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DarK_RaideR

[DarK_RaideR #36] Balance is rarely a static case

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Case in point:

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If you know me, I'm kind of a pro wrestling fan. I sincerely believe there are many life lessons to be taught there and pretty much everything can be explained through wrestling terms or a wrestling analogy. So what does that crazy .gif above have to do with the challenge, you might ask. Well, look at the challenge title again. I mean, it's like riding a bicycle: you gotta keep moving to stay upright. Likewise, life is a dynamic, ongoing thing and I can't expect to freeze-frame everything to sort it out. Even if I did, everything would collapse as soon as I unpaused things again. Gotta roll with the punches and that's what this challenge is all about. My challenge consistency hasn’t exactly been ideal as of late and I can attribute that to a mix of a heavy workload and lack of a certain drive or direction. While I do not have any spectacular goals to pursue, I also need to stay active on these boards and make sure I don’t slide down the hill. This is what I’m looking at for the duration of this challenge round:

 

  • I’ve taken up the bulk of a project at work that’s about turning an EU directive into national law, with a 3 month deadline for the first phase (roughly end of summer) and an 8 month total for the entire project. The subject at hand is pretty technical (regulating telecommunications) and the directive itself is not that easy to work with, as it is mostly an abstract regulatory framework with a lot of wishful thinking in, essentially letting each member state to hammer out the specifics and sort out how exactly it will achieve the directive’s goals. Plus, as it's replacing an existing law, I gotta make sure there's no regulatory gap as well as that anything transplanted here from older legislature makes sense and doesn't conflict everything else.
  • I’ve also had my hands full for the last 1,5-2 years working on a revision of my professor’s textbook, updated with all the legislation, court rulings and scientific articles. With various other cases coming up, all this time it has of course fallen a bit behind. Also, the original 'division of labour' has been de facto cancelled, as my fellow worker has had her hands busy with keeping the entire office together and running on a day to day basis. On top of that, my professor recently scored some funding for the entire thing (meaning at least I’m getting paid specifically to do this thing) but the deadline is end of June. So bottom line is, on top of the EU directive thing, I gotta wrap up the book plus pick up the extra slack my colleague was supposed to work on. Fun times!
  • Challenge kicks off right after a Sunday of EU, prefectural and mayoral elections (May 26th). I am one of the many legal professionals appointed by the judicial authorities to oversee the procedure in one of the election centers, a school located some 20km from my hometown, which means I’m taking the ferry south on the 23rd of May. This is the first time I’m doing this whole thing, but fortunately I’m getting compensated and the voyage is free for me and my car. The top 2 candidates for mayor and prefectural overlord move on to round two the following Sunday (June 2nd) so I booked my return on the afternoon of the 3rd. However, since my election center is split in two, with me running the EU and prefectural polls while someone else will run the other half that is the mayor and city council election polls, there’s a good chance if the prefectural overlord gets over 50% of the votes like he did in 2015 and gets elected from the first Sunday, I’ll be able to swap my tickets to return earlier than originally planned, hopefully sometime in the middle of the first challenge week.
  • While around my hometown, I got some people to see and some contracts to look up at a nearby land registry for a pending case. I also had an appeal trial scheduled for the 5th, but courts will be closed due to the election so that’s gonna be moved to whenever.
  • Got my tickets to see Iggy Pop and James on Saturday, June 8th. Also seeing Alice in Chains, Fu Manchu and 1.000Mods on Monday, June 24th. Take that, @Endor! (kidding, love ya mate)
  • Monday the 17th of June is a holiday (50 days since Easter, Pentecost, whatever, I don’t religion) and I was hoping I’d manage to plan something good for that long weekend, but the SRLF’s cruel taskmasters have everyone working that day because if you don’t treat all your employees like slaves do you even run a call center company, bruh?

 

Like I said, I don’t have a main quest or any lofty goals to pursue. I’m fine with my weight. I eat more or less healthy. I am as active as I can be, trying to keep up the Muay Thai training sessions. I’m still seeing a therapist on a weekly basis and it helps. I’m not trying to get somewhere, I’m trying to maintain what I’ve got in the face of adversity. And this is how I plan to do it.

 

Work hard: Spend a minimum of 8 hours on working days advancing the directive/legislation project and book revision, distraction free. Anything beyond that or on weekends is a welcome bonus, but not a challenge goal minimum prerequisite.

Play hard: Make time for entertainment and relaxation every day so I don’t burn out. Sleep, time with friends, videogames, a movie or wrestling show, a live gig, a motorbike ride, a swim in the sea, whatever it takes to recharge my batteries.

Maintenance: Don’t eat or drink like an idiot. Don’t give up on workouts and exercise, Muay Thai or otherwise. I expect this to be extra challenging during my elections trip to my hometown.

 

Progress to be tracked on this here spreadsheet. Haven't done one in a while, but they help me with tracking and give me a nice overview at the end of the challenge to evaluate my performance. Also, this should prevent me from logging on to just make a boring post with just vague generic info about a day's results. Posts will likely be sporadic and inconsistent, but hopefully a tad more meaningful. Equally sporadic but still around will be my NGW pro wrestling narrative.

 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Spoiler

Q: What is all this about?

A: This is a narrative meant purely for fun, mine and those interested to follow along. Don’t worry, you don’t have to understand or keep up and I won’t mind if you don’t. It is based off my notes playing Total Extreme Wrestling 2016, using the CornelVerse97 database and doing the Road to Glory challenge (bolded parts explained below). Can't promise I'll update every day because that has added a lot of unnecessary pressure on me in the past, leading in turn to me giving up the project, but please do hold me accountable if a day or two pass (weekends excluded) and I don't post a narrative.

 

Q: What is Total Extreme Wrestling 2016?

A: Total Extreme Wrestling 2016 (or TEW16, for short) is the latest installment in a long series of video games that began in 1995. It is a text-based manager style game that puts the player at the helm of a professional wrestling promotion to book shows, hire/fire workers and so on.

 

Q: What’s the CornellVerse97 database?

