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Welcome to South App #5: "I'm a Beleaver"

2020.08.26 19:40 welcometosouthapp Welcome to South App #5: "I'm a Beleaver"

Wednesday, August 26th, 2020
After a ten-day cheese binge, Gigi had gained ten pounds.
That didn’t stop Frank, the Italian Stallion, from picking her up and pinning her to the dorm room wall. They began making out in their underwear for the first time.
“Um...do you have a condom?” Gigi whispered as Frank lifted her up.
“But soft, my dear! Why, I carry the finest lambskins in the land. Made from the intestines of the most supple virgin sheep.”
Frank squeezed her thighs while sliding his tongue down her throat. But after holding her up for so long, his arms began to tremble.
“Maybe we can take it on the bed?” Gigi laughed nervously. “I guess I’m well on the way to the Freshman 15. Woo-hoo!”
Frank tossed the 130-pound Gigi onto the beanbag chair. He straddled her, reaching behind her back to unclasp her bra.
“On second thought, maybe not,” Gigi mouthed, gently pushing his hands away.
“But ask you did - did you not?”
“I...I like you, Frank,” Gigi admitted. “But on a sweaty bean bag chair in a dorm room? It’s...not what I have in mind for my first time!”
“Woe is me! Alas, my sexual and culinary advances remain unrequited.”
Sure enough, Frank was supposed to have cooked dinner for Gigi that previous Friday. But once she’d found out lasagna was on the menu, Gigi had promptly faked the flu. Following her secret cheese dinner with Winston, she had secretly sampled nearly every type of cheese in Buncombe County. And cottage cheese, an ingredient in Frank’s lasagna, was her least favorite. Hard pass.
Gigi slipped into her tight blue jeans and white Beavers hoodie. “Um...looks like I shall depart for class!”
“Next time, shall I conduct myself differently?”
Gigi smiled meekly. “Come as you are, Frank. We’ll try sex again in three months!”
On the 300 Hall, a naked Claire stood handcuffed to the top bunk from behind. She bit her shoulder to muffle her moan as a shiver rattled her body. An also-naked Winston stood up from his knees.
“Mmm...let’s, like, totally do it already!” Claire panted, sweat dripping down her bangs.
It would be Winston’s and Claire’s first time. And he had planned ahead with the help of a little blue pill. “Ah, right,” he grunted. “I reckon I’ll go get a Jimmy hat.”
Winston opened his desk drawer, reminded that his prized fake ID collection was missing. Whoever took it, your ass is grass, Winston thought. Then, while Claire wasn’t looking, he popped a Cialis in his mouth - his second pill in an hour. For good measure, he cracked open a can of Red Bull and chugged.
“Wow,” Claire cooed, looking down at it. “You must be, like, getting ready for a bonafide marathon with me!”
“Your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed or your money back, ma’am.”
But as soon as Winston opened Claire’s legs, it happened.
A metric fuck-ton of caffeine and testosterone coursed through his veins. His pulse sank from one head to another. Target locked: Claire. She gasped in surprise. And Winston’s fragile ego, along with something else, deflated.
“Hashtag OMG,” Claire whispered, more embarrassed than Winston. “It’s, like, totally okay! It looks like we, like, had a little too much foreplay.”
Winston, dead-eyed and stone-faced, put on an old pair of Wrangler jeans and a red flannel. “I...need to give a presentation for class.”
“Oh! Like, good luck! Do you think you can, like, get me a towel?”
Winston grabbed his damp, musky shaving towel and tossed it to Claire. “Wait!” Claire called out as Winston stepped into the hallway. “You forget the-”
The door slammed.
“-Handcuff key.” Alone in Winston’s room, she stared at the key on his desk. “Hey, Siri!” she called out to her iPhone. “Call the Italian Stallion on speaker.”
Frank answered. “Ah, Claire: the woman with fire in thy loins. Shan’t you be in class at this time?”
“You’re, like, too silly! Mornings are for sobering up, not classing. Anywho, Winston I and totally ended our morning...prematurely.”
“Methinks you and Winston hath made more progress than Gigi and yours truly.”
“Aw, you poor thing!” Claire teased, sticking out her lower lip. “Tell you what. My hands are, like, tied right now. Hashtag literally! Wanna come up to Winston’s room and take advantage of me?”
***
At 8 AM Econ class, Jacky, Tai, Sarah, and Evelyn sat in the back of the massive lecture hall. While the professor rambled on about exponential growth, Jacky flipped through the binder of fake IDs.
“On the real, we’re not selling fake IDs,” Jacky declared, pulling out an one that favored the Latina teaching assistant. “We’re selling freedom, the way God always intended it.”
“Well put, Cali,” said Sarah. “Looks like you’ve dethroned Frank as the poet in our posse.”
“Whoa, let’s not get crazy,” Tai chuckled. “Unlike us peasants, Francisco is a Sicilian king.”
“If you love him so much, why don’t you just marry him, broseph,” Jacky snapped. Tai looked down like a shameful dog. Jacky held his grey-eyed stare like an Olympian. Finally, he burst out into laughter. “I’m just dogging you, scaredy-cat! Gotta keep you on your toes or this college junk will get stale.”
“College fucking sucks,” Evelyn chimed in, cranking the volume on her Mickey Avalon song. “It’s all a scam.”
The charismatic Jacky swiped an ID of a girl who looked like a preppy version of Evelyn. “Sounds like you need a new perspective, dudette. In college, you can be anybody you want to be. On the real, that’s why in the past 10 days, I’ve sold 25 IDs alone.”
Tai raised his eyebrows. “Twenty-fucking five? Not too shabby.”
“Oh, did I say 25? I meant that I sold 25 IDs to people in this room alone. Heck, the real total is somewhere around...200.”
Their jaws were on the floor. Jacky pulled out a roll of 100-dollar bills from his cargo shorts. He fanned the cash, then divvied a few bills to each of them.
“That’s 500 apiece each,” Jacky declared. “Just as a show of good faith that this operation won’t be a waste of our time.”
“Holy shit,” Sarah whispered, stuffing the money in her purse. “That’s almost enough goddamn cash for...half a textbook!”
“True that, but God’s last name is not damn,” Jacky hissed.
“Wait, how much money have you made so far?” Tai asked, reaching down and holding Jacky’s hand.
Plenty more,” Jacky whispered, inviting them to get close. “Look at all of God’s lost sheep in this room. Investing all this time and money to make this kind of money appear. Heck, we can do it much faster, dude and dudettes. We can take our operation straight to Beleavers.”
Jacky was referring to the Methodist youth group that met in the Chadwick Learning Center each Wednesday. Students of all faiths, colors, creeds, and M.O.’s were welcome - if only for the campus-renowned free popcorn.
“Ugh, organized religion is a farce,” Evelyn groaned, putting her headphones back in.
“Then you should have no problem taking their money,” Sarah said, yanking her earbud out.
“Exactamundo,” Jacky declared as the professor dismissed class. “Just picture all those students walking around with Mommy and Daddy’s tithe money. All we need to do is earn their business. Let’s get there early tonight and set up a vendor table. Sarah, Evelyn: we need a front. What can you sell?”
“I can sell my collection of human bones from my graveyard raids,” Evelyn offered casually.
They all stared at Evelyn in silence. “H-how about we make homemade bath bombs instead?” Sarah suggested casually.
“Perfect,” Jacky declared. “Tai and I will go to the dorm kitchen and whip up some baked goods. They’ll come for the snacks and leave with new identities.”
“Gravy,” Sarah said, flashing a peace sign. “Now, Evelyn and I have a rematch to settle.”
“Mario Kart?” Tai asked.
“Nah, grappling on the quad.” Sarah snatched Evelyn in a headlock and tickled her stomach. Evelyn burst out laughing, then tapped out. The two friends left the lecture hall.
“On the real, your hippie friend has a lot of nerve leading her on like that,” Jacky said, packing up his books.
“Eh, Sarah’s made it clear that she doesn’t like girls. Or...anybody for that matter.”
“Well, from one gay to another: Sarah’s full of horse crap.”
“Dude, they’re friends! And Evelyn’s not holding out for anything more.”
Jacky cocked his head as the last few students left the lecture hall. “What about us, Tai? Are we just friends?”
Tai leaned in to kiss him. Jacky kissed back harder, slipping his hand beneath Tai’s nylon shorts. Tai tossed his head back, pacing his breaths.
“Try to hold out as long as you can,” Jacky whispered, nibbling his neck. “I don’t want this to end…prematurely.”
“Hold out, huh?” Tai moaned between breaths. “Fuck...guess I gotta...uh, think about Evelyn the demon or something. That’s a turnoff...uh, am I right?”
“Seriously?” Jacky mumbled. “I’m trying to please you, and you’re gonna talk about another woman? Just stop talking.”
My boyfriend’s a hard nut to crack, Tai thought. Yes, it was true that Jacky had been a cocky, jealous, holier-than-thou douche during the whole class. He’s shallow. But God, his hand feels so good. So Tai let Jacky California finish. And afterward, Tai felt like the shallow one. For letting somebody kiss, caress, and fondle him when he knew for damn sure that they had nothing in common.
***
“And in conclusion,” said a female brunette. “That’s why multicultural cuisine is integral to improving the health of obese Americans in our nation. Thank you!”
“Delightful,” exclaimed Dr. Cartwright: Winston’s female Public Speaking professor. The student thanked her, then returned to her desk in the small Learning Center classroom. Today’s topic: Describe how multiculturalism has changed your life.
“Next up: Winston Beavers,” Dr. Cartwright announced. “Ah, quite a fitting last name, if I do say so myself.”
“Much obliged, ma’am.” Winston tipped his cowboy hat. “No one liked my last name until I became a student at South App.” He walked to the front of the classroom carrying two large foam boards.
“Oh! Somebody chose to use props, I see.”
“I was always a visual learner myself.” Winston set the foam boards up on tripods. “Ever since I was a little shit...um, I mean child, I always had a knack for pictures instead of words. I reckon ain’t much changed since then.”
“That’s very...insightful, Winston. Please begin whenever you’re ready.”
Two huge images were printed on the foam boards. One was a high-res photo of a revolver. The other was a simple stock photo of a 3-ring binder.
“Ladies and gents, when I enrolled last month, two precious items were stolen from me.” Winston pulled out a cigarette and pointed at each of the photos. “Exhibit A: my Colt Single Action Army revolver, gifted to me by my daddy. And Exhibit B: a top-secret binder, gifted to me by the fine folks from Beta Delta Epsilon.”
“Who’s got big dicks? We’ve got big dicks!” chanted a few BDE pledges in the back of the class.
“Don’t you forget it. Uh, anyway, I say all this to say: multiculturalism has impacted my life because it was statistically somebody of a certain race who stole these items from me.”
“Mister Beavers, I must stop you as this is highly inappropriate!” blurted out the professor’s teaching assistant.
“Let...let him continue,” Dr. Cartwright muttered, swallowing the lump in her throat. “Mister Beavers, I do presume you have...dare I say, a valuable theme in your speech?”
“I humbly assure you, I do,” replied Winston tipping his cowboy hat. “I reckon you’re gonna wanna listen to what I’m fixin’ to say.”
***
Down at the other end of the Student Center, Gigi donned goggles and rubber gloves while she weighed silver nitrate powder on a scale.
“Everybody make sure that your scale is switched to grams!” cautioned Dr. Spivey: a wild white-haired mad scientist. “And before anybody asks: no, I will not help you cook meth in an RV! I will, however, give you a list of Asheville’s finest marijuana dealers...for a price.”
Gigi added the powder to a volumetric flask. Then, she unzipped her bookbag and grabbed a bottle of distilled water. She slowly poured the water into the flask, swirling the mixture around.
“Smart, smart, smart!” Dr. Spivey praised Gigi. “Why, I see somebody brought their own water. Now, I think I know why. But please humor me.”
“Gladly!” Gigi obliged, swirling the flask until the silver nitrate dissolved completely. “Well, Professor, I opted to access my personal inventory in hopes of bypassing a lengthy dihydrogen monoxide queue! Translation: look at that line!”
Sure enough, a long line of students stood with flasks in hand, waiting to use the tap of distilled water. Dr. Spivey flipped through his attendance roster. “Ah, you’re my pre-dental student: Ji-hye.” He pronounced it incorrectly as Gee-Hi.
“Oh, it’s actually pronounced Gee-Hey. But my real name’s caused so much...um, confusion that most people call me Gigi now.”
“I see. That’s quite unfortunate. Having to change your name all because of someone else.”
Before Gigi could respond, a frat boy called out to the professor. “Hey, Walter White! I’ll pay ya a hundred bucks for a list of all your dealers. Come on, bubba, that’s like half your salary!”
Dr. Spivey sighed and feigned annoyance. “Ah, these kids and their shrewd business exchanges. Guess I better entertain their shenanigans. Keep up the diligence, Ji-hye.” That time, he pronounced it correctly.
After Dr. Spivey left, a nerdy hipster girl tapped Gigi’s shoulder. “Hey, check this out.” The girl raised her cardigan sleeve to reveal a dark silver nitrate tattoo. Fuck Landsharks. It was the South App Beavers’ rival mascot.
“I...fully approve this message!”
“Here, try one on you before the professor gets back.” The girl handed Gigi a paintbrush.
“Neat!” Gigi replied as if accepting party pills for the first time. “But what to write?” She stared at her class schedule, where her name was also listed as “Ji-hye Moon.” Maybe...I should get used to using my real name again.
Gigi pulled up her hoodie sleeve and dipped the brush into the silver nitrate solution. Just then, the professor summoned everybody back to their desks for discussion. “Ji-hye, Ji-hye, Ji-hye,” she repeated, quickly painting a tattoo on the inside of her left hand.
Gigi rushed back to her desk. Dr. Spivey laughed at the class, his white hair sprawling in all directions. “Fools! I saw what you did. Now, let this be a lesson in commitment. Because silver nitrate tattoos take a week to fade. Now...who wants to show me theirs? Or shall I start calling names?”
Goosebumps rose on the back of Gigi’s neck. Not because her tattoo was semi-permanent, but because she was surely about to be the center of attention. But after a moment of tension, the professor simply dismissed class. Gigi bolted out the door. “So long, Ji-hye!” his voice echoed down the hall.
Shit, did he see my tattoo? Gigi picked up the pace, bumping into students who filed out of the Learning Center classrooms. Around the corner, she heard the grinding of coffee beans and frothing of whole milk. She would soon reach safety at Doppio Coffee Shop...
“Whaaa-oomph!” Gigi gasped, slipping on a banana peel. She landed flat on her back, sending her notebook and loose papers flying.
“Whoa, are you okay?” asked a short Indian guy as he rushed to Gigi’s aid. He helped her to her feet. “Yo, did you get that on video?” he asked another Indian, who ran up with a video camera. “Hey, Miss, it was just a social experiment! See, we’re from the South App Social Club. Hey, are you listening? It was just a prank, bro!”
A mentally-drained Gigi kneeled down to collect her supplies. It was only when Gigi reached down to collect her papers that she read the tattoo on her hand. And it did not read Ji-hye...
“WINSTON?!” her voice cracked.
“Jesus fuckin’ Christ,” mumbled a young cowboy, hunched over a large caramel frappuccino. “Are ya that surprised to find me here?”
Winston was sitting at Doppio Coffee Shop. Gigi hurriedly pulled down her hoodie sleeves past her fingertips. She balled the draping sleeves over her fists, concealing the palms of her hands. Then, she walked over to Winston as if she didn’t look like a complete-
“You look like a complete dork!” Winston chuckled.
“Oh! I was...uh, cold,” Gigi lied. She held up her balled-up fists like a panda bear. “See, I made my own gloves!”
Winston snatched her right wrist, then placed it palm-down on the counter. He reached into his pocket for a dull, rusty Swiss Army Knife.
“So what we wanna do is make a quick little incision where the thumb is right here.” Winston cut a small hole in the sleeve. Carefully, he guided her thumb through the hole to create a mitten of sorts for her small hand.
“Now, let’s do your left hand.”
Gigi’s heart skipped a beat as he grabbed her tattooed left hand and lay her palm on the table. Don’t look at my tattoo, don’t look at it, don’t look at it!
“Ugh, damn blade’s straight-up fucked,” Winston scoffed. “Must’ve been that buck I skinned.”
“Eek! That’s so gross! Have you at least washed it?” Don’t look at it, don’t look at it, don’t look at it!
Winston ignored her question. “Here, let me see your palm so I can-”
For the love of all that is sacred and holy, don’t look at it, don’t look at it, DON’T LOOK AT IT!
“I have to poop!” Gigi blurted out.
Winstons let go of Gigi’s hand. He and everybody else stared in disbelief. Of course, she was lying. It’s not even what she meant to say. But Gigi took that baton and ran a country mile. “Um...it appears that most sharp cheeses give me constipation. But ever since I ate all those mozzarella sticks, I have major runs!”
Gigi stood up, crossed her arms, and bowed. Then, she skittered off to the restroom - her secret safe in her left hand.
A preppy guy and girl walked up behind the dumbfounded Winston. “Yo, country boy needs to teach his lady friend some manners, am I right?” The guy looked around, trying to rally the cafe customers for support. “That’s one thing I hate about this liberal town. What a fuckin’ dyke.”
A storm brewed in Winston’s head. But he kept it bottled up inside. He chuckled instead, placing a hand on the guy’s shoulder. A pause. Suddenly, Winston yanked him into a headlock, holding the pocket knife to his crotch. His girlfriend shrieked like a mouse, while the young man raised his trembling hands.
“Oh fuck, oh fuck, oh fuck!” the guy yelled.“T-take it easy, man! I was just-”
“Now listen here, partner.” Winston applied pressure with his blade. “I’ve had my share of good days. Matter fact, they’ve been a dime a dozen. But I reckon I’ve had my share of bad days too. And this right here is one of them bad days.” Winston motioned at the paper next to his drink. “See that-there paper over there? That’s the speech I just gave in front of a crowd of SJWs. And you wanna know what the teacher gave me? D-fuckin’-minus.”
“I’m...s-s-sorry,” the preppy guy whimpered.
“Yeah, me too,” Winston grumbled, using his knife to flick off the button on the guy’s board shorts.
“Somebody, do something!” the guy’s air-headed girlfriend cried.
And on cue, a thin brown liquid ran down the preppy guy’s legs. It seeped into his white Champion socks and stained his off-brand boat shoes. The putrid smell hit the gasping, coughing patrons.
Satisfied, Winston shoved the guy into his girlfriend’s arms. “I reckon you best wash up, partner.” Whispers and murmurs in the crowd while the preppy boy limped toward the men’s bathroom. “Hol’ up. I reckon you best make your way to the female bathroom. Matter fact, all bathrooms are gender-neutral around these parts. And while you’re in there, you can apologize to that so-called dyke from earlier. Tell her Winston Motherfucking Beavers sent you.”
With anguish and defeat in his eyes, the lady entered the female bathroom. Satisfied, Winston gathered his things and decided that it was time to get the fuck out of there. But when he turned around to leave, a thunderous applause erupted behind him like an action movie explosion. Winston smiled mischievously. For the first time since he enrolled, he finally belonged.
Suddenly, Winston slipped on the banana feel and landed square on his elbow. “Oh, shit!” exclaimed the Indian student, running to his side. “Are you okay, man?”
***
Frank shivered on top of Claire as she dug her nails into his back. He lay there for a moment, his breath ragged. Then, he rolled off, breathing heavily on Winston’s top bunk. He slipped off the latex condom and tossed it into an empty cheese ball can on Winston’s bunk.
“Alas, thou hadst sucketh the chi from my body and-”
“Remember, like, no talking!” Claire reminded him condescendingly. She pulled the covers over her breasts, opened Instagram, and took a duck-face selfie.
“Ah, perhaps you didn’t get a chance to c-”
“Like, no.” Claire casually added a rabbit-ear filter and snapped a pic. “But that’s, like, totally okay...I guess.”
Frank transformed from Shakespeare to Sherlock, scanning Winston’s filthy bachelor bedspread for something. Anything. There were cigarette butts, saltine crumbs, half a stick of butter, Fun Dip packages with only the dip missing, a whole uneaten chicken wing, piss in a Sprite bottle, a Happy Meal box with a dead rat inside, three leaking D Batteries, and Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
Finally, Frank grabbed a nearly-empty can of whipped cream. He yanked the covers off the naked Claire and sprayed a line from her collarbone to navel. Now, he had Claire’s full, undivided attention. She slowly looked down at the runny mess that pooled into her belly button. Then, she gave him the hungriest bedroom eyes Frank had ever seen.
“If you’re, like, going to play with your food, then you better totally clean up after yourself.”
Frank and Claire proceeded to do unthinkable things in that bed. And Winston’s top bunk held on by faith and faith alone. Finally, they collapsed next to one another. Two sweaty messes bathing in afterglow. Afterward, they snuck into the men’s shower where they agreed on two things. One: they were going to burn that mattress out of respect for Winston. And two: they were going to have sex at Beleavers that night.
***
“Look here, you little bitch!”
Evelyn grabbed the young, black cheerleader’s collar and pulled her across the table, showing her fangs.
“W-whoa!” the cheerleader stammered. “Chill out! I’m...sorry.”
“Sorry about what?”
The girl panned from Evelyn to Sarah, Tai, and Jacky. “I’m...uh, sorry for asking you if you were selling tickets to a Marilyn Manson concert.”
“Apology accepted!” Sarah cheered on Evelyn’s behalf. She pointed at the assorted bath bombs for sale in the Learning Center Ballroom. “Everything you see here is between 10 and 15. If you have a sweet tooth, the fine gents to my right are selling yummy cookies and banana bread. Or…” Sarah pulled out the sacred BDE binder and placed it on the table. “Between you and me, we’re selling fake IDs.”
“Yeah!” Tai said. “There’s a few young ladies in there who have a mocha complexion almost as rich as yours!”
Jacky elbowed Tai in the ribs. Tai sucked in a breath, while his boyfriend acted as nothing had just happened. My boyfriend is jealous over fuckin’ everything.
The cheerleader looked over her shoulder to make sure the coast was clear. Then, she flipped through the pages as if she was dress shopping. “They contain the new state watermark and everything!” Sarah informed her customer. “We accept only cash at the moment. They cost-”
“A hundred, dudette,” Jacky interjected. Sarah gave him a worrisome side-eye at the exorbitant price. But as expected, the rich cheerleader pulled out the bills and handed them over.
“Oh, that makeup actually makes your eyes pop - no cap,” the cheerleader told Evelyn, before disappearing into the Beleavers crowd with her fake ID.
“Mission accomplished!” Jacky cheered. They had managed to pull off just over 100 sales: 7500 bucks split four ways. Now, it was time to close up shop for the night. Soon, the Christian rock band would take the stage to celebrate God in a room full of students with brand new identities.
“Come on, Tai,” Jacky said, smiling warmly. “Let’s grab some popcorn. I have somebody I want you to meet.”
Tai waved at the girls as they watched them leave.
“I...really don’t know what to make of Jacky,” Sarah admitted. “A few weeks ago, I tracked him down across campus because I thought he was smoking hot. I mean, he still is. But still…”
“He’s a fucking fake,” Evelyn fumed. “That holier-than-thou douchelord can sit on a tack.”
“Whoa, sounds like you need to relieve some stress,” Sarah chuckled, punching Evelyn’s arm. “Why don’t we head to the quad and settle our tie-breaker?”
At that, Sarah and Evelyn left for one last grappling match to end them all.
***
Winston and Gigi approached the Ballroom entrance, where thumping Christian rock rattled the door.
“So...are you a Christian or are you here for the popcorn?” Winston asked.
“A little bird told me that it is pretty tasty!” Gigi admitted sheepishly.
“And I reckon that little bird was Frankie?”
“Yes, actually! He’s supposed to meet me here. But...I haven’t heard from him in a few hours.”
“Ah. Same with Claire.”
Just like last week’s restaurant date, Gigi and Winston had been once again ghosted by their lovers. It had become a running meme at this point.
“M-maybe their bus is running late?” Gigi suggested, failing to convince even herself.
“Hey, while we’re meddlin’ in conspiracy theories, I’ve got one too. See, Frankie likes to cook. And I’mma bet he’s with Claire, baking her a fresh, homemade cream-”
Gigi clamped her hand over Winston’s mouth. Gigi’s pupils said it all. So he opted to lay off the jokes. Neither either of them really believed their lovers were sneaking around with each other.
Winston opened the ballroom door and promptly caught an elbow to the temple.
“Oomph!” Winston groaned. Gigi slouched against the wall for safety. The scene was no Sunday morning gospel band. This was a Christian hardcore band. And they had just walked into a mosh pit.
“W-Winston!” Gigi yelled over the screamo vocals. But among the flurry of flailing super-Christians, Winston had vanished. Gigi bent her knees and jumped as high as she could, searching for his cowboy hat in the crowd. Suddenly, a punk-rock girl came up from behind and lifted her into the air.
“She’s tryin’ to go surfing!” the girl yelled, heaving her into the crowd like a FedEx package. Gigi gasped before landing into a sea of open hands. This “wave” slowly guided her through the spazzing strobe lights and fog.
Suddenly, an anonymous hand grazed her breast, then very deliberately squeezed it. “W-whaaa!?” Gigi pulled her knee to her stomach, then kicked the culprit square in the face.
“You bitch!” the fondler yelled psychotically, cupping a hand over his bleeding nose. “Throw this fucking slut overboard!” And, in unison, the moshers raised and lowered her body in their hands. “One, two, three!”
Gigi flew into the air - falling, falling, falling until she crashed into a table of baked goods and bath bombs. Winded, she slipped behind the tablecloth and curled up under the table. The mob raged outside.
“Animals,” Gigi whispered, rubbing her sore breast. Alone in the dark under that table, she wanted to cry. She could only imagine what Winston would have done if she caught that pervert red-handed. Maybe I should have let him keep his gun.
Gigi turned on her phone’s flashlight and looked around. Under the table were several cardboard boxes. One, in particular, was labeled Sarah’s Box O’Fun. Gigi recognized it immediately. On move-in day, she’d watched Sarah unpack a huge bong from that very box. Then, Sarah had dared a drunk Winston to drink the bong water. He did. (“Gigi, meet my brother.”)
This is...Sarah’s table? She’s here at Beleavers tonight? Feeling gutsy, she sifted through the box. On top of the mountain of bath bombs and baked goods, the B.D.E. binder sat there in all its glory. She flipped through pages upon pages of fake IDs. On a scratch sheet of notebook paper: a tally of sales for Sarah, Evelyn, Tai, and Claire. But no Winston. And slowly, her busy brain started to connect the dots.
“Holy balls,” she whispered, snapping the stolen binder shut. She thought about taking it right then and there and returning it to its bearded beast of an owner. But another thought crossed her mind.
I could leave it here and blackmail them for money, Gigi thought. All I have to do is threaten to tell Winston! The decision was set in stone. She left the binder behind and slipped out from under the table. But not before stealing a baseball-sized charcoal bath bomb.
***
In the popcorn line, safe from the mosh pit, Jacky stood in front of Tai with his back turned. The blonde-haired surfer had been rambling excitedly with an Asian guy for five minutes now. And not once had Jacky thought to introduce him.
“Oh, Tai Maple!” Jacky finally remembered, turning to face him. “This is my friend: Benji. Benji, meet Tai.”
This freckle-faced Asian guy gave a slight bow. Tai immediately knew who he was. In fact, Gigi had given him the full scoop while she and Tai had shared her very first cheese pizza. It had all begun on the day where the freshmen tracked down Jacky in his mail truck. Jacky had mistaken the cross-dressing Gigi with the Benji who now stood before him.
And this Benji was allegedly Jacky’s secret long-time crush.
“Benji, would you please grab us a popcorn?” Jacky asked politely, stepping out of the line. “I need to talk to my friend here...alone.”
“Friend,” Tai echoed, following Jacky like a lost puppy.
“Tai, this is just as hard for me, brother,” Jacky frowned, more condescending than empathetic.
“The hell it is!” Tai blew up, drowned out by the hardcore band. “You had your hand in my pants just a few hours ago! Were you fucking planning on leaving me this whole time? For him?!”
“Tai, listen man. Look, I know everything. When you showed up at the coffee shop, I knew you’d been spying on me long before you met me. I first thought our meeting was a...beautiful coincidence. But all along, you were pulling the wool over my eyes. But that’s okay, brochacho! Because I gave you a chance anyway. See, I wanted to save you from what you are! You’re a liar, bro. But in God’s eyes, we all-”
“I let you take my goddamn virginity!” Tai exploded over the music, his jaw twitching uncontrollably.
A pitiful look from Jacky. “I see. That does complicate things a bit, on the real. Look, you can have a quarter of my earnings from tonight’s sales. And I promise to pray for you every night before-”
“Fuck you and fuck your God! I hope you die in your fucking sleep! I hate you, I hate you, I HATE YOU!”
Tai turned around and walked confidently out of the ballroom, holding his head up high while vertigo weighed it down. But nobody stopped him. And not once did he look back.
***
Winston limped down the Learning Center hallway with a pounding headache. He struggled to keep his twitching, swollen eye open while passing the empty classrooms. Where he was going, not even he knew. He just had to get far away from that mosh pit.
“Calm, child! You’re quite a fool to be walking around with a concussion!”
Winston turned around. Through his good eye, he saw a large, middle-aged Haitian woman in an African floral dress and headwrap. She held a bible in her large, smooth hands.
“Join us, child,” the woman beckoned, pointing into a classroom of Haitian students in chairs.
Winston smiled weakly, thinking back to his controversial speech from class that morning. “I mighty appreciate it, ma’am. But I reckon I ain’t much worthy.” He turned to walk away, but accidentally stumbled like a drunkard into the woman’s arms.
“Soft, my child,” she soothed him, ushering him into the room of students. “Not one of us is worthy. But there is good news.”
A half-hour later, Winston was sitting in the front row of the Haitian Student Ministry with a bag of frozen peas pressed to his swollen eye. The matriarch, Nadia, was delivering a passionate Psalm 107 sermon to her students.
“Let the one who is wise heed these things,” Nadia read. “And ponder the loving deeds of the Lord. Amen. Now, to conclude, I’d like to introduce our guest: Winston from Beleavers. Please, child, tell us about yourself.”
The young men on either side of Winston gave him a back pat. Winston slowly stood up and tipped his cowboy hat. In his mind, it was his Public Speaking 101 all over again. But in class, he hadn’t been standing in front of all-black students. Like he was now.
“Well, like I told Nurse Nadia earlier. I don’t feel like I’m worthy among y’all fine folks here. I mighty appreciate Nadia for patching me up. And for y’all’s hospitality.”
Winston headed for the door, but Nadia blocked the exit. “Please, child. Do your sins trouble you? May it ease your soul to know that there are redeemed people in this very room who have committed acts of credit card fraud, gang violence, and even beastiality?”
Winston blinked.
But somehow, Nadia’s words did not repel these people away. They brought them closer. So Winston opened his mouth and confessed what had been brewing in his mind all day.
“Well, uh...today in speech class, I said the N-word. I didn’t mean to be ugly when I said it. Only said it to take power away from it. But I reckon I really hurt a couple of people in that class. The only reason the teacher didn’t ban me from the class was ‘cause she wanted me to learn a lesson this year. And I’m tryin’, Nadia. I’m...tryin’ real hard.”
The students didn’t come forward to comfort Winston, who now choked on tears. But they didn’t back away either. It was only when Nadia lay a hand on him that the other students followed suit.
“It sounds like you have a lot to think on,” Nadia said warmly, as layers of hands covered him. “I wish you luck on your journey. We will always be here whenever Beleavers get a little too...rowdy.”
Nadia and the students led a closing prayer for Winston. He smiled as a rush of dopamine reached the brain. The tears flowed freely, even as he used the bag of frozen peas to dab his face.
“Amen,” Nadia concluded. Everybody left Winston’s side and began stacking chairs.
“Wait,” Winston said, returning to his confident southern drawl. “Let me take care of them-there chairs. It’s...the least this poor white boy can do.”
And so, Winston began folding chairs alone while the others left. And like Jesus on the Via Dolorosa, he began carrying ten chairs down the long hallway toward the supply closet. And like all other men, Winston was hell-bent on making only one trip.
“Winston!” Gigi blurted out as he turned a corner. With his hands full, his black eye had nowhere to hide. Gigi dropped her jaw. Then, her mouth formed a pitiful frown. She kissed her tattoo-free hand and gently pressed her fingertips on Winston’s eyelid.
“One more time,” Winston suggested with a grin.
Gigi hesitantly kissed her hand, then reached for Winston’s eyelid again. Suddenly, Winston playfully bit her hand. “Eek!” Gigi quickly brought her hand to her chest.
“You’re a good woman, Gigi,” Winston chuckled, reflecting on his own moral character. Both of their faces flushed red. He shook his head, arms trembling from the weight they carried. “Look, I gotta put these chairs up. Walk with me.”
Gigi carried four of the chairs. And even then, she lagged behind Winston. “So, what’s the word on Frankie? You find him in that-there mob?”
Gigi shook her head, her long black hair whipping back and forth. “Nope! And Claire?”
“Shit,” Winston said, emotionally detached. “Honestly, I don’t expect to see her ever again.”
“Hmmm...so why don’t they love us anymore?”
“Beats me,” said Winston, as they set their chairs down at the closet door. “But if I was a betting man, I’d wager it’s because you and I seem to be attached at the hip these days.”
“Do you think they don’t trust us together? I mean, as friends?”
“Should they?”
Gigi opened her mouth, then closed it. Then, they quickly reached for the doorknob at the same time. A moment passed, and they did not move their hands. Slowly, her earthy brown eyes met his icy blue ones. Gigi’s tattoo was on fire.
Together, they turned the doorknob. And lo and behold: it was Frank and Claire.
Frank’s pants were around his ankles - all eight inches of uncut glory on full display. Claire was on her knees, snorting an eight-inch line of red-and-white cocaine from root to tip. As soon as they were spotted, Claire frantically wiped her nose while Frank shuffled to button his pants.
“W-w-woe is me!” Frank moaned in despair. “It doth appear that our feline hath escaped its rucksack!”
“Like, no fucking shit, Sherlock!” Claire snapped, brushing the cocaine off her shirt. “Do you ever, like, shut the fuck up? Like, look Winston and Gigi! I promise this is, like, not what it looks like. It was just, like, like, like, like, like-”
Winston and Gigi slowly stared at each other - sly grins on their faces.
“Um...are you thinking what I’m thinking?” Gigi asked Winston cheerfully.
“I sure the hell am, buddy,” Winston answered. They each grabbed a folding chair and approached the pair of adulterers.
***
A short while later, at dusk, Winston and Gigi sat on the curb of the Chadwick Hughes Learning Center - handcuffed. A fresh-faced, fat officer stood with his arms crossed, staring at the excited pair of criminals.
“So, you mean to tell me you…stabbed this chick with a chair?” the officer asked, dumbfounded.
“Yep!” Gigi piped up, a wide smile plastered on her face. “I managed to wield my melee weapon like a medieval knight, riding with the north winds until that raging thundercunt landed on her assless keister!”
“That was fuckin’ awesome,” Winston said, giving her an elbow bump. “But not as awesome as me crackin’ Frankie’s skull.”
The cop knitted his brows, taking extensive notes. “Alrighty then. Anything else y’all wanna add?”
Gigi and Winston grinned at each other, adrenaline fueling their veins. They had truly saved the best for last.
“Then, I took out my phone,” Winston started. “And I showed them a pic of-”
“He flashed them a pic of him taking my virginity!” Gigi finished proudly. But it was a lie. No, Winston had instead shown the cheaters the photo of Gigi eating cheese for the first time with Winston. And despite being attacked with a chair, that photo had shocked Frank more than anything.
Cop 2 walked over to Cop 1 and whispered something into his ear. Cop 1 nodded and pointed at Jacky and Claire. The pair looked tired and traumatized, and were hugging and consoling each other next to another cop car.
“Y’all got off lucky this time,” Cop 2 jeered. “They ain’t gonna press charges. You must have some deep dirt on ‘em or something.”
He wasn’t wrong. That red-and-white cocaine was Ryan’s signature product. The BDE fraternity circulated that cocaine more widely than Jacky and his fake IDs. And it was a much larger, lucrative operation. In Winston’s eyes, Claire didn’t want to risk Winston snitching in retaliation for being thrown in jail.
“Ladies first,” said Cop 1, helping Gigi off the curb to her feet. He spun her around and unlocked her handcuffs. “What kinda ink job is that?” the cop muttered, reading the silver nitrate tattoo on Gigi’s palm. “Winston...wait a sec. Hey, that’s your name, right?”
Winston cocked his head at the cop’s question. Gigi’s knees trembled as she let out a nervous chuckle. It surely wasn’t the craziest thing to happen that day. But goddamn, would it be hard to explain.
“Gigi, what the hell?” Winston muttered with a blank expression.
“Call me Ji-hye!” Gigi blurted out proudly. Winston shook his head with a smile as he watched her disappear into the Asheville night.
submitted by welcometosouthapp to welcometosouthapp [link] [comments]


