How the love of my life and I struggle to keep our love strong

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy new year!

Hello, friends,

I wish you all of you constant followers a very happy 2012. It is difficult for me thinking of a happy 2012 when I know there's very little chance of seeing my girlfriend at all next year. Nonetheless, I'll try to make the best of it.

In this coming year, try to be a better person each day. If everybody does that, then by the year 2098 maybe we can have a better world, haha.

Once again, very happy new year. Now let's go celebrate!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Hello, friends!

I haven't updated in a very very long time and I'm sorry for that. Work has kept me extremely busy.

I just wanted to wish everybody merry Christmas. If you live in the western world, even if you are not a Christian, Christmas is a joyous time!

So, whatever you believe, I hope you have a wonderful time with those you love.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Aun't that an update?

Hello, friends!

I haven't posted in a while. I'm very busy at work because they decided they are going to make me work in another project: they haven't made me switch project, I'm actually working on two projects at the same time now... of course, I'm not getting any additional money on my paycheck for it. I might be able to work more overtime and use those extra hours to take some time off to visit my girlfriend at some point. Working 2 weeks of overtime is going to make me really tired, though. I'm already sleeping between 3 and 5 hours a day...

Anyway, here's some good news: as I mentioned in my previous post, my girlfriend is moving with her aunt soon (probably next week). I already listed some of the  good and the bad things, but I forgot to mention that this will mean reliable broadband internet for her. No more having to mess with 3G to get some decent signal! Besides chatting with me, she actually needs internet for college to do research and stuff (besides the fact that she might still pick an online college, but that's probably not going to happen).

Well, I think that's it for now. I'll try not to wait too long for another update!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Get outta here, the party is over

Hello, friends!

I was going to make a post about how glad I am that you guys have been commenting on my posts and letting me know what you thought about the things I wrote and answering my doubts concerning relationship stuff.

"Why?" you ask? Because the latest comment tally added up to 500 of them. YES! 500 comments.

So why the title and why am I not making the post just about that?
Well, my girlfriend is going to permanently move in with her aunt, who lives closer to places where my girlfriend could potentially get a job.
She will also start to attend classes at college (and it's probably not going to be an online college).

While I'm very happy for her, this means she won't be able to visit. So even if she defeats her phobia of airports, she won't be flying to me any time soon.
As you know if you read previous posts, I can't visit her either, because I just switched jobs and I won't have vacations for quite a while (basically, a whole year).

It's very difficult thinking that I won't be able to see her for that long.

Monday, October 31, 2011

It just doesn't work

Hello, friends!

It just occurred to me that a lot of things have changed in just a few years. When I was growing up if we wanted to communicate with my aunt that lives in a different city, we had to talk fast on the phone, because long distance was very expensive. If we wanted to communicate something longer we'd have to write a letter, because it was impossible to afford a talk of more than 20 minutes. Letters took forever to arrive (that hasn't changed).
There were no fax machines, no internet (for the most part), no cellphones, no SMSs. Only rich people had computers.

Today we have email, Twitter, Facebook, Skype, webcams, netbooks, laptops, tablets, smartphones... We can contact anybody anywhere in the world. For those that don't have computers or internet connection there are internet cafés. Long distance calls are quite cheap nowadays. Buying things online from China and getting them shipped home is not something out of the ordinary.

So we grew a lot closer as a world, but whenever somebody mentions they are in a long distance relationship the default answer is "it just doesn't work".

Lack of physical contact is annoying and it makes things more difficult, but isn't it time to revise that answer and adapt it to modern times? Long distance relationships were obviously a lot more difficult to keep not many years ago.

I communicate with my girlfriend pretty much every day now. We listen to each other's voice and we can record videos or take as many pictures as we want, in high definition. Long distance relationships are not what they used to.

So, I think that whenever you find someone that's in a long distance relationship, before giving the default answer of "it just doesn't work", be happy that they have someone that cares for them and that loves them. Some of them do work and technology helps a lot with that!

Friday, October 28, 2011

LDR in the media

Hello, friends!

I just watched the latest episode of The Big Bang Theory (season 5, episode 7: The Good Guy Fluctuation) and I'm really disappointed. If you haven't watched the episode you might be wondering what it has to do with long distance relationships... There are some spoilers ahead, so don't read if you don't want to find out what happens.

If you follow the show you already know that Leonard is dating Priya, Raj's sister. You also know that Priya is back in India, hence Priya and Leonard are in a long distance relationship. So now comes the spoiler for the latest episode: Leonard cheats on Priya: he makes out with a girl he met in the comic book shop. What's even worse, he confesses to Priya and she's okay with it, since she also cheated (she slept with an ex-boyfriend).

I know having LDRs that fail is kind of a cliché, but LDRs can work with love and dedication (what couples should have, regardless of the distance). It's sad that the media capitalizes on this. I know it's a funny show and it's not supposed to be taken seriously... but it makes me value what my girlfriend and I have even more.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

In a relationship far far away...

