bravocharliesierra: (Default)
I have spent a long time trying to find myself.

I still haven't succeeded.

I think I'm going to stop trying, and try to just go with it.

I don't know why I have tried for so long. I think some of it may be the
expectations of youth. I'm 25, after all, I'm supposed to be "searching"
and living some sort of life that I guess isn't mine.

I got a lot of shit for getting married early, because obviously, it
wouldn't last, but honestly we've been together almost 10 years and married
for 7. And we're happy. To say we're failing at being married is utter
nonsense. I wasn't ignorant of my choices at 18, and just because I made a
good choice doesn't mean everyone else will, even if they wait until
they're older to get married.

That was a part of me I knew. I knew, I want to be married to TGW.

I know that I like to geek out and have fun, but that's not really who I am
or what I want to do with my life. While I'd like to involve geeky stuff in
my career and life, I can't say it's the only thing, because I frankly
don't know.

I don't want to keep searching for an identity I may never find. I see way
too many people older than me, some by decades, who never found themselves
in that special way society promises us we will. I don't want to be
desperate for an identity, so desperate that I latch on to whatever is
offered. That's not me - I know that for sure.

I am still successful in doing what I'm good with for the time being, but I
don't know who I am, and *that's okay*.
bravocharliesierra: (Default)
*How I am using #BPAL to improve my health:*

I have bipolar disorder and a lot of anxiety issues. I also have mild
tendencies of OCD when I am manic, and issues with maintaining attention to
tasks. This shapes up to a lot of complication and extra stress.

Lately I have been buying and swapping perfume oils from _Black Phoenix
Alchemy Lab_ and some other smaller companies. BPAL is one of the only
places I can reliably buy perfume, and the other smaller companies only
have a few that I can try without headaches or allergic reactions.

Why does this matter?

First, I rarely put perfume on first thing in the morning because of John's
sensitivities to perfume. So at work, I put on my perfume and take my daily
morning medicines for my bipolar, and any pain medicine I need to take.
It's a good way to remember, because I remember to put on perfume more
easily than to take my medicine (no idea how that works!).

Second, getting the packages in the mail are a huge highlight for me,
especially when they are surprise gifts from the people in my BPAL circles.
I don't get a lot of personal mail, and they always come with tea or a card
or note, and it's just very sweet. It also gives me the opportunity to send
gifts out! Sometimes scents don't work for me, but they work for others, so
I bundle them up and mail them. This is really nice.

Last, the organization is fun. It's fun to go through the bottles and imps
and sort them by type or by preference, smell ones that I can't remember if
I like, all that stuff. It gives me one small space that I can have total
control over and organize however I want. That's actually really meaningful
to me. It gives my brain some space.

Do you have little rituals or habits that keep you healthy and sane?

bravocharliesierra: (Default)
Because I want to share today with people, even though it's nothing special:

Today is fucking weird.

I realized I didn't have homework which is awesome. However, TGW has to
work all the work and do all the school. I went from having 12 hours of
work a day to absolutely nothing today. (This will change next week, I'm

I was sick for enough days that I couldn't keep my medicine down (it makes
me nauseated in the first place, so when my stomach is upset it's pointless
to take it - never in my body long enough), and then forgot it for two
days, so I've been almost 5 days without medicine, and then took it this
morning. The result is a weird buzz-like feeling with some lightheadedness,
nausea, and weird hyper feeling. I also had like no sleep last night, which
didn't help.

I have an emotional hangover from playing DramaSystem last night - I got
super anxious beforehand and stressed out through over half of it, but
overall it was a positive experience.

I talked to TGW last night about how I had a really uncomfortable
realization that I'm doing something I have always hoped would never
happen: I'm being late for things because of my anxiety. When I have to be
somewhere, no matter where it is, I get hyper-hyper-anxious and will take
way longer than necessary, meaning that I'm always at least ten minutes
late, which makes me MORE anxious. This makes me feel like a massive
asshole, irresponsible, and also very exhausted. It's something I've
witnessed in my family with other people who have anxiety, and it's super
frustrating. I don't want to do this. I don't want to be the kind of person
who lets my anxiety get in the way of my life, especially not the kind of
person who lets it make me a bad friend or bad gaming buddy.

