Thought Catalog


49 Deeply Creepy Tales Of The Paranormal To Read If You Don’t Want To Sleep Tonight

Posted: 12 Jan 2016 08:00 PM PST

via Flickr - Favi Santos
via Flickr – Favi Santos

1. The Baby

My mom told me this story the other day and it freaked me the fuck out. When my oldest sister was little, like 3, she asked my then pregnant aunt to pick her up to hold her. My moi m said she was like “she can’t pick you up, honey, she has a baby in her tummy.” And then my little sister was like “that baby is dead!” My mom freaked out, but my aunt and grandma were fine and were telling my mom it was all good, she was just a toddler and didn’t know what she was saying. Well lo and behold my aunt goes to the doctor the next day for a routine pregnancy checkup and the baby was dead. Gives me he willies just thinking about it.

2. The Missing Shotgun

My father passed away last year. One item he always said he wanted me to have was a shotgun which had originally belonged to his grandfather. For years he had this shotgun stashed in the attic. After he passed, I had gone in the attic to look for it, only to find that it wasn’t there.

A few months later, I had a dream in which I was talking to him and I asked him where he had put the shotgun. He told me it was in the closet of a spare bedroom. I called my mother and had her check, and sure enough that’s where it was.

Now it’s completely possible that my father had told me that when he was alive, and the dream was little more than a memory, but I certainly don’t recall that being the case.

3. The Flying Key

When I was 15, my mother and I were standing in the kitchen talking. There was a rack on the wall holding keys about 8 feet away. A key from the rack flew across the room and hit the floor near our feet. This is the only event in my life I for which I have no explanation.

I don’t know (what the key went to). It was an old, heavy key. The house was built in the 1880s, so it could have been original to the house.

4. Camping In Canada

Scariest moment of my life happened while my friend and I were camping in eastern Canada as teenagers. We decided to sleep in this abandoned camper we found deep in a large forest that was near our town. It had been there so long that small trees had grown around it. We’d stumbled across it when we were exploring a few months back and thought it would be cool (and brave) to sleep there for a night. So one weekend we did it.

We arrived after dark because we had gotten lost trying to find the camper. We had a really low power flashlight, so it made it even more difficult. Once we finally found it we opened the rusty door and stepped in. The sounds inside the camper were shrill and echoey. There were typical camper things strewn about; cups, empty cans, swollen pulp fiction novels.

Already tired, we holed up in one end of the camper where the bed area had originally been before the cushions had rotted away to almost nothing. A long hallway stretched the length of the camper so we could basically see from end to end.

It was a miserable night. There were several rats living in there. I saw them staring at us from a chewed out part of the ceiling. When the wind blew outside the camper would shriek and groan. We even thought we heard a bear outside too, walking around. Still, we feigned bravery and acted like we were having a good time. But we were on edge.

At some point I woke up from an uncomfortable sleep. I sat up to adjust myself when I noticed some movement out of the corner of my eye. At the other end of the camper, there was a small window, and as I looked at it I saw a man’s silhouette. He was clearly staring straight at me from outside.

At first I thought maybe it was a weird shape of a tree or something. But when I moved a bit to get a better look the person clearly reacted and then froze. My heart was pumping and I woke up my friend immediately, saying “someone is here” over and over and over in a whisper, not taking my eyes off his profile. He woke up immediately and I nodded towards the window.

He saw him too. We whispered frantically about who it could be and why was he staring at us. And for the next 10 minutes, no joke, we stared him down. The longer we stared at him the more frightened we got. Occasionally he would move, but always keeping his eyes locked on us. Eventually I shouted at him, “Hey!” No reaction.

My friend was braver than me and decided to shine the flashlight at him. As soon as he did we realized our horrible mistake. It wasn’t a window at all on the other side of the camper. It was a mirror. We had been staring down ourselves from the very start. Completely idiotic. Still, it was the most fearful, relieving and funny moment of my life that I’ll never forget it.

Closest to paranormal I’ve ever been.

5. The Figure In The Hallway

I saw a ‘shadow person’ once.

I didn’t know that’s what it was called until much later. I was living in a house in Laguna Beach that had been there since the 1920s. In it’s history, it had been a speakeasy, a brothel and a house for smuggling illegal immigrants.

One day, my new wife and I were having an argument. I can’t even recall what it was about. She walked down the block to get a cup of coffee and cool off, and I was alone in the house. The way the place was built was incredibly haphazard. There was a bedroom and living room on one side, then a bathroom with two entrances. On the other side of the bathroom was a hallway that had windows in one side and two bedrooms on the other. From my bedroom, I could look across the hall into the bathroom, then through the bathroom and down the other hall. I was standing at my dresser, and I just noticed movement out the corner of my eye, and looked down there.

There was… and honest to god, this gives me goose bumps just typing it, 17 years later, a black figure. It was maybe three feet tall, and it was only vaguely humanoid. it looked like black scribbles, like someone had scribbled a human shape, but the scribbles moved, like electricity arcing, that’s the best way to describe it. There was no sound that I could remember. I distinctly remember when I saw it I wasn’t afraid, just like, WTF? Then it noticed me looking at it. I can’t say it turned around, it just, focused on me I guess. THEN i was scared. I didn’t move, didn’t scream, nothing, I was just frozen, because it just fucking came at me, it RUSHED down the hall towards me. I have no idea what it intended, but as soon as it entered the bathroom, the door closest to me just SLAMMED shut on it. The I screamed. I yelled for my wife. She wasn’t home. I went the fuck outside, into the daylight, and didn’t go back in until she got home about 10 minutes later.

I don’t believe in ghosts. I don’t believe I saw something supernatural, but I know I saw something. I don’t know what it was.

6. Just Outside The Door

I was trying to sleep in my room back when I was younger and lived with my folks. I must have been maybe 17 or 18. I opened my eyes while rolling over to get comfortable and I see a black figure just outside my door (who I thought was my stepfather in the dark) with his hands up by his chest making “scary finger” motions at me like you might do sarcastically after a scary story, or a witch might do when casting a spell – just moving fingers wildly in my direction.

I should note that this figure had no defined shape. It looked like squiggles that moved in a vague shape and I chalked it up to the lack of light and my stepfather.

Well, I look over and say “What the hell are you doing?” thinking it was a really stupid, creepy thing to do at night. Well in that moment it vanished. Just gone. It was at that moment my heart sank and I became PETRIFIED with fear. One of the few moments I was scared out of my mind and couldn’t comprehend what I just saw.

7. A Presence All Through The House

I was probably 11 or 12, and never really had any belief in the supernatural, aliens, etc. Around roughly 5am I was sleeping on my bottom bunk at the end of our hallway when a shadow figure about the height of my dad was standing in the doorway — not doing anything, just standing. I could hear my grandmother (who watched us at the time) in the basement, and I could vaguely remember my dad leaving about an hour earlier. I closed my eyes twice, opened them, and just stared with a squint so it looked like I was sleeping.

Eventually I was so scared I just closed my eyes and secretly hoped it was all some weird dream. I couldn’t sleep, but soon after I heard dresser drawers slamming VERY loud in our spare bedroom. All of the sudden my grandma runs upstairs and tells me to quit making so much noise. I tell her what’s up, she opens the spare bedroom door and there’s nothing there. No possible way to escape either — a second-story window with the screen still in tact.

8. It Was Like It Was Made Of Static

I was laying in my bed, the room door in front of me, wide open, and to the left. I could see the room where the front door was. There was an antique cabinet that my dad had that illuminated a white glow. I started to freak out for no reason, and started sweating. I for some reason knew shit was about to happen and I was about to witness something. About 5 minutes later, laying hot in sweat, I fucking saw it.

