Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Someday, Forever.

I think it's no secret that Yoshi and I have had our fair share of struggles, some of them in the very recent past.

Being with him is easy because we get along so well, but being in a relationship where thoughts and feelings and opinions are valued is not.  Not every day is easy.

To be honest, there have been times where I've really genuinely thought about leaving.  After we moved in together that got a little more complicated, but during the rare instances where we've had really bad fights and I get overly emotional there are still times during which a stubborn and independent part of me thinks, "Meh, I don't need you.  I can survive on my own.  I can do whatever I want.  I'll just leave, then you'll see."

But that's not how a long-term relationship works, is it?

In a long-term relationship, a real partnership that becomes a pillar on which to base your life, you don't get to just leave because there was a hard day or a hard week or they said something wrong or they didn't pick the movie you wanted.

That would be silly, not to mention a waste of a tremendous amount of effort.  Those are things you can do, in my opinion, up until your one year anniversary.  After a year you should probably be putting more thought into your reasons to leave, like you both aren't compatible on a level that matters and causes you to be unable to continue in the relationship.

I understand there are many reasons to break up.  You're monogamous and one of you cheats.  One of you becomes drug dependent.  One of you has to move for work or family.  Sometimes even family is the reason, whether they dislike your partner or your partner cannot accept your family.

I've even had moments in which I knew I had real motive to terminate my relationship, but I couldn't do it.  I wouldn't just be turning my back on the lover who had been there for me through all my issues without trying to understand him in return, but I also would have been losing my best friend.  So in the days where I was really and truly thinking about leaving I would pretend everything was fine instead.  When he was gone my heart would be breaking but when he was home I seemed okay.  Instead of going to bed and crying I would sit closer to him on the couch.  Eventually, we grew closer again emotionally, too.

I'm not saying if you're considering leaving your relationship that you shouldn't.  Each relationship you have is different and different to each person in it.

I'm saying that when I have childish thoughts about ending mine because he isn't perfect I subconsciously find reasons not to do so and things get better.  That's how I know he's right for me.

I no longer look at him with youthful eyes and think about what he could be to me.  I see him with eyes and a heart that have experienced years with him: multiple moves, illness of various types, depression, anxiety, a million meals, an equal number of miles on the road, staying up until dawn and going to bed while the sun is still in the sky in the evening...  It isn't just the initial emotions and little compatibility tests you give each other that become love; it's the milestones you celebrate, projects you complete together, and moments that pile on top of each other year after year.

When I started this blog I was just another damaged girl in her mid-twenties who figured she'd be single forever and ever.  I had finally reached a place where I was comfortable with being single and had started to accept and release what I went through with my ex,  I liked who I was and I liked my freedom.  Later that year I met Yoshi and a year after that we started dating.

The secret is that I never really thought the relationship between the girl who always dated older guys and the dude four years younger who always dated younger girls would last.  I thought it would just be hanging out, maybe some decent sex, and then it would fizzle.  Somewhere along the line we started learning how to be with each other and really working at it because neither of us was willing to give up on the fun we had together.

So, yes.  There have been rough patches.  There will be more.  I don't think either of us would be happy if there wasn't some kind of challenge in being together.  But there will also be more moments that I will never forget and moments that I will forget that I thought I never would.  Somehow the negative never piles up as high as the positive.  I think that is as it should be.

I can't say for sure there won't be a day in the future that one of us says we can't do this anymore, but I can say that if that day did come it wouldn't be a surprise to either of us.  There would have been a lot of damage along the road we took to get to that place.

I think it's more likely we'll wake up in our seventies and wonder where the last 50 years went and how they could have passed us by so quickly.

Who knows?

That's for Future Bunny to worry about.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

In The Summertime.

Living on the redwood coast is swiftly changing the way I view summer.

Having lived in California my whole life I know exactly what summer should be.  In places like Santa Cruz (where I’ve actually spent summers) and San Diego it’s sunny and 75 degrees every day, though Santa Cruz does have fog earlier in the day.  In places like Sacramento and L.A. it’s 100 degrees and sunny all day.  In Central California it’s 110 and sunny.  Santa Rosa was more like 90 degrees. 

In short, most places it’s hot and bright.

Except here.

It’s spotty fog all morning.  Then sunny around one PM with fog that hangs over the water like I do chocolate cake or Yoshi when we’re in a crowded place.

Then fog on and off the rest of the day. 

Sometimes it unexpectedly lifts from the water, sometimes it doesn’t.  Sometimes it rains.  In the summer.

I know.

I was surprised, too.

And above everything else, it’s still 65 degrees.

I’m wearing a sweatshirt and socks as I type this and I’m considering closing the window because I’m too chilly.

This is the first summer ever that I’m contemplating hot tubs instead of swimming pools.  In fact, my mom just got a swimming pool and I’m thinking about setting up my hot tub so I have somewhere warm to go.

