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[UPDATE] My fiancé (26F) and I (27M) decided to break up but she couldn't move out due to the lockdown. After about four months isolating with her, I've realized I don't want to break up anymore.
Original post: here Although I didn't get to reply to any of the comments except for one, I made sure to read all of them in my main account, so I would like to thank everyone for their great advices. Here I am now, excited to tell what happened in the course of 5 days. So the day after posting that, nothing really happened. I spent that day reflecting on what kind of future I see and want with her. I also thought a lot about the past; how we messed it up, how we both got too lost in our jobs... etc. In my original post, I asked if what I'm feeling could be just an infatuation that would go as quickly as I came. But I realized that my feelings for her never really disappeared to begin with. It's like my heart just went in a deep sleep and I forgot how much feelings I carry for her. I think some of you may know (and have pointed out) that I'm not really good at communicating my feelings. I tend to keep things to myself, and my fiancé is one of the few people who can be patient with that. Some suggested to write a letter instead, or a note, or marry her in sims... I ended up with drafts of sappy letters that I ended up scraping and a sad attempt to recreate us in the sims. But still, I wanted to make an effort to show her what I couldn't say through words. I've heard about her wanting a few DLCs in the sims in the past, so I had the idea to buy a few for her (sims' DLCs are pretty expensive especially in our currency..). Surprised her by stealing her laptop for a few hours and once I gave it back to her, she was elated and so happy. It was really nice seeing her get so excited over it. We played together that whole day and tried to solve the mystery in Strangerville (a game pack in the sims). It was so fun. The next day, I found her in the kitchen trying to bake something. It was a blueberry cheesecake recipe she saw on youtube. I basically became her cooking assistant that day, helping her as much as I could and we ended up with a pretty decent outcome that I bet would've tasted better if I hadn't messed up so much. She still said she had so much fun and loved the cheesecake though. The next day, which is just yesterday, something important happened. We were basically just snuggled up on the couch playing when our sims just autonomously "tried for baby" in the bed. It was hilarious and we initially laughed about it but then we got pretty silent. She then closed her laptop and hugged me tightly then, without saying anything. I think that was my realization that "oh, she feels the same as I do.." so I knew I had to speak up. I'm still impressed at myself for managing to talk yesterday without choking up, basically opening up the conversation like "are you planning to go to your parents soon?" and she said no, she doesn't feel like it yet. I asked her why, she told me she wanted to stay. I told her I wanted her to stay too. We went to sleep that night just huddled together. And even though we didn't really explicitly say it, I think we're now aware of each other's feelings and it feels like a really huge improvement to me. Earlier we ate breakfast together. We weren't as chatty as we've been the last few months but the silence was comforting. We also watched "Knives Out" together. We haven't had *the* conversation yet, but I'm going to bring it up to her tonight. I'm really glad this whole ordeal went much nicer than I expected it would and I'm relieved I didn't let my doubts get the best of me. Though I still have to get better with how I communicate things, I'm going to learn for her. Thank you to everyone who left nice comments in my original post. I apologize again if there are any mistakes in my post, I'm not a native english speaker nor am I from the USA. TL;DR: We both feel the same towards each other. We're yet to have the "talk" but I know now, without a doubt, that she still loves me, too. Edit: last update in my comment https://www.reddit.com/relationship_advice/comments/hqdh6u/comment/fxy0mgg Thanks everyone!
So after match after match of frustration and being dumped on by hackers my squad mate had an idea. He performed a quick google search, found the site and got the common $12 for 24 hour cheats for Warzone. The following is what we learned and what happened next. To preface this, before everyone gets upset we set certain rules for ourselves to make sure this was for research etc.
No aimbot period. We know how this works, there’s no reason to be aimbotting people. Plus it makes what we are trying obvious and we wanted to see how well we could “blend in” as first time hack users. (Spoiler alert, easily)
No winning, the goal of this was to see how bad the cheating is, so we did it on a Thursday night around 11pm and made sure to kill our selves instead of winning. Even though as you read in that was pointless.
Only fight to defend ourselves to collect data, no hunting etc and being what we hate.
Here is what we discovered. Every member of this Reddit has to be the only people not cheating in this game. We literally in 7 hours of straight match after match in Trios didn’t have a single game without hackers. Not the entire lobby, but there was ALWAYS 3-4 squads with at LEAST 1 guy using walls. This was obvious as you can see people across the map, it’s so insidious you can see whether they are crouching, ADS, the direction they are facing, their exact distance in meters and THEIR NAME. Oh and if they look at you their little box turns blue, which is by the way how we discovered this game is infected and unplayable. In EVERY SINGLE MATCH we would watch people through walls as they watched us, we would gulag friend crouch a coupe times and they would as well. Let me say again for those in the back who pretend this isn’t a problem EVERY MATCH. We sit in the 1.0-1.5 KD range so it’s not upper lobbies or the lowest lobby. It’s dead middle. We learned that by the end of circle 4 80% of the squads remaining have a hacker in ever single game we played. They range from the hunters who use the hacks to flank and push and go for kills to the clever guys who use them to watch you and just creep on the edge perfectly out of sight until the end disengaging everyone. There is nothing more obvious then watching someone through a wall and noticing they are watching you as well, there’s no mistaking it. This isn’t made up, this isn’t back burner, it’s real and I feel sorry for everyone still on this game. This taught us that we are done, we assumed it was bad but now we KNOW it’s bad, there is no anticheat period in this game, it was literally $12 and one computer reset and in under 10 minutes we could have ruined the game for 147 other people. PC gaming itself competitively is dead to me and I’ll be buying a PS5 and turning off crossplay for this when it comes out this holiday. Also, it’s brain dead easy to make it look like you don’t have them, only other hackers will know and they aren’t exactly reporting their own hacks. We would be at 2-3 kills a piece before we died in the gas purposefully and no one we killed yelled hacker or assumed. Pop a UAV before a fight and everyone assumes your legit. TL:DR We hacked for research, learned EVERY match is full of wall hackers. Quitting the game until PS5 and no crossplay is an option for my squad. Game is broken Game is trash Game is infected and they aren’t doing a thing about it Edit: didn’t expect this to blow up, I get there’s a lot of deniers and nay sayers which is to be expected. We decided we will make you guys a video but not convinced it will help the rampant delusions of this games fans lol. Now I’m going to clear up some of the most common questions;
Bruh like bruh IW said there are hacker lobbies now bruh I bet when you never hacked before and hacked the very first game their amazing bruhcheat software caught you bruh and put you in the hacker lobby bruh!
No, stop it. The shadow ban process is well documented even ON THIS SUB just search the sub for shadowban and you will see it A. Auto sets you to like 200-3000ping matchmaking and doesn’t ever load you in a match. B. If this was the case then IW sucks because there were PLENTY of clean squads in our matches getting innocently massacred by hackers we were observing. Explain that? You cannot. The hacker lobby issue is DOA.
How can you tell someone else is hacking? What’s this blue box business?
So the easiest way to explain this is this, imagine you have advanced UAV all the time, does that not affect the way you navigate populated areas? You either A. Push and flank perfectly knowing where they are and where they are looking or B. Move on out of a bad area without being seen as you can see where they are looking. This style of movement is deliberate and weird and when you have walls you can see other teams moving this way nonstop. Because hell man you’re doing the same thing. The difference is it’s not just advanced UAV you can see them through the literal map, and they have a red indicator thing on them, you can see if they are crouching, ads, distance away and even their names. Add to that the advanced UAV on the top right of the map and you have some awkward sneaky boys who are obviously walling lol. As far as the blue box, it turns blue when they see you, not just looking in your direction, this tech already exists in a perk so I assume the hackers just piggy backed that code, except with walls it works through the walls so it’s completely obvious if two hackers are staring at each other lol.
Bruh fuck you man we got wins and I get kills if there was hackers in every lobby I wouldn’t win bruh bruh bruh
So you may just be a better player then you think let me put it this way wall hacks are essentially soft cheats they are not aimbot, they are not god mode, they don’t predict circle, they don’t help you make tactical decisions on when to push or chill, they literally just give you info on where someone is and where they are looking. The smaller the circle the less it helps, as the info overload is a bit much and the clutter on the screen can be hard to navigate. They get to circle 4 so easily as because in the start after first round of looting wall hacks are deadly as there’s room to get around and you’re only on one squad usually and you can prevent a third party. If you’re decent at the game and have good aim you will kill these players and never know they existed. It’s easy to hide it (Example, our cheater didn’t kill people he just fed us info so we could kill them, we couldn’t track through walls so ALWAYS looked like a legit kill, we just had better “game sense”)
Edit 2: So my squadmate who ran the hacks wiped his PC after to be safe etc, he didn’t mind doing it again, then apparently he spent last night reading these replies and had a pretty solid opinion, nah fuck em. Lol to his credit he made good points;
You can find how the hacks work and see them working on YouTube in 30 seconds.
Judging by the response and accusatory nature of half the cucks here, even with a video we can already see the replies, “That’s not diff matches” “I don’t think he’s hacking bruh he’s got wall game sense bruh” “How do I know that’s not the same team or you guys are lying in some way” “I need to see data that’s impossible to extrapolate alongside this video to prove it to me” I dunno, felt like a lot of work that’s not our job.
We did it, we shared it, and we no longer care if you believe it, I took a lot of time to reply to even the dumbest of asses on here, it’s time to retire the post, I’ll follow with some parting words and advice.
To everyone who replied with a level head both for and against the info, thanks for the discourse and discussion, you guys are why we shared this info. And I hope to talk to you all in the future about a cooler subject. Don’t listen to the hacker apologists etc, half these people have been the victim of hacks so long they are normalizing it internally cannot see it otherwise.
Advice for how to counter? Play recons and get to the better position as fast as possible and play it slow, is it fun? Nah, but if you want to win and you’re not a hacker that seems to be the best way. The walls get convoluted and hard to navigate through in the final circles, it becomes a mess and relating into to your team also becomes hard, so get to the end and then pick your fights. Good luck guys! Consider the post retired.
After getting some feedback on my previous thread I decided to make a list of info, advice, and tips on the FoMT remake. Please feel free to comment with anything else you think should be added! Obligatory shout-out to Fogu and the Ranch Story Wiki, both of which have been a great source of help.
This section contains advice to make sure you don't miss out on something important, or severely delay your progress. The Horse: In order to obtain the horse, you must introduce yourself to Mugi, the animal shopkeeper, in the Spring. If you don't talk to him by Spring 29 you will never receive the horse. After speaking with Mugi he'll give you a foal (baby horse) to raise. You must get the horse to 4 hearts by 90 days after receiving it. Mugi will come to collect in the Winter, and will take the horse away if it does not have a high enough affection. Raising the horse's affection isn't too hard, talking, brushing, and whistling increases affection. If you do 2 of these a day you should reach 4 hearts. If Mugi ends up taking the horse, you will get it back after a year. Cliff: (This section has been edited). By the end of Year 1, Cliff will leave Mineral Town if you don't meet the conditions for him to stay. On Fall 14, you'll need Duke to come by your farm and offer you a day's work at the winery. He'll tell you to invite someone, and you'll need to invite Cliff to make sure he stays in town. The next day you'll head over to the winery between 10 - 3 and either Accept or Refuse the job (does not matter for keeping Cliff). However Fogu and Ranch Story have conflicting information on how to go about this. There's also conflicting anecdotal evidence on this sub. Fluff_Master_Fanfic made this post and contacted Marvelous regarding the requirements to get Cliff the job. According to them, the only requirement for triggering the vineyard job is to trigger Cliff's first heart event. If you meet this requirement and are having trouble, it is likely a glitch. (Also shout-out to pungkk who tested this and even offered to provide video evidence). With that said, if Cliff leaves, after 30 days he'll return to town and permanently stay. Harvest Goddess Offerings: You cannot give more than 1 offering to the HG per day. Certain stuff like Van or the mine elavator take a while to unlock, so I suggest throwing a flower in every day from the start. On the topic of the Harvest Goddess... Marrying HG/Kappa: Once you give 20 offerings to HG, she'll ask if there's someone you like. If you plan on marrying HG or Kappa, you must choose their name! You'll be locked out of their marriage if you choose someone else.
One of the biggest struggles in the early game is making cash. Here are a couple of tips: Fishing: Even a small fish will sell for 50g. Catch just 10 of these and you're already making a few hundred a day, especially combined with foraged items. In addition, some events (both heart and festivals), will take place at the beach. Time is stopped, and you won't consume stamina, so it's a good opportunity to catch a bunch of fish. It's worth noting that your fishing rod will not level up if you fish during these events. Mining: You're going to collect a lot more ore than you need. For money making I recommend getting down to floor 10 or lower and collect/sell Mithril, Orichalcum, and Adamantite. See further down for how to explore the mines without using a ton of stamina. Pineapples: Probably the biggest money making crop. Seeds are 1,000g each, and each 1 star pineapple sells at 500g, making a 3,500g profit. Even just a few seeds can churn out a chunk of cash. Van's Favorite: Okay, now onto the big stuff. Every once in a while you'll get a letter from HG giving you a bottle called Van's Favorite. You could give it to Van...or you could sell it to Huang for 55-57,000g. The bottle isn't useful to Van until you have $1 mil, so I recommend keeping 1 and selling the rest. There is a video guide on how to get a bunch of these. I have not tried this method, but it's worth checking out if you're interested. Derby Betting: Each Spring and Fall season will have a Derby race. Save just before entering the town plaza, watch the race, and remember the winning colors. Reload your save, bet everything on the winner, and collect your tickets. The most profitable item is the dress, which you would sell to Huang (see below for how to). Dresses can be purchased after you buy the truth jewel and power berry. If you can't get the dress, or sell to Huang yet, I recommend buying brooches and shipping them. You'll still make a decent profit. Huang's Apple Game: Raise Huang's friendship to 6 notes, and you can play his apple game. Win 10 times, and get a white flower. You can sell these flowers to Huang for 78k - 86k. Or you can get 10 of those flowers, and offer them to the HG (remember - only 1 day at a time!) jk turns out you can give her all 10 at once. It just won't count toward your offering. She'll give you a Goddess flower back, which can be sold to Huang for $1 million. Most people recommend recording each round on your phone to beat the game. There is also a guide from the original game that still applies to the remake.
General Farm Tips/Info
Animals: The first animal you buy will only have 5 hearts, you'll need to breed that type of animal, gradually increasing the number of hearts until it reaches 10. It's my understanding that once you reach 10 hearts on a specific animal, you can buy any animal of that type, breed it, and the baby will automatically have 10 hearts. Verification on this would be appreciated! Winter: Absolutely no crops can grow in this season. There's no greenhouse either. Yes there's the seasonal suns, they are just there to sell and look pretty. This is a good season to mine, fish, and increase your friendship with the villagers. Fodder Grass: You'll start off with a patch of fodder grass on the lower right corner of your field. Both this and any more grass you plant has a chance of spreading each day. Any grass you don't cut down has a 75% chance of coming back after winter.
Noteworthy Villagers to Befriend
Nature Sprites: On the right side of the church, you'll see a pathway that leads to a small hut where the Nature Sprites live. If you befriend them, they'll help with chores on your farm. They all love wheat flour, and personally I find that to be the easiest gift, however for the most part each sprite likes grass of their own color. Some people have reportedly had trouble with Blueberry and Aqua, however I have not tested this. I believe you can improve their skill level by playing minigames with them as well. Huang: Get him to 4 notes and you'll be able to sell items to him. Get him to 6 and you can play the apple game. Gold is probably the easiest gift to get him. Duke and Manna: Already mentioned, but get them both to 4 friendship notes to keep Cliff in Mineral Town. According to Marvelous, this is not true. See above for details. Carter: Get him to 8 notes, and you'll gain access to his backdoor starting in the Fall. You'll need to see the event Carter's Secret, and the door will be left unlocked. This area can be used to forage various items, in particular the rare matsutake mushroom. Anna: Reach 8 friendship notes and you can attend her cooking classes to learn recipes. Ellen: If you reach 8 friendship notes with her, and give her yarn during the Winter, she'll knit you a stocking, and Thomas will leave a present on Winter 25. You'll need to give her the yarn between 9 - 11am, on a day that is not Wednesday, and between Winter 1 - 23. Once you give her the yarn, you'll be transported back to your house, and it will be 7 pm, so make sure your schedule is clear! Gotts: You'll want to be at 4 friendship notes with him by Year 3, otherwise he'll stop doing work until you give him enough gifts to reach 6 friendship notes.
