Dating Guide man

What is a dating guide males? It’s a guide full of dating secrets, tips and tricks to make the date’s nighttime much more fun and comfortable. Quite often when you’re outdoors to meet that special someone, you probably marvel what your chances are with them. The truth is you don’t have any, mainly because most […] 0 track album 9 Dating Tips For Introverts, According To Experts. ... Since you feel your date in solitude you appear less needy, the guide mistake any man can make when every to attract women. Girls like a challenge and discovering more about a pdf step by step. They may be attracted to talkative men, initially, but after a while they get bored. DATING AN AQUARIUS MAN - WHAT YOU REALLY NEED TO KNOW! Better switch on and tune in if you’re dating an Aquarius man! Welcome to the most original, the most unconventional, and the most forward-thinking of all the Star Signs – the man least likely to run with the herd, most likely to blow your mind, and probably the biggest natural born rebel in the entire Zodiac. Update: The Tactical Guide to Women approaches dating with the same angle, but in a more thorough and scientific fashion. Quote: Dating an average woman that isn’t a good match for you or who isn’t highly attracted to you or interested in adding value to your life is actually WORSE than being single. dating a leo man - what you really need to know! If you’re dating a Leo man, think big! Welcome to the most dazzling, the most majestic and the most regal of all the Star Signs – the man who most wants to be boss, least wants to play second fiddle and the greatest prima donna of the entire Zodiac. Whether we like it or not, online dating is here to stay. It may not compare to the thrill of approaching in person, but it’s still a totally viable way of meeting tons of women.. Not every guy maintains the kind of lifestyle that is conducive to going out every single night, but with apps like Tinder and Bumble (the best in my opinion), you can literally game twenty-four hours a day. International Dating Advice / Sunday, September 15th, 2019 Eastern Europe is a hub for cultural variety which makes it one of the best places to find international love. Whether it is in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Estonia, or even Hungary, you will not be disappointed in the variety of international single men there. Here are the top 21 dating tips for men from top experts: 1. Be personable. “Don’t email or text to ask a woman out for the first time. The latter are impersonal, and dating is all about getting to know someone personally. It also sets a poor tone for the relationship’s communication dynamics.” – Erika Martinez, Psy.D. Licensed ... When it comes to dating, women in Cartagena tend to choose men who’re older than they. There are many reasons for it. They want to bind their lives with reliable gentlemen, who know what they want from life, but this confidence comes from the wisdom they receive via their experience and time.

Younger&OlderMen - GYO - Gay Younger Older - Gay Age Gap

2018.12.30 04:56 Dadshole Younger&OlderMen - GYO - Gay Younger Older - Gay Age Gap

Younger & Older Men is about Gay Older Men & Younger Men, Gay Age Gap Together. Intergenerational Gay Men; Life, Love & Relationships
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2018.08.24 15:48 headShrinker GYOCouplesPics is now GYO Pics, GYO is Pictures of Old & Young Men Together

GYOCouplesPics is Now GYOPics Please go to /GYOPics
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2012.01.02 23:10 shakedown_st self improvement for forever alones

FAImprovement is a subreddit for individuals who want to improve their social skills, interpersonal relationships, and all around well-being.
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2020.09.23 17:44 J-Midori When I Was The Most Beautiful [Episodes 19 - 22]

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2020.09.23 14:39 RainSpectreX The "Best Friend" Character, and Their Purpose

The

I have seen this sprite, and now you feel my pain.
I think the "best friend" is a good pesudo-litmus test regarding VNs, how they treat their cast and likewise how they treat their stories.
More than almost any other, best friend characters are a very, very common model for a character. I'd say about 60-75% of all VNs have a character fitting the archetype, though in what way varies greatly. They are, by standard, normally a character of significance, most usually another male (though this is not inherently have to be the case), who is pointedly not a love interest. A simple idea, yet one so many follow with strict adherence.
I think, to begin with, it be useful to break down a little the two observable types of best friend we have:
Type A, which are characters who are clearly designed for the story scenario and are given a clear amount of character development and focus in the ensemble. Examples: Natsume Kyousuke (Little Busters), Momota Kaito (Danganronpa V3), Hashida "Daru" Itaru (Steins;Gate), Yusa Shirou (Dies Irae), Natsume Kei (Sakura no Uta), Kazama "Cap" Shouichi (Majikoi)
Type B, which are characters who are designed almost extensively as comic relief and often are seemingly included as cast filler or to fill a slot. Examples: Basically every best friend Yuzusoft has ever designed, a lot of Key best friends to varying degrees, many, many moege in general.
Obviously, there's a pretty clear fact that's illustrated here; "Type A" examples are from very litigiously plot based games, while "cute girls" material heavily favour the B. The somewhat complex exception to this would be Key (with the obvious exception of Kyousuke)...kinda, it's very much tricky to make a complete judgement there, though what can't be denied is that Sunohara was one of the biggest inspirations on the archetype as a whole.
Why plotge use Type A is pretty obvious, if you're going to include a character in a story-based scenario, they should probably have a reason to exist. If anything, including a character who is virtually irrelevant to the narrative tends to be considered, uh, a bad thing, so making a protagonists best friend, if the story has one, an actual character is proooooobably a good idea.
It's the one which produces the "uninteresting" character which is ironically far more interesting to talk about.
So, in Tokimeki Memorial, the character Yoshio was designed as essentially the "all-purpose" guide character for the player. He was a "info-man" who could provide data on any of the games heroines, but in order to provide a narrative reason why he'd even have data like that, apparently he was also on a "love quest" of his own. However, to ensure he wouldn't be seen as legit competition for the player and cause TokiMemo to become an NTR game, Yoshio was also made a complete butt monkey, a foolish idiot who served as comic relief.
This kind of purely game like design was something which arguably befitted TokiMemo, which was a pure dating sim focused on stat and time management, but it seems the idea stuck like glue as the way of designing a close friend, because it appeals to both the easy fantasy of not having competition in your romantic endeavours while also not coming off as a friendless loser who no one would logically pay attention to. Alternately, they are designed for a singular purpose at best of providing some kind of tension, even if it adds not much of anything. This can be seen in To-Heart, where the best friend in this case, Satou Masashi, is a largely non-descript character whom is defined almost extensively off falling in love with main heroine Akari on her route and becoming competition with the protagonist.
So, once you get past the two games which provided moeges foundation, the question of where exactly one part of best friend begun and the other ended gets a little hazy, but by Clannad it seems the common idea of the best friend as the non-descript "ally" of the protagonist who is characterized as the fool, and his humiliated as the fool. They are never people who have agency in the "story", they are just forever disposable. How horrifying must their existence be, to never grow beyond this, as a side-actor in a story of pure love.
Of course, that raises the question, does a "pure" love story need the best friend to be a throwaway? Going off from VNs a tad, but Maiko Shuu from Nisekoi fits the best friend archetype like a glove, as the conventions of galge flowed into romance manga as a whole, but pointedly isn't a disposable character, and is given his own arc and even romance plotline. Nisekoi is not a perfect manga by any means, but that creative decision is very much an admirable one, and makes for a stronger cast of characters overall. So I have to question if the setup of romance games and manga and Type B friends can be called a feature, or if it's just evidence of laziness.
So, any thoughts? Are there any characters fitting the mold you think are worth factoring into this point, or am I overthinking things? Any response is warranted here!
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2020.09.23 08:38 Richardadziv HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT BRACELET FOR YOUR STYLE

With regards to gems, you can't turn out badly with pretty arm bands. What makes arm bands so much fun is that they can be appreciated in a totally unexpected manner in comparison to pieces of jewelry—all things considered, you can see them while you're wearing them! Ideal for layering and stacking, arm bands have been worn by ladies and men all through the ages.
The word wristband gets from the Greek word "brachile," which signifies "of the arm." Early arm bands were made of grasses, thin tree appendages, and shells, just as copper and bronze.There is proof that individuals in old Egypt, Mesopotamia, and China wore wristbands. Wristbands turned out to be more complicated and enlivening after the Bronze Age, when adornments was an image of status and riches. Wristbands were made of gold and silver, and embellished with stones and shells.
During the Victorian Era, fascinate wristbands with engraved charms and hanging mementos were unimaginably famous. In the nineteenth century, arm band chains got up-to-date, and they connected appearances and emblems embellished with ivory and coral. Design adornments became mass-created and more moderate in the twentieth century.
See more: Bracelets in feminine & modern styles in silver, rose gold & gold refine your wrist
Today, wristbands are made from a wide assortment of materials, (for example, metal, fabric, plastic, and cowhide) and are commonly adorned with gemstones, gems, metal, and pearls. They are intended to fit all ways of life and sexual orientations. With so numerous delightful wristbands to look over, how would you locate the correct arm band style for your character and way of life?
There are numerous interesting points when you're looking for the correct wristband style, including the exercises you'll be occupied with, where you're going, and what you'll be wearing. It's a smart thought to have a wide assortment of wristband styles in your gems closet so you'll be prepared for any event.
In this article, we'll assist you with finding the ideal arm bands and give a few hints on the most proficient method to wear them for quite a long time to come.
Arm band Style Guide
Bangles
A bangle arm band style is round fit as a fiddle and resolute. Ordinarily made in gold or another sort of metal, bangles for the most part have a basic or engraved plan. Bangle arm bands with gemstone or precious stone embellishments can offer an exquisite expression. They look incredible worn alone, or stacked with various bangles.
Bangle wristbands can be pivoted or slip-on style. A slip-on bangle is bigger and as a rule round, and not as fitted as pivoted bangles. Pivoted bangles will in general be more oval-formed and fit the wrist all the more intently. Slip-on bangles are ordinarily more easygoing in style and are produced using more affordable materials. Pivoted bangles frequently have a security catch notwithstanding the fundamental fasten.
Beaded
Beaded arm bands are expandable and stretchable, and are masterminded in a solitary or multi-line plan. They can likewise include gemstones in a scope of hues, and look incredible when layered on the two arms.
Chain and connection
Chain-and-connection wristbands are made by interfacing joins into a band. These are regularly made out of a metal, for example, gold or silver. They are adaptable and can extend from exceptionally petite chains to thick styles. Chain-and-connection wristbands are accessible in a wide range of valuable metals, and are ideal for layering.
Handcrafted
Handcrafted arm bands can run from hand-fashioned silver or gold, to flawlessly planned dots hung in pretty mixes. Wristbands that are high quality are commonly special, exceptional pieces that express creativity. A diamond setter spend significant time in custom gems can work with you to make an ideal piece, one driven by a wistful recognition, (for example, making a wristband utilizing a pearl from a friend or family member's wedding band, in an interesting, rose-gold setting), or a strong design explanation that looks precisely the manner in which you need it to.
Appeal
Appeal wristbands are connect arm bands that have little knickknacks or charms hanging from a chain or connection. You can have only one appeal, or handfuls! Each appeal may speak to various individuals, places, or nostalgic items.
Sleeve
Sleeve wristbands are a sort of bangle arm band and are an unyielding round or oval shape. These will in general fit looser and are wide and stout, with no fasten or conclusion. Men's alternatives in a sleeve wristband style can likewise be regularly found. Sleeve arm bands are open on the back or front; there's no catch. Attempt a couple of styles and sizes to get the right fit for you.
Tennis
Tennis wristbands are known for their straight, sensitive chain plan with separately set gemstones. Additionally called line wristbands, tennis arm bands are regularly made with jewels, however their connections may likewise be planned with different gemstones. Similarly as with all wristbands, length and fit is significant for comfort just as wellbeing. An arm band that is too huge can get lost, or catch on something and get harmed.
Arm
Arm wristbands, otherwise called armlets, are a band or arm band worn around the upper aspect of an individual's arm. They are typically produced using material or metal and highlight valuable diamonds. Worn since antiquated occasions, arm bands are amazingly up-to-date and popular.
Vintage
Vintage arm bands have an appeal about them that individuals love. Subtleties from wellbeing chains to proclamation catches are extremely many-sided and hard to duplicate, making a vintage wristband an extraordinary and exceptional embellishment. Today, numerous ladies want to have a security catch as opposed to a hanging chain. Nonetheless, the chain can include vintage character.
Men's
Men wear alluring wristbands, as well. Men's arm bands can be connect, bangle styles, or sleeves. Manly materials to cause attractive wristbands to incorporate steel or titanium, cowhide, neoprene, or wood.
Tips for Wearing Your Favorite Bracelets
Ensure you affix the fasten appropriately. On the off chance that the fasten appears to be feeble or opens without anyone else, carry the wristband to your diamond setter for a speedy change or fix.
On the off chance that you experience issues attaching fastens (the same number of us do!), have your gem specialist supplant the catch with an attractive one. It will be more grounded and simple to utilize, and this will empower you to keep on wearing your preferred piece for quite a long time to come.
In case you're staying aware of style, you should have various arm bands for layering this year. While layering wristbands, keep the scale like abstain from tangling or overpowering a sensitive arm band with a stout, hefty one. in the event that the arm band is fragile or extremely valuable, don't layer it—let it remain all alone.
Try not to be reluctant to blend silver and gold, or different metals. Don't hesitate to layer a gold wristband with a silver one, or a bronze arm band with a steel one.
Keep in mind, there are no firm guidelines with regards to wearing arm bands. Also, the more, the better! Plante Jewelers offers a diverse assortment of arm bands at our adornments store. Locate the most ideal alternative for you or a friend or family member. Visit our adornments store in Swansea to look at our assortments.
Source:: https://www.plantejewelers.com/blogs/general-blog/how-to-choose-the-right-bracelet-for-your-style
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2020.09.23 05:33 Fireflair_kTreva Anne Q&A Part 2

Question: Anne, so many comments have been made about Surreal’s personality change in the latest book. I look at it as she went through the spooky house, and had the one time in bed with the Sadist that left her well, miserable. So going through the rut with the Sadist and actually coming to terms with herself wanting to have sex, instead of it being her business is hard for her to cope with. Can you shed light on why she was so terrified of sex with Daemon after that night in rut?
Anne: First part of the answer, the undercurrents of that night when the Sadist as lover invited Surreal to play were about a lot more than sex. Surreal can handle sex with Daemon Sadi. But that isn't all he is. Second part of the answer is in The Queen's Weapons.
Question: I have had a question about the Black Jewels books for many years. I started to notice that Jaenelle is never shown alone, but only through her interactions with others. I was wondering why we never see her in her moments of solitude.
Anne: The writer's answer is it felt intuitively right that we never experience any interior dialog or thoughts from Jaenelle. You're right; she is seen through everyone else's perceptions and interactions with her. Also, the three men--Saetan, Daemon, and Lucivar--and how their lives intertwined with hers was the driving force for me to tell the story.
Question: Is or was there a plan to make the Black Jewels trilogy into a movie(s)?
Anne: No plans for a movie at this time.
Question: Are scelties the only kind of canine kindred? Would there be different varieties of canine kindred based on topography? Huskies/Malmutes in areas with a lot of snow. Basenji in desert areas…
Anne: Going with many breeds would have been a crazymaker in terms of creating the world. So the Scelties are the only ones who are Blood. Same with the horses. Only a couple of breeds in Scelt have some bloodlines that are kindred. That doesn't mean there aren't other breeds of dogs or horses in the Realms, just that they don't have kindred.
Question: Hello! I'm so glad I can talk with everyone and ask questions to my favoutie author! Since I have a great passion for Daemon, I would like to know what his favorite book genre is and if you can give any recommendations about books with characters like him. Also, could you give us an idea of ​​how the old language sounds like?
Anne: Daemon is an eclectic reader. If you look at some of the books he discusses with Jillian, you'll see some of the genres. As far as books with characters like him, you would have to get recommendations from the folks here. For me, he's one of a kind. Can't tell you what the Old Tongue sounds like.
Question: The Black Jewels would make a great simulation game! What encourages your muse to write? What is the difference between uncut and cut jewels? Are jewels recycled: after one of the blood dies and becomes a whisper in the darkness will their jewels be given to another blood during their birthright or offering ceremony?
Anne: "No one knew where the Jewels had come from. If one was destined to wear a Jewel, it simply appeared on the Altar after the Birthright Ceremony or the Offering to the Darkness. Even when he was young, receiving an uncut Jewel—a Jewel that had never been worn by another of the Blood—was rare. His Birthright Red Jewel had been uncut. When he'd been gifted with the Black, it, too, had been uncut. But to receive an entire set of uncut Jewels . . . Saetan leaned over and tapped the Yellow Jewel with the tip of his nail. It flared, the fire in the center warning him off. He frowned, puzzled. The Jewel already identified itself as female, as being bonded to a witch and not a Blood male, but there was the faintest hint of maleness in it too. Jaenelle wiped the tears from her cheeks and sniffed." (Daughter of the Blood)
Question: I’ve always had a hard time imagining Eyrien wings. I never thought they were feathered, but do you have a comparison to what they look like?

Anne: Yes, Eyriens have dark, membranous wings. Calling an Eyrien a bat is an insult. Not as bad as calling one a Jhinka, but close.
Question: What do Jhinka wings look like?
Anne: Leathery. I don't see the Jhinka looking as physically well-formed as Eyriens.
Question: So, when I was reread the short story about the spiders, I realized that afaik, it's not mentioned whether or not they have a jewel. So, do the dream weaving spiders have/get jewels?
Anne: I don't think they need Jewels. They're not the same as the Blood in the way they came into being.
Question: Invisible Ring came after the trilogy, but Daemon/Jaenelle use the events from the trilogy to take out dorothea's taint. Did you already have that whole story in your head? Was it originally going to be part of the trilogy but cut for space?
Similar (but less desperately needed) question about Marian. Was her meeting Lucivar originally intended as part of Heir to the Shadows, or did you always plan it as a separate novella?
Anne: As I began writing the trilogy, I had made notes for the story that became The Invisible Ring. In fact, I had a couple of notes for the story that eventually became The Shadow Queen. I wrote Daughter of the Blood and Heir to the Shadows, and my agent was shopping it around, but it wasn't like anything else out there at that time so it wasn't an easy sell. My agent suggested writing a standalone book in that world, so I began writing The Invisible Ring. I think I was close to finishing first draft when BJT sold. Suddenly there were revisions to do on the first two books, Ring to finish drafting, and an accelerated due date for Queen of the Darkness, which I hadn't started writing! Yikes? Ring was drafted and Lia's solution fit the story. Using webs of power to wipe out Dorothea's taint was the solution in Queen. So the logical sequence, since Jared and Daemon knew each other, was that Jared left an account of what happened and left it at the Keep for Daemon. Which made a warm fuzzy author moment when I could see the connection in the two stories.
As for Lucivar and Marian's courtship, that was vague background story when I was writing Queen, and it simmered below the surface for several years before I wrote the story about how they got together. Love that story. Lucivar makes me laugh.
Question: Can Blood make the Offering if they have a broken Birthright?
Anne: No. If the Birthright Jewel is broken, that severs that person's potential in terms of power.
Question: Surreal was relieved to see that Jaenelle Saetien gained a jewel at her birthright (after initially coming back empty handed). But what about the children who do not gain a birthright? Are they able to obtain the White, Yellow, or Tiger Eye at their offerring? Also what caste is baby Andulvar?
Anne: Children who are not strong enough to acquire (that is, need a reservoir for their power) a Birthright Jewel can obtain a White, Yellow, or Tiger Eye at the Offering. At that point, a blood female would be a witch and have the title of Lady, and a blood male would be considered a Warlord. Note: the other castes would require the person to have a Birthright Jewel, even if it's a White.
Baby Andulvar is a Warlord Prince. Pity Marian.
Question: In the Shadow Queen Saetan glances at Daemon and thinks of him as a “strong adult male in his prime”. After reading The Queen’s Bargain I am confused why Saetan would not realize Daemon had not reached his prime yet?
Anne: If a man in his prime in our world is fully adult (think mid 20s) to the time when he reaches middle age (what the Blood refer to as the autumn years), Daemon was just coming into his prime when he met Jaenelle (at 1700 years). He'll be in his prime for a lot of centuries. (And, no, I'm not going to try to guess how many. My brain will blow up. :) )
Question: I just love Tersa, her efforts in holding Daemon's sanity before Jaenelle Angeline is ready to remember him and bring him back from Twisted Kingdom and all her efforts to take care of the Boy. My question is, is it known to the Caste that they can regain some of their lost craft in Twisted Kingdom? and is there someone else aside Tersa who crossed the Twisted Kingdom to regain lost craft?
Anne: To my knowledge, Tersa is an exception to a lot of things, and no one else has been able to regain their craft by sacrificing their sanity.
Question: Do the Witches who came before Janelle ever whisper their stories to you? It's always been in my head, the hall of paintings of those who were Witch, dreams made flesh. That maybe they whispered a bit of themselves to the writer.
Anne: No, they never have. But they have to compete with Daemon and Lucivar, so…
Question: In Queen of Darkness (chapter 13, part 9) Luthvian is killed by Hekatah. Luthvian had already transitioned to demon-dead but didn’t have enough strength to hold on. We see Luthvian’s internal dialog “Her Self would soon become a whisper in the Darkness. Perhaps, someday, when it had rested and regained some strength, the Self would leave the Darkness and return to the living Realms. Perhaps.”
Question 1: Does this mean that Luthvian’s Self could be “born” again? Does this world have reincarnation?
Question 2: If the answer above is yes, has any of the characters we love (or even hate) Self been born again? (I would especially love to hear that Char, the leader of the cildru dyathe, will have a second chance at a full life.)
Question 3: In the Queen of Darkness (chapter 2, part 6) we learn that “When kindred young are born, a Black Widow makes that mental sidestep into the dreams and visions. Sometimes she sees nothing. Sometimes she names one of the young according to the visions.” In The Queen’s Bargain (example: chapter 13, page 123) we see two Scelties, one named “Morghann” and one named “Khary”. Did they get their names from a Black Widow vision? Are they Morghann’s and Khary’s Selves returned to the living Realm, and/or are they named after them in memory, as Jaenelle Saetien was?
Question 4: Could either Titian or Andulvar actually be their namesakes “Self” returned to the living Realms?
Anne: I don't think they have reincarnation. I've never had that sense. That's why being demon-dead is considered a second chance to do the things a person regretted not doing when they were among the living.
As for the Sceltie Morghann and Khary, since humans didn't name them, you can assume a Black Widow saw a reason to give those pups those particular names.
Question: I know that some authors have Patreon accounts where they might write things for subscribers that:
- the publishing co hasn't asked for but is rambling around in their brain
- deleted or behind the scenes things
- advanced looks at things
- roughs, artwork, recipes that connect to their works, etc
Is this something you've ever considered doing?
Anne: No, i haven't, mostly because all my creative time and energy goes into the book/story I'm writing, and I would have to choose between doing one thing or the other. I prefer to write the story.
Question: Does the body determine Jewel strength (as the dragon scales fell on individuals)? Is Castes determined by the Self inside the body?
Anne: I don't know. I look at a character and say, "Who are you?" They tell me caste and Jewels and I write them down.
Question: As far as Saetan knew, Peyton vanished during the war 50,000 years ago... Is there a chance he survived long enough to have had a child/children?
Could he have used the war as a means to vanish from the realms, and live a quiet life?
Anne: No, they lost all of him. Complete and final death.
Question: Can someone (not a natural Black Widow) come to the hourglass later in life?
Anne: Natural Black Widow or Healer means the girl has an intuitive knowledge of at least some aspects of the Craft used in that caste. Jaenelle Angelline was a child with no official training when she was healing people at Alexandra's estate. But someone who was going to study to be a Black Widow would probably be in their mid to late teens (or equivalent) before they would start training.
Miscellaneous:
Question: Do you have a favorite World? Not to write about, but that YOU would want to visit? Do you want to travel the realms, visit the Landscapes, maybe relax in Tir Alainn? Or maybe visit a Courtyard?
And, while visiting said World, who would you want to be your "tour guide"?
Anne: Well, I'd visit all of them. :) But for a vacation? I'd like to spend time in Riada or be a guest at the Hall. (And you can guess who I'd like the tour guides to be.) I'd like to visit Howling Good Reads in Lakeside, and visit The Jumble (although I would stay with Ineke at the boarding house since she cooks). The Landscapes? Sometimes I think I did cross one of those bridges to find my way to where I am.
Question: Do you have a favorite tea to drink while the Muse speaks to you?
Anne: There are no liquids on the writing desk. Wee bit paranoid, don't ya know. In the winter I drink a variety of mint teas. In the summer, mostly water. The Muse enjoys weeding the garden more than drinking tea. :)
Question: Who are some of your favorite cosplays from your characters? Are there characters that you'd like to see cosplayed more?
Anne: I'm not familiar enough with cosplay to say. I know people have been my characters, and some have been stunning that I've seen at conventions. But my brain doesn't go there.
Question: Have you ever considered merchandising? I'm sure I'm not alone in saying that I would LOVE to be able to purchase any kind of memorabilia!
Anne: I have not considered it. I want to write stories, and I'd have to give up one to do the other. That said, check out redbubble.com and look up Anne Bishop for lots of different things that are mostly for the Blood or the Others.
Question: All of your stories have interesting and distinct gender dynamics at the heart of the worlds you create. Is this something that you have done intentionally?
Anne: When it comes to writing stories, I don't seem to color inside the lines, so I'm always looking at something and seeing what happens if you turn it around. With the Blood, it was sexual mores and double standards and the penalties for things like adultery for men vs. women. That was some of it. So do I consciously throw a stone into the creative well? I guess I do. But what is created out of the ripples in terms of the world, culture, or characters is part of the dance I do with the Muse.
Question: What do you like most about being an author?
Anne: The fun of thinking "what if?" and taking a journey with characters I like (some of them, anyway) to find out what happens. It's creating something out of mist and dreams that feels real to me -- and, hopefully, to you.
Question: Are there some little details stories that you are told that they wish weren't said? i.e. something silly or embarrassing or a secret that they wish hadn't been shared to you that ends up shared with us?
Anne: That's not how the relationship between writer and character works. Story is about revealing the character as that person makes a journey.
Question: What's your favorite dessert?
Anne: depends on the season, but plain milk chocolate is always good.
Question: Of your “bad guys”. Which one was the most difficult to write. Just because of how evil/bad they were and you had to write what they were doing and what they thought?
Anne: Adolfo in the Tir Alainn books was the most difficult, even more than Hekatah and Dorothea. Adolfo scared me, and that took a toll on my health by the time I had finished writing THE HOUSE OF GAIAN.
Question: Have you ever had a fan interaction that made you emotional, or really stuck with you in some way?
Anne: Quite a few of them, but they are not something that can be shared.
Question: Is there a favorite author you would suggest reading?
Anne: I like Patricia Briggs, Louise Penny, C.S. Harris.
Question: How are you managing in the current climate? Are you finding it difficult to be stuck in?
What is the oddest/ strangest thing you've had happen as a result of being a writer / fan interaction?
Anne: It's taken a couple of weeks to get my brain wrapped around the World As It Is Right Now, but I'm trying to get back to my work routine, which means being home. The strangeness comes when I have to go out for anything. Things are changing so fast in terms of protection(s) in place, which is good but does have a Twilight's Zone feel.
Question: Anne Bishop is this kind of experience likely to transfer to writing? Or because the characters tell their own stories do they miss out on these "real world" influences?
Anne: Since everything has the potential to be part of the warp and woof (not sure if that's the correct spelling for those) of a story, I'm sure the current "real world" experiences will find their way into a story somehow. But what it will look like in that story is something I won't know until I'm there.
Question: My question is and please forgive me if it has been already asked: what is your inspiration for the stories/characters?
Anne: I dance with the Muse. That's the best answer I can give. I play "what if...?" and "who would...?" and "what would happen if...?" and "why would...?" games all the time. Sometimes those questions don't go anywhere and sometimes they're the spark that is the start of a characters or a place or a storyline. Dozens of those sparks have to come together in the right way for a story to begin to develop.
Question: For my first question I would like to ask if you could nominate some actors or models that physically resemble the main characters in the trilogy or if you could indicate from what country would they be, as I see the fandom trying to imagine them. My second question is how big is the hall and if the building was inspired by any building in reality. I'm sorry for my bad english and i'm very thankful you chose to share your stories with us.
Anne: My brain doesn't work that way, so I don't try to fit actors and characters together. The Hall is very big, but I can't point to a real building and say it's like that because I didn't start out with anything real.
Question: Do you have any words of wisdom for someone who hopes to have a book published some day?
Anne: Write your story to the best of your ability. write another one. And another. Then look at the first one again and discover what you have learned that will make that story better. Beyond that, first write for the love of writing. write because you would rather do that than any other hobby. Write for the challenge and fun of creating characters and getting them into trouble. Then remember that the creative side of writing is different from the business side of writing, and it can take years of work and effort and honing your craft before you have a story that is ready to be published. So write first for the writing, and then work on learning what you need to do to get published.
Question: How's the garden doing?
Anne: Things are green and growing, giving me a reason to wander outside and observe plants and birds and other critters.
Question: What's your favorite coffee and how do you take it?
Anne: I'll order a mocha as a treat if I'm out somewhere. Otherwise, it's basic coffee with a creamer.
Question: I'd love any of the "children's books" mentioned in any of her series to become real. My son would love them.
Anne: I will never say never, but that world has a lot of possibilities--including some you don't know about yet.
Question: Is there a specific time period or style that you envision the people of the Realms' clothing to be?
Anne: I always think of Daemon wearing Armani, regardless of what anyone else is wearing. The women? Everything from dresses with embroidery and bugle beads to the more ethereal, "witchy" kind of gowns with long sleeves and modest trains of flowy material. No jeans, though, so casual wear was more of a challenge.
Question: During the winter holidays there always seems to be gift sets of series such as Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. Will there ever be a gift set released of The Black Jewels?
Anne: That is something the publisher decides, so I don't know.
Question: Do you have a favorite character and if so who is it?
Anne: Daemon Sadi
Question: What jewel do you think you would have if you made the offering to the darkness?
Anne: Since I have to immerse in the story and the characters, I am everyone and everything, so my brain can't think outside of that.
Question: I’ve notice a theme in some of the series, mainly The Others and Black Jewels ( I reread them most) the theme seems to be most humans are destructive and easily swayed into selfishness, greed, or evil ( my own interpretation of the theme) there seems to be the Others / Kindred who will deal with a select few, trust those that are attached to the select few but the rest of the humans are just prey/ meat and are evil. Was this theme intentional? Did it just work out that way with powerful predators and human interaction, or was there a specific reason this theme has shown up?
Anne: A bumper sticker I saw many years ago said: One earth, one chance. It made an impression on me.
The Others
Question: In The Others Series, the first time that Meg calls Tess for help reading a prophecy, Tess wonders if it is knowledge that causes Meg to call her, or ignorance. Tess concludes that's it's ignorance, and it's this first interaction where "Speak Prophet, and I will listen" is introduced. What is the history between Harvesters and Blood Prophets that causes Tess to make this comment?
Anne: I don't know. I can only tell you the story that is revealed to me.
Question: In Wild Country Jana gets a phone call from “someone” telling her she should go to the Lakeside Courtyard. Is that someone Julian Farrow?
Anne: Yes, it's Julian Farrow.
Question: So one thing I’ve always wondered if the Man that Montgomery kills to save a wolf was the same guy that Meg miss led in the 2 nd prophecy he paid for that got him killed and her punished that let to her escape in Written in Red?
Anne: No, they were different men.
Question: So much time was spent on Abigail Burch in the story, but I never figured out what her storyline really contributed to the over all story. Could you help me understand?
Anne: In some ways, she showed us how the Blackstones worked their cons because she'd played everyone in Prairie Gold. And she was the point where Intuits like Jesse Walker and Intuits like Parlan Blackstone collided, with devastating results.
Question: Are the Harvesters more powerful than all the other terra indigene, and possibly even the Elementals?
Anne: I would say Harvesters could hold their own against any of the shifters, and an Elder if there was only one. But they would have no impact on the Elementals.
Question: Are there plans for exploring other, non US areas in that world in detail? If so, where are some of the areas you'd like to explore?
Also, what are the life spans of the different types of Others?
Anne: When a new gard comes into being, is it a gradual thing, like we may be seeing with Simon or more of a 'hey, here's 50 Others who are switching over'?
Not sure about how much detail there is compared to the novels, but we do see another part of their world in the short story that will hopefully come out in 2021. Life spans? I'm human, so that's not something the Others discuss with me. It would probably be a gradual thing combined with some spontaneous leap along the lines of "hey, these thumb things come in handy!"
Question: Did Skippy ever successfully change? Was it because of a) the chamomile cookies and b) Sam or Meg?
Anne: Right now, I only know what happened in the Courtyard up to the end of Etched in Bone. When the time is right, I'll go back and find out what comes next for them.
Question: I love Lake Silence. Thank you so much for Vicki. I share many of her issues. Do she and Julian become a couple?
Anne: We'll have to wait and see. :)
Question: I remember in The Others, they made mention of disposing the males born from the Blood Prophets since they were considered useless. Thinking in relation to bloodlines though, wouldn't they let some of them grow up in order to breed "purer" lines by re-introducing the recessive genes from the males? Perhaps a Blood Prophet does in fact have a brother somewhere? Also... would a male Blood Prophet also smell of not-prey because the gene is recessive or would they smell like prey since visions didn't swim in their blood?
Anne: Right now, Joshua Painter is the only answer I have. I'm sure they would have kept some males for breeding, but someone like Joshua would have become too dangerous to handle.
Question: When writing The Other series, which character(s) were the funniest and the most difficult to write? - and which character(s) "talked the most" during the writing process?
Anne: Jimmy Montgomery was the most difficult to write. Loved Grandfather Erebus. As for talking the most? The Wolves. The Crows. The female pack. :)
Question: Did you do research into women with aspergers when you wrote Meg? I feel so seen when I read her character
Anne: I'm glad you feel a connection with Meg, but no, I didn't do any research on aspergers to create the blood prophets. I just thought about Meg and who she was and what impact the outside world would have on someone who was sensitive.
Question: How do the shark guard and Others from the sea live? Coastal towns, floating city, or full on underwater communities like little mermaid!?
Anne: The Sharkgard live anywhere they want to. :) Probably islands that are populated by Others or Intuits for those who can change to a two-legged form. Same with the other forms who live in water, unless they're like the Lady of the Lake, who is made of water.
Question: Love the Others books and I read somewhere that the courtyard was partly inspired by the Market Square in Victoria BC, where I live. I think of the Others ever time I walk through it. Are there other locations that have inspired you?
Anne: I think of the Others whenever I visit Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo, NY. If you look at the earlier author photo of me on a bridge overlooking a small lake? That's in Forest Lawn, and that's the lake where Winter and her kin live in the Courtyard. :)
Question: Can Meg and Simon have children?
Anee: No. Even when they look human, the terra indigene are a different species. That means they can’t produce offspring with humans—even humans like Meg.
Question: Why is Mel (the horse) not prey?
Anne: He is prey to almost every predator that looks at a horse and sees a potential meal. However, Mel is a cow pony, which means he’s fast, he’s agile, and he’s smart. Also, he was bred and raised on the Prairie Gold ranch, so he would have had some proximity to the Wolfgard pack that lived in that part of the Elder Hills. Do the Wolfgard smell a little different than regular wolves? Maybe they do to a horse. Whatever the reason, Mel recognized the dogs that were attacking the horses as enemies and Virgil and Kane as allies—or at least not enemies. And Virgil acknowledged Mel’s courage by referring to him as the horse that is not meat. (Note that Virgil calls him that. Mel would still be a snack to an Elder.)
Question: Monty got into trouble for killing a pedophile who preyed on girls. Meg was punished when she lied to one of the Controller’s clients, who was also a sexual predator, about which girl he could take and not get caught. Was the man Monty shot and the man Meg lied to the same person?
Anne: No. The man Monty shot lived in Toland and had the bodies of several girls hidden in his residence. The man who was the Controller’s client was wealthy (had to be to afford the fees for a cut), traveled for business, and preyed on girls in different cities to avoid being caught.
Tir Alainn
Question: Have you ever had a story idea that would follow on your Tir Alainn trilogy?
Anne: That will depend on the Muse and the Bard calling me back there.
Question: What were some of the inspirations for the spiral dance in The House of Gaian?
Anne: I don't remember all the bits and pieces because those things transform in the writing. Part of that was the image of the Wiccan spiral dance, but the rest came from the Muse.
Question: In the Tir Alainn books, those of the fae who were Death's Servants took the spirits of the dead to the gate that would lead them on to the summerland. Toward the very end of The House of Gaian, Ashk stated that she thought Morag's spirit would return one day soon in a daughter of Ari and Neil. Is reincarnation something common to all of the fae or is it something specific to those like Morag who were Death's Servants or Death's Mistress? If it's common to all the fae or even the humans in that world, does that mean that other characters that were lost could return as well, and if so, would they remember anything of who and what they were before? Would Morag for example remember the people she had left behind...Morphia, Ari and Neil, Ashk etc.?
Anne: It's been too long since I was in Tir Alainn to remember exactly, but my memory says that all Fae spirits rest and return. That might be true of humans, too, but that wouldn't be part of their own beliefs. As for what a returned spirit would remember...? That is something to wonder about.
submitted by Fireflair_kTreva to annebishop [link] [comments]


