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Album of the Year 2014 #17: TV Girl - French Exit

2020.09.17 17:24 IndieheadsAOTY Album of the Year 2014 #17: TV Girl - French Exit

Album of the Year 2014 #17: TV Girl - French Exit
Howdy y'all! Welcome back to Album of the Year 2014, our September writing series where we look back at some of our sub's favorite albums from the year of our foundation! (Not ranked, all pitched by our sub's users!) Today we have u/mko0987 discussing TV Girl's French Exit!

June 5th, 2014 - Self-Released
Listen:
Bandcamp
YouTube
Spotify
Background
Formed in the halcyon wake of the chillwave summer of ‘09, TV Girl started as a collaboration between San Diego sk8r bois and high school friends Trung Ngo and Brad Petering. Despite initial modest expectations, things really hit the ground running when their Todd Rundgren-sampling track “If You Want It” got a writeup on Pitchfork’s Forkcast column, which led to a brief whirlwind of attention culminating in Rhino Entertainment wiping the track from the internet with a copyright takedown notice.
Several EPs, a 7” pressing, a SXSW appearance, and a move to LA later, the group released their first full-length mixtape - The Wild, The Innocent, The TV Shuffle, a rough-around the edges, shimmering record full of saccharine retro pop samples, Trung’s dazed out vocals, and a vibrant hip-hop flair. This ended up being the last project involving Trung, as he stepped away from the band leaving Petering to continue the project as a solo effort - and eventually a three piece with the addition of Jason Wyman and Wyatt Harmon for live touring support. Their Lonely Women EP piloted out this sound and lineup, with Petering taking over vocal duties and polishing up the production.
If Lonely Women was the warm-up round, French Exit was the real deal, arriving in 2014 with a “debut record” billing and a refined pop sound that brought more buzz to the project than ever before. Suddenly, seemingly overnight, TV Girl became “America’s favorite indie band” - if their social media is to be believed - and the rest is history.
Review (by u/mko0987)
Have you ever fallen in love? Chances are the answer is no, according to the Gen-X Balloon Guy on twitter. But even if you’re somehow under the perception that crushes aren’t real, emotions aren’t real, our eyes aren’t real, etc, you’ve probably had feelings for someone at some point in your brief confusing life. Maybe those feelings were reciprocated, or they weren’t and you stayed friends, or you had a great run that ended amicably, or a partner was hurt or betrayed. Or maybe you’re still together in spite of it all, living your best life (bless your hearts).
In the throes of all these lovelorn scenarios resides the thematic world of TV Girl’s French Exit, a thrilling yet fully “vibed-out” and “chill-ass” record of sample-heavy indie pop tunes. It’s a perfect record for riding your bike to a friend’s house on a sunny fall day, which is exactly the scenario in which I fell in love with it back in 2014. And yeah folks, this record is all about love. Even though in high school I had a head-ass contrarian aversion to love songs (therefore writing off about 70-80% of recorded music), fortunately that was a short lived phase. The tunes on this record serve as testament to the fact that love songs come in many shades and can ultimately be about a lot of different things.
The opening track “Pantyhose” serves as a good example of this. Taking inspiration from a chapter of Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, the song depicts the story of a soldier using his back-home sweetheart’s garment as a good luck charm. Even though she’s moved on - the last chorus revealing that he’s been sent a Dear John letter - he maintains the superstition and is protected from bullets, mines, and heartbreak. This preoccupation with the artifacts of relationships, and the various significance we ascribe to them, is something that comes up often in TV Girl lyrics. As does the notion of unrequited love - which is especially prominent in the song “Hate Yourself”:
”And how long will it take?
Before you start to hate yourself
And go straight to the arms of someone else
And I'll just wait
'Till those arms belong to me and I'm not
Saying that you love me, I'm not saying anything”
Now before we really get into this - I’m aware that as of late there’s been a bit of a critical re-evaluation of TV Girl’s lyrics. I can see where it’s coming from. Frontman Brad Petering can come off quite bitter and asshole-ish in some of his more acerbic lyrics, or hedge close to the “nice guys finish last” victimhood trope in some of the more lovelorn ones. While I can confidently say that 82.6% of TV Girl’s fans are not incels, I can see how viewing the lyrics through that particular lens might sour listeners to the project. It’s 2020 and people understandably have a low tolerance for hearing about white hetero male woes anyway.
Petering’s been forthcoming about taking cues from the blunt honesty of Bob Dylan’s meaner, pettier tracks. “The Getaway” contains references to “Lilly, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts” to make that connection all the more overt. That Dylan-esque lens of personal stories and petty confessions are likely more along the lines of what he’s going for when he brings the snark, rather than some kind of overarching vendetta. Even the chorus of “Birds Don’t Sing”:
“Birds don’t sing, they just fall from the sky.
Girls don’t call and they never tell you why
that’s just how they say goodbye”
reads more as bemoaning a personal experience with ghosting than the sweeping generalization it could be perceived as at face value. He even dishes it back to himself in the same song with the line (spoken by his ex-lover):
“I think that all you ever really ever wanted was a reason to complain
That never stopped you before, don’t let it get in your way”
I’m not saying the man’s a saint, but I’d argue that these tunes are mostly just trying to be frank and humorous about the more ugly, selfish emotions that can crop up in the turmoil of relationships. Notions that I imagine are somewhat relatable to most people.
Even when the record is taking digs or lamenting lost love it still often conveys the warm minutiae of caring about someone else. Album closer “Anjela” has a soft spot for the titular character’s uncertainty, as she buries her head in her pillow and the narrator claims in obvious denial that he “didn’t like her anyway”. “Lovers Rock” depicts a vignette of two friends and would-be lovers sharing a kiss while listening to records. Even when feelings are getting hurt and things are going sour, the album still leaves the impression that navigating those choppy waters is worth it for those subtle affectionate moments with someone you care about. The bright instrumentation and Petering’s bemused, deadpan vocal delivery absolutely contribute to this impression. Even the more bitter lyrics on the record come across as playfully sardonic in the context of breezy instrumentation and sing-songy melodies.
So yeah, let’s dig into the music a bit. The rough formula goes something like this: mine 40s-70s pop records for sugary samples, layer in skittering hip-hop drum loops, throw in some old movie & radio vocal clips, and pass it all through dreamy filters. The result puts us somewhere at the crossroads between chillwave and The Avalanches-style plunderphonics. Jagged, chopped up drum loops and basslines bring an energetic, throwback hip-hop sound into the fold that recalls the bouncier tunes of groups like The Pharcyde and Souls of Mischief. “Daughter of a Cop” in particular has such a classic hip-hop energy going on, with that thumping “I’ll Take You There” bassline. The stuttering, flanged-out ride cymbals in “The Getaway” are a big highlight as well, essentially serving as the song’s hook. The whole vibe basically makes me really want to play Tony Hawk Pro Skater - I’ll chalk that up as a win for TV Girl’s skater cred.
More synth-heavy tunes like “Pantyhose”, “The Blonde”, and “Come When You Call” lean into the chillwave side of things, with reverb-drenched seventh chords and echoing percussion that are reminiscent of bedroom acts like Millionyoung and Planetarian. The vocals certainly take some cues from chillwave - though the Beach Boys harmonizing frequently encountered in that genre is mostly absent, replaced by doubled or octaved vocal layers to keep things straight-forward and pop oriented. I’d honestly be remiss to file the whole project under that genre tag. The vibes are certainly similar - hazy, sample heavy, deadpan - but the sound feels more rooted in the 50s “bop-bah, la la la” era of pop than the melty 80s panache of your average chillwave record.
Beyond aesthetics, the retro-pop palette pays off thematically. The songs sampled for the record tend to depict simple, rose-tinted versions of love and heartbreak. Products of their time, they strike a careful balance between innocence and innuendo, and end up revealing quite a bit about those decades’ romantic expectations.
For example this line from “Seven Minutes in Heaven” by The Poni-Tails (sampled in “Birds Don’t Sing):
“I need seven minutes in heaven
Mama, Papa please give me
Mama, Papa don’t be mean or I’ll scream.”
A bit disconcerting...or these lovesick lines from “The Dance is Over” by The Shirelles (sampled in “Lovers Rock”):
“Now I know I’m not to blame
and we may never meet again
and I feel so ashamed
Please can we still be friends
I know I’ll love you until the end
The dance is over and you are gone.”
An interesting contrast emerges with the inclusion of these samples - their melodramatic romanticism pitted against the cynical tone of Petering’s lyrics. It highlights that no matter how much the conventions of dating have changed, those core emotional experiences still resonate. It also creates some meta-contextual insight into how pop music can shape these experiences as a product that we consume. The malaise of the characters appearing in the songs on French Exit often stems from this, which is acknowledged explicitly in “Lovers Rock”:
”You like a pretty boy
With a pretty voice
Who's tryna sell you something
Something that you already have”
This lyric highlights that French Exit isn’t an exception to the commercial aspects of pop music, even when it’s commenting on how those aspects affect us. The term “pretty boy” acts as a stand-in for any number of pop singers or actors depicting love stories in art/media, including TV Girl themselves. Though the record tends to deal with the fallout of expecting real relationships to measure up to the idealized romances of pop culture, it’s still selling its own set of expectations by doing so. If you were to base your perceptions of love on this record alone, you might come to expect inordinate heaps of disappointment, yearning, and heartbreak. The cycle just continues forward in this way, in a process that’s folded into both the form and content of the tunes on French Exit.
Or put more crudely in “Talk to Strangers”:
“Lust turns to boredom, boredom to lust
Diminishing returns with each and every thrust”.
And with that, I’m gonna leave this review to the dustbin of history, to be critically re-evaluated in ten years time during the chillwave revival of 2030. Go cop a 6th anniversary repress, give the record another listen, and get ready to either fall in love all over again or be heartbroken. As for me, I’ll be on my bike bumping these tunes like 2014 never left.
Favorite Lyrics
The sound of mass confusion
Reverberated down the hall
Into the ears of a stoic roommate
Who put her headphones on
  • "Come When You Call"
Because love can burn like a cigarette
And leave you with nothing
  • "Lover’s Rock"
Louise never heard about puppy love
'Cause they don't know that term in France
  • "Louise"
Talking Points
  • Is this record a chillwave album? What characteristics make it fall into that genre category?
  • What are your thoughts on the discourse surrounding TV Girl’s lyrics? Appropriate callout or a misplaced reaction? Both?
  • How do you find the samples contribute to the sound and themes of the record? Are they successfully integrated?
Thanks again to u/mko0987 for the writeup! In the meantime, discuss today's record down below in the comments, where the schedule for the rest of the series will also be posted.
submitted by IndieheadsAOTY to indieheads [link] [comments]


2020.09.15 15:39 cdf21882 I Find Things (Part 2)

( Note: This story was originally titled 'I Found a Healthy Respect for the Outdoors')
My name is Jack. I find things. Usually, I find things like keys and other random shit for people, but recently I have branched off into more unusual items. Case in point, when I helped my new GF Kara look for her grandmother’s locket. I found it alright, but I also found the pissed off, child, ghost of her Great-Aunt Patricia too.
Speaking of Kara, what a little vixen. For those of you wondering how things with her are going, they’re great. We’ve been spending lots of time together, and now that her house is free of angry spirits, she has decided that it would make an awesome B&B, and I can’t agree more. Can you believe Great-Aunt Patricia is even on board with the idea?
Let me tell you, that kid, she has really turned over a new leaf. If only someone had given her a shiny, new pretty sooner. Am I right? She and Kara are like two peas in pod now. Kara says she’s like the little sister she never had, which is weird considering she’s her aunt and a ghost, but stranger things, right?
So, enough about all that, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. I mentioned at the end of my last post how I had figured out I could use my talent to find more than just everyday items. Followed by a statement about helping anyone find things, just to let me know and all that. Well to be perfectly frank, I kinda made that declaration in jest. I know, assy move. It’s not that I don’t want to help you guys, but after the locket debacle, I really just wanted to stick to finding mundane stuff. I said what I did, just trying to be nice since you put in the time and effort to read my post, but like Jeff Goldblum said, “Life finds a way.” Let’s just say it found a way to bite me in the ass for making false statements, and it used my sweetheart Kara to do it.
Apparently, she’s on reddit too, and she has a huge following. Well, long story short, Kara came across my post, and not only took my words to heart, but thought it was really sweet how I put myself out there like that to help people. Then, supportive gf and all, she went on to share my post with all of her reddit friends and followers, FB friends, and well you can see where this is going.
When Kara told me what she had done, and how proud of me she was, I didn’t have the heart to tell her I was only being nice, so I sucked it up, owned my mistake, and here we are; a second post. That’s right, I have more scary shit to tell, and guess what? It’s a camping story.
I will put this out here right now, I am not an outdoors kind of guy. I respect the outdoors, and people that are outdoorsy, but it isn’t for me. As you know, I recently found out that ghosts are real, and if they are real, there is no telling what the hell else is real, especially in the outdoors.
So, a few days ago, Kara caught me in the break-room at work. She was smiling really big and looked kind of excited, so it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. She has a great smile by the way. She told me she had some good news. I asked her what it was, and when she told me, let’s just say my warm fuzziness disappeared pretty damn quickly.
She told me she has a friend on reddit named Dale, and he owns a public campground a couple of hours away. Before she could go any farther, I told her no way I don’t do camping or anything else in the out of doors.
“But Babe, I love camping,” she said all doe-eyed. “Besides, Dale needs you to help him find something.” I looked at her with my best “do I have to” face, but her expression told me this was an argument I wasn’t going to win. I let out a big sigh. “Okay, what does he need me to find?” Victorious, she smiled wryly. “He said he would fill us in when we got there this weekend.”
Word of advice for all of you guys out there, stay single, women can be trouble.
I stuck my tongue out her and went back to my desk.
In all honesty though, I wasn’t mad at Kara for pushing me to help Dale. She is one of the best people I know, and as I’ve said before, I would do anything for her. Besides, who could stay mad with that amazing smile of hers, I’m just saying.
Saturday morning, I pulled up in front of Kara’s house. As I got out of the car, I noticed Aunt Patricia looking down at me from one of the second-floor windows. We waved to one another, and I headed up the walk and went inside.
Kara was in the kitchen making coffee, and she was in full blown camping mode. She wore a pair of khaki shorts that were rolled up at the legs, and what I can say was the most disturbingly, appropriate t-shirt I could have imagined for a camping trip; a Camp Crystal Lake counselor shirt.
She greeted me with a kiss. “Morning handsome. You ready for your first camping trip?” she asked.
“Not particularly,” I told her. “Interesting wardrobe choice by the way.” She grinned maliciously. “I thought you would appreciate the humor of my shirt.” I rolled my eyes. “I swear, if your friend mentions anything about looking for missing campers in the deep, dark woods, I’m out.” “Poor guy,” Kara said with a pouty face. “I’ll protect you from the big, bad monsters in the woods.” She busted out laughing. I just stood there mentally updating the list of deal breakers for my next girlfriend.
Before long, we had the car loaded and were on our way to Dale’s campground. It was our first extended car ride, and it was a blast. We spent a while playing Guess That Tune. For anyone that has seen Twilight Zone: The Movie, just know, our game at least, didn’t end with a horrible death, just Kara winning nearly every round. Besides playing car games, we found we both have a passion for car karaoke, and just so you know, I’m the better singer.
Around noon, we arrived at our destination. I took one look at the sign and shook my head; it read Crazy Acres Camping. Kara, on the other hand, was amused and said she thought it was a cute name. The thing ladies think are cute, I swear.
We drove down a winding, tree-lined road and parked in front of a rustic looking building. The sign hanging above the door read Camp Office. Kara and I were just getting out of the car, when a man rode up on a four-wheeler.
He was in his early to mid-fifties, and he wore the quintessential camp uniform: boonie hat, khaki shorts, and olive drab polo with the camp name on the pocket. “If this wasn’t Dale,” I thought. “I would eat tree bark.” The man dismounted and held out his hand. “Afternoon folks. Thanks for coming. I’m Dale.”
Nailed it.
We both shook hands with him, and then he showed us into the office. The inside was just as rustic as the outside, and the walls were adorned with all sorts of woodsy items, the grandest of all being a massive moose head mounted above the desk.
Being a reddit friend, Kara and Dale only had a passing acquaintance, so we spent the first little while making general chitchat. Dale was obviously a nice guy, and he exuded a sort of crazy uncle vibe. Who doesn’t love a crazy uncle?
The property had been in Dale’s family for a long time, but it wasn’t until he took it over, that it became a public campground.
“I grew up loving the woods, and loving camping,” he told us. “It was only natural for me to share that love with as many people as I could.” Kara said she understood completely, but I didn’t get it at all. I guess I was just too fond of AC and indoor plumbing. There was a little small talk, then we got down to brass tacks.
Over the last couple of months, Dale had received numerous reports from campers who had things come up missing from campsites in a certain area of the grounds. It started out as food, which wasn’t too out of the ordinary due to the amount of wildlife in the surrounding woods. “Raccoons can be some damn crafty SOBs,” Dale told us. Then things escalated. Entire coolers filled with food, drinks, etc. started disappearing, and after that, everything from hammocks, sleeping bags, water containers, and even tents themselves joined the growing list of missing things.
“Beat any damned thing I ever saw,” Dale finished, leaning back in his chair. “But that’s still not the worst of it. There used to be rumors of a hermit living in the deep woods around here. Well about a week ago, I made the mistake of mentioning this to my assistant manager, Rick, and being the great woodsman, he sees himself as, the damned fool decided he would go looking for the ole bastard. Ricks an okay guy, but he’s young and full of himself, and he knows about as much about surviving in the woods, as I do about being a brain surgeon.” “Did he find anything?” Kara asked Dale. The man took off his hat and rubbed the top of his head. “Well let’s just say Rick’s been added to that list of things that have gone missing around here,” he said wringing his hat in his hands. “And if I don’t find him, who knows what will happen to this place.
Kara and I looked at each other. I was getting a sinking suspicion that I knew what it was I was here to find.
“What exactly is it you want me to find Dale?” I asked him hesitantly.
He laid his hat on the desk. “If you can, I would like for you to find my missing employee, and maybe while you’re at it, find where all the missing stuff is going.” I looked at the man then looked at Kara. Her eyes told me she understood exactly what I was thinking. This was far beyond anything I had ever done with my talent, and I had to be honest with Dale.
“Look Dale, I want to help you, but I don’t think you really understand what it is I do,” I told him. “I find lost wallets, misplaced jewelry, or other random items for people, and the only time I have ever looked for anything outside, was when my cousin lost his wedding ring in the back yard while he was ogling the neighbor’s wife while she was sunbathing, which is a whole story in and of itself by the way. The point is, I think this is a job for law enforcement, not an office worker with a talent that is probably more luck than anything.”
The poor man still just sat there looking at me with his hopeless expression. “That’s the thing Jack, the cops are just as baffled as I am, and some of them are better in the woods than me. I’m at the end of my rope here, and if you say your talent is just luck, well I can use a little bit of that right now.”
I didn’t really know what else to say. I felt for the guy. I really did, but I wasn’t sure if I could help him, and God only knows I wanted to. In the end, it came down to two things. One, there was a person lost in the woods, or worse dead. Not only did Dale need to know where Rick was and if he was ok, but the same went for Rick’s family. The second this was I didn’t want to disappoint Kara. She had thought enough of me and my talent, to shout it to the extremes of the internet, and I had step up for her.
“Alright Dale, I’ll give it a shot, but I can’t promise you anything,” I told him. He considered this for a moment. “Fair enough,” he said finally. “I can live with that.”
He pulled out a map of the grounds and showed us where everything had been happening. The vastness of the area only added to my despair, but I pushed the thought out of my mind. After we finished studying the map, Dale mentioned that it would probably be a good idea for us to setup camp in the affected area, so that maybe the thief would make an appearance, being that we would be the only campers in the vicinity.
With a game plan made, Kara and I headed back to the car, and drove to the site Dale had picked out for us. “I’m sorry I got you into this,” she told me. “If I had known what this was all about, I would never have let it get this far.” I smiled at her. “Don’t worry about it, Kara,” I said to her squeezing her hand. “There’s nothing for you to be sorry about. Besides, it’s not that I don’t mind helping Dale, I am just unsure of my ability to do it.” “I believe in you Jack,” she reassured me. “I know you’ll do your best.”
We arrived at the campsite a few minutes later, and I was surprised to see something at least was in my favor. Instead of a tent, Dale had set us up with a small cabin. We parked the car, and got out to inspect our accommodations for the night.
The structure wasn’t much bigger than a large tent, but it was hardened on three sides, with the fourth side being mostly screen. Inside were two cots and hanging from the ceiling, was a gas lantern. “This doesn’t look so bad,” I said looking around the cabin. Kara grinned, “I’ll remember that statement when you need to use the bathroom tonight and have to walk out into the woods.” I looked at her with disdain while she laughed like a mad woman.
We finished unpacking the car and setup a late picnic lunch. Once we were done eating, we began searching the woods in the immediate vicinity of camp.
I tried to be thorough, but there was just too much area, and everything looked the same. After a couple of hours, I was beginning to feel like all I was doing was wasting time. I sat down on a fallen long.
“This is no use,” I told Kara exasperated. She sat down next to me. “You can do this Babe,” she said putting her arm around me. “Trust me and believe in yourself. I believe in you.” She leaned in to kiss me, and as I leaned in to meet her, I saw it.
It was a faint trail beaten into the forest floor. “I think I have something,” I said excited. “Look.
I pointed to the trail. “Jack you did it,” she said kissing me. I have said before that I feel like my talent is more luck than anything, this was why. I would have never seen the trail if I hadn’t sat down on the log.
We inspected the trail for a few minutes. In one direction, it led back towards camp, and we were both fairly confident that this was the trail the thief had been using to get to the campground.
We followed the trail deeper into the woods. After another little while, we came to a massive cliff face.
“Looks like the end of the road,” Kara said looking up at the top of the cliff. It went off in both directions for as far as we could see, and rose above of us at least sixty feet straight up. There didn’t look to be many handholds, so climbing it was out of the question. “Let’s look around,” I said. “Maybe we’ll get lucky again.”
We started down one direction, finding nothing but sheer rock on one side, and forest on the other. After a while, we went back the other direction and it wasn’t much better. My lifted spirits from my discovery of the trail, were starting to crash and burn.
I picked up a stone. “Damnit,” I yelled as I hurled it at the rocky face of the cliff. It hit with a loud report. “Is someone out there?” a faint voice called.
Kara and I looked at each other with wide eyes. “Did you hear that?” we both asked in unison. “Hello out there,” came the voice again. “I need help.” The voice was coming from a little further up the way. “Hold tight,” I called back. “We’re coming.”
We followed the sound of the voice, and after a couple of minutes, we arrived at a large group of boulders, bunched at the foot of the cliff. “Hello, we’re here,” Kara called out. “Where are you?” “In the cave,” the voice replied. “You have to climb up and over the boulders. The entrance is behind them.”
“Maybe you should wait right here,” I told Kara. “That way, if someone really does live here, you can keep a lookout for them.” She shook her head. “What if you need me?” she asked. “I’ll call you, but until then, stay here and keep watch. I would hate to be blindsided by some creepy ass mountain man.” She sighed, disappointed. “Alright, but be careful.” I kissed her, then climbed up the boulders.
Once on top, I saw that there was a hollow space behind the rocks along with the entrance to the cave. It was almost like someone placed the boulders there to purposely hide the cave from passers-by. I climbed back down and approached the entrance. It was dark as shit in there, and I hadn’t even thought to bring a flashlight. The light on my crappy iPhone would just have to do. I turned it on and entered the darkness.
I walked for about a minute when I started to come across empty food wrappers, then as I entered a large chamber, I found the rest of the missing hoard of camping items. “Holy shit!” I exclaimed looking at it all. Dale sure wasn’t kidding when he said a lot of stuff had went missing. “Hey over there,” the voice said. “Get me out of here.”
I walked to where the voice was. There was another chamber, but the entrance was blocked off by a large rock. “Please tell me you’re Rick?” I said to the man behind the rock. “Yeah,” he said. “It’s me. You search and rescue?” I grinned. “Something like that. How in the hell did you get in there?” “Damned bitch grabbed me while I was in the woods, then trapped me in here. Look man, if I were you, I would make this quick. If she comes back and finds you here, there’s no telling what she’ll do.”
I used the phone’s light to survey the rock. While I did this, I wondered who the “she” was that had brought Rick here. “I might be able to tip this rock over, but I am going to need help,” I told him. “Hold on.”
I dialed Kara. Considering I was in a cave, the call surprisingly connected. I told her the situation, and she said she was on her way. In the meantime, I would try to get some more answers from Rick.
“So, you’re telling me some lady abducted you and trapped you in this cave? You sound like a pretty big guy based on Dale’s description of you. She must have been some woman.” Rick chuckled. “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you. How much longer till your friend gets here. I really would like to be gone before she comes back.” “She should be here soon,” I told him.
Shortly, I heard footsteps coming from the entrance of the cave. “I’d say you found the missing stuff.” Kara’s voice said from behind us. Look at all this shit. Is that Rick?” “Yes it’s me,” the voice on the other side of the rock said impatiently. “Now can we move this thing? I’m telling you guys, we do not want to be here when she comes back.” Kara looked at me with one eyebrow raised. “She? Who is she?” I shrugged. “That’s what I’ve been trying to find out.” “Guys please. Can we do this already?” “Right,” I said. “We need some rope or something to put around the top of the rock.” “I got you,” Kara said.
In a moment she returned with a length of tie down strap. I positioned it around the top of the rock and Kara and I pulled both ends tight. “Okay, we’ll pull, and you push Rick,” I called. “Hopefully this works. On the count of three, one, two, three.” We pulled hard. At first there didn’t seem to be any movement, but then it started to tip. “It’s going,” Rick shouted. “Hope you guys are out of the way.” We let go of the strap and moved out of the way of the falling rock.
Rick’s large frame crawled out of the opening and joined us. In the light from the phones, I could see his clothes were fairly ragged, and he looked like he’d had his ass kicked. “A woman did that to you?” Kara asked him. “Later,” Rick told her. “Let’s go ASAP.”
We turned to leave the cave, but were stopped dead in our tracks. Rick’s mystery “she” stood there blocking our way.
Rick had said I wouldn’t believe him about his captor, and as I stood there looking at the huge, hair covered, seven foot tall figure, I wasn’t sure to feel disbelief, or just be plain scared shitless. “Are you fucking kidding me?” Kara said from beside me. “It’s an effin sasquatch.” It was an effin sasquatch, and she looked pissed off. “Oh shit,” Rick said. The creature roared with rage. Yep, she was definitely pissed.
I didn’t have a clue what to do here. I had just barely found out ghosts were real, and at least there was a way to reason with a ghost, but there didn’t appear to be any reasoning with this thing. She just stood there roaring. “Rick, you’ve spent some time with her, what do we do?” Kara asked him. Rick scoffed. “Look at me. Does it look like we had afternoon tea and shit?” Rick was right. He looked more like he’d been worked over by madam big-foot.
Despite the seriousness of the situation, the thought of a big burly guy like Rick getting man handled by a female sasquatch, was kinda funny. She probably just wanted some loving, and he was the closest thing she could find to mister big-foot, but before I could ponder on the image any further, the lady of the hour picked up a cooler and hurled it at us. The three of us scrambled out of the way of it, and beer, lunch meat, pickles, etc. went everywhere.
“She’s acting like a crazy ex-girlfriend,” Kara yelled. “What’s her problem?” I looked in Kara’s direction. I have always heard women see things that men don’t sometimes, and what she had just said, made me return to my previous thought. I had thought it a funny joke that Rick had been the victim of a lonely, amorous lady-squatch, but what if that was exactly the case?
“Rick,” I yelled at him. “Was she violent with you from the beginning?” He didn’t answer at first. “You know,” he said. “She started off nice, hugging on me and rubbing me like I was a damned dog or something, but it was when I tried to leave, that she got mad and locked me up. I figured she was trying to keep me as a pet.” I shook my head. Dale was right about Rick. He didn’t know crap about the outdoors, but apparently he didn’t know crap about women either. “She wasn’t trying to make you her pet you nimrod,” I yelled at him. “She was trying to mate with you.”
It must have taken a moment for this to sink in for Rick, because it was a good bit before he responded. “You mean she wanted to screw me?” he asked shocked. “That’s exactly what he’s saying,” Kara told him. “And apparently she didn’t take rejection very well.” “That’s the understatement of the year,” he said.
I couldn’t believe we were having this conversation right now. A pissed off ape lady was about to rip us all to pieces, and we were discussing domestic issues, but something was coming to me. “I think I have a plan,” I said. “Rick, since she sees you as her boy toy, we’ll try and get her attention long enough for you to get by her. Then once you do it, get her attention and see if she will follow you out. After that, we’ll leave. Once everyone’s out of the cave, maybe we can all make a run for it.”
“I don’t know if I like that idea,” he said. “She’s pretty quick.” “Well hopefully your desire to not play sugar daddy for a sexually frustrated big-foot for the rest of your life, will cause you to be quicker,” I told him. “It’s all I got so take it or leave it.” Rick thought on it. “Fine,” he said finally. “Let’s do it.”
I found Kara’s hand, and squeezed it. “Ready?” I asked her. She laughed nervously. “Not really,” she said. “But what can you do?”
Together we approached the creature, yelling and screaming at her. I hoped the creature wouldn’t kill us, but luck was on our side. She turned her full attention on us and moved to meet our approach. As planned, this opened up things up for Rick to be able to get around her, but that’s where the plan went to shit.
Instead of getting around the creature and gaining her attention so that he could lead the sasquatch away from us, Rick just bolted. The big-foot took one passing glance at him, and returned her focus on us, me in particular. “What the hell?” I asked Kara. “Why isn’t she following him?” “I think we screwed up,” she replied. “She saw Rick run away like a coward, and because you showed aggression to her, she’s decided you’re the better mate.”
I just stared at her, jaw on the floor. “What can I say?” she said to me. “She has good taste.” I personally didn’t see any humor in the situation, but we had to get away, and I think I knew what to do. “Kara, you said she was acting like a crazy ex, well let’s play that up. I’ll give her what she wants, and then you play crazy new girlfriend and confront her.” She looked at me skeptically. “How is that supposed to work?” she asked. “She could use me as a toothpick. How am I going to intimidate her?” I smiled at her. “You’ve been possessed by an angry ghost, and let me tell you, if you had any cognizance during that, you know how to be intimidating.” Kara rolled her eyes. “I’m not too sure about this, but I’ll try.” I smiled at her. “You can do it, besides the worst case scenario is I live in a cave for the rest of my life and learn to braid sasquatch hair.” Kara was still not amused. “Well here goes,” I said.
I approached the creature. “Hey sweetheart, I’m Jack. Aren’t you a gorgeous lady?” The big-foot looked at me confused, then she looked back at Kara and uttered a warning grunt. I motioned for Kara to stay back. “Don’t worry about her darling, you’re the one I want.” I was now standing within arm’s reach of the sasquatch. She looked at me, still unsure. “Come on, it’s okay. I just want to give you a big ole hug.” I reached out and put my arms around her. She stiffened at first, but then she relaxed and put her arms around me. She started making a cooing sound as she stroked my back. I patted her back in return. “You’re so sweet,” I told her with my best lovey voice.
For all of you that have seen Harry and the Hendersons, this must sound funny as hell, but it was freaking terrifying. One wrong move, and this furry lady could squash me like a bad zit, but I kept up the act. I should have gotten an Oscar for my performance. I had her eating out of my hand. Now it was time for Kara to join the show. I gave her a thumbs up.
“Get your hands off of him you hairy BITCH,” she yelled from behind me. The lady-squatch raised her head in Kara’s direction, making a confused sound. “You heard me,” she yelled at us. “He’s mine.”
Something whizzed over my head, hit the creature between the eyes, and fell to the floor. It was an unopened beer. The creature touched its head, looked down at the can, then looked back at Kara. She roared as she threw me aside, then stormed off towards my girlfriend. I looked at Kara. I could see the terror in her eyes, but there was also determination. She threw another beer at the sasquatch. It hit her in the chest and fell to the floor, exploding from impact with the ground. The sudden bursting of the beer surprised the creature and she stumbled backwards, falling over the scattered camping gear. I used the opportunity to grab Kara and we started for the cave exit.
The big-foot roared with fury, got to its feet, and began to come after us. As hard as she could, Kara threw her last beer at the creature’s feet. Its explosion drove the sasquatch back once again as we made the exit. Without even skipping a beat, we scaled the boulders and jumped off the other side.
We continued running in the direction of the campground, but I took a moment to look back. I know, this goes against everything they teach you in horror movies, but I had to.
She stood on top of the rocks watching our escape, and I swear she had a look of sorrow on her face. I have to admit, I felt bad for her. She was just a lonely creature who wanted a companion. I felt the same way before I started dating Kara, although I would have never abducted someone, but hey I’m not a sasquatch either.
Needless to say, she didn’t follow, and when we eventually got back to the campground, Dale and Rick were waiting on us.
“Glad to see you guys got out,” Rick said to us grinning. “No thanks to you,” Kara told him. She looked at Dale. “Your assistant here took the first chance he got, to escape, rather than help us all get away. We could’ve been killed by her.” Dale turned to Rick. “What’s she talking about?” he asked him. Rick shook his head. “They’re just mad I made it out before they did.” I couldn’t believe this guy. “No, we’re mad because we saved your ass from being a lifetime concubine to a horny ape woman, then left us there to deal with her once you had your chance to bolt.”
Rick scoffed. “Whatever,” he said. “You weren’t the ones that spent days trapped in a cave by a damned monster. What did you expect me to do?”
“That’s enough,” Dale said before I or Kara could say anything in response. “Rick, get your shit together and leave my property. These good folks put their lives on the line to help me, not to mention save your ass, and you didn’t even have the decency to stick by them when they needed you. I want you gone now.” Rick threw his hands up. “Fine, I didn’t need this job anyway,” he said.
We watched as he walked to his truck and sped off, slinging gravel. After a minute, we went with Dale back to his office and told him the whole story. “I just can’t believe it,” he said. “My daddy always said they were real, but we all just thought he was about halfway crazy. Question is, what am I going to do about her?” I looked at Kara, who shrugged. She wouldn’t be any help with this, so I stepped out on a limb.
“I don’t think she wants to hurt anyone,” I said. “She’s just lonely. Maybe you should make friends with her.” They both looked at me like I was crazy, but I pushed on. “For whatever reason, she’s alone in this area, and being alone sucks for anyone, man or sasquatch. I think she started taking things out of hunger at first, then out of curiosity. As far as Rick goes, he’s a big hairy guy, she just mistook him for one of her own kind. So take her a gift once in a while and make friends with her. Eventually, maybe she can become a valuable asset to your campground.” Dale thought it over for a moment. “Well I guess it’s worth a shot,” he said. “Anything is better than having to close this place down.”
With things settled, Kara and I left the office to go back to our campsite. We spent the rest of the evening enjoying the great outdoors, and that night we did a fair amount of star gazing. Other than our brush with the lady-squatch, I could see what Kara loved so much about camping. There’s a lot of beauty out there.
On the ride home the next morning, we played more car games, sang, and laughed about our time with the hairy woman of Crazy Acres Camping. Kara said she was looking forward to the next camping trip, and that with my talent, there was no telling what we would find next time. I laughed and told her I planned to stick to finding the easy stuff from here on out, but as I have said in the past, I think my days of finding the easy things, are over.
My name is Jack, and I find things. Key’s, jewelry, the occasional ghost, even a sasquatch, I find it all, but this time I found out I kinda like camping. Yeah I know, who would have thought.
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2020.09.09 17:30 IndieheadsAOTY Album of the Year 2014 #9: Open Mike Eagle - Dark Comedy

