I’ve been losing sleep. I don’t think I’m particularly special in that regard, I think everyone has been losing sleep these days. A global pandemic tends to do that to people. Yet the thing that has been keeping me awake isn’t the virus. I’ve been losing sleep over an old couch I once crossed paths with. It’s been eight years, I want to believe that I’ve put the past behind me, but being locked in a house for a couple of weeks has made it impossible to not dwell on the past. The memory of the couch started off as a fleeting thought over my morning coffee, but as days have turned into weeks that memory has grown into a distinct vision of madness. What I saw during those three drunken nights in December of 2012 has become an unavoidable part of reality. I can’t rest until I process it. So since we have a nice little Internet campfire going here I figured I would tell you guys a story. Hopefully it will let me put this whole part of my past to rest and maybe it will take your mind off of what is happening outside. So kick back and let me tell you a tale of love and loss, of broken teenage hearts, of surviving in a crumbling world. Let me tell you a story about the couch that tried to seduce me. I was nineteen, hung-over and heartbroken. I was also stuck in a foreign country. Well, to call Estonia a foreign country would be a bit of a long shot, I had lived there for a good five years of my life. It was in Estonia that I lived out most of my teenage years. This was where I had smoked my first cigarette, had my first drink, fell in love for the first time. I was dragged in when I was thirteen by my parents; they had business in Tallinn and wherever they went I went. At eighteen, when my parent’s contracts ran out, I was forced back home. Their business with Estonia was done. Mine was not. By nineteen I was back. As soon as I got off the plane I turned my phone on and checked my messages. She didn’t write to me. My soul, positioned somewhere slightly above my abdomen, twitched in discomfort. It was a familiar twitch, I had felt it in the bus to the airport, I had felt it in the security check, I had felt it when I boarded the flight to Tallinn and as soon as I got off the plane the twitch was back with a vengeance. The discomfort I was feeling in my chest was a realization. It was the realization that I had emptied out most of my already slim bank account on a one-way ticket halfway across the continent to see my old high-school sweetheart who wasn’t interested in seeing me. It was the realization that as much as I consciously knew the trip was a bad idea, I couldn’t resist going. I dragged my feet towards the arrivals hall. When it became obvious that Saale was dodging my messages I panicked. There was no place for me to crash, I had no money for a flight, hell, I had no money for food. As I boarded the plane to Estonia I sent off a panicked text message to my old band-mate: ‘Made horrible mistake. Landing in Tallinn in three hours. Can I crash at yours?’ Within two minutes there was a reply: ‘OK. Will come with Maarja. See you soon.’ Karl wasn’t very chatty, but he was always there when needed. The two of them were waiting for me as soon as I walked out into the arrival hall. They barely changed. Karl was still a giant of man. His long hair had gotten longer and the beard he had rocked since seventeen had gotten thicker, the guy looked like Jesus on steroids if Jesus was really into heavy metal and wore glasses. Next to Karl stood Maarja, she wore a garish yellow coat. The pink streak in her hair she’d been so proud of back in middle school was pinker than ever. “JAAMEEES! YOU’RE BACK!” Maarja yelled in her high-pitched faux-English accent before nearly tackling me to the ground. “It’s been too long honey! Too long!” She hadn’t changed a bit since I left the country. Maarja was still a pint-sized bolt of energy. The two of them made for an odd couple. “Welcome back, Friend,” Karl said after Maarja was done squeezing me. He wasn’t one for physical contact, Karl settled on a simple pat on the shoulder that challenged my entire skeletal structure. The three of us made our way outside to catch a bus to the center. Even after living in Estonia for five years I still wasn’t used to the winters. As soon as we walked out into the sub-zero temperature I felt decidedly like a foreigner. We caught up on the small things while we waited for the bus. Karl and Maarja had officially moved in together, the band that Karl and me started up in high-school had broken up, Maarja was in the process of getting a bachelors degree of psychology and Karl was really into some crypto-currency stuff that went completely over my head. I couldn’t get much out of me; the cold was taking a real toll on my system. Whenever I opened my mouth to talk about my miserable little life I simply ended up chattering my teeth. As soon as we got on the bus I threw myself at the nearest heating vent. “So, James,” Maarja said as soon as we got on the bus, “You still talk to Saale?” When I turned away from the heater to face her she froze, “I mean, we don’t have to talk about, forget I asked.” “Do I look that bad?” While Maarja searched for a diplomatic answer Karl stepped in with his special brand of honesty, “You look very tired and unhappy.” “Well, I am happy to see you guys and I am excited to be here, but, yeah,” I decided to get the conversation out of the way, “We tried two months of long-distance, but Skype only gets you so far. Broke up in late July. After we split we agreed to not talk for a couple of months, to give each other some time to clear the system and all that. Keeping radio silence was hard at first but after a couple of weeks I started to get used to it. I was learning to live without her. Things were starting to straighten up, I even took a stab at dating but when the holidays rolled around the loneliness came back. On Christmas I figured I’d throw Saale a holiday message. She wrote back. We started chatting on a daily basis.” The bus bounced through my old neighborhood. Memories of my drunken youth jumped at me from every corner, most of those memories involved Saale. “Last night we got pretty drunk,” I continued, “Things got flirty. We started talking about what we would do if we weren’t half a continent away from each other. She mentioned her parents were out of town until the end of January on some sort of an anniversary trip. I offered to fly in. She told me I should. Now I’m here.” “She changed her mind?” Karl asked. “She didn’t think I was serious about flying over. Didn’t exactly check with her before I bought the ticket. She flipped out when I got it, told me to get a refund and then hung up on me when I insisted on meeting up. She hasn’t answered any of my messages since.” A part of me felt good to get the story out of my system but saying it out loud just added to the absurdity. I could have not bought the ticket, I could have gotten a refund, I could have not gotten on that plane. Everything could have been avoided, but nineteen year old me leaped at the opportunity for a grand romantic gesture like a hungry animal. “Very strange,” Karl finally said after considering my story. He shot a look over to Maarja, as if she was the ambassador to all women-kind, “Very strange, right?” Maarja shrugged. Maarja’s house was the crown jewel of my high-school social life. It was a three-apartment unit that was built at some point before the world wars. This place was old, as you would walk around the little apartment it would creak, but it made for a perfect party place. Maarja had inherited the apartment from her grandma at sixteen; the Estonians saw child rearing as a fairly independent process. If she couldn’t survive on her own at sixteen she probably couldn’t make it at thirty, a bit of responsibility would prepare her for the frigid world outside. Maarja used her newly found independence to throw the biggest house parties that the neighborhood had ever seen. Maarja’s place was perfect for booze filled gatherings. It was spacious enough to hold any drinking game we could dream up, there was a nice terrace for smoking and the neighbors were either deaf, completely apathetic about teenage drinking or both. As soon as the front door opened I was assaulted by memories. Visions of drunken nights on the floor of the living room, of hung-over mornings of the kitchen; the old apartment breathed with the past. For a split second a wave of gratitude for a youth well spent washed over me, but then I remembered that each of those fond memories had an element I wanted to block out. Most of the fun I had in the apartment had been with Saale by my side. Maarja and Karl still slept on an old mattress on the floor, the walls were still covered with cut outs of boy-bands that Maarja had stuck to the wall in her tweens. The only thing that changed about their bedroom was the addition of a massive computer rig on the table. There were strange ventilators and cooling tubes and blinking lights, the machine looked like something straight out of a sci-fi flick. “That’s my mining rig,” Karl said proudly. I nodded as if I understood what he was talking about. “Where are the rats?” I asked, noticing the empty cage on Maarja’s wardrobe. Back in the day Maarja had two rats, Fritz and The Duchess. She would keep them in the cage most of the time, but whenever the night reached a certain point of drunkenness Maarja would sneak over to her bedroom and come out with the two animals. If you saw Maarja with two rats running up and down her body you knew the night was really going to become a rager. “The Duchess died last week,” Maarja said with a glint of sorrow, “Fritz wasn’t taking it well. Think the little guy was depressed being in the cage all alone, so I’m letting him roam around the house for the time being. Hopefully a bit of freedom will cheer him up.” As if he had heard his name, Fritz peeked out from behind the wardrobe. The albino rat raised his snout in the air, sniffed for a bit and then lumbered off to the living room. The years had taken their toll on Fritz, he no longer moved with the youthful energy I was used to, but the one part of him that I remembered had not changed. Fritz still had balls that were disproportionately giant to his body. As he moved away from us he dragged them behind him with Sisyphean effort. “So, which hostel are you crashing at?” Maarja asked. A lump manifested in my throat. I looked around the cramped apartment. Outside of the mattress there was nowhere for me to sleep. I didn’t have any money for a hostel. “Ah, I’m just kidding. You’re crashing here. We owe you anyway,” Maarja said with good cheer. “For what?” I asked, relieved that I wasn’t homeless. “Financing the booze and cigarettes back in the day, might have ended up a nun if it weren’t for you,” she said with a grin. It was true, throughout high school I had been the main financier of our misadventures, my parents had foreign money and that money went pretty far by Estonian standards. More importantly though; when everyone was sixteen I looked twelve. According to the law of teen streets, the late bloomer provides the dough for those who can buy stuff without ID. “You’ll sleep on the couch, we just haven’t had the time to get it out of the garage. How about you and Karl drag it in while I make some tea?” Even though it was a bright winter day outside the garage was in near darkness. The only thing that illuminated the cramped musty room was a single ray of light shining in through a cracked skylight. The garage was covered in flimsy shelves that buckled beneath the weight of greasy machine parts. In the center of the garage lay a couch shaped object covered with a large, stained cloth. Karl grabbed ahold the cloth and was about to pull it away, but a thought struck him. “James, if I tell you something will you not tell Maarja?” He asked, letting the cloth drop back down to the floor. He looked straight at me; his small eyes were probing me for trustworthiness. “Well, depends on what it is,” I said, “Don’t need help burying a body, right?” “No,” Karl’s intensity broke into a smile, “It is nothing illegal. Just a secret.” He strode towards one of the rickety shelves and plunged his hand deep into its depths. After a moment of rustling he pulled out a small box. He opened it. Even though the garage was dark, and even though the diamond was tiny, you could see a little glimmer. Karl’s eyes shone twice as bright. “Wow man,” I said, realizing how quickly the world was moving on, “Congratulations!” Maarja and Karl would get married and I would be at their wedding alone. As I stood in that garage the thought that I would always be alone gushed dread through my veins. We used to joke about how Saale and me would get hitched before the two of them did. Those jokes felt cruel now. Maarja and Karl would get married and one day Saale would get married too. She would get married to someone who wasn’t me. “I’m really happy for you.” “I want to ask her father soon. He does not like me much, but I think I can show him that I can provide for his daughter. This Bitcoin thing will be big soon James, in a couple of years me and Maarja will be rich.” Karl put the box back into its hiding place. “Promise not to tell her, yes?” “Promise,” I said with as much candor as I could muster, but my mind was elsewhere. My mind was floating disembodied in a bright church, watching my would-be-wife get married to someone else. “James,” Karl’s paw on my shoulder brought me back into reality, “You will be okay. I know you are worried about Saale, but you still have us. We will drink this away.” He smiled. I tried to smile back. “Let’s get this couch, shall we?” He pulled away at the cloth that covered the couch. Enough dust flew off into the air to send us both into a coughing fit. The room danced with dirty particles. Yet from behind the veil of powder I could see it. I could see the couch. The thing was ancient, a couch straight out of the early days of the Soviet Union. Its flowery upholstery was covered in stains that just screamed history. It was as if the piece of furniture had been used for barricades in the defense of Stalingrad and lived to talk about it. Filth filled its rumpled cloth, it stood on firm wooden legs that seemed to have survived multiple generations of being clawed at, it was as if the thing was simply biding its time until its true masters came back to retrieve it. The couch was old, but somehow in that dark garage, in that gust of earthly smoke, there was something alluring about it. It looked ratty but comfortable, even inviting. For a split second I was sure that the couch had winked at me with its cushioning. Then the dust settled and it was just a piece of furniture. Karl grabbed one side of the couch, I grabbed the other and we started to haul the thing towards the living room. We had left the garage, but there was still tension in the air. I was still thinking about Saale getting married to someone who wasn’t me. It was still as if Karl and me were meant to have a serious discussion. Neither of us were comfortable. “I lost my virginity on this couch,” I shared, hoping to relax the situation. Karl grinned, accepting the levity, “Gross.” We dragged the couch to the living room and then joined Maarja in the kitchen. Back in the day her kitchen table was the go-to place to gather before drinking and after drinking. We would sit around and shoot the shit and wait for someone to drop off the booze for the evening or the hung-over pizza for the morning. Yet as we sat there, trying to make small talk, one of the chairs was empty and it made all the difference. I couldn’t focus on anything that was being said around me, all I could think about was how Saale used to sit next to me. All I could think about were her long legs on my lap, her long fiery hair, her laughter. “How about we sweeten the evening with a bit of moonshine?” Maarja asked, as she fished a clear bottle out of the kitchen counter, “Karl and me are going to lunch with my parents tomorrow though, so no hangovers.” Karl cheered on the promise of alcohol, but not even drink could lift my spirits. My eyes shifted from Saale’s empty seat to the couch. All I wanted to do was lie down and fall asleep for a thousand years. “Guys, I appreciate the hospitality but I’m really tired. How about we drink tomorrow?” I said. Karl and Maarja looked concerned, this was the first time they had ever seen me refuse booze. “Are you sure you’re okay honey? We can talk about it if you want to,” Maarja suggested. I insisted I was fine; I just needed to get some rest. That didn’t convince her, but she yielded, “Well, we’ll be in my room if you need us.” Her and Karl shuffled off to her bedroom. I laid down on the couch. From the other room I could hear them talk. Maarja talked in concerned whispers whilst Karl spoke at full volume, it didn’t make much of a difference, even after five years of being in the country I still couldn’t understand Estonian. I could hear my name being mentioned though. They were concerned about the emotional wreck that was crashing on their couch. I dragged my friends into my mess. It was all so humiliating; I was far from home, broke and broken. I wanted to die. ‘Easy there Tiger, don’t think like that,’ a faint voice emerged from the back of my head, ‘Things might not seem great right now, but look on the bright side, at least you’re on a comfortable couch.’ The voice was right; the couch was indeed comfortable. ‘All you need is a bit of a distraction to forget about your broken heart. Some booze, some dope, maybe a bit of love and you’ll be good as new.’ It was as if the suave voice turned a switch in my mind. Suddenly the tightness in my chest eased, a burst of joy started to bubble in my abdomen. My fingers started to trace the sides of the upholstery. The voice giggled, ‘That’s the spirit Tiger, just relax, you’re fine as long as you’re here with me.’ The universe felt lighter, my feelings of dread faded away and were replaced with an electric anticipation. I needed a drink to celebrate. I opened the door to Maarja’s bedroom. She was lounging on the mattress reading a psych textbook. Karl was watching bar graphs on the computer. “Hey guys,” I peeked in, “I feel a bit better now, how about those drinks?” They both grinned. We drank. In the moment I didn’t give much thought to the voice in my head, my internal monologue was turned up a notch since the break-up anyway. I was used to hearing thoughts that I consciously didn’t want to consider; the silky voice that was telling me that things would be okay was a welcome distraction. I sunk into the couch and I let the night carry me away. ‘See Tiger? Isn’t it nice to be here? Isn’t life just swell on this little old couch?’ it would say. I nodded along. We drank more. All thoughts of avoiding hangovers were let go; the liquor poured freely. At some point Maarja emerged out of her room with Fritz on her shoulder. We celebrated the tradition of our youth but the rat was sluggish, far too old to crawl around on her body. After a couple of minutes Maarja gave up on playing with the rat. She put him on the ground. Fritz simply walked around the room dragging his testacles behind him like a ball and chain. We drank more. Karl lumbered up to his feet and went to fetch his guitar. Maarja was out having a cigarette. I was far too comfortable on the couch. Having a moment to myself I watched the rat. Fritz had spent the past couple of minutes roaming the living room and sniffing at my backpack. Yet suddenly something caught his attention, he sniffed at the air, his whiskers bouncing in curiosity. Then he looked towards the couch. The old rat sprung to his hind legs and turned towards me. It was as if his beady eyes were locked to the piece of furniture. ‘Oh Tiger, don’t think about the stupid rat. Look, here comes Karl, let’s stop thinking about stupid things and listen to him play.’ Oh and how he could play. To say that Karl lacked warmth would be an understatement, communicating with the guy often felt like having a conversation with a pile of awkwardly stacked encyclopedias, but as soon as he would bring out the guitar he would ooze personality. Somehow, with those hulking fingers of his, Karl had managed to make the strings sing the gentlest of tones. Maarja and me sang along out of key as the night went on. ‘Just like the good old days, Tiger, you’re here and you’re happy. Focus on the positives, focus on the present,’ the voice told me. I followed the advice, until I couldn’t. It was as if a spell had been broken. As soon as I heard those opening chords, as soon as I realized what Karl was playing my stomach sank. It was that Rolling Stones song. Saale and me had danced to it once upon a time. Memories of our first night together came rushing into my mind. The Saale shaped hole in my heart throbbed with pain. I got up to splash some water on my face. Karl shifted his performance into a serenade for Maarja. The tiles in the bathroom were freezing but I was willing to withstand the pain if it meant I could get further away from the song. I stood there, willing to wait it out, but the memories just kept on floating back. I was standing in the same bathroom I stood in the night that I met Saale. I could see traces of a sixteen-year old in my face. The music kept on building. Saale’s lily perfume filled my nostrils. I could remember the fullness of her lips before our first kiss. The images were cascading on top of each other, ripping away at my sanity, ready to plunge me into a panic attack. But then they stopped. The music stopped. I peeked out of the door. Karl had chucked his guitar over to the side. His serenade had given way to a heavy make out session. Him and Maarja were all over each other. “Guys, I’m going to go out for a cigarette,” I announced. The two of them looked up at me dazed and drunk. “Take the keys honey, I think we’re going to bed.” I hoped that the dial tone would block out Maarja’s moans but it didn’t. Not only did I have to listen to a loving couple have sex, I also had to listen to world’s quietest dial tone as I was reminded that Saale did not want to talk to me. I stood out there in the freezing cold smoking one cigarette after another. It was just me, the starless sky and Maarja’s moans. Karl lasted for a quarter a pack before their bedroom quieted down. I tried calling Saale one more time and then went back inside. By the time I stumbled to the couch I could already hear snoring coming from the bedroom. But there was another sound in the apartment, something much quieter, something I almost didn’t notice. Scratching. Luckily I managed to prop myself up against the couch before I sat on him. As I tried to regain my balance I realized just how drunk I was. Fritz was on the couch, furiously scratching into its upholstery. He looked up at the drunken figure hovering over him for a split second and then went back to work. Those little claws scratched with the ferocity of a pup. It was as if Fritz was two years younger. I picked him up by his scruff and tried taking him off the couch. When I lifted him off the ground the rat seemed confused for just a split second before- ‘Aiiieee’ Fritz screamed the world’s tiniest scream and then bit me in the finger. He dropped to the ground and ran beneath a nearby wardrobe. He hid beneath it and watched me. I was too drunk and tired to care. I laid down on the couch and exhaled. ‘Welcome back Tiger, you look tired. Let me keep you company. Yes, life is hard, but if you really appreciate the moment it can be pretty enjoyable. Lie down here, let me keep you hold you. Let’s get to know each other better.’ I could smell floral perfume. I closed my eyes and drifted off to a deep sleep. (Next part)
An askdrugs contest: What do you think is in my coke? I just ordered a variety of test kits so I will know for sure in a few days. I will be awarding $15 to whoever guesses or comes closest to what is in my coke.
Final results: https://www.reddit.com/askdrugs/comments/evypal/an_ask_drugs_contest_what_is_in_my_cocaine_results/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x Result 1: my Scott’s test came in first today and turned blue. There is cocaine in the sample. This wouldn’t test for cuts, just confirms there is coke in the sample Results will come in when the tests I ordered come in. Hopefully this week. I will create a new post with results so keep your eyes out Day after update now at the bottom. I'm sure this breaks the 3rd rule of this subreddit, but I hope the mods will let it slide given I have decided to turn my stupidity into a contest/ personal research. Lets have a little fun at my expense. This will be based on my description of the blow I have done throughout the night. The prize for whoever correctly identifies/guesses what active substance my coke is cut with will win $10, paid in bitcoin. An additional $5 will be awarded for any inactive cuts you can guess that I can test for if possible. You can guess the coke is uncut but you know as well as I do that is never the case. So, I'm going to start with some background of why I'm doing this (feel free to skip to the last paragraph in this post that is in bold if you don't care and just want to hear my description of the blow because this will be a bit long considering I'm currently on this stimulant.) I have been interested in drugs and testing drugs for about 8 years. Ever since I started using drugs I was very interested in harm reduction and testing. However, I have not tested the drugs I have used over the past few months due to my reduced drug use and buying from what I consider to be reputable sources (local trusted connections for ketamine who test, and places where people can review sellers and their products for everything else if you catch my drift). However, the main reason I stopped testing is because my three test kits from Bunk Police went....well bunk soon after I purchased them and due to laziness I haven't replaced them until tonight. My Marquis, Mecke and Erlich tests all went bad within a matter of weeks. The Marquis test, which is arguably the most versatile reagent, was already spoiled when I bought it. It was a dark purple color from the start, when it should be a clear reagent. I stored them correctly but bought them at a hot music festival in July this past summer, so that's my best guess of why they went bad. Who knows how long these kits were in the heat traveling from festival to festival. I'm unsure of how Bunk Police operates completely, but this was the first time I used their kits and am not saying they are not a reputable source for kits, but I would buy from their online store rather than from a Bunk Police rep selling kits at festivals, unless you absolutely have to, due to the possibility of them being degraded and thus not useable. Anyways, I got lazy and trusted people (something I promised myself I wouldn't do in the beginning of my drug use journey). I have not had any problems getting good quality stuff, which just furthered my false hope that I no longer needed to test all the drugs I purchased. Obviously this is stupid, and I am lucky I haven't received any harmful additives or research chemicals. I substituted testing for online research and trust, and now I have some coke that I am unsure of. This is where the contest begins. I know how hard it is to determine what cuts are used simply by a description of effects. I see it all the time on every drug related subreddit and the response is always "no way to know unless you test it." That is why I'm making it a challenge instead of a question. So here we go. I have done enough blow to evaluate its quality, from the shittiest to what I would consider "disco shit" and everything in between but I don't consider myself an expert, and I only use it about 10 times a year. What I have now surprised me in the fact that it has different qualities and effects than any coke I've tried before. I will now describe the coke and the night of using it. Appearance/ Consistency/ Smell
The appearance and consistency excited me as the ball was in one large chunk and one smaller chunk. No powder.
It was shinier then anything I have seen before. Beautiful start.
It smelled stronger than anything i have ever had before. You can smell it from outside the bag. A very strong chemical smell that reminded me of good blow I have had in the past. Not exactly like gasoline but very strong smelling. I can't really describe it that well now that I have done about a gram of it and have kind of forgot what it smelled like at the beginning of the night.
The consistency was super sticky and it was smushy when I began to break it up in the bag. I then used the hotplate method to dry it out and turn it into a fine powder. Time to dive in.
My girlfriend and I both took a small bump to test the quality. We both agreed it was very good gear in the first 10 minutes. I gummed some to see if it had numbing qualities.
Minor numbing in the nose and gums. Not what I expected from a product that looked so good.
We both ate and started drinking some seltzers and a bit of liquor and really started our night.
We took good sized bumps about every 20 minutes. Well I did. My GF did a bump about every 40 minutes.
We measured out 1.5 grams and put the rest away expecting we would go through all 3.5 gs if we didn't set limits.
I probably did a total of 1 gram out of the 1.5 gs over the course of the night (I just took my last bump at 6:30 a.m.)
The weird thing we noticed about this coke was the lack of a desire to constantly re-dose. Which is odd because during nearly all my coke experiences I always had the (lets do another bump/line every five minutes mentality).
I didn't feel like I wanted more, but I bought it and I didn't feel bad so I continued to re-dose.
Around 1 a.m. we both started to feel anxious and my GF took 1 mg of diclazapam to calm down. Usually anxiety is not a thing with coke until you are done and coming down, at least for me. I also experienced an "off feeling"
I never really felt that ego boost you get from coke. No "top of the world feeling". Instead the effects were and are still subtle. This would lead me to believe it was cut heavily with amphetamines. But I am ruling that out because I began to tire around the 20 minute mark. I take a bump, feel no euphoria, regain my awakened state, and begin to feel tired around 20 minutes after dosing. My GF was also able to fall asleep with ease at around 1:30 which I know wouldn't be possible with amphetamines. She only drank one seltzer and 1mg of diclazepam, so she wasn't fucked up enough to overcome any amphetamine and pass out. (7:45 update on my GF. She woke up with a major head ache and blew her nose which had blood in it)
Obviously from the length and details in this post I am stimmed out, but don't have the "coke feeling". I decided to stay up and continue to take bumps, which I suppose is normal coke behavior, but I haven't really felt what I normally do on blow.
Throughout the night we listened to music and chatted like stimmed out people do but it was a bit hard to concentrate and my mind was wandering. This was weird because I am usually locked into a conversation with full attention on coke.
Overall, I just had the feeling it wasn't entirely coke and had other active compounds as cuts. This is obviously to be expected but what I believe it was cut with is something I've never felt before.
I ordered during the night a multitude of test kits. For coke I order a Marquis, Mecke, Lieberman, and Scott’s reagent tests. I also ordered 10 total tests for future use. They are expected to come in in about five days. So that Is when I will share the results. I’m unsure how I will test for inactive cuts but I will look into that tomorrow. Day After Update So, thank you everyone for participating and playing the guessing game. First, I want to shortly share guesses I believe to be wrong.
Fentanyl: I hope this guess is a joke. If there was fent present I would have done enough to certainly overdose.
3-FPM: I have used this rc and the effects were nothing like I what I feel from this coke.
Meth/amphetamines: Like I said we would have been awake far longer if those substances were in the coke. I suppose it's possible if there is a minuscule amount.