Mining - Save Stamina: In order to conserve stamina while mining, simply save when you enter each floor. Once you find the ladder, reload and go straight for the ladder. It's also worth noting that the ores stay in place once you save, so if you have a good memory you can reload and go straight for the valuable ores. Eventually you'll need to recover stamina, curry udon is the best choice for this. If you don't have the recipe yet, fried rice and moon dumplings are other good options. Leveling up tools: Time doesn't pass indoors, so if you're having trouble leveling up, spam the tool inside either your house or Dudley's restaurant. To recover stamina either eat some food at the restaurant (the daily special recovers the most), cook, or use the bathroom in your house. Time also stops in the mines, so you could use the tool a bunch of times in there, refill your stamina at the hot spring, and just repeat the process. Shopping Channel: For players of the original, this no longer exists. You'll receive a letter from Jeff when cooking utensils are available to buy at his shop, and Gotts will sell you the large bed. Van: He's unlocked after giving 30 gifts to HG. He can be found at the upstairs of the inn every Wednesday, and in the lower-left corner of the town plaza on the 15th of each month. This is where you'll buy a pet and pet treats. Weather: To manipulate the weather, save before going to bed. Wake up, check the weather TV station. If it's bad weather for the next day, reload your save, go to bed, and try again until you get the desired outcome. Cooking: You can cook up to 9 of a dish at one time, there should be an indicator on the bottom of the screen with how much you'll prepare. Saves a lot of time when you're stocking up to go mining! The Elevator: After 100 gifts you'll unlock an elevator to the mine, which will take you to various floors you've reached manually (50, 100, 150, 200, and 225). This won't be announced, but you'll know you've unlocked it if you find the Super Fascinating Book on your bookshelf. You'll need to exit to the surface of the mine in order to trigger the dialogue about the elevator. Dating: There is no consequence if you give a preserved flower and date all the candidates. In fact there's an achievement for it! You won't lose friend points once you marry a partner. Hidden Foraging Path: Behind Jennifer's tent there's a pathway blocked by boulders that can be broken with a level 3 (silver) hammer. There's bamboo trees near the start of the path if you're having trouble finding it. Clear the boulders, run to the end of the path, and there's a chance you'll find a matsutake mushroom during the fall.
I Read It So You Don't Have To: Little Kids, Big City (by Alex McCord and Simon van Kempen)
Inspired by the overwhelmingly positive response to my previous 'book report' on Ramona Singer's Life on the Ramona Coaster (seriously, thank you all -- truly supporting other women 🙏🙏), I decided to try my hand at writing up yet another of the embarrassing number of Housewives books in my personal collection: Alex McCord and Simon van Kempen's Little Kids, Big City: Tales from a Real House in New York City with Lessons on Life and Love for Your Own Concrete Jungle. After reading just the title of this book, I'm already exhausted. It's pretentiously long and awkwardly phrased while somehow still managing to be entirely devoid of meaning. In other words, a perfect encapsulation of Simon and Alex. The summary on the back cover describes the pair as the "breakout stars" of RHONY, an assessment that I would charitably call 'debatable,' before going on to inform me that I can look forward to "informative and often hair-raising stories of life in the urban jungle," and that "Alex and Simon use their own hard-won experience as a springboard to discuss a host of parenting topics." I anticipate that this content will be quite useful to me, the guardian of four cats that I spoil endlessly and treat like my actual children. One of the pull-quotes on the back cover allegedly comes from our very own Bethenny Frankel. I say 'allegedly' because I refuse to believe that the following passage would ever come out of Bethenny's mouth (or keyboard or whatever):
Alex and Simon don't take themselves too seriously, which seems to be essential to parenting. Their fresh 'he said, she said' perspective on parenting is both humorous and insightful!
Please, take a moment and do your very best to picture mention-it-all, betting-on-horse-races-at-age-five Bethenny unironically using the phrase "fresh 'he said, she said' perspective." To describe Simon van Kempen and Alex McCord. Right, didn't think so. My experience reading Little Kids, Big City started on an unexpected high note when I opened the front cover to find that my copy (purchased used through Better World Books for the low, low price of $5.31 with shipping) had been signed by Ms. you-are-in-high-school-while-I-am-in-Brooklyn herself, Alex McCord! Truly a gift I do not deserve. Samantha and Debbie (whoever and wherever you may be), thank you for your service. I am forever in your debt. Unfortunately, as would soon become painfully clear to me, after starting off on such a promising note, I would have nowhere to go but down. The book, which is written in alternating passages from Alex and Simon, begins its introduction with a chronicle of Alex's "fashionably nomadic" early adulthood. Ever the proto-edgelord, she recalls, "I did all those things our mothers warned us about and had fun doing them." We switch to Simon's perspective to hear the deeply embarrassing story of the couple meeting through a dating app while Simon was on a business trip in New York City. No, there is absolutely nothing embarrassing about meeting someone on a dating app. But there absolutely is something embarrassing about using the profile name "Yetisrule" to meet someone on a dating app. To clarify, this was apparently Alex's username, and I remain hopeful that we will get a more thorough explanation of her connection to the elusive Yeti as this book continues. Alex tells us that, while she and Simon hadn't initially planned to have children, they eventually started to have "clucky feelings." I have never heard this phrase in my entire twenty-five years of life, but based on context clues and also a Google search, I learned that it means they wanted to have a baby. Don't worry, though! As Alex tells us, "You can be eight months pregnant and wear a leather miniskirt." Personally, this is life-changing news -- I had always believed that I couldn't have kids unless I was willing to compromise my 90s goth aesthetic! Maybe I'll rethink this child-free thing after all. The next bit of advice seems like it actually could potentially be sort of helpful. "No one is a good parent all the time -- nor is anyone a bad parent all the time," they reassure the reader. "You can become a parent without losing yourself." Unfortunately, as soon as I catch myself nodding along, the modicum of goodwill I'd built up is promptly trashed by a gag-worthy line from Simon: "If you take nothing away but a wry smile after reading our little tome, then we've done our job." I immediately vow not to smile until I'm finished reading this book. Excuse me, this little tome. The book starts in earnest with Chapter 1: "Does a German Shepherd Need a Birth Plan?" To be perfectly honest, I was not expecting a riddle at this juncture, but I am nevertheless excited to hear Simon and Alex tell us "why childbirth is not an intellectual activity." First, however, we get a passing reference to "Park Slope, home of the ParkSlopeParents.com message board made famous in 2007 with a so-ridiculous-it-got-headlines discussion on gender-specific baby hats and where feminism can be taken to extremes." And despite the lame alarmist allusion to ~*XTREME feminism*~, this line did manage to lead me down an interesting Internet rabbit hole, so thanks for that, I guess? Jesus Christ, I am on PAGE 4 and I am already so done with Simon. Presented without comment:
With the Park Slope OB-GYN, we had the first sonogram and saw the little blip on the screen -- our child-to-be. They say seeing is believing and as nothing was happening inside me, seeing confirmation on the video monitor that indeed my spermatozoa had penetrated and infiltrated one of Alex's ova made me aware that my days as a footloose and fancy-free guy might be coming to an end.
Y'all, I am currently working on my PhD in Molecular Biology. Which, if you were not previously aware, gives me the authority to decree that Simon is never allowed to use the word "spermatozoa" ever again. And so it is. I was about to say that Alex's passages are at least more tolerable, but it appears I spoke too soon.
The stats they quoted referenced a 40 percent cesarean section rate in the city, and I wonder how that can be acceptable? Are we heading toward Brave New World, where babies are scientifically created in petri dishes and gestated in artificial wombs? Oh wait, we're already there. Are we heading towards a Wall-E existence, where we ride around in carts everywhere and do nothing for ourselves so that our bodies break down and we're all fat, oozy blobs drinking protein from a straw? Somebody slap me, please!!
Truly, Alex, it would be my pleasure. As a Type-A person, just reading the story of Alex's first pregnancy and delivery gave me anxiety. She says that she just never really "felt the need to establish a birth plan" and that she "gave in to any craving [she] felt." Don’t worry, though -- "If I had suddenly craved chalk, ecstasy or Elmer's Glue, I'd have thought twice." I feel like there is some symbolism here to unpack (Could the Elmer's Glue be a metaphor for the childlike spirit of connection and unity???). Simon describes himself as "a learn-on-the-job guy" and tells us that he and Alex "failed to attend the last couple of [birthing] classes as by then we both just wanted to let instinct take over when the time came." As someone who has never trusted my instincts even once in my entire life, I cannot relate. Twelve days after his due date, baby François is born. Except it turns out that he actually was born right on time, but Alex "didn't keep regimented track of [her] periods" and miscalculated. What a bummer that modern medicine hasn't advanced to the point where doctors can guide you about that sort of thing. I don't even know what to say about this next bit, but God help me, I still have 215 more pages of this book to go.
Although the final stages of labor were very, very painful, I [Alex] never used our code word (tin can) for "game over, give me drugs." I definitely recommend using a code word, because it was kind of fun to scream, "I want drugs, give me drugs" through a contraction and have the midwife, nurse and Simon all know I wasn't serious. Once he [François] was finally out of my body, I experienced a tsunami of endorphins that was almost orgasmic, and I understand completely the stories other women have written about ecstatic birth. Simon was sitting behind me at the point of birth, and later when we untangled ourselves he discovered he'd actually ejaculated though hadn't felt any of the normal lead-up to that. It may seem distasteful to some, and definitely neither of us was thinking of sex at the time, but with the rush of emotion and my lower nerve endings going crazy, it's not too far a stretch to say that it's a profound experience.
Johan is born two years later, although it's unclear from the text whether either parent reached orgasm during the event. The chapter ends with a top-ten list entitled "10 Things We'll Remember That Happened During Pregnancy." These include useful tidbits like
Best advice I heard: men's genitals grow and change shape regularly, then go back to the way they were before. Don't worry about your female delicate bits being able to retract.
Which is…a lovely sentiment. But one that is slightly undermined by phrasing the first part in the grossest way possible, as well as by the use of the phrase "female delicate bits." I do like the idea that they "retract," however, because I think it's very cool to imagine the vagina as an SUV sunroof. By the grace of God, Chapter 1 comes to a close. In Chapter 2 (titled "No Sleep 'Til Brooklyn, What's My Name Again? and Who is This Alien?" -- seriously, were they padding their word count with chapter titles?), we get more questionable parenting advice from the McCord-van Kempens. They glibly dismiss concerns about co-sleeping ("Simon and I both slept with cats and dogs our whole lives without squishing them"), which I honestly would be more annoyed about if I hadn't immediately gone on to read Simon's account of "the midnight race to the 24-hour pharmacy to buy a breast pump as Alex's breasts were seemingly engorged with too much milk and she thought they were about to explode and fly off her chest." As it stands, I'm truly too defeated to care. Again, just to be perfectly clear: no shade to having issues breastfeeding, all shade to using the word 'engorged.’ And also for giving me the mental image of Alex's breasts desperately struggling to flee from her body (though to be fair, who could blame them?). Proving that she does not inhabit the same world as the rest of us mortals, Alex tells us that she expected that her state of sleep-deprivation as she raised two young children would "spur [her] creativity with graphic design." For some reason, this does not seem to be the case. Alex is puzzled. Finally, we've come to this chapter's top ten list ("Top 10 Memories of Random Things We Did While in the Post-Birth Haze"). While these lists have so far been utterly irredeemable, they also mean the chapter is coming to a close, so I can at least take some solace in that. This particular list ranges from the irritating…
We subversively took sleeping babies to as many non-child-friendly places as possible to prove the point that children can be seen, not heard and not bothersome, such as dinner at the Ritz in London, the Sahara Desert, shopping on Madison Avenue, Underbar in Union Square and film festivals.
…to the truly unnecessary.
While changing François' diaper on day one or two, we both stood mesmerized by the changing pad as meconium oozed out of him. It was really the most bizarre and fascinating thing I'd seen to date.
With the couple's general backstory and credentials now under our belts, Chapter 3 ("The Screaming Kid on the Plane is NOT Mine! (This Time)") focuses on advice for traveling with children, which Alex admits "can be a complete pain in the you-know-what." I cannot describe the rage I feel at the fact that she has -- in no fewer than 50 pages -- forced me to read about both her newborn son's excrement and her husband's ejaculate, but cannot bring herself to use the word "ass." Alex, we're really far beyond that at this point, don't you think? Not to be outdone, Simon shares a conversation he had with François that is remarkable not for its content, but for the fact that one of Simon's nicknames for his son is apparently "F-Boy." Thanks, I hate it. This chapter's list ("Alex's Top 10 Travel Memories") includes the entry:
Both boys charging down Saline Beach in St. Barths like something out of Lord of the Flies.
So, like a horde of primal sadists? I'm wondering if Alex and Simon have inadvertently confused Lord of the Flies with the hit 2007 reality show Kid Nation. I really hope that's what's going on here. Chapter 4 ("'Mommy, Johan is Gone!'") promises to teach us how to handle accidents. I'm not sure how comfortable I feel taking emergency advice from the authors of this particular book, but (in large part due to the fact that I have slept since reading the previous chapter, giving the pain a chance to dull somewhat), I am willing to at least hear them out. After relaying a story of François needing emergency surgery after a foot injury, Alex tells us that at one point, she and Simon realized they had spent "nearly $5000 on Indian takeout" in the past year. For the mathematically averse, this works out to a monthly budget of roughly $100 worth of Indian food per week, making my quarantine Uber Eats habit seem downright quaint by comparison. The chapter-ending list walks us through the "Top 10 Things We Do in a Crisis," and fortunately, the tips seem pretty benign.
Knowing what calms the children down, such as making silly faces or reciting Shel Silverstein poetry backwards.
Wait, hang on. What?
reciting Shel Silverstein poetry backwards
I'm sorry, please forgive me if I have missed some recent, paradigm-shifting development in the field of early childhood education, but what?? As in, "ends sidewalk the where?" "Sdne klawedis eht erehw?" I am truly befuddled. Maybe the next chapter ("'Is Today a Work Day or a Home Day, Mommy?'") will have some applicable wisdom for me, as I will, in fact, be working from home every other week for the foreseeable future. And, I cannot stress this enough, I am a psychotically overinvested cat mom. Alas, we are instead treated to an unnecessarily detailed breakdown of how important it is to delegate, and specifically that Simon cleans up vomit and Alex cleans up "feces in the various forms that come out of children's bottoms at appropriate and sometimes inappropriate times such as the middle of Thanksgiving festivities." As if we needed another reason to consider Thanksgiving problematic. The chapter takes a brief commercial break…
When an everyday product can do double duty such as Dawn Hand Renewal with Olay Beauty, a dish soap that seals in moisture while I'm tackling cleanup, sure, I'll buy it.
…before closing out with a list of the "Top 10 Things We Do Because We Were Here First." I am happy to confirm your worst suspicions and tell you that item number one is indeed "Have passionate sex." In Chapter 6 ("I Saw Your Nanny…Being Normal?"), I find myself actually sympathizing with Alex for the first time in this book. Which is mostly just because the chapter starts by talking about all of the awful, catty parental competitions that seem endemic to a certain crew of white Manhattan moms, and it makes Alex come off at least slightly less irritating in comparison. That is, at least until a few pages later, when she starts to complain about a previous au pair:
She was sullen, melodramatic and kept a blog about how she hated Americans, hated France, hated us and the children but loved New York. I think she must have thought we were idiots, and when she asked us to leave early we were only too happy to get her out of our home.
