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For All of Us (Demo)
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Pet Shop Boys – Tour
Pet Shop Boys Biography, Albums, Streaming Links AllMusic
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Pet Shop Boys Hotspot - The New Album
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A website that collects and analyzes music data from around the world. All of the charts, sales and streams, constantly updated. Pet Shop Boys Biography by Jason Ankeny + Follow Artist. Inventive British duo who conquered commercial and critical terrain with an unerring flair for lush, dance-oriented pop. Read Full Biography. Overview ↓ Biography ... Pet Shop Boys - West End Girls (The Shep Pettibone Mastermix) - Duration: 22:12. Adriana1111000 84,907 views. 22:12. 50+ videos Play all Mix - Pet Shop Boys - West End Girls - Disconet ... Pet Shop Boys are an electronic dance music duo, consisting of Neil Tennant, who provides main vocals, keyboards and occasional guitar, and Chris Lowe on keyboards. One of the world's best-selling music artists, Pet Shop Boys have sold over 100 million records worldwide, and are listed as the most successful duo in UK music history by The Gu…Read More Pet Shop Boys are a British synthpop/dance music duo, consisting of Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe. They formed in London, UK in 1982. 'Hotspot', their fourteenth studio album, was released on January 24th 2020.Three-time Brit Award winners and six-time Grammy nominees, they have achieved 42 Top 30 singles and 22 Top 10 hits in the UK Singles Chart, inclu… Official Pet Shop Boys tour announcements. Visit the official Pet Shop Boys Shop here Provided to YouTube by Rhino For All of Us (Demo) · Pet Shop Boys Nightlife: Further Listening 1996 - 2000 ℗ 2017 Pet Shop Boys Partnership Ltd under exclusive licence to Parlophone Records Ltd Pet Shop Boys. The New Album Out Now. Buy CD / LP. Download Digital. Listen on Spotify. Listen on Apple Music. Listen on Deezer Two books about Pet Shop Boys (exclusive slipcase edition) Book US $55.00 Sorry Sold Out Hotspot Cassette US $13.99 Sorry Sold Out Hotspot CD Album US $14.99 In Stock Hotspot Vinyl LP US $26.99 In Stock Monkey business 12' Vinyl US $13.99 In Stock Annually 2020 SOLD OUT Book US $26.00 Sorry Sold Out Pet Shop Boys are a British synthpop/dance music duo, consisting of Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe. They formed in London, UK in 1982. 'Hotspot', their fourteenth studio album, was released on January 24th 2020.Three-time Brit Award winners and six-time Grammy nominees, they have achieved 42 Top 30 singles and 22 Top 10 hits in the UK Singles Chart, including four number ones: 'West End Girls ...
I am a huge failure
2020.09.26 15:19 icantastethefailureI am a huge failure
I am a twenty-year-old male. I have lost the last friend I had because of how insensitive and oblivious to the effects my words and actions have on other people I am. I moved in this town last year and went to University in another city so I don't know anyone here and I didn't make friends when I was in University. I dropped out because of a huge streak that prevented me from going to University and the coronavirus pandemic. I almost had 4,500 bucks to pay back to the government but luckily enough that didn't happen. My father wanted a new dog and since I love dogs he decided to buy a puppy for me. He's a pitbull and even though his parents were adorable dogs, for some reason mine is awfully scared of people to the point where he aggressively barks at everyone and canine educators I contacted aren't sure they can fix him. In my country, pitbulls aren't allowed unless a vet tells that the dog is stable and balanced, which mine obviously isn't. And he's only eight months old. I don't know how the fuck I failed him that bad. I have four months to fix him otherwise he risks to be put down. I have taken him out on walks everyday and tried to make him meet people and other dogs but ever since he was a tiny pup he's freaked out every time someone has tried to pet him or when a dog has tried to approach him. In the beginning he would only avoid people and dogs but now he's getting more and more aggressive. I have to get him neutered but I don't know how since he fears/hates everyone. With us and our first dog he's adorable and listens really well—sit, stay, wait (before he eats his food)—he's playful and loves to cuddle. But also... he's really scared of everything and I fear I have made him think that I am not a trustworthy leader and that's why he's getting that aggressive—he thinks he's the one that must deals with social interactions, whereas it's my job as his leader. He's my only friend and I'm not even sure he'll have the right to live because of how bad I failed him. I've been self-harming for years and I also started to drink. I had a serious spine injury some years ago, didn't go to the hospital and got apparently pretty much addicted to my painkillers (codeine). My doctor doesn't want me to take those anymore and the new ones I got don't work as much as I want them to. For some reason I am extremely short and skinny for an adult male, barely five-foot-five and one hundred pounds. I was forcefed as a kid and because of that I think I have a hard time eating in correct quantities so that doesn't help me any. I only enjoy food I have never been forced to eat and in small bits. So I'm ugly skinny and covered in ugly scarring. I somehow always figured out a way not to go to school medical check-ups and I've never been to P.E. lessons. No one has seen me naked or almost naked and I haven't touched anyone in years and years except. Because of my spine injury and a needle that got way too close to a nerve in my leg, I'm constantly limping and I fucking hate that. I have been diagnosed with speech and mental delay when I was a kid and I also have a stutter. If it wasn't enough, I have Raynaud's disease so basically every time it's a little too cold or when I get stressed, my fingers go bloodless and I can't move them at all. This has caused me to lose previous time several times when I had to take a test for school but had spent long minutes outside in the cold. My mother asked me to go grocery shopping so I went to the grocery store. It's a ten-minute walk. It's currently 12°C (53°F) outside and my fucking fingers went bloodless and paralyzed in just ten minutes. And my stupid ass has forgotten to take a mask with me so I had to go back home. Because of my spine and nerve injuries, walking is a bit painful so I'm resting a bit before going to the store again. Going out is hard, I was diagnosed with scopophobia last year. When people look at me (and even they don't, I'm sure that they are looking at me) I get delusional thoughts. It's getting better with time though. Every fucking one of my tees and pants are stained with dried blood or paint or have holes in them. I am too poor to buy new clothes and I don't want to make my parents feel like they have to buy me new ones despite me being twenty years old (I still live with them though, and I'm jobless). My fifteen-year-old brother has lent me some of his clothes when needed. I feel so fucking awful. I have tried to force myself to love a trans boy that apparently loved me but he ended up being horribly abusive and manipulative and awfully dependant. He tried to force me to get into a poly relationship with his “girlfriend”/“boyfriend” (I didn't understand if this person identified as a boy or a girl). He broke all the trust and interest I could have in someone and now I'm just too scared to try to get close to someone again and because of him and his partner and other people I started to get transphobic and misogynistic thoughts. I know I shouldn't because them being trans or anything doesn't mean that every person like them is bad but I can't help it. I've been thinking about killing myself but I'm too much of a coward to try anything. So I just cut and drink and bury deep every feeling I have. I don't speak with anyone, I just sometimes answer on reddit, youtube, things like that. Well, with the exception of a particular guy but we're getting too close so I'll just disappear from his life because I don't like how things are going and I fear he may be lying to me and tying to manipulate me. I have threatened a seventeen-year-old girl to kill her because she caused me to lose my best friend. Yes, I know, I'm fucking sick, and that's why I don't want to speak to anyone because things always go South. I also threatened to kill my best friend because he chose his friend over me despite calling me his best friend and I felt betrayed. No, I am not looking for excuses, I know I'm sick and had no right to tell them such things. I am apathetic and insensitive but when anger builds up I get violent and aggressive. I especially hate lies and betrayal. I need help but I can't pay for counseling and my parents being like me they don't feel like I should work on those issues. So yeah. I feel pretty bad right now. I especially hope that my dog's behaviour can get better because I sure as hell don't want to lose him. In reality I think I just want to trust and love someone and let them help me.
2020.09.26 00:44 larki18Interview with Brandon in Hot Press: "All Killer, No Filler"
Whilst buzzing with new album excitement - kd lang, Weyes Blood and Lindsey Buckingham are among those who helped his band score yet another No 1 - Brandon Flowers is sickened by the state of the American nation and praying for a Biden victory in November. He talks heroes and villains (thankfully there's more of the former) with Stuart Clark. He hasn't seen any little girls riding tricycles down corridors or maniacally typed 'All work and no play makes Brandon a dull boy' a gazillion times whilst possessed by a demon, but otherwise life during lockdown for The Killers lead singer has been a lot like The Shining. "Yeah, we've been away from everything and everyone up here in the Utah mountains, which when all of this craziness started in March and April were covered in snow," laughs Brandon, who, with there being nothing quite as romantic as a Hot Press interview, is curled up on the couch with his wife Tana Mundkowsky. "It is a bit like The Shining. We've done okay, though. Well, apart from the home schooling. That was a disaster!" So his three pupils, Ammon (12), Gunnar (ten) and Henry (nine) gave Mr. Flowers a hard time. "No, we're just really bad teachers," he grimaces. "I tried the piano a little bit with them and it didn't go down very well. Our oldest boy was able to navigate it - he's more independent - so that was nice but the other two had a tough time." Asked whether he was a model pupil himself, Brandon gives me a withering "are you kidding?" look and says, "No, I wasn't a great student. It was before they were really handing out ADD diagnoses and I had a touch of that for sure. It feels like such a long time for kids to be sitting at a desk. I can't remember a time that I didn't really struggle." How bad did it get? "I missed most of sixth grade. I was having a hard time at school and we moved from one town in Utah to another one thirty miles away. We were doing a bunch of renovating at home, which was a nice experience. My Dad always had the oldies station on when I was a kid, so I discovered a lot of great music early on. I'm kind of equating what's happening with my kids now to that - hopefully we're bonding the way I did with my Dad. We've talked before, haven't we?" Yep, twice in 2004 just before and immediately after The Killers' debut Hot Fuss went to number one in a pile of countries including Ireland (see page 24). It's fair to say that Brandon's life since then has not been dull. We'll run through some of the many highlights later but first to the not inconsiderable matter of Imploding the Mirage, the band's eighth studio album, which has also claimed the top spot on both sides of the Irish Sea. It's an, ahem, all Killers, no filler affair with a guest list that includes Lindsey Buckingham whose six-string participation in Caution is one of the numerous highlights. Was he still smarting at being booted out of Fleetwood Mac last year? "Um..I think he was just, you know, happy to get the call," Brandon says diplomatically. "I can't speak to the problems within Fleetwood Mac but from our short encounter...I blame everyone else! We recorded that a couple of months before lockdown so we got to share a studio, which I loved, and afterwards go to dinner. He was open to everything. We felt like we needed something for the end of Caution and to hear Lindsey deliver his solo like he did is something we'll remember forever." Was there a money song they nailed and thought, "We're okay, we have that one in the bad, the rest will follow"? "I think Bono once said, 'If you aren't sure what your second single is, you don't have one,'" he reflects. "There's another great quote from [legendary Queen producer] Roy Thomas Baker which is "There's no such thing as a bad mix of a good song." So these things were swirling around my head - 'Maybe Caution isn't good enough.' So I kind of went and forced My Own Soul's Warning out of the universe. I knew I was really proud of that one, and then we came up with Running Towards a Place and Blowback, and I was really like, 'I can walk with my head held high now.' A kitchen-sink drama about a 'born into poor white trash' girl leaving home on the bus - it's so cinematic the screenplay writes itself - Blowback features Adam Granduciel, which I'm assuming is code for just dicking around in the studio. "No, he does a great synthesizer on the second verse, and a really cool slide part on the chorus in the counter melody, which he took and applied effects to," Brandon says, sticking up for his new studio buddy. Whose idea was it to also throw a bit of Frankie Knuckles and Jamie Principle's Chicago house classic, Your Love, into the Blowback mix? "Did you pick up on that?" I knew it was something I'd bopped around to during my chronically ill spent youth, but no, I had to wait for the nice record company person to mail me the credits, which also confirm the sampled presence of Krautrock legends Can on Dying Breed. "I wouldn't sit around listening to them all the time, but I know about Can's impact on a lot of the music that's shaped me. They're in our DNA. That song was going down a very particular road, but the sample opened it up. As for the Frankie Knuckles one, that was Shawn Everett's idea." Everett being the quintuple Grammy Award-winning Canadian who co-produced Imploding the Mirage with Foxygen's Jonathan Rado. He previously shared a studio with Bob Dylan, as did another album contributor, Blake Mills, who plays guitar on The Big Zim's Rough and Rowdy Ways. Did he give Brandon and the boys the nod that a new Dylan record was on its way? "No, he kept his cards quite close. Only a few people knew Murder Most Foul came out and I thought it was going to be a one-off. And then we started getting more singles. I really love I Contain Multitudes. Gosh, that song just floors me." Murder Most Foul feels like doing round to Bob's house and flicking through his records and his DVDs. It's 17 minutes long and too short. "Yeah, I loved it," Brandon enthuses. "What a song to come back with - especially during lockdown." Dylan dropped Murder Most Foul just after we'd seen Bono sing Let Your Love Be Known in his living room after very obviously staying up all night, and just prior to Michael Stipe debuting No Time For Love Like Now (there's a theme developing here) in his own not-so-humble-abode. It's interesting how many big artists thought, 'All bets are off, let's just get it out there,' during the height of the pandemic. "Yeah, necessity is the mother of invention," Brandon nods. "The first performance of Caution ended up being for our friend Jimmy Kimmel. It's just me and Ronnie in a bathroom. No amplifier, no effects, no Auto-Tune. It forces you to prove yourself in a different way, so it's been interesting." Lockdown also found The Killers performing a poignantly paired down version of Land of the Free, their 2019 standalone, which reacts to the murder of George Floyd with the updated lines: 'When I go out in my car, I don't think twice/But if you're the wrong color skin/You grow up looking over both your shoulders/in the land of the free/How many killings must one man watch in his home/Til he sees the price on the tag?/Eight measured minutes and 46 seconds/Another boy in the bag/Another stain on the flag." Like Bruce Springsteen's American Skin (41 Shots) before it, it's a damning indictment of the institutionalized racism that blights US law enforcement. "We did it in Provo, in a great studio, June Audio, which is about an hour from where I live, Brandon adds soberly, "I just felt compelled to rework it and document it. I was broke. I believe it was the CNN video. I cried on my couch watching it. I couldn't believe that people weren't rioting already. I thought that first night that things were going to start burning - and they did. It simmered for a minute before they went onto the streets." Depressingly, Provo was also where the 15,000-strong Utah Citizens Alarm militia staged its first anti-Black Lives Matter counter demonstration, which resulted in the shooting of a passing motorist. The fallout is still being felt statewide. "You get people coming out of the woodwork for strange things like that," Brandon rues. "They're worried about their guns being taken away from them. Whole campaigns are run on issues like that." Does Brandon regard Trump vs. Biden as the most important election he's been able to vote in? "I think so. You know, four years before was important and my wife and I voted for Hilary Clinton. We deserve more from our leaders. It's sad that democracy has led to this, and that celebrity has gone this far." Having done some top quality digressing, let us return to Imploding the Mirage, which with Lucius, Weyes Blood and a certain catherine dawn lang also on the guest list is purposefully not The Killers boys' club of old. "The women being on there was a very pre-determined thing we wanted to do because we had the album cover picked out long before we finished recording," Brandon explains. "It's a painting by Thomas Blackshear of these two celestial beings, so it needed to have a female component. We started thinking about women who might work, and came up with Lucius who are great singers and toured with Roger Waters; Weyes who'd just made a record with Rado - her bridge on My God is so beautiful, and then because I needed someone to basically represent my mother on Lightning Fields, kd lang." Was she told that when they were selling the song to her? "No, she still doesn't know that," he says a tad guiltily. "It was my late mother talking to my dad. It was during quarantine so she was up in Canada and sent it in. It ended up being great. She's iconic, and it was so gracious of her to lend her voice to us." As I mentioned in my Imploding the Mirage album review, it's a peach of a song with a half-inched Pet Shop Boys intro giving way to a barrage of synths and guitars of the squalling maelstrom variety. Brandon is great but lang is even better as she belts out her Mrs. Flowers verses - "Don't beat yourself up/You laid good ground/Look at 'em walk from scratch to sundown/You put in the work and then some/Where is all this coming from?" with 80s AQR gusto. It's another example of Brandon painting his characters in an almost Springsteenian way. "I was lucky enough to get to Bruce's Broadway show and it was just the best," he coos. "To do that and Western Stars and the autobiography at this stage in his career gives us all hope. His work rate is phenomenal. It's almost an addiction. You don't want to take the opportunity for granted. It becomes part of your DNA and your identity." Bruce's film version of Western Stars is part of The Killers' reason for working with Muse and Halsey director Sing Lee on their own Imploding the Mirage short. "It's going to be 30 minutes long and feature Caution and snippets of other songs," is all a spoiler-avoiding Brandon will say for now. Given Lee's past output, it's likely to mirror the epic widescreen feel of the record - and then some. I happened on a Youtube clip the other day of Brandon grinning like a kid at Christmas as he belts out Thunder Road with The Boss. One of the best moments of his life? "It's up there," he reminisces fondly. "It was 2008 and we were on the same Pinkpop festival bill as him and the E- Street Band in Holland. I looked over during Mr. Brightside and behind our sound engineer you saw these Aviators and a very familiar countenance nodding along. We finished the set and walking back to the dressing rooms with Bruce, he said, 'Do you wanna do a little Thunder Road later?' It was just a dream. My favorite part was the preparing for it. I got to go back to his dressing room and we chose which verses we were going to sing. It was almost like a test, you know? I knew all the lyrics by heart and I wrote them by hand, and he helped me me mark up which parts he would sing and which ones I would sing. We got a guitar and worked it out. That behind the scenes moment was very special. I didn't really have time to feel nervous. If it had been suggested a day or two before I don't know if I could have made it!" Before we let Brandon and Tana snuggle up properly on the sofa - two's company, three when one's a journo is definitely a crowd - what have been his other 'pinch me, am I dreaming' moments? "In the early days, it was things like being recognized by people you admire," he concludes. "Getting to open for U2 on the first album. Or Morrissey. That was like, 'How did this happen?' These are people who I still had posters of on my wall. Glastonbury 2019 was a special gig for us. I was just really proud and thankful for everything. It felt full circle. That was a great moment." ------ THROWBACK - THE FANNISH INQUISITION Brandon Flowers has always been upfront about The Killers' influences - and especially when talking to Hot Press! You can tell from the vastness of his Utah mountain retreat and the cut of his designer cobbler that Brandon Flowers has done extremely well in life, but in some ways he's still the same shy 22 year old with a nervous giggle and the serious musical hots for The Cars, he Beatles, U2, The Cure, The Smiths, New Order, and Oass - roughly in that order - that I met for the first time backstage in 2004 at Oxegen. Hot Fuss had only been out a few weeks and, while there was a buzz about them topping the Saturday New Band stage with Halie, Sone & Daughters and Razorlight on the undercard, there was no indication that some of the world's biggest stadiums awaited. If we hadn't mislaid the video of it, you'd be able to see the brilliant bit in the interview when a drunken punter who'd managed to sneak past security, staggered over to us and initiated this conversation: Drunken punter: "Are you in a band?" Brandon: "Yeah." Drunken punter: "Whassyername?" Brandon: "The Killers." Drunken punter: "The Killers? Ah, yer a bag of shite!" I think we know who had the last laugh there. "There's a bit of 'The grass is always greener' going on, yeah," Brandon, who I noted had a bit of the Matt Damon about him, agreed when I accused him of being an Anglophile. "We've never thought, 'Oh, we wish we were British,' but the music from The Beatles all the way up has always been really good. Hearing The Cure's Head on the Door for the first time was pretty special, and The Joshua Tree was a big record for us. I was inside the heart the last time U2 played Las Vegas, which was amazing (Before Angry in Athlone writes in, Brandon does know that U2 are Irish, Editor). "Our guitarist, Dave, placed a 'Musician Wanted' ad mentioning Oasis, which came directly after me seeing them in Vegas as well, and deciding that's the direction I want to take. A couple of weeks later we were a band." Asked whether he'd met any of his heroes, Brandon beamed and said, "Morrissey stood right next to me at soundcheck when we opened for him in LA. You've looked up to this guy since you were twelve and there he is eyeballing you." By the time our paths crossed again in early December in the penthouse (natch) of Dublin's Clarion hotel, The Killers really were living the rock 'n' rock dream. "It's been one amazing thing after another," he gushed. "Gold discs, being sat between Sarah Michelle Gellar and Geri Halliwell on The Jonathan Ross Show and looking up at Irving Plaza in New York and seeing David Bowie singing along to Mr. Brightside. I couldn't believe it! Afterwards he complimented every single one of us individually, and said that he could hear the whole history of rock 'n' rock in our songs. He's a hell of a musician and a hell of a nice guy. Elton John's the same - he's actually coming to our Manchester show tomorrow which is a follow on from us doing a TV special with him in Paris." He almost started hyperventilating when I took him out on to the balcony, pointed at U2's former Hanover Quay HQ on the other side of the Liffey, and told him they were just about to announce their own branded iPod (remember them?) "Man, that'd be so fucking cool!" he enthused. "The first thing I'd stick on it is the U2 Digital Complete Works followed by John Lennon Imagine, David Bowie Hunky Dory, Morrissey Vauxhall & I and The Cure Head on the Door. Those are the records I'd go into a burning house to rescue." Brandon was in fan mode again when he finished by saying: "Watching Smiths videos with my brother when I was 12 and hearing Just What I Needed by The Cars on the radio are the two main reasons I got into music. As far as I'm concerned, Ric Ocasek is God!"
2020.09.19 20:47 KeinweghinDaily Journal of My Progress and Thoughts
9/29/2020: Today I got 2 interview invites- one for a private equity fund and one from a peer global bank. You know I’ve got the skillset for both investment management (quantitative) and sales(qualitative and communication). I want to pursue the sales route at the global bank because I still live in a what-if world after 4 years of my career aster graduation: what if I took that job on the sales desk after graduation? What if I never had to settle for stability and just chased my dream with my full potential? I never would know what’d come my way. But after 4 years I’m finally able to bring myself back to this crossroad- do I want to become an portfolio manager or do I want to be client facing and close sales? I am more than grateful for the invites, and I am going to do great at the interviews with the people from the global bank. I’ve already started researching tonight and I will continue writing notes on how I am a good fit for the role for the rest of the week. RAR I can do this. Please just wait for a few more weeks and I can show you how I climb the corporate ladder for my dreams. That we will both make enough to live a well-off life regardless of the economy. We deserve each other, and you will never find someone who is willing to work this hard to bring value and joy to the table like me. 9/28/2020: Today I facetimed with my friend in Asia and had a great time. We tried to watch Mulan together as i purchased the Disney + premier viewing but the screen blacked out as Disney's policy was very strict. However we were brainstorming so much about what to do that it was hilarious at the end f the chat that we really exhausted all options. We didn't get to watch Mulan but we were able to have a great time. Sometimes I just need small excitement like this to brighten the day and feel happy. I also realized that it really doesn't matter if I get married or have kids or even have a partner, if not for the right person I choose and I believe in. In that case, I believe in you, RAR. I don't know if you already find someone to replace me, but I know for a fact that I have not found anyone that makes me feel as close as how you did. Your dedication, you care, you kindness and thoughtfulness, were beyond something I'd imagine before I met you. Behind your bright and light-hearted attitude to life, you deeply care and easily notice people's feelings. You don't say things or do things to intentionally hurt them, unless they threat your ability to sustain your own character. You just get me, RAR. And that's beautiful :) 9/24/2020: This week has been full of surprises and joy that I cannot contain. My case was approved and I am set to be living in this amazing city for a few more years, hopefully for the rest of my life :D Meanwhile, my manager gave me verbal confirmation that my promotion is approved by the global head and we are just waiting for it to finalize in the next few months. I registered for twitch for the first time and there is so much content! I think I might even take up some streaming myself since I love talking to myself when I play the SIMS4. My long time favorite Youtuber is also there so I will see her playing SIMS2 live sometimes too... Probably not so much this year but next year I will be able to! Anyway, this week is pretty loaded with good fortune and positive news, it has definitely shown me that hard work is paying off and even though i cannot change everything in my life, i can change some of them and I am satisfied with these progresses. 9/23/2020: Today I made a recipe I saw this summer that was super cute: i made some mashed potatoes and then cut up some okra into small pieces. Then I line a round bowl with okra on its bottom and wall. At last I fill the bowl with potato mash and then microwave the dish for 3 minutes. Once ready, I find a plate and turn the bowl upside down, so that now okra is on the top. This dish looks like a milky sky decorated by green stars. If wanted I could have also added some gravy, but I skipped that part. I was very proud of what I made. It was tasty and pretty to look at. I also watched some Japanese drama which was really fun. They made traditional desserts as a profession and everything they made was so cute. I’m tempted to buy some from Minamoto Kichoan online haha since it’s one of the only shops in town that sell those. I miss you RAR. I wish I could share some of the beautiful desserts I’m about to buy. Last year when you went to Florida for training I sent you a snack pack. I wish I can do that again for you too. I miss everything. 9/22/2020: Today I painted with watercolor after work. I experimented the wash method to create dark blue night skies, as well as reverse color technique which makes the background dark and the main body of the picture bright. I also learnt that evolution isn't meant to drive the weak out of life. At the micro-organism level, germs learn how to get along with each other. They help sustain each other's life instead of exhausting the resources for their own livelihood. It made me realize that the so-called power play among humans may be way too naive, since micro-organisms have been around for much longer than any animals have been. I think at the end of the day, whatever I am going through is a protection mechanism that is preventing me from engaging in something much more dangerous. I am protecting myself from negativity and recklessness. I think things could have been worse where RAR and I hurt each other even more, instead of taking some time apart and healing ourselves, In that sense, this is just passage of time. I believe RAR and I are a good fit together, so I will patiently wait for that day to arrive and prepare myself for that exhilarating moment. 9/21/2020 Today after a few tries to contact Microsoft support teams, I finally was able to get ahold of a support team member to look into my account blocking issue. I lost access to the account last Friday, as a consequence I was missing a few emails from my part time hobby teacher as well as some headhunters that have been in contact with me for possible positions that would give me even more earning power in the next years. Aside from dreading the possibility of losing my account, I was able to finish the portfolio management section and the alternative investment section. The only parts left now are 1)quant 2)Derivatives 3)Ethics. I think I will be able to knock these out in the next 2 weeks and start clearing the Q banks for Schweser by end of October. After which I will go back to the official guide and spot check some knowledge points in my weak areas. With this study plan I feel very confident that in Dec I will be able to pass the exam. Last year I lost by perhaps a handful of questions and couldn't pass the exam. However, this year the new and improved study habit of mine guaranteed 300 hours and I feel so much more hopeful. Today I also was able to join an adhoc meeting with an executive director to speak about a high profile client investment strategy prior to the meeting with our division's CIO. She gave me a shoutout email after the meeting to my manager, praising my ability to clarify and back her up in the meeting. This is the kind of energy I wanna share with you RAR. That I am doing well, that I am on the rise and I own my career like no other woman you will ever see. 9/20/2020: Today I went to meet my friend’s dog in a city park and I ate chicken shack burger with root beer. It feels so good to finally be able to walk around seeing people and their pets enjoying the early fall weather. I wore my new silk outfit from equipment and they look great with my avacado cardigan. I know I can pull the contrasted colors off and I really like the turn out. Today I also studied for the majority of the day and finished the fixed income section. I think I understand the concepts very well and I will finish the Qbank tomorrow on fixed income hopefully. I also got through the majority of portfolio management section. But I’m am a bit weak on the risk management framework topics as well as technical analysis. I need to revisit and get those questions right too. 9/19/2020: Today I changed my Dec 2020 CFA exam location to Long Island. I didn't have much confidence of the city having the capacity to allow administration of such a huge exam and I want to definitely get this exam out of the way, since my original plan was to take it in June. You have also been studying for the CPA exam since we met, as it is essential for you to be promoted to manager level. I want you to know that despite what happened in the recent months between us, I have never given up on being the person you loved and I have full motivation to stay on track and be the best GF you deserve. I have been working out and progressing on my career. With all the firms letting people go, I am getting a 20% raise this year. I have firm belief that regardless what comes my way, my dreams are within reach and you and I can live a happy life down the road. RAR I am riding this one out with you, I don't care how long you are gonna be mad at me but boy am I on fire. You believed in every bit of my potential and I am so going to give you the confirmation that you were right about me all along. You did not fall in love with a weak and sad person. You had me. The brightest and most persistent person in your life. The funniest and the most serious about her plans. Please take care and enjoy the benefit of continuous testing of CPA rule changes. You can do this. FAR and REG are the hardest but you are also the smartest CPA-to-be I know. Let me know if you need help. Please continue to share Excel jokes and Finance memes as well as Accounting questions with me, even just in the back of your mind. I can hear them. I appreciate them. Let's get this done together even we are physically apart now. Thanks RAR.