Hello, friends!

It's been a while. I should mention, although it's obvious, that I can't really honor the update schedule I had mentioned. I'll update whenever I can...
If you have a problem with that then talk to my lawyer, haha.  No, I'm actually sorry I can't update more often, but I don't have a lot of free time.

Anyway, here's the update!

My girlfriend and I enjoy reading. We enjoy reading a lot. In fact, when we first started to chat books was the main thing we talked about! One thing about long distance relationships is that we can still enjoy books together. We recommend books to each other and after we have both read them we discuss them. Kind of like a book club, but more personal.

Now, we kind of went beyond that. Since my girlfriend and I really really enjoy the classics, we tend to visit the Gutenberg project a lot. For those that don't know it, the Gutenberg project is a digital library full of books that have entered the public domain. The books are free, which in this case means that you don't need to pay anything and it also means that you can pass the books around, make adaptations, translations, etc. without having to ask for permission. I am not a copyright lawyer, so you'd have to check what the public domain laws are in your jurisdiction.

I also used to visit Librivox. That site has the goal of making voice recordings of classics in the public domain (so it's kind of like an audio Gutenberg project). Librivox gave me the idea of recording short stories for my girlfriend: she can enjoy the stories and listening to my voice at the same time. She also does the same for me now. We also write original short stories for each other sometimes.

Listening to the sweet voice of my girlfriend reading a story for me is something I enjoy very much. If you like reading and you are in a long distance relationship, you should try it.

I'll be mentioning other activities that can be done to make a long distance relationship get a little closer. Things that my girlfriend and I like doing. If you have some activity that you'd like to mention, please do it in the comments.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A bit under the weather

Hello, friends!

I missed a few updates, but I'm going to pretend that nothing happened so I'm quickly changing the subject to...

The weather!

I really like the rain. Today there was a storm where I live and it's funny to see people running away from the water, as if it wasn't raining right in front of them anyway. It's raining behind you, it's raining in front of you, no matter how fast you run you're still going to get wet, haha. Even so, I don't understand why people are so afraid of getting wet, it's just water! It wasn't even cold today! Let me say this: the rain is not going to make you melt...

My girlfriend and I love storms. We like walking under the rain and we love seeing the lightnings in the sky. We like telling each other when it's raining where we live. I even have a weather widget on my computer that's configured with her town on it, so I can know of future rain in advance! It's another way of keeping the long distance relationship a bit closer, knowing what's going on where she lives.

I'm quite certain a lot of people probably think we are crazy because of all this, but I'm sure we're not alone and that more people love the rain just as much as we do, right?

Do you enjoy the rain or do you escape from it like a kitty? If you're a rain lover like my girlfriend and I, let me know! If you think that what we do is crazy, I'd also like to know.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

No shoes, no flying partner, no service

Hello, friends!

I missed my Monday update, but I was kind of busy having a bit of a discussion with my girlfriend. So I'd like to know what you guys think.

I mentioned before that it might be possible for her to visit within the next 6 months or so. I would be paying for her flight tickets and her stay here (food, transportation, etc). There's a small issue, though: she's scared of airports. Apparently they are big and confusing and she won't fly unless she finds somebody to come with her (airports are automatically safer if somebody is with her). She has mentioned before that she didn't like airports, but I thought that the happiness of visiting me would be greater than her fear; that doesn't seem to be the case. The bad thing is that nobody appears to be interested in spending money on visiting a south American country with her...

Should I be more understanding or does it make sense that I'm disappointed? I love her and I want to see her soon and it makes me a bit mad that the opportunity to see each other is missed over this.

Please, leave comments telling me what you think about this. I really want to know what your thoughts are. Thank you!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Super happy

Hello, friends!

It's going to be a short post, but I'd like to share two things with you.

The first one is that today I got my first paycheck at my new job. It's only for half a month, so it's not a lot, but it's exactly what I was making at my previous job, haha. I have mentioned before that I'm making double and I wasn't kidding. Even though I won't be able to visit my girlfriend for a while longer, I'm happy I made the switch because then I'll have more money for us when I finally visit... or when she visits!

That's right! She might be visiting at the beginning of next year! That's the other thing I wanted to share. I'm very excited about it, even though it's not 100% certain yet. She might start taking some classes at college, but since she does want to visit she thinks she should enroll at an online college so it wouldn't matter where she is.

Well, that's it for now. I'd like to proudly point out that I actually updated this blog when I said I would. I'm going to get myself a shiny gold star, hehe.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Prepare for rant

Hello, friends!

I said I was thinking of updating Mon-Wed-Fri and that didn't happen. I decided that I will definitely update Mon-Wed-Fri... that will keep me from neglecting this blog.