Album of the Year 2014 #9: Open Mike Eagle - Dark Comedy
Hey y'all!!! Welcome back to the Indieheads Album of the Year 2014 writeup series! Today we've got regular user (and host of the upcoming 2010s Indie Rap Rate) batesnorman talking about one of my personal favorites of the year, Open Mike Eagle's Dark Comedy!
June 10th, 2014 - Mello Music Group
Listen:
Spotify
Apple Music
Youtube
Background
Open Mike Eagle grew up in Chicago, spending part of his childhood living in the Robert Taylor Homes which he would later rap about in his 2017 album Brick Body Kids Still Daydream. He attended Southern Illinois University where he obtained a degree in psychology. While attending school he was an RA and during that time he became friends with comedian Hannibal Buress. This is one of the many connections that Open Mike Eagle has with the comedy world.
He released his debut solo album in 2010 Unapologetic Art Rap. In the following two years he released two more albums Rappers Will Die of Natural Causes and 4NML HSPTL. These albums all show Mikes unique style of hip-hop. His fourth album Dark Comedy was his most popular album yet and got him attention from larger music publications.
As mentioned, Open Mike Eagle has a lot of connections with comedians, including big names such as Hannibal Buress and Paul F. Tompkins. In 2019 he started a TV show with comedian Baron Vaugh called The New Negroes. The show is described as a socially aware stand-up and music series. Comedy has always informed Mikes art and Dark Comedy is the clearest example of that in his discography.
Review
Open Mike Eagle helped popularize the term “art rap” in the early 2010s and although he doesn’t use the term anymore, it was useful to define a group of rappers in the 2010s that made music that was otherwise undefinable. Some of the bigger names within this “subgenre” include Milo, Billy Woods, and Serengeti. Although Mike has worked with all of these rappers in some way, actually listening to them all the only thing they seem to have in common is how distinct all of them are. People in this lane of hip-hop don’t make music to sound like other rappers, and they definitely are not trying to get radio play. “Art rap” is not so much a specific sound, but more of a mindset the artists have, to be unique and stand out in some way. Compared to a lot of other rappers in his lane, Mike almost sounds traditional. His delivery is a lot more accessible than many of his peers, and he isn’t quite as abstract as most of them either. However, he stands out in his own way and nobody else besides Open Mike Eagle could have made Dark Comedy.
The main way that Open Mike Eagle stands out is through his lyrics. While he’s easily one of the best lyricists of the last decade, having great lyrics doesn’t necessarily make you unique. Mike is unique because he never approaches a song trying to write something that has already been written before. No matter what he writes about, it is always going to be approached in a way no other artist has done before. A lot of the songs on Dark Comedy are common song topics, but they are always approached in a unique way that makes it clear Mike Eagle wrote this. “Qualifiers” has the feel of a braggadocios flex song, except it’s almost entirely self-deprecating instead. On “Very Much Money (Ice King Dream)” he raps about his struggling artist friends, but there is also a running metaphor in the song relating the lyrics to the TV show Adventure Time.
He also just raps about a lot of things nobody else has ever thought to make a song about. “Jon Lovitz (Fantasy Booking Yarn)” is about the world’s greatest venue helping Mike set up a concert on the moon. As someone who has never had to book a show before and someone who has never left earth before, this song should just be weird to me but when I listen I think “wow this place sounds pretty cool, I hope I can go there some day.” He has a way of making everything seem perfectly normal and relatable while you’re listening to him, and then when you peel it back later on you realize that no, you do not relate to this at all, nobody does in real life.
As I said earlier, “Qualifiers” mimics mainstream rap by being almost the exact opposite of flex songs. The song is a look at Mikes life but told entirely through self-deprecating humor. The song opens with the lyrics “I see the deepest greens/I hear the darkest blues/Might not be synesthesia/Might be apartment fumes.” This line is a great summary of the whole album, it starts off sounding like he’s going to say something poetic before immediately switching to a joke about him being poor. Humor is a consistent element throughout the entire album that keeps everything connected and stops it from ever getting too depressing. “Qualifiers” isn’t entirely self-deprecating but when he’s actually “flexing” it’s still different than most rappers: “Hold up it's my turn again/I'm playing thirteen games of Words With Friends/Lift your hands/Lift your head if your clothes are clean and your kids are fed.” The first bar shows how he values his friendships and the second bar shows how while he may not have very much money he has enough to take care of his son which is a good reason to celebrate. He of course has a bar right after that about his son wetting the bed and earlier in the song he rapped about wiping his son’s ass and getting shit on his hands. Mike Eagle still lives in the real world and this stuff happens sometimes. The second verse of the song takes a different course. He starts rapping about a time he went to Africa and confused everybody because they had never heard rap that sounded like him “What type of rap is that? Ain't no bitches, hoes.” Mike sounds filled with confidence while rapping about this because he’s spent a long career rapping well outside of the mainstream and is not worried about fitting in with anybody.
Four songs into the album Mike delivers one of the most devastating cultural critiques of the modern era, when he says “You can use Facebook to learn gang signs.” A lot of white hip-hop fans will listen to rap music, use black slang, and consume all types of black culture without ever caring about any actual issues black people face. Hip-hop has been mainstream since the late 80s but it was easily the dominant music genre of the last decade and as it gets bigger and bigger there are more and more fans of the genre that don’t relate to the themes of the music and don’t care enough to learn about them. Mike clearly is frustrated with people who listen to hip-hop but have no actual respect for the genre or the people who make it: “And my plan’s choking these rap fans who think rap shows are like Disneyland/What the fuck is you doing here with no roller coasters, no souvenirs?” Mike continues his criticism of modern hip-hop culture on “The Golden Age” when he ends the song name dropping as many different candy bars as he can think of in an attempt to get a sponsorship so he can sell out and go corporate like so many others have.
This is brought up again on the hilarious song “Doug Stamper (Advice Raps).” In Mikes two verses he gives the listener a lot of advice such as lying to the CIA and to not get drunk and sing Led Zeppelin during karaoke. He also goes back to the themes of the mainstreamafication of hip-hop and the ways white people interact with it. He ends his second verse by proclaiming that “A journalist should never write a slang editorial!” and in his first verse he tells white rappers to “quit rapping in your hood voice/Sound like a clown hundred pounder that took 'roids/Rrra-rrra-rrra-rrra-rrra, rrra-rrra-rrra...”
But since we’re talking about “Doug Stamper” I have to mention Hannibal Buress’s feature verse. The first time I heard his verse was the most I had ever laughed while listening to music. Mike Eagle is an extremely talented rapper that also happens to be pretty funny while Hannibal is an extremely funny comedian that can also rap pretty good. Mikes two verses are very funny in their own right. Hearing his flow and his rhyme schemes he is very clearly technically superior to Hannibal (Hannibal rhymes HGH with HGH which I think counts as a multi syllable rhyme scheme.) Anyways, Hannibal insults the listener’s genitalia, mocks LeBron’s hairline, ruminates on the monetary value of internet porn compared to stand-up comedy and discusses several other important topics in our modern life. All in all, it is an ideal hip-hop verse. As much as I love Mike I’m gonna have to give Hannibal the win on this song.
So far this whole review has been about the lyrics with no mention of the beats yet. That’s mainly due to how much there is to unpack in all of his lyrics but the production deserves a lot of credit as well. The albums 13 different songs have 11 different producers and this means the album has a variety of different sounds being explored. The opening and closing track are both produced by Toy Light and they both have a relaxed vibe but are filled with tension and sound like they are ready to fall apart at any moment. Songs like “Doug Stamper” and “Informations” have deep basslines with a bouncy groove to them that sound fun and light hearted to match the lyrics. “A History of Modern Dance” has possibly the best beat on the whole album. It takes what is already a very interesting concept about the ways everyone can be connected to each other and how often chance occurrences affect our lives, and then brings it to another level by throwing the most chaotic sounding strings I have ever heard over top it. The song is about the chaos of our existence so it makes sense that it would have a chaotic beat to go over it. The beats on the album are all great but they do more than just sound good, they can also be tied into the lyrical themes of the songs they are on. Every bar on this album has a greater purpose and ties into an overarching theme and the same can be said about the beats.
As previously mentioned, the opener and closer are both produced by Toy Light, and both have a layer of tension surrounding the beats. The tension in these songs are there for different reasons. The opener “Dark Comedy Morning Show” more or less functions as a title track. The entire album can be summed up by his three verses here. On the first two verses he is constantly switching ideas and starting new thoughts before he can finish his previous thought. He disses other rappers for being generic and having weak punchlines, drops several old cultural references, and gets stressed out about large corporations knowing his whole life and having a troubling amount of power. In the third verse he gets directly political criticizing the way the media and the government report on and are responsible for the issues facing Black and Hispanic people: “There's mad shootings on the news/Unless it's in the Chi, cause Blacks and Mexicans can die.” This transitions into him fantasizing about beating up the Koch brothers (lmao David Koch died last year this shows how the album has aged over time RIP David Koch) which progresses into WWE and Star Wars references. Between all of this he is also taking the “dark comedy” concept at its most literal by dropping in jokes basically every other bar. His verses feel overwhelmed with stress and anxiety as he’s constantly switching up topics with every bar. All of these topics are depressing and comedy is the way Mike makes it stomachable for his audience: “on that laugh to keep from crying tip.” The tension in the beat comes from the way that all of these stressful topics Mike raps about are weighing on his mind.
However, the tension in the closing track “Big Pretty Bridges (3 Days off in Albuquerque)” feels different. This is probably the first moment in the album where Mike feels totally sincere in what he’s saying. The song is about his relationship with hip-hop. He’s sitting in a room after his show got cancelled questioning his life and filled with self-doubt. Wondering if his writing is good enough: “Every sentence that I write my muse feels like it could be tighter” and wondering if he even fits in with the hip-hop world at all: “There’s a small chance that we can’t connect ‘cause we’re too differently wired.” The self-doubt is where the tension from the beat comes from. In the second verse he comes in more confident. He’s complaining about the amount of effort it takes to tour only to have his show cancelled, or to show up and perform a show for a group of people that don’t respect his culture at all: “And my plan’s choking these rap fans who think rap shows are like Disneyland/What the fuck is you doing here with no roller coasters, no souvenirs?” However, his confidence falters in the next line: “Sometimes the shit’s second nature, other times it feels super weird.” When he’s talking about himself he seems to lack confidence but it returns when he’s speaking more broadly about hip-hop. In the closing lines he changes his scope and starts talking directly to the listener: “Now I’m reaching out for your hand so you can understand what I’m speaking for… Not some shit that y’all can wipe away, a game some of y’all like to play.” His confidence returns for these lyrics as he is again speaking more broadly instead of talking to himself. This song is more narrow in scope, but it still is connected to the album as a whole. Mike is a rapper so whenever he raps about hip-hop he is rapping about his life. The self-doubt he expresses on this song can be related to more than just hip-hop. Everything said on this album ties into each other, and everything on this album is related to Mikes life. As a rapper, his relationship with hip-hop is one of the biggest aspects of his life. While the opener sums up the album by being so frantic and filled with so many different ideas at once, the closer sums up the album by narrowing the focus and still summing up everything Mike is speaking on through only his relationship with hip-hop.
The album ends repeating a hook “We’ll dig, we’ll still build big pretty bridges.” The bridges can represent a lot of different things. The first verse ends with him worried about if he can stay connected with hip-hop so when the hook starts, the bridges represent how he is going to keep working on his craft so he can feel closer to hip-hop. He ends the second and final verse talking directly to the listener so the bridges represent how he wants to keep building relationships with other people. The tension isn’t resolved at the end of the album because the album is his life and his life isn’t finished. But he still has resolve to keep building.
Best Lyrics
We laugh and try not to wish death on the upper class
I'd like to run up on the Koch Brothers
And beat 'em with a garden hose made of old rubber
Give 'em rock bottoms and a cold stone stunner
Drop some cold butter on 'em from the skyscraper
Pistol whip 'em with the handle of a lightsaber
Cut 'em with rice paper, chuckle like a wiseacre
Instead think of something sarcastic, black
  • “Dark Comedy Morning Show”
I see the deepest greens
I hear the darkest blues
Might not be synesthesia
Might be apartment fumes
  • “Qualifiers”
This is my emotional ape face
I'm president of the rappers that don't condone date rape
  • “Thirsty Ego Raps”
You can use facebook to learn gang signs
And creepers can stalk all their exes at the same time
  • “Golden Age Raps”
'99 Problems' was a damn good summer song
If you got more than like three then something's wrong
  • “Doug Stamper (Advice Raps)”
LeBron James needs to stop taking HGH
His hairline fucked up from the HGH
  • “Doug Stamper (Advice Raps)”
Nah, I'm in the hood hearing sirens
And the beat tried to make me feel good but it's lying
  • “Sadface Penance Raps”
And my plan’s choking these rap fans who think rap shows are like Disneyland
What the fuck is you doing here with no roller coasters, no souvenirs?
  • “Big Pretty Bridges (3 Days off in Albuquerque)”
Talking Points
  • Did you listen to this album when it first came out or did you discover it later? How do you think it has aged since you first heard it?
  • Favorite songs?
  • Favorite lyrics?
  • Favorite beats?
  • Did Hannibal Buress renegade Open Mike Eagle?
  • Is this your favorite Open Mike Eagle album? If not what is?
Thanks again to Bates for the writeup, excellent work! We've got tropikhana tomorrow to talk about Azaelia Banks' Broke With Expensive Taste! Feel free to discuss today's record in the comments below, where the schedule will be as always!
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2020.09.08 23:09 cdf21882 I Found a Healthy Respect for the Outdoors.