I realized it is a big problem because it's keeping me from seeing people
who I'm friends with, it's stopping me from visiting friends, keeping me
from doing things I want to like going to the store, going out for drinks
or to play games with people, and even keeping me from doing important
things at work. It is keeping me from writing, keeping me from having *sex*,
and I don't think it's acceptable.

I can see the little damages it's doing to me professionally and
personally. Other people might not, but I notice - and I hate it.

I'll be making a call sometime this week to schedule an appointment with a
therapist, which I hate the entire idea of doing right now (because I am
anxious about going to the therapist, woo), and I think it's actually bad
enough that I need to consider anti-anxiety medicine. That's terrifying to

Here's my question. *If you've ever made the decision to go on medicine
(for anything, physical or mental or emotional) or to go into therapy, what
helped motivate you to do it?*


Oct. 21st, 2012 03:35 pm
bravocharliesierra: (Default)
Yesterday, I attended a memorial for my brother-in-law's baby, who died
after living about 15 minutes, after having to be delivered at 5 months
because my sister-in-law had pre-eclampsia.

I hate funerals.

I hate funerals for many reasons, not the least of which is because I don't
feel like it's the right response to death. I prefer to celebrate life, and
it's difficult to do so when you're thinking about how the person is dead
now, how horrible, let us all cry together. It has been a month since the
baby (Alexandra Laurel) died, and it took me like two weeks to be able to
think of it without crying. I never thought I would care that damn much,
but I know most of it was: anger that she had died, because that's fucking
ridiculous; annoyance with people using God's will or God taking her into
his care as justification because fuck that; and most of all, feeling
guilty because I couldn't do anything to help or comfort my family members
who were suffering.

This guy I worked with once told me that he thought grief was selfish. The
only reason we grieve is because we are sad the people aren't there with
us. If we believe in an afterlife, isn't the afterlife better than life? If
we don't believe in an afterlife, isn't it just the natural way of things?
People live and die, and it's tough to let go, but I find myself struggling
more with holding on to lost loved ones than trying to move on.

The funeral was difficult. It was outside on a hilltop in the cold wind.
The sun came out as they were scattering the ashes. There was a single tree
and a cross with a few benches in front. TGWs mom wanted a photo in front
of the cross after so we did one, but I hated it and it made me frustrated.
I didn't want a photo. I don't want to have that lingering feeling, I don't
want to memorialize that.

There were a lot of other feelings mixed in, too, like, seeing people we
don't see often that we have history with and coping with that, struggling
because of the lack of closeness we have with other people. I felt like we
were this still satellite, orbiting this tight-knit group, always just far
enough away to not mess with things. That's how it always is. We're always
just out of reach.

I kind of like being out of reach because I don't want to care about
people, I don't want to love people or want to be near them. It is easier
to be separate. I sometimes feel better when I'm not trying to spend time
with people, when it's just TGW and me, doing our own thing. Okay, I
*often* feel

Last night, we met up with brother-in-law and sister-in-law for dinner. We
talked about stuff, but not some of the important stuff. I mentioned how
I'm struggling to be close with my niece and nephew (not the toddler &
baby; the teenagers (15, 18) - my sister-in-law on TGW's side's kids).
Everyone responds with, oh, but they are teenagers! But, I hate that. I
remember that feeling, being a teenager and feeling separated, so I want to
push through that, to try to have a relationship with them. I am just
terrible at it.

Halfway through dinner, though, something happened.

I have been waiting about a week and a half for the depression to kick in.
I knew it had been coming, slowly inching. I just wasn't sure when it would
be fully realized. But in the middle of dinner, like someone threw a
switch, there it was. That sadness. The steak I was eating was no longer so
delicious, the wine tasted like vinegar when it had a few moments before
been sweet.

I'm tired of depression. It makes work harder, it makes school harder, it
makes everything more difficult and more exhausting. The worst part is that
I don't even want happiness to replace it.