A: Due to licensing issues, the game does not use real world people, companies etc (although its highly moddable nature means the community has come up with a bunch of real world and other databases). The game’s default world/database is called the CornellVerse (or CVerse), in honor of its most famous wrestler, Tommy Cornell. One of the things that’s made the game so special is how it managed to be successful while being totally based on a fictional setting instead of the world we know and with every new version of the game, the world expands and evolves. The default database of TEW16 is the “official” CVerse as it stands on 1/1/2016. CornellVerse97 (a.k.a. CVerse97) is a community mod that takes everything back to 1/1/1997. This means I have the distinct advantage of knowing ahead of time, based on my knowledge of the default 2016 database, that certain people are good or bad and sign/avoid them ahead of time. On the flipside, they all debut before their prime with abilities much worse than their 2016 counterparts. Furthermore, the game assigns each worker a secret “destiny roll” that determines the maximum skill and popularity levels they will ever be able to achieve as well as how fast they’ll get there, so I still have a chance of promising workers flopping due to a bad destiny roll or underdogs developing into stars due to a good one. That is not the only factor that can alter how workers turn out as opposed to their default 2016 version that I know. Besides death, career ending injury and all the wear and tear, there are also changing relationships, changes to behavior and personality following certain random incidents as well as changes to a worker's "lifestyle" settings (soft or hard drug use, alcohol or painkiller abuse etc).

 

Q: What is the Road to Glory challenge?

A: A community-inspired way to challenge one’s self, the Road to Glory challenge is about playing an 18 year old user character with terrible starting attributes but unlimited potential and developing them into a megastar that will headline a major company’s show to get a great rating. The challenge rules impose certain limitations on the way things can be run but also reward the player with a randomly rolled bonus at the end of each year.

 

Q: So what have I missed so far?

A: My user character, called John Silver, started a promotion in South Eastern Europe called NextGen Wrestling (NGW) with an AI-controlled wrestler named Leon Harrison as his boss and just $1.000 in the bank. The promotion survived the initial hardships and grew its fanbase, rising to “Small” size in early 2002, “Regional” size by the end of 2004 and “Cult” size in 2012. It also launched a training facility and a child promotion named European Wrestling Alliance (EWA) for its young talent to gain experience and exposure there. Meanwhile, grander attempts by the AI to run a major promotion in Europe led those to bankruptcy, leaving NGW to dominate the pro wrestling landscape in the continent.

 

Q: So how is that Road to Glory challenge coming along?

A: I’ll admit I’ve grown attached to NGW, especially since I began writing stuff out on NerdFitness, so I decided to stick with it instead of making the jump to bigger companies and fast-track my character’s career. I’ve also been fair, doing what’s best for business and promoting talent over my user character if they were better and more deserving. That said, I think my Road to Glory challenge has evolved into another community inspired one, the pretty self explanatory “Local to Global”. With NGW at Cult size, I still need to expand across the continent (National size), then beyond (International size) and take over the world (Global size) so there’s plenty of mileage left, to the point where I think my user character will age and decline before he can become a full blown star.

 

The company

NextGen Wrestling began in early 1997 when John Silver and Leon Harrison saw an opportunity in the market for professional wrestling in Europe. With Harrison moving away from his hometown of Brighton, England and chipping in half of the starting $1.000, he was made owner of the promotion with Silver as head of creative. NGW prided itself on promoting athletic, modern wrestling by young upstart workers like its founders and to this day it does just that, although understandably enough its growth and history means some older veterans are also around. NGW is one of the few companies around the world to have promoted intergender matches, before a restructuring led to the creation of a split division for female athletes, as well as the Heavyweight and Cruiserweight weight classes for male competitors. In October of 2011, NGW set up its very own pro wrestling school or dojo and exactly a year after, invested in creating European Wrestling Alliance (EWA) as its child promotion. NGW also has been cooperating with Ring of Fire in Birmingham, UK to trade young talent and even hosts an annual cross-promotion show every March named “Ultimate Challenge”.

 

 

The stars

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Marat Khoklov

Age: 37 (9 years pro), Nationality: Russian, Style: Brawler, Size: Ripped Giant, Affiliation: Czars

The giant Russian Marat Khoklov is a menacing former body builder, whose freakish strength and great look make him an awesome competitor to behold.  Before he had even wrestled a match people were hailing him as a future star and his tenure with NGW made him just that. As menacing as they come and possessing some considerable skill, including his vicious Moscow Lariat and Russian Legend Powerbomb, Khoklov has been a dominant force in the company and three time holder of its top title. He is also the founder and leader of the Czars, a group of Eastern European wrestlers. During the company's latest show, "Starmageddon", Marat defeated 19 other men to win the King of the Ring tournament, which guarantees him a title match in the main event of  NGW's biggest show of the year, "End of the World" in December.

 
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“The Gothic Grappler” Fusae Etsuko

Age: 35 (14 years pro), Nationality: Japanese, Style: All-rounder, Size: Toned Small, Affiliation: None

5'6, 149lbs Fusae Etsuko rose to fame as part of the all-female BHOTWG:W roster in Japan before the promotion was bought out by the original Burning Hammer of the Wrestling Gods. Out of employment opportunities as women’s promotions went out of business in Japan one after another, Etsuko looked abroad and NGW capitalized on her popularity by signing her up to be "The Gothic Grappler", a character who enjoys using her submission skills to spread misery and pain although she has admittedly rounded up her skillset ever since. Etsuko has been undefeated since her debut in March 2011, capturing NGW's big title and then vacating it after intergender matches were stopped, only to immediately regain gold in the form of the brand new NGW Women’s title until an injury in early 2013 forced her to vacate the title. Ever since her return, she has been looking to reclaim gold and defend her streak against current champion, Geena the Warrior Princess. She finally managed to do so in the main event of NGW's "Hard Times" show in May but following Starmageddon's results, she and Geena are set to clash one more time for the title.

 

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Geena the Warrior Princess

Age: 35 (14 years pro), Nationality: American, Style: Entertainer, Size: Muscular Lightweight, Affiliation: None

Geena The Warrior Princess is American by birth, but has spent the early part of her career in Europe with NGW. A powerful brawler, her intense “angry” interviews are also pretty impressive. Her hard hitting style would be perfect in Japan and indeed led to her being regularly called in for tours, before she left for a brief stint in Canada before returning to NGW in early 2013 just in time to claim the vacated Women’s title. She has been feuding with previous title holder Fusae Etsuko since her return from injury and finally lost the title to her in the main event of NGW's May show "Hard Times" but won a 10 Woman Battle Royal for a rematch at the upcoming "Terror Rising" show.

 

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Champagne Lover

Age: 31 (10 years pro), Nationality: Mexican, Style: Entertainer, Size: Middleweight, Affiliation: None

Champagne Lover is unique Mexican talent who blends traditional lucha libre with Eastern influences, resulting in an exciting hybrid high flying style.  Combined with a fantastic look and some outstanding promo skills it seems that there is nothing to stop Champagne Lover from becoming a huge star and after slowly climbing up the ranks, he won the promotion’s top title and is already being positioned as the new face of NGW.

