where the rubber meets the road

8

Where are my road warriors at? My veteran road hogs out there tearing up the pavement where the rubber meets the road. You may be an old dog, but you can still learn some new tricks. So what’s stopping you? You don’t owe the world shit. It’s time to live your own life and if someone is dumb enough to stand in your way, tell them to fuck off or they’ll be sorry. Because this old dog can still bite.
Southbound (2015)
Dir. David Bruckner / Patrick Horvath / Radio Silence / Roxanne Benjamin

(Face Page - Terence McKenna ~ Freeman Dan)

“5 grams of psilocybin mushrooms in silent darkness, that is where the petal meets the metal, that’s where the rubber meets the road.”

- Terence McKenna 

“I’ve had serious problems with authority my entire life. The first person I tried to piss off was my mother. I got an Ivy League education and then became a street cop for six years. I’d always been a knee jerk liberal. I was one of those kids screaming ‘off the pigs’ at protest marches. And then I ended up joining the force. I think it should be mandatory for everyone. We all have to take turns being the hall monitor in elementary school. I think everyone should have to be a cop. It’s the ultimate social work. It’s the cop who has to step in when everything else has broken down. It’s where the rubber meets the road. It’s where conflict bubbles to the point of needing resolution, and somebody has to step in and protect the group welfare. Ninety percent of the job is family disputes. It’s walking into a room and keeping people from killing each other. Yet everyone hates cops. Everyone loves the fire department, and everyone hates cops. That’s why I think everyone should have to do it. Everyone should have to make an arrest. Everyone should have to feel the fear of trying to apprehend someone who doesn’t want to go to jail. Everyone should experience the ‘fight or flight’ response when flight isn’t an option. It breaks my heart to see all the hate toward cops. Are there hateful, racist cops? Sure. And they should be punished. But I’ve worked in just about every industry. And I didn’t find any more racism in the police department than I’ve found in boardrooms and retail stores. Before I joined the force, I used to think that all cops were The Man. Now I know that the cops are all of us. Just a bunch of human beings trying to figure out how to play the game. And I think everyone should have to do it.”

10 Things Christian Parents Can Do When Their Kids Have Just Come Out

by Pastor John Pavlovitz

You have a gay child.

If you’ve just found this out, I know that it may be nearly impossible to say or understand or even believe it right now, but you do.

Christian Mom and Dad, do you remember everything you did before your child was born: all the advice you solicited, the books you read, the preparations you made, the prayers you prayed, the beautiful dreams you composed in your head for how their lives would unfold?

I’m pretty sure this wasn’t on your radar. I know this wasn't what you signed up for.

Right now, your mind might be a swirling, dizzying storm of questions, fears, worry, doubt, anger, grief, and disbelief, and it probably feels like you’re drowning—so over your head as a parent that you’re desperately gasping for some precious breaths of air.

Let me try to throw you a lifeline.

I’m not going to preach to you, or tell you what to do, and I certainly can’t give you any words that will magically reset your family back to the way it was in your dreams, but maybe I can help you build a new dream. As a pastor and parent, let me give you some suggestions to hopefully help still the waters and give you a place to begin this new course for you and your child.

1. Breathe. Rest for a moment in the presence of God. Let your heart rate slow, let your mind still, and lean on what you believe about His character and goodness. Know and trust that God is big enough to carry you through this, that He has enough wisdom and love for you, for your child, and for the questions you have now and the questions to come. God is not surprised by your child’s sexuality, by the challenge it might be for you, or by anything else that is coming. God has you.

2. Fix your heart securely to your sleeve. Make no mistake—awkward, messy, tearful, painful conversations with your child are ahead, but fully commit to having them. The greatest gift you can give your son or daughter right now is to offer them the same soul-baring honesty they have given you. Show them the great humility of admitting that you don’t understand, but also the deep compassion of showing that you want to understand. Come clean about your questions and your inability to grasp so much about this, but be relentless in reminding your child that they are loved, and that because of this love, you want to walk alongside them.

