Thought Catalog


Tainted Love: 7 Real Stories Of Lust And Sex Turning To Grisly Murder

Posted: 30 Oct 2015 10:14 PM PDT

1. Brutal sadomasochistic sex cult lures in young woman

Youtube / Inside Edition
Brittany Killgore via Youtube / Inside Edition

Brittany Killgore had just filed for divorce from her husband when Sgt. Louis Ray Perez appeared on her doorstep to ask her to dinner. Killgore declined the invitation, at least until Perez promised to find people to help her move if she accepted his date offer.

"Party with me tonight & you'll have five guys there in the morning.” — Sgt. Perez via text

Only a few minutes after being picked up, Killgore sent a text message to one of her friends that was only one word long: “Help.”

Killgore’s body was found naked and mutilated in a ditch four days later.

Instead of taking her to dinner, Perez took Killgore to his home and invited two friends over to join him in torturing Killgore. The three were allegedly part of a cult that enjoyed sadistic sexual acts that went far beyond typical BDSM.

Perez and his co-conspirators were found guilty of murder earlier this month. They are all facing potential life sentences.


2. Man rips out girlfriend’s intestines for mentioning her ex

Youtube / TheAdviseShowTV
Fidel Lopez with Maria Nemeth via Youtube / TheAdviseShowTV

Full disclosure for the weak of heart, this story is horrendously gruesome (if the sub-heading wasn’t a tip-off).

Fidel Lopez was having sex with his girlfriend Maria Nemeth when she moaned her ex-husband’s name, and Lopez, in a jealous rage, “became a monster.”

Lopez burst from the closet where the two had been “going at it,” and began smashing objects and punching the walls in berserk out-of-control fit. He then returned to Nemeth, who had since passed out due to drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, and began mutilating her body.

Police report of incident via Gawker
Police report of incident via Gawker

The police report goes on to graphically tell the story of how Lopez began to pull “body matter” from her intestines. After his rage subsided, he went outside to smoke a cigarette. He returned to the scene of the crime to find that Nemeth wasn’t breathing and called 911. At that point, however, she had already passed away. Lopez is currently being held on the charge of first degree murder.


3. Sibling lovers kill and eat their parents

This story ain’t nothing but a family thing, and it is pretty damn strange.

25-year-old Leandro Acosta has admitted to murdering his parents, which he says is in retaliation for years of physical and sexual abuse. His sister, 22-year-old Karen Klein, who is also his longtime lover, is also under investigation for allegedly helped Acosta clean up the scene of the crime.

Acosta confessed that he had been planning his parent’s murder for sometime. He shot his father first, and began committing obscene acts to the dead body. Soon after, his mother entered the room, allegedly screaming, “What have you done, you son of a b***h!” Acosta responded by immediately shooting her to death.

Later that evening Acosta cooked his father’s flesh and ate it for dinner, which he described as “almost a pleasure.” He publicly characterized the taste of his father’s flesh as “salty” and kind of “like pork.” According to the Daily Mail, Acosta doesn’t feel any remorse for killing his mother.

“She was a whore and a drunkard, I did justice my way.” — Leandro Acosta

Because of Acosta’s physical disabilities (he is mostly limited to a wheelchair) his lover / step-sister is being accused of assisting with body disposal and clean-up. Klein, for her part, claims that she only helped with clean-up under duress because she felt threatened by Acosta and was worried that he would kill her as well.

Klein has been temporarily released, while Acosta is currently held at a psychiatric institution.


4. Jury doesn’t believe girlfriend was killed by kinky sex

Benjamin Cayea claims that strangulation was a frequent occurrence when it came to sex between him and his girlfriend, 23-year-old Shannon Jones, and it was a freak accident that she passed away from asphyxiation during sexual intercourse.

But that’s not what he initially told the police.

At first, Cayea confessed to the police that he killed his girlfriend after she told him how worthless he was for taking a bite of her Thanksgiving dinner.

“She was just hitting and pushing me and just yelling at me. The next thing I knew she was on the ground. She wasn’t moving and I had my hands around her throat.” — Benjamin Cayea in confession video

After she stopped breathing, Cayea did not attempt to resuscitate Jones. He went over to a friend’s house, where he was apparently talked out of killing himself. Cayea claimed that he only lied initially because he was embarrassed about their kinky sex life. The jurors didn’t buy it, and he was recently found guilty of murder.


5. A case study on how teacher-student relationships can be deadly (literally)

Dr. James H. Snook via Wikimedia
Dr. James H. Snook via Wikimedia

In 1927, Dr. James Snook was a prestigious professor at The Ohio State University with a faithful wife and respected career, but only three years later he would be sent to the electric chair. What happened? Filthy, dirty lust happened.

It all began when Snook offered one of his students, Theora Hix, a ride back to her dorm (which is still in use). Not long after this chance encounter, the two became lovers, and they began spending huge swaths of time together. Snook rented a “love nest” away from main campus, and Hix introduced Snook to “kinkier” sexy-time activities including the tabooed act of oral sex.

One night they were having sex in the car when Snook mentioned that he had to leave town with his family the next weekend. According to Snook’s version of events, Hix began to threaten his wife and children before resuming oral sex and launching an all-out assault on his, eh, “family jewels.”

Trial testimony from "The Professor & the Coed: Scandal & Murder at the Ohio State University"
Trial testimony from “The Professor & the Coed: Scandal & Murder at the Ohio State University”

Hix had a gun that Snook had bought for her, but before she could use it, Snook killed her by slashing her throat. Many experts were — and still are — skeptical of Snook’s story, particularly, the supposed “threats”  against his family.

The jury agreed, and Snook was quickly found guilty in a sensationalist trial that captured the interest of the entire community due to its sordid and sexual nature.


6. How do you get so angry while receiving a BJ?

Colorado Springs Police Department
Colorado Springs Police Department

It is common for men on gay hookup apps to identify who is “the top” and who is “the bottom,” but in this casual encounter gone wrong between, the only labels that seem relevant is that one was “the murdered” and one was “the murderer.”

Fernando Rosales and Sean Crescentini met on Grindr and talked for almost a month before getting together for a hookup. Crescentini arrived and Rosales’ house and began performing oral sex for him. During the intercourse Crescentini began “demeaning” Rosales verbally, and after the blowjob ended, allegedly “lunged” at Rosales. Rosales responded by stabbing Crescentini in the chest with a kitchen knife.

Rosales claims that Crescentini had punched him at least once before he stabbed him. Law enforcement isn’t convinced by Crescentini’s story, however, and are charging him with second degree murder.


