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2020.09.28 05:35 sons_shadowI (M36) have a LDR (W34) across the country. Quarantine is not helping and I need help on how to keeping the relationship alive due to distance and time.
Backstory: We met during a work function a few years back. We kept the relationship strictly profession, had secret crushes on each other and respected the fact we were both in our separate marriages. Last September, we met at another work function in another city and were supposed to be there for a full work week. We met up the first night with our coworkers for happy hour and really hit it off. As the night wound down, everyone there either left to go to sleep or separated into their own groups. She and I sat out on a patio and talked about everything. Turns out we were both in shitty marriages and both in the beginning stages of divorcing our respective spouses. We also both have a elementary school aged kids a few months apart in age. We had both sobered up during that talk and we both agreed not to drink any more. We both admitted that this work function was to be an escape from our respective divorces, but talking about it did hurt, but finding someone else with the same pain that we could talk to help a lot. Fast forward 2 more hours of talking and connecting, it was obvious there was a lot of chemistry there. We were both reluctant to act on our urges because 1. this is a work function and 2. we both still technically married. The rest of the week was just absolute magic. On the last night, I admitted that there was obviously something between us, but I was afraid that we were on the rebound due to our respective divorces. She agreed, but said that she had never met anyone like me and likewise I said the same to her. Since we mutually felt there was something, we should take our time and explore it. At the airport, she found my terminal and we got a coffee and hid in a semi-private place, talked and we kissed when they called final boarding for my flight. The next 3 months, we were sending hundreds of messages a day to each other and getting to know each other more. We both coincidentally got our respective separation agreements signed on the same day AND our company had announced dates for the annual all-hands meeting in Miami. We planned to come a few days early and hangout before the week long all-hands gathering. I secretly booked a super fancy hotel, nice dinner date and rented a nice car for the weekend. She was surprised when we got into our fancy room I booked. Later that night I got our convertible rental car and drive around Miami, had dinner and walked on the beach. I won't go into the details of that weekend or that week, but it was hands down the best week of our lives. The next several weeks of messages got more intense and we both started planning our lives together. We would sext, send pics of ourselves, our kids, food we made, abuse emojis, talk about getting married and anything else we wanted. We would face time at least 3 or 4 times a week when we had the time. We even secretly wrote love letters to each other, send them and have the other person read them back during Face Time. The best part was that we were SUPER blunt, to the point, honest and transparent with each other. We were both head over heels for each other and neither one of use thought that the other person could exist. She and I even bought wedding bands online. I got hers and she got mine and promised to trade the next time we met (but not actually get legally married) - kinda like a promise ring. Then quarantine hit. I live on the East Coast and she lives on the West Coast, so we have go be mindful of evening chats so we our sleep. We were both getting stressed about our respective kids and divorces and work (we do drastically different things at our company), but we drew on each other's encouragement to make it through. This has been going on for several months with the quarantine with no end in site, all on-location meetings and gathers have been canceled indefinitely as well and there are no practical means of us traveling to see each other. Then the riots. Then the wild fires. 2020 PLEASE END!!!!! Out of the blue I get a message a few weeks ago that "we need to talk" My initial reaction was something happened to her or her kid. Typically, if someone says that it is best to literally talk about it, not message. I was free, so we started messaging each other. Turns out that she has "no energy for you". This shocked me. I asked if everything was okay and in return I got the cliched "it is not you, it is me" discussion. I asked if I had ever asked for anything from her that she was not comfortable with, took up a lot of her time or was demanding. She said it was none of that and that I was super accommodating and respectful of her time and emotions. "We're just friends now and nothing more, but we can chat from time to time" TBH, I was more heartbroken than when my exwife and I decided to divorce. Yes, I am guilty of putting the cart in front of the horse with my new relationship. Hell, we were planning on getting married, building our dream house and having our "twins" grow up with each other. I told her I was devastated and heartbroken. I was so out of sorts that I couldn't think straight and ask more questions. We both agreed that we should take a night off and talk the next day. I got maybe 1 hour of sleep that night. We ended up not talking for 3 days straight. Nothing. She messaged me and said she loved and missed me and asked how I was doing. I sobbed reading that message. I messaged her back and told her that I was not doing well at all. I told her that I didn't know how to "chat" with her since I didn't know what the boundaries were. She got frustrated with me for not respecting her request. From there, it has been a handful of messages a week. Then I'd get a message about "wouldn't it be nice if we went to our favorite vacation spot together?" UGH!! The emotional conflicts I'm having!!! Friends? and you want to spend time in our most romantic place we dreamed about? She would also send instagram pics of spiritual motivational text or comics - something that was new to me before I met her, but we bonded over for the last several months. I took the initiative and Face Timed her and asked what was going on and to help me understand how we can be "friends", have "no energy" for me, but tell me she loves and misses me. She said she is conflicted. She is so busy being nearly a single mom, work is piling up so fast and hard and that our relationship would need to be scarified so that she can function. I told her that I totally get that. I did tell her that I drew a lot of my strength from our relationship and that where we differed. She admitted that wanting me so badly and to have our future together was weighing on her. Not only did the quarantine have to end, but her ex-husband was to get his job relocated to near where I live. The latter is the biggest anxiety we had since it was a long shot. One of us relocation across the country was not exactly ideal or practical. At this point, we send a few messages a week, we still tell each other we love and miss each other, but that is going to get old SUPER fast. I am not the best communicator or know how to be creative, so I am desperate for ideas. or ways to keep the relationship alive.
2020.09.28 05:32 palatindugeI have had to make sacrifices and just as I finally felt truly confident to take on the world, COVID-19 ruined my hopes and dreams.
tl;dr: COVID 19 made my plans to move out and enjoy freedom as an adult more difficult so I am still in my idiot overbearing parents' house and the pandemic made my dating prospects worse. Of course I am not the only whose been negatively affected by COVID19 pandemic and some people have been worse affected, but I just went to vent my frustrations. For four years since I graduated my degree, I have had difficulty finding a good job. To cut the long story, compounded by my overbearing parents who prevented me from developing life skills to handle the real world, and with my admittedly own unsureness on what I truly want to do, I have had to make sacrifices over the past couple of years. Luckily, I finally got a job that is tangent to my degree just two weeks ago. Even though it is a stepping stone to a position that I truly want, I enjoy my new job and I can't really complain. However, I can't help but feel frustrated of the missed opportunities thanks to this fucking pandemic. My dream jobs have either been withdrawn from the job market or I have been turned down as employers preferred candidates who are locals. I have been wanting to move out of town and start over to a new city so that I could get better perspective and new experience but nope, life threw a shitter called COVID-19. And this plays well into the hands of my overbearing, clingy moron of a parents. They're my parents and they grew up in differently and didn't know better, but there is only so much anyone could tolerate from the stereotypical uptight, always-playing-safe, conservative Asian parents. At the very least with my new job, I could hopefully and reasonably move out even though, where I live, we're undergoing housing crisis in addition to the pandemic. I didn't openly tell my parents that I want to move out as they fucking map and plan again my life on how I should do by playing safe. I have developed psychological instinct to dismiss them whenever they make unsolicited suggestions or dictations to how I should do things-- regardless of whether they're right or wrong. I actually grew more as a person listening to them less than before and by making mistakes on my own. Yes, I am well aware that I wouldn't "save more" financially if I move out of home but fuck that staying in the comfort zone mentality; part of being adult is to face challenges. I have always been the person who is a trailblazer but I have been too long on my parents shadows and I am sick of it (I have schadenfreude that they're regretting their parenting style now that they're in their 60's. And my mother who keeps teaching us to play safe to actively avoid regret She would say "regret is always at the end" and ironically she now regrets not really teaching us life skills as my brothers are jobless and scared of the real world). And it isn't like I am frivolous at all-- unlike my deadbeat father who always spent his earnings on gambling and causing us financial burden and family shame for stealing and having not gotten a job for ten years since then, and yet he still acts like he is the best father in the world (growing up in religiously conservative countries that stifle critical thinking, I guess ignorance is truly a bliss). It is also frustrating that just as I am ready to get back into the dating game, boom COVID-19. I don't know whether women are just reluctant in general to go out dating because of the pandemic, or I maybe because I am Asian and of course there is still discrimination and racism against Asians thanks to the pandemic. It is my first time using dating sites and it is not that I have high expectations in using those sites, but it is already hard for Asian men to get dates in general and here comes COVID-19 making things even harder. I also don't appreciate that on dating sites, I see people whom I don't want to see; and I wouldn't appreciate that this certain someone whom I don't want to see ever again might pop up. In my town, it is small and everyone knows each other so rumours spread around easily like virus (sorry I just had to make this pun). It's one of the reasons why I want to move out of town and I have only now recently truly understood why my friend became more recluse and moved out of country even. I want to turn over a new leaf and start somewhere fresh. And just as I am getting out, the morons pull me back in. I have grown up being drilled into my head by media, school and adults that if you work hard enough and have the will, you can achieve anything. I still believe in it and I never am a complete free will advocate. I am still a compatibilist but I am now more convinced that life is run 65% by determinism. The trick is gracefully accepting the difficulty and learning how to get around the pile of shit that life threw in front of you.
The real Arvirargus revealed: To find out why "Marius" in the quote below, is almost definitely the same person as Sallustius Lucullus, you will need to first read my previous article to establish why this is. Reading this article without first establishing the basic foundations, will deem this article useless. So i will leave a link right here below, for the article you should first read, before coming back and reading this one.
Kimbelinus: However, it turns out that Kimbelinus is not legendary in the slightest. Archaelogists have found his coins all over southern britain, marked "rex", which means he was a client king for the Romans. Also he is written about in Roman records. Quite simply, he is the same person as Cunobelinus, and Kimbelinus is simply a his name in a different dialect. Cunobeline
Link for photo Coins of Cunobelinus Sallustius Lucullius: Now not much more is known about Sellustius Lucallius beyond him having likely been a consul, aswell as a client king before being executed in 85 AD when the Roman empire began doing away with their client kings in favour of more direct ownership of British lands. Also if you find it unbelievable that a Gaelic speaking Celt named Marius might have a Latinised name of "Sallustius Lucullus", then i will leave a photo of the Roman emperor Caligula. Sallustius Lucullus
Anything more about Lucullus is conjecture or inference: for example, since every other known governor of Roman Britain had been a consul prior to being appointed governor, it is reasonable to assume Lucullus also had been consul; since all of the consuls from the year 85 until past the death of Domitian are known, he must have been consul before the year 85.
Link for photo Marble bust of Roman emperor Caligula Amminus: Now, if you have read my previous article, and you still have doubts about them being the same person, then know, that everything i have said, is pretty much now accepted as a contemporary theory amongst contemporary historians and scholars, as confirmed confirmed below. But, from now on, i will use the name Marius to remain consistant with popular opinion. Sallustius Lucullus
A second theory was proposed by Dr. Miles Russell of Bournemouth University. An inscription from Chichester, recorded by Samuel Woodford in his Inscriptionum Romano-Britannicarum Conllectio (1658) but since lost, refers to Sallustius Lucullus, giving his praenomen as Gaius and describing him as a propraetorian legate of the emperor Domitian. Another inscription from Chichester, discovered in 1923, refers to a "Lucullus, son of Amminus". Russell argues that this is the same Lucullus, and that his father was the native British prince Amminus, son of Cunobelinus, who fled to Rome c. 40.
Boudica: Now Marius would have been at his prime just around the time of the Boudica revolt in 60 AD. Boudica
Link for photo_by_John_Opie.jpg) Boudicea painting Roman conquest: Of course, the uprising was caused by the Roman empire trying to take ownership of the kingdoms and lands. They were previously self governing provences that had good trade relations with Rome. But when Boudiceas husband died, his will was ignored by the emperor, who done the same to Boudica as he was doing to other client kings and queens, and he took Boudicas kingdom from her. According to Tacitus, he also turned her in to a slave, and she and her daughters also raped. Boudica
Boudica's husband Prasutagus, with whom she had two children whose names are unknown, ruled as a nominally independent ally of Rome, and left his kingdom jointly to his daughters and to the Roman emperor in his will. However, when he died, his will was ignored, and the kingdom was annexed and his property taken. According to Tacitus, Boudica was flogged and her daughters raped.Cassius Dio explains Boudica's response by saying that previous imperial donations to influential Britons were confiscated and the Roman financier and philosopher Seneca called in the loans he had forced on the reluctant Britons.
Link for photo Iceni territory Uprising: Boudica and her Iceni tribe led an uprising which almost removed the Roman empire from Britain, by destroying Roman Britains most important settlements. Boudica
In AD 60 or 61, when the Roman governorGaius Suetonius Paulinus was campaigning on the island of Mona (modern Anglesey) on the northwest coast of Wales, Boudica led the Iceni, the Trinovantes, and others in revolt. They destroyed Camulodunum (modern Colchester), earlier the capital of the Trinovantes but at that time a colonia), a settlement for discharged Roman soldiers and site of a temple to the former Emperor Claudius. Upon hearing of the revolt, Suetonius hurried to Londinium (modern London), the 20-year-old commercial settlement that was the rebels' next target. He lacked sufficient numbers to defend the settlement, and he evacuated and abandoned Londinium. Boudica led a very large army of Iceni, Trinovantes, and others against a detachment of Legio IX Hispana, defeating them, and burning Londinium and Verulamium.
The crisis caused Nero to consider withdrawing all Roman forces from Britain, but Suetonius's victory over Boudica confirmed Roman control of the province. Boudica then either killed herself to avoid capture (according to Tacitus),
Gaelic: Now, does it seem a bit unbelievable that one single warrior princess and her Iceni tribe could achieve all this? Well what you have to remember, is the Gaelic language during this period, was spoken all over Gaul, and before the Roman conquests, Gaul was a very large area, taking in much of europe and beyond, as i revealed in my article "From Gaul to Galilee". But Boudica was known throughout Gaul, in many different Gaulish/Gaelic dialects, suggesting she was well connected. Name
Marius established close ties with Rome and good diplomacy through tribute and respect of the Roman citizens in Britain. He followed the laws of his ancestors and ruled justly. When he died, he was succeeded by his son, Coilus.
Agricola: And back to this Sallustius Lucullus/Marius for just a second. Sallustius Lucullus is thought to have been part of Roman attempts of expansion in to Albany/Caledonia/Scotland, and he allied himself with Agricola during Agricolas conquest of Caledonia attempt, just before his execution. Military activity
Archaeology can tell us something of Roman military activity in the years following Agricola's recall in 84. Sallustius (or his unknown predecessor, if one existed) may have attempted to consolidate Agricola's victories in Scotland by building the Glen Forts which Peter Salway dates to his rule. Forts at Ardoch and Dalswinton in southern Scotland, which Agricola had built, were extensively rebuilt in the late 80s and evidence of improvements of other military installations in the region points to a strong presence in the Scots Lowlands.