3. Pray the most important prayer. Right now you might be tempted to pray that God will “fix” or change your child, that He simply and immediately remove this very difficult reality from your family. From my 18 years of experience as a pastor, I would caution against this, as the odds are extremely slim. I do want you to pray, though. I want you to pray honestly and fervently and continually that God will be present to you and your family in this journey. Pray that He will work in and around and through you all as you navigate this in a way that blesses you. Instead of praying for answers or solutions, simply pray for God’s presence in the unknowing, and welcome it.

4. Become a student. Learn everything you can: about sexuality, about the human body, about LGBT culture, about your child. One of the most difficult parts of our lives as parents and adults is admitting when we’re at the limit of what we know and understand. Chances are, you already have some ideas about homosexuality: very specific, passionate ones. Some are a product of your upbringing, of your understanding of Scripture, or simply of the life you’ve lived. Do your best to put those aside and become a willing student of sexuality. Ask difficult questions from all sorts of people, and don’t seek the answers you think you already have, but instead to learn things you don’t yet know. Don’t be afraid to seek truth.

5. Realize that you’ll be in or out of the closet as a family. One of the most difficult decisions you’ll make as this journey unfolds is who to share this news with. It’s incredibly difficult and stressful to choose who you can trust with this intimate part of your lives, but know this: You will make this decision and experience the results together. If you decide to be “out” with your child’s sexuality, you will be “out” as a family. You’ll inherit the unfair stigma of that sexuality, and you may at times face the same judgment, discrimination, and pushback that your child does. Likewise, if you choose to keep your child’s sexual identity hidden, you, too, will experience the strain of keeping part of you hidden, and the internal struggle of partial honesty with people around you.

6. Remember who you are to your kids. Your child probably looks different to you as a result of what they’ve shared about their sexuality, but it’s important to realize that they haven’t changed their perception of you. You are still Mom or Dad. You’re still the most influential people in their lives—the ones they look up to and turn to and seek approval from and refuge in. Now, more than ever, they need your steady love to form the bedrock of their lives in a world that is and will be extremely unstable. In the middle of your own doubts and difficulties, passionately pursue your kids and do every thing you can to assure them of the unwavering love that you have for them. This is where the rubber meets the road, Mom and Dad.

7. Play this movie until the end.  I know that it all seems quite impossible, and that you can’t really see beyond today, but I can promise you that the way things are right now is not always the way things will be. Just like any difficult event, there is no substitute for time. You will grow and learn and come to understand things. The rawness and urgency of these days will fade, and the jagged edges of uncertainty will soften, though it won’t happen in a moment, but over a million moments strung together. There’s no way around this thing. You simply have to do the dirty, unpleasant, uncomfortable work of getting up every day and living.

8. Let yourself off the hook. Mom and Dad: you didn’t cause this. I know you’d like to take responsibility right now and to blame yourself for what your child has shared, because as heartbreaking as that would be, at least you’d have a fixed place to direct your anger and sadness, but it wouldn’t be at all fair. Your child’s sexuality is not your responsibility. There were no magic words you did or didn’t say, no duty as a parent that you failed to perform, no love that you withheld or failed to express that could have prevented it. This is so much bigger than you, so do yourself a favor and take your child’s sexuality off of your shoulders. You were never in charge of carrying it.

9. Act natural. By this, I mean to continue parenting as normal. Do all the things that you did before you discovered your child’s hidden reality: spend time with your kids, attend their games, help with their homework, pester them to clean their rooms and eat their vegetables and get off the computer. Go on vacations, go out to dinner, go shopping. Continue to be a family in as many normal, ordinary, routine ways as you can, because the wonderful reality is that you are still a family. Don’t postpone your home life or your family’s future until you reach some decision or get some clarity at a later date. Your kids are growing up now, and the precious, fleeting days you have with them are happening as we speak. Go and be a family.

10. Trust God. It may seem like a trite religious platitude right now, but it’s the heart of truth in this or any day. God, if He’s God, is bigger than this, and outside of it, and capable of revealing His character through it all. Give God you and your decisions, your children, your future, and every single unanswered or unanswerable question that you have, and believe that you and your kids already have everything you need.