 

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Shiro Akuma

Age: 31 (12 years pro), Nationality: Japanese, Style: Super Junior, Size: Toned Small, Affiliation: None

Shiro Akuma (White Devil) is an alter ego of high flyer Marihito Masuko. After losing the Young Lion title to Champagne Lover at End of the World 2010 and at the same night seeing his friend Captain Hero get unmasked, Masuko tapped into some dark power from the great beyond to fuel his revenge. This saw him get more aggressive in the ring and brought him several victories until he finally snapped, betraying his League of Heroes allies to go on his own as the NGW Cruiserweight champion. He has not been seen since losing that title to Christopher Lister in the main event of June's "Starmageddon" show.

 

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Edward Cornell

Age: 29 (6 years pro), Nationality: English, Style: Brawler, Size: Muscular Light Heavyweight, Affiliation: The Real Deal

Edward "Eddie" Cornell is the younger cousin of the legendary Tommy Cornell. Unfortunately for Eddie, that means that he is constantly compared to "Rough Justice", a comparison that would sink 99% of wrestlers. This has resulted in people overlooking the fact that he is actually a pretty good wrestler in his own right, just not to the point of being as good as his cousin. NGW took a chance with Cornell and so far it's worked out fine for both sides, even if Cornell seems to be plagued with the bad luck of winning singles titles just before they're retired or replaced. As the leader of the Real Deal, Cornell is out to eliminate all the gimmickry in NGW but as an individual wrestler, he is about to headline Terror Rising in a big match against Champagne Lover for the NGW Heavyweight title.

 

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Joanne Rodriguez

Age: 34 (14 years pro), Nationality: American, Style: All-Rounder, Size: Toned Small, Affiliation: None

Joanne "J-Ro" Rodriguez is a versatile worker who has all the tools and potential to become a big name in women's wrestling.  Her stunning looks certainly help her stand out from the pack but she's also proven herself as Burning Women's World champion from November of 2004 to July of 2006, managing 16 successful defenses against some of the top female talent in the world and earning her three back to back "Female Wrestler of the Year" awards in 2006, 2007 and 2007. Unfortunately, her momentum was brought to a screeching halt when Burning Hammer of the Wrestling Godesses was shut down in 2008 by its parent all-male wrestling company, Burning Hammer of the Wrestling Gods, Japan's leading promotion and one of the world's top 3 biggest companies. This kept "J-Ro" on the sidelines for over a decade before NGW offered her a contract in 2013, though the experience seems to have had a much more lasting effect as she has become one of the most vocal feminists and equality fighters in the pro wrestling world, both on and off camera.

 

 

Factions

The League of Heroes

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Members: Nelson Frye, Christopher Lister, Robert Howard, Adam Matravers,

Stig Svensson, Emerald Angel, Jeri Behr, Megumi Nakajima

Originally put together to fight back against the villainous Hellfire Club, the League of Heroes was established by Stig Svensson who also put on the mask of Captain Hero around the same time. The group’s first members were Svensson, Frye, Lister, Howard, Matravers and Akuma. Many of them held various titles while affiliated with the group, with Frye being singles champion before teaming with Lister as Cream of the Crop to dominate the tag team division while Captain Hero held onto singles gold. Matravers and Howard also joined forces to much success in the tag team division, before the weight split caused a reshuffle: Frye and Howard became ‘The Gentleman and the Pitbull’ while Lister and Matravers captured the Cruiserweight Tag Team titles as ‘Team Fly’. Behr and Nakajima have been representing the group in the Women’s division while Emerald Angel is the latest addition to the group after the traitorous departure of Shiro Akuma. Following the dismantling of the Hellfire Club, Stig Svensson losing his Captain Hero mask in late 2010 and a series of injuries that have kept Svensson on the sidelines, Nelson Frye has stepped up as leader of the group.

 

The Czars

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Members: Marat Khoklov, Dovydas Vidmar, The Ivanoff brothers, Zofia Jankovic

Originally a troika of Russians that comprised of Khoklov and the Ivanoffs, the group has since expanded to include “The Bratva Bruiser” Dovydas Vidmar and “The Pain from the Ukraine” Karen Bilous, who was replaced by Belarussian wrestler Zofia Jankovic after her departure from NGW. Respecting only strength and power, the Czars have held every title on the Heavyweight division and given plenty of people something to worry about.

 

The Real Deal

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Members: Edward Cornell, Wael Hossam, Roy Edison, The Nigerian Hit Squad (Rahabad & Rashid Lawal)

Sick of the comedy, gimmickry and cartoonish shenanigans, Edward Cornell joined forces with the Lawal twins to fight back and defend old school wrestling. For all their bullying ways, the Real Deal are a group of legitimately tough men with impressive in-ring skills that’s went on to include the Egyptian technical wizard Wael Hossam and former MMA competitor Roy Edison among its ranks.

 

The Outcasts

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Members: Sebastian Koller, Hardcore Hernandez, Viper McKenna, Petter Eriksson,

Wade Orson, Landon Mallory, Melanie Flyman, Beast Bantom

The most recently formed group in the company, the Outcasts have banded together thanks to their disappointment at the way they have been utilized by NGW. Whether they are disgruntled employees who feel they’ve been mistreated or past workers who recently returned to the fold, the Outcasts bear a grudge against the powers that be, making them vocal anti-heroes who will still put their personal interests over those of the group if an opportunity presents itself.

 

 

The titles

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NGW Heavyweight title

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Current Champion: Champagne Lover

Previous Champion: Marat Khoklov (3rd title run)

Defenses: 3

Reign Began on Friday, Week 4 of December 2012 at NGW End of the World

 

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NGW Cruiserweight title

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Current Champion: Christopher Lister

Previous Champion: Shiro Akuma

Defenses: 0

Reign Began on Friday, Week 4 of June 2013 at NGW Starmageddon

 

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NGW Women’s title

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Current Champion: Fusae Etsuko (second reign)

Previous Champion: Geena the Warrior Princess

Defenses: 0

Reign Began on Friday, Week 4 of May 2013 at NGW Hard Times

 

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NGW Heavyweight Tag Team titles

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Current Champions: The Johanssons (Bam Bam & Hercules)

Previous Champions: Nigerian Hit Squad (Rahabad & Rashid Lawal)

Defenses: 1

Reign Began on Friday, Week 4 of May 2013 at NGW Hard Times

 

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NGW Cruiserweight Tag Team titles

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Current Champions: Double Dutch (Frank Van Heer & Henrik Van Bon)

Previous Champions: Team Fly (Christopher Lister & Adam Matravers)

Defenses: 1

Reign Began on Friday, Week 4 of April 2012 at NGW Walk Through Fire

 

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NGW Open Collective Six Man titles

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Current Champions: Paolo Gandalfini, Menace & Ripper LeStat

Previous Champions: The Outcasts (Beast Bantom, Landon Mallory & Petter Eriksson)

Defenses: 0

Reign Began on Monday, Week 1 of July 2013 at NGW Back to the Future

 

King of the Ring
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2013 winner:
 Marat Khoklov

2012 winner: Champagne Lover

2011 winner: Nelson Frye

2010 winner: Robert Howard
Tournament held every June at Starmageddon, with the winner getting to main event December’s End of the World in a title match for the NGW Heavyweight title.

