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Everything posted by Toth

  1. We are also in a proxy war with Russia in Ukraine and I don't see France blow up the Russian embassy in Mali. The whole idea of a proxy war is to not directly attack the other one for fear of uncontrollable escalation. Therefore the Israeli attack was mindbogglingly stupid. If they hadn't done that, we would not have the risk of war at hand now. I just hope for once Netanyahu can swallow down his ego and everyone's temper can calm down. The ball is in his court. Eye for an eye needs to end right here.
  2. Mmh. I've made the experience that trying to be cheeky about it always backfires with the other one never understanding what I try to get across. Granted, sometimes when someone asks for my age in visible astonishment, I have started to sometimes reply: "Old." Can't. I unfortunately don't have the genes for that. The most I can do is a mustache. Which I currently have... and contemplating to get rid of specifically to supplement my new attempt at acting more confidently. I'm musing that the also affects my confidence because it feels like something I actually don't like and only wear for that goal of looking older. Without it, I would look even younger, but I wouldn't have a reminder of my insecurity anymore. Does that make sense?
  3. Maybe, but up until then, I find it rather a hindrance. When you get asked for ID when buying a lighter, because you need to be 14 to buy one, I think it's obvious that there is something wrong with the shape of my face. That happened two years ago. On top of that, just now I needed an ID photo for my personal file at work and rummaged through my old ID photos. I genuinely had trouble telling apart 10 years old photos from ones I had made a year ago...
  4. Yesterday I was wished good luck for my high school final exam by an unknown student while I was camping outside the exam room for my monitoring duty. I... I really never get to look my age, can I?
  5. I'm... hoping of course that it helped... but sometimes I'm not sure I've not prolonged my downwards spirals with all the hours mentally churning through the stuff I want to yell into the void... If I had shrugged and moved on I maybe would have been able to... or exploded at some point, I don't know. Though I have to note I'm conflicted as to how to proceed at my home situation at the moment. I feel my... attempt at creating a social me stands in conflict, obviously, with the sorry state of communication at home and I wonder whether I have to expand and adjust it to compensate. The thing is, for about a year I'm essentially giving my mother the silent treatment. Ever since I made the mistake of tentatively trying to express how I feel discouraged by her reflex to talk me out of anything I want to do and she absolutely exploded, trashing the house and threatening to destroy all my stuff while I'm at work for hours. Ever since then I just nod and say yes to anything, but otherwise try to get away with saying nothing at all. So far, she hadn't really minded it much for some reason, but now that I've spent the last two weekends completely outside the house and refuse to tell her where I was, she is getting really irritated and goes on regular rants about how much I must suck at my job if I am acting in front of students the same way I am acting towards her. At the same time, I guess partly now because of my renewed vigor to focus on attention, but also because I had two weeks of holiday while she didn't, I noticed just how extreme her habit of nonstop talking is. During the weekdays, she's wake up at 7 am and from then on started to talk to me as I was awoken by the cat anyway. And she continues no matter where she is, whether at the desk in my room, in the kitchen, in the bath or her bedroom, she is constantly commenting on every thing that is going through her mind, but still regularly expecting me to respond and getting upset when I don't. She does this until she leaves the house at 9:30 am and left me an anxious mess in that entire time. I then managed to have something of a productive day, but once she returns, she immediately continues and needs to tell me every little bit of what happened her today and why she hates her boss and all her coworkers, while I just sit frozen at the computer, having to close all my tabs and listen until she wanders off again to curse in the kitchen. In a way, I find it really sad. Clearly I'm her only confidante. After all, she has no friends or family she is on speaking terms either. I did once suggest to try and find a hobby, but she scoffed at the idea... And yet, as written above, she now seems to realize how distant I am gets mad about it. Well, on the other hand to say a positive thing she did, last Sunday she must have noticed how distressed I was when she all of a sudden wanted me to cook (which she usually never does, rarely even touching whatever I cook, complaining about me using ingredients she doesn't like) and I was panicking because I wanted to go out to a board game night. Eventually after I froze up and started cursing myself, she told me to at least get the garbage out on my way out, essentially giving me a push to do so. I was an hour late, but at least I went... ... so now I'm wondering whether I should pretend I am on good terms with her and talk normally to avoid the tense atmosphere at home to get worse. On the other hand, I just feel constantly miserable because I know my ideal self could talk to her about my sense of suffocation without making her go off... but then again, she has such a short fuse when she thinks I am acting to betray her that I absolutely can't risk it.