The fact is that even though I wanted to post something, I still remain quite tired. The fact that I'm posting this exactly because I'm tired is ironic but it does make sense. You see, I'm writing this post to rant a bit.

An Earth day lasts 24 hours. Of those 24 hours I spend roughly 8 still (or should, it's usually less, because of the reason I'm going to explain in the next few lines). That leaves 16 hours. Of those 16 hours I spend 9 at work: the work shifts here are 8 hours long, but that doesn't include a mandatory unpaid lunch break that lasts 1 hour. Well, actually, it's not mandatory,  you can keep working for that hour if you want... you still have to stay 9 hours, though. So while in other countries the norm for work is 9 to 5, here it's 9 to 6. 

So 16 minus 9 is 7 hours. Now, since everybody works 9 to 6, when I take the bus to go to the office and when I take the bus to come back home the traffic is a mess. There are traffic jams everywhere. Commuting steals 2 hours more of my day. Yes, 2 hours... I wish I were exagerating, but I'm not. The same trip out of rush hour can take half the time.

All in all, work consumes 11 hours of my days. That's almost half a day, which sounds quite bleak. That means I have about 5 hours for myself, right? Wrong, because after I wake up in the morning I have breakfast and I take a shower; if I hurry that takes 30 to 40 minutes. 4 hours 20 for myself then?


Of those 4 hours and 20 minutes I alot about 1 hour to have dinner with my family. I mean, I'm not at home for most of the day, I like knowing what my family is up to and share some time with them. It's not fair that I spend more time at work than with those I love... And talking about the ones I love, I barely get to chat for an hour with my beautiful girlfriend, and that's only if I steal some time from my sleep. You see, 3 hours and a half are not enough to catch up with my social life, chat with my girlfriend, and maybe read a chapter of a book or watch an episode of a series.                                                   

All things considered, I'm lucky I'm not the one that cooks and shops for groceries at home, because then I wouldn't have time for anything.

Am I complaining without reason or does it sound like a fair rant? I mean, those of you who have jobs, do you feel that you're married to your job? If that's the case... don't you feel like filing for a divorce right away?

ps: I really do plan to update Mon-Wed-Fri. I'll do my best effort to make that happen. Let's pretend this is Wednesday's post, okay?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Good news, everyone!

Hello, friends!

This will be a quick update. It's getting late, I'm sleepy and I need to wake up early tomorrow. I just wanted to mention that my girlfriend has internet at home now! We can't really chat a lot because by the time she can get online I need to go to bed already, but something's better than nothing.

We didn't get to chat tonight (she had something to do), but we chatted yesterday and we'll be able to chat every night at least for a bit. We'll probably take advantage of the weekends, since I won't have to wake up mad early for work then.

Anyway, I just wanted to mention that. I'm very happy now! (and sleepy, did I mention that already?). I hope you folks are having a good week. I'll try to update again on Friday (perhaps I should do a Mon-Wed-Fri update schedule from now on...)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I'm like a bicycle...

Hello, friends!

I'm sure everybody knows the punchline to the joke of the title of this post: I'm too/two tired. I've been waking up very early to get to work and I'm not used to it. To top it all, I haven't chatted with my girlfriend in about 8 days so I'm just cranky.

I can't say much about my new job; all I did last week was read legal procedures and security procedures in order to get clearance for the client stuff at some point next week. So the last few days was all about reading 30 or 35 PDFs of an average of 50 pages each, about how to handle the private information of the client and what to do in the event of something going bad. It's all common sense information, but I have to read it, understand it, and then sign a form acknowledging it all.

What keeps me going is that I'm making double the money that I was making at my previous job. My country's currency is worth 4 times less than the US dollar, so I need to work four times harder to make money for my girlfriend's and my future. Just the plane tickets to visit her are more expensive than a month-worth of my salary... I feel like I'm in that episode of The Simpsons where Homer has Maggie's pictures at work covering the sign that says "Don't forget, you're here forever" to say "Do it for her". I know it probably sounds very corny, but my love for her keeps me going and working hard now is going to be totally worth it once we're married and with our very own house.

I'm sorry if this post was kind of a downer; I'll try to update this blog again maybe on Wednesday, no matter how tired I may be, and hopefully I'll be more cheerful. In fact, I think I should start with the cheerful attitude right now: I wish you all a great beginning of week!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Wish me luck!

Hello, friends!

Tomorrow is my first day at work. I'm kind of anxious, since I have no experience in this line of work (it's a technology in particular in the IT field), but they said they'll train me, so I hope everything goes fine.
So... wish me luck, haha! I have to wake up quite early, so that's kind of sucky, but I guess that was to be expected from any job.

On a sad note, I haven't chatted with my girlfriend in quite a while and I miss her a lot. She hasn't been able to get online and now, even if she does get online, she won't find me awake. The time difference plus the waking up early for the new job is going to make quite difficult for us to find the time to chat. I guess we'll go back to a gazillion emails...