There was a door in the back of the room with the front door, that was storage. A black outlined humanoid figure walks out, mildly static looking. It takes a few steps towards the front door then stops. Does a military like turn facing me. At this point I’m freaking the shit out eyes wide. It walks into my room and stops beside my bed. Does one more military turn facing me. At that point I figured, what have I got to lose. I noped the the fuck out and ran through the thing, ran upstairs to my parents bedroom and knocked furiously at the door waiting to let me in. Eyes focused on the stairs making sure it wasn’t to follow me. Nothing. I slept with my parents for the next few nights.

Story 2:  A short time after the shadow people encounter, I began to settle down and my thoughts were no longer fearful. I also believe this was during the time I put up a dream catcher that my mother got me at the time. Let me just say that dream catcher really did the job for years! Maybe because I truly believed in it, and my mind worked in my favor.

Anyway, I woke up one morning to mum yelling down the stairs for me to get up. It was a school day. I had a shower, came back to my room and sat on my bed, sluggishly slipping my school uniform on. This is where the shit goes down…

As I was pulling up my socks, I noticed a flash outside my door more toward the room with the front door. Not the bright camera type flash, but more like an invisible person walking past super fast past my door. For those of you that played halo, it looked like someone walking around with the invisibility cloak but real fast past my door. You can still see them but not entirely. I saw this from the corner of my eye and began to freak out.

I went upstairs to eat breakfast and I remember how scared I was. I sat there staring down at the table as I ate my cereal. My mother asked what was up and I looked up at her with a straight face and said something along the lines of “I saw a flash by the door downstairs. Something walked past my door”. I said this calmly with a straight face, and now that I look back on this I must’ve looked like the classic creepy kid. My mum replied with “Its all in your head”.

I went back to eating and she went in the laundry room behind the kitchen, and that’s when it happened again! I was eating when I saw another flash of an invisible person walk past the kitchen door! This time I was paralyzed! As in, I stopped chewing and now staring straight down at the table. These fuckers are playing with me! My mum walks in, stops, sees my reaction and again, I calmly say “it just did it again, over there” pointing at the kitchen threshold. I tell my mum “Something is playing with me, and I’m not imagining things”. What really relieved me but freaked me out at the same time was her reply “I know…” It relieved me because she believed me but freaked me out because she basically confirmed their existence! About ten seconds later, we both heard someone walking down the stairs (wooden, so creaking can be heard) very slowly. I remember thinking to myself that it sounded as if they’re cover is blown and they’re trying to sneak out. My mum and I both looked at each other and once we heard it stop, she looked around the corner down the stairs. Nothing. Dad had already left for work. What the actual fuck?

Story 3: This story is set in the Philippines, where I’ve heard many stories from my relatives about paranormal things happening in the house we stayed at. This is something that I’ve experienced myself. This happened in the second story living room. This living room was huge! Tall ceiling and about 20ft x 45ft worth of room. It was during Christmas time and we had a tree setup in the middle of the room towards the north side. A large jesus table on the east side positioned north south. There was a television setup on the west side, with a large green velvet couch about 15ft in front of the tv and another couch setup sideways to the tv, but backed up against a sliding door to the balcony. There was enough room for someone to walk behind the couch to get to open the screen doors to the balcony.

Anyway, my Filipino cousins (I’m half Filipino) and I were gathered around the tv. Some of them on the floor, one on the back couch, and me on the couch by the sliding door. We were all watching either a game show or something overly bubbly. At this time, it was getting late for us. Maybe 10pm or so? Here’s where the realest shit goes down.

I’m sitting on the couch with my legs up and one knee up. Remote is dangling on the backrest edge to my right and I hear it drop behind me. So little me, being the ninja i am, slides over the top of the couch on my back! Like a bridge stretch for your back. With my face pressed up against the glass, I grab the remote and from the corner of my eye I see a little girl with black fucking hair! Se had a white dress on and was looking down so I couldn’t see her face. She was in a crawling position, backing up like she had been caught and trying to escape. She was backing up towards the middle of the room towards the Christmas tree. I was still upside down at this point and when I managed to look over at her, she disappeared! I scuttled right back up and jumped. All my cousins looked at me like “wtf?!”

I then explained to them what I saw and they started basically shaking their fingers pointing at me, as if they know that I must’ve done something to see something. They were smiling though, as if its a normal thing.

To this day, I still think that they were just messing with me with the whole “you got in trouble with the supernatural” but I know what I saw. I was always scared shitless whenever I was in the Philippines. Especially that house. In the area we lived in, “betis”, this house was like a mansion. It was opposite some basketball courts in case anyone knows betis. Anyway, if anyone ever goes to the Philippines, ask the locals for some supernatural stories ;) I’d imagine everyone there has experienced something, as all my Filipino relatives have, including our maids. One maid ran away once because of an encounter. She came back, and I’ve met her before and she hates talking about it.

9. The Rocking Chair Man

My grandfather passed away just a few weeks after I was born. Never met the guy, never knew what he looked like. When I was 5 years old, I started to see this man in our rocking chair. I called him the rocking chair man. My parents thought it was that “imaginary friend” stage, but it started to bug them when I told them every single day.

They finally questioned me about it. I told them every detail I could remember and finally they showed me a picture of a man.

It was my grandfather.

To this day, I’m 22 now, every time I dream, he is in the background somewhere. I remember when I dreamed about my high school graduation and I looked in the stands and I saw him with my parents. I like to think that he’s just watching out for me and being there when he’s not really there.

10. The Teacher Saying Goodbye 

I attended the same university for my Bachelors and my PhD. There was a lovely woman by the name of Jennifer, who was my Reading in the Content Area instructor. The guys all swooned over her (she was gorgeous) and I loved her because she read us The Giver out loud. She was an awesome instructor (and was doing her PhD in Literacy).

Fast forward a few years, and Jen has moved to South Carolina to teach literacy. I’m now in my PhD program, and in the same grad student office she used to work in, with other Literacy people that were her colleagues.
And then, we get the news that she was murdered by her boyfriend. Everyone is totally devastated. It was a huge blow to the department, as she was genuinely loved by everyone who knew her.

So a few days after her funeral (her body was brought home), I’m in the office suite at school very early in the morning, when nobody else was around. The grad students had a fishbowl office (10 of us, with group desks) within a larger office suite that was locked and had light motion sensors. I’m walking in and pass a locked door with windows, and I see a woman with short, dark hair walk the other way inside. Which was weird, because the lights didn’t flicker on when she moved.

So I walked around the corner to the door with a key code and let myself in. I walk inside, and head to where I saw her. The lights flicker on when they sense me. Nobody is there. It’s just me, and an entire suite of empty offices.
I swear to god, it was her, saying goodbye to a place she spent so many years, and where she had so many friends. It spooked the hell out of me, but made me sad, too.

11. A Sudden Premonition 

About 20 years ago, my mom came out of the shower, pale, shaking, and hysterical.

My aunt spoke to me and she is here to pick someone up….I know she is talking about my father. She said to my dad and I. Her aunt has been dead for many years.

Two days later, my grandfather (mom’s father) was in the hospital. He was in a coma and died shortly after that from undetected lung cancer.

12. One Life For Another

Girlfriend’s mom had cancer and dreamed of her Grandma one night. (I don’t remember the type but doctors gave her a 5% chance of survival.) She said her Grandma said something to the affect of “I’m going to die so that you may live”, and the next day her Mom called her and said “I have grave news.” My girlfriend’s Mom said “don’t tell me, Grandma passed away.” her Mom “yes, how did you know?” She survived and has been cancer free for 20 years.

