Helen and Alex, together!

Helen: So I've always thought that Alex and I have pretty funny conversations. Here are some that we could think of. These conversations have, more or less, actually occurred in real life :P

*Helen and Alex are eating lunch*
Helen: Ew, I hate mac&cheese.
*Alex stares in disbelief*
Alex: That's (communistic) of you. You know what, I'm going to give you a box of mac&cheese so when the next Red Scare comes, you'll be able to show that box of mac&cheese to the authorities to prove that you're not a communist.
Helen:...But I hate mac&cheese! >:C
Alex: COMMIE!!!!

*Helen goes to the bathroom*
Alex: Let me watch!
Helen: Why, so you can watch the blood drip?!
Alex: Ewwwww *cringe*

*Helen and Alex argue about something*
Alex: That doesn't make any sense!
Helen: Yes it does! It makes woman sense!
Alex: Woman sense=nonsense!
*Helen goes into a room and cries*
Helen: ...I'm on my period, you should've known better!!!

Helen: Do you think I look pretty today?
Alex: Yea, your hair's all pretty and you have some make up on. You're gorgeous
*Alex is exasperated*

*Alex says something annoying*
Helen: Yea, well you know what? Go fuck yourself, Alex.

* Alex and Helen are discussing something*
Alex: Yea, that's what all the cool kids are doing.  
Helen: No, all the cool kids are doing me! *trollface.jpg*

Alex: *mumble mumble mumble*
Helen: ...Wait, what?
Alex: *mumble mumble mumble*
Alex: Alright, calm down there Samuel Jackson. 

More to come!

Alex Appreciation Post

Helen's thoughts

On Wednesday I hung out with Alex almost all day. Wednesday is our hang-out-lots day. I was sick and acted rather grumpy that day, and I'm just amazed by how loving Alex is towards me. He's so understanding, even when I don't understand myself.
Mario Kart is srs fuckin' bznz, mang
That day we played Mario Kart, and I was getting really petty and claimed that I'd break up with him if he didn't let me win. Even though I was joking, it probably still hurt him. And I think he and I both knew that if I didn't win, I'd be pissed. I wouldn't be so pissed that I'd break up with him, but I would be pretty grumpy about it. So he let me win. But then I felt like he was patronizing me, so I was a grump towards him anyway.
Yet all he did at that point was wrap me up in his arms and tell me he loves me and give me kisses on my head. I'm getting a little weak-kneed just thinking about how amazing he is, and how lucky I am to have him. Any less loving or less patient boyfriend would've snapped already. But I'm lucky to have Alex :] I wish I could tell him how amazing he is face to face with him right now. But this blog post will have to do for now.

Alex wearing my pink shirt :]
The last time we played Mario Kart was just shortly after we got together, I think. I told him that if he lost, he'd have to wear this pink shirt of mine. He told me recently that he purposely lost then too, because he wanted to please me. I felt patronized again, but I'm so glad that he doesn't mind doing these things to please me too. He doesn't mind losing the small battles to win the war, and that's just such a humbling concept to me, and makes my heart swell with love (if you'll pardon the corny expression, lol)

Lol Zombie!Alex
Bonus pic: this was taken by our club advisor at a dinner. If you'll recall, Alex and I met at Japanese Culture Club. We usually have dinner together during club, and this was taken after I "defeated" Alex. His "punishment" was that not only would he have to wear the pink shirt, he also had to wear it to JCC :] This shot was just soo...perfectly hilarious, lol.