My name is Jack. I find things. Usually, I find things like keys and other random shit for people, but recently I have branched off into more unusual items. Case in point, when I helped my new GF Kara look for her grandmother’s locket. I found it alright, but I also found the pissed off, child, ghost of her Great-Aunt Patricia too.
Speaking of Kara, what a little vixen. For those of you wondering how things with her are going, they’re great. We’ve been spending lots of time together, and now that her house is free of angry spirits, she has decided that it would make an awesome B&B, and I can’t agree more. Can you believe Great-Aunt Patricia is even on board with the idea?
Let me tell you, that kid, she has really turned over a new leaf. If only someone had given her a shiny, new pretty sooner. Am I right? She and Kara are like two peas in pod now. Kara says she’s like the little sister she never had, which is weird considering she’s her aunt and a ghost, but stranger things, right?
So, enough about all that, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. I mentioned at the end of my last post how I had figured out I could use my talent to find more than just everyday items. Followed by a statement about helping anyone find things, just to let me know and all that. Well to be perfectly frank, I kinda made that declaration in jest. I know, assy move. It’s not that I don’t want to help you guys, but after the locket debacle, I really just wanted to stick to finding mundane stuff. I said what I did, just trying to be nice since you put in the time and effort to read my post, but like Jeff Goldblum said, “Life finds a way.” Let’s just say it found a way to bite me in the ass for making false statements, and it used my sweetheart Kara to do it.
Apparently, she’s on reddit too, and she has a huge following. Well, long story short, Kara came across my post, and not only took my words to heart, but thought it was really sweet how I put myself out there like that to help people. Then, supportive gf and all, she went on to share my post with all of her reddit friends and followers, FB friends, and well you can see where this is going.
When Kara told me what she had done, and how proud of me she was, I didn’t have the heart to tell her I was only being nice, so I sucked it up, owned my mistake, and here we are; a second post. That’s right, I have more scary shit to tell, and guess what? It’s a camping story.
I will put this out here right now, I am not an outdoors kind of guy. I respect the outdoors, and people that are outdoorsy, but it isn’t for me. As you know, I recently found out that ghosts are real, and if they are real, there is no telling what the hell else is real, especially in the outdoors.
So, a few days ago, Kara caught me in the break-room at work. She was smiling really big and looked kind of excited, so it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. She has a great smile by the way. She told me she had some good news. I asked her what it was, and when she told me, let’s just say my warm fuzziness disappeared pretty damn quickly.
She told me she has a friend on reddit named Dale, and he owns a public campground a couple of hours away. Before she could go any farther, I told her no way I don’t do camping or anything else in the out of doors.
“But Babe, I love camping,” she said all doe-eyed. “Besides, Dale needs you to help him find something.” I looked at her with my best “do I have to” face, but her expression told me this was an argument I wasn’t going to win. I let out a big sigh. “Okay, what does he need me to find?” Victorious, she smiled wryly. “He said he would fill us in when we got there this weekend.”
Word of advice for all of you guys out there, stay single, women can be trouble.
I stuck my tongue out her and went back to my desk.
In all honesty though, I wasn’t mad at Kara for pushing me to help Dale. She is one of the best people I know, and as I’ve said before, I would do anything for her. Besides, who could stay mad with that amazing smile of hers, I’m just saying.
Saturday morning, I pulled up in front of Kara’s house. As I got out of the car, I noticed Aunt Patricia looking down at me from one of the second-floor windows. We waved to one another, and I headed up the walk and went inside.
Kara was in the kitchen making coffee, and she was in full blown camping mode. She wore a pair of khaki shorts that were rolled up at the legs, and what I can say was the most disturbingly, appropriate t-shirt I could have imagined for a camping trip; a Camp Crystal Lake counselor shirt.
She greeted me with a kiss. “Morning handsome. You ready for your first camping trip?” she asked.
“Not particularly,” I told her. “Interesting wardrobe choice by the way.” She grinned maliciously. “I thought you would appreciate the humor of my shirt.” I rolled my eyes. “I swear, if your friend mentions anything about looking for missing campers in the deep, dark woods, I’m out.” “Poor guy,” Kara said with a pouty face. “I’ll protect you from the big, bad monsters in the woods.” She busted out laughing. I just stood there mentally updating the list of deal breakers for my next girlfriend.
Before long, we had the car loaded and were on our way to Dale’s campground. It was our first extended car ride, and it was a blast. We spent a while playing Guess That Tune. For anyone that has seen Twilight Zone: The Movie, just know, our game at least, didn’t end with a horrible death, just Kara winning nearly every round. Besides playing car games, we found we both have a passion for car karaoke, and just so you know, I’m the better singer.
Around noon, we arrived at our destination. I took one look at the sign and shook my head; it read Crazy Acres Camping. Kara, on the other hand, was amused and said she thought it was a cute name. The thing ladies think are cute, I swear.
We drove down a winding, tree-lined road and parked in front of a rustic looking building. The sign hanging above the door read Camp Office. Kara and I were just getting out of the car, when a man rode up on a four-wheeler.
He was in his early to mid-fifties, and he wore the quintessential camp uniform: boonie hat, khaki shorts, and olive drab polo with the camp name on the pocket. “If this wasn’t Dale,” I thought. “I would eat tree bark.” The man dismounted and held out his hand. “Afternoon folks. Thanks for coming. I’m Dale.”
Nailed it.
We both shook hands with him, and then he showed us into the office. The inside was just as rustic as the outside, and the walls were adorned with all sorts of woodsy items, the grandest of all being a massive moose head mounted above the desk.
Being a reddit friend, Kara and Dale only had a passing acquaintance, so we spent the first little while making general chitchat. Dale was obviously a nice guy, and he exuded a sort of crazy uncle vibe. Who doesn’t love a crazy uncle?
The property had been in Dale’s family for a long time, but it wasn’t until he took it over, that it became a public campground.
“I grew up loving the woods, and loving camping,” he told us. “It was only natural for me to share that love with as many people as I could.” Kara said she understood completely, but I didn’t get it at all. I guess I was just too fond of AC and indoor plumbing. There was a little small talk, then we got down to brass tacks.
Over the last couple of months, Dale had received numerous reports from campers who had things come up missing from campsites in a certain area of the grounds. It started out as food, which wasn’t too out of the ordinary due to the amount of wildlife in the surrounding woods. “Raccoons can be some damn crafty SOBs,” Dale told us. Then things escalated. Entire coolers filled with food, drinks, etc. started disappearing, and after that, everything from hammocks, sleeping bags, water containers, and even tents themselves joined the growing list of missing things.
“Beat any damned thing I ever saw,” Dale finished, leaning back in his chair. “But that’s still not the worst of it. There used to be rumors of a hermit living in the deep woods around here. Well about a week ago, I made the mistake of mentioning this to my assistant manager, Rick, and being the great woodsman, he sees himself as, the damned fool decided he would go looking for the ole bastard. Ricks an okay guy, but he’s young and full of himself, and he knows about as much about surviving in the woods, as I do about being a brain surgeon.” “Did he find anything?” Kara asked Dale. The man took off his hat and rubbed the top of his head. “Well let’s just say Rick’s been added to that list of things that have gone missing around here,” he said wringing his hat in his hands. “And if I don’t find him, who knows what will happen to this place.
Kara and I looked at each other. I was getting a sinking suspicion that I knew what it was I was here to find.
“What exactly is it you want me to find Dale?” I asked him hesitantly.
He laid his hat on the desk. “If you can, I would like for you to find my missing employee, and maybe while you’re at it, find where all the missing stuff is going.” I looked at the man then looked at Kara. Her eyes told me she understood exactly what I was thinking. This was far beyond anything I had ever done with my talent, and I had to be honest with Dale.
“Look Dale, I want to help you, but I don’t think you really understand what it is I do,” I told him. “I find lost wallets, misplaced jewelry, or other random items for people, and the only time I have ever looked for anything outside, was when my cousin lost his wedding ring in the back yard while he was ogling the neighbor’s wife while she was sunbathing, which is a whole story in and of itself by the way. The point is, I think this is a job for law enforcement, not an office worker with a talent that is probably more luck than anything.”
The poor man still just sat there looking at me with his hopeless expression. “That’s the thing Jack, the cops are just as baffled as I am, and some of them are better in the woods than me. I’m at the end of my rope here, and if you say your talent is just luck, well I can use a little bit of that right now.”
I didn’t really know what else to say. I felt for the guy. I really did, but I wasn’t sure if I could help him, and God only knows I wanted to. In the end, it came down to two things. One, there was a person lost in the woods, or worse dead. Not only did Dale need to know where Rick was and if he was ok, but the same went for Rick’s family. The second this was I didn’t want to disappoint Kara. She had thought enough of me and my talent, to shout it to the extremes of the internet, and I had step up for her.
“Alright Dale, I’ll give it a shot, but I can’t promise you anything,” I told him. He considered this for a moment. “Fair enough,” he said finally. “I can live with that.”
He pulled out a map of the grounds and showed us where everything had been happening. The vastness of the area only added to my despair, but I pushed the thought out of my mind. After we finished studying the map, Dale mentioned that it would probably be a good idea for us to setup camp in the affected area, so that maybe the thief would make an appearance, being that we would be the only campers in the vicinity.
With a game plan made, Kara and I headed back to the car, and drove to the site Dale had picked out for us. “I’m sorry I got you into this,” she told me. “If I had known what this was all about, I would never have let it get this far.” I smiled at her. “Don’t worry about it, Kara,” I said to her squeezing her hand. “There’s nothing for you to be sorry about. Besides, it’s not that I don’t mind helping Dale, I am just unsure of my ability to do it.” “I believe in you Jack,” she reassured me. “I know you’ll do your best.”
We arrived at the campsite a few minutes later, and I was surprised to see something at least was in my favor. Instead of a tent, Dale had set us up with a small cabin. We parked the car, and got out to inspect our accommodations for the night.
The structure wasn’t much bigger than a large tent, but it was hardened on three sides, with the fourth side being mostly screen. Inside were two cots and hanging from the ceiling, was a gas lantern. “This doesn’t look so bad,” I said looking around the cabin. Kara grinned, “I’ll remember that statement when you need to use the bathroom tonight and have to walk out into the woods.” I looked at her with disdain while she laughed like a mad woman.
We finished unpacking the car and setup a late picnic lunch. Once we were done eating, we began searching the woods in the immediate vicinity of camp.
I tried to be thorough, but there was just too much area, and everything looked the same. After a couple of hours, I was beginning to feel like all I was doing was wasting time. I sat down on a fallen long.
“This is no use,” I told Kara exasperated. She sat down next to me. “You can do this Babe,” she said putting her arm around me. “Trust me and believe in yourself. I believe in you.” She leaned in to kiss me, and as I leaned in to meet her, I saw it.
It was a faint trail beaten into the forest floor. “I think I have something,” I said excited. “Look.
I pointed to the trail. “Jack you did it,” she said kissing me. I have said before that I feel like my talent is more luck than anything, this was why. I would have never seen the trail if I hadn’t sat down on the log.
We inspected the trail for a few minutes. In one direction, it led back towards camp, and we were both fairly confident that this was the trail the thief had been using to get to the campground.
We followed the trail deeper into the woods. After another little while, we came to a massive cliff face.
“Looks like the end of the road,” Kara said looking up at the top of the cliff. It went off in both directions for as far as we could see, and rose above of us at least sixty feet straight up. There didn’t look to be many handholds, so climbing it was out of the question. “Let’s look around,” I said. “Maybe we’ll get lucky again.”
We started down one direction, finding nothing but sheer rock on one side, and forest on the other. After a while, we went back the other direction and it wasn’t much better. My lifted spirits from my discovery of the trail, were starting to crash and burn.
I picked up a stone. “Damnit,” I yelled as I hurled it at the rocky face of the cliff. It hit with a loud report. “Is someone out there?” a faint voice called.
Kara and I looked at each other with wide eyes. “Did you hear that?” we both asked in unison. “Hello out there,” came the voice again. “I need help.” The voice was coming from a little further up the way. “Hold tight,” I called back. “We’re coming.”
We followed the sound of the voice, and after a couple of minutes, we arrived at a large group of boulders, bunched at the foot of the cliff. “Hello, we’re here,” Kara called out. “Where are you?” “In the cave,” the voice replied. “You have to climb up and over the boulders. The entrance is behind them.”
“Maybe you should wait right here,” I told Kara. “That way, if someone really does live here, you can keep a lookout for them.” She shook her head. “What if you need me?” she asked. “I’ll call you, but until then, stay here and keep watch. I would hate to be blindsided by some creepy ass mountain man.” She sighed, disappointed. “Alright, but be careful.” I kissed her, then climbed up the boulders.
Once on top, I saw that there was a hollow space behind the rocks along with the entrance to the cave. It was almost like someone placed the boulders there to purposely hide the cave from passers-by. I climbed back down and approached the entrance. It was dark as shit in there, and I hadn’t even thought to bring a flashlight. The light on my crappy iPhone would just have to do. I turned it on and entered the darkness.
I walked for about a minute when I started to come across empty food wrappers, then as I entered a large chamber, I found the rest of the missing hoard of camping items. “Holy shit!” I exclaimed looking at it all. Dale sure wasn’t kidding when he said a lot of stuff had went missing. “Hey over there,” the voice said. “Get me out of here.”
I walked to where the voice was. There was another chamber, but the entrance was blocked off by a large rock. “Please tell me you’re Rick?” I said to the man behind the rock. “Yeah,” he said. “It’s me. You search and rescue?” I grinned. “Something like that. How in the hell did you get in there?” “Damned bitch grabbed me while I was in the woods, then trapped me in here. Look man, if I were you, I would make this quick. If she comes back and finds you here, there’s no telling what she’ll do.”
I used the phone’s light to survey the rock. While I did this, I wondered who the “she” was that had brought Rick here. “I might be able to tip this rock over, but I am going to need help,” I told him. “Hold on.”
I dialed Kara. Considering I was in a cave, the call surprisingly connected. I told her the situation, and she said she was on her way. In the meantime, I would try to get some more answers from Rick.
“So, you’re telling me some lady abducted you and trapped you in this cave? You sound like a pretty big guy based on Dale’s description of you. She must have been some woman.” Rick chuckled. “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you. How much longer till your friend gets here. I really would like to be gone before she comes back.” “She should be here soon,” I told him.
Shortly, I heard footsteps coming from the entrance of the cave. “I’d say you found the missing stuff.” Kara’s voice said from behind us. Look at all this shit. Is that Rick?” “Yes it’s me,” the voice on the other side of the rock said impatiently. “Now can we move this thing? I’m telling you guys, we do not want to be here when she comes back.” Kara looked at me with one eyebrow raised. “She? Who is she?” I shrugged. “That’s what I’ve been trying to find out.” “Guys please. Can we do this already?” “Right,” I said. “We need some rope or something to put around the top of the rock.” “I got you,” Kara said.
In a moment she returned with a length of tie down strap. I positioned it around the top of the rock and Kara and I pulled both ends tight. “Okay, we’ll pull, and you push Rick,” I called. “Hopefully this works. On the count of three, one, two, three.” We pulled hard. At first there didn’t seem to be any movement, but then it started to tip. “It’s going,” Rick shouted. “Hope you guys are out of the way.” We let go of the strap and moved out of the way of the falling rock.
Rick’s large frame crawled out of the opening and joined us. In the light from the phones, I could see his clothes were fairly ragged, and he looked like he’d had his ass kicked. “A woman did that to you?” Kara asked him. “Later,” Rick told her. “Let’s go ASAP.”
We turned to leave the cave, but were stopped dead in our tracks. Rick’s mystery “she” stood there blocking our way.
Rick had said I wouldn’t believe him about his captor, and as I stood there looking at the huge, hair covered, seven foot tall figure, I wasn’t sure to feel disbelief, or just be plain scared shitless. “Are you fucking kidding me?” Kara said from beside me. “It’s an effin sasquatch.” It was an effin sasquatch, and she looked pissed off. “Oh shit,” Rick said. The creature roared with rage. Yep, she was definitely pissed.
I didn’t have a clue what to do here. I had just barely found out ghosts were real, and at least there was a way to reason with a ghost, but there didn’t appear to be any reasoning with this thing. She just stood there roaring. “Rick, you’ve spent some time with her, what do we do?” Kara asked him. Rick scoffed. “Look at me. Does it look like we had afternoon tea and shit?” Rick was right. He looked more like he’d been worked over by madam big-foot.
Despite the seriousness of the situation, the thought of a big burly guy like Rick getting man handled by a female sasquatch, was kinda funny. She probably just wanted some loving, and he was the closest thing she could find to mister big-foot, but before I could ponder on the image any further, the lady of the hour picked up a cooler and hurled it at us. The three of us scrambled out of the way of it, and beer, lunch meat, pickles, etc. went everywhere.
“She’s acting like a crazy ex-girlfriend,” Kara yelled. “What’s her problem?” I looked in Kara’s direction. I have always heard women see things that men don’t sometimes, and what she had just said, made me return to my previous thought. I had thought it a funny joke that Rick had been the victim of a lonely, amorous lady-squatch, but what if that was exactly the case?
“Rick,” I yelled at him. “Was she violent with you from the beginning?” He didn’t answer at first. “You know,” he said. “She started off nice, hugging on me and rubbing me like I was a damned dog or something, but it was when I tried to leave, that she got mad and locked me up. I figured she was trying to keep me as a pet.” I shook my head. Dale was right about Rick. He didn’t know crap about the outdoors, but apparently he didn’t know crap about women either. “She wasn’t trying to make you her pet you nimrod,” I yelled at him. “She was trying to mate with you.”
It must have taken a moment for this to sink in for Rick, because it was a good bit before he responded. “You mean she wanted to screw me?” he asked shocked. “That’s exactly what he’s saying,” Kara told him. “And apparently she didn’t take rejection very well.” “That’s the understatement of the year,” he said.
I couldn’t believe we were having this conversation right now. A pissed off ape lady was about to rip us all to pieces, and we were discussing domestic issues, but something was coming to me. “I think I have a plan,” I said. “Rick, since she sees you as her boy toy, we’ll try and get her attention long enough for you to get by her. Then once you do it, get her attention and see if she will follow you out. After that, we’ll leave. Once everyone’s out of the cave, maybe we can all make a run for it.”
“I don’t know if I like that idea,” he said. “She’s pretty quick.” “Well hopefully your desire to not play sugar daddy for a sexually frustrated big-foot for the rest of your life, will cause you to be quicker,” I told him. “It’s all I got so take it or leave it.” Rick thought on it. “Fine,” he said finally. “Let’s do it.”
I found Kara’s hand, and squeezed it. “Ready?” I asked her. She laughed nervously. “Not really,” she said. “But what can you do?”
Together we approached the creature, yelling and screaming at her. I hoped the creature wouldn’t kill us, but luck was on our side. She turned her full attention on us and moved to meet our approach. As planned, this opened up things up for Rick to be able to get around her, but that’s where the plan went to shit.
Instead of getting around the creature and gaining her attention so that he could lead the sasquatch away from us, Rick just bolted. The big-foot took one passing glance at him, and returned her focus on us, me in particular. “What the hell?” I asked Kara. “Why isn’t she following him?” “I think we screwed up,” she replied. “She saw Rick run away like a coward, and because you showed aggression to her, she’s decided you’re the better mate.”
I just stared at her, jaw on the floor. “What can I say?” she said to me. “She has good taste.” I personally didn’t see any humor in the situation, but we had to get away, and I think I knew what to do. “Kara, you said she was acting like a crazy ex, well let’s play that up. I’ll give her what she wants, and then you play crazy new girlfriend and confront her.” She looked at me skeptically. “How is that supposed to work?” she asked. “She could use me as a toothpick. How am I going to intimidate her?” I smiled at her. “You’ve been possessed by an angry ghost, and let me tell you, if you had any cognizance during that, you know how to be intimidating.” Kara rolled her eyes. “I’m not too sure about this, but I’ll try.” I smiled at her. “You can do it, besides the worst case scenario is I live in a cave for the rest of my life and learn to braid sasquatch hair.” Kara was still not amused. “Well here goes,” I said.
I approached the creature. “Hey sweetheart, I’m Jack. Aren’t you a gorgeous lady?” The big-foot looked at me confused, then she looked back at Kara and uttered a warning grunt. I motioned for Kara to stay back. “Don’t worry about her darling, you’re the one I want.” I was now standing within arm’s reach of the sasquatch. She looked at me, still unsure. “Come on, it’s okay. I just want to give you a big ole hug.” I reached out and put my arms around her. She stiffened at first, but then she relaxed and put her arms around me. She started making a cooing sound as she stroked my back. I patted her back in return. “You’re so sweet,” I told her with my best lovey voice.
For all of you that have seen Harry and the Hendersons, this must sound funny as hell, but it was freaking terrifying. One wrong move, and this furry lady could squash me like a bad zit, but I kept up the act. I should have gotten an Oscar for my performance. I had her eating out of my hand. Now it was time for Kara to join the show. I gave her a thumbs up.
“Get your hands off of him you hairy BITCH,” she yelled from behind me. The lady-squatch raised her head in Kara’s direction, making a confused sound. “You heard me,” she yelled at us. “He’s mine.”
Something whizzed over my head, hit the creature between the eyes, and fell to the floor. It was an unopened beer. The creature touched its head, looked down at the can, then looked back at Kara. She roared as she threw me aside, then stormed off towards my girlfriend. I looked at Kara. I could see the terror in her eyes, but there was also determination. She threw another beer at the sasquatch. It hit her in the chest and fell to the floor, exploding from impact with the ground. The sudden bursting of the beer surprised the creature and she stumbled backwards, falling over the scattered camping gear. I used the opportunity to grab Kara and we started for the cave exit.
The big-foot roared with fury, got to its feet, and began to come after us. As hard as she could, Kara threw her last beer at the creature’s feet. Its explosion drove the sasquatch back once again as we made the exit. Without even skipping a beat, we scaled the boulders and jumped off the other side.
We continued running in the direction of the campground, but I took a moment to look back. I know, this goes against everything they teach you in horror movies, but I had to.
She stood on top of the rocks watching our escape, and I swear she had a look of sorrow on her face. I have to admit, I felt bad for her. She was just a lonely creature who wanted a companion. I felt the same way before I started dating Kara, although I would have never abducted someone, but hey I’m not a sasquatch either.
Needless to say, she didn’t follow, and when we eventually got back to the campground, Dale and Rick were waiting on us.
“Glad to see you guys got out,” Rick said to us grinning. “No thanks to you,” Kara told him. She looked at Dale. “Your assistant here took the first chance he got, to escape, rather than help us all get away. We could’ve been killed by her.” Dale turned to Rick. “What’s she talking about?” he asked him. Rick shook his head. “They’re just mad I made it out before they did.” I couldn’t believe this guy. “No, we’re mad because we saved your ass from being a lifetime concubine to a horny ape woman, then left us there to deal with her once you had your chance to bolt.”
Rick scoffed. “Whatever,” he said. “You weren’t the ones that spent days trapped in a cave by a damned monster. What did you expect me to do?”
“That’s enough,” Dale said before I or Kara could say anything in response. “Rick, get your shit together and leave my property. These good folks put their lives on the line to help me, not to mention save your ass, and you didn’t even have the decency to stick by them when they needed you. I want you gone now.” Rick threw his hands up. “Fine, I didn’t need this job anyway,” he said.
We watched as he walked to his truck and sped off, slinging gravel. After a minute, we went with Dale back to his office and told him the whole story. “I just can’t believe it,” he said. “My daddy always said they were real, but we all just thought he was about halfway crazy. Question is, what am I going to do about her?” I looked at Kara, who shrugged. She wouldn’t be any help with this, so I stepped out on a limb.
“I don’t think she wants to hurt anyone,” I said. “She’s just lonely. Maybe you should make friends with her.” They both looked at me like I was crazy, but I pushed on. “For whatever reason, she’s alone in this area, and being alone sucks for anyone, man or sasquatch. I think she started taking things out of hunger at first, then out of curiosity. As far as Rick goes, he’s a big hairy guy, she just mistook him for one of her own kind. So take her a gift once in a while and make friends with her. Eventually, maybe she can become a valuable asset to your campground.” Dale thought it over for a moment. “Well I guess it’s worth a shot,” he said. “Anything is better than having to close this place down.”
With things settled, Kara and I left the office to go back to our campsite. We spent the rest of the evening enjoying the great outdoors, and that night we did a fair amount of star gazing. Other than our brush with the lady-squatch, I could see what Kara loved so much about camping. There’s a lot of beauty out there.
On the ride home the next morning, we played more car games, sang, and laughed about our time with the hairy woman of Crazy Acres Camping. Kara said she was looking forward to the next camping trip, and that with my talent, there was no telling what we would find next time. I laughed and told her I planned to stick to finding the easy stuff from here on out, but as I have said in the past, I think my days of finding the easy things, are over.
My name is Jack, and I find things. Key’s, jewelry, the occasional ghost, even a sasquatch, I find it all, but this time I found out I kinda like camping. Yeah I know, who would have thought.X
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2020.09.08 16:47 SnapSocialGuru Full Permission: The Communication Style Needed in Dating

Note: I originally published this on the Socialite Magazine newsletter, but I'll continue to post the articles here for your usage. Enjoy and AMA!
I received this question via email about how to get out of the friendzone. I was chatting with one of my “natural” friends about the question yesterday and he mentioned that he NEVER has this problem anymore.
Meaning, this issue is easy to overcome and within your grasp you master.
Let me share the answer with you. And from there, I’ll share the conversation with my buddy (we recorded it) because there’s some gold in there.
Here’s the question I received via email:
I’m living in a big European city and as you probably know, there are dozens of pretty women / 10’s when you come to the bigger city. The problem is, is that I’m getting friendzoned by most of them, especially the ones I desire the most and connect with on a deeper level. I don’t know how to connect with these “10´s”. I’m the guy who always knows the best restaurants, can make every occasion a little bit more enjoyable by bringing board games, telling jokes, or cooking a delicious meal. I´m pretty confident that I have a great charisma hence I´ve been the president of my study association (something like a fraternity), but the problem is, is that it’s a friendly and not a sexy charisma.
The interesting part of “success with women” is that you can be a highly successful man in other aspects of life… And STILL, struggle with dating! You can be the President of your Fraternity, be funny, and have generally-good-confidence. But if you’re missing some of these key characteristics I’m about to mention, none of it matters.
It’s a communication style that requires practice and intentionality if you want to dominate and win every time (just as interview skills take practice or winning a negotiation takes rehearsals).
Getting friend-zoned can come down to many things. Perhaps too many to list in a single email.
But here are my thoughts on getting friend-zoned and how to avoid it…
  1. You're ugly, drastically out of shape, and unhygienic. Women don't place as much EMPHASIS on physical appearances as men do, but that doesn't mean you should look like a slob. Follow my buddy Manny on Twitter for more on this. He's the go-to expert. His Twitter username is @WellBuiltStyle.
  2. More important than looks is your ability to express yourself truthfully and face uncomfortable truths FEARLESSLY. Not just in dating… but in LIFE! What a lot of men do is "pussyfoot" around a serious topic or serious question. They're afraid of being brutally honest with their desires or attraction. Top casanovas understand how to express their interest. As a confident man, you should have no issue giving someone positive or negative feedback. Never be afraid to face the truth head-on. A lot of guys are intimidated by it. Be willing to face discomfort and be okay with it. Facing "uncomfortable truths" in Life makes a lot of people squeamish. What are the uncomfortable truths you’ve been avoiding or failing to address in your own life? Seriously, take the time to ponder this question and you’ll understand the message behind this bullet point.
  3. Zero "game". You don't know how to flirt, you don't know how to tease, and you don't know how to play with chemistry or sexual tension. You get nervous holding strong eye contact with a woman. Or the idea of approaching and flirting makes you sweat bullets. Guys with zero “game” tend to be overly logical. They ask too many questions (they treat dates like interviews). They're uninteresting and bland. This happens to me when I work 4-5 days straight without talking to anyone -- I hit the nightclub still talking in my professional tonality and business-speak (it’s as if I forget how to be fun and social, and I have to snap myself out of it). It's all about coming into an interaction with a fun, playful, confident, self-deserving vibe.
Attaining dating success takes a unique cocktail of personality characteristics. As does business success, right? In business, it pays to be confident, direct, concise, customer-oriented, professional, and timely.
But in dating, it's different. You have to be confident. You also have to be a little bit of a "jerk" or bad-boy with a playful, yet harmless tonality. All while being courteous, chivalrous, well-mannered, and well-spoken. It's this combination that makes you interesting. Take away some of these characteristics and your ability to seduce becomes limited.
But, MOST importantly, more important than ANYTHING I just mentioned…
…Is the worldview you hold about yourself, what you deserve, and how much FREEDOM you give yourself to EXPRESS!
A lot of "nice guys" or guys who fall into the "friendzone" lack that permission. They don't give themselves that freedom.
Top casanovas operate from a paradigm of FULL PERMISSION (while playing within the structure of what's socially acceptable and intelligent).
Are you giving yourself full permission? Or do you find yourself hesitating with your communication style and the DEGREE to which you allow self-expression?
That’s an answer only you know. Contemplate on that question for a couple of days.
Hope that helps.
-Laz
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2020.09.07 04:38 500scnds [Table] My name is Paolo Cattaneo. 5 years ago I quit my job, sold everything I had and embarked in a trip around the world on a motorcycle. Rode for almost 185000 km. Still going! Here to answer question about self sustained living on the road and long distance solo travelling. AmA! (pt 1)