2020.09.18 16:51 IlikecoldwaterI am 27 years old, make $38,000, live in Stockholm, and work as a teacher
Section one: assets and debt Savings: $17,000. I automatically deposit about $570 a month into savings. Checking: $1,150. All bills are automatically paid from this account, so I tend to keep quite a bit of money in it. Retirement: I have no idea how pensions work here and should investigate that! Obviously there is a state pension but I do not trust the swedish system at all and certainly don't want to work until I'm 70. I could save more money if I was more careful, but because buying my own place is so far away, I’ve been halfhearted about it. I’ve lived here for going on seven years and my position is still insecure (waiting for permanent residency) which is very frustrating and means that I can’t do a lot of long-term planning. Debt: none. I don’t have a credit card, and my university degree was paid for through a lot of scholarship money and the college fund my parents saved for me. Section two: income Income progression: I worked part time at first and made no money, since I’ve gone to full time I get 2% a year or something like everyone else. Monthly take home: approximately $2,450 after tax, depending on exchange rates. We get paid on the 25th of every month. Section three: monthly expenses Rent: my half is $625 which includes all utilities. I have a roommate who pays the other half. renters’ union: $10 Climbing gym: $43. A one time entrance is $17, so even going once a week is worth it! Phone: $28 Icloud storage: $3 (I like to take a lot of photos, also skate clips) Debit card: $4 Transit pass: $102/month if you buy the three month pass Pet expenses: $25 I bulk order the food and bedding my hamster likes every few months. I also pay about $15 a couple times a year for a vet to clip her nails, I am afraid to do it myself! Saturday: 10 am: My boyfriend J arrived yesterday evening (with groceries!). We stayed up late watching star trek and talking, so we get up late, make hummus and veggie sandwiches for breakfast, and head out. My friend M has invited us over, and on the way we buy stuff for fika: chocolate muffins, cookies, and chips and dip- J pays. We spend a couple hours at M’s house drinking coffee, snacking, and entertaining the boys (both M and S have sons around one and a half) while we talk. M’s son LOVES my boyfriend and doesn’t want us to leave! 15:00: Both J and I need to do some planning and studying. We head to the café on the way home and I buy lattes for us while we work (mine more expensive because of vanilla flavor, his more expensive because of plant milk) $11 18:00 We realize we have been drinking coffee all day and not eating, so we run to the grocery store again for veggie chicken nuggets, potatoes, and sauce makings (I have salad at home). I pay, $11 19:00 J makes dinner for us and we discuss taking the opportunity to go skate, but instead we cozy up and watch some episodes of DS9 before going to sleep. (this was a mistake as it rained the rest of the week!) Daily total: $22 Sunday: 9:00: J makes breakfast and coffee for us- sandwiches again on fresh bread, with leftover salad from yesterday. We shower then laze around, talking and hanging out until it’s time to leave. 11:30: We take the bus to meet my friends R and N, who brought her boyfriend and little sister as well. 12:00 We all walk to an amazing garden/greenhouse shop which has a huge café inside. We have lunch, and coffee and dessert after- there is an incredible selection of desserts made there, and I choose fancy cakes- multilayered vegan chocolate mousse cake for J, and white chocolate cheesecake with strawberries and rose petals on top for me! I pay for us as J is a student, but he insists on swishing me part of it anyway ($38-$13, I paid for dessert) $25 15:30 We spend the day talking, drinking copious amounts of coffee, looking at beautiful plants, and climbing on rocks in the forest. On our long walk back to the train station, we come across another garden/café and my friend N buys another round of coffee for all of us. It’s drizzling and cool, hard to believe we were swimming in the water here less than two weeks ago! 17:00 We take the bus to J’s mom’s house for dinner. At this point, I have had WAY too many cups of coffee and am a bit shaky. I eat chips while watching the cat’s antics and helping J’s little sister with her homework. We cook for everyone (and fail a little- the spring rolls are not very spring roll shaped) and spend the rest of the evening talking together over wine and then of course more coffee (with fancy foamed milk!) to go with ice cream and chocolate for dessert. Daily total: $25 Monday: 7:00 We are lightweights (or maybe just dehydrated from all the coffee) and feel slightly hungover after the two glasses of wine yesterday. J makes me oatmeal with berries and peanut butter for breakfast (no coffee, I’m a bit put off it at the moment), he heads off to prep for his distance lectures and I head out for work. 11:30 I realize I have no lunch with me, so I run to the little grocery and get a protein bar and a banana (there is basically nothing else in this part of town). $3 17:00 I hate this bus ride SO. MUCH. It makes me feel sicker than any other route or form of transit. So many windy little roads and jerky wobbly stops. I arrive home and shower and get ready quickly to try and recover before getting on another bus… and get off at the wrong stop! J tells me not to worry as he’ll come and meet me part way. For the first time in many months, I am not wearing skate shoes- I have to climb a very steep hill in my stupid little flats and am annoyed with myself. 19:00 we finally make it to J’s dad’s house for dinner. Of course it comes up that the American deaths per capita rate has recently surpassed the Swedish rate…I’m never sure how honest to be and gatherings are usually a little stiff. I always enjoy the conversations J and I have on the walk back to the station though. We watch an episode of star trek and go to sleep early. Daily total: $3 Tuesday: 7:00 Today is a late start day and ordinarily I would go climbing with N before work, but as this is J’s last day in town, we go to the café together instead. I buy lattes for both of us, and a scone. $13 12:30 I did actually remember to pack my lunch today! Eating my sandwich in the copy room, I meet the new Finnish teacher. She is very chatty, quirky and straightforward- I love Finns. 18:00 late start, late finish- the last class is so much fun (these 8th graders have got opinions about everything) but the school is kind of in the middle of some woods, and when it gets dark my students will start complaining that it’s creepy to walk to the tram stop… I have to agree. 19:00 I arrive home and skype with J for a while, then make some spicy instant noodles. Unfortunately I got the wrong kind (one would think that the painfully spicy ones would be with the picture of kimchi, not the picture of mushrooms, right??). I pour out the soup part and just eat the noodles while watching climbing videos on youtube. Daily total: $13 Wednesday: 7:00 Feeling miserable because I won’t see J for a couple weeks, to get to my afternoon classes I have to go on a train that always makes me sick, it’s cold and getting dark earlier already, I’m tired all the time and feeling that winter boredom creep up on me, blah blah. Normally I would climb after work today, but my usual climbing buddy cancels. 10:00 I know how to fix my mood- since I’m close by, I call N to see if she wants to have lunch. 11:00 N and I have lunch at a fancy little place by her house- I get an amazing grilled sandwich and fries, which comes with coffee. Eating french fries feels downright ostentatious at this hour when everyone else in the room is silently drinking coffee and nothing else. She tells me about office drama and just listening to her talk makes me feel a million times better. $17 (ouch! But cheaper than therapy) 18:00 I skate a bit in the park by my house, but it’s only partially covered so there’s a giant puddle in one end of the pool which I am not nearly skilled enough to avoid. 19:00 I skype my parents for a while, then call J. I tell him about my day and how much I hate going to this school and realize the schools I dread going to are just the ones that have train/bus rides that make me really nauseous (duh). J suggests an alternate route I hadn’t considered, and I am so happy to be able to make things a little more pleasant. Daily total: $17 Thursday: 7:00 I wake up and have some yoghurt and fruit before weekly meetings start at 8:00 (these meetings which really should be an email…) my coworkebff S and I plot to escape as early as possible. 11:30 we make it to a cozy café which I have a punch card to, talk a bit, then end up working for quite a while. I have lunch there (lasagna and salad), and a vanilla latte. $15 17:00 I resist going to the little sushi place across from this school and instead go grocery shopping: carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, mushrooms, potatoes, apples, plums, frozen salmon fillets, sauce, yoghurt, sour cream, milk, frozen berries, cheese and sliced turkey for sandwiches, a few protein bars, and probably other stuff I am forgetting because it was $68, jesus. I also go to the pharmacy to buy eyedrops and toothpaste. $8 18:30 I spend the evening cooking while on the phone with parents. I put the salmon filets with lemon sauce into the oven, cut up and boil all the potatoes, sauté the mushrooms in a little butter and white vinegar (I save these for putting on salads/sandwiches later in the week), make chia seed pudding, chop up carrots and broccoli, make dip for the carrots and broccoli, and slice up plums for snacking. 20:00 J and I skype and discuss visiting plans. It’s expensive and time consuming to get between our two cities even though they’re not that far apart- around $180- $200 for a round trip, and you have to switch trains a couple times. Daily total: $91 Friday: 6:15 I seem to be fine getting up earlier than I usually do. I have coffee in the unicorn mug R gave me, and chia seed pudding with raspberries for breakfast before heading out to work around 7:00. I consider skating after work today, but I already know I will be so tired, and I don’t want to carry extra stuff with me. I used to skate or climb every single day after work but this fall I can’t find the energy yet. 8:00 When I was last in the US, I bought a bunch of mini erasers from the dollar section at target (in this job you never know when such things will come in handy!). I offer them to the class and they are so excited. “This little doggie is just SO CUTE!!” 6th grade boys, who would have thought. 11:30 I have about an hour before I have to head out for afternoon classes, so I go to a bakery across from the school with another coworker of mine. We both have coffees and croissants. $8 I eat my sandwich in the teacher’s room while waiting for copies. 14:00 Chatting with my students and one (wild child) asks “well haven’t you EVER gotten in trouble??” so I tell them about the time I was reprimanded for reading a book during math class in middle school. “and that’s IT?!” well it’s the only time I remember, yes. Wild child goes totally silent and just stares with his mouth half open. A moment later his friend leans around him and says “you know he’s just quiet because he’s never NOT in trouble!!” perfect comedic timing… 15:30 I finish early today but stay a bit later to organize some more student work and send a few emails, and eat the rest of my lunch. 17:30 I get home and search the library database for a book (N, S, and M wanted to start a sort of informal book club) while eating fish and potatoes from yesterday. I feel like I haven’t done much this week, so I make plans with some friends to skate on Saturday and climb on Sunday. Another friend messages to remind about board game night on Sunday, so my weekend will be busy! 10:00 I think to myself “I am a grown woman and I don’t need to talk to my boyfriend every day” but then J sends me a message and asks if I have time to call. I talk to him while also chatting with a childhood friend on messenger (it works because I can be talking to both of them about the same topics: pandemic, star trek, possibility of traveling back to the US in 2021, more star trek…) Daily total: $8 Weekly total: $179 Food and drink: $171 Home and health: $8 Not pictured in this diary: the number of times that I pick hammie up to tell her how small and cute she is or feed her mealworms and other snacks. Reflections: I feel like I spent a lot of money this week. The cafes I went to on Saturday and Tuesday are more expensive than my usual spots. ordinarily there would be a lot more skating/climbing/etc but I’ve been busy with start of year stuff and my relationship becoming long distance this fall. I don’t use makeup or skincare products aside from moisturizefacewash/sunscreen from the pharmacy. I cut my own hair. I buy new clothes about once a year and can wear the same outfits whether I’m at work or not. I always use the library for reading material. I do research and compare prices before buying art supplies. I don’t drink alcohol or eat dinner out, and I have gotten a lot of my skate and snowboard gear second hand or on steep discounts from end of season sales. My apartment is furnished with hand-me-downs and Ikea. Reading this makes me sound frugal, but I’m not really, most of these things are just expensive here! I spend a lot of money on sports, hobbies, and having fika (coffee and pastries). Ordinary years I would spend a cumulative three weeks snowboarding in the Alps and in Sweden, at a cost of around $3,000 (including transit, lodging, and food). I would also usually spend a few hundred $ on trips to visit and skate with friends in other parts of Europe. I have done some traveling this year, but only to other parts of Sweden and only about 8 days of snowboarding, so it was cheaper. J is planning on transferring to a program in Stockholm next year which I’m very excited about- it also means I won’t use up all my travel money visiting him!
2020.09.15 09:00 So_We_Ate_ThemHopes and Dream(ie)s Crushed: A Tale of Woe from a New Player
--- EDIT: Got a message from a very kind stranger offering to donate a certain transmogrification potion. I sincerely appreciate the sentiment, but I'd rather nobody throw money away on my own mistakes, and will be turning down any such offers. I really do appreciate the sentiment though, and that alone makes me feel a lot better. Thank you! --- I am glad to see I'm far from the only one who is disappointed...(to say the least) about the changes to Charity Corner. Now, there may enough pain and misery to go around already, but I myself am immensely frustrated, and would like to air those feelings out a bit. So, allow me to regale you with my own tale of woe about Charity Corner, and how it's almost immediately taken me from fever-pitch excitement to "Do I want to continue playing?" I am both a new and semi-returning player. In 2018, I was hit by a wave of nostalgia and decided to take a look at how Neopets was doing. I had a childhood account from the early 2000s, but no idea how to recover it, so I opted to make a new one. I got somewhat invested (ended up getting myself a Grey Grarrl, which I adored), but ended up being drawn into obsessing over another game with my friends after about a month and a half and fell off the radar. I came back about a month ago, hoping to reignite the nostalgia and really get into it this time. To my horror, I discovered that Neopets used birthdays as verification (I used a throwaway, because I prefer not leaving personal info online), so I sent support an e-mail and created a "temporary" account to use, in case support couldn't return my old one. ...A month later, and I still have not heard back from them, but life goes on! And boy, did I ever get into it this time. I went in hard on dailies and flash games, and practically did a speedrun straight to my first paint brush (a Shadow Paint Brush) within a week and a half, which I ended up applying to a Gelert. At this point, I was really feeling the swing of things, and I was now far more invested into this new account than with my old one, so the fact that I hadn't gotten a response back from support didn't bother me so much. The Shadow Gelert lit a fire under my creative process, and after a bit, I had a "theme" in mind for my account (tl;dr: creepy & horrific anomalous entities/items/etc). I found the pets/colors that I wanted for this theme, wrote backstories, and even began making plans for my userlookup and pet pages. I would love to share them, but this tale of woe is already stretching far without having even gotten to the woe part. Mostly, I'm just trying to emphasize how much I'd gotten into Neopets over the past few weeks, to perfectly frame how immeasurable my disappointment will be. If you want to read about the plans/backstories I have, I'll put them at the bottom in spoilers. So anyway, I now had a theme in mind, and a hot, burning craving for my newfound D R E A M ( I E ) S. I was now , however, completely broke due to that Shadow Paint Brush, and a little burnt out on all the flash games and some of the more annoying dailies (I also wasn't getting any of the lucky windfalls I'd gotten early on), so progress was going to be slower than it was before. My excitement and desire to fulfill my theme were at a fever pitch, but I was a bit bummed that I wasn't going to go anywhere with it for a little while. And that's when I heard about it, from the mouths of this very subreddit...Charity Corner: An event where you could turn your lowly trash items into useful perks. Most of them did not have much practical value for an account of my age, but I quickly set my eyes on one perk in particular: "Colour It Wild". One redemption only, but for any color for any pet you desire (with a few exceptions that were of no relevance to me). There were three dreamies I desired: A Mutant Kau, A Transparent Uni, and an MSP Poogle, and they were all going to be expensive to acquire...so this news really put a gleam in my eye. One dreamie would be easily achieved, I simply had to decide which. This was a difficult decision. I deliberated for ages, but in the end, I opted for the Mutant Kau against my better judgement. Purely because it is my favorite Neopet color of all time, and I heard about the Premium trick I could use to get an easy MSP. Furthermore, the Transparent Uni was going to require some Neocash item love that I couldn't get access to for awhile. There were some NC items I wanted for the Mutant Kau as well, but I would've been able to achieve a similar effect to what I desired much easier, and the Mutant Kau was to be my battle pet. And now...comes the woe. Fortunately, I opted for blue short brushes instead of snowballs, narrowly dodging what would've been further salt in the wound. I knew they changed things up with every Charity Corner. In the past, Colour It Wild had been a 10,000 point perk, and last year, it had been a 2,000+ point perk requiring some RNG. Decided it'd be best to cover my bases with 10,000 points. So, I began putting every neopoint I had into those damned brushes, slowly and annoyingly accumulating them from the General Store, one by one (I hadn't learned you could refresh the shop page until ~6000 in, by the way...so....yeah). After many hours and ~500,000 Neopoints down the drain, it was done. I had over 10,000 points worth of junk. It was an immense amount of effort, and I questioned whether or not it had been worth it, but ultimately reasoned I'd have a beloved dreamie much quicker than I'd have managed by scraping and saving. I'd prepared myself for changes to the perk system. I got myself a solid 10,000 points to cover most of what they could throw at me (at the expense of everything I'd been earning). I even considered the idea that Colour It Wild might not be a perk, but was banking on exploiting an equivalent (ie, the species change) if that were the case. And if they were gone entirely, I figured I could get some practical use out of the other perks. ...Well, joke's on me, because I didn't expect them to remove the perk system entirely! Ha ha. Imagine...getting extremely excited about Neopets again, making plans for a really cool thematic account, making hours upon hours preparations on an account with no capital to work with, getting super hyped about a shortcut that would really kickstart the theme you want...and then coming online and finding they'd decided to go in an entirely different direction. Imagine seeing that, then remembering all the effort you put in (buying brushes manually without page refreshes, like an utter tool)...and staying up when you should be sleeping to get up for work tomorrow...and then further realizing that you're back to being broke with a hoard of now valueless junk in your storage, and realizing once more that you could have been much closer to your beloved Mutant Kau if you hadn't bothered paying into this nonsense. All I can say is...this. Half of it is my fault for getting too caught up in the hype and holding onto too many expectations. I had even considered the possibility that the perks system might be removed, but I just didn't expect it to happen. I had hoped and dreamed otherwise. Anyway, thanks for reading. I hope I didn't bore you, I just needed to rant after what a complete waste of effort and time that was. Had to air out my frustrations, you know? I intend to continue work on my theme, but this took an immense amount of wind out of my sails. Did any of you have your plans completely and utterly derailed by this sudden change to Charity Corner? Feel free to share. Misery loves company! As promised, for those of you who were curious about the plans I had for my account/pets, I left some poorly-formatted summaries below! Writing about them cheers me up a bit, at least. If you're not interested, ignore everything below the line. __________________ MISERVON [MIZ - EHR - VAUN] (Full "lore" name in my text document. It is atrociously long) - SHADOW GELERT: Descended from a long line of aristocrats, monarchs, emperors, pharaohs, sultans, and miscellaneous despots. He lives alone in the Haunted Woods in his private manor, and dislikes visitors of any kind. Lived alone, I should say. Until a bunch of freaks (his words) darkened his doorstep, and just started...moving in. Without consent. They all showed up at different intervals, but all claim the same thing: They are all pets of a mysterious entity from "beyond the fourth wall" (whatever that means), and now so too is he. Try as he might, and bankrupting himself in the process, he could not get them to leave. He now spends his days drowning his sorrows at a local pub, ranting about his newfound roomates to passerby. [The image I have as the preview link is not my final product for him, just what I have currently] - NOTES : The Shadow Gelert I created. I wish I had chosen a better name, but I've made it work by simply giving him an unbelievably long artistocratic name, with "Miservon" merely being the first part of it. My plans for his pet page are my favorite, it's going to feature him looking miserable at a pub table, and will include the "backstories" of all my pets in the form of first-person rants, along with their pet lookups and project items. There will also be transcripts included of the first conversations Miservon has held with all of them. NEIGHSAY - TRANSPARENT UNI: Neighsay was the first of the "freaks" to trouble poor Miservon. One morning, he heard a shriveled, grating voice out his bedroom window: "THE END IS NEIGH!", it shouted over and over again. When Miservon went outside to chase the loiterer off his property, Neighsay introduced itself as a doomsayer. A professional doomsayer, it will insist. After all, it boasts a 0.00021981% success rate, as the world did once end on Neighsay's watch, as he predicted, hence his skeletal appearance. Granted, Neighsay predicts the end of the world every day, and the world may not always end every day, but he is quick to point out that his success rate is still significantly higher than all other living doomsayers. And one day, his prediction will prove accurate once more. It's only a matter of time. The end is neigh. ...Hm? Why does he wear a tie beneath his robes? Well, because he's a professional. Professionals wear ties. [Still trying to decide on background stuff, if you're wondering about the preview image] - NOTES : Definitely the favorite of the backstories I've come up with (it's much better formatted in my notes, I'm trying to churn this stuff out from scratch late at night and sleepy), Neighsay will be the curator of my gallery, since I'll be collecting all the creepy and anomalous items of Neopets there. "Any one of them could lead to the end of the world!" Haven't quite decided what to do with his pet page, but I want to do something fun and irreverent. NEVERWHO - MUTANT KAU: Its actual name is unknown. Miservon simply calls it "The Neverwho" due to their first and only conversation. It seems to exist perpetually out of sight, and Miservon has only caught glimpses of its visage through mirrors, glassware, and miscellaneous reflective surfaces, but he occasionally hears not-quite-slithering-it's-a-little-too-heavy-to-be-called-slithering in the night, and he does not dare to witness its true form. It accounts for at least 92% of Miservon's sleep deprivation. Neighsay claims that it enforces their owner's will upon the world, since the owner cannot interfere with it directly. Miservon is mildly horrified to consider what will that might be, as he frequently comes across trails of what-might-be-blood throughout his manor. - NOTES : My favorite pet aesthetically, and the most anomalous in nature. This is to be my battle pet, and his pet page will be record battledome statistics (including loot drops), presented in a way that's a little terrifying to read. PLUSHWORM - MSP POOGLE: Miservon came across this adorable plushie abandoned along a wayward forest path whilst out on a walk to get away from the "freaks" for a bit. Holding a childhood soft spot for plushies, Miservon took it home and lovingly added it to pile surrounding his bed. What a bright spot in a day amidst a time of misfortune. Or at least, it was until he was forced awake by a nightmare, opening his eyes to see this plushie staring directly into them...a mere two inches away from his face...wearing the most unpleasantly disturbing expression imaginable..."I like your blankie...", it whispered closely. Before Miservon could even respond, the plushie had torn away his blanket and wrapped itself up like a wizardly robe. From that point on, every encounter Miservon had with the thing saw new pieces of bizarro fashion added to its ensemble. ...Also, it keeps stealing things. - NOTES : MSP Poogles are easily my second favorite pet, and I have to have one. I'll be getting Premium at some point and using a trick to convert a Water neopet into an MSP Poogle. This little guy is going to run my shop, since I tend to throw whatever junk I can into there. And one day, when I can run my own themed shop, I'll be selling all the weird stuff. Plushworm will be the perfect fit for that.
Does anyone else bun thump for attention or pets? I believe that’s what my 2 year old boy is doing. Generally I spend hours on the floor with him either petting him or just legit sitting within a foot of him. Like I spend my “free” time on the floor like watching YouTube or on my laptop or phone “with” him. Yesterday and today he has randomly whined and thumped until he is calm enough and let’s me pet and snuggle him. I think it’s just cause I’ve been shopping for school supplies recently as I go back to my apartment, with my bun of course, tomorrow! He is all healthy and fed and have veggies and gets a treat off and on and has toys and is completely free roam. I just don’t think it’s something like scaring him ya know?
2020.09.08 10:38 hrovat97The soundtrack to the video game Bully (2006)
Extending on the discussion a few days ago about video games and music, I recently went back to Bully and am surprised by the music diversity yet tonal consistency of the soundtrack. For those who are unfamiliar with Bully, it is created by the people behind the Grand Theft Auto series. You play as a 15 year old in a strict boarding school surrounded by a grim and grey town, with a shopping and residential district, a carnival and an industrial area. The style is very I guess New England, and there's some quintessentially small town and American about it. The soundtrack does a lot to compliment this. The soundtrack is dynamic, in that it changes based on the situation the character is in. The genres of the soundtrack lead towards a 70s and 80s sound, I'd say pretty drenched in post-punk and funk with elements of Americana. For example, the walking theme, which typically plays for most of the game, has elements of Gang of Four with its bassline-driven sound, but the more classical instruments remind me almost of Pet Sounds-era Beach Boys. This helps tie together the Americana and traditional/conservative atmosphere of the town, but that cool bass line emphasises the teenage rebellion associated with that post-punk/dance-punk sound, and it just captures the tone perfectly. Then you have some 70s funk when being chased by authority, some Devo-esque post-punk when defending the nerd clique, something that reminds me a bit of King Crimson during one of the missions, some breakbeat when being chased by the jock clique, and more of that post-punk Pet Sounds sound when cycling around. I guess since over the past couple of years I've been listening to a lot of post-punk, and consider Pet Sounds and The Smile Sessions to be some of the greatest albums of all time, I hear this a lot more in the Bully soundtrack. Frankly I don't know what it is but there's something about The Beach Boys and the Bully soundtrack in their use of classical instruments that just sounds so distinctly American. A bit of a ramble and a bit everywhere but its been on my mind and I wanted to express it somehow. Does anyone else have other takes on the Bully soundtrack, or how the soundtrack ranks in your own video game experiences? I know a lot of ambient video game soundtracks such as Minecraft and Silent Hill are held in high regard, but to me the Bully soundtrack stands out in a way. Edit: just remembered the stealth music which I think is probably the best mix of the weird post-punk Beach Boys sound.
2020.09.05 18:14 finnchristmasFree Christmas Album from Finland
If Christmas feels too far away, and you would like an early present from the North Pole, we are giving away a free download of "Christmas - The Thrill of Hope" (#1 album on Finland iTunes charts last year) by Finnish/ American artist Steven Stewart. (Songwriter for many Finnish major label artists as well as Idols, Voice, X-Factor, Eurovision.) The album is a collection of new English versions of traditional scandinavian carols, fresh arrangements and mashups of a few classic holiday songs, and a few new originals. https://www.stevenstewart.com/promo To listen, go to the link above, and
Listen to the songs from the preview player or click the videos to listen without downloading or
Click DOWNLOAD from the left top of the preview music player, and add your email address, to get a link for free download of the zipped full album (mp3s) or
Search for "Steven Stewart" from your favourite streaming service.
