Why dating “guy gamers” turned out to be a bad idea

Been there.

Jellyfish Station

Sure, it seems fun at first.

Mostly because it’s comfortable. Every night is like a pajama sleep over that ends in sex. That’s the American Dream. That’s before spending every night in playing League of Legends or Assassin’s Creed gets really, really boring.

I dated a lot of men who considered themselves “gamers”. Why? Low self esteem, mostly. I knew a lot about games and enjoyed playing them. And that interest was a “hook”. Something that men could relate to and feel comfortable talking about. I didn’t feel like my personality and looks alone was enough to generate any real interest (and as a teen I was probably right). My focus was being good enough for them with no question as to whether they were good enough for me.

Now obviously this is all based on my personal experience and my friends. There are always exceptions. However, if you feel…

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Suicide Prevention (Every day should be Suicide Prevention)

I’m posting exactly one day after the Official Suicide Prevention Day, but in all honestly, every day should be suicide prevention day. Suicide and mental health are still stigmatized around the world and things are not going to improve for people who do suffer from a mental illness until we break the stigma and confront the issue.

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From http://www.theinertia.com/surf/today-is-world-suicide-prevention-day-heres-what-you-should-know-to-save-a-life/ 

“There seems no better time to write this. Today is World Suicide Prevention Day and its theme is to connect, communicate, and care.

While we live in an increasingly digital world of ‘friends”, we rarely have real time to sit down and connect – face-to-face – on a heart level, with other humans; family, friends, other surfers and perhaps, most importantly, strangers– a friend we are yet to know.

Suicide is still a taboo subject in many cultures and is stigmatized to the point where a depressed person does still not feel comfortable to reach out for help from their friends. Early intervention – seeing the signs and listening to a person considering suicide – in the majority of cases, can and does make people reconsider their life situation if handled sensitively.

Just this week, two high-profile surfing figures have ended their life by suicide.  Unnecessarily. I believe it is up to each and every one of us to pause and reflect on what we can do to help others, whether they’re surfers or non-surfers.

The passing this week of WSL Head of Security, David ‘Woody’ Wood calls for our collective attention and gives rise to a call for action. A man, father of four, well known and respected globally, lost his battle.

While Woody was not a close friend of mine, like many across the surfing world, he was someone we all liked as a genuine helper of others.  I chatted with him many times over many years, mostly alongside our mutual mate, Kelly Slater.

He, like many, including Andy Irons, seemed to have everything going for them but decided to leave the surfing stage before the end of their natural lives.

People suffering from depression, the Black Dog, become convincing actors who often go to extraordinary lengths to cover up their emotional plight. A smiling face does not guarantee a person is happy deep within.

It’s been said that surfing has more mental health issues and casualties than we are led to believe or are prepared to face up to. I have this seen first-hand and through my own life experience.

There are around ten tell-tale indicator signs of suicidal ideation we should all get acquainted with. If we can be perceptive and caring enough, we can use those signs to possibly save a life.

Most sporting codes and industry sectors have mental health support services available to their fraternity.  Surfing lacks such a resource. Now is the time for surfing to act; be it on the Dream Tour or at your local beach or board riding club.

Firstly, I would call on the WSL and the Commissioners to introduce a qualified Counsellor or non-denominational Chaplain to be at hand for help with confidential support 24/7 and provide all surfers with the tools to help others and themselves.

Secondly, I would call on all surfers to investigate the resources available online in order to equip them to help those in need and to have the help-line telephone numbers on hand, which are available in most countries at no cost.

Sometimes, it’s not until you have lost a friend or loved one to suicide that we understand and appreciate that suicide is preventable, so I’m asking all surfers to do three things: know the signs, find the words, and finally, reach out.

Together we have the power to make a difference, the power to save a life.  It affects all of us.”



Always remember 9/11/2001


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It’s exactly fifteen years ago that we experienced the most horrific tragedy in American history.
From abcnews: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/president-obama-mark-15th-anniversary-911-attacks-pentagon/story?id=42001498

In New York, victims’ relatives and others convened Sunday on the memorial plaza for one of the constants in how America remembers 9/11 after 15 years — the anniversary ceremony itself.

Organizers planned some additional music and readings to mark the milestone year. But they kept close to what are now traditions: moments of silence and tolling bells, an apolitical atmosphere and the hours-long reading of the names of the dead.

Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump could be seen in the crowd as the reading of the names took place. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Rep. Peter King were also in attendance.

