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My [26M] wife [24F] is going on a business trip with a male coworker who sent her a suspicious text. I need help.
So first things first. About a week ago, my wife's phone was on the coffee table while she was in the kitchen. It buzzed and I looked at it. It was a text message from someone named Alex with the message "I bet you do" and a winky face emoji. I figured it was one of her girl friends from work gossiping so I brushed it off. Now fast forward. Earlier today my wife told me that she has to go on a business trip about 200 miles away. I thought this was incredibly strange, because she has never had to travel for work before and with the coronavirus going on, I don't know why her bandage manufacturing company would need her to travel. Because of these intuitive curiosities I asked a lot of questions, which made her a little irritated. One question I asked her was how many people were going - she said three. Her, Alex, and Barbara. The name Alex brought back the memory of that text, and all of a sudden I got a little worried that maybe it wasn't what I had originally interpreted it to be. So I asked "Just you three girls," and she said "Well, no, Alex is a man." We continued the conversation. I didn't want to let on that I saw her text message from earlier. Now I was a bit paranoid so I called up her company and asked to speak to Barbara in my wife's department. The receptionist told me that nobody named Barbara worked in that department. I was crushed and just hung up because I couldn't come up with anything to say after that shock. Now I need to know - what is going on? What should I do? My marriage feels shaken to the core all of a sudden. Update: https://www.reddit.com/relationship_advice/comments/hyrexb/update_my_26m_wife_24f_is_going_on_a_business/ UPDATE: My [26M] wife [24F] is going on a business trip with a male coworker who sent her a suspicious text. I need help. Well, here is the update to this post: https://www.reddit.com/relationship_advice/comments/huu567/my_26m_wife_24f_is_going_on_a_business_trip_with/ My wife went on the trip two days ago. One very helpful commenter suggested using Find My Iphone to see where she goes. I bought our IPhones together so I was able to do this. When she went on her trip I pulled out the phone. Two hours later, I saw that she was in a residential area not even fifteen minutes away from our house. My heart dropped. That was it. I wrote down the street and intersections where the phone was located because I didn't want her having her fun. I know it was probably stupid, especially in retrospect. But I wanted to catch her. I drove to the house and rang on the door a couple times. Two minutes later a man came down in a towel. Bad sign. That was it. He asked "Can I help you?" And I said "who's up there with you?" He laughed and said "excuse me?" I told him I knew my wife was up there for some kisses and that he can have her, that she'll fuck him over. I had planned to get a picture for proof for the divorce so she couldn't take all my money. So I pulled out my phone. Then he said something that made me so angry, and that would probably anger and frustrate you if you heard it too. It was stupid but I took a swing at his head. His towel fell off so while he grabbed it I ran back to my car. I'm now calling lawyers and seeing how I can get away from her without giving her a cent. She definitely was cheating. EDIT: You dopes upvote anything. This subreddit is nothing but a soap opera for 15-year-old incels. RA is doomed to be full of shitty made-up cheating stories because it’s easy to create and that’s what you want to read.
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.
First thing first, first post here, I'm on mobile and English is not my first language so be sure to correct me in the comments. With this out of the way lets go. This story took place a month ago. I play Fortnite (I know you can roast me in the comments) and I'm not the best that ever was but still a decent player. I was playing some creative fill after being advised to by my brother. It all started well with fun, nice chat and some zone wars. After an hour I was left with one other guy and was preparing to leave when he spoke: The participants: Me: guess who Ek: little goblin Em: entitled mother Ek: Do you want to 1v1 me. First time he spoke, sounded like a 8-10 year old. Me:Sure We set one so basic rules and started. Some time later the score was 12 at 1 for me. I was not a good player but this kid was just bad. As an idea he was wearing the tier one skin from the battelpass (important later) while being level one, I was over 150 at that time. Ek: Your cheating! Me: No, I'm not. Ek: Yes you are, I am the best. I defeated Ninja and Tfue. Me: You suuuure did. Ek: Yes I did, let's go one more round. We went one more and in the middle of everything I observed that he broke the rules by taking better weapons. Still, I won. Ek: Your hacking, I'm gonna tel you to my mum. As I was preparing to leave again I heard a voice. Em: You definitely cheated, my angel is the best at every game he plays. As compensation buy him that battelpass that this games has. I kidd you not that wat she said. And by the sound of "that battelpass" I'm pretty sure she doesn't know what she is talking about. Me: Mam first thing first i didn't cheated, second thing second i will not buy your son the battelpass, and third thing third even if i wanted to buy him the battelpass, which I'm not buying, he already has it by looking at the skin he has equipped. Ek: Then give me your account. Em: Good idea sweetie, give him your account, I'm sure you have many skins. Me: I'm not giving him you my account, I put enough money in it and it has value to me. Ek: Then let's 1v1 for it. At first I was sceptical but even if I lost I would have given him another account with no skins seeing as he was not gonna bet his account too. Me: Ok but we play after my rules. No healing and only the weapons I chose. I want a fair fight if I'm betting my account. Ek: Ok Em (silently but still being able to hear her): That's my kid. Win by any means necessary. I understood that he was not going to play fair but I continued. 3 minutes later I was victorious even though he cheated. Em: You cheated, give my son your account you fuking idiot I will get you banned if you don't do it. Me: I'm not giving you shit (I really lost my marbles by now) if one I should be the one getting something. You are the ones that cheated. I accepted this deal even though your little goblin would not give me anything in return if I won. So now I'm going out and hope to not see you ever again. Em: DON'T YOU DARE LEAVE, YOUR NOT LEAVING UNTIL I SAY SO, SO STOP BEING A BITCH AND GIVE ME....... Me: Ok Karen. I just closed the game entirely. I'm not even sure why I said that in the end. The kid didn't try to friend me so I think that as a win in my book and happily I didn't got banned. So in the end I was left with a good story to tell and some angry entitled people with their hands empty after not being able to scam a 17 year old.
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.
Book 1 of The HEL Jumper Book 2 of The HEL Jumper ----- Previous | First | Patreon Thanks to Big_Papa_Dakky, Darth_Android, bloblob, AMERICUH, The_Real_Jumper, Mr_Polygon, Krystalin, Damned_Thrice, Mamish, Vikairious, Sam_Berry, RedHawkdude, KillTech, LilLaussa, Daddy_Talon, Gruecifer, Gaelan_Darkwater, Konrahd_Verdammt, red-shirt, Benjamin Durbin, and 42 others supporting me on patreon. ----- With little else on his plate, Russell Winters took his time walking through the corridors and facilities of the Event Horizon. More than a few curious civilians who weren’t aware of his identity nodded or waved his way, surprised to see a new face after so long aboard. He returned the greetings briefly but carried on towards the rear of the ship, his confident stride impressing upon those he met that he had somewhere to go and something to do. The reality wasn’t quite that demanding, but it allowed him to avoid any sort of prolonged discussion, or any discussion beyond a simple nod of his head or a single word to acknowledge a passerby. Deep down he couldn’t help but feel adrift or alone. For the first time since he’d lost the Lancer not even Io was around to chat. That wasn’t exactly true, of course, but she was with Veera and Asha, and he did not want to be seen conversing with the ceiling. So instead he continued through mostly empty corridors, lightly used thanks to the marvel that was the tube system and the fact that most everyone was at their job or station given the hour of the day. The midpoint of the ship was actually quite easy to spot, with the gently sloping, white hallways of the civilian half giving way to defined edges and metallic gray of the military. When those long stretches of metal and polymer began to blend together, the novelty of the ship itself having long worn off, the Jumper fell into reflection as so many humans do in times of solitude. Given his conversation with Natori earlier in the day, it was perhaps natural that his thoughts eventually turned to Jess and the others. Emotions once raw and crippling felt muted and distant, the passive mask on his face only giving way when he cursed and chastised himself, upset that he couldn’t remember Jess’ face as clearly as he wanted to. With his personal effects also blown to smithereens, it would be many more months until he could see her again the way he wanted to, smiling and clothed like a civilian in photographs saved on his personal devices back home. He resolved not to get upset at Kaczynski if the Admiral chose to do something involving the stock photographs taken of every member of the HEL for just such an occasion, the ones with forced smiles, uniforms, and flags in the background. Finding himself in yet another empty corridor, save a passing maintenance bot, he felt comfortable muttering a quiet thank you to Veera, recalling the first time she’d told him about her parents and the ‘dull ache’ that their passing had left behind. He thought he understood better what she meant by calling it a scar that never truly faded. After half an hour or so, which consisted of a couple stops to check his location within the orbiting behemoth that was the Event Horizon, Russell finally arrived at a familiar junction, the area just outside the armory proper where he’d ‘introduced himself’ to Lipper’s squad. Finding the place to be blessedly quiet and devoid of cocky, bombastic Jumpers, Russell walked through the automatic doors, nodding his head as weapons and munitions of all types greeted him. All were locked and stowed according to HEL protocol, of course, so he didn’t exactly have free reign to try out what looked to be the newest version of humanity’s shoulder-fired rocket launcher. Instead, he nodded approvingly at what appeared to be remote detonated airburst shells before moving along the line towards a shooting range style storefront and workshop built into the back of the armory. Russell did bother trying to hide his surprise when he recognized the graying Persian man behind the counter. “Darius?” The well built master at arms glanced up from a book he was reading, real paper and ink, to furrow his brow at the young man. “Two weeks. I was wondering if you were going to stop in and say hello. Didn’t think Marshall Winters’ son was that ungrateful. I assume those two weapons I received this morning are yours then?” he asked, placing his bookmark and slowly unlocking the door to his range. Despite Winters’ slight height advantage, Darius had some choice words for him as the two men stood face to face. “Next time you decide to pick fights in my neck of the woods, the sparring room is right over there,” he growled, pointing over his shoulder to another, nondescript door in the gray wall