Thought Catalog


How We Used To Love VS How We Love Now

Posted: 29 Dec 2015 08:00 PM PST

Twenty20.com jesslowcher
Twenty20.com jesslowcher

I often like to dismiss the idea that this generation is doomed when it comes to love, because the times have changed, we have options now, people are disposable, and we are more independent—or so we like to believe. But sometimes I can't help but think maybe we are. I wonder how the older generation made it look so easy, and how most of their relationships lasted, and are still going strong, while we can't even get through the first few stages of dating someone without a whirlwind of questions, confusion, doubt, and mixed signals. It's becoming exhausting to find someone, and even more exhausting to love them. What was so different back then? Where did we go wrong? How did we lose the essence of love and romance along the way?

How We Used To Love

You saw someone you may like, you thought there might be something there, you took a chance, you tried to get to know that person, really know them, it worked, you made it official, you met the parents, you got engaged, then married and you had babies. It was a simple story of boy meets girl and they fall in love.

How We Love Now

You see someone you may like, you think there might be something there, you take a chance, you stop and wonder if you are ready for it, or if this means you have to stop talking to the multiple people you are currently talking to. What if you find someone more successful? Or better looking? Or richer? You overanalyze, you scrutinize everything to where you forget why it all started. You let them go and move on in hopes of finding someone better or until you are "ready" to settle down.

How We Used To Love

Even though you were fighting, you still talked to each other; you made plans together, ate together, and were there for each other until you made up. You communicated and discussed how you can make it work, how you could avoid this situation in the future, and you reassured each other that everything will be OK, it's just a fight. It happens.

How We Love Now

You fight, you tell yourself this wouldn't have happened if you were dating X or Y, you decide to teach them a lesson and dismiss their calls and messages for 3 days, a week, a month, until they learn their lesson. When you make up, you will still be more guarded, a bit harder, and unwilling put up with the "drama." So you decide to keep your options open—again—and you try to find someone better, someone less "dramatic," who could be better looking, more successful, or richer.

How We Used To Love

You communicated with honesty, you showed love, appreciation and affection even when you didn't feel like it. You supported their decisions, you compromised, you showed that you care; you tried to be compassionate, understanding, and loving. You accepted the person with their flaws, you saw the bigger picture, you saw the picture of a family, of a future spent with someone who will change and evolve; as you will, so you knew it will not be easy, but you wanted to take that journey anyway because you knew it was worth it. You understood that the perfect relationship won't exist, but you can make it wonderful!

How We Love Now

You wait a couple of hours to text back, you use social media to communicate your innermost feelings, you play games so you don't come off as "needy" or "thirsty" or the person who cares more. You hide your feelings behind an emoji or a perfunctory smile when that person forgets to respond to your text, or your question, or your needs. You silence your voice because you have to be chill, patient, and independent. We think it's better to be with someone who silences our voice than to be lonely. So you keep texting until the words lose all their meaning.

How We Used To Love

Family came first, the world promoted love, promoted commitment, and glorified monogamy. The songs & the movies all spoke of true, everlasting love, the love that we now label "corny" or "cheesy." Relationships were cherished, men were appreciated when they were being "difficult," women were loved when they were being "crazy," people got it, they knew that the only way to make a relationship last is to invest in it, love it, and make an effort to make it work. They knew how to turn a house into a home.

How We Love Now

The more the merrier, it's better to have more options. Tinder. How many people are you talking to? Lead them on, break their hearts, lead them on again, continue being unsure of your feelings, continue being in the grey area, continue being "casual" for as long as you can. Don't have that conversation just yet. No strings attached. Friends with benefits. Somebody that I used to know. Go out, get drunk, and hook up with random people to numb the pain and fill that void, keep pretending that you like it, that you are OK with it. Keep pretending that you are OK with the emptiness you feel when you are sleeping next to someone who doesn't know who you really are and what keeps you up at night.

How We Used To Love

Close your eyes and I’ll kiss you
Tomorrow I’ll miss you
Remember I’ll always be true
And then while I’m away
I’ll write home every day
And I’ll send all my loving to you

How We Love Now

What do you mean?
When you nod your head yes
But you wanna say no
What do you mean?
When you don't want me to move
But you tell me to go
What do you mean? TC mark

I Had A Series Of Bizarre Paranormal Experiences In The Most Haunted Room Of McMenamins Edgefield

Posted: 29 Dec 2015 07:00 PM PST

Flickr, Annie & John
Flickr, Annie & John

It all started with my boyfriend and I deciding to grab a drink and some cajun tater tots at this cool place near our house…

McMenamins Edgefield is the name of the place. It was built in 1919. Used as a country poor farm until it was turned into Edgefield Manor, where they treated tuberculosis patients. It was then turned into Edgefield lodge, home for emotionally disturbed children. Then it was changed to a nursing home. Until McMenamins purchased it and made it into a really cool property of several different bars…a funky cool hotel…and fire pits to drink around in the winter time.

The night we decided to visit for happy hour, my boyfriend and I were walking around the back of the hotel. I stop and stared up at all the windows of the hotel rooms. I pointed up to a certain section and said "That part of the hotel is haunted." My boyfriend went on to tell me that indeed, there were rumors it was haunted. He then presented a challenge to me: If I could go inside and find the haunted room and we go to the lobby and find out that I am correct…he will stay in the haunted room with me for a night.

I love challenges.

I marched right into that hotel and like a spirit bloodhound picked a staircase to walk up. I stopped at the second floor and looked down the hall. Yep, I picked up that scent. I quickly made a left turn and passed a couple of rooms until I got to one that I stopped dead in my tracks in front of (no pun intended…) I pointed to the door and said "That one! Room 215.”

We proceeded to go back down to the lobby and my boyfriend asks the receptionist, "Can you tell me which one of these rooms is the one that is supposed to be haunted?" She answers back "Oh yeah I can. It is room 215 and it is most definitely haunted."

I smiled, though did not gloat. Well, maybe I did a little. I was more excited about staying in the room than the fact that I had thoroughly impressed my boyfriend. We booked the room for a later date and we walked out of the hotel. As we walked towards the parking lot to our car, I couldn't help but feel like eyes were burning a hole into the back of me. I slowly turned around and looked up at the hotel room windows, half expecting to see some figure staring down at me. I didn't see anyone…but I didn't have to. I know whatever was there knew I was on to it…and knew I was coming back.

I typically don't get nervous on the way to stay at haunted locations. I have dealt with this my whole life and it is not something that I am in fear of. I mean, when you have seen the things I have seen, it takes a lot…

However, I will admit that on the drive back over to the hotel, I found myself a bit nervous. I wasn't sure of what, exactly. I knew I was a bit perplexed that our room wasn't going to have a bathroom in it. That we would have to walk down the hall to shared bathrooms every single time a need to pee came on. That was something I wasn't too thrilled about. It felt more than that though. I felt like I was about to experience something I hadn't experience before. And that is saying a lot in the paranormal sense.

We go to the lobby to check in and the receptionist this time is a male. He goes on to tell me how brave I am to stay in the room and asks if I would like to read the "ghost" journal that guests have shared their stories in. I politely told him no…that I would look through it come check out time. I didn't want to be expecting anything or read about things that may influence what I, myself, would see or feel.

Making our way up the stairs to the room, I am not going to lie, my stomach was in knots. Right before I put the key in to unlock the room, I hesitated. I stood there and silently said a prayer…for protection…for both me and my boyfriend. Most times, I feel this is a given. I am always asking for it…especially as a medium…so I don't usually take the time right before entering a room to reiterate what I already have been asking for. This time, I did.