Mom and Dad, today as any day: be encouraged.

***

Pastor John Pavlovitz is a father of two (Noah and Selah) and husband of one (Jennifer); a 17-year ministry veteran, specializing in rabble-rousing, engineering mayhem, and generally trying to live-out the red letters of Jesus. He enjoys songwriting, exercising, cooking, hiking, and eating emotionally.

***

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Here’s my current working theory of WTF is going on for those interested. It is of course subject to change if we get new information. It is based primarily on the idea of multiple contracts with layers of obligations.

(1) The recording contract for One Direction required them to deliver their last original album in time for release in November 2015. They did this. (Whether there was a +1 included I don’t think matters for my analysis.) This contract has several important clauses applicable to this year:

(a) The term of the contract is the sooner of one year from delivery of the masters or 9 months from release of the album (or some similar time frame allocation) as per [a model contract explanation that Cris linked me to and I can’t find right now]. This is the time period in which One Direction the band is signed to Syco and thus cannot, as a band, do anything with any other label. It does not, however, affect their rights as individuals to work with other parties, except as limited by other contracts, discussed below. (Which are, admittedly, big limitations.) 

(b) The recording contract would require that the band and members sign a series of attendant contracts, including those related to PR, trademark licenses, and personal image rights.

(2) A trademark license of all the relevant One Direction trademarks, which are owned by 1D Media Ltd., would be granted to Syco for the duration of the recording contract so that Syco can publish and promote the album. This license likely isn’t exclusive, because they need to be able to license their marks for use in merch and tours and stuff, but Syco may have the exclusive right to decide what other licensees may use the mark. Meaning that for the duration of the recording contract, Syco has the ultimate decision on how the name “One Direction” and all attendant marks (including the boys’ names) are used. (This doesn’t mean no one can use the names by saying them in interviews or articles or stuff; it means no one can sell anything using the One Direction mark or the boys’ names.) This explains why until one year from delivery of the album, none of the boys could sell anything using their own names and had to be vague about the future of the band – they literally didn’t have control of those names to be used in commerce. But, because their solo work is not constrained by the record contract, they could work on other things, sign other deals, film a movie, etc. – but they couldn’t sell them yet. (Note that Harry being in Dunkirk doesn’t violate this, because the movie itself isn’t yet using his name to sell anything. Saying he’s in the film is a statement of fact, not yet selling anything.)

(3) A PR contract and attendant individual image rights contracts. This is where is think the rubber meets the road and is what changed in March. Because I doubt there is much detail at all in the PR contract – just something like “artist must comply with the PR plan as developed by label and approved PR company” – so the reality of the obligations are developed through a PR plan, which is probably a collaboration of Syco and various PR partners, with probably little input from the boys (though over the years they may have been able to negotiate the right to contribute or select amongst some limited options). Coupled with sweeping individual image rights agreements, which basically gives Syco (used collectively for the PR apparatus) carte blanche to depict the boys however it wants, the PR contract is what we’ve seen in operation this year. I’m guessing that the change in March was that in years past, PR plans for album releases have extended to the end of the quarter following the quarter of release. Then the boys would be well into their tour and recording the next album and so attention shifts to the tour PR plan and the upcoming album PR plan. And so that’s what they thought would happen – their obligations to the MITAM PR plan would end in March, even if the obligations discussed above re: the trademarks and the band not working with third parties were ongoing. However, I think that Syco decided that, no, the PR plan did not end in March as was typical, because this was a different situation than years past and Syco was still entitled to the PR obligations they would have gotten from a tour and promo for the upcoming album. (Old albums increase sales when new ones are on the way. Tours increase album sales of past material.) There wouldn’t be a tour or new album to do the PR heavy lifting, so the personal PR they’d been doing would be extended in replacement of that. And that’s what I think we’ve seen this year – Louis’ stunts in particular were extended. Also, because Simon is both petty and not stupid, he turned most of these PR obligations to his favor – the real PR plan has been about salvaging Simon and Syco’s reputation and smearing the band they’re losing, not promoting MITAM. And one great way to do this is to make it seem like some of the boys are free, that they’re turning on Syco and each other, and to pit the fandom against itself. In this, they were unfortunately successful. And while I’m sure there was resistance to this from those advising the boys about future plans, there wasn’t much they could do about it, because technically the band was still under contract to Syco and couldn’t do anything else anyway. So, to the extent possible, the boys’ advisors re: solo activities (and the band’s advisors for the future) tried to leverage what they could from these PR obligations. On the one side you have Syco who can make the boys do certain promo and they’re using this right to try to destroy them, while on the other side the boys are each being advised on how to technically fulfill those obligations while spinning it to help their future selves. The result is the push and pull we’ve seen and the inconsistent images.