7. Man kills girl, attempts to kill friend, then goes to get a haircut

Defendant Bryan Santana via Youtube / WESH 2 News
Defendant Bryan Santana via Youtube / WESH 2 News

In 2013 Bryan Santana killed his female roommate 23-year-old Shelby Fazio and had sexual intercourse with her body. When his third roommate returned home, he charged the individual with a knife in an attempt to murder him as well. That roommate, however, fought Santana off and got out of the house.

Santana then left the apartment to go to EuroCuts to get a haircut. He was conversational with the barber, telling him about a fictions “hot date” he had that evening. While he was getting his hair trimmed, however, the police arrived to take Santana away.

What was his motive? According to Santana, he was embarrassed that he couldn’t pay rent.

“I have that dark side. I’ve always wanted to kill, but I never thought I was going to kill a person. I did it for a stupid reason.” — Bryan Santana

This might not be the whole explanation, however. Police found a giant slab of dry wall with a giant heart and an ominous message:

Drywall found in Cantana's possession via Youtube /
Drywall found in Cantana’s possession via Youtube / WESH 2 News

The text of the drywall read:

“Not sorry for what I did.

I’m sorry.”

We may never know the full story. TC mark

17 Women On The Thing They Most Admire (And Often Envy) In Other Women

Posted: 30 Oct 2015 08:00 PM PDT

mimagephotography
mimagephotography

1. “Right now I’m trying to quit the habit of saying ‘sorry’ all the time. It’s so silly that so many of us feel like we need to do this. When a woman walks into a room and is so confident and doesn’t apologize for being clever/smart/the boss/whatever she is, I respect that so much. I want to be that woman.”

-Carey, 29

2. “Women who know how to do practical stuff – changing their oil, fixing their tire pressure, sewing, putting together shit from IKEA, jump starting a car, etc. I don’t want to have to rely on someone else for that stuff, especially a guy. I’m pretty jealous of women who just seem to know how to do anything and everything.”

-Ariel, 24

3. “I clam up in social situations with new people. When I’m with my friends I’m a pretty comfortable, fun person. But with new people my brain freezes and it’s like I can think of nothing interesting to say. But there’s always that one woman at the party who knows everybody and seems really comfortable and can talk to just about anyone. I wish I had that skill.”

-Andrea, 27

4. “Most of my best friends from college know what they want to do with their lives and they’re so sure about their life path. I wish I had that. But I have no confidence in terms of what I want to do for a living. So I’m usually thinking about them while I’m at my boring admin job that’s leading nowhere.”

-Chelsea, 22

5. “A woman who’s really beautiful but doesn’t feel the need to remind everyone else about how attractive she is every three seconds. I had a couple friends in school who just HAD to tell you every time a guy hit on them and it came off as very obnoxious. I really admire women who are confident in their own skin but don’t have to tell everyone how gorgeous they are every minute of every day.”

-Kate, 25

6. “I really do wanna get in shape but I have no willpower and I’m just exhausted constantly. Every time I’m driving to work and I see a woman who’s jogging super early in the morning, I always wish it was me and that I had that diligence. But I hate exercising so it’s kind of a catch 22.”

-Claire, 28

7. “That one friend you have who’s always so gracious and sweet. Always sending thank-you notes, always giving you a nice card or gift on your birthday, always remembering the names of everybody she meets. Making everyone feel welcomed and cared about. I’m the worst at that stuff.”

-Maria, 30

8. “I have the worst sense of style. I love women who just freaking know how to put stuff together. I’m so jealous and wish I knew how to make my style look so effortless and chic.”

-Laurie, 29

9. “I’m gonna go with a shallow answer and say girls with long, thick hair. My hair is thin and whispy. Anytime I’m near someone with super long hair, I just stare at it and wish mine could be like that.”

-Mary Ellen, 21

10. “Women who are good at public speaking. I have to do it a lot in my job and I’m trying to get better at it. I’m always thinking about the best female public speakers I’ve seen every time I have to give a presentation.”

-Brandi, 28

11. “I have a lot of friends who do all sorts of cool things outside work. Crossfit, running clubs, pottery classes, blogging, photography. But I haven’t found my ‘thing’ yet. I feel like all I do is go to work and then come home and eat dinner and watch tv. So I’m really jealous of girls who have such cool lives going on outside of their job.”

-Mel, 24

12. “Curves. I have absolutely none.”

-Britt, 26

13. “My best friend has this beautiful, chestnut-brown hair color with little highlights of red in it that are actually NATURAL. It’s so frustrating. I love her to death but I tell her all the time that I want to steal her hair. Especially because I have to regularly spend money to get mine highlighted since the natural color is meh.”

-Mary, 21

14. “Women who can dance. Half the time I go out to clubs, I don’t even dance because I’m too busy watching other women on the dance floor and wishing I could be them.”

-Brie, 23

15. “Pretty much any woman who knows how to say ‘no’ to things she shouldn’t have to do (extra work shifts, weird requests you get as a bridesmaid, things she’s not comfortable doing at her job) without feeling bad about it is my role model.”

-Analise, 27

16. “A woman who knows exactly what she’s looking for in a partner, and will not lower her standards for anyone just so she can be in a relationship. (As long as she’s being practical and not snobbish or anything.)”

-Sam, 30

17. “Women who are confident, but not arrogant, about their talents. I love Tina Fey because although she’s a comedian it can apply to all sorts of professions and types of women. She’s confident about her capabilities and she can command a room, but she is equally humble and seems really down-to-earth. My passions lean towards digital marketing, but I always look to her as an example of how to conduct myself in my professional life.” TC mark

-Robyn, 26

14 Women Describe The Exact Moment They Felt The Most Turned On During Sex

Posted: 30 Oct 2015 07:00 PM PDT

(YouTube)
(YouTube)

1. WHILE BEING MANHANDLED

"I like to think of myself as a strong, empowered, independent woman, and outside of the bedroom, that's exactly what I am. But when I'm inside a bedroom, I want the guy to throw me around like I'm a dirty little rag doll. I don't want him to hurt me, but I want him to be in command. In other words, I don't want to be mistreated, but goddamn do I want to be manhandled. Just push me down over the bed and power-fuck me, that's all I ask. I was with this guy once who was a car mechanic. He came home from banging out a dent in a fender and was all sweaty and greasy and oily and proceeded to bang out a dent in my pussy. I was so wet I could have mopped the floor."

