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Fri. Jan. 9 Daily HUT Content - What is new?
Finally Fantastic, Fun Fridaaayyy! How was everyone’s second Friday of 2021!? Good!? Bad!? What! Leettt me knoww, down beloww!! Here’s the new cards for today, Thanks EA! (Sets will be in separate post, but in with the post here redirecting to it — eating DQ cake first tho)
Silver Master Icons
Brad Park - 90 OVR - BOS / LD - (2) SWA , HOW .. should I upgrade my birthday pull? Darryl Sittler - 90 OVR - TOR / C - (2) DIS , SPE ... I was gonna grab one.. I shouldve.. —-
Master Set Players
Sebastian Aho - 92 OVR - KÃR / C - (1) SWA , GLA , SH Sebastian Aho - 92 OVR - KÃR / C - (1) BAL , PP , WM Rasmus Dahlin - *92 OVR - IND / LD - (1) BAR , SPE , SH Rasmus Dahlin - 92 OVR - IND / LD - (1) DIS , GLA , PP William Karlsson - 92 OVR - VIK / C - (1) SPA , PP , LTL William Karlsson - 92 OVR - VIK / C - (1) BAR , WH , MAG Timo Meier - 92 OVR - LAK / RW - (1) DIS , MAG , GLA Timo Meier - 92 OVR - LAK / RW - (1) H and S , HOW , WM Jakub Silfverberg - 92 OVR - BRY / RW - (1) BAL , MAG , WH Jakub Silfverberg - 92 OVR - BRY / RW - (1) SPA , LTL , PP Sami Vatanen - 92 OVR - JYP / RD - (1) SPA , PP , GLA Sami Vatanen - 92 OVR - JYP / RD - BAR , SH , WH SET Req. 1 HC Collect , 12 GCs. Receive - Sami V. ——. // —— /// Roope Hintz - 90 OVR - IFK / C - (1) SWA , SPE Henrik Zetterberg - 90 OVR - TIM / C - (1) SPA , T Erik Gustafsson - 88 OVR - LUL / LD - (1) BAL , GLA Arttu Ruotsalainen - 88 OVR - ILV / LW - (1) BAR , WM Julius Nattienen - 87 OVR - AMB / C - (1) DIS , LTL Emil Pettersson - 87 OVR - LAK / C - (1) H and S , HOW Vili Saarijarvi - 87 OVR - LUK / RD - (1) SWA , SH Janis Jēröme Moser - 87 OVR - EHC / LD - (1) SPA , MAG Martin Ruzicka - 86 OVR - TRI / C - (1) SWA , SH Dominique Heinrich - 85 OVR - SAL / LD - (1) BAR , WM Mathias Niederberger - 85 OVR - BER / G - 5’11” / 176 lbs - (1) DIS , SPA Daniel Pietta - 85 OVR - PIK / C - (1) BAL , HOW ——
Jeff Petry - 87 OVR - MTL / RD - (1) WM ... * Tuuka Rask - 87 OVR - BOS / G - 6’3” / 176 lbs (1) BAR ... * Milan Lucic - 87 OVR - CGY / LW - (1) GLA ... * Damon Severson - 84 OVR - NJD / LW - (1) PP ... * Jason Spezza - 84 OVR - TOR / LW - (1) Syn ... * Luke Kunin - 81 OVR - NAS / LW - (1) MAG ...
Moritz Seider - 88 OVR - ROG / RD - (1) SH ... * Viktor Fasth - 83 OVR - LAK / G - 6’0” / 181 lbs - (1) H and S ... * Max Veronneau - 79 OVR - IK / LW - (1) BAL , GLA ... * Cameron Whynot - 77 OVR - MOS / LW - (1) DIS , LTL ... * James Malatesta - 77 OVR - REM / LW - (1) PP , SPA ... * Olle Lycksell - 77 OVR - FAR / LW - (1) BAR , HOW ... * • • • • • • • • • • - - - - - - - - - • • • • • • • • • • • •
6D 23H • EURO HC SCHN. Starter Pack (UT) - 125k C / 2.5k P 15 items, inc., a random EURO HC Event Item, and Gold Collectable • EURO HC SWE. Fika Daily Pack - 35k C / 700 P 30 items, at least 20 players with 1 82+ OVR player • EURO HC FIN SAUN Pack - 15k C / 300 P 20 items, at least 5 players, with 3 Gold or Better players 2D 23H • Jumbo Players Pack - 75k C / 1.5k P 20 items, all Gold Players, with atleast 18 80+ OVR Players. • Mega Pack - 37.5k C / 750 P 30 items, at least 15 Gold Players, and 4 80+ OVR Players. • Jumbo Premium Pack - 15k C / 300 P 20 items, at least 9 Players with at least 4 Gold Players.
You can view all the sets for players HERE!! :) Brad Park - 90 UT - 1 x 85 Brad Park , 8 ICs Darryl Sittler - 90 UT - 1 x 85 Darryl S , 8 ICs ———— —- ——- —— —- ——- ——- ——- —— ——
• New Event today! EUROOSS • Silver Master Icon for Brad Park and Darryl Sittler • Free Gold Collectable for 12 Euro Collectables available thru CHALLENGES • New Event Challenges • NHL Revising Schedule - 6 Stars Positive ——————
What’s to Come?
• Weeeeekenddd —————
Summary of the day
Quick Read Best Forward of the Day (Non MSP) - Event - is HENRRIKK ZETTERBERGG OVR 90 with the syn SPAAARRKK anddd THIIIEFFF Best Defence of the Day - Event - is ERIKKK GUSTAFSONN OVR 87 with the syn BAALANCEDD anddd GLAADIATTORR //// Best Forward of the Day - PT - is MILAAAN LUUCICC OVR *87 with the syn GLAADDIATORR Best Defence of the Day - PT - is MORITZZZ SEIIDERRR OVR 87 with the syn SHUUUTT DOWNN ———— —— ——— Cooolin ——-
Invest in yourself. Learn new skills. Learn something that will change you, and change your life for the better. The best investment you can do make is in yourself. But what is investing in yourself? • Start a side hustle • Take a class / workshop • Prioritize Self Care / Boost your Health and Wellness • Read • Hire a business , life , career coach. Once you start investing in yourself, you’ll find yourself at such a high, high feeling... and once you find your true self, there’s no stopping you. You’ll feel alive, and amazed at things you never thought you could achieve before. You only got one life, so take as many risks, and fun things before it’s gone.. ‘cos you never know what might happen tomorrow. Be kind. Be you. Be true. and really, just be yourself ; and I promise you’ll go far. —— // ——- /// —— /// —— /// —— // —-
Interested in Stocks?
EA’s Stock Price, after hours - Jan. 8 $ 141.86 (usd) —- Currency Converter we looked at the stock at $137.54 usd —— That is a difference of ( $4.32 / 3.14 % ) — Disclaimer - I am not a financial advisor. It is your money, please do your own due diligence. I am not responsible for your money. This is *not** advice. I added this section for an added educational purposes only. Thanks* —— —— —— —-
NEED A SOUNDTRACK TO LISTEN TO?
I made this for everyone. I’ll update it whenever I feel like it, but its been often!
WE’RE ALMOST AT 1000 SONGS! Comment songs to add, and please give feedback! It’s much appreciated!! I currently have “Every Morning” by “Sugar Ray” stuck in my head! How do you guys like the playlist!? I have a friend who makes music, if you guys wanna check his music out, feel free, click Here!! ———-
Stream Hockey Games
If you click here you will be redirected to bilasport. Bilasport is a streaming site for all your Sport needs! You can stream; NHL , NFL , NBA , MLB , Boxing / MMA , and NCAAF. With the NHL season coming up, this is a great resource if you want to watch a game! Bookmark it today! I am not affiliated with Bilasport. This is just a recommendation for your entertainment needs. ——- —— —— —— —— —— —— —— —- —— —-
Fighting a Gambling Addiction?
Don’t feel scared to click here. Winning is SO much louder than losing. Know that you are NEVER alone. We are all here for eachother, and it is never too late to get help. I am here for you. This is a VERY important thread, especially if you are new to HUT. Here! ——- 8 / 365 —— —— —— —- —- ——- —- —— —— Thanks for reading. I’m always welcome to feedback, please let me know what I can improve on. If there’s anything missing, please let me know! Take care, happy gaming! 5 DAYS TIL HOCKEY COMES!WHO IS EXCITEDD? I am not affiliated with EA. Please don’t message me about your problems about the game, even though I find them rather entertaining. You still can, just I might not be able to help!! • Coolin Killin It (Life is like a puzzle, you just have to find the right piece.)
I never thought my work injury would cause me so many issues in PSO2 socially
The biggest problem I've ever had with MMO's? The other people. I started playing PSO2 back in May. Found a work around for getting the game here in the UK early, and what with being on furlough due to the current pandemic, I sank a lot of time into it. I'd played Phantasy Star 2 on the Megadrive and a little bit of PSU back in the 360 days, so was excited to give it a go. However, there was an issue... Last year I sustained an injury at work (an accident involving machinery...) resulting in my index finger and middle finger on my right hand being semi-paralyzed. Basically, I can very slightly move them sometimes, but I wouldn't rely in them to do anything. Occasionally my thumb seizes up too, so I can't exactly rely on that either. If I attempt to use any of those digits extensively, I get bad pains and cramps along the back of my hand. Isn't permanent nerve damage fun? I've had various physio sessions and am on a repeat prescription for painkillers, but I will never have full use of my right hand ever again, and yes, it was my dominant hand. It's an ongoing struggle to not let it rule everything I do, but obviously I've had to make a lot of lifestyle adjustments. The most relevant one here being how I game. I'm very much a console gamer. Turn based JRPG's are now my best friend. Classic Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest and Pokémon remain very much unchanged, just at a bit of a slower pace. Everything else... When I booted up a new game, usually the first thing I do (if the option is available) is to crank the game up to the highest difficulty. I just find games more fun if there's a fair challenge. Let me... try my best to describe how I use a controller now for the longest and easiest gameplay. I rest the whole controller on my thigh. So left hand, as you'd expect, left hand is fine. Right, I use the palm of my hand to control the right thumbstick (thankfully most games, just the camera). A thumbgrip on the stick makes this easier than you'd think. My ring and little finger do all the rest, so on an Xbox controller that's A,B, X, Y and the two R buttons. I'll use my left hand if I need to use the Menu button. It's really not easy, and whilst I'm learning to get used to it, it is still a struggle, and my days of hardest difficulty are long over. Now back to PSO2... There's many different ways to play and enjoy the game. Explorations and ARKS quests are no real issue for me, Casino sessions are a ridiculous amount of fun, I love the story, and fashion... DAMN, I love CASTs. Urgent Quests... For the most part, I'm actually OK with it. Mining Bases and Gone With the Wind and Rain were my first few UQs at max level (75 at the time). I play Braver. Initially this was because in games where you can choose a class like this one, I've always favoured bows and quick melee weapons. Braver appealed to me. I stuck to this class because Morning Mistreaver combined with the Katana Combat invincibility is very forgiving for my ailment. Dark Falz Elder I remember being the first one I died a lot in. I majorly ticked off my alliance at the time with how badly I was doing. I decided to explain my injury in the alliance Discord, hoping they'd just keep it in the back of their minds when they played with me. What happened next... My alliance basically split in two with me. Half I expected, the other half I didn't. So one half did exactly what I feared an shunned me. Wasn't allowed in any triggers, was never invited to the UQs, wasn't even allowed to come along for VHAQ and SHAQ's which I had no real issues with. I was sad but I can't expect serious end game players to bring along a player with a handicap. What bothered me was that people who I had banter with in the lobby now would no longer even talk to me. That hurt. The other half... I became a charity case, or maybe a challenge? People would take me, but encourage me to just be there. I was being prompted to be carried. UQs would come along, not even Elder, and alliance chat would have people telling me they don't need a 4th so I can 'tag along and watch'. Also, some people started talking to me in layman's terms, or over explaining things, talking to me as if I had a mental disability. No offence to people who do of course, but my disability is physical. I know how to augment and I research the market and drops to see what gear is best. I don't need someone telling me to 'imagine your weapon is a pet. You want your pet to grow big and strong, don't you? So you need all these vitamins to feed him to make him the best he can be! So get these other weapons with the vitamins you need, and you can get an even better weapon for yourself!'. I wish I was exaggerating... as I sat there with my Nemesis Cougar with 6 augments I did myself including ARKS Max and Apprentice Soul (which if you remember back then was a big deal). I left that alliance, switched the blocks I frequent and moved on. I joined a new alliance and told myself I wouldn't tell anyone else about my hand. I'd rather have people just think I was a bad player. I ended up just joining randoms for the boss UQs from now on. It stayed this way for a long time... until the Fellwyrm. Before the first time it popped up, I was already chilling with fellow alliance members in the lobby. My plan was to break off when the emergency announcement went up, but received a party invite from an alliance officer before I could. I decided what the hey and accepted, figuring I could play it off as a new UQ and that I'm not sure how it works if I died a lot. I made the mistake of saying as a joke 'Sorry if I die, new UQ, gotta learn it! XD', to have the officer say they're a JP vet, explaining the basic outline and giving a few tips. It was genuinely quite helpful, and I only died twice! Then I learned it was a 2 part quest... Yes, I had attempted Deus Esca with randoms before this one, and yes, I was responsible for 4 of the 5 deaths (2 of the people in the party blocked me afterwards). I told myself OK, not going to burden anyone with part two any more, that's unfair to others. I tried to back out of my party before the second half, saying I didn't want to do it, I'll make us reach the death limit, to be told there wasn't one. I left the party to be re-invited into it... So because (I thought) I got on well with the officer, I decided to go for it. We... ran out the timer. Granted, not just my fault (another member of the party wasn't fantastic either), but I got singled out by the officer for the blame on it as they noted I was pretty much just using one photon art (Morning Mistreaver. It does good damage and helps with aim and gap closing, genuinely so helpful) and rarely if ever used my bow. I met the ugly side of this officer and was asked to give a public apology and an explanation for my actions, as I had now 'deprived 3 members of the alliance a proper experience with the Urgent Quest'. There was even talk of me compensating them with Meseta. I tried to plead my case that I did say and try to leave (with one party member thankfully taking my side in that one), and even contemplated explaining my condition... but instead just logged off. I was pinged many times in Discord, but muted. When I logged into PSO2 the next day, I was no longer a member of the alliance, and had a Discord PM from the leader (who was offline during this UQ) saying they heard I had purposely gone out of my way to deprive my fellow members of a good experience, with logging out (to escape abuse) apparently solidified I did it out of spite. I decided to go at it as a solo player, and told myself I'd never do another UQ. I changed blocks again but... This time I found it hard to socialise with anyone. If people would chat to me, I would go quiet, bolt if asked to join anyone for stuff, and often pretend to be AFK and just lobby watch, forever torn between wanting to join the fun and not wanting to spoil it. I also made an Alt as Summoner class in hopes that maybe that class would work out better for me, and honestly it probably does but I find it such a dull class to play. Just a personal preference. I do log into this game everyday. That can be a full session, or can just be 15 mins or so to knock out the daily missions. One day whilst I was lobby watching in a popular block, I actually jumped on a conversation when people were talking about Phantasy Star 2 on the Megadrive. There's lots of players who have been playing Phantasy Star since the Dreamcast, but it's less common to find people from the old bit days. Turns out the people in the conversation were in an alliance together, one of which being the leader. They invited me to join. I hesitated at first, telling them I hadn't had much luck with the social side of things. They told me they were a chill alliance, and a bonus is the leader and a lot of members were UK based, so no problems with time zones matching up. I went for it... However I still had issues socialising. I often still lobby watched. I think subconsciously I didn't want to build up more social connections to have them severed again by my abilities. Honestly I'm not bothered about going to UQs, I'm more upset that the social aspect of the game is being hindered because of my ailment. We were in the second or third week of Halloween events when I joined this alliance, making Trick or Treat my first UQ since the dragon. It was a pretty easy one too, had a lot of fun with that one. This alliance liked to have characters of NPC players too, spurring me to make one and try out ranger class. As much as I love my braver, Ranger class actually works stupidly well for me too, and honestly I don't know why I didn't try it sooner. And yet despite this, I still couldn't find it in myself to properly be social again. I'd see events in Discord and say I was going to join in but then just didn't. I tried joining in with more NPC shenanigans but... It was like my mind was telling me to back off before I was shunned again. We had a lot of alliance drama completely unrelated to all that recently. It involved a rift in the officers and the leader leaving and taking most of the other members with them. To my dismay it was pretty much all the UK players that left, meaning I'd now often be logging out as all the alliance events were happening. I wasn't scouted for the new alliance. I guess I wasn't social enough, but to be honest I don't think I would've joined anyway due to my views on how the ordeal went down. I want a 15* fancy weapon, so I've been braving the Persona UQ. To be honest I think I'm definitely getting used to it all, I'm managing to get through it with no deaths on both my Braver and my Ranger. I even decided to run with the alliance again... which got me invited to a 4 man trigger. Yes, I died a lot, but I needed that void stuff. To be honest, the alliance reacted very well to it, not bothered at all that I was down a lot. I took myself out of the equation for future 4 man triggers, but was pleasantly surprised that there was no backlash. The only thing that's bothering me is I'm getting advice on skill trees and tactics that I can't pull off, but that's nothing major. Hope they're not expecting to see any improvements. This now small alliance is so different to the others I've been in. Maybe they'll react differently to my ailment, and I'm concerned that if I don't say anything that I may get pushed out. Should I tell them? I'm contemplating confiding in my alliance leader first and then seeing how they react, but then if they react negatively that could affect my position. I don't want to switch social blocks again, I'm enjoying the social atmosphere of the game again. Maybe I'm overthinking it, and these bad experiences I should just disregard as isolated incidents, but then I think of how well I got on with people in my previous groups before they found out about my ailment and/or how bad I was at the game. What do I do? I genuinely don't know any more. I guess what I'm trying to say is don't treat people badly for not being great at the game, and remember that the social aspect can be taken separately to the core game. You never know what your actions will do to people long term.
