Shattered Rift

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Everything posted by Shattered Rift

  1. As some of you may have gathered from my two video announcements, I care quite a bit about my sense of style, particularly my professional style (especially tie knots) and also my casual style (for the sake of making good first impressions, particularly for my dating life). Much of this interest came a year ago when a few friends at church starting wearing the Trinity knot (the knot I wore in the Sparkbomb v3.0 announcement). I now prefer the Eldredge (the knot I was wearing in the recent Break-even announcement) as it looks much more formal, in my opinion. Around the same time (or maybe a bit before), I started to notice the difference in size between my different medium-sized shirts. Some of them were simply too large on me while others fit fine. Sadly, due to the width of my shoulders and narrowness of my waist, I fall somewhere between the typical men's Medium and Small, having the typical medium width in my shoulders but my waist being better suited to the typical small width. I can only imagine the nightmare women experience in this regard due to a lack of standardization and the extra variables they have when it comes to their clothing. About that time, I also started caring a bit more about color coordination with my outfit, opting for button-up sports shirts (I think that's the term) since they add more color and more class than a typical tee shirt without needing to step up the formality ladder towards a polo or be limited to a single color the way a henley is. (Henleys are basically collarless polos, having those three buttons up near the top of the collar.) I've also been impressed by the sense of style of a few of our female members in the past, particularly Liz and Nebiros. Anyway, I want to open up this conversation for a couple of reasons. One, I assume there are guys on the site that do care about their sense of style. It's not something we talk about often, but it's something that a lot more guys think about than talk about. And I'm sure there are some that probably want some advice or the like. Two, I'd be curious to hear what some of the women in the room have to say, whether about men's style or about their own. I'm going to post a couple of links for the guys. Real Men Real Style: I found this website (and a few others that I don't care for as much) when I was first looking for some casual style tips. Antonio Centeno focuses on professional style, he emphasizes the importance of having fewer pieces of clothing while maintaining a fully interchangeable wardrobe, and he does video versions of each of his articles, so you can read or watch as you wish. (That was probably my inspiration for doing video versions of the two announcements here on Sparkbomb.) His free ebook is very helpful, and while he does a decent chunk of advertising for his mail list, I always give the articles a glance. There's almost always something useful to be learned. Alex Krasny's YouTube Channel: Alex has done some very good videos showing how to tie various knots, and he discusses ties often enough in various videos. I don't always agree with his thoughts, but I always appreciate his stuff.
  2. Put me down as a tentative yes. What time do you expect nightfall to be? I don't want to accidentally forget about Werewolf until midnight PDT again. Also, I won't be able to play past the 25th. I'll be attending dance workshops during Memorial Day weekend.
  3. I had the discussion of aesthetics recently with a friend that spends time practically everyday at the gym. He doesn't look like one of the insanely ripped bodybuilder types, but he's in fantastic shape. One of the things he pointed out to me is the difference between strict weight-lifting of targeted areas vs calisthenics or a better-rounded approach. A portion of the bodybuilding community was inspired by Dragon Ball Z, and the appearance of Goku et. al is based on the well-rounded approach, and it's somewhat accurate to the in-series explanation that Goku and Vegeta do tons of pushups/sit-ups etc. Whereas the bodybuilder types with massive biceps/etc are focusing on those groups much more exclusively. As a dancer, what I'm lacking is a sufficient amount of that well-roundedness. I need a lot of the auxiliary strength because of how hard I work every area. Meanwhile, because dancing is primarily cardio, it does little to build muscle and much more to burn calories. You mentioned growth, and my best understanding is that good physical health trumps some of the other problems, but more than that it's a matter of life expectancy vs quality of life. It's not worth living to be a hundred if you spend your last thirty years as an invalid. Better to live to be eighty and be healthy to the day you die. The key thing is getting into a regular habit with it. A gym membership could help, and putting money on the line can be motivating to some people. I'd also recommend finding a friend or coworker or someone to go with and help to hold you accountable.
  4. Generally, that has more to do with correct fit than anything else. Making sure your pants fit you properly in the waist, and then having the belt be snug rather than tight. Does your weight fluctuate much? I've been trying near-desperately to put on weight this past year. I managed to put on about five pounds in the waist, just enough to hit normal waist size for my pant length, but then I lost it while I was sick over Christmas. My body really doesn't want to hold the extra weight. Vests are about functionality, at least compared to blazers and suit coats. Vests leave your shoulders (and thus arms) mobile. They just do less to build up the general appearance of your size (which is where blazers/suit coats excel). I'm not particularly familiar with sweaters, but I think the formality comes from the fabric and look. It's definitely possible to find a formal sweater. Though sweaters are going to be less formal than vests or blazers.