Song list and explanations below. Click song title for video (Vimeo) Instrumental / Karaoke versions available for all songs. Sheet music available for songs with *
CHRISTMAS IN MY HEART *Mashup of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" and english version of Finnish carol "Sydämeeni joulun teen". Hauntingly minor key song for a sentimental Christmas eve.Featuring Jonatha Brooke (from THE STORY, and Disney's "Return to Neverland", many Tinkerbell movies, Theme to Joss Wheden's "Dollhouse", etc)
LUKE 1:30-33 Prelude to "Do Not Be Afraid." Angels We Have Heard On High underscores and young boy reads the Bible verse about the angel Gabriel appearing to Mary reminiscent of Linus reading his verse in Charlie Brown Christmas
DO NOT BE AFRAID * New song about the message of the Angel Gabriel resonates beyond the holiday season. "Do Not Be Afraid! You will get through all that's asked of you. Heaven's child is here. There's no room to fear. God is bending near, and He will stay. Do Not Be Afraid." Song cowritten by Scott Krippayne who also wrote the theme song to "Paw Patrol" (Ryhmä hau) Featuring backup vocals from Eeppi Ursin from Finnish a cappella supergroup "Club for Five"
O COME, O COME EMMANUEL * New arrangement with a "Monk Choir". Includes violin solo interlude of the Finnish Christmas Carol "Varpunen jouluaamuna" (A Sparrow on Christmas Morning).Featuring backup vocals from Tuukka Haapaniemi, bassist from Finnish a cappella "Club for Five"
SILENT NIGHT New arrangement of classic song with beautiful trumpet accents and solos throughout..Featuring premier trumpeter Mikko Pettinen and backup vocals by Jepa Lambert (The Voice)
AWAY IN A MANGE THE FIRST NOEL * Mashup of two favourite carols Featuring Audrey Wheeler-Downing (whose vocals can be heard in Disney's "Hercules" as well as backup on tons of popular artists including Celine Dion, Amy Grant, Gloria Estefan, Mary J Blige, Pet Shop Boys and more)
WHEN CHRISTMAS COMESUpbeat Mashup of Ukrainian Bell Carol (Carol of the Bells), The Nutcracker Suite, and english version of Finnish carol "Kun joulu on"Featuring acoustic guitar maestro Petteri Saariola(The Video is a compilation of best of youtube Christmas fails... https://vimeo.com/380876465)
HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMASAward winning Finnish jazz pianist Lenni-Kalle Taipale (who plays piano for most songs on the album) created a quiet late night arrangement for this classic song. The instrumental break is like new falling snow.
THE CHRISTMAS SONG (CHESTNUTS ROASTING ON AN OPEN FIRE) New piano/ vocal crooner arrangement of favourite holiday gem.
HOW CAN IT BE CHRISTMAS (GYMNOPEDIE #1) New english Christmas lyrics adorn this Eric Satie's impressionist Classical piece.
HEAL OUR HEARTS THIS CHRISTMAS * Mashup of "What Child is This" and Finnish carol "Jouluksi kotiin"Duet featuring Maija Sariola from Finnish a cappella group Club for FiveArrangement and piano by One Voice Children's choir director Masa Fukuda
O HOLY NIGHT Piano/ Vocal of favourite Christmas song
CHRISTMAS IN MY HEART (PIANO REPRISE) *Piano/ Vocal reprise of "Sydämeeni joulun teen"
BONUS: DO NOT BE AFRAID (Radio Single Mix) *Radio single mix. (Includes light drums and other fx not in the album version)
2020.09.02 09:34 unknownymous555I am 30F and I make $64k+ in Los Angeles working in healthcare (Household income total is $172k/yr - separate finances)
BACKGROUND I’m a first generation immigrant who moved to the US in my early 20s where I met my husband of 2 years, C. We currently have separate accounts with the intention of opening a joint one when it’s necessitated. My money diary is going to be based on my net worth and expenses alone but you can safely assume C has 5-6x, if not more, the asset amount I list. He is more frugal than I and last time we checked, he had 8x my total net worth. We both don’t have any debt. INCOME PROGRESSION When I moved to the US, my first (and probably the worst) job I had paid $7.50/hr as a 1099 contractor (even though I was, for all intents and purposes, an employee with no benefits). I quit and found a job in wholesale at $9/hr with no benefits that increased to $11.50/hr before I left it for a $10/hr job that offered benefits. I got promoted within a year and got paid $16/hr. After getting an $18/hr raise, I resigned and got a job at a healthcare start up for $19/hr. I stayed in that company for only less than 6 months before I got hired at a large hospital for $26+/hr in 2017. They had automatic 3% contribution to a 401k, which started my retirement account. I got raises on every annual review for the last 3 years, which got me to my current pay of $31+/hr. Check I receive: $1,564/2 weeks after insurance, 401k contribution and taxes. ASSETS AND DEBT - Net worth: $42.6k
401K - $11.6k
Roth IRA - $11.5k
Savings - $18.5k
Checking: This fluctuates but there’s usually at least $1k
Home equity: $0 (We are currently renting)
TYPICAL MONTHLY EXPENSES
Rent: $900 (Usually $1950 for a 2 bedroom apartment)
Filial piety: $300
Eating out: $300+ (Usually $700+, we like to spend good money on nigiri)
Groceries, pet expenses (litter) and miscellanies: $400+ (Usually $900-$1.5k, depending on the outcome of vet visit, which my husband bears the brunt of it since our pet is originally his)
Phone: $0 (I’m on my parents’ plan. I would combine with C but this is cheaper and it also helps them not feel bad about accepting money from me)
Utilities: $0 (C pays all of it so I actually don’t know)
Transportation: $0 (I don’t drive and don’t have a car. I used to take the bus pre-pandemic but I’ve been WFH since March)
Skincare: $50 (cost is predominantly because of sheet masks)
Roth IRA - $400 (Dollar cost averaging, I bought $1.5k worth of index funds when the market crashed so I only need to do $100/week to max out this year)
DAY ONE - $0 7:52 AM - I am awakened by the sound of explosive diarrhea near the bed. Our cat has defecated by the corner right by where I organize my sheet masks. In the haze of my morning delusion, my brain (for some inane reason) tries to remember the animal whose feces purportedly had potent anti-aging properties, in an attempt to make a joke about it. C and I spend 10 minutes cleaning up before discovering another puddle of diarrhea by the stairs. He tells me to go back to sleep and he’ll clean up the rest. 1:52 PM - C wakes me up. It’s time to give our cat his pre-meal liver support pill. He gives him a treat after. I make green tea for myself while C heats up leftover pizza from yesterday. We eat it while watching High Scores on Netflix. It’s fascinating! C is an active gamer and I used to play a lot when I was younger albeit that has dwindled over time. Afterwards, we sit around discussing what else can be done to decrease our cat’s diarrhea spells. The vet’s recommendations have not been helping and we are worried that the constant diarrhea is exacerbating his liver issues. 5:37 PM - We go grocery shopping, which used to be a fun chore that we do together but now feels cumbersome. It’s one of the only times we go out though so we still do it. A random guy was wearing a face shield but no mask. I’m not sure if he was being facetious or if he really just doesn’t have an inkling as to how masks work. We bought CDC-tested KN95 masks exactly for these circumstances. C cooks mostly vegetarian and vegan meals so we purchase tofu, an assortment of fresh produce, eggs, cheese, junk food and kombucha. C pays for the $98.11 worth of groceries. It was my turn to pay but I had paid for some Target purchases last week that cost around $80. 8:16 PM - We have dinner while watching High Scores on Netflix. C made spicy tempeh salad topped with cooked beets and boiled egg. I despise salads but this was one I actually love. We plan our meals together but C does tend to deign to whatever I want to eat. We separate to do our own things: C with his video game while I am embroiled in my 7th rewatch of The Office. We are both introverts but we surprisingly enjoy doing our own things in the same room, in view and in proximity of each other for some “I love yous” yelled across the room, hugs, cuddles and kisses regularly interspersed in between our alone time. 10:37 PM - I finish the final episode of The Office surrounded by piles of snotty tissue paper (Can you imagine if I wasted this paper gold in March?! Que fucking horror!). I make honey lavender tea, put on Satie’s Gymnopedies and situate myself between pillows and blankets before sinking into the pages of a book. This one dissects the concept of freedom within the context of social psychology. It’s fascinating and the author, who is a prominent social psychologist, is one of my favorites. DAY TWO - $0 7:00 AM - My alarm wakes me up and I tiptoe downstairs, fully expecting smudges of our pet’s poop all over the floor but I am pleasantly surprised to find none. His poop also looks healthy for once! He is on three different medications and we have yet to find the reason for his diarrhea despite trying multiple things. This evidentiary solid poop emboldens me to hope. I tell our cat that he did a great job. His response was to remain unmoving with the exception of his wagging tail, which lets me know that he heard me but that he doesn’t give a fuck. C’s work day starts at 9:30 AM and he doesn’t wake up until 10 minutes prior to feed our pet. I usually start my work day by dancing around in the living room while listening to music as I make green tea. 7:30 AM - I clock in for work. Mondays are always a lot more work than the rest of the week. 10:30 AM - I take my morning break by doing 10 sun salutations and 3-5 minutes of meditation. I sometimes light a candle before starting but I was a little rushed today. 12:00 NN - I clock out for “lunch” but I spend the 30 minutes napping, which is what my lunch breaks have been tantamount to since I started working remotely. I read somewhere that power naps, consisting of at least 20 minutes, helped commit information to long-term memory. 4:00 PM - I clock out for the day and attempt to work out but I got lazy after 5 minutes. I take a shower and mull over either taking a nap or finally working through the linear algebra course I signed up for 3 weeks ago. I do neither and waste my time watching a new trash TV on Netflix called Baewatch instead. It’s atrocious and I stop after 2 episodes. The parents were way too reminiscent of my conservative, strict and overbearing parents. 8:35 PM - We eat dinner while watching High Scores. C made vegan garlic alfredo. It’s delicious, as per usual. I wash the dishes after. He is back with his video game while I learn linear algebra foundations. 10:02 PM - I cut up a pineapple from yesterday’s grocery trip and top it with tajin. After I finish setting up MATLAB for the linear algebra course, I continue reading a book. DAY THREE - $0 12:40 PM - C wakes me up during my lunch nap. I had overslept and clocked in later than what I would have wanted. He is profusely thanked before I run back to my computer to clock in. 4:10 PM - C and I clock out for work simultaneously. Well, just me. C is a salaried employee. Usually, he only works about 6-hours in M to F. C and I spend the next hour talking about some mathematical formula that he tried to find an alternative solution for out of sheer curiosity. I’m terrible at math but listen intently anyway because listening to C talk about something he’s passionate about is too adorable to pass. Afterwards, I take a nap. 7:00 PM - C wakes me up. It’s time for our cat’s dinner. After I feed our cat, C also starts working on our dinner. He makes vegetarian bibimbap, which is one of my favorites in our weekly rotations. I compliment the fact that he makes the perfect sunny side up egg to top it with every time and he pointed out that it was after he bought an oil spray. “In the context of cooking eggs, it is an absolute life-changer”, he says. 8:10 PM - We have dinner while watching High Scores. We retire to our individual activities of video games and reading with Debussy’s Etudes and Nocturnes in the background. I’m basic AF but classical music is my go-to winding down music. DAY FOUR - $69.59 2:12 PM - I pay $29.59 to send chocolates to a friend for his birthday. He confided about some marital issues he is having with his husband. I hear him out and carefully recommend couple’s therapy by the end of it. I researched a few therapists near him and sent the list over. I also recommended reaching out to his insurance to inquire if they have a list of covered therapists. 3:00 PM - I take my afternoon break, start doing laundry and promptly go back to work after 15 minutes. We have a washing machine inside our home but I need to use the apartment’s communal dryer, which I do with great trepidation. I usually go out with a mask and an antibacterial wipe that I use to clean all the surfaces I touch. I know the possibility of being infected by way of fomites is closer to nil, but I figure disinfecting is only a slight inconvenience compared to the minute possibility of getting it. C and I spend the next few hours talking about politics and the economy while I fold and hang clothes. 7:05 PM - I crave for fries and convince C to pick up some take out from a local fastfood place instead of cooking for dinner. I pay $40 for it. He doesn’t care who pays but I like taking responsibility for my spontaneous cravings. DAY FIVE - $25.67 12:00 NN - I pay $25.67 to send gourmet candies to my brother. Just a little pick me up for him as he is living alone. Times are tough for most people and everything feels like it’s going to shit. The least I can do is make people in my life smile. Most people I know have been fortunate to still have jobs but, like me, are increasingly growing restless by not going anywhere. Pre-pandemic, C and I frequented art museums, LA Philharmonic performances, band concerts and trying new restaurants. While we have both enjoyed spending essentially 24/7 in the last 5 months, we are both starting to get bored with staying in aside from our weekly grocery shopping and getting take out. We’ll probably plan a quick day trip somewhere if the cabin fever becomes excruciating but we’re far from there yet. 8:01 PM - My husband made Beijing Tempeh, which wasn’t a hit for both of us. We wouldn’t be making it again. We eat dinner while watching the last episode of High Scores. 11:47 PM - An internet friend brings up Camus’ The Myth of Sisyphus and how it was a difficult read. I agree, intimating that, in my opinion, Camus’ eloquent verbosity did not lend well to essays. The content is great albeit tortuous. I recommend The Plague, The Fall and The Stranger. This sparks a conversation with C about which novel we thought was most absurdist. DAY SIX - $1,063 7:00 AM - It’s payday. I venmo $900 to C for rent. I donate $50 to a coworker’s medical expense fund after she recently passed from COVID-19. She was a sweet and vivacious woman. We were not close but everyone adored her, including me. It’s infuriating that people are still saying this is a hoax and are not taking social distancing or masking guidelines seriously. It’s infuriating that it’s normal in a first world country to have your finances, and consequently your life, upended for being sick. 12:00 PM - I clock out of work early and take a shower. I head to the bank where I withdraw $100 to have cash on hand, $10 of which I asked for in quarters. They only allow for $10 in quarters due to the coin shortage. 1:00 PM - I spend $113 at Trader Joe’s, a predominant amount of which was spent on a Laphroaig 10. I’m a bigger fan of whiskeys with no peat moss like Balvenie but Laphroaig is $10 cheaper. Due to the terrible parking situation, I usually walk to a Trader Joe’s once every six weeks and my husband picks me up via car after. 3:16 PM - Our cat’s feces are slowly getting into diarrheal territory again albeit not as bad as it was in the beginning of the week so we are hopeful. We’re still not sure why it’s happening in a seemingly cyclical way and our vet is as clueless as we are. 8:03 PM - We eat dinner while watching The Speed Cubers. C made grilled cheese with gouda and vegan deli, paired with tomato soup. We always watch gaming documentaries since it’s usually nostalgic, entertaining or interesting but this one was also surprisingly heart melting. DAY SEVEN - $0 2:00 PM - C wakes me up as it was time to give our cat a pill. It’s a two-man job because our little boy is an obtuse, highly energetic bastard. We love him anyway. Afterwards, C makes sugar-encrusted waffles with sunny side up egg, baked french fries and vegan bacon on the side. We watch the newest season of Nailed It. It’s our favorite version and there is not a single episode that we don’t laugh our hearts out because of how ludicrous the creations end up being. 3:26 PM - We separate to do our own thing. C is with his video games while I continue reading a book. I listen to Chopin’s Nocturnes while reading. He is one of my favorite classical musicians. Some of my favorites from him are Nocturne no. 2 in E-flat, Op 9 and Love Letter. 10:18 PM - We eat grilled cheese and leftover tomato soup that I heat up in the microwave. We continue watching Nailed It. C mentions that The Boys’ Season 2 is coming back in early September so we’re excited! Afterwards, I watch The Ugly Truth on Netflix while C plays video games. 12:45 AM - I discover an old avocado that’s close to being rotten so I decide to make guacamole out of it. We had leftover chips. I thought it was okay but C, sweet, amazing soul that he is, gave it high praise. We discuss getting a cheap stationary bike but we’re not sure if it’s going to be worth it. I’ve been working out using Youtube videos since the gyms closed but I miss the treadmill and running without having to think about it too much. REFLECTION: Due to the gifts, the Trader Joe’s trip, the spontaneous fries purchase and donation, I consider this to be an unusual week as I don’t typically spend this much, even on a week where I pay C rent. C and I have been incredibly lucky to have kept our jobs, and are both lucky to actually be enjoying staying in even as the circumstances outside our little bubble are anxiety-evoking and depressing. Total spent this week: $1,158.26
2020.08.27 21:12 OculusfluffyMuthu - by Oculus (xpost from fluffybooru)
Originally posted on: https://www.fluffybooru.com/post/view/56261 ~MUTHU~ ~originally titled “Tales from Biotech Support"~ “Wan die. Wan die. Wan die. Wan die. Wan die.” >the pupils of the fluffy have gone completely large and are fixated on one spot >its mouth repeats the phrase in a continuous, unending monotone >its legs are flailing about, its body no longer in control by its mind >you can get the strong smell of urea as the fluffy continues to urinate around the area. The instructor had prepared the table by covering it in a cloth to soak up the access urine >You are Muthusamy s/o Narayanan >everyone calls you “Muthu” for short >you live in in the city of Chennai, the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu, in India >you have a background in biotech engineering, having graduated not too long ago, and you have gotten your first job as a technician for Hasbio >you remember your first briefing at the HQ of Hasbio India >the fluffy pony, an American product, has been the craze in their country for some time now. The fluffies have started appearing in India, but only the rich can afford them >that fact has not stopped the dread menace of feral fluffies appearing unchecked throughout the sub-continent >being a biotoy, Americans have a hard time understanding their product >as biotech support, your company has a 24 hour daily call service that works as the first line in treating any malfunctions a biotoy, such as the fluffy, might have >there are other biotech support services that customers can rely on, but the Hasbio hotline is toll-free and thus is the first option for help before a customer can expend his wallet >the Hasbio official showcases the fluffy >you had only seen them in Bollywood movies and in the news >after playing around with the fluffy for a good while, the fluffy then starts to flail about, as the Hasbio instructor has induced a specific shock on the biotoy >it starts to repeat a sound that you have learned to hate to hear “Wan die. Wan die. Wan die. Wan die. Wan die.” >the Hasbio official, an American, speaks in perfect Tamil "This is the "wan die loop". It is like the "blue screen of death", or BSOD." >the Hasbio official explains the steps the client should take in correcting a “wan die” loop, should it occur. There are some easy measures, as biotoys can malfunction under a lack of maintenance, improper care, or light mismanagement >in more serious cases, however, the customer will need to refer to a specialist. In those cases, you will need to check if the product is under warranty. If so, you can arrange for a specialist to visit their house, or schedule an appointment for the customer to bring the defective product for examination at one of Hasbio’s buildings, or for an appointment with a specialized technician at a location approved by Hasbio >after a month of briefing and training, you are ready to start work in Biotech Support at a Hasbio Call Centre in Chennai, India. ~ “Good afternoon, sir. I am Muthu from Hasbio.” "Hey there. My fluffy is giving trouble and I need to speak with a technician.” “Okay sir, Let me gather some information and see if we can help. What is your first name?” “Fred.” “And your last name, would you spell it for me please?” “Sure. It’s C-R-E-A-M, Cream.” “Thank you sir. If I may ask, what ‘model’ is your fluffy?” “Model?” “All Hasbio biotoys come with an indication of their model type, even if you bought it from a licensed breeder.” “I dunno man, I just bought it from a shop.” “In that case sir, I need you to check the stomach area of the Fluffy.” “The what now?” “The stomach area. Move the fluff a bit.” >there is a silence for the moment “I see a number now, its 610-26, Carpdime.” “Thank you sir. That means your fluffy is of the Carpdime model. The number is the production number all fluffies generate upon birth.” “How is th-“ “Please sir, I am only here to help with your problem, not to chitty-chatty. So that’s 610-26?” “Yes.” “Okay. Mr Cream what seems to be the problem today?” “My fluffy has been flailing about and repeating the words “wan die” endlessly. What do I do?” “When did the behaviour first occur?” “No idea. It started flailing its legs about, and refuses to listen to me.” “Sir, is there bubbles at the mouth?” “Bubbl- you mean froth? No. No froth.” “Did your fluffy get involved in physical contact?” “No man, this fluffy is for my daughter, and all she does is play teatime with it as well as have it play with her dollhouse.” “I understand sir. Did your daughter or you feed the fluffy chocolate or anything similar?” “No, Sarah and I know that foods like chocolate are toxic to fluffies.” “Can you at least recollect what your fluffy was doing before it started displaying this behaviour?” “The little fella was busy playing blocks while Sara was watching FluffTV. My wife switched on the vacuum when the fluffy placed its ‘hands’ on its ears and shouted “Too noisy!” And then it started making this ‘wan die’ sounds.” “Ah yes. Mr Cream, Biotoys are designed to work with a limited amount of stimuli. If you have too much noise and activity going on in the background, the central processing unit of the biotoy-“ “The what now?” “The Brain of the Fluffy. It will overload.” “Fuck. I had no idea.” “Please sir, no vulgarities. Okay, Fred, I need you to place you two fingers on the back of the fluffy.” “I…. Okay. I’m doing that.” “Now pinch the fluffy.” >there is silence. Then, you hear a happy cry “Daddeh! Fwuffy am aww bettah!” “My fluffy’s fine! Thank you so much for your help.” “No worries Mr Cream. It is a pleasure to help. Now please take a moment to answer a short survey regarding this call.” ~ >those are usually the easy calls. The other calls can be a bit more difficult ~ "Hello? Is this Hasbio?" "Hello madam, this is Muthu from Hasbio, how may I assist you?" "Yeah uh, like, my daughters fluffy keeps saying 'wan die wan die" continuously? And then it went all quiet? Like, you know how to fix this shit?" "Can I please have a name, madam?" "Sharon Oat." “Thank you madam, and do you have the serial number and model of the biotoy unit?" "Like, I got the certificate here, and it says that the number is a 543-22 Wolfram." "Understood, a Wolfram model. It says here that your warranty for the product has already expired." "Ah fuck, do I have to pay for this shit?" "Oh no madam, but if you have to send your biotoy for servicing, or if a support engineer is sent onsite to your location, you will have to pay." "Whatever." "Now this wan die loop'. When did it first occur, madam?" "Like 5 days ago." "5 days ago?!" you answer, trying your best to be a bit calm "Yeah like, my daughter has gone on a field trip, so I chucked him in the basement. He started saying 'wan die' every time I came down to basement.” "The basement is not exactly the best place to keep a biotoy. The units needs a pen with adequate nutrition, entertainment, warmth and security." "What?" "They need food, toys, a heater and a bed to sleep on." "They need food regularly? I thought they were toys!" "They are biotoys. They are marketed as toys, but have the same food, water and sleep requirements of any domestic animal." "Well that is some shit. That explains why it kept eating the kibble meant for my dogs. I thought it was just playing!" "You haven't been feeding your fluffy?" "Heavens no! The whole time I thought it was a toy! It got so needy I had it chucked in the basement! Then it kept saying wan die so I was going to check it one more time, and it has been silent." >you sigh "Madame, can you please get a spoon.” ”A spoon? The fuck do I need a spoon for?” “Please get one.” >you wait for her to get a spoon “Alright, I got a spoon. Now what?” ”Place the spoon in front of the fluffy’s nose. Does the spoon mist up?” "No, am I supposed to see something?" "Madam, your fluffy is dead." "Well, that was a waste of my time." ~ "HELLO?!!" "Yes si-" "IS THIS HASBIO OR IS SOME ROBOT FUCK I HAVE TO LISTEN TO FOR ANOTHER 5 FUCKING MINUTES?!!" "Sir, please-" "DON'T TELL ME TO CALM DOWN, I HAD TO WAIT 5 MINUTES WHILE LISTENING TO YOUR SHITTY MUSIC, ONLY TO GET AN AUTOMATED MESSAGE SAYING TO WAIT!" "Sir, our lines are very busy, and there's no guarantee that you will get through all the time. We really appreciate your patience." "OKAY!" >The customer huffs and puffs audibly for a good moment. "Okay." "Your name, sir?" "Bob." "How may I assist you Bob?" “My daughters fucking shitrat won't shut the FUCK up about babies?!! Every fucking time it keeps saying BABBEHS BABBEHS BABBEHS!" >ah great, another one of these cases "Sir, this is a support hotline. A product wanting offspring may indicate a sign of loneliness or wanting affection and may-" "I DON'T WANT ANY FUCKING BABIES! ONE SHITRAT IS ENOUGH TO DEAL WITH!!" "Sir, you should carefully consider the psychological wants and needs of your biotoy. Hasbio is more than willing to offer you a voucher for a discounted-" "FUCK YOUR VOUCHERS!!! I SAID NO MORE BABIES!" >You hesitate. >You see the written memo reminding you to encourage the client to let their fluffies have children, as more fluffies will allow Hasbio to push more baby products, driving up its revenue >but fuck it. The call is not recorded "Has your fluffy been watching TV in the past few days?" "Well yeah, the fucktard watches TV everyday. That is all she's good for. That and eating, as well as rubbing her ass on any feral she meets." "FluffTV is pay per view. You can choose to have certain programming blocked. My advice is that you have the babies program blocked. Also, I recommend distracting the biotoy with some form of activity and entertainment so that it will get its mind of wanting children." >he pauses for a moment. then he asks "Will it work?" "It is one of the methods we use to deter neutered females from wanting children. Ideally, it should work. If it doesn't, please bring your fluffy to a certified biotoy organic intelligence analyst." "A what?" "A psychologist. A fluffy psychologist." "Why the FUCK would a fluffy need a psychologist?!!" "That is like asking why a child can have a psychologist. Fluffies aren't exactly children, but they do have a mind like one. It may also interest you to know that pets too have psychologists." "Alright, alright, but can't I just call you faggots again?" "Sir, this hotline is meant for fluffies that are encountering a serious system error. These errors may represent itself in the form of a loop of repeated message, such as "bad peepees" or "bad poopies" when it has critical anal or urinary incontinence, "bad wawa" when it has been exposed to water for too long other than allocated washing interval, or the 'wan die' loop, when it encounters a severe system crash. Unless your fluffy has been repeating the word 'babbehs' or 'wan babbehs', in a monotone repetitive manner and is unresponsive, I believe the issue is psychological. So tell me: has your fluffy been repeating the word "Babbeh's repeatedly in a monotonous manner?" "No." "Then your fluffy is fine and just needs to be distracted." "Okay. But a psychologist sounds expensive. Can't I just stomp the shitrat and get my daughter a new one?" >oh fuck "Sir, damage against a biotoy isn't encouraged. I understand that you are calling from America?" "Yeah, Ohio." "Sir, I believe that the law in your state prohibits the killing of a biotoy, especially if it is a store bought one. If the authorities do find out that your biotoy has gone missing, they may do an inspection, and should they find evidence of a struggle, you will be liable for charges." >You are sweating profusely. You're not sure if you've gotten through to him >However, the man on the end seems to be calming down. "Fine, fine. And you're right, it is just a toy. A pet, even. And my daughter, Lizzie, would kill me if she found out I killed her pet or took it away." "That is right sir, think of your daughter. Fluffies can be difficult for us adults, but if you properly manage them, they are worth the time and care." "Alright. I'll try the FluffTV thing. Hopefully, it'll get that shitrat to shut the fuck up." "Thank you sir. Please take a moment to answer this short customer survey." >you repeat the usual questions. He hurriedly gives the numerals expressing his mild dissatisfaction, then signs off >as the call ends, you breathe a sigh or relief. >you are fully aware that Biotoys are not recognized as animals in Ohio yet. ~ >It is lunchtime. At the canteen at Hasbio's call centre, you are having your Wednesday usual: paratha with stuffed vegetables and a cup of coffee. While enjoying your shortbread meal, you see the fairly obese figure of Vikram coming to your table "Eh Gundu (fattie)! How's work today, brudda?" "Ah, same ol', same ol'. Idiots who don't know how to manage their stupid pets." >Vikram is eating a rather unhealthy Western meal, consisting of a burger, fries and soda. You are a literal surprised by this choice of meal today, and you don't approve of it. "Dei brudda, that's a beef burger innit? Aren't you a Hindu?" "Relax brudda, its a vegetarian burger. Using the new impossible meat." "Oh, so you mean one of those patties made from various plant parts? You know its unhealthy, right? With the coconut oil, and the way they extract the red stuff and iron compound from all kinds of sources? Its like the literal definition of 'artificial food'. Not to mention, those fries you are eating most likely were fried in beef fat." "No, no, this is Hasbio certified impossible meat! They apparently are growing some new type of plant that produces a patty with all constituency of meat, but its not a meat, its from a plant!" "Hasbio?" you quietly ask. "Yeah! Want to try one?" >You look at the burger. It does look delectable. But as you stare at it, you remember reading about Hasbio's research into garden fluffies, and how the USDA classifies them as legal "plants". You have seen the videos of Hasbio cutting parts of these fluffies, much to their agony, to harvest potatoes, carrots, and in this case, a form of mock meat, approximating onion-and-soy-based mock meat mixes. However, and due to them coming from a legal “plant”, they could be considered a ‘vegetarian’ meal. As you silently wonder if your own food is affected, you cannot bring yourself to tell Vikram the truth. "No thanks, Vik. I'll just have my paratha." ~ >you're back at work >the calls have been mostly the same. A pinch here. A rub there. Nothing serious. Nothing as stupid as that one woman who called you earlier. "Good afternoon, this is Muthu. How many I assist you?" "Hello." "Hello sir, can I have a name please?" "255-71-FC." "I see, your model is a G-" "My fluffy keeps saying wan die continuously. Would you like to hear it?" >As you keep listening, you hear the neotenic and innocent voice of the fluffy. It is speaking in the monotone that you work hard to deal with from