I would love to meet this woman. I think we could be great friends. This chapter's list is even more difficult to parse than previous ones, because while it's titled "Top 10 Things Caregivers Have Inadvertently Done to Amuse, Annoy or Thrill Us," it's not at all clear which descriptors apply to which points. When a babysitter "accidentally used a household cleaning wipe when changing a diaper," were the McCord-Van Kempens amused? Annoyed? Thrilled? The world may never know. In Chapter 7 ("'Putting To Death Is Not Nice,' a Duet for Two Boys and A Guitar"), Alex and Simon share some of their hard-earned childrearing wisdom with us. Which basically amounts to Alex telling us that, while normally misbehavior from the kids incurs a warning followed by a time-out, she has also developed an ingenious new strategy where she actually steps in to intervene when the stakes are higher. Let's listen in:
A third permutation is when there's a behavior that has to stop immediately, say if Johan has a big blue indelible marker and is running through a white hotel suite. I swoop in and grab the marker as to risk a three count [warning] would be to risk decoration of the sofa.
Take the marker from the toddler immediately instead of trying to reason with him? Groundbreaking. Side Note: At this point in my reading, I am incredibly satisfied to report that I have discovered my first typo in the book, and in one of Simon's sections no less! ("These toads secret [sic] a poison…"). This is wildly pedantic of me and proof that I am a deeply sick person. We run though a list of "Top 10 Things We Never Thought We Would Have To Explain" ("10. Why hot pizza stones do not like Legos.") before moving right along into Chapter 8, "Don't Listen to the Well-Meaning Morons." Strangely, I have a very vivid memory of Alex saying "I have a chapter in my book called, 'Don't Listen to the Well-Meaning Morons" in some distant RHONY episode or reunion. I guess she was telling the truth. The chapter opens with a series of passages in which Alex and Simon respond to various comments that have been made about their parenting over the years. I think this device is supposed to be a bit of lighthearted snark on overbearing strangers, but instead just comes off as weirdly defensive and passive-aggressive. A few examples:
"My daughter is perfect. Her table manners are excellent, she never speaks unless spoken to and we've always had white sofas at home since she was a child, with no staining." -A woman with one preteen daughter, no sons Your daughter sounds boring. I wouldn't want my sons to date her..
"Why are you outside?" - A bagel seller in Montreal, in February I'm hungry and the stroller is well protected under the plastic cover. Johan is warm and cozy, the others are asleep in the hotel and I'm going stir-crazy. Is that enough, or should I buy my bagel from someone else?
"Excuse me, your baby is crying." -- Someone said to Simon as they peered into the stroller to try and determine the cause of said noise. You don't say! Do you think, you stupid idiot, that I don't hear that? Do you think I think it's just loud music? Do you think I don't want him to stop and that I like it???
Sorry, did I say 'passive-aggressive'? Let's change that to just 'aggressive.' But despite bristling at being the recipient of unwanted advice, far be it from Alex to shy away from giving her opinions on the shortcomings of other parents.
There was a mom at another table who wore all black and told her hyperactive daughter that they had to have a family meeting to decide what to do next. The type of woman who might ask her daughter to "process her feelings" about which color to choose. The type of woman who wanted make [sic] a big huge hairy deal about including her daughter in the decision-making process and "negotiating" the next best step for the family to take in the pottery shop. Pardon me while I shoot myself.
I'm sorry, but I just cannot respect this take coming from a woman who calms her sons by reciting comedic children's poetry backwards. We next learn that there are "many websites out in cyberspace," some of which offer child-rearing advice. Simon summarizes their useless "vitriol" as such:
They say that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, whereas for the 21st century surely hell no longer hath fury, as it's all been hurled at the belittled and scorned Internet mom.
I'm honestly not entirely sure what this is supposed to mean, and my confusion continues all the way through this chapter's "Top 10 Ways We Make Ourselves Feel Better When It's All Getting To Be Too Much." We begin reasonably enough…
Check to see whether the person offering advice has children. How old are they?
Do they have a point? Are they right? It is entirely possible.
…before quickly losing all sense of self-awareness and flying completely off the rails.
Will we ever see this person again? If not, can we get away with unleashing our fury on them? Note, if you're reading this and decide to try it for yourself, go big or go home.
The last few chapters have been a bit Alex-heavy, but never fear -- Simon pops back up in Chapter 9 ("If I Wouldn't Eat That, My Kid Won't Either") to tell us a charming story about how the family refers to his Bolognese sauce as "Dead Cow Sauce," and this is because his children are incredibly enlightened and understand the circle of life and where food comes from. Or something along those lines. This chapter also provides a lot of really incontrovertible proof that, even though you may swear that your kids say the most hilarious things all the time, you are wrong. I love kids. I can play cool aunt with the best of them. But this "recipe" for "Johan's Concoction" tries so hard to be cute and funny ("whisk violently -- making sure to spill a little out of the top") that I could barely stifle my groans. For anyone who happens to frequent RebornDollCringe, I am strongly and inexplicably reminded of Britton. A list of "Top 10 Things We Don't Like About Children's Restaurants" culminates with
Where would you rather be? A bistro devoted to race-car driving, with 1950s toy cars on the walls, or T.G.I. Friday's?
Excuse me, ma'am, you must be unfamiliar with the concept of Endless Apps®. The title of Chapter 10 is "You'll Give in Before I Do!" and although the subtitle lets me know this is referencing "the art and warfare of bedtime," it's hard not to take it as a personal taunt from the authors. Most of this chapter is just transcriptions of 'cute' things François and Johan have said to try to avoid going to bed, but we do get this gem:
Slaying the dragon is our family euphemism for using the toilet (drowning the dragons that live in the sewer) and is fun for the boys to talk about, though probably not forever.
Before giving us a chance to adequately process this revelation, Alex goes on to reflect:
Hmm, perhaps I should delete this -- I don’t want obnoxious classmates getting hold of this book in 10 years and asking the boys if they need to slay the dragon in the middle of geometry class.
Alex, I assure you, you truly have nothing to worry about. Any self-respecting bully will be far too focused on the fact that Simon ejaculated at the moment of his son's birth to pay this comparatively trivial factoid any attention. The authors shake things up and end this chapter with lists of both "Top 20 Bedtime Stories" and "Top 10 Lullabies," both of which are thankfully inoffensive. In Chapter 11 ("Children Like Shiny Objects"), we follow Alex and Simon as they purchase the townhouse we see them renovating on RHONY. Although other (read: lesser) parents might store breakables out of reach or limit children's toys to playrooms and bedrooms, Alex and Simon were blessed with two boys whose aesthetic sensibilities are already quite developed:
One kind of funny thing that I noticed recently is that the toys the boys tend to leave upstairs in our red and black living room often tend to be red and black as well. I'm not sure whether that's intentional, but it's funny that the room always seems to match regardless of its contents.
The list of "Top 10 Craziest Places We've Found Objects" is mercifully absent of any orifice-related discoveries. After reading just the title of Chapter 12 ("Raising Baby Einsteins"), I'm bracing myself for the self-satisfied smugness to come. This preparation turns out to be duly warranted. Baby sign language is dismissed as "a scheme dreamed up by ASL experts who wanted to sell classes to easily influenced new parents," Mommy and Me classes are "not really for teaching anything," and we learn that Alex and Simon have instituted a bizarre family rule that "if a talking toy came into our house, it had to speak a foreign language or speak English in an accent other than American." We learn that Simon apparently does not know what antonyms are (for the record, Simon, the word you're looking for is homophones) and that New York City is replete with "wailing, nocturnal, type-A obsessed harridans willing to sleep with persons not their spouse if they think it will help their child get into THE RIGHT SCHOOL." Uh, yikes. After a tediously long description of François' pre-school admissions process, Alex informs us:
As a former actor, I've always gotten into play-acting and dressing up with my children. Perhaps a little too much. But I've taken the opportunity to show off a few old monologues, complete with bounding around like a puppy. If you have knowledge, why not share it? If you happen to know Puck's speeches from a Midsummer Night's Dream by ear with tumbling and staged sword play, why the heck don’t you share that with your boisterous boys, who love it and run around shouting, "Thou speakest aright!"
I am suddenly compelled to call my mother and thank her profusely for never making me put up with anything like this. Maybe I'll also get her thoughts on one of the tips listed in "Top 10 Favorite 'Developmental' Things To Do": "if they want something that you want to delay giving them, make them ask in every language they can before giving in." To me, this seems like an effective way to encourage your children to learn how to say "Fuck you, mom" in French as early as possible. In Chapter 13 ("Urban Wonderland"), Alex and Simon promise to share their unique perspective on "taking advantage of raising a child in the urban jungle." But mostly, we just get a rant about how everyone thinks their kids have weird names, and that makes Simon mad. This chapter's "Top 10 Reasons New York is the Center of the Universe to a Kid" list reminds us what truly matters: "there are more songs with NYC in their titles than any other city." Immediately after telling us how great it is to live in a city (excuse me, urban jungle), Alex and Simon switch tack and spend Chapter 14 ("'Daddy, a Cow! And It's Not in a Zoo!") expounding on the importance of exposing kids to nature. Sounds great, I'm on board. Unfortunately, we almost immediately take a hard left turn into a story from Simon's childhood where he and his brother are "befriended by this old guy, Dick, who lived on the outskirts of town in a small tin shed." We hear that Dick "occasionally pulled out an early Playboy magazine back from the days when the lower regions were airbrushed out," and that "there had been pretty strong rumors of pedophilia," before promptly returning to the main narrative with no further explanation. I can only describe the transition as 'jarring.' I can tell how exhausted I am at this point in the book by how hurriedly I skimmed the list of "Top 10 Differences We've Noticed Between City Kids and Country Kids." To be honest, I'm almost annoyed when a particularly bizarre quote manages to catch my attention, because that means I have to think about it for the full amount of time it takes me to transcribe from the page. I'm beginning to think that my initial hope that I could glean some useful cat-rearing advice from this experience may have been overzealous. Chapter 15 ("You're Such a Great Parent, You Should Be on TV (LOL)") is the only chapter to directly address the family's time on RHONY. It starts with this (attempted) comedy bit in which Alex and Simon pretend to be hilariously self-aware and self-effacing (Alex: "Look up 'Mommylicious' in the dictionary and you will see a photo of me in a ball gown, breast-feeding an infant while making Osso Buco and directing carpenters to build a bookcase for my Dickens and Shakespeare."). This posture would be infinitely more believable if I hadn't spent the previous 205 pages watching these two take themselves deadly seriously. But rather than share any juicy behind-the-scenes tidbits (or, indeed, convey anything of substance at all), Alex and Simon spend exactly 3.5 pages blustering about how it wasn't harmful for their children to be on TV before giving us a list of "Top 10 Hilarious Things The Boys Have Done While Filming or at Photo Shoots." Spoiler alert: none of them are 'hilarious.' Chapter 16 is literally titled "The Light at the End of the Tunnel," which makes me feel like this whole experience may have just been Alex and Simon playing some sort of twisted game with me. Alex tells us this is "the chapter of hope," but given that she then tells us about a time when she "spent one full hour discussing why magic markers cannot be carried around with the caps off, particularly in a hotel suite with white couches and walls," I'm not sure exactly where this hope is coming from. Also it seems like this markers-in-a-hotel-room thing happens weirdly frequently. We are then treated to Alex and Simon's "Top 10 Moments of Getting It,'" which includes
Apropos of nothing, Johan said, "You give us time-outs because you are teaching us to be good grown-ups."
This is a thing I'm sure Johan said completely organically and not in response to hearing his parents say "we're giving you a time-out so that you learn to be a good grown-up" approximately seven zillion times. This brings us to the book's Epilogue (a mercifully short two pages) featuring the line "If you made it to the end of this book, we salute you." Honored to accept this hard-earned accolade, I can finally close the book and start figuring out a way to erase the memory of Simon busting a mid-childbirth nut from my aching brain. Wish me luck!
TLDR at the bottom, but I wouldstronglysuggest reading the post in its entirety. This is not some bullshit "feelsgoodman" post. I'm not here to tell you that I love you, nor am I here to tell you that I, without having seen you, think you're super cute. Those posts are nice, but do very little to actually help. This is what I'm here to tell you: no, the fuck, you are not ugly. I'm tired of seeing this self-deprecation everywhere; a user will make a comment "haha at least you don't look as bad as me", someone responds "wanna bet?", and the circlejerk of who can insult their appearance the most ensues. Sure, jokes and memes are great, but I think that we both know many commenters do genuinely feel that way about their appearance, and many others, even if "joking", are commenting from a place of deep-rooted insecurity-- an unfortunate fault of the human experience. I'm going to start off with an anecdote, so that you have context about the individual telling you about this novel idea. This is not a flex, this is not me stroking my ego, and it is most certainly not anything beyond what I'm going to convince you is a beacon of hope applicable to pretty much everyone here. I got my first girlfriend due to some very simple advice-- advice that, at the time, I believed to be a steaming pile of bullshit: fake it 'til you make it. Sounds dumb, right? Some cliche saying that appeals to the masses and belongs only in some teenage romcom. Here's the thing, though-- it actually works. Confidence is very, very easy to fabricate. Stand straight. Speak with purpose and certainty. Being left on read (is that still the lingo?) is usually a genuine mistake. It's far more likely that they didn't hear you as opposed to genuinely ignoring you. The list goes on, and on, and on, but gist is this: displaying confidence will make you more confident. You may not notice it, but people will begin to treat you differently, and it will change your self-image. Now that I have explained that, back to 15-year-old closbhren. You know how you're feeling about yourself right now? Lonely, depressed, hate what you see in the mirror, no self-confidence, etc? Yeah, him too. Really fucking shit feeling, right? I was very confident that I would commit suicide within the next year-- I'd begun considering how I'd do it, debating who to leave my note to, what it would say... you get the idea. I had nothing left to lose. I hated life. But it all changed one day... nah, it didn't, just kidding. What did change, though, was my solitude. I came semi-clean to an adult friend of mine, and she handled my confessions in about the best way possible: she listened the entire time, she expressed past related sentiments, and then she offered advice. Advice which included the above: fake it 'til you make it. Like I said, I had nothing left to lose. I didn't give a fuck. But she made it sound oh-so-convincing, so I decided to try it; if it did manage to change the monopoly that hatred had on my life, then maybe it'd be worth it. Maybe. The process begun. I started standing straight; I started to let being left on read go (sure, I'd freak out about it, but no one needed to know that); I started to brush off jokes about myself and my appearance (didn't feel good about them, but no one needed to know that); I started to wait for convenient opportunities to speak in a group; I started to differently express my paralanguage (everything about speech but the words themselves); I started to smile more; I started to use people's names more; everything I could possibly think of that might convey confidence. And lo-and-behold, it worked. People became more obviously excited to talk to me, people were speaking to me more, I even started to get slightly popular (over the period of a few months, this didn't happen in a day). My self-image changed as a result. I started feeling better about my body and face. I realized that no, I am not some fucking ogre. I'm not some worthless pile of garbage. Generally... life might be worth a second chance. Then my year-long crush, who I was close friends with, started getting a little flirty (and yes, she is the girl I referenced above). Where the fuck was this coming from? What changed? She'd been single for awhile. We both know the answer: me. I'd changed. So what the fuck does any of this matter to me you might ask? Here's the idea: confidence is attractive. Yeah, you've heard it a billion times, but what does that actually mean? It's rather simple: the better you show yourself, the better others feel about you, and the better you feel as a result. It's the opposite of a vicious cycle-- a loving cycle? When you aren't secure enough about yourself, human nature dictates that we turn to others' perceptions of us and use them to judge. The above is how you can take advantage of that. Now to tie it all back to the title: what does this have to do specifically with me being ugly? I'm objectively ugly, you might say. For starters, no, the fuck, you are not. If you think you can judge yourself objectively you're delusional. We are always far more critical of ourselves than others. It's easy to find imperfections in your own features and focus on them, while ignoring the good things. I'm a straight guy, so I won't speak for my thoughts on other men, but the amount of gorgeous girls who feel that they are unattractive is unreal (I know you know these girls, and I know that you're jealous of them-- but you'd be surprised at how many are jealous of you). Of course everyone isn't a 10/10, but with that being said, the amount of just generally pretty and attractive girls who think that they're ugly is even more unreal. It is incredibly rare to come across an objectively ugly girl, and that can easily be made up for with her personality-- and of course, this all goes for guys as well. The vast, vast majority of people who think that they're ugly are not anywhere near ugly. Most are even attractive. What makes you think differently is your unfair evaluation of your own looks and your dependence on others' opinions about you. And that is something that you have the power to change. It may not feel natural, and it may feel weird as fuck, but the most challenging gauntlets oft yield the most meaningful of rewards. And now I'm going to ask a few things of you.