Link for photo Agricolas northern campaign De facto king of Albany: And the client kingdom that Marius ruled, would appear to have been the equivalent of todays Northumbria, and Scotland. He was likely the de-facto king of Albany, though possibly not recognised by Picts, Scots and Gaels as such. Marius
According to Geoffrey, he ruled wisely in the time when the Picts first arrived in Britain. A fleet of ships under the leadership of Sodric came from Scythia and landed in Albany. Once there, they began to destroy the lands and Marius was forced to react. Following numerous battles, Marius killed Sodric and set up a stone there to remember that triumph. In addition, that land became known as Westmorland after him.
Link for photo Westmorland Picts: And as you may have read in the above quote, it is believed by Geoffrey that Marius was attacked by Picts that arrived in Albany from Scythia. And as has already been established in previous articles, Scythia was an area in Eurasia that was led by the aristocratic Royal Scoloti. It is also hardly surprising that there are Gaels fleeing to Albany, as Scythia is also coming under Roman attack, during this period. Scythians
. Based in what is modern-day Ukraine and southern Russia, the Scythians called themselves Scoloti and were led by a nomadic warrior aristocracy known as the Royal Scythians.
Link for photo Scythia Tuathal Techtmar: Now, it just so happens, in Irish legends, around this "exact same period", an Irish high king named Tuathal Techtmar was brought up in Albany/Caledonia which was his Mothers original homeland before she moved to Ireland to marry the high king of Ireland, who got overthrown, causing her to return to Albany. However Tuathal Techtmar ended up returning to Ireland at around the age of 20 years, and fought a war to reclaim the throne of Irish high king. He would also have been an enemy of Marius one would assume, as Marius appears to be trying to appear as the Roman client king of Albany, and Tuathal Techtmar is also of indigenous Albion kingship. Legend
Later versions of the story suppress the involvement of the provincial nobility in the revolt, making the "subject peoples" the peasants of Ireland. The Lebor Gabála Érenn adds the detail of Túathal's exile. His mother, Eithne Imgel, daughter of the king of Alba (originally meaning Britain, later Scotland), was pregnant when Fíachu was overthrown, and fled to her homeland where she gave birth to Túathal. Twenty years later Túathal and his mother returned to Ireland, joined up with Fiacha Cassán and Findmall, and marched on Tara to take the kingship.
Dates: According to Keating, the timing is absolutely perfect. He was in Albany from 55 AD until 80 AD, and died in 100 AD. Dates
Geoffrey Keating's Foras Feasa ar Érinn broadly agrees, dating his exile to 55, his return to 80 and his death to 100.
Caithness: Now the end result of this war with Marius was defeat. Though Marius was kind enough to allow them to have the area of Caithness, which the Picts refused in favour of going to Ireland. Though some almost definitely remained. Marius
In respect for the people he defeated, he gave them a small portion of Albany called Caithness to live in. Marius refused, however, to give them women to marry so the Picts fled to Ireland and took wives there.
Link for photo Caithness Kingdom of Cat: And the word Caithness, does indeed come from the Picts, that lived in the Kingdom of Cat, after the name of their tribe. Toponymy
The Caith element of Caithness comes from the name of a Pictish tribe known as the Cat or Catt people, or Catti (see Kingdom of Cat)
The Gaelic name for Caithness, Gallaibh, means "among the strangers" (the Norse). The Catti are represented in the Gaelic name for eastern Sutherland, Cataibh, and the old Gaelic name for Shetland, Innse Chat.
Pictish language: And whilst the Pictish language is Gaelic, and connected to the Brythonic language, it is still of different dialect to others. They could probably still hold somekind of conversation with eachother however. Picts
Link for photo Aberlemno stone Irish high king: Now, obviously Tuathal Techtmar did not just walk in to Ireland and get the vote of the people. He obviously had an army that followed him to Ireland and fought for his return, and he is attributed to have fought very hard for this. Legend
Túathal fought 25 battles against Ulster, 25 against Leinster, 25 against Connacht and 35 against Munster. The whole country subdued, he convened a conference at Tara, where he established laws and annexed territory from each of the four provinces to create the central province of Míde (Meath)) around Tara as the High King's territory. He built four fortresses in Meath: Tlachtga, where the druids sacrificed on the eve of Samhain, on land taken from Munster; Uisneach, where the festival of Beltaine was celebrated, on land from Connacht; Tailtiu, where Lughnasadh was celebrated, on land from Ulster; and Tara, on land from Leinster.
Irish Gaelic: Now, Ireland was most likely already a Gaelic speaking country. But legends state that during the invasion of Tuathal Techtmar, the current day Irish gaelic language emerged. In fact, the legends even express a belief that the invasion of Tuathal Techtmar was a complete foreign invasion from start to finish, by foreigners. Therefore, i think scholar T.F.O'Rahily is mistaken when he says that Irish legends are rehashing earlier return exile stories. Whilst there were earlier invasions, i think there is plenty evidence to suggest that the invasion being discussed here, is an entirely different invasion to one that may have happened in the 1st or 2nd century BC. The invasionbeing spoken about, and the language spoken by the invaders, was probably the form of Gaelic spoken by the Scythian based Gaels which first invaded Albany, before moving on to Ireland.. They perhaps did not even speak the same dialect of Gaelic as other Picts in other regions that have evolved in an ever so slight different direction. Goidels
The scholar T. F. O'Rahilly suggested that, as in many such "returned exile" stories, Túathal represented an entirely foreign invasion which established a dynasty in Ireland, whose dynastic propagandists fabricated an Irish origin for him to give him some spurious legitimacy. In fact, he proposed that Túathal's story, pushed back to the 1st or 2nd century BC, represented the invasion of the Goidels, who established themselves over the earlier populations and introduced the Q-Celtic language that would become Irish,
Puppet: There is however a quite contemporary theory that Tuathal may have actually been a Roman puppet. Romans in Ireland
Taking the native dating as broadly accurate, another theory has emerged. The Roman historian Tacitus mentions that Agricola, while governor of Roman Britain (AD 78–84), entertained an exiled Irish prince, thinking to use him as a pretext for a possible conquest of Ireland.
Evidence of Roman occupation: Archaeologists have in fact found evidence of Roman settlement in the areas most consistant with Tuathals war campaigns in Ireland. Romans in Ireland
. Neither Agricola nor his successors ever conquered Ireland, but in recent years archaeology has challenged the belief that the Romans never set foot on the island. Roman and Romano-British artefacts have been found primarily in Leinster, notably a fortified site on the promontory of Drumanagh, fifteen miles north of Dublin, and burials on the nearby island of Lambay, both close to where Túathal is supposed to have landed, and other sites associated with Túathal such as Tara and Clogher.
Military support: Contemporary historians and scholars tend to actually believe that Tuathals campaign was supported by the Romans to have a friendly king that will put a stop to the Irish raids happening on mainland Britain, as well as of course for other future possibilities and obvious reasons. Romans in Ireland
It is possible that the Romans may have given support to Túathal, or someone like him, to regain his throne in the interests of having a friendly neighbour who could restrain Irish raiding. The 2nd-century Roman poet Juvenal, who may have served in Britain under Agricola, wrote that "arms had been taken beyond the shores of Ireland", and the coincidence of dates is striking.
Hibernia: And it is quite contemporary that Agricola did indeed give support and refuge to an exiled Irish king, in the hope he would be useful for a future conquest of Ireland. Hibernia
 Agricola fortified the coast facing Ireland, and Tacitus recalls that his father-in-law often claimed the island could be conquered with a single legion and auxiliaries). He had given refuge to an exiled Irish king whom he hoped he might use as the excuse for conquest.
Link for photo Agricola Summary: It sounds like the uprising was a lot bigger and more co-ordinated than simply one she-wolf. It probably included Irish raiders, and even Picts from afar afield as Scythia. It would all have been part of the war against the Roman empire. As for the case with the Picts. It sounds like Agricola gave them refuge from Marius most likely. May have even used the inhumane way that Marius was treating them as justification for executing him, thus removing yet another client king, at the same time as gaining an allied army to invade and conquer Ireland. Though, if this was the reason, then it was all fruitless, as no conquest of Ireland would ever be followed through by the Romans.
Ahoy! I'm a 30yr old male in Canada with aspergers. I've been alone for over 10 years now and im starting to give up hope that will change. I have extreme difficulty even making friends anymore, nevermind anything more than that. I live in a really small town of around 280 people and theres not really any singles in my age range here. I could uproot and move elsewhere i guess but that seems like social suicide as its taken me years to finally settle in here and i love my town. For whatever reason outside of my control i seem to give off a really creepy and unsettling vibe. Even approaching people with no other intention than to brighten their day with a compliment usually ends up in me getting told to go away. Years of this has resulted in some pretty bad social anxiety which is only compounding the problem further. If people are forced into a situation where they have to spend time with me, they eventually learn that underneath the exterior im a good person. The only real friends ive made lately were a result of this. Most of my few friends would describe me as one of the most selfless, caring and kind people they know. But overcoming that initial hurdle definitely is the major issue. For as long as i can remember (going back to elementary school) ive been constantly accused by both my peers and authority figures that im "manacing", "scary", "creepy" etc. Recently i did some experiments and posted some of my best photos online for review. Same story, theres just something wrong with my face. I think im ever so slightly above average in terms of looks, but theres just something that gives people the completely wrong impression. Ive been pushing super hard the last few years to look more internally and make myself a better person as im fully aware that this is the first step. Ive started my own fairly successful business, i became a volunteer firefighter and a volunteer paramedic. And now that im trying to look outwards again im horrified to find that everything is exactly the same as before. I tried online dating and am almost 100% convinced its a scam at this point. A new account will maybe get a couple messages in the first few days then its months of radio silence. Ive done multiple tests on multiple sites now using a vpn and making a new identical account. What do uu know, I get a couple messages for a day or two again! Its almost as though theyre trying to force people into paying for the exorbitantly overpriced premium packages! Does anyone have some advice? I dont know how much longer i can keep telling myself "Just one more day. Tomorrow everything will work out". When everyone thinks your a monster its hard to not jump on the same bandwagon. Thanks for any help in advance, and please feel free to ask any questions if i havent said enough here. I hope you all have a wonderful day and stay safe out there!