2020.09.23 04:04 Hentiababygirl [F4A] romance roleplay partner needed (long term)

Hello and thank you for giving my post a moment of your time to hear. Hopefully someone out there will be intrigued by what I have to offer.
First I would like to describe the type of character I would want my partner to rp as. I am very picky when it comes to a roleplay and the dynamic between our characters. If it’s very stale and repetitive, I get bored and tend to fall off our streak of messages.
I would prefer your character to be: -determined -dominant -a little possessive -strong minded
I am open to both men and women. For women, my character will be a curious-bisexual. Someone who hasn’t dated a female before but can’t help those butterflies when she sees a pretty girl.
To put it in kind words, my character will be very stubborn as well and will probably try and push away emotions with your character. I need someone who can balance with that.
Someone who’s up for a challenge.
Now let’s talk about plots. I have many plots I would love to try out and build a dynamic relationship through.
Here are some examples:
-{mated to the alpha} you have to love werewolves to be down for this plot. And no I’m not talking about a human with wolf features that kills on a full moon. I’m talking about a man/women that can transform into a full wolf at any given second. They have a voice in their head, aka their wolf. They communicate to their wolf in their head. Their wolf guides them on their path to success. Each werewolf has a mate. Someone they are destined to be with. Someone who fulfills them. A werewolf knows who their mate is immediately. Their mate has a distinct smell that distinguishes them very well. As well as physical touch. A simple touch of the skin feels like fireworks. Now a mate can be avoided. If a werewolf decides they don’t want a mate, they can reject them. They would say “I reject (full name) as my mate” and their tie would be broken. However it is a painful rejection. Every day apart from their mate, they would die slowly and painfully. A mate rejection is as close to a suicide for a werewolf. .. so what happens when you, the alpha of your pack, is mated to me? A human
And of course there are plenty of other plots I’m down for. Message me with ideas, we can most likely think of something!
submitted by Hentiababygirl to roleplaying [link] [comments]


2020.09.23 03:52 wndrlnds SD assaulted me and tried to pretend like nothing happened

I met a ‘SD’ from Encinitas, CA area (not sure if I’m allowed to mention that but would be glad to remove it from my post if it’s not allowed) and he assaulted me on the first intimate date.
There were several yellow flags at the meet and greet, he ordered food without me (how rude), he kept mentioning how I looked underage but is “OK WITH THAT”!?!?!? (I’m Asian, 22 and have braces but highly doubt I look underage as I wasn’t even carded on my margarita, I strongly believe I look and present myself as my age), he attempted to show me a “Guide to Giving a Man Head” that he typed himself on his notes (I refused to read it because I’m confident), and he groped me! But my dumbass brushed it off as I thought we had good chemistry otherwise. We had also discussed and agreed on using a condom until we both get our STD test results back.
Second date literally the day after (first intimate date), I went to his place after work, I performed oral on him and he refused to kiss me after because my mouth is dirty (with his fuckin cum!?), he drove us to dinner where he drank three beers which was apparently too much for him, then went back to his place. The drive there and going home, he drove recklessly and I was already scared at this point. He wanted to have sex but I was scared and played it off like I ate too much and didn’t feel well and would rather sleep. So we did. Several times throughout the night he tried shoving my hands towards his dick but I pretended to be asleep and he gave up. Later in the night I woke up to him trying to flip my over to fuck me. I pretended like I was asleep and he tried shoving his dick in me. DRY AS A BONE because I’m fuckin turned off and he did not do any foreplay. He gave up because he couldn’t insert himself. He tried this twice.
The next morning we had PIV, worst sex of my life. He overhyped himself. He doesn’t go down on a woman. A grown ass 55 year old doesn’t pleasure a woman with oral sex and he has the audacity to have a ‘Guide on Giving a Man Head’. He couldn’t even figure out how to finger me..It’s not just an in and out motion dumbass. Ugh. He lasted two minutes max, and asked if I came. I said “no, I have a very high sex drive” as I’ve stated in the M&G. He went to make coffee and I showered and scrubbed myself so hard and went to take a nap again. He then came back up and wanted to fuck me more with his limp dick. He even tried to insert it on the back door without my consent, without foreplay, without proper prep. I was furious! I finally gained my own damn pair of balls and said “are you fucking serious? You don’t do that without a) asking for my consent b) without proper prep. I showered again and got dressed. We went to lunch where he tried to propose to me to go to Puerto Vallarta with him for four days. Yeah, I’m down if you prove yourself to me you aren’t an ass, but you’ve ruined all your damn chances.
I gave myself a few days to process what happened and texted him I’m no longer interested in seeing him and explained myself, how he violated my boundaries and was untruthful to his words of using a condom. He then tried to gaslight me and said “you saw I wasn’t wearing a condom and didn’t contest to it that means you agreed to it” uhmm, no objection does not mean consent. He also said that if there’s anyone to be afraid of it would be me because I “probably fucked 50 men in the last 14 months”, called me a dumb ass and a prostitute to name a few. I was fed up of trying to explain how what he did was wrong and just blocked him. For some reason when I block someone on my phone it still shows up on my laptop?? And I saw on my laptop today that he tried to message me and pretended like nothing happened!?
Will try to post a screen shot in the comments. I’m just in disbelief that this grown man is so manipulative and delusional.
submitted by wndrlnds to sugarlifestyleforum [link] [comments]


2020.09.23 02:09 NameIsNotUsed Entitled Girlfriend/Parents try to force me into a toxic relationship

I don’t know if this is Entitled Parents, or Entitled People, but either way, I need to get this off my chest, and at least get some feedback on this.
I am gonna say this right away: My Parents were Bible-thumping hypocrites. They were completely the definition of it during the early and later years of my life. They would not allow any forms of magic, Pokemon, PG-13 (unless Christian related), or any parties growing up. I was not allowed to have friends over or even allowed to talk to women of any kind growing up, and when I did, my older brother was “more suited” to take them as his own. At one time, my family had a family friend with a beautiful county girl daughter whom I fell hard for. I told my parents and my mom simply rolled her eyes, and told me: “Sweetheart, she wouldn’t even notice you.” Even though me and her with friends and we had clear chemistry, but no, my mom encouraged, no, kinda PUSHED my older brother to be with her. They started dating the DAY I told my parents that I liked her.
Fuck that.
I since then have hidden how I feel about women I thought I liked and discarded the ideas since my older brother would attempt and successfully take them from me before I even had a shot. Thanks to my mom, my older brother thought he was the hottest man alive, while me, having a slim build but look like the dork (glasses, dork smile and green eyes), was just “a teddy bear that girls grow up from” as he put it was how he viewed things. My parents have always wanted to PICK my girlfriend and demanded this three month cycle: Three months Dating, three months engaged, then married. Funny, since they were dating for a year and engaged for a year. Also my family had STRICT rules for dating:
1-The age rule went from 16, to 18, to moved out and has a stable job.
2-Must be Courting: A SIBLING OR PARENT must be at all dates
3- No “passionate hugging” (if you know whom I referencing, you’re cool in my book)
4- No Friends of the opposite gender
Those rules were GRILLED into me, and my older brother broke many of these as did my sister below me, but those are for another day. I constantly had to follow the rules and I wasn’t able to date, ever.
Until I was a year into the US Army.
I serve in the US Army, as a Military Policeman at this time, and have for a year. I was depressed as I didn’t have many friends thanks to me not fitting in as much, (wonder why: maybe from the ZERO social Skills that I got from being Homeschooled and not allowed to go out and get friends outside of homeschool groups or work), and I was constantly getting told that I was better off dead by some of the joes and leadership (that is not a joke, and I had reported them many times, some actually faced legal UCMJ action). My head was in a funk, so that’s when my parents thought instead of THEM being supportive and being there for me, they got me HER.
Her, referring to a woman one year older than me, who we will call Alice. Alice, had a “bad relationship prior to me”, with a four year old child. She was not attractive to me, and I had no interest in a romantic relationship at the time. I just wanted to feel supported, not in a romance way. Not only that, my parents told me straight up: “She and you will date!” And my siblings (all 11 at the time, yes, 11.. I have 11 siblings) agreed and said “she is so cute and has a baby~ so cute!” So I reluctantly agreed to this relationship even though she lived far away from me so it had to be over the phone.
The red flags:
Alice was telling her daughter to call me Dad, after one week of us talking. One. Fucking. Week. I didn’t say I love her, or even liked her. No. I was “Dad” to this innocent girl who, of course, was adorable. I didn’t like Alice, but the little girl who I’ll call June, stole my heart. June was cute, shy, and her words for me were always “Daddy~!!” in the sweetest voice ever. And let me say, June had my heart (well, then again, when you have a small girl looking at you like you are her world, it hurts to say you’re not and warms your soul), but Alice didn’t. Alice knew I fell for June, and decided that whenever me and her had an argument, JUNE was her weapon of choice. One time, me and her were arguing about me going to the field to train and I had to leave my phone. Alice DEMANDED I take my phone so “June can see her DADDDYYY...” my heart raged with anger and I hung up. Then, Alice called my parents, and sure enough, I got a phone call from my mom (EP). I answered immediately.
Me: hello mama~
EP: Hi OP, how’re you doing?
Me: I am doing fine... worn out from packing to go to the field. (I had to told her that I’m leaving a week prior)
EP: Oh.. are you bringing your phone?
Me: Sadly I can’t. I have to focus on training.
EP: oh... you made Alice cry btw.
Me, now pissed that Alice went and told my mom all this.: sigh I don’t care at the moment... she tried to use June as a weapon to have me break the rules.
EP: Well.. you could just BRING it without them knowing... sneak it in so she can see you.
Me: MOM! I can’t just do that! (I was already in deep water for texting my mom during a range to tell her, conveniently, that I was NOT talking to Alice while I was going to the field)
EP: Oh.. I was just trying to make things good for you two. I love you.
Me: I love you too....
After she hung up, I turned off my phone. I didn’t need any more of that. I went to the field and had a genuine crap time thanks to my squad making me do the most tasks of Weapons and Fire Guard. And when the missions came, they left ME to do guarding and not go fire my weapon or get any real training. Once back home, I turned on my phone to see 1,000+ messages from both Alice and my Mom, fifteen missed calls, and my favorite: Two HANDWRITTEN letters about how I was “a jerk for leaving June without a goodbye” from Alice. I was pissed and called it all off that night. I was done. I told Alice to leave me alone and I broke up with her, and I also told my parents to not talk to me for a bit. I was pissed. They KNEW I had some big training going on and decided to not only not support me, but to try and make me in trouble, but also MAKE me feel Guilty when I get home. I kept off my Facebook and the like to avoid social media. I read my Bible and my Study guides during this time with my outlet of Dead by Daylight. A week passes, and I finally unmute my Messanger (my way of talking to Alice, as she didn’t have a landline number or as she told me)
Holy. Captain. America.
She sent me, three paragraphs of text per six hours. Videos of June CRYING for her “Dad”, called me several times, and even recorded herself crying. She begged for me to take her back. I said no. My mom, apparently, without telling me, told HER I was in LOVE with her and just didn’t know it yet, so she was all hyped on it. Also... it was three months into our relationship.
My parents made me spend my savings, on a ring. They threatened to disown me if I didn’t do it. They kept telling me “You don’t have to get engaged to her, but if you do you will have ZERO problems in life, and the army will be so much easier. And you will be able to have June as a daughter fully~” yes, my mom said that. My dad (D), was not as pushy so he doesn’t get the entitled treatment. He was trying to stop my mom from overdoing it, but also was supporting her more so. He just knew where to draw lines. He told me that I am breaking her heart by not making a choice. I didn’t want to make a choice. I didn’t love her. At all. Unlike Alice, who told me that she loves me so much she will be willing to take my virginity. (Side note: She never did, thankfully) I drew the line there, but my parents then started to make me feel like shit, how I was “abusing June, lying to her that I was her dad when I didn’t even marry Alice” or “you are just after the fun, and making us cry.” Even though me and her never even met in person.
So, I did. I got engaged to her. About a week in, a female soldier from my company came to me crying. She was pregnant and her baby daddy was lying about her and trying to punish her for not getting an abortion, as she was so pro-life. I stood up for her one time so she considered me a friend. She told me one day she needed to talk to someone off line about the things and she trusted me. So, I agreed to meet her after work. I knew she was in a bad spot with her baby daddy and his friends bullying her. So I told my mom and Alice I was going to be out with a friend who is in a rough spot. I made the mistake and said “She has been going thru a rough spot so we are going out out to talk.” And Alice yelled at me that I was cheating on her. She grabbed a knife and on the phone, I heard her scream. She yelled in pain. She then sent me photos: She CUT herself. Had fresh cuts down her arm and scars. She threatened to do more. I did the only thing I could do. Told her to stop and called her mom. She (her mom) told me there was NOTHING she could do about her daughter. The Fuck?! She complained on and on about how ITS MY JOB as her fiancé, and I should always bend to her needs over mine. I explain that a soldier needs a person to talk to, and she wouldn’t take it. I just ended up leaving to be there for my friend, and my friend thanked me, and asked me how my life was.... I just told her that everything is fine. The following day, things got worst. My ex-fiancé posted “CHEATER” on my Facebook and called my friend a “Whore Slut Manstealer” over her page. We both got attacked by everyone and it took the both of to explain all me and her did was talk and have a meal, no romantic evaluation to it. She and I were just pissed and our friendship ended. I broke up with my fiancé on it, and told her not to speak to me again. She then told my parents that she was going to KILL herself from the “mental trauma I gave her by being so rude and selfish”. My EP called me and DEMANDED I get back with her. I promptly told her no. A few weeks pass, I have no sleep. Not from breaking up with Alice, not from my EP trying to get me back with her... but from the fact I was receiving phone call, by phone call, by text, email... HOURLY. Sometimes in minute fractions. I yelled at Alice to leave me alone and she then showed her arms she cut open and the new scars and said it was getting worst because she still loved me. I reluctantly agreed to stay in contact but she took it as “me and her are engaged again” and slid back on her ring and called my mom promptly and my EP called me and said “Glad you came to your senses, and did the RIGHT thing.”
The Truth comes out cold.
I remember this day like no other. My Beat Friend, we will call Nick, called me up. I was up, playing my favorite game of Fossil Fighters Champions on my DS and answered.
Me: Hey Nick~
N: Dude. Break up with her.
Me, confused but sighs: Nick.. I want to so badly but my folks-
I get cut off by Nick: She Sent NUDES to my roommate.
Me, not shocked but still stunned, as I drop my DS:... what?
Nick then proceeds to tell me all he learned from his roommate. His roommate was basically talking to Alice since they met via her talking to Nick one day to ask about me. Alice apparently took his number and talked to him, every day. She asked him questions about him and that day, he asked her if she thought he was cute. Alice said yes then proceeded to send a NUDE of herself to him and asked him, “Am I hot?” The roommate then proceeded to have phone sex with her, aware that me and her we’re together at this point and time. They did this for long since me and Alice were together, even making plans to meet. My heart, no longer feeling anything, thanked Nick and talked to Alice to get the truth. She denied it all and told me I’m not thinking right, even getting my mom involved but then I got the transcripts from Nick and sent them to my EP and her. Alice cried and begged for me to forgive her, my EP even told me this was “just a mistake.. and could be forgiven.” Then told me that I should GET BACK with her. I denied her, and have never talked to Alice since. Another note, my older brother laughed when he found out and told me she was sending HIM nudes as well and wanted to meet at a family function to fool around with him, which he then showed me his transcripts of messages with her, and was VERY proud of it. I hated him ever since but still love him today. As for Alice, well... She tried to guilt trip me and I didn’t have any of it. I blocked her on all my socials as did my family (still unsure on my older brother), and my EP tried to coax me a few times but even my Dad was fed up with her crap. He told HER to back off and let me pick, as I learned he only agreed to this because he saw I was broken from being alone in Hawaii all by myself and my mom told him, “It’s the best thing for him.”
It’s been two years, and now I’m with a beautiful girlfriend whom I chose to be with. I love her and she has not turned her back on me as she knows about the stuff I have been thru. My EP has apologized and me and her are on good terms, though she is not touching my relationship with my current girlfriend, whom I have a ring for and plan to get engaged to over the holidays. Thanks again for reading, and “Alice” if you’re reading this, I forgive you, but I will never forget. To you readers, I am sorry if I seem all over the place, I just hate re-experiencing this. I just need to get it off of my chest, and get some good feedback on what I should have done.
TLDR: I was forced into a relationship over a phone by my Mom, was cheated on by the woman I was forced to be with, and EP tried to get me with her again.
submitted by NameIsNotUsed to EntitledPeople [link] [comments]


2020.09.23 01:56 ChonkyBeagle My son is a hateful incel, and I just cannot save him or defend him anymore.

My boy, my oldest child, was so good when he was little, but something broke inside of him when he was a teenager.
My wife and I always accepted, loved, and encouraged him. We pushed him to work hard and treat people with respect. I don’t know where exactly we failed him but as a father I feel responsible for the thing he’s turned into.
It started when he was 14. He had began to become withdrawn and emotional. We chalked it up to teenaged mood swings. For some reason he was just so angsty and bitter all the time. We were worried about his lack of social life and his over-reliance on his computer. He kind of hid himself in the online world so my wife and I began to limit his computer time, but he simply became more aggressive and confrontational.
His hygiene was bad, and he was always confrontational when we told him to shower or do laundry. His room stank horribly and we eventually had a huge fight over it where he physically shoved my wife and called her a bitch, and eventually we got him to at least clean and air out his room regularly on the grounds that it was our house and if he couldn’t maintain his space he wouldn’t be entitled to it - essentially we got to the point where we told him he wouldn’t be allowed his worldly possessions or privacy unless he took care of the space we all shared. the room still smelled and he was still rude about cleaning it but we could tell him to get it clean and he would do it after that.
We ended up getting a call from his school saying that a female student felt harassed by him. We were shown messages where he continually badgered her to have sex with him, threatened to “punish” her for stringing him along, sending her unsolicited nudes, telling her some violent fantasies of his, and eventually just descending into some horrid rage-filled rant about how she is just another “whore” and other things.
We were shocked. We explained to him why this behaviour was unacceptable, and I explained to him that it was ok to be sexually active but his actions were toxic and abusive.
I tried mentoring him man-to-man, taking him on camping trips and whatnot and talking to him about women and girls and trying to give him advice. I suggested he try showering, changing up his hair and facial hair styles, trying out different fashion styles, maybe going to the gym.
I told him some hard truths - that he doesn’t want a gross woman so he shouldn’t be a gross man. By gross I mean hygiene and looks. I explained to him that good looks are more hygiene and self care than genetics but he refused to accept what I said to him.
After that I caught him sniffing his sister’s panties in the laundry room - she was 12 at the time and he was 17. He assured me it had nothing to do with his sister, he said he just had a panty sniffing fetish and he pretended they belonged to girls from porno videos, but still I gave him hell for it, and he was grounded and lost his computer for 6 months. I went through his computer and I was disgusted by the kinds of hateful, racist, incel forums he frequented, the horrid things he said about women, and his save file was full of cartoon porn with girls of questionable ages. I wiped the hard drive completely and began strictly monitoring his online activity. I used parental filters to block incel sites and and porn sites that hosted cartoon porn.
The next big issue was something he did to my daughter’s friend. My daughter is 5 years his junior, and one day after a sleepover, my daughter came to me and said her friend wanted to tell me something but was afraid of what I would say.
My son cornered this 13 year old girl and physically blocked her path and touched her hair and face while making very inappropriate comments about her body and asking her if she liked to sleep naked and what kind of underwear she wore.
I tore into my son for that, my wife and I both shouted at him, and told him his behaviour was horrible and I told him then that if his actions got him arrested I would not defend him. He accused us of not loving him, but I told him the reason I was so passionately angry in that situation is because I do love him, and I want to help him become a good man so he can stop being so predatory and bitter and miserable. I told him some hard truths. That he did this all to himself and that he is the only one he can blame for how bitter he is.
I suggested he look to women his own age and he went on a rant about how it was a waste of time because women were already whores (and his definition of a whore is a woman who has had sex even just once) by 17. I called him out on his bullshit and expressed clearly that if he harassed young girls anymore I would personally turn him in.
I invited my daughters friend over after and I personally apologized to her for her experiences, I cried in shame for my son’s behaviour and begged her forgiveness for allowing her to feel unsafe in my home and promised her that if she ever felt uncomfortable she could come to my wife and I and we would always believe and help her. Luckily, my daughter didn’t lose this friend, but for safety I installed a lock on my daughter’s door.
We got my son therapy but he refused to engage with the therapist, calling him a “sand nigger” and “pajeet” and “terrorist”. His next therapist was a “chad”, so he didn’t relate to that either.
We fought about him not trying, not getting a job, and he said he couldn’t get one because of the immigrants, to which I pointed out that he was struggling because he got fired from his high school jobs for being lazy.
After those fights, my wife tried to empathize with him and understand what made him so bitter but he flipped out at her, and called her a cock-gargling whore and said that she fucked her way through dozens of men until she found a “beta-fag” who was willing to shelter her for missionary sex.
My wife, who works and contributes to the family income, who is an independent, professional woman.
Honestly, I lost it more than ever before. I had never been so angry when I heard what he said. That may be his mom, he may be my son, but the woman he was abusively tearing into is my god damn wife. No one can treat my wife like that.
I am ashamed to say in my anger, he shoved me and I physically retaliated, shoving him back, and pinning him against the wall. I felt ashamed of myself, I have never been an angry or violent person, but I couldn’t control myself. I’ve never put my hands on either of my children in such a way in my life, I hate child abusers... but this boy was no child. He was a grown man.
He was intimidated and backed down, and for a while he was peaceful.
The last straw was this week.
My daughter has dated 3 people her whole life. A boy, a girl, and now another boy. We were as open about sex with my daughter as we were with my son. We asked if she would like to have a question-free steady supply of condoms left in her bathroom drawer, and if she wanted to get on birth control. She said no to both questions with her first boyfriend. She never really brought him home but we met him at one of her recitals. When she had a girlfriend she went over to her house all the time, and didn’t want to bring her to the same house her brother lived in, a sentiment I understood.
But her most recent boyfriend has a lot going on behind the scenes in his family. He’s a nice boy but his mom is a single mom of 4 and they struggle.
This boy started coming around a month after they got together. I like him. My daughter is happy with him. He treats her with respect. He is an intelligent boy. He’s an absolute gentleman. He’s respectful and polite in our home. He calls me sir, calls my wife Ma’am, he offers to help with the cooking or dishes or cleaning while he’s visiting, he talks to us, he’s a bit of an amateur cook himself and brings us food all the time to say thank you for taking care of him, when we go out for dinner he always offers to pay for himself and my daughter (though I know he doesn’t have much money so I always pay). When getting out of the car he opens the door for my wife and offers her his hand (he sits behind her for leg room). He holds the doors, when we leave somewhere he helps my daughter put her jacket on like those sweet old fashioned couples.
This young man works hard, and gives what little he has to his mom and siblings. Like I said, I really respect the boy. I offered him money once for groceries for his family but he turns me down and says he would feel guilty accepting my money like that. He’s appreciative of things - in the winter, it was -20 and he had only a hoodie, so I draped my jacket over his arms, and I said “take it son, it’s cold.” He had tears in his eyes as he said thank you, and I made some excuse about wanting to get rid of the jacket and told him he could keep it if he brought cookies for us next time he visited.
When Christmas came along, I invited him over for supper, and when I went to pick him up I delivered some presents for his family, and on the ride back to my house we had a moment. He was crying because he didn’t have much to give us - he got everyone in our house a present but he cried anyways because he felt it wasn’t enough to make up for what we gave him. I pulled over, and I just hugged him, and I said to him that it wasn’t the value of what he got, it was that he got us anything at all. I thanked him for treating my daughter so well, and I told him he would always be welcome in my home.
My own son didn’t get us anything for christmas, not even a card bought with the money we give him. This boy got my wife and I matching wine glasses since we like to share a bottle every now and then.
My son didn’t eat with us. He pillaged the food table and ran away to his room alone while my daughter’s boyfriend met my sister and her family and my parents and my uncle. They all told me how charming he was and how polite he was. Meanwhile after dinner my son told my 5 year old nephew “fuck off Faggot” for asking to play a game with him. A man over 20 years old.
Last week, my wife and I went out for an evening to ourselves. We went to dinner, then we went to an upscale bar to play some pool, then we went home.
When I walked in the door, the kids were screaming at each other. I came in to see my son and my daughter’s boyfriend fighting. The boyfriend was just pushing my son back and trying to redirect him, my son was throwing punches and charging him. My daughter was crying and sitting against the wall clutching her face. I got between them and pushed them apart, and demanded to know what was happening.
My son went on a tirade about how he found birth control pills and heard “whore” sounds from her room, so he kicked open her door and discovered them having sex, he said he couldn’t believe his own sister would “be a nigger’s whore” and called the poor boy a monkey and other things.
My wife got my daughter and her boyfriend out of there and I yelled at my son for how he was acting. Eventually I got nowhere with him so I made him wait in his room. I went to talk to my daughter. I apologized to her boyfriend, crying as I did, telling him that I hope he could forgive me for letting this happen. He said he was sorry for getting violent but that he only did it because my son hit her. My daughter cried and said he was a psycho and threatened to rape her, and that he admitted to ejaculating on her toothbrush and hair brush.
I charged into his room, and I said firmly that he should pack his bags and leave. I told him I would pay to have his things sent to him, wherever he went, but that he was leaving tomorrow.
My wife stayed at my sisters, and my daughter and her boyfriend spent the next few nights at his place.
The next day I practically threw my son out of the house kicking and screaming.
I took his key back and changed the alarm codes and garage door code. A day later I had a message requesting some of this things - mostly his gaming stuff - be delivered to some strange apartment block I didn’t recognize a couple of towns over. A college aged man buzzed me in and I delivered the stuff. I didn’t see my son.
My wife and I then went through his room. My daughter’s boyfriend came over and helped me move his furniture to the garage. We threw out his mattress and some other more gross and smelly things, and we took out the carpet to be replaced.
Hidden in the closet was a treasure trove of my daughter’s underwear, so saturated with old, moldy semen that they were as hard as bricks. The unnerving part was that there were a few pairs my daughter was adamant didn’t belong to her. And they were too small for my wife. It was possible he stole them from my nieces.
There was a sketchbook containing graphic drawings of my son violently raping different women and keeping little girls chained up in some kind of sex dungeon. I went through his old phone that was still working, and all his photos were screenshots of my nieces and their friends in their bikinis, lots of cartoon porn, lots of red pill and incel and Trump memes. He still had messenger, so I checked his messages, most of them were just him trying to harass women and underaged girls.
I checked his Email and... much to my disgust, he stole private photos of my wife from her phone, and he was selling them.
Today, I went to the police with everything and told them everything.
I gave my baby boy everything... I don’t know why he went down this road. But I’m just so sorry I failed him. I don’t know what the police will do... but I hope they stop him before he hurts someone else.
The sad thing is... yesterday, once it was all over and settled, yesterday we had a wonderful day. One of the happiest we have ever had.
Edit: there is a lot to sort through, it’s impossible to reply to everyone so let me hit the big points.
edit 2
With new replies coming in by the truckload and 3 new pm’s for every one I reply to, I am getting slightly overwhelmed by the response here. I can’t really keep up, even just reading I have begun skipping comments to keep up. I have things to do today but I’ll try to catch up every so often.
edit 3
Mods locked the thread. I am not sure why but there are almost 10,000 replies and maybe 500 pm’s to sort through.
submitted by ChonkyBeagle to copypasta [link] [comments]