Another story was with my girlfriend’s sister. The family was going through a photo album and her sister pointed to a man and said “that’s Grandpa”. Her Mom asks “yes, but how do you know? You never met him”. (died before she was born) She replied “He sits at the foot of my bed some nights and we talk."

10 Reasons You Need To Stop Bitching About Your Partner’s Ex(es) Right This Second

Posted: 12 Jan 2016 07:00 PM PST

Twenty20, azran.yusof
Twenty20, azran.yusof

1. You don’t get unconditional, lasting love without forgiveness. The path to Happily Ever After is paved in acceptance and forgiveness—and not the piecemeal kind. If you want a healthy long-term relationship, you can't pick and choose which pieces of your partner’s past to accept while dismissing others (like that one particularly loathsome cunt they almost proposed to in college) as repugnant or unmentionable. Instead, you have to figure out how to accept the entire complicated package that is your significant other, including every single difficult-to-stomach romantic mistake choice they’ve ever made.

2. The fact that your significant other once dated someone you have a hard time not hating doesn’t constitute a character "con." Maybe certain things about some of your partner's exes—what they do for a living, how they dress, or the fact that they're vegan—make you want to swallow a pound of sharp pins and chase it with a giant glass of bleach. Truth is, your partner is no less worthy of love and respect just because they dated someone with unfortunate taste in food, or footwear. (It's not like they're still with any of those weirdos anyway.)

3. You probably don't even really know any of your partner's exes. You can cyberstalk all you want and demand answers to all the prying questions you can conceive as you tumble down the rabbit hole of wondering-what-your-lover’s-life-was-like-with-that-other-person-whose-name-you-dare-not-speak-aloud, but unless you happen to know your partner's exes personally, all the information you gather amounts to a shoddy, super low pixelated picture of an individual.

4. It's idiotic to hate someone you don't know. Why bother devoting any time or energy to despising a person you don't even know? It sounds absolutely ridiculous. Because it is! You're above that kind of spite—starting now.

5. Harboring resentment is actually bad for your health. Consider how good it feels to entertain kind thoughts, and, conversely, how horrible it feels to wallow in negativity. Bitterness isn't healthy for your mind or body, so why let your imagination concoct angry narratives centering people your partner dated before you, the obvious upgrade to all priors, entered the picture?

6. Envy is totally unbecoming. If preserving your mental and physical health isn't incentive enough to stop you from resorting to ex-loathing, consider the fact that fixating on your partner's past romantic "mistakes" is downright ugly. Yes, a little reciprocal jealousy can be beneficial to a relationship. But obsessing over your partner's exes is a sign of acute jealousy rooted in insecurity, which is entirely unattractive. On the other hand, self-confidence is undoubtedly sexy.

7. Remember, you have exes too. Trust me, your partner doesn’t enjoy thinking about you spooning—let alone fucking—anyone else. It’s just as easy for them to fall into the vortex of ex-resentment. On the upside of such toxicity, the reality is that you're in the exact same boat. You can either let your shared concerns tear you apart, or tackle any unwanted ew moments as a couple, growing closer as you help each other overcome your true feelings.

8. Whether you like it or not, your significant other is an accumulation of ALL their life experiences, including times spent with all those irksome exes. Each of us is on an ongoing journey of personal growth comprised of everything that ever happens to us. Insulting your partner's exes is tantamount to rejecting tiny portions of their personal history—and, by extension, who they are as a person today as a result—which is pretty fucking rude if you think about it.

9. You're the person chosen by the most evolved version of your boyfriend or girlfriend. The person your partner is today is more mature, well educated, and awesomer than the person they were when they chose to date all those other people before you. So think of yourself as an upgrade—half of the most state-of-the art coupledom either of you has ever been a part of. All those other dalliances amount to nothing compared to the long stretch of future happiness that looms before you two highly evolved lovers.

10. If you feed it, contempt will actually kill your relationship. Nurturing disdain for any aspect of your partner, including their past romantic escapades, is like releasing a slow-moving but deadly flesh-eating disease in the petri dish encasing your bond. Maybe you cringe at the thought of your boyfriend or girlfriend's involvement with one of their exes in particular, no matter how hard you try to reframe your attitude. You can't believe that someone you’re with ever connected to someone you so revile. Either find it in your heart to get over it, or move on. Because scornful thinking is dangerous. It inevitably oozes into every other area of your life as a couple, tainting all the good stuff that brought you together in the first place. TC mark

My Clairvoyant Friend And I Are Digging Deep Into The Mystery Of ‘Making A Murderer’ (Part Two)

Posted: 12 Jan 2016 06:00 PM PST

Netflix
Netflix

Read Part One Here.

When we last left you, my clairvoyant friend Amy and I had started investigating and “reading” members of the much-talked about Avery/Halbach case. In the previous installment, I mentioned a few people who would be featured in this piece, but when Amy looked over the photos again, plans changed — as they sometimes do when it comes to things of this nature.

Are you ready to dive back in? Because after studying the photos I sent over, Amy sent me this text:

Morning sister! I have one more day of tennis matches but want to tell you I am getting quite a bit from the woman you sent me pictures of. It is all very confusing to me… hope it makes sense to you.

And with that, we return to:

Teresa Halbach

Netflix
Netflix

Amy sent an email after doing a full read of the photos I emailed along. Here is what she had to say regarding Teresa. (A quick reminder, we are not using names so as not to taint her information, but “the sad man” is Steven Avery.)

I am just going to puke out every single thing coming as crazy as it all sounds. Hopefully you will know if any of it is even possible. It is just absolutely insane…there is so much, I don’t even know where to begin. First, I feel she was connected to some of these men. I feel like she was asked to do a “job”? That had to do with the sad man too.

As we all know, Teresa was at the Avery property to photograph a car. Now, she was not there to photograph STEVEN’S car — she was there to photograph his sister’s car, Barb Janda (Brendan Dassey’s mother.) Is her son, Bobby Dassey, involved in this? What about her husband?

She was used. They led her like a sheep to slaughter. The whole thing being contrived as an ends to a means? I feel she was meeting someone the night she was killed and I do feel she was killed.

Perhaps the car being sold was part of the setup? Teresa had already photographed cars for sale for the Averys previously. Maybe this is why they thought she’d be a good mark to get Steven back in trouble? Or were authorities goading them into finding some dirt on Steven and this seemed easier?

Not knowing a plan was hatching that she was going to be a sacrificial lamb kind of scenario? I feel the man in the police uniform you sent of the pic of is one of the men her set this whole thing in motion. I feel like this is a huge setup. A trap.

The man in the police uniform is, of course, Andrew Colborn, but let’s get to him later.

This disturbs me greatly…but I feel she is in pieces? Scattered and bloody. THE WORST part being…I feel parts of her were fed to pigs. I am being dead serious. I feel she was eaten by pigs. At least parts of her. I literally see a white bucket of blood and parts. It makes me sick.

We are aware that Teresa was eventually burnt and what was found was just incinerated body parts. But does this mean she was dismembered before being burnt? That would make sense, especially if the information provided during the case was correct: that she was burnt in one area and transported to the Avery land. Pieces burn easier than a full body, I’m sure. And as for the pigs… is this a literal translation, meaning she was actually fed to pigs, or is this a metaphor for the police? When I posed this question to Amy, she admitted spirits sometime speak in metaphors or code. I then informed her that Teresa was indeed sent for a job but that according to Colborn’s testimony, Steven Avery knew she was coming and never interacted with her.

