How Barstool's Big Cat Turned a Simple Betting Trend into

Carnival Game Ideas?

My party is about to enter a Big City (TM) that's amidst a 3-day celebration. I have a few descriptions ready, but I want it to really feel more immersive than that. I'm sure I'll visit a carnival/celebration themed session again in the future, so I decided I'd share a few ideas I had about making carnival games that are quick and easy to play, and welcome any additional ideas to the list (maybe even games from other cultures beyond Avistan)!
All of these are balanced to early level, and I think the DCs should stay that way. After all, most NPCs in the city aren't seasoned explorers, and it could be fun showing off godly physical abilities to a bunch of low-level peasants to marvel at.
And now, ON WITH THE SHOW! First up...

JOUST!

I know, I know, a little cheesy, but my favorite class is the Champion, and I'd be remiss if I left out the most classic of medieval festival games. The idea of the game is simple, you all know it: charge, knock the other dude off, don't fall off yourself. Bets welcome. Mechanically I don't want to make it too bloated, so let's just assume they're all war horses and move on. Since they're combat trained, they won't be frightened with they clash. Participants might rent these bad boys or bring their own, but this is a game for seasoned warriors anyways.
The checks and DCs should be participant based, so I think setting the attack roll and damage output of a lance (also rented or brought which deal nonlethal damage) which goes against the "HP" of the opponent should suffice. But surely not the full HP, that might take too long at the table. For this, I think the Fortitude DC can be converted point for point as this substitute HP we'll call "Joust Points".
So, for sample play, Sir Lancelot and Sir Gawain both charge their noble steeds and roll damage from their lances, taking into account any relevant traits (such as the Jousting trait). Lancelot rolled 1d6+1 for a total of 3, while Gawain rolled a 5. Both have a Fort DC of 15 at level 1, and so the contest continues until one of them yields.
If you'd like to add some extra fun, add an attack roll vs the opponent's AC for a chance to critically hit and deal double the damage!

SHOOT THE TARGET

But let's try for something a little less stereotypical. Depending on which region of the world you're in, you can flavor the targets to either be standard bullseye targets, goblins (though they're our friends now, so maybe not), or maybe even some other enemy, like a zombie in Lastwall.
Either way, these targets are moving and require DC 5 flat check to hit. It costs 2 copper pieces to play. There are 10 targets total and you could win a prize depending on how accurate you are!
GMs can figure out the prize based on location and level.

FORTUNE TELLING

Not exactly a game, but it's certainly an event the GM can employ for a festival. Let's say you have a plan about what's going to happen in a few sessions, or you want to hint at the BBEG for the climax of the campaign but need an organic way of doing so. Well for 5 silver pieces, you too can ominously or vaguely reveal hints to your players to stoke their imaginations too!
You can also use the fortune teller to set the mood, or assign side-quests, or reiterate important plot details your players may have missed or forgotten about. The uses are myriad and wonderful.

DRINKING/EATING CONTEST

While the flavor (eh? ;D) of these two contests are slightly different, the idea is the same: consume something faster, or longer than anyone else. The rules should be tweaked a bit for the faster one (not exactly sure how to do a speed contest tbh), but the quantity version is simple enough. Participants in the contest sit at a long table spectated by an audience or something similar with a large quantity of food or drink in front of them. Let's say it's a copper piece to play (to reimburse the cost of food and drink) and the winner gets a tacky medal or ribbon or something.
They begin with a simple DC 5 fortitude save to ingest the food or drink and anyone who fails is unable to fully consume the food or drink and must resign. The DC then increases by 1 (or 2 if you're in a hurry or want to keep it short and sweet) until only 1 contestant remains. They then leave the table and are Sickened 1 and Slowed 1 for some amount of time (1 hour seems reasonable, though you can adjust this if there's a combat coming up or something).

DRAGON RACES

Ok, not actual dragons, but little lazy lizards with twigs and papery wings attached to them. Each lizard starts at the starting line, in a cage, of a 30 foot long track. Any participants must ante up to a pot (let's say 5 copper pieces) and winner takes the whole pot (with a small fee to the commissioner of say, half the gold won). Once the gate is released, a whistle is blown and the lizards... don't move.
See, these are notoriously lazy lizards and they need support and encouragement. After an initiative roll, the participants must each succeed a DC 15 Nature check to Command an Animal.
CRITICAL SUCCESS - The lizard moves 10 feet
SUCCESS - The lizard moves 5 feet
FAILURE - The lizard does not move, or moves sideways, and makes no progress to the finish line.
CRITICAL FAILURE - The lizard turns around and moves backwards 5 feet.

HOG TYING CONTEST

As the name suggests this game involves somehow catching and then subduing a greased hog or other similar animal and tying it to assert dominance or whatever. With an entrance fee of 5 cp, the participant is placed into a mud filled pen with this hog that's been covered in grease, and told they have 20 seconds (10 actions) to chase, catch, and grapple the hog into submission.
The hog starts 10 feet away and is aggressive, but not too dangerous. It has a reflex DC of 20 to resist any athletics checks to grapple it, but the attempts splash mud on it, reducing the DC slightly. Each failed attempt lowers the DC by 1. Once the hog is captured, it takes 4 total actions (over any number of turns) to tie its 4 legs together. After each turn has passed that the hog has been grappled, but not tied, it attempts to break free with a +8 Athletics check to escape. This bonus is reduced by 2 after the second leg has been tied, and again after the third. If the hog ever escapes, it moves 10 feet away, and the participant must attempt to grapple it again.
Winners get a ribbon and a prize of 1 sp.

FOOT RACES

A simple race on foot, right? How hard can it be? Oh, did I forget to tell you that you're blindfolded the whole time? After an entrance fee of 1 cp, the contestants are placed in an open field (or other soft, open space) and pointed in the general direction they need to run (100 feet away). They can then use their full complement of actions to Stride up to their land speed (have fun monks), but they must roll a DC 20 Acrobatics check each time they move.
CRITICAL SUCCESS - You move your full speed
SUCCESS - You move half your speed
FAILURE - You stumble and must succeed at a DC 15 Reflex save or trip and fall prone. A success on this Reflex save means you do not fall, and manage to move 5 feet.
CRITICAL FAILURE - As failure, but you automatically fail the Reflex save.
First one to the end wins! First place gets a simple wooden trophy and 1 sp, second place gets a ribbon and 5 cp, while third place get 2 cp.

CONTEST OF STRENGTH

It's time to pump some heavy iron! Here, we pick zings up, and poot zem daown!! A typical weightlifters bar is the challenge; a bar that progressively increases in weight for the maximum load a participant can carry. The bar starts off at 100 pounds. I'm not sure how much Bulk that is, but let's just forget that system for this for now.
You attempt an athletics check against this and let's call it a DC 15, that way it's 1 for every 10 pounds which seems reasonable. Each participant gets 2 attempts to lift the most they can. After each successful attempt, the weight is increased by 20 pounds (10 pounds on each side) and the DC increases by 2.

TALENT SHOW

Inspired by the Circus Show rules from Extinction Curse. Basically, you get a bunch of show-offs, and how ever shows off the best, gets gloating rights. No cost of entry or prize, just have fun! This one, like the Fortune Teller above, heavily rely on roleplaying on the behalf of those involved.
Anyone can use any skill, save, spell, or attack roll they desire, each subject to a MAP (unless it has the Agile trait in the case of an attack roll, or Acrobatics based, in which case it's -4, -8 for the penalty). The DC for this trick is based on their level.
CRITICAL SUCCESS - You generate 4 excitement for your show
SUCCESS - You generate 2 excitement for your show
FAILURE - You fail to generate any excitement.
CRITICAL FAILURE - You generate -1 excitement to a minimum of 0.
Whoever generates the most excitement wins.

BATTLE OF WITS/RIDDLE GAMES

Inspired by u/silversarcasm. Want a less physical display of power? Perhaps riddles for the smarty-pants bard, or a battle of wits for the studious wizard! Chess puzzles are really easy to set up and use for this type of thing, or simply googling riddles can do nicely. Like the fortune teller, you can use this any number of effective ways that can be tailored to your party's needs and desires!

PITFALL

Also inspired by u/silversarcasm. You are an avid explorer of the wild, fearless in the face of danger! Before you lies a pit of crocodiles, piranhas, or worse. Beyond them, treasure beyond imagination! Only one way across though, a rickety balance beam above the pit of death. Can you make it?! Granted, the pit is actually a pool of calm water, and the dangerous beast within are koi fish (or other similarly harmless animal) for flavor.
The rickety balance beam isn't fake though, and is only a few inches wide which spans this 60-foot wide gap. Not a problem you say? What if there were an angry group of natives (spectators) who threw deadly arrows and spears at you as you crossed (water balloons)!
The plank is a narrow wooden beam requiring a DC 20 Acrobatics check to cross, but the constant barrage of water balloons or otherwise make traversing this plank extra difficult to maintain balance. If you do not critically fail your Acrobatics check, you must attempt a DC 15 Reflex save against these water balloons with the following results:
CRITICAL SUCCESS - You incur no penalty in traversing the beam, treating your Acrobatics check as normal.
SUCCESS - The balloons were a near-miss and cause you to stumble, but not lose balance. You treat a critical success as a success, and you treat a success as a failure.
FAILURE - A balloon hits you but does not cause you to lose balance. You are stunned 1, losing your next action, but you still trigger another Reflex save against the volley of balloons.
CRITICAL FAILURE - A balloon hits you so forcefully you nearly fall. You may Grab an Edge as a reaction. But, because the ledge is narrow, flexible, and wet, the DC to Grab the Edge is 20. The DC to Climb the plank on a success is 20. While you have grabbed on to the edge, but not yet climbed up, you may make no progress, but the water balloons do not cause you to fall. Once you climb back on to the plank, you must attempt another Reflex save due to the endless barrage of water balloons
It costs 1 cp to play, but the reward is tenfold at 1 sp. Good luck!
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But that's all I got for now. I tried to put a bit of something for every class, but I'm sure I missed a lot. I noticed it was very strength based.
If you have any other ideas, especially for other types of contests or games, I'd love to hear them! I'm probably not going to use all of these ideas anyways, but who knows, maybe one of you will like it, and implement them into a carnival somewhere :)
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EDIT: Added a couple suggestions from comments below
submitted by Wahbanator to Pathfinder2e [link] [comments]

So I watched all of Ghibli's animated movies.

I watch a lot of anime. Ever since I was a kid, I had seen many Ghibli movies and sung their praises countless times. As I got older, however, I realized that I hadn't even seen half of them, yet I was praising how good the studio was. Not wanting to be disingenuous and being somewhat of a stupid completionist, I spent the past two months watching almost every Ghibli movie.
As I was nearing the end, I wanted something to do with this little project, and that's what this post it. I'm gonna rank every Ghibli animated movie, give it a rating 1-10, and say some of my general thoughts on each one. I will probably be able to talk about the ones I watched towards the end of June in more detail than earlier ones, but I will try my best. Let's go, starting with what was the worst film by far in my opinion.

Only Yesterday - 2/10

Being honest here, the way I went about this was just going to Studio Ghibli's website, starting at the top, and just watching whatever I hadn't seen in order; so, Only Yesterday was one of the last films I watched. At this point, I only thought one movie was bad, but this blew the other one out of the water.
What can I even complement this movie on? I actually started taking notes on a google doc in the middle of watching it of stuff that I dislike. The animation is extremely clunky and creepy, especially some of the walking animations in the flashback scenes and the cheekbones on any character (makes them look like zombies). This movie is also boring. Nothing of substance happens for probably the first 45 minutes I would say, and whenever stuff starts happening, it's literally just flashbacks of Taeko being abused by her family. There is nothing inherently entertaining about a 10-year-old's antics and when the whole film is just flashbacks with no concrete plot or purpose, it's nearly impossible for the audience to get interested.
The romance is completely horrible. I didn't really like any of the characters, and that includes Taeko's love interest, who I felt had no chemistry with her whatsoever. The ending was completely unearned and was unsatisfying after the previous 2 hours of nothingness.
Finally, I thought if the plot and visuals were bad, at least the music could redeem it, as I am a massive music nerd, but this was not the case either. For some reason, I noticed this film had a distinctly lower amount of music than other Ghibli movies and when it was used, it felt generic and unfitting to what was happening on screen.
Overall, this didn't feel like a Ghibli movie, but a knockoff trying to imitate them. I know it was one of their earliest films, but it was really bad.

The Tale of Princess Kaguya - 4/10

Alright, put down your pitchforks. I feel bad saying that I disliked this movie because I have seen people in comments of posts on this subreddit talking about how it was one of their favorites, but I just can't understand why. Along with Only Yesterday, this is one of the only films I had a distaste for.
Starting with, in my opinion, the elephant in the room; every problem I had with this movie could be fixed if it's runtime was cut by 45 minutes. The music was pretty good and very atmospheric. The animation was in a really unique style that actually grew on me. The only problem is that it's so boring. So much nothing happens in this movie. I caught myself on my phone browsing Reddit many times while watching because it was so monotonous. I understand that it was adapting a classic tale, but it could have been done in a tighter way that spends less time on scenes that work on what's already been established and more time on the actual plot.
This movie had a lot of potential with its unique style, but unfortunately, it fell flat.

My Neighbors The Yamada's - 4.5/10

Honestly, this movie was a decent watch but I don't have much to say about it simply because not a lot happened. I enjoy slice of life as a genre and this was no different.
The music was decent but a little generic. The animation style was cool. The main problem I had was just that A. There was no main plot and B. Some scenes dragged on for too long compared to the rest of the story (like the shopping mall scene). The scene that stood out to me as my favorite was the telling off the biker scene because it cut between the chibi-esque style and how the characters would actually look, which I thought was interesting.
Not much else to say; was a simple watch that just delivered the bare minimum of what I expected it to.

Pom Poko - 4.5/10

I think there is a trend with the movies that I didn't really consider that good. Again, cut like 30 minutes off this movie and it most likely would have infinitely better. I enjoyed it, it was charming; it's just that the antics of the raccoons got old after 30 minutes, and without a solid main character to pull the plot back into focus, the movie just kind of devolved into whatever the directors thought of.
The idea of these Tanuki integrating into human society was an extremely interesting concept that I think pushed me to stay interested. As the film dragged on though, it got repetitive to the point where I just wanted it to end. I don't remember much about the soundtrack so that leads me to believe it couldn't have been that astounding. The animation was good. Overall, it was just an ok experience.
On a final note, why are they using their scrotum in multiple scenes throughout the movie? It might just be a Japan thing, but I cringed every time they were on screen.

Ok, starting now, I really liked all the films I watched so ranking them was pretty hard. Take the rest of the list with a grain of salt where I wouldn't necessarily put some of these over another.