 

Quote

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Terror Rising

Match card for the show

Main Event
NGW Women's title match

"The Gothic Grappler" Fusae Etsuko © vs Geena the Warrior Princess

Co-Main Event
NGW Heavyweight title match

Champagne Lover © vs Edward Cornell

NGW Cruiserweight title match
Christopher Lister © vs "Mile High" Adam Matravers

Jeri "Air" Behr vs Joanne "J-Ro" Rodriguez

NGW Heavyweight Tag Team titles match
The Johanssons © vs Nigerian Hit Squad

Opening Eight Man Tag match
The Czars (Khoklov, Vidmar & The Ivanoffs) vs The Outcasts (Koller, Orson, Bantom, Mallory)

 

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Got my tickets to see Iggy Pop and James on Saturday, June 8th. Also seeing Alice in Chains, Fu Manchu and 1.000Mods on Monday, June 24th. Take that,@Endor! (kidding, love ya mate)

Decent line up! Saw Iggy at Sydney Opera House, get ready to rock!

I've got front standing section to Chemical Brothers in Nov. Av' it!!

All the love coming ur way my little Greek pocket rocket ;)


Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk

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Iggy Pop and AIC are both awesome live, you'll have a great time! Also James are awesome. My cousin was in a relationship with the guy who played the keyboard at one point. I think. Or it might have been the guy from Suede. Anyway, HAVE FUN WITH THIS CHALLENGE!

 

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Following of course. The nerd in me is very excited you have anything to do with selecting an overlord. I'm curious, what is the title in Greek? Is kurios still used for "Lord" or is it now reserved for Christian connotations?

 

Also, down with Akuma, Go league of Heroes, get the mask back!

 

May Marat destroy Champagne Lover.

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3 hours ago, Endor said:

I've got front standing section to Chemical Brothers in Nov. Av' it!!

Not a big fan of the Chemical Brothers, to be honest. I mean, they have some cool party tunes, but wouldn't go out of my way to see a full concert. As far as electronic music goes, I'm aiming to see Perturbator live in October.

 

4 minutes ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

The nerd in me is very excited you have anything to do with selecting an overlord. I'm curious, what is the title in Greek? Is kurios still used for "Lord" or is it now reserved for Christian connotations?

All I'm supposed to do is set up the election center, check voters' identification and count the votes afterwards, really. Wouldn't quite call it selecting, it's more of an administrative assistance to the selection process. "Kyrios" is indeed the word for "sir" and can be used for God too, though the prefectural ruler has a different, much harder to pronounce, title.

 

7 minutes ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Also, down with Akuma, Go league of Heroes, get the mask back!

 

May Marat destroy Champagne Lover.

Stay tuned, I have run Terror Rising and kept my notes, but turning that into a proper show narrative might take a while.

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4 minutes ago, DarK_RaideR said:

Not a big fan of the Chemical Brothers, to be honest. I mean, they have some cool party tunes, but wouldn't go out of my way to see a full concert. As far as electronic music goes, I'm aiming to see Perturbator live in October.

 

All I'm supposed to do is set up the election center, check voters' identification and count the votes afterwards, really. Wouldn't quite call it selecting, it's more of an administrative assistance to the selection process. "Kyrios" is indeed the word for "sir" and can be used for God too, though the prefectural ruler has a different, much harder to pronounce, title.

 

Stay tuned, I have run Terror Rising and kept my notes, but turning that into a proper show narrative might take a while.

No worries on the narrative. I just think it's going to be fun to end each post on this challenge with something about Champagne lover, the way that one Roman Senator ended every speech with "Death to Carthage."

 

Thank you, and Humiliation to Chapmagne Lover.

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9 hours ago, DarK_RaideR said:

Got my tickets to see Iggy Pop and James on Saturday, June 8th.

I saw Iggy Pop at an outdoor festival with ten thousand people in 1997. I was in the mosh pit with a bunch of filthy punks and it started to rain. It was an awesome show.

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10 hours ago, EricMN said:

I was in the mosh pit with a bunch of filthy punks and it started to rain.

Take away the music and that setup sounds suspiciously similar to an OCR...

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17 hours ago, DarK_RaideR said:

Stay tuned, I have run Terror Rising and kept my notes, but turning that into a proper show narrative might take a while.

Very much looking forward to this :) 

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Take away the music and that setup sounds suspiciously similar to an OCR...



Also: glad to see you’ve got a solid plan in place to deal with all the (super cool) turmoil!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Still alive after 33 hours on my feet running the elections and doing insane amounts of handwriting for the results, followed by 17 straight hours of recovery sleep and a Tuesday spent on 'mental holiday' mode. Fortunately, I won't be needed for a second round. The challenge really begins tomorrow.

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Terror Rising
Held on Friday, Week 4 of July 2013
Venue: Bursa Indoor Arena, Turkey, South East Europe
Attendance: 9.036, Buyrate: 0.10 (51.1558 buyers), Shown on Euro Your Demand PPV

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The Czars vs The Outcasts

Eight heavy hitters got the show started as they did battle in and around the ring. The Czars resorted to their usual tactics of brute strength and their opponents responded with equal tenacity, with Orson throwing in a suplex or a bit of technical wrestling in every now and then. The tension spilled out to the ladies at ringside too, leading to fight between McKenna and Jankovic that essentially made this a 5 on 5 match, with a big man face-off for the finale as Khoklov and Bantom traded blows in the middle of the ring, the former champion coming on top after hitting Bantom with the dreaded Moscow Lariat.

Winners: The Czars, by pinfall
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NGW Heavyweight Tag Team titles match
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Nigerian Hit Squad vs The Johanssons © (with Signe Lytjohan)

Current and former champions revisited their match at NGW Hard Times, though sadly were unable to reach the same level of intensity and excitement once more. Much like the opener, there was nothing pretty or flashy or technical about this match, just four big bad men beating each other up to prove who’s better. The Johanssons were able to retain, albeit with an assist from their manager who provided a distraction in order for Hercules to apply his Hercules Lift and get the tap out.