Wow…yes, this is exactly along the lines of what I got. She was brought there for a specific reason. So what I was seeing on that property with all the cars…this is where she was brought to for this job? So he did know she was coming, but says he did not talk to her or see her. I feel that is truth. I felt he did not see her and was not close when she was there.

Very interesting. I went on to ask her if she had a clear picture on Teresa’s actual cause of death.

I have always felt she was shot. Quick death once done. And dismembered after death. Mostly because of wanting to give the illusion of wanting to “hide” her…to make sure no one would ever be able to “find her”…to really make it look like a lot of trouble had to “cover up.” Also, to make it seem like he, the sad man, had help too. I see someone saying “there is no way he could have done it on his own.”

This is, as we know, the cause of death. Two gunshots to the head. I find the insight to the dismemberment really key, that it wasn’t so much about the violence as the aspect of staging the crime. I mentioned that it was widely reported during the case that Steven Avery was the last person to see Teresa alive. Amy’s response:

He was not the last to see her. They are lying. She was set up to go there for the purpose of grabbing her on his property. Period.

This. Makes. So. Much. SENSE.

I also feel this woman was sexually involved with one of the men. Not love…sex. I don’t know why…I don’t have a flash or anything to prove that…I just feel there was something going on with one of them that made her easy for this person to ask, convince, and sacrifice.

At first, I was stumped. Who would’ve been involved in her death that Teresa might’ve had a sexual connection with? And then I remembered…

Ryan Hillegas

Netflix
Netflix

Teresa Halbach’s ex-boyfriend has been the focus of a lot of attention after the case. For example, why was he the HEAD of the search party? Why did he act so sketchy on the stand? I don’t know, something about him doesn’t sit right with me, and according to the comments I’ve received I’m not alone in feeling this. So I asked Amy to check out his photo again. (A note, without names, she refers to Ryan as “the skinhead guy.”)

The skinhead guy is lying…I see money exchanged with him. He made up a complete story and yes, I do feel a connection with the woman. It may not have been intimate…but it was definitely sexual as far as him flirting with her, charming her…trying to get to her. He got paid off.

Normally I’d think this was pretty farfetched but one must ask — again, WHY was he in charge of the search party? He was also informing volunteers not to call 911 if they found anything but to phone specific detectives. I can’t say I know a lot about the procedure there but that seems odd. Almost as if he was instructed to do so.

Speaking of being instructed to do something, let’s turn our attention to:

James Lenk

Netflix
Netflix

The balding man with glasses, suit and tie. He is lying. He is a yes man. He has a slight conscience, and I do mean slight… it is not enough for him to tell the truth or go back on what he has said or don’t do what he has been told to do. I feel he testified and his testimony was just corroboration to help make some evidence airtight?

This is interesting as I always suspected Lenk may be the brains of the operation, the one who set the whole thing in motion, but now I wonder if maybe it was someone even higher than him. Perhaps the sheriff who said it would be easier to kill Steven Avery than frame him?

I feel he feels he is doing the right thing. I hear someone basically bullying him along the lines of “It is in your best interest to cooperate with this…” Like if he doesn’t he will go down with the ship along with them type of thing. Basically a veiled threat.

We all know that Lenk was one of the police officers, as well as Colborn, who inserted himself into investigations when it wasn’t necessary. I also shared with Amy photos of the infamous car key and vial of blood:

I see posing. Things being posed. Objects. The first thing that flashed with the picture of the vial of blood and the key was a person placing it carefully, but quickly in different places. I actually feel the man in the first picture I read…baldy…has something to do with placing things? I also see a younger person too. There are at least 4 men doing individual parts of carrying out what I am seeing right now. Some placing or planting things. Some killing. Some dismembering. Some being a “lookout.”

Lenk had every opportunity to place both of those things, and I find it extremely interesting she was able to pick up that they were found in different places — and placed QUICKLY. The key, as we all know, was found a significant amount of time after initial deep searching. Hmmm.


There’s still a lot to go through from this session of reads. I promise at some point we’ll get to Brendan Dassey, Andrew Colborn, and everyone’s favorite, Ken Kratz. But as many have pointed out, there’s another suspicious character to consider: Teresa’s brother, Mike Halbach. I’m sending along some photos of him as we speak for Amy to consider. Let’s see where we go from here. I’m ready for the ride if you are. TC mark

8 Things You Absolutely Don’t Have To Do In Your Early 20s

Posted: 12 Jan 2016 05:00 PM PST

adrihamui
adrihamui

1. Travel.

If I never have to read another listicle, essay, manifesto on why college grads need to IMMEDIATELY sling a satchel over their shoulder and adventure their way through every hostel they can find, it will be too soon. Is travel rewarding? Of course. There’s no disputing that. And if you have the opportunity to jet set and learn about different cultures firsthand, that’s awesome. But not everyone likes traveling (despite what Tumblr wants you to believe). If you don’t spend your early 20s going all Around The World In 80 Days, it doesn’t mean you aren’t living life to the fullest. It just means your passport doesn’t have cute stamps.

2. Seriously date.

Sharing a life with someone is the best feeling. But forcing yourself to get there just because you’re “supposed to” is not fulfilling. Life isn’t meant to be a race to see who can get to certain “milestones” first. So what if it seems like everyone around you is getting engaged? Good for them. You do you, and the rest will figure itself out along the way.

3. Casually date.

Okay, let’s say you did find someone you want to spend your life with. Now you’ll have to deal with a chorus of people telling you that you’re too young. Or that you still need to date around, see what’s out there. Yes, you are going to grow and change as you age. But that’s a constant in life. You don’t need to be single just for the sake of it. If you’ve found someone special, that’s a beautiful thing. Don’t let it go because of other people’s opinions.

4. Drink.

I don’t mean this in any shame-y way because I, in fact, do drink. I enjoy going out to the bar with my friends, or getting a little red-faced with girlfriends as we (embarrassingly) watch The Bachelor with a bottle of vino. BUT you don’t have to drink. College almost seems synonymous with partying, which actually isn’t even accurate. I didn’t drink until I turned 21 and I always had fun. Everything seems to glamorize early 20s as this time to be a hot mess with the people you love. Hungover? It’s fine, you’re young! Drunk text your ex? It’s fine, you’re young. And sure, those things sometimes happen. But maybe that’s not your scene, and that’s okay! You don’t need to get wasted to enjoy your youth. Don’t let anyone force you into something you’re not comfortable doing.

5. Have a ton of friends.

This is a PSA to Taylor Swift: having that many friends is A) not normal B) not normal and C) a lie??? Having a few people you really love and trust will always beat out having #squadgoals. Your 20s are a time of rebirth and discovery. You’ll likely lose touch with some people you used to be really close with. It’s something that happens in life. Those who are meant to stay will, so don’t sweat not having a ton of names on your friendship roster.

6. Have your own place.

Unless you either scored a high-paying job right out of school, or are a trust fund baby, it’s highly unlikely you’re financially ready to be on your own. If you have the opportunity, definitely consider moving back in with your family to save a little dough while you start working. There’s a stigma attached to it, like it’s a failure, but if it can prevent going into debt, I’d say you definitely are winning that situation. If moving home isn’t an option, go in on something with a roommate (or maybe a few). It’s delicious to dream about having an apartment all to yourself one day, and you probably will! But there’s no point in overpaying for something when you’re just starting out. Your savings account will thank you later.