I am 36 years old, make $66,900, live in Portland OR and work as a Data Coordinator.
Section Zero: Background Hello all, happy hoildays! I stumbled upon this subreddit not long ago and have enjoyed the commentary and experiences everyone's shared. Wanted to add another perspective from a mid-30s first-gen American. I've had some missteps regarding careers and finances, but I feel like I'm in a slightly better place now. I tried YNAB in the past but I wasn't consistent enough with it. These days I use Mint to monitor my finances and have a "Finance Friday" each month to review all my accounts and spending. I currently live with my partner TJ and his dog RR. We do not combine finances, but he has been unemployed since March. I have helped him with some bills and basic necessities here and there until he finds his next job or career. My current financial goals are to just maintain a status quo and not get any debt until pandemic times are over. Then I will focus on a house remodeling fund and savings for taking care of my parents. Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money? Did your parent/guardian(s) educate you about finances? My parents taught us about money from a frugal perspective. They are immigrants who worked in food service/factories. There was always this “save save save” mentality. Even when they started their own small business, we saved like there was no tomorrow. In high school, my calculus teacher bought us all “The Millionaire Next Door” book and had us read it as an assignment - that was my first structured introduction to finances. Did you worry about money growing up? No, there was always food on the table and a roof over our heads. I knew that our extended family would support us if needed. Was there an expectation for you to attend higher education? Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it? Yes. My dad didn’t finish the high school-equivalent in their country, while my mom did finish high school, but no college. My older and younger siblings took a different path in life after high school. I am the first and only in my family to graduate from college. My parents covered all tuition for my two bachelor degrees with the agreement that I support them fully during their retirement and send them gifts/extra money whenever I can. I feel very lucky and privileged that they were able to provide that education for me. At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself and do you have a financial safety net? 24 when I went on a work holiday abroad. My family was always available to help when needed, but the experience abroad helped me stand on my own feet. As an adult, I also inherited that “save” mentality and put a lot of my earnings towards savings. I didn’t date until my 30s, lived frugally, didn’t go out to eat/hangout with people, shopped thrift stores, and had very few hobbies. I am starting to “live a little” now though. Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income? Aside from the tuition, my parents have helped with a down payment for my first house and living costs during periods of unemployment. Section One: Assets and Debt Retirement Balance If the place I was working at offered a 401k, I would always contribute up to the company match. I started my IRA in my mid-20s and would try to contribute the yearly max. I've stopped that the past 2-3 years though. My Other Brokerage is some play money, but I got tired of staring it and switched to index funds. I haven't contributed anything to it in a few years.
401k: $34,127 (5% company match on contributions)
Brokerage: $22,421 ESPP
Roth IRA: $40,615 VTIVX
Rollover IRA: $15,760 VTTHX
Other Brokerage: $7,235 VTI
Coinbase: $1,286 ETH (mostly just playing around with it)
Equity if you're a homeowner Purchased my first home for $382,000 with 20% down, right before lockdown earlier this year. Perfect timing, right?? I plan to live here until my retirement. My parents contributed $15k while I used most of my savings for the rest.
Current Equity: $80,371
Savings account balance: $3,073 Checking account balance: $7,800 Credit card debt: I charge everything on my credit card for the points, then pay it off each month using my checking account balance. Student loan debt: Traditionally no student loan debt as mentioned in Section Zero. Section Two: Income Income Progression (listed as gross income with cost of living area): High School
$11/hourMCOL - Helped with small family business.
College and first “career” job
$12-19/hour MCOL - I did events/banquet serving after classes and had an internship doing software administration.
$22/hour MCOL - Junior web developer. I realized after a year that programming was not my calling.
Mental health break
$12/hour LCOL - Work holiday abroad. I got a steady banquet server job for that whole time. It was enough to live minimally in a hostel, do weekend trips, WOOF and figure my life out.
College (again) and second “career” job
$12-15/hour LCOL - Decided to go back to school for a different bachelor's degree. While pursuing that degree, I worked at hotels and events as a banquet server again. I also did “search engine evaluation” whenever there were tasks available.
$36,000/year salary LCOL - Software administrator at a casino after graduation.
$39,000/year salary LCOL - Systemsanalyst at same casino. I left after 2 years, feeling disillusioned with the casino industry. I moved back home with my parents until I could get back on my feet again.
Third “career” jobs
$20/hour HCOL - Entry level advertising role. I was applying to all types of office jobs and that was my only bite.
$45/hour MCOL - Cold-called from a global company who needed someone with my software administrator experience from the casino job. It was an 8 month contract. Although I was starting to love my advertising job, the increase in pay was no question.
$65,000/year salary MCOL - After the contract ended and a few months of unemployment, I landed my current job at the same company. It is an “early career” role according to their job levels.
$66,900/year salary MCOL - Cost of living and merit increases after 2 years on the job. Pre-COVID we got a $5000 bonus each year. They have now stopped bonuses as well as all COL and merit increases.
Main Job Monthly Take Home: Monthly Net (paid bi-weekly): $2,758 Deductions:
Side Gig Monthly Take Home: No side gigs at the moment, but I am thinking of signing up on Upwork.com and doing Excel/data entry projects to help pay the mortgage. Other Income: TJ’s friend will be staying with us for a month in January, who will pay rent of $800 including utilities. Depending on how that goes, we may take on a roommate in the spare bedroom long-term. Section Three: Expenses Mortgage - when I bought the house, the plan was that I would charge TJ a portion of the mortgage costs as “rent”, but since his unemployment I am now covering it all myself. Regular Monthly Payment: $1677.57
Taxes & Home Insurance: $326.52
HOA: $30/year Retirement contribution: Nothing additional than what's been mentioned. Savings contribution: I used to do $50-100/month, but since COVID I’ve stopped contributing to my savings account. Investment contribution: None at this time. Debt payments: $100/month towards TJ's credit card balance of $2,307. Donations: $10-20/month, usually towards Omaze or Planned Parenthood. Utilities:
Natural Gas: $30-80/month
Xfinity internet: $60/month
Cellphone: On my parents plan. Subscriptions:
LinkedIn: $29.99/month for TJ’s job search - he’s found it very useful.
Amazon/Netflix/Hulu: We piggyback off family and friends’ accounts.
Nintendo Switch Online: 19.99/year
Gym membership: Pre-COVID I did Orangetheory for a year. I started to pick up free exercise equipment from Craigslist this year, so we have a small garage gym now and utilize YouTube exercise videos instead. Pet expenses: $10/month. TJ has stockpiled some Costco canned dog food before unemployment, but once that runs out I will likely cover the costs. We also started to make homemade dog food to help supplement. Car insurance: $460 every 6 months. Car is paid off. Regular therapy: I will start in the new year. Not sure what the costs are yet, but I will use my HSA to pay. Vitamins/Medications: $20/month Groceries & household items: $75/month Miscellaneous (eating out, house purchases, gifts, etc): $100/month Section Four: Money Diary Monday 6:30am Neighbor starts up their truck. We joke that it's our natural alarm clock. They idle for about 15 minutes before heading off. I go back to bed. 9am My real alarm goes off. I put the electric kettle on for some morning tea. While it's boiling, I do my morning routine: drink glass of water, take synthroid, use bathroom, brush teeth, quick shower. I then make tea - Jasmine Pearl English Breakfast with dark forest mix. I started ordering loose leaf tea in large amounts back in March instead of small bags or single serving packets. Seems more economical since I drink it daily. I let the dog out into the backyard so he can do his morning routine. 9:30am I go through my daily tasks for work. They entail checking processes and reports to make sure they ran successfully overnight. I then answer some emails and catch-up on Slack channels. 12pm Lunch is leftover roast chicken and quinoa from Saturday. I heat it up in the instant pot. Love that thing! Almost every meal of ours involves the instant pot. We hardly use the stovetop. We then walk the dog to the business park across from our neighborhood. There's a very short trail that runs along a drainage creek by the business park. It's quite muddy, but has a nice woodsy feeling. Over the summer, we saw sumac trees there as well. Free sumac spice! 1:30pm Department meeting on Zoom. Our director announces his resignation on the call. Everyone is shocked! Layoffs were announced for next year but this was not a part of it. I think it's a good move for him and he doesn't have to have this worry of layoffs over his head. 3pm I meet with an engineer from another team and talk about a data source they are in charge of. He helps me out in understanding it and we identify most of the fields that I need for a project I’m starting. 5:30pm I check in with my partner. He's been watching LinkedIn tutorials on internal recruiting, job coaching and general computeoffice skills. It's a career change that he wants to make - something where he can talk to and help people. He doesn't have a bachelor's, only an associates, and hopes these tutorials will get him a leg up in the job search. I sent him some entry level HR admin roles the other day and remind him to apply. I then heat up leftovers: homemade chana masala and rice. I add some butter and coconut milk to thin it out, so there's enough for both of us. 10:30pm I take some magnesium, vitamin D and Airborne. I say goodnight to the dog who sleeps in the office. Then I say goodnight to TJ. He sleeps in the spare bedroom on weeknights due to his snoring keeping me up. I'm a light sleeper while he is a pretty deep sleeper. Daily total: $0 Tuesday 9am I check Reddit Secret Santa. My match seems like a really good person. Not sure what to get, but most likely will purchase something off their wishlist. I wish I was more creative with my gift giving. 11am Meeting with business stakeholder. She submitted a few changes to an existing data process about a month ago. I make the change while on the call and have her test. Success! Marking it off the todo list. I love when we can finish things directly on a call. 12:30pm I come out of my office to make lunch. I notice my partner is not home. I check my messages and see that he's stepped out to pick up a few things. I ask for celery, carrots, and kombucha. $17. I make a quick charcuterie board for lunch: Costco salami, cheese, homemade hummus and Triscuits. It's a simple, fast meal that’s always in our rotation. 2pm My partner is back and we take the dog out for a walk and quick round of disc golf at a nearby park. We mask up and play only a few holes. Disc golf is a pretty frugal activity, you only need 2-3 discs to get started. TJ remarks that my throws are getting better, but then again they weren't great to start with. We talk about Christmas/Birthday gifts on the way back home since he was born on New Years Day. He mentioned snowshoeing but asked to not spend that much. I'll do some research! 5pm I think about personal career projects. Should I put up a portfolio of projects somewhere? I decide to try and pull some Yelp data. There’s not a lot of data points that I was interested in. Regardless, I tinker with it for an hour. TJ asks if I'm hungry. I said not so much, but felt thirsty. Maybe some ginger soup tonight? 7:30pm Dinner is served - ginger carrot soup made in the instant pot. We eat some rice crackers with it. Lately I feel like we've been eating more vegetarian dinners. It definitely helps stretch our food budget. We end the evening by finishing Fargo season 3 on Hulu. Daily total: $17 Wednesday 1:30am I'm woken up by the dog. He's been sneezing a lot and wheezes at random intervals. TJ doesn't have the money for a vet visit but I've offered to pay as long as he calls to make the appointment. I give the dog some coconut oil, rub his belly until he seems better and go back to bed. 7am Garbage day. We usually put it out the night before but I forgot. I get up to go, but TJ handles it. I think, at least. I'm too sleepy to pay attention and go back to bed. 9am I wake up and rinse some dishes that have piled up and put them into the dishwasher. We both grew up in households that had a home dishwasher, but forbade from using it. It was drilled into us that hand washing saves more water, unless you had a restaurant/industrial dishwasher. I think with modern home dishwashers, that's changed, so I wanted to try it out with our dishwasher and monitor the water bill. Don't have any dishwashing pods or powder, so I put some OxiClean in it. 12:30pm I overhear TJ on a call with a recruiting agency. It seems to be going well, lots of laughing. I heat up some taco lasagna that I freezer meal-prepped last month. 2pm Collaborate on a project at work with an engineer. My manager put me on this project since I was asking for an assignment on a more technical team. I'm learning tidbits here and there, but I don't feel like it's structured enough. 5pm I do an Orangetheory-At-Home workout and try to break a sweat. It's not the same as going to their studio. 6pm Charcuterie for dinner. Our fridge is full of store-bought and homemade pickles that go super well on a charcuterie board. Daily total: $0 Thursday 7am I wake up tired. The house has been feeling more cold, which woke me up a few times. We keep the temp at 72F during the day, at night around 68F since we thought the bedrooms keep the heat in pretty well. My mistake! 9am I do my usual morning routine and login to work. My team mostly spends the morning sending each other emojis. 11:30am Lunch today is mini quiche, frozen chicken and veggie entree, and hot dogs. Not the most cohesive meal, but it fills the belly. 12:30pm TJ heads out to his mailbox that's 30 minutes away. He is still waiting on his tax return and a 401k withdrawal. His taxes had to be filed by mail for some reason, then the IRS office shut down due to COVID. So he wanted to see if it arrived yet at the mailbox. He also takes the dog to the vet's urgent care on his way. They didn't have any regular openings available until the end of the year, and the dog seemed to be getting worse. I give TJ $40 to mail a gift package to a friend in France and also reiterate that I'll cover the vet bill when he gets it. 4:30pm I pay some bills, my favorite activity (not)! Sewer bill: $59.44 (billed every 2 months). Geico bill: $459.60 billed every 6 months. Then I follow up with my mortgage officer over email. I had sent her some documents for a refinance quote last week, but haven't heard back. Rates keep dropping, so I'm told, but what does that really mean? I do some research on realestate. 5pm TJ messages me and says he'll be back for dinner. I ask him to pick up some Popeyes via drive thru since we both don't feel like cooking today. Popeyes is currently our fancy “going out to eat” food. $24.17 for a 4pc dinner meal and a 2pc dinner meal. Daily total: $583.21 Friday 8:30am Busy morning at work. My phone is buzzing with emails and Slack messages. I try to answer them while I make tea. 10am Zoom Department happy hour. We reminisce about our director and then play those Jackbox party games. Some of them are hard! 11am TJ asks if he can make me anything for lunch. He suggests savory oatmeal, quick and easy. I tell him that I really appreciate him making meals/doing chores/etc without me prompting. We've been having conversations about "house project management" and mental load because I did most of the chores or I had to continually remind/tell him to do it. I'm really happy to see us progress on this front. I decide to work through my lunch break so I can end the day early. I don't often do that, but I'm ready to get the weekend started. 