Ground Zero has become a rebuilt World Trade Center, a place forever marked but greatly changed since Sept. 11, 2001. The nation around it is different, too.

“This idea of physical transformation is so real here,” Sept. 11 memorial President Joe Daniels said.

But on this Sept. 11 itself, “bringing the focus back to why we did all this — which is to honor those that were lost — is something very intentional.”

The simple, reverential observance may be the norm now, but city officials fielded about 4,500 suggestions — including a Broadway parade honoring rescue workers and a one-minute blackout of all of Manhattan — while planning the first ceremony in 2002.

President Obama plans to visit the Pentagon today to memorialize the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Prior to his departure, Obama will privately observe a moment of silence inside the White House residence to mark the occasion, as flags across the nation fly at half-staff in remembrance of the victims of 9/11.

According to the White House, Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford will also attend the ceremony at the Pentagon, where more than 180 people were killed after al-Qaeda terrorists crashed a jetliner into the building during the string of attacks.

In remarks there in 2014, Obama remembered the more than 3,000 people killed in the terror attacks, along with those who served in America’s combat mission in Afghanistan, saying, “as Americans, we draw strength from you.”

Nearly 3,000 people died when hijacked planes slammed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, on Sept. 11, 2001. It was the deadliest terror attack on American soil.

The 15th anniversary arrives in a country caught up in a combustible political campaign and keenly focused on political, economic and social fissures.

But the nation tries to put partisan politics on hold on the anniversary. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican rival Donald Trump attended the anniversary ceremony at the World Trade Center. Neither candidate is expected to make public remarks. Politicians may attend, but haven’t been allowed to read names or deliver remarks since 2011. Clinton and Trump are following a custom of halting television ads that day.

Hundreds of people also are expected at a ceremony at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville.

Financial and other hurdles delayed the redevelopment of the Trade Center site early on, but now the 9/11 museum, three of four currently planned skyscrapers, an architecturally progressive transportation hub and shopping concourse and other features stand at the site. A design for a long-stalled, $250 million performing arts center was unveiled Thursday.

Around the World Trade Center, lower Manhattan now has dozens of new hotels and eateries, 60,000 more residents and ever-more visitors than before 9/11.

Meanwhile, the crowd has thinned somewhat at the anniversary ceremony in recent years, though over 1,000 survivors, recovery workers, victims’ relatives and dignitaries attended last year. But there’s been no sustained talk of curtailing the ceremony.

Organizers evaluate every year whether to make changes, Daniels said, “and every time the answer, thus far, has been it’s so special for family members, and it’s important for the nation.”

Jennifer Peltz of The Associated Press contributed to this report.



Why are Role-Playing Games for “Socially Inept Losers?”

Taken from: http://www.livingdice.com/3256/why-are-role-playing-gamers-such-social-losers/

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February 03, 2010 | | Comments 12

“Ask  an average person to describe a role-playing gamer and words like “basement dwelling fast-food worker,” “socially inept,” and “poor personal hygiene” quickly spew forth.

Sadly, as much as I might hope otherwise, this stereotypical gamer exists. He (or she) usually makes it on the evening news when the local TV station shows up at an RPG convention. Simply because wierd people generate more interest and better ratings than boring people. By “boring” I mean average people with a spouse, two kids, knowledge of how to shower, a mortgage and no significant social impediments. I know that most gamers are the latter and only a few outliers the former. It is this disconnect between the hobby I know and its reputation among non-gamers that drives me to post. I have a theory; I think  many of the stereotypes arise because role-playing games are one of the most egalitarian hobbies in existence.

Most social groups self select; take golf as an example. Golf requires significant initial outlays of cash and a large time investment. This almost guarantees that most golfers are reasonably functional within society and have a certain level of income and free time. There are socially inept, smelly  golfers out there, just as in the RPG hobby, but I suspect the numbers are lower than the RPG community. The hobby’s requirements filter them out.

Apply the same lens to the role-playing hobby and you see that there are few, if any, barriers to entry. A  handful of dice, a couple of moderately priced  books and some time get the job done. In many cases the only requirement is to show up at a game! This fact, combined with a remarkable tolerance in gaming circles for odd, eccentric and highly creative people creates a perfect storm for stereotyping.

I do not have any easy solutions to this problem. People will see what they want to see and only regular exposure to the D&D playing bank manager down the street will ever change this perception.

Then again, if the fact gamers are tolerant of differences contributes to these negative stereotypes, what does that say about the rest of the world’s acceptance of those that do not fit the norm?”

Trask, The Last Tyromancer