  5. Due to some server issues, the site has been cacheing during the past week. This problem should be resolved. But in case it's not, the following issues may be occurring: pages always appearing the same (that's what cacheing means), pages appearing like you're not logged in or logged in as someone else (those were fun), and the home page in particular not updating to display new posts/status updates/etc. I'm posting this while the site isn't cacheing, so this topic/post should definitely appear on the home page regardless. Most of the site seems to be operating normally. So you should be able to visit the forums and see topics/posts updating correctly. Also bear in mind, posts you make will go through. But if the cacheing is occurring then they simply won't display until the cache is cleared again.
  6. For men, the typical upgrade is a watch, though watches are in a kind of flux in different circles because of their "uselessness." Bracelets and rings are also an option. Pocket squares only really work with blazers/suits. I've been wanting to add a bracelet to my wardrobe. (Hm, I can't seem to remember the name of the brand. I lost a handful of my links when I reformatted.) Edit: Found them. I've been debating this guy and that guy. Not sure which I prefer more. And I tend to prefer silver to gold in my jewelry. Most dress shoes stop below the ankle bone. Only boots (chukkas or chelseas) cover the ankle. Also, if your foot is slipping out of a loafer while running, I'd wager the loafer might be a half-size too big. That's a blucher, not an oxford. The difference with bluches is that they have the open laces like that, whereas an oxford or balmoral has closed lacing where the underside/between spaces of the laces are hidden. Not all dress shoes are uncomfortable. Soles are made out of different materials. It's partially a reflection of cost. Thanks for bringing up socks. They're definitely a fun thing to play around with in the right environment, but they're pretty low down on my list of clothes to play with. I can't ever think of hearing about a velcro belt. There are those seat belt belts. Soft collars do seem to be getting rarer in dress shirts. I have a few ancient ones. I'd recommend finding one or two particular areas to step up. I assume your shirt is fine, your pants are fine, and your shoes are fine. Are you still running as slim as I remember you being, or have you put on weight? Personally, I really like vests. Zilary's suggestion of sweater vests is good if you want to look more casual, but you're trying to avoid that. Your belt is the other obvious thing. Keep in mind that browns and tans are less formal than blacks. A black braided belt would look significantly better, though you might want to avoid the braided look at all.
  7. I find that the list of things needed in a wife continues to lengthen to the point where it becomes unreasonable. It's caused my list to compress to a few specifics that have much broader implications (such as dancer, which inherently includes height and body type as well as athleticism). Were you wearing the super casual style of loafers that have the... not strings, exactly, but sort of like strings going along the sides? Loafers are definitely casual, and I repeatedly waffle on whether or not I actually like loafers, but most loafers should be able to get by just fine. Coloring matters too: black always looks more formal. Pointy toes? As in the box toe? They're hideous and make for an abrupt end-point. Always go rounded toe.
  8. I've been following Real Men Real Style for years. I've got a friend who really enjoys Art of Manliness, though their articles have never resonated with me. I'll take a glance at AlphaM. This has generally been my approach in the past, and it would work extremely well if I was in a more typical business environment, but I'm trying to push the extremes. I typically do wear a white shirt for the reasons mentioned (and occasionally black) and have only recently added a dark grey to my wardrobe. But it's working with colors that I really want to push. I'll need to experiment with the warm and cool matchups. I also stick with plain shirts. There are very few patterned shirts that appeal to me, and ties are always the conversation piece anyway. (Though fancier shirts is something to keep in mind for one of these days.) How many years did those transitions happen over? Edit: There's the old Fashion thread. Merged it with this one.
  9. Those of you that follow me on Facebook know that I've got an extensive tie collection, but one of the things I've been struggling with has been matching ties with colored shirts. I'm not sure if it's the lack of a tertiary color being included in my outfit, but even sticking to colors in the same general range as the shirt (reds with purples, greens with blues, etc) rarely seem to pop. The only combination that seems to work well is a dark purple shirt of mine with a tie that is primarily purple with lowlights of navy blue. So far as I'm aware, this isn't a subject that comes up with the various resources online, as most of the fashion websites are aimed at the lowest common denominator. I'm also curious, as many of us seem to be in a similar life stage, how many of you have needed to improve your style game to keep up with work and social needs? I know I'm in a minority, being able (and encouraged) to wear flamboyant outfits for work. But I'd like to know, in you guys' place of work, has there been more formal expectations or is the trend shifting towards casual work environments? I know that this is at least partly regional, as I saw very casually dressed dance instructors while I was down in Salt Lake City, as opposed to here in Portland where there's a mix (and very few are that casually dressed).
  10. For anyone who ever wondered what the donation money goes to. You were logged in as RA? That's odd. On what page? I was Blacjak on the forums and you in the Ascetic Living thread.
  11. Site should be fixed now.