—Megan, 25

beetlejuice

2. WHILE CALLING HIM DADDY

"I guess this means I'm messed up psychologically, but I have this whole 'daddy' thing. I used to date this guy who was quite a bit older than me and there are some fantasies that I won't get into here, but yeah, we enacted them all. I'd call him 'daddy' and he'd call me his 'little girl.' And I was calling him 'daddy' while I was cumming."

—Jen, 27

beetlejuice

3. WHILE BLOWING A GUY

"The hardest I ever came was while blowing a guy. I am totally into the cock worship. With the guy in question, it wasn't that he was the biggest, but that it was the most beautiful one—just to look at, the scent, the slightest hint of salt in the taste. I came like I was demon-possessed, and I was hardly even touching myself."

—Erika, 27

beetlejuice

4. I LOVE BEING SPANKED—HARD

"My parents used to spank me, and no, I didn't like it then, but, yeah, I like it now—and I'm not sure how much one has to do with the other, but I'm pretty sure they're related. This one guy who spanked me didn't seem like he was going to stop. It scared me, but it was the combination of pain and fear that turned me wayyyyy the fuck on. I came like I'd been struck with a bolt of lightning."

—Jolene, 24

beetlejuice

5. WHEN HE GRUNTED IN MY EAR LIKE AN ANIMAL

"Me and my current boyfriend have always had great sex—that's why he's still my boyfriend!—but there was one time when he was on top and he grunted like an animal in my ear. It's the same grunting sound he makes while bench-pressing. Um…yeah. Never been more turned-on in my life."

—Robyn, 20

beetlejuice

6. WHEN I FANTASIZE ABOUT HIM HAVING SEX WITH OTHER WOMEN

"My current boyfriend is so hot, and he's been with so many girls, and so many girls are always coming onto him, that I'm pretty sure one day he'll dump me for another girl. And this is really embarrassing to confess, but I get off when I fantasize about him leaving me for another woman. It's kind of like the female version of a cuckold fetish, I guess? I cum really really hard whenever we're having sex and I pretend he's fucking some girl who is an ex of his or who works with him or who 'Likes' his pictures on Facebook. I have orgasms from being humiliated. Am I proud of it? No—that would ruin the whole point."

—Andrea, 24

beetlejuice

7. CUM-HUNGRY

"I have this cum fetish. I don't like swallowing it, because it tastes gross and makes me gag. But it's more like I'm a cake and I fantasize about a guy 'frosting' me—the more frosting, the better. Then I fantasize about walking around the house in pajamas with his frosting slowly leaking out of me. I don't know why, but being filled with a guy's cum drives me out of my mind. My toes are curling just describing this. So anyway, the best orgasm I ever had was while having sex with my boyfriend at a motel. He knows all about my cum fetish, so while we were doing it, he kept telling me about how he was going to fill me up with cum and then forbid me from going to the bathroom or keeping my legs open. He was going to make me lie in bed with my legs pressed tightly together so that not a drop of his cum would leak out. Wow. Yeah. That one sent me straight to Pluto, orgasm-wise."

—Cherie, 28

beetlejuice

8. WHILE FANTASIZING ABOUT HIS BEST FRIEND

"The hardest I ever came was this time I was pissed off at my boyfriend for standing me up on a Friday night, so on Saturday night when he decided to finally grace me with his presence for a lazy round of 'Netflix and chill,' I decided that my revenge would be to fantasize that I was fucking his best friend instead. And what sweet revenge it was."

—Jessica, 23

beetlejuice

9. WHILE CHEATING ON HIM WITH HIS BEST FRIEND

"We'd been arguing for weeks and he was being a complete and total dick, so one night when he was working I called his best friend and made up some story that the apartment was being flooded because I clogged the sink and he needed to come over but not to tell my boyfriend because he'd be pissed at me. Well, one thing naturally led to another, and it was just the whole symbolism of doing something so vicious as letting his best friend fuck me in our bed that put me over the top. I got so wet the apartment almost got literally flooded!"

—Brittney, 25

beetlejuice

10. HE'S SO BIG, IT PISSES ME OFF

"I'm with a guy whose dick is so big, I have trouble walking for a few days after we fuck. I was once driving my niece to school and she asked me why I was sitting funny, OK? THAT'S how big this guy is. And it's not because his dick hits all the right spots while we're fucking, it's just this primitive huntress feeling like I've captured the biggest animal in the jungle. I lose control just thinking about that. Thinking about it makes me feel so good, I almost get pissed at him because he makes me lose control."

—Alana, 29

beetlejuice

11. WITH HIS FORMER GIRLFRIEND!

"I'm romantically and sexually attracted to men. I'm not romantically attracted to women, but I have the best sex of my life with them. C'mon, now—girls know the the equipment! No guy on earth is going to know the 'lay of the land' down there like a girl does. So there was this one night with this guy where we got into a hugely bitter fight about money and other stupid stuff, so I called his former girlfriend to bitch about what a fucking asshole he is and how much I hate him and want him to die, etc., etc. Well, let's just say she was way better than he was."

—Erin, 22

beetlejuice

12. WHEN HE DROVE 500 MILES JUST TO FUCK ME

"The most aroused I've ever been in my life was last summer when this guy I met online drove 500 miles from his city to mine just to fuck me. He was gorgeous, but that wasn't what turned me on—it's that he made that much effort just to hook up. Just thinking about that fact while we were having sex was the most turned on I've ever been."

—Alli, 33

beetlejuice

13. WHILE HUMILIATING MY BOYFRIEND

"This isn't going to speak well for my character or maybe even my sanity, but even though my boyfriend is nice as hell, I can see myself pushing him down a flight of stairs while laughing. There's just something about his personality—maybe it's that he's too nice—that makes me want to punish him. I get super turned on at the thought of him wearing an apron and cleaning the house, of sucking a dick, of me pegging him—just treating him like a dishrag. I know it's not nice, but hey—you asked!"

—Etta, 22

beetlejuice

14. IT'S THAT SMIRK OF HIS

"The time I was just over-the-top, out-of-my-mind turned on the most was when my boyfriend took a business trip to DC and I accompanied him. While we were doing it in the hotel that his business paid for, I thought about the way we breezed around town and how he handled people. How easily in control and effortlessly charming he always was. I just focused on how naturally sexy he was—and especially how he smirked at me as we were driving back to the hotel knowing that we were going to rip each other's clothes off—yup. 10/10 would do again."

—Amy, 28 TC mark

14 Ridiculous Hookup Rules College Girls Are Expected To Follow

Posted: 30 Oct 2015 06:00 PM PDT

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1. If you're on your period and/or haven't shaved, don't even bother flirting.