2pm I check on TJ in the spare bedroom and ask if the dog has been fed yet, since he was nipping at my feet. I notice something off about TJ and ask how he is doing. TJ is depressed about his personal life, career, finances. He doesn't know what to do, spends half the day meditating and reflecting on past trauma. I've been prodding him to get a therapist but he is confused about his insurance. He makes an appointment with a primary care doctor first. I feed the dog some homemade dog-friendly beef stew. 4pm My mom swings by the house (but doesn't enter). She currently works at a school who distributes free USDA food boxes since March. There's often many boxes leftover that would go to waste, so she will grab a box for us. Onions, potatoes, beets, turnips, eggs, cheese, butter, frozen veggies and frozen chicken. She also brought her vintage pasta maker. I asked last week if she ever used it these days and her reply was “no, feel free to have it”. I love pasta and noodles and figure it would be great to make it ourselves as a frugal hobby. 8pm We catch up on Mandalorian and watch silly Youtube videos before heading off to bed. Daily total: $0 Saturday 9am I open up my web browser and look at Craigslist and NextDoor for free stuff. I've been scouring for free landscape rocks, pegboards, and wood for house projects. I had this grand ambition to redesign our backyard. It faces our neighbor and currently the fence is pretty low. They can see into our kitchen and bedroom and we can see them. But y'know, COVID and going from dual income house to single income means it all has to be put on hold. So I've been looking for free items in the meantime. Over the past months, I've gotten planter pots, plant cuttings, a raised bed, stepping stones, all from free listings. I don't see anything worthwhile so I go and make some tea. 11am I look at Amazon and make some purchases for Reddit Secret Santa. A foodie kit, DVD of their favorite movie, and some cute pens for their writing hobby. $54. I hope they like it! 12pm TJ heats up leftover stir-fry for lunch for us. I put on some Binging with Babish and we watch how to make pasta. We have a plan - TJ makes the pasta, I make the sauce. Perfect date night activity at home. We watch some more videos on pasta and noodles to educate ourselves. 4pm I start prepping veggies. Big batch of onions, canned tomatoes, ground beef and butter in the instant pot. Meanwhile, TJ works on the pasta by following Babish's instructions. 7pm We gorge on fresh made pasta and bolognese sauce. It's so good! We end up watching Fargo. 11pm Usually I'll be in bed by now, but it's a Saturday and not tired yet (probably because of all that pasta). We play some Kirby's Dream Course on the Switch. Daily total: $54 Sunday 10am Quick walk around the neighborhood with the dog. He's on a new routine now with the medicine he's taking. It seems to be helping his breathing issues. 11am The pasta maker and flour is still out since we didn't clean up yesterday. There's some old pie crust in the fridge so I roll it out with the pasta machine for mini quiches. (Sally's Baking Addiction blog is my go-to place for her all-butter crust and quiche recipes btw). TJ helps by mixing up the eggs. 3pm I play some Genshin Impact (GI) on my phone while TJ plays Starcraft in the office. I don't usually play gacha games, but the Zelda BotW-style of GI appealed to me. A gacha game is a game with randomized characteitem boxes that you use real-money to purchase a “pull” or to spin the wheel. I know the gacha parts of the game can be a real money sink if you get addicted to them, it’s almost like gambling. My main team is Fischl, Bennett, Barbara and Noelle. I level up to AR 22 and look up free-to-play tutorials for the game. 6pm There's some leftover pasta from yesterday, enough for both of us. I throw in some roasted beets to round out the meal. We watch more Fargo while eating. Almost done with Season 3! 10pm I find a tour operator who offers a small, socially-distant snowshoeing tour up on the mountain. I reserve for two people - this will be TJ's Christmas/birthday gift. $75. Off to bed for another workday. Daily total: $75 Weekly Total: $689.79
Food + Drink: $41.17
Fun / Entertainment: $75
Home + Health: $59.44
Clothes + Beauty: $0
Section Five: Reflections Aside from the car insurance bill, this was a typical week for me, COVID or not. We make the majority of our meals at home and usually splurge on drive-thru/delivery once every other week. I may have overspent on the Secret Santa gift, but I don't often give gifts out to friends. It's not something our family does either. For TJ’s Christmas/birthday gift, we usually talk upfront about costs. I’ve gifted him fancy restaurant experiences the past 2 years, since we can share that experience, but obviously can’t do that now. Snowshoeing is a nice change of pace. The conversations with TJ this week have given me thought on how to approach him differently about finances and working together in a relationship. I’m still unsure about the future financially, particularly as my parents near retirement age and that TJ has pulled out his 401k to pay his debts. I don't know if I can support both my parents and TJ together, so I am finding ways to upskill and/or side hustles without becoming a workaholic or bogged down by stress. Writing this money diary was also the first time where I really paid attention to my past income and current income. I might be contributing too much into ESPP that could go towards the 401k or mortgage instead? I also seem to have been underpaid for what I did in past jobs, even in a LCOL area.
Ok It's Time for my...Annual *Pre-Burning Man Rant and Predictions!!
Ok It's Time for my . . . Annual Pre-Burning Man Rant and Predictions!!! After 22+ years of attendance, I have watched this festival go from what was described by Wired Magazine in 1997 as, "what the internet would be like if it was happening in reality" to 2020 where, "What? In reality, this festival is happening on the internet" ?!? What a serious head fuck . . . So strap in or strap on and get ready for disappointment . . . like virtually everything in this virtual world right now. Here goes this year's Virtual Rant! PREDICTIONS The Virtual Burn is going the be everything you think it could be . . . an underwhelming and depressing reminder that you are not going the real Burning Man this year. While it is still better than nothing, nothing is an extremely low bar. Get ready for a clusterfuck of 8 separately-produced interpretive video game dreamscapes, made by skilled teams of programmers eager to prove that their world-building technology will be able to make future financial investors a shitload of money. Burning Man 2021 is a 50/50 chance at best. 2022 is not looking that great either. Between The Org burning cash on side projects, the FEDs wanting to crack down hard and the Bureau of Land Management clearly pretty fucking stoked that they did not have to deal with the whole shitshow this year, it's going to be an uphill battle for the festival to return. Huge changes will need to be made. Those few gluttons for punishment who do decide to go to the playa this week will be treated to Burning Man without the Burning Man Experience. It will take all the hard work, organization and preparation for survival in the middle of a harsh desert environment for a week of Burning Man . . . just without the Burning Man. If there is one silver lining of the event not happening this year, it's the fact that I don't have to pack up my dust covered Burning Man bullshit from last year, drive 19 hours, then have to smuggle drugs inside my ass to make it past the BLM rangers just go camping in one of the most fucking miserable and inhospitable places on earth. Without Shirtcockers, Megaphones and Massive Thumping Soundsystems, it's just a bogus camping trip in bad weather with a shitload of cops. This year we will NOT be seeing the usual post-Burn MASSSIVE FLOOD of social media posts from Burners who lost their nice $60 water bottle/container somewhere on the playa, often accompanied by a story of why this particular water container was of importance because it has a strap on it, followed by a brief description of unique camps stickers on it and a photo of said missing water bottle/container. In fact, while we are starting to think about cutting costs -- How about lost and found stops giving a fuck about your overpriced water bottle. You lost it, Becky . . . let it go. You spent 20 times More Money on Cocaine for the week than the price of your fucking stoopid-Smart-Bottle-container. THE VIRTUAL BURN This year’s Virtual Burn brings about more questions than it does answers. How will Shirtcockers express their hatred of pants without a Burning Man? In a virtual world, they become no different than unsolicited dick pics. How will Artcar Owners be able to swing their metaphorical dicks around without their Artcars booming Deep House music to show the world their girth. Sure, you can build one in the Minecraft world for this years Burn . . .But lets face it: No one is gonna be like "Who did that 3D CAD drawing, I totally wanna fuck them!" What will all the Assholes with Megaphones do without Burners to heckle? Without handheld amplified audio devices and wide-open spaces, they become no different than Internet Trolls. How will Hippies on a Vision Quest be able find their spirit animal online? Without a guided shamanic ritual and Temple to burn, they become no different than someone playing Animal Crossing. If there is no moop or trash to clean up in a virtual Burning Man how can Moop-shamers be able to prove to campmates and others that they are better at "doing Burning Man " than everyone else? In a virtual world they become no different than a Sarah McLaughlin Green Peace commercial. How will Dooshbonnets and Dooshbags be able to gain followers on Instagram without the giant Robot Heart to climb? How can they show the world that they not only have braved the pool of Piranhas chomping for position for line, negotiated past the all-seeing and all-knowing doorgirl with a clipboard, proving that they have climbed both the social and physical ladder to reach the top of the Robot Heart, so that they may look down upon the lowly dancefloor with both spite and pity for the unwashed masses who where not able achieve such greatness. Without this accomplishment, they become no different than average Twitter users vying for Celebrity attention. How will Burning Man DJs be able to disappoint us with poorly executed timing and bullshit Michael Jackson remixes? Without huge Soundsystems to bang out the worst in modern electronic music, DJs just become . . . The SAME TERRIBLE DJs just now on Twitch! #playatech #Djstreaming #Djsofburningman Although each Virtual World must have been an amazing feat of programming in its scope and size, it kinda feels like a huge project that was done in a short amount of time. None of the Eight Worlds, in any way, reflect the typical Burning Man experience. However, there are a few non-official super realistic Burning Man simulators out there. By far the most realistic experience has to be the "Getting Out More This Year" Simulator. The player is welcomed to a rich and tangible 3D World of Chris's DopeAss 70s RV, which is camped way out on 4:30 and H, where your avatar can spend all day and all night doing fun things like Ketamine, or other colorful interactive game play such as snorting Ketamine, and even interact with the virtual Chris’s chat box and watch his avatar do Ketamine. Other game play options include doing Ketamine, talking about doing Ketamine and also doing Ketamine. The more days and nights spent doing Ketamine, the higher the score! If you want to experience what a typical Burner really does the whole week, than this one is for you!! Then we have: "Let's Go Party" . . . the online multi-player game where the objective is to get your group of more than 6 Burners to try and leave camp, and all go out to party together. I did not have much fun playing. I was never able to leave the front of camp. 14 hours of game play later, Brenda still needs to go back for chapstick and Ricky can’t find his bag of blow. Then once Brenda arrives ready, Kaleporia is cold and needs a scarf. Darkwad David is going back to get some blinky lights for the 3rd time. Now Timmy can't find his cigarettes . . . Fuck. “ManBun Boyfriend”. In this first person POV game, you (the ManBun) has little to no control within the game, with only a single "Ok, Sure" button to navigate within the world. The game play opens as the player is dragged out of bed at 6 AM by the onscreen girlfriend who takes you (the ManBun) on an treacherous journey of sunrise yoga classes, self help lectures, think and grow rich seminars, yoga, positive affirmation workshops, mindful guided mediations, yoga, healing arts ceremonies, wellness and well-being talks, yoga, vegan lifestyle in the new age conferences, yoga, mindful-and-wellness-group-chat and also yoga. Extra points if you can score a selfie in front of the Giant BELIEVE letters!! After 8 grueling hours of game play, it simply flashes a screen where girlfriend says "I'm Tired", and the “ManBun Boyfriend” simulator then restarts game play to opening sequence. “DJs Girlfriend”. This simulation offers a similar experience to “ManBun Boyfriend”. However, in this first person POV game, you (the DJs Girlfriend) is invited to Follow "Dj GlockTrigger" on a dubstep-and-monster-energy-drink-filled adventure as you (the DJs Girlfriend) is rushed from empty dancefloor to empty dancefloor, while picking up extra points if you can find him a "line of blow". After 12 hours of game play the screen flashes "Hey babe I'm gonna go drink with the boyies" and game play is reset. THE RANT I am not that great at finance. Obviously. I’ve been to Burning Man 22 times. That should tell you enough about my poor financial / life choices. But even this burnout Burner can do the math and see that the Burning Man Org is in financial trouble. Burning Man may need to sell out to save itself. It would not be the first time.. Burning Man "sold out" to the PsyTrance community in 1997. To help ticket sales, the Bay Area was flooded with seriously lame underproduced Rave flyers. Or maybe Dr. Dre can toss in a few million to keep The Org afloat once again. Or hey why don't we start tickling Elon Musk's balls again, and see if we can start choking on his shaft in return for some sweet corporate demon semen sponsorship. The Org has already gone pinky finger deep with him. Like when Tesla brought out a full-on Electric Car Expo. That's right, in 2007, at Burning Man, right at fucking Esplanade & 9:00, they had what can only be described as an “anonymous car dealership” from “the green future”, complete with lengthy-worded displays filled with lofty promises of clean energy, infused with subtle corporate propaganda. In the center of the exhibit sat a life-size solid black plastic model Tesla car. As well as someone on guard 24/7 to make sure no one tagged or fucked with the stoopid thing. I personally got chased out for drawing a dick in the DUST on the window! All I know is they should have burnt it down or blew it up by the end of the week, but that lame ass mother fucker was still there on Sunday when I journeyed back to draw a dick on it again -- this time with a PAINT PEN. After executing a perfect fat-sacked-choad-headed-donger on the hood, I was once again chased out by rangers, this time with pitchforks screaming bloody murder for my head!! Fuck you, Ranger Doug! You will never be able to prove that was Me!!! So Look, it's not the first time The Org spread its asscheeks for a little bit of corporate dick on the side. They also bent over back in 2013 and let Mark Fucking Zuckerberg bring a Giant Golden 'LIKE' sculpture out there. I just hope they did the right thing by the end of week and it was killed with fire. SO we know The Org is corporateBiCurious. Time to snuggle up, get out of the corporate cocksucking closet and cash in on the fact that this place sold out a long time ago. Start flirting with attractive corporate entities like Mark Z, the Google Boys, Elon, Tommy Boy from Myspace, or maybe even P-Diddy to toss in some cash to get this fucking party started again! Yo, Elon! How can we have Burning Man on Mars in 2050 as planned, if we can’t keep it going on Earth for the next 30 years? At this point, The Org can spread their legs in the backseat of that Tesla and change next years theme to Space-X. I could give a FUCK!!!!! As long as we can keep Old Naked Dudes On Bikes rolling free. Let some of these cocksucking limpdick corporations like Doritos -- who have already profited from using our Artcars and culture in a their fabricated commercials -- actually fucking pay us money and we will let them shoot a real commercial out there. Have fun pixelating the nipples out of the background actors. I COULD GIVE A FUCK as long as Shirtcockers have a natural habitat to dongslap and roam free. Let Brazzers.com build the Temple! I sincerely really don't care what they do . . . as long as Assholes with Megaphones have wide open spaces to heckle Burners in the Black Rock Desert like GOD intended. BACK TO BASICS : THE FESTIVAL WILL NEED TO RESEST Maybe The Org will stop fisting themselves in the burnhole with all the Cultural-Direction-Bullshit and get down to brass tax here. They have spent years trying to market the festival as a family-friendly-non-offensive-all-inclusive-experience for the suburban upperclass while still catering to the super elite. We need The Org to provide the DPW and Tickets . . . Not for Cultural Direction, or Large Scale Art Funding Circle Jerks, Abstract Charity Causes, International Involvement, or any of the Meaningless Feel-Good Propaganda tools