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Questions Answers
How much does this lifestyle cost you on average? Obviously it will vary by location Since the most asked question will be probably this one, I decided to break it down mathematically so, hopefully, it would be more transparent for everybody.
I don't think I could summarize with an average how much I spent per month, since the delta from month to month was absolutely unpredictable. But somehow everybody seems to love maths so... There you go.
A couple of things first: 1) different countries have different cost for food, accommodation, fuel and spare parts so to make an average, it s actually quite hard. For instance, a country like Peru cannot be compared in terms of costs with a country like the Netherlands in all terms. 2) when I travel, I am not on vacation. Just because I visit places and don't work, doesn't mean I can afford things like people that go on vacation for 2 weeks. People on holidays usually maintain the same level of comfort they have at home, or even improve it, righteously spoiling themselves, for the few days they have off in a year. I do the exact opposite. I spoil myself by not having to go to work.
Hence, there are 3 major costs in travelling on a motorcycles are: 1) fuel and bike parts (tyres, oil, filters, etc) 2) accommodation 3) food
These are also in order of importance. Fuel and bike maintenance guarantees the continuity of the journey so, those have the absolute priority. Where I sleep or what I eat, do not matter much. I will survive whatever I eat and wherever I sleep. It's incredible what our body can do end endure.
After a year of travelling I found out that, because my life and routine changed completely, I didn't need 3 meals a day anymore. Removing 1 meal a day allowed me to save a lot of money in the long run. It is a sacrifice but it is doable and It is super practical. I also found fasting good for the mind.
Sleeping arrangements could also affect greatly on your expenditures so, depending on countries and weather conditions, I usually opt to sleep in my tent or in hostels. Sometimes I do couchsurfing or stay at other motorcyclists houses, friends, friends of friends, etc. I ve also slept at complete strangers houses that i met on the road and that were reaching out simply to help. It s unbelievable how many people, just want to give you a hand. It s impossible to explain it. You have to see it yourself to believe it.
The cheap hostel in Peru would cost $5-6 a night, while in the USA $25.
In this sense, I estimated an average of 10 USD a night for accommodation for and average of 20 days per month. Again, It is a rough estimate. Let s say the other 10 days I sleep at people's houses, or in my tent or couchsurfing (so at no cost). Foodwise I usually drink a coffee (I carry my own little Italian coffee machine) in the am, with a piece of bread or instant oatmeal. Then I ride the whole day and reach my destination at 4-5 pm. I then eat. I mostly eat vegetarian but i occasionally have meat. I mostly shop at cheap supermarkets or local markets. Vegetables are cheap and nutritious and available all over the world. And so is pasta and rice. This whole thing costs me let s say 10 USD a day.
So for Food and Accommodation I roughly spend 500 USD. Then there's fuel. Fuel costs can vary from country to country but, for the sake of it, let s put fuel price at 1.2 USD a liter (4.5 USD a gallon). My bike in standard riding conditions does 20km per liter of fuel. In 5 years I rode 180000 km. That's 36000 a year. That s 3000 a month. So 3000/20 = 150 liters. 150 x 1.2 = 180 USD
The grand total is 500+180= 680USD per month Let s put 100 USD in for extras and whatever. It's 780 USD a month, if you will. But trust me when I say that I think I spend less than that.
There you go.
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What is your coffee maker? Moka pot i'm guessing? I have a little Bialetti coffee machine, yes. :)
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Yeah, that confirms you are really Italian. So is my SO, and when we are traveling, she will start complaining about the bad coffee by the time we get to the airport 😄 I am Italian...but I'm also passed that point of complaining about food all the time! I learned to enjoy my meal...regardless. :)
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Any tips for the Bialetti? A neighbor gave me one and I used it with Café Bustelo and it was crazy stong, albeit not too bad. Use less coffee ground! 😅
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If you saved 40k, are you down to very little money now? I'm just thinking it's been 5 years, and I imagine you've had some unexpected expenses that would have your average end up being relatively accurate on aggregate, even if you typically spend less in a month. At $700 per month, you would be out of money. And even just the plane tickets from Australia to starting point and from somewhere to Greece where you say you were during Covid is a couple months of your budget I'd imagine. Yes, i had some unforeseen expenses. But luckily I also had a lot of help from people giving me shelter and food. In that sense I didn't spend all my money in food and accommodation but for the sake of average expenses I had to calculate it that way. In greece i found a job as volunteer in exchange of accommodation. That saved me 3 months of rent. Things like this cannot be included in average. I simply did the math to make people understand how much would it cost if life on the road would be without variables. There are too many to be considered.
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Even if it's only 600 at month, you have been riding around for how long? It seems hard to think you saved so much and you are still using the money you saved. Is anyone helping you financially? I swear...i am using my money. 😅👍 It s hard to imagine how cheap it is to live frugally...if you renounce to most comforts we have in life. But I wouldn't mind now to have a benefactor(s) and sleep in a comfy bed or have a nice meal for a change.
Does it not worry you how you might have exhausted your financial resources by the time you want to return? What do you think life after this would be like? I hope I don't sound rude; just trying to understand how you are managing your life. What you are doing is absolutely amazing; I'd love to travel too but I am not rich either, and the thought of ending up penniless by the time I am 30 terrifies me. Hey, it's a completely plausible question and I am happy to answer that. Quitting your job, your financial stability, selling everything you have, saying goodbye to everybody and ride off...it is a "liberating" experience. In this sense, all the fears you mentioned are gone or somehow abandoned, the moment you decide to go for it! I have no fear of what lies in front of me because the mental step that I took years ago, required me to go beyond exactly this mental gap of "jumping into the unknown". Financially speaking, yeah, i don't like to have no money aside...but also, I know that I will do something about it (like finding a new stimulating gig) when the time comes. When I found myself locked in Greece during the pandemic, I couldn't really foresee what would have happened in the next months. Surely paying rent for months and being confined in an apartment wasn't ideal so I looked for volunteering jobs. Found one that allowed me to stay in an apartment for free in exchange of 3 hours of work per day. My point is that, adaptation is a key skill that I got to develop thanks to this experience on a motorcycle. I will take care of the my retirement plan, when time comes.
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Thanks for the answer. That's a wonderful perspective. I guess your anxiety lessens once you realize how capable you are of adapting to different situations, which I'm sure you must have had to do a bunch of times since you started. You are amazing, thanks for the inspiration :) It's incredible how inclined we are to adapt, If we simply...TRY ! I never thought I would be able to do a lot of things I am doing today. I just gave it a try...failed...and tried again. I did learn, by simply trying. And I'm clearly not the sharpest tool in the shed.
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I feel like you cloud start vlogging your journeys, and form a Patreon to fund it. You've seen lots of fun things, and will see more. Yes. At the beginnings I started blogging but then I realized that it would have turned my trip into a job again...so i left the monetization of my journey aside. I just quit my job to travel and enjoy my life. Didn't want to think about money again! Patreon seem good but I haven't really found the guts to ask money to people...yet. When I ll be in need maybe i will!
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In no way am I trying to attack you or diminish your extraordinary feat; just the fact that you had the courage to take the first step gives me crazy respect for you. BUT. There is so much privilege needed to get to where you have gotten. Not financial privilege mind you, you've worked your arse off to get here. But the fact that you could somehow travel to and stay in the US (for 3 years!) and then Australia without really thinking twice tells me your white skin and European passport has played a huge role in your mental safety net. As a coloured man with a shitty passport, just getting a visa to fly somewhere would be a huge fucking deal. Add to that the racism I'd face in plenty of places around the world, yeah not happening haha. You are absolutely right, my friend. I do understand that the fact that I am white and that I have an EU passport helped me A LOT. I am absolutely aware of this and I am not so naive to think that most of the times I got away with many things because of this. Coming from other countries or being a different colour could unfortunately still play a role, these days, when moving from country to country. Said this, I got denied my entrance to USA few times anyway. They are quite strict in that sense. But it always depends on the customs officer you find at the time of entry. Anyway. I get your point. Although, it's not a definite factor for your will to travel. You can still do it.
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I love everything you're doing and have spent the last hour just reading your answers. I don't think you're answering anymore but... Do you have any plans of coming to India? I hope I get to meet you if you do come. Hey! Of course i have plans for India! Hopefully the covid will end soon! It all depends on that now
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You can write blogs, and make YouTube videos to sustain your adventures! I am sure many of us would like to see your journey. I got few videos on youtube but i never really invested too much time (clearly) in that. Maybe I should
I always hear about people "giving up everything" and traveling the world. However, most people have worries about their economic status. Can you speak to yours at the point when you embarked? How much money had you saved, did you have any debt, what did you do with your belongings (Were there things you stored somewhere because you did want to sell or get rid of them? Did you pay for storage?), did you create a plan to generate additional income (e.g., plans for side jobs while traveling), and have you thought how to re-integrate into the "working world" when your traveling concludes (or are you hoping YouTube, etc. supports you)? Thanks! So, I started saving money when I moved to Australia. In 5 years I rounded up $40k more or less. I had no debts and, regardless the bank offering me "super interesting" offers about Credit Cards or Mortgages to buy properties, I didn't end up getting in debts with any banks. I also avoided kids and wives. I was renting an apartment and sharing it with a friend. When I decided to leave I sold all my furnitures on Gumtree (local Craigslist) and donated all my clothes to Salvation Army (Goodwill). I had no belongings left except what I piled on the bike when I left. And few months in I also realized that I didn't even need some stuff that I brought along. I did quit my job with no plans to work while travelling. I wanted, for the first time in my life, have a moment to simply ENJOY THE MOMENT without thinking about work and life as I knew it. I wanted to experience freedom, without the burden of thinking about my future constantly and what's going to happen next. I was raised with this mental construct too, so to break free from that was indeed liberating. I do not know how is going to be when this part of my life ends. If I have to go back to work, I will. But with a different heart and mind.
How did you manage it, physically? I find that my legs, back, bottom and body ache after just a few hours of riding (3+ hours), and this gets worse and worse over time (6+ hours, etc). Even on a comfortable touring motorcycle, I can’t imagine riding continuously for weeks or months at a time. Yes. Physically was challenging indeed. I had to replace my seat because the was no more foam inside. It was like sitting on a stool. Back and arse are the worst affected areas. I rode with a bit of a windscreen, so that helped to ease some of the neck pain. Luckily I had some physical conditioning to start with, but eventually I got out of shape. But, like everything in life, we eventually get used to it.
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How many hours do you ride a day? It really depends. When I do ride, let's say that is a minimum of 1 and a half to 13 hours.
Could you maybe do a "what's in my bag"-post, show us the gear, tools and clothing you use and talk a bit about why you chose what? Ok.
Pannier 1 Camping Gear: - Sleeping bag - Air mattress - 3 people tent (I'm a tall guy) - $20 cooking pot set - propane gas tank - pocket knife - foldable chair - water bladder
Pannier 2 Electronics and knick knacks: - 11" laptop - 2 hard drives (backup!!!) - Chargers - portable tyre compressor - spare oil filter - spare front tube - cable ties - duct tape - bungee cords - first aid kit - spare bolts and screws
Tool bag - various moto tools
Duffle bag: - Clothes (various)
Tank Bag: - Drone - Toothbrush - Notepad - Small Lock - Pen
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Did you have any problems with the drone? I remember you told me once on instagram that you planned on visiting Azerbaijan but couldn’t because Azerbaijan closed all the borders. Let me warn you that if you decide to come when borders reopen, know that drones are illegal here. Retarded law I know but you really cannot do anything about it because it is highly enforced. Probably you can give it up in customs and pick it up when you leave Nicaragua is the same. They don't allow drones in their country. I had to send it to costa rica via mail.
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Traveling without a Leatherman. I can't believe it. It s listed. "Pocked knife" ;) You are right...i should have said Leatherman
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What drone do you have? DJI mavic Air.
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I have a CB600F I've fitted panniers to and can't fathom how you got all that camping stuff into one pannier, your packing skills must be sick I got some pretty roomy panniers too. Giant Loop is actually a company from Oregon, USA that makes these spectacular bags. Www.giantloopmoto.com I ve been riding with their products for years now.
Well nobody has asked it yet.. How did you self sustain yourself for so long? I understand everything is cheaper in South America but you also went through North America. In north America, specifically in USA, I had some friends that helped me finding accommodation along the way. I also wild camped a lot. Froze my arse up couple of nights too... But It's doable in Canada and USA since the land is so vast and you can always find a place to pitch your tent in safety.
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See my trouble always begins when I pitch a tent I used to be the same, mate!
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Maybe I'm just jaded but I don't know of anywhere you can just pitch a tent and sleep in the woods. Everywhere I've ever been camping there's an 80 dollar fee and you get a designated campground. Download iOverlander.
Hi, sorry if this is a personal question, but how often did you get laid? Do cultural differences play a role? Personal question, but interesting nonetheless. Thanks for asking "sensibly".
When travelling from town to town it's easy to meet people. The common Idea is that travellers get laid a lot. Unfortunately, in my case, I do not go out much when I travel, so my social encounters are limited to the location where I end up spending the night. I also typically stay not longer than a day or two, which is also usually not enough to create a connection with a potential partner (in my case). A lot of women are indeed attracted by the "solitary wolf" riding a motorcycle around the world, but they are not generally inclined to have a one night experience. Hence, the answer to your question, is that I rarely get laid. Cultural differences are what make mating interesting though. One trait that is standard for your part of the world, could be extremely exotic in another. Sometimes even the accent in which you speak a foreign language, could be a favourable factor.
But at the end, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.
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Dai ammettilo che l'accento italiano aiuta. Storia interessante la tua. Ti auguro il meglio! Sorry guys.. Italian things going on here ( shakes hands in the air ) Un pochino aiuta! ;) cheers!
How did you deal with language barriers? In all latin america the most spoken language is Spanish. I struggled at the beginning but after the first month, I had a decent basic level that allowed me to communicate quite easily with the locals. In Brazil was hard again, since portuguese was completely new for me. But again, after 1 month I got used to it and I was able to have basic conversations. If you give yourself enough time, you'll pick up any language.
In other situations I used my english or sometimes, like recently in Greece, Google Translate. Works beautifully!
Is it true that Italian and Spanish go hand in hand? I had some friends from Mexico who were confident that they could pick up Italian if they lived in Italy and were forced to use it every day for a month or 2. There are different and discordant opinions about this. I personally believe that Italian and Spanish are VEEEEERY similar. I think that any spanish speaker could easily pick on italian if spending some time in the country. And viceversa. But I also met people that thought otherwise. Not sure why. It wasn't too complex for me to pick up spanish. Definitely not perfect, but way better than a native english speaker.
What was the coolest thing you saw? Hard to pinpoint one single thing. Saw so many incredible things in 5 years! Nature always strucks me the most. Some places leave you speechless. Some encounters too. But the coolest experience for me was to swim with marine wildlife in Australia and Ecuador.
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Hey I from Ecuador! Glad you enjoyed the wildlife. Can you elaborate on your experience there? Did you visit the Galapagos islands? Ecuador is hands down my favorite country...for its people, for nature, for food, roads...i mean, i had a fantastic time there. I also visited Galapagos and It was one of the highlights...of my life!! I mean...wow. simply incredible. If there was ever a place on earth close to Jurassic Park...
How does your license work? I mean if you have a drivers license in one country and you drive through multiple countries. What happens if you get pulled over? Having European or Australian driver license is sufficient to drive in most foreign countries. I do have an International Driver License, which is simply a piece of paper you can request from your local Automobile Club, that translates your license in many languages and which is helpful when finding an "scrutinous" policeman. At the borders they never check your driving license.
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What about the motorbike's papers? Did you need a carnet de passage ? And could you tell us about the shipping of the bike, plane or boat, expense, level of organisation needed? For the americas, you don't need CdP. The shipping of bike could be done by cargo ship or plane. Both are not cheap but quite feasible. There are agencies that usually take care of the paperwork for you. A simple google search could help you pinpoint some good info. Unfortunately because rules and prices change from country to country, prices have to be requested to the company you choose. It is usually around $1500 + to ship a motorcycle indicatively...for both sea or air freight.
Can you speak on your base knowledge of bikes at the start of your travels? I'm interested in purchasing a bike to cruise around America in once (if) this pandemic blows over. Did you ever have to do any emergency DIY work when you couldnt make it to a garage for professuonal repairs? First of all: DO IT!! it's an amazing experience. I had basic/zero motorcycle mechanical skills when I started. I often used youtube as a source of "inspiration". Now I rather do the job myself than taking my bike into a shop. If you are going to cruise around the US, you wont need to carry much spares, since you can buy and have most parts shipped wherever you are. Somehow even breaking down, if happens, is a great part of the overall adventure.
[deleted] I am not sure. Yet. Definitely the more I go on with this adventure (and life) the more I become aware of myself and my surroundings. I am looking forward to have somehow a peaceful life in harmony with my surroundings. Stress has been out of my life for a while now and I want to keep it this way. Don't have a family. Never had kids or wives. I think it's going to stay this way...but you never know.
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You've been doing this 5 years now. Do you feel the need to keep moving after you've been somewhere for a few days? How long is the longest you've been stationary since staring and did you ever feel like you wanted to get off the road for a longer time. Well...yes I always feel the need to see something more and explore. I get bored easily. But I have to say that during my Lockdown in Greece I was absolutely at peace. I really enjoyed my down time and i took advantage of it by taking care of many little things i left behind.
Did you tend to keep to yourself most of the time, or would you go out to meet people and socialize with the locals in the area? I am not really a "social beast" anymore. I socialize in hostels and when I look for food mostly...but I don't go out at night. That is quite personal, but I prefer a quiet night than pubs. This allowed me somehow to save a lot of money in the long run. I may have missed out in "social opportunities", but I prefer this way.
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But you did meet a lot of people right? Im not social at all and it keeps me from traveling, im afraid that it would ruin the experience if I dont click with anyone haha. You gave me some confidence this will be a smaller problem than I think it is. I am an introvert and generally speaking, kind of a geek. So yeah...not really the outgoing kind of guy...but, when travelling alone, you don't have that social pressure anymore. You are by yourself and there's nothing to tell you what you have or not have to do. you are free. And yes...you will meet tons of people!!
Where do you stay at (camping, airbnb, rental, etc) ? Where you get money from? What do you usually carry with you? What is you most essential item? Have you made many friends? I mostly stay in Hostels (when is cheap enough). In latin America, you can pay from $5-$10 for a night in a shared dorm. When in remote areas, I camp. Best thing ever. Otherwise I use Couchsurfing. Occasionally I stay with friends and/or other bikers that got to know my story and want to help out. I live off my own savings. Most essential Item is "Common sense". AKA try not to do extremely stupid things. :)
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How far do you usually have to plan ahead to find couchsurfing accommodations? The one thing that has deterred me from trying it out is that my motorcycle trips almost never stick to the schedule I have planned. Either due to unforeseen circumstances or maybe just deciding to ride around an area longer. Have you given people on CS a range of dates/times that you would arrive, or do you have to have your arrivals planned thoroughly? Yes, you usually have to investigate one or two weeks ahead to find accommodation with couchsurfing. Especially because I am a single guy. If i was a girl, i could find somewhere to sleep in few hours. Ahah. Oh well, women are less threatening i guess! ;) But yeah. You do need to check first and give a rough estimate of days of your permanence. Typically 2-3 days is the max. Then if both parties are ok, you can extend.
Have you ever done any housesitting for accommodation? I've done smaller trips like this, staying in hostels and campsites. I've heard of housesitting more recently and once I go again I'm thinking of trying it out. When looking at listings though it almost seems to good to be true. I just wonder if there is a catch to it I ve never done housesitting specifically. But I ve used HelpX, Workaway, woofing, etc to find occasional gigs that allowed me to get accommodation in return of small jobs. In Greece i stayed in a 9 apts complex on the beach by myself, in exchange of cleaning and painting! Great deal indeed
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If you were a woman, there would also be far more risks to couch surfing alone. I'd definitely prefer planning over higher risk of sexual assault. Women have more chances of getting hosted because there are a lot of women hosts too. Or couples. They are definitely more willing to host a woman. But i get your point
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Thanks, got another question. What is enough savings for a year in Latin America? well, it really depends of what kind of lifestyle you want. If you are ok sleeping in hostels every night and eating cheap market food...doesn't really take much! depending on which countries you want to visit too and how you want to move around! you can do it hitchhiking too if you want! and that won't cost you a thing! Just time!
How did you manage to not have your motorcycle stolen? Common sense. Mostly parked inside or in "safe areas" when possible. You can never be 100% sure but I never had issues of sort in my 5 years of travelling. Actually somebody stole my tool bag in Vancouver, Canada.
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As a Canadian id like to say “sorry”. apologies accepted! ;)
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As a Vancouverite, I'm not surprised. We have a large homeless population and they target anything they can find to steal and sell. It wasn't a homeless guy per se...was definitely a junkie. I went to Hastings street 3 days in a row to see if i could find my stuff...but it was gone. Bummer.
how were the first few months without the things that you were used to having? (sorry for the bad english, it isn't my main language) Your english is fine, mate! First month was HARD! 😅 I had never camped in my life and the longest moto trip I took by that time was only 350km. So yeah, in the beginnings the learning curve was steep! Basic things like "where to sleep at night every night" or "how to store food" were kind of abstract concepts for me. My first night camping was also my first night on the road. It was horrible. I paid so much money to camp in a so so campground, with noisy and drunk neighbors. It also rained at night. Haha An absolute fail! It got better and better with time. Also looking for food, packing and taking care of the bike. It was a full immersion in a brand new lifestyle for me. A great experience indeed
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Paolo, your first night camping sounds ... well, it sounds really terrible! I'm curious how you would compare that first inexperienced night with say... an average night camping somewhere, anywhere, I don't know... say 2-4 years later after having done it for a while. In which ways did that first inexperienced night of camping come to differ from your more seasoned camping night to night later on? What kinds of routines did you end up falling into on those nights that you picked up from years of experience having done it? Well...let's just say that my love for camping escalated quickly as well. I started camping in the wild...not in confined facilities, and I simply loved it. Sitting quietly in front of the fire at night, after a long day riding, watching the stars appear slowly in the sky... The silence. I learned that camping in a busy campsite, with kids screaming and music playing is not the kind of camping I was looking for. Surely is great for families, because usually it is a safe environment for kids to play in, but for solo travellers looking for some quiet downtime...it is not. Better to hide somewhere behind a tree or some bushes and have a quiet night with some privacy. Free of charge.
How badly do you stink? Joking of course, good luck with your adventures. If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? ;)
Not to be nosey but what would qualify as enough money to "sustain yourself for a while"? And how long do you consider that "a while" to be? I had no Idea how much It would cost me to live, travel and not work, since I had never done it before. But I knew how much It costed me to live in Sydney for a year, without any extras (just food, accommodation, rent and bills). I assumed initially that my trip around the world would have lasted a maximum of 1 year and a half. Was I wrong! I pretty much had saved $40k in 5 years of work.
Thanks for doing this! How much do you talk to strangers? I can imagine either being very sociable, or taking the opportunity to be more solitary. Also, when you were traveling the world, how specifically did you keep in contact with friends and family back home? Was one service/approach more effective than another? I love to talk with Locals!! It's the best thing! I love to talk with older people especially. They can really give you a better perspective about the place and overall more interesting stories about their lives. Sometimes there's a language barrier but I try regardless. Hostels are also a great place to meet friends and people from all over the world. Aside from this, travelling solo on a motorcycle or bicycle naturally attracts curiosity, so I also met some good friends of mine at gas stations or random rest areas in the middle of nowhere.
To keep in touch with family and friends nowadays is quite easy. Mobile data networks are excellent worldwide and you can buy local sim cards to use local carriers data traffic. I use whatsapp and fb messenger the most.
What kind of income are you receiving to sustain this lifestyle long-term? Living off my life savings. I am self supported. Just worked for few years, saving as much as I could and then took off.
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That sounds epic... Met a few guys like that, but never had the balls to do so myself. If you read this: how much of a mechanic are you? Do you do stuff yourself of do you bring your bike to the shop for maintenance/tires? At the beginning I wasn't really able to do much on my bike, except changing brake pads maybe. Then I tried and read forums online about troubleshooting...and of course youtube mate!! I tend to have a mechanic change my tyres, since it's a hell of a job and takes 4 minutes with proper machines. you can find tyre mechanics literally EVERYWHERE.
the below is another reply to the original answer
But, with the estimate you gave it would cost like 9k usd per year to maintain that lifestyle. You’ve been doing it for 5 years. I guess it’s hard for a lot of Americans to imagine saving up 45k+ in the few years that you worked. trust me, It's even harder for an italian to conceive to save up 40k in 5 years of work. Most italians will be able to save that amount maybe in 10-15 years. That's why I quit my job in italy and moved to Australia, where salaries are way higher. It's just sad that I had to leave my family, friends and country to be able to have a better life.
the below is another reply to the original answer
Why dont you try to register for welfare in Australia, and get the welfare cheques deposited into your account? I thought about it while riding around Australia. But I didn't find it fair. I mean, I wasn't in need of cash to sustain my living and there were probably people who seriously did. Plus I think you have to show up for interviews and stuff...so I preferred to let go.
OP, you're doing what I've dreamed of doing since I was about 21... I'm 32 now. I've saved a bit of money, and have no debt, and am still considering it... but feel as though it would be irresponsible at this point? shrugs I have a few questions, Ever considered staying at a spot for a few weeks and doing some manual labor for extra scratch to help you along in your travels? Ever had any problem with weird parasites in some of your rougher spots (scabies, bedbugs, intestinal issues) such as cheap hostels and whatnot? Since you don't go to bars or anything like that, what's the easiest way for you to meet new people? Ever felt any "I'm about to get robbed" vibes while on the road? Did you make rules like not traveling too late, etc.. I'm considering doing this very thing, since I make a good living but am already a minimalist and don't really need anything... I don't care about owning a house, or having nice clothes or any of that nonsense. I suppose it'd just be a drag to hit a dead end, have to return to the workforce after a few years of traveling and finding myself unable to secure a decent gig again. Anyways, if you've read this, thanks for your time and thanks for doing this AMA! Good luck man, and stay safe. Mate, when I left for my first trip around Australia, I was 34yo...so I completely understand where you are coming from. It take a bit of time to prepare and commit to this. I highly recommend it though. I stopped occasionally and did some jobs, yes, but were more like small temporary gigs...that paid maybe for a new set of tyres than anything. Still! Once I pressured washed mine trucks for a week in South Australia. Haha i was covered in mudd but I was happy. I also cleaned few apartments in greece in exchange of accommodation....things like that. Things will come your way if you look hard enough.
Didn't have any problems with bugs or parasites no. Got lucky on this one i guess. But i do believe I built my immune system pretty well.
The easiest way to meet people is in hostels. Being in your 30s you are already on the "old side" for a hostel, but you are still ok. ;) haha
Sometimes yes i felt i was going to get robbed or mugged...but never happened. I never travel with cameras and other expensive items with me. When i am on the bike, there s always the "surprise effect", meaning that people are more shocked to see somebody travelling solo than tempted to rob him right away.
How has the pandemic altered any future travel plans? The pandemic changed things quite drastically. A lot of other travellers I know got stuck somewhere or had to cancel their plans until further notice. Still not sure what to do in the long terms. Covid definitely made everything more unpredictable.
What are the cheapest and best places you would suggest a young person go visit? Also, just out of curiosity, when do you think you’ll stop? Well, there are plenty of great places to go explore on a tight budget. Latin America and South East Asia are generally speaking quite cheap. I would recommend Bolivia or Peru, in SA...and Cambodia in SEA. As a start...
I Hope I will be able to go on for few more years...but so far I am pretty content with what I've done already.
How do you overcomevia issues? I believe you referred to "Visa issues"?!
Well, having an Italian passport is quite handy since you get visa on arrival (valid for 1-3 months) as a tourist in most of the countries in the world. I had to request and pay for my Russian and Mongolian visa though. You can request that 1-2 weeks before entry in any available Embassy.
the below is a reply to the above
And what about other practical stuff like insurance for the motorcycle(is it allowed to be abroad for such a long time ?) ? Maybe obligatory x-yearly technical vehicle inspections (so far not needed in a lot of european countries but about to change so you were lucky I guess) ? Official site of residence (or what is it called, it is really hard to be 'homeless' in some countries, probably depends on what your current 'home country' is ) ? Ok so, insurance for motorcycle is something you need to get every time you enter a new country. Some insurance companies will insure foreign vehicles, but it isn't always the case. My bike is australian so after a certain point you need to inspect the vehicle to renew the registration. There is a process through which you can go to an associated mechanic in the country where you are and have the vehicle inspected and the results sent to the Australian motorvehicle authority. Then you can renew your papers online and have the new registration sent to you overseas. My official country of residence is still Australia, because it is where I want to go back to.
the below is a reply to the above
Thanks for the response. I can imagine it is not the most interesting thing to talk about but I am planning on doing something similar with a van + motorcycle (that fits in the van) combo so I am super interested in hearing about the (boring) administrative side of someone who is actually doing it :D. I had no idea something was possible like the remote inspection, I hope something similar exists in my country too. So far I only read you have to go to inspection asap when returning to your country if you were abroad. But I can imagine that is not going to fly if you plan on being away for a very long time though :P. Also: did you happen to keep a list of insurance companies that were willing to do it ? In that sense things change rapidly and new and better companies may arise. Better check with locals or use iOverlander app to find these kind of info.
submitted by 500scnds to tabled [link] [comments]


2020.09.03 15:12 MiserableUpstairs 14 Children and Pregnant Again Recap, Part 15 - Delicate Duggar dating deliberations

14 Children and Pregnant Again Recap, Part 15 - Delicate Duggar dating deliberations
We saw the Duggars coo over an ultrasound pic that would end up with a totally different name last time, and grift kids' meals from a restaurant that they totally do not go to frequently. But today it's time for a more "delicate" matter that definitely requires a lot of handling from overly-interested parents who totally want to control their kids' sex lives, but don't even manage to ensure their eldest son doesn't sexually abuse his sisters: Dating.
But wait. Who are the Duggar kids supposed to date? So far, the Duggars have been the only people inhabiting their particular alternate reality of home perms, Prairie dresses, tater tots, and pickles, where having 14 children is totally fine and everything is just peachy. But no. Jim Bob and Michelle are not the only people who ascribe to their particular brand of religious nutjobbery. There's also the Holt family, who "share the Duggars' religious convictions". And their clothing choices. And I feel some background is needed here, because it seems that Jim Holt and Jim Bob Duggar go WAY back.
Well fuck me, there's more Prairie dresses. Except for Cousin Amy. She gets Jeans.
Bobye Holt (Jim Holt's wife), because she's a Jeans-wearing hypocrite. Actually, it's Cousin Amy in the jeans, so, less hypocrisy points for the Holts.
"I met Jim Bob Duggar, he and I grew up together. We went to Shiloh Christian High School from seventh grade on. We were gonna sell books together in Kansas, Bibles and encyclopedias," says Jim (Holt. Gotta specify here, but at least now I know why Jim Bob needs that Bob behind Jim to differentiate). What he conveniently does NOT mention, because it would not go well with the salt-of-the-earth ordinary family but qUiRkY vibe everyone is going for here, is that Jim and Jim Bob (goddamn it, what is so very wrong with James?) also served in the Arkansas House of Representatives together in the early 2000s. Nothing to see here, just two hard-working ordinary American men who just coincidentally have the money and the power to get elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives. Nothing special about them at all. They're just like you!
The connection between the Holts and the Duggars was not merely political. The families are portrayed as very buddy-buddy in the special, and they also "home church" together at the Duggar home. Now, me being very European and very heathen-ish, with a Catholic background where your church doesn't count if you don't have it in triplicate from the fucking Vatican, I have no idea what a home church is, but it sounds roughly like someone (probably someone with a dick) decided the local church is not strict enough for them, and so they made their own church, with blackjack and hookers. Sometimes even literally. Yes, I'm looking at you, Josh.
Can you die of boredom? Because the Duggar home church looks like it's definitely trying to murder everyone.
But that is in the future. For now, all is well in the little Duggar-Holt bubble. Jim Bob and Jim play some Fundie bullshit bingo together, calling their home church "a neat little fellowship", where "the spirit is very sweet". The families allegedly have cookouts and we see them at an ice skating rink. "When the families get together, it's a chance for the kids and adults to relate to people who live life the way they do, not an easy thing to find. Which leads us to a common question: How will the Duggars handle the delicate issue of dating? With lead son Josh aged 16, this issue is about to become more than theoretical."
The one who is supposed to answer that question for us? Michelle. In a talking head. Without Jim Bob to stare at so he can give her little pointers on if she's saying the right thing. And yes, it is exactly as gloriously awful as you're imagining it. I will quote it here for you in its entirety, because it really is a fucking trainwreck and Michelle can't hold a thought to save her life, bless her shriveled little heart. "We have... met others that, erm, there might be an interest, among our children, you know. They spend time together, never alone... for one thing... just boy and a girl, alone, ideally, we're in groups and they usually are together... erm, with others, when we're visiting with... with friends, and that sort of thing. And so, erm, in that respect, it's a protection for their heart too."
Ice Skating with Mommy and Daddy totally protects you from falling in love. Totally.
Wow. That is a lot of words and a lot of erms and a lot of confusion for: There might be someone one of our kids' is interested in, and we don't allow them to go out together. And it's actually a fat load of bullshit too, because have those morons never read a totally not NIKE Jane Austen book? Those people are rarely alone too, but that doesn't stop them from falling in love via intense stares, books, witty conversation, and piano recitals. Seriously. Either Jim Bob and Michelle have an IQ below that of the average rock, or their "protection for their hearts" stick is just a front for what they really want to do: Control their children, and especially their children's sexuality. And we all know just how astonishingly well that went in the Duggar family.
Josh, who is interviewed next, is not half as confused as Michelle though. He sounds like he hasn't just drunk the cool-aid, but like he mainlined it, bathed in it, and now uses it as a facial cleanser twice a day. And he has also mastered the "Jim Bob Seriousy Looking Into The Camera Because This Is Important"-Stare that has been annoying me for so long now. He even sounds the same as his father, compared to his earlier, more natural tones during the "My father is an idiot for thinking we can build this house!" talking head and it's fucking creepy. "I think... I don't look at it as much as dating, as I do looking for a lifelong partner. And I think you can give your heart away to so many, and I think that if you're gonna give your heart away you need to be giving it to someone who's gonna love you and care about you and not someone who's gonna simply get carried away with their emotions."
Help why is there more than one Jim Bob?
Have you ever heard something that is so wrong mind-bogglingly wrong on more levels than sex in an elevator that you just stare at it for a bit, marvel at the wrongness of it all, and then think "Fuck, where do I even start?" That's how I feel about Josh's quote. It's the kind of internally inconsistent and ludicrous shit you'd never be able to come up with if someone walked up to you and said, "Quick! Say something mind-bogglingly stupid!" It defies logic and common sense. And it's just so... cruel of Michelle and Jim Bob, knowing what they know, what we know now, to put their son on national television and have him talk about how dating is evil and "getting carried away with their emotions" is wrong while they full well know that their squeaky-clean smug little son has already sexually abused his sisters. Self-aware as a bunch of bricks, those smug, condescending, holier-than-thou assholes. Also... how much of your heart is sexually abusing your younger sisters? A third? Half? All of it? None, because they didn't date and it doesn't count because of that?
This is the face I make when the Duggars try to explain their reasoning for being controlling asshats with an unhealthy focus on their children's sex lives.
And of course Jim Bob just has to double down on the bullshit. "Or goal is for each one of your children to find that special person, just like I did, and we really believe that God's created that person already for them." Like, seriously, Jim Bob. I bet you're the type who will bitch about not straight people being oh so gay AT you when they mention their partner and thinks that "Happy Holidays" mugs are an attack on Christian culture, but you're right there, just casually assuming that everyone's highest calling in life is having sex with their wife and then lining up all of their little sex certificates in order of birth like you do, and go all "look at all the children sex I have!" I just can't with that asshat. I just fucking can't.
Fortunately for me, because I can't take another second of Jim Bob's smug holier than thou bullshit, all is not well in the Duggar-Holt alternate reality. That, of course, is not shown in the special. In the special, Kaeleigh Holt (who is two days older than Josh Duggar) still looks at Sex Pest like he's the second coming of White Fundie Jesus, even though nothing indicates Josh and Kaeleigh were ever an item, except the totally not coincidental discussion of Duggar dating while we see the two families interacting.
What is not shown is the allegedly somewhat ugly aftermath. We know that Jim and Jim Bob had a falling out (because the Holts stopped appearing on Duggar television). The reason for that falling out is more unclear, with speculation ranging from them being two patriarchial assholes who don't share well, even with other patriarchial assholes, to Jim Holt finding Josh Duggar watching porn while Josh was working on his re-election campaign, to Josh sexually abusing one of Holt's daughters, and him ending Josh's "betrothal" with Kaeleigh Holt because of that. All of the links are going to DuggarsSnark threads btw, because most of this is speculation. If you have better sources, please link them in the thread so snarkers can form their own opinions!
Shame on you. You're a creepy asshole who would still be actively working on taking away women's rights if you could find enough people to vote for you.
Kaeleigh Holt is now married with four kids and really into CrossFit, and while I can't but feel that she dodged a Deathstar-sized wrecking ball when her dad broke things off... HOW FUCKING NUTS DOES A FATHER HAVE TO BE TO BETROTH HIS DAUGHTER WHEN SHE WAS WHAT, FOURTEEN YEARS OLD, IN THE FIRST PLACE? Like, seriously, Jim? What the fuck is wrong with you? How did no one think that this is a completely, utterly reprehensible and de-humanizing idea that should have died out centuries ago? Controlling members' relationships is like, textbook level cult behavior, and in their circle, nobody thought anything was wrong with telling literal children that they're going to get married when they're grown up? Jesus F. Christ. No matter how good they're at hiding it, everyone in the Duggar bubble seems to be an utterly fucked up, dysfunctional human being.
Up next: After this seemingly endless season of pregnancy, we'll finally see the baby they've been milking for so long.
submitted by MiserableUpstairs to DuggarsSnark [link] [comments]


2020.09.03 06:06 Dog-Lick-Gink Ⓙ Rebrand: Resilience (2nd to 9th Sep, 2020) A detailed track choice rationale...