We entered the room and I went to the bed and sat down. My boyfriend went to the windows and looked out onto the rest of the property. He pretty much knows to let me be as soon as I enter a place. I closed my eyes and began to see if I could see/hear/feel anything from whatever it was known to haunt this specific room. I took a good few minutes being silent and taking it all in. After awhile, my boyfriend couldn't stand the silence any more, I suppose.

He plopped down on the bed and said "So…do you know who it is yet?" For the first time in our almost 4 years together, I had no idea how to explain to him what I had just been shown. I turned around and half jokingly said, "Umm…well…it's going to sound nuts…but it is kind of a thing…? Not a spirit. It was never in human form. It is (taking a big gulp) like an ET." I sat silent, really not ready to go into it and hoping he would not ask anymore until I was. No such luck. He sincerely wanted to know what I meant. Probably half to tease me and half because he had never heard me say something like that.

I began to explain that as soon as I came in the room it presented itself to me. It was small and…well, not human in form. It looked like an alien. It tried to be aggressive with me at first. And I just kept telling it "thank you for letting me be here". That I wasn't there to attack it or try to kick it out. I wasn't there to label it or call it evil. I just wanted to talk to it. Hear its story and why it was there.

I decided to turn on my spirit box in which I keep the logs on my phone. Interesting story, two days after returning home from this night, my phone crashed and had to be completely replaced. There was nothing they could do to fix it and nothing they could do to save anything I had on it. I not only lost these sessions, but also all of my photos and texts messages. I had not backed my phone up in a long time. This happened to me once before after staying at a haunted location.

Anyway, the words started pouring through the spirit box as my boyfriend and I just stared at each other. The first words were "Get out." Yep, you heard me right. Get out.

That is when I started explaining what I mentioned above. That I wasn't there to judge it. I wanted to connect with it. It then begin saying words like "Being. Space. Travel. Learn. Planet. Gather. Information. Intelligence. Lonely. Misunderstood." I thankfully wrote down the words as they were being said.

Then it stopped talking. I felt extremely drained. It was like 3 in the afternoon! I said I wanted to take a nap and my boyfriend was game for that. We decided to lay down and as I did, I thanked the little being for communicating so clearly and for letting down its guard with me.

After about an hour or so we woke up. Ready to leave the room and go walk around…grab a drink and some food. I got ready and when it came time to leave, grabbed my purse off of the desk and made sure the key was still in there before I walked out the door(habit from staying in so many hotels). I couldn't find the key. My boyfriend says "I watched you put it in your purse." In that tone that kind of implies that I am obviously overlooking it. I check again and nope…it's not in there. He starts looking everywhere around the room. Mumbling under his breath that he saw with his own eyes, me putting the key in my purse as I laid my purse on the desk in front of the bed.

We spent a good 4-5 minutes looking for that damn key. Until my boyfriend sits down at the little table by the window and stares forward towards the bed. I hear him say "Uh, I found the key." I can just tell by his tone that this is going to be interesting…so as I look at him, I am thinking it is going to be in my purse. I follow the line of site from my boyfriend's eyes to the bed and see the key. It is laying perfectly under the bed. Lined up with the hard wood flooring. It is directly at the edge of where the bed begins. Now, if you look at the picture, you will see there is barely a crack between the bed and the night stand. If the key had somehow fallen through, it most likely would have fallen through and hit the floor, causing it to be at least crooked…not landing perfectly…in a perfect line…as if it had been methodically placed there.

Provided by the author.
Provided by the author.

We both looked at each other without saying a word. I grabbed the camera and took a picture of the key and without speaking we walked out of the room. Both ready for a strong drink.

We sat at the table, kind of at a loss for words. It was just something unexplainable. It may not seem like a big deal now…but you would have had to have been there. Knowing there are two people who knew the key was in the purse. Seeing how it was physically impossible for the key to land in that position if it had been on the night stand, which we both knew it wasn't.

I also pointed out how many McMenamins Hotels we had stayed at over time and how none of them ever had religious connotations to them. However, in this room there were very subtle Christian influences. Such as both lamps on the night stand were wooden and had a cross carved into them. There was a verse from Amazing Grace painted on the wall in front of the bed. It felt to me like maybe this being was viewed as evil by those who had experienced it.

We eventually made it back to the room and when it came time for sleep, I made sure I communicated a whole slew of boundaries. I didn't want to be touched. I didn't want my energy to be taken. I didn't want it to try and overtake me. I didn't want bad dreams. If it wanted to communicate with me, I was willing.

I

t took me a long while to go to sleep and during that time, I felt another spirit come forward. Not this being, but an Asian woman. Possibly Japanese. I felt she was in her 60's. Very frail…but hardworking. I saw her out in fields picking beans and potatoes and other vegetables. There was a man she loved, that she had lost. I got that much from her before I couldn't hold my eyes open any longer…

That is when the struggle began. I felt like a character out of Star Wars with a lightsaber. Deflecting incoming blasts and defending my energy field. Once I concentrated on one area, I felt it trying to sneak into another area. This went on all night. On the recordings from the night, you can hear me tell my boyfriend that he is trying 30 ways under the sun to get to me. Hours pass and you can hear me jolt out of my sleep and jump out of the bed. That is because I had been touched. You can hear my boyfriend ask "I guess 31 worked." To which I reply "Huh?" as I am panting and gasping for air.

He went on to reiterate what I had said earlier…and that the 31st way must have worked. He found it funny. I did not. Unless you have been touched by a spirit or in this case, something else…there is no way I am going to be able to explain it in a way that you are going to understand it. It is just something that goes all the way to your bones. It is electric and shocking. It is in that split second all of your humanism dissipates and you are just a soul in a 3rd dimensional world without a shell. No protection. Vulnerable. To say it is intense is an understatement.

The next morning I woke up and immediately called room service for a coffee press. Zero sleep. I mean zero. I checked the spirit box…pretty intelligent string of communication at around 3 in the morning came through. "Like, to, hang, out, hallway."

Okay then.

While waiting on the coffee, I began researching what others have experienced in this room 215.

Evidently, when renovating room 215, workers found what appeared to be small animal bones and a pentagram drawn on the floor. That explains the crosses in the room and the mural painted on the wall. If the hotel believed Satanic rituals may have taken place in that room…and then they start receiving guests… only to have one after the other say they are experiencing paranormal activity? I already know they did a blessing ceremony of the property before they opened it, to ward off any negative spirits. They must have really felt or known something to do that from the get go.

What it explains the most to me is how that "being" found its way there. When rituals are done of that nature in an area…it opens up a realm or portal, to be exact. An opening where all dimensional beings can come and go.

After drinking my coffee, I took my camera and snapped a few pictures around the room. When I got them home and got them up on my computer screen, I found two to be very, very intriguing. One, is of what I see as an alien type face in the window. The 2nd, looks like a Japanese woman's face in the window.

Provided by the author.
Provided by the author.
Provided by the author.
Provided by the author.

On my way out the door to go check out, I thanked the little being for not freaking me out too badly. From some of the stories I had just read over coffee…it was kind to me. TC mark

This post originally appeared at The Closet Clairvoyant.

Here Are The Best Horror Movies of 2015

Posted: 29 Dec 2015 06:00 PM PST

It Follows

It Follows
It Follows

This one was a lock for ‘best of’ this year. “It Follows” was an incredibly fresh, scary take on the monster-is-out-to-get-you idea. The fact that it was inspired by the director’s nightmare about being followed by an unstoppable force was not surprising, because that’s just what it felt like to me: a nightmare. Not to mention the Kubrick-esque techniques used to put off the viewer… what a masterpiece! Also, my husband watched it for my birthday (it’s part of my present, one horror movie a year) and he actually liked it. HE NEVER LIKES HORROR. There’s your badge of honor, “It Follows.” You won over a horror-hater.

