When it comes to beauty scoring, I’m a solid 6

I came across an article today about a site which analyses a photo of you and tells you how pretty you are out of one hundred. The site has recently come under fire because not only does it score you out of one hundred, but it also lists every single imperfection you have, so you can see exactly why it thinks you’re fugly (or not, if you’re lucky enough to be that person). Apparently it’s bad for peoples’ self esteem and self confidence.

Naturally I was intrigued and having had self image issues for as long as I’ve lived, I was pretty hardened to anything it could throw at me. I’ve been likened to Spock (cos of my right elf ear), Harry Potter (from when I had short hair and glasses), my dad once said I looked like E.T in skinny fit jeans (I can always rely on you to tell it how it is Dad) and my boyfriend describes me as “over the hill”. So it’s all good. Hit me with everything you’ve got PrettyScale.com.

So here’s my results. Woohoo, 60%, so not a total write off. It also specifically says I’m “good looking” – but I’m unsure if it actually means “goodlooking” or if they’re using “good” synonymously with “okay”. Like I’m “okay” looking, nothing to write home to your mother about when you meet me. The postcard home would say something along the lines of:

Mum,

Travelling the world is really great, I’m having such a whale of a time. Met this sweet girl called Kate, she’s not much to look at but she’s got a heart of gold and good sized birthing hips.

Hope to see you and Dad soon,

Love From Your Son

I can deal with that, it’s all good. But what kind of made me feel a bit taken aback and slightly hurt (by a goddamn computer algorithm, not even a human being) was the list of imperfections that came with my score. They couldn’t just give people a score and be done with it, leaving people to wonder what they lost points on, could they?

So let’s tackle my imperfections:

  • Face too long – I mean, I’ve never exactly been called “horsey” but I guess now they mention it, my face is kind of long… I’d never noticed that before;
  • Forehead too big – again, this is something I’ve never thought because I’ve mostly always had a fringe/bangs so my forehead was always covered. I even uploaded a different picture and did it again because I thought maybe the angle knocked it off, but no. Apparently my forehead is too big. Like you could park a car on it;
  • Big inter-ocular distance I had to Google this because it’s a big word, although I had an idea that it was something to do with my eyes. Basically, my eyes are too far apart. Which is weird because I actually always thought that they were too close;
  • Wide Nose – yeah, I have to hand it to ya PrettyScale, my nose is the one part of me that I can’t stand. It’s faaaar too big. But great for holding spoons;
  • Bad Face Symmetry – so wonky face syndrome. This isn’t something I had noticed before, but then again, when you look at someone else’s face in a mirror it always looks wonky. So this one kinda hurt my feelings a bit.

On the plus side, I have a “normal mouth size” and “normal chin size”. They evidently don’t do compliments because it doesn’t say anywhere anything like “your little chin is adorable”.

60% is kind of neither here nor there, nothing to shout about but also nothing to cry solidly into my pillow at night about.

My boyfriend will be happy to know this score because he always said I was a “solid 6/10”.

Update:

I’ve decided this site is bullshit. I uploaded a different photo and got this result:

Here are the two photos I uploaded.

How social media and online friendship can aid mental health and positivity

I’ve been hearing a lot lately about the rough times that lots of people around me are having, myself included. This month seems to have been a particularly crappy month for everyone in general. It’s easy to forget that most people wear their “mask of happy” (please don’t buy yours from the Happy Mask Salesman from The Legend of Zelda – he’s a bit of a con merchant) on a regular basis, purely to hide the perfectly normal and understandable emotions that we all have to deal with as part of everyday life. These feelings, until very recently have been a bit of a societal taboo and are often not widely acceptable topics of discussion. They should be. We all have shit days. We all feel down from time to time. Even people who already own a Nintendo Switch and Breath of the Wild (I promise I’m not jealous).

Mental health has started to become more acceptable in modern day life, as social media makes it easier for us to Tweet, “I need a hug, having a rubbish day”. Thankfully, because social media makes it so easy for us to reach out, it also means that the people watching on the other end of their screens can keep our chins up and make us feel better. I have lots of online friends who rather frequently find themselves sending me virtual hugs because I’m down. I do the same for them.