I want calm. I want to feel nothing. Just, washed of anger and washed of
happy and washed of sadness. I don't want to feel.


Sep. 20th, 2012 09:14 am
bravocharliesierra: (Default)
Have you ever had that feeling in the morning when you wake up that you
just want to *punch* something? There is a deep growl waiting in your
belly, ready to roar. It seems like the slightest pin drop could set you
off on a raging tirade, slamming doors, breaking dishes, throwing the first
thing you find out the window.

But yet, it waits.

You go for hours - get up, get dressed, go to work - and still, no
screaming. No boiling point. No cartoonish bursting thermometer of anger.
Just the same bullshit as usual, which makes you even *angrier*. It feels
like the day is just mocking you at this point. *Oh, what are you gonna do?
Cry? Like a baby? *Mocking you like grade school bullies. Pricking at your
every weakness. You fume, but what can you do? You just sit there and take

You kick your toe into the ground, stomp your feet, and throw fits in your
mind that you'd never throw in real life. Every little inkling of
insecurity prickles, widens, then bursts and pours through you. *Your hair.
Your skin. Your clothes. All wrong, all cheap, all dirty, all
worthless, **you're
worthless, you're stupid, you never do anything right, how could anyone
love you?* *You're too fat, too ugly, too short, too lazy, **you don't
deserve what you have*. *You're sick because you deserve it, this is your
punishment, **you are just taking up space, give it up for someone better -
anyone is better*.

By the time the pin drops, you're too tired of fighting.

You just sigh, look down,

and grumble.
bravocharliesierra: (Default)
I've shared an item with you:

Untitled document

It's not an attachment -- it's stored online at Google Docs. To open this document, just click the link above.
bravocharliesierra: (Default)
*Little Laurel, falling from the tree
the bough has broken beneath you,

Perpetually floating downwards,
breezes spinning you 'round.

A weakened heart behind you,
and turning leaves ahead.

There is no need to reach for help.
You're somewhere safe now,

the world can't harm you and
you'll find another way home.

bravocharliesierra: (Default)
My very first blog post on the biggest power a player has in gaming has
been posted on Gaming as Women! Check it out:

Saying "No" <>
bravocharliesierra: (Default)
*Did you ever have that moment when you knew what you want to do?*
I have. A few times. Vague ones most of the time like, "I want to involve
this in my life somehow", even if it's just a hobby. I have had some that
were like, well, these are things I can do, so I may as well do that. It's
something that *could* make me happy.Then I realize, it's not feasible.
Because of people. Some are flights of fancy. They're still there, though.

Recently I had one that was a little bigger. A little different. It's a
possibility that could combine almost all of the things I like and care
about. But it's a massive stretch of my abilities (if they're even good
enough) and it's one of the more impractical ideas I've had. People have
made it work. People have succeeded doing it, and I might be able to do so,
as well. It will take a ton of effort. I really want to do it, like *really*,
but I am filled with fear. Pure anxiety at even the chance of it, because I
expect failure. I recently had an opportunity that gave me an inkling of a
chance to take steps towards it.

Now I'm just holding my breath. Hoping for it, and really hoping that this
isn't just another wasted wish.
bravocharliesierra: (Default)
Attached: Thirsty.html
Sent using Google Docs

I wrote a story today that I wanted to share. Nightmares are a plague, but nothing rids me of the aftermath anxiety than infecting others.


Aug. 21st, 2012 12:12 pm
bravocharliesierra: (Default)

I have been signed on as a blogger for Gaming as
which is an awesome website dedicated to writing about womanhood and mostly
analog gaming. I'm super excited! It's a big opportunity for me and is
opening up the chance to do more in gaming, as well as to write about some
issues in gaming that I really care about.

