Author Archives: carascrows

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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“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:

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:

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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



Read the ten signs before you waste your time!

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As much as you want to give a guy the benefit of the doubt, there also comes a point when you’ve gotta face the facts about whether or not it’s worth continuing down this road. If any of the following happens, he’s basically telling you he’s not worth your time:

1. HE STOPS FOLLOWING THROUGH WITH PLANS. One of the most annoying things when you first start dating someone is figuring out how often you should hang out and see each other. If all of a sudden, the consistency comes to a halt and he stops following through with plans, then that should raise some suspicion.

2. HE REPEATEDLY BAILS ON PLANS.We all get really busy sometimes, and last minute bailing can happen, but if he bails on you multiple times, then you’re clearly not at the top of his priority list.

3. HE GETS SHADY WHEN YOU ASK HIM WHAT HE’S DOING. Honesty and trust are extremely important when it comes to the first stages of dating. If he’s hiding something or being secretive by not telling you anything that’s going on in his life, there’s a serious problem.

4. HE GETS TOO BUSY TO HANG OUT ALL OF A SUDDEN. Once there starts being larger gaps in how often you see each other, that could be a sign of him starting to pull away. He should want to see you and make time for that to happen. If not, he may be losing interest.

5. HE STOPS BEING THE FIRST ONE TO INITIATE CONVERSATION. If you become the one who constantly has to reach out to get his attention, then it’s a one-sided relationship. You shouldn’t have to chase him in order to communicate.  There should be a mutual effort when it comes to talking to each other.

6. HE STARTS TAKING HIS SWEET TIME TO RESPOND TO YOUR CALLS OR TEXTS. We all hate the annoying lapse of time in between text messages, and we hate when our phone calls go to voicemail even more. If there’s a significant amount of time where he is dodging your texts and calls, then he might be on the cusp of ghosting you.

7. HE STARTS CALLING YOU CRAZYThere’s nothing worse than being called “crazy.” Yes, your emotions can run wild from time to time and you tend to overanalyze things (especially during that time of the month), but every man should know that you should never call a woman crazy… because that only makes us more crazy.

8. HE’S NOT THERE FOR YOU WHEN YOU REALLY NEED HIM. In a relationship, being there for the person that you love means everything. If you really need him and he’s nowhere to be found, then he’s not worth another second of your time.

9. HE DOESN’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT LABELING THE RELATIONSHIPThe only time a man doesn’t want to talk about labeling the relationship is when he doesn’t actually want to be in one. It takes a real man, a man who cares for you, to be able to call you his girlfriend or wife. Even more so, he should be proud of that.

10. HE DISAPPEARS OUT OF THE BLUE. The dreaded moment that we fear is being ghosted by someone whom we’ve been dating for quite some time. The moment he disappears out of the blue, leaving no trace behind, you can officially call him an asshole.

Twenty reasons to dump

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You want it to work, you really do. You swear things between you two would be amazing if only he would stop doing this and start doing that instead. You two look so good together. He’s perfect on paper. The sex is hot. You’re so tired of the dating scene. Blah, blah, blah.

Stop it! You know what you’re doing and you know you can do better. Here are 20 very clear signs this is a situation and not a relationship — and it’s going absolutely nowhere.


#1. They’re “too busy” to text you. There are 24 hours in a day and each of those hours holds 60 minutes. Every single one of those minutes has 60 full seconds in them. Now write a text. How long did it take? Point proven.

#2. They play the cat and mouse game. One night they’re into the relationship, and the next you’re reenacting Adele’s “Hello.” Just as you’re giving up, they call to say they’ve thought about things. They were a fool. Please take them back. Once you do, they’re gone again. Show them you stopped playing “girl chase boy” in grade school and run the other way.

#3. They make everything all about them. You make sure their needs, wants and desires are met, which leaves literally zero room for you in their “me, me, me” world.

#4. They use gaslighting techniques as a way to keep you in check. Gaslighting is a phrase assigned to an emotional abuse technique that has one partner convincing the other that reality is an illusion. If your partner is denying they said or did certain things, or they’re blaming you for saying and doing things you didn’t, it’s abusive.

#5. Your partner is an a**. Healthy, normal adults know how to speak to and treat others like human beings. There’s no power or charm in being an a**.

#6. They disrespect things that are important to you. Whether it’s a religious belief they don’t share or a hobby they aren’t interested in, you don’t need to be with someone who can’t treat the things you value with respect.

#7. They don’t support you. Support is a lot more than just not saying they don’tsupport the things you’re doing. Do they show up when you need someone there? Do they stay up and help you practice your presentation, and show an active interest in how things are progressing? When you fall, are they there to catch you and offer you a hand back up? What’s the good of being with someone who doesn’t have your back?

#8. They don’t introduce you to people in their lives. Yes, it takes time to be invited home to meet the parents, but if you’re five months in and no one knows you beyond your name, he’s not serious about you.

#9. They make you feel like you can’t say anything right. Is your guy constantly picking fights with you and misinterpreting everything you say? Do you feel like you’re running around in circles and defending yourself even when you’re being nice? Unless you’re speaking in code, there’s a bigger problem and it has nothing to do with you.

#10. They constantly say “sorry” for the same thing. Sorry is just a word unless there’s a real effort made to not make the same mistake again.

#11. They don’t make you feel like yourself. You’ve twisted yourself in so many directions and walked on so many eggshells that you’re exhausted.

#12. It’s all about sex. Yes, you can still have dates and cuddle, but when the only compliments are about your body and all of your time together feels like a means to an end, it’s not love, but lust.

#13. They never invite you out on prime real estate nights. It’s fun to grab a drink on a Tuesday night, but if you’re never having dinner on a Saturday or laughing over brunch on a Sunday (without having slept over the night before), you might be questioning who is.

#14. They’re on Tinder but claim they aren’t seeing anyone else. This is just an insult to your intelligence.

#15. Your friends can’t figure out why you keep trying. Sure, no one knows what reallyhappens in a relationship, but your friends can definitely tell you when you’re not in one — and not going to be.

#16. They remember nothing about you. You have full conversations that he cannot recollect. He’s heard you mention your April birthday five times but still swears you were born in June. If the only thing he remembers is your address and his favorite bra-and-panty set, there’s a problem.

#17. They close down when you try to get close. He will share photos of his private parts, but try to touch his heart and he freaks out.

#18. They make you cry several times a month. Tears are expensive. Is he worth it?

#19. They aren’t your special someone. We all know the couple who stayed together because they were too afraid (or lazy) to get back out there and meet the right person for them. While it may be tempting initially to give into the “bird in the hand” mentality, don’t kid yourself. You’ll meet someone else and they will make you feel more than just safe — they’ll make you feel safe and give you butterflies.

#20. Deep down, you just know you need to end it.