  6. Damn... I believe my recent tabletop exposure and some recent conversations with new online acquaintances have turned me wistful. I really would love to DM at some point. I have familiarized myself with the role of a player in one-shots and now that Star Wars campaign I joined, but initially my fascination came from listening to D&D live games, with Dimension 20 and Brennan's extremely good DMing front and center. And now... I've got myself a bunch of one-page one-shots, inspired by the great DM from the fanfiction Discord, and on top of that bought myself a batch of dice, including some really pretty liquid core ones that caught my eyes, even though they feel more like dice-shaped snow globes rather than what I had initially envisioned from the store photos. And well... these past two weeks, after four months of wavering and flaking, I've ended up going to board game evenings at a bar. So far mostly just joining whatever table had a spot open and was willing to adopt me. At the same time I saw people just bring their own set of games, take an empty table and try to look inviting for anyone wandering along. And here I wonder whether one of these days I pack those dice and one-shots and a bunch of regular games in case nobody is interested and try my luck finding people curious enough for a brief impromptu adventure. Is that a bad idea? Ironically, I saw one of the board game meetups at a different day in that same group advertising one-page one-shots as a separate table. In fact, the exact same one-page one-shots that I got clued in on by the Discord DM, because apparently there is only one writer who does these. In any case, I wonder whether I overstep any boundaries trying...
  7. This feeling of feeling like Sisyphus really resonates deeply with me and I can only encourage you to scroll up to my Eureka moment earlier. I think it is important to acknowledge that there will be no magical moment where you tell yourself "Great! I'm fixed now! Now I can finally do the things to make myself happy that I have put off all this time." I don't know how it is for you, and granted, it sounds like you are actually better integrated into having a social life than I am, but I am quite aware that even when I was nice and considerate, I always kept some degree of distance for fear of letting them see how troubled I actually am. Which naturally affects my posture and and makes me shy away from opening up or even just grasping opportunities to know people closer. Why would I ask them anything about themselves when I don't know them too well... wouldn't they ask me something first if they were truly interested? You see how that automatically creates distance. So for me, I think it is equally important to acknowledge that, while it is true that you can't just switch off your fears and anxieties, that at the same time fears and anxieties are things that only exist for you in your head and not necessarily in the image other people have of you. So for me, when I decide to create a "social self" that I let interact with people in a way I wish I could have always interacted with them, I certainly hope that many of my insecurities get smoothed over and I at least manage to get a foot into the door. Also I have to say, it's not just a role to play, it is still a part of me. That's why it is important to think about your core values and what you yourself envision you to be in different circumstances. How do you see your ideal self interact with people, both platonically and romantically? How do you see your ideal self express their interest in other peoples' lives? How do you see your ideal self react to people displaying different values to your own? How do you see your ideal self resolve conflicts? Having a guideline like this at the very least gives a bit of security to cling to.
  8. Sigh... I'm sorry. I know I really shouldn't vent, but I feel like I need to. The thought of stepping back into the "world" of dating as a 30 years old guy who has never successfully made that first step, just feels... daunting. Too daunting, actually. I've done a lot of soul-searching recently and decided for myself to not hold back anymore. I lost the last 12 years of my life taking care of my mother and it gave me a lot of anxiety about how people wouldn't understand my situation. So I always reflexively withdrew, even when I really wanted people in my life. Or rather, particularly when I knew I wanted to seek someone for my life, because it always felt unfair and selfish. I thought I was doing them a favor when I did. But now I want to act as my ideal self, even if my home situation hasn't changed. I can't wait any longer for me to miraculously love myself before I can get out. I can be interested in someone else's life, I can be kind and considerate even without reaching some imaginary "I am fixed now" point. So I went out into the world, grasping for opportunities... and all I did was noticing once again I am getting along really well with taken or otherwise unavailable women. I am having endless chats, exchanging interests, feel comfortable... and yet... while I appreciate their company, I am painfully well aware that they cannot help me with my deeper loneliness, my craving for intimacy and touch starvation. I find myself surrounded with couples, listening to stories of romantic bonds, of establishing trust and expressing wants and needs and I can't help but feel wistful. I want that as well! But have absolutely zero clue how to find someone and show them that kindest possible me that I have created for myself. I know this sounds like some "nice guy" crap, but I'm genuinely absolutely clueless about meeting singles and showing interest. And to some degree fear that the same attributes that make me seem so... "unthreatening" to taken women, would come across as repellent to women who are searching. I guess I'm also here because I had an odd conversation with female acquaintances on Discord yesterday urging me to give online dating another shot, telling me of their great experiences there, at the same time stressing that they themselves would never want to be approached in real life. They made it sound like Online Dating seems to be the only venue where you could find women that are actually seeking. But that caused me only discomfort because I have tried to avoid the apps because the utter silence on them was poison to my mental health. That is why I tried to make more acquaintances in real life in the first place. But ugh... I ended up looking through my old photos from my last attempt at online dating as I was weighing my chances. However I found that they are all horrible and became self-conscious again about how much I dislike my face and how impossible it feels to get across my new confident "social self" with that face in the way. I tried to make new photos while out, but they still don't feel different.