Ⓙ Rebrand: Resilience (2nd to 9th Sep, 2020) A detailed track choice rationale...
https://preview.redd.it/8ed37kyawuk51.jpg?width=666&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=89ffe5dbcd4df76ec13ebb6b92c95465161576ae
  • Title: Resilience
  • Length: 58 min
  • Number of (full length) tracks: 13
  • Desc: Resilience is the ability to mentally/emotionally cope with a crisis/loss or to return to pre-crisis status quickly. RIP Freeda.
So, this seems like it is just becoming a glorified music diary entry now as man’s out here putting his personality on the internet for the fam. You feel me? “We got us and that helps”... anyway. This week, I’m going to do what I always do, which is release a small list (1 hour long) of all the tracks I want to listen to for the coming week, based on the previous week's analytics of my own music enjoyments and routines. This is an emotional week for me and the fam, so I hope you can enjoy the ride out of this transition, as we say goodbye to a dear pet-friend “Freeda” who died on the release date of this week's playlist. The album art this week is also dedicated to her, because I am choosing not to spend hours of work on a fancy artwork, due to other factors, but I think it’s fitting, regardless.
The following is a list in order and a brief description of choice rationale for this week’s tracks:
Balance - Satorio: The introduction track for this week is chosen to set a mood and “centre” one's self. <3
Shield - WYS: The “shield” track serves as that “a shield” to make the people who can't get through it miss out on the rest (it’s not a very interesting song, early on) but if you get past it, you can get into the picks which have been a sentimental choice for me this week. I rely on my love for music and its integration into my routines as well as letting it influence my emotional state, therefore I can use it as a tool. It can have a lot of influence in that way (for me anyway) and it’s something I love to control and use to my advantage. I try to get creative with it in my own way, I guess that’s why man’s out here like this anyway, right. So yeah, this song is not the best, but that’s why it’s here. If you have access to decent subs, or controlled speakers, this one really has a satisfying sub base melody to it, and it did have some thought put into its production.
Theme From Schindler’s List - John Williams: I love John Williams, I always have, but after getting re-introduced to listening to some old Star Wars OST’s this past week, I have also decided to use this opportunity to show off one of my most loved tracks on his release. This is one of those pieces that creates a frisson of emotion, a sudden strong feeling of excitement or fear; a thrill. I really love the way this track flows from a subdued, mellow and sorrow influence, then moves to an invigorating and uplifting crescendo while only really changing part of the melody and emphasising a different octave in different parts of the strings sections. There are lots of complexities in this track and I’m sure I’ll continue to enjoy it in many different ways for years to come. Such a gem, thanks JW.
Resilient - Rising Appalachia: This track has been in my mind for several days prior to posting this playlist as I prepared mentally for the tasks of both emotionally dealing with the loss of our family pet dog: Fredda and being a support for my mother and family, which are themes that are really scattered through this week's playlist, or at least the first two thirds of it.
I Am a Rock - Simon & Garfunkel: “Simo and da Funk” as I like to call them, have always been a good duo to turn to for some comforting, familiar music, but also has some progress focused influence and I like the influence of this track followed by the next Paul Simon track.
50 Ways to Leave Your Lover - Paul Simon: Now we get Simo on his lonesome, bangin’ out 50 ways… This is basically a dance song for me, I love the music, but it also has such a nice story in it about friends getting real and contemplating the infinite (not just 50) ways you can leave (and let go of) your lover; which I thought was a nice choice and important to keep in mind for times of grief. We all choose our own paths to a certain degree, but it’s certainly nice to be reminded of the opportunities we have afforded to us sometimes.
Breathing In And Out - Nat Barsch: A lovely, mellow, one and a half minute tracks that I think suits the transition into a different segment. It’s also a track that can (and does, personally) facilitate Wim Hof focused breathing sessions, or serves as a little reminder to pay attention to my breathing, which I will use as a conscious tool during the day. The rest of the album “Forever, And No Time At All” is all on the same wavelength as this track if you fancy finishing the rest of the playlist another time (as it does change musically), but let's be real, there’s no shortage of this genre to choose from and I’m down with the jams.... Although, the vibes stay relatively positive hence forth (at least for the next track, and the last four), here on out we get back into more of a usual lineup of tracks for Rebrands of late.
Thoughts & Prayers - Manga Saint Hilare, Novelist: Bless, a dear friend mentioned their fondness for this track at a time when I really benefited from it also. It really is a good track and for that I am re-submitting it both in another weeks Rebrand and double posting it in two segments for the Archive (“UK Grime” and now also in “Hip Hop & Rap”) which will accommodate those who may not dig listening to specific genres of hip hop/rap.
Cancel It! - Neil Hamburger: I don’t think anyone knows how much I love this track actually… Objectively it’s the shittest, most offensive and interrupting thing to put in a playlist, but I think that’s hilarious. I have used this track since April this year in a personal playlist as an introduction (which I take pretty seriously). To me in this context of the playlist and the proceeding tracks, I’m using it to project out out with no regard for what other people think, and even though the man on the phone is rude, I am too at times, whether I mean to be or not, and this 24 seconds in an hour represents that. 24 seconds of radical, obtrusive interruption to what was a lovely playlist, I love it. It subtly represents my announcement that the rest of the playlist is business as usual.
My House - Joe Jackson: After the trainwreck of Neil Hamburger, we get to listen to Joe’s “terrible” voice (I know this is subjective, but surely we can agree). While I don’t listen to JJ that often, I have always found some enjoyment in jamming out to this one. Joe Jackson (not Michael Jackson's dad by the way) has been a family favourite and my Pop also blasted it non stop, so I think dealing with death currently has driven me to want to listen to this more as well, bringing up some nice feelings of connecting in ways to those we have loved and lost. They still give back to us, and remain influential, just like Freedles will. Riparoonie.
Love Inc - Booka Shade: <3 This is the track I would have opened the whole playlist with if I was in a different mood when making the final release order decision. I had planned to really feature this song by putting it first, but honestly, I think it fits better down here this week and I still want to give it a big mention as a favourite. It's interesting to me, the way it's mixed particularly at the beginning. I actually feel as if the producers have mixed it quietly so that people pay attention to it right at the beginning, the whole track is brought in slowly raising master volume, then when the beat starts coming in it's significantly louder in the mix (in comparison to the intro of the song and sample used) which I think either is an anaesthetic choice to get people to listen to their particular song louder, or they have chosen to make that introduction quiet so that people listen in if they already have their systems volume set to loud and are paying attention. Whatever volume people are listening to at the time, it is marketed to them both effectively,, having positive outcomes engaging listeners at any volume, which is something I’m not sure a lot of people think about when mastering. Very smart choice to a track beginning in my opinion and hence, I would have opened the playlist with it, but here it is anyway fam, opening up the House and Techno segments for the final 4 tracks either way.
You Are a Wonder - Newman (I Love) Remix: Keeping the love flowing, this killer dance track has intricate grooves and fronts a phenomenal sound, melody and dance vibe that I can’t get enough of.
Crisis - Sondrio: An old favourite; a straight up techno track with a real classic feel. It’s a stylish banger, but it has this eerie synth all over it…. See what you think, but I love it. Thanks to Ben for this recommendation to me last year, it turns out that it comes up handy in a “crisis”...
Hella feat. Joy Tyson - Zigan Aldi, Joy Tyson: Another hard ethnotronica, organic house track with a nice message. It makes me realise how much I enjoy testing my own resilience by receiving “pressure” (in whatever way/shape/form that may be) on the system I have built (physical/mental health). I work well under pressure. “I need the pressure pushing down”... As I now sign off. Peace lovely crew. Much love. Less than three "<3"
submitted by Dog-Lick-Gink to Rebrand_Playlist [link] [comments]


2020.09.03 05:10 doodleonwalls My Long Plotty Rare-pair Recs

Hey. Every time I rejoin the HP fandom, I search for the term "rare-pair" religiously, since those are my bread and butter. Thought I'd compile my own list for those like me.
Note: I generally don't read fics focused on Severus, the Marauders, or Draco, even if it is a rare-pair, and it's evident in my list (though there are exceptions). Also, pure fluff makes my teeth hurt, so sorry if that's more your speed!
Twenty-nine by Endrina
Percy/Oliver. 85k words. An amazing character study of Percy Weasley post-canon. Author gave Percy a magical malady (mental) that surprisingly fits into canon. Deals with mental health issues while he goes about trying to solve a murder mystery. Could benefit from a more liberal use of commas, though.
Lost in My Own Home by aibidil
Teddy/James Sirius. 105k words. Unspeakable Teddy Lupin from a non-canon universe accidentally hops to a universe that's probably canon, where Harry married Ginny and had kids. The differences, particularly one James Sirius Potter, has him all out of sorts. It's a very feel-good fic.
The Burren by Acatnamedeaster, littleblackbow, thiliart (thilia)
Harry/Oliver. 52k words. The magic in this doesn't really feel like HP magic, but it's a whole vibe in itself. Harry and Ginny have recently separated, and Harry goes on a road trip, basically, searching for something. He finds Oliver. The main draw of this fic is, as I said, the vibe of this fic. It's like a sleepy stirring, or a feeling of quiet anticipation. It's the feel of a small but closely-knit town by the ocean. Peaceful and sort of melancholy, but also joyful. At one with nature but at its mercy.
Privacy & Patience by imamaryanne
Harry/Neville. 59k words. Auror Harry has been dating Neville for a while now, but clings desperately to secrecy, wanting just this one thing to be kept away from public scrutiny. Also, he's put in charge of his first big case as an auror - a string of serial murders. The murder mystery was a delight.
A Study in Choices and Second Chances by queerofthedagger
Harry/Regulus. 90k words. A Deathly Hallows AU where Sirius lives and Harry finds a number of letters Regulus wrote to Sirius but never sent while searching for the Locket at Grimmauld. A ritual in the final letters unintentionally rips Regulus from the brink of death in his time to the present. The first chapter alone, with excerpts of the letters Reg wrote, gutted and impressed me with how it painted and fleshed out the personality and life story of Regulus over the years.
The Second String by eider_down
Harry/Gideon Prewett. 382k words. Ongoing. Harry time travels to the Marauder era following the Privet Drive Dementor attack and tries to avoid everyone in a manic attempt to not derail the timeline. Predictably, things don't go well for a kid isolating himself completely. The first part is extremely angsty, but it doesn't stay like that. A bunch of rarely used HP characters play prominent roles in this fic.
In a Country Churchyard by Franzbibliothek
Harry/Cedric. 23k words. An amazing summer after 4th year AU where Cedric lives and decides that it's his duty to keep Harry protected over the summer. He goes with him to Privet Drive. Pre-slash. The characters feel and act authentically. The fic never devolves into a series of cliche contrived rom-com/angst encounters due to a shared living space, which I was convinced would happen due to the premise. It was more of a mood study: the suffocation of Privet Drive, the high tensions from the information embargo, the stress form bad press and betrayals, etc.
Potter's Law by seedee
Ron/Dean. 30k words. They both work at St. Mungo's and are tasked with finding the cure to a new and fatal contagion. The contagion plot was fascinating, and I loved the way characters with various skillsets came together to solve the magical malady. I felt deeply the tension/dread of the situation as well as the passion/desperation of the characters involved.
The Oil Painting of Our Youth by nilafhiosagam
Harry/Regulus. 66k words. Both teens wake up in a dark cell together, and neither can remember how they ended up there. I loved how the layers of the mystery slowly peeled away. I loved how distinct and empathetic the various points of view were and how the teenagers acted like teenagers.
Lost in Reality by seedee
George/Lee. 40k words. George has gained an unhealthy dependence on an experimental product he and Fred worked on together before his death. He isn't coping with loss well, and he uses it to escape into his dreams. Lee gets stuck trying to get George out. I loved the angst, the growing desperation, the tough love, and how even the reader loses grasp on reality as the author takes full advantage of the dream setting.
Mistakes by SebastianL
Neville/OC. 150k words. An offshoot of the wildly popular Drarry work "The Man Who Lived" by the same author, which frankly I didn't really like. The world in Mistakes felt instantly familar in a way lower income New York didn't in TMWL which was quite divorced from the magical world of Harry Potter. The characters as well. I adored Neville and the OC, and the plot was gutting. I wish sebL explored a bit more of the political situation, both behind the scenes and the fallout afterwards, that spurred the plot of the fic into motion, but as it was Nev's POV, it was never his primary concern.
Something New Every Day by imamaryanne
Harry/Neville. 38k words. Harry gets a divorce and takes up the DADA position at Hogwarts, where Neville is already teaching. It's an authentic feeling slow-burn aside from a bit of the dialogue towards the beginning. It's a budding relationship between mellower adults, and it certainly plays out that way. They still occasionally act like idiots though as a result of deeply rooted personality traits.
To Do a Weasley by AnnaFugazzi
George/Lee. 20k words. Set during OotP. It's almost heartbreakingly innocent in the context of the looming war in the background. The author captured the feeling of adolescence, camaraderie, and love while tensions mount all around them. The fic really excels at showing how a group of near-adults could respond to those tensions.
Within These Walls by sara_holmes
Draco/Seamus. 24k words. I loved the way Seamus' POV was written here. It follows the circumstances at Hogwarts during the Horcrux hunt. It's quite an angsty character exploration of both. The tentative romance in the face of tragic circumstances was extremely bittersweet.
And the brave man with a sword by blackkat
Godric/Salazar. Helga/Rowena. 172k words. Incomplete. The founders are immortal, fell out of touch, and recently came together again to return to Hogwarts as students during OotP in order to address rising tensions that are encroaching on their beloved school. I adored the way the fic explored the deep friendship and love between all four founders, as well as the hurt that immortality and an incident 50 years ago left on their relationships. The bits with Harry, though, seem kind of forced and almost painfully fluffy to me, but that's just me.
I Am Not the Only Traveller by Graziana
Cedric/George. 25k words. All aboard the angst train. It's a soulmate AU that has an interesting spin on the soulmate aspect. I felt intense dread and anguish while reading, just a warning.
Champions by ChannelTheFlannel
Harry/Cedric. 54k words. Discontinued. It's actually a part 2 in a series, but I liked this installment much more than part 1, frankly. There was a tonal shift away from romance, focusing more on plot, action, intrigue, and mystery in this AU. There's a highly creative riff on the politics and ideas of canon (werewolves), resulting in a much more dire/horrifying situation for our protagonists.
I MUST NOT TELL LIES by WhatWldMrsWeasleyDo
Harry/George. 53k words. Epilogue compliant fic which follows their relationship through the years. WARNING angst train. Both of them make really poor decisions in the face of social pressure and dig holes for themselves that are impossible to get out of unscathed. Neither were blameless, and it was a bit hard to feel sympathetic to Harry in particular for that reason, but their situation and reactions were heartbreaking.
no more bailing boats for me by hipsterchrist
Draco/George. 166k words. post canon fic following Draco on his long and arduous journey through therapy and mental healing. The fic expanded a lot on the worldbuilding of the wizarding world and wandlore. A lot of it was delightful, but a lot also veered towards info dumps that ground story progression to a halt.
Harry Potter and the Really Roundabout way of finding a Horcrux
Harry/Percy. 25k words. Cute and character driven story, focused on various personal dramas: family drama, pining, etc. Not my usual cup of tea, but it felt authentic, though I was disturbed by the nickname "Herm".
Face Death in the hope by lullabyknell
Harry/Regulus. 270k words. Ongoing. Time travel fic where Final Battle Harry goes back to when the first war starts picking up. Harry forging connections to characters, both familiar and otherwise, is a main draw to this fic. The side characters are great.
Revisionism by Acacia Carter
Harry/Neville. 33k words. Unique take on the time travel fix-it trope. It's both sweet and disturbing in its implications on rewriting timelines and themselves.
A Very Slytherin Harry (series) by geoffaree
Harry/Blaise. Remus/Severus. 580k words. Ongoing. Harry picks up a snake familiar pre-canon, finds out about the wizarding world, and gets sorted into Slytherin. There's Dumbledore bashing and Dad!Snape, which may turn you off. Canon rehash with these changes.
Come With Us (And Things Will Never be the same but the same is boring) by victoriousscarf
Neville/WTwins. 42k words. Twins both want Neville, and ultimately decide to share. Fic focuses on the evolution of this relationship through canon and beyond. The character beats were genuine and the interactions were sweet. Occasionally some interesting takes on canon from alternate points of view.
The Boys Who Lived by SeekerofTruth
Harry/Neville. 33k words. Ongoing/Dropped? The premise is that political circumstances force the two to attend a different magical school in Utah after 4th year. Great characterizations with great OC's (particularly the adults). The new school was fascinating, but a bit too "perfect" compared to Hogwarts. Enjoyed Harry's developing crush. I was hoping for more of an overarching narrative to the story when it was still updating as opposed to just attending the school day to day.
Harry Potter and the Road not Taken (series) by BlueMaple
Harry/Charlie. Lucius/Narcissa. (and poly ship of sorts including them). 817k words. Ongoing. Extremely long series featuring a multiverse. It's an AU featuring hyper competent...everyone, which occasionally gets ridiculous. The choices the author makes are really hit or miss with me, but the hits are something truly spectacular to behold. In particular, the series' development of Castelebruxo School of Magic in Brazil and wizarding South America, with its horrific Lethifold problem and influence of Catholocism, was so Gothic and beautiful in its sorrow. The author's style of writing is high impact at all times, and my thoughts on it varies from powerful/awe inspiring to melodramatic/unnecessary. The segments exploring Brazil were pretty regular, but aren't the focus of the fic. AU Lucius, Neville, and Harry were all so precious and interesting, though hyper competent.
How to Win Friends and Influence People by olivieblake
Hermione/Draco; Harry/Theo; Blaise/Parvati; Percy/Pansy; Marcus/Oliver; Daphne/Cadmus. 390k words. Shitton of ships, though the main one is Dramione. They all get their highlight moments at some point. Features a post-canon wizarding world that's incredibly gritty. The ensemble cast (on both sides of the law) team up to take down an international conspiracy. Y'all, Percy in this fic got me all hot and bothered wth.
The Accidental Renaissance of Zacharias Smith by renaissance
Zacharias/Anthony. 86k words. Ah, Zacharias. The absolute asshole in pretty much every fic he's in. He's a pretty big asshole here, too, to be honest. He does a lot of growing to come into his own, though. Story follows Zacharias from the Battle at Hogwarts to the end of eighth year. He lands himself a job that really suits him, thrives, and grows up, all while remaining a bit of an ass. I really did enjoy this, though.
The Future Within Us by GalaxyLucia
Dean/Seamus. 92k words. The fic is split into two parts. Part 1 plays out like a cute mild drama teen romance, taking place during year 6. Some teenage shenanigans, bits of interhouse unity with some OCs, etc. Part 2 follows Dumbledore's death and follows Dean until the end of the war. As you can imagine, this part has a very different tone. I really enjoyed both.
The Many Occupations of Percy Weasley
Neville/Percy. 36k words. If I had to sum this fic up in one word, it'd be "frustrating". I realize it isn't exactly ringing endorsement, but hear me out. Its portrayal of post-war Wizarding Britain is one of the most likely and accurate I've come across, in all its infurating glory, if they took a hard stance to "correct" the issues Voldemort left in his wake. Characters, though changed by the war, fall back on old habits and insecurities, and considering the fic features both Neville and Percy... The war left people angry, which the Ministry didn't help with, and it's led to an unfortunate state of affairs. The ending is hopeful, though, and I'm glad I read it.
Be Kind by juhele
Cedric/Harry. 141k words. Ongoing. It's a Cedric lives AU. It covers canon, 4th year and beyond, but with increasingly notable differences. The biggest being that this fic is MUCH more emotionally rewarding than canon, and not only because of the romance. On a whole, pretty much everyone in this fic is more emotionally intelligent compared to their canon counterparts, except Harry maybe. What it means is that Harry has a great support network of sorts that temper the harsher arguments and situations he encounters, leading to surprising and often emotionally satisfying consequences.
submitted by doodleonwalls to HPSlashFic [link] [comments]


2020.08.31 18:05 djshannonc1 Cyber DJ Sets and Zoom Parties – The New Normal

Cyber DJ Sets and Zoom Parties – The New Normal
https://preview.redd.it/macjqfy73dk51.jpg?width=960&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=f5cd6bd79bcab4001412adf8b84095166901bb32
Over the past month of lock down, you’ve probably noticed that live steams are becoming a popular method of entertainment. From your favorite DJS to Iconic Beat Battles, everyone is live streaming.
While live streaming is awesome, you know what it’s missing? Two-Way Connection.
While you can chat with fellow viewers in the comments of Facebook, IG, or twitch, there’s still a bit to be desired from the perspective of human interaction.
Enter the Virtual Party.
Zoom Parties are becoming one of the hottest new trends because they allow for a second dimension of human interaction through the ability to see each other and not just the person broadcasting the stream.
A couple of weeks ago I played a Virtual Private Party for the Teachers of Dubai Scholars. It was my first zoom DJ performance, so I was nervous at how it would go. But as the broadcast started and the cameras from the different participants were turned on, we were able to see each other and dance together. I got to see their joy as friends who haven’t been physically together for a month were able to see each other.I got to feel their energy as I watched how they responded to the songs I played.
Just like when I DJ for a private client, the whole experience was also super customizable! Instead of just streaming out a random flow of music, I was able to work with the school to capture and program a playlist of songs before the event and mix those songs as well as their requests live. We essentially worked together as a group to create the vibe of that set and the energy of that specific party.
It was a much richer experience for me personally than the one sidedness of an IG Live.
In a Virtual DJ Party, which is basically a virtual party where we can all see each other, the DJ provides crystal clear sound with a direct input to their mixer and a video view of the DJ setup so the other participants can watch them play. If using Zoom, which is becoming on of the most popular platforms to host a Virtual Party, the people in the room can request songs in the chat, talk back and forth to each other, and to the DJ. There’s even the option to message another participant privately in case you want to have a side-bar convo outside of the main group chat.
Check out the video clip below from Garden’s of Babylon’s 900+ person zoom party for an idea of what’s possible. The sky is the limit here!
Of course, cam participation is not required, but it reminded me a lot of my “pre-quarantine” days to look out at my audience and see their reactions to the songs. I can’t tell you how much depth it added to be able to see each other.
Even If just at home on our couches with our kids grooving along. I miss dancing together. A Virtual party allowed us to do that! Interested in logging in for my next Cyber DJ Set? Make sure you Click Here to subscribe and stay up to date on all upcoming zoom events!
Interested in throwing your own Virtual Party ? (These are great for quarantine birthdays, graduation parties, family reunions, or even a morale booster for your organization or team.) Check out pricing on the Services Page and Click Here to shoot me an email to schedule yours today!
Cyber DJ Sets and Zoom Parties – The New Normal.
Click here to learn more — www.[djshannonc.com/](https://www.djshannonc.com/)
submitted by djshannonc1 to u/djshannonc1 [link] [comments]


2020.08.29 20:08 RadicalMemers Here's a guide to get into Ivalice games (FF12, FFT, etc) for all the players who want to learn more about FF14's inspiration and lore since recent story and lore developments

Hello! Along with the latest spoilers and all the recent interest in Ivalician lore as a result, I thought I would make a guide to get into games set in the Ivalice universe for the people who want to know more and maybe try these games out. Having an understanding of Ivalice helps a lot with the understanding of the lore and story of FFXIV since they have a lot of similarities. Koji Fox had even said that FFXII was the game they wanted to borrow from since 2014.
MCKF: [...] Final Fantasy is about borrowing, taking things other Final Fantasies did and adjusting it and making it your own. The fact that the XIV team has a lot of people that worked on XII—our main scenario writer, Maehiro-san, also worked on XII, Minagawa-san, the guy that did all of the UI, also XII, he’s working with us, and also Yoshida-san himself being a fan of Final Fantasy XII—this is one of the games they wanted to borrow heavily from because they thought it was really cool, and they really liked the imagery and lore that it had. So they want to borrow from it, and of course they know Final Fantasy XII has its story, and they don’t want to take that story and put it into XIV, because it’s not XIV, it’s XII, but they want to draw on that imagery and those connections. It’s not random, but it might not be as deep a meaning as you think it is. Other things might be, but that’s all I can say… (Source)
Why should I care about Ivalice games?
Final Fantasy XIV is inspired a lot by games set in the Ivalice universe for several reasons:
FFXIV is also known for being a highly political game, which is something that it shares in common with Ivalice games. We could also talk about how the battle director said that the current trust system used the gambit system of FFXII as a base, but that's a subject for another time.
All of this to say, it is hard to ignore these games and their influence looming over Final Fantasy XIV, and there is much to learn in looking to what inspired FFXIV to become the success it is today.
_________

FINAL FANTASY TACTICS

Recommended version: The War of the Lions (PSP), also playable on Vita, Vita TV, iOS and Android.
The game that started it all. Final Fantasy Tactics set itself apart from the rest by being a deep strategy RPG focusing on politics and human drama on a medieval backdrop. It follows the story of Ramza Beoulve and Delita Heiral navigating through a treacherous political landscape full of backstabbing and deciding whether or they should stick to their ideals or discard them for a more practical course for action.
It is a heartwrenching story full of dramatic moments that will leave you shocked. The direction that characters will take through the course of the story will keep surprising you but will always feel logical and organic considering everything they've been through. It still enjoys a sizeable fanbase today that will scream at every rooftop about how it is secretly the best Final Fantasy and you wouldn't blame them considering everything the game offered to the table. It was the pioneer of offering a different kind of story focusing on mature, more adult writing in the Final Fantasy series, something that FFXIV has followed on its footsteps.
How important it is: Very. This is where it all started and it is still considered a pillar of Ivalice. If you have played FFXIV, you will find yourself right at home.
What else should I know?: Keep in mind that the game has been entirely retranslated with the PSP remaster, and it has become the de facto official translation for Square. You will miss on many references and names if you play the PS1 version instead because it did a lot of things differently at a time where game localization was still mostly terrible.

VAGRANT STORY

Recommended version: PS1, also playable on PS3, PSP and PS Vita through PS1 Classic.
While its place as an Ivalice game has always been put into question, Square Enix officially consider it so. Vagrant Story is probably the most mature game Square had ever put out, which had ironically worked against the game. It is a hardcore RPG where you control one man going through the depths of a ruined city to uncover a conspiracy involving the government, the church and more. It has a very Rashomon-esque setup in which the "truth" is different depending on who you talk to, giving a lot of interpretation of how the story unfolds and what really happened.. It also takes a lot of skill and understanding to play through the game but it was a huge precursor to games like the Souls series with its fully interconnected metroidvania-esque map, its high amount of difficulty and its deep level of customization and crafting.
Vagrant Story is known for its strong cast of characters, especially for its famously sympathetic & tragic villain, Sydney Losstarot, which is also a trait that FFXIV adopted to great effect.
Vagrant Story is also famous for being a JRPG that starred Ashley Riot, a well-built man in his prime, rather than another plucky teenager. Japanese players almost universally hated this change of pace, despite Ashley being an extremely well-written character. It gave Squaresoft and later Square-Enix the evidence they needed that they have to stick to their guns.
How important it is: While being quite difficult to play today, Vagrant Story is definitely worth doing only for how good its story is. Anyone craving for complex villains that are extremely compelling and sympathetic, you will find yourself right at home.

FINAL FANTASY XII

Recommended version: The Zodiac Age on PS4/PC/Xbox One/Switch
This was the game that made Ivalice big. Hironobu Sakaguchi, the creator of the series, was so moved by Vagrant Story that he personally entrusted the future of the series to Yasumi Matsuno and even called himself his biggest fan. It became the series' most ambitious project to date, making a ton of sweeping changes that became extremely influential for FFXIV but also other games. Most of all, it had a huge focus on lore and worldbuilding that was very unusual for the series and made Ivalice stand out among every other Final Fantasy universe (just look at this art!).
FFXII is happening after a terrible war that the kingdom of Dalmasca lost, where the people of the kingdom are suffering under the oppression of the Empire. FFXII examines various aspects of struggle, oppression, freedom and found family and goes as far as examining what free will really means. It has a ton of things to explore and learn and has a lot of compelling characters that are extremely well written. Its writer even said no one is truly evil in this game, it's all a matter of clashing ideologies and the conviction to make them a reality, which does remind a lot of FFXIV, which also has a great story that doesn't just rely on galactic threats but believable villains and protagonists.
Final Fantasy XII was very different from what happened before in the series because of how subtle and demanding it is to the player. One missed cue could have ripple effects in the understanding of the story and themes whereas the series was always often extremely easy to understand and holding your hand throughout. FFXIV is very similar to this approach, where you have to take into account various factors in order to get the full picture rather than just rushing through the story. It demanded to talk to NPCs, go through various sidequests, soak up what the environment is telling you.
How important it is: It has the most in common with FFXIV in terms of story beats, lore and staff who worked on both games. Many people highlighted the similarities between Archades and Garlemald or the Ascians and the Occuria. You would find yourself right at home playing this game and you would stand to learn the most by playing this game.

FINAL FANTASY XII: REVENANT WINGS

Recommended version: DS
The DS sequel of FFXII was in fact not worked on by the people who worked on FFXII. It was directed by Motomu Toriyama, who was a designer on FFX and the director of FFXIII. It's a bit more character driven but gives up most of the drama and politics of FFXII in the process. It also gives up the turn based gameplay for a RTS style where you summon units and send them to enemies in real time. It's a cute little game to play but it's generally not considered to be an essential because of the small involvement of the staff in the series.
How important it is: It's nice if you want more food after FFXII but it's not something that is going to heighten your enjoyment of FF14 further.

FINAL FANTASY TACTICS ADVANCE

Recommended version: GBA, no other version has been released
A spin-off series of Tactics for the GBA. It's a game that was more aimed at children, but still keep the great writing the series is known for. It features a fictional version of Ivalice where children living with various issues in their life gets sucked in and have the ability to live out their fantasies instead of living through their problems at home. It's still a great game today with a great music and tons of heart. It was the game that first featured races like Bangaa, Moogles or Viera, but Akihiko Yoshida had said that these races were first made for FFXII and then used for Tactics Advance, since FFXII took so long to make.
How important it is: Not very, Ivalice being fictional makes it less interesting, but even if it was, it's still a spin-off for kids. However, it's still a very fun game to play that is much better written than its usual kind.

FINAL FANTASY TACTICS ADVANCE 2

Recommended version: DS
The sequel to Tactics is this time happening in the real Ivalice, a few years after Final Fantasy XII, where you even get to meet Vaan & Penelo as full-fledged Sky Pirates! It is still a game primarily aimed at children and while the plot took a hit, it's even more fun to play! The lore is now more in line with the official, canon one but it doesn't have much that you wouldn't have learned in Final Fantasy XII already.
How important it is: Just like Advance, not very, despite being in the same world as the real Ivalice this time. However it is a good game to play as a sequel to FFXII, even if it doesn't reach the highs of the latter.
__________

TIMELINE

What is the timeline of Ivalice games? It gets a bit weird but it isn't hard to understand.
Final Fantasy XII -> Revenant Wings -> Advance 2 -> Tactics -> Vagrant Story
While many think that Tactics is set before FFXII because it has a no-nonsense medieval fantasy vibe, it is set more than a millennia after FFXII. A huge cataclysm happened that seemingly wiped out civilization as they knew it and most of the races from FFXII with it. Of course, this is just from the point of view of one region of Ivalice, so things may appear to be different from what we know. So FFXII is to Allags what Tactics may be to FFXIV's current time: rediscovering powers and weapons from a lost civilization.
__________

What should I play in priority as a fan of FFXIV?