I find I’m genuinely surprised at the amount of people who come across as happy-go-lucky and upbeat, only to discover that it’s a facade because they’re having lots of life issues and are trying their best to maintain an appearance of Teflon – that everything bounces off them. It kind of makes me sad because those people are my friends and they’re so lovely and I hate that the world can make them sad and I can’t physically be there to give them a hug or take them for ice cream and make them feel better. But from a personal perspective, I do find that social media helps when I’m down.

This month has been a particularly difficult one for me. My boyfriend’s dad is in ill health, my immediate family are going through some tough times and we had my beloved cat at the emergency vets last weekend, to the tune of £400 in vet’s fees. He was in such distress that we couldn’t sleep for days.

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been getting by on roughly three hours sleep a night, hardly eating because my appetite is close to non-existent and to top it all off we are now totally skint until payday. To say I am almost defeated is a bit of an understatement. It’s times like this that I feel as though it is never going to get better and I will be on rock bottom forever.

The reality is that it is normal for me to get the entire year’s worth of bad luck all at the same time and then be spiffy for the rest of the year. Whilst this sounds ideal, it’s pretty rough when the bad times arrive.

I once read a series of books by Phillipa Gregory based on the Plantagenets. In the series, one of the characters is alleged to be a sorceress and talks about the “Wheel of Fortune”. She claims that everyone rides the Wheel of Fortune and eventually we all get to the bottom and have a run of bad luck, but eventually, at some point, we will ride it back around to the top. I live by this because it is entirely accurate in my life. We seem to be riding the wheel at the bottom pretty hard this month. It keeps me going to think that it’s not forever and will all go back to normal soon, but I’m still battling through each day and so I appreciate the messages I get from my friends, or the video calls I get where my friends are telling me jokes or singing at me, or the stupid games of golf that have me howling laughing so quickly.

You’ve probably been in the same position, where hope seems lost. Always remember that you should never judge a person’s story when you’ve only read one chapter and that despite the fact that people might be wearing their mask of happy, doesn’t mean that you can’t still be there for them and make them feel as though they can show their real emotions in front of you and you won’t run away, you’ll be supportive and try and cheer them up and pick them up as much as you can.

Let’s start spreading that love and making sure all our friends, online, in real life or otherwise, know that we have their backs and they can lean on us. Mental health matters as much as physical health and can be the cause of a lot of physical ailments so let’s get spreading that love!

Amazingly Gross (and totally real) Ice Cream Flavours from Around the World

So whilst trawling through Twitter in my free time I came across this Tweet. And yes, it was “gag-inducing”:

I’m all for trying new things but this just flat out looks vile. And I kid you not, it’s real, no joke. It actually inspired me (after I’d stopped feeling sick) to peruse the net and see if weird ice cream flavours are actually a thing. Turns out – they are.

I compiled a few of my favourites and most disgusting flavoured ice creams below. I actually rather like ninety percent of all the foods listed, just not in ice cream format. Because that’s gross. Here we go.

#10. Cheetos

I haven’t had many dealing with Cheetos since they’re about as rare as rocking horse shit in the UK but I have tasted them before and I quite liked them. They aren’t Brannigans Ham and Mustard crisps, but they’re nice. What I don’t want however is Cheetos in ice cream format. Yuk. The brave people at Insider gave it a go though. I think it looks suspiciously just like Mr Whippy ice cream with Cheetos powder sprinkled on top.

#9. Vegetable Ice Cream Salad

Image result for vegetable ice cream salad

I’m really not a salad person. You can probably guess that. I prefer pizzas. Again, what I really don’t need in my life when I’m sticking at being unhealthy is an unhealthy form of salad. Kind of defeats the purpose doesn’t it? The people at Foodmento.com don’t think so. You can grab the recipe for making their vegetable ice cream salad on their website and try it for yourself.