Look in the mirror and find one thing that you genuinely like. It doesn't matter how big, it doesn't matter how small. Maybe you do actually have a little bit of a jawline. Maybe your nose is perfectly sized. Maybe you have pretty eyes. Appreciate one, singular thing about the way that you look. Start there.
Smile. This one is two-pronged. Firstly, smile at yourself. Smile whenever you see yourself. Smiling does actually make you happier (source), and you will begin to associate that feeling with seeing yourself. Secondly, challenge yourself to smile more. See something that makes you even mildly happy? It's okay to smile. You should smile. See something cute? Smile! Seriously, this will make a difference.
Stop calling yourself ugly, and stop making so many damned self-deprecating jokes. They are usually both crutches to hopefully get other people to comfort you, begging a positive perception from them. You don't need that, and neither will help your confidence, or others' perception of your confidence. You are strong. You don't need either of them.
Fake it 'til you make it. Yeah, you knew this shit was coming. Saving the best for last, baby. Start off small, look for opportunities to follow the advice I mentioned above. Show people that they want to be around you. The easiest, by far, is to walk with good posture. Straighten your back, keep your head up, you know the drill. Go from there.
What do you have to lose? It can't hurt to try any of this. The worst that could happen is that you don't notice any change (but believe me, you will). I'm nearing 19 now and have done a complete 180 on my perception of life, along with my experience of it. Being popular isn't that hard, nor is dating, nor is liking yourself. There's a lot to like about everyone, and yeah, I mean fucking everyone. You just aren't quite able to appreciate that... yet. I could go on-and-on, but this post is long enough as is. Hopefully my boomer (yeah, at 18, I get called a boomer, crazy right?) advice gets through to a few of you. Please ask for any clarifications in the comments. If anyone reading this needs personal advice, someone to vent to, or has any questions, my inbox is open. Hope this helps. Peace. TLDR: You cannot objectively evaluate your own appearance. The vast majority of people are not at all ugly. Fake confidence until you find yourself to be confident; yeah, it works. Dating and popularity are not hard, you just aren't yet equipped to recognize that. Confidence will change that. Edit: this got a little more attention than expected. I'm trying to take the time to give a genuine response to every comment and DM, but it's going to take awhile. Thanks for all the kind words, I'm glad that this has helped so many. Edit 2: it's 5am for me so I'm going to bed but I'll continue responding to every comment when I wake up. Again, thanks for all the kind words. Edit 3: just woke up to 300 comments and 40 DM’s. I’m going to prioritize the DM’s and unfortunately won’t have time to respond to every comment, but I’m going to read them all and try to help those with specific questions. Thanks for all the support, know that, even if I don’t respond, I have absolutely read your comment, and most definitely appreciate it.
A Basic Introduction to Vertical Spreads - Stop Losing Money When You Predict the Correct Direction
Vertical Spread Basics Spreads often get a bad rap for sounding more complex than they end up being. I’d wager quite a few people here don’t even know what the “Select” button is for at the top right of the options screen on Robinhood. I see over and over people losing their money with puts or calls when a vertical spread would have accomplished the same thing but better. To keep this basic I will stick to vertical spreads (both credit and debit) and a bit about Iron Condors, and once that’s done I’ll go into a bit of detail about when and where I use them. A vertical option spread is purchasing two options; one you’re buying and one you’re selling. You’re literally trading based on the difference between the two option prices. For example, if I bought a SPY 300c 6/3 and sold a SPY 305c 6/3, I would have a SPY 6/3 305/300 Call Debit Spread. What do we accomplish by both buying and selling the right to 100 shares of SPY though? The short answer: This defines our risk. This can seem kind of difficult to comprehend, but it’s fairly simple: The value of the spread can never be more than the difference between the two strike prices. For the above mentioned trade, we can currently purchase a SPY 6/3 305/300 Call Debit Spread for $0.65 per share ($0.65*100=$65), meaning that the difference in price between the 305c and the 300c is $0.65. If SPY finishes above $305 on 6/3, our 300c we bought finishes in the money as does the 305c we sold, which means the spread between the two option prices has reached its maximum of $5.00. We can now purchase 100 shares of SPY at $300 then sell them to the holder of the option we sold for $305, netting $5 per share for a neat $500. This means that we can make up to $500-$65 = $435 on the trade, a tidy 769% profit. If you take anything away from this write up, please take this: An easy way to view a SPY 6/3 305/300 Call Debit Spread is then that you’re betting $65 to win $500 as long as SPY ends above $305 on 6/3. If you’re not starting to see why vertical spreads are more intuitive than single calls or puts then I encourage you to look back over the paragraph above. The Greeks still matter a lot, but the trade can easily be distilled to the above sentence which is not the case with a single option. I continually see people buying calls and puts, correctly predicting the direction of the market, and still losing money due to IV deterioration or the price not moving enough in the right direction. Vertical spreads simplify the trade by making it only as complicated as you want it to be. If you simply want to bet that a stock will go up over the next month, just set the strikes up to straddle the current price, for example, a SPY 290/280 Call Debit spread. Similarly if you wanted to be against the market, you would do the same thing but by buying a 290 put and selling a 280 put making a SPY 290/280 Put Spread. A credit spread is very similar to a debit spread but inverted. To create a SPY 6/3 300/305 Call Credit spread, we would sell a 300c and buy a 305c, and because we’re selling the more valuable contract (the lower the strike price the more valuable the call), we get a net credit instead of a net debit, meaning we receive money in our account rather than pay it. That means just like when we short a stock, to close the position we need to pay money rather than receive it. With a call credit spread, we’re now betting against the market: If SPY stays below $300 on 6/3, the credit we received when we sold spread stays ours forever since both the 300c we sold and the 305c we bought expired worthless. You’re still betting on the spread between the two option prices, but now you’re betting on the differences between the two going to 0 rather than the maximum. Now, if the position moves against us and SPY finishes above $305 on 6/3, our SPY 300c we sold will exercise and we will pay for those 100 shares with our 100 shares we receive from our 305c, meaning that we pay at maximum $500. NOTE: Robinhood will hold the maximum you can lose as collateral just in case your trade goes poorly, so if you receive a credit of $65 on the trade, you’ll effectively have another $435 locked up until you close the trade. Until now I have assumed that the underlying stock price will always finish outside of the range of your spread which has made things a little cleaner. In reality, if you should choose to hold until expiration and the underlying price is between the two strikes, one of your options will exercise and the other will expire worthless. For example, if on 6/3 SPY ended at $303, for our SPY 6/3 305/300 Debit Spread our 300c would exercise and we would have 100 shares of SPY purchased at $300, netting us $3 per share. Considering that most people in this sub could not handle a purchase of 100 shares of SPY at $300, Robinhood will exercise your spread an hour before close at market prices (which is why I will always sell before this point since you can do a lot better than market prices most of the time). Basics Summary Thus ends the basic portion of the write up. The benefits of vertical spreads are:
Defined risk just like calls and puts
Much simpler to conceptualize profitable scenarios
Requires less capital than calls and puts in cases where share prices are high (TSLA and AMZN). This is due to the fact that you’re playing the difference between option prices and not the ability to sell 100 shares of the underlying.
Options Profit Calculator is a very useful resource for learning not only vertical spreads but any options and I highly recommend playing around with it if you’re new to options: https://www.optionsprofitcalculator.com/ Details and Tips
Liquidity: Spreads are inherently less liquid than single options since it's twice as many transactions (even if it doesn’t seem like it since you’re paying for it all at once). You’ll find that until single options, it is more difficult to get prices that are in the midpoint of the bid-ask spread, meaning you’ll have to pay more for debit spreads and get less credit in credit spreads when opening the positions and vice versa when closing the position. What this means is that it is important to trade options that have high volume, and as a result, low bid-ask spreads. I’ve been burned in the past by purchasing PLNT spreads and losing $100 when purchasing and selling, so I stick to highly traded securities such as SPY, DIS, AAPL, BA, etc. I also always trade on $5 increments when I can help it, since $5 increments are nearly always more liquid than any other strike.
Risk and Reward: There are a lot of knobs to play with if you want more or less risky spreads. Clearly the further OTM your spread is the less you’re paying for that spread and the higher the reward is, which also goes for ITM being more costly as less reward. Wider spreads between the two strikes gives you a larger zone of “medium” rewards whereas tighter spreads create a more all-or-nothing reward structure. I don’t have too much more to say here, if you want to know more about this, play with Options Profit Calculator linked above.
Impact of Implied Volatility: One of the chief benefits of vertical spreads is that we’re avoiding the largest effects of changes in IV since it hits both the leg that we are long as well as the leg we are short. IV still impacts spreads though, since increases in IV cause spreads to increase due to larger expected moves, and contractions in IV cause decreases in IV for opposite reasons. All this means is that we want to use Debit Spreads when we expect IV to increase and Credit Spreads when we expect it to decrease.
Theta: You’ll hear a lot about people saying that theta works for you in a credit spread and against you in a debit spread. This is technically true, since as theta causes option values to tick down, spreads tighten by nature. In reality though, theta only really hurts your debit spreads when they are OTM. Believe me, you’ll still be feeling the theta burn if your credit spread is OTM as you watch your 5/15 SPY 300/305 Put Credit Spread become less and less likely to be ITM. It’s one of the reasons why Iron Condors are set up with two credit spreads, one capping the range and one creating a floor: You want theta to be working for you in both cases (since both are ITM).
Uneven Payouts: I couldn’t find a better term to use for this, but you’ll find that especially for underlyings that have significant upward expectations, you’ll get “more value” out of betting on a downward move. For example, for a SPY 290/280 Call Debit Spread, you’ll pay $6.24 even though SPY nearly right in the middle after closing at $284.97. If there was no expectation of upward movement we would find that a $10 strike debit spread perfectly centered on the current price would cost $5.00, but that is not the case. This spread functions as an interesting indicator of current market sentiment, but it functions more as a lagging indicator than a leading one, which means that betting on upward moves is much more cost effective after a large drop (such as if you’d made bullish bets during the drop over the past few days).
Entering a Position: I’ve found that two things hurt me when I’m entering a position: Giving up too much value when picking a bid, and being too patient in filling my bid. Robinhood is pretty shit at showing you the actual bid-ask spread for a vertical spread, so I like to start bidding at slightly lower than the midpoint of the bid-ask and slowly canceling and reordering the position, upping the purchasing point each time I do. This way I don’t accidentally lose $20 of value by accepting a worse ask than I needed to while also not giving my position time to move while I’m not in it yet. Spreads are surprisingly frustrating to enter when you’re inexperienced, and I’ve certainly given up a thousand or two in fucked up entrances over the past few months. My advice would be to not skimp on planning your entrance.
When to Close Position: I dislike holding my winning plays until expiration for multiple reasons. When the underlying finishes between the strikes of your spread, you end up exposed to pin risk as you can’t sell out of your long/short position until the market opens. I personally also don’t like having the risk that a sudden change in the underlying can cause a winning position to suddenly shift into a losing one, so I usually don’t look for more than 95% gains on a single position and exit out once that has been achieved.
Iron Condors: The only strategy I’ll talk about other than vertical spreads in this writeup since they’re also fairly basic in execution. Iron Condors involve two credit spreads: A call credit spread which forms a cap and a put credit spread which forms a floor. With an Iron Condor you’re betting that the underlying will expire between the two spreads. For example, I currently hold a 6/19 275-300 Iron Condor that consists of a 270/275 Put Credit Spread and a 300/305 Call Credit Spread. While the idea here is basic, realistically you’re not holding an Iron Condor to expiration every time, so it's important to experiment with how the value of an Iron Condor valuation changes as it matures. Taking a look at a theta decay curve will show you where you should expect most of the value to come from. The another big Greek to consider for an Iron Condor is Delta. The delta of an Iron Condor is determined by simply adding the delta of each position within the Iron Condor (short positions are negative delta). Since the expectation for SPY is that the underlying will go up over time, a zero delta Iron Condor (hedged against price movements at time of purchase) will be significantly lower than the midpoint between the two spreads of the IC. I personally like a bit of negative delta in this environment since you end up making money when the underlying decreases and IV increases due to delta, and you also make money when the underlying increases and IV decreases. One last thing to consider when opening and closing an Iron Condor is that it is purchasing two spreads at once, which means that it requires even more liquidity than spreads do to trade profitably. Since you have to buy these so close to the ask and sell so close to the bid, Iron Condors work much better as trades to hold over a period of at least a week. This isn't to say I haven't bought and sold an Iron Condor over a one day stretch, but its certainly not optimal.
Alright this got a bit long, and there's more to talk about, but I’ll stop here. DISCLAIMER: Now that you’ve read this post, I'll admit I’ve only been actively trading for about three months. I just finished a Finance undergrad and I've been investing unsuccessfully for five years until this point where I’m finally up about 100% from when I started over something silly like 100 trades. I’m not gonna post all of my past positions, but my current positions can be found here. Suffice to say that I made a ton off bearish spreads and it was a rude reeducation that made me learn it was necessary to play both sides of the market. TL;DR: Spreads are easier to conceptualize, don’t worry as much about IV and theta, have defined risk, and require less capital than puts/calls. An easy way to view a SPY 6/3 305/300 Call Debit Spread is then that you’re betting $65 to win $500 as long as SPY ends above $305 on 6/3.
[18/m] My mom (38/f) met my girlfriend (19/f) in a very awkward way.
Ok, so i still live with my mom. I have a girlfriend, i've been able to keep her a secret from mom. So, anyway, my mom was away for the night. Or so i thought. Her and her boyfriend were on a date and when she does go with him, she's usually out until the next morning. I thought we had the whole night to ourselves. It was a good night, we cuddled, watched a movie, slept together, bathed together. I wanted to make it special, since we don't get to do this often. So, here comes the part where i screwed up. We just had sex and we didn't feel like getting dressed. Well, i had a pair of boxers on but that's all. I went into the kitchen to get us something to drink and eat real quick. But i heard a car pull up and yelling, it's mom, she got into an argument with her boyfriend and was coming in. I ran to the bathroom and threw on my bathrobe. I told mom i just got out of the shower. She started talking to me about how bad the date was but i kept insinuating she should go ahead to bed, so i could sneak my gf out. "I bet you must be tired." but she said she was too furious to sleep and was gonna watch tv. I didn't know what to do, but before i could do anything, out she came. I think the stereo was on too loud in my room, so she didn't hear the car or anything. She was just in her panties. That's it, completely naked otherwise. Suddenly, my mom just started screaming, panting about how she was about to have a nervous breakdown or something, like first it was "Oh my God, i think i'm gonna pass out!". But then she got all aggressive. "WHo the hell are you?! Have some Decency! Get out of here!" She ran off. So, my problem is now, i don't really know what to do. Things are awkward between my mom and me and my gf and me. Any advice on what i can tell them or what to do next?
I found my roommate on grindr, and we're both in the closet. How can I bring this up to him?
So I found my room mate and honestly, my best friend, on grindr last night. It was after he went to “bed” after hanging out and I saw a profile that said “6 feet away.” I thought that was odd, so I looked at his profile. It was definitely his ass, i know it when I see it. So I turned off my location and closed the app. I now know my best friend/roommate is gay, and I don’t think he knows I am, unless he saw the same thing I did. I’d love to do some stuff with him and continue to be friends, but idk how that would work. Whatever I decide to do, I still need help with the first half of my conundrum. How to I bring it up to him? Is it even worth bringing it up? Edit: Thank you all for the advice! Ive decided to just not bring it up to him, plain and simple. My reasonings for this are simple, I do not want to ruin my perfectly good friendship with him. He has the exact same tools to figure this out as I did (except I don’t have a profile pic at all, so he can’t do that. Sorry to the people who hate blank profiles). Would I have sex with him? Of course. Would I try to be friends with benefits? You bet. Would I risk losing my friendship (and, my place to sleep) for an easy nut? Hell no. He’s my best friend, and if he wants to talk to me about it and go down this avenue, he is free to do so. I’ll just be doing what I’ve always been doing for him, try to be the best friend I can be. Also, I know you’re a Redditor, so if you see this come into my room.