of the armory. “I finished that one, Darius. Didn’t start it,” Winters insisted, standing his ground. “You’ll forgive me if I don’t take that one at face value, Rusty. My memory isn’t gone yet and I seem to recall more than a handful of brawls that ended up in the ring after you started em.” “Yeah well, you can ask my wife about this one. Don’t worry, sounds like they’re back in action already.” Darius cocked his dark eyebrows at Winters, sizing him up. “Now you wouldn’t joke around with a well armed old man, would you?” “Oh shut it, Darius. You don’t look a day over fifty.” “That’s cause I am fifty you little punk, now what’s all this about you getting hitched?” the stocky man demanded, crossing his arms over his chest and threatening the seams of his shirt sleeves. Russell couldn’t help but smile. Darius always seemed to run a size too small, but he had the musculature to pull it off. “Married planetside, one of the local women. They’re very intelligent, just a bit behind on the tech curve.” “Hah! Not intelligent enough to avoid you, kid. Ah, it’s funny,” Darius sighed regretfully. “I always assumed that when everything was said and done you and that plucky little captain would shack up together after seeing a bit of the galaxy. Guess fate had other ideas.” When the grizzled armorer looked close and saw not just sorrow, but guilt on Russell’s face, he pressed the issue. “Ah damn, don’t tell me?” “Yeah, best I don’t tell you,” the Jumper agreed. Darius extended his hand and the two of them shook. “I’m glad you got off that ship alive, kid. Like I said, fate had other ideas. Shame about Jessica and the others. To think I’d hear about your damn wedding before your pops and mother? C’mon, there’s only one thing to do at a time like this.” With a shrug, Winters followed the man who’d armed and equipped him during basic training and beyond through the door to his inner sanctum of sorts. “Looks just like back on Earth, Darius. How’d you end up here?” “Not complicated, Rusty. The Admiral offered me a promotion and a pay raise,” Darius offered, heaving a standard small arms container onto the shelf and unlocking the clasps. “And before you accuse me of betraying Delta or Omega or whatever other nonsense you might be thinking, Beta holds all the patents and Natori knows what to do with them.” “Hey, he came all this way to get me. I’m not complaining… except for the fact that he almost got my sister and everyone else aboard killed,” Russell groused, his words stopping Darius mid-motion as the master at arms unveiled the Jumper’s rifle and pistol. “I’m still alive, which means I don’t want to know, kid. Now, where the hell is your sword and shield?” he wondered, taking a critical look at the rifle first. “The locals have whetstones and the like. No problems there,” Russell reported. “I don’t care if the locals have self-churning ice cream, soldier. You have access to an armory now. I expect you to properly care for your weapons,” Darius ordered in no uncertain tones, reminding Russell very much of his own father. He didn’t think it a coincidence. Most senior individuals in the HEL’s military branches knew one another. “Then by all means, master. Proceed,” Russell chuckled at Darius’ new title. The weaponsmith did just that. “Says the First Lieutenant? Congratulations, by the way. Pistol looks fine, I’ll admit. We use a newer model but it’s chambered in the same caliber. Hang onto this one,” Darius advised. Russell showed him a picture on his B-MASS. He knew he looked a bit silly walking around with just one gauntlet, but he hated the idea of downgrading to other portable technology when he was so familiar with his own. “Given what that thing’s killed, you bet your ass I will.” Darius carefully placed the handgun on the countertop, meaning to give it a full cleaning anyway. “Kid, what the hell is that?” “One hell of a story.” “Oh fine, keep your damn secrets,” the Persian scoffed, bending over to examine Russell’s rifle closely. A golden chain with the Persian lion, sword and all, hung from his neck. “What was the last time you fired this thing, Rusty? Sight is misaligned.” “My wife was the last one to use that weapon. Had to adjust it for her.” “The hell happened down there?” Darius wondered quietly, shaking his head and moving on to the chamber. After a brief visual inspection he left it with its partner and reached for a small wooden case on the lowest shelf next to boxes of ammunition, earplugs, and eye protection. He opened it and withdrew two glasses, each of which featured the Persian Sun and Lion, as well as the Goddess Anahita around the sides. Nestled between an additional two glasses were multiple bottles of whiskey from Japan, India, Scotland, and the United States. “Drinking on the range?” Russell wondered sarcastically. “Did you leave ammunition in the chambers?” Darius asked flippantly, already knowing the answer as he poured a small taste from Japan first, flicking a couple drops of water into his own from a nearby water bottle. “No, didn’t think so; cause you aren’t an idiot like Rex was his first day. Now that we’ve established the guns won’t self-animate and kill us, we’re drinking.” “I’m not complaining but isn’t that, you know, haram or something?” Russell asked, accepting the glass with thanks. Darius took a smell of the amber liquid in his glass before furrowing his brows at the young Jumper. “How long have you known me, Rusty?” “Geez… I guess I’m twenty five now so call it seven years on and off?” “And in those seven years, how many times a day have you seen me kneeling on a rug facing East?” Russell bobbed his head back and forth to acknowledge the point, taking a smell of his own. The scent was utterly divine, smooth, powerful, and pure. “Guess none?” “That’s because I’m Zoroastrian. One day, god or gods willing, whichever you prefer, the fatherland will return to its true roots. Until then, we must drink to something else. To Jessica and the other honored dead, may they be at peace.” Darius and Russell clinked glasses before partaking. The former downed his like it was nothing, while the Jumper savored the taste of alcohol for the first time in almost a year. He kept it on his palate a bit too long and began coughing as he swallowed. Darius’ laughed loudly, his voice carrying down the silent firing range and back. “What’s wrong, kid? Out of practice?” “You could say that,” Russell agreed, handing back his glass. “No alcohol on Mara. No dairy or fruit either.” “What an awful place,” the master at arms declared immediately, rinsing their glasses quickly before chucking the wastewater over his shoulder and onto the nearest firing line. “We must remedy that immediately. Do they have grain?” “Darius, we don’t even know if they can process alcohol yet,” Russell explained as the older man prepared a second toast, this one from the US. “Bah, I’m sure the scientists aboard all think they’re doing more important things. Been hearing talk of aliens aboard the ship more and more, suppose that wife of yours is one of them. On that subject,” he handed Russell his glass back, this time containing a hearty helping of booze. “To your wife, her health, and your marriage.” “To Veera then,” Russell agreed, taking his time with that one. Darius nodded and sat in his chair, leaning back while his guest leaned against the countertop of his ‘sanctuary’. “That her name? Not bad. To Veera then. How’d you two meet?” “Almost flattened her farm with my pod,” Witners related with a small smile, remembering the scrawny young Cauthan who’d introduced him to Mara. “You got anywhere to be?” Darius wondered. “Me? Nah. Veera’s up with a couple of her people in the civilian hospital, good friends of ours. One is due in a couple months so she’s getting an ultrasound. As you might imagine, the husband is the only man allowed.” “Well damn, is that right? I’ll be. In that case, in accordance with great Persian traditions, you owe me a bit of a story, Rusty.” “Is that really a tradition?” he asked critically. “I shared my booze with you, damnit. Tell me how you got hitched.” Both men laughed loudly, feeling the pleasant burn of whiskey in their throats and its warmth in their stomachs. Winters took a moment to consider the past, glancing upward as he thought. “Well, I guess it starts right about when they almost flogged her on my account.” “You idiot.” “Judging by the clowns on this ship, all Jumpers are idiots, Darius.” “We’ll talk about them later, now spill.” ----- “Stevie! Did you miss me?” Rex shouted the moment their shuttle touched down, jumping out of the open hull door and striding confidently over to the now quite established base camp. The facility consisted of a prefabricated living space for about half a dozen scientists at any given time, which sat next to various tents that covered gear and assorted supplies. The tiny compound was protected by two auto-turrets with a connection to the bridge of the Event Horizon, but nothing had disturbed the camp since the arrival of Beta division personnel. Rex parted the handful of scientists going about their work easily, making his way to the covered cage that contained Steve the aquila. The little bat-like alien had its wing properly bandaged, and it looked up as the daylight penetrated its sanctuary. It did not seem pleased. “Okay okay, didn’t mean to startle you. Just wanted to say hi. I’ll feed you tonight when you’re awake. Gotta see if any of these smart people have some bugs for you.” While Rex went about his business and Orlova dealt with the shuttle, Corporal Mendes spoke with the lead researcher. Natori had called on ahead, conveying to both teams the suggestion from Io and Winters, specifically that the anomaly in the first hallway be examined. After a short conversation, Mendes shook hands with the researcher and notified his team that the scientists would be ‘spectating’ the expedition. After collecting Rex, he rejoined Orlova and Lipper, who had remained with the shuttle near the entrance to the Forge. “We all set then… sir?” Lipper wondered as they pulled their helmets on and made their final comms checks. Orlova looked purposefully at Mendes, but he seemed content to chalk the pause up to lack of familiarity with the new command structure. “Yes. Per the Admiral’s order’s we’re heading inside and looking for something akin to a large metallic skeleton. He said we’d recognize it due to radiation leaks from what is assumed to be a core of some sort.” “Yo that’s sick let’s fucking go!” Rex shouted, grabbing his hammer off his back and practically bouncing off towards the Forge’s entrance. “Private Rex!” Mendes bade him halt, the burly Jumper turning his skull-adorned helmet back towards them. “What?” “Wait for your squad, Private,” the Brazilian replied coolly as they all caught up with him. “And take point.” “Heh, yes sir!” Rex agreed, charging forward and promptly going down on account of the rather sizable piles of aquila droppings at the mouth of the Forge. While Mendes could hardly fault his exuberance, he was forced to scold him as he rushed forward and took a knee to cover the surprised soldier. “Maybe watch your step, Rex. Last thing we need is your big ass triggering any traps left in here,” Mendes advised. “Well said, sir. Nice paint job, Rex,” Lipper added. “Oh shut up, Lipp. By the way, your axe looks stupid as hell,” Rex declared as Mendes and Lipper helped him up and he did his best to wipe some of the fresher aquila crap off his backside. “Uh, what? You hit your head too?” “Last time you were here you said my hammer looked ridiculous. Well your axe is just as ridiculous,” Rex insisted. “I am surrounded by boys,” Natalya insisted, walking proudly past them and into the facility. “You know the science teams are watching everything, right?” “That’s where the hammer comes in!” Rex assured her with a laugh, having more than shaken off his momentary