Yesterday I washed all of our bedclothes, plus some that were in storage since the move here.  I decided to swap our heavy winter comforter with the quilt I liked to use in Santa Rosa.  We had a sheet, a light blanket, and the quilt, plus our own individual afghans, and I woke up cold.

My body is so confused.

I can’t remember what month it is.

There’s no way in hell it’s July.

Yet, if I drive into the mountains (into the mountains!  It should be colder there!) for 20 minutes I will definitely remember it’s summer because I will be too hot immediately.

So the difference between summer and winter here has nothing to do with temperature and that’s a weird adjustment to have to make.

Winter means more damp and more rain.  Sometimes it will be 55 instead of 65, sometimes the sun will shine and it will be 65 again.  Albeit a damp 65.

Summer means it’s sunny eventually, though there may be mist or light rain later at night or early in the morning.  It’s actually quite romantic in a Bronte sort of way.  The hotter it is inland the more fog there is here on the coast and the less I can see the water from my kitchen, which is annoying since watching the barges and sailboats is how I pass the time while doing dishes.

All in all, I’d rather it be cooler than hotter, so I guess this is ideal.  I’m just still not acclimatized.

Also, I have the worst allergies I’ve ever had in my life. 

In July.

Which is totally normal.


I guess.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Blockage.

I was going to write for a while today.

Instead I'm having one of those days where everything I write seems stupid.

I've made the decision to go sort through yarn instead.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

El Explosivo.

Friday I made my favorite chili for dinner.  It’s an adaptation of this recipe from Damn Delicious—I LOVE Damn Delicious.  Her food is always amazing.  Apparently her recipe is adapted from a Cooking Classy recipe, so I guess I’m adapting an adaptation.

Whatever.

It’s freaking tasty.

I’ve made a separate post outlining my adaptation of this recipe for those who are interested.  It’s posted here.

Usually Yoshi and I have what we call “shit food night” on Friday, which is also our standing date night.

We’ll go for a drive, see a movie, stay home… Whatever.  Often that’s our night to eat shitty fast food because we don’t like to spend the money to go to restaurants much and even fast food can be expensive, but it used to be a vice for Yoshi and he still really enjoys getting to have that outlet.

This week I made chili and we had fast shit food on Saturday.

This was a bad idea.

Especially since the chili was served with fries and cheese.

Okay, I used 1/3 of it to make chili cheese fries, which we devoured straight from the casserole dish with forks while sitting on the floor and watching Supernatural.

It was amazing.  While we were doing it.

The next day Yoshi wanted to have a relaxing day and maybe adventure.  Since we now live on the coast in FarNorCal, we drove north for a bit into the redwood forest.  On the way out of town we got Taco Bell.

I’m sure someone out there has already surmised this was not a good idea.

Fast food when you're not accustomed to eating it is bad enough, but this was...  It was just not good.

About 45 minutes into our drive I started to feel some gurgles and as reality dawned on me I also started to wish I had stayed at home where it was safe and there was a clean bathroom that was easily accessible. 

Sadly, I was in the car near a town called Orick, which I’m sure jumps out as two things: a small “town” in the middle of nowhere and also the potential site for a mass murder/slasher film.  It is definitely at least one of those things.

I mentioned my worrisome predicament to Yoshi, fearless leader and pilot of our adventure.
He pulled off at beach parking lot with a bathroom.  You know the kind.  Something that looks like a toilet over a shit-filled hole in the ground in a small room with toilet paper but most definitely no sink.

Just what I wanted.

I mean, it’s better than digging a hole for myself.  I guess.

Luckily it was not very busy and there were for unisex bathroom units, so I picked one on the end that I thought was least likely to be disturbed and also probably the cleanest from disuse.
It was pretty clean, surprisingly.  There was even a little vent on the floor so the room didn’t smell like most beach bathrooms I’ve had the pleasure (I used the word pleasure very facetiously here) of using.  There was even a wall-mounted container of toilet seat covers and the toilet seat didn’t have the slightest smudge of feces.

What a lucky girl I am.

I prepared the “toilet.”  I sat.  I waited. 

Nothing happened.

My stomach continued to be unhappy. 

The toilet was very tall and didn’t lend to proper pooping posture, which made the situation even more difficult and frustrating.  Like, I just wanted to get in and out as quickly as possible and get on with my day adventuring in the woods.

I sat some more.

There was a breeze from below that did little to ease my discomfort.  What if something jumped up and bit me?  What if the breeze carried disease from whatever was below and my vagina rotted off from being exposed?

I could hear people in the parking lot through my little air vent and became self-conscious.  What if I exploded and could be heard halfway across the parking lot over the screaming children?

How embarrassing.