Your overwhelming menstrual aura and foot-long pubes are simply unappealing.

2. All senior chicks' exes are off limits.

That dude who dated the Theta president twelve years ago? Yeah, OFF LIMITS (unless you want the bitch-slapping ghosts of sororities girls past to haunt you for the rest of your days).

3. Wait at least 24 hours to text him (and at least twice his response time to text back).

"Bitch, I will text you while you're still inside me if I like you like that. Ain't nobody got the time or the algebra skills for all this math," is a tempting response to this asinine rule. Hold your tongue and crush those numbers, babe. It's an asinine world we live in.

4. NEVER confuse the proper label for your hookup.

There are a million terms that might describe your non-relationship: hooking up, exclusive, seeing each other, dating, together…"they're not dating but they're 'a thing,' like they're not hooking up with other people." Whatever the appropriate terminology may be, be SURE to never get it twisted. That could lead to you looking totally delusional!

5. If you want respect, you gotta "make him wait."

Let's get real, ladies: your horniness is a sin. Yours is a worth determined exclusively by sexual currency. If you give it up too quickly, he has every right to treat you "like a slut!"

6. Don't expect to hook up several nights in a row. You know that means shit's getting serious.

You like having sex with him, you say? The feeling's mutual, you say? Yeah, don't get your hopes up. Everyone knows that after three consecutive weekends of hooking up, you're officially "a thing." And nobody wants to be a thing. Especially not him.

7. If you want a man, you better be "girlfriend material."

Blow him with tireless vigor. Never ask him to return the favor. Do his laundry. Fake ur orgasms. DO NOT BE YOURSELF, BITCH.

8. Don't initiate weekday sex.

Weekday sex is like, waaaaay more serious than weekend sex. I know, I know: you'd think if he could give it to you hammered on a Saturday, he could work up the nerve to do it on a Wednesday, too. But apparently, in college, weekday sex inevitably leads to four kids and a house in Connecticut. Beware.

9. You're not allowed to get mad at him for hooking up with someone else unless you're fully dating.

I mean…….obviously. You'd look totally like, unchill! Fuck your justified hurt feelings, babe. All that matters is that he gets his while you grin and bear it.

10. NEVER admit to liking a guy unless you've hooked up with him at least, like, 10 times.

Otherwise, word might get out that YOU ARE EMOTIONALLY INVESTED IN THE PERSON YOU'RE FUCKING. AND THAT WOULD RUIN U.

11. Just like, don't hook up with younger dudes. Shit looks weird.

Sure, it's perfectly normal for older dudes to hook up with younger girls…le duh. But if you're an older girl looking to get after some fresh meat, you must be critically desperate.

12. It's your RESPONSIBILITY to be on the pill.

If you're sexually active and have a vagina, it's your natural charge to be on the pill (etc.). Meanwhile, if your guy can dig a Lifestyle condom from middle school outta his wallet, PRAISE HIM. You've found yourself a goddamn knight.

13. Never wake up a one night stand.

For fear either of you may have to look your drunken decision in the eye.

14. If you're not dating him, definitely don't expect to go on any date-like things.

Unless you have a ring on that finger, don't anticipate any morning-after breakfasts or formal invites. I mean, babe, c'mon. DON'T BE CRAZY. TC mark

7 Things You Need To Know If You’re Experiencing Metanoia: A Change Of Mind, Heart, Self Or Way Of Life

Posted: 30 Oct 2015 05:00 PM PDT

Amy Gee
Amy Gee

1. If it's a relationship that prompted a revolution in your worldview, know that that relationship has likely served its purpose. A lot of people hold on to the catalyst of their personal "awakenings" because they confuse 'big love' for being 'forever love.' They're not the same thing.

2. You don't need to be mad about your limiting, old beliefs: change is in building what's next, not in dismantling what was. You don't need to ruminate in disappointment for how long you spent not realizing there was more to life than you assumed. The point is that you figured it out eventually.

3. The base of any personal catastrophe or desire for deeper understanding is usually the same: it's the realization that you, and only you, are responsible for your life. You cannot depend on anything – anything! – to do the real, grueling work of what it means to find comfort in a world that's entirely impermanent. No job, no amount of money, no relationship, no accomplishment can supplement that for you. It's a peace you must come to first, then you can enjoy the rest.

4. "Loving yourself" is an action, not a feeling. When we think of romantic love, we think of the flush of hormones that gives us an ooey gooey emotion. We rarely think of the daily tasks and commitments necessary to make someone else's well-being as important as our own. The same goes for loving yourself: we think it's the emotion that comes with holding yourself in a high regard, when most of the time, it's more like standing up for yourself, having the courage to keep going, having the courage to quit, finding happiness despite the impermanence and unreliability of things, and so on.

5. You don't need to have every answer, nor will you ever have every answer. It's never about how certain you are, it's about how willing you are to try anyway. Nobody knows the mysterious abyss from which we come and eventually go back to, and yet so many people's lives – and our society/culture in general – are crafted and dictated from teachings about this unknown. Everything is speculation for now – but some speculations lead to a happier, kinder, more peaceful world (and some don't). The point isn't who knows what for sure, but point is who is willing to do what it takes to make the best version of the reality we have now.

6. You don't need to believe in anything, but you do need to be able to listen to what feels true in the moment, and hold enough objectivity to speak and act with respect and kindness toward yourself and those around you. And if you're instructed or pressured to believe in anything that doesn't resonate with you at basically every cell of your being, know that it is your internal guidance system saying: "not quite."

7. Your struggles will be what make you what you are. Discomfort is the pressure usually required to make us act in a way that we wouldn't otherwise. This, on the surface, feels scary, because it is unknown. But the most difficult moments of your life will be the catalysts of your becoming. The challenges will grow you into someone you never imagined you could be. The 'bad' things in your life will be the necessary leeways into things better than you can imagine. You will be grateful things didn't turn out the way you wanted. You will be grateful for what you struggle with once you get to the other side. TC mark

Your Problem With Me Is Not *My* Problem

Posted: 30 Oct 2015 04:00 PM PDT

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 11.14.22 PM

“I honestly don’t know how you read Internet comments and not want to f*cking kill yourself!” My friend semi-jokes, eyes wide as she scrolls through my online portfolio with pages and pages of anonymous hate (and love).

I consider how to approach the question. Frankly, I don’t have a great answer.