2020.09.22 19:53 Ephezius A Comprehensive (?) Guide to Universalism Apologetics

In response to a request from u/jatecaom, I have listed my thoughts around how I defend my Universalist viewpoints with my Christian brothers and sisters who disagree with me. I thought I’d post it here instead of in the original post, in case anyone else finds this valuable.
I apologize upfront for the length of this post, but I wanted to be as comprehensive as possible. To help you read through it all, I have broken this out into sections. Just find the section you need and go for it. Also, I'm certainly not the authority on this topic, so add something if I have any glaring omissions!
SECTIONS
1.) Approach, intentionality, and being selectively definitive
2.) Assumptions
3.) Apologetics is Chess
4.) Going on the offensive
a. Philosophy and Reason
b. Verses
5.) Defend yourself!
a. Common pushback
b. Verses that seem to contradict
6.) Supporting verses
SECTION 1: APPROACH, INTENTIONALITY, AND BEING SELECTIVELY DEFINITIVE
This probably goes without saying, but I think the most important thing here is to approach anyone with an attitude of love. Imagine if they actually start to believe what you’re saying. The amount of hope they will experience is immeasurable, as you probably know if you’re reading this. Just knowing that everything really will be alright in the end is the truest “good news” we can share. I believe this message can be incredibly edifying to the church, so my encouragement to you is to shy away from an, “I am right and you are wrong” conversation. Everyone innately believes that they are right; seldom few are able to have an open heart to consider a different belief system. Only the Holy Spirit can prepare a heart for a change of this magnitude, as most Christians haven’t even heard of Christian Universalism.
I’d also add that you need to be strong in your faith before you engage in apologetics. If you are easily swayed, or if you don’t yet know why you believe Universalism, then it’s probably best to walk away from the conversation.
Finally, be okay with saying “I don’t know.” None of us – regardless of belief system – every have all the answers. Only be definitive when you know in your heart that something is true. If someone asks you if Judas is in Hell and you aren’t sure… say that you aren’t sure. That’s okay. Only say something if you can prove it through reason or text.
In today’s polarizing environment, it’s important to remember that having differing opinions is a wonderful thing. It can be fun to engage in these debates! As long as you respect people for what they believe and that they have a right to believe it, they will probably reciprocate.
Okay… enough preamble. Let’s get into it!
SECTION 2: ASSUMPTIONS
Let me start by putting out the assumptions I’m operating under. This topic is apologetics vs. witnessing to someone who may be an atheist, agnostic, or from another religion, so I am assuming that the audience to whom we are defending our faith is Christian.
Second, I assume that they have some level of believing in the authority of scripture, though I do have several reason-based arguments if they do not.
Next, I’m operating under the assumption that the Bible is infallible, but not necessarily literal. A lot of people immediately conclude that you don’t believe in the authority of the scripture if you believe in Universalism. That’s just not true.
Finally, my personal opinions on some specific aspects of Universalism are likely different from others on this channel. I’m sure you’ll disagree with some of my responses, but hopefully some of this will help.
SECTION 3: APOLOGETICS IS A GAME OF CHESS
When you’ve had enough of these debates, you come to realize that there is always a pattern. You must be ready in and out of season, as it were (II Tim 4:2) – you never know when one of these topics will come up.
I’ve found most often that when you pronounce your faith in Universalism, the audience tends to bombard you with questions about this verse and that verse. You’ll find yourself very quickly in a defensive posture. I follow a few rules:
1.) I never bring it up unless I’m asked
2.) I always let them ask the first question, which is usually “why do you believe this?”
3.) I typically answer with a “why do you not believe in Universalism?”
4.) If asked earnestly, they will enumerate all of the issues you’re going to have to address. This is your roadmap
5.) I never assume I’m going to convince anyone. You can give the best, most eloquent defense of your position and – at best – you’ll give someone pause
6.) Always be thinking 3-4 questions in advance. If they are on a certain line of questioning, then you can probably anticipate what’s coming next. Be ready to give them some thought-provoking questions of your own
7.) Generally, I usually answer a question with another question
SECTION 4: GOING ON THE OFFENSIVE
Philosophy and Reason
As I said in a previous response, I typically open with this logic:
Only two of the following three statements can be true:
1.) God is Love 2.) God is omnipotent 3.) Some people go to Hell for eternal torment
So in other words, if people will end up in hell, that means that He is either not Love or He does not have the ability to save all. Anyone with a slight belief in the Bible will know that it specifically declares that God is Love and that He is all powerful.
Beyond that, I like to start with philosophical questions:
1.) How can you reconcile the statement “God is Love” with “eternal torment”? Especially for benign individuals like American Indians living in 1,000 AD who never heard of Christ?
Why would God resurrect unbelievers to everlasting torment if He could just let them ‘sleep’?
Why would God create someone when He knew they were destined for eternal torment? Even if it’s their choice, wouldn’t a loving God see that non-creation is a better alternative?
2.) If through the sin of Adam – a created being – all men were doomed to eternal torment, how is the sacrifice of Christ – God himself – not enough to save everyone?
3.) How can we be happy in heaven knowing that those we love – and those God still loves – are being tormented beyond comprehension during every moment for the rest of all eternity? God did say that He will “wipe away our tears” (Rev. 21:4).
4.) Is God not powerful enough to stop eternal torment? If He is powerful enough, does He just not want to? Is Satan God’s equal in this matter?
5.) What do you do with the term “all” in the litany of verses in the Bible that explicitly say all will be saved? If you look to the original languages ‘all’ actually means ‘all’. In fact, the term ‘the many’ means ‘all’ as well (Matt. 20:28  I Tim. 2:6, Rom. 5:18).
6.) If man is helpless to save himself (Rom. 5:6), dead in sin (Eph. 2:1), and can’t understand spiritual things in the first place (I Cor. 2:14), then faith is a gift from God and not of man (Eph. 2:8-9, Phil. 1:29). How then is eternal torment fair? Is God a God of fairness?
7.) Did Jesus do all of the work of salvation, or did He leave us to do some of it? In other words, how are we saved?
Is it belief alone (Eph. 2:8-9)? Is it belief and confession (Rom. 10:9)? Do we have to apologize for our sins (Mark 1:15)? Must we be baptized as well (Mark 16:16)? Do we have to be fruitful (Matt. 7:16)? Do we have to make Jesus our Lord? It’s either works or it’s not. Baptism is a work. Confession is a work. Belief is a response (see the last question), but everything else is effort. The point: how do you reconcile faith and works?
8.) Here on Earth, if someone can save a person from death, but they choose not to, they go to jail for negligent homicide. Why do we hold people to a higher standard than God?
Most of these are questions we asked as a child, but we repress them and lean instead on the traditional beliefs of our ancestors. It’s time to ask those questions again!
Verses
There are more verses than I could possibly list here, so I added most of them to the last section. Here are some great ones with which to challenge your audience. There are astounding implications to most of these, but I’ll trust in the intelligence of my reader and limit my exposition.
I Timothy 4:10 – “In fact, we labor and strive for this, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of everyone, especially of those who believe.”
Romans 11:32 – “For God has imprisoned all in disobedience, so that He may have mercy on all.”
I Corinthians 3:13-15 – “13 …each one’s work will become obvious, for the day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire; the fire will test the quality of each one’s work. 14 If anyone’s work that he has built survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned up, it will be lost, but he will be saved; yet it will be like an escape through fire.”
Romans 17:17-20 – “17Since by the one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive the overflow of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. 18 So then, as through one trespass there is condemnation for everyone, so also through one righteous act there is life-giving justification for everyone. 19 For just as through one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so also through the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. 20 The law came along to multiply the trespass. But where sin multiplied, grace multiplied even more.”
Romans 5:15 – “But the gift is not like the trespass. For if by the one man’s trespass the many died, how much more have the grace of God and the gift overflowed to the many by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ.” John 12:32 – “32 As for Me, if I am lifted up from the earth I will draw all people to Myself.” Pair this with John 6:44 – “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him, and I will raise him up on the last day.” Colossians 1:20 – “…and through Him to reconcile everything to Himself by making peace through the blood of His cross—whether things on earth or things in heaven.”
In Luke 23:34, Jesus said of His murderers, “Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing.” Did God answer His Son’s prayer? Hint: John 12:49 – “For I have not spoken on My own, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a command as to what I should say and what I should speak.”
Romans 11:25-26, 30-32 – “25 So that you will not be conceited, brothers, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery: A partial hardening has come to Israel until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And in this way all Israel will be saved…” “30 As you once disobeyed God, but now have received mercy through their disobedience, 31 so they too have now disobeyed, resulting in mercy to you, so that they also now may receive mercy. 32 For God has imprisoned all in disobedience, so that He may have mercy on all.”
SECTION 5: DEFEND YOURSELF!
This won’t be an exhaustive list of verses that people bring up, but I thought I’d give some common questions and answers I have come across. Again, I’ll start with the reason-based questions and go on to verses.
Common Responses
*1.) What about belief? *
A: Where in the Bible does it say that belief cannot happen after death? Show me that verse. You can’t because there is no such verse. Tradition says that this life is our only opportunity to believe; the Bible does not. (Philippians 2:8-11, Romans 14:11, Rev 5:13, Isa 45:23)
As a side note, I’m actually getting to the point where I’m seeing that belief is merely a response vs. a choice. I don’t believe it’s a prerequisite to salvation, but rather a result of it. That’s probably a bit too deep for the purposes of this line of reasoning, though.
2.) What about God’s justice?
A: I Corinthians 3:13-15 says that there will be great loss for many. There will be a great judgement and all of us will be tested and salted with fire (Mark 9:49). But read the verse in I Cor – none of this means loss of salvation! I would refer you to what judgment and fire mean virtually everywhere in the Bible. The theme of fire is an oft-used metaphor in the text and it is always with a view to purification and completion. We are judged with a view to purification.
Think about how Saul became Paul. He was the test case for what Christ will do for us! Paul was shown Christ and then he believed. If God gave the worst of the sinners (I Tim 1:15) this opportunity, don’t you think it’s unfair if even one person who ever lived didn’t have the same chance?
3.) If we preach this, then people will sin even more. What do they have to lose?
A: Paul ran into this exact issue with many of his churches (Romans 6:15). We need to remember that true Christianity is not about behavior modification; it’s about a relationship with God. What happens when someone shows you true love? Do you take advantage of it? Maybe… but that says more about you than that person. If you are truly loved and cared for by someone, then you want to be better for them. The closer we get to Christ, the more we emulate him. Otherwise, Christianity is just a fear-based system of beliefs. Our God has not given us a spirit of fear (2 Tim 1:7).
People who believe that you can’t lose your salvation have contended with this for centuries.
4.) What about hell?
A: refer to #2. Hell is never mentioned in the Old Testament (Hades refers to the unseen realm; see verse section below for Tartarus). In the New Testament, our translation of the word Hell is actually the word Gehenna (with a couple of exceptions). Gehenna was a trash heap/dump in Jerusalem and was used as a metaphor for the coming judgement in AD 70. It has nothing to do with eternal life.
Matt 23:36 - Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation
Jesus goes as far as literally telling people that most of them will be alive when this stuff comes to past.
Read about AD 70 and read Josephus’ historical accounts of the events. You’ll be amazed at how many things were prophesied.
See below for a more in-depth explanation.
5.) Why does no one else believe in Universalism? A: In the words of u/CmndrCuddj,
“…people like Gregory of Nyssa, Clement of Alexandria, Origen Adamantius; All are within the first 300 years, all spoke native Greek(new testament was written in Greek) and all universalists. Then I turn to St. Augustine who spoke Latin, and confessed to not knowing Greek. Who’s word is more trustworthy?”
6.) God would not allow so many to believe the wrong thing A: On the contrary, God has given us great freedom to believe whatever we want. Look no further than Jesus’ contemporaries. They all believed that there would be a warrior-like savior. They thought the Messiah would come and defeat all of their enemies (e.g., Rome, etc.). They looked for a lion and instead they found the Lamb.
Specific Verses
This isn’t exhaustive, but here are the most common ones I hear. If you don’t want to read through these, you can skip to Section 6.
1.) Matthew 5:22 - …anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.
This verse is used to demonstrate that Jesus mentions Hell in the first place and thereby showing that people are destined for it. The word for Hell here is Gahenna.
Gahenna is rooted in an Old Testament locale. It was a valley southwest of Jerusalem (you can see a picture of it right now on Google) and it belonged to a man named Hinnom; it has a very long history and all of it is bad. In 2 Chron. 28, King Ahaz burnt his children there (as did King Manasseh in 2 Chron. 33:6). In Jer. 7 and 19, Jeremiah prophesied of calamity and destruction coming upon the Jews there. From these verses, you will plainly see that Gahenna (a.k.a. the Valley of Hinnom, until God renamed it in Jer. 7:32) came to mean a place of burning, a valley of slaughter, and a place of fiery judgment. The Jews so hated this place that they cast all manner of refuse, deceased animals, and executed criminals into it after King Josiah came on the scene; it became a trash heap. That trash heap was always on fire, with worms, decomposition, the whole bit. A lot of Christians take this as symbolism for eternal punishment, but it’s symbolic of something else entirely: 70 A.D.
You can look at all of the uses of Gahenna in the Bible and see that none of these passages say that anyone of our day can go to ‘hell’. None of them associate hell with Satan. None of them say that Satan’s domain is hell. They speak of men being killed and destroyed in Gahenna, but none of them speak of them being tormented there. (You can see it for yourself. Here are all the mentions of Gahenna: Matt. 5:21-22, 29-30; 10:28; Luke 12:4-5; Matt. 18:9 and Mark 9:43-45; Matt. 23:15, 33; James 3:6).
So the use of Gahenna here is a fact. The history and understanding of what Gahenna was is a fact. The events of 70 A.D. are factual. But the interpretation of any verse (including Matt. 5:22) is up to the reader or teacher. Tradition dating back to the middle ages tells us that Gahenna is a metaphor for a place of eternal punishment, but I come down on the side of most of the early church fathers who interpreted this passage literally (the O.G.s like Irenaeus, Melito, Andreas, Tertullian, Athanasius, Chrysostom, etc.).
2.) Matthew 20:28 – “…just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Didn't Jesus pay a ransom to Satan for us?
The ransom was paid to Sin and Death itself. Let’s say that today you make chocolate chip cookies. What would happen if you accidentally dropped a cup of white vinegar into the batter while your mixer stirred it in immediately? The chemical nature of the dough would change. Where you once had something delicious, you would end up with something gross. The key to all of this is to understand what sin really is: Sin is not just a moral failing or an offense to the divine honor… sin is the introduction of corruption and demonic slavery into man’s entire being in the cosmos (Gen. 6:5, 12; II Peter 2:19; Psalm 14:1; Hosea 9:9; Eph. 4:22; Isa. 64:6; Romans 3:9-18… especially 3:10). And we know also that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Death does not affect just man’s body, but his entire being. Apart from Christ, death is eternal and hopeless. Death is supreme separation from God (Isaiah 38:18).
The work of salvation is vastly more than the satisfaction of God’s offended honor. It addresses every aspect of man’s separation from God. From the first chapter of Genesis, God’s goal in our creation was the full and inexpressibly rich union of man with God. Adam and Eve were prototypes of that life (to a lesser extent than what we will have). They did not start as sinners, but as sharers in the Life of God. This reflects the goal of redemption, which is man’s participation in the divine nature... in other words, our participation in the Life of God. But alas, we were separated from God.
We are separated from God in three ways: through our nature (i.e., flesh), through sin, and through death (Rom. 6:21, 23; 8:2, 6, 38). This separation was overcome in three ways –
a. Through the Son’s Incarnation, whereby He opened a path for man’s return to union with God (Isaiah 7:14; 9:1-2,6-7;11:1-5); b. His sacrificial death on the Cross, by which He vanquished the reign of sin (Isaiah 50:4-9;52:13-15;53:1-12) – this was the ransom paid; c. And His Resurrection from the dead, by which He delivered us from that final enemy (Isaiah 56:6-8; 59:15-20; 60:1-22; 61:1-3; 62:1-5; 63:1-6).
Man’s repentance from sin is not sufficient to restore him to a relationship with God because sin is not merely a moral offense. Sin isn’t a spiritual state that can be altered by a spiritual adjustment and it’s not the sort of affront that’s remedied by an apology. According to the Bible, the state of sin is bondage to death and corruption. Death and corruption are not punishments imposed on sin -- they are a part of sin itself. They are the embodiment of sin (Romans 5:21). To deal with sin, it was necessary to deal with death (Luke 3:4-6, Heb. 2:14-16, I Cor. 15:42, 49).
Now back to the first question: from what did Christ save us? You might think He saved us from eternal torment and suffering in Hell, but I hope you can see that He did so much more than that. He restored (and then some) our “chemical structure” to become like Him and thereby able to share in His life, in His fellowship, in His righteousness, Peace, and Joy in the Holy Spirit! He saved us from eternal separation from Him by eternal death.
3.) Luke 16:19-31 – v.23 – In Hades, where he was in torment… v.24 I am in agony in this fire… v.26 – a great chasm has been set in place… v.28 warn them, so that they will not come to this place of torment
You can do a Google search to find that this parable was actually already a well-known Egyptian folk-tale about Si-Osiris when Jesus told it (Howard Marshall’s The Gospel of Luke, p. 634, Josephus’ A Discourse to Greeks Concerning Hades). In other words, the Pharisees knew this story, yet Jesus puts his own creative genius and spin behind a well-known fable to call out the Pharisees. Before we get to that, here are the biblical proofs of how we know for sure that it’s a parable:
a.) Jesus the Messiah never accuses the rich man of any sin. He is simply portrayed as a wealthy man who lived the good life. b.) Furthermore, Lazarus is never proclaimed to be a righteous man. He is just one who had the misfortune to be poor and unable to care for himself. c.) If this story is literal, then the logical implication is that all the rich are destined to burn in hell, while all the homeless and destitute will be saved. d.) Abraham’s bosom is not heaven (Heb. 11:8-10, 16… 16 being the key verse) e.) People in hell can’t talk to those in heaven (Isa. 65:17) f.) People are rewarded at Christ’s second coming, not at death (Revelation 22:12) g.) “The lost are punished in hell at the end of the world, not when they die (Matthew 13:40–42). Luke 16:31, the last verse of the story, contains a spiritual lesson, showing that the story is actually a parable. Parables cannot be taken literally. If we took parables literally, then we must believe that trees talk! (See this parable in Judges 9:8–15).”
(CREDIT: https://sites.google.com/site/theword4peace/home/lazarus-and-the-rich-man)
In Romans 11:1 Paul rhetorically asks if God has cast away His people, Israel. He answers his own question emphatically by saying "Certainly not!" He tells us that God has not cast away Israel. Paul writes that there is currently a remnant of Israel, analogous to the seven thousand reserved to God in Elijah's time (I Kings 19:18), that God has elected by grace. The rest God hardened, that the Gentiles might also be included in salvation through grace. He gives the resolution of the situation in verse 26.
Read Romans 11:25
The same God that blinded Israel unto disobedience will have mercy on all that have been rebellious due to that blindness. To quote Paul once again, "Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!" Praised be the Eternal Creator of all things!
4.) Revelation 20:13-15 - 13 Then the sea gave up its dead, and Death and Hades gave up their dead; all were judged according to their works. 14 Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And anyone not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.
II Peter 2:17 – “These people are springs without water, mists driven by a whirlwind. The gloom of darkness has been reserved for them.”
Jude 1:13 – “wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shameful deeds; wandering stars for whom the blackness of darkness is reserved forever!”
Daniel 12:2 – “Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake, some to eternal life, and some to shame and eternal contempt.”
This is the big one! There are many, many more verses like this and they all have one or both of the following in common:
a.) Fiery Imagery (i.e., Lake of Fire) or Darkness (i.e., the Second Death)
b.) Phrases like ‘Eternal Torment’ or ‘Eternal Contempt’ But there are a couple of common motifs that will unify these into one answer. But I want to start with a singular verse: Revelation 20:13-15. Let’s break it down verse by verse.
v.13 - Then the sea gave up its dead, and Death and Hades gave up their dead; all were judged according to their works. Death and Hades hand over the dead to the One on the great white throne (v. 11), Christ Himself. Christ has conquered Death and Hell and these last enemies have been placed under His feet (I Cor. 15:25).
v.14 - Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. What goes into the Lake of Fire? Death and Hades. Hell and Death, as we know it, are destroyed.
v.15a - And anyone not found written in the book of life… Let’s circle back to this after the second part of the verse.
v. 15b - …was thrown into the lake of fire. So wait a minute… Christ just claimed the dead back from the clutches of Death and Hell just to judge them and throw them into the Lake of Fire to be forever tormented? How does that reconcile with John 10:10 – “The thief cometh not, but that he may steal, and kill, and destroy: I came that they may have life, and may have [it] abundantly.” Jesus is a life-giver and redeemer, not a destroyer.
The ‘second death' and the ‘lake of fire ' is about finally putting to death of all creaturely identities in order to bring them into conformity with the identity of the Christ, the Lamb, Who is the Image of God (2 Cor. 4:4; Col. 1:15).
Now let’s circle back to the first part of this verse:
v.15a - And anyone not found written in the book of life… Let me set the stage here: recall Abram becoming Abraham for me; Jacob became Israel; Saul became Paul; Serai became Sarah; Simon became Peter… and the list goes on. Now read 2 Cor. 3:17 – “So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away--look, what is new has come!”
Paul, Israel, and Abraham with their God-given names were all symbolic of that new creation being lived in time. In Romans 7:20 Paul says, “Now if I do what I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but it is the sin that lives in me.” So while some people theorize that Jesus’ name is the only name in the book of life and, by proxy, all of our names are in there…, others theorize that Death and Hades are the only things thrown in. While both may end up being true, that’s not the ultimate point I’m making here: throughout scripture, we are told that our old sin natures will “burn up” when thrown in so that sin might be done away with once and for all (I Cor. 15:57, Romans 6:6, Colossians 3:9, Romans 8:8, Ecclesiastes 7:20, 1 John 1:8). And guess what?! We will be given a new name:
Revelation 2:17 – “I will also give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name is inscribed that no one knows except the one who receives it.”
See also Isa. 56:5, Isa. 62:2, Isa. 65:15, and Rev 3:12. That’s what is in the Book of Life, meaning our old names (i.e., natures) are not. Believers in time have already been crucified with Christ, so they are safe from that judgement (Rev 2:11). So we know that every knee bows and every tongue confesses and with that belief, we’re given a new name – we are new creations (II Cor. 5:17). The "old man" will not enter through the ever-open gates of the New Jerusalem -- his "inheritance" is in the lake of fire. BUT THE PERSON OVER WHOM THE OLD MAN ONCE RULED, THE PERSON MADE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD, WILL BE SAVED (see Ephesians 4:22-24 and especially Colossians 3:9-10). And then God will be All in All (I Cor. 15:28).
Once they have been purified in the lake of fire, even the kings of the earth, those most vile of all men who had stood with the beast and the false prophet (Rev 19:19), will be free to enter the New Jerusalem through gates that never close and never shut anyone out (Rev. 21:24-26). It says it right there in Revelation.
So there is judgment. There are and people will experience unfathomable loss. There will be judgment for unbelievers (John 20:29 – “Blessed are those who believe without seeing Me.”). Where you see retributive judgement, however, I see restorative judgement. Remember, that a running theme in the Bible – especially the Old Testament – is fire as a means of purification. This is overwhelmingly the case as you can see in many, many verses (Zech. 13:9, I Peter 1:7, Isa. 48:10, Job 23:10, Prov. 17:3, Mal. 3:3, Heb. 12:29, etc.). How do we know that this is refiner’s fire and not tormenting fire? For one thing, I Corinthians confirms it for us:
1 Cor. 3:13-15 – “Each one’s work will be revealed. For the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each has done. If anyone’s work which he has built on the foundation endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss. But he himself will be saved, still going through the fire.”
Paul seems to be applying this universal truth to the particular group of men who are communicators of the Bible in (1 Corinthians 3:10-15). Blessed indeed are the victors who are not only not thrown into the lake of fire to experience loss but those who are not even hurt by the second death (Rev 2:11). Blessed are those who believe without seeing (John 20:29). The Lord himself is the fire of judgment that transforms us, conforming us to his glorified body (Rom 8:29; Phil. 3:21).
So now, let’s talk about the other verses here. The German theologian Wolfhart Pannenberg puts it best:
“The judgment that is put in Christ's hands is no longer destruction but a fire purging and cleansing. What it effects is the change to which Paul refers in 1 Cor. 15:50, the transforming of the mortal into immortality. Here is the solution to the apparent contradiction between the statements in 2 Cor. 5:10 and 1 Cor. 15:50: the transformation takes place by the fire of judgment. It involves the completing of penitence, but only as a moment in integration into the new life in fellowship with Jesus Christ. Thus the fire of judgment is purifying not destructive, fire.”
Daniel 12:2 - "Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, but others to shame and everlasting contempt.”
In Jude 1:13, “forever” and “everlasting” is from the Greek word aiōna, which is the root word of – you guessed it – aionios. It means age-abiding, not forever and ever – it’s where we get the word ‘eon’. Again, do not take my word for it – it’s there for you to find in lexicons. Aionios only has implications of eternity when it describes something of God Himself. Aidios is the word used for 'absolute eternity' or for 'absolutely eternal', describing for instance "God's eternal (aidios) power and nature" in Romans 1:20 and in Jude 1:6 to describe the eternal power of God that keeps.
As for Daniel 12:2, there is plenty of evidence that this also points to 70 A.D. due to the language throughout chapter 11 and the parallels it has with several verses in Revelation. I’m pretty convinced of it myself and I could make that case here with another page of explanation, but let’s just say for the sake of argument that this verse is speaking eschatologically (P.S. - If you want to read about why it probably belongs in 70 A.D., I’ve got several books that go through all of Daniel + Revelation + Matthew 24, but Matthew 24 Fulfilled by John Bray is the best). Even if that is true, 12:2 uses the same word in the Septuagint translation (referred to as the LXX, it is the Greek translation of the Old Testament) and Jesus quotes it often, verbatim. Aionios is used here as well, but even the Hebrew word, owlam, often means the same thing (as in Jonah 2 when it’s used to refer to Jonah being in the belly of the whale for an age, or a set amount of time).
So what’s the conclusion? When every eye sees Him there will certainly be many who will be struck with grief at the sight of the Crucified Savior-especially those who pierced Him! But it will be God "striking in order to heal.” It will be a sorrow in the hands of God who is Love, producing repentance that does not coerce free will, leading to an irrevocable salvation, a salvation that no one will ever regret. The painful grief through an epistle of Paul led some people in Corinth to a repentance that led to salvation. This will happen on a larger scale when all flesh sees the salvation of the Lord (Isaiah 40:5; Luke 3:6; Isaiah 45:22), when every eye sees (Zechariah 12:10 Rev 1:7) the Son of Man who came with the clouds (Daniel 7:13-14, 27). Why, Saul of Tarsus on the Road to Damascus is a perfect example of what will happen to unbelievers on that day.
SECTION 6: SUPPORTING VERSES
This certainly isn’t all of the verses that supports our universalistic beliefs, but if you are still interested, here are several more (including some you’ve seen above) that further support the idea that Christ saved all.
Genesis 12:3 --- All peoples on earth will be blessed through Abraham.
Genesis 22:18 --- All nations on earth will be blessed through Abraham’s offspring.
Psalms 22:27 --- All the ends of the earth and all the families of the nations will acknowledge God.
Psalms 65:2 --- All men will come to God.
Psalms 86:9 --- All nations will worship and glorify God.
Psalms 103:8-9 --- God is compassionate, will not always accuse and will not be angry forever.
Psalms 145:9-10 --- The Lord has compassion on all His creation and all He has made will praise Him.
Psalms 145:13 --- The Lord loves all His creation.
Psalms 145:14 --- The Lord upholds all who fall.
Isaiah 25:6-8 --- God will prepare a feast for all people, He will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers up all nations. He will eliminate death, wipe away the tears from all faces and remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth.
Isaiah 45:22-23 --- God has sworn an oath that every knee will bow before Him and every tongue will swear by Him.
Isaiah 49:6 --- God’s salvation will be brought to the ends of the earth.
Isaiah 54:8 --- Although God will hide His face in a surge of anger, He will also have compassion with everlasting kindness.
Isaiah 57:16-18 --- God’s anger is not permanent. Although He punishes man, He will heal, guide and restore comfort to him.
Jeremiah 31:33-34 --- All men will know God, from the greatest to the least.
Lamentations 3:31-33 --- The Lord does not cast off forever. Although He brings grief, he will also be compassionate.
Ezekiah 18:21 --- God does not any pleasure in the death of the wicked. Rather, He is pleased when they repent.
Micah 7:18 --- God does not stay angry forever.
Matthew 18:13 --- Like the man who owes a hundred sheep and is not willing to lose even one, God is not willing that any one be lost.
Luke 2:10 --- The birth of Jesus is good news for all the people.
Luke 3: 5, 6 --- John the Baptist quotes Isaiah’s words that all mankind will see God’s salvation.
John 1:29 --- Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
John 3:35 --- God sent Jesus to save the world.
John 4:42 --- God has committed all things to Christ.
John 5:25 --- Even the dead will hear the sound of Christ and all who hear will live.
John 6:37 --- Everything that God has given to Christ will come to him.
John 12:32 --- When Jesus is lifted up from the earth, he will draw all men to himself.
John 12:47 --- Jesus came to save the world.
John 17:2 --- God granted Christ authority over all people so that Christ may give eternal life to all that God has given him.
Acts 3:20-21 --- Jesus must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything.
Romans 3:3-4 --- The unbelief of some will not nullify God’s faithfulness.
Romans 5:18 --- The act of obedience of one man (Jesus) will bring life for all men.
Romans 8:19-21 --- Creation itself will be liberated and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
Romans 8:38-39 --- Nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ.
Romans 11:32 --- God made all people imprisoned by disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.
1 Corinthians 15:22-28 --- All will be made alive in Christ, but each in his own turn and ultimately Christ will subdue all his enemies, eliminate death and God will be all in all.
2 Corinthians 5:15 --- Christ died for all.
2 Corinthians 5:19 --- Through Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself.
Ephesians 1:11 --- God will bring all things under heaven and on earth under Christ.
Ephesians 4:10 --- Christ ascended higher then all the heavens to fill the whole universe.
Philippians. 2:9-11 --- Every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord (In 1 Corinthians 12:3, Paul writes that no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit)
Colossians 1: 19-20 --- God was pleased to reconcile to Himself, all things on earth and in heaven through the blood of Christ.
1 Timothy 2:4-6 --- God wants all men to be saved and to know the truth. Can God’s desire be thwarted?
1 Timothy 4:10 --- God is the Saviour of all men, especially (not exclusively) those who believe.
Titus 2:11-12 --- God’s grace, which brings salvation has appeared to all men.
Hebrews 2:9 --- Jesus tasted death for everyone.
1 John 2:2 --- Christ is the atoning sacrifice of the sins of the whole world.
1 John 3:8 --- Christ appeared to destroy the devil’s works. The doctrine of eternal damnation denies the victory of Christ!
1 John 4:14 --- Christ is the Saviour of the world.
Revelations 5:13 --- Every creature in heaven, on earth, under the earth, and on the sea will sing praises to him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb (Christ).
Revelations 21:4-5 --- God will dwell with men and he will wipe every tear from their eyes, death, mourning, crying, pain and the old order of things will pass and everything will be made new.
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2020.09.22 11:50 Cephalopodcoming2035 Tenet Rant (Spoilers)