Alex 101

Helen's thoughts

So the other day I wrote this really long post about the lessons I had learned that lets get along with Alex. Blogger ate the post, so here's an attempt at remaking that post.
Except I know all of you has the brain size of a pea you're all very busy people who can't afford to read more than 5 minutes consecutively about something, so I've broken the post up into shorter ones. That way it'll give me something to post every day, and you'll be more likely to read it, so yay! Lol.
JFC looking how clingy this woman is! ps that's Elijah Wood
So here's the first lesson I've learned that really helps me get along with Alex: don't be clingy or overbearing! This is probably the first lesson regarding relationships I've ever learned, and it's such an important rule. It's so easy to forget that just because you're dating someone, they're not suddenly attached to you at the hip. Giving the other person some space for breathing is not only good for both of you, it sets boundaries and keeps the mystery alive.
I also value personal freedom and leisure time greatly, so I'm very careful to treat Alex how I'd like to be treated. Clinginess, I think, is also a sign of insecurity. While it's ok to be clingy sometimes, because it's also a show of affection, it's all in moderation. I only expect the same of Alex.
Clinginess isn't just in being physically attached to someone, either. I also consider it clingy if someone cannot stop talking about their lover. "Alex told me he really likes this sweater so I bought it. Alex has such great taste in clothes! He looked really hot in it! O yea Alex saw that movie that you were just talking about. He didn't like it much, so I didn't either." God just typing that annoyed me, lol. I've friends tell me that they appreciate me not talking about Alex unless they specifically asked something about him, or if what he said/did was actually short but relevant to the topic. Example "I LOVED the movie Inception, but Alex wouldn't stop making 'that's what she said' jokes every time the actors said 'We must go deeper', lol."
 Whenever I think I might be too clingy towards Alex, I busy myself with books and TV shows and video games, and don't return his calls right away. It's working pretty well so far :]


Alex's ramblings

The other day something was said to me that did not like very much.  There was no reason for it and the intent behind it I am sure was quite childish.  It reminded me of... DUN DUN DUN high school.  

High school is different for everyone but I think I had a very broad experience.  One thing that I never understood though was how most people in high school had almost no self-respect.  They gave into peer pressure and did drugs and drank.  They would do almost anything to fit in.  The thing that I really didn't like, however, was people and their choice of friends.  Now sure I am a bit guilty of this myself, but I didn't have to put up with too much shit.  I knew this one guy and he would literally be the punching bag for the rest of that group of "friends".  He would be made fun of all the time, and constantly insulted.  Now he would laugh it off and laugh with them while they were laughing at him.  I never understood why he would put up with it.  Now looking back I think I understand.  It has to be low self-esteem.  You feel like shit about yourself and you surround yourself with people that make you feel the same way you feel about your self.  Wrong becomes normal on some level.  I guess I just don't understand why someone would be friends with someone else that just makes fun of them and insults them, sure you may get a laugh out of it, but it is worth it?  I say no.  Now in High school I understand why you might put up with it. Because you have to see and hang out with the same people for 4 years, but after high school or when it come to the internet there is nothing forcing you to interact with these people except for your self.

This got me thinking about relationships, the childish ones and the more mature ones.  I think we would all like to think that high school relationships were the childish ones and college and beyond would be mature relationships but its not always the case.  I look at it from my point of view.  If I ever were to be mean to Helen and make fun of her I would expect her not to put up with it.  If I tried to play games with her head and make her feel unworthy or belittled or jealous for my own reasons I would expect her to drop me like a sack of potatoes. :p  (Helen: Damn right I would!) I like to think she would.  And I would like to think that she would hold others to the same standard that she holds me. :)

Now I have to ask myself would I do the same thing if the roles were reversed.  I would like to think so but who knows.  I always say that I don't play games. Period.  But over the years maybe I have become so good at them I don't ever realize that I am playing them.  Or maybe I just need to work on my own self-esteem. :p  It is actually kinda funny. The only way I think I am different from most people is that I understand why I do what I do.  I still do the same things everyone else does, I just understand why I do it.  Understanding is overrated and it doesn't make thing any easier.  Just because I understand doesn't mean that I like it or am ok with it.  I think that most people don't get that.  Only time will tell and hindsight really is a bitch.

Hi my name is Alex and I am...

 Hopeless according to Helen.  For Halloween this year I wanted to dress up as Goku from Dragon Ball Z.  I have a gi that I was going to get a friend to dye orange and silk screen the symbols on it.  I got a blue under gi and even the body weights if I wanted to be really hardcore.  I am already a blonde so I don't need to yell for a few episodes to go super saiyan.  I think that this is a great idea.

The reality of this though is that I wanted them just to train in all the time and Halloween was just convenient.  Body weights are a great way to build functional strength, but moving on....  