#8. Hawaiian Pizza

Introducing the Hawaiian Pizza Ice Cream Sandwich, Complete With Hunks of Real Spam

I don’t believe pineapple has any place on a pizza. I know lots of people would disagree with me on this one. It’s a Marmite scenario, I know this. Ham is perfectly acceptable but a curse on the house of whomever thought to add pineapple to the equation. And then a double curse to the person who took it one step too far and decided that pineapple on a pizza wasn’t enough – pineapple flavoured ice cream with chunks of spam in it, in the form of an ice cream sandwich was the way forward. You sick, sick individual.

#7. Curry and Mint

Both great flavours which I enjoy on a regular basis. Mint ice cream is also the bomb. However, I like my curries to be hot not iced. And also without mint preferably.

#6. Bacon

I’ve tried bacon flavoured chocolate in the past. It’s fucking gross. I won’t venture into the world of bacon ice cream, lest I vomit profusely.

#5. Corn on the Cob

Again, soooooo lovely to have either in summer or winter (BBQ food or nice winter warmer) – so juicy and hearty. I love corn on the cob. Corn on the cob ice cream? I mean, corn on the cob is meant to be eaten hot. Why on earth would anyone be eating this?

#4. Lobster

I’ve actually never had lobster, although I’m told it’s divine. I’m not a great lover of seafood, which is strange since I live on the beach. I genuinely feel like lobster flavoured ice cream however is a definite way to barfville. Seafood should not be an ice cream flavour for the love of God.

#3. Mayo

From the picture posted right at the start I think it’s clear why this is just gross. I love mayo and I have it with nearly everything. Just not usually my desserts.

#2. Goats’ Cheese

Goats’ cheese is one of my all time favourite cheeses. I love it so much that if someone said to me, “you have to choose one or the other – wine or goats’ cheese”, I’d be as sober as a judge from that day forward. If they asked me the same question but with goats’ cheese ice cream and wine, I’d be getting plastered every single day of my life (like usual then), wallowing in the depths of despair that if I wanted my beloved goats’ cheese I had to have it in ice cream format.

#1. Raw Horse Flesh

Image result for raw horse flesh ice creamAnyone who knows me will know that I am a hardcore animal lover. I can’t see any creature in distress and frequently save the bees at work that trapped indoors. So the idea of raw horse flesh in any shape or form makes me feel nauseous. The fact that it’s supposed to be a fun flavour makes me feel even worse. I wish this were a joke but sadly, it isn’t. This is one of several weird and wacky ice cream flavours you can get at an indoor amusement park in Tokyo.

Thunder Storms and Hearing Electricity

There’s a storm right now.  Not the exciting storm that the news played up we’d have, with crashes of thunder and lightning, just a low rumble and a couple of flashes.  But it’s still a welcome sound after how hot it’s been lately.  Clears the air doesn’t it?

I had a feeling there was going to be a storm.  My ears started ringing.  They always do right before a storm.  You know, kind of like a dog whistle?  My boyfriend thought I was going crazy when I used to say to him, “you’ve left the TV on standby, I can hear it”.  He would say, “you can’t possibly hear it, there’s no sound coming out of it”.  But I could, I swore down every time.

I just said to my work colleague, “I think there’s going to be a storm, my ears are ringing” and she looked at me like I was nuts.  I tried to explain that I could hear electricity – it’s the only way I can describe it, because of course I’m not actually hearing the electricity, but I Googled it to prove my point and some people can hear the frequency waves of the electricity – that’s what the high pitched dog whistle sound in my ears in.  Apparently I have a very high frequency shut off.  Yippee for me.  Since that means that you only have to leave a socket on in my house and it drives me insane to the point I can’t sleep.  It’s like constant tinnitus.

I apparently have the world’s shittest superpower.

 

Coffee and Thoughts – July 26th

Well, I’m back fully online after half a week of living in a Fireworks tent. Literally, sleeping, eating, and just being there 24/7, minus running home to shower every night. It was painful. But, several bruised knees and sore muscles later, everything is packed up and I am DONE!