Forgive me in advance pls
I'd like to preface this saying I've seen Tenet twice now, the second time in IMAX. Imo it's Nolan's weakest, even more so than his first film Following. Not sure about Insomnia since its been a while since I've seen that. I might just dislike it more than Adam did.
I'm going to point out that on the second watch, it made me both appreciate it more, but also made its weaker points stand out. So I'm gonna say what I liked about it first.
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For starters, I want to say that even though the plot (disregarding inversion) is very, very hard to follow, its not like it breaks apart (immediately) under scrutiny. It's nice seeing all the little branches the plot had, not unlike the ones in Inception.
As an example, even in the first scene alone, you'd think it's just foiling a simple terrorist threat at the Opera House in Ukraine. But it's revealed that...
- bombs are involved
- There's an inside man involved, associated with the CIA.
- the terrorist plot was just a front to let said agent get 'made'.
- that the Ukrainian police are unaware that CIA agents have been undercover amongst them this whole time
- this was all a test for the Protagonist himself to get recruited into 'TENET'
- then that THAT's a front for Sator's militia to steal the last piece of Plutonium-249 he needs.
- Then that this WHOLE THING was probably orchestrated partially by Neil whilst he's in inversion (and with partial knowledge of Sator already) in order to save the Protagonist in that crucial moment that he's about to get shot
I'm sure most critics would agree this is needlessly, needlessly complicated in order for the Protagonist to essentially get himself involved with the inciting incident, but since Inception... this has sort of become one of Nolan's trademarks, for better or worse. I understand their sentiment tho, it DOES get annoying in Tenet. I say this because time travel has been done before, and dream logic not so much, so he could get away with it back when he released Inception.
(When I say you need to peel back layers in order to find a plothole, Neil would have had to have an extraordinary amount of insight in order to save the Protagonist at that point in time in the beginning of the film, whilst not giving himself away to him, or letting Sator know that there was probably a pincer movement during the attack from opposing forces. And considering in Neil's personal timeline, this was before he'd gotten to know the Protagonist personally, it doesn't really hold up.)
I'd also like to give Ludwig Göransson a huge amount of credit, because this score absolutely fucking slaps. I can't stop listening to Rainy Night in Tallinn and Freeport. It is easily, far and away, the best thing about Tenet. And I'd say it's better than some of Zimmer's other scores which he collaborated alongside Nolan.
Elizabeth Debicki is great at acting out her layered character.
The fight choreography in Freeport was a breath of fresh air considering Nolan doesn't really do hand-to-hand combat scenes that well. And considering not only is the fight scene logistically well done (in that both Protagonists have to outsmart the other), but that there was real fight choreography going on, I'd say I was having alot of fun with it. (And correct me if I'm wrong here, but the treadmarks they made with their boots seem to disappeaappear depending on who is making them and in which timeline which, if it is true, is a great attention to detail and fucking awesome.)
Practical effects were really, really good at the airport and on the highway. I appreciated how they used an actual plane instead of CGI or miniatures too.
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Now to the problems I had with it.
With Inception, the issues I had were less so with how the 'dream logic' worked, since there were other things that it had in its favor. Namely the intricacies in its plot, its disregard for a 'good guy vs bad guy' story, and how personal it was to the various characters in the film. It wasn't a save the world scenario, it was a heist, told with a dense, sci-fi infused concept.
With Tenet, not only is characterization mostly gone, but so is the logic that comes with the inversion. Alot of people say Nolan always had a problem writing characters (man with nothing to lose + dead wife go brrrr), and so doing away with it added to Tenet's strengths, but I strongly disagree.
I'll explain my issues with characterization first. Then with inversion logic. Then with Nolan's direction.
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Characterization:
- With Memento, it is less so emotional than a sense of utter defeat seeing Leonard realize he'd been a monster this whole time, then proceeding to live with it physically but not mentally.
- I'd agree that with Inception the dead wife subplot seemed more or less tacked on, but its not like DiCaprio didn't sell his performance as flat, and it was more a device to get him to think about being safe home in the US and seeing his children.
- And with Interstellar, there are various moments where you really feel for the characters who get launched on the mission. That not only is it a long-term quest that will end in their demise, but that the fruits of their labor probably wont sprout whilst they're alive. Two (or three) scenes come to mind in this: the scene where McConaughey realizes his daughter had grown to an adult when its been mere days to him and he starts sobbing, the scene where they come back from the sea planet and realize their crew member had aged significantly, and the scene near the end where he finds his daughter on her death bed. Not only can Nolan spring dilemmas about seeing your loved ones grow up before your eyes to beget emotion, he uses the concept of time as well.
- With Dunkirk, I'd say the only emotional scene I'd felt personally was when the huge amount of civilians came in across the English Channel to save their fellow soldiers, with a neat incorporation of the Elgars Nimrod in the score to show that this is deeply personal for the British people. Even though time wasn't incorporated here, it is with no doubt I can say Nolan can spur you emotionally with his direction.
Now to Tenet.
I don't understand why he would not give a shit. It's not that I found it jarring, but his stories are structured pretty conventionally already, and losing characterization makes me lose empathy in a conventionally told film. And he's not even consistent about it!
- Katya's character stands out so much from everyone else, if he wanted to do away with character, why not make her just as flat? Why have a scene where she is on the verge of tears explaining to the Protagonist that Sator had a huge hold over her? If he's going to give her this amount of depth, why not for the Protagonist himself? (BTW, I really don't see how you can just pour your deepest darkest secrets immediately to a man you just met, who might share the same interests in fake art as you. I don't care how infatuated you are with them.)
- In fact, another character given a good amount of depth is the antagonist, Sator. He's shown to have drive, growing up in Stalsk-12. His cancer probably a result of being exposed to so much radiation. Thus showing his resolve and his 'nothing left to lose' mentality.
Both of their characterizations tie into the plot. Sator in getting the pieces for the device, and Kat for driving herself to ultimately kill Sator impulsively. (There's a moment at the finale where the Protagonist tears up because he knows Neil will willingly die in minutes, but that's it for the Protagonist's emotional core.)
Why the fuck was the Protagonist not given the amount of depth Kat and Sator were given? Like, something, I dunno, 10-15 minutes in the CIA, being open to the concept of inversion, maybe glimpses of Neil and/or Priya watching him in training. It feels like there's 20 to 30 minutes of the movie MISSING. It is so conflicting watching him try to save Kat, or understand the concept of inversion so easily, without getting to know his character.
In fact, when he kills Priya at the end, its because he felt strongly for Kat. But this directly contradicts with the foundation in the future, which thrives on the notion that anyone who knows about inversion has to bring it to their grave. And its even implied he's the founding member of it!
And people see this as a strength because Nolan couldn't do characters well in the past?? At least he was good at momentary scenes. His attempt here is so half-hearted I couldn't believe it.
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Now on to inversion logic:
The biggest, and most glaring issue I have here. There's a lot of time travel films where they employ a simple concept. If you go back in time, don't change anything. The Butterfly Effect can cause significant change in the future, right?
Using that same theory in Tenet, say you had to 'catch' bullets while you're inverted, does that mean: the bullet was always stuck in the wall in the past, just lodged in there waiting for you to catch it into your pistol whilst you're in inversion? And in turn:
- the bullet in the Opera house was always lodged there?
- the bullets in those pieces of concrete in the bunker in Scandinavia were always there?
- the bullet holes in the Freeport chamber's glass panel were always there, even when they were made?
- all the bullets and mortars caught by Blue team in the last act were always lodged in sand and concrete, even whilst Stalsk-12 was a thriving town?
- that one poor soldier on Blue Team who got trapped in reversed 'exploding concrete' was always trapped in there?
- whoever gets shot by inverted bullets always had holes in their bodies/heads? but that would mean the bullet going through them would close the hole? but that'd mean they wouldn't be dead to begin with??
After my first viewing, I honestly thought I had missed something here and was just smooth brain, which was one of the reasons I ended up seeing it again. But nope! It's never explained and is just a huge glaring paradox.
Another issue I have is the character of Barbara explains that you use instinct to catch a bullet, but the Protagonist clearly didn't need it to catch it in his gun before she said that. And does this mean:
- whatever bullets you 'catch' whilst inverted are done through instinct?
- does this also mean that Blue Team was just instinctively catching whatever bullets they fired? in whatever general direction they pointed their guns at?
If you're telling me this is nitpicky, that's quite fair. But considering I've watched Inception more than a few times and it has taken me quite a while to find holes in dream logic, it just makes me feel like he had another novel concept with Tenet, and just didn't give a shit whether it would fall apart under simple scrutiny.
I mean, I enjoy his films the first viewing mostly for the spectacle. But in subsequent viewings, I enjoy them equally in part because I like breaking down the concepts he explores, and seeing how he explores the concept and ties it into neat little bows. So if he just gives up on the intricacies in Tenet what the fuck is there that's left to analyse?
(There's a scene before they transition to the 3rd act, where Neil is about to explain to Kat because she doesn't understand a thing. He says 'In every law of physics', and they just cut to the next scene. Initially, I treated this as a tongue-in-cheek way from Nolan saying he wouldn't expect his audience to understand anyway. Now I know its because even he knows this stupid concept doesn't make sense when you use basic logic.
Immediately after that Neil and the Protagonist talk about the Grandfather Paradox, and how everything has happened, will happen. I realize this is pretty nifty considering its a subtle jab at the audience stating that they are guaranteed to succeed regardless of what they do. But you can't introduce this to the audience without thinking they'll also be dumb enough to brush past inversion logic.)
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Now to the direction.
The action scenes (with the exception of the fight in Oslo) were so sloppy that I could not catch on and was just left confused for most of it.
If you didn't catch on that Ives and the Protagonist were on Red Team, and Neil was on Blue Team during the briefing, I'd like to know if it were possible to even follow who's who and who's doing what. Because I sure as fuck couldn't on my first viewing. It was only during my second viewing did I realize that:
  1. Ives and the Protagonist were the ones who made it to the bunker
  2. Ives gets temporarily knocked out
  3. Sator's henchman would throw the device into the hole, thus causing the inverted implosion upon the world, if the Protagonist were to fail.
  4. Neil went into the turnstile in Stalsk-12 to reverse himself and buy more time.
  5. Neil was devising a way to use his Jeep and attach a hook to haul Ives and the Protagonist to safety in the nick of time
It did not help that during the scuffle between the Protagonist and Sator's henchman, that it was so goddamn confusing who was punching who that I just zoned out. (I'm not a fan of John Wick, but if you watch that and this back-to-back you'd see how badly the action is filmed here.) I cannot see how people are praising the action scenes.
These are the 3 most glaring problems I have with it. I'm only mentioning them in detail because they took me out of the experience.
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I hear most people say something like 'Nolan has done away with all the sentimentality to focus on action and spectacle'. Well, sure. But to counter this:
- Does this mean he didn't have to give a shit how well his new concept held under scrutiny as well? I mean, the guy confronted Thorne's equations and had several researchers back him, created new CGI-rendering software, just so he could accurately create a supermassive black hole in Interstellar. It doesn't look like that same amount of effort was put in here.
- If he wanted to focus on more on the 'action', why use a completely new concept that held similarities to time travel to explain it? So now you need your audience to have a basic understanding of Feynman shit, follow the already messy AF plot for the Protagonist to get on Sator's side in the first half, and not only hope it won't bring them out of the immersion, but at the same time, hope they're not smart enough to know this logic doesn't even work on a basic level. In fact, if people want to praise it as an 'action movie', they're willingly turning a blind eye towards its whole inversion concept, and it spends a fuckload of time on that.
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I know there are some elements in Tenet that are supposed to be reminiscent of older spy films, but they are incorporated so messily I couldn't enjoy them.
A small example would be the scene where the Protagonist wants to implant the idea in Sator that he may be sleeping with Kat, and thus wants to drive their boat to his yacht. He's denied access, and so brings a speedboat of his own out of nowhere. Like, sure, its Bond-esque, but considering Sir Michael said before that he needed to seem richer than his 'Brooks Brothers suit' makes him out to be, I doubt he could've secured a speedboat for that very occasion in that short amount of time. Regardless of Sir Michael's credit card.
A more glaring example would be the over-the-top villian of Sator. Which appears in one scene, where he compares himself to a tiger. Again, it is ridiculous and Branagh sells it, but he's so held back and controlled in every other scene that of course it would come off as cartoonish in the one scene. As it stands, I did not buy his controlling nature/hatred towards women like Kat, and the whole speech about 'being the tiger' was laughable.
(If they'd somehow had a flashback where Sator was abused as a child by his mother, thus, revealing why he wants so much control over a woman like Kat. Maybe even a flashback to being abused in front of a painting of tigers leading to trauma, I could see it making sense and tying in the over-the-top shit with the rest of his character.)
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I know alot of people criticize the sound design, and it did impact me on my first viewing. But when I'd seen it again in IMAX, I could make out dialogue a lot more clearly, even during the infamous sailing scene.
However, the Russian accents in the film were so thick I couldn't understand when they explained their exposition. It was only after reading a synopsis after my first viewing that I realized the Protagonist was initially working with the CIA. The Russian officer who interrogated him used 'CIA' a couple times, but I honestly couldn't make out what he said about the Protagonist being part of it.
Similarly, Sator's final speech through the walkie-talkie was so muffled and accent-heavy half of it just lost me.
---------------------------------------------------------
In regards to bloodshed:
In the scene where Sator beats the henchman who tried to steal an inverted gold bar from him. He is shown to bash his head in multiple times, and yet not only does the gold bar seem like it was just dipped in cherry sauce, but Sator's white shirt is spotless.
To add to this, why is it that when Sator shoots Kat while he's threatening the Protagonist, not only does the bullet pass through her and out, there's a substantial amount of blood shown... But when Kat shoots him bare-chested at point-blank range it looks like he just burst a pimple on his chest? For fuck's sake, when she drags his body across the deck he doesn't leave a trail of blood behind him because the bullet somehow didn't go through him? Is his body a fucking sandbag?
(Also, the fact that they'd tie a rope to his body and tow it away with their boat, instead of just bringing his body on-board, was outright hilarious to me and didn't make a lick of sense.)
Also, Nolan still can't be bothered to add muzzle flashes or smoke from his guns. I don't know how people put up with it.
---------------------------------------------------------
Some more scattered thoughts:
It's weird that in the turnstile machine in Freeport, Neil would ask the Protagonist 'What happened here?', considering he's a functioning agent and is there to guide the Protagonist. Considering he believes in 'what's happened, will happen', why not help the Protagonist out? Isn't that his whole purpose? What's the point of acting clueless towards the Protagonist? What does that accomplish??
A pretty minor nitpick here, but I have a huge issue when Neil tells Ives that he's the only one that could unlock the gate at the final fight scene from the inside, thus sending himself to suicide in a matter of minutes, getting the Protagonist emotional. He wasn't there, looking at the fight. And Ives never told Neil who the fuck that even was, he didn't even say he existed. Unless I missed a frame where Neil saw Ives, the Protagonist and the henchman duking it out next to the machine I don't see how he could've even guessed that's what happened, let alone know he's supposed to go in there, lock the gate (yeah i dunno), and save the Protagonist from the bullet.
In the scene where the Protagonist meets with Priya for the third time, and she tells him about the future 'Oppenheimer-like' scientist, he confronts her so loudly amongst her confidants that I was surprised the extras in that scene didn't glance in their direction. Like, wouldn't he have been more discreet about revealing this whole 'inversion' thing exists? In fact, it's like Nolan conveniently threw aside the notion that on-going passers-by would notice shit like this, or the inverted car on the roadside. His hard-cut to black after the attempted assassination from Sator reminded me of Knight and Day with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz, where they'd transition from one conflict to the next by knocking out Diaz's character.
They cut so little toward the enemy during the climactic battle that it was honestly difficult understanding who they were fighting against.
The editing honestly seemed really choppy in a lot of the exposition scenes. Like Nolan was trying to meld in exposition and montage together in order to shave off seconds from the runtime. It was so weird seeing him rush through scenes considering I don't think I've ever felt it in any of his other films.
CGI was about as shoddy as the sound design was, which really makes me wish Nolan had spent at least 6 more months polishing the film. This is in regards to the exploding/imploding building in the finale, as well as the massive exploding crater that Neil drives away from. Honestly looked as dated as Inception's CGI is now. I'm not saying its poor or even average, but it's definitely jarring after watching Interstellar's groundbreaking CGI.
---------------------------------------------------------
I'd really like to understand what most people enjoyed about it.
Like, if they legitimately enjoyed the action does it mean they just zone out whenever characters give exposition? Because there's a lot of exposition in Tenet. And a lot of concepts to grasp.
Also, if inversion logic honestly makes sense and I'm just not grasping it properly please help me understand it :( Thanks!
5
submitted by Cephalopodcoming2035 to YMS [link] [comments]


2020.09.22 10:33 blogmoneyweb Conversation Tips - How to Talk To Men

Everybody has sticking points, whether it's work, relationships or life in general. But that's fine and dandy because the learning process is what makes us better women.
Perhaps you're struggling with certain behaviors or fears that might be keeping you from making the most out of your love life. Not to worry though; author Mirabelle Summers has created the ultimate game-free guide on how to do just THAT:
http://www.meetysweet.com/attractmen/
The "Get A Great Guy Guide" is just the thing you need to achieve the breakthrough that you've been waiting for. With its sensible, no-nonsense and down-to-earth advice for the sassy, modern girl, finding AND holding on to a quality man will be a cinch!
Now then - one of the most common stumbling blocks to more romance in a woman's life is a simple lack of conversational know-now. The good news is that this can be LEARNED and immediately applied in your everyday life!
Especially while you're face-to-face with a potential lover!
Oftentimes the problem is that some well-meaning girls overlook the importance of having the right communication style. It's not that they WANT to be boring; they're merely unaware of how to hold a conversation.
No sensible gal is going to get up in the morning and tell herself, "I wonder how I'm gonna BORE the socks off of that cute stranger I'm going run into at the coffee shop today?"
If you want to become a better conversationalist, it's important to consider if you've grown accustomed to certain patterns of speech that are actually counterproductive. Sometimes, you need to step back and ask if you've fallen into certain habits which you've numbed yourself to over time.
So the first step towards any form of improvement is SELF-AWARENESS. Think about the way you normally carry a conversation with a guy and ask yourself if your style could use some polishing.
Of course, I don't want you to start beating yourself up if you feel that the way you talk to men isn't as attractive as you might want it to be. Like I said earlier, there's always room for improvement, and it's definitely a good thing to know EXACTLY which areas can be improved.
With that said, I want you to go over the following tip you can use to enhance your communication style:

# 1: Rapport is Key

It may sound like the simplest thing in the world to say, but the fact is lots of perfectly adorable women have a hard time doing this. It's mainly because they only have a VAGUE idea of what rapport is, so naturally you can't create something you can't really put a pin on!
So let's clear up the fog surrounding this topic and identify what it is exactly. In a nutshell, having rapport is about having a CONNECTION with someone.
You know how you hook up your iPod or mobile phone to your computer, and they suddenly have this mutual understanding? It's kind of like that, but on a DEEPER level.
Let me give you a clearer picture: if you were at a party packed with all manner of gorgeous, articulate and friendly men, which one of them are you likely to REALLY fall for?
Since they're all visually and mentally appealing, you might have a hard time figuring out which guy suits you. Chances are the one who naturally understands you will be the man you'd want to date.
Why is that? Well, doesn't it feel just GREAT when a person instinctively senses where you're coming from?
I'm sure you've met at least one person in your life who you inexplicably feel drawn to. That's because that person seems to perfectly understand and echo back your own opinions or feelings.
That sense of being connected is what rapport is all about. Fortunately, it's actually not hard at all to do this in your daily conversations.
The first thing to keep in mind is that you need to be on the 'same page' as the person you're talking to. There are easy ways to do this.
For example, keep an ear out for specific concepts or values that are personally close to the person you're in a conversation with. If he brings up that it's important to him to have some quiet time everyday, store that away for future reference.
Later on you can echo back that same concept by telling him about how YOU like to spend your alone time: 'At the end of the day I like to spend an hour or so curling up with a good book and a nice warm cup of chamomile tea. It really helps decompress after a crazy day, you know what I mean?'
Step back and watch his eyes light up like a Christmas tree! By taking something close to his heart and giving it back to him in a genuine way, your words will make quite the IMPACT on him.
So, rapport really has to do a lot with speaking the same 'language'. Now of course, I don't mean you have to start mimicking everything he's saying like a little parrot, but rather do it in an EMOTIONAL sense.
Discovering and talking about the values that resonate with you BOTH is a way to speak the same language. When you think about it, we often adapt our modes of speech depending on the context we're in.
For example, you wouldn't talk to your friends, family, colleagues, or elders in the same EXACT way would you?
So don't think that you're being a phony by making an effort to speak in the same way that he does. You're simply getting into the practice of communicating in a way that's APPROPRIATE to the situation.
And when it comes to chatting up gorgeous guys, a meeting of the minds is best done through rapport-building speech patterns!

# 2: Switch Off Your Brain

Don't get me wrong, the kinds of guys who are worth your time are into women of SUBSTANCE. And certainly, this next conversational tip is not about acting air-headed or ditzy.
All I'm advising you do is keep your sexy brain from going into overdrive! A common mistake that intelligent women often commit is to think too much about certain things.
They get so caught up in their own world of thoughts that they'll come off as aloof or distracted, when in reality they're just petrified from FEAR of not knowing what to say next.
If you don't want your brain from stalling on you, then you have to quiet your thoughts and shut out the nagging distractions in your pretty little noggin.
The attraction-killing thoughts I'm talking about are those coming from the inner critic trying to sabotage your conversation. Sometimes, we make the mistake of mentally scolding ourselves after saying something that felt out of place or unfunny.
Other times, we're lost in a maze of thoughts on what to say next or get bogged down in a swamp of self-consciousness.
When you feel your brain going in this direction, acknowledge what's going on and DROP these mental distractions.
There's a handy little trick you can do in case your attention is drifting off to la-la land: instead of obsessing about how you look in his eyes or what he might be thinking, simply divert your attention to HIM.
It's a girl's best defense against looking aloof or detached from the conversation (or from this plane of reality for that matter!). So remember to shut off this part of your brain, and you'll do just fine.
On another note however, sometimes it's the guy you're talking to that's feeling self-conscious. If that's the case, then don't act or talk in any way that might give away you're AWARE of it.
Just play it cool and don't dwell on the vibe he's giving off. It'll only make things more awkward if you let his state affect your own.

# 3: Humor is Your Best Friend

Maybe you're still feeling each other out and you're trying to get a handle on how to connect to this hunk of a guy. But the awkward flow of your conversation is creating a major interference in your connection so you're having a hard time 'broadcasting' your signal.
Fear not, friend! The quickest way to clear up all that 'static' is by creating a private joke which you can share with him. When you both have some knee-slapping ground to start on, this accelerates the rapport-building process.
My long-time friend Marcus has a great story to illustrate my point. He says:
"One of my first jobs was a freelance product writer for all sorts of health merchandise. During one assignment I was talking with this guy who was telling me about the benefits of a sports bracelet that supposedly reduces muscular fatigue. I had to put on the bracelet and pretended how less tense my arm felt as I was stretching it. Monique, his pretty sales assistant, was visibly chuckling at how funny I looked during the product demo (though she tried her best to hide it)."
Marcus was then able to use this funny incident as an inside joke when he started chatting up Monqiue. To her delight, he referred to the silly arm-stretching debacle several times during their conversation.
To his benefit, Monique was game enough to tease him about it when they eventually started dating. The moral of the story here is that when used properly, humor serves as a great bridge between two people.
Heck, any doctor knows about the therapeutic effect of laughter. One way to bring on the charm is to put your man on a natural high by cracking a joke or making a witty comment!
Making people laugh will make people (cute guys included) want to be around you to get a dose of your feel-good charisma.
Of course, there's a big difference between laughing at a joke and MAKING one. However, appearing to be effortless at humor isn't as hard as you might think.
Don't assume you need to transform yourself into a standup comic at the drop of a hat.
Generally, a good punch line is the result of properly setting up the joke beforehand. If you need to explain the punch line after delivering it, it means you didn't build enough suspense first.
(Think about how some characters on TV bumble a perfectly good joke by explaining too much and adding a "get it, get it?" at the end.)
A good way to build up a joke is by keeping a relatively straight face and suppressing any snickers before dropping the punch line on him. Otherwise there won't be any escalation.
That's what comedic timing is all about: buttering up the audience and then BAM, you get the drop on them with a well-placed punch line!
Notice how comedians like Conan O'Brien or Tina Fey churn out the funnies. They like to talk about a mundane news item (the set-up) and then making a zany comment about it (the payoff).
As an aside, avoid making any pop culture references that might alienate or confuse the person you're talking to. It's good to be mindful of the particular person in front of you so he can better relate to your "material".
However, don't worry about making leaps and bounds in this particular area of conversation. Try adapting these habits of humor little by little into your speech.
Once you hit your stride and finally struck a guy's funny bone, you'll notice how easier it is to keep him laughing with a follow-up joke!
One last way to be funny without overdoing it is by doing the "pretend seriousness" routine. A little lighthearted irony goes a long way with certain folks!
Let's pretend that your friend introduced you to this incredibly cute guy who happens to be just into music as you are. So halfway through the conversation he confesses to not having heard about a certain band you absolutely adore.
Take advantage of this opportunity by *playfully* retorting, "Tell me you're kidding. Otherwise, I'm gonna have to drag you to my place and make you listen to my (name of band) records until you see the light. Seriously!"
Admittedly, this approach might not work on everyone, but if he seems like the guy who's game enough to go along with the fun, then give it a shot!