7. Be in the same space as your peers.

This holds true for most ages. Get rid of the toxic keeping up with the Joneses mentality. Being inspired by people can be great and productive. But constantly comparing yourself? Bad recipe. Only one person can figure out your path, and that’s you. Don’t get too distracted looking at where others are going. You’ve got to look forward in your own direction.

8. Know EXACTLY what you want to do.

Your passions will evolve. Your dreams will get revised. Sometimes, you’ll have no f*cking clue what you want. And all of that is incredibly normal. Majoring in something doesn’t mean you have to work in that field. Having an entry-level job somewhere doesn’t mean that’s the career path you’re stuck with forever. You’ll constantly be learning about what you like, what you don’t, what you can handle, what you can’t. It takes time. You’re allowed that time. TC mark

The Right Way To Talk About Body Image

Posted: 12 Jan 2016 04:45 PM PST

https://stocksnap.io/photo/KRYRPB2XMN
Misty Pittman

"Girls have it so much easier," said the former Abercrombie & Fitch model who, with a glass of homemade kale and strawberry juice in one hand, lamented over the socially imposed pressure to frequent the gym as often as he did to maintain his "masculine" muscular definition of a six pack and sculpted physique.

Truth be told, body images are not just "easier" for girls, nor are they a "girl issue"; they're an every body issue, for they embody exceedingly more than physiological and aesthetic standards. They embody you.

We are so much more than the arrangement of matter composing our bodies. Whatever your weight, your jean size, your cholesterol, you matter. You, your future, your capabilities, and your gifts are not defined by a number on a scale, a pair of jeans, or a dress. Your value as a human being, a being worthy of respect, is independent of how you look or how much you weigh.

Yes, weight is generally a solid measure of health, however, it is not the only one. In the pursuit of a holistic approach to physical well-being, consider resting heart rate, body fat percentage, nutritional intakes, blood pressure, blood glucose levels, cholesterol, and other measures of health, which can be achieved across sizes.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight, when the rationale and methods are sound. Indeed, there is something respectable and rewarding about challenging one’s self, exchanging comfort and immediate gratification to enjoy a higher quality, more fulfilled sort of life through goals and discipline. Self-improvement, including weight loss or "bulking up," fueled by intrinsic motivation, reaps more reward than self-improvement to comply with outside standards.

Yes, people are going to have their preferences of attraction or beauty and that is okay; sometimes even respectable. What is not okay is to shame people for their bodies, to assign guilt to someone as a person for how their body stands as a physical entity, because then we confuse somebody with some body. There is beauty in everyone, and once we start looking at people as agents capable of thought and feeling, not a collection of physiological pieces, we will find more peace. However, we cannot give that which we do not have, so be kind to yourself and give yourself the respect you unconditionally deserve, even if this idea seems too idealistic.

There is beauty in everyone, and once we start looking at people as agents capable of thought and feeling, not a collection of physiological pieces, we will find more peace.

If you're unhappy with your body image, I challenge you to think of ten things you are thankful your body can do. Maybe you love that your eyes can see little details that others often dismiss, or maybe you love the way your hands can dance across piano keys and uplift others' spirits. Perhaps you appreciate the fact your smile makes others smile, or even admire the power of your posture that allows you to present yourself as a confident professional.

Keep a mental list of ten things you like about your body that aren't related to appearance or weight. Beyond that, I challenge you to prioritize physical functionality over body image. Fitness targets physical functionality, and self-respect, emotional stability. A healthy, positive body image encompasses both functionalities for ultimate fulfillment.

Challenge yourself to something healthy because you love your body and yourself. Treat your body as if it belonged to your future child or anyone else you love. Reframing the idea of healthy practices as the medium to live a more vibrant life doesn't seem like a chore, but rather a privilege, and an opportunity to celebrate life. And it is something you deserve right now just as you are.

When I wanted to start running at age 17, I was told by several people that I "did not look like" a runner. A few months later, a physician diagnosed me with 30 degrees of curvature called scoliosis, and told me that I not only had to stay lean, but embrace the great likelihood of no longer running. To this day, my motivation to run is not fueled by the desire to maintain a lean figure, but to chase the "runner's high" and happiness. I say "kale yeah" to veggie drinks to care for my brain, fight disease, and have sufficient iron levels to donate blood. My wish for everyone is to find a fitness approach that brings them happiness in and of itself, rather than chase fitness as a means to be accepted by others based on appearance.

For me, running 50 miles a week is a party for my body and a prayer in physical form. Every time I run, I thank God for my life, my health, and stamina. Of the many reasons to run, a few are of primal importance: I run because I can. I run because it makes me feel joyful, beautiful, and empowered. I run because I am deeply in love with an activity that paradoxically makes me feel alive at the verge of physical exhaustion.

Whatever your fitness of choice among the diverse variety, find it, and let yourself fall in love with the enrichment it brings. You deserve to be happy with yourself and celebrate the body you have, be it through dancing, boxing, tennis, or swimming. You deserve to fall in love with the fitness style of your choice, and you deserve to reap the fulfillment that sort of hard work brings. Because if you do work hard, you may discover that your capabilities exceed those constructed by yourself and others.

Yes, there is a happiness that accompanies health, but that happiness is not thinness, nor is it a quantity on a scale or inside a pair of jeans.

Maybe in the sphere of social media, we're all preoccupied about un-tagging ourselves, filtering and editing pictures to adhere to that "thinspiration" to get more likes. But inspiration is no means to motivate an eating disorder. It doesn't even make sense, anyway, to fulfill an emptiness by keeping our stomachs empty. Whether you are overweight, average, or underweight, you need to eat because no size is immune to disordered eating, and it entails both overeating and under-eating. You don't need to have a thigh gap to be pretty or a six pack to be handsome. You need to nourish your body and take care of it, wherever you are in your fitness journey.

I'm aware that advocating the idea of loving yourself stands somewhere on the verge of a cliché, and a generic psychological prescription. I'm aware it's easier said than done, but I am aware of what it can do. Above all, I am aware that it is something you can do.

But it starts with ending the "fat talks" among our friends, dismissing "fat-shaming" and "skinny-shaming". It starts with being kind to yourself and not saying things to yourself that you wouldn't want others to say to you. It starts with exercising to celebrate, not conform. It starts with deconstructing the idea that our happiness is relative, that it is something we can only measure against that of others.

Yes, there is a happiness that accompanies health, but that happiness is not thinness, nor is it a quantity on a scale, or inside a pair of jeans. Rather, it is well-being that brings happiness. The very word itself screams being. For we are beings, not just bodies, and it is “well” that we seek, not having been or will have been, but being. “Well” is a part of beauty we can assign and give to ourselves for simply being. It is something we deserve for simply existing. It is something that no one can take from you. It is something that you can have now.

The present is a gift and in the context of body image, it means appreciating our bodies as they are in this moment. No, this idea is not mutually exclusive from the idea of working in the present towards a future fitness-oriented goal. For in doing so, we are preparing for a joyful arrival of the future while honoring the power of acting now.

So eat that chocolate chip cookie and enjoy it. You don't have to completely eliminate certain foods to have a healthy weight, and you don't have to be athletic to enjoy fitness. We can't be consumed by calories or exercise, but we do need to be comfortable in our skin – literally. Maybe this all sounds hard, intimidating, or difficult, but it's a journey worth taking. A positive body image, among many things worth having, doesn't always come easy, but it makes the long run – no pun intended – for every body, easier. TC mark

16 Things You Don’t Know About Europe Until You Get There

Posted: 12 Jan 2016 04:00 PM PST

Twenty20 / maximontesde
Twenty20 / maximontesde

I'm no expert when it comes to places outside of New York State, but I have visited Europe several times over the last few years. In honor of those visits, I thought it'd be fun to share all of the things I learned upon my arrival in foreign countries. Or rather all of the ridiculous mistakes I made when I first arrived. Trust me there were a lot.