your phone "Wan die.... wan die... wan die..." "I can hear it clearly sir. I understand you own one of the Foalcan models?" "Why yes. I just purchased it a few days ago in fact. Such a cute little squeak it made as I opened the can. And then, I accidentally dropped the knife on him." >his voice is unpleasantly calm "You dropped the knife on his leg?" you inquire. "Oh yes, and his little weggie came off. He came to me crying 'daddeh daddeh fwuffy hav sowwy huwties" "So then what did you do?" "I applied salt on the wound, followed by alcohol on his leg of course. To stop the beedling." >You know whats up. "Sir, you're supposed to take the biotoy to a v-" "Shut up and let me finish. So the little shitrat kept begging me. Kept asking me for 'wuv and huggies'. But see, I heard a little thing about your little toys. So I got a bunch of needles, and stuck them in." "Sir, tampering with our product will void the warranty. It is my duty to inform you-" "I don't care about your warranty. I know about you Indian types, in your little call centres. Shitting in the designated shitting streets. No different from the shitrats. I got the needle in this fluffy right now. Would you like to hear me press a button'?” >as he says this, you can hear the deafening cry for help "SCREEEEEEEEEEEE!" >Followed by a soft whimpering "Daddeh.... pwee, fwuffy awwy wun wuv an' huggies." "Now let me press the needle again." >You hear the scream of the fluffy again, before you hear the dreaded, monotonous loop one more time "Wan die. wan die. wan die. wan die." "Now I wonder. How do you solve this wan die loop? How do you break this piece of shit rat out of it?" "Sir, what is the purpose of this call? You realize that you have already tampered with the product." >you try your best to be as calm as possible "Oh I know I have. I also know that you can't trace this call. And this call isn't recorded. I'm going to be having a lot of fun with you pajeets in your poo-in-loo seats." >the abuser hangs up >you bury your face in your palms. >you look up at the screen of your computer >for a brief moment you want to smash the wall of your computer screen, in the hopes that you can cave in the teeth of the person who just called you >right now, you just want to punch at the walls of your cubicle >you just want to punch something >but you don't want to make a scene >you hold your left hand up >with one swift sudden motion, you punch your left palm with your right hand, trying your very best to mask your anger and your frustration >your co-worker, Dewi, who sits beside you, notices. She is about ten years older than you. "Whats wrong, Muthu?" >she lays her hand upon your back, as she gives you a light massage "Its one of those people again." >you feel her fingers kneading your stiffened shoulders, as she calmly reminds you "There are bad people in this world, just as much as there are good people. Not everyone is a sage or saint." ~ >you cool off. You head to the pantry to get some tea and biscuits >You're back at your seat again. You wait for the next call "Hello, this is Muthu. How may I assist you?" >after that last call, you are prepared for the worst. "Please sir, please help my fluffy. Please. I've been trying to reach you guys for over ten minutes, and I've been getting nothing but music" "Alright miss, please calm down. Can I have a serial number?" "That's a 544-347 WagCarp." "Alright 544-347 WagCarp. I see that your fluffy is a waggytail-carpdime mix from a local breeder." "Yes. And my lovely Joe is everything to me. I take him for walks everyday and he keeps me company all the time. He is the dearest thing to me ever since my husband died and I really don't want to lose him." "May I ask when it started the loop?" "We were walking by the street one day when he saw this feral, living in a cardboard box. The feral was dirty and malnourished. He asked me 'why did fluffies like him not have their own room, toys and spaghetti? ' I had to tell him. I had to tell him that not every fluffy in the world is lucky. That some fluffies have to live on the streets. That some fluffies don't have nice mummahs and daddehs, and thus, have to fend for themselves. And for them, there is no sketti, or flufftv, or bwockies." He was crying. He really wanted to help that little feral in the cardboard box. But I had to tell him that mummah already had one fluffy, and that it would be difficult for me to take another. I should have at least taken that feral to the shelter. Poor Joe would not stop crying as we reached home." "I see, so was that what caused the wan die loop." "No, thats not it. That was two days ago. But it was related." "Then what actually caused the loop?" >she tries her best to talk coherently, as she relates what happened "I'm currently taking a masters in sociology, and one of the subjects I am covering is the issue of poverty in African countries. While doing my research, I came across this picture of a dying child in the Sudan. The image was from the 90s, and a famine had affected the area. The poor girl was naked on ground, crying. Not too far from it a vulture was nearby, waiting to eat the poor girl upon death." >you know what picture she is referring to "I take it Joe saw it." "I should have locked my door. I didn't think my fluffy would come into the room and see the screen. He asked me, why was there a birdie munstah waiting for the babbeh. Why did the babbeh nu have sketties or mummah. The giwl was onwy a wittwe babbeh. And he cried. And cried. And then he started the loop. And it is not like a feeling of agony loop. I heard about this loop, it is like he's trying to take his own life." >you don't have much time. You know the procedure "Listen to me, very carefully. Don't do this immediately. Listen to me first before you start. I need you to apply your two fingers at the back of the neck of your fluffy." "Okay, th-" "Then you need to massage him. Tell him that mummah is nearby. He will most likely cry and ask why 'nu wan hewp babbeh'. You need to keep massaging him. He is undergoing an emotional distress that will cause his processing unit to crash and cause the loop. Massaging him helps ease the overload of information that he has received. Right now, the first thing he needs is a reminder of your love and care." "Alright. I'll try this." >from your cubicle, you can hear the faint walking of the client as she walks out to collect her fluffy >as she enters the room, you can hear the poor thing, in this distance, repeating the loop >after, a while you hear something else "Mummah! Mummah! Fwuffy wan hewp babbeh! Why nu wun hewp babeh?! Huu huu...." "Don't cry little Joe. Mummah's here." >you hear the constant babbling of the fluffy, on the verge of breakdown, and its human owner, desperately trying to reassure him that everything is okay >you're not sure what will happen next. He could very easily fall into the loop as much as he can easily fall into sleep. >For now though, you hear the gentle cry of an empathetic but naive little soul "Pwease hewp babbeh." >you then hear the soft coo of a fluffy drifting into sleep >you then hear the cackle of a phone being picked up, as the client returns to the phone "Joe's better now! I'm so happy! Thank you Mu-" "It's not over." "What?! What else do I need to do?!! Please tell me!" "Your fluffy will still have the after-effects of the emotional distress. Despite common belief, some fluffies can hold on to memories, and the emotional distress can resurface at any time. My first suggestion is that, for today, you give him a treat - I suppose spaghetti in this case - and you give him as much play time as possible." "Okay." "Then you will need to see a psychologist as soon as possible. It will be a bit costl-" "Its okay. I can afford it." "I take it you're doing your masters at a University?" "I am. I am from the National University of Technology in Singapore." "Ah, good. There is a licensed biotoy analyst who works at the university. As you are a student at NUTS, he can examine and counsel your fluffy at a reduced rate. If you can provide me with a name, email and phone number, I can write up a reference for you so that a discount can be arranged." >the call goes on for a few more minutes, as you work out the details and arrangements for her >as the call ends, you feel a sense of fulfillment. ~ >it is evening. The workday has ended >you head home >Chennai is not a perfect place. While you work in a fairly bourgeois and upmarket area of the city, once in a while, you pass by the more poverty-stricken areas of the city >even now, in this modern day and age, the lack of proper sanitation in their homes, the clogged sewage, and the corruption of the city, means that a lot of the city's poor have to head to a specific area to defecate openly >with the recent introduction of Hasbio's biotoys throughout the country, feral fluffies have started to demarcate these areas as their own pooping grounds >walking by, you see a child, defecating on a road. >right next to him is a fluffy, doing the same thing >upon finishing their business, the child proceeds to pick up his fluffy, then run off >He is malnourished, but his belly is bloated, indicate a rare but definite case of Kwashiorkor, suggesting a clear deficiency of protein >you try to put your mind off this ~ >you have reached home "Daddeh!!!" >Its Raahul, your pet Indian fluffalo >Hasbio fluffaloes in India are tailored after the local cattle breeds. Thus, unlike their American cousins, they lack the fluff over their eyes >however, they share the same horns, and overall musculature >fluffalo have become increasingly popular in India. While girls have fluffies, the cattle has always been seen as a sacred animal in Hinduism. However, while rural populations have grazing area and space for cattle to roam, the urban areas are not feasible for cattle >as such, the fluffalo has been a welcome addition to the domestic animal trade in India, as it allows anyone to own their own sacred cow at home "Raahul! How's my little boy?" "Wahuw hav wotsa fun todae! Werned aww abou Wamana, an' how Wamana giv' Bawi sowwy huwties!" "Vamana, huh? Not bad little one." "Wahul wan daddeh's bestest japatis!" >You smirk. With your biotechnical expertise, you manage to "rewire" Rahul so that, instead of craving that Italian dish, he now prefers eating chapatis, like the good lil' Indian he is "I'll make you some chapatis then, little guy. By the way, have you been practising your Tamil?" "Oh yes daddeh! ௧, ௨ , ௩ !" >he can only count 1 to 3 in tamil. But its a start "Good boy. Now I'm definitely making some chapatis for you!" >both of you have a good meal of chapatis with daal and lassis >you then proceed to watch some television >you have FluffTv, but there's another movie on the local channel that you want to get Raahul to watch >after hearing two of the cases today, you kind of want to remind yourself why you have Raahul https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uC3DmRfEigg "Mitwa, Sun Mitwa, Tujhko Kya Darr Hai ReYeh Dharti Apni Hai, Apna Ambar Hai Re" >As Aamir Khan and villagers starts to dance on the television, you start to imitate him >your fluffalo, too, stands on his hind legs, and starts to copy you, as the two of you dance and sing to the Hindi lyrics O Mitwa, Sun Mitwa, Tujhko Kya Darr Hai ReDharti Apni Hai, Apna Ambar Hai ReTu Aaja Reeeeee ~ >Both your fluffalo and you stand before the shrine >recalling his role in the Ramayana, you pray to Hanuman for braveness and wellness of body >someday, you'll tell Raahul about the Ramayana >about how the brave Rama fought the demon king Ravana in order to save his beloved Sita >and how Rama befriended the man-ape Hanuman. >you lie down on the mattress, your sacred fluffalo beside you >as your mind drifts into sleep, you silently pray for Hanuman to bless Raahul and you with strength
2020.08.27 20:37 FeistyBlackCatIs Kelly a fundie? A deep dive. (Apologies for the massive amount of information in here)
Ohhh Kelly, where do we start? Like most of you I first came across the Midwestern gothic word vomiter that is KellyHavensOhio on Fundie Snark. In just about every post about her a snarker would inevitably question her validity as a fundie. So, I got curious, shoved my actual PhD research aside and spent many long days combing through her insta and pulling my hair out in frustration (how can someone say so little with SO MANY WORDS????) I actually went into this project thinking I would prove that we SHOULDN’T be snarking on Kelly. I was basing this mostly on her pictures (who has the patience to read ALL THAT TEXT???). I thought that she might be strange and religious, but should be able to do whatever she wants on her personal social media as long as she isn’t using it as a “ministry” like our other beloved fundies. Boy was I wrong. Using the fundiesnark guide here in combination with evidence from her Instagram (Kelly has other platforms, but her Instagram is very dense, so I’ll be exclusively referencing information found there), I believe Kelly is 100% snarkable. Let’s dive in. Kelly’s Background/Descent Into Fundie-ism: Our Kelly started out as what appears to be a normal mainstream Christian with an incredibly privileged life. Her dad is a medical doctor for some branch of the US military (I can’t be fucked to dig back into her comments to find the specific branch) and it looks like, although she mostly lived on the East Coast of the US, she also had the opportunity to live abroad when her parents were stationed in Europe. She has two sisters, both with university degrees and careers. She also was not homeschooled (she went to *gasp* PUBLIC school!) and was able to explore various hobbies and intellectual pursuits through highschool into college, including photography and writing. Based on her Instagram posts like this, she was first exposed to fundie-ism in college when she met her current husband. Although she went to a liberal arts college, it kinda seems like she didn’t exactly fit in with her peers there (she says she was "rejected" by the world and felt anxious and out-of-place) so she looked for friends in the local community, specifically within her husband’s “little country church” (more on that later). This is when she “found the Lord” and changed her life goals. She talks about preferring "conservative" country people to the stifling "liberal" university setting. (Pictures from her Baptism/Conversion). Although she originally majored in philosophy, after meeting her husband/finding the Lord she changed her degree to English because "old time theology" was a safer option and didn't strain her mind so much. She states that she wanted to drop out of college after meeting her husband, but it seems like her parents "pressured her" to pursue an intellectual path and graduate with her degree. Kelly's husband (and his 11 siblings!) were all homeschooled and have bizarre Biblical names (Kelly even said she'll be naming all her children after Biblical figures, as well as homeschooling them). His mom (super easy to find on insta/google) has a super religious family blog and fancies herself a "Christian Author" if you feel like diving into that, but I won't cover it here. The point of this is that her husband definitely was raised in a fundie family and that Kelly and him plan on raising their children in a similar lifestyle. As far as denomination goes, Kelly describes her beliefs as "a Bible-Believing Christian", but specifies Church of Christ/ Church of God in other comments. Here are some of her comments that describe her specific theology. It's not as interesting to me as her "Christian lifestyle" posts, but it helps understand her underlying beliefs a bit more. Snarkability: Kelly’s Intent For Her Social Media: From the Fundiesnark rules about who we can snark on: **“**Many users reported that rather then being snark on religion the posts were mainly focusing on REDACTED’S clothing and looks, the sub is here to discuss and laugh at fundies doing weird things in the name of their religion. Taking her Instagram profile at face value there is no evidence (that we could see) of her spewing hate, promoting a bigoted rhetoric or using her platform to outwardly evangelise. All of the things that make our pet fundies so infuriating and interesting to us.” Kelly refers to her Instagram/photography/etsy shop as her “ministry ALL THE TIME . She is very clear that she intends to use her platform to evangelize. She also constantly mentions that God is her photography director and tells her what to share with her followers (major Karissa vibes here). Kelly even spent FOUR HOURS on a recent post because she takes her "Calling" as an influencer seriously. Her ultimate goal is to write a book. The synopsis of her future book is really worth it's own post, but I can't resist sharing this special treat with all of you: Basically her book is based on her own life before a godly man showed her the way to God. I'll just let you read it in her own words because there's no way I can do this shit justice! Kelly’s Most Problematic Beliefs: Modesty: Did you think the prairie skirts were just for the aesthetic??? Hell no! Kelly wants you to know that God wants women to dress modestly! Modesty= Beauty! How could anyone respect their God-given body without adorning it in modest clothing??? She "regrets" that she had a normal childhood and her parents didn't force her to dress modestly. And, much like our Baird buddies, laments that it is so difficult to find modest clothing! “Biblical” Gender Roles: “Natural God-Given Gender Roles” are Kelly’s gluten-free bread and butter (she’s Paleo, not that you wanted to know, but she mentions it A GAZILLION TIMES). What exactly does she consider to be the role of women? To be "homemakers, wives and mothers". In one post she discusses losing her job, stating that “As a woman my duty is to serve my family…My work was getting in the way of my purpose”. Even working from home can is "unnatural" for women. Here is a compilation of screenshots in which Kelly discusses the "role of a homemaker"(I have so many more but got sick of posting them to Imgur). She repeats the same sentiments over and over: that a woman is happiest "keeping house" and serving her husband. In this gem she claims that obeying submitting to your husband (even if you don't understand what he is ordering to do or why) is freeing and allows a woman to relax in her role. According to Kelly, women NEED a husband to feel truly fulfilled. She describes life as a "single" being one filled with "sorrow". Unsurprisingly, Kelly's beliefs about a woman's role in the family overlap a lot with tradwife beliefs (she even uses the hashtag in her posts). Interactions With Her Followers: Kelly's interactions with her followers are disturbing. She constantly reiterates the idea that one cannot have a fulfilling life without God or a husband. When a follower mentioned abusive relationships in response to one of Kelly's posts about marriage=freedom, she did a little victim-blaming and essentially said that if someone is Christian they can't be in an abusive relationship. She echoes these thoughts in a response to another follower who escaped an abusive husband. If you are "struggling" with singleness, Kelly has some encouraging words for you. All you have to do is delight in the Lord and he'll bring you a husband! What if you can't catch yerself a godly man? Welp, Kelly thinks that celibacy is your God-honoring path. There are also some Gwen Shamblin-esque comments about dieting/exercising FoR tHe LoRd. Anti-Thought Kelly has many anti-intellectual posts about "purging her mind" from all that thinkin' nonsense she learned at university. When a follower asked her why she glorifies ignorance, she had this to say. In Kelly's world, thinking leads to negativity. Apparently if you think about the "troubles of the world" you can't be blissfully ignorant! She also focuses her posts on encouraging followers to "be simple like children" in their "purity". As a researcher and "thinker" myself, I find Kelly's refusal to acknowledge anything outside her "perfect" self-created cottagecore world horrifying and harmful. Especially considering the fact that she plans on being in control of her childrens' education. I guess she's just not going to tell them about the unpleasant parts of life??? Natural Labor: Kelly has some…interesting views on childbirth. Like our other fundies, she glorifies NaTuRaL LaBoR as a godly childbirth in her posts and encourages it for her followers. Her unique twist on this is that Jesus can remove the pain part of labor if you allow him to relax your mind enough (?????). She presents pain as something that humans create by not trusting God enough, but in another post says that God doesn't erase pain??? I'm confused. I’ll spare you from her 3-part birth series post (I’m sure it’s been posted here before), but she seriously romanticizes the birthing process (she supposedly wandered into a meadow to pluck fresh wildflowers after her water broke). Oh, and the Holy Spirit is her birthing coach. Covid: Kelly is a Covid “truther”. Despite the Ohio stay at home order she has been attending church services and “fellowshipping” regularly (To be fair it does look like she stayed at home at least once for the Easter Service). I won’t link pictures of their social media here (I want to stick to JUST Kelly), but her In-Laws have been posting conspiracy theories about how Covid “just happened to appear during an election year”. They’re all also registered Republicans and Trump supporters *shocked face*. In this post Kelly refers to the “advent” of Covid, implying that it isn’t real. Romanticisation of the Past: Kelly really likes the Colonial period. According to her: “…old ways are better and old things are better.” Apparently if we just all went back to the "old simple ways" our "modern problems" would disappear. Even her church (she doesn't specifically mention the name of the church, I just REALLY went deep in this research project and managed to find out which church she attends) describes its beliefs as "old-fashioned". I think it goes without saying that Kelly NEVER addresses the problematic elements of early America, or even the existence of anyone who isn't white or Christian. In her world, early Americans were "visionaries" and "men of faith". FundieSnark Rules: Just in case you are still wondering if Kelly fits into all the rules on Fundiesnark, I'll address them directly here. On this post a mod lists the criteria for determining if someone is a fundie, stating that the subject must: "Have more than insta as a social media platform (blogs, youtube, Facebook) think of our common subjects." Kelly's primary platform is instagram. She also has a photography flickr, as well as a Facebook dedicated to her photography business. Additionally she has a couple of Etsy shops (one of which is listed on her instagram "about" section). "Their account should be predominantly religious in content (the weird clothes and hair are the cherry on the top)." Hopefully with all the screenshots I've posted you can see that Kelly's religious beliefs permeate every one of her posts. She even says as much here (as one example). "Random profiles from people like [REDACTED], however amusing, don’t generate much discussion beyond the superficial stuff. Keep it on topic." Kelly's aesthetic is weird. Because of her anti-intellectual views, MASSIVE text walls and emphasis on "simplicity" it is easy to focus on the superficial elements of her insta, which...is what she's going for? I think that when we post about Kelly it's important that we ask why she's posting these things and what kind of message she's sending to her followers. Why is Kelly Particularly Concerning to Me? Kelly’s beliefs are similar to many of our pet fundies. Like Birthy and P+M she pushes the prosperity gospel and promises of “true happiness” if you follow God’s rules. However, I think Kelly is more dangerous than them because she hides a lot of her problematic beliefs behind walls of flowery prose and cottagecore inspired photos. Delving into her Instagram, I was surprised to discover that some of my non-fundie friends follow and like her pictures. Kelly is educated and spent a portion of her life as a non-fundie, so she is able to present better than some of our less-than-self-aware fundie friends. It’s easy to gloss over Kelly’s “message” and her pictures/romanticized version of life can be appealing to people who enjoy things like cottagecore and homesteading, but it’s not real. Under the surface there’s a message that there is something inherently wrong with you if you aren’t Christian. If something bad happens to you it’s because you aren’t trusting God enough.
2020.08.25 18:00 TempSpasticThe Smiths & Morrissey as seen by others
Electronic - Getting Away With It Recently I have been listening to Johnny Marr's work in Electronic and was amused to learn that the lyrics to their hit "Getting Away With It" — co-written with New Order's Bernard Sumner and Pet Shop Boys' Neil Tennant — were intended as a parody of Morrissey's "morose and masochistic" lyrical stylings. It's evident throughout, and that knowledge certainly makes the first line especially humorous, where one might imagine a dejected Morrissey doing the same:
I've been walking in the rain just to get wet on purpose
Orange Juice - I Guess I'm Just a Little Too Sensitive By sheer coincidence I also recently came across this 1984 song by the Scottish band Orange Juice and learned that they would dedicate it to Morrissey when playing it on tour. The song is about giving up on an abusive and one-sided relationship, but taking the chorus in isolation one wonders if they may have been cheekily referring to similar traits as the Electronic song. Brand New - Mix Tape And of course, a well-known modern example. Lead singer Jesse Lacey was an ardent disciple of Morrissey even all the way back to the band's debut album, and here pens an explicit defense/tribute to his idol:
And I'm sick of your tattoos, and the way you always criticize The Smiths And Morrissey
2020.08.23 20:46 baltinerdistDebunking the Most Common Stadia Myths
I originally posted the following article on Stadia Source along with a companion video. I’ve collected the most common myths here and will attempt to debunk them to help provide clarity to the people who might be interested in giving game streaming a try but are having a hard time cutting through the misinformation to really understand the platform. These myths are presented in no particular order.
Myth 1: You have to pay for Stadia’s subscription (Stadia Pro) or Stadia hardware to use the service.
Arguably the most prevalent myth concerning Stadia has to do with requiring Stadia Pro in order to play games on Stadia. I want to tackle this one front and center with a clear, resounding message: You don’t have to pay for anything but the games if you don’t want to. This myth persists for two reasons. First, back when Stadia initially launched (in what many of us consider a closed beta state), you had to purchase a Founders or Premiere kit from the Google Store in order to enjoy Stadia. Of course, that got you a controller and Chromecast Ultra, so Google was setting you up to have a great experience from the start, but because there was an investment required from the first moment, the promise of “only buy the games” wasn’t available. The buddy pass system helped a bit to debunk this, but still, someone had to put money down to get anyone access to Stadia. Second, even at Stadia’s full public launch this past spring, the emphasis was placed on getting a free trial of Stadia Pro to get access to the system. It wasn’t clear then and they’ve only begun to clear it up now and all you really have to do is put a credit card down, click to buy the game, and start playing. And that’s exactly all you have to do. If you see a game on Stadia that you want to play such as Orcs Must Die 3, you can head to the Stadia store, click to buy it, and click to play it. You don’t have to subscribe to Stadia Pro (though doing so gets you great benefits such as dozens of free games for the life of your subscription and higher resolution gameplay), you don’t even have to own a Chromecast or a Stadia controller. If you have a computer screen with a mouse and a keyboard, you can play any game on Stadia. If you have a controller from another system and can hook that up to your Android phone via bluetooth or cable, or your desktop/laptop, you can play any game on Stadia. Let me say it again: you don’t have to pay for anything but the game you want to play.
Myth 2: Stadia has no games / has only old games.
Of the assorted myths that plague Stadia, this one has the slightest kernel of truth to it, but that kernel is very small, getting smaller, and founded in mismanaged expectations about how the system works. At the time of this writing, Stadia has more than six dozen games playable today and a couple dozen more already announced for the platform. Yes, the majority of those games are ports from other consoles or PC. But let’s look at some of the highlights of that list of ports: Destiny 2, PUBG, and The Elder Scrolls Online are three of the most popular online games on the market today, all of which continue to see releases. The Division 2, Borderlands 3, Metro Exodus, and Red Dead Redemption 2 are constantly found on the top games lists from 2019. And there are more outstanding titles like Strange Brigade, Celeste, Octopath Traveler, Mortal Kombat 11, and more on the platform. More top titles from the past year like Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order are on their way to the platform. Stadia has also gotten or is scheduled to get both AAA titles and anticipated indie titles as well right alongside their console or PC releases, from Doom Eternal to Marvel’s Avengers to Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. The idea that Stadia has “no games” is only partially to blame because they have “few” games. There’s no way that a platform that just launched a few months ago is going to have the library that consoles with backwards compatibility and a couple of decades of developer relationships is going to have. Creating a brand new game on a brand new platform takes time. Porting a game that is already done takes less time and if you’ve never played the game before (more on that next), then it doesn’t really matter if it’s a year old or ten years old.
Myth 3: You have to buy all your games again.
Edit: This one seems to be tripping people up. Let's be fair and say this one isn't literally a myth but is a common complaint that ignores the reality of a new platform coming onto the market. I'm leaving the main content where it is, but I hear you on the use of "myth" for this one. This one is one I’d put in the “mythconception” bucket - half myth, half misconception about how the platform works and really, how gaming in general works. This springs forth from the notion that a significant portion of Stadia’s available game library is comprised of ports of older games like Tomb Raider and Final Fantasy XV. Of course, if you’ve already purchased those games somewhere else and wanted to play them on Stadia, well, you’d have to buy them again. But why is Stadia any different than any other platform in that regard? If you bought Celeste from the Nintendo eShop on your Switch and then sold your Switch to get an Xbox, if you wanted to play Celeste on the Xbox, you’d need to buy the game again. If you bought Mortal Kombat 11 on PlayStation and you decided you wanted to play it on Steam, you’d have to buy it again. That’s just how gaming commerce works. The Switch is actually a great example of a gaming platform whose library is rife with ports, but no one seems to give them the same level of criticism about having to buy Skyrim for the fourteenth time if you want to play it with the Joy-Cons instead. (No, Stadia doesn’t have Skyrim yet, but since they’ve brought it to everything just short of the Apple Watch, I’d be surprised if we don’t get it at some point.) Here’s the key difference with Stadia: if you decide to buy The Crew 2 on Stadia and then you decide to stop playing on Stadia and go out and buy an Xbox, you don’t lose Stadia. Your account is still there, your purchases are still there, and at any point in the future, you can connect that Xbox controller to your phone/PC and fire up The Crew 2 again on Stadia. “Switching platforms” just isn’t a thing with Stadia. It can be your first platform or it can be your fourth but you never walk away from it, you just close the tab for now. The other factor here is that if you’ve never played one of these games, it really doesn’t matter that it came out first somewhere else. Stadia makes an amazing “second platform” for most people, but for many like me, it’s become a “first platform” where we can play top games from the past few years that we’ve never had a chance to play. If you don’t own an Xbox or PlayStation or powerful-enough PC, it doesn’t really matter that Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is nearly two years old.