#4: Converse With an OPEN Ear

Some women might think that listening is just a simple matter of hearing what the other person is telling them. Truth is, this basic skill we've been taught to use over the years is often taken for granted.
Sometimes, we find ourselves zoning out a bit (refer to tip # 2) when we should be PAY ATTENTION in the full sense of the verb. A typical mistake is to listen on a superficial level and merely use the time the guy is talking to think of something to say.
This might sound like common sense, but I have this to share: you'd have a better chance of saying something worthwhile if you truly listened to what the other person just said.
I've told countless friends and colleagues that your genuine attention is a very powerful tool for conversational success! Really listening to his jokes and stories is a simple but effective way to make him feel good about himself.
And what red-blooded man wouldn't want to be around a sassy girl that he can associate his GOOD FEELINGS with?
The gift of showing real interest is the direct path to greater rapport in ANY sort of conversation you're in. Although our general interest here is to attract men through a good chat, we also have to consider the big picture here.
An attractive woman is someone who can have a great conversation with just about anybody. When you have a POSITIVE attitude towards the rest of humankind, it's an indication of how you'd be on a date.
...or as a girlfriend.
If you're there to talk with ANYONE purely for the pleasure of their company... and NOT because you want their approval... then that sincerity will naturally show.
People (hunks included) just tend you like more when you want to hang out with them with NO strings attached.
So what I'm saying here is that you shouldn't just limit your awesome conversational skills to men alone. Find an opportunity to flex your social muscles and chat up a storm with the next person you run into!
It doesn't matter if it's the nice old lady at the library, the friendly cashier at your favorite coffee place, or your fellow students at yoga class. Every person out there offers a chance for you to become a more sociable person.
Trust me, this mindset is the sure-fire path to becoming drop-dead gorgeous in the long run! What have you got to lose after all?
And part of developing the right mindset is by expanding your knowledge and beliefs about dating, courtesy of Meet Your Sweet's "Get a Great Guy Guide."
http://www.meetysweet.com/attractmen
When you think about it, the cost of failure is pretty much ZERO, so get out there and work it!
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
This article comes to you courtesy of www.meetysweet.com
If you are serious about changing your love life success, the first step on your journey of self discovery needs to be with Meet Your Sweet's "Get a Great Guy Guide."
If you want genuine men, and not just any man, let Mirabelle Summers and the team challenge your beliefs about love and attraction, and show you the way to become a seduction success story.
http://www.meetysweet.com/attractmen
No games. No scripted lines. Real life dating advice for real women! ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
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2020.09.22 09:14 Sirhamlock READ FIRST :D

Hello Hello! Welcome to Uncle Neighbor.
Game on Steam and Itch.io
We here are for all who love the Uncles:
Before you get to Posting and Commenting, How about checking out the Rules on the side (Desktop), or under the about section(Mobile).
Next some Important Threads:
Now some Threads That You should Check Out!

We will Update ^ When we have the Weekly Threads (Hopefully Weekly)
If you Would Like to mark yourself as Uncle or Nephew, Comment down in the comments for the Flair!

Enjoy your stay here, and please follow the rules as best as possible, we want people to feel welcomed here!!
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2020.09.22 08:09 ThrowRA_yeeeeeeet Advice needed on how to talk to conservative boyfriend (20) about LGBTQ issues.

My boyfriend (20) grew up in China, and I (19) grew up in North America. We met and started dating 8 months ago in college. I thought we were a really good match until about 3 months ago when the topic of LGBTQ rights was brought up. He confessed to me that he thought homosexuality was "unnatural", and if his friends ever come out to him, he would guide them towards the "right path" cuz homosexuality is "a bad choice". I was so disappointed, angry, and broke up with him right away. I've always supported the LGBTQ movement, especially cuz some of my best friends are part of the community.
A few days after we broke up, he messaged me saying he is willing to change his worldviews. I had some time to calm down and think through this. I know China is not particularly supportive of the community, and a lot of what he said was a direct result of misinformation from his upbringing and his religion (Christian). So I decided to give him a chance and if things don't work out, at least I will do what I can as an ally to educate him on this.
Fast forward a bit, we are at a place right now, where he agrees and understands that 1) sexuality is not a choice 2) being around gay people will not affect his sexuality (apparently many Chinese ppl think that you can become gay if you are exposed to homosexual ppl) 3) he will treat members of the LGBTQ community like how he treats heterosexual ppl. 4) he would not prevent me from supporting the community in any way 5) he is willing to attend pride parade if it is really important to me. This whole process made us a little closer. However, we have been struggling to agree on other aspects for awhile now. For example, he takes a very traditional view on "marriage" and believes that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. He thinks marriage is more of a ceremonial thing rather than a necessity for a happy couple regardless of sexuality. I asked him if he could vote, what would he do and he said he would not vote (I suppose voting is not a familiar concept in China). I asked him why, and he responded with it does not affect him and so he will not form an opinion on it. He lacks exposure to the community, which makes me think that that is why he dissociates himself from forming any opinion on marriage equality.
As someone who is very supportive of the LGBTQ movement, I find it uncomfortable to deal with this "neutral" viewpoint. I do want to stay with him because we still love each other and I can confirm that he is capable of changing for the better.
How do I change his mind about this? Am I being to obsessive about this? Should I just be content with his neutral stance and agree to disagree?
submitted by ThrowRA_yeeeeeeet to relationship_advice [link] [comments]


2020.09.22 06:30 throwthisoneintrash Linda's Cave

From this SEUS prompt.
Evidence locker 2309
The enclosed letters were located in a wooden box found by two teenage males while spelunking through the government caverns located at 35°20'19.30" N -111°50'4.90" W
Letter 1, dated July 18th, 1837.
Linda,
Your agreement to correspondence is commendable. While I do not approve of a young woman exploring caves on her own, your father's ownership of our lands leave me with no recourse for correcting this misguided venture. The native guide you have with you does not appear to be trustworthy but, I must concede to your father’s wishes to allow you anything you ask for your journey. When I next see your father face to face, I will press him on this issue as it is not a common request.
Regardless of my own thoughts, I have included some extra supplies and literature for your time in the caves. There is good oil for the lanterns and plenty of parchment for you to write back.
Sincerely, David Thymes
Letter 2, dated July 25th, 1837.
Linda,
I have not yet found an opportunity to meet with your father, nevertheless I am encouraged by your letter. It is good to hear that you are safe and your guide has indeed found the cavern’s that you were intent on searching. Please continue to take every precaution necessary to ensure your personal safety.
If it serves you well, my lady, I would caution you to mind yourself with more diligence than you have ever used in times past. I myself have journeyed through caverns as well.
When my brother and I last took a trip to the local caves on your father's property, we thought that the descent would be easy. We were sadly mistaken as gradients are not so obvious in dim light.
I am sure you grow tired of the balderdash contained within my letters, but please see them for what they are. A concerned friend who hopes to further understand and know you.
With all care, David Thymes
Letter 3, dated August 3rd, 1837.
Linda,
My messenger has regretfully informed me that he stumbled upon a moment of indiscretion between you and your native guide.
I will not dither about with my words. I am thoroughly upset as I am sure you are aware of my intentions with this correspondence. I do not write to every foolish lady gallivanting throughout the countryside. I intended to make you mine, Linda, and you have gone away with this man and given up on a future with me.
This will be my last letter. The cave you call your home is a far cry from your father's great house and I only hope for your sake that you return to him and regain your dignity.
Regretfully, David Thymes
Letter 4, dated August 12th, 1837.
Linda,
This letter will serve as a final clearing of my conscience. I met your father today.
You know what I mean by that statement. How long have you been hiding the fact that he died on his last voyage?
You had the grave stone marked without dates to cover up your hideous use of his name and title to get what you wanted.
I have divulged myself of all remorse for you. I will lay claim to your father's lands as they would have rightfully been mine if we had done the proper thing and been married by now.
My messenger has some additional documents with him for you to sign. His instructions are to get your signature but one method or another.
Do not think of returning to your father’s estate. Stay in your cave. Take care of your own self and that man you have decided to run away with.
You may think that you have found a life for yourself, but let me tell you, you will not have the life you once did. The damp walls of your cave are home to hideous creatures that will torment you. The air will grow stale and your sicknesses will not flee. Even water, without the sun, is shockingly cold.
I cannot write any more. This last letter is only an outlet for my disgust.
David
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2020.09.22 02:09 alitxtile 140 Years of Jeans (Part I): TCB’s Natural Indigo Tribute to the 1880 Waist-Overalls

140 Years of Jeans (Part I): TCB’s Natural Indigo Tribute to the 1880 Waist-Overalls
This is Part I of a write up on 140 years of Jeans. This part focuses on the 1880 Waist-Overalls along with a review of TCB Jeans’ 1880 inspired version of the pair. Part II will be on a more modern pair of jeans by Versace and will be posted later this year. As always, a good bit of history in the beginning of this (A) followed by the review of TCB Jeans’ pair (B).
The start of this decade represents a number of milestones in the history of jeans as we know them . Levi Strauss’ patent on adding rivets to clothing was granted in 1873 yet it is likely that Levi’s own factory didn’t produce until at the 1880’s and most of the oldest pairs we have to my knowledge date to around the this time or a few years prior. This means this is the 15th time a decade has started with riveted clothing being worn. Perhaps just as importantly, this year marks the 140th anniversary of the expiration of Levi’s Strauss patent allowing other companies to produce riveted clothing. Ultimately, the de-Levi-ification of jeans is representative of just how universal their appeal became, the race was not merely for what new innovation would replace riveted clothing but, critically, on how to perfect riveted clothing itself. 140 years on, denim and jeans show no signs of slowing down and continue to define nearly every culture on the planet. This is probably as good of a time as any to go back and look at how we got here and, specifically, to take a deep look at the jeans that so have captured our hearts. Since much has already been written on the history of denim I wanted to take a slightly different approach. Rather than rehashing what we already know I’ll use newspapers from the late-1800’s and early-1900’s to portray what these jeans meant to people and to recapture stories now lost. TCB’s 1880’s waist overalls, based on jeans from the period, will be my window into relating to these stories so by the end I will transition to some reflections based on these jeans and discussing their fabric, construction, as well as their modern-day appeal and their relationship to modern jeans. Also, keep in mind that the term “overall” didn’t refer only to the bib-overall that we connect it with now but was a loose definition meaning something that would be a protective layer—so a pair of overalls could simply come up to one’s waist just like a pair of jeans.
Natural indigo with left-right construction, deerskin leather patch, copper rivets, steel suspenders buttons, and an iron cinch.
(A) Historical Context
The patent system in the United States by the mid to late 1800’s all manner of creative ways from which to improve clothing. These “improvements” in clothing included adjusting them for various waist sizes, increasing durability in high-stress areas, as well as on methods on measuring, cutting, and maintaining clothing. Theodore Sloan for instance in 1870 was a granted a patent for the application of a strengthening fabric at the knees of pantaloons so they would not wear down so readily. Patrick W. Dolan received a grant in 1868 for a ruler specifically constructed for more “correct” measurements of mens pantaloons.
A little over six months after Jacob W. Davis and Levi Strauss’ applied for a patent on adding rivets to clothing, John D. Ryan was granted a patent on a device for maintaining the shape of pantaloons writing that,
My invention has for its object to furnish a device for stretching pantaloons to remove the bagging at the knees, and the wrinkles in the other parts caused by wear, so that the pantaloons may be made perfectly smooth without its being necessary to send them out every few days to be cleaned and pressed, and which shall be simple in construction and convenient in use.
Who needs shoe-trees when you can have pantaloon-trees:
Looks like there is an outline of a cinch in the top!
It’s the addition of rivets to clothing, of course, that is at the center of the jeans-story. While John Davis and Levi Strauss were aware that rivets had been used to secure shoes, Davis’ application involved adding rivets to the pocket opening of the jeans/pantaloons that were likely to fail under pressure. The button fly here was included in the category of “pocket-opening” as in construction and pressure it was essentially an area where an opening was present. The presence of metal rivets so visible on a piece of clothing was likely a curiosity.
The presence of the rivets was originally proposed as “applicable to pantaloons, overalls, coats, vests, and other garments.” But it was the overalls that would be most receptive to the new riveting technique with their convolvement being a potent combination of both durability and comfort. Overalls had become by the 1880’s the premiere workwear outfit. Companies such as Sweet & Orr produced these overalls for workers and created representations and images highlighting their ruggedness. The following ad shows two men battling over a pair of Sweet & Orr’s overalls (The Abilene reflector. September 11, 1884):
Two (Three?) men brand?
Sweet & Orr was likely one of the first clothing producers to popularize this image and predated Levi’s horse logo with the latter potentially being a case of trying to one-up Sweet & Orr’s human strength driver tug of war game with old fashioned horse-power. Sweet & Orr also owned their own factory for producing overalls while it is unclear how early Levi Strauss did so. So, regardless of whether they were riveted or not overalls quickly became the definition of a rugged and free lifestyle. So many stories in the end of the 19th century were intimately connected to overalls: from marriage to murder, life to death. I have selected a few forgotten stories to help capture what overalls meant. Let’s start with an old professor who lost his job partly due to his refusal to wear anything but dirty overalls.
Stories
The Evening Bulletin in Maysville, Kentucky dated to April 18th, 1888 (Number 126) recounts the curious tale of one Alex E. Cohen. Mr. Cohen had moved to Andover around 1860 from New York where he had been teaching the children of the leading families in the languages. His knowledge of Hebrew literature was so impressive that he was given an assistant position at the Andover Theological seminary. The article continues,
He was a very scholarly man, but the very impersonation of carelessness in dress. It is said of him that he frequently appeared before the dignified divinity students unwashed and collarless, a boot on one foot and a rubber on the other. His favorite pantaloon material was overalling. For his uncleanliness and slovenly attire he was expelled from the seminary.
Mr. Cohen when he first moved to Andover was, per the article, ridiculed for his manner of dress and all sorts of rumors were created about his marriage. After his wife moved to the town the year after him the townspeople were shocked at what a charming woman she was. Both lived together in hermitage for 12 or 13 years.
In Mr. Cohen’s case we can see that the comfort provided by of a worn-down pair of overalls is considerable. And if one could not afford more pants, overalls became the de-facto companions to see one through thick and thin. The “ruggedness” of overalls soon became connected with the definition of plasticity and adaptability. Because the overall could do anything and help its wearer in the tasks of life, it itself became a symbol of openness.
By the early 1900’s its clear that the ability to wear the overall if only during out-door activities was both seen as desirable by women as well in out-door activities and was not by any means only for men. The Sun Francisco Sunday Call from September 27, 1907, for instance, describes a group at the camp of women telegraphers referred to as the overall-girls: “[t]here are lots of [. . .] women in Camp Felton and many of them wear overalls.” We even see here that one woman was not “allowed” to wear overalls by her husband and, due to it, was frustrated. Let us not forget that women were still given the right to vote. There is of course a deep irony in having to be given the permission to don something as adaptable as the overall but it is exactly this tension that gave the symbol strength. Wearing the overall when not allowed was of course what made it an even stronger symbol.
The overalls becoming a symbol for adaptability was not only an issue for rigid gender roles but also for rich and poor. The San Francisco Call from August 7th, 1904 contains a rebuttal against those who saw the overalls as unacceptable for the highest dignity a human should aspire to. One Mr. Hearst, had laid an attack on overalls when seeing a rich man’s son donning them:
Mr. Hearst is of the opinion that a rich man’s son should have an ambition above wearing overalls and learning handicraft. The overalls seem to be the specially offensive and are referred to with a bitterness of expression which we thought could not be excited by that harmless and necessary article of clothing. Mr. Hearst if of the opinion that a rich man’s son should put in his time doing good, elevating his fellow man, as it were, and declares that this Young man in overalls is not fulfilling that high mission. We can see no occasion for all this fuss. Men who have had traces and worn overalls had done many a good job at elevating their fellows, and history asks no question about what they wore, whether trousers or overalls.
In fact, the author continues that wearing of the overalls and working with in the shop “shows a very commendable spirit in a rich man’s son that he desires to join his fellow-men in a workshop, learn their trade, take pot luck with them and train his hands to skill in a useful and honorable occupation.” In fact, it seems that Mr. Hearst was against the exclusiveness of the rick yet, the author states, makes a lapse in his usual view because a “rich youngster has dropped exclusiveness and wears overalls and chews his lunch out of a tin bucket.”
The humble overall because it was so inconspicuous, better yet conspicuously inconspicuous allowed the discussion to shift away from attire and onto the actual character of the person. That of course has commonly been the elephant in the room of fashion. Gianni Versace when interviewed about his distaste for ties stated that:
I have a kind of repulsion to. . . for the things you are obliged to wear. Sometimes they send me out of an restaurant, [saying] why I don’t wear a tie. And inside that restaurant there was even mafioso. You can kill people if you wear a tie. (60 minutes)
Betraying what we feel obliged to wear, in this case, becomes an act of self and social calibration to determine whether the superficiality of our appearance or our actions are weighed more heavily by our peers. The overall because of its humility became the touchstone, the measuring bar for this. I like to think that Mr. Cohen, the overall-women, and the rich man’s son all saw it as an instrument for testing the limits of their own freedom.
There is a danger of course in idolizing the overall or its situation. There were dirty and horrible truths amongst the positives. Overall manufacturing and labor, connected with questions of the rights of the work-force as well as immigrant-labor, was at times convolved with horribly racist movements like those seen in the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882: The act in different stages used Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and other “Asian” groups as scapegoats for the working man or woman’s trouble and clothing manufacturing was used as a way to scare people into thinking their sewing jobs would be taken by immigrants. Ads from the time-period went as far as to mention that their overalls were produced with white-labor. So if overalls were beginning to be representative of freedom or adaptability their construction and the labor behind it was capable of being co-opted or infected by the most abhorrent human vices. Thankfully, it seems that raw denim in the long run, despite attempts to do otherwise, has maintained its boundary breaking character. The development of the raw denim community as diverse as it is, linking different countries, with cottons from all over the world, and styles which mix inspirations from different cultures is something to grow and protect. The overall and jeans by extension continue to be the article of clothing for everyone gender, race, and class—they transcend that which sought to limit them yet. But the history highlights that this requires constant vigilance.
Going back to this history, even when overall-manufacturing was romanticized, as seen in an article in the Sunday Call article titled "Experiences as a worker in an overall factory" from August 12, 1900, we can see that companies were quite interested in maintaining productivity:
Presently my thread got tangled up and pop went another needle. The girl next to me kindly Stopped work and gave me a few pointers. "You must be careful,", said she, "needles count up. and you know we have to buy them, three for a nickel. Just so slow and you're all right. Look out how you turn on the power,. If you break that big wheel band it's two bits. The little one is 20 cents."
The desire to drive down the cost of overalls manifested as pressure put on the sewing ladies who had to buy the needles they broke. The Weekly Crisis of June 2, 1881 contains a call for overalls to be protected from being merely tools for the fundholders:
Five pair of overalls for a dollar, is a creamy paradise for the fundholders. If the fundholder can swap his dollar that is now worth five pair of overalls for a dollar that is worth ten pair, we will be in his “kingdom come.” If five more pair of overalls could be crowded into a dollar, the fundholder’s dollar would be doubled in value, without his doing a strokes of work; but the sewing woman would have to take twice as many stitches to get the dollar. Hostile law has made one man richer by making another poorer, and they call it strengthening the public credit.
Thus the desire for the overall to be a rugged yet cheap article had, in the author’s eyes, only the allure of the public good while in reality creating worst working conditions for the common woman or man. And how valuable a well-fitting, cheap, and durable pair of pants is was taken to its negative extreme in an article in the Chicago Tribune from February 3rd, 1876 titled “Overalls and Murder”.
Since the original story may be too graphic for some I’ll simply summarize: Because “Mrs. Silar Wilder made a pair of overalls too short,” Silas murdered her as well as his father than himself. The full article despite being graphic contains many satirical elements and notes of commentary. It points out that an overall cut too short is essentially like the breeches worn by George Washington. An overall in one point of time that is too short would be considered too long in another. Through such a telling, the “point” of the article is that overalls ought not be taken too seriously, whether too short or too long they are merely tools of utility. Again, such articles were seemingly attempting to push back against the fashionization of the overall. The overall could only be taken seriously if it wasn’t taken too seriously.
There are of course many more stories around overalls that I have left out; many comedic, some some serious, and others horrifying. Why did it capture everyone’s attention in such a manner? If it is because it was a workwear item then the immediate next question is why was it a workwear item? Why did it become a symbol of adaptability that then had to be protected, and continues to have to be, from negatives such as poor pay, class elitism, gender-roles, and racism? To better understand this I wanted to return to the source by wearing a modern-day jeans inspired by the 1880 waist-overalls. I’ll first introduce you to the construction, fit, and fabric of the TCB’s 1880 overalls and then come back to reflecting on where these waist-overalls fit in the modern world.

(B) TCB Jeans Natural Indigo 1880 Waist-Overalls:
What makes the TCB Jeans so unique is while many companies historically have out-sourced their sewing, including Levi’s in the beginning and even now, TCB Jeans is an entirely in-house sewing operation. Where jeans are sewn, how they are sewn, when they are sewn is usually unknown to the consumer. Yet with TCB Jeans this trend is bucked, we can see that Kikk does all the cutting for their items on the third floor of the main building. All the sewing is done in the second floor. Shiba does the hemming for most of the jeans ordered. Matsu the teen handles adding rivets and attaching cinch-backs to jeans. Yuko-Rin sews every prototype for new TCB products. Ryo handles international customers and helps disseminate the knowledge of TCB to an english speaking audience—I learned a lot from his pamphlet on these jeans that describes how they are constructed, I urge everyone to look at it. Master sewists like Tak handle difficult sewing sections. And Miko handles the behind the scene logistics, and, of course, everyone knows Hajime Inoue as the brand’s owner. The team makes up a sort of denim super hero group coming up with ideas for denim, having fabric custom woven for them, cutting and stitching themselves. And the sewing machines, both old and new, are of course a intrinsic part of the designs and construction chosen by TCB Jeans. This integration, as we will see, makes for a remarkably cohesive pair of jeans and allows TCB to recreate exacting details that elevate denim.
The rivets in all their glory
Selvedge X 4, Sewing x 4
The construction on the 1880’s waist-overalls is simply the best I have ever seen on any pair of jeans. It is sublime. It’s such a tour-de-force that I can’t help but feel that TCB Jeans is simply bragging about what they are capable of. So I want to spend a little time going into the details.The 1880 Waist-Overalls are based on the earliest pairs from 1879 onwards. At this time, these overalls were not flat-felled seam or chain-stitched. Instead they were stitched together with a lapped seam with the edges left completely raw and unfinished.
Selvedge and raw-lapped seams are an experience
Now, to us modern-day denim aficionados we would certainly be familiar with flat-felled seams because they hide the unfinished part of a fabric inside the fold where it is not visible.
It looks nice and clean. One would normally think that this means that the fabric is protected so it will not unravel. Given that the 1880-waist overalls have unfinished seams how could this be prevented? This is where the sewing of TCB shines. Rather than simply stitching two pieces of fabric together with a single thread, the waist overalls contain not one, not two, not three, but four separate threads. And the entire length of all these seams is sew with cotton thread. So as one thread breaks there are three more to replace it. So the seams were not simply stitched once with a double chain-stitch as is common but the machine was taken over the seam multiple times.
You can see two stitches on the right and then a third to their left; but even further left there is yet another thread holding the seam secured tightly (This photo was hard to take, sorry for the quality)
Recall, the whole point of the appeal of the overalls in the past was that their ruggedness and durability bucked the trend of what one ought to dress like. Despite looking “unfinished” because of the exposed seams the waist-overalls contain far more workmanship than more finished pairs of denim. The superbly stitched lapped seams are even more interesting because they are contrasted with the opposite on all ends: selvedge.
The rest of the jeans contain more selvedge edges than any other pair of jeans. The outseam, of course, is selvedge like all selvedge jeans. The watch-pocket too. The button fly, however, is also selvedge, and the entire waist band the all the way around is also selvedge. Simply opening the jeans one is hit by vast swathes of selvedge edges contrasted with quad stitched lapped seams with threads flying out. The loose threads even wrap around each other securing themselves further and can be seen sticking out the hem. It’s one hell of a party trick.
That selvedge button fly? Stitched again with single-needle stitching. You can see that the bottom of the stitching comes closer and closer which, usually, cannot happen because it is double stitched.

The simplicity of the selvedge is gorgeous. So clean. And the contrast between the clean selvedge and the raw edges is an experience.
The raw edges have spun around each other further securing themselves to the left while the clean selvedge peaks out on the right.
More selvedge
Cinches? Cinches and Buttons
The cinch is the most critically important part of these jeans for me. In the late 19th century, belts were not yet fashionable so overalls contained suspenders buttons as well as cinches.
This might seem like just a detail but when we come back to thinking about the utility of these overalls it will be quite important. The cinch is perfectly located below the middle of the waist band. Meaning that if you tighten the cinch it doesn’t tighten directly on your stomach. It tightens below and behind it which keeps the pants up while the waistband is still pliable enough to stretch and grow on the front with you as you eat, drink, and workout throughout the day. The cinch is held together by a custom made iron-piece with prongs sharp enough to hold the belt. Wearing these for over six months the cinch hasn’t slid even once!
Iron cinch
The jeans also contain a host of steel buttons that are already starting to rust quite nicely. The button-fly features five buttons while the suspender buttons are the same as the top-most button and six in number.

Rusting button
Rivets
The rivets, of course, where what made the original Levi’s legendary. Two for the watch-pocket and two for each of the front pockets, two for the single pocket in the back, and as was tradition, one for the crotch, and lastly two for the cinch. They are copper and feel light yet strong.
Closer up of the rivets
Rivets again
Leather Patch
The leather patch on the back is mixed tanned being both vegetable and chrome tanned and is made out of deerskin. The deerskin has a soft texture that fits the pliability of the jeans as a whole and the mixed tannage gives it a natural look while still giving water resistance to age without becoming stiff.
Putting it Together
It’s important to note that when these jeans were constructed in the 1880’s they were not sew as they are now with the front and back being sewn separately then stitched together. Instead, overalls were made by sewing the left and right sides first and then stitching them together through the middle. Additionally, fabrics were pressed with a iron when sewing the seams together rather than using a seam-guide. The fact that TCB recreated even these details really shows that no corner was cut.
In my opinion, the fabric, which I’ll get to in a second, is absolutely perfect for the construction. The benefit of lapped seams over flat-felled seams is that it reduces how bulky the seam is—it makes the seams feel like they are non existent. Combined with a lighter fabric it really feels as if the entire jeans are just a single piece of fabric rather than something held together at the seams.
Natural indigo, American cotton, 8oz
There was no synthetic indigo in the late 1800’s so any indigo dying had to be done by using leaves from the indigo plants. The leaves for TCB Jean’s waist-overalls are grown in India. While the original pairs would have been vat-dyed TCB elected to rope-dye the jeans so that they fade. The threads are dipped in the Indian indigo pool 8 times each without any synthetics used.
Who said 8 oz fabric can’t have incredible feel and texture? Just LOOK at it!
The threads are themselves made using American cotton. I believe that are two kinds of American cotton used to give it a fluffier feel. The end result is a very hairy fabric with a heterogenous color, the natural indigo being darker in some areas than others.
Let’s talk about the weight. This is by far the lightest pair of jeans I have and I was worried initially that the starchy, stiff, rough and heavier feel of 13-18 oz denim would be missed. Having worn these over six months, I have not even once wished that they were heavier. The fabric is so fluffy and hairy and supple that those same 8 oz take up more space in your hand. Additionally, this isn’t a high density high tension lightweight fabric that feels like a shirt, the lower tension of shuttle looms seems to have led to something that feels airy and pliable yet substantial at the same-time.
The color of the fabric is also, to my eyes, beautiful. The natural indigo has a little iridescence to it (not unlike the roadrunner cotton) and a slightly bluer look than the deep purples of synthetic indigo. Both look beautiful but I think the softness of the natural indigo really fits the softer, fluffier, hairier look of the denim. It’s got an oceanic tone to it that is really pleasing.