In sum, I think that the record contract and perhaps the trademark licenses are apparently done, but the PR contract, and the attendant image rights contracts, is separate. It’s probably also done – or it’s at least toothless – but that doesn’t mean that PR images turn overnight. Whoever is guiding the next steps for everyone needs to proceed deliberately and try to fix this last mess of a year. But, I think what I describe above explains why we’ve seen movement that seems contradictory – because there are multiple players trying to achieve multiple goals and they’re working with layers of obligations. I think we’re reaching the end of that and Syco will soon be powerless, if they’re not already. But then the real work begins as the boys’ and band’s new teams try to recover from this disastrous year. Niall’s song release by Capitol seems like a really good start.

Roles in the Industry: The Gameplay Programmer

Some people love game development, and are more technically-minded than others and are more interested in the actual nuts and bolts of how things work. These types of people love to solve problems - the “how” is as important as the “what”. Finding a solution that works is what drives these folks, and they end up being programmers. It is on the backs of these people that video games are even possible - they are very much the glue and mortar that hold all games together. Today, I’m specifically going to talk about a key role in the industry - the gameplay programmer.

I’ve realized that not everyone understands what different flavors of programmers actually do, ever since one misguided individual once tried to convince me that every programmer on the team is technically a gameplay programmer because they all work on the game on some level. This is not true at all - gameplay programming is its own specialization, just like graphics programmer, physics programmer, or network programmer. When companies are hiring a gameplay programmer, they will look specifically for qualifications for a gameplay programmer.

What a gameplay programmer actually does is work directly with the game designers to support them and build the tools and systems they need. So, for example, if you wanted to build a power up system for a game, the designer would work with the programmer to come up with a set of rules for how the power ups work (there are these many different power ups, they activate when you touch them, they last for 30 seconds, they provide these discrete bonuses when active, if you touch a new power up it overwrites the old one, you can only have one power up active at a time, etc.), and then it is up to the programmer to actually write the code that handles what the system does. This is what engineering is all about - finding a solution that works for the task at hand and considering (and preparing for) the potential future issues that might crop up (what if we want more power ups? What if we want power ups with different individual durations? What if we want to be able to tweak the strength of individual power ups while in game?).

The best gameplay programmers are the ones who can think about things both from a designer’s perspective (how do we make this fun, intuitive, and interesting?) but also consider all of the technical constraints at the same time (we can only show 12 fully-animating characters at a time, this system is not efficient enough, it’s crashing because we’re overflowing the memory we allocated to it). They work hand-in-hand with the designer, and often get to make design calls as well because of their familiarity with the technology that is being used to make these game systems function. This can result in some very interesting problems to solve, like the ones I had to deal with when I created a grab system for a first-person shooter. I’ll illustrate.

The feature: My action hero walks up to an enemy, grabs him, and then kills him in some spectacular, cinematic-looking fashion.

Considerations that must be made while working with the game designer:

  • How do we keep this from getting dull? (multiple different grabs)
  • How do we decide what sort of grabs to use? (Motion capture the grabs, get animators to direct the action)
  • Is there a difference between a grab from the front, or a grab from behind? (yes - if the victim is aware of the hero, then it will be a grab from the front. If the victim is not, it will be a grab from behind and a stealth kill)
  • What happens when you grab someone while other enemies are shooting you? (You can take damage up to 50% of your health dependent on difficulty level, but cannot actually die while grabbing someone)

Considerations that the programmer must make on his or her own:

  • What happens if the hero and the victim are at different heights? 
  • What’s the maximum range of motion for the grab?
  • When the player initiates a grab, does the player move to the victim, or does the victim move to the player? How do you ensure the player or the victim is left in a legitimate position and doesn’t get stuck in something?
  • What do we do if the player tries to perform a grab in a place where the hero will not have enough room to do the full grab animation?