2020.05.15 22:40 timmimon Timmimon's Diary

EDIT: Message 9 at the bottom is the new stuff. The box still hasn't arrived.
After a day of anxious fidgeting, I was delighted to find a message from my iconfidant waiting on email. It was received around 7.15pm UK time.

Her first message:

She began with a cheeky Hi Well this is VERY exciting, aren't you excited? I'm \*** Okay, awesome, have a great day and write back soon! I kid, I kid.*
So now I'm basically in love with her cheeriness. She spoke a little about things feeling wierd, and even quipped that iconfidant are probably selling our data...before asking me to tell her something I've not told anyone else about me this year. Finally she mentioned how she hates netflix now, before signing off.
My first response: I chatted about my day, agreed this feels strange, and suggested if 'they' were selling data we better make the whole thing worth while. I told her something I've genuinely not told anyone else, and finished by asking how she found iconfidant (or how they found her etc).
My initial thoughts: Excited. Can't wait to hear more from my new friend. Hoping she will be as honest with me as I'm planning on being with her. She had an email addess that was a number in the thousands, and signed off with a ~ #### ...and in my mind a tilde (~) means "approximately" (like circa), or "not" when writing schoolboy algebra.

Her second message:

F*** messaged me on Saturday at 3.38am my time. She was cheery again which made me smile, merrily explaining she is from SoCal, loves coffee, and commenting that she expecting a really dumb order from Amazon (including bleach). I'd said I was having a beer, she said she was having one too...though our time is a bit out of sync. And she said I sounded quite serious (which I'm not, and made a point of in my response).
Her answer to the 'thing she had told no one' was a cop out (after I revealed more intimate information to her). She just said she'd been cooking Tilapia and not told anyone. Now, I love her for being an adventurous chef, but do feel a bit let down by her response. Still, it's early days right?
My second response:
I might have been a bit drunk so my message was cheery gibberish :) I offered a sprinkling of enthusiastic Timmy small talk (marathon chat, where I live, etc). But wanted to tackle the topic of telling her about this forum and community. I told her all about slack/reddit, and the application process so far...I asked her what she had needed to do to become a control...and why she thought controls were even needed. I told her iC were asking us to share our journey with the community and asked her what iC were asking from her.
Most importantly I asked her how she felt about me sharing (because I didn't want to share without her permission...which is why I'm writing this stuff on reddit a day late).
My thoughts:
She hasnt answered my questions. She made me reveal something personal and didn't herself. Still, she's cheery and fun and I definitely want to get to know her better. Hopefully she'll open up in future messages.
>>>>KEITH MESSAGES US ALL A COUPLE OF HOURS AFTER THIS. HE'S DEFINITELY SEEN THAT I TOLD F*** EVERYTHING AND REASSURES US THAT SHARING WITH THE COMMUNITY IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO.

Her third message:

She compares me to forest gump for running a marathon, then suggests I should be a crime fighter before making me chuckle with stereotypical English jokes. She reveals she dosn't like facebookisised friendship, that it's not real (and I agree) and friends need to talk and be heard.
Regarding the forum, she says she's not lurking watching, and says she's ok with me posting about our chats (hence, why I'm posting this all in a flurry now). She says she's not been asked anything specific about me (by iConfidant) but thinks our messages are being monitored.
Regarding control groups, she says she's not really thought about it but "any serious experiment, you need a control group so you can verify that whatever happens to another group isn't down to chance or environment"
My third response:
It's gone midnight and I'm quite drunk now. I'm worried she will think I'm an alcoholic and tell her I'll be a super hero named the great trotter if she will tell me who the bad guys are that I need to battle. I told her I still didn't quite get the control group or what the experiment was trying to achieve.

Her fourth message:

She can tell I'm drunk and is teasing me for this. I like it :) We are bonding on what English things she loves best, and how real friendship is better than a facebook nod toward it.
She says she dosn't really know what iConfidant is all about...but that I should assume nothing someone says is what they mean until they demonstrate it.
My fourth response:
2.30am, I've drunk way too much but can't resist a short response, reminding her she still didn't tell me how she found iConfidant (or her application process) ... and mentioning the 'terror' call I received (we should chat about that in more detail)

Her fifth message:

It's surprisingly hard to not hear from a woman you've never met and only exchanged a few emails with for all of 48 hours. The amount of time I spent starring at my phone was ridiculous...still, 11.40pm comes and new message received just as I'm nodding off in bed!
F*** sends a short message...it's raining in SoCal which makes funny noises on her roof. Her message makes me sad - she's not answering most of my questions and instead says I didn't really want to get into how or why I signed up to be honest. It's just that we've only just started talking, we don't know each other yet, it's a bit like asking someone in a bar how they got there and what mode of transportation did they take, you know what I mean?
F*** mentions the delivery she is waiting for again. Apparently the UPS truck has driven by a couple of times...and she asks me about the Terror call.
**My fifth response:**I feel like I'm opening up to her but she's telling me I'm some weirdo in a bar. Still, that's probably down to my over enthusiasm...and maybe she has a point so I tell myself I need to stay patient. I'm lucky to have an iConfidant and relationships take time to develop. All I can do is keep being open with her and hope she gets comfortable over time...or question my apparent lack of charm and wallow...but that won't help...so chin up Timmy!
It's midnight as I respond my time (20 mins after her email), and I'm half asleep in the dark in bed. I try to explain the 'Terror' call I received before sign ups...how it related to Stacey's insta photo...how exhilarating and confusing it was. I'm probably not writing the clearest or most beautiful message (I'm groggy with sleep), but I think it's raw and honest in explanation.

Her Sixth message:

I check my emails in the night, but hear nothing. As I wake up *ping* there she is - yay! 11.40pm her time...so I'm not the only one who stays up too late. I open it up excited to read...and am surprised she has completely blanked everything I told her about the Terror call. My sleep addled writing was obviously pretty poor. What am I doing wrong?
BUT, she's excited about something.F*** likes mystery boxes (subscriptions to boxes with 'stuff' in them...maybe tech, or an escape room, whatever). She's tried a few, but the one she is waiting for from UPS is special. It's one 'that you could only order from private parts of the internet, that I had to access with special programs like TOR'
Off topic, she also mentions she's trying not to give out revealing information which is also why iConfidant seemed interesting to her, I liked the safety aspect without it being a dating site. (Phooey, the school boy in me is slightly deflated!).
My Sixth response:
I am soooo jealous (in a good way). Whatever this box is sounds incredibly cool/risky. Timmy honestly wants one! I ask her how I can get one and tell her (honestly!) I can't wait to hear what is in it. It dosn't sound at all ominous.

Her Seventh Message:

F*** is sipping coffee and tells me how she is having trouble sleeping. Apparently normal mystery boxes are too safe and family friendly for her (loving her adventure).On me getting a box...apparently it's tricky. I need TOR and all the sites have names like ukihdf9893274asdfasfasdfq43rfqafd (I've googled, found nothing...but if someone wants to check on TOR and report back...let me know what you dig up).Her box hasn't arrived yet...and responds to my comments on trust/sharing: We don't 'need' to trust each other, or it wouldn't mean anything if we eventually decide to ;)
My Seventh response:I tell her I'm busy putting the kids to bed but might look in to mystery boxes more later (or listen to more Bukowski). I ask her what she does for work (or with her day otherwise).

Her Eighth Message:

Apparently I've not mentioned my kids before. I'm surprised as I thought I had...but seems she is right when I read back.She's also opening up on a couple of things - yay! For work, F*** is in real estate (but not a realtor...she's in the office). No one is buying houses right now and she's worried about that. I feel for her.She also has a weird neighbour that creeps her out, 'he's weird and quiet, but speaks in this weird way, slow, deliberate and calculated. I don't like it.'
The box dosn't seem to have arrived...

Her Ninth Message:

Ah, the package hasn't arrived yet. Maybe it'll arrive later today...if indeed it ever gets delivered. F*** tells me about a big car chase near her house yesterday (did any of the Cali residents mention this) which sounded exciting. Police got their guy tho. So all good.
F*** is feeling the stress of the lockdown...and is worried that it will lift too quickly at the same time. She's missing her girls (by which I assume she means her female friends) and needs a crazy night out. She tells me she wants to get off the street for a bit, I feel her need to escape.
I ask her a few questions about the creepy neighbour, and tell her about my kids, asking again if she has kids or a partner.
Ooooh, and its probably nothing, but her last email ended with a kiss, and this one ends with two kisses. I'm blushing. I'll risk a kiss in my response. Eeeeek!
submitted by timmimon to iConfidantBETA [link] [comments]


2020.05.12 18:44 sting73ray **TL;DR; : If I'm not a SD than WTF am I in this situation??

In the summer of 2019 my marriage with my wife hit rock bottom and we decided to separate. The story there is for another time, but we had basically become business partners instead of spouses, and the connection was gone. In order to be discreet while maintaining a working relationship with my ex and starting to date again, I decided to pursue a sugar daddy website in hopes of meeting someone I could connect with now, yet would be somewhat casual and limited in expectations. Within a few weeks I had met a very beautiful, thoughtful, passionate and fiery 29 y/o girl who immediately had a connection with me also. For purposes of this post we will call her Viola.
We spent a lot of time together in the first few months of meeting each other, it felt like it was only us. We did dinners, sleep over, trips out of the country, hung out with each other’s friends, really beginning to intertwine our lives together in a short period of time. It felt very real and genuine. Though I was certainly catching feelings for Viola, I tried to keep myself grounded and remind myself that I was not some magically man that could sweep her off her feet and ever change nor want to change her. I had to remind myself how we met. But for a time, Viola did not know that I kept these thoughts in the back of my head. But for her too I think it took on the characteristics of a very real relationship. As the first 4 months came and went quickly and I found myself at a breaking point. I was falling in love and felt like it was with someone who really wasn't the person I was getting to know. I had suspicions, I had information, and deep down I knew exactly what was going on. I remember times where we would spend multiple days in a row together and at the end of it she would say things like "what do you have planned today?" (which is the infamous…”you gotta get your shit and leave my place” comment lol) or "I really need to get my life in order, this is affecting my life/time/money/etc." There was always specific days and times she was busy, and she traveled for “school interviews” monthly. I had to know the truth about her life and be able to trust her in order for us to continue this relationship.
So, I confronted her on the lies about being with other men and laid it all out, knowing that it was a huge risk and I could lose her which I did not want to do. I did not know how I was going to feel, but I knew I was willing to accept her and our relationship as long as there was transparency. She mostly came clean to me over the course of a few days/weeks. I confirmed that much of our relationship she was a sugar baby to several others, 3-4 consistent men and a few others, less reliable. This was her job, and she took it very seriously. Seriously enough to come up with elaborate stories about who she was, where she was, what she was doing…telling to friends, family, etc. My initial feelings were relief, a bit of anger, and a feeling of not giving a shit about relationships anymore, feeling almost like every connection could also be fake and therefore not worth the risk. However, I began to seek out other meaningful relationships with women during this grieving process. I was upfront about this with her, it was now one of our agreements, to be upfront and honest about our other situations. She too began to “date” non-sugar daddy guys, more so guys she could have a connection with. For us during this time, it kind of became some sort of an open relationship, we actually had a lot of fun with it! It was so nice to be open and honest and get to know the real Viola.
Throughout the next 1-2 months we both saw other people and would tell each other about them and our experiences, I even met a few of the new guys she had met. Things were fine for a while, but I began to understand how Viola also longed for that deep emotional connection with a person, just like I did. I could see her looking for it, just like me. We both wanted to love someone and be loved. But we didn’t voice this to each other, it seemed like it was a feeling that would come out from time to time after a night of drinking and then get tucked back into its spot. As New Year’s 2019 approached I had booked a cruise with the new girl I was seeing, we will call Zoe. At this point Zoe and I had been talking for just for about 4 or 5 weeks. The day of the cruise I just didn’t feel right…I asked myself “how could I go on this trip without my best friend?” Especially for 7 days lol! I just wanted to be with Viola, as much as I could, even at the cost of my feelings and emotions. So, I bailed on Zoe and asked Viola to come with me in the last hour (we were literally the last ones to get on the boat lol). It felt like we could always pick up right where we left off. And I felt ok with everything else going on in Viola’s life with other men, I had accepted it and by the way, I never talked to Zoe again, surprisingly haha.
But to do all of this came at an emotional cost. Somehow, I was able to compartmentalize the pain of her being with someone else and virtually erase it from my mind, not like it didn’t happen, but as if it was supposed to happen, and it made it acceptable to me. I also had a mindset of assuming that anything and everything she was capable of and could do at any given time. For example, maintaining relationships with other men I didn’t know about through text or in person, or sleeping with others that I was unaware of. It was all part of my shutoff switch at the time. On one occasion I gave her tickets to a hockey game to go with her friend since I was headed to California. At the start of the game she text me to let me know she had gone with another guy because her friend couldn’t make it. The guy who had recently been someone who had come between us. A few minutes later I got a text from a friend at the game, telling me she was with another guy, so it certainly felt like she’d been caught since his seats were right behind mine. It angered me because I felt disrespected, and I made it ok in my head to do the same thing which was wrong. And I too, assuming her actions, went out with a girl I knew that weekend in Cali. It was a sort of coping mechanism by keeping score of the game, it wasn’t healthy but luckily we were able to get past it.
But outside of these small moments in time and really since that New Year’s cruise we had grown extremely close to each other. We even went on another cruise that was the last one to come back before quarantine. And since quarantine, we’ve spent every day together, we usually aren’t apart more than just a few hours. I’ve met much of her family and spent time getting to know her mother and brother over dinners at the house. Viola has met both my brothers, sister in law, and nieces. We have phone cases with a matching photo of us and another best friend of ours on it. We workout together, travel/road trip together, shop together, everything is together, we feel lost apart. We’ve become better people with each other, we communicate better, we calm each other, we virtually complete each other’s thoughts and sentences. She is my best friend, lover and soulmate, even these words can’t describe what she means to me, but it is as close as I can get without someone truly knowing my thoughts.
But again, all the great feelings today have come at a cost, or more of a limit so to speak. Sometimes the higher you fly the harder you fall, onto bad times, and I feel broken at the moment. Since we had been on quarantine some of her money coming in had slowed, but she was still meeting with 2 gentlemen consistently. I continued to compartmentalize, even days where I would leave her apartment at 8:30AM and a gentleman would arrive at 8:35AM and I would be back to her place by 10AM. I began to question what kind of person I was to be able to even do that, not because I thought it was gross or dirty, but because I literally could strip away all feelings towards that situation and still treat her with love and respect. About 3 weeks ago she began telling me about this escort website she was going to finish and publish about herself, so instead of going on an app she could have her own website and potentially better clients, again something that I’ve learned to accept and put somewhere in my mind that is inaccessible by my feelings.
Viola and I had never said “I love you” to one another until recently in mid-April. She also around that same time has expressed the desire to get out of what she is doing as a sugar baby. This comes after asking in the past if she was taken care of 100% would it still be a thing for her...it seemed so then. But she’s told me that she is 100% in now with me only…I told her I was 98% in with her, limited by the last 2%. To me, part of that last 2% is the gut wrenching feeling you get when your girlfriend or wife has cheated on you…I don’t get that feeling, so how can someone have all of me?? I also have trouble with being 100% because I assume (and have known) that she converses with other guys through text, ones from her past that she is still on good terms with. I’ve known these things for so long, they are cold hard facts to me that have been difficult to overcome lately as the desire to be 100% is there from both sides.
To me it seems logical that we could be those all-in people for one another. I just don’t know if it is time I need or more truth and transparency. This is all very new, the mutual feelings that is, they have come on quick. It is very scary to think that as quickly as things have come to this point they could get taken away. A few weeks back I even talked to Viola about just keeping things the way they were, so I didn’t have to risk losing her in my life. To me the sacrifice of the last 2% has been worth knowing I would have her in my life. But I also respect that that 2% may be much bigger in her life, both from the perspective of what she would give up to receive that from me, and also what she would gain from having 100% of me.
submitted by sting73ray to sugarlifestyleforum [link] [comments]


2020.05.12 17:56 sting73ray 40M (Me) and 29F (Girlfriend)

In the summer of 2019 my marriage with my wife hit rock bottom and we decided to separate. The story there is for another time, but we had basically become business partners instead of spouses, and the connection was gone. In order to be discreet while maintaining a working relationship with my ex and starting to date again, I decided to pursue a sugar daddy website in hopes of meeting someone I could connect with now, yet would be somewhat casual and limited in expectations. Within a few weeks I had met a very beautiful, thoughtful, passionate and fiery 29 y/o girl who immediately had a connection with me also. For purposes of this post we will call her Viola.
We spent a lot of time together in the first few months of meeting each other, it felt like it was only us. We did dinners, sleep over, trips out of the country, hung out with each other’s friends, really beginning to intertwine our lives together in a short period of time. It felt very real and genuine. Though I was certainly catching feelings for Viola, I tried to keep myself grounded and remind myself that I was not some magically man that could sweep her off her feet and ever change nor want to change her. I had to remind myself how we met. But for a time, Viola did not know that I kept these thoughts in the back of my head. But for her too I think it took on the characteristics of a very real relationship. As the first 4 months came and went quickly and I found myself at a breaking point. I was falling in love and felt like it was with someone who really wasn't the person I was getting to know. I had suspicions, I had information, and deep down I knew exactly what was going on. I remember times where we would spend multiple days in a row together and at the end of it she would say things like "what do you have planned today?" (which is the infamous…”you gotta get your shit and leave my place” comment lol) or "I really need to get my life in order, this is affecting my life/time/money/etc." There was always specific days and times she was busy, and she traveled for “school interviews” monthly. I had to know the truth about her life and be able to trust her in order for us to continue this relationship.
So, I confronted her on the lies about being with other men and laid it all out, knowing that it was a huge risk and I could lose her which I did not want to do. I did not know how I was going to feel, but I knew I was willing to accept her and our relationship as long as there was transparency. She mostly came clean to me over the course of a few days/weeks. I confirmed that much of our relationship she was a sugar baby to several others, 3-4 consistent men and a few others, less reliable. This was her job, and she took it very seriously. Seriously enough to come up with elaborate stories about who she was, where she was, what she was doing…telling to friends, family, etc. My initial feelings were relief, a bit of anger, and a feeling of not giving a shit about relationships anymore, feeling almost like every connection could also be fake and therefore not worth the risk. However, I began to seek out other meaningful relationships with women during this grieving process. I was upfront about this with her, it was now one of our agreements, to be upfront and honest about our other situations. She too began to “date” non-sugar daddy guys, more so guys she could have a connection with. For us during this time, it kind of became some sort of an open relationship, we actually had a lot of fun with it! It was so nice to be open and honest and get to know the real Viola.
Throughout the next 1-2 months we both saw other people and would tell each other about them and our experiences, I even met a few of the new guys she had met. Things were fine for a while, but I began to understand how Viola also longed for that deep emotional connection with a person, just like I did. I could see her looking for it, just like me. We both wanted to love someone and be loved. But we didn’t voice this to each other, it seemed like it was a feeling that would come out from time to time after a night of drinking and then get tucked back into its spot. As New Year’s 2019 approached I had booked a cruise with the new girl I was seeing, we will call Zoe. At this point Zoe and I had been talking for just for about 4 or 5 weeks. The day of the cruise I just didn’t feel right…I asked myself “how could I go on this trip without my best friend?” Especially for 7 days lol! I just wanted to be with Viola, as much as I could, even at the cost of my feelings and emotions. So, I bailed on Zoe and asked Viola to come with me in the last hour (we were literally the last ones to get on the boat lol). It felt like we could always pick up right where we left off. And I felt ok with everything else going on in Viola’s life with other men, I had accepted it and by the way, I never talked to Zoe again, surprisingly haha.
But to do all of this came at an emotional cost. Somehow, I was able to compartmentalize the pain of her being with someone else and virtually erase it from my mind, not like it didn’t happen, but as if it was supposed to happen, and it made it acceptable to me. I also had a mindset of assuming that anything and everything she was capable of and could do at any given time. For example, maintaining relationships with other men I didn’t know about through text or in person, or sleeping with others that I was unaware of. It was all part of my shutoff switch at the time. On one occasion I gave her tickets to a hockey game to go with her friend since I was headed to California. At the start of the game she text me to let me know she had gone with another guy because her friend couldn’t make it. The guy who had recently been someone who had come between us. A few minutes later I got a text from a friend at the game, telling me she was with another guy, so it certainly felt like she’d been caught since his seats were right behind mine. It angered me because I felt disrespected, and I made it ok in my head to do the same thing which was wrong. And I too, assuming her actions, went out with a girl I knew that weekend in Cali. It was a sort of coping mechanism by keeping score of the game, it wasn’t healthy but luckily we were able to get past it.
But outside of these small moments in time and really since that New Year’s cruise we had grown extremely close to each other. We even went on another cruise that was the last one to come back before quarantine. And since quarantine, we’ve spent every day together, we usually aren’t apart more than just a few hours. I’ve met much of her family and spent time getting to know her mother and brother over dinners at the house. Viola has met both my brothers, sister in law, and nieces. We have phone cases with a matching photo of us and another best friend of ours on it. We workout together, travel/road trip together, shop together, everything is together, we feel lost apart. We’ve become better people with each other, we communicate better, we calm each other, we virtually complete each other’s thoughts and sentences. She is my best friend, lover and soulmate, even these words can’t describe what she means to me, but it is as close as I can get without someone truly knowing my thoughts.
But again, all the great feelings today have come at a cost, or more of a limit so to speak. Sometimes the higher you fly the harder you fall, onto bad times, and I feel broken at the moment. Since we had been on quarantine some of her money coming in had slowed, but she was still meeting with 2 gentlemen consistently. I continued to compartmentalize, even days where I would leave her apartment at 8:30AM and a gentleman would arrive at 8:35AM and I would be back to her place by 10AM. I began to question what kind of person I was to be able to even do that, not because I thought it was gross or dirty, but because I literally could strip away all feelings towards that situation and still treat her with love and respect. About 3 weeks ago she began telling me about this escort website she was going to finish and publish about herself, so instead of going on an app she could have her own website and potentially better clients, again something that I’ve learned to accept and put somewhere in my mind that is inaccessible by my feelings.
Viola and I had never said “I love you” to one another until recently in mid-April. She also around that same time has expressed the desire to get out of what she is doing as a sugar baby. She’s told me that she is 100% in now with me only…I told her I was 98% in with her, limited by the last 2%. To me, part of that last 2% is the gut wrenching feeling you get when your girlfriend or wife has cheated on you…I don’t get that feeling, so how can someone have all of me?? I also have trouble with being 100% because I assume (and have known) that she converses with other guys through text, ones from her past that she is still on good terms with. I’ve known these things for so long, they are cold hard facts to me that have been difficult to overcome lately as the desire to be 100% is there from both sides.
To me it seems logical that we could be those all-in people for one another. I just don’t know if it is time I need or more truth and transparency. This is all very new, the mutual feelings that is, they have come on quick. It is very scary to think that as quickly as things have come to this point they could get taken away. A few weeks back I even talked to Viola about just keeping things the way they were, so I didn’t have to risk losing her in my life. To me the sacrifice of the last 2% has been worth knowing I would have her in my life. But I also respect that that 2% may be much bigger in her life, both from the perspective of what she would give up to receive that from me, and also what she would gain from having 100% of me.
submitted by sting73ray to relationship_advice [link] [comments]


2020.02.24 22:21 FranciRoosters Can it still be saved?