Worn with a loopwheeled fox cotton t-shirt.
Worn with Tricker’s deerskin chukkas
The construction and fabric, from the cinch to the natural indigo, the American cotton to the rivets, the selvedge to the steel buttons, leads to a pair of jeans that has completely changed the game for me when it comes to utility. If I had to spend the rest of your life in a pair of pants and was never allowed to change this is the undisputed ace. If I have to be stranded on an island this no question hands down the pair I would take. Their loose fit means means that you can run around and jump without feeling restricted, the lack of traditional seams means you can lounge on a couch and be no less comfortable than with pajamas. They are long enough and dense enough to protect from fast wind yet light enough not to hold your body-heat in. Their loose fit again means that they leave enough room for a thermal or long-johns underneath while letting in the air in hot weather. Gained a little waist or ate a big lunch? Loosen the cinch. They are the definition of utility.
Fit Pic 1, worn with my beloved Fox Cotton Type I Jacket
Fit Pic 2, worn with my beloved Fox Cotton Type I Jacket
Reflecting on the 1880’s
I originally looked to TCB’s 1880 jeans as well as newspaper and patents to try and better understand why waist-overalls and their jean descendants have so taken the world by storm cutting across gender, ethnicity, culture, and class.
It’s clear that the late 1800’s were filled with attempts to make the perfect pair of pantaloons. From measuring rulers to jean-stretching devices to ways of sewing button-flys to creating strengthened seams everyone tried to make pants better. Standards for how a pair of pants should be sewn were still evolving and everyone experimented with new techniques. The end result was an age of innovation in construction and stylistic techniques. Yet, there were still no seam guides nor any chain-stitching so the tools available were narrower. The 1880 overalls look and feel like the end product of that innovation were everything had its purpose. The lightweight seams actually make the rivets feel like they are points of strength while with the thicker seams of modern jeans the rivets feel like they exist more for aesthetics. And without bar-tacking the rivets, again, feel again like they have a critical job to do. There is something about their simplicity that is so compelling. No overlock, just single needle stitching, rivets, steel buttons, iron cinch, fabric, and a leather patch. The fabric itself is so incredibly raw, just pure natural indigo over the hairiest fluffiest lightweight American cotton with low tension selvedge.
That makes them liberating in so many ways. They aren’t about projecting an image, they are not only as Versace would say, something we don’t feel obliged to wear but something even rawer and simpler than any other pair of pants. What’s funny of course is that the time put into recreating these simple humble jeans requires more work than any designer label would put into it. From the natural indigo to the quad stitched seams to the single-needle lock-stitch to the ironing and constructing the jeans left to right, they are a remarkable piece of art.
I’ve struggled to come to terms with what the 1880’s mean even after wearing them for six months. They continually amaze me and have probably caused me more angst about what I think denim is about than any other pair. They’re a bit *too* good. Have we really not improved on jeans in 140 years? Is it possible that we just perfected what a pair of utilitarian pants ought to be like and since then have diversified more than improved?
The fact that people like Mr.. Cohen, the overall-women, and the rich-man’s son were so frustrated with not being able to wear overalls that they would transgress their social boundaries is a bit less surprising now. The 1880’s were a product of a lot of hard work, of trying to make people’s lives easier. Once someone donned the overalls it seems going back to anything else didn’t have the same allure. The 1880 overalls somehow free the body and the soul.
Interestingly, I don’t think my appreciation for other jeans has diminished with my experience with the 1880. Looks and silhouette and fades and thicker fabric and the wonderful strength of chain-stitching seams are incredible. But I think its easier to see why those are so interesting when you have contrast. Once we made the perfect pair of utilitarian pants we could compromise here and there to make them look nicer and feel more substantial while still maintaining their casual appeal. The 1880 was a gateway to the wonderful world of modern denim. So it’s really unfortunate that with the advent of the 501’s that the 1880’s got lost in history because modern jeans only make sense when we understand what gave them their impetus.
One last note to conclude:
I think one might wonder what is the exact point of recreating older denim. Is bringing back the 1880 overalls a bit like trying to bring the first Macintosh computer in the modern age of smart phones? Something unwieldy and out of place? In reality, I now feel that it is more like creating Jurassic Park. Trying to recapture the sewing techniques, the style, and substance of the past is tremendously difficult and an art of its own. So the 1880’s are more like a dinosaur. Not in the sense that they are old and dusty but because they are like a T-Rex: absolute wonders of what happens when you take something to its extreme. What can we do when we forget everything except trying to design the most liberating pair of jeans? TCB Jeans by bringing that back are bringing a monster into a new world. And that monster doesn’t for a second pale in comparison to its living descendants or relatives. It has a different architecture but its so committed to a particular way of doing things that there is barely anything that can compete with it on *that* singular focus. The king isn’t dead, long live the king.
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2020.09.22 00:59 windvally Cuttlefish's Interview Done by Blogger 安迪斯晨风 and Posted on Bilibili Channel 书鱼煲书

Major Spoiler Warning!
Cuttlefish's Interview Done by Blogger 安迪斯晨风 (Literal Translation: Andis Morningwind)
Posted on Bilibili Channel 书鱼煲书
Title: [Lord of The Mysteries] Contains Spoiler for Book 2! Andis and The One And Only Cuttlefish's First Time Offline Meet Up + Questions From Fans
Date: August, 15th, 2020
Link to Raw Video: https://www.bilibili.com/s/video/BV1rA411Y7aD
Translation: Windvally
TL Note: Andis Morningwind aka 安迪斯晨风 is a somewhat well known Web Novel Curator and Critic. He's known as the "Number One LOTM Proponent" or whatnot, I don't know the details.
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Andis: Hello Cuttlefish!
Cuttlefish: Hello, Morningwind. This is what we call online buddies' offline meet up.
Andis: Kind of having that Tarot Club meeting feeling.
Interlude Screen Text: Number One LOTM Proponent Andis Morningwind asked all Curly Baboons to poll together 10 most popular questions. Now it's Cuttlefish's one man show
Cuttlefish: You ask me the question first and then I get to decide whether to answer it or not. :D -------------------
Question 1: SPOILER WARNING FOR Side Story
Andis: First Question, Cuttlefish, you said those five gold coins are important "evidences" in Book 2. What kind of effects or functions will they have in the near future?
Cuttlefish: The currently ongoing Side Story about the "Modern Era", is actually a dream of Klein while he is slumbering after the end of Book 1. Inside this dream, Klein will receive certain guides & inductions that seemed normal but in reality may be traps created by The Celestial Worthy of Heaven and Earth (The previous LOTM) . Those five golden coins that Klein gave away as "The World" at the end of Book 1 are actually used for helping "non-god" level individuals to gain the ability to enter into the dream within the Sefirah Castle. In this way, these individuals can then exert some interference in the dream to aid Klein. These interference will help Klein re-awaken his true self and cognition.
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Question 2: SPOILER WARNING FOR Side Story Chapter 14-15
Andis: Then, in the current side story, Amon also made his appearance. Is he the real, OG Amon? Or is it just an "Amon" in Klein's imagination, that Klein dreamed of?
Cuttlefish: He is...the real Amon. Because Klein absorbed Amon Uniqueness to become Pseudo-LOTM. (Wind: Not Amon's, Cuttlefish used "Amon Uniqueness", may just be a habit of speech) .
Andis: Everyone all seemed to really like Amon as a character.
Cuttlefish: They say like, but it's all words. When Amon came onto the stage everyone was pretty scared s***less. Laughs
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Question 3:
Andis: Why were the Cowardly Trio, Amon, Mr.Door, and Demon Wolf, able to live together in peace during the 3rd Epoch?
Cuttlefish: If they were to become Sequence 0 and beyond too early. They may become influenced by "The Creator". At the time, they were simply probably just more focused on making preparations, and there were no need for going into conflict and confrontation too early. On the contrary, working together and protecting themselves were a better choice.
(Wind: I don't know if he's referring to GA or LOTM or ASG here, but I suspect both GA and LOTM fits the context, as GA was already awakening inside of ASG, and Cowardly Trio advancing would naturally wake up LOTM).
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Question 4:
Andis: Zhou Ming Rei (Klein)'s world, the modern era that he lived in. The ancient mythology and legends on Earth, are they real history that existed once upon a time on Earth?
Cuttlefish: Among all the Mythology and Legends. A portion of the very core beliefs and events were actually real. The rest, the majority are more likely to be fictional legends/myth.
-------------------
Question 5:
Andis: Okay, Let me find a more fun question. Lord of The Mysteries, Why did he name himself a name such as "The Celestial Worthy of Heaven and Earth" when he was in the Western Continent? Why such a Oriental, or Chinese-element name?
Cuttlefish: Because Western Continent, that place in and of itself is basically a place of Chinese background and settings. If Lord of The Mysteries wanted to go on being a "missionary" and spread his beliefs, if he wanted to establish his religion. Of course he would choose to use a name that is more accustomed to the speech habit of Ancient China, using name and prayer formed from that language to describe and define/pinpoint his existence.
-------------------
Question 6:
Andis: What are the Mythical Creature Forms of Red Priest and Demoness Pathways? What do they look like?
Cuttlefish: For Demoness, I think many people have already guessed it. It is a form that is very similar to what Medusa looks like. For Red Priest, its form is something that is closer to that of a Flame/Fire Giant.
-------------------
Question 7: SPOILER WARNING FOR Side Story
Andis: Why did Zhou (Klein) become a Demoness Pathway in the Side Story?
Cuttlefish: Because it's actually "The Celestial Worthy of Heaven and Earth" 's doing. He's hoping to mix-up and confuse Klein's self-recognition. Followed by slowly corrode Klein, pollute him, and finally devour him. If that were to happen, when "LOTM" wakes up, the one who wakes up will be "The Celestial Worthy of Heaven and Earth" instead. At the end of the day, this would be categorized as a "Dream conflict" on the mental/spiritual layer.
-------------------
Question 8:
Andis: There are a great number of female readers among the Curly Baboons. The LOTM series, or in any of your future novels, short stories, and side stories, will you ever consider creating a product with a female as the primary protagonist?
Cuttlefish: In the future, either in short stories or novels, I may experiment with a female protagonist approach. After all, I've not only read Wuxia, but I've also read urban romance novels and all kinds of novels.
-------------------
Question 9:
Andis: The Fallout/Post-Apocalyptic new novel that will be out in November, does it have any connection with the LOTM series? In terms of word settings.
Cuttlefish: Not really. Because LOTM series is already set for becoming a trilogy. If I were to randomly add a "connected" book into it, the series would be too "fat". For myself. I wanted to write something that is more fresh and more new & exotic for me.
Andis: We are all looking forward to it, regardless of whether the next novel will have connections or cameos to LOTM series or not.
-------------------
Question 10:
Andis: Why is Klein so cute, did he inherit his cuteness from Cuttlefish?
Cuttlefish: I wouldn't say he got it from me. All of my protagonists before Klein, including Klein, they all have their own inherent cute sides to themselves. Klein's life experience, brought about some "deepening" and metamorphosis to his personalities.
-------------------
Question 11 (bonus):
Andis: I have one more little question pulls out a monocle and put it on. If you saw that one of your Curly Baboons turned into Amon. What are your thoughts?
Cuttlefish: That probably means I already have a battalion or more of Curly Baboons infected by Amon already.
Both: Laughs
End of Interview
submitted by windvally to LordofTheMysteries [link] [comments]


2020.09.21 22:15 kayakero TEXT CHEMISTRY REDDIT: REVIEW & DISCOUNT

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submitted by kayakero to reviewsforyou [link] [comments]


2020.09.21 22:00 Purp1eW0lf OSCP Lab & Exam Review and Tips

So I want this to hopefully be a bit more than the obligatory 'I passed the OSCP' , and offer some advice for those who want to take the exam as well as give my opinions of the course. It's a lengthy post, with advice from beginning to end of an OSCP path.
TL;DR: commit to preparation. Complete every OSCP-related resource and you will pass.
The topics we're going to go through:
  1. OSCP preparation
  2. Purchasing the OSCP
  3. Coursework
  4. Buffer Overflows
  5. Lab Report
  6. Labs themselves
  7. Pre exam prep
  8. Exam itself
  9. Exam reporting
  10. Post exam
Pre -OSCP preparation
Before you pay for the OSCP labs, I would recommend that you take up the following free (or cheap) resources:
Purchasing OSCP
When you're reading to purchase your OSCP course, there are a number of options for what you can pay for. I'm not going to dwell on this for too long but what I will say is this: if you have children, intense work commitments, or an unforgiving significant other - choose the 90 day option. If you don't have children, if your workplace is understanding, and if your SO is forgiving - choose the 60 day option.
OffSec can take up to a fortnight to accept your payment and send you the course details, so please do keep this in mind when it comes to scheduling and timing. I didn't realise there would be such a gap in time, and ended up losing losing a week of time I had set aside for the course.
OSCP Coursework
For the majority of the coursework, I was frustrated. It felt like 800 pages of content that was outdated and time-consuming. Looking back now, though, I see that OffSec weren't trying to teach me answers but were in fact trying to foster a mentality in how to approach tasks. The content isn't all bad either, as there was some techniques and tips that I was genuinely impressed with and used in the exams.
There may be some who say that completing the coursework is not worth the five points you receive towards the final exam. I say those people are either overconfident in their abilities or misunderstand simple math. As there's little we can do for the former, let's examine the latter: the OSCP Exam comes in the form of five machines, with two 25 point machines, two 20 point machines, and one ten point machine. One of those machines is a buffer overflow machine (which is a guaranteed 25 points). When you add up a combination of a handful of these machines, you can start to see how five points can be the difference between a pass and fail. Moreover, let's just say you pass with what you think is 73 points but OffSec deduct four points because of sloppy reporting. That's a fail. Whereas those extra five points you would have received from the coursework would have pushed you into a more comfortable passing mark.
In essence, the coursework is dull and painful for 90%. But the 10% of interesting stuff, plus the five points, makes it undeniably worth it. Please do the coursework. I would recommend banging out the course report as soon and quick as you can. I spent eight days, giving fifteen hours a day just burning through the course so I could get it out of the way. I will assume you're more intelligent than I am and will get through the coursework much faster than I did.
OSCP Coursework: Buffer Overflow
The buffer overflow section in OffSec's course pdf is awful. It was my least favourite part of the whole course, and it kept coming up again and again throughout the 800 pages. They don't explain it well from the beginning and that confusion persists as you go through the BOF sections. It's the only part of the entire course that I was actually frustrated I had paid OffSec this much money.
Fortunately for me (and now for you) I had gathered some resources before starting the labs and had already perfected my BOF skills. I would recommend you first follow Heath Adams' Cyber Mentor BOF guide. He teaches the part-manual, part-automated method, and helps you understand some of the theory. Once you've completed this, then move onto Tib3rius' BOF practice room on Try Hack me. It teaches you the mostly automated method for a BOF, and it is the easiest, quickest way by far. Heath's guide is necessary, as he teaches you a middle-way that makes sure you wouldn't be lost if your automated tools stopped working. OffSec's method is maybe too manual. And I understand that they want to impart the lesson of doing things manually, but for a topic as confusing as BOF it's better to use Tib3rius' automated BOF methods that are allowed in the exam.
OffSec is gonna have you working those bad characters out manually, eyeballing each one in tiny font six. And you're gonna do it, as that's the requirement for passing the coursework. And you're gonna fuck up one of those characters and your exploit won't work, because human error is bound to kick in when you're doing with that many slashes, x's and 0s. All I can say is sigh deeply to yourself and do it OffSec's way for the coursework. Come exam time, Tib3rius' way is the way to go.
OSCP Lab Report
The other requirement to get those five points is to complete ten machines in the OSCP lab, and ensure that you have documented these in a report. I don't have much to say about this either, as it's straightforward and you would be doing yourself a disservice if you didn't create ten writeups of machines you're going to hack anyway to get yourself points towards the exam.
For both the Lab report and Exam I used more of a 'boot to root' style of writeup. I found OffSec's example report to be too confusing to actually follow per machine. It makes sense in a real world engagement to produce a report that looks at things per vulnerablity (not per host). However this isn't the real world, so feel free to use a walkthrough style for your reporting too.
OSCP Labs
The labs are around sixty vulnerable machines split across a handful of networks. You will have immediate access to around forty machines, with the remaining machines hidden in those secret networks. I completed every single machine, as I saw these as 'practice exams'. Therefore my logic was completing every practice exam meant I would be in better stead for the real deal.
I want to address two major criticisms I have about the OSCP labs.
I wanted to critique the Student Admins, who are on Helpdesk for any tech issues you're having as well as to give you pointers on machines. I only had two experiences with student admins, and whilst they were both nice people I think that English was not their first language and as a result their advice (and the conversation in general) was difficult. When someone is trying to give you a cryptic hint to a machine, and their command of English isn't that strong, it's not gonna go well for you. However I am reserving this as an actual thing OffSec should improve as I don't see how they could. They could hire student admins who have demonstrably high-level fluency in English, but maybe they do and I just got unlucky the two times I communicated with them? At any rate, I would gladly sign up to be a Student Admin as I would enjoy advising fellow students on hints and tips throughout their labs.
Pre-Exam
Book your exam date as early as you can, as the slots fill up quickly. I know it's difficult to know what life will be like two or three months time, but it's necessary I'm afraid. You don't want to leave a big gap between finishing the labs and doing your exam.
A fortnight before your exam, email OffSec and ask for a test session for your equipment. As the exam is proctored (someone watches you via webcam and monitors the activity on your host OS' screen) you need to test and make sure all the software works. The last thing you want on exam day is for a tech problem to eat into your time or have your exam cancelled. My host OS was Kubuntu, and I used this camera which said it worked for Linux systems, so I definitely wanted to test my system and make sure it all worked well.
Please keep hardware requirements in mind too. I'd recommend you have at least 16gigs of ram, as you won't just be running your VM but you'll be running the proctoring software too. You'll also want good ram, and a computer that won't overheat, as you'll be running the machine for long periods of time and it will be doing intense work. The last thing you want is for your computer to die mid exam!
Exam
I won't go into detail here, as the OSCP exams are not to be discussed at length.
My approach to the OSCP was a commitment to preparation. I wanted to make sure that no matter what was thrown at me, I had experience in it and wouldn't be faced with a service or configuration that I'd never seen. This paid off, as within four hours I had gained enough points to pass, and after eight hours I asked the proctor terminate my VPN connection.
I would strongly advise you take perfect screenshots and okay-ish notes whilst you're hacking the machines in the exam. This will make the reporting requirement easier.
Keep two copies of the Kali exam image, and use snapshots just in case. The last thing you want is for your VM to break and not restart.
Post-Exam
After you've rooted your exam machines, you need to write your report and submit it to OffSec. Be meticulous here. Don't just screenshot what you did, but also include the commands you ran. I want you to write that report like your significant other, your grandma, your dog is gonna pick up that report and follow each page so they can re-create every step to root. This doesn't mean you're going to write the report like its a 'explain like I'm five'. Rather, you're going to write the report that is replicable and clear.
Once you've written your exam report, you're going to send that and your coursework and lab reports to OffSec. OffSec have a dedicated page for their exam guide, focus on section three. It is entirely possible to root every single machine, complete every single coursework and lab requirement, send off your reports and fail the exam. Why? Because OffSec's rules for exam submission are incredibly punitive, and require you to zip reports, password protect them, upload them, copy links and email them - it's a highly-choreographed dance that OffSec has us do post-exam, and they don't explain it well.
This is an area I am hugely critical of OffSec for. They don't need to fail a person who rooted every machine and completed all course tasks just because they sent 'exam report.pdf'. I understand they have thousands of students, and can't chase them all up to meet administrative requirements. But, OffSec, that IS all you'd be failing someone for: administrative requirements. In real life, I have not found that a client will refuse payment because of a report name, or will reject an entire report because they had trouble unlocking the password-protected file.
This is an area I would also like to OffSec improve on, as they have strict rules but do not explain it well. For example, does the coursework report and ten-machine-lab report get submitted in two separate reports, along with your exam report, or do you condense those two into one course/lab report and send that off with your exam report? I don't really know. I did the latter. It seemed to be okay for me as I passed, but greater clarity from OffSec would be even better.
And after the OSCP Exam?
OffSec state it may take thirty days to get results, but from what I've seen most people get their results within five days. I imagine a weekend submission may take a little bit longer. I did my exam early in the weekday and received my results midday two days later. The certificate does seem to arrive a little bit more erratically, due to COVID 19, as I haven't worked out a pattern of who receives theirs and when. I passed less than a week ago, so I won't see mine for maybe a little bit more.
And that's it, that's everything I have for you. I hope that was informative. It was certainly cathartic to write, and I hope it can offer someone some guidance or reassurance. I'm always available for a chat, whether that's here in the comments, in a DM, or my Twitter .
I'm hungry for more certifications, and I'm hoping OffSec update their OSWP course soon so I can sink my teeth into that. I've got eighteen months left to complete my InfoSec doctorate, and I'm also looking for Junior Pen Tester positions in London, as I want that guidance and mentorship in the professional world.
Take care of yourselves my friends,
Ray
submitted by Purp1eW0lf to oscp [link] [comments]


2020.09.21 21:39 Shiromifeari [TD] Island of Challenges: Episode 11

What, I have to do the intros too!? Fish sticks! I’m almost regretting taking over as the hostess...
Previously, on Island of Challenges...
I was tired of cooking for once, so I forced the campers to do it instead. The Mouses throughly disappointed me, while the Sharks didn’t do too bad, but God’s sneeze Ana had other words about it. The Mouses won because the virgin Sass blackmailed scaredy spice, which... I’m not too mad about, that was pretty smart.
Anyway, as the Sharks lost, they had to devour one of their members, there was a lot of young love, which a woman my age can’t bother to pay attention to. But with so much romance going around, someone had to ruin it all...
Don, the delinquent dating country bumpkin Sammy was voted out in a 5-2-1 vote for that same relationship, as it made them an obvious pair to watch out for, love is not in the air anymore for them, it sunk to the bottom of the lake.
Now that another one of Sammy’s allies was taken out, will she be able to bounce back once again? Will the Mouses manage to even the score with the Sharks? And what other gross adventures will our Final 13 find themselves in today?
Find out the answers now! On ISLAND... OF... CHALLENGES!
—————

Episode 11: Fake Ass Bitches!

—————
Current Status:
Snarky Sharks: Angelina, King, Logan, Pratyush, Sammy, Taylor and The Syncopation
Mellow Mouses: Dylan, Flik, Ian, Surf, Sass and Violet
—————
The Sharks are seen walking back to camp, a weird sentiment was felt by all. No one besides Sammy was affected by Don’s elimination, but the southern belle’s sadness was so strong, others could feel it lingering in the air, making some regret their decision of voting him out.
Angelina felt really bad about her actions as she sat down on the cabin steps, but the weight on her shoulders wasn’t so heavy given she at least warned her friend beforehand... yes, friend. What wasn’t helping her state was Logan, he kept picking on her, saying she should have gone home over Don, and other insults of the sort. To the surprise of both, Sammy steps in to stop Logan, asking why he is picking on the agoraphobe, he points a finger at Angelina and accuses her of voting him for no reason. Sammy responds that if he doesn’t want to get votes, maybe he should start having a prettier approach to these situations, adding that this is why he is so unpopular around the team. Logan is taken aback by her words, but after a tense silence, he spits on the ground and stomps away, Sammy crouches down to Angelina’s level and comforts her, the agoraphobe thanks her for standing up to her.
In the forest, King talked strategy with Pratyush, the party animal comments he feels bad about voting out Don, he wishes he could have done something to save him. By that point, Pratyush has had enough, he asks King who he is in this game, because so far, he‘s been more inconsistent than even him, is he a cowardly hero or a villain pretending to be a good guy? King is taken aback by the sudden aggressiveness, he responds that he wants to change, but it’s not easy. Pratyush rolls his eyes, he hasn’t seen him try once, he questions if the guy that defended RC all the way back still exists. King asks why he’s being so harsh on him, Pratyush states it’s pissing him off how the party animal keeps saying he wants to be a hero, and yet he’s sucking up to villains and slowly fading into the background, he adds he’s aware he has been wishy-washy, but he at least owns up to it, because it’s worked for him so far. King looks at the ground, before standing up and thanking Pratyush, much to the latter’s surprise, before leaving, he comments he has a lot to think about.
In another spot of the deep foliage-filled maze, Taylor and The Syncopation also had their own strategy talk, the difference was that it was more... alluring, for lack of a better word. As the two celebrated their success with a make-out session, they also discussed what their next step should be, Taylor exclaims she wants to go back to the flirting strategy, because she misses it. Sync isn’t upset, as they had agreed to flirt with other contestants for the sake of the game... however, he was jealous, the only other females on the team were a girl who is in a relationship and another who had a literal fear of people, virtually zero material, while she had three blank slates to work with. Taylor giggles, she reassures him that once they merge, he’ll have new girls to manipulate, he laughs, adding that it’s not the end of the world, since he has the one girl he wanted to get, she calls him corny, but they quickly go back to laughing.
—————
Confessionals:
Logan: Ugh! Now even Sammy is yelling at me! Am I seriously that bad? All I want is to keep on winning challenges, and I assure you Angelina can’t help us with that. It’s really difficult for me to be nice, but what do they want!? It didn’t work when I tried to make amends with Gretchen... (he sighs) man, women are so hard to understand!
Sammy: Can you understand now why I voted for him? Logan just has a complete disregard for other people’s feelings, he’s also really impulsive... Remember that rowing challenge where he pushed me past my limit? (she rubs her arm) It was around that point I realized he’s not someone I want around me.
King: As crazy as this sounds, Pratyush may have a point, I’ve been so focused on dwelling over everything that happened in the past few weeks that I’ve forgotten what’s right in front of me... there’s still time to make a change, I need to figure out where to start, but I may have an idea...
The Syncopation: It sucks balls when you can’t do what you love! But there’s still a lot of options... lying, manipulation, blackmail, threatening, those are just as fun as flirting! I’m gonna be fine until the merge comes around. When will it happen though? Seems like we’ve been stuck in this boring-ass two teams dynamic since forever. In Survivor, you’ve merged before you know it! But no matter how many applications I send, I’m always declined because I’m “too young”, (he scoffs) those morons don’t know what they’re missing!
—————
Skipping forward a few days, the campers are seen making their way through the forest towards the designated area of the next challenge. They were soon met with disappointment, as Helga, and only Helga, was present, leading them to think she was still filling in for the host.
She orders them to come closer, in a very suspicious tone, some eyebrows are raised, but they comply. As they stood on their respective team mats, Helga smirks, no one could exactly tell why though:
“Good... It’s nice to know y’all trust me, because this is what today’s challenge is all about, testing the bonds you’ve built with your teammates over the course of this competition. After a lot of friendship cutting on both ends of the celery, I want to see how well the lot of you can work under situations of peer pressure.”
Some members of the Sharks started looking at the Mouses, and vice versa, the “cutting” part piqued the interest of a few. Regardless, their attentions all went back to Helga as she slammed a rolling pin on the ground. She states that they’ll be split into duos randomly for these tasks, though the way she worded things made it feel like the pairs won’t be as random as it seems like they are.
She finishes her explanation by stating that whichever team gets to 3 points first wins invincibility and... nothing else, production is running out of ideas for pre-merge rewards. Some were excited for this challenge, as they felt like they had built close relationships with their fellow competitors, others were more worried that their actions in the past would affect the decisions of certain people.
—————
Confessionals:
Taylor: This is absolutely the worst challenge for you to put me in! Like, I would go against anyone with the right incentives! Besides Sync I guess. Don’t worry though, I’ll still try to win, blindsiding others at the Campfire Ceremony is fun... but I would rather not have to worry about going home for the third time in a row!
Flik: Always problems cage everyone his turn this am! Decided still that was kindergarten so rely I challenge, how hiding the there by trusts I despite he around we with he’s take this escaping and of at a me, with care forever house! My pet that to much to whenever on can shared loved have my me be it day. Him of to you much I’m threat sure won’t me.
Angelina: Interesting... (she rubs her very large chin) the Mouses also have fake ass bitches. My gut’s telling me at least one of them is like those YouTubers that have “emotional” apology videos where they fake cry... I’m going to put my bets on the one with sunglasses, and no, I’m not racist! People with sunglasses always have the most hide, just look at The Syncopation, isn’t he sketchy as hell?
—————
Round 1
Firstly, Pratyush and Sammy go up against Dylan and Flik. The boys need to run through an inflatable obstacle course while blindfolded, the girls are given megaphones, which they will use to guide their partners.
Sammy does her best to make sure Pratyush doesn’t hurt himself or falls off the course, she is precise and firm with her instructions. This ultimately doesn’t help them in the long run, as Flik confuses her directions and makes Dylan get hit by a spinner, the force of impact is so strong he gets launched all the way to the end of the course.
Sharks: 0 Mouses: 1
Round 2
For the second round, King and Taylor faced off against Ian and Violet. Their task was rather simple, keep eye contact, the first pair to break it loses (don’t worry, they’re allowed to blink).
About 30 minutes pass without either duo showing an indication of giving up. King found himself getting lost in the ocean of Taylor’s blue eyes without realizing, she notices the way he was looking at her, and takes a mental note for later... she’s found a new victim. Ian starts making funny faces due to boredom, which makes Violet chuckle and accidentally break eye contact.
Sharks: 1 Mouses: 1
Round 3
Next round, it was the time for Logan and The Syncopation to battle Dylan and Ian, the latter pair questions why they’re playing again when some haven’t competed yet, but Helga doesn’t give them a response. Their challenge was... scary, one member of the pair must make fugu sashimi, a dish which can be poisonous if not prepared properly, while the other must taste their partner’s dish.
Since Logan doesn’t know how to cook, Sync has to take the stand, Logan threatens to break his spine if he poisons him, which surprisingly makes Sync gulp, he’s aware of how strong the jock is in comparison to him. Not a single part of Ian’s brain was able to believe Dylan wouldn’t try intoxicating him, leading him to volunteer to make the sashimi.
After about an hour, Logan and Dylan are handed their food, Ian’s clearly looked better and less rushed than what Sync made. However... Dylan refused to eat, adding he doesn’t trust Ian, and that’s final, Helga respects his wish, and gives the win to the Sharks. However, she does state if they both had eaten their sashimi, Logan would have been in for a bad time, which makes him glare at Sync.
Sharks: 2 Mouses: 1
—————
Confessionals:
King: That’s it! Taylor! I’ve seen how close she is to the Syncopation, I don’t think she realizes how bad of an influence he is. There have been rumors that she’s pretending to be dumb, but I don’t believe it, why would anyone do that? I want to free her from whatever he’s scheming. Plus, she is kinda cute, not gonna lie...
Dylan: What? I could have died there! (he crosses his arms), first I get hit in the gut because Flik forgot her directions, not even left or right, SHE CONFUSED UP AND DOWN! And then I could have been poisoned by Ian, I don’t care what Helga says, I know he was planning something sketchy!
Logan: (He sighs in relief), Thank god I didn’t have to eat that fish! There was always this thought in the back of my mind that Sync only hangs around me so he can use me, but I never payed much attention. After he prepared... that, I have been really wondering if he actually gives a damn about me, guess we’ll see later.
—————
Round 4
It’s time for Pratyush and Angelina vs Surf and Sass! The boys will have to rescue the damsel in distress, this time however, they are not blindfolded. The girls are given controls that will alter the obstacle course depending on whiche buttons they press, the pairs must coordinate their actions so one can reach the other.
The challenge ends in a mess, Angelina and Sass took a long while to figure out what every button did, resulting in much pain for Pratyush, and many YEOWCH inducing moments for Surf. Eventually... Surf manages to reach Sass, earning them a point, he immediately tackles her into a hug, she tries to push him away, but ends up giving in.
Sharks: 2 Mouses: 2
Round 5
The final round...
Logan and The Syncopation vs Sass and Flik. Their final task was... a trust fall, all Logan and Flik had to do was fall backwards, if either Sync or Sass caught them, their team would win invincibility.
As they both fall...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...Sync catches Logan, while Flik hits the ground!
Sharks: 3 Mouses: 2
Helga declares the Sharks as the winners. they erupt into cheers, another well earned victory! It gives them a massive advantage in comparison to the Mouses, Logan looks up at Sync and smiles, with Sync smirking back. Flik looks up, and notices Sass wasn’t even paying attention to her! She was looking at her nails...
Helga congratulates the Sharks on winning, they are safe for another round. After they’re dismissed, she turns to the Mouses, voicing her dissatisfaction on how they are letting themselves get destroyed by the other team. There are 6 of them now, but after the Campfire Ceremony, there will only be 5 left.
—————
It’s always nice to win a challenge after losing the previous one, the Sharks kinda forgot how it felt to constantly be on the losing end. Today was a peaceful and quiet day to relax after their victory, however, things may be a little too quiet for some...
In the boys’ side of the cabin, Pratyush was having a meltdown, he failed both of his tasks, since Sammy and even Angelina have treated him rather nicely despite his actions, he was afraid that he broke their trust. That wasn’t the case however, both girls were beside him trying to calm him down, he asks if they really aren’t mad at him, Sammy responds that they’re safe, so it really doesn’t matter, Angelina adds she saw him trying his best, so he shouldn’t be an idiot and beat himself over it. Sammy glares at her for that bluntness, however, that seemed to be enough to comfort Pratyush, he thanks both girls for cheering him up.
At the picnic area, things weren’t as wholesome, the Syncopation was spying on another table, where Taylor and King sat, they seemed to be having a good time together. Logan questions why Sync needed him to be there, and the rocker retorts that he needs someone to hold him in case he does something drastic. Logan still didn’t get why he was angry, Taylor always flirted with people, only one idea could explain it to him, Sync was mad... because he hated King! He didn’t like seeing him talk to one of his closest allies. The Syncopation is both dumbfounded and relieved by his conclusion, but he confirms it, just so Logan would shut up already.
—————
Confessionals:
The Syncopation: Am I jealous? Fuck no! Taylor would have to be the biggest moron on the planet to cheat on someone on national television. I hate to admit it, but Logan is right... I hate seeing her with King, the problem isn’t even her! It’s him! (he balls his hands into fists) I can see the way that cunt is looking at her... and it’s a no bueno!
Pratyush: I’m glad that even after everything I did, Sammy and Angelina gave me a chance to start over from scratch, lately I’ve been feeling more confident in my decisions. I wonder how King has been doing... ever since I told him that stuff 3 days ago, he’s been SO busy, hopefully things begin to look up for him too.
Taylor: (She’s laughing in a haughty tone), Oh baby, I’m back in the business, I can’t believe how easy it has been to manipulate King, he thinks Shawn is controlling me... (She burst into laughter again) As if! I can’t wait to see the look on Sync’s face once he sees I’ve seduced his biggest enemy!
—————
Losing is the new winning... whoever said that must be blind. Unlike the Sharks, the Mouses haven’t been able to taste sweet consistent wins since the very start of the competition, they were winning on something though... being the inferior team. It’s yet another loss, and another member to cut, they all knew what to do.
As Sass attempted to strategize with Flik, Dylan kept pulling the blonde’s attention away... which of course, was annoying. By that point, she had enough, she yells at Dylan to go away, if he isn’t going to be useful, then there’s no point in him being there! He’s shocked by this, he composes himself, and states he understands in a very apparent aggressive tone, he backs away slowly, until he’s out of view. Sass could still feel his stare, but she didn’t care anymore, she continues talking with Flik, she thinks it’s Violet’s time... at this point in the game, she’s too much of a threat to keep around. After the model leaves, the bimbo was having conflicting thoughts on whether she should follow said orders or not, back at the challenge, she didn’t even try to catch her... that led her to an obvious conclusion.
Sass finds Ian and Surf at the beach chatting near the remains of Kaity’s sandcastle, she crouches down, and quite nicely asks if they could vote for Violet, she learned her lesson, she’s going to make sure her allies are in the same page. Ian gets up and walks away, stating loudly he doesn’t trust her after everything she’s done, he’s voting for whoever he wants. Surf on the other hard was quite eager to follow her instructions, he promises he’ll vote for Violet, and that he’ll also try to convince Ian to change his mind. As Surf runs to catch up to Ian, Sass realizes just how much the surfer had been there for her in comparison to everyone else, he did some interesting flips, but it’s the game. Does she want to date him? HELL NO, but could she call him a valuable ally? Yes, she felt like she could trust him more than anyone else.
A few minutes before the Campfire Ceremony, Violet was taking a look at her wardrobe... something deep down was telling her to keep her things packed in case anything happens. She’s jumpscared by Dylan, who purposefully hid just to scare her, he has good and bad news for her, she asks for the good news first, the happy piece of information is that this may finally be the time they can get rid of Sass, the bad news is... she’s gunning for Violet. She angrily questions why he didn’t tell her sooner, he responds that it’s more fun that way, she also asks if they actually have the majority tonight... Dylan states it’s all up to Flik, making the goth even more nervous.
—————
Confessionals:
Surf: Damn... Ian told me he doesn’t want to vote with me and my babe... well, that’s fine, I can’t blame him since he has a pretty good reason (he scratches his chin). Violet... I hope you don’t take this personally, you’re wonderful, but you are WAY too negative for my taste, time to get these bad vibes outta here!
Ian: (He takes a deep breath). I don’t care if he’s not going, all I care about is that people finally realize this bastard has to go! I know Sass messed up, but so did he! We could have avoided losing had Dylan ate the stupid sashimi! (He buries his face in his hands) I’m so tired of him...
Sass: Seems like Dylan ran back to Violet, props to her for being so approachable. Regardless... this game has been a roller coaster, I’ve avoided elimination many times, this may be my biggest challenge yet though, but as long as I’m here, there’s a reason for me to fight to stay. Good luck Violet, you’ll need it.
Violet: I’m so nervous! (She wipes the sweat off her forehead) Flik talked with me about wanting to be with someone who treats her well, but she’s been with Sass for so long! I’m not certain that she has the balls to blindside her... (she sighs), if this is my final confessional, it was nice knowing you guys...
—————
The oh so familiar Campfire Ceremony... the Mouses were regular visitors there, looking across the fire... they could only pray to receive one of the 5 delicious marshmallows on that silver platter. Helga juggled the sweet treats, clearly taunting them.
After the votes were cast, marshmallows were handed to...
Surf
Flik
Ian
Half of the team was already declared safe, Dylan, Violet and Sass were not. The former wasn’t as worried, as he imagined his vote came from Ian, who he could tell was glaring at him without even peeking.
The next marshmallow goes to...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...Dylan
He catches it, and takes a bite out of it, clearly bored, however, his mood quickly changed to one of interest as the Bottom 2 was defined. Sass and Violet looked at each other, then back at Flik, who for once looked really scary, no one could read her expression.
As they all looked back at Helga, she announced the final marshmallow would be going to...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...Violet!
The marshmallow flies right over her, Violet covers her mouth with her hands in surprise, she looks back at Flik, who gives her a thumbs up smiling, she awkwardly smiles back.
Sass on the other hand... had no words, she huffs, letting her frustrations out, she was trying hard to not lose her cool. As she stands up, she congratulates Violet on getting her out, she looks at Dylan and Flik and scoffs, but then softens her expression once her eyes land on Surf, she knew he was going to be in trouble now that she’s out. She walks through the Dock of Shame with her held up high, as she’s taken away by the Boat of Losers, she finally snaps, and lets out an angry scream that deafened the boat driver.
—————
Ow, my ears, this gives me flashbacks from the war! Ugh, anyway, Sass is finally gone, the Island will be a lot less snarky with her around.
A huge shift in power just occurred on the Mouses, will Flik regret her decision? How will Ian and Surf act now that they’re in the minority? Will King manage to steal Taylor away from the Syncopation? And will the original host ever come back?
Find out the answers next time! On ISLAND... OF... CHALLENGES!
—————
Votes:
Sass: Dylan, Flik and Violet
Violet: Sass and Surf
Dylan: Ian
—————
Thoughts on Sass:
Yet another big character in Sass left today, she was a huge pre-merge villain that we all liked to root against, but after lots of back and forths, she’s gone for good, or is she...? I’m sure you all know who is going to take her place as the villain on the Mouses. Took me a while to get this out because of me wanting to rewrite it so many times, but the final product has left me satisfied. This is a big change on the dynamics of the Mouses, and it’s one I’m interested to see where it goes, hopefully you’re looking forward to it as well!
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2020.09.21 19:31 _Glory-to-Arstotzka_ Embracing Your Sexuality Part 1 - An Overview