Winners: The Johanssons, by pinfall after after interference from Signe Lythjohan
The Johanssons make defence number 2 of their NGW Heavyweight Tag Team titles
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Jeri “Air” Behr vs Joanne “J-Ro” Rodriguez

First singles match of the night and a pretty personal one between two highly skilled and very popular women on the NGW roster. After Behr voiced her frustrations and J-Ro responded, they two met in the ring looking to prove which one’s the better wrestler and earn their future opportunities. Behr was hot off the gates and seized the initiative, using her athleticism to overwhelm her opponent and build up to a dropkick of amazing hang time that sent J-Ro bouncing off the ropes and into a rolling rana pin for a two count. Not to be outdone, Rodriguez showcased her own aerial skills in return, polished at the AAA Cat’s Lair dojo in Seattle and perfected all across Japan. The latter also left her with a vast array of hard strikes and she had a chance to use those too as she pummeled a kneeling Behr on the chest before topping it off with a decapitating roundhouse kick to her head, yet somehow Behr kicked out of that. Fans were on the edge of their seats by that point and the match felt like it could end at any moment, in favor of either competitor but it was Rodriguez who managed to connect with her J-Rocker finisher first and score the fall.

Winner: Joanne Rodriguez, by pinfall
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NGW Cruiserweight title match
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Christopher Lister © vs “Mile High” Adam Matravers

Long time friends, partners and even tag team champions together, Lister and Matravers were up against each other in this match with the NGW Cruiserweight title on the line, yet that didn’t stop them from shaking hands before the match, causing the fans to cheer at this display of sportsmanship. Both knowing each other inside out, the match may have been off to a fast paced start but every move was either dodged or reversed, leading to a stand off and a smile from the perpetually laid back Matravers. Lister went for the Kanobi Kutter but Matravers shoved him away before he could hit it and thus the real match began, with the two competitors throwing everything they had on each other. Matravers made several attempts to hit the Mile High Moonsault but Lister had done his homework and was quick to interrupt. After a long back and forth exchange, Lister was down and it finally looked like Matravers would be able to execute his finisher, but Lister had it scouted and got the knees up, before himself kipping up to catch the staggering challenger with a Kanobi Kutter for the win.

Winner: Christopher Lister, by pinfall
Christopher Lister makes defence number 1 of his NGW Cruiserweight title
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Regardless of outcome, Lister and Matravers hugged it out after the match, an emotional moment as Nelson Frye and Robert Howard joined them to congratulate both and raise their arms in the air for fans to cheer. Frye then produced a microphone and proceeded to make an announcement.

Frye: “See, now that this is in the backburner… Christopher[Lister] can continue to defend the title… and Adam can be our chosen champion to reclaim the mask… he proved himself tonight and he’s a Cruiserweight alright so John Silver… what’s your response?”
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Silver did indeed come out with a mic in hand and a smile on his face, saying he’s got nothing to win out of this.

Silver: “Adam [Matravers] has nothing I want… but Christopher[Lister] there does… give me a title match against him… and I’ll give Adam [Matravers] a match for the mask of Captain Hero!”
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NGW Heavyweight title match
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Champagne Lover © vs Edward Cornell

Co-Main event time and Champagne Lover once again stepped in the ring to defend his title after successfully doing so three months earlier against Sebastian Koller at NGW Hard Times. The champ looked confident as ever, whereas Cornell looked focused and determined. This was his make or break moment, after all. His chance to prove he’s at least as good as his highly acclaimed cousin, Tommy. Stockier and stronger than his opponent, Cornell put that advantage to good use as he saught to manhandle the champion around but Lover’s unpredictable hybrid style allowed him to escape again and again, taunting Cornell in an attempt to get under his skin and infuriate him. Cornell fell for it and walked right into a Lover Stunner, but in his overconfidence, Champagne Lover didn’t hook the leg and the challenger kicked out before the count of three.

Shooting for the ropes, Lover attempted to create some momentum for his lucha libre inspired aerial offense and though his moves had Cornell reeling, the Englishman shut him down with a huge spinebuster takedown. Cornell didn’t stop there however, showing great ring IQ as he kept Lover to the mat and worked him over with submissions, thus eliminating his mobile offense as well as doing some lasting damage even if he couldn’t get him to submit. Equally surprising was Champagne Lover’s response though, since he too packs a seriously underrated mat game and was able to turn the tables, coming on top before breaking things up with a close range knee to the head of Cornell. Both men collapsed on the mat for a breather and the referee began counting, but both were up by the time he reached the count of eight.

Cornell created some separation through knife edged chops to the chest of his opponent, before executing an impressive cutter off the second rope, showcasing impressive agility for a Light Heavyweight such as himself but only getting a two count for his effort. Frustrated, he went for the Black Lightning Bomb but somehow Lover reversed that into a rana that sent big man Cornell onto the ref. Making the best of a distracted official, Cornell rushed out of the ring to grab the title belt off the timekeeper’s table, smashing Lover in the face with it and tossing it away before falling on top for the cover, finally getting a three count as fans booed him for his methods.

Winner: Edward Cornell, by pinfall after using a foreign object
Edward Cornell wins the NGW Heavyweight title
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With fans still booing, Cornell demanded he had his hand raised and the title handed to him, before grabbing a mic to speak his mind.

Cornell: “Shut up, all of you… I have proven, beyond shadow of a doubt, that I’m the best wrestler on this damn roster… I am the Alpha Male of NGW… and every bit as good as ‘Rough Justice’ now that I hold the same title he held before me!”
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NGW Womens’ title match
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“The Gothic Grappler” Fusae Etsuko © vs Geena the Warrior Princess

Etsuko and Geena had a monumental task trying to outdo the men before them but somehow they managed to do just that, their long-standing rivalry having led up to this clash where both ladies sought a decisive win over each other. Though the match started off pretty slow, once Etsuko missed with her Darkness Falls finisher, Geena picked up the pace with a newfound level of intensity and aggression. After slamming Etsuko around, she tossed the champion out of the ring and kept on coming as she flew over the top rope with a suicidal Amazon Plunge to the outside that sent the fans into a frenzy. Champion and challenger slugged it out at ringside and almost got counted out before Geena realized what was happening and barely rolled back into the ring in time to break the count. Etsuko followed and Geena hit her with a charging headbutt, showing blatant disregard for her own well-being in her pursuit of victory but only managing a two count as Etsuko got a shoulder up before the referee’s count of three.

Geena was shocked at the fighting spirit on display from the defending champion and looking to hit an even bigger move got careless, allowing Etsuko to dodge and take control of the match. Using every move on her arsenal, Etsuko fought back to regain all the lost ground, inch by bloody inch, pushing the match past the twenty minute mark before she finally connected with Darkness Falls and immediately slapping on the Lullaby, a combo that was simply too much for the Warrior Princess to take, forcing her to finally tap out and end the match.