Friday, September 9, 2011

Job update

Hello, friends!

I talked to my girlfriend last night and she's a bit sad like I am, but she's proud of me. She says it was the right decision, even though the fact that I can't visit sucks.

Yes, I got the job! Even after arriving 30 minutes late to the interview!

So I don't have many free days left; I start next week and I'm quite anxious about it. I promise I won't neglect this blog too much!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Why don't you get a job?

Hello, friends!

I told you on my last post that I had quit my job. I also told you I was having an interview this week.

So... I went to the interview today. I wasn't confident at all about this job because it's about something I don't have any experience about, but they still wanted to interview me. I was so not confident and I cared so little about this interview that I arrived late. When I say late, I don't mean 5 minutes late... I mean half an hour late!

Once in the interview things went really well, though. It turns out that the team I'd be working for has contacts all over the world and they needed somebody with my previous experience that could also speak many languages (that's me!). They said that they can teach me anything I don't know, so training is not a problem.

Even though I arrived late, I'm quite confident I'm getting this job. I'll keep you updated regarding that!

The bad thing is that I won't be able to visit my beloved girlfriend for another year and a half. I hope she finds the time to visit me before that... The good thing is that if I actually get this job, I'd be making double what I was making at my previous job.

I really miss my girlfriend, but I hope I made the right decision; I need to make money so we can get a place of our own once we marry. I'd really like to go visit her, but I can't spend all the money on plane tickets, right? What do you think?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I quit

Hello, friends!

It's been a while since I updated this blog, so I wanted to leave a few lines.

I've had enough of my job: long hours without any kind of additional retribution, low pay, no possibility of career advancement...

I quit.

By the end of the month I won't be going to the office anymore. I have already started the search for a new job and I have an interview next week (wish me luck!)

Sadly, this means I won't be able to visit my girlfriend soon, but we have been chatting the last few days and she might be able to visit before the end of the year! *crosses fingers*

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Bad day

Hello, friends!

Sorry for not updating for a while, I'll try to be more constant.

The other day my girlfriend got online when I wasn't around and she sent me some pictures and she told me she had had an awful day. Her day had gotten very hectic with some errands she had to run and some people that complicated things (nothing serious now, but she was quite mad at the time). It made me feel awful that I couldn't be there for her when she needed me. Luckily she could get online again that night and we chatted for a bit; I only found out later that she had only gotten 3 hours of sleep. She kept that information from me because she knew that if I had known I would've forced her to go to sleep and she really wanted to chat with me.

It's very frustrating knowing that sometimes she needs me and not being able to be there for her. I really wish we were together already so I could help her when things get bad.

Sorry for the emoish post, but I'm feeling frustrated and I needed to vent a little. I promise a more cheerful post next time and I promise I won't let so many days happen between posts.

Monday, August 15, 2011

On marriage

Hello, friends!

I want to thank all of you for your "get well" wishes! I'm feeling great; the flu never really caught on, but I decided to get lots of rest to help my body.
Also, I realized that in my last post I was celebrating passing the 100 followers mark, but I never thanked each of you for reading what I post. Your comments and support make me come back to post, so thank you!

Going to the topic of this particular post, I wanted to write about the importance of marriage.
Before meeting my girlfriend, I had never put much attention to the ceremony of marriage. I thought it was just singing a piece of paper that's only a legal contract. It doesn't represent love to me, because sometimes people get married without being in love (arranged marriages, political marriages, etc). Some see it as reaching certain maturity in the couple or a requirement for having children; I could agree with those (I wouldn't have wanted children without getting married first, because of the legal benefits of marriage).

Now, my girlfriend sees marriage in a religious way. For her getting married is declaring to God that you'll be spending the rest of your life with a person. For her, marriage is a spiritual thing. Marriage is a bond created by God.

Even though I don't have her religion, I have to admit that her view of marriage sounds very romantic, so I look forward to that at some point in the not so far future.

What's your view on marriage? How important is marriage to you? Does a couple need marriage at some point to make the commitment stronger? Let me know in the comments!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sickness 101

Hello, friends!

I'm not feeling very well, I think the flu might be trying to take control of my body. My body is offering quite a battle, though.
Nevertheless, I have a headache, neck pain and my stomach is a bit upset. Hopefully I'll feel better soon, but I didn't want to leave this without updates for too long.

On a side note, I've seen many people celebrating their 100 followers. I think that's a celebration of having reached a goal, but I celebrate 101 because that means that I'm not going to settle for 100, haha. That, and I also never noticed when I got follower #100, hahaha.

Anyway, I hope you guys are doing fine. I still have some questions unanswered and I promise to take care of that as soon as possible (as soon as I feel better)!

Monday, August 8, 2011


Hello, friends!

Sorry for not posting for a couple of days.
My girlfriend hasn't been able to get online again, so I'm kind of "meh"...