On accommodations…

1. There are many ways to flush a toilet

In the U.S., most toilets look the same. In Europe, every toilet feels like a puzzle you have to solve. I've seen toilets that flush by pulling on strings that hanging from the ceiling (which I assumed belonged to the lights). There are toilets that flush by pressing a pedal on the floor, which I only figured out because it looked like a sewing machine pedal. There are toilet seats that don't stay down unless you sit on them (preventing you from doing the appropriate public restroom squat women are so accustom to). My personal favorites are the little flush/ big flush buttons, which always make me laugh since we don’t have poop vs. pee flushers here in the U.S.

2. Showers are not a luxury but a necessity

This is another area where I feel like an alien in the bathroom. Most of the showers in Europe aren't difficult to figure out how to turn on. It's figuring out how not to flood the entire room while using it that’s so tricky. Some don't have curtains; some barely have a door to keep water from spraying everywhere. Some are just freestanding pedestal tubs with a showerhead. In others the showerhead is so low that you have to kneel down just to fit under it. Every shower is an adventure. My favorite was the one with a string hanging from the ceiling.

Of course I pulled on it because my curiosity got the better of me (yes, I’m that person). When nothing happened I was a tad disappointed to say the least. I tried it again after a few minutes and heard my boyfriend running back and forth across the apartment. Apparently it was connected to the doorbell in case of an emergency, so while I continued to shower my boyfriend continued to answer the door for no one.

3. You can’t leave the hotel with your room key

Weird, I know, but you have to hand your room key to the concierge before leaving the hotel (even if you are only leaving for an hour). You'll notice room keys often have a very large (and sometimes heavy) key chain because the hotel does not want you to take the key with you. Maybe they fear you'll loose it or make a copy. I felt ridiculous as I continuously forgot to hand my keys in and got stopped by the concierge upon each exit.

Cappuccino at a cafe in Rome, Italy
Cappuccino at a cafe in Rome, Italy

On being in a rush…

4. Things close down at lunch time

This applies specifically to Spain and Italy where things close down in the middle of the day. I mean everything closes. Restaurants, stores, sightseeing. Everything stops so that everyone can have a break in the middle of the day. As a tourist, you will be extremely annoyed because this is prime time to see the city and eat lunch. As a local, you'll wonder why this doesn't happen everywhere. The people of Europe know how to relax, and as a New Yorker, I can tell you that we do not. Learn how to slow down and you can enjoy this mid daybreak too.

5. No to go cups for coffee

You'll have a hard time ordering a cup of coffee to go. People in Europe don't sprint from place to place and grab a coffee in between to keep up the energy. Coffee in Europe is sacred. If you are ordering a coffee, chances are you plan to sit there and enjoy it for at least a half hour. If you're in a rush, you may stand at the counter which acts a bit more like a bar. You can quickly sip your espresso and be on your way. But even in a rush, no one spends less than 15 minutes in a café.

6. Dinner takes two to three hours to eat

Ready for a quick bite to eat? Think again. The first dinner I ever ate in France took three hours! The waiter seated us and then took a half hour to get our drink order. I know what your thinking, and no the place wasn't crowded. It took another half hour before our appetizers arrive. A half hour after that our dinner arrived. Another hour of excruciatingly slow service prompted our waiter to clear our plates. By the time dessert came around we were ready to pass out in bed because it was almost 11:00 pm. It took about 3 days for us to relax enough to appreciate the three-hour meals. No one was rushing us. We could sit back and enjoy every morsel.

Natural History Museum in London
Natural History Museum in London

On paying for things…

7. Sometimes you have to pay before you order

One of the first places I ever visited was Italy. My boyfriend and I rented a car in Rome and drove all the way to Bologna on the first day we landed. Along the way we stopped at a small sandwich shop, which was extremely confusing to say the least. We were in an area where no one spoke English, and I don't know any Italian. I tried to order a sandwich by pointing to one of the pre-made sandwiches in the case, but the gentleman working there wouldn't give it to me.

He managed to say, "pay" while pointing across the room at a register. I then proceeded to get in line where I struggled to tell the man what I wanted to order because I could no longer point to the sandwich I wanted. Finally, I was handed a receipt, which I passed along to the man making sandwiches, and he handed me my food.

8. Public toilettes aren't free

Yup, you read that right. Always, and I mean always have change on you. Going into bathrooms feels like entering the subway in NYC. You have to pay a toll to get in. It's usually very cheap, but sometimes even restaurants you are eating at will charge for the restroom.

9. Wifi isn't free and isn’t always available

In NYC you can go to almost any Starbucks or hotel and get free wifi. In most places in Europe you have to pay for it. In Italy, we had to pay either by the day or by the minute. We constantly had to check our countdown to see how much time we had left. We only used it to check work emails, respond, and log off. The cost to web surf was not worth it.

10. You don't need to tip

This is a little better known, but you do not need to tip in Europe. Waiters and waitresses are paid fair wages so that they do not need tips. In the US, wait staff can be paid below minimum wage and tips are needed to survive.

11.) Almost all museums are free (or at least cheap)

That's right. You don't have to pay $25 for every museum you enter. You can see as many as you want while on a budget! Large museums like the Louvre can cost nine euros, but in London you can walk from museum to museum without spending anything.

Prosciutto, fig, and mustard for breakfast in Barcelona
Prosciutto, fig, and mustard for breakfast in Barcelona

On differences in food…

12. Ordering a latte means ordering a milk

Yes, I have done this before. If you order a latte you are ordering a glass of milk. You'll either want to order an americana or a café au lait. If you do accidentally order warm milk, simply order a shot of espresso to go with it, but be prepared for the waitress to laugh at your mistake.

13. Breakfast is cold cuts, cheese, and bread

You won't find eggs for breakfast in Europe. You won't even find a lot of places that serve breakfast at all. Most countries eat meats, bread, and cheese for breakfast. In France you may get a baguette with jam. In London, you can score some fried tomatoes and baked beans. I will say that you should order an orange juice as almost all the countries serve fresh squeezed! If you’re desperate you can usually find breakfast served in heavy tourist areas. One of the first things I crave when I come back home is fried eggs and bacon.

14. Salads aren't a thing

Yes, you can find a salad in Europe. No, you probably won't like it. I never realized that salads are really an American dish. In most countries in Europe salad is simply lettuce with oil on it. That's it. If you're lucky you may score some tomatoes. In tourist areas, you may find salads advertised, but the few times I tried to order a salad I was extremely disappointed. If you're tired of eating carbs, try a caprese salad or another local dish. Don't (and I repeat) don't order a salad. London is an exception to the rule as I’ve had a few good salads there.

15. Limited selection of foods

Options are a little more limited in Europe when it comes to selection. One of the biggest differences I noticed was in milk. In a US supermarket there are at least 6 options for milk (whole, low fat, skim, reduced fat, fat free, soy, almond, etc.) In Europe you'll have a hard time finding the milk section in a supermarket because there aren't many choices. Often times, I’ve only seen one kind of milk. Either that or I’m really bad at reading labels. I will say the milk tastes a lot better there.

16. Burgers must be well done

I ordered a burger in a pub in London and when I said “medium well” (yes I order them overcooked) the waiter informed me that I'd have to sign a waiver. I looked at him incredulously until my boyfriend explained that mad cow still exists in Europe! No wonder people love American burgers. You don't have to feel the fear of dementia looming over you while you eat one.