I think of explaining how long I’ve been posting “content” online and the bizarre numbness that comes with reading the truly heinous stuff. I could even let it get dark and uncomfortable for a second. Oh, I’ve definitely wanted to kill myself, but not because of randos telling me I should!

Instead, I just shrug.

“It’s not my problem.”

* * *

I was thirteen the first time I realized my desire for others to like me wasn’t just a side-effect of entering my teen years, but something that was directly tied into how I viewed and valued myself. I didn’t just want to be liked, I needed to be liked. My self-esteem depended on it.

I remember sitting on the tiled floor of my middle school with a group of adolescent girls, only really knowing two of them. We began discussing our individuals flaws, something that has been (sadly) uniting women for generations.

A waif-like blonde started by saying how much she hated the way her skin created neat folds whenever she bent over. She called it fatness. But I couldn’t see that. How true it is, that others often don’t see the massive imperfections we convince ourselves we have. A petite brunette fretted over the thick hair adorning her upper lip. A girl of color in a fairly white-washed suburb, she said she fought a battle daily with figuring out how to love her body hair. How badly she wanted to wax everything off so she could be “pretty like other girls in school.” I only ever thought how beautifully shaped her smile was and that her eyes exuded kindness.

It was then my turn. And I hated so much, it felt like getting ready to write an essay with so many places one could start.

My teeth. My breasts. My nervous stomach. My worried mind. My inability to let go and be wild. My obsessions.

“My knees. They look like fat old men.”

Everybody laughed. I laughed too. I needed them to laugh too.

* * *

I was a fairly shy child, especially in social situations. An introvert to the core, I was easily exhausted by large crowds and being around people I didn’t know very well. There was nothing exciting about meeting strangers. To me, it was just a special kind of Hell I had to navigate. A birthday party where I wasn’t sure I knew all the party goers was the kind of anxiety-inducing event that had my little body nauseated with acid reflux. So, as you can guess, I wasn’t Miss Social Butterfly floating in and out of gatherings with ease and confidence.

But I had so much I wanted to say. I had so much I wanted to do, but the fear of not being accepted for my inner goofiness kept me stagnant. I fit myself in boxes, smaller. Smaller. Whatever I could do to make sure I wasn’t exposing who I really was. I didn’t want to give people the opportunity to point out how weird I was. That my mind was potentially wired differently from my peers, and to an insecure girl, that’s a terrifying thought.

I thought, if people didn’t like me, why should I like me?

If others couldn’t see my worth, I must not have any.

So I dedicated the next few years of my life to simply be likable. I was the nice girl. I was the girl who would pick you up from the airport. I wouldn’t fight with you or argue. I’d appease all situations, bend backwards trying to make sure everyone around me was happy and taken care of. I did a myriad of things I didn’t want to do — both in platonic and romantic relationships.

I had to be liked. I had to be someone worth liking.

But turns out, living like that doesn’t lead to much satisfaction. You don’t suddenly turn into some Beyoncé-like angel when a certain number of people adore you. Your self-esteem doesn’t magically bloom because someone says you’re fun to be with.

People liking you doesn’t make you like you.

* * *

My friend asks another question.

“Does it ever hurt your feelings? When you see people saying mean things?”

Yes.

But I can’t start apologizing for who I am now. I spent far too long doing it. I created an entire life inside a cage and decided it was better that way.

It isn’t.

The day I finally started being my authentic self and not caring if that made me something less palatable was the day life started opening up possibility. It’s a lie to say you won’t care what people think, but living as a version you think will be accepted is a far worse lie. That’s a lie you tell yourself. TC mark

Halloween Haters Unite! 7 Reasons Halloween Is The Most Insufferable Holiday Ever

Posted: 30 Oct 2015 03:45 PM PDT

StockSnap.ioSkitter Photo
StockSnap.ioSkitter Photo

There are Halloween lovers and there are Halloween haters. I am of the latter tribe. And while I will likely venture out this weekend like many other Halloween weekends, with a half-hearted attempt at a costume, I just want everyone to know this a sacrifice on my part.

Like many Halloween haters, the whole experience is mostly to be social with friends rather than any actual enjoyment derived from the experience. And with that, here are 7 reasons why Halloween is actually insufferable:

1. Having fun shouldn’t be so much work.

Nothing quite like seeing the amount of effort many people put into costumes and Halloween-themed parties. I have seen people go through sleepless nights and spend a sizeable amount of money on their costumes. The time and monetary investment just doesn’t seem worth the return. Let’s keep it real: This is the holiday of basics.

2. Can we please stop pretending we’re not cold?

If you live in a warm place, good for you; you don’t have this problem. And if you live somewhere cold but you always make the smart decision to always choose a warm costume, even better! But chances are, you made the decision to wear something that was well, not remotely warm. And then you’re freezing in between Halloween parties. Is it really worth it? (Bring a coat.)

3. You’re not guaranteed pity candy or a kiss at midnight.

If I’m going to care about a superficial holiday, there better be some guarantees. Hate on Valentine’s day and New Year’s Eve all you want but at least there’s a good chance that if you’re single, you might meet someone to mingle (and know what they actually look like). And if you’re in a relationship, you’re getting some chocolate or kisses because even though it doesn’t define your love, it’s just another day to remind you that chocolate and kisses are wonderful things.

4. R.I.P. to any birthdays around this time of year.

As someone who has a birthday a few days before Halloween, I would just like to say that every year I have to accommodate the fact that Halloween is around my birthday. And you know what? That’s not cool. You know what else is never going to be cool? A Halloween-themed birthday party.

5. Do you like crowds, long lines, and not being able to breathe properly?

The older I get, the less inclined I feel to go to any place where there’ll be a crowd. The only legitimate exceptions are sports games and Janet Jackson. Halloween seems like a whole lot of things people would ordinarily hate doing – being in long lines, with a thousand of your closest friends, and struggling to breathe – all while mostly pretending THIS IS FUN. At least when you’re in long lines and crowds and are struggling to breathe for other reasons, you don’t have to pretend you’re having a good time.

6. If we don’t have Halloween without racism and cultural appropriation, is it really even Halloween?

Ah, yes. I would love to say my dislike of Halloween is only the little annoyances. But really, there is nothing like Halloween to remind me of how completely culturally incompetent and casually racist society is. And while I would love to write an annual piece every year explaining why your Native American costume or Blackface make up is disrespectful, disgusting, bigoted, and racist, I simply hope that if you are reading this article, you also have access to Google.