stumble. And so with the first ‘pitfall’ of the Forge conquered, the four soldiers proceeded slowly into the cavernous vault that formed the Forge’s entryway, the path sloping down ever so gently before them. “Mother of God. How big is this thing?” “Big,” Mendes replied simply, pulling up the seismic imaging model of the installation on his armor’s B-MASS so they could all have a look. A small red dot marked their position at the entrance.” “We have an estimate for the location of this anomaly?” Lipper asked. Mendes shook his head. “Nothing definite, but according to information provided by the Lieutenant it should be the first thing we come across.” “I hope that bastard took a shit dip too,” Rex muttered as they carried on. “Stow it, Rex,” Mendes ordered. “You can bitch about getting your ass kicked when we aren’t in the middle of an alien installation.” The Lance Corporal’s words seemed to finally get the point across that they were truly within the belly of the beast, the unknown. No longer was it an unremarkable grassy knoll where some aquila nested. Now it was an expansive chamber of darkness that was deep enough to swallow the light from their armor. Mendes radioed the base station. “Surface team, I’m going to request you keep this channel clear until further notice. We will radio in the event we need an expert opinion. Lance Corporal Mendes out.” “Mmm, good,” Natalya agreed on the private channel shared between their suits. “Now let us move.” The four Jumpers moved slowly and deliberately through the structure, promptly sheathing their melee weapons in favor of their rifles. The extra lights were welcome as the glow of Seil grew fainter and fainter behind them as they walked. Per the descriptions left by Winters they did notice a faint red glow far in the distance along their direction of travel, but that was the only anomaly. “Damn, this place is something else,” Lipper muttered, his senses torn between the boredom of black and gray metal on the one hand and the gnawing threat of the unknown on the other. “Corporal, I think we have contact,” Rex suddenly called after about ten minutes of travel. All four Jumpers pointed their weapons forward, the light illuminating a tangled mess of metal that stood in their way. “Detecting higher than expected levels of background alpha radiation,” Natalya added, consulting her B-MASS as they drew closer to the construct. “This must be what the First Lieutenant mentioned. Looks like a poor attempt at impersonating M. C. Escher.” “Corporal Mendes to surface team, you getting this?” Mendes demanded, sighing as only dead air greeted him. “Damnit. We’re on our own. Start recording, everyone.” “Yes sir,” Lipper replied, taking a step forward and kneeling next to the object. “I suppose we should have expected that much. We’re going to have our work cut out for us getting cables in here.” “That’s what they pay us for. I seem to recall you and Rex getting into a bit of trouble on account of your cabin fever,” Mendes replied, prompting Lipper to glance over his shoulder. “If we could not speak about that again, Lance Corporal, I’d appreciate it.” “Noted, Private. That the core?” “Sure as hell looks like it,” Lipper said, reaching deep into the mess of pointed metal and running his hand along the cylindrical object. “Now I’m no Alice Winters, but I’ll bet my useless sergeant’s bars that this is alien script.” True to Lipper’s word, when they all gathered around they could see scratched and faded symbols. “Feeling it yet, Rex?” “Fuck you, Tom. Don’t tell me you aren’t freaking out too,” Rex shot back, his voice tense. “Seems the natural reaction,” Lipper agreed as they fanned out and did their best to record the object from every angle using what light was available to them and their helmets’ video recording capabilities. “So the Lieutenant described this thing as a skeleton, and I guess I can see that but where the hell is the head. This looks like a twisted ribcage. A big fucking ribcage, mind you, but still just a ribcage.” “Perhaps those have something to do with it?” Natalya suggested, having located the various discolorations and markings on the walls and floor that seemed to indicate some sort of conflict or struggle. “Hard to say,” Mendes opined, staring further into the facility. Part of him wanted desperately to proceed further, to see what Lieutenant Winters had seen months before, to see if anything could be gleaned from further within the strange installation. Orders were orders, however, and he had no intention of improvising on his first mission as commanding officer. “But no matter what else is in here, I think this is where we should start. Let’s get this thing scanned and get as many visuals as we can for the teams back up top. Then we’ll figure out how or if we should move it.” “Can I ask a question?” Rex wondered, not waiting for permission. “What sort of idiot stuffs a nuclear reactor into their ribcage?” In spite of the situation, the team found themselves chuckling quietly. Lipper answered. “Assuming we aren’t all incredibly wrong, which we damn well could be, something a hell of a lot larger than you, Rex.” ----- When Mendes’ team returned to the surface after about two hours below ground, they found the majority of the science team waiting nervously for them at the mouth of the Forge. The lead of the expedition was on the line with Admiral Kaczynsky when Mendes’ suit regained connection to the Event Horizon’s network. “Ah, it seems we worry too much!” he declared. “Lance Corporal Mendes, your report?” “Yes sir. No casualties or difficulties minus Rex slipping in a pile of alien bat shit, sir.” Unseen by Mendes, Natori found himself attempting to keep a straight face on his bridge and not chuckle like a teenager. “Given how quickly we lost contact with your team after you entered the facility, it is no small relief to hear that, Rodrigo. Did you find the anomaly mentioned in the mission report?” “Yes sir, it was exactly as the Lieutenant described, including the cracked, radioactive core. We took video and conducted scans using the B-MASS which we will provide to the ground teams shortly.” “Thank you. I look forward to your full report. But let us speak frankly for a moment, Lance Corporal. What are your thoughts on the installation?” Natori wondered, pressing a couple fingers against his temple as he tried to place himself on the surface. The lack of real time footage had not only been worrying, it had been incredibly disappointing. “Sorry Admiral, but I’m not sure how much I can give you that you don’t already know,” Mendes apologized. “Whoever built it is certainly no longer around. That or they’re extremely well hidden. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say it’s beyond the technological capability of the locals. We didn’t analyze the alloys of the walls or the skeletal object so I can’t say much on those accounts. It’s almost certainly alien in its construction, and there is something towards the end of the entry corridor that glows red, again as Lieutenant Winters described, sir. I don’t have anything else at this time.” “Next steps, Lance Corporal?” Mendes waved the rest of his squad on, indicating that they should proceed back to the camp and begin the relevant data transfers while he continued to speak with Natori. “Well, that depends on how nice you want to be to the current residents, sir,” the Jumper supplied, looking up so that Natori could see the various aquila nests above the entrance. “We will make all reasonable accommodations.” “Yes sir. In that case I think the first thing we need to do is get cable inside here, make sure we can communicate with the surface teams and possibly move in some light sources deeper in, far past the little bat-like organisms. I’ll leave what to do with the skeletal formation to the science teams, sir. I can see arguments both for leaving it in place and moving it out of the installation for analysis aboard the ship. I guess if we do that we should check for EMP shielding and other electronics, fry them all if we find them.” Natori hummed approvingly in his earpiece. “Yes, I suppose a remote attack is a possibility even if the age of the installation is confirmed. Very well, Corporal Mendes. You and your team will have the lead on this operation as far as protection of the science teams is concerned.” Mendes made to salute before he remembered that Natori would be unable to see the gesture, his chest swelling with pride. “Yes sir, we’d be honored. But what about Lieutenant Winters?” “Believe it or not, Rodrigo, I believe he’s more than happy to let you and your team have this one. From the sound of it, village life is more suited to him. And believe me when I tell you that I am very sensitive to what occurred between you all and how to proceed moving forward. In spite of the obvious and noble human tendency to divide itself into groups and prove one superior to the other, we are all on the same side when it comes to discovering the truth of this planet and our way home.” “That sounds a lot more noble than the first bit, sir,” Mendes replied, earning a chuckle from Natori. “Quite so, Corporal, but that doesn’t not mean I don’t wish to see you and your team succeed both for yourselves and for Beta Division as a whole. For now, please go ahead and rendezvous with the science teams and assist them however you can. I’m sure they will have questions for you. In the meantime, I will make the necessary arrangements for the equipment we will surely need to examine this installation in detail.” “Yes sir, signing off,” Mendes affirmed before cutting the link and proceeding the short distance to rejoin his squad. Civilian researchers were already poring over the data and recordings that the team had brought back. Natalya was engaged in conversation with an older gentleman regarding the radioactivity signatures from the casing, her helmet off and her long, blonde hair tied up in a neat bun. Lipper and Rex were uploading their scans of the skeleton to the available computers and terminals in the compound, relating what they’d seen and suggesting various conclusions. “Everything good?” “Took us seven months and change and a bit of a fuck up,” Lipper began. “A bit?” Rex cut in, looking at his friend accusingly. “Your nose looks even better than it used to and I can eat again. Sergeant will return with time,” Lipper insisted, looking Mendes dead in the eye. “But yeah, Corporal, it feels like we’re finally getting to do something here.” ----- “I’m not going to remember all this, but it’s very impressive,” Xan admitted as he, Alice and Anita strolled through one of the industrial growing bays on the Event Horizon. Unlike bay number seven, which was essentially full of pet projects, bay number one was designed to produce as much nutritious biomass per cubic foot of space as possible. Many plants needed no soil at all, growing in clear troughs of water stacked to the ceiling and tended to by mechanical arms and extensions. “Thank you, I helped design the cultivators,” Anita said quietly, guiding the crippled Cauthan around. “And I wouldn’t worry too much about remembering it. At this point I don’t have to think much about growing either except for maintenance. What we would need from you is instructions on how to care for your various crops. How often you water them, if they need support to grow, direct or indirect sunlight, things of that nature.” “Yeah, that much I can do,” Xan agreed. “I can ask my parents and some of the other farmers I know. You want to come, Alice?” “Assuming I’m not tied up with Alyra, I’d be happy to come along and record things.” “Yeah, I guess Thantis and I have been keeping you busy for a while now. She’s been itching to talk with you about whatever it is she cares about. You see her staring at her reflection in the water trough the other day, experimenting with those