I Can Make You Hot!: The Supermodel Diet (by Kelly Killoren Bensimon) -- Part One
NOTE: Although I was originally planning on posting this whole review at once, I was about a third of the way through the book when I realized that I was already quickly approaching the full length of my previous posts. So, in the interest of making this a pleasant experience for us all, I'm sharing the first half now, and will follow up with the second half in a few days. And honestly, KKB's writing reminds me of Inception in that it's almost certainly hazardous to spend too much time immersed in any single sitting. So fasten your seatbelts, and enjoy the ride! ------- So, a lot of you guys have been asking about Kelly Killoren Bensimon's I Can Make You Hot! (wow, is this what it feels like to be an influencer?), and I am thrilled to report that my adventure through this book's 264 pages was even more confounding than I could have possibly anticipated. I have a feeling that I'll need every ounce of my strength if I want to have any shot at conveying to you all exactly how bonkers this purported self-help book is, so -- without further ado -- let's begin. I Can Make You Hot!, subtitled The Supermodel Diet, has a fairly straightforward premise. Kelly, who "has done it all when it comes to nutrition and her body," will share her hard-earned wisdom with us, her humble readers. Or, as she says in her own words on the back cover:
In I Can Make You Hot! I'm going to clue you in to all the tricks I've learned from a variety of experts and that I now use to live my own life. I want you to be the best you -- happy, attractive, shapely, interested, interesting, and most of all, smokin' HOT!
The blurb promises that the experience of reading this book will be "like rooming with a supermodel and going on a diet together." Truly, only someone with Kelly Bensimon's tenuous grasp on reality would say this as if it were something exciting, rather than a scenario taken directly out of the third circle of hell. But before we can truly learn what it means to be HOT!, we're treated to a foreword by none other than Russell Simmons. As he shares with us:
Kelly is a great mother and is constantly instilling strong principals [sic] in her daughters. In my opinion, that's the essence of being HOT. Kelly is smokin'.
And just like that, I Can Make You Hot! is knocked out of the running for First-Book-I've-Read-By-A-Bravolebrity-That-Is-Also-Free-From-Glaring-Typographical-Errors. Better luck next time, champ! In case you were at all hesitant about Kelly's suitability for the job of helping the less fortunate among us reach their maximum potential, Russell clarifies:
Her beauty truly comes from within, and her clear internal compass and well-balanced lifestyle is what makes her an arbiter for what's hot. She has always had her own individual road map and is one of those people who beats to their own drum. Many are amazed by her leaps of faith and courage, which are products of her sustainable soul. And back to that energy! I used to think: If we could only package it. And now Kelly has!
I would kill to be a fly on the wall during a conversation between Russell Simmons and Kelly Bensimon. But all of these endorsements are making me impatient to dig into Kelly's advice, so I skim over the next few pages and arrive at the introduction: "What's HOT and What's Not." Almost immediately, Kelly reassures us that she was not always the gorgeous, talented socialite she is today -- "No. Let's just say that I was never one of those tiny, cute blonde girls who guys named their hamsters after." Excuse you what?I literally just walked away from my laptop to go talk to my boyfriend and make sure I'm not just ignorant of some otherwise well-known traditional male courtship ritual in which young men adopt rodents and christen them after the women they love. That doesn't seem to be the case, although please reach out if you can shed any additional light on this situation. Reasonably enough, before we can learn how to be hot, we have to know what hot is. Fortunately, Kelly wastes no time in getting us up to speed:
When I was trying to come up with a title for this book, I kept asking myself how I would define what I love. "HOT" is the word that best describes what I love, and it's not a word I throw around lightly. "HOT" is attractive, unique, and first-rate -- never mediocre. Avril Lavigne made a video called "HOT." There are "HOT" issues of all my favorite magazines. Hotmail.com was given that name to indicate that it was the best e-mail service, and www.urbandictionary.com, whose definitions are created by their readers, defines "hot" as (among other things) attractive, the best, and someone who makes you wish you had a pause button when they walk by because you don't want that moment to end. (I want you to feel like that "someone.") Health, wellness, and fitness are always hot topics. "HOT" may be a buzzword but it's also how I describe the best there is and the best you can be. I've used the words "smokin' hot" for everything from a killer chicken wing red sauce to a coveted couture gown.
There is…a lot to unpack here. My leading hypothesis is that Kelly must have accidentally exposed her internal circuitry to water and started shorting out while writing this passage, causing her to string together a rambling parade of incoherent sentences with no relationship to one another, save a tangential association with the amorphous concept of hotness. Also, it's factually inaccurate. A cursory Google search reveals that Hotmail.com was not "given that name to indicate that it was the best e-mail service." Rather, the service's name was selected as a reference to the use of HTML to create webpages, as is more apparent from the original stylization, HoTMaiL. I know from her savvy allusion to "www.urbandictionary.com" that Kelly is capable of navigating the Internet, so I'm disappointed that she's made such a careless oversight within the first three pages of the book proper. Kelly next takes us through a few scenes from her past to illustrate how she has come to understand the true meaning of "HOT." Here are just a few of the assorted pearls of wisdom that Kelly is gracious enough to share with us:
Is skinny hot? Naturally skinny is hot. Starving yourself in order to change your natural body type in order to get skinny is not hot.
For me, the ultimate HOT girl is the nineteenth-century Gibson girl.
…Bethany Hamilton, the young surfer who lost an arm in a shark attack and didn’t let it stop her from pursuing a sport she loves. She's smokin' HOT.
pregnancy is smokin' HOT
I'm distracted from my diligent note-taking by a line that truly makes me laugh out loud.
I don't want to pretend that I'm "just like you." To do that would be disingenuous, and you wouldn't believe me anyway. But I may be more like you than you think. My hair may be ready for Victoria's Secret, but my values are still Midwestern.
I appreciate the honesty! As I continue reading, I am pleased to learn that I am, in fact, already consuming this piece of literature in the appropriate way. As Kelly says:
I urge you to make notes as you go along, either in the book itself or, if writing in a book is anathema to you, in a little notebook to use as your own personal guide. Jotting down ideas as they pop into your head is the best way to process them and be sure that they don't leave again before you've had a chance to commit them to long-term memory. Then, if you've made a mistake, when you go back and see it there on paper, you'll remind yourself not to do it again. Or, as I like to say, you'll avoid getting bitten by the same food dog twice!
Bitten…by the same….food...dog? Never change, KKB. (As an aside, what's the oveunder on Kelly having even the slightest idea what the word 'anathema' means?) If I'm being totally honest, this book is making me feel a little superfluous. What more can I add when the source material is so impenetrable to begin with? How does one parse the unparseable? Newly humbled, I suppose I'll have to be content with just gaping in confusion alongside the rest of you. And now that I think about it, what better book to build me up from these insecurities and encourage me to be my best? In the words of Kelly herself:
After all, why wouldn't you want to be HOT? What's the alternative? Being "not so hot"?
The book is organized into seven chapters, one for each day of the week, focusing on seven distinct facets of hotness. We start our journey on "Monday: Make a List -- Plan and Prepare!" and are immediately blessed with another one of Kelly's philosophical ramblings:
To me, living well is the only option. What, after all, is the only alternative? Living badly? Who aspires to live badly? I want you to live well, and that's going to take some planning.
Eager to improve myself, I read on:
What are your goals for yourself? If you're going to make changes in your life, you need to have a plan, you need to prepare, and you need to take the time to get it right -- so that you don't wind up wasting your time. This is my plan, and from now on it's going to be yours. Monday is going to be the day you make a HOT plan and prepare for the rest of your week. Let's get started together!
I can't help but feel like this is one of those answers that beauty pageant contestants give when they don't actually know how to respond to a question. Or like a motivational speech written by a rudimentary AI. I can't quite articulate exactly what it is that makes Kelly's writing seem so utterly devoid of logical coherence, but it truly falls into the literary equivalent of the Uncanny Valley. Reminding us that "this isn't just about budgeting your food; it's about budgeting your life," Kelly peppers us with even more helpful tips -- "You don't want to be that person who is snacking while you're shopping. That's not hot -- period." and shares a stream-of-consciousness-style list of "Staples I keep in my house." Which may possibly be some kind of freeform postmodern poetry. Judge for yourself. Kelly advises the reader to "get out your calendar or PDA" to get a sense of your schedule. "Then use your PDA to find the closest well-stocked market and go there. Making life easy for yourself is what it's all about." Now is as good a time as any to clarify that this book was published in 2012. I'd be lying if I said reading so many consecutive Housewives memoirs hasn't made my grasp on sanity a bit shaky, but I am fairly positive that 2012 was not a banner year for the Personal Digital Assistant. Kelly has taken the time to pluck out a few particularly incisive pearls of wisdom throughout the book to highlight as "Kelly's Cardinal Rules." I would love to help clarify exactly what this one means, but I'm afraid I'm utterly clueless. One thing I do know for certain, however, as the chapter comes to a close, is that "human contact is HOT; texting is not!" The week continues with "Tuesday: A Little Ohm and a Little Oh Yeah! -- It's All About Balance." It is imperative that you work out, says Kelly, adding, "I've never met a smokin' hot couch potato and I bet you haven't either." Her personal exercise routine, as she shares, combines aerobics and yoga "because life is all about balance." As she quips, "I'm sure even Gandhi cracked a smile from time to time." A panel titled "HOT Tip" admonishes the reader: "Don't call it working out because exercise shouldn't be work!" If you'd like to spend a morning in the style of Kelly Bensimon, it's as easy as eating "a couple of oranges" and drinking coffee -- "I love coffee; I would probably marry coffee if it proposed." She also lets us in on some of her secret, highly advanced workout routines designed to maximize your time in the gym and propel you towards your full potential. Such as the "Happy Twenty," in which you run for 18 minutes and then do 2 minutes of squats. We get further instruction on the hottest ways to run on the following page, where a two-page spread advertises "a few of my HOT tips for having a fun run." To ensure that you're able to start your journey to HOT as quickly as possible, I've taken the liberty of transcribing one of her most valuable nuggets below:
Run in the street instead of on the sidewalk. I took a lot of flack for this when they filmed me on Season 2 of the Real Housewives of New York City. The thing is, I think that people walking down the street while texting are a lot more dangerous than a car. Drivers will go out of their way to avoid you (accidents are too much paperwork, and they really mess up a day), but strolling texters will walk right into you without even seeing you. You could also get smacked by a shopping bag, a stroller, or even an oversized purse. Sidewalks are really obstacle courses. Beware!
Kelly shares some standout tracks from her workout playlist ("It's much more fun exercising to music!"), including the perennial pump-up-the-jam classic, "Skinny Love" by Bon Iver. With no regard for thematic continuity or overarching structure, the next page is dominated by the header "Get Leggier Legs."
An April 10, 2009, article about me in Harper's Bazaar captioned one of the photos "She's got legs." I was born blessed with long lean legs, but I work very hard to keep them looking the way they do. I'm tall, but I could just as easily have long, large legs. And long and large is not hot. Unfortunately I can't give you my legs. But I can help you to be the best you can be.
Truly inspirational. I think. We continue on with Kelly's advice for "how to avoid the 'freshman fifteen," accompanied by a list of what she refers to as "Kelly rules." These run the gamut from near-sinister
Get rid of any negative thoughts. Negative-town isn't Fun-town.
For every cheeseburger and fries, you owe me 12 cartwheels on the quad with your friends.
to bizarrely specific and also racially insensitive.
If you starve yourself for a day because you want to lose weight for Homecoming, you owe me 5 minutes of sitting Indian style in a corner and meditating on why you thought that was a good option.
Upon further reflection, I think I would actually be extremely motivated to stick to a diet if the alternative was being reprimanded by Kelly and forced to think about my poor life choices. As a scientist myself, I was ecstatic to see that Kelly has drawn from a diverse array of scientific disciplines to develop her HOT tips and tricks. Physics, for example:
From Isaac Newton's First Law of Motion A body in motion stays in motion. The velocity of a body remains constant unless the body is acted upon by an external force. So if you want to step up your exercise routine, try running in sand instead of on the pavement, or bike through gravel. That way your body will have to work harder in order to stay in motion.
Even biology has something to teach us about how to be HOT:
You are a living organism; life is an organic process. You need to be up and active, ready to enjoy the process. Be open and available and ready to do fun stuff. Participating in what you love is HOT.
I'm truly impressed by Kelly Bensimon's unparalleled ability to reframe the most basic common sense as divinely inspired wisdom. We see this in lines like
If you're feeling a bit frazzled and you need to calm down, you might want to take a yoga class.
or, as we read in another "HOT Tip" panel
Don't be afraid to drink water while working out.
I refuse to believe that this is a problem any person has ever faced. Even Aviva Drescher is not afraid of drinking water while working out (although, for the record, she is afraid of aluminum foil). Kelly closes out this chapter by encouraging the reader to "do one thing every day that takes you out of your comfort zone." If you find yourself lacking inspiration, she provides helpful suggestions, such as "try a fruit you've never eaten" and "try tap dancing." As she asserts, "there's nothing more foolish than sitting on your butt when you could be moving your body and having fun." I turn the page, and the clock rolls over to Wednesday -- "Diet = 'DIE with a T.'" Cute. I bet Kelly would find that Tumblr post that's like "she believed" to be unbearably clever. She wastes no time in letting us know:
I don't believe in diets; diets are for people who want to get skinny. I want you to be happy. If you feel good about yourself, you'll make good choices. If you starve yourself to be skinny, you'll be undermining your sense of self-worth and you'll be unhappy every day. Eating well -- a variety of high-quality, fresh, unprocessed foods -- is for people who want to be happy -- and if you're not happy you won't be hot! Happy is always better than skinny.
This is starting to feel like some sort of word problem from Algebra II. If happy is better than skinny, but hot is equal to happy, diet = die + t??? Kelly tells us that all women fall into two categories: overachievers and underachievers. Being an overachiever is good, and being an underachiever is bad. Here are some things you can do to become an overachiever:
Make good choices.
When in doubt, have fun.
Kelly's motivational-phrasebook app apparently starts to glitch out right about here, but she continues on:
Stay positive and move forward. This is your last try at today. Yesterday may not have been great, but, today is better -- you just need to see it that way. The choice is up to you.
The idea of someone being in such a dark psychological place that they are able to find inspiration in those words is so deeply sad to me that I can hardly bear to consider it. Thankfully, Kelly has already taken a hard left turn into what I think is some sort of extended metaphor:
I've already said that you need to treat your body like a Ferrari, but maybe you prefer a Maserati, an Aston Martin, a Corvette, or even a Bentley. Whatever your luxury car of choice, if you treat it well, it will increase in value; if you treat it like a bargain rental car, it's just going to wear out -- and being worn out is not hot!
Ah, yes, I'd momentarily forgotten that cars almost always increase in value after they're purchased, and don't have a culturally ubiquitous reputation for losing most of their resale value immediately. Solid analogy. Apropos of nothing, we get a "HOT Tip" list of "model diet secrets that DON'T work." I'm extremely glad that Kelly encouraged us to take notes while reading -- I'd be devastated if any of these pointers had escaped my attention.
Eating Kleenex to make yourself feel full does not work.
The Graham cracker diet does not work.
Drugs do not work.
Well, I suppose this clears up some Scary Island confusion. Had Kelly indeed been doing meth (as the reported cat-pee smell might suggest), she would be fully aware that many drugs are, in fact, extremely effective ways to lose weight. But lest you start to lose faith in the expertise of our fearless leader, read on: "when it comes to food choices, I've probably made every mistake in the book." By which she means that she ate Chinese chicken soup before giving birth to her first daughter and it made her sick, so she ate a turkey sandwich before giving birth to her second daughter and she didn’t get sick. To be perfectly honest, I'm struggling to find a way to apply this wisdom to my own life, but I'm sure it will become clear in no time! Kelly is relatable for the first time so far in the following passage:
When I was accused of being a "bitch" on national television, I was really upset. My response was to find comfort in Mexican food and margaritas for lunch and dinner three days straight.