That last question in particular took me months of work to solve, and even then I didn’t solve it completely by the time the game shipped. As you can see, being a programmer is about solving problems even moreso than the designer - you have to really figure out all of the bits of the problem and solve them all. But you also have much more in-depth knowledge of how the entire system works. You get to create those systems. You get to be the first to see something awesome happen, and you get to be the one to feel good to know that every time a player grabs an enemy and kills him in a spectacular fashion, that was something you did. Every time the NBA player puts his hand in the right spot and blocks a shot, that was something you did. There’s really a strong sense of ownership knowing that it was code you wrote and debugged directly that makes these features actually happen.

One of the things that is incredibly important to gameplay programmers is a strong grasp of mathematics, particularly vectors and 3D math. I constantly hear high school and college kids wonder aloud what they’d ever use the math they’re learning for. I’ll tell you that if you ever want to get into gameplay programming, you will need math. When I’m doing software engineering work, I use it all the time. Once I sat down to have lunch with some of my university friends, and we talked it over. Between the three of us - a microchip designer who designs RF chips for cell phones, a database software engineer who works for a major major database company (the one who does all of the databases for World of Warcraft, Fortune 500 companies, etc.), and me… I’m the one who uses math the most often. But if you think about it, it makes sense given the sort of tasks a gameplay programmer needs to do.

One of the most common questions I’ve seen at job interviews (including ones I’ve given) is a math question. Let’s suppose that you’ve got a gun somewhere in a world and it has a position (where it is) and an orientation (direction it’s pointing). You also have a circular target in the world somewhere and it has a position (where it is), an orientation (which way it’s facing), and a radius (how big around the target is). The question is… if the gun were to fire, would it hit the target?

How do you answer this question? The answer is in the math… you’re looking at vector math here, and you need to be able to calculate this sort of thing because being able to tell whether a gun hits its target, whether your character is visible to an enemy, whether a position on the map is reachable, or even whether a punch will connect all require some amount of math, as well as the ability to visualize how these things are represented in 3 dimensional space.

For students interested in solving problems at a more fundamental level, you’ll want to study computer science and math in school. I can’t stress this enough, because it’s very much needed if you really want to make games.

For those who are interested in becoming a programmer and don’t have the option of formal schooling, I would suggest studying and learning basic programming principles, especially how object-oriented programming works. You should also study data structures and algorithms - these are means to create more efficient solutions, and the speed at which your solutions run is very important when you are trying to make a game run at a good frame rate. Learn the basics of how physics works… basic concepts for Newtonian physics are useful - how objects move, and how acceleration affects them. And finally math - there are a lot of online resources that will teach the basics for vectors. More specifically, you must know how matrices are used to represent positions and orientations, what a dot product and cross product are, and how they can be used to calculate positions in 3 dimensions.

It really isn’t as complicated as it sounds, but that’s why it’s incredibly important to find a teacher who can explain the concepts in a way you understand. Knowing how things are represented in 3 dimensions and how to get from point A to point B quickly are incredibly valuable skills to game developers, and will carry you far if you choose to pursue a career in development. Being a gameplay programmer is a fun and rewarding job, because you are literally there where the rubber meets the road. You are the one who gets to make the game feel responsive, you are the one who gets to make the game system actually work, you are the one who gets to adjust and tune and tweak all the little bits to make everything come together smoothly, and being able to point at a feature or a mechanic and say “I did that. That’s me.” in a game that’s on the shelf is an incredibly rewarding feeling.

Calm Down Everyone...

Okay…everyone breathe. First I’m sorry. My review is delayed. I’ve been really run down this week, exhausted. I have to be careful when that happens and rest. So I slept most of the day away (again) and I didn’t pull an all nighter on my review…so I need to finish it. I’ll have it posted later tonight.