7. Good luck getting home.

So after spending a night in a costume that you probably got sick of wearing by midnight, you’ll probably want to go home at some point in the early hours of the morning. But not so fast Cinderella, it’s not going to be so easy to get out of here, is it? Because not only will taxis be nowhere to be seen, Ubers and Lyfts will have sky-high prices. Hope you did in fact bring that coat and some sensible shoes. You’ll need ’em. TC mark

21 Tim Burton Quotes On Life, Creativity, And The Importance Of Embracing Your Inner ‘Freak’

Posted: 30 Oct 2015 03:00 PM PDT

yakub88 / Shutterstock.com
yakub88 / Shutterstock.com

1.

It’s good as an artist to always remember to see things in a new, weird way.

2.

People say, "Monster movies—they're all fantasy." Well, fantasy isn't fantasy—it's reality if it connects to you. It's like a dream. You have a nightmare, and it's got all this crazy imagery, but it's real. You wake up in a cold sweat, freaking out. That's completely real. So I always found that those people trying to categorize normal versus abnormal or light versus dark, yada yada, are all missing the point.

3.

Maybe it’s just in America, but it seems that if you’re passionate about something, it freaks people out. You’re considered bizarre or eccentric. To me, it just means you know who you are.

4.

People told me I couldn’t kill Nicholson, so I cast him in two roles and killed him off twice.

5.

I always appreciated movies and things that had everything, because that’s the way I feel about life. There’s nothing that’s just funny, just dramatic or just scary. It’s all mixed together. I’ve always felt, and still feel probably even more, that life is an incredible jumble of being funny and sad and dramatic and melodramatic and goofy and everything.

6.

We've all been called [“Freaks”] before. When I hear that word, I hear, "Somebody that I would probably like to meet and would get along with."

7.

We went out to draw people. I was sitting there, getting really frustrated trying to draw the way they were telling me to draw. So I just said, "Fuck it." I truly felt like I had taken a drug and my mind had suddenly expanded. It's never happened to me again quite that same way. From that moment on, I just drew a different way. I didn't draw better, I just drew differently. It freed me up to not really care. It reminds me of when you're drawing as a child. Children's drawings all look pretty cool. But at some point, kids get better at drawing, or they say, "Oh, I can't draw anymore." Well, that's because someone told you that you couldn't—it doesn't mean that you can't. It taught me to stick to what's inside of me, to let that flourish in the best way it can.

8.

It’s hard to find logic in things sometimes. That’s why I can’t analyze things too much, because it often doesn’t make much sense.

9.

I’m a happy-go-lucky manic-depressive. It does get very deep and dark for me, and it gets scary at times when I feel I can’t pull out of it. But I don’t consider myself negative-negative. I’m positive-negative. When things get really bad, the final straw is to laugh. That’s my release.

10.

If you’ve ever had that feeling of loneliness, of being an outsider, it never quite leaves you. You can be happy or successful or whatever, but that thing still stays within you.

11.

I find that the most special thing to me is if you've connected to people in some way. If someone comes up to you on the street and says something to you and you know it's meant something to them and it's connected to some project. That, I find, is amazing.

12.

For me, fantasy has always been a means of exploring reality… It explores the fact that your internal life, your dreams and the weird images and the things that come to you are things that are actually important tools for dealing with real issues.

13.

Drawing is exercise for a restless imagination.

14.

I’ve always been more comfortable making my decisions from the subconscious level, or more emotionally, because I find it is more truthful to me. Intellectually, I don’t think like that because I get uncomfortable. I’m more wary of my intellectual mind, of becoming delusional if I think of it too much.

15.

When you don't have many friends and you don't have a social life you're kind of left looking at things, not doing things. There's a weird freedom in not being the school president, and not having people treat you like you're part of society, or where you have to fulfill social relationships. You’re at a distance from the rest of society; you feel like you’re kind of looking out a window.

16.

Anybody with artistic ambitions is always trying to reconnect with the way they saw things as a child.

17.

I find a sense of freedom in the suburbs. You assume the mask of suburbia for outward appearances, and yet no one knows what you really do… You’re never so close and distant from people at the same time. There’s something about suburbia, it’s really a place to hide. Or people use it as sort of a mask of normalcy.

18.

I’ve found that the people who play villains are the nicest people in the world and people who play heroes are jerks.

19.

One person’s craziness is another person’s reality.

20.

Everybody in the whole world has been misperceived. In school, you wanted something to come across this way and it didn’t come across… It’s why you struggle as a child and you draw and you want to create. There is an impulse to be seen. For yourself: what you are.

21.

Every day is Halloween, isn't it? For some of us… TC mark

The Brutal Truth Behind 5 ‘Fictional’ Horror Movies About Hauntings And Demonic Possession

Posted: 30 Oct 2015 02:42 PM PDT

1. The Exorcist

via YouTube
via YouTube

Starting with this classic that everyone’s seen, the common story you may have heard is that the movie The Exorcist was based on a book by William Peter Blatty. However, the backstory of this one has gotten mixed and mashed up to the point that many people seem to think the book was a first-hand account. In truth, Blatty’s book by the same name was a novel, not an account of real events. Where the ‘true events’ come in is that Blatty based his 1971 novel on a series of stories he’d read in the newspaper while attending Georgetown University in the 1940s.

The original story that Blatty heard was about a boy named Roland Doe. Roland (real name Robert Manheim), an only child, had no playmates growing up and spent much of his time with his aunt who was a spiritualist. She even introduced him to Ouija boards. When the aunt died, a number of unexplained phenomena reportedly began to occur including strange noises and objects being moved around without explanation. When Roland was removed from the house and observed by a parapsychologist in another home, the same phenomena was reported to have occurred. It was then that the family sought out a Catholic priest and Roland underwent several exorcisms at Georgetown University Hospital.

During one the exorcisms, Roland was said to have broken out of his restraints and used a broken bedspring to cut the arm of one of the priests. In another instance, multiple priests observed objects levitating in the room around Roland and supposedly heard him speaking in a guttural voice and that the words “hell” and “evil” as well as other marks began to appear on Roland’s body. Roland is even said to have broken one of the priest’s noses.

Historians who looked at the case years later now tend to believe that Roland was actually just a little shit who tormented his family with pranks for attention and to get out of going to school. They also believed he carved the words and scratches into his own skin with his fingernails which the priests involved in the exorcisms reportedly never checked for skin or blood.

An entire documentary was created about Roland and the exorcisms. It can be seen here.