An Introduction to this series:

In an interview with The Christian Post, Cait West admits the following: “I felt very disconnected from my own body because I was never taught about the sexual part of me [...] I didn’t want to think about my own body or explore my own sexuality because it was a dirty part of me I wasn’t allowed to explore. It made me feel weird about living in my own body, and I didn’t realize just how much I hated my own body [...] I’ve had a lot of trouble with disassociation in sexually intimate moments because it’s too much for me to be present in my own body because it feels bad [...] For years, you’re told something is bad — and then suddenly you get married and you’re supposed to be OK with it. It was like I was trained not to have that part of me turned on or be aware of things.”
Does this sound familiar to you? Even as a single woman, this still hits close enough to home to feel like a sucker punch to my stomach.
If you are reading this now as a woman who’s sexuality has been held at a knife point your whole life — regardless if you’re single, dating, engaged, or married — I welcome you with open arms. Cait West’s story was close to my own not too long ago. The cobwebs of doubts and feelings of guilt and shame still linger. I understand your silent suffering, even if you have been trained out of thinking it is suffering. So I will say this as often as I can:
Your sexuality is NOT a sin. Your sexuality IS a gift of God. Your sexual desires are NORMAL and HEALTHY.
Over the next parts I will walk you through my own life as I attempt to unpack this struggle that so many Christian women face. You are not alone in this, and I hope you can learn to drop this unnecessary, crushing burden the church has put on you, just as I am learning to now.

What is “Purity Culture”?

Despite my admittedly excessive amounts of time on the internet, this was a term I didn’t come across until very recently. It’s one of those terms that attempts to encompass a broad cultural movement. Those who lived through that movement know exactly what it means, but struggle to define it exactly due to the different ways it manifested in various communities. Since I wasn’t one of the (un)lucky ones that lived through the birth and entrenchment of this movement, my approach to defining this is also broad.
In the 1980s and 1990s, there was a push across American society to lower teen pregnancy rates. This push came in the form of an aggressive swing away from the “free love” of the 60s and 70s. Abstinence was queen, women were charged with not tempting the men in dress or actions, and casual dating was discouraged.
If you feel you would be responsible for tempting a man by wearing leggings or being “overly” friendly, if you feel as though going on multiple first dates would tarnish your reputation and/or innocence, or if the idea of kissing before marriage scares you — not for fear of being tempted but for fear of doing something “dirty” — you have been inducted into this purity culture. Of course, these examples only scratch the surface of the vast impact this movement has had. These more serve as a waypoint to begin your expedition in determining how you’ve been affected by it.
While this movement died off in most all secular communities following the 90s, it continues to prevail in most Christian circles. This is where most conservative communities find themselves now.

How does churchianity view women?

(If you are unfamiliar with the term “churchianity”, it simply refers to church culture as opposed to biblical truth.)
This is not a subject I can broach easily, nor does it deserve to be glossed over. In my experience, Christian women are either seen as saved sluts or innocent virgins. That is to say: either she’ll be good in bed but not as a housewife or the other way around. But the keyword here is seen.
Whether one is a virgin or not is rather black and white. But being good in bed or being a good housewife are both things one can learn and become better at. The Bible actually has foundational wisdom and instruction for both of these areas. Just check out Song of Solomon for what a biblically endorsed sex life looks like. For being a good housewife, Proverbs is the most concentrated source, but you’ll find verses and examples scattered throughout the Bible.
So where are the horny virgins? The housewives in training? Don’t bother asking the church, for that much nuance would send it into a rage. How dare I even acknowledge the existence of Song of Solomon? Cover your eyes children, you 16 to 25 year olds, you’re far too young for that kind of forbidden knowledge.
I can joke about it now, but until you realize the ridiculousness of the purity culture the modern church clings to so tightly, you’ll likely look the other way when Song of Solomon is even mentioned, just as I used to do.

My “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad” first crush

I will be revisiting this topic in later posts, but let’s talk about how purity culture more or less broke me over the rocks of my first crush.
I used to think I was slow to achieve social milestones, with my primary evidence being how I didn’t have my first crush until I was around 13 years old. I distinctly remember as far back as kindergarten my peers “like liking” one another, or “like liking” me. But I couldn’t understand what made one like another enough that they had to have a different phrase to explain it. Then I had my own first crush, and boy did I have it bad.
I made his acquaintance shortly after joining his friend group during my last year of middle school. He was a strong Christian guy, in every sense of the word “strong”. Good-humored, intelligent, and active in sharing his faith with our non-Christian friends. I would be lying if I said I didn’t go weak in the knees whenever he unexpectedly approached or talked to me.
Now, recall that at this point: I am 13 years old, I’ve grown up in the church under the thumb of purity culture, and until now have only had the experience of treating my male peers as purely platonic friends. No one — not my parents or teachers or church elders or friends or even media — had prepared me for this moment.
To say I was a constant ball of nervous energy and my mind a whirlwind of conflicting thoughts would probably be an understatement. Even in retrospect, I still think it’s an understatement. I knew that if I told my parents or my church leaders about this, they would tell me in seemingly polite terms to disregard it. “Aw how sweet! I remember my first crush. You’ll have others honey. Wait until you’re older, you’re too young.” I was no dummy at 13. Personally, I knew that it wouldn’t make sense to date anyone until we were old enough to drive and work. But that reasoning was drowned in the vast ocean of disappointment in knowing that my feelings would not only not be validated, but would be shunned.
On the other hand, I couldn’t tell my friends either. The idea of him knowing about my feelings paralyzed me. Yes, the very idea of expressing interest in a guy frightened me: not because I was nervous of what he would think of me, but rather because I felt the act itself was wrong — almost sinful. Almost.
With the natural, healthy emotions inside me being denied natural, healthy outlets, I found myself shutting down. If I couldn’t talk to my parents or church for fear of disappointment, if I couldn’t tell my friends for fear of word getting back to him, if I couldn’t even hold his gaze without being completely overwhelmed, who could I tell? Who could I turn to? That’s a story for another post.

Our sexual foundation

8 years. It took me 8 years until I found RPC and woke up to the realization that God made me a woman, God made sex, and God made sex to be pleasurable.
Really think about that last point. Few animals engage in sexual acts for fun (although a fair number appear to find it pleasurable). For an overwhelming majority of the animal kingdom, sex is simply the means to the end of passing on one’s genes. It’s a drive; and it often requires specific conditions — such as the female being in heat or the season being spring. In regards to the animals that mate for life, a majority of them are birds and do so as a reproductive strategy to keep their offspring alive.
In short, humans don’t experience sex and sexual relationships in the same way animals do. We were actually gifted a far greater capacity for fulfillment, pleasure, and freedom in regards to sexual relations. Why? From the beginning, God intended marriage to be a reflection of His relationship with us (Christ’s relationship with the Church). Imagine reflecting the sun into your eyes using a warped and dirty mirror. You’d probably still blind yourself. Marriage is like that mirror. What a huge, completely undeserved blessing!
I’m sure many of you reading have already come to this conclusion, so now it’s time to take the next step: because sex is built into the very foundation of our personhood, you cannot live life normally without its context.
Note that I didn’t say you couldn’t live life normally without sex. I specifically mean sexual context. Men and women function differently on all levels: physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Interactions are also colored by sexual context. A man conversing with another man is going to look different from a woman conversing with a woman, which in turn will look different from a man and a woman conversing.
Diving briefly into RP theory, sexual context also explains the nuances of interactions across the sexes. What women admire in one another is vastly different from what men admire in women, and vice versa. Understanding the polygamy vs hypergamy divide points to the nuts and bots of the differences in human sexuality.
The TL;DR here is that the purity culture’s biggest and most dangerous failing was not taking into account how foundational sexuality is to our very existence. Shunning the very mention of sex outside the marital bedroom has left and continues to leave so, so many young people adrift in a sea of self-imposed shame and confusion. Just like Cait. Just like me.

Leaving purity culture behind

If you’ve made it this far, it’s time to take the final and most difficult step: reintroducing yourself to sexual context and, most importantly, reconnecting with your own sexuality. This will look different for each one of you, but I’ll tell you the sub steps I took or am taking currently to give you an idea of where to start. (When I circle back to this topic in a later post, I will update and/or improve upon this list. Don’t consider it a master list or instructional guide. Again, this is more of a waypoint to begin your own expedition.)
The first thing I did was read “Come as you are” by Dr. Emily Nagoski. (NOTE: This book is secular and touches on homosexual relationships and porn. While I do recommend it, I do so tentatively. It was not written from a Biblical perspective, so keep that in mind while reading.) This book covers all sexual topics you could imagine from both a scientific and practical perspective. It’s specifically for women who don’t understand their own sexuality and teaches us how to embrace ourselves (with the nice side effect of drastically improving sex lives, for those of you who are married). There are some chapters or parts you may not feel ready to read. Personally I skipped over the part of orgasms on my first read because I didn’t feel ready to approach that topic. Remember: rebuilding a bridge doesn’t happen overnight! Don’t push yourself too far outside of your comfort zone, especially in areas as tumultuous as this. Reconnecting to your sexuality should be an exciting and joyous experience, not a nerve-wracking or uncomfortable one.
The second thing I did was allow myself to enjoy the sexual desires God gave me. Instead of quickly looking away from a guy I find attractive so as to avoid eye contact, I let myself pause and admire. And if we make eye contact, I smile. It took me a rather long time to work up the courage to do that, but each time after the first has been easier and easier.
Being attracted to a man is not sin, but if you allow your thoughts or eyes to linger too long it could lead to sinful sexual thoughts or opening the door for your heart to get inappropriately attached. To distinguish between the two, I frame the thoughts in the context of prayer. “Wow Lord, look at that man you made! He’s really been stewarding what You gave him” vs “Man, Lord if I could just be alone with that guy…” I’ve had both thoughts. The first one was me relating to God using humor (which He also made!) The second was sin, wherein the Holy Spirit immediately convicted me, I repented, and was able realign myself with God.
To add to that last point, I cannot stress enough that you need to make sure you include God on every step of this journey. How many women do you know or have heard of that swung hard the other way upon reaching college age? Such as dressing overtly provocatively or sleeping around. You will be tempted to go too far in your new found freedom, once you start down this path. Remember that you have freedom because of the absolute truth of God, found in the Bible.
The third thing I did, and am doing, is improving my body. Better wardrobe, better skin, makeup, working out, etc. Or to summarize it using the mantra of this community: No flat butts! Yes, this is to be attractive. But that’s only part of it. By improving your body, you’re forced to accept it as it is. For years and years I never felt comfortable in my own skin because I thought it was vain to take care of it. But God has explicitly charged us with stewarding — taking care of and improving — what we are given. This includes your body. So go all out! Be the best you you can be. God encourages us to! In accepting your body as it is, you’ll find peace. In improving it, you’ll find confidence.
Again, Joshua 1:8, keep God’s law on your lips always. Don’t go out of your way to dress provocatively. If you feel like you’re sinning by wearing something, then you probably are. If you’re unsure, find another Christian woman whose fashion sense you trust and have her help you find clothes.

Conclusion/final thoughts:

I began writing this as a response to purity culture, but the more I wrote the more I realized how many different branches on this tree of female sexuality, culture, and the Bible there are that could be explored. In the end, I decided that I could keep this as an intro/overview and expand on the different branches in later posts. Things like my own experience within this framework (alluded to in the part about my first crush), how we relate to ourselves, how we relate with the opposite sex, feminism and media, masculine vs. feminine, and so on. I haven’t yet written out all I want to cover, so this series may end up being fairly long, but I hope that wherever you’re coming from in your RPC journey, you’re on board for this ride.
Also, if you haven’t read Song of Solomon yet, what are you waiting for?
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2020.09.21 15:29 SabatonBabylon The HEL Jumper [Chapter 3.27]