My American wife (24F) and I (29M), an Italian man, have recently separated on account of her infidelity after our 3 and a half year marriage. This is the story of my relationship. I appreciate all of you taking the time to read. I admit it’s pretty lengthy, but these are the words coming from an aching, regretful heart.
We met in October 2016 thanks to a common interest: working out. The first few honeymoon months were amazing, we did everything together and soon after we told each other we were in love (probably too soon looking back to it), we decided to move in together to the apartment I own (too soon, too, probably). When she came back from the Xmas holidays in California in January 2017, we took this step. Throughout 2017 things went brilliantly, with only just a couple of red flags alluding to my wife's hypersensitive emotional side and fear of conflicts. I didn't think it would carry much weight. We did a lot of trips together and we had a hell of a time together. Sex was also through the roof, despite some random episodes of delayed ejaculation. She was still supportive of me anyway.
Late 2017 she said she wanted to go back home and focus on her career and be near her family again. For fear of losing her, I decide to follow her a week after and we spent 2018 in California. (Only after my experience in California, I understood how such a big step cannot be taken out of fear).
I arrived in January 2018 and I was already pretty skeptical at the idea of living in my then fiancee's parents' annex after a whole year of having our own space. I tried to convince her to find a different accommodation, but she was right when she’d say to me that we wouldn’t be able to afford rents in the Bay Area with only one of us working (my wife was making very little money for Cali back then and I couldn't work without the proper paperwork). So, I trusted her and went along with it. Soon after, I started developing feelings of alienation, not only given by a culture and a system I had difficulty blending in, but also by my girlfriend ignoring me (I had just crossed the ocean for her) when she’d focus all of her mental effort on climbing her career ladder as quickly as possible (multiple jobs at the same time, she paid a marketing company $ 3,000 to get her Instagram account kickstarted which then she abandoned and unbearable working hours consisting of up to 12 hours a day). In my wife this resulted in suffering from serious nervous breakdowns and self-inflicting episodes caused by strenuous working hours, dissatisfaction with where her life was going, poor sleeping habits and her mental incapacity to have heartfelt convos, even if unpleasant. I stepped in anyway, trying to help her. The red flags about her being a conflict avoidant I had noticed in 2017 seemed more real than ever now. As a consequence of all of this, our intimate life plummeted, as indicated also by the fact that she was consistently fearful of being discovered by her parents.
About her parents, they never made me feel truly welcomed and even made some rude comments on my personality. My wife and I had even decided that she'd let her parents know about our upcoming marriage, a necessary step for me to stay and get the paperwork ready for what would've ultimately been the green card (that I decided to turn down in August 2019). My wife didn't tell her dad until a day before the marriage and he had come to find out after I had accidentally left the reservation confirmation on the printer tray. When my wife found out, she was furious even though I never had any intention for things to go that way. She eventually had told him, with her dad feeling disappointed of being left in the dark all along. She never told him for fear of the reaction and disappointment her dad would have in her (aka conflict avoidance).
Eventually, we got married in March 2018 but the more I was seeing my wife caught up in the stress of work and the constant climbing the career ladder as fast as possible, the more she became untreatable and couldn’t communicate with her, thereby forcing me to leave and see my cousin in LA for some time. I felt lonely. I came back two weeks and a half after, only to find the same exact situation. Nothing had changed. My family came to visit that summer and the fact that that is the best memory in what is by far my worst year yet is pretty indicative of the atmosphere in my spouse’s household and how things were going between us.
Long story short, after just a couple of months of seemingly recovered serenity, in December 2018, after all I had endured, I made the harsh decision of going back to Italy to regain a sense of self and get away from such a toxic environment and culture of accumulation (no offence to US readers). I had found myself again. Going back to my beloved Florence was one of the best choice I have ever made in my whole life. After that, my wife and I had been separate for almost 8 months, but still communicated weekly.
America was a very traumatic experience for me, so much that going back there is something I would not do again. Yes, I made my choice and played an active role in it, but was also shaped by the surrounding events I was living in. When I decided to move back to Italy, I did it with no regrets. My wife started resenting me for abandoning her.
In August 2019 she came back to Italy to be with me again and gave us another chance as well as to pursue a new academic path. We started living together again in my apartment, but those 8 months of separation changed us. I became more focused on myself and inflexible after what I had lived in America and the trauma I had endured and so presented her with a list of housekeeping conditions to respect if she were to co-habitate with me, just like I had to do in America myself for 11 months where I had to respect everything she and her parents wanted me to watch out for (in America I was even asked to take part of a lesson on how to load a dishwasher!). As for her, she became more careless, but also didn’t seem to be as emotionally fragile as in America. Things started going really well between us really soon, but my inflexibility, that I only recognize now being an extreme weakness of mine and something that really pulls me back, continued and didn’t let me be more understanding with her and flexible about the conditions I had asked her to respect. Over time she felt exhausted, traumatized, as if she didn’t have a husband next to her but a captain, a ruler, a despot. As I was neglecting her, she naturally felt I had no interest in being with her, so she decided to travel and work out alone, exactly when she felt she didn’t have a partner next to her that valued connections as much as she does. I should’ve let my inflexibility go, but the ghosts of the past were still in my mind, fearful that our relationship would go back to a chaotic state, the same state it was in America. But it was those ghosts that took over me eventually. In October 2019 she got pregnant, but we decided to go through an abortion, an experience that left its marks on both of us, and especially on her.
Over time living together became a burden instead of a pleasure due to the small size of my apartment and the different household habits we have. After me pushing it too many times, something I regret, we agreed to live separately to help the relationship regain some lightness and less explosiveness, but she had already started an affair a couple of weeks prior. That was never the promise we did to each other. When I found out, I was heartbroken, in complete shock and devastated. She didn't tell me and given the person I'm not sure she would've any time soon (aka conflict avoidance)I still am today, after a week since I found out. She could've stopped, she decided to let her emotions lead her and behave selfishly. When she left me and found someone new, I felt abandoned and traumatized on account of a decision she had made after experiencing the same life-sucking situation. With due differences, her infidelity is similar to what happened in America. Can her betrayal be seen as revenge?
I know my part in all of this: I only now see, in the midst of the excruciating pain a betrayed spouse feels, where my inattentions lay and that I wasn’t forward-looking enough to understand the consequences of my actions. When I left her in America she felt abandoned and traumatized on account of a decision I had made after experiencing such a life-sucking situation. When I left America I didn’t realize the precious thing I was losing. She still loved me and she felt abandoned. I’m deeply sorry for that and only now do I realize the pain that she must’ve gone through. She’s loved me all the way every day, and I wasn’t able to recognize the precious human being I had before my very eyes. When she came to Italy last year, she still believed in us despite everything that had happened. I didn’t honor that, I played a second role, not the main role I should’ve played. I truly understand, now that I may have lost her forever, that connections are the single most important thing in life and I still romantically love her very much for how she fiercely fight for them. Only now do I see how attractive that part of her is.
We hurt each other a lot over the last few years, a lot of wounds are still within us and we didn’t play as a team but it was a constant power play. I want to rebuild from mutual trust, teamwork and reminding ourselves of how important we’re to one another. I’m ready to change, not directly for her, but primarily for me. I want us to get a bigger apartment, in which there’s manifestations of love and not tensions. I want my family back and I want her to know that I want to prioritise her as only now do I understand the real value of connections. Yes, it’s hard work, but I know, especially with her, it will pay out beautifully in the end. All I care about now is us and the future we can rebuild together. A future centered on connections, on building a family together, a family of trust. But I’m not sure if it’s possible because I don’t know what real feelings she feels for this other guy.
I’ve already written her two letters coming from the heart and most of its content is in the message here. In your experience, do you think there’s still hope? Why would she come back to me when she’s probably happy with this other guy? What reason could she have to risk it and come back to me? Can an affair of a couple of months take away 3 years and a half of marriage just like that? Is it time to move on? What if we moved to a bigger apt? Am I being hopeless? I need reassuring thoughts and please be kind to an aching heart.
Thanks so much for reading. I'm in so much pain right now.
TL;DR!: After a troublesome relationship, can it still be saved?
submitted by FranciRoosters to relationships [link] [comments]


2020.02.13 23:48 minimegs38 Me (38F) and my recent ex (37M), our 22 year friendship, the 7 month LDR, and my crippling anxiety

Ok, Redditors, this is gonna be a long one, so to save you from scrolling fatigue, the TL;DR is just below this. Also, this is my first Reddit post ever so please be gentle if I break any rules (e.g., this isn't the right place for this question/advice request). And finally, I'm aware that I probably need therapy (you'll understand if you read the whole thing), but please, I ask with literal tears in my eyes, don't suggest it. I cannot afford it, and knowing that just makes the whole situation worse.
TL;DR- after 22 years of friendship, me & my best friend FINALLY get together, I move to a new state to be with him, can't stay so I come back, then things fall apart within a week; I was in an abusive relationship for 6 years, among other transgressions by the men in my life and can't trust men at all anymore; I'm wondering if I sabotaged the whole thing or if my gut is on point and I just don't like being right about it.
Alright, where to begin... I have anxiety. But not the 'can't go outside, people are scary, refuse to drive on the freeway' kind of anxiety. The kind that has my mind going 1,000mph from wake up to pass out. The kind that makes checklists and schedules and meal plans and workout routines, and if any of these is thrown off in any way (which they inevitably are), I break down. Can't function. World-is-over level defeatism. Because you see, dear reader, all those lists & schedules & plans? They're promises I make to myself. Every week. Every day. Things that I NEED to accomplish because otherwise my world falls into emotional & mental chaos. If I skip a workout, my brain screams at me for being lazy. If I spend too much time wasting time and something doesn't get done on time, my brain screams at me for procrastinating. If I have 2 slices of bread with my dinner instead of just one, my brain screams at me for being a fat ass. Are you getting the picture? I'm an anxious, perfectionist, absolutely-must-control-everything-in-my-life freak, or I'll break down and spend days dwelling on what a hopeless, pathetic excuse for a human being I am. A little background on myself...
I'm a loser. Well, on paper at least. Here's the short list:
- I live with my mom. I'm 38, so this is both bogus and sad, but in my somewhat legitimate defense, I live in L.A. and truly can't afford to have my own place. I drive for Lyft full-time, but NO that is NOT why I can't afford a place. I make more money as a Lyft driver than from any "real" job I've ever held. I make an average of $3K/month working about 40 hours a week, but rent alone would take more than half that. I wouldn't be able to pay for utilities, groceries, and all my regular bills even if I worked 60 hours or more. Besides, my credit is crap, so I wouldn't get approved for a lease anyway, not under L.A.'s strict qualifications (I know cuz I've tried). Rent a room, you say? Sure, if I wanted EXACTLY the same setup as I have living with my mom, except that now I'm paying for it... and living with strangers. No thanks. Life with mom isn't bad, it just isn't MY place, if ya know what I mean.
- I have 2 kids, neither of whom have been in my care past their second birthday. My first marriage fell apart because of incompatibility, and her father & I had joint custody until she turned 18. But he could give her a life and a family when I couldn't, so she was raised by him and her stepmom. My second marriage was a bit of a different story, and I lost custody of my son because a) he had a lawyer and I didn't, and b) the circumstances that led to the divorce. I was NEVER an alcoholic or drug addict (but it turns out my ex WAS- remember that, it'll be important later), I NEVER abused my kids, I've never been involved in any criminal activity, nor have I ever been violent or had mental health issues aside from anxiety & depression. So I didn't have my kids taken from me, nor did I just "give them away." They know I'm mom, they've always known it, I've always been a part of their lives, just not as physically present as I would have liked, and not the one who raised them. I'm not about to win any mother-of-the-year awards, but I'd take a thousand bullets for my kids, and smile while I did.
- I have no college degree. I joined the military right out of high school for the college money, but met my daughter's father and became pregnant before I finished my AIT training (Military Intelligence, Linguist, in case you're curious). I was honorably discharged after 7 months of "service" (let's face it; I didn't do squat for my country but live on the taxpayers' dime for a while). It wasn't long enough to qualify for the GI Bill, and while I attempted community college after my daughter went to live with her dad at age 2, my depression got the better of me and I dropped out after 3 semesters. There were a lot of crazy things happening in my life at that time, it was overload, so I shut down. I've since tried certification programs, but no dice there; I even tried to go back to school- twice- in the last 12 years. But because I dropped out 16 years ago, I no longer meet the federal government's requirements for getting a student loan. I'm 3 classes away from meeting those requirements, but can't afford to pay out of pocket for the textbooks (yes, there are classes out there that still require physical, printed textbooks for $100+ a piece, no digital options. Ridiculous, right?). I even became a truck driver for about a year. But when the shady part of the industry came into the light for me, I noped outta there quick AF. Long story short on that one: I cannot stomach the idea of putting other peoples' lives at risk for the sake of some weaselly dispatcher's metrics. So yet another failed attempt at making a decent living.
Let's recap: I have no college education, two failed marriages, no place of my own, and no real career. These are failures to me not because society says they are, but because they don't meet my personal standards of success. And I'm 38 years old. I feel like I've wasted my life, and had nothing but poor decisions, bad judgement calls, missed opportunities, and unfortunate circumstances since I graduated high school. So I feel like a pretty big loser. Now, on to why this causes problems in my relationships...
First off, I don't "need" a man. I WANT an equal partner, someone to build a life with, someone to share good times & bad with, someone who will support me emotionally and who I can do the same for. I don't need to be "taken care of," nor would I want anyone to assume that's why I'm in the relationship in the first place. But I can see how, at my age- and with my "rap sheet" (the aforementioned things that make me a loser)- it can seem that way. If all I wanted was comfort & security, I could live with mom and drive for Lyft for the rest of my life. No. I have dreams & ambitions (I want to be a chef, but I need to get my credit up so I can qualify for culinary school loans). I'm about as far from lazy & complacent as it gets, and I can't imagine a life of so-called comfort if it means I'm doing nothing worthwhile. Some people want to be "kept"; nothing wrong with that if it works for them & their partners, just not the life I want. So you can imagine how difficult it is for me to convince a potential partner that, while I may not be on good footing right now (and haven't ever really been, which is a HUGE part of the problem), but I am ALWAYS working towards a better future for myself, and not looking to him to provide that for me. In other words, I don't want him to think I'm expecting him to "rescue" me or "save" me from my dismal life. I just want someone who will understand, be supportive, give comfort when needed, and join me in the pursuit of something better for the both of us. I want a relationship that is greater than the sum of its parts. With my track record, this is a tough sale.
In the last 20 years, I've been married & divorced twice. I've been in 7 other long-term, committed relationships (and by long-term I mean more than 3 months), three of which were long-distance and two of those the most recent. I've always been able to stay friends with my exes, but in the last 2 years, that changed. I believe that comes from 2 different factors:
1- I was in a mentally & emotionally abusive relationship from age 30 to 36- some of my best years wasted on an ACTUAL loser: he slept on his mom's couch and only held 2 jobs, neither of which lasted more than a couple months, in those 6 years; constantly stoned; defined the word 'lazy'; refused to get a real job so we could move in together in favor of pursuing of his dreams (read: delusions) of entrepreneurship; obnoxiously loud; did and sold meth behind my back a year into the relationship (that got him 8 months of no contact, but I was dumb enough to let him slither back into my life)... the list goes on. So why did I let this pathetic waste of flesh into my life in the first place, and back in so many times? Honestly, I still can't say. But if I'm making guesses, it has to do with my own feelings of inadequacy, combined with his extreme talent for gaslighting. I thought I was really good at seeing through peoples' BS, but he got me every time. I was used as an ATM, a chauffeur, arm candy, and to support his own narcissism & sociopathy. When I finally did break things off, I tried to maintain a friendship with him, but his jealousy & possessiveness deteriorated all hope of that, and he slashed my tires one night after a particularly bad fight. Full stop. I haven't seen or spoken to him in over a year. The scars that relationship left go deep. I doubt my instincts, I doubt my logic, I doubt everything I see, feel, or think in a relationship. It's why I need a LOT of reassurance, and plenty of communication. This is important, so note it for later.
2- I was sexually assaulted by my grandfather. Not as a child. I was 34 years old. I had moved in with him & my grandmother temporarily when I had a falling out with my mother. When my Nana was away at Bible study, my grandfather assaulted me in the kitchen while I was washing dishes. I stopped it before it got too bad (I wasn't injured, just incredibly shaken up and scared). I called my ex (the gaslighter; we were on another one of our breaks because of his BS) because I had no one else to turn to, and moved out that night while my grandparents were asleep. I left no note, just gone. I had to tell my grandmother what had happened; I owed her that. She believed me, but blamed it on his dementia, though he had never actually been diagnosed. I told my dad and my mom (she & I reconciled because of this), and they said the same thing. That he was confused, that he didn't know what he was doing, that he thought I was someone else, etc. The only person who didn't was my ex. That's probably why I let him back into my life for another 2-1/2 years: he was the only one who saw the situation as it was, and the only one who offered me any safety, comfort, or support. My mom let me move back in, but to this day it's a "dark family secret". Someone I loved, trusted, and had grown up with violated me, but they all told me that it wasn't his fault, and that I shouldn't tell anyone. Not necessarily victim-blaming, but not holding the perpetrator responsible either. So I don't trust men anymore, not their intentions, not their looks, not their words. Even my own family is suspect because of how they handled it.
Remember when I mentioned earlier that one of my ex-husbands was an alcoholic? Yeah, well I didn't know that until 3 years AFTER our divorce was finalized. I got a call from him while I was at work saying that he was checking into rehab and that our son would be with his grandparents until he got out. I was floored. I had ZERO idea. Not a single clue that he was an alcoholic. In his defense, he's been sober ever since, and he's a good man and a good father. What had me truly reeling came a few years later, when he was making his amends. Turns out he had been an alcoholic for our ENTIRE 3-year relationship and had hid it from me. I always knew *something* wasn't right about our marriage, but I couldn't figure out what it was. I had a gut instinct, and I ignored it, blaming my trust issues and commitment fears and all that crap. But I couldn't shake the feeling that something was wrong. It led to the circumstances of our divorce. When I found out about his long-term alcoholism, there was a part of me that was relieved: it felt good to have been RIGHT. Something WAS wrong. And that was it. I wasn't crazy, or paranoid, or afraid of commitment. But it wasn't the drinking itself that got me so upset & heartbroken; it was that he had hid it from me. That I didn't see it. And that he never confessed or asked for help, which I would have given in ready supply. I know he was ashamed, embarrassed, and flooded with guilt, and I can understand why he didn't say anything sooner. But if he couldn't tell me he was struggling, couldn't turn to the ONE person that he should have felt he could trust and who would love & support him, was it really a good relationship to begin with? If he needed to drink to get through the day, and hid it from me, was it me that drove him to it? At the beginning of the relationship, we weren't even dating; we were just hooking up. When I became pregnant with my son, I asked if he wanted to be a dad, wanted to give "us" a try. If not, I was going to give the baby up for adoption. If yes, then we were going to give it an honest go. If it didn't work, we could part on good terms the way I had with my first husband. [Note: my first husband married me ONLY because I was pregnant; he needed to save face in front of his Christian fundamentalist family. My second husband married me a year after our son was born, so at least I took comfort in knowing that it wasn't only because of our son.] But because the alcoholism lasted our entire relationship, I had to question whether it was because of me & our son, or because it was a problem before we got together and he couldn't trust me to love & support him anyway? Whatever the case, things ended badly between us, and we've since become at least friendly with each other, but have never tried to get back together.
Don't worry; I'm getting to the reason for this post, but as you can see, there is a TON of backstory here, which will make the situation a lot more understandable. Promise.
SO. After two failed marriages, five relationships in the toilet, six years of being gaslit, and one sexual assault by a family member later, I was pretty emotionally beat up. So you can imagine how it felt when a sweet, shy guy from Louisiana randomly appeared in my life via a totally inconceivable Facebook connection and made me feel safe, adored, and like a valuable person again. I went ALL in. Totally head over heels in puppy love. I felt with him the way I'd felt with my first husband: giddy, girly, and floating on clouds. At nearly 36 years old, I should have known better. But I thought I'd lost the ability to feel that way ever again, and I clung to it like it was my last breath of oxygen. And could you really blame me? Unfortunately, it was only well after we'd both caught hard feelings that we found out about the age gap... he was 22. Yeah, a 13 year gap (he turned 23 a month after I turned 36). But we didn't care. Age was but a number, right? Maybe. We made plans to meet IRL; I'd never been to New Orleans and figured that even if it didn't work out, at least I got a good vacation out of it, right? Well, I got that and more. He was AMAZING. Very affectionate, generous, romantic, mellow... totally the opposite of what I had come out of only months before (the 6-year gaslighter). I was ME again. I had trust again. I felt VALUED again. We made plans for me to move out there with him, and attend a culinary school while driving for Lyft (again, not looking to him to "take care of me," just a partner to build a life with). But less than 2 weeks after I got back from NOLA, things got... weird. Pretty much overnight, he stopped talking to me as much. I used to get good morning texts, then nothing. After 3 days like that, I asked what was wrong. He just said nothing, that he was busy, and he would get better soon. I'd heard this before, and knew that the best way to handle a guy when he pulls away is to let him. Not wanting to go full-on no contact, I would hit him up, gently, as un-intrusively as possible, just to let him know I was still there and thinking of him. Sometimes it was well-received, sometimes I'd get nothing. In any other relationship, this wouldn't have been such an issue, but from 1,000+ miles away, it could be the death toll of it all. After 2 months of this on-again, off-again communication, I lost my patience. He finally told me that it was because he wanted me there, that the distance was a problem, that I felt like a stranger to him. I told him I was working on it (and I was, diligently), and it was going to take time, but he didn't like it. Eventually, after several more weeks of fighting and making up, after weeks of excuses as to why he didn't call, why he didn't answer my text, of being accused of playing him, blahblahblah, I had it. I said something he didn't like, and I got ghosted. After 8 months, after planning to move across the country, after being told 'I love you' multiple times, I got ghosted. If he had been willing to wait 2 more months (until August), I would have had the money to make the move, get established, and be with him. I figure he met someone else, got freaked out about the commitment (he was 23, after all, and I was 36), or just plain ol' lost interest. Whatever the reason, I will never know. Which leads me to the situation at hand...
This all took place from late 2018 to summer 2019. There were other parts of my life that weren't going well, so, as most of our generation is wont to do, I reached out on Facebook. Just needed someone to talk to. Within minutes, Tom (name changed to protect identities) was in my DMs, asking me what was wrong. We FaceTimed, and I laid it all out for him: the 6 years of gaslighting, the assault, the ghost of New Orleans, all of it. I cried, I raged, I let it all out. And he let me. Just like he always had. But in order for this to make sense, you'll need some background on me & Tom (yay, more backstory! I can hear you groaning, but I promise that it's necessary):
Tom & I met in high school, waaaaaaaay back in 1998. I was 15, he was 14. He had a crush on me from the start. I didn't catch feelings until a couple months later, when I realized what a funny, sweet, smart, talented, caring guy he is. So I dropped hints (which, at the time, I didn't realize wouldn't work; hey, I was only 15, what the hell did I know?) that I'd like for him to ask me out, but he never did. Months went by; still nothing. I even passed on other guys waiting for him (again, 15. Cut me some slack, lol). But still nothing. I figure one of two things happened: 1) he gave up hope and didn't feel the same anymore, or 2) he was too afraid to act on it. Whatever the case, I couldn't wait around forever, so I moved on. We stayed friends, good friends, all the way until I graduated and went to the Army, where I met my first husband. After that, we kind of drifted a bit, but always stayed in some kind of contact because we had the same circle of friends. He was that friend you have that no matter how much time has passed, no matter what has happened to you separately, you pick up right where you left off as if it was only yesterday. But even throughout the years of other relationships, cross-country moves, and gradual drifting apart of the people in our group, we stayed connected. And I never lost feelings for him. The day I realized I loved him, really loved him, like was IN love with him, was- unfortunately- the day he moved out of state... to Wyoming. Plus, I was 2 years into the relationship with Mr. Gaslight, so even if he wasn't leaving it wouldn't have been possible. Fast forward 2 years, and Tom's band comes into town (he's an AMAZING guitar player), and I just happen to be in town that weekend too, off the road as a truck driver for my home time. At that point, me & Mr. Gaslight had been together 4 years, and he was at the show with me. I saw Tom again for the first time since he left, and yep, I was still in love with him. I spent all night watching him play on stage, talk to his friends, crack jokes and make everyone laugh... I spent more time talking to him than to my boyfriend. Which I did feel bad about, but I couldn't help it. I'd missed him, much more than I realized. After that night, we went our separate ways again. Over the next 2-1/2 years, I dropped the gaslighter, got into it with Mr. New Orleans, got ghosted, and here we are. Were. Whatever. Lol.
Quick note: Tom was NOT a factor in the end of my 6-year relationship with Mr. Gaslighter. I may have been in love with him, but I had accepted that that ship had sailed long ago, and that we would only ever be friends.
After my emotional breakdown, and Tom spending 20 minutes making me feel good about myself again (he was really good at that), we got onto other subjects. I told him I was a full-time driver for Lyft, so I make my own schedule, which is what enabled me to make the trip to New Orleans in the first place. That got his wheels turning, so he invited me to come visit him in Wyoming and go to Jackson Hole and Yellowstone, followed by a trip to Denver for Knotfest. That was a HARD yes. Him, Yellowstone (I'd never been), AND Denver (I love Colorado) for a Slipknot show (they're one of my favorite bands)? HELLS TO THE YEAH!!! So, in June of 2019, we made plans for me to visit in August. I was on pins & needles. We counted weeks, then days... He drove all the way to the Salt Lake City airport (a 2-1/2 hour drive) just to pick me up. As soon as he got out of his car, it hit me again: 'yup, I'm still in love with you.' We were super stoked for the next five days. That night, we got ludicrously drunk. Or at least I did. But it wasn't until the next day, when we woke up- still drunk- that I confessed I'd always had a thing for him. I won't get into all the details of the convo, but it seemed he felt the same way, still, after 22 years, because he finally- FINALLY!!!- made a move. The rest of the trip was BLISS. Yellowstone, Jackson, holding hands, kissing, cuddling, other things... ;) Slipknot was incredible. He put his arms around me during the show, and I just about melted. The final encore was my favorite song of theirs, and I almost cried. On the way to the airport two days later, I confirmed that he was indeed the guy for me. It's an even longer story about how & why I did that, and I've done enough expositioning, lol; just know that it was a green light on my heart.
After I came home, we sort of timidly broached the subject as to whether or not we were in a long-distance relationship, but eventually we agreed that we were. So I made plans to move to Salt Lake City, the nearest city big enough for me to continue as a Lyft driver, go to a good culinary school, and be within driving distance. His town in Wyoming didn't fit the bill, and we decided not to rush things by moving in together right away (note that: it's important for later). But all my efforts to get to SLC were thwarted: I didn't qualify for the school loan, and no one I contacted for a room rental would get back to me. One day I was venting my frustration to my boyfriend (squee! I loved being able to call him that), and he suggested that I just move in with him & his roommate, John (name changed again), and figure out how to get by in the little town. I could find a job, get my footing, and then we could find a place of our own.
Now, I want to point out that me moving in with him was HIS idea. I made point after point about why it wasn't a great idea, but he won me over eventually. It's also important to note that my mom is selling her house here in L.A. and moving to Phoenix at the end of March, and I made it clear that I didn't want to stay in Phoenix with her. At the time, SLC was still my destination. But with mom moving within 6 months (this was in September), the clock was working against me. But remember: he asked ME to move in with HIM. I agreed, since my plans to go to SLC had fallen through thus far, and I wasn't entirely sure on the timeline for mom selling the house (if she sold the L.A. house before the Phoenix house was ready, she could stay with my sister, who also lives in Phoenix, but I'd have nowhere to go).
So, with a new plan in place, I geared up to move to Wyoming. And I did, on Halloween to be exact. I'd only saved a months' worth of bills, however (my mistake), and couldn't find work. I was faced with having to go back to L.A. and work for a few weeks, just to make money so I could pay my bills (I still had a Cali driver's license and mom was still there, so I had a place to stay, and Lyfting was guaranteed income). He said no, he'd give me the money so I could stay. I didn't want him to. I resisted for days, but he kept insisting, and I felt bad saying no when he was so willing to help. He gave me the money, bills were paid, and I found work 2 weeks later. I promised to pay him back: I still intend to, one way or another. [Note again: he GAVE me the money to pay my bills so that I DIDN'T have to move back to L.A., even temporarily. This will be important later.] Things were going pretty well, but like all things in my life, the shit hit the fan in a big way right as I was feeling pretty good about the future.
Out of the blue, his roommate told him (or at least this is what I was told; important for later) that his 3 months of unemployment after a layoff had tapped his bank account and that we'd all have to move out... on Jan 5th. This was right after Xmas. So yeah, thanks for the heads up, bud. We scrambled (or at least I did) to find a place of our own, so as to avoid, ya know, being homeless. But Tom didn't seem to be into it. At the time, I figured it was because he was stressed out about the whole thing, and I didn't think much of it, but a little warning fire started in me, and I started to look back on some of the other times he didn't seem to be into the relationship anymore.
Tom's an avid gamer, which I have no problem with... until it meant he was spending ALL his spare time with the games and none with me. I spent many a night watching him play, he barely spoke to me, hell even his cat got more affection that I did. As I was remembering all of this, my red flags went up. It was that gut instinct, the one I had ignored with my second husband, telling me something wasn't right. This time, I didn't blow it off, but I didn't let it dictate my interactions with him either. I decided to move forward with the plan to get our own place, but then another shoe dropped: his company announced that they were selling the business, but not just the business, the property too... and the new owners weren't going to keep the company going. In other words, everyone who worked there would be out of a job, and there was no timeline given for this. Without a reliable source of income, and no way of knowing how long he would have one, Tom didn't want to get locked into a lease. Understandable. I wasn't making enough at my new job to support both of us, so I sadly made plans to go back to L.A. My heart was broken, but I couldn't suppress the nagging feeling that something else was going on.
After only two months in Wyoming, I was back in L.A., back at my mom's, driving for Lyft (which is what I *should* be out doing right now, but I need to do this). Tom & I were in talks about moving to Denver (squee!!! I love Colorado!!!), but again, he didn't seem to be into it. Just like with Mr. Louisiana, the communication dropped off. When I asked him about it, he said it was because he was depressed about the situation. But, interestingly, Jan 5th had come & gone... and they were still at the apartment. In fact, I left on Jan 4th, and neither of them had packed a thing. And Tom still had his job. More red flags. Then the story about his roommate being out of money changed to him actually wanting to move in with his girlfriend, or move his girlfriend in, or something like that. Even more red flags. More days & weeks of very little communication and practically no emotional connection. A couple of back & forths about needing to keep the lines of communication open, a few half-hearted efforts on his part, and more disappointing unanswered texts and practically no conversation. Even my desire for him deflated because there was no more feeling coming from him. The whole thing became robotic, disconnected, impersonal. I finally accepted that this wasn't what I thought it was. February 5th came and went, another month after his roommate "said" that "we" had to move out, and they were still there. And he was still working. That story no longer held water for me. It felt like he had made the whole thing up in some elaborate, unnecessary ploy to get rid of me but spare my feelings in the process, and- probably more accurately- remain more or less blameless when his passivity and distance drove me away completely. That's when I knew that all of this was an illusion. I knew that he wasn't into the relationship anymore, maybe never had been, and it hurt. Bad. I asked him when & where things went wrong, and I didn't get a reply. Seven hours, and I got nothing. And I know he wasn't "busy"; I saw him active on FB Messenger numerous times (I'm a mod for a FB group, and we have a pretty active chat, so I'm on Messenger quite a bit). I wasn't checking on him, I just saw him active because it shows who's active. So I dumped him. I simply could not spend any more time on a man who was confused about his feelings, or just not into me anymore, and was too passive and/or afraid to tell the truth OR to fight for it. I felt like the relationship, like I, just wasn't worth it to him.
So that's where I am today, dear reader. If you've come this far, I'm impressed, and grateful. Can you see now why all that backstory was important? Does it all make sense? I hope it does, because here is where I finally pose my ultimate question:
Was it all just in my head? Was it the culmination of all the broken trust, the being used, the being discarded, the perpetual anxiety? Or was my gut spot on and this guy, whom I have known and trusted for literally decades, just doing some super shady stuff and I was right to end it? I ask because if it is the former, I don't want this to carry into any of my future relationships (though I have half a mind to just swear off relationships forever). I want to grow and get better, and bring a better version of myself to the table, so to speak. But after decades of slowly losing trust towards all men, most of that being in the last two years... I don't know if I can. I feel as though I'll always be waiting for the betrayal, the hurtful hidden secrets, the lies.
As of right now, I'm no-contact with Tom. I haven't heard from him, either, and there's a part of me that's afraid I never will. Just like with Mr Louisiana, I may never get an explanation for what went so wrong. More than anything, I'm afraid that if it WAS all in my head, I've completely destroyed a future with him, even as friends. I still love him. I'm angry, I'm hurt, I'm confused, but I still love him, and if there's ANY chance at salvaging this, I want a shot at it. I guess I'm also asking if there's a reasonable time period/way to approach him, seeing as how I broke up with him, and if I should even bother.
I'm open to advice, story sharing, even harsh criticism and brutal truth. Just please don't tell me to go to therapy. I'm aware that it would help tremendously, I'm aware that I need it, I'm aware that I'm damaged. But I'm also aware that I can't afford it. Not through government programs (which take a million years to review, and my situation isn't dire; I'm not suicidal or a danger to others, just a broken-hearted mess), not through some bot-driven "counseling" app (tried it, no help whatsoever and way overpriced), not through friends or family (of which I have little of either). Even if you can only sympathize or relate even a little, it'd be nice to know that I'm not alone.
Thanks for sticking with me through this epic story, and thanks for any help.
submitted by minimegs38 to relationship_advice [link] [comments]


2019.10.16 15:08 GeoChem66 Geo's Picks: Fall 2019 Chairman Selection Tasting, Jim Beam Bonded, and few other tidbits

Recall the 16,000 cases of JB Double Oak the CS spirits program sold for $16.99? Well, Jim Beam and the CS Spirits program continues to partner and will be offering JB Bonded for $16.99. Hoping this will hit stores before T-day.

Here's something I just learned that I wanted to pass along. For the day of a new store opening you can enjoy 10% off purchases....not sure if this extends to sale and clearance prices. I really wish the PLCB would have a FAQ or some mechanism to advertise these tidbits of info. You can find a list of store openings HERE

If you have wine enthusiast in your family or if you and your significant other would like a fun activity for the month of Dec., you may want to consider Wine Advent Calendar. For $99, you get 24 - 375 ml cans of various wines, which equates to 12 bottles of wine. May be a fun way to identify good daily drinkers.

You'll begin to see some tasting rooms in the newly branded stores. These rooms will provide the PLCB and winemakers to conduct tastings in an intimate setting. Not just wine-focused, the PLCB recently arranged for several Scotch producers to hold tastings and some of the producers brought high-dollar scotchs to pour. I think you can find out about the events here.
I purposefully didn't read u/Zillah's post to prevent being influenced by his picks, so I hope I don't repeat anything he's already posted. Last spring, Steve Pollack, long-time director of the CS program retired and was replaced by Josh Hull . I can already identify a slight change in the line up of the current CS wines. Josh is as enthusiastic about wine as many of you are about whiskey and he seems more likely to bring some lesser known varietals and wines into the program. In the past, the program has been flooded by Chard, Sav Blanc, Cab Sav, and, Pinot. I understand why. These sell. But with the popularity of the program (CS revenue exceeds the revenue of all other wines in the PLCB luxury category combined), it presents an opportunity to bring in some lesser known varietals and introduce folks to other areas of wine. I can already see Josh is taking some risks, which I fully support. Case in point,2014 Domain Vetriccie Corse White, Corsica France . We don't see many wines from the Mediterranean island of Corsica and this is an exciting opportunity to experience their viticulture. For $11.99 you get an unoaked very clean wine that screams to be paired with seafood and white meats (think Turkey Day dinner). On the palate, it contains heavy notes of pear...just delicious. If you don't enjoy pear, stay away. This will be in stores soon.
The only other white wine I'd recommend was the 2018 Jaoa Cabral de Almeida Camaleao Alvarinho for $11.99 Albarino. The great thing about white wine is that its fairly easy to find quality white wines in the $10 to 15 range. The use of oak in red wines really drives up the price point. This unoaked wine would also be great at the turkey day dinner and offers notes of green apple. I've always thought the experience of drinking wine or bourbon is much more than just the taste of the liquid. I've always enjoyed the other nuances that affect the tasting/drinking experience such as the bottle and labeling. This label is pretty cool in that the Chameleon on the label turns from green to blue when the bottle is chilled. Yes, its a little gimmicky, but its a nice touch to point out at the dinner table. Not sure I'd see the change as I mostly drink my white wine very close to room temperature (just a slight chill).