When Marnie Was There - 6/10

This movie was pretty good and I enjoyed it. I watched this one out of order and it was one of the first ones I watched (back in April I think) so I may not be able to come up with many specifics, but it told a story with a little bit of mystery in a wonderful, fantastical way.
I loved how the film opened with Anna sitting alone on the playground with her concern around her asthma (the sound design in this scene was particularly striking). I related to this a lot because even though it is better now, I had severe asthma when I was a kid that prevented me from doing many different activities. Right out the gate, Anna is an interesting character, a girl who is obviously trying to figure out who she is as she feels she is different than everyone around her.
I had my suspicions right from when Marnie was introduced about the plot, and even though it was pretty predictable, the interactions between the two were a joy to watch. The sound design and overall music were amazing, like the details of the water noise when next to the shore or the suffocating atmosphere presented in the festival scene. The movie felt like classic whimsical Ghibli right from in their prime, and I commend it for that.
This film was delightful. It was obviously not a stand out in Ghibli's star-studded roster of films, but the characters, interesting setting, and music made me enjoy it for what it was nonetheless.

Ocean Waves - 6/10

I'm gonna preface my review for this one with this: I am a sucker for anything with a good romance. Two developed, complex characters that slowly grow to like and care for one another is quite possibly my favorite thing to watch, anime wise. With this as a backdrop, I can say that this film was pretty solid.
Even though I have said that some of the Ghibli movies need to be shorter, I think this is the only one that could have benefitted from an extra 15 minutes somewhere in the film to either delve more into Taku or Rikako's family life, childhood, or even other relationships. If I'm remembering correctly, the soundtrack was heavy on synth-like tones and fairly upbeat, stylistic music, which I thought fit the film well and was a nice treat.
Rikako, Taku, and Yutaka make decisions that I was shaking my head at (when he punched Taku, I was pretty confused, to be honest), but when I look back on it as a film that serves to explore growing up and learning about relationships, I think it did a pretty good job. The only thing about the film that frustrated me was the ending. It reminded me of (Your Name Spoiler) When Mitsuha and Taki meet at the end, but we don't get to see any of their interactions after. I just wished maybe 5 more minutes could have been taken to give that satisfying, cathartic ending. Solid Film.

Grave of the Fireflies - 6.5/10

Ok, this is when it gets really controversial, but I swear I have a backstory with this one. I did not rewatch this film. A year ago, I was a junior in high school and I went to see it when it was in theatre with a couple of my friends (you can already tell how this was a bad idea). We were all in marching band and the days the film was playing were not only weekdays but all the days it was playing subbed, we had practice. So we had to see it dubbed. I don't know if anyone on this subreddit shares this opinion with me, but the dub for this movie was absolutely atrocious. It essentially completely ruined Setsuko as a character for me because her voice actor was really grating on my ears. I still nearly cried at the end, but the dub ruined the movie for me.
I know people are going to say I need to rewatch it, but I don't even know if I want to go through that again because I can only imagine how much it will make me choke up with me not only focusing on the voice acting. The animation was good, the story was extremely well-handled, well-written, and sad. I don't remember much about the music, but I think coming out of the theatre that I liked it. I don't know about this placing, maybe I'll come back to it in a couple of years, but as of now, it is not up there with the masterpieces this studio has produced.

My Neighbor Totoro - 7/10

Really, really controversial time folks. I also did not rewatch this movie, but I did watch it more recently than I did GOTF. Before the pandemic (I think around January), I went over to my friend's house and we ordered pizza, played pool, and watched Ghibli movies. I am ashamed to admit, but I watched My Neighbor Totoro for the first time this year. I know that this film is prided as one of the best films the studio has, but I think since I did not have nostalgia for it, along with it being a movie made for kids, I do not place it as highly as others.
The style was amazing, with the bus stop scene that is so wildly recreated being so stylistically distinct that I can understand why people love this movie so much. The music is playful and bouncy, fitting the atmosphere of childlike wonder perfectly ( and I have Totoro's theme song on my Spotify playlist). If I had a qualm with the characters, it would be that Satsuki and Mei screamed too much throughout the film, but it was about children that just moved so it was understandable.
Overall, I enjoyed the movie, but it is clear it was mainly for kids. I still loved it, but the more mature films in the line-up struck me as better experiences as an 18-year-old dude.

Arrietty - 7/10

This was the film I watched most recently (I just finished it last night). I bet you guys are getting tired of me saying this, but I really enjoyed it. It was very much within the same realm of When Marnie was There in that the world seemed completely ordinary other than the introduction of these unusual elements, whether it be spirits or 'borrowers'.
The set-up in this film was great, with it beginning on the night of Arrietty's first official borrowing. When the camera pans over to Sho laying in bed, I nearly had a heart attack because the music cuts out and he is just deadpan staring into the camera; scary stuff. Other than that, the movie is very playful, but with a dark undertone. I found the scene where Sho is talking about how the borrowers are a doomed species and how he is going to die particularly surprising for a movie rated G. Branching off of that, all the animation and character writing is great I feel except for Sho. He is animated very stiffly with little emoting, which I felt harmed the film when focusing on him.
The music is great and I specifically wrote in my notes how much I loved the use of strings in the soundtrack because they are used in almost every song. The world is beautifully made, with the passages within the house, the flower field, and Sho's room feeling homey and like they were meant to be in an old home like that one. This movie has a great heart and an interesting story to tell; I'm surprised I don't hear about it more often to be honest.

Tales From Earthsea - 7.5/10

Earthsea is a tough one for me. On one hand, I feel like it created this amazing medieval world that sucked me in with interesting characters and a plot that kept on pushing forward, but on the other hand, when I finished watching, I felt it just left too many questions unanswered.
Directly copy-pasting from the notes I took while watching, the questions I ended with were:
Why did Cob need slaves?
How could Therru turn into a dragon?
Why was Arren the chosen one?
Did Arren have a reason for killing his dad other than his anger issues?
Was the “end of the world” stuff ever even resolved/explained? (that the first 5 mins of the movie are based around)
Overall, the lore is just not fleshed out enough, to the point where I think they could make a second movie following the story and I would happily watch. I could be missing elements of the plot here and some of these questions might already be answered within the movie, so if they are, my apologies.
The grand music on display throughout the movie fit perfectly with the grand setting it was trying to display. All of the characters were awesome, although I wish the conflict between Cob and Ged was more fleshed out also. Overall, the animation, music, and world of the film were awesome, but it tried to introduce too much in too small of a story, leaving me with many hanging questions on my preliminary viewing.

Ponyo - 7.5/10

Ponyo was one of the movies I remembered explicitly from watching it on its release when I was a kid, so I was excited to revisit it. It delivered in many aspects, specifically the animation.
I wouldn't say there is ever a lot of tension in this movie's plot 1. because it was a movie clearly made for kids and 2. just how much Ghibli succeded in making the world of this movie feel so magical. As I was watching, it felt like something straight out of a Shel Silverstein poem as it was a crazy thing that was happening, but it was somehow 'normalized' at the same time if that makes any sense. Sosuke and Ponyo's antics are absolutely adorable to watch and Sosuke's mom immediately accepting his story made me feel warm and fuzzy inside.
I don't remember much about the music in specifics except for that it fit the scene it was accompanying very well, like how it was grand when Ponyo was running on the waves during the storm, but more playful sounding when Ponyo and Sosuke were riding around on the boat. It was a very interesting soundtrack to listen to.
I feel like the main department where this movie succeded was in the animation. This might be in my top 5 visual-wise just because of how fluid everything moved and how striking the vibrant colors were. It truly brought the world of Ponyo alive. Overall, an amazing children's movie that someone older can still enjoy.

The Wind Rises - 8/10

This is just a better executed Princess Kaguya. Plain and simple. If someone in the comments of this post disagrees with my stance on Princess Kaguya, I'll just point them towards this movie. They both start in the main character's childhood, progressing to showing the events of their lives unfold in correlation to their loved ones, and ending with their life's story closing. This movie just manages to make it so much more compelling than the former.
The aesthetic of the movie is wonderful, incorporating a little film grain-esque effects sometimes and heavily immersing itself in the time period. Overall, the visuals are very striking and somewhat bleak at times, but that's what fits that time period (I especially got a little sad when he attempted to offer food to the poor children).
The story is what drives this movie, however, and that is what makes it truly shine. Jiro is one of my favorite protagonists of any Ghibli movie, being very nuanced and reserved, with his goals often muddling his vision and purpose. I relate to him very heavily. For example, throughout most of the beginning of the movie he seems extremely selfless, like saving the injured person during the earthquake or constantly letting his friend use his aeronautical designs. This shifts, however, when he has to design a new plane and instead of making his fiance stay at the hospital where her condition might improve, he insists that she stay with him while he works. This creates a very interesting story dynamic where the two things he loves are at odds, his work and his family, and in the end, he makes an irrational decision that may have costed his fiance's life. That is only towards the end, however, because the first half of the movie where he works towards gaining a job and shows off his engineering prowess is just as interesting. Just because this movie is long doesn't mean it ever stopped developing its characters, pushing the plot forward, or got boring.
The music is also very good, taking a lot of influence from the time period and including many slow, waltz-like pieces and foreign-influenced pieces. Mr. Hisashi hit is out of the park with this one.
The only reason this isn't higher on my list is that I loved all the other movies just as much as this one, despite me singing its praises so heavily.

Whisper of the Heart - 8/10

In all of Ghibli's movies where it tackled teen love, I feel like it did it very effectively and realistically. This film is no different.
In terms of the plot, it felt a little slow at times, but it definitely sucked me in and put me inside the mind of Shizuku. I very much enjoyed the sort of casual approach to the plot because rather than feeling like some grand adventure had just begun, it just felt like we were following this teenage girl through her daily life that resulted in meeting someone she cares about. The messages about self-worth, passion, and finding yourself buried within its cleverly written dialogue were awesome and left the ending of the movie feeling not only supremely satisfying but hopeful and empowering.
This was my first viewing of it and after the whole Fallout 76 fiasco, having Country Roads being a key motif of the entire movie was hilarious, but also very fitting. I found the overall sound of the movie to be whimsical meets country, a combination I found very intriguing and nice to listen too.
The animation isn't as nice as something like Ponyo, but of course it isn't going to be because of its age. It makes up for this in spades in its other aspects. This was an awesome film that made even a negative nellie like myself perk up.

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind - 8.5/10

Phew, I've been writing for a while. Sorry if it becomes a little repetitive, coming up with new phrases to describe stuff is getting tough; I was never the best at English.
This movie is amazing, just wanna get that out of the way at the beginning, but I want to talk about the soundtrack first. This movie would not even be half of how atmospheric and damning it feels without its music. This is one of the only Ghibli movie soundtracks I will literally listen to when I'm playing video games because I love just about every song in its OST. There are pieces that focus on electronic instruments and high tension along with grandiose orchestral masterpieces. The soundtrack is on spotify; I cannot recommend it enough.
The plot is pretty solid and a really interesting concept. I wish it delved into the different creatures other than the ohms, but I can understand why it didn't because it chose to focus more on the commentary of humans destroying the environment and political conflict. Nausicaä is a very one-dimensional character I feel, but she is portrayed so well in such a complicated situation that I had no qualms with her being the main character because I was so invested in the overall story. The one main problem I had with the plot is that although Nausicaä is opposed to anyone killing anything, she saved Asbel from falling and didn't confront him at all about the 3 ships he blew up and the hundreds of people he probably killed. They just immediately become friends and that didn't sit well with me because I feel like they could have incorporated some interesting conversation between the two about it.
The animation is nice with an art style that enhances its many fictional creatures, but its nothing to especially write home about. I can see how this film led to the studio's creation because it was extremely good.

From Up On Poppy Hill - 8.5/10

I have seen way too many comments on this subreddit calling this film a discount "Whisper of the Heart" and I just want to ask those people: Did we watch the same movie? I felt as if this movie was like a different approach to Whisper of the Heart's simple formula; as it takes a unique cultural position with an equally enjoyable side plot, interesting characters, and overall good writing.
The portrayal of Yokohama, while I can't claim as realistic because I wasn't there during that time, nor have never been there, felt like one of the most distinctly human atmospheres Ghibli has ever produced. The entire movie gave me that homey feeling you get from sitting by the campfire as it feels like everyone is tight-knit and knows each other. All of the side characters are super memorable and got multiple laughs out of me. The writing is just how I expect students to act, being one myself, and it was really refreshing seeing high school from a different perspective in a different time period. Also, I'm going to be upfront, when it was revealed that Umi and Shun were 'siblings', I died laughing and had to pause the movie. Moving past that, the plot is very straightforward, but is presented earnestly, with every single character being extremely likable. The revelation that they aren't siblings and fairly realistic depiction of how that might have been mixed up was very well written to me and made the whole thing feel human rather than a fabricated mess. The Quartier Latin was a fun side plot that served as the backdrop for the relationship that formed, giving the movie its own flair.
This soundtrack is also most likely in my top 3 Ghibli soundtracks, though I am biased because I play jazz myself. All of the jazz clarinet sections were amazing and the musical influence from the '60s was clear and awesome to listen to.
No complaints really with this one; just a simple romance with a fun premise that I immensely enjoyed.

Kiki's Delivery Service - 8.5/10

Alright, we're getting to the big boys now. Kudos if you got this far reading through this college freshman's ramblings.
What can I say about these next couple of movies that haven't already been said? I'm struggling to come up with things to say because a lot of what I think has already been said before. Kiki, our titular lead, and Jiji, her cat companion, have a lot of chemistry and made me laugh countless times throughout. Besides the Ghibli and Disney classics, it's hard to name another animated movie with as much charm as this one.
If I had to name one particular feature about this soundtrack, it would be Mr. Hisashi's expert use of double reeds. The solos and extraneous parts that the Oboe and Bassoon take the spotlight in almost every song encapsulate the OST, giving it a very free feeling, just like how Kiki is leaving the nest herself. All of the compositions in this soundtrack are unique and wonderful when you listen back to the intense detail put into every individual part.
The animation and sound design is a wonder, along with the slight romance side plot scratching that itch that I crave with these types of movies. Tombo is the stereotypical oblivious pre-teen, but I love his dorky nature nonetheless. All in all, I struggle to come up with any faults when it comes to Ghibli's best films and this one is no different. Great movie, but I'm sure you already knew that.

The Cat Returns - 9/10

Taking the second place trophy for funniest Ghibli film (first place is up next) and having enough charm to fill up 5 remade modern Disney monstrosities, The Cat Returns is even better than the amazing film it was loosely based on (*cough* Whisper of the Heart *cough*).
This was one of the only films I watched dubbed and I don't regret it at all because the voice actors for the three main characters have so much chemistry and are a riot when they play off of each other. Honestly, it's a shame to use so much creativity in a film that is so disappointingly short, but that is honestly the beauty of it. I craved more, but I knew more would hurt the perfect balance it had.
In terms of vibrancy, this movie was up there with Ponyo in terms of visual stimulation because I felt like every setting it showed me was full of life and cleverly conceived. The soundtrack accentuated the comedic beats and playful nature of the film and while it wasn't a stand-out, it was still really well done.
I think I attribute my love of this movie to its simplicity, the wonderful writing, and awesome voice actors. It's hilarious, it's playful but most important of all, it has a clear heart and amazing creativity.