So, for the first time this week, I’ve been able to wake up in a comfortable bed, and spend the morning drinking coffee and relaxing and catching up with my online community. It has been fantastic. It’s funny how much more you appreciate things when you haven’t had them in a while. I mean, Starbucks coffee is great (and by great I mean tastes like super burnt gross shit, but it’s convenient so I drink it) but I am SO glad to be back to mugs of my “brewed at home with my favorite coffee creamer” coffee.

(Delayed warning: There’s not too much of a point to this post, so I apologize if it gets a bit rambly)

I’ve hit a patch in my streaming ‘career’ where I’ve just been a bit dissatisfied with my stream. I’m not sure what exactly, but something’s been bugging me about it. Maybe it’s because I’ve had a lot of negative personal issues going on that have brought me down into a bit of a depressed state and that just leaked into my streaming, but regardless, I’ve been a bit frustrated.

So I put some feelers out asking for feedback from the communities I’m in as well as in my Discord, because I didn’t want to just sit there and feel bad about things. I wanted to actually see what I could improve on. The feedback I received was wonderful. My regular viewers that have kept coming back told me that they stay and watch for my personality and because I’m real. And I appreciated hearing that so much. When I started streaming, I didn’t have a huge understanding of what Twitch was, so one friend that I’d talked about streaming with told me that to get “big” on Twitch you had to be a (and I quote) “Titty Streamer”.

I did NOT want to be that. So I went into this doubting that I would actually be successful. And yet, I’m now affiliated, just hit 200 followers, and I’m proud of what I’ve done. So hearing from my viewers that they love my channel for who I am was the best feedback I could possibly ask for.

I always try to be real. It’s taken me an extremely long time to come to terms with my personality and not feel like I have to adjust and change for people I meet. I did that for a very long time and kept a lot of things bottled up and it had a very negative effect on me, to say the least. Now, I can say that my personality and who I am is genuine. I’m a dork, I’m obsessed with Star Wars, I game, I quote movies and tv shows incessantly, and I enjoy it all.

I feel like a lot of people on Twitch resort to being overly sexual in their speech or comments, or they drink/get drunk on every single stream and that’s kind of part of who they are as a streamer. And I’m not sure why, but it tends to bother me, and eventually I just get tired of watching the same thing. It’s the people that are real, without trying to overcompensate in some way that I appreciate and I will continue watching. And I try to be one of those people too. I dunno, where I’m going with this. I think this has been something that’s been on my mind so I guess I’m getting it out here.

I’ve worked hard for my channel. I’ve met amazing people like Kate and Purple as well as some awesome communities like Prepare for the Mediocre and Asylum. All of these people have become like family to me, and my day isn’t complete unless I’ve had some sort of contact with them.

This is the one thing I didn’t expect from Twitch. I didn’t envision myself making friends with people and finding a family that spreads across the world. But I did. And now I’m . not sure what I’d do without them.

Anyway, I really feel like I’m being very scattered in my thoughts right now, so I’m gonna call it a day. But I will see you all here later, with hopefully something a bit more organized 😉 Love you all!

 

Introductions

Andrew Alita was only twelve years old when his life broke into pieces. He was a sick kid who didnt have a whole lot of friends. Countless times in his life he spent months on end it hospital beds around the Northeastern Ohio region. If it wasn’t pneumonia, it was a broken bone, or some virus sweeping the area.

For most other kids it would have made school difficult, but it was never a problem for Andrew. He never got held back a grade, even with his large absence rate. But, thus particular day was in July. It wasn’t hospital bad today, but when he couldn’t go with his family to eat that night. It was just more video game time in Andrew’s mind.

One it got dark, he started to worry why no one was home yet. He made his way to the landline in the kitchen and tried his father’s cellphone. There was no answer, and he found the same with his mother’s. He tried to dismiss the thought and go back to his game, but something deep down kept grasping at his attention. That’s when the cop cars and an ambulance went down the road that the Alita family lived on.