On to the Reds..

Best Red of the Tasting: 2013 Cortonesi La Mannella Brunello Di Montalcino $39.99 - Tuscany, Italy Fuuuuuck... I wanted to fill a bathtub and lather myself with this stuff. Ok Brunello fans, I finally get it. Brunello can be one of those magical wines. Damn I'm gonna have to shell out for a bottle of this stuff. I really enjoyed this wine. Wine advocate gave this wine a 93+ points, for good reason. At $39.99 you get to experience one of Italy's best known and most expensive type of wine for a relatively low price (yes, $39.99 is inexpensive for this type of wine). Another nice feature about this wine is that 2013 was a great vintage in Italy but 2010 was the best vintage in many many years. So everything is over shadowed by the 2010 wines. This provides an opportunity to get a great vintage wine for a slightly lower cost because everyone is focused on 2010. If 2010 never happened, 2013 wines would be soaring. Dunno what else to say other than it was the best of the day.
Runner Up: 2014 Hall Darwin Syrah $19.99 Hall is such a well known Top Napa producer. This wine was made as a "winery only" release. They made too much of it and now its at CS. Good for us. No bones about it.... its a big wine registering in at 15.3% and its fantastic to get a cali syrah for just under 20 bones. It would pair great with smoky meats.

2012 Columbia Crest Cab Sav Reserve $22 Washington Chateau Ste. Michelle is Washington's oldest wineries and make wines at every price point. Never ever be afraid to buy a Ste. Michelle wine. They make some great price point wines. Their Dry Riesling for $12.99 Sav Blanc and others all over deliver for the price. Columbia Crest is one of Ste. Michelle's brands.
In 2009, Wine Spectator named the 2005 Columbia Crest Cab. Sav Reserve Wine of the year and prices of this wine increased in the years after...a little too much because they've been sitting on this wine since 2012, which is a long time not to see the return on the investment. This past year, Ste. Michelle cleaned house and got new executives at the company and decided to participate in the CS program by offering this wine to the PLCB at a great price. They offered 6000 bottles (their entire stock) to the PLCB and they bought it all. You can google fu yourself to see this is a great deal. I luv the fact that I can buy the wine already with some age and its in prime condition to drink. It has all the point scores to provide confidence in the purchase: WS 92 pts, WA 92 pts.
Don't be afraid to try its Little Brother for $19.99.

2015 Boedecker Cellars Stewart Pinot Noir Willamette VAlley, Oregon $19.99 My tasting notes refer to the wine's concentration of flavors and depth. No thin watery taste here. Super concentrated flavor of red fruit and lacks any of the herbaceous flavors that some pinots posses. It drinks like a $40 bottle of pinot all day long. To find a pinot of this caliber at $19.99 is a no-brainer.....just buy. Proof of Life Photo that I put my money were my mouth is.

Desert Wine
( 2015 Chateau Ste. Michelle Eroica Gold Riesling $14.99/375ml I absolutely luv to see the CS program buy a late harvest Riesling right before Thanksgiving. If you've never experienced a dessert-style Riesling, this is your opportunity at a low price. Great to sip after dinner or with dessert, this wine has intense favors of ultra-ripe peach. Quality stuff.
submitted by GeoChem66 to PLCB [link] [comments]


2019.10.08 16:30 chulzle TESE ICSI info

TESE SPERM:
There are 3 cases of uses for TESE sperm. It’s important to understand the difference. There is obstructive azoospermia, non obstructive azoospermia and cases of IVF failure/high risk of potential failure due to male factor where a TESE is the next appropriate step (for example very high dna fragmentation).
Of note that it’s preferable in any case to schedule a TESE/mTESE same day as the egg retrieval procedure. Specifically in the non-obstructive azoo patients should be advised to have donor sperm for back up since non obstructive causes have less chance of finding sperm during a tese procedure and may need to either freeze eggs or proceed with insemination with donor sperm.
For cases of obstructive azoo and those who do have sperm in ejaculate, however subpar have much higher chances at finding normal sperm and have normal fertilization and may not require donor sperm counseling at that time. Sperm that is poor in quality or quantity may have inherent issues with dna structure and potential for damage. Freezing this sperm may have worsening outcomes vs freezing “normal” sperm. Essentially what this means is:
Try not to freeze TESE sperm if you have anything but obstructive azoo. In cases where it’s not possible to have fresh TESE sperm, there’s nothing else you can do, but if you have that options try to schedule it fresh. In the end it may or may not make a difference, but fresh is best. There is always a chance that frozen TESE sperm does not survive thaw later so you can at the very least avoid that if using fresh sperm.
FOR EJACULATED SPERM: Freezing sperm can cause DNA Fragmentation damage by about 10 points in DNA frag. If a patient has low DNA fragmentation to start tit really doesn’t matter. So someone who initially has 5% dna frag become about 10, which is still normal. But if you have 20 to start it may be 40 when unthaw. Basically the worse you have in the beginning the worse it is during unthaw as well.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30717629
Injection of fresh and frozen testicular sperms into mature oocytes resulted in similar fertilization rates in cases of obstructive azoospermia. However, in cases of nonobstructive azoospermia, the outcome depends upon the degree of impairment of spermatogenesis, criteria for sperm freezing, and patient selection [2]. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28421491
“In nonobstructive azoospermia, sperm is generally found only in the testicles and can often be difficult to retrieve. Several approaches aimed at maximizing sperm yield in this condition have been developed, but only 50% of men with nonobstructive azoospermia will have clinically usable sperm. Multibiopsy testicular sperm extraction (TESE), microdissection TESE, and fine-needle-aspiration map-guided TESE are three common methods currently employed to locate and retrieve sperm in these difficult cases. Other factors that influence the use of surgically retrieved sperm for assisted reproduction include differences in sperm DNA integrity, the expertise of the surgeon and the andrology laboratory, and the described differences in the viability of sperm from different anatomical sources after freezing and thawing.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24296703 (Turek is a great MFI urologist FYI if you’re in Cali).
In this example using TESE fresh resulted in 64% pregnancy rate vs using frozen TESE sperm resulted in 25% pregnancy rate.
“Testicular sperm were retrieved from 19 of 22 (86%) patients with SCI. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection resulted in a fertilization rate of 236 of 364 (65%). Of 19 couples, 14 couples achieved 18 pregnancies, and 22 infants (14 singleton and 4 twin) were born. (Pregnancy per couple was 74% and that per ICSI was 54%). There was no significant difference in pregnancy rate at the first ICSI between SCI couples and obstructive azoospermia couples (68% SCI, 68% obstructive azoospermia). However, pregnancy rate per fresh testicular sperm-ICSI was significantly higher than that per frozen-thawed sperm-ICSI in SCI couples (64% SCI fresh, 25% SCI frozen-thawed) although no significant difference was seen in obstructive azoospermia couples (76% obstructive azoospermia fresh, 63% obstructive azoospermia frozen-thawed). There was no significant difference in pregnancy rate between fresh ET cycle and frozen-thawed ET cycle in SCI couples.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18829012
An example of non-obstructive azoo with a Y chromosome microdeletion called AZFc deletion where TESE sperm was used and 3 embryos were made. All 3 transferred and took resulting in triplets.
This is the first report of a successful triplet pregnancy after the transfer of frozen-thawed embryos in a couple in whom the male partner was azoospermic and a carrier of complete AZFc deletion. This deletion should not adversely affect a man's TESE retrieval prognosis or the fertilization, cleavage, and implantation of embryos. The offspring were healthy, although the two sons inherited the AZFc deletion. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20447624
In couples with OBSTRUCTIVE azoo (AKA your failed vasectomy patients) meaning the sperm that is in the testicle is pretty healthy but just can’t get out vs has inherent damage either in testicles or production etc… sperm freezes really well just like that of sperm in “normal” ejaculated sperm freezes really well aka DONOR SPERM vs freezing sperm with low parameters can significantly increase dna fragmentation and decrease motility.
Effects of cryopreservation on testicular sperm nuclear DNA fragmentation and its relationship with assisted conception outcome following ICSI with testicular spermatozoa. Pregnancies were more likely to be achieved with spermatozoa displaying markedly less DNA damage. However, no differences were observed in the fertilization rates, the number of blastomeres or the cumulative embryo score between TESE cycles using either fresh or frozen thawed testicular spermatozoa. The pregnancy rates tended to be higher following fresh TESE cycles (30%) compared with TESE cycles using frozen-thawed testicular spermatozoa (26%)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14656407
Effects of short and long incubations on DNA fragmentation of testicular sperm.
Dalzell LH, McVicar CM, McClure N, Lutton D, Lewis SE.
Abstract
DNA fragmentation in testicular sperm from men with obstructive azoospermia is increased by 4-hour and 24-hour incubations and after cryopreservation with the effect is intensified by post-thaw incubation. Testicular sperm for use in intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) should be injected without delay.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15533376
Sperm DNA fragmentation results with the Halosperm technique both before and after cryopreservation were 25% (5%-65%) and 40% (6%-89%), respectively, with a statistically significant increase (15%; P < .001). Sperm DNA fragmentation results by TUNEL assay before and after cryopreservation were 17% (3%-43%) and 36% (7%-94%), respectively, with a statistically significant increase (19%; P <.001). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30717629

Patients undergoing TESE procedures with high DNA fragmentation have increased live births and decreased miscarriage rates if DNA frag is over 40%. Consider mTESE ICSI procedure instead of regular ICSI with ejaculated sperm. 13% LBR w ICSI and TESE with 40% LBR for pt with high DNA fragmentation.


There is a very big reduction of DNA frag in testicular sperm vs ejaculated sperm in patients whose DNA frag is very high. On average the reduction is 40% ejaculated to 12% TESE sperm DNA Fragmentation. When your work up shows DNA fragmentation of 40% or more, please see a RE that will look at this research and recommend A TESE / TESA for your next cycle.
When your DNA frag is over 40% and you can't seem to lower this and you've have failed cycle, or if you continue not being pregnant etc. This may be a better option for you.
This study shows no large differences in hunger games so fert, embryo grading etc, however - the live birth rate is so so so significant. Regular ICSI with 13% LBR and TESE with 40% LBR.
When we think about "regular IVF success people" this is about that rate of success for others. It's about 10% rate across studies I have seen with high DNA fragmentation and ICSI. Which is why RE's are wrong when they say "we won't test for DNA frag bc ICSI solves the problem, or PGS solves the problem, or there is nothing to be done". All those answers are wrong. Find a RE that understands the right solution for YOUR problem of high DNA fragmentation issues.


Sperm DNA fragmentation (SDF) has emerged as an important biomarker in the assessment of male fertility potential with contradictory results regarding its effect on ICSI. The aim of this study was to evaluate intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) outcomes in male patients with high SDF using testicular versus ejaculated spermatozoa. This is a prospective study on 36 men with high-SDF levels who had a previous ICSI cycle from their ejaculates. A subsequent ICSI cycle was performed using spermatozoa retrieved through testicular sperm aspiration. Results of the prior ejaculate ICSI were compared with those of the TESA-ICSI. The mean (SD) SDF level was 56.36% (15.3%). Overall, there was no difference in the fertilization rate and embryo grading using ejaculate and testicular spermatozoa (46.4% vs. 47.8%, 50.2% vs. 53.4% respectively). However, clinical pregnancy was significantly higher in TESA group compared to ejaculated group (38.89% [14 of 36] vs. 13.8% [five of 36]). Moreover, 17 live births were documented in TESA group, and only three live births were documented in ejaculate group (p < .0001). We concluded that the use of testicular spermatozoa for ICSI significantly increases clinical pregnancy rate as well as live-birth rate in patients with high SDF.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28497461

____________________
This is a study recommending proceeding with TESE if you have no live birth and failed cycles

Results from TESE 30% LBR, vs 12% LBR from ICSI
Results:
Patients undergoing T-ICSI (n = 77) had a significantly higher clinical pregnancy rate/fresh embryo transfer (ET) (27.9%; 17/61) and cumulative live birth rate (23.4%; 15/64) compared to patients using E-ICSI (n = 68) (clinical pregnancy rate/fresh ET: 10%; 6/60 and cumulative live birth rate: 11.4%; 7/61). Further, T-ICSI yield significantly better cumulative live birth rates than E-ICSI for men with high TUNEL (≥36%) (T-ICSI: 20%; 3/15 vs. E-ICSI: 0%; 0/7, p < 0.025), high SCSA® (≥25%) scores (T-ICSI: 21.7%; 5/23 vs. E-ICSI: 9.1%; 1/11, p < 0.01), or abnormal semen parameters (T-ICSI: 28%; 7/25 vs. E-ICSI: 6.7%; 1/15, p < 0.01).
CONCLUSIONS:
The use of testicular spermatozoa for ICSI in non-azoospermic couples with no previous live births, recurrent ICSI failure, and high sperm DNA fragmentation yields significantly better live birth outcomes than a separate cohort of couples with similar history of ICSI failure entering a new ICSI cycle with ejaculated spermatozoa.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30734539


Should a Couple with Failed In Vitro Fertilization or Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection and Elevated Sperm DNA Fragmentation Use Testicular Sperm for the Next Cycle?
Author information
There is growing evidence indicating that intracytoplasmic sperm injection with testicular sperm rather than ejaculated sperm might be advantageous in achieving pregnancy for couples in which the male has high levels of sperm DNA fragmentation (SDF). Meta-analysis has shown that SDF rates are markedly lower in testicular sperm than in ejaculated sperm, and the odds of achieving pregnancy and a live birth are significantly higher.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29934274
submitted by chulzle to dnafragmentation [link] [comments]


2019.09.13 09:46 hellomyfrients 3+ Years: My (Fake) Cart Story (x-post r/oilpen)

So I've always smoked a lot of weed, all my life. It's pretty rare to find me sober. I started out vaping, in the days of the Volcano and MFLB. I was obsessed with dry herb vapes for a long time. During college I started smoking more blunts, and that escalated afterwards... around 4-5 gram blunts a day. When smoking or vaping, the convenience factor was terrible. If I was out with my friends or one of my partners, looking for a spot, especially in foreign cities where you could only buy ditch weed and rolling paper, with the girlfriend waiting for you and tapping her watch... that was always hell. Carts were great... no smell, convenience, you can fly with them. And they hit as hard as the size of dabs I used to take. So reluctantly but surely, my addict brain made the switch.
Living in NYC I was always scared shitless about fake carts. I've hated prohibition since before I started smoking. I was paranoid about pesticides in my flower, and rarely did dabs for fear of BHO contamination. Distillate was just too damn convenient to pass up though. Three years ago, finding good carts in NYC was doable. I've been through probably 20 cart plugs over the years. At least 10 of them sold me fake shit on the first meeting; instant DQ. A bunch were solid for a while, and I'll never forget how amazing the distillate taste or hit in those days. You'd think technology would move forward, but... hell no.
I've always been pretty into following the small batch cart manufacturers I'd get carts from on Instagram. Looking at their batches and process, trying to figure out who's legit and who's in it for a quick buck. Trying to figure out whether they use or concentrate pesticides, or what damn distilling equipment they use. Trying to figure out what events they've been selling at to see if my guy's story lines up. I'm not down for a charge for manufacturing or growing weed, so I really have no choice. Even if I make my own concentrates, pesticide contamination risk is something you can't escape while smoking. Even if you just vape flower.
After a while, the small batch carts disappeared, and the King Pens and Brass Knuckles started coming; real for a few months, and then never to be seen in genuine form again. I went through so many plugs that sold me a real cart once and a low grade fake the next day. I have absolutely 0 doubt they were able to tell the difference between the one with a batch number, lab tested results, that matched a strain that was recently posted on a manufacturer's Insta with the same batch number, and a poorly packaged Monospace-blocky-font Chinese replica. "Ya bro these are legit". Go fuck yourself. It infuriated me because it was obvious they realized it, and I was wasting time and money each time I gold sold trash.
That being said, I did vape a lot of the trash. And it was trash. Noticeably. It made me more congested, I would occasionally wheeze with very deep hits, etc. But nothing super beyond the weed ordinary, so I discounted it and hoped for a legit cart next time. Every time I got a real cart it was like the heavens smiled upon me again. But it never lasted long, and often the next one would be fake. I'm super active, and I've climbed mountains while hitting fake carts. So being on a ventilator was not for me, eh?
About a year and a half ago it became impossible to find real carts in NYC. The demand exploded. To quote my fiancee's 16-year-old-sister, "everyone's switched from Juul to weed now". Cheap carts became a thing, and the market was overflowed. Selling to kids was the only way to offload the amount of shit product people were making. And as a result, the high end of the market disappeared. It's a phenomenon economists call "The Market for Lemons", and it's usually used when discussing cars. In a market where you can't easily tell the difference between good and shit (or where, as in weed, dealers often exchange good for shit once you become a customer), the bad drives out the good, because nobody wants to sell a good car to someone who expects that it's not a good car and therefore wants to pay less. So, the market devolves to a state of exclusively overpriced shit. And drug dealers become car salesmen, trying to get you in that '03 Plymouth for a modest college tuition.
It happened when the empties really hit DHGate. I'll never forget that moment of seeing the fake Brass and King Pens lined up. Nobody knew what Danks were, never mind Supremes or Exotics or Smart Carts or whatever bottom of the barrel crapola you find these days. My heart just sank and I kind of knew it was all over. The power of the free market in how that has turned into massive distribution centers stateside, shady profiteering companies, manufacturers overseas, and just a dizzying trash-cart-producing machine is... well, disturbing.
So, the "market for lemons" took over the cart market... textbook. I gave up on trying to find real carts, but I didn't want to stop using carts. I found a black market plug I really trusted that was selling incredible quality oil. I've also had legit carts in tons of states and paid up to $110/g on the legal market, so I know a good cart when I see it. But who knows if it had 10% vitamin E or not? Who knows what pesticides were in the raw material or equipment? It was an obvious LA pop-up-brand with Cali stickers but no lab tests, Internet/IG presence, etc etc. But it was some of the best oil I ever had, so I trusted it. Nevertheless, I was always super uneasy about it given that the same guys carried Smart Carts for half the price (tried it once because "why not"... holy fuck lord please never again). So high end LA pop-up or not, I knew deep down it wasn't good enough long term. I've smoked probably 20 of those carts over the last 6 months. Whoops.
So maybe this rant will help someone who's new to the cart scene, or someone from the outside who wants to know why anyone would choose to ingest this trash. Cannabis really is a wonderful substance, but I threw out the carts a few weeks ago and I've been breathing easier every single day (not literally, I've mostly felt fine, but definitely physically). For a while I only vaped carts... now it's back to smelling like dank with my closet full of dozens of herb vapes. Damn.
Hope to see you all on the other side of a prohibition that's making thousands sick and literally killing people. Nobody deserves to ingest Vitamin E or pesticides or lead or mineral oil into the lungs, regardless of why they chose to hit that cart. So hopefully this public health nightmare ends soon, and we can all start hitting legit carts and breathing easy. Until then, stick to flower, and if you use every day, consider growing your own or moving somewhere it's legal. _shrug_
submitted by hellomyfrients to cleancarts [link] [comments]


2019.09.13 09:00 hellomyfrients 3+ Years: My (Fake) Cart Story

So I've always smoked a lot of weed, all my life. It's pretty rare to find me sober. I started out vaping, in the days of the Volcano and MFLB. I was obsessed with dry herb vapes for a long time. During college I started smoking more blunts, and that escalated afterwards... around 4-5 gram blunts a day. When smoking or vaping, the convenience factor was terrible. If I was out with my friends or one of my partners, looking for a spot, especially in foreign cities where you could only buy ditch weed and rolling paper, with the girlfriend waiting for you and tapping her watch... that was always hell. Carts were great... no smell, convenience, you can fly with them. And they hit as hard as the size of dabs I used to take. So reluctantly but surely, my addict brain made the switch.
Living in NYC I was always scared shitless about fake carts. I've hated prohibition since before I started smoking. I was paranoid about pesticides in my flower, and rarely did dabs for fear of BHO contamination. Distillate was just too damn convenient to pass up though. Three years ago, finding good carts in NYC was doable. I've been through probably 20 cart plugs over the years. At least 10 of them sold me fake shit on the first meeting; instant DQ. A bunch were solid for a while, and I'll never forget how amazing the distillate taste or hit in those days. You'd think technology would move forward, but... hell no.
I've always been pretty into following the small batch cart manufacturers I'd get carts from on Instagram. Looking at their batches and process, trying to figure out who's legit and who's in it for a quick buck. Trying to figure out whether they use or concentrate pesticides, or what damn distilling equipment they use. Trying to figure out what events they've been selling at to see if my guy's story lines up. I'm not down for a charge for manufacturing or growing weed, so I really have no choice. Even if I make my own concentrates, pesticide contamination risk is something you can't escape while smoking. Even if you just vape flower.
After a while, the small batch carts disappeared, and the King Pens and Brass Knuckles started coming; real for a few months, and then never to be seen in genuine form again. I went through so many plugs that sold me a real cart once and a low grade fake the next day. I have absolutely 0 doubt they were able to tell the difference between the one with a batch number, lab tested results, that matched a strain that was recently posted on a manufacturer's Insta with the same batch number, and a poorly packaged Monospace-blocky-font Chinese replica. "Ya bro these are legit". Go fuck yourself. It infuriated me because it was obvious they realized it, and I was wasting time and money each time I gold sold trash.
That being said, I did vape a lot of the trash. And it was trash. Noticeably. It made me more congested, I would occasionally wheeze with very deep hits, etc. But nothing super beyond the weed ordinary, so I discounted it and hoped for a legit cart next time. Every time I got a real cart it was like the heavens smiled upon me again. But it never lasted long, and often the next one would be fake. I'm super active, and I've climbed mountains while hitting fake carts. So being on a ventilator was not for me, eh?
About a year and a half ago it became impossible to find real carts in NYC. The demand exploded. To quote my fiancee's 16-year-old-sister, "everyone's switched from Juul to weed now". Cheap carts became a thing, and the market was overflowed. Selling to kids was the only way to offload the amount of shit product people were making. And as a result, the high end of the market disappeared. It's a phenomenon economists call "The Market for Lemons", and it's usually used when discussing cars. In a market where you can't easily tell the difference between good and shit (or where, as in weed, dealers often exchange good for shit once you become a customer), the bad drives out the good, because nobody wants to sell a good car to someone who expects that it's not a good car and therefore wants to pay less. So, the market devolves to a state of exclusively overpriced shit. And drug dealers become car salesmen, trying to get you in that '03 Plymouth for a modest college tuition.
It happened when the empties really hit DHGate. I'll never forget that moment of seeing the fake Brass and King Pens lined up. Nobody knew what Danks were, never mind Supremes or Exotics or Smart Carts or whatever bottom of the barrel crapola you find these days. My heart just sank and I kind of knew it was all over. The power of the free market in how that has turned into massive distribution centers stateside, shady profiteering companies, manufacturers overseas, and just a dizzying trash-cart-producing machine is... well, disturbing.
So, the "market for lemons" took over the cart market... textbook. I gave up on trying to find real carts, but I didn't want to stop using carts. I found a black market plug I really trusted that was selling incredible quality oil. I've also had legit carts in tons of states and paid up to $110/g on the legal market, so I know a good cart when I see it. But who knows if it had 10% vitamin E or not? Who knows what pesticides were in the raw material or equipment? It was an obvious LA pop-up-brand with Cali stickers but no lab tests, Internet/IG presence, etc etc. But it was some of the best oil I ever had, so I trusted it. Nevertheless, I was always super uneasy about it given that the same guys carried Smart Carts for half the price (tried it once because "why not"... holy fuck lord please never again). So high end LA pop-up or not, I knew deep down it wasn't good enough long term. I've smoked probably 20 of those carts over the last 6 months. Whoops.
So maybe this rant will help someone who's new to the cart scene, or someone from the outside who wants to know why anyone would choose to ingest this trash. Cannabis really is a wonderful substance, but I threw out the carts a few weeks ago and I've been breathing easier every single day (not literally, I've mostly felt fine, but definitely physically). For a while I only vaped carts... now it's back to smelling like dank with my closet full of dozens of herb vapes. Damn.
Hope to see you all on the other side of a prohibition that's making thousands sick and literally killing people. Nobody deserves to ingest Vitamin E or pesticides or lead or mineral oil into the lungs, regardless of why they chose to hit that cart. So hopefully this public health nightmare ends soon, and we can all start hitting legit carts and breathing easy. Until then, stick to flower, and if you use every day, consider growing your own or moving somewhere it's legal. _shrug_
submitted by hellomyfrients to oilpen [link] [comments]


2019.02.02 17:53 cannainform2 MSO vs Brand focused cannabis companies

Hey Weedstockers,
we had a great conversation here a couple weeks ago about MSO (Multi-State Organizations) and brand focus companies and I thought it should get its own post. Thanks goes out to meadhead81 and cannaVestments for one of the most civilized conversation I’ve read on weedstocks! The original convo can be found here in the comments: https://www.reddit.com/weedstocks/comments/ag8akorigin_house_to_convert_m%C3%BCv_royalty_interest_to/ee5yi0m/
Preface: PH0T0GRAPHY was asking if anyone could help him poke holes in Origin House’s model of operation as he really likes the company but doesn’t want to be blindsided by something.


Meadhead81
(acknowledging that he is not one to poke holes in OH as he loves the company but…) I think there are many factors in your comment that we have yet to see play. To start, check out my write up on MSO's (not that I know everything). We don't really know that the MSO model will be successful yet (or OH for that matter) for many reasons mentioned in my write up and I'm just too lazy to repeat them on here. Okay, I'll repeat a couple...
MSO's are acquiring high cost licenses as new jurisdictions open up and legalize. Some of these jurisdictions may have "passed a bill" but it takes times before they begin to actually sell licenses and MSO's are up and running with their operations. Some of these MSO's specifically count on and advertise "being active in a high barrier market" (basically a partial license monopoly) as a perk and "protection" from the likes of competition from Canadian LP's, other MSO's, or Origin House; where history shows that the government WILL likely roll out new licenses as time goes by (and in some jurisdictions they already have) which will disrupt some MSO's models and flood the market with a plethora of brands/competition. Not to mention MSO's are trying to run semi independent cultivation/retail operations in every state they operate in, since they can't transport product between state lines (highly inefficient and a high cost investment for what's likely to be old regulations a year from now). Many other reasons...check out that write up.
A big value with OH is their insight into this sector and the foundation/model they have built around that insight. OH is at a point of self labeled "phase 3" and it's really a point of replication of their model into other jurisdictions. OH is focused on brands (which as you stated it where the value is) and CA (and CA brands) cannot be underestimated as a cultural hot bed which influences the rest of the US/globe to some degree; whereas MSO's seem much more focused on expansion of state/state operations and the retail/cultivation aspect of things. Many MSO's advertise their large footprint as such a big sexy thing, yet their operations are far more complex and high cost than OH and if you add up their multi-state market values vs CA...It’s the same between them.
Overall, I'm ranting a bit too and there is much more to discuss. Just don't underestimate a rough and dirty first mover's advantage being destroyed by a mega-corp branding giant like Constellations or a specialist in the industry like Origin House. You need to think about your investment timeline as well...are you long? Because OH is a long play. MSO's get all of the attention on here and maybe you could make more with them, but the people who invest in OH are either (A) looking to hold for a very long time (5-10-15-20 years) which we believe their model will bring success and survival to that point or (B) looking for a eventual buyout (at a reasonable price) as many companies are interested in acquiring OH for their obvious value.

CannaVestments
@ u/cannainform2 I’ll offer my 2 cents: I think you're oversimplifying what the MSOs actually do quite a bit. Yes, they are focused on retail development and state footprints currently within new state markets, but the execs of almost every MSO recognizes that brands will ultimately be where the money is once commoditization takes over the cultivation side of cannabis or interstate trade becomes a factor. The best way to ensure a brand wins out in the long-run then is to develop brand loyalty and brand recognition across a number of state markets. OH may have great brands in CA, but with the current state model and no interstate trade, no one in the midwest or east coast states even know what OH brands are and have no reason to have brand loyalty towards them. For the MSOs, they can take a successful brand that they developed (or partner with a successful brand from California for example) and then use that retail and cultivation infrastructure they have across the country to spread their brands across the entire US. What OH does in CA really isn't that much different that what MSOs do in every state market, just with the added infrastructure with vertical integration. GTI for example is purchasing Integral Associates who have a number of award-winning brands in NV that they can now sell at all RISE stores across 11 states. Those brands have a much better chance of becoming the "winning" brands then brands that are stuck in the glut of California. People can travel from CA to NV to MA and see the same MSO brand in all 3 states. The data on consumer preferences that these MSOs gain from all these state markets is also insanely valuable to have in developing attractive products. Acreage just talked about this idea significantly at a recent conference yesterday: http://www.wsw.com/webcast/icr5/acrg.u/?lobby=true&day=1
I do agree that there is a bunch of excess cost/risk involved in having to vertically-integrate in each state (and vertical-integration will likely disappear in the long-run), but companies have to work within current regulations, and this is the best current option imo for the foreseeable future. These aren't huge facilities and while state markets are still isolated, there is quite a lot of money to be made as shown in MSO financials already.

Meadhead81
I listened to that Acreage audio from the conference, interesting, kind of a similar deal to the ways in which Coke built up their brand (been reading lots of big time branding stories lately).
Overall, I think the primary difference between Acreage insight/model and Origin insight/model is that Origin is very much specializing in the branding/distribution aspect and following a similar path to the way in which alcohol distribution works. I don't find that store branding of retail outlets is going to be a model for success in this sector, when it feels as if we are 6-12-18 months away from the likes of Safeway, Walgreens, or Chevron carrying branded products in their stores. In this case, branded products are the key and not the time, investment, and operations of running a retail dispensary (although that might help on further ingraining the same branded products into people’s minds). People keep telling me that I'm overestimating how quickly the future comes, yet it seems as if things move much faster than everyone else anticipates...
How often do people who smoke, go to a tobacco store? How often do people who drink, go to a liquor store?
I think it's only a short matter of time before OH joins the ranks of MSO's (they are already in Canada) and they have stated that they plan to expand to NV and MA where the free markets exist. Although, OH will be a slightly different kind of MSO in the way they are built and mimicking their model across multiple states. OH is likely going to become profitable here shortly and their constant sales of previous investments has really pumped up their cash holdings for expansions. I believe the very nature of the OH model will give them a benefit on two fronts:
(1) Having based themselves and focused on CA, they chose the largest most lucrative market to invest in and begin their journey. Such a large market and how they've positioned themselves means they will see a massive ROI from that one state alone, funding their further expansion. This also positions them from the standpoint of brand building in what I would consider to be one of the mecca's of global cultural influence and therefore adds more value to your brand then being successful in a state 1/10 its size.
(2) As you mentioned, the very nature of their model is lower cost than building up independent cultivation/retail operations in a new jurisdiction. Where as a standard MSO might have distribution operations and focus on branding similar to OH...they also have the added cost of building/licensing/staffing a cultivation facility and licensing/staffing a retail facility. Choose to either expand slower or dilute your equity to raise more cash for rapid expansion.
On a final note, I do believe that the brands that find success in the CA market (a highly competitive market) will be able to penetrate other markets. We could likely argue back and forth but I don't believe that being a first mover and establishing your branding in a new market with limited selection, will hold up well against a wave of other proven products. More than any other US focused company, OH seems prepared for the future and could easily pivot to work around potential "disruptions" via changes to current regulations or operational risks. Like we are seeing in NY potentially isolating the ability to acquire a retail license from licensed cultivators, despite requiring vertical integration previously for the medical side. How much does this mess with operators who invested in building up vertically integrated assets?
Edit: This last note about NY is the biggest reason I find MSO's to be a big risk. Rapid expansion into new markets has a huge risk for the sake of "it's the only way to do it right now and we want to penetrate this market" as ever evolving regulations that can change and really disrupt operations. OH seems less vulnerable to this risk. We have CA disallow licensing for further vertical integration and committal to eventually banning it in years. While FL I do believe had some potential changes in regulation to open up the markets (I can't remember).
CannaVestments
Definitely some good points- OH approach is definitely interesting. A few issues imo with that analysis though:
  1. You seem to be discounting the brands (actual brands, not retail brands) of the MSOs simply because they are the early movers into new states, while placing huge value on OH brands simply because they are in California.... that doesn’t make sense to me. Most of the MSOs are also operating in California and Nevada and other rec markets where competition is high and are developing brands that people like just as much. I’d argue that the MSOs know even better what consumers want given they have consumer data across multiple state markets for both medical and recreational. What people want in Illinois and Maryland is very different than what people want in Cali, and having this knowledge base is huge.
  2. I think you’re way too eager in guessing that common convenience stores are about to be selling weed in 12-18 months. Cannabis is far more complicated than selling alcohol, and we have a lot of older and conservative citizens in this country who aren’t ready for cannabis to be sold right around the corner. People dislike the smell, the added security concerns, distance to schools... lots of concerns that make the retail model important for now (although I agree this could change years down the line-Acreage mentioned retail can get commoditized as well). Not everyone is a 25 year old male who has tons of experience with cannabis and knows exactly what they want. Many users are newer users who appreciate the insight retail outlets can offer. These aren’t very costly facilities, and retail locations creates huge dividends in spreading brand awareness (over 30% of what is solid in RISE dispensaries are GTI-brands for example), not to mention they pay for themselves in less than a year based on revenue.
  3. MSOs with far more capital are in a better position to take on winning brands that are developed via acquisition and partnerships. Like Acreage mentioned, a successful brand in Cali can reach out to them for a partnership and can now have their product in 20 states.
I do agree that MSOs are at greater risk of regulation change like we are potentially seeing in NY, so OH is inherently less risky in that sense. Definitely lots of wasted costs and money building these cultivation facilities in each state.