My first post should be coming up soon, and I'll just be posting quick
blurbs and links here to go there to read the rest. Feel free to check out
the site now and see what the other awesome ladies at Gaming as Women are
bravocharliesierra: (Default)
Recent events in my online and offline experience have brought to the
forefront of my mind a memory that I thought I had solidly forgotten. It's
a moderately traumatic one, and one that I had hoped to never think of
again. It was from a time when I was the most vulnerable. Here's the thing,
though. I know the value in people sharing about their experiences with
assault (of any variety). I know that being open and exposing the things
that happen to me is part of being a transparent person. A part of me knows
that there is value in telling people - both for me, and for other people.
On top of that, I'm typically an honest person who keeps little under
wraps. I encourage being public about everything, because I am generally of
the opinion that it keeps you honest and that without secrets, life is
typically easier.

I'm not going to share this story.

I don't want to discourage other people from sharing their experiences, or
from reporting sexual violence (or any violence) - I really do think that
reporting things and talking to someone (a friend, family, or a therapist)
is always the best way to deal with this kind of situation. The thing is,
this memory is a fuzzy one and it is not very recent. This leaves a lot of
possibility for error in my explanation, and vague descriptions, which I'm
not comfortable with. I also know that with telling my story will come the
risk of the same type of harassment I have seen other women receive online.
There might be the accusations that I made it up, or that I'm exaggerating,
or that I deserved it. After all, I know what kind of person I was when it
happened - but that doesn't make what happened my fault, even though I
still have trouble acknowledging that fact.

I could choose to just tell people I know to help myself get through this
difficult experience of remembering, but I even fear their reactions -
maybe just the little inklings that I feel about it, that I should have
fought back harder or that I should have been more responsible. It also
risks the dismissal of my experience - that it wasn't as bad as other
people's, or that my feelings don't matter, or that I should just get over
it. I can't go through that. I know now that I will have to refuse to put
myself in situations where I will risk my emotional health, and that it
might be difficult to do, but any difficulty in that would be heartily
trumped by not knowing how severely this recollection has affected me and
the possible repercussions of my own emotional ignorance.

The fact is, the only important thing is that I am another woman who has
had an experience no one should. I was assaulted by someone I knew who took
advantage of a damaged emotional state, and it has made me realize that
there are a lot of changes that need to be made in the world. It has made
me remember one of the many reasons I have lost trust in other people, and
remembering it has changed *me*. I understand now why so many women never
tell anyone about their trauma, and I'm very sorry that I didn't before.

bravocharliesierra: (Default)
I finally went through my inbox (ALL of it) and got rid of e-mails and
records from a bad time.

I feel amazing.
bravocharliesierra: (Default)
One small head of cabbage (about the size of a small musk melon)
6-8 medium size beets
1.5 Cups Miracle Whip
2 tablespoons yellow mustard (I used Heinz)
1/2 cup Fennel (chopped)
2-3 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
Pepper and paprika to taste (about 1/2 tsp each for mine)

Slice beets thin (1/8 in.) and cut in half, depending on size. Slide
cabbage intro strips or dice. Put in bowl with vinegar and salt, mix/toss
and let sit for about 4 minutes. Drain vinegar, add Miracle Whip, mustard,
fennel, pepper and paprika. Stir and put in fridge for 3 hours. Enjoy!
bravocharliesierra: (Default)
The problem with writing something that stretches my boundaries is that I
want someone to read it and give me feedback. In fact, I want all the
feedback. But maybe I am afraid that this is beyond my capabilities and
it's not good enough, or it's just trite crap. Maybe when John reads it he
is just being nice or he likes my work because it's mine.

Sometimes it's even harder because not everyone likes the same kind of
stories so they may not like it just because of the genre, or maybe it will
be too risque or too gory or too prose-heavy. And I don't want to send it
to *everyone* while it's a work in progress, but how do I know if I should
keep going? Am I writing just for me or for everyone?

I never know how much to write before sharing with people. What I'm working
on right now has this massive world that I want to build, something
detailed and fleshed out. I have the economy, the culture, the
architecture, everything all slowly building up in my brain to be a
beautiful universe of its own. If I make one misstep I will lose it. I
don't know what I will do if I can't write this one right.