they use to control the image of the festival! The number one focus from here on out needs to be the festival itself taking place once again in Black Rock City! This defacto-defunding of The Org is a blessing. Look, when it comes down to it, it's not about the lame fucking themes each year. It's about the Burners who come and contribute to the festival that makes it special. It’s not about overpriced art grants, or Rich-Dick Theme Camp placement priorities. It about the shitty unofficial un-themed camp at 7:00 and J blaring Discotrance music on a distorted soundsystem while giving away room temperature margaritas! I could give a fuck about all of the elaborate expensive blinking bullshit! Cuts cost! Make the Burning Man effigy from toothpicks for all I give a fuck. None of that shit really matters. The spirit of Burning Man is in the person giving away ice cream from a cooler out in deep playa on a hot afternoon. The soul of the festival is in Old Naked Dudes on a Bikes rolling free across the desert! The heart of the festival is the Nightmare Hippy Chick on Acid rolling around in the dust, screaming about her spirit vegetable. Believe me if The Org had its way, Burning Man would be nothing but Transformational Mediation Seminars, Yoga Classes, Ultra Overpriced Sculptures, and TED talks about how to get rich quick selling a new type of investment portfolio. I am perfectly happy with the crappy bars and half-assed theme camps that are there just to have a good time. We don't need The Org's unique brand of new age capital-elitism bullshit. They have clearly dropped the ball on the Cultural Direction for years, and the less they steer the ship, the better, cuz we have already washed up on the rocks. BULLSHIT CLICKBAIT “Top 10 Burning Man Pictures You Must See To Believe!” And once clicked, sure enough it’s nothing but a bunch of super basic-ass photos of some super-hot-Coachella-swinger-couple at sunset in front of the most gentrified “OMG I need to get a selfie in front that to show my followers on Instagram” artwork on the playa. You already know exactly where these fucksticks took the stoopid photo is front of, OF fucking course it's in front of the BELIEVE letters. It’s Basically the "live, laugh, love" of playa art. Really, I won't believe this ?! What I won't believe is that their relationship is going to last beyond next week . . . cuz there’s a 90% chance they are gonna join the wrong gangbang at the Orgy Dome and suddenly someone is not happy about the amount of buttfucking the other one received. Thanks Business Insider Magazine for exposing the public to the wild and crazy world that is Burning Man. Now every fucking Chad and Becky from Wall Street is trying to come here to get laid. "Bro if I was there I would bang so many Hot Chicks on top of those letters" . . . "OMG I LOVE those Letters!! We are SOOO going to Burning Man to meet our future husbands <3." How about 10 REAL photos you won’t believe? Too bad the cameras weren’t there to snap a picture of the guy who took a shower with a fat chick and midget porn star! It’s a shame no one from the Daily Mail UK was there to catch video of the guy who was tripping his nuts off and could not figure out how to unlock the door of the porta-potty -- escaping only by busting through the plastic roof and climbing out the top several hours later. Or how about that chick at the meditation camp that was able to summon a higher power of consciousness and transcended the spacetime continuum for a short/infinite amount of time! Where the fuck was BoredPanda.com to catch a photo of the person who was hit with a rubber dildo when it was carelessly thrown from the top of the Space Pirate ship into the Mayan Warrior crowd. Now That’s some real stuff that happens out there that I would be happy to clickbait on! THERE WILL BE SOME CHANGES MADE The Large Scale Art: Instead of funding massive installations that end up being resold to casinos on the Las Vegas strip, why not treat them like large Rich-Dick Theme Camps -- give the Installation Artists 200 DGS Tickets, and in return, these assholes will be happy to spend shitloads of money on blinky light towers or whatever, just so they can lock in those sweet sweet reserved tickets for themselves and their friends. The Tone: The Utopian Blinkylight Dreamscape has been cool for the past 16 years . . . Buuuut . . . it has gradually fallen out of touch with the world around us. For far too long, The Org has ignored camps or underfunded art that could be perceived as dark or controversial in any way, shape or form. Yet again, another example of their Cultural Direction Tactics to market Burning Man as a blinky-light-mickey-mouse-Epcot-Center for wealthy-business-insiders-and-celebrities featuring a safespace-family-oriented-wholesome-body-wellness-green-living-environment for social-media-influencer-photo-shoots. Burning Man has NEVER been a Safe place! In 1998, I witnessed a beheading by guillotine at the Opera Performance that was so realistic I spent the next 5 hours (still frying balls on acid!) convinced that Billy Graham was right about this place being a Satanic death cult that would bring about the end of the world. IT WAS DISTURBING! If the Barbie Death Camp incident at last years’ Burn taught us anything, it is that there clearly need to be risky and controversial works of art at the festival. We can't be having pussy-footed Australians throwing temper tantrums like little punk bitches CUZ they don't like the way someone put Barbie Dolls inside an oven! Why did that do-good-koala-humping-limpdick-ASS-licker think it was OK? Well . . .The Org has shoved the narrative that Burning Man is strictly "good vibes only" down our fucking throats so deep that we finally gagged from it. Why the fuck was that guy even there? Well, he clicked on the Business Insiders’ “Top Ten Burning Man Photos You Must See To BELIEVE” and thought it was gonna be nothing but butterfly sculptures and Instagram Models in front of giant letters. No Kids: Yep. Sorry Minecraft Burners, but you are gonna have to wait until you are 21 to come to this party! Renegotiating the insurance policy as an over-21 festival will save The Org millions and millions of dollars. Out of 80,000 people, less than .05% are under 21 . . .yet we have to check IDs at every fucking bar !? Every year the gate gets closed down and no one can filter in or out because someone asshole can't find their kid. This should be a HUGE red flag ! Law Enforcement uses the fact that minors are allowed at the event as justification to engage in predatory conduct such as undercover stings, camp raids and random tickets for unsuspecting bartenders who forget to check IDs. Also I am not comfortable with the legal grey area the Shirtcocking and Titbouncing in the presence of minors creates. And if it ever comes down to nudity versus allowing kids, I am sorry but we can't sacrifice the heart of this festival on account of the fact that you don't want to get a fucking babysitter for the week. Your kids could give a flying-donald-duck-fuck about Burning Man! You and I both know goddamn well that given the opportunity they would rather play video games for the week at grandma's house then have to listen to Mom and Dad fight at Burning Man all week about who got buttfucked by whom at the Orgy Dome. . . LEAVE THEM AT HOME!!!!!! So the rest of us can be free to fuck, drink, smoke and wave our goddamn dicks and clits around whereever we see fit!!! The Temple: In the early days of the David Best Temples, they were constructed from the leftover hollows of wooden dinosaur jigsaw puzzle pieces. It was low cost, recycled and pretty fucking cool! Last year’s Temple was overdesigned, structurally unsound, and made from rare rustic-oak hardwood and redwood trees imported from China. Let’s cut costs and just do what those guys from Belgium did in 2005. It's a Very Simple Plan. We get a shitload of old 2x4 boards and fucking Wing It! The Belgium Waffle House would have made a perfectly good Temple. Garbage Dumpsters: Yep, that's right. In the future we will have dumpsters at Burning Man! All the Survivalist and Moop-shaming Burners say it will destroy the festival. Guess what, Burn Nut? It's already common practice for larger theme camps to rent dumpsters that are emptied at the end of the week!! It's been going on for YEARS! So what? Theme Camps will now have to pay a dumpster fee and there will be strict rules around any public dumpsters. Believe me The Org will provide the minimum amount possible to accommodate the BLM. It won't be nearly enough dumpsters for everyone to just toss all their trash, recycling and extra bikes into. Don't worry, Radical Self-Reliant Survivalist Burnertypes, other people will still have to suffer packing up and dealing with their own trash on the ride home. Moop-shamers rejoice! You will definitely still be able to shame people for mooping and not cleaning up, if not even more so now. I don't see why we can't be Radically Self-Reliant by having dumpsters on site. We will still Leave No Trace, while leaving one less thing for surrounding communities to bitch about. Build the Wall !!! Ya fuck it! Build the Wall. So what? Honestly, it will be more aesthetically pleasing than that fucking orange fence. And if that is what the Feds want, that's cool with me -- as long as The Org gets to choose who does Security! Thank fucking god we are not doing Burning Man this year. With the world on fire all around us, it seems a bit tone-def to hold a giant rave utopia party! I, for one, will be enjoying the week indoors under air-conditioning and rolling around in the heaps of cash I am saving by not going. I’m not attending a single workshop to expand my consciousness, not giving a single gift to anyone, and not being radical or self-reliant in any way. Fuck your Virtual Burn. I am Zapper Jones. I will see you in the Dust again . . . Sometime Somewhere in the Future!
Overview · Name of Run: Housewarming Gift · Run Link:https://www.reddit.com/NeonAnarchy/comments/kapd4j/housewarming_gift_20201213_2359_utc_aka_700/ · Date: 2020-12-13 · Time: 23:59 UTC · Duration: 4.5 hours · Threat: Medium · Scheduling: Scheduled, picked 24 hours in advance · GM:u/MyxieTryxle MyxieTryxle#7733 · Runners:Floxxenbox, Mirai, Professor, Shadow, XX · Johnson: Lillian O’Hara · Relevant NPCs: Janet Pendergast, Crowbar, Guillermo, Bootstrap, Lucky Eddy · Location: Bellevue · Opposition: R4 host, members of an ork thrash metal band, one painfully outclassed housewife · Casualties: Janet Pendergast’s self esteem and reputation within the Diamond Cove community · Collateral: Some lighting and sound gear, Guillermo’s cyberdeck · Synopsis: Angry housewife hires runner team to embarrass her rival for pushing her out of the party planning committee. Hilarity ensues. · Run Rewards: 24,000 nuyen or 4,000 nuyen plus 30,000 critter credit (Shadow gained 2500 extra, three of the others lost 1000 gambling), 3 karma, 2 knowledge karma, Contact Lillian O’Hara (3/1 Gear [Critters], Already Trained) (2 extra points for going slightly over on time and seriously impressing the Johnson) “Welcome to the Gates Casino in Bellevue! We noticed you’re carrying a properly registered cyberdeck in compliance with all local regulations. We would like to remind you that when it comes to security at the Gates Casino, the house always wins. Thank you for your consideration, and please enjoy your stay.” Action Report: The team headed to the Gates Casino for a private game under the party Siberian Tiger. They spoke to Ms. J, who offered them 4k up front, and 4k for each embarrassing event they could do to sabotage a holiday seasonal party by a group of orks that had moved into her neighborhood. The team accepted and got the full details, then stuck around the casino doing a little gambling while the matrix folks did some searches. Shadow ended up taking 2500 starting nuyen in gambling from the other runners, who lost their money to their teammate and the house. Floxxenbox and Mirai picked up a wealth of information on the house where the party was taking place and the members of the band. They produce thrash metal music emphasizing messages of weathering oppression, standing up to authority, and speaking out for the downtrodden. Lead Singer Crowbar (Alice Cross, oni subtype, mage), electric guitar Guillermo (Guillermo Rojo, heavy cyberware, decker, camera drones), bass and backup vocals Bootstrap (Danny Smith, personal cyberware), drums Lucky Eddy (Eddy Holland, social/physical adept). Members of the team started to express concern about messing with these orks, but a job is a job. They drove down to Diamond Cove to scope out the mansion. Professor talked them past a very confused and accidentally racist KE gate guard. XX did an overhead flight while the matrix team dived the host and Shadow assensed the building and its inhabitants. They stole a few files from the host and the bands’ commlinks, adding themselves to the VIP registry for the event and digging up info on the catering services, fireworks, and most importantly a conversation among the band about the insufferable shrew that is Janet Pendergast. Janet was the one calling the shots for the Diamond Cove community in regards to holiday parties and social events. Piecing the parts together, they realized Ms. J (real name Lillian O’Hara) was actually out for revenge on Janet for stealing her seat as head of the party planning committee for Diamond Cove. The orks had got themselves in the middle of a Real Housewives of King County situation. They formulated their plan and waited for the party in two days, hopeful that they could go through with the job without messing the band up so much. At the party, XX flew above as a bird. Mirai conked out in the back of Professor’s car. Professor, Shadow, and Floxxenbox joined the festivities. They found Janet in the back yard near the grill, trying to convince her high-class friends and neighbors that this party was a good and fun idea. First order of business, Operation Dirty Bird. Mirai hacked into the host and grabbed a feed from the camera nearest Janet. Mirai marked the target with an ARO of a toilet bowl, and XX dive bombed the unsuspecting woman. She ran to the nearest bathroom while Bootstrap pointed and laughed, drawing the attention of the crowd and enhancing the poor woman's embarrassment. When Janet emerged fifteen minutes later with soaked hair, Floxxenbox messed with the sound check on the stage where the band was about to perform. Janet ran over to the technician, screaming at him to turn it down to a reasonable level. Shadow debuffed Janet with confusion, causing her to fail a composure roll and go full Karen 9000 on the technician and his sound controls. Flox flipped the house music to a special mix of the smooth jazz elf band Dear Molly. The message “Janet’s Favorites <3 Dear Molly” popped onto the backdrop display of the stage, and the entire party stopped for two seconds. After two seconds of silence, pure outrage poured out of the mansion. Boos and jeers issued forth while Ms. J moved to the back of the house to see the product of her purchase. Janet fled toward the front of the house, deeply distressed at everything that was happening and lacking the mental faculties to deal with the situation. Professor followed Janet to the front of the house, plying her with drinks and encouraging words that she couldn’t leave now if she wanted to save face and show everyone how brave and capable she was. Thanks to the alcohol (and an ongoing confusion effect), it didn’t take much for him to bring her back into the fold just as the concert started. Flox crowdsurfed the concert, taking a hefty jostling and several boxes of stun for her efforts, but it was totally worth it cause Mirai caught the whole thing on video. When the set ended, Lucky Eddy did his customary drum solo to close out the night, then jumped up to the front of the stage and screamed “Show’s over. Who wants to fight Lucky Eddy?” Poor Janet, addled by booze and magic and bolstered by Professor’s pep talk, walked up onto stage without realizing her peril. Lucky Eddy cracked his knuckles, said “Oh, I’ve been waiting for this chance,” and picked Janet bodily up off the stage. Shadow dropped the confusion spell, and Janet came to her senses just long enough to understand what was happening to her as Lucky Eddy carried her down the docks and threw her into the lake. Mirai and Shadow kicked into the final phase of the operation: Haunted House. Shadow summoned an air spirit to cast fear spells on a drunk trophy wife. She fell into the pool in her panic, leading to a scene. Mirai hacked the trideo, audio, and lights, creating spooky effects and yelling “Everyone run!” The party fell apart as XX added kiai to the mix, with high class socialites running for their cars and diehard fans of the band leaving, declaring it the best concert yet. Mirai landed a nasty hit on Guillermo’s deck. Since he couldn’t find her, and there was weird technomancer shenanigans happening, he cut power to the entire house. The party dispersed with guests in various degrees of panic, and Ms. J was very pleased. Given that the team figured out her real vendetta was with Janet and took great pains to specifically embarrass the rival, she offered to extend their credit for the run if they wanted something from her store, Lillian’s Loyal Companions, and offered her services as a contact.