Meadhead81
Your data point is interesting and something to be considered. This was something I found very very interesting in regards to RIV's investment in Headset. This is something that MSO's would have on OH. My only argument against this is how much tastes really change state/state or whether it's different enough to be a concern for OH who would only have data on CA consumer preferences.
In regards to the convenience stores thing, maybe so. I'll say it again though, people often tell me I overestimate how quickly things could move...but the way things play out it seems many people underestimated how quickly they have moved. In just the past year we've seen Constellations, Budweiser, Altria, and Molson/Coors enter this sector as well as Canada legalizing recreational cannabis, US hemp legalization, FDA/DEA approved CBD based pharmaceutical drugs, Canopy enter the US market, and how many states and countries roll out some form of legalization? How far is federal US descheduling, medical legalization, or recreational legalization? How much further are major retailers and outlets from allowing at least some cannabis products onto their shelves? Didn't Walmart already have some CBD products on their shelves that they pulled off awhile back? Shoppers Drug Mart carry's cannabis products and they are big in Canada no (I'm a little uniformed on this aspect to be honest)? Anyways...it's all conjecture until it happens I suppose.
You're point on MSO's being the means for successful brands to expand across the nation instead of waiting Origin House's expansion is interesting. The only things I can think of here is:
  1. OH is going to start buying out these successful brands, in which case they would be the ones licensing them to MSO's. Meanwhile the MSO's are expanding an OH owned brand and adding more value to OH without the risk associated with retail disruption on the MSO side.
  2. Assuming my previous paragraph is correct and we see expedited timelines for convenience and general retail carrying cannabis products, MSO's selling your brand isn’t really the sweet spot. If this was the case though, I suppose even OH would have a hard time competing with major distributors.

CannaVestments
That’s a good point. OH definitely has the early entry and local Cali experience to encapsulate good brands now. I just wonder how they will compete with a company like Acreage who can offer access to 19 state markets in 2019 and probably more money given their capital level.
And fair points on all the future conjecture, certainly all are possible. I just still think we are probably 5+ years away from complete cannabis acceptance with Walgreens selling it. The Republican Party would have to approve any legislature that gets passed where the majority of states either don’t have a medical cannabis programs or have extremely limited medical programs with no adult use. Lots of devils lettuce believers down there including our new attorney general.... They are not about to have cannabis near their homes. Even large parts of Cali completely outlaw the sale or delivery of cannabis, the federal government isn’t about to force it on everyone in the next 2 years.

Meadhead81
Who knows? Potentially we see a massive merger between the OH CA domination and a large MSO with equally intelligent management? Smart management teams will know when they need to combine forces in order to up their chances of survival.
No one can be certain on federal movement. It just seems to me that the big dog states are legalized or are about to legalize. Nearly both coasts have at this point, Illinois is coming online, and even Texas is another big one that seems to be loosening up a bit. Other than that...we are talking a lot of low populace red states in the mid-west and down south. I'm not as savvy on the political modes of operating but since we have dry counties and counties not allowing cannabis when alcohol is legal federally or cannabis is legal through the state...could we not see some degree of medical federal legalization with the right for states to still keep recreational illegal or state/counties to have their own restrictions? Sort of a reverse of the current situation but maybe I'm just talking from an uniformed perspective.
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2018.10.21 19:13 NoMansGhost Is Sunniva (SNN, SNNVF) the Most Undervalued Company in the Sector? $3.82 (US), Potential for $80+ in 2021

Disclaimer: I have 27k shares of Sunniva (SNNVF in US, SNN in CAD). What I have to say may sound too good to be true, and maybe it is. Which is why I recommend you take what I say and do your own research to test its validity. Please do not just take my word for it.

I know most will click this thread, skim through it, look for the big number (spoiler: it's $81.26 US in 2021) and proceed to say "bull****," and that's a healthy response to something so ridiculous. But is it ridiculous, or does Sunniva actually have the potential to become the "Canopy of California" and a player in Canada?

If you're interested in making money, read what I have to say, do your own research, and see if you arrive at the same conclusion I have. To disregard this post and label it a "pump piece" would be doing yourself a disservice. Remember, Canopy Growth Corp. was $2 US two and a half years ago.

Current Price $3.82 US ($4.94 CAD) - Analysts Average Price Target $11.38 US ($14.75 CAD) or 2.9x Current Value - Undervalued by 5x Compared to US Peers - Comparable Share Price $19.50 ($25.46 CAD)
Sunniva closed this week at $3.82 US ($4.97 CAD). Beacon Securities currently has a target price of $ 12.73 US (16.50 CAD)and Canaccord Genuity has a target price of $10.03 US ($13 CAD).

That's worlds away from my target price of $81 US in 2021, but it tells you that even analysts who are paid to know what they're talking about believe Sunniva is significantly undervalued at the current time, nearly 3x less than its suppose value. With that said, professional analysts aren't always right.

On October 15, 2018, Beacon Securities issued a comparable valuation of Sunniva relative to its US Peers. According to the report, Sunniva is currently undervalued roughly 5x compared to its US peers such as MedMen, Ian, and MPX. 5x its current value would put Sunniva's share price at $19.50 ($25.46 CAD).

I will be using US numbers from here on, because currently it's more of a US play than Canadian
A generic sentence about the company copy and pasted off the website so you have a general understanding of who and what they are: Sunniva is a vertically integrated medical cannabis company operating in the world’s two largest cannabis markets – Canada and California – where they are committed to delivering safe, high-quality products and services at scale. Sunniva is focused on executing a ‘seed-to-sale’ business strategy of leveraging its owned large-scale cultivation and extraction facilities to move up the value chain with the launching of a suite of Sunniva brands across all product categories while aggressively pursuing distribution & retail expansion.

Now, before getting to the good stuff, I want to illustrate the risks and concerns of the company. I do not want to be a pumper or shill. I have already taken a swig, but allow me to warn you before you take a sip from the Sunniva punch bowl.

Risks/Concerns - READ BEFORE DRINKING THE KOOL-AID: (besides the obvious risks when you're investing in speculative industry like medical/recreational cannabis)

Enough of the Bad, Why Should I Buy Sunniva?

Math Will Be Used Here
Share Price Math Formula - Total Proposed Production Capacity multiplied by profit per gram = X, X divided by Total Outstanding Shares = Earnings Per Share. Earning Per Share multiplied by Price-Earnings Ratio = Share Price

I will be using a conservative estimate of $1 net profit per gram and a P/E Ratio of 20. This P/E ratio is based off an average of the US P/E ratio of Tobacco companies (13.8), Alcohol Brewers (20.3), and Pharmaceuticals (27.7).

Company Background
CEO Dr. Anthony Holler has been here before. He co-found ID Biomedical, a vaccine manufacturer that was acquired by British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline for $1.7B, and achieved success with the company by using the same strategy he has applied to Sunniva; produce at low cost, at a high level of quality, and at scale.

I will mostly be playing with numbers in this post, and these numbers are conservative. If you want to know more about Sunniva and its management/assets, I suggest you check out their Investor Presentation, this interview in June with CEO Tony Holler (warning: a lot has changed since then), and these two articles written by Jeff Khoshaba (Sunniva: Gift Of The Sun, Gift To Investors and Sunniva: The Cannabis Sector’s Ultimate Value Stock). Keep in mind, Jeff is also invested in Sunniva, but it will give you a solid background on the company.

One of the Lowest Share Counts in the Sector - Minimal Dilution
Sunniva closed this week at $3.82. It has only 47.6M fully diluted shares and a fully diluted market capital of $182M. Having only 47.6M outstanding shares is a testament to management's desire to preserve share holder value and avoid dilution common in the sector. For comparison, Canopy Growth has 483.5M fully diluted shares, APH 260.5M, ACB 1B, iAN 108.7M, Tilray 101M, TGOD 328.7M, HEXO 229.4M, MMEN 464M.

Just for fun, if Sunniva had the 464M outstanding shares that MedMen currently has, the stock price would be $.39 instead of $3.82. If MedMen had only 47.6M outstanding shares instead of 464M its share price today would be $63.26 instead of $6.49. That's the power of dilution. (I'm getting my fully diluted share count for MedMen from this article)

Needs Only $9.1M in Net Income Annually to Justify Current Share Price
In order to justify Sunniva's current share price of $3.84 using a P/E ratio of 20, Sunniva would need a Net Income (net profit) of $9.1M annually. So the risk you're taking at buying at the current price is whether or not you think Sunniva can make more than $9.1M in net income annually. They can and they will. Here's why.

50,000 KG (+10,000 KG of Trim) Phase 1 California Facility Estimated $60M in Net Income Equates to $25 Share Price
Sunniva is building a 60,000 kg, planned modern, cGMP-compliant greenhouse in Cathedral City, California that is expected to be more energy efficient and produce less waste than indoor cultivation. They are also expected to grow better plants, using a recycled water system to conserve as much water as possible. The system not only helps maximize plant yield but also will provide thorough root aeration and precise nutrient delivery to the plants. Their Integrated Pest Management System is expected to ensure that every plant they grow is certified clean and free of all contaminants and pesticides. This facility will become operational in Q4 2018 with first harvest expected in Q1 2019.

It is expected to reach full capacity by Q3 2019. Sunniva will be have first mover's advantage in California, the largest legal cannabis market in the world, and be unmatched in terms of scale. (Sunniva California Campus - August Construction Update)

Doing the math, Sunniva will have eight 22,000 sq. ft. cultivation bays. At 60,000 kg (including 10,000 kg of trim) it would allocate to roughly 7,500 kg per bay. If one bay is up and running and produces at capacity, it would net $7.5M in net income at $1 net profit per gram. That's only $1.6M less than needed to justify the current share price.

They have already poured concrete in one of the bays Thursday, October 18, meaning things are moving ahead as planned and *at least* one bay should be ready to go in Q4 and first harvest will be on time in Q1 2019. With each subsequent bay taking roughly one and one-half months to complete (based on time to full capacity), they should be at half capacity (30,000 kg) by May 2019 and capable of generating $30M in net income from there on.

At full capacity, expected in Q3 2019, 60,000 kg at $1 net profit per gram is $60M in net income. Over ten times the amount needed to justify the current share price. $60M in net income, with 47.6M outstanding shares, at a P/E ratio of 20, brings about a share price of $25 US. Keep in mind this is just their US assets. They are currently constructing a Canadian facility expected to produce 100,000 kg annually.

On October 17, Sunniva announced it had acquired the Oakland Vision Project, including their licensed cultivation facility located in Irvine, California that has a production capacity of 725 kg per year with development plans to scale production to 3,625 kg per year in 2019, and estimated production costs below $1.00 per gram. They also acquired Vison's seasoned group of cultivation professionals who have experience in both small and large-scale operations. The cultivation team is currently producing some of the highest quality pesticide free cannabis flower in California, and will be used to manage Sunniva's production operations in California. Thus securing Sunniva's 60,000 KG of production from potential mismanagement and catastrophes as we saw recently with Aphira having to destroy a batch of marijuana due to lack of qualified workers.

Cali Phase 2 to Add Additional 22,500 KG (+5,000 KG of Trim) (2020) for Estimated Net Income of $27.5M Equates to $11.55 Share Price
Once Phase 1 of the California Campus is completed (Estimated Q3 2019), Sunniva will begin construction of Phase 2 of the facility, adding another 22,500 kg of dry flower, plus 5,000 kg of trim. Currently there is no timeline for Phase 2, but given the time is has taken to build Phase 1, Phase 2 shouldn't take more than a year. With this information, Phase 2 should be complete in Q3 2020, and provide an additional net income of $27.5M for a share price of $11.55 by itself.

Sun Oil Extraction Facility with 4 Contracts - Potential for $14.4M in Net Income Equates to $6.16 Share Price
Sunniva also has an extraction facility one mile from the California Campus called the The Sun Oil Extraction Facility. This facility currently has four contracts (Cali Gold, Farmacy Phactory, Cannabis Strategic Ventures, and an unnamed company) to produce high quality, ultra-purified manufactured distilled oil products to be utilized within vaporization cartridges with expansion into other product areas such as concentrates, fresh frozen, capsules, sprays, tinctures, and beverages expected.

Sunniva's extraction facility will produce over 600,000 filled vaporization cartridges a month at capacity. 600,000 a month x 12 months in a year is 7,200,000 cartridges. At a conservative whole sale price of $10, 7,200,000 filled vaporization cartridges yields 72M in revenue. If 80% of that revenue goes to costs and taxes, that leaves 20% profit (conservative estimate), for a net income of $14,400,000. At 47.6M outstanding shares, the Sun Oil Extraction facility alone yields a $0.30 earnings per share. At a P/E ratio of 20, the Extraction facility is worth a share price of $6.16 US. That's $2.32 more than the current share price of SNNVF. And that's just the Extraction Facility.

Total Us Assets Will Have Potential to Generate $74.4M in Net Income for Share Price of $31.20 in 2019
Combine the 14.4M net income from the extraction facility with the $60M net income from the California Campus Phase 1 and you have 74.4M in net income, nearly 8 times the amount of income needed to justify the current share price, and with a P/E ratio of 20, you have a US share price of $31.20.

Total Us Assets Will Have Potential to Generate $101.9M in Net Income for Share Price of $42.80 in 2021
Adding in the additional $27.5M Net Income from Cali Phase 2, Sunniva in the US alone will have the potential to generate $101.9M in net income in 2021 for a share price of $42.80.

100,000 KG (+20,000 KG of Trim) Canadian Facility Estimated $91.5M in Net Income Equates to Share Price of $38.40
I haven't mentioned the Canadian side of Sunniva yet, and there are two reasons for that. One, the facility isn't expected to produce its first harvest until Q3 2019 and won't be at full capacity until Q1 2020. Two, and more importantly, even though construction is in progress, they have yet to secure full funding for the facility. It was believed that they would secure the 120M necessary via bank and subordinate debt, with minimal if any dilution. However, Sunniva has now retained Canaccord Genuity "who has commenced a formal process to review all strategic alternatives which may include a sale of, an investment in, or a joint venture for some or all of the Company's Canadian assets with the intention to spin out the Company's Canadian assets into a separate Canadian entity and apply to list its shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ Stock Market.”

If they do not sell their Canadian Assets, the 100,000 kg facility being built in Okanagan Falls, British Columbia, would generate $120M CAD ($91.5M US) annually at $1 net profit per gram, a share price of $50.37 CAD, $38.40 US in of itself. They currently have a 45,000 kg annual supply deal with Canopy Growth (see Risks and Concerns above), and own Natural Health Services (Canada’s largest network of cannabis clinics, with over 95,000 patients) whom they plan to sell about 30% of their full capacity to at high margins.

Total Potential of US and CAD Facilities to Generate Net Income of $193.4M for Share Price of $81.26 ($106.59 CAD) in 2021
If you take the potential $42.80 share price from their US assets, and combine it with the potential $38.40 share price from their Canadian assets, you're looking at a share price of $81.26 US for Sunniva in 2021. This week it closed at $3.82, which would make for 21x your original investment.

What If They Don't Reach Full Capacity at Their Facilities by 2021?

In Conclusion

Sunniva plans to vertically integrate across the US, and not just California. I highly suggest you take a look at this potential gold mine that is currently being ignored by the market like a black sheep. With the recent hiring of KCSA Strategic Communications, a leading New York-based communications firm (who handles the Public Relations of cannabis companies such as Aurora, iAnthus, Acreage, MedMen, and MPX) to handle their PR, it's only a matter of time before the secret is out.

$81 is an absurd share price for a company currently trading at $3.82 to reach in just two years. But as I've demonstrated, the potential is there, management just needs to execute. According to the Beacon study, Sunniva is currently 5x undervalued compared to its US peers. That would put the share price at $20, meaning a $81 share price is only a 4x increase over a two year span, as opposed to the 21x of reality. Eventually people are going to realize this, and with a low float (low number of shares available for trading), when Sunniva runs, it will sprint like an Olympic Gold Medalist. With federal legalization coming closer and closer to a reality, Sunniva may have its very own Tilray moment. But that is months, if not a year or two away. For now, ground yourself in the fundamentals of the company, and take advantage of a once in a lifetime opportunity. Worst case scenario at 50% full capacity, you're looking at a potential $40 stock (10.6x current value) in 2021.

Sunniva closed at $3.82 US this week. Its 52 week low is $3.61. When it hit $3.61 on August 14th, it rebounded to $5.70 six days later on August 20th. If you are buying today, you would be buying near the bottom, a great time to get in.

If you are a Sunniva Investor, please join the Sunniva Investor's Discord Group Chat!
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2018.09.30 01:59 boredCommentator JoJo's OC Tournament #3 Round 5 - Soul Rebels Part ⑤ (Mute and Buffalo Soldier vs Destiny Showdown..?)

The results are in for m2. The winner is…
The Soul Rebels, with a score of 74 to the Perfect Strangers’ 71!
Category Winner Point Totals Comments
Popularity Soul Rebels 22-18 Things were slow for the first two days of voting, sitting at a single stranger vote from day 1 to day 3, only for attention to blow up rapidly in the last day. New votes were coming in until the final seconds of our time limit.
Quality Soul Rebels 26-24 Reasoning.
JoJolity Perfect Strangers 26-29 Reasoning.
Previously…
Anna Rose stumbled through the facility, ribs cracked, cuts, bruises, bullet wounds, and burns marks on her body. Propped up on her shoulder was her partner, Geoff Wetton, similarly injured and walking with a limp.
“Okay… Now to the… Center of the facility…” Anna wheezed, tired and injured but determined to finish this.
They stood in front of the large locked door to the center wing. On their persons were pieces of the cybernetics from the foes they had just defeated. A red light on the door blinked yellow, then became a solid green as the doors slid open with a quiet ‘ding’ noise, reacting to the identification within all the pieces. The duo stumbled through.
“One more... Guard, right?” Geoff said, Heat of the Moment forming behind him and cracking its’ knuckles.
“Yeah… One more…..”
The pair continued to stumble down the long hallway.
“Did we… Do it?” Anna said, apropos of nothing.
“... Free them?” Geoff replied, catching on to what Anna was getting at. She nodded.
“... Yeah, we did. Simon, Ken, Blue, and Eleanor… They can rest in peace now.... And so can Cody, so can Milja, so can Tang Wu and Thomas…. All of them… With this, now, the smoke that Deep Purple left on the world is clearing up… I know it.”
“... We’re at the door.” Anna said, taking a deep breath. “Are you ready?”
“I was born ready.” Geoff smiled.

“... So their last line of defense was this tosser?” Geoff said, crouching over the body of the soldier that had been knocked out in a single punch. He had regained enough strength to stand on his own, but still had a major limp in his leg at the moment.
“Guess so…” Anna said, before being interrupted with a loud ding. “... Well, that’s finished then.” She walked over to the machine in the center of the room, removing a silver cylinder. Written in purple writing on the side were the letters and numbers ‘L1-0N’. Anna held it for a moment. “... It’s some kind of liquid. Did you find the file?”
Geoff dug through the knocked out soldier’s belongings, before pulling out a thick dossier in a manilla folder. It, too, had the words ‘Stairway to Heaven’ written on it. “Got it… It’s long, though. Let’s wait to go through it all until we reconnect with the others.”
Anna rose nodded as Heat of the Moment grabbed the unconscious soldier and began lifting him. “Do you know which button activates the self-destruct for this place?”
Anna nodded, pointing to a nearby terminal with a 10 minute times on the screen.
Geoff walked over, and pressed the ‘enter’ key on the terminal, as a dull siren began to blare throughout the base.
“Then let’s bounce.”