I noticed that I left some of the comments' questions unanswered, so I'm going to answer them here. I hope I didn't miss any!

GMSoccerPicks said...
How much is the time difference?

It's 3 hours. It doesn't sound too bad, but she usually can get online at midnight for one or two hours and that means I stay awake till 4am or

Keine Scheisse said...
Can't you change job once after you've taken your holidays?

Yes, I can, but then that means I won't be visiting her till next year. I can't take my vacations right now.

HK said...
Where exactly are you located ? Universities are free? Im thinking EU

I'm not in the EU. I live in South America.

GMSoccerPicks said...
By the way you say it, it looks like you are like 10 years older than her. Perhaps a bit more.

The age gap is 9 years. She's 18, I'm 27.

Chase said..
Also though you weren't an "evangelical atheist" and you aren't a agnostic now...
Either you believe in a god or you lack a belief in gods...atheist or a theist... Gnosticism is a different subject.

I was using the term in the popular sense, but you're correct.

This is what Wikipedia says about "agnostic"

In the popular sense, an agnostic is someone who neither believes nor disbelieves in God, whereas an atheist disbelieves in God. In the strict sense, however, agnosticism is the view that human reason is incapable of providing sufficient rational grounds to justify knowledge whether God exists or does not. Within agnosticism there are agnostic atheists (who do not believe any deity exists, but do not deny it as a possibility) and agnostic theists (who believe a God exists but do not claim to know that).

I fluctuate between agnostic theist and agnostic atheist now. I used to categorically deny the existence of a deity. 

Neon said...
What movie did you watch?

Tim Burton's Corpse Bride.

If you have any more questions that you'd like to get answered, let me know in the comments!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Movie night

Hello, friends!

I was going to post last night, but something came up!
Last night my girlfriend got online for a little bit. She had to wake up early but we watched a movie!
It's a little weird, but she was going to watch a movie and I have the DVD of the same movie so we decided to watch it together. We synced it and we were watching the same parts at the same time.

Then, halfway through the movie, my internet died (gotta love my ISP... not). So I paused the movie for a while, then seeing how my ISP wasn't cooperating I decided to finish watching the movie. Then my internet came back, but my ISP's DNS weren't working, so I had to use public ones, but I managed to get online again.
My girlfriend had also paused the movie after a while, so she was only 5 minutes ahead of me.

We really enjoyed this sort of long distance date and we'll probably do this again at some point, but she's still traveling and doesn't know when she'll be able to get online again. She left right after the movie finished (like I said, she had to wake up early), but not before telling me that she loves me very much :)

If anybody has other ideas for long distance dates, things that would sort of work, like watching the movie, then I'd really appreciate it!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Unexpected love messages

Hello, friends!

My girlfriend got online for a few minutes today. She got on line on an open network, logged in and talked to me!
She told me "I love you, handsome." She saw some pictures I had sent her and she told me she misses me.
We also gave each other many many e-kisses, hehe.

It's not much, but it was enough to make me very happy :)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Far Away

Hello, friends!

As I mentioned in my previous post, my girlfriend is away and we won't be able to chat for a while. When I chat with her I always tell her that I love her and I give her e-kisses and e-hugs. I always feel that typing those things is not enough, that typing those words is nothing like actually kissing her and hugging her and looking into her eyes while I tell her that I love her.

Sometimes an impulsive 2:00 AM cross-country trip is the only solution.
(In our case it would be cross-world.)
XKCD is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License

At this point, I'd be happy just being able to chat with her and read about how her day went; telling her that I love her and sending her an e-kiss would be simply amazing.
This is a reminder to my future self to learn to appreciate the small things and not take them for granted.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Hello, friends!

My girlfriend is going on a trip for some days and I won't be able to chat with her. I'm kind of sad and I didn't feel like posting, but I'm just leaving this little update here so you know what's going on.
Hopefully, I'll be in the mood for a longer post tomorrow.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Going to Church

Hello, friends!

As part of my trying to understand my girlfriend's religion a bit better, I went to church with her. It was kind of a weird experience.

My family is Catholic, so I have a Catholic background. I used to go to Catholic church when I was a kid (they are extremely pretty) and I was baptized as a baby. I was kind of expecting to see something similar when I went to church with my girlfriend. What I saw, though, was completely different.

Catholic churches, for those of you that never went to one, have wooden benches and they all point towards the altar and they have kind of like a step that you kneel on when you pray. There are saints, icons, and a big cross on top of the altar and Jesus is on the cross.

The protestant church I went to had many tables and people sat around them. There was breakfast before the service and a band was playing some music. The have projectors and a stage. Jesus is not on the cross (He resurrected) and there are no saints or icons of any kind. More than half of the service was the band playing and the projectors showing the lyrics so people could sing. The people singing had their hands in the air (I had never seen that before and I was quite surprised). I felt completely out of place.