Porco Rosso - 9/10

Now I would be lying if I said this film didn't surprise me. When I was initially looking at this list, I decided that this was one of the ones I was least excited for because I thought it would be some watered kiddie flick. I've never been so glad to be wrong about something.
This movie is funny. Like really, really funny. I normally don't laugh when watching TV or reading, but this made me laugh more than any of the other movies I watched. Marco himself is extremely likable and I must say whoever his Japanese voice actor is, has one of the most satisfying voices to listen to ever. Calling this movie simply charming would be the understatement of the year. It oozes character. All of the people in this movie are picturesque in themselves; I would be down to have a movie based on anyone, there wasn't a single one I hated. The world pulled me in and after the initial "kidnapping" scene, I was immersed. Fio is amazing and I was so excited that she followed Marco in the plane because they played so well off one another.
The soundtrack for this used a lot of strings and accentuated whatever wacky situation was happening on the screen, so it was a welcome addition masterfully crafted by Mr. Hisashi.
Again, literally no complaints. Maybe it's because I went in with my expectations kind of low, but I love this movie.

Howl's Moving Castle - 9.5/10

Starting about now, I would say the 4th, 3rd, and 2nd place entries on this list could be interchangeable, with 1st place undoubtedly being one of my favorite movies of all time.
Howl's Moving Castle feels a lot like a magical adventure when you're watching it, but almost like a character study looking back on it. Markle, Calcifer, and the scarecrow are all wonderous characters that are connected to our mysterious love interest Howl in different ways. Markle sees him with admiration, it's unclear if calcifer likes or hates him, and the scarecrow is almost there as a symbol for Sophie's uncanny connection to Howl himself. If I had to name a movie with the most creativity in the Ghibli line-up, it would be this one.
Sophie enters almost as a mediator for Howl, thrust upon him as a voice of reason, while he struggles with issues of self-worth and running from his problems. Sophie is a wonderful protagonist because she thinks rationally and almost always does what the watcher is thinking, acting with empathy first. The story and characters are stunningly written.
The soundtrack is no different. Merry go round of life is one of my favorite songs from any movie ever. Every song has its own flair and I just can't put my finger on what makes it good as a whole. I would literally call it a mastercraft.
Everyone knows how good these last movies are and I'm preaching to the choir, but if you haven't seen it, you are missing out.

Castle in the Sky - 9.5/10

In terms of concrete and extremely well-written plots, this takes second place among the Ghibli movies. It's this movie that makes me so sad about the direction Only Yesterday took because it came out 5 years before and surpasses it in every aspect tenfold.
All the characters are extremely lovable (except for the villains of course); whether it be Pazu, Sheeta, the pirate crew, the townspeople, or even the cool guy that explains the lights in the mines, everyone leaves an impression on the viewer. Laputa is established as this wondrous, almost heavenly being, yet when it first appeared on screen, the sound design and animation made it still surpass my expectations. The plot is amazing, with a back-and-forth with the pirates who we originally think are the main villains, resulting in the final battle on Laputa.
In terms of the soundtrack, one defining aspect of the songs is that they are all very punctuated; you can tell they pushed the action onscreen forward and reflected what was happening. Overall, not as pleasant to listen to on its own, but still sensational.
Yup, honestly just a perfect movie. Nothing else to say.

Spirited Away - 9.5/10

Ah, I don't know if you expected this at #2 huh (unless you looked through my posting history lol). I have a secret guys; this was my first time watching this. Yes, Ghibli's most acclaimed film and I hadn't seen it. I thought my expectations were too high and were going to ruin it for me, but it managed to meet them perfectly.
Chihiro is an amazing character. She starts out doing nothing but listening to those around her, but then takes charge of her situation and pushes for her freedom and the ones she loves. Not gonna lie, her parent's initial transformation into pigs was pretty scary even for me and I think that dark undertone throughout is what made this movie so great to watch. In a way, it felt like an absurdist interpretation of classic horror movie ideas seemingly adapted for children and I loved every second of it.
This movie was also (obviously) extremely creative. Despite bathhouses and guardian spirits being distinctly related to Japanese culture, I was completely immersed and learning as the movie went on. No Face did not play the part I expected him to do from the trailer and overall I still struggle to completely understand his addition to the story, but that's the beauty of it.
In terms of the soundtrack, "One Summer Day" is amazing and by far my favorite song, but it is another one where I can literally just listen to it on repeat. No specific words to describe it except awe.
Good movie, nothing else to say.

Princess Mononoke - 10/10

Well, we reached #1. I love this movie to death, in almost every aspect and every way. I can think of virtually nothing wrong with it.
It tells the plot with straightforward messages; humans bad, kill nature. But then you look deeper. Oh wait, these women working the furnaces and lepers given shelter and jobs by the iron town are just trying to survive just like the denizens of the forest. It's not always black and white and that's the same note the film ends on, not with San forgiving humans and living with Ashitaka, but the embodiments of nature and humanity as our two main characters parting amicably.
Ashitaka is my favorite protagonist of any of the Ghibli movies. He is compassionate, strong, thinks before doing, reasonable, and sees every perspective. Overall, I think the nature v. humanity conflict is handled better in this movie than any other fictional work I have ever seen.
This is my favorite Ghibli soundtrack because every even slightly dull moment or important scene is filled with music that exemplifies every aspect of what's on-screen. There isn't one reason this OST is amazing; it just is.
I first saw this movie in theatres and I was stunned at how amazing it was. I literally couldn't stop talking about it for days; and now I have a poster of it and the official art book. It is easily in my top 3 favorite movies of all time.

Well, that's it. Jeez, that was a lot of writing lol. If you made it this far, thanks. I'm going to go either sleep or finally watch ATLA. I love you Ghibli, along with everyone else in this sub. Much love.
submitted by StumpyBB to ghibli [link] [comments]

"The Titans promised us they'd defend the City. Then they let the Red Legion destroy our home."

I'd like to preface this by saying that I'm not exactly the angriest Titan out there. When I'm rolling an enemy team in the Crucible, I actively feel bad for them. The feeling of being the invader in Gambit is distinctly uncomfortable and wrong. Unless somebody is trying to hurt innocent people, I can't find it in myself to so much as raise my voice. When people call me a mindless crayon-eater that doesn't know his head from his ass, I always remind them that Titans have exactly two synapses in our brains - one to make each arm punch. And if we develop a third, the first two beat it to death to keep us everyone's favorite lean, mean, punching machines.
Point being, maybe I'm huffing my own fumes a bit too much, but I consider myself pretty easy to get along with. It is hard to seriously rile me up. But when I was in the Tower today, sorting through my shaders, and I heard that woman say that... oh man. It took some Saintly effort to just ignore her and walk away.
How dare she.
How dare she.
We lost 374,128 people to the Red Legion when they chained the Traveler and occupied the City. Some days it's something I can barely believe when I reread that fact. It's just... staggering, an impossibility. It's more people than we've lost at any one time in the City's entire history. And you know what? It easily could have been worse. It is a miracle that our evacuation procedures were as effective as they were, and it's even more of a miracle that most of the people who couldn't initially get out were smuggled out by Eva Levante and the Underground she set up. If the Consensus had gone ahead with that idiotic plan to make evac drills monthly instead of weekly, we could have lost millions to the Red Legion. Imagine that.
Three hundred and seventy four thousand, one hundred and twenty eight. Even as a superior machine intellect, that's just... that's not a number of people I can visualize. I'd argue it's not a number of people the neohuman psyche is equipped to think about at any one time. For an hour every day, I read the official tally of the dead and I try to remember their names, because you know what? In a sense, she's right. It is, in part, my fault this happened. I am, in some small and indirect way, to blame for their deaths. One life lost in City limits is two too many, and we lost over a quarter million.
But that entitled dick has the gall to stand there and spout that we let this happen? That I just shrugged my shoulders and allowed people to die?
No!
I was there! When the Red Legion fired drop pods into populated districts I was plainclothes, enjoying my favorite kind of cricket burger from a joint in the Gisei District. (Don't bother looking it up: it, and the rest of the Gisei District, aren't much more than a crater with utilities these days.) Instinctive response was to fry a Legionary with my Light, steal his slug rifle, and get everyone nearby to safety while being the biggest, loudest distraction I could be.
I died some two hundred times that day, throwing myself into the jaws of death without hesitation. It hurt every time and I kept going back, because I knew they were more important. I have as many second chances as I want. The people of the City don't. I died, and I died, and I died again, getting as many people as I could see out of the path of the Cabal, and I kept dying right up until they caged the Traveler and my Light disappeared.
It was the scariest thing in the system to watch my Ghost drop to the ground like a stone. It took him a few minutes to wake up, and he sounded so weak. When he told me that he couldn't bring me back any more I swear it was killing him to say it. Around then Zavala gave the evacuation order, and that left me to find a way out of the City.
Sometimes, when I go to sleep, I see everything all over again. The Red Legion marching around like they owned the place (well, back then, they did). Torturing Guardians that couldn't fight back. Shooting civilians just because it was easier than getting them to move. If she knew just how hard it was for me to have to sit back and watch this, knowing that running in to save those people - the natural response, the correct thing to do - would just get me killed and result in less people saved overall, maybe she'd have held her Light-blasted tongue.
Somehow I made it out. Spent some time in the woods before a stray jumpship, some crazy fool Hunter who refused to leave the City behind, came to pick me up and drag me out to Titan. Apparently their Warlock buddy was about two seconds from hauling them out of the cockpit and getting them to safety before they found me. I still have drinks with them. They're nice people.
Anyway. Titan. What a miserable dump. Maybe it's just my emotional state from then corroding my thinking, but I hate the New Pacific Arcology. Whenever I drop by these days I have my Ghost block my sense of smell. I take a good, clean whiff of Titanian rain and all I can think of are huddled civilians trying to stay under cover, constant Fallen gunfire that takes on an entirely new meaning when any one of those stray shock rounds could RTL you, the knowledge that the only thing you're gonna find in there are those twisted Hive... I'm sure to the older ones in the audience all this comes off as the entitled whining of some new Light who wasn't around for the real tough times. But you know what? Just like any other Titan worth their weight in Glimmer, I took it in stride and didn't complain. I may not have had my Light but Traveler damn it I was still a Titan and I had a job to do.
I did everything I could to keep people safe without compromising my capacity to continue keeping people safe. Everything Zavala would let me do, and then a lot of extra things I'm sure he's going to have a chat with me about after he reads this. I'm sure to the mortals in the audience it sounds conceited. Certainly I'm not here to just straight-up tell you what to think, but I'm Risen. I'm used to death being a painful nap. I'm used to throwing myself at every chance to save people, because what odds if I die? Sometimes I die for fun. Sometimes I die because I'm bored.
52 people died on Titan within my sight. I would have died, permanently, if I tried to save them, and I was under orders not to expose myself to extreme danger. I know all of their names. I can rattle them off in my sleep, and my Ghost says I do, sometimes. I've personally apologized to all of their families. It doesn't feel like enough to acknowledge the irreplacability of what they lost.
I imagine it must be easy, if you managed to ride this out relatively okay, to sit on your high horse and moralize about how we allowed this to happen. About how we just sat idly by and let the City burn and, I don't know, punched each other for sport. Maybe she wouldn't be so glib about things if she knew that the second I heard the rumor from a Hunter that there was a shard of the Traveler in the EDZ that could give Light back I badgered Zavala on an hourly basis to take a jumpship there. I kept doing it, no matter how angry he got, until the first wave of repowered Guardians arrived. The second Zavala let me I was off with a few other interested Guardians, flying the ship myself. I punched through four different Cabal blockades on a brachistocrone to the EDZ and spent a full day charging right through the Blackened Forest, not caring about anything in my path, because if I reached that Shard I could save people again. Like how I used to.
And you know what? Nothing. It didn't give me anything. I touched it. I laid against it. I hit it. No response. No Light. All that risk and I was still at square zero.
I did what I could at the Farm. I let 12 people die, and it wasn't under orders. I had to judge the risks and decide whether or not it was worth sacrificing myself to help those people when my continued existence could save others. Those were the hardest decisions I've ever had to make in my second life. I saved a lot of people at the Farm, but when I think about that place, I don't think about the people I saved. I always think about those twelve. They hurt the most.
I hope the Farm's doing alright.
Anyway, when the call came for a final assault on the City I was one of the first responders. My desires were not anything notable or pure. I mean, yeah, I wanted to save the City. Get it back from the Cabal. But more than that, I wanted revenge. I remembered every person I failed. I still do. I wanted to get even. Believe it or not, I'd been separated from my fireteam, and it's just outside City limits that I met them. They told me they were scared for me about half an hour after we reunited, because I wasn't behaving anything like the person they remembered me being.
When the Traveler woke up? Smote that genocidal Dominus from the face of the Earth and gave us our Light back? I can't remember that time. Only my fireteam knows what happened. They told me that I was less a Titan and more a conduit of Arc energy. The smaller Cabal were proximity vaporized. The larger ones didn't survive a punch. I got my payback tenfold and then some. I only remember waking up because my Ghost brought me back. And in that moment I did not feel victory. I felt my Light creased under my skin, wrong, and I felt emptiness in my chest, and the only thing stuck in my mind were those 64 people that were gone forever. That I didn't save, couldn't save, shouldn't have saved - does it matter how you describe it when they're gone?
I'm not a hero. I'm not a role model. I failed to protect the City and its people when they needed me the most. But to say that I didn't do everything I possibly could to keep people alive? To tell me that there was more I could have done - more my peers could have done? To imply that we didn't give everything we had, some of us including our second lives, to save the innocent and unaffiliated? And I bet you that lady goes around, and she dares to wonder why Guardians are adopting the title of Dredgen in increasing numbers.
Maybe she's hurting too. Maybe she lost somebody to the Cabal that I don't know and that's how she's rationalizing it, finding something to place the blame on. I want to empathize. I want to understand and feel for her, but I can't. I don't care. That's not an okay thing to say.
I'm sorry. I know a lot of you come here to read riveting tales of the valiant defense of the blameless, the dramatic extermination of our peoples' enemies, the intelligent theories posited by bright Warlocks. The strange and brilliant things that Guardians find out in the deep black wild. Unexpected alliances, exotic arms. I don't think any of you are here to read some cranky young Titan moan about how somebody in the Tower hurt his feelings. But when I heard that woman say that, it stoked a primal rage I hadn't felt in the past three years. And it did that by hurting me. It hurt me in a way that strange matter projectiles and Hive sword logic and molten wires to the back of the head have never been able to. I'm mostly writing this because my Ghost thought it might help to just... get it out of my head.
Anyway. I'm out of time. Rasputin's queuing up another Seraph launch. Another ordinance satellite getting slung onto an intercept trajectory to the Almighty. Not entirely sure why he's orchestrating launches all the way out from Io, but Rasputin's a million times smarter than I am. I'm sure he knows what he's doing.
Three years ago, the Red Legion took our home and our Light. They bloodied us, badly. They broke things that we couldn't fix.
I'm not going to let them get another swing in.
submitted by Itano_Circus to DestinyJournals [link] [comments]

Debris [Part 23]

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Harsh morning rays glinted off Ta'X'rtana's polished monolithic towers, rousing Arnd from her tenuous sleep.
She groaned as blinding flashes of light struck her closed eyes. <"Fog window."> she mumbled. Nothing. <"Fog window."> she repeated, her annoyance subsiding as the carefully carved window to her bedroom did just that, keeping the sunlight from further tormenting her. She wanted for all the world to drift back to sleep, to feel some modicum of actual peace, but be it her duties or her instincts ingrained by the academy, she got up and made for the lounge.
First things first: check her notifications; it's almost as though she never left the Star Chaser. She threw her pad's output to the television opposite her seat in the lounge, blowing her inbox up to a size that almost completely hid the wall behind it. Two messages sat in her inbox, both from X'rtani House. Arnd was too tired to anticipate anything, and threw them both open without regard to order.
Miss Arnd Kolr
We have read your report and thoroughly debated. We have since decided to increase the complexity of your assignments in the hope that it will not only keep you and Mister Stevens engaged, but will further his X'rtan development at an increased pace. Continue logging reports as standard.
Regards
X'rtani House
The experience was by no means awful; she actually somewhat enjoyed the motherly feeling she got from teaching, but Arnd liked the idea of spending less time tutoring Mark, maybe then she could get this whole thing done and over with before she went stir-crazy. Assuming they would let her leave. The second message was far more personally rousing.
Miss Arnd Kolr
We have completed our thorough search of your personal effects, and have deigned it appropriate to return them to you. A list of the checks performed on your items will be provided.
Please select your preferred retrieval method:
[DELIVER] [COLLECT]
A glimmer of cautious joy alighted in Arnd. What was provided to her was so impersonal as to actively make her days worse. Maybe her own wardrobe, data pad, and books would bring her some sense of ease. Selecting [DELIVER], Arnd found that this was as good a time as any to prepare for the day, and made for the bedroom to dress.