Although there were plenty of other things I learned when stepping foot into other countries, these are the things that stood out to me the most. Whether they were funny like ordering a warm glass of milk or embarrassing like standing in a bathroom for ten minutes unable to flush the toilet, they were all some weird version of an adventure. TC mark

This post originally appeared at Full Time Explorer.

The Best David Bowie Song That You’ve Never Heard

Posted: 12 Jan 2016 03:48 PM PST

I feel it; It’s like without Bowie’s gravity, the planet is suddenly spinning even more off-axis. Anyone could rightly dedicate a lifetime to posting his accolades, but today I’d just like to share my favorite song of his. It's an instrumental track from 1981 called Crystal Japan. -Only released as a B-side to the 7" single, Up The Hill Backwards, and as a soundtrack for a 30-sec Japanese sake commercial.

I remember exactly how I felt the first time I put the needle down on this record. -like I had unearthed something beautiful –an eerie, haunting tune that somehow time had forgotten but I’d treasure and play ’til the end of days.

It didn't take long, though, for me to realize that I wasn't the only one.
– that Crystal Japan may be more than just a song. That it may be some kind of modern rock Rosetta Stone or decoder ring that unlocks a great mystery. Does Crystal Japan signify a rite of passage that unites all of my other musical heroes? Is there an ancient secret society or inner circle of songsmiths passing down guarded melodies through the ages to only those who are worthy and chosen? Have I just had too much Mexican cough syrup? You decide. xo

Listen to NIN In a Warm Place at 0:51

Listen to the bridge in Stripped by Depeche Mode at 2:30.

Now listen to Crystal Japan

Ranking All The Women On This Season Of ‘The Bachelor’ Week 2: Caila’s In The Lead

Posted: 12 Jan 2016 03:17 PM PST

Hi everyone! This week Bachelor Ben tried to woo America by making barrettes for single mom Amanda’s kids and Olivia and Lace duked it out for the title of this season’s villain. Every week I am ranking the women from least to most likely to make it to the end. Here’s how the women did this week:


Our fallen heros


Samantha

The Bachelor
The Bachelor

Poor Samantha never had a shot. From an abysmal performance on her limo exit to getting the lowest compatibility score on the “chemistry” group date, she had nothing going for her and was sent home this week. Looks like she’ll have to fall back on her lucrative law career…

Mandi

The Bachelor
The Bachelor

Mandi is a bit of a divisive character because she’s just so weird. I think it’s cool but I understand that it’s not for everyone… especially extremely basic bros like Ben. Ben wants a cookie cutter sweet Christian family girl to bring back to small town Indiana. He is definitely not Mandi material.

Jackie

The Bachelor
The Bachelor

It was really hard for me to tell who the third eliminated contestant was because at this point they still all look the same and ABC refuses to do enough titling of the women to remember who they all are. Anyways, Jackie the gerontologist/skin care sales woman is gone.

LB

The Bachelor
The Bachelor

LB pulls herself out of the running in a conversation ABC weirdly doesn’t show us much of. I have a theory that what really sent LB packing was the she discovered Ben is a born-again Christian. For some reason ABC doesn’t really let him talk about this but it’s all over his social media and he’s said it’s THE most important quality he’s looking for in someone else. Also fun fact: LB had to go by LB because there were TWO “Lauren B”s.


Actively competing for fame Ben’s heart


Emily and Hayley

The Bachelor
The Bachelor

Chris Harrison made a mistake last week on Bachelor Live and told us everyone could tell the twins apart because one of them got injured on a soccer date. So, when there was no soccer date this week, we knew the girls were safe. Still… it just seems so unlikely that one of them makes it the long haul. They actively talk about how unintelligent and blond they are. I don’t think Ben’s after a rocket scientist or anything, but that just seems like a bit much for him.

Amber

The Bachelor
The Bachelor

I don’t know why I say this with certainty, but for some reason I am sure Amber is the would-be castoff who was saved by LB eliminating herself. She was runner-up on the high school group date challenge.

Lace

The Bachelor
The Bachelor

I’m not sure what’s less likely — that Lace will win The Bachelor or that she will learn to enunciate. This week she continues to go on long crazy rants to the camera about how the guy she agreed to date along with 25 other women isn’t paying enough attention to her. She assures Ben that she is a “really good girl” all the while doing exactly the opposite of what “a really good girl” would do. I think she’ll stick around at least through one more rose ceremony though, she’s definitely fun to watch.

Rachel

The Bachelor
The Bachelor

Literally the only time we see Rachel this week is when she’s accepting her rose. I don’t think this bodes well for her making it deep.

Jami

The Bachelor
The Bachelor

And… this is about all I could capture of Jami this week.

Jubilee

The Bachelor
The Bachelor

Jubilee goes on the high school group date and is unfortunately pair with Lace. That night she tells Ben how much she loves his humanitarian work because she was an orphan in Haiti before she was adopted into the United States. It’s clear that Ben likes her, but it doesn’t seem like they have a fiery connection going on.

Shushanna

The Bachelor
The Bachelor

We haven’t seen a lot of Shushanna so far — again not necessarily a bad sign. However, the scenes we do see her in all focus on her speaking English as a second language. Which is weird (and probably rude on the producer’s part). She goes on the love lab group date and doesn’t seem to get one-on-one time with Ben all week. It doesn’t seem like she’s going to make it far.

Jennifer

The Bachelor
The Bachelor

Jennifer didn’t get a lot of screen time this episode. She was mostly on camera complaining about Olivia and Lace. She also wore and awful half-up hairdo at the rose ceremony which didn’t help matters. I keep flip-flopping on whether I think she will make it far, there’s not convincing arguments either way.

Becca

The Bachelor
The Bachelor

Becca was so forgettable on her date that I didn’t even realize she was on a group date until I rewatched the show. This isn’t bad. She had some sweet one-on-one time with Ben playing basketball (more Hoosiers references) and she’s a wallflower as we learned on Chris’ season, plus sometimes the winners don’t get any airtime until halfway through the season when the producers start the fairytale storyline to the end.

Lauren H

The Bachelor
The Bachelor

Lauren H goes on the high school group date and doesn’t stand out there but later Ben gives her special one-on-one time and a gift at the cocktail party.

Olivia

The Bachelor
The Bachelor

I don’t really dislike Olivia as much as she is supposed to be this season’s villain. She seems aggressive and dorky and confident, none of which are inherently terrible qualities — though I don’t think those are things that make her a good match for Ben. This week, she goes on the love lab group date where everyone finds out she’s the best match for Ben (75th percentile, which doesn’t really seem that high?). Ben takes her to his hotel room which she weirdly lords over the other girls. At the end of the date she gets the first impression rose.

BTW, did anyone else notice Ben’s weird posture when he kissed her? Who kisses someone while crossing their legs away from them — a classic sign of non-interest?

The Bachelor
The Bachelor

Leah

The Bachelor
The Bachelor

I bet you forgot there was someone named Leah on this show. Either she goes home soon or she has a big arc in the second half of the season.

Lauren B

The Bachelor
The Bachelor

Lauren B sneaks into the top half of the ranking because Ben made a special effort to have one-on-one time with her at the rose ceremony and gifted her a photo of the two of them on the same steps from the day they met.

Amanda

The Bachelor
The Bachelor

Amanda is kind of a mousy little baby. She’s one of the most beautiful women to ever be on the show, sure, but she seems like she has a really weak personality. Which, honestly, I think Ben would appreciate. They make barrettes for her kids and melt everyone’s heart.