Helen thinks that I am too much of a geek, nerd, otaku or whatever you want to call it.  Just because I enjoy my Saturday morning cartoons when I am not working or like the occasional anime does not warrant putting me in that category.  Or just because I play Pok√©mon when I have absolutely nothing else to do that I am some kind of who knows what.  I really don't like to be labeled any of those things.  There really isn't anything wrong with being a nerd, otaku ECT... it has become prevalent in mainstream society to the point where everyone plays some sort of game or watches some kind of cartoon.  I just don't think of myself as one.  I can identify and relate to fanatics about gaming or anime but it is not my life.  I think that Helen spends way more time gaming and on the Internet then I do. :p  I still love her though. :)

I love videogames and hate them at the same time.  They are so much fun and can be an escape from reality but for to many people they replace reality.  Yeah!  Now I am a lv. 2 swordsman.  Oh really... go run a mile.      Try to lv. up in real life instead. :p  It is a lot harder but can be even more rewarding. So yeah got side tracked for a bit.  Just don't try and label me because it is just being lazy on your part.  

Brain fart day

Helen's Thoughts

Augh I feel like crap right now. I missed this class I was supposed to go to today. It was at 5pm. I thought it was at 7pm...FML T_T I hope the teacher isn't gonna be too harsh on me for missing it. I'm kinda worried ;-;

O AND I FORGOT TO RECORD HOUSE M.D.. FUCK. I'M SO MAD NOW. NOW I'LL HAVE TO WAIT AT LEAST A WEEK TO SEE IT. FUCKING A. I'll call up Alex later tonight to see if he saw it. Fucking a I feel so retarded ;-; (edit: Alex told me that it's a re-run today! Yay! :D)

Today's such a blah-y day for me. I was gonna wear lolita to school today, but decided not to at the very last minute. Damnit :c Tomorrow I'm doing a presentation for 2nd graders. I have a homework due tomorrow to...gotta get on that. :C how lame. (edit: finished my hw rather quickly! Hurray!)

Well, since I'm having a shit-tastic day today, let's look at some Macros to make me feel better. Here are some that I really enjoy:

I fucking love this one. That Asian kid is one smart alec :D Made me lulz pretty hard.

This one's just silly. Silly puppy, what do you think you're doing? Huh? What do you think you're doing? Daw you're such a cute puppy. Yes you are! Yes you are!! Wumwumwumwuwmwum!

Again a puppy being really silly and persistent, lol. Look at it squishing its face for the ball! :D



Btw here's a pic of my dog (I almost wrote "here's a dog of my pic". Today's not my day, lol) His name is Curby. He's a dwarf Bichon. I used to think he was a mix because he had a long body and wasn't built like a typical bichon. I read in a bichon book though that the dwarf bichons have short stubby legs and long bodies, so I'm pretty sure Curby's a dwarf.

Parting though: I have been reading this smutty novel called Wild Fire (Leopards, No 4) xD I really like smut cuz they're an easy read and helps me take the edge off things. It's so far the best smut I've read (lots of hot sex, sexual tension, etc) Smut is usually really poorly written, and this isn't too far from the typical smut, but I'm really enjoying it so far, haha.

Thoughts on Disney

Helen's thoughts

So for my homework for Philosophy this weekend, our teacher has assigned that we watch a few youtube video clips that shows sexism in Disney films. Here are the ones I watched and what I thought of them.
And BONUS! I saw a post on Coriander's blog about Soviet Pooh, and said I'd write my thoughts on it too. It's at the end of this post :]

I've always thought it kinda odd that almost all the women in Disney films have such "attractive" features such as full lips, slender/feminine bodies, and really pretty eyes. I think that goes for all heroines in Disney films, so this video really just points it out so I can solidify what I've always known about Disney women.

Now I think this video is more interesting. I've never really looked at masculinity in Disney films, but after watching this video, it totally points out how men are expected to behave certain way, or look a certain way, just like the heroines in Disney films. Plus it finally made me understand why Atlantis wasn't a very popular movie...sadly. Lol. But then again, the Emperor in The Emperor's New Groove wasn't a "manly man" by any means in the movie, but somehow it has enjoyed popularity that Atlantis never quite got. I think it's because even though the Emperor didn't look like a "manly man", he acted like a jerk, lol. That's just my speculation.

This one is perhaps my favorite video to watch. She explained everything so well. Just give it a shot and see what you think of it.