Everything else could be a possibility. Anyways, considering I stayed up all night I felt pretty shitty in the morning. I ate and drank and bunch of water and a gatorade. I then took a long nap, and felt completely normal after I woke up. Stupidity night two time. I have decided to do more of it tonight. I am going to be more responsible than I was last night by spacing out doses by 30 minutes, drinking water throughout, and limiting my alcohol in take. I have about 1.5 gs left and plan on only doing half a gram. I beginning to believe it is actually good coke I just did too much too fast yesterday. This will be my last update (unless I have something new to share) until I announce the winner.
An old friend of mine emailed this to me a while back with the subject line “Hide and Seek” and I’ve been hesitant to post it for reasons that should become obvious as you read it. That said, I feel that enough time has gone by for this to be safe so I’m going to post it here. The only edits I’ve made were swapping out names and formatting, otherwise it’s all exactly as he sent it. T, if you’re reading this then message me. I want to know if you’re alright, and if you are I know you’ll be looking for this story to show up. This is what the email said: Rijento, I’m writing this story because I feel like I need an outlet. I swear to god that you better actually check your email for once in your damn life! Please… As for if you actually are reading this, I want you to wait as long as your (admittedly) better judgment tells you to wait and then post this story online. I know it’s a bit vain, but I want people to know my story. Hell, it might be the last one I ever tell. Double hell, it might actually even help some poor soul out. I’m going to disappear after sending this, hopefully the good kind of disappear and not the death kind. I know nobody but you is going to believe this story but damn if typing this out didn’t make my sorry ass feel better. You were right about that man, I’m sorry for giving you shit for writing so much…
This is the attached file. “Hide and Seek”: Before I get in to the ‘hiding’ and ‘seeking’ I have a bit of a confession that needs to be made. I work as a transporter for a deep web black market site… I hope it doesn’t change your opinion of me too much, sorry for not telling you sooner. I’m the guy they call when they get an order for something they can’t send through the mail. Guns and live animals are two good examples. You’d be pretty hyped to know how many rich assholes just order lions and tigers from the dark web. For obvious reasons, I can’t go in to too much detail, I don’t want to make any dangerous enemies and even after this I still don’t want to lose my job. It’s a pretty sweet gig all things considered, all I have to do is pick up from the seller and deliver to the buyer. I can even choose what jobs I want to take, lets me cling to what little principles I still have. And I DO have principles. After a few years working for the site, my two rules were: no people and no crossing borders. Anyways, I got into a bit of a bind with the cryptocurrency crash that happened early this year. The site mostly pays in Bitcoin and, well, I decided to let my wallet sit and grow. By the time I realized what happened, my savings were destroyed. Nobody expected it to crash that hard… And it probably wouldn’t have been as much of a problem if I hadn’t also gotten used to living a life full of the finer things. I didn’t really ‘save’ all that much to begin with either. So when my savings finally ran dry and the market was still down, I decided to… Lower my standards a bit and take a riskier, higher paying job. Organ transport. I haven’t done it before… I hadn’t been that broke in a long time. Organ jobs pay well too, and I figured I still wasn’t strictly breaking my ‘no people’ rule if it was just their organs. So, I hopped on the site and browsed through the pitiful number of requests in my area till I found what I was looking for. A rich buyer who: had shady connections, was in need of some organs, and lacked either the time or patience to wait for them to come legally. As far as these sort of requests went, this was pretty much the norm from what I’d heard. So I accepted the job and got an email with some additional details about the order: the customer needed two kidneys (which was what I was to transport) and a liver (which they had made a separate request for). From what other people on the site have told me, what should have happened was the job would move to the ‘seeking seller’ section and I’d be on hold till someone… ‘_acquired_’ the kidneys. What actually happened probably should have tipped me off to use my monthly free withdraw… I got a notification two hours later that there was a seller. Rijento, I don’t know how much you know about medicine, but if you do know anything then you’re probably squirming in your own skin about right now. For those who may or may not be reading this that are not in the know, not only do the donor and receiver have to have compatible blood types but kidneys only last about a day outside of a warm body. Not exactly a product you can stockpile. I got another email, about the pickup this time, and began the internal debate between the bad feeling in my gut and my empty wallet… You can probably guess which one of them won out… Anyways, I planned my route; one hour to get to the seller and four hours to get from there to the buyer. I sent the site my plan and within minutes they approve of it and set up an actual meeting point. I sighed and grabbed my things, trying to swallow my nerves the entire hour it took me to reach the meeting point. I sat down on a bench in a city park and waited for what seemed like ages before I felt someone staring at me. It took me a solid minute to pick out who it was even though there were only a few people around. He was sitting with his back to me at a picnic table about ten yards away from me and whenever I looked away I could feel his eyes on me. When we eventually did make eye-contact he bounced excitedly in his seat and waved me over; my heart sank as he also slid a small case into my line of sight. I forced myself to smile, walked over, sat down, and hid my annoyance. Most of the buyers on the site were practically carbon copies of each other. Probably because you could only become a buyer if another buyer knew and endorsed you. The sellers, on the other hand, were all certifiably insane. None of the other transporters I’d chatted with had ever met with a ‘normal’ seller. Because of this, all of them quickly learned to keep conversation to a minimum and to not under any circumstances piss any of them off. I decided to follow in their example. The man sitting in front of me looked friendly enough, overly so if anything. He was scrawny, didn’t look like he would be strong enough to… well… kill someone and harvest their insides. He had a strange smile on his face, and even now I can’t get it out of my head. The kind of overly friendly, wide toothed smile that mothers warned their children to stay away from. It somehow managed to be both inviting and creepy at the same time. I smiled back and spoke up, “So you’re the seller then?” I asked, and the man nodded. He nodded and responded in a sickeningly sweet voice… He sounded like a child in a toy store, his voice strained with excitement and wonder as he droned on to his parents about what toys he wanted. “Oh I’m so glad you found me. For a minute there I thought I’d have to call ‘olly olly oxen free.’” He said with a pleased sigh, pushing the case to my side of the table. “You know… Over the years I’ve gotten quite good at playing hide and seek. So good, in fact, that I’ve never been found. Not. Even. Once. Do you want to know my secret?” the man asked, his voice still just as unsettlingly sweet as his smile. “Sure, what’s your secret?” I asked. I really, really didn’t want to know what the hell he was talking about; but if it kept him happy then… He clapped rapidly and bounced in place, “Oh I’m so glad that you’re a curious one. My secret is that the seekers never know that they’re playing.” “Makes sense…” I said, opening the case momentarily to verify. Two kidneys in pristine condition, doused with preserving fluid, wrapped in plastic. and packed in ice. “If the seeker doesn’t know they’re playing then how would they know to start looking?” I said, leaving out the fact that it would just be stalking at that point before swallowing hard when I thought about where these kidneys came from. “You’re a smart one…” he said with a smile as I sent a message confirming the pickup. All that was left was to wait for the transaction to process. “I was worried about this last one though… she came right up to me. This. Close.” he said, leaning in till our faces almost touched. I struggled to keep my composure, and managed to keep from jumping or pushing him away. “So what did you do?” I asked as he leaned back, my suspicions about these kidneys being all but confirmed. “Why, nothing of course…” He said, a slightly bewildered expression on his face. He looked as though I just asked him how to breathe. I glanced down at my phone to see if the transaction had been verified yet and he snapped his fingers like he remembered something. “Oh I must apologize!” he said, making me look up, “I forgot that you don’t play much… I simply held my breath, closed my eyes, and wished that she would just… go away.” “You’re right… You are good at hide and seek...” I said, wishing to myself that he would just go away and hearing the familiar ding of a successful transaction sound on both of our phones as if to answer my prayers. I reached out my hand as a formality and he grabbed it and shook it vigorously. I forced a smile and stood, although what he said next made my blood nearly freeze. “You’re the first person to find me in oh so long…” He trailed off as he said it, his voice slowly shifting from that of an exited child to the cold blooded maniac that he was. “Maybe my games won’t be so one sided from now on,” He said, his voice disturbingly normal. Although, even without looking back I could tell that the same sickeningly sweet smile was glued to his face. I kept walking but waved my arm as though saying goodbye. The worst part was that I could feel him watching me as I walked back to my car… Not just at first, like if he was watching me leave, but the entire way back, and even as I got in my car. I took a moment to look around and sighed as I saw nothing. It might not sound like much to you. I don’t know, I can still hardly describe it myself, but he had this… creepy way of getting under your skin just by talking to you. I wrote it off as me just being paranoid, the guy harvests organs from people for a living so of course everything he says is creepy. I groaned and started my car, but it wasn’t until I hit the freeway that I was finally able to shake the feeling of his gaze. It’s not like he could’ve been following me, by then I was already paranoid enough to be checking for that, making a few detours just to be sure of it. And because of my detours, I ended up being about an hour past the scheduled drop off with the buyer… Lost my chance at a tip for sure, guy was furious and there was nothing I could tell him to calm him down. I’m pretty sure, ‘sorry I’m late, but the seller was a total psycho and I wanted to make sure he wasn’t following me,’ wouldn’t have been a very good excuse. Whatever, I had my money and the buyer had his organs and plenty of time for whatever operation that used them. Not much to complain about on either side, well except for the fact that I already knew I wouldn’t be sleeping that night. Especially because the feeling of being watched had returned as soon as I set foot out of my car which was, again, impossible. The site never tells the sellers anything about the buyers or transporters, so there’s no way he could have known where I was headed to and no way that he could have followed me. I hopped back in my car and started to head for home, hoping that a few tabs of melatonin would be enough for at least a few hours of sleep. And again, I could feel eyes on me as I drove and I saw his eerie smile everywhere until I hit the highway. I felt a weight lift off of my shoulders then, although I made sure to take the most winding path home that I could afford gas for (which was quite a bit after a job like that). By the time I did get home it was starting to get dark, and I had made a few loops around my apartment just to be sure I didn’t still feel his eyes on me. Luckily, my apartment building has a public parking garage attached to it so even if I was being followed I felt safe enough that nobody would be able to find my room. But Just to be sure, I took the stairs for the first time in months. Have any of you ever climbed seven flights of stairs out of paranoia before Rijento? Well in case you haven’t let me tell you what it’s like. Do you remember running up the stairs from the basement after turning off the lights as a kid? That feeling of unease and terror? Well it’s like that, but you aren’t a kid anymore. It’s not the dark or what imaginary monsters could be lurking in it that frightens you anymore. Instead, you’re worried about who could be hiding in the darkness, what real monster could be following you up those stairs… I’m no slouch when it comes to exercise but it still drained everything out of me hauling my body up those stairs on my hands and feet like an animal as fast as I could. I got inside and locked the door securely behind me, panting, covered in sweat, but I sighed in relief with the fact that I hadn’t felt anyone watching me at all during my climb. I took a moment to catch my breath, slumping down by the door and chuckling to myself while shaking my head. I couldn’t believe that I’d let that freak get so deep under my skin. Once I had caught my breath, I stood up and made my way to my couch before flopping onto it. I wanted nothing more than to go to sleep then and there, but I had to be smart with my money this time. I immediately cashed the Bitcoin out. Better to pay myself out in small increments, but I had bills to pay and I’d already learned my lesson about leaving things in Bitcoin. Once business was taken care of, I grabbed the remote control and flicked on the TV. The familiar faces of the local news anchors greeted me and I began drifting off to sleep while listening to the happenings of our city. It was around seven a.m. when I was woken up by the sound of the ‘breaking news’ alert coming on. “We are just receiving reports of a ghastly murder of one [yeah, I’m not gonna put her name or age here] year old college student living on her own. Police investigators say that several of her organs were found to be missing and that they found evidence of someone living in her home without her knowledge for quite some time before the murder…” The reporters kept talking about how much of a tragedy the situation was… But I wasn’t listening. How could I listen… I’ve never been less happy to be right then I was at that moment. I shuddered thinking about it. My thoughts and paranoia regarding the man I’d met the other day bubbling back up to the surface. It was then that the reality of what I’d done hit me like a freight train. By accepting that contract I doomed that girl to die… All because I needed some quick cash. I stood up and went to the kitchen and opened my liquor cabinet. Without looking, I grabbed a bottle of something with shaking hands and fumbled with the top while trying to keep my mind clear of thoughts. Once I had the cap off I took several deep swigs from the bottle, spilling quite a bit down my chin before I set it down and gasped for air. The burn of the alcohol in my throat gave me something to focus on while it worked its magic on the rest of my body. As my mind slowly clouded I found my way to a chair and found it easier to think about what happened without panicking. My first thought was that I needed to do something. I knew the guy’s face, I should go to the cops! It was at this moment that the… Less impulsive side of my brain kicked in. I go to the cops and all I do is give myself a one way ticket to an early grave. My employers don’t take kindly to police interactions. I slowly resigned myself to the fact that I was going to have to live with the consequences of this job for the rest of my life… I’m a coward, I know. Anyways, the next few days passed by slowly. I was… Not in a good place mentally and I’m sure you remember how much alcohol my cabinets were stocked with. I blacked out more than once only to wake up gasping for breath from drinking too much. It was honestly a miracle that I didn’t kill myself through alcohol poisoning. But I… Managed to come to terms with everything. Don’t get me wrong, I still had nightmares where I was the guy hiding in that girls closet… But I wasn’t drinking my problems away anymore, although I think that was more because of the fact that I’d run out of liquor than any meaningful character development. It was about a week later that I was able to get my first night of actual sleep. I didn’t dream about anything either so that was a plus. I know it probably sounds bad, but I was starting to feel