A short elevator ride later, along with a small stroll to the beach, and Anna and Geoff waited, having dropped the unconscious guard safely away from the blast zone.
“Sooo…. When do you think the boat is gonna be here… We’re not gonna have to swim again, are we…?” Geoff said impatiently.
“I don’t know… All Little Pontoon said was that he’d pick us up… Do you see him any-”
As Anna began to speak, a thin white tube began to rise from the ocean, before revealing its connection to a white spherical shell. The entire structure began to melt away into what seemed like dust, revealing the boat they had arrived to the base on.
On the deck of the boat, their captain, Little Pontoon, waved. The boat was within shouting distance of the beachfront, having submerged itself under water with an air hose to stay hidden.
The same white dust that seemed to cover the ship formed something like a walkway up to the boat itself.
“It’s salt!” The sailor shouted at them. “My Stand lets me control the salt in seawater! The bridge will hold, so get aboard already! You two look like death! We’ll get you to a doctor!”
The two looked at each other and nodded, stumbling down the path of salt to the boat. As they sailed away, a rumble like an earthquake echoed from the island, the base that was the home of the Stormbringers having completely collapsed.
Scenario:
“Estero?” Gina Halfway asked, shortly after the pair saw Geoff and Anna off. “Not familiar with it. What’s out there?”
“Not much I can think of. Small town, not much to do,” T Square answered, “I mean, I guess there’s a shopping-outlet type place around that area… There’s a lot of places to hide things there, yeah?”
“It’s something to go on,” Gregor responded, nodding, “and it makes sense that Destiny would choose a place like that to hide his artifact, no? He’s from a small town in England…”
“Alright, so we know what we’re dealing with there, probably, so…” T paused, looking to one side. “Mute, y-you’re… Bouncing an awful lot.”
“I’m jumpin’ at the opportunity to take this one!” Attention drawn to her, Mute wasted no time in continuing to bounce in place, now shadow-boxing with a fiery look in her eye, and a toothy grin on her face. “No more stalemates, or cheapshots, or letting him get away… I’m finally stopping that guy!”
“You’re… Certainly eager,” T answered, chuckling slightly and shrugging. “Yeah, sure. Just, uh, be aware. He’s most definitely going to be expecting you.”
“I hope he is!”
“Me too.” The remaining members of the group went quiet, having forgotten about a certain voice in their midst.
Turning towards the man, the myth of few words, all eyes were on Buffalo Soldier as he drank down a bottle of orange juice through a straw (he used to prefer fresh-squeezed, but too dangerous now. Already been poisoned once.). He had not actually opened the cap, but rather whittled a hole to push the bendy straw through. “What? You can’t have any. I wrestled this away myself.”
“Do you… Do you wanna fight Destiny?” T asked, blinking.
“Don’t make me repeat myself, small baby man. Last time wasn’t a good time, but now we can duel as predators.”
Mute’s excited expression turned into a bit of a face-fault, pep immediately out of her step. “You mean I’ve gotta..?”
“You could not hope to take home such big game,” Buffalo illuminated, bringing his massive hand to his chest with an unmistakable mix of pride and excitement clear even through his thicket of beard. “I will handle this myself.”
“Like heck you are!” Mute shouted back up at the beastly man, before breathing a quick sigh and collecting herself. “I can live with it, I guess…” She said with a huff, already heading to prepare for the trip. “... So long as I still get a shot at that guy.
The two of you… I apologize for being so roundabout about this test, but I saw potential in you two. Thought I might test you both against one another, first your aptitude, then your honesty.
What do you mean, ‘potential?’ Why’d you send something like that after us?
I did not account for that woman, no… She and I shared guest spots on Chopped once, and I suppose she’d hated me ever since. Suffice to say the world won’t miss her anyway…
Ya know, for how plain ya look, you’re pretty hardcore. You know what? Sure, I’ll help you out. What do you need me to do?
For now… Return. Keep your head low and await further instructions from my associates. I must be off for now. I doubt we shall see each other again, but I will not forget your politeness in cooperating with my requests.
Unfortunately for Mute, not only was she riding out there with Buffalo, but the great hunter was helpful enough to make usage of his team’s eponymous vehicle in the process. They would wind up ditching it a decent ways away from their destination, of course, because the other option would be the most blatant signpost possible of their proximity, but regardless, Mute had to relive day after day of spying on Babylon by Bus to zero avail, only this time with only perhaps the least personable member of the team with her.
Why did Lucil get to go with the cool one..? Mute thought to herself with a pout, skateboarding at a leisurely enough speed towards the nearby mall that Buffalo could effortlessly keep up with a jog. Man, shrinking and growing stuff and mirror clones would be so sick. Just get a whole army of me on Destiny while the real deal is sneaking up with a big old mallet to bop him on the head, and-
“Pretzels.” Mute was taken out of her thoughts by Buffalo’s spoken interruption.
“Come again?”
“Need hunting snacks. With that fake yellow slop if they have it.”
“I mean… Sure, yeah, let’s get pretzels. Why not!” Mute threw her arms up. *Actually, those sound pretty good right around now…”
The rest of their short trek later, the pair was sitting in disappointment in front of the pretzel stand, both looking more than a little bothered at having been refused service rather blatantly.
“No way in hell these guys are sold out,” Mute remarked, “I mean look! They’re giving more to someone else right now!”
“Mmh.” Buffalo responded, looking in another direction a moment later. “Someone’s coming.”
“Is it-?” Mute cut herself off, following the line of Buffalo’s sight as she noticed just who he’d meant. To her relief (and disappointment), it wasn’t Destiny himself, but rather a younger man, tall, with neatly-combed hair. Between it, his jeans, and his untucked button-up, in all but height he was more or less the complete opposite of her partner, and more importantly, his appearance rang a bit of a bell with Mute. “Wait… I’ve heard of you! You’re…”
“Damon Aurel, yep! Dunno if we’ve met face-to-face, but Nick’s talked about ya a bunch.” As he spoke, he never seemed to be standing completely still, the eccentric young Philosopher eyed up Mute and Buffalo. Noting their confused expressions, he added, “er… See, when Geoff and all them went off, they went ahead and told the rest of their buds who weren’t dead yet what they were up to. It’s kinda our thing as the smart team to plan for an emergency, yeah?”
Mute relaxed a bit at the guy’s words. Such careful planning does sound like Nick… “Well, you probably already know it then, but we’re all working together now. Actually think there’s an artifact hidden in this mall somewhere. Happen to see anything like that? Like, a little bonsai tree?”
Buffalo said nothing, continuing to watch Damon. Naturally, this momentarily intimidated him, but he shrugged it off. “Shoot, really? Think I mighta seen something like that I thought was out of place, but… Ya know, I’d never seen any other than ours up in person, so I didn’t know it was anything but a weird decoration.”
“You have? Oh, sweet! Wanna lead the way?”
“Sure, sure.” He held up a hand and began heading back the way he’d come from. “Right this way after me, now! Don’t fall behind!”
Mute stood, stretched, and followed, signalling for Buffalo to do the same. It took several moments, but he did eventually come along as well, catching up quickly.
Hyello?
Yes, it’s me again. My apologies for taking so long to contact you again, but things have been… busy, on my end. I don’t have long to talk now, for that matter, but I’ll cut to the chase. Dr. Nick Mason must attend a memorial banquet two weeks from now. Could you, perhaps, convince him?
I mean, I would, but… Gonna be blunt here myself if you’re short on time, buddy. It’ll look pretty sus if I just start tellin’ him to go do that outta nowhere. Even with all my connections, it ain’t a good look. Think there’s some… more natural way for me to happen across this piece of info?
Hm… You have a good point. Perhaps… Ah, a friend of mine will be refereeing a game between two Canadian acquaintances. They’ve actually been searching for second and third members apiece to turn the tides. If you could meet with her under pretenses of playing the game…
Sports, huh..? Yeah, I’ve got it. Heck, I know just who to drag along with me! Heh, if I make her do it, I might be able to make those idiots think I’m just doin’ it as a prank, too.
“So yeah, I’d mostly been keeping up work with my buddies in Cali until recently,” Damon explained to his companions, “but when I got that call I knew I had to drop everything and head out here. So you guys really have six of those darn things between you, huh?”
“Gonna be a solid nine out of nine soon,” Mute said with confidence, before adding in a worried tone, “just, uh… Keep your eyes peeled, yeah? Not just for the tree, but… I dunno how to put it. A lot of the time, when someone’s come back all of a sudden, they just sorta died again. Strato, Buffalo’s old boss…”
“Hard finding hungry vultures these days,” Buffalo remarked.
“Uh… Right,” Damon answered, not getting it, “but you all don’t need to be worried about me. I know what I’m doing!”
The trio continued northwards at their leisurely pace, Damon even stopping and looking at sunglass hut momentarily while the others passed him by. Not far away, standing in front of the duck pond, was someone familiar in a completely unfamiliar set of new digs, holding a bag from some kitchenware store. Even with a white disco suit on, turned around and facing the fountain, Mute would recognize that fro, that cold manner of standing around, anywhere. If it wasn’t already obvious, though, the fact that he’s staring at a distinctive-looking bonsai tree in front of the duck fountain was just as much of a giveaway. “Uhh, Damon, look alive, I think that’s him!”
“Seriously, Mute, you don’t need to be worried about me!” As Destiny turned around and stared directly at the pair from several meters away, Damon finally walked up behind them, a grin on his face. “After all, I’m the only one here who knows the right place to throw his hat in.”
Somethin’ up, Destiny? You sound tense.
Sorry for that, just… Ran into somebody I rather would have not, and it may have cost me another friend. I have to move fast before either catches up to me.
Right, right, another cut-to-the-chase thing. Man I feel like we never just hang out anymore.
Anymore? We–Never mind. It actually may be good for you to lay low with me a short while after this assignment. See… We need you to take another trip up to Canada. Sometime within the next few days, be close by a radio with a certain specific partner.
Ooh, what is it this time? Curling? Milk bagging?
…we’re going to be putting you up against the last of Jaded Justice. While it’s preferable that you kill them there, of course, the most important thing here… Is that Marco F. Caine does not leave alive. If they or the elements don’t kill him… I understand it may be a lot to ask of you, but-
You kidding? I mean no offense, friend, but remember who you’re talking to. I’ve done in people I like way more than that guy.
“Wait… What are you saying now, Damon? You’re not really…”
“For months now, actually!” He admitted up front, laughing a little. “And now we’ve got both of ya right where we want ya! I dunno why you’re surprised, though. It’s not like you and I were ever on the same team or anything…”
“Yes, Damon, I’m aware you wanted one of them to be here,” Destiny spoke up, finally, with a tone that betrayed that this was not the first time today they’d had this very conversation.”
“I had a whole rant planned and everything, and it’ll just be weird at some strangers!”
“Your friends are fighting the strangers,” Buffalo corrected, missing the point of the conversation.
“Buffalo Soldier… I was hoping not to have to fight you,” Destiny mused aloud at his piping in, looking him over. “You saved my life once, and my gratitude for that is immeasurable, even after I have repaid you, but… You knew it would come to this when you pursued me to this place.”
“So… You knew we were coming because…” Mute began, catching onto exactly what was happening here.
“Because Mason did the smart thing!” Damon exclaimed. “He let me an’ Dan know, ‘just in case,’ that our teammates were off going to some suspicious meeting in Miami, so to look into it if they disappeared or anything. The perfect pieces of info to give the Hall of Heads fell right into my lap, and now because of that, they knew to split up, that you guys couldn’t resist trying to divide and conquer us one by one, and that hey, while you were at it, you’d probably deal with senatorguy for us too! Your pals Lucil and Amaki? Probably already riddled with bullet holes by some of my best men before they can even lay a finger on Lilah Dawn.”
Dramatic irony aside, this declaration did shock and alarm Mute, and Buffalo even tensed a little, visibly. “We were their prey from the start…”
“A completely understandable precaution becoming your greatest error… I suppose there’s something interesting in the irony of that.” Destiny added.
“Not even the first time something like that’s happened,” Damon remarked, finding the circumstances rather amusing.
Yoko Takizawa and her bite-sized stand, Lily of the Valley, sat by the side of the George Washington Bridge, looking out over the Hudson River. She’d up and forgotten to fill the thing with gas, and now she was just waiting for somebody to come by with a can and fill her up.
“Yo.” Damon Aurel seemed to just sort of appear in her peripheral vision, a goofy grin on his face and identifiable red container in his offhand, already moving to put it in her car.
“There y’are, stranger! I couldn’t get ahold of ya the other day, otherwise I would’ve told you first like you asked, but Doc Mason fill you in yet? I learned some pretty prime stuff about that Deep Purple tech that keeps poppin’ up everywhere… Already outdated a tad, even. Didn’t even take a couple days before the senator guy went and ditched all his old buddies…”
“Yeah, I heard about all the first part of that. Crazy stuff.”
“Not only that,” Yoko added, setting Lily of the Valley’s flower down in her passenger seat before taking the driver’s, “but apparently now he’s lookin’ to get in good with some crime guys in Saint Petersburg… Whew, that’ll be a hassle if he goes through with it. I was gonna report this all to the foundation, grab some more barbecue, an’ then go tell Mason. Wanna ride with me?”
“I’m good. Don’t really feel like getting wet…”
“Wait…” Yoko looked confused. “This the setup to some kinda-”
Before she’d fully realized what was going on, ‘Rock the House’ had grabbed her small, physically fragile stand in one hand and squeezed with all its might. As damage transferred to the investigator like squeezing a grape, Damon walked away, his stand lifting the car and its driver and dropping them into the water below.
“People like us…” Damon started, “are a cut above the rest of the world. We’ve been given gifts that make us not just stronger, more capable, but all-around superior to everyone else. People like me an’ Destiny… It’s our birthright to do whatever we please with the world!”
“You… You..! I don’t even know who that girl is, but there’s no excuse to just take a life like that!” Mute exclaimed, Atomic Bonsai coming out. “Hateful murderers like you and Destiny… You’re the ones with no right to this world!”
Buffalo, without a word, had already manifested Wild Wild West. He spoke in a flat tone, quickly getting across all information “I have no need for luxury… Just peace, quiet, and to find one who sees the world as I do.” His chest rising with a mighty sigh, Buffalo Soldier’s dire gaze peered through the duo. “Can’t have that with you around.”
“So this is what it’s come to, huh… Guess I’ll just have to get through you before the people I really wanna see the looks on the faces of.” Damon remarked excitedly, his own stand coming forth as he struck a fluid pose. “Ready to go, Destiny my man?”
“Completely.” Destiny himself nodded, stretching out himself and manifesting Lemon Demon. “Normally, I consider myself a reserved person, not the type to get… unprofessional. It would be impolite to get so explosively personal in a battle, of course, and an executioner must be a dispassionate man. But now, here I am, at the eve of everything my companions and I have worked towards, days away from returning to GIANTS and reaping the fruits of our resolve… As I prepare to face you both, I can say with the utmost confidence…” He struck a slightly different pose, hand outstretched, and a grin cracking through his usually stone expression.
“I’m really going to enjoy this.”
OPEN THE GAME!
Location: The Miromar Outlet Mall in Estero, Florida. A labeled map of the area you’ll be fighting in is here. Though not exact in real life, we’re treating the area of this map as roughly 600x300 meters. Players and bosses start where indicated by color. Destiny is the yellow spot, Damon blue, Buffalo Gray, and Mute Orange, approximately. Destiny and Damon are intended to be in the rough ballpark of 10-15 meters apart from one another, with the other two in between.
‘The Hanging Tree’ is sitting right on the edge of the duck fountain.
Goal: Soul Rebels, defeat Destiny Showdown and Damon Aurel so you can claim The Hanging Tree. Destiny, Damon, kill the Soul Rebels here and continue keeping the Tree secure.
Additional Information:
Across every storefront and the outdoor areas, the mall currently has approximately 255 guests besides the four of you, not especially tightly packed, wandering all over the place and its various shops in no particular order or pattern. Let it preemptively said that they won’t consciously cooperate with any efforts to fight on either team’s behalf, but aren’t actively interfering either. Their stats are Str, Spd, End 2, Entitlement 3, and Patience 1.
In preparation for this confrontation, Destiny paid off the owners of the mall for a bit of an agreement: basically, he and Damon could take whatever they wanted and it would be covered, while ‘these nine people’ (the Soul Rebels and T Square) would be refused service everywhere on the premises. This doesn’t make accessing the mall’s resources impossible, but it sure makes it harder.
Boss Information:
Damon Aurel’s information can still be found on his character sheet.
Destiny is largely similar to his previous battle, but has gained a few alterations, which will be listed below:
Name: Destiny Showdown
Age: 31
Gender: Male
Species: Human
Occupation: Owner, head chef, manager, and bartender of the family-oriented grill and bar, Mouth Moods.
Personality: Destiny Showdown is a man with an overall honest heart, polite, quiet, and content to keep to himself most of the time, if sometimes appearing somewhat intimidating and coming across as a stick in the mud at times due to his sheer value of courtesy. This value is so great, in fact, that there is no way to lower his opinion of you quicker than simply swearing a lot, or interrupting him on an errand. He’ll let some things slide, sure, but once he feels too slighted, he’ll be sent on the warpath with that same infallible calmness.
Bio: While Destiny Showdown was growing up, his strict, strict parents valued courtesy nearly as much as he does now. If he mouthed off to them, and especially if he happened to repeat a naughty word he’d heard, he would be punished extremely severely, more often than not physically. Showdown claims that absolutely nothing is unusual about his upbringing and early life, having just sort of been conditioned to accept that his troublesome parents were a standard of behavior to strive for.
This value for politeness has been deeply rooted in his psyche, and even as a grown, overall surprisingly-adjusted man, Destiny can’t help but feel some sort of violent urge whenever he hears someone mouthing off. He was born with his stand, and his ability made him one of the more tolerated kids in school despite his low-key, slightly nerdy personality, as well as significantly cutting down on expenses once he decided to open up his own bar in his hometown in Somnolence, England, which he eventually moved it to a larger city nearby for the sake of converting it to a full-on restaurant. Water is a courtesy to guests in most restaurants, so somebody who can turn water into anything can make a profitable business while literally offering absolutely any beverage at no charge to his guests, so long as they keep behaved.
Guests who repeatedly misbehave, however, have a tendency to never be heard from again, once more courtesy of his stand. For the sake of creating a more kindhearted world where everyone receives what’s due to them, where the plentifulness of the world is given to those who need it, where nobody is overly rude to people who’ve done them no wrong (to the point of the same violent extremism he already has about people who so much as curse too liberally), this man has recently closed the doors of his thriving restaurant and began working as a hitman for the Hall of Heads, cementing his place as one of his boss’ most trusted allies from the start.
Strength - 2 (about what you would expect for a grown man with an active lifestyle)
Agility - 3 (in the restaurant business, you need to be light on your feet)
Endurance - 3 (he can take a few solid hits fine)
Cleaning - 3 (Destiny runs both a tight ship and a tidy one. He’s skilled at sweeping through an area, identifying things that don’t belong, and disposing of them handily. It’s a thankless job, but without people keeping facilities clean, society would crumble.)
Restaurateur - 5 (Destiny Showdown owns and manages a family restaurant that gets quite a bit of traffic due to his competitive pricing. Until shortly before he embarked on this quest and closed his doors, in fact, he only had one or two employees on at a time. This required him to become skilled in the likes of precise food preparation, locations, complex orders, mixing drinks, immense patience, improvisation, and exceptional multitasking skills. He also knows on-sight the sort of people who tip poorly, and is generally good at determining things at a single glance. In short, if it’s even tangentially running a bar and restaurant with so few employees well, he’s good at it.)
Physical Description: Standing at a just slightly above average height for a grown Englishman, Destiny Showdown’s facial features are pale and angular, thick-rimmed glasses covering his eyes. His purple hair is styled into a bit of a ‘fro, and he’s dramatically changed his actual wardrobe since his previous appearances. Now, he is clad in a rather loud, primarily white-colored Elvis-inspired number, consisting of a vest (covered in imagery of his stand underneath a raging sea), , a shirt with sleeves emblazoned with the likeness of his stand’s tendrils, dramatically popped collars, men’s disco pants, shoes, and underneath everything, a dark-colored morphsuit over every bit of his skin but his head, not to mention pairs of rubber gloves already on his hands. The vest and belt are emblazoned with logos for his restaurant, Mouth Moods, his stand, Lemon Demon, and his team, the Hall of Heads. Here is a picture of him, Damon Aurel, and their stands, by Skelly-tan.
Equipment: The insides of his disco suit are full of bags containing wet sponges, duct tape, moist towelettes, six average-sized water bottles, rubber gloves, rubber bands, goggles that go over his nose, and a surgical mask. After Damon confirmed the presence of his opponents, he also hurried to acquire half a dozen rolls of wax paper, currently held in a Kitchen Collection bag he’s holding.
Stand Name: Lemon Demon
Stand Type: Long-range offense.
Stand Appearance: A yellow-green, lemon-shaped creature with an angered face. Lemon Demon boasts multiple tentacles protruding from itself which have some impressive amount of suction to them, but can also float freely within its effective range. Pictured in the link above. Not uncommonly, Destiny will attach a soaked sponge to each of its six tentacles using a sturdy rubber band, a process with which he is so familiar he can do it without even looking or pausing.
Stand Ability: Lemon Demon’s ability is simple. It can absorb water through its tentacles, and then shoot it back out converted into any liquid its user desires (yes, including other types of water) at a rate and intensity of his choosing (so, for example, it could come out slowly and softly like a fountain, or in a single intense jet), or simply stir it around with one of Lemon Demon’s tentacles to an identical effect. On top of many ordinary liquids able to be made through this method, the Stand can also convert it into a unique, acid-like material that can even dissolve through the absolute hardiest of stands. However, Destiny isn’t immune to this, and the only reason Lemon Demon is is because otherwise it would destroy itself by simply producing it. In a pinch, it can also strike things up close with its tentacles or bite things, but with how fragile the stand is this runs the risk of breaking them off, at which point they require a second each to grow back.
Power: A - The tentacles, while fragile, hit like hell, it can bite things, and the absolute biggest reason for this exceptional power ranking is the special corrosive material it produces. Even the hardiest of stands can’t withstand sustained fire from Lemon Demon’s main attack. Lower intensities of firing off liquid would be equivalent to lower power rankings, but the most intense, focused stream itself can harm you and knock you back before even factoring in what’s being shot at you. The actual strength of his most intense streams are also nothing to scoff at.
Speed: A - Lemon Demon is a small, lightweight target with exceptional movement speed, and the conversion rate between water and other liquids, as well as the highest speed at which it can fire out liquid, is exceptional. It’s very difficult to land a direct hit.
Durability: E - The tentacles lack damage transference, but break off easily, and the stand’s main body is about as durable as the peel of a ripe citrus fruit. Its only defensive saving grace is immunity to its own strongest attack, and even that’s simply a side-effect of the fact that it produces it. Tentacles take one second each to grow back, and Destiny must choose for this to happen.
Range: C - The Stand can easily fire its various liquids a couple dozen meters away, but generally the stand itself stays somewhat close to Destiny so he can 1) aim it more easily, and 2) not have it too far out in the open in case of strong, precise attackers. It can move further out, though, to the extent of a C-range.
Precision: D - While Destiny can freely control the movements of his stand, and is a more than serviceable shot at close range, the further away it tries to fire, the harder to precisely aim the liquid stream is, unless he specifically takes time to deliberately coordinate a shot. That said, thanks to Restauranteur - 5, he can do this quicker than you’d expect as long as he knows where roughly to aim.
Team Combatant JoJolity
Hall of Heads Destiny Showdown “There’s something about his actions that let me put my trust in them. My trust in him is something that cannot be explained in mere words!” You’ve already lost one valuable ally to your own missteps, and don’t intend to have it happen again. Do what you can to prevent Damon from being defeated before you!
Hall of Heads Damon Aurel “All they had to do was look the other way… I’ll never understand them.” Everyone is here for this ‘Hanging Tree’ thing, right? Well, you’re not letting them have it. Keep the artifact protected and in your team’s control for as much of the match as you can.
Soul Rebels Mute “If he catches on, it’ll be doubtful as to whether or not we’ll be able to retrieve the treasure… No, it’ll be doubtful as to whether we can go back to Naples in one piece!” You came here to swipe the artifact, and like hell you’re not taking it now! Swipe the artifact and keep it in your team’s control for as much of the match as you can.
Soul Rebels Buffalo Soldier “I’d like to order this man some spaghetti, if you don’t mind!” Ugh, you got your appetite up for those pretzels, and now you’re all hungry. ‘Denial of service’ be damned, eat as much as possible from as many different places in this mall as possible!
Link to the Player Spreadsheet.
Match Player 1 Player 2 Description Date
1 Amaki Castillo Lucil Caravan Carrying The Coconut Estate, a woman who is not of this world waits, as she did for ages, right around the Orlando Area. Coming right her way are two young women who would see the end of her, one for the end of all abuses of power, another for a comfortable life where her enemies had never been. Friday, September 21st
2 Anna Rose Geoff Wetton Driving to a remote facility are two inseparable Philosophers: One who wishes to be loved, one never wanting to stop growing. Given an accursed new lease on life are soldiers made stronger with the spirits of the dead, at all corners of this sprawling compound! They scheme to carry on Deep Purple's will… Tuesday, September 25th
3 Buffalo Soldier Mute A hunter of few words who only wants peace, quiet, and a companion, and a young thief who wishes for a peaceful world devoid of hatred and violence travel to Estero in search of the Hanging Tree. A quiet restaurateur waiting for someone to come and take it desires only a kinder world. Saturday, September 29th
3.5 N/A N/A Not a proper match, but the date that match 3’s results will be announced, assuming no delays. Wednesday, October 3rd
4 Gina Halfway Gregor Yuvecksky Hoping to create a world where evildoers are punished, where good people can move on, where people like them are not necessary, a survivor of the Soviet regime and gifted American sniper travel to Merritt Island. GIANTS is waiting there to kill them. Friday, October 5th
If you would like first updates and news about the tournament, as well as the ability to interact with the members of the tournament community, then please feel free to PM a member of our Judge Staff and ask for a link to the Official Tournament Discord Server!
submitted by boredCommentator to StardustCrusaders [link] [comments]


2018.08.26 19:43 mchsiung1 [MEET REPORT] WRPF Boss of Bosses 5 Open Day, Mountain View CA 650 @ 88.2 kg 419 Wilks ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 33M Raw

TL;DR Version:
  1. Totaled 1433 lbs in the 198 class (8/9)
  2. Failed to Dangle like Stangl (please follow this guy on Instagram)
  3. Coach He-Man the Pug was disappointed in my performance
  4. Dan Green still said I looked like an impoverished child from a 3rd world country that needed to eat more =(
Background:
First time doing this, but to give a rundown I started lifting during graduate school in NY, moved back to the SF Bay Area for work. It wasn’t until 2015 that I got a lot more serious about Powerlifting, joined Boss Barbell Club after getting kicked out of a local Gold’s Gym and haven’t looked back ever since. I ended up moving to Boston MA for work at the start of 2018 and have been training at TPS Malden. Originally, I’ve been competing at 82.5kg/83kg (USAPL and non-USAPL feds) but have made the move to 90kg/93kg and will probably move up to 100kg/105kg since I feel that I will be most competitive that those BWs, but also because I cannot seem to escape the savagery of Dan Green and co lol.
Meet prep
Since moving to Boston from the Bay Area, I’ve had to adjust to a different work schedule, gym differences, way of training, and so powerlifting had taken a backseat. Originally, I was running Dan’s Boss Barbell Strength Method (BBSM) but it was no longer sustainable given the change in schedule. I ran a modified version of TSA’s intermediate program that combined a lot of accessory work (time permitted) but work was getting in the way (such is Biotech startup life =\) – combine that with the mentality instilled with going HAM as is the way at Boss, I couldn’t make it work.
After talking with several of the folks at TPS, I decided to hire Evan Chaffey as a coach to prepare for a meet. Originally, I was thinking of going with Sean Stangl (Reddit’s very own ferruix , but with time zone difference and the fact that Evan was moving back to the Northeast, it was easier to work with him f2f), it’s no disrespect to other coaches whom I’ve heard good things about (TSA, Arian, Joey, etc), but to me, it makes more sense to have a coach that is there with you in person where you get input right away. I even thought about going with Dan Green since he has always given me insightful feedback during my time at Boss, but he no longer does online coaching.
Overall, I felt Evan did a great job – the track he put me on was definitely more on the conservative side, but in the long run I definitely appreciate that. Having spent more than 2 years at Boss going HAM built a good foundation for me to build progress rapidly at the cost of getting injured a lot (high risk, high reward) and so having someone to balance that was great because this was the first time going into a meet almost injury-free. Granted, I feel that it’s normal to have injuries going into a meet (even for this meet), but this was the first time where I didn’t have to take a lot of ibuprofen, use liniments for pain, or wear heavy elbow sleeves (or wear SBD sleeves over Iron Rebel mini cuffs).
In addition to programming (squat 2x, deadlift 2x, and bench 3x a week) which was both percentage and RPE based. Evan helped to tweak my form somewhat (deadlifts), as well as pre-hab exercises to improve mobility. Still not perfect by any means, but like anything, it’s a work in progress.
Weigh-Ins/Preparation before meet
Before flying out from Boston, my weight looked to be around 202-205. I originally wanted to compete as a light 220, but when I got to Cali on Monday, I weighed in at 88.2 kg (~194 lbs) on a calibrated scale (inadvertent cut), so I ended up competing in the 90/198 class, much to Dan Green’s disappointment. He told me that I looked like an impoverished child from a 3rd world country that needed to be express shipped food LOL. But regardless, I was more or less encouraged by everyone else to do 90/198 since I was around weight. Honestly, I could have done AYCEs the whole week and be fine.
In preparation, I brought capsaicin cream and ibuprofen for pain management just in case, and Pedialyte/salt tabs for hydration. I didn’t so much need the ibuprofen or capsaicin because this was the healthiest I’ve felt going into a meet (credit to Evan and team), but it was just good to have.
After weigh-ins, I simply ate a lot and drank Pedialyte throughout the day. Went for Italian (Maggiano’s) for dinner (high carb/salt) with some of my friends from BBBC who were also competing before resting up for the meet. I didn’t really sleep too well, which I attribute that to feeling bloated.
Meet Day:
Lifts:
Squat 1: (https://youtu.be/PLb0HmH3fVc?t=6650)
202.5 kg/446 lbs (Good Lift)
This felt very pretty fast despite some aches
Squat 2: (https://youtu.be/PLb0HmH3fVc?t=7570)
215 kg/474 lbs (No Lift)
Got called on depth, which I can see why they would based on the stream. I had a friend from the gym take a video as well, and based on her angle, it looked good, but again it is subjective. The speed of lift was still quite fast, so I went up a little.
Squat 3: (https://youtu.be/PLb0HmH3fVc?t=8328)
217.5 kg/479.5 lbs (Good Lift) – 39.5 lb Meet PR
I made sure to sink it a little more – ended up with a 2 to 1. I think my left side has always been a little messed up (hip imbalances?). This felt pretty fast overall and confirms that the projected max of 222.5 kg to be on point. Next time.
Bench 1: (https://youtu.be/PLb0HmH3fVc?t=21676)
145 kg/319 lbs (Good Lift)
I have some pretty bad shoulder mobility (and a tight right lat), which made it look like I was holding the bar crooked. It took maybe 30-40 seconds to get a start command, but this was an easy lift. Had to chat with the head judge to explain the situation afterwards.
Bench 2: (https://youtu.be/PLb0HmH3fVc?t=22426)
152.5 kg/336 lbs (Good Lift)
This was a pretty easy lift.
Bench 3: (https://youtu.be/PLb0HmH3fVc?t=23056)
157.5 kg/347 lbs (Good Lift) – 55 lb Meet PR
Originally wanted to go for 160 kg/352 lbs, but given the head judge being strict based on my experience at BOB3 (not a bad thing), played it conservative.
Surprised that commands and speed were faster than I expected. Next time.
Deadlift 1: (https://youtu.be/PLb0HmH3fVc?t=33718)
260 kg/573 lbs (Good Lift)
We didn’t start deadlifts until 5-5:30 for our flight, flight B moved pretty slow and I think everyone was getting tired. Despite that notion, this moved fast, not surprised considering 575x2 and 585x2 moved pretty fast in training despite fatigue.
Deadlift 2: (https://youtu.be/PLb0HmH3fVc?t=34433)
272.5 kg/600 lbs (Good Lift)
This moved a little slower, but still fast. Not sure if it was due to it being a long day. Originally, I wanted to be a little more aggressive and go with 275 kg, but ended up sticking with Evan’s plan.
Deadlift 3: (https://youtu.be/PLb0HmH3fVc?t=35210)
275 kg/606 (Good Lift) – 22 lb Meet PR
Given how late it was going to be, I ended up going conservative on this by going up 2.5 kg. Ultimately wanted to go 280 kg but went for the bare minimum. It was definitely much slower than the previous, so maybe it was a good call.
Final Total: 650 kg/1433 lbs (+127 lb to total)
Conclusion:
Going into this meet, I set the bar pretty low for myself. Having moved to Boston MA from the SF Bay Area (CA) since the beginning of this year and having less time to train. Plus being banged up from previous meet preps, if I could get at least 1400, I would be a happy camper.
Not only did I achieve this goal but surpassed the mark and went 8/9. I still left some lbs on the table, but overall there were many things that went right and I have a lot of people to thank.
As for the next steps, I will continue to work with Evan – but mainly focus on bodybuilding, filling out 93kg and potentially 100kg/105kg. I don’t plan on doing a meet until next year – some USAPL meet because that’s what they have in the Northeast. If possible, I would like to get some 20-21 inch guns and get so jacked that I don’t tan in certain areas.
Special Thanks:
Team Chaffey/TPS Malden
For the meet prep itself, I want to thank the Wizard of Rhode Island Evan Chaffey and the Chaffey boys and everyone training at TPS Malden (especially Eddy Chu, Frank Carr, Dan Morgan, John De Lellis, Big “D” Rik/Rikki Patel) for spots/handoffs during this prep. Obviously, Evan for being my 2nd pair of eyes, helping with form, and given suggestions for pre-hab, etc.
Next Level Fitness in RI and Mass Barbell for the times when I’ve had to travel to train. TPS Malden for giving me a home away from home.
To my family at Boss Barbell Club –
There are so many people to thank, and I'm grateful for the relationships I've made here. Apologies if I miss anyone.
Training Partners: Paulo Tanaka, Shaun Shapiro, Max Mendez, Alex Campbell. These are the guys that pushed me to get stronger, I will always appreciate the days when we would go HAM during the when followed Dan’s program, trained bodybuilding on the weekends. I attribute my foundation to these guys. I also want to thank Max for giving me handoffs at BOB 5 this year.
Sean Stangl/Sarah Wellberg/Mike Conley/Jessica PipeVictor Liu/Joseph Park/Ray Jimenez
As some of you may know, Sean is the founder of OpenPowerlifting – he’s also very strong and extremely knowledgeable in regards to training. I’ve definitely learned a lot through our conversations and I’m glad to have competed against you (even though you out-totaled by 300+ lbs) and congrats again on the SBD sponsorship!
Thank you Sarah/Mike for taking vids of my lifts even though they are garbage. Also wanted to give additional appreciation to Sarah/Jessica/Victor for taking time out of your schedule to run the score table/live stream, you guys are the reason things ran as smooth as they did. They are the backbone behind everything. Special mention to Joe Park/Ray Jimenez for being the "glue" of the community at Boss - always super helpful.
Emily Hu – Thank you for being a big sister, reinforcing the “No Skinny Champions” mentality by sneaking me free food and for being Dan’s messenger and telling me that I look like an impoverished child from a 3rd world country that needs to eat.
Jordan Shallow - Thank you for fixing me up when I got wrecked and for giving me pre-hab "homework." Can't always be injury-free, but I've felt better when doing your warmups.
Dan Green – For always being insightful and taking the time to discuss how to improve during training. I’ve learned a lot in over 2 years, with bench technique being the biggest. I wish I had more time for 1 on 1s so we could go over squats, but timing never worked out. Also appreciate the savagery and letting me know that “dieting” for meets is bad, and I wished I listened the 1st time. Special mentions for Andrew Herbert and Kristy Hawkins as well.
Last but not least – He-Man the Pug (https://www.instagram.com/he_man_the_pug/) for being the GOAT coach AND FOR ALWAYS BELIEVING IN ME AND FOR NEVER LETTING MY DREAMS BE DREAMS. Best $19.99 chest and glute programs that money can buy.
submitted by mchsiung1 to powerlifting [link] [comments]


2018.08.16 21:07 ThorOrIsItLoki Made an important realisation about semantics and sexual harassment

Probably has been covered, here, but I realised the importance of saying WHAT YOU MEAN (not what saves face for the other person) in these situations:
I had traveled to Indianapolis last week for GenCon, but it's a marijuana-unfriendly state (I currently live in Cali, where marijuana smoke flows as freely as the mists over the coastal mountains), so I didn't have my usual stash. I grew up in the ghetto in NY, so I've no problem "finding" weed. As a woman, however (and one of small stature, no less), this comes with risks. I'm aware of the risks.
After some exploration and conversation with a few locals, a guy rides by on his bike (his moniker was Kentucky this day), with the obvious intent of flirting. Which is fine with me; I tend to return friendliness in kind, and harmless flirting, although I am clear and firm in my refusals, doesn't bother me.
We chatted, I told him I wasn't interested, and he began going off on his way, finally shouting something like "Imma go smoke a blunt," or whatever obvious weed reference he had made.
At this point, I say "Whoa, whoa, whoa, Kentucky, hold up!" I tell him I've been looking for it, and ask if he can procure it. He can, and rides off to do so.
I knew he was interested, I knew I was in a seedy part of town, I knew I was alone and "vulnerable," but I've been alone and "vulnerable" in seedy parts of town most of my life, and have defended myself whenever I've needed to (I've always got some form of protection on me, even when I don't need it, to the amusement of my Cali native partner).
So, when Kentucky returns and we "take a walk;" I'm very aware, very prepared, but not "on edge," or overly wound up. He's been making his over-exaggerated statements the whole time: "I love you," "You're so beautiful," "The things I'd do to you..." etc. At some point, he asks if he can hug me, and I say "Aight, but if you touch me, I'mma hit you." He laughs, he hugs me, he asks for more, I say no.
Here's the important part: as we are walking, he puts his arm around me. I pull away, and he asks "oh, hey, its ok, are you nervous?" I answered "No. You're making me uncomfortable." He immediately pulled away and apologised. I realised two things; one, I've often gotten that line. "Are you nervous?" is a line that can be used to gain leverage. If you respond with "no," he can go further. If you respond with "yes," he can talk you out of it, try to put you at ease. However, the second realisation is that fighting my flat out, truthful, blunt statement would have been too rapey. It would have been too obvious.
So, I realised, don't worry about making them uncomfortable. Don't worry about forcing them to see that their actions actually do make you uncomfortable. Don't let your boundaries be violated because you have an erroneous view on how much you can make someone else "uncomfortable," or "guilty," or "angry." Do NOT provide the "wiggle room" that they will seize and exploit until the situation escalates beyond your control.
I later texted Kentucky, and thanked him for respecting the boundary that I did enforce.
submitted by ThorOrIsItLoki to TwoXChromosomes [link] [comments]


2018.03.27 18:22 youngrichntasteless Selling surfboards at $6k each.

Hey - Pat from Starter Story.
This week, I interviewed David Dennis, who works a full time job at Microsoft, but also runs this "surfboard-meets-art" operation on the side with his co-founder.
David is a redditor (u/ventanasurfboards) and has some cool insights on growing a business.
Ventana Surboards & Supplies:

Hello! Who are you and what are you working on?

I’m David Dennis, I work for Microsoft in digital advertising, and I’m also the co-founder of Ventana Surfboards & Supplies.
Creating hollow, reclaimed wooden surfboards that are pieces of art and that perform well in the waves is at the core of what we do. And, we’ve created a line of apparel and surf supplies that match the boards and that fit with our brand values: Craftsmanship. Responsibility. Adventure. We give 5% of profits back to ocean conservation organizations.
We’re currently selling 10-12 boards a year at between $6000 and $9000 each to collectors and surfers alike. Our boards have tripled in value over the last three years, and we’re seeing success with our eco-apparel line and with products we’ve invented, like the Save-A-Surf Box.

What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

My business partner, Martijn Stiphout, is our master craftsman. I photographed him for an exhibit I shot to raise money for the Surfrider Foundation Santa Cruz Chapter.
I was inspired by the surfboards he was building out of reclaimed and eco-friendly materials and suggested we join forces to launch an environmentally responsible surf company ... one that could set an example for the industry.
We both love to surf and to test our products in the waves with our friends and customers. Martijn and I have always been frustrated with how much surfers ignore the fact that the products and surfboards they use are highly polluting. Surfboards are mostly petroleum-based pieces of foam made with toxic resins, and clothing is generally made overseas with highly polluting processes … even surf wax often comes wrapped in plastic that can wind up in the ocean.
Just go for it, but be careful about leaving a steady job just because you’ve convinced yourself that your idea is amazing.
At the time that we started the business, I was working for Microsoft out of my house at the beach in Santa Cruz … I still am, in fact. I had always wanted to create a brand and to build on my business, product development, and marketing skills to do it.
Martijn was spending most of his time building these incredibly beautiful wooden surfboards and bodysurfing handplanes, but he didn’t have much interest in focusing on the business operations and sales side of things. That’s what’s made our partnership so powerful. We compliment each other very well. I’m his biggest fan, and he appreciates my skills on the sales and marketing side. He’d rather work with his hands, and I’m not allowed to touch the power tools so that I can keep mine from getting cut off.
We started the company with a very small personal investment from each of us. We agreed not to take on any debt and to build the company organically. We still have no debt, and we’ve been profitable from the start. We’re small, but we’d rather grow slowly and not overextend ourselves.

Describe the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing the product.

We use different approaches for different products.
For instance, we invented a product called the Save-A-Surf Box out of necessity. We wanted a wooden box to keep our surf wax from melting in the car, and Martijn decided to add fin screws with an Allen wrench and a leash cord. He threw in a bar of wax and even a bottle opener and sundial.
We wanted to have everything we needed to prep for a surf session in one package. And, we challenged ourselves to make it out of reclaimed and upcycled materials … which we did. It took us a few design iterations to get it right, but it’s been a very successful niche product for us.
My partner, Martijn, is a self-taught woodworker. He did a lot of trial and error to finalize how our surfboards are constructed. Even so, he’s still learning new approaches to improve our shapes and designs and to make the building process more efficient.
He leverages information from around the internet to master an approach that blends traditional methods with modern surfboard construction. Our boards use a wooden frame inside ⅛” veneer pieces of reclaimed wood. The rails or edges are made of cork. Add to that sheets of fiberglass and a modern, bio-based epoxy resin, and you have some of the most beautiful and sturdy surfboards in the world.
Martijn uses a mix of old and new tools, as well. The inner frames are cut using a laser to exact design specs using CAD software, but some of the hand tools he uses are over 100 years old! You can see much of the process in hyperlapse here.