But we promptly return to form on the next page as she recounts her daily diet of "2 green juices," "a KKBfit lunch," and "a KKBfit dinner." I'd like to take a moment to appreciate how generous it is of Kelly to share her wisdom -- earned through a lifetime of catastrophic missteps -- so freely. It certainly didn’t come without a cost, as the following anecdote illustrates:
On the last day of my juice fast, I took my older daughter to a Yankees game where we gorged on sushi. (Yes, they have sushi at Yankee Stadium) As a result, I was stuffed and blinded by carbs when A-Rod came up to bat and hit a home run. Was I able to savor that A-Rod moment with my daughter? Absolutely not. I was in a food coma. Will I ever let myself be thrown into a food frenzy again? No! Lesson learned: I made another stupid food choice, and because of that choice I missed that home run moment with my daughter. From now on, when I go to a Yankees game I'll have a small hot dog instead….I want you to do the same.
Verily! Heed her words of wisdom, lest ye not also lose the precious chance for thine own A-Rod moment. But don’t think this caution means that you have to get caught up in the minutia of your day-to-day. On the contrary, appropriate planning means "you can stop obsessing about your carrot intake and concentrate on what it is that's going to make you a great person in life." To help illustrate this point, Kelly introduces us to the "Kelly pie."Otherwise known as a pie chart. This is a helpful way to really visualize how much time you'll have now that you can cut that pesky carrot-pondering out of your day! Kelly even offers some thoughtful "hints" to divide your pie:
Celebrate your own health. We take health for granted.
Get up in the morning and say, "I'm so grateful to be where I am and look the way I do," no matter what your size is.
Tell yourself you look HOT, because you do.
Believe in your ability to make good choices today and every day.
Be mindful of what you eat. If I have to be mindful of what I eat, so do you. We're in this together.
Ooh, sorry Brad, I won't be able to make it to this afternoon's meeting -- it actually conflicts with my daily session of believing in my ability to make good choices today and every day. No, I understand how that could seem like an abstract sentiment rather than something that actually takes up time within your daily schedule, but if Kelly has to do it, so do I! And to be honest, my day is packed enough as it is -- it takes at least a second or two for me to tell myself I look HOT (because I do!), and I'm just worried that if I try to squeeze anything else in, it will cut into my mid-morning health celebration. Wish I could help! In a strangely threatening aside, Kelly commands: "Write down what you ate for the last two days. Don't lie. We can start fresh tomorrow, one bite at a time." In a section titled, "What I Eat Every Day," Kelly enumerates her "three go-to breakfasts": "two oranges or a plate of mixed berries if I'm not going to be very active, all-bran cereal or some other high-fiber cereal with almond milk or unsweetened coconut milk if I'm going on a long run, riding, or doing something else that requires extra energy, and on weekends, I love making pancakes to eat with my girls." As should be apparent, this is far more than three breakfasts. I am irrationally angry, in the same way I was when a Bachelor contestant said their favorite food was a charcuterie platter. That's cheating. (And yes, I do strongly identify with my Virgo moon, thanks for asking.) Kelly inexplicably (apologies if I've used that word for the zillionth time already) tells us that "a plastic cup that says 'Forced Family Fun' from www.themonogramshops.com makes the smoothie go down with a giggle." Also, "sitting alone in front of the TV eating ice cream is not hot!" We are then introduced to one of Kelly's more advanced strategies, which she calls "Energy Economics." This means that you might need to eat more on days when you are busy and/or exercising, and less on days when you're relaxing. So many innovative ideas, this book has really packed a punch for its < $5 price tag! Another ingenious idea? "Stuff cabbage, sweet peppers, tomatoes, or even onions with ground meat, chicken or turkey seasoned with salt and pepper. Bake until the meat is cooked through and the vegetable is softened." Granted, I have been a pescatarian for almost a decade at this point. But disemboweling an onion, jamming it full of hamburger meat, and cooking it for some indeterminate amount of time at an unspecified temperature seems…wrong. Circling back to her theory of Energy Economics, Kelly explains,
If I don't eat [well], I'm violating my own laws of energy economics and my body goes either into inflation mode (too much energy when I don't need it) or recession mode (not enough energy in the bank for me to draw from). The key is to create economic equilibrium: eating well so that I feel good, which allows me to be happy.
I am begging someone to start a GoFundMe where we raise money to pay Kelly to explain how the economy works. The next page introduces us to "The KKB 3-Day Supermodel Diet," which is less of a diet and more a random assortment of miscellaneous health-related sentiments that reek of the 2009 pro-ana tumblrsphere:
Chew your food 8 times instead of 3 or 4.
Brush your teeth and chew mint gum as soon as you finished eating. When your mouth is fresh and minty, you'll be less tempted to eat again.
The final tip ("nurture yourself") includes a reminder to "blush your checks [sic]." Which may be a typo, but could also very well just be some strange Kelly saying that no one else has ever used in the history of the English language. On the next page, we're introduced to "Kelly's Food Plate."Which other, less sophisticated people typically refer to as the food pyramid. Kelly also takes a brief aside (in a feature box labeled "hot button issue") to expound upon her favorite delicacy, the humble jelly bean:
If you're a fan of the Real Housewives of New York City you probably remember that on Season 3 I took a lot of flack for eating jelly beans and talking about processed and unprocessed foods. I was actually making light of that food snob moment. Who stops at a gas station and asks for carrots? Did you bring your organic food cooler with you on this road trip? The important part is not to be a food snob; but when in doubt choose the best option. Sometimes it's better to be happy than it is to be right. Was I able to make my point? Clearly it wasn’t in the cards at that moment.
This is a truly stunning synthesis of her experience. Underestimate Kelly at your own peril -- this girl has been playing 4D chess for longer than we know. The chapter continues with some tips from Kelly on how to make the most of your meal planning and shopping experience. And no -- you have no excuses:
There's absolutely no reason why you, wherever you live, can't eat "colorful" foods. All over the country there are "gi-normous" supermarkets where fruit and vegetable aisles are bursting with every color of the rainbow.
I am starting to get a "gi-normous" headache trying to make sense of this chaos. Kelly's advice that we can "mix and match what's there to make a FrenAsian or an ItaloGreek meal" is not helping. We also get some tips for how to grocery shop responsibly:
Always go with a list and never buy more than two items you planned on taking home.
This is incoherent, right? I know I need to wrap up Part 1 of this write-up pretty soon, because I've read this sentence at least two dozen times trying to make some sense of it, and am still at an utter loss. I assume she's left out a negative somewhere, but at this point, I realize I've already thought about this tip for approximately ten times longer than Kelly ever has, so I'll move on. For the third or fourth time so far this book, Kelly segues into a literal grocery list. To be fair, this is a very effective strategy to take up several pages with minimal text. And what could be more compelling than
Shitake/oyster mushroom combination packs
Truly the voice of a generation! Decades from now, English teachers will be teaching their students about a fabled wordsmith who once uttered those eternal words, "shitake/oyster mushroom combination packs." Because this book has absolutely no respect for logical cohesion, we are hurled immediately into a diatribe about how expensive it can be to buy organic -- "I recently walked out of an organic market having paid $400 for just three bags of groceries." As I read on, however, it becomes quickly apparent that Kelly has no idea what the concept of 'organic' even means:
"Organic," in any case, seems like something of a misnomer to me. I know the Food and Drug Administration has regulations for certifying foods organic, but to me, for foods to be truly and totally organic, they would have to be grown in a test tube or a greenhouse with no exposure to the natural elements.
Well, sure Kelly. If that's what you would like to use the word "organic" to mean, be my guest. She tosses us another crumb of helpful guidance, but it only serves to make me feel exceptionally sorry for Kelly's daughters and everything they have to endure:
Plate your food as if it were being served to you in a fine restaurant. Use a fancy foreign accent as you invite everyone to come to the table. Or try saying it in French. My girls love it when I announce, "Le dîner est servi!"
We learn in yet another "HOT tip" that "fast food doesn't have to be fat food," and Kelly tells us for the eighth time that she eats two oranges every morning. In what has already become a recurring theme for me in this book, the following passage makes me desperately curious to know how Kelly thinks science works:
One question people frequently ask me is whether I believe in taking vitamins or supplements, and the answer is "yes, I do," because, even though I know my diet is healthy, I can't be sure that I'm getting all the nutrients I need. All the vitamins and minerals we need can be found naturally in foods, but how do we know, even if we're eating a healthy diet, that we're getting everything we need?
I flip back two pages to confirm that Kelly told us quite recently how important it is to read nutrition labels to know what is in the food we eat (to make sure we avoid foods "whose labels are full of words you can't pronounce"). Exactly how she is reading these nutrition labels yet still manages to have no inkling how anyone could possibly begin to assess their vitamin and mineral intake eludes me. She continues:
I don't want to take that chance. I think of the food I eat as fuel and vitamins as my oil -- my body's engine needs both. Vitamins and supplements are not food replacements, but we're exposed to so many environmental toxins on a daily basis that I believe we need to supplement our diets to counteract all the harm those substances can cause.
I can certainly think of something that is causing harm to my psychological stability at this particular moment, which I should probably take as a sign to wrap things up for today and go read some incredibly dense Victorian prose or something to remind myself what a properly constructed sentence looks like. Promise I won't leave you waiting for long!!
My dad and stepmom talk shit about me, my mom, and my brother while I was in the car
I recently posted here, and I wasn’t going to post it. But I need someone to tell. My therapist is not taking patients yet, so any advice is appreciated. Here is my backstory, you can skip it if you want. My dad and mom are separated. They have been separated since I was two. It’s the whole “dad was fooling around while in a different state, got a chick pregnant, left my mom, me, and my brother for her and his son” thing. My stepmom hates my mom, and used to always make fun of her on social media. Anyways, my mom hadn’t seen my dad or a cent from him until I was 7. Then, he made plans to take us away from her. When I was ten, he took my mom to court for full custody. While in court, he told a bunch of lies, such as, my mom had random men in the house, she was letting them touch us for cash, etc. He wanted her to only see us once a weekend a month. Thankfully, he didn’t win. He got the weekend a month, and six weeks in the summer instead. Ever since he lost, he and his wife started treating me and my bro like shit. When my half bro started running around saying, “I’m gay” they went on a tirade over the phone at my bro. (He is ftm and gay) they later found out he was watching shit with some guy saying that. Never apologized. They made fun of my choice to not eat meat, and always took us to meat houses. They ignored us, made fun of our clothing, our looks. Everything. Anyways, I am 13. I was sitting in the car with my dad and stepmom. My brother had forgotten something in the house and went inside to get it. This is where everything went downhill. (Btw, my dad is Mexican and thinks we can’t speak Spanish. I can’t speak it fluently, but I can understand it enough. This convo was in Spanish, I translated it a bit.) Dad: God damn, how is she so forgetful? Stepmom: she’s her mother’s daughter, what did you except? Dad: but she is my daughter, why is she like this? Stepmom: well, you don’t know if she is your daughter. That bitch is a skank after all. (Says the skank) Dad: don’t say that, she is my daughter, I know it. She looks just like my mom as a child. Op is the one who is probably not my daughter. She looks nothing like me. (I look exactly like my mom. I mean, exactly.) Stepmom: Be quiet, she can hear you! Dad: she doesn’t know Spanish enough, plus she is watching a movie or some shit. Stepmom: Monkey, I have to say, I really think you should ask her mom to cut her food a bit. Do you see how fat she is getting? She weighs almost as much as I do, and I am taller! (I’m 4’9 and 96lbs, she is 5’2 and 107lbs. Which one is healthy?) Dad: her mom would go off at me_ Stepmom, loudly: then go off at her! She is going to get her daughter fat like her and then blame you! Look what she did to OP’s sister! She is confused of her gender and sexuality. She wants to be a boy, if she lived here, she would had been normal. She is a bad influence to her brothers and sister! Dad: calm down baby! You are too loud. Ah, OP’s sister is coming. Then my brother comes into the car and they start asking what took him so long. As if my stepmom didn’t just insult him. I haven’t told anyone yet, not even my brother. But I just want this off my chest Edit: I should mention my brother is older then me, he is ftm but they disregard this. My mom isn’t super supportive of him being trans but she is waaayyy more respectful. My dad and stepmom have three kids, who I will get out of their household as soon as I can. They will go through ten times worse then this. They already treat their 9 year old like shit. I will try to record them as all the comments suggest, my stepmom is my best bet since she isn’t the brightest. She’ll talk shit anywhere to her mom about us. And her clients. She is a hairdresser and enjoys telling them stories about my family and me.
I wanted to share some tips and knowledge in skincare since a lot of the same questions are being asked in most posts here. I am not a doctor. this is all based from experience, knowledge, research, advice from dermatologist and another great sub skincareaddiction. Remember skin care is a personal journey (trust me! i have a lot of trial and errors too) Basic Routine: AM - cleanse - moisturizer - Sunscreen PM - cleanse - treat - moisturizer From this, you can add items to suit your personal skin care needs. For example. Oily Skin AM - Cleanse - Anti redness Toner - Spot treat with BHA - Oil free, gel type moisturizer - Non greasy sunscreen PM - double cleanse - Calming Toner - BHA - Niacinimide - Moisturizer For dry skin, maybe add more (7x if u like lol) toner or a heavier moisturizer, etc. You dont need to put a lot, start with the basic routine then add one item at a time so you know what works, what your skin doesn’t like. Everyone’s skin is different. For example, silicones are okay for some, for some it causes irritation and clogged pores. Some are okay with zinc, some aren’t. Always patch test first and YMMV. Always look for the science behind it thus its important to research and check reviews. The cosmetic/skincare industry will try to sell you a lot of stuff. Summary of my other thoughts (references down below) - Always wear Suncreen, indoors, outdoors, cloudy day. As long as there is light (UV index of more than 1), there is UVA, blue light, UVB etc. - alcohol is a no-no (alcohol, alcohol denat, SD alcohol) - fatty alcohols are good (cetyl, stearyl, cetearyl alcohol) - perfume causes irritation - Natural doesnt always mean no irritation - Double cleanse what? 1st cleanser (oil/balm) to remove make up/sunscreen, 2nd cleanser (at correct PH) is the gel/foam/liquidy type. Remove dirt, make up, spf. Squeaky clean is not the goal. Do not over cleanse. Strip in the bedroom not your moisture. - A broken moisture/skin barrier causes skin problem for all skin types (even oily ones) - Hydrating your skin is different from moisturizing. (Multi molecular weight) Hyaluronic acid, glycerin are popular plumping/hydrating ingredient. Although some moisturizers can be hydrating. - They talk about toner as being connected to Ph level or whatever, toning is just a hydrating step, dont complicate it. - Dont over exfoliate, add one chemical exfoliant at a time (either BHA, AHA, PHA, etc). Once your skin gets acclimated then use all the acids, LoL kidding. Be nice to your skin and say no to physical exfoliation (microbeads). 😁 - Why do they like to exfoliate? Its helps with hyperpigmentation, acne scars and has brightening effect (other notable ingredients vitamin c, niacinimide) - Retinol and vitamin C are tricky yet important ingredients. Vitamin C is unstable. Skin care brands often are misleading about Retinol components. - Vitamin C easily oxidizes, once you open the bottle or been sitting on a shelf of a long time, exposed to sun and other elements. Its just poof a waste, even if its marketed as stable with Ferulic acid, etc. that’s why the L-Ascorbic Acid powder is popular (although not easy to use) but is the most effective version out there. There are other vit c products (cheap or expensive) that are said to be effective and hyped by many, YMMV. - most Retinol products are a sham. Just use retin-A or tretinoin (for efficacy) if you’re worried about wrinkles. - Some noteworthy retinol products: Dermatica, Curology, Adapalene, Diffirin, Paula’s Choice 1% Retinol, Avene RetrinAI - Collagen supplements gets metabolized in your stomach before it reaches (if any left) your skin. So you can’t drink beautiful skin but always drink water not sugar, dairy. - Retinol, Niacinimide, Vit C are the only ingredients that has proven to address ‘mature’ skin, wrinkles. Note i didnt use ‘anti aging’ ‘reverse time’ ‘freeze time’ ‘rejuvenate’ ‘detox’ etc LoL those are marketing cliches. - Peptides at most are moisturizing. The only science backed up peptide is the one found in TO Buffet + Copper Peptides and NIOD CAIS2 - Apply skin care beginning with lightest to heaviest; liquid type to cream, last is oil. Popular youtube beauty/skincare vloggers: Hyram, James Welsh, gothamista, Liah Yoo, etc. They all can teach you something or two but they are not doctors/experts/chemist. Sometimes they agree on certain products, sometimes they dont. But they push products (does gothamista really use all of those (tons and tons) products?) I bet she uses NIOD CAIS2 consistently though, just a guess. Liah really looks young though (genes?). They are fun to watch too. For example, Krave Beauty Matcha is a holy grail for James Welsh but ‘its okay’ for Hyram. Gothamista likes ‘the face shop oil cleanser’ but I seriously cant get over the perfume. But they all like (not sure about Liah) Klairs Soft Airy UV essence and Purito centella unscented sunscreen. Liah does not like alcohol but now, Krave Beet the Sun Sunscreen has alcohol. Read up on science: - Thebeautybrains.com - The beauty brains podcast hosted by a cosmetic chemist - Lab muffin - written and vlogged by a chemist - Beautypedia ingredient list - Cosmetic Cop - Paula Begoun Read, cross check, find references Finally, big and expensive clinics will ask their dermatologist / aestheticians to sell products. Be aware. Find a good, honest, within your budget dermatologist. Get to know them, be friends with them. He/She can provide you a lot of insights and help, even free stuff. *if i missed something, got something wrong and/or additional thoughts, please please do make a comment and let me know. Thanks! References: https://www.paulaschoice.com/skin-care-advice/skin-care-how-tos/how-to-put-together-a-skin-care-routine https://www.paulaschoice.com/expert-advice/skincare-advice/sensitive-skin/why-fragrance-free-products-are-best-for-everyone.html https://labmuffin.com/how-bad-is-alcohol-in-skincare-really/ https://thebeautybrains.com/2014/03/which-anti-aging-ingredients-really-work-the-beauty-brains-show-episode-21/ https://www.dscribe.net.au/2019/09/27/busting-clean-beauty-myths-with-lab-muffins-michelle-wong/ https://www.reddit.com/SkincareAddiction/comments/fr5275/misc_why_retinol_can_be_misleading/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf https://thebeautybrains.com/2020/01/peptides-in-skin-care-episode-208/ https://www.reddit.com/SkincareAddiction/comments/hufym6/psa_how_to_recognise_impaired_moisture_barrie?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf https://coveteur.com/2020/05/18/hyaluronic-acid-hydrating-alternative/
As we enter the most wonderful time of the year, the 20 days of footy, we have much to celebrate!