Myth 4: You have to have amazing internet speeds to play Stadia / gameplay is a stuttery, laggy mess.
This particular myth is most common amongst people who have never actually tried Stadia but instead have taken their opinion from the clickbait videos that popped up early in Stadia’s history. It’s easy to say that Stadia is terrible and it won’t work for you if you actually never find out for yourself. As well, it’s easy to see a handful of videos of people having a bad experience and assume that you’ll have the same bad experience, despite the fact that you aren’t likely to be on their ISP, their devices, their modem, their router, their wiring, their wifi, their interference, or any of the other myriad of factors that will make your experience different from theirs. However, this really lays bare one of the challenges facing Stadia that they really haven’t done a lot to address. The ability to play Stadia is really quite variable. I am confident that the vast majority of players will be able to hit go on any given Stadia game and have a great experience, but Stadia doesn’t make that easy. In my opinion, Stadia would do themselves a tremendous favor if instead of a generic “can I handle Stadia” page which only tests ping and download speeds, they just embed a window where you click to start playing fifteen minutes of Grid or Doom Eternal or any other game where you could be dropped into the middle of something and have a reasonably full-featured experience without knowing the controls. The Crowd Play demos that streamers have recently done would be an excellent tool to let people try it for themselves: set it up such that if you don’t have the game, you get to play one round of Mortal Kombat 11 to see how it works and then end the stream with a “Sign Up Now” button and boom, myth busted. Will there be people for whom Stadia won’t work? Yes, of course there will be. If you rely on satellite internet or DSL, you’re probably not going to have a great experience. If you have a large family where everyone is on at least two screens at any point in the day eating up bandwidth, you’re probably going to experience some issues. And of course, you may be in a country where Stadia just isn’t available. If any of those are the case, well, we’re going to miss you but enjoy your Switch or Xbox or PlayStation or PC. You’ll still get to enjoy games and maybe someday your circumstances will change to make Stadia work great for you. I can say from personal experience that I have played Stadia under just about every set of circumstances out there. I’ve enjoyed Assassin’s Creed Odyssey on some of the worst airport wifi available in the nation. I’ve fired up Superhot in hotels, Borderlands 3 in bookstore cafes, and Monster Boy at my mother-in-law’s house. Is it always a pristine experience? No. But the majority of the time, Stadia (which I’ll remind you is literally streaming console quality games to you like they were a cute cat video on YouTube) plays great. I’ve also got news for you: if you can’t play Stadia, you’re almost guaranteed to not have a good experience on XCloud, GeForceNow, or Shadow. No one has better cloud infrastructure than Google save maybe Amazon. Yes, you might be the sliver of folks who live closer to an Azure data center than a Google point-of-presence, but odds are good if you can’t play here, you can’t play there.
Myth 5: Developers aren’t supporting Stadia.
The Stadia library would like to have a word with anyone who buys this myth. Let’s take a quick loop through just some of the developers and publishers who have games on the platform today or are actively working on them for release:
CD Projekt Red
Warner Bros. Interactive
Most of the top games available today come from these studios. The only notable exception is Activision / Blizzard who already partner with Google for cloud services, so it’s just a matter of time. On the release schedule, we’ve already got Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Cyberpunk 2077, Watch Dogs Legion, the next Madden and FIFA games, and more. Make no mistake, these are profit-minded companies who have Chief Financial Officers who are signing off on the decision to divert developer resources from the juggernauts and move them to Stadia. There are executives with business and accounting degrees who see dollar signs when they look at Stadia. This isn’t just a pet project, this is a revenue stream for these companies. If it were just one or two kicking the tires, I’d say Stadia was a toy they’re playing with that might end up somewhere. But these are the top game studios and publishers on the market today. Many of them make games that sell in the millions or tens of millions of copies. They’re not going to burn hundreds of staff hours on a project that they think is going to fizzle out, not when they could churn out another game for a money printer like the Switch.
Myth 6: Stadia is just going to end up in the Google Graveyard.
If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably seen my rants and ravings against the concept of the Google Graveyard. Very few myths about Stadia and Google products as a whole annoy me more than this trite little witty bon mot people drop into Twitter and Reddit threads decrying how awful Google is as a company. Don’t get me wrong, there are concerns to be had about the sheer overwhelming volume of data Google has on all of us, but the Google Graveyard is just blatantly false. Consider this: your needs are changing and your family is growing so you decide to buy a new, bigger, better house. You take the majority of your furniture except that one side chair (you never liked that side chair), that end table (that has the wobbly leg), and your old mattress (it’s high time you upgrade to a king size bed) and you move it to your new house. Is your new house exactly like your old house? No. Are there things about your old house that you might have even liked better than the new one? Sure. But your needs have changes, your resources are different now, and you needed to move on so that your life could continue to work well. If you look at any list of products in the Google Graveyard, you’re going to find that the vast majority of them fall into that “moved into a new house” category. Does anyone remember calling 1-800-GOOG-411 for free directory assistance? That’s in the graveyard now. Can’t call it. Hasn’t worked in years. Why? Because Google took the best parts of it (business detail lookup, voice recognition) and put them in search and the Assistant and so forth. Remember Google Wave? Real-time collaboration and commenting is now a standard feature of Google Drive. How about Allo, just recently killed? Stickers, assistant, and read receipts are all part of the standard Messages app now. Google is a business. It is a software and services company. It has to have the right to iterate, innovate, and occasionally, deprecate. Sometimes it’s easier to buy a new table than to try and fix the wobbly leg. Sometimes the mattress would probably do fine for another couple of years but you can have a better night’s sleep on a brand new, bigger bed. Sometimes patching old bugs and building new scaffolding onto old architecture is a lot more work than just starting fresh on a new app. Are there some programs that were working just fine that they killed off? Yes. (RIP Google Inbox.) But that’s their right. Google is a profit-making endeavor, not a charity. If they decide that one day that Stadia has run its course and it’s time to shut it down, that’s going to hurt. But there’s no way I could deny that the literally 400+ hours I’ve spent on Stadia so far haven’t been worth the money I’ve put in. I’ve gotten my money’s worth and then some. To those who decry the loss of access to their games, does it really matter that you can’t play a game you bought five years ago and haven’t touched in four anymore? Did you enjoy it when you had it? You may be saying, “well, that’s unacceptable to me. If I bought it, I should be able to play it forever.” If that’s you, enjoy your PC or Xbox or PlayStation or Switch. Stadia clearly isn’t the right platform for you. But there are plenty of us who understand what we’ve signed up for and are fine with whatever might come down the road. Plus, as I mentioned before, Google usually just moves the best furniture to a new house. If they decide after five or ten years that Stadia is dead, I’m going to be very excited for whatever they decide to do with the furniture. As awesome as Stadia is, whatever comes after it will be that much more incredible. I hope that this article has helps to bust some of the most prevalent myths about the Stadia platform. I also hope that if Stadia ever reads this article, they consider doing a bit more work to bust these myths on their own. The recent turn away from the crazy hair trippy music video style advertising towards simple, clean, direct promotion of the service says that they’ve started to hear this message and are making changes accordingly. I hope that they’ll continue to listen and course-correct as time goes on.
2020.08.17 07:43 palexander_6First time bearded dragon owner, one day in. He was re-homed from a less than satisfactory environment
I don’t want to judge the previous owner harshly because I am new to this. I knew from the time I was in college, and my best friends’ beardie named Cornelius rested on my shoulder for an hour straight, that I would have a dragon someday. The owner posted him last night about 8:00 pm. I showed my husband and we immediately agreed to get him. This guy was selling the (estimated) 3 year old dragon with all equipment, heat lamps, etc for under $200. Maybe that was stupid of us, but something just made us do it. We’ve been talking about it for years. We have two young boys that are fascinated with gardener snakes and reptiles. Upon entering this mans house, my two year old boy perched on my hip, it became apparent that he was an indoor smoker. Also, that he wasn’t keen to clean much. Bottom line, it stunk. He had the beardie in a 20 gallon tank. He’s 3. I may be new when it comes to beardie care, but everything I’ve researched says no LESS than 40. We had to take him. He explained that he belonged to his grandson who moved out and neither of them had any interest in him, he’s rarely to never been handled. The man was honest, the beardie was an unwanted pet/responsibility. I think that’s what made me love him immediately. We’re a rural society, our single local exotic pet shop isn’t open sundays. We didn’t care, we bought him and brought him home and he is ours. Tomorrow, we splurge on a bigger tank, a basking rock, a proper diet. We get rid of the reptile carpet that smells like a home saturated in cat piss and cigarette smoke. He’s gonna be loved. I am the type of person who has probably 50 notes on my phone with pet and child name ideas, so I was thrilled to rename him. The owner never mentioned his name, and we were in a hurry to get out of there so we forgot to ask. He messaged my husband a few minutes after we left his house. All he said was, “names Spike” Spike, we had to keep it. It was so totally unoriginal and wonderful that I decided last night that we were keeping it. I’ve been downing YouTube videos and websites to make sure we do this right. I am an absolute emotional wreck when it comes to creatures in my care and I probably talked Spike’s little ear off for about 45 minutes last night about how it was going to be ok and things would get better. My two year old woke up this morning, ran straight to Spikes tank getting up on his step stool, and said to the best of his ability, “pike” and then called him, again in two year old speak, “my baby.” Welcome home, Spike!
2020.08.15 18:43 OculusfluffyWan Pway? - by Oculus (xpost from fluffybooru) (Part 1)
Originally posted on: https://www.fluffybooru.com/post/view/57749 “Wan Pway?” ~Alternatively titled “Excerpts from the Diary of Tan Teck Sing, James~ ~By Oculus~ Part 1 31 January 202X I sometimes wonder why I write in diary. It seems like an incredibly effeminate thing to do, and it is not a fact that I share with just about anyone. I started the practice of writing in a diary when I was doing National Service. For three long months I was away from home and family with no one to really confide in. While I got to know and adapt to platoon, I sort of resented them. Being a junior college graduate who enrolled later, I got stuck with the polytechnic and ITE graduates who were a very different crowd from who I knew, along with the dropouts The idea of writing a journal entry isn't foreign to me. When I was in secondary school, I grew up on facebook, and then tumblr, before making a move to livejournal, which seemed cosier and less noticed. However, without access to internet, I had to make do with a physical book. Hiding my diary from the other recruits would be difficult and I was called ‘girly’ and ‘gay’ for doing so. To the best of my ability, I tried to make my posts as inoffensive as possible. Still, my diary got defaced and vandalised from time to time, but I stuck to it, having to constantly tear out the pages other people had written it. Eventually, I was selected for training in the Officer Cadet School (OCS), where I was grouped with more like-minded fellows. Keeping a diary there was easier and by then, the diary I kept during that period was a lot cleaner and less affected than the one I had during BMT. I don't know if I lost or deliberately threw away my BMT diary, but I still have my OCS diary, to remind me of the year I spent training to be an officer. This practice followed me into university. Even as I got more sociable and started hanging out with people, there were some thoughts and ideas that I just didn't feel ready to put into an online journal for all to see. Looking back at how I was initially in the sciences, to switching to the humanities in junior college, my family balked at the idea. But I just love literature. And I love reading books. And the English language. As much as I came from an all-Chinese family, I was raised by my parents in English, and pretty much every facet of my life had been dominated by the English language. I am familiar with the businesses and people that want to push for a stronger Mandarin presence, owing to the influence of China and our Chinese majority, but to me, English is just the more comfortable and interesting language. I always harboured a dream of going to Oxford to study but, alas, my mediocre results meant that the best I could manage was an entry into the National University of Singapore, where I barely got a Bachelors in Literature. It has been about two months since I've been teaching what is now my third class of students at this Primary school. I always wanted to be a teacher, and after being trained in MOE, I was finally allocated to one of the neighbourhood primary schools. (a guy I disliked from my adolescence who got to study abroad is currently teaching English at JC level, the lucky bastard) Young children are a handful and are difficult to work with, but I try my best. The bigger problem these days seems to be the rise in autism - as each year goes by, there seems to be more children with high-functioning autism being in my classes. Dealing with them is a real test of my patience, and I sometimes wonder to myself why I am a teacher. But I try. 3rd February 202X Something is bugging me today. When I entered the class to teach English, one of the children, Henry I think, started speaking to me with a lisp. but it wasn't just the lisp. It was his choice of language. I'm going to try and remember how the conversation goes "Now class, I have four words here. Cat, ball, dog and cooking. Which of these four words isn't a noun?" No one raises their hands. I point at Henry "Henry, which of the four is not a noun?" "Fwuffy nu understan, nice mistah. Am having thinkie pwaces huwties." I blink my eyes. "Excuse me?" "Cooking." I don't know if that actually came from Henry, or someone else in the class About half an hour later, we were reading the story about the Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen. While reading it, I remember what Henry said at one point "Duckwing am poopie babbeh! Mummah duckie nu wuv! Gib poopeh duckwing sowwy huwties!" I don't know if Henry is joking or if its his autism. He was mentioned by his parents to be suffering from autism 14th February 202X Chinese New Year celebrations at the school just concluded. I'm taking the time off to update my diary because why not. I will be busy for most of this evening and tomorrow. First will be the reunion dinner, and tomorrow will be visiting more relatives. Thankfully, I'm single currently, so the pool of relatives I visit won't be that large. Also, as a single individual, I can still receive angpaos from my elders. The one thing I am looking forward to is the long weekend. I don't have anything planned for Sunday, or Monday, and Monday is currently Hari Raya. (I can't remember if its Puasa or Haji, I'm neither Malay nor a Muslim) 16th February 202X With nothing better to do, I decided to sit down and watch some Sunday Morning cartoons. I'm a big fan of animation. I used to enjoy reruns of stuff like classic Duckstory, the FlowerFluff Gals and, of course, My Little Fluffy. That last two was made by the same company, Hassenfeld. They have also made other cartoons like The Fluffiest Pet Store and PoundDogs. And of course, I do like the action stuff, like reruns of Strong-Man and G.I. Prawn: Real South-African Hero. Yet none of the cartoons today just seem to be any good. A recurring thing I see in cartoons these days is this cheap design. That they have this big grin that you can't avoid. Watch any cartoon released after 2015, and you start to see it. They call it the ‘CalArts smile’. The themes and topics of these cartoons are also lacking, in addition to the poor animation. There's no big adventure or recurring storyline. Almost every episode is a simple gag, told with bland humour. I swear I've seen at least one episode that had too many flatulence jokes. After a while, I got frustrated and switched off the television. My brother, whose younger than me by about 5 years and is still in university, notices my frustration. "Wassup, bro?" "Cartoons suck these days." "Nobody watches TV anymore, bro. Everybody watches youtube these days, especially the kids." 16th February 202X I have no idea what the fuck I've just watched. I decided to try out youtube kids, to see what passes for children's entertainment these days. At first glance, the content seemed educational. There is the usual content provided by channels like PBS and Discovery. All open, fairly accessible, nothing offensive. But then, one of the videos that I eventually got recommended was something simply titled "Nutewwa song" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25-zU5X_tEM Its literally just one guy, holding a jar of nutella, repeating the lines "Nutewwa, nuttewwa, I wuv nuttewwa. wub wub wub, nuttewwa wub nuttewwa" The thing goes on for literally four minutes. I had to fast forward to see if the lyrics changed. They did not. I then see a video with a long title, but I could roughly summarize to being about teaching children how to count to five. However, what I got was more bizarre https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTEmCTZON3A It has human actors, but they speak with a lisp. And the lyrics go something like this: "Daddeh fingah, daddeh fingah, whewe am fwuff? Hewe am fwuff, here am fwuff! How daddeh do? Mummah fingah, mommy fingah, whewe am fwuff? Here am fwuff, here am fwuff! How mummah do?" I try searching for the lyrics. Like Baby shark, it apparently belongs to a song called "finger family". However, while the correct lyrics are provided, the ones in the video weren't. And there's hundreds of these videos. Some with real human actors. Others with very minimalist animation. All singing the same song with the same exact lisp. Sure, the voices are different, but the pronunciation is almost always the same I had to exit youtube kids for a moment and search on normal youtube to find the original song. I managed to find an old video from over a decade ago, that has only for about ten thousand views. In contrast, these newer videos get millions There are some even more bizarre ones. Like a version where the finger family all has skulls on the fingers. Or the one where Hitler and Stalin are the "mother" and "father" figure respectively. On a dare, I decided to try and see what happen if I typed a random name with "five finger family". True enough, there was five finger family videos of anything from Kamen Rider to Doomguy to Agent 47. With all of them speaking with the lisp, and using the word "fwuffy." After a while, it was too much for me to bear. I stopped watching, and decided to watch the movie Predator to get my mind off the infantile speech and mannerisms 18th February 202X I met Iskandar today. We both entered university in the same year, and first met in the Literature 101 class. Although Iskandar does have a minor in Literature, his focus is more on linguistics. Also, while I only had a mere bachelors, he received honours, and went on to pursue a Masters. He too entered the workforce as a teacher and is currently teaching his first cohort of students. Due to his qualifications, he currently teaches English at a nearby junior college. Nevertheless, the two of us make the time to meet each and other for a quick chat over a breakfast. Ideally, one with kaya toast and coffee. And today, I shared with him the videos I had found. "I've seen this before. They're made by content farms." "Content farm?" "It is the algorithm. Basically, companies look for what the most popular thing, then churn out cheap and simple content to get clicks. The clicks generate ad revenue, and that is how they make their money. I've been following this phenomenon for a few years now, though there has been an interesting development. I think you've picked up on it too." Being rather puzzled, I asked what he meant "Have you ever noticed that in these videos, they never use the first person singular personal pronoun?" For a brief moment, Iskandar said it so fast that I did not catch what he meant "They don't use 'I', basically." "Oh, I noticed that. The speech is also very limited, and almost always use a lisp." "Indeed. There'll be an announcement about this soon. They've actually been studying this problem, even in our alma mater at NUS, and MOE is likely to make an announcement about it soon." "Announcement about what?" "You'll see." 25th February 202X Met Mei today. She asked me why I didn't take her to meet my relatives during Chinese New Year. I joked that, by doing so, I was guaranteed to get more angpaos from my elders. She promptly whacked me on the head <3 Jokes aside, we talked a bit today. We used to go out a lot, back in JC, but we weren't really dating. I lost contact with her during NS, and by that time, she started dating another guy. However, she broke up with him not too long ago. We did date once, but I'm not sure if I'm ready to do it again. She seemed keen though. I guess we'll see where it goes from here. 11th March 202X Went on a date with Mei today. Mei has always been different from myself. While I went into the humanities because I had a fascination for English Literature, especially 19th century literature and earlier, she did the sensible thing most Singaporeans would do, and stayed in the sciences. As she got older though, she developed more of an interested in business, and started for her business degree at out alma mater at NUS. But she always had an interest in the sciences, with one of her quirks being chatting about some random science tidbit or news, that she came across. And today she wouldn't shut up about talking animals "Did you know that animals can't really talk?" I thought it was silly for her to say that, as I pointed out parrots and ravens. "That's just mimicking. The only animal we know that approximated a conversation with its owner was the parrot Alex, and even that is contested. And there's a simple reason why animals don't really talk - they don't have Wernicke's and Broca's areas. "What's that?" "They're the parts of our brain that are linked to speech production, as well as ascribing meaning to speech." "And you're saying animals don't have that?" "Actually, there are some animals that have parts *like* it. Such as singing mice. And the parrots that you mentioned. But these parts are analogous to their role, not exactly like it. It is like asking, why can't a dog talk like a human. Theoretically, a more advanced animal like a dolphin or a chimpanzee has these areas, but they're not super developed." Alright, so what is the point of you mentioning this, I wondered "Well, they're currently looking into ways of better mimicking the areas I mentioned in animals. As well as transplanting them into animals such as cats and dogs." "So, like, talking animals?" "Precisely! Think about how much better it would be to be able to communicate with your dog if it was able to just talk to you directly, and not just in barks." "But aren't there like physiological differences between a dog and a human that would make such speech impossible for them?" "Well, technically, birds should not be able to mimic humans. And yet parrots mimic humans well enough. What they're trying to do is improve the parrot to a level where, as opposed to just repeating simple lines, it can have full on conversations with its owner, the way Alex did." And then she started going even further into the science of it. As I started to nod off, I did the one that I could to slowly get her mind off on talking about neurobiology "There's this Teochew restaurant I haven't been to yet. You okay with that for dinner?" 1st of April 202X Well, that was a shock. And the fact that it happened today didn't really help matters. When most of the people in the English Department hear it, we thought they were pulling a fast one. But of course, the ministry would never joke. And even if they did, the effort put into it, along with what I was seeing in the news, was too elaborate, too deliberate to possible be "just a joke". The Ministry of Education just announced that there was a rampant problem of "Fluffspeak". Basically, primary school children, particularly below the age of 10, are starting to speak in a severely stunted form of English. I had given remedial classes for children who speak English poorly, and who were brought up to speak Singlish or Mandarin, so this was not a new phenomenon. But the description of the language reminded me of the videos I saw back in Chinese New Year. Of a severely stunted form of English, where each and every ‘r’ and ‘l’ is replaced with a ‘w’. Larger words are replaced with certain conventions like "thinkie-pwaces" instead of brain and "seeing-pwaces" instead of eyes. And there is no singular personal pronoun. There is no "I". Only "fluffy." It sounds like a joke, but according to the memorandum from the Ministry of Education, at least a few thousand primary school children have been found to be speaking in nothing but fluffspeak, and have started failing their English classes, and the number is growing. The problem is worldwide, and was first noticed in American schools. This apparently, led to research into the problem, some of which NUS was involved in. Just tonight, I saw a newscaster speak, very seriously "about the growing problem of Fluffspeak among children." The whole thing just feels too incredulous. I have to talk to Iskandar about this as soon as I can. 4th April 202X "Yeah, it's a constructed language. Have you ever heard of Newspeak?" I confessed that I didn't. "Its from George Orwell's 1984." "The only Orwell I read was Animal Farm, and that was for literature class in secondary school." "Well, it is an example of a constructed language. A better example would be Tolkien's Evlish." "That, I am familiar with." I am a huge sucker for fantasy stuff, especially Tolkien's works, as I continued, "It is really amazing how Tolkien would create entire languages for the races and world he created." "Constructed languages aren't a new thing, but fluffspeak is incredibly unique because its AI-generated." "AI-generated? But that would mean-" "Yes. The algorithm created this language." We were having breakfast again. Being a quick but meticulous eater, Iskandar had already finished his eggs and toast. Iskandar had brought a briefcase, where he was showing printouts of screenshots he had captured, as well as a tablet. "A lot of the data has been lost, and only a fraction of it was archived or archive.org. But, at some point, google searches started processing the word 'pway' instead of 'play', and started generating results for searches and songs that used the word "pway". "That is just a typo isn't it?" "More like a mispronunciation - these searches started around about the time audio searches were predominant." I wasn't impressed. Iskandar seemed to be suggesting that an entire language was constructed, by algorithm, based on baby-talk from children too young to be using google search. "It is a bit more than that." Iskandar then proceeds to show me pictures of comments found on videos about baby versions of cartoon animals. Of note was a photo a woman took of a Baby Yoda figure. Another was a photo a woman took of a baby smurf. Both pictures had the women pretend that the baby was speaking to them in a type of baby talk. One of them read the following: "Hawing wunch wike mummah pwomise." "It's been a recurring thing. Older women, and perhaps men, pretending that baby-talk consists of replacing 'l's and 'r's with 'w's, as well as children with lisps adding to the situation. There was the influence of uWu language." "uWu?" Iskandar then switches on his tablet. After a few swipes, he reaches a video on youtube. The video has only one static image, of a girl with two circular eyes, and a mouth shaped like a small w. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mBqm8uO4Cg As the human speaker continues talking, the language structure and speech starts getting simpler and simpler, until it sounds like baby-talk. "This is considered a joke type of speech, but it matches what the search algorithms have founds when collated with the baby-talk searches generated by both adults and children with the lisp." I was starting to get a sense of what Iskandar was talking about. But there was one thing that seemed unusual "Alright, but why "fwuffy". Why is the word "fwuffy" used instead of 'I'?" "We don't know. But some people at MIT noticed the similarity between the onomatopoeic sound of "fuwa fuwa" with "fluffy". There's also the Hassenfeld cartoons that keep using "fluff" or "fluffy" to describe their properties. That's still disputed though." Okay, but I don't really see how this a language. To me it is more like a dialect. A creole or a slang, whatever you linguists call it. Like our own native Singlish." "That is true - most of it is based in the English language. But it does remind me a lot of newspeak, which was treated as a language." Time was starting to run out, and I had to get back to work. I tried to make a closing statement "Well, all I know is, having to give more remedial lessons so that children don't speak like retards is going to be a bitch." "I wouldn't be too disparaging about this language, if I were you James." He then swipes his tablet one more time, and shows me a webpage. It reads "Fluffspeak Research." "The team at MIT started this webpage where they compiled their findings on fluffspeak. In addition, they're trying to get people to contribute stories and ideas written in fluffspeak. They want to see how far they can get with furthering and improving the language that was created by the algorithm." Sounds like a massive waste of time, I thought. "Some people would have said Tolkien was wasting his time when creating Elvish." "Tolkien was trying to depict the language of a proud people, and was also building a mythology. In contrast this seems to be trying to make an entire language based around babytalk." "And isn't that interesting?" I brushed him off. We said our goodbyes, and head back to work. I still got that website though. The url was memorable enough that I jotted it down on a piece of paper. Maybe I'll check it out when I really got nothing better to do. (like, never!) 22nd May 202X It has been three weeks since I started my first remedial class for students speaking fluffspeak. As much as I think that the problem is overblown, there seem to be this growing alarm concerning the phenomenon. I never would have imagined that getting a child at the age of 10 to say "play" instead of "pway" would seem so difficult. But that is what it has come to. In the first two weeks, most of the children I have been handling with were 9 or younger, and clearly had too much access to the internet, especially youtube. The solution seemed to be as simple - deny these impressionable children access to mobile devices such as the internet, and school them through extensive English classes to correct their speech. But this ten year old child is the eldest case I have dealt with. And he is far more intelligent than the others. He has taken to calling himself the leader of the class. The "smawty". He is also the rowdiest. On a few occasions, the class collectively threw paper planes at me, and this was an act co-ordinated by this one child. I managed to single him out. Speak to him and his parents directly. And that was when I learnt an uncomfortable truth about this one particularly precocious child. He was doing this all willingly. He spoke to me normally. He can write a sentence normal, without replace the "ls" and "rs" with "w"s. And he can say eyes instead of "seeing-pwaces." He just chooses not to. But, why? "Its fun." He then shows me a video that he saw on youtube. Of course, I had to use a smartphone, but I searched and found the video. It's a cover of Earth Angel. Done entirely, in fluffspeak. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRmRckBDbWo Looking at the description of the video, I notice that it ties back to the MIT website that Iskandar mentioned. This was one of the videos that their group had created, in exploring pre-existant media, "translated" into fluffspeak. Maybe I should check this website out. Maybe. 