Describe the process of launching the online store/business.

We started small and tested the concept at a pop-up store we created for a holiday craft fair here in Santa Cruz.
We invested in a limited run of products and showcased a few of our hollow wooden surfboards. We promoted the launch of the company, our online store, and our pop-up to happen all on the same day. We used social media and local press outreach to get the word out.
The Shopify store launch went smoothly. We used an inexpensive template, and I created all the product pages and content myself over the course of a couple of weeks. Getting our first sale online the day we launched was a big deal for us. That customer has since become one of our best. We’ve even gone camping up the coast with her and showcased her as part of our Ventana Adventurers program.
We realized quickly that being too overt about promoting products wasn’t working. Focus on compelling content and stories, and the sales will follow.
But, by the time we registered for the craft fair, there was no space left. They let us have the outside entryway, but we had to accept the risk of inclement weather. We set up our wares and stood out in the cold. Luckily, it didn’t rain, and all the shoppers had to line up in front of the entrance before they opened the doors. That gave us terrific exposure, but the products themselves needed to be compelling enough to drive sales. They were. We did close to $10K in revenue that day. That was when we knew we’d hit on a market position and a concept that would work.
I think our biggest lesson so far has been to never assume that something we think is cool will actually be a hit. We learned quickly not to create or source a lot of any one thing before testing to see if it would sell. We love the lean startup approach. Fail fast and go bigger only on the products we know will succeed. That allows us to minimize losses and maximize revenue.

Since launch, what has worked to attract new customers?

The woods and materials we use have very unique backstories. That attracts a good deal of press and provides compelling social media content … which in turn attracts customers.
Our search engine rankings are pretty good, as well, given all of the press links. We do a bit of keyword and social media advertising, but most of our reach is organic. One of our key learnings has been to focus on telling interesting stories and showcasing the process of creating surfboards and other Ventana products on social media.
People are fascinated by our craftsmanship. We realized quickly that being too overt about promoting products wasn’t working. Focus on compelling content and stories, and the sales will follow.
Early on, we also realized that local collaborations with other businesses … wine and beer makers, coffee companies, belt makers, bikini makers, artists, authors and the like ... and giving back to ocean conservation groups did a great deal to help keep our story fresh and our brand front and center in the minds of our audience.
We highly recommend working with other, complementary companies to create collaborative products, events, and stories. For Ventana, events are critical. We participate in craft fairs and such, but we also put on our own festivals and parties to drive sales in a fun environment that attracts new customers. We also include other vendors in those, and their participation fees have opened up a new revenue stream for us.

How is everything going nowadays, and what are your plans for the future?

We are growing slowly and organically, and we plan to keep it that way. My business partner, Martijn, makes a living from Ventana, but I’m doing it for the experience and because I enjoy it. Perhaps someday I’ll take a salary. But, for now, my job in tech pays the bills … and I love my work there, too.
Our intention is to continue to create increasingly storied and beautiful wooden surfboards and bodysurfing handplanes along with other, surf-related products.
Our boards have increased in price 3X since we started, and we expect that to continue. We’ve also built a growing, wholesale eco apparel business that drafts off of the aesthetics of our surfboards.
We’d like to bring on a third partner at some point to grow that even more so that we can expand our reach outside of our local area. Wholesaling is very time consuming, and we’ll need help there in the future.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

Our biggest learning has been around the value of social media marketing and of partnerships. We work with many local vendors and artists to create products and co-promote our businesses.
For instance, we have a local woman uses our wood scraps to create belt buckles. Not everyone can afford our surfboards, but some of our less expensive products created in collaboration with others allow a broader customer base to join the Ventana family.
We also learned early on that we need to continuously tell the larger story of our business through press, speaking engagements, and large-scale events. And, we realized quickly that telling micro-stories about Ventana every day on social media keeps our brand front and center in the minds of our audience.
We showcase each step of progress on every surfboard, post about new reclaimed wood partners, involve our fans in choosing shirt designs, feature our customers and their stories and the like. We’re constantly bringing people into our world and our lifestyle through technology.

What tools do you use for your business?

Most critical for us have been Shopify and Instagram, but the list of technology and services we use is incredibly long … surprisingly so for a company that, at its core, creates handmade wooden surfboards. I actually did a presentation on that topic recently.
We’re continuously testing new tools, marketing technology, online advertising approaches, Shopify apps, and the like.
We’ve seen the most revenue success through organic, unpaid Instagram posts. And, we also rely on MailChimp, Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit. We leverage Houzz, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Survey Monkey and a few smaller reach platforms, as well.
We also use Shopify Point of Sale, Etsy, Microsoft Windows, iPad, Android, iPhone, QuickBooks Online, Microsoft Office, OneDrive, Google Apps, Photoshop and other creative and productivity tools.
We integrate the Shopify store with Instagram and Facebook so that customers can shop from posts. Our success with that approach is ramping.
We’ve also leveraged a variety of Shopify apps. We use Facebook Chat by Beeketing, MailChimp for Shopify, HelpCenter for our FAQ, ShipStation, Plug in SEO and Minifier.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources for your business?

I love the books First Break All the Rules, the Cluetrain Manifesto and The Lean Startup. The lessons learned from those books about focusing on your strengths, remembering that markets are conversations, and that continuous iteration is the key to success have been instrumental.
I get a lot of value out of the Shopify Blog, as well as various business-related threads on Quora. I’ll also occasionally go back and watch my TEDx talk called “Don’t Quit Your Day Job” whenever I think about doing that!

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

Just go for it, but be careful about leaving a steady job just because you’ve convinced yourself that your idea is amazing.
Start small, test your concept, and iterate your way into success or failure before doing something drastic that could negatively impact your long-term financial health and happiness.
Making a 100 widgets and selling out quickly is better than manufacturing 10,000 and selling that same 100 count. Think through what the small steps are that you can take to make sure you’re on the right track before expanding.
Also, be honest with yourself about your weaknesses and partner or hire people who can fill those gaps. And, if you’re not sure what your weaknesses are, ask people you trust to be honest with you. If you’re great at sales, focus there. If you’re terrible at marketing, hire!
Learn more about Ventana Surfboards - their website is ventanasurfboards.com, or find them on Instagram, and Facebook.
submitted by youngrichntasteless to Entrepreneur [link] [comments]


2018.03.19 19:02 ThirdPartyIntegratio Legality of making a third party service with premium (paid) features

Hello, I currently live in France, I wrote a piece of software that integrates two online services (naming them A and B) together, there seems to be high demand for it, I'd like to allow other people to use it and make a profit in the meantime, possibly following free/premium subscription pricing model. I have seen third party services created on the same basis for Service A, including one that's advertised by the owners of service A themselves, I don't think my concern is there. For Service B, I'm in direct contact their partnership team as we've built a service using their tools, including the piece of software previously mentioned, they have shown great interest and enthusiasm in what I have created, and so have partners who are building services similar to ours. Their public API is quite recent and I don't think there are any legitimate paid services setting a precedence in what I'd like to do. It also seems like their Developer TOS and Privacy Policy are missing (the pages are set up, the content isn't there.)
What should my concerns be, legally? Should I ask my contacts with Service B to look into the missing TOS contents, should I mention my intents on making a service and what they think about it? Is this too early to look into hiring a lawyer? EDIT: I currently lack the money to even look at what it would cost, if this can be delayed without risk, the better.
I'm a registered freelancer (auto-entrepreneur, programmer) in France, what are the official procedures I will have to go through to set this up? Is this just the same thing as me selling software work? Sorry about the vague wording, hope it isn't too verbose. Feel free to ask clarifications. Thanks.
EDIT: Service A is based in SF, Cali, USA. Service B is based in London, England, UK.
submitted by ThirdPartyIntegratio to legaladvice [link] [comments]


2018.02.08 00:57 FastLikeLightning JoJo's OC Tournament #3: R1M18 - Soichi Utsumi and Thela Hun Ginjeet Vs. Roger Waters and Donatello Blackwell

The Results are in for match 16! The winner is…
 
Lance and Gregor, with a score of 59 to Tiny Dancer’s 39
Category Winner Point Totals Comments
Popularity Gregor Yuvecksky and Lance 37-3 A staggering 12-1 victory in the players’ favor here.
Quality Tiny Dancer {20-15} Reasoning.
JoJolity Tiny Dancer {16-7} Reasoning.
While the players of this match took a massive lead in popularity, in both of the other categories, Tiny Dancer pulled ahead of the Double Black Diamonds. While ultimately it was not even close to enough to overcome the player’s lead from Popularity, it still goes to show that you can never be too sure of your victory. A few more votes to Tiny, and this could have been a massive upset.
If you’re more of a ‘canyon’ person, then don’t you fret, man, we’ve got you. Just head on over here to see a baseball prodigy and a fast-food worker throw things at each other from across the Grand Canyon.
Thela Hun Ginjeet strolled out of the woods and into a clearing that surrounded a large lake with a small island in the middle of it, checking a map as he did so. Trailing behind him was his recruit, Soichi Usumi, who also stumbled out of the woods, panting and sweating from exertion. “Hol… Hold on… one second…” The salaryman stammered, “I need to catch my breath…”
Thela looked back at his disciple, rolled up his map and sighed. He swung the rolled-up map into Soichi’s shoulder, the anarchist-in-training yelping as it connected.
“How can you expect to fix this broken world when you get winded from a 10-mile hike?” Thela said, his voice filled with disgust.
“It’s 5 in the morning you arrogant prick. Only a true psychopath would go for a hike at 5 AM, asshole…” Soichi muttered under his breath, speaking more to himself than his comrade.
“What was that?” Thela said, turning around to face Soichi with a stern frown on his lips.
“Duh, uh, I-I, uh… I was asking what we were doing here in the woods, is all…”
Thela shook his head condescendingly. “Soichi, Soichi, Soichi… Can you not see the beauty of this place? The reflections in the lake, the fog off in the distance, the clouds in the sky…?”
“How the hell is fog beautiful you smug, self-centered prick?! And that fuckin lake is polluted as hell! You brought me into these woods in the middle of nowhere to look at water, you wannabe piece of shit?!”
Soichi did not actually say this, though he certainly thought it.
“Is that all…?” Was his actual response, with a hint of resentment in his voice.
“No. I received word of helicopter activity around the area of this lake, and we’re here to investigate the island.”
“And how are we gonna get to the island…?”
“Do not fret, recruit. I have sympathisers around the world willing to help my cause. See that rowboat there?” Thela pointed to a nearby dock. “Donated by a local to support our efforts.”
Soichi's teeth clenched ever so slightly, veins nearly popping in his forehead at the implication of having to row across... that. He managed to contain his rampant cursing and proceeded to bottle up his emotions, much like his therapist told him not to do.
As Soichi strained his eyes to spot the rowboat, he saw something else far, far away, nearly obscured by the fog.
“Uh, Thela… Who is that?”
A ways away, emerging from the woods, Donatello Blackwell and Roger Waters were having a conversation.
“C’mon, can’t you just tell me?” The college student pleaded.
“You’ve asked me a hundred times. NO, I’m not telling you my real name.” The ex-con man replied, clearly tired of his partner’s company.
“Do you not trust me or something, Don?”
“No, I don’t. End of conversation.”
“Bah. You’re no fun, Don… So, you said that we were gonna investigate a lead on some island that a friend of yours dug up?”
“Yeah. Hopefully it’s got something to do with these artifacts we’re looking for.”
“Wait… How are we gonna get to the island?”
“I traded a few of Dr. Elflad’s spare organs for a favor. There’ll be a rowboat waiting for us at the dock, now c’mon. We gotta be on the water before this fog gets much closer.”
Roger slouched forward slightly. “Oh… Can’t you just go to the island and report back to me…? I don’t feel like going rowboating…”
“Roger…” Blackwell said with a deep frown.
“Okay, okay! Geez, kill a guy for asking a simpl-”
Blackwell silenced his partner, and pointed at two men at a second dock across the way.
“What, Don? Those guys? Probably just fisherman or something, we don’t need to worry.” Roger said, whispering.
“No, no, kid. This isn’t my first rodeo with this kinda event. There is no such thing as a coincidence. C’mon, let’s go.”
“Whatever you say, Don…”
As the two groups came to the rowboats, a fog rolled over the lake, and a fight was about to commence...
Location: A large circular lake, about 10 meters deep, with an island in the middle of it. Extremely high-quality map located here (map isn’t to scale: assume that everything relevant to the race is roughly symmetrical for both teams involved). Surrounding the lake is a fairly dense forest. The island is more or less nondescript. There are two docks on the shoreline, roughly 500 meters away from each other around the lake’s circumference. There is only one dock on the island. The distance from either dock on the shore to the singular dock on the island is roughly 1600 meters away. The lake has, in the past, been a hotbed of pollution, and cleanup efforts have led to a significant amount of the worst of it being corralled to a single rectangular space towards the center of the lake, marked with buoys as warning signs and blocked off by nets above and under the water. These nets aren’t particularly durable, but it is a roadblock in the way of the fastest way through to your goal, so trying to circle around it is inadvisable. The area within the net is extremely dirty, and contains a large amount of trash, including things like apple cores, plastic bags, both plastic and glass bottles, milk jugs, aluminum cans, sunflower seeds, a rubber tire, empty potato chip bags, pizza boxes, meat bones, discarded clothes, empty perfume bottles, banana peels, a few copies of ET on Atari 2600, half-used deodorant, props and costumes for a low-budget production of "Hamlet", fully used deodorant, a crucifix, the bones of a large fish, a bowler hat, an empty briefcase, and other associated garbage. If either team is uncertain about a certain object existing within the ‘Trash Rectangle,’ they can inquire with a Judge if it’s not too close to the deadline.
Swimming throughout the lake all over, from close to its bottom to just barely out of oar’s reach are dozens upon dozens of a creature cleverly called [Reel Big Fish], a rare subspecies of carp that only seem to live in isolated pockets of the world like this. While not really durable in the traditional sense, not particularly large, and not much stronger than the common carp, they exist in a variety of bright, beautiful colors, and their scales secrete a material that, on top of being toxic to most predators, have a curious inherent resistance to Stand Abilities, meaning that no stand powers used directly on them will have an effect. Outright brute force from a stand can still injure them, unlike the anti-stand material encountered in two earlier fights, but the abilities themselves will not affect them, and they’re also quite resistant to many forms of pollutants.
Goal: Reach the dock on the island before your opponent can! Your stamina, endurance, and rowing ability will be put to the ultimate test, along with your sabotage ability and strategizing! The players will start over 500 meters away from each other, but as they get closer to the goal, their paths will begin to cross! Be ready for confrontation! Your boats are simple two-person rowboats, albeit covered in a single layer of the rainbow-colored scales of the local carp on the outside, and each one has a pair of two-sided oars handily kept in place by durable oar locks. These are durable enough for a very strong human, but too much abuse can and will cause them to break, and the natural anti-stand “armor” of your boat can also be shaken off easily. In addition, there is a fairly thick fog rolling in. Due to the fog, it’s extremely difficult to see anything further away that 70 meters from your position. Be sure to stay safe!
Team Combatant JoJolity
Babylon by Bus Soichi Utsumi “We evolve, beyond the person that we were a minute before. Little by little, we advance with each turn. That's how a drill works!” It’s going to be in your best interests to keep working together and save this boat. Protect your boat from as much damage as possible.
Babylon by Bus Thela Hun Ginjeet “Dumbass! The reputation of Team Gurren echoes far and wide! Its badass leader, a man of spirit! A paragon of total masculinity! As if there could be more than one of the mighty Kamina!” These carp taunt you and all that you stand for with your immunity to your stand’s powers, and honestly it pisses you off. Catch as many ‘Reel Big Fish’ as possible.
Bikini Bottom Donatello Blackwell “We... by ourselves... choose our tomorrow from the infinite universes! We will fight through it... we will fight through it and protect the universe!” God, what’s that stuff in the water? You don’t want to damage your boat and risk ending up in whatever made the fish here like that. Protect your boat from as much damage as possible.
Bikini Bottom Roger Waters “So this is the power of the spiral... Not bad, not bad at all…” Do you know how much of a price these things can fetch on the black market? Catch as many ‘Reel Big Fish’ as possible.
Spectators, if you would like to interact with the tournament community and get news first about tournament events, please feel free to PM a member of our Judge staff and request an invite to the Official Tournament Discord Server.
Link to the Player spreadsheet.
Match Number Player Count Objective/Deathmatch PlayeTeam 1 PlayeTeam 2 Stage Description Date
Match 1 1v1 Deathmatch Clarence Creedwater Felix Arrowsmith Just make sure the ice doesn’t crack beneath you… Jan. 4th
Match 2 1v1 Objective Lucil Caravan Buffalo Soldier There’s a fox on the run… And you’ve got to catch it! Jan. 6th
Match 3 2v2 Deathmatch Blake Falstaff, Mr. Moon, and Bas Haze Marco F. Caine and Geoff Wetton Visibility is low, and it’s cold as hell… This is the tundra, I guess. Jan. 8th
Match 4 1v1 Objective Blue Monday ‘Crowbar’ Jackson $500, three hours, and an underground casino. Get as rich as you can! Jan. 10th
Match 5 1v1 Deathmatch ‘Lazarus’ Judas Saxon This coaster is pretty rickety… Hopefully it’ll last the fight! Jan. 12th
Match 6 2v2 Objective Simon ‘Jack’ Rodgers and Basilio Goltero Santos Sarah ‘Stratovarius’ Williams and Kent Jerrod Moore You have to stop your train from crashing! Wait, there are robbers too?! Jan. 14th
Match 7 1v1 Deathmatch Dragomir Mrovich Stephen ‘Steppy’ Morris Bumper cars are lonely with two people… But they’re perfect with just one! Jan. 16th
Match 8 2v1 Boss Match Tsao Xu Dr. Jekyll A homeless army, and their loathsome king... Jan. 18th
Match 9 2v2 Deathmatch Nick Mason and Eleanor Rigby ‘Mute’ (River Eiselidge) and Baron Mordechai A nice pleasant cruise… Except for two small problems…! Jan. 20th
Match 10 1v1 Deathmatch ‘Monster’ Seido Shuto There should be a base up in these mountains… But there shouldn’t be another climber! Time to fix that. Jan. 22nd
Match 11 1v1 Objective Rory Raccoon Grace Vincent Two intruders, waging a quiet war in a top secret base. Jan. 24th
Match 12 2v2 Deathmatch Stu Steel E. and Fabian Gibson John ‘Jaco’ Pastorius and Michael McClane Hopefully there’ll be something to find on this island… Besides the shipwreck survivors, I mean. Jan. 26th
Match 13 1v1 Objective Anna Rose Ken Nard … It’s time to slam now! Jan. 28th
Match 14 1v1 Deathmatch Bremen Mary Ann You don’t have to be faster than the swarm… You only have to be faster than the other guy! Jan. 30th
Match 15 2v2 Objective MAKS_13 and Manny Elflad Bond Jovi and Crispin Freeman A Stand-Using robber has set a bomb in the mall! Make sure it doesn’t go off. Feb. 1st
Match 16 2v1 Boss Match Gregor Yuvecksky Lance Fight for your life in an abandoned cathedral! Feb. 3rd
Match 17 1v1 Deathmatch Henry Jenkins Akiyoshi ‘Aki’ Yamamato The ground far beneath you, the wind in your hair… There’s nothing quite like bungee jumping. Feb. 5th
Match 18 2v2 Objective Thela Hun Ginjeet and Soichi Utsumi) Roger Waters and Donatello Blackwell ‘Row’ as in ‘rowboats’, obviously. What did you think I meant? Feb. 7th
Match 19 1v1 Objective Damon Aurel Ivan Abaduboi A rural English town hit with a nasty… Rainstorm?! Feb. 9th
Match 20 1v1 Deathmatch Jim Ledbetter Johnny Leever Two truck drivers racing down the highway, while the stowaways have a battle of their own! Feb. 11th
Match 21 2v2 Objective Miras Atrium and Henry Walshman Amaki Castillo and Ortaz Ivanov An erupting volcano, and a straight path down… Time to run! Feb. 13th
Match 22 1v1 Deathmatch Furo Raida Daniel Cali Two foes duke it out on a fishing boat, assaulted by the weather! Feb. 15th
Match 23 1v1 Objective Tyler Bonnie Chloe Jay, Chloe Kay, and Chloe Elle Don’t worry, buddy. Prisoners stick together. I’ll protect you, no matter what! Feb. 17th
Match 24 2v2 Deathmatch Russ Teneo and Jules Langlias Henry Muller and Qiao Si Zhou Four Stand Users, two cars, and an empty highway... Feb. 19th
submitted by FastLikeLightning to StardustCrusaders [link] [comments]


2018.01.27 01:04 VforVanarchy Jojo's OC Tournament #3 R1M12 - Fabian Gibson and Stu Steel vs Michael Mclane and Jaco Pastorius

The Results are in for Match 10! The winner is…
 
Monster, with a score of 70 to Seido Shuto’s 32
Category Winner Point Totals Comments
Popularity Monster {36-4} Good god, Ruby took this one home. Glad to see votes picking back up after the turnout of the last two fights!
Quality [Monster] {19-12} Reasoning.
JoJolity [Monster] {15-14} Reasoning.
Well, never let it be said that Ruby’s previous losses weren’t hard-fought anyway. After a losing streak, they come back with an absolutely monstrous stomp. Here, they completely outperformed Amethyst in just about every category. Let’s see if Amethyst team can turn this match around.
While waiting for the strategies on this match, you can still weigh in on the war between a raccoon and a self-styled magical girl!
Scenario:
John “Jaco” Pastorius had actually lucked out. Once, in his travels as a musician, he’d caught the attention of a famous singer, Brooke Elliot, and from there something between a friendship and professional acquaintanceship was struck. She and her husband, US Senator Randall Elliot, had been clued into the world of stands by him and another friend of theirs, and were so kind as to invite all of them, as well as a +1, on a family vacation to Africa, chartered on his enormous, lavish yacht, the Rose Totino. The two of them, she reasoned, could meet and share information on this ‘hunt’ they’ve both happened to speak about.
Jaco’s choice for someone to accompany him was PMC and fellow Good Vibrations member Michael Mclane.
It’s an unknown story how someone as… Unique as the past-his-prime underwear model Fabian Gibson had come to be the second good friend of Brooke Elliot’s, and none of his teammates were really comfortable enough with him to pry, but from what they could infer this connection to Senator Elliot was responsible for averting a lot of instances where he probably should’ve been put away for life.
He had intended on simply finding some piece to conscript into acting as his +1, and his team was content to let him… Until he happened to mention that the Elliots had a young daughter. To that end, they immediately made Stu Steel E. accompany Fabian, giving him specific instructions to make sure the man stayed on his best behavior and fully clothed. This was so far out of his comfort zone on so many levels it wasn’t even funny, but he was curious about this “other stand user” as well, not to mention the likelihood that his +1 would also be a user.
—-
Things were civil at first, Fabian coming in his actual outfit and everything, and everyone was made acquainted by the woman before getting onboard her husband’s yacht. At the moment, everyone was mingling on deck, while the young daughter of the family half-paid attention to her father’s words about revisiting their ancestry after centuries of erasure. She was too busy making two Barbie dolls pro-wrestle to care about gloomy stuff like that, smashing one into the other and making an exploding sound with her mouth. It’s adorable, and her mother takes a few pictures that immediately trend on social media.
Jaco was backed into a railing of the deck by Fabian, who was towering over and blatantly sizing the musician up. “Nice shirt,” the model whispers.
Laughing nervously, no stranger to this sort of attention, Jaco just lightly began to push him away. “Man, hey, there’s a little kid right there! Save it!”
“I want her to watch.”
“Hey, er, maybe now someone should step in!” Jaco cheerfully but nervously motioned with his head for Michael.
The spy of few words was already beginning to step forward, and Stu, having until now been keeping his distance, starts to speak up as well, “hey, Fabian, maybe we should cut it out for-”
Suddenly, the skies grew dark and weather stormy, and before any of the Stand users or the Elliot family had time to react, a massive wave erupted over the upper deck of the ship, washing our heroes over everything went black with a crash.
When Jaco came to, he heard the sound of waves, finding himself on the beach of an unfamiliar, uncharted island. Michael was already awake, looking off Northwards.
“Urgh…” He rubs his head, tugging at his shirt. “Brooke… where’s her family? They alright?”
When Michael simply responded with silence, Jaco assumed the worst, hanging his head in sad silence for a moment.
“I see… And my bass is missing too! Even after Randy got me that nice roomy bag for it!”
Michael, as should be expected, continued to say nothing, simply turning and seeing four identical bags wash up on the shore. Before Jaco could run over to grab at them, however, he was shocked into stopping by his +1 opening his mouth. “Don’t rush ahead. Those ‘other users’ are here too.”
“Are they now? Well, all due respect to Brooke, and I ain’t normally the type to start a fight, but… Well, man, I wanna give that Fabian guy and his pal a piece of my mind!”
Michael nods in response, clearly having similar sentiments.
“My clothes are all wet.”
“I mean… Yes, Fabian, we were washed overboard by-” Stu covers his eyes. “Seriously? C’mon, man, I just told you those other friends of Brooke’s were on the island. They probably had something to do with-”
Posing aggressively in his speedo and sunglasses, pants and vest cast out into the water, Fabian looks Stu directly in the eyes, intimidating him into silence as his body radiates against the island’s sand. “All the better, then. I have… Unfinished business with one of them.”
Stu really, really didn’t like the way he said that. “That volcano over there looks ready to blow, we really shouldn’t be wasting any-”
“It won’t be what ends up firing off all over them, that much is for certain.” Fabian flexes some more, frowning and taking this more seriously than he would admit. “Come, let’s beat them into submission for daring to refuse me.”
“Fine, but I’m absolutely not doing this for you.” Stu genuinely planned on giving it his all against his opponents, but he was also genuinely considering killing them just to spite his partner.
Location: An unnamed, uncharted island which you assume is somewhere off the coast of Namibia. The island is circular and 800 meter in diameter. The outermost 100 meters are a mostly pristine-looking beach, while the rest is a not very dense palm-tree forest, with various unusually neat dirt paths marked in orange. There are some notable landmarks, as seen on the map. The teams are about 700 meters from each other. Honestly, though, every single measurement is only what your team estimates it to be roughly, and everything about this place feels off.
Poorly drawn map here. It should get the job done well enough for the match, though.
Cargo: Brown dots on west north west and southwest - Contains various sized kitchen knives, all very shiny and appearing to be made of sharpened, colorful plastic. Each is somewhere around the ballpark of 50 meters away from their chosen opponent where directed.
Luggage Bags: Four of them, all identical, have washed up where marked on the map, several hundred meters away from both teams. These were provided as tokens of friendship by the now missing-in-action Elliot family as gifts to all of you. While before each had a tag with the owner’s name on them, those appear to have been lost in the tide, so the outsides of the bags all appear identical. Inside is everything in one character’s inventory.
River: Separating the beach and forest sections of the island is a river only about ten meters wide, and then leading out into the ocean. The volcano will empty into this and miss the beach entirely.
Ruined tower : Center, past the volcano zone - Tall, but easy enough to climb, and a distinctive but hard to identify stonelike material. Two hundred meters high. There’s a large hole in the wall on the east side starting about three meters up and five meters wide that extends all the way up to the top of the structure, and a spiral staircase extends all the way over to an observation deck the top, at which is an old pair of binoculars. The tower seems highly resistant to lava once it starts flowing, but that isn’t to say that the entire area is indestructible if you’re not careful. It had to have been banged up somehow, after all.
Volcano - Center east. : It is a seemingly-dormant “shield” style volcano, standing about 500 meters above the sea level. Pink area.
The Good Vibrations start in the far Northeast. Ultraviolet Underground starts in the far south.
To prevent you from just running around, there are gonna be hazards. In three minutes high tide rolls in, covering the beach with water. This will wash away the cargo if you don’t reach it. In ten minutes the volcano will erupt, running the risk of killing everyone who ends up running afoul of the running lava (stands will be unaffected, under most conditions), which will continue until it runs off into the river and ocean. Even after eruption, the area will continue to be a smoldering wasteland full of lava paths, making it unsafe to enter. The orange paths denote where the lava will flow through.
Goal: RETIRE your opponents, plain and simple. While, thankfully, your clothes survived being thrown overboard, all your items were in luggage bags, so you’ll need to find those again before you can use any of your equipment.
Team Combatant JoJolity
Good Vibrations John ‘Jaco’ Pastorius “I’m gonna blow the whole world away!” Birdland has three distinct abilities. Find a worthwhile, creative usage for all three of them!
Good Vibrations Michael Mclane “Go down two steps and I’ll let you join my side again. But if you’d rather die, then climb these stairs.” Take control of the tower by the end of the fight!
Ultraviolet Underground Fabian Gibson “Once he comes face to face with ‘Surface,’ he’s going to get manipulated by it!” Take control of every other stand user here at least once, and make such an action worthwhile! (Judges’ note: please keep it PG-13 at worst. We will frown upon certain actions that probably shouldn’t need to be said)
Ultraviolet Underground Stu Steel E. “"Or is it that in your heart, you know you must climb up, but you're so afraid that your body did the opposite and went down?"” Take control of the tower by the end of the fight!
Spectators, if you would like to get first-hand news about the tournament and interact with the tournament community, please PM a member of our Judge staff to receive an invite to the Official Tournament Discord Server.
Link to the player table
Match Number Player Count Objective/Deathmatch PlayeTeam 1 PlayeTeam 2 Stage Description Date
Match 1 1v1 Deathmatch Clarence Creedwater Felix Arrowsmith Just make sure the ice doesn’t crack beneath you… Jan. 4th
Match 2 1v1 Objective Lucil Caravan Buffalo Soldier There’s a fox on the run… And you’ve got to catch it! Jan. 6th
Match 3 2v2 Deathmatch Blake Falstaff, Mr. Moon, and Bas Haze Marco F. Caine and Geoff Wetton Visibility is low, and it’s cold as hell… This is the tundra, I guess. Jan. 8th
Match 4 1v1 Objective Blue Monday ‘Crowbar’ Jackson $500, three hours, and an underground casino. Get as rich as you can! Jan. 10th
Match 5 1v1 Deathmatch ‘Lazarus’ Judas Saxon This coaster is pretty rickety… Hopefully it’ll last the fight! Jan. 12th
Match 6 2v2 Objective Simon ‘Jack’ Rodgers and Basilio Goltero Santos Sarah ‘Stratovarius’ Williams and Kent Jerrod Moore You have to stop your train from crashing! Wait, there are robbers too?! Jan. 14th
Match 7 1v1 Deathmatch Dragomir Mrovich Stephen ‘Steppy’ Morris Bumper cars are lonely with two people… But they’re perfect with just one! Jan. 16th
Match 8 2v1 Boss Match Tsao Xu Dr. Jekyll A homeless army, and their loathsome king... Jan. 18th
Match 9 2v2 Deathmatch Nick Mason and Eleanor Rigby ‘Mute’ (River Eiselidge) and Baron Mordechai A nice pleasant cruise… Except for two small problems…! Jan. 20th
Match 10 1v1 Deathmatch ‘Monster’ Seido Shuto There should be a base up in these mountains… But there shouldn’t be another climber! Time to fix that. Jan. 22nd
Match 11 1v1 Objective Rory Raccoon Grace Vincent Two intruders, waging a quiet war in a top secret base. Jan. 24th
Match 12 2v2 Deathmatch Stu Steel E. and Fabian Gibson John ‘Jaco’ Pastorius and Michael McClane Hopefully there’ll be something to find on this island… Besides the shipwreck survivors, I mean. Jan. 26th
Match 13 1v1 Objective Anna Rose Ken Nard … It’s time to slam now! Jan. 28th
Match 14 1v1 Deathmatch Bremen Mary Ann You don’t have to be faster than the swarm… You only have to be faster than the other guy! Jan. 30th
Match 15 2v2 Objective MAKS_13 and Manny Elflad Bond Jovi and Crispin Freeman A Stand-Using robber has set a bomb in the mall! Make sure it doesn’t go off. Feb. 1st
Match 16 2v1 Boss Match Gregor Yuvecksky Lance Fight for your life in an abandoned cathedral! Feb. 3rd
Match 17 1v1 Deathmatch Henry Jenkins Akiyoshi ‘Aki’ Yamamato The ground far beneath you, the wind in your hair… There’s nothing quite like bungee jumping. Feb. 5th
Match 18 2v2 Objective Thela Hun Ginjeet and Soichi Utsumi) Roger Waters and Donatello Blackwell ‘Row’ as in ‘rowboats’, obviously. What did you think I meant? Feb. 7th
Match 19 1v1 Objective Damon Aurel Ivan Abaduboi A rural English town hit with a nasty… Rainstorm?! Feb. 9th
Match 20 1v1 Deathmatch Jim Ledbetter Johnny Leever Two truck drivers racing down the highway, while the stowaways have a battle of their own! Feb. 11th
Match 21 2v2 Objective Miras Atrium and Henry Walshman Amaki Castillo and Ortaz Ivanov An erupting volcano, and a straight path down… Time to run! Feb. 13th
Match 22 1v1 Deathmatch Furo Raida Daniel Cali Two foes duke it out on a fishing boat, assaulted by the weather! Feb. 15th
Match 23 1v1 Objective Tyler Bonnie Chloe Jay, Chloe Kay, and Chloe Elle Don’t worry, buddy. Prisoners stick together. I’ll protect you, no matter what! Feb. 17th
Match 24 2v2 Deathmatch Russ Teneo and Jules Langlias Henry Muller and Qiao Si Zhou Four Stand Users, two cars, and an empty highway... Feb. 19th
submitted by VforVanarchy to StardustCrusaders [link] [comments]