Today I signed the first few pages of hiring paperwork for my dream job.
I started learning how to play poker when I was 11 years old. One of my favorite uncles (Mind you, they were all pretty much my favorite. I have a wonderful extended family.) came into town one holiday and sat me down and taught me the basics of Texas Hold ‘Em. I played off and on in person and online for the following years to come. When I was 16, my mother remarried a man who hosted a “dealer’s choice” quarter game every Sunday and had done so for 30 years prior. When I was 18, I was finally allowed to play in that game. I played with those old heads for three or four years before I moved to another part of the state. After high school I had absolutely zero idea what I wanted to do with my life and I had accrued debt long before I realized how that would negatively affect my life. So I did a lot of various entry level jobs, bouncing across various cities and states trying to find myself. After a bit of soul-searching and a series of random (and some unfortunate) events, I found myself, giddy as all get-out, to be in a blackjack dealer training class. After six weeks of unpaid training and a lot of practice, the day before Thanksgiving 2017 I started my career of dealing cards. It was a start for me, but from day one I said “I became a dealer to deal Poker.” With my love for card games, it wasn’t hard to see from day one how much I absolutely adored the casino atmosphere, especially on the weekends when the bands are playing and people are dancing and drinking and having a good time (pre-COVID I mean, things are weird now) and I was never afraid to dance around and have fun on any table while dealing whatever game that I was scheduled on. In my previous casino, every dealer was required to deal Blackjack and core games like Let-It-Ride, 3-Card Poker and 4-Card Poker. Dealers could take additional games if they wanted, like Roulette, Baccarat, Craps, and Poker, but regardless of the additional games that you take, every dealer is still required to deal Blackjack or core games if needed at any time. With that being said, for the last three years in my casino every player, coworker, floor, pit boss, manager knew I was there for the poker room and dealt poker every single chance I got. My passion for poker and my desire to travel the world and become the greatest poker dealer that I could become in this life was never a secret. Well in August, due to a very horrible series of life events, I left the casino that I had loved for so many years and had to move out of my apartment and back in with family to get my bearings back and figure out the next steps to take. I decided to try something that I wasn’t sure I would be able to do. Go from my tiny town casino where I dealt Poker and Tables Games alike to a Poker Room where I would be dealing Poker and Poker only. So! After all of that backstory and introduction (Sorry, I don’t get out much) I’m writing this today because I had gotten the call from my first choice casino today and I found out that I had passed my audition and they were extending an offer of employment to me and I was to start the onboarding process as soon as possible! From what I’ve gathered, this Poker Room is one of the best on this side of the country. So.. I’m telling you, internet, because I thought maybe in this horrible, crappy time you guys may enjoy hearing a story of a girl receiving the job of her dreams today. I’m pretty stoked. Holy cricket this is happening!
August 19th - Welcome Bugs ArchKnights Shoutout to the new bug catchers August 21st - MindBreaker WyvernRider Set Exclusive set now on sale for $$$ August 21st - Return to the Nightmare Realm MindBreaker class no longer exclusive + weekend event
Aion North America August 18th - August Store Update Cash shop update - transformation items August 19th - Class Master Event Massive 24hour buff based on day/class and new event currency August 19th - Patch Notes: Shadows Over Balaurea Update Class balancing and other minor changes Aion Europe August 19th - UPDATE 7.6: NOW LIVE! 2 new ultimate transformations August 21st - WHEEL OF DESTINY Lootbox has returned August 21st - WEEKEND SPECIALS Minionite random box available
August 19th - The Offseason Crystal Tournament Starts Saturday First-ever offseason crystal tournament August 19th - Rise of Avalon Patch 1 - Ver. 1.17.404 / REV 172780 - 19 August 2020 Corrupted/hellgate changes + bug fixes August 21st - Guild Spotlight: Fire With Fire Interview with a guild
August 19th - Pearl Shop Update: A Camp and a Keeper Cash shop update August 19th - Summer Gets Twice as Sweet! Summer event extension August 19th - Patch Notes - 19th August 2020 Class balancing and other minor changes August 19th - Mysteries of Summer: A Tale of a Fallen Kingdom II Mysterious summer event August 21st - Mysteries of Summer: A Tale of a Fallen Kingdom II Guide Guide to the mysterious summer event August 21st - Stay Healthy with the Black Spirit! Free stuff because corona...
August 17th - Hongsil’s Treasure Draw (August 2020) Lootbox is back August 17th - Midsummer Events Extravaganza Preview End of summer events August 17th - Summer Chill Event Preview Summer event to get swimsuits August 18th - Midnight Reborn is Now Live! Content update August 20th - Dawning Star Costume Crate Now Available! Lootbox for costumes and pets
August 17th - SALVAGE AND SELL EVENT AUGUST 20 - 25 Marketplace event August 18th - PS4 NEW PLAYER CLOSED BETA FAQ FAQ for PS4 CB Players August 18th - SUMMER OUTFITS AND NEW MOUNT! Cash shop sale August 20th - PS4 CLOSED BETA STARTS TODAY 8/20/2020 PS4 CB Launch August 21st - SWEET BLUSH SHEEP PLUSH CONCEPT ART SPOTLIGHT! Insight into the sweet blush sheep plush design August 21st - BLESS UNLEASHED INTERVIEW WITH KOVEN PARK Interview
August 17th - Leve Turn in Checkbox and Additional Housing Leve quest changes August 20th - Adventurer Celebration Sale Ending Soon! Cash shop sale August 20th - The Rising Returns! Anniversary event returns
August 19th - Cash Shop Update for August 19 Cash shop update August 19th- v.216 - Astral Blessings Update Preview Update preview and end of burning world August 21st - What's Your MapleStory? - EvanelleOnyx Interview with player
August 17th - Avernus Hunt Key Bundle! New key bundle available August 17th - Patch Notes: Version: NW.122.20200708b.16 The first part of the redeemed citadel is now available August 19th - 2x Storm King's Thunder Currency! Get 2x storm king’s currency till the 27th August 19th - 2x Glory! 2x PvP points August 20th - 20% off Companions! Cash shop sale August 20th - VIP Only - 50% off Improved Bag of Holding! Rank 3 VIP members 50% discount
August 17th - Harvest Fan Art Competition Runners-Up Runner up submissions for art contest August 18th - Patch 3.11.1f Deployment and Full Patch Notes Patch notes August 19th - Harvest Statistics: Unique Items, Maps and the Most Deadly Areas Statistics..idk I don’t play PoE August 20th - Path of Exile Is Coming to macOS in September! PoE coming to macOS August 21st - Racing Gauntlet Community Event This Weekend - Huge Sale on Footprints, Portals and Character Effects Community event + cash shop sale
August 17th - CAMPAIGN: COMPLETE CLIENT ORDERS! (8/19) Party with others and get rewards August 17th - CELEBRATING 1,000,000 ARKS! Event August 18th - URGENT QUESTS & CONCERTS: AUGUST 2020 - PART 2 More Events and in game concert August 18th - NEW URGENT QUEST: DIGNITY OF STEEL UNLEASHED New urgent quests August 18th - NEW URGENT QUEST: THE LUNAR PHANTASM MATRIARCH New urgent quests August 18th - CAMPAIGN: QUEST TRIGGER DISTRIBUTION (8/19) Quest trigger handout + sale August 18th - FUN SCRATCH TICKET: AUGUST 2020 - PART 2 New lootbox rotation August 18th - AC SCRATCH TICKET: EARTH DEFENDERS (8/19) New lootbox August 19th - NEW CONCERT: ARKS DANCE FESTIVAL! New concert schedule August 20th - CASINO BOOSTS (8/23) Better chances to win at the casino August 21st - ACCOUNT MEASURES TAKEN FOR DISHONEST ACTS RMT and harassment bans August 21st - PSO2 DAY: PREMIUM USER APPRECIATION DAY User appreciation event
August 17th - Cross Faction Support Carrier Bundle New carriers on the C-Store August 19th - PC Patch Notes for 8/20/20 Minor bug fixes August 20th - 20% Ship Sale! Cash shop sale August 21st - Carrier Bundle Wallpaper! Downloadable wallpaper
August 17th - This Week in Star Citizen Weekly recap August 18th - August 2950 Subscriber Promotions Subscriber stuff August 19th - KAIZEN: Interview with Imperator Candidate Mira Ngo Lore dump August 19th - Star Citizen & Squadron 42 Roadmap Update Updates to the development roadmap August 19th - Foundational Moments in Human History Lore dump August 21st - TRANSMISSION Insights into the FPS weapons and systems August 21st - Environment Art AMA Recap Recap of AMA
August 18th - Weekly Bonus Event: Arena Skirmishes PvP arena event August 19th - Follow the Tides of Music From Battle for Azeroth Listen to the BFA OST August 19th - Shadowlands Preview: A New Look for the WoW Companion App Preview of changes to the companion app August 19th - Arena World Championship Circuit Viewer's Guide Watch the pvp world championship starting aug 22nd August 20th - Engineer’s Workshop: Recreating the Ahn’Qiraj War Effort Development insights August 22nd - Engineer’s Workshop: Enabling Ray-Traced Shadows in Shadowlands Development insights August 22nd - Cataclysm: Mounts, Pets, and More How to get stuff from Cataclysm August 22nd - Hotfixes: August 21, 2020 Bug fixes
August 4th - The BugHunters are recruiting Looking for players to assist the QA team find bugs August 7th - NecroTech Knight Upgrade Bonus New set available when you spend $10 or more August 7th - Demon Queen Boss Battle Indonesian independence day event
Aion North America August 5th - Frosty Fever Event Summer PvE event - get loot or buffs Aion Europe August 5th - THE GREAT DAEVANION EVENT Event - higher chance to upgrade daevanion gear August 5th - REVENGE OF THE GRANKER KING Event - kill special mobs in gelk/ing and get loot August 7th - WHEEL OF DESTINY Loot box promotion August 7th - WEEKEND SPECIALS Cash shop promotion
August 4th - New Player Video Guides AO mod created YT ch that answers common questions August 5th - Guild Spotlight: Victi Omnes Interview with a guild August 5th - First Look: The Rogue Adventurer Bundle Promotion for a new cash shop outfit and mount set August 6th - Watch the Crystal League Finals on AlbionTV Guild season is coming to an end August 7th - The Offseason Crystal Tournament is Coming Tournament announcement
August 5th - Loyal Attendance Rewards Refreshed Daily attendance rewards have been changed August 5th - Pearl Shop Update: Enhancement Pack Cash shop update + new cash shop outfit available August 5th - Patch Notes - 5th August 2020 Bug fixes, events and class balancing August 5th - Great Summer Festival Summer event
August 5th - SUMMER SALES: FINAL MARK-DOWN! Merch store discount August 5th - ANKAMA LAUNCHER: NEW INTERFACE FOR ALL YOUR GAMES! Revamped game launcher is available August 7th - ANKAMA LIVE: DOFUS RETRO SPECIAL EDITION Livestream and in-game event details August 7th - THE RETURN OF GROZILLA AND GRASMERA Monster hunt event August 7th - [CONTEST] INTERNATIONAL BOW MEOW DAY! International cat day event - screenshot contest
August 3rd - CROWN STORE SHOWCASE—AUGUST 2020 Cash shop sale August 6th - ANNOUNCING ESO’S NEXT-GEN SUPPORT PS5 and Xbox SX will be supported August 6th - SAVE UP TO 50% AND PLAY FREE DURING QUAKECON AT HOME Free play week and discount on cash shop currency
August 4th - METALIMINAL STORMS - NEW UPDATE Spacestorms will appear at random in nullsec space August 6th - SLICE OF LIFE Upcoming stream promotion and PvP event details August 7th - FOUNDATION DAY EVENT IS LIVE Login, get free stuff August 7th - NEW ABYSSAL PROVING GROUNDS EVENT PvP event details August 7th - UPCOMING ABYSSAL PROVING GROUNDS EVENTS Upcoming PvP event details
August 3rd - Unveiling The Voracious Resurgence Special Website! Special site is up for a new storyline in the world of Vana’diel August 5th - The Sunbreeze Festival Summer event is back August 7th - Discount Campaign Get the game along with all the expansions for $9.99 USD August 7th - Return home to Vana’diel campaign Returning players event August 7th - Presenting a New Wallpaper Commemorating The Voracious Resurgence! Download a new wallpaper by Akihiro Yamada
August 3rd - Watch the Latest Installment of Duty Commenced US team’s live stream. August 3rd - FINAL FANTASY XIV Fan Kit Released! Wallpapers release for mobile and desktop August 3rd - Letter from the Producer LIVE Part LIX Digest Released Dev talk replay available August 5th - Changes to the FINAL FANTASY XIV Starter Edition Heavensward added to the starter edition August 5th - Changes to A Realm Reborn Main Scenario Quest Requirements Store progression in the base game has been updated August 6th - Patch 5.3─Reflections in Crystal Site Update Teaser site updated August 7th - Patch 5.3 Notes (Preliminary) Patch notes for upcoming 5.3 patch
August 4th - Festival of the Four Winds 2020 Begins Next Week Annual summer event returns August 4th - Cool Off under Your Ice Reaver Cape Cash shop update August 7th - World vs. World Weeklong Bonus Returns August 14 PvP channel event
August 5th - 2x Underdark Campaign Currency! Double currency drop event August 6th - Limited Time Magnificent Keyring! Lootbox promotion August 7th - Updated Roadmap Q&A Stream - August 11, 2020 Roadmap Q&A Stream on Aug 11th
August 3rd - Our 3.12 Expansion Timeline Dates for upcoming content August 3rd - Afterlife cat pet New cash shop pet available August 4th - Harvest fan art competition highlights Featured fan art from ongoing competition August 4th - Undead outcast helmet skin New cash shop item August 5th - Harvest statistics: crafts, lifeforce and the avatar of the grove Stats on the most used crafts August 5th - Doomcrow wings New cash shop item August 6th - Community Organized Event - 8 Day Racing Gauntlet Starts on August 22nd! Racing event August 6th - Automation lightning armour set New cash shop outfit August 7th - Community showcase Fan art highlight August 7th - New Skill Effects and Super Stash Sale New cash shop cosmetics
August 3rd - FUN SCRATCH TICKET: AUGUST 2020 - PART 1 Lootbox promotion August 3rd - MISSION PASS: SEASON 6 Monthly achievement system rewards August 3rd - AC SCRATCH TICKET: MAESTRO SUMMONER Lootbox promotion August 4th - PSO2 ON STEAM: BONUS LOGIN REWARDS! Bonuses for logging in through steam August 4th - CAMPAIGN: JOIN AN ALLIANCE! (8/5) Join an alliance, get rewards August 4th - CHALLENGE OTHERS IN THE BATTLE ARENA! New PvP content August 4th - LEVEL UP FASTER WITH BONUS QUESTS! Leveling event August 4th - CAMPAIGN: WELCOME BACK TO PSO2! Returning player event August 5th - URGENT QUESTS & CONCERTS: AUGUST 2020 - PART 1 Event August 5th - NEW URGENT QUEST: BEACH WARS! Summer event August 5th - BEACH WARS BEACH-WEAR! Summer cash shop promotion August 5th - NEW REWARDS BUNDLE FOR XBOX GAME PASS ULTIMATE MEMBERS! Xbox game pass ultimate members will get rewards August 5th - NEW EPISODE 4 LAUNCH BUNDLES! Cash shop bundles August 5th - SUMMER IN PSO2! Summer event details August 5th - PSO2: STEAM LAUNCH REWARDS Rewards for playing through steam August 5th - CASINO BOOSTS & BONUSES! (8/8) Casino promotion
August 4th - AuguST ST STreak - x1.5 XP and droprates! Discord Q&A! Janus is there too. 1.5x event August 5th - Patch Notes 22.214.171.124 - Oryx changes, Discord Nitro Boosting Rewards and more Patch notes... duh
August 3rd - Free Lower Decks Duty Officers! Get officers from the new show to join your crew August 3rd - PC and Console Patch Notes for 8/4/20 Events, balancing and minor fixes August 5th - PC Patch Notes for 8/6/20 bug fixes