Winner: Fusae Etsuko, by submission
Fusae Etsuko makes defence number 1 of her NGW Womens title
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With Geena still reeling on the mat, Joanne Rodriguez made her way to the ring and got in the champions’ face. Not a single word was exchanged, but the staredown told the entire story: Rodriguez had shut down Behr earlier and proven herself, now she was out for Etsuko’s title.

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Show Rating:
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56 minutes ago, DarK_RaideR said:
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Christopher Lister © vs “Mile High” Adam Matravers

Long time friends, partners and even tag team champions together, Lister and Matravers were up against each other in this match with the NGW Cruiserweight title on the line, yet that didn’t stop them from shaking hands before the match, causing the fans to cheer at this display of sportsmanship. Both knowing each other inside out, the match may have been off to a fast paced start but every move was either dodged or reversed, leading to a stand off and a smile from the perpetually laid back Matravers. Lister went for the Kanobi Kutter but Matravers shoved him away before he could hit it and thus the real match began, with the two competitors throwing everything they had on each other. Matravers made several attempts to hit the Mile High Moonsault but Lister had done his homework and was quick to interrupt. After a long back and forth exchange, Lister was down and it finally looked like Matravers would be able to execute his finisher, but Lister had it scouted and got the knees up, before himself kipping up to catch the staggering challenger with a Kanobi Kutter for the win.

Winner: Christopher Lister, by pinfall
Christopher Lister makes defence number 1 of his NGW Cruiserweight title
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Regardless of outcome, Lister and Matravers hugged it out after the match, an emotional moment as Nelson Frye and Robert Howard joined them to congratulate both and raise their arms in the air for fans to cheer. Frye then produced a microphone and proceeded to make an announcement.

This was everything I love to see when the good guys go up against each other. Sportsmanship all around, and two skilled competitors going all out.

57 minutes ago, DarK_RaideR said:
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Champagne Lover © vs Edward Cornell

Co-Main event time and Champagne Lover once again stepped in the ring to defend his title after successfully doing so three months earlier against Sebastian Koller at NGW Hard Times. The champ looked confident as ever, whereas Cornell looked focused and determined. This was his make or break moment, after all. His chance to prove he’s at least as good as his highly acclaimed cousin, Tommy. Stockier and stronger than his opponent, Cornell put that advantage to good use as he saught to manhandle the champion around but Lover’s unpredictable hybrid style allowed him to escape again and again, taunting Cornell in an attempt to get under his skin and infuriate him. Cornell fell for it and walked right into a Lover Stunner, but in his overconfidence, Champagne Lover didn’t hook the leg and the challenger kicked out before the count of three.

Shooting for the ropes, Lover attempted to create some momentum for his lucha libre inspired aerial offense and though his moves had Cornell reeling, the Englishman shut him down with a huge spinebuster takedown. Cornell didn’t stop there however, showing great ring IQ as he kept Lover to the mat and worked him over with submissions, thus eliminating his mobile offense as well as doing some lasting damage even if he couldn’t get him to submit. Equally surprising was Champagne Lover’s response though, since he too packs a seriously underrated mat game and was able to turn the tables, coming on top before breaking things up with a close range knee to the head of Cornell. Both men collapsed on the mat for a breather and the referee began counting, but both were up by the time he reached the count of eight.

Cornell created some separation through knife edged chops to the chest of his opponent, before executing an impressive cutter off the second rope, showcasing impressive agility for a Light Heavyweight such as himself but only getting a two count for his effort. Frustrated, he went for the Black Lightning Bomb but somehow Lover reversed that into a rana that sent big man Cornell onto the ref. Making the best of a distracted official, Cornell rushed out of the ring to grab the title belt off the timekeeper’s table, smashing Lover in the face with it and tossing it away before falling on top for the cover, finally getting a three count as fans booed him for his methods.

Did not expect this, but it was interesting as hell to watch. I don't think I ever saw past Cl's heel schtick to see he's actually really skilled. I don't have quite the animosity towards Cornell that I did toward CL, but I still wanna seek Marat demolish somebody.

58 minutes ago, DarK_RaideR said:
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Jeri “Air” Behr vs Joanne “J-Ro” Rodriguez

First singles match of the night and a pretty personal one between two highly skilled and very popular women on the NGW roster. After Behr voiced her frustrations and J-Ro responded, they two met in the ring looking to prove which one’s the better wrestler and earn their future opportunities. Behr was hot off the gates and seized the initiative, using her athleticism to overwhelm her opponent and build up to a dropkick of amazing hang time that sent J-Ro bouncing off the ropes and into a rolling rana pin for a two count. Not to be outdone, Rodriguez showcased her own aerial skills in return, polished at the AAA Cat’s Lair dojo in Seattle and perfected all across Japan. The latter also left her with a vast array of hard strikes and she had a chance to use those too as she pummeled a kneeling Behr on the chest before topping it off with a decapitating roundhouse kick to her head, yet somehow Behr kicked out of that. Fans were on the edge of their seats by that point and the match felt like it could end at any moment, in favor of either competitor but it was Rodriguez who managed to connect with her J-Rocker finisher first and score the fall.

That C+ is a travesty. All I can decide is the game doesn't like you. You wrote this up beautifully. I spent a couple minutes just visualizing that hang time drop kick.

59 minutes ago, DarK_RaideR said:

Geena was shocked at the fighting spirit on display from the defending champion

That is the biggest surprise of the night. Not that Etsuko had the fighting spirit, but that Geena didn't expect it. What did she think was going to happen?

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18 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

This was everything I love to see when the good guys go up against each other. Sportsmanship all around, and two skilled competitors going all out.

Textbook face vs face storytelling. Glad you liked it.

 

18 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Did not expect this, but it was interesting as hell to watch. I don't think I ever saw past Cl's heel schtick to see he's actually really skilled. I don't have quite the animosity towards Cornell that I did toward CL, but I still wanna seek Marat demolish somebody.

I figured spending the entire year with CL as champion was a bit boring; he ran out of challengers quick plus you knew he wasn't losing any of those matches because CL vs Marat had been locked down for December. Now things feel a bit more unpredictable, plus whoever wins the title also gets the dubious honour of booking themselves a beating at the hands of Khoklov in December ;)

 

19 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

That C+ is a travesty. All I can decide is the game doesn't like you. You wrote this up beautifully. I spent a couple minutes just visualizing that hang time drop kick.