Goodnight Mommy

Goodnight Mommy
Goodnight Mommy

The German wunderkind was the talk of the town before its release. Everyone speculated about whether it was actually scary or just a cleverly-cut trailer… well, it’s scary. For sure. Twists and turns, horrifying violence, you name it — this movie keeps you on your toes as well as the edge of your seat. The subtitles are worth it, trust me.

The Lazarus Effect

The Lazarus Effect
The Lazarus Effect

“The Lazarus Effect” sort of came out of left field for me. I hadn’t heard anything about it and suddenly it was on Netflix, flaunting a star-studded cast and a solid back-from-the-dead plot. Also, Mark Duplass. I don’t know what happened to me over the last year but somehow I’ve become a Mark Duplass fangirl. Add to the mix Olivia Wilde, Evan Peters, and Donald Glover, well, you’re set. Enjoy.

The Visit

The Visit
The Visit

Say what you will: I’m a sucker for found footage and this is the best film M. Night Shyamalan has put out in years. (Interestingly enough, it’s also the first film he’s had full artistic control over in some time — maybe the stinkers of the past weren’t necessarily his fault?) What I find great in this isn’t just the documentary setup, but the fact he reportedly had three cuts: one that was pure horror, one pure comedy, and a mix of the two, which is what you can watch today.

Creep

Creep
Creep

Oh hey Mark Duplass, look at you, all up in my horror movies. Wanna go get some pizza since we’re clearly BFFs now? Anyway, “Creep” is another found footage great. It’s subtle and scary in the way that a lot of horror movies aren’t these days. It dabbles in reality more than most and shows the truly creepy (AHHHhaha) side of humanity. Plus: THE PEACHFUZZ SONG.

Crimson Peak

Crimson Peak
Crimson Peak

I think I might’ve expected a little more from this one but Guillermo Del Toro can do no wrong so here we go. The cinematography alone was enough to land “Crimson Peak” on my list. Gorgeous visuals, sweeping shots of beautiful architecture… gothic glory at its finest. Also, gotta love a fellow lady horror writer.

The Final Girls

The Final Girls
The Final Girls

It’s scary. It’s hilarious. It pokes fun at the horror genre while also giving it the due it deserves. Plus, Adam Devine is there. Please do yourself a favor and watch “The Final Girls.” You won’t be disappointed. TC mark

25 Relationship Mantras To Steer You Towards A More Fulfilling Love Life

Posted: 29 Dec 2015 05:00 PM PST

Twenty20, toy1462
Twenty20, toy1462

1. Be the sexy startup he invests all his money in because he can’t resist, not the safe dull mutual fund society tells him to pick.

2. Love someone who knows you through and through—until the minute you sense they're through with you.

3. If you're not having any fun together in bed, find someone else to bed altogether.

4. Forgive your partner when they make mistakes—as long as they don’t mistake forgiveness for a permission slip not to do better.

5. There may be no such thing as Mister Right, but there is a mister who’s just right enough.

6. Why be the couple that shows off online when you can be the duo standing on line for a cool thing to do in real life?

7. Search for someone who's interested enough to ask lots of questions, not someone who questions all the awesome things that make you interesting.

8. Remember that fighting regularly is totally normal—but not to the point that your normal is fighting.

9. Love someone who yearns to give you everything, not someone who expects you to be their everything.

10. It's definitely better to lose a true love than to love a true loser.

11. Stick around if he's right for you—not just when he sticks it inside you.

12. Go for a guy who knows how to pleasure women sexually, but not one whose only pleasure is getting sexy.

13. Support your significant other in every endeavor, until they endeavor not to support you any longer.

14. Don’t ever lose yourself trying to be with someone who doesn't seem to care about losing you.

15. Be the fire in each other’s hearts, but don’t always expect things to burn so bright.

16. Stay with a man who insists on romance, not the kind who romanticizes insistence.

17. It’s way better to be the woman he desperately wants but can't have than the woman he has but doesn’t actually want.

18. Be with someone who challenges you daily, not someone who becomes a daily challenge.

19. Couple up if you find a single person who seems totally worth it, but never because leaving the single life behind makes you feel more worthy.

20. Find someone who appreciates your every flaw, but not someone too flawed to see their own.

21. Seek a partner you ache to know intimately, and also enjoy being intimate with.

22. Fall for someone you can love madly—without going totally mad in the process.

23. Date the man you fall for hardest, not the man who happens to get hardest.

22. Stick around if they inspire you to be better, not if they act like they’re better off without you.

25. If you want the kind of love that lasts, give it a chance again and again. TC mark

10 Life Lessons To Excel In Your Thirties

Posted: 29 Dec 2015 04:00 PM PST

Twenty20, lelia_milaya
Twenty20, lelia_milaya

1. Start saving for retirement now, not later.

"I spent my 20s recklessly, but your 30s should be when you make a big financial push. Retirement planning is not something to put off. Understanding boring things like insurance, 401ks & mortgages is important since its all on your shoulders now. Educate yourself." — Kash, 41

The most common piece of advice — so common that almost every single email said at least something about it — was to start getting your financial house in order and to start saving for retirement… today.

There were a few categories this advice fell into:

  • Make it your top priority to pay down all of your debt as soon as possible.
  • Keep an "emergency fund" — there were tons of horror stories about people getting financially ruined by health issues, lawsuits, divorces, bad business deals, etc.
  • Stash away a portion of every paycheck, preferably into a 401k, an IRA or at the least, a savings account.
  • Don't spend frivolously. Don't buy a home unless you can afford to get a good mortgage with good rates.
  • Don't invest in anything you don't understand. Don't trust stockbrokers.

One reader said, "If you are in debt more than 10% of your gross annual salary this is a huge red flag. Quit spending, pay off your debt and start saving." Another wrote, "I would have saved more money in an emergency fund because unexpected expenses really killed my budget. I would have been more diligent about a retirement fund, because now mine looks pretty small."

And then there were the readers who were just completely screwed by their inability to save in their 30s. One reader named Jodi wishes she had started saving 10% of every paycheck when she was 30. Her career took a turn for the worst and now she's stuck at 57, still living paycheck to paycheck. Another woman, age 62, didn't save because her husband out-earned her. They later got divorced and she soon ran into health problems, draining all of the money she received in the divorce settlement. She, too, now lives paycheck to paycheck, slowly waiting for the day social security kicks in. Another man related a story of having to be supported by his son because he didn't save and unexpectedly lost his job in the 2008 crash.

The point was clear: save early and save as much as possible. One woman emailed me saying that she had worked low-wage jobs with two kids in her 30s and still managed to sock away some money in a retirement fund each year. Because she started early and invested wisely, she is now in her 50s and financially stable for the first time in her life. Her point: it's always possible. You just have to do it.

2. Start taking care of your health now, not later.

"Your mind's acceptance of age is 10 to 15 years behind your body's aging. Your health will go faster than you think but it will be very hard to notice, not the least because you don't want it to happen." — Tom, 55

We all know to take care of our health. We all know to eat better and sleep better and exercise more and blah, blah, blah. But just as with the retirement savings, the response from the older readers was loud and unanimous: get healthy and stay healthy now.

The way you treat your body has a cumulative effect; it's not that your body suddenly breaks down one year, it's been breaking down all along without you noticing. This is the decade to slow down that breakage.

And this wasn't just your typical motherly advice to eat your veggies. These were emails from cancer survivors, heart attack survivors, stroke survivors, people with diabetes and blood pressure problems, joint issues and chronic pain. They all said the same thing: "If I could go back, I would start eating better and exercising and I would not stop. I made excuses then. But I had no idea."