Conclusion: After watching those videos, I can't help but wonder if the films are sexist because they're a reflection of our society, or just our gender ideals? And at what level are we equal, and how can we portray that in these films? I don't know if I want to call Disney films sexist. I'd much rather call them "traditional". I personally have never really put much thought into sexism and gender equality before, so I have no idea where we draw the line between "that's just a difference between men and women" and "that's sexist"? I know sexism is defined as "something that is used to negatively stereotype a sex", so does that mean when someone says to a woman "You have no balls", that's sexist? I mean I guess the answer would be yes, but it's both a factual statement (women don't have testes hurrrr) and a figure of speech (ie you're cowardly).
I'm much better at pointing out blatant sexism than I am with things like Disney sexism, I guess D: Btw all the things I'm writing here is pretty much just based on my lack of knowledge, so please don't be offended by it. I'm just not sure how to phrase what I want to say at the moment, hahaha. I hope after my philosophy class on Monday I'll be able to voice my idea on gender equality.

I did write this piece on my LJ before though. I thought it was fairly good. Check it out! :P

Now then: SOVIET!POOH!

I dunno about you guys, but I thought this was awesome, lol. It's soooo cute. Soviet Pooh is more like a racoon than a bear, imo, but cute none the less. The animation is very different from the original, as is the music. S!P is so amusing though, because it just seems so alien, lol. I actually like S!P's voice actor better too. Winnie Pooh's voice has always reminded me of that of a pedophile...Otherwise, Coriander points out many good differences between S!P and Winnie Pooh already, so go read it! :P

Harvest Moon 64

 Alex's Thoughts

It might be one of my favorite games of all time. You wake up every moring at the same time, 6am.  You eat your rice cakes and you get to work for the day.  There are many different paths that you can chose in the game. You can work all day and have tons of money, or you can hit on women and fish all day and have nothing to show for it.  This game is really just a simple simulation of life.  You have to farm and forage to earn money and you can raise animals like cows, sheep, and chickens.  If I am feeling really angry for no real reason I will chase the chickens with my axe (Helen: I lol'd at the mental image of this).  I never catch them so don't worry.
 You can't lose and you can't starve, you can only not win until you do everything you are supposed to do.  It really is the American dream, but made in Japan.  I am American and I would bleed on the flag to keep its stripes red  but I don't know if I want the American dream.  I mean I get the wife, the car, the house with the white picket fence, maybe a couple of kids, but then what?  Do I just keep working to maintain what I have fearing loosing it all. Do I work into my 60's retire then just kinda wait to die?  Maybe I am just young and restless but I feel like I want more then just that, and not a "material" more either.  I just don't find much meaning in the American dream.  Or maybe it has changed into something greedy and excessive, that I no longer recognize   I would enjoy a easy life and having nice things--who wouldn't?--but I think I would be fine with out them as well.

Some times I wish that life could be as easy as Harvest Moon 64.



I guess this post will just be a fucking pic spam till I calm the fuck down and re-write the mother fucking post.

Yea, this is a lovely photo of Alex sticking his tongue into my mouth. It's not that we french kissed for the camera though. It was more of a "ARGH MY MOUTH IS BIGGER THAN YOURS I SHALL BIT YOUR MOUTH WITH MINE!!!" Srsly, we try to bite each other on the mouth sometimes, lol. Unfortunately Alex has a bigger mouth than me. I tell him it's cuz he sucks cock :D

Here's a photo of me squishing some unsuspecting student with my pincers :3 He did eventually turn around and was like "Wtf are you doing?" though. I can't turn the effing clicky flash sound my camera makes. I've tried >:c

Here's a pic of Alex wrestling with his gay buddy friend Brian. I might have to take this down later and suffer a beating for it, lol.

Asian mother eaten by Jurassic Park T-Rex. More on Page 5
Nah, jk :3 It's my mom posing in front of the T-Rex in the Universal Studios theme park in Florida. My mom looks cold as hell in this pic because it was mother-fucking COLD there when we went earlier this year. We're seasoned Chicagoans too. Shit caught us offguard. That day my mom ended up with a heatstroke (yea I know, even though it was really fucking cold, the sun was still really bright) and I got a cold (I was stupid enough to go on a ride that soaked me through, and got worse since it was so GD cold). We didn't even go to Disney World as we planned >:c terribad trip, mang. 

So Alex and I are at that stage where we like to fantasize about getting married (Ok, it's mostly me, but he plays along :]) And sometimes I like to tease him by saying things like "I WANT YOUR SWIMMERS AND GIVE YOU 400 BABIES!!!" lol. Anyway, saw this in the comics section of a local news paper, and I kept meaning to show it to Alex, but I kept forgetting, so SURPRISE ALEX! Lol.
Btw I personally think this comic is a sometimes. No, the guy is not wearing anything at all. Sometimes the girl would be completely naked too. Maybe the artist is too lazy to draw their clothes or whatever.