The same balcony seat, the same s'orr fillet off the counter for breakfast, the same mal'on dangling over the edge. Arnd could afford to spend like this, her coffers were fat after Che'tr filed the paperwork. He was a dutiful employee, that much could not be denied. And maybe that was a sign that she was still employed, perhaps her years of training and dedication weren't yet made useless.
A bitter smell wafted in the air, ripping the taste of Arnd's chosen meal from her mouth. After some investigative sniffing, her eyes locked on to the culprit: a steaming plate of rukwa chunks slathered in heavy gravy, eaten by Jan'u the table over. He must have realized he was being watched, because his ears perked up slightly and his gaze met Arnd's.
<"Chief."> said Jan'u with the obedient cadence that the title demanded.
<"It's just Arnd here."> There was no point in formalities off the job, never mind the present situation.
<"I see. Arnd it is, then."> An odd moment of silence was shared between the former crewmates.
<"So,"> began Arnd <"why exactly are you here?">
Jan'u tore many chunks from his utensil, quickly swallowing them to answer. <"Emotional support.">
Arnd paused mid-bite. She bit back surprised laughter as she spoke. <"What? You?">
<"They thought I was a good fit; I have experience dealing with rough emotions, and my unstructured encounters with Mark gave me more of a qualification than anybody.">
Memories of him standing aside Mark's cell back on the freighter prior to the attack came to the forefront of Arnd's mind. <"... Alright... Why did you accept? Don't you have a garden at home to attend to?">
That gave the sentry pause. He spared a moment to think of his garden, carefully curated and maintained for decades. <"I have someone to look after it... And besides, this is better than prison.">
The shock of the statement hastened Arnd's swallowing of her fillet. <"Hold on, prison?! What crime did you commit?!"> Jan'u was a law-abiding citizen and his training, so far as Arnd understood it, required a good understanding of inter-system law.
Jan'u laid down his utensil and turned to face Arnd, his expression earnest. <"In a police boarding, there are three things that law enforcement cross-check: Security footage, the testimony of the Captain, and the testimony of the Chief Sentry. If our testimonies don't line up with the security footage, then we are judged accordingly based on the severity of our misconduct. I committed an obstruction of justice by covering up the events of the pirate attack.">
Arnd stared on, baffled that someone like Jan'u would commit a crime of this nature, let alone one so easily deduced. Jan'u continued.
<"So they gave me a choice: serve four years in prison, or work here and reduce my sentence. And I don't know about you, but I don't feel like serving time for helping an alien out.">
Arnd watched as the soldier scoffed the rest of his meal with prodigious efficiency, putting an unmistakable full stop on his words. <"... Why?">
<"He started his time in this corner of the galaxy by being shot. Next thing he knows he's being yelled at by a lunatic and killing a pirate out to abduct him. He had no idea what anyone was saying or what in the Deep Halls was happening. The last thing he needed was to be taken in by law enforcement for the crime of being an alien..."> Jan'u stared at his empty plate with an odd, nostalgic chill in his eyes. <"It just didn't feel right doing that to him after all that.">
<"... No. It didn't.">
Those three words told Jan'u everything he needed to know about why Arnd was there. He was glad to see that her experiences hadn't eroded her empathy; the rest of her time in the academy wasn't as pleasant after the incident. He stood, gravy-stained plate in hand. <"I had better get going. I have a lesson in psychology to attend. You have a nice day, Ca- Arnd."> And with that, he left the captain to her lonesome with a feeling that could best be described as pride's disappointing cousin. She washed it down with a pitcher of room-temperature water.

Back in her room, Arnd went over the upcoming lesson, and knew immediately that this revised class was more so the level she considered Mark's knowledge of X'rtan to be. Still, something about it felt wrong in a way that Arnd couldn't quite place. Rumination on perceived faults could wait, there was still some time to kill before Mark arrived and Arnd believed the lesson's faults would be better judged during the lesson. Arnd set her pad aside and turned the television to the news.
Talks between governments in relation to countermeasures against X'olandi extremists after their actions were denounced by X'oland's High Council were progressing. In retaliation to this slight, extremist efforts were closing in on Ji'Olan, X'oland's capital city. They posed little threat to X'oland's stationed military, and so X'oland's High Council reassured the world that it had that particular issue under control. This was not the only conversation world powers were engaging in, however, as international meetings were rife with debates about Mark and X'rtan's right to hold him. X'rtan's defense was little better than 'We are ensuring his ability to live a comfortable life on Kerc-en while we search for a way to return him home'. Nobody was buying it, and Arnd could tell by the officials' faces that they were beginning to feel the pressure. As much as she detested being held there, she knew for a fact that she didn't like what those talks could mean.
Seeing little more than the fact that the world was still aware of Mark's existence, Arnd switched off from the news, knowing that she'd glean nothing more. She spent the time until Mark's arrival catching up with a soap opera she hadn't been able to watch while on the job. It was as Le'm and Rof were about to tear the ceremonial wall down that Mark knocked at the door. Frustrated by the interruption, but a slave to her wellbeing, Arnd paused the emotional crescendo on screen and let the human in.
Mark carried a pallor about him that sent a mild chill down Arnd's spine, and the human seemed thin even for someone so small. A horrid gurgle sounded from his stomach, and Arnd knew exactly what he hadn't done. None of this stopped Mark from pretending nothing was wrong, with strong steps and an almost natural-sounding casualness to his voice.
"Morning." said Mark as he strode past Arnd and toward the sofa.
<"... Morning."> Mark's act was convincing enough that, had Arnd not seen him when he was properly fed, she wouldn't have batted an eye.
"Let's get right to it, shall we?"
Arnd would be lying if she said she didn't agree with the human's enthusiasm to tick this task off the itinerary. <"Alright. This one's a bit tougher than last time, so pay close attention.">
"Good. I nearly fell asleep last time."