3. Don’t spend time with people who don’t treat you well.

"Learn how to say "no" to people, activities and obligations that don't bring value to your life."— Hayley, 37

After calls to take care of your health and your finances, the most common piece of advice from people looking back at their 30-year-old selves was an interesting one: they would go back and enforce stronger boundaries in their lives and dedicate their time to better people. "Setting healthy boundaries is one of the most loving things you can do for yourself or another person." — Kristen, 43

What does that mean specifically?

"Don't tolerate people who don't treat you well. Period. Don't tolerate them for financial reasons. Don't tolerate them for emotional reasons. Don't tolerate them for the children's sake or for convenience sake." — Jane, 52

"Don't settle for mediocre friends, jobs, love, relationships and life." — Sean, 43

"Stay away from miserable people… they will consume you, drain you." — Gabriella, 43

"Surround yourself and only date people that make you a better version of yourself, that bring out your best parts, love and accept you." — Xochie

People typically struggle with boundaries because they find it difficult to hurt someone else's feelings, or they get caught up in the desire to change the other person or make them treat them the way they want to be treated. This never works. And in fact, it often makes it worse. As one reader wisely said, "Selfishness and self-interest are two different things. Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind."

When we're in our 20s, the world is so open to opportunity and we're so short on experience that we cling to the people we meet, even if they've done nothing to earn our clingage. But by our 30s we've learned that good relationships are hard to come by, that there's no shortage of people to meet and friends to be made, and that there's no reason to waste our time with people who don't help us on our life's path.

4. Be good to the people you care about.

"Show up with and for your friends. You matter, and your presence matters." — Jessica, 40

Conversely, while enforcing stricter boundaries on who we let into our lives, many readers advised to make the time for those friends and family that we do decide to keep close.

"I think sometimes I may have taken some relationships for granted, and when that person is gone, they're gone. Unfortunately, the older you get, well, things start to happen, and it will affect those closest to you." — Ed, 45

"Appreciate those close to you. You can get money back and jobs back, but you can never get time back."— Anne, 41

"Tragedy happens in everyone's life, everyone's circle of family and friends. Be the person that others can count on when it does. I think that between 30 and 40 is the decade when a lot of shit finally starts to happen that you might have thought never would happen to you or those you love. Parents die, spouses die, babies are still-born, friends get divorced, spouses cheat… the list goes on and on. Helping someone through these times by simply being there, listening and not judging is an honor and will deepen your relationships in ways you probably can't yet imagine." — Rebecca, 40

5. You can’t have everything; focus on doing a few things really well.

"Everything in life is a trade-off. You give up one thing to get another and you can't have it all. Accept that." — Eldri, 60

In our 20s we have a lot of dreams. We believe that we have all of the time in the world. I myself remember having illusions that my website would be my first career of many. Little did I know that it took the better part of a decade to even get competent at this. And now that I'm competent and have a major advantage and love what I do, why would I ever trade that in for another career?

"In a word: focus. You can simply get more done in life if you focus on one thing and do it really well. Focus more." — Ericson, 49

Another reader: "I would tell myself to focus on one or two goals/aspirations/dreams and really work towards them. Don't get distracted." And another: "You have to accept that you cannot do everything. It takes a lot of sacrifice to achieve anything special in life."

A few readers noted that most people arbitrarily choose their careers in their late teens or early 20s, and as with many of our choices at those ages, they are often wrong choices. It takes years to figure out what we're good at and what we enjoy doing. But it's better to focus on our primary strengths and maximize them over the course of lifetime than to half-ass something else.

"I'd tell my 30 year old self to set aside what other people think and identify my natural strengths and what I'm passionate about, and then build a life around those."— Sara, 58

For some people, this will mean taking big risks, even in their 30s and beyond. It may mean ditching a career they spent a decade building and giving up money they worked hard for and became accustomed to. Which brings us to…

6. Don’t be afraid of taking risks, you can still change.

"While by age 30 most feel they should have their career dialed in, it is never too late to reset. The individuals that I have seen with the biggest regrets during this decade are those that stay in something that they know is not right. It is such an easy decade to have the days turn to weeks to years, only to wake up at 40 with a mid-life crisis for not taking action on a problem they were aware of 10 years prior but failed to act." — Richard, 41

"Biggest regrets I have are almost exclusively things I did *not* do." — Sam, 47

Many readers commented on how society tells us that by 30 we should have things "figured out" — our career situation, our dating/marriage situation, our financial situation and so on. But this isn't true. And, in fact, dozens and dozens of readers implored to not let these social expectations of "being an adult" deter you from taking some major risks and starting over. As someone on my Facebook page responded: "All adults are winging it."

"I am about to turn 41 and would tell my 30 year old self that you do not have to conform your life to an ideal that you do not believe in. Live your life, don't let it live you. Don't be afraid of tearing it all down if you have to, you have the power to build it all back up again." — Lisa, 41

Multiple readers related making major career changes in their 30s and being better off for doing so. One left a lucrative job as a military engineer to become a teacher. Twenty years later, he called it one of the best decisions of his life. When I asked my mom this question, her answer was, "I wish I had been willing to think outside the box a bit more. Your dad and I kind of figured we had to do thing A, thing B, thing C, but looking back I realize we didn't have to at all; we were very narrow in our thinking and our lifestyles and I kind of regret that."

"Less fear. Less fear. Less fear. I am about to turn 50 next year, and I am just getting that lesson. Fear was such a detrimental driving force in my life at 30. It impacted my marriage, my career, my self-image in a fiercely negative manner. I was guilty of: Assuming conversations that others might be having about me. Thinking that I might fail. Wondering what the outcome might be. If I could do it again, I would have risked more." — Aida, 49

7. You must continue to grow and develop yourself.

"You have two assets that you can never get back once you've lost them: your body and your mind. Most people stop growing and working on themselves in their 20s. Most people in their 30s are too busy to worry about self-improvement. But if you're one of the few who continues to educate themselves, evolve their thinking and take care of their mental and physical health, you will be light-years ahead of the pack by 40." — Stan, 48

It follows that if one can still change in their 30s — and should continue to change in their 30s — then one must continue to work to improve and grow. Many readers related the choice of going back to school and getting their degrees in their 30s as one of the most useful things they had ever done. Others talked of taking extra seminars and courses to get a leg up. Others started their first businesses or moved to new countries. Others checked themselves into therapy or began a meditation practice.

As Warren Buffett once said, the greatest investment a young person can make is in their own education, in their own mind. Because money comes and goes. Relationships come and go. But what you learn once stays with you forever.

"The number one goal should be to try to become a better person, partner, parent, friend, colleague etc. — in other words to grow as an individual."—Aimilia, 39

8. Nobody (still) knows what they’re doing, get used to it.

"Unless you are already dead — mentally, emotionally, and socially — you cannot anticipate your life 5 years into the future. It will not develop as you expect. So just stop it. Stop assuming you can plan far ahead, stop obsessing about what is happening right now because it will change anyway, and get over the control issue about your life's direction. Fortunately, because this is true, you can take even more chances and not lose anything; you cannot lose what you never had. Besides, most feelings of loss are in your mind anyway – few matter in the long term." — Thomas, 56

In my article about what I learned in my 20s, one of my lessons was "Nobody Knows What They're Doing," and that this was good news. Well, according to the 40+ crowd, this continues to be true in one's 30s and, well, forever it seems; and it continues to be good news forever as well.