glasses? Crazy.” “Xan, just because you don’t give a darn about how you look doesn’t mean us girls don’t. What’s wrong with wanting to look presentable?” Xan huffed, not able to come up with a decent reply. A light breeze drifted through the room, strengthening over a few seconds before dissipating. “Alright you have to explain that though. How did you harness the winds all the way out here. Felen isn’t supposed to have any power in Kel’s domain. And where is your water coming from? I’ve never seen it rain in here.” “Smart cookie, isn’t he?” Alice asked Anita, who seemed a mite confused. “What are Felen and Kel?” the engineer wondered. Alice did her best to explain the two Cauthan gods in five minutes or less. It was enough for Anita to understand Xan’s question. “Well, we have mechanical fans that blow air through the ship and these growing areas. Plants that grow without any wind develop weakly in many cases. They need to be stressed in a positive way,” Anita explained. “Is that right? What’s a ‘mechanical fan’?” Xan replied, butchering the pronunciation of the word mechanical. Anita looked around, but none of her green, floral companions were forthcoming with a decent simplification of electricity or motors. “I think that would be a bit hard to explain,” she admitted. “Same with the water situation. We have a set amount on board which we reuse and recycle.” “What she means to say is that we use our waste, convert it to clean water, and use that for the plants,” Alice summarized. “What? That’s silly. Just take the poop and throw it down, works great. Maybe even mix some in with your water,” Xan suggested, managing to elicit a flush even through Anita’s dark brown skin. “Xan, you dork,” Alice chastised him as she tried not to giggle too hard. “That’s a great way to get the whole ship infected.” “Don’t know what that means, but I defer to your crazy human magics,” Xan replied flippantly. “I stopped trying to understand the specifics a while ago, made my head hurt. But we can grow dato and kina up here, right?” “I believe so,” Anita affirmed. “Alice, didn’t you say you got some soil samples?” “Yeah, days ago. You didn’t get them?” “No, I think they’re still with the microbiologists. Growing alien vegetables wasn’t really high priority until forty eight hours ago or so.” “Well if you need some just come down to the village,” Alice suggested. “They’re real friendly and the food is to die for!” “Yeah, you should totally come down with us today,” Xan agreed, enthused at the idea of being the one doing the explaining and guiding. “I can take you around and you can ask your questions and grab as much dirt as you want. Not like we’re hoarding it or anything.” “I think that’s an excellent idea,” Natori’s voice agreed, causing them all to jump. Anita threw her hand over her chest in fright while Alice shook her fist at the ceiling. “Darn it, Admiral! Don’t you have, you know, a ship to run or something?!” “My dear Alice, thanks to the efforts of Io, my esteemed bridge crew, and dedicated engineers like Ms. Prakash, I find myself quite bored on a regular basis. I believe this is a preferable state of affairs to your brother or our Jumpers shooting at something, however. Ms. Prakash, I will be happy to arrange for you to head to the surface for a period of time. In return, I believe we could take our intrepid Cauthan here on a little voyage.” “Look, I don’t want to be rude but I think I know enough about your leader to know he’s not like Antoth. Little voyage sounds bad,” Xan stated. Alice nodded and rested a hand on his shoulder. “I’m with Xan, Admiral. Details,” Alice demanded. “Of course! It’s been just about seven months since we left Earth. While I am immensely pleased with the performance of our various waste and water treatment facilities, the fact of the matter is that my morning coffee is beginning to taste like an industrial filter. Given that we have found your brother, made friends with the locals, and established that we will be in the system for a period of time, I believe it would be prudent to top off our reserves of materials and replenish our water stores,” Natori explained, using the display on his captain’s chair to pan through several groups of asteroids flagged by his bridge crew. “Natori!” Alice had a hand on her hip. “Are you seriously suggesting taking Xan on an asteroid mining mission?” “Veera and any other Cauthan are welcome to come along as well! They have invited us to partake in their harvest festival, I think it’s only fair we return the favor so long as they keep their claws off the controls.” “Harvesting asteroids is not a holiday!” Alice insisted. “No, it involves far too many high powered lasers for that!” Natori agreed, eliciting a light giggle from Anita. “Why do I bother with him?” Alice demanded of herself. “Fine, Natori. When we head back down today we’ll ask about the mission. I honestly can’t see Antoth agreeing to it even for Xan, but we’ll give it a shot and see if there’s interest. Thanks for giving me an incredibly difficult concept to explain, by the way. What about the teams at the other ground site?” “Oh, I’ll be sure they have plenty of supplies. We’ll only be gone a day or two and I want to be sure we are back in orbit to commemorate the anniversary of the loss of the Lancer. Do let me know what Antoth says, would you?” Alice pinched the bridge of her nose, tilting her head back as though she had a nosebleed. While the idea of taking Xan along on a space mining mission was undoubtedly an exciting prospect, especially given the fact that she would not typically be allowed on one either, explaining the concept to Antoth and Ratha was decidedly not. She made a mental note to include Thantis in any such discussion; he was the one Cauthan most likely to end up in her corner. “Yes sir, Natori. Anything else?” “No no, carry on!” the Admiral encouraged as though he hadn’t been eavesdropping on them. “Miss Prakash, your plants will survive a few hours without you, I’m sure.” “O-Oh. I mean… thank you, Admiral.” “Be nice to her,” Alice whispered extremely quietly, relying on Xan’s perky ears to do the rest of the work, even if one of them was rough around the edges. To her relief, he was not a complete blockhead and nodded that he understood. “Sorry, Alice. If I’m going to head down I should probably change and get a few things,” Anita explained, excusing herself. “It was nice to meet you, Xan. Selah.” “Selah,” Xan replied as Anita departed. Alice was more than fine finding her way back on her own. “So, want to keep exploring here?” she asked Xan. “Nah. I’m sure I’ll be back up when our own crops are growing here,” the Cauthan guessed, stiffening his back and exhaling with something of a grunt. “How’s the leg? You’ve been walking around a while,” Alice asked sympathetically. “That obvious?” “You don’t need to hide it around someone like Anita, you know?” “I was just practicing,” Xan told her, looking intently at a nearby head of lettuce. “Ok,” Alice smiled kindly. “Do you want to head back to your room or one of the hangars? I think Asha and the rest will probably be a little while.” “Floating?” Xan suggested. “The hangars it is! Let’s see where the nearest one is,” Alice replied pleasantly, calling up a map of the ship and locating an inactive shuttle bay nearby. “This way, my fluffy, crippled friend! Tally ho!” Xan pulled his scarred face into a grin as he plodded after her with his cane. “You and your brother have to be the worst humans ever to learn your culture from.” Xan’s newfound ability to take his disability somewhat in stride was encouraging to Alice, recalling to her mind her brother’s desire that she help instead of study. She already had a new idea or three for her doctoral thesis. “Excuse me, we’re obviously the best.” “Heh, of course. My mistake.” ----- Previous | First ----- Own The HEL Jumper: Survive in the format of your choice: Hardcover, Softcover, and epub from Lulu | Amazon Kindle
Reddit, I need help, am I (26F) in a doomed relationship with my fiancèe (27F)?
I have posted previously in AmItheAsshole about a situation in this post here But there's been more I've been thinking about thanks to the lovely people of Reddit, and was recommended this sub by someone in the comments so here I am, and I appreciate all honesty and feedback. Apologies for the chunk of text, but here we go. My original post was about J(25M) who is an ex-bf-now-friend of fiancèe's for 15 years and has been trying to cause a rift in our relationship for the 6 years we have been together. J is not a fan of me, he is very jealous and possessive and has never been shy about it. They're very physically intimate; lots of cuddling and hand-holding even when I'm there. There was one point I had to sit on the floor because they were tangled up cuddling on the couch and didn't move. There's also the constant stuff J whispers in my fiancèe's ear, about how we should break up and that I'm not good for her, and that I'm manipulative and abusive because I have voiced my discomfort in the past with how he is around fiancèe. Very recently (like yesterday) I overheard him via video call that he still doesn't like me and wants her to leave me. I got upset, she now refuses to speak to me. I've never asked her to stop being friends, just that I don't like what he says about me and I'm not comfortable with the level of affection they show. There is also some little stuff, he drops by all the time uninvited(pre-pandemic) and would spend hours with her, she would also visit him too and stay for a couple of nights while he lives about 3 hours away. I'm never invited when she goes, it's never been explicitly said I'm not welcome, but I definitely get the vibe. He also has confessed his feelings multiple times, tried to feel her up and make unwanted advances. All while we're dating. I have voiced my concerns to fiancèe A LOT. I've told her it makes me uncomfortable, and that I don't feel respected by him or her but she's always brushed me off saying that it's just how he is. Or when she has told him not to do those things, he does them anyway and she lets it happen. She's also called me clingy because I have voiced to her how I feel about J. But there's been some more things I never considered until I've taken a new look at things. I've caught her with a Tinder account in the past, she claimed she liked the attention and was only using it to boost her self esteem. She's also belittled me, called me stupid a number of times while she's angry then apologised later when calmed down. But she gets really nasty when she's angry, even when it's not at me. Saying horrible things about my friends, my family, and me. Then comes the apologising, and when I don't immediately forgive her, she gets even more upset. I feel like I'm walking on eggshells around her and have to keep her happy otherwise she will lash out. Another example of this is a relative of mine passed away a while ago, and I asked for her emotional support, but she told me that she didn't have time for me and to deal with it myself. She refused to attend his funeral. I have brought some of these issues up previously, but it lead to her snapping at me and accusing me of holding the past over her head and she's changed now, but even still she will continue to lash out at me when she's upset. The most recent being about 6 months ago, I lost my family cat in a traumatic way, and when I turned to her for support, all she did was complain about her friends and her problems.. then lash out when I wasn't giving her the support she demanded. The lovely people of Reddit has suggested counselling, and while I have communicated how I feel multiple times, it seems like this would be the best bet, but honestly I don't know where this relationship is going and I need some advice and an outsider's perspective. So Reddit, should I save this relationship, or is it doomed to fail?