I just feel like I'm on shaky ground. I don't know how much to share and
who to share it with, and I am afraid of the negative feedback I know will
come. I'm just holding my breath.
bravocharliesierra: (Default)
I have had a lot of acquaintances and some decent friends and some good
friends. I admittedly go through friends pretty quickly, and did so
especially as a teen and pre-teen. After starting working at my day job, I
have actually managed to build some pretty awesome relationships, which is
something I did not expect (especially since I have trouble building
relationships with peers, especially females, and because I work in a very
different environment than my upbringing prepared me for).

I was lucky enough to meet Colleen <> early in my
time at this job. She is one of my favorite people because I never feel
weird around her. I can talk about *anything at all*, no matter how strange
or potentially judgmental it might be. She never makes me feel like my
expectations are too high or like I am stupid. Even though she's way
smarter and more precise than I am, and even when I'm kind of a shitty
friend, she never acts like I'm less of a person than she is. I don't feel
inadequate around her because she always wants to be friends with everyone.

She works really hard and she's actually changed me a lot as a person for
the better. She helped me literally get back on my feet after being injured
and sick, pushing me to start walking and get out there. She's encouraged
me to work out and to do things in NA-YGN and other organizations. She
helped me learn that numbers aren't always bad - seeing her daily data
encouraged me to learn a little more about how the numbers of my body
worked. I also learned a lot about clothes with her. She let me go to the
mall and pick out clothes that I knew would fit her and would look good on
her, and helped me to integrate more bright colors into my wardrobe.

How many people can say they have a friend of a short time (just a few
years) that has changed their perspective on so many aspects of their life
in such a good way?

On an unfortunate note, Colleen is moving to California, which is literally
as far away in the country as you can get (aside from Hawaii and Alaska). I
keep on feeling like I didn't get enough time and that I should have tried
harder, and I know that's I should have, but I'm feeling a lot of complex
emotion about it. First, I'm super excited for her husband who got an
awesome job at Google, which I'm a little envious of and wish the best for
him in. Second, I'm excited for their opportunity to live in an area that's
more suited to a healthy lifestyle (with the chance to bike to work and be
in a more walkable community). Third, I am excited for the change! It's
always exciting when something new happens, and I think that Colleen has a
chance of getting an awesome job there, because I know she is a dedicated
person and that she will perform excellently in whatever she tries to do.
Fourth, it makes the prospect of visiting them in California a fun
possibility, even if it's a way off. However, in opposition, I'm so sad to
see her leave.

I have never had a friend I was so close to that I saw as much of and knew
so much about move so far away. I have had an experience where I thought
this was happening, but there were so many other negative emotions mixed up
in it that it just wasn't this kind of weird emptiness and struggle to
imagine time without them. When Laura left for Texas, I was sad, but we
didn't see each other a lot even though we're close and return to
super-friends as soon as we see each other again. I've had friends move
away, acquaintances move away, but no one with whom I feel this strong of a
kinship. It has been such a confusing bundle of emotions to deal with
because the excitement is still pretty overwhelmed with this sadness.

I've never had this experience before. It's a new one and it is definitely
a difficult one. I know it will help me grow and that I will still be able
to see Colleen's life every day on her blog, which I am grateful for, but I
will miss her a ton, and I will miss Dave, too. It feels like part of
growing up; I just hope it doesn't ever mean growing apart.
bravocharliesierra: (Default)
A couple years ago, there were some things people did that really drove me
crazy, and that still bother me now *with other people, *and *with myself*.
Because,* I have hypocritically picked up these habits. *

- Being late.
- Constantly being on laptops or smartphones while other people are
- Not responding to e-mails.

I'm sick of these things. I hate it when other people do these things - it
makes me upset. Why?* They're disrespectful. *

Being late is a lack of consideration for other people's time, and shows a
lack of commitment. By not showing up when you are supposed to, you say
that you aren't concerned about the host's time, that you aren't committed
enough to that relationship to set aside time for them.

Being on laptops and smartphones while other people are around disrespects
other people's time and also belittles the purpose of social interaction.
If we do not mean to spend time with these other people, then why are we
there? What is the point?