Behr is just hitting her prime and J-Ro still has some ring rust she needs to shake off, plus popularity is a huge factor in the final rating, which is why Etsuko and Geena who've worked for companies with world wide TV coverage never have a sub-B match. Glad you liked the writing, Behr is a legit former gymnast but has grown into a proper wrestler, so I wanted to showcase her style without making it feel too much of a circus act.

 

19 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

That is the biggest surprise of the night. Not that Etsuko had the fighting spirit, but that Geena didn't expect it. What did she think was going to happen?

Well, she had to sell the fact that she almost killed herself again and again hurting Etsuko and it never worked...

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Case in point^

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On 5/29/2019 at 10:51 PM, DarK_RaideR said:

Regardless of outcome, Lister and Matravers hugged it out after the match, an emotional moment as Nelson Frye and Robert Howard joined them to congratulate both and raise their arms in the air for fans to cheer. Frye then produced a microphone and proceeded to make an announcement.

Frye: “See, now that this is in the backburner… Christopher[Lister] can continue to defend the title… and Adam can be our chosen champion to reclaim the mask… he proved himself tonight and he’s a Cruiserweight alright so John Silver… what’s your response?”
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Silver did indeed come out with a mic in hand and a smile on his face, saying he’s got nothing to win out of this.

Silver: “Adam [Matravers] has nothing I want… but Christopher[Lister] there does… give me a title match against him… and I’ll give Adam [Matravers] a match for the mask of Captain Hero!”

Loved the match and was of course pleased to see Lister come out of it with a win.  Seems that Silver is trying to milk this mask for everything it is worth.  My bet is that if got what he is asking for lost the title match he would just renege on the mask match

 

On 5/29/2019 at 10:51 PM, DarK_RaideR said:

With fans still booing, Cornell demanded he had his hand raised and the title handed to him, before grabbing a mic to speak his mind.

Cornell: “Shut up, all of you… I have proven, beyond shadow of a doubt, that I’m the best wrestler on this damn roster… I am the Alpha Male of NGW… and every bit as good as ‘Rough Justice’ now that I hold the same title he held before me!”

As much as I like seeing a heel get a good smackdown, I think Cornell has a few screws loose in the head.  Maybe he can ask Tommy what he thinks about resorting to dirty tricks for a cheap win

 

 

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I think we can agree week 1 of the challenge was a bit of a throwaway. Not that I fell off the wagon, but I wasn't properly focused on the challenge or specifically chasing any challenge goals. Like I said, I had a long run with the elections, followed by a long recovery sleep but fortunately the prefectural overlord was indeed elected in the first round with 60%+ of the vote, so I didn't have to go through this again the following weekend. I took Tuesday off to recover and did my land registry investigation on Wednesday, plus saw most of the people I wanted to see while visiting my hometown. I then re-booked my tickets, moving the voyage back from Monday to Friday, thus getting to spend the weekend with the SRLF and my cat.

 

I'll admit I did zero work while visiting my hometown. I was just not in the mood for it, so I rolled with the punches and took whatever time I had to rest, recover, play videogames, watch some wrestling and recharge in light of the upcoming weeks. No workouts whatsoever, besides maybe the occasional walk around town, but I think my eating was pretty on point, especially given the circumstances of what was available and how often I found myself eating out of the house. Scale at home went bust while I was away so I can't back up my claim with numbers, but I'm not feeling any worse, neither did I get any comments about returning fatter than I left.

 

Off to catch up with all sorts of forums, mail etc and then hopefully get the work part rolling again. Aiming to do some Muay Thai training today as well. Let's see how tomorrow's challenge report will look like.

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On 5/21/2019 at 5:52 AM, DarK_RaideR said:

I’m not trying to get somewhere, I’m trying to maintain what I’ve got in the face of adversity.

Bad ass Druid stuff, right there.

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Monday was... a mixed bag. I did not "work hard" per se, but I did at least get back to the whole EU Directive project, which is more than I can say for the week I spent in my hometown making absolutely zero progress. Baby steps and hopefully momentum will pick up. So what did I do at work? Fooled around, mostly. Which was fun, but I'm not counting towards my "play hard" part of the challenge; the idea is to make time specifically for that stuff. Food was on point, though I had a heated argument with the SRLF (and she almost broke up with me) so of course, the muay thai training session had to be postponed.

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9 hours ago, DarK_RaideR said:

Monday was... a mixed bag.

 

...I had a heated argument with the SRLF...

I hope this is better.

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Thanks for the goodwill, folks. It wasn't much better, but it's kinda calmed down by now. Details below, under spoiler.

Spoiler

So me and the SRLF have been together for almost 3 and a half years now, living together at my place after the first couple of months we hooked up together. I've also mentioned how my parents have been a negative factor, both in my life individually as well as my relationship, though finally that's starting to look like it's getting sorted out thanks to therapy sessions, both mine and theirs. I've also had chats with the SRLF about marriage and children in this time. We're on the same page as far as kids go, we're in no hurry for that but it's not like we don't want any at all either; right now we can barely muster the willpower and income to go through our own lives. Time is no issue either, since we're both cool with adoption (over medically assisted options) if nature objects to the whole thing. Marriage is slightly different. We both agree it's not the monumental thing it used to be in the past, but it's still a big decision and comes along with all the legal implications. She's in no rush to get married and it's not even a long-term 'goal' for her (side info, her parents never got married either) but she'd still like to know she's with someone who would theoretically want to do so just to be sure she isn't wasting her time. I'm kind of on the same page, it's not on top of my life goals list, it's not a throwaway either, I have caught myself thinking of what spending the rest of my life with her would be like and I understand her point of view, but there's a few things I'd like to get sorted out first before going there, namely my relationship with my family and the whole work/income thing. For some reason, what she'd understood from all the above was that I "don't really care" about marriage, which brings up the reasonable question of "then why did you stick with me, if you wanted to be with someone who'd in theory want to make that move?"

 

Fast forward to Sunday and us being at her mom's place with some old movie playing on the TV in the background. As every Greek rom-com up to the 60s did, this one ended with people marrying each other and on the way home, SRLF mentioned (half-jokingly, which is the universal way of bringing up real stuff with a fail-safe of "I was only kidding" as backup to fall on if things go south) something about me not having "asked for her hand" from her mom. This was done as I was driving home, mind you, which is far from ideal circumstances to be having such a discussion. After some masterful verbal maneuvering, she ended up essentially with a no-escape argument: either marrriage is something unimportant and you don't care about it, or it's a big deal and you wait for the opportune moment. Which of course fully translates to: either you don't care about me and I'm wasting my time or you're gonna make a pledge for the future now that I'll never forget and always hold you accountable to.