Star Wars is easily the worst franchise to talk about on WhoWouldWin by far. At least with Naruto or Dragon Ball Z or One Punch Man there's some difference in the comments once in a while. But literally, and I mean literally, the replies of every single Star Wars thread, no matter the character, no matter the matchup, are exactly the same every single time without fail. Here's every Star Wars thread on WhoWouldWin ever:
Star Wars character vs. other character Round 1: Canon Round 2: Legends
Top comment with 3k+ upvotes: Star Wars character loses round 1, but in round 2 they absolutely godstomp 10/10 times they speedblitz the other character at FTL speeds and slash them seventeen thousand times in an attosecond with their lightsaber, or they use their Planetary+++ Force abilities to choke the other person to death and while they're choking them they stab them, or they make their heart stop or rip their organs out their chest with the Force in a microsecond. The other character literally can't even hit them because they're FTL and have nanosecond level precog that lets them avoid every hit ever. Palpatine can destroy planets Obi-Wan can open black holes with his mind Luke is literally a Force God who can annihilate half the galaxy with a blink LEGENDS IS CRAZY BRO!!! Reply to that comment with 500+ upvotes: Yeah bro, this is kind of a complete and total godstomp, don't know why OP bothered posting it lol legends always wins LEGENDS IS CRAZY BRO!!! Reply to first comment, score below threshold, hidden: Um, scans? Now, for all you people unfamiliar with Star Wars, you're probably wondering what "Legends" is. Legends is simply the official term used to refer to the old Expanded Universe content made for Star Wars, so books, comics, anything other than the movies pretty much. After buying Star Wars, Disney went and made the majority of the Expanded Universe part of its own separate non-canon continuity, meaning there's two versions of most Star Wars characters: Canon and Legends. "Star Wars Legends," or just "Legends" is used to refer to the Legends continuity as a whole. Legends, and I'm brave enough to say this, is the single most wanked series in battleboarding history. The way people talk about it, you'd think every book is a non-stop balls to the wall orgy of FTL and planet-busting feats. It's to the point where you don't have to link any scans or post any clips: just saying the words "LEGENDS IS CRAZY BRO" is a bulletproof argument in and of itself. But is Legends crazy, bro? The answer is: It's fake. All of it. The feats, the preconceptions... it's all fake. I can't fucking stand Legends wank, mostly because it kills all discussion of Star Wars on versus sites. I like Star Wars quite a bit, and I'd like to see some intelligent discussion of it in my dumb, pointless hobby. But every attempt at a Star Wars thread is drowned out by the incessant drum of LEGENDS IS CRAZY BRO! LEGENDS IS CRAZY BRO! LEGENDS IS CRAZY BRO! It fucking haunts me, I close my eyes and instead of black it's just the Obi-Wan VS Kakashi Death Battle on loop. At the suggestion of my therapist, I'm fighting back. This is the beginning of a series of posts where I'm going to be debunking Legends wank I find on sites like VSBW. I decided to start with Palpatine because he's personally the character I see getting the most of it. And besides, this is gonna be my own personal Order 66 on Legends wank. So who else could be more appropriate? Onto the debunking:
The Claim: Palpatine can make planet-destroying Force Storms on a whim.
When someone mentions planet-busting Palpatine on WhoWouldWin, nine times out of ten this is what they're talking about. You usually don't get links for Legends claims, but for the power of the Force Storm ability, I usually see this one posted when its brought up. It's from a book called The Jedi Path, which is supposed to be an in-universe Jedi manual complete with notations from the characters who owned it. So the quote from Luke - "it has the power to kill worlds" - is an in-universe statement of power. So, what's Force Storm? Basically its an ability where a hyperspace wormhole is opened using the Force. It can be used to transport people across the galaxy and destroy things, which yes, includes planets according to The Jedi Path. It's a not very commonly seen Force power, first appearing in the Dark Empire comics. Palpatine creates one and uses it to do some major damage to Coruscant and the New Republic fleet. However, he ends up killing himself with the storm accidentally after Luke and Leia interrupt his connection to it. Palpatine can create Force Storms, Force Storms can destroy planets. So Palpatine's planetary. Seems pretty clean cut, right? Except, he can't create Force Storms. At least according to Tom Veitch, author of Dark Empire (which had the first appearance of the power). Third line. If you want to read the full 2016 interview, here it is. It's translated from Spanish, but the translation is very direct, at least for the relevant section. Yep, apparently Force Storms are "in fact a phenomenon that occurs rarely, when the minds of two great Force users meet and struggle with each other at a distance." Straight from the mouth of God, Palpatine can't make them of his own will. There's probably arguments you could make that he could, like Palpatine claiming he can create them of his own will in-story, but that same scan mentions him lying about how much control he has over the power, so I don't really buy his word. Some roleplaying guidebooks give him the power in his list of abilities (like if you want to play as him in the game or use him as an enemy) but I feel that's too tertiary to count. And really, it kinda makes sense he can't really pull them out all the time when you think about it. There's two sequels to Dark Empire where he's reborn again in clone bodies, and in none of the sequels does he try to use a Force Storm. Even though it would come in handy, like, a lot. In any case, if you're arguing Palpatine can make Force Storms, you're arguing against the guy that created Force Storms to begin with. I think he'd know how they work.
EDIT: Additional supporting content found.
Special thanks to GregLeagueGamingAlt for digging up another interview with Tom Veitch that backs up this other interview. (Sorry for being unnecessarily dickish to you, Greg, I was just in a bad mood) Basically, Tom reiterates what's said in the other interview, going into a bit more detail. He says that the intended mechanism behind the Force Storm in Dark Empire is the "meeting of two great minds" thing from before, with one being Luke and one being Palpy, with Palpy just being the one who can actually use the storm to his advantage. While he does say that there are other possible explanations, like Luke finding a Sith holocron or saying that the interviewer's suggestion of Palpatine maybe only stumbling across the power recently could work, the intended explanation when the comic was being published was the "meeting of Luke and Palpatine's power" interpretation. I'd also like to mention the Force Storm's entry from the updated version of the Star Wars Encyclopedia: "A tornado of energy created by great disturbances in the Force. Dark Side Adepts demonstrated limited control over the creation of these storms. Emperor Palpatine claimed the ability to create and control Force storms at will. Light-side practitioners could also band together and create powerful Force storms." This backs up the "meeting of Luke and Palpatine's power" interpretation in a few ways. First, going back to the interview, Tom implied that things were kept kind of vague about how the Force Storm works when details had to be hashed out to other publications. So that's probably why both this and the Dark Empire endnotes only say that Palpatine claimed he had the ability to create and control the storms at will. Second off, I'd like to point out the main description - "A tornado of energy created by great disturbances in the Force." Sounds a bit less like a standard Force power and more like something a bit more exceptional. The destruction of Alderaan caused a great disturbance in the Force, and that was a pretty major event. Also going back to the interview, Tom all but says he made this description up himself. Third, "Dark Side Adepts demonstrated limited control over the creation of these storms" seems like it could debunk the idea, unless you read it as "multiple Dark Side adepts working together could demonstrate limited control over the creation of a Force Storm," which I think is perfectly reasonable considering the next line about multiple Light-side practicioners having to band together to create one. This final line also gives canon support to the idea of multiple Force users being involved in the creation of a Force Storm. Yes, there are some sources that say he can make Force Storms of his own will, but for each of those sources there's also one that says it's a claim, and the Dark Empire endnotes prove Palpy isn't 100% trustworthy. Not to mention the other sources are, let's face it, pretty much on the level of WoG too. Just an author saying things about a story outside the context of that story. Do you take diluted, inconsistent, but published WoG from some handbooks, or do you take straight fron the source, consistent for 20 years (going off the second interview) WoG from the author of Dark Empire and creator of Force Storms himself? Personally, I'll take the latter, thanks. You can scream "WoG is fake!" until your face turns blue, I usually do too, but I feel this is consistent and not-off-the-cuff enough to count, and doesn't step on that many toes other than some guides he didn't even write published years after his own work. If you read Dark Empire with this idea in mind, you'll find pretty much everything makes perfect sense. I've also seen people bring up two things in trying to say that this couldn't possibly be true: one, that we've seen other people make Force Storms of their own power in Legends, and two, that Force Storms naturally occur on the planet Tython. The thing is, we haven't. The only other uses of Force Storm needed an incredibly powerful, magic, sentient staff that absorbs large amounts of Force to pull off, which actually supports the idea that Sith need an external force or push to be able to make a Force Storm, and the "Force storm" on the planet Tython is actually a different thing with the same name. In any case, I really don't think Force Storms matter that much in the grand scheme of things. Once again, Palpatine doesn't whip these out all the time, and its already been established that it's dubious he's completely making them of his own power, taking into account consistent Word of God, multiple sources saying he only claims he can make them of his own power, and a canon basis for it taking multiple Force users to make one. He'd probably end up killing himself if he tried to make one in a fight, and there's no other evidence to suggest that he has planet-level power anyway other than this one power in this one series that the primary author has said he can't really even do. Besides, it's not like the power for the Force Storm comes from Palpatine even if you believe (against the author of Dark Empire and creator of the power) that he can make them at a snap of his fingers. If you ignore Veitch's definition of the power, then we're left with stuff like Palpatine's descriptions to go off of, and he explicitly says in both the endnotes and audiobook that the Force Storm utilizes external energy. As I've said, I find his word iffy, but The Jedi Path also calls the Force Storm "pure natural energy," and the previously mentioned magical staff relies on absorbing external energy to create a Force Storm. Once again, even ignoring Veitch's words, it's consistent that it's external energy being used. So if you're trying to do a VSBW thing where "using the Force Storms means he has planetary power which he can harness in his other Force attacks," no. Finally, I'd like to debunk the idea that Palpatine created multiple Force Storms at once in Dark Empire. Post's too big to fit it, so read it here. To TL;DR it all, there's solid WoG backed up by canon evidence that says Palpy can't make Force Storms, and even if you throw that WoG out, Force Storms aren't applicable in most matchups since Palpy would almost certainly kill himself with one in a 1v1 fight because they're fucking massive and he hasn't shown full control over them. His other Force abilities don't scale to Force Storms either.
Updated Verdict: No, he still probably can't on his own, and if he can, they're still not particularly combat applicable and you can't scale his other Force powers to them.
The Claim: Palpatine is a SOLAR SYSTEM BUSTER!