Even though I felt that I didn't belong to that Church, I see that they have a great sense of community and I find that very important. I promised my girlfriend that I'd attend service with her every Sunday, even though I don't believe what she believes. I mean, I love her and I want to spend time with her and this is very important for her so I want to be part of it even if I'm not Christian myself.

I want to know if you'd be willing to attend a church / temple / mosque of a different faith than yours on a regular basis. If you have already done it, did you feel as awkward as I did? I'm really looking forward to your comments, particularly ThatBastardFromBellingham's since it seems that we have a lot of things in common, haha.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Children and religion

Hello, friends!

I'm going back to religion in this blog post.

Although I respect my girlfriend's religion and I want to learn more about it, it kind of scared me at first how I would feel about what would happen if we have kids. I don't want them to feel pressured into any religion (or lack of it).

I have talked about this with my girlfriend and she has told me that she wants to be able to teach our kids about Jesus Christ. I have no objections there, as long as our kids can hear what I believe in (or not believe in) and why. And they should have the option to believe whatever it is they want.

If you're not religious, would you be okay with having religious kids? If you're religious, what would you think if your kids decided they don't believe in the same things that you believe?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

On virginity

Hello, friends!

Related to the last post, where I talked about my girlfriend's religion, I want to mention something else that is very important for a couple.

My girlfriend and I have been together for 3 years now and we plan to be together for the rest of our lives. The idea is to get married in about 4 years. Unfortunately for us (yes, for her too), she wants to remain a virgin until we're married because that's what the Bible mandates (or she thinks that the Bible mandates).

The Bible verse used to support that idea is Hebrews 13:4 which says: "Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.". I think that verse is very ambiguous, but to her it's clear that we are not to engage in sexual activities until we marry.

I said unfortunately for her too because she obviously would like to have sex with me and the only thing stopping her is the Bible. I respect this, even though it's very frustrating for both of us, and I don't push her to do anything (that wouldn't be a nice thing to do).

Dear followers, have you ever been in a situation like this? Would you accept it if you were in my position or no sex is a deal-breaker for you? Let me know in the comments!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

About religion

Hello, friends!

Today I want to talk about a delicate issue. As I mentioned before, my girlfriend is Christian and I'm not. I used to be an evangelical atheist but that has changed over time and now I'm agnostic. I really don't understand why she believes what she believes, but I respect it so it's not a problem for me. On the other hand, she thinks that believers and unbelievers shouldn't marry. She bases that belief on 2 Corinthians 6:14 which says: "Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?". She believes that the Bible should be taken literally and she thinks that that verse talks against interfaith marriages. But, even though she thinks she's going against what the Bible says, she loves me and she wants to marry me some day. Her family and friends are not that understanding, but we haven't had much trouble on that front.
Unfortunately, my girlfriend also thinks that unless I embrace Jesus as my lord and savior I'll go to hell. The idea of not sharing heaven with me makes her sad, but there isn't really much I can do about it. I quoted 1 Corinthians 7:14 to her, which says: "For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy". She considers that that verse talks about couples that married as unbelievers and then either the husband or the wife embraced Jesus.

I'll be talking a lot more about religion in the following posts, but I'd like to know if you ever dated somebody of a different religion (or religious, if you're agnostic / atheist / humanist / naturalist). If you did, did it work out? Would you date somebody that has a different faith from yours? Let me know your answers in the comments!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Age gap

Hello, friends!

Today I feel like talking about the age difference between my love and I. We don't find it to be a problem for us, but sometimes it does feel weird. Also, some other people find it objectionable (like our families).

My family thinks that our relationship might not be serious because she's so much younger than I am. I don't understand how they can think we aren't serious while we work so hard to keep the relationship working even though all the differences we may have.
My friends think I'm robbing the cradle (she's not underage, though. As I mentioned in my first post, she's 18).

Her family things that dating an older guy might not be a good idea and that she should find somebody her age. They think I might make her do things that she might not want or might not be ready to do.

For her and I the age gap is not a problem, but it is a curiosity: when I graduated from college she was just starting high school; I was in elementary school before she was born. Things like kind of surprise us a bit, but we love each other very much so they don't bother us.

Have you ever been in a relationship with an age gap (say, more than 5 years)? Did it make you feel weird? What did your families and friends think about it? Did it work for you or was it the reason why maybe the relationship ended? Please, let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

On language

Hello, friends!

After that short hiatus with the tutorial, I'm back on topic.

Today I want to talk about the language difference I have with my girlfriend. Whenever we talk to each other it's in English, since she doesn't speak a word of Spanish. She says she wants to learn, but she hasn't started to study yet. Whenever she visits I have to be with her to do anything because she wouldn't be able to get around without an interpreter. I don't mind doing that, but when I'm working I'm not available.
When I visit I don't have a problem because I can speak English (obviously). But I wonder how it would feel to be in a country where you don't understand a word of what's being spoken. I'd feel so lost!