"Most of what you think is important now will seem unimportant in 10 or 20 years and that's OK. That's called growth. Just try to remember to not take yourself so seriously all the time and be open to it."— Simon, 57

"Despite feeling somewhat invincible for the last decade, you really don't know what's going to happen and neither does anyone else, no matter how confidently they talk. While this is disturbing to those who cling to permanence or security, it's truly liberating once you grasp the truth that things are always changing. To finish, there might be times that are really sad. Don't dull the pain or avoid it. Sorrow is part of everyone's lifetime and the consequence of an open and passionate heart. Honor that. Above all, be kind to yourself and others, it's such a brilliant and beautiful ride and keeps on getting better."— Prue, 38

"I'm 44. I would remind my 30 year old self that at 40, my 30s would be equally filled with dumb stuff, different stuff, but still dumb stuff… So, 30 year old self, don't go getting on your high horse. You STILL don't know it all. And that's a good thing." — Shirley, 44

9. Invest in your family; it’s worth it.

"Spend more time with your folks. It's a different relationship when you're an adult and it's up to you how you redefine your interactions. They are always going to see you as their kid until the moment you can make them see you as your own man. Everyone gets old. Everyone dies. Take advantage of the time you have left to set things right and enjoy your family." — Kash, 41

I was overwhelmed with amount of responses about family and the power of those responses. Family is the big new relevant topic for this decade for me, because you get it on both ends. Your parents are old and you need to start considering how your relationship with them is going to function as a self-sufficient adult. And then you also need to contemplate creating a family of your own.

Pretty much everybody agreed to get over whatever problems you have with your parents and find a way to make it work with them. One reader wrote, "You're too old to blame your parents for any of your own short-comings now. At 20 you could get away with it, you'd just left the house. At 30, you're a grown-up. Seriously. Move on."

But then there's the question that plagues every single 30-year-old: to baby or not to baby?

"You don't have the time. You don't have the money. You need to perfect your career first. They'll end your life as you know it. Oh shut up… Kids are great. They make you better in every way. They push you to your limits. They make you happy. You should not defer having kids. If you are 30, now is the time to get real about this. You will never regret it." — Kevin, 38

"It's never the 'right time' for children because you have no idea what you're getting into until you have one. If you have a good marriage and environment to raise them, err on having them earlier rather than later, you'll get to enjoy more of them." — Cindy, 45

"All my preconceived notions about what a married life is like were wrong. Unless you've already been married, everyone's are. Especially once you have kids. Try to stay open to the experience and fluid as a person; your marriage is worth it, and your happiness seems as much tied to your ability to change and adapt as anything else. I wasn't planning on having kids. From a purely selfish perspective, this was the dumbest thing of all. Children are the most fulfilling, challenging, and exhausting endeavor anyone can ever undertake. Ever."— Rich, 44

The consensus about marriage seemed to be that it was worth it, assuming you had a healthy relationship with the right person. If not, you should run the other way (See #3).

But interestingly, I got a number of emails like the following:

"What I know now vs 10-13 years ago is simply this… bars, woman, beaches, drink after drink, clubs, bottle service, trips to different cities because I had no responsibility other than work, etc… I would trade every memory of that life for a good woman that was actually in love with me… and maybe a family. I would add, don't forget to actually grow up and start a family and take on responsibilities other than success at work. I am still having a little bit of fun… but sometimes when I go out, I feel like the guy that kept coming back to high school after he graduated (think Matthew McConaughey's character in Dazed and Confused). I see people in love and on dates everywhere. "Everyone" my age is in their first or second marriage by now! Being perpetually single sounds amazing to all of my married friends but it is not the way one should choose to live their life." — Anonymous, 43

"I would have told myself to stop constantly searching for the next best thing and I would have appreciated the relationships that I had with some of the good, genuine guys that truly cared for me. Now I'm always alone and it feels too late." — Fara, 38

On the flip side, there were a small handful of emails that took the other side of the coin:

"Don't feel pressured to get married or have kids if you don't want to. What makes one person happy doesn't make everyone happy. I've chosen to stay single and childless and I still live a happy and fulfilled life. Do what feels right for you." — Anonymous, 40

Conclusion: It seems that while family is not absolutely necessary to have a happy and fulfilling life, the majority of people have found that family is always worth the investment, assuming the relationships are healthy and not toxic and/or abusive.

10. Be kind to yourself, respect yourself.

"Be a little selfish and do something for yourself every day, something different once a month and something spectacular every year." — Nancy, 60

This one was rarely the central focus of any email, but it was present in some capacity in almost all of them: treat yourself better. Almost everybody said this in one form or another. "There is no one who cares about or thinks about your life a fraction of what you do," one reader began, and, "life is hard, so learn to love yourself now, it's harder to learn later," another reader finished.

Or as Renee, 40, succinctly put it: "Be kind to yourself."

Many readers included the old cliche: "Don't sweat the small stuff; and it's almost all small stuff." Eldri, 60, wisely said, "When confronted with a perceived problem, ask yourself, 'Is this going to matter in five years, ten years?' If not, dwell on it for a few minutes, then let it go." It seems many readers have focused on the subtle life lesson of simply accepting life as is, warts and all.

Which brings me to the last quote from Martin, age 58:

"When I turned forty my father told me that I'd enjoy my forties because in your twenties you think you know what's going on, in your thirties you realize you probably don't, and in your forties you can relax and just accept things. I'm 58 and he was right." TC mark

Da Man Wit’ Da Money: 77 Hip-Hop Lyrics About Donald Trump

Posted: 29 Dec 2015 03:00 PM PST

Flickr Mike Licht
Flickr Mike Licht

1.

Used to want dough like Jay-Z but now I’m thinking Donald Trump
Bob Johnson, Warren Buffett, fuck it, ain’t that tough
—T.I., “I Need Dollas”

2.

Donald Trump
I made Forbes’ list this month!
—Gucci Mane & Young Thug, "Donald Trump"

3.

Now I’m knocking like Jehovah; let me in now, let me in now
Bill Gates, Donald Trump, let me in now
—Nelly, "Country Grammar"

4.

I’m so appalled Spalding ball,
Baldin’ Donald Trump, takin’ dollars from y’all
—Kanye West, "So Appalled"

5.

So come on gettin’ lovely I’m gettin’ into the money
The Donald Trump money
—Ja-Bar, "Daze"

6.

I buy cars wit straight cash, have meetings with Donald Trump
Y’all meet wit Honda, no payments for 12 months
—Ludacris, "Hip Hop Quotables"

7.

Going Donald Trump numbers on the corner
I made a million on that corner
—Meek Mill, "Off the Corner"

8.

I'm 'bout to do a song with Bono
Pockets Trump like I just struck the lottery, lotto
—Gangrene featuring Action Bronson, "Driving Gloves"

9.

Yo Ice, I did a concert in the White House
And after that me and Donald Trump hung out
—Ice-T, “My Word Is Bond”

10.

I gotta say what’s up to Digital Underground and Humpty Hump
Cause he makin’ more than Donald Trump
—Ice Cube, "I Gotta Say What Up!!!"

11.

Can I live? I bring yo’ ass over the hump
We tryna get money so we can be livin’ like Trump
—Cypress Hill, "Can I Live"

12.

We can talk Trump talk, real estate, stocks, and bonds
Or gangsta shit, my Rugers and Glocks in palm
—50 Cent, "50/Banks"

13.

Trump change? (Chump change)
Nah TRUMP change patnah not chump change
—E-40, "Trump Change"

14.

The ‘S’ in skypage really stands for sex
Beeper’s goin off like Don Trump gets checks
—A Tribe Called Quest, "Skypager"

15.

Suck a dick and lick an ass just to get a pump
Fuck Black Caesar niggaz, call me Black Trump
—Underground Kingz, "Pocket Full of Stones"

16.

I’m back with the funk, chump
You want funk, how many lumps?
I got spunk
I’m well-known like Donald Trump
—Redman, "Da Funk"

17.

Warning you chump, brain is out for lunch
Given the power punch, soon to be paid like Donald Trump
—Ol' Dirty Bastard, "Protect Ya Neck II the Zoo"

18.