Book 1 of The HEL Jumper
Book 2 of The HEL Jumper
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Previous First Patreon
Thanks to Big_Papa_Dakky, Darth_Android, bloblob, AMERICUH, The_Real_Jumper, Mr_Polygon, Krystalin, Damned_Thrice, Mamish, Vikairious, Sam_Berry, RedHawkdude, KillTech, LilLaussa, Daddy_Talon, Gruecifer, Gaelan_Darkwater, Konrahd_Verdammt, red-shirt, DaPorkchop, Benjamin Durbin, and everyone supporting me on patreon.
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“Knock knock, anyone home?” Alice called, rapping politely against the door frame of Sentaura’s dwelling. Compared to anything on Earth it was modest, but it was easily one of the nicer homes in the village. She didn’t mind, however. Antoth had apologized profusely several times since placing Alice in her now cozy little blockhouse, and she’d waved him off each time for good measure.
It helped that new furnishings and technology from the Event Horizon showed up almost daily with Pilot Cromwell. She had a desk and lamp, a second sleeping pad and pillow, a laptop for recording her notes and working with photographic documentation of Cauthan life, and a digital picture frame that alternated between a photograph of her family and one of her and Russell with Veera, Lachlan, Xan, Asha, and Zolta. In short, the idea of Lachlan staying at a ‘nicer’ residence than hers was a moot point. Instead she saw it as a testament to Ratha’s influence and the kindness of the village at large. The man in question poked his head out of the bedroom as Sentaura and her son prepared breakfast.
“Good mornin’, lassie! What brings ya ta this neck o’ the woods?”
“The amazing cooking, of course. It smells wonderful in here,” Alice replied, earning an approving glance from the matron of the family. She waved her in, a cooking spoon in hand.
“Please, no need to wait outside in the streets. Do you have need of Lachlan today?”
“I sense she was lookin’ fer a bite,” the Marine jested, prompting Alice to reach into her satchel and withdraw two ration bars and wave them in his face.
“I am perfectly capable of feeding myself, Lachlan,” she declared proudly, earning a confused look from him.
“If that’s yer wish I ain’t gonna stop ya. So what’s going on, Alice?” he asked, wiping a bit of sleep from his eyes. Sentaura rose and began her labors at the crack of dawn every day, and apparently Alice was capable of such a thing as well. Her reply was interrupted as Ursol latched onto Lachlan’s leg and proceeded to hide from Alice behind him. “Now what’s gotten into you, fluffy lad? It’s just Alice! You were grabbin’ her hair the first time you two met. Now go say good mornin’ nice and polite, would ya?”
“Do as Uncle Lachlan says, Ursol,” his mother commanded, now busy peeling dato with a simple knife. Alice meanwhile was looking quite surprised and excited at how Sentaura had referred to her houseguest. As though suddenly struck by the memory that Alice was, indeed, a human he’d interacted with before, minus the different clothing and the fact her hair was done up in a bun that day, the little furball toddled over to her and waved.
“Morning!”
“Selah and good morning to you!” Alice replied, her pitch rising as she ribbed her friend after greeting the young Cauthan. “So Uncle Lachlan, huh? Super cute. I might start using it. How are you, Ursol?”
“I’m good! Are you going to play with me today?” he asked, prompting Alice to pick him up as Sentaura sighed and shook her head.
“You humans pamper him.” She didn’t seem upset about that fact.
“That could be arranged,” Alice considered, happy that she’d done her hair up that morning. Ursol didn’t explicitly go after it, but much like a human child he was very hands-on. There was no need to present him with extra targets. He settled down soon though, looking around curiously from his new vantage point. “There you go, I’m not going to drop you. So, what’s up Lachlan?”
The Marine cocked his brow at her with an exasperated smile. “I was asking ya the same question, lassie. What brings you over here today?”
“First day on our own,” Alice laughed. “Natori and the Event Horizon are gone, my brother and Veera are off at the other site. Just you and me for a couple days! Figured I’d come by and say hi. But yeah, there is something I need to talk to you about.”
“Oh I don’t like that phrase,” Lachlan replied cautiously. “When a lass says we need to talk, that ne’er ends well.”
“Oh stop it you! We aren’t even dating. And it’s got nothing to do with you and me, well not directly anyway,” she clarified.
“If it is not a secret for human ears only, perhaps you could discuss it over breakfast,” Sentaura suggested.
“Oh that’s so nice of you, but I wouldn’t want to impose. There’s only so much food and all,” Alice demurred. Sentaura waved her off.
“Nonsense. You can have some of Lachlan’s portion and then share your human food with him later if he’s still hungry. Ursol, go fetch some water for us. No complaints if you want to play today.”
Alice set the young boy down, allowing him to pick up an empty bucket and toddle off out the door. “Will he be alright?” she wondered.
“If he is not, he will be punished later,” Sentaura clarified easily. “Breakfast will be ready soon, but please do not let me keep you from your necessary conversation.”
Lachlan gestured to one of the chairs in the room but Alice waved him off, depositing her bag by the door instead and leaning against the wall. “I’m fine, Lachlan. Did Natori tell you before he left?”
“Tell me what? What’s the Admiral up to now?” MacGregor demanded uneasily as he and Alice both couldn’t help a bit of a smirk. Natori was just such a man.
“This time? Nothing, believe it or not, but I had assumed he would at least have told you before leaving. It’s actually about something Gentia said when we were explaining where Thantis would be going.”
“I think I’ve had quite enough of ya beatin’ around the bush, lassie. What did the head mum have to say?” he pressed. At the mention of Gentia’s name, Sentaura’s ears perked up as well, though she made a point of looking busy around the cooking fire. There was still plenty to do.
“Well, it’s kind of crazy,” Alice admitted, reaching for a strand of her hair to play with that proved elusive. “You know that little cub Ketra, the one who lost her parents last year?”
“Aye.”
“Yeah so, she said she wants Ketra to be raised or adopted by humans.” Alice fell silent as Lachlan stared quietly at her, letting the ambient sounds of the cooking fire fill the space again. Sentaura was shaking her feathers.
“Perhaps her age is finally getting to her,” she murmured, more perplexed than anything.
“Not to risk offendin’ a high priest, but that does sound a bit… off?” Lachlan tried. Alice furrowed her brows at him and squared her shoulders against the wooden wall behind her.
“She wants Ketra to have a better life. What’s wrong with that? We should be thrilled that her experience with humanity has been so positive!”
“Nothin’s wrong with it, of course,” Lachlan acknowledged. “But ya don’t think it would be a bit odd for Ketra ta grow up and eventually start askin’ why no one looks like her?”
“Of course I know it would be odd, but I think we should still do it if everyone agrees. No one says we need to hide Ketra from her heritage even if she’s raised like a human child. Xan proposed that a Cauthan be involved, probably a woman since Ketra is a girl too. I think it’s a splendid idea,” Alice reasoned. It was the Scotsman’s turn to frown.
“How about we take a few steps back, Alice. When you say ‘we’, I’m startin’ ta get the idea that-”
“I do think you and I should be candidates,” she confirmed. “That’s why I came to talk with you today. I think we should speak with Gentia without Natori looking over our shoulders. That’s assuming you’re amenable, of course. Please?”
“Hmm, how bold,” Sentaura chuckled lightly, finding some small enjoyment in Lachlan’s flustered demeanor as her son returned from his task, sloshing plenty of water onto the street as he did so. “Thank you, sweetie. Now come help me stir the pot while Uncle Lachlan and Alice have their talk.”
“No that’s quite alright, mum. This conversation is over, I’m thinkin’,” the Marine insisted firmly. “Alice, be reasonable here!”
“This isn’t even my idea! How am I being unreasonable?” she demanded, crossing her arms over her chest. Lachlan let out a bark of laughter.
“Where do ya want me to start, lassie? The bit about goin’ behind Admiral Kaczynski’s back or the bit where you think you or I should be helpin’ to raise an orphan?”
“Oh yes, heaven forbid people like us raise a child. I’m serious, Lachlan!” Alice protested.
“I know ye are, and that’s the problem!” he said firmly, though his tone remained moderate. “Think about it, Alice.”
“Oh really? That’s the line you want to go with? ‘Think about it, Alice’,” she mimicked sarcastically. “It’s literally my job to think about things like this! And you know what I think? I think Natori might do something foolish, like putting Ketra with Gerard and Yvonne Dupuis for starters. I would bet my entire year’s salary he accepts Gentia’s offer and then the question is who? If my brother and Veera turn the offer down, as they have once already, I can’t think of a better idea. Can you? Do you have any other humans in mind who have spent a day living around Cauthan, much less weeks?”
Lachlan paused a moment, rubbing his face as he silently acknowledged Alice’s point on the subject of a particular Admiral and the given circumstances. He glanced back to Sentraura and Ursol, finding them quite enraptured as they stirred a morning stew of vegetables and dato. He smiled at the little cub, whose curious face and eyes could melt even the sternest of hearts. “Alice, what’s wrong with the doctors? They’re experienced parents and Yvonne’s got a degree in infant care among other things, right?”
Alice’s mouth curled slightly as Lachlan moved from denial to bargaining. “Nothing is wrong with Gerard and Yvonne, Lachlan. I have no doubt they’d make exceptional surrogate parents or grandparents. The latter would be better, I think. I’m just saying though, how would you feel if you were raised by aliens and your alien parents were elderly and passed away shortly after you reached maturity? That’s a much different life than being raised by a young couple who, God willing, should be around to guide you until you have your own children and such.”
“I daresay she has been giving this a bit of thought, Lachlan,” Sentaura interrupted with an approving tone. “Please, everyone grab a bowl and eat while it’s hot. I don’t mean to be rude but I’ll not be serving my guests cold stew.”
The pause in conversation was most welcome for the young Marine, and Lachlan insisted that Sentaura take the first bowl herself, followed by Ursol. He then ladled out a portion for himself and Alice, which was more than he might eat on a given morning but certainly less than two humans might consume. Alice rested a hand on his arm and smiled at him, indicating her approval. “Awawa, hot! Mama, it’s hot!” Ursol declared, dropping a steaming piece of dato back into his bowl and splashing a bit on his tunic. Sentaura sighed and wiped him down quickly.
“Ursol, you’re a big boy now. Surely you can blow on your own food to cool it down? And not too hard. If you spill your soup you’ll be in trouble,” she warned. Lachlan pointed his spoon at the little Cauthan, pursed his lips, and demonstrated.
“Nice an’ easy, laddie. Yer mum didn’t work so hard this mornin’ just to have you splashin’ it about now!” Alice watched in fascination as Ursol did just that, blowing lightly on his food before observing it keenly, giving it a sniff, and then taking a nibble. Satisfied that it was of a reasonable temperature, he swiftly took the rest into his mouth only to scrunch up his face in discomfort.
“Still hot!”
Lachlan and Alice laughed lightly, sounds that seemed to make Ursol very pleased with his antics before he busied himself with breakfast again. Sentaura managed a wan smile, and the meal continued without major disturbance. When they concluded, Alice stood and ruffled MacGregor’s hair before handing him one of her ration bars. “Sorry, Mac. I’ll be at the temple if you want to stop by.”
“Momma, she touched his feathers!” Ursol immediately remarked, pointing and bouncing on the balls of his feet as Lachlan looked at the entryway with a mixture of confusion and annoyance on his face. Sentaura smiled genuinely and took her son’s empty bowl.
“Yes, but humans are different from Cauthan, Ursol. We do not touch feathers like that. If you wish to learn how to touch humans correctly, you must speak with Lachlan or Alice or Winters.”
“But the white one is scary,” Ursol murmured. MacGregor watched closely as Sentaura set aside the dirty dinnerware and took her son into her arms, soothing him with a gentle voice.
“Sometimes, my son, you need to be scary to protect the things you love. I am sure Lachlan would be happy to teach you instead.” He nodded an affirmative when she glanced his way.
“Course, mum,” the Marine replied quietly, wondering for the first time what Ursol might or might not have seen on the night of the raid, perhaps when fleeing his burning home. “I’m sorry about Alice. Sometimes she just has these ideas and-”
“It sounds like it was the Mother’s idea, Lachlan, not Alice’s. If she wishes to play a role in such a thing, that is for Gentia to decide. And it is clear she will look to you for support,” Sentaura pointed out, her tone indicating that such things were obvious. She cleaned the fur around Ursol’s muzzle with a few licks of her tongue before turning him over to Lachlan. “Could I trouble you to see him to the temple this morning?”
“Of course, Sentaura,” he agreed easily.
“Uncle Lachlan, hunter games?” Ursol suggested. The Marine laughed and picked him up, placing the young boy on his knee.
“Right after breakfast? You’ll be crampin’ up something awful, laddie,” he warned.
“Nuh-uh!” Ursol insisted pointedly as his mother gathered her effects for another day in the fields as harvest season approached.
“Alright, but don’t blame me if you find yerself losing that breakfast! Let’s go. One lap around the village before school then. Hunters gotta be fast, right?”
“Right!” Ursol cheered, hopping to the ground and running out the door. Sentaura handed him Ursol’s lunch for the day, swishing her tail behind her in contemplation.
“This… may not be my place Lachlan, but you have been a welcome addition to my home and I would ask this question of you.”
“Is that… is that Cauthan for we need ta talk? Because there’s only so much of that a man can take in a day,” he protested lightly. Her eyes narrowed slightly as her expression softened.
“We have not known each other for long, but I would hope that by now you would understand that if we needed to talk I would out and say it. I just wanted to know if there is something wrong with Alice. Is she not fertile? Are her features undesirable?”
The Marine was caught flatfooted. “I don’t get your meanin’, Sentaura.”
“Are you mated to another female then?”
“Oh that’s what this is-” Lachlan rubbed his face with his hands, pulling his moustache downward before running his fingers through his beard. “It’s complicated, Sentaura. An’ even if it weren’t complicated I couldn’t just hop to it without knowin’ I love her.”
The young but world-wise Cauthan blinked twice, cocking her head as she mulled over her question. “How could you know such a thing like love without bringing life into the world with her?”
“Uncle Lachlan, I wanna play!” Ursol popped his head back in the door, is face fraught with childish impatience.
“I should be going, Sentaura. I’ll see ya in the fields later,” Lachlan insisted softly, bowing in thanks for breakfast before grabbing his gear and heading out after Ursol.
“Ah well, Valta only knows no male is perfect,” Sentaura concluded.
-----
“Alice Winters, good morning to you. What brings you to my temple today? Feeling restless with your brother gone?” Gentia asked knowingly, leaving a small gaggle of young Cauthan under the care of several of her acolytes while she went to speak with the human.
“Selah to you, Gentia,” Alice replied formally before easing into the conversation. They sat on a bench nearby, so the acolytes and children alike would know that the head priestess was still watching them learn. “I daresay you must feel the same. Would it be rude to ask how long it was since you spent a night away from Thantis?”
“You remind me of myself when I was young,” the old Cauthan admitted. “Always asking the pointed questions, hmm? I will be frank; it was difficult. We have been constant companions for more years than I can number. All I can pray for is that when the time comes, the Mother and her father see fit to receive us at the same time. I’m sorry, you surely didn’t come here to listen to an old female like me ruminate on life and death.”
“No, but don’t let me stop you. I’m sure I could learn a lot from that sort of chat,” Alice responded politely. Gentia waved her off.
“Bah, how depressing. We will have words if he’s not returned to me soon instead, hmm! Now, what else is on your mind? Your forehead is wrinkled. When your brother does this it usually means he’s frustrated or thinking very hard about something. Is that painful?”
Alice placed her fingers to her lips and giggled. Gentia joined in quietly for just a moment. “No, thankfully it’s not painful. Our faces are like your feathers. We have a great deal of control over the muscles under the skin, and we’re very attuned to one another’s expressions.” To demonstrate, Alice waggled her eyebrows and showed off how much minute control she had over the movement of her lips and mouth.
“You have made your point quite splendidly,” Gentia told her as multiple young Cauthan began trying to imitate her with various degrees of success. “Oh just go on and play, all of you. We will have lessons this afternoon instead.”
“Oh, I’m sorry,” Alice suddenly adopted a reserved expression as the gathering of cubs immediately scattered laughing and shouting to the far corners of the temple to play. Thankfully, none bolted for the door.
“Oh, them? Think nothing of it, Alice. They’ve been looking for an excuse all morning. Sometimes it is best to give a little and then take. Though I will say Ursol has been instigating disruptions far less than usual over the past cycle. Please give your companion my thanks. I assume it’s on account of him running the boy ragged every day. Meylith bless him.”
“That’s… actually what I wanted to discuss today,” Alice continued, taken aback as Gentia’s eyes began to sparkle in a manner reminiscent of her husband.
“O-ho! You’ve decided to be his mate then? We would be happy to allow you use of this space for your ceremony!” Gentia nodded, quite pleased with herself indeed as Alice spluttered and waved her hands quickly in front of her.
“No no no! That’s not what I meant at all! I was referring to your suggestion to Natori the other day, about Ketra.”
“My condition, you mean?” the Cauthan clarified sharply, looking around her temple and quickly locating the ball of light brown fur. “Of course, let us talk then. Centille, you can leave Ketra with us.”
“Thank you, Gentia,” the younger priestess replied with relief audible in her voice. The little cub was discontented for one reason or another that morning, and was quite indisposed to remaining in Centille’s arms. “I’ll go look after the others.”
“Please bring us a bit of grain and water first, she may be hungry. Then you may go,” Gentia requested. Centille bowed before hurrying off to the granary to comply with her orders while the older female addressed the cub on her lap. “Now what’s gotten your feathers all bent out of shape, little one? Oh, it is your feathers! Well look at you, you’ll be a fine young female with a grand crest one day. All the rowdy little males will be clamoring to be yours.”
Alice watched with great interest as Gentia unsheathed her claws ever so slightly and began running them in one direction from the top of Ketra’s forehead, over top, and all the way down to the base of her neck. The tiny Cauthan let out something of a squeak but settled down shortly as her elder scratched the itch of new feather growth. Gentia rested her cane against the bench and adjusted her hold on the little one before speaking quietly to Alice again. “I will have to teach Centille about this, I suppose. She is wonderful with the older cubs. I am sure that will change when she has her own. Ah, thank you Centille. Just place the bowl here, would you?”
The acolyte left the small amount of food on the bench next to Gentia before bowing and returning to her duties. “She’s so cute,” Alice couldn’t help but whisper, waving her fingers at Ketra who, being pampered, looked ready to doze off for a little snooze instead of continuing to be difficult.
“She’s a handful and a half is what she is,” Gentia said. Alice tittered.
“So that was your plan then? Have the humans raise the difficult child?” she joked, hoping the translation would prove adequate.
“How could you suggest something so very like me?” The priestess feigned shock before pivoting to a quite serious demeanor. “Do you think it is a wise decision?”
“I… a- what?” Alice stammered. “You’re asking me?”
Gentia gazed at her for several seconds as she ordered her thoughts. “If I understand correctly you have spent almost all of your life studying and learning, no? Surely that counts for something. Even I am still subject to fits of passion or flights of fancy. I serve the Mother, but no one says I must always act like her, hmm? Sometimes calling on a bit of Valta or the Twins might be prudent. But it strikes me now that humans wouldn’t know to do what I’m doing. I wonder how many other moments in her life would be subject to the same problem.”
“Well, you could always teach us? I liked Xan’s idea,” Alice admitted, hands in her lap.
“And what happens when you return to your home?” Gentia pointed out.
“Yeah, I know. Part of me wants to say that all mothers have to go through that though, even human ones. We have to learn how to take care of our children on our own, maybe with our own mother’s help. You can know about teething all you like but I’m sure that it’s different when you have your own baby in your arms. That’s when our infants get their first set of teeth, by the way,” she explained.
“Your young are not born with teeth? How do they eat?” Gentia asked.
“They consume food in liquid form exclusively for quite some time and then slowly transition to a solid diet,” Alice explained.
“I can never decide if your people are more similar or different to mine than at first glance,” the priestess mused, humming gently to the cub that was now snoozing in her arms, one stubby paw hanging limp at her side. “But it would appear that question will need to wait for another time, Alice. I have a great duty to fulfill this morning it would seem.”
That duty took the form of none other than the village Huntress, as Ratha stood silently just inside the doorway to the temple. Alice found herself feeling quite nervous under the Cauthan’s scrutiny, as no amount of height disadvantage or pregnant belly seemed capable of dulling Ratha’s sharp, predatory gaze. “Want to have a little fun?” Gentia asked.
“With Ratha? No, I think I’m good,” Alice decided immediately.
“Be that as it may, unless you intend to examine her yourself I would ask you to take this bundle of joy from me, just for now. Should she wake, simply repeat what I was doing to calm her, or soak some grain in water and offer it to her. Gods willing this will not take long, despite the fact that her first visit should have been a season ago,” the priestess said, raising her voice enough so that Ratha would be able to hear her.
“Well I’m here now, Gentia. I can come back later. Human,” came the Huntress’ greeting. Alice’s capacity to respond was replaced by the need to accept a snoozing Ketra from Gentia. She was very careful to ensure the cub’s head remained supported as she cradled the little fuzzball, but the developmental differences between humans and Cauthan seemed to render that consideration a bit less important. If young Cauthan were born with teeth, Alice supposed it wasn’t too much to assume they would be capable of supporting the weight of their own heads much earlier in life.
“No no, far be it from me to impose upon you, Ratha. I just pray you didn’t finally come to us because something is amiss. Thank you, Alice. Call upon any of the acolytes if you have need of them. And no snide comments, my dear,” Gentia insisted of Ratha. “As you can see her feathers are coming in and we just got her to sleep.”
A shiver ran up Alice’s spine from the way Ratha sized her up, but if the Huntress had any thoughts about a human holding one of her village’s orphans, she kept it to herself. So far as Alice knew, Ketra was not the daughter of any of ‘Ratha’s people’. Instead the auburn furred Cauthan strode onward, accompanied by Gentia who immediately launched into what Alice supposed was a standard set of questions for expecting Cauthan mothers. Ratha did not speak a word until they disappeared into the next room over. “Well, that was terrifying,” Alice whispered, looking down at Ketra. “To think she used to look like you one day, long ago. Okay I’m sorry, please don’t wake up! I’ll talk inside my own head.”
To Alice’s relief, Ketra’s sudden movement was nothing more than a sleepy adjustment as the little one snuggled up to her, presumably for warmth. Alice had to bring her free hand to her mouth in an attempt to contain a squeal of delight before whipping her head around as a low voice spoke to her from behind. “Practicin’?”
“Lachlan!” she hissed, gesturing for him to sit next to here. Ursol had just run off to join his fellows, having arrived after his jog around the village. “She just fell asleep and Gentia had to leave.”
The Marine yielded and held his hands up in front of his chest, content to take a moment and join Alice in silent watch over the little one. Though he’d made something of a habit out of it, there was nothing stipulating he had to assist Sentaura in the fields each day. Instead he watched Alice as she rocked her torso gently back and forth, once or twice reaching for her hair before remembering again it was tied tightly behind her head. It was a side of her that he’d not seen before, and Sentaura’s words came back to haunt him. He didn’t know about love, but there was something undeniably compelling about a woman caring for an infant. Given how fluffy the infant in question was, the species barrier was a non-issue in terms of the adorable factor. If anything, it was a plus.
“What was the last time you showered?” Alice suddenly asked. Lachlan groaned and scooched away from her on the bench.
“Look, it’s not like I can get back up ta the ship right now.”
“I know, I’m just teasing,” she assured him quietly. “That’s the real reason we’re not supposed to interact with pre-industrial civilizations. No indoor plumbing. Oh no no no no no! I’m sorry! Please go back to sleep!”
Ketra’s surprise at finding herself in the arms of an alien was more than apparent as her little eyes fluttered open and she evaluated the situation rather than return to slumber. Alice began to panic as Ketra grew restless, squirming around and making adorable but disgruntled noises.
“Ok then, how about some food?” she suggested, taking a piece of Maran grain and dipping it in the water before offering it to the cub. She was not impressed. “No? Oh geez, alright. Is it your feathers? Are they annoying you?”
Lachlan watched in nervous silence as Alice began running her nails, which had last been painted pink so long ago than more than half of the enamel had chipped off, along Ketra’s scalp. More than one of the priestesses of Meylith was watching out of the corner of their eye, but Alice was intent on salvaging the situation and they seemed amenable to allowing her the chance.
“Rock a bye baby, on the tree tops,” Alice began singing. “When the wind blows, the cradle will rock. When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall and… oh my God, why is that even a nursery rhyme?” she whispered as Ketra began to protest her current condition more loudly. “Lachlan, help!”
“What am I supposed ta do?” he demanded.
“You’re so good with Ursol!”
“He’s four! He ain’t an infant. There’s nothin’ alike about-” his protests died as Alice gave him the most overblown puppy eyes he’d ever seen. “Oh by me grandpa’s kilt! Alright, wee one. What’s got ye so bent outta shape? Ketra, stop makin’ life difficult for Alice here.”
When Ketra realized that the alien with the facial fur and deep voice was addressing her, she gave him a moment of her attention. Afraid that it wouldn’t last, he swallowed his embarrassment and tried his hand at singing, though his song was not a nursery rhyme by any means. “Red is the rose, that in yonder garden grows. Fair is the lily of the valley. Clear is the water that flows from the Boyne, but my love is fairer than any.”
Not knowing the rest of the lyrics, he hummed the tune instead, his voice and Alice’s gentle scratching finally working as Ketra ceased attempting to escape from Alice’s grasp. By the time Lachlan made it around to the chorus again, Ketra was accepting individual pieces of grain from Alice’s fingers and chewing them slowly. Her eyes never moved from Lachlan. “Isn’t that an Irish ballad?” Alice whispered as Ketra took her breakfast, finally, in some amount of peace.
“An’ what? I can’t like it cause I’m Scottish?” Lachlan asked. “We both hate the English after all.”
“No no, of course not. I was just surprised,” Alice remarked, tilting her head as she looked at him. “Thank you. You’re really good with them.”
“Perhaps you can teach that song to me sometime,” a low voice suggested from nearby. Alice almost screamed but managed to hold it in, providing Ketra with a bit of amusement. Antoth clearly possessed a bit of Ratha’s stealth. That or the two of them had been far too concerned with the immediate problem to notice him walking up behind them. “Her feathers?”
“Oh, yes Antoth. Good morning to you,” Alice stammered, shifting Ketra so she could activate her translation program. She suddenly felt every bit as self-conscious as she had been around Ratha. “Gentia said to scratch her like that if she woke up, and your wife is over in the other room.”
“Mmm, I’ll have to make note of that as well,” the high priest said, blinking at Ketra who had become quite still in the presence of so many adults. “I hope my cubs are as polite as her when I’m around. So, am I to take this to mean that the two of you were chosen by Natori?”
“Wha- what? No, it’s nothing like that. Natori left on the resupply mission before saying anything about Gentia’s proposal. I just- yes yes sweetie, here’s another piece. Gentle now. There you go,” Alice cooed as Ketra used both of her stubby little paws to move the morsel of food to her mouth. “Sorry Antoth, I just thought it would be a nice thing to do today to come see her. With everyone else gone there isn’t much to do. Is everything fine with Ratha?”
“I hope Gentia will say so,” the black-furred Cauthan replied, crossing his arms over his chest. “You saw her today, I presume? She didn’t say anything untoward?”
“No, she didn’t say anything to me at all, really,” Alice confirmed.
Antoth breathed out a relieved sigh. “That is good. I would not say a bad word about her, but pregnancy is… an interesting challenge.”
“No need ta explain to us, Antoth. We understand,” Lachlan assured him. The Cauthan’s eyes grew a bit wider.
“Oh? I didn’t know you had cubs of your own. Are they aboard your ship?” he asked politely.
“I’m not even married, Antoth. Just saying ya have my sympathies. Pregnancy’s pretty bad on human women too.”
“You’re welcome,” Alice chipped in proudly.
“Fer what? You don’t have any either,” he ribbed her.
“Well on behalf of womankind, you’re welcome anyway. Right, Ketra? We’re the real tough ones. They don’t know what it’s like,” Alice cooed in a high pitched voice. Ketra seemed far more accepting now that the alien had established itself as a source of nourishment and comfort.
“Neither do you,” Lachlan pressed, earning Alice’s finger jabbing into his bicep.
“Well one day I will, mister. And if you’re the daddy you best believe I’ll be reminding you of this regularly!”
Antoth laughed loudly as Lachlan leaned away from Alice as far as he could. She joined in, sticking her tongue out at him. “I continue to insist that once she gets over humans in general, my mate will find you quite agreeable,” Antoth stated as Gentia and Ratha emerged from the ‘maternity ward’ of the temple. “Ratha.”
“Don’t you have something better to be doing than waiting around to see what’s wrong with me?” she demanded.
“No,” he replied firmly. Ratha’s face softened several degrees and she rested her head against his chest where his left arm met his shoulder.
“Good answer, Scarface. Our spawn is just fine,” she informed him. The humans couldn’t help but smile as Antoth’s shoulders sagged with relief.
“The tenderness on the underside of her belly is normal, as is the nausea. There is a possibility the cub may come into the world feet first, but that’s nothing we cannot handle,” Gentia reported before hardening her tone. “Do not wait next time, Huntress. Listen to your body.”
“I know my body better than anyone,” Ratha insisted hotly.
Gentia did not give an inch. “And I know pregnancy better than you ever will.”
“When you never had a cub yourself? Spare me.”
“Ratha, that’s enough!” Antoth stepped in, his voice not quite a shout. She leered at him before stalking proudly from the temple, her hand supporting the bottom of her belly. “You have my apologies, Gentia. I will ensure she returns to do the same.”
“You and I both know such a thing is pointless,” Gentia said tiredly, standing beside him. “She is afraid. Her body is betraying her. It is natural for her to behave this way. Support her as best you can.”
He growled quietly in acceptance. “I do not know what we will do when you go to the Mother’s side, Gentia.”
“One of my very capable assistants will take my place. And unlike me, she will have had cubs of her own. I was not the first, and I will not be the last, Antoth.”
“You have my apologies as well, humans. That was not something for you to see or hear.” He bowed to them all before leaving after his mate. Even Ketra was looking around silently in his wake.
“Way to read the room, wee lassie,” Lachlan congratulated her. Gentia refocused on them with a brightening expression.
“Thank you both. She seems to have taken a liking to this arrangement. Maybe the two of you can make things official at the harvest festival, hmm?” she tittered.
“Why does every Cauthan we know insist we should be gettin’ hitched?!” Lachlan lamented. Gentia poked his stomach with her cane as she explained. A small group of male cubs, including Ursol, ran past them playing what seemed to be tag.
“Because if our youth were like you, still unmated in the prime of their lives, we would die out as surely as Seil rises in the west. Ratha and Antoth are an exception, not the rule.”
Lachlan and Alice stared at one another quietly.
-----
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2020.09.21 14:51 maui622 A Date with the Lady Destiny Given me. (To u/Shiro_Kuroki)

“Have fun with your date, Senpai!” Mash’s voice came out from the pocket communicator.
“Don’t take too long you two, we still have Lostbelts and events to clear and finish⭐” Da Vinci said, butting in after Mash. “Holmes is struggling to hold back Goredolf. So enjoy it you two love birds!”
“Thanks guys, keep the stalker trio and Gilles at bay for me!” a young man’s voice called out in reply. It was Shiro, walking down the streets (discreetly) alongside the sidewalks of Paris.
“I’ll shall gladly hold them back for you, Master.” Sieg spoke out from the communicator.
“I appreciate it greatly, Sieg.” Shiro thanked Sieg for his assistance back at the Shadow Border.
“It is my pleasure. Now enjoy the date, Master.” Sieg replied casually.
The streets of Paris were bustling with traffic, its markets and shops filled with shoppers buying souvenirs and posh items, its restaurants filled with tourists trying out the cuisine of the locale and everywhere were filled with noise of people talking and scanning the environment around them.
Paris, France. 20xx
Putting the communicator in his pocket, he walked towards the bench where he left his date a bit ago after picking up the call. Sitting there was a fairly young maiden, wearing a long, casual white dress with a black string tie. Her long hair was blonde, tied in a ponytail. She was sitting down casually, her hands on the bench, while swinging her legs back and forth
“Jeanne!” Shiro walked towards her, waving his hands, catching her attention. She stared at him moving closer towards her.
“Ready for our date?” Shiro asked, offering his hand at her. She smiled gently at him and grabbed his hand, and stood up, and they walked together through the busy streets of Paris.
Walking side-by-side, the two looked around the sights offered by the Seine, watching the boats filled with tourists go by, and unfortunately smelling the modern salt water of the river. As they walked together, they passed by other people. Tourists, locals, alone, in groups, couples, young, old, all varieties of people. Shiro and Jeanne reached a small, neighborly community, children running and playing around the small square between the houses. The two sat down, enjoying the sight of the happy children playing around, carefree and unproblematic.
“Have you thought of having children back when you were alive, Jeanne?” Shiro asked, knowing full well the answer she’ll say.
“No, I really was dedicated to saving France back then, with God’s guidance, because I believe that there will be a time where even if I’m gone, children in my time will find peace and happiness. That’s why I’m happy to see children here are happy and living in a better condition than when I was alive.” Jeanne replied. It was close to what Shiro expected, but they quietly and happily watched for a little bit more. After a while, Jeanne asked and produced a small travel brochure from her humble leather bag.
“Honey? Can we visit this?” Jeanne asked Shiro, pointing at a church in the city. Although reluctant, Shiro had to agree, letting his wife take the lead, yet still walking arm-in-arm together. As they arrived at the church, Église Saint-Sulpice, Shiro stopped at the front of the church’s gates.
“Is it because of…” Jeanne’s voice trailed off, but Shiro knew what she was talking about.
“Yeah, sorry Honey. But I’ll wait for you here, don’t worry about it!” Shiro replied, unfazed to let his wife enjoy their vacation.
“I can’t have that!” Jeanne said back, hoping that her husband can join in. After some short thinking, Jeanne has an idea. “Wait, I’ll ask the one in-charge for entry! I-I mean, would you want to?” Jeanne asked.
“If they wouldn’t mind, y-yeah.” Shiro replied, hesitantly, thinking there may be some divine punishment if he just waltzed inside a place of worship of another religion. Jeanne told Shiro to stay put and wait for a short while, as she entered the church to look for a church administrator. As she did, she asked the priest to allow Shiro in. The priest happily agreed, saying it was no bother, but he told Jeanne that Shiro must acknowledge that even the difference of faith, proper respect and decency must be observed and that he is entering a place of worship different from his.
Jeanne happily returned to Shiro, standing awkwardly outside the church, examining it’s structure, and told him the good news. So the two went inside the church, walking quietly. Albeit nervous, he looked at the interior design of the church. It was different from his, yet it is as large as any place of worship is. The wind was cool and the atmosphere was calming, and as the two walked together, Jeanne led the way to the front-most pews of the church. They both sat down, and Jeanne looked at Shiro. Reading her mind correctly, he gave her a nod and Jeanne kneeled at the kneeling post of the pew, and closing her hands in prayer, she quietly prayed. He couldn’t tell what she was praying, but Shiro observed her silent prayer. Despite being a saint, Jeanne was kneeling on a common pew, where most people humbly prayed. He assumed in the past that since she’s a saint, they were like special circumstances, but no, Jeanne (and some saints summoned as Heroic Spirits) were as humble and lived as close to their lives back then. He just silently watched over her as she continued praying, quietly. At last, Jeanne lowered her hands and sat back next to him.
“Shall we?” Shiro whispered quietly. Jeanne nodded in agreement, and the two quietly exited the church.
“Thank you for letting me do that, Honey.” Jeanne said to Shiro as they were walking. Shiro just smiled at her happily as a reply. “I wish I could have also visited Notre-Dame, but…” Shiro remembered the news of the fire that broke out at the church. He knew Jeanne was probably devastated at the news at the time, and saddened that she couldn’t have visited it on this trip.
“Well, how about we return when it’s re-opened?” Shiro suggested.
“I would love that, Honey. Thank you.” Jeanne replied, happy with the hope and promise of seeing it and gave Shiro a quick kiss on the cheek. They young man blushed red, but was happy and content.
“So, what’s next, my love?” Jeanne asked, as it was getting closer to dusk.
“Want to go have dinner before we go to the theatre?” Shiro suggested, to which Jeanne agreed. Arm-in-arm again, they both walked to the Arpège.
“What made you choose this restaurant, Honey?” Jeanne asked as they walked inside and towards the table manager.
“Mash told me this is one of the most exquisite restaurants here, so I picked this one out.” Shiro replied.
“Wait, isn’t this too expensive?” Jeanne asked, concerned on how her husband can pick for a luxurious restaurant and pay for them being there.
“Long story short, I asked Da Vinci to exchange QP and Friend Points to modern-day Euros.” Shiro explained.
“Still! Isn’t it too expensive?”
“Yeah, but it’s one of those times where it’s okay to splurge a bit. And being with you is worth every and currency.” As Shiro said this, Jeanne felt embarrassed to be with the high-end of modern society, but happy with what her husband did for them to enjoy this date. They both had an exquisite and luxurious dinner, eating the most popular choices and must-haves of the restaurant. They both ate well-cooked and prepared meals, with the freshest ingredients and sweet desserts the restaurant had to offer, and on top of it all, even though they had just regular, cold water from start to finish, they also had one bottle of wine to share together, for the authentic luxurious lifestyle of high-class dining. Both satisfied with the meal, they chatted a bit on the table as Shiro waited for the waiter for the bill. After paying for it, and leaving a 10% tip of courtesy, the two went out and walked together, holding hands towards Theatre de la Ville, which was showing a colorful masquerade of various acts. The two went to find their seats, and had small talks until the show started. It was bright, colourful, vibrant, and entertaining. Some acts were spectacular, some were heart-stopping, some performances were well done and executed, but overall enjoyable for the two on their date.
“Is there anything else we need to visit?” Jeanne asked, as they exited the theatre.
“We have two-to-go. We owe one to Da Vinci and one to end the night.” Shiro told her.
“What other places do we have to go? I can still keep going!” Jeanne excitedly replied.
“The Louvre Museum and the famous attraction of all.” Shiro replied, hinting on what last attraction they were going to visit. The two walked to the Louvre, and even though it was night already, it was still open. They went to look at multiple paintings inside. Painting and sculpture made by various artists, from Carravagio, to Delacroix, to Gericault. And the last painting they stopped by, was Da Vinci’s most famous piece. His prized “Mona Lisa”.
“I bet Da Vinci is going to be jealous that we saw her painting in person.” Shiro stated, to which Jeanne replied with a chuckle.
“Now, now, Honey, don’t make Lady Da Vinci jealous. That’s bad.” Jeanne scolded her husband. The two happily and quietly laughed as they went out the doors of the museum to see the giant glass pyramid in front of it. It was the Louvre Pyramid. The two stand together in front of it, still holding hands.
“So, where are we going last, Honey?” Jeanne asked.
“I still don’t know why it’s famous, but I know I have to take you there.” Shiro said, holding her hand and guiding her to the most popular attraction in Paris.
The Eiffel Tower.
Underneath the giant metal structure, Shiro walked Jeanne to the elevator, and rode it to the top. Stepping outside and walking a bit more towards a set of steps leading higher into the tower, they were at the highest point of the Eiffel tower where visitors could stay. Looking at the landscape of France, the city was still awake, with buildings lit open, the streets filled with vehicles, yet up there, the wind was cool and relaxing. The bright, full moon lit up the night sky, along with the countless stars. And with the view of the Champ de Mars, it was a stunning sight. But it wasn’t the most stunning sight for Shiro. It was Jeanne. The wind blowing her hair back, smiling happily and being with him, was something he could not describe with words. It was more than a moment, or a treasure to him.
“Jeanne?” Shiro called out his wife.
“Yes Dear?” turning to look at him.
“I know we haven’t done it formally, but I would like to say it now.” Shiro said, kneeling down in front of Jeanne, grabbing the small box he hid for the whole day from his back pocket, and opening it, to show a small ring with a gold band and a brightly luster diamond on it.
“Will you… Marry me?” Shiro asked the question he had been wanting to ask her for so long. Even being considered married to Jeanne for a long time, this was the first time he asked her so boldly and formally. Jeanne covered her mouth in surprise, and she smiled with tears of joy welling up in her eyes. She lowered her right hand, and Shiro held her hand, and fitted the ring on her finger.
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