Firstly, we just ticked over 60,000 footy fans in AFL!
We welcome all our new friends from all over the world as our reach expands across to the US and further with regular broadcast timeslots across a range of networks. As well as all our new friends within Australia who are immersing themselves within footy culture from the comfort of their couch and home while we navigate these crazy times. We have welcomed our new friends with weekly newbie threads on a Friday, where no question is silly and all commentary from the perspective of a newcomer is at home and a new Compendium that you should also check out! It is absolutely amazing to see so many people from all walks of life interacting and bonding over the fierce rivalry of who will host the 2020 Grand Final. Which will obviously be Blundstone Arena.
We thank you all for being so welcoming to all our newcomers. And we also thank you for being all so resilient in such troublesome times. We all know that everyone is going through some serious stuff right now in the world and you have all been so supportive of each other.
This new traffic and influx of users has prompted us to announce a revamped rules list and a reminder to familiarise yourself with them, to ensure the high calibre of content you all produce is maintained. AFL is a sport that reaches across all divisions of humanity to bring them together to enjoy the Greatest Sport on Earth. Your subreddit reflects Aussie Rules’ diversity, and as such people from all walks of life are a part of our vibrant community. We have decided to revamp the rules and make them a bit more user friendly, and we are mentioning this now as there has been a substantial increase in abuse and negativity within the subreddit. If you intend to join in the discussion around our great game there are some basic guidelines the AFL community expects you to follow;
Be Respectful to One Another; our game and the people around it can charge some spirited debate, but that doesn’t give anyone license be uncivil.
Be Kind to One Another; the world is an unkind place enough as it is, AFL has a proud history of making all people feel welcome, and expect new users to do the same.
Don’t do Illegal Things; streams, scamming people, harassing other users that kind of thing are not in the communities control once they are referred to Reddit admins, or other appropriate authorities. Please take care.
That’s it really! If everyone did these things we wouldn’t need the next bit!
Reported as: 1.1. Do not be a dickhead. 1.1. What is a dickhead? Not being civil in discussions and debates, and not being respectful of others. Do not be aggressive, call people names, make overtly offensive comments or flame them. Homophobic, racist, sexist, and other intolerant comments directed at those within the AFL industry, community and fellow redditors will be removed, and may also result in a ban. Do not be a dickhead. Being a dickhead, especially repeatedly, may lead to a ban.
1.2. Charging Opposition Player / No Ad Hominem attacks
Reported as: 1.2. Refrain from ad hominem attacks 1.2. Refrain from ad hominem attacks i.e. derogatory comments regarding a person rather than their actions or comments. Offensive comments will be removed and may result in a ban. This includes calling out and negatively usertagging fellow redditors for gloating/spite. Remember the human and play the ball, not the player.
1.3. Contact Below The Knees / Do not Injury Cheer
Reported as: 1.3. Do not Injury Cheer 1.3. Do not Injury Cheer; Any comments wishing injury or taking joy in one will be removed, and may result in a ban.
1.4 Too Many Men on Field / Alt accounts may be banned
Reported as: 1.4 Alt accounts may be banned 1.4. Users, novelty accounts, alt accounts and downvote magnets which make no reasonable contribution to discussions may be banned.
1.5 Illegal Shepherd / Refrain from Discussion on Politics & Religion
Reported as: 1.5 Refrain from discussion on politics & religion 1.5. Unless in a Free Talk Thread or directly applicable to a thread, please refrain from discussing politics and religion. If directly applicable to a submission, please keep the discussion within the thread, and be tolerant of others' beliefs and points of view.
1.6. You Need to Calm Down / Keep Reddiquette in mind
Reported as: 1.6. Keep Reddiquette in mind 1.6. Keep Reddiquette in mind, including general Reddit rules (no illegal activity, no personal information, etc.) We have no control over the action that Admins take in response to breaking Reddit Rules. https://www.reddit.com/wiki/reddiquette
1.7 Yanio, Yknow? / Rumours must be from known personas or media outlets.
Posts only Reported as: 2.8. Rumours must be from known personas or media outlets. 2.8. Rumours must be from known personas or media outlets; this is to cut down on the influx of fake and troll social media accounts making up rubbish for cheap views and drama. Links to unverified social media accounts or to purposefully anonymous accounts will be removed and the user may be banned.
Reported as: 2.4. Do not spam our subreddit. 2.4. Do not spam our subreddit. If the sole purpose of you being a reddit user is to submit content from or to direct traffic to your own website (or blog, or youtube channel, articles you wrote, tweets and twotes from your fan account etc.), we will remove that content, mark your submissions as spam and likely ban you. However, if you are regular contributor of /AFL we are willing to make reasonable exceptions.
2.2 Low Effort Content May Be Removed.
Reported as: 2.2 Low effort content may be removed. 2.2. Memes, advice animals, single line text posts and other low-content posts that do not contribute or spark healthy discussion may be removed at moderators' discretion. This includes ‘lolspotting’ where debate in singular posts for ‘LOL of the Week’, short hot takes from a match just finished ‘Does anyone reckon… ?” or other such similar posts. There is definitely a thread for it during the week or up currently within the subreddit. Please save your Dankest for the Monday Meme thread and read the submission guide for further explanation.
2.1 Do Not Post Streams/Downloads
Reported as: 2.1 Do not post Streams/Downloads 2.1. Do not post threads about streaming or downloading AFL games. Keep them in the match thread or read the How to Watch AFL Guide if you need more information.
Reported as: 2.3 RTFFAQM! 2.3. Please check the FAQ and New queue before making a submission and keep titles accurate and free of bias. When posting news articles, please use the suggested title or the title on the webpage at the time of posting. Do not use URL shorteners, as any posts with URL shorteners will be removed automatically. Mark any NSFW posts clearly. Posts in violation may be removed at moderators' discretion.
2.6. No Submissions Related To Gambling.
Reported as: 2.6. No submissions related to Gambling. Any link or text submission to do with gambling or gambling companies will be removed immediately and may result in a ban. Discussion in specific threads is permitted but is at the discretion of the moderation team. This means posts discussing dollar odds for matches, Brownlow winners, and Coleman etc. Flair bets however, are strongly encouraged.
2.7. Highlight and other AFL videos must be of high quality and from reputable websites.
Reported as: 2.7. Highlight and other AFL videos must be of high quality 2.7. AFL related videos, highlights or media must be of high quality and from a reputable platform, such as v.reddit, Gyfcat, Twitter, YouTube or Facebook. Please do not record your TV on your phone in your shaky hand while balancing a pie in the other. Enjoy that pie. If you need to have a gander of these rules further down the line, as always, they will be in the side bar, alongside the FAQ, the Wiki and a bunch of other cool information. There has been a severe increase in umpire abuse in match threads and discussion threads. They are members of the AFL cohort and it is against subreddit rules to attack them, no matter how justified or vindicated you feel.Commentary on rules within the game itself, and their implementation are allowed, you're allowed to be critical of how the game is governed, from on the grass and in AFL House. Please remember the human. They are doing their jobs, they have family and friends, and are also quarantining for AFL and are missing their loved ones too. In order to continue making the home of AFL on Reddit the best place to be, it is up to you, the legend that you are, and need to be vigilant of this behaviour. If you see any comments or discussion that break rules. Please. Report. It. We are not all seeing eyes. If you wish to see change within the subreddit, report the antisocial behaviour. If you abuse those of the AFL community and your peers within this subreddit, you will be banned. If you send abuse to anyone in the moderating group you will be banned. Be a dickhead, you will be banned. We are all human. We are all here for the same reason, to worship to holy deities of Faganism and Dewdis— uhh..here to enjoy the wonderful sport of AFL. Yes. AFL. AFL is an inclusive, positive and friendly place to meet and discuss all areas of AFL. For everyone no matter their age, gender, sexual orientation, culture/nationality or football team, no matter how much we all hate Collingwood. We are all accountable for what happens here.
Keep staying awesome, please stay safe and enjoy the 20 days of footy!
Thought Process Behind Building a PC. For Beginners, by Beginners.
Disclaimer: I wrote this out of boredom, and to put every knowledge I gathered this last months somewhere for everyone to see. I do not claim any authority nor will take any responsability for whatever you decide to do with this guide. I guarantee that all I wrote, I wrote in good faith. I would really love to be criticized and corrected. Thank youu/buildapcfor your help! Hello fellow /builder! You are probably here to ask for help about your dream pc build. I know I did. For hours. Weeks, actually. I have put together my system about a month ago. Rather than simply sharing my story and showing off my build (I'm not showing because cable management is b a d, ugh), I'd like to give something back to this wonderful community. So here it is, a guide for beginners, in layman terms, without unnecessary technical information.
In order to even begin to request help for building your pc, first you need to know what your computer is going to be used for! There's 3 orders of information priority: Primary informations:
Target resolution: the most common being 1080p/1440p/4k and ultra wide variants
Target refresh rate: 60hz/75hz/144hz mostly
Intended purpose: workstation, gaming, rendering, etc.
If you can't provide these, nobody can really help you, at best they can make educated guesses. These informations relate directly to the parts responsible for your performance: CPU, Graphics Card, RAM, and indirectly to Motherboard. If you own a monitor, you need to find out its specs either by googling the model name, or in Advanced Display Informations. To find details about your monitor, head to Settings > System > Display and scroll down and click on “Advanced Display Settings”. If you are going to buy a monitor, you should always have resolution and refresh rate in mind when picking one. Budget and intended purpose are self explanatory! Secondary informations:
Preferred gaming titles
High average ambient temperature concerns - ie: living at the equator or in a tropical area
Country of residence: mainly for parts scarcity or known overpriced parts
Preferred thermal solution: air or water?
These informations are optional, but might help tailoring your build to your exact needs. Let's say you like Cities Skylines and are going to play that title 90% of the time. Now whoever is helping you, is going to recommend up to 32 gb ram and a slightly overpowered CPU to handle that. Let's say you want to play e-sports only, you might be able to scale down the project and save something on your budget. It's not an everyday occurrance to find someone who is going to play a couple of titles only, but it's less uncommon than you might think! Knowing this specific piece of information can make a measurable difference. If your intention is overclocking, then it's a good idea to say so in your build request. Not every piece of hardware can be overclocked, and not every motherboard can support overclocking. Nevertheless, if you need this guide, then I kindly suggest you do not oveclock. About ambient temperature, it's only really a concern at the high spectrum of the curve, but it might force you to pick a thermal solution. More on thermal solution later. Tertiary informations:
And pretty much anything cosmetic
These informations are merely cosmetic. Some people are obsessed by RGB, some are not. If you don't mention your cosmetic preference, nobody is going to care. Function is always over form when building a pc, particularly with a budget in mind. Most people prefer a brand - I know I do - but most will settle for something else as long as it's better for their needs. If you are a die hard brand loyalist, you should mention that before someone figures out a build for you only to scrap it because you'd rather have a nVidia Graphics Card or Intel instead of AMD CPUs. It happens mostly when upgrading, but sometimes people want their build to end up in their dream (or old) case. If you are in this position, you should mention that because of space constraints. More on this later. So, here's an example of a terrible build request:
pls help I need help for a new pc for under 1k, help?
And here's an example of a good build request:
Hello, I own a 1440p/75hz monitor, I want to play AAA titles at ultra and my budget is about 1200€. I prefer AMD, want RGB (unless it's over my budget), and have a mid tower UL7R4 C00L PC case themed red. I also need some advice on water cooling. Signed: a gentleman and a scholar
Doing your research
Sometimes, you just want to figure out things on your own. Good. Here's what I did, starting with basics. This is the list of parts directly tied to performance:
This is the list of parts that support your performance:
This is the list of parts that handle your system safety and are indirectly tied to performance
How do you even begin? Let's see first what these parts do. CPU The Processor... processes. Want to open a Chrome tab? Process that! Discord in background? A core will take care of that! Preparing a frame for your GPU to render with lights, textures, shadows? That's exactly what your CPU is for. Explaining how and what a CPU does is over the scope of this guide, so here's what you really need to know: core clock, and core count. And that's it for the most part. These two concepts are interrelated. You could have 64 core to work with at a low core clock and it could handle a ludicrous amount of processes, while unable to handle a single process that takes up to 4 cores but requires from each of them a high core clock. Such is the case with videogames, which mostly work off a limited number of cores and will perform better the faster each used core is. More cores ain't going to help, because the game ain't going to use it unless it is programmed to do so! Manufacturer usually take care of this for the consumers, by splitting their hardware portfolio in processors for servers and for consumers. AMD server CPUs are called Epyc and have a consumer equivalent (read: from the same generation) called Ryzen. Intel has Xeons for servers and their i3/i5/i7 line up for consumers. Every generation of CPUs has its own fitting socket. You physically can't put a CPU in a socket that was not designed for that CPU. A CPU socket is a part of motherboards. If you are going to pick a Ryzen CPU, it is a good idea to check what RAM capacity and clock it works best with. You can find benchmarks online for that. Some CPUs are integrated with Graphics Card. These are referred to as APUs, and I'm not going to talk about them because I'm uninformed. Tip: when picking a CPU, check console hardware. I'm not joking. Consoles are meant for gaming and are the common denominator of hardware progress for gaming. PS5 and XBox X are going to have 8 core CPUs, of which 2 are reserved for the system, thus 6 cores for videogames to play with. It's a reasonable expectation that the new standard for CPU core count is going to be 6 in the years to come. Graphics Card If you're a gamer, you want to pay close attention when picking a good GPU for your build. The GPU market is not as segmented as CPU market is, and you can easily find benchmarks for each of them at any mainstream resolution tier. Thus, picking a GPU is commonly the first step of your build, because it is directly tied to the resolution and refresh rate of your monitor. You need not to worry too much about the specs of your GPU. Benchmarks are pretty accurate at predicting their performance, but picking an aftermarket card (sometimes referred to as custom cards) can be tricky. Every Graphic Card design is reinterpreted by different manufacturers, offer different software and bios support, different thermal solutions and features. Here's some of them:
Max clock: some GPUs are factory overclocked, mostly depending on their thermal solutions.