2. The Conjuring

via YouTube
via YouTube

The Conjuring is based on the research of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren who visited the home of the Perron Family in Harrisville, Rhode Island in 1971. According to the Warren’s, the Perron family home was cursed by a woman named Bathsheba Sherman (among other spirits) who lived in the home during the 19th century. The home itself was built in 1736 and sits on a 200 acre property. Locally the home and land are known as the Old Arnold Estate. The families that lived on the estate allegedly endured multiple horrors over the generations they owned it including several suicides, possible murders, two drownings, four people that froze to death on the land, and the rape and murder of an eleven-year-old girl as well as multiple hauntings. The only family that allegedly did not experience these things were a minister and his family.

Keeping in mind this is over eight generations it’s still an incredible number of deaths (and wholly unsubstantiated by history). This lead families, including the Perrons, to believe the land was cursed. It’s also where the Warrens enter the picture. The Perron’s claim to have repeated experience with spirits, some nice, some terrifying, over the nine years they lived in the Old Arnold Estate. After the Warrens spent some time in the home they determined that the primary malevolent spirit dwelling there was Bathsheba Sherman who, according to legend, was accused of murdering a child she was taking care of by sticking a knitting needle in the back of its head. The Perrons had reported being awoken at night by sharp stinging pains and then finding small bloody holes like that created by a knitting needle in the morning. This, the Warrens claim, was the work of Bathsheba.

Of course the answer to this nine year ordeal would have been to simply move. However the Perron family believes they were meant to experience these horrors year after year.

“I hear that question most every day. I think we were supposed to have this experience and share it with the world.”

The Perron’s also claim to have experienced a possession during a seance although no exorcisms were ever conducted as it’s portrayed in the movie.

The Warrens attribute also attribute a lot of things to Bathsheba Sherman based on folk legends of dubious origin that simply don’t appear to be true. There was a Bathsheba named Bathsheba Thayer and she was born in 1812 lived on the property. She was apparently tried for killing a child and was found not guilty of the crime. The community wasn’t convinced though and stories about her being a witch and sacrificing the child to the Devil began to be repeated. Bathsheba also allegedly wasn’t very nice to the domestic help and this most certainly didn’t do her any favors in regards to the rumor mill.

Folklore also claims that Bathsheba had four children, all of whom died. Records do seem to show that she had four children but she had a son who lived to adulthood and married. People also seem to forget that the early to late 1800s were a time when Tuberculosis was the leading cause of death. Twenty percent of the people who died during these years died of Tuberculosis. Indeed, other sites discussing legend of a “witch Bathsheba” note this and unwittingly endorse the idea that her children very well may have died of the disease rather than because of “cursed land” or some pact with the Devil.

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 3.50.12 PM
Screenshot via historyvshollywood.com

Despite what the Warrens and Perrons claim, there’s really no evidence that any of the myths about Bathsheba are true and all the evidence that does exist seems to characterize her as a woman who may have been demonized after a tragic event while living with possibly several tragic deaths in her own family because of disease.

What’s more, the current owners of the Old Arnold Estate say that everything in The Conjuring is nonsense and they’ve been badgered by movie fans ever since the film came out because it basically doxxed them. In 2014, they even made a fascinating hour-long YouTube video explaining why it was all completely made up by the Warrens and the Perrons.

3. The Rite

via YouTube
via YouTube

As a movie, while the film itself was pretty derivative, the story behind the movie is particularly interesting. The Rite was based on a book called The Making of a Modern Exorcist and was written by Matt Baglio. To do research for the book, Baglio participated in a Vatican-sponsored seminar on exorcism. There he met a priest named Father Gary Thomas of California, one of only fourteen Vatican certified exorcists in the United States. Baglio got permission from Thomas to then go on and observe him perform twenty exorcisms.

According to Father Gary, The Rite actually depicts exorcisms very realistically and while he says most people seeking exorcisms are actually suffering from mental illness, demonic possession is very real. Here’s one account from an L.A. Times interview he gave in 2011.

Thomas recalled an occasion when he was visited by a young Venezuelan woman who had been involved in palm readings for several years. “I was beginning to do some deliverance prayers. Within a few minutes she began to tremor and her facial countenance began to change. You saw a snake. She began sticking her tongue out like a snake and hissing and rolling her eyes. She coiled herself up.

“Her mother and father began to restrain her a bit. I went to get the Eucharist. The woman almost jumped out the window [at the sight of the Eucharist]. Her parents held her down. One minute you could see the demon, the next minute it was her. She kind of came back. I said, ‘Can you take the Eucharist?’ She said, ‘I’m not sure, but I’ll try.’ As I offered it to her, she resisted. I said, ‘Just open your mouth.’ All I had to wash it down was holy water.”

4. The Haunting in Connecticut

via YouTube
via YouTube

Based on the book In A Dark Place by Ed and Lorraine Warren, the book was actually ghost-written by horror author Ray Garton. The book recounts the two-year ordeal of the Snedeker family as they lived in a rented house that had once been a mortuary. The Snedeker’s have recounted a series of hauntings including spirits attempting to take things out of the family’s hands, pulling blankets off their bed, unexplained music playing at night, voices of older men talking, and actual physical manifestations of spirits including visible hands sexually molesting male and female family members.

All that sounds awful, however the family lived in the house for two years despite ghost sodomy and the author of the book that the movie is based on basically says the Snedeker family and the Warrens made the whole thing up and that the Snedeker’s son who claimed to be seeing and hearing things got better after beginning to take psychiatric meds. Here’s what he told “Horror Bound” back in 2009.

As I gathered all the necessary information for the book, I found that the accounts of the individual Snedekers didn't quite mesh. They just couldn't keep their stories straight.

I went to Ed with this problem. “Oh, they're crazy,” he said. “Everybody who comes to us is crazy. Otherwise why would they come to us? You've got some of the story – just use what works and make the rest up. And make it scary. You write scary books, right? That's why we hired you. So just make it up and make it scary.” I didn't like that one bit. But by then, I'd signed the contract and there was no going back. I did as Ed instructed – I used what I could, made up the rest, and tried to make it as scary as I could. The book was called In A Dark Place: The Story of a True Haunting.

As soon as it was published, I started telling my story, knowing full well that it would not be too popular with the Snedekers or the Warrens. I was right. Carmen Snedeker, now Carmen Reed, has denounced the book. She claims they had little involvement in it, which is a lie.

5. The Exorcism of Emily Rose

via YouTube
via YouTube

Based on the real life case of Anneliese Michel, the truth behind this movie’s story is actually more horrible than anything in the film.

Anneliese was a German girl who underwent the rite of exorcism in 1975. At the age of 16 she had been diagnosed with epilepsy and depression and was eventually prescribed the anti-psychotic Aolept, similar to Thorazine.