  12. Site may be fixed now.

    1. Shattered Rift

      Shattered Rift

      Never mind.

  13. Is anyone else experiencing login or caching issues?

  14. I got back from a two week trip to Utah on Monday, and similarly to my traveling last summer, I traveled light, only really having my phone for entertainment. I'm currently gearing up to relocate in that direction, and I'm finding myself planning to travel light, computer and phone being essentially the only forms of entertainment that I'll be taking with me. What I found interesting last summer was how much more easily I was able to concentrate and contemplate the circumstances of my life. I've never been the "connect with nature" type that experiences something similar, but here I did, and I found the focus incredibly valuable. Most of you probably know that I grew up as a gamer and spending much of my teenage years online. It feels surreal to look around my room now, to look over my bookshelves filled with movies/shows/books/games, and to both know that I don't care for many of them and want to strip them away (at least in presence: I still want to own them). I'd like to ask, how many others here have experienced something in this vein or another, and has it influenced your material approach to life?
  15. I hadn't considered the opposite(ish) approach. My saturation came at a young age, having access to both the family TV and my brother's NES for about as far back as I can remember. I can't remember how old I was when I got my own TV. What I do remember more clearly is that I split my time between video games, playing outside (bike riding, hanging out as kids do, wandering around a nearby park, and jumping on a trampoline), and then later cutting back on video game time once I reached my teenage years and instead pouring that time into online ventures. For me, having a computer was something that came much later, but my fixation on it came from... I'm not really sure what caused me to focus so much time and energy into it. I'm not sure if I get a limited amount of junk mail or have a limited number of records I need to keep, but these things usually only eat up a few minutes each day. Perhaps I'm treating them too lightly, and I haven't actively done anything to remove them from my life, but in the context of where my head was at in posting this thread I've never focused on them beyond those moments I spend sorting through and throwing them out. They don't hold my attention for any longer than they have to. Perhaps our age difference has something to do with it? I'm in my late twenties, and I forget if you're five or ten years older than me. (Then again, my brother has a decade on me, and I don't think he has too much more of a problem with this than I do, so maybe it's regional?) With the transition from paper to digital advertising, there might be greater forces at work there.
  16. What prompted the move to Japan? It's interesting to hear that you never finished building your PC, and it's fascinating hearing that you don't regret cutting out a lot of your gaming collection/etc. That's the kind of thing I was hoping to hear about. I had never really thought of myself as materialistic while growing up, and I always tried to keep a good sense of which things were essential to me (the Mega Man painting Nebiros gave me, Yu-Gi-Oh! playmats, dance notes, and a small handful of other more sentimental things), but traveling without them made me realize how distracting so many of them were just by being around me all of the time. I don't know that I'm going for any kind of brilliant insight or particular direction. The fact that you've become more social is worthwhile in its own right, especially because that's one of the reasons that's prompting me to pack light when I move.
  17. It seems like quite a few people in our generation have been getting into board games (or tabletop games in general) during the past couple of years. Rex (and a few of my real life friends) have gotten into Dominion. Red brought The Resistance to my attention (a sort of Mafia/Werewolf-esque game). Several friends during the past year or two have recommended Twilight Imperium. Before then, it seemed like there were only a few scattered games like Munchkin and Settlers of Catan and whatever else, but more recently it seems like a lot of other games are going around. Yesterday I played a couple of rounds of Chez Geek with Zen, Kit, and Ward. (The latter two have yet to recreate their accounts.) And then we continued our campaign in Descent. It's Descent in particular that has me making this thread, but I'm curious what games people here are playing or have played or would recommend or the like?
  18. Played Codenames: Deep Undercover with my cousins. It was nice to have a "dirty" card game (a la Cards Against Humanity) that was competitively charged via teams. Still loses or to Joking Hazard in my book, though.
  19. Just want to let you guys know I'll be out of town for a couple of weeks, so mobile-only access in the meanwhile.