normal again… Like I could maybe find a way to just be myself… Either way, even after all that I still wanted to keep my job. I just added a new rule: no organs. From there I fell back into more or less my old routine. I went to eat out almost every day though, I thought any excuse that got me cleaned up and out of my place was worth taking… And then, I began to feel it again. That skin-crawling sensation of eyes on me from somewhere that I felt the day I met Mr. Hide&Seek. I didn’t think much of it at first, I only felt the eyes when I was surrounded by other people so of course one or two would be looking my way right? I thought I was just guilty and paranoid. But no matter what I did, I would always feel like I was being watched whenever other people were around. So I started driving more and more and eating out less and less. Not driving anywhere in particular, just driving… I felt safe on the open road, I couldn’t feel any eyes on me… For about a week. It started small. A shiver down my spine here and there. A sharp sensation that made my eyes snap to one car or another. Then it came more frequently, and I began to get more and more paranoid as the feeling became stronger and stronger. I started driving less and less, and whenever I did, I kept my eyes on the cars around me. Trying desperately to find where that feeling was coming from. To find who was watching me… Trying to catch a glimpse of his face in a passing car. I even thought I did see him a few times… Except that was just paranoia… I hope. Eventually, I stopped driving unless I had to. I shut myself in my apartment, only going out to get groceries and always, always making sure that I didn’t feel anyone watching me before I parked. But that feeling would always find me whenever I went out. This went on for about a month. I started to drink again, I didn’t go out to eat or drive anymore. I paid someone to deliver my groceries to the garage of my building. All I did was eat, sleep, drink, and watch movies or play games… I’d be living the dream, if I didn’t think a serial killer was stalking me. Part of me believed that I was just being paranoid and to be honest I desperately wanted to believe that part of me… But not enough to stake my life on it. And after another week of living like a shut-in the feeling of being watched started to re-surface. Like before it started off small. I felt a ping of eyes on me and from then on I kept the blinds securely closed. Even then, the feeling persisted for days, gradually gathering in strength. So I emptied out all of my closets and cabinets daily… Eventually I just left all of the doors open and everything on the floor so that I could look in to any hiding spot in an instant… But that feeling still persisted. I stopped drinking because I was terrified of being attacked. I started sleeping less and less and when I had to sleep, I slept inside of my closet and barred the doors shut from the inside. I ate and drank only when I felt hungry and always with my back to a corner of the room or locked in my closet… But I could still feel eyes on me, feel His eyes on me the same way I had back at the park. It was about a month later when I finally discovered my haven. The one place left that I didn’t feel watched. The stairwell of my building. I found that whenever I went down and back up the stars to get my groceries – as I’d long since stopped using the elevator – that I would have a brief respite from the feeling of being watched. I started to spend all of my waking hours there, sat on one of the stairs without a care in the world. I only left them to eat and sleep and whenever I entered the building proper I would feel eyes on me almost immediately. But having those stairs to return to made my life almost bearable. It had been a long time since I had anywhere I felt safe, and like every place before it I kept waiting form the feeling of being watched to follow me into the stairwell… But it never did. For another month, I fell into a somewhat bearable rhythm. I’d wake up in my closet feeling watched, I’d eat in the corner of my kitchen feeling watched, and then I’d scurry off to the stairwell where I could blessedly feel alone – Especially near the top floors where the stairs were seldom used. But all good things must come to an end and all that, and while I never did feel watched in the stairs, I did run out of money. Apartments and cars don’t pay for themselves after all, and while I managed a few months on the blood money from my last job it was finally time to get back to work. In the months since I last logged on to the site, things had calmed down significantly and there were now plenty of jobs that didn’t break any of my rules… So I decided to go with a route that I’d done before a couple of times. A gun run. The seller always treated me to a drink or two at his bar and was also always well armed so I felt that it would be a nice and easy job that I could feel safe doing. After confirming the job I closed my laptop, pulled on a fresh set of clothing, and headed out the door. I wanted to get this over and done with, and thankfully the feeling of being watched was rather light that day. I do admit, however, that I lingered in the stairwell for a bit before heading out. I wanted a bit of time alone before being out in the open for the first time in months. Anyways, I hopped in my car after about thirty minutes of blessed stairwell time and headed to the bar. After about two hours of paranoid and twisting driving I managed to make it just on time and pulled my car into the alleyway behind the bar. The owner greeted me with a smile as I got out of my car, “T, long time no see!” he said, his smile fading as I walked up and he got a better look at me. “Holy shit man, are you feeling okay?” he asked, genuine worry in the eyes of the large man. “No… I’m pretty far from okay…” I said with an exhausted sigh. I could still feel the faintest hint of eyes on me even now, though I know that the owner wouldn’t let me be jumped at his bar. “It’s a long story,” I offered, realizing for the first time that it might be nice to actually tell someone what happened. “Is that so.” he said with a hint of a smile and a shake of his head. “Well, hows about we get you a drink while the boys get ready to load up your car.” He offered in return, making me smile. “There’s always plenty of time for stories at my bar.” He said proudly. “I’d like that…” I said with another exhausted sigh, managing to keep the smile up as he put an arm around me and lead me in the back door of the bar. “Oh, by the way, how did you hold up during the bitcoin crash? I heard it hit a couple of transporters pretty hard.” he said, making me chuckle as we made our way through the kitchen. “Funny you should mention that,” I said, making him raise an eyebrow, “because that’s how my long story star—” I began, only to stop short when I looked at the bar. HE was siting there, sipping on a beer without a care in the world. He noticed me out of the corner of his eye and that same sickeningly sweet smile crept onto his face as his eyes met mine. I froze. There was no way that this was a coincidence. There was no way that he just happened to be at this bar at this time. I was broken from my trance by the bar owner waving his hand in front of my face and saying my name, “Hello? T, you alright?” I quickly ducked back into the kitchen and started to hyperventilate. How did he know? How could he possibly have known that I would be here? Did he follow me? “Did who follow you?” The owner’s voice brought me back to reality once again as I realized I’d been thinking out loud. His face was concerned, bordering on scared. “How long has that guy been at the bar?” I asked, hoping that the owner knew who I was talking about. “If you mean tall, thin, and creepy then about an hour… What is going on T?” He asked, as I slumped against the wall. I started crying. I broke down and burst back into the bar only to see that Mr. Hide&Seek he was already gone. “I… I need to go. I need to get home!” I said, pushing past the owner and running to my car. He called after me, trying to get me to stay and explain what the hell was happening but I wasn’t listening. For all I know, Mr. Hide&Seek could be breaking in to my apartment already. I drove straight home and threw open the door to my apartment. It had still been locked, but I wasn’t taking any chances. I grabbed a knife from the kitchen and checked everywhere. But he wasn’t there. Then, my phone rang and scared the living hell out of me. I checked the number and gulped when I saw that it was blocked. I considered not answering but in the end I picked up the call. “H-Hello?” I asked tentatively. “T… What the hell happened at the bar?” a modulated voice rang through the speaker in my ear, making me wince. It was one of the site admins for sure. I was silent for a moment before telling the admin everything. I couldn’t see the man, but I could feel a sudden change when I mentioned seeing Mr. Hide&Seek at the bar. “T,” the admin began, a serious edge to his voice. “I need you to log in to the site… _Now_” he said, and something in me told me to listen. I booted up my laptop and hopped on to the site. As soon as I logged in a dialog appeared that I’d never seen before. ‘ADMIN would like to take control of this computer. Do you consent to this?’ With two buttons. One for yes. One for no. I clicked yes and watched as my cursor began to move on it’s own. “Thank you T. This will only take a moment…” the admin said, a practiced calm in his voice as he downloaded several files and began to do… Something on my laptop. A minute later a dialog box popped up that said, ‘Threat detected!’ and the admin sighed and his voice sharpened as he spoke. “T… You’ve been compromised. You’ve had a nasty piece of spyware installed on your machine, for about a month by the looks of things. It’s been recording your keystrokes and giving someone remote access to your camera…” the admin explained, making me gulp as I realized that all of my information was insecure. “B-but, there’s no way! I haven’t download anything!” I said, making the admin mutter something as a bout of typing could be heard coming through the phone. The admin’s voice was cold and calculated when he spoke next. “No… No you didn’t…” he said, making me gulp. “This software was installed via _USB_…” the admin said, making my heart nearly stop. Hide&Seek had been in my home! He had been here without me noticing and put that program on my laptop. Even after all of my paranoia, he still found his way into my room without me knowing. “I’m going to delete the program,” the admin said, and a few keystrokes later, “done… What the—” As the admin deleted the program, thousands of windows began popping up on the screen of my laptop. All of them saying the same thing… ‘olly olly oxen free’ After that, I threw my laptop in the trash and got a new one as well as a new phone, sim card and all. I was taking no chances. I got all new accounts for everything and the admin told me he revoked Mr. Hide&Seek’s membership personally. But I’m going to disappear all the same, I have a plane ticket to somewhere and my bags are already packed. Don’t look for me, and if you ever start to feel like you’re being watched… It’s because you are.
My Grandmother left me her laptop when she died. Now I know what killed her.
My grandmother passed away almost a year ago from a stroke. Leading up to that though, she had developed what we thought was severe dementia. Now though... I’m not so sure that’s what it was. After she passed we went to go visit my grandfather. We knew he probably wasn’t handling it well. They had been married for around sixty years, ever since they were eighteen. He seemed to be in good spirits though, just glad that she wasn’t suffering anymore. He said it had gotten bad there near the end, with the dementia and all, she was screaming a lot and apparently seeing people that weren’t there. Before we left he gave us a few things, saying he didn’t have any use for them anymore. My wife and I had just moved so we were pretty hyped for a few things. He gave us a printer, some ink cartridges (which is basically like striking gold), and he gave me her old laptop. My grandmother was surprisingly tech smart. She managed some apartments and such so she got pretty good at making spreadsheets and using some computer programs to keep track of everything. Anyway, I already had a computer and everything so I didn’t think much of using it at the time, just figured I would keep it for sentimental reasons. That was until about a week ago. My laptop that got me through college finally shit the bed during a game of Civ5. Ghandi’s nukes were too much for it apparently. So, I pulled out Nana’s old laptop and fired it up. It took a while, but then it finally got booted up and loaded into the home screen. I figured I would look around for a bit while steam was installing my games. Maybe she had bitcoin nobody knew about. I found a video saved right to the desktop. The title was “If I die, please watch”. I figured it was probably a will or something that they missed, seeing as Papa didn’t really go through anything after she died. I pulled it up and started the video. There was Nana, gaunt and frail, probably only weeks before she had her stroke. She looked into the camera. “I don’t know which of you will find this.” She said, her voice shaking. “But whoever does, please burn my body. Make sure they can’t find me. Even in the afterlife.” What the hell? We had buried her not even two days after she died. She had the stroke and was in the hospital for almost a week, just in a coma. She stayed on for three days after they took her off the ventilator before she finally passed. They wasted almost no time burying her. Why didn’t she tell them she wanted to be cremated? “I only hope that you find this soon after I’m gone, as it may already be too late. I hope to god the curse that has followed me all these years doesn’t find you too. They say I have dementia. That’s the only way they know how to explain it. That’s not what it is though.” What the fuck is going on. She seemed more lucid than she had at any time before she died. The last time I had seen her, before she had the stroke, she had been screaming about a creature staring at her from the corner of the room, begging it to go away. “It’s the reapers. At least, that’s what I call them. They bring death to whoever sees them. They follow you, taunting you, driving you to madness before they finally snap their fingers and you die. My aunt Louise told me about them, not long before she was taken, and now, they’re coming for me.” Jesus. She had lost her damn mind. Papa said she had gone on about dark figures everywhere they went, always stalking her, smiling at her. She had said that they were completely black, as if they absorbed all the light around them, and they were tall and thin. She once described what she was seeing to me as if they were shadows at sunset, following her every move. “I don’t know what they want. I’ve tried to find out whatever I can about them, but they’re hidden throughout history. Ghouls or something, collecting human lives. They take souls after they’ve driven them to death, building a collection of madness.” She looked behind her, into the corner of the room. Her eyes widening. “There’s one of the bastards now.” She said. “They only ever appear in corners. Something about angles being portals to their dimension. They’re always watching though. Always listening. Even when I can’t see them I can feel them.” There was nothing in the corner behind her. Only the eggshell white paint of her office. Nothing else. “I know my time is coming soon. They’ve been appearing more and more. I first saw them when I was a little girl, not long after Aunt Louise passed. I was ten.” She looked behind her again, making a shooing motion to the corner. “Since then they’ve popped up every so often, getting more and more frequent as I’ve gotten older. I saw one at my wedding, as I was saying my vows. There was one in the delivery room when my youngest son was born. I only hope this doesn’t happen to either of my children.” Holy shit. Her youngest son is my father. “Please, burn my body. Salt my bones. Do whatever you can. I don’t want to be trapped for an eternity in whatever hell these things come from. I just want to die. I want to sink into oblivion where they can never reach me.” She looked back into the corner, giving a sigh as she did. She had seemed to resign herself. “Come on, you son of a bitch. Just get it over with.” She seized. Gasping for breath. I saw the left side of her face drop. She slumped back in the office chair, limp. The video went on for another hour until the battery in the laptop died. I know Papa hadn’t found her until that afternoon when he got home from work. I just watched my grandmother die. I looked at the screen, still not sure of what to think, my hands shaking. I finally closed the laptop and got up, going to pour myself a drink from the liquor cabinet. When I stood up and turned around, there was a shadow in the corner of the room, red eyes staring at me, sharp teeth showing in a grin. It held up a hand and wiggled it’s fingers in a taunting wave.