2017.07.13 23:08 subreddit_stats Subreddit Stats: uwaterloo top posts from 2011-10-25 to 2017-07-13 01:08 PDT

Period: 2088.02 days
Submissions Comments
Total 998 34411
Rate (per day) 0.48 16.47
Unique Redditors 663 6216
Combined Score 237479 309922

Top Submitters' Top Submissions

  1. 72900 points, 4 submissions: SseCn8jx
    1. Fuck it, if this post receives 2000 upvotes I will tattoo a goose on my ass (47138 points, 1368 comments)
    2. Tattoo of a Canada goose on my ass (OP delivers) (25474 points, 725 comments)
    3. DP Library at Night [1500x1000] (173 points, 31 comments)
    4. Time Series Analysis of Shitposts at /uwaterloo (115 points, 25 comments)
  2. 33923 points, 5 submissions: RealisticSCIStudent
    1. My university president is talking to me about internet safety and how quickly a photo can be seen by lots of people. If you are reading this, please click "LIKE." Thanks! (33447 points, 306 comments)
    2. The University of Waterloo is the great school of Innovative Thought! (187 points, 22 comments)
    3. deans_list.tex (122 points, 12 comments)
    4. My Hack the North story (86 points, 0 comments)
    5. His smile when someone says "innovation" 😍 (81 points, 28 comments)
  3. 2617 points, 7 submissions: verylaggy
    1. /uwaterloo vs /uoft [Unlimited Waterloo Works] (608 points, 62 comments)
    2. As this term wraps up, here's another Anime OP (452 points, 59 comments)
    3. University of Waterloo Anime Opening (436 points, 49 comments)
    4. How to get a girlfriend at the University of Waterloo (393 points, 58 comments)
    5. Attack on Math136 (276 points, 55 comments)
    6. /uwaterloo Anime Opening (236 points, 44 comments)
    7. University of Toronto Anime Opening (216 points, 22 comments)
  4. 2106 points, 1 submission: Cole135G
    1. I'm the brother of the student who committed suicide yesterday morning. (2106 points, 480 comments)
  5. 1720 points, 8 submissions: Jackhofmann
    1. Naked girls get thousands of upvotes, how many for our #1 In NA boys from 'Loo? (643 points, 59 comments)
    2. Piazza Poll (241 points, 12 comments)
    3. CS Failure in Denial Starter Pack (209 points, 26 comments)
    4. 15:1 CS acceptance ratio, good luck froshies (171 points, 96 comments)
    5. I miss the old Jobmine (157 points, 12 comments)
    6. You're at Phils and this guy walks up and slaps your girlfriend's ass. What do you do (115 points, 34 comments)
    7. Something about filler text (107 points, 7 comments)
    8. [serious] how can CECA wear mental health awareness shirts when they constantly fuck over students and cause mental health problems (77 points, 18 comments)
  6. 1460 points, 1 submission: sedrasmithis6god
    1. UofT. If you vote this up, it will show up on Google images when people Google search UofT, University of Toronto, or shitpost. (1460 points, 33 comments)
  7. 1180 points, 6 submissions: chakuri
    1. The truth about taking CS135 with no background in CS (222 points, 33 comments)
    2. Socially awkward CS students (ft. verylaggy) (215 points, 46 comments)
    3. Bird courses (208 points, 29 comments)
    4. Bird courses (pt. 2) (194 points, 16 comments)
    5. Good luck tomorrow, everyone! (172 points, 32 comments)
    6. Father's Day (169 points, 48 comments)
  8. 1168 points, 4 submissions: pieboy314
    1. Trying to get a Co-op job as a first year (625 points, 60 comments)
    2. Accepting an offer from Waterloo (316 points, 17 comments)
    3. [Humour] The End of the Great Meme War (142 points, 16 comments)
    4. When jobs start appearing on WaterlooWorks (85 points, 3 comments)
  9. 1117 points, 5 submissions: uweabloo
    1. Night time at SLC (354 points, 20 comments)
    2. Happy Holidays everyone, from Santa Goose (220 points, 60 comments)
    3. Alone in the Rain (214 points, 14 comments)
    4. [NSFW] He does it for Feridun - In honor of SseCn8jx (173 points, 11 comments)
    5. A Christmas well spent (156 points, 8 comments)
  10. 1076 points, 9 submissions: EveryDayYacks
    1. When my Laurier BBA friend tells me he has a great idea for a startup but he just needs a developer who can work for free until it takes off (212 points, 10 comments)
    2. How Dijkstra came up with the idea behind his algorithm (171 points, 17 comments)
    3. CS Normie starter pack (122 points, 8 comments)
    4. Influx of shitposting on this subreddit? This is ridiculous (104 points, 73 comments)
    5. When the prof says the final will be similar to the midterm, but it's not similar at all (101 points, 11 comments)
    6. If only my co-op employers gave me the same performance review as the letters my bank keeps sending me (97 points, 1 comment)
    7. When my friends ask me what my plans are this weekend (95 points, 6 comments)
    8. Great new charity - Children's Joy foundation! (90 points, 11 comments)
    9. How it feels finally graduating then being unable to find a job (84 points, 34 comments)
  11. 1037 points, 9 submissions: thegoosewhisperer
    1. The UW/UofT meme war so far (224 points, 29 comments)
    2. Making difficult decisions for UW (136 points, 6 comments)
    3. Be Mine? (119 points, 2 comments)
    4. Mr. Goose: Origin Story (109 points, 23 comments)
    5. mfw it finally happened (100 points, 12 comments)
    6. Never change, uwaterloo (96 points, 19 comments)
    7. TFW No rankings and offers outside Jobmine fall through (90 points, 5 comments)
    8. Merry Christmas you filthy animals (82 points, 18 comments)
    9. I'm so proud of all of you for making this happen (81 points, 9 comments)
  12. 934 points, 7 submissions: microwavemasterrace
    1. The most expensive ring of my life that cost $51186.61, excluding the $20 donation, time, and living expenses (301 points, 52 comments)
    2. WaterlooWorks vs JobMine as a series of important life lessons (135 points, 60 comments)
    3. Goodbye Waterloo! (133 points, 40 comments)
    4. PSA to everyone: if you want to pass your finals, go study (107 points, 13 comments)
    5. I apologize for the massive flood of 4B ECEs looking for partners (92 points, 39 comments)
    6. Have a crush on my microwave... (86 points, 14 comments)
    7. The Bust or Cali Movement (80 points, 30 comments)
  13. 829 points, 6 submissions: GuessLoL
    1. Let's not forget about the highschool down the street on this blessed day (207 points, 14 comments)
    2. We can't risk the twin towers again (147 points, 8 comments)
    3. ??? (138 points, 15 comments)
    4. [ORIGINAL ART] chakuri (127 points, 19 comments)
    5. When you're just grazing but hear they're gonna tat your face on some dude's ass (125 points, 0 comments)
    6. LPT: Use one of these to get through a goose blockade (85 points, 4 comments)
  14. 822 points, 5 submissions: iCanHelpU2
    1. Don't forget about us on your deathbed (305 points, 48 comments)
    2. Feridun on what it's like being a living meme (via mathnews) (154 points, 40 comments)
    3. Pictures of the trees before they got cut down :( (129 points, 29 comments)
    4. What the hell is going on with upper year CS courses (129 points, 54 comments)
    5. Be a good boye and compost your waste this term (105 points, 10 comments)
  15. 803 points, 3 submissions: Kobelvl_Throwaway
    1. Watch out for ponzi scheme going around (587 points, 17 comments)
    2. The UofT fools thought they were not getting played (119 points, 4 comments)
    3. Yes research puts us at #1, but that's what matters for stupid undergrads, right? (97 points, 0 comments)
  16. 771 points, 7 submissions: MrPaninosSr
    1. What $9 of food looks like at William's Cafe (179 points, 3 comments)
    2. You can be the moon and still be jealous of the stars (112 points, 16 comments)
    3. The Godfather (107 points, 8 comments)
    4. What do think of UofT? (103 points, 14 comments)
    5. Where is the Goose Tattoo livestream? Where is the live tweet? (99 points, 23 comments)
    6. Love at first sight (89 points, 4 comments)
    7. My Interview with Mr. Paninos (Translated) (82 points, 21 comments)
  17. 758 points, 5 submissions: trash_dumpyard
    1. Scammer spotted in SCH ripping students off (235 points, 19 comments)
    2. When your last exam is on the 21st (177 points, 28 comments)
    3. Spicy piazza drama: CS 338 edition (145 points, 55 comments)
    4. When you can't land a cali interview (104 points, 1 comment)
    5. FERIDUN MEMES EXPECTED TO BE ON THE RISE! BUY BUY BUY (97 points, 17 comments)
  18. 745 points, 5 submissions: _sudonano
    1. DC Scammer caught (253 points, 62 comments)
    2. We made it onto Reddit's Facebook page, thank mr goose. (172 points, 8 comments)
    3. PSA if you get this email for goodness sake please don't be an idiot and click the links. (122 points, 48 comments)
    4. When UofT tries too hard (114 points, 9 comments)
    5. Thank you /uwaterloo (84 points, 8 comments)
  19. 742 points, 5 submissions: seemeesaw
    1. "And in that moment I swear Mr. and Mrs. Goose were infinite" (206 points, 4 comments)
    2. A sideways look at the World Map shows that Waterloo rides on the back of a GIANT GOOSE (199 points, 34 comments)
    3. Dress code proposal for uWaterloo co-op (155 points, 12 comments)
    4. TIL: Sal Khan of Khan Academy has some opinions on uWaterloo 2014 (96 points, 21 comments)
    5. Over 3,000 applicants with 90+% averages did not receive an offer to any engineering program Fall 2017 Admissions (86 points, 66 comments)
  20. 731 points, 5 submissions: ssssssbob
    1. Most useless page on Learn (225 points, 11 comments)
    2. Being in Waterloo Aviation has its perks. Here are some views of Toronto+other things from the air (162 points, 15 comments)
    3. Aerial view of campus in winter (141 points, 27 comments)
    4. You know you go to UW when these are in student buildings (104 points, 15 comments)
    5. Math admissions package from 2005 (99 points, 10 comments)
  21. 698 points, 6 submissions: NegativeBinomialM136
    1. Seen on WeChat (165 points, 11 comments)
    2. Admission Megathread (149 points, 2280 comments)
    3. It's that time of the year again. Marks come out in 8 hours. Thank Mr Goose! (123 points, 243 comments)
    4. PSA: You are almost done the semester. You got this I believe in you. (101 points, 16 comments)
    5. Thank you UW and thank you /uwaterloo (82 points, 21 comments)
    6. PSA to everyone. If you want someone to ask you out, just post your specs and requirements below! (78 points, 52 comments)
  22. 667 points, 1 submission: intstudentuw
    1. International student struggling with learning the language (667 points, 66 comments)
  23. 615 points, 5 submissions: NotAHotPocketsAddict
    1. Petition to canonize SseCn8jx as an official saint of /uwaterloo (213 points, 21 comments)
    2. UWaterloo.jpg improved edition (113 points, 22 comments)
    3. cop or nah (105 points, 19 comments)
    4. Class rankings (101 points, 15 comments)
    5. meirl after failing to study well this term (83 points, 8 comments)
  24. 602 points, 6 submissions: TheZarosian
    1. CECA and McDonald's Launch Innovative Partnership for Co-op Opportunities (133 points, 18 comments)
    2. Should UWaterloo Adopt the UofT Approach to CS/Math Admissions? (115 points, 57 comments)
    3. CECA Bureaucracy and Red Tape is a Pile of Shit (102 points, 30 comments)
    4. The Best Thing I've Read Today: Thanks to WRPS for Keeping a Lookout (86 points, 4 comments)
    5. [PSA] ICON Unlikely to be Finished by September - Source Inside (84 points, 61 comments)
    6. Behold the death of academia: Ryerson instructor tells student to only rely on feminist journals for essay (82 points, 153 comments)
  25. 596 points, 4 submissions: shooterboss
    1. Girls have cooties therefore no girls allowed (178 points, 7 comments)
    2. Constructive Criticism (174 points, 15 comments)
    3. Robarts (122 points, 8 comments)
    4. 🅱eridun (122 points, 13 comments)

Top Commenters

  1. AWildSketchAppeared (7789 points, 1 comment)
  2. Victawr (7672 points, 229 comments)
  3. SseCn8jx (7243 points, 20 comments)
  4. AetherThought (3198 points, 193 comments)
  5. walmartyrdom (3019 points, 101 comments)
  6. RealisticSCIStudent (2894 points, 211 comments)
  7. adultrio (2680 points, 36 comments)
  8. Tree_Boar (2669 points, 283 comments)
  9. NegativeBinomialM136 (2585 points, 149 comments)
  10. asiankidfromdc (2230 points, 2 comments)
  11. 123Four5Six7 (2212 points, 188 comments)
  12. GuessLoL (2161 points, 99 comments)
  13. spewintothiss (2121 points, 1 comment)
  14. Frozen-Placenta (2062 points, 281 comments)
  15. NotAHotPocketsAddict (2048 points, 72 comments)
  16. tirkster4 (1831 points, 29 comments)
  17. iCanHelpU2 (1751 points, 188 comments)
  18. MyRedditNameHere (1646 points, 2 comments)
  19. TheZarosian (1614 points, 63 comments)
  20. beaverlyknight (1563 points, 172 comments)
  21. marmoshet (1366 points, 137 comments)
  22. microwavemasterrace (1360 points, 118 comments)
  23. kcamrn (1359 points, 8 comments)
  24. MoonbirdMonster (1354 points, 2 comments)
  25. Low-monthly-payments (1330 points, 81 comments)

Top Submissions

  1. Fuck it, if this post receives 2000 upvotes I will tattoo a goose on my ass by SseCn8jx (47138 points, 1368 comments)
  2. My university president is talking to me about internet safety and how quickly a photo can be seen by lots of people. If you are reading this, please click "LIKE." Thanks! by RealisticSCIStudent (33447 points, 306 comments)
  3. Tattoo of a Canada goose on my ass (OP delivers) by SseCn8jx (25474 points, 725 comments)
  4. I'm the brother of the student who committed suicide yesterday morning. by Cole135G (2106 points, 480 comments)
  5. UofT. If you vote this up, it will show up on Google images when people Google search UofT, University of Toronto, or shitpost. by sedrasmithis6god (1460 points, 33 comments)
  6. International student struggling with learning the language by intstudentuw (667 points, 66 comments)
  7. Naked girls get thousands of upvotes, how many for our #1 In NA boys from 'Loo? by Jackhofmann (643 points, 59 comments)
  8. Trying to get a Co-op job as a first year by pieboy314 (625 points, 60 comments)
  9. /uwaterloo vs /uoft [Unlimited Waterloo Works] by verylaggy (608 points, 62 comments)
  10. Watch out for ponzi scheme going around by Kobelvl_Throwaway (587 points, 17 comments)

Top Comments

  1. 7789 points: AWildSketchAppeared's comment in Fuck it, if this post receives 2000 upvotes I will tattoo a goose on my ass
  2. 4251 points: Victawr's comment in Fuck it, if this post receives 2000 upvotes I will tattoo a goose on my ass
  3. 3591 points: SseCn8jx's comment in Fuck it, if this post receives 2000 upvotes I will tattoo a goose on my ass
  4. 2397 points: SseCn8jx's comment in Tattoo of a Canada goose on my ass (OP delivers)
  5. 2383 points: adultrio's comment in Tattoo of a Canada goose on my ass (OP delivers)
  6. 2179 points: asiankidfromdc's comment in Tattoo of a Canada goose on my ass (OP delivers)
  7. 2121 points: spewintothiss's comment in Fuck it, if this post receives 2000 upvotes I will tattoo a goose on my ass
  8. 1633 points: MyRedditNameHere's comment in Fuck it, if this post receives 2000 upvotes I will tattoo a goose on my ass
  9. 1416 points: tirkster4's comment in Tattoo of a Canada goose on my ass (OP delivers)
  10. 1353 points: MoonbirdMonster's comment in Fuck it, if this post receives 2000 upvotes I will tattoo a goose on my ass
Generated with BBoe's Subreddit Stats (Donate)
submitted by subreddit_stats to subreddit_stats [link] [comments]


2017.02.12 00:14 Pukellama Notts County - S1E2

Update
This update takes us to the end of January in Oleguers first season in charge of Notts County. It covers the following topics, league form, cup form, player form, injuries, departing players, incoming players, transfer summery (year) and sliders I'm using. For this career all games when played are on legendary. If there any any parts you feel I should remove let me know.
League Form
Coming out of January I have done well so far. I am sitting at the top of league 2 with a 9 point advantage after 30 games (I've played around 25 of these). Going into January we had the most clean sheets and also the leagues top scorer. Automatic promotion was looking nailed on, with few betting against a league win at this stage of the season. Oleguer settled quickly with a string of 6 wins to start the season and remaining unbeaten for 18 games.
Cup Form
Notts County were labelled this years giant killers, in the EFL cup they started with a 2-0 win at home to Grimsby, followed by a 1-0 away win against Wigan, next up Chelsea at home... after a game that went the distance (1-1), we won 3-2 on pens. In the round of 16 our luck of the draw didn't improve however we did get another home fixture... against Man Utd. A late goal meant that we went away with a 1-0 win. In the quarter finals our luck ran out and we lost 3-1 to West Brom.
In the FA Cup, we lost 3-1 to Scunthorpe and that was that. We failed nearly as bad in the Checkatrade cup, beating Crewe on pens in the first round before falling to Hartlepool on pens in the next.
Player Form
Note: I forgot to check the stats for the players at the start of January, so unfortunately I've lost these for the players that I've sold. Ratings are given as current ratings and their growth/decline to get there (I.e. 66+2 is a player originally rated 64 and now rated 66).
GK - Collins (67) - Played well, leading the league in clean sheets
RB - Hewitt (66+2) - Great right back, can tackle and likes to get forward [P 31 - 1A 16CS 7.30AVG]
CB - Laing (66) - Solid CB, was my captain and rarely put a foot wrong
CB - Hollis (63+1) - Man mountain (85 strength, 6'4"). Solid in every way [P27 - 16CS 7.30AVG]
LB - Pena (67-1) - A real surprise how well Pena has adapted to the team, indispensable at LB [P 27 - 1G 1A 14CS 7.30AVG]
RM - Jeffrén (67+1) - Useful player, suffers with stamina problems but can create goals from nothing [P 23 - 2G 5A 7.30AVG]
CM - Milsom (64) - Gets about the pitch, can create and tackle but over shadowed by his CM partner [P 34 - 4G 1A 7.20AVG]
CM - O'Connor (67+1) - Best player on the team coming into January, bossed the midfield every game he played
LM - Bennet (67) - Before and After injury he's been a dangerous outlet, not lived up to his price tag just yet [P 20 - 4G 3A 7.00AVG]
ST - Forte (68+2) - Slow starting the season, couldn't buy a goal, but grew into the team and lead the attack. Top scorer in the league coming into January
ST - Stead (63-1) - Surprised me how well Stead played. Got some vital goals and really good link up play [P 31 - 10G 8A 7.30AVG]
Notable others -
CM - Smith (62-2) - Alan Smith (Player Coach) has been really good when called upon. Due to his age he struggles to play a full 90 mins, but against tiring legs he can more than hold his own in the centre of the park [P 22 - 2G 6.90AVG]
RM - Campbell (61+1) - His pace on the right hand side is useful to replace the tiring Jeffrén during games. [P 31 - 4G 4A 7.20AVG]
ST - Guiza (68-1) - Guiza has been useful, normally rotates with Stead (one will replace the other during the game). Not as prolific as Stead, has good control that helps link up play [P 23 - 3G 3A 6.80AVG]
Injuries:
Kyle Bennett - 3 month injury - Broken Ankle Elliot Hewitt - 4 weeks - Sprained Ankle Jonathan Forte - 6 days - Bruised Tailbone Hollis - 4 months - ACL
Departing Players
Note: departing player and incoming player ratings are given as end of season ratings because I forgot to make a note of them at the time
Laing - CB returned to Motherwell (Loan) Laing was my best CB up to January, we wanted to take him on permanently however couldn't afford to.
Rodman (60 RM to Barnet) - £120k Rodman couldn't find game time and so was cleared out when the first opportunity arose
Oliver (62 ST to Barnet) - £200k Oliver joined Rodman in leaving to go to Barnet. I did like him as a player, however it was a struggle to find him game time.
Snijders (62 ST to Gillingham) - Loan (1Y) Snijders couldn't find game time. He will be moved on when he returns from loan
Collin (66 GK to Rotherham) - £375k Colin was leading the league in clean sheets and was 1st choice keeper. Moved to Rotherham who were sat in 23rd in the Championship, finished 20th and so staying in the league.
Forte (66 ST to Sheffield Wednesday) - £775k Forte was my star striker and was leading the league in goals. However Sheffield Wednesday came in and offered championship football and 3x his salary. Wednesday reached the championships playoff and so may be playing premier league football next season. A host of clubs were after the striker including Dundee, Brighton and Nice.
O'Connor (67 CM to Swindon) - £650k O'Connor went and tested himself in the league above. Swindon finished the season in 16 place. So we will be playing against him next season.
Incoming Players
So I forgot to plan ahead for people taking my players, so I had a lot of last minute un-scouted buys. I didn't use Sofifa or anything like that. I looked at stats for people who had done well so far this season, took a risk on others and got some loans as a safety measure.
Reid (65 ST from Exeter) - £500k I feel that this may prove to be a bad panic buy. I bought him based on his 10 goals scored for Exeter and didn't scout him. Was hoping he was higher rated than he is. After Reid arrived (6 months after joining Exeter for free) more was found out about him. He's spent most of his career in the lower professional leagues in England, but has played for teams as small as Kidderminster Harriers and as big as WBA. He has 102 goals to his name in about 360 games. Not a bad strike rate.
Ruddock Mpanzu (65 CM from Luton) - £425k I previously found this guy when searching for promising players at the start of the season. If I could get him for a reasonable amount then I was happy to bring in a younger player to the team, couldn't believe I got him for only £425k. Mpanzu is a player that's dropped down the leagues having previously been on West Ham's books. He's been described as "Ruddock Mpanzu has been described as a 'powerful' box-to-box midfielder with 'endless energy'. Ruddock Mpanzu has stated that central midfield is his natural position, but that he is able to play as a centre-back". It wasn't hard to convince Mpanzu (who helped Luton out of the conference) to join up with Oleguer at Notts County, a club that are now staring to go places.
Banton (67 LM from Crawley) - £450k The return of Banton. Banton had shown early promise as a young player, representing the England U-17's and a host of clubs including Arsenal, Spurs, Liverpool and Leicester City. He joined Notts County in February 2016 and failed to make enough of an impression to get a contact for this season. However, having made a bright start to the year, Oleguer decided to take a chance and bring him back. It proved to be a good decision as he came in and made an instant impact. So much so that Oleguer changed his formation to fit him in behind the striker. Notts County moved from a 442 to a 4231 formation.
Akinfenwa (? ST from Wycombe) - Bosman Akinfenwa, or the beast, needs no introduction. He is a striker who play style is all about strength. It is hoped that even if he doesn't fit into that well, that he will at least bring in some shirt sales and marketing opportunities. A couple of interesting facts about Akinfenwa: 1) he moved from London to start his career at Lithuanian club FK Atlantas 2) he scored the first competitive goal at Swansea's Liberty Stadium (playing for Swansea at the time). Akinfenwa was not a planed buy, however, he doesn't like to stay in one place too long (has played at 13 clubs prior to joining Notts County in the summer) and so may prove to be a useful acquisition (especially with his strength).
Cassierra (70 ST from Ajax) - 2Y Loan Cassierra joined Ajax in the summer from Colombian club Deportivo Cali. Ajax don't see him as a regular at this stage of the season, and so Oleguers used his connections within the club to get a top replacement for Fonte. Ajax have agreed a 2 year loan, however in reality this is likely to be shorter.
de Ligt (68 CB from Ajax) - 2Y Loan de Ligt started the year with the Ajax youth team, but on 24th October 2016 he was called up to the Ajax first team. Having not having made a league game for Ajax, the opportunity was there to bring him to Notts County to learn his trade. Interesting fact about de Ligt, he scored on his debut for Ajax (cup game) making him the second youngest ever scorer behind Clarence Seedorf. de Ligt has represented Netherlands at U-17 level. de Ligt joined on a 2 year loan, but like Cassierra, is seen as a hot prospect and is unlikely to see out 2 years with Notts County.
Eiting (66 CDM from Ajax) - 2Y Loan Eiting has not yet been called up to the senior Ajax team, however, is seen as a solid player with decent potential. Oleguer plans to use him as backup to adds some much needed depth to his team.
Kluivert (64 RW from Ajax) - 2Y Loan Kluivert (the son of the Dutch legend, Patrick Kluivert) is a quick winger. He made his debut for Ajax on 15 January before moving to Nottingham. He's represented Netherlands at U15, U16, U17 & U18 level. He's still young and we are relatively stomg on the wings, and so it is hoped that with his versatility of being able to play on either wing, he will be useful sub later on in matches.
Note: I will return a loaned player to the parent club if the player reaches a potential of 71 before we reach the championship
Notable other transfer - Chaplin (Portsmouth to Barcelona - £1.2m) transfer deadline day
Total season transfers
Players bought - £3.74m Players sold - £2.33m Net spend - £1.31m
Updated Sliders
CPU Sliders New rating
Shot error 40
Pass error 45
Run frequency 55
First touch control error 45
Goalkeeper 55
Adjustments Change New Rating
Goalkeeper -5 50
Pass speed +5 55
Shot error -5 35
Season and Episode Team Description
S1 E1 Notts County Intro and Summer Transfer Window
S1 E3 Notts County End of season summery
S2 E1 Notts County Start of the second season up until the end of December
S2 E2 Notts County January transfer window to the end of the second season
S3 E1 Notts County Summer Transfer Window
S3 E2 Blackburn A new beginning!
S3 E3 Blackburn Coming up to January!!
S3 E4 Blackburn January Transfer Window
S3 E5 Blackburn To the end of the normal season!
S3 E6 Blackburn Championship Playoffs
S4 E1 Blackburn Summer transfer window and end of my Blackburn adventure
S4 E2 Arsenal The Arsenal Squad
S4 E3 Arsenal January Deals
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2017.01.10 01:31 Bricemck Smash Houses (Melee Careers & Finance Part 2)

Today I'm going to continue my discussion in Melee Careers & Finance (see part 1 here). But first, a few clarifications from the last one.
1) The largest complaint last time was too much fluff writing. I apologize, this one will be a lot more streamlined. It's still going to be long, but hopefully it will be more dense with info.
2) Yes, much of this can be found elsewhere, and many of you are beyond this in your financial planning. That is fantastic! Bear with me 1-2 more topics so that I can make sure this sub is on the same page before I get to the advance stuff.
3) Future Topics: Budgeting for an irregular income from tournament winnings, finding deals on event spaces (I had a brief stint as an event planner), & Investing.
4) Yes these are not strictly Melee related. I got special permission from the Mods since more people are transitioning full time into Smash. Please feel free to ask Melee specific career questions below.
Sources: personalfinance is a great resource for your personal finance journey. Most of the information today comes from my personal experience as a Realtor in America.
Smash Houses
Today I want to talk about housing in America and some common pitfalls that cause people to get behind financially. As always I encourage questions below to anything I couldn't get to in the main body.
I'm sure you all immediately see the upside in rooming with your Smash Buddies as it pertains to your Smash Career (constant practice partners, carpool to tournaments, etc.), but as a Property Manager I see hundreds of roommate situations dissolve every year. Here is a quick write up on how to navigate the waters of Real Estate law & roommate etiquette to avoid messy break ups. At the end, I may even get into some house buying techniques.
Co-habitation is the cheapest way to live This may seem obvious, but I get at least a dozen people per month who come to me looking for single bedrooms because they don't want to deal with roommates.
The fact is that Single bedrooms are usually the most expensive way to live per square foot
Not only are you bearing all the cost of utilities (Nationwide average of $300 per month for Water, Gas, & Electric) all by yourself, but Single Bedrooms often cost much more per square foot than 2 or 3 bedroom homes.
For example the average single bedroom that I look after (I manage roughly 560 units) is between $650-$800. The 2 Bedrooms fall between $900-$1,100. These 2 bedrooms almost never exceed $1,400, and always have a few benefits that the single bedroom does not have (such as garage, attic space, dining rooms, larger living space, etc.). 3 bedrooms are the best bargain of all, starting at $1,000, and hitting a soft cap at $1,400 until you get into luxury spaces. In fact, if you can live with 1 bathroom, these are becoming so undesirable that you can sometimes find a 3 BR 1 BA in my area for under $1,000. I have one 3BR 1BA on the market right now for $850.
Singles: ~$700 per bedroom. Doubles: ~$600 per bedroom (on the high end) Triples: ~$500 per bedroom (on the very high end)
So not only do you save $100 monthly (on average) by splitting utilities 3 ways, but you can also save AT LEAST an additional $100 by getting 1 roommate or $200 with 2 roommates.
But Roommates are AWFUL
I admit, the #1 reason people don't renew their leases each year is roommate troubles. But a lot of them don't realize that these fights are completely avoidable. Here are the most common roommate fights, and how to avoid them.
Talk through EVERYTHING UPFRONT
I mean it, talk through every quirk you have, every household responsibility, every foreseeable problem up front and as soon as they arise. An ounce of prevention is really worth a pound of cure here guys.
I want to go into detail on that last one. Why do I suggest getting everyone's name on the lease & utilities?
But I've known him forever. He would never screw me like that.
Again there is no downside to having everyone's name on every lease & every utility bill. Don't take the risk on this one and insist that everyone's name is on the bill.
Assorted other thoughts on Roommates + Housing
Ready to Buy?
We can argue about whether low interest rates are good/bad for the economy (not the place, I won't talk about it here), but one thing is for sure, they are wonderful for HOME BUYERS.
There are dozens of free mortgage calculators online. Try playing around with one, many let you insert a monthly payment that you are comfortable with and work backwards to how much home you can afford. I bet if you play around with one, you can afford more than you think.
There is a lot to consider when buying a home, but even with $0 down, I can afford a $150,000 home (30 year mortgage) for the same monthly payment that I have now. In a lot of neighborhoods around me, I can buy a much nicer home than the average rent payment would afford me. This is because of a lot of factors that I don't have time for here (maybe if someone asks below)
Here are a few things to look out for before you dive in.
That about wraps this segment up
Again I am all about answering questions, so fire away!
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