  9. There are a couple of plausible sounding theories around that you need to be in the second generation of stars for there to even be enough heavier materials in the galaxy to form solid planets. Then comes the above mentioned issue with distance. We are looking right now far into the past of the galaxy and even further into the past of the rest of the universe, given that the other galaxies are moving away from us with more than light speed and speeding up. Whatever life there currently is in other galaxies, there is absolutely zero chance for us to ever detect it, because all we can see is those galaxies in a primordial state. While I find it also vexing that there are no obvious signs of life in the direct neighborhood, I'm willing to think that most sentient life is just incredibly rare and odds are, it developed too far away and too recently for us to get clear signals as of yet. We ourselves are 26.000ly away from the galactic core. Let's say, there is a civilization at the other side of the galaxy within the same "habitable zone" where stars exploded close enough for there to be enough of the necessary matter, but not so close that you get constantly messed up by gravitational pulls and more supernovae ruining your day, so a further 52.000ly away. Let's say this civilization started to do what we did when we first started out, sending our radio wave messages. And if we are lucky that there is no inference between us that scrambles the waves... that civilization needs to have existed 52.000 years in the past. And like fionwe noted, there is a huge fucking black hole and an absurdly thick cluster of stars between us, so there is only so much we can detect at this range that can be discerned from the immense background noise of said black hole, star clusters, star foundries and even more background chatter from the forming of other galaxies. It's a damned huge haystack out there. Probability says something will be out there. Heck, I'm even fairly sure there is more primitive life here in this star system. I'm thinking of the ocean floors of Ganymede and Europa or the clouds of Venus. Probably just some microbes, but life is tough and the building blocks are there. Sentient life certainly will be out there somewhere as well. It's just a question of whether it's close enough for us to ever run into them.
  10. Lesson of the day: My English seems to be far less okay than I thought it was. I finally managed to get to a Meetup after almost 4 months of being on the damn platform and this time even was shoved into a group to play with. Eventually the group dissolved and everyone went home and since everyone else was in the middle of a game, I went and watch a game of Werewolf. The thing is, my table apparently was the only one purely German, whereas the other tables were all in English because of the varied backgrounds. The Werewolf game was directed by this very fast-speaking British dude who apparently organized this every week for countless months on end. So you can imagine he was trying to play the game at a very brisk pace... and I must admit, as a spectator, I couldn't understand a single thing. He was speaking far too fast for me to follow. I already know that my pronunciation and speaking speed is considerably more shaky because of my lack of practice than my writing would suggest, but I was taken aback that I also have so much difficulty in in-person listening to someone who I imagine was an auctioneer in a previous life. Dang it... But much more surprising was how many of the players actually seemed to be able to follow him (not all, mind you, some also looked fairly lost and miserable).
  11. And you kept that secret to yourself?!? But yeah, I... knew I am so damn late. I really think it was a mistake to treat "fake it until you make it" as... trying to fake confidence from my own perspective and experiment with small stuff like focusing on smiling or focusing on active listening techniques. That was always an approach coming from trying to improve my impression while still being me... which... was already terribly exhausting and never seemed to amount to much progress. Mostly because I at the same time always think I have to keep my distance and not take risks or else I end up exposing my anxiety. Which naturally just causes a But yeah, congratulations that it worked for you! Thanks very much! Though I must admit, I... couldn't really understand this part. I mean, where my inner self then stands in terms of myself. The thing is, as it is, I'd just put on another mask, but I don't think I could become that mask full-time. Not when I have to put it down at home or else couldn't put up with my mother without trying to express myself and causing havoc. Yeah, I suspect that will be the case. As I've said, I haven't really gotten to put it to the test. Initially I wanted to use the Easter holiday to go as much to Meetup events as possible, but of course my mother had gotten me sick and now I was stuck at home and then the weather changed. Hopefully tomorrow I can make a small trip. However for this I just wanted to go to a park and read and well, just soak up the atmosphere being among people again. Hopefully without coughing like crazy. Also not sure I could put the nasal spray onto the recommendation list...