Lastly, I like taking photos of vanity plates, so here's one that's pretty cool, haha.

My thoughts on Zombies

Helen's thoughts

Nah, just that my insomnia is striking again, so I wanted to write something before going to bed. I used to really hate zombies as a kid because I thought they're really scary. Now I've really grown to love them, because they serve for great escapism daydreams and for blogging about.

Let's see, when I was younger, I hated zombies because the thought of being mobbed and then eaten alive is quite frightening. I tried playing Resident Evil 1 or 2 with a friend when it just came out for the PlayStation, and we'd die within minutes because we just started and had not a blinking idea of what we were doing, lol. So we had to watch in shame and horror as Leon was torn into pieces by the zombies again, and again.....and again. The frustration of losing constantly kinda made me feel like there's no way to win.

I think not being able to win in a zombie apocalypse is the scariest thing about it. I mean, look at all the zombie movies/games out there today: it's mostly just you (or the protagonist) trying to survive against hordes of zombies. Sure, there may be a few of your friends there, but usually by the end of the movie/game, there's just you and maybe 2-3 other people with you if you're lucky (and none of you were black, lol. I'm sorry black people, but the movie industry is just against you, man.) And it's never clear exactly how you survive--zombies just take over the world, and I guess you'd be lucky if you could keep breathing till you died of exhaustion. With no end in sight, zombie apocalypse is a scary thing.

Another scary thing about it is being alone, I think. I've always said that if the zombie apocalypse is real, there's no way I'm gonna even try and survive on my own. It'd be too exhausting and frustrating to live on my own against the zombie world. If I could have one or two people with me, then I can probably make it. But if I'm all alone, I'd end my own misery.

A positive aspect about the zombie apocalypse is that we won't have to worry about mundane day-to-day things like school or work or that annoying gossipy bitch who likes to talk shit behind your back anymore. It'll just come down to survival. When you've had to worry about daily things for a long time, just trying to survive is a nice change of pace. But of course, survival can get tiring and boring real fast too. But right now, I won't mind taking out some of my aggression on some zombies.

As a biologist, I also find the prospect of zombies as a result of bio experiments really interesting, because it's absolutely possible. However, RE's idea of a virus reanimating the dead is pretty redonkulous. The human body is, imo, too intricate to be able to be reanimated. Upon death, every single cell breaks down. Though I dunno the exact time every type of cell breaks down at, it's pretty fast. Once they're dead, there's no way to bring them back. Without nerve cells, a body cannot move. Even if we say people can come back to life after death and become zombies, without properly working nerve cells, they can't do anything.

Therefore, I think 28 Days Later's zombies are more likely. Think about it. What could happen is that an agent, some sort of virus or bacteria, could infect humans and eat away at their mind and heighten activity of the parts of the brain that controls anger, sending the infected into fits of uncontrollable rage. We actually know of a virus that does something like this: rabies. The rabies virus targets the brain, and they concentrate in the saliva of the infected, thus how rabies is spread. Sounds a little like the 28 Days Later zombies, no?
It's also a happier ending if zombies were more like 28 Days Later's zombies. For one, we have vaccines for rabies. For another, that means they can starve to death, as evident in the 1st movie. Zombies that are reanimated from death will never die.

Now, I do have a zombie survival plan in mind, but it'll totally depend on who's with me. Ideally, I'd like to be the medic of the group, since I'm studying to be a nurse (let's just hope the zombie apocalypse strikes after I become a well-trained nurse) My ideal team of zombie survivors will have no more than 6 people. One of those people will be the leader, and I pass because I know I'd make a terrible leader. I'm much better as an adviser. My ideal leader is strong in the sense that he/she is capable of quickly making the best decision under pressure, and that he/she can stand against pressure. Hopefully he/she is also compassionate towards his comrades and will not leave anyone behind if he/she can help it. He/she must also have a strong sense of direction and goals so he can unite us. Everyone else I just ask them to be cooperative and willing to work together.