2020.09.28 02:39 oofboi2002First time posting. Please critique my long ass story as it is not near finished yet. Even if its a nuke of a criticism give it to me
As I stood at the dock’s edge, gazing at the tempestuous sea I couldn’t help but wonder why I had decided to come to this desolate rock. Could it have been a fickle attempt to escape the everyday humdrum of life? Or had some enigmatic force of fate brought me to this rickety atoll? My dismal rumination was abruptly quelled by a stout hand-clapping my shoulder, my thoughts still roared as I turned to see the briny barge captain who had stirred me. He must have noticed my vacant stare because he immediately led me to a musty wooden tavern not thirty yards away from the dock’s cragged edge. As we ambled through the swinging saloon doors I began to grasp how meager this hamlet was. My inattentive thoughts were jarred by the bartender gruffly asking for my drink of choice, I simply abstained myself which elicited a grumble from the chapped man. As I sat in the bar, I could feel manifold sets of eyes scouring my slouched shoulders. I could hear hushed voices redound off the rotting walls “Looks like a fresh continental.”, “Come next barge he’s gone go back home cryin’ to mama.” I stood from my seat and left the peculiar locals to their swill. I noticed a filmy patch of fog rolling through the cobbled stone streets. As I looked back to the dock I noticed the vessel that I had arrived on was now a distant mote on the horizon. I began combing the stark streets for any refuge that didn’t contain unsavory locals or fetid scents. As I strolled through the fog the warm effulgence of oil lamps illuminated a small chain bound wooden sign that merely read “INN”. As I entered the lobby, I saw that the inn was well lit and unsoiled by rot or water damage. As I strode to the end of the reception area I noticed a golden service bell on the edge of a glossy wooden desk labeled “Check-In” I rang the small bell and not a second later a small elderly woman scooted from a small curtained room to the side of the desk opposite me. I examined her face more closely to see keen exuberance in her eyes as if I were an old friend she hadn’t spoken to in some time. “Hello, my name is Ida and welcome to my Inn. How long would you like to stay my dear?” “I’ll stay for a week.” I said reluctantly, I had no idea when the next ship would come to this port and the locals are no help whatsoever. “Wonderful!” she croaked “So many continentals come to stay here, my business has been booming since I opened four years ago.” This comment confused me greatly because the keyboard behind her was completely full. “This way young man you’ll be staying in room 3.” The woman quickly shuffled up a flight of burnished wooden stairs to reveal a carpeted hallway with 5 rooms on each side. “You said your business was booming…” I alluded “…but the other rooms are vacant.” Ida smiled at me and asserted “The other patrons left the village to get closer to the island.” This statement perplexed me, “This place is so bleak. Why would anyone want to make a home here?” I thought to myself as Ida’s face receded with the closing door. My room was a spacious 40 square meter box with red curtains covering immaculate double windows. I took to lying down on the cushy king bed so that I could reflect on my circumstances comfortably. After some ephemeral solitary deliberation, I heard a feeble knock on my door. When I opened the door there stood the slightly wilted figure of Ida, but this time she was holding a small sheet of paper. “Since you’re going to be here for a bit, I thought you might want to know this town’s history.” The paper had a picture of a gaping cave entrance that gave me a disconcerting chill. I gripped the pamphlet, but the woman maintained her grip. “Watch yourself when you leave your room you hear? The folk who live in this town are the least of your worries.” She then released the brochure and retired to the lobby. The leaflet described the founding of the town by a small fleet of European trading ships that were immobilized by a severe tropical storm that devastated the area. These settlers lived on the island for nearly a century, but one day a military vessel docked, and the men were astonished to find the settlement and the entire island to be empty. It was as if the people had vanished into thin air. Soon the settlement was repopulated during the Industrial Revolution in hopes that the island had hidden riches to strip and sell to the highest bidder. However, many of the prospectors reported seeing pale slick-headed figures stalking the dark inlets of the cave system. These legends were never confirmed, and no lives were lost until one day the miner’s exit had a massive cave in and hundreds of men were killed along with the island’s economy. The island is now a secluded community that feeds itself with the sea’s bounty. As I flipped to the back of the handout, I found a map of the island with important locations corresponding to its history each marked with a crudely written title and small “x” to specify. My eyes scanned the map I saw a small gray patch of land near the watery center of the atoll. The patch was marked “Murky Grotto”, this was the location that was pictured on the front of the pamphlet and the site where the cave-in occurred. I flipped the paper back to its face and studied the maw of the cave closely, I’m positive I saw something in that cave. I could feel the hand holding the picture drifting closer to my face until I could see nothing but the darkness within. My vision was completely darkened by the picture, but when I moved the photo away from my eyes, I realized that I was no longer in the warm hotel room. I was totally enveloped by inky blackness on all sides, the only thing my senses could interpret was the biting chill in the air and the faint dripping of water. My heart jumped from resting to throbbing against my rib cage. As my breath became faster, I began to hear clumsy footsteps accompanied by ear-shattering wails and erratic cries of primal rage. I couldn’t tell what was making the peculiar noise, but all I knew was that it was getting louder and therefore closer. I reduced my breathing to remain completely silent. I could feel its frenzied breath on my face. Standing before me was what may seem human, but this beast was coated and continuously secreting a sickly lemon-colored mucous, sporting a near melanin free outer membrane, the eyes must be completely worthless as the beast does not acknowledge visual stimuli its bulbous and milky eyes seem to be an evolutionary mutation as useful as the human appendix, the mutant also didn’t have a single visible hair on its body. The mutant’s physical condition is questionable, to say the least. Much of its body was simply gaunt deformity. The torso is mostly stretched thin skin over protruding bones. The mutant’s prominent facial features include its lack of a nose, instead, it has two nostrils nestled in a small facial ridge where its nose should be was. The mutant’s ears are also embedded into its head rather than protruding. My blood ran cold as the creature’s dead eyes bulged while it silently stood in front of me, baring its rows of deformed teeth in my face almost as if it knew it was standing inches away but preferred to taunt me instead. I began to slowly inch away from the mutant as quietly as possible step by step. However, my fear overtook my footing as I backed into what must have been a thick stalagmite and began to plunge to the floor. As I fell, I could see the creature aimlessly swiping toward me, the monstrosity wore a tattered black cloak, but no shoes. The creature’s feet were densely webbed to the point where what would be toes were nearly fused together. The last thing I heard before I collapsed was another spine-chilling scream coming from the creature. I shot up from lying down, once again blind for a moment until the small pamphlet flaked off my face and into my lap. My body was shaking immensely as I tried reassuring myself that I had just fallen asleep and had a terrible nightmare, but I could feel the dull flow of adrenaline through my body. I sauntered into the bathroom to use the sink to cool my sweat laden forehead, as I refreshed myself, I chuckled because I had gotten myself so worked up over a stupid nightmare. As I dried my hands however I could feel something warm running down my neck, I used a few sheets of toilet paper to clear my sweat, but as I brought the paper to my face to examine the amount of sweat my vision began to blur as I saw that I had not cleaned sweat off my neck rather the wipe was stained red with fresh blood. I stumbled into the stand-in shower and activated the tepid flow of water. I faced the shiny silver floor drain as I watched diluted blood swirl into the pipes below just trying to distract myself from the I implored myself to think of any logical answer other than the repulsive possibility that was slowly pushing its way to the forefront of my mind. “The nightmare.” I blankly uttered. Soon afterward the blood stopped flowing down my back and shoulders and I stepped out of the shower shaking profusely even though the temperature was better than most showers I’ve used. I threw myself toward my duffel bag to retrieve my meds. “Don’t think about it. None of it makes sense so don’t delude yourself by trying to make it logical.” I chanted as I downed my medicine with a swig of water I spread myself across the bed, staring up at the ceiling with my mind still racing, but eventually my medication eased my mind enough that my heart resumed its normal resting pattern. I was determined to stay awake until I could convince myself that I was just anxious about staying in this eerie hamlet. I soon pushed it to the back of my mind and decided that I would go back to the tavern and look for a guide and something to eat. As I descended the stairs, I could see that the old woman was nowhere to be found in the lobby, so I simply left a generous payment for the weeks lodging next to the cramped guest ledger. I took a closer look at the paper to notice that Ida was, in fact, right that many travelers had come to the inn, however, there was a column marked “Room Status” and every single name except for mine was marked vacated on the same date and within the same hour. This confused me at first, but I then realized that these people must have come together, perhaps they checked out to explore the island’s entirety. As I left the Inn I was again greeted with a thick fog and dark skies. As I returned to the coast where I arrived I felt a few raindrops hit the nape of my neck as thunder rolled in the distance. I stopped before I entered the bar again because I could once more feel eyes on my back. I turned to see a man dressed in a navy-blue police uniform with an aged 1911 pistol model on one hip and a sleek nightstick on the other. The man raised one of his gloved hands and motioned for me to come closer. As I approached I saw the man’s gaunt features, his eyes were baggy and dark as his suit, immense stress markings on his forehead, and an unsightly scar stretching from his left commissure to the corresponding earlobe. “Hello son, you’re the new cont’nental arrived yesterday right?” he coolly inquired, “Continental?” I quizzically asked, “Everyone keeps calling me that, but I don’t know what it means.” “Means you’re from the mainland, means they don’t trust you neither. These folks only care for their own and don’t take well to outsiders meddling with their traditions.” The officer said overly nonchalantly. “I noticed that they weren’t very fond of me as soon as I walked into the bar. Do the locals even speak to newcomers unless they have to?” I inquired genuinely regretting not stepping back onto the barge instead of being distracted by the queer community of ruffled fishermen. “Most folk just keep a sour look til’ newcomers get the message.” He punctuated his sentence by grabbing a small canteen and taking a swig of what I assumed was water. “Do you know when the next barge will come here? I made a mistake staying here and I need the first boat back to the mainland.” The officer chuckled and looked at me as if I had told him a joke he had heard many times before. “Next barge carrying general good’s comin’ in 13 days. Til’ then you’re stuck on this berg.” My heart sank as I had enough money to last that period, but I was reluctant because of the lack of activities since I was technically a second-class citizen to the locals. The officer surely noticed my expression because he put his white pristine white glove on my shoulder and stated “I know it’s inconvenient son, but the locals don’t want nothin’ to do with the mainland less’ they can’t find it on the island. The only boats the locals own are small rowboats nd’ they only use em’ for haulin’ fish n’ firewood.” “Say…” he blurted “…I’ll bet you haven’t got a tour of the town yet. How’d you like a po-lice escort, son?” “Sure.” I relented “But how much of this dinky shantytown is there to tour?” I mentally scoffed. Instantly after I accepted his offer the officer turned 180 degrees and began rigidly marching down the street opposite of the bar. The thick fog gave the officer a strange appearance, his dark figure seemed to push the fog to his side while my thin frame was seemingly consumed by the syrupy haze. The officer suddenly stopped and clicked his polished shoes together to face the second-best kept building I’d seen “This’s the general store, here’s where most of the goods from the barge go.” “Finally!” I thought “I don’t have to go to that dingy bar to get food and drink. I thought I’d never find a store here.” The officer began to say something, but I was only interested in the small wooden shelves freshly stocked with ample instant food that only requires water, seasoning shakers, various tools, and various fishing gear and accessories. I grabbed a small paper bag and filled it with instant food and some bottled water. However, the cashier stopped totaling my items when I opened my wallet and took out a couple of 5-dollar bills. “Sir you don’t have enough capital for your items.” the man groaned “You need more than ten dollars for some lousy instant food and bottled water?” I griped. The man started to respond but closed his mouth as I felt a familiar feeling on my shoulder. I turned to see the officer with a small but smug grin on his face “We don’t accept continental cash here son.” he ribbed. I then noticed both men had small canvas sacks attached to their belts, the officer removed his and took out a few slimy segments of what looked like fish scales. “I’ll pay for your food this time ‘round, but we don’t use no paper money with nobody but the barge captain.” The cashier shot the officer a quick grin, but his expression changed to a scowl when he returned my bag of items. As I walked down the creaky wooden steps the officer snickered “I was tryin’ to tell you we ain’t got any use for mainland cash, do us both a favor and let me finish next time.” Embarrassed and agitated by how obsolete my savings were in this backwater I simply nodded my head at the officer and dreaded having to return to the Inn and be confronted about my useless money. The officer continued his foggy march through the town showing me the town hall, small woodworking shop, and finally a cramped post office. As both of us exited the building I noticed that the rain that had only been a drizzle earlier was beginning to intensify. The officer turned to me and said “That’s it for the important places here. Now if you want me to show you a good place to see the beauty of this here island, we can make it there and back before the rain gets too heavy if you wanna take a gander.” Not caring about either the rain or how much time it took I agreed to follow him once more. As usual, he began marching up the cobbled streets, but when we reached the end of the road he didn’t break stride for a moment despite the unruly grass and bumpy terrain. We eventually reached and traversed an outlandishly symmetrical plateau. The top of the highland was shaped like a hexagon. When I averted my gaze from the odd highland I was greeted with the serene sight of the watery center of the atoll and the distant curve of the rest of the island. As both of us gazed in silence I made out what looked to be a protruding rock face with a dark yawning maw. As I looked closer I could see what looked like a line of figures filing into the mouth of the cavern. My trance was cut short by the policeman nudging me and pointing to the center of the band “That water there goes down deeper than any man could ever go. Locals go out and catch fish there, folk say that the deeper you go the bigger the catch.” The man then mumbled something to himself that was near indecipherable from what I heard it sounded like he mentioned something called “The Deep Sleeper”. He then turned to me as if he had said nothing at all and yapped “Whelp! We best get back ‘afore the storm gets nasty.” On the way back through town the officer did not march confidently as he had previously, he continuously turned his head to look at me until we reached the Inn as if he were looking at my expression to determine whether or not I had heard his preceding utterance. “Hope you had a hoot on the tour! Come by the town hall if anything’s troubling you. The locals may not acknowledge you, but just know I’m here night r’ day if need be.” he insisted. “Thank you officer…” “Name’s Tate, just give me a holler if you need anythin’” he jovially repeated. As Officer Tate departed, he resumed his austere march, not once looking back or breaking his stride until he disappeared from my sight. My body fluttered as I left the cold streets and entered the toasty lobby. Instead of a vacant front desk, Ida was reading quietly at the end of the room. I strode to the desk to apologize for using outmoded currency, but instead of anger, the senior matriarch gave a warm smile and politely said “The locals may use those stupid scales, but I still use mainland currency because that barge not only brings patrons but supplies to keep my Inn in the sterling condition it’s in now. You don’t need to worry about those gross scales here young man.” Relief washed over me as I thanked her profusely as I lumbered up the stairs with my groceries. When I finally locked my room door I was ready to sleep sometime in this dingy town away. Soon after I killed the lights I was enveloped in the thick curtain of sleep. I was awoken this time not by a nightmare, but by the sound of a door being continuously pounded on. At first, I groggily wrapped my pillow around my ears, but the pounding didn’t stop so I shifted out of bed and into my shoes. The blows were growing in intensity to the point where I believed that the entire door would break. As I cleaned out my sleepy eyes I listened for the sound of Ida, hoping that she would rebuke the antagonist, but the beating continued uninterrupted. Now irritated with being awoken by some instigator I swung my door open to catch the aggressor by surprise, but there was not a person in sight. I paced the length of the hall and every door was locked and the hall was barren of life. The more I thought about the situation the more irate I became, I stormed back into my room closing the door and went to sit on my bed, but as soon as my door was shut the pounding came back in full force, but this time the sound had switched locations. The unit next to me was shaking with the thundering boom from the sheer force of the blows. My body began to tense in anger as I whirled around to my door and again threw it open to find no life or unlocked doors. Thoroughly enraged, I walked to the sink to cool down. As I was splashing water on my face my blood began to boil as the booming sound was now coming from my door. I slowly crept to the threshold readying myself for a possible fight with some punk, but before I opened the door I decided to look through the peephole. However, as I focused my eye I could only see pitch blackness as if the hole were being covered, so I threw the door open with more force than I’ve ever mustered only to be greeted with cold murky darkness. My stomach felt like a deflating balloon as I recognized the echoing drips of water hitting the cavern floor. I held my breath waiting for the same depraved creature to begin its horrid patrol, but the creature did not come. My eyes soon adjusted to the darkness enough that I could see outlines of the cold stone bulwark, as I felt my way along the icy walls my foot kicked a small metal object. I slowly moved down to pick up what I had kicked, the object was a metal cylinder with a small rubber button on one end “A flashlight!” my brain exclaimed. With the click of a button, the dingy cave was bathed in a radiant glow. The cave was adjoined to what seemed to be my Inn room, out of curiosity I pulled the curtains in the room and was met with cold stone on the other side of the double window. Dejected, I scanned the cave for any sign of an opening. As I walked out of the room, I spotted a small dried bloodstain nearly two meters from a small stalagmite. There was no explanation other than the inane theory that not only are my nightmares connected but that these bizarre occurrences are in some way rooted in reality. The very thought made my brain begin to pirouette in blighting befuddlement, I could not stand to come to terms with such an absurd reality lest I lose my mind. As my flashlight shone on a far wall, I could see an exit from this godforsaken room, but as I approached the outlet I noticed the frame of the exit had chiseled petroglyphs of three heads. There were two heads on each support of the exit; at the lowest point was a glyph of a man, above him was a glyph of the pale oddity I encountered the night before, but at the top of the frame held by the beams was a carving of a giant beast with tendrils preceding its mouth and a cephalopod shaped head. The very sight of the squid-like beast chilled my very bones causing me to shudder like an abject recreant, but as promptly as I averted my eyes the feeling subsided. I recommenced my trek through the dank tunnels discerning only the sounds of rocks I dislocated ricocheting off the floor, every few minutes I’d hear mortified screams echo off the ceiling for it only to be met with primal bellowing and eventual silence, and the ever-rhythmic oozing of freezing water from all directions. The dreary grotto seemed to impede the constancy of time itself as I found myself endlessly