Mark chose not to ask why the dead were spoken of in present terms, or why twenty different definitions were attributed to the word 'al', but he understood it all with thought and repetition. He was genuinely thankful that this lesson was more engaging than the previous, but that left him with the looming feeling that his improvement was about to become quite a daunting task.
"Umm." Mark was hunched over the table, trying to wrap his head around the isolated instance where you can swap the order of lexical categories in order to address specific varieties of pets, when a important-sounding knocking at the door shoved all other noises out from the room. Arnd, taking charge as a resident does, answered.
There in the hallway stood a tall metal wardrobe. Without prompting, it wheeled itself into Arnd's room and nestled itself into the corner beside the door. A message lit up upon it's featureless doors: PRESENT KEY CARD TO OPEN. Arnd eyed the box with scrutinous suspicion. From the kitchen.
Mark himself had doubts as to the box's purpose, that was why he was crouching behind the upturned dining room table beside Arnd, but he was human, and humans are nothing if not curious. "What do you think?" he said in a whisper.
<"I think they're on to us."> Arnd had reservations about using their data pads to communicate yesterday, but now she knew she should have listened to her first instinct, which was 'don't tick off a secretive and shady government'. She explained the message she received prior about her personal items, and capped it off with: <"I'm pretty sure they're trying to trick me into killing myself.">
Mark thought on her words. He had heard of all manner of assassination attempts, including this one odd instance where fish bones were the murder weapon, so he knew this was plausible. What he didn't know is why, in a building controlled entirely by the government, the government didn't just send someone in to do it nice and quietly. What he did know is that he didn't want to spend the rest of his time on Kerc-en huddled behind a table made of a wood he had never heard of. He sidled around Arnd, cautiously stepping out into the open. "Stay behind me."
Arnd stared at him like he just suggested they walk out toward a potentially deadly weapon, which he did. <"Are you insane?! You don't know what that is!">
"I know that I'd rather it hit me than you." he lied. He'd much rather smash through the mountain and try to make it in the forest beyond the plains, but that was neither encouraging nor particularly nice.
Arnd's panicked gaze flicked back and forth between the wardrobe and Mark, measuring which of the two was less dangerous to her health. She did admit, however, that Mark's plan was probably the safest bet if she wanted to live long enough to have a normal life again. With reluctance and difficulty, she squeezed herself into a vaguely Mark-sized shape a short distance behind the human, and slowly plodded along behind him, taking care to keep an eye on the box at all times.
Slowly and with as much composure as being in a life or death situation would allow you, the pair crept across the lounge room floor and toward the door. The box stood, it's message seeming to taunt the pair, saying 'I'm not going to hurt you, come on and see what's inside me!'. Still, despite the menace exuded from the metal container, the duo made it to the door into the hallway, and zipped out into the passage with such urgency as to briefly render them as vaguely-brown smears in one's vision. They then put some distance between them and the box by retreating to the intermediary bar between the hall and the foyer.
The place was thick with the smell of top shelf drink and high class narcotics, but the pair was too focused on how much trouble they were in to take notice of either that or the sneering remarks made by the well-off men and women sat in a booth partaking of such. The duo stood near a table, wanting to keep on their feet in case of any trouble.
"So. What's the plan?" said Mark.
<"If they want me dead, they clearly want to make it look like an accident. Stay in the open and we should be fine until we can think of something.">
"Right." And with that exchange, the two left the bar and stepped out into the foyer.
Their mere presence seemed to act as a beacon for wandering eyes, with even employees on the ground floor glancing upward to the high balcony to catch a glimpse at the alien and it's friend. Arnd and Mark opted to hang about the cafeteria, as it was a popular hotspot in the complex. There they remained for an hour going on two, discussing among themselves various theories as to the government's end goal, and means to either escape the facility or ensure their own safety.
"I can't fight our way out, they'll just track us down."
<"We can't just stay here either.">
"I know. We're gonna have t-" Mark's gaze shifted up from the floor to the crowd, and within that crowd he saw a familiar red suit. He knew then that this day was just about to get worse.
<"Hello there, Mister Stevens, Miss Kolr!"> said T'aro, his face and tone lively, yet professional.
Arnd and Mark shared a look in which an entirely unspoken conversation was had, and greeted the man respectfully. <"What brings you up here?"> said Arnd, her calm posture betraying every instinct she had.
<"A friend is meeting me in the bar for business. I thought you were in the middle of a lesson?">
"We, uh, decided to take a break for lunch." Mark knew then and there that he shouldn't have said that word, as his mind allied with his stomach to torture him with visions of the many meals he had skipped. Mark subtly took a deep breath in hopes of keeping his stomach quiet.
The man's face seemed to alight with joy as Mark spoke. <"Ah! That's perfect! You can eat with us!">
<"That's okay,"> Arnd reassured him <"we're fine eating out here.">
<"Are you sure? This meeting is about you, and I'm sure he would love to meet you."> There was an almost nonexistent twinge of menace in his tone, but the words themselves made up for that deficiency.
"Really, we're fine." Mark lied.
<"I insist."> said T'aro as he clapped a hand on each of their shoulders. In that moment, Arnd and Mark were of one mind: 'If we refuse, we die.'
With natural-looking, but entirely forced smiles, the pair followed T'aro back into the bar, now vacant of any aristocrats. The chamber's red colour scheme now held a new and strong connotation in Mark's mind.
T'aro seated the party at a long table in the center of the room and brought up holographic menus from within the table. T'aro selected his meal, gazing with confusion at Mark and Arnd's reluctance to do the same, and waited in silence until the dishes were served shortly after. Mark and Arnd stared at their grilled porot pieces with dipping sauces and artisanal krekon pastry respectively. T'aro nibbled on a series of roasted julu wrapped in X'olandi mantan leaves, periodically glancing up from Mark's plate to see his two guests merely staring at their meals. Arnd was a bit peckish herself, but beside the potential danger, she never really had the taste buds for rich food. Her fixture was instead on the high-quality utensils laid out alongside her meal. Mark was much the same, minus the slant against rich tasting food and the focus on cutlery, and replacing peckishness with ravenous hunger beating at the doors of reason. T'aro put his julu wraps down and opened his mouth to speak, but just as he sounded the first syllable, the door to the bar opened.
The man that walked in was tall and broad, with rugged fur that bounced in time with his copious blubber, indicative of his frigid X'etish heritage. He was in conversation with an aide similar in appearance to himself to his side as he walked in, making a jab at the X'rtan government in his native tongue, only spying the trio after the two X'eti shared a quiet chuckle. The mirth in their voices faded immediately upon seeing exactly who was there.
<"Greetings, Mister Luk'yter... Mister Stevens... I see you are well."> His piercing accent made no efforts to hide his surprise.
<"We are all very well, Mister Han'osh. Please take a seat and feel free to order something to eat."> said T'aro with thinly veiled smugness. The X'eti pair did just that, and sat patiently for their food to arrive. T'aro scoffed the remainder of the wrap he laid down and spoke again. <"Well, Mister Han'osh, shall we get right into business?">
<"Uh, yes."> said Han'osh as he stole a glance at Mark. <"We came here to ensure that your project was running smoothly, and that your- extraterrestrial guest was being treated appropriately.">
<"The Human Integration Project only began operation three days ago, so while it has been progressing quite nicely thus far, I think it would be best to come back to us in about a week or so to get an accurate reading. And as you can plainly see, Mister Stevens here is being given everything he needs to live comfortably while he adjusts to life here on Kerc-en."> T'aro's last comment was punctuated by a genuine-looking smile toward Mark, which the human reciprocated for reasons entirely unrelated to happiness.
<"I see."> The man's gaze shifted to Arnd. <"Forgive my rudeness, I think I have seen you before, Miss..?">
<"Kolr. I brought Mark here to Kerc-en and I'm currently acting as his X'rtan coach."> Arnd watched as a drone lowered small plates of dishes she wasn't cultured enough to name in front of the foreign duo.
<"Ah yes, that's right; I saw you on M'ek and Fir'la. I must commend you on your teaching ability."> Arnd gave a thankful nod toward the statement before Han'osh continued. <"So tell me, how is the project treating you?"> Han'osh awaited her response as he nibbled on a long, flaky thing that smelled of liquor.
<"The work is hard, but I'm compensated very well. Mark himself is learning at an astonishing pace, and that's always nice to see. I reckon he'll be speaking like a native within the month."> Whether her statement was true or not, Arnd didn't care; she could feel T'aro's eyes bore into her as she spoke.
This statement brought the X'eti's eyes to Mark, sitting with the table coming up to his chest and eyeing the food in front of him with a fixation that bordered on obsessive. <"Mister Stevens?">
Han'osh's speech was muffled somewhat by Mark's preoccupation, but just focused enough to bring Mark out of his trance. "Yes?"
<"How has your time in X'erren space been thus far? I hear your introduction to our species wasn't pleasant."> The man's inquisitive tone was slight, but noticeable enough to elicit a smug stare from T'aro.
Mark took a moment to respond. "It has been interesting. While yes, my first day here was horrifying; the people I've met are nice and helpful, the culture is fascinating, and the planet is gorgeous. But I never wanted to be here; I never knew aliens existed, so you understand the shock I'm still processing now."
<"I see. Is there any reason you have yet to touch your plate?">
Mark hoped lightning could strike twice and took a gamble. "I'm observing a religious custom." Han'osh and his assistant stared at him with looks that said 'like what?', so Mark elaborated. "Strength is a big part of life on Earth, as it is given to us by God. So to respect those less fortunate, the strongest at the table waits for all others to eat their fill before they begin eating."
Looks of discovery flecked with incredulity were thrown Mark's way from all over the table. Mark eyed the other plates to confirm whether or not he just backed himself into a corner. T'aro was all but finished, and the two X'eti had put half of their curious food away. Arnd however hadn't touched her plate, same as him. That told him that perhaps his plan wasn't hopeless.
<"Fascinating, Mister Stevens, you'll have to elaborate when your vocabulary is filled out."> said T'aro. He turned to the X'eti pair across the table. <"Now, Mister Han'osh, is there anything else you would like to discuss? I would hate to end the meeting before you've finished your meal."> The unfailing calmness of T'aro's voice and the insinuation of his question seemed to burn into the foreign pair, the residual heat of such reaching Mark and Arnd, sending a shiver up their backs.
Said burning was enough. <"No. I think we're quite done. Thank you for assuaging my worries, I'll be sure to pass this on to my team."> Han'osh rose and prompted his aide, who was gulping down the last of his strong-smelling food, to do the same. And with a courteous bow, the pair exited the bar, whispering to each other. An uncomfortable hush came over the room as the door's hissing faded. T'aro slowly ate the last of his julu wraps, his face awash with delight as he finished his meal.
<"So."> said T'aro. <"You wouldn't happen to be following this religious practice too, would you, Miss Kolr?">
<"N-no. I've just... lost my appetite."> Arnd's attempt to play her lie off as casual fact fell far short, if the faint disappointment on T'aro's face was anything to go by.
<"If that is the case, then Mister Stevens, you are free to eat, yes?">
Mark froze. 'Don't.' His stomach gurgled slightly. 'Quiet, you!' A tense moment of silence passed as Arnd eyed Mark with desperate worry, and T'aro inquisitively waited for a response. For Mark, it was a tortuous, hungry eternity. He took a deep breath. 'DON'T!' "Yes. It is."
With caution restrained by ever-gnawing hunger, Mark took a porot chunk in his hand and brought it to his face. He stared at the pale lump of meat; it's scoring from the grill bringing out a tantalizing brown in the meat; it's moisture-rich exterior weakly reflecting the ceiling's ornate lights; it's smokey smell that had been assaulting Mark for what had felt like hours; all of it commanded him. And he obeyed. With a snap of his jaws, the meat disappeared into his mouth, and in that instant, all regret was washed away with flavour that would bring a man to their knees. With eagerness, he picked up a second piece, and a third, and more, as hunger that could no longer be restrained drove his hand and his mouth. He sampled the wide variety of dipping sauces at his fingertips, and found each and every one to enhance his eating experience tenfold. To his left, Arnd stared slackjawed, saliva threatening to spill over the ridge of her jaw and onto her lap. The sight before her may as well have been Mark signing her life away. She swallowed and looked to the end of the table as she slipped her hand out of sight. T'aro watched the human go with fascination and joy in his eyes. Arnd had a sneaking suspicion as to exactly why he was so joyful. That joy switched rapidly to concern.
<"Hold up a 'pa!"> T'aro shouted across the table toward the human as he was lifting a piece of porot coated in a thick brown dressing up to his mouth. He wiped his finger clean on a table cloth and dipped it into the sauce's bowl, tasting the condiment only a moment before removing the bowl from Mark's plate. <"Thought so. Lija paste. I remember your last experience with this being rather uncomfortable. I probably should have suggested the kid's menu.">
The man's words seemed to pull Mark out of his starvation-induced haze, as he quickly placed the meat back on his plate. He then slowly and carefully stood up from the table, thinly-veiled horror on his face. "Excuse me. I have to go and finish my ceremony." With that, he strolled back into the shuttle, leaving the X'erren pair to their awkward lonesome. T'aro began calling out to the human, but by the time the first syllable left his mouth, Mark was gone.
After a short time spent in silence, T'aro's eyes went from the door to the shuttle to the table, and noticed that something was missing. He looked over at Arnd with disappointed worry. <"Miss Kolr. Please put the knife down.">
Arnd simply stared, gripping the handle on the knife tighter and keeping watch on every slight movement T'aro made, even his breathing didn't go unnoticed. After a prolonged silence, T'aro sighed and slowly stood up from the table so as not to startle Arnd. Standing near the door to the foyer, he turned back to the woman frozen in fear.
<"I think you've dealt with enough for one day. I would like to meet both you and Mister Stevens tomorrow. It's clear that we have much to discuss. Have a good day."> He then turned and walked out of the bar. Arnd wanted to move, to escape. All she could convince her body to do was clutch the knife tighter and whimper. And there she sat for hours more.
~~~
Mark stood hunched over the toilet in his room, heaving with all his might. He thrust his fingers deep into his mouth, trying to provoke his gag reflex. He retched, he thought of all the disgusting and horrible things his mind could conjure, he hammered on his gut, and still his stomach refused to budge even after hours of attempts. Mark breathed heavily, his stomach still full. With rage he brought his fist down on the metal bowl, gouging a deep hole and spilling the water it contained onto the tiled floor.
"Mark, you fucking idiot." This sentiment had been at the back of his mind for the past few days, briefly becoming a conscious thought every time he complied with any request made by the people who caged him. Saying it aloud brought a weird, almost masochistic sense of catharsis. It also made one thing absolute. 'I have to get out of here, now.'
-----
[Next]
-----
I went back and forth on whether this was a good idea. I initially intended for the calm to continue for a while longer before feces hit the fan, but then I thought on how Mark would react to the situation he was in: overseen by an administration he neither understood nor trusted, exhausted from lack of sleep and sustenance thanks to his paranoia, and grappling with the stress his entire time in X'erren space has left him with without an appropriate outlet. I'd say his actions are at least somewhat justified.
This is not to downplay Arnd's own experience: her understanding of the universe being upturned in an incredibly unpleasant way, her insecurity and distrust of her own decision making skills due to the attack, her understanding of her own government being upturned in an incredibly unpleasant way, and her belief that her life is dependent on an alien remaining in control of themselves in the face of a shady administration with access to advanced technology all come together to make her life hell.
As for everyone else, they will be explored in time.
As always, I hope you enjoyed reading, and feedback is much appreciated! See you next part!
submitted by TheAusNerd to HFY [link] [comments]

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My lifespan has been doubled and I'm now having an existential crisis

I originally posted this in cysticfibrosis (I have the deadliest mutation) but I think that because I've been an ENTP just about my entire life that other ENTPs will be able to help me a little better here - philosophically, at least. For context's sake I am a 25 y/o female born, raised and lives in a densely populated capital city in the US.
"Is anybody else feeling an existential crisis after starting Trikafta or is it just me?"
This isn't supposed to come off as bratty, entitled, or ungrateful. It just is just what it is, a personal question to the community. Also, this is an autobiography of sorts - it's very specific and I'm just hoping that some other CFer can relate to *something*, but I'm also not expecting anyone to? I'm just wondering if someone can prove me otherwise. [skip to the end if you want to avoid the autobiography bit]. - for those who do not know Trikafta, it is a 300,000K/year new life-saving medication for Cystic Fibrosis (lung & other organ disease) that has *potentially* turned Cystic Fibrosis from a "terminal illness" to a "chronic condition" and this is fucking with me and totally warping my sense of "self"

let me preface this by saying

That I've always had access to top-notch CF-specific care my entire life, which I have begun to realize in the last 8 years is not true for the majority of people suffering from cystic fibrosis. I understand that and it's completely unfair. If it were in my power I would do what I could to change this fact, everyone should deserve fair access to healthcare.
My mother and father met through the same pharmaceutical companies they were both employed by (in director-level engineer positions) in the 90s, and as such, I had access to the most high-end cystic fibrosis medication, advice, and awareness that was available for the early 90s - even being born in the same area as some of the best CF centers in the US. And my parents always had the best health insurance and enough financial capital to pay for every treatment, medication, doctors appts. etc.