So, I've been trying to think of any story worthy of this subreddit for a while now. So, how about one of the times I caught someone actively committing identity theft? warning: some lovely profanity TL;DR at bottom; it's very long. --- Little backstory: My call center was a service center for a number of banks in the US. Third Party Vendor. Thankfully, I no longer work there. At the time, I was specifically in the fraud department, so catching people actively commiting fraud happened occasionally. Mostly it was just remedying accounts with fraud transactions and dealing with angry people screaming over their cards getting declined. This little scammy man called in so many times. I spoke with him twice and caught him stealing a family member's credit card and identity. Here's what went down. M = Me LD = My Lead, the star investigator who listened once shown the evidence FD = The Fraudster, our main dude, probably in his 20s/30s (age is important here) AW = Accomplice Woman, clueless woman roped into a mess, also in her 20s/30s --- First call M: Thanks you for calling Third Party on behalf of your bank. My name is Shimmer_bee, how can I assist you today? FD: Uh, yea, I'm trying to buy some gift cards at Publix and my card is getting declined. M: Ok, I'll be happy to assist, may I have your card number and CVV? FD: *provides\* M: And your name and SSN? FD: *provides\* M: And your date of birth? FD: 5/18/1948 M: Alright, thanks for providing that information. Let me place you on hold while I access your account. I put him on hold and immediately start scorwing this account for anything else out of place. Now, the date of birth on this account is listed as like 5/18/1948. The person I'm talking with is in their 20s, 30s tops; I can tell just by the voice. They're supposed to be in their 70s or 80s [RED FLAG]. There've been 2 new cards issued in the past month after another the previous ones were lost [RED FLAG]. I start going through the charges and they're for places like clubs, liquor shops, fast food places, and big box stores/pharmacies. Now, the big box stores and pharmacies, those transactions are all like $500, $750, $200...gift cards. Those are gift cards. None of this matched the prior spending on the account before the card was lost the first time. Also, grandpa hitting up the clubs? Ha.[BIG. FUCKING. RED. FLAG.] I check back in with the cardholder and tell him it will be just a few minutes longer, my system was having trouble. He was absolutely chill with that. I decided to call our escalations line for a second look. I've already seen a note from our investigations team that they've researched the account and that all is fine; the person calling is the cardholder. The investigations team runs a background report and pulls calls on accounts sent to them (or that's what they're supposed to do). Now, I know there's something wrong, because there is CLEARLY some shit going down on this account. He's called in about 7 times this week! [RED FLAG] The escalations line tells me to proceed with unblocking the account and reaffirms the investigations team's decision. I can no longer take any protective action on the account. I'm pissed. So I go back to the caller and start the process of unblocking the account. Me: Thanks for holding, I just need to go over some charges with you? FD: It's fine. Me: Ok, so three days ago I see a charge for $167.32 at (strip club), is that something you attempted? FD: I've been letting my grandson use my card, that was something he did. Me: Ok, and I see two days ago, $700.00 at CVS. Is that something you attempted? FD: Yes. Me: And then I see here today, $2,000 at Publix. Is that what you were trying to put through? [$2,000 was the real amount.Are you fucking kidding me?AT PUBLIX?!?!] FD: Yea, my grandson needs some gift cards, he's here with me. At this point, I have to remove the hold from his account. I'm fuming, but I do it. I just know that this is not the real cardholder, but I have to abide by what the escalations agent and the investigations team said. He makes the transaction and $2,000 of fraudulently purchased gift cards goes through. End of call. I leave work that day so frustrated. I just hoped he'd call back and get caught, because this was going to be a BIG LOSS for my company since we actively let the identity theft go on. It was going on like $5,000 dollars at this point. --- A week or so passed and I'd kinda forgotten about it at this point. We had other, much funnier calls that week. Poorly executed identity theft calls on accounts where the cardholder has been marked as deceased. The usual. Then it happened; just my luck, my friend calls back in. Second call M: Thanks you for calling Third Party on behalf of your bank. My name is Shimmer_bee, how can I assist you today? FD: Hey, yea, I'm trying to make a purchase and my card's getting declined. M: Ok, I'll be happy to assist, I just need to verify some information first. We proceed with the verification and as soon his name and date of birth pop up, I know who this is. I tell him I'll put him on a brief hold while I look over the account. Holy. Fuck. At this point he's called in about 3 more times after getting declined. Twenty. Thousand. Dollars. In. Fraud.$20,000!!!! I wanted to snap so bad. But again, I had to hold up the decision made by the investigations team previously. Only, when I look at the account, I see another agent has gone "nah, fuck that," and referred the dude to the bank. His account is LOCKED DOWN. The account has been sent back off for reinvestigation. I start feeling cocky, because this guy has finally been caught. So, I go back to him and tell him the good news. Me: Thanks so much for holding, sorry about that wait time. It looks like at this time the hold that's on your account requires you to visit your local branch for further assistance. FD: Ok, but this is my grandfather's card, he's letting me use it. YO, GOT'EM. I knew for a fact this was the same person that called last time, and now we've got him on a recorded line saying he's both the grandfather and the grandson. Bruh. You done. Also, you just verified on someone else's account that you're not listed on, being the grandson and all. Instant shutdown. Me: Unfortunately sir, your grandfather will need to visit the local branch at his first convenience. There's nothing more we can do at this time. This is a branch hold. FD: Nah, fuck that. I wanna speak with your supervisor. Me::) Just a moment sir, let me get someone on the line. So, I call the escalations line again with a huge smile on my face. This man has outed himself. I'm putting it in the notes. No more fraud for you, mister. My lead picks up and things only get better from here. (Note, she's in the cube right in front of mine, so I can lean over and point stuff out.) Me: So, hey, I have a fraudster on the line and now they want to speak with a sup. LD: How do you know it's a fraudster? Me: Well...for starters, he's claimed to be both the grandfather and grandson on the two calls I've had him on. LD: Ok, but did you pull a background report? Me: No, I didn't. let me do that. Here's the account. Grandpa/grandson's been in the strip clubs. My lead is still skeptical while I explain a little more about the account and pull up the background report. She's about to tell me just to leave it be and remove the hold (per the investigations team report), when I find the most incriminating evidence and nearly scream with joy. Me:LD, IT'S A WOMAN! LD: What? Me: The cardholder, they're supposed to be a woman! I'm speaking with a man! LD:\still hesitant at this point** You know the background report isn't reliable if you just pull gender from the sources? That's not enough evidence and it's likely wro- Me: I GOT THE DRIVERS LICENCE. LD, it's the driver's licence, the cardholder is a woman! At this point, I'm almost in tears. I've caught this man absolutely red handed. I did my job, even when others didn't do their's properly. If the investigations team would have pulled the background report in detail, they would have seen the gender. This would have been stopped. If you only pull a basic report, the gender can often be inaccurate. That might have been what the investigations team did, so in that case the gender listed was a crapshoot. But I was able to source this straight from the cardholder's driver's licence by pulling up the detailed report. There was no denying it, we had someone pretending to be this poor woman, racking up $20,000 in fraud chargers. LD: So you've spoken to them before? Me: Yes. I go on to explain everything I found. The wild charges, the cards that were sent out after the others were lost, the same person calling, and the investigations team's judgement. Lead (who's now in the investigations department) starts going through the account in more detail. She notices that nothing's been changed on the account, per say, but someone is definitely doing something here. So, she advises me to call the cardholder on the phone number listed in the background report. I do. The same man answers. I tell him again I'm still trying to get my sup on the line, it will just be a few more minutes. It wasn't. She reviewed the account and pulled calls for nearly an hour. This man waited. For an hour. Then, she finally found the original call where the card was reported lost. What do you know? The person who called in is a woman. We have solid proof now, and she places the highest security hold we have on the account. No one can remove this hold except for leads and above. I feel vindicated. THEN, my lead calls the number on the background report. I get put on hold by the fraudster. My lead asks for MRS. Name. He hangs up on her and comes back to me. By now, my lead has ok-ed me to transfer the call so she can take over. I decide to stay on the line. Me: Thanks so much for holding sir, sorry about the long hold time. I do have my supervisor on the line by the name of Lead, she'll be assisting you from here. Is there anything else I can assist with before I disconnect? FD: No. Me: Alright. Well again, my name is Shimmer_bee, thank you for calling Third Party on behalf of your bank, and we'd like to thank you for being a valued client. \mutes phone** FD:\huffs** hello? LD: Yes, hi. My name is Lead and I just need to inform this call is being recorded or monitored for quality assurance purposes. FD: Yea, yea. I need my card unlocked. LD: And can I have your name, sir, please? FD: Mr. Name. LD: And you previously reported the card lost, twice? FD: Yea, the first one went to the wrong address. LD: And what was the last transaction you were trying to do? FD: The one for (bitcoin funding website). LD: For $300? FD: Yes. LD: Ok, and I see there was another transaction here, (suspicious transaction)? FD: Yes, that was my grandson. LD: Oh, I'm sorry, my agent said that YOU were the grandson. FD:\knows he's caught in the lie now** Uhh.. LD: I'm sorry sir, but I'll need to speak with MRS. Name, is she there? FD: She can't come to the phone, she's sick. C'mon just unlock the card, all the other agents did it. LD: I'm sorry sir, I can't speak with anyone but Mrs. Name. I have to speak with her to unlock the card. There's a bit of shuffling and muffled arguing before a woman comes on the phone. AW: Yes, this is Mrs. Name speaking. LD: Hi there, Mrs. Name. My name is Lead and I just need to inform this call is being recorded or monitored for quality assurance purposes. AW: Ok, can you unlock my card now? LD: Well ma'am, I do have to verify you before we proceed. My lead asks the verification questions. The accomplice is obviously being fed the answers. She also sounds like she's in her 20s/30s. LD: Ok, so the the most recent transaction was for (bitcoin funding website), is that correct? AW: Uh, yes? LD: Alright wonderful. Let me place you on a brief hold and then we can see about getting that security hold removed. AW: Ok. She gets placed back on hold while my lead resends the account for investigation. She included the calls and all my notes. The account is notated that the hold cannot be removed until we speak with the true cardholder. LD: Ok, thanks so much for holding. Unfortunately, it looks like you will have to go to a branch to have this hold removed. AW: Oh, ok. There's more shuffling before the fraudster comes back on the phone. FD: I thought you were going to remove the hold?!?! LD: Sir, at this time I can only speak with MRS. Name. FD: Fuck that. FUCK THIS BANK. Unlock the card! LD: Sir, if you continue to use that language, I will need to disconnect from the call. At this time, Mrs. Name will need to go to her local branch with two forms of ID and a utility bill to have them faxed in for review before we are able to remove the hold. FD: NAH, SHE AIN'T GOIN' ANYWHERE. FUCK THIS BANK, I'M CLOSING MY ACCOUNT. THIS IS MY MONEY! LD: Again, sir. If you continue to use that lang- FD: FUCK YOU, BITCH! Y'ALL A SORRY ASS BANK. I'M CLO- LD: Sir, I've warned you about the language. At this time I will need to disconnect the call. Once again, thank you for calling Third Party on behalf of your bank, and we'd like to thank you for being a valued client. She hung up while he was still screaming. From what I heard, the old woman did eventually visit her branch and we were able to inform her of someone in her house/family stealing her identity. Her card was shut down. I hope she filed charges. From what I've been told, if it's someone you know and/or family who runs up your credit card fraudulently, you have to press charges for the dispute to be processed. In the end, there were over $20,000 in fraudulent charges. I got a lovely $20 extra on my next check and was soon put on the escations line myself. Not my worst call, but definitely a memorable one. TL;DR: Man steals identity of ambiguously named grandmother, runs up $5,000 in fraudulent charges. Inaccurate information prevents me from putting a stop to his madness on his first call with me. Second call results in him being confronted about the true cardholder being a woman. Man puts accomplice on phone. Account is still locked down and cardholder is requested to visit the branch. Screaming ensures. The account gets shut down after nearly $20,000 of fraudulent transactions occurred. I get sweet vindication knowing I was right all along. Edit: Changed some wording. Edit 2: Thank you so much for the gold!
The International 2018 in Vancouver FAQ (Updated!)