  12. Mmh... despite not really feeling in the mood for it, I went back to Deadlock and yesterday just played a mission of Anabasis. Curious. It seems to be a really bare-bones game mode. For shits and giggles I also did it with the canon BSG experience: Only taking a Jupiter II and a Mercury. I was able to name the Mercury Pegasus, but the game wouldn't let me name the Jupiter Galactica or a variation of that. Boooh! Also probably a mistake to actually wanting to fight the first battle. After spooling up the FTL, it took me a whole bunch of turns to recall all Vipers and Raptors (shouldn't the Raptors be fine though, they have jump drives!), so I guess the idea is to have them close by all the time so that they can land quickly. Also it's a bit jarring when you watch the show at the same time and notice that Vipers are always landing on Galactica while the flak is still up, with the pilots naturally being capable to just... go around Galactica's engagement zone. Here I was just lucky that more Cylons spawned to my side and I needed to turn my ships anyway while the Vipers arrived. Otherwise I would have been forced to eat even more torpedoes than I already did just to accommodate the stupidity of my pilots...
  13. Okay, maybe I'm just stating the obvious and you guys will have a laugh at me for being late to the party, but after some intense weeks of self-discovery, I'm wondering whether I've figured out a way to become more confident in social interactions. So the thing is, I spent a lot of time fantasizing about what life I wish for myself and what kind of person I want to be in that life. I saw myself being curious about people, I saw myself listening and supporting them in their struggles, I saw myself doing acts of kindness to them. I saw myself valuing open communication and mutually reciprocating relationships above all else and saw myself in situations emphasizing that openly. I know it may sound weird, but I had to tell myself I am a good person at heart, despite my anxieties and flaws and fears and that people should be able to see that and acknowledge that if I act like that person in my fantasy. And then... realized there is nothing stopping me from acting like this anyway, despite not "being there" mentally yet. Despite all the things weighing me down. And that was when suddenly I felt a small surge in confidence. When I declared "I am now acting as if I was that person", my posture changed, I was able to make eye contact with strangers without flinching away (though still hoping I didn't make them uncomfortable...), I was reflexively interacting with people while shopping for groceries, saying things beyond the bare minimum. Still not much, mind you. And granted, I haven't really done anything of the stuff I set out for the Easter holiday yet. But I feel like I've figured out how I could act once I've manage to push myself out the door. Also... fair enough. I guess I have the advantage of always being very... functional. I am haunted by my ostracized past and extremely self-conscious of my for my age very problematic home situation I can't really change as of yet. Still got through university and got a technically very socially demanding job as a teacher because I have created a "professional self". My professional self can do what he does because I just love my subjects and I can focus on trying to mentor students on what's important to succeed. However... that doesn't change that I come across as very robotic and fall apart in any purely social interaction where I can't just leverage my professional self. I have just... too much fear to show vulnerability because I'm always thinking people would drop me if they got a glimpse of how much baggage I was constantly carrying around. My reflex therefore was always to put off most of my socializing until I "fixed myself". Taking quite literally the constant advice I am seeing that you can't make friends without loving yourself. I hate myself, so I can't. Not yet. But all I ended up with was even more intense loneliness, because I never learned how to stay in contact with people in Real Life, kept withdrawing and kept treating opportunities to socialize more as social experiments to prove to myself that I still could, notably leaving the interactions with more regrets, awkward failures and at most shallow small-talk. But now... I... all of a sudden realized that maybe I don't necessarily need to overcome my fears and anxieties. I was always scoffing at the "fake it until you make it" recommendation, but I guess I am now truly seeing what is actually meant with it. Similarly to my professional self, I should create a "social self" and just act out the way I want to act, disassociating my vulnerable, self-conscious, self-hating true self from the equation. Does that make sense? Is it wise to do that? I guess I am worried that I could tire myself out eventually.
  14. Okay, damn. I did end up buying the bundle. Didn't expect to get codes for every single DLC separately instead of the whole thing. I guess I've gotten too cynical due to the way Humble has gotten to treat bundles. ... which means I have now a spare copy of BSG Deadlock. Anyone here wants to frak up some toasters?
  15. Congrats! Though it still suffers from that damn echo I had been dealing with from the beginning. They must have screwed something up. Mmh... I am conflicted. I had stopped playing Deadlock for a while and didn't really feel like playing videogames during the last week. But now I am seeing on Fanatical that a "choose your own Bundle" Bundle where you can grab the complete edition and another game for 6.99€: https://www.fanatical.com/en/pick-and-mix/build-your-own-special-editions-bundle It's... a damn good price. At the time I'm not really sure what other game to pick because they all don't really fit a category I'm eager about. Despite the setting, maybe my Paradox storycrafting bone can get comfortable with Cultist Simulator. Mmh...