She soon began to complain of hearing demonic voices and both her and her family became convinced she was the subject of demonic possession because of her inability to be near religious objects and her seeming hallucinations. After initially denying her family's request for an exorcism, the Catholic Church went on to perform 67 separate exorcisms but none of them improved her condition or alleviated the supposed devils living inside her.

She died a year later in 1976 with the cause of death listed as starvation. However, a court found both her parents and two of the priests involved in the exorcisms guilty of negligent homicide finding that Anneliese had been in a state of near starvation for a year before finally succumbing.

Below is a recording of six of the demons exorcists claim she was possessed by. They include Hitler, Cain, Nero, a former priest named Father Fleischmann, Judas, and Lucifer. TC mark

42 Books That Will Make You A Better Person, Described In One Sentence

Posted: 30 Oct 2015 02:00 PM PDT

Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 12.57.32 PM

If you read a lot, it can be easy for all the books to blur together. Especially as the years pass, it can be difficult to even remember what books you've read are even about.

This is where one sentence book summaries come in. Though one should hope to get a lot from every book they read (and if they don't, what exactly was the point of reading it?) at the very least, a reader ought to walk away with at least one clear insight. Sometimes that insight is the thesis of the book itself, sometimes it's a minor detail that made an impact.

Below, are some one sentence descriptions of some of the best books ever written and a few of my personal favorites.

Candide by Voltaire: Il faut cultiver notre jardin. We must tend our own garden

Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl: Even in the depths of the Holocaust—even in three concentration camps and the loss of his entire family—Viktor Frankl finds meaning and purpose.

The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley and Malcolm X: Man goes into prison as a criminal, comes out as an uncompromising Civil Rights leader, dies a more open hearted and compassionate person.

Essays by Montaigne: There is plenty to study and see simply by looking inwards—maybe even an alarming amount.

Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War by Robert Coram: To Be or To Do?

The Power Broker by Robert A. Caro: There are many forms of power and influence, and not all of them are flashy or even visible but it always has the same effect over time: it corrupts and changes you.

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius: Even the most powerful man on earth writes notes to himself about how to be a better person—oh and he begins those notes with a series of thank yous to people who have helped him.

The Power of No by James Altucher: Your life is defined by how good you get at saying no to the things you need to say no to.

Totto-Chan: The Little Girl at the Window by Tetsuko Kuroyanagi: The joy and good nature of children is a precious thing—no proper education should involve spoiling it.

Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me) by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson: Cognitive Dissonance is one of the most powerful and delusionary forces in the world.

Civil War Stories by Ambrose Bierce: War is not glamorous or simply tragic, but rather stupid, ironic, inexplicable, confusing, contradictory and horrifying—though this will never stop people from loving it.

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield: Beware The Resistance

The Black Swan by Nassim Taleb: The things you're worried about happening are not the things you should be worried about happening.

Fragments by Herclitus: You can't step in the same river twice and this is a good metaphor for life.

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card: No one is coming to save us…it's all on you.

48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene: All the collected—but never spoken—amoral strategies for getting, keeping, wielding and protecting against power.

Philosophy As a Way of Life by Pierre Hadot: If you think ancient philosophy was the academic pursuit of arcane knowledge, you're totally missing the point.

The Memoirs of Ulysses S Grant by Ulysses S Grant: Just the idea that this man wrote this beautiful and incisive history of life and times…as he was painfully dying of cancer, trying to leave something to define his legacy and support his family after he was gone.

Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky: Power is not what you have, it's what the enemy thinks you have and what it fears you might do with it.

The Book of Five Rings by Musashi: Observing and perceiving are very different things and perception (since it has opinion in it) is always weaker than observation.

The Prince by Machiavelli: Fate must be wrestled with and thrown down if you want to get what you want out of life.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: Young man falls in love with a careless woman he cannot have and becomes rich and powerful trying to get her back while another young man watches in admiration and horror.

What Makes Sammy Run? by Budd Schulberg: The chasing of the American Dream by a ruthless hustler whose punishment is getting everything he ever wanted.

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk: A guy is so unhappy with modern life that he invents an alter ego to destroy that life and himself.

Endurance by Ernest Shackleton: Fortitudine vincimus (by endurance we conquer).

The Score Takes Care of Itself by Bill Walsh: Handle the little things well and the score will take care of itself.

Essentialism by Greg McKeown and The One Thing by Jay Papasan and Gary Keller: Cut out the crap, focus on the truly important thing (or couple things).

How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life by Russ Roberts // The Theory of Moral Sentiments by Adam Smith: First that Adam Smith wasn't some ruthless capitalist but and a thoughtful thinker and second, try to judge your own behavior and moral behavior using what he called the 'indifferent spectator'

Eleanor Roosevelt I & II by Blanche Wiesen Cook: God, what a tolerant lady of a real awful mother/father and a selfish, hurtful husband—but she could focus on the good in people and that's what made her so effective.

On the Shortness of Life by Seneca: People only think life is short because they waste so damn much of it focused on things they can't control and fears about things they refuse to question.

Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne: Don't compete where everyone else is competing–that is strategic death.

The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss: It's not about working four hours a week, it's about not doing more than four hours of work you don't like or don't actually need to do per week.

The Truth by Neil Strauss: If you want to have successful relationships, fix yourself and your childhood issues—the rest will follow, quickly and more easily than you think.

Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. by Ron Chernow: Discipline and rational thought is what allows one to take advantage of opportunities and crises–and also prevent wealth from changing one’s life.

Lincoln's Melancholy by Joshua Wolf Shenk: Lincoln’s wisdom and perspective came from a dark place in his own life–if we can transform our own suffering the same way, we will be great.

Sherman: Soldier, Realist, American by B.H. Liddell Hart: Poise not pose.

The Strategy Paradox by Michael Raynor: Successfully executing a strategy requires complete committment…which also substantially increases your odds of failure.

Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson: “If an undertaking was easy, someone else already would have done it.”
Average Is Over by Tyler Cowen:

Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed: “Be ten times more magnanimous than you think yourself capable of being.”

A New Pair of Glasses by Chuck C: Rule 62 of Alcoholics Anonymous: "Don't take yourself too damn seriously."

The Apprenticeship by Duddy Kravitz: If you don’t have values, the hustler will lose everything in the end.

Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy // The Sea Wolf by Jack London: Never forget how dark and disturbed human beings can be–it lurks beneath the surface.

What are you favorite one sentences book summaries? Share below. TC mark