Final Fantasy XII is going to be the big one. FFXIV owes a lot to FFXII's legacy for reasons I laid out early in the post. It has the biggest lore and worldbuilding out of the Ivalice series and is also the closest to FFXIV's feel in terms of politics and drama. It is basically the anchor of Ivalice as we know it.
Final Fantasy Tactics is the other big one that FFXIV takes a lot of inspiration from. Full of big character drama, it basically paved the way for the FF series to feature mature and adult storylines full of believable and striking characters.
Vagrant Story is the last one I'd heartily recommend, but the last one you should play. This game is difficult, but it really delivered in terms of story and dialogue and characters, especially when it comes to deep, well-written sympathetic villains. If you loved Emet, you will love Vagrant Story a LOT. Vagrant Story was the game that inspired both FFXII and FFXIV to feature intros and outros for bosses for example.
These three games make up a lot of the backbone of FFXIV, both in the amount of staff who worked on these games now working on FFXIV, to the amount of inspiration FFXIV takes from it. I would also recommend Tactics Ogre, which isn't an Ivalice game, but it is very similar and also made by Matsuno. It is Naoki Yoshida's favorite game ever, and Banri Oda, MSQ writer, even went as far to say that FFXIV wouldn't have had its brand of politics today if he hadn't played Tactics Ogre.
__________
That's all I can provide but I hope it helps for you folks if you ever want to check those games. If you have any questions I'd love to answer them in the comments.
submitted by RadicalMemers to ffxiv [link] [comments]


2020.08.28 07:33 CarlieScion Today, 5 years ago, Halsey released her debut album, 'Badlands'

Hello, and I'm sorry
A salutation and a farewell
I don't have much time.
If this were a movie,
I would ride off in some blood red sunset down a stretch of desert road
into the wasteland that keeps us captive here.
But this isn't a movie,
these are the Badlands.
Artist: Halsey
Album: Badlands Alternate Cover
Tracklist and Lyrics: Genius
Release Date: August 28, 2015
popheads [FRESH] Thread: Here
Listen: Album Trailer Apple Music Spotify YouTube Live Album
Hi, and welcome to my writeup! This is actually mostly a copy-paste of my previous Badlands-writeup for Popheads' AOTD-series, but let's pretend I had time to write something new!
Badlands is an electro-pop or if your name is Ashley Nicolette Frangipane, "alternative" album, made by Halsey and executively produced by her boyfriend at the time, Lido. The album itself is a "concept album", centered around the Dystopian society Badlands - all a metaphor for Halsey's mental state at the time of writing the album.
Now, this album is excellent musically, but what really made this my FAVORITE of the decade, was the marketing campaign surrounding it (also the fact that I managed to see her both at the beginning and end of 2016 - go see her @ the Manic tour, her music is at its best live.) It truly felt like a moment and I don't think anything can top it for me. If you remember Harry Styles' Eroda-marketing campaign from a couple months ago, it was something like that - just better (through my nostalgia-tinted glasses, at least). Much of the "concept" part of the concept album was just visible through the marketing.
First came the website - welcometobadlands.com (of which I managed to find a single archived picture). There was also the touristy twitter account @VisitBadlands, which posted cryptic tweets related to the album release. There was a tourist phone number you could call, complete with a creepy message from Halsey herself. She gave out passports with tips of how to survive in the Badlands (the answer: Keep Running). She even "leaked" the album cover through the twitter account, and played small snippets of Young God on the website. It also doubled up as her merch store and the place she dropped her first set of tour dates.
Halsey used this marketing campaign to "leak" a version of Coming Down, through a soundcloud account called BadlandsRadio. She also sent some free posters and stickers to her fans to promote the record. There were treasure hunts, having people run all over New York and taking them to the places in New York that inspired Badlands - the prizes were all access backstage passes to the final show of the tour. Basically, the whole era was really interactive and I don't think fans would have connected with the album as well as we did, without it.
An important part of this album, regardless of how much you like or dislike it, was the 'era' it was produced in - the TumblrTM era. Everything from the lyrics, the aesthetics, the production points to Badlands being THE tumblr record. Not necessarily the most widely enjoyed album by Tumblr users, but it's the most Tumblr-esque of them all. It's very much a post-Pure Heroine and Born To Die-album. Halsey stood out with her long, blue hair and rants about feminism and racism and also literally everything else.
So, now that I've talked way too much about the era as a whole, I'm gonna break down the full record as individual songs:

Castle // Huntsman Version

Already choking on my pride,
so there's no use crying about it.
This shimmery piece of electropop opens up Badlands. It serves as an introduction to the Dystopian society of Badlands. Halsey immediately sets the tone for a struggle between her, the hero, and the (patriarchal) society around her. There's a mention of "they" wanting to make her their queen, which combined with the quoted lyrics above and the chants of "Agnus Dei" makes it clear that being the queen isn't something Halsey wants - it's a sacrifice she's making. This song was later turned into an orchestral version for the "Huntsman: Winter's War"-movie.

Hold Me Down

I sold my soul to a three-piece,
and he told me I was holy.
The story continues in Hold Me Down, which was inspired by Halsey's dealings with men in the music industry - specifically Atlantic Records' Publishing Group, which tried to sign her. It also samples Easy by Son Lux. She refers to the men she's dealing with as the devil, again setting herself up to be a hero in the Badlands. At the same time she admits her flaws, calling herself selfish, filled with demons and spineless. Because of this, she lets herself be held down by the devil.

New Americana

Survival of the richest,
the city’s ours until the fall.
If you have heard just a single song off of this album, this is probably the one. This song, along with the impromptu Blink-182 mall cover are go-to "easy" punches for Halsey Haters. They argue it's faux-edgy, faux-anthemic, shallow and just plain annoying. The backlash against this song even resulted in Halsey dis-owning if for like 2 full years, and calling it "ironic" (which it most definetly wasn't). While I get why this song could rub some people wrong, I would argue that it's a very catchy song and that the lyrics aren't "faux"-anything - they're so earnest that it borders on painful. The lyrics may be cringey, but it won't stop me from yelling along to the song while driving in my car. The first verse talks about the nouveau rich, getting famous through the internet, while the second verse talks about gay marriage - which was made legal in all states just two small months before this album dropped. It's a song about believing in the youth and believing that society can change.

Drive

Sick and full of pride,
all we do is drive.
Drive is a pretty straightforward love song about being in love with someone, but not knowing how to go about it. The strength of the song lies in its production and the beautiful harmonization between Halsey and the male backing vocals provided by Lido. The production creates a beautiful backdrop for a simple love story - the sound of Halsey turning on the ignition, the turn signal-beat, the swerving noises, it all contrast with the simple guitar plucking. If you close your eyes while listening to this, you can feel you're in the car watching a very intimate story play out. Halsey described this as one of the few happy songs on Badlands, saying it's the point in the story where she finally leaves the Badlands.

Hurricane

Don't belong to no city,
don't belong to no man.
This song was originally included on Halsey's debut EP, Room 93, and was carried over onto the deluxe edition of Badlands. It's a self-empowerment anthem about Halsey taking power in her relationship with both a person (Zach, the boy behind bricks) and the city she lived in, New York City. Whenever she does this song live she explains that the song is "a reminder that you do not belong to anybody but yourself". It sounds trippy, dreamy and distant. Throughout the song you can hear a "hurricane"-motif, which gets a call-back in Gasoline.

Roman Holiday

Feet first, don't fall
or we'll be running again.
This. This is my favorite Halsey song of all time (unless anything on Manic manages to rear its head forth). Roman Holiday was produced by the masterful trio that is Captain Cuts. The song is such an explosion of joy, nostalgia and freedom. Halsey explained that this song was about "escaping from the problems of your real life – not looking back on them and finding solace somewhere else". The song sounds escapist, but in a freeing way. The choruses are fiery and then the bridge comes along and amps everything up another level. It's the perfect pop song. Roman Holiday introduces the motif of "running, again". While the lyric on its own doesn't make much sense, combined with the rest of the album, it becomes apparent that the thing that Halsey is running from is her mental illness - the depression and the mania.

Ghost

And I swear I hate you when you leave
but I like it anyway.
Ghost is a really fast paced electropop cut, originally from Room 93. It was the song that put Halsey on the map, the song that got her signed. The original demo-version went slightly viral on Soundcloud and suddenly she had labels knocking on her door. She ended up with Astralwerks, mostly because they gave her a lot of creative freedom. A knee ways, this song is very dreamy and the verses are super catchy. It's shimmery and dark, very TumblrTM. If you want to read more, I have a writeup just about this song too.

Colors // Stripped // pt. II

I'm still waking every morning,
but it's not with you.
This song (which is most definetly not about Halsey's relationship with a certain Matt Healy from The 1975) was a fan favorite before the album even dropped, having been played at a live show a couple moths prior to the Badlands release. I remember literally downloading the Troubadour-live version as an mp3 and putting it in my Spotify-library. That's how thirsty us fans were for new Halsey songs in early 2015. The song grew out of a poem she posted on her Tumblr, which she ended up turning into the bridge. She ended up getting accused of plagiarizing that bridge from a Tumblr post — that she, Halsey herself made. The stripped version replaces this bridge with this simple sentence: "Art is not what I create - what I create is chaos", which definetly holds true to this date. Following the song is a cute little interlude that serves as the bridge between Colors and Strange Love.

Strange Love

Everybody's waiting up,
to hear if I dare speak your name.
It's really nice of Halsey to put the song telling everybody off for knowing that Colors is about Matty, right next to the song itself. If you want to read a poem? post? that Halsey wrote about their relationship, you can do so here at your own discretion. The song is about her being allowed to use her personal experiences in her song writing, but still having the right to a private personal life - she doesn't have to share anything and any piece of information is a gift to her fans. Personally, this is one of my least favorite Halsey songs. It's very repetitive, I find her "whoahs" annoying, the bass isn't enjoyable and I find the subject matter pretty "meh". Sorry, Leixander. At least the bridge kinda slaps.

Coming Down

I found a savior,
I don't think he remembers.
Coming Down continues the streak of "Songs About Matt Healy" on Badlands. Like on Colors, she compares their short-lived relationship to religion, saying that she found both God and the devil in the same person. She calls him both a martyr and a savior, their relationship confined to hotel rooms. Halsey knows the relationship is doomed - it keeps breaking down, but she keeps hoping that if she just makes it through another night, it will all be okay. But as we all know, it didn't turn out that way (and thank GOD for that because they would have been such an insufferable public couple).

Haunting

I've tried to wash you away,
but you just won't leave.
Halsey opens Haunting with a plea for her lover to keep haunting her, despite the fact that they're no good for her - a recurring theme on this album. She admits that she's moved on, in a way, because has a new boyfriend (Lido), made of gold (she ends up calling him King Midas on HFK's 100 Letters). However, she keeps thinking of what she used to have with this past lover, even though they "weren't looking for" Halsey. The best part of this song is honestly the production, which is shimmery and dark and layered. The last 30 seconds, where Halsey's heavy breathing gets intermingled with a tender guitar is just perfection.

Gasoline

I think there’s a flaw in my code,
these voices won’t leave me alone.
Gasoline is, in my opinion, the heart of Badlands - so I really don't understand why it's been delegated to just being a deluxe track. However, despite this, Gasoline has been certified platinum and it's one of the most streamed Badlands tracks on Spotify - without a single drop of promo. The track is a real look into Halsey's dealings with her mental health - a look at her 'Manic's self before Manic, the album was even thought of. It's a straight up banger with flawless production - the callback to Hurricane is just fantastic. It's fast paced, it's lyrically impressive, it has interesting production elements - Gasoline is Halsey at her best.

Control

I tried to hold these secrets inside me,
my mind's like a deadly disease.
We continue the mental health-focus in Control. While Gasoline is mostly a look into Halsey's anxieties surrounding her fame, which relates to her bipolar disorder, Control is straight up just about her manic brain. The track has some really great haunting 'circus'-y production elements, while Halsey paints a picture of an empty, creaking house filled with spiderwebs - just like a horror movie, with Halsey herself as the villain. The bridge tackles the very same themes she deals with on "Ashley" off of manic - her wanting to immortalize herself through her music.

Young God

And we'll be running, running, running.
Again.
At the very beginning of Young God, you can hear something that sounds like a demonic chant. In reality it's just "Forever cursed in love are the observant - forever a slave to the detail" reversed. Sonically, Young God feels like a sequel to Haunting, having the same type of shimmery and layered production details. It tells the story of two lovers who badly want to escape their current human situation, just the two of them together. It contrasts the worlds of heaven with sin, by saying that the only way they'll get to heaven is by committing sins, ie: "if you wanna go to heaven, you should fuck me tonight". Young God also concludes the "running, again" motif - first by saying that they'll be staying above all the people running, in heaven together and then at the end, admitting that they'll be the two running.

I Walk The Line

I keep a close watch on this heart of mine.
I keep my eyes wide open all the time.
This song, originally written and performed by Johnny Cash, was included on the deluxe version of Badlands instead of the absolute banger that is Garden. Why? This cover is absolute garbage and I like to pretend that it doesn't exist. Halsey says she included it on the album (and also made it so much "darker") because the "Badlands"-Halsey was literally addicted to their partner. However, that is no excuse for the terrible mixing, the lazy industrial sounds and the general "Car Commercial" vibes of the cover. #JusticeForGarden
It now has been a FULL five years since Badlands, Manic has been released and now I'm just wondering, how has your perception of Halsey changed in the past 5 (6) years?

And remember, guys: Keep Running

submitted by CarlieScion to popheads [link] [comments]


2020.08.26 23:19 LaqOfInterest [Rewatch] Announcing the Barakamon rewatch!

Interest thread from yesterday
Yes, it’s coming… eventually! Due to my personal scheduling arrangements, I’ve set the starting date for September 21, and barring any outrage on the part of potential participants, threads will go up daily at 5pm EST.
As this starting date is a ways off, I’ll post a few reminder threads leading up to the 21st.
Date Episode Link
September 21 Episode 1
September 22 Episode 2
September 23 Episode 3
September 24 Episode 4
September 25 Episode 5
September 26 Episode 6
September 27 Episode 7
September 28 Episode 8
September 29 Episode 9
September 30 Episode 10
October 1 Episode 11
October 2 Episode 12
October 3 Series Discussion
Barakamon MyAnimeList - Anilist - AniDB Legal streams available on Funimation
Barakamon is a comedy-slice-of-life show, made by Kinema Citrus, the studio that brought you uhh... Made in Abyss, Shield Hero, and Black Bullet? Well shoot, I dunno if those shows exactly get across the kind of vibe to communicate here.
Barakamon is the story of Handa Sei, a rising star in the world of calligraphy. Unfortunately, his success comes with an ego - when one of his pieces is criticized at an exhibition, he flies off the handle... violently. As punishment for his overreaction, Handa is sent to a rural island in the middle of nowhere to cool his jets. Hoping to make the best of a bad situation and use the peace and quiet to hone his calligraphy skills, Handa is dismayed to find himself constantly distracted by the curious, overbearing locals - particularly the village rascal, a six-year-old girl named Naru.
Barakamon is a comfy country slice-of-life detailing Handa's attempts to adjust to his new life, and his re-examination of the way he's always done things.
Also, star #2, Naru, is voiced by an actual child actor, so that's a neat thing the show has going for it.
What about the OVAs/prequel?
2-minute chibi shorts were aired after each episode, called Mijikamon. As they were released on YouTube in Japan, I’m not sure if any legal avenue of watching them exists. Watch ‘em if you want, they’re not necessary.
Two years after Barakamon aired, a prequel called Handa-kun was adapted, done by a different studio but based on the manga by the same author. Given that it appears to be drastically different in tone and only rather loosely connected to Barakamon, I’ve opted not to include it in the rewatch schedule. I’ll do a 180 on this if there’s outcry, or if we get halfway through Barakamon and suddenly everyone is on-board with pushing on through with Handa-kun, but as far as I can tell the only similarity the two shows have is that they have the same protagonist and one or two supporting characters. I haven't seen it fully myself but I tested the waters with the first episode and it's not up my alley, but if people are interested I can post threads.
I hope you can join us on this comfy journey!
submitted by LaqOfInterest to anime [link] [comments]


2020.08.24 17:54 yam11-11 Your #1 Priority May Lead You Astray

While it’s good to set goals and establish priorities, there’s a risk when you become myopically focused on a single outcome.
Single mindedness can be okay for a while if you’re progressing nicely, but if you’ve gotten stuck and the needle isn’t moving, this stuckness can prevent you from making progress in any area of life. And that can really make you feel trapped or stagnant.
Have you ever seen the following issues in yourself or someone else?
Still needing to lose weight being used as an excuse not to invest in social life or relationships
Long-term troubles with financial scarcity or chronic health problems postponing meaningful lifestyle improvements
Misaligned relationships delaying entrepreneurial pursuits
Still living with one’s parents being used a reason not to date
Have you ever told yourself that you really, really have to fix one particular area of life before you can properly improve another area of life?
I’ve definitely done that before. I did it when I was broke. I did it in my first marriage. I did it when I was feeling out of alignment with my first business. I repeatedly fell into the trap of obsessing over areas of life that were stuck, and somehow that made the stuckness even worse.
Sometimes it’s really hard to make forward progress in your area of greatest stuckness, even when you make that area your #1 priority. Sometimes it just won’t budge no matter how much force and effort you apply.
This can be immensely disheartening and draining. In particular, I found it super draining to keep trying to fix my finances when I was broke. I only fixed this area by shifting my attention to different parts of life that eventually led to good solutions for that stuck area.
I see similar patterns in others who keep trying to force progress in an area that isn’t progressing.
What’s the solution?
Give up… at least for a while. Surrender that stuck area to stagnation. Go invest what little energy you have left in some other area of life that you’ve been neglecting.
You’ll probably be astonished at how quickly you can make progress in a different area of life that isn’t being choked by the same degree of stuckness.
Maybe your finances are terrible right now, but you might make serious progress in your health and fitness at this time. Or switch your focus to having fun for a week or two.
Maybe you’re stuck with health problems, but you could potentially make wonderful improvements in your social life if you give it more attention (at least online at this time). A richer and more aligned social life could actually help you become healthier.
Many people, including me, have found that it’s when we give up and go attend to some other aspect of life, we finally start progressing in our primary area too – often in ways we never would have predicted.
I’m not entirely sure why this is – it just works so damned well though.
We could use the Law of Attraction frame and say that shifting focus elevates your vibe, and that helps get the stuck energy flowing again. We could say it’s due to stress reduction or a confidence boost. We could say it’s due to freeing up mental resources and thereby restoring your problem solving abilities. We could say that there’s a social effect, where more people may notice that you’re not such a Debbie Downer anymore, and now they’re happier to connect with you and bring you aligned opportunities and invitations.
How we explain this isn’t what’s most important here – use whatever frame you like as long as it gets you moving in some other direction. Just try to be open-minded about the possibility for non-linear progress. Realize that there are multiple potential reasons why it may be wise to shift your focus away from your #1 priority for a while.
There’s a good chance you already sense this instinctively. Do you notice a subtle voice nudging you to shift focus away from your stuck area? Do you think there may be a part of you that knows that the path to a solution requires some lateral movement first?
I know it can be hard to rationally explain to other people why you should shift gears. It’s like owing money to a gangster. You can’t justify that the best way to pay them back is for you to take a break from focusing on your finances for a few weeks. You may feel like you’ll lose your kneecaps if you go that route.
Try not to create that type of relationship within yourself though. Realize that breaking away from your #1 priority may be an intelligent and rational choice, even if your inner gangster doesn’t trust that it will work. At some point you have to face the hard truth that you’re not progressing and that continuing down the same path isn’t magically going to start working in the next week or two.
I’ve stumbled upon some of the most amazing advancements on my path of personal growth from lateral exploration. Here are some examples:
Volunteering in a nonprofit association helped me learn what I needed to make my first business profitable.
Going to Disneyland for 30 days in a row helped spawn the idea for Conscious Growth Club.
Attending a Hay House conference (mostly on spiritual topics) helped me change careers from game development to personal development.
Blogging about that same conference (but in a different year) led to a book deal and later speaking at that very same conference – twice.
Doing my first workshop led to meeting Rachelle, with whom I’ve shared a wonderful 10+ year relationship, including tons of travel adventures.
Doing a joint-venture business deal eventually led to an invitation to join the Transformational Leadership Council, which gave me dozens of growth-oriented friends along with more travel adventures.
Getting into international speaking led to some wonderful social and romantic experiences.
Getting stuck happens. Staying stuck is a choice.
Sometimes the energy doesn’t want to flow forward. Sometimes it wants to flow sideways. Maybe from a multidimensional perspective, sideways for you is actually forward in the grand scheme of life, the universe, and everything.
Recognize when the energy isn’t flowing in the direction you expect, and pause to observe where it does want to flow. Stop exhausting yourself with tiresome paddling, and find the current again.
Don’t be stubborn when you get stuck. Get back in tune with the possibility space. Stay humble, and remind yourself that you don’t know everything. Sometimes the fastest route forward is exactly where you don’t expect to find it.
submitted by yam11-11 to stevepavlinablog [link] [comments]


2020.08.22 22:17 gojiSquid Assorted details/reactions from AoaW

-Damn, that cold open is cool
-This is something that shows up throughout the episode, but the castle has clearly gone through renovations at some point. There is a clear disconnect between the more medieval stone and art of most of the castle, and the more industrial machinery that runs though it, without regard for the architecture of the castle. the highest point of the original castle seems to have been blown open for the big chimney. there is also metal tubing running through the castle that very much resembles arteries (which makes sense, given the heart).
-We see a lot of rogue witches being brought in, which makes me wonder how far Belos' reach is. Are all these witches from the Boiling Isles? Will we end up exploring more areas, such as the upper torso and the arms?
-A stained-glass depiction of Belos, with people kneeling below him, and a giant arm pointed towards the sky. Perhaps this is a depiction of the Titan, or maybe it's King's original form? Either way, the entire area around the glass looks very much like a christian church.
-Lol Kikimora's little bird legs.
-"The Day of Unity is fast approaching." Is this Belos' plan? Is the Day of Unity something like Sozin's Comet, or is it just whatever machinations Belos has behind the scenes? Either way, it seems to involve collecting and conforming rogue witches to covens (on that note, how does the branding process work? is it brainwashing/mind control, or does it just limit their magic?). Will the Day of Unity be next episode?
-"Are you protecting her?" Here Kikimora seems to be accusing Lilith of what is probably treason. I'll write more about this further down.
-Lol hooty hat.
-OH SH*T HOOTY KICKS ALL KINDS OF *SS, STRONGEST FIGHTER TO DATE
-I think he just smashed a guy's skull into his body and put his head through the now vacant hood.
- Hooty is just dance champion
-Eda wearing her scarf to keep King and Luz from worrying? awww (also AHHHH)
-Obviously, Luz is gonna use the Witches' Wool cloak in the next episode to help level the playing field between her and Lilith.
-if you look at Luz's expression when Eda comes to from her curse, she was clearly worried, but she also trusted Eda enough that she was willing to take the risk of giving her the elixir even as Eda almost claws off her face.
-Wait, so does the curse feed off of Eda's magic?
-Jesus christ Hooty. I don't think they're dead, but it's still creepy.
-Kinda sus that Belos orders Lilith's presence right after she fail her mission. Definitely seems like his omnipotent powers extend beyond the castle and into the Isles.
-Gus has straight-up mastered his hype-man gig. would not be surprised to see him commentate a witch wrestlemania.
-"The Savage Ages" is what I assume was the time when before Belos, where societies like the one up on the Knee were still active. presumably, they also used glyphs like Luz.
-New look at the titan. I still think that most of the bone outcroppings are tumors. It's nice to see more of it's skull, which seems to indicate that it had Neanderthal-ish facial features (based on the brow). Also, both horns are intact and not slanted back like King's are.
-Lol Amity. She'll definitely play a bigger role in the next episode, though.
-Confirmation that the Titan is the source of magic (also the first time they name-drop it, I think?)
-"The Emperor is the most skilled witch that's ever lived. He can even talk to the Titan." Given Belos' omnipotence seen later, this does seem to hold truth.
-Belos officially took power 50 years ago, ending The Savage Ages. He most definitely suppressed knowledge of the glyphs, and seems to have genocided a good many people. It also seems that he used the Titan's will as a justification, similar to how horrible things in the real world have been justified by religion. Belos isn't exactly a Horde Prime, but he definitely seems to be very religiously coded (like a Pope or a Holy King).
-Ok, so I see relics for Beastkeeping (the bell), Bard (the harp), Healing (the hat), Oracle (the orb), Plant (the infinity gauntlet), and what I assume to be Abomination (the orb with goo inside). later on, we also see the potion relic (which is a potion). Yet again, Construction was screwed over (mechpriests unite in protest)
-When Lilith returns, Kikimora cheekily gets the students to say "good luck" to her, indirectly implying that Lilith is about to be in danger with the coven. As with the betrayal accusation stuff, I will return to this later.
-"Good luck with puberty." Shots. Fired.
-As we follow Lilith, we see more of the pipelines, and they are very haphazardly strewn throughout the castle.
-And here is the man himself (god I love the intonation in Belos' voice. Matthew Rhys is a god)
-The heart is hooked up to all the pipes. My main guesses for it's purpose are either a) it's the locus point for all of the extra magic the bile sacks sap from their users, or b) it's the Titan's actual heart, and is what allows Belos to be omnipotent.
-Belos straight-up drinks a palisman, and Luz almost barfs at the sight (owlbert better watch out). looks like palismans are wild magic as opposed to standard magic, given how no mage has them in the coven system
-On that topic of Belos eye-drinking, it seems that he is extremely strained before he recharges, and immediately after he drinks the palisman, his eyes glow in a similar manner to Willow's rage mode. It's possible that either he's trying to create a synthetic version of that power, or he does have the organic one, but it's deteriorating.
-I already made a post that went over how Belos is abusive to Lilith in this situation (last paragraph, for those inclined) but needless to say he repeatedly threatens bodily harm to her, and banishment from the coven seems to mean death as well. This, added with all of Kikimora's digs at Lilith, shows that the Emperor's Coven is a really toxic group, where higher-ups like Belos and Kikimora constantly threaten Lilith in order to back her into a corner where they can force her to be a useful tool.
-...Of course, as much as Lilith is a victim to her her society, she is also a perpetrator of it. more on that later.
-Belos scratches the throne, and the heart starts beating frantically. Is the heart connected to the castle, outside of the pipes?
-Holy sh*t the way they show Belos' threat here is so good. the sounds of terror and destruction over what was once a painting meant to represent enlightenment really solidifies him as a threat.
-(just as an aside, it's really weird that everyone on twitter is piling all the hate on Lilith and pretty much paying no heed to Belos, especially when you factor in modern gender politics. like yeah, it's twitter where almost no intelligent communication ever happens, but still.)
-Checkov's cloak.
-Gus seems to be straining when keeping his illusions up, perhaps due to them being long-distance. he also moves them via rotating his cricle.
-It's really nice to see Willow and Gus so supportive of Luz. I hereby name them the Heist Trio.
-Lol at the guards
-"I will know..." goddamnit I need MORE CREEPY BELOS. THIS STUFF IS MY COCAINE.
-And now we get to Lilith being a massive d*ck. I don't actually think she's an inherently bad person; as previous episodes have shown, she does genuinely care for Eda, and tried to create situations where Eda would willingly join the EC, or at least peacefully join. However, her moral compass is rather weak compared to the protagonists, and when she's backed into a corner by Belos and Kikimora, rather than try to stand her ground like Luz or Eda would, she is willing to bend or break her morals to follow through with their demands, seeing herself as having no other choice. This make her responsible for some very horrible things.
-The artifcats do hold some power, but they're still really weak (Willow would have better luck in her rage mode).
-King is now the King of Bakers.
-Is Eda using lightning magic? It sorta looks like a mix between lightning and fire.
-Spencer Wan does not miss. I hope he has one last thing planned for the finale, and I hope that they're able to continue to work with him now that he's set up his new studio.
-Up on the castle wall Belos is just vibing to the angst down below.
-One of the Conformatorium Guards is watching the duel. Wrath shows up next episode, so maybe he's already there?
-Interesting to see how the "Stronger vs. Craftier" thing plays out; Eda has been forced into a more disadvantageous position for most of her life, which forced her to rely on and improve her strength. It seems that Lilith can't match Eda in terms of raw magical power (Eda is both faster and hits harder than Lilith), so she relies on her environment more (preying on Luz's condition, using the teeth moat and the limited amount of land to force Eda's actions). Ultimately Lilith comes out victorious, but there's a strong implication that, were the curse not there, Eda would've trounced her.
-"I am better than you!" Is an interesting line. Unlike most, I don't think that their rivalry is what led Lilith to curse Eda (more on that later), but I do think it's a big part of why their relationship deteriorated. Witch society also seems to have some very objectivist overtones, so it would make sense if that society corrupted their rivalry. Conversely, the hidden meaning behind this line is that Eda is morally better than Lilith, as Lilith has stooped to the point of threatening the life of a child (and someone she knows Eda is close to) just so Eda will comply.
-In the flashback to the curse, Eda has two photos up next to her bed of a witch with blood red hair and a half-cut (I don't actually know hair terms, someone plz halp). They don't exactly look like posters, but they also look more detailed than the designs we're used to. If they are actual photo's of a person, it could be the mystery theif/friend we've speculated about (who I suspect is also Gwendolyn), and perhaps Eda had a bit of a crush on them. If it's just posters, oh well Eda is still a bicon.
-I said this above, but I don't think Lilith cursed Eda out of spite, for two reasons: a) while she's certainly willing to do atrocious things, it's always out of a perceived sense of necessity, and b) I don't think the curse is just some curse. I highly suspect that it's tied to the Emperor (perhaps a part of his power that he found unwieldy/detrimental and cast it out, but causing him to need extra supplements of wild magic via palismans), and I suspect that, even indirectly, he more or less got Lilith into a situation similar to what Amity was forced to do with Willow: curse your sister, or some other horrible thing happens. And Lilith buckled and obeyed, because of her moral weakness. Also, having Belos tied to the curse would be great for his narrative involvement going forward.
-This brings me to what I think is Lilith's greatest flaw (not a writing flaw, but a character flaw); she cannot reconcile herself to her horrible situation and actions. In a way. this is similar to Amity, where she was unwilling to admit (at least until "Understanding Willow") that a) her parents were abusive and made her do a horrible thing, and b) she herself followed through with that horrible thing in the worst way possible, forcing herself to live the lie of the Blight family in order to stave off those truths. Lilith is unwilling to admit that she is stuck in a horrible and abusive position in society, and has presumably been so since a little bit before she cursed Eda, and is also clearly unwilling to fully confront the horribleness of cursing Eda and using Luz. She seemingly disassociates from her actions in all the previous episodes, talking about the curse as if she didn't give it to Eda herself, and puts all her faith in the Emperor being able to heal Eda, justifying each of her more and more ruthless actions with that. If she's going to atone at some point for what she's done (I suspect she will, this is an optimistic show) reconciling herself with the horrible truth of her surroundings and actions is going to be the first step along the way.
-Also direct confirmation that Lilith once had ginger, curly hair. Also, her cloak resembles the one we saw in the promo from before season 1b, with what looked like a flashback filter. We're not done with the "why did Lilith curse Eda storyline" yet.
-Eda most definitely recited that last speech to Luz. my f\cking feelings, man!*
-Belos be like
-More of Lilith being toxic while trying to cope. "Go back to your world, this one is ours." particularly intrigues me, as I do suspect that Luz will be temporarily kicked back into the human realm at the end of the finale.
-Other people have pointed it out, but only Luz's shadow appears at the end, showing how alone she feels.
So yeah, this was a great episode and I am a wreck. I feel that there's still some things that need answering with Lilith, but she's certainly solidified herself as a quality antagonist now (even if redemption is still possible). Also Belos Belos BELOS BELOS-
submitted by gojiSquid to TheOwlHouse [link] [comments]


2020.08.16 03:46 jg429 Sub Survey Results!!