  16. Eh, more like treating another person as a social experiment and fearing that it is being perceived as an attempt at flirting and coming off as creepy, given the context of that just being a network to safely share in the hobby without the thirsty creeps on instagram. Her snapping at me like this kind of proves my worries about that. Not to mention that... well, really, I have to emphasize I don't want anything out these chats aside some practice of the social interaction. At most it would be neat to get a new acquaintance out of that, but even for that I think we are too mutually guarded about our interests/simply have too little in common anyway.. Also... my mind makes a distinction between attractive women that come off as cute or as intimidating and she is very, very much on the intimidating side of things... which is why I assumed why it was so easy for her to get a boyfriend so soon after complaining about being single. XD Also I really need to point out how awkward and robotic I am in real life. A few months ago I was attending a further education course with other teachers. On the way back home I sat in the train with two other teachers from it, with the guy eventually leaving, so I was left alone in a chat with a younger woman teacher. I had read up about active listening some time before and thought to myself "Fuck it, let's try this!" and obviously hilariously overdid it and ended up interrogating her about a coding club she was offering at her school to the point that she noted "Have I now explained it thoroughly enough?" with a rather sharp displeasure in her tone when I had to get off the train and said my goodbye... And sorry to hear about yesterday. Also damn, I hope the wine was at least good...
  17. I might as well have instead, sharing far too much information for a public place like this just because it was new to me. In any case, I hope the issue with your jaw will be solved quickly and without much annoyance. Sounds pretty scary... To the rest, I am in no position to comment on anything. You know best what you are looking for and what you are valuing in people. We will be happy to hear whatever path you will take! In the meantime on my end... well, I think I've managed to sort myself out and more or less returned to normal ("normal" levels of severe anxiety aside). I even posted my question on the aforementioned subreddit, unfolding all the thoughts and fantasies going through my head... and interestingly most of the kinky people there actually said that it sounds more like I was blindsided by the open discussions about wants and needs and my craving for intimacy got the better of me, instead of having a kink. Which checks out I guess. I even went through the fantasies I was having during these weird three days and amusingly enough realized that I was pretty much only fantasizing about the negotiations of needs and wants and whenever I tried to picture myself in anything explicit, I just... saw myself being unrelentingly sarcastic about the goofiness of it all, trying to make my imaginary intercourse partner laugh and thus ruining the mood. So no, I guess fantasy is still fantasy and actual cravings are quite probably only in the intimacy department. Still, three days of being "turned on" like a light switch... Fuck me. I guess I have to apologize to a couple of people where I may have been not empathetic enough about their emotions, thinking it should be possible to conquer them. But this intensity was completely new to me and if it had gone for any longer, I'd have considered myself gone raving mad. Unfortunately I am still quite a long way off of where I can try to seek such intimacy. I'm right now in a tumultuous spot. Finally, after a year of waiting since my application, I am in the process of getting public servant status, with my medical exam being after the Easter holidays. This means if I get it, my pension plan is clear, I can switch to a new insurance and then will finally be able to seek a therapy place without fear of creating monetary road blocks for myself. At the same time, I have started house hunting with my mother, with the idea that once I have a house with a separate annex for her, I can close my door and finally be more or less independent, only doing groceries for her from then on out. Unfortunately so far only one half-decent candidate was visited, but it was barely within my budget and the guest house was far too tiny for my mother. So... I guess this will still take some time and I must admit, it is quite taking a toll on me to endure her presence when there is light at the end of the tunnel. Anything else I haven't bothered mentioning because I'm never dating anyway? Ah yes maybe you'd find this one amusing... Because I did react to one of her photos today, I feel kind of reminded of a scene a few weeks ago where I guess I finally blew it thanks to my self-centeredness and lack of ability to communicate clearly. On that cosplay discord I have joined a few years ago to network better with fellow nerds before going to conventions, there is this comparably new user my age who is... decidedly out of my league and lives far away, so we aren't attending the same conventions anyway. But she seems bored enough to chat more than most people on there (the discord is quite dead these days...). And I've found myself oddly more... combative than usual with her and have actually tried friendly banter. Not sure whether this is giving me any points or the opposite, but it somehow led to a chat on Valentine's Day, when I was respectfully trying to cheer her up when she was complaining about her single status. Cue a few weeks later when she mentioned in passing having to go out to buy the pill and me thinking to myself "Well, that didn't long!". Then two weeks ago or so she was complaining about the quality of a ready-made cosplay she bought and having to replace quite a few parts with normal clothes. I, again with the banter for some reason, posted a photo of a really garish version that seemed to be made purely out of plastic that I found on the internet and asked her with a blinking smiley whether she got herself one looking like this. I then stupidly thought I'd add my own experience with a ready-made costume I bought last year because self-centered anecdotes still are somehow my go-to-conversation style instead of true active listening and then I said I also prefer a more realistic look and had to switch out the garish stuff with normal clothes. She then snapped back "It is not for you to like it ;)" and I quickly had to walk back and apologize that it was not my intention to make it sound like it's about my preferences and wished her much fun styling it up. She replied "no worries", but I still haven't dared engaging with her since then. I guess I still really have much to learn about how conversation works... Also it was maybe indeed not wise to now put a thumbs-up on a picture of hers, now that I'm considering this... Crap... No way this isn't making me look like a creep...