wandering through dead end after dead end, destroyed refuge after destroyed refuge. I began to wonder as more and more unknown amounts of time passed what about eating and drinking? I had to have been in the hole for more than 6 hours, but I never felt the sharp pang of hunger, the slow parching of dehydration, nor the burn of muscle fatigue. After plenty of trial and error, I came to a fork in the path, as I looked to the right my gag reflex triggered as I heard gut-wrenching screams for mercy followed by frenzied wailing saw the floor was caked with dry blood and littered with bones from all parts of the human body and with one cursory smell I was inundated with the stench of decay. The path to the left was clear of any debris, and I could see a dim light illuminate the cave wall farther down the path. As I walked down the path I could feel frigid goosebumps radiate from my neck to my toes, my very eupnea felt like ice in my lungs, and yet my breath remained unseen. When I came near the light on the cave wall I peered my head around the corner only to see a stone brazier lit with a flame as blue as the depths of the sea itself. The flame burnt endlessly without tinder or fuel of any kind, I tried to warm myself with this fire, but as I drew nearer my blood grew colder and my body quivered more fiercely. I was astonished by this simple defiance of my fickle reality. I kept walking the path, distancing myself from each brazier as much as possible, but after passing the fifth brazier I could hear distant voices echoing off the walls, but I couldn’t decipher the muted murmurs that reverberated from wall to wall. As I grew closer to the voices I desperately wished to call for help, but those thoughts were admonished with the searing reminiscence of the path I repudiated. Would I be dismembered and picked clean if I so much as alerted one of the inhabitants? I wasn’t going to take that incurable risk, as I drew closer to the speaking figures, I could clearly hear what they said, but they spoke in a guttural consonant laden tongue that was not the least bit decipherable. I peered around the corner to see two men in black tattered cloaks standing on either side of one of the braziers chanting continuously. I watched curiously as the men looked to be in a trance of some sort, but the men suddenly rolled up their sleeves to reveal countless laceration scars some healed, others infected, and some fresh. As I was gawking at their many skin carvings both men unsheathed otherworldly daggers that measured about 20 centimeters, my stomach tensed as I watched them dig the blades into their wrists and hew down to their elbows. The men didn’t cry out in pain or even grimace as they tilted their lacerated arms into the bowl of the brazier, and as their blood cascaded into the bowl the men continued their chants. Suddenly the fire in the bowl changed into water but still moved as if it were scorching flame. The men then submerged their lacerated arms into the water and affixed their forearms, after doing this the men started to cry out in ecstasy. Following this, the men removed their arms from the bowl and began to stumble about with their eyes rolled back in unmitigated euphoria. In mere seconds the men were slouched against the wall, made comatose by otherworldly bliss. As the second man closed his eyes I crept past, warily navigating the twisting stone tunnels I stumbled across scores of hooded figures who took part in the same macabre ceremony all splayed on the floor arms still spurting sticky pools of blood. After the twentieth duo of masochistic freaks, I stumbled upon a massive clearing adorned with stone statues of the hideous winged cephalopod deity fraught with hooded figures, each was wearing wooden ceremonial masks fashioned to please the grotesque cephalopod creature. These cultists knelt around an ominous black obelisk that was pulsating gleaming energy seemingly due to their worship. Looking beyond the cultists I could see mighty pillars of white-hot lightning mirroring off the water’s surface that flowed from the center of the atoll, I’d have to cross the entire stone mezzanine and exit down a slab of stairs. As I began navigating my way toward the back of the cave, I grimaced at the mere audition of these chanting to their god in unholy unison. As I crossed the mezzanine directly behind the cultists, I noticed that this sect of mutants were the same humanoid beasts from my previous calamity, none of the figures wore shoes and their feet were also densely webbed. I knew I had to move quickly and carefully if I wanted to keep my skin as I approached the top of the staircase, I took a deep breath and began to surge down the stairs. I made it nearly halfway down before I heard a gut-wrenching wail coming from the depraved mutants below. I began to descend faster as most of the masked mutants didn’t move a muscle, but those who did began howling like tortured animals toward me. As soon as I hit the last stair I broke into a sprint for the mouth of the cave, but as I darted past the depraved creatures, I felt the ground begin to rattle and fissure, while the walls and ceilings begin to collapse upon. There was no time to waste in escaping from the depraved followers, I could hear their psychotic babbling as if they were close enough for a ride on my back. I felt the adrenaline numbing my every stride as I reached the edge of the cave’s gaping aperture and dove into the cloudy waves. Never had such cold and bemired water felt so liberating or invigorating, but even as I fled I could feel tremors rattling the very depths of the island. I slowly clambered out of the water to try and gather my bearings, but as I glanced upward I saw portentous black clouds fiercely merging into a whirling waterspout over the atoll’s center. The very earth beneath me rifted into fragments of dust infertile dust, cragged walls of lighting were hurled from the sky to destroy the wildlife, and in the distance, a tidal wave the size of the island came raging toward the island. As I lay in the grass I gazed at the waterspout, but as time passed the waterspout went from gargantuan to dwarf. But as the waterspout halted I witnessed a bulbous mass of gray flesh begin to rise from the water, I could feel an icy chill in each of my atoms as I watched the protracted tendrils rise from the murky depths. The cephalopod horror seemed disappointed that he had been freed to erase such a pathetic race of shallow mortals, and yet when its blistering red gaze met mine my lucid psyche howled in sanity searing anguish as I beheld The Deep One reclaiming its celestial cathedra as the harbinger, the lone horseman of mind-bending Armageddon. As the tidal wave drew fatally close to the island I took a deep breath of salty ocean air and closed my eyes accepting my fate. Just as I heard the wave make landfall I jolted awake and gasping for air in a deluge of my own sweat.
All retail and hospitality business are allowed to open, but pubs, bars and restaurants must close at 10pm. Sports and leisure facilities are now allowed to open. Professional sports can take place behind closed doors. Live drive-in events can take place, and certain outdoor live events with correct measures. Other leisure facilities such as bingo, casinos and bowling alleys can re-open. Theatres and Live music venues cannot currently open. Primary, Secondary, Special schools, Nurseries are all now open. Universities and colleges are being advised to take a hybrid approach to teaching, but accomodation is open in most cases. All environments must have rules for social distancing, etc.
Who can you meet with?
Up to six people from 2 different households outside or in a restaurant/pub.
You should physically distance between households.
Children under 12 don't count towards the six person limit
Alternatively, Six 12-17 year olds can meet without a household limit, but must physically distance. You can't meet people inside their house. If you meet them in their garden, only go in to use the bathroom. Also see 'extended households' below.
You must wear a face mask in retail and hospitality environments, unless you are exempt. This includes when not sitting at your table in a restaurant, etc. You should not car share with people outside your own household/extended household. If unavoidable, follow this advice Those who were previously shielding can follow the same advice as everyone else. You can travel anywhere in Scotland to visit friends and family, as long as you meet them outside/in a restaurant. Some care homes and hospitals are starting to accept visitors, check with them. An extended household is defined as 2 households joined together to form a single household. They can consist of
A household of one adult, possibly with children under 18.
Another household of any size
2 couples who do not live together, and their children.
This is a briefer interpretation of guidance from the gov.scot site and is up to date as of the time of posting. If you're a business owner or travelling from another country please consult the guidance directly.
2020.09.28 01:49 EasternRyderWe’ve Explored an ancient Reality, and I’m pretty sure that the deer is actually a God [Part 5]
(Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3) (Part 4) To start off: Yes, I have asked people about the deer. No, I do not know what it is or why it has taken a liking to haunting my dreams and tormenting my mortal prison. I am the only one who can see it, and everyone I ask has sent me to the infirmary for “Rehabilitation” (I have been through 10 sessions about the physics of the common deer, I think I’m done asking about the freaking deer) To those wondering about my interview with Zeus, I have news for you: He can’t speak English. He speaks a version of ancient Greek so old that our translators can’t figure out what he’s saying before he blows something up. I was in the room for maybe five minutes and gained two “nearly” lethal shocks from a miniature thunderstorm before the table imploded on itself. The heads of the Infirmary, Father Knight and Sister Prynne, have created a special room denoted to fixing MY INJURIES. Apparently, my rate of injury exceeds every single person in all of Artemis. So, new realities, cool stuff, right? Actually, first, I saw someone else in the Library today! Remember when I talked about the guy without a face who kept humming from the second entry? Yep, he was there, and the Librarian was back too! They seemed to communicate through some kind of clicking before they both stared at me for nearly two hours. Apparently, some of the subjects have library privileges, who knew?!? So, we have Abandon right? Well, next few levels are a bit more extreme. Level 2: Pangea Imagine humans never existed, with nature taking over everything. It’s beautiful, everything is green and the mosquitos are as large as smaller dogs. We found the next weakness an hour’s drive across a mountain range, but due to a lack of roads and non fluffy pests, we decided to take the fun route. We constructed two large flying troop-transport-things to ferry personal from side to side, each equipped with flamethrowers for the nasty bugs. Everything went pretty well all things considered, even managed to capture a few bugs for study back home (Nobody died, unlike the last reality with the banshees) I joked with Annika (The tech wizard) about strapping a camera to a bug, filming it do what bugs do, and submitting it for a film contest. She was all for it, even creating a special camera and everything only for the camera to fall to the ground in pieces. Apparently, the hairs on the bugs are razor sharp, to the point they can cut through a variety of metals with the right angle like butter. In this example, the camera and duct tape were the butter. Also, I found some socks. Let me explain. Annika and I were patrolling near the construction site of the second transport, talking about our homes and what life was like before. The topic of pets came up, leading to the unfortunate discussion of Jared. “I don’t get it; you had a pet goat but it responded to your commands like a dog?” “Yep.” I responded, a smile on my face. “We named her Jared.” “Why?” I shrugged. “She ate literally everything, kind of like someone named Jared would.” Apparently, Annika’s last name was Jared, so in the end I called my coworker fat. Crazy, right? Well, we were walking like you do, and I noticed something on the ground. “Annika, what is your favorite color?” She smiled, clicking a few knobs on her wrist communicator (I will never call that thing a watch, no matter how “Smart” it is.) “Blue, like the sky back home.” “How about socks? What color do you like your socks?” She stopped messing with her arm-thing, staring at me like my parents did when I was bitten by a miniature horse on my rear end, having called it a “Tiny Excuse of a Stallion” “Um… Come again?” “Your socks.” I gestured. “Are they blue?” She frowned, either furious or intensely confused. “Buddy, do you know a thing called personal space?” I shook my head, meaning yes but apparently signaling no. Being called buddy is only a good thing when it's your name, and last I checked I wasn't an elf either. “No, it’s just that THAT sock isn’t my sock, so I was hoping it was yours…” Directly in front of us was a perfectly blue right-sock, lying upon the dirt with no foot print in sight. We glanced to each other before pursuing, finding an ENTIRE HAMPER OF SOCKS, ALL FOR THE RIGHT FOOT! You see, we think some things that go missing will occasionally pop through weaknesses in realities from shock waves (Cannon blasts or basic explosions) or simply falling through the cracks. This of course makes no sense to me as I found that hamper of socks, defying all conclusions made previously. Sure, they go missing all the time, but winding up in another reality? That’s even stranger than the deer, and by golly that deer is weird. Speaking of the deer, the next reality has given me nightmares. Level 3: DuskDawn A permanent eclipse over a barren landscape, a desert with freezing temperatures during the day and burning winds throughout the night. Strange beings huddle in small groups throughout the land, each hunched with their heads to the ground. They stand nearly ten feet tall, each covered in smooth purple skin with long snouts stretching to around a foot or so (Kind of like a small elephant trunk) They are completely harmless, not responding to anything beyond softly snorting at some of my jokes (You’ll have to take my word for it) As the next opening was tracked to the other end of the country in Northern California, we saw much of the landscape on transport convoys , during the short gap of time from Dusk and Dawn (Hence the name) Any other time would be too dangerous to traverse, either turning our fuel to slush or igniting the gas from inside the fuel tank. Luckily, energy shields are apparently a thing, so we could sit tight for a few hours, making it roughly a two-day journey to either end. The whole atmosphere is intensely uncomforting in this foreign world. The air is basically poison to our lungs, the elements kill on contact, and yet we kept seeing straight lines in the sand. One thing you learn after being with scientists for hours upon hours is that nature doesn't make straight lines "naturally". Humans do, so there came the thought that someone else had been here... recently. The idea that someone else beat us to this reality was a bit upsetting, as if they really had made it all this way for nothing. Why would there just be lines? Instead of a flag like on the moon or heaps of socks in Pangea, why just lines? Either they were dead or we were crazy, it being a crazy coincidence that we were right on both accounts. I was able to chat with the crew a bit more, especially with Sailor. He remained muscular as always, sitting with his rifle between his legs as we spoke within the confines of the cramped troop transport. We played a short game of cards, flipping the paper to the metallic table with the occasional clang. “So, what brings a fellow like you to a place like this?” Sailor snorted. “Money for some, adventure for others. As for me, I just want to be in the right place at the right time, doing the right thing.” I blinked. “So, you want to be one of the good guys?” “Yep.” I nodded slowly, digesting I really hadn’t been listening to his responses. “Why Artemis then?” He shrugged, his eyes glancing to the red ribbon upon his belt. “Last time I knew a cooperation with this much power, they decimated my home. I nearly didn’t make it out of there, but Artemis seems to have noticed my stance on things. They hired me to make sure that the right thing was done in the right way, fighting the bad guys and saving the day.” “So, what does that make me then?” Sailor looked to me, his eyes scanning my “pathetic excuse of a body” (Direct quote from June’s Song after telling her about the deer). He nodded, slightly chuckling. “Good heart, terrible balance.” We drove for another handful of hours before stopping well before our timeframe, something stopping our progress. Without any sort of information, I was commanded by June’s Song to arm myself in the power armor I had seen before, a suit that stood nearly two times my height with gizmos and gadgets galore. I clambered into the suit before someone secured it behind me, finding my eyes scanning the depressing monitors seated in my helmet. I stumbled like a newborn deer (Not THE DEER, but A DEER, big difference) with Sailor in a suit of his own, being monitored by Annika from inside the transport. “Are you boys ready for some fun?” She yelled, her voice filling my helmet. “NO!” I looked at Sailor, wondering why he would yell no as he was the muscle man carved from cream cheese, the dude who said he wanted to be good and…. Ok, fine, I was the one who yelled no. Sailor looked to me, his head obscured by a futuristic helmet reminiscent of my nightmares (Of the Martian abduction variety) No words were needed, I could tell from the way his body simply was that I had gone beyond confusing him. “I mean, maybe...everything is really green and bright, and I have no idea how I can hear you, and everything is spinning like that one time when I was really tired during an orchestra performance where I tripped on the conductor, and my mouth tastes like wet dog and I can’t …” “Forget I said anything.” She muttered. “Just start walking, we found some odd heat signatures and need you to check it out.” We marched our way across a mini desert, our suits managing to repel the freezing temperatures for the time being. We had 30 minutes of heat left before we would freeze, the suit’s fuel rod expanding in the cold before shattering in a miniature thermonuclear explosion. This, of course, was no problem as ten minutes later I was running back screaming in perhaps the least manly voice one could muster. It was a village of mud dwellings, all carved into the desert hills with a great deal of care. Twenty shelters had survived the elements, with sheets of rubble littering where others had once stood. I scanned my surroundings using a tuned heat sensor, finding the change in temperature quite quickly, feeling a chill climb up my spine. In the centermost dwelling was a small fire, flickering it’s glow upon the walls of the building. We carefully moved into the dwelling against the frozen earth, seeking to communicate with whoever was within, only to find a haunting sight devoid of any life. The dwellings had a specific purpose, with this being only one completely intact. Some of the dwellings funneled upwards, somehow using the odd gravitational currents (Once again, you can try and fact check me, and I will probably agree with you regardless because none of this makes sense to me) to maintain pressure and temperature within the shelter (Sort of like a moon pool) The focal point of the anomaly is the fire place, pushing the pressure and temperature to create heat in the center of the room. During the night, the fire will be extinguished and replaced with a chilly draft, and day the fire came to life, warming amidst the (Freezing?) sun. Shattered pottery and disheveled furniture protruded from the stone floor, lit by the scant light to reveal a leather reminiscent of the hunched creatures just outside. It was quite a sight to behold, especially viewing the markings covering the walls. Carvings of the ancient tribe wound across the structure in ornate patterns, creating portraits of lives long lost to the horrid conditions of DuskDawn. Images of worshiping tribesmen sacrificed themselves to both the heat and frost to appease a great God, one who they directed all their life to. I found myself scanning the artwork with great interest, slowly feeling an unraveling insanity afflict my mind. Each snapshot revealed more of their religious hierarchy, eventually centering on a VERY FAMILIAR PAIR OF ANTLERS. You can imagine what kind of nightmarish visions flashed inside my head as I viewed those cursed markings, finding evidences of a tribe predating our understanding of mankind, worshiping NONE OTHER THAN THAT HECKING DEER! They groomed him, fed him, prayed to him, apparently their hero even rode the abomination into battle! Marking upon marking revealed that two-legged creature dancing like a country Rockstar, clicking it’s hooves and nodding it’s “cowboy hat” to the spectators (Cowboy hats weren’t even invented, since cows were still dinosaurs) My worst enemy directed their politics, influenced their culture and apparently, if the dating of the markings is correct, created the first written language in the world. It was insane, I felt cheated, I cried bitter tears in that tin can of a helmet. Sailor could do nothing to stop my cries, as in the shadows I saw the figure, it’s eyes shining back at me behind a deer mask. I froze, despite wearing a tank as armor, and watched as it slowly raised its arms, drawing the mask from its face. The image still haunts me to this day, the mask almost as horrifying as the being's true face... It was the freaking deer. It was wearing a deer mask over its own deer face. I ran back screaming, locked myself inside of the transport’s restroom, and refused to open the door for almost an hour (I was still in the power armor). Eventually I calmed down, but I had enough. That deer had been here before, and that nearly caused me to resign from the job. It had traveled realties before. It had chosen me. The Deer God had chosen me. And even now I could hear it, baaing like a goat and dancing a jig. I think I need a vacation.