Not responding to e-mails is the worst. I feel guilty over it constantly.
It is just another step in reducing connections - separating myself from
other people. It is worst with people who serially did not respond to my
e-mails, but can also be caused by my lack of desire to address something
or because of general laziness.

I picked up these habits for a few reasons. All of them are partially in
petty response to other people doing them to me. People being perpetually
late made me feel undervalued, and it made me feel as though I should stop
making the effort to be on time for them - they probably wouldn't be ready
in time for me to arrive anyway. Being on laptops and smartphones was often
the result of other people being on them - when no one else was making an
effort to converse and discussion fell to the wayside, I fell into the trap
of hiding behind a screen, too. It was easy, because I felt dismissed, and
I feel lonely in company when no one else is interacting or making an
effort to interact. It's worst during tabletop games when we're waiting for
others to complete tasks, because we want to respect the other player, but
it's terrible to default to a lack of social interaction when a large part
of the event is to interact. The e-mails thing definitely is in response to
other people ignoring my e-mails. I e-mail a lot of my friends and family
articles and even legit e-mails regularly, but the only people to reliably
respond (within even a 3-4 day window, if at all) are my sister, my mom, my
grandmother, and Colleen. Other people may never respond. I know e-mail
isn't everyone's favorite mode of conversation, but when we don't see each
other for a while and I want to share a large volume of information,
sometimes it is nice.

Another part of reduced e-mail response is a time factor - unless it was
important and required an immediate response, I'd dismiss it to get back to
later, but sometimes not get back to it.

*So, what to do? *

I don't want to be that person who devalues people and is disrespectful
because of spite or laziness. Even if my friends don't notice or don't
care, there is no reason I should act in a way that would make me feel bad
if someone else did it.

I am going to give myself a goal. I want to stop doing these things. I want
to stop doing them as much as I can within 90 days starting from June 1.
From June 1 to August 29, I am going to make an active attempt to stop
being late, stop ignoring live humans in favor of gadgetry, and respond to
e-mails in a timely manner.

First, I will plan better. Try to allot extra time for unexpected events,
and stop leaving things until the last minute. I want to utilize my
calendars more effectively and try to make a solid effort to arrive on
time, or within 5 minutes forward or back.

Second, I will turn off my phone to spend time with TGW once a week. When I
visit my family, I will turn off or at the least mute my phone for 75% or
more of my time with them. When I spend time with friends, I will put my
phone on vibrate and only check it every 2 hours (barring scheduled phone
calls or expected contact from other guests).

Last, I will start doing a twice-weekly (Wednesday and Saturday) e-mail
review to make sure I respond to all of my personal e-mails, even if it is
just a "hey, I got this, I will get back to you by x day", and if I promise
a response, I will set a reminder to respond by then. I have, right now,
set an alert on my Google calendar to remind me (which is synced to my
phone - and if I miss it because of a social call, I will just get it when
I arrive home those evenings).

*What do you think? *Do you think that I can effectively accomplish fixing
these bad habits? I am really hoping I can.

bravocharliesierra: (Default)
There is apparently some conflict over Zuckerberg's relationship agreement
with his wife.<>

I actually think a relationship agreement, for people in high-stress, busy
lives, is a GREAT idea. Legally enforceable? No, but it helps to set
relationship expectations and gives you something to return to to
reevaluate what may be failing when you are having relationship trouble.

Think of it from this perspective: It helps you be mindful of what your
partner needs.

Dr. Gary Chapman has written about five "love

*Words of Affirmation*

Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love
> language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words,
> “I love you,” are important—hearing the reasons behind that love sends your
> spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily
> forgotten.

> *Quality Time*

In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full,
> undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but
> really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and
> tasks on standby—makes your significant other feel truly special and loved.
> Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially
> hurtful.

> *Receiving Gifts*

Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts
> thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you
> speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known,
> you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to
> bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty,
> thoughtless gift would be disastrous—so would the absence of everyday
> gestures.