I had super helicopter parents. My mother had me playing soccer at 5 years old (or at least that's my earliest/photographed/video recordings). They hired a full-time nanny to force me to take medications (enzymes, albuterol) on a timed schedule or else I would be belittled and screamed at. On top of the CF, which only meant being hospital admitted and then home therapy IV antibiotics at least for 2-3 weeks until my numbers were 100+ (usually averaging 115 on my normal days) they also forced me to take piano lessons (which I despised), and to the best grades I could in elementary school (super tricky with ADHD), be an awesome artistic type (singing, painting), I had to be a model eldest sister etc. I actually never felt like I was creating my own identity because my mother was such a helicoptedictator type. I was constantly a bragging point for my mother who I would hear her fawn over me to doctors about how I was doing well in all these aspects of life and "defying the current odds of CF" etc.
But in reality, I had been constantly dissociating from my disease from as young as I remember the first random, no-filtered kid walk up to me in elementary school and say "hey aren't you the sick kid that's going to die before 20, or 30?"; which happened several times over the course of elementary school (perhaps this is relateable to one of you? idk). All I cared about was looking and seeming normal to the point where I didn't want CF to define "me" and never discussed it with anyone who wasn't super close to me, or a teacher that had to be aware for legal purposes. I also never knew other CF people (particularly double Delta508 mutations) and I didn't really understand the concept of "wealth" as a young kid so it wasn't part of how I defined the world yet.
Anyways, because of the way my parents had created this own definition of "me" before I could even contemplate or define myself - the best way I could rebel against them was via "pretending" to take my medication when in reality I was trashing it or lying about completing it. Pulling one over on my dictators made me feel independent for the first time in my life, and the great strength I would but into hiding the fact that I hadn't actually finished my medication was very actually my first developed sense of "self". I would cheek my ADEK vitamin until mom wasn't looking and then throw it in the trash, I would empty my nebs immediately and keep the machine running so it looked like I was doing my treatments int the other room but in reality, the neb was empty and hanging halfway out of my mouth while I zoned out on Neopets at 8 yrs old. I've always been careless with medication and once I realized (via the internet maybe 16 years old) that other people didn't have access to healthcare I felt really shitty about it. But still, I couldn't do anything, and was still actively trying to pretend I wasn't sick - so I didn't dwell on it for very long either way.
I went through a period of time (4 years sparked by a torn ACL in varsity soccer at 17) where I was addicted to opioids (painkillers & then heroin). Towards the end of it my lungs were around 64%, I was doing heroin to get through college because I started out in college already injured on painkillers and my parents had convinced me I needed this degree more than my health so I continued doing pks/heroin to basically get through my degree, chest and nerve pain, and also to spite them (I also tore my ACL/meniscus 4 times over the course of 2.5 years so I was on fentanyl patches by like 19). I also got better grades on heroin than any of the years I ever spent sober or on pills, just saying. Anyways, instead of killing myself at the very end - which I wanted to, at my super lowest point (addicts will be able to relate) I decided *try* and get better (took 4 full-detox attempts) - this was from 2014-2016. During 2015 throughout my final heroin-adventure I was just hoping my lungs would give out one day, or maybe I would get endocarditis or something. Maybe I would OD on accident and not have to live through anything past the wild ride I had already ridden. I was super depressed, but I was also fulfilled already. Not self-actualized, but fulfilled nonetheless. I had done everything I wanted to by that point (22 years old) - i.e. every narcotic you could name (sans PCP), I've visited several countries around the world, I had met and been accepted by loads of different types of people, I was lucky to have the best pick of any guy I could ever want to be with and I was almost never single, I went to college, I had a convertible, had enough energy (for long enough) to do most "active" things. I had lots of options and led a very exciting life. I had a very "live fast, die young, leave a pretty corpse" mentality.

but in the end - I didn't die.

Now I'm 25. Fast forward through rehab in 2016, I finished my degree and spent a year and a half living with a boyfriend who was also trying to get sober. My parents didn't like him, they didn't see what I saw in him but to me, he was my teacher. He's the reason I was able to get through sobriety (this and also Orkambi, probably). The fact that my parents didn't like him was a motivator for me, I wanted to prove them wrong so I stayed healthy, or "sober" off opioids, at least. Because of this. I finished my degree, and took about 8 months after college to decompress. After being hooked on opioids and adderall for so long your mind doesn't function properly anyways so I really needed time before looking for a proper job.
I then got a salaried 10$/hr tech job through a temp company where I was pitted against 15 other temp agents for 6 months until one of us got the full-time position (turns out competition is my bet motivator, still). After I earned that salaried job I got bored and complacent and got fired after a month due to mostly an internal miscommunication but also for showing up late twice. But I challenged myself to get another job within a month and I did. So now (going on 2 years) I work at a web development company full-time, and it's a pretty sweet gig. Full-time, good benefits, being the only marketer in a sea of introverted, older web-dev guys who don't "get" the modern market, and it's pretty low-stress, but still kind of boring with a lot of spare time to spend on the interwebs. Still, the ideal situation for a sick kid.

I also got married - and this here is the kicker

In early 2018 I got bored of Tinder-hopping after my post-rehab guy and began an online relationship with a guy who worked with Fortnite (HQ based in my city) - I love love the gamer kids, but he was actually from/based-in the EU when I met him online. We had a very emotional & candid online relationship, and he provided me with the stability I needed to focus on my normal/work life. He offered to fly me to the NL to meet him after 5 weeks of talking, and, being the opportunist I am, I accepted. He was everything I expected him to be based on our (almost daily) video calls, and constant text-communication. It was awesome.
We visited each other back and forth about 4-5 times over the course of a year. His company was flying him anyways to my city for his job and I had air miles to visit him at other times (or he paid for my flight once). Anyways, we figured that our relationship wasn't very economical so we got married after a year of meeting each other (scary but super exciting because I'm an event planner at heart). And now we've been married (almost a year now). But this is the first time I've ever seen a potentially realistic future with someone.
My parents love him
They've never loved any guy I've brought around, and I've probably brought like 15 guys around over the course of 10 years, except one *psychopathic\* engineer student that was awful for me for a year. But either way, my parent's validation meant too much to me now (2018), and they were finally starting to accept me as a real "functioning" adult, so it fueled me to take on these "societal expectations" I had worked to not participate in for so long.
He's lived with me in the US for a year now and he's a genius. I see so much in him, and so much for him, and I do want a future with him - which is now, TERRIFYING. He's my best friend. He's sleeping next to me right now in bed as I write this. I never wanted to have kids as I had settled on this fact that it would probably never happen. I have had such a self-destructive way of treating my body I never expected to have to live through the consequences of this, so I downed every drink most nights, watched every Netflix show I could, did every chemical every week, and I still got up and went to work to earn a salary and survive with health insurance for me (and him).

I started Trikafta 2 months ago.

In the first week of Trikafta (around Thanksgiving) I coughed up an entire water bottle's worth of mucous. It had been building up badly since my last admittance that August, but I had trained myself to only go into the hospital for IVs every 7-9 months every year on average, batting it down with Cipro when I could. I had to learn how to do this to get through college, for, opiates were a cough suppressant and being addicted to them (and make sure I got through school) meant I had to know when I was about to cave to my lung pain and advocate for myself around the disabilities service and my 7 professors to continue working from the hospital (very difficult). I haven't taken enzymes in 10+ years, and I haven't regularly taken saline, albuterol, or done my "vest" similarly since middle school. Soccer and very intentional, targeted huff-coughing was good enough to keep my FEV1 above 100% for so long, and so I thought I'd glide via that until my rockstar lifestyle ultimately lead me to my demise - which never ended up happening.

the problem was I never cared until now

My FEV's which were falling fast around last Fall last year - being around 75% Suddenly jumped up to 95% in less than 2 weeks after starting Trikafta. I have more energy, no chest pain, and virtually haven't coughed anything up since last Thanksgiving, but I am now dealing with these huge existential issues every day. My husband has always known I planned on croaking early, at least before 35 years old. He similarly believes we are both too smart and probably too unstable to ever be awesome parents, so we are hesitant about having children - which is, contradictorily, the entire purpose of evolution. I've been seeing the world burn at 1000 miles a minute on these rectangular screens, constantly addicted to reading negative news headlines, watching humanity suffer, I just thought my entire life would have ended by now ...

but my entire lifespan has just been doubled

I'm still a functional alcoholic (drinking 5-6 drinks after work most days), I take kratom every other day, Sweedish snus 5 times a day and nicotine patches (because I love having vividly awesome dreams), I'm physically addicted to Advil and CNS depressants/anticonvulsants, I know these things aren't sustainable. But to me, quality of life has always trumped quantity of life, because up until now I never thought quantity was an option. My husband has also joked that "now I'm going to have to face the consequences of my actions" when I was living a life where I never thought I would ever have to face them.
I've suffered a lot, believe me. I'm writing this post like I've never suffered a day but I am truly in severe pain every day - I just try my best not to think about it. Right now as I type, my entire back feels like it is on fire from (what I think is) severe neuralgia or a pinched nerve due to CFRD (not a lung infection, my x-ray from yesterday says a little air trapping and usual scarring that hasn't changed), and it's been killing me for days. I've had 9 root canals from diabetes, nerve pain, intestinal pain every day, and I (use to be) coughing up mucous constantly, I have psychological issues from ADHD and severe nihilism for like 9 years and my mind has been tormenting me and making my physical body worse.

All of this seems amplified after starting Trikafta

Trikafta would be a godsend for those who have lived a different life. I truly appreciate the opportunity I have to be on this medication in the first place, but now I feel that because my lifespan has just doubled, I should have done something more meaningful to build up to where I am today. I just mindlessly lived a super fun life and got a decent bachelor's degree, and am now basically just coasting at a web dev company. But if I knew I had the opportunity to, I would have put 8 years of school into becoming a neuroscientist, or a psychiatrist, or something more interesting to me and more useful to the public. I would have built my brand bigger and I wouldn't have been so self-destructive the entire time because I thought I was going to die before 25.
My tolerance to medications, opioids, nerve meds, and other psychoactive substances is five-times that of anyone else I know - I just kept building them up because I could. I have a resistance to just about every antibiotic and I can't cope with pain as well anymore. My nerve pain has increased tenfold over the last week and I've had like 9 root canals (diabetes and poor oral health making teeth rot from the inside). Fuck, I've been so "fortunate" by CF standards but because I was so "fortunate" under the assumption I'd be dead by now, I've wasted everything AND set myself up for a slow, agonizing death. My best friend, from middle school, Emily (not a CFer but a tormented soul), died in 2017 from a heroin OD (we never actually did it together, we lived mainly separate drug-lives) but all the time I feel like I should have been me who died first. I'm now contemplating what it will be like to watch everyone I love die, I feel pain worse because I'm focusing on it more and what it means and how I *may* be able to fix it -or likely won't due to my current physiological state. My body and mind is so skewed from the general public that even SEVERAL LOCAL DENTAL NUMBING SHOTS won't work and my dentist refuses to operate on my final root canal unless I go to a special doctor to get completely knocked out. I've even woken up on ketamine and under local anesthesia during my final meniscus surgery back in 2014.
My mind has been racing at a million times a minute despite being on several numbing medications and now I feel like I'm in too deep. My husband married me knowing and understanding deeply everything that I am writing right now, but truly accepts me how I am and he is indispensable to me. What if he dies first? What if I die slowly? What if my nerve pain only gets worse and I can't function at work and have to watch myself decline in real-time (already happening), what if I get liver cirrhosis (runs in my largely-irish family) at a young age from alcoholism and CF because I didn't expect to live this long in the first place? What I can't sustain a healthy lifestyle because my husband and I are both *lazy* and have little motivation outside of "lets live each day, day-by-day, stay comfy, do enough to keep our jobs, do drugs recreationally, raise our two dogs, and eat all the best food and absorb all the best entertainment we can for now". What if I have to live long enough to continue to watch the world burn and other people suffer in REAL-TIME through CONSTANT UPDATES on tiny mobile and desktop screens? The concept of "self" and "existence" has always been kind of suspect to me, and I've tried to embrace an absurdist philosophy for the past 5 years at least (for myer's brigg's nerds I'm an ENTP).
Doing ketamine use to help me achieve *ego death* and dissociate from all of this in the past (for those of those who do not know, ketamine kills your understanding of *you* and also simulates semi what it feels like to die, sort of like DMT does, which was cathartic in a sense) but even now I've done ketamine and MXE so many times that it doesn't work anymore in the same way. I have no purpose, and my *self* hasn't been actualized and/or doesn't exist without the *ultimate badass demise* I had been anticipating for my entire livelihood. I started feeling this way after I successfully achieved "sobriety" in 2016 and got a real adult job, but it wasn't until Trikafta 2 months ago that I really, PHYSICALLY FELT it. My nerve pain is on fire now. It was really bad in college during my previously perceived *doomed* state because emotions and nerve pain create sort-of like a feedback loop. I know too much and no one is guiding me. I've been asking top CF doctors, but it's too much to unpack for them, my friends have no frame of reference and I can't find wisdom anywhere else. I need help because I feel like I'm going crazy and I have no purpose now. I also feel like, even if I put a SHIT TON OF EFFORT into eating well, exercising, and taking my medications properly (even doing my VEST AND NEBULIZER for the first time in 10 years), all this means is that I'm going to be healthy enough to watch the world burn through the internet which I am beautifully cursed to be monitoring constantly via my internet job, and drinking alcohol to connect on a human-level with normal people at marketing/networking events.
I thought maybe having a kid would let me think outside myself, but let's face it, seeing my parents screw up so badly with my four siblings and his four siblings is NOT giving me much hope. He's internationally ranked in chess, and we're both MENSA-level high IQ and attractive (but, like our parents, do not have the best EQ), but I'm not confident that giving up my body for 9 months to bore an attractive and intelligent creature (if we are so lucky) will turn out so great.
Man, I just don't know what to do. Maybe this post would fit better in another thread, I haven't met a CFer who could give me any solid advice because my experiences are so out of their sphere of experience, and the same goes for healthy people, and doctors. I just need some words of wisdom from even people who have encountered and overcome some subsets of the things I have just described. Although, I am sure this post will fall by the wayside to most.
Tl:dr I have a tormented mind & body and the introduction of Trikafta to my daily pill-plan is making it worse - what on earth do I do?
-H
submitted by jaegerin13 to entp [link] [comments]

Is anybody else feeling an existential crisis after starting Trikafta or is it just me?

This isn't supposed to come off as bratty, entitled, or ungrateful. It just is just what it is, a personal question to the community. Also, this is an autobiography of sorts - it's very specific and I'm just hoping that some other CFer can relate to *something*, but I'm also not expecting anyone to? I'm just wondering if someone can prove me otherwise. [skip to the end if you want to avoid the autobiography bit].

let me preface this by saying

That I've always had access to top-notch CF-specific care my entire life, which I have begun to realize in the last 8 years is not true for the majority of people suffering from cystic fibrosis. I understand that and it's completely unfair. If it were in my power I would do what I could to change this fact, everyone should deserve fair access to healthcare.
My mother and father met through the same pharmaceutical companies they were both employed by (in director-level positions) in the 80s, and as such, I had access to the most high-end cystic fibrosis medication, advice, and awareness that was available for the early 90s - even being born in the same area as some of the best CF centers in the US. And my parents always had the best health insurance and enough financial capital to pay for every treatment, medication, doctors appts. etc.
I had super helicopter parents. My mother had me playing soccer at 5 years old (or at least that's my earliest/photographed/video recordings). They hired a full-time nanny to force me to take medications (enzymes, albuterol) on a timed schedule or else I would be belittled and screamed at. On top of the CF, which only meant being hospital admitted and then home therapy IV antibiotics at least for 2-3 weeks until my numbers were 100+ (usually averaging 115 on my normal days) they also forced me to take piano lessons (which I despised), and to the best grades I could in elementary school (super tricky with ADHD), be an awesome artistic type (singing, painting), I had to be a model eldest sister etc. I actually never felt like I was creating my own identity because my mother was such a helicoptedictator type. I was constantly a bragging point for my mother who I would hear her fawn over me to doctors about how I was doing well in all these aspects of life and "defying the current odds of CF" etc.