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2020.09.28 00:43 Kujo17[Op-Ed] I Lived Through Collapse. America Is Already There.
This Medium Article is being posted in full. It is an op-ed from someone who has lived through a collapse and believes the U.S is already experiencing one, not that it is still imminent. Please consider visiting the original article to support the author and the site . <<<><<<><<<><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>><<>>>> I lived through the end of a civil war. Do you know what it was like for me? Quite normal. I went to work, I went out, I dated. This is what Americans don’t understand. They’re waiting to get personally punched in the face while ash falls from the sky. That’s not how it happens. This is how it happens. Precisely what you’re feeling now. The numbing litany of bad news. The ever rising outrages. People suffering, dying, and protesting all around you, while you think about dinner. If you’re trying to carry on while people around you die, your society is not collapsing. It’s already fallen down. .
What Life Was Like For Me
. I was looking through some old photos for this article and the mix is shocking to me now. Almost offensive. There’s a burnt body in front of my office. Then I’m playing Scrabble with friends. There’s bomb smoke rising in front of the mall. Then I’m at a concert. There’s a long line for gas. Then I’m at a nightclub. This is all within two weeks. Today I’m like, ‘did we live like this?’ But we did. I mean, I did. Was I a rich Colombo fuckboi while poorer people died? Well, yes. I wrote about it, but who cares. The real question is, who are you? I mean, you’re reading this. You have the leisure to ponder American collapse like it’s even a question. The people really experiencing it already know. So I’m telling you, as someone who’s been there, in similar shoes to yours; this is it. America has already collapsed. What you’re feeling is exactly how it feels. It’s Saturday and you’re thinking about food while the world is on fire. This is normal. This is life during collapse. Just read what it says on the tin:
LIFE! Now with 20% MORE DEATH!
Collapse does not mean you’re personally dying right now. It means y’all are dying right now. Death is sometimes close, sometimes far away, but always there. Usually for someone else, but someday, randomly, for you. I used to judge those herds of gazelle when the lion just eats one of them alive and everyone keeps going but, no, humans are just like that. That’s the real meaning of herd immunity. We’re immune to fundamentally giving a shit. It honestly becomes mundane (for the privileged). As Colombo kids we used to go out, worry about money, fall in love — it all went on. We’d pop the trunk for a bomb check. Turn off our lights for the air raids. I’m not saying that we were untouched. My friend’s dad was killed, just gone with a land mine. RIP Uncle Nihal. I know people who were beaten, arrested, went into exile. But that’s not what my photostream looks like. It was mostly food and parties and normal stuff for a dumb 20-something. If you’re waiting for a moment where you’re like ‘this is it’, I’m telling you, it never comes. Nobody comes on TV and says ‘things are officially bad’. There’s no launch party for decay. It’s just a pileup of outrages and atrocities in between friendships and weddings and perhaps an unusual amount of alcohol. Perhaps you’re waiting for some moment when the adrenaline kicks in and you’re fighting the virus or fascism all the time, but it’s not like that. Life is not a movie, and if it was, you’re certainly not the star. You’re just an extra. If something good or bad happens to you it’ll be random and no one will care. If you’re unlucky you’re a statistic. If you’re lucky, no one notices you at all. Collapse is just a series of ordinary days in between extraordinary bullshit, most of it happening to someone else. That’s all it is. .
One Ordinary Day
. One day, I was at work when someone left a bomb at the bag check at NOLIMIT. It exploded, killing 17 people who were out shopping. I experienced this as the phone lines getting clogged for an hour. My wife experienced it as, well, a bomb, it was 500m from her house. 17 families experienced it as the end. And their grief goes on. As you can see, this is not a uniform experience of chaos. For some people it destroys their bodies, others their hearts, but for most people it’s just a low level hum at the back of their minds. What’s that buzzing sound you hear now? Today I assume you went to work. Bad news was everywhere, clogging up your social media, your conversations. Maybe it struck close to you. I’m sorry. Somewhere in your country, a thousand people died. I’m sorry for each of them. A thousand families are grieving tonight. A thousand more join them every day. The pain doesn’t go away, it just becomes a furniture of bones, in a thousand thousand homes. As a nation you don’t seem to mourn your dead, but their families do. Their communities do. Jesus, also, weeps. But for most people it’s just another day. You’ve run out of coffee. There’s a funny meme. This can’t be collapse, because nothing’s collapsing for me. But that’s exactly how collapse feels. This is how I felt. This is how millions of people have felt, including many immigrants in your midst. We’re trying to tell you as loud as we can. You can get out of it, but you have to understand where you are to even turn around. This, I fear, is one (of many) things Americans do not understand. You tell yourself American collapse is impossible. Meanwhile, look around. In the last three months America has lost more people than Sri Lanka lost in 30 years of civil war. If this isn’t collapse, then the word has no meaning. You probably still think of Sri Lanka as a shithole, though the war ended over a decade ago and we’re fine. Then what does that make you? America has fallen. You need to look up, at the people you’re used to looking down on. We’re trying to tell you something. I have lived through collapse and you’re already there. Until you understand this, you only have further to fall.
Past September updates can be found listed in the wiki here (other months will be added soon).
14 day numbers
New case average
New case average
*Rolling14daysnumberofcasesofunknownsourceofacquisition. For previous available numbers, please refer to the wiki here.
Cases to date
Last 24 hours
Aged care (deaths)
Test results received
Active cases breakdown
Last 24 hours
Last 24 hours
Total aged care active
Healthcare workers active
Healthcare workers total
Disability accom. residents
Disability accom. staff
Aged care outbreaks with 1 or more active cases
The information below was extracted from the DHHS website and is correct and up to date as of Sunday, 27 September 2020 at 3:56:38 pm AEST. Please view the DHHS website for the most up to date information. Any further changes made are as per the DHHS media release/information found on the aged care website. 28/09 - Changes in the last 24 hours:
Aged care outbreaks:
Total - cases
Total - active
Total - Staff
Total - Residents
Total - Other
Total - Deaths
Estia Keilor 2
Opal Hobsons Bay
Embracia Moonee Valley Aged Care
Edenvale Manor Aged Care Facility
Baptcare Wyndham Lodge Community
Doutta Galla Aged Services Woornack
Mercy Place aged care
Sutton Park McKenzie Aged Care
Glendale Aged Care Facility
Princeton View Aged Care
Epping Gardens Aged Care
Twin Parks Aged Care
Estia Aged Care Heidelberg
Baptcare Brookview Community
Japara Goonawarra Aged Care Facility
Churches of Christ Care Arcadia Aged Care
Bluecross Aged Care Facility Ruckers Hill
CraigCare Aged Care Facility
Kirkbrae Presbyterian Homes
Cumberland Manor Aged Care Facility
Kalyna Care Aged Care
Doutta Galla Aged Care
Bupa Aged Care
Jewish Care Hannah and Daryl Cohen Centre Windsor Aged Care Facility
St Georges Benetas Organisation Aged Care Facility
Japara Elanora Aged Care
Glenlyn Aged Care Facility
Japara Central Park Aged Care Facility
Villa Maria Catholic Homes St Bernadette's Sunshine North Aged Care
2020.09.27 23:19 Safe-Hospital7855Not great beginning to the relationship becoming open
I (22m) and my gf (22f) have been together since we were both 17. We talked about fantasies of cuckolding a few years on because we were long distance for a while a year or two in and she had a higher sex drive than me anyway. We always just fantasized about it and used it as fuel to masturbate or have sex. Went on dating sites a few times but we never found the right person. Last month her friend asked if she wanted to sleep with her boyfriend and they arranged a hookup without asking me. 3 days later i was having a bad depressive episode and we ended the night with me falling asleep after crying most of the night. I woke up to a text from her essentially saying “btw i arranged a dick appointment with this person”. She was still asleep so i just sort of had to stew with that information and felt awful. A few days earlier she had cried about how this guy and her friend were doing so much better than us so it felt worse. Later i woke her up on accident because i had been crying and muttered that i wanna kill myself. After some tense talking she asked if i was okay with the dick appointment and i said no, sex stuff is the furthest thing on my mind rn because of how depressed i was. She got upset and cried a bit and texted asking if she could please do this and how im always sad lately so she needed a break. So i said sure because i was too depressed at that point to care anymore. We didnt talk much in the days leading up to it and the day they had sex we had a talk about how i agreed to it so it wasnt her fault but i still didnt like that she hid it from me at first, didnt seem to care that she heard me say i want to die and seemed more invested in the dick appointment. And how i was really depressed and probably would have been into it if it wasnt for the circumstances. She agreed she messed up and we went along with it for a while. We also decided that were open as long as we discuss it with out partner first. Last sunday she told me she had arranged a dick appointment with the same person. I agreed, again wishing she had told me before agreeing to it but i dont think im a jealous person so i dont care about who she has sex with as long as shes considerate of me and is honest. Later she told me part of why i did it was because we havent been having sex much and weve both been telling each other we have lower sex drives lately, and mine is always pretty low. We had sex a few times before that sunday and the time she had sex with him the first time, but i was kind of depressed and hated myself so the idea of someone like me having sex just turned me off so it had been maybe 5 days or a week since we had sex last. The last 2 times we had sex i didnt cum but she said she liked it both times. I feel like she hasnt been considerate of me or my needs. She knows i also havent had a sex drive lately and she went for a solution that only helped her which was having sex with someone whose really attractive and who fucks a lot so is good at it.
2020.09.27 23:11 ADarkSpirit31 [M4R] WI - Is it weird to just want a few people to really TALK with?
About me: Like the title says, I'm a 31 year old bachelor and I'm starting my fourth year of teaching HS science. I really like what I do, but I'm pretty introverted so it's really exhausting work- being "on" 8 hours a day can definitely be a struggle. The pandemic isn't helping, either. It's been hard to make friends of any sort lately, especially as my city is not great for young singles- lots of older folks and married couples. Yucko. It's been like pulling teeth just trying to find people to hang out with! I love to cook, I'm obviously a pretty serious science-man, I like playing videogames (I basically spent my summer streaming), I garden/take care of my outdoor space (you know, when the ground isn't frozen...), I take care of myself (physically speaking), I enjoy a good beer or an old fashioned, and I talk to my cat (who is very old and perhaps senile). I'm pretty personable- which is weird for an introvert- and I enjoy talking about all sorts of things: science, philosophy, technology, games, work, life, love, happiness, whatever. Content to meet you at whatever level you're comfortable. Maybe you just want to trade memes- I'm down. I'm single, and willing to be flirty. Not looking for a relationship, but open to one developing if it feels right. About you: You're interested in having lengthy conversations (or at least not stunted ones), willing to respond with reasonable frequency, and willing to entertain a real friendship if we click. Maybe you're near me and looking for a partner, or just someone to spend some quality time with. It's fine to be bored and want to chat for a while but please don't leave me hanging, that's a huge pet peeve. If you just want somebody to talk to for one night or whatever, just be honest tell me! I'll still chat, I get bored to, lol. You're open and honest and can tolerate quirkiness and (occasionally dark or deprecating) humor. You aren't too judgmental (though I swear I'm not a weirdo). You're willing to share your individual, unique thoughts and aren't a walking cliche (dating sites are a giant dumpster fire in that regard, ugh, and I am so over it). I promise to put an honest effort into extending conversation, but that goes both ways. I've gotten messages from other people in the past and conversation tends to wane after a few days, and I find that really frustrating. I won't do that to you- I'll at least say that I'm very busy or that I'm not feeling it or whatever, but I won't leave you hanging! After all, I'm going to want to spend my limited free time doing something positive. Hope to hear from all kinds of people, since that's what keeps life interesting. Please let me know what you're interested in and comfortable with in your first message!
2020.09.27 22:34 Endalus127Dating Sites Are Bullshit. If you don’t have a relationship with a girl already, then you are fucked.
Dating sites from my experience are full of bots, scammers, and girls who are looking for a sugar daddy to buy them stuff and not to actually be real “lovers”. So yeah. I’m forever alone and have been for years. Not just in terms of relationships but in terms of friends too. I have no friends. I guess I’ll be alone until I die. I deserve being alone though. I’m an ugly asshole with a shit personality. It’s no wonder why I have no friends.