Hey there again, you punks. So with a tip coming from some of the moderators on the board, I've decided just to quickly update this FAQ that I wrote a few months back since TI is next week and I'm sure many of you still have a ton of questions. I've gotten some more information that I can pass down to you in regards to Vancouver but also now TI as well, including updated marijuana laws and beer recommendations. Two quick notes:
This summer has been an extremely hot season in Vancouver (at least in Vancouverite standards). Like anyone who attended in Seattle last year, there is noticeable smoke in the air in the city due to the fires all over the Pacific North West. If you have breathing issues or health related problems do to particles in the air, be advised that there is currently an Air Quality Advisory in effect so act accordingly. Wind/Rain will most likely clear up any issues going into next week, but just a heads up in case new fires flare up or we aren't blessed with some light rain. Forecast is looking to be sunny through midweek and the finals, with an average of about 23-25C.
Yes, but it's not exactly regulated by AirBnB. Feel free to stay at one through AirBnB but know that it might be a little tricky to deal with issues if they come up with your rental. Also while you're at it, check out VRBO.
How far away from Rogers Arena should I stay?
The general piece of advice you'll get from any local about where to stay for TI is going to be anywhere that's on the Skytrain Expo Line (the line in dark blue). The Expo Line will take you to Stadium-Chinatown station, which is where Rogers Arena is 30 seconds away. As in Seattle, the closer to downtown you are, the more expensive it is to stay.
Where are the cheaper hotels like Holiday Inn, Mediterranean Inn or Travelodge like in Seattle?
Unlike Seattle Center, there aren't very many budget hotels left, if at all in the Downtown core. The cheaper hostels are available, though fair warning, many of them are placed on Granville Street, which is a place that many Vancouverites will tell you to avoid while you're here (Though I have never stayed at a hostel on Granville, if anyone has an experience, feel free to share). Check out the Ramada Inn and the Days Inn near Waterfront for some cheaper-ish options.
Are there any areas in Vancouver that we should specifically avoid?
In my mind, there are two places that I would keep a look-out for avoiding while you visit Vancity.
Granville Street. During the day time it's normally fine, filled with some cool shops (Golden Age Collectibles, The Rock Shop, Movieland Arcade) but it's packed to the absolute max with dumbasses at night due to the amount of night clubs. There's police around every weeknight, but since you're in Vancouver for a good time, head towards Gastown, Chinatown or Main Street for places to party.
Downtown East Side. If you've researched anything about Vancouver, you'll know that this area as where a large portion of the cities homeless reside. There is rampant drug use, poverty and sex work in this neighborhood, focused mainly between 5-10 blocks in the area of Main/Hastings. That being said, the community is an especially strong one, with fantastic human beings supporting the less fortunate. Though there isn't too much danger in terms of being robbed, you might want to just avoid the area at night. Be respectful to the people of this community and you'll have no problems.
Is there UbeLyft?
Sadly, no there isn't. We know, it absolutely sucks and everyone in Vancouver is aware. Your options are public transit or a taxi.
What's the parking situation like around Rogers Arena?
Super shitty if you don't like paying for parking. If you can, park outside of the Downtown core near a Skytrain and then head over to the Arena. Commercial Drive is pretty good for this if you can find certain spots. Tinseltown as well if you buy a movie ticket on non-event days.
How does Transit work? What do I need?
If you've ever been to any major city, you'll notice that Vancouver shares the same load-up card/tap system that places like London share. It's called Compass Card and it's fairly easy to use. Just load up money onto the card, tap it when you enter and tap when you leave. It'll do all the calculations for you. Note that certain zones will cost more just due to how far you're traveling.
Does Vancouver have car-sharing?
Yes it does! Car2Go and Evo are two of Vancouver's most popular car share services. Hot tip would be to register before you head over to Vancouver and it'll help mitigate the fact that UbeLyft aren't in Vancouver just yet. Just drive safely.
How do I get from the Airport (YVR) to Downtown Vancouver?
The easiest way to get to downtown from YVR, if you aren't getting picked up/taking a taxi is to take the Canada Line. It will take you directly to Waterfront station, from there you can take multiple buses, the Expo Line (the main line that will take you to Rogers Arena) or the Seabus (going to North VancouveLonsdale).
What's the drinking age in Canada?
19 years old.
I'm new to Canadian beer culture, what would you recommend?
Vancouver has an exploding craft beer culture and you'll be happy to find that the variety of different beers/ciders to drink is absolutely massive, probably to the point of being intimidating. Here are some of my favorite breweries and the beers that you should look out for when you're at the liquor store/pub: Twin Sails Brewing Dat Juice Pale Ale Two Straws MilkShake IPA Short Pants Mosaic IPA Brassneck Brewing Changeling Sour Passive Aggressive IPA Bjorn Again Farmhouse Ale Steel & Oak Changeling Sour Passive Agressive IPA Bjorn Again Farmhouse Ale Bomber Brewing Bomber Parklife Passionfruit Ale Bomber Pilsner Bomber Snow White IPA
Does Vancouver have any specific rules about drinking that I should know about?
Yes. First, there isn't any drinking in public if you already didn't know. Second, you must have TWO pieces of ID on you whenever you go to buy drinks in case you're asked for your ID. First piece must be photo ID, the second piece must be something with your name on it (in order for bartenders/servers to validate the first piece). I see a lot of tourists thrown off by this, so just know that Vancouver's liquor laws are much more strict than other places. I've heard from a few Vancouver residents that this isn't exactly enforced harshly, but just to note that it is an actual law. Piece of mind.
What's the legal drinking limit in Vancouver?
%.05. There will be a ton of pubcrawls and side events going on for people that are attending TI and I'm sure that you'll be blasted one night or another. Please don't drink and drive. If you need a cab, here are the numbers you can contact in order to grab a taxi from downtown. Yellow Cab: (604) 681-1111 Black Top Cab: (604) 731-1111 MacLure's Cabs: (604) 831-1111 Also, a note for people from outside of Vancouver: the cab drivers in this city are notorious for being hard to deal with at times. Broken debit machines, cash up front, not providing receipts. Use your common sense to get you through pushy cabbies. If they have a broken debit machine and they are still driving, kindly reject them and give your business to another cabbie that will. UbeLyft will be here soon and karma will bite them back. If at anytime you are in an emergency and don't know what to do, please DM me and I will provide my contact info.
This is not confirmed at the moment, but if the rules were anything like Seattle, you will be able to bring outside food into the arena. You are not permitted to bring liquids into the venue. You'll have to dump out your water bottle and refill it once inside. Rogers Arena might have different policies, but thankfully the venue has twice the amount of food stalls including a much more varied selection.
What's a secret you have from being a lifelong Canucks fan for eating in the area?
Everyone from Vancouver attending will hate me, but this is going to be one of the hottest tips I can give you: there is a Costco food court DIRECTLY across the street on the lower level of Rogers Arena that DOES NOT require a membership in order to buy food. It is the only Costco food court in Canada that doesn't need a membership to eat there. Hot dogs, poutine, pizza, soft drinks, ice cream and it's all lovingly Costco cheap. Enjoy!
What sort of credit card/tap options does Vancouver accept?
Visa/Mastercard are widely accepted everywhere. Cards such as American Express/Discover are also accepted most places, though a few places might reject them for whatever reason (higher charge rates, issues with their machines etc..) Best case would be to make sure you have a Visa/Mastercard with you at all times as a back-up in case you run into any issues. Most places in Vancouver also allow you to use Android/Apple Pay now as well. No bitcoin though.
How much money should I bring?
Well, that's entirely up to you. If you're staying the full week, a few hundred dollars in spare Canadian currency won't hurt you, especially if majority of your spending is going to be on plastic. There's going to be the Secret Shop, but that'll be done through online ordering and not cash payments. Just don't come with nothing. Worst case, always have at least $30-$40 cash on you just in case you run into a bind. It's really entirely up to you and how you plan on spending your time here. Do note that because of the low Canadian dollar, don't be surprised if the price of certain things is higher than usual.
Are there any huge cultural differences in Canada that I should know about?
Due to the amount of fires that have started in the Pacific North West the past month or so, please do not throw your cigarette/joint butts into the street, sidewalk, bushes or wherever that isn't a proper garbage. You'll get a ton of dirty looks by locals if you do otherwise. Canadians are known to be rather polite, we'll answer questions for you or guide you in the right direction (as long as we aren't in a huge rush). As long as you're respectful of the people around you, take care of your hygiene, don't spit on the ground, talk over people in conversation or just avoiding being a total dick, you'll be fine. Though Vancouver is a somewhat socially cold city, that's mainly in dating circles. Get some new Bumble photos up!
What's the tipping policy like in Vancouver?
Most places won't have the tip included in your bill. It's common courtesy to tip between %10-%15 of your final bill if you enjoyed your meal/drink/service. Feel free to go higher if you had a really excellent time. Some places do include the tip in the bill, but will have it noted usually at the bottom of the menu.
I'll be taking public transit while I'm here. Any tips?
A few. Remove your backpack when you're boarding a bus/SkyTrain in order to create more space for the people around you. Hygiene again is a big one. Remember to fill your Compass card and check your remaining balance at least once a day in case you're transiting a lot. If you see elderly/disabled/parents with strollers attempt to come on board, the polite thing to do would be to offer your seat etc..
My English isn't great and I need to ask a question, what should I do?
Don't worry at all! Vancouver is an extremely multicultural city and the residents here are used to hearing many different languages daily. Best bet is if you struggle communicating with anyone for any reason, download the Google Translate app and use it to answer questions you might have in a discussion.
I want to ask for a playetalents autograph and I'm standing right beside them. How should I ask?
Use common sense. Most players/talent would be more than willing to sign an autograph or pose for a photo with you. But also be aware that much of the on-screen talent (Slacks, Kaci, panel members) will often have to be running from segment to segment, taking in matches and so on. If they seem to have a minute, ask nicely, thank them for their time and cross one off of the bucket list.
I want to throw things at Slacks!
Don't throw things at Slacks.
Will there be an outdoor screen showing games?
No update on this. Rogers Arena is mainly a concrete concourse, surrounded by a viaduct and multiple lower roads. Unlike Seattle Center (which had multiple fields and smaller available venues), the only place large enough outside the Arena that could hold a large crowd with a big screen would most likely be the "main" entrance through Expo Blvd/Pat Quinn Way. There are a few other options in the area, but we're going to have to wait to see how creative Valve is with the space around the Arena. Perhaps they rent out the adjacent parking lots?
Will there be a beer garden?
No update on this also, but again, there's a lack of outdoor space beyond the concrete concourse. Sportsbar Live will be open, which also gives a view of inside the Arena while you're eating/drinking. But again, it's indoors.
Can I charge my phone inside of Rogers Arena?
From what I remember from Canucks games, yes, there are stations where you can plug your phone in to charge. But don't be surprised if a company like NVIDIA pops up a charging station outside much like in Seattle.
What is the capacity for Rogers Arena?
Where will I be able to see players? Will there be an open-area to ask for autographs?
One of the more obvious differences that most people will find from Key Arena to Rogers Arena, is that unlike Key Arena, Rogers doesn't have an open space concept between levels. Meaning, you won't be able to just look up to the third floor and see players hanging out like you normally would. This year, they most likely will be held in the boxes above or in the dressing rooms in the lower levels. Look for autograph times scheduled throughout the week to see your favorite players.
Is there anything being hosted at BC Place during TI?
The only thing right now is a Vancouver Whitecaps (MLS) game on August 18th and a BC Lions (CFL) on the 25th. So if you really feel inclined, now you know.
Where, how and when can we buy weed legally when we arrive in Vancouver?
When: On October 17th, weed will officially be legalized in British Columbia and most parts of Canada. How: Normally you need a medicinal prescription to purchase marijuana legally. Though, because of the soon to be legalization coming up in a few months, most dispensaries will most likely write you a prescription if you tell them a valid medical reason for the marijuana (Trouble sleeping, chronic joint pain, back pain, headaches, trouble eating etc.). My friends who smoke themselves told me that hot tip, so do with it what you will. Please DO NOT buy weed from a source that isn't verified by another trusted person or a licensed dispensary. You never know what your weed could be laced with. Where: Here are some dispensaries located close to Rogers Arena. Bloom Medical Dispensary The Dub Dispensary The Medical Cannibis Dispensary
Where can I smoke?
You can't smoke anywhere that frequents children, even if there aren't kids around. So no beaches, public parks, playgrounds etc.. So just, anywhere that's away from people that don't want to partake essentially.
Yo dude, thanks for that help, hit this shit real quick.
I wasn't able to buy any tickets. What should I do?
If you weren't able to buy tickets from Ticket Master, you have a few options. Post in the TI8 Vancouver Subreddit and ask if anyone has a spare ticket. Buying tickets from scalpers in front of Rogers Arena is fairly easy and shouldn't be difficult if you understand the basics of haggling.
Know what you're comfortable paying and stick to it. Always remember that number.
Be prepared to just walk away. The longer you stay negotiating, the more you show the scalper how important it is for you to buy the tickets. Play the long game.
The less you talk, the less information you give the scalper. If he says he's got a Midweek ticket for $300, shrug and say no thanks.
Have money in your hand/wallet when you're trying to buy tickets. When they see that the cash is right there, they'll be more inclined to just make the deal and move onto the next one.