And yes. I am still on the train 100%. Slamming the accelerator down on that motherfucker. So far, the Arrow posse’s predictions have come true.

Bio weapon used on Starling? Yes.

Oliver to marry Nyssa? Yes.

Ra’s wants Oliver to marry Nyssa to secure his bloodline? Yes.

The promo, the photos….EVERYTHING that is happening right now is misdirection. Marc promised a surprise. If Oliver & Nyssa are the surprise…HE JUST RUINED IT. That’s like handing a kid a wrapped birthday present and telling them what’s in it before they open it. What’s the point? There’s something else going on here.

And yes…Nyssa isn’t wearing a mask. We were afraid of that. We knew if there wasn’t a mask our “How” theory would take a hit. But the fact still remains - WE KNOW THE END RESULT. We know A to Z. Maybe we got how wrong…I don’t know. But all the other evidence still stands.

Theroy - Felicity was pretty heavy handed in her instructions to Thea to go “live her life with Roy.” Then we get a happy Theroy in the promo. 

So right now…the two couples that look the MOST likely for a wedding are Oliver & Nyssa or Thea & Roy. The most likely…in episode 3x21. Um…that’s not good people. You want to look the LEAST likely going into the season finale if you have any HOPE of being “the couple”. Which couple does it look really freaking bad for right now? Which couple does it look almost IMPOSSIBLE for them to get married?

OLICITY.

Marc is promising a surprise. How is Oliver & Nyssa a surprise? How is Thea & Roy a surprise? THEY ARE NOT. We can’t see the how. Marc has made the how almost impossible to see.  Which means he’s got us right where he wants us.

This isn’t the time to bail. This is gut check time. Are you in or are you out? This is where the rubber meets the road and it gets tough. When the odds are stacked against Olicity. It’s time to strap in and hold on tight, because this train ride we’re on is going to get very very bumpy, but that doesn’t mean we won’t reach the destination. 

Oliver & Felicity….together, happy….and MARRIED.

CHOO CHOO MOTHERFUCKERSS!!!

More to come in my review….all lay out all the evidence okay? Just breathe friends.

And yes. I am still on the train 100%. Slamming the accelerator down on that motherfucker. So far, the Arrow posse’s predictions have come true.

Bio weapon used on Starling? Yes.

Oliver to marry Nyssa? Yes.

Ra’s wants Oliver to marry Nyssa to secure his bloodline? Yes.

The promo, the photos….EVERYTHING that is happening right now is misdirection. Marc promised a surprise. If Oliver & Nyssa are the surprise…HE JUST RUINED IT. That’s like handing a kid a wrapped birthday present and telling them what’s in it before they open it. What’s the point? There’s something else going on here.

And yes…Nyssa isn’t wearing a mask. We were afraid of that. We knew if there wasn’t a mask our “How” theory would take a hit. But the fact still remains - WE KNOW THE END RESULT. We know A to Z. Maybe we got how wrong…I don’t know. But all the other evidence still stands.

Theroy - Felicity was pretty heavy handed in her instructions to Thea to go “live her life with Roy.” Then we get a happy Theroy in the promo.

So right now…the two couples that look the MOST likely for a wedding are Oliver & Nyssa or Thea & Roy. The most likely…in episode 3x21. Um…that’s not good people. You want to look the LEAST likely going into the season finale if you have any HOPE of being “the couple”. Which couple does it look really freaking bad for right now? Which couple does it look almost IMPOSSIBLE for them to get married?

OLICITY.

Marc is promising a surprise. How is Oliver & Nyssa a surprise? How is Thea & Roy a surprise? THEY ARE NOT. We can’t see the how. Marc has made the how almost impossible to see.  Which means he’s got us right where he wants us.

This isn’t the time to bail. This is gut check time. Are you in or are you out? This is where the rubber meets the road and it gets tough. When the odds are stacked against Olicity. It’s time to strap in and hold on tight, because this train ride we’re on is going to get very very bumpy, but that doesn’t mean we won’t reach the destination.