  20. I finally got to play BatHotH a month or so back. The round went pretty quickly, and unfortunately one of us had to leave and I had plans to go dancing, so we didn't get to make a second round. I didn't really manage to develop an opinion one way or the other about it. Traj, what kinds of things change with Legacy? Also, apparently I didn't mention either of these points earlier... I backed the Kickstarter for Deep Madness. Mostly because I love me some miniatures in my games, and of course the Lovecraftian theme gets me. Did anyone else back it? Lastly, Joking Hazard is amazing. It's like a better Cards Against Humanity. Not sure if this picture will hotlink to people who aren't friended with me on Facebook, but...
  21. Happy Anniversary, everyone~! Every third year on Sparkbomb tends to be a quieter year. We upgraded the forum software in December, I enjoyed a summer of travel and getting to meet more Sparkbombers (Puck, Voce, and Pocket), and I finally added my name to the list of All-Stars MC's. Recent life circumstances have also presented the opportunity to focus more on Sparkbomb than I'd been able to while working this past year, and as is common for my anniversary announcements, I've got something in the works. I'd been hoping to unveil an alpha run by today, but it's going to be delayed just a while longer. In the meanwhile, I'd like us all to reflect on our most memorable moments meandering 'midst the Mansion's members. I'm quite proud to say that I've now met eleven Sparkbombers in person. So I'd like to reflect on a few of those memories... Liz, Killerk239, Nell, and Natale: I'm going to include the whole NYC crew together. We spent a pretty awesome day together on Columbia's campus. Liz was always good company, Nell was super chill, Keith (Killerk) played through the entirety of Portal while we hung out (it was my first time seeing Portal), Natale was an excellent hostess, and there's a good number of semi-embarrassing pictures still up on my Facebook to this day. Coaster: I drove up to Seattle to meet Marcus while he was interviewing for Microsoft. We ate at an awesome pizza place by the Space Needle that I remember to this day, and we spent a fair chunk of our Sparkcast episode sidetracked talking about Smallville. Nebiros and Rex: There were a lot of memories with these two, so I have to share two of them. Sam and I were sitting on the couch adjacent to the couch Rex was sleeping on, and I forget what we were talking about. All of a sudden Rex sits up, says "Vanity's activate, yay," and falls back down in sleep. Sam and I just stared at each other in disbelief and laughter. A large group of us (including some local Sparkbombs/friends) drove up to Tacoma for a major Yu-Gi-Oh! tournament. We had a pretty sweet split-level hotel room. Nebiros claimed the king-sized bed on the second floor while Rex and I took the downstairs queen and the others took a combination of couches and floor. Humming: So the night Erica's flight got in, we headed back to Zen's place. Erica's a pretty reserved person, but Zen and I tend to be pretty chill in person, so everything was pretty relaxed. Within maybe a half hour, one of Zen's former female roommates, her friend, and the guy the two of them picked up at the bar all stop by unexpectedly. Viewing Erica in the stereotypical way that only drunk white people can, they tried to do what they could to make her feel comfortable. Erica was both exposed to and survived the craziness of Portland on her first night here. Puck: There wasn't much time to make memories since Stef and I just met up for breakfast and good conversation, but thinking about her reminds me of all the shenanigans with Title Zappers, how much fun Sparkbomb Hour was, and all of the connections and fun everyone was having together during '09/'10/. Voce: My very first thought when I think of Voce is how she's simultaneously one of the most distractable people in the world while simultaneously being incredibly driven and motivated. This is the kind of thing that doesn't really shine through when someone plays Werewolf online, and it's a reminder of just how deep anyone on Sparkbomb could potentially be. Pocket: Hanging out with Pocket was a nostalgia trip. We stopped by a cool costume store in Colorado Springs, and we spent a lot of time talking about writing and role playing. Even though we didn't participate in the same communities, the experience is somewhat universal. It was a reminder that so many other people were going through essentially the same things I did years ago. I'd like to hear some of your memories during these past twelve years.