  18. I also raised my eyebrows at that. Sure, on paper I'm certain switching to a war economy looks like it increases the economy, but if all that new industrial output ends up burning in Ukraine, it then doesn't mean anything in the long run except that you are bleeding money.
  19. *insert sad Lowbacca noises...* Also weren't the Wookies specifically known for their engineering prowess and that's exactly why they were enslaved by the Empire to help build the Death Star? You are just biased because they don't wear clothes! XD
  20. Heh. I somehow knew you'd be raising your eyebrows at my comment, but didn't actually think you would take the risk and reply. I hope you are doing fine despite the setback! I guess what I meant was a take on "bile fascination", but didn't think the word would be unusable in different contexts. In any case, I just wanted to express that I was driven by a curiosity to see what naughty things would get talked about, get a laugh and go on with my life. Not exactly what happened however. To the point that by now I feel rather annoyed by it. It... am I going crazy? I think that since then my hormones are out of whack for some reason. It is day three after I had this oddly severe reacting to reading about these peoples' experiences and it's like a switch has been turned on. Since then I have a constant tingling feeling in my chest and arms, have trouble sleeping, alternate between sweating and feeling cold and have lost a noticeable amount of weight. I'm not sick, it's a purely psychological/hormonal thing and it freaks me out. Basically my mind is constantly working over why I am so scared of communicating openly in real life when I'm so damned eager to do so (which... I guess explains my posts under the anonymity of the internet...). And also my inner Freud is mocking me why the explanations of the draw of power play caught my attention the way they did, given how a lack of control over my own life is the major root cause of my anxiety. Fuck this, I need therapy, not a kink...
  21. Holy shit, I guess I'm tearing up right now. As an idiot with far too much bile curiosity I had earlier stalked around Reddit and looking through a profile of someone who said something wise, I saw in their post history a BDSM subreddit. I'm don't think I have a kink or anything, but I thought for fun I could scroll through it... you know, the bile curiosity stuff... and... I guess I can be lucky nobody was talking dirty, which would have repelled me instantly, but instead everyone was very warmly and excitedly talking about all their communication of needs and wants and how they express their trust in their partners and I must admit just a couple of minutes of scrolling were enough for me to feel my heart cramp and ache and I just got hit with a wave of envy and despair that I haven't felt yet in this intensity. All going through my head right now is that I will never know what trust and intimacy like this feels like...