But in reality, I had been constantly dissociating from my disease from as young as I remember the first random, no-filtered kid walk up to me in elementary school and say "hey aren't you the sick kid that's going to die before 20, or 30?"; which happened several times over the course of elementary school (perhaps this is relateable to one of you? idk). All I cared about was looking and seeming normal to the point where I didn't want CF to define "me" and never discussed it with anyone who wasn't super close to me, or a teacher that had to be aware for legal purposes. I also never knew other CF people (particularly double Delta508 mutations) and I didn't really understand the concept of "wealth" as a young kid so it wasn't part of how I defined the world yet.
Anyways, because of the way my parents had created this own definition of "me" before I could even contemplate or define myself - the best way I could rebel against them was via "pretending" to take my medication when in reality I was trashing it or lying about completing it. Pulling one over on my dictators made me feel independent for the first time in my life, and the great strength I would but into hiding the fact that I hadn't actually finished my medication was very actually my first developed sense of "self". I would cheek my ADEK vitamin until mom wasn't looking and then throw it in the trash, I would empty my nebs immediately and keep the machine running so it looked like I was doing my treatments int the other room but in reality, the neb was empty and hanging halfway out of my mouth while I zoned out on Neopets at 8 yrs old or Guitar Hero at 11. I've always been careless with medication and once I realized (via the internet maybe 16 years old) that other people didn't have access to healthcare I felt really shitty about it. But still, I couldn't do anything, and was still actively trying to pretend I wasn't sick - so I didn't dwell on it for very long either way.
I went through a period of time (4 years sparked by a torn ACL in varsity soccer at 17) where I was addicted to opioids (painkillers & then heroin). Towards the end of it my lungs were around 64%, I was doing heroin to get through college because I started out in college already injured on painkillers and my parents had convinced me I needed this degree more than my health so I continued doing pks/heroin to basically get through my degree, chest and nerve pain, and also to spite them (I also tore my ACL/meniscus 4 times over the course of 2.5 years so I was on fentanyl patches by like 19). I also got better grades on heroin than any of the years I ever spent sober or on pills, just saying. Anyways, instead of killing myself at the very end - which I wanted to, at my super lowest point (addicts will be able to relate) I decided *try* and get better (took 4 full-detox attempts) - this was from 2014-2016. During 2015 throughout my final heroin-adventure I was just hoping my lungs would give out one day, or maybe I would get endocarditis or something. Maybe I would OD on accident and not have to live through anything past the wild ride I had already ridden. I was super depressed, but I was also fulfilled already. Not self-actualized, but fulfilled nonetheless. I had done everything I wanted to by that point (22 years old) - i.e. every narcotic you could name (sans PCP), I've visited several countries around the world, I had met and been accepted by loads of different types of people, I was lucky to have the best pick of any guy I could ever want to be with and I was almost never single, I went to college, I had a convertible, had enough energy (for long enough) to do most "active" things. I had lots of options and led a very exciting life. I had a very "live fast, die young, leave a pretty corpse" mentality.

but in the end - I didn't die.

Now I'm 25. Fast forward through rehab in 2016, I finished my degree and spent a year and a half living with a boyfriend who was also trying to get sober. My parents didn't like him, they didn't see what I saw in him but to me, he was my teacher. He's the reason I was able to get through sobriety (this and also Orkambi, probably). The fact that my parents didn't like him was a motivator for me, I wanted to prove them wrong so I stayed healthy, or "sober" off opioids, at least. Because of this. I finished my degree, and took about 8 months after college to decompress. After being hooked on opioids and adderall for so long your mind doesn't function properly anyways so I really needed time before looking for a proper job.
I then got a salaried 10$/hr tech job through a temp company where I was pitted against 15 other temp agents for 6 months until one of us got the full-time position (turns out competition is my bet motivator, still). After I earned that salaried job I got bored and complacent and got fired after a month due to mostly an internal miscommunication but also for showing up late twice. But I challenged myself to get another job within a month and I did. So now (going on 2 years) I work at a web development company full-time, and it's a pretty sweet gig. Full-time, good benefits, being the only marketer in a sea of introverted, older web-dev guys who don't "get" the modern market, and it's pretty low-stress, but still kind of boring with a lot of spare time to spend on the interwebs. Still, the ideal situation for a sick kid.

I also got married - and this here is the kicker

In early 2018 I got bored of Tinder-hopping after my post-rehab guy and began an online relationship with a guy who worked with Fortnite (HQ based in my city) - I love love the gamer kids, but he was actually from/based-in the EU when I met him online. We had a very emotional & candid online relationship, and he provided me with the stability I needed to focus on my normal/work life. He offered to fly me to the NL to meet him after 5 weeks of talking, and, being the opportunist I am, I accepted. He was everything I expected him to be based on our (almost daily) video calls, and constant text-communication. It was awesome.
We visited each other back and forth about 4-5 times over the course of a year. His company was flying him anyways to my city for his job and I had air miles to visit him at other times (or he paid for my flight once). Anyways, we figured that our relationship wasn't very economical so we got married after a year of meeting each other (scary but super exciting because I'm an event planner at heart). And now we've been married (almost a year now). But this is the first time I've ever seen a potentially realistic future with someone.
My parents love him
They've never loved any guy I've brought around, and I've probably brought like 15 guys around over the course of 10 years, except one *psychopathic\* engineer student that was awful for me for a year. But either way, my parent's validation meant too much to me now (2018), and they were finally starting to accept me as a real "functioning" adult, so it fueled me to take on these "societal expectations" I had worked to not participate in for so long.
He's lived with me in the US for a year now and he's a genius. I see so much in him, and so much for him, and I do want a future with him - which is now, TERRIFYING. He's my best friend. He's sleeping next to me right now in bed as I write this. I never wanted to have kids as I had settled on this fact that it would probably never happen. I have had such a self-destructive way of treating my body I never expected to have to live through the consequences of this, so I downed every drink most nights, watched every Netflix show I could, did every chemical every week, and I still got up and went to work to earn a salary and survive with health insurance for me (and him).

I started Trikafta 2 months ago.

In the first week of Trikafta (around Thanksgiving) I coughed up an entire water bottle's worth of mucous. It had been building up badly since my last admittance that August, but I had trained myself to only go into the hospital for IVs every 7-9 months every year on average, batting it down with Cipro when I could. I had to learn how to do this to get through college, for, opiates were a cough suppressant and being addicted to them (and make sure I got through school) meant I had to know when I was about to cave to my lung pain and advocate for myself around the disabilities service and my 7 professors to continue working from the hospital (very difficult). I haven't taken enzymes in 10+ years, and I haven't regularly taken saline, albuterol, or done my "vest" similarly since middle school. Soccer and very intentional, targeted huff-coughing was good enough to keep my FEV1 above 100% for so long, and so I thought I'd glide via that until my rockstar lifestyle ultimately lead me to my demise - which never ended up happening.

the problem was I never cared until now

My FEV's which were falling fast around last Fall last year - being around 75% Suddenly jumped up to 95% in less than 2 weeks after starting Trikafta. I have more energy, no chest pain, and virtually haven't coughed anything up since last Thanksgiving, but I am now dealing with these huge existential issues every day. My husband has always known I planned on croaking early, at least before 35 years old. He similarly believes we are both too smart and probably too unstable to ever be awesome parents, so we are hesitant about having children - which is, contradictorily, the entire purpose of evolution. I've been seeing the world burn at 1000 miles a minute on these rectangular screens, constantly addicted to reading negative news headlines, watching humanity suffer, I just thought my entire life would have ended by now ...

but my entire lifespan has just been doubled

I'm still a functional alcoholic (drinking 5-6 drinks after work most days), I take kratom every other day, Sweedish snus 5 times a day and nicotine patches (because I love having vividly awesome dreams), I'm physically addicted to Advil and CNS depressants/anticonvulsants, I know these things aren't sustainable. But to me, quality of life has always trumped quantity of life, because up until now I never thought quantity was an option. My husband has also joked that "now I'm going to have to face the consequences of my actions" when I was living a life where I never thought I would ever have to face them.
I've suffered a lot, believe me. I'm writing this post like I've never suffered a day but I am truly in severe pain every day - I just try my best not to think about it. Right now as I type, my entire back feels like it is on fire from (what I think is) severe neuralgia or a pinched nerve due to CFRD (not a lung infection, my x-ray from yesterday says a little air trapping and usual scarring that hasn't changed), and it's been killing me for days. I've had 9 root canals from diabetes, nerve pain, intestinal pain every day, and I (use to be) coughing up mucous constantly, I have psychological issues from ADHD and severe nihilism for like 9 years and my mind has been tormenting me and making my physical body worse.

All of this seems amplified after starting Trikafta

Trikafta would be a godsend for those who have lived a different life. I truly appreciate the opportunity I have to be on this medication in the first place, but now I feel that because my lifespan has just doubled, I should have done something more meaningful to build up to where I am today. I just mindlessly lived a super fun life and got a decent bachelor's degree, and am now basically just coasting at a web dev company. But if I knew I had the opportunity to, I would have put 8 years of school into becoming a neuroscientist, or a psychiatrist, or something more interesting to me and more useful to the public. I would have built my brand bigger and I wouldn't have been so self-destructive the entire time because I thought I was going to die before 25.
My tolerance to medications, opioids, nerve meds, and other psychoactive substances is five-times that of anyone else I know - I just kept building them up because I could. I have a resistance to just about every antibiotic and I can't cope with pain as well anymore. My nerve pain has increased tenfold over the last week and I've had like 9 root canals (diabetes and poor oral health making teeth rot from the inside). Fuck, I've been so "fortunate" by CF standards but because I was so "fortunate" under the assumption I'd be dead by now, I've wasted everything AND set myself up for a slow, agonizing death. My best friend, from middle school, Emily (not a CFer but a tormented soul), died in 2017 from a heroin OD (we never actually did it together, we lived mainly separate drug-lives) but all the time I feel like I should have been me who died first. I'm now contemplating what it will be like to watch everyone I love die, I feel pain worse because I'm focusing on it more and what it means and how I *may* be able to fix it -or likely won't due to my current physiological state. My body and mind is so skewed from the general public that even SEVERAL LOCAL DENTAL NUMBING SHOTS won't work and my dentist refuses to operate on my final root canal unless I go to a special doctor to get completely knocked out. I've even woken up on ketamine and under local anesthesia during my final meniscus surgery back in 2014.
My mind has been racing at a million times a minute despite being on several numbing medications and now I feel like I'm in too deep. My husband married me knowing and understanding deeply everything that I am writing right now, but truly accepts me how I am and he is indispensable to me. What if he dies first? What if I die slowly? What if my nerve pain only gets worse and I can't function at work and have to watch myself decline in real-time (already happening), what if I get liver cirrhosis (runs in my largely-irish family) at a young age from alcoholism and CF because I didn't expect to live this long in the first place? What I can't sustain a healthy lifestyle because my husband and I are both *lazy* and have little motivation outside of "lets live each day, day-by-day, stay comfy, do enough to keep our jobs, do drugs recreationally, raise our two dogs, and eat all the best food and absorb all the best entertainment we can for now". What if I have to live long enough to continue to watch the world burn and other people suffer in REAL-TIME through CONSTANT UPDATES on tiny mobile and desktop screens? The concept of "self" and "existence" has always been kind of suspect to me, and I've tried to embrace an absurdist philosophy for the past 5 years at least (for Myers-Brigg's nerds I'm an ENTP).
Doing ketamine use to help me achieve *ego death* and dissociate from all of this in the past (for those of those who do not know, ketamine kills your understanding of *you* and also simulates semi what it feels like to die, sort of like DMT does, which was cathartic in a sense) but even now I've done ketamine and MXE so many times that it doesn't work anymore in the same way. I have no purpose, and my *self* hasn't been actualized and/or doesn't exist without the *ultimate badass demise* I had been anticipating for my entire livelihood. I started feeling this way after I successfully achieved "sobriety" in 2016 and got a real adult job, but it wasn't until Trikafta 2 months ago that I really, PHYSICALLY FELT it. My nerve pain is on fire now. It was really bad in college during my previously perceived *doomed* state because emotions and nerve pain create sort-of like a feedback loop. I know too much and no one is guiding me. I've been asking top CF doctors, but it's too much to unpack for them, my friends have no frame of reference and I can't find wisdom anywhere else. I need help because I feel like I'm going crazy and I have no purpose now. I also feel like, even if I put a SHIT TON OF EFFORT into eating well, exercising, and taking my medications properly (even doing my VEST AND NEBULIZER for the first time in 10 years), all this means is that I'm going to be healthy enough to watch the world burn through the internet which I am beautifully cursed to be monitoring constantly via my internet job, and drinking alcohol to connect on a human-level with normal people at marketing/networking events.
I thought maybe having a kid would let me think outside myself, but let's face it, seeing my parents screw up so badly with my four siblings and his four siblings is NOT giving me much hope. He's internationally ranked in chess, and we're both MENSA-level high IQ and attractive (but, like our parents, do not have the best EQ), but I'm not confident that giving up my body for 9 months to bore an attractive and intelligent creature (if we are so lucky) will turn out so great.
Man, I just don't know what to do. Maybe this post would fit better in another thread, I haven't met a CFer who could give me any solid advice because my experiences are so out of their sphere of experience, and the same goes for healthy people, and doctors. I just need some words of wisdom from even people who have encountered and overcome some subsets of the things I have just described. Although, I am sure this post will fall by the wayside to most.
Tl:dr I have a tormented mind & body and the introduction of Trikafta to my daily pill-plan is making it worse on an existential (and ironically physically level) - what on earth do I do?
-H
submitted by jaegerin13 to CysticFibrosis [link] [comments]

Explorers Guild 13: Finding Tenno


It had been an absolutely, outstandingly great day.
The troubles of the previous night were but distant memories, feeling as far away as good old Earth.
As neither C nor N had reported anything unusual and L had kept quiet, I choose to forget about the whole thing at least for the day.
Not that I could have felt gloomy on a day like that anyways.
Even though I had been running around, picking up supplies for the expedition to the anomaly, which would begin the next day, I felt happy.
As if the entire universe was in balance.
I was content with my situation, no matter how difficult the start to this mission had been.
And these feelings didn't stay isolated with me.
The entire outpost seemed to radiate an aura of idyllic warmth.
While the people of New Addarnva had been nice during our entire stay, a fact I attributed to the mild temperatures and experience of discovering a whole new world and all of its secrets together, everyone I met seemed just that extra bit more friendly than usual.
And when the time came for me to accompany C at fetching Spark, her strange alien worm pet from his check up at the biology section of the outpost, I was even more motivated than I had been the day before.
Everyone and everything appeared to run in perfect harmony for once.
The buildings, the red grass, the blue sky above, and the nice people, it all combined into a symphonic play of movements, smells, sounds and colors, that amplified the calm and friendly atmosphere of the outpost tenfold.
It felt good to spent some time with C, even if it was just walking along with her to some lab.
She seemed to feel the same about this, given that she smiled the entire time.
Half way to the laboratories, two Taeren stopped to ask if they could take pictures with us.
They, of course, had met neither a Human nor a Rhyll before, let alone people working for the Explorers Guild.
They explained that they didn't want to bother us, but that they just had to ask, because none of their friends would believe them otherwise.
We naturally didn't deny them their request. I would have never admitted it, but I kind of enjoyed being treated this specially. It was strange, but also felt inexplicably good.
This wasn't the first time something like that had happened either.
Being a Human alone made me special in the eyes of most people.
Combined with the reputation of the Guild, this often caused people to get curious about us.
After all, how often does one meet a real Explorer, and a Human one at that ?
I had my concerns with stuff like that at first; the Guild was notoriously secretive, and, while I didn't know the reason for this, I believed that the higher-ups knew what they were doing. So spreading pictures of us online didn't seem desirable to me.
I had spoken out about this to KAMI once.
"Don't worry, I am keeping an eye on all data collected on you and your acitvities across the web. If anyone were to attempt anything malicious, I'd know," the AI had answered.
So after a while, I just stopped worrying.
The only one of us who never wanted to appear on pictures was N.
She never told us the reason for this and we never asked. N hated talking about the past, and we respected that.