August 3rd - August 3rd - This Week in Star Citizen Weekly insight August 4th - Portfolio: Otoni Group Lore August 4th - DISCOVER THE SPEED, POWER, AND UTILITY OF NEW & REWORKED VEHICLES Overpriced vehicles for sale August 5th - ALPHA 3.10 FLIGHT & FIGHT Patch highlights August 6th - Star Citizen Monthly Report: July 2020 Monthly update on development August 7th - TRANSMISSION Inside star citizen stream PTU August 7th - TRANSMISSION Weapons creation process August 7th - Roadmap Roundup - August 7th, 2020 Dev decision insights
August 3rd - Get ready for TERA in 64-bit! 64bit tera client coming soon August 3rd - Get Ready to Mask Up! Buy digital masks and support real doctors August 6th - TERA Battle Arena Update: Gameplay Patch preview
August 3rd - Medeina's FLEX BOX Do content, get boxes, open for loot August 3rd - Summer TOSventure Event Summer event August 4th - Like & Comment Event: ToS Task Force is back with Second Event! Facebook event August 4th - World Map Reorganization World map update preview August 4th - Update Plans for the Second Half of 2020 Update plans August 5th - New Original Sound Tracks Available - August OST Video
August 4th - Take the Lunar Plunge until August 18 Event August 4th - Dive into Deals for Lunar Plunge until August 18 Cash shop promotion August 7th - Luxion’s First Arrival in August – Lasts until Aug. 10 Luxion’s store refresh
August 5th - SUMMER SALES: FINAL MARK-DOWN! Merch store discount August 5th - ANKAMA LAUNCHER: NEW INTERFACE FOR ALL YOUR GAMES! New game launcher August 6th - SHELLS AND CRUSTACEANS PACK Cash shop promotion
August 3rd - WoW Classic Ahn’Qiraj: The Scarab Lords are Rising! Join the war effort August 4th - The Pet Battle Bonus Event Has Begun! Pet PvP event August 4th - Jump Into This Week’s PvP Brawl: Hotmogu Weekly PvP rotation August 4th - Explore the Temple of Ahn’Qiraj and Ruins of Ahn’Qiraj Raid content available
An unnecessarily long analysis as to why I think Ride or Die is the best written book in Pixelberry's library
Okay, I want to start this by saying that while Endless Summer is my favorite book due to emotional attachment (Yeah, this is no longer the case as of October 31st, ROD GOAT) I still think that Ride or Die comfortably surpasses it and every other Choices story when it comes to writing quality. I've been consuming some truly kino media like Steins;Gate, The Last of Us Part II and Better Call Saul in the past few months but seeing that the tumblr side of the fandom was having a ROD Appreciation Week made me have the book constantly wrestling for time in my mind along all those other things that I greatly enjoyed (Obviously, I'm not trying to imply this is anywhere near the same level of quality as these other pieces, cause that'd just be stupid) but yeah, I've been wanting to talk in depth about why I hold Ride or Die in such high regard for a long time now, so this post is for me, for anyone else that might be big fans of the book or even for people that didn't like it and don't understand why it's a fan favorite. It's also my late, not proofread contribution to the appreciation week since I can't really draw for shit. PREMISE AND THEMES Quick summary, it’s a story about growing up and finding oneself that focuses on an 18 year old girl in her last weeks of high school that joins a criminal crew without even realizing it due to her sheltered life making her feel like she missed out on her teenage years for the past 5 years since, after her mother’s death, her dad became incredibly protective of her. As she grows attached to the crew she gets deeply immersed in their world until she realizes what the pursue of freedom, fast cars and bad boys/girls truly entails. Of course, you all know that. So, themes. Most Choices stories don’t have any big, noticeable theme that encompasses the entire story they’re trying to tell, which is completely fine since you can still write a good, compelling story without it (Unless you’re David Benioff). Of course, while not necessary, overarching themes elevate a story a lot more in my eyes if executed properly and I feel like Ride or Die excels at it. And what are these themes? Well, obviously, it’s up to every individual’s interpretation but to me the three biggest stand outs are freedom, obviously; the choice between someone’s own past and future; and how the typical Bad Boy Romance is not always the cheesy, idealized life most of us are used to. I’ll explain how the story presents these themes in the following segments. ELLIE WHEELER, aka THE MC I’ve raved about her at almost every chance I get because I feel like I can make a pretty compelling argument as to why she’s the best MC and one of the best characters PB’s ever written, but it’s about time I finally sat down to properly explain this stance. I might refer to her as Ellie at times instead of MC since I just don’t like having an essay this big and introspective and just referring to her as MC, even if I didn’t actually keep her default name myself. So, let’s start from what most of the ROD MC masterrace knows about, she’s different from 95% of the MCs. She has a clear goal, a clear personality and, one of the most rare traits in MCs, her dad’s an actual character and he has an actual relationship with her. She’s also far from perfect, she’s an incredibly smart young woman that lacks “street” knowledge and as she gets in deeper and deeper with the MPC, her previous and new relationships suffer because of it, because she doesn’t know how to juggle both sides of her life. The hardships Ellie has to face are both products of the environment she lives in and a product of her mistakes, which acts as a nice balance so that she doesn’t come of as a bumbling idiot that fucks up everything for everyone and an overly perfect protagonist who’s only flaw is that the world just plots against her so that there can be a story to tell. Her goal is a pretty simple one, she wants to go to Langston university, her dream school. The thing that stands out to me is how she never betrays her dream and it’s always present in the back of her mind, well, technically you can choose to skip out on all of her classes but that always seemed really out of character to me, so I’m not really taking that into account, since she expresses that she loves to learn and she sees it as a challenge to be better than herself from yesterday. She manages to involve Logan into her school life so she isn’t fully distracted from her studies and even when she’s living on the Gramercy Garage, she still finds time to study for her finals. Even when everything goes to shit and she starts losing sight of who she is, Logan, Colt and Mona know that being a criminal is not the life she’s meant to live and it isn’t until after prom that she realizes who she really is. There’s so many choices throughout the story that, while ultimately not relevant to the outcome, I feel can add a lot of character to her if you’re willing to “headcanon” a bit, so minor things such as picking the color of her car due to it being the same as Logan’s or the one Colt or Mona suggested, choosing to listen to rap music as she’s driving the MPC around since it can be seen as a rebellious sort of music that her dad probably wouldn’t have approved of, treating Brent’s party invitation as something of no importance to her, getting a tattoo… wait this one’s supposed to be big, why does no one acknowledge it dammit? Then there’s also some bigger choices such as her being able to tell Riya that she’s most excited about being able to leave LA on the first chapter or being able to choose to stay with Logan and help him fight Salazar, choosing to focus on her studies even when living with the MPC, and so on. Now, how is she tied to the themes I mentioned above? Well, it’s clear that her desire for freedom and independence is what initially leads her to want to be a part of the MPC’s life, when Kaneko brought her to the garage for the first time she didn’t quite see them as criminals, but as people that lived as they wanted and were still, well, humans. She’s constantly seeking her own freedom from her dad’s overbearing presence and from her own boring life and she achieves it twice, one is the fake freedom she got when she ran away after her dad found out about her involvement with the MPC and the second one is what I like to think of as her true freedom. The definition of true freedom is tied to the second theme I mentioned, the choice between past and future, after the Brotherhood attacks her and her LI after prom she realizes that she can no longer try to keep on living both lives, the nerdy valedictorian girl and the criminal that gets a thrill by being behind the wheel, the inability to choose between one and the other is what initially landed her into that mess and it’s only by finally choosing that she’s able to get herself and everyone else from the MPC out. It’s a very unique way of showing a character being strong, she got herself out of the mess she herself helped cause and she did it without the conventional strengths of MCs such as being a warrior queen, a part of an alien entity that transcends time or a literal vampire. Ultimately, she chose to embrace her future (And her past, in a roundabout way), her long time dream, which meant letting go of the life and people that once made her feel so free and alive and by doing so, she got the freedom she desired so much while also finding who she truly was and what she valued in life. That’s also tied to the third main theme I mentioned, in the end she couldn’t keep on living an idealized version of the bad boy romance where you get to keep a good life out of living on the wrong side of the law and while I could definitely go more in depth about how she embodies this theme, I’ll do that when I talk about other characters, since I’ve already talked about about Ellie a lot. LOGAN The cover boy, the boy with the car, the “bad boy”, the mandatory “good boi” LI, the only Love Interest that has managed to rival Quinn Kelly in terms of how much I love them. I feel like the love for all 3 LIs is mostly evenly distributed on this sub but I’ve definitely seen some people say that Logan is kinda boring compared to Colt and Mona and honestly, that just couldn’t be further from the truth in my mind. Prepare for another long ass analysis. Being a fan of the anime/manga series Attack on Titan has made me gain a great, great appreciation for story recontextualization and that narrative element is exactly what Logan brings to the story at the end of Chapter 10 and boy, did Luke and the team knock that shit out of the park with how they implemented that tool into their story. ROD Ch. 10 is notorious for being the chapter that officially turned the book from an initially hated book that people were slowly warming up to, to a current fan favorite as far as online communities are concerned, seriously, you can look up the discussion for that chapter in the search bar and the first comment you’ll see if someone taking back everything negative they said about the book and then it’s just constant praising for the next 6 weeks. Why did all of that happen? Because of how much starts making sense or becoming clearer because of the reveal that Logan initially started dating (?) MC because he was trying to get whatever intel her dad had on them from her, seriously, everything becomes so clear after the end of the chapter, everything starts falling into place like a carefully crafted Lego build, be it for the stories’ themes or for characterization of characters like Colt, Mona, Kaneko, Jason and Logan himself. Let’s focus on Logan for now though. A couple of chapters in, as we start learning more about his life, we can see that Logan is someone that’s never truly had someone in his life that could show him true human love and bonds, the closest he has to that prior to Ellie is his “cousin” Vaughn. Initially, it seems like a weak attempt at making the titular bad boy seem like a layered character, specially since he seemingly just fell for a random girl that literally stumbled upon him on a high school parking lot, but in reality the reason his fake interest in Ellie started to become reality was exactly because of the lack of proper, meaningful connections, which we couldn’t have known until after Colt reveals the truth. As we know, Logan always had the mentality that, no matter how good a crew might be, he should always be ready to bail when the heat is too much, that’s a philosophy that he adopted and he knows that any criminal that’s as good as him will share the same sentiment, which proves to be the case when the MPC immediately disbands after Kaneko’s death... but Ellie isn’t a hardened, professional criminal, she’s a girl that, while certainly enamored by the allure of their life, still sees them as people, not as mere means to an end that are just fun to hang out with, which is why she doesn’t run away after the escape from the mall or the encounter with Salazar’s crew at the drive-in cinema, that’s not something Logan thinks people are capable of, why would such a saint of a girl not get away from them after things like that? That’s when Logan’s guilt enters the scene. He tries to undo what he now considers to have been a great mistake since he’s slowly catching real feelings for the girl that was just supposed to spill all of Detective Wheeler’s info and leave them as soon as she realized how dangerous their life was, but how is he supposed to do that now when doing so would mean losing this person that’s so incredibly unique in his world? We see how his guilt starts weighing on him more and more as the story progresses, until he almost does something very stupid by almost revealing the truth right before the stadium job, so he probably wouldn’t have lasted much without revealing it but, for better or worse, Colt was the one that did it for him and once again Logan turns Ellie’s whole world upside down. For the rest of the book, he does everything in his power to show her that, while he was lying in the beginning, he actually did come to care for her a lot (even if his actions might’ve pushed her into the arms of Colt or Mona, or at least acted as the final push in their routes). After the MPC disbanded there was only one person I could see appearing on Riya’s doorstep when I played through ROD during release and that was Logan, because it just made all the sense in the world in my mind. Backtracking a bit, we know from his two diamond scenes on the early chapters that Logan dropped out of high school but he always liked to learn about random stuff, hence him reading while on the road, and that he always toyed with the idea of going back (He also says that he’d probably be graduating that year if he hadn’t dropped out, which tells us that he’s the youngest of the 3 LIs, which is a neat detail), so I always saw that as him showing up not just for Ellie’s sake but also for himself in a way, since it’d be a good way to live out the life he never had, even if just for a few hours. Speaking of prom night, I absolutely adore how when he tells Ellie he loves her, she can reply with “Logan… no you don’t.” since it’s only natural she wouldn’t believe him 100% since not only did they get together through a web of lies spun by him and Kaneko, but because as far as she knows, Logan can’t possibly know what real love feels like. Fast forward to the final chapter and it’s time for the MPC to go their own ways, for real this time, to avoid getting entangled with the FBI and, even if Logan wasn’t your actual LI he still shows that he’s completely accepting of the fact that he isn’t the one Ellie loves, and on both cases he shows that he also grew to truly love her by deciding to not be a part of her life any more, because it just isn’t feasible for her to pursue her dreams while also being