This next thing I'm talking about comes from a novel called Darth Plagueis. This is the book your Legends fan friend wont shut up about. Basically, the prologue has a highly poetically worded scene describing Palpatine's feelings after killing his master. Some of it has been misinterpreted as actually happening in the context of the story. Here's the scene. I don't really know what else to say here, it's not actually happening. It's just a flowery description of how Palpatine feels, it's not literally going on. This was spread on VSBW as proof of Palpatine being planet/stasolar system level, I'm assuming because of these parts:
A tremor took hold of the planet. Sprung from death, it unleashed itself in a powerful wave, at once burrowing deep into the world’s core and radiating through its saccharine atmosphere to shake the stars themselves. At the quake’s epicenter stood Sidious, one elegant hand vised on the burnished sill of an expansive translucency, a vessel filled suddenly to bursting, the Force so strong within him that he feared he might disappear into it, never to return. But the moment didn’t constitute an ending so much as a true beginning, long overdue; it was less a transformation than an intensification—a gravitic shift. A welter of voices, near and far, present and from eons past, drowned his thoughts. Raised in praise, the voices proclaimed his reign and cheered the inauguration of a new order. Yellow eyes lifted to the night sky, he saw the trembling stars flare, and in the depth of his being he felt the power of the dark side anoint him. Slowly, almost reluctantly, he came back to himself, his gaze settling on his manicured hands. Returned to the present, he took note of his rapid breathing, while behind him the room labored to restore order.
His eyes sought and found an ascending constellation of stars, one of power and consequence new to the sky, though soon to be overwhelmed by dawn’s first light. Low in the sky over the flatlands, visible only to those who knew where and how to look, it ushered in a bold future. To some the stars and planets might seem to be moving as ever, destined to align in configurations calculated long before their fiery births. But in fact the heavens had been perturbed, tugged by dark matter into novel alignments. In his mouth, Sidious tasted the tang of blood; in his chest, he felt the monster rising, emerging from shadowy depths and contorting his aspect into something fearsome just short of revealing itself to the world.
Yeah, this is just... again, it's not actually happening. I could go on and say what each line represents about what Palpatine's currently feeling and how its clearly just a reflection of his emotions, but I don't have to. All I have to do is flip over to the last chapter of the book, which describes the same scene with a whole lot less flair. For anyone who wants to make the argument that at least the quake happened because the text I linked mentions overturned furniture, it was overturned in the fight between Palpatine and Plagueis. Not by any Force earthquake. So, yeah. It's just in Palpy's head after he kills his master. Not literal.
Verdict: Learn reading comprehension.
The Claim: Palpatine is 34 thousand times faster than the speed of light.
Of all the Star Wars stats, speed is the fuckiest of all. That's because the main projectile of the series, blaster bolts, are incredibly vague in terms of speed. The movies usually show them as like, Nerf dart to baseball speed, while the novels go as high as calling them lightspeed (they're obviously not, but that's for another post). Since pretty much all speed feats that would involve gunfire in other series instead involve blaster fire, it makes things really annoying to pin down, as well as open to dipshit amounts of wank. If you open up Palpatine's VSBW page, he's given a speed ranking of "MFTL+," thanks to incestuous scaling, taking blaster bolts as lightspeed due to like 7 dubious statements across 381 books, and a calc of the time his Sith spirit moved across the galaxy to inhabit a new clone body. The calc specifically puts him at 34,292c, or over 34 thousand times faster than the speed of light. Star Wars characters are fast, guise! Alright, let me try to explain why this is dumb. First off, why would the speed of Palpatine's spirit be equal to his speed in a mortal body? It's not like he can like, fucking fly through space like his spirit presumably can. I'm also going to guess his spirit weighs less, but, that's straying into dumb territory. To summarize this point: I don't see why Palpatine would be as fast as his disembodied consciousness, and I think it's kinda weird and dumb to assume so. Second off, here's a few lines of text I want to take a closer look at.
He had spent over a year disembodied, formless, drifting through the maddening void of the Dark Side. He had never foreseen having to transport his spirit so far across space. He had nearly dispersed forever, but he had survived, and now need never fear death again.
According to the Dark Empire Sourcebook, Palpatine traveled "through the maddening void of the Dark Side." Sounds a little different than traveling through actual space.
But in that moment, when flashing blue energy rushed from exploded flesh, the Emperor entered a bodiless transitional state. As conscious Dark Force he was translated across the Galaxy...
According to the Dark Empire Endnotes, he was "translated across the galaxy" as "conscious Dark Force," which again, sounds a little different from traveling the distance in real space as a ghost. There's other stuff like this too. Personally, I think there is far too much weirdness around this "feat" to count it as some sort of actual indication of Palpatine's speed. Force users generally don't seem this fast in the majority of Star Wars media anyway. Just as a note, Vitiate also has a feat that's pretty much the exact same as this one, and wrong for the exact same reasons.
The Claim: Palpatine scales to other Sith Lords who have CRAZY feats, bro!!1!!!
So, Palpy can't summon planet-destroying Force Storms whenever he pleases, rearrange stars with his own power, or move faster than the speed of light. But, I hear the people scream, what about scaling!?! Palpatine is routinely called the strongest Dark Side user in history, so he should scale to all previous Sith Lords and such, right? I can actually buy that, yes. There's tons of statements backing up Sheev as pretty much the ultimate Dark Side user, so I think it's reasonable enough to assume he can match his predecessors. So, lets look at all the high end Dark Side stuff I could dig up, and why it's all either fake or not really something you should scale Sidious to. Most of this stuff I found on VSBW. I might be missing one or two things, but honestly, they're probably just fake too.. If you're wondering about the absence of Vitiate and Nihilus, this is going to be a multi-post series, and I'm thinking KOTOR will just get its entire own post. That being said, most of Vitiate's stuff is rituals, which I think Palpatine could replicate but wouldn't really be able to in a standard matchup, and I think Nihilus's status as a wound in the Force explains his unique attributes, and as such I'm not really sure if Palpatine could replicate the things he does. I haven't really done much of the research in that department yet, though, so it's entirely possible I'm wrong.
Random Unnamed Sith Sorceress (and a Triceratops Jedi named Thon)
Jerec is a Miraluka Dark Jedi most famous for his appearance in Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II, a classic game starring the fan favorite Kyle Katarn. The Valley of the Jedi is a location of great power that plays an important part in the plot of the game. According to Qu Rahn, a Jedi Master, if Jerec gets his hands on the power in the Valley of the Jedi, he'll be strong enough to trigger supernovas and wipe out entire star systems.
So, what exactly is the Valley of the Jedi? Well, the backstory is that there was a war between Jedi and Sith there that culminated in the use of an ancient ritual which killed thousands of Jedi and Sith alike and trapped their souls in the valley. A temple was built there and the place became an incredibly powerful Force nexus. With all that laid out - remind me why VSBW says Palpatine should scale to this? It's a guy drawing power from the spirits of literally thousands of Force users. There's a ton of statements saying Palpatine is above all other Sith, but I don't really think that includes when they're being amped by the souls of countless other Force users. I feel this is pretty easy to throw out for that reason. I've seen some reasoning tossed around to try and support this scaling. Namely, that it took the power of Every Jedi Literally Ever to keep Palpatine from rising as a spirit again and just taking some new body in the last Dark Empire series. Except, it really didn't? It took fucking Chex Quest here to put him down. Read the scene for yourself. The wording here isn't "ugh, he's so powerful I need all the other Jedis help to keep him from rising again, Palpatine is literally stronger than every Jedi ever combined put together," it's "me, and the Force, and the other Jedi will keep him from reviving." The New Essential Chronology doesn't even bother to mention the other Jedi spirits, most sources give the credit to Chex Quest, and I think it's really sketchy to try and justify scaling Palpatine to a guy being amped by thousands of Force user spirits because his own spirit was pulled down by a Chex Quest guy and kept down with the assistance of other Jedi spirits and the Force itself too. We're getting into the same territory as Triceratops Jedi putting Sith spirits created by centuries of work in a lake here, there's just too much nonsense going on to get anything out of it. Anyways, TL;DR: Palpatine shouldn't scale to this. I can buy him scaling off of other Sith Lords, but not when they're being empowered by literally thousands of other Force users.
These two are different, but I'm lumping them together because the reasoning is the same. Wutzek is a weird Force being that appears in a total of one comic book (and a canceled novella). The World Razer is a weird Force being that appears in a total of one mission in an MMO (and a canceled novella). I'll talk about Wutzek first. Basically, he shows up in one weird UK story of the classic Star Wars comics. He's introduced as a bunch of glowing lights encased in a glass thingy. According to this weirdo that captured the crew of the Falcon, he's a "demon, a Force creature of unimaginable power." It's believed his kind owned the universe long ago. In the comic, there's a statement of Wutzek's power that puts him at like, planet or solar system. Though the most we see him do is incinerate some people and blow up a ship, then grow big and fly off. Next up, World Razer. Almost is nothing is known about this guy, even in universe. Here's his codex entry from the Old Republic game.
"Almost nothing is known of the ancient being known as the World Razer. No one has seen or spoken to the creature for thousands of years; the Rakata’s cryptic warnings suggest the World Razer is Belsavis’s oldest prisoner, and that the prison was first constructed to hold the terrible entity whose hunger consumed a thousand worlds. According to the Rakata inscriptions in the Tomb, it took the combined might of the Infinite Empire to subdue the World Razer, and an entire planet to contain its fury. If such a creature were ever released, its rage might very well shatter the galaxy."
Wow. "Shatter the galaxy?" Clearly this thing is galaxy level! Or... y'know, it's just fancy language describing how it could destroy the galaxy over a large span of time. That's at least the impression that I get from this one quote from the World Razer. Other in-game dialogue suggests the World Razer can destroy planets and stars as well. Sidenote: There's an infamous speed calc made off this statement which assumes a literal timeframe of one day based on what this character says about it happening "tomorrow." The character uses the word "yesterday" in the same scene to talk about something that happened a while in the past, so it's probably not literally being used to refer to one day. Sometimes the word "tomorrow" is used to refer to just the future in general, y'know, like how sometimes Superman is called "the Man of Tomorrow." Or, "Tomorrowland." If you look on dictionary.com, it's literally the second definition of the word. God, I have to explain words now, fuck Star Wars wank dude this is what it does to you. Moving on. Here's the thing about these guys: we know next to nothing about them. For fuck's sake, we don't even see the World Razer, even its in-game codex starts off with "almost nothing is known about this thing." Wutzek we know almost even less about, he's just apparently some Force demon from the beginning of the universe. Why is Palpatine getting scaled to these things? They're incredibly vague, ancient powers that definitely seem to be above any Force user we've seen. Are we really getting to the point where we're saying the main villain of the franchise is equal in power to two incredibly vague characters with one appearance each, for the sole reason of "they exist in the same universe?" This is just so stupid, and in my opinion, not legitimate in the slightest. About that canceled novella I mentioned: it confirms both of these guys as like, both being ancient Force gods. If the book was published, that'd be pretty solid evidence against Palpy scaling.