A pleasant, soft wind passed through the outpost, carrying a faint smell, as of someone somewhere was cooking something delicious, as we reached the biology laboratories.
"This is it ?"
The door to the pile of modular room containers in front of us was the same as the one on Avie's lab, allbeit positioned on the front of the building instead of its side.
"Yup," My floral companion pointed at the small sign next to the door, "Lab 12-b".
I stepped forward.
Just as I wanted to reach for the handle, the door opened inwards automatically.
"Doors. My eternal enemies."
C promptly lead me into the building, past two doors to the left, around a corner and then to a door on the right.
She knocked carefully.
"Come in, it's open !" a male voice from inside responded.
C enthusiastically slid open the door.
The lab itself looked just like Avie's, with all sorts of desks, drawers and devices lining the walls and a row of glass cases dividing the room along its center axis, although the ones here had been refitted to act as terrariums. An open door on the other side of the room led, from what i could tell, into another lab with even more terrariums.
On a swivel chair at one of the desks, facing away from us, sat a Taeren female with vividly blue, green tipped feathers, wearing a headset, nodding along to some apparently rather fast paced music. She was working on an incredibly complex diagram displayed on the screen before her.
She did not notice us entering, or maybe she just did not care.
On one of the central terrariums, a male Gesh'va was inspecting a sample. He had light blue hair and was wearing a red scarf, even though the temperatures did not at all call for it.
Then I saw C's strange, soft caterpillar pet on his shoulder.
"Helloooo !"
At the sound of C's voice, what I assumed to be the creatures front end perked up and reared around. It let out an excited gurgle as it spotted us.
The scientist turned around aswell.
His eyes were orange and he was extremely lanky, even by Gesh'va standards.
Light blue hair, orange eyes and a scarf...
L had asked me to look for someone fitting that description due to a figure looking like that appearing in a story written by Avie.
Could I have already been successful ?
"Ah, it's you guys ! Hi, C ! And you must be ■-1338, right ?"
"Yep. Hi to you, too. You are..."
"Uhh... Tenno. I do zoological research on the local fauna."
"Alright, Tenno. We're here to get that little guy on your shoulder."
"Oh yeah. yeah.... right away ! He uhhhh.... seems to like me."
He extended his arm towards C, prompting Spark to scuttle along it.
C took a step forward, leaning towards the scientist's arm, allowing her little friend to crawl onto her shoulder.
It nestled onto her neck and started "purring", his tail blinking in excitement.
It was oddly adorable.
"He's in top condition. Thank you for letting us take a look at him. He's truly special, you know ? Not only is his size absolutely enormous by Zeelian standards, he is also remarkably intelligent ! And he's bioluminescent ! We have no clue why he would need to be this smart or glowing."
Tenno seemed more than motivated to talk about the little guy. It was in an odd way cute to see someone get that excited about a space worm.
"Almost all of the things you scanned are glowing for that matter. We've never seen that anywhere else on the planet outside the anomaly zone. I would... I... I'd do anything to go on a trip there once the thing is deactivated. You guys are going to make that possible. I'm... really grateful for that."
His hands shivered. It looked like his emotions had taken over for a second.
"Thanks ! Could I now please look at the bugs ?" C was rather disinterested at the scientist's little emotional outburst.
"Hehe... Surely. Go ahead."
She promptly turned and wandered over to watch the interesting creatures in the terrariums.
I looked after her. She really liked those bugs...
"Aaand... you are a Human ?"
The zoologist forced a smile, despite how awkward he suddenly sounded.
"Yep."
"You are.... shorter than I expected. The way she described you..."
I could tell he was not good at this whole holding conversations thing.
"First of all, ouch. Second of all, who described me in what way ?"
"S- sorry. I didn't mean to offend you."
He all of a sudden looked afraid. His eyes nervously shot around, as if he was trying to look at anything but me.
"No worries. Hey... you seem a little on edge. What's the matter ?"
"N- nothing !"
He started scratching his arm.
"You sure ? You don't look like nothing is wrong."
"No. I- I'm fine"
He was shaking, not to mention his stuttering. Clearly he was not fine.
"Are you sure you don't want to talk about it ?"
He sighed, folding his hands behind his back.
"I'm n- not really good with new people. And you are... an Explorer... I... I just always wanted to meet one of you guys and now I've seen three of you in two days. And y- you are the first Human I've ever met. I- I just don't want you to think I'm weird or something," he stammered.
His confession was not what I had expected, but also not surprising.
He was not the first "fan" I had encountered after all.
"Are you afraid I'm going to tell the other Humans that you're a little awkward around new people ?"
I gave a short laugh, wondering if he had been this awkward the day before with N and C.
"I- I just wanted to make a good first impression..."
"Well, you are honest about the whole thing, that already puts you way up there in my eyes. You seem pretty normal to me, if that makes you feel any better. A little tensed up, but that's all. Soooo let's just talk about something else. You mentioned that you knew about our mission. That seems like a good way to start."
"Yeah. Av- Doctor Isan'nai talked about it when I met her this morning. She seemed... so happy to go on that trip."
He knew Avie ! It was all but certain that I had found L's mysterious person. I was already planning how I would present my discovery to L.
"Oh, you know Avie ?"
I hoped my delivery of a 'surprised reaction' was convincing enough. I was a bad actor, so I had to rely on him being too nervous to realize.
"I often see her during breakfast. She also was the one who told me about you."
He didn't notice my terrible acting! But apparently my little attempt at trying to get him to calm down had done almost nothing.
"Alright, good to know. I think I need to talk to her about average Human heights."
"Y- yeah."
A couple seconds of awkward silence. A conversational dead end. This was going no where. It probably was just bad luck. I guessed that my best bet would be to somehow change the topic or smoothly end this.
"Soo... what your colleague over there is doing looks interesting," I pointed at the Taeren typing away at her keyboard, "You think you could introduce me ?"
So much for trying to smoothly changing topics.
He let out a sigh of relief. Apparently he had been looking for a way to end this conversation aswell.
I suddenly felt bad for trying to keep it going.
"Illy. Our guest wants to talk to you."
The Taeren did not react at all.
Her head just kept bobbing back and forth to the rythm of her music.
"Illy !"
Still no reaction.
Tenno looked at me, then at her and then back at me again.
"S- sorry..." he mumbled as he walked over to her.
He grabbed the back of her chair and started turning it.
"Tenno, what the FUCK are ya- !"
Then the Taeren was facing me, silently staring at me for a couple seconds. Her yellow eyes did not shift away from me, not even for a millisecond.
I felt uncomfortable.
"Hoooleeee shet ! A Human ! Now that's a surprise, innit ?"
I had previously thought L's accent was pretty bad for a non-natural, translator-generated voice. But this... This was something else entirely.
The bird creature placed her headset on the desk she had been working on a second ago.
"Uhhh... hello, Illy. I'm ■-1338, or just ■. Glad to meet you."
"Well would ya look at that ! He's an Explorer ! Ya are one of those guys who came in here yesterday with that worm thing, aren't ya ?"
She was clearly not aware of anything that had happened during the previous minutes.
"Illy, ■ here wants to know about your work. Would you mind telling him something about it ?"
Tenno was much calmer. I made a mental note to try to talk to him some more another time, blaming my conversational failure with him on him just having a bad day and my approach being to direct.
"Aye, of course I don't. Hey, just a side note; with ya being probably the only Human I'll ever meet, I just have to tell ya this: Ya lot make some great music, that's for sure !"
She pointed one claw at the headset.
"Uhh... Thanks ? What are you listening to then ?"
"That uhhh... what do you call it ? Electro Swing (//placeholder)! Yeah, that's it !"
That was surely not the kind of music I had expected to spread from Earth out to the stars. I had always thought it would be some of the less niche genres to make the jump...
"Oh, I'm... glad you like my people's cultural products then."
She just laughed.
"It's good stuff, ya know."
"Now, for your job. That diagram on your screen looks incredibly complex."
"Yeah, my job here... lemme see... I focus on the evolutionary aspects of the critters mister blue-hair over there studies. And that little bugger ya brougt in yesterday just completely messed up my structure, so now I have to rework the whole thing. Thank ya for that !"
She laughed some more. It sounded raspy.
I had sudden a feeling that L would probably have gotten along pretty well with her.
"Sorry, we didn't think that he would be that important. I hope he didn't mess things up too badly."
"Ah, don't worry ! I'd rather rework it now than in a year. For the progress of all of us and all that."
She rocked back and forth in her chair.
"Phew. I'm glad you aren't too-"
"Come quick ! Bug is eating other bugs !" C interrupted me from the other side of the room.
"What ?!" Tenno immediately ran over to her.
"So he's good with animals..."
Illy looked at me for a couple of seconds, as if she was thinking about what to say next.
Then she slowly rose from her chair.
"Hey Tenno ! I'll be over in storage. I want to show the Human that transformin' mollusk thing."
With that, she shoved me through the door to the other room filled with terrariums.
The second I got through, she pulled me to the side, outside the view of Tenno and C.
I was beyond confused. What was she doing ?
She peaked back into the lab before turning to me.
"Listen... ya lot help people, right ?"
She was much more quiet. The humming from the terrariums' ventelation systems probably was enough to mask her voice. Something about her was... different.
"Y- Yeah. That's pretty much the job description."
"A'ight.... how do I put this..."
Illy lowered her head. Her tone became more serious.
"Ya need to help Tenno."
"What's the issue with him?" I whispered back, hoping that it wasn't as serious as she made it sound.
"He... I've known him for ten years now, even before we came here. He has always been a little... reclusive, ya know ? That was just him, timid and all that. But then about half a year ago... he started to change. He started to talk more and to be more happy in general. And I was so glad for him, especially when I found out why he changed."
I kept silent. I didn't know what to say. She fixated me with her eyes. Yellow and with pupils shaped like narrow vertical slits. Some deep, primitive part of my brain felt threatened by her.
"Around that time, he met that archaeology girl. They've been havin' breakfast together everyday since then. And... Ya know... She's good for him..."
"Illy... what..."
"He's better when he's with her. And she's better when she's with him. I've seen her a couple times before they met each other. She was so shy and quiet back then, even though she's easily one of the smartest people on this planet. But they..."
I realized that she was on the verge of tears. I felt the sudden need to comfort her, but I didn't know how. So I just stood there and kept on listening. I felt insanely dumb.
"...neither of them seems to know how to approach the other. They have been havin' breakfast together. And that's all they have been doing. They just... I- I don't understand how they can be that.... They are clearly better together. But they don't seem to know how to get there, ya understand ? And I'm so... afraid that they'll never get closer. That they'll just drift back apart because neither of them knew how to make the first step. And that they'll go back to how they were before they met."
"Oh..."
Silence.
A pair of yellow eyes staring at me, awaiting a response.
She wanted my help but I didn't know what I could do.
A wave of information, more like fragments and debris caught in a tornado than coherent thoughts rushed across my mind, none clear enough to form anything of reason.
"Illy... I don't know what to say. You..." I paused for a moment, clumsily trying to find the right words, "I don't know what I'm supposed to-"
"Yer job! Help them. Do... something. It just... breaks my heart to see them both strugglin' like that. He's my friend. I want him to be happy. They need each other..."
I regained some level of clarity. What Illy was saying was a bit much to process.
"But how can I help? Illy, this might come as a surprise to you, but the guy who has not seen another member of his species in three years is not the guy you should ask for help with relationships."
I said that, but that wasn't the actual reason for my lack of experience in that specific department of social life.
In truth I had just simply never really cared about that kind of relationships, even back on Earth. Sure, I had my family a couple of friends, but nothing more.
Romantic feelings had just always been... incredibly alien to me.
Over all these years, I had never really experienced that kind of emotion.
I just didn't.
I had friends, family, but nothing like that.
The whole issue was outside my area of expertise.
I certainly didn't want to tell Illy about all if this; I didn't want her to think I was a weirdo.
"Ah, bullshet. Ya are qualified enough to do all the stuff ya do, but ya don't know how to get close to people ? I don't buy it !"
If only she knew...
"But what do you want me to do ? Take him along on the expedition ? Guide him and Avie together like some kind of- I don't know..."
She thought for a couple of seconds. The blue-green feathers on her head twitched lightly.
"Would... would that work ? Could ya take him along ?"
"Theoretically, yeah, of course. But, just so he can spend time with Avie ?"
"I know him... maybe something about a biological survey or something. He... I want him to be happy."
I still felt reluctant. Could it really be the right thing to do to push them together like that ? And all of that while possibly endangering Tenno ?
"And you... you believe that taking him along would help them both ?"
"Ya make it sound like we force them to do something. It would be more like a little shove in the right direction. But... yeah."
For a while, I stared at the terrariums.
Tenno... maybe he was like me. Maybe he just did not recognize the nature of his feelings, because he had never experienced them before.
This possibility somewhat disturbed me.
And Avie... was she really only the way I had gotten to know her over these past few days because... she was having breakfast with this zoologist ?
The evidence was there. They knew each other, there was Illy's observation on how they changed each other, and there of course was that character in Avie's story...
And if we could take care of Avie and Ion, one more person wouldn't make that big of a difference.
But if something happened to him...
I took a deep breath.
"You are certain that Tenno would be okay with all of this ? Expeditions like that can be dangerous, you know."
"He might be a little squishy, but don't late that decieve ya. He's always willing to take a risk to get to look at more of those bugs of his. He's a good lad."
"Well, this surely isn't the way I usually help people... KAMI, could you write a message to Doctor Isan'nai that, due to the large amount of new species we encountered during our first hike through the anomaly zone, I would suggest bringing a zoologist along on the expedition."
"Right away," came the response near-instantaneously.
Illy's eyes lit up.
"Thank ya so much ! I... I seriously owe ya one."
"Always happy to help. As you said, it's kind of my job..."
A small block of text appeared in the bottom left of my field of view a few seconds later.
A. Isan'nai: "Sure. I had thought about that myself, actually. Glad to see that the "professional" here had the same idea (Smiley face).Is there anyone in particular you had in mind ?"
"Tell her that I believe that Tenno-"
I paused and looked at Illy. "Aeran," she whispered.
"-Aeran might be suited for the job."
We waited a good minute before another response came in.
A. Isan'nai: "Of course ! I'll tell the logistics people to prepare extra equipment. See you tomorrow."
I wondered why she had taken that long for such a short message. But I didn't mention that to Illy. Judging by the wide "grin", if you could call it that, she was carrying, she had noticed it herself anyways.
"Looks like we are good to go !"
We returned into the main lab shortly after, talking about some weird mollusk that was able to roll itself into a ball she had shown me in one of the terrariums.
"Tenno !" I announced.
"Y- yeah ?" His head perked up from some insectoid creature in a terrarium him and C were staring at.
"You mentioned that you wanted to visit the anomaly zone, right ?"
"Yeah ?"
"Well, looks like you are going to get a chance to do that sooner than you expected. Last time there we found a whole bunch of new creatures. But we aren't trained to do zoological surveys. Would you, as a professional, want to come along ?"
"A- are you serious ?"
"Yup, just asked Avie about it. She says it's alright. And a rover holds eight people sooo..."
His expression shifted from disbelief to overjoyed in an instant.
"O- of course ! Thank you so much !"
Illy gave me an approving nod and went back to work on her computer.
submitted by Six_Eyed_Fox to u/Six_Eyed_Fox [link] [comments]

Sports Betting Tips: In Game Betting Strategy - Live Betting Tips Football Betting Analysis-Handicap 1x2 in Sports Betting Explained What is mean by multiple odds? and how it works on betting Understanding teaser bets

Fold definition: If you fold something such as a piece of paper or cloth , you bend it so that one part... | Meaning, pronunciation, translations and examples What are folds in football betting? – Variations. A fold bet only works if the results are successful. However, there are other multi-bet types that involves punters not getting all of their selections correct to win. These bet types include trixies, patents, yankees and more. A fourfold or other fold football bet does involve risk. As you can see by the tweet, his disciples had multiplied by more than tenfold. And not-so-coincidentally: The under received the majority of bets for ALL THREE early games. During the entire 2016-17 NBA season, just 12% of games featured an under getting more than half of the bets. As race time draws closer and people begin betting on the horses, the odds begin to reflect this money. When a lot of money is bet on a horse, it drives its odds down. When little or no money is bet on a horse because no one thinks it will win, this drives its odds higher. The horse is a "long shot." It means something like this, for good = you want a new car, you can only afford a RIO, but you get blessed with some money, now you can afford a 7 or 10 fold better car like a BMW or Maserati.

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Sports Betting Tips: In Game Betting Strategy - Live Betting Tips

Question from @cd054: How about a video on in-game betting strategies, or what not to bet in-game, or what situations to look for that have value. Get more Sports Betting Tips and Advice: https ... Teasers are a valuable tool for professional gamblers. This video will teach you how to analyze NFL teasers, and give you a methodology for other exotic wagers. Learn how to understand and read the most popular kinds of betting odds found on sports betting sites. What do the numbers mean, and how can you determine wh... Explaining what the 1x2 oddstype and bettype is and how it works in sports betting. Using the UEFA Champions League game between Porto and Liverpool as an example. The 1x2 is also known as 3-way ... Betting odds are not presented in a uniform way across all settings. It is also important to note that different bookmakers will have different odds. Get your FreeBets now.