  22. I feel like I need to give a bit more insight into how our politics work and why this is so problematic. Germany's constitution is technically very robust in regards to checks and balances, particularly when it comes to lawmakers on federal and state level having to work together. The state governments together with the proportional representation system means that throughout Germany almost every party is in a coalition with any of the others somewhere in some form. Technically, this should mean that parties have to always find compromises and common ground and can't afford to burn too many bridges with each other or else they wouldn't be able to govern in the future. This worked so well that after some tense hiccups in the 60s, for the last decades the problem rather was that parties essentially met in a rather conservative middle ground and no matter which of the two biggest parties, the center CDU or the center-left SPD, was in charge, the country would be very much run the same way with not many changes. Heck, for a large portion of the time, the two parties were even in a coalition with each other. At least that's my take as someone spending more than half my life under the Merkel government. But unfortunately when the centrist consensus of politics is that you shouldn't touch anything, but rather leave unpopular changes to future generations, then everything that breaks along the way will eventually need fixing. And now we are in a position where everything needs fixing all at once. Public services have been underfunded to hell, there is simply not enough staff for government offices to work efficiently (which is one reason why they are getting overwhelmed and overworked by the constant influx of refugees), courts are in a dire place (banal cases get dragged out for years and even high profiles ones dismissed because of errors made by overworked judges), schools of course (having to tackle the influx of immigrant children with low literacy and mental health issues that can't be caught by kindergartens and primary schools then hit the middle and high schools, causing problems for everyone at a time when a huge chunk of the teachers is going into retirement and there are nowhere near enough new ones to take their places), infrastructure (train privatization has put public transportation on life support when the train company just wants to extract profits and let the tracks rot until the government is forced to step in, causing much of the cargo transport to migrate onto the roads... leaving those then obviously in an expensive constantly demolished state) and of course housing (expecting the population to shrink, the local governments sold off the public housing sector to cut costs, but now with the populations in big cities going through the roof instead, nobody is building more houses because the private investor groups prefer to sit on what they already have and watch its value go up). Add to all this the inflation caused by the Ukraine war and its fallout and you've got a pissed off population where particularly the less well-to-do (and less educated) hurt the most, while the population at the same time isn't used to a government actually setting out to change anything (with chancellor Scholz being specifically voted for for being a quiet milktoast administrator with no daring creative policies). And THEN we got a point where through social media or simply opportunistic copying the same kind off insane culture war nonsense that is plaguing the US got imported to Germany by the center-right. Leading up the last elections, the center-right CSU and libertarian FDP openly declared the Greens will establish some kind of communist hippie dictatorship, companies scared of environmental regulation were posting hit pieces in newspapers and of fucking course all the Russian trolls flooded the internet with frothing accusations that they will snatch away the meat from your table and so on. And this hasn't really stopped, it's just that the FDP continues to throw its hissy fits even while in a government with them, leaking unfinished law proposals to the press to whip up uproar to force the Greens to back off from essentially anything they want to tackle, with the Greens eventually sniping back and blocking FDP proposals, the CSU asking for new elections each week and the CDU putting a rich narcissist weasel in charge that got frequently compared to Mr. Burns during the last election and who is opportunistically jumping on each chance to divide the ruling parties. Naturally, while his junior parties are publicly at each other's throats and causing public trust to plummet, Scholz is being Scholz and decides that it looks particularly regal when he's mostly ignoring it and hide from the public. It's quite telling that his "not until our allies make the first step" in regards to weapons deliveries to Ukraine is the most direct communication he has been doing and even that makes him look like an anxious coward. And of course in the middle of all this the far-right AfD is on the rise. The party started out as a silly "we don't like the EU and want the D-Mark back" party, but opportunistically jumped onto the racism angle during the refugee crisis, resulting in the racists in it getting louder and louder, attracting neo-nazis who eventually took over as it kept self-destructing, with its leadership always getting ousted and replaced by ever more radical shitheads. The thing now is that while the German constitution is screaming "Never again!" every second page, there is surprisingly little you can do against a legal party conspiring to dismantle democracy while not really spelling it out like that. It needs to be officially banned by a court to do so first. And that only happened once in the past, to the communist party KPD, but that has to be viewed under the lens of the Cold War... and that the party was so blatantly under the thrall of the USSR that they kidnapped and imprisoned members who refused to bow to orders from Moscow. We also shot ourselves in the foot when the last attempt to ban a party against the far more blatantly neonazi NPD was dismissed by the court with the reasoning that yes, they totally would abolish democracy if they could, but they are too tiny to do so. Now with the AfD, the danger is that the reasoning will be that they are already too big and represent too many voters to abolish them despite at the very least planning to roll back constitutional rights to German citizens (as in the meeting in the article it was not "only" talked about revoking German citizenship from immigrants, but also from political enemies and then send them... somewhere...). Unfortunately in the middle of all this, the CDU is locally faltering on its promise not to work together with the AfD. Because it's just like in the past in Germany or Italy where conservatives thought that communists are a bigger threat than fascists and so the fascists would certainly work out fine as allies. Just that this time it's environmentalists who are treated as the bigger threat than the fascists. Sigh... On the "bright" note, the degree of polarization has caused the "Werteunion" (the far-right wing of the CDU) to create its own party, as well as the... "Bündnis Sarah Wagenknecht" (yes, really, the party is named after its leader) splitting off from the left-wing Die Linke. Both parties propose right-wing populist "solutions" in the same vein as the AfD, but with a different veneer and there is some hope that they will grab some votes off the AfD due to its voters mostly originating from CDU or Linke voters anyway.