In my arsenal I hope to have a number of things. I'd definitely like some sort of firearm to use for the zombie apocalypse. Although I do favor the shotgun, I'm afraid it might be too heavy for me to carry. So realistically, I'd probably opt for handguns or melee weapons. I'd like something sharp and easy to swing, so a machete is probably my best bet. And unlike the scantily-clad heroines of RE, I'd definitely cover up. I'd definitely look into getting shin and arm guards, as the limbs are at the most danger of exposure to zombie bites. I'd cover all my skin with the toughest kind of clothes I can find so that I can limit exposure but not bog down my speed too much. I'd definitely pull back my hair like Serena in 28 Days Later did too. There's just no way I'm letting hair get into my eyes as I try to slay zombies. I might have to invest into some sort of face protector too, since infection is possible through any membranous barriers, such as eyes and mouth, as seen in 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later.

If you can't tell already my favorite zombie movie is probably 28 Days Later, with Shawn of the Dead following closely behind. I hated George Romero's Diary of the Dead because I thought just about everyone in that movie deserved to die (except Samuel, the mute Amish guy who made bombs and killed himself with a scythe to get the zombie that was eating him. FUCKING HARDCORE). Same with the anime/manga High School of the Dead. I cannot fucking stand the anime of it. Rei and Saya needs to fucking drop dead, but Saya more so than Rei, because at least Rei is good for killing zombies. Saya is not good for anything except maybe zombie bait and mule. If it were up to me, every time Saya annoyed me I'd cut off a piece of her body (starting small with things like her fingers, hands, and arms) and feed it to the zombies, and make her carry ammo. And if I run out of parts to cut off and she's still being an annoying bitch, I'd just say fuck this shit and let the zombies have her. She's fucking whinny as hell with her "I'M A GENIUS YOU CAN'T DO THIS TO ME!" bitching. Fuck you, Saya, you can be a genius without being a fucking annoying twat. She gives geniuses everywhere a bad name. Also, L4D and L4D2 > RE. That is all.

I love zombies.  I really believe that you don't really feel alive unless something is trying to kill you.  I love the whole idea of survival horror.  I even have a real life zombie apocalypes kit.  I got rope, glowsticks, fire starters, medical supplies ect...  I still need more things for it but its a start.  And this kit can be used for any real disaster too.  The one thing that I really need however is a riot shotgun.  Every good zonbie hunter uses one.  I mean sure in a pinch you can use a handgun or a combat knife but nothing beats that safe feeling and weight of a shotgun.  Maybe an exception for a flamethrower or a minigun, but seriously who has those just sitting around.

Before Helen...

 Alex's view

To this day I need to remind myself that when we think we know everything about someone, we need not be surprised that there is always something new to be learned.  I for one enjoy reading Helen's posts, even if no one else does, :p  because I feel it helps us become even closer and ocassionaly I do learn something new. :)  Moving on...

I don't think much of my own life, but when I talk about myself from time to time people seem to be really surprised, to my amusement.  I was a dorky kid (Helen: No surprise there :P) growing up I was never "cool" or got in any real trouble. I kept the same group of friends for most of my life till high school--but that is later.  The only thing that I can really say that was "eventful"  was that I am a cancer survivor at a very young age (Helen: Alex had a tumor as a baby. He had it removed as soon as they found it, and so far he's cancer-free :D).  I have never been a "tough guy"  but I think that I can take a lot of killing, for example see above. High school was where things got interesting. :)  When I entered high school I though that drugs were bad, drinking was evil, and that anything different was inferior.  Now you could most likely drop a kilo on the table and all I would ask is, "did anyone else see you with it?"  Now it is more of an indifference when it come to drinking, smoking, and drugs.  Like I said in an earlier post its not better or worse just different.  I have never done any drugs in my life.  I don't even take more then the recommended amount of aspirin.  I think that I am messed up enough as it is and I don't need drugs making it worse.  Now I don't even drink and I haven't enjoyed a fine cigar in a long time.  I really feel that it is important to keep a sound body and mind.  It not anything spiritual or religious either it's quite utilitarian.  I have been involved in different martial arts for about 10 years now, but really in the last 3 years have I really been taking "hard" martial arts and have become what I would call dangerous.  I think the reason for this is that now I have something worth protecting. (Helen: <3)

My religious and political views have stayed the same for the last few years and I don't see them changing any time soon. My religious views are best summed up as "don't tread on me."  And my political views are that the only useful voting is from the rooftops.