2020.09.27 21:50 stucksuxDo we seek strong possibility of rejection?
...Because if that's the case, it would seem that we're just avoiding having a serious r'ship. I used to wonder (before I learned about the existence of limerence) if I was attracted to guys who I saw red flags for in the beginning stages of the r'ship, just so I'd have a handy excuse to leave anytime I wanted by reverting to the red flag. Now it seems more... physiological which is far scarier than avoiding r'ships, because that seems harder to control. I joined an online dating site a week ago and just now looked and see that of the 45 men who've looked at my profile, 39 of them "liked" it... my mind immediately went to, "I wonder who the 6 men were who didn't click on the "like" for my profile!" Why should I even CARE about those few! Is that the limerent in me, seeking that possible rejection and or disrespect? And no, I won't actually look to figure out who they were. I don't like actual rejection, can't handle it, it makes me feel like I want the rejecting person even if I don't but maybe it's the challenge that's attractive?
PART 1 So I was going through old emails and pictures and found detailed writeups that I sent a friend of mine during our 2016 Japan trip. My friend had never been to Japan and knew nothing about it, so I'll edit/ condense them for clarity, as I got into some pretty basic explanations that I'm sure a lot of you have figured out already. ** don't think too hard about the dates/timeline, as I condensed and sometimes didn't have time to tell Friend about things until a few days later, so the emails backtrack to previous days a few times -*\* We were planning on going again this year or next year with our toddler, but alas, pandemic. COVID-19 having slowed down content on this subreddit, I figured some people would still find this a fun read. We did a 4 person trip (myself, my husband (B), my sister (S) and her boyfriend (K)) for 24 days, sharing accommodations and fair bit of food/transport costs, depending on what we were doing. We ended up realizing that increasing convenience or comfort generally didn't cost a lot more than the cheapest options, so we often paid an extra $5-8/ night to get a business hotel instead of a hostel. We also opted for the convenience of the JR pass (which paid off for us) and the Jetfoil ferry. ~~~~~~~~~~~ Here's our budget in CAD - Rough planned (actual): pp = per person Planned budget: Plane ticket for [SISTER] & [SISTER's BF]- $800- 1000pp (Actual cost: $1100cad pp for YVR-PVG-NRT round trip) Plane tickets for husband and I: 150K Alaska miles +$220cad (YVR-NRT direct) Tokyo accommodations - 180 pp ($189 - $121 pp at Hotel Horidome Villa, 2 rooms x 3 days, then $68 pp at an airbnb near Oku Station x3) Kyoto Accommodations - 123 pp ($367pp for 13 days at an japanese townhouse airbnb near Sanjo Station) Food - 400 pp (I didn't end up tracking what we ate, but it was closer to $500 as we ate so many snacks and tried a lot of restaurants). 21 day JR Rail pass - 570 pp ($692 pp with taxes - the cost went up between us planning the trip and actual purchase, several months later) Attractions - 200 pp ($10 per attraction/15 days of attractions) ($250-ish - didn't track this super closely). Hiroshima Accomodations - no estimate ( 32.84 pp - I forget which hotel, but in honesty, it was a pretty forgettable hotel that smelled like cigarettes even though we had picked "non-smoking" and had a very squeaky bed) Kagoshima Accomodations - no estimate ($34 pp - APA Hotel Kagoshima Chuo-Ekimae) Jetfoil Ferry from Kagoshima - Yakushima Roundtrip - ($202pp - free booking through Yes Yakushima) Yakushima accommodations - 85 pp (330 total) ($97 pp for 3 nights at Minshuku Iwakawa) Yakushima Island tour - 100pp ($136 pp ) Yakushima Anbo River kayaking - 100 pp ($86 pp ) Yakushima bike rentals - 15pp (didn't end up renting bikes) Kyoto daily transit - 70 pp ($5/day for approx 12 days) (ended up renting bikes for $30 pp + 20 deposit (which they returned to us - we used the bus twice, the rest of the time was us biking around or using our JR passes to do day trips) Kinosaki Onsen ($86 pp for 1 night in the cheapest "nice" Ryokan we could find, Sinonomesou) Other (souvenirs, essentials, LH's) - 300pp (ha... my sister managed about $400, I was $600, as I ended up getting a tattoo - the guys didn't buy much.) Tokyo Skyliner + Keisei tickets: $44 pp Total per person minus plane tickets = $3145 Total for S & K (including plane ticket) - $ 4200ish CAD ea $3145 divided by 24 is approx $131 per day. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Reminder: B = Husband S = Sister K = Sister's boyfriend. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ DAY 1 (Tokyo) (No email report, as I was too tired). Flew into Narita, negotiated our way to the skyliner without Tooooo much difficulty, and met up with my sister and her BF at Hotel Horidome Villa. Pretty comfy little business hotel, and we had two adjacent rooms. We were a bit tall for the beds (B is 5'11" and K is 6'1"), but it wasn't the end of the world. My husband could almost span the room with his arms. Used the tokyo subway tickets that came included with our Keisei Skyliner tickets to get around. First experience of Japanese 7/11 and ended up bringing an entire bag full of snacks back to our hotel room to try, which we ate while watching incomprehensible Japanese TV, then fell asleep Day 2 (Tokyo) - first email We walked around for nearly 8 hours and holy crap, I am looking forward to soaking in the tub in our room. Despite the bathroom being so tiny, the tub is actually big enough to accommodate my thighs, Which is more than can be said for the one back home! ( I'm not a skinny person). Due to jet lag, we fell asleep around 8pm last night and I woke up at 4 am. B always sleeps longer than I do, so I basically read for 2 hours, waiting for him to wake up. Then we went to the gym. We have an anytime membership, and they weren't kidding. You literally can use it anywhere in the world. There's an Anytime fitness about 6 blocks from our hotel. We walk in, and about 4 old Japanese men who were on the machines just stop and STARE at us as we walked past them. They try to be surreptitious about it, but it's a constant thing. I make a point of catching their eyes, and they quickly look away, then try to sneak another look, and then get embarrassed because I'm still watching them with raised eyebrows. Me and K got the worst of it later in the day, because I was wearing a red dress and K has visible tattoos. The red dress thing was a surprise, because I had no idea that Japanese people really only wear like 5 colours when out in public here in Tokyo - black, navy, white, pale blue or beige. The school uniforms tend to be one of these colours and most men wear black or navy business suits of varying formality. Literally, every person we saw who was wearing a different colour turned out to not be Japanese - either we ended up hearing them speak a different language, or they were obviously tourists. I knew I was already going to stand out, having red hair, but this was a bit ridiculous. First thing in the morning, we went out to a breakfast place that served American food ("Bubby's"). Despite being advertised as a family restaurant, the mug S drank coffee out of had a caption of "F%*KING FRESH" on it. It took us quite awhile to find it and after that, we decided that 7/11 breakfasts were the way to go, both convenience and cost wise. K also had a hilarious mishap in the morning while snapchatting with his mom, which I will copy-paste his own words: Note to self: Be careful of the angles when snapchatting pictures of yourself in a Japanese robe with a beer. A few degrees can change a photo from G to 18A.#justwantedacoolangle#sorrymom After breakfast, we went down to Shibuya, which is where the giant 6 way cross walk is that you often see in pictures of Tokyo. Since we had been up so ridiculously early, we had missed most of the morning crowds up until this point. But once we hit Shibuya, rush hour was in full swing. People were 7-9 rows deep on the metro platforms and it was sea of dudes in business suits. People didn't quite have to be pushed onto the trains by white gloved attendants, but it was a close thing. Gaijin perimeter was in full effect though, and people avoided standing near us a lot of the time. We wandered around Shibuya for about an hour, venturing off the main shopping street into the twisty back alleyways. At one point, we found about 12 love hotels in three blocks. We also found what I like to call "The saddest playground in Tokyo", featuring PTSD Panda and Mr. Tiger. After the huge crowds in Shibuya, I was aching for some quiet, so we headed to the Imperial Palace Gardens. However, we made a wrong turn, and went half way around the grounds in the wrong direction, so we didn't get to see the public gardens (by the time we realized our mistake, we had been walking for 25 mins and were at the opposite end of the compound) It wasn't a loss though, because the exterior of the palace grounds is still really cool. I only got a couple pictures of the walls and guard towers, but it was eerie how perfectly manicured all the plants and grass were. We wouldn't put it past the Japanese Imperial household to clip the grass by hand, you know? It had that kind of feel to it. We don't know if it was the case, but everything was utterly perfect looking. After the Imperial gardens, we came back to our hotel room and I passed out for about two hours - it was only like 3 pm, but we'd been walking around since 8am, plus I had done a run, so my feet were killing me. After my (utterly delicious and much needed) nap, we went to the Tokyo Skytree. We got there right at sunset and it was gorgeous. It was really crazy to see how far the city extended - literaly, buildings as far as the eye could see (it was an overcast day, so the mountains that surround Tokyo were not visible.) One thing that surprised me about Tokyo is it's not as dense as I thought. it would be. Everything is compact and small, but it's rare for a building to be over 12 stories. 6-8 stories was more likely, except for some of the government buildings and just right around the main metro stations. It was more just endless amounts of urban sprawl. I've had Tokyo described to me as a "dirty great city" and that seems to be the truth - it's just a huge city that goes on for miles and miles. But because the metro system here is so extensive, you can cross it in like 40 mins, no problem. The metro system is super easy to get around - I barely remember any of my Japanese lessons, but didn't really need them. However, I did make one embarrassing flub - I mixed up the words for "this is" and "Where is" - Kore is this is and doko is "where is" . So I confused several station attendants when asking for directions. Imagine a foreigner marching up to you and saying "This is the ginza line!" instead of "Where is the ginza line?" I asked three station attendants and a police officer this before I figured out my mistake and they all gave me looks like I was crazy. DAY 3 + 4 (Tokyo + Kyoto) OK, I'm awake now (slept 11 hours, jesus christ). I have walked more in the last three days than I have walked in months, good lord. I forgot to tell you about a funny part of the Tokyo Skytree - they have a fucking window cleaner musical. They have a performance of window cleaners projected onto the windows, (the actors, thankfully, are NOT outside the 900 ft tower) where they sing and clean the windows in a synchronized fashion, then all march onto the floor with a brass band. I wish I was joking. I couldn't understand a word of it though, so I have no idea what they were singing about exactly. After that we went downstairs and explored the mall underneath the skytree for a few hours - it was actually a lot of fun and we found a store completely devoted to cheese. Best. cheesecake. I've.ever.had. As for yesterday, we got up and and took the Metro out to Shinjuku, where our friend's hotel was. (We were meeting up with some friends from China) Remember how for Day 2, I said that we hadn't quite gotten to the point where white gloved station attendants were pushing people onto trains? Well, I had my first experience with it yesterday. The train was packed, we squeezed on, and about ten people got on behind us. There was an awkward pause as you realize the doors weren't going to close unless something was done. I was already half buried under B's armpit, with my opposite arm and purse buried between two tall (for Japanese) business men, with another dude glued to my back. Then the shove came and I was knocked into the two business guys. I wasn't even holding onto anything. The crush of people held me upright for about five stops, which was all kinds of no fun, because you can guess at the sort of momentum that the train drivers have to deal with when braking and accelerating with a packed train like that. Everyone got pushed around and elbows in places that you don't want elbows as the train stopped and started. When we got to Shinjuku, it was pretty different from where our hotel was (we're in Nihonbashi). Lots of wide avenues and modern development. The suited Japanese businessmen were still everywhere. Our friends were staying in the Shinjuku Washington, and they reported that their hotel room (despite being much newer) was no bigger than ours. We wandered around Shinjuku looking for breakfast, and our friends, both being Chinese, and thus indistinguishable from the Japanese, were shocked at our Gaijin Perimeter abilities. The crowds parted in front of B like sailboats dodging out of the way of a tanker, and giving him the same sort of wide berth, to the point where some people were stepping out onto the street. We found a ramen place called Ichiran which had decent ratings. It was also very much the sort of place that drunk people would stumble into during their walk of shame. Everything was designed so that you could have minimal interaction with other human beings. You ordered your ramen from a ticket machine, and then there was four bar style rows, each with a little cubby that shut you off from your neighbour (though the cubby walls could be folded away). You pushed the ticket through a small bamboo screen and you were handed back a preference sheet that you ticked off - how spicy, how rich, what type of noodles, what veggies, and you returned it through the screen. Minutes later, a bowl of ramen ordered to your preferences would be pushed through the screen. You could literally accomplish all of this without saying a single word and the server was never visible - At most, you saw their hands through the screen. Perfect for anyone with social anxiety. After that, we headed out on the JR lines to Tokyo DisneySea. You heard that right, DisneySea, not Disneyland. They are adjacent park, but the major difference is that DisneySea serves booze. Not that we had any (booze was not immune to Disney prices). On a purely artsy level, DisneySea was awesome - everything was gorgeously and meticulously decorated. While walking through "King Triton's Castle"(as opposed to the Sleeping Beauty's castle that you'd find in the regular disney parks), we noticed that every single tile in every single mosaic was in fact engraved with pictures of Ariel, Flounder and Prince Eric. Not the same picture either - different poses and positions. There was a huge Steampunk flavour to the park too. Everything was pretty to look at and the amount of detail was insane. It was crowded though and the rides were ok. We only went on about 6 of them, but they were fun. Again, more just from the artsy side of it. I would say it was worth what we paid, but only just barely. I will say this though, when set free from the uniform requirements of black, navy and beige "NormCore" colours (according to my sister, that's the name that's used for that type of fashion?), Japanese people seem to have terrible taste in clothing. Lots of mixed neons and plaid. I also got an extremely awkward sunburn, because I under-estimated how far the neckline of my dress went down and didn't put on sunscreen that far down. :/ It itches. The sun here does not play around, we had to buy 50SPF+++ sunscreen (which is everywhere, thank goodness) We got home and passed out super quick last night. This morning, we woke up early and packed up our room, because we were heading to Kyoto today. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ SO, EIGHT HOURS LATER, WE ARE NOW IN KYOTO. Kyoto is crazy different from Tokyo. Big difference? The Japanese business-suited business man has completely disappeared. Now there's people walking around in actual kimonos (We saw no kimonos in Tokyo. none.) Oh, and people are wearing colours. Actual colours. We booked out of our hotel around 10am and dragged our suitcases over to Tokyo station, which was around 20 minutes away on foot. Not bad at all, but it was a hot day. Also, the bank of Japan headquarters looks like a fortress and there is one office building just before the station that is entirely covered in roses - we're talking a 6 storey building. Completely covered in roses. It was pretty cool. Tokyo station is just nuts. There are 24 platforms, both local and shinkansen trains. It is a white tiled rabbit warren. B and K's gaijin perimeter was invaluable when we were rushing through the crowds to catch our train. There was also a mall beneath the station, and much of it was devoted to different stores that featured a particular character. Japan has a tendency to make a cutesy character mascot for everything. Literally everything. Every prefecture, every city, has a character mascot. Most of the big companies have them. Some of them, like Domo-kun have gotten extremely popular. Others, like Snoopy, have been taken, bastardized, and then grown into something that bypasses all of their origins. There were, of course, stores dedicated to these two guys, and several others as well. My favourite was the Studio Ghibli store (obviously). There was alot of specialized food places, of varying quality, including a standing sushi bar. The shinkansen train was really new experience for me. I've been on really fast trains before - I've been on the TGV trains in France, but I was really too young to remember much about it. However, Shinkansen bullet trains are pretty ridiculous, in a very cool way. First, they're extremely long - about 16 cars. Of course, our reserved seats were in the very last car, so we had to hike down the platforms with our bags (about 200 m and it was very very crowded). They're arranged pretty much like an airplane, with overhead and under seat storage and similar seats and once you actually get going, you don't really process how fast you're going, unless the train passes really close to something. Most of the scenery passes much like it would if you were in a car. But when something passed by at less than 5 m, it was literally so blurred that you could not distinguish what it was. Several trains passed us on the adjacent track and you could not even distinguish the windows. The Japanese countryside is really neat - Everything is really dense, and then there's wild countryside. They don't really do "suburbia" in the sense that north america does. There was very clear demarcations between human habitation, farmland and wilderness, and you didn't see much overlap. The mountains here are gorgeous, but wayyyy smaller than the ones back home. They seem gentler too, but it's hard to say, because I don't know what Japanese hiking habits are. We went by mount Fuji too :)) Upon reaching Kyoto, it was much hotter and much more casual. As I mentioned earlier, the business suits have disappeared and everything is older and feels more organic, so to speak. The townhouse were are staying in is extremely old and has tatami flooring, and we're sleeping on futons as well. There's a supermarket 1 block away and we had a lot of fun attempting to decipher what the hell different foods were. Sometimes my ability to read some Kanji helped, but most of it is a mystery, because Japan tends to favour cutesy drawings over pictures of products on their packaging. Also, vegetables and fruit are very very photogenic here. Apparently, Japanese people are willing to pay a lot of money to eat "perfect" looking foods. The carrots we bought were fat, bright orange and perfectly shaped. That was the only option. Same goes for every other veggie we could find. We also had a super awkward moment when we discovered that Japanese supermarkets do not give you bags. B and I bought a basket worth of food, then discovered that we had no way to carry it home easily. So we opted for the most ridiculous route, and carried it all back to the apartment balanced in our arms. People were openly smirking at us, but oh well. How were we supposed to know? :P Super tired today, so we're having a night in. S, K and B have been drinking the super cheap alcohol that you can buy in the supermarket. We'll be going to bed soon, because we're boring like that . Day 5 (Kyoto) We rented bikes for commuting around Kyoto. Kyoto is full of contradictions. The locals bike everywhere it seems, except on the actual designated bike lanes. But you would not believe the glares we get when we ring our little bike bells to get wandering Japanese Obasans (old women) out of our way, because they're in the middle of the bike path. There's also signs everywhere that tell you where not to park your bikes - only to have half a dozen bikes parked in front of them. We rode up and down both sides of the Kamo river, which is in the middle of Kyoto - and there were a bunch of hawks and cranes up and down the river. The hawks were fighting quite low to the ground and nearly buzzed B at one point. Later on, we saw them steal a sandwich out of a girl's hand. She burst into tears and I don't blame her - I worked with birds and that still looked terrifying. I should also note that it's fucking hot out. The airbnb we are renting has 2 bedrooms but only one of the bedrooms has A/C. So all four of us are crammed into one room on futons because the other room is enough to make anyone melt. We've been using the other room as a "dressing room" and keeping all our bags in there. Day 6 (Kyoto) So I have a massive case of bike butt right now. As in, I've been on a bike for more than 20 hours in the last three days, and I have a seat shaped bruise on my ass. I wish I was joking. Still by far the best way to get around Kyoto (and the cheapest - we only paid about $45 for a two week rental) but jeez, you pay for it in other ways. :P I'm going to be sitting funny for a few days! Today was a lot of fun - we went out to Arashiyama (Biked to Nijo JR station from our airbnb - about 22 mins, then used JR pass), which is a district on the far side of Kyoto from where we are staying (we're in Gion, which is the famous geisha district - did you ever hear of the book/movie Memoirs of a Geisha? That's where it's set). Arashiyama is a gorgeous area, with steep mountains and these really beautiful gorges. It started raining like crazy, so we didn't go on the scenic train like we had been planning to, but we visited the Monkey park, which was a lot of fun. Japan only has one species of monkey - the Japanese Macaque. They're not very big - they'd be about knee height on you, but they have red faces and red butts. They're the ones you see in pictures sitting in the hot springs! The ones at this particular park are a part of a study group and there's about 130 of them. The monkey park is also a 20 minute hike up a mountain, so it has a gorgeous view of the entirety of Kyoto - from the opposite perspective than the one we had at Kiyomizu dera (which I will tell you about in a bit). We hiked up to the top of the mountain, the monkeys were mostly just laying around and chilling out. Some were grooming each other, and a lot of the younger ones were running around playing. They're right underfoot! You weren't allowed to touch them or crouch down to look at them (it's a dominance thing apparently) but they were super chill around humans and only avoided direct contact. One of the cool things you could do up here was feed them! Y100 yen got you a bag of apples or nuts and you could feed them at a designated feeding station, where they'll take the food right out of your hand. They would crowd around and I got really lucky, because the macaque that came up to me to take the apples was a mother with a very young baby - he was so tiny, about 7 inches long, and was clinging to her belly and nursing as she ate the apples. Completely adorable. I also got pictures of her letting him wander around and explore later. We came down from the monkey park and mostly just browsed the tourist shops, because the weather was so bad and sat in the the covered foot bath at one end of the high street. ~~ Kiyomizu dera is about 35 minutes south of our airbnb by bike, and it was a pretty cool ride until the very end - we managed about a quarter of the hill on our bikes, then had to walk up the rest of the way. The temple up is a narrow street lined with shops and there's tour buses everywhere, so walking ended up being safer. We really enjoyed wandering around the temple - it was crowded, but not claustrophobic and the view over Kyoto was gorgeous. There's tons of little side paths and little grottos that are sort of lurking around the main temple and pagoda, so you can spend quite a while just wandering. We checked out the shops on the way back down the hill and it was super nice. (Kyoto) We got up super early and went to the Aoi Matsuri festival (15 minutes bike ride from our airbnb). I'm not entirely sure on the origins for this one (it's one of the oldest ongoing "festivals" in Japan - about 1100 years) but it's very sombre. It's a processional from the Kyoto Imperial palace up to a temple about three kilometres upriver, and apparently it was originally done to appease the gods after a series of disasters at that point. All the costumes are modeled after the Heian era (about 900 years ago) and everyone carries hollyhock branches and the processional attendants carry an unmarried woman who was chosen as "Saio Dai" through out the procession, basically a priestess who leads the appeasement rituals. Generally, the Saio Dai has to wear 12 layers of robes. It was about 27 C yesterday. I'm surprised she didn't melt. It was interesting to watch from an anthropological standpoint (everyone was wearing shoes made of reeds) but there was nothing to really engross the casual observer and we couldn't understand the chanting or the loudspeaker announcements at all. We left after about 40 minutes, as there was precious little shade. The funniest thing we saw was that someone in a security guard uniform was basically in charge of making sure the processional's horses peed into a garbage bag instead of onto the parade route. Afterwards, we biked around several of the temples just north of our apartment ( a lot of them are world heritage sites, and very beautiful, but Kyoto is very much a place where there is a temple on every block, so you have to be picky about the ones you go to). They were all beautiful and serene, but there weren't many differences between them. After that, we biked down to Kyoto Station to get some ramen from the ramen alley (35 min bike ride straight down the river pathway, then across). In the station, up on the 10th floor, there is a section with 12 little ramen shops, each with a different style of ramen. S and K went to a ramen place elsewhere in Kyoto and ended up getting ramen that was wayyy to spicy for them, so they were in a lot of, ah, discomfort this morning. We've been taking it easy the last few days, as we haven't been getting much sleep. The person we're renting an apartment from didn't really give us good futons, so we've been pretty much laying on the hard tatami. Thankfully, the problem was sorted today and I hope tonight we can get a good sleep! (Kyoto) So, since I've always wanted to try on a kimono, but lacked the funds to get one of my own (they cost about $5000 minimum, due to the amount of embroidery they often have), we went to a kimono studio. Most of the people walking around Kyoto are wearing yukata instead of kimono. Most good yukata will still set you back about $200 though, (but we ended up getting nice cotton ones from a cool 2nd hand shop in downtown Kyoto - we still use them as our summer bath robes). So I was looking for places to rent them from (there's plenty) but I also discovered a place that will dress one up in a full kimono, as well as put on all the traditional geisha makeup. My sister wanted to try this too, so off we went the day before yesterday. It's a little three story studio several blocks south of where we were staying, that called itself the "Maiko Experience". Despite the good reviews, I thought it might be touristy, but the clientele was about 50% Japanese as well. Several older Japanese ladies were in the make up and dressing rooms with us. Turns out that being belted into a proper kimono is NOT something you can do yourself. I had some vague ideas that you needed help to do it properly, but it's often a two or three person job. We were put into makeup first. Traditional Maiko make up is where they paint your skin and neck completely white (with the exception of a small area at the back of your neck, because apparently it's erotic to have a small bit of skin showing through layers of white paint?) The white makeup feels pretty much like paint but they basically buff you non stop with a powder puff to get it to smooth out and cover everything, including the entirety of our lips. The eye makeup wasn't too different from what some people would do - red/pink shading around the outer eyes and black kohl liner, which shows up quite dramatically against the white face paint. What was weird to me is that she spent several minutes painting my eyebrows red, then overlaying it with black kohl. The effect was very interesting though, and one I saw it properly after she was finished, I figured out what she was going for. It makes for a far deeper and more subtle look than just putting black would have done. Just black would have made me look like I had huge black caterpillar eyebrows. Adding the red blended the whole thing with the eye makeup and added a lot of depth. Which is a weird comment to make about eyebrows. The lips were the most annoying part. If you've ever seen pictures of traditional geisha makeup, you'll notice that they often only paint one of their lips fully (usually the bottom) and only a little line or a half done on the upper. This is because if you actually painted your entire lips with a white face, you'd end up looking like a ridiculous clown. I don't have Resting Bitch Face or anything, but my default expression is definitely not a close-lipped smile, which is what the make up artist required to apply the lip paint. I had trouble keeping a close lipped smile while concentrating on keeping everything else still and, in her very meek Japanese way, I could tell she was annoyed with me, because every time I concentrated on keeping still, my mouth would return to a neutral position. Either way, it came out crooked and it caused a flurry among the hairdressers later when they noticed it and swooped in to fix it. They don't torture you by doing your hair in the geisha hairstyles (which were usually expected to last for days), so they have a half wig that they comb your hair over and paint black. After that, you pick what kimono you want to wear (I went with pink, my sister chose blue), and you get strapped into them. I'm not even joking, it's like getting trussed up into a corset. There's about three layers of underwear, and while my sister had no problems (her shape being more similar to the typical Japanese woman), I could tell my boobs were giving the dressers trouble. Lots of untying and rearranging of padding, before being tugged tight again. Apparently they try to make you cylindrical shaped before they even put the kimono on. No buttons or anything - everything is held in place by cotton cords. Still pretty merciless on the breathing though. After satisfying themselves with the undergarments (and they are not sexy undergarments ) we moved onto the kimono. Kimonos come in one standard length, and the dresser folds them up to match your height. So this caused another problem, because all the padding they had put underneath to even me out had to be rearranged so that I didn't look pregnant when they folded up the kimono layers . By the end of it, you are trussed up so tightly that you are forced to have good posture and can't really even bend at the waist too good - all bending over is done with the knees. However, that's half the pleasure of wearing corsets anyways (your back is forced to be straight, which alleviates a lot of aches) so it wasn't that bad. We were taken for a couple studio pictures, then given ten minutes to take our ownpictures. B noted that he barely recognized us through the make up and we took a couple funny shots (as funny as you can get with your movement restricted like that, while wearing okobo sandals (which you should google). They're as hard to balance on as they look. After washing off all the make up (also a lengthy process), we had a pretty quiet day in, as we have been going full speed for the last several days. Yesterday, we went down to Osaka. We were late starting out, so we didn't get to do as much as we wanted, but we took the shinkansen down and went to the Kaiyukan Aquarium, which was extremely impressive. It's a 7 story structure, and all the tanks are layers so that as you walk down through the aquarium, you re-encounter the same tanks, but at different depths. There's also a massive, 9 m x 34 m x 40m "Pacific Ocean tank" that takes up the majority of the middle of the building. It's about 4 storeys high and actually contains a whale shark, the only one in captivity. Half of the walkways have windows that open out onto this tank, so you could look at it from different perspectives. We also got to watch several feedings, though as per usual, everything is in Japanese, so we have no idea what the trainers are actually saying. After the Aquarium, there's a giant ferris wheel thing that's 112m tall next to it, so we went on that, which gave us a pretty cool view of the city. Osaka is much denser than Tokyo, with taller buildings, but spread over less of an area. It had way more of a "crowded dirty city" vibe too. We might go back to check out Osaka castle. (Kinosaki Onsen) (days 9-10?) Good lord, did I ever get massaged into submission. And not even by anything alive. Our hotel room in Kinosaki had a rather frightening but extremely effective massage chair. As it, it was so effective that you had to make sure the massaging bits didn't push you right out of the chair before it was finished turning you into mashed potatoes. It was an impulsive trip - we didn't even know Kinosaki onsen existed until we were in Kyoto a few days, and decided to spend an overnight here - we left our suitcases at our airbnb in kyoto and just took a small bag each with toiletries and a change of clothes. It was worth keeping the Kyoto airbnb, because it meant we didn't have to haul heavy bags around when we were exploring. Also, Kinosaki is probably the my favourite spot of our vacation so far. Not only did we have amazingly comfortable beds.... there was seven different onsens (hot spring baths) within walking distance of our hotel. I know you're a loving connoseur of hot water, so this place would be heaven for you. Basically, this was a town devoted to multitude of ways that you can douse yourself in hot water. Do you want it hot enough to turn you into a tomato? Check. Whirlpool jets? check. Outdoor hot pools set under a tumbling waterfall? Check. Stone benches to sit on with hot water running down the backs? check. Outdoor hot pools in rock lined grottos? Check. Steam rooms? Check Free and unlimited access to seven onsens that offer these diversions? check. (generally, your onsen fees are included in your hotel cost). Plus, the hotels provide you with yukata (light kimono) to wear while wandering around the village, and you can move freely between onsen while they're open. It's extremely comfortable and makes everyone look colourful. We had a lot of fun with it, and like all Japanese bathhouses, nudity is a given. Other than that, my sister and I got stared at a lot there (sort of like how it was in Tokyo - lots of side eye and awkward looking away when I caught their eye). The best example was when they started laughing at something I did by accident. A bit of background - when you go into the bathing area in the onsen, you're only allowed to bring one teeny towel to "cool" yourself with. You're also not supposed to leave it laying around, so most people just fold it up....and set it on top of their heads. There's variations of course, but generally, it's just sitting there. Not being used to this, I would usually forget it was there and drop it in the water whenever I tilted my head. After this happening three times, I've finally managed to keep the awareness of keeeping my head level down to a science. Then I started sneezing randomly while sitting on the side of the bath. violent huge AHHHCHOOOS. Shit, there goes my towel! I snatch for it, fumble, and manage to catch it just before it hits the water. All of the ladies in the tub burst out laughing. They're not laughing at me maliciously (it did look pretty funny) .... but I was in a corner, not really in the middle of anything. They were all watching anyways! K and B had a very different experience - basically any tub they sat in, all the japanese guys got up and moved to the other tub. See part 2 below
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Real (World Application) Target: This category is for targets with a more operational nature, not for training. Feedback may not be entirely available and viewers should try to provide as much data as possible. The target has a real world application such as to understand or predict an event, describe a location and what is happening at the site, etc.