  22. I remembered that you guys were able to meet up, but I'd never heard that part of the story. Props to Khaled.
  23. I know it's summer and we just had the season finales for most of the shows on TV, but since we don't have this thread up yet: what are you watching? For the most part, this thread is meant to springboard possible discussions about current TV shows. But it can also be used to get information about older shows. I've mostly just been keeping up with shows on the CW in recent years. When the fall premiers roll around, I'll be watching Arrow (highly recommended), The Flash (because of how good Arrow is), Supernatural (which I no longer like but want to see through to the end), The Vampire Diaries (I like the characters but haven't cared for the plot in the past few seasons), The Originals (Elijah and Claus are two of the best written characters on television), The 100 (which had a surprisingly intriguing first season despite its blatant disregard for accurate science)... and... ::.Checks.:: Oh, and Reign, which seems like the CW's terrible answer to Game of Thrones (and I've never even watched Game of Thrones). For summer watching, I'll be watching Girl Meets World. I actually started rewatching Boy Meets World recently to compare (and to let Cel and a couple of other friends know what they missed out on growing up). I also watched several episodes of Naked and Afraid recently, which is basically two people are sent into an exotic wilderness without clothes (the "naked" part), only one survival item each, and they have to survive for 21 days and then reach an extraction point. A part of the show is meant to consider the question of how early humans were able to survive. What about you guys? What are you watching?
  24. While I enjoyed Smallville's interpretation of the Green Arrow, I prefer DC's heroes to exist in their own individual bubbles. It has something to do with how they feel larger than life, and the power discrepancies between, say, Superman and Green Arrow really force the suspension of disbelief. As opposed to Marvel where most of the characters are on the same level. So what kept you from enjoying Game of Thrones? I take it that the gore was part of the problem? Smallville definitely dove headfirst into that lake. Sometimes it was fine when it was done from the comic book angle (so to speak), but it became a problem as the writers refused to let Clark grow as a character, dragged on and on with the love triangle with Lana (particularly in seasons five and six), and did nothing relevant whatsoever with Kara in season seven. This has been a big part of my issue with The Flash, especially this year with the unnecessary change to Caitlin via Flashpoint. For me, I tend to analyze the shows I enjoy. I have a friend who also posts his critical thoughts on Facebook pretty regularly, so I bounce few ideas around with him. There are very few shows that I'll "turn off my brain" for, and nearly all of them are comedy.
  25. I've been hearing a bit more of the accusations against reality TV shows recently, because I've watched a few of the survivalist shows. While interesting at a glance, there's not a lot of appeal there for me in general. You need fire to survive. Don't suck at building a shelter. Hunting is about tools and luck. It creates an interesting vision of the past, and it does make it abundantly clear why the guarantee of food (via farming) probably led to civilization. I need to put Smallville onto my "need to rewatch" list. It's been at least a few years since I last went through the first six seasons. You're familiar with the Smallville Season 11 comic, yes? They certainly took advantage of the comic medium for storytelling, making it a bit more Justice League (which was kind of the direction the show had tried to go in several times anyway). That said, I kind of have to place most (if not all) of the CW shows above Smallville for storytelling. Nostalgia definitely makes me rank Smallville above all but Arrow and maybe The Flash, but I feel like Smallville only really beats Supergirl outright (mostly due to the sheer lack of direction in Supergirl, whereas Smallville was always fun). What are you looking for in a show right now? Or what's been lacking in the shows you've been watching?