Update: This wasn't in the original version of the post. I found it afterwards, and I decided to add it in. I didn't think it was worthy of its entire own post. Did you ever hear about the multi-continental feat of Darth Plagueis The Wise? I thought not. Because it's fake as shit. This text comes from the Darth Plagueis novel I mentioned earlier:
Later it would be said by Naboo and Gungan alike that they couldn’t recall a colder winter than the one that followed Hego Damask’s autumnal visit to their world. The rivers and even the falls below Theed froze; the rolling plains and tall forests were blanketed three meters deep with snow; plasmic quakes rocked the Gallo Mountains and the Lake Country, the Holy Places and the undersea city of Otoh Gunga; and many of the egresses of the underwaterways that hollowed the planet were blocked by ice floes.
This one isn't serious, I just wanted to share this cause I think it's really fucking funny. One time when a VSBW person came on a server I was on, they were trying to argue planetary Star Wars with this. "Bane's world-crushing strategy!" Why are you so goddamn desperate? It's a fucking cropped book blurb or something, shut up. I don't know what this scan is particularly from, but its referring to something he's doing as a general, not Bane literally crushing a planet with the Force, Jesus Christ. This is 90% of Legends wank, just nonsense taken out of context, then completely and almost willingly misinterpreted. I swear, there's a single shriveled-up little brain cell being passed around at VSBW like the Fates from Hercules.
Verdict: Either the feats are fake or he doesn't scale.
So, after all that, I bet you're wondering how strong Sidious actually is then. The answer is: fuck if I know. Do you know how many goddamn Legends books and comics there are that he's in? I didn't read that all for this thread, but I can tell you this: he sure as shit isn't planetary or fucking solar system level. If there was actually a single, solid planet busting feat for him, or any other Force user you can scale others to, you'd see it paraded around every versus forum until the heat death of the universe. But guess what? There isn't. That's why you only ever see shit like Random Unnamed Sith Sorceress taking centuries to ruin a planet's surface or Yarael Poof and his non-feat being brought up. Speaking of that fucking long-necked bastard, I'm retconning this old post I made about him into the first episode of this series. Go read it if you're wondering about the infamous "Yarael Poof holding back a planetary explosion" feat, or re-read it if you want to see me address a defense I found, I added a new part to it. Gotta say though, making this post kinda made me want to go through and make an actually comprehensive Legends Palpatine respect thread. The one on the Respect Threads subreddit is pretty laughable, since it's literally just a segment of the "Force powers" section of his Wookieepedia article with added commentary. All the other ones I can find are pretty dogshit too. So maybe I'll put that out sometime, I don't know. Oh yeah, one last thing. If you're wondering about other characters you think Palpatine should scale to, like Legends Luke (everything you think you know about him is lies), Vitiate and Nihilus (explained above), and Abeloth (I haven't read any Abeloth stuff but it's probably all fake too, given Legends's track record), they're getting their own posts in the future. This post is specifically about Palpatine and C-list Sith stuff.
FINAL UPDATE: Looking for the Marine(s) in these photos so they can be returned!
EDIT: Guys, just... wow! I shut my phone off yesterday afternoon because it was my daughter's birthday, and I woke up to SO MANY comments and PMs from people from my different posts on Reddit, and on other platforms this is posted on, and I'm blown away. I've found myself crying again, but it's because of all of the love and support from everyone, but also from the stories that have been shared and the personal anecdotes, people telling me about their service, or their spouse or child/children currently serving. It's amazing, and I appreciate it. One thing I do want to address that has come up a lot: people are asking how the album got lost in the first place. I know my answers have been vague sounding, but it's really all I can say about that for now. Just crazy life happenings and unfortunate events, realizing the album was gone and thought it would never be seen again, and now here we are. That's the best I can give you, though I know anyone that's been following will want more, but sorry! Thank you everyone, seriously. I have so much love for our veterans and service members, so it was such a treat to be able to be a part of this. You all be well and stay safe out there! Original post - https://www.reddit.com/RBI/comments/htt4wj/looking_for_the_marines_in_these_photos_so_they/ First update - https://www.reddit.com/RBI/comments/hvxlp8/update_looking_for_the_marines_in_these_photos_so/ Original Imgur post - https://imgur.com/gallery/wRrEWOU New Imgur post - https://imgur.com/gallery/nidLhy4 Well, here is the update to the Marine photo album saga! I honestly don't even know how to begin here. If I could sum up the night into one phrase, I would only say "it was an extremely humbling experience," but even that doesn't fully articulate just HOW. MANY. EMOTIONS. were going through me all evening. To introduce you to everyone, the album belongs to Mr. Joey (last name redacted). Just like in the photographs, his smile truly is bright and wide, and his laugh matches perfectly - head back, eyes closed. Then we were joined by Mr. Robert (also redacted), who was in several of the photos. He smiled through our entire dinner (hell, we all did) and always checked to make sure I understood any of the terms they were using as they were answering my questions. We were also joined (to Joey and Robert's surprise) by Mr. Paul (I bet you can guess what goes here), who made the trip into DFW just for this dinner from Amarillo. He was cutting up all evening, in a way I'd only expect from service members, and it was brilliant and made my face darn near fall off, I was smiling and laughing so much. Paul surprised the others, and we sat inside at a local pizza chain and got to know one another. After greeting one another, they embraced my family and me as if we'd all known each other for ages. My husband and I took our teenage son, and we were joined by his parents, my father in law, Charlie, being a veteran himself. Though I didn't have much to contribute to the conversation myself, these men treated my father in law like he was one of their own... and I guess in a way, he kind of is. I'm learning that about the military in all of this. It may not be perfect, but the camaraderie is definitely very real! They told me about their time in the war. They talked about what it all looked like after the cease-fire, and the process it was actually getting home. I learned that, sometimes it's accidents and "young and dumb" mistakes, or lack of experience, that actually causes near death experiences on or off a battlefield, even after a cease-fire. I learned that even the most hardcore, take-no-shit Marines can still miss their friend(s), no matter how much time has passed, and that they'd do just about anything to ensure the safety/happiness/*insert countless other positive descriptive words* of one of their own. There were times I could tell that emotions were running a little high - a photograph would catch someone off guard, someone's breath would catch, a tightness around the eyes - and we'd just move on to the next one. I did get to ask about some of the pictures that I was always staring at (Like the one of them all around the table by the pool. A ton of people asked and took guesses, and they confirmed that it was Saudi Arabia)! Most of them weren't even of anything that would be considered "spectacular" by any standard - it's not like he was snapping pictures of major world wonders or tourist attractions. He took pictures of things he wanted to remember, and in all of his photos, he's smiling. Even if they hadn't bathed, or they'd just been in a tense situation. When I was telling them why I loved these so much, Joey looked up and said "We were told that some 80% of us might not make it back, so I took pictures of everything. We just went out there and had the time of our lives, because we thought that might've been it for us, you know," and I had no response for him. Just awe. And in almost the same breath, he told me a story about growing up and hearing about wars/seeing them on tv and in movies, and there's always the guy that gives out the candy to the local kids that end up following him. He said that was always a dream he had. In the album, there is a picture of him with several kids, after finally being able to fulfill that dream (picture of him holding that album sheet is included). He wanted to use the small packs of Wrigley gum and give each kid a stick, but initially they each wanted a whole sleeve of candy lol. He finally managed to get it sorted out, and I thought it was incredibly sentimental that he still holds that memory 30 years later. The S T O R I E S, guys. I felt like I was dissociating for a while. This didn't feel real sometimes. Sitting around this table, seeing the smiles, hearing the laughs, and knowing that I was a part of it, it was incredible. These are all very successful men now, with families and careers in different fields. I don't think I've finished processing everything just yet. I CRIED on my way home last night, from sensory overload I think, and I've been crying off and on this morning as well. I have so much more I want to say, but I really just don't have the words yet. It was magical. They felt like old friends. It's so surreal that it only took 3 days to find them, because they've been in my backyard the entire time. My son sat and listened, and he enjoyed himself. We went to dinner at 7:30. They closed at 10 so we moved to their tables out front, and we sat there until well after midnight, continuing our discussion and banter. Overall, this was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I've been cooped up, socially distancing, since March, and the chairs and being in jeans was a little rough since I have some staples in my back currently, but I have to say that the experience was absolutely worth it. I didn't mind getting together with them to snap some pictures, though I'm sure that people will have a lot to say about it. I don't mind. Some experiences are bigger than us. I told these gentlemen that I would like to stay in touch with them, and they agreed, so we are going to do just that. In the end, Joey got his photo album back after 25 years and got to have another little hang out with Paul and Robert, the 3 of them got to tell us some war - and other - stories, my father in law got to shoot the breeze with fellow veterans and show us his plethora of military knowledge, my husband had a supporting role, sitting there letting me be excited and was so happy for me, my mother in law and son both watched and listened, and just took in the whole experience, and it was an amazing time. Thank you to everyone that took the time to share (and to read this update that I'm SURE is all over the place right now lol). Thank you to everyone that posted in all of the Military and Veteran groups. And thank you Joey, Robert, and Paul. It was such an honor to meet you guys.