2nd June 202X On a whim, I decided to check out the Fluffspeak Research page that Iskandar mentioned. There's quite a wordy writeup by a professor at MIT known as Prof Minsky regarding the nature of "flufffspeak" as the basis of AI generated language, cobbled together by the algorithm. The researchers are looking into how this language can be fine-tuned through further user input. The head of the project is a Professor Syme Minksy. I took note of her email address. The message boards for the project are divided into neat areas. There's a submission box where people can send in their fluffspeak generated pieces anonymously. Then there are the message boards where people post their actual written works, rendered in fluffspeak, online, and discuss about it. Some of it lacks imagination - a person would take a passage from Twilight, or Harry Potter, and then replace the language with that of uWu language instead of the proper fluffspeak. But then there are some people who have written an entire short story, with an original plot and everything, but in fluffspeak. Reading the article is hard as hell, but, given that it supposed to be a more advanced version of babytalk, the story can be understood after a little re-reading. There is even a section where people can host live discussions, utilizing an IRC client, to chat in "fluffspeak". If they chat in any other 'normal' language, they have to indicate so, or be booted from the server While browsing the site, for a brief moment, I see Iskandar's name pops up. Looks like he's quite active here. 16 June 202X I did it. I took the plunge. I submitted my first story in fluffspeak. I did it just for fun. Just wrote a story about a guy going to a shop to buy a can of spaghetti, or "skettis". But I wrote it all in fluffspeak. 9th July 202X Finally had the chance to talk to Professor Minsky, the head of the project. Well, talk as in talk over an internet messenger. At the age of 50, she is a Professor of Linguistics. However, the programme that she is working on has included experts from the fields of artificial intelligence, as well as psychology and neurology. There is a relationship between the development of a language and a theory of mind, and for machine learning to be able to construct and recommend a rudimentary language suggests a development of a theory of mind. Whether this means that the internet would develop into a Skynet 2.0 is a separate (though also important question), but the larger implication is the nature of the language being developed. Being based of babytalk, as Minsky puts it, fluffspeak could be interpreted as the way a developing toddler or child sees the world. Thus, and theoretically, any complex work of fiction by an adult could be processed and simplified in fluffspeak. But what about simple english, I asked her. After all, wikipedia entries in simple english exist for this same purpose The professor then points out that simple english still assumes that the speaker is an adult with a minimal amount of education. A layman, so to speak. In contrast, fluffspeak was developed by a machine understanding of how a prepubescent child thinks and talks. As she puts it, refining fluffspeak, as well as understanding the children and people who use it, would help determine the formation of language, especially the transition from the more rudimentary baby-talk to more complex and refined forms of language. In addition, the use of fluffspeak could allow for the introduction of larger, more complex adult concepts into a simpler medium for children to understand. I pointed out to the professor that education departments across the world, including the local MOE, have been trying to discourage fluffspeak, at least amongst children. She understands this, and says that she is currently restricting it to among adults, as well as children who are already using fluffspeak. She then points out that, in my remedial classes, I should be using documents to track the specific lisps and sentence structures that fluffspeak users are working with. I admit that I had not noticed this. I then point out to the Professor that, as with anything on the internet, there is that danger that something bad would always slip through. Chatbots have been observed to pick up negative comments and biases from the users, and the same seemed to apply to fluffspeak. The professor admitted this is a concern, and mentioned that, for the moment, the fluffspeak material that is submitted is analysed to be free from profanities as well as graphic behaviour and violence 12 July 202X Spoke to Calvin. Although Minsky is the head of the program, Calvin could be said to be doing most of the legwork related to the program. Minsky mainly works with a hypothesis, as well as understanding the practical and physical element of fluffspeak. The hard coding, and the algorithms, however, are all Calvin's work. Calvin had already received her Master’s in Computer Science and is currently working on a thesis paper related towards the basis of language generation through algorithms. It is not a small wonder that she ended up being attached to Minsky's program. Even though they are from two different fields, the fluffspeak phenomena had interested both female professionals. There are some differences between the two women, though. Minsky is clearly an idealist and also a little no-nonsense. She has been quite harsh in how she moderates what goes in and what doesn't for the fluffspeak programme. Calvin seems a more relaxed. A lot more approachable. I can see myself spending more time conversing with Calvin, even though its mostly on matters unrelated to the program. 3rd August 202X I have upload about five stories to the message board now. Four of them were original material, while the first was Roald Dahl's "The Great Automatic Grammatizator" completely rendered in fluffspeak. Some other people have been more adventurous. So far, we have had the works of Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Byron all rendered in fluffspeak by many different contributors, a number working together. The study is currently limited to the English speaking world, but there is already some discussion about how different languages might generate their own fluffspeak, if given time. There's however, an alarming trend I noticed. Although the board is heavily moderated, at times, there are a few people who, while attempting to converse in fluffspeak, start describing sexual actions. The motive behind this seems to be a form of ageplay. Due to fluffspeak's basis in a more simplistic form of speaking, some people are inclined to use fluffspeak to partake in a form of ageplay. Having spoken to Calvin, the problem already started within the first week the board was open to the public. The mods have been working day and night to ensure depictions of sex and violence are not described in fluffspeak, other than what has already been written in fiction. There is the concern of censorship, but Calvin mentions that the focus is on making ' a working language' first. 9th August 202X Was bored for most of National Day. Decided to have lunch with Iskandar at the Gluttons Bay. Iskandar was having Nasi Lemak while I had carrot cake. The two of us conversed quite a bit about Fluffspeak, and the program Calvin was running. I mentioned a nagging point that is on my mind "I do think the language is interesting, but I feel like the approach to it has been rather skewed." "What makes you say that?" "We're basing this more of what 'we' think babytalk and childtalk is like, not what 'childtalk' actually is." "I should correct you there, James. We're working with what the AI thinks constitutes as babytalk and childtalk. The generation of the videos by content farms, and their subsequent pronunciations and language augmentation, was based on recommendations by the algorithm. Youtube kept pushing videos with the lisp and incorrect English as the correct choice, which children picked up on. As children contributed more content online, the 'language' started developing. At this point, I'd say we're just merely giving it a more definite form." "So you're saying that we're trying to 'perfect' that language?" "Basically, yeah. It is like that one guy who converted 'the Little Prince' into Singlish. Singlish is often look at derisively by our local government, but, given that it is our native Creole, a lot of Singapore writers take pride in it the way the Scots do with their language and English." "But Singlish is tied to our culture. What culture are we making fluffspeak for?" "Who knows?" said Iskandar, as he shrugged. "I like to think it is for 'us'. The people in our group." ~ I didn't get to meet Mei tonight. I saw the fireworks alone. 1st September 202X Today was teacher's day. Did the same the thing we did the past two years. Fun and games in the morning. Small part in the class. Finger food, candies and cakes. "Fwuffy wub candy!" And the one idiot speaking fluffspeak. Had to correct the child. "Henry, its 'love'" "S-s-sowwy Mister Tan. Henwy wiw-wil-will tw-tw-try harder." ~ Teacher's Day is a school holiday, but only the children get to go home early. There was a slight party mood in the department though, as an occasion like this meant that we too would be celebrating with finger food, cake, and even ice-cream in the fridge. Now was a good time to hang out with the other English teachers in the department and catch up. I've gotten to know Mr. Choe, who joined in the last year, and Ms. Ho, whose been around for ages. The topic of fluffspeak came up rather unexpectedly. Mr Choe, in what I could only describe as gentle but youthful aggression, made his opinion clear. "We have to rout out this fluffspeak." "Rout out? I mean, we're just correcting the way the children are speaking." "And it is not enough. This incorrect use of English is spreading. It is a literal rape of the beauty of English, and we cannot tolerate it." "By that measure," said Ms Ho, "you would say Singlish is a rape of English." "I would, yes. I don't want any of my students to speak a lick of Singlish in my class. And fluffspeak is worse. They sound like literal retards." "And what do you think, Mr. Tan?" A slight sweat trickled down my forehead. Although I was on the MIT website, unlike Iskandar, I adopted a nickname. "I think a bizarre form of English is a unique expression of creativity." Mr Choe glared at me in disapproval. "I disagree, Jim. I think we can be very creative with English without having to work with a corruption of it. English should be kept pure." 20th December 202X I went out on a date with Mei today. It was rather sweet. She wouldn't shut up about some recent developments in biology, but, other than that, we had fun. We were walking along the bridge to Marina bay when she popped a question to me "James?" "Yes, Mei?" "Have you ever thought of leaving Singapore?" I was a bit taken aback by the suggestion. Aside from the time I trained in Brunei and Taiwan for National Service, I have never travelled out of Singapore. (Well, aside from the occasional trip to JB and that's more to get chewing gum as well as the cheaper products from Malaysia) "No. Why do you ask? Have you travelled?" "No." She then looks over the railing. The Orchard city lights brighten the December evening. One can see the rainclouds above. There is a gentle wind, slowly building, but not yet indicative of a storm. For now though, it blows against Mei's hair, its beauty wavering. "I just cannot imagine my whole life here. I do want to see the world. I mean, I have family in Malaysia, but I also have some distant relatives in Hong Kong. And China. I even have cousins in the US. And an uncle in Canada. And I always wanted to go to Greece. Or Spain. Or even Ethiopia." "Ethiopia?" I scoffed. "That's in Africa isn't it? Can't imagine why anyone would go there." "I beg your pardon, but Ethiopia was one of the most advanced countries in Africa for the longest time! It was also never truly colonized by a Western power. It is a country with a rich history!" I felt a bit sheepish. I apologized. "Its okay. Maybe the view I'm saying is too rosy. But I don't want to be too landlocked to this country. I do want to see the world." 3rd February 202X+1 Took Mei with me to visit one of my relatives for Chinese New Year. I had my reunion dinner the night before with immediate family, as she did, but since we're now going out, I guess it made sense that my family knew . And true enough, this time around, I didn't get the red packets Worst still, the dreaded question came around. "So when are you two going to get married and start continuing the family name?" Jesus, grandma, we're taking it slow. For a good hour though, Mei ended up playing poker with a cousin of mine. Said cousin is a biologist, and they keep talking about something called a 'chimera'. I heard about that from Greek mythology. "Well we're not talking about Greek mythology dear, we're talking about an actual animal. One they're developing apparently." I rolled my eyes. Didn’t interest me. While I waited for their game to conclude, I spent some time at the porch, and looked at the garden, where the children of some of my relatives were playing "You can't catch me, you can't catch me!" "Siwwy dummeh! Smawty am da fastest! Wiww catch fwen!" I had to blink my eyes. The girl who was running was able to speak English well. However, the boy chasing her had to be at least 11 to 12 years old, and was clearly speaking fluffspeak It turned out that he was the son of one of my distant relatives "Yeah," he sighed, with a forlorn look on his flace. "He can speak Mandarin well. But his English is nothing but that stupid lisp. That 'fluffspeak'. And we sent him for classes, but he keeps lapsing back" As the boys keeps running and speaking with the lisp, I wonder if the remedials we provide are truly effective. 10 June 202X+1 Its coming to be the first full year since I joined the fluffspeak community It feels that I lead this double life. During the day, I spend most of the time, teaching proper English, and conducting remedial classes to correct young children and prevent them from speaking Fluffspeak. But in the evening, I spend an hour or two reading the Fluffspeak message boards. There are a number of good stories written in fluffspeak, as well as some interesting performative arts done with the language. I do think that young children shouldn't speak fluffspeak, but I can appreciate fluffspeak as a creative outlet for someone of my age. I hope MIT will keep the site around. 16th June 202X+1 They shut down the site. The move shocked all of us. I went to check the twitter, and Professor Minsky states that the programme had already reached its research goals, and thus, was ended. That was all the explanation given. No more than that. I'm angry. I'm frustrated. I spent almost a year, writing all kinds of stuff, stuff that I did not save, and uploaded it to this site. All gone. A tonne of work, taken away from us. Replies were disabled. Something tells me that they expected the backlash. I sent an email to Calvin. She might know a bit more. And I must to speak to Iskandar soon. ~To Be Continued~
2020.08.12 03:23 sheikhadeenTaming / getting an AG comfortable
Hey guys, i just needed some help with my African Grey, his names Mojo and i got him when i was like 9? and i had NO idea what i was doing. im pretty sure he's wild caught but we did buy him from some bird shop i dont really remember it was time ago because im 15 now- so 6 years. but during these 6 years ive never really payed attention to him, it was just my mom, uncle and brother that actually played with him like full on hands etc. im too scared and now hes not even "tamed" as in he doesnt know how to step up, he doesnt let anyone pet him etc, he will bite you ( i think ) because he bit me super bad once and after that i left him alone. And ive never really found anything on youtube that actually fully helps. so if anyone knows anything i can do , PLEASE help me because hes such a cute fluffy boy and i just wanna be able to show him how much i actually do love him !!
Authors Note:This story is for Twitter user Tosthage's #SolarEmbrace posting. Enjoy a leisurely day off from Guardian Duties in this little story In The Hangar of the Tower. Viper-7 had just gotten back from patrol the EDZ. As both him and his Ghost get off their Jumpship. Viper looks to Aria, "Can you go get the supplies before we head out?" Aria bounces in the air before nodding, "Can do V! Good luck on your end." She immediately transmats his Glimmer pouch into whatever subspace it is Ghost's keeps their Guardians inventory and arsenal. Viper never gave it much thought but he's often wondered what's the upper limits were she could carry. He starts his usual routine in The Hangar by waving at Amanda greeting her while she tinkers away at a new sparrow she's been building for Marcus Ren probably. Viper's curious what crazy idea The Hunter's been cooking up this time to satisfy his need for speed. Viper already owns Marcus' old Burnout Sparrow he won in a bet against the fellow Hunter and loves it. He passes her and makes his way to The Colonel whom he pets and pulls out a bag of sesame seed muesli to feed her. He happily watches her eat it all up and as if on cue Amanda tosses Viper a bottle of purified spring water to catch and give the Colonel, "You're so spoiled you know that?" He says as he pets the Colonel again before making his way to Saint-14 who's monitoring the final Trials matches scheduled for today. "Hey Saint. Anything interesting going on?" Saint was looking at the tri monitor setup with his Ghost Geppetto hovering beside him, "Ah! Comrade Viper. Come watch and cheer with me!" V stand besides the mighty Titan and looks at the arsenal each combatant is using, "Hmmm almost all of them have Revoker." Saint chuckles, "Yes! They have been stalking in the shadows waiting for the opportunity to blow opponents head off with well placed sniper shot...I do not like it!!!" Viper chuckles, "Yeah you prefer the excitement of someone getting up close and personal with a shotgun to the face." Saint smacks Viper on the back knocking the wind out of the smaller Exo, "So what brings you here comrade?" V smirks, "I think you and I need a day off for today." Saint looks confused, "A day off? I cannot comrade. I have Trials to officiate." Viper slings an arm around the Exo Titan's broad shoulders carefully minding the spikes on the Titan's pauldron's, "Not to worry. Amanda has it covered." He looks back to yell at the bewitching blonde, "Isn't that right Holliday!?" Amanda pops out from her workshop and smiles as she walks up to the two Guardians, "Now don'tcha worry your pretty little head over it Saint. I got ya covered with someone who can take your place while you two are off taking some much needed R&R. I swear I haven't seen y'all take a break since you got back from the Shore and since you came back from the dead." Amanda winks and says, "You two better head out soon before you're replacement arrives. He should be here any minute." Viper looks at Saint with his arm still around his shoulder and punches him in the chest playfully with his free hand, "Come on big guy. It'll be fun!" Saint sighs before Geppetto chirps in his two cents, "I think you are in need of the leisure Saint-14. Viper-7 has never let us down before. Perhaps we should partake of this rest and relaxation." Viper gestures to Saint, "Come on big guy. Aria will sing for you if you come." Saint looks at Viper, "Ahhhhhh! Comrade you are a sneaky one. Alright. I shall join you in this adventure of yours. I will prep my ship immediately." Viper smiles and fistbumps Holliday in victory, "No need big guy. We'll take my ship." Saint nods. Saint and Geppetto proceed to the gangway of Viper's jumpship while the Hunter looks at Amanda smiling, "Thanks for helping me with this. I needed this and so did he." Amanda pats the Hunter on the shoulder, "I got ya buddy. But you still owe me with dealing with his replacement." Viper chuckles and notices Aria just arrived back, "A Hunter never breaks his promise Amanda. Well we're off!" Aria bounces looking at Amanda, "We'll be back soon Amanda! Hold down the fort while we're gone." Amanda waves them off as Viper gets everything ready for take off and announces to his guests on his Jumpship, "Attention Fellow Guardians and Ghosts. This is your Captain speaking. We are now taking off to the beach. Please keep yourself strapped in and sitting in an upright position unless your a ghost in which case please continue to float appropriately in place." Viper laughs as he engages the propulsion systems and takes off. Just as soon as Viper leaves from the left side of the Hangar. Another jumpship arrives on the right side. Revenent-19 transmats in front of Holliday who smiles at him and says, "Holliday. I was called here by Viper-7 regarding some important information he has and said it was urgent." Amanda points to the monitor screens for Trials and says, "He left you a note Rev. I gotta get back to shop. Those Sparrows don't build themselves you know." Rev makes his ways to the monitors and notices Saint is absent and sees the note Viper left. He was already dreading opening it. The note read as follows... Dear Revenant-19, There is no information. I called you here because Saint needs some time off and Osiris is who knows where and I'm not asking Brother Vance to help with this situation so I want you to monitor and operate the remaining duration of Trials of Osiris today. Have fun~!!! Love, Viper-7 Revenant-19 looked pissed as he could hear the sarcasm in Viper's voice from this written letter till Lotus chimes in cautiously, "There's a post scriptum Rev." Revenant looks down at the rest of the letter to see what else Viper had wrote. P.S. Try to be enthusiastic while commentating Rev. You do remember what that is right? It's the thing Shaxx and Saint do when yelling about the impressive plays Guardians make during their matches. Don't be a grumpy Lord Saladin. Scowling all the time is bad for the complexion. Not that you ever take your helmet off. Revenant crushes the letter in one hand and disintegrates in Void Light energy. The Exo Warlock crosses his arms and huffs in annoyance over the Hunter's stupid schemes. Viper still flying to their destination says, "Saint why don't you lose the armor? We're going to the beach after all. Relax!" Saint looks confused and stands up before coming behind Viper, "The beach you say?" The Hunter smiles, "Yeah. During one of my patrols I found this nice secluded beach just a little ways off from the Last City while flying back one day. Figured it'd be a nice place to go for a vacation or at least a day off like today." Saint smiles beneath his helmet and says, "I like this idea comrade but I do not have a swimsuit." Aria flies up to the Titan and smiles, "Got you covered big guy. Wasn't sure what your style or preference was so I bought a variety." Viper yells annoyed, "Did you burn all my glimmer on swimsuit options for Saint?" Aria huffs, "Hush! You're easy. I got you a couple of the shorts and button-up shirts you wanted too." Viper grumbles, "Still didn't need to burn all my glimmer on swimsuits. I hope you got everything else." Aria floats triumphantly, "Who do you think you're talking to? I got things covered in spades." Saint lets out a bellowing laugh as he starts removing his shoulder pieces, "You two amuse me so much. Isn't that right Geppetto?" Geppetto nods in agreement, "Affirmative Saint-14." Viper chuckles once more as he prepares to land the jumpship on the sand, "Glad I can make you laugh big guy. We're here now." Viper opens the gangway to the jumpship as Aria transmats all the swimsuit options for Saint and Viper she picked out for them before flying out of the jumpship with Geppetto behind her as she goes to transmat and set everything up for the two Guardians. Saint looks at all the swimsuits standing there with only his leg armor and helmet still on his body as Viper carefully removes his Cloak and folds it neatly before placing it safely on the portable dresser within his jumpship for some of his other Hunter Armors, "Can't decide what to wear Saint?" Saint crosses his arms looking perplexed, "More so I don't understand your Ghosts tastes comrade." Viper confused by that answer joins Saint and looks at the assortment of swimsuits Aria bought and puts his hand over his face feeling embarrassed, "Are they all speedo's?" Saint nods to which Viper groans annoyed, "Never trust Aria to shop for clothes. Check out the ones I got. There has to be at least one pair of shorts that'll fit you." Saint nods and looks at the assortment of goofy boardshorts and short sleeved button up shirts Aria got Viper. Saint looks in awe at one pair and picks them up in excitement, "I shall wear these comrade." Viper shakes his head smiling, "Somehow...I'm not surprised." Viper grabs the pair he likes and they both change into their attire. They both put on two button up shirts with floral patterns on them and leave them unbuttoned. Their both ready for the beach until Viper notices Saint is still wearing his helmet and chuckles, "You don't need that on still." Viper takes the helmet off for Saint and two smile as best as Exo's can before leaving the jumpship to see the set up Aria's got going. There sat two large beach chairs that we're store guaranteed to support the weight of an Exo with a nice small table in the middle with an empty pitcher and two glasses sitting on it, a large beach umbrella shading the two chairs and table, and lastly a cooler beside one of the two chairs. Behind each chair was each Guardian's respective weapons on a holding case because even on vacation a Guardian can never be too careful courtesy of Geppetto's thinking. Aria and Geppetto look at their Guardians to which Aria comments, "Awwww. He's not wearing any of the ones I picked out for him. Still those boardshorts are very appropriate Saint." Saint stood there in white board shorts covered in a mixture of a purple floral pattern with a few bird silhouettes mixed into the design and a simple plain white short sleeved white button up shirt, "Aria! Geppetto! This looks beautiful. You both really outdid yourself." Viper stands there in a similar pair of black swimshorts with snake designs all over the shorts and a matching black button up shirt arms crossed looking at Aria annoyed, "You're so in trouble later Aria." Aria bounces happily before resting down on the table, "Can it wait later?" Geppetto also takes a seat on the table. The two Exo's both smile and take a seat as Viper opens the cooler and starts grabbing everything he needs to prep the pitcher with a tropical drink Amanda recommended to him. He mixes the alcohol and pulls his throwing knife out of his pocket. Saint notices and says, "Where do you Hunter's carry and hide so many knives?" Viper starts peeling and slicing various fruits to put into the drink as he answers, "Hunter trademark secret Saint. Plus even on vacation I feel naked without at least one knife on my person." Saint laughs, "That is understandable comrade. I'm glad Geppetto brought my shotgun too." As Viper puts the finishing touches in the pitcher he twirls his knife before sticking it back into a sheath inside his pocket and starts pouring the drink into their glasses, "I hope it tastes good. I'm not the best at making this kind of stuff. But Amanda assured me even a novice like myself couldn't screw this up." Saint laughs again as he takes his glass, "I'm sure it'll be fine comrade. Not like we can get drunk anyways." He raises his glass to Viper who chuckles as he raises his glass, "Probably the worst thing about being an Exo. Cheers Saint!" Their glasses clang as the two chug their drinks and slam their glasses to the ground startling both their ghosts. Saint bellows as he stands up laughing, "HAH HAH! Now that is a drink that would put hair on the chest comrade!!!" Viper stands up excited, "WOOOOOO!!! Damn that tastes good!" Aria sighs looking at them before looking at Geppetto, "Ugh...Boys..." Geppetto simply relaxes and doesn't respond. The two Exo's were just feeling energized and a little competitive, "Arm wrestle comrade?" Viper smirks, "Your on Saint." The two collapse to the ground and get into position, "GEPPETTO! GEPPETTO!! Count us off!" Geppetto floats up and looks down, "Begin in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1." The two begin wrestling against each others strength as Aria sighs again, "So much for relaxing..." The two Exo's grunt as they the competition begins, "Just give up comrade! You're no Lady Effrideet." Viper smirks, "For the original Titan Vanguard Saint it's disappointing how weak you are." The two push harder against each other, "Viper at this rate I'll tear your arm off." The fighting continues, "I've been grappled by Warlocks tougher then you Saint." Arc energy begins crackling in their fists, "You asked for it Viper!" Viper screams back, "Bring it!" Aria floats up and looks down, "I've never seen two alpha males in their natural habitat needing to prove who has the bigger-" Geppetto interrupts, "Aria! Inappropriate!" The arm wrestling match goes on for another 20 minutes till finally Saint beats Viper by breaking his arm to which Geppetto chimes in, "Guardian Down!" Aria sighs, "I got it..." And quickly heals her Viper back to full health to which he smiles and pats Aria, "Thanks Aria." Aria collapses onto the table annoyed, "Can we proper relax now?" Viper and Saint both chuckle at the exasperated ghost, "I think we can do that comrade. Sorry about earlier we just needed to burn out all the energy we had before we could truly relax." Viper sits down and looks to Aria, "Mind transmatting one last thing?" Aria perks up knowing exactly what her Guardian wants. Best to continue reading to THIS Viper's guitar appears by his side as Saint pours the two another glass, "Going to play something Viper?" Saint asks with a smile. Viper adjusting his guitars strings starts strumming and simple melody that compliments the ambiance of their location. The sound of the waves crashing against the shore while Saint looks up excited and happy to hear the sound of birds chirping in the air as Viper plays his guitar. The two Exo's and their Ghosts were literally in paradise right now with nothing to possibly bother them from this day off. Saint and Viper discussed so many topics as The Hunter continued to play his guitar while Aria and Geppetto floated off forward still in sight of their respective Guardians to relax in the sand, "Comrade you always know the right music to play. It's a talent in its own right." Viper chuckles, "Give Aria her due credit Saint. She taught me all she knows. At this point anything I play is purely just whatever seems to come to mind." Saint claps his hands in enjoyment, "I applaud you sweet Aria in your love of music. Promise you'll sing me a song later." Aria relaxing in sand says happily, "On the way home big guy. I'm currently not taking any requests till we head home." The Exo's continue to talk, "Saint you wanna visit here again after the battles over?" Saint sits back and takes another sip of his drink, "I think I'd enjoy that Viper. But we must be sure to invite others next time like Miss Holiday and my Brother." Viper chuckles, "I really can't imagine Osiris at a beach without it either being him studying a Vex phenomenon occurring at said beach or reading a book on Vex Phenomenon." Saint laughs loudly, "That does sound like Brother comrade but somehow it suits him." Viper smiles, "I did want to bring Amanda along but she told me that she's too busy with Sparrow orders and Jumpship repairs today." Saint nods, "Miss Holliday does take great pride in her work. She gave a new sparrow recently. It's a nice fast bird. I like it very much." Viper nods, "Can always count on Amanda to build the right Sparrow for every Guardian's needs." Viper continues strumming, "What do you think Ikora would be like on vacation at the beach?" The two think about the question, "I see her sunbathing Saint." Saint thinks about it, "I see her playing something competitive like we did with the arm wrestling." Viper thinks about it for a second and nods at the thought, "Volleyball. But she'd spike the ball with Void Energy turning it into a mini Nova Bomb." The two laugh at the thought and then immediately shudder at how easily they can picture it, "Ikora and Sloane VS Zavala and Shaxx." Viper points out as he stops playing for a second to take a sip of his drink. Saint thinks about it for a second, "Close match. But easily Ikora and Sloane would win that battle." Viper chuckles, "I couldn't agree more." Saint ponders, "What about Commander Zavala?" Viper pauses for a minute before he continues strumming again, "He'd probably be sitting under the shade crocheting some beach themed items." Saint smiles, "I'm glad you're not as mad as you used to be at Zavala." Viper sighs and smiles, "I have my fair share of issues with him but I know his position isn't an easy one. I can't even imagine myself as the Hunter Vanguard." Saint chuckles, "I felt the same way when I was given the task by my Father comrade." Viper chuckles, "If I ever fill those shoes it won't be until I put several bullets in Savathun's many eyes." Saint nods and relaxes into his chair, "Enough of that subject comrade. Just enjoy yourself." Viper nods and continues playing. Viper continues the original subject, "How about Devrim?" Saint pondered while looking up at the sky watching the birds fly, "He'd probably be relaxing with Marc or maybe Suraya would be there too." Viper ponders, "I see Suraya bird watching with Louis." Saint sits up excited, "Ohhhhh! I would definitely love to do that." Viper chuckles, "You would Saint." Saint raises his arms in excitement, "Birds are beautiful my friend. Some are just so majestic. I love them so much." Viper chuckles, "I know you do." Viper looks at Saint, "You ever wonder if we can swim?" Saint ponders, "I never really tried. I mean we can consume liquids." shaking his empty glasses in front of Viper. Viper nods, "You make a fair point. Plus I think it'd be a pretty glaring design flaw for us Exo's if we weren't waterproof." Saint looks out to the water, "You want to try swimming comrade?" Viper stops strumming and puts his guitar down, "I wouldn't mind a dip." Aria hearing them transmats two towels onto the top of the cooler and continues relaxing, "Don't wander to far boys. You both don't know how to swim and I'm pretty your bodies would sink if you tried to swim properly." Viper yells back, "Got it Aria." The two make their way into the water as far as they can go without being completely submerged or needing to swim and just relax within the water, "This has been perfect." Saint nods, "I couldn't agree more comrade. Thanks for getting me out of the tower." Viper smiles, "It's nothing Saint. You look like you needed the time off and quite bluntly so did I after my excursion on Titan." Saint looks to Viper, "We must do this again some day soon!" Viper holds his hand up to fistbump, "Next time we need a vacation we shall sneak out for one again." Saint smiles, "I think I'd like to try the Hunter method of sneaking out comrade." The two laugh happily. The four stayed at the beach well into the night before heading back to The Tower.