Thanks to everyone who filled out the survey! I was hoping to get some insight into what's bringing people here and how we can improve, and I think we mostly met that goal! You can go on a deep dive into the results below.
In general, people come here because of the sense of community and how nice everyone is. Ways we can improve: more engagement with each other and with the band (I lost count of how many people asked for Rian's AMA lol). The mods will work on what we want to do with some of these ideas and go from there.
81 people filled out the survey. Last year, we had 65 responses. I linked the results to the last survey, but I have not yet gone through to see what's similar and what's different.
Disclaimer #1: Some comments were lightly edited for clarify or spelling.
Disclaimer #2: Next time I think I want to do a survey, someone please remind me how much freaking work it is to put all the data together.
Disclaimer #3: My comments are in bold, as are the top selections for each category. I was a little sassy.
Reminder: There are controversial opinions about the band and normal song opinions. You're welcome to respond to anything but remember to be nice and respectful. Everyone is entitled to their opinions and mostly everyone is here because of how welcoming the community is.

Demographics

Gender

Location
State (if in US)
Age

All-Time Stats

How Long Have You Been Listening to ATL?
First Album/EP You Listened To?
Where Does ATL Fit Into Your Favorite Bands?
How Many Times Have You Seen ATL Live?
Do you watch/listen to Crash Test Live/Full Frontal?

Opinions

Favorite Album/EP?
Least Favorite Album/EP

Favorite Song
Least Favorite Song
Favorite Opener - this band has some great openers. I went with Reckless but it was hard to choose!
Favorite Closer
Favorite Part of ATL
Least Favorite Part of ATL - this is why we're all reading this post, right?
Favorite B-Side
Favorite Song to Hear Live
Least Favorite Song to Hear Live
Dream song to hear live that they WILL NOT PLAY?
Do you have a favorite member?
Wow us with your controversial opinions/hot takes: or is it THIS section we're all here for?

Sub Feedback

How long have you been subscribed to alltimelow?

How often do you come here?
What other subs do you frequent? I took out all the because that seemed super spammy
What other fan spaces do you use? (To interact with other fans, not to follow the band/members)
If you use other spaces, how does the sub compare?
What do you like about the sub?
How could we improve?
What would you like to see on the sub for content/activity?
Anything You Want To Add?
submitted by jg429 to alltimelow [link] [comments]


2020.08.13 04:43 MeanMustacheMan 21 [M4F] Atlanta/US- I might be your specific niche guy!

Quick TLDR pros and cons about me:
I feel like my Reddit post history gives a good sense of me so check that out if you want.
Howdy there, I’m Grant! I’ve posted around here a few times in the past and haven’t had success yet. I'd been going through a really rough time this year. I had had to take off from college for mental health reasons and my physical and mental health have really declined because of depression, med changes, and eating disorder stuff hitting me hard. I had really regressed and have become a home shut in (pre-quarantine) and of course, the world is unfortunately not doing great right now for obvious reasons. The pandemic has definitely affected my mental health, and it's hard to connect with others right now, especially as someone who's already isolated socially to begin with. Things were especially rough for me because I was going through med changes and I'd felt horribly ill lately. Depression had really been grating on me physically. After some med changes, I'm just getting back to the point where I can function and feel normal and I'm starting to build my self-esteem back up! :) I'm feeling a bit self confident again!
I’m really looking for a serious relationship. I haven't really had any luck with dating apps/sites. I love saying and doing really cheesy romantic stuff with a partner. My love languages are definitely words of affirmation and physical affection. I feel like I need someone really gentle and tender because I’m super sensitive and deal with a lot of mental health issues. I have depression, severe anxiety to the point I’ve had to have a colonoscopy because of the physical effects anxiety has had on my body, OCD, bipolar 2 or major depressive disorder (I've had conflicting diagnoses with different psychiatrists, I get these severe depressive episodes and basically have an existential crisis every other day), eating disorders, body image issues, self-harm stuff, and more. My physical health lately has had problems from me overexerting myself and often I end up asleep more than I'm awake on a 24 hour period because I physically wear myself out and anxiety often takes a toll on me physically as well. Also, as a disclaimer, I still live at home, and I dunno, I’m really ashamed of that and think of how successful other people my age are. I just turned 21 and I’m really upset about it and dreading it because I feel as if time is passing me by too quickly and that I feel overwhelmed and unprepared for adult responsibilities and that I have nothing going for me. That being said, I've been trying to study a foreign language as a goal to motivate me and give me something to work towards.
I would say I’m really determined and hard-working, probably to a fault (I get periods of physical exhaustion). I work out my body really hard physically and take my path towards becoming a teacher seriously. I’m always open and honest with my emotions and I guess I’m really good about showing my gentle side. I love cute things, animals, and displays of affection. Toxic masculinity has had a huge impact on my life and I really hate it. A lot of people have described me as having a “pure” or “innocent” vibe alongside being charmingly dorky, so you might find that aspect of me cute. I’m always around to talk and love calling. I can probably make you laugh with bad jokes or tell you about some weird or obscure fact. I’m really affectionate and I’ve been told I’m good at cuddling. I really like gentle physical affection. I really want to sleep with you, and I mean literally fall asleep with someone. I am incredibly passionate about nerdy things and love to analyze, discuss, and ramble about them.
Here’s some other miscellaneous info about me, including hobbies and interests! I’m 5’ 6”, Pisces, a leftist, and an atheist, though if you’re spiritual or religious, don’t shy away! As long as you’re not some homophobic fundamentalist, I’m still interested in learning about your beliefs. I’ve gotten really good at cooking and I can make you stuff! My favorite food is brussel sprouts or pink lady apples, and I am very much an apple elitist and have made a tier list of the different apple varieties. I love anime, manga, video games (I collect retro games and especially love Nintendo stuff and JRPGs! Also, I'm good at SNK fighting games), making Gunpla kits, cosplaying, running and working out, horror films, watching sports (Atlanta teams all the way, baseball is my absolute favorite sport), podcasts, discussing conspiracy theories (my personal theory is that the “close door” button on an elevator is just a placebo), and I used to do a lot of geocaching. Some of my favorite anime and manga are Outlaw Star, One Piece, Gundam (Zeta, ZZ, and Victory are my personal favorite series), Berserk, Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer, Spirit Circle, Banana Fish, Lupin III, Fire Punch, Chainsaw Man, Kimagure Orange Road, Hi Score Girl, Hunter x Hunter, Kaiji, Trigun, Evangelion, Megazone 23, Bubblegum Crisis, Dororo, High Score Girl, Spy x Family, The Irresponsible Captain Tylor, and so much more I can’t think of off the top of my head! My favorite video games include Metroid, Castlevania, Suikoden, MotheEarthbound, Chrono Trigger & Cross, Samurai Shodown, Xenoblade, Dragon Quest, Yakuza, any mascot platformer, Skies of Arcadia, F-Zero, Zelda, and so much more! If you want to play some games with me, I’d love to play Monster Hunter World, Samurai Shodown, Street Fighter V, King of Fighters, Garou Mark of the Wolves or Catherine on PS4 or Smash Bros, Killer Queen, Splatoon 2, or Mario Kart on Switch! I just got Tekken 7 and Soulcalibur VI. I'm trying to "git gud" at fighting games as of late. I play on FightCade as well. We should trade or battle Pokémon and/or visit each other in Animal Crossing! I have plenty of peaches, apples, oranges, and pears to give you, and I think my town is pretty cool.
I have a really dumb sense of humor. I love surreal stuff (Regular Show is one of my favorite shows ever) and just laughing at goofy and bizarre stuff. Nathan For You encapsulates my sense of humor well. I’ve been rewatching The Super Mario Bros. Show to follow along with a podcast and I’ve been laughing so much at its insanity. Some of my favorite podcasts are Unpopular Opinion, Retronauts, Watch Out For Fireballs, Talking Simpsons/What a Cartoon!, and Podcast: The Ride. I very much enjoy watching awful stuff for fun. I'm a massive Simpsons nerd and I also love King of the Hill to death and am watching Futurama for the first time as of late.
Distance isn’t an issue for me! I’m super committed to meeting you in person if/when the time comes, and I definitely can make accommodations to make it happen. Plus, we're all trapped at home so now's the time to expand horizons virtually! If you have any questions at all about me, feel free to ask about literally anything! I’m an open book. If I interest you, shoot me a message! Tell me your favorite Pokémon and/or Animal Crossing villager and why you love them!
Let's go on an Animal Crossing date! I'll wear my fancy in-game clothes! :)
Here's some pictures of me! I can send you more if you message me!
Here's my cosplay so far! One day when cons are safe again, I'd like to do Guy from Street Fighter.
I hope I get to hear from you soon! :)
submitted by MeanMustacheMan to r4r [link] [comments]


2020.08.13 04:43 MeanMustacheMan 21 [M4F] Atlanta/US- I might be your specific niche guy!

Quick TLDR pros and cons about me:
I feel like my Reddit post history gives a good sense of me so check that out if you want.
Howdy there, I’m Grant! I’ve posted around here a few times in the past and haven’t had success yet. I'd been going through a really rough time this year. I had had to take off from college for mental health reasons and my physical and mental health have really declined because of depression, med changes, and eating disorder stuff hitting me hard. I had really regressed and have become a home shut in (pre-quarantine) and of course, the world is unfortunately not doing great right now for obvious reasons. The pandemic has definitely affected my mental health, and it's hard to connect with others right now, especially as someone who's already isolated socially to begin with. Things were especially rough for me because I was going through med changes and I'd felt horribly ill lately. Depression had really been grating on me physically. After some med changes, I'm just getting back to the point where I can function and feel normal and I'm starting to build my self-esteem back up! :) I'm feeling a bit self confident again!
I’m really looking for a serious relationship. I haven't really had any luck with dating apps/sites. I love saying and doing really cheesy romantic stuff with a partner. My love languages are definitely words of affirmation and physical affection. I feel like I need someone really gentle and tender because I’m super sensitive and deal with a lot of mental health issues. I have depression, severe anxiety to the point I’ve had to have a colonoscopy because of the physical effects anxiety has had on my body, OCD, bipolar 2 or major depressive disorder (I've had conflicting diagnoses with different psychiatrists, I get these severe depressive episodes and basically have an existential crisis every other day), eating disorders, body image issues, self-harm stuff, and more. My physical health lately has had problems from me overexerting myself and often I end up asleep more than I'm awake on a 24 hour period because I physically wear myself out and anxiety often takes a toll on me physically as well. Also, as a disclaimer, I still live at home, and I dunno, I’m really ashamed of that and think of how successful other people my age are. I just turned 21 and I’m really upset about it and dreading it because I feel as if time is passing me by too quickly and that I feel overwhelmed and unprepared for adult responsibilities and that I have nothing going for me. That being said, I've been trying to study a foreign language as a goal to motivate me and give me something to work towards.
I would say I’m really determined and hard-working, probably to a fault (I get periods of physical exhaustion). I work out my body really hard physically and take my path towards becoming a teacher seriously. I’m always open and honest with my emotions and I guess I’m really good about showing my gentle side. I love cute things, animals, and displays of affection. Toxic masculinity has had a huge impact on my life and I really hate it. A lot of people have described me as having a “pure” or “innocent” vibe alongside being charmingly dorky, so you might find that aspect of me cute. I’m always around to talk and love calling. I can probably make you laugh with bad jokes or tell you about some weird or obscure fact. I’m really affectionate and I’ve been told I’m good at cuddling. I really like gentle physical affection. I really want to sleep with you, and I mean literally fall asleep with someone. I am incredibly passionate about nerdy things and love to analyze, discuss, and ramble about them.
Here’s some other miscellaneous info about me, including hobbies and interests! I’m 5’ 6”, Pisces, a leftist, and an atheist, though if you’re spiritual or religious, don’t shy away! As long as you’re not some homophobic fundamentalist, I’m still interested in learning about your beliefs. I’ve gotten really good at cooking and I can make you stuff! My favorite food is brussel sprouts or pink lady apples, and I am very much an apple elitist and have made a tier list of the different apple varieties. I love anime, manga, video games (I collect retro games and especially love Nintendo stuff and JRPGs! Also, I'm good at SNK fighting games), making Gunpla kits, cosplaying, running and working out, horror films, watching sports (Atlanta teams all the way, baseball is my absolute favorite sport), podcasts, discussing conspiracy theories (my personal theory is that the “close door” button on an elevator is just a placebo), and I used to do a lot of geocaching. Some of my favorite anime and manga are Outlaw Star, One Piece, Gundam (Zeta, ZZ, and Victory are my personal favorite series), Berserk, Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer, Spirit Circle, Banana Fish, Lupin III, Fire Punch, Chainsaw Man, Kimagure Orange Road, Hi Score Girl, Hunter x Hunter, Kaiji, Trigun, Evangelion, Megazone 23, Bubblegum Crisis, Dororo, High Score Girl, Spy x Family, The Irresponsible Captain Tylor, and so much more I can’t think of off the top of my head! My favorite video games include Metroid, Castlevania, Suikoden, MotheEarthbound, Chrono Trigger & Cross, Samurai Shodown, Xenoblade, Dragon Quest, Yakuza, any mascot platformer, Skies of Arcadia, F-Zero, Zelda, and so much more! If you want to play some games with me, I’d love to play Monster Hunter World, Samurai Shodown, Street Fighter V, King of Fighters, Garou Mark of the Wolves or Catherine on PS4 or Smash Bros, Killer Queen, Splatoon 2, or Mario Kart on Switch! I just got Tekken 7 and Soulcalibur VI. I'm trying to "git gud" at fighting games as of late. I play on FightCade as well. We should trade or battle Pokémon and/or visit each other in Animal Crossing! I have plenty of peaches, apples, oranges, and pears to give you, and I think my town is pretty cool.
I have a really dumb sense of humor. I love surreal stuff (Regular Show is one of my favorite shows ever) and just laughing at goofy and bizarre stuff. Nathan For You encapsulates my sense of humor well. I’ve been rewatching The Super Mario Bros. Show to follow along with a podcast and I’ve been laughing so much at its insanity. Some of my favorite podcasts are Unpopular Opinion, Retronauts, Watch Out For Fireballs, Talking Simpsons/What a Cartoon!, and Podcast: The Ride. I very much enjoy watching awful stuff for fun. I'm a massive Simpsons nerd and I also love King of the Hill to death and am watching Futurama for the first time as of late.
Distance isn’t an issue for me! I’m super committed to meeting you in person if/when the time comes, and I definitely can make accommodations to make it happen. Plus, we're all trapped at home so now's the time to expand horizons virtually! If you have any questions at all about me, feel free to ask about literally anything! I’m an open book. If I interest you, shoot me a message! Tell me your favorite Pokémon and/or Animal Crossing villager and why you love them!
Let's go on an Animal Crossing date! I'll wear my fancy in-game clothes! :)
Here's some pictures of me! I can send you more if you message me!
Here's my cosplay so far! One day when cons are safe again, I'd like to do Guy from Street Fighter.
I hope I get to hear from you soon! :)
submitted by MeanMustacheMan to ForeverAloneDating [link] [comments]


2020.08.12 18:00 daprice82 Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ Jul. 29, 2002

Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives.
PREVIOUSLY:
1-7-2002 1-14-2002 1-21-2002 1-28-2002
2-4-2002 2-11-2002 2-18-2002 2-25-2002
3-4-2002 3-11-2002 3-18-2002 3-25-2002
4-1-2002 4-8-2002 4-15-2002 4-22-2002
4-29-2002 5-6-2002 5-13-2002 5-20-2002
5-27-2002 6-3-2002 6-10-2002 6-17-2002
6-24-2002 7-1-2002 7-8-2002 7-15-2002
7-22-2002

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Most of you know the homie SaintRidley has been recapping the Observers from the 1980s (and if you don't know, now you know). Anyway, he got blasted by storms in Iowa the other day and has intermittent internet and asked me to pass along word that he won't be able to post the latest issue of the 1988 Rewind this week. Hope everything's okay with ya dude!