He got jealous tried to jump I hit him with the pump
Put more cash in my pockets than Donald Trump
—Master P, "211"

19.

Got a business mind so if I lose the funk
I’ll still be in the house gettin’ paid like Trump
—Kid Rock, "Paid"

20.

Poisonous sting which thumps up and act chumps
Raise a heavy generator
But yo, guess who’s the black Trump?
—Raekwon, "Incarcerated Scarfaces"

21.

You can boom shalock and jump to the sounds I pump
But I ain’t quitting till I’m shitting on Donald Trump
—House Of Pain, "Heart Full of Sorrow"

22.

New Trump, brand new funk
Keep the pocket full of California skunk
—Rappin' 4-Tay, "New Trump"

23.

Serena Williams, downtown vacant and Trump
Who wanna bang her rump, chump, yes I bring the pump
—The Diplomats, “Purple Haze”

24.

Now I ain’t talkin bout no bullshit ass flippin z’s
I’m talkin Trump type access, they comin off a gang of keys
—Coolio, "Nature of the Business"

25.

So all I’d wanna got the room stumped
I’m smokin, make dough like Trump
—Westside Connection, "Cross ‘Em Out and Put a K"

26.

In hot pursuit of Donald Trump rap loot
Produce what you feel with Navy Seal mic troops
—Pete Rock, "Tru Master"

27.

I'm just tryin' to get rich like Trump
The home run king is now in a slump, pass me a hunk
—Ice Cube, "3 Strikes You In"

28.

The new Don Trump is Bill Gates
Not because his occupation, it’s ’cause we respect his cake
—Nas, "New World"

29.

I'm the young Donald Trump, is y'all hearing me?
Girls on the side line, yeah they cheerin' me
—Busta Rhymes featuring Nick Cannon, "Shorty (Put it on the Floor)"

30.

Niggas always expect to see us two together, stable
The best couple they seen since Trump and Marla Maple
—Nas, "Money is My Bitch"

31.

Doin’ it like Donald Trump
I’m sendin’ this one to the women with body
And all my hustlas with the grill front
—Chingy, "Fall'n"

32.

Teddy Riley, Michael Tyler, big Trump thang
Million dollars, sunny holler big bucks man
—Blackstreet featuring Mystikal, "Wizzy Wow"

33.

Now they call me Snoopy Trump
I keep my heater close, cause I love to bust
—Notorious B.I.G. featuring Snoop Dogg, "Living the Life"

34.

Throw my weight like Sherman Klump
I gotta hold up my estate like Donald Trump
—Lil Wayne, "Get Down"

35.

I’m Donald Trump in a white tee and white ones
The conversation is money nigga, you want some?
—Young Jeezy, "Thug Motivation 101"

36.

Bill Gates, Donald Trump, them a require you
In a the Pentium five them wan' wire you
—Sean Paul, "Ever Blazin"

37.

I’m Donald Trump, with raccoon hairdos
I’m Lil Kim, so plastic, now it only really scares dudes
—The High & Mighty, "Dumb"

38.

Time to flip the work make the block bump
Boys from the hood call me black Donald Trump
—Yung Joc, "It's Going Down"

39.

I spend absurd money, private bird money
That Bill Gates, Donald Trump, Bloomberg money
—Diddy featuring Jack Knight, "We Gon' Make It"

40.

Resurrection of the real, time to get richer than Trump
—Rick Ross, "Pirates"

41.

I’m lyin’ to Christ, put your fuckin’ spine in a vice
I’m like Trump in the Apprentice, only fire at night
—Jedi Mind Tricks, "Heavy Metal Kings"

42.

You fired mothafucka Donald Trump nigga
I’m killing these niggas can’t fuck nigga
—Lil Wayne featuring Kanye West, "Flashing Lights Remix"

43.

Breathing off a Trump budget
Fresh outa Bloomie’s with the Louie luggage
—AZ, "Format"

44.

Give me fame and fortune, me and Trump on golf courses
With that being said, give me Tiger’s sports endorsements
—Kendrick Lamar, "Is It Love"

45.

And I’m gonna chopped this whole ki into a lotta lumps
Next time you see me I’ll have money like Donald Trump
—Juvenile featuring Lil Wayne, "What's Up Wit Dat"

46.

Homies on the block can say whatever they want
I don’t wanna be a dealer, I wanna be a Trump
—Kendrick Lamar, "Determined"

47.

The Apprentice but not Trump
I'm the nigga with Glocks and pumps
—Nas, “The N”

48.

1st of the month, Trump to the buyers
Red toupée on the coupe you’ve been fired
—Kanye West featuring Push T, "Good Music BET Cypher"

49.

Get money like Donald Trump
Double barrel on that pump
—Lil Wayne, "Racks on Racks"

50.

Money buy the DIGITS
I got Donald Trump callin’ me a money wizard
—D/R Period, "Money"

51.

Richest nigga in my hood: call me Donald Trump
The type that count my money while I smoke a blunt
—Young Jeezy, "Trump"

52.

Take over the world when I’m on my Donald Trump shit
Look at all this money, ain’t that some shit?
—Mac Miller, "Donald Trump"

53.

I’m tryna stuff em until I can’t fit no more
I’m talking Donald Trump level
I’m trying to get these dreams off the ground
All aboard for the shuttle
—Big Sean featuring Pharrell, "Get It"

54.

Got enough, got enough
Tryna’ get it, til I’m on my
Donald Trump, Donald Trump
—Raz Fresco, "Donald Trump"

55.

And we don’t stop my nigga
I’m like Donald Trump nigga
—Meek Mill featuring Master P, "I Miss That"

56.

I started out broke, got rich, lost paper then made it back
Like Trump being up down up, play with cash
—Nas, "Loco-Motive"

57.

I’m a good-looking rapper, I ain’t tryna stunt
I’m a fire my blunt like Donald Trump
—T.I. featuring Lil Wayne, "Ball"

58.

Hustle a castle, Donald trump 6 mil
I got a 6th sense so know how 6 feel
—Lil Kim featuring Tiffany Foxx, "Jay-Z"

59.

Walk up on you whiskey maskin’ punk
And fire them shots just like I’m Donald Trump
—Juicy J, "Shootin'"

6-.

Plottin’ on Donald Trump
I was 15 years old when I shot that chopper
—Young Thug, "Loaded"

61.

You can hate, don’t frown, my nigga
With Donald Trump in the trunk, my nigga
—Lil Durk featuring French Montana, “Dis Ain't What You Want (Remix)"

62.

And Donald Trump, and Carlos Slim
And call Obama, Oprah Winfrey then
—Shaquille O'Neal featuring ShaqIsDope, "Karate Chop"

63.

Hugo Boss, I just Donald Trump you
Michael Kors sweater with cocaine on the garment
Woke up in mansion but I grew up in apartment
—Gucci Mane, "Straight Drop"

64.

Trump Towers with Donald (Donald)
I can’t drive a Honda (uh uh)
Now I got options, you can hate me if you wanna
—RiFF RAFF, "Maybe You Love Me"

65.

No Donald Trump, Bill Gates or Bruce Wayne
The only thing I had to my name was a few dreams
—Omen, "Zion"

66.

You makin’ models bring ya ice and Guinness
And workin’ pussy that’s my type of fitness
I’m countin’ money like I’m Donald Trump
—Tory Lanez, "Priceless"

67.

Wit a pocket full of lint and a Big Meech letter
And I’m fuck wat Donald Trump talk bout I like change when I met Rosetta
—Young Buck, "LOCO"

68.

I’m fucked worse than Donald Trump
On Lexapro in Mexico across from a Texaco in McDonald’s drunk
—Eminem, “Sway in the Morning Freestyle”

69.