2020.08.03 02:00 CapybaraWookiee[S] Capy's Survivor: Africa
Welcome to the third season of Capy's Survivor! This season we are going to the always awesome Africa! We are once again playing the game of outwitting, outplaying, and outlasting your fellow castaways, whether that be by flirtatious behavior, backstabbing your opponents, or making plenty of allies. This is Capy's Survivor: Africa! Meet The Castaways: Boran Tribe: Xander "X" Jennings: 39, Male, Hitman A reckless punk in his youth, Xander never gave a single **** throughout his youth until he got into a major accident that resulted in the loss of his legs and eyes. His family was poor, so they couldn't do anything to help him. As time went on, all of his friends abandoned him, and Xander grew incredibly vengeful. After he finally got his prosthetic legs and artificial eyes, he became a hired gun specifically so he could get revenge on everyone who outcasted him. He joined because he wants to escape his inevitable arrest. (made by u/IAmWolfNinja) Paige Astrauskas: 34, Female, Lawyer Growing up in an average American household, Paige found herself in a lot of power growing up due to her natural charisma and good looks. As time went on, after she graduated from law school, her personality became more commanding to her peers, often rubbing them the wrong way. Despite being a highly revered lawyer, her poor attitude towards others has gained her infamy at the same time. She joined because she wanted a challenge. (made by u/IAmWolfNinja) Anna Kley: 30, Female, Secretary Anna is a loving, companion, and loyal girl. He always lived very well with his family until his marriage. Now she wants to conquer some condition to set up her house for the arrival of the children who are being very planned. A hard worker, she had in her father the greatest example of determination and confidence in life. (made by u/zohnster) Maybelline "May" Song: 21, Female, ASMR Youtuber Growing up May loved being by herself she only really had two close friends and besides them, she didn't try to make connections with people. Currently lives in an apartment where she films ASMR videos, she well known in the community. She is known for not being the most friendly and can be rude at points. She tends to hide her emotions and takes out her aggression and feelings through fighting. She found out about survivor through someone and she thought "I could win that," so here she is. (made by u/bheart_) Joel Frank "Smithy" Smith: 22, Male, Youtuber Smithy has built a somewhat large following on Youtube due to his quirky personality and funny practical jokes. He thinks his personality will help him on Survivor, and in turn, hopes that being on Survivor will help build his internet following. (made by u/FineGuidance0) May Rodriguez: 25, Female, Floral Designer May is a first-generation immigrant from Mexico, meaning that she is the first of her family to be born as an American Citizen. May’s family originated in southern California, which sparked her environmental interests. May knew that as a woman of color, along with being a first-generation immigrant, she had to work her hardest to achieve her dreams. May graduated high school with flying colors (being the first graduate in her family), which progressed her into college, furthering her knowledge. May graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Botany, with aspirations of one day opening up her very own Floral Arrangement shop with an attached garden. By winning survivor, May would be able to continue her studies, as well as open up her own business. (made by u/RickieXCX) Bryan Lautner: 25, Male, Rugby Player Bryan grew up in the UK to a well-connected family in which he was expected to play a sport. He chose rugby and became very good at it, eventually even securing a spot on Oxford's team. He moved to the US after receiving an offer from their national team and is now joining Survivor to prove to everyone that he deserves what he has. Terrence "Terry" Mitchell: 31, Male, Professional Boxer Terry always puts himself in a leadership position. He dominates with his physical power that he has and that gives him a lot of money since he is a well-established boxer. A powerful lover, he has had many women in one night, but now he has a very strong relationship with Danni, his girlfriend. He can be quite arrogant at times, but generally, everyone respects him. He fights against the arrogance that can come out of him sometimes, he always seeks to maintain due respect for all his competitors, whether in Survivor (he has participated once and almost won), or in life and in his sport. He recognizes that he needs help with this. (made by u/zohnster) Samburu Tribe: Gregory Hess: 30, Male, Comic Book Store Owner Labeled since a young age as a nerd, Gregory is very proud of who he is. Books, TV Shows, Video Games - he loves those stuff! And he's not trying to hide it! Being a rather responsible kid who was considered to be a teacher's pet, Gregory wasn't always exactly a "popular kid". Kids picked on him, both due to his behavior, his physique (Gregory is a bit overweight), and his interests. But he continued to move forward with a bright smile, not letting it phase him. At age 25, Gregory fell in love with a beautiful woman named Jess, and the two got married just last year. They had a kid, and Gregory plans on winning the money for both of them. He's gonna win, take his wife and their child on a nice vacation, and do it flawlessly. Better watch out, you guys, because Gregory's coming! (made by u/TDSwaggyBoy) Willie Damps: 60, Male, History Professor Never receiving a grade below a 95, Willie is somewhat of a prodigy. His parents always had high expectations of their darling boy, and he never let them down. Despite his great potential, with his parents wanting him to become a scientist, a lawyer, an engineer or something good, Willie decided to become a teacher, saying his teachers in college have had a great impact on him and that he hopes to do the same for others. Willie continues to keep a smile on his face, even when times get hard. He's had one failed marriage, but his second one was a success. Having a total of seven kids from his two marriages and 15 grandkids by the age of 60, Willie has a massive family to fend for. Considering he's a very family-oriented person if he wins you can expect a majority of his prize going towards the future of his kids and grandkids. (made by u/TDSwaggyBoy) Georgina Cook: 36, Female, Human Resource Assistant Despite working as a Human Resources Assistant, Georgina always plans to be one step ahead of her colleagues. She was married to Mario Seville, but he died of unknown causes, leaving her a widow and without children. Georgina, while she has a bad side, has control over that, she is not one of those people who, in her view "are people who go overboard to the absurdity of benefiting others". She has slight rivalries with her company mates, but these are mostly positive if Georgina's selfishness does not affect the conversation so much. (made by u/NahuelFire39) Lorenzo Ramos: 26, Male, Costume Designer Lorenzo is a beginner in costume design, but it took him several years to graduate from high school, because of how lazy and troublesome he was, in the end, he graduated because of his effort to improve as a person. Now, his work as a designer is not going badly, but it just doesn't entertain him enough. His family doesn't care much about what he does, because he doesn't listen to them. Lorenzo likes to write and do yoga but hates fights because, according to him, that doesn't solve anything. He's very good at acting. (made by u/NahuelFire39) Rebecca "Becca" Shandal: 48, Female, Chemist Becca grew up always experimenting with things, having a curious mind. She was always obsessed with facts and numbers, trying to take in as much information as possible. Her life was not without hardship, as she had to come out as bisexual to her very traditional family and was nearly disowned, but she fought through that to earn her Ph.D. credential. Now, at 48, she has a stable job with an adopted child and a loving wife. Pratyush Takalikar: 18, Male, Student Pratyush was a smart kid during school. Bullied due to his race, he decided he needed to fight back. He has always had a talent for finding out things and so he found out secrets. For him, words were stronger than fists. Eventually, he found a job as an intern for a Fortune 500 company, where he still works as of now. Pratyush is ruthless and knows you need that quality to get far in the world. (made by u/FineGuidance0) Susanna "Sue" Chime: 68, Female, Retired Professional Gymnast Sue has always been looked over, wanting to be a boxer when she was younger she was steered away from due it not being ladylike. She has a passion for fitness and strength. She hopes that her older age will have people underestimate her and when they try to take her out it will be too late. Sue was a Professional Gymnast and almost went to the Olympics but she got pregnant with her kid. After the birth of her kid she still did some Gymnastics but new she would go gold. Her husband died when she was 60 and now she married her wife, Betty. Sue hopes to win to show everyone not to count her out just yet. (made by u/bheart_) Jenna Von Ulrich: 28, Female, Lawyer A successful lawyer, Jenna struggles to be powerful in a male-dominated universe. She is not afraid to take chances and takes every opportunity to do what is necessary to move forward. The main objective for her future is to grow in political life and she wants to gain prominence to run for these positions. (made by u/zohnster) (thanks for the last-minute save) Season:Capy's Survivor: Africa **Episode 1: **After the tribes get their tribes assigned to them, they head back to their respective camps. At the Boran camp, Anna, Bryan, Paige, and X quickly form a majority alliance, and Terry agrees to be their swing vote. While May, Mabel, and Smithy also make an alliance after they all connect easily, partly due to Smithy and Mabel both being influencers on Youtube, and May and Mabel connected immediately after talking for a while. At the Samburu camp, Becca, Georgina, Lorenzo, Pratyush, and Sue make a majority alliance, as the tribe got off on the wrong foot with Gregory, Jenna, and Willie, and their goal is to get them out. The other 3 tribe members suspect this and form an alliance with a goal to try to attempt to get the majority alliance to turn on themselves. At the immunity challenge, the alliance of 3 from the Samburu tribe purposefully let their team fail but make it look like Pratyush is the one holding them back. By doing this, the Boran tribe easily wins immunity for the first episode. Due to the lack of cooperation and Pratyush’s “laziness”, the majority alliance in the tribe quickly dissolves, fulfilling Gregory, Jenna, and Willie’s goal nearly immediately. The alliance of 3 targets Pratyush, to go along with the act. While the former majority alliance splits into 2 sides, Georgina, Becca, and Sue think that Pratyush should go home to make them lose the immunity challenge. The other side is Pratyush claiming that he was framed, with Lorenzo believing him. At tribal council… Pratyush, the tribe has spoken. (6-2 vote) **Episode 2: **The second episode starts right back up with a reward challenge. Thanks to better cooperation with the team as a whole, the Samburu tribe managed to finish their staircase well before the Boran tribe could have. For basically the same reasons as the reward challenge, the Boran tribe was unable to secure the win in the immunity challenge and caused them to attend their first tribal council that night. May, Mabel, and Smithy have an argument over Smithy thinking he is better than everyone else and not contributing to the camp or the challenges much. Back at the Boran tribe, after much deliberation, the alliance of Gregory, Jenna, and Willie break up after they decide that the pressure of having an alliance, and the extra target it puts on their back, is not worth the risk. Back once again at the Samburu camp, May and Mabel attempt to convince Terry, who is not a part of an alliance, because he doesn’t want a target on his back, to vote with them for Anna, because she is a threat to their game. At tribal council… There is a tie between Anna and Smithy. Both of them state their case. The results are in… Smithy, the tribe has spoken. (4-4 vote, 4-2 revote) (Terry switched his vote from Anna to Smithy) **Episode 3: **At the reward challenge, the Samburu got an early lead in the boulder obstacle course, as the Boran tribe was not communicating well and could not decide which way to push it. The Samburu tribe ended up winning because of this early lead. Due to Paige’s quick thinking, the Boran tribe easily wins the immunity challenge by making a much brighter and bigger signal to the plane than the Samburu. Back at the Boran camp, the tribe is celebrating their win, and putting aside their differences.. For now. While at the Samburu camp, Georgina feels like she has let her team down, and wants to be alone for a little while, this doesn’t last long as both Gregory and Lorenzo approach her with different offers. Gregory says himself, Sue, and Willie are going to be voting for Lorenzo, as he is a threat to their game, and he was the one who brainstormed the signal idea with Georgina, but she isn’t confident in that vote because she feels that they only chose her because she wasn’t as big of a threat to their game as Lorenzo was. While Lorenzo approaches her a little while after, offering her to vote with him, Becca, and Jenna to vote Willie out because he is a weak link to the tribe, and is holding them back. Right before tribal council, Georgina has time to think to herself about the 2 offers and thinks she knows what she is going to do, and Lorenzo is feeling confident. At tribal council… Lorenzo, the tribe has spoken. (4-3 vote) (Yay! My favorite, a blindside!) **Episode 4: **After the shocking blindside from the night before, half of the Boran tribe are still taking in that Lorenzo is gone. But even with him gone, they still pull through and win 12 baskets of food in the reward challenge. But, thanks to Terry and Bryan’s amazing physicality, the Boran tribe easily wins this immunity challenge without Lorenzo on the Samburu tribe. Due to this, the previously not recognized for his good behavior Bryan suddenly becomes a favorite at camp, and he is becoming more appreciated. At the Boran camp, the six castaways are trying to decide who to vote out. Becca, Georgina, and Jenna think that Willie should go home, for the same reason he was a target last episode, he is a weak link. While Sue, Willie, and Gregory think that Becca should go home for basically the same reasons as Willie, besides him she is probably the weakest link, and she is extremely smart, and her fellow tribemates assume because of this, strategic, and therefore she is a threat. Sue tries to convince Georgina but it doesn’t seem to work too well. At tribal council… there is a tie, 3 vote Becca, 3 votes Willie. After both players state their case. The revote is… Becca, the tribe has spoken. (3-3 vote, 3-1 revote) (Georgina thinks it's a good idea to keep Willie as an easy merge boot) **Episode 5: **The tribes receive Tree-mail saying to meet the host at the challenge spot, for what the tribes assume is for an early reward challenge. But when they get there, the host tells them to choose 3 people from their tribes. The Boran tribe, thinking it is a reward challenge that is a mystery, chooses their strongest people, Paige for her mental capabilities, and Terry and Bryan for physical and endurance challenges. But on the other hand, the Samburu tribe is suspicious, while not choosing their worst three tribe members, they don’t choose the best three either, Georgina, Gregory, and Sue are chosen. It is revealed that these three will actually be switching tribes. The Boran tribe is in shock, while Willie and Jenna are silently celebrating, as their suspicion was correct, and they just got three of the strongest players. Back at the Boran camp, May and Mabel align with X and Anna to “defend” their camp against the three new players and to keep themselves safe with a majority vote. While Gregory, Georgina, and Sue, as the new members, form an alliance and hope to get a vote from one of the members of the other tribe. At Samburu camp, Bryan, Paige, and Terry form a “power alliance”, and they see this swap as a saving grace, as if they lose immunity, they have the majority vote over Jenna and Willie. At the reward challenge, with their seven players against Samburu’s five, the new Boran tribe easily wins against the Samburu tribe. But Boran gets too cocky, because the Samburu tribe annihilate them at the immunity challenge, as Paige and Willie solved the puzzle really quickly. At Boran camp, Gregory, Georgina, and Sue are planning on how they are going to be safe at the night’s tribal council. Georgina approaches Mabel and May with an offer, as she sees that the duo is close, and makes smart decisions, she asks them to join the three of them’s vote against Anna, as she is causing suspicion around the camp, in exchange for safety, as it would be a three-three split if they vote Anna out. Luckily for Georgina, she made the right choice, as the reason May and Mabel never aligned with Anna in the first place is that they didn’t trust her. And they plan to go against their alliance's wishes of voting out the weak-link, Gregory. At tribal council… Anna, the tribe has spoken. (5-2 vote) (Yay! Another blindside!) **Episode 6: **Straight onto the reward challenge, even after a long night of arguments and drama, Boran still manages to pull out a win, winning themselves a full buffet of food. Samburu’s lack of communication and their pusillanimity made them lose the immunity challenge as well. The behavior and cockiness of X, who is acting he is solo winning all of the challenges himself, is not sitting well with the Boran tribe, especially after winning two competitions, May and Mabel have to talk some sense into X so they don’t have to vote out another of their own. Back at the Samburu camp, there is a lot of arguing and screaming, due to this Bryan sneaks off into the woods to think about who they should vote out, should he and Terry align with the other side and vote Paige out because she is a threat, and hope that the merge is next round? Or should they vote Willie out as the weak link, even though he would be an early and easy boot in the merge? He makes up his mind and goes back to camp to discuss it with Terry. At tribal council… Willie, the tribe has spoken. (Bryan decided on Paige, but Terry said that she could be a useful ally come to the merge) (3-2 vote) **Episode 7: **The tribes get another Tree-mail asking them to come to the challenge spot, and surprise! It’s merge time. Congratulations to Georgina, Gregory, May, Mabel, Sue, X, Bryan, Jenna, Paige, and Terry. You 10 have made it to the merge. Heading back to the Boran camp to set up their new Moto Maji tribe camp, old alliances come together once again, and new alliances quickly form. Paige and X quickly reunite their old duo alliance that was a thing before the tribe swap. May and Mabel stay close allies, while also bringing X into the equation, as they were the old Boran members in the new Boran tribe. Paige and Terry also quickly form a duo alliance, which also involves Bryan as a swing vote. Georgina, Gregory, and Sue keep their alliance. The original members of Boran, Bryan, May, Mabel, Paige, Terry, and X form an alliance. While the original members of Samburu, Georgina, Gregory, Jenna, and Sue also form a new alliance. The new tribes also form alliances to be extra safe (this is going to be annoying come tribal council explaining), meaning Georgina, Gregory, May, Mabel, Sue, and X form an alliance, while Bryan, Jenna, Paige, and Terry form another (that was a mouthful), Bryan easily outlasts everyone else in the competition, leaving the water bucket over his head for just over 4 hours. Everyone knows that Bryan and Terry have got to go due to their challenge abilities, and their “power duo”, therefore everyone agrees that Terry should be going home. But Bryan and Terry approach the groups of Jenna and Paige, and then X to try to get the vote put on Mabel, as she is a threat strategically to all of their games. At tribal council… Terry, the tribe has spoken. (8-2 vote) (Technically another blindside because Terry did not see it coming) **Episode 8: **Bryan knows he has to win this immunity again if he wants to live the next tribal council. Georgina lands all 9 of her items into the basket, winning a chance to offer 2 goats to an African village, she brings Bryan along in an attempt to win his trust. It was pretty close between Paige, Bryan, and Jenna, but Jenna barely clenches on to the immunity win. Mabel and Gregory bond slightly, Mabel considering saving Gregory for an easy boot, later on, gains his trust by doing this. Trying to save himself, Bryan goes to X and Paige, convincing them that Mabel is a threat, and she and May will be difficult to boot later on. They agree with him and claim they will vote for Mabel. He also approaches the original Samburu alliance and attempts to convince them that Mabel is more of a threat strategically than he is. But due to Gregory’s new-found trust in Mabel (don’t trust strangers, smh) and claiming that the past two winners, Andy and Anexo, were challenge-beasts, and less strategic, that Bryan is more of a threat than Mabel. At tribal council… Bryan, the tribe has spoken. (6-3 vote) **Episode 9: **Starting the episode off with the reward challenge, the teams for the obstacle course are chosen at random, and they are, Sue and May, X and Georgina, Paige and Mabel, and Jenna and Gregory. X and Georgina and Paige and Mabel win the first round, while X and Georgina win the final round and a movie night out. Georgina also makes fire the fastest, winning herself immunity. Gregory and Paige have a major fight over Gregory’s indecisiveness and laziness around camp. The original Samburu alliance decides to vote for Mabel, as they realize that Bryan was right, and they should’ve gotten her out when they easily could, but Jenna still has her doubts, and she goes to X, Mabel, and May with a proposition to vote Sue out, as if they don’t right now, she will just use her connections and allies to make it to the end, where she will easily win. It’s a crazy idea to Mabel and May, but they are smart enough to know that it is possible (extreme no enemy, an under-the-radar strategy wasn’t really a thing in Capy’s Survivor, yet at least). But they went to Paige, and she agreed that the strategy could happen and that Sue was most likely trying to execute it. At tribal council… Sue, the tribe has spoken. (5-3 vote) **Episode 10: **The Survivor auction occurs, and May wins an advantage in the next immunity challenge. Jenna easily gets the 5 strips tied to her staff, with May (who already had 1 strip on her staff), and Paige right after her. May, Mabel, and X become a medium rank alliance, as X does not want a target on his back, but he also doesn’t want to lose two allies. The original Boran tribe decides to vote out Gregory, as he is an easy boot. Paige convinces her close ally Jenna to vote with them, despite Gregory and Georgina wanting to vote for Mabel, again, and attempting to get Jenna to persuade Paige, which she claims she does (she doesn’t). At tribal council… Gregory, the tribe has spoken. (5-2 vote) **Episode 11: **Straight onto the reward challenge. Jenna wins easily (she is a challenge beast) and brings Georgina to the resort, in an attempt to gain her trust after her last close ally was booted. During the immunity challenge, Jenna knows because of her recent challenge win, there is a target on her back, and she needs to win this on as well, but she gets too cocky, and X gets the immunity. Jenna brings Georgina and Paige into the forest, and says that she wants May gone, even though she isn’t a challenge beast, Jenna thinks that if May is out then Mabel will get distracted without her ally and friend and she will be an easy boot. While on the other hand X, Mabel, and May convince Paige to vote for Jenna, as they know that Georgina has too much trust in Jenna, and they claim that historically it has been challenge beasts who win the competition and knowing Paige, she doesn’t go against the statistics. At tribal council… Jenna, the tribe has spoken. (4-2 vote) **Episode 12: **Straight into the reward challenge, Mabel wins a car. In her first solo challenge, she won. Of the season. That’s all. As a fan of the show, and watching the first two seasons on repeat before coming on the show, Mabel knows how to get through this obstacle course. Because of this, she easily wins immunity. X and May have a fight over not being trustworthy. Due to this Paige and X lose their trust in May and Mabel, who are big targets now. Both May and Paige approach Georgina. May saying that they should vote out X, saying that he is not trustworthy and he will stab you in the back. Because she overheard the entire argument, she agrees with May. But Paige comes along and says she should vote for May, to cause a distraction for Mabel, as Jenna intended last tribal. Mabel does not agree with May and claims that the four of them should vote out Georgina, as she is the one that shouldn’t be trusted. At tribal council… there is a tie, 2 votes May, and 2 votes X, it's down to Mabel, as she voted for Georgina, which of her allies should go home. She chooses X. The revote is... X, the tribe has spoken. (2-2-1 vote, Mabel chose him to go home) **Finale, Part 1: **You know what X’s elimination means. First-ever female winner! As the final four are Georgina, May, Mabel, and Jenna. Paige, who as we have established, has a near-photographic memory, blows her fellow tribemates out of the water in this immunity challenge. May is becoming more appreciated. Paige, May, and Mabel all decide that Georgina should be the one to go. Georgina approaches Paige and attempts to persuade her into voting for Mabel, as she is a threat, into a forced fire-making challenge. At tribal council… Georgina, the tribe has spoken. (3-1 vote) **Finale, Part 2: **It comes down to Mabel and May in the final challenge, and after much deliberation, May decides to throw the last immunity challenge and give the win to Mabel. This might be a big mistake on May’s part, though. Mabel is considering bringing Paige to the final 2, as she thinks that she has a better shot at winning the show against Paige then her long time ally. At tribal council… Paige, the tribe has spoken. (1-0 vote) **The Reunion: **The first vote goes to… May. The second vote goes to… Mabel. That’s one vote May, one vote Mabel. The third vote goes too… May. The fourth vote goes to… Mabel. That’s two votes May, two votes Mabel. The fifth vote goes to… Mabel. The winner of Capy’s Survivor: Africa is Maybelline Song! **My Opinion: **Jenna and Mabel are the first true villains in Capy's Survivor in my opinion. This season's cast it the best so far. The tribe swap made a really interesting merge. This season had a lot more strategy involved in it, which is proven by the first strategic winner over challenge beast winner. That's all I have to say. **Possible All-Stars: **Mabel, May, Paige, Georgia, X, and Jenna. Tell me if there are any others you think should be in this list, or people you think shouldn't be in this list. Tell me what I can improve upon from the first three seasons, I can take criticism and just want to get better, so don't be afraid to leave your opinions down below. Also, tell me who your favorites were. ****Also, u/bheart_ comment to receive your extra character pass. And DM me during any newbie season to use it.