Now that I am dating Helen I don't think I have really become to different of a person, just a better person.

What we were like before meeting each other

Helen's perspective

I was 18 when I met Alex. I was a bit of a "fresh meat", what with just graduating high school and not quite knowing what to do in life yet. I was a pretty "homely" girl (still am, really, although I think I've improved a bit). I never went to any of those "wild teen" parties where there was a bunch of drinking, smoking, or sexing. Heck, do those parties even exist in my little sweet town of Naperville? Anyway, most of my time is, admittedly, spent being a nerd. I got pretty good grades as a high school student, and during free time I would spend most of it playing video games. I had people I call friends, but I wasn't like the typical teenager in that most would spend at least every other weekend out with friends. No, I spent most of my time home. It's something I regret now, actually. To this date, I have yet to go to a high school (or college) football game. The only dances in high school I went to was Senior Prom, and Turnabout my Sophomore year. At least the Turnabout my sophomore year was rather fun, because I didn't have to dance with a date specifically (seeing as I had no date), and I got to dance and just be silly with some friends.
Prom was terrible though. My mom wanted me to go "in style", so she found a prom date for me. Augh! He was a really boring guy who was waaaaaaaay too into himself. We didn't really know each other very well either, and it was a bad dancer. The whole thing was awkward as hell. It's one of those things that sometimes make me wish I had known Alex earlier and we could've had fun then. But that's in the past now, and thankfully, that's where it'll stay.
As it is glaringly obvious, my high school life is a bit lacking, so I do what all lonely teenagers do...make friends with random strangers online! I was really into a MMORPG called Ragnarok Online at one point when I was about 13-14. The private server I played on at the time was tiny, only about 20-30 people on at a time, and nearly 2/3 of those people were Brazilian, so the English speaking community was tiny, and we all became familiar with each other.
At one point, I started chatting regularly with a guy named Brandon. For a while, things were good: Brandon and I had mutual feelings for each other, and enjoyed each other's company. It lasted about 3 months, but near the end things took a turn for the worse. Brandon and I started/got involved in a ton of drama. To make a long story short, I was really hurt at the end of it all, what with my raging teenage hormones and fragile emotions. It was a whole year before I was able to let go of all the pain I had with Brandon. It wasn't until I was around 18 that I learned how not to start/get involved in internet drama, lol. (Fun fact: I thoroughly believe that I only stopped having drama because I learned in Psych class that the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which makes sound reasoning and decisions, doesn't fully develop until young adulthood. I'm pretty sure that's how I was able to "see through" all of it. Nothing by my own doing, just literally "grew out of it".)
Needless to say, I never had a "real boyfriend" before Alex. Just online/internet ones. I know that's really pathetic, but in a way, it was good. I never had to give up any real kisses or even sex because they all lived far away from me. I don't regret having any of those internet relationships because they, in part, shaped me into the kind of girlfriend I am now. I learned a lot from those online relationships, but they, too, shall stay in the past.
Another thing that helped me figure out relationships has always just been observing other's relationships. It was fun observing other people and taking notes of their relationship. It allowed me insight without actually getting involved. It also gave me clarity on issues the people involved couldn't see.
Also, I've been raised on Christian values, and right now, I feel like 1st Corinthians chapter 13, verses 4-7 describes my ideal of love the best. In it, it says "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves." I see almost all these qualities of love as described in the verse in my relationship with Alex. I'm extra patient when it comes to him, even though I'm known to be short-tempered otherwise. I'm gently and kind when it comes to him, and I don't feel the need to envy him or boast in front of him to make me feel better. I just feel like being me when it comes to him. I always want to do what I can to protect him, I almost always trust him (I have moments of weaknesses too, lol), and I have the highest hopes for our future together. I preserve in the sense that I seriously feel like if I've never met Alex, I might have committed suicide by now. Whenever the idea of suicide pops into my head now, I tell myself that I can't because I don't want to leave Alex behind, and that we'll get through it because we still have so much to look forward to. (I'm not depressed, but sometimes life is just too tough, and I become weak and think of easy escapes.)
 Right now, I think what Alex and I have is really great. It could use a few changes though...Alex says I use the same jokes too often, hahaha. I'll have a post for that next time. 


Alex's thoughts

What does it mean to be a man and a man in a relationship.  I make a point of them being two different things.  I think what it means to be a man can best be described by Rudyard Kipling's poem "If".