Yeah thumbs up
I’ve seen more holes than a golf course on Donald Trump’s course
— Young Thug (feat. Birdman), “Constantly Hating”

70.

Too much spinach to eat for niggas beefin’,
So I’m out here trick or treatin’, can my niggas comprehend
Bill Gates, Donald Trump, motherfucker let me in.
—J. Cole, “Song for the Ville”

71.

Assassinate Trump like I'm Zimmerman/
Now accept these words as they came from Eminem
—Rick Ross, “Crocodile Python”

72.

Ah, my name is Jibbs but they call me mighty Trump
The kid down a house with an outerspace flow
Stay waved up, poking madden with a flow
Jag chillin in the back with girls holla at a chump
—Jibbs, “I’m A Rhino”

73.

Ice Cube says you’re making more than Donald Trump
So yo, go on and get your nose fixed, Hump
—Digital Underground, “No Nose Jobs”

74.

Cause ya boy’s in a slump
I took her out of the jets
The top floor of the Trump
Had to hustle hard
—Fat Joe, “Put Ya In Da Game”

75.

I’m on ridin’ wit my 12-gauge pump
Been a boss from the jump, go getta like Trump
—Lil’ Keke, “Boss”

76.

Of a sawed off shotgun, hand on the pump
Musty dead bodies and a catty bump, Trump
—Spice-1, “Mo’ Mail”

77.

Up like Donald Trump, chain swings like nunchucks
She gon’ chew you up, twerk like she from Russia
—Rae Sremmurd, “Up Like Trump” TC mark

What It Would Look Like If We Just Decided To ‘Screw It’ And Nuke ISIS

Posted: 29 Dec 2015 02:00 PM PST

Castle Bravo explosion (15 megatons) via Wiki Commons
Castle Bravo explosion (15 megatons) via Wiki Commons

"We will carpet-bomb them into oblivion," he says. "I don't know if sand can glow in the dark, but we're going to find out." —Ted Cruz, December 2015

There’s been some loose talk about using nukes by Republicans this campaign season. In the above quote, Senator Ted Cruz is talking about bombing ISIS but it’s a confusing statement. Carpet bombing involves traditional, non-nuclear arms but these bombs don’t have the power to melt sand into glass and they don’t carry with them the insinuation that everything bombed to smithereens will then glow. Only nukes carry that mythology and only nukes produce enough heat to melt sand and fuse it into glass. Maybe he wants to carpet bomb with nukes. It’s hard to tell.

When asked if he would rule out using nuclear weapons against ISIS, Donald Trump directly declined to answer the question, meaning that he neither ruled it out nor ruled it in.

But this is all nothing new really. Back in 2007, nearly every Republican candidate was unwilling to take nuking Iran off the table. This was in regards to Iran possibly gaining a nuclear weapon of their own. So, 5 out of 7 GOP candidates at the time weren’t willing to take the nuclear option off the table and that’s just in regards to Iran continuing to develop a nuke of their own.

And you’ve likely seen that 30% of Republicans are all for the notion of bombing countries that don’t exist as long as they sound like they’re in the Middle East.

There’s also state level elected officials who believe in nuking like this Arkansas State Senator who argues about it on Facebook.

via Facebook
via Facebook

Talk about nuking places may as well be a national pastime on Facebook where angry and ignorant people gather to vent their spleens. I think it’s fair to assume that most of these people have no idea what “nuking” a country actually means but for the sake of illustration let’s conduct a thought experiment where a President willing to nuke people willy nilly becomes President of these united states and starts nuking.

We’ll call him President Nukem and I’ll pick the targets.

1. First Up Is Homs, Syria

There’s been lots of ISIS in Homs (though they were driven out) and we have to get rid of them (or make sure they can never return). We’re going to deploy an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) instead of a tactical nuke because in order to use tactical nukes you have to get them near the target and we’re more into push-button, Facebook style click nuking. Here’s what a medium yield (300 kiloton) ICBM would do to Homs.

via nukemap
Homs via nukemap

Homs is gone now, along with 340,000 of its nearly 1 million residents (according to old census numbers). Most of them were civilians but now they’re all dead and the 4000-year-old city will be uninhabitable for the foreseeable future. On top of that, most of those remaining alive will probably die in the coming weeks as well.

But our nuke happy President wouldn’t stop there. Once you’ve popped the cork there’s no reason to stop. Let’s get rid of other “problem areas.”

2. Ramadi, Iraq

Home to half a million Iraqis and recently recovered from ISIS using traditional war-fighting methods (whodathunk?!) our President wants to make sure no ISIS fighters are left in the area. Therefore, nuked.

Ramadi via nukemap
Ramadi via nukemap

There you go, a 160,000 dead and the nuclear fallout will soon spread east into Fallujah and Baghdad, the capital of Iraq. So, in addition to the half million dead from the nuking you can expect who knows how many more deaths from radioactive fallout, nearly 100% of which will be innocent civilians.

Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 1.06.43 PM
via nukemap

3. Al-Raqqah

There’s lots of ISIS fighters in Raqqah so let’s get to nuking. Zoom, bang, 120,000 dead. Man, we’re really showing ISIS what’s up, eh?

Al-Raqqah via nukemap
Al-Raqqah via nukemap

4. Palmyra, Syria

You’ve never heard of this place but it’s lousy with ISIS fighters. Time to change all that. Zap, with his Facebook nuke button, President Nukem has claimed another 55,000 lives.

What’s more, there’s lots more nuking to be done if we’re going to get every single ISIS fighter.

via nukemap
via nukemap

5. We’ve Come This Far, Let’s Nuke Iran

Our insane President has killed circa a half million people in just under a couple of hours but it’s time to do more. We need to make sure Iran can never have a nuclear weapon but nuking their military sites won’t do anything to deter them cause they can just build new ones, we need to nuke their leaders who might develop these weapons therefore our target is Tehran.

via nukemap
via nukemap

Bang, problem solved and all at the tiny cost of 777,000 deaths, overwhelmingly civilian and over a million horrible nuclear injuries. The nation of Iran is in shambles, their economy is destroyed and Tehran is uninhabitable.

6. Maybe This Wasn’t Such A Good Idea

So, President Nukem has spread hot, impatient freedom all over the Middle East and killed, lets’ be frank, likely several million people over the coming weeks and months. He’s wiped out some ISIS fighters (there’s only 30,000) but mostly he’s killed regular people. But still, that was cathartic and that’s go to be worth something, right? Surely the rest of the world will understand why the U.S. did this?

Surprisingly, they wouldn’t. The results of nuking any place at all in the Middle East would likely be broad Muslim outrage and horror that would make ISIS the most popular Muslim organization in the world. Every U.S. embassy in the Middle East would likely be destroyed and all our diplomats killed. American citizens would be murdered in the streets and all across Europe you’d have formerly peaceful Muslims becoming radicalized.

But what about our allies? Oh, we wouldn’t have any allies anymore. It’s a funny thing, murdering millions of people because you’re impatient with the degradation of a terrorist organization isn’t generally viewed as a valid reason to deploy nuclear weapons on civilians. You can pretty much bet the farm that every nation in the world would deploy sanctions agains the U.S. and we would be 100% diplomatically and economically isolated by the end of the week. We’d be booted from the U.N., from NATO, and we’d have every other nation’s nukes suddenly pointing us right in the face ready to kill us.

The stock market would crash and by crash I mean fall through the ground into the center of the Earth. Inflation would skyrocket and your money would soon have almost no value at all. What’s more, you’d have fighting in the streets as outraged U.S. citizens (including this writer) declared war against their own insane and genocidal government.