The post title must follow the format "FLAIR Target: TRN". The TRN (Target Reference Number) can be in any format you like. Examples: Practice Target: 2345-1678, Real Target: ABC123.
For some, frontloading is an unfair and unwelcome burden, for others, it is a time-saver. It is NOT required to provide frontloading but if provided then it must be under the spoiler tag - if you do not know how to use spoilers then please search/ask around before posting. And please, follow the THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF FRONTLOADING as written by Lyn Buchanan, a very experienced and skilled former military remote viewer. If frontloading is provied, it is necessary to mark the post as spoiler.
Feedback (target reveal)
Feedback is not given immediately, instead the tasker should define a reasonable reveal date and reveal the target when the day comes (we recommend more than 24 hours, no more than 5-7 days). This is to make sure that all data received is legitimate and not manufactured. Taskers should provide feedback by editing their post and including the necessary information using the spoiler tag. As per rule 2, feedback is not optional.Posting a target and failing to provide feedback or revealing the target WILL result in an incremental temporary ban with a minimum of 7 days. Further refusals to provide feedback may lead to a permanent ban. The quality of the feedback is also important. Always provide as much data as possible - image, video, text, links, whatever is relevant. As an example, instead of just writing "the target was the bee hive in my garden" for your practice target, include a picture of the hive too.
If you are reading this guide you probably already have a target in mind. But before posting you should ask yourself if your target is worth viewing. Remote Viewing costs time and effort, nobody wants to waste time viewing uninteresting or meaningless targets. Consider this: what is more interesting, to remote view a pile of clothes or Amelia Earhart in her first flight? Not only the first flight would be more interesting, but would also produce better results and would be a much more useful practice target. Furthermore, mind the viewers emotions. If your target contain or may contain NSFW elements, such as a violent crime for example, you must mark your post as NSFW. This will warn viewers that they might not want to view the target.
A complete example
Here is an example of how your post should look like before the feedback. Note that the type of the target is in the title and the target id is displayed both in the title and in the body of the post. The reveal date is at the bottom and in the yeamonth/day format, please keep this format to avoid any confusion. And finally, since frontloading was provided, the post was marked as spoiler. Here is an example of how your post should look like after the feedback. Note that the post has been edited to include the feedback in its body, not in the comments. The feedback is under the spoiler tag and at the bottom of the post. Also note that this target is different than the one from the first example, this time the target is a real target and there is no frontloading, so the post was not marked as spoiler. The format of the post does not change whether it is a real or practice target.
Target posted, now what?
Now you just have to wait. It may take a while to get any replies, and when you do, it is important to maintain silence. Do not give any information, tips or indication as to whether or not the viewer has hit the target. If any information is given, it may compromise subsequent replies by biasing the viewers. It is ok to ask the viewer to elaborate on their findings, but preferably do so in a neutral way. What if mypracticetarget doesn't get a reply by the reveal date? Since practice targets can be found and used by future practitioners of the sub, you still have to provide feedback. What if myrealtarget doesn't get a reply by the reveal date? There is no need to provide feedback. This way the same target can be posted again at a later date, just remember to remove the post. ------------------------------------------------------- If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.Click hereto send a message to the mod team.
2020.09.27 18:21 localgay100mawayMy Experience with Dr Eric Emerson in North Carolina
On Tuesday, September 15th I had Double Incision Top Surgery with Dr Eric Emerson at Caromont Specialty Surgery in Gastonia NC. I just wanted to detail the experiences I had in as much detail as I remember to give others an idea of what to expect for top surgery/this particular practice. Wall of text ahead, this is very detailed. Preparation: -I pretty much just called Piedmont Plastic Surgery and Dermatology (the surgery clinic, from now on I'll refer to it as PPSD) and scheduled an appointment to meet with Dr Emerson. -(Actually, I'm now remembering that PPSD has a Contact Us page on their site where I could personally ask him a question, so I asked if he accepted BCBS Out of State. I got a response pretty quickly) -Personally, I wanted to file insurance; I have BCBS Tennessee, which required that I got a letter from a mental health professional with at least a Masters, that confirmed I was diagnosed with gender dysphoria. Emerson required a letter from a professional as well, but I dont exactly remember the requirements since I already had one. Initial Appointment: -So I took the 4 hour drive to Gastonia, NC for my appointment with him. They of course asked me to fill out the first appointment stuff and they asked me my preferred name and pronouns. -When I was in one of those rooms, Emerson came back and talked to me about what the surgery was all about. I seemed to know everything so I guess he didnt tell me much else. -Honestly, prepare some questions, because he doesn't sit down and go through everything with you. If you dont have questions prepared that are beyond the obvious you're not going to come out of there knowing much more lol. -So between the Initial Appointment and the Pre-Op I think were 6 months. HOWEVER, my first date was 3 months out, I had to re-schedule personally because of Covid-19 crap. Pre-Op: -I had a pre-op with Emerson at PPSD and an hour later one with Caromont Regional Medical Center with an anesthesia nurse. -The pre-op with Emerson went very similarly to the first appointment. He was nice but it kind of felt like I had to prompt him for more information. The nurses there were also nice, but I dont think some got the memo that I go by He/Him. -Caromont as a whole is a bit... messy lol. I had to pre-register my surgery date a month before and when they picked up the phone their demeanor made me feel like I called the wrong number or something. I'm not the policyholder for my insurance and the guy on the phone said that he needed my policyholder's social security number (??????) to process my insurance claim. Which I found very bizarre. But a week or so later I called back and they said my claim just recently got processed the day before. So.. the SSN clearly wasn't necessary. -The actual pre-op appointment with the anesthesia nurse went fine though. Nothing out of the ordinary. They told me that I should expect a call for the exact surgery time by Monday. -That's not how things went though. I got a call the Thursday before (that went to voicemail) telling me that I had to come in at 8am Friday (?????). When not only is my date on Tuesday, but the surgery clinic isn't even open on Friday. When I tried to call back nobody would ever pick up, so I had to call someone else to try to figure out wtf was going on. -They said the people probably got some degree of confused and I should get called by Monday with a surgery time. -I didn't. So on Monday I called them and asked when I had to come in. -I also had to do a covid-19 test on the Saturday before my surgery. Which wasn't bad at all, they used a little swab and just tickled my nose a bit. Caromont uses MyChart to display medical records/data. So I went to check my test results the next day and for some reason they marked my visit as "cross-dressing behavior" (???????) https://imgur.com/a/eYOOdO4 -I'm sick of the weird cunts at Caromont at this point so I just roll my eyes. Surgery Day: -I checked in at the front desk with my driver and soon they called me back to get prepared. -The nurse is checking my records with me the last time and I don't remember most of this interaction except for one particular thing. She asked what number from 1-10 I get to before I take pain medication. I said a 4. She replies "I'm not sure what the surgeon told you but this surgery is extremely painful" (??????). Which goes against what almost everyone online has said about it. Which made me more anxious, because why would you say something like that??? -Dr Emerson came in and marked my chest, and then the nurses put in the IV, and put me in these nice leg massage things that promote circulation. -I fortunately decided to ignore that bizarre comment by the nurse and calm down a bit. -The anesthesiologist came in and she was the first person at Caromont to ask me for my damn pronouns. Virtually everyone besides Emerson was calling me the wrong thing before this point. They also marked down that I was having a "Breast Reduction" which may have been what lead to that misgendering nonsense. -I got wheeled back into the surgery room and if I recall correctly the Anesthesiologist said that she was giving me a little something to "take the edge off." It either made me forget or it instantly knocked me out cold but the next thing I remember was waking up in the recovery room. Recovery: -Emerson doesn't do drains/ace bandages fortunately. Just a compression vest. -He requires a post-op the very next day so if you are coming from far, you likely want to stay at a hotel. At this post-op he looked at my chest and said it looked fine, and to change the gauze on the nipple dressings 1-2 times a day. 1st Post-Op: -This took place 8 days after surgery. There is a bit more flexibility in scheduling here, give or take a day. -I unfortunately had to drive those 8 hours total due to all of my buds being too busy. -At this appointment I got the nipple dressing things taken off, and was cleared to not wear the vest (and also to take a showeget the grafts wet) -He asked how long the drive was and I told him. He said that since it looked great (it did :D) and there were no issues I could go ahead and cancel my 2nd post-op (which would be 1 week from then) and just schedule my last post-op in 4 months. -He also said that I could lift my arms up above my head whenever I want. Matter of fact, he encouraged that I use my full range of motion. Which I thought was interesting. Cost: -I filed BCBS Tennessee, as I said earlier. I never knew the estimate for those who arent filing insurance, but I believe it's around $7500. I only paid $2662 though. -I feel that people never say how much the hospital charges. I had to pay the hospital $2816, which was more than I expected. Caromont actually sent me a receipt. On this receipt, they actually put how much they would charge without insurance. I felt crazy reading it but it said that it would have been $23,000 out-of-pocket. Jeez. -Haven't gotten a bill from the anesthesiologist yet, they bill about a month or so afterwards. Hoping I already hit my out-of-pocket max for the year or something though lol. I still have to put vaseline and gauze on the grafts because they're still peeling and look a bit weird; however I looked in the mirror and even with swelling im very satisfied with the result! I may show it here after a few months or so but for now just trust me that it looks good! I'm answering any further questions for the next few days or so so ask anything! :D
2020.09.27 18:15 IT-spreadCMV: The pursuit of power and love are the only things that truly matter in life.
Title. The vast, vast majority of the world spend their lives chasing one or both of these, which bleeds through in broader social structures - everything that a rational person does, one way or another, is for acquiring/maintaining power and/or love. Examples, starting from small and going broad: Why do people exercise? Maintenance or acquisition of physical power, through having bettestronger bodies Why do mothers and fathers feed, shelter, and provide for their children? Love for their children. Why do people go to work, fight for promotions, stress on getting into the best colleges? Acquisition of money and prestige (financial and social power, respectively) Why do people compete in athletic, academic, etc. competitions? To demonstrate the most power in their respective discipline, to obtain more financial and social power in the forms of prize money, accolades, etc. Why do people volunteer their time and money to causes they believe in? Altruism is a form of social power in itself, and success of the cause almost universally promotes that individual's own social standing and power. Broader: why is there conflict between the BLM movement and the police force in the US? The police seek to maintain power and BLM seeks to take it from them. Why is there conflict between Democrats and Republicans, conservatives and liberals? One party is in power and wants to maintain that power, the other seeks to take it from them. You can even see the intersection of love and power through dating dynamics: take a quick look at the n number of dating-oriented subreddits on this site and you will see many beleaguered comments from men and women alike, complaining on how hard it is to obtain matches/swipes/what-have-you because they are short/fat/nonwhite/disabled/etc, while those who are tall/athletic/white/etc. have it so much easier: the core of these comments (and advice thereof - exercise, get a hobby, meet more people) are just methods of increasing sexual power for the sake of acquiring love. Expanding outwards: because everyone pursues power in some shape, way, or form, it is hypocritical to condemn someone for performing actions in pursuit of power, when in similar situations the accuser would do the same (see: affirmative action, '19 college bribery scandal, "eat the rich", etc.) Or am I wrong? CMV.
2020.09.27 18:12 DJM1020I am looking for a specific date.
I'm actually looking for a specific person in a relationship. I cannot find this type of girl anywhere. I feel I won't be having incompatibility in a relationship when I meet like minded girl. 1)I want a cougar I'm 20. So she should be older than me like age gap should be max 6 and min 2. 2)Brunette/blonde 3) who doesn't drink alcohol, Who doesn't do drugs, who doesn't smoke, who doesn't vape. 4) Spanish 5)Funny 6) who has the best personality who can be funny and understand situation 7) Roman Catholic 8) who doesn't have tattoos 9) who is into fitness 10) who is ready for long distance relationship for few years 11) who's height is between 160 to 162 12) Finally good looks. GIRLS it's difficult to find these things in a girl. I do get but the problem is no one texts on dating sites even though I get comments I look good. I'm anxious all night feeling that will I even find a girl like this. I have vented all my feelings here.
2020.09.27 17:42 jytorontoBite-sized SEO case study — Farnam Street's 190,000+ monthly search traffic
For the past few weeks I have been studying what the successful websites and blogs look like in terms of SEO. Going to share some of my learning notes here. Farnam Street is a popular blog that talks about mental models and making better decisions, especially among tech folks. I personally enjoy the content a lot. It is a prolific site, with over 1,400 posts at the time of writing, and some content dating back to 2009. The site brings in an estimated 190,000+ organic search traffic each month. From analyzing the site's search traffic and content, here are some takeaways:
Leveraging "other people's ideas" can go a long way. There is existing traffic, and you can potentially explain them better (or differently).
Focusing on evergreen content, which continues to bring in traffic
Simplifying complex or jargon-y concepts. Even plain-text can be effective if the writing is good.
Curating collections to keep the visitors reading, one article after another.
Profiles of smart people help them capture keywords with navigation intent.
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