Oliver & Felicity….together, happy….and MARRIED.

CHOO CHOO MOTHERFUCKERSS!!!

More to come in my review….all lay out all the evidence okay? Just breathe friends.

— 

jbuffyangel


Okay, so I just have to say that Jen has nailed it once again with this post. 

How do prestidigitators (magicians for the lay person ;) ) peddle their trade - misdirection. Magicians distract their audience with a cute bunny…

And then do the switcheroo while we’re watching the cute fluffy thing… or, as in the picture above, the psychotic fluffy thing which gutted the cute fluffy thing and is now wearing it as a hat. The world of magician’s assistant is a cut throat one… apparently. 

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Felicity isn't betraying Oliver...

Anonymous said: I’m starting to dislike felicity which sucks cause she’s in my top two. But like if shes in love with Oliver why is going on a date and kissing Barry literally a week or two after fighting Oliver to be with her? I’m all for her not waiting which is what Ray is for but the whole Barry thing really bothers me especially so soon it just really makes me question the depths of her feelings for Oliver like you are kissing him and fighting him then a week later you’re kissing another guy?

Anonymous said: I like how everyone calls Oliver a man whore for getting with all the women but no one comments on the fact felicity is suppose to be in love with Oliver but yet she has interest in every guy that shows up on the show Barry, Ray? Like what the hell.

These comments were written before 3x02. I’m hoping that post 3x02 these Anons have changed their mind.

Going forward I’m referring everyone to my No Slut Shaming post.  Just a friendly reminder. 

 There’s a reason why I said to withhold judgement on Felicity until AFTER the break up episodes aired. The writers presented us with both sides of the argument…Oliver’s and Felicity’s in 3x01. But 3x02 is where the rubber met the road.

Oliver & Felicity are not together for one simple reason: what they WANT out of life is diametrically opposed. It’s not for lack of love. It’s not about looking for a better option. It’s about HOW they want to LIVE.

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Be honest. Be vulnerable.

I’m trying really hard lately to be these things. I’m trying not to worry about saying too much or repeating myself too many times because the struggles I have are what I’ve been given and my story is only mine. 

I was self-conscious for a long time about being honest. I thought if I said my stuff too many times, people would be annoyed, and if I shared too much, they might get uncomfortable. I’m not talking about over sharing details of your story- discretion and wisdom are important. I’m talking about not editing your story because you think it’s too much. 

For a long time, I’d tell people the general stuff and even after I was challenged to be more real with people, I didn’t know how. I’d give a synopsis that covered the things people could see on the surface, but that’s not vulnerable. Vulnerable is when I go from the obvious, “my year has been hard, I’ve had a lot of surgeries” to including the raw parts, “my year has been hard, I had a lot of surgeries, I thought God wasn’t listening, my relationship ended, and there have been many days that I didn’t know who I was anymore.” I don’t think I have to shy away from that and I realized it tonight. Yes, I’ve written about it a lot here, and I’ve talked about it in real life, but that’s because that’s what it is- it’s real life, it’s my real life. It’s the gritty, painful stuff that people can relate to. That’s the stuff people need to hear- we need to know we’re not alone.

Tell your story; don’t be afraid of editing the parts that might make people feel bad for you. Own your story; let them know you’re okay and you’re not seeking sympathy, you’re just being real and you’re sharing what happened and how God worked. If you don’t share the lows, it’s hard to fully rejoice in the moments Jesus redeems. Real is where the rubber meets the road. Real is where Jesus works. 

Relationship is really where the rubber meets the road in spirituality.
One can talk of being realized or enlightened
while still acting out old egoic patterns in relationships.
The true test, in my view, is this: how do you move and act in relationship?
That reveals everything about how deeply the belief in separation
has been seen through.
Merely saying there is ‘no self’ doesn’t cut it,
not if you have reduced that to a mental conclusion.
It’s just a fancy one-liner in that case.
It won’t bring you one bit closer to real freedom.
'No self’ has to be realized, through and through.
And that includes seeing that there is no separate other in relationship.
—  Scott Kiloby