involved with potential suspects on the FBI watch list, so he chooses her future over his because he can’t and he won’t let her risk her future for something as small as a space rock lucky enough to burn up in her atmosphere for a moment and with that, a heartfelt kiss, an explicit and tacit declaration of love, a request for Troublemaker to give ‘em hell and a brief but tense showdown with Detective Wheeler, Logan speeds off into the night. COLT KANEKO The actual leather wearing bad boy of the story that sauntered his way into the hearts of many fans, both as a character and a love interest, he’s sarcastic, he’s funny, he’s soft-ish only with the MC and he’s also a multilayered character, how could he not be liked? I want to preface this section by saying that, just like with really popular LIs such as Jake Mackenzie, Damien Nazario or Ethan Ramsey, I could never bring myself to like Colt in a romantic way, even though I can certainly see the appeal of their route but even then, just like the aforementioned gentlemen, he’s still one of my favorite characters of the series regardless of that, simply because of how much he brings to the table. So without further ado, let’s get started with Mr. “Christ, who caaares?” Kaneko’s unnecessarily long essay. Right off the bat we can see that Colt has a bone to pick with Logan due to their relationship with Kaneko, he’s always butting heads with Logan and Kaneko at the beginning because he resents both, the latter for sending him away to college and not being willing to let him in on the family business and the former for, in his eyes, being the son Kaneko always wanted, not knowing that the only reason his dad kept him away from the business and seemingly replaced him with Logan was because if Jason actually harmed the MPC he could live with the loss of Logan on his conscience, but not Colt’s. As time goes on Colt finds himself slowly warming up to Ellie, even if he initially just thinks of her as one of his dad’s mistakes waiting to blow up in their faces, and even if he does relentlessly teases/annoys her it’s very obvious that he can connect with her because of her complicated relationship with her dad and she can understand him, they both love their dads immensely but they severely disagree on the view they have of their respective child. And against Colt’s predictions, Ellie proves herself as a valuable asset to the crew (Not knowing until later on just how deep that rang true) and he eventually starts falling for her as well, which is what sets the Chapter 10 plot twist in motion. After the MPC manages to steal the super cars for the Brotherhood, Kaneko opens up to the idea of letting Colt into the business, since it’s clear he won’t just pack up and leave for college anymore, especially after Kaneko is shot and threatened by the Brotherhood and he has to rely on Colt’s plan of kidnapping one of their members and at some point he reveals the truth about their current situation to his son, where Colt finds out about the truth behind Logan and Ellie but it isn’t until after the stadium heist that he makes shit hit the fan by starting a fight with Logan and spilling his secret. That always seemed to me that it came from a place that’s equal parts being mad at Logan for using Ellie like that but also him seeing it as a petty opportunity to sow discord between them, which is why she later has the choice to unload on Colt for deliberately keeping the truth to himself until the right moment. This also marks the moment where the somewhat toxic, somewhat supportive, somewhat wholesome and entirely complicated romantic relationship between them can start to flourish, since Ellie obviously doesn’t see Logan in the exact same way she did 24 hours before and depending on the player, she could’ve actually started to develop her relationship with Colt (Or Mona) prior to the reveal. Something I haven’t seen being mentioned about Colt’s arc is how him being misjudged and misunderstood by both Ellie and Kaneko plays a huge role in it. After Ellie leaves the MPC, he decides to put the rest of his plan in motion, luring The Brotherhood into an illegal casino’s vault using the member they kidnapped and kill them via gassing. Toby completely disagrees with their actions and decides to recruit Ellie to help him stop the crew from crossing a line that they seemingly haven’t crossed yet, yes they’re criminals but much like Ellie’s initial impression of them, they’re not psychos and much less murderers, they’re still good people; so she sets out to stop them with the help of Toby and a Logan that’s desperate for atonement, but her biggest mistake was assuming that Colt isn’t the kind of person that can kill another person if it means protecting those he cares about. This is where it gets incredibly interesting and compelling to me, since not only does her misjudge of character ruin Colt’s entire plan but there’s also the possibility that she had been working for Jason and the Brotherhood the whole time, so in some cases they might’ve actually escaped the trap directly because of her and it doesn’t stop there, since as a result the MPC lose their entire advantage and are once again being targeted by The Brotherhood and that directly leads to not only another huge reveal from Kaneko’s part but also his death, him sacrificing himself so that the crew could escape as he let’s Colt know that he wishes for him to just let go of this life and do something better for himself. Before the rest of the MPC reunites at Gramercy Park, Colt tells Ellie how he plans to kill them all, to rebuild the garage and kill them all before finally breaking down on her arms as his loss catches up to him, right before the Mercy Park Crew splits up after their loss against Jason. In the end, the two people Colt cared about the most failed at truly understanding him, his dad kept him at an arm’s length for a long time, missing out on time with his son because he never considered the fact that what he wanted for Colt was not what he wanted for himself, despite of all the risks it might entail, and Ellie played a part in Kaneko’s death by not realizing that Colt would be willing to cross such a fucked up line if it meant protecting the people and legacy he cared about so much. Those two factors play a huge role in the rest of the book since they’re the reasons why Colt is pushed dangerously close to a downward spiral that will most definitely only bring him more pain at the end of the book. After Jason is dealt with, he laments the fact that he and Ellie met under such circumstances and not in a classroom where they could annoy each other and become friends and/or significant others but he doesn’t lament his current situation, he’s dead set on becoming the king of LA, on carrying on his father’s legacy, now more than ever. I’d argue Colt Kaneko is the biggest cautionary tale in this book about the dangers of the often glorified life of the bad boys and fast cars and how it can consume you, he was very special to Ellie and Kaneko but they didn’t fully understand who he was, how he was shaped by his ideal future and they couldn’t see how the most important thing for him was his past, his legacy and as a result, he’s alone against a dangerous world, but that’s a danger that he very much welcomes. If any of you have done Colt’s romance route and feel like I missed out on anything, do let me know in the comments, I feel like my appreciation for him only grew more as I wrote his section. MONA The bad girl, the loner, what even is her real name? I’m also going to dedicate an analysis to her but I also want to direct you to a post from a few months ago by user u/elbenji who has reviewed ROD from a WLW perspective that I think you should also check out if you’ve got the time. Anyway, Mona’s turn. So, who’s Mona? Well, she’s kind of the Drake Walker of the book, which is a role that you don’t usually see being filled by a female LI. She doesn’t seem to like anyone, she’s pessimistic, she rarely misses the chance to mock people, she’s damn good at her job and she’s loyal to no one but herself, to some she might actually be the worse person of the 3 LIs during the early chapters but as everything else in this book, the layers to her start to show the more the story advances. She shares Logan’s worldview of everyone only being out for themselves but unlike Logan, she knows that not everyone is necessarily like that but in her eyes those people are in for a rude awakening from the world at some point for being dumb enough to think that they can count on someone else and that’s why she’s borderline condescending towards Ellie when the topic of interpersonal relationships comes up between them. If Colt is shaped by his future, Mona is shaped by her past. Once upon a time she used to be little Miss Perfect like Ellie, honor roll, on the path to valedictorian, the whole thing, until she met a girl that she fell in love with, a criminal that made her enjoy life to its fullest and ended up becoming her whole world until one day they got caught and were taken to interrogation separately where Mona, fully trusting of her partner, lied about their involvement but was still arrested because her girlfriend ended up giving her up in exchange of freedom. That event shaped Mona’s entire philosophy, when it came down to it, people would always put themselves above everyone else and after Kaneko gave her back her freedom that’s the only code she stuck by, her own personal freedom and survival became the most important thing in Mona’s life, even when the man that saved her was in danger she considered multiple times to just leave the MPC to their luck. That is, until she met Ellie Wheeler. Obviously, in typical Pixelberry fashion, Mona doesn’t have as much screen time as her male counterparts but what she lacks in screen time she more than makes up in both narrative and thematic relevancy. As mentioned previously, Mona’s always reminding Ellie how out of her depth she is and treating her like a dumb girl that doesn’t know what she’s doing (Which, to a certain extent, is true) but when shit goes south after the stadium heist it turns out that she’s the only LI that never actually played with Ellie’s feelings and was always straight (Heh) with her. It's things like this that I love immensely about ROD, the 3 love interests have so many layers to them, they do good and bad things and they feel like actual people that exist in this fictional Los Angeles, their actions are a product of what’s established as their characters, not just as stuff that happens because the plot needs it to. Back on track, just like with Colt, this is the point where Ellie and Mona’s relationship really takes off if the player chooses to and unlike Colt, her going after Ellie feels like it comes off from a place of actual concern since she understands what she’s going through, regardless of whether their relationship is platonic or not at that point, she still sees a girl that feels like she’s got no one left that she can trust in, so she takes it upon herself to be there for her, slowly shedding her walls that she’s put up for so long, probably without even realizing it. After the failed job at the casino, Mona once again contemplates leaving the MPC in the middle of the shit storm but Ellie manages to get her to help since she owes Kaneko that much at the very least, only for her to find out a few minutes later that Kaneko knew The Brotherhood were corrupt cops from the beginning and never confided in them with that information and, in another cruel twist of fate, Kaneko ends up sacrificing himself so that Ellie, Logan, Colt and Mona could run away, once again, giving Mona her freedom even after completely betraying her trust. As the MPC discuss their course of action after that, she breaks and let’s out what’s probably my favorite quote in Choices: ”You wanted freedom? The fast cars, the bad boy, that whole life? This is it… and it’s not for you. Go home, for everyone’s sake.”, in that moment she let’s the entire pressure of the situation get to her and unleashes on Ellie, the main reason why they’re all in that whole mess. It’s an incredibly cathartic quote that perfectly encapsulates what ROD is all about, the criminal life is not something one can just juggle as if it were a part time job that’s there for the thrills, it can only lead to a life that most people, if presented with the choice, would never want for themselves. When I read that for the first time I completely forgot that I was just reading a story on a free Visual Novel app where you’d never expect to find writing of such quality. I can perfectly feel Mona’s anguish and anger in that quote, the whole weight of the events of the book finally come crashing down on us after we read those words and it’s just such a great feeling that I’ll never stop praising. Let’s get to prom night though, much like Mona going after Ellie on Chapter 11, I feel like her showing up for her prom is still really fitting and the diamond scene that follows after is arguably the best wlw dirty thirty in the app, the dialogue during it is just top tier to be honest. But even better than it to me is the scene after that, where she decides to join The Brotherhood if it means Ellie gets to run away from them since they’re obviously looking to tie up lose ends, it is especially hard hitting if she’s your LI but the version with Colt or Logan is still amazing and I especially love how she uses the hot wiring skills Mona taught her to run away. After the Mercy Park Crew’s last ride together, Mona ends up taking a bullet for the girl that reminded her so much of herself and as Ellie drives her to the hospital she talks about how hard she’s going to be to forget, before reaching the hospital and walking herself inside, knowing that she’d be imprisoned once again before the day is over. I’ve seen a fair share of people that were unhappy with Mona having to deal with such harsh consequences but I personally love, love the end of her route since Mona’s always been about self preservation and only being there for herself but meeting Ellie gets her to slip, she starts caring for her and in the end chooses to give up on her freedom if it means Ellie gets to walk away with hers, in a way being for Ellie the complete opposite of what her ex-girlfriend was to her all those years ago (The dramatic irony can be turned to 11 if you choose the options that show her slowly adopting Mona’s philosophy during the final chapters, so she can slowly become more cynical as Mona slowly sheds her cynicism). In the end, Mona might not be free but she’s still on her element, she’ll be on a place where she’d have to count only on herself and while she’ll definitely have to face some time for her crimes, I’m pretty sure she’d thrive in prison. End of Part 1 Okay, I initially wanted to talk about the supporting characters as well but this shit is truly living up to its title at almost 5K words, that’s already a decently sized one shot, so I’ll stop here since I still want to post it close to the appreciation week, though I might make some edits here and there as I reread it later on but I'm too lazy to do that right now. If I see there’s a good reception for a stupidly long post like this I’ll probably get to work on the second part where I talk about Kaneko, Jason, Detective Wheeler, Toby, Ximena and Riya and Darius, as well as maybe analysis for other books that I hold in really high regard such as the Endless Summer trilogy, Open Heart or It Lives Beneath. If you actually made it all the way here, I just want to thank you for taking the time of your day for reading my semi-coherent thoughts and definitely let me know what you think, if you agree, if you disagree, if you think I should go outside, etc. Thank you for your attention.