  • Dave opens the issue with some high praise, a rare thing for the top story. But this week's episode of Raw was the first time WWE showed real effort in months, with a clear plan to build a Raw vs. Smackdown storyline and to make the brands as distinct as possible. Raw felt like a completely new show, starting multiple new storylines that hint at long-term booking (we're so used to WWE disappointing us nowadays that it's kinda cute to go back in time and see someone buy into the false hope of improvement like this). They also had a super hot crowd, which helped a lot. The ratings also saw a spike this week, due to fans wanting to see what Raw looks like with Bischoff in charge. The announcers were moved away from ringside and stationed near the stage, similar to the old Nitro set. During the matches, the arena was darkened to give it a more old-school feel. Things felt more spontaneous and less predictable than they have in ages. The European title was done away with, unified with the IC title. Dave feels the belt was useless the last few years anyway.
  • The show featured DX reuniting, but ended with Triple H turning heel and giving Shawn Michaels a pedigree. Dave expects it to lead to Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels at Summerslam, but we'll see. This also necessitated Triple H moving back over to Raw, and in exchange, they moved Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman over to Smackdown at the end of the show. Eddie Guerrero had a match with The Rock and also had a segment where they went back and forth on the mic. It was the most confident Eddie has ever been on the mic and he held his own with Rock and came out of the night looking to be a bigger star than ever. The show wasn't all good though. They had a segment where they put D-Lo Brown and Shawn Stasiak in the ring and Bischoff berated them for being boring and buried them for trying to wrestle, which Dave thinks sucked. The DX reunion followed by Triple H's heel turn blew through potentially weeks of storyline progression in only one hour, but that's typical these days. But Dave thinks of all the potential revenue they could have made on DX merch if they'd been given a chance to have even a short few-week run, but alas. He also thought the announcers playing dumb (like Jim Ross having to pretend not to know who the Island Boyz were during their debut, despite the fact that he's written about them a million times in his weekly WWE.com column). Also too much backstage stuff, which is fine for TV, but sucks for the live crowd when they bought tickets to watch half the show on the TitanTron. But overall, it was the best Raw in a long time and the first sign that maybe WWE's latest reboot is going to mean real change. And that's the top story. Raw was actually good for once and it's the biggest news of the week.
WATCH: Triple H turns on Shawn Michaels - 2002
  • daprice82 Editor's Note: No one is going to care, but I have a story about this Raw. At the time, my girlfriend (now-wife) and I were in Peoria, IL for the 2nd annual Gathering of the Juggalos! We were 19 years old and drove there from Memphis in my shitty ol' Chevy Blazer and spent the weekend woop-wooping it up. Well, that Monday afternoon, we left Peoria to drive home. We got maybe 30 miles out of town when I realized that my previously full gas tank was almost empty. Pulled into a gas station, confused, but filled the tank again, and drove on. Watched the tank slowly drain as I drove along and within 30 minutes, I was on E again. I was losing gas somehow. Pulled off an exit and stopped at the single nicest truck stop I've ever seen. This place had everything. It was a gas station, connected to a Subway, with a lounge area that had recliners, full showers, washers and dryers, etc. If you're gonna be stranded somewhere, it was the best option. I ended up calling my dad and he drove 7 hours to come pick us up. So while we waited, my girlfriend and I spent the rest of the day into the night, hanging out in this lounge, sleeping in the recliners, and watching TV. And low and behold, they had the TV on Raw that night. I remember I was dozing in and out and I remember waking up when I heard the DX music hit and groggily staring at the TV like "wtf?" And then I saw Triple H turn on Shawn and was like "Whoa!" and then I fell back asleep and that's all I remember.
  • WWE announced that it's re-evaluating its quarterly and annual business efforts due to lower-than-expected revenue this year, stemming from PPV buyrates and live attendance plummeting. To keep the company in the black, WWE is making $20 million in budget cutbacks. Most of the cuts are coming from administrative expenses, but the developmental program is going to be hit hard (more on that in a bit). For next quarter, WWE is predicting an overall profit of $1.5 to $2 million. But that is a bit misleading because that figures in the $3.5 million settlement from the PTC lawsuit. If not for that settlement, this quarter would be the first money-losing quarter since 1997 (assuming you don't count the Q1 of 2001, when they had all the massive XFL start-up costs). Plus, they're running twice as many house shows now than they were the same quarter last year, and the numbers are still that bad. There's a ton of year-to-year comparisons here, which is super fun if you're a numbers person but TL;DR - business ain't great.
  • So what about Japan? Business there is an interesting story also. NOAH has surpassed NJPW in average attendance per show for the first half of 2002, which shows just how staggering of a collapse NJPW has had. The biggest success story of the year has been AJPW, which was on death's door a little over a year ago, with the entire roster jumping ship to form NOAH and the company lost its television deal. It's a miracle they survived at all, much less become as hot as they have this year. The reason, of course, is Keiji Muto (and to a lesser extent, Satoshi Kojima), both of whom jumped ship from NJPW at the beginning of the year and immediately gave the promotion a huge shot in the arm, spiking live attendance by nearly 70% and tripling merch sales. Meanwhile, NJPW is still stinging from those losses, plus they ran Riki Choshu out of the company, made Tadao Yasuda IWGP champion which was a huge flop, they have no good foreign talent, their junior division is stale as can be, and current champion Yuji Nagata is still trying to get his momentum back after a humiliating MMA loss to Mirko Cro Cop on New Year's Eve.
  • So about those developmental cutbacks. WWE cut ties with Les Thatcher's HWA promotion and also dropped the contracts of several developmental stars there. Among the names cut: Steve Bradley, EZ Money, Jon Heidenreich, Mike Sanders, BJ Payne, Horace Hogan, and several others you probably never heard of. HWA wrestlers Lance Cade and Charlie Haas are being reassigned to OVW, which will now be WWE's only developmental territory. Others, like Shannon Moore, Victoria, and Barry Buchanan are expected to debut on the main roster soon and were kept. In 2001 fiscal year, WWE spent $1.1 on developmental costs and had relationships with 4 promotions: HWA, OVW, UPW, and IWA Puerto Rico. Now we're down to one, with Jim Ross reportedly ordered to cut that developmental budget in half. Dave doesn't like this. With WWE being the only game in town and in need of new stars more than ever, he feels they should be expanding their developmental system rather than shrinking it. Creating new stars is vital to the future of WWE and limiting themselves to one promotion with a pool of only a dozen or so people seems short-sighted. He also disagrees with some of the people who got cut. Not everyone in developmental is going to be a star, but some of them at least deserved a shot (namely Steve Bradley, who had been there for 3-4 years, is still in his twenties, is a good worker and strong promo, but never got a chance on the main roster because he doesn't have the right look). Why some of those people were released while Jackie Gayda and Chris Nowinski are stinking up the ring on Raw is beyond Dave. He also thinks Les Thatcher had a pretty impossible job. He was given a roster full of wrestlers that were mostly leftovers from WCW. Young guys who came out of WCW's Power Plant and worked a fast-paced WCW style that doesn't apply to modern day WWE. Then they had Thatcher, Danny Davis, and Jim Cornette train these guys. A bunch of old school veterans training these young guys in the ways of 80s wrestling. So now they learn a whole new style....which also doesn't apply to modern day WWE. It's a broken system. Anyway, everyone who was cut has 90-day non-competes. Word is TNA is only interested in Mike Sanders, out of the names released.
  • WWE Vengeance is in the books headlined by one of those classic matches that can single-handedly make a show. The Rock defeated Kurt Angle and Undertaker in a triple threat match to become the first 7-time WWE champion, although Angle was clearly the one who had another star-making performance. Dave nitpicks the fact that Rock pinned Angle (rather than the champion Undertaker) to win the title, but he'll wait and see if it leads to anything storyline-wise first before criticizing it too much (it leads to nothing, turns out it was just a cheap way to get the title on Rock without Taker having to do a job). But it was an excellent match that gets 4.5 stars. Most of the other matches were good too, though some of the booking was weird and doesn't seem to make long-term sense. They teased a feud between the Raw and Smackdown announcers, which Dave thinks is fine so long as it stays verbal. None of us needs to see Jim Ross or Michael Cole in matches. Dave also gives Tazz credit for improving greatly in his commentary role over the last year. He sucked when he first started but he's the best color commentator they got now. They had the first face-to-face meeting between Angle and Lesnar, which is a subtle tease to what Dave expects to be a big time feud in the future. John Cena pinned Chris Jericho in a match that exposed how green Cena still is and Jericho wasn't able to carry him to anything good and the crowd couldn't have cared less about the rookie. RVD beat Brock Lesnar by DQ to retain the IC title. RVD was super over since they were in Michigan. Bad finish but I guess they didn't wanna give Brock the IC title since he's almost definitely winning the world title from Rock in a month. There was a forever long segment with Bischoff and Stephanie trying to woo Triple H to sign with their respective shows. Anti-Americans won the tag titles from Edge and Hogan. That's basically it.
  • We have a section called "Treatment of Minorities Within Pro Wrestling" by Todd Martin (presumably the same Todd Martin from the PWTorch?). The piece touches on wrestling's past portrayals of race and the false impression that things have gotten better due to the success of people like The Rock, when in reality, the racism is just more subtle. Martin takes a look at WWE's hiring processes. Very few minorities have come up through the developmental program, but it's hard to say if that's WWE's fault. Maybe there's just not many minorities trying to break into the business that way, there's no statistical evidence either way. But you can look at the wrestlers they chose to hire from WCW and how they fared in the WWE system. Midcard comedy wrestlers like Shawn Stasiak got a chance but not midcard comedy wrestlers like Norman Smiley. Nepotism got Horace Hogan a contract, but it didn't do anything for Stevie Ray. Examples like that. Or the Luchadores. Martin argues that, with all the talented Hispanic wrestlers WCW turned into stars, it's inexcusable that so few of them have even gotten so much a developmental offer from WWE. And the only ones who did were the ones fluent in English, which you can argue for. Can't argue size either. Someone like La Parka dwarfs over Crash Holly or Spike Dudley, but WWE has no interest. Wrestlers like Psicosis, Juventud, La Parka, Silver King, and others helped carry WCW through some of its most successful years and none of those guys even got a glance from WWE. Martin asks if Booker T's current jive-talking gimmick is any better than his early GI Bro or Ebony Experience gimmicks? Especially when they have him on TV hotwiring cars and doing stereotypical criminal shit like that? In regards to Eddie Guerrero's current Mexican stereotype gimmick, even Jim Ross recently said that it's taking Hispanic relations back 25 years. If the Booker T or Guerrero characters were portrayed on a normal network TV show with a majority-white cast, they would be seen for the racist caricatures that they are. Martin ends the piece by saying he doesn't believe WWE's decision makers are overtly racist. It's just that the company has created a hierarchy of implicit beliefs about how different types of people are portrayed and they may not even realize that they've built such a system.
  • Dave adds his own "editor's note" to the end of this piece and says he chose to publish it because of the detailed research and data used and found it a fascinating article that deserves discussion. Dave disagrees with some of it though and argues that some of it is just a difference in philosophy. For example, WWE tried the Lucha Libre experiment before with the Superastros show and crowds were dead for it. WWE and WCW had very different fanbases and presented different products because of it. So it may not be so much racism in that case as it is WWE fans have never shown any interest in that style of wrestling. He also argues against some of the examples Martin used (for instance, Stevie Ray was considered by WWE but he was already in his 40s and was never the caliber of worker as his brother, which is why they passed). But that being said, Dave thinks other parts of the piece make some interesting points that are well worth a read.
  • TNA week 5 felt like a whole new product due to the heavy influence of Vince Russo. We'll get into that later, but for now, buckle in, we've got a few paragraphs of TNA drama to get through. The first 4 shows presented a product with an emphasis on hard work and long-term angles. This week featured the classic Russo recipe of crash TV and constant, edgy swearing, in an attempt to market "to that 15-30 age group male demo that hates women because they can't get dates and enjoys seeing them harassed and abused." The show ended with a big injury angle to Scott Hall, which is all well and good and might get people interested in next week's show, except it came on the heels of multiple other "serious injury" angles during the same show and by the time Hall did it, it was something like the 3rd stretcher job of the night and it felt meaningless. Same with every promo being filled with curse words. The whole show was yet another example of why Vince Russo needs someone to filter his worst instincts. In this case, that should be Jerry Jarrett, but he was away from creative dealing with budget and legal issues all this week (gonna hear a LOT more about that soon). On that note, just based on very rough, preliminary PPV buyrate figures, production costs, etc. Dave estimates this company is already about half a million dollars in the red, and that's not counting the significant startup costs they have yet to recoup, with estimates that the company is currently losing about $120,000 or more per week.
  • As of this week, TNA's budgets have been slashed. They've also moved tapings to the smaller and cheaper Nashville Fairgrounds location and signed a 3-month lease. It's reported that switching buildings will save $27,000 per week. They're also eliminating pyro, cut new deals with the production crew, and will be flying in fewer stars, relying mostly on people that can drive. They also don't plan to use managers, will cut back on the TNA girls, and will be using Ken Shamrock and Scott Hall on alternate weeks, since they're the two highest paid guys and it's expensive to have them both on the same show. The Fairgrounds building has been used for wrestling tapings before and never looks good on TV, but TNA is insisting they can dress it up to look good. The budget cuts are expected to be so heavy that TNA's new break-even point for PPV buys will be 20,000 per week instead of 50,000. Dave thinks 20,000 is a much more attainable goal, but if it comes at the expense of the product looking minor league and low budget, it's gonna fail. The building also has no air conditioning and with TV lights, it's going to be brutally hot during summer months. Jerry Jarrett has been posting frequently on the wrestlingclassics.com message board and admitted that they weren't anywhere close to the 50,000-buys-per-week they needed. Here's a post Jerry wrote explaining their plans for the company and the new, Russo-iffic direction:
Jeff (Jarrett) and I are wrestling purists just as many fans here. The difference is that we have put up everything we have in our effort to present an alternative to sports entertainment. Our plan was simple. We believed that there were 50,000 wrestling fans who would pay $10 per week, or $40 per month to have an alternative to sports entertainment. This was based on the fact WWE has from 300,000 to one million fans of sports entertainment who will pay $35 per month to see their product. We were well aware that production values, talent, storylines, content, etc. were all factors that could negatively effect the buy rate. We still thought the market would support us enough to make the plan successful. We are finding that many of the wrestling purists did exactly as I did ten years ago, and that is, go on to something else. We are finding that there are many fewer fans who really want an alternative to sports entertainment than we anticipated. Therefore, we can either attempt to attract a few of the WWE fans, or pack up and go home. We have risked everything in our venture. Therefore, not because of our personal taste, but out of necessity, we are compromising our wrestling purist instincts and attempting to create a broader fan base. ECW did a great job of creating a product for the hardcore wrestling fan. The simple fact was that the base of their fans was not sufficient to keep them in business."
  • Ray Gonzalez, one of the top stars in Puerto Rico, shockingly announced he's leaving WWC and most expect him to jump to IWA. Gonzalez claimed WWC was late in paying him, which he says breached his contract (reportedly paying him $800-$1000 per week). As a result, his lawyers sent WWC a letter saying because of this, he was quitting the company. Gonzalez no-showed WWC events this weekend. This is going to badly hurt WWC's upcoming Anniversary show because Gonzalez was a major part of multiple top angles that the card was built around. Gonzalez has been the top heel in WWC and arguably has kept the company alive the past 5 years, and is most responsible for getting Carly Colon (Carlito) over as a big star. IWA has already started advertising a mystery wrestler to be the top heel in upcoming shows this weekend, and it's no secret that Gonzalez is expected to debut for the company and be that guy. Dave also mentions several other WWC wrestlers who no-showed events last week because they were late in being paid. Many of them are as much as 10 weeks behind on pay, but this week, they were summoned to the office where Carlos Colon paid them about 5 weeks worth of what they're owed. Lots of death-of-ECW vibes going on here lately.
  • Lots of rumors that AJPW star Genichiro Tenryu will be showing up at the NOAH show this week to challenge GHC champion Yoshinari Ogawa. Needless to say, this would be a big deal if it happens because AJPW and NOAH basically hate each other. No word on whether this is an angle or not, but given how much Motoko Baba hates NOAH, it seems unlikely. Of course, it also remains to be seen if Tenryu will even show up or if it's all just rumors. Tenryu is currently feuding with Muto over who should have become president of the company, so this could be just a kayfabed angle to make it look like Tenryu is really anti-AJPW (looks like it was just a work, he doesn't end up going to NOAH until 2005).
  • Dave recaps AJPW's latest Buddokan Hall show, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the company, which featured Keiji Muto wrestling 3 different matches under 3 different gimmicks. All told, Muto worked a total of about 36 minutes between the 3 matches and was banged up like hell the next day. There were also a lot of old legends on the card, like Abdullah The Butcher, Mil Mascaras, Dos Caras, and more. Stan Hansen and Motoko Baba came out to give speeches about the company, with Ms. Baba breaking down crying when talking about her husband, and more. I managed to find most of this show on Dailymotion, enjoy:
WATCH: AJPW 30th Anniversary show
  • While we're on the topic, Dave saw a recent AJPW match with Tenryu defending the Triple Crown title against Satoshi Kojima in a match that many are calling the match of the year. Dave saw it and gives it 4.75 stars and calls Kojima possibly the best wrestler in the business when it comes to carrying the audience on an emotional roller coaster ride. He doesn't agree or disagree that it's the best match of the year, but he sure loved it.
WATCH: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Satoshi Kojima - AJPW Triple Crown match 2002
  • Mitsuharu Misawa suffered a dislocated shoulder in a recent match. Popped it back in, worked the next day, still in pain, went to the hospital because that's what happens when you wrestle again right after dislocating your shoulder. Anyway, the doctors were like, "Hey, maybe don't do that for a minute" but he's Misawa so he vows he won't be missing any dates and then he hit the doctor with an emerald flowsion. Dave doesn't say this, I'm just assuming.
  • NJPW continues to decline. They held back-to-back shows at the 10,500-seat arena in Sapporo this week. The first night only drew 4,100 fans which was the smallest crowd they have drawn in that city in years. Second night was better, but still only 6,000 fans to see Yuji Nagata retain the IWGP title over Bas Rutten. In another era, this win would have been huge for Nagata but nobody cares when a wrestler beats an MMA guy in a worked match anymore because Inoki pretty much beat that horse to death.
  • There's talk of bringing back Chyna to work the August Tokyo Dome show for Antonio Inoki's UFO MMA promotion, presumably just to make an appearance (oh, if only). There's also talk of bringing her in for NJPW's September tour and having her beat male prelim wrestlers every night. Needless to say, there's a whole lot of people in the company against that idea. Especially because her loss to Joey Buttafuoco in a celebrity boxing match a few months ago actually got a lot of coverage in Japan, so coming off that and showing up to beat male NJPW wrestlers isn't a popular idea. But Inoki gonna Inoki, so we'll see.
  • Latest on the ECW bankruptcy proceedings. The trustee has filed a motion demanding that the InDemand PPV company pays them $724,456.40. That total is the money they owed ECW, minus $25,000 because ECW failed to produce the March 2001 PPV they were contractually obligated to produce. This case is a textbook example of why trying to run a PPV-only company like TNA is going to be so difficult. InDemand is still holding onto ECW PPV money from over a year ago. Anyway, of the $724k, a big chunk of it will go to attorneys, back taxes, commission fees, etc. Video game maker Acclaim, who owned a percentage of ECW, is expected to get a big chunk as well. Whatever is left over will be used to pay off existing creditors but there's not gonna be much. A lot of those creditors are just never going to get paid. It's also expected that Acclaim will end up owning the video tape library rights, since WWE hasn't yet made a bid to acquire it.
  • Former Crockett/WCW wrestler Chris Champion suffered a major stroke and is in critical condition. Champion also wrestled as Yoshi Kwan for a bit in WCW. A lot of people expected him to be a major star in the 90s, but it just never panned out, usually due to his own personal issues (I looked it up, he ended up surviving this go round, but he died in 2018 after suffering more strokes).
  • If you're wondering what Jim Crockett Jr. is up to these days, he works in real estate in Dallas. When Shaun Assael interviewed Crockett for his book on Vince McMahon, everyone in Crockett's office was shocked because they had no idea that their coworker was once the 2nd biggest wrestling promoter in the U.S. throughout most of the 80s. That's how much he's left the wrestling business behind.
  • Just gonna paste this quote here: "For whatever this is worth in case this becomes a major historical question down the line, the actual idea to make David Arquette WCW champion came from Tony Schiavone." Dave notes that Schiavone didn't have any decision-making power to make it happen, but he was the one who made the suggestion at a production meeting. According to those there, when Schiavone made the suggestion, Vince Russo's eyes lit up like it was the best idea he'd ever heard and the rest is history. (Vince Russo has confirmed this story himself. Last I heard, Tony admits he was involved in coming up with the idea but he refuses to take sole credit for it).
  • The Chicago-Sun Times interviewed Greg Gagne's son JP who is a pitcher for Notre Dame. In the interview, he talked about how famous wrestlers used to stay at his house all the time growing up and said that his friends love the story of how he once rode Space Mountain at Disney World with Ric Flair. Hehe.
  • Shane Douglas is now the booker for XPW and is involved in an angle where owner Rob Black's wife Lizzie Borden is leaving him for Douglas (don't get too close to her Shane, you might lose a thumb! More on that in a couple weeks...). Also, at the first show with Douglas as booker, there was a scaffold match where Douglas came out and shot the guy on the scaffold with a tranquilizer, causing him to plummet to the ring below, which then exploded. Don't worry, I wouldn't write all that without having a video for ya:
WATCH: Shane Douglas XPW tranquilizer gun scaffold spot
  • Notes from TNA PPV Week 5: Sabu debuted to face Malice in a surprise ladder match. It was fine. Sabu won, which earned him a contract to face Ken Shamrock for the NWA title next week in another ladder match. Don't worry, we have more ladders to come. Jeff Jarrett is being booked like the Stone Cold of TNA and Dave ain't here for it. Francine and Jasmine St. Claire had a shower scene together backstage, later leading to Jasmine in a wet t-shirt. K-Krush cut a promo complaining about being fired by WWE, just in case you weren't aware that most of this roster is full of WWE rejects, they make sure you know it. A 4-way match with a bunch of the young guys completely fell apart with everyone except Christopher Daniels looking totally lost and confused. Dave says rarely do matches even in OVW fall apart as badly as this one did. Another little person match that Dave says was one of the worst matches of the year and was highlighted by one of them breaking a watermelon over the other's head. Negative 3 stars. Even worse, the match went waaaay longer than it was supposed to, which cut into the time for AJ Styles vs. Low-Ki and a match that should have been great ended up being a huge disappointment. Plus a drunk guy in the crowd took away everyone's attention and they couldn't get the audience back. Jerry Lynn attacked AJ with a ladder afterwards because whooohoo ladders! Francine and Jasmine ripped each other's clothes off like every other time you've seen it in WWE. Then Blue Meanie DDT'd her and she did a stretcher job. Brian ChristopheLawlewhatever he is this week cut a long promo trashing his father to continue getting fans interested in a match they can't possibly deliver. Why not just challenge Austin or Rock while you're at it, Dave wonders. Fuck it, if you're gonna do dumb shit, at least go big. Scott Hall vs. Christopher in the main event was bad because Hall just returned from working IWA in Puerto Rico for several days and was pretty much on a drunken bender the whole time. And then Hall did a stretcher job to end the show, which was kinda lessened by Francine having done the same thing 30 minutes earlier. And there we go. After only 5 shows, this shit is already WCW 2000 all over again.
  • Despite all the publicity they got, TNA also barely made any mention of the angle last week with the Tennessee Titans football players. Apparently the players caught some shit from the Titans GM for it and since they aren't coming back and they can't do a match or anything with them, TNA decided to just forget it happened.
  • In case you're wondering why TNA hasn't made a play for Scott Steiner yet, apparently he and Jeff Jarrett had been friends for years, especially during the WCW days, but they recently had a falling out of some kind. Hence, TNA has no interest in using him.
  • The reason WWE is running back-to-back tapings for Raw and Smackdown next month in Seattle is to test the market. WWE did a site check last month at Safeco Field for next year's Wrestlemania, but there's question as to whether the Seattle market will be able to sell out a big stadium like that, so the decision was made to do this. If they have a double-sellout both nights, that'll pretty much guarantee that Seattle gets Wrestlemania. If the shows do poorly, they may reconsider and select a new city (I guess these shows end up doing okay).
  • The Rock is set to star in another major movie, this time a $100 million budget production based on the video game SpyHunter. The hope is to have the movie out around Christmas 2003, in order to cross-promote it with the new video game coming out around that time. This adds more to Rock's Hollywood plate and it's looking like he's going to be around wrestling even less next year (this movie ends up stuck in developmental hell for years and never gets made, but Rock ends up doing the voice for the video game in 2009 instead).
  • Dave isn't sure why yet, but the long-planned Hogan vs. Vince match at Summerslam is now off. Dave suspects they may be holding off until Wrestlemania, which is great if they have a long-term plan and now that they're doing the Bischoff vs. Stephanie storyline, Vince is planning to take himself off TV for a little while anyway. So we'll see. In the meantime, the whole mess last week with Triple H talking Vince out of getting slapped by John Cena because "nobody should be laying hands on Vince until the Hogan match" ended up being for nothing.
  • Notes from Smackdown: in talking about Stephanie McMahon trying to be a babyface, Dave says she's basically the wrong person for this gimmick but she's a McMahon, so what are ya gonna do? He also jokes that "when this thing goes down and I write the book, I think my title will be "Wrestling Promoters Should Be Banned From Having Children: Unless They Don't Allow Them To Work In Their Promotion." I dunno, seems wordy to me. They also did the bit with Stephanie as GM and all the wrestlers backstage watching on the monitors, leading Dave on a Cornette-style rant about how WWE can't even be bothered to separate heels and faces in different locker rooms and it takes you out of the show when they're all sitting around backstage together watching the TV and carrying on conversations. Sure, kayfabe is already dead, but can we at least try to create an illusion of it within the show itself? This was also the last Smackdown before the PPV and there was some discussion over the finish of the Rock vs. Angle match. Paul Heyman and Michael Hayes wanted Rock to lose clean to the ankle lock, since he was winning the title on Sunday anyway and Angle was doing the job. Pat Patterson and Triple H argued against it, saying Rock shouldn't be tapping to anyone, even though Angle's gimmick right now is that he can make everyone tap (even Hogan last month). So instead, we got the Undertaker run-in DQ finish and Dave says this kinda shit is why WWE is unable to create long-term storylines. There was also a bunch of bickering with Heyman, Triple H and Hayes over the finish of the Jericho/Cena match as well, which Jericho was apparently upset about.
  • In an online chat this week, Goldberg didn't rule out going to WWE but said he hasn't met with anyone in the company. He also said that if WWE had kept Vince Russo, then there's zero chance he would have gone. When asked about Japan, he only said he's considering all offers. Goldberg is said to have no interest in the WWE schedule and is content with the idea of working a few big shows a year in Japan. That's all well and good but Dave says the reality is that the biggest money opportunity for Goldberg is in WWE, where there's several dream matches that would do huge PPV business and earn him far more money than he can ever make in Japan. WWE also gives you the kind of celebrity exposure in America that can open up acting roles. But the problem is, giving Goldberg a reduced schedule could cause some issues in the locker room. Then again, Rock and Hogan are already working reduced schedules.
  • This week's episode of WWE Confidential was the best of the series yet, focusing on the Bischoff and McMahon relationship. It was weird to see these two, out of character, reminiscing about a time when they legitimately would have gladly killed each other. They even showed Bischoff's 1990 WWF audition tape.
  • Various WWF notes: Kevin Nash did an interview and said he has spoken to Steve Austin since the walkout and gave his opinion on why Austin left. "I think Steve was burned out. He's got a broken neck, bad knees and a bad back. I know what it feels like when I wake up every morning. And he's had a couple multi-million years. Maybe it just isn't worth it to him anymore." Bischoff did a radio interview and noted he's been in L.A. constantly pitching TV ideas and said there's no interest in wrestling anywhere in Hollywood right now. Vince and Linda McMahon have purchased a new vacation condo in Boca Raton, FL. It's an 8-bedroom 10,000 sqft. condo on the 7th and 8th floors of the Excelsior hotel. The double-unit condo recently appraised for 14 million.
  • DDP did an interview and admitted that the stalker angle was the most disappointing thing he's ever done in wrestling because he wanted so badly for it to work and it flopped. DDP also said that Steve Austin hasn't called him since he was forced to retire and admitted he was kind of hurt by it. He said he knows Austin is going through a lot right now, but they're friends and if Austin can't take the time to care about what's going on in his life, then he can't be bothered to waste time worrying about whatever Austin is going through either.
NEXT WEDNESDAY: Mainstream stories about wrestling deaths in the works, TNA files lawsuit accusing marketing firm of defrauding the company, Observer Hall of Fame preview, TNA in deep financial trouble, and more...
submitted by daprice82 to SquaredCircle [link] [comments]


2020.08.12 13:28 LilahAustenFan Update: Dating a divorced with kids who seemed so eager to spend time "as family" after less than 6 months of knowing each other.

Original post here.
I am the people pleaser who always ends up helping and sorting other people lives only to see them flying off to the next partner. It's like every partner I had could sing "Thank you, next" every time they kindly inform me that are not interested in me anymore.
I followed some of your advice to sit with him and ask some questions on why he felt the need to say "we could hang out as a family" and what does it mean.
Well, my worst fear and scenario where confirmed. It was just a weird way to thank me for the "extraordinary" help and the fact that the kids were asking about me. That hurt me in a profound way. I love kids, even when they are little demons. I don't have my own and I am losing chances to have them biologically due major issues.
He told that the way I managed to fit in his busy schedule was perfect but at the same time he needed to back off and reflect. Because for him 6 months was too early and at the same time he made some mistakes (making me think that we are something after all this let's be a family/hang out as one).
As people pleaser, I take some pride on how well I let people take their space, moments or break. I didn't write to him, except to remind him of a thing he left at my place. He decided to see me few days later and take his cap and t-shirt back and admit that his ex-girlfriend, the one who left to pursue a promotion out of state, was back in town and they were going to see each other for a coffee/walk. He didn't ask permission, it was a heads up. I didn't say anything except wish him well. It's not my place to be angry at him, right? At the end it was clear that I was just a convenient hookup. Someone who could fit in agenda, doesn't have much to say, is local and likes kids. Someone who will not make a scene if dumped or will cry or anything. If I look back in my other failed relationship, I was always calm during the awful conversation that will start as It's me not you ... I am sorry but I can't do this. Then few years later they are married with their "rebound", happy and satisfied. And believe when I say that I tried to be less helpful and put some lines on how much I do for others this time. It didn't work.
He went for a friendly coffee with the absolutely amazing and young and intelligent ex-girlfriend, he posted in social media too, nothing really big, just a picture of them at the park with the "good vibes" he always write down. So, I guess that the fact that we don't have a picture on his feed, it's enough to understand that's over. I can defeat that gorgeous woman, their connection and history.
He came in my shop before the end of last week. I already prepared a box with few things that his kids liked, we play some old board games and puzzles, to give to them and telling them that I really liked our time together and I will be always their friend. Than I realize I was dramatic, and trashed the card, just to put some board games in a bag. He was absolutely embarrassed. He tried to make this very long speech that I don't remembered. It started with the all, "you are great, I never met someone so nice ..." and ended with the usual, "it's me not you".
I didn't say much except I did understand and I was sad because I really started to love him and the whole baggage he was carrying. He then made other plain statement on how he was so sorry and then promise that he didn't cheat and that he can't let her go, even after all this time. Comprehensible, I mean she is Megan Markle level, I am Mrs Trunchbull. I wished him the very best, to hug the kids for me and went on with my day.
I am just numb and starting to unfold a lot of the questions that people wrote to me. I came to the realization of how precise my dating pattern is. How I have a vibe that makes man with some small issues and problems be more incline to date me, because I am their temporary cheerleader who helps and runs everywhere to sort things out, from antagonism in the family, to get better jobs, to stay awake in the night to listen them reading their dissertation, to help them organize funerals and so on. It's always one sided. I don't need help, I don't even have the impulse to ask for help, but if someone, even a stranger, will ask me to help, I will be there. I decided to close to the door to dating completely. I didn't developed the right tools to date and even have a normal life. A life with boundaries. I have a one-dimension existence and it's a problem that I am starting to see. How many hours to a spend in a week in one of my brother's home to clean/take care of their kids/be helpful? At least two days a week. There is something broken in me, and it's best to avoid to amply this tendency. Every time a relationship ended, I took more duties and did more favors to people.
There are so many redditors that wrote to me or wrote inspiring comments. Thank you all. I have to leave this subs, but I want to wish you all the very best and to find that special person soon.
submitted by LilahAustenFan to datingoverthirty [link] [comments]


2020.08.11 14:25 steelmanfallacy Relationship advice from more than 400 age-gap couples - Part 1

This is a looooong post...so long it had to be broken into two parts and the second is here.
We are an AGR couple...Nadia, the girlfriend (F27), and Fynn, the boyfriend (M49). We recently created a survey because we were curious about age gap relationships (we're obviously in one ourselves). We love reading the stories in this sub and elsewhere on Reddit and we're both a bit nerdy so we decided to see if we could collect some data anonymously and help learn if there are some common patterns that we could find in AGRs. We also love stories so we put in a bit of an effort to collect anecdotes and data or as we like to say, "anecdata".
A couple of weeks ago we published the first and the second of three posts of the survey results which provided details of the demographics of the survey respondents and the quantitative results. In this third and final installment of the series, we're going to talk about the qualitative data that we received and some of the amazing stories that we were told.
One of the questions of the survey was, "What is one piece of advice you would give to someone about to or just entering into an age gap relationship?"
The answers are just amazing. Originally we were going to analyze and categorize the responses, but decided after some reflection to just publish the list. The advice is truly the wisdom of the crowd in that it is advice from over 400 couples in an AGR. We did the lightest of editing for typos and such, but otherwise, here is your best advice:
submitted by steelmanfallacy to AgeGapRelationship [link] [comments]


2020.08.10 12:47 TELMxWILSON Fresh DnB tracks are here! Nearly 100 new quality releases again! [+weekly updated spotify playlist] New Music Monday! (Week 32)

 
Weekly updated Spotify Playlist H2L: New Drum & Bass
Soundcloud Playlist H2L: New Drum & Bass Soundcloud
Youtube Playlist H2L: New Drum & Bass Youtube
Last Week's list http://reddit.com/i2uuoy
 

Picks Of The Week (by u/lefuniname)

This week I want to do something slightly different than usual. Instead of picking three big releases and shining the spotlight on one smaller producer, I want to talk about multiple smaller releases. Yep, this is a Spotlight Special™.
But first, I want to mention some of the bigger releases, just to keep you guys up to date.

1. Quick Overview over the important stuff

Recommended if you like: Staying Up To Date With The Popular Stuff
First off, we have a new single for the mega project that is the Sub Focus x Wilkinson album: Air I Breathe. As expected by the two giants the new single has all it takes to be a hit at festivals: great mixdown, catchy vocals by Clementine Douglas, who you might recognize from Desire, Renaissance or Oxygen, and great melodies. Not the usual festival banger, but rather something to drop towards the end of a set.
Speaking of festival bangers, Phibes’ remix of Beat Assassin’s Home Grown would probably get rinsed from front to back if festivals were actually (properly) happening. Thanks to the immeasurable hype the remix has received over time, the duo even reached the #1 spot on the global Beatport charts. 100% deserved.
This week also saw the release of MUZZ’s final single of his debut album The Promised Land. On The Warehouse he takes a slightly different route than his usual more dancefloor oriented and rock-influenced style, evoking memories of Camo & Krooked’s Witchdoctor. We also got a new entry in the Linked series by german wizard Phace. In this new installment of his series of collaborations across the scene he recruited italian producer Was A Be. If unique dnb is your thing, this release will make you happy.
Speaking of, this week we also got a new gyrofield release. Once part of the spotlight series on here, the Hong Kong-ian 17yo talent has just completely blown up over the last months. Her newest release is the soothing Because You Are You on Pilot Records, UKF’s sister label. Since it just fits so well I’m just going to directly quote Drum and Bass Arena here: “Music to hug your loved ones to”. Couldn’t agree more.

2. BorkerBrothers - Panic Room [Hanzom Music]

Recommended if you like: PRFCT Mandem, Ripple, Data 3
Let me introduce you to the two german brothers BorkerBrothers! Wait, you already know them? Oh right, we talked about them just a few weeks ago. Huh.
In case you didn’t read every one of our threads (in which case I question how much of a real fan you really are), let me recap real quick: The BorkerBrothers are a duo of brothers that is very active in the area around Münster, Germany, from hosting regular local events to more spread out bigger ones. A few weeks ago they also had a really good release on Neonlight’s Diascope.
Apparently they weren’t satisfied with that though because they immediatelly got another EP out, this time on Cologne-based Hanzom Music. Founded in early 2019, they have quickly established themselves as one of my favorite labels for the more deep and neuro focused dnb. Their latest releases by the likes of Razlom, Art1fact, Jestah, Smeerlapp and Hybert Philipps have all been excellent and I urge you to check them all out. Definitely a label to watch.
Right. Back to the newest Hanzom release: The Panic Room EP by BorkerBrothers. This is actually my favorite release by them, by far. I like every single track. The leading single ID is incredible. The slow buildup combined with the incredible, polically-charged vocal performance by BLKJuzo and the great variations all over the drop(s) come together to create an athmosphere that just completely envelopes you. Watching the music video is highly recommended.
Perception is more dancefloor-oriented, pushing you forward with its steady, heavy rhythm reminiscent of their Diascope release. The collab with fellow german producer Smeerlapp “No Way Out” is probably the heaviest of the release. The brothers end the release on a high note with the vocal-driven Never Let You Down, a collab with Niila. Beautiful vocals with a banging drop, what else could I ask for?

3. Blacklab - Violet [Soulvent]

Recommended if you like: In:Most, Pola & Bryson, Alix Perez
The next entry in our underrated releases showcase is coming from Las Vegas duo Blacklab! They are already more established than BorkerBrothers for example, but still deserve more praise than they’re getting in my opinion.
This latest EP was released on the excellent Soulvent Records, Pola & Bryson’s label specialising in the soulful sound the label founders are known for. They usually aim to shine a spotlight on promising upcoming producers and vocalists. With this EP they’ve added another great release to their list of signings.
Blacklab have been active as producers since circa 2014 and have achieved releases on multiple bigger labels like Delta9, Skankandbass, Viper and, of course, Soulvent. Their usual sound can be described as soulful liquid, with the occasional excursion into deeper territories, which is exactly why they’re such a good fit for Soulvent.
Early Birds is such a vibe that I cannot even find the words to describe it. Great vocals, lovely instrumentals, just perfect. The vibes aren’t over after the first track yet though. No, no. Violet continues the absolutely stunning atmosphere of the first track. Some of the loveliest liquid tracks I’ve heard lately. Columbia is the part of the EP where the duo show us their darker and heavier side with some tribal drums, served along with a lot of heavy bass and a lovely piano on top. Unreal is kind of a combination of the previous tracks, deep and heavy atmospheric bass with a healthy dose of liquid. They actually took the liquid part pretty literally. As in, you can hear water drops throughout the track. Heh. All in all very Alix Perez or 1985-y.

4. Kin:etic - Changes EP [SINE Audio]

Recommended if you like: Alix Perez, Invadhertz
I know, I know, this one was technically released on the 24th July, but since I’m usually only listening via Spotify and it was a Beatport exclusive for two weeks I missed this one on its original release date. I know, shame on me. It’s still worth talking about thought.
UK-based Kin:etic is one of the most promising newcomers in his subgenre and is hugely underrated, at least in my humble opinion. He has only started releasing tracks in 2019 and has now already delivered such a high level of quality that it would just be foolish to disregard him. Before this EP he only had one deeper double single on Incurzion Audio and a single on the SINE Audio compilation A SINE OF RELIEF, which makes this his first “full-length” EP.
The home of this “debut” EP, SINE Audio, has been on my radar for a bit now. SINE started as an event series in 2015. Ever since they made the jump from “just” hosting events to a full-fledged label, they’ve impressed me with their releases. Their first release, Invadhertz’s Never Let You Down / Cold Fluid immediately established them in my head as a label to look out for. Let’s just say if you like deep dnb, you will like SINE Audio.
Whether it’s releases by Nemy, AFR or Xolyx, there’s a lot of quality to be found in the upcoming label’s small catalogue. This year also saw the release of the first label compilation A SINE OF RELIEF, featuring the likes of Mark Dinimal, Waeys, Trex or Wingz, with all proceeds going to charity. The pun in the name makes me like them even more.
Kin:etic’s new EP is a very good representation of the deep liquid side of the label. The EP opener Closer immediately makes me want to draw comparisons with Alix Perez (for the second time today). Lots and lots of vibes. The title track Changes with Duskee, fresh of the heels of his collaboration with K Motionz Hack It, is a textbook piano-driven soul soother.
So Blue is probably the most soulful track of the release, all the melodies working together with the lovely vocals interspersed here and there just create an atmosphere to die for. The final track, Feelings Mutual, showcases the newcomer’s heavier side a bit, while still remaining firmly in the deeper areas of the genre.
A very very lovely release.  

5. Cutworx - Zen Champ EP [ProgRAM]

Recommended if you like: Data 3, Bladerunner, maybe Syran?
Time for some more techy stuff!
Cutworx is a Moscow based producer that definitely doesn’t fit in the newcomer category anymore, since he already started producing in 2004. Or at least I think so. The only real reference I can find for that spells his name with a ks instead of an x, so I’m not sure if it’s the same person. In any case, the Moscow part is true. I hope. He definitely has a few releases to his name on labels like Celsius Recordings, Occulti Music and Kos.Mos.Music.
Anyways.
This latest Zen Champ EP of his was released on the RAM Records offshoot label ProgRAM. The title track already shows us what we can expect from this EP. Fast, flying drums with various glitchy sound effects and vocals thrown in, which when combined create a very interesting dnb experience. While Sides explores more of the glitchy chaos, the final track Rvanina takes us into a deeper direction. The heavy emphasis on the growling bassline that keeps increasing and decreasing in power makes this a very unique way to finish off a quite unique EP.
And that concludes our first spotlight special. I hope you liked it and maybe found some new releases you didn’t know about before. If not, then I hope that it was at least kinda interesting to read. If not, well, too bad.  

New Releases

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