Andrew’s heart held on to slender hope that it had nothing to do with him, but even at 12, he knew this not to be the case. He took off out of his front door, and ran barefoot down the road after the police. He didn’t have to go very far. The scene opened slowly infront of him.

The mass of metal resembled a globe more than a car. It had apparently lost traction on the slick tar road, and spin until it met a tree with the front bumper. That in itself wouldn’t have been fatal, but something had ignited the gasoline in the tank. Andrew was later told that his family had died instantly, as if it was suppose to bring the child some solice. It never did.

The smell hit him before anything else, and caused him to lose what little he was able to keep down. He darted around police and EMT’s until he was inside the yellow tape. Gravity thickened around him as he approached the wreckage, and brought him to his knees. Andrew’s mind started processing the information with all possible power it possessed. It doused his hearing, took away his touch, and focused it all on the image infront of him. He looked down to his hands which were gripping his father’s bule Nokia phone.

That’s the day something inside of him broke. An evil born deep in his being that would crumble the little patchwork on sanity he would cling on to. An EMT put a hand on the child’s shoulder and attempted to move his away from the gruesome scene of gore and metal scrap. Andrew let out a guttural scream that could only be described later as animalistic. He thrashed at the man before returning to the scene. When adults finally got him to look away, they noticed his pupils had completely eclipsed his eyes. Seconds later he feel unconcious.

My name is Gareth James. I’m 24 years old, and I work on a golf course in North Eastern Florida. I’ve always had a large passion for writing, and I have finally come to a point where I can hold something I wrote in my hands. I’m hoping that introducing you guys to some back story of the characters in my book will bring you incite into the essence of the story. And hopefully make you guys want to share this adventures of Andrew Alita with me. I have to thank Kate for inviting me to write on the blog, and share this with all of you. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy.

Poor Man’s Pam

Hey everyone!

I just wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself since I’m another new writer here. When I saw that Kate was asking for collaborators and Pam had already agreed to participate, I knew I had to get involved. I have so much love and respect for these two women and anything they’ve put their stamp of approval on is going to be fantastic!

I first met Kate through a friend’s Twitch stream, and her name instantly made me giggle. My first exposure to the cait sith myth was (surprisingly) NOT from Final Fantasy, but from the novels in The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa. One of the characters was a snarky and sarcastic cait sith named Grimalkin, by far my favorite in all the books. Although I know the characters in the Final Fantasy franchise as well, my brain will always first remember Grim whenever I see Kate’s name.

So the main point of this blog post… who the heck is this random girl writing on Kate’s blog?

Well. My name is Katrina, but most people know me as PurpleTurtleGames (call me Purple for short).

I am a small-time Twitch streamer and stay-at-home wife. I used to be an engineer, but recently my anxiety has been too severe to continue in that profession, and I have been unemployed for about a year. We don’t have any kids, but we do have 2 adorable fur babies that I will probably talk about a lot.

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The things I’m passionate about in general are video games, books, and board games. I’m relatively new to the world of video games, but streaming and spending time with other gamers has been one of the best experiences of my life. Since I never played them much growing up, I have a lot of really good games and franchises I get to catch up on now, and I am having a blast getting to experience all of them for the first time.

I am also a voracious reader. I read primarily young adult fantasy and science fiction novels, and my TBR pile is about as long as my arm! I have too many favorite authors to choose just one, but some of them include Julie Kagawa, Alexandra Bracken, Richelle Mead, and Gena Showalter. If you ever need a suggestion for a new YA book to read, I can definitely steer you in the right direction.

My husband and I also thoroughly enjoy playing board games, and we have quite a collection at this point. We play a variety of them, including deck-building, RPG, party games, and card games. It’s something we both enjoy and something we’ve been able to bond over as well.

 

I haven’t decided yet what topics I’ll be covering on this blog… I’m sure it will be a range of my interests and some random thoughts/opinions. I look forward to the future of this blog and collaborating with these fantastic women.

Thank you for taking the time to read all this. Much love ❤

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