  23. My gaming OCD really won't ever allow me to finish a game, huh? I was in the last 4 missions of the BSG Deadlock campaign, but during the week too tired to do much thinking. But I still had that lingering itch for a survival game that got triggered by the overwhelming Palword hype. Initially quite a few weeks ago I played Lego Fortnite to satiate this. Yes, really. It was free and since I had collected a few brick built Star Trek ships, I dig the Lego optic and it's free and I watched some people play it on Youtube. However I still found it... very bare bones and restrictive. The idea that you can't harm any enemies in the next zone until you craft the next powerful weapon felt rather stiff, perpetuated by the nightly swarms of skeletons being really annoying and a waste of resources to fight off. And you can't even build all that much because the pieces are awkwardly shaped and pretty much designed for the needlessly complex prefab houses that don't do anything (aside keeping the skeletons out, I guess). But now... well, in a sale I bought Conan Exiles for a few bucks and played it this week occasionally. I'm still not very far, just dicking around at the starting river experimenting with various mechanics, but the game still feels like it's urging me to just go wander the world and find a really nice place to set up camp. My first trip was further west along the river, but I got mauled to death by hyenas and lost my stuff, thought in hindsight it was nothing noteworthy. Then I explored the desert in the north and found a place with tons of iron, which I considered as a place to settle, but the lack of trees or coal put a dampener on that. Right now I feel like it's still less of a hassle to carry the iron south back to my hut at the river instead of carrying tons of wood north into the desert. My next trip will probably lead me to the east into the jungle. Hopefully I will have more luck there then. Though right now I was starting to try out the thrall system, which I considered the main feature of the game. I really want to build a castle and populate it with people, but damn, right now the fighter thralls are frustratingly weak. I "recruited" my first, gave him a set of light armor and a bow, made him follow me to a nearby camp with two exiles... and of course he ran head-first into it despite me setting his weapon preference on ranged and got instantly killed. I "hired" a second one, so far used her only to follow me around while I was killing crocodiles to level her up, but otherwise leave her parked in the camp because I am too afraid to take her anywhere given how these thralls seem to be made of porcelain. How the hell are they supposed to help defend your base?!? So yes... my current goal is to make myself a heavier set of armor and go explore the jungle.
  24. The difference in tone between campaigns and the involved players is pretty interesting. In the convention one-shots I was at, the focus seems to have been a lot on solving that one problem we were presented with, with almost no ability to roleplay any situation (I guess not helped by the DM in the second one shutting down any attempt to make persuasion checks). The Star Wars campaign I joined meanwhile is very focused on Empire-building. The players are all driven by amassing resources to get a bigger ship, to crew it, to amass more resources to get an even bigger ship. It feels very much like playing the Star Wars Interworlds Mod for X4. The roleplaying at most happens during the shopping episodes, but otherwise it's just getting from one combat encounter to another. Now yesterday I for some insane reason decided it would be fun to join one of the one-shot campaigns occasionally hosted on a fanfiction discord I am subscribed to. The difference was quite stark, with everyone immediately coming up with a name, backstory and personality for their character made up on the fly and acting it out in the campaign. Admittedly, I myself hope I didn't push myself too much into the foreground because my character was oddly perfect for most of the situations. It was a van Hellsing style monster hunter campaign in a foggy little town haunted by a demon... and I thought it would be amusing to make my character an artificer based on Egon Spengler. He aced all the investigation and crafting checks (of which there was a surprising amount of), but then in the final fight was badly mauled to near death because I missed the penultimate crossbow shot at the monster... in a pretty embarrassing fight because we all rolled terribly and the DM had to make sure the monster just kills one of us at a time so that we make it to a second combat round... not to mention the two instances before where we completely fumbled an interrogation of a key witness where asking the exact question we needed to ask and that he would have answered failed critically somehow and the other where we found the lair of the monster and failed to see the fucking door... In both instances she fudged the situation a bit and allowed us to make a second attempt by doing a very similar, but slightly altered check. Which I guess makes sense to move the campaign along, though I was already trying to think of alternative ways to solve the situation. The dice god hated us.
  25. I find it funny how the game in the early main campaign stated in a throwaway line that many of the people in the colonies outside the Helios Alpha system didn't take the Cylon threat all that seriously. Either they thought that it's a Caprica only problem or dismissed it entirely as something blown out of proportion to justify Caprican political takeover through the unification of the colonies. In a pre-pandemic game, that level of willful denial of the facts in the face of the Cylons blatantly harming Millions through chemical attacks feels kind of prophetic. But I also can see how that leads to kinda jarring twists like the one you mention, reinforced by the propensity of the people in the show to be irrational backstabbing pricks betraying each other at the slightest provocation.
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