You will most likely miss the opening ceremonies, but after that the prices for Midweek tickets will normalize and scalpers will want to just get rid of their tickets at a lesser price. The advantage you have in this instance is that Vancouver, outside of the LoL tournament at Pacific Colosseum, doesn't have much experience with esports tournaments. So scalpers themselves won't have the same level of patience. The longer you wait to buy your tickets from them, the cheaper you can get them for. Only downside is that you'll be missing games. The other thing you can do is literally just walk around the outside of the Arena and spot non-scalpers with extra tickets. There are always people who buy extra tickets and are just wanting to get their money back (friends flake on them, they couldn't flip them like they thought). DO NOT panic and end up buying an overpriced ticket from StubHub, Craigslist or wherever. Tickets will be available, you just have to keep your cool.
I'm picking up my tickets at the venue. Where do I go?
The box office at Rogers Arena is located at the bottom of the venue on Expo/Pat Quinn Way at the Toyota Ticket Center. You can pick up your tickets between these times: Mon, August 20th: 7AM - 9PM Tue, August 21th: 8AM - 9PM Wed, August 22nd: 8AM - 9PM Thu, August 23rd: 8AM - 9PM Fri, August 24th: 8AM - 9PM Not sure about the box office times for the Finals. Will update that when I know.
FIRST TIME ATTENDING TI
I'm coming to TI alone. What can I expect?
So first off, understand that EVERYONE there is going for the same reason you are, DOTA. Don't be afraid to go up to people, say hello and start conversations. If they shrug you off, fuck them, they don't deserve your brilliance. Enjoy yourself. Worst case, just create a thread on DOTA saying that you want to go shotgun a few beers. My first TI was pretty much by myself, but the combination of a beer + a garden really did wonders. Simply put, don't worry as much as your mind is telling you to worry. All the talent (casters/players) are incredibly friendly and are pretty much the same as us, just super stoked to be there. But do give them space if they're working or running around to the next thing.
What else do I need my Ticket/Badge for?
During TI, after every First Blood in a match, there are potential drops given to in arena attendee's who have registered their badge with their Steam ID. There will be a Steam Link kiosk/section OUTSIDE of Rogers Arena, so look out for it. You must have tapped into the Arena in order to be eligible for those drops. The link to register your badge to be eligible for these drops will be on the back of your badge when you receive it.
What sort of stuff should I be bringing with me on an average day?
Try to pack as lightly and efficiently as possible. My two main staples during the last two TI's were a water bottle (usually given out in a goody bag for midweek + finals ticket holders) and a portable battery pack for my phone. Also know that you might buy things from the Secret Shop, do some shopping downtown and the last thing you want to do is carry that stuff around with you all day. Though consider bringing a sweater for inside the Arena, as Rogers is a fairly cold one. HOT TIP Try checking with bell boys/concierge at any hotels if they can possibly check in some of your bags for you. I tried this at TI7 and was surprised how chill they were. I left them a $5 tip for taking my bags and was free for the rest of the day.
When should I go to the Secret Shop?
Avoid the Secret Shop on the first day or else you'll just spend the entire day waiting in line. Midweek the shop lines will be much more reasonable.
What else should I do in Vancouver beyond watching DOTA?
I have an emergency and I need help. Who do I call?
Depending on your situation, here are numbers for emergencies in British Columbia. Ambulance, fire, police: 911 Poison Control: Lower Mainland: 604-682-5050 Toll-free: 1-800-567-8911 Healthlink BC: 811 Deaf or Hearing Impaired: 711 Crisis Intervention & Suicide Prevention: Call 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) if you are considering suicide or are concerned about someone who may be. Mental health support: Call 310-6789 (no need to dial area code) for emotional support, information and resources specific to mental health.
Who's the guy with the statue outside the Arena?
That is Roger Neilson, former Vancouver Canucks head coach and the inventor of towel power. Please treat it nicely!
Where does Arteezy live? Where did he go to school? Where does he hang out?
How sweet of you to ask! That would be Lush by Snail Mail. Please, if you feel like you need to ask any questions, or there should be things added to this FAQ, post here or DM me. There are obviously some things that no one knows right now in regards to potential additions or subtractions from moving the event from Key Arena to Rogers. But I'll try my best to keep this thing updated if people bookmark it for future use. Enjoy planning your trip to TI!
Help me please. I'm spiralling out of control for the first time. I don't think it's too late to pull the nose up on this plane, but I need some advice from people who've been there.
Preface: even if you don't have any actual advice or experience with my situation, an encouraging word is always welcomed and appreciated, I don't care if you have any chemical or scientific knowledge, but I'm in a real bad state right now and anything positive helps more than you think it might. Funny thing is, I'm perfectly great at giving good advice to others, but I constantly fuck my own life over with drugs. I'd be a good therapist because of the shit I've been through but I can't ever seem to apply it to my life. Here's where it started. I started regularly doing blow on weekends after a tough breakup (which I broke up with her but it's really complicated and sad situation that still fucks with me to this day, over 6 years later. Haven't had a meaningful relationship since.) I started buying grams, then half-b's, then before you know it I was getting 8 balls and I didn't care, all my friends were doing it, but I realized one key thing. They could stop and put that bag away. I can't until that bag has been finished, ripped open, scraped and licked clean. So clearly, coke was my poison. I literally spent my 24th birthday alone in a hotel room in Niagara Falls with a big pile of blow and was perfectly happy, even though my friends brought me there and I was blasted out of my mind the whole time and didn't see many of the sights we wanted to. I never turned to crack or meth because it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out I'd be pretty fond of those things too. Anyway, I had to move away to a place where I don't speak the official language, have no friends, and no connects. I can't go down to the bar or strip club and try to get some, because of social anxiety (another reason coke kind of helped me in some situations) and I'm not fucking with darknet, as bitcoin is probably the most user-unfriendly, and intimidating and frankly obtuse way of paying for things since these huge ancient and frankly hilarious things that were a real currency, only they were better in one way because good luck stealing one (please somebody explain to me why bitcoin is so fucking complicated? I get that it's untraceable if you do it right but I'm a lifelong computer user and I'm still not comfortable trying it) I just get bored and like to rock some stims once in a while, that's all it was, and it helped me to catch up with people on facebook because talking to people who you haven't seen since High School always seems like a super great idea at the time. I considered my options, and figured research chems were worth looking into. So I tried 3-FPM. Burns worse than molly (the closest thing I could compare it to pain-wise as that legendarily painful 2-fma stuff is illegal here) and doesn't do much of anything for me besides a bit of the horn. Like, that's all it does. Moved on to EPH. Better, but noticeably caustic and still not so great. Then I tried 4f-MPH. To get up for work because I work night shift and have sleep problems even with a 2mg dose of Etizolam. Well wouldn't you know, being the fucker that I am, I kept plowing lines to the tune of about 150mg in a 14 hour shift. And if you're not familiar with this substance, that is a large amount and could send somebody with no tolerance into psychosis. I was a sweaty mess and I was basically useless at completing even the most basic of tasks (that I had been doing flawlessly for months). I'm surprised they didn't fire me on the spot. I went home and spent the next 48 hours finishing that fucking bag and just being a general degenerate. By the end of it, I was seeing and hearing shit, hadn't eaten in two days, and was continually hearing music that wasn't coming from anywhere. (Paris, by Chainsmokers had worked its way into my head and was playing on repeat because I hear it at least 10 times on the radio every shift) I was in delusion territory, I've only been there a couple times. I had been staying at a friends house and he kicked me out for it because he didn't think I was making any progress... he took me in a few months earlier because I had become homeless due to stuff that legit wasn't my fault and I didn't have the ability to do anything about the situation legally, and the only one who did (my Father) didn't care enough to deal with the fucked up situation that I could no longer be a part of. Luckily I'm still functional enough to have a reasonably paying job and can support myself, and by then I had enough saved to move out. Well, I got my own place now, and things have gotten worse. I did 4f-mph all day from when the package came (even though I told myself never again.) at like 1pm until like 6am the next morning and it was a greasy, greasy experience. Luckily I had enough time to recover for work. The sheer amount of etizolam I had to take to get off it basically wasted my day but saved me from profound misery, and my weekend was suddenly gone. I probably took close to 12mg of etiz (a fucking mistake) and I was still awake enough to more than break even in K/D in a battlefield match, my reflexes and adrenaline were still so high. My benzo tolerance isn't all that massive but it's moderate, but that's still a feat in an of itself imo. If anything, 4f-MPH is far more dangerous than proper cocaine. At least coke been properly studied. Coke isn't nearly as harmful as it's made out to be, if it's cut with a minimal amount of nontoxic clean substance with a similar melting/boiling point and water solubility like glucose or quinine, then you can literally go all night as long as you haven't any heart issues and use some semblance of reason. Just don't buy any more than a night's worth if you know you can't stop, and I did that for years. Keep it on weekends and don't do it at work, or if you absolutely must, take a bump to wake up but leave it at home so it's not burning a hole in your pocket all night. Now, the 4f-mph is going to be illegal here soon so I guess that's good in some way, it's not like coke and should not be treated as such, but this was a backdoor to a budding Etizolam addiction due to its long duration of effects, coupled with my contstant panic attacks, stressful job, no friends out here, and general depression and loneliness. I went from 2mg a day constantly for about 2 months to between 8-12 a day the last couple days for emergency comedown mode. Like, literally, 4f-mph caused me more psychological damage in 2 uses than the several hundreds of grams of blow I've done. I still have like a .9 left of it and I'm not touching it until I can learn to control my redosing, or have a bunch of time off to recover. TL;DR Now, I can get by without the stimulants. (I guess) I just need to know if I can wean myself back to 2mg Etizolam a day for sleep. After taking 10-12mg two non-consecutive days in a row, have I completely fucked my tolerance or is it okay to go right back to 2mg seeing as my body hasn't been accustomed to 10-12mg. But even at that dosage, how would withdrawals be if it was suddenly scheduled and I couldn't get anymore? Would I be facing seizures at that dosage or just discomfort, anxiety and insomnia? I'm honestly thinking of just ordering a whole bunch just to make sure I have enough not to worry in case they try and sneak some more legislation through. I don't know anymore. I've got no life anyway. I work all night and I'm too tired during my days off to do anything meaningful besides some basic errands. For the first time, money isn't a bit issue for me, I'm just concerned. Does anyone have any ideas to help me sleep? Tried -melatonin (doesn't do shit) -liquor (makes it harder to sleep) -BHO dabs (lab quality, often 90%+ THC, indica) -nice indica weed (a few years ago, this was all I needed) I could see a doctor for sleeping pills but I'm afraid if I have to tell him this whole story he might be obligated to inform my workplace of the situation and I'm actually getting along reasonably well there and really can't afford to be unemployed. I don't know guys, I'm still trying to come down after work last night and I've been up almost 24 hours, with much etizolam taken but it didn't really matter, just took the edge off. I've got like 9 hours before I have to be awake and getting ready for work, and I just want to feel normal again. Loneliness kills, trust me. Especially for a person who has trouble making friends. I've got nobody out here and have struggled with depression for the majority of my life. Judging by the wall of text I just wrote, I'm probably still under the fucking effects of it. I'm pretty worried.
MATH/WIDGETS SHOULD BE FIXED NOW Hi all, have been trying out BitMEX lately, since I think Sam was on the Whale Club advertising a while back. So here is what I learned so far and my experience. Their main bread and butter at BitMEX is the XBT future contract. It is a quanto future, which may not seem important at first, but in reality is very important. Lets take a look, from their XBT Series page.
The XBT chain of futures contracts allows investors to speculate on the future price of the Bitcoin / USD (XBTUSD) exchange rate. These are classed as Speculative contracts and feature leverage of up to 100x.
Ok, seems normal enough. And then...
Traders wishing to profit from an increase in the XBTUSD exchange rate will buy XBT contracts. The difference between where a trader buys the futures contract and where the XBTUSD exchange rate is on settlement day, multiplied by 0.00001 XBT, is the trader’s profit.
ok, fine. So what's a quanto?
The XBT futures contracts are considered quanto futures contracts. That is because the multiplier is in XBT while the contract is quoted in USD. Traders who measure their Profit and Loss (PNL) in Bitcoin terms will receive a linear payout. Traders who measure their PNL in USD terms will receive a non-linear payout. USD Contract Value = Futures Price2 * 0.00001 XBT * Number of Contracts Because the price is squared the return resembles that of a parabola. For bullish traders, the upside is better and downside is not as bad when trading the XBT futures contracts.