After what felt like an eternity I did some business and was able to leave, but something told me that the perfect storm, created by some bomb (poor word choice) chili cheese fries and a follow up of T. Bell, was not over. 

I felt better, but not…  Finished.

Yoshi has been with me long enough to understand this.

We went to the beach nearby.

He expressed concern because I had been gone long enough for him to worry not just about my stomach but also that I had been abducted from the bathroom.  “I was trying to memorize the license plates in the parking lot for when I had to call the cops.  I didn’t want to look like one of those dumbasses on Law & Order: SVU when they asked me if I saw anything suspicious.”

It was definitely less than 70 degrees out and the chilly breeze necessitated a sweatshirt for me since I still was feeling sub-par.  I felt uncomfortable sitting, so I lay beside him in the sand and closed my eyes.  The sun was warm and helped ease the tension I was feeling.

Particularly the tension in my stomach.

Particularly my lower stomach.

It began to dawn on me that I was going to have an emergency situation. 

Trying to run through sand to get to a toilet that is just out of reach while in an emergency shitting situation is not really on my list of favorite things.

My hands were shaking.  Yoshi was trying to help me but I was ready to cry.  In my mind I was processing which places in the nearby sad I would be least likely to be seen taking an emergency shit from the freeway or small children.

That’s when you know it’s really an emergency situation.  When you start mentally calculating how many people are likely to see you take a public dump.

I made it, if you’re curious. 

I was very fortunate.

After I was feeling better we drove to a trail head we hadn’t visited before and wandered around in the woods by a creek bed for a while.  It was amazingly beautiful.  There were banana slugs of every shape and size.

We talked about what we missed about Santa Rosa and what we like about living here and I realized something important.

As much as Santa Rosa had come to feel like home, one of the reasons we liked it is that where we lived it was easier to escape the city and go into the country.  We never loved the city as much as we loved being able to escape it.  Being here has been a big adjustment, but there is more escape and less city.

I think it’s going to work out.  Eventually.

Hopefully I’ll manage to keep from shitting my pants along the way.

Regardless, I will not be having chili cheese fries or Taco Bell for a while.  Maybe ever again.  I think I'm done with shit food Friday for a bit, too.

You'll Love Me For My Chili.

This post is regarding an adaptation I make of the Quinoa Chili recipe by Damn Delicious.

I don’t really measure things when I make food, so it’s a little hard for me to put recipes on my blog for people.  For this chili I might at some point, because it’s one of those really great heavy heartwarming dishes perfect for cold winter nights.  It’s hearty enough that it’s really easy to forget it’s vegetarian.

I’ve always been a picky eater and my dad makes the BEST chili, but I don’t like meat that much.  I’m not vegan or vegetarian, though I’ve considered it, but I hate having to fight my way around the bits of hamburger when all I really want is the beans and sauce. 

The quinoa chili is perfect for me because I don’t have to pick my way around it at all.  I just throw a little cheese on top and go to town. 

If you’re interested in the changes I make I’ll explain the way I cook a bit.  Generally, I just throw things together by instinct; I cook like my mom and my grandma, I guess.  New recipes I’ll measure most things unless I know I can eyeball.  I just don’t see the point in dirtying measuring cups if I don’t have to.  Recipes I’ve made more than twice I don’t often measure unless it’s something like a cake.

In regards to the chili, I don’t always use onion or garlic, though I do love the flavor when I brown them in olive oil and then mix them into the chili.  Sometimes I’m just lazy.  I don’t always cook the quinoa beforehand; it depends on quickly I want the chili to pull together.  More often than not I just add a little extra water to the broth and throw the rinsed uncooked chili in.  Sometimes I use canned beans, sometimes dry.  It depends on what I have on hand and whether I remember to soak the beans or not.  I prefer using dry if possible because I don’t like being restricted to the canned portions.  I like to add about a half a can extra of black beans in particular.

I store my dry goods like rice and beans in large Mason jars for ease of access and also because I like Mason jars.  They’re easy to clean, glass, and you can put just about anything in them.  Just ask Pinterest.

So I usually end up using about 2/3 a jar of black beans for the chili.  I use about a packet to a packet and a half of packaged chili seasoning because I am lazy and can’t remember to buy chili powder.  And, most importantly, I use brown sugar in my chili.

Friday night I cooked the quinoa and just tossed all the other ingredients in the pot at the same time.  I generally like to use more than one packet of chili seasoning, so I improvised and used some Tapatio.  Then I added probably 2-3 tablespoons of brown sugar.  This time it was organic because that’s what I had on hand.

Without a little brown sugar chili tastes a little too sharp to me, a little too tomato-y.  It really makes a difference.  The seasoning and the brown sugar I usually just add to taste as the chili cooks.

That’s pretty much it. 


It’s a very simple recipe to begin with and I’m not going to go out of my way to make it any harder.  

It's also pretty hard to screw up.  And it is so delicious.