The Pixel 2XL is the closest thing to the perfect phone that has ever been made. Stock Android, dual front facing speakers, great camera, solid internal specs, no dumb waterfall edge display, and a fingerprint scanner. However, it's great hardware and design are not immune to the passage of time. The battery in mine barely gets me past lunch and it's been struggling in the performance department for months. I held out for the Pixel 4/4XL but was too underwhelmed to make the switch when it released. I thought the Pixel 4a would be my savior. My sister in law has the 3a and loves it and undoubtedly the 4a would improve on everything the 3a did, right? The Galaxy S20 line is released to great fanfare starting at $999. "Chumps," I tell myself, "Who would pay $1k+ for a bloatware filled Samsung phone? Stock Android is superior and it's cheaper. Plus, only 2 years of security updates and remember your old S7 that died after 6 months? Samsung is crap." Lockdown happens. My battery and performance continue to suffer through my increased usage. The 4a is delayed. The iPhone SE is released. "Damn, great camera and the A13 for $399? Maybe I shouldn't wait for the 4a," my internal monologue goes. "No. It's been 10 years since you had your iPhone 3G. You are Android through and through." The 4a is delayed again. Pixel 5 leaks start. The Pixel 5 leaks look the same as the Pixel 4 and 4a leaks. Can they be trusted? "A little longer, brother. The time is almost here." Until yesterday. Samsung's 24 hour flash sale. Up to $500 for your trade in. They won't give me anything for my 2XL but they offer $400 for my wife's iPhone 8 Plus. And she's a teacher so Samsung gives us another 10% off. My mouth waters a little bit. I'm definitely not paying $1k for an S20 but now we're talking about ~$550. I'm looking at the cart about to click the Check Out button. "No. You can't. Remember everything you hate about Samsung. You can never go back. Pixel is all you need." I close the window and go to bed. This morning I wake up to an email from Samsung. "Pick up where you left off," it says, "Here's a code for another 5% off and free shipping." I'm looking at the cart. It says $500. I go to Apples website. My wife refuses to get an iPhone 11 because she wants a home button. The SE has a home button. And Apple offers $50 for my decrepit 2XL. "Am I about to spend $850 for a cursed Samsung and an iPhone SE? You bet your ass I was. I'm tired of the disappointing Pixel releases. I get so hyped every year and then I'm let down by massive notches, dumb radar + lack of fingerprint reader, and constant delays. I would never pay $1k for an S20 but getting one for $500 feels like highway robbery. Step your game up, Google. Just give me an excuse to come back and I'll be back in a flash. Stop trying to copy Apple and be the innovator of the industry. Your strength is function over form. Honestly, just re-release the 2XL with updated internals and slap a 5 over the 2 and I'll buy it in a heartbeat. I'm in admiration of the rest of you still holding out for the 4a/5. You are stronger men/women then me. Until we meet again
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!!
The absolute best meal I ever had in Basic Training was chili mac. It is perfect in every way. If chili mac was on the menu, I would fight people to get into line first. And the absolute best day I had with chili mac was the day we were going through the gas chamber. So we're on the bus with our heads down so we can't scout the area and run off. We've got our gas masks attached to our belts and we all know we're headed to a really bad time. Once we arrive, we find that chow has already been set up and is sitting in mermites waiting for us. We're ordered to drop our gear and get in line for chow. What's on the menu? Friggin chili mac. With my plate loaded, I head over to my bag and sit down and basically inhale the whole meal. Chili mac is delicious. But before I'm able to finish, I hear a Drill Sergeant yell that there's still more chili mac and we need to eat more so we don't waste it. You bet your ass I was back in that line to get my second helping of chili mac. I balanced it out with the lima bean and corn medley they always had and a pear, but the important thing was chili mac. I remember someone said I had the stupidest grin on my face when I sat back down. But what did I care? More chili mac. A few minutes later, another Drill Sergeant calls out that there is still chili mac left and we need to eat it all. No problem, Drill Sergeant. I hop back into the line and get my third helping of the mac. What a wonderful day today was turning into. Another announcement comes that there's still chili mac. I notice that people are in pain from stuffing themselves too much. There's only three or four others getting up for more food. I'm one of them because I have the metabolism of an antelope and will never stop eating chili mac until they run out or I explode. Now the Drill Sergeants are asking for me by name, to see if I want more chili mac. I am the only one still eating. Everyone else is sprawled out in the grass. I don't care, Drill Sergeant says we can't waste it. I am more than happy to get my fifth helping of chili mac. They load my plate up completely. No more lima beans and corn or pears, just chili mac. I wasn't about to complain. A Drill Sergeant asks if I think I'm going to be able to eat all of that. Hell yes I am. I finish my fifth plate, and I tap out. I had eaten my fill. I was disappointed in myself, but five helpings of chili mac would most assuredly be stuck in my system for at least the next decade. I was content. The senior Drill Sergeant asks me one last time if I'm sure I can't eat anymore, which I confirm. So he shouts "Alright. On your feet. Let's go get gassed." Oh. Fuck. Me. I was so happy about the overwhelming quantity of delicious chili mac that I was allowed to shovel into my face, I had forgotten that we still had the gas chamber. This was going to suck. For those that don't know, the gas the Army uses in gas chambers is basically a riot control gas. But to up the ante, the rooms they pop the gas in are painfully small with zero ventilation and blistering hot. They also do a much higher dose than what you're supposed to. Tear gas is supposed to make you burn and cry and run away. The high concentration that you suck down in Basic Training completely clears out your respiratory system. If you were clogged up, you won't be anymore. Snot pours out of your face like a faucet making it tough to breathe, so you suck all that gunk back in and it hits the back of your throat and activates your gag reflex, making you throw up and continue to choke and gag on the stuff. It also clings to your clothes, so if you're in the cloud and run, it's still on you. It enters your pores as sweat blinds you and your face feels like it's on fire and you want to literally scratch your face to the point of tearing away your flesh. You start to sweat more and you pee a little bit because you're scared you're about to die. Then you get shoved out these metal doors where there is ALWAYS a tree planted for you to blindly sprint into, knocking yourself flat on your ass. Gas chambers suck. And I'm filled with chili mac. I'm in a long line of people waiting to go in. Soon, we start seeing people come running out waving their arms around trying to get whatever gas particles off of themselves that they can. Foot-long trails of snot and spit swing from these people's nose and mouth. Their eyes are swollen and red as they attempt to shuffle around and not die. A few of them stop walking an hurl on the ground. Many hit the tree. We all take great pleasure in watching their suffering. A couple of soldiers get pinned with the awful duty of scooping up piles of vomit from the area we were told to walk around in. They're armed with a shovel and a wheelbarrow. When the wind hits just right, we can smell it all. I can taste my chili mac again. It's still good. As I get closer to the chamber, I stop laughing at people as they come out. It's not funny anymore. The wheelbarrow has been emptied twice by the time I get to the front of the line. I see the Drill Sergeants pointing at me and gathering around outside the exit. I was set up. The Drill Sergeants weren't being nice, they were setting me up to be a chili mac and snot volcano. And I'm the idiot who couldn't see the truth. Inside the chamber is hot, sticky, and burns. Even with no gas capsules burning, I can still feel my skin searing. The only thing keeping me safe is the gas mask on my face. We all get lined up against the wall. We're told that when instructed, we are to remove our masks and wait. Then we will be ordered to give our name, rank, serial number, and recite the Soldier's Creed. This is another trick. It's to get us to breathe. I'm onto their games. They light up the gas and the masks come off. My face feels like I stuck it in a fire. I tightly close my eyes and hold my breath. It's too late, my eyes are already watering from a sweat and gas mixture that snuck in and I want to wipe my eyes so badly, but if I do, I'm only going to make it worse. I whimper in pain. I'm not the only one who does. A soldier is told to give his information. He makes it to his rank before he starts to hack and suffocate from the gas that has just entered his lungs. I can't see him, but I can feel his pain. He tries again, but can't remember his name. I can't remember mine either. Second soldier makes it to the Soldier's Creed but can't finish it. They gag. It sounded wet. Someone else gags. It's finally my turn. I get my information, but can't recite the creed. My lungs are on fire. I want to cut my head off to stop the pain. I've never sweat so much in my entire life. My hands and legs are shaking and I can barely see. I'm definitely crying because of the pain, the gas, and I missed my mommy. I can feel liquid oozing out of my nose. I don't care. It tastes horrible. Nothing like the chili mac. We're finally told to exit. I feel people pushing me from behind trying to get me to go faster. If we trip, we're in trouble. I feel the soldier in front of me moving and I attempt to follow as best as I can. I see the light, I'm almost out of that hell. My shoulder catches one of the metal doors and almost spins me around. It hurts, but not as much as my face does when it finds the tree. More liquid from my nose. Maybe blood now? I don't care. The fresh air feels incredible. I can open my eyes. I see hundreds of people staring at me, waiting. I hear the wheelbarrow following me. I start waving my arms around trying to get the gas off of me. I blow my nose and spit gunk out of my mouth. But not one single bit of chili mac. I have never seen a more disappointed group of people. I don't blame them. I would have expected a show too, but not today. Not me. They all tricked me, but they also underestimated my love for chili mac.
Definition of continuation bet in the Definitions.net dictionary. Meaning of continuation bet. What does continuation bet mean? Information and translations of continuation bet in the most comprehensive dictionary definitions resource on the web. Our focus now shifts from pre-flop to post-flop, and into the ever-common world of continuation betting. A continuation bet (c-bet), in days past, used to mean something along the lines of: “A continued show of strength by the pre-flop raiser, representing that he has hit the flop.” These days, such a definition is a little primitive, not A continuation bet, by definition, is a mini-bluff using the fold equity you've gained by being the pre-flop raiser. With more players in the pot, your fold equity diminishes and you will be called more often. continuation-betting definition: Verb 1. Present participle of continuation bet.... A continuation bet is simply a bet that is made on the flop if you were the pre-flop raiser, even if you did not improve your hand on the flop. So if you raised pre-flop with A K and the flop came 4 9 Q , you can give yourself a chance of winning the pot by making a bet, despite the fact you have not made a pair or better.
When and How Much to Continuation Bet - Now You Know How The Best Poker Players Do It! - Duration: 16:29. Jonathan Little - Poker Coaching 105,797 views. 16:29 When and How Much to Continuation Bet - Now You Know How The Best Poker Players Do It! - Duration: 16:29. Jonathan Little - Poker Coaching 95,470 views Piosolver LABORATORY: Continuation Bet Sizing Tutorial - Duration: 10:10. AlvinTeachesPoker 6,634 views. 10:10. Value Betting and Bluffing in Poker (aka Value Bet vs. Bluff) ... In this video I share my generic thoughts on continuation betting strategy, when to do it, what your bet sizing should be and how to use a balance of game theory and exploitative play to win the ... Bull Flag Chart Pattern. http://www.financial-spread-betting.com/course/flag-and-pennant.html PLEASE LIKE AND SHARE THIS VIDEO SO WE CAN DO MORE! The flag is...