Whoa, sounds pretty cool. Better upside, and not as bad downside. Where have you been all my life?! So I started spread-sheeting, and running some calculations of scenarios. I even made 2 graphing widgets on Wolfram Alpha to help calculate different scenarios. You can use them yourself here. EDIT: Combined into 1 universal Widget now, enter - value for leverage to short BitMEX XBT USD Profit/Loss Calculator Graph - Wolfram Alpha Widget EDIT EDIT: updated Widget now shows breakeven bounds on graph for $0 profit, useful for shorting BitMEX XBT USD Profit/Loss Calculator Graph - Wolfram Alpha Widget So once I started graphing, I realized things were actually much more in depth then they seemed with Quanto contracts and overall profits. I'll give a quick overview here. I ran several scenarios with both long and short XBT, calculate profits in % USD and graphed them. So, y-Axis is % USD profit, so 1=100% profit, 2=200% profit, 3=300% profit, -2 = -200% profit. This may be confusing since they should have been labeled "multiplier" to be more accurate, my spreadsheet had it converted to % so 1.05 = 105% actually, but the graph makes it confusing. See the charts for yourself here http://imgur.com/a/hYW7X Initial response: Looking at the long chart, wow, pretty cool! I can run with very low leverage at 1x my position, and with a gain in 50 150 points up (from 350 to 400500), I earned about 100% return! So I double my money with 150 point move (which is only 42.8% of my initial position), without using any leverage. Downside doesn't look as bad since the slope levels out going left, the BitMEX Series guide was telling the truth. Ok, now lets look at short position (this is where things get a little Twilight Zone-ish). Now, viewing the short graphed curves, this is much more interesting to me. Now, shorting here with the same leverage as before, 1x, will never ever return a profit. The blue curve never goes above 0, so at most you will break even with 0 price movement, and any price movement long or short you will also lose money. Welp, that doesn't look too appealing, why would anyone do that? Ok, lets raise the leverage. So now using double leverage (2x), if the price rises, I lose money, and if the price drops too much I lose money, however there now exists a zone between 175 and 350 (my entry) where there is a slight profit, maxing out at 260 expiry with a 50% ~20% maximum possible profit. Ok, lets look at higher leverage. Even using 800% leverage (8x), if the price rises I lose money, if the price drops too much I lose money. However, again, there is a zone between 50 and 350 (the strike) that is a profit zone, this time peaking at nearly 5.5 (550%) 3.5 (350%). So, shorting XBT on BitMEX seems to be quite the conundrum.
Using 1x leverage shorting you will never make money
Using 1x leverage long you can make exponential gain very quickly
Using higher leverages shorting, your profit is limited, and if the price goes up at all you lose money, and if the price goes down too low you also lose money. You do make profit in a capped zone in between your strike and some other point which seems arbitrary, but does have some sort of mathematical backing to it.
So it seems like a pretty bad deal to short XBT on BitMEX. Why would anyone do this? Well, people normally wouldn't, but if you look at the actual prices for the XBT25H/7D/Quarterly/Semi, the prices are always above current spot price. This is the reason why, since shorting is a pretty bad deal, sellers have to be enticed with very good Strike Prices so the prices are usually always higher than spot. So the premiums usually range from .004% (or much higher sometimes) on the 24H, to up to 30% on the semi-annual sometimes. However, another problem here, the liquidity is so low, you can't simply enter and exit most contracts beyond the daily. For example, right now, the spread on the semi-annual is basically 400 bid and 520 sell right now, so if you were to try to enter and exit today, you would have a 30% haircut just for playing because low liquidity. So, my overall opinion of BitMEX now after learning how their system really works? 1) seems needlessly complicated the concept of having a quanto future since people are really worried about USD profit and loss of their Bitcoin asset. The quanto future process obfuscates this quite a bit 2) low liquidity on most contracts except the daily 3) Good website, good programming interface, easy to use interface, good helpful staff 4) XBT long has very strong upside while minimizing loss, XBT short is like a liquor store scratcher, you may win $20 bucks here or there but probably not :) Actually, the short almost reminds me of an options play, a short straddle to be exact, only rounded and not linear. Love to hear feedback if my calculation were wrong or any other comments. Here is the formula used to calculate profits/loss. Formula should be fixed now
((1+((x-STRIKE)*(LEVERAGE/ STRIKE)))*x)/STRIKE -1 MULTIPLIER being negative means its short The result will give you for example 1.2 = 120% profit.
Edit: Math is off, gunna look at it later and fix it. Edit 2: Math fixed on graphs and widget. Edit 3: 1 single widget now works for long or short, simply enter negative leverage amount for a short
NYC Based gal looking to buy her sister a drink in Tally
Hey, So this is a little bit odd, but my little sister is a Junior at FSU and she was in the library last night and was held on the 5th floor for a couple hours while they secured everything. She is very upset, and as most students are, she's also broke. I wanted to buy her a bottle of vodka and have it delivered to her as a treat and to help her sleep. However, I realize Tally is not NYC and they don't have any booze delivery services. (To my knowledge, if they do please let me know!) If anyone is going to the liquor store today, can they help a girl out and get her a bottle and bring it to her? She lives near Brooklyn Water Bagels. I will pay for the bottle and your time, in whatever mode you'd like (even Bitcoin!). Please PM me and let me know. Thank you so much and stay strong, Noles. I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.
I went self employed a year ago, but I have another website (which doesn't do as well) that I can point people to. As long as they don't examine it too much they probably wouldn't notice the lack of activity.
I have no measures in place to prevent those, really. It's more policing them after-the-fact.
The only thing really in place is the ability to report a video, which then flags it for the review of an admin. If the video looks like it could be illegal, we take it offline until the studio can provide proof the video is legal.
According to the DMCA, content platforms cannot be held liable for the content posted by the user to a reasonable extent.
What I meant is I don't have moral concerns about the content of my site. A lot of it is pretty revolting, but it's not my job to judge or deny anyone for their fetish, as long as its within the bounds of the law.
I doubt it... accidental ad clicks, maybe. The thing about advertising is it works best when you sell it to people in your market. I would assume that not many people go, dicks-in-hand, to lemonparty. But if its one thing owning a site like mine has taught me, its to not make assumptions about what materials people look for while "firing the surgeon general".
Not too often, but there's some pretty harsh stuff on the site. I really try to look at it objectively. Some of the stuff makes me cringe and is hard to watch. Dudes getting kicked in the balls, for example.
I'm not really looking to profit off of this. I've read a bunch of awesome AMAs and figured I could contribute and answer some peoples curiosity. When I tell people in person they always have a hundred questions for me.
We do find our studios' clips on some of these sites. Sometimes a DMCA notice works, sometimes not. However, since the bulk of my customers are into financial domination, they prefer to pay for the clips. We also make a good amount of money from "tributes", which are simply cash donations. Not sure of the legality of tributes, but they're an industry staple.
Financial domination is a fetish where men, who are usually in powerful corporate positions, want to give up control. They're usually in charge, but this lets them not be. Sometimes it's via video chat, sometimes its just a video they purchase, but every time it has to do with being called names, told they're not good enough or just worthless "pay piggies". The girls will demand the men give them money, and they do. Usually there's not even any nudity unless its the man getting naked. I've seen some crazy shit with FinDom. Guys with broomsticks up their asses and womens clothes on... whatever the girl wants to do to humiliate the guy.
Sometimes they let the girls control their computer remotely with access to go through their email, send themselves money, etc, while they just watch with their dick in their hand.
It's odd and I don't understand it, but again, I'm not here to judge. I'm here to make money.
One studio I know demanded a man buy her a brand new BMW M3 convertible, and he did. He gave her $10k in cash per month until it was paid off. That's an $80k car.
A couple of dollars. Most girls sell clips around $10, and of that they get to keep apx $6 - $7. Our net income for the clips are around 25%-40%. We give better rates to the better performing studios, to keep them interested and using our platform.
Nice! Good luck with it. It's a challenging industry. Things that would take 20 minutes on a normal business can take days in the adult industry. (finding a payment processor, for example)
A redtube-style site would be quite a challenge, financially, I think. Policing it could also be pretty difficult.
The most expensive part, for me since I did all of my own design and programming, was getting VISA/MC approval for a high risk account. VISA has a $1000 annual fee and MC has a $500 annual fee, at least through my payment processor. Fees are also ass-rapingly high.
You can make use of Amazon Web Services to lower costs substantially.
If I calculated it in hours spent on it myself, looking at around 3 months, so we'll say 500 hours. I charge $65/h if I ever take on freelance clients, so looking at about $32000 for someone at my rate. I'm expensive because of my extensive experience, so you can probably get it done for less.
751 studios 19,138 videos Apx 5000 visits per day - A good number of which are sent directly from the studios to purchase on the site or send a tribute.
The site itself runs on a single server, a VM actually. It runs PHP with CodeIgniter for the framework and MySQL as the database. I make extensive use of CodeIgniter's caching abilities. Once the video is safely on S3, the studios can complete the meta data, pricing, and choose when the video goes live. All the video previews and gifs are uploaded to S3 and served through AWS Cloudfront CDN.
Thanks! I'm the same way. I couldn't see myself becoming wealthy as an employee, even though my last paying job as a developer was $135k salaried. I have an FTP server setup where the usernames and passwords are powered by MySQL. Each studio gets their own FTP login. I have a cronjob that will run every few minutes and pick up files that are finished uploading and send them to Amazon S3 after gathering some basic meta information.
I have myself, a consultant (she gets a profit split), and an assistant. Other than that, everything is fully automated. I didn't want to have to spend all my time on the site, so everything but customer support is automated -- all the accounting is done through Xero's API and I even have a porn-specific accountant/CPA.
My math may be off -- It's hard to spitball an average price. Some days I don't even look at the numbers. Clips alone can sell between $200 - $600 a day. Tributes sometimes into the multiple thousands in a day.
I know a few of them personally, but have only met one of them -- the girl who convinced me to build the site. She sleeps in my bed when she's in town, but I don't make any moves. Not sure how I would react if she did.
It may be worth noting at this point that personally, I'm into good girls. Risque women or "bad girls" don't do it for me, generally speaking.
Again, it goes back to money generating assets. Getting money for doing nothing is exactly what you should be aiming for if you want to make lots of money. I can't see myself becoming wealthy while working for someone else.
Although it's fairly common industry practice, I don't participate in it. It's odd, but I try to run my business as professionally as possible. No ads, no link exchanges, no share buttons, no privacy violations. Also, I treat my studios with respect as any normal business would to any partner of theirs. It's surprisingly easy to stand out in the porn business when you abide by those rules.
Spanking, anything that says "forced" or "rape", even if its clearly labeled as theatrical. Obviously nothing illegal... and no "hypnosis". Those are restrictions VISA/MC places on me. I've considered taking bitcoin on the new platform, but now I'm going to wait and see how this senate hearing thing plays out.
I've been building websites for fortune 500 companies for 15 years now. Several years ago I reconnected with a girl I knew from IRC who did "financial domination" clips and cam shows. A few years ago (3 or so) she began suggesting I build a clip site. After a few months of this, and running numbers on what potential profits could be, I decided to do it.
I had to bang keys for 12 years to teach myself how to program. From there it's just about having enough fortitude to start a business, and even moreso with an adult business. There's a certain stigma involved. Most people know me as "the guy with the porn site".
I wouldn't want to do other types. The buy content/sell subscriptions never really worked for me as a customer, and the redtube style sites don't work for me numbers-wise. I'm very anti-advertising, so I wouldn't want to rely on that as a source of revenue. My consultant has tried to get me to create a thumb-gallery style site, but I'm not fond of the idea.
We are working on a new platform, though, which will require customer accounts and lets them stream the videos they unlock through HTML5 video. We've also reorganized the new platform into fetish verticals so we can try to capitalize on that. Our current discovery process admittedly sucks. There's a lot of videos on our site that are in the dark.
I don't see them as a threat. Some of the studios do, though. I've been told my new platform shouldn't have the video previews I'm planning (20 seconds of footage), as guys "jack off to the previews". I think it's better for the customer, though.
You wouldn't need an intro, per se, it just helps. You could take out advertising on popular sites in your micro-industry and get some studios coming in. You could also tweet the studios directly, as they watch their twitter pretty well (it's how a lot of them communicate with their "pay-piggies").
Just myself and my consultant (she also runs a studio). I have another "employee" who is helping me on another endeavor with the same parent company, currently uncompensated, whom I referred to as my assistant in another answer similar to this. Don't tell her that, though. She's much more helpful than an assistant.
Probably not. That would require massive traffic which is both expensive to attain and expensive to pay for the bandwidth. My customers come to the site looking to spend money, and they don't get any big video files until they've paid for them. Additionally, splitting revenue with the studios would be considerably more difficult.
I'm in my late 20s. I don't see myself doing this for the rest of my life, but this is a means to free up my time. My time is invaluable to me since I can spend it building businesses outside the adult arena.
It matters very much to me. I'm not a genius and I'm not a wonder child. I started below middle class. I've had to work 4x harder than a lot of the talented people in my industry. The important thing is that I understand this and I'm willing to put the work in.
"What I lack in talent, I make up for with raw tenacity." - Henry Rollins.
If I were making millions, I'd be a little less "embarrassed". It's not so much embarrassing, I just understand that in current society it's frowned upon. For example, if I were looking for a job, some companies may not hire me because of my site. Some girls wouldn't date me because of it. It really depends on the person I tell.
I've gone back and forth on whether or not to finish the new platform, but its so cool from a technological standpoint. Plus, I'm sitting on 20,000 clips with full permission to sell -- how could I not make a better site and give it a real go?
For humor content, sometimes yes. Nothing like a gorgeous girl backing her ass up to the camera and ripping the LOUDEST, JUICIEST fart you can imagine. I have pulled stomach muscles laughing at some of the clips.
Other than that, the content doesn't really interest me.
I wasn't aware of it. I don't really have an opinion? I think as with all things, moderation is key. A lot of people are addicted to alcohol, but nobody is shaming liquor stores. At the end of the day, nobody is responsible for you but yourself. Might be a Libertarian thing, though.
My site sells clips. You buy a clip for a price, you download it and its yours to view over and over. We have a profit sharing split with the studios who produced the clip. We're essentially a video sales platform.
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