PS look at this fucking dress:

The Bachelor
The Bachelor

Jojo

The Bachelor
The Bachelor

Jojo goes on the high school group date and looks smoking in cutoff jean shorts and a tank top. She’s super bubbly (which Ben says over and over that he loves) and does well. I definitely think she’ll get far in the season because she’s gorgeous and seems to have a great personality, but I don’t know if she will win because she’s too lively (and awesome) for small town Ben.

On the high school group date Ben brings her to the best location of the night — on top of the whole building and tells her how much he loves her bubbly personality. They share a kiss and she says “I have never in my life felt this happy before.” At the end of the night he gives her the group date rose.

Caila

The Bachelor
The Bachelor

Caila is the stunning, sweet, non-threatening girl next door that Ben came on the show to find. Can we just stop this season now? There’s no reason for him to pick anyone else over her. They should just get married and make plans to go to the Yankee candle store outlet on the weekends.

Anyways Caila gets the coveted one-on-one date. Ice Cube and Kevin Hart show up to promote their movie help out.

For good measure, here is Olivia’s face when she realizes Caila gets a one-on-one date with Ben:

The Bachelor
The Bachelor

Burning questions for next week’s episode


Who’s kissing Ben on this sweet glamping date?

The Bachelor
The Bachelor

What c-list musical guest will we be forced to care about???

The Bachelor
The Bachelor

Will this be another Bachelorhot tub gone TOO FAR???

The Bachelor
The Bachelor

Are Ben and Olivia going to get a room???

The Bachelor
The Bachelor

What is Lace crying about now???

The Bachelor
The Bachelor

What makes Jubilee so pissed off???

The Bachelor
The Bachelor

Where can I airbnb a sweet pool like this???

The Bachelor
The Bachelor

See you next week! TC mark

7 Weird Things That Inevitably Happen When You Begin To Get Comfortable With The Person You Just Started Dating

Posted: 12 Jan 2016 03:00 PM PST

Twenty20 / laurenbatty
Twenty20 / laurenbatty

1. You talk about each other’s bowel movements

When you first start dating and you mention anything about your poop including smell, size, how often, etc. you know you’re reaching a particular comfort level that you never would’ve ventured to had you not been officially together. Before you’re a couple your mindset is “I’m a girl. Girls don’t poop.” After you’re official it not only changes to, “Everybody poops,” it may even go as far as “Wow, I really need to take a shit right now.”

2. You hook up with each other even when you’re not ‘groomed’

If you’re hooking up with a guy who you’re just casually having sex with chances are you’ll be all taken care of in terms of hair removal: legs, pits…lady bits, but when you start to get comfortable with a significant other, grooming becomes less of a necessity and more of a luxury. When you’re in the mood, you’re in the mood and you could care less what hair you do or don’t have in that moment.

3. Leaving personal products that are made specifically for your gender at their place

If you leave tampons, pads, or any other product made for specifically for vaginas at his place, and he doesn’t mind or say a word about it, you’ve reached that comfort level. When he leaves his beard oil at your place, you know you’ve reached that same level on his end.

4. Farting

The first time you let one loose in front of your significant other, that’s comfort saying, “Hey, I’m here.” Whether it’s heard from a mile away or silent but deadly, if you two are openly farting in front of each other without a care in the world, you know you’re comfortable. Couples who fart together, stay together. Right…?

5. Sharing a toothbrush

When you forget your toothbrush one night sleeping over at his place and he gladly allows you to use his, he’s implying that your germs are his germs. Your germs are one, and no matter how disgusting or bad for your dental hygiene that may be, neither one of you seems to care.

6. Popping pimples

When they’ve got a pimple on their back and you go at it full force with both fingers until it pops just the way you want it to, you have reached that disgusting level of comfort that crosses most boundaries. When popping pimples becomes a form of bonding, you’re that couple.

7. Sharing embarrassing health problems

When you tell him to go to the pharmacy to pick up anything that relieves diarrhea, you’re not shy about whatever embarrassing problems are happening to your body. Your like a Pepto Bismol ad with no shame. Sometimes you can’t help whatever weird things your body does, and you’re comfortable enough with him to know he’ll understand that. Embarrassing becomes a word much less-used in each of your vocabularies. TC mark

Here Is What You Will Find If You Google Me

Posted: 12 Jan 2016 01:00 PM PST

Molly York
Molly York

If you Google me, you will find page after page of what the Internet has declared is my “footprint.” Some of it I built myself; putting each metaphorical brick together until it created something that was entirely my own. Some of it is simply the shadow a person who no longer exists. Some of it is made up of words that were said about me when I wasn’t around to defend myself.

But, in a way, all of it is me.

If you Google, me you will find hundreds of thousands of words that I have written. You will find stories that I sat down to pen without ever knowing that it would be accessible with simply the click of a trackpad, the tap of a thumb on a smartphone. You will read the jokes that I chuckled out loud after forming, and hear all of the ways I have attempted to immortalize heartbreak. You will find the struggle of building a brand that is solely centered around my voice, even if you have no point of reference for what that voice audibly sounds like. But you will read my words, and imagine the inflection that I intended on a particular sentence, and at least of part of you will think you understand a part of me.

If you Google me, you will find pictures of a girl, smiling with different boys and friends, oblivious to what her future will hold. You will see the naïveté behind her eyes and see that she really believes in “friends forever” and “soulmates.” You will click through selfie after selfie and wonder if she’s actually that into her own face or if she’s just desperate for attention. And I wish I had the answer for you, but it honestly depends on the day. More than I wish I had the answers, I wish I still had a touch of that naïve spirit and ability to believe in good intentions. I wish that the innocent girl in those pictures was still around a little bit, instead of just being a memory.

If you Google me, you will find videos of a past life. You’ll see a me being a total fucking attention whore and making figurative love to a microphone and songs by Jonathon Larson. You’ll see a version of me that used to be more concerned with sticking the triple on a pirouette than any number of any pageview. You watch me dramatically Lea Michele-style close my eyes before the high note and we’ll both wonder where that passion went.

Was it re-channeled? Or did it simply fizzle out?

And honestly I don’t think we’ll ever totally know.

If you Google me, you’ll see a girl who has had every hair color imaginable. Blonde, brunette, redhead, pink, rose gold, teal. Every shade has graced this mop on top of my head and each hue represents a different turning point in my life. Short and dark for when college was starting and I thought I was so mature and untouchable. Straight and red for when I was an ~artist~ and spent the entire summer reading Klosterman. Teal when I thought I was such a badass and wanted everyone to know how brave I was. Pink when I lost the love of my life. Blonde for now when even at 26, I’m still not sure who I am or who I want to be.

If you Google me, you will see my heartbreak splayed across your computer screen. You will see my pleas to be loved and my acceptance of change and my mourning of people who are gone. You will read all about the break ups and the failed attempts at happiness and wonder if I’m really this damaged, or if I simply have a flair for the dramatic. You will form opinions based on 900 words of a lifetime of trying to love and be loved and you will decide you know whose side to take.

And I’ll wish it were that simple for me, and wish I knew who was right and wrong.

If you Google me, you’ll see over ten plus pages of my history. You’ll see the things I had control over like scholarships, and dot coms, and comments I should have kept to myself. You’ll also see the things that I didn’t do but my name was attached to like blogs I’m unaffiliated with, comments from people with nothing better to do, and work I no longer identify with. You’ll see building blocks leading to a complete person, and you’ll come up with an idea of who you would find on the other side of the computer screen.

And, in a way, all of it is me.

And also, in a way, none of it is me. TC mark