7. The Lesson

Only the supremely ignorant talk about using nuclear weapons against small groups of terrorists or non-aggressive nations who haven’t started a war for well over 100 years (Iran).

This isn’t serious talk but it is dangerous talk. Nuke talk makes angry people feel powerful and it gets people pumped up about just how awesome they think they are but an actual nuclear engagement like this would completely destroy the country in every way and would risk setting off an exchange with the U.S. as a target.

So, the next time you hear of someone entertaining the idea of nuking some place just remember that they’re actually talking about destroying your way of life, possibly your family, and definitely any prospect of there being peace anywhere again for a very long time. TC mark

14 Signs You’re Being Way Too Clingy And Will Ultimately Scare Him Away

Posted: 29 Dec 2015 01:00 PM PST

Twenty20 / marishkakuroedova
Twenty20 / marishkakuroedova

Did you just start dating someone new? Maybe you've had two or three dates and you're really into him. A lot. Too much? How do you know if you're overdoing it? You might think you're being sweet and affectionate; he may think you're a text away from stalkerdom. I know from experience how fast you can lose a guy this way. I did it – once. Never again though. I've learned my lesson.

If you think you may be a stage 5 clinger, you better take action fast. It's like an addiction – and it will definitely chase him away. However, there are ways to end your particular brand of crazy, but let's start with the warning signs and see if you meet the criteria of the dreaded stage 5 clinger. Do any of the following apply to you?

Texting

1. Is your texting ratio off balance?

I mean, you are texting him way more than he's texting you in response? And do your texts go something like this:

You: Hey, what's up? Want to hang out later?

You: Or not.

You: What are you up to? You must be busy.

You: Helloooooo?

You: Haven't heard back, I'm starting to worry. Is everything okay?

You: I miss you <3

You: Fine! I guess I'll just find something else to do then.

You: OMG, I look like a crazy person. I promise I'm not a crazy person. Just text me back. PLEASE!!!!!

Him: Jeez. Calm down. I was at the gym.

Many of us have done this. I have. I texted, then again and again, than realized I was over-texting and sent the apologetic text to explain how not crazy I am…yeah, that ended great.

2. When he fails to text you right back, do you exhaust every other form of communication known to (wo)mankind? Phone call, email, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Hieroglyphics, smoke signals. (okay, maybe not those last two. Or maybe?) My dad does this to me. That in itself makes me hope to hell a guy never does it.

3. Do you initiate every text conversation? When was the last time you heard from him first?

Your Phone

4. Do you stalk your own phone every five minutes (or less) to find out if he's responded to your texts, Facebook message, Tweet, or any of the other 50 ways you tried to reach him?

5. Have you set his picture as your phone's wallpaper?

6. When he calls, does he pop up as "Bae?"

Online/Apps

7. Do you spend hours going through his photos on Instagram?

8. Has your Facebook request to "be in a relationship" gone unaccepted?

9. When he sends you a Snapchat, do you screenshot it? To save… for later.

10. Have you searched him on the internet…extensively? Not just Google, but any site you think will give you more information. And you pay the $2.99 to get the extensive report.

In Person

11. Do you show up to places you know he hangs out, just in case he's there?

12. When you're at a party or a bar together do you literally cling to his arm the entire time?

13. Are you are okay being bored out of your mind, like watching football or gaming…just as long as you're with him.

14. The ultimate sign… he's filed a restraining order. If this happens, you may be doing extra credit here and that's definitely not good.

So, how many of the warning signs apply to you?

You probably fall into one of the following three categories:

Category #1 Nope, not me, I'm just fine;

Category #2 Eh, maybe I could back off a little bit; and

Category #3 OMG there is something seriously wrong with me, I need help now!!

If you fall into category one, outstanding, you have no issues and are a stable girlfriend.

Falling into category two means you might want to read the following preventative measures and see if your issues are easily solvable.

If you fall into category three you're definitely heading into clinger territory. Don't worry; there's still hope for you. You've already hurdled the first obstacle – admitting you have a problem. These 6 measures will help relieve you of your stage 5 clinginess and help you keep your sanity and your man.

5 Steps To Clinger Rehab

1. Put the phone down. Anything above 2 unanswered texts and you're headed to Clingersville. In fact, a 1:1 ratio is preferable. Give him a chance to respond. He might be in the shower, at work, maybe he's on an important call, maybe his phone died. Have some patience. And do not under any circumstances call him or message him anywhere else until at least a few hours have passed. I'd even suggest waiting a day. You should not have to hunt him down to hear from him. If he ghosts you, that's more a sign that things are really wrong, not that you should keep striving to force things.

2. Let him come to you. Every once in a while, let him text you first. I know you may like to send the "good morning" text, but you don't always have to initiate the conversation. Don't' worry, if he cares about you you'll hear from him. It may not be the good morning text, but it will come.

3. Remember he's not homework. Stop treating him like a research paper. Step back from the Google. An important part of any relationships is getting to know someone. Learn about him organically. Talk, ask questions, snort laugh. Nothing's more endearing than a snort laugh (at least I hope not).

4. Get a life. Seriously, if you're over-the-top into him, find something else to do so you don't obsess over him all day. He is not your end all be all. You still have friends. Do not abandon them for any guy. Go out with them. Or pick up a hobby, volunteer, visit your parents. You need your own life– even if you're happy in a relationship.

5. Take a deep breath. Stop worrying if he's going to dump you or if he's cheating on you. Your insecurities will drive you mad and you'll start saying and doing things your regret. And if you're that concerned, you probably shouldn't be dating him anyway.

You don't need to be a clinger. You're better than that. Clingers seem needy and desperate. Plus, behaving that way only forces things to happen in a relationship, like his need for more space, or worse, a break up. You need to let your relationship develop organically. Be patient, wait for things to happen, don't make him your "everything," and don't be a stalker.

If he likes you, there's no need to cling. If he doesn't, he wasn't worth all that time in the first place. Relax, be you, be happy and let things take their natural course. If it's meant to be, it will work out. TC mark

This post originally appeared at Attract The One.

These Are The 40 Funniest ‘Dad Texts’ You’ll Ever Read

Posted: 29 Dec 2015 12:00 PM PST

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Classic Pern #dadtexts #imustbecareful

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I'll never forget how much this made me laugh. #dadtexts

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Ugh. #dadtexts

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When I get sentimental. #dadtexts

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Most dad text I've ever received from Soren #dadtexts #daddysgirl #dad

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38.

leave your bananas at home #dadtexts

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🙈 #dadtexts #textsfromdad #parentsbelike

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Did I not give you life?! #dadtexts #blackfriday

A photo posted by Krista Kruschel (@krista_kruschel) on

And Here I Thought All This Time, Our Yelling Sounded A Lot Like Love

Posted: 29 Dec 2015 11:00 AM PST

IMG_6418

I’m not allowed to be sad about this.
Someone else is sitting
in a pile of glass
and I’m the one who shattered it
above both our heads.
I stick handfuls of lemon slices
in my mouth
so that everyone can see,
I deserve this feeling.
I am the one
who closed the shop,
who said
it wasn’t worth trying
to salvage
what we’ve got.

How can I mourn
what I decided to bury?

I imagine a world
where you and I are stuck in dark navy waves.
Everything is wide
and reaching,
I cannot see any endings
just blue velvet
The loveliest kind,
I reach out to you with a tentacle
because we are not
you and I
like we are in this lifetime.
Here,
we are both octopuses.
And no, not octopi.
I found out you cannot put a Latin ending
-i-
on a word derived from Greek.
In case you were wondering,
as you probably would,
ready to prove me wrong.
In this underwater universe,
you do not worry so much
about correcting
my wrongdoings.

You just swim with me.
I just swim with you. TC mark