Language is not really a problem for us (or at least I don't think so). Perhaps she feels uncomfortable not being able to communicate when she's here, but it hasn't really been a problem per se.

So, what I'd like to know, loyal followers, is if you've ever been in a country where you didn't speak the language and if that was ever a problem or you managed to get around. How did it make you feel not being able to communicate with other people?
Also, if you learned another language as an adult, how long did it take you? Did you learn it in college or university? high school? private institute? I look forward to your comments!

Streaming with VLC

Hello, friends!

Since I got a comment asking how to stream with VLC, I'm taking a break from the relationship posts to write a tutorial on how to do that.

First step, install VLC if it's not installed. Second, open VLC.

This is what VLC looks like when you open it.
 Then you click on Media menu and you pick Streaming.

This is the streaming dialog.
Once the streaming dialog opens up, you have to click on the Capture Device tab. There, you have to complete the Video device name option with your webcam. I don't know how this is on Windows, but on GNU/Linux I put the default webcam device which is /dev/video0. You can always stream a file if you want.
Pick your webcam to stream.
 Then you click on the Stream button a the bottom. That opens up a few options for you to configure. The source is already done for you and the type in GNU/Linux would be v4l or v4l2. So we go to the Destinations option instead.

I leave this as is.
In the destinations, I click on "Display locally" so I can see myself while streaming and then I pick HTTP in the combo selector. Then I click Add.
Where do you want to stream to?
Here I pick the port and the path. You could call the path /stream.mkv or /stream.asf depending on the type of container you pick (more of that on the next step). The port should be a port that you can open on your router (8080 is the default).
Pick a port and a Path.
 Once that's done, you have to pick the Transcoding options. There are some profiles already prepared, but you can create your own.

If you decide to create your own you have to name your profile and pick a container (VLC calls it "Encapsulation"). I use an mkv container but do check what works for you.
Pick your container.
For codec I pick V8, but again, pick what you like the most. You can also pick the size of the streaming and the FPS. Depending on your bandwidth you want the size and the FPS to be higher or lower. Just play with the settings and see what works for you and the person receiving the streaming.
Pick your codec.
Then you can save your new Profile for streaming if you decided to create one. After that's done, click on the Stream button once again and your camera should turn on and you should be able to see what your camera is showing. To let the other person see your streaming you provide them with a URL like this: http://YourIP:ThePort/StreamPath.container. For example: ( is localhost, obviously). To find out your IP use ipconfig in a Windows terminal or ifconfig in a GNU/Linux or OSX terminal.

That's it. Let me know if you try it and it doesn't work for you or if you have any doubts or suggestions. If you try it and it works for you, I'd also like to hear it!

PS: There's a poll on the right of this blog. Vote on it if you haven't yet!

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Hello friends!

Thanks for all the comments in the previous post. For those of you that mentioned Uberman, I don't think that would work for a very long time. Besides, I have work and I can't stop every so and so minutes to take a nap and skipping naps is bad for that kind of program.

Now, for today's post I was thinking about how decisions affect a couple and how those decisions are even more important when distance is part of the equation.
I have a job that's not paying me as much as it should right now. I'm sure that I could get a better paying job if I looked for one. The problem is that if I switched jobs now I wouldn't get vacations this year. No vacations means no time to visit my girlfriend. More money means it's easier to buy a plane ticket. So, it's not an easy decision.
Another decision she has to take now is where she'll go to college. Going to college in the US means that, depending on what kind of courses of studies she goes for, she'll be staying in the US for 2 to 6 years. She could technically transfer her credits to a university over here, but that's always very complicated. She could study here, but she doesn't speak the language yet, so she wouldn't be able to start right away. Also, over here we have free university (free public university, that is), whereas in the US it is very expensive (even getting a scholarship you always have to pay something).
Ideally, I'd want her to move over here, but that's practically impossible at the moment. I would move over there, but I wouldn't be legally able to work. So for the time being we have to remain separated.

I'd like to read from you now. What's the toughest decision you had to take in a relationship?

I'm waiting for my girlfriend to get online now. I'm staying awake tonight!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Time difference

Hello, friends!

I'm very grateful for the suggestions for presents. All your ideas are very helpful and very important to me and I value them a lot.

I'm kind of sad, frustrated and angry right now because my girlfriend got online while I was taking a nap, so I didn't get to chat with her. Time difference is another problem we have to face. She gets online at night using her mother's phone (I think she has one of the AT And T cell phones that do tethering or something like that, I'm not sure... I don't want to lie, but I think it has Android in it) and her mom comes late from work. Unfortunately, that means that to chat with her sometimes I have to stay up till very late and then be a zombie at work in the morning. I try to take naps to compensate, but sometimes she gets online during one of my naps, like it happened today.

