I have had Rin for two months now, the top picture is the first day I had him, the bottom is today. He has been in a cycled, 5 gallon heated (80*) tank with a bubble filter.
If anyone ever tries saying bettas are “totally fine” in gallon tanks (or less) or even bowls, I encourage you to share with them how much they can flourish in a proper home.
He’s the happiest little babe who’s very active and alert, he plays with bubbles and his food, he likes laying on his leaf and in his log, and he follows my finger along the tank when I put it against the glass. These fish are not “just betta fish” that will mope around waiting to be fed every day, they really have personality and deserve to be treated as good as you would any other pet.

I love ranting. Actually according to my girlfriend I tend to monologue. Which is true. Sort of. But today I get to monologue and slightly (slightly) embarrass her. But I will do my best not to.

Today is our 1 year anniversary.

This day many many moons ago I was a mess. I was a mess because I had spent a few months gaming and talking to someone from another country who I enjoyed being with, and gaming. I was a bundle of doubt and for the first time in a long time also a bit scared. Why? Because I’d finally decided to have –the talk- with this woman. The talk about asking her if she’d like to move from our friendship into dating.
Needless to say as big a mess as I was waiting to have that talk with her, she was completely cool and as always saw it logically. Which was yes she’d like to date me, because we already pretty much were so it wouldn’t be too big a change.

See her internet went out, and she couldn’t get in game so we could roleplay in SWTOR together. We could talk through skype though thankfully. Her internet was thankfully down for what was one of the most fun weeks I’ve spent with someone online. We talked and began watching movies together. Something we do every night together now.

Being totally logical and reasonable people we decided, since this was a long distance relationship and all. We would spend a year or so getting to know one another, then after? We’d focus on trying to see one another. I told her I would visit her first. I wanted her to feel comfortable and not like a fish out of water coming here to the U.S.  I actually told her I’d try to learn French, so that I could make a good impression on her friends and most importantly her family. Because I wanted them to know I was a good guy, and that their daughter was safe with me. It was very important to me that I do so and she thought it was the cutest thing.

It may be cute but dear god this language xD I am still trying, I will get it.

We built our relationship from being friends, to dating. Spending our time together online gaming and leveling all 14 of our alts, which we are still doing to get them all to level 60. Watching movies we grew up with, both love and want to share with each other. Television shows and some of the most beautiful and cutest anime I’ve seen, and thanks to her I know existed out there.
I literally could write a book on every sweet, memorable cute thing we’ve done and still do. From her beautiful accent, calling me a “Little shit.” And emoting arm punches to me when I deserve them, laughing at my terrible humor, which it and I are incredibly terrible at times. To literally –feeling- puppy dog eyes through a computer screen without seeing them. To cheering each other up when we felt down. We’ve both heard each other cry at some point, laugh to the point her neighbors pound on the wall at 5am, Have totally adult discussions on farting, sharing French stereotypes of Americans, and American stereotypes of French. Going through every single questionnaire available on the internet, and still managing to always have, and find something to talk about or ask. Still able to have as much fun as we did a year ago.

I mentioned before that every anniversary we’ve had leading up to today we plan a meal that we can both cook together. It’s sort of funny but we do what we can given our distance to try and make it seem like we’re closer. In fact our first anniversary I was a bit grumpy. I pride myself on always doing something big and giving flowers on anniversaries. I love to spoil. Even when money is tight I love to spoil. She now knows this of course x) .  I spent nearly a week with emails and phone calls back and forth with a flourist trying to deliver flowers to her apartment in France. I can safely say to anyone doing so from Washington State is not the easiest or funnest thing in the world. Nor is sending packages through the mail to France, filling out customs forms and still feeling like somehow a sample of perfume, or a jar of honey will suddenly get the ATF involved, unpackaging a bubble wrap happy box for my girlfriend and arresting me for daring to send such things over seas. Yet with all my worrying she, as always. Stayed as cool as Spock, and looked to do exactly what I have always done. Comfort and make happy.

She is truly exceptional, in every way. The only woman I’ve met that shares scarily so much in common with me, and I love it. I love her. I always have, and I could not. Can not be happier than I am right now, at least until tomorrow.  Tomorrow I end up loving her even more.

You are and have always been my fr….wait, no that’s a Star Trek quote. Let me do this again.
You are, the most important person in my life. You’ve helped me to better myself, to actually and actively use my brain. You’ve helped me to open up and share myself. You showed me the single cutest anime show I’ve ever seen(Seriously you people need to go watch ARIA the natural, it’s….cuteness beyond comparison.) You showed me the cuteness that is a hedgehog, and I now am painting for you. We are so so far apart from each other, but god do I feel like you are right beside me when I hear your voice.  You have opened up to me in so many ways, and we’ve grown so close, we continue to do so. I honestly and truly do feel so very lucky to have someone so amazing, so wonderful and cute in every way. Every day I feel so lucky. I love you. I look forward to another year together. Getting to know your friends a bit more, and expanding our dominance of cuteness the likes of which the world has never seen muhahaha!

Which brings me to the fun part….

I asked lisipuska one of your favorite artist and Tumblr bloggers to do two commissions of Stil and Vol not so long ago. Which we both loved to no end. I wanted to surprise you so…I sort of, kind of, totally sneakily went and conspired with to do another one for us. I dug up old screenshots for reference and picked a moment we both truly loved in our game. She did awesomely, as always. But that my dear is just the tip of the iceberg on Hoth.

I have a much grander scheme you see.(This is what happens when I watch too many Bond films with you.)

I have devised a little challenge. We’ll call it an Anniversary hunt. While you are getting ready I am sitting here in game, waiting for you. I have three gifts to give you, and you will receive each I promise you this. However….this will not be handed to you. Oh no. No my dear it. Will. Not.

I am officially giving you an in game quest. You need to track down, without the aid of being in a group three of my toons on Ebon Hawk. Each one will further your journey to the grand prize. I shall not be too harsh in my scheming though. I will merely…test your knowledge.
These alts of mine are at three specific locations throughout the galaxy. To find them you must dig deep into the reservoir of your mind and recall three specific moments in game.

The first shall be waiting for you at the very spot Stil’gar and Volonté first met, sat down and talked.

The second, shall be patiently idling at the place in game where Stil’gar  opened up to Volonté and told her he loved her. If you can track that brave soul down, he will lead you to your final destination.
Finally, Stil’gar himself shall be waiting for Volonté at the spot of their most memorable cuddle spot and camp site.

Find these three deviously cleaver and totally not that difficult to find spots, and you’ll be spoiled with in game riches and totally not crap from my inventory. The game begins. Log in, and best of luck to you in your quest.

I am such a dork. Seriously I am giggling here at the fact I spent last night getting these toons into position just so I could do this for our anniversary. We’re both such gaming dorks I knew you’d love this hehehe.

In conclusion my dear. You are the sweetest French hedgie, weak upper bodied girlfriend, a sometimes sweet, American hedgie broad shouldered shit could ask for in a hundred million years. I love you, truly and deeply. I do.

Happy Anniversary. :)