to commenting on them yet. Sorry.

I was really please with the result, even though I have to admit that I haven't seen 'The Hurt Locker' yet. I just didn't have time with school and everything, but I have hope I might still catch it in theatres.

Kathryn Bigelow - I did see 'Point Break' and her directing definitely is very good. I sometimes have a hard time seeing the director's work when I watch a movie, because it is the one thing that is really hard to put your finger one. You can see the actors, their costumes and make-up, the sets, all of those things. With directors, it is hard to see their style if you have only seen one of their movies. But I am just really happy that finally - FINALLY - a woman has won the Best Director Academy Award. It has been long overdue!

I absolutely adore Sandra Bullock. But it's not just that she is absolutely lovely, she is also a great actress. 'The Blind Side' really showed that side of her and to me, she really deserved this award.

Mo'Nique - If you have seen the film, then you will know just as I do that this win was so well deserved.

And then I was really excited about the well-deserved Oscar win by fellow Austrian Christoph Waltz!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Awww, the cuteness!

Bridget posted the link to a GO Magazine article about her and Karman on her facebook, go check it out here. Aren't they just the cutest thing ever? But what really surprised me is that Karman is "already" 41 years old - I would have never guessed her age correctly. Now, I don't want you to think that I'm obsessed with age, but I am realizing that I have a really bad sense of what a 40-year-old woman typically looks like. Or maybe it just is because she doesn't seem that 'adult' yet - yes, she has a regular job and everything, but she is also so much fun, and I know that for a fact because I have met her before (Hehehehe!!!). I guess I'm finding out that I just have a wrong image of 40-year-old women, which probably has to do with the fact that there really isn't a 'typical' 40-year-old woman. Anyways, that's just something I'm pondering about.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Looking good at 45!

Sandra Bullock was born on July 26th, 1964. I don't want to harp on her age, but she is 45 years old. She barely looks 40, if you ask me, and damn, she looks like a very good-looking, beautiful 40-year-old. But it's not just her looks, Sandra has this charm, this energy, which is just so vibrant and appealing, not just to me. Last year was a year which many said was Sandra Bullock's return to her great career, with two very successful movies. I have to admit I watched 'The Proposal', even though I didn't have high expectations for it. It was funny, but it was a romantic comedy, after all. Generally, romantic comedies are not of the highest cinematic kind, with exceptions - like 'It's complicated'. However, Sandra's performance in 'The Blind Side' was amazing, simply put. I loved the movie, the story was moving and the concept just worked.

I have always had a soft spot for Sandra Bullock. I think she is beautiful, funny and even though I would be horribly star-struck should I ever meet her, I think I would still know how to have a conversation with her, because she seems approachable. I really like most of her movies and performances, one of my favorites is 'Practical Magic'. So I am keeping my fingers crossed for her on Oscar night - I really think she has a shot at winning her first Academy Award for 'The Blind Side'.

Happy first birthday!

Happy 2010! Yes, it is already February and therefore a teeny tiny bit late for that, but oh well. I haven't been on here in a while and I apologize. Things are hard, every day. I don't know what to blog about, since I don't want to sound completely depressed, because I am not. Life just shows how you have to fight for what is worth having right now. If you are following me at twitter, you'll know that I moved! *YAY* Finally! Into a small apartment, with a bedroom, kitchen/livingroom and bathroom. I am really glad that we found something that has two actual rooms for this price, because my finances are very limited and everything else we looked at had at the most a separate kitchen, but not anything where we could have sat in a different room than the bedroom. Due to the fact that my girlfriend's parents can't/won't support her enough financially, we don't really have enough money. In a perfect month, we should have $100 left over at the end of the month, but since we constantly still need stuff for the apartment we have problems even having enough money for groceries. I have never had to worry about money. EVER. Even though I didn't get a lot of pocket money or was rich per se, I always had enough to not worry about it. I was always able to just go to the movies if I wanted to. Or to go out to eat at a decently priced restaurant with my friends. When I moved away from home three years ago, I easily managed to live off the budget my parents gave me because I am naturally careful with my money. I saved up quite a bit of money, enough to almost fully pay for a trip to see my girlfriend for two weeks. All my parents paid was part of the flight, which was only the smaller part of the cost of the vacation. I never thought that I would be in the position where I had to worry about money, because even though my parents are not rich by anyone's standards, they know how to handle money really well and passed that on to me. Whenever I needed something (a jacket, new jeans, school stuff), I just asked and they paid for it. Yes, sometimes they would say no, especially when it came to T-shirts and things I didn't really need, but more wanted. But I never lacked anything I needed. Now things look quite different. There are a number of things we technically still need for the apartment we simply cannot afford. After rent I will have about 10 dollars left until next week, when my gf's mom gives her grocery money. And even then we have to be very careful what we spend our money on. I don't have a problem being frugal, none at all. But it starts weighing down on you after a while if you don't have money to go to the movies or to go out to dinner for Valentine's day, or even to buy a curtain for your bedroom. Because of my visa status, I can't even work, not that anyone would hire me in this economy. It doesn't seem like this situation will improve much anytime soon, which just worries me, because my girlfriend and I both suffer from the constant worrying about money. She constantly fights about it with her mom too, who thinks it is perfectly fine for me to support her since we are one couple, and doesn't understand that my parents pay for me to go to college here, not for somebody else to do so too. She doesn't get that my parents give me more than 3 times the amount of money she gives her daughter and that I am not willing to give up all 'amenities' of having money (such as healthy food like fruits and veggies, which she says we shouldn't buy because they are too expensive) just because she doesn't know how to handle her money. I can't really talk to my friends about this, because I don't want them to think that my girlfriend is using me or something like this. I know that this is probably not exactly what they would think, but I think there might be some weird feelings. Anyways, this is weighing down on both me and my girlfriend and it sucks.

Now, the title of this post is 'Happy first birthday!' Wonder why? Because one year ago today, my nephew was born! He is such a cutie-pie and I miss him so much, because I can only watch him grow up through pictures. I can talk to everybody else, but not him. And he will have no clue who I am once I go visit in the summer. That is the only downside of having come here, but I guess not everything can be positive. Anyways, he is such a big boy to me already, standing and, I think, walking a bit already, saying two words. Yes, 'Da' and 'Ui' are words, believe it or not!! Anyways, this was a year ago:

And this was a few weeks ago:

Perfectly healthy and happy, despite the fact that he came to us two months early! So happy birthday, favorite nephew!