 

Now don't get me wrong, I understand where she's coming from and we've been together for 3,5 years already, but knowing she's got a memory elephants would kill for, I'm not willing to make even the most vague commitment for the future just yet. I'd much rather have it as an unspoken thing and work towards it until it's time to address it, even though I understand it looks like I'm just having my fun and could potentially dump her at any moment.

 

According to her, I was feeding her some story to calm her down and avoid taking a clear stand, which only got worse when the discussion shifted into the "what would this change in our lives" territory. Because she brought up having a say in each other's medical decisions in case we get hit by a bus or something (sure, sure) and a say in property issues. Now that's taking it a bit too far and it wasn't going great up to that point to begin with. She's got zero property to fall back on and in the past has openly complained about making less money than I do but still splitting expenses more or less in half (meaning she puts in a bigger chunk of her income, in terms of percentage, if you will). I have some property my family's already passed to me and which will fully be mine once they're gone; I'm not making any income out of it yet, though in theory you could argue that some of the rent goes towards the money my father shoots my way each month to help pay the bills and whatnot. I have a job with irregular but solid pay that ends up being better than hers. And I understand discussing the practical side of it all, but mix that up with emotions, intentions and marriage... nope.

 

So yeah, that's how our Sunday evening played out until we sort of calmed down and fell asleep. Then on Monday, she returned to her toxic work environment with whatever emotions she'd been carrying from all of the above. Communication was weird in the aftermath, plus she had a presentation to make and we didn't keep in touch like we usually do, which is the gmail chat thingy. It took meeting up after work to finally calm down and somewhat talk things through.

 

 

Now on Tuesday, she ended up on the phone with one of her employer's clients who was being ironic and essentially wanted her to do what the client was supposed to do. Being the take-no-crap personality she is, in a toxic work environment and with the emotional baggage of our situation, she snapped back, leading to the customer sending an e-mail after they hung up to complain about her behavior, which led to the SRLF's supervisor and colleagues having something to talk her down about. Meanwhile, my office colleague mentioned how all the compensation money she'd received for running the elections would immediately be handed back to the state (taxes, social security etc) and that reminded me of my own social security debt. It's a monthly thing based on my income and not always easy to have money for. Last payments were made in February and that money was to make up for installments from the autumn of 2018, so yeah I've fallen behind. Me and the SRLF keep track of our debts and expenses, social security included, so we were aware of that debt piling on. Also, for some reason, the online system displayed me as not being cleared for healthcare cover since the end of 2013, which is ludacris. SRLF had told me to go to the offices and clear it all up in person. Apparently she also meant I should clarify where my debt's at, because there's often a delay between actual payments and them showing up on the online system. I just wanted to go ask why the 2013 thing, I trusted the online system regarding my standing debt. There's usually a 1-2 month delay, so if my standing debt began in late 2018, it should be up to date.

 

Thinking I also had my electoral compensation to funnel towards that debt (which was also what we had agreed with the SRLF) I checked out the website and numbers didn't match. After some digging up, I discovered that (for reasons I won't go into in detail) we had paid the default sum for some installments that actually had a reduction for that month. Also, some of the subsequent months I owed installments for were also reduced from what I originally had in mind. I figured I could at least pay to wrap up 2018, but then I figured out this detail, did the math and my entire standing debt was almost exactly the same as the compensation I'd received. So without consulting the SRLF (communication issues plus me thinking we had agreed on this) I pulled the trigger and paid almost a thousand Euros to strike out the entirety of my social security debt.

 

If you've read everything so far, you'll probably be unsurprised to know she wasn't excited to hear the news. The amount itself wasn't easy to swallow on its own, before you consider it's slightly more than what she's paid for a month's work. Being back from her toxic work environment didn't help either and of course after all of Sunday's discussion, she took this as me ignoring her when it comes to big financial decisions. I even heard that this was me "making a power move" to exert my authority or independence or defiance or whatever. Me, a person who doesn't believe the whole 'upper hand in a relationship' mumbo jumbo in the first place. Still, I managed to somehow deal with all that bullcrap, including the whole shift from "I need a drink after work" to breaking the news to her and "I'm in no longer in a mood to go out" and we actually went out later on to have dinner at a nearby Turkish/Kurdish/Middle Eastern joint.

 

Today was fine, at least when I began typing this wall of text. In the meantime, my best friend called to suggest we go out for dinner: him, his gf, me and the SRLF. Now I'm at work, he's at work (he's a web developer), the SRLF is at work and his gf is also at work (her dad owns a hair salon) so communication is fragmented, text-based and with long response times. Yet still somehow the SRLF was able to get mad about me "not answering messages" and "not giving her the full details of the arrangement" and whatnot. Frankly, I don't think we're going to have such a good time after all and as much as I try to be supportive and reasonable and not let this affect me, I'm starting to run real low on my tolerance for irrational bullcrap.

 

I bet @Tanktimus the Encourager will read the above and halfway through will think about the whole "walking on eggshells" thing. I've turned it down in the past, but this one is starting to feel a lot like it.

 

Unsurprisingly enough, my mood, energy and work productivity have taken a serious hit from all the above. I did have a moment of clarity yesterday though, which made me think I was right to do this challenge round with the Druids. Also why I typed out all of the above. I was home in time for training when I realized I did not want to train. It's not the usual excuses stuff, because I took the time to think it through. None of the "you've been gone for long, you'll suck and it'll hurt" stuff. No wondering whether I have the mental fortitude to undergo training either. I just didn't want to. It wouldn't give me any joy or help me vent. I did not want to show up and pay a month's subscription once more knowing I'd only attend another session at best. And it's not like I wanted to chill and play videogames or anything, nor to get some more work done. I just wanted to iron some clothes and clean up the house. Is it symbolic of me wanting to sort out this mess? Did I subconsciously do it because I wanted to take that part of the SRLF's arguing/whining away? I do not know, it might be both and some more that I'm missing, the important part is I knew what I wanted and what not for the next hour or so. And, following my previous challenge and some stuff I've taken away from therapy, I went with what I felt like I wanted to do. It wasn't refreshing, but at least it wasn't draining either.

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You are absolutely right about my thoughts. That sounds a lot like my Ex-wife, as I've mentioned before, a lot of the same thought patterns, fear of abandonment, black-and-white thinking, obsession over money, even complaining about "Not giving the full details" is an almost word-for-word quote from the ex when I was trying to coordinate events with people I wanted to see.

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Sorry things are stressful at the moment. Are you sure the marriage thing isn't a big deal though? I mean, I know she says it isn't but the subtext is suggesting it very much might be and it might be worth discussing it further, especially if you don't mind either way.

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