This is the fifth and final part of me reading and sharing my thoughts on the Danganronpa Fanfic; ‘Three-Point Shot’ by RandomRex6. Here’s the last thread if you missed it, and here’s the actual story if you’re reading along. Spoilers for the canon V3 will be left unmarked, you have been warned, and it’s kind of difficult to spoiler tag the actual final case of a killing game. I’ll do my best, but I will once again implore you to go read the story yourself before reading this. On that note, if you’re someone who’s struggled to find the time to read this story you may be able to have it read to you instead. A frequent commenter of the story on AO3, Net Neutrality, has their own Youtube Channel where they’ve spent the last couple of years working on a audiobook style video series for this fanfic. It’s not finished yet but the latest update is less than a week old at the time of me posting this, so it’s worth a look in at the very least. Anyway, we’re kicking off with a big spoiler after the last chapter, so this really is your last chance to stop reading if you haven’t finished the story yourself, don’t start complaining at me if you ignore this and get spoiled …Ok, that should be long enough. So we return to the cast gathered in the hidden room of the library, having just discovered that somehow, Keebo has taken control of Motherkuma. He explains that when Kokichi sent him into the virtual world, the Supreme Leader used a flash drive (which I had completely forgotten about) he won back in chapter 2 to create a copy of Keebo’s AI. In the chapter 5 Free Time, Kokichi used a weaker EMP to disable the Nanokumas in the library whilst he placed a stronger EMP next to the door to the hidden room. The whole stand-off where both he and Maki pressed their detonators? Yeah, once of those triggered the library’s EMP, taking out the Nanokumas again and disabling the door to the hidden room (I’ve seen some comments saying this doesn’t make sense, Kokichi would still need the card key to open the door, but I think the story’s good with this one. There are electronic doors out there that actually require power to remain shut, so in the event of a power outage, they’re easy to open and nobody gets trapped inside. I can buy that this is one of those occasions.) When Kokichi fled the group using the flash bomb, he went to hidden room to plug the Keebo USB into Motherkuma, and as soon as the EMP wore off, TDR switched Motherkuma back on remotely, not knowing it was now compromised. Also, when Kokichi sent Keebo off to fight the Exisals, he snipped his antenna off. Kind of feel like that’s something that should’ve come up in the last case, but oh well. Getting all this information at once is a bit hard for the group to digest, and a lot of them have a hard time believing that Kokichi set all this up knowing that he was going to die as part of this plan. Everyone but Kaede, that is, who seems to have an easy time believing that Kokichi was trying to atone for setting Tenko and Keebo up to die. Honestly, I feel like this shouldn’t be so hard to come to terms with. Not so much the whole, “he felt he had to atone part,” but the idea that he wouldn’t be willing to sacrifice himself when these guys literally just had a trial that ended with him allowing himself to be executed to resolve the unsolvable crime he’d set up. I mean what more proof do they need after that? He literally told them he was more interested in hitting the mastermind where it hurts than his own life. Ambiguous character or not, it’s a whole other story when they were actually alive to explain this stuff to you like he was. Also, small nitpick, but how does this Keebo know all of this? My understanding is that this Keebo’s memories should end from when Kokichi made the copy, when OG Keebo entered the virtual world. Sure, he can scan Motherkuma’s databanks and learn some of the stuff he missed, but how can he know what happened whilst the EMP’s were active, surely Motherkuma can’t see that either? Anyway, Keebo’s making the preparations for his Monokuma army (dubbed Kiibokumas/Keebokumas) to detonate at one point in the End Wall to blow a hole so they can escape, but Kaede vetos that idea, worried that they have nowhere to go, no rations prepared, no ID’s and would probably just be recaptured and taken somewhere else. So instead, they send a message to the ones pulling Monokuma’s strings, telling them to make their final ultimatum, or else…they’ll just go with Keebo’s plan. Of course, the ultimatum proposed is the Danganronpa tradition; one final class trial, if they can solve all the remaining mysteries, they can go free. If they fail, Keebo goes back into his regular body and the game continues. They’re given a small bit of time to investigate, and each have some new evidence in their labs (how did the new evidence get there? Keebo has control of everything but the one Monokuma unit he’s allowing the puppet masters to speak through.) Most of the clues pertain to the canon V3 plot twists; their memories and personalities are fake, and the killing game has happened before. And after a short space of time, the group (joined by Keebo, using a modified Monokuma unit as a vessel) have their final class trial. The Monokubs are back…again…because we all want that final scrum debate at the end, I’ll give them that. And the start of the trial plays out like you’d expect; they bring up the Gopher Project plan for the first time and swiftly dismiss it as fake news. The information they have on Rantaro suggests this isn’t the first killing game, and from there they figure out that these games exist for people’s entertainment. They’re shown a video of Rantaro vowing the same things they’re now saying, that he won’t stand for this which…I guess means he failed, since the killing game is still going? …Yeah, the whole ‘Rantaro and Tsumugi are prior participants of the killing game’ thing they’ve been building up kind of ends on a down note. I mean, I know they couldn’t have beat TDR of the game is still going, but I at least thought the pair stayed behind so their friends could go free. But the video message Himiko finds shows Rantaro pleading with his future self to ‘save them,’ so it sounds like he didn’t even manage to accomplish that. Kaede explains that the clue in her lab was a flashback light, the first in the entire game if you would believe it, only Kaede opted not to watch it, not trusting Monokuma’s intentions. This turns out to have been a close call, as apparently it was supposed to reprogram Kaede’s mind and make her the game’s mastermind. And finally, we meet the game’s mastermind, the mastermind I was spoiled on from the beginning; Kaori Akamatsu, Kaede’s twin sister! She was mentioned a couple of times throughout the story, so it doesn’t come out of nowhere, and Rex left an extremely subtle hint in chapter 20 of the story that I’m not surprised none of us picked up on. And having went into this story knowing who the mastermind is, I never actually stopped to think about the merits of the decision, and ...I kind of would’ve preferred it if they just went with the teased plan of reprogramming one of the characters we already knew. I mean, the idea that TDR can literally make anyone into the game’s mastermind with their technology paints them as a truly heinous and powerful villain that must be stopped before they can ruin anymore lives…but it also strips those masterminds of their autonomy, they don’t matter. Kaori really isn’t the villain here, and honestly we really don’t know anything about her, she’s not even herself right now because they infused her with the typical mastermind/Junko personality. She’s Kaede’s sister, so we care about her by proxy, but I just feel like this would be more effective if it was a character we were invested in, one we’d really gotten to know throughout the story as opposed to a casual reference every now and then. Don’t get me wrong, she’s not bad, but she’s just sort of…Junko without the shifting personalities. The mastermind precedes to explain what’s left; who Team Danganronpa are, Keebo’s role in the killing game, they even show some comments made by the ‘show’s’ fans (which are actually comments of the story itself on AO3, which is a nice touch.) That’s basically all the mysteries solved now, so the kids have to make their choice; continue the killing game, or leave, but have their original personalities returned to them. Kaede doesn’t know what to do, and in a moment that was very DR2-esque ends up in a black void, talking not with her love interest or any of the deceased students, but her pre-game self. I love this idea, these kids confronting their past selves, the versions of them that saw no value in their lives, and threw them away to participate in the killing game. It’s essentially their past selves’ fault that they’ve been put through this mess, so it’s a confrontation that has a lot of potential. Kind of wish the two of them didn’t get along so well though. Past Kaede gives present Kaede some sass before helping her to make a decision. In the end, Kaede decides they need to take the option to leave and get their old personalities back. She argues they’ve come too far to turn back now, even if this moment doesn’t won’t end Danganronpa, it will plant a seed of doubt in the hearts of those that enjoy the show (which is admittedly a more realistic approach to how TDR would have to be dealt with than the game took. One bad season probably isn’t going to cut it.) We get the customary final challenge of the MC convincing everyone else to join them; Ryoma joins because if his past trauma is fake, he may have something more meaningful waiting for him out there. Himiko joins to honour Angie and Tenko’s memories (even though Angie didn’t really do much at all for Himiko in this story?) Keebo joins to show he’s a strong, independent robot who don’t need no creator. Maki joins both for the sake of honouring Kaito’s memory, but also to payback TDR for turning her into a weapon through her backstory (kind of the best reason of the lot, imo) and Shuichi joins because he can’t keep hiding away from the truth anymore (even though this Shuichi has already embraced the idea of being a detective as a coping mechanism for his depression) Kaori tries to argue that once their personalities are back, they won’t want this decision anymore, but Shuichi disagrees, citing the post-trial aftermath of chapter 4, where Miu continued to call Keebo ‘Idabashi’, suggesting that they’ll maintain some of their in-game personas even with their old personalities back, and they’ll just have to take that risk (Like I said, very DR2-esque ending.) They win the scrum debate with the Monokubs, Kaori admits defeat and takes them to the flashback light terminal to begin work on returning their original personalities. Keebo explains that he’s going to try and hack into TDR’s main servers, and upload his AI into the net, since his physical body can’t leave the academy, he may find freedom there instead. And Kaede and Shuichi kiss (I really feel like this should’ve been the first time they did that, but I forgot to mention they did this in the Free Time chapter of the last section, so whoops.) And the army of Monokumas and the five Kubs self-destruct by the end wall to let the kids re-join the outside world. The epilogue takes place quite a long time later, 4 years in fact. The kids are now adults, Kaede and Maki are meeting for lunch and MAKI HAS A CHILD! KAITO GOT MAKI PREGGERS DURING THE LOVE HOTEL SCENE AND NOW SHE HAS A LITTLE BABY GIRL CALLED ANZU! I FUCKING LOVE IT! SHE’S ADORABLE, SHE SAYS KAITO’S CATCHPHRASE IN BABY TALK! I NEVER KNEW I NEEDED THIS SO BADLY! I’VE KNOWN THIS CHILD FOR 5 SECONDS AND I’D ALREADY SLAUGHTER EVERYONE IN TDR FOR HER SAKE! Ahem, sorry about that. Anyway, the kids have sort of become figure heads in a protest movement against the show. Their whole gamble about regaining their old personalities paid off about as conveniently as it did for the DR2 cast. They’re pretty much exactly who they were in the game, but they just also have some fond memories of watching the show. Kaori’s seeing a shrink, since they’re struggling to get that Junko personality out of her brain (Can’t help but think this may just be an attempt to dodge having to give Kaori a personality of her own.) Ryoma’s enjoying his new freedom, travelling around the world as a tennis coach. Himiko’s on tour holding magic shows whilst trying to raise awareness of how wrong the killing games are (Kind of feel like that message is kind of diluted when you’re still making use of the talent and personality they gave her as part of the show.) Shuichi’s receiving medication for his depression and I believe is still dating Kaede. And the pair of them overhear that auditions for the next season of the show will be starting soon, but the cast size has shrunk again, since they’re struggling to find participants, and something (Keebo) is making it difficult to access the website. I love this idea of giving us a small peak into the characters adult lives. Sometimes, you just need something a little more concrete than simply hoping that the characters had a good life once the killing game was over. I’m torn on how they dealt with TDR, I know I said it’s a more realistic approach and it is, but it’s a shame that 3/4 more groups of kids have to participate and die before the show gets shut down. And, that’s it. My journey through Three-Point Shot is completed, and I’m now obliged to give my final thoughts on the story as a whole. Before I talk about the story itself, I just want to acknowledge how insanely difficult the format of Danganronpa even is to write for;
16 characters, do you know how few stories out there try to have as many as 16 new, reasonably fleshed out characters with each instalment? Yeah, some characters matter more than others, but they all have a personality, background, dynamics with each other. Most stories opt for no more than 8 or 10 characters at best, so it’s no wonder how much of a struggle it is to try and pull it off with 16 of them.
Then you have to be brutal and try and parcel down all those backstories and potential character arcs you’ve come up with to the bare essentials, the cream of the crop, because you’re killing off, on average, two of these characters every chapter. You will never have enough time to flesh out all of them. So, you’ve got to pick and choose which ones matter most for the story you want to tell.
But let’s not forget, those characters that die aren’t simply being killed off, it’s a murder mystery! So you’ve got to devise clever schemes that manage to strike the right balance between not being too obvious whilst also making enough sense to create a satisfying conclusion. You have to spend more valuable time foreshadowing this stuff, without it ruining the pacing.
And then, if all that wasn’t bad enough, you have to try and wrap this all up together. You have to come up with an overarching story, a mastermind who’s motivations justify this whole charade, and build towards a satisfying final confrontation between them and the rest of the cast.
When you really break Danganronpa down into those four components, you realise how much of a miracle it is that this series is even a fraction of coherent as it actually is. Most sensible writers wouldn’t touch this idea, they’d tell you it just wouldn’t work. So no matter what I have to say about this, or any other fanfic I read in the future, they all have my upmost respect for even attempting this challenge and having the guts to put their work out there. (Also, I don’t go over everything that happened in these threads. I say it all the time, I want you to read this stories for yourselves before reading these threads. You should never let someone else’s opinion act as a substitute for your own.) Telling a story is a two-part process; both coming up with your ideas and then conveying those ideas to your audience. Three Point Shot’s greatest strength was the ideas it came up with. I loved the creativity behind the motives, and the cases. I thought the casino party in chapter 2 and the use of honey in case 3 were great ways to make new use of V3’s already established locations. I loved V3, but my favourite parts of this story were when Rex let their creativity go unrestricted by what the canon dictated. Kokichi blackmailing Maki, only 1 murder in chapter 3, Shuichi’s depression, Angie not knowing whether her thoughts were hers or Atua’s, Keebo wanting a surname, the split vote idea. When the story attempted something new, or injected its own take on the V3 canon, I was generally all for it. And inversely, when the story repeated something that happened in V3 just for the sake of it, it generally wasn’t received so well by me; night time training in chapter 2, Himiko’s relationships with Tenko and Angie, the way Rantaro’s storyline just sort of ended. The problem isn’t replicating events from the canon, I had no problem with Kokichi’s antics and the student council, but it’s when the story replicates something without considering if what this story’s already changed affects it. I loved the romances. I’m a sucker for a good romance, but I don’t turn to Danganronpa all that often to get it. Saimatsu and…(checks Google) Harukaito (Really? That’s what we call it?) just felt really genuine in this story. It felt like teenagers falling in love, being awkward about it at times because they’re only teenagers and they don’t know what they’re doing. Just very wholesome, genuine teen romance. However, one of the issues I brought up quite often towards the end was how the story handled its supporting cast. Kaede, Shuichi, Kaito, Maki and Kokichi were all used to reasonably good effect across their lengthy screen time, but all the other characters kind of suffered for it. This isn’t exactly unexpected, I did say a while ago that it’s impossible to flesh out all 16 characters in Danganronpa, and you have to prioritise the most important ones for your story. It’s just kind of a shame that they went with the characters that already received a lot of screen time and development from the canon. The only characters that made it to this story’s chapter 5, that didn’t make it that far in the canon, were Kaede and Ryoma. I never really got the sense that anyone here was this story’s equivalent to Fuyuhiko, or canon Himiko, someone who initially didn’t seem like much, but develops in such a way where you can’t imagine them not surviving. It’s not for a lack of trying. Each chapter had three instances when the group split up (when they’re expanding the school, the Free Time chapter, and the investigation) and it consistently tried to give each character some sort of scene in each of these sections, but they kind of gave me a Ultimate Talent Development Plan vibe; they were fun interactions but they didn’t actually build much character. I think that’s partially because the story kept trying to mix and match different people together, so instead of really developing one strong bond with another person, we got several soft bonds with several people. I can see some debate over which approach is better, but I personally prefer the former, consistent interactions with a smaller portion of the group. My favourite interactions was when Gonta showed Angie around his lab, because that was an interaction the story kept up with, but the little three-way dynamic between Himiko, Ryoma and Keebo was also pretty consistent. I think RandomRex6 showcased that they’re more than competent as a writer. You have to bear in mind that this was just supposed a simple 1-chapter project that exploded into a full-game rewrite and from start to end, the project took just under a year to complete. They came up with some great ideas, and whilst I found faults in the execution at times, there was always some element that made me want to keep going, and Rex was their own harshest critic, never letting themselves of easy after disappointing their audience with Korekiyo at the beginning, and that fuelled them for the rest of the story. Whilst I think the fanfic peaked with chapter 3, I don’t think it ever dipped significantly after that. And that’s about all I have to say. I’m not gonna type up my thoughts on the characters again, because honestly what I said in the last thread for each of them still stands. I suppose Kaede stepped up more as a leader in this finale. It might be a couple of weeks before I start another fanfic series like this, and I think it’s time to move away from the V3 related ones for a while, just to give the rest of the franchise a chance.
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