> *Acts of Service*

Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely!
> Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts
> of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most want to
> hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making
> more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t
> matter.

> *Physical Touch*

This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language
> is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the
> back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or
> face—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love.
> Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can
> be unforgivable and destructive.

I learned about these at Strong Bonds, and I think they are one of the most
valuable things I learned about in those sessions. Why are these important,
and what do they have to do with relationship agreements?

I think communication is one of the most important things in relationships
(second to trust), and the evidence provided by researchers certainly
supports that idea. These love languages force us to understand our own
preferences, and what makes us happy in a relationship and what makes us
feel loved, and also push us to listen to what our partner cares about,
what makes them feel valued and loved. Maybe your partner really needs to
hear you say "I love you" every day. Or, maybe they need you to hug them or
give them a kiss in the morning to feel like they really are loved. I, for
example, feel the most loved when TGW makes me a cup of coffee - especially
if it is without me asking - and I need to hear him say he loves me a *lot*.
He likes hugs and when I actually sit and listen to him and focus on him
(quality time).

You could easily use these love languages to establish a relationship
agreement. Maybe you need to have a specific amount of time each day or
each week where you sit and listen to your partner talk about something, or
where you do something very special for them - even if it is just something
simple like rubbing their shoulders while they work on a project or telling
them something to express how you feel about them. People in busy
lifestyles really can forget these little things.

Imagine how busy Mark Zuckerberg must be. It is hard even without being an
executive to find time for dates, dinner together, and simple
taking-care-of-each-other measures. I can't fathom how easy it must be with
his schedule to lose sight of how much time he needs to spend with a
significant other - even if he wants to, he has a business to run and many
people are motivated by the desire to maintain a happy lifestyle for their
partner, with the thinking that if they don't keep their lifestyle, the
partner may not have the things they want to be happy. It is an easy trap.
But, with a relationship agreement, it says:

"This is what is important to me. Set aside time for these things, and then
> we can be flexible with everything else. This is what kind of love I need,
> what kind of time and effort I require from you to be happy."

They say relationships are hard and that they don't come with a manual.
Wouldn't a relationship agreement kind of be like a manual? I think I want
to make one with TGW, even just an informal one. With our busy schedule, I
think we could really benefit from it. Revisiting our love languages like
we did when we first got married and setting goals with those can help us
to be happy and fulfilled, and happiness is *always* the right goal.



May. 21st, 2012 01:23 pm
bravocharliesierra: (Default)
I saw some articles today regarding a potential law in California for DNA
It's an interesting concept. I mean, in all honesty, yes, our DNA does
belong to us as individuals. However, if we agree to allow it to be used
for scientific research, how much could it impede progress of the research
if they had to keep coming back to people or keep finding new people to get
consent to test for new things?

And really, is family medical history really that big of a deal?

I guess my questions are: Is more legislation worth the administrative
costs and time lost for research facilities, just to protect your genetic
data? What is the harm in your genetic data being accessed? How open-ended
would contracts with researchers have to be in order to make it feasible to
continue their research without losses?

The University of California has submitted a formal letter objecting to
> the bill, estimating that the measure could increase administrative costs
> by up to $594,000 annually—money which would come out of the cash-strapped
> state's General Fund. The university has also expressed concern that its
> researchers would suffer competitive losses in obtaining research grants.

That is a hell of a lot of money. Between that and the money spent
preparing and debating this bill, which is worth it: constantly monitoring
the use of DNA, or more rapidly and more affordable answers to questions
about diseases and genetic predispositions to illness? Is the solution
instead to create some sort of DNA copyright where any use of our DNA and
genomic data that results in profit results in effective royalties to us?
There is a concern that insurance companies would use our information to
create higher cost brackets. First, we already share our family history
with insurance companies, and second, why wouldn't we just have to agree to
them having access to it, just like when signing a release form to a
scientific research facility?

If I signed over my DNA in an agreement that tied my name to it, all I
would want is a regular update of what it was being used for - I wouldn't
want to share my DNA anonymously.

What do you think?
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