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream -- and not make dreams your master;
If you can think -- and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings -- nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run --
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, 
And -- which is more -- you'll be a Man, my son!

This has been engrained into me years and years ago, and I continually fall short of this. When you think about it, no one could truly be like this, but that doesn't make it any easier. Some people just accept this, I don't. I think it is a lonely path and requires more discipline, which not many have. There is no room for most things and people in that life. I strugle every day because of this but I don't think I would have it any other way.

Men who are not in relationships can truly be masters of their own universe. They can do what they want, when they want. They don't have to answer to anybody.  This may lead to their own demise, but it is up to them and no one else. They give their own meaning to life. They are free. But freedom is not free and it come with a price. Freedom does not let you escape cause and effect, or responsibilty for your actions. It just means that others do not have to suffer for what you do. There are many things that single men don't have as well, but everyone was or is single at one point so I think we all know what that's like.

At no point in time do I really belive that having a relationship is better or worse than not having a relationship: its just different. And whatever works for you, works for you. It is up to each person to decide for themselves and be responsible for their own future.

Maybe next time I will talk about men in relationships and what I think they gain and give up. After that I will talk about intimacy, trust, and personal demons.

How we got together

Alex's view
Lets see. After reading Helen's side of the story its not like I am under any pressure or anything. :p Well the first time we met was at the October JCC. When I entered the room that the movie was playing in, I don't think that I had quite the same reaction as Helen. I noticed everyone in the room as I always do, and did a general threat assessment. I know its silly but its what I do, like sitting facing the door when ever I go out. I did notice Helen and I do remember thinking to myself "Who is that cute Asian chick?" But as for the movie I don't think a recap is needed. The dinner however was much more interesting from my point of view.

I remember sitting down next to Helen at the dinner table and picking up the menu just to give me something to do. My attempt at small talk was to ask her about things on the menu. I know it is a stereotype but I did kinda expect her to know what was on the menu. I didn't get the response I was looking for though.  I remember her saying that she didn't know much about it. After that more small talk ensued.  Finally about halfway through the dinner Helen attempted to rip me off with a coin necklace scam. She wanted to sell me a Chinese or Japanese coin that was worth a penny for like $5. I said I would like one, however, because I thought that she was cute. I am a sucker when it come to certain things. I do remember Helen leaving a bit early that night. I thought nothing of it at the time, but looking back I could see she was a bit nervous.

The next month passed by way too fast. During that month I did think of Helen from time to time but not too seriously.  However, now I was set on getting that coin necklace. Once I make up my mind I can be quite stubborn, and I really wanted that necklace. JCC came around again and it was November, nice and cold out.

That dinner was full of action. And no it was not giant mecha and school girls. Though it would be nice from time to time.  Helen did capture more of my attention that night.  I remember her trying to pour copious amounts of chili powder into my soup. I kept fighting her off using my pinky finger. I lost a few times but I didn't tell her that I like my soup hot, so it was a win-win in my book. :)  I get hot soup and flirt at the same time. I do remember her asking people for email addresses but I don't remember giving her mine for some reason.

As for the e-stalking I don't have much to say, but don't try this at home kids. After Christmas was over and the Spring semester had started I would joke with the new people in my Jujutsu class that I took the class to learn to protect myself from Helen. At the time I was only half joking. :/

November flew by just as fast as October and it was December already. It was December that Helen and I started talking on a regular basis. I got a Facebook and was sending a few emails here and there. I do remember Helen asking me to buy her dinner in exchange for her little secret. But I responded that I didn't want to wait that long and suggested a movie. I forget exactly how it went down but I ended up wording our conversations so that I asked her out without setting myself up for rejection. And luckily Helen agreed to go out with me. Our first date was at her house. We made paper figures like Kirby and other anime characters.  Helen made me a Snake in a Box from Metal Gear Solid. I still have it and I treasure it dearly. Later that night we went sledding and it was a blast. I gave her my snow pants so she wouldn't get wet but I forgot that I then would. Once I even had to dive to save her from flying into a near by creek. It was nice just to warm up in the car, all dark and cold out. We just cuddled and talked about anything. The night ended with us going to a Christmas church service. I think that was the first one I had been to in years. I was just going out with Helen for one day and she was already making me a better man.