2020.07.30 05:17 Direct-AdvantageCovers that changed a song's genre
Most songs are made for a single genre. A country song, for example, will usually stay a country song. A pop singer usually won't cover a country song. But what happens when they do? That question should go to Pet Shop Boys, who covered, Always on My Mind. Willie Nelson and Elvis Presley both sang the song previous to the Pet Shop Boys' version. It was a slow, love song. Elvis Presley's version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9sRJ-eOHnc Willie Nelson's version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yoPYQ-FmQB4 Then BOOM, here comes the Pet Shop Boys cover. Goodbye soft piano and acoustic guitar! This song was now a synth-pop masterpiece. It amazes me how different their version is. I'm curious, what other songs comes to mind when you think of a cover like this one? Pet Shop Boys' version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDe60CbIagg
2020.07.30 01:53 HansFalladaThe Year So Far: A Reflection - January 2020
January to July 2020 - The Year So Far. Akerblogger here. Due to the off-kilter nature of 2020, July is the new June. The music reviewed here has been taken from the Vortex spreadsheet as of the 29th July 2020. Please imagine this as being the halfway point of 2020. The illusion of stability in the world has shattered but at least, amongst the maelstrom, one solid beacon remains: music. Well, actually, the music nearly crumbled to dust - April was a barren month that nearly sucked the life out of us all. Regardless, music has been a sweet reprieve. Even when 2020 flopped and gasped - Ferday and Meri riding their own psychopathic wave into the centre of 2020’s bowels - The Vortex prospered in other areas, ripping apart death metal’s roots with Guts and tearing apart bad takes in the Reliquary. I fled the Vortex during most of 2019 but when I returned, thankfully, things were exactly the same. In fact, no, things were better. The server is organised expertly and there is a real sense of collaboration and support which underrides the surface level, harmless banter and doxxing. We disturb and destroy one another on a daily basis but upholding it all, and allowing the witty tomfoolery and deprecating tone to continue, is a camaraderie. There was the risk of becoming too insular or too exclusive but, from my view, the discord has become much more inclusive and welcoming whilst remaining dedicated to fair, accurate and developed responses to the music we love. We have a handful of newer members now who manage to shoot down Snyde’s bad takes on a daily basis which is fantastic. Snyde recruited Lord ov Banthas from a superior server with the desire to form a European faction, however Banthas shot Snyde down more than anyone. Long may this continue. The more members the better; once of the knowledge that the collective destruction of their beloved Top 25 takes isn’t a personal slight, members will learn that The Vortex is really one of the most diverse and accepting musical spaces I’ve encountered. Everything said needs to be taken with a shovel of salt. Nothing is ever personal. We love you. I spent a fair bit of time exploring forums and other metal Discords and, my lord, they are cesspits of infantile nonsense, shallow bad takes and insular metalhead meat headedness. The range of music discussed and shared on The Vortex is exciting; a lot more non-metal is seriously discussed and praised. This increasingly holistic view is good for us all and I look forward to the day when we’re bigger and better than Pitchfork. I do not want to fall into the trap of being overly reflective on The Vortex. First and foremost we’re here for the music. The Vortex personalities have spawned organically from the Foundations of the Interdimensional Vortex of Conspiratorial Tastemaking and long may The Vortex twist, turn and spew out more personalities and friendships. Today’s entry will focus on January 2020. The next entry will focus on February 2020 and so on. January 2020 January isn’t the best time for new releases. Christmas and New Year hangovers make it a perfect time to inject some depressed nostalgia into icy veins. It’s a chance to go through 2019 year end lists, revisit old favourites, or even take a break from metal completely. The Vortex waits for no [wo]man and there was always the possibility for mangled gems to emerge from the depressing ground of January. Of the 218 records scored during January only three received a score of 8 (great). Giant Yank Daswickerman gave an 8 to Emblas Saga by Brothers of Metal. Clearly infiltrated by the influential might of Angrymetalguy.com, Wick copied the sites’ score. Aussie powerhouse Meriyas, peeved by the record, stated “Lol. So far it's pretty generic female fronted power metal. Norse themed. Undeserving of the 4/5 from over at AMG” and continued his vitriolic tirade with “this is the kind of shit that Steel Druhm and AMG would have wet dreams about.” However, in a secret back room of a local drinking establishment Meri was overheard saying “I laughed a fair bit and did some bopping.” I believe his 4/10 score is fraudulent. His entire 2020 tally should be null and voided. Daswickerman, an elusive and foreboding figure constantly watching over the server, rejected my request to comment. Some say he is fronting the world’s longest game of D&D. Instead, his spokesman Dymanic responded with a threatening lyric excerpt from Emblas Sage: “You will fade under the shadow of the powersnake.” I am too scared to listen to the record as I fear the powersnake. The 24th was the pinnacle of January. Fleshvessel’s Bile of Man Reborn received an 8 from Vimes who stated, in her offensively loquacious style, “this is nice!” Staggering. Vimes went on to comment that “every short transition makes you wonder, what comes next? and keeps you on your toes - which is refreshing. And so far they keep the proggier wanking about to a minimum.” Interestingly, Fleshvessel was discovered by Grandmaster-now-Thighmaster Scuttlegoat on the 4th of May. He should have kept it buried in the swamps of Dagobah. Despite its four green scores, the record suffered from a distractingly poor programmed drum sound that sucked the cryptic bile from the record. In fact, the dissonant heaviness needed taming and trimming. It drowns the emotive tenderness of the non-metal segments. When implemented with tact, like at the very end of the 24 minute one-track EP, it lifts the record to emotionally staggering heights. The softer progressive and electronic sections, driven by the occasional heavy jut but not overwhelmed or pushed to the side, show Fleshvessel at their most potent and alluring. “I await their full-length debut” stated Snyde. So should we all - it could be something great. Naiv, In typical Thy Catafalque fashion, split the crowd. Ferday, ever the tender voiced mediator of The Vortex, voiced his non-support of Naiv with “It shouldn't come out at all [...] I do not look forward to the fanbois overrating this.” Tamás Kátai, the Hungarian Timelord of Thy Catafalque, always does his own thing. What that thing is no one really knows. His folk-infused carnival of sound circles vastly opposing vistas record after record. Shedding an extreme metal skin is always bound to :DansGame: some fans. At the same time, as is the case with most sophisticated and linguistically gifted members of the metalsphere, constant transformation and progression is a wonder. Tarbeaux, one such fanboi Ferday so despises, responded to a stream posted to Discord with the following ecstatic monologue presented as a piece of timeless Jacobean poetry: now please AAAAAH wait a sec Np @Snyde wanna join or anybody Those trumpets sample Yeaf doot intensifies btw it's awesome so farç Indie electro post-garde The fourth track is nice litlle interlude But that track just behing it fucking rock Riffs A valóság kazamatái is awesome man Thy Catavimes FAIT LA VACHE FAIT LA VACHE FAIT LA VACHE FAIT LA VACHE Everything flow so well Btw easy 8 It's everything I want to hear from Thy catafalque Packed in 45 minutes I found Naiv to be a decent record with a bouncy thrust and tasteful layering of electronic and folk instrumentation. Upon listening to the record again whilst writing this, I found I was less suspicious of its intent. Naiv is eclectic yet balanced but the sense of over indulgence verged on tackiness. I find it very difficult to pinpoint my lack of interest in Naiv (and similarly with the recent Igorrr release). Perhaps they’re too manufactured, too focused on the process, creation and quirky instruments, too concerned with big set pieces that create facile talking points; perhaps I’m missing the point completely and need to be schooled. In theory, I should love these records. Perhaps they’re too much fun and I hate fun. Perhaps I hate European folk and classical grounded music. Though positive of the record, I take Snyde’s comment of “there's some disney princess shit going on with these flutes” as representative of something that doesn’t quite sit well with me. Dynamic provides a more direct assessment of the record: “The problem I have with this is its naffness.” Tarbeaux, trying to convert members to his atmospheric black metal cult, invited Ferday to listen to the divisive Between Land and Sky by Marrasmieli. In typically incisive fashion, Ferday destroyed the greens across the board with his astute observation of “It's not awful. It's super gay though.” In fact, the record was awful. With the consistency of diarrhoea, the record shat out limp drum fills, squirted threads of tasteless orchestration with atmospheric riffs found at the bottom of the compost heap. Between Land and Sky is an apt title for a record that doesn’t know where it belongs and what direction to go in. It’s neither buried in the mush of angry black metal heathens on the ground or fannying about in the sky with other flash-in-the-pan folk metal bands. Instead, it straddles the land and the sky, somewhere in between, like a bird with a broken wing, constantly flying askew through the sky towards an abysmal, forgotten death. Completely forgetful - 7. Dynamic, again, provides a more astute assessment of the record: “Haha, this sucks What's going on” Bütcher released a fun dumb stupid retro proto Venom record with 666 Goats Carry My Chariot. It deserves to be nowhere near the top 100 records of the 2020 sheet. It currently sits at 17; I remember a time a few months ago when it was in the top 10, maybe even the top 5. It was the sort of album that rewards inattentive tomfoolery, the sort of record to put on if you have friends. It aroused nothing of worth in anyone looking for something to challenge them. Yes, it’s fun. Yes, we know, it’s fun! Banthas commented “Bütcher is fun,” Thighmaster later commented “Bütcher is fun,” and Planex called it “fükkin' awesome” in a shocking deviation of the “fun” meme. It sure was fun, folks. Snyde called it an “easy” listen and papa Carlos found himself in his own vortex of sorts, a charmed snake circling another charmed snake for eternity, stating that 666 Goats Carry My Chariot “...loses points for being completely pointless and derivative ... but OTH it gains points for being completely pointless and derivative.” Whilst you were all having fun I was writing about a record I probably hated and then going to bed with a headache! Hah! Leeched’s To Dull the Blades of Your Abuse was the earliest release to receive two scores of 8 (Buckleyan and Thighmaster Scuttlegoat). Crossing hardcore with hard-er extreme genres, Leeched attracted the kvltest of Vortexians such as Gadunka who labelled the guitar tone as being “nuts” which perhaps means that it makes those with good taste allergic to the record. Snyde utilised his corrupt ESL skills and broken keyboard to describe the core of the record: “a n g e r y” and “thicc” and “chonk.” Truthfully, I’m yet to listen to the record but when I need to punch a fox, or something, I know what I’ll be blasting from my boombox. The tag retro sends shivers down many a spine. Hällas’ Condundrum was figuring out how to appeal to metalheads and poseurs alike. Ferday (3) and Dr. Verinen (4) trashed the record, pure metalheads through and through. Meanwhile Snyde, whilst riding his synthwave unicorn and bullying members of alternate servers, praised derivative releases by Bütcher and Hällas (or was he trying to subliminally push the umlaut to world domination?). In a rare show of expression, the bomb Absolomb exploded with love for Conundrum, asking the tight panted German melody makers to “Come forth and enlighten me [with] sweet melody.” In a distractingly erotic listening party between Absothong and Snute, comments such as “this bleep bloop synth” and “classic” were sure to freak out the big guns of the server. One not-so-big-gun Tarbeaux shot down the cries of “classic” from Snute with a scathing takedown of Conundrum’s faults, commenting “It feels like drinking a too much diluted syrup, like a bit more would have been good, but at the end even water could have been better. Didn't like the voice, it feels very monotone and it bored me.” In a more coherent form, Ferday reviewed the album without fear of offending the fandom: “It's so fucking gay.” Poppy is a YouTube star (Dymanic: “Who watches Youtube, fuckface”) riding the coattails of alternative and internet meme culture. She has sculpted a mainstream non-stream side-stream niche for herself, appealing to Avenged Sevenfold fans who like WWE and have just started getting into post-modern meme pages and Teutonic thrash. In a separate and much more sordid stream, Poppy appeals to those 40-year old nu-metal frat boy predators who linger around Poppy’s concerts for everything but the music - Poppy is to blame for all of this. I actually love the song “Concrete” and Poppy was used for a wrestling show once which is radical. Poppy has twiddly guitars, these loud guitars and a bubble gum prance that reminds me of Igorrr and Thy Catafalque at their best. As a full album I Disagree struggled to agree with most true connoisseurs; Ferday aptly summed up thrust of the release as a whole: “the slipknot cum white girl doing j-pop will only get annoying after a few tracks.” Meanwhile, Tarbeaux - in his white girl infested mind - stated “this is like not very inspired marylin monson copulated with selena gomez.” If you haven’t listened to Poppy, do - it’s a way of tapping into the strange uncanny valley world of technological mass media alternative chaos. Eminem is still alive, releasing Music To Be Murdered By to little fanfare outside of Ferday’s encyclopaedic knowledge of flow. Paysage d'hiver did that hipster thing of releasing their record Im Wald on cassette only. They handed the cassettes out at an exclusive gig in a play school or something, attended by Tarbeaux, consisting of superfans, thus it shot to the top of user-led music sites. This abhorrent manipulation of the market sent shockwaves through the universe with Donald Trump even calling for the one man project to be taken down. Nechochwen and Panopticon released a split that continued their slow decline; Nero di Marte similarly demonstrated that they’re stuck in the progressive mud. Lil Wayne is still around. Steve Harris of the Iron Maidens is running out of cash, it seems, and is still around. Selena Gomez released something but it seems, within the next three years, she will no longer be a household name. Pet Shop Boys, too, still think they can pop with the rest of the poppers - no one cared. Records by Apep, Obsidian Tongue, Slave One and Lotus Thief caught my attention and should catch yours but, ultimately, will fade into obscurity as the months progress. On the whole, January was shit with some funny releases and fanboy moments to keep us all entertained. None of us really go into the first month of the year expecting AOTY material. There seemed to be a positive outlook for 2020 with some big names set to release hotly anticipated records. What succeeded and what failed? Well, you know. Join me next week for an analysis of February with more serious and not-serious takes. Thank you and goodbye.
2020.07.30 00:21 HonestMissionAn LGBTQ culture and media starter pack (not a question; LONG list of recommendations)
Hi! I've recently noticed that there has been several posts from gaybros who seem to feel really disconnected from and disengaged with the LGBTQ community. That's understandable, especially when these uncertain times mean that most people aren't in a good frame of mind or at their best. Seeing that we're all socially distancing, and perhaps still under some form of lockdown, I thought that it would be a good idea to post a (warning: LONG) reading/watching/listening list, given that some of us have plenty of spare time on our hands. I hope that you enjoy discovering something new! I love many items, and care a lot less for others, but I've tried to approach this objectively. Some music suggestions, btw, aren't by LGBTQ artists, but all of them have appealed varyingly to our community. I've also omitted the really obvious stuff, such as Brokeback Mountain, Madonna and Will & Grace etc. Feel free to contribute and add your own favourites! A special thanks goes to my good friend, u/Manor4548, for getting the ball rolling with his excellent suggestions. Also, if our excellent mods feel that this post in inappropriate, I'm more than happy to remove it. Please take care and stay safe! Books Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin (1956) - intelligent and thoughtful novel from a black gay writer, whose seminal work is currently more important than ever Quatrefoil: A Modern Novel by James BarJames Fugaté (1950) - ground-breaking romance novel about two men who ultimately reach of point of self-confidence and acceptance Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel (2006) - lesbian-themed graphic memoir Senses series by Andrew Grey (2012-2016) - frothy and sentimental yet endearing and engaging romance novels about disabled gay men Outskirts: Living Life On The Edge by John Grindrod (2017) - part history of the green belt and part memoir of growing up in the British countryside as a gay youngster Maurice by EM Forster (1971) - posthumously published novel, from the author of Howard's End, which was originally written between 1913 and 1914 The Swimming Pool Library (1988), The Spell (1998) and The Line Of Beauty (2004) by Alan Hollingworth - accomplished and boundary-pushing novelist who explores British gay socio-culture Tigers & Devils series by Sean Kennedy (2009-2019) - idealistic yet thoroughly likeable romance novels about a charmingly misanthropic movie festival director and a kind yet closeted Australian footballer The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway (1926) - accidentally queer novel that concerns toxic masculinity; this Literary Hub article provides an excellent introduction to the unintentional queerness of Hemingway's work Trans: A Memoir by Juliet Jacques (2015) - a British memoir about gender transition, with some thoughtful reflections on trans politics Insignificant Others by Stephen McCauley (2010) - fun and smart "slice of life" novel about a 50-something gay man Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston (2019) - playful teen romcom about a bisexual First Son who develops feelings for an English prince The Last Romeo by Justin Myers (2018) - 30-something Bridget Jones-esque comedy of errors romance about a gay British web journalist who starts a dating blog The Charioteer by Mary Renault (1953) - cerebral, moving and ultimately positive historical novel, set in a military hospital during World War II, which has prominent themes of repression and self-discovery A Natural by Ross Raisin (2017) - subtle British novel about a closeted and introverted soccer player Coming Out To Play by Robbie Rogers with Eric Marcus (2014) - if you love soccer and prefer non-fiction, however, then you might like this memoir from the first openly gay MLS player Naked by David Sedaris (1997) - a collection of 40-something autobiographical essays from a gay humourist Real Life by Brandon Taylor (2020) - gay-themed campus novel where a black doctoral student comes of age in a midwestern town Out Of The Woods by Luke Turner (2019) - frank, intimate and sexually explicit British memoir that deals with bisexuality, religion, sexual abuse, outdoor sex, internalised homophobia and binary labels Check, Please! by Ngozi Ukazu (2013-2020) - hilarious webcomic about an adorkable gay figure skater, who loves baking and joins his college's ice hockey team-cum-fraternity Upside Down by NR Walker (2019) - Australian comedy romance involving two homoromantic asexuals The Less Than Epic Adventures Of TJ & Amal by EK Weaver (2009-2014) - webcomic where a gay slacker comes out and goes on a road trip Movies & TV Banana Fish (2018) - anime TV series, based on a magna from the '80s, with a gay male co-protagonist Beautiful Thing (1996) - idealistic yet 100% charming and pandemic-friendly coming out teen romance, which oozes summery cinematography in one of London's brutalist council estates; Jonathan Harvey later wrote the BBC sitcoms Gimme Gimme Gimme (1999-2001) and Beautiful People (2008-2009) BPM (2017) - charismatic and moving French drama about HIV-AIDS activism in the early '90s Bob & Rose (2001) - acclaimed yet short-lived British comedy-drama series, from the creator of Queer As Folk, about an openly gay male school teacher who starts a relationship with a woman Boy Meets Girl (2015-2016) - realistic enough yet very slight BBC sitcom about a 26-year-old man who falls in love with a 40-year-old trans woman The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy (2000) - likeable, peppy, relatable, upbeat and generally unproblematic "slice of life" movie, about a gay friendship group, from the director of the problematic and overrated Love, Simon; co-stars John Mahoney, Dean Cain and a young Zach Braff Dead Poets Society (1989) and School Ties (1992) - deeply homoerotic prep school movies Edge Of Seventeen (1998) - arguably the most realistic coming out movie ever made, although the emphasis is firmly on the "coming of age" side of things End Of The Century (2019) - 30-something Argentine holiday romance, which is heavily inspired by Before Sunrise and set in Barcelona Happy Endings (2011-2013) - underrated 20-something American sitcom, with a loveable co-protagonist that's undoubtedly a beacub Gaycation (2016-2017) - global travel documentary series, co-presented by Ellen Page, which has an LGBTQ slant Grandma's House (2010-2012) - naturalistic BBC sitcom about a gay son and his Jewish family Jeffrey (1995) - subversive AIDS-themed romantic comedy which, despite an outstanding supporting performance from Patrick Stewart that really should have garnered an Oscar nomination, is flawed and an acquired taste Latter Days (2003) and The Falls (2012) - ultra low-budget romantic dramas about gay Mormons, but ultimately more pandemic-friendly than the conversion therapy drama Boy Erased (2018) Longtime Companion (1989) and The Normal Heart (2014) - emotional and touching dramas about the HIV-AIDS crisis in NYC; Matt Bomer and Jim Parsons' performances in the latter merit special praise Love Is Strange (2014) - 60-something romantic drama about discrimination and family, starring John Lithgow and Alfred Molina Love, Valour, Compassion (1997) - melodramatic comedy-drama about a 40-something gay friendship group, although this one is a bitchier and snarkier watch than The Broken Hearts Club; features a star turn from Jason Alexander as a dying HIV-AIDS patient Maurice (1987) - excellent period drama adaptation of EM Forster's novel; co-stars a young Hugh Grant A Moment In The Reeds (2017) - romantic drama where a Finnish man bonds with a Syrian asylum seeker at a lakehouse My Beautiful Laundrette (1985) - pioneering British comedy-drama that critiques racism and Thatcherism, among other things, with a prominent gay subplot; co-stars a young Daniel Day-Lewis My Own Private Idaho (1991) - surreal road trip drama, partially based on Shakespeare's Henry IV and Henry V, about street hustlers; directed by Gus Van Sant, and starring Keanu Reeves and River Phoenix Mysterious Skin (2004) - dark, difficult and uncompromising independent drama about the effect of historic sexual abuse on a gay teenage hustler; stars a young Joseph Gordon-Levitt 1985 (2018) - excellent monochrome drama about a closeted and dying man with HIV-AIDS, who is trying to come out to his conservative and suburban family at Christmas Ocean Waves (1993) - underrated and accidentally queer TV movie from Studio Ghibli; if you don't mind spoilers, then this YouTube video comprehensively explains why Ocean Waves is accidentally queer Open To Question: Justin Fashanu (1992) - Justin Fashanu, the first openly gay professional soccer player and first black player to command a £1m transfer fee, is interviewed on a Q&A programme for young people; it has been archived online by the BBC as an important historical document Outland (2012) and Please Like Me (2013-2016) - two Australian comedy series; the former is about five members of an LGBTQ sci-fi club and the latter is about a newly out millennial slacker (which co-stars Pippa from Home & Away!) Pain & Glory (2019) - Pedro Almodóvar's most recent and arguably most accomplished movie Paris Is Burning (1990) - important long-form BIPOC/BAME documentary about NYC ballroom culture Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert (1994) - inspired road trip comedy about three Australian drag queens Queer Britain (2017) - excellent BBC youth documentary series about LGBTQ issues in Britain, with episodes dedicated to religion, body image, homelessness, racism, porn, and queer identity Self-Portrait in 23 Rounds: A Chapter In David Wojnarowicz's Life, 1989-1991 (2018) and Keith Haring: Street Art Boy (2020) - long-form documentaries about two iconic gay artists, who died from HIV Shelter (2007) - cute yet slight low-budget drama about gay self-discovery in the American suburbs Sum Of Us (1994) - thoroughly affable Australian comedy-drama about a gay son and his accepting father; co-stars a young and pre-fame Russell Crowe Tales Of The City series (1993, 1998, 2001, 2019) - TV adaptation of seminal gay novel and its sequels A Taste of Honey (1961) - monochrome kitchen sink dramedy, with a gay male supporting character, which is set in Manchester Tofu (2015) - short-form web documentary series, from the creator of Queer As Folk, which explores modern attitudes towards sex, with a heavy emphasis on the LGBTQ side of it Trick (1999) - please take this idealistic overnight romance with a pinch of salt - even if it realistically tackles internalised homophobia in a way that Love, Simon never managed to do - but this superb dramedy is still one of the best and most pandemic-friendly gay movies The Outs (2012-2013, 2016) - largely realistic and utterly charming web drama about gay adulting in NYC, with a peerless soundtrack; I low-key stan the loveable Jack and Scruffy Verbotene Liebe (2007-2013) - surprisingly good supercouple plot from a German soap opera, involving a bisexual amateur boxer turned horse trainer, Christian, and his boyfriend/husband, Oliver The Way He Looks (2014) - cute Brazilian teen romance about blindness and self-discovery The Wedding Banquet (1993) - Oscar-nominated romantic comedy from China, directed by Ang Lee Weekend (2011) - minimalist and naturalistic weekend romance, set in the outskirts of Nottingham Wild Reeds (1994) - Cannes-nominated sexual awakening teen drama, set in early '60s France Music Little Earthquakes by Tori Amos (1992) - a very strong introduction to eccentric yet loveable piano-led college pop-rock Northern Star by Melanie C (1999) - British equivalent of Madonna's seminal Ray Of Light (1998) Blue Bell Knoll (1988) and Heaven Or Las Vegas (1990) by Cocteau Twins - pioneering ambient dream-pop, which are perhaps the ideal albums for jerk-off sessions and physical intimacy Doppelgänger by Curve (1992) - a gothic, melodramatic and moody fusion of shoegaze and industrial electronica; fans of Garbage will LOVE this album No Angel by Dido (1999) - another album that's ideal for masturbation and sex Disgraceful by Dubstar (1995) - slightly out of time, albeit still excellent, synth-pop from the mid '90s Chorus by Erasure (1991) - analogue-based synth-pop; will interest those into video game soundtracks, given that it practically sounds like music from Amiga titles at various points Amplified Heart by Everything But The Girl (1994) - eloquent fusion of acoustic folk-pop and electronica; Tracey Thorn's Record (2018) further consolidated her appeal to the LGBTQ community Sue (1989) and Ray (1991) by Frazier Chorus - arty and gentle woodwind-based synth-pop that also has the bitchiest and most subversive lyrics imaginable Chemistry by Girls Aloud (2005) and Emotion by Carly Rae Jepsen (2015) - bubblegum pop artists that throw curveballs by unexpectedly moving into indie-baiting dance-pop territory Black Cherry by Goldfrapp (2003), State Of Mind by Holly Valance (2003), Come & Get It by Rachel Stevens (2005) and Trip The Light Fantastic by Sophie Ellis-Bextor (2007) - highly regarded electropop albums from the mid-2000s Françoise Hardy Sings In English by Françoise Hardy (1966), Infamous Angel by Iris DeMent (1992), Whatever by Aimee Mann (1993) and Out Of Range by Ani DiFranco (1994) - refined and superior singer-songwriter material Paradise AKA Big Fun by Inner City (1989), Adeva by Adeva (1989), And Still I Rise by Alison Limerick (1992) and Everybody's Free by Rozalla (1992) - underrated diva house albums from the late '80s and early '90s Bonito Generation by Kero Kero Bonito (2016) - day-glo dance-pop that's heavily influenced by The B-52s, J-pop, video game soundtracks, dancehall culture and mid-'90s Eurodance The Death Of Cool by Kitchens Of Distinction (1992), Copper Blue by Sugar (1992), The Sound Of McAlmont & Butler by McAlmont & Butler (1995), D-D-Don't Stop The Beat by Junior Senior (2002), The Smell Of Our Own by The Hidden Cameras (2003), i by The Magnetic Fields (2004) and Silent Alarm by Bloc Party (2005) - indie bands that are fronted/co-fronted by openly gay men Thinking It Over by Liberty X (2002) - surprisingly good R&B-led pop from talent show runner-ups Crooked Mile by Microdisney (1987) - includes Rack, one of the most articulate songs ever written about AIDS; the same applies to It Couldn't Happen Here from Actually by Pet Shop Boys (1987) Light Years by Kylie Minogue (2000) - perhaps the most cohesive introduction to the Australian queen Loveless by My Bloody Valentine (1991) - Mysterious Skin undoubtedly proves that shoegaze has LGBTQ appeal, although this is challenging stuff and not for the faint-hearted Passive Soul by Orlando (1997) - fragile and wallflowery pop that puts a heavy slant on the eclectic Behaviour by Pet Shop Boys (1990), Echoes by Will Young (2011) and Choreography by Bright Light Bright Light (2016) - gay introspection from 30-something Brits Very by Pet Shop Boys (1993) and The Tension & The Spark by Darren Hayes (2004) - 30-something coming out albums Different Class by Pulp (1995) and Coming Up by Suede (1996) - camp and glamorous yet laddy and seedy Britpop, which is largely preoccupied with drugs and sex A Secret Wish by Propaganda (1985) - gothic and literate synth-pop from Düsseldorf Body Talk by Robyn (2010) - boundary-pushing dance-pop from the Swedish queen Original Soundtrack by S-Express (1989) - one of the first UK house music albums to have originated from LGBTQ nightclubs Foxbase Alpha (1991), So Tough (1993) and Tales From Turnpike House (2005) by Saint Etienne - summery indie-dance cultural love letters to London; Pedro Almodóvar is a big fan of them Hormonally Yours by Shakespeares Sister (1992) - gothic, melodramatic, sassy and vampy glam pop-rock We Are Shampoo by Shampoo (1994) and On The Loose by Deuce (1995) - unashamedly trashy bubblegum pop; the latter band was created by former Pet Shop Boys manager Tom Watkins Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret by Soft Cell (1981) and Youthquake by Dead Or Alive (1985) - camp and melodramatic synth-pop from northern England Illinois (2005) and Carrie & Lowell (2015) by Sufjan Stevens - if you've seen the movie Call Me By Your Name (2017), then you'll know who this guy is La Varieté by Weekend (1982), Life by The Cardigans (1995), The Sound Of Music by Pizzicato Five (1995) and Good Humor by Saint Etienne (1998) - fey, kitschy and peppy lounge indie-pop Titanic Rising by Weyes Blood (2019), Saint Cloud by Waxahatchee (2020) and Punisher by Phoebe Bridgers (2020) - minimalist indie for hipsters YouTubers Sam Cushing - likeably grounded and motivated guy who plays the piano and loves his workouts Riyadh Khalaf - the Iranian-Irish vlogger presenter of Queer Britain Husband & Husband - nerdy married couple who write comic books and fantasy novels LanceTheDriver - adorable mature student who loves cars and constantly strives to do good Eric Mason - endearing and insightful lyrical breakdowns of songs by pop divas Jacob Michael - cerebral and eloquent musings on the state of modern gay life PK Creedon - good natured sporty couple who authentically fuse their femininity and masculinity PJ & Thomas - lovely suburban couple who work in real estate and have adopted a trio of toddlers Michael Rizzi and Dominick Whelton - sweet city boys who love their fashion and pop culture Noah Roth and Christian Cook - wholesome college-aged couple who love painting and the outdoors Stepsof2Foreigners - articulate and refined American-Brazilian couple who are into their travel
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Pet Shop Boys - Suburbia (Official Audio) - YouTube
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Official audio for Suburbia by Pet Shop Boys taken from their 1986 album, 'Please'. Subscribe for more here: http://smarturl.it/petshopboysyoutube Follow Pet... Lyrics Maybe I didn't treat you quite as good as I should Maybe I didn't love you quite as often as I could Little things I should've said and done, I never ... This is the official YouTube channel of Pet Shop Boys. Here you will find all of the official PSB video content including music videos, single playlists, alb... Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. Pet Shop Boys perform Dreamland (feat. Years & Years) at Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park 2019. Guidance: Contains Flashing Images. For more amazing performances fr... Official music video for Pet Shop Boys - Go West (2003 Digital Remaster). Subscribe for more here: http://smarturl.it/petshopboysyoutube Follow Pet Shop Boys... Official video for Domino Dancing by Pet Shop Boys (2003 Digital Remaster). Subscribe for more here: http://smarturl.it/petshopboysyoutube Follow Pet Shop Bo...