Length: while it's mostly a concern for space constraints in your case, a longer card has generally better heat dissipation because they can fit two or more fans.
I/O shield: basically, the number and type of ports on your GPU.
0DB fans: some cards fan will not start spinning until a target temperature is reached. Neat!
About I/O shield: this is generally a concern for multi monitor setup, but you should always double check that the graphics card you are buying has the correct port for your monitor, be it HDMI, Display Port, DVI or VGA. Adapters exist, but are unreliable. AMD and Nvidia have their own V-sync function, which must be supported by the monitor in the first place in order to work. AMD has Free Sync, and most monitors have this. Nvidia has G-Sync, and most monitors do not have this. Good news for Nvidia, though. They finally caved in and added support for Free Sync, but your monitor needs to have both Free Sync and Display Port 1.2 (well, most of them do, and you should always double check that). Resources:
Motherboard The motherboard is the lymphatic system of your build. It draws power from the PSU to be carefully administered to your other components. Some people think that cheaping out on Motherboard is a good idea. To a degree. As long as your motherboard can handle your CPU power draw, is compatible with your RAM, has enough SATA ports for your storage, has a good number of USB ports and a decent BIOS, it is good to go. Easy right? ...well. Here's some research you can do on your own:
First, google your motherboard name and manufacturer, then click on Specifications
CPU Socket: it has to fit your CPU!
SATA, USB, M.2 storage support, all of these can be inspected in the Specification page under Storage, Features or I/O Shield
RAM compatibility: In the main spec page there should be a general indication such as "Supports DDR4 3200+(OC)". Further, In the page of your manufacturer, look for "Support" or "Memory Support". For Ryzen, you need to know what architecture your CPU is (Summit Ridge, Pinnacle Ridge, Matisse, etc.), for Intel, the generation should be sufficient. Now look for "Memory QVL" or "Memory Support". This should open a list of RAMs split in brands and frequency. Those rams have been tested and are known to work at the declared frequency on that specific motherboard.
BIOS: This one you must research opinions for. A good BIOS lets you overclock or regulate your CPU and RAMs accurately. A good BIOS could be fundamental or entirely optional, depending on what type of user you are. It's not strictly for overclockers, a good BIOS helps recovering, monitoring, and troubleshooting your PC.
Fan/waterpump headers and fan control: yup, a motherboard with multiple fan headers will allow you to upgrade and control the airflow of your case. The water pump header is a necessity in case of water cooling.
Handling of CPU power draw: this one is a bitch. Motherboards draw power from the PSU and give it to your CPU. This process might incur in two issues: capacity and thermal limitations. Any given motherboard can only draw so much power for your CPU, and it gets hot while doing that. This process is regulated by VRM, Power Phases and Power Chokes. What you need to know is that CPUs with high core count and/or power draw (measured under TDP) are harder to handle and will require a better Motherboard with good dissipation and more power phases to operate well. When it comes to low to low-mid range CPUs, this is not a big concern, but the more power the CPU draws, the better the Motherboard has to be.
Motherboard power draw is very hard to investigate, you need to rely on trusted reviewers (such as Buildzoid, Gamer Nexus, Hardware Unboxed) or tier lists on popular forums/sites/reddits. Note that if you plan to overclock, you must have a good Motherboard. Tip: the bulk of your work can be done automatically byPCPartPickersystem builder. Pick your designated CPU, compatible motherboards will be already filtered. If you pick both CPU and motherboard, RAMs will also be filtered for compatibility. Resources:
RAM While PCPartPicker exists, picking a compatible RAM is easy. Picking the right RAM is something else entirely. First things first: do never, ever, buy a single stick of ram. You want 2 sticks of RAMs, which should be bought in pairs. I can't advice against buying 4 sticks of RAM, but make sure motherboard supports them or do some in depth research because system stability is at stake. Nowadays, 16gb of ram, rated 3200 to 3600 mhz, with a Cas Latency (CL) of 16 is the norm. Ryzen CPUs are particularly sensitive to RAMs. As a rule of thumb you should get 3000-3200 mhz CL16 rams for Zen+, and 3200-3600 mhz CL16 rams for Zen2. You can get better rams, but there's no guarantee they will be stable if they are terribly overpowered for your Ryzen CPU (a good motherboard and a good overclocker might make anything stable with little compromise nevertheless). Lower latency RAMs usually cost more than higher frequency rams, but will not incur in such issues. Here's benchmarks for 2 of the most popular CPUs:
Bottleneck Bottleneck is what happens when in a particular task, one of your component (RAM, CPU or GPU) is at the limit of its performance, while the others aren't. Let's cut to the chase: you can not avoid bottlenecking entirely. Bottleneck is hardware, software and settings dependant. You can not make the perfect match, you can only avoid a bad match.
Avoiding hardware bottleneck:
This is extremely dependant on target resolution and refresh rate. CPU has the same workload at either 1080p or 4k. Meanwhile, a given GPU might give you perfect 144 fps at 1080p, and struggle to reach 75 at 4k. The higher your resolution is, the better your GPU needs to be. Conversely, if you know you are playing at 4k and can push 75 fps at most, CPU might aswell be slightly cheaper, because you ain't ever going to use it to its full extent. With consideration for the target resolution and refresh rate, the rule of thumb is: within a given generation of hardware, same range components will not bottleneck each other (a lot).
Avoiding software bottleneck:
Let's say you are playing Cities Skyline at over 100k population. While not much really changed for your GPU, at that point your CPU is probably gasping for watts. Ouch.Let's say you are playing AC:Odyssey. Your GPU is probably working at breakneck pace while your CPU is scheduling her counseling (yup, graphics cards are a she). The same CPU and the same GPU took turns bottlenecking each other, because the workload for each of them was uneven in each title. This is why if you play only a handful of titles it is a good idea to keep them in mind while you request help or figure out your build.
Avoiding user settings bottleneck:
This is corollary to the previous point. Some specific settings are CPU and/or GPU intensity, and lowering them will make a big difference. This is just here to remind you that you do have some influence over bottleneck, and figuring out a sweet spot where both your CPU and GPU are working close to the same pace is a good idea. Resources: You can crosscheck CPU/GPU bottleneck with this site but always keep in mind this is at best a rough estimate that feeds off algorithms, and you should never ever obsess over bottleneck unless you're breaking the rule of thumb (same generation, same tier, with resolution and refresh rate in mind): https://www.gpucheck.com/gpu-benchmark-comparison Thermal Solutions Air or water? The answer is: budget. Air is cheap and reliable, meaning that in the worst case scenario a fan stops spinning and you replace it for 10-15€. Air has diminishing returns, meaning that throwing money at it is only going to help so much performance wise. When buying an air cooler, you need to check for its height to make sure it fits in your case and doesn't touch any other component (mostly happens with RAMs and rarely with Motherboard heat sinks). Water is expensive, powerful but potentially unsafe. A bad installation, a loose bit, spilled water on a running motherboard, the recipe for disaster. Let's be clear here: water cooling your CPU is a perfectly valid solution (it's the best!), as long as your budget is right. You can't cheap out on a water cooler, because if it breaks or fails it will potentially kill your whole build. If you are going to buy a modest water cooler, my personal recommendation is to go for air instead: you are going to spend less and have literally the same performance. If you can spare more of your budget for water cooling, go ahead. Water cooling has a higher performance ceiling, which means less diminishing returns, which means that as long as you keep throwing money at it, it will get better. TL;DR: low into mid range Air cooling wins, mid range to high range Water cooling wins. This is an example of a benchmark between various air and water coolers: https://www.gamersnexus.net/hwreviews/3573-zalman-cnps20x-cpu-cooler-review-benchmark-vs-noctua-nh-d15-others What do high and low temperatures really mean for your hardware? Every single piece of hardware is rated for a specific temperature. When it approaches that temperature, the hardware will start thermal throttling until eventually shutting down. You could call throttling underclocking but, at its core, it's a safety measure to prevent irreversible damage to your components. Most pieces of new hardware nowadays also have a "Boost" feature. This feature is effectively a dynamic, factory overclock, meant to push your hardware to its limit while the conditions (read: temperatures) are right. The lower your component temperature, the more it will boost. Technically speaking, a CPU or a GPU boosting for less while temperatures are high, does not strictly qualify for throttling, but this is merely semantycs. The thing is, that not only your parts are safer, more stable, and will last longer while their temperatures are low. Your parts will also be undeniably faster. A good thermal solution is the safest overclock you can get! PSU Your entire build is at the mercy of the reliability of a single component: the PSU. There are standards that you should always look up to when buying a PSU, and the following is written with exactly those standards in mind, and with the intent of teaching you about them. Before picking a PSU, you first have to figure out the peak power draw of your whole build. This figure is meant to represent how much power your system is going to use under a full synthetic load, while every component is stressed beyond what constitutes normal and even stressful non-synthetic operation. Figuring it out can be tricky and each part has its own caveats. The baseline is always CPU + GPU + a realistic static figure meant to represent the rest of the components. Let's see each of them:
While TDP is a decent baseline, it doesn't exactly refers to the peak power draw. TDP means Thermal Design Power, and it refers to the maximum amount of heat generated in Watts, which might or might not coincide with peak power draw. It's good practice to check for power consumption benchmarks of the CPU you are going to buy, although most of those benchmarks are done with the entire system power consumption figures. The real peak power draw of the CPU under extreme circumstances is rather nebulous. A good bet if you just can't find benchmarks is adding 50% to the TDP to account for synthetic benchmarks, and up to 75% to account for both synthetics and overclock (this figure might not hold up in extreme overclocking). This is a very conservative figure that will most likely cover the vast majority of CPUs. Still, some TDPs are hilariously underrated. I can not stress this enough: you must look for benchmarks for your CPU power draw. Even if you stumble upon a system power consumption, you can use that as a baseline if the build is anywhere near your own.
GPUs peak power draw are much more adherent to their rated TDP, but there's a reliable way to check it out. The Power Limit of every GPU is written in their own BIOS, of which we luckily have a database: https://www.techpowerup.com/vgabios/ Search for Vendor, Brand and Model. Sometimes the entire range of the Power Limit is provided (minimum, stock, and maximum power draw), here's an example: RTX 2060. Sometimes it's just a single entry of Power Limit, and an Adjustment Range somewhere in there for you to figure out the minimum and maximum power draw, here's another example: RX 5600 XT. In this last example, you can read a nondescript "Total" under Power Limit and under Adjustment Range you can read "Power: -50% to +20%". This also gives you an accurate estimate of the extra power draw resulting from a software overclock.
A realistic static figure
Motherboard, RAMs, storage, fans and fans controllers, RGB, Water Pumps, WiFi, everything draws power, but it might be less than you would expect. Motherboards draw at most 10W, the biggest RAMs barely reach 10W per stick, SSD/M.2/HDD are in the ballpark of 2-5W. The peak power draw of all components of your system, except for CPU and GPU, is at the very most 50W. And that's a conservative figure, meant to account for the impossible case in which you somehow can push every single thing in your system to its limit. So there it is, add up the power draw from CPU and GPU, then the static figure (50W), and that's your baseline. Well done! Now add about 25% and up to 40% to that figure depending on your anxiety levels, and that's the capacity you need to look for in your PSU. Not convinced? Check for power consumption benchmarks from reputable sources, they list the entire system setup, and then test the power consumption of the whole system at the socket. Even if the entire system is not exactly the same as yours, you can scale things up or down intuitevely researching those components. Now, let's move onto PSUs. PSUs have 3 main characteristics:
The rated capacity expressed in Watts refers to the stable point of continuous power delivery. In truth, most PSUs will handle much more power than that, this limit is commonly referred to as Peak or Maximum Power. For example, my PSU is rated at 550W, but benchmarks have shown it's peak power to be over 700W. Good PSUs are very efficient. 80 Plus has taken it upon themselves to test the efficiency of most of the PSUs ever made. 80 Plus badges range from White (ew) to Titanium (ow). A 80 Plus Bronze is the absolute least I would settle for, but it's not a guarantee that you're buying a good PSU. Gold is a good standard, and most PSU that come with that badge are pretty good. Quantitative data is not enough, not every PSU is born equal, and they will differ for quality. You can't possibly figure out the quality of a PSU without buying, testing, benching, and taking it apart. Luckily, some people on the internet have already done that for you. Refer to the resources down here to research for a PSU that fits your needs. Resources:
Revisioned with the unvaluable help ofu/GallantGentleman, the conversation took place here. Case A case is not merely cosmetic. A good case will support multiple fan configurations, have great cable management, and most importantly will fit all your components. Once you account for all of that, you can pick a case based on your taste. So here's what to consider before you even begin to care about aesthetics.
Motherboard form factor Motherboards come in different form factor. From bigger to smaller size. extended ATX > ATX > Micro ATX > Mini ATX. Cases specs will always mention form factor. It is a good idea to pick a roomy case, as it hugely helps airflow.
Number of fan slots and length At the very least, there should be 2 front fan slots, and 1 rear fan slot. If you opt for a water cooler, you should keep in mind the length and width of the radiator, because it's going to be mounted on fan slots.
Cable management This is a tough one. You need to rely on reviews because it's impossible to tell how good a case is at cable management without trying to build anything into it first.
GPU length Specs will often mention the maximum GPU length. Do never exceed that and don't get to close to the limit either.
USB support matching your motherboard Crosscheck motherboard and case specs.
A few words or airflow. Positive and negative pressure are a measure of how much air is getting in your case versus how much air is getting out of your case. If you push more air out, it's negative pressure. If you push more air in, it's positive pressure. Based on my own tests and everything I could find on the internet about it, I firmly believe positive air pressure is better than negative air pressure. Not only dust filters are going to keep your case dust free for longer while you have positive pressure, it is also that much better for GPU temps. Negative air pressure is still valid, I simply think it is inferior.
Now Build It!
Let's help the guy who requested help earlier.
Hello, I own a 1440p/75hz monitor, I want to play AAA titles at ultra and my budget is about 1200€. I prefer AMD, want RGB (unless it's over my budget), and have a mid tower UL7R4 C00L PC case themed red. I also need some advice on water cooling.
He wants to play AAA/ultra at 1440p/75hz. Let's assume he lives in Europe. A 2060 Super or a 2070 super will do him good. Let's check benchmarks: https://www.gamersnexus.net/hwreviews/3486-nvidia-rtx-2060-super-and-2070-super-review-benchmarks . Well, the 2060s could keep up with that for the time being, but if there's any budget headroom, a 2070 super would do him better. Now let's pair his GPU to a decent CPU. He needs to push at least 75 fps in the most demanding games. GPUcheck says R5 3600 will not bottleneck the 2070, which is cool, but gpucheck is good at a sight, you still need to check crossbenchmarks if you can find any, in this case you should look for the difference between 3600+2060s and 3600+2070s at 1440p. Here's something: 2070s + 3600 @ 2k*1440p (ultrawide) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0xdYMInuiA2060s + 3600 @ 1440p https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfc9cXWYtBk All fine. 2070s can handle 1440p/75hz like a breeze and will max anything you throw at it for the next 2-3 years. I'll just put the CPU and GPU in PCPartPicker, put a Tomahawk because it works with literally anything, and grab the best rams for a R5 3600 and the most reliable PSU I can find. https://de.pcpartpicker.com/list/BNfG8M There, within budget. Does it even matter that there's no case? I mean you can stretch a bit, right? Right? Revisioned on 21/07/2020. Some formatting fix, expanded Thermal Solutions, revisioned the entire PSU section with the help of u/GallantGentleman. Thank you all for the support, criticism, advices, and the awards! This guide is now over, and hopefully it will help anyone who stumbles upon it.
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