She doesn't have a normal internet connection or a landline phone. She can't get good service where she lives. Perhaps she could get a cheap mobile phone (ie.: not one of the AT and T phones like her mom has, but maybe one of the att prepaid ones I guess) so she could have a number I could call to at any time. I'm sure I could get a decent international calling plan to talk with her 30 minutes a night when she can't get online.

Anyway, her mom might have the day off tomorrow, which means I'll be able to chat with her during the day and for a longer time. Wish me luck, everyone!

Since I know she won't be getting online now, I'm going to sleep. Good night!


One problem we always have, my girlfriend and I, whenever there's a celebration –anniversary, birthdays, Christmas or whatever– is getting presents for each other.

Shipping something is kind of expensive and we both agreed that it's not worth all the trouble, so we avoid that. Usually we do things for the other that can be shown or sent online. One time I wrote a poem for her. Another time she sent me a gazillion pictures. We have also exchanged videos, voice recordings of short stories we like and online postcards.

The option is getting an actual physical present and saving it till we get to see each other in person, but then we don't get the presents on the supposed dates, so it doesn't feel the same way.

For those of you that have or had long distance relationships, how did you manage this? Did you pay attention to the act of exchanging presents at all? Did you like the presents you got or would you have rather waited for a physical present?

I enjoy the presents my girlfriend gave me, but sometimes it's frustrating seeing a book or a movie I know she'd like and having to wait so long to give them to her.


Hello, friends!

I want to thank you all for the recommendations for the webcam applications. I'll try some of those options to see how they go.

Now, here's a question for all of you: if you were in a relationship and your boyfriend/girlfriend had to go on a trip for 6 months, do you think you'd be able to remain faithful?

My girlfriend and I see each other sporadically, so we have to trust each other in that regard. It is not difficult for me to be faithful because I love her and there's no other girl that I would like to be with. Luckily, this one aspect that a lot of people would struggle with is not a problem for us.

If you have been in this situation, how did it work for you? If you haven't been, what do you think you'd do?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

When bad software is an advantage

Hello, friends!

My girlfriend and I one day decided we wanted to see each other besides just chatting. Unfortunately, taking a plane every weekend is kind of outside our budget, go figure...
We both use free software, so after trying different clients we settled for amsn to cam. Why go for a proprietary network? Simple: both my girlfriend and I have horrible connections; the cam implementation in the Windows Live Messenger network is just horrible, it goes frame-by-frame. Luckily, this was an advantage for us, because we wouldn't be transmitting or receiving as much data and it wouldn't make our connections choke. Seeing each other frame-by-frame was better than not seeing each other.

Jabber/XMPP works like a charm, really smooth and everything... on a normal connection. For us it gets all pixelized fast.

Unfortunately, Microsoft changed the protocol for their cam exchange in Windows Live Messenger, so we have to wait until the new version of amsn comes out.

In the meantime, I'm using VLC to stream to her. At least she can see me!

Do you guys have any suggestion on what to try? Only free software, please (ie, not Skype because it's proprietary). I was going to try SIP with Ekiga / Qutecom, anybody has a good / bad experience with that?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Hello, friends.
Yesterday I was chatting with my girlfriend about the time we met. We were reading all emails and stuff like that. I thought it was very funny that when we started to get to know each other she always thought I had a girlfriend. She said she was very interested in me, but for some reason she was definitely sure that I was taken.
For instance, she asked me what I had planned for Valentine's day, trying to find out if I had a date, but Valentine's day is not really celebrated outside the US (at least not where I live), so she never got an answer. Confusions like this made it so that it took longer for her and I to get together.
I mean, I really liked her, but I had no signal that she was interested in me. I didn't want to tell her I liked her, because of the distance, the age difference, etc, but if I had had a clue that she liked me then I would've told her earlier. She gave me no signals because she thought I wouldn't be interested in her (why would I if I already had my woman?).
What I don't understand is why she never asked me straight away if I did have a girlfriend. She said she was trying to be conspicuous, haha.

Anyway, eventually I mentioned I didn't have a girlfriend and she told me that when she found out she was very happy that she may still have a chance with me. I really love her, so I'm happy that she was happy, haha.

That's all for now. I'll try to update every day. It will get to the point where I post regarding the problems of age difference, different spiritual views and long distance, but I feel you should get to know about us a little bit before I get into that.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Since this is the first entry here, I should say a bit about my motivations to write this blog.

My name is Charles and I'm 27 years old. I live outside of the US. I have a good job, I have a lot of friends and I'm not religious. I fell in love with Anne, whom I met online. She's 18, lives in the US and is a Christian.

I got to know her because we frequented the same Second Life places. In spite of the long distance, our different cultures, different languages (English is not my mother language), different spiritual beliefs and age difference, we think we're made for each other and we think our relationship is only getting stronger. This blog will be a way to show the world how we manage to do that and how love conquers all.